Chapter 1:

Santana Lopez hated moving. She hated it. But that's all she knew how to do. Her whole life she'd been moving from one place to another, listening to her mother feed her the same excuses over and over. She didn't always feel like this though but of course her life wasn't always like this either.

Santana's dad left when she 7. She didn't understand it at first; why he left. Or even what it meant. All her mother told her was that daddy was going on away for a while. Like on a vacation? That's what she always thought. Daddy's going away for while meant he was going on a vacation right? It was as simple as that to Santana. It never occurred to her that it meant he would never be coming back.

After it had been a while, just like her mother said, Santana began to wonder. She wanted to know when her dad was coming back. But every time she asked it was always the same. Daddy decided to stay longer. She believed her. After all, she was 7 and she didn't know better. Her mom was right; she was always the right one. So why wouldn't she be right this time? If mom says he's staying longer then he must be staying longer right? Santana asked again. She kept asking until she realized the answers were lies. So she stopped. And it wasn't just that. She stopped believing too. Believing that he would come back and believing that the world was all good.

Before Santana's father left, there was nothing wrong with the world, at least not for her. Everything was so simple and happy. That's how any child's world should be. But as Santana got older, the bad side of the world was more exposed to her. She stopped seeing the good things in the world and only focused on the bad. She didn't have her father to look up to anymore. Her mother was never around so she barely had her either. Santana began to feel everything she knew about herself, and her family and her whole life slip away.

Santana had lost herself. She put walls up – built them actually. Over the years she built up walls. Santana closed herself off to everyone and everything – never letting anything get to her. That's how it went from then on. That's how she dealt with people, school, her mom and life. As this became her way of life, she found it easier to move. Though she hated it, her way of living made it easier to leave every place she had been. She didn't make friends or have any other relationships so she didn't have to deal with all the goodbyes and the heartbreaks.

She was 16 now and not about to change the way she had been living for the past several years. But she was moving, again. Apparently her mom got a better job somewhere in Lima, wherever the hell that was.

"Where the hell are we going?" Santana asked disdainfully.

"Honey, we've gone over this before. We're moving to Lima in Ohio. It's only a couple hours away from here. You'll still be able to visit your friends," her mother replied, obviously clueless to the secret life Santana had been living.

Santana scoffed at the response from her mother. "Whatever, it's probably another shithole. I'm going to my room."

"You're never are afraid to let that mouth of yours say what your feeling are you," her mom said. She watched as Santana rolled her eyes and got out of her seat. "Hey! We're leaving tomorrow morning, you better be packed and ready to go!" she called out to her daughter who was already halfway up the stairs. She waited for a reply from her daughter but was only met by the slamming of her bedroom door.

Santana had packed most of her stuff already. It was only the things she needed that were still out. She stood in her room for a while. She looked at the walls that were covered in posters but were now bare. She looked at the top of her dresser that was crowded with jewelry and accessories but was now wiped clean. She looked down to the boxes surrounding her feet with all kinds of labels on them. It was all too familiar to Santana. She gently kicked one of the boxes near her foot to clear the pathway to her bed. Santana sat down at the edge of her mattress. She fiddled around with her hands and fingernails. It's just another school Santana. It's not like this is some kind of new experience. It's always been like this. Santana had to depend on her own self for comfort. She wasn't getting any from friends and she sure as hell wasn't getting any from her mother. Different school, different town. Same fucking feeling.

Santana fell back onto her bed and rearranged her position so she was lying on her pillow. She closed her eyes to try and push away all the feelings she was dealing with. She didn't want them but they've always been there. Disappointment, hate, anger, hurt, emptiness. Ever since he left, that's all she knew how to feel. She slowly faded away as sleep took over her thoughts and put her mind to rest.


"SANTANA?"

What the fuck is happening? Santana was still half asleep when she heard a familiar voice yell her name.

"Santana! Sweetheart! What are you doing still sleeping? The movers are here and ready to pack up our things," her mother said loudly.

"Jesus mom! You're so fucking loud?" Santana said, annoyed by the awakening.

"Alright enough. Now get up and get ready, we're leaving today honey. I told you this, you knew this. I thought you could at least wake your own self up by now," her mom said before walking out of Santana's room.

Santana let out a loud groan and threw her pillow at the door her mother had just shut. What the fuck is this shit. Ugh. She lay in bed for a couple minutes, allowing her eyes to adjust to the brightness that seeped through the curtains. The ones she swore she closed the day before. Who the fuck opened them?

The brunette got out of bed and dragged her half-asleep body into the shower. She began humming the tune of a song she'd recently listened to. The hums then turned into lyrics as she got the chorus. Singing was the one thing Santana loved. She never sang in front of people of course. But she loved to sing. It was the one thing that made her feel normal, like she actually was human.

Well, I've been afraid of changing

Cause I built my life around you.

But time makes you bolder,

Children get older,

But I'm getting older too.

She wasn't the one to get all mushy with her feelings but Santana loved this song. It made her think about how fucking perfect the lyrics fit her life at the time. But she tried not to listen to it too often because all it did was bring back memories. Stupid memories that she never wanted to remember ever again for the rest of her life. This fucking song. I hate that it's just so freaking good. Despite the lyrics and the fact that every time she heard it she couldn't help but feel sad and angry at the same time, it was a fucking catchy song.

Santana stepped out of the shower and wrapped the towel around her body. She walked over to the mirror which had been covered with steam from her hot shower. Grabbing the shirt she wore to bed, the brunette wiped a circle in the mirror where fog was now replaced with her face. She stared at her reflection. Santana leaned in closer to examine more of her features. She noticed the dark puffy bags under her eyes. I look like a fucking grandma with these eyes.

The brunette shrugged at her reflection and walked out of the bathroom. She took off the towel and hung it at the end of the bed, leaving her body completely exposed to the room. She didn't care though; nobody was going to see her. Santana walked over to the chair that had the clothes she had left out of her suitcase for today. She proceeded with the underwear and then with the rest of it.

"Santana!" She could hear her name through the walls of her room. God she's so fucking loud. I bet the whole neighborhood can hear everything that comes out of that mouth of hers. Santana had little respect for her mother. It was something she had lost over time. All those years when she just wanted her mom to be there at night or talk to her about normal things. Well, they were gone now and all she wanted was for her mother to leave her alone.

She rummaged around her room collecting all the things she had left out, shoving them into her purse. They were little things like her phone and iPod. The brunette had packed everything else in her room a while back because her mother was nagging her.

There was a knock on her door that mimicked an annoying rhythm. Santana sighed as she made her way to the door and opened it.

"I'm sorry, who are you?" Santana questioned the two older men outside her door.

"Your mother sent us up here," the man began, "…for your boxes?"

"Oh, right well yeah. There they are," she said as she gestured to the boxes on the floor.

Santana grabbed her things and searched the room one last time for anything she may have left behind. Finding nothing, she slid past the door and walked downstairs where she knew she'd have to see her mother. There were movers all around her house, taking her things and carrying them out to the trucks. She looked over to her mom who was talking to one of the men from the moving company about directions and stuff she didn't really care about.

"I'm waiting in the car," Santana carelessly interrupted before continuing down the hallway to exit her house.

"Oh honey have you checked everything! Make sure you haven't left any—"

"Got it all!" she interrupted again.

Santana walked out of her house without looking back and got in the car. She sat in the front seat because the back was already occupied with suitcases. Otherwise, she would take the opportunity to escape any conversation she might have with her mother and sit in the back where she could lie down. But that wasn't an option anymore. The brunette pulled out her iPod and jammed the earphones as far into her ears as she could, hoping to shut out the rest of the world. She wasn't in the mood for any of the gloomy sad songs she had but instead played the loud alternative rock stuff. Paramore was her current favorite.

After a while of waiting, she noticed the movers gradually decrease in numbers. She realized that most of the stuff had already been loaded onto the truck and it was only her mom she was waiting for now. She watched as her mother stepped out of the house and locked the door. Santana wondered what her mom was thinking about this – if she hated moving as much as she did. She couldn't imagine that her mom enjoyed moving this much. Ugh, screw it. Same old shit. Santana lost interest in the thought of her mom as she watched her make her way towards the car. She got in the other side and adjusted herself until she was comfortable. The brunette noticed her mother's lips begin to move but she couldn't hear anything she was saying. She didn't want to listen to her mom so she figured she could just pretend she had no idea she was talking to her. Unfortunately, her plan was ruined when her mother yanked out one of her earphones from her ear.

"What the hell?" Santana complained.

"Well, I was talking to you. Don't be rude when I'm talking to you. Anyways, I asked if you were ready to go?"

"I've been waiting here for over half an hour mom," Santana said with her eyebrow arched, expecting her mother to catch on.

"Alright then, let's go shall we," her mother said with a smile.

Santana rolled her eyes and placed the earphone back in her ear. She felt the car's engine start to rev up. This wasn't going to be any different from the last times she moved. Santana never looked back each time her car pulled out of the driveway and left the house. Every time she moved, she never once looked back at the shitty life she had knowing that it would just be another shitty one coming up. It wasn't like in the movies when the girl looks dramatically back through her car window with tears in her eyes and waving bye-bye to the house. Santana couldn't stand that kind of crap she saw in the movies and that wasn't about to change anytime soon.

The brunette watched as the scenery pass by her through the window of the car. She slumped down into the passenger seat with her feet up. She watched as every little bit of the miserable town erased itself out of her life before drifting off into sleep.


(Days later)

The annoying alarm she set on her phone went off at 6:30am. ARGH, fuck off. Santana knew that she couldn't make it stop without getting up out of her bed. That was the whole point of it though. She always put her phone away from her bed so that she couldn't just reach over and snooze it. This way, the brunette had to physically lift herself out of bed in order to reach her phone and snooze it. But by then, there was no point in going back to bed.

She removed the pillow she had thrown over her head to block out the sound and sat up. Santana, like most mornings, dragged herself out of bed. Only this time, unlike the past few days, she was confronted with the fact that she had to go to school today.

…Her mom and she arrived on Saturday and they hadn't unpacked yet. Her house was slightly bigger than the last one but that was because apparently her mom's company was paying for it. Great new job ey? It was nicer than the last one too. It wasn't what she was expecting. Coming to a town she'd never even heard of, she thought it would be some sort of no quality "bumtown". Not to say that Santana grew up loaded with money because she didn't. But her mom was working hard and paying the bills. Money wasn't really a problem for the two of them. She hadn't been out at all to see the town but from what she noticed driving through it was that there really wasn't much to do there.

She spent the remainder of her weekend in her room, trying to figure out how she was going to organize it this time. Santana had reached the point where she didn't really care anymore and all she did was put things where they seemed appropriate…

Santana had showered and gotten dressed. She made her way over to mirror that was hanging on the wall near her bed. At least there's a decent mirror. She applied her makeup which was basically eyeliner and mascara before shoving her belongings into her purse. She glanced at her phone that read 7:15am. Her new school started at 8am so she had some time.

She left her room and walked downstairs hoping she wouldn't have to face her mother – hoping that she had already left. The brunette didn't hear any noise coming from the kitchen or anywhere else of the house which told her that nobody was home. Just be sure, she walked over to the window to see if the car was there. It wasn't. Fuck yes, she's gone. Santana made her way to the kitchen counter and set her purse on top of it. She walked to the fridge only to notice a small sticky note on the door.

"There isn't much in the fridge. Have a great day at school. Love, Mom."

She chuckled slightly at the note, thinking it was pathetic, before she crumpled it up and threw it in the trash. She opened the fridge and examined it for anything decent to eat or even drink. Seriously? Whatever, I'm not hungry. The only thing she did take was a bottle of water. She sat down on the couch and turned on the TV, hoping she'd catch something good on.

School was only a 10 minute walk so she wasn't worried about being late. Except, Santana hated the idea of walking. Well, it's better than having to sit in the car with mom.

After finding no good show to watch, she gave up and figured she'd just start walking to school. It was already 7:45am so it was basically time to go anyway. She grabbed the extra set of keys in the bowl near the door and headed out. She noticed some other kids as she was walking but paid no attention to them or what they were doing.

When she arrived at school, she couldn't help but feel a little sick. It was normal though, she didn't do well under pressure. Not that this experience was overwhelming for her. Santana just didn't like the idea of a new school. She looked at the school's front building, reading the sign "William McKinley High School". Great, just fucking great. Where the hell am I supposed to go. She had no idea where to go since she was the new kid. The one thing she did appreciate was that no one seemed to be paying attention to her. Sure, there were a few strange looks here and there but it was nothing like her last school where it seemed like she was the center of everyone's attention. Santana didn't want attention. She just wanted to get through the day and be left alone.

The brunette decided her best option was to go the principal's office. She entered the front building and saw a sign that clearly told her the direction of the office. Thank god. She followed the directions that led her down the hallway. She heard the bell ring and watched as everyone made their way to class. Before she knew it, she was the only one left and she was lost. Where the fuck am I? How can anyone find their way around this place?

She walked down to the end of the hallway which only led to another hallway but this time with lockers. Santana looked walked towards one direction for a while before coming to a stop and realizing she wasn't getting anywhere. Well this is just perfect. Might as well just have skipped today.

"Are you lost?"

Santana jumped slightly at the sound, thinking she was alone, and turned around to meet the voice. A blonde girl, a little taller than her, stood before her appearing more confused than Santana was. She didn't respond to her.

"It's okay, I'm pretty sure I'm lost too," the blonde continued.

"Are you new here?" Santana asked, figuring since she was lost that she was a new student too. Normally, she would just walk away from the girl but she needed help on where to go.

"Oh, no. I'm not new. This school is just really big and sometimes I get lost," she answered.

Santana stared at the blonde. Is she serious or is she really lost? Oh my god, she's serious. She would normally laugh but something made her feel like it was wrong – wrong to laugh at the blonde. Santana didn't know why she was feeling this way but it was different to how she would have normally reacted. Instead, she was interested. The blonde had some sort of weird affect on her. Santana was all of sudden curious about her and why she was acting like that. But she put her thoughts to an end and just focused on trying to get to her first class, even though she was already late.

"Um, you wouldn't know where the Principal's office is would you?" Santana asked.

"Principal Figgins? He scares me. I'm pretty sure he speaks to me. I always hear his voice coming from the ceilings in class," the blonde said.

Santana let out a small laugh and watched as the blonde smiled with her. But the brunette stopped immediately after realizing it herself. She was surprised because she never laughs. No one makes Santana laugh. It's been years since she's even had a reason to laugh. What the fuck is happening? She tried to shake it off by staying focused on what she was trying to get out of the blonde.

"Umm, well do you?" Santana asked seriously.

"I think so. Follow me," the blonde replied and before Santana could say anything she felt her hand being grabbed and pulled into the other direction.

Santana didn't like it when people touched her so she tried to release her hand from the blonde girl's grip. Unfortunately, she couldn't. The blonde was strong – really strong. Strong enough that Santana couldn't wiggle her hand out. But before she realized as she had been focused on trying free her hand, the blonde had already brought her to the office when they came to a stop.

"Here we are!" the blonde said excitedly.

Why is she so excited? Jeez. The taller girl finally let go of Santana's hand and she stepped into the office.

"Principal Figgins, I found this girl in the halls and I think she's lost. I'm lost too but don't worry about me, I can find my way. But I think she needs help," the blonde explained.

"Ahh Brittany, nice to see you helping out another student. But you're late for first period and I'm sorry you'll have to have a detention," Figgins said.

Brittany. So that's her name. Classic, how original. A tall blonde name Brittany.

"What? But that's not fair, I was helping her!" Brittany explained.

"I'm sorry but it's out of my hands."

Santana couldn't help but feel a little bad for the girl. But again she was questioned by her own self about her feelings. Why do I sorry for her? I don't even know her? Something about this girl was getting to Santana. She didn't even know her but something about her wanted to make the brunette say something, something to defend her maybe. But Santana swallowed the feeling and stayed silent during the conversation. She watched as Brittany looked over to her, gave a little smile and then walked sadly out of the room.

"You must be Santana Lopez am I right? Welcome to McKinley High!" Principal Figgins said happily.

"Uhh yeah, that's me. Look I just need to my schedule and then I'll be on my way," Santana responded in the nicest way possible – which for Santana was still pretty cold.

Principal Figgins proceeded to give her a couple sheets of paper and told her that she better hurry to her first class because she was already late. He wasn't going to give her detention though since it was her first day.

Santana left the office and made her way to Room 22 – History. Fucking great. Standing outside the door, she took a deep breath and peeked through the small window. She noticed kids fooling around, throwing little paper balls at each other and laughing. Crap, this is going to be shit. Santana had done this countless times before. It was always her walking into the loud classroom on her first day only to find that she had stopped any and all conversations that had been going on. She hated the way it would feel knowing everybody was looking at her and probably whispering things too. She hated the way it would fell as she walked across the front of the room and to find a seat. Every little memory about the past 10 years was coming back to her. Before opening that door, beginning her new life at this school, she needed a moment. Santana pulled herself together and stood tall. She put on her best "I don't give a shit about anything and anyone" look and walked in. Oh fuck, here we go.