Let me introduce myself: My name is Stella Sullivan. I have long, curly amber hair and sapphire blue eyes. I am quite petite at only 5ft, however; I try to make up for that with my attitude. The best thing is that I'll be eighteen in three months.
I live in a small house, in a simple neighbourhood, just outside the big city. It's just me and my dad, Max Sullivan, now as my mother Marie was killed four years ago in a hostage situation at the local grocery store. She was trying to protect a young mum with her baby when the shooter shot her in the back. Little did I know just how much losing my mum would change my life...
My Dad didn't take my mother's death well and as far as I know, he was still going to work but he was a shadowed shell of himself. My mum was teaching me how to cook before she was killed, so I took over when all Dad wanted to do was sleep and order takeout when not at work. I guess I grew up much quicker than I would have if Mum was still around.
My day starts like any other now. I wake up early, shower, get dressed and ready for the school day. I make my way into the kitchen, where I make breakfast for myself and some quick toast for my dad. I then make lunch for both of us.
Once I have made our lunch, I leave it on the kitchen counter as I go to my dad's room. I open the door and walk over to the window. I open the curtains and then as I walk past the bottom of his bed; I tap his feet, saying.
"Come on Dad, Time to get up..."
I wait for a minute and then when he doesn't move; I slap my hand on his feet once more, saying louder,
"Dad... Come on, you will be late for work.."
"Aww... Just five more minutes... Sweetheart."
He groans as I laugh at him, and I tug a little on his blanket.
"Dad, you sound worse than me... Come on, get up! Lunch is done and on the kitchen counter, and so is your breakfast. Which is going cold, by the way..."
He groans again as I tug on his blanket a little more,
"Come on, Dad. I have to go, or I will be late for school and you will be late for work. Now get up..."
He sighs this time as sits up before he moves over to the side of the bed. I smile as I give him a quick hug and leave his room. I then grab my backpack, head out the door, and walk to school. It doesn't take me long to get to school, where I meet up with my best friends, Whytt and Macy. I walk up to Macy and give her a hug as Whytt moves from leaning on the fence to give me a hug and a quick kiss once I pull away from Macy.
Whytt has always given me a quick kiss ever since we met five years ago, I have had a secret crush on him for the last two years but he like all the boys at our school has his eyes on the school's slut Savannah, however, that has only been for the last year or so because before that he didn't like her. He didn't like how she used me to make her look better or help her get guys to sleep with her.
She was even worse if the guy showed much more interest in me instead of her. She then always tried harder until that guy didn't look at me again. This is why I was surprised that I had managed to keep my boyfriend at the time to myself for as long as I did.
I'm fairly sure in the last year alone Savannah has been with nearly every boy twice except for Whytt as far as I know and I am sure a lot of that is because he is my friend and she thinks he might be gay, not that, that has stopped her before.
We make our way into the school and to our lockers. Whytt is walking next to me with his arm around my shoulders and my arm wrapped around his waist. However, it is also wrapped around Macy making it so that it doesn't look like we are actually a couple, even though I would like that more than anything.
Once we get to my locker, I reluctantly pull away from Whytt, open my locker and sort through the textbooks and folders that I will need for classes before lunch. As I put the final textbook into my backpack, the bell buzzes for the start of first class.
I give Whytt our traditional quick kiss and give Macy a hug, unfortunately; we don't have any classes together so I won't see either of them until lunch. My classes are quite boring as I have done most of the work already so as all the other students sit pondering their assignments I am working on my college applications, not that we can afford for me to go to any of the big colleges unless I can get a scholarship which I am also working on filling out.
I met up with Whytt and Macy for lunch by our regular tree and watched all the other students mingling around; I wasn't listening to whatever Macy was talking about. I was too busy watching Whytt until I did another scan of the people around us and saw Savannah and her posse walking in our direction.
Savannah and I used to be friends and I should have known that she would have gotten her way eventually, She proved that when I caught her having sex with my boyfriend at my 16th birthday party after I told him I still wasn't ready to have sex with anyone yet, however; I was reconsidering agreeing to have sex with him when I walked in on them.
I dumped him and stopped talking to her. That is when I met Macy and she became my friend. Savannah then started rumours about me. She more or less gave me her reputation of getting with as many guys as possible and as often as possible. Unfortunately, she now seems to have her eyes on Whytt as she walks up and stops in front of Whytt and says,
"Whytt! There's a party this weekend at Max's. Do you want to go with me?"
"I.. I.. I.."
Whytt stuttered, but he was saved from answering as the bell buzzed, signalling to return to our lockers and then head to class. After we got to our lockers, Macy was the first one to finish picking up her books. Whytt was next, but before he could walk away, I put my hand on his arm and said,
"I know you now like her, Whytt, but please don't get fooled into thinking she likes you for anything more than just some fun and laughs with her friends later..."
He just looked at me, shrugged, gave me our friend's kiss, and then walked away. I sigh and make my way to the last of my classes. I am a little worried that Whytt will fall into Savannah's trap and she will break his heart after taking him to bed, as she has done to quite a few of the guys she has been with. Unfortunately, I now can't concentrate and like with all my other classes, I am way in front of this one too, so I put my hand up and as the teacher stops next to my desk, I ask.
"Sir, may I be excused?"
"Of course, Stella. See you in class on Monday!"
"Thank you, Sir!"
I put all my things back into my backpack, get up and leave the room. I call past my next class and knock softly on the door,
"Sorry to disturb you, Miss..."
"Come on in, Stella, everyone is working. What can I do for you?"
I reach into my backpack, pull out the latest assignment she had given us, and pass it to her, as I say.
"I have finished the assignment, and I wanted to let you know that I am going home early."
"Of course, Stella, this assignment wasn't due until next week, anyway..."
"I know. I just like to keep in front of everything. So I will see you on Monday!"
"See you then, Stella!"
I give her a small quick wave and then leave the room, I quickly go to my locker and place all my books inside, I then send Macy a text telling her that I have left early, so she doesn't wait for me as I slowly walk home thinking about how I can convince Whytt not to go to the party on the weekend with Savannah.
With this playing on my mind, I am not really paying attention until I go to walk up my driveway and realise that my dad's car is still there. Confused as to why he would be home from work so early, I make my way to the front door. However, as I open the door; I hear voices coming from the kitchen. One is my Dad the other I don't recognise.
"Does it have to be now? I haven't had the chance to tell her yet"
"Yes, it's not my fault you left it so late to tell your daughter about it. Max, she starts Monday morning! It's the only time she can be shown what to do without the big boss being there."
"But she has school! I thought we agreed that she could finish out the school year?"
"And she can we have a school that she can finish the year at... Max, are you going back on...?"
I don't want to interrupt but they must have heard me shut the front door, as the guy I don't know stops talking and they both turn towards me as I reach the kitchen door
"Hi, sweetheart! What are you doing home?"
"Hi Dad, I couldn't concentrate and I was in front of everyone with my work, so when I asked my teachers if I could come home early, they had no argument. What are you doing home so early? You did go to work this morning, didn't you? You haven't lost your job?"
"Yes, I went to work and No I didn't lose my job... But there is..."
I hear someone clear their throat. I move my eyes and attention from my father to the young man who is standing on the other side of the room. My dad looks at the man and then at me before he seems to sigh and makes the introductions.
"Sorry! Stella, this is my boss, Benjamin. Benjamin, this is my daughter Stella."
"It's nice to finally meet you, Stella! Your dad has had only good things to say about you!"
He holds out his hand. I hesitate just a little before extending my hand and shaking his. I then look back at Dad.
"Sooo... Dad, what is going on?"
"Um... Can I have a moment with my daughter, please, Benjamin?"
"Sure, I have to make a phone call, anyway. Give me a yell when you are done."
I watch as he walks out of the kitchen and once I hear the front door close; I turn back to Dad. I just wait for my dad to explain. He seems to pale as he says.
"Stella, sweetheart, come sit.."
We move to the kitchen table and I sit as he continues.
"I.. Um.. I..."
"Dad? It's okay, you can tell me.."
"I got a promotion at work, but we will have to move over the weekend so I can start work on Monday.."
"It's a small town about a day and a half's travel, everything is supplied.."
"What?? Dad, we can't move... What about school? And all the scholarships and applications for college I am applying for."
"Benjamin says that there is a high school there to finish this year's studies and there is even a small college for next year and they cover all tuition..."
"What about my friends?"
"You will make more friends, Stella. I'm sorry, but we have to do this. Oh, and one more thing, you will be working too..."
I stand and yell
"Stella calm down... I had no choice, it was either take the promotion and the work for you or lose my job completely..."
"YOU DID WHAT??.... I'M NOT DOING IT AND I'M NOT GOING... YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!"
I yell at him and storm off to my room.
"YES, I CAN... Stella... Stella, come back here..."
I ignore him as I slam my door and throw myself onto my bed. I lay there and cried. A short time later, there was a soft knock on the door. I sit up, cross my legs and take a few deep calming breaths while I wipe the tears from my cheeks and eyes as I say,
I keep my eyes down and don't look at the person who enters, already knowing who it will be.
"I'm sorry Stella, but I really didn't have a choice.."
"Why didn't you have a choice? And why do I have to work? When I have my studies?"
"My position here in the company is being disbanded. However, the next position up from mine was available in the Big Boss's hometown, and everyone in the Big Boss's hometown works."
"Well, you can take the promotion and move while I stay here with either Whytt or Macy. I can finish school, join you and work over the summer break and then head off to one of the colleges..."
"You can't stay here. You also start work on Monday."
I sigh and then lift my eyes to him as I realise that I am not going to win this argument. I then wonder how long he has known about this as I ask.
"How long have you known we would have to move?"
"I knew about the promotion last week, but Benjamin only told me today that we had to be there for you to start work Monday morning..."
"Wait!!.. I start Monday morning... Don't you mean you start Monday morning and I start after school?"
"I'm sorry again, your work starts at 5 am till 8:30 am Monday morning and then you have school from 9 am till 3 pm and then back to work from 4 pm till 10 pm and I will be working from 9 am till 7 pm"
"But Dad, when am I meant to have time for myself? Time for friends? Time to do my homework?"
He looks at me but doesn't answer my question this time as he turns and leaves my room, saying.
"You need to be packed. We leave in the morning at 7 am sharp."
I groan and fall forward, hitting my bed with my fists, burying my head in my blankets and letting out a scream of frustration before I get to my feet and start to pack, still pissed at my dad for not discussing it with me first. I think it was about 1 am when I collapsed and passed out on my bed.