Hidden Lives

August 3, 2010
I never thought my life would come to this point in time. I never once believed there was any hope for me in a world that was filled with shattered dreams, and normal people.

But what I’ve always wondered was, What makes you…abnormal? What makes you special? How do you get there?

I was sitting on my porch with my sister Sarah, and best friend Margaret (a.k.a. Margie). My parents weren’t home; my dad had a business trip in Idaho (Idaho! What’s in Idaho? I remembered asking when they told us where his trip was to) and my mom went with him, leaving us two girls, me – seventeen, and Sarah – fourteen. I was shocked when they said they were going to allow us to stay by ourselves for the 9 days they’d be gone; they had been gone for 7 already, and would be home Monday evening. They left us money for a week and a half’s worth of groceries, and 5 nights of pizza.

It was mid-summer, 88 degrees out, and we were feeling good.

We were all rocking our cut-off jeans and matching tank tops, blaring Train’s “Drops of Jupiter”.

We all sang in deep emotion with each other.

We were all entranced, thinking to ourselves. I was pretty sure I was the only one that noticed the black Escalade that kept driving around the block.

Their second time around, I tried my best to see the people inside of it; there were two younger-looking guys. One, the driver, had hair as white as the white crayon; pretty much invisible. Our eyes made contact as they drove past, his piercing my own. He was beautiful, but obviously arrogant. The second guy, the passenger, was a heavier set guy, with dark brown, barely-there hair. He was looking our way, too, but it was still the driver who had my attention.

Margie and Sarah were still sucking on their Ice Pops when the Escalade drove away. I hadn’t been eating mine while I was staring at the blonde guy, and it had melted on my leg.

“I’m going to go wash off my leg, this will be sticky and it will drive me insane.” I got up from the step I was sitting on and went in the house, to the kitchen. I didn’t intent on being in there very long, but as it turned out, we hadn’t done any laundry since my parents had been gone and there were no hand towels in the kitchen. So, I had to go to the back of the house to the laundry room. I put all the kitchen towels but one in the washer, poured ¾ of a cup of soap in, closed the lid, and started it. The towel I had kept out, I took back with me to the kitchen, to get wet, and cleaned my leg with it. I threw it halfheartedly on the counter next to the sink, and went back outside.

When I stepped through the door, I saw the Escalade turning onto our road again. Sarah and Margie still didn’t notice, they were now entranced on the lyrics to One Republic’s “All the Right Moves”.

I walked over to the curb, just as the Escalade was nearing our house. It was obvious what I was beckoning to the two creepers. The SUV slowed, and pulled to a stop when they reached me.

The heavier guy (the one on my side) rolled down his window.

“I couldn’t help but notice you driving around the block a million times,” I said, annoyed. “Is there something I can help you find?” The two just looked at me like I had just asked them I could shoot them in the foot; kind of like I was an idiot. They looked at each other next. The blonde, the driver, had a sort of smirk on his face. The heavier guy just looked outright patronized. I cleared my throat, still waiting for an answer.

The blonde chuckled. “You.”

That was all he said.

“Yes, me,” I said, thinking he was making sure I asked if I could help him find something.

He laughed again, as if to call me an idiot.

“Mind telling me what you’re laughing at?” I asked him, feeling like I was a seven-year-old playing the I’m-not-touching-you game with the most annoying boy in class.

The heavier guy turned to the blonde and said, “Should we tell or should we do?” Did they have to be so inconspicuous?

“Tell, and then do. We’ll bring out the big guns if we have to.” Okay, this should have been scary, but it so wasn’t. It was actually kind of hysterical, in a sort-of scary, what-the-heck-are-they-freaking-talking-about way.

I looked back at Sarah and Margie. They were paying attention now, looking kind of worried. I smiled at them, to assure them I was handling things; I was always the one to handle things.

“Okay, cut the crap, guys. What the heck do you want?”

“We would tell you, but then we’d have to kill you,” the blonde said, jokingly. “No, really. If we tell you, you have to swear you’ll believe us, and go along with it. Otherwise…we really would have to kill you.” The way he spoke now, kind of made me believe him. I felt shivers go up and down my body with realization that he wasn’t lying: this was important stuff.

“You going to tell me from there, or are you going to get out?” I was actually agreeing to this crap; maybe out of complete fear, or maybe out of morbid curiosity, who knew.

The guys, once again, looked at each other.

“Are you two…you know, gay?” I asked them, completely serious.

They laughed hysterically.

“No,” the heavier guy said, in a gruff voice; the first time he spoke to me.

“Let’s get out,” the blonde said to the heavy guy. So, they did. I started walking towards the porch, but all of a sudden, one of the guys grabbed my arm. I turned around to see what they wanted, and found the big guy gripping my arm.

“No,” he said again. I didn’t understand.

The blonde had a follow-up, he whispered, “You can’t tell them, either,” looking over at Sarah and Margie. I laughed.

“You’re kidding, right? They know everything. What’s to hide? You selling dope or something? Cause if that’s your business, you might as well hit the road now, boys.” After I said it that totally made sense that they were selling dope: Escalade, smaller dude with a heavier side-kick, probably the ‘bodyguard’, secretive business. These guys needed some help.

“No, we aren’t selling dope. It’s a little more…classified than that. And could you please keep it down, this is like, important stuff,” the blonde boy (of course) replied, pulling something out of his jean pocket. It looked like a wallet, but when he opened it up there was a C.I.A. badge sitting in it. “Can we please go somewhere…safer?” He asked.

Crap. These guys were here to talk about my parent’s missing tax reports.

But…wait, wasn’t that the IRS? Yes, yes it is. So…what did these guys want from me?

I began walking to the house. Margie and Sarah were giving me a look that said What in the heck is going on? Again, I smiled, reassuringly, because I had no idea myself.

“Guys, these gentlemen need to have a conversation with me, so please stay out here while we talk in the house,” I winked at them, signaling Eavesdrop! Eavesdrop! The guys didn’t notice, considering they were behind me, but I knew the girls got it, they gave a hint of a smile.

We continued on into the house and sat in the dining room, which was by our front door where the girls sat; I knew they would be able to hear us from where they were, but the guys didn’t.

We sat at the table, the both of them on one side, me on the other.

“Alright, gentlemen, what’s up?”

“First off, I’m C.I.A. Agent Michael Murphy,” the blonde said, “and this is my bodyguard,” I knew it! I thought, “Duke Winslow. You are Rylee Bernice Albright.” Yes, I am Rylee. I know my name. But how did he? I left it alone.

I beckoned for him to go on.

“We are here because, well, we have to take you with us. You are in grave danger, Rylee.”

“Yeah, okay. And what is this ‘grave danger’ that I am in? And where are we ‘going’?” I played along with the psychopath.

“There are people looking for your father. If they can’t find him, they will go after you next, and our department cannot allow that, due to your expectance to join us.”

I laughed. He had to be kidding me.

“This is no longer a joking matter, Rylee. We are here to collect and protect. There are foreign enemies trying to get a hold of one of the CIA’s most trusted Agent’s, and those enemies will do whatever they can to stop us, and specifically him, from closing them down; their organization name: Al Qaeda. If they cannot reach your father, they will go after you.”

That actually made no sense. That wasn’t really the CIA’s job, or so I had thought. Does anyone ever really know anything about our government for sure, these days? Still, if Al Qaeda would go after me, wouldn’t the go after my sister?

I asked. “Well, what about Sarah?”

“Sarah will not be in any line of danger, due to her non-biological relation. Al Qaeda will have no knowledge of your sister.” Wait, non-biological? That meant… Sarah wasn’t really my sister. She was adopted? How come I didn’t know this?

“What?” I asked.

“You heard me correctly. Sarah Alexandria Albright was adopted by Bruce and Elizabeth Albright when she was 3 months old, from a sister to Mrs. Elizabeth Albright, Judy Beckondale.” I didn’t know my mother had a sister. This was too much.

“Okay, let’s say I understand what you are telling me. You never told me where we are going?”

“Washington, D.C. of course. We are going to the Gray House.”

Gray House? What the heck?

In the midst of my confusion, I heard a huge thud coming from outside.

“God, dang it!” Michael yelled.

He ran outside, and came back in a few seconds later, with Sarah and Margie.

“It looks like some people having an eavesdropping problem,” he said, obviously mad. “That just means you have to go too, now. Let’s stop horsing around and get out of here, please. We have no idea what the time basis is for the terrorists. Rylee: Go pack a weeks’ worth of clothes for all three of you. We may be gone longer than that, but there is a washer and dryer, and if all else fails, credit cards. Sarah: Call your fathers cell phone, let him know you’re going too. Margie: Call your parents, give them an excuse. You’re eighteen, you’re free to leave their home, deal with whatever consequences you are given when we return; that’s what you get for eavesdropping. Oh, and you two,” he said pointing back and forth from Sarah to Margie, “you are warned that if any of this ever leaves your mouths to anyone not involved in this, you will have committed a federal crime, and will be given a trial, proven guilty, and sentenced to jail. I would watch what you say.”

When all was finished (Sarah called dad, told him what was going on, Margie told her parents she was going on a road trip with us, and I packed our bags), Michael and Duke got us on a private jet to Washington, D.C. Because it was a private jet, we were all sat together: Duke by the window, then Michael, and me. Sarah and Margie were directly behind us.

It was a long flight, even on a private jet, from Los Angeles, California, to D.C. I had my headphones in, and my iPod turned up. I was currently listening to Coldplay’s “Yellow”.

I noticed Michael kept looking at my iPod, then me, iPod, then me. It drove me crazy. I pulled a headphone out.

“Is something bothering you?” I asked him.

He smiled.

“Not bothering, per say. It’s just that, well, a) that’s a wonderful song, it suits you,” did he just compliment me? “And b) you probably couldn’t get it any louder.” He smiled again. His smile was pretty. Yes, pretty. Not cute, not handsome, or beautiful. It was more than that. He had pearly white teeth that shone when he pulled his lips back to smile. His lips were full, luscious. I found myself wondering what it would feel like, them pressed against mine, and I shook my head.

He was still looking at me. No, not me, but my eyes. Deep, far away into my eyes. No one had ever looked at me like he was looking at me now. It was exhilarating, but still quite…odd. I just met this guy. And he at least had to be 20-something. A CIA Agent on top of that!

But, it seemed like he was thinking the same thing; had we met before?

I looked away first. I felt it when he took his eyes off of me, 32 and a half seconds later.

The rest of the flight, we didn’t speak. When we landed, he got my bag down from the rack above our heads, offered to carry it, I refused.

We took a limo to the Gray House (which turned out to be a headquarters for CIA Agent’s and their families in a time of danger), no one speaking much, casual conversation.

When we arrived, Duke and Michael showed us our individual rooms.

We all went into our separate rooms, and began to situate ourselves. A few minutes after Duke and Michael had left, and I knew Margie and Sarah were still unpacking, I heard a knock at my door. I opened, and wasn’t surprised to find Michael waiting there, looking beautiful in his denim jeans, and plain white t-shirt that matched his hair (that color had to be faux, but it looked good, shockingly). He smiled, spinning my world around. I held on to the door to keep from falling over.

“Yes?” I asked him, tight-voiced.

He laughed a beautiful harmonic laugh.

“May I come in?”

“Sure, why not? Make yourself at home.” I moved from the doorway, back to the suitcase and dresser drawers. I leaned against the wall that was beside them; while he sat on the bed (he took ‘make yourself at home’ quite literally.)

“You know the same thing I know,” he began, staring into my eyes.

“And what is that?” I asked, not daring enough to look into his, for a fear of embarrassing myself, and passing out; he was just so darn beautiful.

“I’m not trying to rush this on you, but I already know it to be true. When you look at me, I feel exhilarated, weightless, tied to you. When I look at you, I know you feel the same.” He got up off the bed, and came over to me.

I looked at him now, not knowing what he was going to do. He brushed the hair out of my eyes.

“Rylee, I’ve known you for a long time, and I know you know me. You haven’t met me, but you know me.” He was right.

I felt like I knew the things he’d never told anyone in his life.

I nodded, unable to speak. He laughed again.

“Why do I make you uncomfortable?”

“Because you’re beautiful,” I answered, looking into his eyes.

He leaned his face in, brushed his fingers over my cheekbones, and kissed me, slightly, gently, on the lips. His were made for mine. We belonged together.

It’s three seven years later, today, that I met Michael Murphy.

In the past 7 years, I became CIA Agent Rylee Albright, Mrs. Michael Murphy (which changed my name to CIA Agent Rylee Murphy), and a Nobel Peace Prize Winner for the capture of Al Qaeda’s group leader.

I discovered what made a person abnormal: being themselves, believing in themselves, and pursuing the dreams that make themselves.

To be special, you find your own individual place in this world.

To get to that place, you have to have hope.

I found hope in my life that led to my place: Michael, CIA, believing in myself. Finding my place made me special; if only to myself. I wasn’t what you would consider ‘normal’ any longer.

I was me.

I found me.

I found who I had become:

A mommy.

Join the Discussion

This article has 21 comments. Post your own now!

In_Love_with_Writing said...
Jan. 10, 2013 at 7:48 am
Absolutely cute story! Niice job :) Can you comment and rate some of work?
Writer4Life_21 said...
Oct. 4, 2010 at 8:47 pm
Sorry, typo, I meant to say I read this because.. (in the comment below this one) and I meant to say you read one of my stories...
Writer4Life_21 said...
Oct. 4, 2010 at 8:45 pm

This is a really well written piece of work. Keep writing and I'll keep reading! (I read found this because you read on of my story - swollen red eyes-  and asked me to read one of yours, so I did! and I loved it! Thanks for reading :-)

great job!

Babylufin replied...
Oct. 13, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Thank you!!!

You should read Don't Kill Me Now. :) It's my favorite. Lol.

juliam This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 4, 2010 at 6:07 pm

I like how this story has a cute little moral at the end about being who you are. 

One thing I'd work on though - if I were you - is the word choice and sentence structure. It's not bad, but to take it to the 'next level' you should really try to differ a little. I also know that critics really like that, if that's where you're going. 

And, more time for character development, but everyone's already said that. 


juliam This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 4, 2010 at 6:05 pm

This is good, with a strong lesson and cute characters. 

The only thing I'd work on is diversity, seeing as your word choice is pretty repetitive. It's not a bad thing necessarily, but it's something challenging that can bring your writing to the 'next level' and something that critics really like.  I'd also advise you to give more time to character development, but that's just me. 

All in all though, really good. 

Babylufin replied...
Nov. 2, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Haha, yes, this is VERY amateur right now.. And I totally agree on the repetitive-ness (I know that's not a word, haha)...I often think about sitting and reading an entire dictionary, and then I remember I don't have time for that. :( Lol.

But oh yes, that is where I am going! Lol. I want to be a writer more than anything in the world.

So, thank you so much for your input, advise, and just for READING it. :) It means so much.

80smusicfanatic said...
Sept. 23, 2010 at 3:04 pm
I loved how awesome this story was! I'm a little ify on the terriost part, but this is a really good story! I love how the romance just POPed right in there and next thing you know, she's a mom! Hahaha loved it!
Babylufin replied...
Sept. 23, 2010 at 5:11 pm
Thank you! :) I'm glad you liked it.
hancampbell said...
Sept. 22, 2010 at 10:49 pm

Nice! I love how the ending ties in with the beginning, and finishes the way it starts out. Like others said, I wish it hadn't been as rushed, but it's wonderful(: My only suggestion is towards the end, you say "It's three seven years later". Maybe I'm reading it wrong and completely missing the point, but does "three seven years" make sense? Maybe it was a typo?

Overall, I really enjoyed it! Oh, also, I tried commenting on this about a half hour ago, but the comment didn't go through,... (more »)

Babylufin replied...
Sept. 23, 2010 at 5:11 pm
Thank you! Yes, it was definitely a typo! Lol. :) Thanks so much for the comment!
RainyWriter This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 8, 2010 at 7:26 pm
Pretty good, I liked the concept though the whole romance thing really threw me off. I thought it was a little odd, but in a good way. It was a little rushed, but then again this is a short story, right? The mommy part was kind of random at first, but then I really noticed how it fed into the story. Made it...sentimental. Sweet almost. Though I do wonder about the parents...this would make a really good book or a novel, so you could elaborate more and have more freedom with words. All that stuff.
Babylufin replied...
Sept. 8, 2010 at 8:09 pm

Yeah. This definitely is one of my more...odd stories. Haha. This was a little bit out of my comfort zone, but when it was done, I really fell in love with it: I don't know if thats conceited to say, but...haha. When I write, I become someone else, someone I was born to be, but never truly could.

Anyways, I was just thinking about the topic of this becoming a novel, more elaborate, an actual story. I think I might actually do it. Haha.

Thanks SO much for your comment. I hop... (more »)

thepreechyteenager said...
Aug. 28, 2010 at 9:37 am

This story was very different.  I romance came out of nowhere, and before you knew it, BOOM, now she has a baby! That was really unexpected, and I'm not really one for romance so when I never actually got to hear about them running fro Al Queda, or capturing the leader of Al Queda, I felt a little duped.  But I guess, if I was looking forward to that, you had me in the story for a little while.

I though the paragraph where you described how Rylee did the laundry was a little ... (more »)

Babylufin replied...
Sept. 1, 2010 at 1:53 pm

The point behind the whole Rylee-becoming-a-mom was that at the beginning of the story she brought up the topic about "What is my significance?" which brought me to her becoming a mother: If it weren't for the siginificance of parenting, where would this world be? So, that was the whole thing with Rylee becoming a mother.

Also, I tied in Al Quaeda because it would keep people in tune, especially those who aren't gaga for romance (like me, although that's what I write best; possibly bec... (more »)

Dr@maGeek said...
Aug. 17, 2010 at 9:12 pm
I love how slow and intelligent the writting is :) and your dialoge is rlly terrific! It kinda reminds me of my own writting except better dialoge. So if you have the time read mine?
Babylufin replied...
Aug. 17, 2010 at 9:42 pm

I absolutely will! You should check out some more of my work. :) I definitely don't think this is one of my best... My latest (My Love Is Gone) would probably have to be my favorite of all of my work... I love the main character. :D Haha. But yes, I will definitely check out your work. :)

Thanks for the comment!

kfelt158 said...
Aug. 15, 2010 at 6:40 pm
I really love all of your writing!  This was an awesome story.  Please check out my stories too :)
Babylufin replied...
Aug. 16, 2010 at 5:19 pm
Thanks so much! :) I will!
LinnaNicole said...
Aug. 14, 2010 at 9:39 pm
This was a nice story. I wish the ending and relationship with Michael and Rylee wasn’t rushed. I think this could have made a good multiple part story. Either way, the message at the end was good. Very inspiring indeed. Please keep writing. :D
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