❝ Liking what you do is happiness.❞
I turn in the direction the voice called out, gazing through the gaps of students as we all stood outside, waiting for rides; school has been let out for more than ten minutes. There were fewer people as some had been set out on their walk home as most stood and conversate. There, on the curb, standing by the vehicle was Mom as she waved me over, my name passing her lips once more when I didn’t move.
In the mist of it all, she gathers the attention of the surrounding students as they turn to look at me, my lips pulling into a nervous smile before I quickly make my way towards her and the car. The eyes of everyone only make hairs on skin stand at being the center of attention once again, the urge to become more invisible stronger than ever.
“Next time, can you call me when you’re on your way so I can be ready and not have you call my name across the yard?”
She only smiles, shaking her head and pulls me into a hug, her smell engulfing me.
“I’ll make sure to do that next time. Didn’t mean to embarrass you,” she says as she runs a hand through my hair. “How was school?”
I give her a small forced smile. “It was. . . interesting.” I reply, looking around.
She nods, “Good, Good. Let’s go now, I have to get dinner ready!” she pats my shoulders, stepping away, before moving around to the driver’s side of the car while I hop in the passengers’.
We both buckle up and while doing so my eyes shift over to look out the window where majority of the students were staring at the car.
′Not weird at all.′ I think to myself, turning back, ′Totally not weird at all.′
“So, why are you cooking dinner early?” I ask the minute she pulls off along with other cars.
She casts a glance my way, “Your Dad is having a guest over tonight and I decided to whip something up for them both.” she explains.
“Do you know who the person is?”
“He said it was just an colleague from work, he’s coming to discuss some business.”
I nodded, seeing as the conversation was over and faced the window watching as the trees whizzed by; unaware of the nervous glance Mom sent my way.
The soft hum that escaped Mom’s mouth was comforting as she cooks. I flipped the next page of my book of chose while leaning back in the kitchen chair as the aroma of the chicken casserole drifted up my nose.
Suddenly the doorbell rang.
Raising my head from my book, I see Dad a few seconds later walking pass the kitchen entrance and down the hall towards the door, I strain my ears a little to hear him unlock and swing the door open, silence following.
“Cole,” responded a deep voice.
Then there was silence. That’s when Mom passed my chair a little, wiping her hands on the apron that was resting over her slightly protruding stomach, she looked my way and nodded me over.
“Come on, let’s go meet our guest,” she gestures, walking out the kitchen, I didn’t miss the way her voice quivered.
I sigh and reluctantly get up leaving my book on the table and proceed to follow after her, I round the corner and see Mom standing beside Dad, his arm around her waist, pressing her into his side. They both blocked my view from the person who stood at the door and it wasn’t until I was close enough that I could see who it was.
A man, who towered over dad who I thought was tall, stood outside the door; he had midnight black hair that hung over his forehead and chocolate brown eyes that bore down into my Dad’s before flickering over towards me. My mind zapped, the color of his eyes reminding me of someone.
“Logan,” Dad starts, “I’ll like for you to meet my wife, Diana,” he gestures towards Mom pulling her closer as much as he could when the man’s gaze slides over her, dipping lower.
“And my daughter, Abigail.” Dad finishes throwing his arm over my shoulder when I was close enough.
I had to crane my neck up slightly to look him in the eye as he stared me down, this continued for a few more seconds before he grinned, the action looking some-what forced.
“It’s nice to meet you,” he says holding his hand out.
Slowly I place my hand in his much larger one, giving it a shake while forming a smile of my own. “You too.”
Mom clears her throat, clasping her hands together. “Well since the introductions are over with, how about something to eat, yeah?” she says, pulling away from Dad and turning around toward the kitchen.
“Sure. I could eat a little something.” Logan utters, walking inside, passing by Dad who stood stiffly by the door as he closed it.
I don’t miss the side look he sends him. I watch them keep eye contact for a split second before he looks away and strides into the dining room, my eyebrows crease in confusion; I slowly turn towards Dad who gives me tight smile though not meeting my eye.
“Don’t worry about it, Abigail,” he cuts me off before I could get another word out. “Everything’s fine. Come on.”
With that he walks to where the others went, leaving me alone with my thoughts.
It doesn't take long for the food to be ready and plates to be made before everyone is sitting around the table. We say grace and soon the room is filled with the sound of forks hitting against plates. The air was thick with tension as I swallow a piece of chewed up chicken, my gaze flickers between Dad and Logan, both haven’t touched their food besides a few bites here and there. When Logan suddenly sighs, all movements stop beside mine.
“I need to talk with you, Cole, you as well Diana,” he speaks. His eyes then snap toward me while saying, “Alone.”
I hold his stare with my own, not moving a muscle. I could see Dad out the corner of my eye giving me a pleading look, something uncharacteristic of him.
I sigh heavily, “Whatever.”
Standing to my feet and throwing my napkin on the table, I grab my book and make my way to the backdoor that leads to the backyard that connects with the forest.
“Don’t stay out too long, the temperature’s dropping!” I hear Mom call out just before the door completely closes.
I blow a breathe, staring ahead into the thick forest of trees, the leaves sway in the slight breeze, the air cool and the sky darkening as nightfall rises. I walk down the steps and sit on the second one, putting the book beside me as I stuff my hands in my jacket pocket.
I hear their muffled voices along with things moving around. The wind begins to pick up speed, blowing my hair to the side at the same moment a crunch resonates in the empty silence. My gaze shifts all around the area looking for the source, coming up with nothing, I’m forced to look into the darkness of the woods.
Slowly standing to my feet, I remove my hands from my pockets and stare intensely at the trees, the urge to explore filling me to the brim. I clench my hands and turn back towards the house to see a shadow move past the window. With one final breath, I advance towards the trees that surrounds the whole area, an unsaid mission.