T H R E E
Mom fiddled with the car radio until she settled on one of her favorite old school songs. I glanced at my brother's sleeping face before asking her the questions that been on my mind ever since we've landed in Texas.
"Yes Sweetie?" She asked
"What is your Father like and why are you dropping us a block away from his house?"
She gripped the steering wheel so hard that her knuckles turned white. For a moment, I thought she wouldn't answer until she started talking "When I was younger, my father was a tough and strict man. He always insisted that I should be more focused on my studies instead of the outside world" she focused on the road "Now that I have children of my own, I see what he meant, but as a teenager, I was upset with him. So upset"
She turned down an unpaved road and continued to drive "I continued to do as he said, because if I didn't, he used to guilt trip me" she tensed "He used to scream at me, saying that since I lived in his house, I had to follow his rules"
I felt sad for my Mom at that moment. She was such a wonderful woman that I couldn't imagine what kind of life she had before now.
"One night" she continued "I got so fed up with his yelling that I left to a friends house. Of course being stupid teenagers we decided to do something rebellious"
She chuckled and for the first time on this damn trip, I smiled
"Since the nearest club was 2 hours away, my best friend and I decided to go to a Bonfire one of the college kids was throwing" her smile remained as she continued to drive "So we decided to take a short cut threw the woods"
She turned to me and smile "And of course, with my sense of direction skills, we got lost"
Mom's direction skills sucked. My favorite memory as a child was when my father decided to teach my mother direction skills with just a map and a compass. I loved watching how patient he was with her even after she kept getting us lost.
"After an hour" she continued "We started getting worried. It was dark and there was reports on the news about recent wolf attacks. Then suddenly we heard a wolf howl"
I sat up straight in my chair, enthralled with her story
"And being the idiots we were, we ran" we chuckled and I saw mom's fingers relax "After a couple of minutes, we stopped for a break, near where we started when we heard a twig snap" she shook her head "And at that point we were so freaked out that we started screaming at the top of our lungs"
She pulled to the side of the road and parked the car "As soon as we started screaming, a handsome guy with brown hair and the prettiest midnight blue eyes I've ever seen came from behind a tree and asked if we needed help" she raised an eyebrow "Have any idea who might that be?"
"He escorted us home. My friend first and then Me" she sighed dreamily "during out little walk, we played twenty questions. If I'm being honest, it was love at first sight for me"
I chuckled "Well, apparently the feeling was mutual" I pointed to my brother and myself "If it wasn't, I don't think we would be here right now"
She shot me a look "Anyways, I was having so much fun that the walk home came and went so fast. I found myself wanting to stay with him but sadly, I knew that wasn't possible" she shook her head "I was thinking 'This guy is too perfect to be true' or "This guy is way hot to not have a girlfriend"
I chuckled but she ignored me and continued her story "Imagine my surprise when he leans forward and kisses my cheek, promising me that he'll see me soon"
"OOH!!" I laughed loud enough that my brother woke up from his nap "Dad was a smooth talker!!"
Mom shot me a look "He was not!!! He was just being sweet"
I rolled my eyes and she shook her head before climbing out of the car. I jumped out too and managed to unclip my brother's car seat.
He ran out excitedly and started jumping up and down "Are we there yet?"
"Almost baby boy" she turned and handed me out bags "Your Grandfather's house is just up that road. Take care of your brother and no matter what, don't go out into the woods alone. There are always Hunter's hunting wolves and I don't want either of you to get hurt"
I looked around "Where are the other houses?"
"There are no other house Kass, your Grandfather owns all this land"
My mouth dropped open "All this? You never told me you were rich?"
She looked away "I'm not Kassi. Your Grandfather is. The day I married your father was the day he made that very clear" she shook her head "That's a story for another day, come now, you better get going. It'll be dark soon"
I helped my brother put on his favorite wolf backpack "Tell me again why you aren't coming to live with us?"
"New work opportunities" she wouldn't look at me in the eye and I knew there was more too it than what she was willing to tell me "I'll take a plane to Alaska at 10 pm. Call me when you get to your Grandfather's and I'll call you before I leave"
I was hesitant "He knows we're coming, right?"
She looked me in the eyes for the first time throughout this whole trip "He knows. I made sure of it"
I nodded and she gave both of us kisses "You have my credit cards, hospital cards, and important numbers, right Kassiopeia?"
I cringed at my full name but nodded nonetheless
Her eyes jumped back and forth between us, like she was trying to remember something
"OH!!" She exclaimed "I enrolled you both into Private school. For you, School starts Monday"
I looked at my brother and he looked right back at me. We both looked at my mother and started whining.
She laughed and kissed us one last time "Be good, both of you"
She looked at me "Remember to always be yourself no matter what. Embrace who you are and listen to no one." She touched my face gently "Remember you are the daughter of Nicolay Dimitriou. The man that never backed down from anything or anyone"
I shook my head "What does me being the daughter of Nicolay Dimitriou have to do with anything?"
She smiled gently "You will find out soon enough baby, Soon enough" she walked to the drivers side of the car "Take care of each other. And Remember, Mom loves you so very much"