Hello all! This is my first attempt at book writing, on this site at least, so please R&R, constructive yet kind. just wanting to let everyone kno that altho I do use one of my many nicknames in this story, it is complete figment of my creepy and overactive imagination. enjoy!

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Chapter One

~Sof~

Sof was walking down the familiar street toward her home, as she always did after school. But today, it was different. The road was torn up from construction; trash and homeless people lay everywhere. Sof didn't remember those things when she came home yesterday.

She turned the corner to her own street, walking a bit faster as she neared her home. The number of homeless people was increasing, and it began to make her uneasy. {What are all these people doing here?} She thought. {Can't the just go back to.} she was caught off her guard when a gruff looking man reached out and grabbed her leg. Sof let out a cry and jerked away from him and the others, backing into the street as fast as she could. She didn't notice the sound of a backing-up construction vehicle until it was right in front of her.

BEEP BEEP BEEP. God, how Sof hated that noise. {How long has my alarm been going off, anyways?} She thought, reaching out her hand to press the snooze button. Groaning, she hauled herself out of her unkempt bed and walked to the bathroom.

Sof took a long, hot shower to shake off the feeling her dream had given her. She got a towel and dried herself off, then wrapped it around her. She walked to the sink, turned on the taps and looked up at her reflection. She was a bit short for her 17 years at 5 foot 3, but she never let that get in the way of her attitude or style. She ran her fingers through a short, platinum hairdo. She opened a drawer, pulled out her gel, and began spiking it. {I don't look that bad, now do I?} Sof smirked. The rest of the people in her community, including her family, frowned on her eyebrow, lip, and multiple ear piercings, along with her badass taste in clothes. Everyone except for her best friend Rae.

When Sof was finished spiking, she slipped out of the bathroom and into the one place she felt at home in her house- her room. She turned on the radio to find one of her favorite songs playing- Vindicated by Dashboard Confessional. She walked to her closet and pulled out torn black jeans and a black tee sporting the words "Do I Offend You?" in white. She was just pulling together her school gear when she heard an all-too familiar voice scream at her.

"Sophia Opal Faber! Get your ass down here! You're already 5 minutes late!" Sof grimaced. Her mother was not a morning person, and hated the thought of being late. She had no idea that her daughter had set the kitchen clock 7 minutes fast for this very reason.

"God, Mom! I'm coming! Can't I pack up my stuff without you freaking out on me?!" Sof exclaimed. {What I wouldn't give for a coffee right now.} Sof had begun drinking coffee at the age of eleven, and now could barely get through one day without her caffeine, and definitely not a stressful morning like this.

{Right. Got my notebooks. Chem lab. trig work. government book. agenda. think I'm ready.} Sof turned to her beloved guitar and drum set, gifts from a now dead uncle she had never known, and brushed her hand over them. {Where would I be without my music?} she thought. Sof shrugged and plodded down the stairs, grabbing half a bagel.

"Sophia, you know that I've got a meeting a little bit later today, and that I won't be able to pick you up from school. I'm so sorry about that. Could you see if Aine's mother would be able to? Thanks, you're a sweetie," Sof's mom spat without waiting for a reply. She ran out the door, blowing a kiss in Sof's direction.

Sof sighed. {Fine then. what did I expect from her, anyway?} Sof scarfed down the bagel half and charged out the door on her usual route to school.

She met up with Rae about a minute later. They had walked to school together since they met in fifth grade. They always had something to talk about on their morning walks, no matter how early it was or how tired they were. That's just they way it was with these friends. They could talk about boys (how stupid they were), music (how essential it is to life), school (which teachers were pissing them off in particular), or just what they would be doing that day. But that morning was different. The two walked in silence.

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~Rae~

Rae fell in step with her best friend Sof, not really able to say what was on her mind. Her thoughts kept wandering back to that morning.

Rae was woken up by the sound of breaking glass and a smell she knew all too well- beer. She then heard angry, drunken shouts from a man downstairs. {It's 5:30 in the morning and the bastard's already boozed up?} Rae thought. {Great. Just great.}

She hauled herself out of bed and took a quick, cold shower to wake herself up. She went back into her room and grabbed the first outfit she saw on the floor- a black Slipknot tee shirt and camouflage pants. Rae started brushing her long, black hair that had white tips when she caught the reflection in her mirror. Someone was standing right behind her.

In his dirty, old, musty gray sweatpants and shirt stood Rae's father- the man she hated and feared the most. He could barely see straight, she could tell, from having so much beer. {Why does he do this to himself? It's disgusting. Can't he see that it's killing our family?}

"Daddy." Rae started.

"Shut up!" came his drunken reply. "Why the hell aren't you in school yet? Have you finally found yourself too GOOD for school, you little freak?"

Rae started to shove her way around him. The last thing she wanted to happen was to be caught in a room with her father when he was in a drunken rage.

"Where do you think you're going?" he called.

"I'm going to school, just like you told me to," Rae shot back.

"No way. You were supposed to be gone already. I can't just let you leave like this." Rae's father raised a hand and slapped her on the base of her neck.

Rae couldn't see straight. The pain from the blow was immense; her head wanted to explode. She grabbed her bag and tried to run from him, but he tugged her arm to stop her.

"You little bitch! Trying to run away from me! You can't run away from me! I'll kill you first!" He began to punch Rae all over her body, holding her steady. Rae didn't know how, but she slipped past him when he became dizzy. She charged out the door to her room, slipped on her shoes and ran onto the sidewalk to start her walk to school.

Rae snapped back to the present when she realized her best friend had her arm wrapped around her neck. She felt that her cheeks were damp and realized she had been crying.

"Rae." Sof began.

"Do you even need me to tell you?" Rae choked. "It was him. God, that bastard was drunk again, worse than before." her voice diminished into sobbing, and Sof hugged her tighter.

"Your dad is evil when he's drunk. you don't deserve this, okay? Just remember, I'm always going to be here for you, through all of the shit your family deals to you."

"Thanks," Rae whispered, meaning it more than her friend could ever know.

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The bell for lunch finally rang. Rae could barely wait to get out of chemistry. It was one of her best subjects, but her teacher was the worst of all her classes. Mrs. Shampa just couldn't appreciate a kid who didn't listen to mainstream music and laugh at her "jokes." Rae wondered how she had gotten straight A's in that class with her teaching.

Rae ran to her usual spot under the huge western white pine in the schoolyard, sitting down munching on an apple and waiting for Sof. She knew she would be a while, so she let her mind wander.

Maybe this time he won't come home, maybe he'll just walk away. What if he ends up killing me or mom? I can't stand him. we are better off without that bastard using up all our money on beer, wrecking the house in his rages, hurting me and mom all the time and never caring. I hate him.

Sof plopped down beside Rae and tapped her shoulder.

"Dude. you are spacing out on me! You. can't. do this." she faked a heart attack, and Rae laughed. {I guess things are back to normal- I've gotta just forget this morning, it was nothing major, really.} The girls finished up their lunches and went back to class, waiting for the end of the day when they could hang out.

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When the bell for the end of the day rang, Rae was just glad to get out of the school. It was a beautiful day out, and she and Sof were going to go to the field to hang out, meditate, and write or paint. She gathered up her books and headed to the school entrance where she met Sof. The two walked home together, grateful that the awkward silence of that morning was no longer present.

Sof turned off on to her street, waving back at Rae.

"See you in a few- meet at the pond, ok?" Sof called.

"Yeah, see ya there," Rae said.

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As Rae turned the doorknob to her house, she felt a sudden uneasiness. She didn't know what had happened to her father since she left for school that morning. He definitely was in no shape to go to work, so she suspected he had gone off hunting, like he usually did when he needed to work off his booze.

Rae walked into her house. She saw no sign of her dad. {So far, so good. I just hope he'll be sober by the time he comes home} she thought. Rae stormed up to her room to put her bookbag down and grab her poetry book. She decided to grab a bag of salt & vinegar chips, which were by far her favorite, and walked into the kitchen to find them.

Rae screamed. She dropped her poetry book, and then threw up on the floor. She was not prepared for what she saw.

Rae's father was dead on her kitchen floor.

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wow! That was exhausting. I will try to get more up soon, but it's a work in progress, the first chap of wat may become a very long story. haha. me out

love Chris