Chapter 1 

Violet Hill  

The small townhouse was painted a plain white with peach trimmings. But it shined in the pleasant afternoon sunlight. The trees swayed softly in the light breeze. I recognized some red lilies and lavender in a bush near the small fence. My mother was on the phone with my older sister Josie.  

"Well pass my greetings to Mark, and do you want to speak with your sister?" My mother was concluding their thirty minute conversation at last. She and Josie could never stop talking. All through the night and now even the car ride.  

"Serenity, your sister wants to talk to you." My mom passed me the phone without looking at me. I nodded and took it out of her hands. 

"Hello, Josie. How are you?" I asked my sister vaguely. I was captivated by the color of blue in the sky. 

"I'm doing well, college isn't that stressful. Only two years left and I have my degree. I was just getting ready to go out with Mark. He's taking me to that nice restaurant off campus..." She continued to babble like this for a few minutes. I kind of laughed, I missed her non-stop blabber.  

"So how do you like this new place? I bet it's really nice, mom liked it, she said she was going to send me pictures. Don't forget okay. So do you like Violet Hill? I wonder why they call it that - is there a violet hill?"  

This time I interrupted her before she could ask more questions. "Josie, take a breath! I don't know really, it seems nice. I haven't really gotten the chance to explore on the note that we just got here. And I don't know why they call it Violet Hill either." I began to climb out of the car. She kept quiet for a minute then I said something about needing to get settled in. 

"Okay, well bye. Tell mom to meet me on MSN tonight at nine sharp." I promised her I would and then hung up the phone.  

Our things were already inside the house. Card board boxes everywhere. I sighed at the mess but ran to the end of the short hallway. There was a room with a big window overlooking a small garden. I liked the vibe of the room. It was peaceful and calm. It wasn't too big or too small, perfect. I sat on the naked mattress and pulled out my favorite novel, Romeo and Juliet.  

"Serenity put that book down; you've read it a million times. Come help me with this stuff!" My mom yelled. Her brown hair was in a mess. Her wide, childish eyes were holding an emotion that was familiar to me. Regret. 

Moving to Violet Hill was my mother's idea. Ever since my dad left us she stayed in the house where they had met. A couple years later, when I first started high school, he returned. I didn't know how to react but I didn't want to get in the middle of whatever was going on. It turned out he was a loser. Although I didn't want to admit it to anyone else, he was.  

I think she was afraid if he would turn up again and ruin everything. Moving somewhere new where he could never find us was one of her wild ideas. It made me sad to leave the house where I had grown. But she kept coming up with more reasons. How Josie needed money for college and she couldn't afford to pay both Josie's tuition and the mortgage for the home. And that now it was just us two why did we need a big house anyways?  

Cutting open another cardboard box, I began to arrange the cups and plates in the kitchen cupboards. I never was one to stand out and say no. If I had whined and thrown a fit I was positive that we would still be in Florida. But that just wasn't what I would do. It was a hard sacrifice. But I was willing enough just to see my mother smile. 

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