Author's Note:
This is all still just a rough draft version of this story, so please do not expect it to be perfect or anything at all like the last three stories I've written. Those were editted numerous times before I posted them, and this one is still in progress. Constructive criticism is appreciated. Rated for language and situations.
-RR


Summary

They were all friends. Family, practically. At least, in the 7th and 8th grade, that was what they had called their rather large group of friends. But when high school rolled around, they realized that they would no longer be together, but split up between three rival high schools. They made a pact: No matter what the cost, they would remain friends, keep in close contact, and have "family reunions" at least once a year. Now, three years later, they were incoming seniors in high school, and no longer the close knit group they once were. It was their last chance to have their annual reunion before everyone went off to college the following summer. Their last chance to reunite Jocelyn and Michael, the two that everyone knew were destined to be together. The two that hadn't spoken in nearly three years since they broke up. Could they do it? Or has three years of hate, bitterness, and not speaking to each other taken its toll?


Prologue

"How come you're not registering today, Mike?" Fourteen-year-old Jocelyn Harper asked her boyfriend, Michael Bui.

It was recess of their eighth grade year, and Jocelyn and her boyfriend were walking from the cafeteria to the playground, heading towards the handball courts they and their friends hung out at everyday.

"Because I'm not going to Robinson next year," Mike answered, avoiding his girlfriend's brown eyes.

"What?"

"At least, I don't think so," he said. "I went to the lady who woulda been my counselor, and she said she wasn't sure if I'd be going there. She said that I'd probably be sent to Pacific View High School instead because of where I live."

"What?" Jocelyn repeated, her heart sinking.

""What" what?" their tiny friend Rachel Ho asked as they approached the group of friends.

"I'm not going to Robinson next year," Mike said offhandedly.

"Neither is Nicole or Ben," Rachel's boyfriend, Felix Vo, said.

"Why not?" piped up Jessica Wong, the shortest of all of them.

"We live in different districts," Benjamin Pham said. "I live closer to Jagged Hill. Those two live closer to Pacific View."

Mike nodded as he continued to avoid his girlfriend's heartbreaking expression.

"Yeah," Nicole Tran said, looking up from her favorite manga. "It sucks."

"But…" Amber Torres said slowly, looking at all of them. Out of the whole group, she and their friend Mark Salinas were the only ones who wasn't Asian, but then again…her gaze drifted over to Jocelyn. At least they weren't the only ones who didn't look Asian. "But…that's not fair! They can't split us up!"

"I'm afraid they can," Jenna Tran said, wrapping her boyfriend's arms around herself. "They did it when we transferred from elementary to middle school, and I don't think anything will stop them from splitting us up between middle and high school." A sad expression came over her face.

"But…" Mark said, looking at the whole group, "But we're family…What's gonna happen to us if we're split up between three different high schools? It's gonna be hard enough keeping us together as it is in one high school, let alone three!"

Ben, also known as "Grampa" within the group because of his numerous white hairs, shrugged his wide shoulders. Katherine Thoi and Jennifer Chen looked at each other, as if expecting to see the answer on the other's face. Daniel Ho, also known as Danny, Rachel's cousin, hugged Jenna even tighter than before. Felix took Rachel's hand in his, but did not say anything. Nicole and Amanda Hua looked up from their mangas, but did not rise from the ground on which they sat. Karina Ma and Jess remained silent. Mark continued to look around the group, hoping for an answer. Mike finally looked over at Jocelyn, who's face reflected the worry he knew they both were feeling. Lisa Tran just began playing with her dark hair.

"This…this can't be it!" Mark exclaimed. "It just can't be! I mean…we've all been family since last year! You guys," he said, pointing at Rachel, Amber, and Jocelyn, "have been family since the fifth grade! We're only in eighth grade now! We're barely gonna start high school! This can't be the end of the family!"

The group remained silent for a moment, forgetting that the other eighth graders were also running amok on the playground, creating ruckus.

"This isn't the end of the family," Rachel said determinedly. She was always the leader of the group, therefore dubbed "Mom" by most of them. "We'll stay as close as we possibly can, and keep in touch with Grampa, Nicole, and Mike to make sure we don't lose them. We'll get together every so often, and have little reunions and stuff."

"What happens if we fall apart in high school?" Jenna asked. "I mean…think about it. It's bound to happen." She clutched Danny's arm tightly.

Jocelyn looked around. She couldn't remember the last time she went without the family. It originally started with her, Rachel, Amber, Daisy Osuna, Jean Do, and Leanne Ngyuen when they were in the fifth grade, except for Jean, who was in sixth grade. After that year, however, Jean moved on with the seventh graders and didn't see them much afterwards, Leanne drifted away from the group and to another group, and Daisy moved away. Jocelyn and Rachel constantly fought throughout the fifth and sixth grade, so that earned them the nicknames of being mother and eldest daughter, Rachel being the mother because of her decisiveness. Amber was dubbed the second oldest daughter because she, being the other remaining member, always settled things between them. When they entered seventh grade, Rachel and Jocelyn got along better, and they, along with Amber, met more friends, who later joined the family. Jen, Karina, Amanda, Lisa, and Mark became fellow siblings. Mike, Nicole, and Kat became Rachel's siblings, therefore Amber and Jocelyn's aunts and uncle. Danny remained what he was; Rachel's cousin. Jess became Jen's daughter because of their constant bickering and Jess's constant outsmarting of her. Felix, once he and Rachel became a couple, was the "father" of all the "children" except for Jocelyn and Amber, because they were Rachel's children before any of them have ever met Felix. And then, of course, Ben was the "elder" of the group because of his white hairs.

"Well…if we do…" Rachel said slowly, thinking. "We'll still at least meet once a year until senior year, just to give the family a chance to relive itself, even for a day. Even if none of us Lisa out anymore, or even if we hate each other…We'll still do it, just for the sake of the memories. After all, they are only a few miles away. Deal?"

The group remained silent. A few of them nodded.

"So…" Jocelyn said, looking at everyone, and her eyes finally resting on Mike's dark eyes. "Are we all agreed to keep up with this plan and show up to the reunions and keep the family strong? At least through high school?"

Everyone nodded. "Agreed!"