Woohooo, chapter one of new book. Have decided to work on a whole bunch of stories at once so if I get bored with one, as I have done now, I'll have something else to write. Behold my first modernized romance story, with a twist. Hehehe.

Disclaimer: All mine. I'm rather fond of my main character. ^_^

---------

There was nothing appealing about the meatloaf sitting in front of her. Nor did the green beans look very appetizing either, now that she thought about it. However, the creamy mashed potatoes that she had long finished were very much missed, as her favorite food.

Her thoughts left the dinner sitting before her and she brought herself back to reality, still staring solemnly at the spot the potatoes once occupied, and catching the rest of her parents' conversation.

"So, where will you be staying?" her short, whining mother, Marnie, was saying.

"I found a place not far from here so I can still see Silence and take her places," her football-addict father, Ronald, replied.

"Well, I have the decision as to if you can come or not, and how often," Marnie said.

"I have my rights too! I'll come when I want," he commented as she shook her head silently as if in shame. He paused a moment in the silence that followed, then turned to the girl sitting before the uneaten meatloaf "Silence, dear, you should really eat your meatloaf."

The seventeen year old looked up, cringing slightly at the sound of her name, as she had been doing quite frequently. She would never get over just how strange it was to name a child Silence.

Her straight, blonde hair slid down the sides of her face, her unique deep violet eyes glinting "I don't like meatloaf."

"Well you have to eat something," her mother replied.

"Do you think I'm hungry after today?" Silence said flatly.

Neither of her parents said anything as she finally stood, slapping her napkin onto the table and trudging into the kitchen, quickly grabbing a large bowl and slopping large globs of mashed potatoes into it then drenching it in gravy. She grabbed a fork and, without another word, ran up the stairs to her room.

She shoved the door open to her incredibly cramped loft room, which had slanted walls on two sides because it was a room in the attic. The tiny window, which was blocked off by the big window air conditioner, rattled slightly when she banged the door shut behind her.

Several things immediately came to mind as she forked large spoonfuls of potato into her mouth. Firstly, how she could ever have managed to live with those people. Secondly, how she could possibly be their daughter. People always told her she looking nothing like her parents, and she seemed to have inherited nothing from them. Not even something as subtle as eye color.

Nevertheless, her eye color was something she was greatly proud of. She was constantly asked where she had bought such beautifully colored contacts, and when she replied they were not contacts, she would spend at least ten minutes convincing them they were real. She smiled slightly, thinking about it.

Then her thoughts were broken as, through her seemingly routine shoving of potato into her mouth she heard raised voices downstairs.

Silence groaned, dreading the inevitable intense argument that would ensue from these raised voices. She turned her TV on in order to drown them out.

Suddenly, after about five minutes of increasingly louder voices and some screams, she heard the very distinguishable sound of something like a vase or a window breaking.

Her hand flew to the remote and she shut the TV off quickly, and listened, immediately hearing a wail and the front door banging shut.

She ran over the short space to the tiny window, peeking over the overpowering air conditioner to the small sliver of window that she could still see out of, and saw exactly what she feared.

Her father was pulling out of the driveway in his red truck.

Most likely never to come back.

Later on, she found out that he died in a car crash only ten minutes afterward.

~*~

"Mom, you can't be serious," she said one day, only a month later.

"Silence, I think you could agree with me that it would be good for you to get away from all of this. Besides, it's your last year, and this school has dorms so that you can live there. There's just too much pressure and stress around here that I know it must be hard to concentrate. The school is one of the best in the country," Marnie replied.

"But my friends are here!" she complained.

"The school is only an hour away, they can visit you and you can visit them. I'm sure you'll enjoy it there, even though there are at least twice as many boys as girls. Most likely because of the incredibly talented football te-"

"MORE BOYS?!" Silence shouted, interrupting her.

"Darling it's not an all-boys school. And I know you don't really like boys that much but I'm sure you'll make friends," she watched the angry expression on her face and sighed "Silence, it's just for one school year."

She groaned, running her hand quickly through her hair and flipping it at the end in a slightly irritated way "Fine, I'll go. And I suppose it starts soon, right?"

"A week. But it's all ok, we can get everything set up by then," her mother replied.

Silence rolled her eyes, shuffling over to the phone "Then we'll go shopping for a toaster and stuff for my room. You can at least do that for sending me off to some freakin' boarding school." She picked up the phone and quickly punched in her best friend's number.

A secret meeting at the Canopy was in order.

~*~

Silence trudged through the woods separating her and her best friend's house towards a small valley in the ground about halfway through. She whacked a thorn bush away from her face as she ducked under a tree branch, and smiled as she came upon the Canopy.

It was merely somewhat of a basin-like hole with about a ten-foot radius. What made it the Canopy was the strange, tall plant that sprouted from the very center of the basin, a curiously bright green shoot that fanned out above her in huge, fat green leaves that were all bigger than umbrellas. These leaves easily protected anything and anyone beneath them from the rain at all times.

She bent down to climb down the dirt sides into the bowl and tripped right over her own feet, smashing a few twigs and landing on her back at the bottom.

"For someone whose name is 'Silence' you sure are loud," came a voice in front of her.

Silence grinned, hoisting herself up and laughing as the short redhead smiled "Hey Jen, I see you brought the gummy bears."

"How could I not? They're the very living soul of the Canopy," she replied, a dramatic tone to her voice as both burst into laughter once more.

Once their laughter had abated and both had sat down against the stalk of the plant with gummy bears in each of their hands for munching, Silence spoke "Jen, there's some crazy stupid crap going on these days."

"What's that?" she asked, popping a candy into her mouth.

She sighed a moment, swallowing the gummy bear that had been in her mouth "My mom's sending me to some prep school that's an hour away and I have to live there."

Jen spun around quickly, her face shocked "You're going where?! Oh my god Silence, tell me you're kidding!"

"I'm not, Jen. I am going to some school that has twice as many boys as girls and all they care about is football. I can just see the great times I'll have there. Firstly, I hate boys. Secondly, I hate football. This could really be a problem for me," she said slightly sarcastically.

"Hey, wait a second. Are you talking about Yunzia?" Jen asked.

"Yeah that's the place. Why do you ask?" Silence replied.

Jen grinned suddenly "Silence, that's the greatest school in the world! The teachers are all fun and hilarious and half the time they give you like a month off for Christmas! Moreover, they aren't as strict about the students having parties and there are so many cool classes there! Silence, I'm almost jealous!"

She rolled her eyes "Well I think it sucks. I have to leave all my friends and be an outcast because I'm happy where I am. I hope I have a horrible time so that my mom will bring me home."

Jen laughed at her, punching her lightly on the shoulder "Oh come on Silence, you are so much tougher than that. Just let things slide for a while. We'll all miss you here but it's only an hour. We can visit anytime we want! Lighten up a bit."

Silence sighed, pushing the last gummy bear around in her hand with her thumb as though it helped her to think, "We'll see how things go, I guess. I still think the whole thing's gonna be a big failure, though."

"That's because you haven't seen it yet. And they have a beautiful garden too, with an entire section for their roses. Silence, I know how much you love white roses," Jen said, grinning.

She grinned back "That's true. I'll check it out, maybe I'll just look at the roses then leave."

"You'll see, just wait until you get there."

"I'm sure I'll just be completely baffled," she said sarcastically.

"You might even faint from the greatness of it," Jen replied, on the edge of another laughing fit.

"I highly doubt that," Silence said with a straight face that broke as soon as Jen began laughing.

"Well good luck with finding someone up there who doesn't love football. On the other hand, you could just threaten them with gummy bears until they ban the football team! Wouldn't that be a sight."

~*~

Several days later, Silence was only excited about her time at Yunzia High School because of the decorations she had bought for her dorm. Unable to deny the cuteness of the dorm stuff at Target, her mother had finally given in to buying her almost half the products there. Everything was currently packed nicely into a large suitcase with several items in the other large suitcase, which included most of her clothes and other supplies. She sat silent on her porch, staring at the driveway at her much-loved sleek black '97 Camaro that she had spent almost two years saving up for. That was the exact spot where her father had left a month ago.

She sighed, tapping her flip-flops on the steps leading down to the walkway out of absolute boredom. To her, the entire situation now was completely pathetic. She was leaving tomorrow morning for a school that would be imprisoning her for the next year, she would hardly ever see her friends, and she had nothing to do.

Acting on a sudden impulse, she jumped up, pulled her keys out of her pocket, and strode down the walkway towards her car, admiring the way the rays of the setting sun reflected off its recently polished exterior. She climbed in and smiled slightly at the preserved smell of the leather seats that had somehow lasted so long. Then, she was off down the street.

The air was warm yet crisp as she slammed the door shut upon arriving at her destination just a few minutes later. She brushed her hair back quickly and locked the door, then turned and walked towards the building in front of her.

She was quite surprised to find the door open when she pulled the handle since it was getting late. Not really thinking about it anymore, Silence walked inside smiling; she would have the entire place to herself, since she had seen no other cars in the entire parking lot.

Casually she strolled over to her usual easel during art class, the one all the way in the back on the left. Art was very important in this school, so the department actually had its own building right beside the school itself.

Silence placed a blank canvas on the easel and smiled at it as though it had just told her she did not have to go to a new school. Painting always brought all of her worries out and calmed her quickly. She retrieved her brushes and her paints, and began to translate her thoughts to the canvas.

Because she was right in front of one of the large windows at the back of the room, the streetlight just outside illuminated everything she needed to see to paint, so she did not bother turning the overhead lights on to draw attention to herself. The entire room was dark except her small corner.

By the time she was nearly done, she suddenly realized that what she was painting was her own house. Silence shook her head as she added several strokes to distinguish the uneven shingles of the roof. Obviously, she did not want to leave home at all.

Then, being incredibly used to the quiet that had enveloped her for the last however long she'd been there, she nearly leapt out of her skin when she heard the door open at the other side of the room.

Her entire body froze when she saw a masculine form enter the room, completely in shadow.

She backed up against the wall in fear, scanning the darkness around her for any movement. "Ok Silence, they're just gonna turn you in for being in here at night. Maybe you'll only go to jail for a few months! Just stay calm."

While trying to calm herself down she caught a movement to her right and gave a short eep as the easel beside hers toppled over. She sighted a dark form fall to the floor.

As quick as lightning she grabbed a paint chisel and held it down at what appeared to be the person's face "Don't you move!"

"My god I'm so sorry about that. I didn't mean to creep up on you or anything I just saw you painting from outside and wanted to tell you that it's really nice work," the person replied.

She did not move the chisel "Get up and come into the light or this paint chisel is wedged into your ear!"

A soft chuckle answered her and the guy stood keeping a good distance from the chisel and walking completely into the light.

For a moment, she stood staring at him, still not lowering the chisel because he appeared like he could easily beat her up if he wanted. He was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, the color of which she could not distinguish even though it was slightly light. She could not make out his hair or eye color either, all seemed to appear black. His form was muscular, yet slightly tall and lanky, not bulky. All she could really make out was the silver chain around his neck.

Then he smiled, and she suddenly felt sick to her stomach "You can put that thing down now, I'm not going to murder you."

"I don't know that," she said, glaring at him.

He pulled out his pockets and raised his arms, spinning around several times "Look, I'm unarmed. Trust me, I'm just a friendly stranger that happened to pass by and see a beautiful girl painting a beautiful picture."

She could almost feel just how red her cheeks got as she lowered the chisel and placed it on a table nearby. Her distaste for boys began overpowering her quickly and she felt almost faint as she turned back to her painting to avoid anymore eye contact. "Ok, you've told me you like my painting, you can leave now."

He smiled and laughed a bit once more, making her even more nervous "Your technique is amazing, though I believe I could paint something much more beautiful than that."

Silence glared at him "What do you mean by that?"

"I say we have a challenge. You finish that, and I'll paint something and we'll see just whose is better," he said, picking the easel up beside her and placing a blank canvas on it.

"What happens if I win?" she asked, turning back to her painting and feeling very wrong about being in a dark room alone with a boy.

"Choose something you want me to do," he replied.

The answer did not take her very long "Leave me alone."

He chuckled again, something she was getting very tired of hearing "Fair enough. And if I win.I get a kiss."

Suddenly her heart stopped beating and her entire body went cold as her eyes widened to the size of tennis balls. She spun around to him "WHAT?!"

"I think it's a fair deal. So, get ready to lose and pucker up," he said, his eyes sparkling jokingly.

"Well you get ready to leave me alone!" she snapped back, turning back to her easel and concentrating incredibly hard on making this the greatest picture she had ever done in her entire life.

Several minutes later, the silence was broken as he spoke again "So, what's your name?"

Her paintbrush slid slightly from the surprise of hearing his voice again, for in the last couple of minutes she had been so consumed in her work she had forgotten he was even there. She looked up at him then and found him also staring at her, his eyes still shining. After a few seconds, she replied "Silence."

"Whoa, hey I'm sorry I just wanted to ask your name. We could be quiet again after you tell me," he said.

For a moment, she did not understand what he was talking about. Then, completely forgetting the situation, she realized what had happened and began laughing slightly, unable to keep the smile from her face "It's my name. Silence is my name."

He stared at her, then finally understood and began laughing. "That's quite a unique name. Were you a loud baby?"

"I don't think so. My parents were kind of strange." she trailed off suddenly when she realized she was having friendly conversation with a boy. Without another word, she turned and began painting once more.

"Oh. Well, I like the name. And incase you wanted to know, my name's Brian," he turned as well and continued to work.

After awhile, Silence was just adding several final additions to her house, feeling very proud of her work, when she heard yet another sharp noise disturb her entire train of thought. In that brief moment of her very sudden panic, she bumped a can of blue paint sitting on a table, causing it to become airborne and headed straight for her painting. In an attempt to catch it, she tripped over her shoelaces, batted the can with her hand in one final try, and it smashed smack in the center of her house.

She sat completely silent on the floor, covered partially in blue paint as she listened for the noise again, Brian staring at her in complete shock.

Outside the doors, she could just make out the small beam of a flashlight, and in the next second, she heard "Who's in there?"

Her insides froze. She would surely be suspended for this!

Then she remembered she did not go to that school anymore.

Not feeling anymore comforted by her last thought, she quickly slid herself up to her feet and glared quickly at Brian "Do you want to get caught here?" she hissed at him.

Silence turned when he followed her and made for the back door, wondering just why she was saving this guy at all. She quietly opened it and slipped out into the night, running a short ways down the street so that they were not on school grounds anymore.

She collapsed in the grass, completely winded and resting her elbows on her knees. For a while they did not really say anything, Silence occasionally inching just a slight bit further away from him. Then, he turned to her "I guess we'll have to finish the contest later."

Completely surprising herself, she laughed a bit at his comment, and found him smiling at her with a curious and kind expression. Suddenly her face grew solemn once more and she stood "I should probably go. It's late and your parents are probably worried about you too."

"I'm visiting from not far from here; I drove to visit a friend. So, if you have to go, will I see you again?" he asked.

Silence moved away, peeking over her shoulder at the parking lot in which her car sat, seeing the very same car in silver right next to it. She turned back to him, absently brushing some drying blue paint from her leg, "You have a Camaro too?"

Brian grinned, "I love it. I see you do too. Now, you haven't answered my question."

"No, I doubt you'll ever see me again. Look, I have to go, I can't talk anymore," she said, moving to leave.

He sighed, "I understand. Too bad we couldn't have finished that contest. I guess I don't have to leave you alone, even though if I don't see you it won't be much of a problem."

She turned her back to him now, "I bet yours was better."

Brian inwardly cursed the horrible lighting, for he could hardly make out any of her features and could not tell if she was upset or anything else. Then she turned again towards him, and he saw upon her face an expression he had not seen yet.

Silence could scarcely believe what she was actually about to do. She hated boys! They were all filthy assholes, and as far as she was concerned so was this one. Why she felt like she owed him anything was beyond her, but all she knew was that she was walking towards him, and she was acting like a flirtatious cheerleader.

She stopped in front of him, her head down "In that case you don't have to leave me alone," she said, looked up, and very softly kissed him on the lips, leaving him with a mere breath of remembrance.

Brian stared at her as she moved away, suddenly captivated by the violet color that her eyes seemed to have. She smiled slightly, turning half away from him "I have to go," she whispered quietly, "Goodnight."

With that very simple statement, Brian watched the only girl he could ever remember wanting so bad get into her Camaro, and drive off down the road.

--------- ~DoS~ (Duchess of Serendair)

Let's just say I'm into the whole strange meeting romance thing (I LOVE romance stories, hehe) and that's all well and good but.there's quite an interesting twist on this one later on. ^_^ Please R&R!!!