Author's Note: This was a difficult story to write. I read four novels on this, one movie, and one TV show. Addiction is something that my family has never experienced. I have lost many friends to drugs. They were nice people until they made friends with a substance. This story has been rated "M" for substance abuse, touchy subject matter, and content.
Chapter One: Home
I walk along the side of the street toward my home. School sucks. That's all there is to say about it. I've recently moved here or rather the State of West Virginia moved me here. I am a ward of the State. Meaning the State pretty much owns me and can do whatever they please with me.
It's not my fault what happened. So, why was I the one to get sent away? I'll tell you. It's the oldest story in the book. Dad's drunk who downs a twelve pack at every meal and Mom's in prison for a long time for trafficking. Get the picture? So, the wonderful Mountain State decided to step in and take me out of the home. What they didn't ask was if I wanted to leave. No, no one bothered to ask little old me.
No one ever asks the children.
I'm not really a child anyone. I'm seventeen years old after all. My name is Jezebel Reyes. I am five foot two and weigh one hundred and fifteen pounds. My hair is almost black. It is a wavy mass that goes halfway down my back. I have olive skin that is flawless. Hey, don't mean to tut my own horn, but I am beautiful.
Too beautiful for foster care.
Pretty girls don't belong to loser parents.
Pretty girls don't have loser parents even in the movies.
It just doesn't happen.
I look up at my new "home." It's nothing special. It's just a two story house with paint peeling attached to another house with the same set up. All the houses have four windows in the front and are facing a narrow street. Cars line the streets in front of narrow porches. These porches line even smaller, unkempt lawns with little tiny fences around them. The neighbourhood is full of annoying dogs who can never stop barking. Add the occasional gunshot and there you have it. Not much, right?
Well, apparently it's good enough for the State.
Yes, my foster parents, the Flinns, are pretty nice people.
Yes, they do treat me as if I am one of their own.
However, it's not home, you know. It's just some place to live, but not to live. Does that make any sense? I've heard of that happening, but never really knowing what it was like until now. What it means it that it's some place to stay, not to be yourself.
Man, I'd better get off my high horse.
I step up on the porch. A boy stops in front of the house. He is tall with dirty blond hair and blue eyes.
"You live here?" he asks.
I nod. "Define live."
"I mean, you stay here."
"I'm Trey Larsson. I live a few houses down the street."
Trey nods. "Maybe I'll see you around."
He turns to leave. I check him out from behind. Oh, maybe I'll be seeing you around buddy.
Late that night, I bring Trey up and the Flinns tell me to stay away from him. They say that he is bad news. I'm looking for a little danger.