Ripples - one
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'Look darling; there's the house. What do you think?' Amelia peered in the direction her mother was pointing. Across the road, through the space between two cars, the upper half of the house could just be seen over the unkempt privet barrier that obscured the lower portion. Amelia squinted, imbuing the expression with all the precociousness her thirteen year old mind was capable of summoning. 'It looks funny.' She declared after a moment. 'It looks like an old people house.' Her mother laughed. 'Well; I suppose it must. It's been quite a while, since anybody has lived here.' Annette took her daughter's hand in a firmer grip and, together, they moved between the cars, Amelia looking carefully each way for traffic before they crossed, as she had been taught. As they crossed to the house, Amelia took note of their surroundings. It was, Amelia thought, a lot different to the place that she'd grown up in. At thirteen years old, Amelia Brooking considered herself to be quite grown up. Almost an adult, she sometimes thought, though she was careful never to let her parents hear her say that aloud. Tall for her age, Amelia favored her mother in her looks, having inherited her dark, almost black straight hair, and fine porcelain complexion. Both mother and daughter possessed dark eyes of almost the same shade as their hair, and full lips below the same finely chiseled nose. Amelia considered her mother to be quite the most beautiful woman in the world; that people told her that she looked so much like her was a fine compliment. A quiet girl, people often mistook her reticence for timidity; yet Amelia was anything but. Amelia was never afraid to speak her mind if she considered a topic to be worth pursuing. About the only thing Amelia had inherited from her father were his sharp intelligence and his dry sense of irony. Amelia had the ability to reduce her parents to helplessness giggles with her wry observations regarding both her friends and her environment. Looking around now, Amelia observed that the cul-de-sac, in which her new home resided, was very different indeed to the tenement in Manchester that she'd spent the whole of her life in. For one thing, it was a whole lot quieter here; though she thought that might have something to do with it being a school day. Today was the first time that they'd had a chance to make the trip out of the city, and Amelia had been given a day out of school in order to come along on the trip. It wasn't all that big a deal; was almost summer holidays anyway and exams were over. And she would be changing schools next year, so getting a day off was okay. Amelia liked school, but a day out was a day out after all, whatever the reason. She would miss her friends - the few she had anyway. But making friends had never been a problem, at least as far as Amelia was concerned. She was choosy about her friends; she was the first to admit. Most of the kids she knew barely matched her expectations; only Ami and Jo were close enough to her, to be really missed. She knew that her mother sometimes fretted; that Amelia was being bullied or worse; Amelia constantly had to reassure her that she was fine at school, and that she had all the friends she wanted. Her dad agreed with his daughter; he said that too many friends were a nuisance, and a drain on the emotions.