Here's the first chapter. I've officially started to re-post this story. Hopefully it won't take me very long to complete putting up the chapters. Because I've already had this up before and I only deleted it to fix grammar, mechanics, etc., and to add a few chapters, I won't be updating regularly. I'm going to try and put up a few chapters a week, that way it'll be finished as soon as possible. Thank you! I love you all.
"Kodi! Hurry up or you'll miss your flight!" My mother yelled at me from down the hall.
"I'm coming!" I yelled back.
Missing my flight wouldn't be such a bad thing, I thought moodily as I walked down the hall of the small, three-bedroom house my mother and I live in, dragging my suitcase behind me.
My mother was making me fly to California to spend the next three weeks of my summer vacation with my father. I sighed as I shoved my bag into the trunk of Mom's car and then went to the front and got in the passenger's seat. Mom climbed into the driver's seat beside me and started the engine a beat behind.
"Now remember, Mark hasn't seen you in six years. There are a lot of things different than they were." My mom reminded me.
I rolled my gray eyes at the window and pushed away the bitter feeling inside. My father was a big-shot movie director who lived in Los Angeles, California; I highly doubted that he would even be home to spend time with me. But I preferred it that way and I wasn't going to say anything to Mom, since she seemed so happy that I had—albeit, grudgingly—agreed.
"Yeah, and it's not my fault he hasn't seen me since my tenth birthday."
"I know sweetie, but be good. Please."
"I will if he is." I muttered.
"What was that?" She asked good-naturedly.
"I said, 'Yes ma'am.'"
She rolled her eyes. "Yeah, right."
I grinned and stared out the windshield, watching the Michigan scenery flash by. I loved my mother more than anything. We were the best of friends. Ever since I was little my mom had always been there for me. She didn't care what it was; she would always listen to me whenever I needed her to. She wasn't pushy or over-bearing, just understanding yet firm. She treated my friends like they were her own children, which meant we could do just about anything we wanted. Sure, I still had a curfew and had to do chores, but I didn't mind. In my opinion, Laura Palmer was the best mother a girl could ask for.
My father, however, was a totally different story. My parents had met right after Mom had graduated from law school, and they'd fallen in love and got married. My dad was a movie star at the time, but then switched strictly to directing when my older brother, Dean, was born. Three years after that I came along. And then on the month of my third birthday, my dad decided he was done with the family life and just up and left us. A few months later, Mom received a manila envelope containing divorce papers. Their divorce had been finalized about a year later; my mom kept me and my dad got custody of Dean. Dean would usually come to visit every summer and I would see my dad whenever he felt like showing his face. And that was pretty much my family history.
Mom and I made it to Detroit Metropolitan Airport with two hours to spare. She parked the car and both of us got out before I unloaded my stuff. Slamming the trunk shut, I turned to my mom, who then pulled me into a fierce hug.
"Bye, sweetheart. Try and have some fun, okay?" She said.
I nodded, returning her hug just as fiercely.
"I will. Love you, Mom." I said, finally letting her go after a full minute.
"I love you too, Kodi." She told me, giving me a quick kiss on the cheek. "I'm sorry I can't go in with you. Say 'hello' to Dean for me."
I smiled. "I will, promise. And it's okay, Mom, I'm a big girl now; I can take care of myself."
She nodded. "I know, and I hate it."
I smiled and gave her another quick hug. She smiled back before getting back in the car. Mom didn't start the car, just waved at me as I sighed and looked towards the airport glumly. I waved back and gave her another smile before turning and, with another sigh, walking forward slowly. After going through all the necessary motions I was finally allowed on the plane. Looking down at my ticket, I found my assigned seat and then shoved it back into the side pocket of my carry-on. Sitting down, I pulled out my iPod from my backpack and then pushed it under the seat in front of me.
I had no idea why my mother had randomly wanted me to visit my father so badly, but I was only going for her. I really didn't care about my father and it was obvious he couldn't care less about me. I wouldn't admit it out loud, but it did upset me that he was never there for me. At least, it had when I was younger. I had come to terms with my father's absence years ago. The only thing I was looking forward to in this trip was the fact I'd get to spend most of it with Dean. He hadn't been able to come the year before because he'd had college stuff to take care of. I slowly drifted off to sleep, gladly passing away the long four and a half hour flight.
As I came out of Los Angeles International Airport I looked around, searching for my father. He was supposed to have been waiting by the baggage claim, but he hadn't. I'd waited for fifteen minutes and he still hadn't showed up, so I decided I would come outside.
California was definitely much different than Michigan, but I liked it. It was strange to see palm trees instead of all the maples and other various evergreens and lush greenery that made up Michigan landscape. But it was a good strange. I took my phone out of my pocket and turned it on; I had a feeling Mark had left a message. Sure enough, once it turned on the missed call icon was blinking. I typed in my password and put it to my ear.
"Hey Dakota, this is your father. I'm sorry, but I won't be able to pick you up. Some things at work I need to sort out. I sent my driver to go pick you up though; he's in a red Chevy Cobalt. I should be home for dinner, I'll see you then. Love you."
I rolled my eyes as I put my phone away. Typical Mark Masters: No time for anyone but himself. It didn't surprise me in the least; most of me hadn't really been counting on him being here in the first place. But part of me still felt hurt that Mark didn't have time for his own daughter. Pushing the thought away before the hurt could fully blossom, I searched the nearest parking lot. Once I saw a red Chevy Cobalt, I walked towards it. The man in the driver's seat got out as approached.
"Are you Dakota Palmer?"
I nodded. A grunt was his only response as he grabbed my suitcase and put it in the trunk. I got in the back and just as I did my phone started to ring.
I remembered black skies
The lightning all around me
I remembered each flash
"Hello?" I answered, forgetting to look at the caller ID.
"Kode-ster!" A male voice said, and I recognized it immediately as my best friend Jacob Hart.
I smiled to myself. "Hey, Jake!"
"So, how's it going?"
"Well I've been here a grand total of forty-five minutes and he's already breaking promises." I said with a dry laugh.
"I'm sorry." Jacob replied sympathetically.
"Eh, it's all right, I'm used to it." I told him.
"Well, I just called to check in on you. I actually expected it to go to voicemail. Anyways, I've got to go. Hope you have some fun." He said.
"Okay, that's fine. I doubt it, but I'll try. See you Jake, tell everyone else 'hey' for me."
"Will do. Bye, Kodi."
I said goodbye and hung up my phone before slipping it back into my pocket. I looked out at the sights with a smile. Okay, so I was excited about being in California. It seemed like forever had passed when we finally arrived, but it was actually just thirty minutes. Mark's house was a lot bigger than I had expected it to be. He had moved since the one other time I'd visited him here in Cali. The house was a full two stories and the front lawn was huge. There was a little pond, complete with a little waterfall, to the right of the stone walkway. There were only about six houses on the Los Angeles street; each one was huge and separated from the other by about an acre of land.
"You've got to be kidding me." I muttered. I knew Mark was rich—he always sent expensive gifts like jewelry and electronics for birthdays and Christmases—but this was ridiculous!
The driver pulled out my suitcase and put it on the curb, then drove off without a word. Shaking my head, I pulled my suitcase up to the glass double front doors with some difficulty. No one answered when I rang the doorbell, so I tried the handle. The door opened, which made me wonder what the point of having a big house was if you didn't even lock the door, but stepped into the foyer anyway. As I walked in I couldn't keep my jaw from dropping. There was a chandelier in the middle of the foyer ceiling; as I walked into the living room it was spacious and very elegant. I dragged my stuff up the staircase to the left of the foyer and found my room by the sign on the door.
"Hello?" I called out. There was no reply.
Cautiously I looked around what I assumed to be an upstairs living room but saw no one. I walked down the hallway and as I did, I heard a strange noise coming from one of the rooms. Following the noise led me to a bedroom door that was cracked open. I knocked on the door and the noise ceased seconds later.
"Dude, did you hear that?" A male voice said.
"Hear what? There's no one here but us, get back to the game." Another male voice said. This one was familiar.
"Hello?" I asked uncertainly.
The door was yanked open from the inside. And in the doorway stood Dean.
"Kodi! I didn't know you were going to be here this early!" He said, his green eyes sparkling.
"Well I am." I told him, taking in his appearance. His brown hair was slightly longer than it had been the last I'd seen him, but other than that he looked the same. It felt good to have something familiar in this huge, slightly intimidating house.
He grinned and pulled my into a quick hug before pushing me away once more. "It's good to see you again, little sister."
I rolled my eyes, a smile playing at my lips.
"Yeah, you too. I'll be in my room, I guess. Let me know when Mark comes home. Oh, and Mom says 'Hi.'"
"Okay, thanks." he said with a smile before going back into his room. I went back the way I came and went back into my room, which I had located with the help of the purple dry erase board with the name 'Dakota' written in Mark's scrawl. After taking in the largeness of it, I walked over to the window and looked out.
I had a beautiful view of the backyard, which was also huge and fenced in with tall wooden slats. After the high-columned back porch there was a huge swimming pool. It—like the front yard pond—had a small waterfall flowing into it, which came from a smaller, round pool above and slightly to the right of it.
After I'd examined the backyard, I decided to start unpacking. It would definitely take some time to get used to my huge room. It was almost double the size of my room back home; the bed was a queen instead of a double, I had my own bathroom connected to my room, it had a big walk-in closet, and it had a twenty-inch flat screen TV mounted on the wall across from my bed. Laughing, I shook my head. This vacation would be interesting, if nothing else. At six thirty, Mark finally came home. I'd heard his car pull into the driveway, so I went downstairs to meet him.
"How have you been, Dakota? I haven't seen you in years. You're so grown up." He said, releasing me from a hug.
And who's fault in that, Daddy? I thought, though managed to bite back the rude yet true retort. I gave him a fake smile. He wasn't the only one who could act.
"That's good. You still got those friends of yours, uh, Matt, Josh, and Sage?" He asked.
I resisted the urge to roll my eyes. "You mean Max, Jacob, and Paige?" I asked, emphasizing each name as I said it.
"Er- yeah, them."
"Yes, we're still friends." I answered.
"That's good." I just nodded. Was that all he could come up with?
A petite, middle aged, blonde woman entered the room just then. I assumed she was the maid, though Mark didn't introduce us so I couldn't be sure.
"Mr. Masters, dinner is ready." She said.
Mark turned to her. "Thank you, Lucy. Could you please tell Dean?"
The woman nodded and headed upstairs. I followed Mark to the dining room and sat down across from him at the table.
"So how's work?" I asked.
He shrugged. "It's work."
"Oh." No need to be so specific, I thought sarcastically.
Dean came into the room a few moments later, followed by a tall, sandy haired boy with brown eyes who looked about the same age as Dean.
"Dean, did you introduce your sister to Leo?" Mark asked.
Dean shook his head. "Nope, not yet."
"Kodi, this is my friend Leo. Leo, this is my little sister, Kodi." Dean said, sitting down next to me.
"Hello," I said politely.
Leo grinned at me. "Hey."
He sent a wink my way as he sat down. Ugh, I shouldn't be dealing with this right now, I thought, shaking my head. Mom, why did you have to make me come here?
"Did I mention she's my younger sister?" Dean said pointedly. "Which means she's underage."
Mark seemed completely oblivious to what was going on; he was reading something on his smart phone. I sighed. What was the point of eating together if no one was going to talk about their days? Not that I really wanted to go there with my estranged father…. Despite Dean's obvious warning, his friend kept sending me suggestive glances all through dinner, which eventually made me lose my appetite. I stood abruptly, half of my dinner still on my plate.
"I'll be in my room." I said.
I picked up a handful of the salad left on my plate and threw it at Leo before stalking off. Slamming my door shut, I jumped on my bed. Then I pulled out my phone and dialed Paige's number, needing desperately to talk to someone familiar and who didn't live in California.