A/N: Alright ladies, I'm backing away from the oneshots for a while and trying a chapter story. Again, I own nothing. Enjoy! :D

Parents can really screw up your life. They fight, they yell so often that it's like routine clockwork, they rag on you whenever they actually take notice, and then they scream some more. I wonder where our family has gone. We used to be so happy with our lives, and even though they're the ones that are screwing it up for the rest of us, I can't help but feel responsible for everything. If I hadn't been in the accident, none of this would have happened….

I guess the worst thing about parents screwing up your life is that you screwed up theirs first.

Eli Goldsworthy sat back in his chair and rubbed his chin for a moment, staring at the screen in front of him. This girl was just as messed as he was, and that was pretty scary. Ever since Julia had died, he had started reading other angst posts, hoping to find someone, somewhere, that was having just as hard of a time as he was. Maybe then he could find someone to understand him. His parents, as wonderful as they were, didn't really understand the guilt that he carried around with him every day, and the therapist was an egotistical jackass. At least, Eli thought so.

But in reading those blogs, he had found one that actually topped them all. SoundGrl17 was an amazing writer, one that had captured Eli's attention from her very first post. He began reading every post she blogged, and waiting anxiously for another when she didn't. She was short and to the point each time, but her posts conveyed everything that she couldn't seem to say out loud. He empathized with the guilt she carried, but he was never really sure what her trial in life was, since she was too private to actually tell anyone on the internet. This fact alone earned Eli's respect, since SoundGrl17 was obviously not here to post a sob story worthy of thousands of responses. She was online to truly vent to the screen in front of her, since she had no one else.

He liked that.

As always, whenever he had the extra time, he pressed the small Leave a Comment button and began to type:

The wrong set of parents are definitely overrated. Don't you wish for once that you could actually pick your relatives? :P Hope your life gets easier soon. I understand some of what your dealing with. Press on, SoundGrl17, press on.

Eli pressed the Send button and waited until he was sure that his comment had reached her inbox. He was the only person that ever commented on her posts, and she had responded back with thanks and had even wished him well with whatever baggage he was carrying around in his life. He guessed that that made them tentative friends, even though they had never exchanged their real names. Friends with empathizing benefits? It made them…something, but he wasn't sure what to categorize such a girl that he had never met before.

With a sigh, Eli turned off his computer and turned back to his bed, mentally groaning. His bed was under all those clothes and school supplies somewhere. At least, it had been there this morning when his mom had walked in and plunked down all her new purchases. During the last week of classes at Degrassi, some idiot had pulled a knife on another guy, and the rest of the student population was paying for it this new year. Uniforms were replacing individualization, and the school now sent out a list with the kinds of supplies they wanted. There went any possibility of Dead Hand folders. Idiots sucked.

Wearily, Eli began packing his backpack. A package of Number 02 pencils, two plain notebooks, exclusively for taking notes, a protractor for math, and several other small requirements that Eli knew he would never use. As Eli reached for the first of five pairs of khaki pants, his cell phone buzzed. He reached for it, trying not to look directly at the picture of Julia that was still perched on his bedside table, and smiled when he realized that it was Adam. "Hey Adam," he said when he flipped his phone open.

"Hey dude," Adam responded. "Drew and Alli are off sucking each other's faces off somewhere, so do you want to come over early for guy's night?"

Eli smirked. "Sure. I'll be over in a few. I just have to finish packing for tomorrow."

At the other end of the call, Adam groaned sympathetically. "Mom made me do that yesterday," he said. "I can't believe we have to do all of this crap because of two geniuses."

"I know," Eli said, nodding even though Adam couldn't see him, as he reached for the shirt he had just decided to wear for tomorrow. "But these new rules just might keep the neanderthals from fighting until they're in the parking lot."

Adam snorted. "Yeah, and the new metal detectors should keep all knives out."

Eli rolled his eyes. "Mmhmm. And belts, keys, and kids with braces. These new rules are so ignorantly constructed, there's no way they'll last through the first week."

"I hope you're right," Adam told him. "This is screwed up. Hey, by the way, what foreign language class are you taking this year?"

"I'm trying sign language," Eli responded. "Easier than Spanish, or German."

Adam laughed. "Well good luck. See you in a few."

Eli hung up, glancing over at his computer, remembering the blog that had just been there, and the girl who had used those exact words. "I hope so too," he said to himself.

So why did he not feel confident about it?

A/N: I know it's kind of slow, but I'm trying to set the scene right now. Please review! :D