AN: hello, darlin'! this is the repost of Autumn Wings. It has been edited and added to for extra volume lol. Chapters should come regularly but you know how it goes, it doesn't always happen when school and work are involved. ew. So, enjoy and leave a review!

Chapter 1

His face was drained and ashamed as he waited. His copper colored hair hung limp around his ears and his freckles stood out more than ever on his flushed cheeks. The hands cuffed behind his back shook and my heart sunk further with every movement he made. These hands, now restricted by stiff, locked metal clasps, were the hands that taught me to ride a bike, to swim, to write in cursive, and had a childish secret handshake with my own hands. I watched as my big brother was sentenced with five years in prison for selling heroin. Was this where I'd be in eight years? Twenty-five and in prison? I'd spent too long of a time with him to not be influenced by his actions, right?

Mom was sobbing into a ratty tissue and I swear I saw a tear glistening in Dad's stone eyes. I couldn't cry; I was too- too . . . actually, I didn't have a clue what I was feeling. I knew that I was angry at Trent for getting himself into serious trouble, angry at the judge for the sentence, glad the sentence was only five years, and mad that no one had noticed Trent was in trouble. But I couldn't settle on an overall feeling that could possibly help me deal.

We had once been a tight-knit family. But I guess all families used to be close. Now, Mom and Dad were divorcing, I was trying to fight my way into affording college next year, Trent was in prison, and I didn't know what was going on anywhere in my little world. I was lost and I felt younger and smaller during a time when I was supposed to be growing into an adult. Things were getting shitty.

"Honey . . . Adriana," I heard Mom saying through a stuffed nose while wiping the mascara tears from her cheeks.

"Hm?" I said, coming back to Earth. I looked around, Trent had been escorted out of the room and I hadn't even noticed. The trial was over and everyone was leaving.

"Are you alright?" Mom asked.

"Yeah, yeah, fine," I insisted while standing up. "I'm going to get a drink of water."

Outside the courtroom I went in the opposite direction of the crowd and down a hallway to the drinking fountain outside the restrooms. My black high heeled shoes clicked and clacked on the waxed, marble floor. I pushed the bar on the fountain and drank from the pleasantly clean spout. The icy water soothed my scratchy throat and relaxed the muscles I didn't know I had tensed. After I was done drinking, I let some water splash into my palm and then pressed my palm to my forehead and neck. I dried myself off on the sleeve of my green striped button down shirt that I was wearing under a gray vest. I felt uncomfortable and like a private school student with my preppy outfit that was picked out by Mom. She had hoped that if we looked clean cut the judge would go easy on Trent because we're good people.

I sighed. All I wanted to do was go home, but home meant Mom and Dad fighting and then I would get a headache and we would all be angry. I couldn't go home. I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket and dialed my friend Rebecca's number. She didn't answer and I remembered she was leaving for college out of state and her phone was roaming. I hung up and dialed Katie's number. She answered but she couldn't talk or hang out because she was packing for college and wanted to spend a few more hours with her family and boyfriend.

A boyfriend- I wished I had one of those to call. I didn't so I thought about calling Ashley or Patty, but they were only friends with me through Rebecca and Katie. That's what I get for having older friends. They were all going away to great colleges and universities and I was stuck at home with another year of high school. It wasn't even like we were best friends, or anything. We hung out occasionally and had some similar interests; there was no secret sharing or double dates. I put away my phone and found my parents waiting just outside the courtroom. I had no choice but to go home. Maybe because of the day's activities they'd be quiet . . . .

Of course not. They were louder than ever, fighting for the umpteenth time over whose fault it was that Trent strayed. I was tempted to go down to the kitchen where they were fighting, say: "Actually, it's my fault; I gave him the drugs to sell. I'm the real criminal here," and then hope they'd shut the hell up already! It wasn't the truth, but the thought of peace and quiet pushed me to extremes.

Up in my room I changed into a pair of cream colored sweatpants and a black tank then got into bed. I wasn't physically tired- it was only three in the afternoon, but I was mentally exhausted. I had no big brother to play basketball with, no friends to call, and parents too preoccupied to worry about me. I was alone and lonely for the first time in years. There had always been someone to talk to and now there wasn't and it was killing me.

So this is how my summer is going to be.

Well, yeah.

What did I do to deserve this complete loneliness?

You think you're better than everyone else your age.

Well, I am! Everyone else is so immature and all they want to do is get drunk, have sex, and screw up their lives!

I'm sure that's not the truth.

Oh, good, sweet Jesus! I was arguing with myself over my own social perils. I tossed and turned in my bed, got comfortable, then had to get up and let my cat in when he scratched on the door. He jumped up onto my double bed and sprawled out. I rolled my eyes and squeezed in next to him.

"George, will you please, for once, sleep in the bed I bought you?" I asked exasperatedly pointing to the cat bed next to my desk.

His reply was a meow of contentment and a further stretch of his arms. I scratched his exposed tummy and he rolled over, still taking up as much room as he could. I sighed and rolled over on my side at the edge of the bed.

I couldn't sleep. All I could think of was how I was alone. It plagued my thoughts and I was sure it would infect my dreams. Luckily, it was summer vacation and I didn't have school the next day. But I did have work later in the day at the local coffee shop. Maybe I'd get enough sleep by two tomorrow to be able to function.

Instead of my thoughts drifting to work, they sprung back to loneliness. This was getting ridiculous. I tried to turn over in my bed but George was having none of that and sunk his back claws into my side when I tried. I thought about my past friendships and how they failed. I needed to know if it was my fault and there was something wrong with me. I listed all my old friends back from elementary school to present. Two had moved away, one had joined the "cool" crowd, and the rest just grew apart from me as I grew apart from them because of our different interests and personalities. So there was nothing to suggest that there was something wrong with me.

I snorted in scornful laughter and remembered my only true friend. He was an imaginary fairy boy named Mason Amers. He had wings the color of autumn leaves that appeared with a wind of cinnamon scented air when he flew up a tree to return my kite or when he grabbed my hand and flew us around the yard. I couldn't help but smile when I thought back to those lost days of childhood innocence. I pulled my pale pink blanket up higher and snuggled into the pillows. I fell asleep remembering all the games me and my imaginary friend used to play.

In the morning I was awoken by Mom and Dad fighting again. No surprises there. This time they were fighting about who should pay for groceries this week. I had started buying my own groceries when this fight became regular. It was about ten thirty when I finally got out of bed after listening to the fight for awhile and got into the shower. After my shower I dried my waist length, red hair and then went down for breakfast. Mom had thrown together some pancakes and eggs together for me before she and Dad both left for work. The house was silent as I ate my breakfast and drank my tea.

Most of the day was spent on the couch watching TV, moping about Trent, Mom and Dad fighting, Rebecca and Katie going away to college, and how bored I was. Normally I would go out for a run around the neighborhood, but I wasn't feeling up to it that afternoon. I went to work from three to eleven thirty and got home at about midnight. Both Mom and Dad were asleep, Mom in the bedroom and Dad on the couch. They rotated who slept in the bed and who slept on the couch every week.

Before bed I had a huge bowl of ice cream with every topping I could find in the house. At this rate of junk food and not exercising I was going to gain a ton of wait, but I didn't care. The resulting stomach ache convinced me that that life style was not desirable and I wished I'd eaten vegetables instead.

I thought about going out to find new friends in the morning, but the nervous sickly feeling in my stomach convinced me otherwise, so I erased the thought from my mind. Besides, people never stick around long enough to become good friends with me anyways. It would be a waste of my time as well as theirs to even pretend that our friendship would last. I sighed and rolled over in bed and stared out the window at the waxing moon until it lulled me to a deep sleep.