Chapter 1- Normality's Overrated Anyways
"We're sorry to inform you of this, but your parents were in a collision. They died upon impact."
Adrianna had no idea, that one sentence could change her life forever.
Adrianna did not cry as she finished changing out of her clothes after the funeral. She looked around her large bedroom and saw that she didn't have very many options. New York City had been her home for as long as she could remember. The traffic, the people, the environment were as much a home to her as the large apartment was. However, it was no place for an eighteen year old to attempt to raise a child. She would have to take Austin and move. She had an obligation to him, to care for him and place him in an environment where he would have a childhood. Her father was a businessman, and that meant living in the city. Her own childhood didn't consist of tossing a baseball in the backyard. Rather it was sitting though tea parties in expensive dresses with her mother. She didn't have the opportunity to play in a park, to get dirty like other children did. She wanted her brother to be able to do that.
The weight of her sudden responsibilities hit her hard. She crawled on her bed and thought about crying briefly, just giving in to all of the problems she had to face. Pondering the thought of it, Adrianna pulled out a notebook and decided to list everything she needed to do. She was an adult, she had responsibilities; she could cry later.
Her life was now complicated to say the least. Adrianna bit down on the pencil and considered adjustments. The large apartment would have to be sold and she would need to find a smaller one in another neighbourhood, somewhere cheaper but safe enough for Austin to be able to play in. Money was not that big of an issue with the amount of money her father made, and the business he left behind. It's mine now, she thought stunned. It was never something they really discussed, but her father expected her to take over the business after she had finished college. She thought about college. She had always wanted to go out West, try the other side of the coast. There were plenty of neighbourhoods near colleges, she could find one there; a nice little house, with a yard, and a park. Adrianna smiled for the first time in what felt like weeks. She could just imagine Austin rolling in the grass, with the sun shining, and a dog? Huh, she could get a dog now. Leaving the stuffy, expensive, no-pets-allowed apartment would give them the opportunity to do that. A dog might make Austin smile.
Her heart broke a little when she thought about her little brother. How was he going to react to the sudden move? She wasn't the only one leaving everything behind, he would be too. Putting down her pencil, she took a breath and walked into her brother's room. He was sitting on the bed staring at the wall with a confused look on his face.
"Hey, champ." She said taking a seat behind him.
"Adrianna, mommy and daddy are dead now, right? That means they're never coming back?" Austin asked, his blue eyes furrowed deep in confusion.
"Yes, baby. They're not with us anymore; they're up there with all the angels." Adrianna said gathering up the five year old in her arms, trying not to choke up.
Austin ran his hand through his sister's strawberry blonde locks, fisting his hand there as he thought about it. "Is it nice there? Will they have friends? Will they be happy?"
Adrianna let out a small sob. Her brother was still a child with innocence and compassion. He was worried about them, rather than grieving for himself. "Oh, honey, it's beautiful there. They can have whatever they want, and make all the friends they can count. They'll miss you a little, but they'll be happy if you're happy."
Austin pulled away and looked at his sister. "And you too, right? You have to be happy to, Ree."
Adrianna put on a smile. "As long as I get to keep you, I'm very happy."
The little boy broke out into a large smile. "I get to stay with you?"
Adrianna frowned. "Of course you do, Austin. I'm eighteen, I'm legally an adult. I can have custody over you."
"Auntie Chloe said that I would have to come live with her." Austin said sadly, not meeting his sister's eyes.
Adrianna nearly growled. Chloe was her mother's step-sister. She was twenty years older than her mother, and thought that she knew best. She had tried to control most of Adrianna's mother's life, and it seemed that even in death she was going to try to do so.
"I'm not letting anyone take you away from me, Austin. Chloe will just have to stuff it."
Austin looked at her with trust-filled blue orbs, and Adrianna promised she would do everything in her power to keep that little boy smiling. He was all she had.
"Austin, can you come with me? We need to figure some things out, just me and you."
Her brother nodded and hopped off of the bed. Hand in hand, they went back to her room where she explained that they would have to move. Austin's eyes grew wide at the prospect, and Adrianna was afraid she had upset him.
"You mean we get to go on an adventure?" He demanded excitedly.
Adrianna breathed out a sigh of relief. "Yes, exactly that! We'll be driving across the coast. It'll take a few days, but it'll be fun. We can have a road trip."
"What can I bring?" Austin demanded, unable to sit still.
Adrianna bit her lip. That was the big question, there were too many things in the house, and they certainly didn't need them all.
"How about this, we'll make a list, okay?"
"I get to make a grown-up list?"
"Yes, you do, big guy."
Adrianna handed him a sketch pad and a bunch of crayons. Austin was content to lie down on the ground and construct his list. Adrianna watched her brother lovingly for a minute before deciding it was time to get to work. She pulled out her laptop and immediately searched for a real estate agent and neighbourhoods near the colleges she wanted to go to.
Within a half an hour, Adrianna had called an agent, found a house, and was busily trying to figure out what needed to be sold. One of the cars has to go, she thought. She would keep the one that was cheaper to maintain and sell the large SUV her father had loved very much. A lot of the furniture would have to go; there was simply no room for it. Her parents things needed to be packed away, or given away. She'd keep her mother's laptop for Austin and any jewellery or clothing that meant a lot to her.
Adrianna glanced at Austin who was busily colouring in his list. He's probably going to be hungry when he finishes that, she thought heading towards the kitchen. She checked their supplies, and glanced at the piles of food people had brought them. Deciding to keep those dinners in the freezer, and make something simple, she called Austin downstairs.
"I'm all done!" He exclaimed, waving his sheets of paper at her eagerly.
"Excellent! Me too. What do you say to some dinner?"
He nodded eagerly. "Can I help?"
"You'll have to wear the chef's hat." Adrianna said mock seriously.
Austin's eyes widened. "Dad's hat?"
Adrianna nodded. "He wouldn't want anyone else have it."
Together, they set out to make dinner and retain some sense of normality.
Super short, but what do you think?