Chapter One

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It had been two hundred and forty three days since the accident. Almost an entire year without my family. Each day, the blinding pain I felt in my heart ebbed into an empty feeling ache. I was slowly coming out of my depression, although I missed them so much that it physically hurt. All because one teenager decided to drive home drunk from a party. They ended my entire families life; and they ruined mine. One selfish decision and all of our lives were changed forever.

I lost my mom, dad, and older sister that day. And I couldn't think of a single reason why I deserved to be here and they didn't. I had survivor's guilt, and it has slowly eaten away at me for almost an entire year.

Despite their passing, I had stayed in the shabby two bedroom duplex that my family had lived in. My sister and I had shared a room; and I hadn't had the heart to move into the master bedroom despite being the only one left. We lived in a first floor unit in a relatively rough area; and I constantly had sketchy people knocking on my front door.

My parents' room was still exactly the same as the day we had walked out the front door to celebrate my sisters twenty-fourth birthday. The day of the fatal accident. I had left my sisters side the same too; even her socks that she had thrown across the room haphazardly were still in the same place they had landed.

I just couldn't bring myself to move their things. I knew I was desperate for any reminder of them, but I also knew that it hadn't helped my grieving process at all. I had shut myself off from the world for nearly the entire year. I stopped going to work when they said that I had used up their maximum time off for losing a family member.

I had given absolutely everything that required me to be a functioning adult the middle finger.

That was, until I woke up to a loud pounding at my front door. Groaning, I padded slowly towards it, kicking an old pizza box out of the way as I twisted the knob and peered outside.

The sunshine was blinding and I had to blink several times to adjust my vision. With squinted eyes I looked up at the man standing at my front door. I cringed away when I finally realized who it was.

"Hi, Paul. So nice to see you today!" I smiled up at the buff guy frowning down at me. In any other setting, he may have been good looking; but as my very angry landlord, I was definitely not leaning in that direction.

Instead of responding, he narrowed his eyes at me as he brought out a bright red paper and a nail, grasping the side of the door in his large meaty hands. I squinted up at him in confusion when he brought out a hammer that he had apparently been storing in his back pocket. I peeked my head around the door a little further to investigate.

"Whoa! What are you doing?" I screeched as he brought the hammer down quickly, just missing my head as he nailed the paper into the front door.

"Couldn't you have just used some double-sided tape?" I raised my eyebrow, trying hard not to read what the paper said quite yet. I had a sinking feeling that I knew what it was... I just couldn't make myself deal with that reality quite yet.

"You have one week." He sneered. I watched in shock as he turned on his heel and walked away, leaving me in stunned silence. I didn't move until he was no longer in my line of sight.

Finally looking at the paper, my heart sank.

It read:

NOTICE OF EVICTION.

I didn't read past the big, bold letters that announced I would soon be homeless. I had seen this day coming from a mile away, and still, in my depressed state I hadn't cared... until now.

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