[A/n: ok, it's been long. Yeah, I've been catching up with school and all ...sorry for any dilemma. I'm back though!]

"Everything's fine today, that is our illusion." –Voltaire

"Thanks for taking me to the bookstore, Ann" Sylvia speaks behind a small yellow pocketbook "Usually, I have to find some one who has the time to take me. Either that or I just walk to the library." She paused "But then again the library's books are so old that some of the books here have proven theories mentioned in the old books" Sylvia returned the book to it's original spot in the middle shelf. She sighed. "The bad part about being in the bookstore, is finding that one book that'll catch your eye. I know people have mentioned –never judge a book by its cover, but sometimes the quality is just as bad as the cover"

Ann giggled browsing through the self for something to recommend. She found it in the literary section "here" she spoke "Voltaire" Ann took the book and flipped through it's pages "He's on my A list. And some of his quotes are pretty moving"

Sylvia held on page and began to read it out loud "Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe" she paused found some other line and continued "Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us."

Glancing at the cover, Sylvia nodded "looks promising"

"I read Voltaire in my freshman year of collage. It was required reading so I couldn't work my way out of it." Ann commented, "His quotes are pretty interesting and amusing. But sometimes you come across one that actually hits a spot"

"Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us." –Voltaire



"Did anything happen between you and Ryann when you were going out?" Ann froze, reeling in she plastered a smile.

"What makes you say that?"

Sylvia shrugged "I don't really know how to come out and say this ...but I think Ryann is the guy that I've seen Meena with"

Ann raised an eyebrow "How so?"

"Every night she comes home late –or when I know she'd come home late, I'd always wait up to this guy drop Meena home. At first I didn't recognized him. And when I'd ask Meena about it, she'd say that he was a shy guy and would be better off not knowing him. Until I found out it was Ryann." She paused "One night, I guess they were fighting in the car because it took a pretty long time for them to get out. But then I saw Meena get out of the car and ran to the door. And that Ryann guy followed after grabbed her hand slapped her face and said something about "You'll never compare to her" and left Meena in front of our doorstep" She then looked up at Anna "And when he came over to fix dad's computer, I saw the way you looked when he came into the room and the way you reacted when mom mentioned about the old days and how you guys were going out..." Silence "did anything happen?"

Silence continues "Ann?"

"Nothing happened" she answered hurriedly "he just grew interested in the next pretty thing with legs..."

Everything got silent.

"It's ok..." came Sylvia's voice, "You can tell me when you feel like you are ready..."

"I want you too leave her alone, Ryann"

He sighed tiredly "I have no idea what your talking about Matt"

He leaned against the wall watching as his old friend fumbled with wires from the computer.

"I think you have an idea."

Ryann scoffed "Matt. I'm married. I have two kids. What would I want from your little bed warmer"

"I know what happened between you and Anna, Matt"

He froze. "So she told you about her kid, huh?"

Matt didn't say anything. Ryann continued "...how likely of her to-…"

Voices came from the hallway and called out for them "Matt! Ryann!"

"In here!" yelled Matt who got from his original place to sit down on a chair.

Alice and her husband Richard walked in hand in hand and Alice still holding on for support on her cane on her left.

"Have you seen Anna, Alice?" Matt asked watching her ease herself down next to him.

"Yes, my dear. As a matter of fact, she and Sylvia just went out to the bookstore to go buy some books for Sylvia." She replied "how's it going, Ryann?"

Ryann smiled his little two faced smile "I'm trying my best" he replied. Alice sighed

"Well, anyways that's not one of the reasons why were here. The fall festival is taking place this afternoon at five. And I would love the whole family to get together and just spend some quality time together. And Ryann you can bring Sarah and the kids with you. –We could have a picnic!"

Her husband sighed "Alice don't get way in on yourself. Just remember you aren't strong as you use to be."

"Oh, Richard, shush. It'll be nice to have a picnic and to have us all together again-it'd something I'd want to have!"

The front door clicked and no one heard. A figure loomed in on the doorway and scoffed. Everyone glanced at the doorway.

"Well, I don't want in on it" it said as it kept eye contact one Ryann "I hate the family stuff"

"Meena" came Richard's stern voice

"I'm not even part of the family. I'm only here because mom kicked me out. Remember that" her eyes seemed fixated on Ryann, who never even glanced at her as she made her presence clear in the room, even after she left the room.
It was quiet. Until Richard spoke up "Don't mind her, we will still go and we'll still have fun" the door in the front opened and closed "I just hope those girl come home early so we can prepare"

"Prepare for what, dad?" came Sylvia's voice as both her and Anna came through the living room.

"The autumn festival" explained Matt "Were having a picnic"

"THE AUTUMN FESTIVAL?! –oh that is so super cool! I went there last year, but I didn't stay long because. well I was kinda sick and I was only there for the caramel apples and …well, I wanted to ride the Ferris wheel but then…I couldn't." Sylvia laughed "unless everybody wanted barf on their heads"

Alice stood up "Well, that settles it. Ryann you can come back tomorrow and fix this computer. Go home get cleaned up and bring your family. We will meet you there in an hour or so"

Sylvia glanced at Anna's face. There was a certain twinge that settled there and she watched as it slowly faded the minute Ryann stepped out of the room.
"How did Ryann get invited?" she blurted, Anna looked at her.

"Oh well, Honey. I couldn't just make plans without adding him in the room. And Ryann's always been helpful to the family. It's the least I can do" replied Alice.

Sylvia sighed "Ok. I'll go upstairs and get ready"

"Anna can you please help me get the food ready? Your father and Matt will get the -…"

"Don't worry, Alice. Just you and Sylvia go on and get ready. We'll be the ones to take care of everything..."

Alice hesitated for a moment and then resigned herself to go up stairs with Sylvia. Once the two had disappeared, Richard headed towards the hallway.

"Where are you going? That's not where the kitchen is" beckoned Anna.
Richard laughed "I'm going out. Anna the basket is in the Kitchen storage room and Matt there are some drinks out in the fridge –get everything ready. I'll be back"

"But where are you going?"

Richard grabbed the keys on the hallway table and said before he left "to the deli's"

"You alright?" she nodded "You sure?"

She nodded again "I'm just thinking about something"

"Pennies for your thoughts?"

She smiled and shook her head.

"A nickel?"


"A dime?"


Matt gave an exasperated sigh "OK, FINE. A dollar. But that's as far as I can go. Your one helluva negotiator"

Anna smiled "A dollar? Is that all?"

They laughed.

"No really, Anna. Is anything bothering you?"

She sighed "When are we leaving?"

Matt thought for a moment "Um.. 2 days from now, I guess. Why?"

She shrugged "I don't know. I just want to leave and never come back to this place."

"-but what about Sylvia? She's so smitten with you"

"Smitten?" she laughed

Matt looked at her "She's grown attached to you. And we all can see that she admires you for who you are."

Anna sighed "I know. But, I just want to leave soon. I know everything's changed. I've already grasped that fact and I wanna leave all these memories that refuse to go away.."

Matt stared at her and she continued "Ryann for example." She sighed again "I can't believe my mom went and invited him" she growled "ARGH! It's so stupid! I'm so tired of being so plastic when he's around when in reality I just want to throttle him with a bread knife or a butter knife or just A KNIFE in general!"

Matt rose an eyebrow "Murder is illegal in ALL 51 states…remember that"

She sighed once more "I know. And knowing that just depresses my very being.."
She leaned against his shoulders walking through booths, hands laced together. She didn't care about Ryann. She didn't care about the fact that he brought his whole god damned family. And she didn't care about the fact that she caught him staring at her the minute she and Matt passed him and his red headed wife.

"I just want to leave.." she murmured into Matt's ear. Matt, having seen Ryann's stare had his arm wrapped around her waist.

"All in due time, my dear" he told her in a chuckle "All in due time"

"Babe?" came her voice, he ignored her. But when her voice came stern the second time around he came out of it.

"Yes, Sarah?"

"I think Shelia's getting restless"
"Then go fix her, what do you want me to do?"

Sarah sighed restlessly and didn't say a word. Her husband was one man you wouldn't want to cross. Tiredly picking up her 1-year-old baby girl she left Ryann to the comfort of himself.
"When you come back to the real world Ryann, don't forget that you're married"

Sorry again that it's taken me to update so long. My classes are taking a large toll on me… r/r! please!