Long distance friendships are pretty common these days. And so, I guess are long distance relationships. Some may frown upon them, whereas others find it almost normal. Millie Townsley is one of those who finds it easier to talk online. Her life outside of the internet is pretty tough, so she turns to James Miller for advice and support. But life through the internet isn't at all any easier. Not when she's fallen in love with her best friend who lives in a whole other country. Oh, and the fact that he may never feel the same way.


3. Chapter Three

   Once I had gotten home, it took me 30 minutes to walk home, I went straight to my room. My mum asked me if I was okay, but I just ran past her. I didn’t want to talk to her about anything that had happened tonight. I was mad at my dad, how dare he talk about my life as if I weren’t even there. And to tell everyone about James. I didn’t want anyone at school to know about him, I knew how they would react and tease me. They don’t understand, they all get along and have friends for real. I find it hard to become close to someone, I just don’t trust that easily.

    I went through my bag, looking for my camera. I was ready to put my pictures on my laptop to edit them. But when I went to look, my camera was gone. I knew I had taken it to Chelsea’s house with me, I took my camera everywhere I went. I started panicking, I need my camera, it just couldn’t be gone.

    That’s when I realised, Melinda and Chelsea had obviously stolen my camera. I punched my bedroom wall in anger. Damn it! How could I let something so stupid happen? I went straight to my phone and messaged James to voice call me on Skype. I really needed to talk to him. I knew he had this hour free at school, so I shouldn’t have been asking for much.

    More quickly than I thought he would have done, he called me. I answered immediately and just started crying to him on the phone. I told him everything, from what happened at school, to the dinner, to my camera being stolen. I even told him about my pictures that were on the camera, the ones I didn’t want to lose. He reassured me that my camera would turn up soon, and then asked if when he got home I wanted to play some video games. I agreed to it, I knew it would cheer me up. We hadn’t played video games in a while.

    Then I heard in the background, a girl. She was telling James to hang up on me and pay attention to her. She seemed to be pretty needy and have all attention on her, and well if that attention wasn’t on her, then she wouldn’t be happy.

    So I said my goodbye to James and told him I’d be online waiting for him. I just sat for a few minutes wondering what James was doing with this girl. I know that she is completely different to any of the girls he’s dated before, I don’t know, she just doesn’t fit in.

    James should be with someone like me, only not me. A me who lives in America. Someone who will treat James so right, and let him have his time with his friends. He should just date me.

    And that is when I realised I had feelings for James. I wanted him to be here with me, and want me. Or maybe, me be with him in America. I wanted it more than anything. Too bad I have to stay here and do my exams in a few weeks. But then I thought about how they do those exchange student programme, and I had an idea.

    I rushed over to my laptop and started searching. Searching for almost anything, but mainly if James’ school did a student exchange programme. It didn’t take me long to find what I was looking for, the final deadline to apply was April 28th. Today? I looked through my calendar, and sure enough it was that day. I really should change the months on my calendar.

    I went through the application and filled it all out. I clicked send and was so glad I didn’t leave it another day to look online. James would be so happy when I tell him. But first, I better tell mum. I went downstairs looking for my mum, sure enough I found her cooking dinner.

    “So uh, mum. You know I’m 16 and all? And well, I need to stay in education until I’m 18? I have an idea of what I want to do next year” I said, looking away from her. I knew she wasn’t going to be thrilled about the idea. She looked up at me from the chair she was sat on, wanting me to carry on. “Well, I was looking online and I found a student exchange programme, it’s in America. This is something I want” There really wasn’t anyway for me to try and persuade her.

    “But Millie, you’re only 16” Mum really wasn’t going to be easy to persuade.

    “Old enough to live on my own” I stated. “Anyway, I applied for the programme. I’m not saying I’ll get in, just please. Give me a chance” I said. She nodded. Wow, I was not expecting that. She just gave in so quickly. I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket and took it out to see who had messaged me.

    “Stay away from James. He talks to you way too much” I looked down in confusion. It was from a number I didn’t recognise. As I didn’t recognise the number I thought it would be best if I just ignored the message. I didn’t think it would be best to start anything. Especially when I didn’t know who it was. But James did, the person mentioned James so they obviously know him. Then it clicked, it must have been his girlfriend.


    “I’m so sorry” Ruth came up to me first thing the next morning. I raised one eyebrow at her. Had she heard about last night’s dinner? Had Melinda told everyone about how I reacted? About my dad? What was she sorry for?

    “What are you sorry for?” I asked.

    “The cuts” Is all she replied, before I pushed past her to try and find Melinda. There were pictures posted all around the school. My pictures that I had taken, the fake cuts. They were posted all over the school, along with my picture. People were believing them to be real? I didn’t think they looked that real. Real enough for others to think I cut. They all thought I harmed myself.

    “Millie, Mr Smith wants to see you in his office” I stumbled into Melinda as I tried to stop myself. She had a pleasing smile plastered on her face. She knew what she was doing in this cruel game of hers. I narrowed my eyes at her and started moving towards Mr Smith’s room. As I approached Mrs Sanders, the secretary asked me to wait outside. And so I did. I waited until my mum showed up.

    “Mum, what are you doing here?” I questioned. It wasn’t normal for my mum to be called into the school. This obviously had to be something serious.

    “What is going on Millie?” She asked me, worry spread across her face. Nothing, everything is just fine and dandy. I wish I could tell her everything was perfect, that nothing was going on. But it would all be one big, fat lie. I can’t do that to my mum.

    Mr Smith let both my mum and I into his office. I sat in the nearest seat, leaving the other to my mum.

    “I wouldn’t call you in Ms Townsly if it weren’t so serious…” Mr Smith took a pause, to think about what he wanted to say. “I’m afraid that Millie has been harming herself. And I’m just wondering if it has anything to do with home?” I shook my head laughing as he finished his sentence. “This isn’t a laughing matter Millie” He looked at me with concern. My mum was speechless beside me.

    I rolled my sleeves up, showing my smooth, pale arms. “I never once harmed myself. Those pictures were purely for a photo shoot. Nothing else” I wasn’t happy to be accused of something I hadn’t done, especially when my mum had to be dragged into it. “Oh, and I would like to make a complaint. My camera was stolen by two of your students. Melinda Keys and Chelsea Wills” I crossed my arms over my chest.

    “Your camera was stolen?” It was the first thing my mum said, he didn’t look happy with me.

    I nodded at her, then decided to tell her, “I took it with me for dinner at dad’s. I came home and it was missing, those pictures that are all over the school were on my camera” I explained. “I never would hurt myself mum. It was nothing more than a photo shoot I did.”

    My mum turned to Mr Smith and demanded that Melinda and Chelsea were to be punished for stealing my camera, and that she wanted them to give it back to me. In perfect condition, and all pictures still on there. That kind of started of an argument between the two, but mum is pretty stern. She won’t give up nor back down.

    Both Chelsea and Melinda have been given a week of detention, plus a week taken from them off their study time. For the first week that everyone is at home studying, they have to come into school to study instead. I think it’s good enough, I mean it’s not like I will be putting up with them much longer anyway. I’ll be out of here soon enough anyway.

    “I would like to take Millie home with me, I don’t think it is fair that you have brought this on my daughter” Mum said and with that, I got the rest of the day off from school. I did plan to do a lot of studying though, my exams are creeping up on me, more and more each day.


    “I saw you’re not going to your prom. You should go” I shook my head reading the message from James. Why should I go to a prom where I won’t even have any fun? It’s not like I have any friends, well okay that’s my fault. I don’t really let anyone get close enough. Was he really going to try and get me to go somewhere that no one even wanted me?

    “No one even wants me there” I replied back. I put my phone down and went back to studying maths. James sent another message and then I checked the time. 5:04PM. I had been studying for almost 5 hours. I picked my phone back up to read the text, I had after all been studying all day.

    “I do” Was all he replied. As if that it even mattered. It’s not like he was going to be there. Hello? He lives in America. His time zone is 5 hours behind mine. He really isn’t going to be there. Prom is next month, and I really plan on not going. It will take a whole lot of persuading to get me to go. James messaging me, reminded me of his girlfriend. What was I going to do about that whole situation? Was I supposed to do as she said and let their relationship carry on, without me interfering? Or do I carry on be the best friend that I am to James? I wasn’t sure what to do, and I sure as hell wasn’t sure who I was supposed to turn to and be able to talk to about this whole situation.

    Sometimes being a teenager totally sucks. There is anything I can do, all this drama just creeps up on me. And once it’s found me, it just continues to follow me around. Like my life isn’t hard enough right now anyway.

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