"What?" I yelled on the top of my lungs.

"Moving," my Mama stated with a heavy sigh.

"Why the hell are we moving?" I asked. Balling my fists, I took a deep breath, praying I wouldn't do something stupid, like punch the wall.. or Mama.

"Watch your language, young lady, and you know damn well why you're moving," she hissed, aggravated.

"That was an accident, a mistake," I muttered. I took another deep breath, feeling my anger slowly rising. Calmarsi, stupido, I growled in my head. Calm down, stupid.

Mama lost her patience. "No, the mistake was finding it in my heart to forgive you after the stunt you pulled last week; the mistake was that you would be act mature and think about your actions, but those were my mistakes. No more. You're moving back to America to live with your father, and that's finale." She breathed, her own anger rising.

That did it.

I flared my nostrils, and what sounded like a battle cry emerged from me, making Mama jump back in shock. Ignoring her, I turned on my heels, stomped out of the living room and down the hall to my room. Once in there, I threw the door shut with as much strength I could muster at nine in the morning. Slumping on the door, I scanned my room looking for something, anything that would prove that I was having a nightmare.

Nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary, my room looked exactly the same: ivory colored walls with black rims; a queen size bed; my work desk and my black and white patterned couch with red throw pillows scattered all over it. Nothing was out of order.

I scanned my room for the third time and still, I saw no changes... I did a double take on my window, it was slightly open, letting in the sun and a soft breeze. My eyes widened at what I saw-there was a ghost of a woman in my room. No, not a woman, a girl, there was a ghost of a teenage girl in my room. I blinked and instead of disappearing or fading away she became more visible. Holy shit! I must be dreaming!

But somehow I knew I wasn't. I felt oddly calm. Which proved nothing except that I was losing my ever-loving mind.

Ghost-girl wore a dark green floor-length dress, black peep toe pumps, and... a crown, (yes, a crown) it was made of green and white flowers-it was beautiful and sat perfectly on her head. She was breathtaking; everything about her was beautiful, especially her caramel skin. She was black and beautiful. She looked angelic. She was still in my room.

"Um...hello," I whispered, I was afraid anything louder than that might scare her. At the sound of my voice she smiled, her hazel eyes glowing with...what?...anticipation?...wonder?

"Hello." She crooned. My eyes nearly popped out of their sockets at the sound her voice. She sounded angelic, too.

"Lola, open the door, now," Mama called, knocking on my door. My locked door. I sent a glare at the handle when it started rattling. Lasciami in pace!

I turned back to the window where Ghost-girl's...gone!... (gone!) I rise to my feet with a start. What the hell? I could have sworn she was standing there moments ago, but now I was alone, all alone and frantically searching my room for a ghost.

I looked everywhere, from my bathroom to under my bed. Nothing. At last, after five minutes or so I give up and assumed that she was a stress-induced hallucination. Kneeling on the couch, I pushed the window wider to get a better view of outside. Nothing unusual, no phantom little girl roaming the streets, just a lazy Saturday in the village. Seating back on my heels, I take a deep breath, trying to forget that morning ever happened or the fact that Mama was still banging on the door. Taking another deep breath, I breathed in the smell of pasta, mint, and meat-combined in one mouth-watering scent. That's what I get for living right next door to a restaurant, I snorted. Tipica Italia.

There's no way in hell I'm leaving my home, I thought to myself.

No way.

I didn't realize that I was crying until an unexpected sob bursted out of me, followed by many more. Ugh, I hate crying. I closed my eyes, resting my head on a throw pillow. I stayed there for I don't know how long, trapped in my sorrows, a lot of images flash before my eyes, images of days spent with...him. My father. My Dada. A lot of happy and joyful days. Of course those days where before he got corrupted, (in other words, before he started sleeping with my Sunday school teacher). And he and Mama were only divorced for four and a half years at the time, the bastard. I take a shaky breath, trying to block out the pain those memories brought, I did not hear my door being unlocked or opened.

Warm hands stroked my cheek, wiping my tears away. Reluctantly, I opened my eyes and find myself face-to-face with my Mama, her dark eyes full of worry.

"It's okay, baby, don't cry," she whispered, still stroking my cheek.

"I thought you were mad," I croaked.

"I decided to take a chill pill," she gave a small shrug.

I didn't smile. "I'm not moving Mama, and you can't force me." I said.

"Ugh, Lola, please don't start with me again!" She whined. Falling back on the couch, she covered her face with a pillow and groaned, loud.

"I'm. Not. Going." I bit out.

"Yes. You. Are."

I shot off the bed and glared down at her. After a long second, she raised the pillow and peaked at me.

"You can't make me go,"


"Really." I put my hand on my hip, "I'm not moving, and that's final."

She raised an eyebrow. A challenge. And I'm not backing down of. I'm not moving back to America and she can't make me.

I sighed as I watched the plane get closer to the ground. Five minutes till landing. I sighed again and leaned back in my sit, my first-class sit. At least I can admit defeat in comfort. No, I will not admit defeat because I'd been bamboozled, Mama bribed me with jewelry and promises of a car and like a weakling, I caved and now I'm on a highway to hell. Mama could have made a damn good lawyer, I thought. I cringed just thinking about our last conversation, the one that caused me to be in this crafty death trap...

... "I'm not moving, and that's final."

Mama sat up. "Yes, you are. Lola, it's been nearly five years since he's seen you and he really misses you, and so does Papa. Don't you at least miss Papa?"

I opened my mouth and promptly closed it. That was a low blow.

I tried again. "Of course I miss Papa and I miss him, too," I said patiently, "but that's not the case. The case is that I don't want to move back to America without you, Mama. Even if it's for a few months." My eyes filled with tears but I ignored them and continued. "Why can't you at least come with me?"

"Oh, come on, Lo, you know I have to finish my contract-and you can't come because of your father and the fact that it's the middle of the school year," she finished quickly when I opened my mouth to speak.

"Exactly, wh-"

She cut me off. " You're going, Lola. And besides it'll only be four months, at most. You will barely miss me."

"Yes, I will!" I yelled, my voice cracking. Tears rolled down my face and my heart beat frantically. I don't want to go. I don't want to go. I. Don't. Want. To. Go.

Mama's arms wrapped around me and pulled me close. "Shh, baby, it's okay," she crooned softly.

"There's nothing you can say that will make me change my mind," I croaked, my voice muffled on her shoulder.

"Are you sure about that?"


"What if I said I'd buy you a car?"

I paused. "So... it's only four months, right?"

She laughed...

... Damn my weakness for independence, I cursed. The plane had landed five minutes ago and now I sit on a bench in front of the airport with my luggage and a growling stomach. I leaned forward and rested my elbow on my knee, blowing a strand of hair out of my face. And resumed counting.

"One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi..." I groaned. God, I'm hungry. Where are they? "One Mississippi, two-"

"Hey stranger," a familiar voice called from beside me. I looked up to see a very familiar face smiling down at me.

Oh. My. God. "Papa!" I beamed, and threw myself at him. He caught me on time, folding me into a big hug. I nearly choked with happiness. "I've missed you so much, Papa," I croaked, my throat tight.

"What about me, did you miss me?" Another familiar voice asked. I peeled my eyes open and blinked up at my father. My Dada. He was standing a few feet behind us but didn't approach. I gently pulled away from Papa and ran into his arms, wrapping mine tightly around his waist. He hesitated and I know why. I squeezed him tighter, urging him to hug back. After a moment, he did just that. He hugged me like he used to nearly four years ago before...before he got corrupted. I froze.

He seemed to notice my change in posture and pulled back. I took a step back.

"Um, sorry we're late," he said, "we got held up on traffic." He looked a little bit wounded, (I guess I hurt his feelings).

"It's okay," I faltered. " The flight landed late, anyways." I tried to smile but it felt really awkward.

"You must be hungry," said Papa, he had my carry-on and tote bag in his hands. Somehow, he managed to look masculine around all that hot pink. Only Papa, I thought. Dada took the rest of my stuff, and together they put them in the trunk of a sleek black Range Rover parked next to the entrance of the airport. How did I not notice this huge Jeep right next to me?

"Not really," I answered, food was the last thing I was thinking about. Which was a first.

"Well, I'm hungry," he said. He opened the backseat door for me, I climbed in.

"You're always hungry, Papa," Dada muttered. He climbed in the driver's seat and Papa took shotgun. He put the car on drive but paused when I yelled "wait!", he and Papa turned and stared at me, startled.

"Can I drive?" I asked, deadpan.

"Hell no." They replied in unison, Dada carefully eased out into the road. Leaning back in my seat, I glared them down. Oh, really? They shared a lazy grin and I struggled not to roll my eyes. These men could have been twins,-aside from Papa's buzzcut (and the fact that he didn't screw my Mama's best friend)- they had nearly everything in common and looked ridiculously alike: same eye color, a deep, dark, bottomless brown; same height; same passion for love, family, food, and the New York Yankees.

Hell, I think they even weight the same.

They also shared a small, barely-there, Italian accent. Like father like son, I thought, biting back a smile. I remembered when they used to argue with anybody who brought up the subject of their likeness. I met Dada's eyes in the rearview mirror and smiled. He seemed surprised, and for a moment, it was almost like old times. Almost. I closed my eyes, breaking eye contact, and smuggled a yawn. I was so tired; it was a long flight from Europe to the middle of America, I think I got a total of ten hours of sleep. Snuggling back in my seat, I dozed off...