1. Jogging

I woke up to the sudden buzzing of my alarm clock. Huh. I didn't remember setting it last night. Probably my mother did. I still felt tired, but after looking at the clock, I realized that it was already noon.

I kicked the blanket off that wasn't lying on top of me last night. My mother, Caroline, probably gave it to me while I was sleeping. She had always taken care of me a little too much. She still thought of me as a child. I've tried before to tell her that I didn't need her to treat me like that anymore. I was grown up. She thought so otherwise, because when I did try to tell her, she'd looked as if I was going to leave her and never come back. I stopped trying to convince her a while back, though, realizing that it would hurt her too much. She was so gentle and kind. Caroline didn't deserve that pain. 

I swung my feet off my bed. I really didn't want to get up. It was already way passed the time I did my usual morning jog.

I got up and stretched my arms and started to walk out of my room. Just before I left, though, I stopped right in the middle of the door way analyzing the little lines of marker on the side of the door that indicated my growth throughout the 2 years I lived in this house. I measured myself, again. I was now 6'1. 

I walked to the bathroom right across from my room to make sure I was at least decent looking before I went jogging. In the mirror, was a male of a medium build. His hair was messy and pointing in many directions, cropped, and dark brown with some light brown strands in random areas.

Throughout my 16 years of life, plenty of the female species has been attracted to me (even though I thought of myself as nothing more than average). None of which caught my eye. All the girls I've ever encountered seemed too selfish, self centered, oblivious, or ordinary. I just stopped looking for girls. Until one surprises me, I'm staying single. 

I brushed my teeth, ran my fingers through my hair a few times, and changed into a new set of clothes to jog in. Donald Duck underpants definitely would not be a good look for me in public. I decided to go with a fitting t-shirt and shorts. I ran downstairs, skipping a few steps, and into the kitchen to grab a water bottle from the fridge.

As I opened the front door of the house, a gust of cool wind blew through me. I locked the door. I didn't need to bring a key with me, since there was one already in the potted plant on the front porch. I glanced at my usual jogging route-down the south side of my house, onto the road and back.

For some reason, there were so many cars. There has never been that many. They were all going the same way. Why? Was there a party going on? A celebration of some sort? A funeral? I flinched at the thought of that word. Funeral.

I decided to just go around the neighborhood. I've never really ventured far away from my own culdesac. I didn't have a need to. I don't think I would get lost. How big can this neighborhood be?

I started running on the sidewalk, away from my house, with my water bottle in hand. It was awkward holding it while I ran. Oh well. 

I turned the corner. I've never seen any part of my neighborhood besides what my house was visible to. The people in this part seemed very friendly. Friendlier than the people near me. There were families lying down on their drive ways enjoying the day. It was a nice day, though. It wasn't too hot, which made me think of why I even brought the water bottle in the first place.

I took a jug from it, letting it moisturize every part of my tongue and swallowed. It felt nice, so I guess it was a good idea to bring it. 

I felt out of place, for some reason. Was it because I've never been here before? Was it because these people were so different from me? I glanced back at the family on the drive way whom I passed about 20 meters. They were a family. More than that, they were acting like a family. They were spending time together. I realized that there were plenty of people outside with their families. Nearly, every third house, there was a group of people playing. 

Our father, Mason, didn't come around anymore. Not that I wanted him to, anyways. He lived with his wretched girlfriend in his new wretched life in some wretched place. I hated him for what he did to our family. Ever since he cheated on my mom back in 2000, Caroline just wasn't the same. She seemed more fidgety and careful. I hated to see her hurt so badly during that time. After Mason left, Caroline was treating us with so much more love. Probably to ease her pain. Or probably because she couldn't risk losing us, along with Mason.

Growing up, Caroline had worked plenty just to support herself, my older brother, Drake, before he was killed, my little brother, Stephen and me-so that took away any available time for family.

Since then, I realized I needed to be more sensitive to Caroline's feelings. I don't know why anybody would want to hurt her. She was the most loving mother. She would always stand up for me. Even when it was obvious I wasn't the one to stand up for. That's why I always got expelled from schools. She would never hesitate to defend me even when it was my wrong doing. The schools, although, never did appreciate this, and would kick me out. 

I was getting so sidetracked that I didn't even know where I was. I stopped to look around.

That's when I saw them.

There was a group of men and a small girl. She was probably around 12 years old. I was just going to ignore them and continue jogging. 

Then, I heard a scream.

The End

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