Of course, we had to pack for the move. I kept some things that belonged to my parents, especially my mother’s jewelry. I gave Caleb some of Dad’s model cars and a few of his shirts. I don’t know who it was harder for, Caleb or me?
He refused to talk. He wouldn’t say a word to me or anyone else. He hadn’t finished crying about it either. Sometimes, he’d cry for five whole minutes, then stop and then cry again for another twenty minutes. I felt so bad for him… and myself, of course.
Abby was sad about me moving away. I was happy to at least be able to say goodbye. It was hard for me. I could barely speak to her, or anyone, that I said goodbye to. I just wanted my parents back. Living with people that I hadn’t seen in ages was not a pleasant compromise for me. They weren’t family. They were barely acquaintances.
After I said goodbye to my friends and neighbors, Caleb and I were on our way to our new home in the back of a police car.
Two hours of black tarred roads and twenty minutes of passing nothing but grassy lands and trees, the car finally turned into a long driveway that led toward a mansion. I couldn’t believe my eyes. An actual mansion. It was huge, to say the least. A classic blood red and milk white mansion with gold and silver adornments.
“What’s that?” Caleb asked whilst looking out of the window.
Hearing his voice once again made me smile. I was about to tell him that it was a mansion, but that wasn’t what he was looking at. Further away from the mansion, in a stock of tall yellow grass, was another house. Boy, was it creeping me out. It seemed to be an abandoned house, gray in color. Well, maybe not entirely ‘gray‘. I couldn’t really tell for sure, it was at a pretty far distance.
“It’s just an old house,” I stated reassuringly while placing my arm around him… but he quickly lifted my arm off of him and continued to stare out of the window.
The car stopped in front of a middle-aged couple. I guessed that they were them: our new fosterparents. It kills me to say that. As Caleb and I stepped out, the woman ran over to hug us.
“Emily! Caleb! You two have grown so much!” Her voice, bubbly and high as she stretched her words with what seemed to be plastered on affection. She took one long look at us before wrapping her arms around our bodies in another embrace.
Her husband, Mr. Harmon, gathered our belongings from the car and thanked the policeman.
As he took off and the Harmon’s were ‘awing’ and ‘cooing’ over Caleb, I studied them. The woman had short, straight black hair that covered one of her eyes. A light pink bow rested delicately in the pitch black mass, it was cute. She had brown eyes, a small nose, and very thin lips. Her skin was pale, but not overwhelmingly so. She wore a sleeveless black dress with some white tights and a pair of sandals.
Mr. Harmon, on the other hand was a man in his forties or fifties maybe, but it seemed as if he was just twenty-five. He had brown, curly hair that reached the creases of his bright blue eyes. Faint freckles lined the bridge of his nose and scattered across his face. He had perfect cheekbones and a huge mouth with perfect teeth that seemed to always smile. He wore a pair of dark blue shorts and a gray sports shirt.
Yet something was missing. Oh yes, the daughter.
“Where’s your daughter?” I asked.
Suddenly their gazes were glued to me. They froze completely and Mr. Harmon’s smile slowly sculpted itself into a frown. He then smiled for a quick second before chuckling nervously. “Don’t worry. She won’t be here.”
I waited for more of a comprehensible answer but that was all I got.
“Oh.” I merely stated.
Mrs. Harmon grabbed the suitcases, followed by Mr. Harmon, and then led us inside. Mr. Harmon asked Caleb if he liked scooters. My brother answered enthusiastically and the objects which instantly caught our attention were two brand new scooters stood in front of us. The scooters were nice, honestly, but they could never compare to the immaculate mansion that surrounded us. Even Caleb gasped. The inside was so huge and fancy.
“Your rooms aren’t quite done yet, but please feel free to ride around. There’s so much to explore!” Mr. Harmon happily said. “Unless you’re tired, then you can sleep in our bed.”
Caleb ran over to the silver scooter. I saw him smiling, and it made me grin like a buffoon. I looked over my shoulder to see the Harmon’s whispering to each other, nodding in agreement. Once they noticed that I was looking at them, Mrs. Harmon cleared her throat and walked over to me. She rested her hand on my shoulder.
“Although, we ask that you please follow one rule.” She pointed upwards. “See the fourth floor, which is also the last floor of this house?”
Both Caleb and I nodded warily.
“Mr. Harmon’s lifework is up there, so no one is allowed to go up there. There’s also expensive artwork up there, and if anything gets ruined… Well, that’s a lot of money lost.”
Sure enough, there were sculptures decorating the hall and paintings hung along the walls. There were all kinds of amazing art pieces that added to the fancy feel of the mansion. Caleb and I promised to never go up there.
“Well, good.” Mr. Harmon said. “You two get some rest or go play while we get your rooms together. Some workers will be here later to paint and do some redecorating in your room, Caleb, since it’s filled with girl’s stuff-” Mr. Harmon cleared his throat again, suddenly very cautious of his next words. “… some of my wife’s stuff, that needs to be moved for your new things.”
Before I could say anything, Caleb began to ride around the house. I called after him, telling him to wait for me, but he was already gone. I wanted to explore the new house with him, but I wasn’t ready to leave him alone. Not again. I thanked the Harmon’s, hopped onto the motorized scooter and followed Caleb around our new house.
Hide & Seek © Copyright Jakayla Toney.