"It's fake," the voice told her. "All of those kisses, the things he says, it's all fake."
Since Sophia kissed him on Friday, the voice wouldn't stop telling her that Issac didn't care. When she laid awake at night, it was no longer because the voice would keep her up, but because her reality had finally become better than her dreams. It's real, she always told the voice. It's real and true, and that's all it will ever be. Another voice in her mind, though, different from the previous two had softly gave Sophia a chill with only five words- What if it isn't real? She never wanted to believe that the new voice might be right, that he really didn't love her. However she had no proof that it was real, he never said how he felt other then his love for kissing her. This night, though, many thoughts were floating in her head; thoughts about Alyssa, thoughts about Jennifer and their cruel friends, thoughts about Issac and their romantic kiss. She imagined the look on Alyssa's face once she found out that her lips were not the only ones Issac was pressed against, she imagined standing up to her tormentors, and most of all she imagined kissing Issac one more time. Each night she found herself wishing that he would kiss her the next day, and when he didn't, she dreamed of their previous kisses. The naive teenage girl refused to believe she was in love with him because he was not hers to fall in love with, but there was nothing wrong with a few dreams and wishes here or there.
The next Monday after their kiss, school seemed different. No harsh laughter filled the air, no vicious words were spat at her, and she could feel confident walking through the hallways for once in her life. Alyssa still clung to Issac's arm like a girlfriend would, and though they left her alone, Sophia still felt hurt and victimized. During her gym period she was excused to study in the courtyard, but when she entered the secluded space she saw a friendly face smiling at her. "We always seem to meet here," he greeted warmly. She couldn't help but to smile as he gave her a tight embrace, kissing the tip of her nose. "I'm excused from class," she said, laughing at him gently. "As am I," he retorted, flashing a bright smile down at her. He was considerably taller than her which made his hugs even more cozy, and she liked that about him. Almost instantly, thoughts of Alyssa crept into her mind, and as his lips neared hers she pulled away. "Alyssa," she murmured, knowing he hadn't heard her. Issac was her first real kiss and the last thing she wanted to do was deny him another. "What?" he asked, pulling her closer. She placed her hands on his toned chest and pushed away from him, breaking his grip. "You have a girlfriend," she hissed at him crossing her arms over her chest. "Alyssa isn't my girlfriend," he sighed, rubbing his temples. She squeezed angry tears out of her eyes, and turned away from him. The voice in her head laughed at her, and she felt stupid and foolish. How could I let this go on for so long? "Then what is she?" Sophia asked in a furious tone. "She's just a girl who won't move on from me," Issac lied to her. His voice was annoyed, but Sophia could tell that he was trying to brush the girl away. "Please, just understand and hear me out." Now a sudden burst of sincerity came through and she almost felt sorry for bringing up Alyssa. With a small smile she spun around to face her lover and kissed him softly, confirming everything was indeed alright between the two. For moments they stood in the courtyard in a pleasurable silence until the class period was over and they departed, but the voice in Sophia's mind still picked at her. "Lies, lies, lies."
"Sophia?" It was her mother's voice at her bedroom door, and she stumbled in balancing a tray of food between shaking hands. "Oh, mom," she said sighing, jumping up from her bed and helping her mother carry the food, She had brought a bowl of steaming soup she suspected to be chicken noodle, and a mug of sweetened tea beside it. Though she was grateful for the delicious meal she was concerned about her mother; her skin seemed to have a grey tint to it and she was shaking badly, her blue eyes seemingly terrified. "I thought you'd be hungry," she said to her daughter as she sat down on the bed, her voice soft and as shaky as her body. I'm not, Sophia thought to herself as she sipped the tea softly. "Thank you for the food," she said warmly. Her mother was still shaking on the bed, and she now hugged her body tightly. "Did you eat?" Sophia knew the answer to this question; "Of course not, hon, I'm not hungry." It wasn't that her mother wasn't hungry, though, it was her father that didn't let her mother eat. This worried Sophia since she began losing weight dramatically, but she now nodded her head and Sophia fed her a spoonful of soup. "Mmmm," her mother hummed, devouring the broth and gnawing on a piece of chicken. At the sight of her mother, Sophia giggled lightly, putting a smile on both their faces. "I'm sorry," she apologized, still giggling. "Don't be," her mother responded, laughing wholeheartedly. It had been a long time since she heard her mother laugh like that, and she felt glad about it. She smiled and fed another spoonful of chicken to her mom. "Go on, eat this. You need it more than I do." Her mother smiled widely and her eyes sparkled. "Really?" Sophia nodded, and handed her mother the bowl as she slurped it down. It made her sad, seeing her mother like that. For years she had been abusing drugs and the only way Sophia could help was making sure she didn't die. But she knew that one day it would happen, and she prayed it didn't happen anytime soon.
When Sophia finally fell asleep after hours of useless crying, she dreamed of Issac. He was standing on a beach, staring into the ocean sadly. She walked up behind him silently, and grabbed his arm so he would face her- but he didn't budge. He continued to stare into the shining sea and Sophia began to panic. "Issac!" she called to him, hoping he would turn and notice her standing there. For what seemed like forever she called his name and shook him, but he never turned until someone else began walking towards them. From far away, she couldn't tell who it was, but that it was a girl and she was walking straight for Issac. The girl came into focus and Sophia could tell it was Alyssa, dressed in a beautiful ivory halter dress, with her long black hair flowing behind her. "Alyssa!" Issac called to her, embracing her as she came nearer. She giggled and kissed him passionately and Sophia felt her heart shatter. "Issac?" she whispered sadly, crying. "Issac wha- what about us?" He turned to her, Alyssa still in his arms and said, "I wouldn't throw away a relationship that's lasted a year for a side girl. A nobody, nevertheless." Her eyes welled up with tears and she began running until she reached a tree in the center of no where. Hanging on a branch was a noose, and on the ground beneath it was multiple bottles of prescription pills, a few packs of cigarettes, bags of illegal substances, and blades sitting on the top of every item. She gasped and knelt down, seeing a torn piece of paper next to the materials, with one word scrawled across the center of the paper: Goodbye.