Step by Step

Kristen is not the saint her parents raised her to be. Dancing and partying, two words that describe her. She has a normal life, except that she is living next to one of the guys from the biggest boy band. Kristen is a rebel looking for some rebellious love, not even knowing it. {Zayn Malik Love Story}

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3. Brighter Than The Sun

 

The window besides Kristen’s bed let strong rays of light into the room. The sound of “Brighter Than the Sun”, Kristen’s usual wake-up song, filled her ears. Kristen’s hand reached from under the covers, placing it onto the snooze button from her alarm clock. She let out a small groan not in the slightest mood to get up.   

“Kristen wake up! We have school,” Layla shouted from the doorway, a toothbrush in her mouth. When Kristen didn’t let out any type of response, Layla grunted as she stepped forward to the side of Kristen’s bed. With her free hand, she grabbed the edge of the covers and yanked it off Kristen. “I don’t want to be late for my first day of eighth grade because of you. Get up!”  

“You’re a--” Kristen started off as she opened her eyes adjusting them to the lighting. When her eyes glanced at the clock, her words stopped abruptly, “Six fifty- six? Who set my alarm so early?” Layla could hear the annoyance in Kristen’s voice.   

Layla took a step back, glancing at the night stand. She didn’t want to be late to school, that’s all. Although, she knew her sister was going to be furious with her. Her legs didn’t stop as she walked to the door, “I need to get ready. Um. Someone’s calling you.” With that, she sneaked out the door.  

Kristen rolled her eyes before turning her head to the night stand beside her bed. Her eyebrows furrowed in confusion as she reached to her phone, plugging it off from the charger and bringing it up to her ear after pressing the answer button.   

“Hello?” her voice was groggy and sounded like she had just woken up, as she had.  

“Hey whore,” the only person who could call her that without getting offended. Her best friend, Jessica.   

Jessica was the girl who hung out with Kristen at their old school. As much as they had other friends, the two girls did everything together when not with other people. They’d go shopping together, get manicures together, and share secrets together. You couldn’t separate the two, the blonde and the brunette. Jessica was like a sister to Kristen, and moving away from each other made it difficult for both of them.   

“Hey Jess, what’s so important that you had to call at six?” Kristen shot back, but she knew Jessica was aware that she was joking.  

“Well, technically it’s almost seven.”  

“Wow. Just tell me!” Kristen laughed springing up from her bed and walking over to her walk-in closet. Her eyes searched through the various shirts that were on the hangers neatly. Her mom was probably the one to fix it up, while Kristen was on the walk.  

“I messaged you yesterday at about seven in the afternoon, and you didn’t reply, why is that?” Jessica asked.  

“Sorry, I was extremely tired,” Kristen apologized remembering the incident with Lassie and the squirrel. She reached for a plain white tank top that was folded with the rest of the simple shirts on the shelf below.   

“Mhmm,” she hummed,” sure. Well, that’s not the point. So you know Wendy?”  

Kristen huffed at the sound of the name. She’s always disliked this girl. Her and Wendy were always in competition. It didn’t matter what it was about. Wendy seemed to hate Kristen from the minute Kristen walked into the studio.“What about her?” she breathed. Her black skinny jeans now around her right arm, she picked up a tan cardigan from the hanger. As she walked back into her room, she lay the pieces on the bed.   

“According to the spread rumors,” Jessica started but soon stopped as she started to yell at the other side of the line, “Shut up Jasmine!”  

Kristen chuckled as she continued to get ready. She tugged at the top of her jeans pulling them to her waist. After putting on her shirt and cardigan, she slipped on her brown feather necklace.   

“You still there?” Kristen asked her friend who had been silent for a moment.  

“Sorry, my sister just drives me crazy. Like, she doesn’t know what privacy means. Can we change sisters?”  

“Or we can donate them to the adoption center? Alright, just tell me about Wendy, you’re making me extremely curious,” Kristen walked into the bathroom, putting her phone on speaker, and setting it on the counter. She picked up the brush, brushing the tiny pieces of hair that stuck out. The natural waves of her orange-blondish hair enlightened her as she pulled back two pieces of hair from each side, clipping them on the back.   

Jess let out a laugh before returning to the conversation that mattered to Kristen. She cleared her throat as she began blabbering about the rumors, “So you know the dance competition that’s coming up?”  

“Yeah, what about it?”  

“Well,” Jess sighed, “Wendy is entering, of course, and she’s part of the duet section.”  

“Okay? I’m missing something, what’s so bad about that,” Kristen asked in confusion. She picked up the black eyeliner, sliding it across the water line.  

“Well her partner is Ross Lynch! Do you know how many votes that will get her?” The desperation in Jess’ voice only made Kristen more confused.  

“Who?”  

“Ross Lynch. From that one show on Disney Channel, well, apparently, he’s coming because she’s connected to him somehow. That’s not what matters, what matters is--”  

“What? That’s unfair, they let her do that? This is not Dancing With the Stars!” Kristen blurted out. She was far from calm now. Wendy always tried to do something to make people love her, out of selfishness though. Kristen could not let Wendy win this thing.  

But how?  

“I know, I have to get ready, talk to you later?” Jessica chimed in after a pause.  

The two said their goodbyes and hung up the phone. Kristen grabbed her backpack sliding it across her right shoulder as she walked down the long hallway. The smell of coffee was filling her nose.   

This is how it was everyday, though. Kristen would wake up smelling the coffee and whatever breakfast food there was. She sometimes would have to make her own breakfast, but only when her mom was busy. It wasn’t everyday Jessica called, but it’d probably add to five times a week. She always had new things to say, whether it was good or bad.   

Kristen slid her plate into the washing machine as she stuffed the last piece of bread into her mouth. The crumbs at the edge of her lips sprinkling to the floor slowly. She ran up the stairs again into the bathroom, brushed her teeth, and grabbed her phone. She paced to the front door taking a breath.  

“Mum,” she yelled checking her watch, which said eight o’ six, “I’m going to walk to school, get to know the place, okay?”   Her mom, Jane, appeared in the kitchen hallway that was visible from the front door.

“You’re going to walk?”  

“Yes…”  

Jane sighed lifting one hand up to her waist. Kristen could tell her mom was tired and was rushing to get everything ready. “Alright, fine. Just be careful. You remember how--”  

“--Yes mum. I remember how to get there. Bye!” Kristen cut her mom off.   

“Bye.” The faint sound of Jane’s voice faded as Kristen shut the door. The cool air of September hit the skin on Kristen’s face. It was a bit warm since it was still cooling down from the summer. She gave herself a small smile as she stepped down the porch steps of her house. As she walked along the sidewalk, passing by her neighbor, she saw a group of men in black suits walking towards the entrance.   

It scared Kristen as she thought about the kidnapping movies. It didn’t help when they came closer as she stood in front of the entrance, having a walkie-talkie near their mouth. Kristen shook her head as she continued making her way to school.   

Ugh. School.    

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