1954 Words
"You're the most impulsive person I know. Can you keep that in check for the next few months?" I nod, forgetting that my brother can't see me. "I'll be careful." "You always say that." "I mean it this time." I briefly chew on my bottom lip as I press the phone to my ear. "I can't lose her again, Marcus." "I know." "Is Aspen home yet?" "She just texted. She's running late again. Nurse stuff." I c***k a small smile. Aspen, my brother's girlfriend, is a self proclaimed workaholic. She's ever at the hospital attending to her patients and covering for other people's shifts. Marcus keeps joking that she likes her job better than she does him. I don't think it's a joke. "Shouldn't she be taking it easy now that she's pregnant?" He scoffs. "You clearly haven't met the woman I'm dating. If you did, you'd know she's as stubborn as an old mule. She won't take it easy, and I'm seriously tired of begging her to take care of herself." "Well, since she's a grown up who knows a lot about health, we'll just assume that she knows what she's doing." "Yeah." He sighs tiredly. "That's the plan. Is Georgia home yet?" "Nope. I hope she won't be home in a few hours. I'm yet to unpack and I'm insanely jet lagged. I'm hoping to take a nap before she shows up." "I honestly don't think any of that is going to matter to her." "She won't care that I trashed her living room with boxes?" "Georgia is very reserved. If she cares, she probably will play nice and keep it to herself." "The more reason I should get it done. I don't want to upset her. She's doing me a big favour by letting me move in." "She owed me one." "She owes me nothing. She is friends with you, not me." "You're my sister. We are a package." I shrug, deciding that I don't want to drag the conversation any further. "I feel like an i***t. Flying halfway across the world was rather impulsive, and I feel like that decision will bite in the ass sometime. Hopefully, everything will be just fine." "All we can do is hope. Please, Allison, for the sake of everything that's holy, do not screw up everything. That's your specialty." I nod to myself when I get what he's talking about. "I won't. I'll love her from a distance." "Are you lying again?" "Maybe." "You do understand that you can't go after a baby once you give it up for adoption, right?" "I do." "And yet here we are. You're going to end up in jail or worse." "They'll have to catch me first." "You know, most times, I can't decide whether you're an i***t or a daredevil. At the moment, I'm inclined to think it's the former." "I'm flattered, Marcus." "We'll see just how flattered you'll be if Ace finds out that you are after his daughter. He might hurt you." I angrily grit my teeth. "She's not his daughter." "I'm sure the children's court would beg to differ. The kid was adopted right after she was born. You didn't even know whether it was a boy or a girl until ten days ago. It's been ten years, Allison. That's a long time." I lean against the couch, briefly closing my eyes. When I talk, my voice is a small whisper. "I know." "Be careful." Nodding, I hang up and toss the phone on the couch beside me. As I look at the boxes placed on one side of the not so spacious living room, all I can think about is one thing. I need my daughter back. I don't know what I should do or how I should do it, but I need her. The last ten years have been the worst and I just can't take it anymore. The yearning I have for her is almost a physical craving that I can't shake off. If, and when I set my eyes on her for the very first time since she was born, I'll either go crazy or finally find peace. I don't care about either. All I want is a glimpse; a morsel, a mere crumb. All I want is sanity. ** "Allison? Hey, wake up!" I heavily roll over, pulling my jacket tight around me as I sink deeper into the cushions. "Allison?" "Go away." I mumble sleepily. I'm trying to shun the voice and the music in the background but it feels like a dozen drums are playing right in my ear. "Hey, wake up!" Sighing in disappointment at the unrelenting attempts to wake me up, I c***k one eye open. "Georgia?" "In flesh. Get up. Dinner is almost ready." I pull my tired self to a sitting position, and I bite back a groan when a pang of pain slices through my back. Whoever decided that flying for eighteen hours was a good idea needs to try one of those flights. No, seriously, I feel like my body has been through a wringer. "What's wrong? Did you break a bone?" Georgia asks me when I groan. "At this point, I believe that I broke more than just one bone. How long have you been home?" "A while. I was able to leave early today." "I can't believe they let you. Marcus mentioned something about you having a very fixed schedule." "Well, being a teacher has it's challenges. The head mistress only let me leave early because I lied that I had to pick my boyfriend from the airport. God knows I haven't had a boyfriend in a while." I grin despite myself. "Last time I checked, you wouldn't lie to save your life." "What can I say. I learn everyday." She waits for an awkward second before she clears her throat. "You might want to take a shower before dinner. It'll help with the exhaustion." I should have done that the moment I got here but I didn't want to touch her stuff before she came home. I wasn't sure what bedroom would be mine so I opened neither. I piled all the boxes in the living room before taking a nap on the couch. I didn't think I'd sleep that long. ** After dinner, I go straight to the room that Georgia shows me. She wants to help me unpack but I politely turn her down. First of all, she appears to be exhausted and she badly needs a rest, and second, I don't want her accidentally finding the paperwork that the private investigator mailed me. It's mostly about my daughter and her adoptive father. The chances of Georgia knowing them is almost nil since this is a big city, but I don't want her asking questions. Like Marcus said, the more the people who know about my mission, the higher the chances of me getting seriously f****d. So here I am, in a strange city halfway across the globe from home, living with one of my brother's childhood friends and wondering if this sudden trip will bear any fruits at all. "Allison?" Georgia calls from the other side of the door. "Come in." The door cracks open and she pops her head in. "Do you have any particular plans for tomorrow? I might leave before you wake up, so I'm just making sure you'll be okay." "I was planning on looking for a job." "A job? What kind of job?" "To be honest, I'm not choosy. All I have is my highschool certificate to work with." I smile when she raises an eyebrow. "Marcus wants me to enroll into evening classes at the local college. I'm still awaiting their response." She nods slowly. "I see. How will you possibly move around without getting lost?" "Google maps, mostly." "I guess that's convincing enough. Be careful. Don't stay out too late, though. This is not the safest side of town." "I'll be back before nightfall." "I'll see you then." "Hey, Georgia?" She turns back to me. "Yeah?" "Thanks, really. I'm very grateful that you're letting me stay here at such a short notice." "Don't worry about it. I owed your brother one." "He said the same thing. I take it that you two are still close? It's been a minute since I heard him talk about you like he used know.." "Um...I don't know, Allison. Things have been different since he started dating that girl-" "Aspen?" "Yeah." She looks me over. "I heard she's pregnant." "She is. Marcus is very excited." "I bet." I frown at her tone. "Did you two date?" "No. I'm happy for him. I hope they get a girl. He's always wanted a girl." I release my breath, deciding that I'm not sure what to say. "Yeah. I hope so too." "So, what brings you here? Your brother said you wanted to start over in a different state. What happened back home?" "Well, Dad's dead, mom's remarried, my brother is living with his girlfriend, and I basically have no friends. It was time I started over. I feel so bad that I had to inconvenience you to achieve that." "Don't worry. I honestly don't mind having you over. It gets too lonely around here at times." She raises her shoulders before she lets them fall. "Plus I hadn't seen you in a while. I'm sure having you around will be fun." "I hope so." "Goodnight, Allison." "Goodnight." She closes the door, and a second later, her footsteps echo down the short hallway. I wait until her door opens then closes before I release my breath. Georgia and Marcus have been friends since....forever. She moved here for college when she turned eighteen, and she secured a job in a local private school immediately after she got her diploma so she never moved back home. Marcus tried to see her on several occasions but they were hours apart and I guess both of them decided their friendship wasn't worth the distance. Marcus got a girlfriend and we rarely heard from Georgia anymore. I didn't mind. Georgia and I never really hang out so I didn't miss her or anything. I was genuinely surprised when she said I could move in with her when my brother explained my predicament since the two of us were never really friends. She was always a very nice girl, however, and I know for sure that we'll get along. I let out my breath in a whoosh. I hope against hope that this new city will be nice to me. Getting my phone from the nightstand, I check the adverts for jobs near me. I don't really want a job because I can't concentrate on one. I'm only doing this because my trust fund is getting depleted so fast; what with the private investigators and everything. Marcus is willing to help with whatever financial issues I might face but I feel he's done more than enough already. Plus, if I intend on finding my daughter, I might as well have some money to fall back on. I can't depend on my brother all my life. A twenty six year old woman needs to grow a pair and provide for herself, no? Swinging my legs off the bed, I switch on the bedside lamp before I pad out of the room. I doubt I'll get a lot of sleeping done tonight, so I might as well start unpacking. Tomorrow, I can finally begin my literal manhunt. Now that I have a solid lead for the first time in ten years, there's no way in hell I'm letting her slip away. If finding my girl will get me in trouble, so be it. 
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