Disclaimer= I do not own Degrassi.


She had tried to focus on writing as much of her paper as she could before the evening hit, but found it impossible to do so. A breakthrough seemed to have occurred as the half page mark was reached but because her walls seemed to vibrate, her desk seemed to jolt and her stress was continually swelling, the lamp was turned off. For someone of Clare Edward's academia, the paper would've been written the night it was given out because writing was something she found joy in. it was her medium to vent her grievances when she had them and to air out male pleasantries she was embarrassed to say publicly. Writing was impossible for her now. Not with her household in the current mess that it was in. not with her feeling as stressed out as she currently was, and certainly not with her parents' yelling reaching a high decibel count.

"For the last time Helen, the firm wants me to work more hours; I cannot do anything about it - -"

"BULLSHIT RANDAL, you are romantically acquainting yourself with your secretary."

"Are you still going on about that? We've discussed it already; there is absolutely nothing going on between me and her." This spat was turning colorful. Helen understood that by working extra hours, her husband would bring home more income and that extra income would serve the family well; however, she has grown weary about him returning home at very late hours.

"Honey, I can understand your frustrations, but you, Clare, and I will be better off for this."

"When someone works late at a firm," Helen replied, "working until 7 or 8 in the evening seems acceptable. You however arrive at 10 or sometimes even later."

"I thought I had explained myself honey - -"

"You still don't get it. We no longer have dinner as a family and as a result of your 'late nights,' you use the weekend to rest rather than engage in family activities with us as we used to do." Helen had taken a step back and was on the verge of crying, her eyes quickly welling up with water. Randal instinctively went to comfort her, but Helen pushed him away. She was now in full cry mode.

"We can't even spend any personal time together anymore. You don't compliment me or anything. The worst thing about all of this is you walk around like Clare and I do not exist anymore… It's as if we are no longer a family." The crying and subsequent yelling masked the sound of the door shutting and the household's daughter wiping away some tears.


Clare missed the nature camp her friends went on last year, but she would make up for it this time. Camping in the woods was out of the question since she could not drive, so she settled for the alternative: her school. The sun was starting to set and there were few people around, only the senior citizens who milled around, waiting for bingo to start. Even though there were people inside Degrassi's halls, Clare managed to avoid them as she lugged her backpack through the double doors and into the cafeteria, where it had closed several hours earlier for the week. Clare felt that camping inside Degrassi would be a good idea since her parents wouldn't even know that she was gone. Even if they knew, they assumed she was at a friend's house. It was a relief but also saddening at the same time because her parents failed to recognize their pain and bickering put their daughter through. All that was pushed aside as Clare was in a battle with a can of spam in regards to opening its contents. Since she did not want to be discovered, turning on one of the stoves was out of the question, as was ordering a pizza, so she brought spam and a loaf of bread and plenty of green tea to last the night.

xxx

The proverbial fist pump was executed as Clare hit the save button. Her paper was done and so she could focus on doing "camping stuff." Since she didn't have a guitar, she scrolled through her tunes and settled for a slow jam, where upon hearing the song, Clare sat and curled up into a ball, bringing her knees to her chest. Solitude is a problem for many, but seemed to be a healthy remedy for her. There was no solitude to be had at the Edwards Residence, where yelling and frozen dinners were the new default settings. The tune started crooning, which brought tears to Clare's eyes. Normally the phone would be ringing madly because of all the calls and texts friends sent to her, begging her to go shopping, swimming et al. the phone was inside her desk at home, turned off. Clare wanted to be alone for the night because she needed to be alone to sort out things. The dam burst when she picked up a chocolate bar whose name began with "Fam." All Clare could think about were her parents and her sister Darcy and how distant they were from her.

"I want my family back!" With no one at school during this late night shrill, Clare burst into an uncontrollable sob that sent her to sleep.


The sun's rays refracted through the window as the tent shone brightly, waking up Clare. It was Saturday morning and she was hoping that the yelling quelled at her house. She got up and unzipped her tent to find a table with all her favorite foods layed out, and all of her friends sitting around.

"You guys! When did you - -"

"We came during the middle of the night while you were asleep. We called your mom and she said that you've might've gone camping. You don't have your license yet so we thought you were here; guess we were spot on about that." Clare was relieved but moreover touched that her friends cared about her this much. "You guys shouldn't have." Alli put a hand on her shoulder, telling her that's what friends do.

"We'll always be friends Clare and because of it, you'll never be or feel alone." The statement brought tears to her eyes as she started for the egg rolls. Just as she grabbed one, Alli told Clare that she missed her wake up call.

"My wha- -" From out of nowhere, Eli comes to view, grabs Clare and smashes his lips against her, causing the egg roll to drop and momentarily sending Clare to heaven.