A/N: Hello, I'm AmazingGrace91! This is my first actual full-length serious story, so I hope you like it! The title may change as time goes on, but I'll stick with what I have for now.
This story is rated T for a reason. Be forewarned, it has rough language, violence and some disturbing content in it. It starts off pretty tame, but I'll set a warning before chapters that I think might upset some people. I'm almost done writing the entire story, but I decided to post the beginning a little early because I felt like it!
That's pretty much all you need to know to start off. As we all know, the first few chapters are the worst, so bear with me!
Chapter 1: Negativity
"I was once asked if I believed in love at first sight. I knew that I didn't and that I never would because I always had a realistic view on everything in life; there was no such thing as magic, fate was a ridiculous trick made by the romantic impressionable mind, and love in general was only fleeting and short-lived. I kept my stubborn view on life for years, and no matter how much my family insisted I needed to change my attitude, I never did. What was the point? But then something happened…something that changed everything I thought I knew about my life. That change occurred in the form of a boy: a boy named Aiden Matthew Harrows. I never thought one person could make such a huge impact on one's life, but I was wrong; and needless to say, I was happy to be wrong for once in my life."
"Are we there yet?"
Elizabeth pulled one of her iPod earphones out of her ear and looked at her younger brother. "What are you complaining about now?" she asked irritably.
"I wasn't complaining; I just asked how long it was gonna be before we get to the new house," her brother repeated, rolling his eyes at his sister.
Elizabeth shook her head and put her earphone back in her ear before looking out her car window. Her family was moving houses for the 5th time since she was born, and the process grew tedious after the third time. "I hate being part of this family," she thought bitterly.
In Elizabeth's eyes, her family's constant relocations were her father's fault. Her father worked for an exclusive business chain that required him to move to new locations every few years, so she was forced to follow him. She hated being carted all over the country, but she didn't have a say in any of her family affairs; the way her parents viewed it, at age 16, she was 'still too young' to understand anything outside of high school.
"Elizabeth, could you try to be at least a little enthusiastic about this? You always get so moody and negative whenever we have to move," her mother said, watching her daughter from the rearview mirror.
Elizabeth looked up at her mother with an expressionless face. "You'd be moody too if you had to move just as you were starting to get use to the place where you were living. You always make us move at really inconvenient times and you drag me away from all the friends I make," she snapped.
"Liz, stop being such a bitch," her older sister, Katie, said from the passenger seat. "You always take your PMS out on us."
"Catherine, watch your language," her mother said in her 'I'll ground you in a New York minute' tone of voice she used when trying to sound threatening.
"Seriously mom, it's not like Kevin's gonna start cursing his brains out just because he hears us do it. He's 10, he has to be introduced to the real world at some point," Katie said, bringing her feet up to rest on the dashboard.
"Yeah, I agree with Katie!" Kevin said, nodding.
Elizabeth sighed and pressed her forehead against the cool glass of her window. If there was one thing she hated more than moving, it was listening to her family fight over stupid, insignificant things. Since she had four siblings, fighting was a daily ritual amongst her family.
"When's Eddie coming home?" Elizabeth questioned, not taking her forehead off her window. Edward was her 21 year old brother, and he was going to be starting his third year of college in less than 2 weeks.
"He'll get to the house about an hour after we do," her mother responded. "As for your father and Travis, they should get there around the same time as us. They were following us, but knowing your father, he probably found a shortcut somewhere along the way."
"I don't know why you trust dad with the baby. He's not exactly the safest driver on the road," Katie said, lounging her seat back and nearly crushing Elizabeth's legs.
"Katie, move your freaking seat! Why do you always have to be stupid when we're in the car together?" Elizabeth said, smacking her sister's brown beanie off her head.
"I just love pissing you off," Katie replied, picking up her cap and putting it back on her head.
"Girls," their mother snapped, annoyance evident in her voice. Katie moved her seat back to its original position as their mother responded to Katie's previous statement. "And I left Travis with your father because you'd pollute his mind with your inappropriate language and behavior."
Katie rolled her eyes. "You're so lame," she said with a smile. Travis was only 2 years old and was completely unexpected. With Edward being 19 years older than him, the Zimmermans weren't expecting a fifth child to come into play; but as they learned, life is full of surprises. Katie was 16 and Elizabeth was 14 when he was born, causing a dramatic age difference between them and their baby brother as well.
"Well Liz, look on the bright side. Maybe you'll find people that actually like you in this new town!" Katie said brightly. Elizabeth contemplated throwing her iPod at her smart-ass sister, but decided against it on the grounds that she didn't want to sacrifice her only means of good music. It was either throw her iPod at Katie, which would result in her being forced to listen to her mom's horrendous disco music, or keep a level head and have her iPod to keep her sane. She chose the latter without a second thought.
Kevin laughed from his spot beside Elizabeth. She completely ignored him and blasted her music so loud it was a miracle she didn't go deaf. In her view, going deaf was more favorable than spending time with her family.
45 minutes later, their mother pulled their car up the winding road leading to an expansive, beautiful development. She parked the car in the driveway of one of the largest houses in the vicinity, which looked as if it could house 10 people with room to spare.
"This is it?" Kevin asked, dumb-struck.
"Yes. There's your father," their mother replied, turning the ignition off and sliding out of the car. Her three children followed suit and approached the man at the opposite end of the driveway.
"Hey Karen, I thought you got lost!" their father said, pulling their mother into a hug.
"Gerard, you're the one with directional issues, not me," she replied, giving him a peck on the cheek before unbuckling Travis from his car seat.
Gerard smiled at his remaining children and laughed. "Your mother's always so serious. I think we should lighten her mood a little bit with a family game night tonight," he said.
"Sure, why not? It's not like I have any friends to hang out with in this town yet," Katie said. Kevin agreed with Katie instantly; he always seemed to agree with everything she said, yet it was a mystery as to why he chose her to idolize over Edward and Elizabeth.
"No thanks, I'll pass," Elizabeth mumbled, heading towards the house. Her father stopped her by putting his arm out in front of her face.
"Hey, what's wrong? You always used to enjoy our nights together as a family," he said lightly, resting a hand on her shoulder.
"Yeah, when I was 7 and stupid," she replied, pushing her father's hand off her shoulder. Gerard frowned, but he didn't push the subject any further.
"Here comes the moving van!" Karen announced, catching everyone's attention. The van slowly made its way up the driveway, nearly taking Karen's car out in the process. Once it stopped, everyone with the exception of Elizabeth helped the moving men unload the van. Elizabeth stood by the garage doors holding Travis, who was crying and squirming in her arms.
Travis started tugging on Elizabeth's light blond hair. She pulled him away from her in frustration. "I don't care how young you are, I still can't stand you," she said bitterly, sitting down on the macadam and bringing a still-screaming Travis with her.
As Elizabeth watched everyone carry their possessions into the new house, she started to think about how she fit into a family that was so different from her. She was a carbon copy of her mother physically, but she couldn't be more different from her in terms of personality. Both she and Kevin had their mother's blond hair and blue eyes, while Katie and Travis both had their father's red hair and brown eyes. She hated comparing herself to her family members, and she often thought about the possibility that she was adopted.
"Hey Liz, it would be nice if you helped us," Katie yelled from the front porch. Elizabeth sighed, but eventually mustered enough will power to stand up and take part in helping her family.
The Zimmermans had all their furniture in place by nightfall. They still had all their boxes and suitcases to unpack, but they decided to take care of that in the morning.
The family was sitting on the carpet in the living room playing Life while they waited for Edward to arrive. He had called a few minutes after they started unpacking to tell them that the afternoon summer courses he was taking at his college were pushed later into the evening due to a problem involving his calculus professor. Everyone with the exception of Elizabeth was taking part in their game.
"Liz, are you sure you don't want to join us?" Karen asked.
Elizabeth looked up from her spot on the loveseat next to the bay window. "Yeah mom, I'm sure," she said, pushing her hair out of her face. Her mother stared at her for a few seconds before sighing and turning back to the game.
The front door was suddenly flung open, scaring everybody in the room. They all stood up and rushed into the foyer to find Edward standing there with his suitcases in hand. "Hey family, how'd the moving process go?" he asked with a smile.
"Eddie!" Kevin yelled, running into his brother's open arms.
"Hey squirt, how's it going?" Edward asked, pulling him off the floor in a bear hug.
"We're playing Life," Kevin informed him as the rest of the family hugged him.
"Really? I hope it's not too late to join in," Edward said. He had Gerard's sense of humor and was the only Zimmerman sibling to have a mix of physical qualities from both his parents. He had blond hair and brown eyes with a body structure any athletic guy would be jealous of.
Elizabeth smiled for what seemed like the first time all day. "Hey Eddie, how was class?" she asked as he pulled her into a hug.
"It was alright; just as boring as it always is! But no worries, I'm gonna start commuting to college now since it's only about an hour from here. No more state-skipping for me!" he replied jokingly. "So, how about we continue this game you guys started?" he asked. After agreement from everyone, they made their way back into the living room. Elizabeth lagged behind, looking out the large window next to the front door.
"Here we go again. I'll stay here and make friends that'll hold no value to me until I'm forced to move again in 2 years. Might as well tough it out," Elizabeth thought to herself. "I hope this move will be worth it in the end…"
"Hi! You must be the Zimmermans!"
"You'd be right with that assumption. My name's Karen."
The Zimmerman family was gathered on the front porch the next morning talking to their new neighbors. The woman that welcomed them had wavy light brown hair and a nose piercing, giving her the appearance of a rebellious punk-rocker.
"Welcome to the town! I'm Shea Welkner, and this is my family," she said, motioning to the three people standing behind her. "This is my husband Johnny, my son Evan, and my daughter Molly," she continued, motioning to each person as she introduced them.
Johnny Welkner had the appearance of a motorcyclist with his blond ponytail, strong build and sunglasses, while both the Welkner teenagers looked average and friendly. Evan's gaze automatically landed on Elizabeth, and he smiled and waved at her. She forced a smile back as her mother introduced their family.
"This is my husband Gerard, and our children, Edward, Katie, Elizabeth, Kevin and Travis," she said, also motioning to the members of her family as she introduced them.
"Nice to meet you all. It's nice to finally see some new faces around here," Johnny said.
"Yeah, maybe we'll see you guys around school next week," Molly interjected to the Zimmerman kids.
"Well, you won't see Eddie since he's a college student, but you'll see Liz and I," Katie said, putting her arm around Elizabeth's shoulders.
"How old are you guys?" Evan asked, still watching Elizabeth. She shifted slightly, feeling a little awkward under his gaze.
"I'm 18 and I'll be a senior. Liz is 16 and she'll be a junior," Katie said.
"Cool! I'm gonna be a junior, too. Maybe we can hang out," Molly said to Elizabeth. Elizabeth shrugged, forcing another smile.
"And I'm going to be a senior, so maybe I'll see you in some classes," Evan said to Katie.
After inviting the Welkner's inside, they spent the day unpacking the rest of the Zimmermans' belongings. The Welkners stayed for dinner once the sun set, and the two families went out for ice cream afterwards.
Molly, Evan and Elizabeth ended up talking all night, and by the time the Welkners left around 9 at night, Elizabeth knew they were going to be friends. As she slid into her bed, she thought about the upcoming days in her new school. "At least I'll know two people when school starts," she thought to herself before drifting off to sleep.
A/N: So there's Chapter 1! Give me some insight so I know if I'm doing a good job!
I decided to post a little fun fact about the creation of the story at the end of the chapters just for the heck of it. Fun Fact for Chapter 1: The character Katie is based on my older sister. They don't look the same, but their personalities are pretty similar and she pretty much matches the clichéd 'annoying older sister' role.