"Hey Atlis!" I turned around, ready for more ridicule.
"Watch out for that chick!" I rolled my eyes and turned around. And ran into 'that chick'. The new chick to be precise. The particularly good looking new chick.
"Watch it there bud." She said good naturedly. The girl beside her snorted and walked away after an unsuccessful attempt to pull her forward.
"Sorry. You're friend is leaving you."
"Well then. It's a good thing I don't like her. She was doing the typical 'harass-the-new-kid-to-see-if-she's-cool' thing."
"Ah, I see. Then I guess I won't offer to walk with you. Wouldn't want to harass you or anything."
"Well, if you don't ask, I can't accept." She gave me a smile, and her green-brown eyes relaxed. They weren't caked in make-up as were the other girls', but just set in her skull with only natural beauty.
"Hey, if your up to it, then lead the way." We started off, but her phone bleeped. When she went to read the text, her brown hair fell into her face. The intense color looked fake, but you could tell it was natural. There were blonde streaks all through it, and she looked amazing. When she looked up though, there was only alarm.
"I… have to go. Alone. I'm sorry, maybe another time. Bye."
"Wait! What's your name?" I called as she hurried away. She turned, and even though she was obviously stressed, her small smile came out soft, sly, and devilishly full of promised trouble.
"Dakota." And with that, she was gone.
The walk home was uneventful, but when I got there, I wished it would have lasted longer. My mom was in the dining room doing bills.
"You dang kids do too much. Watch too much T.V, use too much light, break too many things. All these bills are killing me." She complained, switching her glare from the papers to me. "Where are your sisters?"
"Hayden and Artemis went to the movies I think, I haven't seen Lena all day." My mom rolled her eyes.
"Bet they're using my money too, huh?"
"No, I think Artemis is paying for it. She did get a job you know."
"Yes I know. Don't get smart." I sighed and went into the living room. There was a book laying on the coffee table, but the title was in illegible cursive. I picked it up, trying to decipher the title when Lena came up behind me and snatched it out of my hands.
"Don't touch what isn't yours." She snapped.
"Sorry." I muttered. She was one year older than me and she thought that made her something special. Hayden was three years older, and Artemis was my twin, though we were nothing alike, especially in looks. She curled her nose at me and turned away.
"Mom, I smell something funky on Atlis. You might want to give him a drug test. Are you on drugs brother dear?" I rolled my eyes. I've never even drunken alcohol, let alone do drugs.
"No, I'm not on drugs."
"You better not be. I'll beat you into tomorrow." I sighed and walked upstairs to my room, where my piles of CD's were waiting. I put in an angry sounding one and lay back, thinking of Dakota, who was the highlight of my day.
"Whatcha thinking bout, love?" Hayden barged into my room.
"Huh? Oh, just my day. I met a new girl."
"Ooh, what's her name?" She waggled her eyebrows.
"Dakota. I ran into her after school. Literally. I offered to walk her home, but she had somewhere to be." I told her, then added when she looked sympathetic, "She accepted at first, but then she got a text and had to rush off somewhere else. She looked a bit alarmed actually."
"I see. Well, how was the rest of your day?" She always acted the mother to us, even to Artemis, who is her own, independent fireball of fury. As in, she was snippy, sarcastic, and insecure.
"Eh. The usual."
"Hmm, sorry hon. Well, ask me how my day was. Come on, do it." She was smiling and looked excited.
"How was your day Haddy?"
"My day was pretty great, if you really want to know. I decided to skip school halfway through the day, I know its bad don't yell at me, I'm a senior I can do what I want. But anyways, me and Jade left and went down to the beach, where we found a pile of sea glass. Then we went shopping and I got some jewelry and a book, and we just fooled around because we could. Then after school, Tristan asked me to the movies, so I brought Artemis cause I overheard her say she wanted to see it. The movie was great, by the way. Afterward he kissed my cheek! Which proves it, He does love me!" She fell back on my bed. "If he was just wanted me for my body or money, then he would have went for the lips, though I've never kissed him on the lips, but he didn't. He kissed my cheek, which is a sign of affection." She was grinning from ear to ear, and clutching her cheek.
"That's great Haddy. Do you think he'll propose?" She giggled.
"We're not that serious yet, but hopefully someday he will. We're only seniors, we have the rest of our lives. I have decided that he's the one I want to grow old and crabby with."
"Well, I'll have to meet him and give him the official stamp of approval before he tries anything with you."
"Maybe I can invite him over for dinner!"
"Not tonight, mom's being a cow and it's too late to get anything started in time, unless he likes frozen T.V dinners."
"Mom's always a cow, but I guess your right." She sighed, "There's always tomorrow."
"Sure, I'm not doing anything, and I can help you with dinner. Go tell mom." She kissed my cheek and bounded out of the room to inform my mother of the plans. I used to imagine Hayden was my mother, and we'd all go off one day to some exotic place and live happy lives. Hayden was always so much happier and more loving than my mother, who all but despised us. I heard a great commotion downstairs and figured that meant Todd was home. He's my step dad, but none of us call him dad, just Todd, or 'the replacement'.
"If you want food I suggest you come down now before Todd eats it all. You know how fat he is." Artemis tells me from my doorway, then keeps walking.
"You don't have to be so mean about it."I mutter and stand up. Stretching can feel so good sometimes, especially when you've been sitting in classrooms all day. Downstairs feels like an icebox, but I suffer through it and claim a microwaved meal for myself. Just as Artemis was saying, Todd grabs a few meals instead of just one. He is a bit large, but not grossly so, like some people. We all grabbed a seat on the couch and sat down to eat and watch T.V. It was Todd's turn to choose the show, and he chose some football game; he and Lena were soon up and yelling at the screen.
"Why would you throw that? Are you stupid?"
"Come on! That was obviously a penalty!" Behind her manicured nails, Lena loves football, and could probably beat me at it if she wanted to. I turned to Hayden.
"So how did it go with mom?" She made a face.
"He can come, but we have to make dinner, clean it up, clean the house, and he can only stay till 9. At first it was 8:30, but I got her to add an extra half hour. Hopefully that is a good thing and it doesn't turn out bad because the more he stays with us the more he realizes how crazy we are."
"Don't worry Hay, It'll be fine. And even if he does decide your family is crazy, as long as he likes you it makes no difference."
"You're right I guess." She looked so nervous.
"I'm always right. It's common knowledge. Now lets try to be like Lena and get into this game."
That night I lay in bed trying to think of jokes I could tell Dakota to make her laugh. Lame, I know, but a guy's gotta do what a guys gotta do. I want her to like me, not decide I'm lame, so I have to think of things to say that aren't completely idiotic. Which is hard because I am for the most part. I finally fell asleep to unfinished catch phrases and nonsense sentences.
"Atlis Nathaniel, you better get your butt outta that bed before I kick it out!" My mom yelled up the stairs at me. I groaned and rubbed my eyes, which were trying to get used to the light. There were clothes already laid out and I quickly changed into them, trying to keep out the chill.
"Hurry, mom's taking us today 'cause she has to go out." Artemis yawned at me.
"I'm coming, keep your panties on."
"I'm in no rush, but I'm sure mom would appreciate that kind language directed towards her." I rolled my eyes and shut myself in the bathroom to brush my teeth. Sparing a long glance in the mirror, my thoughts went to my appearance. Even if I could think of funny things to say, what if I didn't look good enough for her? She didn't seem that shallow, but maybe she's just nice to everyone, but would never think to date me. My mom beeped outside, and I hurried to grab my bag and head out the door, completely forgetting breakfast. My mom was grumbling as usual when she dropped us off at the school. Hayden wasn't with us because she always goes early to get food with her friends. I was invited a few times, but it was pretty boring considering they all ignored me and I had no clue what they were talking about.
"Hey, Map! Over here!" My best friend, Greg called me over. Since an Atlas is a book for maps, they decided the name fit, though it was spelled different.
"Hey dude, whats up?" I said motioning to the big scar on his face.
"Oh.. me and Jake got into another fight. He did this with a knife. I'm telling you, the dude's crazy! He needs major mental help I swear." Jake is his brother with anger issues. We hiked up the stairs and entered the building, away from the cold, September air. The geometry teacher, Mr. Kabula was standing outside his room handing sheets out to everyone who went in. I left Greg there, and went to my own homeroom. Mrs. Tab was yelling at a kid for slamming his locker loudly, so I made sure to slip mine quietly closed before going into the room.
"Atlis!" Mrs. Tab motioned me over.
"Yes?" I then noticed that Dakota was standing beside her.
"Miss. Foster here is new and as she didn't come till the end of the day yesterday, I want you to show her around. She says you've already met?"
"Yes, I'll show her around." She smiled, then motioned us off. I went to my seat, and Dakota took the one in front of me. I wanted to talk to her, but Mrs. Tab doesn't welcome talking, and I'd rather be silent now, than in detention later.
After the bell rung I took her schedule and compared it with mine.
"Come on, I'll show you to your next class. It's on the third floor. You have it with my friend Greg, he can show you to your class after that. We all have that one together." We walked up the stairs in a slow moving line with the other students until finally reaching the top floor.
"This is it, and there's Greg. Hey! Greg, over here."
"Why are you here?" He asked.
"This is Dakota, she's new. Show her to our next class; she has it with us. Alright? Thanks. Bye guys." I headed off to first period feeling better than I normally would.
I felt something hit my back, and turned around. On the ground behind me was a balled up piece of paper. On the paper was a drawing of me, a good one, but all my features were disfigured. I threw a look of disgust behind me and tossed the ball in the trash. For some reason I never hit it off good with any of the students and have always been an object of disgust. I didn't let it ruin my mood though; I was still happy that Dakota singled me out to show her around. Maybe she doesn't think I'm such a dud after all. Hopefully.
The bell rung and I made it to my class earlier than I normally would.
"You got a keeper there." Greg whispered and winked at me. I hit his arm, but smiled all the same. Dakota went and pulled a chair up to our group, and I tried to try out some of my jokes on her. But after the first one Greg shot me a look that told me to just shut up. Dakota found it pretty funny though.
"Hey Dakota, why did the girl drop her ice cream?"
"She was hit by a bus." Anti-jokes. The most horribly funny things in the planet. Dakota was caught in a fit of laughter, while trying to get out that that is so horrible. By then the teacher has already come in and is of course trying to start class.
"Mrs. Foster, please tell me what you find so funny that it needs to interrupt my teaching." So Dakota shrugged and told her the joke. "That is not funny at all. Now, learn to control yourself or there will be consequences. I'll let you off this once because you don't know my rules."
"Yes Ma'am." Now she was the picture of innocence. I felt a good bit of respect for her, considering most people would have either told her that nothing was funny and stopped laughing, or just simply argued with her and gotten sent down to the office. She handled it like a pro. The rest of the period was spent in stony silence.
"I can't believe you told her the joke!" Greg burst out laughing when we exited the room. "Her face was hilarious, like you just mentioned that you worship the devil or something." Dakota shrugged and we left Greg.
"Hey cool, we have the same lunch." I was hoping that she wouldn't drop the bomb and say she already had a table to sit at. She didn't.
"Is that your discreet way of asking me to eat with you?" I tried to not blush, and nodded.
"Well alright, if you insist. And maybe today you could even walk me home?"
"Well, yeah, of course. I have to get home quick though, my sisters boyfriend is coming over for dinner, and I need to help her clean up." I wanted to ask her to come over too, but this was Haddy's night, and I wasn't sure I could take that much Dakota in one day anyways.
At lunch I took her to my spot along the fence of the football field. While we ate conversation came easy.
"So, have anything I should know about? Favorites, secrets, creepy obsessions..." I asked her.
"Well you know, there is that one cult I joined last year..." I laughed. "No, but I do love the color green and Wolves. I play the viola and guitar, and my favorite flower is a lilac."
"Well, my favorite color happens to be purple. Gay, I know. I love ducks, and I probably just got even gayer so I'm just going to shut up now before you decide that I'm completely fruity." I blushed. Why would I tell her that my favorite animal happens to be a duck? I'm trying to impress her, not become her gay best friend.
"No no, I want to hear the rest. Do you play anything, have any favorite bands, flowers? And believe me, I don't think you're gay."
"Good. Well, I don't play anything, and I listen to almost anything. I do like Forget-me-nots. Unless you think that's gay, then forget I ever said that."She laughed, then stole my apple.
"It's a bit bruised." She said, then handed it back to me, one bite taken out.
"So first you laugh at me, then you steal my apple, then have the audacity to hand it back after you already started eating it because it's bruised." I threw the apple at her, and she stuck out her tongue.
"Well, how about your home life?"
"My dad died when I was four, and my mom is, well, not a very pleasant person. My step dad is alright. Hayden, my oldest sister, is like a mother to us, you'd like her. Lena is a brat, and Artemis, my twin, is also not a very pleasant person. How about yours?"
"You never mentioned you had a twin! Anyways, my dad took off a few years ago, and my mom is never home so it's like I have no parents. My older brother Caleb just graduated and now he's off all over the place. I envy him sometimes. He gets to roam sometimes with friends, sometimes with no one but his shadow. It must be nice to have the world at your expense. To go somewhere and just slip into the crowd for a while." She looked far off, so I let her think for a little. Then, of course, the bell rang.
We met up after school and started on our way to her house.
"This way." She grabbed my hand and started to run down the ally.
""Why did we have to run?" I asked, panting when we got to the other side.
"I don't know, the ally just creeps me out, so I always run through it, sorry." I noticed that she still had hold of my hand, but I didn't pull away.
"Well, lead the way further madam."
"Certainly, good sir." She said and skipped ahead laughing.
When we finally got to her house she invited me in for a few, but I was already late to help Hayden, so I had to decline.
"See ya tomorrow." I called and started to jog home.
"Where were you? I've been cleaning like mad, and no one would help me out."
"Sorry, remember that girl I told you about yesterday? I walked her home. I'm sorry I'm late, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to. She's actually a really cool person. I wanted to ask her over, but tonight's your night, so I didn't. Now lets get cooking."
"Hey good looking, whatcha got cookin'!" She started singing in a really bad voice, making me laugh.
"So, whats on the menu? And when's he getting here?"
"I thought about making maybe some chicken thing with mashed potatoes and corn? He'll be here around 6:30."
"Sounds good Hay." We slaved around the house cleaning up and cooking until about 6 when we both realized we needed a shower. When we were both done it was almost time for him to get here, so we just sat around waiting.
When the doorbell rung, Hayden sprung up all smiles.
"He's here! Everyone behave!" I went with her to open up the door. The guy standing there was tall and tan, with hazel eyes and an inviting smile. His unruly brown hair was in a mass around his head, almost to his eyes.
"Tristan, this is my brother Atlis. Atlis, Tristan."
"Hey dude, How is it going?"
"Hey, pretty good." I shook his hand and noticed it was rough and calloused.
"So, I hear you like my sister." Hayden hit me, and he just blushed.
"I guess you could say that." He said sheepishly.
"Well OK. I guess we should go eat then." We all went into the kitchen where places were all set up. "Guys! Come eat!" I yelled up the stairs. Everyone came herding down.
"I bet it's as disgusting as it smells." Artemis grumbled.
"Don't say that! You'll upset Hayden." She sighed and we joined everyone at the table.
"Looks delicious Hay." Tristan smiled and squeezed her shoulder. My mom shot daggers at him.
"So Tristan, do you have a job?" I asked quickly, hoping to ease the tension.
"No, but I just applied at that pizza place down the road." He shot Hay a nervous glance when my mothers glaring continued.
"Dinner is pretty good Hay. But I guess that's probably just 'cause I helped make it." I tried the joke approach, but the tension was still there. Artemis was surely enjoying it though.
"So, are you guys planning on going upstairs to bed after dinner, if you know what I mean?" Artemis said evilly. Hayden looked close to tears, and Tristan looked embarrassed.
"Artemis, why don't you come over here a minute." I said levelly and she followed me into the kitchen. "Why are you being like this? Hayden has always been so good to you, and this is how you repay her? You need to learn to stop being such a- a- jerk." I finished lamely.
"Yeah, she's always been so good to me. unlike my actual mother, who doesn't care about me, or my twin or my other sister. I figure I got all that going for me, now all I need to work for is her. Maybe then she'll just stop trying to act like shes the one that gave birth to me." I just stared as she stalked back to the table, and eventually went back too, trying to put a smile on my face.
"Hayden dear, why don't you go get desert, if everyone is ready?" I waited for someone to challenge me.
"Sounds good." Lena put in. Hayden rushed to the kitchen and back, carrying a chocolate cake she made when she got home. As Todd cut greedy pieces, I tried yet again to engage Tristan in conversation.
"So, do you play any sports?"
"Yeah, I play soccer and run cross country."
"I'm going in to watch something on TV." Lena said, and hurried out of the tension filled room. Todd and Artemis followed suit and there was soon an argument on who's turn it was to choose the channel.
"I guess if everyone's done we should go in there too. No use sitting in here." I sighed and we all transported to the living room. The channel was set on some cop show spouting inappropriate comments. We all sat down and Artemis squeezed herself between Tristan and Hayden screaming about leaving room for Jesus.
"Hey, Hayden, Tristan, come with me." I led them out of the room, and out into the brisk night. Hayden looked like she might hug me, for giving them a reason to leave the room. Tristan's face was relieved as we sat down on the cement step.
"I'm so sorry, I didn't know they would all act like that!" Hayden wailed, and put her head in her hands.
"No, it's OK, you have a crazy family, don't worry I do too." Tristan comforted her, running circles on her back. "Wait till I invite you over. Then again don't, I don't want you to meet them." He laughed. Hayden sniffled, sighed, and lifted up her head.
"So, you don't hate me 'cause of tonight?" He smiled and shook his head. I felt like an intruder, so I got up and took off down the road, telling them I was just going on a short walk.
It was cold out, but only just so to make your head clearer, not numbingly so. There were stars out, but all the trees clouded my view of the deep blue sky. I love the sky, it's so big and prevailing and unfazed. If the sky is falling down, well, then you should worry. Nothing stops it though. It's sure to see all kinds of brokenness and sorrow and hate and evil, but it still gets lighter and darker and fills with stars and the sun and moon and its what is really important. The big things.
Suddenly my phone goes off in my pocket.
"Hello?" I'm confused, not many people know this number besides Greg, and he never calls unless its planned or an emergency. Normally only texts.
"Um, hi. Atlas?" The confusion grows.
"Dakota? How did you get this number?"
"Oh," She laughs nervously, but then regains the fearless and bold composure that seems to define her. "I just looked up your home number, but then you weren't home and someone gave me your cell. Your sister most likely." Lena; Artemis is too pretentious to answer the phone.
"Well what do you need?"
"Um, I know its late and you don't really know me, but could you maybe meet me outside of the school? I just.. I don't know." Her voice was odd, but my teenage guy hormones wouldn't let me dwell. I mean, a hot girl I just met wants me to meet up with her? Duh.
"Yeah, totally, when will you be there? I was already walking, so I'll be there in about two minutes." I probably sounded desperate. Which wouldn't be far off.
"In about five. Thank you, see you then. Gotta get off now, bye." I added her number to my contacts in a daze. Then I called Hayden.
"Hay, um, I don't know what you tell mom, but I don't know when I'll be home. Tell her I went to Greg's or something to pick up my homework. I'll tell you what's going on when I get back."
"Well, I guess I do owe you. Thank you so much, I love you, and you are the most amazing brother I have ever had!"
"Wow, that's saying something." I said dryly, being her only brother. "Ok, thank you so much, bye Hayden." I ran my hands through my hair and that's when I was yanked into the wood line. "Wha-?" I exclaimed. Then a slender hand cut me off from yelling out.
"Shut up." Dakota laughed, and I could make out her features from the shadows. "Your gonna let someone know we're here." I liked where this was going. "Come on, I'm going to show you something I found the first day I was here." She took my hand and set off farther in the woods. Pretty soon we're standing in front of a small shack/ shed that might have been standing there since the 1800's for all I could tell.
"Is it safe? Looks like its about to keel over to me."
"Well, maybe so, but I've been in here plenty and nothings fallen down yet. Lets go in." She still had hold of my hand, but let go to open the rickety door. Inside it was just like what you would think of an old cottage from the 1600's. In the corner there was a small fireplace with a big cauldron hanging. A table sat in the center almost against the wall. It was too dark to make out anything else but a wooden rocking chair, probably rotting. Dakota made her way to the fireplace, and suddenly it was ablaze. I saw she had stocked it with wood, and there was a box of matches.
"Jeez, come here often?" There were boxes of snacks and a change of clothes. A pocket knife sat on the table along with a candle some water bottles and a portable radio. Leaning against it was a guitar.
"why don't you play me something?" I motioned to the instrument. She walked over and started playing a sad melody. And then stopped. "No, keep going. Are there words?" She nodded, but put it down.
"Want some noodles?" She took a packet of Ramen noodles out of a cupboard and dumped water into the cauldron. After putting the noodles inside too she hung it on a little hook above the fire.
"This is a really nifty little set up." I took it all in, as she got out some bowls.
"I know, I was exploring and found it, so I went home and got some stuff, washed the cauldron, now I have food, drinks, Including hot chocolate, a chair, some books, music, you know. I love coming here."
"Well, why did you bring me here at like, eight thirty at night?" Her face flashed something, but it was gone too quick to recognize.
"Oh.. Well, I don't know. Me and my boyfriend got into an... argument." She said. "I just wanted to get away and hang out with someone, and, well, you are really one of my only friends here. Be flattered." I was slightly disappointed she had a boyfriend, but then I figured that maybe if they're arguing they'll break up. Then I scolded myself for wishing that upon her.
"Well, whats there to do here if you won't play for me." She was going to say something, and then her composure broke. A few tears slipped out and I went over and hugged her.
"Do you want to talk about it?" I smoothed her hair.
"No, I can't tell you." She sniffled. I felt bad for not knowing what to do, but that's all there was to it. Some chick I just met took me to her cottage at night and started to cry, meanwhile telling me she couldn't tell me why. I was completely confused and at loss for what to do. The noodles started to steam, so I used the cloth there to take it off the hook and away from the fire. After the noodles were transferred to the bowls I took them over to her. "Here," I handed her a bowl and fork. She was done crying, but circling a small spot on her arm. I went to look at what was there, but she snatched her arm back, and made sure her sleeves were down low. Then took the bowl and acted as if she hadn't had a little freak out.
"So, want to learn how to play?"
An hour and a half later I could play a few chords of some song I don't know decently enough.
"I should probably get home," I said looking at the time and the texts from Hayden asking me whether I was coming home soon, and if I was Ok.
It was a little after ten, and I helped her clean up.
"Walk me home? I don't want to go home alone in the dark." She was back to her bold outgoing self. We started through the woods, tripping and jumping at every sound, and laughing, until we got out onto the street.
After I got home my mom had already gone to bed, but Hayden was sitting up, waiting for me.
"Where have you been? It's like ten thirty, and I've been worried sick! You didn't say it would take this long, and you could have answered my texts." She started on me. I just walked over and gave her a hug, asking how it went after I left. "Well, we went back in after a while, I gave mom some whole story, no one argued any more, he left in good spirits, and I've been cleaning up and waiting for you." From the look she gave me I figured I had better start talking, so I told her everything.
"Awe, that's kind of cute, that she would go through all that trouble to call you and all. But now that you've told me, lets get to bed, I'm beat." I followed her upstairs splitting up to our separate rooms. I hit the pillow and started dreaming.
Dakota was sitting on the ground, curled up, but I could only see her, the rest was fog. She was bleeding and bruised, cowering from something. Then the scene changed and I was starting down at a body of water, floating just above it. There was something just under it, it looked like a person, but when I brought my face closer I fell into it and started to drown, and woke up. I was soaked in sweat and gasping, like I really had started to drown. I slowly lay my head back down, and sighed. I hadn't had a dream in a while, let alone a dream like that. I don't know if it could be classified as a nightmare, but it was certainly unsettling. I rolled over, but of course, couldn't fall back asleep. So I got up and went for another walk.
The night was full of little noises, from bugs to animals. Again, the trees blocked my view, so I went and lay in the middle of the street. Not one of my better plans, but I doubt very many people will be driving around our dingy little town at three in the morning. Looking up in the sky I try and make out some of the constellations, but I never actually studied what they are, so I only know the dippers and Orian's belt. My mind drifts away, and I... am forced awake by someone honking and swerving, yelling profanities at me. It's light out, and I quickly stand up, heading home. I guess I fell asleep. In the middle of the road. I should be glad I didn't get run over or the police called on me. When I walk in the door I see it's only six, and no one else is awake. Of course it's Saturday, and I have nothing to do all day, so it would be up to the fates to make my day just a little longer.
At about seven thirty Artemis came down and grabbed a banana, but slipped back upstairs to do who knows what. I shook my head at the tiny slip of a girl, who could dismantle an army officers mind, and just so happened to be my twin. She hadn't always been so bitter, just sometimes bitter. When she grew up though, and realized my mom wasn't such a mom, she started to hate everyone. I heard a toilet flush, and shuffling footsteps. Lena came downstairs and headed straight for the coffee maker. She was always the diva; always wanting attention and pretty things, you know. Somehow, though, she also got the sports gene, so shes always the center of the field. She shot me a dirty look, presumably from not making coffee even though I was up. I sighed, and that's when Greg shot into my house, panting, and blood on his shirt.