CHAPTER ONE: Goodbye
"True goodbyes are the ones never said or explained." —Unknown
My third period Science teacher looked up from his papers. "Can I help you?"
"We're here for Miss Jaymie Sommer." My teacher was handed a slip of paper.
I kept my head down and continued to write, peering up through my bangs. Murmurs began to rise around the classroom, some of my friends giving me questioning looks that I had no intention of answering. My face grew hot and my palms sweaty.
"Miss Sommer, please pack your things up. And remember to do the homework on the board."
I nodded, gathered my things up in a rush. I knew that I didn't have to do the homework; there would be no point.
Because when three large men dressed in black—and looking like they would not hesitate to knock you out—show up while you're in class, you know something's wrong. And though I didn't know exactly what was going on, one thing was for certain:
It was moving time.
Hopping into the black limo awaiting me in the parking lot, I dropped my stuff down and quickly changed out of my uniform. Switching into a pair of jeans, a gray sweater, and running shoes, I bunched my hair up into a pony tail.
"What's the deal this time, Carlos?" I asked, as the limo sped down the road at an alarming—but not-so-surprising—rate.
He shrugged, staring intensely at his PDA. "No idea. Your father called less than ten minutes ago and ordered for us to get you home ASAP."
The rest of the ride was silent, but it didn't last long. Soon, we were past the gates and in front of the four-story mansion I called "home" for nearly three years. I threw the car door open and ran up the front steps. Punching in the pin code, I waited for the door to open and was met by the flurry of housemaids packing and rearranging things. They were all flushed in the faces and some were exasperated to see me just arriving.
"Mother?" I yelled out, walking around. "Father?"
"We're in the family room, honey!" came a muffled voice. Walking in, I tried to act composed, because despite the chaos, my parents were almost always poised.
"What happened?" I asked, taking in Father's calm but stressed posture on the couch and Mother's creased forehead as she organized the papers strewn across the coffee table into a brief case. She looked like she had been crying. Wads of Kleenex were piled up on a side table.
Father looks resigned, though his tone of voice sounded as if he was just talking about bad weather. "We need to move again. They're on us."
"We had a lead, too," Mother added, disappointment evident. She placed the brief case down and retrieved another one. I peered at the paperwork. Important documents;things I usually weren't allowed to be within six feet of.
"But then one of our teams didn't clean up properly after themselves and..."
"Well, they don't know for sure, do they?" I asked.
"No, they don't," Father agreed. "But we can't take the chance. We have to observe them silently without making a move for a while—unless it's completely necessary—or else…I can't even imagine what would happen."
Mother paused and smiled at me, though it was sad. She couldn't possibly be sad to be moving, right? Mother was never sad over something like this. This was almost second-nature to us. No, she must be sad about something else. "Go pack your things, Jaymie. We have less than an hour."
I nodded and jogged upstairs. Less than an hour was really more than I needed.
Opening my door, I smiled at how cozy it looked. The walls a deep forest green color, the bed sheets different shades to match. The furniture was all made of wood, giving the room a nature-esque feel. My stuffed animals sat in a perfect row in front of my pillows, and my vanity was full of odds and ends since I was such a pack-rat. I crashed onto my bed, and stared up at the ceiling.
I think deep down, I knew we were going to move sooner or later—I mean, we always did. But three years. Three years of stability and as each year went by it was like a piece of reassurance filled me. But now it was gone. Just like that. Everything I had worked for in these three years…they were meaningless now—they meant so little.
Rolling off of my bed, I headed over to my vanity. I let my fingers run along everything—a couple of perfumes given to me as gifts, stuffed animals that didn't fit on my bed, my necklaces and other assorted jewelry. My eyes lingered on the mirror for a while. Pictures. Snapshots. Memories.
Most of them were of Emily and I, some including other kids from school. I guess for the three years we've known each other, we considered each other best friends. I even remembered the time she called us "best friends for life," and I had fought the huge urge to laugh at the absurdity, and opted to smile and nod my head instead. Nothing was forever for people like my family and I. The only thing forever was the knowledge of who we were, and sometimes even that was lost within the years of living under a false identity—a cover.
Though, looking back, I could have believed Emily's words. Three years was a long time, and it would've been easy to think that three years would turn to five, to ten, and then much longer. But then again, if I had, it all would have ended the moment the men showed up in class. How was Emily now? How would she be in a few hours when she discovers that I'd left? When the Sommer family moved, or any family like us, it was slick, easy and quiet. That meant no one knew we left at all until we were long gone. And I never bothered to contact my old friends again; what was I supposed to say? How could I explain my sudden disappearance? I couldn't simply tell them the real reason behind my move. It would be like Harry Potter telling the world that witches and wizards existed, and about dark magic. Not only would some people just not believe you and think you're nuts, but you're also putting yourself and people like you at risk. A risk that you just couldn't take.
I mean, come on, it was hard enough trying to explain to Emily that the umbrella in your room could possibly kill her without actually telling her that it could kill her.
My reflection in the mirror caught my eye. I don't know what struck me as strange: the way my dark hair flowed down just past my shoulders, or how my hazel-green eyes looked…so dead. Maybe it was the fact I looked nothing like Mother and Father, having gone years thinking I was adopted until I learned that they both had undergone minor physical changes (hair color, contact lenses, extra padding under clothes).
But it could have also been the paleness of my skin, how it looked like I lived in a cave, though I just preferred staying at home because I didn't have to walk around with dangerous secrets. I stared at myself a bit longer, wondering what was so…off. And I had this feeling that the move wasn't the worst thing to come; like it was written on my face. Expectation, maybe? After a few minutes I gave up. I needed to pack.
Pulling out a large suitcase, I threw it on my bed and opened it. Heading over to my walk-in closet, I pressed a button which pulled out a rack of the clothes I needed and wore the most often. Pulling all those clothes down from their hangers, I quickly folded them and tossed them into the suitcase. Walking back over to my closet, I pressed a couple more buttons which organized what was what (dresses, sweaters, t-shirts). They got put into boxes, sealed and then sent down a passageway to the back of the house which loaded everything for the move.
It's pretty strange, but it helped us save a lot of time.
I tossed a couple of my stuffed animals into the case, as well as the photos on my vanity. I pushed everything on my vanity into a box which I sealed and placed in the briefcase. I threw in some more stuff, too—books, other clothes, and CDs. While I took most things, I also had to leave some. I'm not sure what happens to them afterwards, though. Usually, I never see them again.
Walking over to the bedside table, I checked the time. I had a good ten minutes or so before we had to leave, so I sat there, watching the time tick. I don't really remember what I thought of—maybe relived some of the sleepovers I had, or the times I spent around the town—but the minutes went by quickly. I picked up the clock and reset the time to twelve o'clock in the morning. Twelve in the morning was a new day, a new adventure. To me, setting the time was like a symbolic gesture in starting anew.
Kissing each of the stuffed animals I had to leave behind, I took a last look at the bedroom.
Smiling sadly, I lugged my brief case with me as I closed the door.
Time to move on.
I don't own Harry Potter.
Official Disclaimer: I don't claim to own anything you might recognize (brand names, places, books and/or music, etc). All characters and events that appear and occur are from my imagination and creative (haha) mind. I'm just doing this for fun!