Okay hey everyone! This is my first fanfiction, so I hope it's good!

Everyone should go check out the illustrations done by garrenn! They're amazing.
www . garrenn . deviantart . com
(Take out the spaces)

This chapter is only an introduction to the main character; the story actually begins in the next chapter!


He was dead, and she couldn't help feeling... free.

It wasn't like Tabitha had ever felt like a prisoner; it was just that now she felt like a huge burden had been lifted off of her shoulders. She felt guilty for considering her father as nothing but a burden, but she couldn't help it. That's how it had always been.

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When her mom died when she was 3, she was left to her dad. He wasn't abusive by any means, but he was somewhat neglectful. Sure, Tabitha had food and clothes and a roof over her head, but she was lacking in the attention and emotional support department. Tabitha now understood his detachment though – he and her mom had grown up together; they were high school sweethearts who had a shot gun wedding a month after graduation (to which their parents strongly disapproved and had practically disowned them because of), and a very short 8 months later, Tabitha Renee Alexander was born. Things were wonderful at first – her father got a well paying job and her mom stayed at home and took care of Tabitha. It was perfect…until her mother's death.

It was sudden and unexpected, and caused by something uncommon, Tabitha remembered: the doctors had a hard time diagnosing her, and when they did, it was a disease with so little known about it that there was no treatment. Since children get sick so easily, they decided it was best to keep Tabitha away from her mother to narrow the risk of her contracting the same illness, so neither of them saw each other the last few days of her life. Maybe that's why she didn't feel quite so upset when she died, or maybe it was because she was just too young to fully understand all of the circumstances and repercussions of it. Either way, she didn't cry. Even now that she had grasped the concept that her mother was really gone forever and she was missing out on a lot, she never cried about it. Her father had though. Her mother's funeral was the last time Tabitha ever saw her father show emotion. The next 7 years he never cried, or yelled, or laughed, or even cracked a smile – he was deep in depression and completely hardened.

Tabitha put up with it though (what other choice was there? Leave her father and the only home she'd ever known and live on the streets?). She quickly learned how to cook and clean and do the basic every day household chores while her father was at worked practically non-stop. Her daily life was repetitious – get up, make breakfast, do chores for the majority of the day, make dinner, go to bed, repeat. There was very little communication between her and her father; Tabitha began to feel more like a caregiver and a maid and less like a daughter helping her father. She knew that he must love her, though there was never a reason for her to assume this. She only guessed because he was her father and she was his daughter, so therefore, they had to love each other.

It really didn't matter if he did or didn't though, they rarely talked or interacted, and when they did it was so awkward and about such shallow things that it almost seemed it would have been better to just stay silent, so she turned to books instead. She'd never gone to school, but her mom had been teaching her how to read and sound out words and by her death, she had grasped enough of the basics to finish teaching herself. She read everything she could get her hands on, starting small and gradually working her way up, but her favorite things to read were her mother's diaries. She'd found them one day when she was about eight. She had finished working on her chores, and was meandering around the house looking for something to do. It was just chance that she opened the drawer beside her parents' bed, but that is where she had found them – diaries, dating as far back as high school, before she and her father had started going out, and going to only a few days before her mother's death. She quickly found the oldest and began reading, and over the next week, she had read the entire series.

The latest had only two entries in it, one she had written on her wedding anniversary, and the other a few weeks later when she was diagnosed with her illness. The rest was empty. Then, Tabitha did the only thing that seemed right – she began writing in it. She had so many thoughts and feelings and she was so confused, that it was more like a reflex to write than actually making a decision to. She grabbed a pencil from the drawer and scribbled furiously for an hour, filling up several pages, and then sighed a deep breath of relief. Maybe this was also part of the reason she never cried over her mom's death, she just wrote her feelings instead of expressing them out loud. Since then, Tabitha had written only two other entries - the only two big things that had happened to her. One was her tenth birthday, which was significant only because it was the only year since her mom's death that her father had gotten her a present. It was an old pocket watch of his; it no longer ran, but it was something Tabitha had always admired as a child. She hadn't seen it in years and was surprised he even remembered how much she had loved it. It was quite a shock and brought back a lot of memories from when she was still little… when she still had a real family.

The second entry was from a week later, when her father died.

He'd simply died. He wasn't old or sickly, so Tabitha just assumed that the combination of a broken heart and his workaholic persona had sent him to an early grave. There was no will, but Tabitha was left with 2 things – a few dollars, perhaps enough for her to get by on for a week, which would hopefully be long enough for her to find work, and a note. The note had been found high on a closet by some distant family member that had come to the funeral and the house afterwards to help settle things. The outside was printed in a messy cursive print, which Tabitha recognized to be her father's handwriting, and read, "To my Tabitha: In the event of my sudden death." Tabitha thought it rather odd for a letter to be addressed like this; had her father known he was going to die? Had he killed himself? Is that why he had given her the pocket watch for her birthday? She shook these thoughts from her head though and read the letter, which simply said, "You look just like your mother, Tabitha. I loved her. Thank you and forgive me." Tabitha had no idea what to make of this and her mind swirled with even more questions. When had her father written this? Why didn't he just tell her? Why write a note with only 3 lines? Was he planning to add more? Forgive him for what?

But she didn't have time to sit around and contemplate all the possible meanings of the note, she had to get a job and a place to live, seeing as she couldn't afford to make payments on the house they already had. Although she was very mature for her age, she was still only ten, and the only skills she had were cooking, cleaning, and reading. She didn't have a clue what job she would actually be qualified for or where she should even begin to look for one. Finally, she decided where to start. Tabitha packed up the few belongings she had to keep – the diary of her mother that she had been writing in, the pocket watch (which she now wore around her neck like a necklace), the letter, and a few basic articles of clothing - and headed to a place she recalled from when she was still very young; the last place her mother and father and her had been out together as a family – the local spaceport.

That's where Silver found her.