I sat on my windowsill, my knees propped, and my chin resting on them as I gazed out over the snow covered lawn. I saw my little sister, Aurora, pick up a hand full of snow in her mittened hands, her cheeks flushed pink and her black braids whipping manically around her head as she flung the snow ball as fast as she could at her friend Max.

"Get your lazy ass up! Greg's gonna split a shit if we're not at his house in 15 damn minutes!" that would be my lovely twin brother Eric shouting from behind my closed door.

Rolling my eyes I pondered why I considered him my best friend. I unfolded myself and went to open my door. "I'm already ready! I was waiting for you! Calm yourself."

Eric stood there, his emerald green eyes burning in frustration, his medium length black hair tasseled in it's usual disarray and he had at least a two day old beard growing on his chin.

"You need to shave." I called as I pounded past him.

He snorted and followed me down the stairs.

My mother stood leaning against the counter, her legs crossed at her ankles and a cup of steaming tea cradled in her hands. She watched us with calm green eyes as we descended the stairs. She was dressed in her usual ensemble, a brightly colored long flowing skirt and white peasant top. Her long waving bright red hair, much like my own hung loosely around her shoulders. She looked very much like she had stepped right out of the sixties, and truth be told she acted much like she did as well.

"Will you two be home for dinner?" she sang loudly.

"Probably not," Eric said moving around me and grabbing an apple from the fruit basket before chomping into it.

"Well where will you eat?" she asked.

"Probably Mickey's after practice."

"I love that skirt on you, Ariella." My mother gushed, dumping out her tea into the sink and padding over me. I was wearing a long white flowing skirt and a black hoodie. The fact that my mother liked my skirt was more than a little frightening.

"I'll go change," I muttered, turning around.

My mother only laughed a breezy little laugh.

"No time for that!" Eric called angrily striding across the room to grab my arm.

"Eric! It's not like Greg's going to kick you out of the band for being like 3 minutes late!" I cried.

"Psh…you don't know his ways."

I shut my mouth and followed my brother out the back door to the black Honda Civic that we shared.

"Call in your sister and Max, please!" my mother called after us, "it's getting cold!"

I rolled my eyes, it was the beginning of December, it was supposed to be cold. I heard my brother groan, climbing into the drivers seat.

"Aurora! Get inside before Mum has an aneurism!" I called before hopping in the passenger seat.

My sister looked over to me alarmed. "Is she mad?" she asked.

"Furious," I fibbed, delighting in the terrified look that spread over her face. Mum very very rarely got angry, and when she did, it wasn't pretty.

"That was just evil." Eric muttered, pulling out of the driveway.

"So have you decided what you told me about last night?" I asked, turning my attention to my annoyed brother. Halley Adams, the best friend of the girl he had a passionate crush on asked him to the winter formal and he didn't know if he should go with her.

His expression softened and he slumped a bit. After a few minutes; just when I thought he was going to ignore my question he answered me, "Yea, I don't think I'm going to. I mean, don't you girls think that if a guy dates your best friend than that guy is off limits forever? That doesn't really help the chances of Samantha showing interest in me."

"Well, I can't really help you there…the last friend I had that was a girl was Patience Cost and that was back in like…4th grade, we weren't really ready for dating boys." At his dejected look, I had to speak up again. "However, if it were me…well, yea…I probably wouldn't date you." I admitted, pushing a strand of wavy bright red hair behind my shoulder.

"Thanks Ella." He smiled and pulled into Greg's driveway.

Upon opening the garage door we were immediately accosted by a very tall blonde boy with shocking blue eyes, which were currently narrowed in anger. He wore a long sleeved white shirt under a short-sleeved black shirt and baggy dark denim jeans with chains running from the back pocket to the front pocket. I was always struck by how cute Greg was.

"What the HELL took you guys so long?" he shouted, calling attention to himself. Todd and Brendan looked over quickly before ducking their heads, Todd over his bass, and Brendan over his drums.

"Whoa, back off there, Twinkle Toes!" I shouted back. "We got here as quickly as we could."

A smile peeked through Greg's tough façade. "Twinkle Toes?"

"Present!" shouted Brendan waving a drumstick in the air.

I laughed and pushed Greg out of my way and ran over to my other best friend besides my brother. Brendan was gayer than Christmas and I loved him. I leapt on top of him causing both of us to topple onto the floor. "God Woman, you're a beast."

"Always the lady," I heard my brother laugh.

I ignored Eric and squeezed Brendan tighter.

"Once you're done molesting Brendan, do you think you can go make us a pizza?" Greg sighed and took his place behind the second guitar.

I sat up, still straddling Brendan. "I am most certainly not your bitch."

"Please, Ella?" Oh god…the puppy dog eyes. They know I can't resist the puppy dog eyes. I stood up and pushed myself off of Brendan, offering him my hand. He took it and pulled me back on top of him. I laughed before punching him in the arm. I tried again, this time now offering Brendan any help and made my way into Greg's house.

I was used to this. Coming to Greg's house and watch their practice…well not watching so much as making them food, occasionally commenting, complaining about being bored and scouring his house for snacks. His parents didn't seem to mind that I would waltz into their house and raid their refrigerator and monopolize their TV.

"Ariella!" Mrs. Fitzwilliam called from the living room. Her light blonde hair was pulled up into a pony tail and she seemed to still be in her pajamas, watching soap operas, only right now she was hanging over the back of the couch, smiling at me.

"Hello, Mrs. Fitzwilliam." I smiled politely and made my way into the adjacent kitchen.

"Boys hungry?"

"As always," I laughed.

She padded into the kitchen and we chatted, making pizza and homemade cookie batter.

"What's taking the pizza so long?" Tim asked, poking his head from the door to the garage.

"It's not done yet, we'll let you know," I snapped, waving him away. The boy slipped back into the garage.

Mrs. Fitzwilliam laughed. "I like you Ariella, you keep those boys in line."

"Yes, well, someone has to be the level headed one when we're all together."

"To true." She laughed nodding and moving to the oven to check on the pizza.

"How's your mom and dad?" she asked, pulling the pizza out.

"They're good," I said, nodding and spacing out the cookie batter on the cookie sheet. "Mum's shop is doing really well, she's throwing pottery more than she's cooking dinner," I said fondly. "And dad's stressed, but when isn't he?" My mother, if you couldn't tell by how I described her outfit earlier…is very big into art and more specifically pottery; she owns her own pottery shop in downtown Coventry, and my father is an attorney; I find his job significantly boring, I think he might too.

"That's good, tell your mother I said hello. We should really go out sometime soon."

"I'm sure she would love that."

"For the love of God!" a very masculine and angry male voice cut through our conversation. Greg was poking his head through the door that leads to the garage. "Did you forget?"

"Greg! It's cooling!"

"I don't want it to cool! Cut the damn thing!"

"Gregory Fitzwilliam! Do not talk to girls like that…and especially your mother." His mother said.

"My God, you're acting like you've you're been deprived," I added, slicing his damn pizza.

"For all you know I might be wasting away."

I snorted and placed the sliced pizza on a platter. "I can see that."

His eyes narrowed as I shoved the pizza into his hands and smiled sweetly at him. "You're evil," he said shaking his head. I laughed as the door closed after him.

Later that evening after practice, I was forced to follow the boys to Mickey's pizza house because believe it or not they were still hungry. What I couldn't figure out was why they wanted more pizza.

"Ella, want something to drink?" Eric asked, pulling out his wallet and counting how many bills he had.

"Just grab me a bottle of water." I said, feeling tired.

I chose a table by the window and slid into the booth; the lighting in the establishment was hurting my eyes so I laid my head down in my arms.

"Alright there, honey lamb?" a familiar voice asked, sliding in next to me. I looked up and smiled at Brendan.

"Perfect. Just tired." He laid his arm across my shoulders.

"I give you permission to nap on me." He said proudly, pushing my head onto his shoulder. I chuckled slightly and complied.

"So how's Matt? Or was it Toby?"

"Nick actually," he chuckled, sipping his all time favorite beverage, sprite.

"Right, how silly of me," I laughed. Brendan went through more guys than Tim went through girls, and that was saying something.

"Ariella?" I looked up, confused by the voice that was enquiring about me. I was more than a little surprised to see Caleb Johnson standing at our table. Caleb Johnson used to my best friend back in the day, if truth were told I used to have a huge crush on him. However, something went wrong between us; something I never really understood; and we all went our separate ways. I remained pretty much the same I am to this day, loving to read and hanging out with the 'scene' crowd while Caleb opted to join the swim team and hang out with the 'popular' crowd. I was pretty torn up I remember. But now that I think about it…Caleb had been acting strangely for the last couple weeks. Every time I saw him in class he would be sitting by himself and every time I looked at him, he seemed to be looking in my direction. On top of that, he had gotten his bottom lip pierced.

"Caleb, hi?" I sat up straighter, feeling suddenly awkward. I watched as he ran a hand through his dark messy locks before tucking it deep into the pocket of his jeans.

"Can I, uh…talk to you?" he asked, eyeing Brendan. I looked to Brendan, surprised to see the look on his face. He looked positively mean. I was downright shocked when Brendan smiled tightly at me before tightening his grip around my shoulders.

Curious beyond all comprehension I looked up at Caleb's face. His bright blue eyes were looking at me with an expression, which I couldn't read. Desperate to know why he was bothering to converse with me, privately at that, I nodded.

Caleb smiled and stood back, waiting for Brendan to move. Hesitantly, Brendan stepped out of the booth, giving me a pointed look as I exited behind him.

I followed Caleb without looking back. We sat down at a table near the back of the restaurant.

I watched Caleb sit down in front of me and looked at him with raised eyebrows. He glanced at me, before leaning back in his chair and looking out across the length of the restaurant. "I'm sure this seems kind of odd, me wanting to talk to you after all this time."

I snorted, "Yea, you can say that."

"Well, ok…" he swallowed deeply and leaned forward. "Listen, I made a mistake all those years ago."

"You decide this now?" I asked, wide eyed.

He opted to ignore me. "I really miss talking to you Ariella. I used to be able to talk to you about anything that was bothering me; I miss that."

I gaped at him open mouthed.

He stared at me for a moment, before his face fell. "All right. I need help with English and I know that you're in my English class and that you're doing well." He said, looking dejected.

I leaned back, there now; that seemed more plausible. I thought about it for a moment. It wouldn't hurt to help him, even if we did have an awkward history. "Sure." I shrugged.

He grinned widely and reached across the table to touch my hand that was lying on the top of the table. I pulled back quickly as if I'd been burned. He frowned.

"Listen, Ariella, I know that I hurt you back then; and you probably don't trust me now."

I nodded, my eyes narrowed.

"I was stupid." He looked away, looking angry with himself. "God, I was so stupid. I am so sorry."

I rolled my eyes, "you weren't stupid; we were young."

"That doesn't excuse it."

I shrugged and looked over to where my friends were sitting, jumping slightly in surprise to see that my brother, Brendan, Greg, and Tim were all staring at me angrily. "What the hell are you doing?" my brother mouthed to me.

I looked back to Caleb quickly. "Do you still read history books?"

I blushed guiltily.

He grinned. "I knew you wouldn't have changed. I'm actually reading about Caesar Augustus right now."

"I read that over the summer!" I said, instantly intrigued. "It's an excellent book." Double-checking myself, I blushed and looked down at my twisting hands. I just sounded like a total asshole. When I heard his chuckle, glanced up at him and gave him a small smile.

"Still playing bass?" I asked, remembering his old fascination with the instrument.

"Occasionally. I would have loved to have been in a band."

"Really?" I asked. "Why didn't you?"

He mumbled something unintelligible before sighing and looking up at me.

"What?" I couldn't help but ask.

"It's a long story."

I nodded confusedly.

He jumped slightly and reached into his back pocket for his wallet. "Do you have a pen?"

I pulled out my purse that was wrapped around my upper body and pulled out a pen, among other things, and handed it over.

"Can I get your phone number so I can call you to set this up?"

"Oh right." I had almost forgotten why were talking in the first place. I gave him my number and stood up. He grabbed onto my hand and gave it a squeeze. Feeling oddly nervous by his actions I smiled at him before making my way back to my friends, blushing hotly.