1 - This isn’t Hogwarts
After half an hour of deliberation and many, many rounds of heads or tales; I made my decision. I had to go. It was worse not knowing. I needed to see why they sent for me. The even harder part than deliberating was telling my mom.
For the most part of my life, I was raised by two strong women; my mother and Grandma Campbell.
My mother was a military mom. She took no one's shit, not even mine. She worked hard and loved harder. I always used to joke her love was strong enough to kill. My mom was the fire I had so much fire and strength to myself.
My grandmother, on the other hand, taught me to be a lady. She taught me my manners, how to cook, clean, bake. She taught me how to be a perfect housewife just as she once was.
Between the two I learned to be a well-balanced individual. I still had things to learn but that's where my stepdad and stepbrothers came in. They taught me love comes in different shapes and sizes. They taught me all puzzles have different pieces and sometimes they can look so different next to each other but places where they belong they fit, perfectly.
I grabbed two of my Nerf guns and barged into the twins' room. Standing between them, a gun to each; they looked up at me from their gaming chairs.
"I'm leaving. Hold the fort down. Don't break anything." They snickered.
"Yeah, where you going?"
"Candy land." Darion guessed.
"No, probably IKEA." Scott countered.
"Forestons, jerk faces." They both set down their controllers and looked up at me.
"The gun store?"
"The gun store." I confirmed.
"Sarah is going to let you go?"
"Well, probably not. But I'm going."
"Can we go?"
"Absolutely not, I was invited, by my fathers coworkers." They exchanged a quick glance.
What my dads real job was remained a mystery. The three of us knew as little as possible about it. I'm sure Mike knew more. My mom refused to talk about, said it would corrupt me. She had a bucket full of stories about him, but never about his work. All that I could piece together of the years was he worked for some secret service that somehow tied to Forestons. We were never allowed to go to the gun store.
"What, are you going dip before she leaves and just leave some bullshit note on your bed?" Scott rocked in his chair. I shot him in the forehead with a foam bullet.
"No, you baboon. I will tell her just before I leave."
"Kinda cold." Darion crossed his arms. I shot him too in the forehead.
"Whatever. Miserable talking to you both as usual."
The three of us got along quite well. I loved my step brothers but we were never the mushy time. The more we insulted each other, the better. Those were our 'I love you'.
Throwing my guns on my bed, I walked down the hall the Mike and my moms room. She wasn't home yet and he was watching tv in bed.
"Hey Mike?" He smiled over at me.
"When my mom gets home, can you tell her to come find me?"
"Sure! Everything alright?"
"Yeah," I smiled. "Of course." To tell the truth, I was nervous as hell.
My mom was never one the leave this house. If given the choice, I think she'd stay forever. This house is where I spent half of my life, but this town I lived in my entire life. My mom being a single mom and a military mom, was hard. She told them she could never leave this town. She needed my grandma to help take care of me and she'd never leave her house. Also, this is where my dad lived and breathed. Even after all these years, I think she still can't let him go.
I was packing my bags when my mom came in my room.
"Where are you going?" She looked around at the heaps of clothing I had everywhere. I pointed at the letter on the desk. My voice felt like it would fail me. "Forestons?" I nodded. "They sent you a littler?" Her voice sounded shaky, I finally stopped packing and looked up at her. She was just staring at the envelope.
"Mom?" Her eyes were wet when they met mine. "Why are you crying?"
"I just don't understand." She whispered.
"They called on me, asked for me to come. I have to."
"You're not enlisting in the army!" She snapped.
"No, you did that. This is all I have to feel close to dad, please don't stand in my way." She drew back.
"You're going either way?"
"Yes, mom." We stared at each for what felt like an eternity.
Eventually, I started packing again. Out of my peripheral vision I watched her scan my room.
"When did you grow up?" My heart sank.
"I don't know. Somewhere between then and now." I zipped the bag closed but didn't look at her. I just couldn't right now.
"When you go, please be safe. Stay in contact. I'm right here when and if you need me." Our eyes locked.
"Can you stay one more night?" I nodded.