Amy walked out the automatic doors of the baggage claim area, wishing she could somehow wake up and all of it would have been a horrible nightmare, but as she heard the thunder outside and saw the dreadful weather she knew everything that had happened in the last three days was real. There was no more denying it. She clutched the ring that hung from a chain around her neck as if somehow it could stop the tears from falling, but reality had finally dawned on her.
“Look, these are the Bakers,” her brother said pointing at a picture in the file the lawyer had given to them before the flight. “They don’t look so bad, do they?”
She glanced at the picture. They seemed like a nice couple, happy, but what difference did it make? The Bakers lived halfway across the country and never bothered to visit their parents in fifteen years. Now she and Jason had to leave everything behind and come live with them? How could their parents do this to them? How could they appoint guardians they’d never met? She felt tears begin to swell up again and choked them back, shrugging her shoulders in reply.
“Are you crying again, Amy?” Jason asked sounding annoyed. “You haven’t done anything else for three days!”
“At least I cry,” she snapped. “You haven’t shed one tear since it happened. It’s like you don’t even care.”
“Hey, somebody has to keep a grip around here and you’re certainly not doing it.”
“You don’t understand,” she began.
“Oh, I get it. You think you have a right to lose it ‘cause you had to leave that stupid boyfriend of yours behind.”
“Don’t you care at all, that mom and dad were murdered?” she asked, her voice threatening to break.
“Of course I care. But there’s nothing we can do now except make the best of it. This is our new life, Amy, so you better get used to it.”
She wanted to protest; to refuse that any of this was really happening, but she knew it would be pointless. Their parents were dead. And now they had to move to Orlando and live with the Bakers.
“They’re late,” Jason said glancing at his watch as if he’d said nothing to upset her. “That doesn’t show much promise. Have you seen a green mini-van? They said that’s what they would be driving.”
Amy scanned the street. It was raining so thick she could hardly see past three cars in any direction. There were no mini-vans. They would have to wait until the Bakers reached the curb.
“You think they’ll be nice?” she asked, sounding doubtful.
She remained silent for a while. It was one thing to be orphaned among friends and family, but to be left all alone, away from those you love, in a strange home, with people you’ve never met, that was just too much for her. Amy didn’t know if she could make it through this without Brandon. After all, he was more than just her boyfriend. He was her best friend. And Jason’s casualness infuriated her. It was easy for him to be calm. In six months he would be eighteen and then he could go back home, but she would have to wait three years. She would be all alone. It just wasn’t fair!
Just then a green mini-van pulled up to the curb. A dark-haired man in a blue suit stepped out carrying a gigantic umbrella. She could see a woman waving from the passenger side. Amy took a deep breath, bracing herself for what was to come. Suddenly, she felt a warm heavy arm land on her shoulders.
“Don’t worry sis,” Jason said. “I’ll always be there for you.”
He hugged her, and took the large duffel bag from her hands. Suddenly he looked much older and she realized how much he resembled their father. A comfortable warmth filled her body. She wasn’t alone. She had her brother. And even though they fought like crazy, he was family; and family is the most important thing.
She let go of the ring hanging from her neck and took her brother’s hand. Together, they walked towards the car, getting slightly wet beneath Mr. Baker’s umbrella. Jason put his jacket over Ally’s head and helped her into the car. She smiled at him. It was the closest she ever felt to him in a very long time.
© 2005 Maricel Jimenez
Short story written for a writing course back in 2005. By Maricel Jimenez