I throw my two bags into the back of my pick-up, still pissed off. This is not a new feeling; when you live in my household, you're pissed off every day. I can feel the scowl etched across my face, but I really don't care. I just want to get out of here as I quickly as I can.

I slide into the front seat of the truck, slamming the door shut behind me. I jam the keys into the ignition, quickly starting the engine. I hurriedly reverse down the driveway, than slam on the breaks as I realize that I forgot my duffel. It's sitting inside the house, by the front door.

Shit.

I wish that I could leave it, but it has all of my sports gear. Seeing as sports are my lifeā€¦no, I can't just forget about it. I get out of the car, leaving the door open and the engine running. I walk back up the driveway to the house.

I'll get in, grab my bag, and get out, without anybody noticing.

I quietly open the front door and walk in, trying to tune out the loud conversation occurring behind the closed door of my dad's office. I grab my duffel, and turn to leave.

"Jesse?"

I turn back around to look up the stairs. Sarah is standing at the top of them, tears running silently down her face. It's obvious that she's trying not to cry, but she's failing miserably. We look at each other for a moment, then I take a step towards her.

She runs down the stairs and wraps her arms around my waist, hugging me tightly. I drop my duffel and put my arms around her, letting her cry into my t-shirt.

It is now, holding my sobbing 13-year-old sister, that I hate myself. I hate myself for leaving her alone, with them. I hate myself for knowing that I won't see her again for ten months. But most of all I hate myself for the fact that I'm choosing to do this.

I don't want to let go of Sarah, but I have to get going. It's a two hour drive to school, and I need to be checked in by dinner.

I kiss the top of her head and gently unwind her arms from my waist. She looks up at me, her brown eyes sad. The tears are still flowing freely down her cheeks.

"You can call me whenever you want. Do you still have my number?"

She nods. I try to smile.

"Good. And don't forget to take care of Yoda for me, okay?"

Yoda's my pet turtle. I was going through a major Star Wars phase when I got him.

Sarah nods again.

I look down at my watch. I really need to get going. I give her one last hug and pick up my duffel, slinging it over my shoulder. I open the door.

"I love you," I tell her.

"I love you too," she whispers back.

Her voice is hoarse from crying, but she's trying to be strong. I take one last look at her to burn her face in my mind for the next ten months, than I'm gone, out the door, on my way to Albert Cullen Academy.


"Man, you're cutting it close, aren't you?"

I look up at my roommate as I enter our room. He's already got everything of his set up, and he's busy playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 on his PS3.

"I woke up late this morning."

I skirt around the edge of him so that I'm not interfering with his game. I throw my bags down on my bed and stop to look at him.

Brian Whyte hasn't changed in the past two months. His brown hair is still sticking up in all directions and his blue eyes are wide as they're glued to the TV in front of him. He has the look of a kid who spends way too much time playing video games and doesn't get enough sleep or sun, but in reality he does get out. For example, he loves to get wasted on the weekends.

That's fine with me, because at least I get to spend my Friday nights as I please.

Brian and I have been roommates since our freshman year, and he's been my closest friend.

"You want to go get some food?" I ask.

"Nah, I'm good," Brian says, never taking his eyes off his game.

Honestly, I don't see how he survives; he hardly eats.

I head to the cafeteria myself, saying hello to the people I recognize.

Once there, I grab four good-sized pieces of pizza and a water bottle. Unlike Brian, I have no problem eating. This is where it's great to be a guy; the high metabolism means you can eat as much as you want.

I sit down at a table where a few of the other ACA boys' soccer team are sitting, joking around and talking about their summers. I stay quiet. No way am I going to open up about my summer.

As I think about the past two months, the anger that I managed to quell during my drive here rises up again. I suddenly feel claustrophobic in the crowded cafeteria, so I get up to leave.

After throwing out my trash, I walk out the main doors. I pull my phone out of my pocket, already checking for messages from Sarah. Nothing.

I sigh and shove it back in my pocket. Suddenly I trip over something solid and I hit the ground hard.

I hear an "Ow!" just as I let out my own "Umph."

I stand up, ready to confront the person that tripped me.

"Watch where you're going!" I say.

"Hey, I wasn't the one who tripped over an innocent person kneeling on the sidewalk!"

I look down and there's a girl sitting there, glaring up at me. I frown back at her, because I'm in a bad mood anyway and this does not cheer me up at all.

I raise my eyebrows as I say, "Only a stupid person would stop in the middle of the sidewalk, and I didn't even realize you were kneeling because you were the same height standing up."

I realize that that doesn't even make sense since I didn't see her stand, but she is short and it's too late now to come up with a better one. Besides, it doesn't even seem like she heard me. Actually, there doesn't seem to be anything going on in her head.

Her startling blue eyes are looking up at me, and I realize that I haven't seen her around before. I glance at her friend, who has very noticeable blond curly hair. Her I've seen. I look back at the girl at my feet, who hasn't made any move to stand up and is still staring at me. Weird.

I shake my head and walk away. After all, I have other things to think about right now.