Two days after I got home from the hospital, my father let me go back to school. I wasn’t at 100%, but I felt a lot better than I had. Sam tried to heal me with his blood, but I said I wanted to heal normally. I wanted Ethan to remember the damage he could cause. I wasn’t mad at Ethan, I just wanted him to be happy. I didn’t want him to deal with the fact he killed someone, I wanted him to be human again. Yet that would never be possible.
I hadn’t seen him since the hospital and I knew he was avoiding me. Ethan never wanted to admit his mistakes, but instead avoid the problem. Which is completely understandable in his situation. I came down to breakfast to find my dad, Saige, and Amy already eating. I took a seat beside them and dug into the bacon and pancakes. I continued like this until I saw Amy and Dad staring at me, “What? Did I do something wrong?”
“You aren’t in trouble.” Amy said with a smile, “You dad actually wanted to ask you something. Didn’t you, dear?”
She nudged my dad and he awkwardly wiped his hands with a napkin. He looked over at Amy and she nudged him again. He cleared his throat and looked back over at me, “Amy...I...was wondering if Sam could come to dinner tonight? That way we could get to know him better. I want to know about the mysterious boy you are spending so much time with.”
That’s when the doorbell suddenly rang and we all looked in that direction. I wiped my face and headed for the door; my dad in toe. I opened the door and Sam was waiting on the other side. He smiled at me and then shook my dad’s hand. We began to leave the house when my dad stopped us.
“Before you two go…” Dad began with a hint of awkwardness, “I was wondering if you wanted to come over for dinner tonight. I would like to get to know you better to make sure you are a good boy for my daughter. Are you free?”
Sam looked from him to me and then back at my dad, “I would love to. It sounds like it could be fun. What time should I come over?”
“6 o’clock sharp.” Dad said
“Sounds good. I’ll see you then.” Sam said as we walked out the door side by side. My dad watched us from the doorway until Sam started the car. After getting comfy we began to talk.
“You don’t have to come to dinner tonight if you don’t want to. It’s not something you have to do. My dad just wants to make sure you are a good person and all that.” I said
“Carly, I want to come.” Sam said as he gave me a side smile, “Getting to know your family is important. I truly care for you and having your dad’s permission would make things easier. We wouldn’t have to hide as much and that is weight taken off our shoulders.”
“I just hope he sees the good in you. My dad is quite protective and strict when it comes to this sort of thing. He thinks I’m still a child when I am far from it. I just hope he approves.” I worried
“He will. He will see how much we truly love each other and he’ll understand. I know he will.” Sam said squeezing my hand.
“I sure hope you’re right.” I said squeezing his hand back.
We continued our drive and then I remembered our mission. Changing the subject I brought up my mother. I had pushed this out of my mind the last few days, but I couldn’t do it anymore, “How are we going to find out if my mom is lying? Now that I am back up to working order we can figure this out. Got any ideas?”
“Well, we’ll need to get into the hospital’s database as you mentioned a few days ago. I have this friend who is quite good with breaking firewalls.” Sam explained as he paused to concentrate on the road, “I’ll tell him to search for your mother’s file and he’ll let me know if he finds anything.”
“Can I do anything to help?” I asked
“The best thing you can do is focus on healing. He will get us the answer we need and then you’ll know for sure. It’ll be fine, I promise.” Sam said
“I just wish I could do something to help.” I said as I slouched in my seat, “I need to know for sure and I want to be the one to find out. I want to see the lie straight in front of me.”
“I know you want the truth, but what if it isn’t what you hoped? If she didn’t turn because of cancer and she didn’t stay away because of her urges then it’s more selfish than that. Do you really want to discover your mom is not who she says she is? Sometimes the truth hurts more than a lie.” Sam questioned
I looked down at my feet and took a deep breath, “I know the answer will probably make things worse, but I need to know. When she was alive I thought the woman was a saint; an angel from heaven. I want to see her for who she really is. I need to know what really happened before I go insane.”
“If she is lying, what do you plan to do?” Sam asked
“Honestly, I don’t know.” I said pausing to think of an answer, “I just want to know who she really is. If she is a liar then I need to know before I let her back into my life. I can’t trust her if I don’t know who she really is.”
“Does part of you want her story to be true?” Sam questioned
“Of course there is. If her story is true then she did this for us, but if it’s a lie then she turned for selfish reasons. I want to know if my mother is still in there. If the story was true then everything would be so much easier, but I know it’s not. I could tell she wasn’t telling the whole truth.” I said
“I just wish things like this wouldn’t happen to you. I just want you to be happy, but complications come from every corner. If you had never met me then you might have been saved from all this. You could’ve had a normal life with no worry of surviving the day.” Sam worried, squeezing his eyes shut for only a moment.
“Sam…” I began as I caught his attention, “If you weren’t in my life I would’ve been dead by now. Aria kidnapping me might have been avoided but my brother and mother being vampires would still have occured. I would be in more trouble than I am now. You are the one thing that makes this whole thing better.”
“You think so?” Sam questioned
“I know so.” I said
“I pray your right.” Sam replied
Sam pulled into the parking lot and we walked into the building together. Every morning when we walked in almost everyone stared at us as we walked past. They never expected someone like Sam to get with someone like me. I was a short, glasses-wearing, shy girl who didn’t make friends easily. Sam was a stud with a sense of humor and the muscles to make any girl swoon. No one understood it and none of the popular girls liked it.
It actually amused me at how much these people cared. If I was a normal teen I would be self conscious about all the attention, but I wasn’t normal. None of this trivial drama affected me at all at this point. I had been through so much in the last year that would make the normal teen scared at every corner. So little things like jealous cheerleaders bounced off me like Jello.
Luckily, I wasn’t normal and I knew what real horrors were out there. Sam and I walked to first period to find Christina waiting for me. Sam took his seat as I was encapsulated in a tight hug. Christina squeezed until my face began to turn red. Then Christina pulled away so I had the chance to breathe and she then asked the one question I dreaded most in this world, “Are you okay, Carly?”
“I’m fine. No need to worry.” I said
“Why didn’t you tell us you were attacked by an animal? If we had known we could’ve helped you. I knew you looked bad on Monday, but I had no idea it was this bad. Were you in pain?” Christina asked, looking down at the bandage on my neck.
“I didn’t want any of you to worry. I was hoping it would get better on it’s own, but it didn’t. If Claire hadn’t been there I might be dead right now. I was stupid and should’ve asked for help, but I have never been good at that.” I explained
We sat down in our desks and Christina reached her hand over to squeeze mine, “Next time you are hurting, you better tell me. If I see you even cough I will be taking care of you like a momma bear. I know you would rather hurt yourself then those around you, but you have to take care of yourself. Let people worry about you, okay? You aren’t a nuisance because you are asking for help.”
“Okay, Tina. I’ll try my best.”
“That is all I ask for.” Christina said as the bell rang for class.
Then as everyday had been at school I took notes, watched videos, and did whatever the teachers asked me to do. School has been the only place...well not always...but most of the time it was the only place I felt normal. No one, aside from a select view, knew all the crap that really went down in this town. This was the place where all I had to worry about was an English test or some bully laughing at me.
It was nice to feel like a normal teen. Everytime I came home all the crap that I have had to deal with came rushing back in and sometimes I just want to crawl into bed and never get out. I mean two members of my family are vampires, I am a seer who has visions at the worst times and literally everyone wants to kill me, so there’s that. Seeing Sam’s smile made me forget my worries because I knew he was there for me, but it didn’t make the problems go away. Sometimes it felt like I was being suffocated with how much crap was piled on my plate.
Luckily, tonight the only thing I had to worry about was hoping my dad liked Sam. Now technically, Sam could just compel my dad to like him, but that’s cheating and I want my dad to genuinely accept Sam. Sam was the first boy I had ever truly loved and I wanted dad to like him. Maybe, then he wouldn’t have to sneak in so much.
When lunch finally came around, Sam and I walked to the cafeteria together. We got food, even though he couldn’t actually eat it, and sat down with my friends. They of course asked the are you okay question at least 50 times. I responded with I’m fine every time. As I always do, even if I didn’t actually mean it.
“Are you truly okay?” Anna asked
“Anna, I’m fine. After a few days of rest I feel good as knew. I’ll have a scar, but it’ll be easy to cover up.” I said as they all looked doubtful, “I’m really okay, guys. Trust me.”
“We’ve should’ve known something was wrong. We could tell you looked sick, but we didn’t know how much pain you were truly in. We should’ve done something. Claire saw the signs, but we didn’t. I feel like an awful friend.” Phoua worried as she fiddled with her hands.
“I only noticed because Carly’s scarf loosened.” Claire explained as everyone looked toward her, “I saw bruising and was worried someone was hurting her. If her scarf had never loosened I’d be in the same boat as you guys. So you aren’t terrible friends just because I was glancing over at her at the exact right moment.”
“I was wondering why you were wearing a winter scarf inside. My first thought was that Sam gave you a hickey and you were hiding it.” Anna suggested as everyone burst into laughter.
“If I had a hickey I would use makeup to cover it up, not a scarf longer than me.” I said with a smile.
“The smarter way to hide a hickey is to get it somewhere no will see it.” Christina said as everything looked at her with surprise, shock even. Christina looked confused and then she got exactly what we were all thinking, “You are all nasty. I meant like your upper arm, stomach or upper chest. Somewhere your shirt can cover it. You won’t get in trouble if no one can see it.”
“You should have said that in the first place. You know we all have dirty minds here. What else did you think we were gonna think?” Claire questioned
“I don’t know, normal people thoughts. Besides, you know what I meant.” Christina admitted as we all started laughing again.
“Well for all your information, Sam has never given me a hickey. So you don’t need to worry about that.” I explained
“We’re watching you mister.” Phoua warned jokingly as she put two of her fingers to her eyes and then pointed them at Sam.
“I’ll try my best to behave. I promise.” Sam said with a big smile.
Claire joked with just as big a smile, “You better behave or you’ll have the wrath of all of us tormenting you.”
The rest of lunch was filled with laughter and smiles. My friends started to truly like Sam and that was awesome. Everything felt normal and relaxing. I wish moments like this happened more often than they did. Feeling normal for just a little while was all I wanted.
After lunch, Sam and I headed to class. We split ways and made it through the last two periods of the day. When the final bell rang, I pretty much ran out of the building to find Sam waiting for me. Anyone I caught staring, I smiled and waved at, causing most to awkwardly look away. I smiled to myself as Sam drove me home.
We arrived soon after and I warned him, “I’ll see you in a few hours. Be prepared for anything. My dad can be a bit crazy.”
“You have nothing to worry about. I’ll see you soon.” Sam said as he started the car and backed out of the driveway.
I waved Sam off and watched his car vanish around the corner. With one last look I headed inside and prepared for the awkward dinner I was about to have. Sam was going to be grilled by my family and Saige would most likely make it even worse. I got dressed and readied my mind for tonight. The hours flew past and suddenly the doorbell was ringing. I ran down the stairs and greeted Sam, letting him in. I pulled Sam into the kitchen to find Saige playing on her phone, Amy finishing up the meal, and my dad sitting awkwardly at the table.
“Sam’s here.” I announced
“Nice to finally have a real chance to meet you, Sam.” Amy greeted, wiping her hands on her apron and giving Sam a handshake.
“And you’ve already met my dad and Saige.” I said
“Nice to see you both again.” Sam said shaking Saige’s hand and then awkwardly shaking my dad’s hand.
I didn’t even question where Ethan was because I knew he was most likely with my mother. When the introductions were over, Sam and I sat down next to each other. Dad and Saige joined us while Amy served the food. Once everyone that their burgers and fries the silence ensued. Until Amy asked the first question.
“Sam, tell us about yourself. Where were you born? How long have you been in town? For what amount of time have you known Carly?” Amy asked in quick succession.
Sam looked over at me and then back at Amy with a smile, “I was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, but my family moved here when I was very young so I never developed an accent. I’ve lived in Wisconsin most of my life, but I didn’t move to town until 7 months ago in September. I met Carly soon after I moved to town.”
“How did you two meet?” Dad asked
“We met the first day of school. We share a few classes together and she caught my eye. We got to chatting and became friends soon after.” Sam said
“When did you two start dating?” Saige asked with a look of interest.
When Saige had interest you knew something would go wrong. She would ask the wrong thing or make it awkward. She always did that and I knew today would be no different. I just had to hope it wouldn’t be too bad.
“We started dating a few weeks ago. We were friends for almost a year, but then something clicked. I knew there was something more between us and I couldn’t let that go.” I said as I looked over at Sam with a lovey dovey kind of smile.
“Do your parents know you guys are dating?” Dad asked
A look of sadness appeared on Sam’s face, but it faded quite quickly. I squeezed his hand underneath the table as he answered my dad’s question, “My parents are dead. They died when I was nine.”
“I’m so sorry to hear that.” Amy said with a sympathetic squeeze of his hand.
“Who do you live with then?” Dad asked
“I live with my older sister, Aria. She’s been looking after me since she was 18. It’s been hard, but we get by. If my parents were still around I think they would adore, Carly.” Sam said
“Are you both happy?” Amy asked
“Completely.” We said at the exact same moment.
“Your daughter means the world to me, Mr. Carlisle. Whenever I am with her it is like everything else fades away and it is just us. Without her I feel empty, like I cannot exist without her.” Sam explained as I blushed and my dad looked like he understood the feeling, “Carly is the best thing in my life and I hope you can accept us. Because I want to be there for your daughter at her lowest, her highest, and every other moment in between.”
My dad looked at Sam for a long moment and then to Amy who motioned him to speak. He bit his lip and looked back over at Sam and I, “Are you happy, Carly?”
“I am. I really am, Dad.”
“Then I see no problem with you two dating.” Dad said as Sam and I smiled at each other, “But if I hear or see any funny business I will end your existence. My daughter means the world to me so if you hurt her, I hurt you. Got it?”
“I got it. You have nothing to worry about. I promise.” Sam assured
“Have you guys had sex yet?” Saige asked as the whole table went silent.
There it was. I knew she was gonna do something like this and it was worse than I imagined. Amy hit Saige’s arm to tell her to knock it off and my dad looked furious at the idea Saige would say something like that. I almost choked on my food when the words escaped her lips. Even Sam looked shocked.
“No, we haven’t and we don’t plan to for a very long time. Right Sam?” I said nudging his arm with mine.
“Of course, yeah. I would never do anything that your daughter wouldn’t want. She wants to wait and I will accept her wishes.” Sam agreed awkwardly
“Yeah, you better. Or I might do more than end your existence. I think I would wipe you from the planet earth instead. You understand?” Dad threatened with a scary look to his eyes
“Yes, I completely understand.” Sam said with genuine fear. When I saw his fear I smiled to myself because seeing him scared of my human dad was priceless.
I looked over at Saige with the angriest gaze I could manage. She looked back at me with a devilish smile and winked. I shook my head in disgust and tried to push that whole part of the conversation out of my head. I couldn’t handle that right now.
The rest of dinner was mainly awkward chit chat. Saige asked odd questions, but not as bad as the first. All that really mattered is that my dad approved and that meant we didn’t have to hide as much. It was a weight lifted off my shoulders. I could tell Sam felt the same relief.
After dinner I escorted Sam out with a kiss and then headed up to my room. Once I knew the door was secure, I clapped and Sam appeared near the wall. I walked over to him and we hugged. We hugged for what felt like forever before I took a step back. If I had the chance, I would hug him forever.
“Did your friend check out the file on my mom?” I asked as I got down to business.
“No, he couldn’t get to it.” Sam explained as my face saddened, “This hospital likes to keep all their files on paper instead of in a database. The only way to get the information on your mom would be to break in and look in person.”
“Then we’ll go tomorrow.” I said as Sam’s face went serious.
“We? There is no we.” Sam said cautiously, “I will get the file and report to you later. I’ll compel a few doctors along the way and get this done. That way you are not put in danger.”
“I’m coming, Sam.” I said crossing my arms over my chest, “I need to know if my mother was lying, which means I am involved. Besides, it could be fun.”
“If it ends badly we could get caught and I might not be able to get us out.” Sam warned
“Then we are just going to have to take that chance. I am not going to sit back and let you break into a hospital all by yourself. We are going to do this together, end of story.” I said
“Fine, but I take the lead. Okay?” Sam said
“Fine by me.”
We looked seriously at each other and then we both started laughing. He knew I wasn’t going to give this up and I knew I wasn’t going to let him go alone. We had to compromise and this was the only way. I was going to find out if my mother was lying and if she was then I needed to know what really happened that night. I just had to.
I needed to know what was real and what wasn’t. I did not like lies because in the end someone always got hurt. I had to know if I could trust her or not. Part of me wanted her lie to be the truth, but that was a fool’s dream. I knew she was lying, I just hoped the lie wasn’t as bad as I was imagining.