Author's Note: I don't have a lot to say yet.  The first chapter is just a lot of setup for the plot.  I have about ten more chapters already written, but I have to work out some plot holes and such before posting.  Sorry that it's so short, but there isn't much more that needs to be said and it would make the chapter awkward to combine it with the next.  So anyway, review if you like it... or if you hate it, or, you know, if you've had a particularly good/bad day and you need to tell me. :) 

Disclaimer: I own it all!  (What a change when all you've been writing is fanfiction?)

Chapter One: Damn That Murphy

Damn Murphy, and damn Murphy's Law: Whatever can go wrong will go wrong.  Everything was going wrong for Annie.  The whole day made her want to just crawl back in bed and sleep life away.  Even though she had completed her last final exam, she was still a ball of anxiety about it.  She missed the bus home and that morning her mother said they "needed to talk", which was roughly translated to 'brace-yourself-I-have-some-bad-news'.  And to top it all off Anne was sure there was something she was supposed to do if she could only remember what it was.  She normally would be worried about it, but just then she had more important things on her mind.


She unlocked the door to her mother's apartment and walked inside.  Throwing her jacket, scarf, and bag on a hook, she heard her mother call out her name. 

"Honey," She said, "Would you come in here?" Annie knew something was up right when the term of endearment left her mother's lips.  She thought it was bad, but didn't think it was this bad.  Her mother came home early to talk to her.  He mother left work to come home to talk to her.  Annie took a slow walk – turtle speed to be exact – towards the kitchen and, when arriving, sat down.  Her mother, Helen, placed a cup of tea in front of her.  She stared at it, just what was she getting at?  She was being nice, extra nice because she had something extra bad to tell her daughter.

"Annie," Helen started, trying to inject as much saccharine sweetness she could into her voice. "How was your d-…"

"Mom," Anne yelled, cutting off the ending to her beating­-around-the-bush question, "Just cut the crap, what do you have to tell me?"

"I've been offered a job," Helen said frankly and Annie breathed a sigh of relief… "…Out of state." …That obviously had come too soon. 

"So what does that mean… exactly?" Annie swallowed hard.

"That you're going to go and live with your aunt… for the time being." Annie's heart sunk. "I've already called her." Annie stared at the still untouched tea. 

"Oh," Annie replied quietly and blankly as Helen got up, squeezed one of her shoulders, and left the room. "Oh." She repeated.  Anne abruptly got up not caring that she had bumped the chair out of place and started out the door. She took a brisk walk, heading for the park: her usual thinking spot. 

It would be good for her mother to finally get a better job, a job she liked. But should she go along with what her mother had planned?  Should she go and live with her Aunt?  Maybe it all wouldn't be so bad.  She could get to know her family.  Then again, everything could be awful.  She could have a horrible time.  She would be isolated.  Things would change and she didn't want them to.

But she had no choice.