Gwen is your average 16 year old girl. She has a part time job, a best friend that nobody could ever compare with. And she has three wonderful younger siblings. And her mother and father. But then, life starts to take a turn for the worst. More so than what she had ever thought was possible. Her mother leaves when her father is pronounced terminally ill with a brain tumour and then the weight of the world is on her shoulders. Her siblings are so you g that they can barely comprehend what is in fact going in in their lives and then her brother gets the worst of it. She's ready to burst.

**Claimer: This is the original work of the author. Do not plagiarize. You will be caught and then you will have to deal with the consequences. Thank you.**


2. Chapter Two

She looked sadly into his eyes as she told him the date. She looked at him as the shock of the news registered in his eyes. The look on his face, it showed how much he cared. 

     And then, suddenly, he was wrapping her into his arms, and pulling her close. Into a hug. It shocked her to the bone. She wasn't expecting this from him. The jock. The basketball player. The tall, blonde haired, blue eyed, creature that so many girls in this school had wanted to date. And now, now she of all of them was wrapped in his arms, dumbstruck as to what was going on. 

     That wasn't the end of it all though. Next, his friends came up and one by one and joined in the hug. She remained in his arms solely though, never leaving his side. Her best friend stood there, mouth agape as she watched on in amazement. 

     She stood there, in this one boy--no, man's--arms and broke down. She cried her heart out. She buried her face in his shoulder and cried and cried. All of her heartache, all of her pain, all of her suffering. All of the emotional baggage she'd been bottling up inside of her for the past few months. All ready, being held in his arms, being loved, feeling nothing save for the warmth and affection from this boy that she knew was the school's heart throb. 

     She felt the eyes of his friends on her, but she would not relent. She sobbed so hard that she could no longer tell what was dry. His sweater was soaked in her tears and all he could possibly do was hold we close and murmur in her ear about how everything was going to be all right. 

     "Achmm." Her best friend coughed and thus, earned their attention. 

     "Gwen, we need to go. Are you all right?" Her friend said. 

     "Sorry, sorry, LeeAnne. I…I lost it there for a bit." Gwen said, wiping her tears off of her face. "Oh, no! Tom! I'm…I'm so sorry! You're hoodie! I've completely soaked it through! I'm so sorry!! I--" she was cut off by him. 

     "Shhh.… don't worry about it, Love. It's fine. You know what, go ahead and take it with you. You can have it. And if you cry once more, go ahead and use it. You apparently need it more than I." Tom said, slipping off his hoodie and placing it around her shoulders. 

     She looked up at him and started to weep again. 

     "No... Don't do that... Gwen, shhh…don't worry about any of this." Tom said as he once again wrapped her heaving body into his arms and kissed her head. 

     She stopped crying right then. He…he…HE had just…KISSED her!! Her! The reject, the girl whom everyone teased abut her hair, her style, her everything. 

     Her who had just gone through the worst day of her life. And, now, now she had to leave school and go home and wait for tomorrow to come along. She would be swarmed with everything that had happened over the pass few months. And then, of course the pass days. 

     Her father becoming ill, her mother abandoning her, her sisters, and their brother. Her vowing to take care of everyone and continue with her schooling still. Her having to get a job. Her father finally dying yesterday. Her siblings not understanding any of it. And her turning 18 today. Her life had gone up in flames, so to speak. 

     She looked at Tom and felt gratitude towards him for everything he had done for her through out the school term. 

     "Tom, thank you for everything. Thank you for being there even when I didn't know I needed it. And, Lee thank you as well. You've both been so kind to me and so understanding. Thank you."

     LeeAnne looked at Gwen and smiled, pulling her into a tight hug. "No matter what, Gwen, I'll be here for you and I'll always be your best friend. I love you, Hun. And you ain't ever getting rid of me so quickly!" 

     Gwen chuckled and said, "Thanks, doll face!"

     Tom looked at the two best friends and realised that he had been in love with Gwen for years. He just hadn't known how to express it. But now, now that she had allowed him to hold her frail body in his arms, he would never let her go. 

     "Gwen. Text me, okay. Here's my number." Tom said writing his cell number in the palm of her hand. "Whenever or for whatever reason. Just text or call me. I'll be there." 

     Gwen nodded her thanks, smiled and left with LeeAnne as they walked to the car together. 

     "Do the Twins know? Does Nick?"

     "The Twins know. They just are having a hard time and Nick is only six. He doesn't understand. All he's waiting for is Mommy to come home with Daddy. But, she's not coming home. She and Daddy are not going to come home. I have to explain it all to him each night as I put him to bed. And Mariea and Maggie. They're both in pain. Every night I hear them crying out in their sleep. I feel their pain as I sit up and do the house work and my homework. Tonight isn't going to be any different. You know, Dad signed the divorce papers over a month ago and she's been gone for two yars almost. She walked out on us when I turned 16. She's never coming back. She washed her hands of us. Giving everything over to Daddy. And that was when Daddy got sick. He got sick before my birthday, but he's always been so strong. He refused to be hospitalised right up to the very end. It killed me watching him die. I couldn't stand it. But now, everything has changed. I am going to still raise everyone. I'm going to do this on my own. There's no one left to help us. Granma took mom and her new piece of body in. Grandpa is gone, and I don't have any aunts or uncles. Everyone on my dads side disowned him, and his parents are dead. I have to just continue on with my job and hope that I give the kids all that I can. And I will." 

     "Honey, let me drive today. I'll take you home. And then I'll walk to my house or call Jeff. He can pick me up from your place. Besides, the kids don't get home till 4. It's two. Lets go somewhere for a while. My birthday treat to you."

     "But, Lee, you all ready got me flowers, chocolates, a new cell phone, you even paid our Internet bill last month! I can't let you do this!" 

     "Gwenivere Lilly Montgomery! I will use my family's money anyway I so please to! You will just accept it and deal with it!"

     Gwen sighed and sat down in her car on the passenger side. "Fine. Go ahead. Take me somewhere to eat or something. I still need to figure out dinner for us at home!! Oh. My. God! I can't believe I completely forgot!! Take me home! Don't take me out! Get me home!!!"

     "I'll take all of you out for dinner all week this week if you want. We can work around your schedule. Don't worry about a thing. And while you're at work and the kiddies are left alone, I'll still watch them." 

     "I can't pay you until the summer. And that's three months away. Can you live with that?" 

     "You're not going to pay me at all. I won't hear of it. Now, lets get you home and them you can have the big present. That's hidden in the trunk for you. I hope that you will all like it!"

     And with that, LeeAnne drove them to Gwen's house. Gwen, wondering the whole while what she could possibly pull out now. 

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