I'd always heard that home is where the heart is, but what did that mean for a girl like me, who technically had three? Each one was right next to each other in my hometown of Allentown, Pennsylvania. Sometimes, having all of my 'family' this close was awesome…other times it wasn't. Let me explain.
In my house, the one where I actually ate and slept, lived my main family of four. My mother was a beautiful woman of about 45 with long blonde hair and kind blue eyes. She had previously worked for the esteemed The New York Times in New York City until she married my dad. Then, they moved here and started our family, so she became the editor of Allentown's Morning Call. My dad was 2 years older than my mom, and he had short brown hair and shiny brown eyes. He had worked at the St. James Theatre back in New York, but now he was the stage manager of the Civic Theatre of Allentown, which I thought was lame. Next, the was my older brother, Thomas Wyatt Faulkner, who was an athletic 17 year old that had hair and eyes like my mom and was named after an old boss of my parents.
Lastly there was me, Vienna Jane Faulkner. I was the youngest member of the Faulkner clan at 15 and definitely the one with the most unusual name. I had inherited my mother's bookishness, my father's looks, and their combined nerdy weirdness. I didn't mind it, but it didn't exactly make me popular at school. Anyway…
Next door to us, on the right side lived another third of my 'family'. They weren't actually related to me by blood, but they had been the best friends to my parents when they were in their 20's, so they were just declared as relatives. These were the Stones. My aunt Raven was blonde like my mom, but with pretty brown eyes and an imagination like a rainbow. She was an art teacher, just like she had been before, but not at my school. Uncle Terrance was tanned and muscular with dark brown hair and green eyes hidden behind glasses. He was still a writer, but he also worked at a local book store to earn money. Together, they had 3 kids. There was Gwendolyn Marie, who was the oldest at the age of 17 and like the older and wiser sister to all of us, then there was Shasta Kalista, who was my age and almost exactly like her mother, and finally, there was Kade Chance, a 12 year old little pest I only liked some of the time.
On the other side of my house, were my parents' other best friends. I know it's a lot to keep track of, and a boring explanation, but please, bear with me here. Anyway, these were the Little's. Aunt Penelope was a tall, dirty blonde woman with blue-green eyes, and she was the only one of the adults who kept their dream alive. She was a Broadway performer, which meant she was gone some of the time, but it was all good. She was married to my uncle Cody, who was blond and had blue eyes too. He was a swim coach at the same school Aunt Raven worked at. They had 3 kids as well. There were the twins, Paige Elaine and James Blake who were both 16, and then there was David Zachary, a 6 year old who, unlike Kade, didn't annoy me, and I actually found enjoyable.
Yes, it was odd having all of us so close in age, but it just turned out that way. Aunt Raven was the first to get pregnant, but my mother followed only 4 months later. They had joked that Gwendolyn and Thomas would end up together, but they ended up disliking each other, which I had always found funny. Shortly after my mom had Thomas, Aunt Penelope got pregnant with the twins, and then Shasta and I were born only 24 days apart the following summer. There was a 3 year hiatus until Kade came around, and then 6 quiet years before we got David, who was the final child of our large group.
I loved them all, but like any family, they all got on my nerves. I was almost never angry at Gwendolyn, Paige, Shasta, and David, but the others caused me problems. Whenever Kade was at our house, he always got into my stuff; James had teased me about my glasses since we were little, and Thomas was more popular than all of us, and he gloated about it.
Despite all of this, my fake cousins were really my only friends. Except for Thomas, we were all outcasts and weirdoes, which was just fine for us. We liked who we are, and our parents all supported us in that. Yes, believe it or not, they were actually cool parents. We often bragged about how awesome our parents were to our classmates, but no one seemed to agree…
Anyway, it's time I get to the actual story.