19-year-old Harper Carruthers struggled as she carried her two suitcases up the impossibly uneven steps. Her chest heaved as she swore under her breath, cursing her parents for sending her to this hell. Suburbia! For God's almighty sake, Suburbia! Why here? She hated it already! Did her parents think she'd love the place? She had to carry her bags, which her parents had made sure she'd packed as full as possible, almost two miles in high heels. "Great," she mumbled, finally reaching the door. She dug in her shorts pocket for the key to her new house. "I think I broke a freaking heel. Damn it, I hate this place!" She felt tears threatening, even.

She sighed when she couldn't find the stupid key. Where could she have put it? She swore she'd placed it directly in her right back pocket for safe-keeping. "Where the fudge else could I have possibly stuck it?" She fished around deeper, groaning. "This is just great! Fudging GREAT!" She had just turned around to go stalking back down the path looking for the key, when she noticed a small glittering object on the sandy ground. Upon closer inspection, she revealed it to be her key, the ticket to get into her new home. "Beautiful. Simply freaking beautiful. Cutest thing I've ever seen, really." She bent down and scooped it up, dusting it off. Wondering how she'd managed to drop it, she felt in her pocket, and wasn't even that surprised that there was a hole at the side. She'd put the key there, and when she'd shifted the wrong way trying to carry the bags, the key must have fallen out. That was why it hadn't been in her pocket.

Harper inserted the key into the lock, and turned the doorknob. She lugged her suitcases in the house, barely able to shut the screen door behind her. "I can't believe they would do this to me. Sending me to Suburbia, of all places in the world! Brilliant!" She deposited her bags in the living room and looked around the place. There was a second floor, of course, but the house was actually pretty small. Curses. At least she had it all to herself. There was nobody to share it with. She perked up a little at that thought.

Still. She sighed, walking into the obviously non-stocked kitchen. There was nothing in here – no food, clearly. They hadn't known when the place would be bought, apparently, so they didn't leave any food. "Man." She placed a hand over her stomach, pouting. "And

just around lunchtime, too! Man, my luck lately!"

She checked to make sure the water was actually running here, and she felt her luck changing just a little. At least she didn't have to make a call to the plumber and fritter away her trust fund money.

Trust fund. Right. She made a face and hopped up onto the kitchen counter, twirling a strand of her light auburn hair. Not two weeks earlier, her family had decided something. Whereas Harper's twin brother Dan was going places, heading off to college and preparing to enter into the Carruthers family business – bee-keeping, of all ridiculous things her family could have been involved in – Harper showed no promise. She had barely graduated high school, maintaining a 2.9 GPA and managing to draw in all her efforts and pull off a 3.0 by the end of the year. She hadn't graduated with honors, of course, and she really had no plans for college. So, her parents finally made a heavy decision. Even though Harper had been bore a few minutes before Dan had been, and she was technically the "heiress", as corny as that sounded, they decided not to go through with that aforementioned plan. They had disowned Harper and put Dan in her position to take over their father's company. And then, to make her have a fun time and "forget" about it, they sent her out here. Ten thousand dollars in a trust fund, a new run-down shack in the suburbs of California, and crushed dreams. Sure, she never wanted to run an apiary – she wasn't at all sure what she wanted to do, actually – but it was better than living in the middle of white trash, rumors, lies, and the freaks that came out at night.

The place was pretty much furnished besides food. There was a couch and a chair in the living room, as well as a coffee table – as for TV, though, she would obviously have to buy her own. "Duuuuuuude," she moaned, as she thought of all the other things she'd have to buy for her house. Food, TV, a bed, new paint or wallpaper (she wasn't sure which she wanted), new paint for the outside of the house, a stereo system (she did love her music), and not to mention she'd have to find a college or something. Or a job. If this was where she'd be living from now on, she had to find something – or someone, she thought with a mischievous giggle – to occupy her time. She couldn't just resign herself to living the same boring existence that all these other people did. They gossiped, for one thing – she hated gossip. If you were going to say something about a person, you should say it to their face and get the beating you deserved. Or, you could just keep your big mouth shut and not spread rumors that could really hurt somebody. Herself, she usually chose the latter option. And for another thing, their houses were pretty much all the same – two stories, some freakishly gaudy pastel color, with a garage and two cars in the driveway. She could also imagine that all the women talked like Rochelle: "I do not need this, my man got two jobs!" Then they'd quit that job and go back to using their cars for shopping and the like while their husbands worked two jobs – supporting the family more than the average guy.

Psh. What a load of bull. She really hated people, especially the people here. Well, she didn't know any of them yet, obviously – but she was fairly sure she wouldn't like any of them. Or, if she did, only a select few.

She wandered out of the kitchen and decided that now would be the perfect time to go buy a car.

Though, she didn't know what for – you could walk and see the whole city.