Chapter One: You Have to Come With Us
I could still hear the cheers as I descended the steps of the stages—the pats on the back and congratulation sent my way sent a warm feeling through my body. This is what daddy had wanted, for me to be happy, be successful, and be the reason someone could smile.
I hope you're smiling up their daddy; I did this for you!
As soon as I was done talking to all my friends and professors, I went out in search of my family. I can't believe they came, all of them. Here I thought I'd have no one, but I was wrong. I was broken out of my thought when I felt two very muscular arms around me, picking me up and twirling me around in circles.
"Oh my god, Kai, put me down. I'm getting dizzy up here." I told my brother Malakai, who I called Kai for short.
"You know Rora; you shouldn't get all that coacky. What if I was some weird perv that did that." Kai said, putting me down and ruffling my hair up.
Ugh! I hated when he did that. Even though I was the older sibling by six freaking years, he treated me like a kid. Annoying as it was, everyone did think I was his little sister with how huge this guy was.
"Trust me, Kai, only you have the guts to do something like that to me. I would have sumo-slammed anyone else." I said, chuckling.
Kai just laughed at my reply, which earned him a big smile from me. I pulled him down and hugged him. I missed him; it had been almost three years since we last met. I never had a chance with my clinical rotations, USMLE'S and daddy's health. Kai didn't get a chance either since he went to this high-fi elite boarding school on a mountain called Strom Academy or something and only returned during the holidays.
"Missed you, Rora. I'm so proud of you. Hell, we all are! I'm sure your dad is too." Said Kai, giving me one last squeeze before he let go.
I saw the love shine in his eyes. Kai has always been there for me, even though we didn't meet as often. We still talked often; he was there when daddy died and told me I'd be okay. Mom and I weren't close; well, it was more me. I had forgiven her for leaving daddy and me, but it hurt growing up with divorced parents.
"There's my Rora; come here, darling. I'm so proud of you." Said nana as she hugged me and kissed my cheek. As soon as she let me go, I was scooped up by papa.
"So Dr. Aurora Black, huh, aren't you all fancy now. I'm so happy for you, my apple." He said.
Papa and nana often called me their apple since my cheeks always had a hint of red in them.
"Thank you, guys! I can't believe you all made it. I didn't know you all could come when I sent out the invites." I said.
Before they could reply, I heard a voice behind me that I've craved to reconcile my differences with for a while now,
"My baby girl was going to fulfill her dream today. How couldn't we be all there." Said my mom, Melissa
Whirling around there, I see her in a knee-length body-hugging long sleeve dress, probably that cost thousands of dollars. Her husband and my step-father, Shawn, were what you called filthy rich. Looking up at mom's face, she had a beaming smile, eyes shining with love and proudness. I didn't waste any time walking toward her open arms for a hug. She pulled me close to her body and nuzzled my cheek. She had always done this since I was a baby; I always found it weird since it was a bit animalistic, but mom always said I was her little pup. Over the years, I had come to enjoy it, it gave me a sense of love coming from her, and since we didn't live together, I took whatever I could get.
"I'm so proud of you, baby girl, so proud, and I'm sure so is your father. You're such a strong girl, my dear Aurora. Congratulations, Honey. You deserve it!" She said.
"Hey, what can a man do to get a hug around here." I heard Shawn ask from behind mom and me, chuckling.
I let go of mom and went to hug Shawn, giggling. Even though I was his stepdaughter, he never treated me differently from Kai. Shawn was a great guy; even though I felt terrible for daddy but I was glad my mom had someone who looked at her as if she was his life.
"Congratulations, Rora, or should I say, Dr. Rora. You made both your mom and me proud," he said.
"Thanks, dad." Shawn had, over the years, grilled me about calling him dad, so I agreed, not wanting to put him down. He was like a father to me after daddy.
Letting go of him and turned to face everyone else with a smile.
"So, how long are you all staying?" I asked.
I saw they all tensed at that and stole glances from one another.
Well, that was weird.
"Well, honey, we wanted to talk to you about that." Said, mom
Okay? Why was she acting all strange?
"How about we all go for dinner first, apple. Papa booked that steak place you like down the fifth." Said nana.
"Sounds good. Can never say no to that place." I said; it had been a while since we all had dinner together. So I was excited.
We got into two cars, making my way to Shawn's car with everyone else in tow. With me, Kai, mom and Dad in his car and nana and papa in theirs. Surprisingly the drive was silent. Even big mouth Kai was quiet.
I kept looking between them, and what was weird was that their eyes kept flickering as if they were hazing over. However, I didn't think much of it. I have been seeing them do this since I was a kid. I should probably check them all out now since I can properly diagnose them now if they have a medical problem or not. It took us another fifteen minutes to pull up to the steakhouse and another ten to get seated.
After ordering a round of drinks and appetizers, and even our main course, everyone was still acting strange. They were all fine not long; what happened now.
This was getting nerve-wracking; I needed to know what was up. Clearing my throat and gaining everyone's attention, I asked.
"Okay, what's up? You are all acting weird. You were fine, not even like an hour ago. Does it have anything with you guys staying?" I asked, the only logical reason coming to my mind since they started acting like this after I questioned their stay.
I saw everyone look towards mom, prompting her with their eyes to answer me.
Okay, this was hella weird at this point!
These guys were the type to throw their mouth baggage on others without a care in the world. They were pretty feisty, actually. So what was happening now?
Mom looked up and swallowed before she started talking.
"Rora, honey, please keep an open mind and listen to all I have to say before making your decision." She said
I raised my eyebrows, telling her to go on.
"Honey, we're not staying; you're not either. You're coming back with us...." before she could finish, I cut in.
"No, I'm not. I don't care if daddy is gone. Boston has too many memories for me to leave behind and move out to god knows where you live." I was mad; how could she even suggest that. She knew how much I loved this place, the memories were all I had left, and she was asking me to abandon those. She wanted me to up and leave to a place where I didn't even know off. Mom and Shawn had never been clear about where they stayed; they always said it was out of the country. I have never once visited their place; they had always come to visit me, not the other way around. I wasn't going to haul my ass up to wherever they lived. I couldn't believe she was suggesting this.
"Plus, I'm starting my residency in a few days..." Which was a lie; I hadn't applied for residency this year, thinking I'd spend time with daddy as over the four years I hardly could, but before I could even finish my lie mom cut in.
"We know you didn't apply for residency this year, Rora, your father, had told me," she said
"That's right, apple, we know your lying. Just please let your mother finish." Said nana.
What is the name of flying monkeys!
When did daddy talk to her? They never talked outside of in front of me. You could say Shawn was the possessive type. He didn't have a problem with me, but daddy was a different story in himself. Not having much say in the matter, I told her to continue.
"We know you don't want to leave Boston, honey, but what will you do here. You'll be all alone. Yes, you have friends, but they're not family. You'll be here alone, and that anxiety alone will kill me. Please, Rora, come back with us. If not for me, for your dad." She said.
I could see the serenity in her eyes and everyone else's. They were worried for me and loved me, but I couldn't leave. Memories were all I had left before telling them that I was sorry and wasn't leaving. My mom started talking again.
"Honey, your dad left this with me the last time I came to meet you. He asked me to give it to him if he ever passed." She handed me an envelope with my name written on it with daddy's beautiful cursive handwriting. Something that I could identify anywhere.
"We're all going to pay the bill and give you some time to read it over. We'll be in the car when you're ready." Said mom getting up with everyone, kissing my head before leaving along with everyone else.
I sat at the table waiting for everybody to leave, staring at the envelope in my hand. Why did daddy give mom this? Why couldn't he tell me whatever was in this letter then writing it? Taking a deep breath, I opened the letter and read it.
My Rora, my magic,
If you're reading this, then it is because I'm no more. I'm so sorry, my magic, that I won't be there to see you grow! But always remember my magic, I'll always be shining down on you, and I'll always be with you, in your heart.
You may be wondering why I wrote this letter and why I gave it to your mother. And that answer to that is that I'm a coward, my magic. You don't know things about yourself, your mother and me, and I wish I was there to tell you, but I am not. You are not who you think you, your mother, and I are are not who you think we are. Just know my magic that you need to leave with your mother, and everything in due time will be explained.
I know it may sound confusing right now but trust me, my magic, everything will make sense soon. You are destined for great things, my Rora, you will see.
I didn't know I was crying till my tears soaked daddy's letter. What did he mean we weren't who we were, and why is it important to leave with mom? And with the way both mom and daddy in his letter said, I didn't think I was getting a choice in the matter.