A/N: This is a story I have been writing for a while. I decided I'd post it while I'm on here. I hope you enjoy!

~Chapter One~

I sighed, both in sorrow and joy. It was a beautifully warm, sunny summer's day. The sun shining down was beautiful as I sat on the roof, my favorite spot. The roof looked towards the pool, yard, and forest just beyond that. I stood up as I climbed back in my window and walked downstairs. The sigh of sorrow was for the start of school. School was starting in just two weeks, with that the end of summer and freedom. That was fine for me, though. The summer hadn't been all that fun. One of my best friends, Ashly, had moved away the last summer, leading into sophomore year. One of my other friends, Danielle, had grown distant with her brother's acceptance into a private school last year. It wasn't too shocking. Mavrik was one of the most intelligent guys I knew. Walking into the living room, my brother looked up from the computer.

"You'd been sleeping for a while. I was just about to come wake you up. Dad left some chores for you to do." He looked back to the computer screen. I glanced at the clock. It read 9:30. Yawning, I laid down on the couch.

"Actually, I have been up for a while. I couldn't sleep last night." I stared at the ceiling, as the drowsiness caught up with me.

"Yeah, well, you can sleep later. Better get your chores out of the way and then you can go relax. You know, what have you been doing up there? You haven't been on the roof again, have you? You know what Dad says-"

"Yeah, I know. Don't go on the roof," I snapped at him, cutting him off. He looked taken aback.

"Fine then. I'm going out at 11 to hang with Derek. Derek is coming to play wiffle ball with me. I was going to ask if you wanted to play but…" I sighed. He wouldn't show it but I could see it in his eyes that I had really hurt his feelings. He didn't care much about the game but more about me shouting at him.

"Aw, Balthazar. Look, I'm sorry. I just didn't get much sleep last night. As for wiffle ball, no thank you. You and Derek have fun, though." I turned; glad to be through that mine field. Walking into the kitchen, I picked up the list in front of the microwave. Looking down, I groaned, sitting in a seat. He wanted a lot done. He wrote that he was expecting a close family friend later today or tomorrow. He also wrote that I probably knew the person yet not as a family friend. He can be so confusing, right? What did any of that mean? I guess I'd just have to wait to find out about this familiar stranger later. He wanted me to wash the dishes, clean the windows and glass, wipe down the counters in the kitchen and bathroom, clean the guest bathroom, clean the hall bathroom, and clean up the small mess my room had become. I jumped from the seat, running to start washing the dishes. Sighing, I decided to knock this all out of the way first and then take a stroll in the forest and relax in the pool. At least I could think of other things while I worked.

As I washed, my mind started to drift, back to my freshman year of high school. Those were the fun days. I had been taking two AP classes, one with an okay but funny teacher, and one that was horrible but an absolute loon so it was hysterical. I also had been taking studio in art. That had been fun. My teacher Mr. Lang had been awesome. He had let us sit with all our friends and we ended up talking about dreams the whole period as we worked. We had had a studio in art group of the four of us: Alexis, Jean, Stephanie, and I. Stephanie was the crazy one with the far out dreams. Stephanie had the craziest dreams, some of which included our geometry teacher killing her in multiple gruesome ways. In another dream she had, we all were killed by our future Genocide teacher. Creepy, right? Jean was the calm, cool, collected one and always found Stephanie's dreams or comments to be awkward or odd. However, she could have crazy dreams too. Her dreams usually featured Caucasian men coming after her. Alexis was an innocent girl but by the end of the school year, we had corrupted her. I? Well, I had been the one in between Jean and Stephanie; a perfect balance. I could be crazy when I had one of my headaches that made me delirious or when I had the odd dreams. Then I could be calm, cool, collected, and reasonable, staring at Stephanie like she had five heads. Those were great times.

In no time I found myself drying and putting away the dishes I had washed. Wow, that had been fast. I glanced at the clock, seeing it read 9:45. Not bad. I continued to think back to gym and AP Environmental Science classes. They were the not so fun classes. I loved AP but it was difficult. I hadn't been used to actually studying. I'd never had to study before that class, not to mention the teacher was a loon and so falsely sweet. When she smiled, you could tell that it looked very strained sometimes. Plus, when she would get so excited over birds flying past the window, just proved our theory of her needing an asylum even more. It was probably the worst and my most dreaded class that year. Gym, well, I didn't have any friends in the class at first. Later in the year, Alexis switched from the yoga class into regular so I saw her. I also made two more friends with two new students. One was Nicole, a sophomore at the time, and Naytish, another sophomore. See, there were four teachers in one gym period. Nicole, Naytish, and I all had the same teacher. I did make a friend with another girl, Liz, but she had another teacher in that period.

Then there were my four absolute favorites: lunch, study hall, Geometry and French. They had been great. In lunch, I sat with three of my friends, Davenport, Ashly, and Jincy. We had a lot of fun but the worst was that I had to deal with my friend Davenport being perverted the whole time and saying not so pleasant things about teachers. I could barely look at my geometry teacher for a week after what he said one time. Then there was study hall. The teacher had been the best, letting us use the smartboards and talk the whole time. We even had a small party once. She was a popular teacher, Ms. Williams, and many other teachers would walk in and out the whole time. There, I met my future trig teacher, and saw my geometry and old computer teacher a lot.

Next is Geometry. My teacher, Mr. Dawson, was the best, making jokes during class and more. He made fun of students he knew could handle it. After class, whenever I saw him, in the halls, or during extra help he would constantly make fun of my fear of spiders. I hated them. Once, during class, there was a mosquito flying around and he asked me if I needed my seat moved, much to Jincy and Kaitlin's delight. I then proceeded to glare at him along with informing him the difference between a mosquito and a spider. Where I may have gotten in trouble with most teachers, he just laughed and continued to make fun of my fear. The same went for my fear of aliens. When he found out about that, he had a field day. One day I was waiting for my friend Jill outside of the Orchestra room while she put her violin away and guess who shows up! Mr. Dawson! He startled me by walking up from behind me and then whispering, "Help me, the aliens are coming!" He walked away laughing to me telling him to shut it. I never got in trouble for it. It was probably because I was one of his best students. I mean, the subject was so fun and easy. Oh! The best thing to happen that year would be the massive crush my friend Ashly had on him. She was talking about him again and when I informed her that he was nearly forty and thus old, she said, "But he's old in a sexy way." I can't deny he wasn't good looking but to be crushing on someone who is nearly forty? I don't know about that one. That is just where I have to draw the line and say it's plain wrong.

French was last. French was another great subject. My teacher was awesome. The subject was easy and I passed it, not even needing to think about it too much. My teacher was an odd one. I didn't know how to explain it but somehow he seemed familiar. As if I had met him before. His name was Charles Strauss. It was so odd how he seemed to be everywhere. He had even been watching my lunch period, all year. He was a great one and we (Davenport and I) talked to him a lot since he was our French teacher.

I looked up. I hadn't even realized what time it was. It was already 10:15 and I had finished the glasses and the guest bathroom. The guest bathroom was no trouble seeing as no one used it. Walking back downstairs, I put the windex back under the sink and removed the wipes. Using the wipes, I started to wipe down the counter, moving my attention on to the following summer.

The summer had been fun. It seemed to build to a climax after my birthday before plummeting. That was the summer my friend, Ashly, moved to Nevada. Before that, we, being Davenport (yes he is British), Jincy, Ashly and I had hung out as much as possible. We had had fun, going to movies, or each other's houses until that one day. The day she moved. After that, with two weeks left to school, we had calmed down, upset, and focused on preparing for the school year.

Absentmindedly, I brought the cleaning supplies up to the bathroom, now thinking of that school year. That school year hadn't been as fun as the last. My group had been depressed for the first couple of months until nearly Thanksgiving. It hadn't been fun without Ashly. Slowly, we started to break out of the shell as we continued on. The teachers weren't quite as fun. We were all together in lunch again and I had another one of my friends, Danielle with me. We laughed, Davenport being perverted. But, I had really missed Ashly. Who was there to pass notes in class to? Who was there to embarrass me, to no end, with my geometry teacher from last year? Who was there to push me to participate in class more? The sad truth was that no one was there. Not anymore at least.

That year had been a bore until nearly March. Softball started up about then again, which gave me something to do at least. But, that was about the time I noticed the oddest thing. That was around the time when I noticed that I almost always saw my French teacher. My locker had been right outside the language department door and I could see him walking around in the morning. He was a very popular teacher and knew a lot of the others. When I went upstairs to Davenport and Jincy's lockers, which were right by the math department, I would see him walking around and talking to a couple of the other teachers. Anyways, first period, art, shared a hallway with the language department. He was off that period and in the language department which was right across the hall. Second period I would go up to social studies with no sign of him but as I walked to trig, I would see him again, in the math department. He would be there all period. Fourth was Chemistry and fifth was the chemistry lab on A days and Genocide on B days. Lunch was sixth period and he was watching my lunchroom again that year and would talk to Davenport and I. Next was gym and health, seventh period, followed by English eighth and French ninth period. There was no sign of him during health but I saw him between seventh and eighth because the English hallways lead off of the language and art one. Last period, French, of course I would see him since he was the only French teacher. He was a great teacher and I guess I shouldn't think it weird since people can't help their schedules. Sadly, he was leaving, quitting for some reason.

I had finished cleaning the bathroom with the exception of the bath and toilet. I put the liquid in the toilet and the bubbles in the shower, turning on the fan due to the cleaning supplies and left the room. I moved onto cleaning my room while I waited. There wasn't much to do. I picked up some clothing before dragging all the laundry baskets downstairs. There were four baskets: Balthazar and I's dark wash, the light wash, my father's dark wash, and my step-mother's dark wash. I dumped the light wash in first before running back upstairs. I carefully picked up a few more things lying around such as notebooks, school supplies, pens and pencils, and more. I made my bed before turning on the fan and leaving the room. My room was clean. I walked back into the bathroom, adding the finishing touches before cracking open the window, turning off the light and fan, and exiting the room. I closed the door over, walking down stairs. The house looked nice. Looking at the clock, I saw it said 10:45. Time really did pass.

Just then, there was a knock at the door. I made my way towards the door, but Balthazar beat me to it. My half-brother jumped in front of me and yanked open the door.

"Careful! Unless you want another hole in the wall," I chastised my half-brother. He rolled his eyes at me. A couple of years ago he had put a hole in the wall, pissing off my dad. We had fixed it but my dad still brought it up when Balthazar was too rough. Derek walked in laughing.

"Yeah, Balthazar, before your sister comes after you with a broom," Derek cried, jumping out the door as I lunged out to hit him. Rolling my eyes, I walked back in. Derek was like my second little brother. He and Balthazar had been best friends since five and did almost everything together. Sitting on the couch, I shouted to Derek, "Yeah. I'll come after you with a broom and a nasty right hook." They laughed at that. They knew I threw a nasty right hook. In fact, I think they both individually have discovered that over the years. I also took defense classes in addition to boxing. I know, I'm not the typical girl but it's fun knowing you can defend yourself easily.

"So… excited about your freshman year?" I asked Derek. He looked at me, frowning. I could see he was worried. Poor kid. He looked distraught over it. Both he and Balthazar would be going to the high school this year.

"Not really…. More nervous than anything. I'm afraid I'll get lost or something. That I'll be late to class and stuff. That the teachers won't be nice." I laughed. The same worries as almost every kid going into high school.

"Don't worry Derek. I'll be there to help you out. It's not that hard. More of a square and a circle, intersecting each other. The teachers are all nice. All you have to do is ask and they'll help you out. Though, I would reckon thinking twice before going to Mr. Strauss or Mr. Dawson for help. They'll most likely make fun of you." I saw the worry in Derek's eye as I laughed, thinking about my French and geometry teachers. "Relax, Derek. I was kidding." I smiled sadly. "Most likely Mr. Strauss won't be there. As of last year he was leaving so unless something happened, he'll be gone. He was a great teacher too. It'll be a damn shame not seeing him teaching there anymore. As for Mr. Dawson, don't worry about him. He jokes more after classes and when he passes you in a hallway. He's really nice, though, and a great Geometry teacher so you should be fine." Derek nodded at this, smiling slightly. Both he and Balthazar had made it into honor Geometry classes this year and, by luck, they had Mr. Dawson and were in the same period as each other. The poor guy would learn soon enough just how much trouble these two could cause. Just then, Balthazar leapt down the stairs, halting the conversation.

"Come on, Derek," he shouted, running out with Derek right behind him. I smiled watching them. They set up the bases and were playing as the clock struck 11. I laughed, hearing the machine go off. I switched the light wash into the dryer and put Balthazar's and my dark wash into the machine. This one would take slightly longer. I decided to go for a walk in the forest while waiting.

Within five minutes, I was ready, already weaving my way into the forest. It was a small forest, maybe a mile wide. A stream cut through it, emptying into a lake a couple of miles down. Sadly, it was much polluted. The stream ran between a lake right near my house down to the other lake. Storm drains emptied into it, also. It filled me with sorrow every time I visited the stream and saw trash or water bottles floating. I walked; enjoying the sound of birds and watching the squirrels run with joy. I laughed. I was so in love with nature. After another ten minutes of weaving through the brush, I reached the stream. It looked fairly clear today, which brightened my mood. People had been making efforts of cleaning the lake and diverting storm drains elsewhere. I sat on a rock near the edge. Besides the roof in the cool twilight, this was my favorite place to be. I took out a pencil and my sketchbook, looking around at what I could sketch. Seeing nothing of much interest, I flipped through the sketchbook, looking at my sketches. I was praised and often told I was a fairly good artist. I looked at the sketch of the trees overhanging the stream. I had painted it, making it seem like the stream was glistening and there was that wonderful green, earthy glow to the forest. It was welcoming and friendly as it always was. I flipped the page, looking at the sketch of the bird, sleeping in its nest with its young. It had been night and I had been lucky to see the nest in the tree I was climbing. I managed to sketch the birds without waking them up.

I flipped, looking at sketches of squirrels, of one raccoon paralyzed in fear, even a couple of turtles and frogs. I stopped, looking at one of a bald eagle. That had been amazing. We had been rock climbing out west. I had just climbed to the top and flipped over, lying on the rocks and breathing heavily. I took out my camera, sketchbook, as well as water bottle and took a drink. I stopped, spotting the bald eagle in its nest glaring at me. I quickly snapped a picture and started sketching. The finished project was one of the mother eagle, lying on its eggs and the father eagle, swooping in with a fish in its talons, screeching. I flipped the page, looking at the sketch of the rocky terrain. It was beautiful. With a sigh as I thought back on the memories, I continued flipping pages. I had so many great times when I had been younger but they had ended recently. My father and I had become more distant. It was only within the last year but it almost seemed that something had been worrying him for quite some time. What, I'm not sure. I continued flipping, stopping at one of a fox. I had sketched this one right on this very rock. The fox had run out of the brush, stopping as it caught my scent. It paused with the dead bird in its mouth. I only saw the fox for a mere couple of minutes before it had bolted. My memory was so great that I had been able to recall even the miniscule of details, perfectly sketching it.

I smiled and continued flipping before stopping at one of a black wolf. It was twilight, here in the forest, when I had seen it. I had been very depressed that day for some obscure reason. The wolf had come to me. Every time I came out here, lonely and depressed since, it had been there, waiting for me by the rock. The wolf was so kind and had let me pet him. He had even sat with me several times, its head in my lap. It was very odd but the wolf seemed familiar and it truly didn't appear to be a normal wild wolf. Sadly, it hadn't come since my birthday a few weeks ago, which was a huge let down. This was one of the reasons I had come out here today. I had hoped it would be here or would come. I sketched the river, using my paints to capture how clear it was, with the surroundings being some tulips and such. The rest was shrouded in a mysterious purplish mist. It was beautiful. I looked around and realized the wolf wasn't coming. I got up and walked back to the house in sorrow.

When I reached the house, it was 12 now. 12:01 to be exact. I went downstairs, changing the laundry. I took the light wash out, switched the dark wash over, and threw my dad and step-mother's laundry into the wash. I brought the light wash upstairs and folded the towels and wash cloths, restocking the bathroom. I folded the socks, putting them away in the individual sock drawers. I even folded the undergarments seeing as they were all my family's stuff. Even my step-mom had been my family since I was 2 but I didn't want to bring those painful memories up. I brought the basket back downstairs for the next load and decided to make lunch. Since Derek was also here, I decided to make hamburgers. Turning on the grill, I got the meat out of the fridge. I patted it into patties, placing it in the oven to cook a little. They thickened and browned. I took them out, putting on some Worchester sauce and seasoned salt. I took them out, ready for the grill. I grilled them, letting the flavors sink in and cooking them the rest of the way. I took them off and put them on the buns, adding ketchup to each. I poured iced tea for myself and lemonade for my brother. I walked to the door.

"Come on, boys! Lunch is ready!" They rushed into the house, sitting at their spots at the table. I looked seeing Derek's empty cup. Smacking my head, I said, "Sorry, Derek. Let me get you your drink." Picking up his cup, I threw some ice cubes into it before pouring him mountain dew. He was here so often that I knew hamburgers were fine and that he would want mountain dew. In fact, we kept a supply of mountain dew in the house, just for him. I set the drink down in front of him and sat in my seat. I ate slowly, wondering if something had happened to the wolf. Images of it being dead, hunters having found it, floated through my mind and I couldn't suppress a shudder. Derek and Balthazar were quick to notice this, though.

"What? Did you go to the forest?" Balthazar asked as he took a drink.


"Let me guess, the wolf didn't come," Derek said.

"No, he didn't. I guess I wanted to see him before school started since I'll probably be busy after that. I just hope nothing happened to him." They nodded at that and continued eating in silence. Within no time we had finished our lunch and I was taking the plates to the sink while they both walked past me.

"Love you big sis," they both said, running out the door. I shook my head at the two. I ran downstairs, taking the dark wash out and switching my father and step-mother's clothes into the dryer. I brought the clothing upstairs, folded and hung up mine and my brother's clothing. I was in a mood to clean today. After, I went downstairs, washed the dishes, brushed the grill, and wiped down the table. Tired, I sat on the couch, exhausted from all the cleaning. I felt very accomplished seeing as I had gotten all my work done plus extra. It wasn't all that bad. We had daily chores but it wasn't anything like today's load. I wondered about this friend he had coming. Why was this friend coming so unexpectedly and how did I know him yet not? Glancing at the clock, I saw it was 1:15 now. Sighing, I thought, Where has my day gone? Thankfully, my step-mom wouldn't be home until 5 and my dad wouldn't be here until 5:30. It was a Monday and one of the late nights. I would have dinner ready by five and on the table and I would have to heat up my dad's when he got home. After some time, I heard the buzzer go off from the laundry room and reluctantly got up. I took the last of the load out of the dryer and folded it as well as hung up all of the clothing. I was pleased everything was done. I put on my bathing suit and sunscreen as well as let my brother and Derek know I would be out back if they needed anything. I then headed out back to enjoy and relax.

A/N: Well that was chapter one. It's kind of boring but it sets the stage and helps describe some of her high school and personal life. Enjoy and review!

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