Chapter Thirty-One (Part Two)

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Chapter Thirty-One (Part Two)

Caden

***

As I closed the door to Pops' truck, I let out an audible sigh.

Peeling off the teal scrubs, I balled them up and threw them on the floor of the passenger's side.

"Hadley, why? Why did you have to do that to me?" I raged as I fished around under the seat for the keys. As my fingers brushed against the cool metal of the key ring, I felt something unusual.

Frowning, I carefully pulled out the keys and the unknown object.

Gasping, I almost dropped both items in my lap.

In my hand, stood a relic from the past. Something I hadn't laid eyes on in over a decade.

Bringing it closer, I squinted at the image of my family. My mother had a warm smile and her arms were wrapped around me, pulling me into her floor length skirt. My father stared lovingly at my brother, whose hand he held in the picture.

Unexpected tears welled up in my eyes.

I set the picture down on the passenger's seat and wiped my eyes with the back of my arm.

My heart ached as I turned the key in the ignition. I missed her so much. Before her passing, our family had been perfect. But after she died... Things were never the same again. To make things worse, my brother had unexpectedly died a short time later. Pops never smiled, like he did in the photo, ever again.

I turned right at the end of the road. Heading back to my house, I inhaled and exhaled slowly. I refused to succumb to the pain again.

Parking my car on the street in my regular spot felt strange. I hadn't been there in months, but it felt familiar.

Getting out of the truck, I glanced back at the picture. I picked it up and secured it in the sun visor. I kissed my pointer and middle finger and touched the photo before getting out of the car.

"Okay, time to clean up and get out the hell out of dodge," I said as I walked toward the front door.

***

I had packed my clothes, the cash I stored in the freezer, and a few other staples from the kitchen, bathroom, and living room.  

I didn't want to go into the room. The room which held her mementos. Maybe I should just torch this place? I thought to myself. I shook my head. As much as I wanted to watch this place burn to the studs, it would bring too much attention. I didn't need any police attention right now. Just get her stuff, put it in a bag, and you can get rid of it later.

I shoved picture frames, her sweatshirt, and even a lock of her hair into a plastic bag, scowling the entire time. Hadley, that bitch! Why did she have to be with Pops? Why wouldn't she tell him that she was in love with me instead? Then, she let the hospital murder the baby! I could have been a big brother. We could have been a happy family, but NOOOOOOOO! She had to ruin everything!

I tied the bag shut.

Well never again, Hadley. You don't deserve any more of my time or love.       

***

With the bed of the truck packed full and Hadley's belongings hidden in the middle, I pulled back on to the road and headed out of town.

The thought of starting over sent goose bumps shooting down my arms. I'm free. I can go wherever and do whomever I want!

Licking my lips, I grinned. I'M FREE!

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