Laura sighed and looked out her passenger window. She couldn’t believe her dad had dragged her from her perfect life in Orlando Florida to a small town in Vermont. Especially right before her school’s prom and just after her boyfriend Ted had gotten the two of them tickets to the prom. She had been looking forward to prom and possibly getting crowned Prom Queen. Now she had nothing to look forward to. No dance, no date and no friends. Nothing.
“Why did you have to get a job all the way up here Dad?” Laura asked without even looking at him. She hoped he could hear the annoyance and bitterness in her voice. It wasn’t fair. What on Earth could she have done to make her dad believe that they needed to move up to Vermont? She was certain her dad was punishing her for something.
Her dad smiled. He could hear the annoyance and bitterness in Laura’s voice. It didn’t bother him though. Laura would understand when she was older. “I don’t decide where work takes me Laura.” He replied. “I follow wherever there’s work.” He looked at his daughter quickly before looking back at the road. “You know that, right?”
“Yeah. But you usually take work back home in Orlando Dad. You’ve never taken a job in a whole new state.” Laura answered. “What could have made this job so enticing that you decide to leave Orlando, the best place ever?” Laura had to know. She had kept it locked up this entire time and she was done with that. She needed to know.
Laura’s dad didn’t take his eyes off the road. “Exactly why I took this job all the way in Oberlin Vermont.” He answered. “Because Orlando was too predictable and nothing ever changed there.” He then smiled. “But up here, who knows what will happen, doesn’t that sound exciting?”
Laura groaned and put her shades on. Not that she would need them at that moment because of the weather. Who would wear shades when it was cloudy and looked like it could rain at any given time? No, she was wearing them because she wasn’t in the mood to answer her dad’s question and it was her way of saying that the conversation was over.
She then saw the Oberlin Vermont’s welcome sign. “Welcome to Oberlin Vermont. Population: Five Thousand.” Laura said. Great. Her school had four thousand students. She could just imagine how small the high school she would be going to was. It was probably a part of the middle school or both the middle and the elementary building, wooden floors, heaven forbid green chalkboards, several classes in the basement and absolutely no laptops for each classroom but rather one small computer room where you had to share a computer with a classmate for research.
Laura’s dad went around a corner and looked at the village they were entering. It looked like all the businesses were on the main road with the rest of the town around them. He didn’t see the school though. It was probably hidden by all the homes. “Oberlin looks cozy.” He said.
Laura looked at her dad in disbelief. “Cozy?” She asked. “It looks like a place that should have been abandoned a long time ago. Who in their right mind would want to live in a tiny place like this?”
They went around another corner and drove straight for a few blocks. “Now Laura, I know you’re still upset about the move but I’m sure you will make new friends and be able to have a life here until you graduate from high school. After that, if you want to, you can go back to Orlando to be with Ted.” Laura’s dad said.
Laura huffed. She was a junior. She would be stuck there for over a year before she could go back to Ted and her old life. Her dad knew that. Did he really think making that offer would make her feel any better? If he did, he was sadly mistaken. There was no way she would ever feel better. She would be scarred for life from having to live in a town where the town was just a thousand more than her school population.
Her dad stopped in front of a house. “Here we are.” He said as he parked the car before turning it off. “We’re at our new home.”
Laura looked at the house. It was a large Victorian manor. There was no hiding the old look to it. Just from the car, she could see the dusty windows, the cobwebs on the porch steps and the unmowed grass. She groaned and reluctantly got out of the car. So this was where she would be living for the next year. The only house that looked abandoned. Great.
Laura’s dad went up to the front door. “Mrs. Carson said the key to the house is under the carpet.” He told Laura. “She wanted me to know in case she couldn’t be here to welcome us personally when we arrived.”
Laura watched her dad bend down to get the key from under the carpet by the door. With how small Oberlin was, what could possibly be keeping Mrs. Carson from welcoming them to the house. She was the only real estate agent in town and from what Laura was seeing, there weren’t that many people moving in.
Before Laura could say anything though, the hair on the back of her neck rose. She turned around. To her surprise, there was a guy her age just standing there. He was wearing all black and had his arms crossed over his chest. He had an angry look on his face. Laura wasn’t sure why the dude would be angry. She had done nothing to him.
“Can I help you with something?” Laura called out to him. The boy didn’t reply. He just kept standing there looking angry. “Don’t you know it’s rude to stare?” Laura asked. She wasn’t in the mood for this. It had been a long drive from her real home, she was tired and the last thing she needed was some teenage boy giving her a look she didn’t deserve.
Laura’s dad went over to her. “Are you okay?” He asked. “Who were you talking to?”
Laura looked at her dad. “There was some guy giving me a dirty look.” She replied. “He wasn’t really talking to me. Just giving me a look.” She turned to point out the boy in black but to her surprise, he was gone. Laura looked both ways down the street. There was no sign of the guy. It was like he had never been there to begin with. “He was right there.” She said.
Laura’s dad smiled. “Maybe he took off once he saw me coming.” He jokingly said. “Maybe girls’ dads here are a lot tougher than they are back in Orlando.”
Laura was about to snap at her dad but he was already going back to the house. She sighed and followed him into the house. She immediately made a face. The place smelled old, a bit rotten and she didn’t even want to know what else. It was clear that the house hadn’t been taken care of for a long time.
Laura’s dad took a deep breath before coughing. “I guess that Mrs. Carson forgot to mention the smells when she was selling the house.” He said. “No worry though. I’ll call the local plumber and maybe a construction worker to help me clean the house up.” He looked at Laura. “How about you go upstairs and pick the bedroom you want.” He then said.
Laura gave her dad a look before she went to the stairs. As she was walking, Laura couldn’t help but notice that the wallpaper on both sides of her looked terrible. Almost as if there had been a struggle by the way that some of the wallpaper had been torn up. Laura shook her head. She didn’t really care. She just had to get through a year of being here before being back with her boyfriend in Orlando.
At the top of the stairs, Laura went through the first door on the left. It was a nice size room. There was already a bed with a mattress on it with the head of the bed by the wall. There was a dresser to the left of it by the window looking out towards the street. Besides that, there wasn’t much else in the place.
Laura went farther into the room. She didn’t want to admit it but the room was a lot bigger than her old one back at her house in Orlando. She went to the window and opened it, coughing as dust came in the air from the glass. Laura rubbed her eyes and looked outside. Her eyes widened. The boy who had been giving her an angry look was back in front of her house giving her an angry look and he was right by her dad!