My life has been hard. I was a daughter, then my mom died and my father left. Then, I was passed down to Zenada Winchester, president of the United States and sister of my first mom. She was killed by a guy named John. Apparently, he's friends with Jame and Valeria, my current family. When Zenada was first killed, I was sent to an orphanage. From there, John's brother, Jake, adopted me. His wife wasn't ready for me, so Jame and Valeria took me off their hands. Dad took in a boy who saved my life, Chad. I now live in a desert with only Dad and Chad. After four years of living away from civilization, I am the age of sixteen with the name of Tamara.
"Good morning," Dad says as I wake up. He's trying so hard. He's grown weaker. Four years ago, Chad's leg had a scar, and it was his mother's fault. When his dad left, his mom blamed it on Chad. Now that they were alone, she showed her hate. According to Chad, he couldn't move for two days. When he healed enough, he ran.
His mother was cooking. She turned and threw a butterknife at him. It hit the side of his knee and sliced downward. That didn't stop him from running. A tree climber. Like me. He ran into the forest and climbed a tree. That's when he pulled the knife out. Through the days, he kept running. That's when we found him.
"Morning," I sit up. My clothes need to be washed. Not to mention the size. They were tight to begin with. Now, they suffocate me.
"Okay." I walk outside, combing my hair with my fingers.
"Morning, beautiful," Chad kisses my forehead. Oh. And we're together.
"Morning. Don't tell Jame."
"What?" Just as he says it, I run into the woods. He runs after me. In a few minutes, I find it. My watering hole. Chad stops when he gets here, then sits. I forget about his asthma.
"Believe it or not, I bathe," I turn his head. He soon turns away from me.
"You couldn't have told me about this?"
"Where do you think I get water from?" I strip and throw my clothes in the water. Then, I jump in and hide behind a rock.
"Hurry up," Chad gets restless.
"Since you're so bored, wash my clothes."
"Ugh," he groans. But I still hear him get up and do it.
I finish bathing, then wait for my clothes to dry. When they do, Chad and I switch places. We get back to the house when the sun starts setting. Dad doesn't even question it. I would be surprised if he did. He tries to give me as much space as possible.
That night, Chad turns the phone back on and hands it to me.
"Call someone. It'll help," he suggests.
"It's been years. Even if I wanted to call someone, their phone number probably changed," I fight. "Besides, Valeria and the others have probably moved on and forgotten about us."
"Valeria. My mom. Why?"
"Let's take a walk." He leads me out and starts walking away from the house. "I thought you knew. Valeria is–"
"What?" I've lived my life believing that she found someone else and had other children. Maybe even started traveling. Is he seriously about to tell me different?
"She was killed. By some guy named John. He made her overdose on pills by hiding benzodiazepines in her food. She was ambushed by two men, but killed them. John finished her off."
"What? I... I thought–"
"I'm sorry. I really thought you knew."
"Obviously not! All these years, I've been lying to myself, thinking that she's been okay. Thinking she got married, had kids, did something! Half my life, I was moving from parent to parent, the other half I was living a fantasy!"
"Hey, calm down. You're going to worry Jame. I'm sorry, Tamara. If I would've known, I would've told you sooner. I'm so sorry." He lets out a single tear.
"Why do you do that? All I've been through, and I almost never cry. Stop." I turn away from him, fists at my side.
"Why don't you? You of all people have every right to–"
"Because I'm scared, alright?! Zenada slapped me if I cried. I cried twice when I was with her. Once when I was given to her, once when I watched Titanic. I don't cry because I see it as weakness. Zenada taught me that, and I'll teach you."
"You're wrong." I hear him step closer.
"How?" I start to turn. He punches me in the jaw, knocking me to the ground, face down. I push myself up, and see two tears land on the dirt below me.
"That's weakness. Kill me if you want. It runs in the family, right?" He walks off. I touch my lip. It's busted. It burns. I don't return to the house. I walk a little further, then lay down and pass out.