Those Who Do Not Learn From History
It's going to get us all killed.
Sometimes I understand why animals eat their children. If only her bones were a little softer, I'd take care of the problem right now.
My heart hasn't stopped pounding since she told me about Nathan. I can't catch my breath.
I can't let this be like Georgia.
I know she wasn't thinking, but what the hell was she thinking! No mage with a brain in their head would casually break into their neighbor's house out of body and they sure as hell wouldn't go confess to it after, regardless of if they got caught or not.
Poor Nathan! God knows how twisted up she's got that boy. She should have just let him think he was having a nightmare when he saw her astral body. He'll believe anything she says. He's got no sense when it comes to her. She could tell him there's an invisible trampoline at the bottom of the Grand Canyon and he'd go over the side, no questions asked. If she'd just lied to him, told him it was a dream, that would have been the end of it.
But no, not my daughter. She has to have her father's impulsive honesty! Why on earth did I marry a man with a conscience? The least he could do is stop being such a positive role model for her. This is his fault as far as I'm concerned.
Why can't Erin just lie and keep secrets like a normal teenager? I'm starting to think this is her rebellious stage. I just don’t know how else to explain her running her mouth after every warning I've given her. I'd really rather she do drugs or have a pregnancy scare. I can handle those things. I don't know how to handle my daughter being a magical peeping tom!
I hope Nathan hasn't told his parents what she told him. I like the Holmeses. I don't want to have to kill them. I'll do it. I don't want to. If they show up at the house with a mob though…
Maybe they'll write Nathan off? His mother knows what his seizures do to his head. His father ignores him. Nathan hallucinating sounds more reasonable than the neighbor kid breaking into their house with magic. Right?
I still don't understand how he even saw Erin. No one else has been able to see her when she projects. Maybe she’s right and he has a Talent, but it doesn't matter. That's his family's problem. My problem is figuring out how far we’re going to run because of this, and figuring out how to cover up killing them if I have to.
"This won't be like Georgia. I won't let it be like Georgia." I don't even notice I'm saying it out loud. I've repeated the words a thousand times since Erin told me what she did. "Not like Georgia…"
Jesus, Lord. I forgot about Jay! What are we going to do about him if we run? We can’t just take him. He isn’t our child but we can’t just leave him here homeless… It might be for the best if we do though. He can find a new home with normal people like him. At least I know he won’t tell anyone what he overheard. He didn’t believe any of it.
I haven’t heard most of what Erin's been screaming at me over the blood pounding in my ears. I don't think she's taken a breath since I started tossing her room to confiscate every piece of occult ephemera she’s got squirreled away. I can't have any evidence of what we are laying around. If somebody comes looking for proof, maybe we can deny everything if there isn't anything to find...
"I don't know why you're mad at me!" She sounds like a bean sídhe, a wailing harbinger of doom. "This is your fault! You and Dad! I just wanted to be normal!”
I’ve been trying not to engage her but she knows how to get under my skin. I restrain myself from hurling the book I just picked up off the ground at her. “If you were normal, you’d be blaming me that you weren't special!"
"I can't even have a life!"
I throw the book to the side and kneel to start searching under her bed. "You think you’re the only one who’s made sacrifices? You don’t know half of what me and your father have given up for you!”
“At least you had something to sacrifice! I don’t have any friends or family because of you!”
“That makes you the lucky one! You don’t have anyone to rip out your heart and stomp on it like you do to me and your father! And it's your own fault you don't have any friends! Look what you did to Nathan! To Jay! He wants to be your brother, you know!”
Her caterwauling falters for a minute before it starts up again, louder and even less coherent. She still hasn't taken a breath as far as I can tell. If I'm lucky she'll pass out from oxygen deprivation.
In the end, I find a few books and a box of random items. Not all of the bits and bobs in the battered Converse box are magical, but I know at least two of them are so I have to assume it all is. I leave her in her room, still bemoaning her cruel, terrible life while I secure everything in the gun safe. It's all I can do for now.
I can't let this be like Georgia.
Time feels like it's dragging on and going too fast all at once. I realize I haven't heard Erin in a while. She must have howled herself out. The house is quiet again, but I can't calm down. I can't even decide where to start with packing go bags. I think I've folded this pair of Benjamin's boxers seventy-two times, trying to pack it just right in this completely empty suitcase.
I wonder if I'm overreacting.
No. I'm probably underreacting. I can't let this be like Georgia.
"Mom?" Erin's voice at the door almost gives me a heart attack. For someone who makes as much noise as my child does, I'll never understand how she can sneak up on me like that.
"...I-I wasn't thinking." She won't look at me.
"Making poor choices isn't the same as not thinking."
She huffs and rolls her eyes, adding a grumpy, "I'm sorry."
I purse my lips at her. "Would you be if you hadn't gotten caught?"
There goes that impulsive honesty again. She will be the death of me, I swear. "I didn't think so. You owe Jay and especially Nathan apologies."
"I know." She looks so much like her father when she feels guilty. She even stuffs her hands in her pockets like he does.
I think that's the end of the conversation but she doesn't leave, much to my irritation. She is staring at the ground, using her toes to mess with the carpet. "What, Erin?"
"What happened in Georgia?"