(Book Trailer Included) Four teenage girls, Jane, Carmella, Mia, and Lily are experiencing some of the most difficult situations a teen could possibly have. Each of their lives shall intertwine with one another. This story exemplifies the often not so perfect lives of teenage girls by diving deep into the emotional struggles of adolescence.

Also, I do not own images, I only put the cover together myself and wrote the entire story. All image copyright goes to their rightful owners. Thank you (:


40. Lily's Story Part 10:


   I'm laying on my queen-sized bed atop the satin ivory duvet, unable to contain my excessive amount of glee. I've been smiling with cheeriness for about an hour straight now. I stare up at the stainless ceiling of my bedroom, replaying the events that occurred this afternoon over again in my mind for the millionth time.

   Spending the evening with Jay today was just simply marvelous. I even came to find that he gets along really well with younger kids. He's so friendly with children; it's absolutely adorable. You could say I get along with kids well, but I'm just really shy and awkward...though, I'm shy and awkward around just about everyone...

   We ended up playing baseball with a few younger kids at the park; they looked like they were about eleven to twelve years old or so. Of course, I have about negative five percent of athletic ability in me, and I couldn't hit one ball with the bat. The kids were just laughing at all my failed attempts. 

   It wasn't all that bad, though... Jay taught me how to swing. He stood behind me and wrapped his arms around me, holding onto the baseball bat. Like that, he showed me the correct position to stand in and the way to swing the bat so that I could actually hit the ball. I'm not sure if he was able to see my rosy red cheeks due to blushing immensely, but he most likely did. Jay tends to always notice my emotions and all...I guess I'm just that obvious to read.

   As the night grew dark, we stopped at a nearby pizza parlor for dinner. As it turns out, we both love pizza with peppers and onions on it. Usually people tend to have a liking for the common pepperoni pizza, so it was a pleasant surprise to find someone with a bit of a different taste. 

   We ended up sharing a lot of different characteristics about ourselves with one another, more than we knew before. I learned that Jay loves to paint portraits and landscapes, plus he loves drawing in his sketchpad too. I thought that was really wondrous about him. I had told him that I'd love to take a peek at his work some time if that was alright with him, and he said he'd definitely love to show me soon, as long as I'd play a song for him on the piano. 

   He said he had always wanted to learn how to play the piano too, and it'd be remarkable if I would "maybe, possibly" teach him at least the basics. I agreed, thinking that would be rather fun. Thus, I would take any chance of being able to spend time more time with Jay.

   I've never felt so close to anyone else before, really. I guess I've always had those few acquaintances, but I don't really have any true friends. I'm not sure why people don't talk to me...though, I guess it would be adequate to say it's probably because I don't talk to them. I'm quite shy, and I honestly can't help it. People just tend to frighten me a bit...they're all so judgmental, pressuring, and...and well, scary. 

   Although, it's different with Jay. He's not like everyone else. He's wonderful. I've never met someone so sweet, caring, and understanding. I can always count on him to be there for me whenever I need someone and he never lets me down. I think it's safe to say he's my best friend. 

   We've been friends for years now and we see each other often, considering him and his father visit us a lot. They live about a ten minute drive away and he goes to my high school. He's the only person who cares enough to smile at me, acknowledge me, when I pass him in the hallways at school.

   He fills me with this sensational warm feeling, as if a group of cozy teddy bears are all embracing my heart at once. As soon as our eyes meet, it's as if all the negative energy I've been carrying along with me has just vanished, no longer there to weigh me down. That gloomy, dark cloud clears up and the gentle glow of sunshine in his pupils greet me with an amicable grin. 

   I wonder....if I should tell him about Lola--my ghost twin. Could I trust him? Well, of course I could..and it's not like I haven't told other people who I normally would never trust. That girl, Mia; I told her about Lola. I think she thought I was just crazy, as does the rest of the student body. No one really believes me. I guess keeping this to myself for as long as possible is most likely the best thing for me to do, considering the last thing I want is to end up in a mental hospital or a psych ward.

   I just wish there was simply someone who I could talk to about this whole situation-someone who would believe me. I know I trust Jay with my life, I know that. The thing that I just can't seem to figure out is whether he'll believe me or not..even if he said he believed me..would he really? What if he thought I was just crazy like everyone else does? That's another bullet on the list of things I'd like to avoid.

   I sigh to myself with distress, frustrated with this whole thing. After lying there for another few moments, continuing my thoughts about telling Jay, my eyes widen and I sit up hastily. My head shoots back and fourth from left to right as I furrow my brows in wonder. Speaking of which, where is Lola? 

   Beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep..

   Just as I begin to question this idea, the timer on the oven goes off from downstairs, causing me to jump slightly. 

   "O-oh!" I gasp, flinging my legs over the edge of the bed. The thin, white fabric of my tights touch the exquisite carpet beneath my feet and I push myself up off of the bed. 

   I pad across the polished tile, each square finely detailed with a splendid pattern similar to a cluster of bronze and ivory shards. I head over to the sturdy door, which is beside my long dresser, extended across the wall. The height is only about the height of the front of my bed post, and it's a lovely ivory color with a golden trim and surface. A 59" HD Plasma TV is mounted on the mahogany wall above the dresser. 

   I grasp the golden door knob and twist it, pulling my bedroom door open without a single creak. The beeping of the oven timer continues to go off as I make my way down the spiraling staircase into the foyer. I rush into the spacious kitchen, across the glossy wooden tiles as the candle lights among the elegant chandeliers cast a brilliant glow around the room. 

   I quickly turn the timer off before pulling the oven door open. I peer inside, seeing a delicious looking apple pie baking on the tray. After putting on my oven mitts, I reach inside and retrieve the pie, settling it on the marble counter. The ambrosial scent wafts into my nostrils, making my mouth water. I lean down so that I am eye level with the fine crust of the pie, observing the texture and surface. As my eyes scan the delicacy, a grin creeps onto my face. Everything is absolutely perfect; there are no cracks in the surface and the texture is just right. The edges of the crust are nice and puffy, just how my father likes it. 

   I pull my gloves off as I stand back up and leave them on the counter as well. I place my hands together, resting them against my lips as I smile warmly. It looks as if I'm praying to the Lord, but I'm just simply overwhelmed with joy. Although, thank God that this came out exactly as I had hoped. I wanted it to be extra special for Father. I feel as though I haven't been able to spend much time with him lately, since he's been so busy. 

   As I continue to admire my wondrous apple pie, I hear a loud vibration come from behind me. I turn my head abruptly, eyeing my cell phone on the large round table. I walk over and pick up my iPhone, seeing that I have received a text message from Father. I swipe my finger across the touch screen and unlock my phone. Once I've done so, the text appears. It reads, "Hi sweetie! I'm sorry, but I'm not going to be home 'til tomorrow morning. I've got some things to take care of tonight. I know we haven't had much time to spend together, I'm sorry. My schedule is just so booked these days! Hahah, well I'll be sure to add a father-daughter day soon into my schedule! Love you! Take care of yourself while I'm gone :)"

   The smile on my face slowly fades away as I read the text message. I just stand there, that dark cloud returning above my head. I was so excited to bake Father's favorite pie for tonight..and sit down and eat with him. I wanted to sit at the dining room table together and laugh together and see his wonderful smile. He's been out so often now that I barely ever get to see that anymore.

   "Oh, bummer. Dad's ditching you again?" 

   I gasp, dropping my phone on the table and spinning around to see Lola step back from peering over my shoulder. She crosses her arms and smirks.

   "L-Lola! You scared me!"

   She scoffs, "Yeah, I guess all it takes is a cute boy with black hair and an irresistible smile to forget about your ghost twin."

   My cheeks flush and I glance away. "N-no..I just.."

   "You forgot about me, I get it. No need to try to desperately search for an excuse," she interrupts with a short shrug. 

   "Well, I just wanted to focus on my afternoon with Jay. It was like our...first.."

   "Date?" she interrupts again. "So did you kiss?" she asks, moving in closer to me with an eager grin.

   "Wh-what?! N-no! No, it was just..we were just hanging all...." I bite my lip and look at my feet, feeling my face burning up with embarrassment. 

   "Aha, well anyway, it's good your dad wasn't available tonight. Now you can take that pie with you on down to my ex-boyfriend's house," Lola says casually. 

   I furrow my brows and ask, "Uh..what?" wondering if I heard wrong.

   "Well," she starts, "I don't know if he's my ex-boyfriend, really. I mean, I guess when you die you technically have to be broken up, right? So, he's not my boyfriend anymore..Hm..I don't actually know how that works. Whatever, we'll just call him my boyfriend, Nick." 

   I blink, still completely lost in what she's rambling on about. 

   She sighs dramatically while rolling her eyes. "Okay, ya know how I wasn't around on your afternoon with Jay? Well, I was visiting Nick..and..I saw something unexpected.

   "What did you see..?" I ask softly.

   "He was sobbing..a lot..and he had a rope hanging from this hook on the ceiling. There was a hoop at the bottom of the rope..and then he was pushing a stool up underneath this setup.."

   I gulp, knowing where this is going. I don't know what to say..I don't know how it ended.

   "He was going to commit suicide--he was going to hang himself," Lola finishes, looking uneasy. 

   "I-I'm so sorry.." I say, feeling guilty, even though I shouldn't. 

   She shrugs again, "He didn't do it. He got on the stool and I kept crying to him to stop.." she pauses for a moment before continuing, "I touched his shoulder and yelled at him to stop what he was doing--that I wouldn't appreciate it if he did something so absurd because of my stupid death."

   "So..that made him stop..? Could he..see you?" I wonder.

   "No. He couldn't see me. However, he could feel my touch, I guess. When I did that he looked like he suddenly thought what he was doing was indeed..absurd. He shook his head and got off the stool and just..he just fell to the floor and buried his face in his hands and started shaking. It was an awful visual. I had never seen him cry so hard..ever since I saw him beside my dead body that day when I was hit by the truck.." she laughs briefly, "He never cried in front of me..or at all I don't think..when I was alive." 

   "That's amazing," I say. "I mean, that you were able to change his mind about doing something like that. You can really change someone's life, Lola.." 

   "Save someone's life," she corrects. 

   I just smile shortly, considering I also directed that sentence at myself. She's certainly changed my life. I'm not sure if it's for the better or for the worse. Although, I'm glad I'm able to speak with her, since I never would have ever been able to at all if she never visited me as a ghost. 

   A long silence occurs then between us, until Lola finally speaks again. 

   "Anyway, grab that pie and let's go." She turns away, ready to head on over to Nick's house at eight o'clock at night.

   "Wait!" I say, stopping her in her tracks. She turns around to face me, looking exhausted from all the details she's having to give me. 

   "What now?" she questions. 

   "Why..exactly..are you taking me..and my apple his house? Not to mention, this late?" 

   "Lily, my boyfriend almost committed suicide because of me. Can't you at least do your poor dead twin a favor and share a lovely apple pie with him while comforting his broken heart? Befriend him for me? He's always focused on me ever since we started dating, and pretty much all his friends were left behind. So, he's just lonely and heartbroken. I'm sure you could tend to that broken heart of his for me, right?" She looks over her shoulder at me, making a sad puppy dog face.

   I open my mouth to protest, but then just decide to close it and shake my head and sigh. "Okay. Fine. But don't you think it'll be a little..weird for me to show up at his door step?" I ask, since I look just like the cutesy version of Lola. 

   Lola laughs for a second before speaking, "He knows about you. I shared everything about my search for you with him. It'll be a nice little surprise for him to be the one to meet you. I'm not sure if he thinks you truly exist yet, even after I showed him pictures of you. He probably thinks I was just playing with his poor head. I did stuff like that." She smiles and turns away, heading over to the door.

   I follow, not quite sure about all of this. I know there's nothing I can do about it, though. I have to go. 

   "Fine, but I'm driving this time! Got it?" I say sternly. 

   She laughs in response, "Got it."



      I push my car door shut, standing before a minuscule house the color of dying Fall leaves. The paneling is poor and ruined, making the house look practically abandoned. There's a puny shed towards the back of the house and a garage beside of it. The garden in front of the house is full of dead flowers, but the most you can see is the dirt. The rusty pipe going along the edge of the house is completely visible and the windows of the home are small with cobwebs in the corners. The driveway which is full of cracks, leads to the creaking white steps to the door.

   "Are you sure this is the right house..?" I ask, eyeing Lola cautiously.

   She nods in response. "Yes, I know my boyfriend's house. Duh.

   "Well, don't ghosts forget things about their life?" I question.

   "Lily, it hasn't been that long," she tells me. "Look, I know it's a shitty house. His family isn't wealthy, like ours is. If Jasmin from Aladdin can date poor boys, then I can too. Not all princesses date rich guys." 

   "Are you calling yourself a princess?" I ask, smiling to myself.

   "Well I am, aren't I?" She flips her hair and struts up the driveway and I laugh, following behind.

   Once we arrive at the door, I glance at Lola nervously.

   "Well, what are you waiting for? Knock on the door," Lola demands, rushing me to pick up the pace and stop being such a chicken.

   "I feel like this is going to be weird--"

   Lola rolls her eyes with exhaustion and knocks on the door, herself. My eyes widen and I gulp, glancing back and fourth from the door to Lola. I open my mouth to protest, but I'm in too much panic that my voice box is unable to work. I can feel my face getting hot as I hear footsteps approaching the door. I quickly turn and stand in position, holding the pie out in front of me. The footsteps are getting even closer, when I notice the rusted, gold door knob turning.

   The door pulls open, revealing a pale boy with long dark, razor sharp hair that reaches the back of his neck. He looks up at me, his jagged bangs falling in his deep brown eyes. They're dark and look angry, but as soon as he realizes my appearance, his eyes soften and he steps forward, staring at me intensely. 

   I look down uncomfortably, being forced to take in the rest of his appearance. He's wearing a spiked choker around his neck with chains that loop from every two spikes. He's wearing a black and white striped long sleeve shirt beneath his gray, ripped t-shirt with a few pins attached to it that hold more chains. His dark-washed denim jeans are baggy and his black Converse sneakers complete the punk look.

   He continues to stand there and stare at my face, causing my pupils to wander in Lola's direction. She mouths to me to say something and greet him, so I finally look up at him and speak.

   "Uh, hello. My name is Lily. I'm, uh, I'm Lola's twin sister. I, uh, I brought apple pie.." I stutter, awkwardly. 

   Lola and I watch him, waiting for a response. Though, it takes him a moment to do so. He reaches out towards my face and caresses my cheek. 

   His now watery eyes search my big blue ones for answers as he says softly, "Lola...."

   "Ah," I carefully move my head back slightly so that his cold fingers are just barely grazing my skin. "I-I'm sorry. I don't know if you heard me. I'm Lola's twin sister. I came here to talk to you."

   He freezes, his eyes turning back to a darker shade of brown. "O-oh...Man, I'm-I'm sorry. I look just like Lola..I really thought for a second that..that maybe.." he laughs briefly before continuing, "that maybe a miracle happened..and-and maybe Lola was alive. Maybe she never really did die. Maybe it was all just in my head." 

   He looks up at me as a tear streams down his right cheek and he wipes it away with his sleeve. "I'm-I'm sorry, I's been hard for me..please, please come inside." He steps back, holding the door open for me and I grin sympathetically, making my way into his house.

   The inside smells like mothballs and it's pretty dirty looking. The walls are painted a mustard yellow and the carpeting is stained in more than one spot. I turn and watch as he closes the door shut, Lola floating right through and staying by his side. 

   "Sorry, it's pretty drab inside here. I can't really do much about it, especially since my dad just got fired from his job. He's probably out at the bar right now, he's been there a real lot lately."

   I nod and respond understandingly, "No, it's okay. I'm sorry."

   He exposes a half grin, reaching for my forearm and then dragging me into his small living room. A beige, leather couch is lined against the wall and he releases my arm before taking a seat. 

   "Please, sit. Oh, and uh, you can just put the pie on the coffee table right there." He points to the wooden table in front of the couch and I place the pie, covered in plastic wrap onto the wood. After doing so, I take a seat on the couch opposite from him.

   We sit in silence for about a minute as he stares at me again, clearly observing me in awe. I smooth out my dress, feeling uncomfortable once more. Finally, he finishes.

   "It's amazing..." he says quietly.

   "Hm?" I say, unsure of what he means.

   "You really are Lola's identical look exactly like her. I mean, other than the style of course," he chuckles and I even let out a small laugh myself, pretending to observe my cuticles shyly. "And you're also a whole lot less insane," he adds. 

   I laugh a little bit more this time, gaining enough courage to look up at him. He's smiling warmly at me, looking glad to have me around. 

   "That's for sure," I admit.

   He looks a bit puzzled, his brows moving forward. "How do you know..about Lola? Did you know about her..before.." His sentence fades off and he looks down at his lap sadly.

   My jaw tenses and I look at Lola who's sitting on the couch beside Nick with her legs crossed. My eyes tell her that I need a cover up. 

   "Just improvise, Lily!" she tells me.

   I nod my head and look back at Nick, who's still looking at me.

   "So, you did know her before? It's weird..Lola was always searching for clues and hidden secrets about you. That's all she focused on ever since she found that photo of you..She was so determined to find you and meet you. Man, I can't believe her mom tried to hide the fact that she had a twin sister for all those years. I mean, how sick is that?"

   I part my lips to say something, but he keeps on talking.

   "So, where were you the whole time? Were you ever curious about Lola?" he wonders, eyeing me carefully.

   "Uhm," I hesitate, "I actually..didn't know her before. To be honest, I didn't even know I had a sister. My father never told me, either. It's strange. I don't know why. I've been in the same state as her the entire time, too. We've just been on opposite sides of the state, so I guess that made a bit of a difference. Still, I wish I would've known..Though, I found out some things about her after the accident..I found out about you, too. I thought I should come visit you."

   "Ah," he says, "I see. So, did your father finally tell you?" 

   I look at the carpet while twiddling my thumbs and answer, "Yeah.." 

   "That's so sickening," he says, glowering. "He should've told you when Lola was alive!" His voice got unexpectantly loud and I jump slightly, grasping onto the hem of my dress tightly. 

   Nick puts his face in his hands and starts trembling. I can hear soft whimpers coming from him and I feel awful. I don't know what to do. I simply just sit there on the couch and watch him cry. 

   "Nick.." I say softly, but he just keeps sobbing.

   I notice Lola's face covered in distress as she touches his back with her hand. I feel as though she's supposed to cry with him, but instead she just stays positioned like that, seemingly pitying him. She then looks at me, her eyes urging me to comfort him. Although I still feel odd around him, I know it's the right thing to do. So, I stand up and gracefully move over to him, sitting on the other side of him. 

   "N-Nick, it's okay.." I say, talking to his back.

   "No," he says in between sobs, "it's not okay! The love of my life is dead! Lord, what did I do..? What did I do...?"

   I gulp, my arm shaking as I reach out and place my hand on his back. "It's not your fault, Nick. And even if she's not on Earth anymore, she's still in your heart, she always will be, and she still loves you." I gently rub his back when suddenly he bursts into more sobs as he wraps his arms around me, while burying his face in my lap. 

   "N-Nick!" I gasp, "Please, it's okay..."

   "No!" he repeats, still refusing to listen to my sympathetic words. 

   "Tell him," Lola says randomly, "tell him that I told you to tell him I love him." 

   I look at Lola, my eyes filling with mere shock. Does she mean..what I think she means?

   "Please," Lola presses. "Just tell him, for me."

   I look down at Nick who's clinging onto me while bawling his eyes out. I gulp, unsure of this next move I need to make. Will it really do any good for me to tell him? What if he doesn't even believe me? I haven't even told Jay about this, yet. Why should I tell this..this stranger? I'm completely aware that Lola's absolutely 100% important to him, but still..will this really make anything better?

   I look back up at Lola, her eyes pleading for me to tell him the truth.

   "Tell him, Lily. Please.." she begs.

   I let out a deep breath before nodding my head gradually. "Nick, I have something to tell you.."

   After a few moments, Nick finally lets go of me and sits up. He wipes his face with his sleeve, the eyeliner that defined his eyes smudged beneath his waterline. 

   "Huh?" he mumbles.

   "Lola..she..." I start. My mouth closes and I look down, feeling uncomfortable.

   "Keep going..." he urges.

   "Lola visited a spirit," I say gently, looking up at him. His face looks puzzled, still soaked with tears. 

   "Wh-what? Are you just messing with me? You're just as sick as Lola could be sometimes, aren't you?" he sneers, standing up and walking a few feet away. He turns his back to me, unable to look me in the eye any longer. He thinks I'm a sicko now, how wonderful.

   "No, Nick. Please, believe me. I know it sounds crazy, but I'm not like that, I promise you. She really visited me. That's how I found out about you. That's how I found out where you live. That's why I came. She told me to tell you that she loves you, and to not obsess over her death.." 

   I wait patiently for him to slowly turn back towards me. His eyes widen as he decides to look me in the eye again. "You're telling the truth, you really are, aren't you..?" 

   I blink and then nod my head in return. "Yes, I am. I promise," I say.

   His mouth starts to quiver and he places the palm of his hand over his lips, trying forcibly to block any more sobs from being released. Just then, his entire body begins to shake. I start to reach my hand out towards him, even though I'm not beside him anymore. I feel so dreadful seeing him like this. I don't even really know the boy and I just want to comfort him so badly.

   "Nick.." I say gently.

   He looks back up at me and removes his hand from his mouth before saying, "I love her, too." I notice a slight grin crack in the corner of his lips. 


   Though, this time it's not my voice saying his name with sorrow. I turn to the left of me and Lola's eyes are full of endearment as she places her hand over where her heart would be inside her chest. 

   Lola laughs softly, "He makes me feel like I have a heart again, Lily." 

   I can't help but begin to smile, myself. At the same time, I feel my eyes start to water. All of somber kind of's making my heart pound. 

   At that moment, Lola gets up from the couch and moves over to where Nick is standing. She places her hand over his chest, this time as she gazes deeply into his eyes. It looks as though she can see right into his soul. Astonishingly, Nick slowly moves his own hand up and places it over his heart, exactly where Lola's hand is. 

   I sit up straighter, my eyes expanding as a salty tear rolls down my cheek. Lola truly is a powerful spirit. This image that I'm viewing right before my own's absolutely incredulous. This visual--this is something you only see in movies.

   When I can finally enable myself to blink, another tear streams down my cheek and Nick heads over to me. He settles back down on the couch and takes hold of my hand in his. I turn to look at him, both of our faces soaked in tears, and he whispers to me. 

   "Thank you, Lily..thank you so much for being here with me. Earlier today..I..." he stutters and I begin to nod my head, knowing what he's going to say next, "I almost killed myself. I's all been really hard on me. When the accident was so sudden. Lola had called me over that I was on my way there..and--and when I arrived at her house, all of these ambulances and cop cars were pulling in by her house. The flashing lights and chaotic voices and cries made my heart race. I was so terribly worried..that something might've happened to Lola. Of course, when I ran around the corner, I saw her--her crumpled up body lying in the middle of the road." He starts crying harder, but continues to speak, "I just, I just ran over and fell onto my knees and screamed! I--I couldn't believe what was happening! I didn't want to believe it!"

   I'm so engaged in his horrendous story; my eyes are searching his for signs of hope, even though I know exactly how it played out. I squeeze his hand tighter in mine as my lips tremble and drops trickle from my eyes. 

   "The-the paramedics had to tear me away from her body. I was kicking and screaming, yelling in their faces. I just wanted it all to go away...I wanted everything to go back to the way it was, but it never did. It never fucking did!" he shrieks, setting his head on my shoulder. 

   I put my arm around him and hold onto him tightly, seeing Lola sitting beside the apple pie on the coffee table in front of us. Her head is perked to the side as she studies Nick's ruthful face. She lightly places her fingers on his knee, keeping her eyes on his.

   "I'm so sorry Nick, just trust me. Things will get better. You know that Lola wouldn't want you to do something so terrible, such as kill yourself. She wants you to live a wonderful life and know that she'll always be watching over you. And, if you want to be with Lola, you need to live a generous life and go to Heaven when you pass away. Killing yourself will only send yourself to Hell, and we know Lola isn't there," I tell him carefully. I feel for him, I really do. He seems like such a wonderful boy and the last thing I even want is for him to harm himself. I may not know him well enough still, but I am able to see how much he cares about my twin sister. 

   He then lifts his head off my shoulder and wipes his eyes once more. "You're right, Lily. Thank you. Thank you so much for everything. I feel like..a new man, today. The only thing I want is to make Lola proud and to make her happy. You're right. Thank you." He uses his sleeve to wipe the tears off of my own face, smiling warmheartedly as he does so.

   "Thank Lola.." I respond softly.

   He laughs kindly before eyeing the apple pie that's next to Lola on the coffee table. "So, you made that apple pie for me?" he asks, feeling cherished.

   "Yes, I did," I lie. I originally made that for my father, but I feel as though that would be a little rude to admit. I hear Lola chortle and I shake my head knowingly, just enough so that only Lola notices. She smirks at me, then looks back at her boyfriend.

   "You're amazing," he tells me. "Apple pie is my favorite." 

   "Really?" I say, "That's wonderful."

   Nick then stands and picks the pie up from the table. "Why don't we go to the kitchen and let me critique your cooking skills?" he challenges jokingly.

   I feel my face turn red and I say, "I hope you enjoy it."

   "Me too," he says with a snicker. "Now come on, I can't eat this by myself."

   I smile warmly and follow him into the kitchen. "Okay.."

   An hour or so later, it's about ten thirty, and I'm standing at his door ready to leave. I had fun spending time with Nick, although I wish Lola was able to actually talk to him. It's a bit depressing knowing that she was there the entire time, yet her and her boyfriend were unable to speak with one another. If only he could see her as well. 

   "Do you have to go?" Nick asks eagerly, leaning against the wall and crossing his arms. 

   I put my hands behind my back and nod with a smile. "Yes, I'm sorry. I had a great time, though. I'm glad I could spend some time with you and talk."

   He moves over to me and says, "Thanks, I had a great time too. I don't know where I'd be now if it wasn't for you visiting me, y'know." 

   As I look at him, I recall seeing the rope he was going to use to hang himself still dangling from the ceiling in his bedroom. When I was just walking down the hall to the main door, I caught a glimpse into his bedroom when I turned my head. The door had been open, so I could easily see the set up. It makes me feel uneasy.

   "Nick," I say gently, "when I leave, can you please do me a favor?" I look at him with worry.

   "Anything," he replies.

   "Can you take down that rope in your bedroom? I'm sorry..I saw it--"

   "Oh, yeah," he says fast, "I was going to. I'm sorry. I wish you didn't have to see that..."

   I hesitate before responding, "It's okay. Well, I should get going." I smile, "It was a pleasure meeting you, Nick."

   "Fiiiine," he says unfortunately. "It was such a pleasure meeting you too, Lily."

   I'm about to turn away when he unexpectantly leans in and kisses me on the cheek. My face flushes and I stand completely still for a moment, though my insides are simmering. 

   He moves back and grins heartily, and I reach back for the door knob, rushing as I say, "Uh, ah, er--I, uh, see you soon! B-bye!" I fumble with the door knob for a moment too long and he laughs. 

   Quickly, I pull the door open and step out into the chilling night, slamming the door shut behind me. I'm breathing heavily and Lola appears beside me, a devilish grin glued to her face. 

   "Uh oh," Lola says mockingly, "does Jay have some competition?!" She gasps, putting her palm over her mouth.

   I look at her, my chest puffing in and out as my heart pounds right out of my chest.

   She laughs, stepping ahead of me. "Just note, the only reason Nick would ever like you like that, is because you look like me."




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