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 her.
“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 smiled.
“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 grandma.
“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 ahead.
“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.”
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