Chapter One: New

I set out on the path, alone. I wasn't running away from anything, but for some reason I walked like I was on the warpath. My steps fell to the ground with heavy thuds as I increased my speed. I walked until my calves began to ache and my knees shake, and even then I kept walking. By now my breath was coming in short shallow waves and my cheeks were flushed with heat. I didn't know why I was walking like this. I had just been so overcome with emotion that I had to do something.

There really wasn't a logical explanation for this emotion. I had just been sitting down when suddenly it had filled me up. Like an accidentally overfilled glass of water it had filled me to my brim, threatening to toss itself about on the floor. Instead, I had stepped outside and begun walking down this path. Honestly, my first instinct had been to run, preferably while screaming. That seemed a little overdramatic to me, even with the state I was in, so I decided against it and instead began this brisk walk.

This very brisk walk led me straight into his path. Let me correct myself, this very brisk walk led me directly into him. It was like running straight into a brick wall that had just decided to randomly appear when I had blinked. Except I hadn't even blinked, I had just been concentrating far too hard on my feet, and this weird emotion. As soon as I hit the pavement and the asphalt tore the skin away from my leg, I somehow managed to forget about the emotion.

A lovely curse word flew eloquently from my lips. I wanted to say more, but when I looked up, I realized I couldn't. Oh God, I hadn't run into a brick wall. I had run into a boy. I had chosen that exact moment to be an idiot and run straight into a very attractive guy. He looked like he was about to say something, but I cut him off with an apology. A blush had spread across my cheeks, and I was sure that it was only a matter of time before my entire face was lit with the colors of sunset. I apologized once more before jumping up to my feet and then running in the other direction.

It wasn't until I reached the door to our new house that I realized what I had done. I had run straight into a gorgeous guy, fallen flat on my face, cursed, and then run away. If that wasn't going to mark me as the bizarre new girl, I didn't know what was. With my luck this guy was the most popular guy in school and by Monday I would have a nickname waiting for me. I tried not to think of what they would call me. Knowing teenagers, it would be creative.

As I stepped into the house, the warm scent of lasagna caressed me and for a brief second I forgot that I wasn't back where I used to live. Then I reanalyzed what I had just thought and remembered exactly that. That was where I used to live. Now I lived here. Shutting the outside world away, I made sure the door was locked and then walked up the stairs to my new room. They would let me know when dinner was ready. Until then, I was going to take this opportunity to lay down on my bed and sulk.

I'll admit, even I know I was being foolish, but as a teenager, I believe I needed some time to make the adjustment. After all, I had been ripped from the home that I had known forever, to start my senior year in a place that I had never heard of before my dad pointed to it on a map. Cliques would already have formed and I would just be a stranger entering these other people's lives. I would have to make new friends, and struggle to fit in.

Who was I kidding? This was going to be awesome.

The weekend flew by, as weekends tend to do. I awoke abruptly to Monday. My new alarm clock beeped in such a way that the clock itself shook. I didn't bother hitting the snooze button; adrenaline was coursing through my veins. After shuffling out of bed and taking a shower, I pulled on my new clothes. Lately, everything I had been experiencing was new.

My dad had emphasized the "new" aspect of life when trying to sell my brother and I on moving. I guess I had to agree that a fresh start could be healthy. In a way this was an adventure for me. I had only ever read about people moving, or seen it in movies. Fantastic things always happened to the new girl as she made her mark on the small town she moved to. Not that Ashburn was small. In fact, it was larger than my old town, but that's beside the point. I was determined to do just what all of those girls did. I was going to make my mark.

The sound of knocking tore me out of my inspiring monologue and I finished tying my shoes. Walking quickly, I opened up the door.

"Time to go," my brother looked at me. His dark hair was a mess, per usual, and his misty blue eyes looked bored. That's right, the only new thing that the move hadn't come with was a car of my own. I had complained that Brown was going to community college, and Dad had almost given in until, with a smirk, Brown had mentioned that his schedule lined up perfectly with mine. This meant he would be driving me to and from school until Dad took pity on me.

"Don't give me that look, you volunteered to be my chauffeur," I said as I turned back into my room to grab my bag.

"Yes, but I didn't know that this meant you would be trying to break the world record for longest time getting ready when I did."

"How long have you known me?" I asked, shutting my door behind me and following him down the stairs.

"Good point," he said, my comment drawing a smile from him. My brother was indeed human, just not between the hours of eight in the morning and twelve in the afternoon. I moved to walk into the kitchen, but he grabbed my hand and led me out the door.


"No protesting, you make me wait, you don't get breakfast. Remember that tomorrow." The door shut with a click behind us and we made our way to his car. It was a deep sea green Jeep Wrangler that I was in love with. My brother was just happy that it worked. Once my seat belt was fastened I moved for the radio. Surprisingly my brother didn't smack my hand away, like he so often did, and we listened to a mix of alternative music as we headed towards high school.

"Are you excited for college?," I asked him.

"A little. Kind of sounds like high school with less homework," Brown shrugged. I was certain that he was more worried than he let show, but I could honestly never be sure. His eyes stayed glued to the road and that was the end of our conversation.

"Have a good day at college!" I shouted as he threw his car into drive.

"Don't get raped," he replied, leaving me with a few awkward glances from the people around me. Great, now I was both clumsy and rape girl. What was next? Turning to face the school I took a deep breath. Well, there was only one way to find out...