Posts tagged “parents

Family Ties

Posted on 18/08/2017

Abe grinned from ear to ear as his younger brother Clement cuddled his new bride, all the while marveling over the years gone by.

He and Bart were high-schoolers when Clement joined the family. The sullen preteen kept his distance. Bart thought him a snob but Abe believed something kept Clement from trusting anyone. Although Dad loved each of his children, he was extremely patient with Clement’s mood swings. Abe remembered asking his father about the special treatment and his father’s response changed his attitude towards Clement. Unlike he and Bart who lost their parents, Clement’s parents were still alive–they just didn’t want him. He readily told Bart, and the two made it their summer project to love Clement regardless of his attitude.

Years later, their patience paid off. The once surly Clement became a responsible and loving brother who made both he and Bart proud. Abe was sure their parents in heaven felt the same way.

Clement pressed a kiss to Karen’s cheek and then turned toward his brother, one brow raised. “Ready?”

“Ready.” Abe gave his new sister-in-law a smile. “Sorry that I’m taking time away from your honeymoon.”

Karen slung an arm around Clement’s shoulders and laughed when her husband bent to accommodate her. “It’s alright. We’ve got the rest of our lives together. You’re just visiting for a week…” Her smile softened. “I’ll allow you some quality time together.”

Clement kissed her cheek before ducking out from under her arm. “Besides, she and the others are going on their own special tour.” He gestured for Abe to come with him and the two walked to the jeep.

“Be safe. Don’t do anything stupid!” Karen called behind them.

Abe smirked when Clement grunted and waved a hand over his head. “It’s already begun, huh?”

“She’s been nagging even before now,” Clement mumbled as he entered the driver’s side. “It’s coming too easily. Like she’s been practicing all her life for it.”

Chuckling, Abe folded his long legs into the jeep and strapped on his seatbelt. “So where to?”

Clement started the ignition and looked to his brother. “I want to show you what I do.”

Abe smiled at his brother. “We’re visiting a village?”

“Yes. A very special village.”

“Sounds good.” Abe patted his brother’s shoulder. “So, are you guys ready to host Eli?”

Clement sighed deeply. “Not yet. Stall for another few months. I just got married.”

“I get that but I doubt Eli will be as understanding. We’ve been stalling for months now.”

“I’ll help him understand….” Clement maneuvered the car off the bumpy terrain and onto the tarred road. Then he sighed, a blissful sound accompanied with a smile. “I like being married.”

“I bet. You haven’t stopped smiling since yesterday.” Abe chuckled. “Took you long enough to listen.”

“Trust me, if it wasn’t with Karen, it wasn’t gonna happen.”

Abe grunted and looked out the window. “Well I’m glad I could come, although I wish Phoebe was here.”

“Next time, you two should take a trip out. Maybe a second honeymoon.”

“Yeah, that’ll be good. She’ll welcome the break.”

“And see where you’re from.”

A furrow in his brow, Abe glanced over at Clement’s profile. “I remember nothing about this place.”

“Nothing at all?” Clement looked his way. “Really?”

Abe shook his head. “It was such a long time ago. All I remember was being Darah’s age when…” he trailed off, his gaze traveling to the mountains in the distance. In truth, his childhood memories were a blur.

“You know the toughest thing about being a pastor of that church?” Clement spoke through Abe’s reverie. “It’s having to balance the church affairs while working to reunite lost children with their families.”

“That can’t be easy.”

“It’s not. Especially when the children don’t remember where they’re from.”

Abe clucked his tongue. “Well, did they wander off on their own?”

“They didn’t. They were stolen.”

Frisson ran down Abe’s spine. He fixed his stare at Clement’s face. “What?”

“They were stolen from their parents’ homes and villages to be sold.”

Abe swallowed and looked away. He didn’t need Clement to elaborate; the mere thought sickened him.

“When I first heard about that, I reacted the same way you did. I was filled with disgust and disbelief. Then it turned to outrage. Then… I had to act.”

Abe’s lips twitched wryly. Clement and Darah were the most impulsive of all the Teka children; Clement more than Darah.

“With the help of Dula and later on, Ejigu, we began searching within our communities for these stolen children. Some were easier to find than others. The task was great, and we were just few. But slowly, surely, we were able to reunite families and villages with their lost children.”

Abe’s smile returned fully, pride surging through him. “Junior, that’s awesome. Man, I had no idea.”

Clement nodded. “I didn’t want to bother y’all with the details. It’s part of the job.”

“Still! It must take a toll on you.” His eyes moved over his younger brother’s features, realizing now why Clement often seemed bedraggled whenever he visited home.

His brother shrugged. “It’s a burden I’ll willingly bear.”

Abe placed a hand on Clement’s shoulder. “Mom and Dad will be proud. I certainly am.”

“… I do have a confession. I’m afraid I haven’t been fully honest about all I do here.”

“As long as it’s not putting you in harm’s way, it’s alright.” When his brother didn’t reply, Abe frowned. “Are you in danger?”

“No. Not now.”

Abe scowled. “Not now? What does that mean?”

Clement sighed. “Listen. There’s another reason why I’m bringing you out with me.”


“On one of my trips to bring a bus full of children back to their village, I had this crazy thought.”

Abe frowned, not sure any of Clement’s crazy ideas was worth mentioning aloud. They’d gotten into trouble with their parents due to some of Clement’s crazy schemes. “What…?” he asked reluctantly.

“Your parents.”

Abe’s heart skipped a beat. “What… parents?” The only other parents he knew of had abandoned him in Wisconsin, and he preferred not talking about them ever again. The only parents he acknowledged had given him a name, a home and a family.

“The ones you were stolen from.”

Abe’s pulse jumped and his hand slipped from Clement’s shoulder.

Clement pulled up the side of the road and put the car in park. He shifted to face Abe. “I remember Dad telling me about how you and Bart came to the family. This was one of the days I was in one of my surly moods and Dad came to my room, telling me that you two had it bad as well. That I was acting like I was the only special case in the house, and that Bart didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye to his parents who died tragically. And that you were stolen and abandoned by two set of parents before coming here.”

Abe only stared in silence.

“I remembered that story when I tried to get the children to remember their homes. They were so traumatized by the kidnapping and imprisonment that it took weeks to get them to remember anything. And when they did, it was a skewed image of their parents abandoning them.”

Not wanting to hear anymore, Abe turned and reached for the door handle.

Clement grabbed Abe’s wrist, stilling his movement. “Abe, listen.”

“No. Let go.”

“Just hear me out.” Clement sighed, loosening his hold on Abe’s wrist. “I did some research when I came home. Remember how I showed up randomly when Bart and Geri were in that fake marriage nonsense?”

Abe couldn’t nod, couldn’t respond.

“Well it wasn’t random. It wasn’t easy getting answers but having a meddling sister-in-law came in handy.”

Abe jerked his attention to Clement. “Phoebe knew…?”

Clement shook his head. “Not fully. I couldn’t give her much detail and I’m thankful she didn’t ask too much. She just knew I was up to something and I promised I’d tell her once I found out everything.”

Abe only stared, feeling like he’d taken a sucker punch to his gut.

“I found out about your parents, the ones who left for Australia–“

“New Zealand.”

“Right, New Zealand.” Clement warily eyed his eldest brother. “I know this is hard for you, Abe…”

Abe swallowed hard and looked down. “We’ve all had it tough.” He heaved a sigh. Even though the pain in his past was something he would rather leave alone, Abe knew Clement wouldn’t just stop there. Couldn’t stop there. He lifted his gaze to his brother’s face. “What else did you find?”

Clement nodded. “I did some attic hunting and you know how meticulous Dad is, keeping records of everything. From Bart’s broken collar to Darah’s missing tooth.”

Abe smirked wryly. “He always kept journals.”

“Exactly. So I started looking for a journal from when you were adopted.”

Abe’s smile eased away. “Did you find anything?”

“A few things. He talked about the first time he and Mom met you, made a few notes about his first impression on you.” His lips twitched. “Scrawny beautiful kid who needs to eat more.”

His eyes stung with tears that fell freely. He missed his father like crazy.

“He said Mom cried all night when they came back home, begging him to let her bring you home immediately. It took a week and a half to bring you home.”

Abe pressed his lips together. He missed Mama also. To think they’d lived a decade without them.

“Well, Dad wouldn’t let it go that you’d been abandoned by irresponsible adults and wanted answers. He made notes about finding out their background and that of the organization that gave you to them. All he wrote though was the name and their location.”

“Ethiopia,” Abe drawled, knowing at least that much. Dad had always been open about their mixed family, answering any questions he had about his origin. But at some point, Abe stopped asking and Dad let him. Perhaps he knew Abe didn’t want to dig up any painful stories about his past and left him alone. Clement was a different case. He heaved a sigh. “Why bring this up now, Junior? I’m well into my forties and I’m satisfied with the family I chose. I don’t need–“

“I found your birth parents, Abe.”

Abe jerked his stare up. “What…?”

“I found ’em.” Clement wore a smile that Abe couldn’t reciprocate.

“What do you mean you found them?” Abe couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

Clement nodded. “I know it sounds crazy but it’s true. And I feel like it’s God’s doing.”

All Abe felt like doing was throwing up. His brother’s hand to his shoulder did nothing to quell the unsettling feeling. He dragged his eyes to Clement’s face and the sympathy displayed in his eyes.

“They’re alive, Abe. And they want to see you.”

Abe’s eyes welled with tears and he shut his eyes tightly.

“I know it’s hard. I know what you’re going through.”

“No you don’t.” Abe shrugged off Clement’s hand and glared at him. “Why d’you go do a thing like that? Why did you have to meddle in something even Dad couldn’t? Did I ask you to find them? Did I?!”

Clement barely flinched when Abe raised his voice. “Calm down. Your blood pressure.”

Abe bristled, his glare hardening. “Like you cared before meddling. You had no right, Junior. No right.”

Clement nodded, calmly taking the brunt of Abe’s frustration. “I’m sorry for adding to your pain. But if Kayla or Isaac or Jacob had been stolen from you… Not only would you have searched all over for them, your life wouldn’t be the same without them. Wouldn’t you want them to know you’re still alive and holding onto hope that you’re waiting for them?”

Abe scowled. “That’s not the same thing.”

“What’s not the same, Abe? You’re their son, a son they never wanted to give up. Some wicked person came to steal you from them. Stole you right from under their nose–“

“Alright, alright!” Abe snapped, holding a hand to his temple. He noticed the tremor in his hand and curled his fingers into his palm. It then dawned on him why Clement insisted that he visit this time around. Not just to stand as witness at his impromptu wedding ceremony but to reunite him with the family he’d forgotten. He squeezed his eyes closed. “This isn’t fair, Junior…”

“I know. It’s rocked your world, it certainly rocked mine seeing them that first time. Abe, your father looks exactly like you and your mother’s got your eyes…” he paused when Abe held out a hand and waited patiently. His brother would need time and Clement was willing to wait a little.

Abe drew in a calming breath and released it on a shudder. “Are they… healthy?”

Clement smiled. Interest was a start. “Very. They’re farmers in the Southeast. A few hours from the capital. Your father grows all sorts of crops. Your mom sells them in the marketplace with her granddaughters.”

Abe raised both brows. “I have siblings?”

“Several.” Clement grinned. “Thankfully your parents consoled themselves and have a few more. All girls. So they never forgot about their first and only son. Your sisters are excited to meet you too.”

Overwhelmed, Abe eyed Clement dubiously. “Is this why you planned this fake tour?”

Clement’s grin brightened. “It’s not fake. Their village just happens to be the one I’m visiting.”

“Right…” Abe sighed. “You’re just like Mama. Won’t stop until you get your way.”

“And just like Mama says, it’s for your own good.” He chuckled when Abe rolled his eyes. “You up for it?”

“I can’t lie and say I’m ever gonna be ready.” Abe frowned. “I had buried that part of my life long ago. I don’t even remember what they look like or feel like. I don’t know what I’d say or how to react when I meet them.” His stomach turned in anxiety and remorse filled his heart. If what Clement said was true, meeting his birth parents for the first time would be like meeting strangers. In a way, they were strangers and he didn’t know how to prepare for this.

Clement squeezed his shoulder. “Like you always tell me when I’m fretting about something. You’ll know what to do when you get there. You’ve been prepared all your life for this. As a father, husband, father to both your children and to us, you’re ready for this. You’ve got this.”

Abe eyed him dubiously. “That’s not helping. It’s like ripping open a wound and then giving me a Band-Aid.” He sighed and rested his head back against the chair. “Let’s go before I change my mind.”

Clement managed a smile. “You’re doing the right thing, Bro. I’m proud of you.”

Abe only grunted.

With one more look at his eldest brother, Clement maneuvered the jeep back onto the road. “Don’t worry. It’ll be as short or as long as you want it. And if you just want to see them and then leave, that’s fine too. They’re prepared to give you time also.”

Abe closed his eyes. “Just shut up and drive. I need to think.”

“Yes sir!” Clement stepped on the accelerator, heading for Abe’s childhood home.

<<Story Page>>

Lighthouse, Chapter 4

Posted on 19/04/2016

Mornings at Phoebe’s house proved to be a challenge; especially when dealing with a precocious six-year-old who tried every outfit in her closet before deciding on the same outfit from yesterday. Phoebe tugged on the purple tank-top over Karla’s head. “Don’t you wanna wear something else today? Your other clothes are sad because you’re picking favorites…”

“Nuh-unh,” Karla shook her head, mimicking her mother’s expression. She held out one arm so her mother could put on her shirt. “I like this one better.”

And although Karla didn’t need help putting on her clothes, Phoebe enjoyed this quality time with her daughter who was growing up too fast. She smiled sweetly at her little girl. “Of course you do. Aunty Darah bought it for you.”

Karla flashed her mom a smile that melted Phoebe’s heart, and distracting her from the disconcerting talk she and Abe had with Eleazar yesterday.

Then the sounds of footsteps outside the bedroom door brought Phoebe back to the present. She allowed Karla to put on the rest of her clothes and stood from the bed, moving to the door. “Looks like your brothers are ready to go. Go downstairs and eat breakfast with them while I get Daddy.”

“I wanna wake Daddy,” Karla said, hurrying out of the room before Phoebe could stop her.

Phoebe looked around at the mess of Karla’s clothes strewn all over the room and shook her head. No doubt she’d spent the first few hours of her day cleaning up. With a sigh, she stepped out of the room to the sound of excited chatter downstairs. Instead of joining Abe and Karla in the master bedroom, Phoebe headed down the stairs.

“Are you really staying?” James, her second son, asked as she reached the bottom of the stairs.

Phoebe’s eyes widened at Darah and the suitcases before her. She came to a stop. “What’s all this?”

“Aunty’s staying this time,” James answered excitedly as he turned to his mother, his big brown eyes dancing with delight behind his coke-bottle glasses.

Darah gave her sister-in-law a wry smile. “At least I hope so… I know there’s no room.”

Phoebe smiled back. “You can have Eli’s room.” Then her smile waned. “He’s moving out.”

Isaac frowned. “But you said I could have Uncle’s room.”

Her expression quizzical, Darah reached up to rub Isaac’s head. “Sorry kiddo.”

Though pouting, Isaac gave his aunt a shrug.

Phoebe eyed Darah. “What happened?”

“Semester’s over and since my load is lighter next term, I thought I’d just move in. Y’know, help out with the kiddos.” She frowned. “Why’s Eli moving out? How’s Abe taking it?”

“Long story,” Phoebe managed without sighing. Her eyes then shifted to her sons who wore conflicted expressions. “Right now, these guys will be late for school and Abe’s… preoccupied.”

“I can take ‘em.”

Phoebe looked back at her sister-in-law and smiled. “That’d be a great help, Darah. Thank you.”

“Not a problem.” She turned to her nephews. “We can grab chicken biscuits on the way.”

Phoebe watched Isaac’s pout melt into a grin that matched James’ and she shook her head. “Barely here for a minute and you’re already spoiling them.”

“That’s because I’m their favorite aunt,” Darah said unapologetically. She slung an arm on the boys’ shoulders. “Get your stuff so we’ll be going. Morning drive-thru is brutal.”

Five minutes after Darah and the boys left the house, Abe walked downstairs with Karla on his back. He frowned at the suitcases leaning against the wall. “He’s serious, isn’t he?”

Phoebe’s heart wrenched at the disappointment on her husband’s face. “You know he is, but those are Darah’s bags. End of semester.”

Brow furrowed in confusion, Abe set Karla on her feet and adjusted his collar. “She’s moving back?”

“That’s what she said.” Phoebe handed Karla a cup of milk. “Don’t drink too fast.”

“Yes Mommy.” Karla guzzled down the liquid.

Abe accepted the cup of dark coffee and took a sip before asking. “Is she okay?”

“Darah?” Phoebe mumbled, packing a sandwich for both husband and daughter. “I’m sure we’ll hear all about it when she comes back.”

He nodded when she nudged the lunch bag to him. “I suppose so. Eli say anything yet?”

“Didn’t hear him leave.” She risked a glance at Karla obliviously chomping away at her egg sandwich. Then she turned back to her husband. “What was it this time?”

His expression was wry as he sipped his coffee, hesitating to answer. “125 over 85…”


He lowered the coffee and reached for her hand. “It’s fine. I’m monitoring it.”

Phoebe eyed him warily. “You really need to take it easy.”

“I will, Babe.”

“I’m serious,” Phoebe insisted. “We’re getting older and I have no intentions of becoming a widow.”

His expression darkened. “You won’t.”

“I better not, Abe. You need to calm down.”

“I’m trying.” Abe gave her a look very much like their two sons when caught doing something naughty.

Phoebe shook her head and abandoned her daughter’s intricate lunch to give Abe a hug. Her hands rubbed his broad shoulders, holding him tight. “I know it’s tough, with Eli and everything else going on… but we have to stay healthy and alive for our family. Alright?”

Abe rested his cheek atop her head. “You’re right.”

“Promise me even if something else happens, you’ll stay calm.”

He snorted. “Nothing else better happen.”

“I’m afraid that’s impossible, Mr. Teka.” She tilted her head slightly to watch Karla dipping her sandwich into the cup of milk. “You’ve got a daughter very much like Darah…”

Abe stifled a groan, his arms tightening around Phoebe. Raising Darah had been tough on them both.

Phoebe chuckled. “Look on the bright side, at least Darah has finally calmed down. We’ve got at least two decades before Karla is settled.”

Karla looked up at her parents and flashed them an impish smile. Abe groaned again and Phoebe laughed before disengaging from her husband’s arms. “You ready for preschool?”

“Is Daddy taking me?” She raised her big brown eyes to Abe.

“If you eat your breakfast like the princess I know you are,” Abe answered, bending down to kiss Karla’s forehead. “But didn’t you wear this yesterday?”

“Don’t bother,” Phoebe answered, amusement in her tone. “I already have a mess to clean upstairs.”

“Darah can help you.” Abe grabbed an egg sandwich and chowed down, Karla mimicking his move.

Phoebe shook her head as she watched the duo. “Nature is so cruel. None of our kids are like me.”

Abe chuckled, leaning in to give Phoebe a kiss only for her to lean away.

“Your breath smells like eggs.” Phoebe squeaked when Abe reached for her.

Karla giggled as Abe chased Phoebe around the counter. “Lemme play too!”

“When you finish your food,” Abe said, easily grabbing Phoebe by the waist and pulling her to him.

Phoebe didn’t have a chance to escape and didn’t want to. She rested her palms against his chest, feeling his heartbeat and raised her gaze to his handsome face. Her heart still fluttered as the first time he smiled at her thirteen years ago. “You’ll be late.”

“When you’re the boss, it doesn’t matter.” He flashed an impish smile like Karla’s and bent to kiss her.

“Abusing power I see,” Phoebe muttered just before their lips met. She slid her arms around his neck and responded to Abe’s morning kiss, egg breath and all.

“What d’you end up telling them?” Tess asked over the phone.

“Didn’t get a chance to,” Darah answered, pulling into the driveway. “You still mad at me?”

“How could I not be? This by far is the dumbest thing you’ve ever done, considering all the things—”

“Alright, alright I get it. I’m stupid.” Darah put the car in park and stared at the house she’d grown up in with her brothers. She leaned into the seat and sighed. “It feels so weird being back here. I mean I love my family, but I’m certain they’ll bug me to no end. Forget privacy or my freedom.”

Tess was silent for a while and Darah pulled back the phone to see if she’d hung up. She would’ve deserved it and more from Tess after she’d confessed the truth about Jeremy.

“Don’t be mad, okay?” Darah beseeched her best friend. “I should’ve told you earlier but I thought we would get married, and he told me we would. That stupid promise ring had my brain all backwards. That jerk had me really believing he wanted—”

“You okay?”

“Not really. I’m still very angry.”

“I meant health-wise… are you okay?”

Darah stared at the front door, imagining Phoebe was busy cleaning the house or preparing another sumptuous meal for dinner. Her stomach growled in response. “Actually I’m kinda hungry. That chicken sandwich only lasted for—”

Tess heaved a sigh. “I wish you wouldn’t joke about this.”

“I’m fine,” Darah insisted, unbuckling her seatbelt. “What are you worried about, anyway?”

The silence on the other end made Darah squirm.

“What are you thinking?” she asked when Tess still didn’t respond after a long moment.

Tess then sighed. “Just let me know if anything happens. And I mean anything, or else our friendship is over.”

Darah smirked. “Yeah, I promise. Sorry for worrying you.”

“Yeah whatever… Bad girl,” Tess muttered and disconnected the phone.

Exhaling a breath, Darah fortified herself for the short trek up the deck steps to the front door.

It swung open and Geraldine grabbed her hand, pulling her inside. “Talk.”

Darah choked on a laugh and nudged the door close. “I should’ve known word would get out.” She eyed Phoebe standing nearby and sighed. “I missed you guys, that’s all.”

“Oh please.” Geraldine folded her arms. “You got kicked out of your place?”

Her stomach did a somersault and Darah managed a smile. There was no way Geraldine knew about her living arrangements. “No. Just ended my lease is all.”

“Let the girl sit down first, Geri,” Phoebe sighed. “I made egg sandwiches.”

“Yum.” Spying Geraldine’s narrowed stare, Darah walked around her to the countertop and smiled. “Thanks, Phoebe.” She grabbed the sandwich and lifted it to her mouth.

“First explain why the change of heart,” Phoebe said, pouring Darah a cup of coffee. “Thought you hated the long commute. Will it be okay next semester?”

“I’ll figure it out,” Darah answered around a mouth full of egg and bread. Her eyes swung to Geraldine, eying her work boots and jeans. “Aren’t you late for work?”

Geraldine smirked. “You deflecting means something happened. And you will answer when I get back.”

Phoebe glanced over her shoulder as Geraldine ambled to the door. “I thought Bart said to wait a while before heading down.”

“He said J.R. was already at the site. Traffic shouldn’t be bad around this time.” Geraldine glanced once at Darah. “I’ll tell both you’re back in town.”

“Ooh, yeah!” Phoebe answered excitedly. “Maybe J.R. can come down with you two for dinner.”

Geraldine smiled. “I’ll let him know. See you.”

As Geraldine stepped out, Phoebe turned a pointed look in Darah’s direction. “Maybe you two can finally talk now that you’re back home.”

“Nothing to talk about.” Darah brushed off the flutter in her stomach as hunger pangs. She chomped down on the egg sandwich while eying another Phoebe prepared. “Are you gonna eat that?”

Phoebe nudged the sandwich to her. “You, your brother and niece are the same person. Eat slowly.”

“Hmm,” Darah mumbled with her mouth full. There was no point mentioning that her stress over Jeremy’s selfishness made her a voracious eater. Phoebe didn’t need to know Darah had gained a couple of pounds since the break-up or that she’d packed snacks to last her a week in her suitcase.

“Well since J.R. will be here for dinner, I guess we won’t have to worry about Eli’s empty spot…”

Darah’s chewing slowed as she eyed her sister-in-law’s forlorn expression. “Why’s he moving–?” She choked on the sandwich and pounded her chest to dislodge the piece of bread.

Phoebe nudged the coffee closer. “We had an argument.”

That wasn’t news; Eleazar had gotten rather moody over the years, much to his siblings’ chagrin. They didn’t understand the change but didn’t fault him for it, since he’d had a tough childhood with poor health despite their care and support. Maybe that was why Phoebe was hurt by the change.

“About what?” Darah hedged softly, watching the lines on Phoebe’s face.

Her sister-in-law had the best skin among the Teka family; Geraldine and Darah suffered from stress pimples, Darah currently sporting a painful one near her right ear. But age and the stress of being the matriarch of their family drew wrinkles around Phoebe’s eyes and her forehead.

Phoebe exhaled a harsh breath. “He spent a few nights outside.”

Again, not a surprise. Eleazar was like Bart in that regard, slightly rebellious and overly curious. She recalled a story from her brothers about their father dragging a rebellious teenaged Bart by his ear home one day after he’d snuck out with friends. Darah nodded, taking another bite of her sandwich.

“With some girl from his class.”

Darah choked on the bread and egg, her eyes wide at the fury brewing in Phoebe’s eyes. She swallowed hard and prayed that Phoebe would never have to find out about her own rebellion.

<<Chapter 3 || Chapter 5>>

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