Chapter 2: Twelve Boys?

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At least once in their lifetime, every teenager thinks that their life sucks, the world is wrong and that they're not being treated fairly. Normally, these thoughts are due to the fact that they have to be home by 10 o'clock or possibly because they're grounded for getting a bad grade on a test.

As I sat on a plane flying towards Colorado, I wished that I had a curfew or had received a bad grade, as my life was a lot worse at the moment. My life had been perfect up to my 16th birthday. The day itself—April 16th—had been one of the best days of my life. It was the kind of 16th birthday that every girl wanted and dreamed about. But after that perfect day, everything changed.

My mother's friend Katherine was in town. She had flown in a few days before and was staying with her brother outside the city. My family was driving out to pick her up, when an animal jumped out onto the road. My father, who was used to crazy city drivers, but not crazy animals, swerved—it took them right off the road.

I had never met the woman sitting next to me, even though she was my mother's best friend. They had grown up and attended Hawks Boarding School together. Back then she had been known as Katherine Green, but then she had married a man she met in college. Together, they had moved to Colorado and started up a cattle ranch, which was his lifelong dream.

I was placed in Katherine's custody. She told me that my mother hadn't died in the car accident right away, and that she had been brought to the hospital. Before passing away, she had insisted that Katherine take me. As I had no other living relatives, the police had no choice but to obey my mother's dying wishes.

And so, I sat on the plane in silence, trying not to cry my heart out over my family, fearing that if I succumbed to the pain, I wouldn't be able to resurface from it. I pondered over why my life was so unfair. Not only had I lost my loved ones, but also a woman I didn't know was taking me away from my home. To add insult to injury, she lived in the middle of nowhere. See what I mean by unfair?

Katherine fidgeted nervously. I asked her if she was afraid of flying because honestly, the lady looked like she was going to be sick. She smiled and told me that she wasn't, but she was rather nervous about taking me home. I asked her why and she gave me a sympathetic smile.

"Jackie, darling, did I ever tell you that I have twelve boys?"

I gaped at her in incredulity. Katherine had twelve boys? How was I ever going to survive? The only one that I had ever really known was my dad, and that didn't count. I went to a private school for girls! Didn't boys speak their own language or something? I could already tell that this was going to be a disaster.

It was a long flight, so I decided that I might as well try to prevent the oncoming catastrophe by finding out something about the family I was going to live with. After wiping away a few stray tears, I took out a notebook and pencil. I asked Katherine to tell me about her kids. She smiled and agreed enthusiastically. Some of the things she said scared me.

The Walter Boys:

Will is 22. He's studying part time at a local college and is engaged to his high school sweetheart.

Cole is 18. He's a senior in high school and quarterback for the football team.

Danny is 17. He's a senior in high school and president of the drama club. He's Cole's Irish twin.

Isaac is 16. He's a junior in high school and is obsessed with girls. He's Katherine's nephew.

Alex is 16. He's a sophomore in high school and plays baseball.

Lee is 14. He's a sophomore in high school and a skater. He's also Katherine's nephew.

Nathan is 14. He's a freshman in high school, loves art and paints on everything.

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