|Definition of Home
Author: Azrik PM
Rae Talon has always had the ability to see the spirits of the dead. Due to this power and various circumstances, she now lives with her relatives and is subject to bullying from both schoolmates and family. When her relatives finally can't take it anymore, she becomes the only orphan in an orphanage run by a unique family. Thus begins the journey to find her definition of home.Rated: Fiction T - English - Family/Drama - Chapters: 3 - Words: 11,670 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 09-08-12 - Published: 07-26-12 - id: 3045208
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: The previous chapter has been updated as of September 7th, 2012. Changes aren't major, but re-reading the chapter before moving onto this one might be a good idea.
-Phase 2: Surfacing Suspicion-
Traffic was always busy on Sundays with parents spending time with their children, working adults trying to relax on the hectic weekend, and students having fun with friends before the holiday is over. Even though he purposely didn't take the car, Victor was still cursing the crowd that left him no room to move a finger even on the subway. If he knew it would be like this, he would have taken the car instead. Then he would at least have his personal space inside the confines of his old…stuffy…car. Curse busy holidays.
He didn't usually take public transportation, but Jay wanted the car that day and Victor hadn't wanted to bother telling his brothers why he was going to go visit their mother by himself when he would usually take them along. The purpose of today's hospital visit was to ask his mother, Therese, about Rae. He couldn't help feeling bothered but extremely curious about this new addition to their household. Initially confused about her profile, he became exceedingly interested in her as a person after their conversation the day before.
Victor held his aching ribs and glared at his younger brother. He would give him a piece of his mind later when they were alone.
"Sorry about my brother," apologized Jay. He then hissed to Victor, "Have a little delicacy."
"It's all right," said Rae, and then continued softly, "it doesn't really make a difference anyway."
"Huh? Did you say something?" asked Jay.
Victor however, did catch what Rae had said and, uninterested before, now watched her with subtle curiosity through lazy eyelids, questions flickering through his mind.
"Um," Rae looked at Victor. "Do you know anything else? About me?" Victor was even more curious now, though he continued to keep a straight face.
"Hmm, nothing particularly interesting, no. All the details were given to my mother, but she only told me this much." He paused, wondering if he should try pressing the matter. "Is there something we should know?" he ventured.
Rae appeared startled by the inquiry. "Hm? Oh, um, nothing particularly interesting." She looked down at her feet, making Victor wonder what she was thinking about with that uneasy expression on her face.
Her parallel answer amused him, but before Rae caught the look on his face he was studying her documents again. "So, about school…"
Victor was brought out of his thoughts when he heard the ringing signalling the closing of the train doors. He looked at the electronic display above the door, which currently read the name of his stop. Crap, was he really so lost in his thoughts that he didn't even hear the announcement of the station name? He hurriedly jumped out of the train right as the doors were closing and made it with all his limbs still attached. He breathed out a sigh of relief.
The hospital was a ten minute walk from the station and Victor continued to ponder about Rae as he approached the large white building. Upon entering, his nostrils were filled with the strong smell of disinfectants. After checking with the reception, he took the elevator to the third floor and proceeded down the hall to the room where his mother was located. He knocked on the door and entered after hearing a faint 'come in'.
His mother was currently the only patient residing in the room. She was sitting up in bed and a smile lit up her face when she saw her oldest son walk through the door. He headed to her bedside table and set down a mini box of pastries from the bakery that he knew his mom loved.
"Victor! What a pleasant surprise," she said as she pointed a TV remote at the small television that sat across the room and turned down the volume. "Where are the others?" she peered around Victor to get a glimpse of the doorway, waiting to see her other sons to appear.
"I came alone today, Mom,"
Immediately sensing the serious tone in his voice, Therese straightened to look at her son. "Oh? How rare. Is there something wrong?"
As expected of his mother, thought Victor. She knew that he wasn't here for a normal visit. He thought about how to start the topic, but his mother saved him the trouble.
"The young lady, Rae Talon, did she arrive?"
"I see, so how are your brothers coping with having a younger woman in the house? I'm sure a little female teenage presence will spice up life around home." Therese chuckled playfully.
Victor sighed. "Please don't even joke about that, Mom. Vincent's already about ready to bolt out the door with his usual ineptitude around girls and I don't think David had a very good first impression about her."
"Did something happen?" she sounded worried.
"Well, long story short, there was a little mishap in the kitchen just as David got home and judging from appearances, it may have seemed that Rae was at fault."
"Oh dear," she looked thoughtful for a second. "Well, I'm sure things will work out sooner or later. You don't need me to tell you what your brothers are like after all." Victor smiled and shook his head.
"Well? What's your first impression of her?"
Victor wasn't expecting that question. "I guess…normal, maybe? She seems like a good girl; maybe a little on the unsociable side, but good nonetheless."
He noticed her watching him and caught a twinkle in her eyes. "…What?"
Therese smiled. "I get the feeling that you want to say more."
Victor sucked in his breath through pursed lips. Mothers are sharp. "I guess there's no hiding it from you, huh? Then I'll come right out with it. Why did you accept Rae Talon into Summer's Home, Mom?"
Therese looked down at her hands folded in her lap but didn't speak.
"I was looking at her profile yesterday, and it's odd. There's just too little background information on her. The documents only talk about her having previously lived with her relatives, with barely anything about her parents." He spoke with an unwavering gaze directed toward his mother but she still stayed silent, waiting for him to continue.
"I know that you wouldn't just accept someone who you knew nothing about into the orphanage, so that must mean you're hiding something. Mom, what have you not told me?"
Therese exhaled, "I knew you would come find me sooner or later. You've always had a knack for noticing these things; ever since you were a young boy, Victor."
She patted a visitor's chair next to her bed. "Take a seat, my son , you'll get tired standing."
Victor didn't need to sit, but complied.
"I suppose I can't avoid this issue forever." She lifted a glass of water from the table next to her bed and brought the rim to her lips, taking a lengthy sip before returning it to the table. "Why I accepted that girl, is it?" She thought for a minute or two before she spoke again. "Before Rae came, she was living with her relatives and had been doing so for eight years. She wasn't treated terribly well in that house by her aunt and uncle, and was shunned at school too. Living in the countryside and without a friend, there really wasn't anywhere she could escape to. That's why when her relatives called to ask me to take in their niece, I felt like I had to do it. It wasn't for her relatives, but for the girl. It seemed wrong to leave her in other hands and I thought that Summer's Home would be the best place for her to recover from any emotional trauma she may have developed from neglect. The city could be a good change of scenery for her and meeting new people may allow her to make a fresh start."
"Is that it?" asked a bemused Victor. "There are just way too many holes in that story. I clearly remember her documents mentioning that her mother is still alive. Why wasn't she living with her mother instead of her relatives? Why was she getting bullied in the first place? This doesn't make any sense, Mom."
"Rae is different from other people, and others tend to find her a little…strange."
"There are…circumstances. Those circumstances are perhaps the main reason why I decided to accept Rae."
"So what are they?"
"If you want to know anymore, I'm afraid you're going to have to ask her yourself."
Victor was at a loss. He had no idea what was going on anymore.
"I really wish I could tell you," said Therese, "but the remaining truth is something that should be told by Rae herself. It may not be easy, but get to know her, Victor. Spend time with her together with your brothers and you may all come to an understanding."
"Easier said than done; you know that all of us brothers are terrible at this sort of thing, and it's even worse that she's a girl."
"If it's you guys I know it'll be fine, because the things you hear about someone can never compare to the importance of making contact with another human being."
Victor sighed. "All right, we'll try, for your sake."
Therese smiled. "That's my son. Remember to bring Rae for a visit sometime. I want to meet her."
Victor returned the smile. "Of course,"
By the time the visit was over, Victor was left with fewer answers than questions and more questions than he had when he arrived. There were so many pieces of the puzzle that didn't match up. Therese said the reason for Rae's mistreatment was because she was 'strange'. Sure, she was an unsociable kid, but that wasn't enough to be called strange, right? The more he thought about it the more muddled his thoughts became. He wanted to know the truth. The only problem was how was he supposed to ask the kid about a past that she was trying to hide?
A/N: A shorter chapter, but it's still a chapter nonetheless. I hope you enjoyed this chapter, and reviews are always welcome. Thanks for reading!