The Heiress

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Birthday Shenanigans

Looking back on that day, my life was never the same after that. My dad’s words really caused me to look at life differently and understand the value of it. Honestly, I think it’s safe to say that I kept that promise to my dad, and I became a very mature, independent—-

Oh, who am I kidding?

I was good for about five seconds, and then fate took hold of me. What can I say? I was just a kid. I had a full agenda of mischief I needed to complete. But in all seriousness, I think that day did change me somehow. Despite my adventurous ways, I did always take heed to my dad’s warning and steer clear of anything life-threatening. Everything else was fair game.

Anyway, enough of the childhood backstories for now.

Fast forward about ten years, and here I am. It’s the day before the summer of Senior year, and I am so excited. No more tests and useless lessons that will, in no way, apply to my future job. Goodbye AP Physics, you will not be missed.

True, I did have one more dreaded day of school left to go through, but I’ve died a hundred times going there. What’s one more death for the memories? It’s not like I’ve got a soul to get back to anymore.

Hehe, just kidding.

Maybe...

I think I can manage one more day. All I have to do is take one more test and then I’m free for the summer. And as a bonus, it also happens to be my birthday, so after this, I’ll be partying for at least the next two weeks. Oh, yeah. I’ve got big plans.

After brushing my teeth and taking a shower, I go to my room to get dressed. I had been planning my outfit for weeks, and I believe I finally got the combination right. I decided to go with my sleeveless black turtleneck, a black nylon mini jacket, and a yellow plaid mini-skirt. I finish off the outfit with short white socks and my black combat boots. I brush the tangles in my hair and straighten it to complete the look.

I do a few poses in the mirror to make sure I am hallway strut-worthy and that every angle is photo-ready. I’m in the middle of applying my makeup when I hear my mom call my name.

“Andi! Hurry up! It’s breakfast time!” I apply the last strokes of mascara to my eyelashes and make sure the rest of my face is neat. Deeming myself presentable, I take a few selfies in the mirror to capture the masterpiece.

Grabbing my purse, I hop onto the banister and fly down the stairs. Personally, I enjoy a nice banister ride down towards the kitchen, but I guess not everyone can travel in such style.

I skid to a halt as my dad comes into view with my mom behind him. “Happy Birthday, Peanut!”

My dad sweeps me up in his arms while my mom holds out a plate of pancakes with whipped cream and strawberries. “Gah, dad! I just did my hair!”

He chuckles and holds me at arm’s length looking a little puzzled. “Really? I thought that’s how it looked when you woke up.”

My mom rolls her eyes whilst setting the table. “Oh, Henry, stop it! You know that’s a part of the whole ‘I woke up like this.’ God, sometimes it’s like your age really shows.”

Their eyes connect, sharing some kind of inside joke I’m clearly not a part of.

“You guys! I literally straightened it this morning!” My self-conscience is now currently showing as I try to pat down any stray hairs that might’ve started sticking up. My dad chuckles, hooking his arm over my shoulders and guides me towards the table where my mom has already spread out enough food to feed an army.

“Whoa, mom. I know I eat a lot, but there’s no way I’ll finish all of this before school.”

“Oh, I know. Most of it is for your father.” Now that joke, I definitely know what she means. My dad has an appetite like nothing I’ve ever seen! Literally, I bet he could win one of those giant food eating contests and still ask for “seconds.”

My father’s eyes darken dangerously as he gives a sly grin to my mother. “You will pay for that later.”

My mom defiantly sticks her tongue out. “I think not, my dear.”

“Ew, can we not do this over the precious food?” I pretend to gag, making them both laugh. I can’t let them know this, but I find their relationship rather adorable. The way my dad’s eyes light up when my mom makes a jab at him or the way my mom smiles when my dad compliments her while scarfing down her cooking makes me so happy.

We all sit down at the table and begin to pile our plates high with food. Glancing at the clock, I see I have a little bit over an hour before needing to make my way to the bus stop.

“So sweetheart, now that you’re eighteen, there are certain circumstances we need to discuss.”

I groan, knowing exactly where he is going with this. “Oh, my God, dad! I am so not talking about this right now! Especially with you! You’re like, the most awkward dad of awkward dads.”

Every time my dad took on that kind of tone, one could always assume that it had to do with boys, dangerous activities, or dangerous activities with boys. “You don’t have to worry. I have no intention of letting a guy use his tool in my fondue pot.”

My dad practically spits out his coffee at my words. “No! Oh, God no! First off, you’re not allowed to date at least until your junior year of college, or when I’m dead. Preferably the latter.”

My jaw drops open. “Wha—”

“Secondly, what I really want to discuss is your safety. All of that stuff you got away with as a kid can no longer be a part of your schtick. You’re getting to an age where not everything is as it seems, including people.” Clearing his throat, my dad shifts slightly in the cushioned wooden seat, making it squeak slightly.

“Uhm, no offense dad, but I think that already passed once I got to high school. I’ve had my fair share of fake people and their lies.” I chuckle at my own joke, but my parents don’t join in.

“Believe me, sweetheart, that’s nothing. You haven’t even an idea of what I truly mean. Not to sound daunting or anything, but the world really is a darker place than it lets on.”

Okay, now it’s my turn to shift in my seat slightly. This is starting to really put a damper on what is supposed to be a pretty awesome day in history, namely my eighteenth birthday. I want to spend it celebrating the possibilities of my future, not worrying over what could happen as soon as I walk out my front door.

My mom clears her throat and scoots back in her chair.

“Well Henry, now that you’ve gotten the party started,” she gives him a pointed look, indicating that he actually did the exact opposite. “I think it’s time for Andi’s special birthday gift.”

“We got her a gift?” He pretends to look confused and I playfully wack his arm.

“Dad!” I gape.

“Kidding.”

My mom circles the table with a small gift box. I know this won’t be my only gift today, but the fact that it’s the first one they picked tells me that it’s the most important.

“Open it.”

Carefully, I pry open the jaws of the box. Inside rests a beautiful necklace with, I believe, is an asphodel flower. The necklace catches the asphodel in mid-bloom as it reveals a shining moonstone at its center. It reminds me of the flowers I read about in Greek mythology that are located in the Underworld and have gems in their center. If only those flowers were actually real.

I gasp. “Oh, my God! It’s beautiful! But how—?!”

My dad only winks as he and my mom leave the table to clean up. I stare at the necklace in awe, bewitched by its simplistic yet elegant beauty. Despite its light appearance, the necklace feels heavy and warm in my palm. The moonstone glints up at me, seemingly withholding ancient secrets that I can’t help but want to figure out.

Looking up, I am taken aback by the change of terrain in front of me. I hadn’t even realized that the table was practically empty thanks to my dad’s enormous appetite. Quickly, I fasten the beautiful pendant around my neck and touch it gently. I grab my purse, and head for the door. “Love you guys! See you after school!”

“Bye, sweetie!” I hear them chime in unison.

The door shuts behind me as I jump down the steps. I make my way towards the bus stop with a bit of quickness in my step. I hadn’t noticed the time until now, but I only have two minutes to get the bus stop before the bus lady decides to close those creaky doors in my face. Again. I shudder just thinking about the memory of the last time she did that to me.

Now, I’m not a hundred percent certified in the scientific field, but I have a theory that she actually hates my guts and purposefully leaves the stop before she’s supposed to. That lady has it out for me, I just know it.

Okay, I know what you’re wondering. Why the hell is Andromeda taking the bus when she can just drive herself to school?

Well, let me lay it out for you plain and simple. I have a mom. More specifically, I have a mom who hates the idea of me driving myself anywhere. It’s not that I’m a terrible driver, although I did run over that branch one time that looked more like a squirrel, now that I think about it. Anyway, that’s beside the point.

The point is...wait, what is the point?

Oh, right!

The point is, I am a great driver. It’s just that she doesn’t entertain the idea of her only child facing the harsh roads of society. I think there’s more to that than she’s letting on, but far be it from me to push my mom for an explanation as to why.

A branch from an overhanging tree brushes my shoulder as I trudge down the hot pavement of my neighborhood. I glance down at my phone and pick up my pace as the time draws near for the bus to arrive. The bus stop is about fifty paces away and I kick my legs into overdrive as I begin a fierce powerwalk to the curb. My house is at the end of the street, so the odds are not really in my favor right now.

This wouldn’t be a problem if my dad would just let me drive to school, but for some reason, he doesn’t trust me with his car nor will he go behind my mother’s back. I honestly don’t understand it. Sure, I might have a little bit of road rage and I might run the occasional red light. I also believe that the “yellow light is for slowing down” is just a myth. It’s just the traffic light person testing to see if you’ve got what it takes to go lightning speed. Oh, and let’s not forget the time I almost ran into a mail truck because I forgot to put on the brakes one time, but doesn’t everyone sometimes?

Nobody’s perfect, so why do they expect me to be?

Anyway, I’m about five feet away from the bus stop when the bus driver begins to close the doors.

Okay, first of all, when did she get here? She must’ve arrived somewhere between “yellow light” and “lightning speed” because my eyes have been locked on the same spot the whole time. I break out into a full-blown sprint, waving my arms like a madwoman. The bus driver sees me, sneers, and continues to close the door. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say she closed those doors with extra force upon seeing me.

Rude.

I stop in shock as I watch my bus drive by my frozen and fabulous form. I always knew my bus driver was mean, but really? This is what I get for my four years of service? My four consecutive years of riding that death trap with no seatbelts?!

You know, I really didn’t have to get her anything for bus driver appreciation week, but I did it. I even got her a Christmas gift too! Is this really my repayment? I mean, I expected a lot of things from her, but I did not expect her to be a stone-cold b*tch.

As the yellow monstrosity passes by me, I glare at it as it sputters along the pavement. I can see some of the students, most of them underclassmen, point, and laugh at me as they drive past.

Well, that’s just great.

Panic begins to turn my blood cold and I grip my phone, quickly going through my contacts before clicking on one. Three rings sound before I hear the sound of the line being picked up.

“Hello?”

“Dad! Omg, this is an emergency!"

“Peanut, how many times do I have to tell you that losing your favorite lip gloss is not an emergency?”

Excuse me, sir, but I would rather die than go more than ten minutes with severely chapped lips. A girl needs to be prepared, after all. “No, Dad, I’m serious! The bus left without me!”

I hear my dad sigh from the other end, taking a long pause. At this point, I might as well walk to school if he’s going to take this long to answer. “Uhh, hello? Dad?”

“Yeah. I’ll be there in five. You’re lucky it’s your birthday and that I love you.”

“Thank you!” I physically pump my fist into the air as I picture myself pulling up into school with my dad’s Porsche. With him driving, of course. (Yeah, right.)

I begin my walk back towards the stop sign as I’d wandered a little ways away from it trying to chase that stupid bus. I suddenly feel a splash of cold water jump up and soak my entire body as a car drives by. Looks like the neighbors decided to turn on their sprinklers early. Great.

Looking down, I inwardly freak out as I notice my soaked outfit. “Oh, come on!”

Hold on, wait. This is not how I am starting off my last day of school and my birthday. No way am I letting these series of unfortunate events put a damper on my plans for world domination. I fully intend on seizing the day and seizing it fabulously.

Shaking the water from my fingertips, I patiently wait for my dad to arrive in a power pose that would make big executives nervous. If one thing is guaranteed about today, it’s that I’m fully going to rock and enjoy it.

I hear a low rumble and turn my head to see my dad pull up along the curb. He rolls down the passenger seat window, giving me a view of him sporting sunglasses and a smug look. “Get in loser, we’re going to school.”



Wow, I really hope Andi makes it to school on time.

Do you guys think her necklace has any importance? What could it mean?

What did Henry imply when he said not all is what it seems?

What’s up next?

Let me know in the comments!

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