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Rebellion of 2018 (chapter 2: My New Home)
“So can they stay?” Cody asks his mom as we all sit in the kitchen, all except Bobby. He is in the garden playing with Cody’s cat, Delilah. I peer up at the window and stare at my little brother. “Please mom, their-”
“My aunt just left to the north to help her ill friend and . . . my mom just killed herself.” I say in barely a whisper. I close my eyes and take a deep breath, trying my hardest to stay calm. Cody stares at me with eyes that are filled with sympathy. “It’s fine though if you can’t take us in. I will find another place and get another job.”
“No, no, it’s fine. Your mom and I were friends and your dad and my husband were best man at each others’ weddings, and partners in the rebellion. I would be honored to take the two of you in. Including with you and Cody together we will have much more than we did before.” She reaches across the table and gives my right hand a tight, comforting squeeze. I give her a weak smile before I turn and give Cody a hug.
“I’m going to go tell my brother.” I tell them as I stand up and leave the room. I find him standing in front of a rose bush with Delilah beside him. “Bobby, they said we can stay here. Isn’t that great! Now you can have an older brother and someone to stay home with while I’m out gathering and trading with Cody. You even get a cat.”
“Roses were mom’s favorite flower.” He says in reply as he stares at the red roses. I gaze at him for a long moment and then at the ground. He sniffles a little and I can tell he is probably crying. I walk closer to him and hold him. I grab his shoulders and turn him around so he is facing me.
“Listen, Bobby, you have to get over this. Mom left us, she left by chose. It’s nothing like dad, dad was taken, but mom left us. She was too weak to stay with us, but the cancer would have taken her anyways.” His eyes are still red and a few tears are still streaming down his face. “We have to move on and live in our new home. We will be safe as long as we are together, I will never leave you.”
“D-do you promise?” He sniffs again and whips the tears away with the back of his sleeve. He is smiling at me a little but is still shaking in my arms.
“Yes, I promise.” I stick out my pinky and he gladly sticks his out. We twist them together to make a pinky promise. “I will be with you now and forever.” Tears are threatening to spill over and I have to take at least five deep breaths before I can finally talk again.
“Let’s go home and grab our things. Then we can see about selling the house.” I grab Bobby’s hand and we walk the short block back to our house in silence. As we enter the house I find that my aunt has already packed and left. “Go grab some of the bags and boxes from the storage closet.”
When he comes back he is holding four bags and dragging six boxes. We begin packing everything in the house. Starting with whatever we needed and ending with the left over crap. We pack our clothes in a bag, some food, soap, brushes- tooth brushes and hair brushes- combs, pots and pans, a few photos and utensils. Cody comes about an hour after and helps carry the bags and boxes to his house. We leave a few boxes that are filled with my mom’s stuff and left over junk. Once we have all the bags and boxes in his house he goes to show us to our rooms.
“Your room is the first to the left, right next to mine. Bobby, your room is across from Kat’s.” Cody says as we walk down the hall of the second floor. I can’t help but blush a little when he says that our rooms will be right next to each others’. “The bathroom is next to Bobby’s room and the door across from that is just a closet. The house is kind of small but we make due.”
“It’s the same size as our house, but a bit bigger.” I say as we enter my room. I throw my bag on the bed and place the boxes in the far left corner. I sit on the edge of my bed as Cody takes Bobby’s stuff to his room. I smile as I look around the room. It is about 12 feet wide, 12 feet long, and seven feet high. There is a twin size bed under a small window, a dresser against the left wall, a foot locker at the end of the bed, a desk right next to the bed, and two doors. One that leads to the hall and the other leads to a small closet.
I open the closet and stuff my boxes in it. I place my books, notebooks, and pictures on the desk and just stare at them. The walls have cracks in them and the pale peach paint is chipping, but I am just happy to have a room that I can stay in. The room is also a bit stuffy so I went over to the window. I try to pull it open but it won’t budge. Cody must have seen me struggling because he strolls into the room and quickly opens it. He made it seem as if the window was already half opened.
“Thanks,” I say with a half smile. I look a little embarrassed because I just made myself seem weak in front of him.
“No problem, the windows are always tricky.” He gives me a wide grin that makes my heart skip a beat. “Your brother is all settled in and is even taking a little cat nap. Delilah is with him so he’s not exactly alone.” I smile at him as a silent thank you for everything he is doing. I know I will have to owe him for this big time and I really didn’t like owing people anything because then they can hold it against you. Cody finishes telling me that his mom will make dinner at about five and it was only four. We will have to find something to keep us busy. Usually Bobby and I would be sitting with our mother beside her bed as she slept or as I read to her.
“We could either take a nap as well or we could both go down to the lake and try fishing.” Cody suggests. He can tell something is on my mind, but he never likes pushing me to tell him things that I don’t volunteer to talk about it first. The only exception is when it is something that is really hurting me, like this afternoon, with my mother. “Unless you have something else you would rather do.”
“Would you mind if I read to you. I always like to practice reading out loud and I usually do it at home at about this time. It’s just a short passage from a book about a girl who has to lie to everyone in order to save them all.” I tell him with a shy grin. Luckily he thinks it is a great idea and brings me to the living room to read to him. He has me sit on a lazy chair as he sits on the couch, snuggled up with a pillow. I can’t help but to laugh at the way he looks.
“You may begin.”
I open the book to the first page and begin to read it. The book slowly untwines as I read. The girl is named Anne and she is a poor girl. The setting is in the year 2009. Anne finds herself having to lie to her best friend, family and even herself in order to keep anyone from knowing the truth. The truth was that there was a group of people who were planning on destroying everyone, but Anne tricked one guy into falling in love with her. Once he was in love she managed to get him to let her inside all the plans and secrets and she quickly destroyed the group from the inside. It was a very thrilling book with drama and action and I really think that Cody was enjoying me reading it. I stop about 1/3rd from the ending.
“That was great.” Cody says with a grin as he gets up from the couch. I have somehow finished most of the book within the small hour we had. The moment I put down the book Ms. Priling calls us for dinner. We get up and make our way to the kitchen. Ms. Priling has cooked one of the rabbits that we caught this morning and cooked a handful of herbs, roots, and set out a bunch or fruits. I grab a leg and some strawberries. Cody grabs the same and Ms. Priling gives Bobby a few roots and herbs, and a little of the rabbit.
“Thank you, Ms. Priling, for everything. I’m sorry for burdening you like this.” I say with a frown as I look at the ground. “If there is anything at all that I can do for you or Cody, please don’t hesitate to ask me.” Bobby looks up at me and gives me a big smile.
“You’re a good person.” he says as he takes a bite of his rabbit. I smile at him and give him a quick kiss on his forehead. I turn to my food and start eating it in silence. The whole time that we eat Cody kept staring at me. I catch his gaze a few times and we just stare at each other for a second before he looks down at his food.
After dinner I go straight to the bathroom to take a shower and get dressed for bed. When I step into the bathroom I look around at the room. It is small, with a sink, counter, tub, toilet, and a full body mirror on the back of the door. I had planned on taking a normal shower but am now stuck with having to take a bath. I turn on the water and wait for the tub to fill. As I wait I begin to think of the last time I had taken a bath.
“You need to go take a shower.” My dad was saying. He gave me a stern look as I entered the kitchen. I was 9 and I had just come in from playing in the mud with Cody. I was filthy and so tired that it was hard for me to stand.
“I don’t want to take a shower. I’m so tired.” I complained. My dad gave me a gentle smile; he always had a soft spot for me. He slowly got up and dragged me to the bathroom. When we got there he filled the tub with water.
“If you don’t want to stand then you can take a bath.” He said in a kind voice. I smiled and gave him a hug. When he left I got in the tub and felt as if I were a kid again. As I finished my bath I couldn’t help but smile as I thought of how nice my dad was being, my mom would have made me take the shower no matter what. Right before I went to bed I ran over to my dad in the living room and gave him a tight hug.
The image of my father in my arms fades as I finish my bath. I get out of the tub and quickly dry myself off and put on a guest robe that hung on a nail behind the door. I leave the bathroom a few minutes later and smack right into Cody. I start to fall backwards but he quickly grabs my shoulder and helps me keep my balance.
“Sorry, guess I should really pay attention.” He says as he waves his book in the air. “Mom always told me I should stop reading while walking, guess I will never learn.” He flashes me a brilliant smile that literally makes my heart skip a beat. I glance down at the book and realize it is the same book I was reading before dinner. I can’t help but blush.
“N-no I should be more careful.” I stutter. “I’m happy that you like that book though.” I grin at him but can tell I am still blushing.
“Oh, yea, it’s really interesting. Maybe you could finish it tomorrow. Or maybe even start a new book.” I smile and nod my head before I cross the hall to my room. When I enter my room I let out a long sigh and sit on my bed. I can’t stop smiling and thinking about Cody smiling at me as I stare at the wall. After a moment I slowly stand up to get dressed.
* * *
I have just started to doze off when I hear a light knock on my door. I ignore it at first, thinking to myself that if it is Bobby then my mom will take care of him. Then I suddenly remember what has happened that day. I quickly get out of my bed and practically run to the door. When I open the door I find Bobby standing right in front of me.
“Can I sleep in your bed?” He asks with tears streaming down his cheeks. “I had a nightmare about mommy.” I open my arms for him and he gives me a tight hug. He holds me so tight that it feels like he is never going to let me go, and it seems like he won’t. I literally have to carry him to the bed.
“You know you can sleep with me whenever.” I give him a kiss on the forehead before I leave the room to get him a glass of warm milk. As I pour some milk in a small pot and place it over the stove to warm it a little I hear someone cough behind me. I jump up about a foot in there air and I’m about to scream when I feel a hand cover my mouth. I stay completely still and silent as I listen to the stranger breathe.
“Be quiet.” A person whispers in my ear. I know the voice the second I hear it. “I didn’t mean to scare you.”
“It’s fine, just don’t do it again.” I turn and smile at Cody. “Sorry if I woke you. Bobby had a nightmare and I wanted him to have a warm glass of milk.” I explain as I grab the pot and pour it into a glass. As I place the pot in the sink it manages to make contact with my forearm. I bite my lip to keep in my scream as I feel the hot metal burn my skin. I bite my lip so hard I start to taste blood. My hand balls up into a fist and my other hand grips my wrist, just above the burn.
“Crap crap crap.” I mutter to myself as I stick my arm in the sink and turn on the cold water. I am still biting my lip and shaking a little as I hold in my tears.
“Let me see it.” Cody says as he takes my arm. He studies the burn and then suddenly drops it at my side and goes to his pantry. “This should help soothe it.” He comes back with a jar of honey in his hand. I look at him, a bit confused, but let him continue. He slowly takes my arm and delicately begins to rub some honey on the burn. Immediately the burn stats to hurt less and I begin to relax. The room is silent as I stare at Cody. He continues to rub the honey, even when there is enough on my arm.
“That feels really good.” I say with a smile. I can tell my face must be beyond red. “I-I mean the honey. It’s making the burn hurt less.”
“It’s an old trick that my dad had taught me.” He says with a half smile. I can’t help but look sympathetic for him. His father and my father had been friends and partners during the war against the government. As he finishes with the honey he brings my am close to his lips and lightly blows on it. I am not breathing at this moment and I am completely frozen in shock and happiness.
“Thank you so much Cody, for everything today.” I say as I grab the glass of milk for Bobby and begin to leave the kitchen. Before I am out of the room Cody grabs my hand to stop me. I turn around and look at him in confusion.
“You should cover that with this.” He places gauze on the table and slowly walks past me and back to his room. I grab the gauze and slowly wrap it around my arm.