Twelve-year-old Heather Anderson is the richest, most popular girl in the seventh grade. But when Heather's home is robbed one night, the Andersons are forced to leave their life of luxury and enter an entirely different world.


5. Alone

   Heather sat at the table, pouting. She scooped up a glob of chocolate ice cream and shoved into her mouth. The freezy sensation slips down her dry throat. Maria stumbles into Dairy Queen with a smile across her deeply-tanned face. She slides into the seat across from Heather. Her jaw drops. "Heather? Is that low-fat?!", she panics. Heather shakes her head groggily. Maria gasps, "What happened?!"  Heather grumbled, "Trevor." "What?", Maria leaned closer. Heather told her everything about the missed calls, the lie, and his "mom" calling. Maria's dark brown eyes widened in shock. "But why are you eating ice cream with fat?!", she spat the word, "In the winter!"  Heather shrugged, "Ice cream makes me feel better."  Maria face sprouted a hopeful smile, "Soooo...when are we actually going to shop?"  Heather stood up, grabbed her Coach purse and smoothed down her silk blouse, "" Maria jumped up, "C'mon!"  Heather fought the urge to cry.

  Heather hobbles over to her front door, many bags on her forearms. She drops her arms, sending the bags to the snow-dusted porch, leaving marks on her arms. She sticks the key into the keyhole and turns it to the left. Click. She pauses to realize that this was the first time she ever opened this door with a key. Victor was with his family for Christmas and her parents were out on a date, leaving her here. Alone. Most kids her age were with their family, looking forward to Christmas, which was tomorrow. Heather frowns and opens the door. She steps into the pitch black and throws the bags to her left. She yanks off her knitted, white scarf and flings it across the foyer. Heather massages her temples and, in the split-second before the chandelier twinkled and lit up the foyer, she expects to see the same, antique furniture. The same marble floors. The same...everything. But when the chandelier lit, the only thing that catches her eye was emptiness. Pure emptiness.


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