Milky blue eyes cracked open, then squinted shut in annoyance when they were met with sunlight. There was a grumble and the peach monster rolled over, trying to go back to sleep until night came. Sounds of running water and the muffled jazz notes from the radio in the other room bounced back and forth along the yellow-tiled bathroom; providing a kind of white noise Goldie found oddly soothing. She closed her eyes and splashed water across her face, rinsing away the soap. She dressed quickly in dark jeans, a green button up shirt and jacket, took her backpack and stepped out of her room. The living room was still and dirty. A mostly empty wine bottle sat in the middle of the coffee table, surrounded by empty glasses and a set of house keys, the bloated remains of a cigarette floated inside. Goldie took the house keys before making her way into the noisy kitchen. She found Sophie and David sitting at the table eating sugary cereal from blue bowls. Sophie regarded Goldie with identical eyes, her long curly hair was tucked sloppily under a knit hat; this was their usual morning greeting. David was still oblivious to the scene, instead he opted to chew his cereal and tap his fingers in time with the morning jazz hour. David liked going to public places with other people and yelling, he had also taught her how to scowl. Goldie saw no reason why she should hide her disdain for David. “Where’s mom?”Goldie pulled a cereal box out of the pantry and tipped it over her bowl, empty. She tossed the box into the recycling bin and reached for another. “She went to the store,” her sister mumbled before finishing her cereal. Sophie pushed her chair away from the table and took her bowl to the sink. She stopped when she spied her house key sticking out of Goldie’s pocket. “What’s up?” “I gotta stay late after school,” Goldie pulled out the last box and found it empty. She grit her teeth and snatched a slice of bread from the bread box. “Stop smoking in the living room, it stinks,” Goldie stuck the bread between her teeth and headed for the door, pausing when David laughed between crunches of his cereal. “No can do, kiddo. Not until Obama makes it legal.” “Sorry, Goldie,” Sophie chimed in, feeling slightly guilty. “Mom and I had some visitors over, it turned into a long night.” Goldie rolled her eyes and walked to front door, Sophie’s brow furrowed in annoyance at the childish gesture. “If you’re not going to stop losing your key like a kid, then at least make sure to be home in to let me in when my shift’s over,” she called to her sister’s back. Goldie took a fierce bite from her bread before answering, “and you tell your stupid boyfriend to stop eating all of my cereal!” She punctuated her frustration by slamming the door. * * The bicycle’s tires screeched in protest as it was turned round a corner to quickly. Goldie broke off from the busy morning traffic, taking a side street through a neighborhood by the river. Goldie passed rows of old houses, the gardens were littered with squash and mums, the trees were beginning to show hints of red and orange. The girl followed the river out of the neighborhood, and onto the main street again. Children her age trudged along, following the sidewalk to Sellwood Middle School. Sellwood's main building was an art deco affair that had been around since the late twenties*. It rested between the Willamette River and the homes and businesses in the central part of the city. A gym and athletics field dominated much of the block it was on. Stopping between the main building and the basketball court, Goldie stopped, laid her bicycle and backpack on the ground and waited. The girl hummed and fidgeted where she stood, an excited smile blooming on her face. *Quoted directly from art class. Goldie didn't even know what art deco meant.