Chapter 1

I glanced around the room I had basically had all of my life. I leaned down to grab my suitcase, which was sitting beside my legs. My hand connected with Scrap's nose. I sat down on my bed and Scrap put his head on my lap. I stared into his dark brown eyes. "Let's go, Scrap," I whispered. I picked up my suitcase as I walked out of the room, closing the door behind me. It felt like I was closing the door to my past. I paused at the stairs before heading down. I stopped at the door to my house. I turned to around and took a deep breath. This would be the last time I ever saw this place. The place where I lived with my mother. The mother who was taken away from me in a car accident three weeks ago. I shut the door to the house and sat on the steps, Scrap lying across my lap. I petted my dog continuously as I waited for Vanessa, the woman who was taking me to my father. The father I had barely known my whole life and now I was going to live with. Just because of the drunk driver who killed my mother.

"Jesse, it's time to take Scrap to the pound," Vanessa finally spoke. I had been staring at her shoes, wishing she was gone, wishing she was my mother.

"Why can't we take him with us?" I asked, my voice trembling while I looked up at her with tear-filled eyes. She sat down beside me and wrapped her arms around me.

"You know your father doesn't want Scrap at the house." she explained. My shoulders trembled as I fought the sobs tearing at my body.

"He deserves to go with us, not to some pound. He deserves a good family," I choked out, hiding my face into her shoulder.

"I know. I know," she said. i felt Scrap shift and then he shoved his muzzle between us, licking at my face. I stared into his sad brown eyes, then gave him a hug.

"I'm sorry, Scrap," I mumbled into his fur. "Let's go, honey." I got up as he jumped off of my lap and bounded up to the car, eager for a ride. Fresh tears filled my eyes and spilled over. I leaned down to grab my suitcase only to find it was gone.

"I have it," Vanessa called out from the back of the car. I looked up at her and nodded. I stumbled over to the car and got in, Scrap jumping in before me. I stared out the window as I thought of Scrap. What would my sweet Basque Shepherd do without me? I was crying quietly after the short, quiet ride to the pound. I got out, blocking Scrap from jumping out after me. I grabbed a leash from the back and attached it to his green collar. I let him jump out and Vanessa took the leash from me. I let her have it, with great reluctance. We walked into the building and up to the desk. I didn't hear the words that Vanessa spoke to the man behind the desk. I was busy calming Scrap down. He had suddenly got very nervous. "Scrap, it's going to be fine," I whispered softly to him. He calmed down a bit at my voice but I could tell that he knew I was gonna leave him here.

"Jesse, do you want to bring Scrap here?" the man asked me. I looked at him and nodded. I got up from my position on the floor and led Scrap back to where the man was. "I'll take him the rest of the way," he said. I shook my head and Vanessa grabbed my arm.

"Let him take Scrap, Jesse. We have to get going," she told me. I shook my head. Vanessa pulled my arm as the man tried to take the leash from me. I started to cry harder and Scrap started to freak out.

"No!" I cried, dropping to my knees as the man ripped the leash out of my hands. Vanessa grabbed me from behind as I tried to follow the man. Scrap was fighting, too. He was barking madly, which started up a lot of barking from the other dogs in the pound. I started to shake really bad. "Scrap..." I whispered as he was pulled out of view. I finally stopped struggling and followed Vanessa out of the building and into the car.

There was silence between Vanessa and I for some of the ride. Finally, she broke the silence. "Jesse, do you want to stop at McDonald's and eat something before calling your dad?" she asked. I turned to look at her, rubbing my eyes.

"I'm never talking to him. He never wanted to reach me before so why do I have to go live with him?" I snapped. Vanessa watched the road as she turned into McDonald's.

"He's your father, Jesse." was all she said. She went through the drive-in. "What do you want?" she asked. I thought about it.

"I'll have a McChicken and a large fry." I replied before adding under my breath, "But I'm still not talking to my father." I heard Vanessa sigh softly and order. She added two Coked before finishing up the order.

The smell of the food filled the car and my stomach growled. Vanessa handed me my food and I smiled, despite my mood. "Thank you," I whispered. I took a bite of my sandwich and grabbed the Coke she held out to me. I nodded my thanks and put it between my legs. I stared out the window, thinking about what my father - his name was Mike - would be like. I finished my sandwich off and balled the wrapper up and put in into the bag. I started on my fries. After those, I moved my chair back, to where I was lying down, and closed my eyes. A few minutes later, I heard the phone ring. I tried not to smile when I heard the song Mad World by Donnie Darko playing softly on the radio.

"Mike, hello," she paused. "No, I think she fell asleep." -pause- "Yeah, we ate McDonald's and she fell right asleep." -pause- "She had a really bad time when we took Scrap to the pound." -another pause- "Scrap was her dog. She loved him very much." -pause- "Yes, I'll have her call you when she wakes up. See you soon, Mike." I heard the phone snap I won't be "waking up" until we get to Evansville. I thought. I listened to the sound of the car and drifted to sleep. I woke up as the car stopped. I pulled my chair up and looked out the window. I stared at the small house. It had a black roof and yellow paint that definitely needed repainted. The front yard had really tall grass. When I stepped out of the car, the grass almost reached up to my knees.

"Ah! You must be Jesse," a booming voice said from the porch. I looked closely and saw a man sitting there. I nodded, not trusting myself to speak.

"This is your daughter, Mike," Vanessa said as she came to stand behind me with my suitcase in hand. Mike jumped off the porch and stumbled through the grass as if drunk. He grabbed the suitcase from Vanessa and smiled.

"Won't you come in for a drink?" he flirted. I rolled my eyes. Great! My father is a drunk. I thought.

"Mr. Baxtor, do you want me to mow your lawn today?" a guy yelled from the street. I turned away from the two adults and gasped.

"Sure, William!" Mike yelled. I continued to stare at the guy. Suddenly, an arm went around me and I screamed. "Jesus Christ!"

"Sorry," I mumbled, shrugging off his arm. "You surprised me."

"Why don't you go talk to Will while Vanessa and I go inside for a drink." Mike suggested. I simply started walking towards William.

"Hey," William said. "Are you new here?" he asked.

"Yeah. Just moved in with Mike," I replied. He looked at me funny. "What?"

"How do you know him?" He questioned.

"He's my dad, I guess," I spoke, my voice full of dullness.

"What happened to your mom?" He ran his hand through his hair, drawing my eyes to his muscular arms.

"She died," I whispered. I studied William as he studied me. He had brown hair with blue eyes almost like ice. His hair was cut short and he wore a tight shirt, that showed how skinny he was, and a pair of faded blue jeans. He was tall and quite muscular. He was hot. I wasn't much different from him I had brown hair and blue eyes that my friends used to remark was a silvery blue. My hair was around shoulder length and I was tall. I was skinny and not so muscular.

"I'm sorry," he said and hugged me. I hugged him back.

"Now I have to live with someone I have no idea about," I replied.

"Come to North High School with me tomorrow then," he said. I nodded and we stared at each other, smiles on our faces. I had just moved here and already I had found someone to trust.

I watched as Vanessa waved to me, pulling out if the driveway. I turned slowly to the chipped and ugly house. I took a hesitant step towards it and paused. This house would never be home to me. "Jesse!" I jumped slightly when Mike yelled for me. I walked silently into the house and found him in the livingroom. "You're room is upstairs, to the left, third door. Dinner... Well, you can make whatever you want. I have my dinner right here," He lifted a beer bottle to show me. "There's more in the fridge. Be a dear, and get me another."

I shrugged and fetched him another beer. I handed it to him, grabbed my suitcase, and climbed the stairs slowly. I entered the room cautiously. What I saw took my breath away. The room was painted a royal blue, and the bed a pure white with blue pillows. There was royal blue curtains that hung around the bed, and a window right across the room. There was a mahogany dresser sitting against the wall next to my bed. I smiled to myself. I had found a place to retreat to if I ever needed to. I sat my suitcase softly on the bed and started unpacking. I grabbed my pink Nano iPod and searched for One Boy, One Girl by Collin Raye. I hummed along as I put my clothes in the dresser and hung up my dresses.

After I was done, I slid my suitcase under my bed and pulled out my Kindle, quickly typing in my Facebook username and password. I read through all the posts on my wall by people who were wishing me a good life and saying how my mom was better of with the Father of Heaven. I sighed. What if there wasn't a Heaven or Hell? What if we were just reincarnated as different people? I sat my Kindle Fire down on the pillow next to me and thought about reincarnation. I wondered who I was before if reincarnation was real. Was I a blonde beauty, married to a rich man? Or had I been a poor brunette, working for a rich man and being used as a sex slave?

The sound of a lawn mower brought me back to reality. I rolled off my bed and crept over to the window. I glanced outside and watched as William started mowing Mike's lawn. I glanced away when he stripped his shirt off but my eyes were drawn back because of curiosity. I admired William's muscles from up in my room and blushed when he looked straight up at me. He waved and I smiled, waving back. William suddenly looked down at the front of the house and frowned. His mouth moved and then he stopped the lawn mower. As he talked, he moved his hands. He glanced up at me, and I pulled away from the window. I walked downstairs and into the kitchen. I opened the refrigerator and looked for something to eat. After finding nothing I wanted to eat, I searched the cabinets. I found a can of ravioli and a bowl.

After managing to burn myself at least twice, I headed to the living room, a bowl of ravioli in my hands. "Jesse, don't be messing with William when he's doing a job for me." Mike said, not taking his eyes off of the baseball game. I nodded and took a bite. "Did you hear me?" He asked. I nodded again, keeping my eyes on my food. "Jesse! Answer my damn question, you ungrateful bitch!" I jumped at his thundering voice and dumped my ravioli on the ground. I started to lean down to pick the bowl up when a hand came flying out of nowhere and collided with my cheek. The force of the smack sent me flying sideways. I hit the wall hard. My hand flew to my cheek and I tasted blood. "Next time I speak to you, you answer. Do you understand?" Mike said. I nodded, eyes on the ground. "I said, DO YOU UNDERSTAND?!" Mike repeated, yelling.

"Yes, I understand." I whispered. Mike nodded and sat down, grabbing his beer and taking the last swig.

"Go get me another beer and clean this mess up, little bitch." He commanded. I silently walked out of the room and into the kitchen. I searched for a towel and a beer for him. I handed him the beer and leaned down to clean up the ravioli mess. I hurried out of the room and took the towel to the laundry room. I silently crept to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. There was a huge hand print on my cheek and I could already see a pale bruise forming. I pulled my cheek out a bit and looked at it. There was skin that had been bit through when Mike had slapped me. I took a drink and swished it around in my mouth, spitting the faint red liquid into the sink. I winced when I touched my tongue gently against the bite mark.

Once in my room, I slipped into my bed and under the covers. I rested my head upon the pillow and closed my eyes, letting my thoughts drift to William. I smiled slightly and then winced at the pain. Despite what all happened today, I was ready for tomorrow. I was ready to visit William's high school and possibly start there. Just as long as it would get me away from Mike. Just as I drifted off to sleep, the song Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri came on.