Here it is! I'm not sure when the next chapters will be up. I've got the first part of the plot semi-worked out in my head, but I don't know when it will be up. I'm trying to keep the characters and major plotlines the same as The New Girl, but since that one was kind of lacking in major plotlines, there wasn't much to change.
Hope you like it!
Matthew Fuhrman poked his head into his daughter's room on his way down the hall. She was still fast asleep, her form hidden under layers of blankets despite the fact that it was the middle of June. He felt bad about waking her up, but it was seven o'clock and he had a plane to catch.
"Clover," he said, making a point to use his nickname for her as he knocked on the doorframe. She stirred slightly, turning her head to face him. Her eyes opened sleepily and she mumbled something about it being too early. Matthew chuckled before adding, "I'm on my way to the airport."
Clove gave a slight, noncommittal shrug underneath the blankets. They both knew that that meant she would miss him, but it was too early in the morning to get anything else out of her. They had settled into this routine back in California, and there was really no reason to change it when they got to Massachusetts. Besides, Matthew knew that Clove was not the sentimental type. He'd have been lucky to get a "Dad I love you and I'll miss you," even if she was fully awake.
Glancing at his watch, he whispered one last "I love you" to her before continuing down the hallway. Early mornings (he was up at four) and missing weekends with his daughter came with the job, which he liked on most days. It was only on days like today that he wished he had a regular nine-to-five job like other fathers, instead of the slightly erratic schedule of a former NFL player and speaker.
Matthew knew it was especially hard on Clove now, after the move. In California she had friends to go to, family to stay with. In Massachusetts she had family too, but family she hadn't seen in years and wasn't particularly fond of. He hadn't missed the disgusted looks that passed between Clove and her cousin Katniss when Emily had suggested that Katniss introduce her cousin to her group of friends.
These days, he mostly stuck it out by telling himself she'd make friends eventually, even though he sometimes wondered if that was true. Once you got past her tough, bitter exterior, Clove was an easy enough girl to get along with, but maybe he was slightly bias. She was his daughter, after all. Even when she was angry, Matthew couldn't bring himself to call her on it. That was just the way Clove was.
Why did Aunt Emily think this was a good idea?
It wasn't that Clove had any particular reason to dislike her cousin, but something about Katniss made Clove tick, and whatever it was made the twenty minute car ride seem like an hours. Even though Katniss turned on the radio, there was an uncomfortable silence between them. Clove normally wouldn't have been bothered by it, but the uncharacteristic nervousness she felt mixed with the feelings of dislike and annoyance to form one big knot of bitterness.
As they pulled off the main road onto a smaller gravel one, Clove decided that she would rather spend another two hours in the car with her cousin if it meant she didn't have to do this. Somehow her aunt had convinced her dad (who had tried – and failed – to convince Clove, but made her go anyway) that going to a beginning of summer party with Katniss would be a great way to meet the kids she would be spending her senior year with.
The gravel road turned into a smooth, paved driveway. It was a very long driveway, and Clove knew before she even saw the house that the people who lived there were from money. And if the driveway hadn't alerted her to the owners' wealth, the house most certainly would have. A two story colonial, the house was really more of a mansion. Without even looking, Clove knew that the pool behind the house would be on the same grandiose level as the rest of the property.
Katniss parked the car, and, as much as Clove had hated getting into it twenty minutes ago, she now found herself equally reluctant to get out. Why had she let her dad talk her into this? A party might be a good way for normal people to make friends, but Clove wasn't normal, and she most definitely wasn't a people person. The entire day was setting up to be her own personal torture chamber.
As she followed Katniss up the walk to the front door, she couldn't help but list in her head all the things that she didn't like in that moment. Her swimsuit rubbed uncomfortably on the back of her neck. Her "cover up" was white and looked terrible against her pale skin. The straps of her sandals dug into her feet.
Her only comfort was in the fact that Katniss also looked unhappy, although that might just have been because they had to come together. As much as she disliked her cousin, sometimes Clove forgot that the feeling was mutual.
Katniss raised the knocker and rapped it against the door. Footsteps were heard inside the house, and Clove mentally prepared herself for the torturous day to come. She figured she had better get used to it anyway. This was her life now.
There are some changes (Clove's dad isn't a college professor anymore), but hopefully it's just an improved version of my old story. I tried to cut right to the chase on this one, since the old version was kind of slow.