Chapter 1:

I woke up to my alarm clock beeping in my ear. Looking at the time, I realized that if I didn't get ready for school soon, I was gonna be late. Jumping out of bed, I threw on a pair of jeans laying on my floor, and hopped down the stairs into the kitchen. I in no way expected the sight that greeted me.

My mom and dad were sitting across from each other at the table, that was normal, it was the fact that they both had tense expressions on their faces and refused to look at the other.

My dad, Drew, was staring at the newspaper as if it was the mot interesting thing in the world. Alternating between staring at the paper and taking a bite of his breakfast, the page of the paper was never turned.

My mom, Tammy, was holding her current reading book so close to her face that I could tell from where I was standing that she was cross-eyed. Every few seconds, she would pick up her coffee mug and take a sip.

Usually in the morning, my family was up and about. My mom would be at the stove with a pan of bacon snapping in front of her. My dad would be talking to her about random things that i never cared to pay attention to. My little brother Thomas would be eating cereal at the table while watching cartoons from the tv across the room.

After staring at the scene for a little while, I decided to make myself noticed. Clearing my throat, the first thing out of my mouth was, "Morning, where's Thomas?"

"Upstairs, he's sick with the flu," my mom said and went back to staring cross-eyed at her book.

Walking to he toaster, which was right next to the stove, I noticed the time. 'Crap, I only have ten minutes to get to school!'

"Bye Mom, Dad!" I shouted as I ran out the door as quick as I could.

I was only a few feet from the doors when the bell rang. Walking in with my head hung dejectedly, I trekked through the halls to my homeroom.

Mr. Messier, the science teacher, looked up as I opened the door. "Tardy," he announced. 'As if i didn't already know that,' I thought.

I walked slowly to my seat in the back of the classroom. As soon as I sat down, the bell rang for first period. Following the crowd of kids out the room and into the hallway, I found my friends somewhere on the way to math class.

"Hey," they announced simultaneously.

"Hey," I responded.

"What's wrong with you today?" Eddy asked.

"Nothing. Just that my parents are acting weird today and I ended up late to homeroom." I sighed.

"That sucks, man," Jerry laughed.

I glared up at him.

"Soooo...," Kim decided to try and break the awkward silence.

"Well, I'm gonna go to class now," Milton said.

"Bye," we all chorused.

Pretty soon, all of us had dispersed to our classes. The day continued to drag by slowly. Finally it was last period. I could get out of here. 'But what's gonna greet me when i walk through the door?' I thought.

Te bell eventually rang. I was the first one out of my seat and out the door.

The walk home was boring. The only thing i had to entertain myself was my own thoughts, and i didn't really want to sort through them.

Opening the door, i suppose I should have expected what i saw. My parents were doing the same thing they were doing this morning, with the obvious exceptions.

"Well, hello Jack," my mom stated then looked up at me.

My dad nodded his head slightly at me.

Both of my parents looked at each other with steely eyes and nodded.

"We would like to call a family meeting. With just the three of us," my dad said tersely.