Prologue: The Scars That You Can See

I’d had my share of troubles. A part of me knew that I deserved almost everything I got.

Besides, I was the giant idiot who drank too much and smoked too much pot and got behind the wheel of a car. If that didn’t make an idiot, I wasn’t sure what the definition was. What made it even more unfair was the fact that I had the good fortune of walking away with just a bruised ego. My little sister had been in the car with me ended up a with a broken arm.

I was charged with drinking under the influence and spent forty-eight hours in a juvenile detention center. I then spent almost three weeks in a rehab center at the insistence of my lawyers and my parents. The rehab center was worse than being in jail.

My car was wrecked, I had no driver’s license, my little sister was terrified of me, my parents blamed me for everything, and I was given a choice. I could go to jail for two years, or I could go to a fancy prep school in Arkansas.

I was the only kid there that didn’t come from money or came with a brain the size of the state. It was hell, and I stood out like a sore thumb.

My roommate Thomas was one of the coolest people I’d ever met. The guy was a genius and he had the best and the newest video games and movies. He was the best room mate in the world, and probably the only real friend I’d ever had.

But the silver lining to the entire situation was Olivia. She was unlike any other girl I’d ever met in my entire life. She was sweet and smart and the most beautiful girl in school. When I was with her it suddenly felt like my misfortunes and everything else was behind me. Like I could forget about my strict probation and forget about what a disappointment I was to my Brady-bunch parents.

Olivia was only the good thing in my entire life. She was the one person who turned everything around for me. When I was with her I felt like I could do anything. She made me forget about my legal troubles, my addiction to drugs and alcohol and made me want to sing and write music again.

My grades were up, my parents were actually talking to me and even though my sister was still terrified every time I went near her, we were working past that. And it was all because of Olivia’s perfect influence.

When the realization dawned on me that during Christmas vacation we would be apart for an entire month, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to cope. Part of that was because I knew I would miss Olivia a lot. The other part was the fact that my family made the urge to drink excessively a lot worse.

She made arrangements to spend half of our vacation with her dad in Tulsa so we could be together.

I was counting down the days until I could see her again.