• Preface
    What do you do, when everything you want is staring you right in the face? Do you just run away screaming because you are terrified of what he is? Or do you trust him enough to know that he would never hurt you, look him right in the eyes, and tell him you love him over and over again? I did, and look at me now.

    1. Friends

    I woke up this morning and laid in bed to long. I didn’t want to get up. I was furious. But as the time went by I knew that it was getting closer and closer to 7. That meant school would start without me and my mom would get a call saying that I missed yet another day of school. She wouldn’t be surprised tough. I always did this the morning after the “big” move. Almost every year, it happened again and again.
    “Are you going to school? Or do I have to call in for you?” my mom shouted from down stairs. I was going to change my ways. I didn’t want this move to be like all the others.
    “No. I’m going to school today,” I yelled back.
    “Oh. Okay,” she said in a confused voice. I got up and got ready not really paying attention to what I was doing. I didn’t feel like dressing up, nothing new was going to happen today. I knew that for a fact, or so I thought.
    I dressed in blue jeans, a black tang top, and I threw a blue sweater over it because today was bound to be cold. I put my hair into a high ponytail and I put a light blue headband around my head holding my bangs in place.
    Breakfast was boring. I didn’t have much time to eat but I made Pop-tarts just to fill my stomach. I found out that I ended up having to run to my car ─ an old beat up VW bug; she had yellow chipped paint but worked like a charm. My mother bought it for me a few days before to lighten up my mood, but it didn’t really help.
    Finding the school was easy in a little town like this, all I had to do was look for the big sign that said, “Richmond High”
    I parked close to the school’s front door so that I wouldn’t have to walk that far, only to find out that it was reserved. I was startled by a little tap on my window, I pushed the button just slightly so that I could avoid full confrontation with this person.
    “You must be new here. I’m sorry, but you are parked in our space. You see, we’re a family of five and we normally use two cars to drive to and from school. Today we didn’t, so you’re a little lucky. But just future references, don’t park here,” a silky voice informed me.
    “Oh ─ Oh I’m sorry,” I apologized. But I was too late. The guy was gone, and I hadn’t seen his face. I just dropped it and got out of my car trying hard not to slip and fall, as clumsy as I was. I sighed when I took in the little “gym” they called a school.
    Today is going to be different I told myself again, having no luck with the persuasion part.
    The first day of senior year was a mess. I had to wait in this line ─full of only seniors─ to get my schedule. I was almost late to my first period, world geography, trying to get out of the mess I was in with my schedule, every senior knew what to do and where their classes were, I did not.
    I noticed that everyone was making friends with everyone, except me. I tried so hard to keep to myself but people kept coming up to me saying hello and all that junk. For the most part of the morning I stayed away from the other kids and tried not to talk as much.
    I walked into my third period Chemistry class and looked for a place to sit. I really didn’t feel like making friends at the moment only because I was furious at my mom for making us move to this small state. I hated moving, my mom loved to travel and see new things. We moved almost every year or two because my mom seemed to hate living in one spot for too long.
    All of the tables groups were taken except one ─closest to the back of the room─ with a setting for a group of 5. Every other table had a group of 3. I thought nothing of it and went to sit away from everyone else. I was getting a piece of paper out ─as instructed on the board by our teacher─ when a boy ─with baby blue eyes and light skin to match his short hair─ from my first period geography class ─I noticed─ came to me when he saw me sitting alone.
    “Hey, my name is Damien.”
    “Um, hey. My name is─”
    “Abigail?” he asked looking down at my schedule.
    “Abby,” I corrected him. I absolutely hated it when people called me by my proper name.
    “My apologies, Abby. So, are you new to Rhode Island?”
    “I’ve been here a few times. But only on vacation.”
    “And what made you decide to move to this small state?”
    “My mom came here for the first time with me last year, and she just fell in love,” I explained, “I really don’t see why,” I said under my breath.
    “Oh. Well that’s always good. It’s nice to see new faces around school. How’s everyone treating you so far?” he sounded like my mom when we last moved to Colorado.
    “The people are nice. But really, I’ve just kept to myself.”
    “Oh. Actually, if I were you I would move,” he informed me.
    “No really, it’s okay, I’m fine here.”
    “Alright, suit yourself,” Damien said as he shrugged and went back to the seat where he placed his stuff in the front of the class room.
    I was writing my name on my paper when it happened. I heard someone clear their throat. I looked up to see who was trying to get my attention and that’s when I saw his face for the first time. In that second of me looking up to meet his gaze, it felt like we were the only two on this whole entire earth. I felt like no one else existed, like we were the only two souls in this classroom, and in this school. He was so beautiful. He had deep green eyes, pale skin, short messy light brown hair, two lip rings and a memorizing smile.
    “Excuse me, Miss.” His voice was silky and smooth, just like the voice I had heard this morning, “but we are actually supposed to sit here,” he said waving his hand towards the four other students behind him, all ─like himself─ so beautiful. They had deep green eyes and pale skin, just like the gorgeous boy. It took me a minute ─or two─ for my brain to process what he had just said. He broke my observations with another rude, but quick clearing of his throat. He looked like he was hiding back a little smile.
    “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know,” I blurted out, I quickly got up and started shuffling my things together so that I could get out of their way. I went to the table that Damien was sitting at so that I would try hard not to stare. I suddenly regretted not dressing up.
    “I was trying to tell you that it was their spot,” he whispered to me when I sat down at his side.
    “Sorry, I should have listened,” I told him being remorseful.
    “No biggie. But Josh seemed sort of nice; huh, guess I never really paid attention to him, he always intimidated me a little,” he explained to me without interest.
    “Who?” I asked him. I was surprised that he would think that knew who everyone was. I supposed that my question reminded him that I was keeping to myself at much as I could.
    “Josh Beckett. And those other ones he’s with are his brothers and sisters. Actually those two are.” He explained pointing to a boy ─big, muscle wise, and tall. He had light hair─ and a girl ─very small and petite. Her hair was dark and long─ both so very beautiful, “Ah, Annie and Daniel Beckett. The other two are Jessica and Aaron Aversion ," These two looked nothing alike, yet they were so very similar. Jessica had dark hair and Aaron’s was light brown, “They’re brother and sister. They were adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Beckett. Josh, Annie and Daniel are their actual children. They all moved here last year from somewhere in Washington. I can see why, there’s too much rain there.” He explained to me.
    “Wow. That’s very interesting.”
    “You bet it is!” he agreed.
    “They’re all so beautiful…” I whispered to him glancing back at them, only to see that Josh ─the one that informed me I was in their spot─ was staring at me. I turned quickly and my cheeks flooded with blood. I hid my face so that Damien couldn’t see me.
    “Annie and Aaron have been together for quite awhile, a few years. Same with Jessica and Daniel, they at least have to be married by now!” he explained with astonishment.
    “And Josh?” I asked quickly.
    “No, he’s been single his whole stay here. Many girls have asked him out, but he always seemed to have an excuse. Huh, if I was him I would jump to the gun!” he joked. I didn’t laugh. “Kidding!” he said, with both hands in the air. I smiled.
    I looked directly at Damien to use my peripheral vision just to see his face again. And just like before, he was staring in my direction ─not at the bored─ at me.
    When class was over, I gathered my things and Damien offered to hold my books and walk me to class. I didn’t want to be rude so I said, “Um, sure.” As he looked at my schedule to find out where he was taking me, I scoped the room for his face. But he was nowhere to be found, none of them were. I put my head down and stalked out of the room with Damien at my side.

    2. Visitor
    A few weeks had passed by with not much of a change. I saw Josh and his siblings in my third hour Chemistry class every single weekday, turns out Josh and his sister Annie were also in my fifth hour French class. Unfortunately I don’t have Damien in that class to save me.
    He continued to stare and I continued to melt over how attractive he and the others were. Our relationship never budged, just stayed there, frozen solid. Just two strangers that kept bumping into each other at awkward moment’s ─for me at least─ that always involved me messing with up something that was theirs.
    Fourth period English today was not fun. I talked to many other people that sat around me, only because our teacher made us interact. I met two girls; they sat on either side of me at a table of three. The first one ─to my left, who I seemed to keep forgetting her name─ was taller than me with dark brown, short hair. As did the girl to my right, Jasmine, the only different between the two girls was their eyes, Jasmine had light brown eyes, and the other had hazel. Unfortunately, he was not in my class. This made me feel something I hadn’t felt since my dad passed away when I was just a little girl, I felt sad, like I could just cry without wasting all of my life staring at his beautiful face.
    When lunch rolled around after fourth period, I sat with Damien because the other girls weren’t considered my “friends” just yet. We sat at a crowed table full of his friends, new and old. He introduced me to some of his other guy friends, gentlemen as I would call them because they were very nice and polite to me.
    When our table was called up to get lunch, Damien escorted me to the front ─before his entire load of friends─ saying, “Ladies first.”
    I wasn’t all that hungry, but to save him the trouble of being “Dogged” by his friends because I didn’t even buy anything, I asked the lady with the fish net on her head for a pepperoni pizza and a Dr. Pepper.
    All the guys were getting lunch, so I walked slowly back to the empty table, not wanting to be alone for long, and sat down when I had no success. I looked around to see if anyone was looking at me ─the loner─ and I saw his face, once again. He was staring at me with a grin on his perfect lips. I looked down, and blood rushed to my tan cheeks. I couldn’t stop smiling at the table. My stomach was full, of butterflies. I wanted so badly to look up at him again, but I just couldn’t lift my head, it felt like it weighed 100 pounds.
    Eventually, more of the guys made it back to the table ─including Damien─ so I lifted my head and joined the conversation. I had no interest in it because it was about sports. That’s what I get for sitting with a whole bunch of guys I thought to myself.
    One of the big bulky guys was blocking my view from Josh’s face, thank god. But for some reason I couldn’t stop myself from trying to look past the guy to see the look on his face. I wondered if he was asking himself why I was sitting with guys. I smacked myself in the head for asking myself that question. Of course he wouldn’t be wondering! He has absolutely no interest in me.
    “Why’d you just do that?” one of the boys, Toby, asked me. I blushed again because he had noticed.
    “Um, I just remembered I forgot to let the dog out this morning.” I lied to cover up my dumbness.
    “Oh.” He said in return not looking fooled. I looked back up at Josh, ─out of habit─ his head was turned, and I swear I could see him laughing.

    When school was over I was so happy I almost ran to my car. I couldn’t wait to get home and yell at myself for looking stupid in front of Josh, like always.
    I wanted to see his face once more before I left. So, when I turned the key to start my car, I searched the small parking lot for his beautiful face only to find that he was a few cars away staring right at me. I met his gaze for about a minute and then it was cut off when someone honked. I snapped back into reality only to see that I was right in front of the parking lot entrance and there was a line of cars behind me. Like always, I blushed and then drove home with infuriating thoughts.
    I’m so stupid! I thought to myself.
    When I got home my mom was gone ─probably out looking for a job─ so I went to my room to do homework and open some boxes from our latest move. I walked up the stairs slowly, ─dragging my feet a little─ I closed my door quietly, plopped onto my bed and just laid there. A few minutes later, I was unconscious.
    The next thing I was aware of was the house smelling like oregano, garlic bread, and I knew my mom was home cooking a big dinner for the two of us, spaghetti. I got up only to find that it was almost 8:30. I had passed out from a long day at school for six and a half hours.
    I hadn’t gotten anything done that I wanted to, and to top it all off, I looked a mess. I didn’t want my mom to ask questions, so I quickly got cleaned up and reapplied my makeup for no apparent reason.
    When I skipped down the stairs, I stopped abruptly on the last step because I heard a soft and silky laugh from the kitchen. Only one person I knew had that unbelievable laugh, and even though I only heard it a few times before, I knew it well. I couldn’t believe it! He was in my kitchen! I could hear another small, dainty, laugh, my mothers.
    “Oh Josh! You’re such a comedian.” She complimented to a joke that I didn’t hear. I sighed and decided to pull myself together to say hey. I walked in with a big smile on my face, only to see that Josh was smiling in my direction like he knew I was behind the corner.
    “Hey, Josh Beckett. It’s a great surprise to see you here.” I said, trying to sound not to sound over excided, even though I was.
    “Hello, Abby Tracy. I am very pleased to be here myself.”
    “You called me Abby.” I breathed, it was the only thing that came out, I sounded surprised.
    “Oh, I’m sorry. Do you prefer Abigail?”
    “Abby is fine, thank you.” I said with a smile. He smiled back a beautiful smile; it touched his eyes, so I knew it was a true.
    “Well, I was just in the neighborhood and I wanted to say hello. Things at school weren’t so great on the first day, and I’m sorry,” he hesitated, and I blushed, he whispered something I couldn’t quite make out but it sounded something like, “she’s so cute when she does that.” So, another blush faded into the other. I turned to my mother ─who I forgot was in the room with us─ and found her at stove.
    “Do you need help?” I asked her walking towards her.
    “No, I’m okay. You should ask him to stay for dinner! You don’t want to be mean, now do you? He’s a really nice guy. Too bad he’s not my age.” She whispered.
    I turned my attention back to Josh who was standing up with his back on the wall, trying to hide a smile like he just heard our little conversation.
    “Umm, would you like to talk in the other room?” I asked him, trying to get away from my mother.
    “Sure.” He said, “Lead the way.” I walked pass him and sat down in the living room on our only couch, it was multi-colored. We had bought it at a garage sale for only 50 bucks. I patted the cushion next to me looking into Josh’s deep green eyes.
    “Thank you. I love your couch.” He said with his perfect smile that I constantly melted over.
    “Thanks.” I giggled. He laughed with me, “We got it at a garage sale a few years ago in Utah. It was only 50 bucks, and we were couch less after our most recent move.”
    “What a sale.” He joked. I laughed with him for a while. Now I know why my mom said he was so funny.
    “So, would you like to stay for dinner? My mom never cooks big meals and she’s cooking one tonight, probably in your honor,” I told him, “or maybe because I made a friend.” I whispered to myself.
    “Are you sure? I don’t want to ruin anything for you two.” He said, laughing at what I had said.
    “Yes, it’s okay. We only eat what we eat. There will be tons more, even if you do eat with us, because like when she and my dad were together I lived with them and his 6 other kids. Every night my mom would have to cook for us all, and when she did, she would cook huge meals. If it was just her and me, like it is now, one of those dinners would feed for us for a whole year! That’s how bad it was. So now when she makes food for more people than just the two of us, we have lots of leftovers. Sometimes we have to end up throwing them out because we have it for so long that it just never goes away and it just gets bad! Oh sorry, I’m talking too much, huh?” I had noticed he was just smiling at me listening to my story.
    “No it’s okay. I like your stories.” He said still smiling.
    “Good. Cause I have a lot of them! So tell the truth, how come you’re here?”
    “Well, I guess I can tell you since I’m staying for dinner… I wanted to see you.”
    You wanted to see me?” I couldn’t believe it.
    “You better” he whispered to low for my ears, “Yes. After lunch today, I had to see you again. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I would love to see you, every day, for the rest of my life.”
    He caught me off guard with the last line, for the rest of his life? Did he really mean that? I had no idea he could, actually, would ever like someone like me.
    He studied my reaction, “Don’t underestimate yourself, you’re a very beautiful person.” He reassured me.
    “Thank you.” I said blushing again. His eyes went crazy. They got deeper and bigger. He smiled with great delight and I couldn’t help but smile back.
    “So, tell me about yourself, Abby. How many places have you been?”
    My smile disappeared. I had no idea where I had been, my whole life was filled with trips all over the world. “I’m not sure.” I told him.
    “I understand. Where did you just move from?”
    “How was it there?”
    “I liked it. We moved there because that spring had gone there for a school field trip from Utah, my mom chaperoned and she fell in love. I mean not with a person, just the place. My mom loves to travel, as you can tell.”
    He nodded, “And that’s how you moved here, too.” It wasn’t a question.
    “Sort of like that. I’ve been here a couple times over the last few summers. Last summer my mom came with me, and fell in love again I guess,” I told him.
    “That sounds reasonable.”
    “I don’t see why.” I said under my breath. He heard me, I could tell, because he started cracking up. I joined him with a cheerful laugh.
    “Dinners ready!” my mom yelled when the timer for the oven went off. I could smell garlic bread. Yum.
    “Smells good, Ms. Tracy.” Josh complimented as we walked into the kitchen.
    “Thank you, Josh. But please, call me Emily.”
    “Anytime, Emily.” He smiled, only to look at me and say, “Lady’s first.” he motioned towards the food. My response smile made me blush into a deep pink, not quite the dark red I’m used to. He just smiled at me with great passion and that made me look away fast.
    My stomach was suddenly full, of butterflies. I didn’t want to eat, especially in front of Josh. I would probably look horrible!
    I turned back to face him and get my food and he was no longer smiling. He had jumped in front of me and grabbed a huge plate of food and stuffed a big bite of it into his mouth. He looked so funny I just had to laugh, no I didn’t laugh, I cracked up. I held my stomach and laughed my guts out. He was so funny and super cute when he tried too hard to be funny. He didn’t need to try hard; it just came naturally, the funniness and the cuteness.
    He swallowed and joined me with a brilliant laugh of his own. I continued to blush as I got my food.
    “You two are crazy.” My mom said to us, because she had no idea why we were laughing.
    “Love you too, mom.” I said with a little giggle. Josh and I walked to the table and he pulled my seat out for me ─what a gentlemen─ and then he sat in the seat next to me.
    “Ugh, I can’t over how cute you two are!” my mom gushed. I picked up the thing closest to me ─something that wouldn’t hurt if it hit her─ and I threw a crumpled up paper in her direction. Josh just chuckled.
    “Okay, okay. I’ll leave you two alone. But I’ll be in the living room if you need me!” she said sarcastically.
    We ate in silence for about 5 minutes until I couldn’t take it anymore, “So, where have you been?” I asked wholeheartedly.
    “I’ve lived in very many places, like yourself. But I most recently moved from Portland, Oregon to Forks, Washington. And then I relocated here, Richmond, Rhode Island just a few years ago.”
    “That’s nice. So, tell me about your family.” I suggested and then took a little bite of spaghetti.
    “My actual brother and sister, Annie and Daniel, they’re very nice people.” He told me.
    “As you are.” I smiled.
    “Thank you. And Jessica and Aaron are my adopted brother and sister. You may have noticed that Annie and Aaron are a couple, along with Jessica and Daniel. My father, Carlos, thought it would be brilliant idea to adopt Jessica and Aaron, as a nice gesture for Annie and Daniel. Jess and Aaron’s mom and dad were my father’s best friends, when they died it was so hard for everyone. Both couples have been together for a while and they will probably be together for much, much longer.” He explained.
    “And did Carlos adopt anyone special for you?” I asked, curious.
    He chuckled and said, “No. I’m all by myself. And have you settled down with anyone?” he asked me, also looking curious.
    “No, my mom doesn’t adopt my boyfriends.” Not that I’ve ever had one.
    “Have you ever had one?” he asked.
    Could he read me mind? I thought to myself. He coughed, and I could see a smile pulling at the corner of his lips.
    “No…” I told him, not wanting to lie. He probably would know if I did, he seemed to know everything.
    When we finished eating, I took our dishes to the sink. He insisted on helping me looking me strait in the eyes, I couldn’t fight how deep his eyes became when he tried to persuade me to do something, so I agreed and he grabbed a dish towel.
    Around 9:50 we finished doing the dishes and he checked the time.
    “Oh gosh, it’s later than I thought. I should get home. I bet you still have homework to do.” He said with a smile, that made me remember falling asleep this afternoon and I woke up with nothing done, that seemed to be decades ago.
    “Yeah,” I shook my head, “your right.”
    “Walk me to my car?” he asked, it seemed like he wasn’t finished talking.
    “Okay.” I said with great delight, I wasn’t finished talking either.
    When we got out side I gasped, “Oh my gosh! That’s your car?” I asked.
    “Why? Are you disappointed? Or surprised?” he asked with a grin.
    “That’s ─ that’s a corvette!” I struggled to find the right words. I always seemed to lose my mind and words when I was with him. His grin got wider.
    “Yes, yes it is. Would you like a ride in it?” he asked nonchalant.
    Yes! I would love one! Especially if it meant being with you longer! I thought, but my answer was a little different, “Maybe some other time. It’s getting a little late.” I said, it was the responsible thing to do.
    “Yeah, you’re probably right. It’s the responsible thing to do.” He mimicked my thoughts.
    I gasped, but shook my head and just let it go. It was nothing. I thought, of course he knows it’s the responsible thing to do! How stupid am I?
    “Okay, well bye.” I said, not wanting to let him go.
    “Actually, I lied to you. I came over here tonight to see if you would like to go somewhere with me sometime. You know, so I can make up for my rude first impression,” he flashed a smile at me, showing his teeth, and I suddenly had the breath knocked out of me, “If you’d like.” He added.
    I couldn’t respond. I had to remember how to breathe. He was so, so, cute especially in the moon light. The moon glittered off his skin like the rays of the sun. He’s smile grew as he watched my reaction and I had to wonder if I just spoke those last thoughts.
    “S-sure.” I stuttered and my cheeks flooded with blood.
    In and out, in and out. I instructed myself. I was on the verge of hyperventilating. I had to keep myself speaking so that wouldn’t happen.
    “Do you have any time or place in mind?” I asked.
    “Maybe tomorrow…? If that’s alright. We could do it over the weekend if tomorrow is too soon. I was thinking… dinner?”
    “Tomorrow is good, and dinner is… great.” I managed to choke out brushing my hair back and leaving my hand in my hair. He laughed at my stupid attempt to sound and look cool. I dropped my hand immediately.
    “Well, I guess I’ll see you tomorrow at school. And tomorrow, after school. When would you like me to pick you up?”
    “I ─ I don’t know.” I stuttered, again.
    “How about 6:30?”
    Great, I had to wait 4 hours to see him in between school and our date. I highly doubt it is a date, I bet he just feels sorry for me. ‘Cause like he said, ‘you know, so I can make up for my rude first impression’ it wasn’t a date at all. I thought to myself.
    He clearly saw my hesitation, because he ended up saying, “Or I could move it to an early dinner. You know, if it takes us long to eat. Maybe we could even watch a movie or something and then eat when are finished.” He added.
    “A movie sounds good.”
    “Okay. What movie would like to see?”
    I was stumped, I hadn’t been paying attention to the current movies playing because I never had any friends, or any boys, ask me to go with them to a movie. So I just said, “Surprise me.” This made him laugh.
    “You’re pretty funny. I could learn to grow attached to you.” He said. I was about to freak out. I had to say goodbye before I started screaming.
    “Well, I could learn to get used to that, too. Goodnight, Josh Beckett.”
    “Please, just call me Josh. Goodnight, Abby Tracy. I’ll see you tomorrow; I can’t wait for our date.” He breathed. My mind wasn’t fast enough to register what was happening, but without my body moving one inch, Josh lifted his hand up to my face and just laid it there for a few ─too quick─ moments. And then with a swift movement, he jumped into his car, and he was gone.
    I just stood there. Frozen. My brain seemed so slow tonight. Or maybe Josh’s actions were just a little too fast. I shivered ─at how cold his skin had felt against mine─ just a few seconds too late. My mind just couldn’t grasp the fact that he just touched me. I felt so alive at that moment. Even though, somehow, with that one touch, I knew my life could have just ended, quicker than I thought possible.

    3. A Walk to Remember

    The next morning, I woke with a sudden jump of enthusiasm to get to school. I would see him, and be brave enough to say hello. I got in the shower and stayed in there for a very short time, wanting to get to school as soon as possible.
    I got dressed in decent clothes, not too fancy and not to plain. I curled my hair with no success, so I ended up pinning it back with a clip. I sighed and hopped down the stairs to the kitchen.
    I ate without tasting my breakfast, and waited till my mom left ─out looking for a job, again─ to agree with myself that it was late enough to get to school. The drive was agonizing because I couldn’t seem to get to school fast enough. But eventually, I made it. Relieved, I parked my car closest to their parking spots, and headed into the school.
    I searched around the cafeteria with my eyes, seeing nothing. And then I jumped when someone whispered my name into my ear, “Abby…” the voice said, silky and sweet. I turned around so fast I almost lost my balance. I saw his face, and sighed with relief that I didn’t have to wait any longer.
    “Josh.” I breathed.
    “Good morning. You look beautiful. I like your hair.”
    “Morning, and thanks. You look very handsome yourself.” I said examining his wardrobe, he always looked stunning.
    “Thank you. You’re here early.” He said looking down at his expensive watch. Ours eyes met once again within less than a few seconds, it seemed like we couldn’t bear not looking at one another for long periods of time. He smiled at me.
    “Am I? I didn’t notice. My mom left and I got bored.” I said, light headed. His smiles always took my breath away.
    “Would you like for me to walk me to your class?” he asked, holding his hand out for my books.
    I nodded and said, “Thanks” as I handed him my things.
    We chatted about unimportant things like the weather, and current sports. He caught me off guard when he asked about tonight’s plans when we approached my first period, “Have you decided on a movie yet, or shall I choose?”
    “Go ahead. I don’t really care; I love all types of movies.” Romance would be nice. In a lovey dovey movie with the boy of my dreams, that would be exciding. I smiled at that thought.
    “How about ‘A Walk to Remember’?” he offered. I loved that movie.
    “It’s playing? In theaters?” I asked, surprised. That movie came out ages ago.
    “No, but I was thinking maybe we could watch it at my house, I own it. Then continue with our plans for a late dinner, after all, it is Friday.” He explained. I couldn’t say no to our new plans, I loved them.
    “Okay. That sounds great!” I said with too much enthusiasm, he noticed. He chuckled and I blushed. I hadn’t noticed that time was passing fast and that the school was filled with students. Their eyes were on us, amazed. I blushed again, wondering what everyone was thinking.
    “Don’t worry.” Josh whispered, “They’re just amazed that I’m actually talking to someone other than my brothers and sisters.” He reassured me.
    “Okay.” I sighed, “Well, I have to go.” I told him.
    “See you very soon.” He said, and then touched my face again, like he had last night. And like last night he dropped his hand and quickly ─not as quick as the night before─ walked the other way to his class. I stood there frozen, until Damien found me and greeted me with a warm “Hello”.
    I walked into the class after him, my head spinning.
    Chemistry came way to fast, but I was grateful for that. Josh waited at the door, just standing there staring at Damien and I as we walked in his direction.
    “Hello, Abby,” he said to me then turned to Damien, “Damien, would you mind if I stole your science partner for today?” he asked him.
    Damien looked shocked for a few seconds, but then he started to look annoyed, “Yeah, sure, whatever.” He said with a glum look on his face.
    “He looks mad.” I whispered to Josh when we were a safe distance from him.
    “He’s just pretty sad that he doesn’t get to be your lab partner for today.”
    “Why would he be sad?” I whispered back, in surprise.
    “Like I told you before, don’t underestimate yourself, you’re a very beautiful person.” He reassured me, and blood filled my cheeks. He looked away quick, not being able to resist, I told myself.
    He turned back to meet my gaze and smiled big.

    Don’t you hate it when you refuse one shopping trip with someone knowing that you’ll find something, but don’t care? I do. Because if had went clothes shopping with my mom last weekend I wouldn’t be scrambling around my room, 10 minutes before my date with an irresistible guy.
    Then I came across a white, low cut dress shirt that I told my mom I would wear, if I ever had the chance. Of course I didn’t because I never went on a date and it was too dressy for school. I slapped on a black tang top and shoved the shirt onto my body on top of it. I had no time to waste to I put my nicest jeans on and fixed my hair a little. I looked half way decent when the door bell rang.
    “I’ll get it!” I called to my mom ─who was getting off of the couch─ as I ran down the stairs. I opened the door wide, and saw his beautiful smile and I had to suddenly remember how to breathe.
    “Abby.” He sighed.
    “Josh!” I said with too much enthusiasm.
    “You look stunning. Are you ready?” he asked me showing me the video he held in his hand.
    “Yes, let me just get my purse and ill meet you in the car.” I said with a smile. I ran to my room and grabbed my purse and my shoes.
    “Bye mom, I’ll be home later!” I called to her on my way out the door.
    “Okay, you two have fun!” she said sarcastically.
    I ran slowly to his car and saw him waiting by my door. He opened it for me, and after I strapped myself in, he closed the door gently. He was in on the other side before I could take a second breath.
    “Your house?” I asked him.
    “Yes. My family is so happy to finally meet you.” He told me. Had he been telling them about me? And how come he never mentioned that they were going to be there tonight?
    “Your family…?” I asked, scared. I was afraid they wouldn’t like me. They were all so beautiful, would they ever accept me?
    “Yes.” He answered me, and maybe even my thoughts.
    “You’ve told them about me?”
    “Well…” he said, searching for the right words, “In our family… let’s say… no one keeps secrets. Unless of course they tried hard enough…” he trailed off, it seemed like he was speaking to himself for a second. Then, remembering that I was sitting there watching him, he turned to me and smiled.
    “Oh, well at least you guys have a lot of trust in each other.” I noted quickly.
    “More or less.” He said. The drive to his home was really short, not to mention the high speed we were going. But I didn’t say anything about that. I didn’t want to seem too paranoid.
    His house was unbelievable. It was huge, it seemed to drag on and on towards the sky, never ending. The outside paneling was a soft light brown, and there were plenty of huge windows all around. He had a little porch leading up to the big double doors open to the front room.
    “Shall we?” he asked getting out of the car and opening my door for me. I walked up the porch slowly talking in the beautiful house. Josh wasn’t impatient of my slow pace, he sort of understood.
    “Beautiful…” I breathed as we walked pass the doors, inside was extremely breath taking. The room was a warm off white color; the walls were covered with paintings that had much detail and mirrors big and small. The floor was a dark hard wood and the furniture set up was simple but somehow it the made room even more elegant. There were many different statues setup on the perimeter of the large room.
    “It’s my mother. She and my sisters have a thing for decorating.” He explained with a smile.
    “Yeah, my mom likes to decorate but she never finishes anything.” I babbled on about nothing. This made him chuckle.
    “Would you like to see the rest of the house or would you like to stop here?” he said sarcastically, I hadn’t noticed that I stopped, “My family can’t wait to meet you.”
    Family. Oh, right. That was the reason I was here, looking like I did, for the most part. I had to impress his family in order for this skimpish relationship to last. “Right,” I sighed.
    “You know, you don’t have to impress them. I would just like for everyone to meet. Even if it meant not liking each other, I could really care less. I’m just happy if you’re happy.” He said with a brilliant smile.
    “Okay, I’m ready. Let’s go meet them.” I said, and then we headed up stairs. The first staircase was very wide and it curved with the room making it almost look like one of the many statues.
    When we finished walking up the steps we stepped onto a very soft, dark brown carpet. The walls continued with its off white color, covered now with paintings that had no real meaning, just for the color, there were no more mirrors. By the stair case was two double doors like the two in the front of the house, just smaller.
    “Hello, Josh.” A man’s voice greeted us. He had more of a velvet tone to his voice, not quite as silky as Josh’s.
    “Carlos, Yvette, this is Abby.” He said as we turned away from the doors only to walk past the corner and face his parents. Carlos was just as beautiful as the rest of them, his hair was dark brown and he was tall. His wife, Yvette, was just as stunning. She was a little shorter than Josh and Carlos, she had long curly brown hair and both had deep green eyes and pale white skin, like the rest of them.
    “Hello, Abby. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Carlos greeted me.
    “Thank you for letting me come to your home. It’s very lovely.” I said turning to Yvette.
    “Thank you so very much, Abby.” She said in a voice as stunning as her appearance.
    “Where are the others?” Josh asked Carlos.
    “Annie and Aaron are upstairs in the study. They’ll be down shortly. And Jessica and Daniel are… out. They’ll be here later.” Carlos explained just as Annie danced down the stairs with Aaron following slowly behind her.
    “Abby!” she cheered in her singing voice, running down the stairs to hug me and give me a small peck on my cheek, “It’s such a pleasure to meet you! Josh as been going on and on.” She told me. I blushed, like always. This made me question whether he really truly did like me for me.
    Annie was very tiny; she had short dark brown hair that was always hung down. Aaron was taller than Annie and had golden hair, like Josh.
    “Hey, Annie. Josh has spoken very nice things about you, too.”
    “Hello, Abby.” Aaron said in a low voice. Did he not like me? Josh shook his head at nothing in particular.
    “Hi, Aaron.” I said even more quietly.
    “Okay well, would you like to see the rest of the house before our movie?” Josh asked me, impatient. He seemed a little irritated of Annie’s way of “welcoming”.
    “Okay, sure.” I said, not sure how to respond.
    “Between those doors are our kitchen and our dining room.” He gestured towards the double doors by the first stair case. He led me out of the second family room up the stairs that Annie and Aaron had just come down, as the rest of his family went through the kitchen doors.
    These stairs were just as grand as the first. Only these stairs led us somewhere totally different, a long hallway with many doors with great lengths between them. Bedrooms.
    “Yes, these are our bedrooms.” He told me. I stopped mid step and turned toward him.
    “Is this some kind of game?” I demanded.
    “I don’t understand.” He said truthfully.
    “You know what? Neither do I. You answer me and my thoughts. Josh, you have to tell me what’s going on here. Just tell me the truth. About everything or I’m going to have to leave.” I told him, I wasn’t even sure of my words. Would I have the power to leave? I could feel tears of rage building up. I wasn’t going to cry. Not now.
    “I’m sorry. I tried so hard not to make it come to this. But I just can’t stop myself. Most of the time I don’t even know that it’s your thoughts I’m answering.”
    “I’m not following you.”
    “Yes, your right I can read your mind.” He confessed, “But as for telling you everything, we’re going to have to discuss this another time.”
    “Fine.” I said, throwing my arms up in the air, “I’m outta here.” I told him and turned to race down the stairs.
    “No, wait.” He pleaded, catching up to me in an instant and grabbing my arm. I wasn’t shocked by how ice cold his fingers were.
    “What.” I said coldly, still not looking at him to see if my words hurt him, I was afraid that if I looked, my hot tears would spill over.
    “Okay, I’ll explain. But can we talk about this somewhere else, away from all these other thoughts? My family will not approve of this, but like I said, as long as you’re happy.”
    I sighed, “Okay, where would you like to discuss this?”
    “How about tonight, at dinner…? At least after we watch our movie, I would like to continue with this date as traditionally as possible.”
    I sighed heavily at the word date.
    “Yes, I do believe this is a date.”
    “Okay, whatever. But do you promise to explain everything to me at dinner?”
    “Everything, I promise.” He said with sure sincerity that made me believe his words.
    “Shall we continue?” he asked for the millionth time today.
    He continued with the tour, pointing at the first door on our left as we walked back up the stairs and through the hallway. He grabbed my hand this time intertwining our fingers so I wouldn’t try to run away again, I think, “Well, this door is the study. Mainly Carlos’s office, but everyone goes in and out as they please so he really doesn’t think of it that way. This door,” he said pointing to the first door to our right, “Is my mother and father’s bedroom. The second door on the left is Annie and Aaron’s room and the one across it is Jessica and Daniel’s bedroom. The last door at the end is my room.”
    At the end of the hall was a very long and skinny window ─it seemed to stretch from the floor to the ceiling─ that nestled just inches from Josh’s bedroom. When we reached the door I risked a little glance out of the perfect glass and saw that we were really high up. I looked back up after I saw the long drop. Josh smiled at my racing heart.
    When he opened the door I gasped. His room was ten times better than the first floor of this beautiful house. Two of his walls ─not including the one the door was attached to and the wall that divided his and Annie’s room─ were made of glass. Pure window. The wall the door settled on and the one that divided were a rich pearl white color, one was covered with some small paintings with a classification of their own and the other was nothing but shelves. The carpet was a creamy tan.
    As for furniture, he had a small dark brown couch sitting in a corner next to a nightstand with all kinds of journals stacked on it. Across the room from the couch was a flat screen TV. The wall with shelves was filled with all kinds of things, books, movies, magazines, and all types of music.
    “Your room is fantastic.” I whispered, though no words could explain this.
    “Thank you.” He said taking me to the couch and sitting me down, our fingers still interlocked. He released my hand, and went to put the movie in while I got comfortable.
    “Do you sleep on this couch?” it was quite comfortable.
    “Yes, I know it is. But, no I don’t sleep on it.”
    “Where do you sleep?” I was anxious to know. Did he have a secret home of his own?
    “No, I live here. But I promise, I’ll explain everything later.” And that was all that was spoken.

    I stretched from being stiff for all that time, Josh had held me, I was cold from his body, even though he put a heavy blanket between us. “That was very nice movie. My favorite actually,” I said.
    “One of my all time favorites too.”
    “Would you like to walk to the restaurant?”
    “Huh?” I asked.
    “It’s not very far, just a mile. And I know a perfect short cut, too. Less than 10 minutes. Unless you would rather drive…?
    “Sure. I love walking. Just not really, really far distances.”
    “Yeah, I love late night walks.”
    I smiled and put my sweater on. He led me down the two sets of grand stairs where his family waited in the front room, now joined by two other members. Jessica and Daniel, I guessed.
    “Jess, Daniel, this is Abby,” Josh introduced us.
    “Hello,” I said with a great big smile. I was so happy tonight and I didn’t care who knew it.
    “So you’re the one Josh has been talking about! Oh yeah, she’s a keeper.” Daniel said with a responding smile.
    “Hi,” was all Jessica said to me. This made me a little nervous.
    “Okay, well we’re going to dinner now.” Josh announced.
    “You two have fun.” Yvette said.
    “We will.” He answered for both of us.
    When we were far enough from the house, I asked the first question that came to me, knowing he would already know what it was, I still needed to talk. “So, if you can read other people’s minds, what did your family think of me?”
    He chuckled a little, and then said, “Wow, I can read minds. I should have seen this one coming. They think you are very lovely.”
    “Really?” I blushed. “Well, tell them thank you for me please.”
    “I certainly will.”
    “But I don’t get it; Aaron and Jessica were really weird around me.”
    “Don’t get them wrong, they really do like you. Jessica was just really furious with me for what I am going to tell you soon, and with Aaron, I’ll explain his problem later.”
    “Earlier today, when you said, ‘in our family, no one keeps secrets’ what did you mean by that?” could the others read minds too?
    “Yes, our whole family can read minds, if that’s answering your question. It’s really hard to keep things from each other, unless you tried hard enough at least.”
    “And how could one try?”
    “Well mainly you would have to think of everything else but the thought your trying to hide. For example, if you’re trying not to tell the others that you committed a crime, you may possibly think of school or recite a language in your head, over and over. It may get boring and you would probably get exhausted after awhile for trying so hard, and eventually the thing your hiding will just slip into the minds of many others.”
    “That’s very interesting.”
    “Yes, it is. Okay so about earlier, feel free to run screaming once I tell you truth.” He whispered looking down.
    “Why would I do that?”
    “Abby,” he said with a little fear in his voice. I stopped abruptly and stared him right in the face, we were still on the trail not far from the restaurant, but far enough to where no one could hear us. He continued, “Abby, I’m a… a… a vampire.”
    I looked directly into his eyes and just stared looking for the lies in his never ending pupils. There were none. I couldn’t say anything.
    “Go ahead, run.” He said letting go of the hand he was holding. What did he mean by that?
    He continued, “Run away, Abby. I would never hurt you; I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I did. I understand if you never want to see or speak to me again.” He whispered.
    What? What are you saying? Could you really leave me? I thought.
    “I don’t think I can,” he admitted, “It would be a great load of pain for me and all the others who share my mind. But I would learn to deal, even if I never got over it.”
    He wasn’t making any sense; I couldn’t understand why he would come to this conclusion. I could think of no other way to make it clear that I wasn’t afraid of him and that I would never, ever leave. I placed both of my hands on his cheeks and pulled our faces together.
    After a very long explation kiss, I pulled his face away from mine and whispered, “I love you.”
    We stood there in silence for a few moments, until he finally spoke, “Are you sure you want this, Abby?”
    “Positive.” I answered without even thinking, I didn’t need to think. This was my choice from the beginning, from the moment I looked into his deep eyes, my love for him started the moment the world stood still. This was truly, a walk to remember. He pulled our faces back together once more for a short moment and then let me go, still holding my hand. I hoped he would never let go.