Secret

By , Howards Grove, WI
My name is Rain. Almost as long as I can remember I've lived in the northern part of California in a little town by the ocean, just a ten minute ride from the city. When I was little my mom took me and my older brother on a vacation. We left during the early hours of the morning, before the morning actually comes, but after night has left. We took almost everything we owned. What we didn't take were meaningless triffles. I didn't understand why. I can remember feeling very confused. We never returned home. I don't even know where home was. SInce then, we've lived in California. California is my home. I live here with my parents, my older brother and little brother. We spent a lot of time doing things together as a family. We didn't know many of our neighbors. My brother, older then me by three years had a lot of friends but I kept to myself at school and didn't hang out alot with other people other then my family. I was afraid of people, not in the way most were they made me timid like someone was following me. I couldn't explain it but I didn't really mind. I was happy, I loved me family and we had fun together. It was one of those rare weekends I found myself alone. Not truely alone because my older brother Tom was there but he was with his friends that night. It was a saturday night, and School had just ended. He'd invited me along, and even offered to stay home but I told him to go. The sunset had just faded when I decided to go for a walk along the beach. I'd gone to bed early as Tom and I didn't go to sleep the previous night, a tradition for us when school ended. I'd woken up screaming from my dream and glad no one was home. This dream was a reoccuring one and always left me feeling odd and unsettled, often shaking when I woke up. I went for a walk to try and shake the dream off. The wind was not feirce but it was more then just a gentle breeze. I walked up on the rocks near the dock but a huge wave almost knocked me over. A hand reached out and steadied me. “You should be careful, unless you want to have a much closer relationship with the rocks.” I turned to the speaker, the usual uneasiness settling over me. “Are you ok, you look shakey.” It took me a moment to remember he was talking to me. “Umm, I'm ok” I said. “YOu don't sound so sure.” He said. We stood there for a moment in silence, neither one of us sure of what to say. “YOu want to take a walk?” He finally asked. I nodded and followed him onto the sand. We walked along the surf of the beach in silence. HE was right, I was shakey. That dream upset me more then it normally did. “Are you ok, No one, hurt you or anything.” I looked at him wondering why he'd say that. “You have a black eye.” He offered. I remembered running into the door. “I hit my face on a door.” I realised how lame that sounded when the look on his face said he didn't believe me. “I had a bad dream.” I said. “Oh. That bad huh?” “It seems to get worse every time.” “Reoccuring dreams huh? What about? I mean you don't have to tell me.” He stuttered. I laughed. “I couldn't really tell you what it was about. It haunts me, but the details always vanish as soon as I wake up.” I stopped walking and looked out into the ocean. “You seem haunted alright.” My head turned sharply towards the stranger. “I mean you seem like a girl whose haunted by things. What you need is to have some fun to forget them.” “I do?” “Yeah. I'm Kale by the way. I'm spending the summer with my friend he lives on that house over there.” Kale said pointing. “He's having a party tomorrow night. Come by hang out. Bet your dreams won't haunt you then.” I didn't know what to say, so I didn't say anything. “I think that guy over there is waiting for you.” He added. I turned and looked. “That's my brother.” I said. “Ok, see you later,” “Rain.” I siad. “Rain?” “YEah.” “That's unusual, kind of pretty.” “Well thanks, I think. Bye.” “Don't forget, tomorrow.” I walked towards Tom without looking back. “So that's why you were trying to get rid of me, you wanted a secret rondavoo with your boy friend.” Tom said. I rolled my eyes. “I don't know him. I met him on the beach.” Tom nodded. “You had that dream again.” He said. I didn't need to tell him, he had only to look at me and tell. My brother and I were very close. He was the only one I'd told about the dream. “Yeah.” “Come on let's go raid the fridge.” Tom said. “Mom and dad are coming home tomorrow.” I nodded and followed my brother inside, glad for his warm, comforting presence. After Tom and I raided the fridge we went to my bedroom I layed down snuggled under the covers and Tom sat at the foot of bed reading me his comic book till I fell asleep. The dream didn't come back that night. I woke late the next morning to the sound of my parents and Tom arguing, or more like fighting. “You can't do this to her the rest of her life. What happens when she goes to college.” I tried not to move but they must have heard me awake because the fight stopped suddenly. I sighed and got up. “Hey sweetie.” My mom said as I got up. “Rain!” Will screamed jumping out of his chair at the kitchen table and running to me. “Hey Will, you miss me?” I asked. “Uhuh.” “Where's tom?” I asked sliding into the chair with WIll. “He went to pick up Brittany and Karl.” My mom said. “Oh. He skipped breakfast?” “It's more like Lunch Rain, It's eleven. You and Will must have been tired. Well, Will didn't sleep at all in the car, what were you doing?” I shrugged. I was never sure why I couldn't tell my mother about the dream, I just never seemed to be able to. “Talking with Tom, he came home early.” “Oh, alright. So I hear you and Tom are going to a party tonight.” I opened my mouth to speak but stopped. I wondered if that was what my mom and Tom had been fighting over. “Yeah, is that ok?” My laughed but it was one of those cover up laughs. “OF course. Tom said he was taking you with him to the mall so you might want to get dressed.” “Umm, ok.” I said. By the time I'd showered and dressed Tom had come back with his two friends. These were the ones he hung out with the most. I knew them a little. “So, were going to a party Rain. I keep telling Tom he should bring you with him but he always has an excuse.” Brittnay said as we walked into the mall. The day was sunny and warm. The air conditioned mall was greatly appreciated. If I had known the reason we were going to the mall, I wouldn't have gone. Tom apparently decided I needed a new outfit. I didn't mom and I went shopping at least once a month, but Tom could not be dissauded. He brought Brittany for fashion advice. “So Tom tell's me your meeting someone at the party.” “I am?” Brittany laughed. “Oh. Not really.” I said suddenly remembering Kale. I was beginning to wish I'd never told Tom about him or the party invitation. Dressed in a light blue dress that accented my blue eyes I reluctantly followed Tom, Brittany, and Karl to the party. “Honey what did you do with your hair?” Brittany asked as we climbed out of the car. “Nothing.” I said. SHe sighed. “Exactly. Shake it.” “What?!” “Shake your hair.” Brittany repeated demonstrating. I glanced at Tom then did what she said. “See, now those brown and perfectly loose curls look perfect.” Brittany said. I sighed. Tom smiled at me. THe light had just faded as we followed the path to the back of the house where the party was. There was a bonfire on the sand, music blareing from a truck parked on the beach and people everywhere. “I really don't want to be here, I changed my mine.” I said starting to turn around. Tom grabbed my arm and spun me around. “Yes you do. Come on, let's find that friend of yours.” “Or maybe he'll find her.” Karl said nodding to someone coming towards us. It was Kale. “Hey, Rain glad to see you made it.” He said. He was wearing shorts and no shirt, which seemed to be the theme for the guys. “This is my brother, Tom.” I said. Kale turned to Tom. “Hey. There's Soda and food over there if your hungry.” Kale adressed me as well as Tom but Tom and his friends left me standing alone with Kale. “Sleep well?” “Yeah.” Kale was the first person outside my family I relaxed with. We became friends over the course of the night. Tom finally appeared. “You ready to go Rain?” He asked. “What? Oh yeah.” I said standing up. “See you around Rain!” Kale called as we left. That's how it started. For the next month we spent every day together. Often we were with Tom and one of his friends. Somtimes we took Will out for ice cream, or to the park. “YOu know I've been thinking,” “You can do that?” I interrupted Kale. He laughed. We were walking along the board walk, eating ice cream. “Yes believe it or not I can.” He said. “Any way we should try and figure it out.” “What?” I asked confused. A moment ago we'd been talking about base ball. “The way I see it your family has one huge secret there keeping from you and it has somthing to do with that haunting dream and that funny memory of yours.” “What?” I repeated. The idea was completly ludicras to me. “Rain come on. Your not shy or timid. The reason your afraid of people is because of your parents.” “Who made you the expert?” I snapped. He was ruining a perfectly beautiful day. “I've read about,” “Read read reading doesn't make you an expert Kale.” “Ok so try common sense Rain. It is perfectly obvious there's a secret. Think about your dream Rain. Don't you want to know what it's about? ANd what about your memory about before you lived here? I want to know why are you being such a cowered about it.” Kale was right. I had the sinking feeling everything he was saying was true. I didn't want to believe it because if Tom knew and Tom didn't tell me that would hurt more then anything else in the world. “What do you want to do?” I asked. Kale grinned. “Figure out where you lived before of course.” He said. “And your going to do that how?” “Birth certificate, drivers liscense of your parents, there's lots of stuff that's very easy to find.” Kale ate his words. After a week we had nothing. “You and your family did't exist untill you came here.” He sighed. “I'm pretty sure I exist Kale.” I said. “Why can't I just ask Tom?” Kale turned to me looking at me as though I was insane. I looked back at him. His hair was the colors of the sand on the beach when the sun was shining on it. His eye's were grey and when he looked at me, he seemed to look past the surface in a way that sent shivers down my spine. I somtimes wondered why and how we'd become such close friends so quickly. I didn't any one in except my family, yet Kale had managed to wiggle his way in till he was close to where Tom was. “What are you going to do walk up to your brother and say hey! What's the big secret and why are there no records of my birth?” Kale asked finally. “Well no.” I said. “Why is mom so nervous about Kale?” I asked Tom. We were in a coffee shop talking. Kale was listening from a different booth. “Just mom.” Tom said with a shrug. I sat quiet for a moment. “Tom, where'd we live before we moved here?” The look on Tom's face lasted so little It was barely noticable. He wiped it off quick and shrugged in simple care free Tom fashion. “I don't really remember The north I think.” He said. “You don't remember at all?” “Do you?” “No. What state did we live in.” Tom shrugged again. “I don't remember. I still have trouble remembering what street I live on now.” He said. “You don't know what state we lived in?” Tom laughed. “Sorry Rain. What's with all the questions, sick of California?” I felt stupid. When I was with Kale, this all seemed like an awsome big mystery but without him, I just felt stupid. “No.” Tom smiled. “Then why ask questions without answers. Some wise man said some questions are best left unanswered.” “WHo said that?” “I don't know, I'm still trying to figure out what he meant. Come on, let's get home before dad gets home.” He said. Kale was sometimes like a little boy obsessed with spies. Insted of simply going over to his house, We had to wait till night and sneak out of our house's to meet at the beach. “Why, when I could come over after dinner and neither of us would risk getting in trouble.” “There's no Danger Rain.” Kale said as though he were stating the obvious so we met at the beach late that night. We never got to the subject of Tom, or my families supposed secret though. When I got there and saw him, somthing seemed to change in him. “Why are you stareing at me?” I asked. He shrugged. We sat and talked, ran along the surf till almost dawn. “I think we should go home.” Kale said. “I guess.” Before we parted way's he kissed me. It wasn't long but it protrayed his feelings and just like that things changed again. We forget about our spy mission. We did most of the same things other wise. We hung out with Tom and his friends, most of which were also people Kale hung out with anyway. “When does Kale leave?” Tom asked me one morning while he watched me clean my room. His questions startled me. Till that moment I'd forgotten that at the end of the summer Kale would go home and I would no longer see him every day. “I don't know.” I said. Kale showed up after dinner that night and asked if I could go for a walk. He wasn't his usual self. I waited for him to get around to what I knew was coming. “I go home the day after tomorrow.” He said. “Friday?” I choked. “School starts Monday Rain.” “Yeah I guess. YOu didn't think about maybe telling me this a little sooner?” I was really angry, though not at him. “What's it matter to you.” I couldn't even reply I turned away from him not wanting him to see the tears that had gathered. Obviously, I wasn't more then a summer fling to him, but I would have thought we were at least good friends. “Rain, yikes it was a joke. DId you want me to ruin the last two weeks?” I refused to look at him. “What do you want me to say, I'll die when I leave from missing you, that I'm hopelessly in love with you and can't bear the thought of leaving you? That isn't my style Rain. Distance don't mean anything anyway. This modern age has telephones and email, even instant chat.” When I still didn't look at him he mumbled somthing in another language. I didn't know he spoke another language but that was so Like Kale. “You took what I said way to seriously didn't you.” He said grabbing my arm and spinning my around. He tipped my head up with his finger and forced me to look at him. “You are such a girl Rain.” “You just now noticed?” “I don't believe in summer flings, or girlfriends that don't turn into wives.” “WIves?” “I am not thinking about getting married at this time, Vegas is no good this time of year but I'm thinking about you.” I frowned happy, but confused. “What?” Kale laughed and continued are walk and that was that. I still had no idea what he meant or how he really felt but I was certain our friendship at least would continue and it did. Through the next school year we talked almost as much as we had in the summer through the computer or phone.





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