I watched as Dad's Merc pulled up outside Mom's house. I heard the door open. This oughtta be good. Mom hates talking to Dad.

"Peter." She said stiffly.

"Hilary." He shot back. A snort erupted from my nose, but I soon put it out. He nodded at her. They were so awkward together that I could never imagine them being in love. The two of them being nice to each other makes me shudder.

I went over to the bathroom. Hmm, new school today, how should I play it? Punky fish, goth, girly (god forbid), vintage (cute) or boring. Meh, I'll just take the usual punky fish outfit, dark eyeliner with a side order of vintage top. I stood and stared into the mirror, intensely. I assessed my hair. I hadn't brushed it after I had a shower last night (as par usual) so now it was thicker and more tangled than Fanghorn Forest. My hair was choppy- I had cut it myself to prove to my parents I didn't need the fancy hairdressers appointments they offered me. I braided it all to the side with a feather in a record breaking 10 seconds.

I took a minute to bring myself together. In that minute my face sagged with stress and worry and fear and all those other annoying mortal traits we posses. Then the manic look returned to my eyes and the unnerving smile to my face and I was back. I picked up my humble battered satchel I had found in Cancer Research and marched down the stairs, my trunk making a fair amount of noise behind me.

"Morning all you moody old sods out there!" I bellowed out. I looked at Dad in surprise, as if to say 'I didn't know you were coming!'. Then my face went relaxed.

"Sup." I said and took Mom's tea out of her hand and drank it. I slammed the cup down and pretended to gag.

"What's in here, MUD?!" I demanded and put my finger to her lips before she spoke. "Don't even. I'm scared to know."

Dad did his 'honestly I have things to do etc blah blah, eat cake, annoy Hilary, I have a stupid daughter' sigh. Oh, sure, his life was God awful. Nice car, nice house, good job, single, lots of lady friends. Awful, right? Get the violins out John Williams.

Anyway, I pushed past Mom and Dad. I breathed. The car was beautiful. A battered red Mitsubishi had pulled up outside the house and Nat jumped out.

Ah, Nat.

That bitch.

She spent the whole summer in North Dakota with her cousins on the farm while I was stuck in shitty Denver. Cruelty. Her brother Mark waved from the car. I raised my hand. I turned around.

"Well, hey. It looks like I'll be getting a ride." Ah, my parents' faces were priceless. I love standing them up, the way they do to me. I grabbed my trunk and lugged it over to the car. My parents were shouting at me in protest. Meh, they could cuss me all they wanted. I was going to get away from it for a whole term, sorry SEMESTER. Stupid American terms. I'd been living here a year and I still hadn't got the hang of everything. But anyway, a whole *semester* without parents? Beautiful.

I marched back over to them. I turned to Dad.

"Money." He shoved $400 in my hand. Sweet.

"Here's your debit card back." Mom said. Even sweeter. I smiled to myself at the way they were competing for my attention. I pecked both of them on the cheek. I went up to the car and as I opened the door I turned back around to face them.

"In the words of Shakespeare, my dear parents, GOODBYE!" I said and hopped into the truck.

It took two hours to get to the Obama Academy for Gifted and Talented Individuals. I really wish Mark hadn't eaten beans for breakfast. Our game of whodunnit? was over quickly. As I got out of the truck, I scanned the parking lot. Nothing to look at. Urgh, the jocks' ugly Hummer revved into a parking space, nearly hitting me. I flipped the bird Gollum Wins An Award style to the driver. Bastards. Where they learnt to drive I don't know. They aren't even legally old enough!

Not that I give a crap about the laws, of course. I myself have broken a few, but that's a story for another time