Mister Simpson's monotonous voice always puts half the class to sleep. The worst part is that he never seems to notice. The bell finally rings while he is still explaining a particularly hard algebra problem, but everyone has already left. Sally, your new best friend, catches up to you at the lockers. "Did you sleep? Mister Simpson is such a dork!" You don't like it when she's mean to him. He's actually a pretty good teacher. But you could never say that out loud. If you did, she might remember that not too long ago you were a geek, invisible to the cool gang. No, you need to play it cool. [["Yeah, for sure, King of the dorks."->mean 1]] [["Nah, I manage to keep awake by drawing on my notepad."->jimmy 1]] (set: $omg to 1)"O-M-G. You're so funny," she says. "I'm totally tweeting this. Don't worry, I'll give you the credit." Before you can stop her, she has already sent her tweet. She has so many followers, you can't help but feel bad for what you've just said. "So did you speak to Jimmy today?" You can't tell her that you've been dodging him all week since you've kissed last Friday. Jimmy is so nice and popular. You're just not sure you want to be with him because he's actually a good match for you or just because he would help you be cooler. [[No. Why?->party 1]] [[Did he say something about me?->party 1]] "Let me guess," she said "different ways of writing Mrs Jimmy Parson?" You blush at the mention of his name. You can't tell her that you've been dodging him all week since you've kissed last Friday. Jimmy is so nice and popular. It's just that you're not sure you want to be with him because he's actually a good match for you or because he would help you be cooler. "Nah. It's a comic I draw. It's about this girl, Melanie. She's a ghost stuck in her high school. So she haunts the teacher and the students." "Dope," answers Sally without stopping what's she doing on her phone to look at the notepad you've kept opened for her to see. "I'm tweeting about how dorky Mister Simpson is, funny hunh?" She doesn't wait for you to answer and just ask you if you've heard about the party at the beach tonight. [["Yes," you lie.->pretend]] You've learnt that it's sometimes better to pretend to know things with Sally or she'll take a superior air with you. [["No," you answer honestly.->beach 1]]"It's just that him and his friends and a bunch of us are going to the beach tonight to party. And he wants you to come. Or so I've heard." She looks at her phone and laughs. "People love your comment! I've got like 25 favourites already and 18 retweets." Oh no! Poor Mister Simpson, you think. "Well, I'll see you tonight if you come to the beach." "You're coming to the beach too?" Jessica asks as she's passing by your locker. Jessica is the most beautiful girl in school. It's incredible. You couldn't look half as good as her even if you'd pass 3 hours every day in front of the mirror. The only thing is that she talks really slowly and it gets on your nerves sometimes. Like you need to stop yourself from finishing her sentences. "You should really wear those bootylicious jeans we bought together last week." [["You really think so?"->insecure 1]] [["I will!"->out]]"Totally," answers Jessica. You try not to smile too much. A fashion advice from Jessica, that's so awesome! People will pay one day for that when she's a famous designer or a celebrity stylist, and you got it for free. Sometimes being with the cool gang still doesn't feel real, like it's a dream or something. You've worked so hard to get to that point. Being cool looked a lot simpler when you were a geek. [["Thanks. I'll wear them for sure."->out]] You're slowly walking home while texting Jimmy. He's writing how happy he is to get the chance to see you tonight and that you look super pretty today. He's so sweet! You were so happy to read this that you almost didn't see the car stopping right beside you. You quickly put aside your phone in your pocket where you can feel the condom that was given to you at the school's exit as a part of STI week. Gross. Loud music can be heard even with the windows rolled up. You don't remember the name of the band, but it's some kind of metal your brother listens to all the time. The door opens and you can see your brother in the passager seat. "Hey kiddo, going home?" "Yeah." "Come on in. Matt will give you a lift." You realise that Matt, your crush since you were 5 years old and your brother's best friend since, like, always, is the driver. [["Okay."->invitation]] [["I'm fine, thanks. I can walk."->insist]]"Cool. Omg!" she says still looking at her phone. "People love my tweet! I've got like 25 favourites already and 18 retweets. Okay. See you there." You cannot help but feel bad for Mister Simpson. You hope people are not too rude to him. Looking at Sally walking towards the exit, you notice how she exaggerates the movement of her hips. Like way too much. She told you in confidence the other day that she wishes to look like Jessica Rabbit. Since then, you find her almost grotesque. You shouldn't think that. It's really mean, and she's your friend. So they're all going to the beach. That could be the best place to talk with Jimmy. You need to clarify the situation, it's not like you can avoid him forever. Or maybe you could walk home with him and talk right now. [[Go home to prepare.->out]] [[Stop by Jimmy's locker.->pre out]]"Well, Jimmy and his friends, and a bunch of us are going to the beach tonight to party. You should definitively come." "Cool. I'll be there." You feel guilty for almost lying to her. It's just that sometimes she can be the coolest and nicest person ever, but sometimes it's like she wants to make you feel bad and uncool. "It's weird that no one told you about it. I've known for days." That's more like her. She looks down at her phone. "Omg! People love my tweet about Mister Simpson! I've got like 25 favourites already and 18 retweets." Oh no! Poor Mister Simpson... But whatever, at least you'll be able to talk with Jimmy tonight. It's not like you can avoid him forever. Or maybe you could go and talk to him now. [[Go home to prepare.->out]] [[Stop by Jimmy's locker.->pre out]] Jimmy's locker is next to the exit doors. You try to act casual and look if he's still there, but his friend, Mark, catches you. "Sorry. Your lover has already left." You know you're blushing, but you still act like it's nothing. "You can see him tonight at the beach. I know he's pretty excited to talk to you." [["Okay, cool."->out]] [[You leave quickly before you need to say something else.->out]] They sing along to the band whose name you still can't remember. Bad music, if anyone ask you. After pulling in the driveway, Matt turns around and looks at you with his big, beautiful hazel eyes. "Hey! I'm sure your brother forgot to tell you, but my parents are out for the weekend. There will be a wicked party tonight at my place. You should come." "You want me to drink with my baby sister? I guess..." You give the meanest look you can manage to your brother without making yourself look ugly. Turning toward Matt, you smile and tell him: [["I don't know. I already have plans for tonight."->house]] [["Maybe. I'm supposed to go to a party with friends, but I might stop by."->house]] [["Sure. Sounds good." This was way too good to pass.->house]]Your brother looks at Matt then at you again. "Oh! Come on. We both know you want to." Matt lowers his head until you can see him. "Come on. You won't leave me alone with that idiot? You can't be that cruel, can you!?" He's so damn cute. You know you're blushing. You just hope it's not too apparent. [[You can't get away. Go quickly in the car.->invitation]] "Cool," he says in the coolest way possible. Your brother has already left the car, and you were about to follow him when Matt starts talking again. "Remember when we were younger and you use to come to my house for the pool? It's weird. I've known you for a long time, and now you're all grown up." He doesn't add anything but look right into your eyes. He smiles and looks away. "Okay. See you later then." You go upstairs to your room as fast as you can and take a shower. Now, what should you wear? You know how important looks are. You really can't mess it up. (if: $omg is 1)[You should probably wear the jeans Jessica told you to wear, but what about the top?] You've got so many clothes, but it's like none of them is stylish enough. Then maybe some music could inspire you. But what should you listen to if you want to get into the right mood? [["Yellow Flicker Beat" by Lorde->Lorde]] [["We found love" by Rihanna->Rihanna]] [["It will rain" by Bruno Mars->Bruno]]This is exactly what you needed! Now you feel strong like Katniss! The Hunger Games are seriously the best movies ever! You know what you'll do. First, you'll wave your hair like Lorde's. Second, you'll find that red chiffon top (totally similar to Katniss's dress) you bought last year but never wore because it seems too bold. It takes you only an hour to get your hair right. Looking in the mirror, you really feel like Katniss. It's like you need to choose between your own sweet and kind Peeta (Jimmy) and your life-long crush Gale (Matt). Still looking at yourself in the mirror, you wonder if he'll find you pretty. [[You're really thinking about Jimmy.->Jimmy 2]] [[You're really thinking about Matt.->Matt]] "So you think you can just go out without telling your father? I don't think so. You haven't done your chores this week. Your mom told me earlier that she had to take out the trash this morning since you didn't //and// that she had to tidy after you because you left your bag and coat on the floor, //again//." He pauses. Your dad is so dramatic sometimes. "We don't ask you kids for a lot of help, but you need to show us that you're responsible enough to get privileges. For example, your brother has done all his chores for the week so, when he went out, I said nothing. You need to work for good things to happen to you in life, sweetie. I'm sorry, but you can't go out tonight." [["It's not fair! You're the worst!"->room 1]] [["What if I do all my chores tomorrow AND clean the garage?"->negociate]] You start dancing around your room. Thinking that you might be the one finding love in a hopeless place tonight! You feel a little naughty so your next song is "Bad Things" of Jace Everett. You've been obsessed with the song since you've started to secretly watch True Blood even if your parents don't want you to. You know what to wear! You've got this top which is super 90's just like Rihanna's clothes in the video clip. That's so cool. You'll look so nifty. The 90's are so in right now. Except the shoulder pads. Only Jessica can pull those. It takes you only an hour to get your hair right. Looking in the mirror, you feel a little like Sookie. It's like you need to choose between your own tall, blond Eric (Jimmy) and your darker, truer Bill (Matt). Okay, maybe it's far-fetched, but yeah. Still looking at yourself in the mirror, you wonder if he'll find you pretty. [[You're really thinking about Jimmy.->Jimmy 2]] [[You're really thinking about Matt.->Matt]] You sing along loudly. "Don't just say goodbye!" This is just the best. You could cry right now. Twilight has the best love story of all time! You know what to do. First, you'll put a lot of volume in your hair to look just like Bella's. Second, you'll find your simple top with the peter pan collar to look innocent and stuff. But you'll choose red lipstick. YES! It takes you only an hour to get your hair right. Looking in the mirror, you really feel like Bella. It's like you need to choose between your own new love interest (Jimmy) and your life-long crush (Matt). Still looking at yourself in the mirror, you wonder if he'll find you pretty. [[You're really thinking about Jimmy.->Jimmy 2]] [[You're really thinking about Matt.->Matt]] You run to your room trying to hold in your tears. How can dad be so unfair!? Like you have time for chores... You've got so much to do with school. You've got your homework, studying for exams, and all the other stuff! But, what can you do about it? Well... There's always rebellion. You ''could'' get out of the house without your parents knowing. Your brother showed you how to leave by the roof a long time ago. So you could go out... But what if they catch you? You would be in so much trouble. Your dad has zero patience for that kind of thing. At the same time, tonight could be the night when your life changes, like, completely. [[Get out by the roof and face the consequences if you get caught.->roof]] [[Accept your fate. Go downstairs to watch tv with your dad.->downstairs]]He looks at you obviously toying with the idea of letting you go. Mom has been bothering him for a month now to clean the garage. You definitively have a chance. "What else can you offer?" "Dishes for two weeks?" He doesn't say anything. "For three weeks?" His left eyebrow rises. You hesitate: "Dishes for a month, but that's all I've got for you." "Deal," he answers while offering you his hand to shake on it. That's so much work. Worth it, though, you could not think of staying in tonight. [[Shake his hand.->pre-fall]] [[Hug him vigourously.->mother]] You put music on before leaving so it will cover any noise you make on the roof. You think to unplug the radio so the battery will run out in about three hours. Your parents will then probably think you're going to sleep. Your last touch is the classic pillow under the cover to fake you're asleep. And now you're ready for the biggest act of rebellion of your whole life. The roof is actually more slippery than you thought it would be. You just need to be very cautious when walking to the back of the house where the roof is lower. You make your way to the back and look down at the patio. The distance is much greater than you thought it would be. It makes you reconsider. Your jump might really hurt. [[Go back to your room.->Ending - back to room]] [[Jump on the patio (smaller jump but on a hard surface).->Ending - caught]] [[Jump on the lawn (bigger jump but on a soft surface).->landing]] "What are you watching?" you ask. Your father is startled. He hadn't seen you coming down. "One of those Steve Seagal movies." "It's Steven Seagal, dad," you tell him as you sit next to him. "Can we make popcorn?" "Who are you? What have you done with my child? Because ten minutes ago I had an angry teenager, and now I have a nice girl who wants to spend time with her father and watch a movie so bad it's good." "I thought you wanted me to act more mature." He looks at you. "Is it really important to you to go out tonight?" [["Kind of, yeah."->permission]](if: $punish is 1)[Maybe you won't get to the party, but you couldn't risk breaking your neck.] (else:)[You safely get back to your room. Your heart is beating really, really fast. Maybe your brother can do it because he's taller than you or just reckless, but that was just too scary. You turn up the volume of the music you had left on and lay on your bed.] You take out your phone and text Jessica and Sally that you're unfairly grounded and won't make it to the party. But you don't look at what they answer. You don't really care. Life is too unfair. They will have fun at the party, and you're stuck here. Face it. You didn't have the guts for rebellion. If only you had said something else... [[Try again.->father]]You look down one last time before jumping. "I can make it," you tell yourself "probably." You take a deep breath and start running. Unfortunately, your feet slip just as you're building momentum to leave the roof. You can feel your body shifting to a position making it impossible to land safely. You were aiming for the patio floor but fell onto one of the patio chairs. For a minute, you don't know where the chair begins and where you end. There's no time to feel sorry for, what you can only describe as, your broken body. The noise of your fall will certainly attract your parents. You need to get out of there. [[Hide behind the shed (2 meters away).->shed]] [[Run to the windowless side of the house (5 meters away).->side house]]Finally, you're on your way. It's party time! You can feel that tonight is the night. Like it's going to change everything. You still need to figure out if you want to go to the beach, or if you try your luck at Matt's party. It's like, you really like hanging with Jimmy and he's fun and nice, but... He's not the boy you've always loved. Matt is so... grown-up and cool. This is a big deal. You know if you don't show up at the beach, Jimmy will resent you and probably lose interest. At the same time, you may never have another chance to get closer to Matt and make him see you like a possible gf. Weird how not too long ago it felt like boys couldn't even see you. Suddenly, a hand grips your shoulder. You're frozen in place unable to look at the person behind you. You've never experienced such a mind-numbing fear. You manage to turn your head enough to see that the hand gripping you is covered in dark liquid which is staining your shirt. [[You scream.->Real End]]He stays silent for a moment. "Okay, you can go if you still want to." He quickly adds, "But only if you do all of your remaining chores tomorrow //and// clean the garage. Thoroughly." Your dad is just a big softy. Admit it, you knew you could convince him to let you go by being nice to him. You, manipulator! "OMG dad, you're the best! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" You say while hugging him for a long, long time. As you leave, you blow him a kiss. [[Go outside.->choice]] You take a last look down at the lawn before jumping trying to find a patch of longer grass. It's a long jump, but maybe if you manage a forward roll at the end, like in the movies, you'll better withstand the impact. You take a deep breath and jump head and arms first like if you were diving. This is the scariest thing you've done in your life. As soon as you feel the land on your hands, you roll. And... And... it worked! You did it! You're in the backyard. Your hands hurt and you'll feel it in your back, but it worked. You look up to the part of the roof you were standing on a minute ago and see how dangerous it was. Well, that's just a part of being a rebellious teen. [[Now what?->choice]]You quickly shake his hand and run upstairs to make sure you look your best for the party. After a good five minutes in front of the mirror, there's no doubt that you've looked worse. Maybe you could do some sit-ups. Jessica told you she does 30 every time she leaves the house, and Jessica is seriously gorgeous. No, no time for that. Your phone is buzzing like crazy in your back pocket. Both Jessica and Sally are texting you to know where you are and to tell you that Jimmy has been asking about you. [[You text them back that you were almost grounded but on your way.->Ending - falling]] [[You wait before texting anyone and run to the door.->choice]]You give him a long hug to show your appreciation. He looks so happy! He takes the opportunity to ask all kinds of questions about school, grades, and your friends. You almost don't mind answering them since you can go to the party. Your life, which had seemed so boring five minutes ago, is now full of possibilities. You're still talking with your father and laughing when you hear you mother calling your name. It doesn't sound good, not good at all. "Yes?" you answer with your sweetest voice. "Come to the kitchen immediately." You enter the kitchen apprehensively. She's holding the jacket you wore today. "Can you explain this to me?" She reaches inside the pocket and retrieves the condom you were given earlier. [["It's nothing. They gave those away at school."->sex talk]] [["I think it's pretty obvious. It's a condom."->punish]] "What did they tell you about safe sex at school?" "O-M-G, Mom! Don't." "I asked you a question. I'm waiting for an answer." "Nothing! They've said nothing." "Michael, come here." Your father joins you in the kitchen. Your mother reaches to hold your hand. "I think it's passed time for us to have a talk about sex." Can you believe it!? Of all the nights, your parents chose tonight to give you the sex talk. And they really go for full details. Never thought you would hear your mother say cunnilingus. Gross. [["Can I go now?"->offended]] [[Say nothing. Avoid eye contact.->shy]](set: $punish to 1)"Do not take that tone with me. I am your mother and I deserve respect." "I didn't say anything wrong." "If you want to play that game, young lady, you might as well go to your room immediately." You can't find anything to say. This is so unfair! All that after you've done to convince your father to let you go out. You get upstairs to your bedroom and slam the door behind you. You can't believe she's punishing you for stating an obvious fact. While looking around your room to find something to destroy, you realize that your brother told you once how he sometimes gets out of the house by jumping from the roof. Will you dare? [[Hell yeah!->roof]] [[Better not.->Ending - back to room]]Sally responds in the funniest way by a clever use of multiple 💩. You're trying to find the right GIF to answer. Maybe a dancing Drake in his box or one of Taylor Swift. You're so focused on finding a cool answer that you miss a step. The first thing you realize is that your phone isn't in your hands anymore. The second is that you're upside down. Ouch! Mom's worried face is super close to yours. "Are you okay honey?" "Yeah, I'm fine. I wasn't paying attention. I know, don't tell me! I'll be more cautious. No phone while walking. I know." You quickly kiss her on the cheek to reassure her and [[leave->choice]]. The worst could have happened. Luckily, your phone is safe. There's no way your parents would have paid for a new one. Of course, Jimmy would find you pretty. You already know that and it makes you smile. He's seriously the sweetest guy ever. At the same time, your thoughts linger on Matt. It's weird. All your life you've had a crush on Matt, and now it feels like it could be real. So why are you thinking about Jimmy? It's so hard to choose when you don't know which one is really the best for you. Do you really know what (or who) you want? The time displayed on your old SpongeBob clock gets you out of your daydream. You really need to get going. You grab your bag with the sparkles and run downstairs. You're almost at the door. Your hand is touching the handle when you hear: "Wait a minute young lady." You turn slowly to face your father. "What?" "Where do you think you're going?" [["Out."->father]] [["Just to see some friends."->father]]You can already see it: it's like he's looking at you for the first time. He doesn't see a kid anymore, but, finally, a woman. Someone to share his thoughts and dreams. At the same time, your thoughts linger on Jimmy. It's weird. All your life you've had a crush on Matt. Now it feels like it could be real, but you can't stop thinking about the cute and kind boy from your class who appreciates you and clearly wants to be with you. It's so hard to choose when you don't know which one is really the best for you. Do you really know what (or who) you want? The time displayed on your old SpongeBob clock gets you out of your daydream. You really need to get going. You grab your bag with the sparkles and run downstairs. You're almost at the door. Your hand is touching the handle when you hear: "Wait a minute young lady." You turn slowly to face your father. "What?" "Where do you think you're going?" [["Out."->father]] [["Just to see some friends."->father]]You run for the shed. It's a bit difficult with your legs stuck inside the plastic chair, but there was no time to untangle yourself out of it. You barely hear the patio door opening over the sound of your beating heart. You hear your dad's low, grumpy voice: "Damn raccoons again! This is too much. I'm damn tired of these thieves! I will not let them have their little party in my backyard. Where are you little rascals?" You have to stop yourself from laughing out loud. Let's just say your dad has always felt strongly about raccoons. You need to remember to leave food out since your dad will probably go crazy on them for a while. "Come on. Let's get you a nice cup of tea. You can plan the genocide of all raccoons from inside." Mom is the only one who can calm him when he's in that state. [[Leave your hideout and get to the street.->choice]]You run to the side of the house. It's a bit difficult with your leg stuck inside the plastic chair, but there was no time to untangle yourself out of it. Your awkward walk would make you laugh if you weren't so scared of getting caught. You hear the patio door opening as you fall face first onto the lawn. Luckily, no one can see you now. You hear your dad's low, grumpy voice: "Damn raccoons again! This is too much. I'm damn tired of these thieves! I will not let them have their own party in my backyard." You have to stop yourself from laughing out loud. Let's just say your dad has always felt strongly about raccoons. You need to remember to leave food out since your dad will probably go crazy on them for a while. "Come on. Let's get you a nice cup of tea. You can plan the genocide of all raccoons from inside." Mom is the only one who can calm him when he's in that state. [[Check for grass marks on your face then get to the street.->choice]]The stranger's other hand quickly covers your mouth. "Please. Help me." The voice was feeble, but you recognize it. You turn around to see your brother. He's holding his right side and is grasping for air. Each breath looks painful. "What happened? Are you hurt?" You know how dumb it sounded the minute you've said it. "What should I do?" "Get back to my room. But the parents can't see me." "Why? I mean I should probably call for an ambulance or something." "No. Believe me. Please. No ambulance, no parents. They... They're coming." He looks like he could faint at any moment. Clearly your brother is not well. Why would he want to get to his room? Why can't you call an ambulance when he visibly needs it? And why can't your parents know about it? You need to do something, obviously, but what? To be continued (maybe) in Tales of teens. Chapter 2: They're coming.Your mother sighs loudly. "Yes, but before you go, do you have any question? Don't be shy. Now is the time to ask. We won't judge you, honey. We love you. We want you to experience your sexuality in a positive way." You know your mother has good intention. Even your dad who clearly looks, right now, like he wishes he only had boys wants you to feel okay about it. And you are, probably. It's just not something that seems real right now. Jimmy was the first boy you kissed (not counting your cousin Paul when you were 8) and that was last week. Jumping from kiss to sex seems a little too unreal. But they're right, in a way. Whatever, this took a long time. You need to get going. "Sorry, I didn't mean to be rude. I swear I'm fine and I'll come to you if I have any question." Your answer seems to satisfy them. [[Take the condom and quickly leave.->choice]] No one talks for what feels like minutes. "We just want you to experience your sexuality in a positive way, and it starts with a good sexual education." You know your mother has good intention. Even your dad who clearly looks, right now, like he wishes he only had boys wants you to feel okay about it. And you are, probably. It's just not something that seems real right now. Jimmy was the first boy you kissed (not counting your cousin Paul when you were 8) and that was last week. Jumping from kiss to sex seems a little too unreal. But they're right, in a way. "It's our fault. We should have talked to you a long time ago. I guess we're to blame for that." "It's okay. I'm fine. I don't have any question right now." They look satisfied with your answer. This took a long time. You need to get going. [[Take the condom and quickly leave.->choice]]