INTRODUCTION TO FREEDOM
Book 2 of The Robertson Family’s Story – can be read as a stand-alone
“Oh, excuse me,” a voice says, interrupting us. Jeremy lifts his head, thankfully releasing me, to look in the direction of the voice – Mr. Matthews. I take advantage of the distraction and make a break for it – escaping Jeremy’s hold and walking as quickly as I can down the hall toward my desk. I have to pass Mr. Matthews as I go and as much as I want to not look at him, my eyes are drawn to his face in spite of my desires otherwise. The look of disappointment and disgust as he looks back at me is like a punch in my gut and I know in that instant that things between us will never be the same again.
SOPHIA, INTRODUCTION TO FREEDOM
“We can’t take everything, there’s not enough space on the plane,” my twin sister Bridget reminds me for the millionth time – at least it feels like it. Packing to leave home for the first time in our lives is difficult – logistically and emotionally. We’ve never spent time away before so for the first time in eighteen years, we’re going to be away from everything familiar.
At least we’ll have each other.
As excited as I am to be leaving – and believe me, I am – I’m also going to miss everyone. We live in the remote north of Saskatchewan near a hunting and fishing lodge. We don’t entertain tourists where we are, we live off the land and have grown up with simple lives.
Simple lives with a lot of love!
Our biological father died days before my sister and I were born premature so we never knew him – Markus Carson. Mom says he was a great guy and that Bridget and I both take after him a lot in terms of appearance – Heaven knows we don’t look like Mom! Mom is short, curvy all around with blonde hair and blue eyes.
Not Bridget and me.
Like our father, we’re both tall – coming in at 5’9” with slender figures, small breasts and hips. We both have our father’s brown hair and brown eyes – nothing exciting compared to Mom or our baby sister but we own what we got. Bridge wears her hair natural, usually allowing the curling waves to show whereas I usually straighten mine otherwise we’re identical. Only those close to us can tell us apart, anyone newly meeting us never can – which I do not understand.
We couldn’t be more different if we tried.
Bridge is sad about leaving home and has been crying about it for weeks – I’ve been counting the days. I’m going to miss my family but I need something new! New people, new places – new… everything. Living in the woods is wonderful, peaceful and tranquil but it can also be lonely. I’m grateful I had four younger siblings to play with growing up, as well as the odd other cub in our community but Bridget and I were the odd ones out – we never truly fit in.
We aren’t shifters.
Mom had us before she met our Dad – Luke Robertson, after our biological father was killed in a car accident, and Dad adopted us when we were old enough to give our consent. He waited, believing this to be an important factor in such a big decision in our lives and I’ll never thank him enough for giving us the consideration. It was risky in a way, not that either of us ever entertained the thought of saying no – Luke is our Dad and always has been – the paperwork simply made it ‘official’.
The paperwork made me a hyphenate.
So Bridge and I have hyphenated names, as did Mom out of respect for our father and in support of Bridge and I and our three siblings are simply Carson’s. Growing up, no one gave our conjoined family a second thought – it is more the norm these days than not. What freaked people out was the fact that Bridge and I are human and not shifters – that made for some great times during childhood. Shifters are naturally stronger than us so Bridget and I got our asses handed to us on a regular basis – it was only when Kaleb was big enough to defend us did it stop. Kaleb – the oldest of Mom and Dad’s biological cubs won’t put up with any shit against us, he is extremely protective to the point of being suffocating. He is almost four years younger than us but takes the responsibility of being the oldest son in the family very seriously. Kaleb is already half a foot taller than us and still growing – he’s going to be massive when he’s finished, Kaiden too likely – our second brother. Both are likely bear shifters like Dad and are built like him – tall, half as wide and just plain massive. Kaiden is only twelve and almost as tall as Kaleb already – it’s kind of ridiculous how big they are. Both boys look like Mom and Dad – blonde hair, blue eyes – it is Bridge and I who stand out like sore thumbs.
The only exception to the ’make ‘em big’ shifter rule is our baby sister Bella – she takes the most after Mom of all of us. She is hopefully a shifter like Dad but physically built like Mom – small, blonde hair and blue eyes. Isabella isn’t even ten yet and already has everyone wrapped around her little finger – without even trying. I don’t think she has a malicious bone in her body – she is innocence and goodness personified which makes everyone step over themselves to be around her. Just being in her presence makes you feel good about yourself and the world as a whole – like an angel on earth, as corny as that sounds.
With five kids and only two who for sure aren’t shifters, it isn’t difficult to figure out the type of role Bridge and I play in our community – we don’t have one. This will always be home for me but the time has come for me to stretch my wings finally – fly or die. Going to school in the city with Bridge, living away from home for the first time – so many new opportunities it makes my head spin.
I can’t wait to get started.