Chapter Three.

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The next day I wake up with a smile on my face and anticipation filling me, making my blood seem to hum in my veins. I've never been more excited for something. I know mom and dad are worried, but I know I can handle it. I try to remember that mom has her reasons for her reluctance, but I also have to keep reminding her that I'm not the same as her. Going there is something I need, something that is so deep rooted in my very soul that it would be wrong to keep me away from that world.

Plus, as much as she doesn't want to admit it, she's had to know this day was coming. She said it herself, I've always been bored in my life. The same monotonous days coming and going. I need excitement, a thrill, adventure. I crave it. I need to see how my kind lives, not this fake pretend life that my family has set up for me. If I'm going to become like them one day soon, I want to know what it really means.

I roll out of the bed, scrunching my toes in the carpet before I quickly get ready for the day. I slide on a pair of comfy shorts and wrap myself in my favorite Cubs sweatshirt, ignoring my shoe closet all together and actually skip down to find my family.

"Good morning." I chime as I walk in, even though it's well after midnight. Once I graduated high school I adopted their hours since it was just easier. Also, if I want to eat, I've got to be up when Logan is. He comes up behind me from the kitchen, carrying a plate of French toast for me with extra strawberries on the side.

"Someone is in a good mood." He smiles, passing me the plate.

Pedro and mom are laughing about something, mom's eyes watering as she tries to catch her breath and I catch dad staring at her again. She doesn't usually seem to notice, but he's always been that way. For as long as I can remember.

Logan goes to sit on the loveseat with Octavia, kissing her cheek sweetly as she cuddles to his side.

It was hard, for about the billionth time, watching all of these happy couples.

Mom and Dad, Logan and Octavia...I know their relationships inside and out, and I know I have never had anything even remotely close to what they have. I've barely managed to keep a boyfriend for more than a few months, much less find someone who wants to be with me for literally, forever.

"Morning, sunshine." Dad waves me over to sit at the table with him, mom, and Pedro.

Their plates are already cleaned, hardly any crumbs left behind. I glance slowly to their large white bottles of Synthablood. The fridge is always fully stocked. The one and only time I had a sleep over one of my friends wondered into the kitchen without me noticing and she almost took a sip. It was mortifying. I didn't have people over after that.

Mom catches my stare and I see the uncomfortable look that crosses her face. Again I try to sympathize with how she must be feeling about this. Her only daughter at the age now where I could change everything. I still can't understand why she wouldn't want me to be like her though.

"Excited?" She asks.

I nod. "Like you wouldn't believe." I admit.

"Oh, I can tell." She smiles before taking a sip of her drink. "I don't think we've seen you be so pleasant in months."

I roll my eyes and kick my foot at her under the table playfully. "I know." I frown. "I'm sorry about that."

"I understand." Her voice is so honest it takes me back for a second. "I know you're not a little girl anymore, and I know I don't treat you that way enough, so I'm the one who is sorry."

We both smile, me with dimples, her with glittering eyes. I'm instantly taken back to all of the fun and laughter we've shared. For most of my life, mom was my best friend. I regret letting our differences slide a wedge between us, and I resolve to do better from now on. I know in my heart she only has my best interest in mind.

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