Chapter One:

New Beginnings

Chapter Song: Tyrant by OneRepublic

I blinked a few times before I actually opened my eyes. My lids slowly rose up, but once they were raised, they fell back into tiny slits. The sun was shining right into my eyes and I was squinting. My head was leaning against the window. I could tell by the stiffness of my neck I was sleeping for a while. I sat up and rolled my head a couple times to get rid of the stiffness. Running my fingers through my hair, I tried to shake off the groggy feeling that was over me like a blanket.

"Ah, good afternoon sleepy head." My dad kept his attention towards the road that he was driving on.

"Where are we?" I asked my parents as I took a peak out the window.

"Florida. Do you not remember the plane landing in Jacksonville six hours ago?" Logan, my ten-year-old brother spoke to me like I was an idiot. I groaned. "Obviously Logan. I didn't know if we were here yet." He rolled his eyes and went back to playing his video game.

"Now, now, settle down." My mom hushed.

"We'll be there in T-minus two minutes." My dad announced. I impatiently waited for my dad to find our new house. We pulled down a couple different streets until my dad slowed up and read the address numbers on the mailbox.

"Hey dad, how close is our house from the ocean?" Logan's head popped up from his video game.

"Not even five minutes. How cool is that?" He laughed.

"That's so cool! My friends back home won't even believe this!" Logan was eager to explore this new place, I could tell. I couldn't wait to get out of the car; my body ached to stand and to breathe fresh air.

"Finally!" I moaned as the car came to a complete stop when my dad pulled into a driveway. I unbuckled my seat belt and jumped out of the car. My first thought? Land.

"Jeez Hayley." Logan mumbled while he hopped out the other side of the car. The seemingly endless flight and car ride from Spokane, Washington to Key West, Florida was over. Thank God. I looked at the house, and I had to admit it was cute. It was two stories and cream colored and the roof and shutters were white wood. This was my new home whether I liked it or not. I leaned against the hot car and looked up and down the neighborhood. Besides a few kids playing soccer a few houses down, the street was empty. I've actually never lived in a serious house; I had a big apartment back in Spokane. I've never had actual neighbors either. We had the whole floor to ourselves. I think I met the people above us once when we had a power outage and we were the one of the only people in the building that had electricity.

"Hayley, can you please help take Logan and your stuff into the house?" My mom hauled two of the bags out from the trunk.

"Yeah take my stuff into the house." Logan mocked and stuck his tongue out. I would tell him to shut up but I didn't even feel like getting in a fight now. My dad threw me the keys and they jingled when I caught them.

"Yeah, whatever." I dragged three big duffle bags and myself into the new home. I should feel special; I was one of the first people to see the house, besides my mom and dad of course. I unlocked the door and walked into my already furnished home. My mom and dad had flown out a week before and helped the movers put all the furniture in the correct places. That week I lived at my friend Kaitlin's house with Logan since at our house, we literally had nothing to sleep or sit on. I looked around the room. Boxes of all sizes were scattered everywhere and they were piled high. I left Logan's bag next to the door and instead I carried up my two bags. He could manage on getting his upstairs. Besides, it wasn't my problem. Hauling the bags up the stairs, the search for my room began. The first door I opened was a bathroom, then the guest room, and then the next was Logan's room. The last choice was finally my room, it had to be, it was the only room left. I opened the white wooden door to reveal light blue walls, white wood furniture, my bed, and a small fake diamond chandelier, which also had lights attached to it. This was my room all right. While walking in, I set my duffle bags next to my closet and began to explore the room. I had an all-new dresser, and thankfully it was bigger. On top of the dresser there was a vase of flowers, a few pictures in frames, and a couple of knick-knacks. The picture frames had a few photos of my friends and I back home. It made me ache inside to know that I wouldn't be seeing them for a long while. My window had a few of the front yard, it wasn't much of a view but it would have to do.

"Do you like it?" My parents yelled from outside. I sat on my window seat and opened my casement window and yelled down to my parents. My mother called while holding a box.

"I love it!" I smiled.

"Great, I thought you would!" My mom smiled. I left the windows open but I moved to my bed. I sat down on the comforter. I knew I needed to get unpacking, but I couldn't bear to even start. But I knew I had to, there was no choice. I threw my suitcase on the bed and began to throw all my clothes into different drawers. By the time I was done, the sun had already set and the half moon was high in the sky.