Behind the Scenes

"I hate you. I HATE YOU." I yelled as I stomped up the stairs toward my room. "You ruined my life. YOU ALWAYS DO! Why can't I see him?"

"Samantha Bethany, come back down here right now," Dad said in a stern voice which I think I only herd him use once before, and that was when I was a little girl and I got into my first school fight but certainly not my last fight. I did as I was told or else I would be grounded for life and no teenage girl wants to get grounded on the first Friday of summer vacation.

"He's too old for you, and you deserve so much better then him," my step-mother from the seventh level of hell, Anna, explained.

"Let her see him. It will be good for her to experience this for herself, and if he does hurt her in any way, then you can call the cops on him." My dad always takes my side. And yes, out of all my friends my dad is my best friend. I can talk to him about anything. I think that he feels guilty for what happened to mom.

"NO. He's a punk and most likely does drugs or smokes." Anna yelled more at me then at dad.

"He is NOT. You're just jealous of me. You always have because I am dad's favorite. He is amazing and I wish you would just realize that." I yelled.

Actually Aaron does do drugs, I was thinking. And he drinks a lot too. But I still care for him with all of my heart and soul and I have really have been trying to help him stop.

"I will not let a daughter of mine…"

"YOU are NOT my mom, Anna. And you never will be which means that I am not your daughter."

"SAMANTHA, how dare you talk to Anna like that? She is now your mother and you will listen to and respect her like you do to Christina."

"Mom is dead. Why can't you just realize that, dad? I will listen to my mom even if she wont tell me something now. She taught me stuff and I will always follow those rules."

"Sam…" Anna's voice broke the tension between me and my dad , which must have scared me to death. I think that I jumped like ten feet into the air because I could have sworn I hit my head on the ceiling.

"Anna, please let us be. I will let you know when Sam and I are done talking. I have something to talk to her about that you don't need to concern yourself with. Please close the door on the way out." Anna did as she was told even if it was with a nasty look and a bad attitude and left for the living room right down the hall. The doors closed with a very loud and obnoxious slam. I guess she is mad. No not mad just really pissed off.

Once she left, dad turned back to me. For once he looked mad at me and that scared me. He was never mad at me. Then his expression changed and his eyes swelled up with tears. The salty drops of water started to fall down his face like when the sky can no longer hold all of its depression, so it just lets it go and rains. Then he started to hug me. He told me that I was really lucky to be alive and that he loved me with all his heart. So I hugged him back and told him that I loved him too and that I didn't mean to yell at him, I was just so sick and tired of Anna acting like my only mom. He asked me not to do anything stupid, like do drugs or have sex at before marriage, stuff like that that every parent wants. I told him I wouldn't do anything stupid.

Then he went into the bathroom and washed his face with cold water. When he came back he looked totally refreshed and he even had a suit on. I wondered what that was all about. I mean I love my dad but he is really easy to read. So when he was in a suit like now, and I couldn't read his face, I had no idea what to say.

Then, he yelled for Anna to come back in here for a talk. I guess he was in a better mood because he had a smile on his face. He then told me to go to my room and wait for more instructions like I was some student of his or a robot but definitely not his daughter.

Once I got to my room all I could think about was my baby. His ocean blue eyes, his beautiful jet black hair that went down to just barely touch his shoulders even though he always put it up, and his rosy-red cheeks. Even his name. Aaron.

"Sam."

"I'm coming." I yelled back. I ran so fast that I think that I must have jumped the bottom steps because there was a huge thud and the vase wobbled. I looked there as it wobbled back and forth. I prayed that it wouldn't fall because it was one of Anna's favorites, not that she didn't have enough of them already. As it steadied itself, I ran back into the front room, and the doorbell rang. I had an extremely bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. It was so bad, that I thought I was going to be sick.

"Now who could that be at this hour?" asked Anna. And it wasn't late but how many people come to the door at like 7:30 at night?

OHNO, I thought. Only one person came to mind and if was true well then I was not getting out of this house for a very long time. I told him not tonight. I am so dead. The doorbell rang again, louder this time, and all I could think was I'm busted.

"Coming," Anna called. As her hand reached the door, I saw my whole short 18 miserable years of life flash before my very eyes.

Am I dead yet? Did Anna kill me yet? Was I in heaven? I heard the steps of Anna's brand new three inch heels on the new cherry hard wood floors as she walked to the front door to see who it was. That meant I was not in heaven because Anna was still here so maybe I was in hell.

I thought that I was going to be in trouble any way so I started for my room.

"Henry, did you call for a limo at all?" Anna called from the porch. I stopped dead in my tracks. So Aaron wasn't coming. I mean I was sad about not seeing him but why was there a limo parked in our driveway?

Nope I guess I'm not dead seeing as I was still breathing and my body was still in one part as well as my stomach was still killing me. The pain meant that I was still living at least for a little while longer.

"That's just one of the many surprises I have planned for tonight." Dad told Anna. I had totally forgot that tonight was their two year anniversary. I had forgotten to get them something. Dad has this goofy smile he does and he was wearing it right now with all of the pride this man could hold inside of himself. He winked at me and I guess he thought that he was being funny. Not so true.

"I'll just go and change into something a little nicer. Where are we going so that I know what to change into?" If I had to guess I would say that she was talking to dad not me. Bingo, I just won the game.

"It's a really fancy restaurant then a movie or somewhere else. So you should put on something exceptionally nice," said dad.

Once Anna left, dad turned to me and asked, "Do I look okay?"

"You always do, dad."

"Thanks Peanut." Peanut is the nickname that dad made up for me when I was only two or three. I love it when he calls me that but not in front of friends.

"Where are you guys going? I mean like is it going to be so nice that she has to wear that dress I got her last year for Christmas or not that nice?"

"Christmas dress nice." Dad said.

And when Anna came down those stairs, I mean it was like, WOW. She was… was… was so beautiful. She took my breath away and that is hard to do. She had on the long, red, silk gown that I had got her. I thought she hated that dress because she never even tried it on. Her long red hair was in a bun and she had rosy-red lipstick on. Now that I think about it, it was the same color as Aaron's cheeks. Is that creepy to think? Or maybe its not because it is true. She looked like one of the models from that TV show, what's it called, the one were designers compete for their own line with the best designs. Project Runway is the name of that show, I remember now. Anna made me watch that with her because she wanted me to go into some sort of fashion career. This woman was planning my future for me and didn't even ask what I wanted.

Then Anna and dad said good-bye and said they would be home at about midnight. Five hours of pure fun! I went straight for my cell phone, which was on the couch. I dived onto the couch and bounced a few times before getting my balance back. I went through my phone book. Alex. Lynn. Ben. Chris. Steve. Denis. Eric. Fred. Hannah. John. Kelly. Finally I hit Aaron's number. I don't have my phone book alphabetized; it's by the first digit of their number. I was thinking to myself, to call or not to call that is the question. I know cheesy right? To much studying for that stupid English final. I hated Shakespeare but Hamlet was the worst book yet.

After what felt like forever, but was really more like five minutes, I decided to call him. It rang once, twice, three times and then someone picked up the phone.

"Hello?" the voice on the other side of the phone said. The person on the other end of the call was definitely not Aaron. It couldn't have been him because it was a female's voice.

"Hi, this is Sam. Is Aaron there?"

"No, he's not. This is his mother speaking. Can I take a message?"

"Ah, no thanks. Does he have a cell?"

"Yes. Do you want his number?"

"Yes please." So his mother gave me his cell number and I thanked her (Anna says I should always be polite on the phone. I don't know why I listen to that woman but its better not to piss her off. Then again I didn't want to form a bad first impression with Aaron's mom.)

I just sat there and stared at his number that I had written on this pad of paper that my real mom, not Anna, had given me the morning of the day that she died. I just sat there on the couch, thinking Does he really have a cell phone? Was he going to give me his number? Had he just forgotten to give it to me? Had he just mixed up the two numbers because I know that I do that all the time?I decided I would ask him later. Then I started to dial his number. This time it only rang once before someone answered it.

"'Ello?"

"Hi, ah, this is Sam. Is this Aaron speaking?" I felt so nervous. I was shaking.

"Oh, hey Sam. What's up?"

"Not much, parents are out, house to myself, thinking of you, and talking to like the best boyfriend in THE world. Oh, hey why didn't you tell me you had a cell? Your mom had to give me your number so that I could call you."

"You called my MOM?"

"Uh, yeah that's the number you gave me and that is the only way I knew to get a hold of you, so I hope you don't mind."

"I did? Oh man. Well seeing as Mum will never let me back into the house now, I do kind of mind but you didn't know so I won't blame you."

"Why won't your mom let you back into the house? She seems like a really nice woman from my side of the phone." Okay, now I was really confused and extremely curios. You know that saying "Curiosity killed the cat?" Well if I was a cat, I'd be dead.

"Well…. You know what? Never mind. You shouldn't worry over it too much, plus I have places to stay and now that you have my cell number, you can always reach me that way and mum will eventually let me back into the house, she always does. What's going on over at your house, or as you call it, the prison?"

"Not much. Hey my folks will be out for like almost four hours. Do you want to come over?" I had to ask even though I already knew the answer. I also had to say four hours so that I can leave an hour for cleaning up and getting into bed so that Anna doesn't suspect anything or have proof that I was disobeying her. I know that she is always looking for ways to ground me, and dad would never ground me unless he had proof.

"I don't know… your mum…"

"STEP-mom," I corrected him.

"Sorry, your step-mum doesn't like me hanging out around you. Do you really think it is a smart idea to be doing this kind of thing?" Did I just here a spark of concern and smarts come out of his mouth and did he really think that?

"Yeah well dad and she are out on a date. And they won't be back till late. Midnight is what my daddy said ETA would be on their return."

"ETA?" Did I really have to explain this to him or was he just toying with me? Either way, I was going to end up telling him.

"Estimated time of arrival. You didn't know that?"

"Nope. Ok. Give me like, what, ten minutes then I will be over there? I'm at Gordon's. You know the store that is only like two blocks away for your house. You need anything while I'm here?"

"I don't think so."

"Ok then I'll be right over. See you in a few."

"See ya."

"Love you, baby."

"Love you, too."

The store was right down the road from my house which meant that I only had a few minutes until he would be here. I ran upstairs to my room to change. I was not going to let him see me in this stupid outfit that Anna bought me. I hate turtle necks and skirts so I was going to change anyway. I grabbed my tripp pants with the neon orange chains that I looked awesome in. Then I put on my shirt that made me look supper skinny. It's black with The Suicidal Lizard's band logo on the front and it laced up on the back. As I was pulling my hair, which is the color of a midnight without any stars, out from being in a ponytail that I had it in so that Anna wouldn't yell at me, the doorbell rang.

"He's here," I jumped at the sound of my voice as it broke the silence. I really need to play some music so that I don't scare myself to death. As I headed for the front door, jumping over the banister as I ran down the stairs, the adrenalin had already begun to rush through my veins like when the doctors give me the flu vaccination. As I reached for the doorknob, all I could hear was Anna's voice in my head. It was telling me that I was going to be in big trouble. But I didn't care. I just pushed that thought into the very back of my mind. I opened the door to see a pizza boy on my front step.

"Can I help you?" I wanted this guy off my step before Aaron got here. I didn't want him to think that I was cheep or cheating on him.

"Is this 70 Addams Road?" he asked.

"No, sorry but you've got the wrong house. You go left on Orgs street, not right."

"Thanks." He seemed so embarrassed. Poor guy must have been shaking in his boots at the sight of me. I may not be very big but I did have the tripps, the chains, and the black eyeliner on. But oh well. I have no time for pity. Aaron would be here any minute. Yes, I know that was kind of selfish but hey if you're not him then get off my front porch. So I can be a little mean sometimes but that's just who I am.

I hope Aaron gets here soon. Finally the doorbell rang again for the third time that night. Well fourth if you count the two that rang for the limo. What day was it anyway? Ring Sam's doorbell day? I don't think so. So I answered the door and was staring face to face with the most beautiful blue eyes that I have ever seen. Oh, that's right those are Aaron's eyes.

"So are you sure that Anna's not here?" he said in the sweetest voice and with that Irish accent that he knows I can't resist.

"100%. And when have you ever cared anyway?"

"Good point. But still, I don't want you to get into too much trouble."

"And I care why? I don't even like Anna and she hates me, but she can get away with anything she wants because dad says that she is my REAL mom now and we all now she's not. And then, she…"

All the sudden he kissed me to try and make me shut up. I guess it worked because I was no longer talking and he was now in the house.

"Do you want anything to eat before we watch a movie?"

"Nope I'm good, I just ate. Hey, what movie are we going to watch?"

"Well, I couldn't choose between Rocky Horror or The Italian Job. Which do you want to watch? I am going to go make some popcorn because I happen to be hungry."

I walked into the kitchen and put the popcorn bag into the microwave and waited for it to beep. I was watching the popcorn go round and round, when I felt like someone was staring at me. I turned and looked out the window but there was no one there, only the reflection of a girl in love, and I was alone in the kitchen. Aaron was still in the other room deciding which movie to watch.

BEEP BEEP BEEP went the popcorn. I must have let out a yelp because all the sudden Aaron came dashing into the kitchen like he was ready attack whoever was attacking me.

"Are you ok? Did something happen to you?" It seemed to me that he knew something that he wasn't telling me. Did he know what was going on? Was he hiding something?

"No I'm fine, why do you ask?"

"I heard you scream and I thought that you might have been attacked. So you are alright, right? I mean I don't know what I would do if I lost the best thing to happen to me in a long time. If I lost you I would be devastated."

"Ah that is so sweet. But I think that you're just saying that so that you can get a kiss out of me. But that won't work."

"Damn, I thought I had you there." We both laughed.

"No the popcorn just startled me because I wasn't paying attention to it. I guess you can get a kiss, if you work for it. Did you pick out a movie?" I know that it is wrong to lie to your boyfriend, but I didn't want him to worry about me too much. I was probably just imagining things anyway.

"Oh yeah, the movie. I want to watch The Italian Job. I've seen Rocky Horror, and I want to see The Italian Job. Is that ok with you?"

"I told you to choose the movie. So yeah that's fine." As we walked, hips locked, I took one last look out the window and thought that I saw something move in the bushes. I flipped off the light and closed the door so I didn't have to look into the kitchen.

"Is this movie good?" asked Aaron.

"It is one of my favorite movies. The newer one is better than the older one, but I like them both." I popped in the movie and pressed play. As we sat down on the couch, he leaned over for a kiss, but I moved my head, and he ended kissing the back of the seat. I laughed so hard that I got the hiccups, and Aaron blushed so hard that he looked like he was going to explode he was so red.

"Sorry," I managed to say between hiccups.

"I'll go get you a glass of water," Aaron offered.

"Thanks, the glasses are above the oven, and you can just get tap water." I was really glad that Aaron was going into the kitchen and not me, but then again, I didn't want to be alone anymore. I followed him into the kitchen, and sat at the table.

After my hiccups were gone, I decided that Aaron deserved a kiss because he got me something to drink in my time of need. To me, his kisses were like fireworks on the fourth of July and New Years combined. One word describes this feeling. Amazing.

Then we went back into the living room and finished our movie, and then had a major make-out session. My phone then rang, and I looked to see who was calling at 10 at night. It was my dad saying that they were on their way to the movies and that they would be a little late, because he was going over to some friend's house for the night with Anna and that they would be back about 3 tomorrow afternoon. I said ok and then hung up. Aaron look confused.

"Do you want to stay the night?" I asked him.

"What?"

"Dad and Anna will be gone until 3 tomorrow afternoon, so do you want to stay the night or not?"

"Sure, but where will I sleep?"

"Did you really asked that or am I just imagining things?"

"Well I know some girls are goody two shoes, and I didn't want to offend you. So yes I did just ask."

"Are you calling me a goody two shoes?"

"NO, I was just saying. Sorry but I didn't think that you were that "advanced.""

"You know what? If you're going to act that way then you…" He kisses me again, this time harder, more passionate, with tongue included. Man, I love him. "Ok you can stay."

"Works every time."

"You are such an Asshole you know that right? But we are just going to sleep thats it. Plus we are not that advanced yet sorry. But I am a goody two shoes and no sex. I just want to lay with you for a little while."

"Ok thats fine with me. If you don't want to then we don't have to."

That was another thing I loved about Aaron. He respected my decisions and feelings. He cared for me and was willing to change for me. He was watching out for me and was trying not to get me into trouble.

"I love you more then you can imagine." he said in a sweat voice that I knew I couldn't resist even thought I was trying my hardest to.

"I love you too."

"And I understand where you are coming from. I know that you are not just another girl who I would use and then throw away and I will never do that. I love you more then you can ever think. You have changed me and that is for the better." There was a slight pause before Aaron continued.

"Do you want to sleep on the couch or do I have to carry you upstairs?" Aaron asked. I guess that I looked more tired then I really was because I could have stayed up all night. But every girl I guess must get their beauty sleep at some point in time. I mean it was now like 11 and even a teenage girl gets tired.

"Do you think you can carry me?" I joked. But he didn't take it as a joke because at that moment he tried picked me up but then I remembered that my room was a mess.

"Can you wait here for a minute?" I asked.

"Yeah sure. Is there something up there I am not suppose to see like another guy or something?"

"Well not exactly but can you please put me down so I can go take care of my room really quick? It's a bit of a mess at the moment." Not to mention I need to pick up my cloths off of the floor and close my closet doors.

I ran up the stairs, skipping the top ones so that I could reach my room in half the time it takes to walk there and closed my door. DAMN, My room is a MESS. Ok so cleaning was out of the question. It was just to big of a mess. So I guess that I will just shove it all to the edges and into the closet and I guess under the bed. Anna is going to be pissed that I didn't pick it up correctly but what is she going to do? Once I was done with that I decided that I should through on some PJ's just so that it was more comfortable to go to bed then it is in tripps and chains.

I found an old shirt and a pair of shorts that had little duckies on them and just put that on. I put the shirt on inside-out and back words. How smart am I? Good thing I looked into the mirror. I know I can have my blond moments even if I do have black hair.

"Are you ok up there or do I need to call the air force and have them come and get you?"

"Ok. The room is clean, or as clean as it is going to get so I guess you can come up."

"I thought I was suppose to carry you up."

"Do you really want to carry me up all those stairs when I am already up here?" Wait. Was I yelling at him through a door and down stairs? I feel so stupid. I should talk to him face to face. Some girlfriend I am.

I went to go open the door and talk to him but before I could get to the door there was a knock at my window. Now who the HELL is at my window and I don't really want to know. Oh shit. Wait a second. I was on the second floor which ment that whoever was knocking at my window must have been on a latter.

"AARON CAN YOU GET UP HERE RIGHT NOW?"

All the sudden he burst through my door and was like in some fighting stance with arms out and hands balled up into fists. He looked like he was about to take someone out. Ok so now I knew something was up.

"Whats wrong? Whats going on?"

"Ok I heard something at the window and it was not me and it was not you and it was a knock. And second is there something you are not telling me because I feel like I am missing something here?"

He ignored the second part of my question and went to examine the window. He walked slowly like they do in the horror movies when you know that they are going to die but they want the character there for like five more seconds. When he looked out the window he screamed so hard he sounded like a little girl. Of course I screamed as well because he startled me.

"WHAT, WHAT IS IT?"

He turned to me and was laughing so hard that he had to take a second to just breath before he looked at me.

"You should have seen the look on your face. All that is out there is a spider and a tree."

"You are such a fucking asshole. Why do I put up with you?"

"Because you love me and don't want me to leave. Plus as an added bonus it pisses your STEP-mum off."

"Very very true." I love him to much to argue. I just hate it when a guy has that kind of control over me. But what can I do? I just wanted to slap him for making me so scared. What kind of guy in their right mind would do such a thing? Oh wait. Aaron would.

"But that still wasn't a very nice thing to do."

"Sorry I just had to."

"Ok onto something else, how many cigs did you have today? You know how much I want you to cut down."

"Um only one pack today."

I could tell he was lying but I didn't want to upset him so I just shook my head and told him good job. "I'm proud that you didn't have two today."

I could also smell the alcohol on his breath even if he did have a breath mint before he came. I just don't want to lose him. He may be lying to me but at least he respects me. That is more then most guys these days. All they want to do is get into your pants.

"What are you thinking about?" I had just forgotten that he was there for a brief second. I was thinking so hard that I must have made a face or something because he looked concerned.

"Sorry, I was just thinking how badly I need sleep." I hate lying to him but if I don't I might lose him and I didn't even want to think about that. I remember how dad was when he lost mom and he went through hell. I felt like Aaron was the one thing keeping me sane if only I could help him.

"Babe you look like you need some sleep. Do I need to pick you up and put you to bed? I mean I didn't get to carry you up the stairs."

"I think I can get into bed without your help but if you insist. You know that wasn't very funny."

"I'm very sorry about scaring you half to death." He was talking about the spider thing and I was talking about the whole lying thing. And it was starting to kill me. Should I talk to him about it? No. When he is ready he will talk to me. At least I hope he will.

Now that I think about it, if he is lying to me about the drugs and smoking and drinking, what else is he lying to me about? Was he seeing someone else? Did he really care about me? Or the big one...Did he really love me?

He picked me up and placed me on top of the bed spread. He just leaned over the side of the bed and stared into my eyes. All those questions that were going through my head just disappeared because I knew he loved me by the way he looked at me. He just stood there for a minute then he leaned in and kissed me. It wasn't just a little kiss. This was more passionate then he has ever kissed me before. Damn it had been like almost two weeks since the last time I had seen Aaron.

I had already told him that I didn't want to do it tonight but he was making it harder to resist him. But I will stick to my decision at least until he tells me about the drinking and stuff. I just don't know what to think about all of this.

After a minute, he pulled his face away and just looked at me. "Are you just going to stand there or do you want to lay down?" I asked him.

"Um I think that I will lay down if that is allowed."

"You have my permission."

"Ok." He walked around to the other side of my bed and positioned himself so that he was looking at me and I was looking at him. He had this look in his eyes that told me that he wanted to tell me something but I couldn't see through the haze that covered his ocean blue eyes.

"Can I tell you something? And I don't want you to freak out or anything." He sounded worried and upset. And I didn't know what he was gong to say but I knew it was going to be bad. I wish that he wouldn't tell me right now when we could just lay here and say nothing. Think nothing. Just be. Just the two of us waiting for the darkness to take us and relieve us of todays worries. And maybe by tomorrow he will be sober or at least half way there.

"What is on your mind? I promise I wont get mad at you."

"Well, you know how I told you that I have a place to stay even thought my mom kicked me out?"

"Yeah you said that you would stay with friends till she let you back in."

"Well that might have been a lie because I have no where to go right now and I just didn't want you to worry about me. But I couldn't hide that from you."

"Why didn't you tell me when I asked? I would have figured something out. I can talk to my dad. He doesn't mind if I date you. Maybe you can move into one of the spare rooms for a little while seeing as no one ever comes to visit ever since what happened to mom."

"I would like that but I don't think your Step-mum would like that very much."

"Who care what she thinks?"

" I guess I don't really but I just don't want to get you into trouble. I can find a place but it would take some time."

"Well can we just not worry about it right now? I was so happy but now all I want to do is get onto the phone and ask dad if you can stay."

"I'm sorry I didn't mean to do that I just didn't want you to worry about me. I love you and how about we just forget what I said?"

Wow. Did he really think that I would just forget it? I guess I could just not think about it right now.

"Ok thats fine. We will talk about it later."

I don't understand why he brought that up if he didn't want to talk about it but I guess I will let it go for now. Soon after, sleep seemed to overtake me and I passed out.

The next morning I awoke to find that Aaron was out cold in the bed next to me. I decided that I should go and make something for breakfast before he woke up. I wondered what he would like. Maybe eggs or some toast or maybe waffles. Damn I really didn't know what he wanted. I decide to just wait for him to get up and then he could tell me what he wanted.

I also waited for him to get up so I could find out if he sobered out or not. I really hope so. I hate seeing him that way. I know that he is smoking and that he is drinking and I just am praying to God that I can convince daddy to let him stay. I need to form a good argument in my mind so that I can talk to dad and win.

I was so caught up in my thoughts that I didn't realize that someone was at the top of the stairs looking down at me. It only hit me that someone was there when I decided to go upstairs to see if Aaron wanted something to eat before lunch time. Aaron standing at the top of the stairs scared me half to death even though I knew who it was.

"Good morning, Beautiful. Want me to make some breakfast?"

"You startled me. I thought you were still asleep. If you want to. I will eat almost anything. What are you going to make."

"An omelette would be good but I will only make it if you want one."

As he walked around me and went into the kitchen I could smell the cigarette smell on his cloths. When would he have had time to smoke?

I just thought about when I wouldn't have been able to see him and I remembered him being passed out when I woke up so I really have no clue. I really wished he would stop.

But as long as he was here I would be able to keep an eye on him and watch his drinking and smoking to the best of my ability. He still looked very tired so maybe he went out after I was asleep to go smoke but I really hope that I am just imaging things. He promised that he would be cutting down on it.

I sat in the living room and waited for Aaron to make breakfast. It gave me time to think.

"Frying pan, check. Eggs, check. Ham, check. Delicious-looking cheddar, check." He said while he was cooking. "Girl of my dreams, check."

"Aw, you're so sweet!" I said. "You're the guy of my dreams." I smiled. But my smile didn't last long. "Did you smoke last night while I was asleep?" It was Aaron's turn to look unnatural.

"I…"

"Why? You know how much I hate it when you do that." I thought that he was going to stop. I wanted to hit him and cry but that would show weakness and I couldn't do that.

"I… It was just going to be my last. I just wanted one more before I quit." I could tell he was tell the truth but I still wanted to slap him.

"You always say that!" I yelled at him. "You always say it was your last one, but it never is! Do you think I want to see you smoke yourself and drink yourself to death?" Couldn't he see that he was killing me? I hated fighting with him but this was something that we needed to discuss.

"I know you don't want that for me but it's so hard-"

"I don't care if it's hard, I love you too much to see you do this."

Something was burning in the kitchen but I didn't care. Why couldn't he just realize he was killing me?

"Don't ignore me, Aaron. Please just stop it. You're really hurting me." I was trying so hard not to cry. He was tearing me up from the inside.

"I'm sorry baby, I'm trying really hard to quit, I promise. I'll try my hardest, I don't want to hurt you anymore." He walked over to give me a hug but I turned around and shrugged it off. He had to understand that he was killing himself. I mean I was here for him but I just don't know how he is going to do this.

"I am here for you if you need me but this is something you have to want. I cant do everything for you. Do you understand where I am coming from? I love so much and I don't now what I would do if I lost you."

"Baby this is something I want more then anything in the world."

I could see in his eyes that he felt the urge for another cigarette come on. I watched as he struggled not to pull the pack out off his pocket. I watched as he tried to stop himself from just giving in. He grabbed the omelette and was eating really quickly that I thought that he might get sick. Maybe the food would help.

"When do I get an omelette?" I asked Aaron. I was so pissed at him. He quickly started to make me one. Anything to get his mind off the cigarette I guess. I had never seen him like this and it scared me.

"Prove that you love me. Give me all the cigarettes and alcohol." I had to get them away from his body. I couldn't figure out why he wouldn't just give them to me.

"If you love me you'll let me keep this last pack."

"No! I love you too much to let you hurt yourself and I love myself too much to watch you do this!"

The time ticked by and seemed to slow down. I watched The omelette turn black in the pan. Then the omelette caught fire.

"Aaron! You're going to catch the house on fire!"

After putting the stupid food into the sink he turned to me and did something I didn't expect him to do. He pulled the cigarettes out of his pocket and handed them to me. I was amazed.

"Hun was that so hard that you had to set the house on fire? I know that this is going to be hard for you but while you clean up the kitchen I am going to go call my dad."

I reached for my phone and looked at the time. It was almost 11. I think that they would be up by now. I flipped through the phone book of my phone and found dad's number.

It rang three times and then he answered.

"Hello?" He must have been tired because he sounded like he was sleeping. I don't think that he got the whole conversation. If he comes home after this and doesn't remember any of it then its not my fault.

"Hey dad when you get home can I talk to you about Aaron? You see he got kicked out and has no place to go and I don't want him to live on the streets."

"Hun when I get home I will talk to you about this but I don't see why not." He was definitely out of it.

"Thank you daddy I love you and ill see you later, oh and Aaron will be here so yeah I love you." Ok so I knew he wouldn't remember what we talked about but it wasn't my fault that he was still asleep. I was wide awake so I will remember what he said. I better go get dressed before anything else happens.

"I am going to go get dressed and be right back. Don't burn the house down while I go upstairs." I shouted at Aaron as I hurried up the stairs.

When I got to my room, I decided to look for my tank top which I think was in my closet but I was not quite sure. I really didn't want to open up my closet and risk and avalanche so I decided to settle for my Green Day shirt and a pair of skinnies. No eyeliner today but I did need to brush my hair before it became an even bigger tangled mess. I also picked up my cloths and threw them into my laundry basket and then headed down the hall. I walked into the laundry room and started putting my dirty cloths into the wash. I thought I heard something in the front room but I guess that it was just Aaron dropping the pan.

I put my cloths in not caring about the colors and started it up. I was about to go see how Aaron was doing put then I decided to make my bed and pick some other things up from my floor. I knew that if I was going to try and convince daddy to let him stay I could through in that I had started to clean my room and I did my laundry. I also hope that this would make Anna like me a little more.

I headed down the stairs and found the pan laying in the middle of the floor and Aaron just standing there looking into the back yard.

"What the Hell are you doing with a frying pan in the living room? Have you LOST YOUR MIND?" Ok so either he was still drunk or he had something else to smoke.

"No there was um...Oh nevermind just forget it. The kitchen is done."

"Ok well I just put the laundry in and do you need some fresh cloths? I have some of my dad's old cloths if you want them. They might fit you." I mean they were like from the 80's but there were clean jeans and a button down shirt or maybe a band tee that he could find. Shirtless wouldn't be bad either.

"Ok, I'll just wear those until I can get some of my own."

I walked upstairs holding Aaron's hand all the way up. His hand was warm and seemed to fit perfectly into mine. All of dad's old cloths were in the closet in one of the guest rooms. I let him pick out what he wanted and told him I would wait out in the hall. He looked at me and I couldn't quite figure out what the expression on his face was.

He picked out some cloths and I dont think he realized exactly what he picked because I know that it was all old but damn this was bad. Then he walked into the other room to change and I just sat there and thought about how hard the whole quiting everything cold turkey was going to be. I knew he could do it. I decided that I wasn't going to through away his pack of cigarettes but I would hide them somewhere where he could find them but not want them. I put them in my pocket so that why he would think twice about grabbing for them.

"How do I look?" he said.

"You look like a fucked up disco dancer." And it was bad.

"You always know how to cheer me up." He said with a chuckle in his voice.

"Come here and I will." I smiled at him. Aaron walked over to me and put his arms around me. It felt so good just to sit there with him.

"Promise me you'll never smoke again, please." I said, staring into his beautiful blue eyes.

"For me." I put my hand into his so he knew that I was committed to helping him.

"Please." I begged with tears slowly forming within my eyes. He stared at me trying to figure out what I really wanted of him.

"Ok. I'll try really hard baby. I love you so much, and I can't stand hurting you anymore." I didn't want to lose him.

"Do you really mean that, or are you just trying to get a kiss out of me?"

"Of course I mean that. How could I ever say anything to you and not mean it? I love you, you're the best thing that ever happened to me."

"Ok well then I have a test for you. If you can find and retrieve your cigs then you can have one but if not then I get to hang onto them."

"Shit, Sam, that's not cool, they're in your pocket. I thought you didn't want to be like that!" All I was doing was trying to help him and he was acting like I was his worst enemy.

"That's the point. You can't have them unless you really want to hurt my feelings, and that's what you do every time you smoke." I could see he was thinking about this. He didn't look happy, not one bit, but this is going to help him. I knew it was. I just hoped he trusted me enough to see that I was helping him, not trying to hurt him. I also prayed that he knew what was best for him and didn't go for the cigarettes. I watched as he started pacing in circles around the room, knowing that he wished he could just have the stupid cigarette. Would it really hurt me that much if he had one more? "Yes," said the voice in my head. If I gave in and gave one to him, I would be breaking my promise to help him quit.

"Fine, Sam, you win. But can I at least hold you?"

"I'm the girl, of course I win. And yes you can hold me if you promise not to try and take the cigarettes. Or anything in my pants, for that matter."

"Okay, I promise." He sat down next to me and put his arms around me. It felt amazing to be in his arms again, without having to worry about him smoking or any of that. He looked into my eyes again. Then he kissed me and I couldn't help but kiss back. It was a light kiss, but still amazing.

Hearing him promise that he would stop meant so much even though it was only words. I knew that it would be a long road to get to where we wanted to be, we would make it. There were other things that we needed to talk about before anything else happened. Like the drinking, the lying, and also the sleeping arrangements if daddy did let him stay. Also what we were going to do about his cloths because this disco look was definitely not doing it for him. I mean I could go talk to his mom but I knew that would not turn out well. I could buy him some cloths but I am sure that Anna would not like that. I guess that I could look in the attic for something. I mean dad has worn other things besides some silly 80's cloths. At least I hope he has.

"Let's go find something else for you to wear. That shirt doesn't really flatter you."

"Ok. Ummm did you have anything in mind?"

"Not really, I guess we should just go and look in the attic through my dad's clothes and find you some." I took his hand and we went up to the attic to find him a new pair of cloths. The cloths were in a huge pile on the floor so I guessed that dad had not looked through them in forever. Aaron didn't even look as he grabbed a shirt and pants.

"Hey, your dad has a Queen t-shirt?"

"Apparently so. It looks a lot better than that old 80's shirt." Wow I guess dad does like good music.

"Thanks." He just stood there as I looked at him for a moment. Even up here he looked amazing. He started pulling off his old shirt, and I couldnt help but glance at his perfect abbs. I mean how does any teenage girl pass up a chance to look at that? He then looked at me so I quickly glanced down at my feet. I was starting to get very hungry because I didn't even get to eat breakfast.

"Hey, when we get downstairs, can we have lunch?" He asked in his gentle voice that he knows I love.

"I'd love that." I leaned up and kissed him on the cheek and then looked at him for a second just to look.

"Alright, let's get out of this hot, stuffy, and unromantic room." He said.

"Well then lets go and find something in the kitchen to eat." I still needed to talk to him about the drinking and I still had a feeling that he was keeping something from me.

When we got into the kitchen I headed strait for the fridge. There had to be something in here that I could just heat up and eat within like five minutes. WAIT! I have boxes of Mac and Cheese.

"Hun can you get me a pot and fill it half way with water? I am going to make us some mac and cheese."

I turned around to find a box of this delicious yummy cheese goodness when all of the sudden I heard Aaron read something.

"Dear Sam,

I have noticed you for a long time. I love you so much even though you don't know me, you're incredibly hot and amazing. I look at you through the window every night.

Love,

Your Secret Admirer"

I was speachless. I couldn't even look at Aaron. I just stood there trying to understand what was happening. Who the HELL was looking into my window? How the fuck did he get into my house?

"Are you ok? Sam you don't look to good."

All the sudden I felt sick. I felt really hot all the sudden. Then all the lights went out and I knew I was falling.

"Sam…." I could hear something. All the sudden I realized I was on the couch.

"Please…" I tried to sit up. Damn my head hurt. Aaron wouldn't let me sit up, and I couldn't figure out why.

"Sam, you need to stay lying down so that you don't faint again. You scared me, baby, are you ok?"

"W-what just happened? And why the Hell do I have such a freaking bad headache all the sudden?" Oh shit I must have passed out. What were we talking about before the blackout? I can't remember a thing all I remember is...oh wait now I remember. I started to feel really sick again but not hot. Like I was going to be sick.

"You passed out, baby, just stay calm. You're going to have to just lie down for a bit." he squeezed my hand and I think he did it more for his own reassurance then for mine.

"Ok. I trust you. I'm kind of thirsty." he jumped up and ran to grab me a glass of water. He returned rather quickly, and handed me the glass. While I was drinking he held my hand tightly. He looked really nervous. Now I was hoping he would be ok. I love him so much even when he was freaked out.. He did act like I was going to die. He held me and it felt so good that I think I drifted off into sleep yet again….

END OF CHAPTER X

I woke up to the thunder crashing right outside my bedroom window. How did I get up here? What time is it? And where was Aaron?

I rolled over and looked at the clock. It was 2:47 and dad was on his way home. The rain would delay him by a few minutes but no more then five. I jumped out of my bed and ran for the stairs, tripping on the hall rug and slamming into the wall. I really needed to work on my gracefulness. Something smelled really good and then I remembered that I had originally planned on making lunch. I was so hungry.

"Sam? What are you lying on the floor for?... Are you bleeding?"

"Well, no Stupid, this is strawberry syrup. Yes it's blood!" I know sarcasm wasn't really appropriate at this point in time but I didn't really want to think about if my nose was broken or not.

"Sorry, baby, what happened?"

"The wall ran into me." I wasn't going to admit that I was supper clumsy.

"So let me get this straight. An inanimate object decided to target you, run at you, knock you to the ground, and then go right back to where it was before."

"That is most definitely what happened." a silenced started to settle.

"Alright, just tilt your head forward so that the blood doesn't go down your windpipe. I don't want you to choke or something."

"I'm not stupid I know what to do if my nose starts to bleed." well at least I knew where Aaron was now. Well I guess that this shirt is now covered in blood and stained, the wall probably has a dent in it and daddy was on his way home. What a crappy day this was turning out to be. And I was still hungry!

"Help me get downstairs before daddy gets home. I know he wont be very happy about this but that is just to bad. I really hope my nose isn't broken even though I don't think that a wall can break my nose but you never know."

Aaron walked over to where I sat on the floor and help me up. He carried me into the kitchen and I saw the mess that awaited me there.

"I'm not going to ask why there's water all over the floor."

He put me down next to the sink and tried to help me clean the blood off my face.

"Good, because I really don't want to explain."

"You take care of the floor and I'll worry about my nose. We just really need to get this-" I was cut off by the one sound I did NOT want to hear at this moment in time.

"We're HOME! How is everything?"

"Oh shit, this is not good." I was in deep trouble now. I heard the footsteps that I knew were to light to be dad's coming towards the kitchen door.

Anna looked in and just stood there speechless for a moment.

"WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON IN HERE? HENRY, COME IN HERE! AARON'S HERE AND IT LOOKS LIKE HE HIT SAM!" I knew she would jump to that conclusion the moment she saw my nose.

"No, Mrs. Hope, I was just-"

"LIAR!"

"Please, Anna, he was just-"

"I TOLD YOU HE WAS NO GOOD, I TOLD YOU HE WAS ROTTEN!"

"Anna, he's helping me-"

"So you WANT to be hit by a stupid kid still living with his bitch of a mother?"

"No, I just fell!" I knew she wouldn't believe me but whatever it was the truth. Then daddy was standing behind Anna looking at the scene in the kitchen.

"Sam, what happened?" he asked calmly.

"I just ran into a wall and hit my nose. It's fine, really. Aaron came to help me by cleaning the blood off of my face. Now, I don't know why there's water on the floor..."

"Why is Aaron over here, any way?" demanded daddy.

"I already told you this morning, at 11ish. Don't you remember?"

"No. I think you're lying. I don't want this boy in my house without me here." said Anna.

"Please, his mother kicked him out and he has no place to go!"

"Then he can get a job like all the REAL adults out there!"

"Alright, everybody, let's calm down. Aaron, what is the problem with your mother?" dad took command away from Anna and she did not like that.

"I don't know, she just... wouldn't let me back in my house. I don't remember why, but she just won't let me back in. Sam said you might let me stay here."

"You can't remember? What, were you drunk or something?" busted in Anna. A silence that could have given the dead goosebumps settled in the room.

"Anna, a lot of teenagers get drunk now, just calm down and discussed this with them calmly. How long have you been in the house, Aaron?"

"Dad, he stayed the night, but we didn't do anything, I swear, I'm smarter than that."

"I asked Aaron." The silence from before returned.

"Sam invited me over and then when she found out that you weren't going to be around she just let me stay the whole night." The silence returned once again for the final time. I was scared to death that daddy wouldn't understand what had happen.

"Well, Sam doesn't seem to be scared of you, so I doubt you're doing anything to hurt her. So I guess you can stay." I was so happy. Daddy had said yes. Aaron smiled. Anna looked more pissed then ever.

"Thank you so much, sir-"

"THANK YOU SO MUCH DADDY I LOVE YOU!" I ran over to dad and gave him a huge hug that nearly brought both of us to the ground.

"Ok, calm down. We need some ground rules. First, Aaron is NOT allowed in your bedroom or mine. Understand, Aaron?"

"Yes, sir."

"Henry! We can't allow this, this-" Anna started to butt in.

"Anna, he can stay. If he has no place to stay, then we should offer him a home."

"But-"

"Anna, that's final. He's staying." Anna was not happy with how this was turning out.

"Sam, you have chores to do. Aaron, if you're going to stay, we need to find you a job. I'm cheap, you can't live here for free. Let's find you some nicer clothes, who would ever wear what you have on?" Even though daddy was not very good at telling jokes, sometimes he would tell a good one.

"Also, Anna you are to not bug them all the time about what the are doing. You need to leave them alone. They are not two year olds or even twelve year olds for that matter. They can handle themselves. But if I see anything, anything at all, Aaron is out of here. You got that?" I shot a look of pure joy at Aaron.

"Fine. I won't bother them too much." What a lie. I knew she wouldn't but I also had more time with Aaron. Wow was this a good day or what?

"Anna, I know what you are thinking, and I wont try and "sneak" into his room. I promise. And dad, I thought he could stay in the room were you keep your old clothes. What do you think?" That room was just like two doors down from mine.

"Thats fine if you promise not to be sneaking into his room at night. I trust you but you are still just a eighteen year old girl."

"Dad, I promise not to go sneaking into his room in the middle of the night." But I cant promise that he wont be sneaking into my room.

"Also no texting each other in the middle of the night. Bed time is around 11 for Sam, so Aaron, do you think you can go to bed around the same time?"

"Yes sir." He was being really polite. I hope that Anna will let up a little bit with Aaron being respectful.

"And what about this mess?" Anna always had to ruin the moment. "I think Aaron should have to pick it up all by himself." Well nobody asked you.

"How about I let you stay here for a little while while you look for a job. While you are looking you can help do some things around the house. For starters you can clean this mess up. Then you and Sam can go clean out the room you are going to stay in. Later you two can go through the stuff in the attic." Why was daddy tying me into this? I mean yeah I need to look for a job, but this is so unfair. But at least I get to spend time with Aaron.

I needed to go get changed before anything happened. I really needed to get my shirt into the wash. I did not want any permanent blood stains on any of my cloths.

"I will be right back. I need to go get my shirt into the wash." I ran upstairs and into my room. I guess I should make my bed as well. I darted to my closet and grabbed the closest shirt that I could find. It was a tee shirt from Nevada.

Another crash of thunder right outside my window startled me. I jumped yet again and this time knocked over my picture. Everyone downstairs came running up the stairs to see what had happened.