"Kim, do you want to go over to the neighbor's with me?" Mom asked me from the kitchen.

"Do I have to?" I asked from the couch.

"No," she answered. "I just thought it'd be nice to have all of us welcome them."

"Dad's going with you?"

"Once he gets cleaned up. Why don't you come with us?"

"Nah, I just want to stay in," I said. Why would any normal teenage girl want to spend a day of summer vacation with new neighbors who were probably old geezers who would have to ask her mom and dad to repeat everything they say? I smiled to myself imagining my parents' afternoon. Nope, this was the place for me. Sitting on the couch in the luxury of my own home watching a marathon of The Real World on MTV.

"All right, but I want the litter box cleaned by the time we get back. It's stinking up the house."

"Uh-huh," I answered her nonchalantly.

"Dave!" Mom called from the base of the stairs, "Are you ready yet?"

"I can't find my pants," My dad's voice called from the second floor.

"Oh for Christ's sake," Mom muttered and trundled up the steps.

I had to smile to myself again. I know by the laws of teenage nature I'm not supposed to smile laugh about my family, but I have to admit my parents could be comical at times.

A minute or two later Mom and Dad came down the stairs (Dad still buttoning his pants). "Guess we'll see you in a couple hours, Kimmie," Mom said. "Don't forget the litter box," and they were out the door.

I sighed relaxingly. A day to myself. Nothing but chips, ice cream, and TV.

I love these days!

I hate these days!

Once I had my fill of The Real World I racked my brain trying to think of something else to do.

Any other good shows on?


Any good movies?


Anything to do on the Internet?


I finally gave up and sat up with a sigh. "Might as well get the litter box taken care of," I said to the empty house (that's right I talk to myself out loud) and hauled myself upstairs to my room. Geez, Mom wasn't lying, the litter box reeked!


I spun around, spilling bits of litter all around the ground and even a little on myself (gross!). My mind had been in a totally other place as I dumped the cat's box behind the garage that I didn't even hear the footsteps of the boy now behind me. I let out a relaxing breath and replied, "Hi."

"I'm Lawrence," the boy said after a bit of silence. "I just moved in next door."

"Oh, hi," I said. "I'm Kim. My parents are the ones over at your house now."

"Really? They seem like nice people."

Another silence. I bit my lip like I always do when trying to talk to cute boys. And, man, was Lawrence cute; around six feet, brown hair, deep dark eyes, the body of an athlete. Lawrence seemed to have walked right out of my dreams into the real world.

"So…" Lawrence started. "How is this town? What's the school like here?"

"Oh, you know," I said. "It's a small town with a small town high school. Are you from a small town or a city?"

"Small town. Up in Maine."

"Oh really?" I wasn't really into the Maine scene, more of a small town girl with big city dreams, but if Maine had more guys like Lawrence I could probably suffer the pine trees and moose. "Why'd you move all the way to Illinois?"

"My dad's job relocated him here."

"That sucks. I'm sure Maine is a lot better than here." Did I really think this? Not really, but I couldn't think of anything else to say.

"I don't know," Lawrence said with a grin. "I'm sure I'll eventually get used to corn."

I had to laugh and then started to blush as another silence fell between us. Again it was Lawrence who broke it (why do I get so flustered?). "Well, I'll let you get back to your litter," he waved a friendly "so long" and walked back to his house. I could do nothing but give a simple wave back. The me that exists inside my head ran after Lawrence and tackled him to the ground and started making out with him, but the me that really exists in this world trudged back into the house.