Someone was watching me.
Someone had been watching me this entire week, and I couldn’t shake that feeling despite changing my routes to and from school every day. Today, instead of leaving right away, I stayed behind and got a head start on my homework. I waited for an hour, watching as people quickly left campus, excited to start their weekend.
The parking lot was mostly empty, save for the cars belonging to faculty and staff. With fewer people around, I figured it would be easier to spot someone trailing me. I slung my backpack over my right shoulder, trying to make it less bulky and got on my bicycle. The bike ride was only fifteen minutes, but I felt like I couldn’t get home fast enough. I didn’t want to go too soon or make any sudden movements.
By the time I made it home, I felt like I had checked for someone tailing me hundreds of times. There was no one, but I still felt like something was off. We lived in a quiet neighborhood where the houses had large and ample properties that were very spread apart from one another. It isn’t uncommon to go without seeing the neighbors for days at a time.
My family had just been relocated here under a year ago. I liked to call it The Farm because the property resembled one of those rustic little farmhouses you’d see in a country movie. The house even came with a rooster, probably left behind by the previous owners who I chose to rename Lucky because he’s lucky no one had eaten him yet with all the damn noise he made every morning.
It was alright here. I was tired of moving around, kind of tired of never making friends and really of tired of never being able to tell the friends that I did make who I truly was.
Both of my parents are agents working for the CIA. Yeah, I know I’m not supposed to tell you that, but you don’t even know my name yet so who are you going to tell?
I learned how to knock a guy out with a barbie doll when I was six, I learned to pick locks with manicure kits by the time I was 12, and now at age 15, I can make mild damage bombs with the perfume samples from Victoria’s Secret.
I was being taught multiple languages at once by the time I was five, and we’ve had ex-convicts over for interrogations er I mean dinner. Our family reunions are anything, but ordinary since working for secret government agencies practically runs in the family.
We relocate to wherever my parents are needed, and each time we are given a new cover story. Currently, we’re the O’Malleys of Idaho. My mom is an elementary school nurse, and my dad is a foreman. I am their completely average high school-aged daughter.
I wish I could tell you why were relocated to the middle of nowhere Idaho, but then I’d have to kill you.
I’m kidding. I can’t tell you because I don’t know. I’m not an agent yet which means that no matter how well I know how to speak Russian and pick locks, everything that happens in my family is on a need to know basis. It kills me, but until I turn eighteen, my parents don’t want me directly involved in anything.
I opened the door to our shed and Lucky jumped out, excited to be released. I moved him aside and walked my bike into the tiny space before locking it behind me. As I walked up to the house, I immediately knew something was off.
I smelled the delicious scent of dinner wafting through every open window of the house and heaven knows my mother, capable as she may be at disarming a grown man twice her size, is very much incapable of cooking anything edible.
Dad and I got by with takeout and the occasional Pinterest recipe we manage to pull off, but this smelled good, which left me with only one conclusion.
“Aunt Ally?” I called out with a smile, tossing my backpack onto the floor and running into the kitchen.
My aunt, undoubtedly the coolest person you’ll never meet, was standing in the kitchen over a pan of simmering food and turned to smile at me.
She reached out and pulled me in for a hug. She smelled like expensive French perfume and lavender. Her shoulder-length hair cut in a sleek style that only Instagram influencers pull off.
“Why are you here?” I asked as soon as she let me go out of her embrace.
“What I need a reason to visit my favorite niece or something?”
“Usually, yes...” I admitted with a smirk.
“You’re right, I am here for a reason, but I’m going to wait for your parents to get here before I fill them in,” she explained, and I felt my shoulders fell. Another need to know conversation I wouldn’t get to be a part of.
I finished helping my aunt with the meal, and soon my parents joined us when they came home from work, or whatever it is they were up to for the day.
We sat around the table, sharing an unusual amount of pleasantries, my aunt taking her sweet time to explain her appearance. My parents didn’t seem to know either. I was expecting to be dismissed from the table at any second so that the adults could talk.
“Alright, I’ve kept you all waiting long enough. Let’s get to it, shall we?” Aunt Ally finally began, and we all looked at her expectantly.
“Kiddo?” My aunt said, and I began to clear my plate so they could talk, but she continued talking, stopping me in my tracks.
“I’m sure you’ve felt something was off this last week, and I think its time for me to explain myself,” she smiled at me, and I slowly sat back down. My parents looked at each other slightly confused, and when your CIA trained parents look confused, it’s best to pay close attention.