Chapter 22.

Family such a familiar yet distant memory, soon I would have a new addition to my family and I have no plan. I looked at Johnny as he giggled with Aude in the front of the car, and I closed my eyes for a brief but beautiful moment. The darkness and the joy mixed in a way that clouded all the negative thoughts that had become ever present in my mind, I wonder if this is how Johnny feels. My eyes peeled open and reality once again greeted me, I took a deep breath. I feel like a lost case, I cannot truly describe the pain in my heart and the uncertainty that cloaks every aspect of my existence. However, I have to stop finding myself a victim of my own mind. Silence haunts me. I feel as though I can never be alone again, even sitting in the back seat of the car has found me falling back down the dark hole I spend so much of my time in. Then Johnny turned and smiled at me and I forced a smile onto my sullen face, the joy had not yet reached my eyes but he was never intrusive. A look of understanding flashed across his face and he reached a hand back towards me as I seen Aude's eyes glance into the rear view mirror. By the time her worried eyes caught mine in the reflection Johnny had reached me and I emerged from my trance. I held Johnny's hand for just a moment too long as he pulled gently away from the overly intense moment. It is easy for me to forget that Johnny has demons within his heart too, and that this is a massive change for him too.

The journey to the party seemed to last forever as faintly familiar country music fell from the speakers onto my ears, and my foot deceivingly tapped along to the beat. Aude hummed and Johnny strummed his fingers along the windows edge as the bumpy roads tested the car the entire time. The desire to ask Were we there yet was strong, but my need to appear more adult trumped it. Thankfully Johnny felt no such pressure.

"Are we nearly there yet Aude?", he mustered as Aude turned down the radio.

"Say again sweetie, my ears have taken a beating for the years!", she giggled and he eyes never left the road.

"Are we far from the party?", he asked transfixed out the car window at the never changing landscape.

"Oh yes we are indeed! Just a couple more bumps and turns, and before you know it we will be there", she smiled as the bumps in the road gently bopped her up and down in her seat, almost in time to the beat of the music that continued to play.

"Just up here, she that red brick house on the horizon?", she squinted lifting a finger from the steering wheel to point in the general direction of a ridiculously oversized house just head of us.

"Seriously", I sighed to myself louder than intended.

"What?", Johnny scowled looking back at me with a touch of annoyance in his eyes.

"Just another family who have their shit together, more people to look down on us and...", I pouted but was cut off by the car coming to a sudden halt. A deep and true sigh came from the driver's seat as Aude turned to me with a seriousness in her eyes I had never seen until now.

"Kira be thankful, you are alive and well. You are truly in a better position than most. How many teen pregnancy cases get to flee their home town and have the opportunity to get a moment away from everyone they know to get a handle on their lives? Don't forget that Cameron lives on within you for now, you have another life to worry about. Who really cares what anyone out here thinks of you? You do not even know their first names yet!", she turned back to the steering wheel and turned the car back one and continued her driving never once looking back at either me or Johnny.

I was taken back by Aude for a moment, I felt tears burn my eyes and a few spilled over the edge. Johnny never looked back at me but I could see a faint reflection of him in the windscreen and he was deep in thought. We pulled up outside the red brick house and Aude smiled, "Now, let's all try have a good evening. Ok?", she chimed before jumping out of the car and toddling to the boot.

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