Chapter One

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!

SLAM!

The sound of the alarm went silent after a hand slapped the 'snooze' button. Under the blankets, a body arose underneath. The covers fell around the body, which wore a baby blue tank top and brown sweatpants. The shoulder length blonde brown hair was shown in knots with some strands pointing out in other directions. The female yawned, stretching her arms out into the air. Rubbing the sleepiness from her eyes, she opened them. Her purple eyes scanned the room. It wasn't big, as she shared a room with her little sister. Penelope, Cera's little sister, slept in a smaller sized bed. She hugged her red and orange stuffed cat toy, as her long brown hair spread along the pink pillows. Lime green blankets covered her sleeping body. Cera smiled at the sight of her sister.

Cera ripped the blankets off her body, and walked over to her sister, kneeling at the bed.

"Hey, Penny. Penny, morning is here." Penelope's eyes fluttered opened, her light purple eyes looking at her big sister.

"Come on, time for school."

Penelope nodded and sat up. Cera stood and walked over to a dresser that contained their clothing.

"Cera," She yawned.

"What day is it?"

Cera laid their clothing out on her bed. "It's Thursday." She answered, neatly folding the clothing.

She put out a teal shirt and pale white caprice for Penelope, and her diner uniform for herself. It was a dark green shirt with the diner logo, tan pants, and cream white apron. Penelope smiled brightly.

"Only two more days until our trip to the beach, right?"

Cera smiled at her sister and nodded. "Yup."

Penelope jumped up and down on her bed hugging her toy cat. "Yay!" She cheered.

Cera laughed lightly. "Alright, you still got two days until then. So, get dressed for school and we can go to the diner for breakfast."

Penelope nodded. "'Kay!"

Cera tightly held Penelope's hand as to not lose her in the bustling crowds of New York. The diner Cera worked at was called 'Order Up'. A very cheap small diner that didn't get much recognition. Cera didn't care much for the place, as long as it stayed open so she can work there for money. This included payment for the rent, food, clothing, and Penelope's schooling. Cera wants her sister to get a good education so that she can get a real job and life.

As they entered the diner, her co-worker, Ken greeted the sisters with a bright smile.

"Hey, Cera, you're early!"

He had shaggy black hair and green eyes. He was in his mid 30's, single, and took care of the girls has if they were his little sisters.

"Good morning, Ken." Cera greeted, with a light smile. Penelope ran to Ken, hugging his hip.

"Good morning, Uncle Kenny!"

Ken laughed and lifted her into his arms and on his shoulder.

"Good morning, Penelope!" Cera put her coat on the rack next to Ken's.

"Ken, be careful." She said, referring to Penelope on his shoulder. Ken gave her a scoff.

"Ready for some of my famous blueberry pancakes?" Penelope's eyes lit up.

"Oh boy!"

Penelope ate at a table in the corner, away from the other costumers. Penelope went to school in the afternoon, with her sister's job and such. Ken would take her, since he had the morning shift, and Cera had the afternoon shift. Ken cooked, and was greet at it. He mostly worked the night shift than anyone else. Thanks to his dinner dishes, it keeps the place running well. Cera cleaned up a table and left to the kitchen, seeing Ken cooking.

"Slow this morning, huh?" Ken asked, flipping some more pancakes for Penelope.

Cera gave a 'hm-hmm' and put the dishes in the large tub like sink. She leaned on the counter and sighed. Ken glanced over his shoulder at her.

"Something wrong, Cera?"

Cera shook her head, and said, "No, just tired." She left to continue her work before Ken could say anything else.

Ken would always offer her and Penelope to live him with him in his nice apartment. But, she'd refuse. She must take this into her hands and her hands alone.

Cera walked over to the front, to give tables to in coming costumers.

"Welcome to Order Up. How many tables?" She asked.

"Four." A swiftly brown haired and dull red eyed man answered.

He was young, looked to be about between 19-24 years old. He had three other guys with him. Cera nodded and took four menus and motioned for to follow her. "Come this way please." She led them to a booth by the window, about 4 tables away from where Penelope sat. The brown haired boy sat by the window, a silver haired blue eyed man sat next to him. He looked to be in his late 20's to mid 30's. Across, a man with long spiky light brown hair, dark brown eyes, and unique long nose sat at the window. He looked to be in his 20's. An African black boy with deep brown eyes sat next to him. He looked young, maybe early 20's or still in his teens. She handed the men their menus, they gladly took them.

"What drinks would you like to order?" She asked, taking out a pad and pencil.

"I'll have some iced tea." Said the brown haired man.

"Me too." Agreed the silver haired man.

She jotted it down and waited for the other two.

"Do you have milk?" The African boy asked, Cera nodded. "Then a cold glass of milk for me."

She wrote it down and waited for the last man to order.

"Just water." He said looking out the window. She wrote it down.

"Your drinks will be here soon." She said, and left for the kitchen.

"You're still mopping?" 004 asked 002, as he folded his arms over his chest. 002 didn't respond.

"Well, do you blame him?" 008 spoke. "After all, not one girl would look at him at that club last night."

004 scoffed. "That's because they were too busy asking if 009 here was single." He pointed his thumb at 009, as if it was his fault 002 got no attention.

009 felt guilty.

"I honestly didn't mean to draw attention. Honest!"

002 shook his head and looked to his friends. "No, really. It's no big deal. I was just up to late, that's all."

008 sneered at him. "Yea. Up late trying to get drunk."

The three laughed. 002 gave a chuckled and looked around the diner, as the other three talked.

He noticed this diner wasn't popular. His friends were visiting him, wanting to see how New York was. He wanted to take them to some nice diners, but they were packed! So, this was the only place left. His bored eyes scanned the place, until they fell onto a little girl not far from themselves. She was giggling to herself, eating blueberry pancakes. 002 smiled, seeing her play feed her toy cat. Seeing a happy child always made him smile. In a tough city like this, it's pretty rare.

"Two iced teas, one milk, -cold one- and water." Cera called to Ken.

"Oh, new ones?" He asked, getting four glasses.

"New, is just the word."

"Hm?" Ken was lost.

"I've never seen these guys before. Weird, don't you think?"

Ken scoffed. "You are so paranoid."

Cera gave a quick glare.

"You think everyone you never seen before is suspicious. Lighten up." Ken gave her the tray of drinks.

"You lighten up." She retorted, and went to deliver the drinks.

He chuckled and returned to his duties.

"Here you are."

002 looked up, seeing the waitress was back with their drinks.

"One glass of milk, two glasses and iced tea, and one glass of water." She gave them their drinks. She pulled out the pad and pencil again. "Ready to order?"

They nodded and looked at the menus.

"I'll have pancakes." 009 answered.

"French toast for me." Said 008.

"Eggs and pancakes." 004 said.

She wrote it all down and –again- waited for 002. He glared the menu a few times then glanced to the waitress. He didn't notice how that she and the girl at the corner looked very much alike. Almost like mother and daughter. He started putting two and two together.

"I'll have some sausages and toast." She wrote them down and left for the kitchen.

"Hey, guys." They looked to 002.

"What is it?" 008 asked.

"See that little girl in the corner?" 002 pointed over, 009 and 004 had to turn around to see her.

She was putting her jacket and backpack on. Looked like she was preparing to leave.

"Is she by herself?" 009 asked.

"I doubt it." 004 said.

"I think our waitress is her mother." 002 said, they looked back at him.

"That would make sense." 004 said, 008 nodded.

A black haired guy, Ken, walked over and chatted with her.

"And he's the father?" 008 asked, the other two turned.

004's eyes narrowed, and he shook his head.

"No." He answered, turning back, crossing his arms. "I don't see a ring on his finger and he seems a bit young to have a daughter of her age. She looks to be 10 or 12."

"Here's your food."

They looked up, seeing the waitress placing the plates of their breakfast in front of them.

"Thanks."

"Thank you."

They said, she nodded.

"If you need anything else, just call." She said and left to serve another table.

They talked and finished eating, and prepared to leave. 002 was going to show them Central Park today.

"I heard it was going to rain today." Said 008, standing aside for 002 to scoot out of the booth.

009 nodded. "I heard that too."

002 stood. "Well, then lets hurry off."

002 took the bill and played, along with a 4 dollar tip. They were kind of loud, so 004 told him to leave a 4$ tip. They soon left, as the waitress, cleaned up the table. She took the money and left to put it in the register. The 4$ tip was hers, so she placed it into her pocket.

"Cera,"

She looked up, seeing Ken holding Penelope in her arms, as she played with her toy cat.

"I'll be taking her to school."

She nodded and gave her sister a kiss on the forehead. "Have fun at school. You know the rules."

She nodded. "No talking to strangers and don't leave until you come get me."

Cera smiled and patted her head. "Good girl."

Ken took her to school, as Cera's day continued.