Turns out the puppy wasn’t very healthy underneath all that fur he was underweight and hurt as someone had hit him. The reason his one eye is white and a bit cloudy is because he is blind in that eye from an infection. The vet advised us to not even try to find its owner because of how bad it looked like he was being treated. The puppy had very bad fleas and a couple of ticks on him. They are keeping him for a bit to get rid of the infection and help with malnourishment. He should be ready for pick up tomorrow. We got him chipped and all his shots done as well. Afterward, Dad and I went back to the pet store and got him a bed, toys, and some other things the vet suggested for us.
Today is the day I start schooling with Mom. The books came in yesterday and Dad put together another desk in the office for me to use while she’s teaching. I get dressed in something more comfortable, jeans and a plain light blue shirt. I then leave the bathroom after brushing my teeth. I walk into the kitchen and grab a cup of coffee my dad made before he left for work and a granola bar. He got a job at the local private school to be a biology teacher. Taking both I walk into the office where my mom has already started to set up. As she told me last night, the class is to start exactly at eight am and to be finished at two pm. After two I am to go downstairs and help her with the store. She looks at her watch and nods her head. It’s 7:57, I came just in time or I wouldn’t have heard the end of it. “Well sit down at your desk. I have some reading I would like you to start with this morning. It’s the history of this town. Then I want you to find out any information you can about this place. Once you’re down I want a two-page paper explaining to me why we chose this place to move to. This paper is to be done by Wednesday. All your research, however, must be done today. After, you are to start on your calculus. Once your calculus is done you may take a half-hour break. After your break, you are to start on your chemistry homework your dad has left you to do. He said if you have any questions to write them down and he will help you when he gets home after dinner. Then you are to come, get me, we need to work on your French and Spanish.” She demands, she puts a book on the desk, The History of Dragconia. “All your books are here,” she says, putting her hand on the floor to ceiling bookshelf. She then leaves the room, I sigh and open up the book.
The town was founded in 1818 by a Frenchman who came here with his wife, two sons, and their daughter…
It takes me an hour and a half to get through the whole book and take notes. The book was written two years ago so my research just needs to cover the last two. It takes me until 12:30 to get through everything and finish all the calculus work she gave me and there are a few questions I am not sure how to do. I get up and make my way to the kitchen. I get myself a glass of water from the fridge then start to make myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. After I am done I decide to go downstairs to ask Mom for help with the calculus.
When I open the door I quickly close it seeing men in the store bringing boxes in. Probably the supplies, I will have to go back up and put my contacts in and my glasses on. Quickly I ran back upstairs and did so then ran back down. I catch my breath before opening the door to the store. I decide to head upfront to see if that’s where she is. She is, she’s signing some papers on a clipboard. She changed her clothes, instead of the casual house dress she was wearing she’s now wearing black slacks with a white blouse and heels. She has fake reading glasses on with her dyed blonde hair lightly curled. She is also wearing hazel contacts, I don’t know why she thinks glasses change your appearance. I wait for her to be done before approaching her.
“Excuse me, Mom but can I ask you something?” I timidly ask her, she sighs and turns to me.
“What is it?” she grumbles and fixes her blouse so it lays right.
“There are a few calculus problems I need help with. I am not sure how to work them out.” I tell her, not meeting her eyes.
“Ok, I am busy right now, ask your dad when he gets home.” She says, then makes the go away motion. “Oh, your dad got a phone call the pup will be ready for pick up when he gets off.” I quickly then make my way back upstairs being careful to avoid everyone. I make my way back into the office and begin on my chemistry work. Luckily I have no issues with it and it only takes me an hour to get it all done. Mom is not going to be happy. It’s already two and she wanted me down there to help organize the books. I sigh and start my way downstairs. Mom is putting sheets of paper where she wants different genres. She turns and looks at me rather than her watch. “Are you aware what time it is?” she doesn’t give me time to respond. “I can’t believe you are so stupid! Your dad and I both have our doctoral degrees but you can’t even finish your work on time! You were supposed to have your French and Spanish done by now as well!” Mom screams walking towards me. “I don’t have the time to teach you right now. I want all these boxes unboxed. You will put them in alphabetical order and if you screw this up… your dad won’t be stopping my hand this time.” Mom then stomps to the front of the store leaving me with boxes labeled their genre and shaking. This is why I hate her teaching me, she isn’t patient at all and when I mess up, it’s not good. I sigh and start unboxing the young adult fantasy novels.
That’s where Dad finds me at four, with two shelves done and working on the adult romance novels. He smiles when he sees me and sets the puppy down. He comes over and hugs me then kisses my head. “I hear you need some help with your calculus and that you didn’t finish your work today?” He questions me, I sigh and look down. “It’s fine your mom will get over it. Let’s go upstairs and make dinner. While we do we can come up with names for the puppy. By the way, they gave me special food to give him right now and medicine we are supposed to mix in with his food.” He tells me as we make our way to go upstairs. When we get to the kitchen he looks in the fridge and makes a face. “I don’t think Elanor has gone to the grocery store yet.” I peek over his shoulder and see milk, almond milk for me, and a leftover pizza from the other day. “What about Chinese then?” He asks, grabbing the house phone and turning Mom’s laptop that was left on the bar. I take the bag the vet gave him with the instructions inside.
Feed the puppy every 5 hours, half a cup of food.
Mix the antibiotic and supplements in the morning and at night.
Do this for two weeks then only supplements until he is at a healthy weight.
You may feed him normally after.
Bring him back in next month or sooner if there are any issues.
I grab his dish and a measuring cup then open the bag of wet food the vet gave us. I measure out the food then add his medicine and supplements. “I am going to leave you in charge of giving him his medicine and feeding him five times. Don’t expect Oliva to help you at all with him and make sure to take him out during the day so he doesn’t have any accidents. If he does clean it up before your mom sees it.” Dad tells me after he hangs up. I nod my head in understanding and put his bowl down. He’s in the living room playing with a squeaky toy so I go and grab him so he will eat. He sniffs it then starts to eat it. The vet thinks he’s about 2 months old.
“Hey Dad, what about Apollo?” I ask, trying to come up with a name.
“That sounds like a great name.” He says, distractedly looking at Mom’s laptop.
“What are you looking at?” I ask him, peering over to look at the screen.
“Trying to see how much money your mom has spent,” Dad says, shaking his head. “I am also looking for a grocery store near the Chinese restaurant, then I can pick up some things on the way back or something. Want to come with, sweetie?” I nod my head as he closes his computer. “Great, go put shoes on and meet me downstairs.” I look down at my slippers then race off to my room. I grab my black Converse and slip them on. As I am making my way downstairs I hear my parents in a heated argument. “We need to leave as soon as possible. They will find us out here, Liv, we can’t stay here.” Dad whisper shouts at Mom. Great even more secrets.
“I think this is the last place they will look.”
“What about when Ara turns 18? What then? How are we going to keep it a secret then?” he asks her.
“We will tell her a month before her birthday. Not a day before. Now I might have to go away for a few days to make sure our trail doesn’t lead here. Will you two be okay while I’m gone? You won’t slip up, will you? I think it’d be a good idea to freshen up her self-defense lessons too. I found a way to a basement. One of the men tripped and fell into a wall. Turns out they blocked off the basement with cheap plywood. That’ll be a great place for a gym. Why don’t you two work on it while I’m gone? I’ll leave to leave in the next couple of weeks.” She pauses when Apollo comes running down the stairs and trips making me quickly catch him.
“Slow down Apollo!” I laugh making my way down the rest of the stairs. I smile at Dad pretending I didn’t hear anything. I can’t wait for my birthday to come, so I can finally find out everything. I’ve thought of going off on my own when I turn 18, stop moving all the time. I’ve thought for a long time that my parents are just crazy. Mom shakes her head and walks away from us. “Honey, why don’t you let him out before we leave?” Dad asks me while walking off to where Mom went. I open up the back door and put him down. He immediately starts to play, I laugh and look up to see a few teenagers walking down the alley. One of them is Laliha, then there are two guys and another two girls. Suddenly, Apollo barks and the teenagers turn to look our way. I whistle to get Apollo’s attention. It works for a second but then he runs off towards the garden. One of the guys says something then they all laugh and start to walk away again. While they are walking away Dad comes out.
“What’s taking so long?” He asks and looks at the teenagers that are walking away.
“He is playing and doesn’t want to come in,” I say and point over at Apollo who has just run into the garden bed. I shake my head and start to walk over to bring him back inside. I open the back door and put him down then quickly close it before he can run back out. We walk to the back fence to our red SUV crossover. We stop at the store before we go to the restaurant. Dad as soon as we get in grabs a trolley and heads towards the butcher. I scrunch my nose and look at dad.
“Why don’t you go grab the veggies and fruits you want?” He asks me, “Just meet me over by the canned goods, I think your mom wants to make some kind of soup, she gave me a list.” He sighs and shakes his head, he turns towards the butcher when he calls his number. I walk away towards the produce, I grab a loaf of ‘freshly made bread’ but really it was probably made like a week ago in a factory. I then grab a basket and start putting all the fruits I want before grabbing some vegetables. After I am done and I’ve filled the basket I make my way to the can goods. I see Dad and put the basket in the trolley. He looks at everything I grabbed and chuckles. He then looks down at a piece of paper Mom must’ve given him. He rubs his face where his beard used to be, then starts grabbing everything that’s on the list.
As we are finishing up in the bread aisle we hear someone yell. “Hey! Mr. Smith,” a teenage boy says, seeing his teacher probably. “Hi, Cole,” my dad greets him. I turn and grab the honey wheat bread I like.
“Is this your daughter? How come I haven’t seen her at the school?” Cole asks him as I turn to put it in the trolley. I finally look at him, he has brown hair with tones of blue in it. He’s tall, probably 5’8 and thin with a little muscle. Cole gives me his hand to shake. I shyly shake his hand and utter my name. He smiles and turns back to Dad.
“She is homeschooled, I will see you tomorrow,” Dad says, ending the conversation and taking the trolley again.
“Dad, are you sure you can’t convince Mom to let me go to school? I really don’t like her teaching me, she doesn’t have the patience.” I try again to convince him.
“You are the one that messed up, you knew better than to sneak out.” He sighs and turns towards me. “I can try to speak to her, I know how she can get. Plus she’s going to be busy with setting the store up. However, if I am going to try you must follow our rules with you going to school.” I nod my head, hoping he can convince her, I’ve tried and all that did was give me a red cheek and a bruised lip. We then make our way to the checkout. The woman, Sarah, quickly scans our groceries then puts them in our reusable bags. My dad gives her the awkward ‘have a nice night’ and waves. Once everything is in the trunk. We get in the car and head to the restaurant.
Once we get home Dad and I quickly go upstairs and set the food on the counter. Dad yells for Mom telling her we are here. We all sit down with our plates and start to eat. “Hun, I’ve ordered some security cameras and alarms. Will you install them when they get here?” Mom asks Dad, he nods his head yes as he stuffs his face with some chicken. “Violet, I will be leaving in a few weeks for a few days. I'll write out all your instructions while I’m gone. Also, I need you to finish stacking the shelves. I was talking to some of the townspeople and they were telling me that the man who built this place was paranoid and had a lot of hiding spots. You two should see if you can find any of them.” We agree and continue eating in silence. Once I am finished I clean up my plate and put it away then pick up Apollo. I bring him down the stairs and outside. He quickly goes to the bathroom and then starts to play. I let him play for a few seconds then go and get him.
When we get back upstairs I feed him again then Dad calls for me from inside the office. I come in and see him with my calculus in his hand. I sit down next to him and we spend the next hour working on it. He then grabs my laptop out and does something on it. When he’s done he hands it over to me, he downloaded Microsoft onto it. As I start on my paper my dad starts knocking on the walls with his ear against it. I laugh at him, he grins back at me then bends down and goes underneath his desk and starts knocking. Suddenly a different sound is heard. He takes a knife out of his pocket and starts knocking again. Mom comes in suddenly looking annoyed. “William! What in the world are you doing?” She asks him but he ignores her and starts cutting. Suddenly, we hear him gasp and the sound of wood breaking. Mom quickly ducks under to see. “Guess you found one,” She mutters than leaves the room.
“Sweety, will you help me move the desk?” He asks me as he crawls out to which I just nod my head and get up. For the next hour, we spend moving the office around so there is access to the secret door. It’s big enough for me to fit into sitting down and probably Apollo. “If you ever feel unsafe I want you to hide in here ok? If we find another one I won’t show your mom it and if you ever need to get away from her you can go in there.” Dad tries to protect me from her as much as he can. He’s the only reason I was allowed to go to school, then I had to go a screw that up. She truly does love us, she only hits me when he isn’t around: plus it’s only when I mess up or ask too many questions. I nod my head in understanding and get up. “Why don’t you finish up that paragraph and then get ready for bed.” He kisses my forehead then leaves the room.
For the next few weeks, my dad and I slip into a nice routine. I get up at 7 when he is leaving and start on my school work early to have more time unpacking the boxes. Then when Dad gets home we make dinner together then he helps me with any school work I didn’t understand on my own. I work on Apollo’s training before bed for an hour and then we both go to bed. I haven't really been talking to Mom every time I ask her for help it angers her. when she comes upstairs I go to my room as soon as she turns her glare at me and call for Apollo to come with me.