*Chapter 1*

February 23, 2001
The tires of the car spun wildly out of control, smoke coming from under them. The driveway was too steep and there was too much ice on it to even attempt to make it up. Snowflakes the size of quarters fell heavily from the sky and the sky full of clouds showed no signs of the ugly weather stopping. She braked the car in the middle of the driveway, rolled down the window and stuck her head out to hear the advice from her older brother.

“Back her up all the way down and go across the street as far as you can go, then give her hell.” Randy ordered. Simone pulled herself back inside the front-wheel-drive station wagon and did as her brother instructed. She slowly backed across the street, then stopped as the back bumper gently touched the pile of snow shoved against the banks of the road.

Simone floored the gas pedal and still, the tires spun on the ice as soon as they touched the driveway. She made it to the middle again and there she stuck. Braking the car, she stepped out to allow Randy to have a chance at getting up the trecherous hill. She pulled the hood of her coat over her head and then her hands inside the long sleeves. Randy backed up, came to a slippery stop and the car ferociously struggled to make it up the driveway. Where Randy remained spinning, Simone quickly stepped behind the car and began pushing with all of her strength.

The car slowly crept up the driveway now, smoke coming from under the burning tires. The smell of burnt rubber surrounded her, but she still continued to push the car with all of her might. She could hear Randy inside the car cursing at the bad weather. She had to smile. It was just their luck to get s snow blizzard in February while their parents were enjoying a Caribbean cruise.

Finally the tires gripped some solid stone and lurged forward. Simone hurried up after it. As Randy stepped out of the car, he gave Simone a high five.

“Good thinking, Sim.” He said. They went into the house, stripping off their coats, shoes and gloves. Simone clomped up the steps just as the phone rang.

“Hello?” she answered it.

“Hey Baby.” Responded Jonathan’s voice. She smiled. “You finally made it home?”

“Oh, I’ve been home for about 20 minutes. I’ve been trying to get up the dang driveway the whole time. Stupid snow, anyway.” She said.

“Yeah, this blizzard really is something else. The Weather Channel said that we’re going to have at least another 7 inches by morning.” Jonathan informed her. She groaned with disappointment. Tomorrow was their six month anniversary and she had something special planned. Maybe she won’t be going over to his place after all.

“Get off the phone in case mom and dad try to call.” Randy ordered as he climbed up the stairs. Simone ignored him.

“Ymaa rotherbaa isaa osaa nnoyingaa!” she said in pig latin. Jonathan laughed.

“You sound like a 9 year old when you talk like that.” He chuckled. “But you know what? It’s kind of sexy, too.”

“Oh really? So I’m a sexy 9 year old?” she asked, teasing him.

“Enough!” Randy shouted. He came beside Simone, took the phone from her hand. “She’ll call you back later.” Then he hung up.

“You bastard!” Simone yelled, punching Randy’s shoulder. “What the hell did you hang up on him for?”

“You can talk to Jonnie-boy any time you want to. Mom and dad might be trying to call and I really need to talk to dad.”

“Why? So you can tell him that you wrecked the truck last night?” Simone asked.

“You know that wasn’t my fault! The road was a solid sheet of ice, it was unpreventable!” Randy protested. The phone rang again, and Simone jumped to get it before Randy did.

“Is Simone there?” Simone recognized the voice, but she couldn’t remember who it was. She knew she heard it before, but she just couldn’t place it.

“This is her, may I ask who’s calling?”

“Sim? You don’t remember me? How could you forget? I’m hurt.” The voice said. Simone’s brain stopped. ‘Omigod,’ she thought, ‘why is he calling me?’

“Taylor, what do you want?” she asked, her voice suddenly angry.

“Well, I wasn’t expecting you to sound so thrilled.” Taylor said, not answering her question. The point was, he still loved her, and he thought that was reason enough to be calling, but he didn’t want to tell her that.

“Tay, you didn’t answer my question.” She said. Randy mouthed ‘Taylor Hanson?’ and Simone nodded. His eyes lit up with excitement and he went to the living room to eavesdrop with the speaker phone. Simone didn’t really mind that.”

“I was just wondering, um, if you have reconsidered my offer.” He said.

“And that would be?”

“Damn it, Sim!” Taylor said harshly. She flinched. That was the first time he ever raised his voice at her. “Don’t even try to play dumb. You know what I’m talking about.”

“The past is the past. I know you know what I’m talking about. You were wrong. I still can’t believe that you accused me of doing such a thing! I thought you trusted me.” Simone said. She couldn’t believe that they were having this conversation. She looked into the living room at Randy, who was listening intently.

“Listen to me, Sim, I was wrong. I admit it. I was wrong. Could you just try me again?”

Simone let out an annoyed sigh. “Tay, I loved you, truly I did, but when you accused me of a crime that I didn’t commit, I was hurt.”

“You were sending me signs that I should have suspected something was going on with you and that Jonathan kid! You were spending more time with him that you were with me! And when you talked about him, you’re eyes had this special glint in them that made me curious. It scared me.” Taylor said.

“You were cheating on Taylor?” Randy whispered. She covered the mouthpiece with her hand and shook her head.

“Will you shut up?!” she asked him. Randy held up his hand, defending himself. She took her hand from the mouthpiece.

“Never-the-less, I wasn’t cheating on you and I would have never imagined doing anything like that. Why are we even discussing this right now? Didn’t we already cover everything in a previous conversation?”

“I want to talk about it again.” Taylor insisted. “I just have one question.”

“What would that be?” Simone asked, then jumped at the sound of the doorbell ringing. Who in the world would be ringing the doorbell in this snow storm? It’s nearly impossible to get up her driveway and she thought that she would have been able to hear someone if they were even trying to make up her driveway.

Simone looked at Randy, who held a puzzled look on his face and he shrugged his shoulders. The doorbell rang again. “Can you hold on for a second?” It was more like a command rather than a question. She set the phone down without even waiting for a reply, and went to the door. She unlocked the door and then pulled it open. The wind blew noisily and she was shocked at what she saw. “No way,” she said to herself.

Chapter 2