ATTENTION: Before you read this, please read my author's note at the beginning of chapter 7. Seriously people.

Disclaimer: Everything besides my OCs belongs to S.E. Hinton

"I can't believe this is all ours!" I squealed as I flopped down on the bed. I leaned over and slipped my fingers under Julia's arms and threw her into the air. She fell with an *oof* onto my stomach and we both giggled hysterically. I leaned my head back and stared at the white ceiling. For a second, I almost forgot that I would be turning nineteen in a month. Almost.

My fingers curled over the baby blue sheets on my twin bed with a single pillow to match. Pieces of an ebony dresser lay on the other side of the room that would soon be put together and filled with both mine and Julia's clothing. A single door lead to the bathroom with our very own showers, sink, and toilet., and a second door lead to the big room that was our kitchen and living room. Best of all, it was mine. My very own apartment and my very own bed and stove and couch and so much more. Julia and I wouldn't have to live with a "friend" or sleep in my convertible anymore, because as small as it was, this apartment was mine. I paused for a moment to speculate it all.

Then, I leaped off the bed and grabbed Julia's hand before dashing outside. My red convertible was parked just a block away from the building and was filled with our clothing, food and other necessities. We couldn't afford to rent a truck so we pilled our furniture in the trunk, back seat, and the passenger seat while Julia bounced in my lap all the way downtown.

Before that, I usually stayed over with a friend, or at a motel on the outskirts of Tulsa, but when someone had died in this very apartment, the price immediately dipped and I had bought it in a heartbeat. I didn't even care if some old guy was haunting my apartment, all I cared was that it was mine.

"Here," I say as I picked up one of the smallest boxes and put it into Julia's tiny arms, before taking one for myself.

"Alice?" Julia asked me as we hauled the cardboard boxes one by one into my new apartment.


"Do I have to go to school tomorrow?" she asked as she used a switchblade to open the box labeled 'Julia's clothes'.

"Of course you do honey," I murmured as I set away some of my stuff. She glared at me with her white-blue eyes and her face set into a pout. I sighed as I prepared a few reasons for her.

"But we just moved in," she whined, crossing her arms.

"Yeah, like five miles away," I replied.

"But I need to get used to my new surroundings before I can feel comfortable going to school." she said.

I stared at her and mentally asked what book she stole that from.

"Your surrounding aren't new and neither is your school," I said, trying to sound patient.

"Why do you always get to tell me what to do?" She said, louder this time, jumping to feet."

"Are we really going to do this now?" I answered.


"Fine," I snapped. "Because I'm more than ten years older than you and I'll always be. I leaned closer to her. "And because I don't take orders from an eight-year old."

"You never let me do anything!" Her face twisted up and she ran to her -our- room.

"Julia!' I shout as I dropped the box and followed her.

I turned the doorknob, but when I tried to open it, I found Julia had pressed her back against it.

"Julia?" No answer. "Why don't you want to go to school?" I asked. Still no answer, but the door gave in a little bit.

I got down on my knees and squeezed my head between the tiny space between he door and the wall. Julia had curled herself into a ball and was sitting right next to it, so I couldn't open it any further.

"Why don't you want to go to school?" I repeated, more gently this time. She shrugged. I pushed my torso into the room.

"Can I come in?" I asked her. She doesn't do anything for the first few seconds, but then she picked herself off the floor. When I got up and opened the door, she was sitting on the bed, with her legs dangling over the floor. I sit down next to her and propped her chin up.

"You gonna tell me why?" I say for the third time. Julia looked down at her knees and bit her lip.

"The kids there are mean." she says softly. It was all I could not to laugh at that.

"I thought you were the one who make the kids cry," I said with a smile. She glowers at me.

"I only do that because the mean!" she pouted. "If I don't then they'll make fun of me!"

I put my arms around her shoulders and hug her. "I know, I know," I whispered. "Why else do you think I let you do that?" Julia giggled again.

"I'll make you a deal," I said, sitting up. "If you go to school tomorrow, I'll buy you a new dress, at the department store."

Julia's eyes lit up like a pair of fireworks. "The department store!" she squealed.

"Yup," I replied, running my hands through her rich brown hair. I knew I would regret this later, since I have a pretty good idea about how much the dresses there cost, but it was worth it.

"Go to sleep Julia, it's midnight." Julia was perched at the window in her nightgown, and her chin on her palms.

"Okay," she said as she slowly made her way to the twin bed. She took her shoes

off one by one, as slowly as she could, before she slid under the covers. I rotated around

and put my arms around her.

A few minutes later, she pronounced that she couldn't fall asleep.

"Can you tell me a story?" she asked me.

"Don't have any."

"Can you tell me about Momma and Daddy?" she pleaded. I shook my head. She knew better than to ask something like that.

"Just go to sleep."

Back when I lived in New York around the time I was ten, way before Julia was born, I used to fantasize about my parents, my brother and I realizing we all loved each other and becoming one happy family. I don't think I was younger than fifteen when I realized the chance of that happening. I don't think it was because I was a ignorant moron, I was just in denial.

My parents were always drunk. Most of the time, they were either passed out on the floor or they had just disappeared somewhere and would be gone for days.

My brother and I absolutely despised each other. We were both emotionally abusive to the point of insanity and our pranks involved hurting each other much more than they should have.

When Julia had been born, I believed for a second that everyone would warm up to each other to take care of the sick baby that only weighed four pounds. At the end, my dad died due to drunk driving, my mom disappeared for one day for good and my brother ran away somewhere to escape the police or whatever. I was left with the annoying baby who required constant care and would never just shut up.

A/N: Thanks for reading! I would really appreciate reviews and I'm looking for help with my writing. Negative CC is never a bad thing to me.

Looking back at this, I feel a little ashamed, but I'm too lazy to re-write it.