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The fallen star (fallen.., p.9
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       The Fallen Star (Fallen Star Series, Book 1), p.9

           Jessica Sorensen


  All the lights in my two-story red brick home were off when I pulled into the driveway. It was only a little after seven, too early for Marco and Sophia to be in bed. They must have gone out for dinner or something.

  I locked the back door behind me and stumbled around in the dark until I found the light switch and flipped it on. I grabbed a Coke and an apple from the fridge and headed upstairs to my room, debating whether or not to do my homework. My brain was distracted by the weird day I had. The weird day I spent with Alex.

  My day with Alex.

  Holy freaking cow.

  A light turned on behind me.

  “And where have you been?”

  I whirled around, almost dropping the can of Coke.

  Sophia was standing at the bottom of the stairs with her hands on her hips. She had a fluffy pink robe on, and her auburn hair was curled up in rollers. I guess I was wrong when I assumed she had gone out. But what had she been doing, waiting around in the dark for me to show up?

  It was so weird.

  “I was out with…a friend,” I told her, knowing how unnatural the word “friend” sounded coming out of my mouth.

  She narrowed her eyes. “You don’t have any friends.”

  “Yes I do,” I protested. “Sort of.”

  “If that’s the case, then why haven’t I seen any of these friends?”

  “Maybe because I don’t want to bring them over here,” I snapped hotly.

  A strand of her hair unwound from a roller and bounced in front of her face. “What's wrong with ‘over here’?”

  I gave an exhausted sigh. “Nothing’s wrong with here. I don’t know why you care about any of this anyway.”

  Her eyes widened. “I don’t.” She pushed past me and marched up the stairs, calling over her shoulder, “In fact, I don’t care what you do at all.”

  Her words hurt me like a knife to the heart. I mean, I always assumed she never liked me very much, but now that she put it out there…I felt like I might cry. They didn’t care about me.

  No one did.

  Tears stung at my eyes. Breathe, I commanded myself. You will not cry. I sucked back the tears and dragged my butt up to my room, where I changed into my pajamas and crawled into the welcoming warmth of my bed. It was early, but I was exhausted.

  Outside my window, the clouds had parted. The moon smoldered against the blackness of the sky; the stars twinkled harmoniously around it. I felt that same strange pull that I always did whenever I looked up at the night sky. It made me feel like I belonged up there, shining with the stars.

  Sometimes it felt like it was the only place I did belong.

  Chapter 8