Unraveling You Page 1

Chapter 1


16 years old…

The couple that lives next door adopts children like puppies. No joke. The Gregorys are bringing home kid number four today. The adoption process has happened so frequently over the years for them that it’s become a routine. They drive off in the early morning, cruising away in their sedan, and then late in the afternoon they return with a small human being sitting in the backseat, looking about as scared as a little puppy getting yelled at.

While I do feel sorry for the little boy or girl, the sympathy quickly wears off. Because within a couple of months, the small human in the backseat will get over their fear and turn into their own person, who more than likely will take it upon themselves to annoy the crap out of me.

I’d be fine with this. After all, they are my next-door neighbors’ kids, not my little brothers or sisters. But that’s the thing. They are kind of like the little brother or sister I never had, since the couple next door are my parents’ best friends and close to a second set of parents to me. I even call them Aunt Lila and Uncle Ethan.

“I wonder what this one will look like,” I remark as I munch on my toast at the kitchen table. It’s late morning, but we’re late risers, so we’re just starting breakfast, even though it’s past ten. “And if it’ll be a boy or a girl.”

“Lila said he was a boy,” my mother answers as she collects her mug and takes a seat across from me. “I think he’s about your age, too.”

“All their adopted kids are older. Aren’t people supposed to adopt younger children?” I ask, reaching for the butter. “Like when they’re babies?”

She sips the coffee then places the mug on the table. “Lyric, there are a ton of kids out there that need homes, both young and your age. Even older. You should realize just how lucky you are to have a roof over your head and parents who spoil the crap out of you. Some children don’t have it so lucky.”

My mother is probably one of the strangest moms ever, but in the best way possible. She uses phrases like, “spoil the crap out of you,” and dresses cooler than I do half the time. Plus, she has fantastic taste in music.

“I know how lucky I am,” I tell her. “So lucky in fact, that I know you’re going to let me paint my room purple and black.”

“Let me guess. Purple walls and black skulls.”

“Hey, how’d you guess?”

“Because it’s exactly how my room looked when I was your age. You’re so much like me it’s frightening sometimes.”

“Well, there goes my theory that I was secretly adopted.”

I don’t really have that theory. I resemble my parents too much to ever believe I was adopted. I have my mother’s striking green eyes, so bright they sometimes startle people at first glance. And I have the same shade of blonde hair my dad does. They’re both tall, too, and passed that trait to me. At sixteen, I round in at five foot nine and tower over all of my friends at school. I inherited some of their talents as well, that is, if talents can be inherited.

Like my mother, I have the hand of an artist, although she is way better than I am. She owns her own art gallery and has sold a lot of her paintings. Her work is usually described as raw, emotional, and realistic.

Then there’s my dad’s talent of music. My father is a musician who used to perform in a band, and then later on as a solo artist. Now, he’s mostly retired and owns his own studio. I’m not sure if it was all the time I spent hanging out with him, or the fact that my parents named me Lyric, but music is branded into my bones. I love anything and everything that has to do with it. My favorite instrument is the guitar, granted the violin is a close second. Creating lyrics, though, that’s truly my favorite thing to do musically.

“It seems like such a nice day to go out for a drive,” my mother comments, bringing me out of my thoughts and back to reality. “Maybe when Lila gets home, the three of us and the new boy can go for a drive. It’ll give you some time to get to know him.”

I stuff the rest of my toast into my mouth. “What if he’s weird, though, like Kale?”

Kale is the latest addition to the Gregory family. He was twelve when they brought him home two years ago, and he still hasn’t given up his obsession with comic books. And I mean obsession. He frequently dresses up like characters, his favorite being Flash. He also once wore a cape to school, which made him the subject of a lot of bullying.

Then there are the other two kiddos, Fiona and Everson. At twelve, Fiona is the youngest and probably the chattiest. She loves to draw and has a deep fascination with butterflies. Everson is smack dab between Fiona and Kale at thirteen years old. He’s quiet, loves sports, especially football, and is probably the most normal of the bunch. They all have their weird little quirks, though, and shady pasts that I never really get to fully hear.

It’s not like I have anything against weirdoes and shady pasts—heck, I can be a weirdo and sketchy sometimes—but as the sorta bigger sister, I constantly have to stick up for them, and sometimes it gets tiring.

“Lyric, just because Kale’s different doesn’t mean he’s weird.” My mom reaches for the coffee pot. “Need I remind you of your little obsession with that boy band when you were his age.”

“You promised you’d never bring that up. You even pinkie swore that you wouldn’t.”

Her lips curl as she fills her cup to the brim with steaming hot coffee. “Then don’t give me reasons to break my promise.”

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