.:X:Chapter 1- The Cold and Klutzy Ones:X:.

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Unfortunately, my stereo is too heavy and sturdy to slam with my fists or throw across the room whenever I'm slightly annoyed with it. So I resorted to yanking the plug from the outlet.

Blindly walking my fingers across the surface of my bedside table- knocking over my pebble collection in the process- I searched for my glasses. Ah, there they are, under my pillow.

I slid off my bed, now that the world was comprehensible, and ran my fingers through my mussed hair. Well, I tried to, at least. Mussed is an understatement. My hairs were entwined together so tightly that they slightly resembled an undersea loofah. Great, I guess I'll be using up the remaining conditioner.

I moved over to my dresser and pulled out a blue flannel shirt, then opened my pants drawer. Hmm, nothing in there. I turned around and scanned the room- Aha! I walked over to my desk and picked up a pair of cutoff jeans from underneath it, holding them triumphantly in the air, and then cautiously bringing them to my nose to smell them. I shrugged. Safe enough I suppose. Then, a low thump came from the doorway and I jerked my head back from the pants to spot the source.

"Oh, it's you." I mumbled, acknowledging the boy sprawled within the door-frame. My klutzy brother. I sauntered towards the door, stepped around him, and made my way to the bathroom, grabbing some clean underclothes from the hamper outside the laundry room entrance.

"Hey Rebecca, wait up. Are you heading to school early today?" My brother inquired, having pulled himself up from the door and followed me down the hall.

"Yeah, why? And make it quick squirt, I gotta take a shower." I stopped in front of the staircase, making sure I was between it and him. The last time we'd had a discussion at the top of the stairs, he'd gotten overly excited and tipped over, stumbling down and hitting his head on the railing. Brilliant, he is.

"I was just wondering if you would drop me off at Hannah's house on the way? I was going to walk to the high school with her" He rolled his eyes when he saw my eyebrows raise up "Oh cut it out. It's the first day of school, and its 'cute'" He made quotation marks in the air, which was funny to see, because… well I don't know, he was so big. And it didn't seem like something a jock like him would do. I started to grin. "Hey- those are her words, not mine." I stared at him for a moment, making him wait. Just because.

"Why can't you drive yourself Luke?" Ta-da! There's my response! It wasn't worth the wait? Whatevs.

"Because it would be dumb, since I'm walking to school in the end anyway, and I don't want to have to walk to her house just to drive it back, because she won't be there when I get out of school to walk back with me. She has Gymnastics, and no third period." He stated. I wanted to tease him and say 'no', but he was just trying to be a good boyfriend, and I had to give him points for that. I nodded and continued my journey to the shower.

"Thanks Becca. By the way, there's no hot water, Rita decided to start laundry early today… and you know what that does to the water heater." He informed me, referring to our harebrained, but effective and pleasant stepmother. I glared at the back of his head as he went back to my room, probably to borrow some of my CDs. Crap and vinegar. I hate cold showers.



I furrowed my eyebrows and ignored my brothers comment, shaking my hair into my towel one last time before slipping into my flip-flops and grabbing my keys, wallet, and economics binder.

I opened the front door, jumped down the steps, and crawled into my El Camino. I continued to ignore Luke until he slid into the passenger seat, slamming the door and setting his backpack on the car floor.

"Be nice to my poor car. And put your seat belt on." I ordered him starting the car and pulling out of the gravel driveway.

"Nah, I'm good. So why are you still doing the school-tutoring program every morning? He asked.

"For the dental care benefits." I answered sarcastically. "Dummy, I don't know, I guess I just like helping people understand things."

"Okay. Should you really put yourself through so much pain to do so though?" Wow. He sounded really concerned.

"and how, Dr. Freud, am I putting myself through pain by arriving at school an hour early to teach integers? You know I like math."

"You know what I mean, Becks."

I feigned confusion at his words and focused on the road."

"So how's Hannah doing?" I asked innocently after a few silent moments.

"Don't change the subject. Dominic tutors every morning too. I know that's got to make things hard." I slammed on the brakes at the mention of Nick's full name. I turned to Luke, who was currently pushing himself away from the dashboard. He looked at me after readjusting himself from the sudden halt.

"Put your seatbelt on, you numskull." I demanded, stepping on the gas again.

"Don't act like you don't care, sis."

" I care, Luke. But I'm not going to let that get in the way of my life. A boy and my history with him can't affect me like that." I could feel the skeptical look he was giving me, as he jutted his thumb towards the back window of my car.

"Sure, whatever you say. But you passed Hannah's house. She lives back there." Ugh.

"Walk. It's not too many houses back." I pulled over to let him out. Luke sighed, opened the door and climbed out. "Love you bro." I added. I couldn't help it. He was such a good kid, very attentive. Too much so, sometimes.

"Sure Becks. Drive safely." He shut the door and walked past the car, drumming his fingers over the top as I started to pull away.