Sophie ©️

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Chapter 1

The car was silent as it led me to my death. Alright, my aunt’s right I am being overdramatic. As it took me to my father’s house. My father who I hardly knew who had walked out on me and my mom when I was 3 years old and had only come back for his court-appointed visits. When he could be bothered to attend that was. But yeah I was apparently being dramatic for accusing my father and my aunt of ruining my life. Why couldn’t aunt Beatrice just stick with the original plan and carry on living in mom and my home for the last year of my high school life? I could have graduated early and gone to college. I could have done anything to avoid this. But no I didn’t have enough credits to graduate early and my aunt couldn’t hold up another year before going back to her husband (who I have never met by the way!) in England. I kind of refused to leave the country of my birth during my senior year of high school. If I had known the other option was this man, I think I would have gone for England.

“Oh Sophie he isn’t that bad,” Auntie Beatrice said as I huffed for the millionth time and pulled my headphones off. In reality, I was huffing because my I-pod had died yet again, in its defense I had been playing it all day nonstop to get out of talking to aunt Beaty because I was mad as hell at her. she had betrayed me in a way I just couldn’t put to words.

“How would you know you’ve only met him two times?” I questioned her. She sighed,

“Unless you lied to me, you seem really good at that. Like ‘I promise you Sophie I will always be there for you,’ as that was a lie wasn’t it.” I snap in typical teenage anger. Anger that I hadn’t realized I could hold until after my mom passed away.

“Sophronia Lavender Tempest.” My aunt said in anger, shit full name.

“Do not start with me, young lady.” She snaps at me.

“Prehab’s if you were the same girl I made that promise too I could have held back a year,” Auntie Beatrice informs me angrily.

“Oh, I’m sorry I am grieving the loss of my mother.” I snap at her.

“Yes and I do understand that Sophie, I am grieving her loss too.” Aunt Beaty said which made me feel guilty and selfish.

“Sorry Auntie Beaty,” I say.

“That’s better now talk to me, Sophie. I know I sprung this on you and I am truly sorry. If Dill didn’t need me back in England and your father and yourself had agreed I would have just taken you to England with me and you know it. I would prefer to be taking you home with me.” She says worriedly.

“Handing you over to this man is not what I want for you.” She says looking so torn.

“I doubt he can cope and it wasn’t your mothers wish.” She says looking like she had the weight of the world on her shoulders.

“Then why couldn’t you just stay another year. I’ve never met your husband are you embarrassed about me?” I asked her.

“Oh hell no baby, never think like that. I love you to pieces and Dill knows that and he understands that. He would love for you to be coming with me and if he could have he would have come here, but his current work stops him.” she says.

“Yet you won’t even tell me what he does.” I groan at her.

“I wish I could baby but until your 18 you.” she starts.

“I know I know, but surely there’s a rule on leaving me with my father.” I snap at her. She sighs.

“There is a rule and I am following it,” she says.

“Oh?” I ask interested.

“Yes it’s called he is your father, so drop you off, say good luck and run for the hills.” She says a worried smile on her face, I didn’t know if she was being serious or not.

“You know when I first came to visit?” she said.

“You mean when I was 13 and just got my powers?” I ask interestedly.

“Yes the 13-year-old cheerleader from hell?” she tells me.

“I wasn’t that bad,” I say in my defense.

“I miss her, this moody almost woman who plugs herself into headphones and doesn’t talk to me. She makes me miss the 13-year old who wouldn’t shut up,” she informs me. I had to laugh slightly, only because I knew she was right I used to be so full of school pep and mom could never shut me up.

“Are you going to try out?” she asked me.

“I doubt it,” I tell her. She sighs.

“Your mother would have loved you to not let her loss affect you,” she tells me looking torn.

“Well, it did affect me.” I snap, didn’t she get that. I got it I had to get on with my life, I wasn’t allowed to wallow in self-pity. But that didn’t mean I could just get over it, yeah it had been 4 months. But that was 4 months. Not 4 years not long at all. Didn’t they understand that? One minute my mom was there and we were laughing dancing around the house and her clapping mine and the squads new routine, the next thing I was waking up in a hospital bed. Auntie Beaty there and mom in a coma, two days later she had taken her last breath. I couldn’t even remember getting in a car that day, I couldn’t even remember where we were going. Prehab’s just to the local supermarket as we had a shopping list in the car, but I couldn’t remember. I wished I could remember my last day with my mother, but I can’t. I can’t remember anything for that day and to be honest I doubt I ever will get those memory’s back. According to the doctor I hit my head extremely hard. Auntie Beaty who was moms and my first number for an emergency had caught a plane within 2 hours of receiving the phone call that we were in the hospital and had arrived before I had even come around from my concussion. She hadn’t had time to arrange anything at home, she had just climbed on a plane and flew to the other side of the world and stayed with me until well until now. I looked at her, she was a few years younger than mom and had the same straight chestnut brown hair that I and mom have. Had the same color (color) mom had. She had dark brown eyes that matched my mom’s in a way that made me miss my mom even more. I didn’t have my mother’s eyes as I apparently had my own father’s amber eyes not that I can say I knew what my father’s eyes looked like.

“Oi, you,” Auntie Beaty says. I look at her.

“Come on your not a grumpy teenager and I don’t want to see it, I want my fun to love happy bubbly chatty way too much school spirit, cheerleader of a niece.” She says.

“You hated the fact I was a cheerleader,” I point out.

“Yeah because I have so many bad memories of cheerleaders.” She said I laughed.

“How your mom ever let you into that hobby.” She says.

“Wait did you say hobby?” I question her in disbelief.

“It’s a sport,” I inform her, now we go into the debate we had been having since I was 13 and met her. I loved my aunt and I knew she was just trying to keep me talking but it worked. But I knew I wasn’t going to try out. This year I was meant to be being cheer captain, I was meant to be taking us all the way. Like the year before, but I couldn’t now I was going to a whole new school and no way would I help another cheer squad against my squad. No way would another squad accept me. Not their senior year. I would be that friendless senior that I and the girls used to giggle about. Alright, I wasn’t the nicest of kids. I could be a right bitch. According to my mother, I wasn’t as friendly as she wished I would be, but I kept myself private even to the old squad I had to. The fewer friends I had to me was for the better because the less I had to hide the real me. Although I didn’t even know who that was anymore.

“So are we being a real witch?” my aunt questions indicating my outfit, I am dressed all in black. Black fitted jeans and a black v neck jumper, cashmere, of course, I might no longer be a cheerleader but that didn’t mean I was suddenly not going to appreciate the softness of the fabric and develop bad fashion habits.

“I am grieving the loss of my life,” I inform her.

“Thespian” she accuses me. I laugh I think we had gone through every way of calling me dramatic since I found out where she was sending me.

“Look that’s the high school you shall be attending.” She says encouraging as we drove past the school that thankfully wasn’t in season yet, it wasn’t going to be for another 3 days. Dad had wanted me to move here sooner at the beginning of the summer but we had lied and said it took us longer to pack than it had. It had actually taken us a total of two seconds to pack. But we won’t go into that, I think he knew that it would have but he hadn’t pushed. The only thing he pushed on was me coming and living with him for this year when I had turned around and told Aunty Beaty actually I would go to England with her. He apparently wanted a chance to get to know me, I personally think he’s had plenty of time to get to know me. The times I stood waiting for him to come and he didn’t. The times I went to the mailbox hoping for a birthday card that never came. I didn’t even care about a present just his name in a card to show that he still thought about me would have meant the world to me. I never got that.

“Look at that a little ice-cream parlor how cute.” Aunty Beaty says encouragingly.

“It’s frozen yogurt aunt Beaty, not ice-cream,” I tell her rolling my eyes.

“Oh, I am so sorry that I have lived in England 22 years now and have completely lost touch.” She informs me, sarcasm drips from her voice.

“And you’re just so not cool,” I tell her. She chuckles,

“and I am so just not cool according to my 17-year-old cheerleader of a niece.” She laughs.

“I ain’t-a cheerleader no more,” I tell her firmly. She pulls a sad face at me but keeps driving. We drive past a creepy looking house.

“Omg please tell me that’s where I am living,” I say hopefully with a grin looking out the window.

“OMG I WISH.,” she says with matching want.

“Do you think it’s haunted?” I ask her.

“I wish I could find out,” she said with a grin.

“Walk past it a lot and find out for me,” she tells me with want. Yes, we were both getting excited about that really creepy gothic house that looked like it was the house from a horror movie. She indicated into what looked like a new modern new house neighborhood.

“This sucks,” I said as none of the houses looked more than a few years old.

“I am sorry baby girl but you know it’s only for a year then you are off to college then you got the choice, England America or where ever in the world you want to be. Maybe he won’t be as bad as you think,” she tells me encouragingly.

“If he’s bad you can always turn him into a frog or something,” she tells me encouragingly.

“You’re not meant to be encouraging me to turn my father into a frog,” I tell her laughing.

“Hey I would of quite happily of snuck you onto a plane and flew you the other side of the world, he’s the one stopping that,” she informs me.

“Yet you haven’t turned him into a frog,” I point out.

“Yeah I promised your mother I never would when they were getting there divorce,” she mumbles and then sighs.

“She wouldn’t know.” I point out.

“She made me swear on the spell book that I would never do a single spell or potion or hex against your father.” She informs me sighing. I laugh, she had actually made me make a similar pledge on the spell book when I was 13 and first got my powers.

“Unbreakable isn’t it?” I question.

“Yep and I know she made you do the same one. But a witchling can’t help her anger sometimes and the spells just fly off the finger or tongue.” Auntie Beaty tells me with a grin.

“In other words, if I lost my temper enough I could still turn my father into a frog?” I ask interested.

“Yeah, but with you, it would be a toad like your algebra teacher,” she laughs.

“He deserved it and I didn’t mean to,” I tell her. She laughs more.

“I know how to reverse my own spells now and clean up my mess.” I point out.

“I know and I am proud of you for that, its time to let you my little witchling fly solo.” She says.

“Wait to fly? are you leaving the broom?” I ask excitedly. She nods.

“Invisible and only nights when the moon is bright.” She tells me firmly. I nod excitedly.

“No breaking whatever curfew your father sets.” She tells me firmly.

“I love you, Auntie Beaty,” I say.

“Yeah, I love you too kiddo that doesn’t mean you can get away with murder.” She tells me with a grin. I laugh. She pulls up at a house, the first thing I see is the three guys playing with a football on the front lawn next to dads.

Great just great.

“Least you have hot neighbors.” Aunty Beaty points out.

“Yeah and that really doesn’t help Auntie Beaty,” I inform her.

“Maybe they will help you unload.” She says.

“I was just going to spell everything in,” I inform her, we had it all planned.

“Well, they are outside. we can’t be seen not to unload your stuff and your dad unpacking the car is a bit of just desert.” Aunt Beaty informs me. I wave my finger and about 8 boxes of my stuff go into the trunk. I will spell the rest here later. Aunty Beaty grins at me.

“I hope they were the heavy boxes.” She says I smile at her

“Of course,” I tell her. Aunty Beaty opens the door and I open my own. wishing with everything that I wasn’t here. The guys that had been playing football look over but that when the front door opens. I look over at it as a guy who I recognize from my mother’s funeral comes out of his house. It was a nice house don’t get me wrong. I know he has a good job. I know he isn’t hurting for money. I know that he has always paid his child support check on time. That’s all I was though to this man a child he has paid monthly for.

“Hello, Sophie. Hello Beatrice. how was the drive?” my father asks worriedly, walking down his porch steps.

“Oh, you know how it is we hit some traffic. we forgot a lot of stuff and had to go back around 12 times to get something. Anyone would think she didn’t want to come.” Aunt Beaty says, looking at my father like he was something disgusting.

“I am sure if Sophie has forgotten anything I can buy it.” my dad says nervously. he was nervous?

“I don’t think that will be needed, Charles.” Auntie Beaty tells him.

“Oh please call me Charlie Beatrice.” My dad says.

“No that’s fine I would rather not Charles.” She says calmly but her voice is full of acid, that I think could burn a hole into metal.

“Would you like to come in?” Dad asks her and me.

“I would rather not, I will help Sophie unpack the car and then I shall be off. I have a plane to catch.” Auntie Beaty tells him.

“So soon?” I ask worriedly. was she in that much of a rush to get rid of me?

“I am sorry Sophie I wish you were coming with me,” Aunty Beaty says hugging me tightly. I see dads face I realize he had expected a scene. I wasn’t going to give him one though not with guys who were possibly in my class right there.

“I wish I was coming too, give uncle Dill my love,” I say.

“I shall.” She tells me.

“If you need me at all Sophie, even just for a moan no matter the time I will answer.” She informs me firmly. I nod.

“So Um.” I freeze was I meant to call this man Charlie Charles or dad?

“So where should I put my stuff?” I go with.

“I will show you to your bedroom. I was going to decorate it for you but I thought well I didn’t know what you would like, so we can get the stuff together,” he says with a smile. I nod, I reach into the car and take out a box. He takes a box too.

“Did you need any help, Mr. D?” One of the guys asks. Mr. D? Really I suppose I could call him that.

“Yes please, Blake that would be lovely.” my Dad says to the guy. The guy comes over and takes two of my boxes from the trunk and the other guys with him do similarly. Leaving me and Auntie Beaty stood there outside dads house as they follow Him into his house.

“I love you, Sophie, if you need anything don’t hesitate.” Aunt Beaty says hugging me tight I nod, I’m not going to cry.

“Do you really have to leave me?” I ask.

“Sweetheart if I could you know I would take you with me,” Aunty Beaty tells me. I look at the house that is like my death.

“What do I even call the man?” I asked her.

“Charles.” She tells me flatly. I smile weakly at her.

“Have a safe journey home. Let me know as soon as your back.” I tell her something my mom always used to.

“I will.” She tells me holding me tight. My Dad comes back out then with the guys.

“Well, I best be off.” Aunt Beaty says, wiping a tear of her own face.

“Well, it was lovely meeting you again Beatrice.” My Dad says to her.

“Likewise Charles.” She tells him flatly.

“Any problems Sophie ring me and I will catch a plane straight back.” She tells me firmly.

“Like always Charles I hope you have a pleasant life.” Aunt Beaty says which was basically rot in hell in my Moms and aunt Beaty language. She then climbs into the car.

I watch in silence as my aunt Drives away. I stand there frozen not so sure what to do. when I was a little kid sometimes I would chase after a car waving if I didn’t want the person to go, but I wasn’t a little kid anymore and nothing I do will stop her leaving me. But I wish with everything I was in that car. I felt truly alone.

“Would you like to come in for some lunch Sophie?” My Dad suggests nervously. God the man and I had only exchanged 12 words since I was a teenager.

“That would be lovely thank you,” I tell him Really that’s what I say? come on how stupid is that. But I take my box in that I was still holding, aware of the three teenage boys who had carried my stuff in were all back on their own drive but they are still all watching me.

“Thank you, boys.” My father tells them.

“Yeah thank you,” I say, hey I didn’t know what else to do.

“No problem Mr. D.” They all say in turn. I follow my father into his house. It was a new build house one story, it would take a while to get used to not going upstairs to go to bed. Not having a basement, not having an attic.

“So Sophie this is your bedroom.” my Dad says showing me to a room that is off the living room. It is an okay size, it has a bed, a desk, a chest of draws and a walk-in closet by the look of it.

“I thought that this room would be better for you as it’s got the walk-in closet. I know how much clothes a girl can have. I didn’t expect you to have so little amount.” He says indicating my few boxes nervously.

“This is only a few of the boxes. The other stuff will arrive later.” I tell him. He nods, he didn’t need to work out how. All he cared about was this wasn’t it.

“Thank you the room is lovely,” I tell him.

“So do you like PJ sandwiches?” he asks me nervously. I am tempted to say I am not still 3 years old. But instead, I nod.

“Yeah who doesn’t like PJ sandwiches,” I tell him.

“I will go make you one, would you like to unpack?” he asks me. I nod. It would only take me seconds. But it would give me time alone. He nods and he shut the door and leaves me in my new room. I sit on the bed, which he had made in obviously spare sheets he had. I look around at the pale cream walls, they give no life to the house. They give no personality. I pull open my first box and find my blackout blinds and put them up straight away. I will keep them open a lot but when I am doing magic I know for a fact that no one can see in and that’s what I like about them. I see the guys still outside playing football, they wave to me, I ignore them. Once the blinds are up I take down the pale cream curtains that hold no personality. I then go and pull out my bright pink curtains from my old bedroom. I tell myself that once I’m done it should feel better in here, but nothing will make this place my home, even my stuff. standing on a chair I start hanging the curtains, again I see the guys from next door watching me. So I do the sensible thing. I shut my blackout blind without flipping them off. Yeah, I should have turned the light on first as it goes surprisingly dark in here. I wave my hand and the lights turned on and so I carry on putting the curtains up.

I looked at my bed and weakly smile, I wave my hands and before my eyes, my bedsheets change into a pink tie-dyed set. I was actually kind of impressed that he had got me a king size bed. At least he hadn’t seen me as a little girl. I flick my hand and all my clothes start flying around then room hanging themselves up and putting themselves in the respective draws. I open a box and pull out some fairy lights. I wave my hands and they find a plug socket then attached themselves up to the wall. I carry on waving my hands and my room unpacks itself. Then it is my personal effects, in other words, my potion ingredients and gemstones. They would be best in the closet and not on display I realize. Same as at home so I wave and the box flys into the closet and I watch as it hides itself behind items. I sit on my new bed and watch as my new room develops into my room. That was when he comes back because he can't just leave me alone. He knocks and I can tell he's hesitant as his words take forever to come.

“Sophie may I come in?” he asks me.

“Just a minute,” I tell him as my underwear puts itself away and my bathroom items finish laying themselves onto the bed. When that is done I say.

“Come in.” not caring about the other bits still flying about, he has to get used to me using magic if he ever expects this to work for the year.

“Oh.” He says taken aback as he comes in, how did mom cope without her magic for as long as she did to live with this man? why when she always told me 'home is somewhere you're meant to feel loved and safe to be who you are.' why did she allow herself not to be her?

“I like what you’ve done with the place.” He says after a while of awkward silence. We both obviously are watching what we say to each other. I take in his dark brunette hair, similar to my own. I take in his facial features his small nose and little dimple and I kinda get what my mom saw all those years ago he is kind of cute, he's aging well too, not that many grey hairs yet.

“Thank you,” I say realizing it's my turn to talk and not sure what else to say. Pictures of me and the girls go up on the walls, hanging themselves right then to show me how much I've lost with this move. Pictures of me and my boyfriend Jacob, well ex-boyfriend now goes up too. Jacob kissing me and shit, him doing a push up with me doing a handstand on his back. Pictures that make me look like a love-struck teen. Because that’s what we had been a lot of the time. I wave my hand and my iPod and phone goes and plugs themselves into charge.

“Yet it took you and your aunt a long time to pack.” My dad says weakly as if he is tired.

“Yeah, we had a lot of stuff at home that is temperamental to movement and we had to be careful how we disposed of it,” I inform him which is actually true.

“Ahh.” He said weakly.

“So Sophie I know you’re not happy to be here,” he says weakly. really what gave it away?

“Am I happy to be dragged to a new state the last year of high school. Am I happy to be living with a complete stranger just because I’m under 18 and your apparently my closest relative? Am I happy that my mom is gone? What do you think?” I snap at him. Wow, I didn’t even know I was going to fire that at him so early.

“I understand and I understand you’re going through a lot at the moment.” He says like a counselor would. As if he really understands how I feel, he doesn't know me.

“You think?” I ask sarcastically.

“But I would like to get to know you, I know I haven’t been there for you as much as we both would have liked.” He says, really? as much as we both would have liked? He's been a deadbeat dad most my life!

“Mr. Davies,” I say going for what the boy had called him, I see the look of hurt and regret that crosses his face, but I am not going to change it now.

“Mr. Davies I understand you have it in your head that you only want what is best for me. But have you considered I may have not wanted you and Auntie Beaty to change my life? I was happy with my life. maybe what was best for me would have been leaving me alone. I could have just moved in with a friend for a year.” I point out.

“We all know with you that is not possible.” He says. I scoff.

“You seem to think you know all about me and what is best for me, having seen me what 4 times these past 6 years?” I question him. He sighs, he looks so defeated but I'm not going to change how I feel to make this man happy. at the end of the day, he divorced Mom, not me.

“I understand you’re angry.” He tells me still in that almost counselor voice.

“Angry you're lucky that mom made me promise I would never turn you into anything on a spell book when I was a kid.” I snap at him.

“Sophie I know you have a right to hate me,” he says.

“You think? so nice of you to agree that I have a right to hate you. You will never understand me so why the hell did you suddenly decide you want me? You’ve had 17 years Mr. Davies to be there for me. You’ve taken me away from the only family I have ever known and you expect what of me? for me to just play a happy family?” I demand from him.

“I’m going out,” I say, standing up knowing that if I don't get away from this situation I will blow something up. everything that had been flying around the room drops to the floor.

“Where are you going you don’t know anyone or anything around here?” My dad says worriedly.

“Precisely and who’s fault is that,” I shout at him as I storm out of my new bedroom.

“Where are you going Sophie?” he demands from me.

“Anywhere but here and if you care about your safety just let me go.” I snap at him opening the front door. He freezes then in my bedroom doorway.

“Sophie please.” He begs tears are in his eyes. hearing a grown man beg makes it feel like he is squeezing my heart and I don’t like the feeling. I wasn’t being unreasonable. He was the one who left a 3-year-old and never looked back. He was the one who let me down not the other way.

“Let me go, Charles, please,” I say.

I see the hurt that crosses his face like those words had been a physical slap to him.

“Be home before it gets dark and don’t talk to strangers.” He says weakly as if he is having a fight with himself. I nod.

“Everyone here is a stranger Mr. Davies including yourself,” I tell him going for that.

“Sophie if you are going to refuse to call me Dad at least call me Charlie.” He sighs as I am about to slam the door in his face.

“How about galoot or hepatic.” I snap at him. I then leave the slamming the door as I went. I didn’t want to cause a scene but those guys were still out there. Didn’t they ever go indoors? I reach into my pocket for my phone which hadn’t been there but it was now. I pull it out and do the most sensible thing if anyone could calm me down it would be Vanessa.

“Hey baby girl,” she says answering the phone.

“How was the drive?” she asks me worried. Vanessa is like my best friend. She is a year older than me but understood me in a way no one else ever would. Because she is like me, a witch. She is in her first year of college now and should be getting there very soon. Why I can’t just live with her parents for the year I don’t understand, they had even offered and Aunt Beaty had thought it was a great idea but my Dad had said no.

“I miss you, Vinnie,” I say my voice slightly breaking I didn't know how true those words were until I said them.

“I miss you too baby girl.” She tells me.

“How’s college?” I ask her walking until I find a bench, surprisingly quickly.

“I arrived earlier today and it’s amazing Soph the campus. omg, there are so many hot guys here, you'll love it,” she says. I have to chuckle.

“Hot guys huh?” I ask.

“Yeah like ridiculously hot, they must put something in the water here.” She says I laugh.

“Talking about hot guys?” She makes her words sound like a question.

“What?” I ask.

“I heard via Facebook that you and Jacob split up?” she questions me sounding slightly annoyed, I suppose I should have told her myself.

“Yeah, we couldn’t make a long distance relationship work.” I point out.

“You didn’t really give it a chance.” She reminds me.

“You knew it would never have worked out with Jacob why kid ourselves,” I tell her, knowing that not just a long distance relationship wouldn't work, we had no future.

“He’s not like Abraham and his no matter where you go in the world I will keep in touch even if I use messenger Doves.” I point out.

“FYI I got a Dove yesterday.” She says laughing. I laugh.

"We need to get him a cell." I laugh.

"I did, he can't work it out," Vinnie informs me laughing. I laugh.

"I thought he was meant to be wise." I laugh.

"I know right." She laughs.

“How long would it take me to get to you?” I ask, looking up at the clear blue sky. it's perfect flying conditions

“If you flew you could be with me in an hour and 42 minutes mom worked it out for me,” Vinnie informs me.

“Are you up to much?” I ask her, to go to her and maybe I could stay.

“Not really I'm waiting to meet my new roommate when she arrives. But that’s about it,” she informs me, I can almost hear her shrug.

“What about this weekend?” I ask her.

“Saturday night meet half way?” she asks me. “Yeah sounds really good,” I tell her.

“See you Saturday night call me if you need me I got to go, my roommates arrived.” She says excitedly.

“I love you,” she tells me.

“I love you more,” I say meaning it with all my heart and then I hang up with my lifeline wiping the tears from my eyes. I look around and realize I'm alone there are people walking dogs but no one looks at me twice. So I dial Tiffany.

“OMG, IT’S THE DEVIL HERSELF,” Tiffany almost shouts in her excitement the moment she answers the phone. I instantly go into everything with Tiff keeping a lot back but saying a lot at the same time. more than I told Vinnie at least. She instantly knew how unhappy I was to be here and I knew how unhappy she was with her own family. (Her brother had stolen $20 from her purse, yet again.) We very colorfully decided her brother’s punishment. (This took well over an hour.)

“Now be a big girl and go face your father,” Tiff tells me as her phone lets out a beep to tell her low battery.

“I would rather not, did you hear about Jessica?” I ask her.

“Uh-huh because I just told you,” she tells me laughing.

“She will be out for a whole month though and she needs to work on her.” I start.

“Uh-huh, she can still work on her one-handed cartwheel and splits anyway. the new freshman will take some training and you know that takes the month, just like you just told me.” she laughs, knowing I'm just trying to stay on the phone.

“So many cute guys there?” she asks me.

“How would I know? I’ve been here just long enough to have an argument with my sperm donor and unpack.” I point out. She laughs more.

“Did you really call him an asshole?” she asks me laughing.

“Not technically I called him a Galoot and hepatic.” I point out. She laughs more.

“Pass your SAT much geek?” she teases me.

“I might have played word games for hours on the way down here or up here or whatever way it was to get here with Auntie Beaty,” I admit. She laughs more.

“Tiff what if I can’t do this?” I ask her.

“Then run away, and come live with me. Mom won’t care,” Tiff says I laugh I couldn’t help it, that really wasn't helpful advice because I might actually follow it through.

“I think I do kind of need to graduate high school.” I point out.

“It sucks you just couldn’t get your last credits in summer school like Melany and go to college this year.” She says.

“Wait why did Melany do summer school?” I ask.

“Oh I thought I told you, I found out last week. She’s prego.” She tells me.

“No way? You’re kidding me right Melany from my trig class? that’s on the girls’ basketball team?” I ask her.

“Oh no, not that one. Melany from Spanish.” She says.

“Oh her I knew about, I thought she was already pregnant before we broke up?” I ask.

“Not sure,” Tiff tells me. I listen to Tiff go on. She told me a lot of gossip, most of which I had already heard. I just listen though, not wanting this call to end. I didn’t cross the line with gossip according to my mother I shouldn’t do it and I knew that. so I always watch what I say, I could never be accused of backstabbing because I am someone who would tell someone straight to their face. They all knew that. I was mean sometimes with what I say. If they had a sucky routine they would know it. I would like them to do that to me too, I would hate to think they were all talking about me behind my back. After another 10 minutes of putting the world to rights with Tiff, I could hear her phone beeping.

“I really don’t get it, how come yours keeps its charge for hours yet my phone the same make can't and won't even charge quickly whilst I'm using it.” She moans to me.

“Magic.” I laugh, telling the truth.

“Bitch.” She says laughing.

“I know but that’s why you love me,” I tell her.

“Ring me okay?” I ask worriedly. was I going to lose everyone?

“Of course you might be millions of miles away currently but next year we are rooming together, you’re my sister by another misses. Loads and loads of kisses.” She says I laugh.

“Love you Tiff give the fresh meat a reality check from me,” I tell her having to smile at that thought.

“Will do love you,” she says.

“Love you more,” I tell her and then I hung up. I look at the time. over 3 hours on the phone to Tiff and I had been gone from the house for around 4 hours now. I could honestly say I was calmer than when I left. I stand up and brush myself off. I look around and reality sets in. Yeah, what way had I come from?

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