Chapter 1

In life, some people believe they have a destiny in their lives. Some believe they're destined to become a great leader; help people in need. The list goes on. Other people believe we make our own destiny and that what we do in life is our own choice. That we have a say in all of our actions.

I, for one, believe I have one purpose in my life. To many, it may seem silly, childish, and maybe even trivial. But I know deep in my heart it is what I was destined to do. I felt it in my gut and my gut feelings had never steered me wrong before. So why would they now?

Exactly.

It could be the simplest job in the world or the hardest. It all depended on the person I was dealing with. My sole purpose is best put into a title. I was the chair monitor.

If you are laughing now: shut it. It was a job I took very seriously. And when I was serious about something I was a person you did NOT want to mess with. Every day at lunch, I was always the first one to arrive at the table. And I also brought my lunch, so it was my duty to save seats for everyone else while I waited for them to come back. Some were polite and asked if they could take seats while others just grabbed them without any feelings towards the other person. I hated those people with a passion. Didn't their mother teach them not to just take things? Apparently not.

"Is someone using this chair?" a petite girl asked sweetly. I smiled at her and nodded my head. She shrugged and moved on to another table. See, I liked her. She was nice enough to ask. I smiled to myself and pulled out my lunch from my backpack. I opened it and pulled out my sandwich. I was about to rip off a piece to take a bite but someone interrupted that.

Some random guy grabbed one of our chairs. This is when I came in.

"Hey! We're using that," I shouted at him. He stopped in his tracks and turned to face me. He looked at me and then glanced around the empty table.

"Doesn't look like it. See, real people need these chairs. Not just imaginary friends," he chuckled before he started to walk away with the chair still in hand.

"Hey dumbass, I have friends that are real people. It's called going in line to get food," I shot back. He stopped again and paused before facing me again. He gave me a smirk which I only assumed is what was on his face often. He set the chair down and leaned on it slightly while studying me. I stared right back at him as I narrowed my eyes. I knew his type well. He was an arrogant jerk who loved to toy with people. He laughed and shook his head at me.

He mumbled something to himself before grinning and saying, "Have a nice lunch with one of your imaginary friends gone." With that he left with the chair.

"Jackass," I said just loud enough for him to hear as he was walking away. By that time, my friends had decided to just sit down. Where were they a couple of minutes ago?! "Sorry, Ashley, someone took your chair despite me telling him not to."

"It's no big deal, Casey. Sometimes you take things a little too seriously," she giggled as she grabbed a chair from an empty table. So what if I did? What was wrong about being serious about things? But I was in no mood to argue so I just smiled. I glanced at my friend Marissa.

Out of the group, Marissa and I were the closest. First off, we both looked so much alike people mistaken us as sisters sometimes. We both had straight, long, brown hair and brown eyes that sometimes turned hazel. She was also only a couple of inches taller than me. Eh, most people were taller than me. I was short; which made it harder for me to stand up to people. When I did, people had a tendency to just laugh at me and it only made me angrier.

"Dude, they totally did my nachos just right this time! Look at this piece of art," my only guy friend, Michael, said as he sat down beside me. I rolled my eyes. Michael always thought things were way cooler than they normally were. He had shaggy brown hair that fell over his eyes sometimes. It was cute. I looked down at his pile of nachos and looked back up with a smirk.

"Why don't you take a picture of this masterpiece so you can savor it forever," I giggled.

"Great idea, Case!" he exclaimed. He pulled out his camera phone and took a picture. I sighed and slapped my forehead with the palm of my hand.

"Mikey, I was kidding."

"I take a lot of things literally," Mike said nudging me. I grinned.

"I know. I've only been your friend for years," I laughed as I put a bit of my sandwich in my mouth. Ashley placed her head on her fist and smiled flirtatiously at Michael.

"I think it's cute," she giggled. Ok, it was no secret by now that Ashley had a little crush on Michael. Of course, Michael was too blind to see it. He thought she was just being playful. He had no idea the constant flirting that they did. It was cute to watch and I couldn't help but join in on this little conversation.

"Ashley, you just think Michael is cute," I grinned. For a split second her eyes widened at my boldness but she quickly regained composure before Michael smiled at her.

"Couldn't blame you. Most girls do. Right, Casey?" he said nudging me again. I rolled my eyes and let out a sarcastic retort. That was the typical lunch: chair protecting, joking around, flirting, and sarcastic comments. Oh how I loved it so!

XOX

I sighed as I waited. Since I didn't have a car and because Marissa lived a couple of houses down from me, I always snagged a ride from her. The only problem was that she had softball practice after school. So I waited for a couple of hours. The upsides were that I finished my homework before I got home and I made it just in time for dinner. But for some reason, they seemed to be running late which sucked big time for me because my mom said tonight's dinner was important. She'd be really mad if I was late. But there was nothing I could do about it. I finished my homework ten minutes early, which was an extra upside. I got a chance to take a nice little walk to put some of my thoughts in order.

Like how much of a jerk that guy was. Sure he was cute but good looks didn't give someone the excuse to be rude and arrogant. I mean, Ashley was beautiful but she wasn't a bitch. She was sweet and kind to anyone that was sweet and kind back. And Michael was good looking but he was the same way as Ashley. Why couldn't that jerk be like them? It doesn't irk me so much that he took that chair because it'd happen before. There's always going to be someone to take it no matter what I said. But for some reason he just made me so angry. I wasn't the angry person either. Ok, I had my moments but even so, there was something about his presence that irked me. It's like I couldn't even stand to be around him.

But I couldn't deny that he really was hot. The way his sandy blonde hair fell over is perfect blue eyes that reminded me of a crystal clear ocean. And from what I could see, he had a great build. I giggled slightly. Oh my god. One minute I was resenting him the next I was pining over him? There were some serious mental issues going on in my head.

Just as I got back to the softball field, Marissa was jogging my way. She grinned at me and stopped right in front of me.

"Sorry that practice ran late today," she said. I shrugged.

"Eh, nothing you can do. It's all good."

"Ok. I'll go change and then we'll leave, alright?"

"Yeah, but hurry because my mom says dinner tonight is supposed to be important. Whatever that means," I said rolling my eyes. She shrugged and then trotted off toward the locker rooms. I sighed again and made my way over to her car.

It only took Marissa about five or six minutes to change and make it to the parking lot. It's not like she had to do her hair and stuff. She put her things in the trunk and we both got into the car. We started to back out of the parking lot but we were both silent. She glanced at me and gave me a playful pout.

"What's wrong, Casey?" she asked before she switched lanes.

"What do you think is making this dinner so important?" I asked all of a sudden, kind of ignoring her question. She pondered the question a bit before answering.

"Maybe you guys are getting a puppy," she grinned. I laughed slightly.

"Nice try, Riss. But seriously, I'm really freaked out about what this dinner is about," I said giving her a worried expression. She shrugged her shoulders.

"Why does important have to be a bad thing? It could be good. You never know."

"True. But important also seems to imply pressure. Like a big deal. I hate pressure. I'm just freaked!" I said fiddling with my hands. Suddenly, a thought filled my mind and I gasped. "What if we're moving?!"

"Casey, you are not moving. You have a house anyone would die for and your mom's job isn't the type where people get transferred. Plus, your mom isn't really the spontaneous type."

"Really now? She married my dad on whim after a one night stand. Look how that turned out? Me and a divorce," I retorted. She giggled.

"Hey, without that one night stand you wouldn't be here my friend." I shuddered at the thought.

"Ew! Subject change please!" She laughed.

"All I'm saying, Casey, is that this important thing your mom wants to talk about could be a blessing in disguise. At first, it may seem scary or totally unwelcome but later on it might just turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to you. You never know. It's not good to jump to conclusions. Especially for you. Your mind comes up with the craziest shit." I sighed. Marissa did have a point.

"I guess you could be right."

"Honey, I am always right," she smiled while pulling into my driveway. I let out a big laugh and stepped out of the car. She rolled down her window and shouted, "Good luck! Call me later!" before she backed out of my driveway and continued to her house. I smiled and stepped inside the house.

"WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN YOUNG LADY?!"

I froze in complete shock. I totally wasn't expecting that. My mom looked at me with a stern expression with her hands on her hips. What? No, "Welcome home honey!"? I set my bag down and just stared at her strangely.

"Marissa's softball practice ran late. I couldn't help it," I said. She sighed and started pushing me to my bedroom.

"I said this dinner was important. Ugh! Come on. I already put out your clothes for you to wear. This night is very special and we need to dress perfectly." She pushed me in my room and shut the door. "Change quickly."

Well wasn't that a welcoming greeting? I shook my head and looked at the clothes she picked out for me. "Mom, you can't be serious!"

"I am. Just put it on."

"Shirt yes, skirt: hell and no!"

"Fine."

Yes! I was the type of girl who hated wearing skirts. They were so uncomfortable to wear. First of all, I had to watch how I sat every second. I either had to cross my legs or hold them close together. Each way was way more tiring than slumping with legs slightly parted. Skirts weren't for that. Jeans and other forms of pants, however, were. I put on the pastel blue top my mom picked out. It was actually one of my favorite shirts so I didn't mind wearing it. It also went with anything. I opened the door and my mom pushed me to her bathroom.

"Ugh. We need to fix your hair. It's all messy from the wind. Put on some more make-up while I fix it," she said grabbing her brush. I sighed and decided to just cooperate. She re-did my partial for me and I fixed my make-up. I looked pretty good. Finally, when we were done fixing me up I was able to relax on our couch.

"Mom, what is this important thing all about?" I finally asked. She opened her mouth to speak but was cut off by the doorbell.

"They're here," she said clapping her hands. All I could wonder was who was here? I decided to get up and join my mom in opening the door. When she opened the door a man who looked a couple of years older than my mom was in the doorway. Him and my mom exchanged grins and then he looked at me and held out his hand.

"Hi. It's nice to finally meet you. I'm Adam," he said with a grin. I paused before holding out my hand. He shook it and then looked at me weird for having a puzzled expression myself. It's like he expected me to know who he was. Was he some musician or something? If so, he must not have been very popular on the charts.

"I haven't told her the news yet," she said as if I wasn't there. He seemed taken aback and withdrew his hand before letting out an "oh". I glanced between them.

"What news?" I asked warily. She smiled at me and I felt a swelling in my gut. Oh god. I knew this wasn't going to be good. Not good at all. She only reserved that smile for one she had to tell me something I probably wouldn't like. She used that same smile when my goldfish died in third grade.

"Hey mommy, where did Dolly go?" I asked confused. She gave me a smile that seemed off to me. Like she was faking it. She held onto my hand and got down to eyelevel.

"Sweetie, about Dolly…"

I think you could probably figure out what happened on your own.

"Well, I'll just give it to you straight, honey. Adam and I have been dating for about six months now and, um, we're getting married," she said with a nervous giggle. Wait, what? Let's backtrack here. She had been dating this guy for six months and I never met him until now?! And only after six months they're getting married?! Didn't my mother realize how this would affect me? My mouth slowly dropped and I was utterly speechless. I couldn't fathom the idea of her getting re-married. It was like I was in a nightmare or this was some sort of sick joke.

"What?" was all I could say. "You've been dating for six months and I just found out about this now? What else should I know?"

"You know how you've always wished for a sibling?"

"No."

"Well, you're getting one anyway. Adam has a son named Derek. He's your age. In fact, same grade level as you. Oh, Adam sweetie, where is he?" she rambled. Adam glanced around.

"He should be here any minute. He had some last minute things he needed to do. Anyway, Casey, I'm sure you guys will hit it off just fine," he said with a smile. But none of it made me feel any better. The smiles, comforting words, all of it just made it more sickening to me. I wanted to barf. And the room was starting to spin.

"Hey dad, I'm here," a new voice said. Oddly, it seemed vaguely familiar.

"Oh, you must be Derek. I'm Kathy," my mom said kindly. "And this is your soon-to-be-stepsister, Casey. Casey, sweetie, this is Derek. Say hello."

Oh. My. God. There was a lump in my throat and I couldn't say a thing. I could feel the vile rising in my throat. I could barely stand it. It was chair-stealing, jackass guy.

He was the last thing I saw before everything went dark.


A/N: It's me again! First off, sorry for the lack of updates lately. I just have been in kind of a writing slump lately. I don't know what's wrong with me. Haha. Anyways, I know I have a gazillion stories already in the making but what would it hurt if I added another? Haha. Moving on, I've had this idea for weeks now and I have finally decided to start on it. Yay? Also, this is kind of inspired by a pairing from a TV show I love! Anyone care to guess what show it is? And the pairing name? There are some clues in the story itself. Wonder if anyone shares my love of the couple and show. Hehe. Anyways, hope you like this and hopefully Cliche and others will be updated. Goodnight/morning! It's 1:40 am now