Packing my last bag, I took one last look at the room I grew up in. The room was completely empty except for a few pieces of furniture. Not only was I moving, my entire family was moving. Only I was moving away from them to a boarding school for my last two years of high school. The last thing to pack was a picture standing on a small table that was originally next to my bed. I reached over and slowly picked it up. The frame itself was cracked and the glass covering the picture was scratched. Underneath all the wear and tear there were two smiling faces in the photo. A man holding a girl with long brown hair and blue eyes. Her two front teeth were missing and she looked no older than seven. You looked at the picture for some time before hugging it to your chest and slipping it carefully into your bag. It was the last picture taken of your dad before he died.
The memory was always in the back of your mind, haunting you. The day you recieved a phone call that he had been killed on a mission as a soldier. Your mother crying, pregnant with your little sister. You trying to seem strong and taking on the world. You had just turned eight and it seemed like it was only yesterday, even now. Now your mom remarried and your step dad is determined to get rid of you. You never liked him in the first place. You had gone for so long without your father that you couldn't imagine anyone having the nerve to jump in and so much as attempt to replace him. But he wasn't that way. He didn't want to replace your dad, he just wanted your mom to himself. So he paid to have you shipped off until College, and as soon as you turn eighteen, He will kick you out of his house completely. Your sister is only nine and your mother wouldn't let him send her to boarding school too and you were happy your mom stood up like that.
You grab the bag and sling it over your shoulder and leave your room without a second glance. You feel your eyes begin to sting with tears, but you blink it away as fast as it came. You descended down the winding staircase for the last time, spending an extra moment to let your fingers linger on the worn out railing before stepping off and walking down the creaky hallway toward the front door. Every room is empty exept for the occasional chair or table. Your mom, sister, and step dad were moving to Southern California while you were moving to Minnesota. You were almost sad to leave Utah, but then you remembered that it was Utah and weren't quite so sad anymore. You'd lived here your entire life. You were used to warm summers and bitter winters. And now you were moving halfway across the country. You ran your fingers along the walls and paused for a moment on the spot where your family portrait of you, your mother, father, and sister had been before your mom's new husband demanded we take it down. You took a deep breath and continued to the door. Once there you turned and looked at the inside of your house one last time before whispering thanks to it and leaving through the front door. You dropped your last bag into your car and turned to see your sister sitting on the grass, playing with a toy.
"Tiffany!" You heard your sisters name. A scruffy man who was easily in his mid-forties was shouting out the window of a car parked along the street in front of your house.
Tiffany looked up and shouted back, "Coming! Just let me say bye to Kassy!" She turned to you and ran up to you with a grin on her face. Her front teeth had almost completely grown in. She stopped in front of you, "Kassy, I really wish you didn't have to go!"
You kneeled down to her level and ruffled her blond hair. She looked just like her mother. Blond hair and green eyes. "Oh Tiff, You know I can't stay here forever! I have to go grow up on my own now! But you have to do me a big favor."
She just grinned childishly at you, "What?"
"You need to look after mommy," You gave her a kiddish smile, even though it broke your heart you had to leave your sister.
She kept the grin and nodded enthusiastically at you, "I will! Don't you worry!"
You couldn't help but laugh, "Good! And I want you to call me all the time and tell me how you and mommy are doing in California! I wanna hear all about those cute boys too!"
Tiffany laughed and offered her pinky, "Pinky swear I will!"
You took her pinky in yours and shook. You then noticed the sad expression on her face, "I'm really going to miss you," She nearly whispered.
You felt a tug at your heart and reached out and pulled her into a hug, "I will miss you too, Tiff. I love you so much and I hope you know that I will be back soon enough to see you."
When you released her, she grabbed her toy and ran off to the car shouting, "I love you too, Kassy! I'll miss you!" And you smiled and waved before noticing another person leaning up against your car. You turned to see your mom. She had long blond hair and deep green eyes. She was taller than you, but not by much. She had a wistful look on her face.
You nodded to her.
She sighed and started to walk over to you, "Kassidy, You can't stay angry at me forever."
You turned back to your car, proceeding to close the trunk. "Yes I can."
Your mother followed you, "I love Greg. I had to marry him."
Your mouth formed a line and you didn't look at her, "Appparently Dad just wasn't important enough to you if you would openly replace him with some guy like Greg." You emphasized his name with disgust.
As you reached to open your car door, you mom blocked your way, "I loved your father a lot, Kassidy, but I love myself a lot too and I felt it was time for me to take myself out of my doldrums and fall in love again."
You rolled your eyes and tried to push past her, "Yeah but you fell in love with a guy who wanted to ship your nine year old daughter to boarding school in Minnesota to fend for herself. He succeeded at it for me, why not Tiffany too?He is forcing us to move out of the home I was born in and moving you to California for God's sake! He has a lousy job and all he ever does is eat! You may think that you love him, but you don't. You just want another man in your life so you have something to dream about. I'm sorry mom, but he can never replace my dad and nor will I ever give him the chance to because of what he has done to this family." With that said, you managed to push past your mom and get in your car. "Good bye, Mom. I'll see you again Thanksgiving." You turned and drove out of the driveway for the last time and drove away, leaving your mom staring after you.