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Heart Over Heels- chapter 1
Chapter 1: My parents followed me to college.
When we pulled in to our new house, I was thinking about the night my parents told us. I couldn’t help it; it was all I’d been able to think about since we’d left Phoenix the morning before. We were sitting at the table at dinner talking about orientation about two weeks before graduation.
My twin brother, Wesley thought it was hilarious when they told us that they’d rented a house twenty minutes away from the college we were both planning on attending, University of California at Santa Barbara. I, however, was thoroughly annoyed. I had picked Santa Barbara because it was far away from Phoenix, Arizona, where I’d lived my entire life. I was so happy to be finally getting away. That was until Dad dropped the bomb that ruined my last summer before freshman year of college.
“We’ll be leaving for Santa Barbara in July, so you’ll have time to get used to the town before you move into the dorm.” My dad said casually. I looked over at him, not understanding.
“What do you mean? Why are we leaving so early?” After a thought, I asked, “and where are we going to stay? We don’t have any family in Santa Barbara.”
“Alexis, you know we’ve rented a house out there.” He scolded me. When my blank stare didn’t fade, he looked over at my mother and said, “Oh, no. We forgot to tell them didn’t we?”
“No Michael, we did not forget. We were planning on telling them tonight.” My mother responded, sounding bored and a little angry. Throughout my parent’s exchange, I’d been staring at my dad with my mouth open. Wes finally elbowed me and I closed my mouth. I swallowed loudly then tried to find my voice.
“You’re really moving to Santa Barbara?” I asked, incredulous.
“Awesome. Home cooked meals every weekend.” Wes said at the same time.
“Only for your freshman year, Alexis. Don’t look so panicked.” Dad scoffed at my horrified gaze, my eyes large from shock.
“Are you serious?” I held my fingers crossed tightly under the table, praying that this was some kind of sick joke. It didn’t make sense. Both Mom and Dad had jobs teaching at Arizona State University. Why would they need to move now?
“Of course I’m serious Alexis Kay. Why would I joke about something like this?” Dad replied contemptuously. After a moment, he added, “And Wes, the only home cooked meal you’ll get is what you make at home. We’re not moving up there to baby you.” Dad said severely. Wes’s shoulder’s sagged in disappointment.
“What other reason is there for you to move up there, except to baby us dad?” I cried as the last of my control drifted away.
“To keep you two out of trouble,” My mom snapped. I looked over at her, shocked. I didn’t realize the subject called for such venom. Dad grunted and my mom went back to her dinner.
This was too much. My mature self disappeared completely, and “You can’t move to Santa Barbara. I’m moving to Santa Barbara” popped out in a childish whine, earning another jab to my ribs from Wes. I corrected myself hastily, “I mean, we’re moving to Santa Barbara. Sorry, bro.” He nodded tersely, obviously trying to hide his smile.
“And that’s exactly why we’re moving up there. We don’t want to be so far away during your first year of college.” Dad explained. I looked over at my mother, who was glaring at her plate. Confused, I turned my horrified gaze back to my dad, and tried to plead with him.
“Come on Dad. You can’t move. What about your tenure at ASU? And if you say you’re teaching at UC Santa Barbara, I swear you won’t wake up tomorrow.” I was joking about the not waking up part, of course, but if he had gotten a job at the university I was going to do something drastic to make it impossible for him to do so.
“Don’t be so dramatic, Alexis. Neither of us is going to be teaching at the university. I’m taking a sabbatical. And your mother is going to teach classes at the junior college up there.” When he mentioned this, my mom looked up from her chicken again and nodded vaguely.
“What about me? Where am I going to go?” All heads turned to my little sister, Bethany, who had been quiet throughout the entire meal, until now.
“You’ll be coming with us, of course. We’re not going to leave you behind Bethany. I swear, you two say the most outrageous things.” My dad teased. I rolled my eyes at his poor attempt at a joke.
“Why not? I can stay with Grandma or something.” She was completely serious, which surprised me. My dad’s mom lived on the other side of town, and during the summer we lived there while my parents traveled. Usually Bethany hated being left behind, and we spent most of our school vacation trying to make her feel better about “being abandoned” instead of having a good time ourselves.
“You are not staying in Arizona Bethany. Don’t even try to reason with me, I am not leaving one child to keep the other two.” He scoffed, obviously starting to get angry. I started to open my mouth to get in my own reasoning, when he looked at me and snapped, “This is final Alexis. To be honest, I thought you’d be happy that you’d have family around while you were getting used to college life, but what’s done is done. We’re moving after graduation.”
And with that the subject was closed and any chance of having a true college experience was squashed.