I didn’t want to move to another state again, especially Pennsylvania. It seemed like a plain state with nothing to do. When mom and dad told us that we were moving here, I was pissed.
California was my favorite to live: surfing with the guys, boardwalk food, beaches nearby and the women in sundresses when the weather got warmer. It was bliss, better. After an hour of trying to find the neighborhood from the store, we came back without any trouble. I stood in the middle of the room and examined the spacious room, only my bedframe and mattress were here until the movers bring the rest of my stuff. Two years of high school here and then I could apply to universities out west.
A knock interrupted my thoughts, turning around there was mom leaning against the door frame. Her brown hair now in a straight ponytail, she stepped in more. “Like your new room?” Mom asked with a smile on her face. I hummed in response. “I know this move was unexpected. I promise you that this will be the last one.” She placed her hand on my shoulder for empathy.
“He said that last time,” I muttered, pulling away from her. Approaching the wide window, I placed my palms on the window sill, staring at nothing.
“Andrew, your dad’s job is important to him. He’s sacrificing everything for us.”
With dad being stationed, his job took us to other cities and states. He was only home a few months of the year.
Home town was Colorado, where I was born. We left whenever a mission was called. We only lived in California for eight months. He promised this was the last one, our new home. Mom being a homemaker and art seller, she was home often. Whenever dad was leaving, she withdrew from us for a few days. I thought more of that than of me. She seemed better because he’ll be home in a few days. I don’t know how long that will last. I sighed deeply, tilting my head against the glass.
“For now, we have to make the best of it until he’s home for good.” I nodded. She patted me on the shoulder and left the room. We do have to make the best of it, I guess.
“Andy,” a small voice broke my thoughts again, my seven year old sister, Lydia peeked inside my room, Barbie doll clutched in her hand.
“Hey, Lyds.” Picking her up quickly, she wrapped her arms around my neck. I sat on the edge of my bed. “You like your room?” I asked her, sitting her on my lap.
“I miss dad,” she replied in a small voice, her blue eyes glossing over.
I felt my heart crack seeing her expression: bottom lip trembling and tears in her eyes. Lydia was too young to go through this. Since she was born, it’s been nothing but packing up and shipping out. Birthdays were done on webcams and care packages. Lydia’s latest memory was when he stayed home for two months before her sixth birthday.
I had to be the man of the house while he was away. “Me too. It’s gonna be okay, we’re finally home permanently. Dad will come home soon and everything will be fine.” I wiped the stray tear that dripped down her cheek. She nodded in response as she held onto her doll tighter.
“You think I’ll make friends here?” she asked.
“You’ll have so much, your friends wouldn’t get enough of you.” I tickled her stomach, her loud giggles rang around my room, cheeks becoming pink. The best thing I could do was put a smile on my sister’s face. “Hey, you wanna do something fun?” She nodded excitedly.
“Let’s meet our neighbors,” I suggested. “Yes!”
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