The wind howled outside my room and the tree branches crashed against the open window. I put down my pen and got up to shut the window and draw the curtains over it. The noise of the wind was muffled and I walked across my room to my desk. I sat down on my chair and went back to randomly doodling designs in my sketchpad, though I couldn't concentrate on it. I turned around and looked at the table beside my bed. My hands craved to open the drawer and my heart beat loudly in my chest. But I turned around and picked up the pen again, going back to doodling in my book pointlessly. But today had been a particularly tough day and I craved to lose track of it all. I wanted to disappear and let go of this world, even if it was only going to last for a few hours and it was going to bring me a step closer to death but I wanted it.
I stood abruptly and my chair fell over. Without picking it up, I quickly walked out of my room and made my way down the cavernous hallway. On either walls of the hallway, there was a mirror and I stopped in front of it. From my peripheral vision I could see myself, but I refused to turn and look at myself. I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. I started walking and made my way to the staircase. It was made entirely of stone and suspended in mid-air, just like my mother had always wanted. I climbed down the stairs and walked to the kitchen.
Everything in there was stainless steel and over-all it looked like it was taken out of an Ikea catalog. My mother always wanted the best and never settled for less. It didn't matter how much it cost. She always said that she and my father worked very hard to get where we are right now. She didn't indulge in much but her house had to be state-of-art.
Maria, the maid, looked up when I walked farther into the kitchen. She was busily preparing dinner. Maria was a heavy-set woman in her late thirties, who had never met a man to her liking so she didn't marry. She says if she finds her man too late, it will be fine, she can live her life without children.
"Miss Elizabeth, did you want something?" Maria asked me. I shook my head, sending my hair flying. I walked over to the sub-zero fridge and pulled it open. Then I took out the carton of chocolate milk and grabbed a glass. After placing the carton back in the fridge, I took a sip from my glass and walked out of the kitchen, leaving Maria to continue her work. Instead of going up to my room and being tempted again, I walked to the sitting room to watch TV.
Just as I sat down on the La-Z-Boy and reached for the remote, I heard voices coming from the hallway. I got up and moved closer to the wall and peeked into the hallway. I saw my parents walking towards the sitting room. Dad was dressed in a designer suit and Mom was wearing a grey dress with black stilettos and as always, the only accessory she was wearing was her wedding ring and watch.
"Lizzy," Mom said when she saw me. I stepped further into the hallway and Mom smiled. Her skin always had a healthy glow, which is why she never used any make-up. Her light brown hair was tied behind her head in a chic bun. They were the same color as mine. Mom was so proud of the fact that I was more like her than my father. I had the same exotic blue-green colored eyes like her, her small straight nose and high cheekbones. But looking alike is never the same as being alike and I was sure that I had let my mother down. I'd disappointed her.
"What's wrong?" I asked, looking between her and my father. My parents exchanged a quick glance but it wasn't quick enough. I saw it and my heart sunk inside my chest. There was definitely something wrong. But I couldn't imagine what it could have been. I was doing so much better now; at least I thought I was, though the worry never left my mother's blue eyes. They weren't quite green but they weren't entirely blue either. They were some exotic color of blue. I looked at Dad. His blue-grey eyes seemed so much darker now. His hair was a darker shade of brown than my mother's.
"Let's go into the sitting room," Dad said. So the three of us walked into the sitting room and I took my seat on the La-Z-Boy, while mom and dad sat down across from me.
"Is this about me?" I asked, fear encasing my heart. I knew I'd made mistakes but my parents had forgiven me. I guess I should have known it was too good to last long. I had hurt them so much.
"Oh honey, no," Mom said, taking my hand in hers and giving it a gentle squeeze. I relaxed a little but there was still something my parents were worried about.
"Sweetie, we recently took over a company in England and the company is in very bad condition and it requires your mother and I being there to fix it," Dad said. I stared at him and then at my mother. Did they just say what I think they said? I looked between the two of them; apparently yes, because they were both looking at me warily, waiting for my reaction.
"I know things were bad for a few years but I am not moving to England. However many issues I've had here, this is still my life and I'm not about to leave it and my best friend to start over in a new country in my senior year," I said. Mom and Dad exchanged worried glances. I knew I didn't deserve the best daughter of the year award but the punishment for that couldn't be uprooting me and asking me to leave behind home. This is the place where I felt safe, like the world couldn't reach out and touch me. I had nothing to worry about here.
"We were afraid you would say that, so we have another option," Mom said.
"I can move in with Kari?" I asked.
"No, the Sharma's don't have enough room since Karina's grandparents are visiting. They will be taking the spare room in the house," Mom said. I sat back against the chair, pouting. What other option was there besides moving to England? I suppose I could live there and a year goes by really fast when you have nothing to live for. I reached for the chocolate milk on the table and took two huge gulps.
"So what's the other option?" I asked, already knowing the answer.
"You remember our old college friends, don't you?" Dad asked. Old college friends? My parents had many old college friends but they'd lost touch with nearly all of them, all except two.
"The Burkes'?" I asked.
"Yes. Well, I talked to Regina and she said John and her would be happy to have you come live with them," Mom said. I don't know why, but I tried to sink in further against the chair. I wanted to disappear from the world entirely and this wasn't the first time I'd had such a feeling. Fortunately, now I knew what to do with such feelings instead of trying to bury them down until they made me want to kill myself. I had nothing against the Burke's. It was just that they had seven kids and all of them were boys; boys who were possessed by the devil at some point in their childhood. So basically, what my parents were saying was, either I could move to England, or I could move into a house of seven boys. And it wasn't that I didn't like the boys; the last time we'd met, we were little kids and they'd been like...like wild animals, and it had only been five of them. Now there were seven.
"So my two options are move to England or move into a house of seven boys that's roughly two hours away," I said, just to be sure I was getting things right. Mom and Dad nodded, their blue eyes trained on me, waiting for my answer.
"Do I have to decide right now?" I asked. Dad sighed.
"No, but soon," Mom said, with tears brimming in her eyes.
"Honey, we will miss you so much if you decide to stay," Dad said, taking my other hand into his. I blinked back the tears from my eyes and nodded. I'd never lived away from my parents. But I didn't want to move either. Why did this have to be so hard?