Hello readers :] Welcome to my story, Expect The Unexpected. Hope you enjoy and please review! I love feedback.

Chapter One:

Fresh Start

Chapter Song: The A Team by Ed Sheeran

"I'm proud to say that I was perfectly normal, thank you very much. I was the last person you'd expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious because I never believed in such nonsense."

Slouching in the back seat of the car, I wondered why my dad and stepmother hated me so much. It was the only clear reason that would explain why I was on some unknown driveway at the moment.

Have you ever hated something so much, but it didn't matter if you did or didn't since you had to do it anyways? Well I have. I didn't want to do it, I really didn't. In fact, it was the last thing I want to do on my list—right after dying or watching grass grow. Moving. One of the most hated words a teenager could come across. When my dad sat me down and told me this, I thought he meant we were moving down the block like Sarah Marano had did two months ago when they were struggling to pay the rent. I was wrong, and this was a punishment. Moving across the country from the golden state of California to some town called Savannah all the way on the eastern seaboard was banishment from my life. It meant starting over everything—making new friends, going to a new school getting to know the area, making new friends, and the rest is history. And with the last packing of my bag and as I had boarded the flight to Atlanta, I left my whole life behind. I couldn't believe my father was making me go through with this.

But somehow, deep inside I could believe it. This wasn't some soul-searching trip for my dad and his new wife. It was for his job as a historian, his boss practically bribed him here. Since I felt like I was the only person in this house that wasn't being told anything, I took it upon myself to research Savannah, only to find that it's a really old, I'm talking 18th century old, and historical town. The details still weren't crystal clear with me on exactly how my father was forced to be here, but I acted like I knew what was going on.

I was so enveloped in misery, it took me a minute to realize that my brother Jeremy was standing in front of me, gawking at the old Victorian style home that was now signed in our name. I swore to myself I'd never admit that it was pretty, but it was. It didn't compare to California though. Thinking back to the beaches, the warm sun, the golden sand, and my friends just made me more miserable that I already was. If that was possible.

"Kids, mind helping me with the suitcases?" Shylee, my stepmom asked us. Jeremy turned around, muttering something inaudible under his breath. He was just as unhappy as I was. Coming around the corner of the car, I found Shylee struggling. Her bright blonde hair was in a messy bun and a drop of sweat rolled down her forehead.

"Thanks." She wiped her brow after handing us the large rolling bag and heavy duffels that contained our personal belongings, things we needed immediately after our red eye last night. As I walked up the driveway, I took a deep breath and smelled the air, which had the heavy sent of fresh cut grass. You couldn't smell the salty ocean air. You're not in California anymore, Alexa.

"Hey, how do you guys like the house?" My dad, one of the only ones sounding positive, called from behind the car.

"It'd be nice to go inside first." I called back. The moment the words were out of my mouth, I felt bad. My father had been the one dragging us through this mess, but he kept positive and he tried making us as happy as possible, though we weren't thinking in the same state of mind.

"Nice to see the nap you took put you in a better mood." His tone depressed, "doors open." He added. Weary eyed and pale faced, both Jeremy and I rolled our way inside. Shylee had flown down earlier last week and arranged our furniture with the decorator, so we didn't have to walk into nothingness. The place was big, bigger than our last home. That still didn't make up for anything. We were faced with the living room when we first walked in. The walls were a creamy pale white that went with the dark brown leather sofa and faux marble floors. Big, decorative curtains were pulled back against the windows. Behind us, Shylee squealed in happiness.

"I'm going to have to give the designer a call, he did a perfect job!" She dropped her bags onto the floor. This was her dream house, the first home she'd every acquired with my father.

"Wow, you did quite a job." My father walked in. Like his wife, he also placed them on the floor, "what do you guys think?"

"It's great." I half lied looking over to Jeremy, who eyed me wondering why I was suddenly being nice.

"Once you see your rooms, I'm sure you'll love it even more." Shylee smiled, clapping her hands together.

"Speaking of my room, where exactly is it?" I wondered, Jeremy continued to stay silent.

"Upstairs." Shylee pointed to the stairs adjacent to us. Without another word, my brother and I sadly dragged ourselves up the stairs.

"Most of your things are still in boxes, we didn't know where you wanted them. I hope it's okay." Shylee apologized, hoping I'd change my attitude.

"Sure." I muttered, continuing the search to find our rooms with Jeremy. Every door we opened would either be a closet, bathroom, or a different room. Easily, Jeremy found his room and threw his suitcase on the floor, then proceeded to sit on his bed and stare at the floor.

"You okay?" I asked as I passed by. He didn't say a word. Taking this as his gesture to leave, that's exactly what I did. Ever since we started packing up our old house, Jeremy stopped talking. You were lucky to get three words out of him at a time. It was killing me. Two doors down, a pile of boxes sat in front of a closed door. Each one of them had a big, fat, 'A' written in a black sharpie. This had to be my room, and finally, I was right. My furniture was all here, placed in the same places that they were in California. It could have passed for my room back home, except the walls were a shade of light tan, I had light wood floors, and there was no view of the city or beach out the window. Everyday for the x-amount of years I'll live here, I'd be staring out onto the overly exciting view of my driveway and new street.

Sunset was disappointing. There was no magnificent ball of fire that turned the sky brilliant shades of orange, yellow, blue, and pink. I'd watch sunset fade and turn into the blackness of night. After I finished unpacking, my stomach had alerted me I probably should have dinner. Walking down the hallway wherever I was in the house, I happened to find my fathers bedroom.

"Hi." I leaned on the doorway, watching him sit on burgundy bedspread shuffling through papers. He jumped and looked up, his glasses falling down to the bridge of his nose.

"Oh, honey, you scared me."

"Sorry." I mumbled.

"Don't worry about it. What's up?" He jotted down another note in his book.

"Do you know where Shylee is?" I asked, looking around his empty room. He didn't bother unpacking the boxes. What he was working on at the moment was more important.

"She's went out about an hour ago."

"Seriously? I'm starving and I was hoping to have dinner some point tonight."

"She should be back any minute." He comforted, continuing to flip through a page of his work.

"You're already starting to work? We just got here." I observed the pile of books stacked up on the bed. One was left open to a page, a pencil sitting in the binding.

"Yes! I'm just doing a little read up of the history here. It's fascinating." Did he always have to sound so excited about being here? His tone was growing to become obnoxious.

"Really? What's so exciting about it?" I crossed my arms across my chest, not exactly caring.

"The fact that mostly everything here was built in the seventeen hundreds makes it incredible. So many famous people have come and gone from this very town. Plus, there are rumors of the place being haunted by ghosts. How cool is that?" I smiled, but it faded as quickly as it had come.

"Oh dad, don't start with that."

"What? You don't believe in ghosts?" A smile played with his lips.

"I stopped believing in that a long time ago." I assured. At the front of the house, the front door opened. Shylee was home with food. Thank God. "Alright, I'm gonna go eat. Have fun with, whatever you're reading." I eyed the books and walked out.

"Hold it!" He stopped, forcing me to walk back in again. Damn, I hated when he did that.

"What's your brother doing?" He wondered, finally looking me in the eye with much concern.

"We're not exactly on speaking terms, I don't know." I shook my head, walking out to go find the kitchen. And once I did, I was shocked to see the amount of plastic bags that sat on the counter.

"Did you buy enough?" I chocked out a laugh.

"There's more in the car." She flashed a warm smile with her perfectly white teeth.

"Well, we must be good for another year or so." I sarcastically joked, raising my brows.

"I know, we needed food though."

"Is there any food? I'm starving since the last time I ate was four this morning." For the record, airport food was pretty gross.

"I thought you'd be hungry." She grabbed a paper bag and handed it to me with a bottle of cold water.

"Thanks." My lips formed a line, and I proceeded back up to my room where I could listen to my iPod and eat in piece. I could drown out the world right then and there.

"That father of yours, always the hard worker." Shylee shook her head, unpacking a box filled with plates. Though I wanted to go to bed and do something other than spend time with my family, I'd decided to help her unpack the kitchen. When I had walked in, she seemed lonely, and I felt bad. Sitting on the cold, hard, granite counter,

"Yup."

"Are you excited for school?"

"Nope." I tucked a piece of brown hair behind my ear. Did we have to continue on this conversation? I'd prefer to do this in silence.

"Do you want to talk about it?" When I didn't answer and continued to place cookbooks on the counter, she looked up towards me. "Sometimes it helps if you talk. You've been so quite these past couple of days."

"I'd rather not." I said with a sigh.

"Look Alexa, I know this has been real hard on you. It's been real hard on all of us, but you can't feel like this forever. I know how hard it is to move away from everyone you love, but you'll meet new people that'll become even better friends with you. Take it as a fresh start, a new life." She shrugged. I could just be myself again, no acts. Everyone in California was fake, and at times, so was I. Nodding to Shylee; I got a smile out of her.

It took a while, but I finally came out of my deep black hole of sadness and I laughed for the first time in a few days. Shylee had a way with words, making me feel better from a certain situation. That was one of the many reasons my dad married her. Though I didn't feel one hundred percent yet, I still felt better than I did when I stood in the driveway several hours ago.

"My junior year was pretty fun. It wasn't as good as senior year but it was pretty funny. I almost got a—" Interrupting our moment, my dad walked in the room. He looked physically drained, and when he saw me, that look turned into surprise and confusion.

"Alexa, why are you still up?" He tilted his head and put a few papers on the counter.

"I was just helping Shylee."

"You know it's almost one thirty in the morning?" He looked at the large watch on his wrist.

"We lost track of time." Shylee apologized.

"It's fine, get to bed, I'll help finish everything up." And with that, he took my place.

Dragging myself up the staircase, I passed by Jeremy's room, which was blaring with lights. His door was open, and as I peeked my head in, I found him fast asleep on top of the covers with his iPod plugged into his ears. Silently I smiled and switched the lights off for him. He'd appreciate it in the morning. After going into my room, changing into pajamas, I noticed how bored I was. There wasn't anything to do: my laptop was packed away somewhere, and I couldn't go downstairs without my dad yelling at me to go to bed. The house was beginning to become quieter, very little noise coming from Shylee and my dad's muffled conversation. Picking up my bags I had carried onto the plane with me today, I found my missing phone and pulled it out. A couple missed calls and four text messages filled the screen, making my heart jump. My friends missed me they still remembered me! Each message was regarding how my best friends, Tory Katz, Rosie McDonald, and Jackson Furry, missed me and they wanted to know how everything had gone. To lazy to call each of them back, I decided to just call Jackson, my best friend and my non-legitamate brother. I was closer to him than I was to Jeremy actually. Back in California, he would practically live at my house and vise versa. Pacing the room, I listened to the phone ring multiple times until it went to voicemail.

"Hey, Jackson, it's Alexa." I paused, feeling like I couldn't breath. "Sorry I didn't call earlier, it's been pretty hectic here with unpacking and my dad and especially Jeremy. Well, I'm here, but I'd rather not be. I start school on Monday, and I'm unfortunately going shopping tomorrow to get last minute things, but I'm sure I'll talk to you before then. This time change thing is killing me. It's one thirty here, only eleven I'm guessing where you are, I guess you're sleeping. Call me soon, okay? Say hi to everyone; tell them I miss them a lot. Love you, and keep in touch. Bye." I sadly hung up, hoping to find him call back in five minutes. He didn't. Somehow, I felt like I wouldn't be talking to any of them anytime soon. Grabbing a book off of my dresser, in the corner of my eye I could see something fall onto the floor. Looking back, I picked up the glossy paper that had fallen. There was a water stain on the blank side of the paper, so I turned over to find a picture printed on it. A reminiscing smile grew on my lips. A picture of my dad, Shylee, and me at their wedding was in my hands. Sitting back down on my bed, I placed my phone on the dresser and looked over the picture. Shylee was dressed in an amazingly beautiful wedding gown: strapless and classy. Her blonde hair rested in curls on her shoulders and cascaded down her back. Standing next to her, I wore a silky light pink dress that reached the floor. My hair was worn straight, as usual, and the sunset behind us brought out the natural golden highlights in it. Adjacent to me was my father and brother who both wore tuxedos and pink ties. I remember the wedding like it was yesterday. It was a beach wedding that was Shylee's idea. I didn't know where to begin, it was one of the best nights of my life, and it only happened six or seven months ago. A flood of memories from the night rushed over me, which made me sad, thinking that I'll never have something like that again.

Boy was I wrong.