I was sat on a train to a small seaside town that I'd forgotten the name of, headphones in, lost in the music. Pushing away the events of the last few weeks, I tried to concentrate on what might happen next. I was going to live with a relative of Tom and Aaliyah's for the summer. They'd heard about my situation and been kind enough to let me come and stay. I had a new job, one at a small ice cream parlor by the beach. And none of my friends, besides Tom, Aaliyah, and my brother Jamie, knew where I was.
Joey, my boyfriend, was so upset when I said I'd have to leave. He positively freaked out when I couldn't tell him why. I'd hated to see him get so jealous and angry and even cry, but there was simply nothing to be done about it. I wasn't even sure if we were dating anymore, because he hadn't spoken to me in a week - not since I'd told him.
I blinked away tears. It was funny that losing Joey was the only thing, the only event of the past weeks that I could bring myself to feel emotion about. I missed him so much already and it just wasn't fair that the one good thing in my life was the thing that I had to truly lose.
A beep brought me from my dark reverie as a voice announced that we'd arrived at the little tourist town I was to call home for a few months. Reviewing in my head the descriptions I'd been told to look for, I collected my purse and my suitcase and made for the exit.
A man in a black suit.
A woman with him, in a red dress and a blue paisley scarf.
There they were, scanning the crowd for someone who looked like me. I approached them, shyly made introductions, and noticed a brownhaired teen staring at me from beside the woman.
"Oh, Rhea, this is our son Tyler. He's just finished his Junior year at the local school here, you two should get along just fine!"
He gave me a plastered on smile and stretched out his hand to meet mine. It was clear from the start that he didn't like having his home invaded by a stranger, but wasn't going to make a fuss.
"I've got a party on tonight, would you like to come?"
And he surprised me right off the bat. Maybe he would give me a chance after all. His mum, Lena, I think, jumped in right away.
"No, Tyler, I'm sure she's much too tired from her journey for all of that ruckus -"
"Thank you, ma'am, but actually I'm not tired at all. And a party sounds like exactly what I need. Thank you - Tyler?" I interrupted as politely as I could, smiling at both of them.
We packed into the car. I was travelling lightly, knowing I'd need new clothes by the time I had enough money for them anyways. Somehow I didn't like the way Tyler looked at me, or how he suddenly cozied up to me when I'd stood up to his mum. I wasn't interested in family politics, but it was clear who held the reins in this household.
Lena, as she'd told me to call her, was still rattling about where I'd sleep and house schedules and all that sort of thing when we pulled up to the house. Tyler personally helped me in with my bags and showed me my room, then set up for the party while I got settled.
It had been a bit since I'd been to a real party, and I didn't have anything packed that was right for a party. After trying on several outfits, I finally settled on the right one.
A gorgeous girl looked back at me from the mirror. It was a killer outfit and I was sure to turn some heads. Now for a nap while I waited for the party to begin...
As I settled down to sleep on my big new four poster bed, my phone buzzed on the stand beside me, Curious as to who would be texting me this time of day, I picked it up and flipped it open.
"Hello... Got any time to talk?"