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  1. Chapter One
    Some things are set so deep in pattern that we never even notice that they are happening. What I mean is our minds always know that the sun will come up in the morning, that spring will come after winter, and that we will be hungry if we don’t eat. Usually, we don’t notice these things because we ignore them. It’s not like we wake up every morning and realize “Hey look! The sun is coming up!” Or we never say, “Wow, its spring! I thought it was just winter.”
    In the same way, we know without thinking that people will always disappoint us. You must realize that in some part of your life, you will be disappointed by every person you know. Also, you will disappoint everyone you know. So then, why do we always notice when people disappoint us, or care when we mess up, when it is human nature, and set deep in pattern? That is a question in which the answer has always eluded me.
    On the very last day of the seemingly long and dreary summer break, Mac and Danny shot hoops in Mac’s driveway for the millionth time that year. A blanket of gray warmed the sky as a gust of wind slapped the leaves on the trees and the grass on the ground.
    “It looks like another rainy day,” said Mac. If you searched the world and asked everyone how much they hated rainy days, I bet you couldn’t find someone who hated them more than Mac Hukabee. In second place would be his best friend in the world, Danny Stewart, a black haired, blue eyed dream boy for all the girls in Seashore North High.
    “Well that’s what we get for living by the ocean. Just be lucky that we haven’t been hit by a hurricane this year,” he said.
    I looked down on my brother in Mac’s driveway. Who knows why they were friends. Ever since Mac had moved to our street this summer, they found ways to get along. It was just amazing to me that they were two years apart and still had such a great friendship.
    The billowing clouds gave a rumble like the buzz in the thought of a tiger before it growls. Then, I saw the first tear roll down from the sky and snap on the ground. Millions followed after it, jumping out of the comfort of the soft clouds and smacking onto the ground. For some reason, I always watched the rain. It seemed like I was always home and at my window, watching my brother and Mac when the tears came pelting down out of the clouds.
    I loved rainy days.
    Danny and Mac saw the rain coming and threw the ball back inside Mac’s three car garage. They didn’t even have a chance to say goodbye because of the race they were in with the rain. Only a few drops pelted Danny as he bolted inside as fast as lightning.
    Tara, his sister, was sitting on the top step of the stairs. It was their favorite place to sit when they needed to talk. You could get a great view to anywhere in the house from that step.
    Her rain dotted eyes stared into his perfect blue ones with curiosity. One of the things that made his sister different from anyone he had ever known is that she was a thinker. She planned things out dot by dot and scene by scene. She was a big problem solver and spent more time watching things than she did getting involved in them. Tara had been asked out many times by some of the most popular boys at her school. There was just something likeable about her that no body could deny. Although she had said no to all of the boys that liked her, and been called a few bad names, people still liked her and tried to impress her.
    “I want to meet Mac,” she said when Danny sat down next to her on the peach colored steps. She had her arms across her chest and her knees pressed against them. Danny bit his bottom lip and flipped his summer-grown long hair out of his eyes.
    “Uh, okay. Go ring his door bell then...” Danny said, looking down at his new shoes. The top step of the stairs was only used for talking about very important matters, not about meeting people. It was like a sign of importance to be sitting on the top step, and Tara was violating the rules.
    “No, I mean, we are in the same grade, I have no friends, and I want to meet him.”
    He stared into her eyes. There was information there. When she observed things for awhile, she thought about them often. He thought back to all of the days that summer that he and Mac had played basketball and that every time they played, he had an odd feeling of being watched... he could see Mac in Tara’s eyes.
    “You watched us every time we played basketball... didn’t you?” he asked hesitantly. Tara lowered her head in shame. She looked like a sad puppy that had been caught stealing food from the table. Danny was angry, but hungry at the same time. So, he stood up and looked her flat in the face. “Sit by him on the bus tomorrow. I’ll sit by Sarah. Tell him you are the freak that was spying on him all summer.”
    He walked away and fixed himself dinner in the nearby kitchen as Tara watched him the whole time.
    I rolled over in my bed as I finished another thought. Pulling the covers down so I could see across the room, I strained my eyes to get a glance at my nightstand. The bright red numerals read 3:11 A.M. Inside of me my stomach gave a sharp heave. Every year on the night before the first day of school this happened to me. Trying to relax my mind, I would think of warm thoughts to dull my brain. Just when I felt out of it, my mind always thought of something totally random and woke me back up. It can drive a person insane. Maybe that’s why I’m led to do some of the things I do in the beginning of the school year.
    My eyelids felt like they had drunk three pots of coffee and wouldn’t go down. The hands attached to my wrists kept spazing as well as twitching and feeling itchy. So, I sat up and turned on my bright yellow book light that was attached to my book of the week, Sunday’s at Tiffany’s.
    Mac strained his eyes to see into the window of the house next to him, his best friend Danny’s house. He had been looking at it for at least three minutes when he saw a light flicker on. It was a small light that looked like a speck from across his lawn and two driveways.
    The reason that he was up at 3:13 in the morning was a mystery to him. All he knew is that afternoon he had seen Danny’s sister watching them from the window he was looking into at the moment. Her face at been smiling down on him in the most beautiful way. She was a diamond, too perfect to touch or to ask about. He wanted only to bask in her beauty, even though she was only Danny’s sister. Suddenly he realized why so many girls had been visiting Danny that summer. Mac’s blue eyed, black haired friend was the boy version of his sister. He possessed the same beauty, in a different form. Danny was a ruby, and his sister was a shapeless diamond.
    Chapter Two
    Silence is golden. That is one of the statements I will never understand. When thoughts sit in silence for too long, they bubble up and get pressurized. Finally being let out, they can cause lots of damage instead of what they were originally thought up to do.
    Mac Hukabee pulled himself up from the last step on the staircase and glanced at himself in the mirror. He thought he looked acceptable. The goal today was to impress as many girls as he could and to meet guys in his grade. Danny had trained him to get it done in North Seashore High. Mac was ready for the best, and the unexpected, just like Danny had told him to be. Of course, it was his second year of high school and he could handle it on his own.
    The big fat yellow monster that took him to school waited on the wet pavement. Mac frowned at the gray sky. He spotted the sun as it poked its head through a hole, and shined its light on Danny’s front door.
    Boarding the bus, Mac took in the stench of morning breath and wet hair. His bus driver said, “Morning son.”
    Mac nodded. The driver was an old man with a scary mustache in need of a trim. Mac was pretty creeped out.
    He slung his bag off his shoulder and onto the butt swelling metal seats of the bus. He sat by the window and cleared a space for Danny to sit.
    Danny smiled silently in my direction. He had forgiven me for breaking the top step rule yesterday. In the back of my mind I wondered if he would still let me sit by Mac on the bus this morning. I was too afraid to ask, though he answered my question anyway.
    “You still wanna sit by Mac today Tara?” he asked, already knowing the answer. I nodded and he shrugged. “Doesn’t matter to me, I have friends on this bus without him, and you don’t.”
    I rolled my eyes at him and turned the doorknob as the wretched school bus ran over the pavement and shuddered to a stop. Standing still in the grass, I watched Mac emerge from the house across from mine. Even though his face was frozen in a scowl, and his eyes were tied to puffy bags under them, he was probably the most perfect looking boy I have ever seen in my life, apart from my brother, but I couldn’t crush over him.
    I need to talk to Mac. Today.
    Danny was out of sight by the time I realized I was frozen in thought on my front lawn and was about to miss the bus. Mr. Cranara honked loudly at me and I sprinted to the waiting door. My eyes concentrated intently on the steps of the bus. (Last year I had tripped on them my first day of school.) The first thing I noticed was Mac’s head looking out the window, and Mac’s head in a seat with an empty space next to him.
    My hair was blown by the force of my footsteps against the cool morning air that had seeped into the bus. As I neared Mac, I smelled a husky smell that went along with bed sheets and greasy hair. I hoped it didn’t belong to him. He eyed me as I stopped next to him in the aisle. A black school bag was in my reserved seat.
    “Is this seat taken?” I asked longingly.
    “Guess not,” he said, while scrunching together his eyebrows that were above his bottomless brown eyes that were above this smooth and perfectly chiseled bone structure.
    As I sat down in the crunched space, I smelled a clean and alluring scent.