A/N: Okay, so this wasn't "soon"...not at all. I'm really sorry and if you're still reading this after that long period between the first chapter and this one, then thank you :) I hope you guys enjoy this

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As I walked away from Mack and her friends, I wondered what she was thinking. It had been five years since either of us had said more than "excuse me" to each other in the halls. We had never been paired up in any – if at all – of our classes together. This was definitely going to take some getting used to – again.

"Mitchy, are you listening?" Nikki asked me, furrowing her eyebrows as she waved her hand in my face. Nikki was the typical blonde bombshell – with the brains and attitude to match. It was almost like someone had taken a Barbie doll and made some magic to turn it alive, but she was, unfortunately, stuck on me, so I had to deal with her often.

I blinked and shook my head. "I'd better head out to practice," I said, evading her touch as I ran to soccer practice. It was always easier for me to not think during soccer; Mack used to call it my "anger release."

"Carlson, move!" Coach Edward Grant shouted. He was a total hard-ass – never letting us rest once we were on his time, and for today, I was really grateful for that.

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"Mitch, party at Nikki's house tonight, you coming?" Ricky Garcia asked suggestively as we walked out of soccer practice to our cars.

"It's Tuesday, Ricky," I told him and he gave me a "so what?" look. I rolled my eyes; as great a soccer player as Ricky was, he didn't have any discipline whatsoever. "That's a no, Garcia," I explained firmly and he raised an eyebrow – the last name calling was for serious business only in our group of friends.

"Fine; mind if I take a whack at Nikki?"

"Knock yourself out," I mumbled, climbing into my truck.

"Oh, I will," he said suggestively and I rolled my eyes again. Did I mention that Ricky was also a pig?

I started up the engine and put a CD in. As I cranked the music, I saw Kaycey flirting up a storm as she stopped by Ricky's window – after glaring at me.

Driving home every day after practice had become a routine in the past year – one I had mastered. I'd take all the back roads, taking as much time as I possibly could, get home in around ten minutes if I was lucky. I'd sit on the sidewalk right outside our house, checking to see if my parents were home. If both of the cars were in the driveway, I'd sit for a little while until one or the other stormed out…and walked in to console whoever was left in the house – and if no one stormed out in the first five minutes, I'd go in. Today, both of the cars were in the driveway. I waited and, after the five minutes were up, I stepped inside the house warily. There were two stories and a basement they could be arguing in, and when I was in sight, they usually tried to get me to side with them on whatever petty argument they were having.

"I cannot believe you! How could you do this to me?" I heard my mom cry from the kitchen and I took slower, quieter steps. She always said that the things my dad did was to spite her, so I wasn't overly concerned. "How could you do this to Mitch?"

Whoa, there, Mom. My name – no matter how often and how long they'd been arguing – was rarely thrown into it unless I had been the reason the argument started in the first place. I practically pulled the kitchen door off its hinges to get a look at exactly what was going on – and I suddenly wished I hadn't: my dad was shirtless and disheveled – and his secretary was fumbling with her shirt buttons and trying to keep her skirt up.

"Mitch," my parents cried simultaneously as I slowly backed away. My dad was faster , so he was closer when I reached the door.

"Mitch, don't do anything stupid," he said firmly, gripping my elbow tightly.

"Yeah; you've done enough stupid stuff for this whole family," I snapped, surprising everyone in the room. I was cold – I could hear the lack of feeling in my voice.

"Hon, just please, just forget about it," my mom said and I scoffed. I pulled my elbow out of my dad's grasp and ran out the door, not even bothering to take my car. Anywhere I could go was better than here. Because even though she was willing to, even though I wished I could, I couldn't just "forget about it."

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A/N: And there it is!

- Kalie