When I step out of the car I can honestly say that I was hoping for a longer drive. Maybe a sharp turn toward the beach or the warmth. But instead, I feel a cold wind blow across my bare knees, insisting that it is far too cold out to be wearing shorts. However, ten hours ago, I was hot even in my shorts. I grab my single suitcase from the back of the car and stand beside Helen, waiting for her to make the first step toward the large, tan house. Instead, however, she pulls me into a quick hug, and wipes a tear from her eye- her final goodbye to me. We will say goodbye when my aunt is around, but it won't be like this. This is more emotional.
Before we reach the door, a small woman with graying hair walks out the door. She calls out, "Meggie? Is that you?"
Helen grabs onto my free arm and escorts me to the front porch, where the woman stands. "It's Maggie," I say, disinterested.
She laughs, "Oh, my bad, darling! Oh it's been such a long time. I haven't seen you since, well, not since your father's funeral." I laugh idly, taking in the large yard that surrounds her house. "Where are my manners?" she asks after a moment. "Come inside, Maggie. Nice to see you again, Helen."
"You as well, Lisa. I actually really must be going. I have a long drive back and a new case to start tomorrow." She looks at me, tears brimming her eyes, threatening to spill over onto her eyeliner, but she holds them back as she says, "Goodbye, Maggie." With that, she turns and exits the door, shutting it tightly behind her. I look at Lisa and she smiles.
"I hate to do this as soon as you get here, but I have to leave for work," she explains, pinning a name tag to her shirt that says 'Walmart' on it.
"You work at Walmart? Is it close to here?" I ask, not realizing that civilization could be anywhere within thirty miles of this house.
"It's about twenty-five minutes away. Driving, that is. There is the plaza, though. Which is only about a five minute drive from here. There's the football field, and a pool, and a library up over the hill. There's not much else around though. Big thing around here is the sports from the high school here. Which reminds me, you won't start there until Monday. That's when they start school. I'll pick you up some notebooks and pencils and such from the store tonight."
I smile at her as she says this. My first impression was quite off, but I'm still slightly wary, naturally.
As she reaches the door she turns around and shouts, "There's still food on the stove. Help yourself. Get to know the place. Finding your room won't be very hard. I'll see you when I get home."
"Goodbye, Aunt Lisa," I call halfheartedly as I wander toward the kitchen. Within minutes of getting here, I am alone again.
I walk through the house, scrutinizing each room. When I reach the room that is mine, I realize why Lisa had told me that I would find it easily. She left a note on the door saying 'Meggie's Room!' I laugh slightly, as that she truly thought my name is Meggie. I push open the door and am horrified. The room is entirely pink. The walls are pink, the bed sheets are pink. I walk carefully toward the white dresser neatly placed in the corner opposite of the bed. On the top of it is a pink laptop, with a note placed on top of it. It reads:
I truly hope you enjoy your room. I don't know much about raising teenagers, since I never had one. The room is left from whenever my roommate lived here a long time ago. I got new bed sheets to match the room, but I couldn't bear to repaint it. I hope you don't mind the color.
I spend a lot of time away from the house. I work at Walmart but also own a small hair cutting business in town. There isn't much time for me to spend at the house. I hope you make friends and have them to keep you entertained, but until then, here's a welcome gift. It's all yours.
Your Aunt Lisa.
I stand amazed at the laptop. My mom never had any money, being as she spent nearly all of it on drugs and alcohol, so I never had anything to own. Hence, the fact that I only have one suitcase of things to bring with me anywhere. The suitcase itself was, of course, provided to me by Helen.
I take the laptop, along with the charger, toward the bed and sat down on it before opening the computer. I set it up with all of my personal favorite things. I create a Facebook, Twitter, and an Instagram within an hour of sitting down. Not being used to spending time on the computer, I decide to put the laptop back on the dresser. I change into one of my few pairs of jeans and throw on an old sweatshirt that smells like dust, because I haven't worn either in such a long time. Feeling motivational, I leave the house, in search of something to do.
I walk toward where I assume town to be. At the end of the road my Aunt lives on, there is a walking trail, so I set out in the opposite direction of there. Civilization becomes clearer after only five minutes of walking. While on the road of my new house, there are only three houses, the road I am currently walking on, has houses packed in beside one another- a completely different atmosphere.
As the town becomes more apparent, I begin to see signs of life in this small town. I head toward what I believe to be the plaza, and soon enough see some stores. I see a Family Dollar, Subway, and even a thrift store. I notice Lisa's Hair Styling Salon, and recognize that this is the business that she informed me that she owns. Outside of a small music store, a group of boys around my age stand, looking at something in the store window. I overhear them as I start to get closer, discussing something about guitars. One boy says, "I promise you that the acoustic guitar is one that you can't go wrong with. You can just hang around by the fire and play it. You don't have to be on stage."
Another counters, "But on stage, an electric sounds much cooler."
I watch the boys as I get closer, and one, tall with very light hair, notices me. He nudges the shorter boy next to him, and then all of the boys are looking at me. The first to notice me calls out to me, "Hey!"
Cautiously and nervously, I walk toward them. I've never worn makeup and I'm not exactly dressed to impress, which I should have thought about before leaving the house. "Hi," I say as I hold my hand up in an awkward wave. "I'm Maggie."