The cries of his mother broke eighteen year old Robert Goren out of his reflections. He was staring at himself in the full length mirror in his room, cocking his head to the side as he scrutinized his choice of outfit. Robert Goren was not a vain man, and truth be told, he really did not take too much care in his outward appearance, but he felt that his first day as a senior at New York City High deserved some sort of consideration. As usual, he was wearing dark jeans and a collared shirt- white today. He was tall, already reaching his full height at six foot three. He was fit, not scrawny, not buff, and not overweight. He had dark hair and brown eyes; his facial features were soft, making him look approachable. When he smiled, he revealed straight, white teeth, and whiskers covered the lower half of his face.
Robert Goren matured incredibly quick, both physically and mentally. He was incredibly smart for his age, and had no qualms with revealing his intelligence. Due to the fact that his father left them when he was only eleven, and the fact his older brother was a flake, he felt a personal responsibility to take care of his mother, who had shown signs of schizophrenia when he was just seven years old. He was not the typical “dumb jock”, although he did play basketball as a power forward for his high school’s team, nor did he have the typical jock look. He was cute, he was attractive, but he wasn’t as chiseled as some of his teammates, and he was charming in an intelligent way. He was not incredibly popular. All of these factors only caused him to be more isolated than before.
He sighed, closing his eyes, and turned to grab his keys and binder before heading out of his room. On the way downstairs, he glanced in his brother’s room and rolled his eyes. Of course he wasn’t awake. When was he ever awake when he was home these days?
“Yes Mom,” Bobby replied as he walked down the stairs.
Robert Goren’s mother, Francis, was sitting at the kitchen table, staring at an empty glass. Her eyes jumped up when she saw her son walk in, his binder under his arm and his car keys shoved in his pocket.
“Where are you going, Robert?” she asked him, furrowing her brow in confusion.
“I start school today, Mom,” he explained to her. He had lost count on just how many times he explained this to her, but over the years, he had developed patience for her because he knew that he was the only one who could help, largely due to the fact that his brother was “too busy” to do anything for her. And yet, for some reason Bobby could not figure out, she adored him, maybe even more so than him.
“Oh.” Her voice was quiet as her eyes returned to stare at the transparent glass. “And you’ll come home right after school?”
“I will come home right after basketball practice, Mom,” he confirmed. Then, he quickly changed the subject before she could argue with him. “Is there anything I can get for you before I leave?”
“Yes,” she said, and then nodded at the glass. “Can you get me some orange juice, Robert? I am so thirsty.”
He took the glass in his hand, and then walked to the refrigerator that was a foot behind the older woman and opened it, grabbing the orange juice and pouring her a glass. Robert placed the glass in front of his mother, and then leaned over to kiss her on the cheek.
“I’ll see you soon, okay Mom?” he told her.
His mother didn’t respond, just stared at the glass filled with orange juice, hesitating before finally taking a sip. He sighed through his nose and then grabbed his binder, heading out the door wondering if his mother even noticed that he was gone.
The beeping of her alarm awoke Olivia from a troubled slumber. She always had trouble sleeping before the first day of school, and made sure to set her alarm and hour before she had to leave. She yawned and glanced out her window; the sun was just peeking over the skyscrapers, informing the City’s inhabitants that today was going to be a beautiful day. Already she could hear the honks of the cars from below, and smile played across her face. While many people complained about the noise the City provides, she happened to find it comforting to know that she was not alone in the world.
Olivia crawled out of her bed and made her way to the bathroom so she could take a shower, yawning as she did so. The hot beads of water dripped over her body, waking her more and more. She grabbed a citrus shampoo and washed her shoulder-length hair, the fruity scent filling the bathroom and making Olivia smile.
After her shower, she blew her hair dry, got dressed and ate a quick breakfast. As she brushed her teeth, she studied herself in the mirror. Her brown hair was left down, and the bangs she decided to try out was pushed to the right side of her face. She wore light make-up, only mascara and lip gloss. She was wearing tight jeans and boots, giving her a couple more inches in height. As a sophomore, she was five foot seven so in reality she really didn’t need the extra boost, but she liked it. She wore a deep violet v-neck shirt with a white wife beater underneath, adding a layered effect to her choice of clothing.
When she was finished rinsing her mouth, she ran her fingers through her hair and sprayed on vanilla body spray before grabbing her backpack and heading out to start her day. What she saw in the living room of her apartment stopped her in her tracks. Her mother was sprawled out on the couch, obviously passed out, bottles of beer and wine glasses littering the coffee table and floor. She sighed and rolled her eyes before slipping off her backpack and picking up as many bottles as she could at one time to throw them away. It took fifteen minutes to straighten out the living room, and when she was finished, she washed her hands and picked up her backpack and sliding it on.
Olivia glanced at her watch and groaned. Due to the fact that she walked to school, she made sure to leave extra early to get there on time. However, because of the mess she just cleaned up, there was no way she would make it to school on time. She slipped out the door, locked it with her keys, and began to run down the four flights of stairs praying that she wouldn’t be too late to start her first day of high school.
Something was pushing her, causing a deep pain in her side. She groaned, closing her eyes tighter and pulling the covers over her head. She yelped when she felt her tight skin being pinched and her eyes flew open only to see the silhouette of a young boy pushing into her back, his fingers pinching her side.
“Ryan!” she exclaimed, fumbling around to turn on her light. “What are you doing?”
The young boy plastered a look of innocence on his face, complete with a small smile and big blue eyes. Alex could not help but smile as well, and then shifted her position so that she enveloped her younger brother in her arms and began mercilessly tickling her younger brother. He squealed in surprise and began to laugh contagiously so that Alex laughed as well.
“And just what is going on in here?” a booming voice came from the doorway.
Both Alex and Ryan froze as they looked at their father who was standing straight in his uniform, his blue eyes narrowed at his two children. However, Officer Eames’s lips twitched upwards and Ryan burst out into a fit of giggles, causing Alex to laugh again as well.
“Why is this demon in my room?” Alex asked her dead, getting off her bed and looking at her father suspiciously.
“You weren’t waking up when your alarm was going off, so I sent him in to wake you up,” her father told her. “I didn’t want you to be late on your first day of school.”
“Oh, shit! What time is it?!” she exclaimed, fumbling around her dresser to grab her clothes.
“Language, young lady,” her father said firmly.
“She said a naughty word,” Ryan said, pointing accusingly at her sister, his blue eyes wide with wonder.
“I don’t have time to shower!” Alex whined, running into her bathroom, and coming out ten minutes later in jeans and a fuchsia three-quarter length sleeved shirt. She wore no make-up; she did not need to. Her straight, dark blonde hair was down and she was brushing her teeth as she slipped on her tennis shoes. Ryan laughed at her until she shot him a death glare. This, of course, only caused him to laugh even harder.
“Are you ready?” Officer Eames asked after he walked into Alex’s room again.
Alex nodded as she grabbed her backpack. Ryan grabbed her hand, looking at his father expectantly. Today, Alex would start her first day at New York City High as a junior while Ryan would start second grade. Officer Eames would drive them to school in his squad car before he went to work as a cop for the city of New York.
“Well, then, let’s go!” he said, and immediately, Ryan pulled his sister down the stairs and out the door in excitement, their father trailing closely behind.
“You don’t have to yell! The children are trying to sleep before school! Can’t you give them another fifteen minutes?”
“Shut up!! In my day, we had to get up two hours before school to cook breakfast for our parents because we knew they were working to keep a roof over our heads!”
It didn’t matter; Elliot Stabler was already awake. He sighed, and walked from his room into the bathroom to make sure that both of his parents knew he was up. His mother glanced at him with sympathy while his father glared, and then proceeded to wake up Elliot’s older brothers, and younger siblings. His older brother was a freshman in college, and his other older brother a senior in high school, his younger sister was a sophomore in high school, his younger brother was a freshman in high school, and his younger sister was just starting seventh grade. In total, he had three brothers and two sisters.
Elliot took a quick shower, and then pulled on jeans and a grey t-shirt before he went to cook breakfast for his parents. He hated when his father treated his mother the way he did, but he clenched his teeth together and tried not to think about it. He didn’t want to get into another brawl over how Mr. Stabler should treat his wife. Elliot did not need to explain to his school why he had a black eye today.
As his siblings each took showers and got dressed, he cooked eggs and bacon thinking about the day. He was meeting his girlfriend Kathy, a sophomore, before school. They had been together for nearly six months and he couldn’t be happier. She was beautiful, blonde, with blue eyes and a fit body. She was a cheerleader for the football and basketball teams, both of which Elliot played. She seemed to be his only solace in the hell that he lived in.
When he finished, his siblings and mother were already eating, complimenting his culinary skills even though he had burned the bacon. Of course his father would never let him get away with it.
“What the hell is this?” he asked roughly, glaring at his youngest son.
“It’s food, Pop,” Elliot replied, clenching and unclenching his teeth so that his jaw muscle twitched. He was desperately trying to keep his patience, although his father made it ridiculously hard.
“Yeah, no shit it’s food,” his father replied. Elliot glanced at his police uniform and nearly rolled his eyes. How could his father treat his family so poorly and yet vow to protect New York’s citizens? It was beyond him. “Why is it burned?”
“Arnold,” his wife said in a warning tone. Elliot’s siblings stopped eating, silently staring at their plates of food. They barely breathed; they did not want to do anything wrong.
“Shut up,” Arnold snapped at his wife.
“Hey, don’t speak to Mom that way,” Elliot said, feeling his patience slowly slip away.
“You wanna tell me how to talk to my wife?” Arnold asked, standing up and taking a step toward Elliot. Elliot, of course, would not back down. He stared his father down, his eyes never wavering. His jaw muscle twitched erratically.
“Everyone, you’re going to be late,” his mother said, stepping in front of Elliot and his father. “Everyone have their keys? Everyone have their lunches? Alright, you best be off or you’re going to be late!”
Elliot glared at his father before turning and grabbing his keys from the key holder. He walked to his car, taking his youngest brother and sister to middle school, while John, his older brother who was a senior, was taking his sister and brother to their high school. Brett, their oldest brother, drove off to campus alone. Elliot did not know why he took responsibility of his siblings; he was not the oldest or the smartest. If anything, he was the toughest. He sighed as he glanced at his clock car. He was going to be late for his meeting with Kathy. Oh well. What else was knew?
Author’s Notes: I really have no idea Elliot and Alex’s siblings’ names so please forgive me if I get them wrong. New York City High is a fictional school I made up solely for this story. This is just the prologue; please tell me if I should continue or not. Reviews, even flames, are welcome. Thank you!