2 419.. funny, I thought it was longer. Again, I had five reviews a long time ago, and I'm SO sorry I didn't update sooner. I didn't process that I had five reviews until a couple of days ago, but see, I had ripped out this chp for the story (never again!) and it seemed tedious to put them back together, but I finally managed to today, so some of this I re wrote out of scratch, while other parts I rewrote because I do that when I type things I've all ready written once... so without further ado...

My whole life I was always treated as an outcast. I had this heart condition and no one wanted to be around me except one. in time our friendship started growing and unlike most differant gender friendships, we stayed close. We helped each other with our problems, and he stood up for me. But when we were 14 he was taken from the streets, or rather woods, while his parents were away.

Truth be, it was his memory and his support for my ambitious dream that drove me four years through high school all the way to Juliard.

Well, here I am, fulfilling my dream and hiding my weak heart. I doubt they'd let me dance here if they knew.

"Okay ladies, show time!" The director, a perky but serious and kindly lady of about 38 said, clapping her hands to emphasis her statment.

No one looked at me as they got ready to dance, but that was how I liked it.

The announcer stopped talking and we took our cue. Before I started dancing, I peaked out to the audiance as I always do. The only familiar face was the what looked like blond man sitting in the same seat that he always sat in for every show, every season, every year since my first preformance. I knew because once I saw him twice in the same place, I had to see if he was there again; he was there everytime in that seat without fail.

He wasn't with anyone in my dance team, so he must be looking for someone-or a stalker. Scary thought.

I turned away from him to concintrate on my dance. Rythmically I leaped and twirled, flexiable I did tricky things, and gracefully I moved positions. When our first dance was finally over, I looked to the audiance to find his partially hidden face staring at me.

Once we moved backstage, I groaned as flowers started arriving. This was a time I hated because I watched as other girls were showered with flowers from their parents or boyfriends, fiancees in some cases, and I never had any. My parents were always to busy with their new jobs in wherever they chose to move to. I think they had finally chosen the rural part of New York so they could be closer to me.

So it was a suprise to me when, as I headed back to my area to get ready for the next dance, one of the young girls helping out handed me red roses. "Thanks." I said to the girl, who was no more then a sophmore in high school if that.

She smiled. "My pleasure." And turned around and left me alone again.

I searched for the card, and nearly dropped it when I found it. All it said was "Lovely, as always."

With the strange note in mind, I preformed the next few dances, hoping it wasn't from a stalker, or the guy sitting in that front row seat.

As I left the dressing room, weaving through the crowds of proud parents, and pleased dancers, and down stairs to the exit, I looked back on a whim. Standing on the other side of the building, near the doors of the dressing room, was a man in shadows. I could tell it was the same man, and thought it took skill to find a place that's always perfectly how of my view.

Still, he had never done this before, and it made me wonder why he was doing this now, and if it was me he as looking for. And if it was me, then why. I don't think I'd ever even seen him out of the theatre before, in my approaching four years at this school.

"Hey Alice!" someone said to me in passing. I turned my head to see who said it, so I could say hey back, but they were already gone. 'Maybe it was my imagination.' I thought. I turned my head back to where the man was, but he was gone.

Shaking it off, I turned my attention back to getting out of here.

When I got to the door the doorman smiled at me. He was a kind old man, and one of my friends. He said he was a fan of me, and loved it when I danced, which he occasionally got to see. He, like my old friend, had said I'd go far.

"Night Miss Brandon." He tipped his hat at me as he opened the door.

"Night, Ernie." I said, smiling back at him. "Nice night out tonight."

"Sure is, Miss Brandon, but tomorrow it's supposed to rain a little. Better bring an umbrella." he said protectivly.

"Sure thing! Don't you love rain?" I stopped outside the door, lettting other people pass.

"It's alright. Be careful walking to your dorm." he said fatherly.

"Promise!" I called as I waved bye. He waved back and I started off.

I followed the walkway back to my senior dorm in the darkness. The lights had all but burnt out and the moon was a cresent. Still, it was light enough for me to find my way through the taunting, imposing shadows. Maybe it was the shadows getting to me, but I felt like I was being followed, so I looked behind me, to find no one there. So, I kept on walking until a small snapping sound, like that of a twig, came from behind me. But the person at fault hid themselves well, and I couldn't see them anywhere. It put me on edge just enough to quicken my pace.

In my hurry I ran into someone. My things went flying, and I probably would have too, if the person I had run into hadn't caught me.

"I'm so sorry!" I apologized, standing up again. "Oh!" I noticed all my books on the ground and bend to get them. The person, male it seemed, bend with me.

"No, it was my fault. I should watch where I'm going." It was defiantly a male voice, which sounded soft and familiar. I wanted to know who he was, but the scarce light available made it impossible, and what was free for my use hit him in the wrong places, so his face was obscure.

My heart sped as I thought about how it might be the stranger, but this mans voice calmed me. It was a soft lull, beckoning me closer, like poisinus things and they're bright and beautiful colors.

"What are you doing out so late?" I asked.

"I could ask you the same thing." he smirked.

"I'm coming back from my preformance-" he cut me off.

"Oh! You're a dancer! I should have known! Do you wear a tutu, too?" he laughed. Something about his laugh was familiar, but it was impossible. It couldn't be him, he was gone, and he wasn't coming back.

"Yes, I do. Why are you here?"

He shrugged. "I was coming back from the computers, jurnalism, that sort of thing." he said, waving the shadows or books and papers messily inserted in them.

"I see." I looked at my watch and clicked the glow in the dark button. "Oh! I'm sorry! It's almost curfew! If I don't get back at a certain my friend will lock me out of the dorm room. I have to go, I'm sorry!" I apologized as I started walking again.

"It was nice meeting you!" the man called after me.


A few weeks later, as I entered my empty dorm room, I saw that a card was on my desk.

'Alice' was written in neat cursive on it. Beside it were more flowers. I sucked in my breath and reached out to grab it. Was it the same person? How'd they get it in here?

'Nonsense.' I told myself. All the same, I picked it up with caution.

"That was at the door for you." My roommate said making me jump, "Wonder who it's from."

"I don't know." I turned and saw she was back from the showers. I stood there, leaning on the desk and holding it.

"Well... open it." She urged.

"Right." I nodded and looked down to study it.

I opened it and found another note, in the simple script.

'I've been watching you.'

Like so many times recently, I was reminded of him.


"Jasper! Jasper where are you?" I wailed. I was 7 and couldn't find my best friend.

"Jazzie!" tears flowed from my eyes.

Then Jasper jumped down from a tree.

"Alice stop crying, I'm right here." he said gently.

"But you weren't there. I almost got hurt."

"You didn't, I was right beside you in the whole time, hiding in the trees. I wouldn't let you get hurt. Now calm down before your heart stops." Jasper hugged me protectivly, brotherly. Immediatly I felt safer.

"Just don't leave me. Ever." I said into his chest.

"I won't, I promise." he vowed.

Jasper walked beside me, his handaround my shoulders, until we reached his house.

"Hey mom! Alice is staying for dinner!" he told her, taking me by the hand into the kitchen.

Mrs. Hale smiled. "Just make yourself at home Alice. I'll call your mother and tell her."

It wasn't long before we were so close that if we weren't home we were at the others' house and our parents just knew, so Jasper just claiming me for dinner was perfectly normal, I even slept over at his house almost every day, or he was at mine.

The next day at recess I played alone by a tree, kicking rocks around. Jasper had ignored me once we got inside the school, and wouldn't talk to me when I approached him. He would look at me, but when I looked up and caught him he moved his head away so fast I would have thought it was a trick of the eye if I wasn't sure.

A couple of weeks of silence between Jasper and me passed and everyday I was alone by a tree playing by myself.

Then one day at the begining of the week marking the third week of silence, as I was playing by my tree, I felt a rock hit my chest and I froze in pain, clutching my chest.

"Hey Freaky, where's your boyfriend?" my enemy, Jess, sneered at me.

"I don't know." I mumbled.

Jess grinned and gave her friends a look that meant 'killing spree'.

"Then I guess it's hunting season for people with heart problems."

She picked up another rock as I turned my back to her in an attempt to run.

Where was Jasper? They never bothered me when he was around.

"Your precious Jasper can't save you now." A rock hit my back as I started to run, and another sharp pain was felt in my chest. As I tried to run from them, they followed, more rocks hitting my back, damaging my heart, with more and more pain felt. but I pushed through it. I had to get out alive with my heart intact. Why weren't the teachers stopping them?

I was so busy crying and running for my life that I ran into someone.

"I'm sorry." I said, voice tight, trying to get away quickly and continue the run that was less damaging to my heart then the rocks. But when I tried to get free, the arms wrapped around me tight and protective and wouldn't let me go.

Instead I heard shouting. "What do you think you're doing? Throwing rocks at her? What did she do to deserve an attack that could kill her by the likes of you? That's what you were trying to do right? Trying to kill her? Why? Because she has a heart problem? Because she's differant? Because she gets more attention then you guys? 'Cause you full well know she needs all that attention. You could've killed her! Be lucky you hadn't or I would have gotten my father on you. You know, the lawyer? And if something like this happens again you'll be dealing with me. So don't ever go near her again!" He roared.

Jasper was a naturally calm person and only something really bad could've angered him enough to yell like this. That's why Jess and the others the whole time he was yelling from the first shout that came from his mouth.

"What are you still doing here? GO AWAY!" Jasper hugged me tighter and I heard them scurry away like mice, Jasper being their cat.

Jasper took me and held me at arms length. "Are you okay?"

I silently shook my head yes.

"I'm so sorry I wasn't here. I should've been here." He said, guilt coloring his voice.

"Why weren't you?"

"I was thinkikng about something." he explained.

"For two weeks?" I asked disbelieving.

Jasper shrugged. "Important things, nothing I could just brush off."

"You haven't talked to me, gone near me, or smiled at me in two weeks, not even so much as a glance in my direction. How did you know I was in trouble? You were supposed to be inside." I said crossing my arms.

He romved his hands from my shoulders and put them in his pockets. "I've been watching you. I saw them throwing rocks at you, and the teachers ignoring you, and I ditched the stuff I was doing to help my teacher, and ran to you as fastas I could. I hope the rocks didn't damage your heart too bad, or I'm going to deal with those girls and not kindly." He said, a hint of anger coming back to his voice.

"Recess over! Time for class!" One of the teachers called out.

"Come on, I'll race you." I said, smiling. "Let's forget about this."

"Okay, if that's what you want."

I nodded. "It is."

"Okay then, in that case, on your marks. Get set! GO!"

And we both took off running towards the school.

So I realize that Alice's heart problem seems a little extreme and unviable, but I wanted to get across that she has a really weak and bad heart... sorry if this chp was bad... 8 more reivews and I update... (which means I want a grand total of 13)