Learning to Love

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A New Life

I sighed looking around the small bedroom I now shared with my one-year-old daughter Aaliyah. It had only been three months since my brothers, best friend, and I had moved across Washington State.

Despite that, my new therapist had finally agreed I could handle a part time job. I had fought for this, working harder to overcome my past then I had ever had to before.

Now though, as I looked back into the mirror and into my own terrified light blue eyes, I had to force myself to take a deep breath. My dark blue T-shirt stood out against my fair complexion and platinum blonde hair.

I ran my fingers through my length of the wavy locks. As a child I had loved how my looks had attracted the attention of everyone around me, even if I had to share the glory with my twin Simon. Now however I hated the attention.

With another deep sigh, I tiptoed out of the room trying not to wake Aaliyah.

“Hey Jess, is she asleep?” Balissa asked, smiling widely at me.

Balissa had been my childhood best friend and, to my great surprise, our friendship had rekindled quickly even after five years apart. Now, however, I had to share her with Simon. The two of them had started dating three years ago shortly after high school graduation.

I nodded in response. “She went down thirty minutes ago.”

“Okay I have work at noon but Sy will be here before that so they will be here when you get off.” Balissa said calmly.

Balissa was petite with light brown hair, dark hazel eyes, and pale skin that burned red anytime she got mad or embarrassed. It always reminded me of the tinkerbell movies we would watch as children.

She was always smiling and laughing, and had the uncanny ability to sense how people are feeling. Between this and Simon being unnaturally good at sensing a person's intentions, I couldn’t help thinking of them as some kind of dynamic duo.

“Right.” I glanced back at the door suddenly feeling as though I was trying to swallow a brick.

“Hey,” Balissa placed her hands on my shoulders, despite the fact she was six inches shy of my five foot eight. “You can do this.”

I nodded, forcing a smile as I blinked hard, my eyes burning.

“Thanks.” I said quietly before walking out the door.

My phone chimed as I walked down the busy street, trying not to keep glancing over my shoulder. I was glad it was light out, though my brothers and I had already agreed I would get a ride home on late shifts.

“Hey Drew.” I answered my phone after checking the ID.

“Good morning Jessy. I just wanted to wish you luck on your first day.” Andrews' kind and supportive voice comforted me slightly.

Andrew was my older brother. It had been him and his team at the FBI who had found Ally and I a year ago, when Ally was only two weeks old. Since then, he had not only stuck with me and supported me but he also loved his niece and would do anything for her.

Though he was only twenty-two, two years older than I was, he had embraced the challenge and proved once again that he was the best big brother I could have asked for.

“Thanks, I’m okay.” I said, glancing around myself again. “I actually just got here so I need to go.”

“Okay, have a good day. I may not be home tonight but Balissa would probably stay the night if you asked her.” He said cautiously. “I let you know for sure later.”

“Okay, thank you.” I sighed.

As I walked through the door I fought to calm the trembling in my hands. I still didn’t do well alone in public, but I knew I could do this. I had to do this. I wouldn’t let my fear force me to live off of others my whole life. I refused.

“Hey you must be Jessica. The new waitress right?” A plump lady in her late twenties asked as she approached me.

She had thick hair, dyed a greenish blue that made me think of a mermaid, pulled tightly into a bun on top of her head.

I nodded and smiled shyly.

“Oh good, I’m Sarah! We have been in desperate need of another hard worker.” She grinned at me. “Anyway follow me I’ll show you what you’ll be doing.”

I did as I was told silently.

“Not much of a talker are you?” She asked after I had listened to her talk for two hours straight.

“N-not really.” I shrugged, glad I had a task to focus on.

“That's a good trait, some people just babble on and on. It can get so annoying, it’s like just learn when to stop talking.” I couldn’t help but grin as she continued to talk about how some people talk too much.

After shift I walked quickly home with my head ducked. I wanted my daughter in my arms. I wondered if she would be there when I got back. I was so worried about her.

I knew Balissa and Simon would protect her, but I couldn’t help it. What if somebody took her the way he had taken me? What if they tried to put my baby through what he had put me through?

My footsteps quickened and I all but ran through the doors of the apartment.

“Aaliyah?!” I called out.

“In here Jess!” Simon's voice called out and I rushed towards the back bedroom.

When I entered the nursery I sighed relieved. Simon was sitting in the rocking chair rocking back and forth with Aaliyah. I walked over gently taking my daughter into my arms and breathing in her scent.

“Thank you, for watching her after class.” I said fervently to Simon.

“No problem.” He blushed, shrugging slightly.

“You’re my favorite twin.” I smirked, kicking him out of the chair and settling in.

He snorted and rolled his eyes, “Well you’re my favorite sister so we are even.”

I stuck my tongue at him. Then I closed my eyes and allowed myself to revel in the warmth and comfort coming from my daughter.

“How was work?” He asked.

“Nerve wracking.” I admitted with an embarrassed

“First days the hardest,” he comforted before smirking at me, “sometimes.” He added.

I glared at him and he chuckled.

“You’re doing great sis.” He bent down kissing the top of my head before walking out.

“I’m trying,” I whispered to my daughter, pulling her closer to me. “I’ve got you baby girl.”

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