Disclaimer: Do not own the names Bertha or Julian. They belong to their rightful owners.

Claimer: I own the name Estelle

AN: This is my first story up here on this site. I hope you all like it. I'm trying something new. I hope I get some feedback on this, remember, I'm new. Enjoy

Title: Changing Lanes

Chapter One

She could here the plate smashing to the floor, the quick shuffle of feet across the tile floor and the screams of her mother echoing around the house. Estelle sat on her bed with her legs swinging back and forth off the edge. She was a 19 year old college student from New York City, home for Christmas break. She has long dark brown hair with light gold highlights that were clearly shown. Her skin was not dark but not light either, her being a mix of both black and Hispanic gave her a nice colored skin which she loved to show off anytime she could. Although she could have gone to a friend's house for her break, she decided to come home and celebrate Christmas with her family, the idea she was truly regretting now. Staring at her door, she could only shake her head as she heard something hit the floor. She knew what it was; it was the same thing each and every time. It was her mother being struck down to the floor by her father. Her parents were known around the area as great parents who were there for their daughter whenever she needed them. The parents who raised their daughter to go off to college and make something of herself but Estelle knew other wise. She knew what her parents were truly like. She knew that her father was an alcoholic, drinking his money away then borrowing from her, just to pay off his tab or whatever the case may be. She knew her mother was a house wife by day but a smoker by night. Hell, she'd smoke anything she could get her hands on without a care in the world. Occasionally Estelle would ask her why she was doing what she was doing and she'd get the same response over and over again.

"Your father makes me do things like this. Blame him, honey" she'd always hear from her mother. After hearing the excuse, her father would come home and be upset about how the house looked which would start up a fight. Estelle was very much used to the yelling and screaming around her. She heard it even when she was in school, one of the main reasons she thought going away would help her escape the situation at home but it only made it worse. On a daily basis, she'd have her mother call her up crying because of what her father either said to her or did to her. She hated being involved in her parent's problems and tried her best to stay out of it when she was home by locking herself in her room. Her room, even though didn't have much, was the only place she had to clear her head and escape the pain of her family life. There was nothing around her but four walls, one window and a bed. All her possessions were taken from her, by both her parents, usually sold for a pack of smokes or their own personal quantities. The only thing that Estelle had that she cared for like a child was a laptop that was given to her by a friend that passed away a few years before.

Never letting it out of her site, she could always be fount on it finding someone to talk to, about anything or anyone. Reaching for the laptop in question, Estelle set everything up before cutting it on. She waited patiently for all the screens to appear but most importantly she waited for her internet to kick in. Smiling as her instant message appeared, she scrolled down the list to see who was online and who wasn't. She had a few friends from school that she enjoyed talking to but also she had a few that she never met in real life. They were a group of people, ages ranging from 15 to 18, which she enjoyed talking to. Age didn't matter to her as long as they could talk about things that interest them both. They all enjoyed a variety of music, movies, television shows and other things that they enjoyed talking about. Out of all the people she spoke to, one girl stood out the most. She was known to Estelle as Bertha, a 15 year old girl who always loved to talk. They only knew each other on a first name basis but they saw no problem with that, it only meant they knew something more about the other person. Spotting Bertha's screen name, Estelle clicked on it and started to type.

Lady E: Hey, what's up?

She stared at the screen as she heard another crash from the living room. The sound of slapping made her cringe as her mother crying echoed through her ears. Estelle could only listen before a slightly ringing caught her attention. She smiled as she saw her friend finally respond her.

Crazi in Love: nm. What about you?

Lady E: They're fighting again and its getting worse.

Crazi in Love: How so?

Lady E: He's hitting her more then he used to; a lot more.

Crazi in Love: Why haven't you called the cops?

Lady E: They won't come here. I tried that and they basically hung up on me.

Crazi in Love: That's not right

Lady E: Hell no its not. I'm trapped here with this mess.

Crazi in Love: Why don't you go to a friend or neighbor's house for awhile?

Lady E: Everyone I know went away for the Christmas holiday.

Crazi in Love: Estelle, you have to get out of there. He might hurt you since he's already hurting your mother.

Lady E: I have no where to go

Crazi in Love: You're on break now, right? It's only the second week in December.

Lady E: I know but that's when they let us out of school.

Crazi in Love: I wish things were different for you. What about your family members?

Lady E: They want nothing to do with this and I wish the same could be said for me.

Crazi in Love: How long is your Christmas break?

Lady E: Until almost the end of January

Crazi in Love: Wow! That's long.

Lady E: Yea I know

Crazi in Love: Hey, you know what would be fun?

Lady E: What?

Crazi in Love: If you got to stay here with me. I mean, it's not far.

Lady E: Not far? You live all the way over on the West Coast

Crazi in Love: Well just think about it. I already spoke to my mom about it.

Lady E: You told your mother about this?

Crazi in Love: I was just talking to her about it. Anyway, she said it was ok if you wanted to stay with us.

Lady E: Excuse me? You don't even know me outside this computer. I could be a murderer.

Crazi in Love: I don't think that's what you are. I think you're nice

Lady E: Tell your mom thanks and all but I just can't leave.

Crazi in Love: Well the offer still stands. You need to get away from there.

Lady E: Yea I know

Crazi in Love: We would have so much fun. We'd hang out all the time.

Crazi in Love: Estelle?

Crazi in Love: You there?

Crazi in Love: HEY E!

Lady E: I have to go. The fighting is getting worse and now my dad is trying to get into my room.

Crazi in Love: Get out of there! Do something, anything!

Lady E: There is no where I can go except through that door.

Crazi in Love: Estelle, call the cops!

Lady E: I'll ttyl

Crazi in Love: Estelle, be luck.

That happened a week ago but yet the thought of what happened remained fresh in Estelle's mind. Standing in the airport, she waited for people that she never even knew to show up. After logging off with Bertha, Estelle felt the wrath of her father as he physically abused her. Deciding she had had enough, she quickly talked to Bertha and got the information she needed to make her final decision. Packing her clothes and collecting her money, Estelle quickly left out for the first trip, not even saying goodbye to her parents. Straightening her shirt, Estelle reached down and picked up her suitcase and shoulder bag. Sitting down near the terminal, she sighed as she glanced around.

"I hope they come soon" she said as she reached into her coat pocket. Pulling out a sheet of paper, she glanced at it to see a picture of a girl.

"At least I know what to look for" she said as she folded the paper back up and slipped it back into her pocket. Having Bertha send her a picture of her online, Estelle wanted to make sure she knew just what to look for when the time came.

"I think that's her" a girl said to a young woman. The girl was medium height with black hair and eyes. She smiled as she ran towards Estelle.

"Hey Estelle" the young girl said. Looking up Estelle glanced at the girl and smiled.

*Well this is it* she said to herself as she stood up. Grabbing her bags, she prepared to take her steps toward a new beginning.

AN2: That's it for chapter one. Hope you enjoyed it. All feedback welcome as long as its some type of feedback. Next chapter will be out soon. Catch you next time.