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Living in the Present

By thoughtbubble101 All Rights Reserved ©

Romance

Chapter 1

May contain triggers! Warning!

"Hey Katie! Come with me for a sec, okay."

...

"Isn't it cool? I got my own little shed! I told you about the tree-house I planned to make right?"

...

"Yeah... I changed my mind... I'll do it here..."

? ? ?

Bu-Bump!

"Woo-Wee! That was one hell of a bump. Don't you think, babe", David yelled out as he harshly turned the wheel to try, yet fail, at dodging the potholes on the road.

"Calm yourself! If we don't get to the hotel in time, we'll have wasted money and it'll be all your fault! Are you okay, sweetie? You look a little pale... Sweetie... Hey, you okay... Answer me! David, pull over the car, she's passing out again!"

Darkness. It was back again. Not this terrible dream! No, I don't want to! I told you to stop! Momma! Daddy!

"Hey, are we going over to your friend... What's his name? Oh, it was Tyler! Are we going over to his house today? You said you had wanted to last night. I hope you got him a present. You know how your mom nags about being courteous", dad asked.

I sat up and yawned. An ache had permanently sat itself inside my chest. SAT's were around the corner. I had just blamed it on that... on that day.

That day, I would never forget.

"Yeah, daddy. I just need to get ready", I had said.

I actually didn't have a present but they didn't know that. Tyler had forced me to promise him I wouldn't bring him one.

On the way there, I almost threw up. I didn't know what was wrong but my chest ache was getting worse.

"It's probably that big test thingy you have to take. What was it called? SAW? SAY? Something...", my dad had said.

"SAT, baby. You are so scatterbrained this morning. It is something to worried about. Jut take deep breaths and try to calm down", my mom had said with a hand on my knee.

What are you doing? Get off me! Stop touching me! Stop!

I had just nodded and went along with it, but something had bugged me. I know now what it was and will for the rest of my life. To this day, I still kicked myself for not seeing what could have been signs. The car stopped with a slight jolt. We were there. I turned over to the door and began tugging it. It wouldn't open! I was a bit surprised by that. I almost fell back from tugging to hard.

Dad gave the door one good yank from the outside and helped me step out.

"I don't know why it's acting like that. I just had it fixed last week", my daddy had said as he scratched at his chin in thought.

I could practically hear the scratching of his finger as it rubbed against the stubble my mom loved. I never understood her, but then again, I also never had a boyfriend. The more I think about it, the more it seemed that even the door was trying to warn me. Of course, that wasn't the only sign Mother Nature gave me. When I stepped inside, someone had spilled their hot coffee on my purple dress. My mom had asked if I needed to go home and change but I had reassured her that it would only waste gas ( to which my dad had happily agreed).

"See, she can power through it. She's got half my blood running through them veins", he had said.

"Yeah, and the other half is mine...", mom's voice had trailed off into the crowd.

Tyler came running up to me, a strange smile on his face. I couldn't help but notice that it looked just like the man on a TV show I had watched last night. The episode was horrible. It, too, gave me nightmares. That was Mother Nature's last hint. She, I guess, felt that since I didn't listen, I would just have to pay the price.

I always listen to her, now.

"Hey Katie! Come with me for a sec, okay."

"Uh, yeah sure."

"I see you didn't bring me a present like I asked. That's good. I'll keep that in mind and pay you back."

"Uh, for what?"

We were outside now. His house was a couple of yards away from where we were standing.

"Isn't it cool? I got my own little shed! I told you about the tree-house I planned to make right?"

"Lucky, ha ha", I had nervously laughed.

"Once I built the tree-house, I was gonna invite you up and we can play."

Something about the word 'play' sent shivers down my back. I nearly threw up again.

"Uh, I'm gonna go inside. I need something to drink", I nervously said.

It was more of a suggestion than a statement.

"No, you should stay here. It won't last long."

That might have been a cue for any stranger to run, but I stayed.

Why did I stay? Why didn't I run?

"Um, what are you talking about", I dared to ask.

It seemed to me ,at the time, that, that was the only thing I could do. I couldn't move, I couldn't say anything else. I was frozen straight to the shed's floor.

"Yeah... I changed my mind... I'll do it here..."

He jumped on me and knocked me clean off my feet and on my back. It hurt and left me a bit dazed. I had hit head to hard and my back was starting to ache and get cold.

"What are you doing? Get off me! Stop touching me! Stop!"

"Shut up!"

"I told you to stop!"

"And I told you to shut up!"

I don't remember anything after that except for small pleas for my parents to help me. After everything had happened, Tyler was arrested, I went to therapy, became home-schooled and that was it. My parents became secluded in the house with me. At least one of them would stay at the house while the other would either go out for food or do a random temporary job. That was how my life remained until a few months back when I told them I was ready for school again.

My parents were unhappy with the idea but they got over it after I pleaded with them. They absolutely hated it when I begged... I hated it to. Afterwards, my mom found a nice neighborhood in a different state, 400 miles away. The town had a small population of a little over 1,500 people. The school there had high ratings and no complaints over all. It was decided. We packed our stuff and left for the new lives we would lead. That brings us to where we are now.

"I'm okay momma. I just got car sick is all", I said as I leaned back against my seat.

My dad gave a worried glance to my mom. They exchanged nervous smiles and nodded. They did this to reassure each other.

The car slowly got back on the road and we continued to head to the hotel.

With only three hours of daylight left, we got there. Everyone set up shop at their beds and quickly tried to get some sleep. THEY tried to get some sleep. I haven't slept since that day. Instead, I nap or doze, but I've never slept for more than 3-5 hours.

When I can't sleep, which is always, I keep a journal and a pen with me. I have them in the front part of my suitcase, that way, if I just have the urge to write, it is only a little ways away from where I sit on the car.

I sat down and began writing in my journal.

I had that dream again. I passed out on the way to the hotel. I can tell my parents are worried, but I feel that this move is the best I can do for myself. It has been a year since that day. I'm practically old enough to drive by myself and I don't even have my permit. The way they are treating isn't good for me. I know they won't always be here. I need to start making decisions for myself. I hope to meet new friends, start over, be happy. I doubt I will get the last one, but I can always try...

The hotel is okay. The snack bar is just downstairs and I'm a little hungry. I wonder if this is my first test with Mother Nature. I've always excepted her tests and challenges, but this one is too much, I fear. I will give it a try. If I don't I won't get anywhere in life.

I placed my pen in my journal and placed it aside. My parents were sound asleep. I wasn't sure if I should have woken them up or not. I ripped out a sheet from my journal and wrote them a small note. I placed it on the night stand and began tip-toeing to the door.

Just getting something to eat. I'm using my money, don't worry. -Katie

I was successful in getting away without them even moving in their bed. I hurried downstairs and ran up to the store. My heart pumped and sweat rolled down my face. I panted like I had just finished a 5K. I shut my eyes really tight as I stood in front of the door. I shoved it open with all my might and almost fell to the floor as I entered.

When I opened my eyes, I noticed people staring at me. Oh no, this was a bad idea, I thought. I stepped back and gaped at everyone like a deer in headlights.

"Are you okay, miss", an elderly woman asked as she stepped forward and leaned over just a bit.

"I-I U-Uh. I want food", I awkwardly blurted.

That shows you my awesome people skills, I thought to Mother Nature.

"Well, sure! Come on in! The Snack Bar is open 24/7", the clerk said as he appeared from behind the cash register.

He and the others gave me a smile that I could only assume was supposed to make me feel welcome but my imagination took over and covered it with... Tyler's smile. I felt light-headed for a second but steadied myself and awkwardly stepped in.

I hurriedly made my way to the back of the store and searched for a good snack. I took a quick peek at my Hello Kitty watch and noticed it was a little past three in the morning.

Crap, mom and dad will be awake in the next couple of hours. That may have sounded like a good long time, but when I went to the store to get stuff, which was rare, I took at least an hour. I didn't really know how most of the stuff, there, tasted. I didn't go to the store very often. In fact I didn't go anywhere very often.

I stood straighter and began cautiously peering at the choices. There were so many that I thought my head was going to blow up. Why would anyone come up with this many choices? I saw a bag of Skittles and grabbed it like it was Black Friday and it was the last one on sale. I held it tightly and wormed my way down the aisles. I found a bag of Oreo's. My dad likes those. I decided to get them for him. I looked around and found a bag of Original Beef Jerky for mom. I hurried up to the counter but not before squealing like a pig as a man rounded the corner and nearly knocked me over.

The man apologized so I hurried my way to the counter, paid the fee and got out of there as fast as I could. I hurried stealthily up the stairs and awkwardly entered the room...

Phew, they were still sound asleep. The note hadn't even been touched. I tore it up quietly and set their snacks on the counter. I decided to make a pot of coffee since I wanted to get out of here as fast as I could and my dad wouldn't leave without his fresh POT of coffee. Yeah, he usually drank the entire pot! I lay down on the couch and shut my eyes.

"Rise and shine, sleepy-head! Did you start the coffee pot? Please don't tell me you went out last night! Where did these Oreo's come from", he questioned with the bag in his hand.

I rubbed my eyes and groaned. I felt him pick me up and place me on the bed. My journal was somehow laying next to me. I didn't move it there. They must have read it like they always do. I felt a tinge of betrayal. I had promised them that I would stay within touching distance on the trip.

"I-I was just hungry and you ate all the snacks that we had for the trip", I stammered measly.

"Um, oh... Katie, don't do that again! I was worried! Your mom was worried! What if something had happened to you? We wouldn't know where to look", my dad yelled in frustration.

I saw him reach into the now open bag of Oreo's and grab a handful. He stuffed them in his mouth and glared angrily at me. It was almost too hard not to laugh. His eyes may have said anger but his full mouth dared to say pig.

"I left a note before I left. When I got back, you guys were still asleep so I tore it up. Go look in the trash can", I shouted back.

My mom was there and back in a second. She was like a little ninja. She pulled out pieces from her hand and showed them to her husband.

They both sighed and nervously smiled at each other. They nodded and went back to their duties. Before I knew it, we were back in the car and on our way to our new house in our new town, with our new lives.


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