Chapter I: The Beginning

Eighteen year old Adelina Roman has what she would like to call the perfect life: an awesome bestie, the freedom of no parents and a boyfriend - although he doesn't know it yet. But it all comes crushing down on what was supposed to be a memorable night. She loses everything, even herself. She now has to pick up the pieces of her broken life and relearn everything: her family, her friends and even herself.

                The morning started quite normally for Adelina Roman. She woke up at 6, as usual, when the sun’s rays were just barely finding their way into her dimly lit bedroom.

                Already pumped for what she knew was going to be an amazing day, she jumped out of her bed and made her way to her closet to find her jogging pants and sports bra. Tying her hair up into a ponytail, she looked for her iPod, slipped into her sneakers and made her way to the door.

                Pausing to check herself out, she flashed a smile to her reflection and ran out the door.

                It was a slightly chilly day, but she knew a sweater would just hinder her movement. Besides, she would be getting disgustingly sweaty and the wind would help her cool down faster. With that decided, she took off on the sidewalk, hoping she had some good luck today and ran into a cute jogger.

                Approximately thirty minutes later and with no luck on her quest, a defeated and fully awakened Adelina ran back into her home. As always, she was greeted with silence.

                Rolling her eyes, she stripped out of her running clothes and made her way to her bathroom. One of the perks of living alone was the ability to go around naked if you wanted.

                After a quick shower, Adelina was back in front of her closet, debating what she wanted to wear to school today. She really wanted to wear her new skirt with her fall boots, but with the wind picking up, she wouldn’t want to give any guy a show. Nodding decisively, she grabbed her black skinny jeans from the rack and laid it next to her long-sleeved off shoulder pale blue top.

                Next up: hair and make-up. She was feeling extremely lazy today, so she pushed her hair back using a pale blue headband. Her red curls cascaded perfectly down her back, and she grinned. No effort at all and it looked perfect.

                Pursing her lips in thought, she wondered how much make-up was necessary for a day like today. Deciding she wouldn’t need so much anyway, she quickly used some clear lip gloss and mascara, then smiled prettily at her reflection.

                Going down the stairs two steps at a time, she quickly made herself some cereal. “Breakfast of champions,” she thought happily, putting on her boots between bites.

                At seven exactly, Adelina Roman was ready to face the world. She grabbed her car keys and once again, made her way out of the house.

*~*~*~*~*

“Surprise!” was the first thing the girl heard when she walked through the door.

Genuinely (and a bit unpleasantly) surprised, Elizabeth Monroe turned to her friend. “You didn’t,” she accused.

“Yes, I did, and I’m not ashamed. It’s your eighteenth birthday! Did you really think we were going to let you not party till you drop? I don’t think so!” Adelina exclaimed, laughing.

Elizabeth smiled, accepting the hugs and kisses graciously, while pinning her friend down with a mastered evil eye.

                “It is so like you,” she began, “to do exactly what I tell you not to, just to be a little brat.”

                Adelina tossed her auburn hair over her shoulder, calmly deflecting Elizabeth’s fond insult. “Please,” she replied, “you would be miserable for the rest of your life if I wasn’t there to make sure that you didn’t have your way.”

                And with that, Elizabeth was left to face the dogs of party alone as Adelina wandered off – to find some poor boy to woo, surely.

*~*~*~*~*

                Adelina Roman sighed happily as she watched her best friend interact, albeit unwillingly, with the guests of her surprise party. She just loved when she got the chance to bring standoffish girl out of the shadows and into the spotlight with her. Girls as fabulous as they were didn’t deserve to be hidden.

                “Penny for your thoughts, Adelina?” a voice interrupted her train of thoughts.

                Inwardly, Adelina groaned. Jason Miller was a boy who just couldn’t get a hint.

                “No, Miller,” she replied, eyeing another girl from the cheerleading squad. Those boots were so last season.

                Jason scooted closer, and that’s when she realized that he had two cups in his hand.

                A perfectly sculpted eyebrow rose in suspicion. “What’s in that drink, Miller?” she asked, attempting to subtly scoot away from the blond.

                Key word was attempted. Jason scooted closer, waggling his eyebrows. “Why don’t you find out yourself, cute stuff?” He offered the cup in his right hand to her.

                “Ew, no way you’re getting me drunk, Miller. Go find some other poor soul to torture with your presence.” She wrinkled her nose at the smell of alcohol wafting from the cup. “Who was the genius to spike the punch anyway? I specifically said none of that!”

                “Hm…I’ll need some incentive to tell you that, Adelina,” he replied, puckering his lips.

                She scoffed, pushing him away. “I won’t say it again, Miller. There’s never, ever going to be a thing between us.” She stuck her index finger out, tapping his chest harshly with every word that spilled from her lips. “Go – look – some – where – else!”

                Huffing, she walked away, hoping to find someone to cheer her up. It was obvious that Jason’s eyes were still on her. Inwardly shuddering, her eyes searched the crowd for her best friend, the birthday girl.

*~*~*~*~*

                Hours later, people began trickling out of the house, drunk, high, and happy. Elizabeth waited impatiently till the last person – a very drunk and loud Kimberly Foster of the cheerleading squad – stumbled her way out of the door to grill Adelina to her metaphorical death.

                “I told you! Don’t you remember what I said?” she began immediately.

                “Yes, yes I know,” Adelina replied lazily from the sofa, her legs swinging off the edge. “But you never have any fun!” she whined. “Come on, you can’t tell me that you didn’t even have a little bit of fun tonight.”

                Elizabeth sighed, pulling her dark chocolate hair into a loose ponytail. “I hardly even knew half of the people you invited, Lina,” she confessed. “It’s hard to have fun when you don’t even know the people at your party.”

                “I know that! That was the whole point; you need to meet new people!”

                She rolled her eyes, setting herself on the floor next to Adelina. She was always trying to get her out of her shell, dragging her to events and parties that weren’t her style. She’d much rather stay at home, make herself a home-cooked dinner, watch some TV dramas while she ate and spend the rest of the night reading a good novel before she hit the hay.

                That wasn’t Adelina’s style. She was a loud, outgoing, party girl, who wouldn’t willingly stay still if she had a choice in the matter. She was energetic and ready for any challenge, physical or otherwise. She would much rather spend her night out of the house, either partying or just having a jog, rather than having a quiet night like Elizabeth did.

                It was amazing how two polar opposites became such close friends.

                “I like the small circle of friends that I have right now, thank you very much,” Elizabeth retorted.

                “More like miniscule,” Adelina muttered.

                Elizabeth didn’t bother to reply. This argument was something that occurred frequently, she knew it was better to just let it go now, rather than reply to her comments. It was better for both of them.

                Comfortable silence filled the room for a short time, until the muffled pop-rock sound of P!nk interrupted the silence.

                Adelina’s dainty fingers searched for her phone in between the cushion of the sofa, her nose wrinkling in disgust at the bag of weed she found stuffed there. She tossed the bag at her friend and continued her search. She smiled in triumph when her hand finally grasped her phone; however the smile was quickly wiped off.

                She sighed, and then answered the call. “What do you want?”

                Elizabeth, who had been thinking of how to get rid of the bag, turned to her friend when she heard the tone of her voice. The expression on her face explained everything to her.

                “I see. Well, I’m just fine here, so you might as well leave now,” Adelina’s electric blue eyes rolled, connecting with Elizabeth’s hunter green ones.

                “And I would care, why? No, Rosalina, no! I don’t –“her face grew furious with every pause she took. “Yes. Yeah, I know. Fine. Look, I said I know, back off! Yeah, I’ll be there.”

                She watched her end the call, moving deftly out of the way as Adelina threw it – gently, that phone was her lifeline – at the wall. Squashing herself next to the furious redhead on the sofa, Elizabeth threw her arm around her.

                “Is she back?” she asked, rubbing Adelina’s arm in a manner that she hoped was comforting.

                “Unfortunately. I have to go, she wants to…talk…or something like that…” she trailed off, lifting herself from the sofa and picking her cell phone off the floor.

                “Yeah, I figured,” she started, smiling in understanding. “Don’t worry about it, this is the first time Dad’s been called for work this late in a while; I’ll survive.”

                “Yeah, but I wanted to sleepover!” she pouted. Darn her blasted mother, she thought. She was ruining her plans constantly, even when she wasn’t around.

                Elizabeth laughed, her green eyes sparkling madly. “Of course you did. Hoping Kevin would crash into you sometime during the night, were you?”

                “I was thinking no such thing!”

They both knew it wasn’t worth her energy to deny the accusation. If there was one boy Adelina actually had an eye for, it was Elizabeth’s older brother Kevin Monroe.

“Whatever you say, Lina,” she teased as she led her friend to the door.

“You’ll tell me when he gets back from work right? And video-call me? Because I need to give him a valuable account of the party, because we all know you’re completely biased against it,” Adelina prattled as she was led out of the house.

“Don’t worry, you’ll get your Kevin-fix tonight. Now go!”

The red-head unwillingly got into her car and started the engine. Rolling down her window, she leaned forward to mention one more thing to her best friend. Elizabeth, however, was way ahead of her.

“I know, Lina. If he mentions anything about a girl, you will be the first to know and we’ll hunt her down,” she said, amused.

Satisfied with that parting statement, Adelina blew Elizabeth a kiss and rolled her window back up as she reversed out of the drive way and out of the neighborhood.

*~*~*~*~*

If there was one place she didn’t like going, it was here. The apartment was small and dank, with various questionable scents wafting through it.

As soon as she entered the room, she had the attention of the entire audience. She knew to immediately begin her report.

“She is still dormant. There are no signs showing otherwise.”

Sighs of disappointment ran through the small crowd. The oldest of the group, greying and stern looking, spoke up.

“She is still emotionally stable then.” It wasn’t a question, more of an accusation.

She flinched, and anger flared through her. As if they knew how hard it was to create long-lasting conflict in the life of a popular and loved teenage girl. But even as she spoke, that problem was being solved. She would make sure of it.

“It hasn’t been as easy as you claimed it would be,” she snapped. Taking a breath to calm herself, she lamely added, “Sir.”

He raised a questioning eyebrow at her. “No, I can see that,” he replied, observing her keenly.

She fought the need to shudder.

“Maybe we should find a replacement, dear,” a condescending voice filled the room.

She wanted to punch something. Or someone. Preferably the owner of that voice.

With beautiful blonde curls and sparkling blue eyes, Trisha was the epitome of Barbie. And she hated her.

“I can do this!” She was getting riled up again. “In less than a week, she will be awoken. I can assure you of that.

Trisha took a seat next to the greying man, caressing his hand tenderly. “And how can you assure us of that, little girl?”

By pulling out all that hair of yours, that’s how, she thought, inwardly snarling. Outwardly, she smirked superiorly.

“Her mother has returned.”

Those four words were enough to put the seated audience into an uproar.

Above all the chaos and yelled curses, the man relaxed into his seat, looking spectacularly pleased. “The rogue has returned into our vision. This is wonderful news.” Addressing the standing girl, he ordered, “You have five days. Make sure she is too weak to intervene when we strike. And when we do strike, she better have awoken. You are dismissed.”

Elizabeth inwardly sighed in relief, glad her meeting had ended on such a good note. After almost a decade and a half, her mission was finally about to end.

The End

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