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December 20th, her plane landed. She had taken an earlier flight than her friends since they all still had business to attend. Her father wasn't there to pick her up. It didn't surprise her. She hadn't expected him to.

She took a cab and watched the rain fall through the window. She wore loose jeans, a long sleeved t- shirt, and blue sneakers. She had no make up on. Her curly hair was pulled into a tall tail at the back of her head and just her eye brow piercing was left. Even her ears were devoid of earrings that day.

She stepped out of the taxi opening a black umbrella she had brought with her. An umbrella, what happened to enjoying the drops of rain falling against her skin?

She didn't see him, too lost in her own thoughts to look up. She felt him. Her body recognized his heat, but her mind refused to accept it and so she walked on by.

He still remembered her as seventeen. He still saw her with long straight black hair, heavy dark make up, bondage pants, and short, tight ripped t-shirts.

He saw her. He did a double take, but he no longer knew her. She walked on by, and though a part of him told him he should follow her, he didn't.

Jessica and Adam walk right by each other, like strangers.

They might as well be strangers. As strangers perhaps they'd have a chance to finally forgive and forget.

Jessica wasn't surprised to find fresh flowers on Jacob's grave. She didn't bring any with her, but she knew Adam's mom would come by.

When her mom had passed away, she had said "Don't take flowers to my grave. I won't be there."

Jessica agreed with her; they weren't there. Jessica still wasn't too sure of where she stood in the whole heaven and religion thing, so she couldn't say they were in heaven, but they were with her, in the memories and in the love she still felt for them. She still liked to stop by whenever she was in town; it gave her the feeling that they were real, not just something her mind had made up.

Going home wasn't an overly happy event for her. She didn't even call it home anymore. Her father had closed himself off completely after her mother's death. He was nearing his fifties and looked as though he was at least two decades older.

She unlocked the front door and walked into the house. It looked abandoned; dust was covering the pictures that hung on the wall, and really anything that her father did touch. She turned and closed the door, hearing her father call from his studio.

"It's me," she said, making her way up the steps till she could see into the study. He turned around in his seat.

"Good flight?" before she even answered, he turned back to his work.

"Yes, dad."


"You guys actually look at these magazines together?" There was amusement in Adams voice. After the cemetery, he had lunch with his mother and then had stopped by Jake's to help him move some things in his room.

Jake had bought a new bed, and he forgot to hide Drew's magazine collection before moving the bed with Adam's help. He was mortified that his friend had found them. At least his pictures were locked up.

The magazine Adam held in his hands thankfully wasn't too hardcore, but still Jake would have preferred that none of his magazines had fallen into his hands, well at least these magazines.

"Oh come on, dude, you look like you're giving birth. Chill it isn't the first time we looked at porn together." Adam was quiet for a moment.

"Never gay porn," Jake said, pulling the magazine out of his hands.

Adam cleared his throat, thankful no one else had been there to hear what he had said and taken it the wrong way. "We did look at our first nude mag, together." Adam and Jake smiled at the memory.

"Yes, it was also the first time we shoplifted." Soon they were both down memory lane and laughing.


Amanda stayed behind to finish up her comic that was due. She spent all day in front of her drawing table, the shading always took the longest, and she really hated doing it.

Around ten, she decided she had done enough, if she worked all day tomorrow she would finish it with a day to spare. She changed out of her pajamas; she always worked better in comfy cloths, and put on her pleaded mini skirt and fishnet stockings on. She would never change the way she dressed. She understood Jessica's need to change, though she completely disagreed with dressing in a more 'mature' way. If you want change, fine go for it, but don't do it to conform.

She left the house with the idea of heading to Ralf's bar for some drinks, but instead went to a new club downtown. The base player had mentioned his band would be playing there that night. It really wouldn't hurt to go watch them, would it?

She wasn't going to see the kid; she was going to listen to the band, a very good band. She would stay in the back and leave right after their set.

Things didn't work out exactly how Amanda had planned. She fought her way through the crowd till she was in the front row. She loved the pit, she loved the pushing, the jumping the sweating, the music, the heat.

Derk the base player spotted her in the crowd and smiled wide.

He knew she was much older than him, but she was… she was wild, beautiful, unreachable, and freaking Amanda, she was a legend. Once the set was over, he jumped off the stage, not even thinking about staying behind to help his band mates clear their equipment. He took her hand and guided her through the crowd to the bar. The music and the crowd were too loud for words, so Amanda didn't complain.


"Wow, you seem to know every band I like! How do you get to meet them?"

She should have answered immediately. She shouldn't have given it more than a second thought, but she did. She stopped to think of her answer. "Because of my boyfriend" didn't seem to her the right answer and so she smiled shrugged and changed the subject.

"So Derk isn't your real name?" The boy shook his head, taking the glass away from his lips to answer.

"It's Dirk."

Amanda laughed, feeling the beer starting to get to her. "I don't know which is worst."

Derk mocked hurt. "I like Derk, sort of sounds like dirt."

"Yes and everyone would kill to be called dirt." Derk, placed his hand over hers that was resting on the bar. She left her hand under his for a moment feeling the warmth, but then she came back to reality. Reality was Patrick who she loved. She slipped her hand out of his. "They both sound like Dork."


Trick was tired and sweaty. All he wanted was to sleep. He didn't even change his clothes; he just dropped onto his motel bed and passed out. Unfortunately, it only lasted two minutes. His cell phone started ringing.

"Cal, just… finished show. Want sleep," he mumbled into his cell phone, "Better be important."

"He did the photo shoot and now he has the interview," Cal said, sounding frantic. Trick in his state didn't notice it. He didn't hear the words, blood, hospital, Amanda or Jessica in the sentence and so he simply dismissed it.

"Congrats and good night." He hung up.

Cal stared at the phone, knowing he shouldn't have called him. He had a red eye flight, and when tired there were few things that would get Trick's attention. This left Cal to pace and wonder what to do. He tried calling Amanda, but she didn't answer. Where the hell was she so late at night? And Jess? Dealing with the stress of being back there with out them, she didn't need him adding to it.

"Whatever," he finally said out loud, falling into a seat. "I can't do anything. The pictures are taken and the interview will be done with or without me. The mag will print and by new years everyone will see my boyfriend in nothing but a thong, might as well have everyone know he is mine."


Amanda curled up into Trick. His skin was nice and warm, and she really loved how it felt when they were both naked in bed hugging. Skin on skin contact was her favorite; she thought it had to be everyone's favorite. He put his arms around her and pulled her near him.

"Mm, morning," she whispered pushing her nose against his neck.

"Morning," he said.

Amanda froze. Trick was not home. Trick was somewhere on tour. That was not Trick's voice. "Shit," she said pulling away from the body.

"I have a boyfriend," she blurted out while leaving the bed and quickly pulling whatever she found on the floor over her naked body.

"Shit, shit, shit, shit," she kept chanting while she paced back and forward in front of the bed.

Derk just sat there, his back against the headboard, Trick's pillow behind his back.

"Chill," he said. Amanda stopped and turned towards him. She grabbed the covers that in her haste to get out of bed had fallen onto the floor and tossed them over his naked body.

"Cover up."

He gave a smirk and pulled the blanket up to his waist. "Shit, are you not upset I didn't tell you I had a boyfriend?"

He shook his head. "I knew."

As cute as the boy had seem the last few nights, he was getting on her nerves now. Why hadn't she kicked him out yet?

"I don't mind. Look I like you a lot, and your boyfriend didn't seem to be a problem last night."

Yeah, definitely not liking the kid that much anymore. "How old are you?" she asked, scolding herself for not asking before.


"You need to leave. I need to think." She needed to think. What the hell had she been thinking? This was so wrong, so wrong.

He stood up, pulling his boxers on. Amanda kept remembering the night before and feeling guiltier by the minute. She wasn't even that intoxicated, so that excuse was out the door.

The kid stood up and moved towards her. "I need my t-shirt back." Amanda looked down at her self to discover she was in fact wearing his shirt.

She pulled it off and handed it to him. He kissed her on the cheek and asked her to call him.

Amanda heard her front door close and fell onto her bed. What had she done and why was she actually thinking about calling him?


Everything seemed to be a trip down memory lane for her lately. Her room looked the same, her bed was the same. Every year everything was the same.

There was a knock on her door, and she looked up to see her father standing at the door way. He gave her a sad smile.

"Can you imagine living here?" he asked moving to sit beside her. "Everything holds a memory; everything reminds me of what I've lost, of how lonely I am."

"Dad," she said holding onto his hand, "I told you I'm willing to move back."

"No, no, no," he said inverting their hands so that hers was in his. "I would never ask you for that. It was your dream to get out of this town; it's bad enough I drag you back every winter."

"You know that if I didn't want to come I wouldn't."

"I know." He lifted her hand and gave a kiss to the knuckles "I know. I really don't know how I got such a great daughter; I know I'm not a great father."

"Don't-" he cut her off.

"I'm going to sell the house." He dropped her hand, and Jessica didn't know how to react. Sell the house, this house that held all her happy memories. Yes, this house held her child hood, her laughter, her tears, her mother.

"How can you?" She managed to choke out.

"Please understand what it is to live surrounded by all these ghosts." She understood. She knew very well, wasn't that the reason the box had gone back to the back of her closet? She nodded. Her dad asked her to pack her room up and take what she liked with her.

It was too much for her. She couldn't sit there. The house would be sold, her house would be sold? Why did it hurt so much when all she had ever wanted was to be out of here?

Her room would never again look the same way. Amanda's mural would be covered up; her posters would be peeled off.

She went downstairs and took the car keys without asking. She needed to get out; she needed to be away from the house. She drove without direction, looking out the windows, noting for the first time all the changes the town had gone through. The ice cream shop was now a McDonald's. New house developments were popping everywhere as well as small shopping plazas, the "you pick" fields were now a pretty good size mall.

She wandered into a development, noting how every house looked the same and how the space between them was almost inexistent. She drove up and down streets, coming to a group of town homes, with a small man made lake in the middle.

"Come on," Jake said holding onto the large mattress as Adam figured out how to hold on to it. "Fuck you, man. I'll just take it myself." With that and deep breath Jake lifted the mattress over his head and walked across the street to Drew's truck. They had switched cars today, since Drew was taking the baby to visit some old aunt of his, who didn't know Jake was the baby's other daddy.

Jessica was distracted looking out at the lake. She didn't see the blond cross the street without looking in his haste to catch up to Jake who had already deposited the old mattress into the bed of the truck.

"Watch out," yelled Jake when he noticed the black car wasn't slowing down. Jessica heard him and immediately pushed her foot against the break. She stopped less than two feet away from Adam.

Her first impulse was to get out of the car and apologize but when her eyes settled on the blond man in front of her, her eyes widened and her brain yelled run! So she did as she put the car in reverse and sped away.

"Fucking hell," Adam said making his way across the street.

"Who the fuck was that?"

"Some idiot for sure," Adam said getting into the truck and ready to take the mattress to the dump.