Author Email: spiritgreen
Disclaimers: All mine!
Summary: Chloe Anderson is a strong girl, but she meets Sky and learns there's more to life than success and good grades.
Chapter Summary: Chloe finds out of her parents' divorce, and she meets Sky.
A/N: Another version of Turning into a Butterfly. Please r/r!
My life ended the day before senior year started.
My mom was the one to tell me, sitting at the kitchen table when I got up around noon for something to eat. I had slept in, wanting to savor the last bliss of summer.
"Chloe," she said.
I yawned in reply, poured myself some coffee, and sat down opposite her.
"I have something to tell you."
"Mmm," I said, as the caffeine from the coffee spread over me, warming, awakening me. I hoped that she wasn't going to tell me that I didn't get into Physics AP that year. "What is it?"
"Well, Chloe," said my mom, suddenly finding a spot next to me to be particularly interesting to look at. "Your father and I love you very very much. You're the best thing that's ever happened to us. But…we have our differences, and-"
I wondered what it had to do with Physics AP, but then realized it was another family talk. She had been giving a lot of those lately, telling me to respect Dad a bit more please, do try to get along, because we're a good family and that was how good families treated each other. A bunch of crap.
"-your father moved out this morning."
It was at that point I realized she had said something that wasn't 'family' or 'love' or 'working with each other.' And I suddenly had a very bad feeling.
"What?" I said.
And then my mom told me, very quietly, "We're getting a divorce."
I don't exactly remember what happened after that, only that I bolted out the door, stuck my keys in the ignition of my Toyota Camry, and drove off.
The apprehension of what had happened sank in as I circled the neighborhood. Divorce. My parents were separating. My perfect Ph.D. parents didn't love each other anymore, after 17 years of marriage. Wonderful.
Out of all the parents in the world, my parents had to be the parents least likely to divorce. To me, divorce was always for other people, other friends. Never me. Because you see, my parents were faultless. There wasn't a thing wrong with either of them. Dad had graduated from M.I.T. with a Ph.D., and came to California to work as a doctor. He met my mom, a graduate of Stanford, and a year later, had me. Both incredibly smart, and I was raised with good morals, and good grades.
I finally ended up at my best friend Shannon's house, and she opened the door for me. We went up to her room and sat on her bed, where I told her what happened.
"Divorce," Shannon repeated. She paused, looking at me. "Wow."
Shannon Taylor and I are very different, but we're really great friends. We go way back to sixth grade, when she was the new kid and I was the genius everyone hated. It's funny, because I'm this straight-A perfectionist, and she's this totally laid-back and crazy rule-breaker.
Shannon's mom is divorced, and she had always been jealous of me with my perfect life. Her mom can't be described as the reliable type: she went on dates a lot, partied, and didn't make much money.
"You want something to drink?" Shannon now asked me, reaching behind her bed.
"Sure," I said, and she tossed me a Coke. I popped it open and took a gulp, the liquid fizzing and burning down my throat.
"So..." Shannon opened another can and sipped it. "Are you okay?"
"I always am," I replied, taking another huge swig. "I'm fine."
This was partially true. I have always been strong, never letting my guard down. Shannon was always the one sobbing to me about her latest failed relationship, and I would hold her and say everything would be okay, that he was a jerk anyway, and that she deserved better. I don't think in all the years we've known each other, she's ever seen me cry. I didn't cry. I didn't show weakness. This was taught and drilled into me by my parents a long time ago. Weak people were not looked up to, nor could they succeed.
"It'll be okay," said Shannon.
I nodded, finishing off my Coke and tossing in the trash can.
"Let's go to the movies," said Shannon, looking as if she had a sudden inspiration. She set down her drink. "We can see something funny."
I considered this. "All right," I said finally. "But I get to pick this time."
Shannon grinned, jumping up and grabbing her keys. "Okay. Then I drive."
We ended up seeing three movies, pretending to walk out with everyone else, then stopping for the bathroom. After about five minutes, we would come out, cool as ever, and walk into another screening for a different movie. Sneaky and most likely illegal, but a brilliant way to get three for the price of one, something I strongly advocated.
The third ended around eight-thirty, and we got out unnoticed. Ignoring the fact that I had probably burned out my 20/20 vision eyes, I headed for the food concession, because I was starving.
The guy behind the counter was tall with tousled brown hair, and a huge cheery grin on his face. "Hello!" he said brightly as we approached. "Nice day, isn't it?"
Shannon smiled halfheartedly while I dug out my wallet.
"It is when two young ladies as pretty as you two approaches my humble dwelling!" he declared. "Why, I'll bet-"
"Two Chili dogs," I interrupted, slapping down a twenty. "And two sodas."
"Right-o! $14.37." said the guy promptly, jabbing at a few buttons on the cash register. He whipped up the twenty.
"Hold on," I stopped him, and then proceeded to dump all the coins out of my wallet. "I have some change." The coins plinked onto the counter, as I shook the wallet upside down.
"God, Chloe," Shannon hissed, rescuing a dime that was about to roll away. "Why do you always do this? It's embarrassing."
"I have too many pennies," I said, starting to count the coins. "There must be 37 in here."
Shannon rolled her eyes, but the guy just said happily, "Pennies are great. In fact, you can put all your extra change in here." He patted a plastic container in front of us, with the words, 'Save the Children' on it, complete with a heart and two figures holding hands.
"Thanks, but I'm a conservative. Every penny counts," I deposited the rest of the coins back into my wallet, and pushed seventeen pennies, two nickels and a dime at him, stacked neatly in little piles.
"All right-y!" said the guy, scooping them up and ringing the register. He then handed me my change, which I counted twice. Shannon got the food, and we were about to leave when the guy called.
"Excuse me! You forgot your receipt!"
That was the first time I've ever forgotten a receipt. I was always ever-so-cynical, doing the math in my brain to ensure no calculation errors.
"Thanks," I said, taking it.
He gave me another enormous grin. "See ya."
Then, as we were eating, I noticed something on the back of the receipt. Seven digits. A phone number and name. I looked back at the food concession, and that stupid guy was looking at me, so I smiled, crushed the paper beneath my fingers, and tossed it in a nearby garbage can.
But not before I had glimpsed the name. Just three letters, in messy, uncoordinated writing. S-K-Y.
A/N: Yay! You finished it! Next chapter: more encounters with Sky. Please stay tuned! :) and review please, so I know people are reading!