This story is dedicated to any teenage senior who has been forced to move and didn=t want to.

Central Living

Chapter 1: Not My House

"Home sweet home," my father said as we--my father, mother, brother, and I --stepped through the doorway.

"Well, what do you think?" my mom asked my brother and I.

"I like it," answered my brother, gazing around the house in wonder.

I didn't respond. I just dropped my things on the floor and walked down the hallway.

I had been to this house only once before when my parents had dragged my brother and I down for a weekend to show us the place. I walked into the room that I had been told was to be mine and sat on the floor by the wall. It was a nice room. It was bigger than my old one and had a window seat that I knew would end up being a safe haven for me in the future. It had hardwood floors and a walk in closet, but it still felt as though it were missing something. I knew automatically what it was. It wasn't my room. My room was small, with a walk-in closet and carpet. My door had a mirror on it that I used to look into when I cried as a child. My room had crayon markings on it that I had done as a child and had never been washed off or painted over. My room had posters all over the wall that represented the different obsessions I had over the years--Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Alias, my favorite bands, Harry Potter, and Scooby Doo. These walls were bare and empty.

I felt uncomfortable in this room. I figure it probably had to do with the size of it. I never have liked open spaces. They leave me feeling vulnerable and easy to attack. My room had been small, which was perfect for me. No one could sneak up on me in there.

How long I sat in that corner, I could never tell you. All I know, is that in next to no time, Daddy was calling me.

"Are you hungry? We're going to dinner," he said, hanging in the doorway.

I didn't answer him. I just shook my head. I wasn't hungry and I *really* didn't feel like eating with the people who had drug me from the only home I=d ever known.

"Okay, we'll be back in a while."

I listened quietly, waiting for the sound of the front door closing. When I heard it click, I laid my head upon the cold floor. I allowed the tears and memories to flow through me. I cried loudly and bitterly, the cold tears cooling my hot cheeks.

This is what hurt the most. The memories. That lingering hole inside that won=t go away. And since I had lived in that one place for as long as I could remember, (we had moved there when I was two), there were a lot of memories to haunt me.

Some were of church, and of my old house, and my neighbors. But a majority were memories of what I had come to call "Central Living." These memories were the ones that I held most dear to me. Memories of pranks played on my friends (and some on me); memories of jokes and laughter; memories of classes that were boring, and others that were so interesting that I dreaded the summer and the ending of said classes; memories of my friends.

As much as it hurt to remember them, I found myself slowly playing through each one as they came, letting them run through and then leaving them to think of others. I remembered fights, embarrassing moments, and fun trips we had taken. I remembered what made home *home*.

I fell asleep with the memories rolling through my mind, giving me beautiful dreams of home. Yet they filled me with the uncomfortable emptiness of knowing that the house I was living in would never truly be home. The memories just served as a constant reminder that this house was not my house.

A/N: well, there's the first chapter! Please let me know what you think, and let me know if I should continue.

Lots of Love,

jandl