Alright so here's the deal: this is a new work. I've already got up to chapter 12 written...just giving it a shot on here.

A TON of this stuff is based on me and my friends, from now and the past...just bear in mind that there are going to be some horribly over-rated love-scenes, and terribly-written violent scenes. First chapter is crap--i know that.

Read and review, please.


"No matter how hard I try,

You're never satisfied,

This is not a home

I think I'm better off alone.

You always disappear,

Even when you're here.

This is not my home,

I think I'm better off alone.

Home; Home; This house is not a

Home; Home; This house is not a

Home."

Home

Three Days Grace

1.

Sunday, September 3

Chip sighed. The entire scenario was going to replay itself. He was going to show up at school tomorrow as "the new kid" and have a bunch of crap to put up with before finally getting accepted by a group of kids, only to get uprooted yet again so his dad could work somewhere else.

Oh, and good ol' dad didn't exactly make any of this easier on Chip. With his dad getting drunk and bringing girls home on the weekends, locking Chip out of the house, and disappearing for days, and occasionally weeks, on end, Chip's life became just that much more unstable. Not to mention the suspicious bruises and scars Chip sported on his face, arms, and back. Those took a while to sort out.

But Chip was quiet about the whole deal. He knew that if he ever mentioned anything to anyone, the only thing that would come out of it was foster care. And, having known many kids in the system, he was pretty sure he'd take the violent dad over the unsureness that is moving from home to home.

And it just helped make his father seem harmless when Chip introduced his father to anyone. At parent-teacher conferences, his father put up a good show. He was an attractive and easily likable sort of guy; that classic black hair, a strong jaw, and stormy-gray eyes. He cleaned up well when he tried.

Which brought up the problem of ever having friends over his all-too-temporary house. His father figured that the house was home-free; don't bother fixing things up because the only people that would see him would be his son, and his lady friends, who didn't care, just as long as he was paying them.

Running a hand through his choppy, long black hair that he had inherited from his father and sighing, Chip threw his now-empty duffel bag into the corner of his new room. He had jammed his clothes carelessly into random drawers; no point in taking great care, as they'd be moving in a few weeks anyway. Standing up, Chip walked over to the cracked-glass window of his small room. He looked down into the lot behind the apartment building and saw a bunch of kids playing basketball, just doing free-throws. Now, they might be living in the same crappy apartment as him, but they at least seemed happy. Little kids, they had nothing to worry about. They probably had both parents, a stable living environment, a few friends, and maybe even siblings who looked out for them. Siblings. This word brought up another round of thoughts. How did all their moving around affect Jesse?

Jesse, his half-brother back in Chicago. Jesse, the eleven-year-old they had left behind with his mother, Michelle. Jesse, the kid who had, at one point in his life, adored Chip. Shaking his head again, Chip reflected on how his dad was screwing up more than his life. Poor Jesse had never really known a family either. For seven short years, he had known an older brother, and happy parents. Then the happy parents got steadily less happy, until finally his dad packed up, threw his half-brother in the car, and took off to California. They had stayed there for a week, then proceeded to Montana, and then they landed in Ohio. Ohio lasted a month, and then they slowly made their way to where they were now: Massachusetts. Along the way, Chip had tried desperately to keep in touch with Jesse, however possible. Eventually, he made an email address, and urged Jesse to do the same. Even though Jesse was six years younger than him, he enjoyed talking to the kid a lot, and even missed Michelle more than he missed his own mother.

Thinking about his biological mother made Chip clench his hands tightly on the window ledge, making his knuckles go white before he calmed down a little. Chip's mother had left when he was just five years old. At that point in time, Chip's father didn't drink. Chip knew this; before his mother left there had never been cracked dishes, missing doorknobs, or bruised family members.

No, Chip knew that because his mother left, his father started drinking, a habit he told everyone he had given up when his first child was born.

Backing away from the window, Chip sighed again. He looked in the floor-length mirror attached to the back of the closet door, examining his appearance. In a way, he was glad his father didn't care much about him and what he did. This had enabled him to have his nose pierced, get an earring and a stick-piercing through his right ear, grow his hair out, and wear as baggy clothes as he wanted. He was permitted to be anywhere, at anytime, just as long as he showed up at school because that was the only thing his father really cared about. He wanted his son to have a proper education, even if he was failing the majority of his classes.

The good thing about starting school here, though, Chip thought halfheartedly, was that at least this time he was starting school at the beginning of the school year. So there would be other new students, too. So maybe being "the new kid" would shift to "one of the new kids."

Feeling slightly better about school, Chip walked into the small room that served as a kitchen in their apartment. The reality of the situation was that the kitchen was part kitchen, part living room, part bedroom, and part hallway. The pale old wallpaper was peeling from the walls, and the couch was a pull-out, where Chip suspected he would end up sleeping eventually. There was a small stove, a small fridge, a few small cabinets, a small counter/table, and a smoke-detector in one corner. And the doors to the bathroom and his father's room stood on the other side of the room from Chip's bedroom. Seeing that his father wasn't in the room, Chip resolved to digging through the cabinetry until he found a box of cereal. He poured a bowl, grabbed the milk from the fridge and tipped it over his cereal. After replacing the half-gallon bottle to the fridge, he pulled up a chair to the table and ate his meal as quickly and quietly as possible.

When he was finished, Chip cleaned out his bowl, then returned to his room, where he pulled on his battered old sneakers, grabbed his beat-up skateboard and stumbled back into the kitchen. He grabbed a ring of keys off the table, and left, shutting the door behind him loud enough for his father to hear that he was leaving.

Chip's footsteps echoed slightly off the damp walls of the narrow corridor, and when he reached the end of the hall, he looked back and forth between the elevator and the stairs. A moment's consideration, and Chip pushed open the door leading to the stairs. He internally decided that he didn't want to ride in the elevator of a place whose lighting flickered every few seconds.

About half-way down the two-flight descent, Chip ran into a very hurried, blond, someone in a sweatshirt and sweatpants. "Well, excuse me," she said, having almost been knocked over by the distracted seventeen-year-old. "Jeez, pay attention to where you're going," she spat at him, looking into his face.

"Oh, right. Sorry," Chip apologized, making to head down the stairs.

"Hey; wait," she said, walking down a few stairs. "You're new here, aren't you?"

Chip nodded, shrugging. "Yeah, just got here a few hours ago, actually."

She smiled. "Well, then, welcome to the high-rise." She looked at his skateboard pointedly. "You board?"

He shrugged again. "Yeah. You?"

She shook her head. "No, but I rollerblade. Where are you headed? Looking for a skate-park?" she asked hopefully.

Chip replied, "I guess. I was just kinda leaving to—"

"Get out of the house," she finished, nodding. "Yeah, we all know how that is. Here—wait two seconds and I'll come with you."

"Uhh…okay," he said, seating himself on a stair as she made her way up the rest of the flight, and closed the door behind her.

Chip stared at the bottom step. He might just have met one of his new temporary friends. This wasn't usually a big deal; they were cool while he was with them, they were sad when he left, they promised to keep in touch, and then they completely forgot about him. This girl and whoever else he met would surely be the same way.

When she returned a few minutes later, she had changed. She was in a pair of beat-up baggy jeans, a tight red sleeveless shirt, and had a black wristband. Over her shoulder was slung a pair of scuffed black rollerblades, the laces done in a knot to keep them together. "Let's go," she said, walking ahead of him down the rest of the stairs and out the front door of the apartment building.

Chip rose to his feet and walked behind her, this girl he had only just met, and took a deep breath when they got outside. The calm air outside, and the lack of cars made him realize just how much he missed New York. They had only been there for a few days, but they had stayed in a motel just outside Times Square, and he'd even managed to sneak into an actual Broadway show thanks to a girl he made out with behind their school.

The blond girl led him down an alleyway, across two streets, and around a building. The fenced-in area that met his eyes made Chip smile, for the first time in days. There was a God, Chip observed, hopping the fence after this girl and throwing his board down, hopping onto it with a huge grin on his face. "This place is great," he speculated.

She smiled. "Yeah, well you must not have seen too many skate-parks." She seated herself neatly on a bench and pulled off her sneakers. "But it is nice if you ever need a place to escape to," she added as an afterthought, lacing up her blades.

A few more minutes of silence, and then Chip said, "Oh; I'm Chip, by the way."

The blond girl looked up from her skates, and smiled softly. "I'm Cat."

"Cat?"

She purred. "Meow," she said, raking her fingers through the air like a cat. "It's short for Catherine."

Chip grinned again. "Oh, okay. Cool."

Once Cat was laced up, she stood, looked at her skates fondly, and then jumped into the bowl. "Shall we skate?" she inquired, stopping next to Chip and smiling up at him.

He arched an eyebrow. "Yeah, alright."

About a half-hour of skating later, Chip slid to a halt on his board, coming to a rest in front of one of the park benches. "Hey, Cat?" he asked, dropping onto the graffitied bench.

"Yeah?" She slid into the seat next to him.

He looked over at her. "I gotta go. My dad's gonna—"

She held up her hand. "Save it," she said, smiling. "What happens between you and your dad is none of my business. But," she added as she stood up and started skating away, "you'd better feel obliged to sit with me in homeroom tomorrow."

Chip wasn't sure how Cat could tell that he was going to the same school as her, but he smiled and shook his head. "I'll plan my whole day around it!" he called back sarcastically, waving and then leaving the park.

He barely remembered the way back to the shabby four-floor apartment building, but he got there easy enough, and pushed the weak front door open. He trudged up the two flights of stairs, and found his room at the end of the hall. He jammed the key into the lock, and jiggled it for a second, finally getting the all-too-satisfying click, and entering the place.

Judging by the silence that met his ears, Chip knew that his father wasn't on the premises. He tossed the keys onto the counter, slid his skateboard into his room, and hopped up onto the counter by the windowsill. Through this window he could see the fire escape, and, even better, the sky. If he concentrated hard enough, he could make out the outlines of a few downtown stores. He knew where he'd be after school tomorrow.

Scratching his nose and slightly tugging the silver ball in his skin, he hopped off the counter and kicked his shoes off as he made his way over to the couch.

Chip fell back onto the old, brown, moth-eaten couch, marveling at its ability to remain upright. This piece of furniture had obviously been around longer than he had. With a sigh, Chip looked longingly out the window. In just a few minutes, this peaceful silence would be gone, and there would be a mess to clean up and a few more cuts to deal with. The preparation for another fight was what really enabled Chip to take a punch. He sat in the dark of the apartment, mutely pondering the way the argument would begin tonight. Would his father already be drunk? Or would he start the talk off with the opening of the beer can?

Another sigh, and Chip was on his feet. Perhaps he'd be best off if he just locked himself in his room. But, alas, the door was being hammered on before Chip could escape the room. "Open the God-damn door!"

Chip didn't stop to acknowledge the fact that he had actually winced at the sound of his father's clearly drunken voice. He walked calmly over to the door, and gently pulled it open.

Immediately he was pushed aside by the tall man that he usually addressed as "sir." Chip gladly stepped aside. Happy to be out of his father's way, he tried to innocently creep into his bedroom before his dad knew he was gone.

But of course Chip being happy was not something God had intended. "Get over here," his father slurred, motioning his son closer.

Already aware of what was about to happen, Chip turned around, and walked hesitantly towards this man, this shadow of a man, he once called father. "Where do you think you're going?"

"Nowhere, sir," Chip replied automatically, straightening up and looking his father in the eye. There was nothing that displeased this man more than when his son wouldn't even look him in the eye.

"You're right, you're not going anywhere! Nev…Not now, not ever. You know—you're not going anywhere in life. You're a loser; you've…you've got nothing, and you're never going to be anyone. Matter of fact—you'll probably be just like your old man," Robert Hanson slurred, looking down at his eldest child. "A no-account loser with barely a penny to his name. That's what you're gonna be, boy."

"Whatever you say," Chip agreed, knowing better than to look for trouble.

"Just don't be stupid like me. Don't….never ever have kids. They're mistakes, them." Chip's father laughed, and swayed on his alcoholic feet. "Trust me," he said seriously, gripping Chip's shoulders tightly, "I've got two."

Chip nodded. "Yeah, you do."

"Now get outa here," Robert demanded, shoving Chip away with enough force to knock him into the counter hard. "Watch the damn cabinets, you screw-up!"

As quietly as he could, Chip shut the door behind him, pulled out his deck of cards, and seated himself on his bed. Dealing out the cards for Solitaire, he smiled triumphantly. He'd gotten off easy tonight.