Pulling up to the house in my beat up old Chevy, I thought I was in some kind of fiction novel. The kind of story where the Plain Jane girl from a broken home gets sent down to live with one of her parents that she had never really bonded with before. Sent down to live with her mom.

Mom. I had never spoken that word. I had never met my mom and now, now I was expected to live with her as if for the past seventeen years she was there. Act as if she never missed a birthday or a report card. Yeah, this was going to be interesting.

The motor thudded to a stop as I pulled up to the curb. I turned the key and cut the engine. 'Well,' I thought as I stared across the green lawn to the pretty little white house with its pretty little windows, the house that contained my mother within it. 'All I have to do is go in. If I don't, for some reason after meeting her, think this is going to work then all I have to do is call Dad. He'll buy me a plane ticket home and pat me on the back for a good effort. Yeah.'

I pulled on the handle of the door, creaking and snapping on it's old rusty hinges until it stood wide open. I reluctantly placed one dirty, scuffed up tennis shoe on the concrete ground as the other followed slowly behind the first. I sat in the drivers seat for what seemed like hours, just staring up at the house, memorizing everything about it.

It wasn't a new house, by any means, but I wouldn't say it looked old. The house had bright blue shudders on the many windows in the front, with a matching roof and pouch railing. A swing stood quietly on the patio, gently swaying in the breeze looking out at the beautiful flowers that sat in the flower bed just below it. Lovely little family house. So why was there no family?

'She wants to meet you Belly! She wants to see her only daughter. She's finally settled into a home that can deal with having a child-yes, I know you're not a child anymore-live in. Don't you think she deserves some kind of chance? Maybe this is all my fault, for sheltering you from her for so long,' Dad's voice reverberated in my ear, bouncing off the insides of my brain like a ping-pong ball. He always blamed himself for the fact that my mother wasn't ready to deal with me. And every time i heard him say it, millions of little daggers pricked at my heart.

I stood up, reaching back to push in the lock on the door and then letting it slam behind me. The crash of the door settling into the frame of the car made me jump a hundred feet out of my skin. I let out a long, slow sigh, closing my eyes and envisioning my mother.

I had only ever seen one picture of my mom. My dad had given it to me when I was, oh, five I suppose. I had kept it with me all these years, all twelve years. It rested quietly in my wallet, creases deeply indented from the many years of opening and closing it again and again.

I sluggishly pulled out my wallet and opened the zipper. There, like it always has been and probably always will be, settled into the little crack of the pocket, lay my mother's picture. I took it out and held it in my hands, slowly opening it to reveal her face.

She had long, wavy crimson hair-the same exact hair that I had resting upon my head in a blue and white baseball cap. Her neck was lengthy and slender, the neck of a model. My dad always told me that she never let anything cover that beautiful, long neck of hers, other then some simple pearls or diamonds, and I could see why. My mother was gorgeous and glorious, the kind of girl that could make any man's heart melt. Especially those eyes, the same eyes that I had, though I never used them for the same reasons. They were bright green, the kind of green that screamed envy. She loved to smile, I learned that from Daddy. He always spoke of her smile as the Gate Ways to Heaven. No matter how mad he was at her, she could just smile one of her pretty little smiles and he'd melt right back into her arms like butter.

I heard a door open, slightly squeaking against the frame. My eyes jumped up to the house standing in front of me, the house that stood there calling my name. My mouth fell open as I saw what had to be the most stunning red head now leaning against the frame of the house.

I was frozen, and I'm sure my face had that stupid, 'oh my, I'm just going to stand here and look like a doofus in front of my mother which I have yet to see till now and I'm utterly positive this is the worst possible first impression ever,' expression, that basically says 'I'm an idiot, nice to meet you.'

She straighted up, stiff as a board in fact, probably realizing who I was, finally. She took a few steps forward and held onto the lovely blue railing as she walked-more like floated-down the three simple steps. Her pink little high-heeled encased feet came down the cobblestone pathway. She was almost standing right in front of me, why was I standing there still like I had just seen a ghost?

"Belly," The word floated around my ears like the kiss of an angel. Her voice was so pure, so sweet, "Tallulah Bell! Oh my Tallulah!"

She reached her thin arms around my shoulders and pressed me to her. Her hair flowed over the pony tail and around my face. The scent of her was intoxicating, it almost made me forget that she had never been there for me, in fact, it made me feel as though she had always known me. The hug was warm, comforting, the hug of a mother to her child.

I didn't hug back, I couldn't bring myself to fully forget, or forgive, that she abandoned my father and I, but it was ok for a second to love her. She pulled away, looking at me with her big puppy dog eyes. She slowly took off my sunglasses and looked into my eyes.

"You do have my eyes," she said in awe.

"I am your daughter of course," it came out a bit more sarcastic then I intended it to, it was coated with the bitterness of abandonment that had been with me for more years then she could have imagined.

She didn't hear the venom in my voice or see it in my eyes, she was too amazed to care I supposed, to busy staring at me.

My gaze started to wander, I couldn't stand the feeling of her staring at me in that kind of wonderment. She acted as if she hadn't believed for seventeen years that she really gave birth to a little girl, as if I was just some little cruel joke everyone decided to play on her. I let my eyes stay away, over the neighbors houses, of their pretty little lives. A husband standing by his car, his wife kissing him goodbye; A beautiful women watering pink and purple tulips, gently moving stray curls from her face.

It's then that I saw him. In broad daylight, clearest sky in months, I saw him, standing there in the middle of a bright green garden with flowers all around him of all the colors I could possibly think existed. His torn, grass stained jeans snuggly hugged his hips as the sun reflected off the ivory of his naked chest.

The bright sun seemed to be attracted to only him, it only saw him, only graced him with its bright rays of warmth while the rest of us were stuck here in the cold and dreary darkness.

"Tallulah," my attention was rudely taken off of him to look at my mother. Had she been speaking this whole time? "Should I call you Tallulah Bell"

"Belly-Belly's fine." I said in a coarse voice as I stared down at the concrete.

"Well, then, Belly, won't you come in? I have some tea set up in the sitting room, we have so very much to catch up on"

She placed her newly manicured hand with red finger tips lightly on my back, it felt as if only a flea rested there, not a humans touch. Gently, she lead me up the cobblestones, up the steps of the porch-one, two, three-past the swaying, happy little swing sitting joyously on the patio, and through a door frame. It was all somewhat of a blur, the walk through the long hallways of whites and deep reds, the spacious kitchen which seemed so much bigger than it probably was, it felt as if it would eat me alive with one great big gulp. I was terrified to be here, in these friendly, lighthearted rooms with bright, welcoming colors. It was frightening to be here with her, it was frightening to be here with my mother.

My mother.

"Belly," her voice still amazed me everytime she spoke, it was like liquid gold smothered in priceless jewels. "You can sit here if you'd like." She pointed one of those red nails toward a green and pink patterned chair as she sat across from me on a matching love seat. A china set was laid out in front of us on the coffee table. Was I somehow sucked into an old 40's movie or something?

"Thanks," I murmured out.

My mind was swimming with so many different thoughts it felt as if my head might just roll off of my shoulders and splat onto the wood floor. Her face would flash in front of me, as she was today, a bit older than I thought but still lovely; then a flash of her face from when I was little, looking at the pathetic crumpled picture would zoom in and wipe away any trace of her being real. And as all these confusing images sped by, I saw him again.

I wanted to go back to that moment and stop time, memorize everything about his face. I didn't even know him, why did I care? I wasn't really sure, I couldn't be sure why I cared, all I knew was that I had to see him again. I had to see him again-

"Wow, I still can't believe you're here," her voice reverberated off my ear drums. "Tell me all about your life."

Her face was calm but in her eyes you could see the eagerness, the excitement. How did she expect me to explain seventeen years of a life over tea? I sighed, letting my brain slow so I could speak, so I could think:

"Well, it depends on what you want to know," her face went somewhat blank, confused, so I just decided to keep talking until I couldn't talk anymore, "I'm not quite sure where to begin. Perhaps I could just start from the beginning and go from there." I looked up at her, she just stared back at me with those great big, empty eyes so I decided to take that as a yes.

"The first memory I have is when I was, oh, four I'd say. It was right after Daddy and I watched a scary movie, one he told me would frighten me but I wanted to be just like him. Oh, don't look so distressed, it was my fault. Better to learn sooner than later.

"The movie was called-oh what was it called, ah, yes-Zombies Revenge. Quite gory in every sense of the word actually: blood, guts, brains, the whole bit. Well, after the movie was over, of course I was shaking all over as you can easily assume that I was, I went off to bed. I had never really been afraid of the dark, but that night, I was terrified. I saw zombies as coat racks, bed posts, vanity mirrors. It was horrific.

"Well, to make a long story short, I just started screaming at about three in the morning for Dad. He came running in, pajamas twisted, one pant leg over his knee, his hair was in a hopeless tangle. 'What, what's wrong,' he had asked as he stormed in the room holding a baseball bat, panting as if he'd never catch his breath again.

"After that, for about six months, I couldn't sleep in the dark and-" somewhere in a different room, a phone began to ring. My mothers face fell, to a hopeless sadness, it almost made me feel some kind of love for her, or perhaps it was pity.

"It's ok," I mumbled as I picked up a cup of tea, "go take the call, I'm sure it's important"

She panicked for a second, as if I was drilling her on some life changing motherly test. Reluctantly, she got up, smoothing the wrinkles that had creased into her pink and yellow spring dress, and walked out of the room. A grandfather clock chimed somewhere in the background. My eyes ran over the rings in the old wood of the coffee table, sliding past all the curves and turns like a mouse running threw a maze.

"Belly," I jumped, my heart beating out of my chest. That's what I get for getting too distracted by the things that don't matter. "I have to take this call, it will be a while, I'm so very sorry. Please, feel free to roam around the neighborhood for a while. Just leave your cell phone number on the coffee table. I'm so sorry again really, I just have--"

I raised a hand to silence her, my heart still beating a hundred beats per second. I simply reached for the pad of paper and began writing: 526-857-5542. I heard her slip out of the room as I tore the piece of paper off the note pad and laid it quietly on the table. I sat back in the chair for a second, glancing down at my watch. Had it really been almost a half hour sense I arrived?

I pushed up from the chair and stood, walking calmly and as soundlessly as possible out of the room. I walked through the blur of reds and whites and greens and golds; reaching for the silver door handle.

The door shrieked on the hinges as I opened and closed it quickly. The house was left so tranquil, like nothing could really touch it.

All I knew as I left that little peaceful house and its little peaceful swing that swayed in the wind, watching the little flowers grow and sprout beneath it, was that nothing was ever going to be the same. My pathetic insignificant life would soon become important, so important it'd be impossible to comprehend-I was sure of it.