I sat in my room looking around at all the boxes that mom helped
me with me. Dad wants us to leave as soon as possible so we all
have time to fit in on the new base before he leaves. I picked up
a box and dropped it off in the empty living room were all the
other boxes are. Mom was sitting on the couch looking at old
pictures. "Mom what are you looking at?" I asked sitting next to
"Old picture from when you were little." She smiled wiping a tear
away. I looked at a picture of TJ and me holding Hunter's hands
when we were about 3 at a petting zoo. "You had the cutest
freckles. You still do." She smiled run her fingers over the
freckles on my cheeks.
"I remember this. It was the day TJ started to hate goats." I
laughed. "The goat bit his hand making him get stitches." I
smiled running my hands on the frame.
"Yeah and that was the day we found out how close you really are.
You screamed your head off till we let you hold his hand." She
"Hey it wasn't my fault. He was sending me those twin signals
saying he wanted me there with him so I went there." I smiled
pulling another picture out of the box from the attic. I started
to laugh. Mom looked over.
"Oh I remember that one. You were about 5 years old and you made
him take you out trick-or-treating around base when we were in
Germany." She smiled at the picture. I had him dress up as the
mad hatter from Alice in wonderland as I was Alice. TJ dressed up
like a soldier in the cutest Marine shirt and pants with the
black lines under his eyes. Mom found Hunter the perfect costume.
It was a pair of small Dress blues. He loved them. The funny
thing was that when we grew out of them, he gave them to TJ. He
looked so cute.
"Oh yeah and when I got too tired to walk he carried me around
the whole base to get candy." I started to laugh. She nodded.
"You had enough candy to last you the rest of the year." She said
taking another picture out of the old box. I pulled out a photo
album from the bottom of the box and cleared the dust off. I
opened the book smiling at all of us kids when we were little.
TJ's first steps, my first steps. Dad's first deployment after we
were born. Logan and TJ's first camp day. Me lying on Dad's chest
sleeping as he watched TV. Another was Mom holding Hunter and
TJ's hands as I had my first soccer game, Hunter's first Football
game. The day Dad took us all to the beach. There were so many
from those beach days; many from the summers for almost 16 years.
Dad playing in the waves with us, or buying us ice cream. Maybe
building us sand castles or teaching the boys to surf. Dad was
always there to have fun. Well when he wasn't deployed or at
work. Mom put a hand on my shoulder. I looked up at her.
"Life was so much easier when we were kids." I sighed flipping
the page to look at more and more pictures of all of us kids.
Then one of the family. Hunter, Logan, Audrey, TJ, me, Sam, and
Aaron. Uncle Jesse, Aunt Kirsty, Uncle Ruben, Aunt Alex, Mom and
Dad. Even Grandpa and Poppy and Grammy, Mom's grandpa and
"But everyone has to grow up. Even me and your Dad. We will
always be with you, no matter where you are." She said kissing m
head. "Life has to go on Baby. Sometimes you just have to wait
and see what happens." She said taking the closed book out of my
hands. Dad walked in from where he was cleaning the garage.
"Hey, how are my two favorite girls?" He smiled kissing my head,
than kissing Mom.
"We are just looking at some old pictures of us. You know the old
days." She smiled. I closed the box and taped it shut. Dad
wrapped his arm around me.
"How about the three of us go get dinner?" He smiled.
"I actually have to go pick up TJ and Logan from practice then we
are meeting Audrey to go out to eat." I said looking at him from
under my eye lashes. He smiled.
"Well then Baby we get our date night." He smiled giving her his
hand to twirl her around like they were dancing.
"Hmmm that sounds nice." She giggled biting her lip.
"That is my cue to leave." I smiled slipping out from under his
arm grabbing my car keys. Dad laughed.
"Love you Baby. Have a good time." He kissed my forehead as I
walked out to hear Mom giggle. I shuddered not wanting to think
of what they are doing. I got in my car and drove to the high
school to pick up the boys. I locked the car as I sat in waits. I
watched in Fear as Owen walked out of the school from the locker
room first. You can tell the TJ did beat the crap out of him from
the look of the dark bruises on his face.
'Please don't look at me. Please don't look this way. Please walk
the other way.' I kept chanting in my head. I swear he heard me
because he looked this way. He narrowed his eyes and smirked. He
started to walk this way.
"Fuck," I whispered. He knocked on my window.
"So, haven't seen you at school lately." He said. I nodded.
"I haven't been there." I shrugged only opening the window half
way. He looked down on me with his dark eyes.
"So when are you coming back over to my house?" He asked leaning
his head on the door.
"I'm not. We are done. I'm never going over your house again." I
said looked ahead of me and not at him.
"What are you talking about Baby? We are still together." He
asked. I shook my head.
"I'm not your Baby any more. I will never be your Baby again.
Leave me along Owen." I said fighting the tears still looking
"You have no idea what you're talking about Ryan. You will never
find anyone how will love you like I do." He growled at me. I
swallowed nervously but didn't show my fear.
"Yes I will." I snapped at him, but still not looking.
"You never will. I am the best thing you will ever have." He
growled again almost snarled at me.
"Do we have a problem here?" TJ snapped folding his arms in front
of him. I looked over for the first time to see Logan standing
next to TJ with the same look.
"No not a thing." Owen said looking me in the eyes. "You will
regret this Ryan. I promise you will regret this day." He said in
a low voice. "You will regret this."