Chapter two: Pilot
“Pi? Are you up yet?” Verna calls me from the kitchen of our apartment. I groan and sit up in my bed, only to fall onto my back again, throwing the covers over my face. Then I make myself get up, going my usual saying in my head.
They didn’t have to take you in when dad died, they took you in because they loved you. They love you. That’s the only thing that gets me up in the mornings, makes me not show sass to Verna when she bothers me about doing my chores and makes me remember how lucky I am. Not many people have grandparents as committed as mine, as kind as mine, as forgiving as mine.
“Yeah! I’m up!” I call back to her, trying to make my voice sound as awake as possible.
“We’re leaving in twenty okay?” Verna responds, and I can hear her making crispy bacon on the stove, quickly stirring the egg yolks on a glass bowl and buttering the now thawed butter. My stomach grumbles at the very thought of it.
I get ready quickly which ends up biting me in the behind because in my rush for food I stub my toe on a crack in the shower door.
“FUCK!” I yell, just to hear Verna yell back “LANGUAGE PILOT!”
I roll my eyes, and finish getting ready.
Verna and Vern are my grandparents AND my parents. They’re both. When my mom left us when I was two my dad took over as both parents. He was the mom I never had, and the dad I’ve always wanted. He inspired me, he taught me, he loved me. But he passed away. About four years ago next month, which is the worst month for me,. he got killed in the line of duty. He was in the air force which made us travel like a circus. We’re always moving, never settling down anywhere, but whereas most kids would hate it, I loved it. The feeling of getting to travel to different places just fueled my dreams for aviation, of course, my dad might have helped a little bit with that dream.
I can remember the day we got the phone call. Verna was confused, upset and angrier than I’ve ever seen before. It scared me. What could’ve the person on the phone said that made her react like that. But then I found out. Vern told me my dad was killed in an air attack and the only thing he was salvageable from the crash was his air pilot jacket. It was the worst day of my life. I remember feeling emotions that I didn’t even know I had. The feeling that everything I loved, ever loved, was slowly being ripped from existence. That the bright, happy world that my dad taught me about didn’t exist. That even he could die. What bright, happy world would let a father get killed and leave his daughter all alone. At least until Verna and Vern took me in and raised me as their own. Now, Verna and I go to his grave every year and leave flowers, and everywhere I go, I make sure I wear his jacket with pride. Like I know my dad would’ve wanted me too.