Chapter 1

The sapphire blue sky held fiery golden sun in its midst. the hills rose like skyscrapers above the Los Angeles valley. Steam rose from the black roads and pavements in the mid summer heat. An ocean lapped against a golden white beach and animals played happily in the cool Pacific.

The bustle of the busy LA streets was usual and the quietness of the hills was ominous. The sky was as clear as the ocean that lay beneath it and the air was still and calm. Anyone who strolled around would experience the serenity of that beautiful summer's day.

Lives were calm and happy in four young women's lives. in Los Angeles were just beginning.

Fresh start

"Hey! Anyone home?" A athletic girl with long dyed blonde hair walked into an air conditioned house in Glendale in Los Angeles County. The paint was still fresh and as she wiped an eye from the affects of the paint, she unclipped a harness and lead from a golden Labrador. Ruffling the dog's head as she trotted off in search of her pink water bowl, the girl felt around on the counter to see if anyone's keys were there. No keys were there and she smiled and headed, carefully over to a tall silver refrigerator. She opened the door and grabbed some orange juice. The chill from the fridge and the air conditioning was refreshing but she wondered who had left it on. They had agreed not to leave the A.C running when no one was home due to the fact they had no idea how much the electricity bill would cost them. Pouring a second glass of juice, she closed the door and headed over to a computer table where a sleek, black Mac book sat. Sitting down, carefully placing the cup beside her, she switched on the mac and waited for the computer to load.

"Callie," She called the dog who had just finished drinking her water. "Come here, girl!" The girl patted her jeaned leg and the dog came obediently and nuzzled her golden head in her mistress's lap. "It was hot outside huh?" The girl proceeded to untie some shoes that the dog wore to prevent her paws from getting hurt in the hot weather. As the speech software booted on the girl's computer and the golden dog, named Callie, retreated to her bed by the couch, the girl turned to her computer and busied herself.

Moments later a blue mustang pulled into a quiet street and stopped outside the house. A short, dark haired girl got out of the car. She wore trousers, a shirt and looked very smart. Going to the trunk, she pulled out a briefcase and locking up the car, made her way up a garden path and stopped outside a white front door. Pulling some keys from her purse, the girl smiled and headed inside.

"Hey, Caitlin," The girl called as she saw callie bounding toward her. "Have a good day?" The dark haired girl put her keys on the counter and walked to the fridge to get some water. The golden haired dog wagged her tail furiously while carrying a pink bear in her mouth. "What you got, callie?" The girl bent to pet the happy dog.

"It was good, thanks," Caitlin typed away at a computer. On her screen was a conversation with someone and she turned briefly to chat to her friend and house mate.

"Did you leave the A.C on this morning, Em?" The girl named Emily but often referred to by her friends as Em, shook her had and replaced the cup in the sink.

"No, wonder who did?" Emily smiled at Caitlin as they shared a look. Even though the blonde girl's eyes were clouded with blindness, she still had many expressions of someone who could still see. A successful events organiser in LA, she was well respected and admired by her piers, colleagues and anyone who came into contact with her. She was funny, bright and loved to be around people. Occasionally she became upset and sensitive but most of the time she was happy and determined to keep succeeding. She had attended UCLA like all of her roommates and had been in Kappa Delta, even making it to president in her junior year. She was a partyer and loved to shop and music was one of her passions. Emily, who was probably her closest friend out of the four, having shared the same music taste and many of the same favourite activities, was quieter but marvelled at Caitlin's fun, outgoing, I-don't-give-a-crap and don't-fuck-with-me attitudes. They were best friends and could often be seen partying in Hollywood on a weekend, occasionally on a weekday or shopping in any mall where their might just be a sale on. Emily was a financial advisor and like Caitlin, was extremely successful. Both girls laughed now and Emily sat down at the side of Caitlin and switched on another computer.

"Bet it was Lexie," Emily said swinging in her chair and watching as callie chased her tail. Amusedly, she turned to her friend who was looking at a spread sheet. "What ya working on?"

"Figures for the budget for an upcoming event," Caitlin responded distractedly.

"Want any help?" Emily knew Caitlin hated numbers and would much prefer the fun side of her career. Looking at her best friend, a knowing grin spread across the rounded cheeks and both girls erupted into fits of laughter. Caitlin knew Emily enjoyed numbers and Emily knew Caitlin despised them and that was why they often made such a great team.

"What you two laughing about?" Lexie walked in the front door covered in dirt. In comparison to the girls seated at the computers, she looked a mess. She was around the same height as the other two but that was where their comparisons ended. She was currently dressed in baggy jeans that were torn at the knee and frayed at the ends, an oversized sweatshirt and her hair was messy from wearing a riding hat. Lexie was a horse trainer and she didn't care how messy she got doing it. And when she wasn't working, her appearance still wasn't what the other two considered their norm, Lexie was a punk rocker and she loved anything to do with the genre, including her attire.

"Hey, Lex," Caitlin mumbled. "How were the horses?"

"Good!" Lexie made a fuss of Callie as she took her muddy boots off and headed to shower.

"O, Lex?" Emily turned and spoke to their friend who they had met in college. Lexie or Alexia as she was properly known had been Caitlin's roommate and alongside Emily, her party buddy. "Did you leave the a.C on?"

"Crap!" Lexie clapped a hand to her mouth and looked pitifully at Emily. "Sorry. i was in such a rush, Jake had called..." But Emily raised a hand dismissively and grinned.

"Just try not to do it, homie," Caitlin giggled beside her. Emily and her often spoke in ghetto slang as they had for most of their teenage lives. Caitlin had moved from England with her father who now ran a garage in Carson and had attended a high school there. Her high school had been extremely ethnically mixed and she was one of ten white kids in her class. Most of her high school friends were black or Hispanic and she loved the diversity of Los Angeles. Emily had grown up in Burbank and had also been around many different cultures for most of her life. Her own family were from the Philippines and she loved hip hop and r&B music as Caitlin did. One of the reasons Caitlin had applied for the job she had was so she could organise the music festivals in the Los Angeles county. Lexie grinned at them and went to shower.

"that girl is so freaking forgetful," Emily emailed someone and leaned back on her chair. "What we doing for dinner?" She asked as the other girl had merely smirked at her friend's comment.

"I don't feel like going out tonight," Caitlin yawned. "And Callie and I have a big day tomorrow. Where's Kiara?"

Kiara was their fourth and final roommate. She had been in their group since Caitlin, Emily, and Alexia's second year. She was African-American and the most serious out of the four friends. While Caitlin, Emily and Alexia loved to party, despite their differences in choices, Kiara was driven to study and achieve her utmost potential. She was also the tallest at 5,8 and she was slender build with long braids. Her hair was as long as Caitlin's', around the small of their backs but she was so different to the others. Caitlin was the social butterfly, Emily the quieter but social partyer and Alexia the mischievous, punk rocker while Kiara usually stayed home to study. She had lived with her parents in Inglewood and had watched her brother slowly kill himself with crack cocaine. He was still physically alive but Kiara had denounced his presence for almost five years.

She saw her mother and father whenever she had spare time which wasn't often. Even now she had walked in and was already making her choice for dinner so she could head back to the library. She rarely stayed home to study as her roommates often were on the loud side. She loved them for who they were but all four of them tended to be loud. Especially Callie when she started barking.

"Hey you guys," She smiled at them, her braids shaking in her face as she walked beneath an air vent. "How were your days?" Kiara was pulling off her jacket and washing her hands before beginning to make a sandwich.

"Good," Caitlin replied who was playing online chess now and tickling Callie's tummy with her foot. "What about yours?"

"not over yet," Kiara laughed a little laugh. "I'm eating this then back to the library." She sat at the breakfast bar with a cheese sandwich, an apple and a yogurt. Emily grinned at Caitlin out of Kiara's vision. They knew Kiara's schedule too well by now.

"Is Lexie home?" Kiara asked the silent computing girls.

"Yeah, she's showering," Caitlin informed. "We're staying in tonight. well, that's to say, Em and I are. Not sure about Lexie. She mentioned Jake again."

"O she did right?" Emily remembered as she chatted with her brother on aIM. Caitlin nodded and the other two girls sighed.

"That only means one thing," Kiara said defeatedly. "Tears!" they all chimed.

For a few moments, the house was silent besides the noise of the girls tapping on their keyboards and a sound of a hair dryer.

"I'm out," Kiara picked up her back pack and headed for the door. The other girls bade her goodbye and Lexie bounced into the living area.

"I'm out for dinner, don't wait up," And within minutes, Emily and Caitlin were left to their online business in peace while Callie the dog slept happily in her bed.

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Story tagged with:
Coming of Age / Romance / Crime / Drama / Violence / Drugs /