Hiding behind a truck I was able to hear and see everything.

"Come on, put the gun down. We can talk this out, no one has to know about any of this" The shooter had the gun pointed at two guys in football jerseys. I was not surprised to see the fight taking place; the three boys had been at odds with each other for months. I did not think there would be a gun involved though; guess it just goes to show how fast friendships can change.

"No! I am done; I'm over trying to talk this over with you guys. I'm finished!" I could see how bad the shooter was shaking from here, it was no lie that he had started turning to drugs a few months ago. While he was staring at one guy I saw the other start walking slowly behind him. My heart started racing, I knew the two football players and was praying to God that they would not get hurt. On the other hand, I also knew the shooter.

"Put the gun down, you are taking this to extremes," The guy with black hair said with his hands in front of him slowly walking towards the shooter. "There is no need for this, yes things have happen and I am sorry for my role in them, I really am. I was not thinking at the time, I take full blame for what happen but come on, let's just talk about this."

Suddenly the shooter fell to the ground, the other football player had caught him off guard and the punch had knocked him to the ground resulting in the gun flying out of his hands. However, he was quick to his feet and started throwing punches. Looking down I saw the gun was about five feet from me. I quickly ran to the gun and before I knew what was happening, a shoot ran out and one of the guys dropped to the floor bleeding from his head.

Jumping awake I stared at my hands seeing them shaking. The event in my dream happened about ten years ago, I constantly remember that night and even though I remember my reason for doing it, I still ask myself "why?"

Getting out of bed, I go to my desk and pull out a folder, I look at the newspaper clippings I have kept all these years, and I read the articles and look at the pictures. That night changed my life forever, nothing was ever the same. However, my life was not the only one affected so were five other people as well.

I want to tell you the story of before and after that mistake was made. It is not a short story at all; it is rather complicated and long. I could just tell you what happened but you would not fully understand the reasons behind everything.

This is my story. I promise I will try to get everything that happened right, but please understand that it is hard to recount everyone's true emotions. Be prepared to feel sad, angry, happy and frustrated.

ᴔᴔᴔ

Paisley

Taking a deep breath I smooth my shirt over my pants, why was I so nervous? It was just school, actually it was my first day at Chapin High School. My father is one of the best criminal defense attorneys in America, for years him and his best friend from law school, Luke Preston, who happens to be the second best defense attorney, have been finalizing their plans to open their own law firm. They finally opened Schroeder & Preston Law Firm two weeks ago resulting in the family moving from Alabama to Chapin, South Carolina.

Walking down the stairs I found my twin sister, Blair, feeding her daughter. She had Charlotte when we were 16, she just turned 1 in June and life is finally starting to feel normal again. Blair and Charlotte's dad, Josh who was 18 at the time, had been dating for two years when Blair found out she was pregnant. I will never forget the day Blair told us she was pregnant.

She got engaged. We are only sixteen years old and she goes and gets engaged. Does she realize the success rate of couples who get married in high school? I don't know the answer but I'm sure it is not a good number. Dad walks into the room and sits down next to me putting his arm over the top of the chair. Blair is fidgeting like crazy and Josh won't stop looking at Dad like he is going to shoot him any minute. Yep, my money is on her being engaged.

"Dad, I don't want you to freak out," I feel Dad tense; obviously Blair does not know how to start a serious conversation. "Remember that Josh and I love each other."

Blair grabs Josh's hand taking a deep breath she says the sentence neither my dad nor I expected to hear. "I'm pregnant." All three of us are looking at Dad waiting for his reaction; he is just staring at my sister with a blank look on his face. He's going to kill Josh and then he will lock my sister in her room for the rest of her life. How could my sister have done this, we are only sophomores in high school.

"You're pregnant? You are telling me that at sixteen years old you are pregnant? How did this happen?" Dad says this way to calm; he is probably trying to figure out how to make Josh's death look like an accident or suicide. He's a lawyer, I bet money my dad would make it look like he had nothing to do with it. Josh you better run.

"Dad, I know you are disappointed and I do not know how this happened. I thought we were being careful."

"You thought you were being careful? You are sixteen, you shouldn't be worrying about being careful, you should be worrying about if you will be invited to prom." Dad turns his full attention to Josh and I swear Josh's heart just stopped. "What do you plan on doing about this? Are you going to take reasonability and be there for my daughter and this child? Or are you going to bail once things get hard? Will you be around a year from now, two?" Josh is going to throw up; he is way to pale and is starting to sweat profusely.

"Sir, I fully expect to be around during everything. I do not want to miss a second of my child's life."

Josh was true to his word, he stayed by my sister's side all though her pregnancy even when her hormones went crazy and she was swearing at him for not answering his phone. He was by her hospital bed the entire 32 hours of labor and couldn't stop smiling the second he was able to hold Charlotte. Everyone was impressed he was so involved; he was at the house every day to help Blair with Charlotte. But all this changed when Josh got an offer from UCLA to play basketball on a full ride, he told Blair he would call and would visit often, that he loved her and they would get married when Blair graduated high school. He kissed Charlotte goodbye and was on the first plane to California. That was seven months ago and Josh has only called ten times and has seen Charlotte a grand total of three times. To say my family is not happy with him would be an understatement. For the past five months Blair has been a serial dater, hoping to find a reliable guy worthy of meeting Charlotte.

"Hey Char-Bear." Dropping a kiss on Charlottes head I headed over to the coffee machine while stopping to grab chocolate syrup out of the cupboard. Nothing goes better with coffee then chocolate syrup. "Is Dad already at the office?"

"Yeah, he left about an hour ago. Are you ready for the greatest day of our lives? I can't believe we are being forced to go to a new school. All I have to say is there better be some gorgeous guys there." Blair said getting Charlotte out of her highchair.

"Blair, seriously you have a one year old baby, is finding a boyfriend really that important?" There is no way Dad would tolerate Blair getting pregnant again, she was lucky he was so understanding the first time.

"Yes Paise, Momma needs a man. Doesn't she baby?" Kissing Charlottes head, she started walking away. "I'll meet you at school; I need to stop Charlotte off at the sitters. Want to meet outside and walk in together?"

"Sounds good to me, how many people do you think will ask if we are twins?" For some reason when people see Blair and me they always think it is necessary to ask if we are twins. It's not a dead giveaway that we share the same face and hair color. No, they still find it necessary to ask because of the small differences between us, my hair is curly while Blair's is straight and Blair has her nose pierced while I do not.

"I'm betting everyone we talk to."


Chapin High's parking lot was full of students hanging out in groups hugging and updating everyone on what they did during the summer. I lived in Alabama my whole life; I went to the same school never having to start completely over as the new girl before. How do you even begin to make friends at a school where the only person you know is your sister? I parked my Nissan next to a Hummer, and sent Blair a text asking where she was. It will be loads easier walking into a new school with Blair by my side. A loud bang made me jump spilling coffee on my console, looking out the window I saw Blair laughing; sometimes she is the biggest pain. Grabbing my bags I got out of car and together we started walking towards the entrance.

"Now, there is a group of guys I would love to get to know," Blair was pointing to four guys who I had to admit are probably the hottest guys I have ever seen in a high school that wasn't on TV. I was mainly focused on a guy in a blue plaid shirt, he had the most chiseled characteristics with the greenest eyes he definitely should be on a magazine somewhere, not in a school parking lot. "Dibs on the guy in red," The guy she was referring to was a tall African American with broad shoulders that you knew belonged on the football field. I had to admit he was cute but not nearly as cute as the hottie in blue.

"You can have him; I call dibs on the one in blue." Like he knew I was talking about him, he turned at that exact moment, looking me right in the eye and winked at me.

Walking into my first class I saw that not everyone has made their way in from the parking lot yet. I grabbed a seat against the wall; everyone knows those are the best seats since you can lean against the wall during class. A girl with the prettiest blonde hair that you knew it was real and not out of a box, was sitting behind me, as I sat down she smiled at me and leaned towards me. "Hey, I'm Laurie are you knew this year?"

"Yes, I am. I just moved here from Alabama. I'm Paisley." Maybe making friends here won't be so hard after all.

Hearing laughter, I turned to look at the door, the guy from outside was walking in with two of his friends. He smiled at me while walking to the empty seats in the row beside me and Laurie, seeing him up close made my heart start racing. He was impossibly handsome, with high cheekbones and full kiss-me lips. He had a strong, square, chiseled jaw which held the slightest hint of sexy stubble; I would love to know how that would feel when he kissed me. His short dark brownish red hair was styled in a sexy messing look; his light teal colored eyes made me glad I was seating down, even sitting my knees felt weak from his intense stare. My favorite part, however, was his strong broad-shoulders, there was something about a guy's muscular shoulders that made me feel instantly safe and my heart started racing faster with the need to reach out and touch him to see if he was as muscular as he seemed.

Laurie saw me staring and leaned to whisper in my ear "That is Spencer, quarterback of the football team. Don't let his award winning smile and charming looks get to you, he is a complete jackass. You're too pretty for him anyway." I was completely shocked at what Laurie just said, was she being serious?

"Talking about me Goldilocks?" Spencer said reaching over and grabbing the rest of Laurie's doughnut, finishing it in one giant bite.

"See what I mean? Complete jackass. Why are you seating so close to me? There are a million other seats in here." What was going on, they acted like they have known each other for years. Did they use to date?

"But then I couldn't pester you as easily. Besides I have to make sure Joel doesn't seat here and flirt with you all class period. You need to focus on your grades, not on boys," Spencer looked Laurie up and down and frowned. "What are you wearing? That top is way too low; you should have more pride in yourself and cover up. Here put my jacket on." Laurie swatted the jacket away pulling her top up a semi-inch.

"I look completely fine, and you are going to have to get over Joel. He is a very likely candidate for boyfriend." Laurie rolled her eyes at me and seeing my confused look finally shed some light on what was going on. "The jackass is also my older brother."

Relieved, I let out a breath I didn't know I was holding. That would have been just my luck if the first friend I met was the ex of a guy I wanted to get to know. "I was starting to think you two used to date or something." Their faces were completely priceless, they both looked like they wanted to puke and I couldn't help but laugh.


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