Close As Strangers

3 1/2 out of 4 punk-ish (so confusing XD) Annabelle Thompson is a 17 year old runaway teen with no family except for her 16 year old sister Izzie and her 21 year old locked up brother Jake. Plus Ali and Maggie who are considered family. She has parents, but their more concerned about money, drugs, and alcohol than their 3 kids. When Ali and Maggie's brothers fly in from Aussie for Maggie's birthday, they bring 2 of their friends along, and decide to spend the next year in the states. But when that year might turn into moving there, there are decisions that have to be made, and some people from Annabelle's past come back in here life. Her life goes from miserable to having her brother back, to a living Hell.

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2. into the past

Around an hour into the party I sat down on the couch and watched, making sure no one died because if so, it would be our problem. I pulled jakes locket out of my pocket and opened it, admiring the picture of Jake and I sitting on the big rock in our backyard, mine side was shorter than his, plus he was taller than me. He had his arm around my shoulders and a smiled played across his lips, I had my face shoved in his side, arms around his waist.

   Maggie came running up to me, interrupting the memories clouding my mind. “Hey birthday girl, what’s up?” I asked. “Izzie passed out from too many drinks and we put her on the couch and we were talking and decided we should all go to my house after this, to just have a girls night out, in my house.” She slightly slurred, she was really hyper, and intoxicated, damn it. I nodded. “Oh! And Luke and Ashton flew to the states for my birthday! They said they brought 2 of their friends and they want us to meet them. They’ll be will us for the next year I think; unless they said they were going to move here. I don’t remember, but whatever WHOOOOO!” she screamed and ran off. You see, Luke is her brother; Ashton is Ali’s brother.

   Last I remember hearing about Ash is that he got his full sleeves of tattoos finally finished, and I think got his eyebrow pierced, also his lip. Same goes for Luke, although, I don’t think he has quite as much tattoos as Ash. They are also dropouts like me.  As for Michael and Calum, I’ve only seen pictures. Michael doesn’t have many tattoos, I think like, 3. Also, last I’ve heard, his hair was a mess of purple and blue galaxy.  Calum has a lot, and his lip pierced.

I think the party was ending soon, but the music was still loud as ever, red cups placed in different places, lights flashing, people dancing, and all that fun stuff.

   “Guys, someone wake Izzie up, its time to cut the cake! Everybody get around!” I yelled, getting every ones attention. Once everyone was here, including a tired, drained Izzie, we started singing. “Happy birthday to you…”

   The four of us walked out of the hotel and made our way to the car. “Hey Maggie, who’s gonna be at your house?” I asked as I pulled out of the parking lot and on my way to her house. “Well, Luke, Ashton, Michael and Calum. My parents went out.”  I didn’t answer instead I kept driving.

When we pulled up her drive way I saw four boys standing in the door. Ashton and Luke, the other two I recognized as Michael and Calum. We got out and walked up the path until we got to the door, Ashton holding it open. “Hey guys! How was the trip?” I asked, hugging Luke, then Ashton. “Terrible but since we were coming here, it made it a ton better.” Luke smiled. “You guys missed the party! It was wicked!” Izzie said, giggling at the end. “Izzie why don’t you go sit down, Maggie will get you some water, ok?” I said, grabbing her arm and dragging her to the couch. She agreed and sat down. I sat down next to her when the others walked in and sat down. Ali sat with Ashton, Maggie with Luke, and Michael then Calum then me then Izzie on the larger couch. “Hi I’m Calum.” Calum turned to face me. “I know,” he looked at me weird and I realized how that sounded. “What?” he asked. “I mean from pictures, I’ve seen you from pictures that Maggie and Ali showed me. And your Michael.” I said. Michael just nodded and gave a small wave. “Oh, “ Calum chuckled. “ well, its nice to finally meet you in person, Annabelle, the girls always talk about you when we Skype, and when they come to visit. Well, you and Izzie.” He smiled.

  “Well now that every one knows each other, why don’t we go somewhere? Like, not a party or anywhere loud, just like a quiet place where it’s just the 8 of us.” Maggie offered. “Why don’t we go to the docks? No one goes there after 12:00. We’d have it all to ourselves.” I suggested. “Yes, as long as no one pushes any one in the water.” Ali said.

    We all got in two cars, Izzie, Calum, Michael, and me in my car, then Ali, Maggie, Luke, and Ashton in his car.

   I was driving, Calum next to me, Izzie and Michael in the back, everyone was making small conversations except Michael, who wasn’t making a sound. “So, Annabelle-“ Calum started. “You can call me Anna.” I interrupted him. “Anna, do you have any family down here?” he asked. My breath hitched. I felt Izzie put her hand on my shoulder. She knew how much I missed Jake, and it was always hard for me to talk about him. And my parents, I don’t like to talk about them. “Umm, yeah. Izzie, my.” I paused,” Parents, and my older brother Jake.” I heard my voice crack. “Why did you pause before parents?” he asked. “Because their rich ass selfish bastards who have more money than they need but couldn’t pay the fucking fine so my brother could get out of jail. And I don’t consider them as my parents, I’m nothing like them, never will be, never want to be. Selfish fucking pricks.” I said, getting pissed at my parents- again. “ Oh, I’m sorry I asked.” Calum said. “Its fine,” I tried to sound honest, but failed. 

I pulled over when we got to the docks, but the others weren’t here yet. I turned towards everyone.” Would it be wrong to ask for a back story?” Calum asked. I caught a glimpse of someone hitting his arm. “Fucking idiot.” I heard Michael whisper. “No, its fine, everyone else knows the story, you guys might as well too.” I said. “You sure?” he asked, worriedly. I nodded. “Well, when I was 13, my dad became an alcoholic.” I started. I turned to the window so I didn’t have to look anyone in the eyes.

     “It wasn’t that bad at first, but after a few weeks, he started being abusive. He would always beat me while izzie was at school. They didn’t touch her, mainly because whenever they tried, I would interfere, so she wouldn’t get hurt. Soon after this started, my mom joined in the torture and became a drug addict and dealer. That’s where they got most of their money. She chipped in with the beatings and the only person who was there to help me was Jake. Jake’s 4 years older than me, and he was always over protected of me. He would always take me places, wherever whenever. Especially when my parents were drunk, or abusive, we’d always stay at a hotel, or one of his friends houses.” I slightly smiled at the memory of Jake helping me. “Where was Izzie?” Calum asked. “I’d stay with Ali. We always offered to have Anna and Jake stay with us, but Ali still lived with her parents, and they wouldn’t let a boy stay at their house, even if it was our brother. I lived with Ali until we became roommates and got our own house.” Izzie answered.

    “Wait, did you say Jake was in jail? Where is he now?” Calum asked. “Well, he’s in jail. He’s been there for the past 2 years. But he’s coming home in 2 weeks.” I said quietly. I turned towards the window, watching the others pull up. “ What did he do?” Calum asked yet another question. “ I don’t wanna talk about it.” I said getting out of the car.

   “Well, now that were here, what should we do?” Maggie asked.  No one said anything; we just stood there, clueless. Well they did, I was sitting on a rock facing the ocean, and in my own little world watching the waves crash on the sand. “Anna?” Ali asked, bringing me back to reality. “What?” “Just making sure you were alive.” I nodded and just stared back at the ocean. “You ok?” “I’m fine.” I said, more of a whisper. “You sure?” "Why don't we just continue celebrating Maggie's birthday, today's about her not me." I said. I turned away from everyone and lay back looking at the stars, grabbing Jake's locker and holding it tightly. “You heard her guys, let's party!" Izzie said, running to the car. When she came back she had two 6-packs of beer. I closed my eyes and took in the fresh air and the sound of the waves, with occasional screams from Izzie, and the usual chatter between everybody. I continued to lay back with my eyes closed and Jake's locker wrapped tightly in the palm of my hand, until I got interrupted.

"Hey bell, what's up?" Luke asked, lying next to me. Luke is the only person that is allowed to call me 'bell'. I've always been closest to him than any other boy. He's the first boy I trust after I didn't have Jake around. Don't get me wrong, I trust Ashton too, but I'm closer to Luke.

Luke's like a second brother to me, Ashton's a best friend, and I love them both like family.

" Hey." I said softly. "You ok?" He asked. "Yeah, I'm fine. Shouldn't you be partying with everyone?" I asked, not opening my eyes. " Yeah, you should be too. But I don't wanna drink, that's pretty much all their doing, and I'd rather stay with you and figure out what's bothering you." He said. I just stayed there, silent. "Bell," I sighed. "I just miss Jake." I turned my head, facing him. He paused, and then sat up, opening his arms. I looked at him for a moment then sat up with him and fell in his arms. "We all do. And we've lasted the past two years, only two weeks to go, and then everything will be better. I promise. Once Jake's back, he'll be back for good. He's not going to leave you again. And if he does, then you’re going to be stuck with me, every second, every hour, every day." He smiled, making me laugh quietly. "Thanks Luke. In all honesty I feel a little better.“ I smiled. He hugged me again. "That was the point bell." He laughed. We sat there, just looking at the water, his arm around my shoulders. "Hey Luke, how long are you going to be here? Like, when do you have to go back to Aussie?" I asked, looking up at him. He looked down at me for a second, then back up. "Ah, I don't know. Maybe a year, unless otherwise. We might want to move here. It depends." He said. " Depends on what?" I smiled. "Depends on if we can find a house, and how long you guys want us around." He smiled back. "Well if that's all it takes, might as well start moving in now." "What do you mean?" "I have a place…I haven't been there in a while, but it's in perfect shape. The only problem is, there's 5 rooms, and you guys only need 4." My smile got wider. "Wait did you say you haven't been there in a while? Isn't it your place?" He asked. "Well yeah it's my place but I don't live there." "Well if you don't live there, where do you live?" He asked." Everywhere. Nowhere in particular. Sometimes I stay with Izzie and Ali, or sometimes I just walk around, sit at a coffee shop or gas station." I said. "What? No. We're going to get a place, and your coming with us. You can't just walk around at night, it's not safe." “You sure They'd be ok with that? Well you and ash would, but what about Calum and Michael? We don't really know each other." "Are you kidding? Calum already loves you like the sister he hasn't met, He also feels bad about asking about Jake, he's been wanting to apologize, but doesn't think now would be a good time, they've had a few too many drinks." He laughed. "And Michael?" I asked. "Uh, I'm not sure about Michael. He hasn't really mentioned anything about not liking you. And no one really knows what goes through his mind, so I couldn't tell you anything. But I'm sure he'll love you too, I mean, who couldn't your you." We laughed for what felt like forever until we got as serious as me and Luke can get. "So, when can we see this place?" He asked. "Oh! And one more thing, my parents live above it. It’s in the basement, but it remodeled and it's bigger than the whole house. It's more of an under ground house. It's completely sound proof, so if my parents are home, they won't hear a single sound. It’s completely free; the price is included in the house. Which my parents are paying for. So you wouldn't have to pay anything. There are 3 doors that lead to it. 2 are in the house, in the stairs, and under the island in the kitchen. And 1 outside. They’re all locked; I'm the only one with the key. Plus my parents don't know about it." I explained. "Aren't your parents rich and have a big ass house?" "It's pretty big, yeah." "And this basement you’re talking about, it's bigger?" "Yep." I said, popping the P. "What did you do down there?" "Well me and Jake always used too have drawing contests, listen to music and do whatever we wanted. That was our hiding place; he'd have parties down there, you know, because of it being sound proof and all. It was just a second home." I said, flashbacks of the memories replaying in my mind. "Oh, I'm sorry for asking I didn't know Jake was involved-" "it's fine. You didn't know. It's ok." He gave me a sympathetic smile. " I'm sorry." He hugged me tightly, one arm on my shoulder blade the other in the middle of my back, similar to the way Jake hugged me.

Luke reminded me of Jake. The way he styled his hair, his hugs, how he comforts you, his smiles, his over protective personality. That's why when I first met him; I immediately questioned him to make sure he wasn't related to Jake or me. We instantly became closer to each other. Hung out for hours, stayed at each other's houses, and promised not to fall in love with each other. It wasn't awkward or anything, we both just agreed to be family, not by blood, but to just look out for each other, like a family. Maggie was already like a sister to me, now Luke was a brother to me. And it's been that way for 5 years.

We got closer after Jake left. I told him that Jake was my protection from my parents and any harm, that I didn't have my guardian angel any more. By then I was crying. He just took my hand, rubbed tiny circles with his thumb, and pulled me in his lap. I was pretty much asleep, but could hear Luke whisper in my ear, "I'll be your Guardian Angel." After that all I remember doing is smiling and falling asleep.

"Annabelle? You ok?" Luke snapped me back to reality. "What? Oh um, yeah, I'm fine. Just thinking." I said. " About what?" He asked. "Nothing." I said, getting up and walking towards the others.

 

A/N

Hi.

Um...

 so… i already started this, and I'm writing the chapters ahead, so you won't have to wait. (just comment and i'll post it :D) umm…. I'm completely clueless as to what i sure say so… enjoy. ^_^ 

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