Watered Down

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Chapter Thirty Seven

A week went by and Theon and I talked every single day, almost all day. We would text while we were at work or school, but the rest of the time we were talking, Tally too. In my spare time I wracked my brain to come up with a plan to save Tal, but coming up with something was proving to be very hard and possibly impossible.

School was boring. I had distanced myself from my old friends, and even though Asher still tried to talk to me, I had gotten good at ignoring his pleas. It was amazing how much school work you could get done when you aren’t partying and hangout with people every single day. At the rate I’m going, I’ll be an honor student for the first time in my whole life.

Focusing on my at home life was hard though. Tally was always in the back of my mind and I couldn’t stop a little idea from forming in the back of my mind over and over. It might turn out to be incredibly stupid and I’m not even sure that it would work, but it may be our only chance. Tally’s only chance. One thing was for sure, I wouldn’t let Alana get her hands on that little girl no matter what.

My little black phone rang and I saw Theon’s name.

“Hey, handsome.” I smiled into the phone, flipping my textbook shut.

“Hey, princess.” He replied, but he didn’t sound happy like he usually did.

I sat up in my bed and dangled my bare legs off of the side. “What’s the matter?”

He sighed. “Alana is making me go out to the main islands again.”

“I thought you just did that the other day?”

“Yeah, I did.” He said. “But Alana still can’t find a pure one.”

“Oh.” I sighed.

I could hear the sounds of Tally playing in the background. “I’m just worried.”


“I’m afraid that she might try to take Tally earlier, but, I mean, she can’t. She has to…” He paused and made a wincing sound. “I’m just hoping we find a new girl soon.” He sighed louder. “I’m trying to be careful about who I pick. I don’t want to make the same mistake I made with you again.”

I nodded my head, wishing I could hug him right now. “When do you leave?”

“Next week.” He said. “I’m going further out so I don’t know how long I’ll be gone or if I’ll be able to talk to you or not, which really sucks.”

I smiled. “Will you miss me terribly?” I laughed.

His chuckle came through the line and warmed my heart. “I already miss you terribly.” He said. “So, yeah, I think not even being able to talk to you will be much worse.”

“Do you know what day you’re leaving?”


“A week from tomorrow?” I asked, trying not to be too interested in the specifics of it all.

“Um, yeah.” He said. “So what are you doing today?”

We talked the whole time I got ready for school, and then he had to go and head out to clean the island since he didn’t have me to pick up his slack anymore.

Once we were off the phone I sat back down on the bed, ready for school, but knowing I wasn’t going to go. I only have one week before this opportunity will be gone. If I want to save Tally, and Theon, then I’ll need to work fast.

I pulled out my laptop and started searching. I wrote down everything I knew I’d need to convince my parents. Without their approval, operation save Tally would be dead in the water. Because I’ve been toying with this idea for a while, I already knew the basics of what I am going to say and I have mentally prepared for many of their questions.

“Mom! Daddy!” I called out when I went into the hallway.

“We’re down stairs!” My mother called back.

I made my way slowly, still running over the plan in my head and found them both sitting in the main room. My mother was sitting on her chase lounge reading a magazine and my father was sitting at the wooden table in the corner reading the newspaper. “Aren’t you late for school?” My father asked, peeking up over the pages.

I nodded my head. “I actually wanted to talk to the both of you about that.” I said carefully.

They both sat down their reading materials and gave me questioning looks.

I went to sit at the head of the table, and my mother came to join us. “So,” I started, organizing the papers in my hands. “I want to talk to you both about something, but you have to promise to keep an open mind.” They narrowed their eyes and I passed over the first of the worksheets.

My mother laughed when she read the heading. “The Peace Corps?” She asked. “Have you lost your mind?”

I shook my head, I had expected this initial reaction. “The Peace Corps in actually a really good opportunity for me.” I said. “I want to make a difference in the world, and this is a perfect way, and honestly, a perfect time for me to be doing this.” I told them with a selling smile. “Think how great this will look on my college applications.”

“You’re insane.” My mother said shaking her head, but my father reached out and put his hand on top of hers.

“Let’s hear her out, Jackie.” He told her, then turned back to me. “It says here that you have to be eighteen.” He pointed out.

I nodded to him, then passed him another paper, one that I may have forged a little of the information on. “Yes, but you have to apply months in advance, but there is also a place in the Bahamas that I could go now and start learning, and getting trained and stuff while I wait until I get my application back.”

“Let me get this straight,” My mother widened her eyes, making a wrinkle appear in her forehead. “You’re wanting to leave now?” She asked with surprise.

I pursed my lips but nodded. “Yeah, I just…I don’t feel like I fit in here anymore.” I told my parents, milking my puppy dog face. “After everything that happened to me, I just feel like I have this second chance at life and I want to do something with it.”

“You can’t be serious.” My mother shook her head.

Daddy shushed her and smiled at me. “Have you really thought this all through, Serena?”

I nodded my head. “I really have, and I’m really excited about it.”

“What about money?” My mother asked my father, crossing her arms over her chest. “You think she will survive on her own like that.”

“I actually had an idea about that too.” I smiled shyly. “I was thinking, since my eighteenth birthday is only a few months away, that maybe we could go ahead and have my trust fund signed over to me so that I can settle in in the Bahamas while I wait until I can officially join the Peace Corps. It could take over a year to actually get put on an assignment.” I explained.

“Why don’t you just stay here until then, Serena?” My mother asked. “What about school, and your friends?”

I shook my head. “I really am just ready to get started.” I told her. “I can finish my high school diploma online while I’m there, too.” I explained. “Plus, I don’t really have any friends here anymore, and I can make more there.”

They were both quiet for a while.

“You’re really sure about this?” My father asked and I smiled and nodded.

“I really am.”

They exchanged a glance, and I could tell my mom wasn’t happy about it, but he looked back at me again. “I feel like we have been given a second chance too, at being your parents again, and I am very proud of you, and I of course will support you one hundred percent. As will your mother.” He said narrowing his eyes at her.

I stood up and hugged them both around the neck. “I love you guys, and I promise I will keep in touch and let you know what I’m doing all the time.” I said. “Thank you so much, you have no idea how much this means to me.”

Over the next few days I could not believe how truly supportive my parents were being. I had assumed that I would be able to talk them into this, but I hadn’t expected them to be so helpful. They signed over my trust fund and set everything up so that I had my own separate account, which was good so that they won’t be able to see what I am using the money on or where.

My departure day came up fast.

It was Wednesday night and I had all of my bags packed. Probably more bags than I’d ever need, but I had them just the same. Lots of clothes I won’t be wearing, but also I brought a ton of books with me. Books on all sorts of things. I had never been too into reading before, but I know how much alone time I am probably about to have, so I know I’ll need something to pass the time. I got romances, comedies, cookbooks, mysteries, pretty much everything the book stores had to offer. I also stocked up on magazines, cd’s, Itunes cards, a new iPhone, blankets, pillows, and everything I could think of that would make my time more tolerable.

I hugged my parents tightly. I never thought before that they really loved me, but I could feel it now. Maybe Alana and Asher had actually done me two favors. They brought me to Theon, and they pulled my parents and me closer together. My mom cried, and my father held back his sniffles as they waved at me from the bottom of the stairs while I walked up to the find my spot in the plush leather seats of the jet.

As the plane took off and they became smaller and smaller I did feel bad for lying to them, but if they knew the truth, I still think they’d be proud of me. They may not agree with this decision, but I think it is an admirable one just the same.

I told Theon and Tally that I would do anything for them, and I had meant it.

I’m willing to give my life, if it means saving theirs.

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