Matthew immediately looked at Helen and asked, "Why didn't you tell me Grace was my sister?!" I wanted to know the same answer, so I waited for her explanation.
"Son, you have to understand that I didn't know Hannah had another kid until you were three. And then, you came home from school so excited. You came up to me, all smiles, telling about a girl you met and she was your best friend...when you told me her name, I couldn't tell you."
Matt threw up his arms and yelled, "Mom! I would've been more excited to know that I had a sister!"
She sighed and simply said, "I'm sorry, Matthew." His face was blank, and he kept blinking his eyes.
Finally, I broke the silence and said, "Matty, don't be mad at Helen. She was just looking out for us...but it's a good thing we found out now."
"Yeah...really." Matt muttered.
Around 1pm, I stood up to leave the clinic. Helen stepped out to let us say goodbye, in private. I walked over to his bed and smiled at him. "Are things going to be awkward around us, now?"
At first, he didn't smile. I knew he was still mad at his mom but he took my hand and said, "No, Gracie...things will be the same...I guess."
I raised my eyebrow and asked, "You guess?" He dropped my hand and looked down at his bed. "Yeah," he replied, "Gracie, I started falling for you."
My mouth dropped open. "You...you...what?"
Matt chuckled. "It's ok...I'll quickly get over you, now. But, yeah, all your visits and stuff...made me start having a crush on you."
"Wow...that's sweet, Matt." I started laughing.
He shoved my arm and playfully said, "Shut up. Seriously, though, we need to promise each other that we'll stay the same...no matter what."
I grinned and held up my pinky. "Let's pinky swear then, babe."
He rolled his eyes at the term 'babe', but held out his pinky. "I pinky swear."
Pulling into my driveway, I kept smiling at the face that I had found my brother. When I walked into the house, however, my smile vanished.
Sitting on the couch, beside my mom, was Justin. He was just about to take a swig of tea when he noticed me and smiled.
My mom turned around, to see what Justin was smiling about, and noticed the look of shock plastered on my face.
"Gracie. You should come sit down and speak with us."
I didn't take my eyes off of Justin, but replied, "Um...yeah...I'll be there in a sec, mom. Let me put my stuff down."
She nodded and continued her conversation with Justin. He broke our stare and focused on my mom.
I casually walked to the stairs, but then ran up them and into my room. "What the hell are you doing here?" I asked aloud.
Throwing my purse on my bed, I started pacing my bedroom floor. "How did you find out where I live?" I'm pretty sure it wasn't normal to talk to yourself, but I couldn't help myself in this situation.
"Gracie! Are you coming down?" My mom hollered.
I stopped pacing. I had no choice but to face him, so I yelled, "Yeah. I'm coming!"
When I stepped into the living, I sat across from Justin and my mom. But, my grandma didn't approve of my seating. "Dear, why don't you sit next to your boyfriend?"
To prevent an argument, I stood up and moved beside Justin and mumbled, "He's not my boyfriend."
Justin put his arm around my waist and said, "I've miss you, Gracie. You haven't talk to me in awhile."
I watched my mom and grandma smiled at how sweet Justin was acting. I replied, "Sorry. I've been busy, Justin."
He nodded and said, "I was just telling your mother about Matthew's condition. Wasn't I, Hannah?"
My mom sat her coffee mug down on the table and nodded. "Why didn't you tell us about Matt, Gracie?"
My world just shattered. I whipped my head to Justin and saw the playful smirk on his face. I jumped up and yelled, "How could you?"
"How could I what, Babe? Tell a secret?" Justin's sarcastic tone made my blood boil. I slapped him across face and ran back upstairs.
I heard my mom holler my name, but I slammed my door shut. I sat in front of it, with tears sliding down my cheeks. Justin broke not only the promise between us, but my promise to Matthew.
There was a soft knock on my door. "Go away!" I yelled. There was silence on the other end, then my door was forced open by Justin.
I stood up and backed up against my bed. "That was a pretty bold move, Grace." He said while walking into my room. His right cheek was quickly turning pink, from my slap.
"Why did you tell them!? It was not your place to tell my family about Matt!" I started kicking and screaming at Justin but he grabbed my wrists and slammed me onto the bed, pinning my arms and legs.
He shook his head and replied, "There's no need for this, Grace. I just came to meet the family...they told me you were always gone and I felt the need to tell them why."
"You son of a bitch!" I tried getting my hands loose, but Justin's was stronger than me and it wasn't a fair fight.
Justin starting shushing me and replied, "Gracie, if you stopped fighting me, I will let you go. Ok?"
My arms and legs ached and I finally relaxed them. "Thata girl," he continued, "Now, let's go back downstairs and have a nice chat with your family."
He let go of my arms and I pushed him away. My wrists were red from his grip, but other than that, I was fine. He gave me a pouty face and mockingly said, "It'll be ok, sweetie. C'mon, let's go downstairs."
Justin put his arm around my shoulders and escorted me downstairs. My mom raised up from the couch and softly asked, "Is everything alright?"
"Oh yeah," Justin responded, "we worked things out. Didn't we, babe?"
Justin's grip around my shoulders tightened and I slowly nodded my head. "Everything's fine, Mom. I apologized for hitting Justin and he forgave me."
She sighed and sat back down. "Good. Now, tell me about Matthew."
My mom sat her mug down on the table and shook her head. "I can't believe Matt has lung cancer...that's so tragic."
Justin sat so close to me that there was no space between us. I replied, "Yeah. It was heartbreaking when I found out...but there's something else you should no, mom."
She looked at me, confused, and asked, "What is it, Grace?"
"Matt is your son, Mom. Helen adopted your son and told me today that I was his sister."
My grandma had barely been listening to our conversation...until now. She quickly raised up and looked at my mom. "Hannah, what son?"
My mom was silent. She hung her head down and wouldn't make eye contact with anyone. "Hannah?! What in God's name is Grace talking about?"
She finally glared at my grandma and stated, "I had a child before Grace...when I was seventeen. I gave it up for adoption to avoid your anger."
My grandma didn't respond in any way, She just stood up and walked upstairs. We heard her door shut and then the soft click of it locking.
"I hope you're happy, Grace." My mom whispered. She walked into the kitchen, sat her mug down, and walked upstairs to her room.
I tried to move away from Justin, but he tugged me back to him. "Wow...who knew that the dying kid would be your brother?"
"Don't call him that!" I demanded.
Justin wrapped his arm around my legs and pulled me up onto his lap. "Why? Is that not what's happening to him, babe? I mean, how long can you last when your lungs are shutting down on you?"
Tears started falling down my cheeks and I softly said, "Get out. Go home, Justin."
He wiped away my tears and responded, "I will." Before sitting back on the couch, he placed his hand on my stomach and asked, "When do you go to find out what it is?"
"Tomorrow," I whispered.
Justin nodded and said, "I'll pick you up, ok? We need to go together."
I sat on the couch and waited for Justin to leave. When I knew he was gone, I got up and pulled out my cellphone. I dialed the number I never thought I would call.
"G! Where in the world have you been?!" Roxy's voice sounded foreign to me, because I hadn't been to school in days.
I tried to sound cheerful when I replied, "Hey, Roxy...um...is there any way you can pick me up right now? I really need someone to talk to."
Roxy had concern in her voice when she said, "I'm on my way, Grace."
Walking upstairs, I didn't tell my mom where I was going or what I was doing. I just grabbed my purse and walked out the front door.
About fifteen minutes after, I saw a black jeep whip into my driveway with crazy Roxy behind the wheel. I climbed into the passenger seat and shut the door.
"What's wrong, Grace?" She asked.
I shook my head and said, "I'll tell you later...just take me anywhere but here, please."
Roxy nodded and put the jeep in reverse.
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