Hey Uncle Kay!
It feels so good to be talking with you again even if it’s e-mail. I love the site you linked me to, that was great. How’s things with you? It’s all right with me I guess. Things aren’t great though. I can’t really tell you everything but maybe one day I can. School’s going fine. Since I went goth, the other kids have pretty much been avoiding me. It’s been a week and a half since I dyed my hair and first put on makeup. Do you think it’s weird I’m doing it? Dad just about had a heart attack when I came home like this but I think I look good. AZ says I do too. And with my hair black, I think I look more like you. I just need some glasses now. LOL! I used to wear them though. Fake ones.
I wish you could come visit us, or we could come visit you. How come you won’t tell us where you are? I really wanna see you. I know Pa does too. I haven’t seen you since I was a little kid.
OH! Here’s a picture of me, you asked for. That’s AZ. I dunno if we’re dating or not. We kiss a lot. I like her, even if she says weird things. She’s a witch. We talk sometimes about me. When you worked with supernaturals did you ever hear stories about someone who will unbalance magic, or destroy magic? There are ‘old witch tales’ sorta about this. The thing is, apparently I’m rumored to be this person. To destroy magic. Or unbalance it. Or something. I don’t want to do this, Uncle Kay. Cause if I destroy it won’t Vilkas get hurt? If there’s no magic, he wouldn’t be a werewolf right?
I’m sorry I’m just really confused lately. I don’t know who to talk to. AZ and I sometimes talk about this. She had this theory about the theories, you see. She says that I won’t actually destroy magic myself but someone will use me for it. I don’t like this either. I’m scared if THIS is true, what if my stalker plans on doing that? Oh yeah you don’t know about my stalker. I never told you in my last couple of e-mails. I have a stalker. The police think I’m crazy. I think my family does too. Lumie doesn’t believe me, she thinks all my mental reactions are faked. Vilkas doesn’t believe it, he thinks I’m being paranoid. Presea and Gladdy don’t believe me. Pa and Dad say they do but I dunno.
I wish you would come see me, Uncle Kay. I really need you right now. I need someone who believes me. Someone who can talk to me about this. I need you. Please visit us.
AZ and I weren’t officially a couple but I figured we might as well be. But we never really talked about dating. We were just together. We hung out together, talked on the phone, and kissed a lot. It had been about two weeks since that day in the library and things had sure changed a lot. I lost every single friend except for Clay, Tryshya and Trinity but then again besides them I didn’t really have many friends anyway (and I wasn’t even sure about Trinity, I think she just put up with me cause of Clay and Trysh). Even those three thought I was a bit weird with my new look but meh.
Lumie still hadn’t told anyone. I knew for a fact the only people who knew were her, me, and Vilkas. She hadn’t told any of her friends or Saul. She was scared to. I saw them around school sometimes. Her feeling depressed and scared as he had his arm around her waist, walking through the school with a bit of a swagger. She faked her smiles, and came home to cry on my shoulder.
“You need to tell him. It’s been two weeks now since you found out, you’re–you’re five weeks in!” I told her Saturday night. She had just gotten back from a date with Saul, and was charged with guilt from head to toe. “You’re keeping the baby, right?”
“I’m not getting an abortion,” she said as she began stripping out of her shirt. I turned my back to her to give her some privacy even though privacy with us was nonexistent. We really knew too much about each other, since every thought I had about my body she knew about and vice versa. “Yeah trust me, I hate knowing some things about your body.”
I smirked a bit at that. “Yeah. Same. But you need to tell the dads. You need to tell that jerk you’re dating. You can’t hide it forever.”
“I want to hide it as long as I can. I’m dressed now.” I turned back around as Lumie finished pulling on her nightgown. “Zaid, I… I don’t know how to tell them.”
I went over, arms folded. “You need to,” I urged her. “Burying your head in the sand won’t help anything. Soon it will get out. You need to control who finds out first, and how. Dad and Pa need to know. You need to get medical help soon, won’t you?”
Lumie put her hands on her flat stomach, frowning deeply. “I guess so.” Her head was then filled with thoughts about how she wouldn’t be a very good mother. I immediately put my barriers up so she wouldn’t know what I was thinking with those thoughts, but putting the barriers up made her suspicious. She tilted her head back up. “You think that too, don’t you? That’d I’d be a bad mother.”
“I don’t think that.”
“Then let me in your head.”
We stared at one another for a few seconds then I fell back, figuring I might as well say. “You want my honest opinion?” I asked and she pretty much demanded it. “I think if you tried hard, you’d be a wonderful mother. But. You are fifteen. And you’re as selfish as I am. If I had a kid, I wouldn’t be able to take care of it.” I ran my fingers through my long hair and then sucked in air between closed teeth. “I think… Pa would want to help. But honest, I don’t–I don’t think you…” I trailed off and stopped.
Lumie rested her cheek against my shoulder. “I wouldn’t be able to. You’re right. I am selfish. I’m…”
“A diva?” I offered and she swatted at me but gave a small smile.
“Maybe a little bit of one.” she sighed, nuzzling a bit. “You think I should give the baby up for adoption then?”
“It’s not my decision–“
“I want your opinion, Zaid. Please.”
I turned around and hugged her tightly. “Yes,” I breathed out. “I think it’d be for the best, Lumes. A baby is a big responsibility. You’re fifteen. Even with help, what? You’ll need to get a part-time job. We have money but soon Vilkas and Presea and Gladdy will be in college. And then… us. You could go to a community college, I guess, but–“
“Stop,” she said and I fell silent. “You’re right. Watcher, I hate admitting my baby brother is right but you are. It’s too much for me. I guess I… I don’t think I could do it. I want to finish school. I… I think I love this baby.” She pressed her hands back against her stomach and I put my hands there too. “I guess that sounds weird. I don’t think I could do a good job of raising it. Maybe some girls my age could do it but not me.”
“Adoption, then?” I asked.
Lumie gave a slow, tiny nod. “Adoption. For sure. I’ll talk to the dads… next week. Next weekend. Okay?”
The thing about Lumie being pregnant though, it made me a bit scared and paranoid about where I might end up. So when AZ started suggesting we hang out at her house, I turned her down. I didn’t think it would go very far, but the thought of being alone with her in her room (as she said we’d be) just made my stomach clench. I did want to. I reeaalllly wanted to. I wanted to be alone with her and do things I knew I shouldn’t be doing. But every time I was tempted to do more than kiss her, when my hand wanted to stray below her shoulders or she looked up at me with dark eyes… Lumie popped in my head. The realization that Saul’s hands wandered, that they found somewhere quiet and alone to be. Whether we wound up in a situation or not, I wasn’t gonna risk it. I was not gonna risk putting myself in a place where my hormones took over.
So we stayed in public places. The mall, the parks, stores, diners. We held hands, we kissed, and we never asked if we were boyfriend/girlfriend. Other kids did of course. Other kids started saying we were dating but we were happy just being us.
I did my best to split up my time so I could hang with Clay and the girls, and also AZ but it was hard since my group of three friends didn’t like AZ, and AZ didn’t like my other friends so it was a weird balancing act I didn’t like. I actually started falling a bit behind in school… because I was trying to spend so much of my time with both sides. I didn’t tell my dads though cause soon enough they’d have plenty to worry about…
The Friday before Lumie was gonna tell them she stayed in my room again, clinging to me and crying on me throughout the night, constantly asking me in our heads if she had to do this. I kept telling her yep. It had to be done. But I would be there for her. Of course I’d stay by her side during this, I was not just gonna abandon her to deal with Dad’s fury and Pa’s crying by herself!
One by one after breakfast our siblings left. Presea went to work. Gladdy went to the indoor pool to swim. And Vilkas left because we had asked him to. Dad and Pa plopped themselves down in front of the TV, turning it on to the news. Pa curled his legs up, arms around Dad as they watched with sad eyes the news about supernatural hunters gaining even more support across the country.
Lumie took my hand and pulled me towards them. “Dad?” she whispered so quietly they didn’t hear her. “Pa?” she tried again, but it was still quiet. She looked at me and I tightened my grip. Clearing her throat, she spoke loudly now. “Dad? Pa? C-can we talk?”
Dad glanced up and put the TV on mute. “Yeah, of course.”
“What is it, sweetie?” Pa asked, sitting up.
Lumie began breathing slowly and heavily, body trembling very lightly. Her fingers were wrapped around mine in a death grip. “Um. It’s important. It’s about something–important. And I’m scared you’re gonna be mad.” She gave them her puppy dog eye look.
They glanced towards one another before adjusting themselves, obviously preparing for something though they had no clue about the train about to hit them. “We won’t get mad,” Pa said, putting a hand on Dad’s leg. Dad had his face twisted in a way that didn’t look too convincing as he nodded in agreement.
“Dad. Pa. Um. I have a boyfriend,” she said and Dad’s body immediately tensed up.
“Is that all it is?” Pa asked, head tilted. He had sounded very relieved and I could tell he was just going to focus on this now, as if the boyfriend thing was what she was worried about. “Well, you know how we feel about that but um, it’s not…” To my surprise he stopped and just stared at us in worry.
Lumie was shaking her head. “It’s more.”
Dad got to his feet and Lumie took a step back. I did too. We both had a bit of fear of Dad. He had a short temper (though he had never struck any of us) and we were both trying to get ready for his yelling. “Illuminata,” he said in his strained ‘I’m-trying-to-be-calm’ voice. We waited for him to say anything more but he didn’t, he just seemed to glare at us but not in a glare-y way. Pretty much most the time he looked like he was glaring even if he wasn’t. I think his face was just set in that grumpy way.
Pa got up as well, question marks practically popping out of his head. “Sweetie what’s going on?” he asked as he took Dad’s hand.
Lumie looked down at her feet. >I can’t do it, I can’t tell them!<
>You have to tell them, Lumes!<
>I’m scared…< A tear rolled down her cheek and splattered on her shirt, forming a minute dark spot. The sight of her crying sparked extremely anxious looks on our dads’ faces. >Zaid…<
>I can’t Reapering do this for you! You say it. You say it, please just say it!<
“I’M PREGNANT!” she blurted out. Her words were followed by a thin wail as she sank down to the floor. I slid down with her, wrapping my arms around her, holding onto her tightly. She began crying hard.
It took a lot of effort but I looked up at our dads. Dad had his mouth covered with one hand. Pa was just staring with his mouth and eyes open wide. Nobody spoke. The only sound was Lumie’s terrified keening. Then Pa came down onto his knees and wrapped his arms around both of us. Lumie wriggled away from me and into Pa’s grasp. I fell back, not feeling upset by this one bit. I scooted away from the two of them, chewing at my bottom lip until I tasted blood.
“Illuminata.” Dad’s voice was hard. “You’re–you’re–you’re–?”
“Y-y-yes!” she wailed. “I’m sorry, Daddy! I’m sorry! Daddy please, don’t be too mad at me, I’m sorry! I really aaaaammmm!”
There was a few tense seconds of silence before everything shattered. Dad began yelling, Lumie cried more, and Pa was trying to mediate. I didn’t offer anything until Dad demanded to know what she had been thinking. Then I got to my feet and joined in the yelling. After a few back-and-forths it wound up just being me and Dad yelling at one another while Pa comforted Lumie.
“You can’t POSSIBLY condone what happened?!” Dad shouted.
“It DOESN’T matter!” I shouted back. “It’s HAPPENED! Stop making her feel worse than she already feels! You think she doesn’t feel bad?”
“I’m NOT saying she is but this is EXACTLY the sort of situation Chance and I were trying to prevent by putting up limitations to dating!”
“Well WOW there, Dad, knowing that sure changes things, doesn’t it? That really changes the WHOLE REAPERING SITUATION!”
We continued bellowing at one another as my voice got hoarse, my skin was crawling with sweat, and my body felt exhausted. But I was gonna keep pointing out that he needed to deal with the fact this happened. Because yelling like this? Shouting? Making her feel bad? What the hell? That didn’t help a single thing. Finally Dad staggered back and then left. He just left the house. Pa got up and ran after him, wincing when the door was thrown shut. He yanked the door open and ran outside, calling for him.
I pulled Lumie into my arms, rubbing her back as we heard the van start and then pull out. Pa was still calling Dad’s name. Lumie was a mess both inside and out. I kept quiet, trying to keep my mind blank though my fury with Dad was hard to squash down. >Don’t be mad at him,< Lumie shakily thought at me. >He never handles things like this well…<
Pa came back inside, tears brimming in his eyes. “I’m sorry, I… I didn’t… Your father–he…” But Pa couldn’t finish his sentences. He came over and sat on the couch, head in his hands. “Lumie, sweetie, why… why did…”
“I don’t know, Papa,” she sniffled. “I don’t know. I love him. I thought–we thought–I didn’t mean to get pregnant. I was stupid. I know. I’m stupid.”
“You’re not stupid, baby girl,” Pa said, stroking her hair now. I moved a bit more away from them and began pacing, keeping my eye out the window for Dad. Where had he gone? Why did he leave? What if he was so mad he accidentally–
“DON’T THINK THAT!” Lumie shrieked at the top of her lungs and she fell into harder sobs. I cringed and put my barriers up to stop any more stupid subconscious thoughts intruding on her. I apologized out loud though then went back to watching out for Dad, while Lumie and Pa talked quietly about this. She told him about Saul. Not everything though. Just a bit. She kept saying how sorry she was, and how stupid she was no matter how many times Pa assured her she wasn’t stupid. “He told me he’d pull out and I believed him I thought–I was… I…”
Pa rubbed the side of her head then kissed the top of her head. “Your brother is right. What’s done is, uh, done. Your dad will be okay, he just needs some time to cool off.”
I stared down the road and crossed my fingers that Pa was right.
Things are crap here. Guess I can tell you now. Lumie said it’s fine for me to e-mail this. She’s pregnant. Her stupid disgusting pig boyfriend knocked her up. I wanna rip his throat out. I hate him so much. But she still loves him for some stupid reason. Dad is beyond livid. He drove off after Lumes told him but he came back after an hour. He looked like he had been crying but Dad never cries so I dunno. He came marching in and pulled Lumie into his arms and hugged her. Can you believe that? He told her he was sorry for losing his temper. Lumie cried a lot and Pa cried a lot. That day was awful, it was so emotional and exhausting and UGH! And then it got worse that night when everyone came home and we told them. Saya and Gladdy were crying loads too. Why do girls cry so much? I sometimes cry but Uncle Kay I am talking BUCKETS of tears here. GIRLS. ARE. WEIRD.
She’s not telling her boyfriend though, not for a while. Right now we’re just trying to deal with this. It’s been a couple weeks now and we’re still trying to deal. It feels like we’re talking on eggshells. That’s the right saying, right Uncle Kay? I feel like everything is waiting to come crashing in on us. With all the craziness it was hard for Gladdy but we managed to give her a good birthday. Seventeen years old. I can’t believe it. I don’t like it. Maybe I’m being selfish but I don’t want autumn to come. Villy and Saya and Gladdy are all gonna go off to college. Leaving me here with this mess. I know I shouldn’t call it a mess. But it kinda is.
I stopped typing my e-mail and slumped back in the computer chair. It was nearing the end of April. Soon summer break would be starting and then–and then the older three would be leaving. I felt sick at that thought, super sick. I didn’t want them to leave.
Shaking my head, I went back to typing my e-mail out to Uncle Kay. AZ and I are as close as ever. It’s been a great few weeks. I really like her. She’s still going on about her weird theories about time. You know Uncle Kay Pa told me that you and your sister were old like really old. Is this true? Cause AZ she says two hundred years ago time became a bubble and nothing has changed. But things have changed… haven’t they…? I was just thinking that. About the older 3 going off to college. Things change. Life goes on. Two hundred years time just doesn’t stop. That’s just sci-fi. Fantasy. But then again so were werewolves at one point and look at us.
Uncle Kay sometimes when AZ says this stuff, TBH it scares me because sometimes just sometimes… I wonder if she’s right…
When Lumie entered her second trimester… ‘it’ happened. I knew things were gonna shatter, and shatter they did. She told our dads she was giving the baby up for adoption. We figured things would go smoothly. Be fine. But they weren’t, to both our utter shock.
Pa just about completely broke down. Pa. When she told them, he simply said ‘no you can’t’. We all stared at him and slowly we crept into chaos. Lumie said she would, Pa said she couldn’t and things just fell from there. Broke apart. Pa began arguing. Not Dad. But Pa. He began crying. Begging Lumie not to go through with an adoption. He kept insisting we could raise it, promising it’d be okay and that he’d help with everything.
“I can’t do it!” Lumie said, voice pitching higher as her stress level rose.
“You have us to help!” Pa cried. “Please don’t do this, Lumie, please think about this!”
“I have thought about it!” She pulled away from him, body trembling as she grasped for my supporting hand. I quickly moved to her side so I could hold onto her. “Papa, please, Pa, I’ve thought about this. I’m fifteen. I can’t do this.”
“We c-can help–“
“It’s her decision,” I said, straightening my shoulders and giving my voice as much commanding attention as I could. I was trying to imitate Dad when he spoke and it seemed to work. Pa stared at me in shock. “Pa, I know it’s hard for you but… just think about it for a minute. Come on. She’s fifteen.”
“Even with the help of you and Daddy and Zaid and everyone, it’s gonna be hell,” Lumie whispered. “I can’t handle that. I’m not… ready for that.”
“This is the best decision,” I added in, tightening my arm around my twin. I couldn’t believe I was having to stand up against Pa. Dad, maybe, but not Pa. This was a lot harder than I ever imagined it would. Especially with him crying. “Pa, please…”
He whirled around and ran off, stumbling up the stairs. Dad frowned, gave us a look, then walked after him. Lumie buried her face in my chest and began soaking my shirt with more tears. I sighed, arms around her, trying to make sense of this situation but there was none. Neither of us expected Pa to do this. To break down like this. We figured maybe he’d feel better once he thought about it but a week passed by and he still was barely talking. He went through the motions of his daily life–playing video games for his Let’s Play videos (sounding falsely cheerful as he did), cooking, all that. But there was something real defeated about him. Every time he looked at Lumie he looked so sad and the two of them were hardly even interacting.
It got to be too much. The tension in the house. Presea started clocking in more hours volunteering. Gladdy spent most her time at the library. Hell, Vilkas started talking to himself. I caught him one day when I went in. He was standing there muttering ‘don’t do that’ but when I asked about what he was going on about he just stormed out of the room.
I had to get out of the house. Go somewhere. Not here. I called up AZ and we went to the cafe for something to eat, but I just picked at my food unhappily. I didn’t want to be out and about so when AZ suggested we go back to her place I wearily agreed. Anywhere was better than home. And I figured I’d be able to keep a handle on the situation if it got too hormonally crazy (and part of me didn’t even care if things did get out of hand).
Once at her home we went down a hall and I stared blankly at all the family portraits hanging up everywhere. “You were blondish,” I remarked, seeing one of her from a while ago.
AZ laughed. “Whole family is. I work hard to keep my hair as black as my soul though.”
“Mmmm, very black soul. So black and dark you only gave half your sandwich to that stray dog the other day,” I said, smiling as she came up behind me, putting her arms around me.
“Let’s go in the den,” she whispered.
“Are your parents home?” I had met them once. Vilkas took her and me home one night and they came out onto the porch to shake my hand, meet the boy she’d been gabbing about. They seemed nice at least. Maybe we could sit down and talk or something.
AZ giggled as she pulled me down the hall. “We’re alone,” she said and I gulped, not feeling very good about this decision. But I went into the den with her and honestly it felt pretty good being here, not dealing with the crap in my house or being around other people. I just needed to keep my head clear. AZ shut the door then turned to lean back against it, smiling at me in a strange way. “Oh Zaid,” she sighed as she smoothed her skirt. “I’m so happy you finally decided to come over.”
I ran my fingers through my hair and licked my lips. “Hey AZ, um, can we talk about something? Something important?”
“Does it have to be right now?” she asked, staring directly into my eyes.
“Yeah. It’s–it’s… about…” I looked around the den, making the decision to say the right thing. Hopefully the right thing. “It’s about why I’m here. I know what’s going on…”
She stiffened, jaw going a bit slack. “What? You–you know…? How?”
I shrugged, trying not to sound too arrogant. “It’s a bit obvious. But, uh, you know, I w-want to say that… I’m not ready.” AZ’s eyes widened at that. “I understand it’s something you want. Uh, that I think you want. I just needed to get out of my house and I didn’t want to go–be in public. So maybe we could just… watch some TV.”
“Not… ready?” she echoed, brow wrinkling in confusion as she moved towards the other door in the room. “Zaid, you don’t really have a choice in the matter.”
I felt like she had hit me with a bag of flour or something. I stepped back, head reeling. “Excuse me, what?!” I demanded, not understanding what she said, or why she said it because okay I sorta understood but at the same time I didn’t understand.
She put her hand on the doorknob and looked at the floor. “I have the feeling we’re not talking about the same thing.”
OHHHH crap. I had jumped to conclusions. I had jumped to some serious conclusions. “I g-guess not,” I whispered, feeling my cheeks burning, feeling like a complete jerk now. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry, I–er…” How could I apologize for this? “What were you talking about?”
AZ opened the door and there were her parents. My mouth moved but no sound came out since I was incredibly bewildered by what was going on here. Why had she told me we were alone? And why were they standing there like that in a kinda creepy way? They finally moved, coming into the den and shutting the door behind them. They were both holding sticks–no, not sticks. Wands.
AZ slowly pulled one out of one of her pockets and held it in one hand. She no longer looked confused but sad. “I was talking about the fact we have to kill you, Zaid.”
She looked serious. Her parents looked serious. I staggered back, hardly able to breathe now. I finally managed to swallow in some air. “Ohhh I’ve made a huge mistake…”