hey guys, this is my first story up, so please be gentle. B.T.W this story was written back when i was a very depressed 13 year old girl who had just found out her sister was sick, i'm not asking for simpathy, just trying to put it in perspective. anywho, there are more storys in this series that i will post if i get good reviews for this one, now read on before i bore you to death with my life story...

My world is one of smoke and fire, a world I am of, but not of. I walk the smoke filled halls and know I should be afraid, but after years of this dream I know that I am safe here. I walk around a corner and try to brace myself for the sight I know I will see, I should be used to it but even after three years I know I cannot quite comprehend the mangled body of an eleven year old girl, she has dark hair and green eyes she is wearing a blue tank top and red pyjama bottoms with tiny pictures of lips with legs. She is calm, the screaming haunts her, and she looks right through me. The noise of hurried steps against wood, she starts to hope, the noise fades she doesn't see what I see, but she will feel it soon, a skinny beam of wood laying across her lower back, and it too, is aflame. She screams as the others no longer do, and I know that I too am screaming, then the wait begins, in reality she only waits for a few seconds but for her it feels like an eternity, the firemen extinguish her and remove the beam, still she screams. Later they tell her the bad news but she already knows, they are gone and they won't be coming back, because they can't, well, at least everyone that mattered, she doesn't reply, in her head she still screams, in my reality I still scream, she turns to marvel at the gift the fire gave her, a mark of incredible disfigurement, a scar that won't fade, about four inches wide at its widest and making its way across her mid back, skinniest in the middle, like wings, but painful. Her only visitor is a boy, not much older than her, but a coward, an unwanted guest, she wishes he would leave and let her heal, her name was Zara but she was extinguished with the flames, I am what is left, I am Orianthi Jones I am a shell of a girl who died with her family at the age of eleven, I am all that is left of an innocent child that couldn't be saved by medicine or science, she is gone, I was her subconscious, but now I must keep the body safe, let it heal, maybe she will come back, maybe…

This is when I re-enter my own reality, escape from the dream, it is my cousin Amy who wakes me, I have only just moved in and this is my first night so she hasn't experienced the screaming that I do every night, I can't help it, though I really wish I could, she asks me what is wrong, but it's not something you can express with words I open my mouth to try and explain but nothing comes out, nothing ever comes out, it's not physical, I could speak brilliant English before the fire, but I can't even make a syllable anymore, so I guess its psychological. My second cousin Lily is hovering around my bed, I grab my pad of paper and write

"Don't worry, this is normal, sorry for waking you" quickly on the pad, this calms their nerves a little and Amy goes back to bed. Lily comes and sits on the edge of my bed, she is my age, she is fair haired and blue eyed, she asks me

"do you really not speak, ever" my only answer is a nod, "do you ever dream of things that don't make you scream" she whispers, I shake my head she reply's "well that's gotta suck" turns out the light and returns to her part of the room we now share, her breathing evens out and I know she is now asleep, I check the clock, five thirty am, time to get up, I don't even bother to try and go back to sleep, I check that my clothes are clean and ready for me to wear, then I get out my sketching pad and start to draw, first smoke, then fire, then faces, then, just to jazz it up a girl, peeping around a corner while smoke fills the space and the fire doesn't touch her, I know this never really happened but I re-live it every night, in my dreams, I look again at the clock, seven thirty, the pod people would soon be getting out of bed, so I will get dressed, then make myself breakfast. The whole process of getting dressed takes me thirty minutes, first I put on my grey jeans and red singlet, then one of my infinite black band t-shirts then my grey plaid button up shirt, left un-buttoned, then last but not least my black lace up combat boots that go up to the knee, then I brush and straighten my hair, put in the coloured extensions, blue and purple today, put in my three sets of earrings and the one at the top on the left side, put on eye makeup and I'm ready to make myself breakfast, but pod person Amy has made pancakes for the guest of honour, I smile and eat with the others, get out my pad and find the page I am looking for, and show it to her, this page was done when I was eleven and simply says thankyou in capitals, she smiles and continues eating, she tells me of the school I will be attending, I pay mild attention, I will be in the same class as Lily she tells me and that Lily will show me around, Lily herself is very quiet about this matter, and my only addition is nodding, Amy's husband, Ian is finally the one who stops her ranting saying "The girl's should be going to school now, I'll drive them" then he stands up and brushing off the crumbs on his lap says "go get your things girls". I walk to the room I now stay in and write

"What will I need for my first day" in my note book and show it to Lily who reply's

"You'll just need your pencil case and your, umm notebook, you can share the subject books with me until, you get your own, I guess, or whatever", so in my bag goes a pencil case, my notebook, my wallet, my iPod, and my lucky charm, a little china elephant that is burned and stained but you can still see that it would look wonderful if it wasn't tarnished by the thing that started my… life, I guess, that's why its lucky, it belonged to my old self, just a little knickknack that my mother bought me, I was carrying it when it happened, and I was kind of enjoying the moment until Lily asks me what it is and I just walk off, this sort of thing usually creates uncomfortable silences, but I don't speak, so everything is always an uncomfortable silence, at least on my part. The ride to school was strange, Lily was sort of ignoring me and Ian was making jokes, I was trying to listen to my iPod, but he was kind of funny and I couldn't help smiling, he was trying to make me feel better, but he can't, at least not permanently, what's bad about smiling, I never smile, I'm never happy, the best I get is at peace, and that's only when I'm lost in art, and doing that is bad, because I get lost in myself and I can't communicate at all, I just stop doing everything, I become a living zombie, and that's not good for posture, or hair requirements. So finally we arrive at school and I have to see the school councillor because I'm new, but I've got to wait in the well, waiting room with a pale boy with hair just lighter than mine, his eyes are blue and his nose is bleeding, he is looking at me weird, like he hates me just because I'm here, so I get out my pad and write

"Why the hell are you looking at me strange, what did I ever do to you" then pass it to him and nod, he reads it and says

"Sorry, I'm in a bad mood, I just got punched in the face, I'm Gabe" in response I write

"Don't worry about it, I get it a lot, I'm Orianthi" on my pad, he reads it and reply's

"Really, your names Orianthi" but he pronounces it or-ant-ie so I write

"Its Orianthi Or-i-an-thi" and show it to him, he reply's

"Sorry, English is not my first language and I'm terrible with names" I smile and am about ask what his first language is but the councillor comes out and says

"Are you Ms Jones" I nod, she reply's " come into my office" I follow her into a spacious room with a desk in the middle with a computer, a note pad, a stack of paperwork, some pens, a picture of three girls hugging, and a name plate reading 'Mrs K. Monroe', there's a desk chair on the far side and two comfy chairs on the side closest to me, the room itself is painted a light indigo and it has light coloured floorboards, on her walls were inspirational pictures like 'hang in there', Mrs Monroe herself is a short plump woman with short, light brown hair and brown eyes, "sit down love" she says in a way that makes me think this is just the way she would talk to her children, I sit in the chair to the right and she goes around the desk and sits in her desk chair, we were sitting in silence as she was going through her paperwork until she asks "how do you pronounce your name, sweetheart", so I get out my note pad and write

"Or-i-an-thi" and show her, but because she was sifting through paperwork she wasn't looking at me, then she finally finds my paperwork, starts to read it, then looks at me, sees the note book, reads what is written, and smiles, in that short kind of creepy way that lets you know that the person you're talking to is worried by your presence, after an uncomfortable amount of silence she finally says "it says hear that you can't do sport why is that" I answer in my usual way

"I suffer permanent damage from a house fire when I was eleven" and pass her the note book, she reads it and passes it back then continues reading through my paperwork, which is like literally 15 pages long, with each turn of the page her smile slips more and by the time she reaches the end she's frowning.

"Well, you've got a, colourful record, if nothing else, 19 schools in 3 years, how… interesting, why did you leave" she asks me in an accusatory tone and I answer, with the help of my note book

"Different reasons, people tend to judge me because of my um, appearance" she reads it and almost instantly answers

"But your such a pretty girl" and I answer

"I'm not talking about my face, I'm highly scarred" pass the note to her and she answers in a curios tone

"can I see your scars" can she really, no harm, I guess, I nod, stand up, turn around, take off my jacket and pull my shirt so it sat just above the burn, I hear her gasp, then I hear her chair creak and heavy footsteps coming towards me, then fingers slowly touching the sensitive skin across my lower back, cautious of hurting me or something, then she touches an extremely sensitive part of my back and I can't help but flinch, she quickly pulls away her hand and walks away, I hear her sit down, so I pull down my shirt and put my jacket back on, sit down and another silent patch starts again, until finally she asks

"Did I hurt you" my answer is to grab my notepad that had ended up on her desk and write

"No that is just a sensitive part of my back" and pass it to her she reads it passes back the notebook and says

"Okay, you're in B11 with your cousin, right" I nod "okay, what elective do you want to do, there's art, drama, music, and woodwork" and I write in the notebook

"Art" she nods, writes something on a piece of paper that I hadn't noticed before and passes it to me; she also writes a note explaining my not talking

"Let you teachers see this note, and bring your notebook to every class, okay", I nod, then she looks at the clock, and says, "there's no point in going to homeroom" "Mr Taylor, could you come in here" she bellows through the closed door, in a minute he is at the door, and she says "come in Gabe, please" he comes in he sits down next to me, "how's your nose" she asks in an unconcerned tone

"It's fine" Gabe says back

"Do you think you need any counselling, Mr Taylor" asks

"Not really" he replies

"Then would you take Ms Jones to her next class" she says just as the bell goes, he nods and the both of us get up and leave.

"So, what's your next class" Gabe asks me in a way that makes me think he doesn't care, so I show him my piece of paper that I now find is a timetable, he nods and says "that's my next class too, come on, I know a short cut" this short cut ended up with us going outside and walking through the back oval, and it was quicker because we were the first people there, I write

"What class is this" and show him, he answers

"art" at the surprised look on my face he started to laugh so I wack him a bit on the arm, that's when the other students arrive and we both go quiet, or he stops laughing and I just make my face neutral. We waited about two minutes for the teacher to come in silence as all the other people talked, of what I overheard some guy called Zack was 'like totz' cheating on Ashlee with Georgia and everyone knows but her and Katie was going out with Mason so she wasn't popular anymore, I laugh silently at how shallow these people seem to be, by the look on Gabe's face I think he agrees with me, the teacher is a middle aged man with a serious look on his face, he opens the class and we follow him in, me and Gabe are last in, the room is skinny and long, furnished with two rows of tables made for two people, I follow Gabe to the end of the room and I sit next to him in the second to last row on the left.

"Good morning students, as most of you know, I'm Mr Carter, and it seems that we have a couple of new students this year" says the teacher that I now know is 'Mr Carter' "can all the new students come to the front of the room" so me and two other students, a girl and a boy that look quite similar, walk up to the front of the room and I bring my notebook and the slip of paper Mrs Monroe gave me, and give it to Mr Carter, he reads it and says "what's your name" so I open my notebook and click my pen then write

"Orianthi Jones - Or-i-an-thi" and pass it to him

"Okay" he reply's and then in his reasonably loud voice says "okay this is Orianthi, now, you two, introduce yourself", the other two kids looked scared out of their socks and the boy finally says

"Um, I'm Alexi and this is my sister Richie" and the girl, Richie, says hi and waves in an extremely shy way that's kind of cute,

"Okay, go back to your seats, Orianthi, Alexi, and Richie" says Mr Carter in a quieter voice, so we, well, go back to our seats and he finally starts our lesson, "on all of the desks you will find two brown bags with all that you need, alright, so get out your sketch pads and you pencil sets" says Mr Carter in a teacher voice, so we do, obviously, then Mr Carter says "okay were doing simple skills, so I know where you're at, okay, so I want you to do a shading scale, using the 6B pencil at the top, okay, students" so I do as he says, like a good girl, I mean, first class of the year at a new school, in a new town, my scale is pretty good, I've only been doing it every morning for 3 years, Mr Carter walks down the aisle and stops a few times to help students or compliment them on their work, finally he reaches were me and Gabe are sitting, nods at Gabe's and then looks at mine

"I like it, how long have you done art" he asks me in a curios tone, on the side of the scale I write

" I practice every day, in the mornings, I started doing this about three years ago" he nods and walks back to his desk, then of all things the bell goes. Gabe walks me to my next class that is Maths, I like maths, Gabe say bye then goes to his next class, Lily is here and she talks to me, mindless babble about the social structure of this C shaped school, I listen, soaking up all this un-important info for later

"apparently Zack is going out with Zoey and not Ashlee and Georgia is his cousin, Katie is still going out with Mason and Ashlee is 'like totz' going out with Ben and now everyone hates her" I really don't know what's going on so I just nod at everything Lily says, I don't even bother getting out my notepad on such nonsense and she's not expecting an answer so it works well. Finally the teacher Mrs James walks up to us and makes us line up and then she looks at me and says in a strict no negotiations voice

"Are you new" I nod she replies "what's your name she asks in the same tone, Lily answers for me saying "she's Orianthi, she just started today"

"And she can talk for herself" says Mrs James in a slightly agitated tone, Lily reply's

"She probably would, but she doesn't talk, Miss" Mrs James starts to glare probably for the fact that a year 9 student would talk back to her, then the words sink in

" you don't talk, Orianthi" I nod, on my usual response "why not?" she asks trying to figure if I'm joking, so I get out my note from the councillor and pass it to her, he smug look falters and she simply makes us all go inside, she us in alphabetical order so I'm sitting between a girl called Lila and a boy called Jason who talk through me like I'm a wall, the work was easy and I was kind of bored, last school I went to had a year 10 course, they were 'preparing us for the future' or just couldn't be bothered making a year 9 course, who knows, so I've done all of this before, the class went fast and then there was recess, Lily buys me some chips and walks off with her friends, so I start exploring, I wander around the oval and sit down on the other side, where the bush overtakes the world, I'm sitting there for a while but then Gabe comes and sits with me,

"Were in the next class together, its English, you going to have a problem" he says after sitting with me for about 2 – 3 minutes and I shake my head and write

"I speak perfect English, I was home schooled until I was eleven and my parents always made me dot 'I's and cross 't's" I smile, but in a sad way, Gabe asks

"What happened to your parents, why do you live with your cousin" he sounds curios so I write

"Swear to secrecy" and he says

"Scouts honour" crossing his chest.

"You're a boy scout" I write,

"The Russian equivalent, don't change the subject Orianthi, I'm onto you" he says with a cheeky smile, so I write

"Fine, there dead, they died in a fire, I have a brother, but we don't talk, ever, and I'm scarred, is that what you wanted to know"

"show me your scars" says Gabe, anyone else and I would have hit them, but I like this crazy Russian, so I shake my head no and make a face, then he makes a face "you're not the only one with scars, I'll show you mine if you show me yours" I make that noise, the one people make when they're trying not to laugh, and he smiles, so I turn and show him 'mine' and runs his fingers over the smallest part in the middle, I turn abruptly and he looks startled, he then pushes up his long sleeves to show marks from many years of abuse, we don't talk after that, but the silence is comforting. The rest of the day went like a blur, so after recess I had English and science with Gabe then lunch where Lily bought me a chicken sandwich and then Sose and health, on the ride home I began to feel better, and for the first time in a long time I was excited about going to school the next day.

Time goes in fast forward, my dreams begin to change into a friendlier place, instead of my screaming eleven year old self, my coward brother, and my dying parents, I find little Zara squeezing out from under the beam and sitting with me, the smoke clears and the fire goes out, Zara tells me about her life, how she would have lived, if she didn't die, my parents come towards me and they sit with us, we talk, there, in my dreams, I can talk. I find myself becoming friends with Richie and Alexi, the twins are so different, Alexi and Richie are so close, but in the way where they seem to hate each other, but they really love each other, it's so cute. Gabe, Alexi, Richie, and I hang out together during recess, lunch, art and Sose, sometimes after school. Everything was becoming good, unfortunately I'm a pessimist and it's in my nature to naturally expect the worst, but I hope for the best, but I almost always end up on the losing end of life, Gabe says that I will have 'good luck' because of all the things have gone through, and I deserved some 'good karma' and Richie, being the fun loving, care free, arty, 'hippie' she is says suddenly one afternoon after school, suddenly becoming a scholar

"For every bad thing there is two good, your life has just begun, you only just met me" at this Alexi burst out laughing,

"My sister, when did you become the smart one" and Richie replies whilst hitting him over the head

"Ugh, with all the 'knowledge' you spout you'd think you would have a little class"

"Class sister, I think you'll find I'm the one with class" this earned him another smack on the head, with a reaction of swiping, that became a full on wrestling match, until Gabe finally says

"Are you two going to stop being children and start showing your 'class' little ones" which just them makes grab him, I watch them in amusement and then Richie grabs me and starts to tickle me, this little 'adventure' ends with a lot of smiling and laughing, in a blink of the eye four months had passed, and my pessimist thoughts begin to bug me again, Like I could feel the bad energy in the wind.

It's a Monday morning and I'm in a good mood, I'm wearing purple, pink and blue extensions, I've also put colourful laces in my boots, and I'm about to enter home room when the 'bad energy' hits me like a wave and I know that something bad is about to happen, I put my head up and see him, sitting in the middle of the room, lounging really, how I hate him, he look up and sees me, and with a huge grin on his face my fare haired, tanned, blue eyed brother says

"hello Zara, my little sister" says Jamie, my brother, I feel my face flush and in my head I'm screaming, I know that I'm glaring, my hands are clenching into fists and I feel like exploding, then I begin to talk, for the first time in 3 years,

"Jamie, you lost the right to call me sister the night you left me to die, why didn't you stay lost, Jamie, and its Orianthi now" I'm breathing hard and I think I'm hyperventilating and then, I pass out. I wake up in the nurse's office with Jamie's face over mine, I push him away and sit up

"Little sister, what you said before wasn't very nice" says Jamie in a sing-song voice, I want to hit him in the face, I grab out my notebook and write

"Don't talk to me like I'm a child, and that was the point, dumbass" and show it to him,

"still not talking little sister, I thought you got over that, since you were yelling at me" I glare at him, like he has the right to talk down to me "little sister, don't be so foul, do you want me to let your friends in, because I can make them stay outside, I want you to come home with me, we can be like we used to be, little sister" at this point I'd had enough so I can't help punching him in the nose. "Owww, I think you broke my nose" says Jamie in a way that makes me want to hit him again

"Then don't talk down to me, dumbass" I say, finding my voice, again

"Hey, she talks" says Jamie

"Do you want me to hit you again, and I think it is broken, oh well" I reply

"You don't care, I'm your brother" says Jamie, sounding offended

"didn't you hear me, you're not my brother, Zara is dead, you're stuck with me, so you better start calling me Orianthi, and not little sister because I'm afraid that might result in a black eye or two" I say with a smile,, being a smartass, but I have the right to be,

"you never used to be like this, little, uh Orianthi, you used to be so nice and polite, you used to look up to me, before" he says

"The fire, don't you remember, you left me to die" I say

"I called the fire brigade" he says

"that wasn't enough, I could have died, you left me to die, you should leave and don't come back, why did you come back" I say, my voice starts ti wine when I get to the end and I feel tears coming up, "leave, now, you don't have to 'leave' yet, but I need you to let me be right now because I think I'm going to kill you, and I'm too pretty to go to juvie, now shoo" Jamie leaves like he's the king of the castle, Gabe and Lily walk in and I can hardly stay upright because the body shattering sobs had overtaken by body, Gabe picks me up and sets me down on the cot, I can't think, I can't feel, I can't breathe, I curl into a fetal position and return to a childlike state.

This is the other way I become a zombie, I feel nothing, and Jamie doesn't come back, Gabe tells me when he visits me after school that he skipped town, I would be glad if I could feel anything, my soul is empty, I can't get out of bed, the dreams that have haunted me for the past 3 years don't even make me scream, I just sob, like I did when I was eleven, like I'm in shock, but I understand that everyone I care, or cared, about is dead, my brain wont function, Lily and Amy try to leave me alone, they tiptoe around the house like mice and it irritates me, the only one who treats me like I'm actually a person is Gabe, Gabe that I've only known for 4 months but feels more like family than my real family, my flesh and blood who are scared of my mental breakdown, what they don't understand is that I'm not going to flip out and kill everyone, I'm not the violent type, most of the time, my brother deserves being punched in the face, most of the time I'm actually kind of hate the fighting type, and so, all day, for the past three days, I have been left to my thoughts, and I think I hate it.

"Orianthi"

"Yes"

"You have to get out of bed"

"Why should I Gabe"

"Because if you don't Amy is thinking about putting you in a mental hospital, do you want that"

"Gabe, don't talk down to me, you're the one I rely on to talk to me like I'm a person, so tell me straight, are they taking me to hospital"

"Only if you stay in bed"

"When"

"Tomorrow"

"Get me a towel"

Something soft is pushed into my hand and I begin to move my legs, I sit up and then I stand, I walk out of the room I had begun to think of as my bedroom, I walk down the hall and into the bathroom and have a shower, I then walk back to 'my room' and, seeing that Gabe had left the room, get dressed, simply, in grey jeans, a black tank top that has a picture of a panther in silver across the chest and bare feet, with no makeup, I go downstairs and see Amy, Ian, Lily, and Gabe all sitting on the couch, possibly waiting for me, I sit next to Gabe, he grabs my hand, as if to say, 'well done', there is a slight uncomfortable silence until Ian asks "do you want to go to school tomorrow, sweetie" this makes me smile, something so simple, so delicate, makes me smile, and then I begin to laugh, possible for the first time in 3 years, I laugh, and finally I say "yeah, if it's alright, Gabe, should I go to school, or is it too soon, I did have a mental breakdown in front of the entire class" "I'm sure they'll get over it, I hear that Jack collects dolls and the entire school is practically buzzing".

I go back to school and the school is practically buzzing, jack wasn't at school, people don't really pay attention to my mental breakdown, Alexi and Richie embrace me in a twin sandwich when I enter the school, I finally think things are going to be alright, I don't transfer, or move, I stay here and, for the first time in three years I visit my parents graves, I think they would be glad that I was getting my life back on track, I am happy, and I'm alive, that's all that matters.