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The Sun Also Sets

Guest bennyboy19

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Story title: The Sun Also Sets

Type of story: Long Fic

Main Characters: New Characters, Regular Cast

Genre: Teenage Angst, Romance, Drama

BttB Rating: Rated A, just in case.

Does story include spoilers: No.

Any Warnings: Not really.


Marley Jackson arrives in the Bay with a fury. Who is this teenager, and what will her impact be?

First chapter of another new fic! I wanted to do something a little bit different this time. The main character POV will be a new character. There will also be many new characters within it later on as well. Each chapter title will be the name of a song. Chapter One comes from a Ryan Adams song. Hope you like it.


The cashier watched as the mysterious girl virtually ran into the store looking for food. She looked like she hadn’t taken a shower in days; he couldn’t even imagine how bad she smelled. She was wearing a dirty black t-shirt that had Green Day printed on the front and green cargo shorts. Her bright blonde hair hung loose as she searched up and down the aisles for a snack. He was intrigued by the girl for some reason.

He had never seen a girl look so vigilantly for something in all his life. Most teenagers would just walk in and pick up a random item and buy it. But this girl would pick a snack look at the price and then set it down and move on. He watched her study the items for a few more minutes and went back to his morning newspaper.

All day Marley had sat on the sidewalk collecting change. It wasn’t something she was proud of but if she wanted to eat she had to do it. She had got up early that morning to collect form people going to work and had been outside local stores in the hot sun since. The last she heard it was around six o’ clock and she had collected around eight dollars. That was a lot of money for just sitting around all day.

Marley Jackson did not have happiness, though it was the only thing she had ever wanted. Her life wasn’t picture perfect. In fact it was far from it. She has tragedy in her life. Some she can put out of her mind and some she can’t. She had hardships. Most she can’t conquer. To describe her life in three words: depressing, miserable, and lonely. She has her secrets. Secrets that may control her for the rest of her life. She doesn’t have any family. They all left before the age of ten.

As of right now, Marley was fifteen, an orphan, a runaway and only wanted one thing out of life…happiness.

As she walked up and down the aisles of the store she had to resist just jumping into the shelves and eating everything in sight. She was hungry, no, she was starving. It had been at least two days since she had eaten anything. After about ten minutes of nothing but silence Marley had finally grabbed all of her snacks and made her way to the counter. She had decided on three bags of chips, three bottles of water, a pack of gum, and a muffin for breakfast. Adding up the prices in her head the total was around fourteen dollars. She stopped when passed by a rotisserie filled with hotdogs. Her mouth watered as she stood there pining over them. She looked at them items she was struggling to hold on to and walked off disappointed she couldn’t buy one. Hotdogs were not something you could save for later after a few bites. She needed to conserve her food.

The noise of things being thrown on the counter the cashier out of his newspaper. His boss had told time and time again not to read during his shift, saying it was the customers that were important. But it was Sunday and everyone in town was in church except for him and a few other people, so what could it hurt to read awhile? He put his paper down and saw the girl standing before him staring right into his eyes.

“Morning.” He said, getting up from his stool. “Beautiful day, isn’t it?”

When he didn’t get an answer he looked up to see the girl still staring at him. He looked back at her with a confused look. Her eyes were dark, almost black. You could tell, just by looking into her eyes, that she was a troubled child. He looked down to see her holding something that hung off her necklace. He went back to ringing up the items.

Marley looked at the man, holding her necklace. She always did this. Stare at people until they broke eye contact. She never broke first. It was her way of reading people. The man had shaggy brown hair, brown eye, tall, and had a well built body. Marley kept staring at him, getting lost in her lost.

“That comes to $14.25.” Marley pulled out the money and handed it to him. The man took it, squinting his eyes, and put it in the register. The man gave her change. He watched as she stuffed the money into her pockets and grabbed the bag full of food on her way to the door.

Before he could think he reacted. He needed to help this girl someway, somehow.


She had almost made it out before she heard the man call for her. Marley turned around to see the man standing behind the counter.

“Where are your parents?” He asked walking out from behind the counter. She didn’t answer. She couldn’t tell him that she was a runaway, or that she didn’t have any family. Marley turned and pointed to the empty parking lot.

Knowing that it was a lie the man took a step towards her, as he did she took another step back. He thought about taking another step towards her but quickly thought of another idea. He turned and walked to the back of the store to the rotisserie. He pulled a hotdog out and put it between a bun. Not knowing what to do, Marley just stood there holding on to her necklace. He walked back to where he was just previously standing. He held the hotdog out waiting for her to take it.

“Take it.” He said, now reaching into his pocket. He pulled out twenty dollars and tried to take a step towards her. This time she didn’t move, she just stood there. It took a few steps before they were each only a foot away from each other. “It’s okay, just take it. I want to help you.”

Not taking his money, Marley took the hotdog. She didn’t want his charity.

“I imagine it took you awhile to raise that money.” He said, guessing that the girl had begged for the money that bought her snacks. “Really what’s the difference if you take my money?”

Marley thought about this for a few moments. He was right. What was the difference? The difference was that this guy wanted to help, he cared. The others didn’t care. They just wanted to get rid of loose change. She used her free hand and took the money. As she did he could see that she was holding a silver ring that hung off her necklace.

“Hey!” He called to her. “Be careful.”

For the first time since she walked in he saw a small smile creep up and she nodded her head opening the door.


When you don’t have anything but walk, you tend to think a lot. Not necessarily about where you’re going, but about where you were. Marley tried her hardest to not think about the life she left behind. She had been walking for a little over five weeks now. She didn’t know where she was going, but was going to keep walking until her heart told her stop. Getting caught wasn’t an option. She couldn’t go back to her latest foster home that she learned a long time ago not to call home. She couldn’t go back to the beatings and neglect. After awhile that gets old.

She still remembered the day she left. It was May, 26th. It was sunny outside. A perfect day to be outside with your family, or in Marley’s case, to runaway. Her foster parents had left to go to work, or to the local bar. Marley had had enough with all of their excuses. She couldn’t take it anymore. She had sat in her room for most of the morning just thinking about how much she hated them. And in an instant, she grabbed a backpack and packed everything that was important to her and walked right out the door, only to look back on all the happy families outside with their kids.

She reached in her backpack to distract herself from her own mind. She pulled out a folded piece of paper and looked at it. It was a missing person poster she had found in a Woolworths about two weeks ago.

Marley Jackson

Date of Birth: October 11, 1994

Missing Since: May 26, 2012

Sex: Female

Race: Caucasian

Hair: Blonde

Eyes: Hazel

Height: 5’5

Weight: 120

Missing From: Campbelltown, New South Wales

Last Seen Wearing: Red t-shirt with black basketball shorts and black Converse

Any information please contact the police

Most things it said were wrong. She had grown a few inches since she left and had lost weight due to rarely eating. Her hair was as yellow as the sun itself from being outside all day. And her eyes. Her eyes were pitch black. Somehow, someway they had turned colours. Her eyes had a story to tell, a tragic one. Her eyes were so powerful that she rarely spoke, some say she could talk with them. Which she was grateful for because she hated to talk.

Marley looked at the picture of herself. The girl in the picture was not the same girl. The girl in the picture was happy, having the time of her life. The girl Marley was now was far from that.

Before her mind wandered off again she put the paper back in her backpack for another time and just walked. One foot in front of the other. Keeping her eyes ahead of her, and every now and then she would look behind her just to make sure nobody was following her.

It had been an hour since Marley put the paper back in her backpack. She hadn’t walked very far, a mile maybe. She tended to walk slower when she tried not to think. It was getting dark so she decided to find bed for the night. When she came to a bridge instead of crossing it, she went under it. She sat her stuff down and walked over to the creek. Water is a peaceful thing, and just looking at it can make at peace with yourself. But only for awhile.

Marley stood up and walked back over to where she lay her things. She pulled out a bag of chips and a bottle of water and started her dinner.

It wasn’t long before Marley got lost in her thoughts again. This time thinking about the future. She rarely thought about what lied ahead, because to be honest she didn’t know. She didn’t know where she was going to be ten years from now let alone a week from now. Before getting into too much detail she popped back in to reality. She looked down to see that she had only eaten about half the bag and hadn’t drank half of the water.

“Well. I guess this is home for the night.” She said to herself laying down, using her backpack as a pillow, looking up at the stars. She hadn’t walked that far that day but she was still exhausted. Usually, she walked about twenty a day, starting early in the morning and ending until it was dark out. But today she needed money, so instead of walking she begged. But she was still tired. She turned on her side and closed her eyes and in an instant she was fast asleep.

Marley awoke to the roaring sound of an 18-wheeler cargo truck racing over the bridge. Most people hate to get up in the mornings, saying they would rather sleep. Not Marley. Going to sleep scared her. She had had nightmares ever since that night with her mother. She would rather get up and face the darkness in the world, than the darkness in her dreams. Ever since that night she hasn’t seen or heard from her mother. At first, she hoped she would come back, but over time she quit caring and gave up that hope.

She dragged herself off the ground and shuffled her feet over to the creek. Still trying to fully wake up, she splashed water in her face. The cold water felt refreshing on her face. It defiantly woke her up. After a couple of minutes of sitting and staring at the water and collecting her thoughts, she got up and walked back over to her things. She opened her backpack and pulled her extra pair of clothes. Stripping off her current clothes, she quickly pulled on the red t-shirt and black basketball shorts looking around to make sure no one saw. Putting back the other clothes, she pulled out a bottle of water and the muffin she had bought from the store.

She sat by the creek and ate her supposed breakfast. It was the perfect day to be outside. Not a cloud in the sky. Marley could tell it was going to get extremely hot later in the day. When you’ve been outside as long as she has you tend to know these kinds of things.

A few minutes passed by and Marley had finished her muffin and drank most of the water. She put the bottle back into her bag and promised herself that in about four hours she would eat something. She stood up and slung her bag over one shoulder and turned around to look at the creek one last time. She looked around; taking a mental picture of another place she laid her head down to sleep once more. Now it was on to another destination to find another random place to sleep the next night. As she continued, the sound of the ocean pervaded her thoughts.

Marley walked up the hill to cross the bridge. As she was walking across she saw a sign that she didn’t notice the night before. Welcome to Summer Bay. When she read it her heart stopped for a few seconds. A feeling in the pit of her stomach evolved.

“I got a bad feeling about this place.” She said to herself.

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Ooh, I like this so far; I think it's the first time I@ve read a fic that starts with a completely new character, and has her as the utter main; and i'm interested to see now who'll she meet in SB, and how she'll interact; bet Miles will have dibs on her what with her living homeless and all! ;-)

Great opening!

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Thanks for reading. I know its not the usual fic with a different character, but I just wanted to introduce Marley properly. She meets a few characters in this chapter, but it’ll get off and running soon. Chapter two comes from a song by The Walls. Hope you like it.


“Marley!” Her mother, Grace, yelled as she stumbled through the door. Marley was in her room, laying on her bed,, thinking about her brother when she heard her mother’s car pull in. It was around midnight. Her mother always drove home, even if she was drunk. To be honest Marley didn’t even care about her mom anymore.

This was the third night in a row that her mother came home drunk. She had started drinking twice as much since her husband was sent to jail. Her mother hasn’t even looked at her since she took the stand to testify against her father.

Marley got off the bed and walked to her door. As she walked out of her room a feeling came to her stomach and she could tell that what was about to happen was going to be bad.

She walked into the kitchen to see her mother making herself another drink. Grace turned around and looked at her daughter with cold, dark eyes.

“You,” she said taking a step towards Marley. “You should be ashamed of yourself. Lord knows I am. Do you have anything to say to me?” She asked, slowly walking towards her daughter with a hand in the air and a dink in the other.

“I…I…I’m sorry” Marley said scared to death.

“Yeah, I’m sure you are.” Her mother said sarcastically. They were merely inches apart when Grace slapped her daughter across her face as hard as she could. Marley fell to the ground holding her face. She looked up at her mother with puppy dog eyes, tears coming to her face. She didn’t have time to run before her mother dropped her drink and started kicking her. Before she knew Grace jumped on top of her and started throwing punches like she was Muhammad Ali. Marley didn’t fight back, she couldn’t. She didn’t know what to do, so she did what she could. She covered her face, curled in up into a ball, and took the beating.

Before she blacked out, her mother stood over her and said the one thing she will forever remember. “You’re the reason my life is ruined. You’re the reason your father is locked up. And you’re the reason your brother is dead. I wasted nine months on you!? I hate you!”

The next morning when Marley woke up her mother was gone. Nowhere to be seen. She didn’t leave a note or anything. All her clothes were gone and so was her car. In a panic, Marley called the cops. Within two hours she was being placed into her first, but not last, foster home.


Summer Bay was a small, quiet town; one where everyone knew everything about each other. This was definitely not the town Marley needed to be in. But she couldn’t help but get this weird feeling in her stomach. With each new building she passed she fell more and more in love with this town. She walked up and down the streets of the Bay for hours. She had never stayed in one town for so long. It was a beautiful. The scenery was unreal. It looked like something you would see on a postcard. She didn’t want to leave.

For some reason, this town reminded her so much of her best friend, Emma. Emma was a girl Marley had met when she arrived in her sixth foster home. Emma was a very active girl. Always talking about something, you could never get her to shut up. Her spunky, outgoing, fun attitude went oddly well with Marley’s serious, laid back, quiet attitude. Emma was the first person Marley had talked to since her mom left, which had been three years. Marley was thirteen and Emma was fourteen. Her parents had died when she was seven; she lived with her grandmother until she died when Emma was nine. After that she was in and out of foster homes twice maybe three times a year. Marley never understood Emma. She had had tragedy in her life, had had twice as many beatings as Marley, but she still came out smiling. She was always happy.

Emma was first person Marley had trusted. She understood what Marley was going through and that she didn’t like to talk. She understood that. She would do anything for her friend. If she needed help with her homework, Emma would her. If she wanted a new CD, Emma would get it for her. If Marley got in trouble and pissed off her foster parents, Emma took the beating. Emma only asked for one thing of Marley; to help her. And she couldn’t do it. She couldn’t do it, and just like that, everything she had ever come to know and believe in was thrown out the window.

Marley had spent most of her day in a record shop called Bay Records. She had always loved music. To be honest it was one of the few things she loved. She used to have one of the best collections you could think of. Or so that was her opinion. Not everyone like her style in music, especially Emma. Marley walked and down the aisles carefully analysing each album. It killed her knowing that she couldn’t buy one.

She picked up an album that had caught her eye. The cover was just a picture of a blue raven. She doesn’t know why it caught her eye, it just did. She looked for in the right hand corner to find the artist’s name. Liam Murphy.


Kirsty Phillips walked into the store with her four year son, Oliver, looking for her best friend and current boyfriend, Miles. Kirsty looked around to only see a blonde haired girl inside the empty store.

“Honey, why don’t you go look around?” she said meeting her short son at eye level.

“Ok mama!” An energized Oliver replied before he ran off, pumping into the only person in the store.

Marley was still looking at the album when something ran into her. It didn’t hit her hard enough to make her fall but it did hit her hard enough to make her drop the CD she was holding and several others from the shelves. She looked down to see that that it was a little boy no older than five.

“Sorry.” He mumbled before running off. Marley couldn’t help but smile at the little boy’s smiling face. He looked so happy.

“Oliver, you’re supposed to help pick them up!” Kirsty said walking over to help, knowing that her son wasn’t coming back. The two bent down and picked up the albums one by one and put them back in their correct spots. “I’m sorry. You give that kid sugar and you can’t tell him anything.” Kirsty said looking up at the girl.

Marley put the rest of the albums back on the shelf and picked up the one she was originally holding. She looked up to see the woman staring at her.

Kirsty looked into the blackness of the girl’s eyes and got lost in them. Marley noticed the woman’s shoulder length brown locks. Her brown eyes were beautiful. Everything about her was beautiful. You couldn’t help second glance. They both stood there for a few moments before Kirsty broke eye contact. Looking down she noticed that the girl was holding her one and only album.

“Uh…that’s a great album you got there.” Kirsty said motioning to it. Marley looked down at the album; she flipped it over to the back to see a picture of the artist.

“Liam.” Kirsty nodded, fixing her hair. “He lives in town, you know? He’s always hanging around the diner, if you wanted to check it out.”

Kirsty smiled and held out her hand. “I’m Kirsty.” Marley just stood there hesitant to shake her hand. She wasn’t going to do it but then thought it’s not every day you meet someone as friendly as this woman.

“And you are?” Kirsty asked. Marley just stood there, staring back at Kirsty. She didn’t know what to do. She didn’t want to say anything; but she didn’t want to stand there awkwardly. Luckily before anymore time passed they were interrupted by Oliver and Miles.

“There you are!” Miles said wobbling towards her giving her a big bear hug like they hadn’t seen each other in years.

“Whoa calm down.” Kirsty said trying to break free of Miles’ embrace, kissing him on the lips playfully.

“I know. I just wanted to make a big entrance.” Miles laughed, letting go to turn and seeing a blonde haired girl standing in front of them. “Sorry, am I interrupting?”

Marley shook her head no and gave a small smile. She put the album back on the shelf and walked out of the store.

“Hey wait!” Kirsty yelled as the girl walked out.

“Well that was weird.” Miles said turning back to Kirsty. “Who was that?”

“I don’t know.” Kirsty said. “Oliver just ran into and I helped her put some record back on the shelves.”

“Did she say anything?”


“I don’t know. But the way she left all quiet and all. It just seemed a little weird.” Miles said not really interested in the mystery girl anymore.

“Yeah it did.” Kirsty said still looking at the door with a worried look on her face.


Marley walked down the streets in quiet. She looked up to see a streetlamp come on and realized that it was going to get dark soon. She spent the entire day in Summer Bay instead of walking like she intended. She walked up and down a few more streets until she came to Summer Bay High School. She walked throughout the school knowing nobody would be there.

During the summer, schools were like graveyards. Not a soul in sight, except for a rare occasion when a teacher or the principal would come by. The football team was practicing getting ready for the new season. But other than that the place was pretty empty. It was just waiting for September to come to bring the place alive. Having seen football players pull into the parking lot when she walked by this morning; Marley walked over to the gym, knowing it would be unlocked.

Being right she peeked in to see if anyone was around before she walked in. The coast was clear. She walked into the huge gymnasium looking around astonished at how big it was. She saw on the wall above the bleachers Summer Bay Champions painted across in big blue letters. Marley then noticed loud rap music coming from behind one of the doors to the side of the gym. She walked over and saw the words Weight Room painted on the door. She figured she better get out of there before someone saw her and started asking questions.

She walked out of the gym and into the hallways. For the next hour Marley spent her time in and out of classrooms. There wasn’t much to see since everything was either locked or the teacher’s had taken thing s home for the summer. This school was so much different than all of her old ones. Here they didn’t have video cameras plastered on the walls, watching your every move. They had vending machines stocked with food. At her old schools the teachers could barely trust you enough to walk down the halls without getting in a fight.

After a few more classrooms, Marley went to make sure that everyone had left. She didn’t hear music when she walked into the gym, which meant that she now had the whole place to herself. She grabbed a basketball that was lying off to the sidelines and began shooting. She had shot a few baskets before she realized that the gym was not air-conditioned. It felt like it was forty degrees in there. After debating with herself whether she should leave or not, she ran to the nearest office and grabbed a roll of tape. She ran back into the gym picked up the ball and her stuff and walked over to the door which she entered from. She ripped off a small piece of tape and put it over the bolt of the door. She then walked outside and closed the door all the way to see if it would work. She once again reached for the handle and tried to open the door. It opened, her plan had worked. Shutting the door again, she grabbed her stuff and walked to the park she had seen earlier.


The voice pulled Marley out of her daydream to wonder how long she had been standing there like an idiot in an empty basketball court. Marley turned around to meet eyes with a fair haired man. She looked straight into his brown eyes and wondered what he wanted.

“Can we take half the oval?” He asked. It was then that she noticed another man was there. She looked over at him saw that like the little boy in the record shop he too had blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. She looked back over to the other man and nodded. The two men looked over at each other and started to play a game with their football. Marley turned away shyly.

She had completely forgotten that the two men were still on the other side of the oval until the basketball she had stolen from the school gym bounced off her foot and rolled past into the division the men had taken for themselves. The blonde haired man picked it up and right before he was going to pass it back he noticed something that Marley hadn’t. He looked down to see the logo Champions printed on the ball. He looked up at the girl with a questioning look.

“Where did you get this?” He asked, his voice getting angry. The other man was now staring at her with a confusing look on his face. “Where did you get this ball?” He asked once more.

Marley didn’t know what to do. So she did what she’s best at. She grabbed her stuff and ran. The two men watched as the girl took off running with confused at what just happened.

The blonde haired man looked over at his companion and asked. “What was that all about?”

“I don’t know Aden but that was really weird.”

“Yeah well, you don’t see that every day. Let’s get back to the game .Your go Bible Boy.” Aden said passing Geoff the ball.


Marley ran all the way back to the school. She didn’t want to get caught, and if those two men had found out that I had stolen something they probably would have called the cops. She’s come too far to just go right back into another foster home. She let herself back into the gym happy that the tape was still on the door and walked across the gym. Before stepping out into the hallway she decided that this was a rare chance when she would get a decent shower. She turned back around and headed towards the locker room.

She stripped down and set her clothes on the bench outside the showers. She onto the hard marble floor and turned on one of the showerheads. The warm water felt refreshing running down her back. She couldn’t remember the last time she had had a proper shower. It had been weeks. Sure she would wash off in a creek every few days, but that wasn’t a real shower. This, this was real, even if it was in an empty locker room in an empty school.

After getting out of the shower and drying off Marley changed into her extra pair of clothes. She walked back into the hallway now looking for a classroom to sleep in. She walked into a classroom that didn’t have the teacher’s name on the door. Inside were just a teacher’s desk, about twenty-five student desks, and a few shelves and cabinets on the side of the room. There were no pictures on the walls, no books on the shelves, there was nothing. It just felt so empty. She walked in and shut the door behind her. “Well, I guess this is home for the night.” She said to herself. Marley laid down on the hard, cold floor behind the teacher’s desk and in an instant she was fast asleep.

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I’m falling in love with Marley, so I’m writing like anything! Chapter Three comes from a song by Matchbox Twenty. I couldn’t think of a better song title for this one. Hope you like it!


Kirsty walked throughout the halls of Summer Bay High. It had been more than five years since she last walked these halls. Growing up, Kirsty had hated school, especially English. She remembered the times she spent with her sister Jade, and the two boys which seemed to rule their lives, Nick and Seb. Everything changed when Kane entered her life. It had not been an easy relationship, anything but. At first, she had hated him for what he had done to her sister. Yet eventually they both fell in love. Their love was like no other. They each gave their hearts to each other, every second of the day, and when they were apart their hearts ached. The two got married when she seventeen and a year later they had Oliver. She had never imagined her life to turn out the way it did. But life has a funny way of surprising you.

She walked the halls remembering every good and bad event that took place. She had met with Principal Bartlett that morning to secure her daily routine and was now just wandering around, looking for her aimlessly as she went. She remembered her very last day here. Everything from heartache, to pain and love, which in turn forced to her to go on the run with Kane. Yet this was all changed. There no longer was a Kane. Still, a feeling within her stomach grieved for letting her first true love go, it was the new love she had found with Miles that blossomed.

When she saw room 19 Kirsty started to get excited. This was going to be a new day No pain, nothing to worry about. She opened the door and entered the room. She walked up and down the classroom, examining each desk. Soon there would be students occupying these desks, asking questions and taking notes. Just the thought of it put butterflies in her stomach. She laughed softly, remembering the time she and her twin sister swapped places for her exams. She cringed, remembering the look on Dan’s face.

It wasn’t until she walked behind the desk that those butterflies went away. Now a mixture of nervousness and scared to death filled her stomach. Because on the floor right in front of her was the mysterious girl she had seen in the record shop the previous day sleeping.

It had been at least five minutes before Kirsty had picked her jaw up off the floor and processed what she was seeing. ‘What was she doing here? Is she homeless? She has to be homeless. Why else would she be here?’ she thought. She looked down at her. For the first time, Kirsty noticed how skinny this girl was; it was unhealthy. She needed to do something. But what? She was ready to deal with problems, but not this kind. This was far from what she expected. What was she supposed to do? ‘Waking her up would be a good place to start.’ Kirsty’s mind was moving a mile a minute but her feet stayed planted on the ground.

After another five minutes of debating with herself, Kirsty finally worked up the courage to wake her up. She took one small step towards her, as she did Marley began to stir. This made Kirsty freeze. A minute or so past and Kirsty decided to continue. She bent down on one knee and extended her arm out. She gently nudged her shoulder and as soon as she did Marley shot up like she had been woken up from a bull horn instead of soft touch. Kirsty was so frightened that she had fallen back on her butt. Marley took in her surroundings and looked over at Kirsty. She instantly recognized her from the previous day.

The two sat there on the floor and stared at each other. “What are you doing here?” Kirsty asked slightly above a whispered. She didn’t get an answer. “Where are your parents? I’m sure they’re worried about you.”

Marley couldn’t help but laugh a little at the thought of her parents actually worried about her. She quickly put a serious face back on when Kirsty asked her; “You don’t have a family do you?”

Kirsty looked into Marley’s eyes; she couldn’t help but noticed how black they were. It scared her a little. Marley nodded not taking her eyes off of Kirsty.

“I need to take you to the police.” Marley cringed at what she said. She couldn’t go back to where she came from. She just couldn’t. She had travelled too far and been through too much to just be put back into another abusive foster home. “It’s ok. You can trust me.” Kirsty said holding out her hand. Marley was holding onto her necklace when she stood up and grabbed her stuff, not even acknowledging Kirsty’s hand.

The two walked out of the classroom, Kirsty walking a little bit faster showing Marley the way. Once they reached the parking lot Kirsty turned around to see if Marley was still there. She was. Once they reached the car, Kirsty walked over to the driver’s side unlocking the car. She was expecting to see Marley get in the car as she did; but instead she watched as Marley took off running. Kirsty just sighed and watched with a worried expression. ‘This isn’t going to be easy.’


Kirsty walked into her kitchen to find Miles and son eating ice cream. “Ice cream? At three in the afternoon? Please tell me you fed him a decent lunch first.” She said, already knowing the answer.

“Of course I did. We each had a grilled cheese, right Oli?” Kirsty looked over at her son with stern eyes. She knew he was hiding something because he wouldn’t look straight at her.

“Is that true Oli?” Kirsty asked with her stern mom voice.

“No.” Oliver said just loud enough for Kirsty to hear. She smiled at herself, proud that she got her boy to tell the truth. She was good at this. “I’m sorry Mum. He told me not to tell you though. Oops!” Miles looked at his son with a hurt expression on his face.

“Oli! How could you rat me out?”

“Mama said lying is bad and that I shouldn’t do it.”

“That’s right.” Kirsty said leaning over the counter to kiss Oliver’s forehead. “You should take a lesson or two from him.” She said to Miles. Miles scooped up Oliver and started tickling him.

“You really shouldn’t tell on your me, because now you’re going to get the tickle monster!” Kirsty watched as her son and Miles laughed their hearts out and couldn’t help but laugh at the sight. She thought about how great her family is. Miles was chasing after his dream. Oliver was smarter than any other five year old she had ever seen. And she was finally getting to do something she had always loved. Then she thought about the girl in her classroom that morning and her smile quickly faded. That girl didn’t have what Kirsty had. She had probably never even experienced a real happy family. Everyone deserves to have a family.

“Oliver, honey, can you please go to your room? I need to talk to your dad.”

“Ok Mum.” Miles let go of Oliver and he took off running.

“What’s up?” He asked, turning his attention back to her.

“Well, um, this is going to sound strange, but today when I went to meet with Principal Bartlett I…”

“How did it go?” Kirsty always hated when he would interrupt her, especially when she had something important to say.

“It was good… Back into I guess.”

“Kirst that’s great. I’m so proud of you.” He said hugging her.

“Thanks, but can you please listen to me?” Kirsty asked getting frustrated. Miles motioned for her to carry on with her story. “After my meeting with Principal Bartlett I went walking through the school.”

“And…” Miles said, not getting where she was going with this.

“And I found someone in one of the classrooms.”

“Wait. What do you mean you found someone?”

“I mean there was a teenage girl sleeping in a classroom. The one we saw yesterday in that record shop.” Miles was speechless so Kirsty went on. “When I woke her up she didn’t do anything. We just sat there and stared at each other. I told her that I needed to take her to the police and when we got out to my car she took off running.”

“Maybe she doesn’t want to be found.”

“Yeah I guess. But the way she looked. She’s just so skinny. And the way she acted. She didn’t say a word the whole time. I need to find her. I need to make sure she’s safe.” Miles loved Kirsty’s sensitive side.

“Try the beach.” He said putting his hand on her knee. “When I first came to the bay, it was the only place I truly felt safe, and if she’s that skinny, she’d be hungry. Check around the Diner.”

“What do I do when I find her? If I find her?”

“Bring her here. At least for the night we’ll know she’s safe.”

Kirsty smiled at Miles. God, she loved him. “Thank you.”


It had taken Marley fifteen minutes to run from Summer Bay High to the beach. She didn’t stop to catch her breath or slow her pace; she needed to get away from Kirsty. What she should have done is left Summer Bay as soon as possible but she couldn’t bring herself to leave. Now Marley was sitting on the beach watching as the wave’s crash onto the water. She grabbed hold of the ring around her neck as a tear rolled down her face. She looked around at all of the families there with their children. Marley wished she had that again.

She fell back and was now looking up at the clear blue sky. It was perfect. The weather. The scenery. Everything was just perfect. Except for the girl lying on the beach crying her eyes out. Marley didn’t know why she was crying. It could have been because of the families around. It could have been because of the beach. It could have been because she was on the brink of being caught and sent back to another foster home. Or it could have been all of it. She didn’t know what to do. Her body felt numb. She didn’t want to get up and face the world. So she laid there for a little bit longer staring up at the sky.


After about an hour of doing nothing but crying and staring at the sky, Marley dragged herself up and forced herself to walk somewhere. Anywhere but here would be good. The beach was too much for her. Too many happy memories that she could never relive.

She walked until she reached the surf club. She didn’t have anywhere else to go. She couldn’t go back to the school. What if Kirsty was there, or worse, someone else? Marley stepped into the building, reliving every single time she had every stepped into her own youth centres back home.

She didn’t know how long it had taken her to get to the Surf Club but it was getting dark. The streetlamps off to the side of the court were already on. The sky looked beautiful as the sun and the ocean met. Walking around the pool tables, Marley slung her backpack around her shoulders and pulled out a bottle of water and a pack of cookies. It took awhile for the sun to disappear, but it finally did. The street lights were still on, but other than that it was completely dark outside. Marley, having finished her cookies, threw her trash into a bin and rested her head on the chair now looking up to see the youth of Summer Bay corralling within the centre. How she wished she could have been like them. Instead, she exited the surf club, and found a comfy spot to sleep underneath the stars. There, she laid, playing connect the dots with the stars, twinkling brightly overhead.


“Emma?” Marley called for her name in the darkness. It was around midnight and the two were outside, lying in the grass, looking up at the sky playing connect the dots.

“Yeah?” Even though they were right beside each other, Emma’s voice sounded miles away.

“Do you think it’s possible, after everything we’ve been through, to be happy?” Marley asked not taking her eyes off of the stars.

“Of course I do.” Emma said now turned on her side looking at Marley.

“How can you be so sure? I mean, you’ve through so much more crap than I have, but yet you’re so happy.”

“Well I don’t let it get to me.”

“How?” Marley asked still not believing what she’s hearing.

“Well I just try to see the good in things. That’s the difference between you and me.” Marley gave her a confused which made Emma laugh a little. “You’ve closed yourself off from the world. You only speak to me when we’re alone, but when other people are around you’re like a mime. You see, me, I see the good in things. Sometimes it’s hard, but I always find it.”

“Alright, well, how do I see the good in things?”

“Open yourself up. You can’t shut out the world forever. And I get that you’re scared, that someone will hurt you. But look around Marley you’re already hurt. And I’m sorry for that. If I could take all that pain away from you, I would.”

“What if I’m not ready?” Marley asked a little scared.

“Then when will be ready? You can’t do this to yourself. Look, I’m not asking for you to open up now, but trust me you’ll know when you’re ready. Someone will come along and you’ll trust them with every bone in your body and you’ll open your heart to them. You’re meant for bigger things than this.” She said motioning towards their tiny house.

“How do you know?”

“I can see it in your eyes.”


“I thought I might find you here.” Marley sat up to find Kirsty standing just a few feet away. “I think we need to talk.”

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