Pic of Holly => 

"Tree....Tree....Tree....Another tree. I couldn't help but be so bored. My parents were forcing me to move across the country to a small town that I have never even heard of before, Evanswood. The car ride was long and hot and I was dying from being scrunched up in a small space. 

"Holly, could you please focus on something else?" my mother, Emily, said frustratingly. I have been getting on her nerves from saying "tree" for the past twenty minutes. 

I did as she asked. "Hill....Hill....Hill....Another hill." 


I huffed and crossed my arms. I started mumbling to myself how I hated the world and wanted to become a hermit. Extreme, I know, but I had to do something. 

The hard silence was broke by my four-year-old brother, Christopher, shouting, "look mommy- a big birdie!" 

Mom looked out the window, towards the sky. "That's an eagle, baby." 

"An agg-le?" 

"Eagle, honey. With an "e"." 

"Oh. It bigger than Aunt Shannon's Coo-Coo birdie." Christopher bounced in his seat, occasionally ramming his elbow into my side. Ouch. 

Mom chuckled. "It's a Cockatoo, sweetie." 

"All right ladies and gentleman, we're almost there," my dad, Matthew, said. "Just about ten more minutes." 

Mom looked at Chris and I. "You kids are going to love Evanswood. It's where your father and I grew up." She had a dreamy look on her face, as if she were remembering the good old days. 

"Mom," I whined, "I'm not a kid. I'm seventeen years old! How many times must I remind you?" 

A slight frown grew on her lips. "You're still my kid no matter how old you are. Even when you're seventy, you'll still be my little girl." 

"Ugh. If I'm lucky, I won't see my thirtieth birthday - just the thought of being old scares me." 

"Don't talk like that, Holly Shay Saunders," dad demanded. 

My attention went back to the outside world of trees and hills. 

We arrived to our "new" home thirty minutes later. Stupid dad, that was not ten minutes. I stepped out of the car with a bag slung over my shoulder and scrunched up my nose. 

"What's that awful smell?" 

Dad took in a long whiff and sighed. "Ah. That's the smell of fresh air, kiddo." He put an arm over my free shoulder and briefly hugged me to him while giving me a few shakes. Ugh. 

"It reeks of wet dog," I replied. 

"And fishies!" Christopher said, bouncing in his car seat, wanting mom to hurry and unstrap him. 

Dad laughed. "It just stopped raining - the smell will go away soon." 

Mom came over with Chris by her side. "It hasn't changed," she smiled. "Except for some weather damage and weeds and boarded up windows and....Okay, we really need to fix this place up." 

"It's good to be back home, ain't it, hon?" dad said as he swept her into a huge hug. 

"I've missed this place," she agreed. 

"What?" I demanded. 

They parted and dad went to get some of the boxes out of the trunk. 

"This is where your father and I first lived when we got mat...married. We haven't been here since I became pregnant with you." 

"So why couldn't you wait for another year to move back here?" 

She looked confused. "Why a year?" 

"I'd be eighteen and wouldn't have to move here. I could have a pent house back in New York with Leslie." Leslie was my very best friend since kindergarten. 

"Well, it's a good thing we did move now. That Leslie does not have her life together." 

"She's seventeen, mom. What seventeen-year-old does?" 

"You! Me!" 

"You're no...." 

"When I was!" 

"Ugh, whatever, mom." 

We all went inside the house. It was very spacey and very dusty. Seventeen years of abandonment would do that to a place, I guess. The place was big, but not mansion big. Crooked pictures littered the walls and debris was scattered over the floor. 

"Yep, it's a fixer-upper, but it will do for now." Dad gently put the boxes he had been carrying on the floor and went out for more. 

"Come on you two, I'll show you your rooms." Mom grabbed Chris's tiny hand and led the way up stairs. 

Though there was years of dirt all over the place, my room was amazing. Shockingly, there were french doors leading to a balcony, a walk-in closet, a full mirror and vanity. 

I dropped my things and swirled around the room. I could get used to this.

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