Chapter Fifteen

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My head was spinning as I skimmed through the pages of my chemistry textbook. I groaned, thirty more pages to go. The lines on the notebook blurred together as I scribbled down whatever I felt was important, which seemed like everything. Each definition, equation, and element could be on the exam, and this was my last hurrah. My hand was starting to cramp but I promised myself I would get it done. I had to or else I could kiss my acceptance to social work goodbye, and I didn't want that.

I wasn't about to let the news of my adoption ruin everything, although I couldn't help but get distracted by my thoughts. My pen made a thud as it fell onto the paper. I picked up my phone, the picture that Noah had taken of us flashed on the display. A smile made its way onto my face as I thought about that kiss, my first kiss. If I closed my eyes, I could still feel his lips on mine and hear the words I love you rolling off his tongue.

My phone vibrated in my hand, a message from Cameron popping up on the screen.

Cameron Holden

Come talk?

I sighed. I wasn't ready to message our birth mother and set up a meeting, although I knew that was what he wanted to talk about. I couldn't explain it, but just thinking about it sent panic raging throughout me. Maybe it was the fact that it still felt like a secret, except now we were keeping it from our parents. Or maybe it was because I didn't know what to expect. The people who gave birth to us were nothing more than strangers. We didn't know their intentions, no matter how genuine they sounded.

Cameron Holden

Can't sorry, gotta study. Maybe later.

Guilt washed over me as I pressed send. I didn't want him to feel like I was brushing him off, but I really did have to study. I turned my phone over and tried to bring my attention back to my textbook. A groan slipped through my lips as I glanced over at the clock. It was nearing ten o'clock at night and I still didn't feel like I'd made any progress.

I put my head down on the table, trying to work out where I'd gone wrong. I used to be good at studying, I could study and forget all of my problems, focus on the task at hand.

There was a knock on my door and I turned to see my dad standing in the doorway, already in his pajamas. "Hi honey, we're going to bed. Don't stay up too late, alright?"

"I won't, just going to finish this chapter." I assured him, turning to the next page but instead of leaving he took a seat on my bed.

He sighed, something was on his mind. "How are you doing with everything?"

"Um, okay." I bit my lip. It felt like a lie but how could I say more? I wanted to tell him that we were in contact with our birth parents but I couldn't without Cameron. I wasn't about to go behind his back.

"Okay, I just thought I would check in with you. We haven't talked much lately and I do understand why. Your mom and I are sorry for how it all came out, we really did want to be the ones to tell you and your brother." He got back up, this time making his way over to me. Solemnly, he placed his hands on my shoulders, squeezing them tightly. "I love you Samara."

It was supposed to be easy to tell my father that I loved him, but there was something holding me back. Tears pooled in my eyes."Love you too Dad." I muttered. The words felt foreign coming out of my mouth and I quickly came to the conclusion that I was still angry for all of the secrets.

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