Font size: - +
Two days after my seventeenth birthday, my Mom told me that we were moving; Moving in with her new boyfriend to be exact. What she neglected to tell me, was that he lived in another city. One that sounds like some cheesy war movie title.
When I stormed off into my room, she came up an hour later, talking to me; just talking. Trying to confuse me with her words.
She doesn't understand why I don't want to leave. I'm home schooled, I almost never leave the house unless she forces me to, my only friend is a cat that belongs to an 81-year-old lady that lives in the town house next door.
'I don't understand what's keeping you here,' she says, over and over. I say nothing. Mostly because I don't talk much, I never say anything. My Mom hates that. She hates that she doesn't understand me. She hates a lot of things that I do.
I stared up at the chocolate colored town home, two huge windows at the bottom, two at the top. I stared at the black door with the gold peephole, the knocking tool.
We don't have a yard, there's just concrete everywhere, concrete and then the sidewalk. Along with a dozen other townhouses right next to them, across the street too.
This is home - this was home.
The wind started to blow hard, the crisp September air making me shiver. It blew a huge multi colored leaf in front of me, and I stomped on it just to hear it crunch.
My Mom came out of the house with the last box, closing the door behind her, and then climbing down the steps carefully. She half smiled at me sadly, and I resisted the urge to roll my eyes.
She walked past me, loading the box into the trunk, her ever increasing belly making that difficult, and I almost feel sorry for her and want to help her, but I don't. I just turn back to the house. It was her decision to move away anyway.
I walk back up the steps for the last time. Then I turn and look at everything around me. The townhouses across the street, the trees that change color.
I hear a small 'meow' and there Frieda is, lying on my doorstep like always. I sit on the first step, and she curls up underneath me, her blue eyes looking up at me, pleading. I stroke the top of her head the way I know she likes me too, her orange fur soft and silky.
Grace comes outside and Frieda rushes away from me to her side. "Bye, Frieda," I whisper, watching them walk down the street together.
"Brooklyn, sweetheart, let go. We need to leave early if we want to get there by daylight." With that, she closes the trunk, making the Explorer shake. And I stand up slowly.
I put my hand on the cold metal rail, closing my eyes. I try to picture my Dad doing the same thing, walking down these very steps, trailing his hand along the rail leaving his home. Touching what he touched before.
I don't want to go. This house is the only thing I had left of my Dad. The only thing that made me feel close to him. I made it to the passenger side of the car, she started the engine, and then we were gone.
* * *
I hadn't even realized I'd fallen asleep, but when I woke, we were passing a sign.
Welcome to Cold Spring Harbor
I sighed, looking over at my Mother. "Hi, sleepy head." She beamed. "I just know you're gonna love it here." She just knows it, I mock in my head.
There aren't any buildings anywhere. Just trees and trees and more trees. Not like New York at all. I want to go home now.
It takes us another twenty minutes to even find the house. We park in the driveway, where there's a silver Scion sitting alone.
We get out of the car, first her, and then me. She calls someone to let them know we made it, and I look around. The houses are so big, and they all have yards. All fresh cut and green. It's quiet - too quiet. Not what I'm used too.
"Come on, Brooklyn." My Mom says once she hangs up her blackberry. I follow her up the pathway. We ring the bell, and not a minute later the door opens.
There's a guy there, and I know that he's not Gerry, even though he's an image of him. He smiles at us welcomingly, the corners of his light brown eyes crinkling.
I think him and my Mother are talking, but I don't pay attention because I'm looking past him into the house. Their house. My house. I don't even realize that my Mom has left, and he's just standing there, waiting for me.
"Are you coming?" He asks, his eyes floating with amusement.
I really didn't want to go in. I was scared. I felt like as soon as I crossed the doorway my whole world was gonna shift and change. Everything was gonna be different. I wanted to bawl my eyes out and say, "Mom, please just just go back home, I don't wanna stay here," but I don't.
I fail at an attempt to smile, so I just walk into the warm homey feeling house. He closes the door and I take off my jacket. He hangs it on the coat rack. He sighs, rubbing his hand through his short dark hair.
"They're in the kitchen if you want to..." He trails off, already giving up on me. He starts down the narrow hall, and I fall into step behind him.
We pass the living room, and I stare at the flat screen hanging on the wall, and the black leather sectional, fit for a bunch of guys. The walls that are painted burgundy just makes everything more guy-ish, and I idly wonder how they're gonna like two girls invading their space.
Out of the living room, we enter another hall, that has a door under the stairs that reminds me of Harry Potter. And then there's the swinging door that he holds open for me and there we are in the kitchen.
Gerry and Mom were laughing at something that was said before we came in. "Hi, Brooklyn." He says, smiling down at me. And his smile is so beautiful and infectious that I almost smile back... Almost. "These are my son's Logan and Blake."