Chapter 1

I remember that day, like it's permanently burned into the core of my mind, never leaving, never being forgotten. I had gotten into a big argument with her that morning, and that after noon she was dead. I was sitting in my algebra class, doing liner equations when I was called up to the office. I didn't know what had happened, I hoped I would be getting that intern job I'd wanted for my senior year. It would have looked extremely good on my resume. Or either getting a scholarship, my mom thought it was good to apply early so that I could have a good chance of getting it.

I walked into the office, giving my name to the girl behind the desk. "We didn't call you up" the girl looked confused; she pushed her fallen glasses back onto her face. She was a senior, only seniors got the privilege of being an office helper. One of those beautiful girls that everyone knew. Maybe the Homecoming queen or class president if she applied for it. Not me though, I wasn't a beautiful as she was. "We called you up, Leai, please come in" It was my counselor Mrs. Brady. She was the counselor of the senior and junior girls whose last names started with G-O. I followed her in, taking a seat in the chair presented. I sat down and put my hands on my lap, waiting for what came next, heaven knows it wasn't what I expected.

"Your mother was in a car accident earlier today" she started, that's when everything froze, images of my mother running through my head, ending with the argument we had. I had tuned back in to what she was saying. "She passed away" the counselor said, her voice with the sound of sympathy in it. I couldn't breath, and my heart was accelerating. I stood up. "She cant be" I said. "I just saw her hours ago" I'd yelled at the counselor who was only trying to help. She tried to hug me, but I pushed her away and ran out of the office, I wasn't the type to cry, but I couldn't help my eyes getting puffy and my face getting red. My mother was all I had. Besides my

I ran to the bathroom and sat in the stall, with the door locked. I sat holding my legs, my face pushed into my knee's. I didn't get to stay in my position alone for long, a girl came in. After noticing me and trying to get my attention, only to be ignored, she ran off to find an administer. Yes, you may say my actions were childish, for a 16 year old girl to lock herself into a bathroom stall, but I couldn't help it. She was all I had, we knew my father, but he never wanted anything to do with us, he had is own family and the most he was concerned with was me being a mistake. He would send a few bucks every now and then so he wouldn't be charged to pay child support.

My aunt was notified, and she was down on the next plane, along with my cousin molly. My aunt grace and my mom were twins, my mom being the older. They got pregnant at the same time as well, molly being born and me being born 20 minutes after. We even looked alike, some people asked if we ourselves were twins, or sister.

"Everything's going to be ok" was the first thing my aunt said, her eyes were puffy with streaks of tears down her face. She grabbed me into a hug, not letting go for what seemed hours. After she let go, I was grabbed by molly. She didn't look like my twin anymore, she was now sporting blonde hair with red streaks, aside from our natural dark brunette hair. "Your going to come stay with us Leai" she said hugging me tight. She had been crying as well, her mascara was running down her face, leaving black tear stains. I was quit, I didn't cry, I didn't speak.

At the funeral I was still in my quiet phase. Family and friends came and hugged me, crying and telling me stories about my mom I didn't know. I remember molly once telling me that I held the same face expression the whole time. She described it as emotionless/shocked/confused. I just remember seeing her put into the grave. She was my mom, but she looked different, but she still looked the same. The same curly black hair I'd always wake up to in the morning, her eyes were a cool hazel, but I couldn't see them.

She looked beautiful down in her casket, her hair pulled into a neat bun on top of her head. My mom wasn't the type to wear make up, she was always to busy ripping and running to make her self appealing. She'd always say she wasn't impressing anyone, so they had to deal with the way she looked. It wasn't like she looked like a bum on the street, she just didn't spend hours in the mirror doing her hair like other women that were around her age, out in the world searching for the next fish to mooch off of in life.

After I watched them put my mom down into the earth, I went back to my house to join the rest of my family. Molly and a few other cousins of mine were gathered in my room. I didn't want to deal with anyone, so I went out to the back yard. There was a tree with a tree house built in it. Even though I was in a dress, I could still climb this tree. It was my secret spot, but I was always easily found. I stayed In my tree, a picture of me and my mom in the corner.

"I figured you'd be up here" for a moment I thought it was my mom, the same voice, the same face rising up through the bottom of the tree house, but it was my aunt. I scooted over to give her room to crawl up, like me she was the athletic type. "Did you know, every time your mother would get mad at our brother, she'd run off and hide. No one would ever find her except me, it was like we had some twin telepathy power, that told me everywhere she hid" My aunt said. "like you" she added as she moved hair out of my eyes.

"I want you to come stay with us until you finish high school, then we can work on getting you into that college you want to go to." she said. Out of everyone who tried cheering me up, my aunt was the only one to break though me, maybe it was because she was a therapist, or maybe it was because she looked exactly like my mom. "We got your things packed, and we'll leave for home tomorrow" she said hugging me. I remember seeing her cry the most at the funeral, it must have felt like she lost the other part of herself, but now she was glued together, keeping everything under control. She kissed me on my forehead before she left, climbing back down the way she came.

The house started to clear and soon the house was empty. No voices, no laughter, no kids running around the house. I crawled into my bed for the last time, closing my eyes and going to bed. I had a dream of my mother, walking away with a smile on her face, saying goodbye to me. I saw myself crying in my dream, but when I woke, I had no tears on my face, just a sad expression.

I walked downstairs to see people taking things out of the house; they must have been the movers. They took away all of her books, all of her everything. I was lucky to grab my mother's favorite dress. "I need everything taken to my house pronto" I heard my aunts voice from around the corner. She was wearing a T-shirt and shorts, stirring her coffee with a spoon, a phone glued to her hear. "Yes yes, thank you, I'll call you back later." She turned around to see me standing there. "Glad to see you up" she gave me a hug. "I sent Molly out to bring breakfast." She said hugging me and rubbing my shoulder.

About 10 minutes later, molly came through the door on a cell phone as well. "Just wait until I get home, we will talk about it later" she closed her phone sighing in frustration. "Michael?" my aunt asked as she reached for the bags in molly's hand. Molly nodded. "He's mad because I left, and that I haven't called him. He should have called me if he wanted to talk" Molly said as she sat down. Molly went through men like you wouldn't believe. She'd always have a different boyfriend almost every week or two. I was surprised there were even guys she hadn't dated yet in their town. And she claimed she was against dating the same guy again.

My aunt put food out in front of me, I was hungry, but I didn't feel like eating. "No thank you" I said as I pushed it away. They both stared at me, It was my favorite food after all. "Are you sick?" Molly asked, before she could finish asking my aunt had her hand to my forehead. "I'm fine, I'm just not hungry yet, I'll eat later" I said as I stood from my seat. "We leave at 4, so if you have some friends you want to go say bye to, Molly can drive you." My aunt replied. "We can go talk to your friends as soon as your ready" Molly said as she pulled pancakes to her mouth. "I'll go get dressed" I said as I walked upstairs to my room.

Most of my things were packed up already, it seemed I wouldn't have to do any work at all. I pulled out my favorite T-shirt, my favorite pants and the last pair of shoes my mother bought me. I pulled my hair up into a ponytail. Within fifteen minutes I was ready, coming back downstairs to see molly finishing her breakfast. "Ready?" she asked. I nodded and walked to the door. "We'll be back mom" she yelled as we walked out the door.

"So you gonna be gone for good?" asked Mike. Mike had been my right hand man since grade four. He was always there when I needed him, for advice or anything else. He was like my older brother. "I'm sorry about your mom" cut in another friend of my, Alice. She had been like a sister to me. "Don't forget to call, and come visit every once in a while runt" Mike said as he gave me a hug.

Besides my mother, they were my only family here. "Are you going to say bye to Blake?" Alice asked. "I was hoping one of you could tell him for me" Blake was my boyfriend, well, ex-boyfriend, we were on another roller coaster and the peeks of it's worst.

"Leai" Alice said crossing her arms. "What, I don't want to talk to him right now" I said in my defense. "Blake?" Molly asked. "Leai's boyfriend" Mike answered her question. "Ex-Boyfriend" I said to her. Mike and Alice gave me one of those looks then rolled their eyes at the exact same time. I laughed at them and gave each of them a hug. "I expect a e-mail from you every night" Alice said as she let me go. I nodded to her, but we both knew it was less likely to happen.

"Try to keep her out of trouble. It's a full time job." Mike said to Molly. Molly smiled to mike and nodded. "Gotcha" she said.

I said my final goodbyes to my friends, I would miss them, but I knew they were only a phone call away. "That mike's kind of cute." Molly said as we got in the car. I rolled my eyes. "You say that about every boy you meet." I groaned. "Maybe it's true" she put on her seat belt, starting the car. "Is he with Alice?" she asked. "No, we are all just friends, they tried dating each other, but they didn't feel right with each other that way." I answered. "Well, My school has a lot of cute boys, you'll be over that loser Jake or whatever soon enough." Molly replied.

"It's Blake, and we've been way over." I added. I picked up my can filled half way with orange soda. It was my favorite drink in the world. "So, did you and Blake do it?" Molly asked. I coughed up my drink, spitting it out on the dashboard. "W-what?" I asked looking over to her, my throat burning from the caffeine. "Your still a virgin aren't you?" Molly asked. "Aren't you?" I asked back. She laughed. "No, My first time was last year." She said as she drove, her eyes on the road. "First time?" I asked. She laughed again. "Oh come on, every one is doing it these days."

"If everyone jumped off a bridge would you?" I asked. "Depends how high the bridge is" Molly smirked as she turned up the radio. Linkin Park was playing, I loved listening to them. I looked out at the houses as we passed. The neighborhood I grew up in. The kids I grew up with. I was leaving them, abandoning them. The playground I played in, the school I went to. I sighed deeply as we pulled back into our driveway.