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Chapter 1

A car pulled up in front of me. I was sitting on my suitcase in front of the train station waiting for my grandma. The car I guessed belonged to her or some kind of creeper. It was a run down piece of metal and made funny noises as it came to a jerky stop. The window rolled down slowly revealing a old wrinkly woman who you could tell was once beautiful. She frowned at me as she looked me up and down.

"Scarlet Summer?" Said the lady. She adjusted her glasses quickly before they slipped off her face. She was a small lady but she still looked like she could kill you. She had a mean expression on her face and it surprised me how scared of I was of this lady.

"You are Scarlet Summer right?" She asked growing impatiently.

"Yes." I managed to say. I licked my lips a habit I had when I was nervous.

"You're a small thing aren't you?" She asked, tapping on the steering wheel. I shrugged. I knew I was small. I was only 5 feet tall. Everything about me was small. Everything but my eyes which were a large endless blue. "Well are you just going to stand there? Its kind of cold."

I got up, grabbing my suitcase and climbed into the front seat. If there was one thing I didn't want to do it was spend a 20 minute car ride with this lady I knew as Abbey. Abbey was not a pleasant person. She never was. So being stuck in this horrible little car probably would kill me.

Surprisingly though it didn't. She didn't say anything to me and I didn't say a word to her. We were quiet and listen to the radio play classical rock which was not bad at all. I looked outside the window, just watching a bunch of trees pass us by. This was nothing like my old home. The city had cement and a patch of grass. Here in Springtrees - name fits don't you think?- all you could see was green. I was unsure if I liked it or not.

Abbey drove through a small town then turned right into the thick forest. She didn't stop till she pulled up in front of a small cabin. It was warm looking and adorable but to me it might as well be hell. I grabbed my suitcase then followed Abbey into the cabin. The first thing I notice was how warm it was and the smell of smoke.

There was no way to describe the little house. It was plain and snuggly. Still I rather be anywhere but here. I did not want to be in these stupid woods, with these stupid people. An old man was sitting in the corner of the room in a ugly orange chair. Who ever bought the chair clearly did not have perfect eye sight because that thing was just hurtful to look at.

He was one of those adorable little old man that you could not help but want to kiss. When his eyes fell on me his whole face lights up. Why? Why did this man I knew as Louis look so happy that I was here. When I sure wasn't.

"Benny?" He asked. I felt like someone punched me in the stomach. All the air ran out of lungs and I felt like I was chocking. My eyes filled with tears that I had to fight to keep at bay. No don't think about that. I told myself. Don't remember that day. Don't remember that terrible Christmas……

"Um no Grandpa Louis. It's Scarlet. Scarlet Summer." Louis face crumbled with pain. The old man crushed my cold heart.

"Oh I am so sorry Scar." He said softly. He rubbed his forehead with a wrinkled skinny finger. He looked so miserable.

"Louis she is a small thing." Abbey said, trying to change the subject. Now that I was over the shock of being called my Mom's name, I was starting to get bothered by Abbey. She wasn't so big herself either. I dropped my suitcase on the hard wood floor and looked at these two old people I was forced to live with.

"I am tired." It was the first real sentence I said since I got to this small town in the deep woods. Abbey rolled her eyes, looking even more angry then normal. What a bitter old lady.

"Oh she is tired?" Abbey said, smiling sarcastically at me. Louis shook his head turning his attention on the small television. "After I had to drive to get her when I should be relaxing after a hard day of work. I hate charity!" Charity? I did not ask to be here! I did not want to be anywhere near this nasty lady. I wanted to stay in the city. I wanted to stay with my boyfriend - well ex now but still he wouldn't be my ex if I hadn't got caught - Joey. I was living with Joey and I was fine that way. We never had a problem. We would have been fine if not for stupid child service. I did not want to be here. I did not want to be no charity case. I hated thinking that this woman and I were anyway shape or form related.

"I am going to bed." I said through clenched teeth. "Can someone show me my room?"

"SCARLET SUMMER????" Someone shouted from across the room. I turned around sharply to see this blond person running towards me. She looked so familiar. She had long curly blond hair and snowy blue eyes that shinned. She was gorgeous that was for sure. The blond beauty flung herself in my arms and gave me a squeeze. The air in my lungs was cut off and I would have screamed if I wasn't so out of breath.

"Kathleen!" called a lady who stood behind Abbey. The woman looked like a copy of the blond princess only she was much older of course. I knew exactly who she was. Memories of seeing her at birthday parties, weddings, barbecues and funerals filled my head.

"Aunt Rebecca?" I asked. Yes this was my Aunt Rebecca. Mom's sister. Aunt Rebecca sucked in some air through her teeth.

"Yeah it's me. How have you been Scarlet?" She frowned, we all knew this was a stupid question.

"Crappy." I answered honestly. The blond girl who must be my cousin bit her lip uncomfortable. She seemed not to like people being sad or miserable. Not that I cared. I stopped caring months ago.

"Oh Scarlet I am completely sorry for your lost." Blond princess said giving me another unwanted hug. "I never did meet Aunt Benny but I did hear she was absolutely wonderful. If you need anything ANYTHING you come to me. I know we will become the best of friends. We can go shopping and we can text each other. Oh that reminds me what is your number?" She pulled out her phone with a dopey smile on her pretty face. "I am so happy! I always wanted a sister and finally I am getting one! Are you going to help grandma and grandpa with the bakery? We can work together! Won't that be-"

"Kathleen!" Abbey silenced the child that seemed not to master the art of shutting her big mouth. "Please do us all a favor and quiet it down." Kathleen lower lip trembled. She obviously did not take being yelled at nicely.

"Well I just want Scarlet to feel at home." She said stubbornly. I said nothing. I was going back in my shell, wanting nothing to do with any of these strange people. I hated them and wanted them just to go away.

"I am tired." I said for what felt like the 50th time. This time Aunt Rebecca stepped in. She put a warm small hand on my back and smiled. I pulled away instantly. I was still not use to human contact. The only one who had touched me since that cold Christmas day was Joey and look how great that turned out. Aunt Rebecca looked shocked at the fact that I pulled away. She did not know the new Scarlet Summer. The last time she seen me I was a young girl without a care in the world. A girl who was happy and loved life and was perfect. She hadn't had the wonderful privilege of meeting the new and improve Scarlet Summer.

"I will show you your room." She said. She sounded beyond depressed. Like she lost not only her sister but her niece to. I didn't say anything to anyone. I didn't say thank you to Abbey for picking me up or taking me in. I didn't say nice to meet you to Kathleen. I didn't even smile at sad grandpa Louis. I had nothing to say to these people. I did not turn around once or even smile at my Mom's family. I just let Aunt Rebecca drag me to my room.

When she opened the door to my room I nearly cried. "This is um was Benny's room." Aunt Rebecca said. I felt my throat close up and tears threaten to fall. "I will leave you to get some sleep. Bathroom is two doors down." Aunt Rebecca looked like she was about to kiss me or at less give me a hug but she thought about it and just smiled. "Good to have you home Scar." She said before leaving me.

With her gone I looked around the room. The room had light pink walls that let a lot of light in through the one window. The floor was the same wood as the rest of the house but it was more I don't know girly? It looked used. There were marks on it showing where someone was wearing high heels and nail polish spills that showed some careless teenager knocked it over. There was a small bed pushed in the center of the room. The bed had a pink and white bed sheets and blanket that looked like they have been there since Mom was a kid. There was a dresser on the right wall that covered a huge hole in the wall and a small ancient looking TV. There was a desk on the left wall with a not so ancient laptop on it.

I walked over to the laptop and opened it. There was a note shoved in it. I pulled it out, smoothing it flat on the desk. It said in a handwriting that was almost impossible to read:

Dear Scarlet,

Well as you can see I got you a laptop. I thought you might want something to keep in touch with your old friends, do your homework or whatever you crazy teenagers do. I know that these are troubling times with your Mother and all but I believe we can make it. I know what your think "Dad when are you going to get your act together?" or "When are you going to let me come home?" but believe me Scar this is for the best. I know you are beyond angry with me and that this laptop cannot make up for finding you with that stupid boyfriend of yours and shipping you off to the middle of nowhere but I hope it helps some. This is what's best for us to move on. You need some fresh air and I need to focus on work. My life doesn't stop because your mother's did. That was harsh but I will not erase it. I have to go Scar. Be good for Grandma Abbey and Grandpa Louis don't let me have to come pick you up.

Love always and forever, James Collin Summer also know as Dad.

I wanted to puke. Really I wanted to take the laptop and throw it at James Collin Summer's big fat head. He thinks he can make up for shipping me off to Springtrees by buying me a…laptop???? No. No way! I wanted to send the laptop back with a letter that said: Up yours daddy dearest. But I wasn't going to do that. I looked at the small thing that sat on the desk Mom probably used back when she was my age. Why not keep the expensive gift? Forget about James Collin Summer.

I dropped my suitcase on top of the old dresser and threw myself on my bed. The pillow smelled of Mom's favorite shampoo. Tears that threaten to come and this time I let them. I was allowed to cry. I just lost my Mommy. My Dad could care shit about his kids. I was living in a freaken forest with my mean Grandma, my sad Grandpa, the peppy queen Kathleen and Aunt Rebecca. I was sooooo allowed to cry. And I did. I cried myself to sleep.

……

I woke up freezing. It was strangely cold in this room. The cold went through my sweatshirt like it was nothing but a tang top. I got up, looking out the one window. All I could see outside though was snow and freaken trees. It looked like something an artist would paint calling it "Winter Wonderland" I called it hell. I would trade it for the city in a heartbeat.

I got off the bed and checked the mirror. My black hair stuck to my face and my blue eyes were beyond swollen. My face was blotchy and pink. It looks like I was crying for hours which I probably did. I didn't care. I opened my bedroom door and listen for any sounds. I heard faint laughter from the living room and some sounds of people cooking in the kitchen.

Shit. People. I didn't want to talk to anyone. I was going back in my room, deciding to wait till everyone was asleep to raid the fridge when I heard someone scream my name. I cringed at the sound. For I knew to well who was calling me.

"Scarlet you woke up just in time." Kathleen said her own blue eyes were filled with excitement. "Dinner is ready. Your going to love it. Grandma made turkey with potatoes, salad, Mac and cheese and she made for dessert blueberry pie. She heard it was your favorite. Come on before grandpa eats it all." I wanted to lie. Say I wasn't hungry. Say I was vegetarian. Say I had taken a vow to eat nothing with annoying people. I wanted to. But I knew it was pointless. Angel face probably would find a way to eat with them. So I only nodded and let her tug me into the dining room.

"Look who finally woke up!" Kathleen said smiling at her family. The room became quiet. Aunt Rebecca became sad. Abbey got a sour look on her face. The only one who actually smiled was Louis.

"Ah Benny come join us for supper. We made your favorite blueberry pie." He said. I heard the whole room take in a breath as they waited for my reaction to being called Mom. I decided to let the old man think and say whatever he wants. Who was I to crush his spirit by reminding him his daughter, my beautiful Mommy was dead.

I pulled out my chair closes to Aunt Rebecca and filled my plate with turkey. The whole table relaxed and began talking. I drowned out the sound of their stupid chatter. I focused on every bite and everything but them. The food was good. I filled my plate with enough food to feed an army and ate all of it. The only time I opened my mouth was to have another forkful of food. Other wise I kept my mouth shut. I didn't jump in the conversation. I only nodded when people looked at my direction. I also did not eat the blueberry pie since everyone was so damn excited about it.

"So would you?" Kathleen asked. The whole table was looking at me. I was so focused on toning them out. I was startled when everyone was looking at me. Abbey looked angry. She kept sucking on her cheek.

"What?" I asked. Abbey let out a sigh of frustration. She filled her mouth with some pie so she wouldn't say anything cruel.

"Would you come work in Grandma and Grandpa's bakery?" No. no I did not want to work with Kathleen. Ever!

"She has to." Abbey says. "It was part of the agreement. Scarlet gets to stay here in Springtrees if she works in the bakery and gets high grades in school. And stay out of trouble of course." No way was I going to work there.

"Yeah!!!" Kathleen shouted ignoring the warning looks her Mother shots her across the table. "Me and you Scar working in a bakery! I cannot wait!"

I learned recently that screaming and throwing a fit does not help you get your way. It only entertains the people that upset you. The best way to get your point across without getting in as much trouble and from not wasting your breath is simple….walk away. That is exactly what I did.

I pushed my chair back, frowned at everyone and without saying a word I walked back to my room and shut the door firmly. I wanted to scream but I wasn't. I went to the laptop and pushed the power button. Surprisingly it came turned on fast. I clicked on my user name and waited. When the screen popped up I let out a scream.

There as my wallpaper was a picture of Mom. She was smiling showing off her beautiful white teeth. Her black hair was pulled back but a few stray hairs fell into her clear white forehead. Her blue eyes that matched the color of the sky were filled with laughter and hope. She was gorgeous and dead. I wanted to turn the hated laptop off but that made me feel like I was turning Mom off. So instead I closed it and cried on top of it till I felt like my eyes would bleed if kept on. I hated it here. I hated them.