"Brooke, can you go downstairs and bring up some more beer?!!" slurred Mary, Brooke's alcoholic mother.

"Whatever," said Brooke, taking a gulp of an open vodka bottle on the kitchen counter.

"Thanks sweet heart," Mary slurred out, drawing out every syllable. Brooke went downstairs and grabbed another six-pack. Her mom and dad were drinking again, like they did every time they brought in a large sum of money. Even though they both are alcoholics, they are also control freaks when it comes to their work. It was five thirty, around the time that normal families had dinner. Brooke's parents forgot about dinner a lot lately.

"I'm going out," said Brooke as she grabbed her soccer bag off the floor and ran upstairs. Brooke shoved pajamas, two days worth of clothes, her laptop, cell phone, iPod, and anything else she needed into it. She grabbed her sneakers and hoped on her purple bike.

Brooke biked down to Leslie's house on Cambridge Avenue, were normal families with middle class jobs, two story houses, and family pets lived. She rang the doorbell, and, to her surprise, Sadie and Katie answered. Katie and Sadie are Leslie's little sisters.

"Hi Book," said Sadie. They are only four, and had trouble saying her name.

"Hey Sadie; hey Katie. Where's Leslie?" Brooke asked, glancing around the living room.

"Outside with da puppies," Katie said as she and Sadie pulled Brooke by the hands towards the back door and onto their patio. And, as Katie said, Leslie was sitting there attempting to train their new puppies, Lavender and Opal.

"Hey," said Brooke, slightly uncomfortable intruding on such a tranquil moment. Leslie seemed to always be doing something in a gracious manner or something involving little kids or animals.

"O, hey Brooke. Whats up?" Leslie said, looking up at her. The second Leslie looked at her she knew Brooke was staying over for a little bit. Leslie never minded when Brooke stayed over for days, and her parents didn't mind either. Brooke sometimes might stay there for a week, and when she went home, found her parents in the middle of another fight or drinking session.

"Is, is it okay if I stay over for a few days?" asked Brooke unsurely. She moved her left foot in a circular motion, twisting it back and forth, right and left, and bit her lip.

"Ya sure. Katie, Sadie, can you go out and pick some strawberries out of the garden? And some green and orange bell peppers?" asked Leslie as she walked into the kitchen and took out some steaks out of the fridge.

"Okayyy," said Katie and Sadie in unison. Katie and Sadie scampered away towards the garden, laughing as the puppies chased after them. Leslie put the steaks down on a cutting board, and turned towards Brooke.

"Do you just want to stay for a while? And by while I mean more than just a few days. I don't want you going home one day and getting hurt," said Leslie, her eyes searching Brooke's face for signs of damage and hurt. Leslie, even though she wasn't as emotionally in control, felt protective of Brooke.

"If it's okay with you and your parents. I don't want to be a bother to them too," said Brooke, clearly sad and upset.

"It's fine. My parents love you as if you were their own child, and you know that. Come on. I'll get the bed all set up. Do you want the top bunk or the futon?"

"Whichever one you don't want," said Brooke, smiling.

"Futon it is then," said Leslie, smiling along with Brooke. Leslie always tried to find the good, even when everyone else only saw the bad. Anyone else would look at Brooke with pity, thinking how messed up her life is right now. Leslie would look at Brooke, and, seeing Brooke's pain, would ask if she wanted to play Xbox or Wii after dinner. Brooke guessed that why she hadn't gone crazy yet. Leslie always fought against the endless army of doom that was heading towards Brooke, and seemed to always win. In the back of Brooke's mind, she always wondered, why wasn't she a sad mess in a mental institute. The answer always was because Leslie caught her when she fell.