Chapter One – Darcy

Marcus is pushing my bags as we make our way towards to the exit of the Toronto International Airport. Not far up ahead, I see Clare! Clare begins to walk towards me, and soon so does Mom, but Dad just stays put, with balloons it appears. I'm so not ready for this.

"Clare!" I scream.

"Oh my gosh, Darcy, I have missed you so much! I have so much to tell you!" she replies.

I drop my green and black Point Zero bag and us sisters, we hug it out! I really can't believe I am back here. It's almost like, forgive me, this isn't really my home anymore.

Mom lightly shoves Clare off and says, "Let me get a chance to hug Darce! Honey, I'm so glad you are back!" I already can sense her eyes rolling over to Marcus as she holds me. "This is?" she asks.

"Marcus!" he tells my mom, "Darcy and I became good friends in Hawaii. She asked me to come visit!"

Mom surprisingly didn't question me like crazy like she normally would. In fact, Mom seems a lot happier. I suppose it could just be because I'm back. Oh, that kind of sounded conceited.

"Hey, super star. Welcome home," I hear Dad gulp.

"Hey, Dad," I say.

"Really, Randall? Balloons were all you could pick up for our daughter who has been gone for years all over the world?" my mom queried.

"Mom," Clare begs.

"Fine," Dad concedes, "Just remember it was your idea to send her onwards to a 'great opportunity'. Then she goes wondering off to anywhere she pleases and we're paying for it. She brings home this!"

Marcus is already uncomfortable, I can tell. It hasn't even been five minutes.

"Its fine, guys. I'm here now," I remind them.

I found out about the divorce right away, but I haven't really... experienced it. Maybe it won't even bother me?

"Listen, superstar, I've got to jet, but you and Clare are still coming over for supper tomorrow, right?" Dad questions me, but really, he is testing Mom's justness.

"Of course," Clare lets Dad know.

"Great. Bye, girls," Dad says, "Helen."

So awkward.

"Let's take you home and introduce you to the boys, huh?" Mom suggests.

"Yeah, sounds smashing," I admit.

I'm honestly excited to meet my new family.

Mom pulls one of my suitcases, to show she is warming up to Marcus, who looks pretty sweaty from the lifting he has been doing.

"Sorry about that," Clare apologizes to Marcus and I.

"Clare, please," I reassure her.

"I know what it's like," Marcus adds, "My parents are split too."

"You never told me that," I tell him.

He responds with, "You never asked!"

I grunt, and begin to walk. Clare is obviously laughing to herself.

I get into Mom's car and in it is a brand new iPhone!

"Mom! This isn't for me, is it?" I shout.

"No, it's not," she laughs.

"Oh," I say, honestly disappointed. My other –very outdated, too– cell phone was stolen in France when I was pick-pocketed. That sucked ass.

"Kidding!" Clare and my Mom joke.

"I hate you guys," I exaggerate, "This is so cool! Thanks!"

Clare taps my shoulder from the back seat, "It's already activated with all of your friends' numbers that I went on a scavenger hunt to find," she informs me.

I missed Clare so much. "Thanks again," I repeat.

"No problem, really," she insists.

I slide the lock screen and I honestly begin to smile at how excited I am to be back in Canada. I check through the contacts. Spin, Emma, Sav, Chantay, Peter... Oh, yeah. Peter. I'm always so busy that I barely think about that boy. I don't know if I should catch up with him. The first Skype session Clare and I had, she told me about Peter and Mia. That is, until he had a drug problem. I never ever would have believed he would be one to do meth. Back in my junior year, after the incident, he lied that he had smoked crack just so he could be there for me when my parents forced me into a work camp. He was so supportive...

Before I knew it, we were home. Mom said she would save all the questions for dinner.

We walked into the house, and Marcus wanted to hold hands, but I push him arm away and whisper in his ear, "We are just friends here, okay? It took me a lot of time to trust you. Don't blow this."

"What is it with you and trust, Darcy?" he lisped back.

"Nothing," I mumble.

"Darcy," my mom sings, "Come and meet Glen and Jake."

There I see an honestly, very attractive man, and standing next to him, a younger, also very attractive, boy who is dressed in plaid.

"I'm Glen," says the older one, "I'm very glad we have finally met." He shakes his firm hand with mine.

"Uh, yeah, it's awesome," I reply. I look towards the younger one and say, "You must be Jake."

"That's me," he confirms, and he shakes my hand also.

Clare is just staring googly-eyed at Jake and I guess they must have a pretty strong friendship. She was probably really lonely when I was gone. Jake was there for her. I really did miss a lot...

Supper was fried chicken and sweet potato fries. Jake was downing the chicken. It almost freaked me out how much he ate. Seemed like he had a bottomless pit in his stomach!

I was asked the typical questions that were asked after someone is back from a vacation, but there was like five times as more, since I went to Kenya, first, then to Hawaii, France, Italy, England, and Germany. I ranted about the things I loved and hated the most, and soon I just had to beg myself to be excused because I was so exhausted from the long flights to get home. Marcus too.

"Jake, I think you can take the couch tonight. Darcy is going to sleep in her old room while Marc here will sleep in your bed. It was originally the guest room," Glen orders.

Jake didn't seem too excited. "Sure," was all he said back.

I felt bad, so I stepped in, "Marcus can sleep in my room," I gestured.

"Well, that's kind of you, sweetheart, but where will you sleep?" Mom asked.

"In my room," I proposed.

Clare, I think, knew what was going on, but thankfully, Mom was just a bit confused, "Why?"

"We're just friends, Mom," I stated. She still looked nervous. "Marcus is gay," I lie.

"What?" Marcus remarked.

"Oh," Mom says, surprised.

Glen touches Mom's waist and helps me out, "Helen, I don't think it could hurt. Darcy is what, almost twenty?"

"Uh, y-yeah," I trill, "A couple months, haha!"

"I suppose so," Mom gives in.

"Cool," I chortled.

The six of us watched 'It's A Wonderful Life' and soon it was time to sleep. Marcus and I take our things from the car to my room, with Glen helping us.

Marcus and I fall back onto my bed, out of breath.

"What the hell was that?" Marcus scolded.

"Look, my mom wouldn't have liked it the other way," I explain.

"I could have slept in your step-brother's room."

"C'mon, Marcus," I went on, "He's just a teenage boy who wants to sleep in his bed. Besides, we're together!"

"You're right," Marcus says, drooling over my cute night clothes I got at La Senza.

"Stop staring," I demand him, "I don't do that stuff, okay? I'm not that girl. I'm not."

"Why are you so uptight about sex? You said yourself that you don't even really care about your religion?" Marcus is pushing my buttons.

Marcus begins to float his hand over my breasts, and soon he is holding them, kissing my neck with his legs each beside my hips.

"Get off," I hiss, "Now!"

Marcus does so, but he is angry. "Why?" he says once again.

Might as well fucking tell the jerk.

"I don't feel like having sex because when I was seventeen, I went to a party with my friends," I begin, "I decided to let loose. To have one drink and that was all. So, I did, and I did the stupidest thing ever."

Marcus' eyes squinted as he guessed, "You were a light weight and made a fool of yourself?"

He's really ticking me off now. Why am I even telling him this? "No, Marcus. I left my drink unattended. I went to the washroom, and picked it up again, feeling quite happy, actually. Then I kept drinking. The next day, I woke up naked with my boyfriend, clueless. I thought we just had mistakenly had sex. It only took the next day after that to realize that my gift from God was stolen from a complete stranger."

Marcus seems to be concerned but he still has no idea what I am going on about.

"You fucking retard. I was raped. I was drugged by some pervert, undressed, and raped. I didn't want to believe it but it happened. I was so disturbed by what the sicko had done, I tried to kill myself. Are you listening? I tried to kill myself."

Marcus grabs my arm but I pull away, "I had no idea."

"Yeah, well, no one knows, do they? No one knows my story but then I tell them and I seem like a total psycho," I pour out. I'm not going to act how I did at Degrassi. Never again.

"I'm sorry, Darcy, but I cannot deal with this," Marcus tells me.

This bastard!

"Are you kidding me?" I ask.

"No," he responds, "You can't just surmise something like that with no proof that you were for sure raped."

"No," I objected, "You're being unreasonable about my feelings, Marcus. About my past."

"It's too bad," Marcus whines, "I was excited to see you in this outfit ever since I bought you it in Florence but really, I don't want to be here anymore. I feel uncomfortable and you are hiding our relationship, which doesn't even feel like one, by the way. I'm going. I only brought one bag, and I have money to get home back to Hawaii. Bye."

"You're always scared, you coward," I tell him, as he walks into the hallway.

I just told him my darkest secret. I just told him and he left, just like that.

What a prick! I am so done with guys! God!

I mean, gosh.

Fuck it. I'm not so sure about this anymore. I can't follow "Him" anymore. After what happened to me, I don't know if I can be so sure it's a part of this "plan" that will work out in the end. I can't. I'm so sorry.

I just need to sleep.

I awaken to laughter from downstairs, and I turn over to my other side, expecting Marcus, almost as if I had completely forgotten that he left me. He left me to wonder what is wrong with me.

As I approach the kitchen table I see Clare and Jake fighting over the last waffle or piece of French toast. I glance over to the living room and I see Mom and Glen kissing while watching a rerun of the Ellen Show. It's all such an enlightening environment. I love it so much. Yet, I still feel so awful. I am trying so hard to smile right now, but my jaw is tightening. I feel so broken.

"Hey, Darce," Jake greets me, "Where's Marcus?"

I can't take it!

"Oh. Oh... I uh, I'm sorry?" Jake apologizes as his smile fades.

Did I seriously just start crying first thing in the morning?

"I'm fine," I try to convince them, covering my face flushed with tears.

"No, you aren't," Clare points out, "What's going on?"

"Marcus ditched," I tell the crowd.

"Oh, no!" Mom gasped.

"Why on Earth would he just leave in the middle of the night?" Glen questions.

"I'm not too sure," I hide.

"Well, I'm sure it had to have been an awfully good reason to do it without notifying you, sweetie," Mom tries to cheer me up.

"Do you drink coffee, Darcy?" Jake asks me.

"Yeah," I reply, "I'll take it black."

"Really?" Jake doubted.

I couldn't help but already feel better. This kid's positivity is just so contagious. "Yes, doofus!"

"Oh, look, Helen, they are already enemies!" Glen joked.

"Haha, no," I say.

Mom steps in and seems to mention something subtle, "At least they aren't starting like Clare and him did!"

"What do you mean?" I wonder, but Mom pretends not to hear me, which I definitely remember being one her 'things' she does.

Clare walked up to me and shoots a proposal to me about heading to the Dot at noon with Sav's sister, Alli, before we get to Dad's and of course I agree!

We arrive after both of us are showered and Alli is already there, waiting at a table inside. I couldn't help but take notice of the stunning displays.

"Wow," I marveled, "So, this is what the Dot looks like post-explosion? It's uh, groovy!"

Alli and Clare laugh as we seat ourselves. I suppose good things can come from accidents.