I tried to keep things pretty similar. Suze did move to Carmel when she was sixteen. She did become friends with CeeCee and Adam. She did meet Paul when he start going to the Mission their junior year. There are some differences, obviously, but I tried to stay well within the characters' personalities. Although, I did make Paul a little meaner than he usual is (I really don't like him). He changed for the better in my other fanfiction, but not in this one. Hope you enjoy! Oh, and please let me know what you think. And sorry that the chapters are probably all going to be kind of short.

So this first chapter is in Suze's POV.


I couldn't believe I was still upset about the guy. I mean, here I was, twenty-seven years old and practically bawling my eyes out for one man. And yeah, so maybe we'd been together for ten years, and I'd been pregnant with his kid – for about two months – but I didn't need to cry over him. It was just ridiculous. I didn't want to be with a guy like that, anyway. I was glad that, in the three years of our engagement, we'd never made a single serious wedding plan.

And I was more than glad that I would never marry Paul Slater's sorry ass.

Not after finding him in bed with his secretary when I came home to tell him about the miscarriage I'd had.

That's it. I was crying because of the trauma my body had recently gone through. After all, that had only been a week before.

Before I would sink further into my fit of despair, the plane began its landing process. I did what I could to fix my make-up before getting off.

I saw my mom there, waiting for me. Tears sprang to my eyes. Angrily, I swiped them away. Hadn't I cried enough already?

"Oh, Susie," she said, when she saw me. She hurried in my direction, hugging me tightly. I clung to her, ashamed to realize that I needed my mom again, like I had when I was just a little girl. I'd always been very independent, since about the age of seven. I couldn't even remember the last time I'd needed my mom's comfort like I did at that very moment.

Finally, after what felt like an eternity, I pulled away. I gave a forced smile. "Let's get my bags. Did the rest of my things arrive?"

"Just this morning, sweetie." She didn't try to talk about Paul as we got my two bags. I loved that about my mom. She knew when to just leave things alone.

She chatted quietly as we drove to the house she shared with my stepfather, Andy Ackerman. See, my father, Peter Simon, had died when I was only six. Ten years later, Mom met Andy and married him. She and I moved out to Carmel, California – from New York – to live with him and his three boys. Jake, Brad, and David. I hadn't been very excited at first. But then I met some of my best friends. CeeCee Webb – now McTavish – and Adam McTavish. They were high school sweethearts. It was also that first summer in Carmel that I met Paul, while his family was visiting from Seattle. He moved in with his grandfather the next school year, and that's when we started dating.

How I wish I could change that.


I looked at my mom, who was watching me closely. I hadn't even realized that we'd reached the house. "Sorry. I…zoned out, I guess."

She smiled warmly at me. "It's all right, honey. You know you're welcome to stay here as long as you like." She was worried about me, I knew, worried that I would move out and wallow in despair. She would want to keep a close eye on me for a little while.

"I know. Don't worry, Mom. I'm not going to move right away. I want to get a car first, and then I'll start searching for an apartment. I might be around for a while. You and Andy will probably get sick of me," I tried to joke.

"Never, sweetie."

We got my bags and headed into the house. Andy gave me a very brief hug on my way up the stairs. My boxed belongings were already in my old bedroom.

"Do you want help unpacking?"

I shook my head. "I'll do it on my own, Mom. I need a few minutes alone, if that's okay."

"That's fine." She kissed my forehead. "We'll see you at dinner, in about an hour."

Then she left.

I sank onto the seat in front of the bay window that Andy had installed for me the first time I'd moved into this house. I remembered all the times I'd snuck out to take care of ghosts – that's a long story I'm not getting into. Short version? I can see, hear, touch, etc. dead people. I never even told my mom about the mediation thing – which is what it's called – until I got engaged to Paul. He could also see ghosts, which had been one of the things that had attracted me to him. I used to think I was one of a kind. But Jack – Paul's younger brother – and Father Dominic – my old school principal – could also see ghosts.

I sighed. I couldn't stay with Mom and Andy too long. There were too many memories of Paul here. Maybe my new teaching position at Robert Louis Stevenson would help me move on.

I hoped so.