Chapter One: Thoughts and Parents

12.03pm

Claire lay on her double bed, spread out on her stomach and resting her head on her arms. She had been watching her electric alarm clock and it seemed to take forever just for the next minute to come.

12.03pm

Blinking, a small sigh emitted from her as the clock would still not change. The red lighted numbers stared back, seemingly going to unbudge at any second.

Annoyance caused Claire to finally turn away from the stubborn clock and roll onto her back, staring at the white roof above her.

It was Sunday, the day after Saturday and the day before Monday.

The day between yesterday's change and uncertainty of what tomorrow holds.

Claire's thoughts drifted back to yesterday and just how much she had discovered about herself. Before yesterday she had never paid attention to Brian, Alyson or John Bender. Sure she had talked to Andrew once or twice, but yesterday had really changed how she saw everything.

School, her friends, family strangers she saw everyday at school, herself…

John Bender.

Her hand slowly made its way to her left ear where the hole was still empty. She had taken out the diamond earring from her right ear when she had gotten home yesterday, but she had placed it in her special jewellery box.

Inside it was many bits and pieces that many would find useless, but everyone had a special meaning to her. The earring which now sat in there would make her remember yesterday's lessons and John Bender, forever.

The day where she saw the world differently and she had received her first kiss.

Memories stirred and Claire smiled as she remembered those brief seconds with John Bender again and again.

Suddenly her mother's voice rang out clear throughout the entire house as she yelled, "Claire, come here please. Your father and I want to talk to you."

There was a tone in her mum's voice that made Claire feel incredibly uneasy. It spoke of bad news that was the big, life changing sort.

"I'm coming mom." She called back as she pushed herself off the bed and waled out of her bedroom towards the lounge room.

As she began walking along the hallway that lead to the stairs down to the second level of her house, Claire suddenly experienced a terrible sense of deja vu.

Divorce.

She had said it yesterday in front of everyone as if it was no big deal, but now her words were ringing true in her ears.

Claire walked in silence the rest of the way until she finally got to the massive room that was called the lounge room.

Inside waiting for her was the scene of her mum sitting on one couch, and dad sitting on another. Both looked at her, grim-faced and that alone made her know that she was right.

Claire's mum saw the distraught emotions on her daughter's face, and immediately she stood up and walked over to Claire.

"I'm sorry Claire." She said sadly before giving her daughter a hug. "This can't go on any more between your father and I."

Claire could feel her mum's arms around her, could smell her mum's flowery perfume…but she felt numb.

She couldn't feel anything, but she knew she should.

Wrapping her arms around her mum, Claire briefly returned the hug before pulling away. Claire took a step back and stared at her father, who was still sitting on the couch.

"Who is going to go?" she asked him, surprised at how steady and even her voice was.

Slowly her father stood up and waled towards Claire with a sad expression on his face. He stopped in front of her and gently laid both of his hands on her shoulders.

"The question you should be asking Claire," he said softly, "is who do you want to go with?"

Claire stared up at him in silence, unable to say anything as shock ran through her. A realization hit home as to why she was being asked to choose.

Her parents didn't really care about her. This was about seeing who would really win whatever competition they had between them.

Whoever she would choose, that parent would consider that as the ultimate victory.

Claire suddenly felt short of breath as this realization was making everything become too much for her.

She had to get out of here, the room, the house.

Now.

Get out and just go and get some air, clear her head.

"Daddy I need to think about this." She said slowly, trying to keep her self in check from bolting out of the room. "Can I have some time to myself to do this? Please?"

Quickly glancing at her mum, who nodded at Claire, he smiled and nodded too. He removed his hands from her shoulders and this allowed Claire to turn her back on her parents and walk out of the room in silence.

Without thinking twice of what she was doing, Claire walked to her bedroom, put on her most comfortable shoes, grabbed her shoulder bag that contained all of her essentials and took her diamond earring out of the jewellery box and putting it in her right ear.

In silence she waled out of her bedroom and didn't stop walking until she had walked out of the front door, without so much as a goodbye, and shut it behind her.

Glancing around to see if they had noticed her departure, Claire was disappointed when no one inside gave any indication.

She sighed sadly at the whole situation. With a last glance at the white double doors behind her, Claire unconsciously touched the lone diamond earring gin her ear.

I need a walk to clear my head of this shit…

With this thought in mind, Claire took a step off the porch and onto the driveway. She began walking till she reached the road and when she did she stopped.

To her left was the way to uptown, expensive shopping complex's and the wealthy, to her right was downtown, freedom and normal people.

Without a moment of hesitation, Claire turned right and began to long walk that would hopefully clear her head and thoughts of everything.