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Kimberly Cordell Kimberly Cordell
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A Broken Silence: Chapter 1

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Under the Double Star - Chapter One

Chapter 1: Arrival

The early morning sun streamed through my open window. Had they been closed, the thin, white curtains framing my window would have offered little respite from the radiant light. A cool morning breeze rippled through the lightweight fabric and tossed it playfully with its invisible hands.
I stared dumbly out the eastern facing window without leaving the warmth of my soft blankets. Where exactly was I? I pondered this simple question for a few moments before the answer came to me, like a distant dream that slowly formed into a reality.

       Two years ago, my mom was in a fatal car accident. I was at school when it happened. The entire day had felt more than a little hazy to me at the time. The picture of my peaceful life in our suburban home in Sacramento, California, was shattered in a moment. Even now, the memory seemed surreal somehow, but I didn’t want to think about that at the moment.

       I had no idea where my dad was, let alone who he actually was. I had met him once when I was about four, but I remembered little about him. My mom hadn’t spoken of him much. The strangest part about their relationship was that they had remained married, though they had neither seen nor spoken with each other for years. According to my mom, my dad had left shortly after my birth, yet he had left on good terms with my mom. I had long ago given up trying to discover their reasons for separation.

       For the past year, my older sister had taken responsibility for me, due to the fact that she was an adult. Unfortunately, the time had come for me to find a place of my own, though I was barely sixteen. She had only a part time job and she could no longer afford to pay bills and take care of all our needs. Our oldest sister, who was married, couldn’t take me in either for reasons of her own. In the end, my older sister moved into a small apartment with a roommate and I was sent to live with my Uncle Peter and Aunt Leslie in northern Idaho.
Aunt Leslie was my only aunt from my mother’s side. My aunt and uncle lived in the forest, near a small town. Since they had no children, they had a few extra rooms, one of which would become my new bedroom. Apparently, I would be transferring to the only public high school in that town.
The plane ride to Coeur D’Alene was ridiculously lonely. Thoughts concerning my entry into new school and of getting a job filled my head. I began to worry about things like getting a car and making friends. Friends. That was an area that I was sadly lacking in. I was not socially adept by any means. Did I even have any friends? I stared forlornly out the window, watching forests and farmlands slip by far below. Unloved; the word echoed through my head. Tears began to sting my eyes.
I met Uncle Peter and Aunt Leslie in the terminal. Aunt Leslie gave me a warm hug. My instinctive reaction would have been to pull away, but my aunt and uncle were opening their home to me, quite literally with open arms, therefore I endured a quick hug.
We drove from Coeur D’Alene airport to my aunt and uncle’s home. Once we exited the freeway, our road turned onto a secluded, winding road, lined with a myriad of evergreens. I breathed in the fresh air greedily. City air could never smell as sweet as the perfumed air of the forest.
I caught glimpses of a group of red-bricked buildings through the trees.
“That’s your new school, Lily,” commented Aunt Leslie.
“Edgewood High School,” added Uncle Peter.
Edgewood; it had such a lovely ring to it. I wondered what the mascot of my new school was.
We passed a rural town before we began climbing a hill. I stared out my open window. The air continued to grow noticeably cooler as we crested the hill. A quaint subdivision unfolded itself before us.
“Here we are,” said Aunt Leslie.
I looked at the lovely two-story house that would become my new home. The siding looked like natural wood. The house itself was an A-frame shape with a loft inside that looked over the living room. The grassy yard was lined with brightly colored flowers and birch trees. Mountainous forest provided the perfect backdrop for the house.
I remembered their short tour of the house, ending with my bedroom, which was located upstairs in the loft. From my southern window, I could see the small ‘neighborhood,’ and from my eastern window, I saw mountains looming far above a forest canyon.

A soft knock on my door ended my reminiscing of the previous day. I scrambled out of bed and ran to the door.
My aunt smiled. “Good morning Lily.”
“Morning,” I replied drowsily.
It was nice to actually be warned before being intruded upon. At home, my sister had the habit of barging in at the worst of times.
“Are you ready for your first day of school?” she asked.
I groaned inwardly, but I concealed my dread behind an unconvincing smile.
“Not yet, but I will be after breakfast.”
My words sounded hollow, if not fake, but Leslie did not seem to notice. “Well, I’ll let you get ready,” she said as she softly closed the door.
I walked back over to my bed to straighten things up a bit. What should I wear on my first day? I stood agonizing in front of my closet for several minutes before I chose a pair of dark jeans, simple black tennis shoes, and soft grey t-shirt with an intricate blue pattern on the front. Hurry, I told myself. The last thing I needed was to be late on my first day.
My aunt was just placing a stack of piping hot pancake on the table when I came crashing down the stairs. Uncle Peter was already seated, reading the morning paper.
“Morning, Lily,” my uncle said, with a warm smile.
“Good morning,” I mumbled with a plastered-on smile.

We finished breakfast with minimal conversation on my part. Once we were finished, I helped Aunt Leslie clear the table and load the dishwasher. After Uncle Peter left for work, I ran back upstairs to do some last-minute primping. Perhaps I could even make an attempt at fixing my hair. Having my own bathroom had practically been my lifelong dream. It had been difficult at home with my sister fighting with me for the mirror.
Once I finished transforming my unkempt mane, my medium-length brown hair nearly looked presentable. I swept my dark bangs to the side. A swift glance in the mirror told me to give up. I retreated with a sigh.
I went to my bedroom to retrieve my black messenger bag and a few spiral-bound notebooks. It was time to leave.
“Bye, Aunt Leslie,” I called as I ran down the stairs.

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