Authors: Hally Willmott
Table of Contents
Copyright © 2013 by Hally Willmott. All rights reserved.
Limitless Publishing, LLC
Kailua, HI 96734
First Kindle Edition: April 2013
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to locales, events, business establishments, or actual persons—living or dead—is entirely coincidental.
First and foremost God. A close second is my husband Jerry – thank you for putting up with my 5 a.m’s and supporting me throughout everything – I love you. To my son’s Jacob and Jordan, my little ones, know that anything you put your mind to you can accomplish. I thank my family for their unfaltering love and devotion without them I would be lost.
To the question of your life, you are the only answer. To the problems of your life, you are the only solution.
Advice from a Failure
Chances and choices –
When you see it, will you believe it?
When it calls for you, will you trust it?
When it comes to life, how do you deal with it?
hile sitting at my desk in my room trying to understand precisely how algebra was going to be useful to me at any time during my life, my computer screen flashed. I was receiving an email. Thankful for the reprieve, I clicked on it, finding an open chat message from my best friend Jen. The message was covered with constellations and shooting star happy faces circling the title ‘Happy One Year Anniversary.’
“Got time 4 a break?”
“Yup, what’s 1 yr?”
“Since you and I met!”
“Feels like we’ve known each other 4eva!”
“Tomorrow *$’s 4 lunch?”
“Def…Moms comin’ up. Later!”
“Jacey, turn off the computer, time for bed,” Mom yelled up the stairs.
“Okay, Mom.” I shut my computer and flopped down onto my bed. I was having a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact I’d actually been here for one whole year. We’d never lived
for longer than a couple of months. Because of that I’ve never had the time to make any real friends. Jen’s message tonight meant a lot to me. Her remembering told me she and I were BFFs.
Jen, my best friend and sometimes counselor, knows when to ask the questions I’m ready to answer, but more importantly, when not to. From the first day I met her, we just clicked. We can be ourselves around one another, no matter what. She’s got this scary ability to read me like a book. Mom’s always saying I wear my heart in big flashing neon signs on my sleeve. Well, Mom means those who know me, and Jen, she definitely knows me. No matter how crazy or menstrual I am, Jen never shies away from me. She’s the sister I’ve always wanted but never had. I finally feel like I belong.
I close my eyes and within seconds, they begin again, swirling colors mix together, forming kaleidoscope patterns, setting me up for the dreams to come. I know some of the colors without any problem, but the ones which catch my attention are the ones I can’t begin to describe.
When this happens, it never takes me long to figure out I’m asleep. This is how they—they, by the way, refers to my weird, out-of-this-world, imaginative, lifelike dreams—always come to me. But for some reason, tonight, this one is different.
Tonight my dream began with my mom, Ria, and my dad, Hearte, hugging one another in a meadow, which resembles a storybook. To most kids my age, sixteen going on thirty, as Mom’s always telling me, seeing their parents in any kind of embrace would usually send them into a gross-out fest. For me, it’s never been like that—my parents’ being all over one another is pretty much the norm in our house.
They’re always connected, whether they’re attached at the hip or not. There’s this unseen bond the two of them have, which is pretty amazing. It’s always been my older brother Hudson, my parents, and me—Jacey. Our only extended family is my Aunt Grace, Mom’s sister. She often makes the two-hour trip from her small Northern Ontario home, Nemele, to come and check up on us.
I love when she comes to visit, because the reality of my world knows full well it’s nearly impossible to keep up with us. We move around a lot. We’ve never stayed in one place long enough for it to become a real home. You could say we’re gypsies— not the headdress-wearing, cymbal-clanging stereotypical kind, but the ones who make their home wherever their family ends up.
My parents have jobs that keep us on the move. We travel all over the world. Mom is into ‘get green’ initiatives. She’s always on top of the next new thing to save the environment, and in her business, there isn’t only one place to live when you’re trying to change the world, one recyclable at a time. Dad, his job’s a little harder to define. I’ve never given his a name. All I know is he can drop everything and move whenever Mom says we have to. He’s always telling Hudson and me that he keeps his day job by protecting the very essence of the Earth—minerals.
The one stable person in my life is Aunt Grace. There’s stability about her lifestyle, and in a way, I envy that she’s lived in one place her entire life. At the same time, it gives me a sense of security each time I think of her. That’s a completely out there thing to say, but deep down in my gut, I know it’s the truth, and a reality I don’t need to be living to believe in.
When the swirling colors appear, I’m out for the count. Tonight’s dream is different, dark, loud, and constant. It feels like I’m about to witness an omen of sorts. The colors glisten through a fog, which lifts as soon as I see my parents hugging one another. There’s nothing around them in the meadow but a few large oak trees. One tree stands out from the others. It has a tire swing swaying in unison with wild grass, which bows as the wind rushes through it. My parents look happy and completely in love.
Without warning, the scene changes from a sun swept day to midnight black. From out of the darkness it comes, a creeping wall of blackness. Huge, fluid and ominous, it seeps into my dream as it envelops my parents and everything around them.
I hear Mom scream for Dad, and Dad screams back. I reach out to try and grab onto both of them, but just when I think I have them, an eerie calm settles where I stand. Everything changes from complete blackout to black and white, like the old 1930’s movies that are on at three a.m.
The darkness is no longer there. My parents have vanished with it. Everything, including time, has frozen. Again, unexpectedly, my surroundings darken. I run blindly through it, trying to catch some hint of my parents, when two arms wrap themselves around my waist and pull me in the opposite direction. I can’t see whose arms they are, but I feel no fear or urge to resist them. Instead, my heartbeat increases to that of a hummingbird, a thousand beats per minute.
The minute I feel safe and secure, the embrace I’m in vanishes. As it does, two beautiful, piercing blue eyes appear before me. The moment I look into them, I wake with a jolt, as though someone has reached into my chest and squeezed my heart.
I keep my eyes shut, truly afraid. I lay in bed, unable to move, yet willing myself to take deep, even breaths, until I feel my heart rate return to an almost normal rhythm. Slowly, I open them and my vision is filled with the ceiling Mom and I’d painted when we first moved here a year ago.
Above me, the colors of the hand-painted stars and constellations seamlessly blend into one another, giving off the illusion the mural is 3-D. It was Mom’s idea to paint it up there. She knew my dreams were sometimes a little on the weird, wake-up-in-a-full-blown-sweat side of reality. She told me if I had the stars to look at when I woke up; it would remind me of where I really was—home.
For the first time ever, a small voice in the back of my head warns me not to tell anyone anything. That voice is my own. I usually tell my parents and Hudson about my dreams, but tonight, this one completely terrifies me. Don’t get me wrong. I knew I had to say something to them. The blackness made it obvious that I shouldn’t only give Mom and Dad a heads up, but also warn them about it.
I knew the minute I told my parents about this dream we’d end up moving again. They’d make some lame excuse about getting a new job somewhere and we’d have to leave immediately. Keeping things to myself was something I wasn’t used to. I’ve always been totally open with my parents and Hudson about my dreams. So, why was tonight different? Why was I thinking about not telling anyone about this one? I knew deep down I’d be in my own kind of trouble if I told them, and in who knows what kind of trouble if I didn’t.
I lay there knowing full well what I was supposed to do, but leaning more towards what I wasn’t supposed to… I’d finally come to love a place where not only me, but my entire family had come to call home. I’d settled into my new school, Donnelly High, and made some real friends. Even my uptight, over-protective eighteen-year-old brother Hudson had started to relax.
My brother is intense, the thinker in our family. He never complains or gives any kind of attitude whenever we’ve had to leave a place. Me, on the other hand, I always feel like we’re never going to get home, like something has been keeping us away from where we’re supposed to be.
Lately, Hudson’s been disappearing a lot. When I ask him where he’s been or who he’s been with, he won’t tell me a thing. I think he’s found a girlfriend—a girl from school, Carrie. She’s a triple threat kind of girl, beautiful, popular, and smart. Since our first day here, she’s been drooling over him everywhere he goes.
I haven’t been the only one noticing his disappearing acts of late, Mom and Dad have, too. Of course they’ve got no idea I’ve been listening—all right—more like eavesdropping, on them. They’ve been saying stuff like he’s finally come into “his own.” He’s fitting in better than anyone expected. He’s happier now more than he’s ever been. Ergo the leading reason I think Carrie may have something to do with it.
In fairness to Hudson, he’s never given me any hint he’s interested in her at all. But, I think if he’s finally found a place he doesn’t want to leave, then a girl, namely one like her, must have something to do with it, right? I don’t know her at all, but if she’s what’s making him happy, then I’m all for it.
Hewfawe isn’t the biggest or most sophisticated town in Northern Ontario, but it’s enough for me. There are only two hundred thousand people spread across hundreds of miles of rolling hills, forest, and rock. You can live in the city and walk to work or you can live in the outlying municipalities and feel like you’re going to camp every time you get home and turn the fireplace on. The main industry here is mining and I think that’s what drew my Dad here. The re-greening of the city and its outlying areas is what I know is keeping my Mom here. It may be only a blip on the map, but considering all the other places I’ve lived, this place is the only one I’ve seen my family happy, stable, and making a home.
Lying in my bed, before sleep takes over, I stare directly into the center of the constellations on my ceiling. What should I do? If I say anything, we move again. If I don’t say anything, we stay. I have absolutely no desire to be the new girl yet again. I sigh and say out loud, “Chances and choices, which one do I take?”