Within a few weeks of living with the new foster family, and going to my new school, there have been a lot of changes in my life, and I start to enjoy it, for the first time in forever. I might even say that this is the happiest I've ever been. The Marshes do everything they can to make us more comfortable in our new home. We do fun things together as a family, on weekends. It's almost like how our lives were before Mom died, and my dad got sent to jail, except better, because we actually have food, and a proper home and stuff, and we don't have drug dealers coming to our house threatening our family. Though sometimes I still worry that they might find us.

I've gotten pretty good at playing Ron's old guitar, too. I don't know any actual songs, though, so I make up my own. The Marsh's youngest son, Tommy, is 6. He loves listening to me play.

Every day, I walk to school with Nathan. We hang out after school a lot, too, when he doesn't have basketball or baseball practice. I help him practice both after school, even though I'm not that good, or sometimes, we go to the park.

Tonight, I sit outside one night on the porch, playing guitar for Tommy, who's colouring the driveway with chalk. Filling the grey space around his father's car with tic-tac toe games, smiling faces, and words he knows how to spell. I keep looking up, secretly hoping Nathan will show up. Ursula, who because of her connection to the cheerleaders at our school, made the squad with no difficulties, and she's staying late after school.

"Tommy, listen. I wrote this song." I say and begin to strum. "The itsy-bitsy spider went up the water spout. Down came the rain and-"

"You didn't make that song." The 6 year old accuses me, looking up from the powdery rainbow he's in the middle of creating. "We sing it at school."

"I did so." I tell him. "Your teacher must have stole it from me."

"You should make your own songs." Tommy says before he goes back to colouring.

"Ok." I agree. I start to strum away until I begin to form a tune, with no words. As I try to think of something to sing about, I look up, with interest, upon hearing the front door next door open. Instead of Nathan, I see something grey and fluffy expelled into the air, landing in Nathan's driveway. I realize it's a cat, when it takes off running at the sound of an angry woman's voice.

"And stay out! You stinkin' thing!" the door slams.

Unsure of what to make of what I've just seen, I go back to playing, with a sudden source of inspiration.

"Smelly caat, smelly caaat.…what are they feeding you?" I start to sing.

Tommy looks up at me with his blue and pink, chalk dust-covered face and hair and smiles. "I like it!"

"Yeah? "

I see Nathan's door open again. He's walking out the front door, with something that looks like a book tucked under his arm. He glances over into my direction.

"Hi." I say, as he walks towards us. "What are you guys doing?"

"Singing a song about your cat." I tell him.

He glances at the grey cat, who has flopped down in the middle of the driveway to groom himself at a safe distance from Nathan's front door, where he's obviously not welcome anymore.

"Who, Spike? He got kicked out. My step-mom's in one of her moods again because my brother had a bunch of his friends over, and they made a big mess, and to top it all off, that cat got into the garbage again. Mind if I join you?"

"Not at all." I say, happy to have his company.

He sits down across from me on the steps, and opens his book, which I can see is his sketchbook. He let me flip through it once, and I was in awe, to see his realistic drawings, almost like charcoal photographs, of animals, people, trees and flowers, anything that catches his eye. I envy his artistic talent. I've never really been good at anything special, myself. Opening his sketchbook to a fresh blank page, he sets it on his knees and begins sketching. I can't see what it is.

"So let's hear your song." He says.

I start to play it again, singing the lyrics I made up on the spot, a few minutes ago. Nathan looks up, and laughs.

"That's great! I love it!" He tears a piece of paper from his sketchbook and hands it to me. He then takes his metal pencil case, opens it and hands me one. "Here. Write it down. It's gonna be a big hit one day."

"You think so?" I ask. I do what he says, and write down what I have so far.

"Definitely. People will love it."

Tommy stands up, to admire his work. He looks down and discovers himself, and his clothes, covered head to toe in chalk dust.

"Uh-oh…" he mutters. "I better go wash up or Mom'll be mad."

"Good idea." Nathan agrees, sketching away with quick, careful strokes. I rock forwards on my heels to see get a better look.

"What're you drawing?"

He pulls the sketchbook closer to his chest. "Uh, nothing…I mean, it's not finished yet."

After a few more strokes, Nathan closes the book, leaving me to wonder what it is, and why it's such a secret. Sweeping his sandy hair off his eyes, he smirks up at me.

"So…you wanna go get some ice cream?"

"Yeah!" I excitedly agree, quickly forgetting about his drawing.

"Cool. We can ride bikes there."

My smile disappears, quickly, with an uneasy feeling in my stomach. It's embarrassing to admit to someone my own age that I never learned how to ride a bike.

"I don't…have a bike." I tell him, hoping the explanation will suffice. Nathan shrugs.

"You can ride my brother's old bike. He won't mind."

"Ok, but…it's…a boy's bike." I point out. Nathan gives a chuckle.

"Didn't know that mattered."

"Well..you wouldn't wanna ride a pink girl's bike, would you?"

With a small smirk, he nods, agreeing with my point. "Well, you can ride on the handlebars if you want?"

"Is that safe?" I ask, hesitantly.

"Sure. Hang on, I'll go get my bike."

While he's gone, I go inside to ask permission from the Marshes, who like Nathan because they know him. They agree to letting me go, so long as I'm home by 8:30, because it's a school night. Nathan's waiting with his bike, at the end of our driveway.

"Ready to go?" he asks. Reluctantly, I stare at the U shaped handle bars. I've never even sat on a real bike before. "Come on.." Nathan urges. "I promise I won't let you get hurt. Just sit down, and trust me, ok?"

I start to think about him and his drawings, his basketball abilities. He's so precise in everything he does, and riding a bike probably isn't any different. I sit down in front of him, and he looks over my shoulder.

"Hang on." He tells me. Once he starts pedaling, I scream a little, in surprise. Then we're both laughing, as we pick up speed, coming down a hill. I stick my feet out in front of me, pretending we're flying. It's even better than I imagined, all those times I watched other kids ride their bikes.

On the way home from the ice cream parlor, the sun is setting, the summer air cooling down. Nathan pushes his bike most of the way, because it's up hill, and I walk beside him. We talk about the usual stuff. We've learned a lot about each other from our walks to school every day. I tell him things about me, and my life at the group home, my life at home, before my mom died, and my step-dad went to jail. I try to leave the difficult parts out, but it's not easy, when most of it is difficult. He seems fascinated by me. Not repulsed, or judgmental, like most people are. I'm interested in learning about him, in the same way.

He tells me about his two older brothers; Craig, who's gone off to college, and Danny, who's a senior. Danny's quarterback of the school football team, and one of the most popular boys, not just in the senior class, but at school. Even I know him by name, but never knew that he and Nathan were brothers. It's hard to believe because they're nothing alike.

"Sometimes, it's like I'm invisible, whenever he's in the room, you know?" He tells me, as we near the top of the hill of our neighbor hood. "I mean, everyone loves him, and anytime he does anything, it's a huge deal. He doesn't even get that good of grades or anything."

I think about Ursula, walking ahead of us in the mornings, without me, so that she can meet up with the popular girls in our grade, and act like I don't exist in her world. She thinks people don't know that we're sisters, despite us having the same face, which is just stupid.

"I know how you feel." I tell him. "Everyone always likes Ursula better than me, because she does everything first. She was born first, she started walking first, and talking first..and then everything I do is just old news, you know? That's why I don't even bother to compare myself to her anymore. Besides, everyone thinks she's the pretty one…"

"I don't." he tells me, with a smirk. "Those girls she hangs out with all dress the same, and talk the same. It's kinda stupid, if you ask me. You're different; you just do your own thing. That's why you're much prettier than her." I feel my cheeks getting warmer, as I glance away. No boy has ever thought I was pretty, before. Especially not prettier than Ursula.

I don't know what to say or do, besides give him a playful shove in the arm. "You're just saying that."

He grins. "No, really..it's true."

By the time we reach our cul-de-sac, the darkness of the night has set in. I hope I'm not past my curfew.

"Oh, hey.." Nathan says, before we say our good-byes. "I have something for you."

He runs to our porch, where he left his sketchbook and tears out one of his drawings. He hands it to me. I study it a moment under the dim light of our porch before I realize that it's me, playing the guitar on the steps. He drew me, as I was sitting there; every small detail, from my dark eye-lashes to the strands of my hair, hanging down past my shoulders, and the steel strings of the guitar.

"Wow.." I say. "Can I keep it?"

"Of course." He rubs the back of his head, modestly. "It's not my best work, you know. It's kind of rushed.."

I'm so happy with his gift, that I throw my arms around him. "Thank you!"

He gives a bashful chuckle as I let go. "Your welcome. Uhm…Phoebe? I was….I was sort of wondering…uhm.." he pauses, to clear his throat, as his voice cracks with nervousness. "would you…uh…are you going to the spring formal?"

My face crinkles with confusion at his question. I've never even heard of such a thing. "The what?"

"You know…the dance?"

"Ohh...uhm, I didn't know there was one. Are you going?"

"Well…yeah. I think so." He tells me.

"Oh, ok, then. I didn't know boys like to dance."

He laughs again. "Well..some of us do. At least, with girls, anyways. So…do..uhm, did you wanna maybe…y'know go with me?"

I misunderstand, at first. "Sure. We could carpool, or whatever, you know? Save gas."

"Well..actually…I mean like, together. You know? Like…"

He doesn't have to finish his sentence for me to catch on. My heart beats faster as it quickly occurs to me, that maybe he likes me, and that I'm perfectly ok with that, because, I kind of like him, too.

"Ohh…y-yeah. I mean…sure, that'd be great." I say, fumbling nervously over my words, and trying to make up for it, by giggling at myself. 'My god, I sound like Ursula' I realize, thinking of my sister, trying to flirt with boys on the football team.

"Cool." He grins one hand still gripping his bike handle, the other holding his art supplies. An awkward moment passes between us, both shyly avoiding eye contact. Tucking a strand of my hair behind my ear, I glance up at him, still feeling awkward. He looks back at me, warm, cocoa-coloured eyes finally unmoving as they capture my gaze. I couldn't look away if I wanted to. My heart races with fear as he takes a step towards me.

I've never really thought about what my first kiss would be like. I've seen other people do it, on tv, or in public and thought it looked awkward and unpleasant. When Nathan leans closer, I panic, my head filling with self-conscious thoughts. What if I do something wrong? I stand frozen in my place. His lips are warm, and moist. I feel them press lightly against mine for only a few seconds. A quick movement that throws me off a little. The fear and panic within me melts away into tiny butterflies inside my whole body.

Nathan steps backwards. I wonder if I'm the first girl he's kissed, and then decide that it doesn't matter.

"Uh…good-night." He says, and with that, he turns his bike around, and walks up his driveway to his house. I keep watching him, my mouth frozen in a dreamy smile, until he disappears inside. When I turn around, I gasp a little, startled by the sudden appearance of another person. I'm face to face with my sister, still in her cheer uniform, hands placed on her hips, as she glares at me. Neither Nathan, or I noticed her coming up the driveway.

Despite our differences, sometimes, I can fully understand her emotions, as if they are my own. Here she just witnessed her weird outcast, twin sister, the bane of her existence, experience something before she did, for the first time in her life. Something that's major, and life-changing in every girl's life.

"How long have you been standing there?" I ask her.

"Long enough." She answers, and brushes past me, towards the house, with a strangely amused smirk on her face. To my horror, I realize that I've seen that same look, before. It was the same smirk she had, right before the school bus crushed my brand new Judy Jetson thermos. Without another word, I follow her into the house, my mind filled with worry.