Chapter 1

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Miserable was a simple word to describe my sentence to the underworld that was my godmother, Diane, and her daughters' home. Riley has relentlessly taunted me for the past few weeks, Alex was nicer but Aunt Diane was a nightmare. "I'm not wearing a skirt!" I protested as she kept pushing a frilly, little-girlish skirt that met my knees. "You'll love it when you try it on!" She pressed on and Riley rolled her eyes. "Pink clothes and red hair do not go together." I snapped sassily and she rolled her eyes.
        I ended up trying on the skirt and hating it, I put it back. I checked the mall map on the wall to find that they... Didn't have a Hot Topic?! In what world do you not have one Hot Topic?! They had a Spencer's but I don't like it there much. "Your closet can't be only band Tshirts." Riley said and I waved her off asking who said I couldn't. Wet Seal would work for now. We stopped at the food court, I didn't get anything. "A girl needs to eat, dear." She told me and I told her I was fine, a voice in my head was telling me otherwise but I pushed it back. I've gained like 500 pounds in the past few months! I could hear the girls from home teasing. Fatty Ally will not be my name again, I refuse to allow it. "Sweetie, you look like a bag of bones. At least get some fries." She told me and I shook my head. A look of worry was buried under her makeup for an unknown reason.

I decided to have a very small salad, I just would skip dinner. Keith checked in over FaceTime, he got that job at Gomez's Auto Repair. The idea of him and tools that could fatally injure people gave me some bad thoughts which were overrode by the idea of a car falling off the carjack and killing him. "Don't worry, it's perfectly safe. You know, for the most part." He smirked as he leaned on a paint splattered hood that belonged to a very old Sedan. "I worry about everything, it's like my unofficial job to worry." I joked and he chuckled. A shout from the background made Keith groan in agitation. "Gotta go, Red, call you after my shift." He told me and I nodded. He hung up that's when I noticed they were low key listening and watching my conversation. "I'm just going ahead and saying it, you two are really cute." Alex complimented, I think. I half-smiled and went back to pushing around my food,

        We drove home, I was content with a Victoria's Secret Fashion Show Robe I allowed Aunt Diane to buy me for $70 and some other sarcastic and/or funny tank tops and Tshirts. I put everything away in my closet that I realized was pretty damn empty before I put my new stuff away. Riley had went out to the front yard, she had a group of friends walk over and sit down in the grass with her and talk. I sat up in my temporary room, reading To Kill A Mockingbird for summer reading. I had already read all the books on the summer reading list for fun in the past so I decided on this one again.
"Alice, honey, why don't you go out with Riley and her friends? They are going to the carnival that just came to town." Aunt Diane asked through the door and I shrugged before realizing she can't see me. "I don't know, maybe." I answered and she sighed. I finished the book within an hour and did my assignment within 30 minutes. There was a knock at my door and I opened it. "We are leaving for the carnival once my friend, Mikey, shows up. You in or what?" She asked her amber eyes boring through my light blue ones. I shrugged before saying fine. I slipped on my converse and put my messy hair in a smooth ponytail.
We left in Aunt Diane's SUV. "So are you cousins or something?" A girl who I shared hair color with, Amber, asked Riley and I.
"I'm proud to say no." Riley laughed and I rolled my eyes. Amber noticed how little I talk and asked about it. "She's shy." Riley pouted at me and I gritted my teeth. I stomped on her foot, she yelped before glaring at me. "What's wrong? Did I hurt your wittle foot?" I pouted at her before smirking and leaning back.
We parked and got out, Fall Out Boy blasted from the speakers all around and I smiled. My phone beeped and Riley peered over my shoulder. 'Hey babe, just got off work.' I still forgot to change who's contact name back to Keith, meaning it was still 'Daddy😉' to my horrible embarrassment. Riley stifled and laugh. "Oh stop, he changes it constantly."
"And you didn't change it back because...?" She asked.
"I forgot?" I wrinkled my nose, she laughed and rolled her eyes at me. I slowly figured out all her friends' names: Amber, Brianna, Kayla, Drew, Luke, and Mikey. Amber was nice but was just kind of a filler-friend in the group, she didn't talk to anyone else much in the group and when she did, was basically ignored. Brianna was annoying as hell, being a lot like Riley. Kayla was really funny and talked a lot. Drew was a total fuckboy, using pickup lines on any girl that wasn't in this group, luckily ignoring me. "Let's hit up the Zipper." Luke grinned and I looked at the ride in question. People stood in these unseat-belted cages that weren't fixed in place, leaving you to dangle in midair as the ride spun you around vertically. "That looks sick." I spoke up and everyone went on. I got in the cage, Drew getting on after me to my annoyance.
Drew was sure to let me know that if I got scared, I could hold onto him... "Being in your direct vicinity is repulsing." I deadpanned and he scoffed.
"You should be honored to be near me." He said without an ounce of sarcasm. I blinked at him before hitting my head on the front of the cage from the sharp movement it makes. "Fuck!" I cursed as I pushed myself back up.
"Kiss your mother with that mouth?"
"I would if she were alive." I said with a half-smile. He coughed and scratched the back of his neck before we suddenly dropped down causing me to laugh at the feeling of my stomach flipping. "So, you dating anyone?" He asked me as we got off the ride.
"Yes, and he'd murder you without a second thought if he knew you were within two feet." I answered with a smirk. He shrugged it off.

       I felt kind of bad, beating a four year old in a water gun game, we were all playing and the kid jumped in last second. "You did really good, sweetie. What did you want?" I asked her as she was moping about not winning. She pointed to a giant seahorse that hung above my head. I asked for it as my prize and gave it to her. "Thanks, kid." Her father thanked me, he looked around 30. I nodded as the girl hugged me the same time I turned to leave. "Thank you!" She squealed in a cute little voice. Me, being the awkward asshole I am, I patted her head and rejoined Riley and her friends. "That was nice of you." Amber told me, glancing at the little Filipino girl I gave my prize to. I saw that she looked like her mother only, not her father as I also glanced to the girl joining her other parent. "I'm just overflowing with kindness and care." I flipped my hair dramatically and she laughed. Mikey snatched the keys from Riley as we went back to the car.
       On the way home, I realized everyone had fallen asleep except the driver, Mikey, and me. "So, where did you come from?"
"C-Cal- wow sorry, I mean California." I said, apologizing for my stutter.
"Riley mentioned, well complained, before you got here that you were a shy hermit."
"I am not a hermit, just slightly introverted." I retorted, glaring at a sleeping Riley. Luke was snoring as well as Kayla, I did my best not to laugh at it. "Why'd you decided to pick up and leave sunny California for some small town in Iowa?" He asked.
"At the time of my decision two months ago, it seemed like a good choice since I'm well hated at home. I soon regretted I remembered who I just agreed to stay with."
"Why exactly are you so well hated?" He asked me with a chuckle.
"I'll let you know the minute I find out." I stated and he nodded. I saw a pothole a short distance in front of us on the near empty backroad. He gunned it for a second, waking everyone up as the car hit the pothole hard. "What the fuck, man?" Luke cried and I laughed. Riley groaned and buried her head back her head back into Drew's side trying to fall back asleep. Brianna began to whine about how bad a driver Mikey was. We piled out of the car the minute he parked. "Mom! Can everyone stay over the night?!" Riley shouted as we got to the door, not even waiting until we got inside.
"If it's ok with their parents then sure but boys and girls sleep in different rooms. Alice, you'll have to share your room with the girls." Oh joy. Just kill me now.

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