• tab “Fine,” I grumble at my dad on the way to our new home. I just couldn't believe my parents would wait mid-semester to decide to for us to move clear across the country. High school is already painstaking enough with the ‘don’t-care teachers’ and the college level work, but now I would have to settle into a new one. To be the new kid. Yeah, my life’s looking pretty good right now. My home, my real home, in sunny, South Carolina would always be on my mind. I would miss my home, friends, even the clean, country air. I would especially miss my best buddy, T.J. He and I had been friends since the third grade, and I couldn't have asked for better best friend. We would get in so much trouble sometimes, but he always gave my life that little bit of fun I needed. He lived everyday like it might be his last on this Earth. My parents of course, being the stiffs that they are, always thought of T.J. as a bad influence, rarely letting him over to our house at all. He would always lie about how nice and fun my parents were when ever he could be over, but I knew it was purely for my feelings. I had seen the way he looked at them wearing their expensive suits all day, everyday. They never even dressed like normal people, trying to be professional 24/7.
    tab They keep telling me how beneficial our moving to Nevada will be. Every time they start, I sit, listen, and wait for the- “oh and because you won’t be around T.J. anymore.” Maybe they didn’t like him because they were the most boring people on the planet. After all, my dad spends his time as an accountant, and my mom a psychologist. Yeah… interesting couple.
    tab “I don’t know why you’re still being so stubborn about this,” my father says on the drive to our new home. His face looked hopeful as he concentrated on the road. “We’ll be in a big city, and you’re mom and I will be making a lot more money. We can have the big house you’ve always wanted to have. Nice in-ground pool… Won’t you like that, Casey?” I silently rolled my eyes in the back seat of the Honda, folding my arms across my chest.
    tab “Nobody ever cared about what I wanted before, so why start now,” I spat back at him. I know the comment was mean, but that’s just the way I wanted it. I really shouldn’t have to care about anyone else’s feelings, if no one honored mine. My dad opened his mouth to say something else, but my mom stopped him.
    tab “Just let it go ,Drew,” she said calmly. “He’ll come to understand later. He’s only doing this so you’ll be as upset as he is. Psychology 101, projection.” Of all careers, why did she have to choose to be a psychologist? With a deep sigh, My dad stares coldly onto the road, flexing his jaw, but otherwise, says nothing. I didn't care that I made him upset. It wouldn't have been so bad to wait a year and a half for me to graduate. Though they never quite said it, the idea of waiting that much longer repulsed them. I could see it in their faces. My mom is especially easy to read. Her eyes are like mint green pools of emotion. No matter how composed her features were, her eyes would contradict her words. Now, I could see a small amount of hurt in her eyes. I wouldn't be the only person here who was upset. I had always thought I would graduate with the people I've known all my life. Not with they new faces of people I had just only recently met.
    :tab biggrin ad’s driving speed starts to slowly crawl up the meter, a driving style very much unlike him. My mom on the other hand, sips her coffee very calmly, probably trying to avoid ruining her cream colored suit. I should have known that I couldn't purposefully force my anger on a psychologist. She knew every trick in the book. Oh well… I guess it was worth a shot.
    tab We finally turn onto Phoenix Drive , a very quite area with many trees behind the small houses. A scene that kind of reminds me of home, actually. The street is very smooth and almost calming. I notice my dad looks a little more relaxed, but his eyes stay tight and narrow. The Car remains quiet for the rest of the drive and, the silence was almost killing me. I decide to break it.
    tab “So which of these is ours?” I asked, filling my voice with clearly, phony enthusiasm.
    tab “Further down,” my dad replies, trying to keep his face blank. I can still see that he’s still upset so I don’t say anything else. I’ll let him bask in his anger for a little while longer. We reach the end of Phoenix Drive, and turn down a dirt road with even larger trees lining the sides of it, like military soldiers standing at attention. The car slows as we com to our driveway, and as mad as I am that we had to move, I can’t control the child like smile on my face. I meet my dad’s eyes in the rear view mirror, when he gives me an approving smile.
    tab Our yard is amazing large, with that perfect shade of green, freshly mowed grass. We ride up the long stone pathway leading to our new three story home. This home has clearly been owned before. Its fixed up perfectly, with a flower garden, that squares around the circumference of the house. As we rolled to a stop, I open the car door and try my very best to mask my features, though it doesn’t work. This looks like one of those houses you see on T.V. Sure both my parents have masters degrees, but our home was always nondescript. Mom and dad never like drawing attention to themselves. I open the door to our Honda, which looks like it doesn’t even belong on this lawn, and head for the trunk, egger to get my stuff out and find my new room. The trunk opens and I reach for one of my suitcases, when my dad grabs it, still holding his approving smile.
    tab “You can go ahead and head up,” he says tossing me the keys. “Pick which ever room you like.” Wow. I get first choice of the room. “Sweet,” I mutter to my self as I jog up the steps. I open the door and take notice of the warm décor of the family room, lavished in cocoa brown and cream colors. To my right I see the enormous kitchen, and know I’ll be spending some time in there soon. After taking in the sight, I scan for a set of stairs and quickly rush up them, not even making a sound on the soft carpet on them. I don’t even stop as I make it to the top, and turn again, heading up the third floor.
    tab My parents never actually let me choose which room I wanted. The feeling of exhaustion from the running quickly melts away, as I look over and see my name on a large black door, written in gold letters. I guess they already knew that I would head straight for the third floor. I turn the doorknob, and it doesn’t budge. He would do that to annoy me, wouldn’t he?. I turn away from the door, when I hear my parents entrance, and for the first time, I notice the oddly shaped, square key on my dad’s key ring, with a gold letter ‘C’ on it. My eyebrows raise at the sight, when I notice the same, thin, square shaped slot on the door knob. “Sweet.” I mutter to myself again as I over-excitedly jam the key in the hole, turn and open the door. My dream room.
    tab My new room is almost the same size as the living room in my old house. I look over at the lofty dresser, my new computer at my new desk, and T.V.; small, but flat screend. My eyes then fall on the crown jewel of the whole room. The giant, king-sized bed lay back against the wall, covered with a long black quilt, and gold pillows. Apparently, mom and dad spared no expense in the use of my favorite colors. Then I remember that they probably knew I would be upset, so this would coax me into happiness. As much as I don’t want to admit it… it works. I lay back on the bed, resting my head on the palms of my hand staring at the ceiling, thinking about how life will be here. Before I could even picture a school in my head, my thoughts shift to my parents. Maybe I was being too hard on them. After all, they do have jobs to do, and the new house is really nice.
    tab Suddenly tired, a yawn slowly creeps out of my throat and I let the serenity of the room lull me to sleep. In my dreams, I’m floating on a cloud, watching my old friends below me. Lola, another one of my closest friends, tries to stop T.J. from jumping out of a tree, her eyes wild and frantic. “Typical,” I think to myself. From up above I can also see someone else. Someone who doesn’t belong in the group. A sort of glitch in the scenario. He just looks like a regular little boy, but one that I have never seen before. T.J and Lola don’t see me, but the little boy keeps his big blue eyes on me, his face completely unreadable.
    tab “Casey,” he whispers softly. My eyes widen in shock. How can he possibly know me, when I’ve never seen him before. “Casey,” he whispers again in his soft, pleading voice. Again, I don’t answer, still wonder who this little boy could be. Ever so suddenly, the dream begins to slow down, like a movie playing frame by frame. I watch his features change from being completely unreadable, to plain as day. Anger. Rage. Fury.
    tab “Casey!” he demands, this time in a deep, rich, almost monstrous voice. Everything in my vision freezes, as his thundering voice destroys everything insight, including my perfect little cloud. I gasp suddenly, feeling my pulse quicken, while I fall below, at his feet. I've never heard such an abomination before in my entire life! Especially nothing close to this from what was such an innocent looking child. My head stays down, while I'm too reluctant to look up at his face. “Casey!” he exclaims in the same, but louder voice. My body jerks upward until I'm on my knees, looking him in the eye. “Casey!” His voice, this time, is of the same anger, but at the same time, something else. A familiar voice. My mother?
    tab “Casey?” my mom says softly by my side, waking me from my sleep. For a second I don’t even recognize my surroundings, felling like I’m still in a dream. My breathing is still slightly quick, and I feel cold sweat on my forehead. “Come on down, honey,” she says with a warm smile, though her eyes say she’s worried. “Dinner’s ready.”