Chapter Two Lingering Questions

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Chapter Two

 Lingering Question

 “Mom I’m home,” I yell. I run to the back door and put Maislee in the back yard.

“Okay hon.” She says and she comes around the corner out of the living room with her glasses on and a glass of ice water in her hands. “What took you so long?” She questions and she looks down her nose at me a bit suspiciously. 

 “I got to daydreaming,” I say in my most apologetic voice although guilt is nagging me. I hope my guilt isn’t showing. I mean it is true. I’m late because I was daydreaming. My conversation with Conner was hardly a few minutes. Yet I know I’m not telling her the whole truth. But I want to be sure I’m right about Conner before accusing her of lying to me for my entire life.

 “I’m gonna go jump in the shower,” I say hoping she’ll let me. 

 “Aren’t you hungry?” She asks but I know what she’s really saying is ‘will you please sit down and eat with me and tell me what’s going on.’ 

“I’m not hungry. I really need a shower ‘cause I’m all sweaty Mom.” I say. I know I’ve just hurt her feelings by her look and my guilt grows but I need some time alone.

My mom sighs. “Fine Gabby.” She waves me off as she turns toward the kitchen. “Go shower. You can re-heat dinner when you get hungry.”

“Thanks Mom.” I walk up and stop, giving her a kiss on the cheek. “I love you,” I say as I hold her shoulders. She gives me a small smile and I take that as a good sign so I dash up stairs to the shower. 

I stop in my bedroom on my way to the bathroom and grab a clean set of clothes but something grabs my eye before I leave my room again. I see our family picture on my desk and I stop and pick it up. We took this on vacation last summer. Seeing my mom and dad’s smiling face right next to mine makes me wonder about Conner. Why isn’t he here with us? Where was he last summer while I was on vacation? Where has he been for the past six-teen years? I set the picture back down and head to the shower with unanswerable questions floating around in my brain.

When I finally come back down stairs after showering I can hear my parents talking in my dad’s office. He’s a lawyer so he brings work home a lot. He must have gotten home while I was upstairs. I wonder if my parents are talking about me.

I ignore their voices and walk past the closed office door straight to the fridge. I pull it open and look around. I can see the spaghetti my mom made tonight but I feel like chicken so I grab some frozen chicken and throw it in the oven.  

While my chicken cooks I turn on the home computer and click on the picture folder. Neat little folders with dates pop up and scroll down until I come to the one with the year 1996 on it. A few years back my mom scanned all our old pictures because she’s into digital now. I’m grateful for once that I don’t have to go dig through old photo boxes, although I thought it was a bit of an eccentric project at the time. I open the folder and click the view slideshow button. I watch as I see my parents holding a newborn me in their arms. They both have giant smiles on their faces but I note there are no pictures of the three of us in the hospital together. Just pictures from here at home. Hmmmm…that’s unusual. 

The timer on my chicken goes off and I shut off the pictures. I hop up and grab a plate. I pull out a bag of ready-made salad and throw some on my plate. I grab some salad dressing and pray for my food but my prayer goes from ‘dear Lord please bless this food’ to ‘and please help Conner. And give me wisdom with how to talk with my parents about it and please show us what to do.’ And so on and so forth in one messy run on sentence that surely only God could understand. 

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