• Chapter 1 The Beginning

        I was just staring at a crack in the ceiling waiting for class to finally start. It was 2nd hour, it was calculus. I had about 2 more minutes till the bell was going to ring, and I was one of five people in the classroom. The warning bell started ringing loudly, and kids started piling into the room. Even in the back corner of the room I could still hear our teacher’s shrill voice out in the hallway telling some kids to get to class. The final bell rang and everyone scurried to their seats. The teacher, Mrs. Poole, walked in, her stiletto heels clicking against the linoleum floor. She had dark red hair down to her shoulders. She had eyes like a hawk and just as black.
    She had just sat down in her big black chair when our principal, Mr. Swagon, clomped into the room with a boy trailing behind him. The boy was about a foot or so taller than me with dirty blond hair and sparkling blue eyes that at this moment were sweeping the room. It was like he had just woken up his dirty blond hair in disarray. The principle whispered something to Mrs. Poole, and then turned to face the class. He announced to the class, in his deep monotone “class this is Zack Zürich, he’s a new student here, I’m sure you’ll all make him feel very welcome.” I rolled my eyes and went back to starring at the ceiling. I looked up when the chair next to me moved.
    “Hi,” said a voice full of confidence
    “Hi,” I said back dully
    “I’m Zack”
    I looked at him “I know he just said that”, I said pointing at the retreating principle.
    “Oh…right,” he said “Right well what’s your name?” he asked me
    “Emily,” is all I said. Then class started and he grew quiet.
    *    *    *    *    *
        After class I was walking down the hallway to my locker when I heard my name being shouted down the hallway after me. I turned around and who was running after me but Zack. I waited for him to catch up.
    “Hey, you could of waited,” he panted.
    We started back to my locker
    “Did you need something.” I asked him
    “No, I just like being around you. Your nice.”
    I blushed and said nothing as I spun my lock to the right. It clicked open and I grabbed my English book. I shut my locker and turned to face him. He was starring at me and it made me self-conscious
    “What’s your next class?” he asked
    I just held up my English book and smiled at him
    “Oh, I have Spanish,” he said his voice thick with disappointment.
    “But I can meet you here after class,” I said
    “Okay,” he said happily.
    *    *    *    *    *    *
    I was at home on my bed eating a raspberry Popsicle, when the phone started ringing. I ran out and down the hall to the kitchen phone not wanting to use mine because it freaked my cat, Dorito, out.
    “Hello,” I answered
    “Oh, hey Emily it’s Zack, I was wondering if you wanted to come over and uh…do homework?”
    “O-wait how did you get this number,” I asked suspiciously
    “Oh, I uh looked it up in the yellow book, anyway how about it?”
    “Oh uh okay, I guess, but I need your address”
    “How about I pick you up”
    “Sure, do you need my address?”
    “No I already have it, see ya in 20 bye,” then he hung up
    “Wait-uh never mind”
    I hadn’t gotten a chance to ask him how he had my address. I started gathering up my books to bring to do homework, not really paying attention to what I was doing. I was jolted when I heard a loud crash coming from my room.
    I ran to the door and swung it open, on the floor was my jewelry box broken into about 300 pieces, sitting next to the scene of the crime was my cat looking as innocent as ever. I cried silent tears as I cleaned up the broken jewelry box. I couldn’t stand to throw away the pieces, this jewelry box had belonged to my mother and was the only thing I had left of her. She died a year ago when a drunk driver hit her car. I put what was left of the box into a bag a put the bag on the top shelf of the dresser, sighed shakily, and walked out of the room. I was wiping my eyes when heard a knock at the door. In all the chaos I had completely forgotten about Zack!
    “ Just a minute,” I yelled at the door.
    I ran to the bathroom and splashed cold water on my face and brushed quickly through my dirty blond hair. I gabbed my backpack with my books in it and ran to the door. I pulled it open and gave Zack an exhausted “HI”. I locked the front door behind me and ran down the steps to where he was waiting. He opened the passenger side door on his black Ford for me and I hopped in. When he was in the seat next to me I realized he had said nothing to me yet.
    “ Your awfully quiet,” I said to him as I threw my backpack into the back seat.
    “ Well you haven’t really given me a chance to say anything,” he said.
    “I’m pretty sure you had a big enough window to at least say hi.”
    “ Hi”, he said sarcastically,”so what homework do you have?” By now we were driving down the road.
    “ Oh, I have Math and English, you?,” I asked.
    “ I have math and science” We both groaned.
    “ I hate senior homework there is so much, the freshmen get less because it’s there first year,” I said complaining.
    The rest of the ride was in silence. Half way through Zack turned on some random station probably just to fill the silence I was just starring aimlessly out the window when we turned onto a gravel driveway.
    “This is your house,” I asked surprised
    His house was a little thing no bigger than a barn, with one story and green pealing paint.
    “ Yeah, I know its not much but it’s home… that sounded really cheesy didn’t it?,” he said
    “ Kinda,” I admitted.
    He got out of the car and walked over to my side.
    “Here we are milady,” he said in a fake princely voice, opening the door for me.
    “Thank you kind prince,” I said sarcastically still starring at his house. Our feet made crunching noises as we walked down the driveway toward his house. When we got to the door he pulled out a key and unlocked the flimsy door. The walls separating the rooms looked like they we about to fall down. Zack didn’t take any notice of me cowering at the sight of the walls, he just lead me to what I think was the living room. It had a couch and an old recliner in it. He went and sat down in the recliner and pulled out his math book. I went and sat on the couch that sagged in the middle and pulled out my English book. We worked in silence for about half an hour till our homework was done.
    “ Why don’t we play a game,” Zack suggested
    “Sure,” I said
    “ What we do is we take turns asking questions and we both answer even if you’re the one who asked the question, get it?”
    “ Yep, okay lets play”
    “ I’ll start,” he said “How old are you”
    “16,” I answered “17 in a few weeks”
    “18 in 2 months, okay it’s your turn”
    “ Um, family information”
    “ I have two sisters one is 21 and one is 5. I have no relatives both my parents were uh, orphans. My mom died two years ago from pneumonia, and my dad left when I was 13. That’s why our house is so small. We don't have any working parents. Just Leah at Burger King.
    “So your dad left when your mom was still pregnant with your sister?” I asked quietly “do you know why he left?”
    “ He left because he found out… some things he didn’t like, and yeah my mom was pregnant with my sister, but it’s your turn”
    “ Right, I am an only child and my mom died last year in a car accident. My father is never around because he works extra shifts to be able to keep our house. He is at home for about 5 hours and when he is home he’s sleeping, he never takes weekends off either. I have one aunt with no kids and my grandparents all died before I was born.” I took a deep breath and looked up at him. He was smiling back at me. Good I was hoping he wouldn’t feel bad for me, almost everyone else I told felt bad for me and always looked at me like I had lost both my legs. The ones who didn’t were my best friends.
    “ Looks like were both pretty messed up,” he said smiling.” well me more than you”, he said under his breath.
    “ What,” I asked wondering if I'd heard him right.
    “ Nothing, any way its my turn,” he said “ Pets”
    “ I have a tabby cat named Dorito, you”
    “No pets my younger sister, Kathy, is allergic”,he smirked then he sighed.
    We went on like that for about two hours and on the drive back to my house. By the time I finally went to my house it was 8:00.
    *    *    *    *    *    *
    At school the next day all day between classes I hung out with Zack, he was really interesting but I had this feeling like he was hiding some thing from me. At lunch he sat right next to me, while my friends kept looking at us.
    “ So, who’s this,” my friend Megan asked.
    “ I’m Zack,” Zack said not phased.
    “ So are you and Emily a couple,” another one of my friends, Anna, asked, elbowing me in the side.
    I blushed deep crimson and looked down at the table, embarrassed.
    “ Not yet,” he said still not phased.
    I smiled up at him apologetically. He just shrugged.
    I was surprised that Hunter hadn’t bored out holes in Zack’s face, the way he had been glaring at him. Hunter is my best friend but it has been kinda weird between us since last week. He asked me out but I turned him down saying, “I’m not ready for a relationship yet. Hunter has short brown hair that matches his brown eyes. He’s cute but I just didn’t want to ruin our friend ship. When the bell rang for 5th hour I got up a quickly as possible and pretty much ran to my locker. 30 seconds later Zack caught up out of breath.
    “You...run fast,” he said between breaths.
    “Sorry about my friends they can be kinda nosy.”
    “ S’okay I like them they’re just overprotective,” he said smiling.
    I smiled back. I had just opened my mouth to ask him if he really did like my friends, but the bell interrupted me. I gave Zack a quick “bye” and ran off to science class.
    All hour I couldn’t stop thinking about Zack so when the teacher called on me I didn’t know the answer to the question he asked, he gave me a scowl then asked a girl named Mallory. After class I walked slowly to my locker hoping that Zack might come and walk with me, but he didn’t. I opened my locker a touch disappointed. When I shut my locker I almost had a heart attack. Behind my locker door, for most likely the whole time, was Zack smirking at me.
    “A little waring might have been nice,” I said
    “Sorry next time I will make sure my presence is posted on your locker at all times,” he said laughing now. We started walking toward the doors to the parking lot. We walked together toward my car just talking about random things. When we got to my little dark green Saturn I unlocked the door and got in. was has about to say bye to Zack when he cut me off.
    “Hey wanna come over to my house and do homework together again?” he asked
    “ I don’t have any homework today,” I said
    “ Oh well we could. I don’t know… go to a movie and then go to McDonald. Only as friends,” he added quickly when he saw my looking at him quizzically.
    “ I love to but I have to baby sit for my neighbors maybe some other time,” I added giggling.
    “Okay see you later,” he replied, disappointed.
    I shut the door and started the engine. When I got home I set down my backpack and went to the computer in my room. My dad and I have separate computers. After a while on Facebook I turned off the computer, and lay on my bed listening to the radio. After about 2 hours the phone rang. I jolted upright in my bed.
    “Crap”, I said to myself, I had fallen asleep.
    I answered the phone with a groggy “hello?” It was my dad this was normal. He was always calling telling me he would be working late like he always did. Now don’t get me wrong I love my dad he just seemed out of touch. So when he called saying he’d be home for dinner I was so surprised I accidentally dropped the phone.
    “ Dad I won’t be home tonight remember I have to baby-sit for the Anderson’s,” I told him completely awake now.
    “ Oh that’s right, well I’ll be home when you get back, okay honey?” my dad said in a disappointed voice.
    “ Sure of course”
    “Okay then well I’ll see you later then”
    “ Bye dad” he hung up and with the phone still in my hand I went to go make myself a sandwich before I had to go next door. I set the phone down on the counter when I realized that I still had it. After I ate my sandwich I walked around aimlessly untill I had to go. I walked across the street and rang the doorbell. Miss. Anderson came to the door flustered.
    “The kids are in the living room, Bye,” she said hastily then ran out the door.
    *    *    *    *    *    *
        I trudged home after baby-sitting completely exhausted. It still shocked me to see the house lights on. Maybe this was a change, maybe dad would be staying around more often. I hoped so but yet I didn’t. it was kind of nice having the whole place to myself. I walked up to the door but I wasn’t sure if I should knock or not. While I deliberated on the porch inside the phone started ringing. I opened the door instinctively to get the phone until I remembered that dad was home. I shrugged and went into the kitchen to get the phone.
    “Hello”, I asked into the phone. Dad was most likely downstairs on the computer and hadn’t even heard the phone.
    “ Hey, is Emily there”, asked the caller.
    “Yep that would be me”, I replied.
    “ Oh, hey good your home, this is Hunter by the way”.
    “ Oh, did you need something”, I asked confused.
    “ Oh, well not really I just wanted to know if you wanted a ride to school tomorrow”, he asked.
    “No thanks I’ll drive”.
    “Are you sure”
    “Yeah, I gota go, see ya tomorrow bye”. I hung up before he had the chance to push it. I sighed and got up to take a shower. After my shower I slipped into my sweat pants and a tank top. I wandered into my room. The walls of my room are light green with a black strip running through the middle of the entire room. I have pitch-black carpet, and the frame of my bed is black to. My bedspread is only a shade lighter than my walls with pick poka-dots, all of my other furniture is a mix of colors. I have a black dresser with green handles and the top is painted green with tiny black flowers. I have two pick and blues chairs in the corner with a rainbow spider lamp. I walked over to the black computer in the corner sitting on a green and pink table.
    I turned it on went on my e-mail. I had a message from a couple friends, but one stuck out. It was a request, I opened it and it read.
    We request your permission to add the following
    To be added to your contacts list to accept please click on the link below
    How had Zack found me this time. I just shook my head and accepted it. I didn’t know how he kept doing it but he kept finding me, strangely I was OK with that he was nice. I feel asleep and dreamed about Zack all night.
    * * * * *
       When I woke up I stretched and got out of bed, after I was all ready for school I clamped down the stairs. I looked out the front window to see that dad had already left. Well it looked like nothing had changed and dad was going to have to work just as long as he used to. I sighed and pushed up the sleeve on my blue long sleeve shirt. I grabbed a box of CHEX and poured it into a bowl with some milk. After I finished my breakfast I walked to the living room and sat down on the blue couch. I turned the TV on to the news. I was zoning of when my cell phone buzzed in my pocket. I jumped and pulled it out.
    “Hey what’s up”, I asked. I always answer my cell this way.
    “ Hey it’s Megan I wanted to know if you’d like to go dress shopping for fling with me?”, she asked.
    “Oh, I want to but I don’t have a date”, I answered sadly.
    “Hey, why don’t you ask Zack to go with you, he seems like he likes you”, she suggested.
    “Maybe.. I’ll talk to ya later I should probably get to school”. We said goodbye, and I grabbed my keys in the hallway to the door. I got in my car and it roared to life. When I got to school I got out of my car and leaning against his car next to me was none other than Zack.
    “Hey”, he said when I stepped out of the car
    I took a deep breath and asked.
    “Hey, I was wondering… would you…ah go to …fling with me?” I asked pitifully.
    He looked stunned than asked, “aren’t the boys supposed to asked the girls?”
    “Yeah but no one asked me so I’m asking you”, I said boldly.
     “ Well sure, of course”, he gave me a wide grin and we walked inside together. After English I walked over to Zack’s locker and waited while he got his Social studies book and we started walking to class together.
    “Here’s my cell phone number, I’m not always home to answer that land-line”, I handed him a piece of paper with my number on it. He took it gratefully as we both went to sit down in our seats. At lunch I sat down in the middle of Megan and Zack.
    “ Hey Megan I can go dress shopping with you now”, I told her.
    “Seriously your going with Zack!’, she asked me excited.
    “Yeah, so we can go tonight”.
    Hunter just glared.
    *    *    *    *    *    *
         I was at my house waiting for Megan to pick me up. All of a sudden my cell phone buzzed in my back pocket. Well, it wasn’t my dad or someone asking for him. I only give my cell number to my friends.
    “Hey, what’s up”, I asked into the phone.
    “ Hey Em. It’s Megan I just wanted you to know that Anna is coming too, she got a date with Mark”, Megan replied.
    Now Mark was about the last person I imagined going out with Anna. Mark was a tall senior, he was also caption of the basketball team, he had shaggy ear length blond hair and brown eyes. He was nice but could be very intimidating if you didn’t know him well.
    “Seriously”, I asked surprised then remembered something, “hey who are you going with anyway?”
    “Oh, I’m going with Nathan”
    This I wasn’t surprised, Nathan had been her crush since freshman year. Nathan was only about two inches taller than Megan and had shinny black hair that came down to his shoulder. He was kind and talked with a slight slur, which made him even easier to like.
    “Well I’m glad she’s coming I’ll see ya soon”, I said after a moment of deliberating.
    “I’ll be there in a few bye”
    We both hung up and I went to the living room to wait it out on the couch. I watched a TV show but was barely paying attention I couldn’t quite think about what I was going to wear. I jumped when the doorbell rang but quickly recovered. I grabbed my purse and turned off the TV. I opened the door and stepped out. I practically ran down the steps to Megan’s white Toyota. I hopped in the back seat and put my purple purse on the seat next to my. Anna was in the passenger seat and Megan was driving. Megan put on her favorite love station and we all sang along. After we started talking about boys and school you know normal stuff.
    About half an hour later we turned into the mall parking lot. We found a spot close to the door. We walked in and went to the first store we came to. We tried on a few things but Megan and I didn’t find anything we liked. Anna found a sparky pink dress with spaghetti straps, that came down to her thigh. We left after Anna finished buying her dress. We walked over to the next store we came to. We went on like this for about two hours. When we were done we each had an outfit. Anna had the dress she bought, a brown jean jacket, brown leggings and brown and pink bangles. Megan had, a thigh length white dress, that when she twirled it spun out around her. She also had black leggings, black jewelry, and black stiletto heels. I found my outfit last. It was a knee length black dress with little silver jewels encrusting the neck line. I bought lots of silver jewelry and I planned to wear the sliver high-heels I had at home. We had about five bags full of cloths, make-up, and jewelry. We walked over to the food court, found a table, and dropped our bags. We sat down exhausted. I got up to go and order Chinese food while Anna and Megan went to go get subway. I was standing line waiting for my turn when someone tapped me on the back. I spun around and there was of course Zack.
    “What are you stalking me?” I asked laughing.
    “You wish”, he replied smiling “so you like Chinese food?”
    “It’s my favorite food I mean who doesn’t like food that comes from China it’s just so china-ye,””wow that sounded so stupid,” I thought to myself, but Zack just laughed and said,“You do know that china-ye is not a word”
    “I know, it’s my word”, I said laughing too “So why are you here”
    “I, Mark, and Nathan were buying our tucks for fling”
    “Oh we were too, I mean we were buying our dresses not tucks”, I said.
    The guy at the counter yelled “Next” and I stepped up to order. I ordered sesame chicken, noodles, and three ragoons. I waited for Zack and we walked back to our table. Mark and Nathan were already sitting and talking to the other girls. After we ate we got up and said our good-byes. We got back to the car and I got the passenger seat. The whole way back we couldn’t stop talking about fling and our dates. I was really starting to like Zack and I hoped he liked me back the same way. When I got home I was really tired and decided to go to bed early. I turned off all the lights and lay down in bed.
    I woke up around 1am. I wasn’t sure what had woken me. I got up and then I heard it again, footsteps downstairs, in the kitchen. I picked up my bed side lamp and started down the stairs as quietly as I could. When I got to the kitchen doorway I stopped in my tracks. There was a figure pawing through my cupboards. I couldn’t help it I screamed even though I knew no one would hear, my dad hadn’t come home yet. The figure spun around on its heel. For one quick instance I thought I saw fangs jutting out of its mouth. The figure flew out the window that it had come through. I stood there for about five minutes before I could move. When I could move I ran over to the window and locked it shut. I went and turned on the light. I set down the lamp and went to see if whoever it was stole anything. I checked but nothing had been taken as far as I could tell. I wasn’t positively sure if I had just dreamed the whole thing, so I decided to keep it to myself. I walked back to my room stunned. I didn’t sleep anymore that night.