Sorry for the wait, but here's the next chapter! Enjoy. I don't own Lost.

Chapter 70: Not Pretty Enough

Am I not pretty enough
Is my heart too broken
Do I cry too much
Am I too outspoken
Don't I make you laugh
Should I try it harder
Why do you see right through me –
Not Pretty Enough by Kasey Chambers

.. ..

'smoking is bad for you.'

Kiya looked up and squinted in the bright light before she jumped up and hugged Seth tightly.

'hey!' Kiya grinned, kissing his cheek. 'I didn't know you were back yet!'

'yeah, I just got back, and I got told you were down here surfing, but you're here smoking, so...' he grinned, looking her up and down. 'are you taller? You look... different.'

'she's in love, Seth,' Cooper joined them, grinning.

'what?' Kiya yelped suddenly, and the two laughed.

'so it's true?' Cooper asked. Kiya passed him back the cigarette and Seth nodded in understanding, it made more sense now.

'who is it?' Seth wondered.

'no one,' Kiya sighed. 'you talked to my family?' she turned on Cooper.

'it's true then!' Cooper exclaimed. 'so... who is it? Does he treat you right? Do Seth and I need to talk to him?'

Kiya smiled slightly and looked up at Cooper, leaning up and hugging him. He was surprised, but wrapped his arms around her waist. 'no, he's amazing. I'm actually not with him, but... he's amazing.'

'can we meet him?' Seth wondered.

Kiya smiled mischievously. 'how about you tell me who you've been texting this entire time?' Kiya reached out and took his phone. 'Riley? Who's Riley?' she grinned.

Seth smiled slightly. 'old friend of mine from back home who I just saw again. We just... reconnected, you know?' his grin grew.




The three turned around to see Val rushing over and jumping up into Cooper's arm.

'he called me back!' Val exclaimed happily. 'the son of a bitch called me back!'

'the son of a bitch?' Kiya asked, sounding quite amused. 'and you're happy that he called you?'

'oh, he's amazing, but he's such an asshole too,' Val smiled. She turned to Cooper suddenly. 'so... have you talked about that thing to-'

'not yet,' he sighed, shooting her an angry look.

'who are we talking about?' Kiya wondered.

Val smiled slightly and opened her mouth, but Cooper spoke over her.

'just this girl,' he muttered.

'oh! Great,' Kiya said. 'that's great.'

Seth looked between the two of them and cleared his throat awkwardly.

'ummm... so Seth? I heard something about a really cute... Riley?' Val asked awkwardly.

'yeah,' Seth smiled.

'we should totally double date sometime,' she smiled.

'really?' he asked in surprise.

'yeah. You're interesting, Seth. Besides, everyone else I know is single.'

'I'm actually single,' he said.

'yeah, but you're actually flirting with this Riley person,' Val pointed out. 'and these two-'

'-can't pull their act together,' Seth finished for her.


Cooper and Kiya turned suddenly and glared at Seth and Val.

'I'm talking about whoever you two are hung up on,' Seth shrugged.

'yeah, who is he, Kiya?' Val wondered.

'apparently he's amazing,' Cooper said in a deadpan voice.

Kiya looked at Cooper and raised an eyebrow, almost accusingly. 'apparently she is too,' she added, shrugging.

'she is,' Cooper nodded.

'he is too.'

Kiya sighed and began picking up her bag and phone. Cooper pulled out a cigarette, seemingly quite annoyed.

'don't smoke,' Kiya snapped angrily, and he looked surprised, but he put the cigarette away.

'what's wrong?' he asked softly.

Kiya ran a hand through her hair. 'I'm sorry, I'm just tired. I'm going to go back to school, sleep for awhile, and then I'm going out tonight.'

'with who?' Seth asked.

'she's coming to a party I've been invited to down the beach,' Val explained.

'Cat's party?' Cooper asked, and Val nodded. 'good luck with that,' he muttered sarcastically. 'she hates Dharma. So does everyone from our school.'

'yeah, well, I'm hot, so...' Kiya trailed off, and Cooper let out a laugh. 'you disagree?'

'no, I agree wholeheartedly, just laughing at your modesty,' he smiled.

'you going to be at the party, Coop?'

'maybe for awhile.'

'I'll see you then, maybe,' she leaned up and kissed his cheek. 'coffee tomorrow morning Seth?' she asked and he nodded and then she turned to Val. 'what do I wear?'

'something skimpy? Revealing?' Val smirked. 'it's a party. Let down your hair.'

'I don't party.'

'well, come and do some late night surfing with me then?' Cooper interrupted.

Kiya turned and took another cigarette from his hand, throwing it to the ground. 'stop smoking, and I may do so much more than surf with you.'

Cooper looked surprised, but laughed. 'and there's the Kiya that I know and love.'

Kiya smiled. 'I'll see you later then,' she kissed his cheek one more time and began walking back off the beach, with Seth by her side.

'you're not going to tell her?' Val wondered.

Cooper shook his head as he watched her go.

.. ..

'hey, Zooey!'

Zooey blinked and pointedly turned, walking away from the person rushing after her in the hallways.


She kept rushing through the hallways pushing past people, and everyone else began whispering, wondering why exactly she was rushing away from who she was.

'Zooey, I'm sorry!'

She continued ignoring him, hoping that he would just leave her the Hell alone. She was not in the mood for this.

'Zooey, come on-' he continued, grabbing her arm as he finally caught up to her, but she pulled away, turning to face him.

'don't touch me,' she said coldly.

'Zooey... I'm sorry,' Radovan sighed.

'for what? Blowing me off or that it was your ex-girlfriend you were doing so with?'

People began watching them, Zooey was not prone to scenes in the middle of the hallway, and this seemed interesting.

'Zo, I didn't know that Mallory was going to be there,' Radovan began, but she cut him off.

'yeah? You and her aren't fucking then? Whatever, Radovan.'

'Mallory and I are just friends, like before,' Radovan sighed. 'it's just really complicated.'

'no, I hear that you two weren't ever friends. You just started screwing each other and then you got together.'

'don't talk about things you know nothing about,' Mallory happened to pass them, and decided to make the situation worse. 'next Wednesday work for you?' she directed at Radovan.

'talk later, Mal,' he shot her an angry look, like he knew what she was doing. She simply smirked and kept walking.

'Sometimes I can't believe you,' Zooey muttered before she stormed off down the hallway, back to her dorm room.

She's a lot prettier than you, Zooey. I don't know why you can't see that.

Zooey shook her head, trying to block the voice out of her head.

'shut up,' she whispered to herself as she looked in the mirror. She applied a bit more mascara.

And skinnier too. You don't stand a chance. Not against any of these girls.

A mascara filled tear slipped down her cheek.

You're nowhere near as perfect as them.

Zooey angrily wiped the tear away. 'shut up!' she whispered before grabbing her car keys.

There was no way she was going to class today.

.. ..

No one was entirely sure who she was, but as everyone assembled into the auditorium, they all slowly stopped their conversations and stood, entranced by the girl playing the piano up on the stage.

'who is she?' Claire wondered, the girl was quite amazing; everyone was so captivated by the ease in which she played.

Finally Ms Chandler walked into the auditorium, and began making her way up to the stage, smiling.

'thank you, Olivia,' she smiled, when the girl in question was done. The girl asked something softly and turned her face to the growing crowd, apparently sizing them up behind her thick sunglasses. Ms Chandler spoke to her quietly for a minute before turning to everyone else. 'this is Olivia, she's a new student,' she smiled.

The girl didn't say anything to anyone else, just picked up her handbag and took out something as she stood up. She slowly unfolded what was in her hand, and then everyone saw what it was: a cane.

The girl was blind.

Olivia swept the cane across the floor before she took a few steps forward, to the stairs down off the stage, and she began walking down the stairs. She was walking slowly, she obviously had no idea about the lay of the land, so to speak, at the moment, and Bo walked forward and took her hand.

'here, let me help you,' he said to her and she smiled faintly, putting her hand on his arm as he led her out of the auditorium.

'thank you,' she said softly. 'I still haven't figured out where everything is.'

'neither have I, I find new things every day, and I've been here for four years,' he said and she let out a laugh. 'I'm Bojan Rush, or Bo,' he introduced himself.

'as she mentioned, I'm Olivia,' she told him. 'Bartlett. Well, Liv.'

'wait, Olivia Bartlett?'

The girl turned her head, sighing; she had known that her name would be recognized at least. The one who had asked the question was Shannon, and after a few more moments even more people began to ask the question, remembering the name.

'yeah. Shannon, right?' she said, vaguely recognising the voice.

'yeah... you're...' she trailed off, not sure how to say it. 'I mean, what happened? You're...'

'blind? Yeah,' Olivia nodded. 'don't worry about it, it's in the past.'

Shannon nodded, seemingly accepting this.

'can anyone tell me where dorm 816a is?' Olivia asked.

'yeah, I'll take you there now,' Bo told her.

'Bojan, get Nadine on your way back, I need to go over a few things with her!' Ms Chandler yelled out, and Bojan nodded, before ushering Olivia out of the auditorium.

Radovan turned and watched them go, before his eyes met Mallory's.

'smoking break?' he asked her, she looked just as eager as him to follow and see what would happen. Olivia was drop dead gorgeous. And Bojan was... well, he was Bojan. Sure, his usual cheating partner was Shannon, but Olivia was smoking hot, and Bo was his usual man whore self.

'smoking break!' Mallory exclaimed, picking up her bag and following him out.

All around the room, people began whispering, and the two turned before they made it to the door, looking surprised. Gez finally walked over and spoke in undertone.

'you two need to be more subtle if you're screwing around with each other,' she said matter-of-factly, and the two scoffed.

'excuse me?' Radovan asked.

'half the school heard about it this morning when you were talking to Zooey. When we all heard, we realised that it must be true. I mean, you two have been getting along a lot since we all came back, it makes sense...'

'except we've only been back for two days, it's not that weird. We were just talking a lot over Christmas,' Mallory explained, her hand going up to the pendant around her neck.

'nice necklace,' Gez said dryly.

'go away,' Mallory snapped before leaving the room with Radovan.

'you still wear that?' Radovan asked in surprise.

'well, it's not often that someone buys me something that suits me so well,' Mallory put up her walls again, speaking coldly. 'so what do you think about this Olivia?'

'She's pretty hot,' he shrugged.

'not what I meant. What do you think about Bo and her?'

'they just met.'

'I'm just trying to protect my sister who your brother has screwed over many times,' Mallory said, feeling slightly bad. After all, she knew that Nadine wasn't being faithful to Bo, she just couldn't say anything, she refused to betray her sister like that.

He nodded slowly, taking the cigarette out of her mouth and taking a drag. 'fair enough. And coffee on Wednesday works for me.'


'why'd you do that, by the way?' Radovan wondered, passing back her cigarette. 'why'd you make Zooey think she has something to worry about?'

'I'd say I'm sorry but... I don't really like her,' she shrugged. 'however, sorry for making your life difficult.'

'you're not sorry,' he let out a laugh.

'nah, not really. I just... have mixed feelings about...' she searched for a word.

'us?' he wondered softly.

'everything,' she shrugged. 'sometimes I'm fine with the fact I gave up my son, sometimes I can't live with myself. Sometimes I don't mind you dating her, and sometimes I just want to put her through a wall.'

'you always want to put her through a wall. You couldn't care less if she was happy, you hate her.'

'yeah, but I don't hate you.'

Radovan stared at her, unsure what to say. He opened his mouth, but she checked the time and spoke before he could.

'I have to go, I'm going to be late,' she told him.

'for a date?' he teased.

'um, yeah, actually...' she admitted, and he looked surprised. 'well, technically. Gez has been seeing this guy from Ajira, on and off, and they decided to get a group of their single friends together. Kara, Chrissy, Liz and I are apparently Gez's only single friends.'

'well, have fun, I guess,' he shrugged.

'talk to Zooey, okay? And make sure I'm not around for it, I'll just get annoying.'

'you're always annoying, Mal,' he said, but he was smiling.

'as are you.'

'oh, and I'll make sure that Bo doesn't do anything with Olivia,' he added as Mallory began to walk off.

'thank you.'

'and I was right,' he grinned, and she arched an eyebrow. 'Told you we could be friends.'

'we're not friends,' she reminded him.

'well, then what are we?'

'according to the rest of the school, we're fuck buddies,' she smirked, and he laughed. 'according to me, we're just two people who sometimes run into each other because this is a small school.'

Radovan leaned down and placed a kiss to her cheek, surprising her. 'we're friends, Mal.'

'keep telling yourself that.'

.. ..

Liv let out a laugh.

'I don't remember you,' she told him. 'but I wish I did. You're a nice person.'

'as are you,' Bo smiled. 'I love these tattoos,' he said, gesturing to all over her, before he realised that she couldn't actually see. 'an angel, right?' he said, touching her shoulder blade lightly.

'so I'm told.'

'and... a tiger?' he asked.

'I don't think you'd like to list them all, I have over twenty,' she told him. 'so I'm told.'

'they're very cool,' he told her, as they stopped in front of a room. 'and here we are, dorm 816a.'

He opened the door and ushered her in, to the end bedroom which had always been empty, until now, where her bags had apparently been placed.

'thank you, Bojan,' Olivia smiled.

At the mention of his name, someone called out from one of the other bedrooms.

'Bo, honey?' Nadine called out. 'can you help me with this zip?'

Liv looked surprised that there was someone else there, and slowly made her way forward, sitting down on the couch.

Bo walked into Nadine's room and helped her with her dress, looking at her admiringly.

'why are you so smoking hot?' he grinned.

'it's the French in me,' she smiled. 'are you coming to the party down the beach?'

'Catalina's?' he asked and she nodded. 'yeah, if you are.'

'obviously I am,' she smiled, pulling her heels on. 'this look good?'

'looks great,' Bo kissed her cheek before turning back where Liv was still sitting, having pulled out a book, running her hands along it, evidently reading. 'Liv? This is Nadine. Nay, this is Olivia; she's a new student, assigned to this dorm.'

'hi,' Nadine said, shaking her hand. 'Nice to meet you, I'm his girlfriend.'

Liv smiled slightly at the slightly threatening tone. 'nice to meet you too.'

Nadine's brow furrowed, and she was about to ask what Olivia was looking at so intently, but Bo whispered in her ear.

'she's blind,' he told her, and Nadine turned in shock.

'yeah, surprise, right?' Liv let out a laugh. 'don't worry, you'll get used to it.'

'ummm... okay...' Nadine trailed off. 'hey, you want to come to a party?'

'not really,' she said bluntly. 'do you know where the music room is?'

'you're a musician?' Bo asked.

'yeah. So can you tell me where the music room is?'

'I'll take you there,' he told her.

'you don't have to take me everywhere, just give me general directions,' she smiled.

'no, it's my pleasure. And Nay, Ms C. Wants to see you in the auditorium, said she wants to go over a few things,' he added to Nadine.

'okay, I need to see Mal afterwards, so come see me in Mal's dorm, and then we'll go to the party,' she told him.

Bo nodded and left with Liv, and Nadine watched them go, trying to not be suspicious. He wasn't cheating on her, he had just met her. He wasn't cheating on her. She was simply so suspicious because she was the unfaithful one. No other reason.

She was the unfaithful one.

Not him, not this time, at least.

.. ..

Zooey pulled her cardigan around her shoulders as she sat on the beach, and she stared at the photograph in her hands. It had been taken a few years earlier, and it was worn and crinkled from constantly being folded and unfolded in her wallet.

In the picture, there were two girls. One of them was a brunette; it was a younger, plainer Zooey. The other was a blonde, a gorgeous, suntanned blonde who was nothing less than a goddess next to the wallflower Zooey.

Zooey, I told you he wouldn't go for you. Who were you kidding?

Zooey shook her head, staring at the blonde in the picture. Who was she kidding? She would never measure up to the blonde, or Mallory, or anyone at this school. She should just go back up the coast, just go back to being plain, overlooked Zooey.

'I heard you were down here.'

Zooey brushed away tears as Radovan sat down next to her. She didn't move and so he smiled slightly.

'I know you hate me, but can you just let me explain what happened?' he asked softly.

'I don't hate you, Rad,' she sighed.

'yesterday...' he trailed off, taking her saying she didn't hate him as a sign to continue his explanation. 'yesterday would have been a year since I started dating Mallory.'


'yeah. And even if we haven't been going out for a few months, I do still love her,' he admitted, and Zooey nodded slowly, she had expected this, after all. It was Mallory Roux, the hottest girl at the school – not that she would ever admit it – against plain, overlooked Zooey. Of course he loved her. 'I'm trying to forget about how I feel, but it's hard, especially around times like now. I don't want to love her. After everything she's done to me, I don't want to love her. She's hurt me more than anyone else ever has. I love her, I can't deny that. But I don't want to love her. And I'm sorry for ditching you, but I need to work through my feelings for her. I'm sorry.'

'So... you're not sleeping with her?' she asked softly.

'no. We're just talking again, somewhat civilly.'

She nodded. 'so... what does that mean for... us?'

Open your eyes, Zo. It's not you. It's never you.

Zooey gritted her teeth, trying to ignore the voice inside her.

'it means... we can try something... we just have to take it slow. I don't want to hurt you, and I refuse to jump into something if I'm still not over her. But we can do some stuff as friends, and see where it goes from there.'

Zooey nodded again. 'I can deal with that.'

Radovan gave her a small smile, and she returned it.

He's just going to use you. Like Damon did. Remember, Zo?

'so... who's that with you?' Radovan asked, looking at the photo, and Zooey was glad for the distraction from her thoughts.

'oh, um, that's my friend Leah,' she smiled wistfully.

'she seems nice. Maybe one day we'll meet?' he wondered, but Zooey shook her head.

'never going to happen,' she said sadly. 'Leah died a couple years ago.'

'oh. I'm sorry.'

'me too,' Zooey nodded. 'she had an obsession with being perfect, she just got thinner and thinner, convinced that each pound she lost would be the last one. She was tired all the time, and... she was swimming one day, exhausted and... she fell into the pool, hit her head. She drowned.'

'I'm so sorry, Zooey,' he said, wrapping an arm around her shoulder.

Come on, Zo. You know that he's just like Damon. He's going to want you perfect. And you're going to do it, because you're weak. You have no control over anything. Apart from what you eat. How's that going for you?

Zooey closed her eyes, trying to blink away the tears, and she wasn't sure why she was crying – because of the memory of Leah's death, or because Leah's voice never left her mind.

Don't cry away you're makeup. He's not going to want to see what's under that flawless foundation.

She swallowed back the tears. She would remain strong. She would remain perfect on the outside.

.. ..

Mallory hurried through the diner and took a seat where Gez, Liz, Kara, Chrissy and a whole bunch of guys were.

'Nice of you to grace us with your presence,' Gez said dryly.

'oh, shut up.'

'Guys, this is Mallory,' Gez introduced, before turning to all the guys. 'Mal, this is Pete, Reggie, Benji, and Scottie.'

'four guys, five girls,' Mallory said dryly. 'nice math there.'

'Justin's still coming,' Pete told her. 'He's usually late.'

'well, better than sitting around listening to small talk,' she shrugged. 'I'm going out for a smoke.'

'I know where I know you from!' Benji suddenly exclaimed. 'you're the chick who had a baby!'

'what's it to you?' she asked coolly as she left the table with her cigarettes. She heard Gez say something to Benji coldly, but she didn't pay a lot of attention, she instead just walked outside and lit up a cigarette. She looked around and saw a guy throw a cigarette butt to the ground and take out another one, attempting to light it. His lighter wasn't working, and Mallory held hers out.

The guy nodded his thanks as he lit his cigarette, and he passed back the lighter. Mallory sighed and looked back inside, wondering how long she could take a cigarette break for.

'is your name Mallory?' the guy asked her, and she rolled her eyes.

'yes, I'm the chick who had a baby from Dharma,' she snapped.

'wasn't going to say that,' he shrugged. 'was just going to say that I saw you on the news. You were friends with that Brooke chick who died, weren't you?'

Mallory's face fell. 'um, yeah, yeah, I was.'

The guy nodded, and followed her gaze into the diner. 'so you're one of Giselle's friends?'

Mallory turned to face him, quite surprised by this. 'oh, of course,' she muttered. 'of course you're the friend of Pete's who hasn't arrived yet.'

The guy grinned. 'that'd be me. Justin.'

'as you already know, I'm Mallory,' she said. 'how long do you think it's necessary to stay before leaving?'

'well, I've been smoking for fifteen minutes, so...' he trailed off, looking at his watch. 'now seems like I good idea. I said I'd make an appearance at a party down the beach, want to come?'

'I'll just go grab my bag,' she shrugged, walking back in, her lit cigarette still in her hand. She approached the table and they turned to her as she picked up her bag. 'left my cigarette packet,' she lied.

'it's in your hand,' Gez said.

'yeah, but I just finished that packet.'



'what are you doing?'

'going to a party,' she shrugged.

'with who?'

'some guy I just met outside,' she shrugged again and turned to Pete. 'by the way, I have a feeling that Justin won't be joining you. Okay, bye!'

In unison, everyone at the table rolled their eyes.

.. ..

'wow, you look hot,' Val said, embracing Kiya and then holding her at arm's length, and looking at what she was wearing.

'so do you,' Kiya smiled at her. 'so...' she scanned the room.

'Cooper will be here soon, he was just talking to Avery.'

'who?' Kiya wondered, maybe it was his mystery girl.

'his sister. Haven't you heard about her?'

'oh, yeah, of course...' she trailed off. 'I just forgot.'

Val stared at her. 'not jealous?'


'just wondering,' she shrugged, before she turned and walked away. Kiya stared after her, but before she could think over what Val had been talking about, a hand was on her ass.

'well, aren't we looking hot?'

Kiya turned to tell the guy kindly to remove his hand, but she was stopped by the fact that she knew this guy.

'oh, fuck off!' she snapped.

Blue merely smirked. 'come on, if you wear clothes like that, then obviously-'

'she told you to fuck off, Blue,' Cooper joined them and put a hand on Kiya's shoulder. 'you look great,' he told her, placing a kiss to her cheek.

'so do you,' she smiled, moving closer to him and pushing Blue away.

'fine, fine,' Blue muttered, walking away to hit on someone else.

'God, he's an ass,' Kiya muttered.

'Just because you happen to have a nice ass,' Cooper smirked.

'Cooper!' she elbowed him in the chest, and he let out a laugh.

'dance with me?' he asked.

Kiya looked around her, the room was crowded. 'it's too crowded to dance in here.'

Cooper smiled at her and took her hand, weaving throughout the crowd inside the house – on a sidenote, it was surprising just how many Dharma students were here: Bo and Nadine were engaged in a particularly steamy kiss, Radovan and Zooey were talking, Charlie and Syvanna were dancing, Mallory was pressed up against an Ajira student, and Kiya was pretty sure she had seen more of the Dharma students around earlier - and finally pulling her outside, where there were less people.

'where are we going?' Kiya wondered.

'just... come on,' he smiled, taking her down to the beach, and not saying anything as they walked along the shoreline. He stopped when no sound from the party could be heard, and he kicked off his shoes, stepping into the water. He held out his hand to her, and she let out a laugh.

'you're not serious?' she asked.

Cooper reached over and lifted her off her feet, towards him. 'I'm serious. And unless you want your shoes soaked, I'd kick them off if I was you.'

'I am wearing heels, I actually have to undo these straps, so put me down,' she let out a laugh. Rather than let her down, he took hold of her legs, and held her up.

'you can reach your shoes from here,' he grinned at her.

'you're really strong,' Kiya told him as she undid the straps of her shoes and threw them back on the beach.

'you're tiny, you know that, right?'

'yeah, but... put me down, will you?' she sighed.

'dance with me, will you?' he countered.

'there's no music here.'

'listen to the ocean, your heartbeat, something...' he trailed off.

'you can be so damn poetic when you want to be,' she muttered, as he put her down. Nevertheless, when Cooper put his hands on her waist and pulled her closer, she rested her head on his chest, and the two slow danced, listening to the music of the ocean.

.. ..

'when'd you trade in disgusting red wine for beer?'

Mallory turned to Radovan, and smiled slightly. 'since people don't stock my delicious red wine at parties. Did you talk to Zooey?' she asked, her gaze flitting over to where Zooey was, talking to Shannon. 'I hope you did.'

'why do you hope I talked to her?' he tilted his head to the side.

'because as I said, the girl needs a self-esteem boost,' she smirked, and he muttered something in Serbian. 'teach me Serbian one day, yeah? Awesome language.'

'teach me better French then,' he countered. 'and yeah, I talked to her. Told her I'd like to take things slow.'

'why? Still not over me?'

'you know I'm not.'

Mallory smirked and flicked her hair over her shoulder. 'of course not. I'm damn hard to get over.'

'somehow your lack of modesty still ends up surprising me,' he said in a deadpan voice.

'damn easy to get under,' another voice joined them, and the two turned.

'Justin, private conversation!' Mallory snapped.

'we're in public, therefore it's not a private conversation, Mal,' Justin smirked.

'don't call her Mal,' Radovan said absentmindedly.

'you ready to go?' Justin asked Mallory, effectively ignoring Radovan.

'depends. You thinking you'll get underneath me?' she asked bluntly.

'I don't know. Am I?'

'probably,' she shrugged, and he smiled wickedly.

'Mal,' Radovan sighed.

'I'll see you back at school, Radovan,' Mallory said abruptly before taking Justin's hand and leading him out of the house.

Radovan watched the two go, staring after them as Zooey joined him. 'who is that?'

'well, that's your bitch of an ex-girlfriend,' Zooey said in a deadpan voice and he shot her a look. 'and that's Justin Grayson with her. Ajira guy who just got out of juvy and-'

'what?' Radovan asked sharply.

Zooey simply sighed. 'I'm going back to school, I'll see you later.'

'Zooey,' Radovan sighed.

'it's okay,' she told him, putting a hand on his arm. 'you know that she can do whatever she wants, right?' she said softly before walking out of the house.

He's just using you as a rebound, you know that. Once he's back with her, he's not going to even care about you. No one does.

'oh, shut up!' Zooey hissed, trying not to let the words get to her.

But they were coming from within, and she couldn't ignore the words from within.

.. ..

'okay!' Nick sat back down on the couch and passed the bowl of popcorn to Jazz. 'you sure you don't want to go to the party?'

'I'm sure,' Jazz smiled at him, before turning to the others. 'you guys sure?'

'we're sure,' Claire spoke for herself, Gabriella, Roma, Ella and Lea.

'where's Raz at, by the way?' Ella wondered.

'at the party, probably,' Roma muttered. 'where I should be.'

'you're sick, you can't be out partying,' Claire reminded her.

'I'm not-' she coughed loudly. '-sick. You know what? I'm probably pregnant!'

'you're not pregnant,' Lea sighed.

'like you'd even know who the father was,' Ella said snidely.

'let's see, who could it be?' Claire wondered.

'Jason,' Ella began.

'Luke,' Lea added.



'yeah, yeah, I get it,' Roma muttered.

'you know,' Gabriella began. 'remaining abstinent would do wonders for you.'

'will it make God love me?' Roma rolled her eyes. 'will it make me pure?'

'no,' Gabriella shook her head. 'it would just make you a lot happier,' she shrugged, pulling her long hair up into a bun.

'You don't know anything about me,' Roma told her.

'I've been watching you all for weeks, I think I know you by now,' Gabriella told her.

'and you think that if I abstain, I'll be happier?' Roma raised an eyebrow.

'yeah, right,' Ella, Claire and Lea scoffed in unison.

Gabriella shrugged and everyone turned back to the movie, but Roma thought. Maybe Gabriella was onto something.

.. ..

'that was the most fun I've had dancing in my life,' Kiya laughed as she walked with Cooper back to her dorm, both of them barefoot.

'me too,' he smiled at her as they stopped outside her dorm. 'I'll see you tomorrow for New Years Eve?'

'oh, um, maybe,' she shrugged. 'Lila wanted to do something just the two of us, so I don't know how long that would take,' she smiled slightly.

'well, then I'll see you next year if I don't tomorrow,' Cooper leaned down and kissed her cheek.

'okay,' she nodded, before she grabbed his arm, suddenly thinking of something. 'what's the time?'

Cooper checked his watch. 'almost 2am.'

Kiya nodded slowly. 'cool. I have a phone call to make.'

'at 2am?' he asked sceptically.

'it's only 5pm in Egypt,' Kiya reminded him. 'I'll see you soon.'

'I had fun,' Cooper smiled before he walked back down the hallway.

'me too...' Kiya muttered as she entered her dorm, taking out her phone and dialling the number of one of her sisters.

'Kiya?' the voice of Ramla came across.

'hey...' she trailed off.

'what's up?'

Kiya sighed. 'you're right.'

'about...?' Ramla trailed off. 'you need to elaborate, honey.'

'Cooper. I... love Cooper.'

.. ..

Zooey looked at her reflection in the mirror, scrutinized every single flaw she could see, and even the ones she couldn't see.

You're not pretty enough.

She knew that. She could just put makeup on, wear nice clothes, dye her hair, and she could look so damn gorgeous. She could get past not being pretty.

You're not good enough for him.

She knew that too. She was not good enough for most people, but she could always dream, she could always fool herself into believing she deserved good people in her life.

You're not skinny enough.

She knew that too. She stared at her reflection, at her thighs, her hips, her stomach. She needed to skip some meals, work out. She just needed to lose some more weight, another five pounds or so, and maybe she'd be thin enough.

You're not enough.

'shut up,' she whispered into the mirror. 'just shut up.' Five pounds. 'Leah, I didn't mean it.' She just needed to lose five pounds. 'What happened to you... I didn't mean it.' She had been gaining too much weight lately. 'it was just a joke.' She needed just five more pounds off. 'I didn't know you'd hit your head... I didn't know you'd die.'

She needed to be in control.

You're never going to be in control. Only I am. I run this; your conscience just makes you weak.

'shut up.'

.. ..

So. As you can see, a lot of Zooey this chapter, and a lot of Kiya too. And Kiya loves Cooper! And Zooey isn't as she seemed, she's insecure. New guy Justin and Mallory have a bit of chemistry, as do new girl Olivia and Bojan, it seems.

Anyway. I've decided that every second Sunday my time, I'm going to try and update. I love this story, and I love you guys, but if I don't give myself a deadline, I'll take my time, and I want to actually finish this story soon enough.

Reviews? :)