I guess you can say my life changed when my mom told me the news. I didn't know what she wanted when she said my name, or when she had that look on her face. I mean, I guess I knew something was wrong, but I couldn't quite tell what it was. The only thing I knew was that I didn't like it. I tossed the apple from hand to hand as she looked at the letter she'd just opened – the one from her employer. I'd laid it on the counter about two hours earlier, when I'd come home from school.
She sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose. "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy."
I picked the knife up and started slicing the apple, glancing at her between cuts.
"Mercy, will you just look at me?" Her tone was one of defeat, or maybe it was regret. I couldn't tell at that moment, and to be honest, I'm not sure I would've wanted to.
"What, mom?" I asked, my voice betraying my hidden annoyance. She'd never been home earlier than ten o'clock before. I'd always had the house to myself, never having to worry about her or what was wanted. But now, I did. The problem at hand was one I wanted to murder. However, I was fifteen. I was mature. I could handle it. So I laid my knife down and looked at her.
"Honey …" she began. She never called me honey. I think the last time she'd called me any form of mother-daughter pet name would have to be … well, probably when I was three. I'd tripped on the sidewalk and skinned my knee. Mercy! Honey, are you ok? She had rushed over and picked me up. Those days were long gone.
I cocked an eyebrow. "Mom, come on. I have tons of Geometry homework."
She raised the letter, most likely so I could see it. Or maybe she had nothing to do with her hands as she delivered the final blow that would ultimately ruin my life.
"I, uh … I got a letter from work today." She licked her lips. "I'm being transferred."
I nodded. I guess at this point, my mind was still on the Geometry homework and Kevin. We'd skipped the last two periods in school, and snuck into the closet under the first level stairwell. God, I could still feel his lips. And as I remembered this, I also felt the heat in my cheeks that warned me of a blush. My mother, however, didn't notice. She was too busy trying to prepare a speech in her mind, one that would justify the news she was bringing me.
"I have to start a week after Monday." She looked at me expectantly. I shrugged, as if to say: and this concerns me, how?She continued, "The company is paying for the move."
Whoa, whoa, whoa. "The move?"
She nodded. "I'm being transferred."
"But it's just to some firm a ways downtown, right? I mean, come on, mom. We're not moving-moving, are we?"
Her gaze said it all. I couldn't breathe. "Where to?"
"Well, they say it's in a small town in Rhode Island. An expanding town. Definitely in need of a firm."
"Mom!" I shrieked. "Rhode Island? You're not serious. Wait – it's April 1st, isn't it? Another April Fool's joke, right? I remember last year's. Mean, mom. Just cruel."
I chuckled nervously, running my long fingers through my jet-black hair. She shook her head.
"It's the tenth of May, honey. I have some boxes in my car. They've already got a house picked out … one they said I'd like. They know my tastes, what can I say? I need you to start packing. We're flying down there on Wednesday. I need you to be semi ready. Uh, they've arranged for all of our furniture to be shipped at around Saturday or so."
I felt sick. I nodded. My mind was numb. My legs refused to operate correctly. Leaving my apple and the knife on the black granite counter, I made my way into my room.