Chapter 2

Chapter 2

A Chapter by thegirlthatwrites

There was a loud crash as my suitcase hit the floor of my new room, followed swiftly by Nora's call asking if I was okay.

"Fine!" I shouted back automatically as I hurled my backpack onto the bed.

It was a good room, bigger than the one I had in the apartment in DC. Still, it faintly smelled of old lady perfume from the years of my grandmother living in the house mixed with the still lingering scent of sweat and weed from other tenants that had been renting out the house over the past few years. Nora had willingly given whatever was necessary to cleaners to come in and sanitize the place from top to bottom. I was half-expecting her to ask a priest to come in and try to purify the entire place before we stepped foot inside. She even refused to let me actually enter the house before she went through the entire place top to bottom and checked every drawer and crevice to make sure nothing was left behind.

"They left some coke behind!" I shouted tauntingly while unzipping my suitcase. "Can I pretty please have it?! Addiction is good for the soul!"

I could already hear Nora's feet puttering up the stairs before she was pulled back down by the doorbell ringing. Snickering to myself, I began to go about putting away some of my clothes, shifting them and folding them around to try to see what felt right. Before I could get very far, I was attacked from behind and pinned against the bureau while lanky brown arms refused to let me go.

"Naomi," I managed to get out, despite my lungs being crushed. "So, so great to see you again."

"Cath-er-ine," Naomi began, finally pulling away and allowing me to turn around. Holy crap, she got tall. At least, taller than me, but I suppose no one stays their ten-year-old height forever. "Is that a zit on your forehead? I told you that would happen if you kept eating that nasty DC food. We'll get you a good Boston meal in no time. Mom is already all 'bring Cattie over for dinner' and I was like 'Clarissa, she isn't even in Boston yet' and then she tried to ground me for calling her by her first name." She dramatically waved her hand in the air before falling backward onto my bed. "As if I listen to her."

"Again, just so very, very great to see you," I muttered dryly, yanking a shirt out from under the reclining Naomi that had already taken over one piece of furniture in my new room. It was just a matter of time before she laid claim to the entire house. Wherever she went, she could make it her own home. It was thanks to her that it wasn't until I got to DC that I realized kicking my feet up on a friend's desk in their room isn't exactly socially acceptable. Still, it didn't stop me all that much to learn that. "Didn't you have an audition this morning?"

"Yeah, for the fall musical." She snapped her fingers and gave another dismissive wave. "I'll get the part I want easily. Soooo many freshman are trying out."

"Toss me that t-shirt." Due to Naomi's awful aim, I ended up having to dive to the side to catch the shirt she threw to me before I could fold it. "You sure you don't want to go out for softball again?"

"Look, I can crush a ball out of the park, like, nine out of ten times. But for the love of God, who the hell invented throwing?" Reluctantly, Naomi stood up and began helping me unpack the suitcase that had been lying open next to her while I worked. "So, what job is it again?"

I froze for a moment, ice running through my veins as my heart stopped. Soon enough for her to hopefully not notice, I regained my normal composure when I realized Naomi was asking about Nora, not me. "Oh, uh, a night nurse. Yeah, Nor will be more of a supervisor, I guess? I'm not really sure how it'll work, but it's a bigger pay than in DC. After she got the offer she couldn't stop talking about how excited she was to move back here."

Naomi looked toward me, and a moment of hesitation before her next question. "And you?"

"I don't mind being back," I replied airily, focusing on a pull in a sweater now. How long had that thing been there?

"You didn't like DC?"

"Nah, it's just, I think it got a bit too crowded for me down there." It wasn't a lie, technically. My placement in Boston was youth spy crowd control, after all. "Talking about me is boring. What's new around here? What's the high school like? Still got ceiling tiles falling down and nearly killing the valedictorians?"

“Oh, no, no, we’ve moved onto the walls cracking enough for people to store their backpacks in them during class.”

“Fantastic, I love a subpar education in a crumbling building.” As I turned back around from my bureau, I realized that Naomi was, in an effort to be helpful, starting to unload my backpack. I lunged forward, snatching it out of her reach.

“Yikes, do you have a stash of drugs in there or something?” she asked, and I could see how miffed she was all over her face. Seven years had not changed the fact that I, and most others, could read her like a book.

“Fragile stuff,” I explained, setting the bag down carefully behind my door. I could hear the gun at the bottom make a slight thud from inside as it contacted the ground, and the top of a manila envelope slipped out from the top. “Important paperwork, too.”

“Since when do you care about paperwork? I know for a fact every important letter home from your old school is probably laying at the bottom of that bag.” Actually, a handgun was at the bottom of the bag, but ignorance was bliss. “I could probably find a seventh grade permission slip in there.”

“Unlikely, considering I set my junior high backpack on fire on the fire escape as some kind of ironic protest after graduation.”

A grin finally spread back across Naomi’s face before she lunged forward and hugged me again. “I’m so glad to have you back, my lil’ pyromaniac.”

I glanced over her shoulder as I hugged her back, my eyes only drawn to the envelope still sticking out of my backpack. I spent nearly the entire ride up to Boston trying to go through the contents as discreetly as possible. It had all the information I needed for my new Unit, and once I had it memorized, I would need to shred it and light the remains on fire. It was absolutely critical that if any papers ever got out of a Unit base that disclosed information about the Unit agents or their missions, those papers had to be entirely destroyed before outsiders saw them. The Youth Preparation Units were among some of the best kept secrets of the Organization, and they needed to stay that way.

Which meant that finding the other members of my Unit would be nearly impossible, considering none of the names on the list I was given were that familiar and Naomi would be ever so curious if I asked about some random people she may not even know. It had barely been a half hour and it was already difficult to keep her from knowing more than she should. The struggles of secrecy are so underrated.

“Some of us are going out tonight, if you want to come along,” Naomi insisted as she pulled away. “Everyone is super excited you’re back.” I had no idea who ‘everyone’ was, but jumping right back into the social scene headfirst did not seem like such a bad idea. Even if I was fresh off an eight hour car ride. “Oh! We should get a cake!”

“But dearest Naomi, it’s the Lord’s Day, what bakery is open?” I teased with a fake southern accent. She threw me a look as she headed out the door, already set on her next task for the day. “Get it shaped like my face! I’ve always wanted to eat my own eyes!”

Right as Naomi vanished, Nora appeared in my doorway with a couple boxes piled in her arms, looking exasperated for any myriad of reasons. Taking the boxes from her, I left her to inspect the room, giving it a few good sniffs as she did so. Then, in one swift motion, she pulled a bottle of air freshener from her back pocket and began to fill the air with the sickeningly clean and sweet scents. Only then did she cease crinkling her nose while I was forced to bury mine under the collar of my shirt to avoid suffocating.

“Think that’s enough, Auntie,” I spoke through the cloth, only to be ignored while my door was exorcised with the spray. “I’ll die of chemical inhalation.”

“It’s organic,” Aunt Nora easily brushed off my concerns before changing the subject. “Is pizza good for dinner?”

“I’m going out with Naomi and everyone.”

Aunt Nora turned to me, raising an eyebrow. “Who’s everyone?”

“All Naomi’s nymphomaniac friends.”

“Use protection.”

“Of course, Auntie.”

With one final spritz toward my closet, Nora left the room to go spray and sanitize the rest of the house. Why she ever paid people to do housekeeping was beyond me when she just cleaned everything all over again. Just as I was getting back to unpacking, Nora showed up again to set up some candles. On her way out, she picked up my backpack and tossed it toward me unexpectedly. The bag spun, the envelopes and gun falling out among some other knick-knacks. With a swift kick, I sent the gun flying under my bed before Aunt Nora could even glance down, my heart pounding a million miles a minute when I saw the way her jaw was hanging open.

“I’m so clumsy today!” she suddenly exclaimed. “That drive did me in. I’m going to take a nap. Do you mind unloading the rest of the dining room boxes?”

Clutching the now empty backpack to my chest, I nodded like a bobble-head on a rollercoaster. “Yeah, yeah, no problem.”

 

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            I did not end up leaving Naomi’s until well after midnight, and the ‘everyone’ consisted of our old gang of playground friends that I barely kept in contact with over the years. Naomi was the only one that actively tried to contact me constantly, but everyone else acted as though they did. There was cake, though, which made things a bit better, and I got to meet a few new people I would be attending high school with. Somehow I ended up getting stuck driving people home, despite the fact that the get together was to welcome me home and it had been seven years since I was even a passenger in Boston, let alone a driver. Thankfully, I’ve always driven like a Masshole.

“Thanks for the ride,” Billy, a kid I would be taking physics with, managed to slur out as he scrambled out of the passenger seat.

“No problem,” I instinctively replied. “Go easy on the vodka gummy bears next time, bro.”

I received a thumb’s up in return before he slammed through the door of his dark house. He seemed like a good guy, but I swore his IQ dropped 20 points the second he got some alcohol in his system. Once I was certain he was safe inside, I quickly shifted the car into drive and pulled away from the curb, eager to get home. I’d spent more of my day in my car than outside breathing fresh air, and it was honestly driving me insane. Nora would probably be awake when I got home, and likely already had her speech prepared about how I had my first day of school tomorrow and we needed to do more unpacking and there would certainly be a “let me smell your breath” in there somewhere. It was no wonder I never once questioned why she was given guardianship of me and not any of my other older aunts and uncles that actually had some experience with parenting.

Not far from home, a shadow suddenly darted out in front of my car, the screeching of my brakes registering before I even realized my foot had moved from the accelerator. The once blurred shape now reappeared, and under the streetlights the shadow turned out to be a teenage boy on a bike. I cranked open my window as he rode over, stopping next to my window.

“What the hell were you thinking?” I asked him immediately. “Did you even look to see if a car was coming?”

“The light was red,” he quickly replied.

“There’s no-” I looked up through my windshield, realizing with a deepening frown that there was, in fact, a light. And it was still freaking red. “Okay, but-”

The boy hopped off his bike now, leaning in closer to the window. “Okay? No apology? You literally just almost ran me over.”

“It’s very obvious I stopped,” I retorted, already beginning to crank the window up again. God, it would be so much cooler if I had an automatic window and didn’t look like I was churning butter as I tried to close him out.

“I was just too fast for you to hit. If it was someone else-”

The light turned green, and impulse took over as I floored it, the window cranked open enough for me to shout, “Bye, Lightning McQueen!” out the window at the same time he shouted something about slowing down.



© 2015 thegirlthatwrites


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Added on June 10, 2015
Last Updated on June 10, 2015
Tags: spies, teen, driving, moving, family, friends, humor, comedy, boston


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thegirlthatwrites
thegirlthatwrites

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I just really like to write, and there's not much else to it. more..

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