Chapter 1- Gift -
I opened my eyes to the sweet symphony of a car engine and the strong smell of pancakes. I looked over to the clock, as it began buzzing insistently at my side. It was 8 am, on a Saturday. Perfect time to be getting up in the warm summer air to pack and go.
It was official. Moving day had come quicker than I had expected. A month ago, I was willing it to come quickly. Now, I had to admit I was a bit wary, moving was something I was not used too, only having moved once before.
It was probably a bit daunting, also, because I wasn't moving with my mother or father. I was moving into my grandmother’s house, she lived in the middle of the town I called home, Feurox. I stared across my room to the dresser, which held my most prized possession. It was a picture, framed in what appeared to be made of wrought iron. I guessed I should take it with me; it was the only thing I was found with, after all. I walked to my leather suite case, lying on the floor near my bedrooms door. I walked back to the picture and I looked into it for a moment before I placed it into the suite case. Suddenly a call rung loudly through the hallway. My mother had told me to meet her in the lounge to say goodbye.
"Coming!" I called back. I raced out the door without looking back, suite case in hand.
My mother was standing over the sink in the kitchen when I made it from my room. Her face was red, and her makeup was streaked down her face unevenly. She'd been crying, but she'd managed to control the tears and had pulled herself together for the last few moments she would see me for in about a month. I was glad she cared.
"Oh, I'm going to miss you." She told me lovingly. My brother appeared at the door to the hallway before she continued. "Both of you."
I had wanted to tell her to cut the sooky ...., but I let her have her moment. I wouldn't see her for a month or so. My brother seemed to have been listening in, and shook his head in agreement. Having a brother could be quite creepy, sometimes, especially at times like this.
"Oh come here, boys," she said, arms stretched out wide to accommodate us both. We both fit snugly into place. "I'm going to miss the both of you, you know. And I’m not going to see you two for a white, but never forget how much you both mean to me."
We let her hug us for a few seconds longer before pushing her away. One hug was enough for the both of us. Our grandmother appeared in the door way, sorting through her large array of house keys before she appeared to have found the right one.
"Well, boys." Our grandmother scolded. "Don't just stand there like a bunch of dead toads, come and help me, I have mail."
Her hands carried bundles of letters, packages and even a wrapped Christmas present from seven months ago, which she struggled to hold as we led her into the lounge room.
"That darn post man kept on sending them to me," she complained to me. "I haven’t seen you for years so I had no idea what to do with the bloody lot of them." She dropped all of the post on the floor, and my mother began to sort through it.
"Oh, look at this Jordan." She said, handing a small box to me. "This is for you." I looked inquisitively at it, and tore the paper off of it. Inside of it was a small china cat, with long black fur and green eyes. My mother then handed me the card that went along with it.
"Oh dear me." My grandmother apologized. "This is from a girl at your old school from when you were in year three, I think. Must’ve gotten mixed up a while ago, ‘cause I only got this a few months back,"
"Year three?" I questioned. Maybe it was her, my old best friend. I remembered that she had long, black hair and the most vivid green eyes I could’ve imagined. My mother came and stood by us, leaning over to look at the cat.
“Doesn’t it remind you of her, Jordan?” she asked me. “You know, Mikayla?”
“Yeah,” I replied. “She had black hair, and I think she had green eyes.” I placed the card on the coffee table and then I ran my hands over the delicate cat. It seemed to be alive, and I swear I could feel it protest underneath my fingers.
“Oh, look mum.” My brother, Jack teased as he took the letter off the coffee table. “It says, hope you remember me!” he laughed. I snatched it back.
“Look mum, Jordan’s trying to hide his secret girlfriend from us!” he chuckled. I lent closer to him and slapped him.
“Boys, for crying out loud.” My mother hissed. “Please stop that.” Then she relaxed a little, shoulders flopping backwards from her annoyed position.
My grandmother shifted the post into the corner and looked my mother straight in the eye. “I only have to put up with those two how long?” She complained, trying to contain laughter.
“A month at least, Patricia, I’m afraid to say, maybe longer if they behave themselves.”
“Oh, I can do that, Louise.” She promised. “Easy, it’ll be. They can do jobs for me and I’ll just lay back and relax.” I knew she was serious about us doing work for her, my grandmother didn’t lie.
“Boys, come on to the car, then.” My grandmother motioned to the door with her wrinkled hand. “Well, don’t stand there like dead toads again, come on.”