Authors Note

So finally 5 years down the track I have decided to begin that massive job of editing this story. A story I began when I was only 15 and only just discovering the world of writing. The main reason to edit this is that I believe for one thing the story is way too drawn out, inconsistent and full of grammatical mistakes and scenes that are completely unnecessary. So basically the plan for this edit is to create a story that flows better, is consistent and altogether a lot easier to read. I won't pretend to offer something perfect, the story was written from a young and quite naïve mind, and nothing can change that, but hopefully you enjoy the rewrite.

Until the rewrite is completed the original story will remain here on but will most likely be removed after the new version is completed.

Here and Now

Chapter One

"To be or not to be… a line which I am sure you are all extremely familiar with, any thoughts? Opinions? What do you believe he is really trying to say?" Mr. Dimitri, Grace's English teacher gazed around the classroom seeking an answer.

For the third time that period Grace raised her hand, all too aware of the not so muffled groans coming from a few fellow students sitting up the back of the room.

"Ah, Grace, care to share your thoughts with the class" Mr. Dimitri asked when he was sure that no one else was about to offer up their insight, it didn't come as a surprise, it never did. Grace was the top student in his class, and quite possible the top English student in her year level.

Grace nodded as she begun "Well, it's like he is trying to figure out he world, if he really belongs" Grace hesitated, "or if he even wants to".

"So what you are saying is, he was deciding whether or not he should off him self and get it over and done with?" one of the guys called out from the back of the classroom.

"Well, yes, ultimately that is what I was trying to say, however…" Graces voice trailed off as it was drowned out by the sound of the bell ringing. With a deep sigh she closed her book ad moved out of the classroom.

"Eli, Eli, you alive? It's time to wake up" Eli could faintly make out a voice calling out to him.

"Huh?" Raising his head he mumbled "Uh, what?" he shook his head feeling slightly disorientated from the dream he had just been rudely awakened from. Eli had been onstage, performing with his band Anti-Inflammatory in front of a crowd of thousands of screaming fans.

"Eli Sammler, this is the third time you have fallen asleep in my class this week alone! It's already two months into the school year and yet I am still waiting to even sight one piece of work that you have even attempted for this class. This is your last warning Eli, if this continues I will have no choice but to get in contact with your parents.

That startled Eli slightly; usually he survived at least a few more months in a subject before that threat was made. "Look, sorry it'll be fine. Just, uh, give me some time and I will do the work, or whatever" Eli offered, not quite believing his own words.

"Eli, I really hate to say this, but unless I see you begin to make some serious improvements in both your work and your attitude towards this class, I am going to have to fail you for this semester" Eli's teacher continued, walking over to her desk she picked up a piece of paper and handed it over to him.

"Here is a list of the work covered, and the assigned work so far. You have a month until first break, all work is to be completed by then, or I simply will not be able to pass you. If you need any help, you know where to find me, but until then I suggest you get started" his teacher concluded her speech and turned away to clean off the blackboard, leaving Eli to collect his bag off the floor and to storm out of the classroom, the piece of paper clutched tightly between his fingers.

"Grace, Zoë, I'm Home!" Lily Manning called out as she opened the door to their house. Upon hearing her mother's voice Zoë ran door the stairs "Mum, Grace made me walk home from school alone today, I got scared" she complained, behind Lily had even had a chance to walk inside yet.

"Zoe, just give me a couple of minutes and we can sit down and talk about it, okay honey" Lily assured her daughter as she shrugged off her coat and let her bag drop to the floor. As rubbed her temples lightly trying to alleviate some of the pressure that had begun to build the phone rang.

"I'll get that!" Zoë called from the kitchen, her hand already reaching out to answer the phone. "Mum, it's a man, he said his name is Rick and he wants to speak to you" Zoë announced curiously as Lily rushed into the room to take the phone off her daughter.

"Hello Rick, yeah that was Zoë" she answered with a laugh as she walked out of the room and out of hearing range of Zoë's prying ears.

Eli glared down at the book that sat in front of him, it was four o'clock that same afternoon and instead of being over at Coops practicing at the band, he had stayed behind at school to attempt to begin catching up on the work that he was behind in, Attempting was an accurate way to describe it, he hadn't actually gotten very far, sure the assignment was simply to read William Shakespears "Romeo and Juliet" but how the hell was he meant to read it if he couldn't understand the damn language, what ever happened to plain English?

Sighing he looked down at the next task on his list: Write a short summary of each scene. Sure, if only he could read the stupid book. He couldn't even understand what the big deal about Shakespeare was anyway; he was just a dead guy that couldn't even write properly. Tossing his book and assignment list into his bag he picked up his guitar and headed out of the classroom in search of some fresh air. A break was exactly what he needed.

Grace strode out of the school building just after four o'clock, she knew she was late home and would probably get in trouble for making Zoë walk home alone but she honestly didn't really care, She had stuck around to hang out with Carla a bit after school, and she was really beginning to like the girl who had befriended her.

Grace looked up at the sound of a guitar strumming, and the faint sound of a male voice singing. She smiled as she observed Eli, casually sprawled up against a tree out the front of their school, guitar in hand.

"Put your ear close to the ground,
do you hear a fading sound?
If it's lost for getting found, it's me,
a vagabond with no address,
fire in the wilderness…"

Wilderness? What rhymes with wilderness, Eli mumbled to himself unaware that he had an audience, a one person audience, but still an audience at that.

"You look like your stuck" Grace called out softly from a couple of meters away.

Eli looked up and shrugged, not recognizing the girl in front of him. "You could say that".

"I didn't know that you sung" Grace offered after an awkward silence.

"Do I know you" Eli asked pointedly, okay so he was being rude but so what. All he wanted was a little peace and quiet so that he could work out what on earth would rhyme with wilderness.

"Probably not" The girl shrugged "I'm Grace… uh how about the patients losing consciousness?" she offered looking more than slightly embarrassed.

"Say what?" Eli looked at her confused, this girl was weird.

"For the song… the next line, I think it might work" Grace explained as understanding dawned on Eli's face.

"You know what Grace, to be honest, I think you're a bit weird, but that actually might work" and with a smile Eli reached down and began strumming again.