Chapter 1: 6 years later
Sam rubbed his newly dyed blonde hair as he looked into the mirror in his bedroom. It would definitely take some getting used to before he'd be comfortable with his own reflection again. After his parents told him about their move back to the States, he had decided that he needed a new change. Without a second thought, he poured a bottle of lemon juice on his head, turning his dark brown locks into a bleach blonde mop.
He chuckled to himself when he remembered his mother's reaction to his new look when she came home from shopping. Scared of the blonde stranger digging through her refrigerator, she attacked him with a cooking pan. When she realized it was her youngest son, she started laughing with relief. His head may be bruised, but at least she has a funny story now to tell all her friends.
Turning away from the mirror, Sam studied his room. Boxes that still had to be unpacked were everywhere; stacked up all around the room, piled on the bed except for a little space where he could curl up and sleep, and tipped over and spilling their contents onto the floor. He sighed, dreading the task that faced him when he returned home from school.
He, his parents, and his second oldest brother Dave moved back to Lima, Ohio just a few days ago from their recent residence of London, England. They originally moved there for his father's job, but after his maternal grandmother got gravely sick his mom thought that it would be best if they moved back home and spend the rest of her remaining time with her. They were lucky enough to be able to get a house that was in the same area that he had grown up in. Now it would be easier for them to adjust back to their old lifestyle and be a good comfort to them in this trying time.
Truth be told, he was both excited and nervous to go to school. His brothers had both attended the high school when they lived here; Alan had actually graduated from it while Dave was there for one year before the move. Sam was familiar with the brown, square building, having visited it many times for his brother's football games and Alan's graduation. He'd always wanted to go to the school when the time came, but with the move that dream disappeared. Something he was both looking forward to and dreading was facing all of the people that he left behind in Lima when he moved to London. That is, if they still remembered him. Six years was a long time for kids, especially with the ones he usually hung around with. With their short attention spans and pretty low I.Q's, it was doubtful they even remembered what they had for breakfast each morning. Hopefully though, there would still be a select few that remembered him and were friendly towards him again. His thoughts then strayed to one certain blonde haired, hazel eyed girl.
Sam's heart sank as he remembered his once best friend, Quinn Fabray, one person that he wanted to see most of all. Those years in London were painful for him mostly because he didn't know anyone besides his family and he was starting out at a new school as a new kid for the first time ever. He'd always been a part of a pair; Sam and Quinn, never one without the other. Being ripped away from that and having to go solo somewhere for the very first time was painful and very scary, but he was forced to become accustomed to it. After the move, Sam had at first been too embarrassed to contact her again and keep up the pretense that nothing had happened between them. He wasn't able to talk to her, even through e-mail, without feeling immense guilt for surprising her with that kiss. She always would write about how her day was, all the new friends she was making at middle school, and not once mentioned anything about the kiss. At first he was fine with that; no more embarrassment for him, but then he got sick of hearing how much fun she was having back home without him. She was making so many different friends without him, while he was having trouble even fitting in with his new class. These kind of emails kept coming until eventually he stopped replying, jealous of her. Finally after a few months the emails stopped showing up altogether. Now that he was back in Lima, the thought of seeing her again and reuniting the pair was both exciting and nervous.
That was, of course, if she was even still in Lima. As soon as he moved back to town, he found himself at the front door of Quinn's old house, preparing himself to face her and apologize profusely. However when he rang the doorbell and the door opened, he found himself being questioned by an old Asian man who didn't seem to understand English. Upon further investigation, he found out that the Fabrays moved at least four years ago and either didn't leave a forwarding address or the cranky old man just didn't want to give it to him.
With a sigh and a shake of the head, Sam parked the car in the parking lot of the familiar brown building that was William McKinley High School. He and Quinn used to be excited to someday attend this high school together. Maybe it was better that she wasn't in town anymore; neither of them would have to face each other and he wouldn't feel guilty all the time.
Sam quickly opened his wallet and took out a very worn and heavily creased photograph. The frame that she had given him broke in the move to London so he started carrying the picture around with him in his wallet, always careful to not lose it. He treasured the picture ever since she gave it to him all those years ago.
The brown-headed ten year old version of himself smiled up at him from underneath the many folds and creases, his arm around a beaming blonde haired, hazel eyed girl. His best friend.
"I'm sorry Quinn," he whispered as he folded the photograph up and put it back in his wallet. "I'm sorry that I didn't honor my promise earlier and come back when you were still here. I'm sorry I stopped writing to you and ended our friendship. But it's better this way." With that, he walked into the building with a crowd of students, eager to get the school day over with.
Little did he know, the same blonde haired, hazel eyed girl that was six years older than the one in the photograph was walking down the hallway in the opposite part of the same school. Ponytail bouncing and cheerleader uniform hugging her figure, she held her head high as she walked to her first class. As she walked, a golden cross bounced against her chest, unaware that its original owner was closer than she ever thought.
~~~* /3 *~~~
Her day started out like any other day; Quinn pulled her Cheerios uniform on, pulled her hair back into the standard tight ponytail, and got into her Bug to drive to school.
Her family had moved four years ago into a house, no scratch that, a mansion after her father had gotten his big promotion. They said goodbye to her childhood home and moved half an hour away into what was deemed as 'more acceptable' to her parents and their newfound money.
After last year with the huge mess of her parents kicking her out, she found refuge in Finn, then Puck, then Mercedes' houses. But they were only places of refuge. She could never feel at home at any of the houses she lived at. Finn's house was filled with guilt and grief about lying to him and his mother about the real father of the baby. Puck's was filled with disgusted looks from his mother who hated Quinn for corrupting her perfect Jewish boy. Mercedes' was much better than the other two, but it hurt seeing how her friend's parents cared so much for their daughter when her own parents hated the sight of her. To her, they weren't really homes, just places that she lived.
Even after Beth was born and given up to Ms. Corcoran and she went to live with her mother again, she never felt like she was at home. They had to sell the mansion and move into something more affordable since her father's big promotion wasn't going to pay for it anymore. They had to make their own means now.
Home was never with her parents at the mansion, nor was it ever with Finn, Puck or Mercedes. It wasn't even really at her current house with her mom only ten minutes away from school. It was always at her childhood home.
The best memories of her life came out of that house. All of her best birthdays, playing with her dolls under the stairs in what she and Frannie called 'Barbieland', and of course being with Sam.
Sam would always be her best memory of her childhood no matter what, and in her heart he'd always be her best friend. So many times she wished that he would come back so they could be together again. So many times she looked at her picture frame and felt jealous that her past self would always be with him in the picture. So many times she wished that she could go back to the innocence of childhood with him. But it never happened and he never came back. He even stopped responding to her e-mails that she sent him. It was like he wanted to forget their time together.
Scoffing at herself, Quinn wondered why she was thinking so suddenly about her long-lost, supposed best friend. She never really thought about him at all anymore; she had even hidden her picture frame of them in one of her dresser drawers, not wanting to see him everyday anymore.
It wasn't like it was her fault for never seeing him again. She tried multiple times to e-mail him and call him after she was certain he was in London but never got any replies. He had a way to contact her, but he chose not to and Quinn eventually got the message and gave up trying to talk to him. It hurt her thinking that he didn't want to talk to her anymore because he was too embarrassed after their kiss.
She could picture his face clearly right after he kissed her; so embarrassed, so bashful. It looked like he wanted to just disappear into thin air all because she didn't know what to say about the kiss. Truth be told, she still didn't really know what to say about the kiss. Six years had passed and she still couldn't really believe that her first kiss had been taken from her by her best friend. To be honest, it had been very memorable.
She smiled at that moment, remembering the huge electric shock that was sent through her body as soon as he touched her lips with his. No one ever had the same effect on her, not even Puck. And she had a baby with him!
She pulled up into a parking space and quickly got out of the car, clearing her head of her past boy drama. This year was supposed to be all about her and bringing up her grades. If she ever wanted to get into a good college away from this stupid town, she would need amazing grades and to stop thinking about a certain brown haired boy who captured her heart at ten years old.
Little did she know, the same brown haired boy was walking through the same hallway that she was in. The boy that she knew was long replaced with a bigger and blonder version, a version that she didn't recognize when she passed by him on the way to her locker.