Monday, June 15, 2009

Chapter 1

Present Day

“Great,” Faith Martin thought.
“Just perfect,” she mumbled to herself as she pulled her shoulder length hair into a ponytail. She was being sent to her aunt’s house to finish out her senior year at Chatwick Hollow Academy with her cousin, Alexander, instead of staying at Eastbrook High School with all of her friends. Understanding the motives behind her mother’s insistence at the switch didn’t make it any easier to accept. Why did her Uncle Matthew have to get into that accident? Why did his being in a coma for nearly a month have to lead to such an upheaval in her life? Couldn’t Alexander just move down here?

Slapping the selfish thoughts aside she continued to pack her clothes into her suitcase. She’d already packed up most of her other belongings. The room that she would stay in at her aunt’s house was fully furnished, but she wanted something tangible to remind her of home and the friends she was leaving behind--and she was leaving more than just her friends. Going to Chatwick meant no more Friday football parties, no more driving aimlessly around town with her friends, no more garden and worst of all, no more beach.

She let out a sigh as she slowly zipped up her suitcase, tucking in pieces of clothing that were sticking out of the side. At least she’d be staying in a mansion while attending Chatwick. Her aunt was beyond rich, not that Faith’s parents were poor; but Aunt Libby lived in one of the mansions built by the direct descendants of the original settlers of New Jerusalem one hundred years ago.

Sighing one last time and taking one last look around her room she said, “Goodbye,” to no one in particular, grabbed her suitcase and headed down the stairs.

“Pick up the suitcase Faith,” her mother called out. Too sullen to comply, Faith let the suitcase bounce loudly off of each step as she walked down the stairs.
“Faith, I know this is going to be hard, but Alexander needs you,” her mother said as she appeared at the bottom of the staircase.
“How can he need me mom? We only spent a couple of weeks each summer together up at his house years ago. I haven’t even been there in the last three years. He barely knows me. Besides, doesn’t he have those two guys he always hung out with, Tweedledee and Tweedledum?”
“Yes, he still has Nicholas and Chase, but he needs family Faith. Just humor your aunt and me and try to have fun. Alexander will appreciate it…it’s been hard for him, having his father in the hospital...”

Faith let go of her suitcase and plopped down into the over sized chair in the living room. “I know I’m being selfish, it’s just so hard. My senior year in a new school with new people,” Faith said with a pout. “It’s going to be weird starting school up there now that classes have already started. Everyone will be all settled in and I’ll just be the new girl.”

Faith’s mother walked over and placed her hand comfortingly on Faith’s shoulder, “It will all be okay. You’ll know Alexander. And Chase and Nicholas, too. Now come on, let’s get this suitcase into the car.” Giving Faith a tug on her ponytail, her mom bent down, grabbed the suitcase and headed for the door. Faith slowly pulled herself out of the chair, trying to soak in her last moments at her house. Her mother waited patiently, watching her daughter move with the speed of a glacier across the living room.

When Faith finally reached the door she took the suitcase from her mother and headed out of the house. Her mother pulled the door closed behind them and locked it. Faith put the suitcase into the trunk and walked over to her garden that she shared with her mother. There were still plenty of late summer blooms swaying in the ocean breeze. You could say that she and her mother were ‘gifted’ when it came to plants. She swiped her hand across the lavender and pulled her hand back to breathe in the earthy scent.

“Enough procrastinating. Let’s get a move on.” Faith’s mother, Diana, grabbed Faith’s herb-scented hand and semi-dragged her down to the car.
Her mother got behind the wheel. “We’ll stop by your dad’s work so you can go in and say good bye, okay?” she said through the open window.
“Great,” Faith said, trying to sound cheerful but failing miserably. She pulled open the passenger-side door and got into the car.
“Buckle up, honey.”

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