Chapter 1

Christmas in Minnesota, the snow had begun to fall just slightly after midnight and now covered the ground with at least three inches of depth. Julie stood watching out the window watching the children play; nieces and nephews throwing snowballs at each other, another making a snow angel off in the distance. How she wished she could join them, maybe it would make her feel human again, instead of feeling like an alien trapped in a family of humans. Her child like spirit could not keep her from envying the children with such freedom and care free ways of life. The noise of the family behind her wasn't a distraction as it usually would be, this time she kept her focus on the children; each one unique and special. With a sigh Julie turned towards her family and let the children play without being watched.

"So when are you getting married," Julie's Aunt Helen said walking up to her flashing a big crooked teeth smile. Her lipstick was painted on heavily, her eyebrows drawn way to high and she smelled of mint, Julie cringed inside.

"Oh," Julie said smiling. "Mark and I haven't decided yet, sometime probably during the summer."

"A summer wedding," Helen said nodding her head. "I like summer weddings, but you know spring weddings are better."

"Yes," Julie said with another fake smile. "I appreciate the comment, but Mark and I just can't make up our minds yet. You understand how it is, right?"

Helen frowned and looked at the floor and then back up at Julie. "Well Frank and I got married in a courthouse with only one witness. It was amazing how we stayed together all those years until the tragic passing last year." At this moment, Helen broke into sobs and walked away quickly. Several other family members saw her discomfort and tried to help as they sat her on the couch.

"A spring wedding would be nice," Mark said walking up beside her; he took a sip from his wine glass and smiled. It was a smile not of caring or love, but that of which Julie couldn't quiet put her finger on, something was underlining his reasoning for wanting to marry her so quickly.

Rolling her eyes Julie sat her glass down on the coffee table and frowned. "I don't want to discuss this, please. Let's just enjoy the day and not fight." She started to walk forward, but his body kept her against the window, the only way to get around him would be to make a scene.

"Who said anything about fighting," Mark added shrugging his shoulders slightly. "I just said that…"

"I know what you said," Julie interjected. "I just think we have a lot of time and we shouldn't rush things. If you truly loved me then this wouldn't be such a big deal."

"Julie I was just trying…"

"What you are trying to do is to get me to change my mind," she interjected. "You just can't seem to grasp the concept that I might not want to marry you at all and that bugs the crap out you, doesn't it?" Her voice was slightly higher now and her family was beginning to stare. "See what you did," she whispered. "I told you I didn't want to argue about this."

"You started this," he interjected throwing his hands into the air. With that, he had turned and was leaving the room.

Julie turned back to the window and stared at the snow and children once more. 'Life is so simple for children,' she thought to herself, smiling brightly.

'I want kids,' she told herself. 'Someday,' she added. She could just imagine it now, with little ones running around playing, maybe a little boy with dark black hair, and a girl with long brown curls.

There was a tap on her should shaking her out of her dreamland and back into reality. "Yeah," she said quickly turning around to face her mother.

"I was just wondering is there something wrong? You seem a little upset." Her mother's warm smile melted Julie's heart for a brief moment in time. She would never even consider ruining her mother's favorite holiday, especially over fighting with a dumb ass stubborn idiot she called her fiancée.

"I am fine," she muttered with a weak smile.

"Are you sure," Paula added touching her should softly.

"Yeah," Julie said with another fake smile.

"Well," Paula added as she scurried off. "If you need anything just let me know. It's really nice to have you home for Christmas."