To my left, Clay and Marcus, hold onto each other. On my right, Dylan holds Bryant, who looks confused. I twirl the white rose between my fingers, taking a deep breath, I place it down. Turning around, I look at the small group, I call family.
“May they forever be loved, until we meet again, ” I trace their name’s with my finger on my arm. I watch as everyone else does the same.
" Clayton, Marcus, and Dylan will be taking over, I expect you to listen. Think about them as you move on. We WILL find them! ” Everyone nods.
I nod back and turn to the boys. “I Bridget King, put you three in charge until I come back.”
They nod their heads. I watch as Calvin walks forward, gun in his hand. I look to Dylan nodding for him to cover Bryant’s ears. Calvin sticks out the gun to me. I grab it and turn toward the tree. Two shots ring out.
“Goodbye King,” we all say. Everyone walks around as the four boys head my way. I grab Bryant from Dylan, silently thanking him.
“You’ll be ok right?” Marcus asks.
“I called a friend of my dad’s and I have your cousin as a contact, I’ll be fine,” I nod.
" How much does this person know?” Clay questions.
" She knows about Bryant and that I need a house. Nothing else. She offered to watch him, while I go to school. I’ll be working at a diner her husband owns”
" Just be careful who you trust”
" Yeah, especially now”
" I’ll be fine and if anything happens I’ll call you guys.”
" Good, call us every night”
" I will, if I don’t I think Bryant might hate me, ” he looks up to me and smiles.
" You know you don’t have to leave, ” Clay states.
" I know but until we find out who did this is won’t feel safe. I’ve lost too much if something happens to Bryant, i-i don’t want to think about it,” a tear falls down my face. The guys must notice because give me a group hug.
“You’ll get through this, you're the strongest person I know. Eric and Luke would want you to keep fighting, ” Marcus speaks.
" Thanks you guys, ” I whisper. I feel a hand wipe my face. Opening my eyes I see Bryant look at me. Although he only three years old, I feel like he knows what’s going on.
I grab my phone as it buzzes. Tapping the screen, I smile slightly at the background. “I have to leave, Lewis is here,” I sigh.
“Before you leave we got you something,” Dylan says.
" You guys didn’t have too”
" It’s fine, here you go, ” he hands me a cardboard box. Opening it up, I press my hand to my mouth. It’s a photo of all of us. “It’s not set up yet but you can also have it changing photos”
I turn to them,” thank you”
" You’re welcome”
The drive back to the house is quiet, as Bryant fell asleep. I see Lewis waiting on the steps. He turns towards me when he hears the car. May immediately comes out as I pull up.
“Everything is packed and loaded in the trucks”
“Thank you, May, ” I carefully grab, Bryant from the back and close the car doors. “How long until the flight?”
“2 hours and 45 minutes to get to the runway. ”
" Can you get Bry’s bag ready? ”
" Yes, would you like me to put him in the crib for a little bit? ”
Bryant starts to stir awake,” no need he’s awake, ” she nods and walks back into the house.
I walk over to Lewis,” Good to see you again, Lew”
“What did I say about that name and it’s good to see you too. I just wish it was on better terms,” he smiles. sadly
" Me too”
" May helped me set up the car, so whenever your ready we can leave”
" Thank you, I’m just waiting on one last thing and then we can head out”
Bryant turns to see who I’m talking to and notices Lewis, his face brightens. He wiggles as I set him down. He slowly walks over to Lewis.
“Hi Buddy,” he says picking him up. Bryant smiles big and messes with Lewis’s hair. I laugh and leave them, heading inside.
I walk around the big house one last time. All the memories are good and bad. When I reach his study, it’s all blocked with caution tape. Blood still stains the carpet outside, the door.
I fight the memory.
The visions of the bodies, bullet holes all around the walls. The security workers, wounded and spread throughout the house. I remember my scream when the last shots rang out.
I take a deep breath, wiping the few stray tears. I shake my head and continue walking down the halls, passing our room, and the twins. The names on the door. Followed by animal stickers, the boys stook on. My fingers trace over all our names, each colored in our favorite color. Blue, black, red, and orange.
I walk down the stairs grabbing the bag from May and saying goodbye to the staff. Lewis already has Bryant in the car. I get in the car and drive down the long driveway, the house getting smaller.
I’ll get through this, I look in the mirror and smile at Bry as he looks out the window. Lewis turns on the radio and bobs his head to the music.
Time for a new start.