Home > Turned (The Vampire Journals #1)(6)

Turned (The Vampire Journals #1)(6)
Author: Morgan Rice

She let him in, quickly closing the door behind him.

“Sorry,” she said. “I just can’t deal with her tonight.”

“What happened with you two?”

“The usual. She was on me the second I walked in.”

“I think she had a hard day,” Sam said, trying to make peace between them, as always. “I hope they don’t fire her again.”

“Who cares? New York, Arizona, Texas…Who cares what’s next? Our moving won’t ever end.”

Sam frowned as he sat on her desk chair, and she immediately felt bad. She sometimes had a harsh tongue, spoke without thinking, and she wished she could take it back.

“How was your first day?” she asked, trying to change the subject.

He shrugged. “OK, I guess.” He toed the chair with his foot.

He looked up. “Yours?”

She shrugged. There must have been something in her expression, because he didn’t look away. He kept looking at her.

“What happened?”

“Nothing,” she said defensively, and turned and walked towards the window.

She could feel him watching her.

“You seem…different.”

She paused, wondering if he knew, wondering if her outside appearance showed any changes. She swallowed.

“How?”

Silence.

“I don’t know,” he finally answered.

She stared out the window, watching aimlessly as a man outside the corner bodega slipped a buyer a dime bag.

“I hate this new place,” he said.

She turned and faced him.

“So do I.”

“I was even thinking about...” he lowered his head, “…taking off.”

“What do you mean?”

He shrugged.

She looked at him. He seemed really depressed.

“Where?” she asked.

“Maybe…track down Dad.”

“How? We have no idea where he is.”

“I could try. I could find him.”

“How?”

“I don’t know…. But I could try.”

“Sam. He could be dead for all we know.”

“Don’t say that!” he yelled, and his face turned bright red.

“Sorry,” she said.

He calmed back down.

“But did you ever consider that, even if we found him, he may not even want to see us? After all, he left. And he’s never tried to get in touch.”

“Maybe cause Mom won’t let him.”

“Or maybe cause he just doesn’t like us.”

Sam’s frown deepened as he toed the floor again. “I looked him up on Facebook.”

Caitlin’s eyes opened wide in surprise.

“You found him?”

“I’m not sure. There were 4 people with his name. 2 of them were private and had no picture. I sent them both a message.”

“And?”

Sam shook his head.

“I haven’t heard anything back.”

“Dad would not be on Facebook.”

“You don’t know that,” he answered, once again defensive.

Caitlin sighed and walked over to her bed and lay down. She stared up at the yellowing ceiling, paint peeling, and wondered how they all had reached this point. There were towns they’d been happy in, even times when their Mom seemed almost happy. Like when she was dating that guy. Happy enough, at least, to leave Caitlin alone.

There were towns, like the last one, where she and Sam both made a few good friends, where it seemed like they might actually stay—at least long enough to graduate in one place. And then it all seemed to turn so fast. Packing again. Saying goodbyes. Was it too much to ask for a normal childhood?

“I could move back to Oakville,” Sam said suddenly, interrupting her thoughts. Their last town. It was uncanny how he always knew exactly what she was thinking. “I could stay with friends.”

The day was getting to her. It was just too much. She wasn’t thinking clearly, and in her frustration, what she was hearing was that Sam was getting ready to abandon her, too, that he didn’t really care about her anymore.

“Then go!” she suddenly snapped, without meaning to. It was as if someone else had said it. She heard the harshness in her own voice, and immediately regretted it.

Why did she just have to blurt things out like that? Why couldn’t she control herself?

If she’d been in a better mood, if she’d been calmer and hadn’t had so much thrown at her at once, she wouldn’t have said it. Or she would have been nicer. She would have said something like, I know what you’re trying to say is that you’d never leave this place, no matter how bad it got, because you wouldn’t leave me alone to deal with all this. And I love you for it. And I’d never abandon you either. In this messed up childhood of ours, at least we have each other. Instead, her mood had gotten the worst of her. Instead, she acted selfish, and snapped.

She sat up and could see the hurt etched on his face. She wanted to take it back, to say she was sorry, but she was just too overwhelmed. Somehow, she couldn’t get herself to open her mouth.

In the silence, Sam slowly stood up from her desk chair and exited the room, gently closing the door behind him.

Idiot, she thought. You’re such an idiot. Why do you have to treat him the same way Mom treats you?

She lay back down, staring at the ceiling. She realized that there was another reason she snapped. He’d interrupted her thoughts, and he’d done so just at a moment when they were turning for the worse. A dark thought had crossed her mind, and he’d cut her off before she’d had a chance to resolve it.

Her Mom ‘s ex-boyfriend. Three towns ago. It had been the one time her Mom had actually seemed happy. Frank. 50. Short, beefy, balding. Thick as a log. Smelled like cheap cologne. She had been 16.

She had been standing in the tiny laundry room, folding her clothes, when Frank appeared at the door. He was such a creep, always staring at her. He reached down and picked up a pair of her underwear, and she could feel her cheeks flush in embarrassment and anger. He held them up and grinned.

“Dropped these,” he said, grinning. She’d snatched them out of his hands.

“What do you want?” she’d snapped back.

“Is that any way to talk to your new step-dad?”

He took a half step closer.

“You’re not my step-dad.”

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