A/N: okay this is just a story that i have had the idea for since the fourth grade, when my obsession was with Good Charlotte. I'm finally coming up with the nerve to post it so here it is and i hope you enjoy!

Chapter 1

Soul Robber! What's wrong Jack? Merry Christmas!

"Come on, Rachel, you've been playing that stupid game all day! Turn that god damn thing off, so my band and I can practice. You know we have a gig coming up!" Amy yelled.

That ladies and gentlemen is Amy Garza, my sister. She loves that whole im-a-punk-that's-a-goth-that's-emo-but-not-one-hundred-percent-of-each thing going on. Yeah. Go figure. She's eighteen years old, but acts like she's twenty five or something. She has black-died hair that originally was a light brunette. Her body's real slim, too. I'd love the heck out of her if she wasn't so mean. Seriously, she tries to act like my mom, but she's NOT! She was so nice to me before mom died. Now she acts like she's the cream of the crop.

"Yeah, right! Why in the world would I want to do that? Besides, we are trying to defeat Oogie! You know I have been trying so hard to defeat this game for a week!" I yelled. Amy started to walk over to the PS2, and put her hand right above the power button. Uh-oh. The T.V. made a PVVT sound, as the screen went to black.

"Hey, what the heck? We just needed one more blow, and the game would have been over! Jerk!" Alex hollered. Alex Plummer is one of my best friends. She's really clueless, though. Her hair was just below her ears, and flaming red at that! Her eyes were a bright blue. Icy blue, that really shimmered in the sun light. She was the same age as me, fourteen, same height even, five foot three. As pretty as she looked with her bright red hair and icy blue eyes, she was really outspoken. She always had to ask questions that everybody were too afraid to ask. It's gotten her into so much trouble, especially at school. More importantly with me. We got into pretty good fights, but usually ended up with us laughing at each other. We were just that good of friends!

"Yeah, that's the second time you did something like that!" Katie whined. Katie Richmond is another one of my best friends. She was a little older than Alex and I. She was fifteen, and had way more common sense than Alex and I put together. Her hair fell down midway between her shoulders and elbows, in beautiful waves of blond. Her eyes were way different than Alex's. They were a soft yellow. No, not even. Her eyes were like a brownish yellow. If you know what happens to leaves in the fall, and how they turn from brown to yellow, that's her eyes. She had a very nice figure, one that I envied. She was, as you say, the mother of the group. She always was the one who separated Alex and me when we were fighting over one of Alex's outspoken questions. She was also there when we needed to cry on someone's shoulder. I usually went to her, when I got beaten by my step-father, instead of Amy. Katie did not look punk-rockish like Alex and I did. When you first saw her, you would think she was a big time prep. But no, she was a hard core punk rocker!

"Well you should have thought about that when you decided to come and play it, when you knew I had to practice for our band's concert!" she yelled pointing towards the rest of her wannabe friends. "So go play outside, or something!" she commanded.

"I'm not five you ditz!" I yelled back, glaring at her. "Come on guys!" I said ushering them towards the door.

"You know, Rachel, you really need to stand up for yourself. If you don't, she's going to end up controlling your life!" Katie said.

"Yeah, that'll teach her! Just tell her what you think about her." She said punching the air in front of her. "You know what I mean, Rachel, don't give me that face! About how she tries to act like your mom!" Alex grinned, patting me on the back.

"I know, it's just that, well, I'm not like you guys. I just can't." I calmly said. I just can't do it, I thought. I'm not like them. I can't speak my mind and not care about it like Alex does. And I certainly can't stand up for myself and tell what's what like Katie can. "I'm just a pathetic little person. I got nothing." I said. It's true. I'm not pretty like Alex and Katie are. My hair was a dark brunette that fell down to my shoulders. My eyes weren't much either, just brown. A plain old brown. No icy blue ones, that shimmered in the sun. No amber eyes that looked like fall. Nothing. Just well, me. Then my breasts were another factor. They were way too small; they just didn't fit the rest of my body. Katie's and Alex's were perfect. I even wore two bras sometimes to make them look bigger. Ugh, how low can I get?

"That is so not true, Rachel! You've got us! Who needs a wicked sister, when you got have two perfectly good friends? And you're not pathetic. You have got a great personality! I do not know one person that hates you at school! Even though you wear a lot of black, everybody loves you!" Katie said reassuringly.

"Thanks you guys! You do not know how much that-"I was cut off by my sentence when my step-dad stopped us dead in our tracks. Great, now what does he want, I wondered.

"Where the hell do you think you're going?" He questioned. His breath smelled of alcohol. He's been drinking, I thought.

"Um, out to the Plaza." I said cautiously. When he's drunk he loves to pick fights, which usually lead up to me with a new battle scar.

"Have you even done any of the chores? Mowed the lawn? Washed the dishes? Taken out the trash? Cleaned your room? Well, I expect this is all news to you isn't it? I told you to do it!" He hollered. I have just about had it with him.

"You didn't tell me nothin'! How am I supposed to know what you want me to do, when you didn't even tell me in the first place! Have you even thought about doing some of it? Or were you too damn busy lying around and drinking!" I cried.

"Shut up! Don't talk to me like that! I told you before!" He shouted as he slapped me hard across the face. It didn't stop there. He kept at it, and all I could do was wriggle out of his grasp and make him release me, while Katie and Alex could only stand dumb founded. It hurt and I could taste the blood from my cut lower lip.

"Now get up and do what I told you! Little shit!" With that being said he walked off. I was lying on the floor, trying to obtain myself. It hurt, bad too. He never took it easy on me. Even on stupid subjects, like not doing chores. I could feel the tears build up in my eyes. I didn't like to cry so, I was holding them back. I just didn't understand how he could ever marry a person like my mother. I was pulled away from my thoughts when I felt a hand on my shoulder.

"Here, come on, let me help you up." Alex said comfortingly. I took her hand and looked into her icy blue eyes. Just like mine they were filled with tears, which made them look even more icy cold then they already were.

"I hate it when he does this to you! Especially when he does it right in front of us!" Alex said. I could here the sadness coming from her voice. That did it. The tears started flowing.

"I'm sorry you had to see that. It was my fault. I should have just done what he said. I'm sorry that I'm crying. I'll stop. If I cry, it just means that I'm feeling sorry for myself. Plus I hate being sad. I don't want you guys to worry about me." I said in a hushed voice, whipping my tears.

"No, Rachel! No, it's not your fault! You just stood up for yourself! And it's okay to cry. It hurts a person even more if they keep it all inside. It's okay to be sad sometimes." Katie cried as she pulled me from Alex, and comforted me in a warm hug. I cried in her arms until there were no more tears left. We just sat there right in front of the door.

"Well, I guess you guys should just get going. I'll meet up with you later." I sniffled, as I wiped away some left over tears.

"Nu-uh, we are going to stay here and help you. It will go by way faster." Alex ordered.

"Thanks. Really, you are the best!" I said pulling them into a group hug. So we started to clean. We sang along with the songs that Amy's band was playing in the garage. Even though we heard them only six million times, they were catchy. In no time, we finished, satisfied with our job well done.

"Phew! That was one heck of a clean up!" Alex smiled, wiping away the sweat from her forehead.

"Now we can go!" We said in unison, holding each others hands, skipping towards the door. Hey, it might sound gay but, we were happy that we could get out. We headed out of the house and headed towards the Plaza. It was like a miniature mall. But except for everything being in one big building, there were separate stores, scattered everywhere.

"I'm surprised. Julian hasn't called for a change!" Katie smirked. As if Katie had planned it, my cell phone started to ring, playing the song, Chop Suey, by System of a Down. I checked the caller I.D. Yup, it was Julian.

"Spoke to soon!" Alex snickered.

"Shut up!" I grimaced. "Hello?"

"I know where you are…"

"Julian, where are you? And cut the crap!"

"You're on Hiller Street. Right? With Katie and Alex?"

"Yeah. Julian, where are you? Tell me, NOW!"

"I'm right…. BEHIND YOU!"

Out of nowhere Julian jumps out behind a bush and pushes me really hard on the back, scaring the living crap out of me, might I add.

"What the hell, Julian? That really hurt! Why so hard, I have a bruise there you know!" I whined. Julian Martin is the last of my best friends. He's the same age as Katie, fifteen. He's the same as us, a skater. You know that whole chestnut. He is really handsome if I do say so myself. He has shaggy brown hair that falls down to his ears. His eyes were a bright green. They were so well, green. He got really protective of Katie, Alex, and I. He was really short tempered too, but only with people he didn't like or know.

"Ha Ha, I scared you! I scared you! Come on, I've been doing that for what eight, seven years? Wait, what bruise?" Julian said with a sudden change of attitude. I suddenly fell silent. Katie and Alex both stopped laughing too, and looked like they were ready to kill. As if reading our minds he said,

"Oh no, Rachel, why didn't you call me? He beat you up again? No wonder your lip's busted. Are you okay?" Julian asked with concern.

"Yeah, forget it let's just head on toward the Plaza." I mumbled, looking down at the ground. We walked half of the way towards the Plaza in silence. Of course, Alex, the outspoken one, had to bring up a, well, outspoken question.

"Hey, Julian? Why do you call Rachel so much? I mean, it's not like you two are going out or anything." Alex said as she kicked a coke can. Both Julian and I stopped walking. "And, Rachel? Why do answer his calls? You have never just once let the phone ring. Oh, and you two talk on the phone forever! Why? I mean, I don't even talk to my mom that much! By the look on your faces, I am forced to believe that you two love each other!" Alex said, snickering.

"Heck no! We're just best friends, Alex! You know that! Besides, I don't call her that much. Do I?" Julian stammered. His face turned a deep scarlet.

"In love? Why in the world would you suggest that?" I said, trying hard not to make eye contact with Alex or Katie."The only reason I answer his calls is because what if his parents died? Or his head fell off? Or he got stuffed in the back of some serial killer's trunk, just waiting there until the psycho comes and rapes him? You never know! But you know, Julian. You do call me a lot." I said that last sentence in a quiet voice. I could feel the redness rush over my face.

Alex's icy blue eyes shimmered. "Please, why would you two not be in love? We all have been friends for like seven years."

"You know, Rachel, Alex has a point. You can't leave out the fact that you have been going to all of the school dances together!" Katie said, smiling.

"Yeah but, we rarely go to the school dances! We usually ditch them and go and hit Amy up for some drinks!" I exclaimed. Hey, I never said I was a good girl.

"Yeah, but, when we do go, you two go together!"she grinned. I hate it when they gang up on me and Julian like this, I thought. Please, me and Julian? Not very likely! I mean, even though Julian has awesome hair, a really nice body, handsome, beautiful green eyes, tall, a skater, kind and funny…

"Rachel? Rachel? RACHEL!!!" Alex yelled slapping me on my face.

"What? What?!? I'm awake, I'm awake! Stop!" I exclaimed.

"You were drooling. It started to get kind of creepy. What were you thinking of anyway? Julian, perhaps?" Alex questioned. Caught red handed. Man she's good, I thought.

"No! I-I was thinking of, of…." My face was probably redder than ever by then. "Johnny Depp! You know how I get when I think about him!" I lied, forcing a laugh.

"Uh-huh." Alex said, crossing her arms.

Julian had a puzzled look on his face. I was about to reach out and pinch Alex hard on the arm when Katie caught my hand and gave me that don't-you-dare-continue-this-fight-or-it-will-get-even-worse look. I just can't argue with Katie. Nobody could. So we continued our silent walk to the Plaza. Finally, at what seemed to be forever and a day, we arrived.

"Let's go to Borders, please? They just came out with the new Hana-Kimi book and I have been saving up for it! Please?" I asked with the best puppy dog face I could conjure up.

"Fine, fine. Come on, I wanted to get a book too." Katie said. We usually went to Borders a lot. When we did not have any money to buy books, we just grabbed like four and sat down somewhere and read them. Usually Anime, Japanese comic books. After about five minutes of searching, we got what we wanted and left the store.

"You guys hungry?" Julian asked.

"I was wondering when you were going to ask that! You're always hungry! But now that you mentioned it, yeah, I am kinda hungry." Alex said patting her stomach.

"Okay fatties let's go to Panda Express, I have been absolutely craving Chinese food." I suggested.

We headed down towards Panda Express, talking about what we were going to order once we got there, when I saw something next to the pay-phone.

"Hey guys, what's that?" I whispered. It appeared to be a guy.

"Do you think that we should go over there to check it out?" Katie asked.

"Do you know what you desire the most?" The guy asked. What do I say, I pondered.

"Um, yeah, I guess." I responded, not quite sure what was going to happen.

"Then pick up the phone if you want to know. Pick up the phone then your desires will come true." I started to reach for the phone.

"What are you doing?" Julian yelled.

"Well, it's not like it's going to kill us or anything!" I exclaimed. Here goes nothing, I thought, and then I picked up the phone.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!" We landed hard on a grassy ground.

"Where the hell are we?"