Chapter One – The Morning Before

Morning dawned. The sea casually lapped the velvety sands of the wistful beaches. The sun commanded a bare blue sky and beat down with in all its brilliance upon the small Californian community of Newport. In his room a resident of this town referred to, at various times during in his life, as Seth, Cohen, or Dead-breath Seth, was slowly woken from a deep and engrossing dream by a ray sunlight, which peeked through a tiny crack in his curtains and landed squarely upon his up-turned face coating his pleasure-filled smile with a golden hue more suitable for an Egyptian Pharaoh.

The dream which Seth was so rudely interrupted from followed a familiar pattern. The star of the piece was always a raven-haired teenage girl that had no idea about her regular midnight appearances. Her name was Summer. An appropriate name in Seth's opinion, for he keenly awaited her arrival, deeply regretted her departure, and no matter which deodorant he used he always ended up drenched in sweat. In this particular dream Seth was serenading Summer with songs of love in a deep-toned voice of desire. Upon completion of an exceptionally romantic Italian aria she declared herself completely besotted and they sweet passionate love, in which Seth was in no way so nervously frightened he almost fainted. God he loved dreams. The hell with reality, someone should invent a machine where we could live permanently in our dreams.

Alas for poor young Seth this machine had not yet been invented, or if it had then the inventor had kept it secret or possibly had become entrapped within it in a cruel ironic twist of faith, which meant it was Monday morning and it was the first day of school. The one bright spot on the dark landscape of Seth's social life was the appearance of Ryan. Ryan, the poster boy for bad boy from the other side of the railway tracks with a heart of gold, had burst into Seth's life after his brother stole a car, his mother kicked him out, and Sandy Cohen had taken pity on him and taken him in his home. Now Ryan lived in the relative luxury of a pool house.

Ryan woke with a start. He scanned his surroundings. Through the eight feet windows in front of his bed he saw a sparkling pool and beyond that the infinite horizon of the Pacific Ocean. He was not in Chino anymore. What made a man like Sandy take in a boy like him he would never know. He got up from his bed drew his eyes away from the hypnotic horizon and went to his closet. He has got to get more clothes, he thought. After showering and dressing he entered the house proper. It was more like a mansion than a house. He couldn't believe that he had gone from hating those who lived in these mansions to being one of them, and all because he stole a car. Who says crime doesn't pay?

Seth slinked into the kitchen desperately searching for a cup of coffee. God he hated to go back to school. It was the start of just another year of tedious lessons, social exclusion, and pathetic pining. As he entered Ryan came in from the pool house. They exchanged an awkward glance of familiarity and both headed to the beacon of the coffeepot. After pouring themselves two cups they just stood there drinking slowly in silence. Suddenly Sandy burst into the room, a flurry of activity. He simultaneously managed to pour himself a cup of coffee, toast a pair of bagels, and stick his tie in an open jar of peanut butter.

"So boys, first day. You excited?"

Seth and Ryan shot Sandy a sharp look of contempt.