Chapter One
Ashley: Innocent Beginnings

Before I begin, I should probably tell you my name. It is Williams. Ashley Williams. I'm fifteen years old, and sometimes think I'm about as plain looking as they come.

At five foot six, I'm not incredibly tall. Most of the boys who I used to be able to look down on are now taller than I am. I've been growing my hair out since fifth grade, when I got it cut to my shoulders. It's now halfway down my back, falling in straight, light brown locks.

The part of myself that I like best is my eyes. They're the most beautiful blue, a color that's brought out even more when I wear that color, which I do often. Half my wardrobe is made up of blue shirts. Which brings me to my typical outfit- flared leg faded jeans, a shirt fitting the occasion and/or weather, and my favorite pair of worn-out sandals.

The most unique thing about me is something you can't see. It's my overactive imagination. I've always had it and always loved it. It often came in handy when in third hour English class. It's probably why I love to write- so I can get my thoughts down on paper instead of roving aimlessly around in my head.

It all started in the summer of '99, after I became Illinois biggest Star Wars fan. I've always liked the movies, and have been around them for so long that I can't remember the first time I saw it. Still, I was never as badly obsessed as I was when I saw Episode One: The Phantom Menace. For a while, my mom didn't seem to care about my seeing it 6 times before it finally left the last theater, or about wanting all the posters, toys, and clothes. She didn't even mind the Padawan braid that much.

What made her wonder about my sanity was my major… devotion to Qui-Gon Jinn, portrayed by the Liam Neeson. Once my thing for Tommy Lee Jones had worn off, she'd thought that I was over my "daddy syndrome," which included all those over 40. Vince Gill she didn't mind, since she even liked him a bit.

But then along came Liam, and fired up the flame like a torch in the night. I'm still not quite sure what made me love him so much, but I have a few possibilities. There's the accent, that wonderful Irish accent that can make me melt when I hear it. Then there's his deep, beautiful blue eyes that you could look into for an eternity… the eyes that speak so much when he says nothing at all. Most likely it's that and so much more.

No matter what it is, being a Liamite sets me apart. When Star Wars came out, and while the rest of my friends and classmates were exclaiming how cute Obi-Wan was, I was happily gazing at my picture of Qui-Gon.

For a while, I thought I was alone in the under-aged category of Liam-obsessors. Then I met Jenny on the Internet, an event that has changed my life so much since. She quickly became my sister-in-Star-Wars, considering the fact that she loved Liam as much as I did.

We talked as often as we could, exchanging e-mail when not on Instant Messager. That's where the adventure begins...

It was a Monday night. After working at home all day, I was eager to finally be able to get on the computer for a few hours. I happily bounded down the steps to the basement. While I waited for the computer to connect to the Internet, I wondered who would be online today. Emily, Meredith, Sharon, or maybe even Jenny? I finally got on AOL, scrolled down the buddy list, and was delighted to see 4 names underneath it. Jenny was on!

It was one of the best IM conversations I'd had in a while. I don't know how exactly it got started, but I think I said something about wishing I could drive so I could go buy all the Star Wars things I wanted, until I went broke. Then she said, "Why go broke? Steal your parents' credit card." I explained to her exactly how many years I would be grounded for. From there it went to running away, running away to stay at her house, and finally, running away to find where Liam Neeson lived. I agreed to let her join me, after she threatened to tell my parents before I got halfway down the street, and we made all the arrangements. She'd drive up from South Carolina, pick me up where I lived in Illinois, and we'd go on a little "road trip." When I finally had to get off, I was slightly sad, knowing that it was just more daydreams… or so I thought.

Three days passed, and Wednesday morning dawned bright and early. I however, did not rise with the chickens to greet the day, and by the time I did get up, I realized that today was going to be a 'bored to tears' kind of day. Nothing to do, nowhere to go, no one to see. School was going to start in under two months, and I definitely didn't want to go back, despite the fact I was bored. I'd rather be bored at home than be bored at school.

I needed something fun to do. None of my friends were going to be home today, because of sports and various other sundry reasons. No one was online, not even Jenny. I wondered about that, since she hadn't been on since we had our joking conversation. I was totally out of ideas for writing fanfics or anything. The Star Wars Chicks message board was always dead at this time of the day. I had watched almost every movie in our house that I wanted to see. And to top it off, my parents were gone, which gave me no hope of them taking me anywhere.

Then, the doorbell rang. The sound echoed, seemingly louder than it actually was in the quiet house. I jerked out of a daydream, and looked towards the front door. I wondered who it was, and thinking it possibly could be the mailman, I went over and looked out the peephole. My parents had many seemingly dumb sets of rules, and never answering the door when they weren't home was one of them.

Outside stood a blonde girl who looked about seventeen. At the moment she was glancing down at a piece of paper, as if making sure this was the right address. Curious, and never one to follow the rules, I opened the door.