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05; The Perfect Family

All the cars that had once been blocking the driveway were all gone now as El's father parked in to one of the empty spaces. After the fire bell rang, everyone had been ordered to go home. How do they expect I get there, El thought?

Apparently that was the point of the apple phone her mother had given her earlier or so Isaac said. He explained to her the basics of the phone and helped call her father to come pick her up. He'd been nice about it, but she could see right through his facade. Nine years and he was still so easy to read.

He thought she was absolutely bizarre, strange even. El would go as far as saying crazy, but she felt she had used the word too many times to describe herself. They were best friends once, but that wasn't the case now. She was a stranger to him as she was to most people.

Besides El had made it hard for him to not think those things. She ran out of a bathroom claiming she'd seen an infamous psychopath who's currently locked up exactly where she'd been the past decade. If Isaac thought she was bizarre he was certainly being kind about it. Thankfully after the incident he hadn't brought it up again and after exchanging numbers (he did the exchanging on both parts) they went their own ways.

"Where are Paul and Joey?" she asked walking into a quiet home.

Her dad chuckled lowly to himself as he placed the keys on the table beside the door. "Paul is off doing whatever a jobless 19 year old does. Joseph is at work right now. He usually comes comes to visit after his shift before heading home to get his school work done."

"Visit? Home? School work?"

Again her father chuckled and gently ruffled her hair just like he used to when she was a child.

"Your big brother is all grown up now, El. He lives in an apartment about half an hour away, closer to the college. He's on his last year, you know? He'll be the first one in our family to graduate college. Lord knows you'll get a doctorate before Paul even thinks about applying."

She couldn't help but laugh at that, in both shock and happiness. She still saw her brothers as the scrawny high schoolers, but like her dad said. They're all grown up now. Not Paul so much as Joey, but grown up none the less.

"I guess I didn't think about that."

Her father leaned in and placed a kiss to her forehead before wandering into the living room. Her mother was at work as well, a hair stylist at the local salon. So for the next couple of hours, unless Paul decided to make an unlikely appearance, they'd have the house to themselves.

Slowly El walked up the stairs and took the familiar route to her bedroom. In the past two days she'd began the long road down remodeling the frilly pink room. So far the walls had been painted a light shade of blue to replace the blinding pink thanks to her father and Joey. The canopy above her bed shaped like a castle had also been removed to make way for a bigger bed. She left the endless amount of butterflies however, scattered across her walls in a glittery disarray.

She never really thought she had a preference in these kinds of things until her mother had taken her up on the offer of redecorating. It was the first moments of normalcy she'd felt since being released.

Newspapers were scattered across the floor to protect the carpet from paint. Pushing them around she made her way on to her new bed with the soft dark blue comforter she bought yesterday.

She already had a lifetime of homework and she hadn't even gone to all eight classes. This was a big surprise seeing as this was her first day, but the teachers had no mercy. What happened to no homework on the first day rule? Then El realized that was probably only in elementary. She was in high school now and she'd have to get used to it.

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