Chapter 1

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The month in preparation for the move had slipped through like water.  The packing alone hadn’t taken all that long- Katia was used to it.  She knew very well that she wouldn’t be taking much except her clothes and a few keepsakes. Everything else was sold, given away or simply thrown out.  During her short 16 years, Katia had learned not to grow too attached to things…or people.  Sure, she made friends, but she never grew too close.  You could say it was self-preservation so leaving them wouldn’t hurt.  All her friends always said they’d write, but none of them ever wrote more than a couple of times after she left.  Eric had been her first boyfriend and she had grown excited when he had asked her, but she was secretly relieved it had only been a few weeks before the news of the move; this way, it didn’t hurt too much to let him go.

So yet again, she found herself in a new country…in a new city.  Yet again she’d have to learn how to get around this new place.  Find new shops, eat new food, meet new people…her dad always told her she was getting a chance a lot of people didn’t have-the opportunity to travel, to experience the world, to meet people from different backgrounds and cultures.  Katia knew he was right, but as they drove down the streets of Liverpool, the only thing she could think about was having to once again be the new girl- to make new friends and make Liverpool feel like home.

“Do you see it?” Katia’s dad interrupted her thoughts

"What's the street name again?" Katia asked not having paid attention the first time he said the name.

"Forthlin Road. I'm not really sure if we’re going the right way, so keep your eyes open."

”Okay.”

The Adkins Family finally turned into Forthlin Road as the sun was setting. There was still some light out, but it would be dark soon. Katia’s dad pointed to the second house from the corner and announced it as their new home. It was a brick house with two average size windows overlooking the front yard. Katia looked at what would be her new home for a few seconds before she starting unpacking the car.  There wasn’t much more than a few suitcases of clothes and necessities.  Katia knew that one of the perks of a job transfer was that the company paid for their relocation and furnished the entire house.  In comparison to her house in Canada, this was smaller- a kitchen was to the right of the door as you walked in, a living room to the left, two bedrooms in the back and a bathroom between them. She didn’t really care too much about it-chances were she’d be moving yet again, so it didn’t make any difference.

"Katia? I think I left my purse in the car...would you go and get it?" Katia’s mom asked.

Katia nodded.  The wind was picking up as she made her way to the car. On the opposite side of the street, a couple of houses down, she could see a man and two boys standing in front of their house- most probably father and sons.  She guessed that the taller one of the two was probably her age and the other one was probably a few years younger.   Katia opened the car door and looked for the purse.  She found it in the back of the seat along with her dad’s hat.  She stepped out of the car, but before she could take hold of the door, the wind slammed it shut.  The thud was loud enough to get the attention of the three neighbors.  Katia smiled and waved timidly.  All three of them returned the wave and Katia walked back into the house.

The next morning Katia woke up to her mother shuffling around in the kitchen.

"Good Morning." She said as she walked in and sat at the kitchen table.

"Hi Katia. I'm real sorry, but I have to be going in about five minutes. Mrs. Burns, your father’s secretary, told me she knew of a job opening. I'm supposed to meet her at 10 this morning for the details and I'm already running late. You’ll have to eat out today. The only thing we have in the kitchen is some tea. I’ll get some groceries after my meeting this morning.”

"Okay.” Katia responded unenthusiastically.

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