Silent Grove

Part I - Awakening

Chapter One - Welcome to the Club

January 14th, 2007. It was actually refreshing to look around and not see the chill of depressing snow. I used to live in- what I thought was- the most rural part of the United States: Phillips, Maine. A place where it's nine months of winter, and three months that there's no snow, but the water will still be in the twenties… We had a good sided stream… no matter how cold it got, it never froze over. I thought that after living in a place where the population consisted of you, your family, three neighbors and a hardware store, things couldn't get much more rural than that… But these people had a lack of something that we had… neighboring towns.

This, however, was Silent Grove Housing… a place so far from society, the housing development, mom and pop store and it's private schools were the only things in forty miles. The place was uncharacteristically forested for a Texas homestead. Not a lot of hills, which was what I expected. The move-in van pulled up to our lot at last, allowing me a good first look at my home. It was a lot bigger than I had hoped, which was a nice feeling. Identical to all the other houses, it was two floors, wide, maybe even a little spacious. White siding, cleaned to a pristine shine - different from the algae-coated vinyl siding we had back in Maine. Gray shingled roof… even a bit of a lawn, manicured to about an inch high. Before I could declare this place my new heaven-on-earth, the door to my new apartment opened, and two angels walked out.

I checked the side-mirror, making sure I looked decent after the six and a half hour ride from the Dallas airport. Despite the cow-lick of hair up front, my hair was clean and cut, a rusty copper. I did have a bit of grime from the truck's interior sneak onto my forehead and the bridge of my nose, but I kind of liked it… had a bit of character to it, along with my five-o'clock shadow of a beard and mustache. I could never grow anything more than a shadow, though. Made my face feel like sandpaper. Dark brown eyes staring back in the mirror, I feigned a confident smile. Wide…. impressive. Call me a narcissist if you like, but when you're single and two gorgeous women walk out of your new home, you get the butterflies. Then I remembered, I was with my mom… count out picking up a love interest.

She pushed me aside so she could watch brushing her dark orange bob cut hair. Pulling out her purse, she looked to the girls with a smile, muttering something about moving help… but I was too busy listening to my inner voice swearing. It's like I had to get a restraining order for my own parents… If my father wasn't in the military, he'd be right here alongside me, nudging me in the ribs- more like trying to find organs in there he hasn't managed to skewer, commenting on the scenery. What would be worse is then mom would go on describing that indeed, the trees did look nice, and… well, let's face it. There would be a reason I would want to live alone and never see a three ring circus… because I had been living one the past twenty-two years of my life.

I got out of the moving van and took a fresh new step onto a new beginning. One that I wouldn't mind if it ended in the bedroom, though I could rule out chances of that ever happening… Regardless, no matter how good I must've looked…. fresh out of boot camp with the khaki cargo shorts and white t-shirt, maybe… I still shied away as she drew near. You see… there's hot… then there's Megan Fox hot. But then, there were these ladies. The one closest to me had long chocolate hair, a beautiful hourglass figure. She had a classy walk that made men unsure at what to stare at, the chest or hips… and though both were beyond A-Grade, I find attractiveness in the eyes of the beholder - hers were glittering rubies, wide and fixated on me. She had a wicked smile on her… she even looked my age. She could not have introduced herself any quicker.

She held out a hand, keeping her smile and eyes stared at me. I had to snap out of a small trance just to realize she had spoken, "You okay kid?"

"Yeah, sorry…" I lied, grinning from ear to ear, "It's just a beautiful house."

She nodded, her smile dimmed to a smirk, "Right. The name's Lilith. My friends call me Lily." I grasped her hand and tried to impress her with a firm handshake - the sort of thing you'd do at a job interview to seal the deal. Not bone-breaking, but strong enough to let them know you have confidence… though it felt like she was trying to crush my hand in response.

She let go and I felt the need to shake it a bit, make sure that there was something of a hand left, "Quite a handshake you've got, Lily."

"Lilith," She corrected, folding her arms over her black long-sleeve, and crossing her blue-jean legs, "I said my friends call me Lily. We've only just met, and I still don't know your name."

I nodded my head at the point and stood casual for once… maybe this was too strong of a first impression for her. It certainly was for her to me… "My name's Nathan. Nathaniel Matthews."

She raised an eyebrow, putting a finger to her chin, "Matthews, huh… Looks like we're the lucky ones." She turned one-eighty and called to the house, "It's okay, Sis! We got the geek."

Geek?! I tightened up - definitely not the right first impression, "Excuse me?"

She kept still save for turning her head just enough to catch my eyes in her peripherals, "You're the Comp-Sci, right? There is literally no one here that knows a thing about computers, just people who think they know. Amy and I have been having PC issues, and we don't know how to fix it."

This was news… good news. Despite the uncomfortable stereotype, it seemed that this corner of the word had damsels in distress for people like me. I liked tinkering with computers and built a few of my own, but mostly all the work I had ever done on one was cleaning it up - the interface isn't responding fast enough, 'why won't this load', simple things like that. Never anything that tested me. What was important though, is that this could get me into good standing with the locals… And I didn't mind that at all.

I smiled, my confidence returning a bit too quickly, "Well, normally I'd charge, but seeing as you're my new roommates and all-"

"Dorm-mates." She snapped back and corrected as her sister Amy disappeared into the house, the sight of a moving man following her, "You better be praying at night, thanking whomever you will that we're nowhere near the same room. You're on the first floor, we're on the second."


"My name's Sharon! Hi~ Nice to meet you, miss?"

My mom came bustling around the corner and cut in front of me, grabbing Lily's hand and budging me away. With Lily's stifled laugh of amusement, I could count out all hopes and dreams of ever becoming better acquainted with her… best to try to save the friendship at the very least, now.

"Lily Morales, please to meet you, Sharon!" She mused. It was only then I could take hint of the most subtle Spanish accent when pronouncing her last name.

"Hi…." Mom turned to me and gave me a stern glare, one of those, if-I-ever-catch-you-alone-with-this-woman glares that made me boil up, "Honey, could you help the moving man with the unpacking, please?" It was her way of telling me to get lost.

I nodded, frowning and irritated, and disappeared behind the moving van, having to stop myself from punching the metal frame. I was going to this University in the middle of nowhere to get away from my parents, not so they could control my life in a less public location… I lowered my head and stares at the grooves in the metal. If she intended on staying here my entire life, despite the scenery (again, swearing as I pictured my dad,) I couldn't wait until I could finally rid myself of this burden.

"I felt the same way, once."

My eyes shot open and turned to see a pair of garnets staring at me, maybe twelve inches away from my own eyes. I tried to identify her - maybe an inch smaller, white tank top, auburn hair, tiny, yet….full lips - narrow chin defining them… But despite being a foot away, my view couldn't spot much below her collarbone - I could feel the warmth from her body right above my elbow… and my right leg. She only looked far, but she was practically on my arm. She frowned as if she knew my thoughts, "I'm helping you move and staying out of sight of your mother, If you don't mind? I don't exactly have a lot of room here."

I steps to the side, now able to see her completely, when I recognized the figure from further afar. "Amy?"

She nodded, "And you're Nathan. Introductions made… you moving in, or what?"

She grabbed an end table completely on her own, and moved toward the door, my eyes blinking, slowly working their way down, catching eye to what were once blue-jeans, but were now blue-shorts. Looking at her as a whole, I put a hand over my mouth, hiding a dropped jaw, "She doesn't even look old enough to be a senior in high-school…"

Well, hell.

Amy stopped, turned and glared maliciously at me, snapping me back to attention. I grabbed the closest heavy piece of furniture and struggled with it to the door. My peripherals caught a glimpse of Lilith, who had also eyed me in a similar fashion as I passed my mother and her to the car. As I made my way inside, Amy came around behind me and slowly followed me, sending an eerie shiver up my back.

She pointed to where I was moving in - as the door to the building opens, there is a choice to either go straight upstairs or immediately to the right, where there was an expansive living-room with a kitchen behind it. When I stepped into the living-room, I could spot a hallway going under the stairs, leading to a bathroom, a master bedroom and what I guessed would be my room. It was small, except for the lounging area, but it would be fine enough for school.

I set down the large end-table I was carrying and felt something collide with the inside of my knee. I buckled and turned to see Amy still standing there, her arms crossed and scowling, "And we both know what you were thinking back there, you perverted jerk."

"What, you read thoughts?" I spoke irritably as she turned to walk away.

"I didn't have to - it was written all over your stupid face."

I stood and braced my knee for a brief moment, swearing as she stomped outside and out of sight. I closed my eyes and limped over to the couch - the only thing of ours that gained priority to move in, due to it's size. I let myself fall into the cushions and sighed. Only five minutes here and I'm already pissing people off. I closed my eyes and let the couch absorb me, a soft breeze coming in through the window and open door.

I wouldn't be eyeballing everything in sight if I wasn't single.

((still more to come.))1

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