Like a Memory(3)

By: Abbi Glines

“Have fun! Text me photos!” my mother yelled to them as they left. As if Cruz would be taking pictures and texting them to his mother. I tried not to smile, but failed, the idea was funny to me.

“Mom, he won’t be taking any pics.” Cord broke it to her with a roll of his eyes before momma turned around and grinned. “I know. I said it to Christina. She will. She’ll be glad to.”

Christina was his date and girlfriend. They’d been together for about three months. This was a record for him. My brother went through girls like crazy. Christina he called his “girlfriend.” This was a first for Cruz.

Hadley Stone was his long running torch. She was a year older than Cruz and the daughter of a rock star, who happened to be friends with my parents. Jax Stone had been a major teen idol back when my dad was in college. He was now a rock legend, though he married one woman, and stayed with her all these years. They raised two daughters together, their stability making him popular, because usually it was the other way around.

Hadley, however, was different. She had been sheltered because of Jax’s fame and she wasn’t very social. Every time we had a get together with my parents’ group of friends Cruz would constantly flirt with Hadley. It was comical and a little sad. She wasn’t interested in the least.

Cruz typically got any girl he wanted. He looked just like dad at that age. Momma said he was the spitting image of daddy. But Hadley wasn’t impressed. It was good for him I guess. Cruz had an ego Hadley kept in check. He needed that to keep him grounded.

“I’m going to the movies with Hendrix.” Cord headed for the old blue Ford truck that he shared with Cruz on a schedule.

“I thought y’all had been banned from the theatre,” momma reminded him.

Cord glanced back over his shoulder. “Not the one in Mobile. Just Sea Breeze.”

“Don’t get into trouble,” dad said, in his stern and fatherly voice.

Hendrix Drake and Cord couldn’t go anywhere and not get into trouble.

“Good luck with that,” I replied.

Momma looked at me concerned. “Those Drake boys are a mess.”

I laughed, in my opinion, that’s the pot calling the kettle black. People said the same about the York boys. Momma’s boys were as bad as the Drake’s. It’s why my best friend Eli Hardy and I have been referring to the Drake’s and my brothers as “the terrible six,” since shortly after their births.

“I need to talk to y’all while the boys are gone,” I then told mom and dad. My youngest brother Clay was staying the night with Keegan Drake. I needed to take this opportunity to tell them I’d be moving out. Next week was closing fast.

“Okay,” momma replied, studying me closely now.

Dad added “can we talk over dinner?”

“Sure,” I said. “That’s fine.” It wasn’t going to be easy either way, with or without food didn’t matter.

“What’s this about? Are you feeling okay?” Momma suddenly looked terrified. She lived with the fear of my resuming sickness and I wished she wouldn’t.

“I feel great. It’s not that.”

“You look a little pale,” she said, putting her hand to my forehead.

“Momma, I’m fine.”

This was why I had to leave. She’d always treat me like this. The sick little girl who she had to take care of and protect.

“If you think you’re getting sick we need to see a doctor . . .”

“Momma, I’m not sick,” I interrupted her again.

“Are you sure?”

“I’m moving out.”

They both suddenly froze. Neither had a response.

Nate Finlay

OCTAVIA’S? SERIOUSLY? OCTAVIA’S? She was naming it after herself. I wondered why this surprised me. Octavia was brilliant and had also been blessed with a dose of creativity. A generous one I admit. But she was also the only child of the Beckett Department Store founder. Much like myself Octavia was privileged, born into wealth and raised with advantage, although hers affected her differently.

This was why my mother was not happy about me announcing our engagement. Mom didn’t care for Octavia. She said she wanted for me what she and dad had but that wasn’t going to happen. Mom thought I would have that with Lila Kate. I knew what they were all thinking. They had my wedding planned and booked the moment Lila Kate was born. When they found out Lila Kate was a girl they all started planning it in their heads. Sure they didn’t say it but they sure as hell thought it. The whole damn bunch even if they don’t admit it. Octavia wasn’t Lila Kate. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

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