A/N at end.

.: Chapter 4 :.

"Goin' somewhere?" I stopped and turned away from the front door where my hand was clenched around the knob. Marjorie was staring at me with a look that could have only been straight up amusement as she gave me the once over with her gaze.

I knew I looked a damn mess – I had overslept.

I was obviously a repeat dresser with the same black tights from yesterday with a new pair of shorts and a flannel and the same ole ballet flats.

"School?" I had meant for it to sound like a statement, but it came out sounding more like a question. Marjorie gave a small laugh and shook her head as she grasped at my elbow and towed me back towards the stairs.

"What?" I asked as she pushed me up the first few steps, wondering what the hell she was doing; I was already late enough as it was.

And apparently cranky.

"It's Saturday, dear, unless they're making the youth of today attend classes on the weekend?" I stared at her as though realizing she had grown a second head.

"Are you serious?"

"Quite so." She nodded with another smile. "Why don't you go back to bed? Catch up on some sleep?" She patted at my arm and left me standing there dumbfounded.

Did I seriously just wake up and try to go to school on a Saturday?

I smacked a hand to my face and trudged back upstairs and into my room, clicking the door shut behind me. I didn't even bother turning the light on as I crossed over to the bed, ditching my bag halfway there as I collapsed back into it. I relished in the softness as I sunk into the mattress and closed my eyes, fully relaxing back into my newly furnished room. When Marjorie had sent me up last evening to 'get everything to my liking' as she had put it, I had worked well into the wee hours of the morning.

I had actually only left once to get food, and even that had been a hurried trip.

The end result was me having the dream room I had never had anywhere else.

My oddly painted and mismatched dressers were pressed against the walls and spaced out accordingly while I had managed to heave and shove my bed into the corner where windows were on either side. This probably wasn't the smartest idea seeing how drafts would blow in and the windows looked like they could leak, but I honestly couldn't have cared less.

I'd always wanted to lay in bed and look out a window.

Across the room from the bed I could see the glow of the Christmas lights I had wrapped around the bar in the closet through the slotted doors. I had childishly slept with them on and the effect had been wonderful; the warm glow was so homey and welcoming I didn't even stand a chance when my head hit the pillow. And the closet wasn't the only place lights had been hung; they were pretty much everywhere. White lights had been thumb tacked to the ceiling around the perimeter of the room while white paper lanterns trailed around the mirror on the dresser and blue lights twinkled from where they were woven into the openings on the vintage headboard of the bed.

Marjorie and I apparently had a lot more in common than I thought.

I smiled sleepily and leaned over the edge of the bed to plug in the blue ones, by far my favorite, before snuggling back down in the downy comfort of the sheets and blankets I had dragged out of the closet. I wasn't too cracked up about the little blue whales swimming around on the comforter, but after lazily tracing a few I drifted off to sleep I found that I wouldn't have it anyway else.

There was something non-natural stuck in my nose.

It smelt coppery and metallic.

Sure enough, after cracking open my eyes and blinking into consciousness, I could see something small and bronze colored right in front of my nose before going cross eyed. I reached up and swatted at whatever it was and leaned back on an elbow, my free hand digging groggily at my face and eyes. My head still swam hazily as I rolled over completely onto my back and stared up at the wooden beams of the ceiling.

How long had I been asleep?

What time was it now?

What was that thing in my nose?

I looked sideways and once again came face to face with the offending object. Now that it wasn't half shoved up one of my nostrils, I could actually pluck it from the sheets and hold it in my hand. There didn't seem to be anything special about it – it was just an old timey key like you see in those black and white movies with no sound. I was pretty sure there had to be a proper name for them, but as far I was concerned I was just worried about where it had come from.

I had a feeling Marjorie was somehow behind it.

I smiled and rolled over to look at the alarm clock, finding it to be a quarter past Post-it.

Wait, no, that wasn't right.

I reached out to pull the sticky notes away from the face of the clock and it found it to be just after one in the afternoon. I marveled in the fact that I had never before slept past ten, let alone twelve, and squinted at the cramped up handwriting on the fluorescent pink note.

"Hollyhock," I read to no one in particular; I was really going to have to ask about that nickname too, "went to Forks from some last minutes items for tonight's cook out which I forgot to mention to you, but am doing so now. It's a weekly gathering around here and people LOVE my chocolate chip pancakes, so there's no denying an adoring crowd!" I shook my head at this and turned the small square of paper as Marjorie's writing curved around the bottom and looped around all the rest. "Since you're still asleep I've left this note explaining where I've gone and also the key to the carriage…" At this I had to flip it over to continue reading on the back, "house in the hopes you'll find enjoyment out there and reconnect with your musical passion in which dear William told me so much about. Can't wait to hear something – anything, really – so start practicing!" I blew out a puff of laughter and pushed myself into a sitting position, my spinal column snap-crackle-popping along the way as I twisted side to side.

I slid easily out of the bed and stretched some more before setting out to do as I was told, slipping back into my shoes on my way out. Down in the foyer I grabbed an overly bright umbrella from the decorative vase that housed many others and slipped out through the back door only to find it wasn't raining as much as it had looked. Nevertheless I toted the umbrella along with me as I squished through the yard and onto the wood chipped path leading back into the forest.

The carriage house, like the cottage, was blindingly white and looked to have a lot of windows along with an army of flower beds patrolling the perimeter. The steps leading up to the main door were rickety and I briefly wondered how safe there were; they appeared fine, but the mold and mildew seemed to say otherwise. I started up the first few steps hesitantly and jumped as a loud cracking sound echoed in the silence and I held my breath, waiting to fall in one way or another.

Nothing happened.

I bit my lip and waited to see if anything else would happen, but when nothing but the silence of the forest resumed I assumed that the worst thing that could possibly happen already had. I slid the key into its matching old school lock and had to shoulder the door open, the hinges screaming the whole way; apparently no one had been in here for a while.

Or maybe not.

I shook my head and grabbed at the sticky note stuck to the wall directly across from the door; Marjorie was obviously two steps ahead of me.

"Hollyhock," I smiled in disbelief and ventured further inside, "welcome to the carriage house! I've cleaned up some so as you can have some room to move around, but feel free to redecorate if you feel the need! The piano was serviced last year and should be in top working order; there's some music books in the box labeled 'musical prowess', so help yourself! I suggest opening all the bay doors – direct airflow allows for more creation and less mold you breathe in!" I shoved this little note in my pocket along with the other from my room, and flipped the light switch, the few bulbs hanging from the peaked beam ceiling humming to life. Shelves lined every single wall with everything you could possibly imagine hanging off of them; clothes, food, books, lamps…junk.

A lot of it.

The air smelt strongly of Pinesol as I moved across the floor to open the second set of double doors, followed by the third and fourth. It seems pointless to have four sets of doors, but seeing as the building itself was a perfect square then I guess it made sense, but it was still something I couldn't wrap my mind around.

Especially when there was a gleaming black grand piano right smack dab in the middle of it all.

I couldn't stop my mouth from dropping open as I took in the sight before me; I now knew what cats felt like when exposed to a particularly vicious dose of nip. I approached the thing slowly as though approaching a wild animal even though the rational side of my brain was screaming at me to get a grip – the piano wasn't going to run off or anything. I hesitantly laid a hand on the cover, scared to leave any fingerprints, as I made my way around to the front, where the lid was closed down tightly over the ivories.

In all my years of moving around the country and from person to person, family to family, the only constant thing had been my love for music. It never mattered where I was or who I was with; there was always a piano within distance, whether it be driving, walking, or merely in the next room. I had started out learning scales and small pieces when I was little and lived with my aunt in DC after she had taken me away from my mom and dad back down south – she was one of them people who thought discipline was the greatest thing a person could ever master. She herself had never learned how to play, but had inherited an old upright piano that had been left behind when she moved into her new apartment.

Before I came along she had used the thing as a plant stand.

She wasted no time in going out to buy various piano and music books – she did after all need something to keep me busy with as she flitted in and out as her job demanded. Every day after school and pretty much every weekend I spent my time in front of the piano, teaching myself how to play while my aunt half listened with one ear while the other was glued to her cell phone.

It wasn't the most ideal childhood, but at that point I don't think was ever destined to have one.

I shrugged off the annoying feeling of nostalgia slowly creeping in as I slid onto the seemingly pristine bench and ran a hand across the gleaming wood still keeping me from the keys. I knew full well Marjorie had given me permission to play the thing – she was practically begging – but I still couldn't help but be paranoid as I glanced out every door before lifting up the cover. The keys were just as spotless and gleaming as the rest of the instrument and I held my breath as I pushed the coved back and into place so it wouldn't come crashing down onto my fingers – it had happened before.

Sitting there, staring at the keys, I couldn't help but tear up a little.

Maybe it was all the emotions I've been repressing since I got here coming out.

Maybe it was the fact that for once someone was taking an interest in me and genuinely seemed to care.

Maybe it was the simple fact that for once I felt like I had a home.

I wasn't someone who liked to dwell on the past, but then again I wasn't someone who dwelled on the future; living life in the present was something I always forced myself to do. Why build up so many expectations for the future only to have them shot down later on or changed into a completely different idea?

It just seemed both pointless and cruel.

A/N: so wow. Here's an update! Is it short? YES. Is it a filler? YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT. Are there any readers out there left? HELL IF I KNOW.

I guess THANKS if you read & review and if not, then, well...I dunno. Apparently you had something better to do! No worries, though. I know it's been a while! And for anyone wondering/curious, I updated my bio page. Go enjoy my ranbling. :)