Alistair was by no means special. He had ordinary dusty brown hair, which he kept on the longish side of short, and was never quite neat. He was neither tall nor short, and did not look especially handsome, though neither was he ugly. He did not do well in school, but he did well enough to avoid attention. He was not picked on, and did not pick on others, and he had no real friends. He did not dress especially well, but he had clean clothes to last through the week. Nothing he owned or did was extraordinary, and he did not think anything particularly unusual about anything. In short, Alistair was perfectly normal. Only two people thought any differently.

Akilah was the first. Quiet and reserved, she did not speak much, though when she did it was worthwhile to listen to her. Her small group of friends was enough for her, and they all got along. She spent most of her time in the library, reading or studying or helping out. She was kind and pretty, but not beautiful, and while her body did not turn heads, she was happy with it. Akilah was smart, and got good grades. Some might describe her as a teacher's pet, but few payed that much attention to her. Her favourite hobby was to create elabourate fantasy worlds, populating them with knights and dragons and beautiful aristocrats, giving each character a complete story. Akilah was also absolutely, irrevocably, completely, and horribly in love with Alistair. This she was not ashamed of, but she hid it as best she could, unaware of how the knowledge might affect Alistair.

The second person to think Alistair was anything but normal was his mother. Eurydice was somewhat old looking, and not beautiful. She had had a long string of lovers, but none stayed for long. She did not drink, and had no remarkable addictions, and was wholly unremarkable. However, every night, she would climb into bed with her son, having long since taught him the uselessness of resisting, crying out for help, or telling anyone. Every night, she would serenade him with words of how much she loved him, and, when she was satisfied, she would follow that with words of hate, sometime accompanying them with blows. Eurydice was not strong, but he did not resist, and in the morning, he was careful to hide any bruises he might have gained during the night.

a/n: so i'm thinking this wil have four chapters. this one, and three more, with each chapter the story of how Alistair's life turns out if one little thing changes, or nothing changes. like three alternate endings to the story. thoughts?