WARNING: The following story is not well-written. I strongly advise against reading it. It's a cheap rip off of Mean Girls and several other teen films. I'm not proud of it. However, if you're a fan of plot holes, cliche characters and ridiculous amounts of drama, go ahead. Read at your own risk.
"Seriously, Dad, can’t we stop off and get Taco Bell or something? I’m starving."
Brad Webb sat back against the soft material of the seat and folded his arms. They’d been travelling for over three hours now in the stuffy old car, and the time was nearing 6 o’clock in the evening. The sun was about to set, transforming the sky into a warm orange colour, but the air in the car was hot and sticky, making it unpleasant to breathe.
"You’re always starving," Brad’s sister, Olivia, who was also sat in the back of the beat up old Nissan car, pointed out. She had her sketch book out on her lap, with a pencil in her hand, although the constant jolts as a result of the bumpy road and the old car were not helping her drawing. "But come on, Dad, are we nearly there yet or what?"
"We’ll be there in practically two minutes," their Dad answered. "The house is around here somewhere. I recognise the area from when the estate agent showed me."
"I don’t even see why we had to move in the first place." Brad rolled his eyes. "Our life was fine back in New York. My band mates were there. Olivia was still a nerd back in our other school. And you were happy there."
"We’ve already discussed this, Brad. I’m not talking about it now. It’s not as if we can turn around and drive back to New York anyway, even if we wanted to."
There was a silence as the words hung in the air, almost visible.
"Once I’m old enough I’ll be clearing off there anyway. Don’t think I’m sticking around here any longer than I need to." Brad narrowed his eyes at the front seat, and then looked behind him at all the bags packed into the boot of the car.
"If my guitar’s getting crushed in there, you’re going to be dead."
"’Cause that guitar’s definitely my top priority," Dad rolled his eyes. "It’ll be fine. Stop your complaining, we’re almost there."
The car continued along the road, which was surrounded by typical suburban houses. They could’ve been anywhere in the world, any street would’ve looked the same. Except maybe New York. Their father braked suddenly as they approached a turning. "Maybe it’s this one down here," he muttered to himself.
Soon, they were driving through a huge area that contained many houses, so big they were more like mansions, with long stretching areas of woodland and gardens behind. The houses loomed above them, making everything else seem smaller. Usually in a residential area, there would be people outside, or at least some sign of life, but the place seemed eerily empty, although the houses were visibly occupied. There was no one on the field of lush green grass that was the centrepiece of the area, which had obviously just been mowed and was displaying a perfect vertical line pattern, no children on bikes or playing outside, no one out in front gardens mowing lawns or doing gardening, no cars except their own anywhere to be seen.
"This isn’t it, surely?" Olivia stared out the window, her pencil poised in mid air above her sketchbook. "This can’t be it."
"You didn’t say it was like this!" Brad was looking out of the window too, a hint of excitement displayed on his face. "The houses are huge! The whole place is freaking huge! I can’t believe this is it!"
"This isn’t it," their father said, suddenly shattering the atmosphere in the car. "No, this definitely isn’t it. You think we could afford something like this?" He gestured towards the huge houses, at least three or four storeys high, complete with balconies and towering pillars by the front doors. "I’ve just made a wrong turning, is all."
"Oh." Olivia looked back to her sketch book, but she wasn’t in the mood for drawing any longer. She closed it and placed it on the seat next to her, then turned back to continue looking out the window as their Dad made a U-turn and drove away towards the exit.
A few moments later, they were in a different road, one of a dramatic contrast to the one they had just visited. The narrow road was lined with typical suburban houses, each one more ordinary and disappointing than the last. The car slowed down as it approached number 24, before pulling into the driveway. Their father turned the engine off and paused for a second, breathing in the tense silent atmosphere that was consuming the inside of the car. He then shoved open the car door and climbed out, looking at the house as if it was a palace, or at least a considerable amount better than it looked to Olivia and Brad.
"You have got to be kidding me," Brad scoffed, slamming the car door behind him as he got out of the car. "You traded our apartment in New York for this pile of crap? Are you insane?"
Dad ignored him as he fumbled in his pocket, found the keys and then walked up to the front door, jangling them cheerfully as he went.
Inside, the house didn’t get much better. The walls were painted an off-white colour that had since faded to a murky pale yellow. The rooms were empty, and the fact that the carpets had been ripped up to expose the bare floorboards made them seem even more devoid.
"Well, this is… nice," Olivia said, plastering a smile on her face, which was so transparent even her Dad would be able to see through it, although he did not seem to notice this.
"It’ll be lovely and homely once we get the furniture in it," their Dad said, wandering around the bare lounge and peering around the room, his face showing no sign of the disappointment that Olivia and Brad were feeling. "Speaking of the furniture, has the removal van arrived yet?" He leaned over to peer out of the window, before leaving the room to go outside.
Brad then walked through the door to join Olivia in the room, his arms folded over his chest and his face clearly brandishing his annoyance. After a few seconds, he said, "You’re not seriously going to pretend to Dad that you like this place, are you?"
Olivia looked at him and raised her eyebrows. "Well, what else am I meant to do? Act like a stroppy brat like you’re planning to do?"
Brad rolled his eyes. "I’m just making a point. Expressing my opinion, right?"
"I think you’ve expressed it enough," Olivia sighed. "He’s only doing what’s best for us."
"What’s best for you, actually. I mean, why else would we move to a whole other state for no apparent reason except the fact that you got a scholarship to some snotty private school?"
"It’s not just a snotty private school," Olivia corrected him. "Serenity Falls is one of the best high schools in the whole country, a place dedicated to the sole purpose of providing the best education possible in…"
"Uh, yeah, more nerd talk. Whatever. It’s still just a school."
"You wouldn’t understand."
"Well, who cares? You’re going to be a nerd whatever school you go to, so does it even make any difference?"
"Yes. It makes all the difference."
"Whatever. I’m clearing off. There’s got to be something interesting to do around here."
Olivia folded her arms. "You’re not even going to help unpack? Dad’s going to need you to help bring the furniture in, you know."
"He can do it himself. Serves him right. Bye." He shrugged loosely as he left the room, sliding his hands into his jean pockets after slamming the door behind him.
Olivia was left in the room on her own, staring around it as she listened to the sounds of her father outside talking to the removal men. She stepped towards the window sill, which was faded and worn. Upon closer inspection, she noticed a small carving in the corner of the wood, which could be read as the initials FT + CM, enclosed in a wobbly heart. She pored over it for a second, tracing her finger over the indentation in the wood, trying to imagine any sort of life in this dull house. Looking up, she could see her father standing by the removal van, watching as the big bulky men pulled down the ramp and began unloading the first of the furniture – her chest of drawers and the old but comfy sofa. The sofa was brought in, carried through the hallway and squeezed through the doorframe, and placed in the lounge. It brought with it a familiar aroma – one of cosiness, musk and traffic. Home.