Being alone in the house may be what she wanted, but Kristina sure isn't feeling too awesome right now. She takes one of the antibiotics and notes that the tattoo is feeling better and the infection is passing.
She feels unbearably lonely and empty and realizes that there's only one thing that can truly relieve her—the monster.
Chapter 122: I Considered
She may be new to the world of crank, but Kristina isn't totally ignorant of the fact that it has a pretty heavy scene in Reno—with adult entertainment, casinos, debauchery, and sexual promiscuity, the shady city is a walking drug magnet.
Kristina is positive that the drug is in her hometown. All she has to do now is find out where to get it.
Chapter 123: Suddenly, However
After going several days without food, Kristina is suddenly hit with the overpowering urge to stuff her face. Compared to the moldy, sparse contents of her dad's fridge, her mom's refrigerator is a virtual buffet.
Mom is a great cook, but often goes through phases where she's too busy writing her novel and too selfish to consider her family's needs.
Right now, though, she appears to be in a bake-o-rama stage: The fridge is packed with homemade goodies, which Kristina proceeds to pig out on.
Chapter 124: My Luck Ran Out
After eating a ton, Kristina realizes that she has another craving to satisfy: She really needs a cigarette. She says that the strange thing about being addicted to cigarettes is that you don't realize you're hooked until you don't have a way to get them anymore.
She certainly doesn't have an outlet for cigarettes at her house—Mom says they cause wrinkles, while Scott is obsessed with the health risks because his family is lousy with lung cancer. Leigh just says they make you smell bad.
Chapter 125: It Got Worse
What could possibly make this situation more complicated? Having your mom and your big sister who knows about your tattoo show up. They've been shopping and got new bathing suits for Leigh and Kristina.
Leigh picked out a hot pink bikini for her, even though her mom disapproves—Scott's company picnic is coming up and she doesn't want her daughters wearing anything too revealing.
Of course, Leigh knows that skimpy bathing suits would also reveal her sister's secret, so she agrees.
Chapter 126: All Thoughts of Bad Habits
Kristina's preoccupations with crank and cigarettes vanish with the mention of the company picnic. Every summer, Scott's computer business stages a massive celebration at Wild Waters waterpark, complete with go-carts, an arcade, tons of food, and of course, water slides (duh).
This sounds completely fabulous on the surface, but Kristina has changed so much that she has a hard time getting jazzed up about it.
Chapter 127: I Went to Try on the Swimsuit
Kristina tries on the swimsuit and looks at her body in the mirror. Like most teenage young ladies, she feels stuck somewhere between girlhood and womanhood.
She feels like her body is too boyish, except when she has her period. Luckily, that's not a problem at the moment.
Chapter 128: The Tattoo, However, Was
Adam's DIY tattoo looks better, but it's still problematic. It barely even looks like a heart, plus she has no way to hide it in this bathing suit.
She considers Band-Aids, but realizes that it will just draw attention to itself and will probably come off in the water, which would gross a lot of people out. Furthermore, if the Band-Aid came off, the chlorine would just mess up the infection even more.
It seems like the only real option is to not go, but Kristina knows that ditching her family would be a surefire clue that something's not right, plus she'd have to answer a lot of questions she's really not comfortable sharing with her family.
Chapter 129: As I Pondered
All ruminations about her problem are interrupted when Jake announces that Adam is on the phone.
On the phone, Adam makes Kristina melt inside by telling her he just called to say that he loves her. Just when she starts to feel all gooey inside, though, he ruins it by saying Lince is getting out of the hospital tomorrow.
Then he makes things even worse. Because they live a long way apart, Adam thinks that they should be allowed to see other people.
Um, what? The guy got her hooked on drugs and mutilated her skin and now he wants to date someone else? So not cool, Adam.
We probably don't need to say it, but Kristina's pretty wounded by this.
Chapter 130: His Idea of Love
When she hangs up the phone, Kristina thinks about how it's pretty interesting that Adam wants to "see other people" just as Lince is getting out of the hospital. Hmm… That does sound pretty suspicious.
Mostly, Kristina just wants to cry. She thinks about how finding love was never the goal of her trip to Albuquerque, but losing it so fast certainly wasn't what she expected either.