Chapter 3

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Checking our bags in and getting through TSA went by quickly. This was my first time ever at the airport and let alone flying, so I was naturally nervous. I'd made it a point to wear my headphones while we walked around the airport to drown out any noise and also ease my nervousness. I'd been able to text a few of my friends letting them know what was going on and explaining everything. Many of them were said that I was leaving, others thought it sounded fun to start life over.

I didn't know the second part how that made me feel.

It's like I blink and suddenly we are already on the plane. We haven't taken off yet, but Jen had made it a point to grab a few snacks for me and some water. I wasn't sure if she knew I hadn't flown before, but I certainly wasn't going to tell her. From the corner of my eye, I see her mumbling something, I have to move my headphones away from my hears.

"Sorry?" I ask.

"I was just asking if you were okay." Her eyes are gentle, their a light blue and comforting.

"Oh, yeah – I've honestly never been on a plane before. I'm a little queasy about it actually," I say with a nervous laugh.

Her hands reaches out to touch the top of my knee and she gives it a squeeze, "You'll be fine. It's only about a three and a half hour flight so we won't even be in the air that long. It'll go by quick! Before you know it, we would land!"

I only nod as I turn to look out the window, we were still on the ground and I watched as the employees walked around the airport, probably ensuring everything was safe to fly. It's not until we are in the air, my hands gripping the seats from the gforce, my stomach flopping and turning that I actually take in a deep breath and relax. Jen encourages me to drink water and surprisingly it helps settle my stomach.

We sit in silence for a while, but I hate silence, so I turn to her, "Mrs. Garrison –"

"Jen," she corrects with a smile.

"Jen," I say with a small nod, "How do you know my family?"

"Oh!" She says happily, "Me and your father are friends . . . we actually – we're actually high school sweet hearts. We dated freshmen year up until he graduated. He decided to join the military and I wanted to go to college so we thought it would be beset if we just went our separate ways. I believe around then he married your mother and then you were born. He was stationed in Georgia for duty assignment and we reconnected when he and your mother divorced. He met my husband and my kids, and we just were friendly."

She shrugs at the end, but she's still smiling.

I'd never heard of a Mrs. Garrison before and I can only wonder why it was my dad didn't say anything.

"So what about your family?"

"My family" Jen laughs, "We are quiet the handful. My husband his name is Jeremy, we met during college and got married shortly afterwards. I have . . . I have nine boys."

I stare at her, "You have nine sons?"

"Yeah," She says with a nervous laugh, "It's always a bit shocking, but I have nine beautiful boys. I stay at home to take care of the kids and that's about it." She shrugs again and I nod, taking in all the information.

I assume she sees me calculating how having a tenth person would only make her life more difficult. My mother use to always complain about having one, I could only imagine having nine and then suddenly having to foster a child as well.

As if she can read my mind she says, "Honey, look. I know there's a lot going on and I am so sorry for your loss. But things are goign to be okay. Keep the bad memories on the other side of the bridge, and walk directly towards the good memories. That's what's going to help you right now."

I hadn't realized I was crying until a tear ran down my cheek and I quickly reached to wipe it away. I didn't know how to focus on the good, my grandmother was gone, my mother was gone, my father was putting his life at risk, I was moving across the country to live with a woman I barley knew.

"Youre right," I lie, "Everything's fine." 

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