A/N: So, this is my first attempt at a multi-chapter LWD story. This story is very loosely based on the Jim Croce song "Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels)." This isn't beta-ed, so, yeah.

Disclaimer: I don't own LWD or the song.

This is dedicated to argentenipinkini, for encouraging me to do something longer than a one-shot.


They heard the familiar tune as soon as they entered the house. Jim Croce's voice wafted around them, singing the words that over time, had become ingrained into their minds: "Operator, oh could you help me place this call? You see, the number on the matchbook is old and faded . . ."

The smiles that had been etched upon their faces since the final bell had rung proclaiming the start of the weekend, instantly disappeared. Lauren's throat began to close, along with her eyes, as she desperately tried to keep the tears that had sprung to her eyes from falling. Her twin's reaction was entirely different; clenching his fists, Tony started off in the direction of his father's den. He was determined to put an end to what he considered to be nonsense. Before he made it two feet, he was intercepted by his mother.

"You know better than to bother your father while he's playing that song, Tony," his mother said with a frown.

"What brought it on this time?" Lauren asked in a small voice, even as she thought to herself, 'Do I even want to know?'

"Today would've been their anniversary," she responded, with a calmness she didn't really feel.

Tony couldn't prevent his eyes from rolling. "Anniversary?" he scoffed. "They weren't even ever married, she left him—it was like forever ago."

"Quiet down, before he hears you," his mother scolded.

His eyes were rolling again. "How could he hear me over that song?" he sneered. Turning eyes filled with a mixture of pity and disgust on his mother, Tony proceeded to tell her exactly how he felt. "Why do you let him do this? Don't you care that your husband is in his den, probably crying over a woman that's not you?"

"Of course I care," she snapped, ignoring her watering eyes. "I care that I'm not enough for your father, I care that he can't let go of the past. And," she began, chest heaving, "I really care that he's still in love with some witch, who not only broke his heart, but mine too."

When her children just eyed her with confusion, she sighed.

"He wasn't the only person who lost someone." When they still didn't seem to understand she elaborated, "The jerk she ran off with was my fiancé."

"What?" her children cried out in unison.

"And, she was my best friend."

" "What?!" ".

Tony was the first to recover enough to speak. "Then how come you don't act like him, closing yourself off from your family, acting like we're not enough?"

"Because, I didn't love my ex quite like your father loved, loves," she corrected herself, "his ex. Over the years I was able to fall completely in love with your dad," their mother explained.

Lauren was shaking her head back and forth, mouth opening and closing, trying to understand everything she was hearing.

"How did you love him?" Lauren asked, rubbing her hands over her face. "Please mom, I think we're old enough to know everything that happened."

"Lauren's right," Tony said, picking up his sister's cause. "We deserve, in fact, we need to know everything that happened. And, please, stop referring to them as 'him' and 'her' or 'the jerk' and 'the witch'; I want to know the names of the people who are breaking up my parent's marriage."

"Hey," their mother said sharply, "nobody's marriage is 'breaking up.' But," she sighed, "If you really want to know what happened all those years ago, I'll tell you. Jesus," she swore, running a shaky hand through her curly locks, "I don't even know where to start."

"Just start at the beginning, mom," Tony said, awkwardly patting her arm.

"Hmmm," she uttered, looking a million miles away. "The beginning . . . when I was just the girl next door, when Sam was actually happy, when Derek and Casey hated each other . . ."


A/N: This was just the like a prologue, that's why it's so short; the following chapters will be longer. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask them, 'cause this seemed confusing/weird to me while I was typing it.

Reviews Are Always Welcome!