Too Tasty

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I Wanna Be Batman

"Alright, alright. We can make some enchilada!" I conceded. I had a headache from all of the yelling going on. It was hard to focus on unpacking groceries when two people were screaming for food.

"Max, help me bring the rest of this into the apartment," I said and laughed as he flexed his non-existent biceps.
"I wanna be Batman. He's buff and sexy," Max said and Teela snorted in disbelief.
"Yeah okay, Max. In your dreams. You're more like Catwoman," Teela retorted and Max lightly punched her in the shoulder.
Getting them to focus was a skill. One that I lacked. "Guys, the groceries."
"Teela, we need to talk again about girl stuff. Max, use your Batman muscles and take all of those bags upstairs. Use the elevator. Start unpacking the bags if you can," I said. Max clapped gleefully and complied with my demand. Teela tossed him the keys and I made a mental note to make sure I get them back.
I need to tell Teela about the deal I made. It's not going to be fun.
Teela caught the look on my face and said, "What's wrong?"
I glanced around and said, "Not here Teela. Let's talk upstairs."
---
"Absolutely not," Teela screeched at me.
I opened my mouth to speak but she cut me off.
"Trade me instead, Karina. You and Maven have sacrificed a lot for me. Let me return the favor," Teela said and I scoffed.
"No Teela. I'm probably being watched right now so here's what I'm going to say. Keep in touch with the guys after I leave and make sure that you don't tell anyone a word about the deal until after I leave tomorrow night. Capisce?" I gritted out. I tried to keep a stoic face because I knew that if I cried, I'd never be able to leave.
"This isn't right. What am I supposed to say to Maven?" Teela asked as she clutched my right hand.
"Nothing, just promise me that you'll lead a safe life and support Max. He's been hurt and all he needs is a bit of guidance. Be there for him. As for Maven, she'll understand eventually. It's better that she hates me rather than becoming numb to the world. Make sure you guys live happily. Get a job, date, get married, travel. Enjoy your senior year Teela," I said sadly.
"I'm never going to see you again, am I?" Teela cried.
I nodded to confirm and she grabbed me in a hug.
"Just know that I'll be watching over you no matter what," I said as I rubbed her back.
Teela pulled away and rubbed her eyes dry. "What will you say to everyone?" she asked.
"I'm going to Boulder, Colorado to go on a hiking trip that I've wanted to go on for a while. It's April anyway so it'll be cold. From there, I'll probably get picked up by our father," I said. I smiled sadly as I remembered that Knox and I were going to do that together sometime.
Guess it'll never happen now. Not in this lifetime.
"Come on, go downstairs and watch some Netflix. I'm going to start packing my bags," I said.
I waited until she went downstairs and then collapsed on the ground with sobs going through my body.
This is all for you Teela and Maven. I'm going to miss you guys so much.
I cried for a while before standing to pull out my suitcases from underneath my bag. It took me a couple of hours to fold all of my jeans, tops, and undergarments but I got it done.
I cried again when I looked at the yellow dress that Tyler had bought me. I gently tucked it into my carry bag with my family photo of my mom, Teela, and Maven. I grabbed tampons, toiletries, and other basic items that I'd bought earlier. Good thing I was prepared.
I collapsed on my beg after packing all of my belongings. I didn't have many personal belongings but now, my room looked super sparse. Gone were my Nike sneakers and summer sandals. Even my sunglasses and Teela's drawing of an astronaut had been packed away. My bookshelf was empty and my room just looked dull. I ripped down my favorite art pieces and threw them in the trash. No point in keeping it.
I was ready to leave tomorrow night.
But, I had one last thing to do.
I pulled out construction paper and a shoebox that had art supplies. I wrote two birthday cards for Maven and Teela. Even if I wasn't around, I could still give them something. I had already put Teela and Maven as the benefactors in my bank accounts in case of an emergency. Like if I conveniently died the day after I left my apartment forever. My father wouldn't get a penny.
I started on the letters for Knox, Tyler, Max, and Lincoln's family. I used a calligraphy pen to make the letters beautiful and colorful.
I tried to think of a way to embed a message into each letter.
Maybe one day I'd see them again.
Who am I kidding? That's a long shot.
Hey Max,
Please don't be sad after you read this letter. I want you to know that you're the best brother I've ever had. Even though it may seem like I'm leaving you as your parents did, know that I've never given up on you. I believed in you when the fire incident happened and I will always believe in you. I want you to follow your passion and continue baking. Do that for me.
Keep in touch with Teela and Maven. They were happy to meet you. Be happy bro.
Written with love,
Karina a.k.a Sis
I pushed Max's letter aside and started on Knox's letter.
Hey Tattooes,
I'll never forget the first time I met you. I wish I had more time to spend with you. But I don't. Know that you're an amazing guy and that you deserve to be happy. Don't be sad. Just keep living your life. I wish I could've told you the truth while you were here with me but that was one of the conditions. If I had told you, I would've never been able to leave you. So I didn't.
If you do manage to find me somehow (which is unlikely based on where I'm probably going), don't come after me. My credit cards will probably be taken and so will the rest of my shit. All I'll have is my Fitbit and access to a phone which will probably be tapped.
I'll always cherish the memories I had with you and get through the tough days.
You'll always be in my heart,
Karina
Two down, two more to go. I placed the letters into the other blue shoebox and also put the Amazon gift cards into the birthday cards.
Dear Lincoln, Siobhan, and Trini,
From the moment I met each of you, I felt like I belonged. You all made me feel welcome and never looked at me differently. I have visible and internal scars but not once did you criticize me. You opened your arms and let me come into your lives.
Lincoln, I've learned to let people into my lives because of you. Where I'm going, I'll probably be oppressed and unable to speak freely. Goons are always everywhere and security is tight. But at least I'll be able to trust you. I have faith in your ability to move on.
Siobhan, you're like another sister to me. Always by my side. I've enjoyed my late-night talks with you and going out for manicures. I hope that you learn to love again because you're worth getting to know. Maybe one day, I'll see your name on TV next to your artwork.
Trini, you're such a sweetheart and if I had a kid, I'd want him/her to be just like you. I wish you good luck in all of your future endeavors.
Lots of love,
Karina
I wiped my eyes and grabbed the last sheet of paper. This one would be the hardest.
Tyler,
I know we haven't always gotten along or seen eye to eye on relationships but just know that everything I've done was to protect you and my family. In fact, you and the guys have become family. You guys taught me trust, faith, and most of all, love.
Every time I wear that yellow dress, I'll remember you and smile. I've never been a fan of winter. Summer is my vibe.
When you see the sun, smile because every day is a new opportunity to be happy and live life.
Trying not cry,
Karina (always your girl)
I swiped at my eyes as I packed the notes away into the box. I'd let Teela know when to open the box later.
Time to spend my last few days with my family.
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