Chapter 1

There is no point in taking a walk today for the wind was frosty and it was 5 below. Any outdoor activity is out of the question, and I was glad. I was not looking forward to coming home frost bitten and tired and enduring another reproaching for whatever fault I may have committed or for my physical inferiority to Jake, Jane, and Jaclyn Pearson. As of now, Mrs. Pearson was reclining on the couch with her three children crowded around her watching a movie while forbidding me from joining the group. She told me that whenever I could look more natural and act more refined, she might consider treating me like one of her own. Otherwise, she is inclined to exclude me from whatever her family is involved in.

My name is Allison Veron. I was born March 3rd 1988. I'm in the 5th grade. My parents died in a car accident when I was small and I don't remember them for the most part. I lived all my ten years of life with my aunt and cousins. I suppose my uncle Pearson was the one who brought me here to be part of the family. He's been dead for 8 years now, but I suppose if he's alive, he'd treat me very nicely. Sometimes, I don't know if I miss him or miss being treated kindly by anyone. I don't know what it's like to be accepted so I'm not sure if I even miss that if not the man himself. I probably want a taste of it if just for a day, but I'm not likely to get it while I'm here and I'm probably most likely to remain here till I'm 18. Therefore, I try to bear with it for the most part.

While Gone With the Wind was on in the living room, I retreated to the guest room to chat with my friends from school on AIM. Most of them already knew what goes on in my life. Well, the few that I have anyway. Luckily, they didn't like me any less because of it. We try to hang out when Mrs. Pearson isn't looking which isn't very often, but what we lack in personal friendships, we make up for online or during recess. However, if she is not completely satisfied with things I do, I get punished, meaning chores all day and being forced to skip dinner. I knew that moment that I was risking my flesh and blood to use their internet. I also knew I've been caught before but I'm always tempted to commit the same faults just to have a life.

Just then, right outside the door, I heard Jake shout, "Have you seen Allison today? She must have ran off again. Bad animal!"

"I think she's right here, to be sure Jake," replied Jane. "Boy is she really gonna get it." I froze as I heard them talk and then quickly signed off as they entered the room, but not quickly enough.

Jake was four years older than I was, a schoolboy of fourteen, making him the oldest child in the family. For as long as I remember, he had an antipathy for me. He would punish me not once or twice a day, but constantly, mostly for his amusement. Whenever he's near, I'd freeze in apprehension and expecting the worst every second. His cruel acts goes unpunished because Mrs. Pearson refused to believe me, even though it had been right under her nose for the past 10 years. Mostly, I end up taking the sharp edges of her anger. Today turned out to be no exception.

"We take our eyes off of you for one second and you start screwing with our stuff," Jake said menacingly. "I never said you had any business with it." With that, he took his textbook and struck me over the head with it. I screamed as I fell backwards and I hit my head on the glass door of the cabinet where they kept their TV. Glass shards were everywhere, and my scalp burned as blood trickled down my neck. "Now look what you did!" he yelled. "That's private property and it cost $2000. You don't deserve to live with us and when I inherit the house, you're out for good." He charged at me and I pushed him back the opposite direction in the last desperate attempt to defend myself.

Mrs. Pearson heard the commotion and arrived with Bessie, the maid. "Look what you did to my cabinet, you fiend," she seethed. "You're lucky I don't keep you from continuing to live here."

"Mother," said Jake. "I came in to check on her and she struck me. That's how the cabinet broke." My aunt turned around and slapped me before I could get a word out in protest. She then told Bessie, who was tight lipped and picking up glass shards, to lock me upstairs in the guest bedroom. Two hands were gripping my arm that instant as I was dragged to my imprisonment.

I resisted all the way. "No!" I screamed. "Not the guest bedroom! I would do anything. Just please don't lock me up there. I cannot endure it. I would just die." Bessie ignored my plea as we were reaching our destination. I wasn't looking forward to the guest bedroom that no one had used in 8 years. Uncle Pearson died in this very room and we were all reluctant to relive that memory, well, they were anyway. I was reluctant to confront his ghost which I knew must still exist in tht room, the thought of which terrified me beyond words.

As Bessie shoved me through the door, she sat me down hard in a chair. Almost immediately, I was back on my feet as I rushed back towards the door. "Sit still!" she yelled as she sat me back down again. "Or you'll be tied down." I defeatedly complied this time, wanting no more trouble than I already have. "You will stay here until after breakfast. If I hear a peep out of you, your sentance will be extended for another 24 hours." She then left and locked the door, leaving me alone to confront my fears. It was just my luck that there was a thunder storm outside which worsened my situation tremendously, but I saw no ghost. Instead, I saw the image I conjured in my head of Uncle Pearson on the very bed he died in.

I sat at the edge of bed trying to figure out what could possibly be wrong with me that I couldn't fit into my aunt's family. I ceased even trying long ago, but I never stopped longing for a sense of belonging. Jane, who is spiteful and selfish, is respected. Jaclyn, who put on airs like she owned the place is endlessly indulged. And don't get me started on Jake. He had no respect for anyone in this house, ignored curfew, stole money from his sisters, got suspended from school alot, and once took his mother's car for a joyride with his girlfriend, and he was still her favorite child. I'm constantly trying to stay on my aunt's good side by being obedient and am constantly cautious on everything I said and did and still, no one could stand me.

On top of that, I was top student in my class and had been on the honor roll since 1st grade, but none of that mattered now. All that mattered was that I was my mother's daughter. It had something to do with how much my aunt hated her sister in law for some reason and in turn, hated me, but I don't know anything else. I plan to find out someday ... wait, does that even matter? Suddenly, the image of Uncle Pearson reappeared and thunder sounded. I screamed to be let out but no one seemed to hear me. All of the sudden, I got short of breath as blackness slowly enveloped me. The last thing I remember is me hitting my head on the bed post as I fell.