Chapter 1. Departure.
The hardest day of my life was easily the day I said goodbye. Goodbye to everything and everyone that I knew and loved. At the same time I said hello. Hello to the unknown, the unexpected, my
I could never forgive myself for ruining the lives of those who cared about me the most. I remembered the way their salty, hot tears stained my clothes as I hugged them for the last time. My
father, Brett. My boyfriend, Cameron. My brother, Joseph. The three men who meant more to me than anyone else in my life. I had turned my back on them. It had hurt me more than any other pain I had
ever felt to see my father and Cameron crying over me. Only Joseph didn’t cry. His eyes hardened as I hugged him, his body stiff. I knew he was angry and that worried me. Not for my sake . . . I
had always known he would react this way, and I didn’t blame him for that . . . his anger worried me for him. I didn’t know how deep it would cut into him. I didn’t know if I was killing my own
I became very good at lying in the days leading up to my departure. I lied when I was asked why I was leaving. I told the standard cover story of my craving independence. I lied when asked where I
planned on going. I falsely informed my loved ones that I was going to stay with a friend in Los Angeles for a couple of years. I had needed to use somewhere far away, across the globe . . . so
that no-one would ever come looking for me. I told everyone not to write to me or try to call – that I wouldn’t reply or answer. Though I had heard the harsh edge to my words and seen the
desolation their eyes, I knew I couldn’t tell the truth. I couldn’t tell them about my mother being alive after all this time without having to tell them about the letter she left me when she ran
away. I was breaking their hearts by leaving, but I would be killing them if I stayed. Literally.
After waving my father, my brother and my boyfriend goodbye from the window of my taxi, I had consulted my map. I clutched the money I’d stashed away for years in my fist and located Melbourne. I
had taken out the letter from my mother, explaining her disappearance and begging for my secrecy.
My dearest Ruby,
Firstly, I am sorry. I can only pray that one day you will understand what I am about to tell you and forgive me. Until then, all I can do is try to explain.
Ruby, I am not human as you, your father and your brother are. I am a witch. Perhaps like the kind in those fairytales I used to read to you and Joseph when you were only children. I am
completely different, in lifestyle habits and . . . other ways . . . from you.
I don’t know if this will affect you in any way. Until we find out, I am so sorry. I have to leave and join others of my kind – the further away from you, your father and Joseph I am, the
better. It is for your own safety. In this envelope I have included a large portion of money. Please keep this letter a secret – you are never to tell anyone what I have just confided in you. When
and if the time comes, take the money. You will find me in Melbourne. I have also included a map. On the map I have marked my exact whereabouts. I do not know if you are destined to the same fate
as it appears I am, but just in case, I will be waiting.
I love you, please don’t ever forget that.
The letter had gone on to plead that I look after Joseph as though I was his own mother, and to make sure he knew that no matter what she had done and how things seemed, she loved him.
I had indeed inherited the same fate as my mother, Lyn. Thus, the reason I left and the reason I was sitting in that very taxi studying a map and gripping a wad of dollar notes.
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