Initiation: A Novella (Initiation Trilogy Book 1) (2 page)

BOOK: Initiation: A Novella (Initiation Trilogy Book 1)
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              I turn to face Leanne and kneel down to her level. I pull her close to me placing my hands on the sides of her face.

              “I want you to listen to me closely, okay? Go back inside the hospital, sit in the lobby and don't fucking move, you hear me?” I say to her sternly and flat.

              “But I want to stay with you, Collin,” she says, her voice brittle and her eyes filled up with tears. At that moment, she sounded like a child, vulnerable and all. Even though she's thirteen, I swear she acts like a six year-old sometimes.

              I shake my head. “No, you can't, baby. Just do what I told you. Now!” I look straight in her eyes and at that moment, I know she can see that I’m serious. She looks me over for a moment and nods before she kisses my cheek and runs back to the hospital.

              I sigh as I turn around to face the I-Ten crew. “Look, I lost my mom tonight and I made a promise to her that...”
              “That you what?” Kristen says, annoyed as she shifts her weight from one leg to the other, her eyes narrowing on me.

              “That I wouldn't be in this gang anymore. I just... can't. I have to take care of my baby sister and I'm all she's got,” I tell them while I’m looking down at the pavement.

              “Oh really?” she questions as she walks up to me, running her small hands on my chest. I look at her with no emotion showing on my face, but my body tenses up as she rubs my chest and shoulders.

              “Well, that's too damn bad. You have things to do tonight. Now get in the damn car and let's fucking go.” Her voice is rough and low, nearly growling, as she turns around to get back in the SUV.

              “No!” I say sternly.

              “No?” She looks me over for a few seconds with a smirk on her face and scoffs as she reaches in her back pocket and pulls out her gun. I immediately turn around to run, but everything around goes into slow motion and the hospital feels like it's a mile away. Suddenly, I hear a sound of a loud bang as a sharp, piercing pain hits my back, making me fall to my knees and then on the ground. The next thing I hear is the faint noise of tires screeching away. My vision is slowly fading away and my last thoughts are Leanne. Who’s going to take care of her? I'm all she has. I can barely see, but a white female figure with dark long hair is running towards me.

 

Is that my mom? Saving me?
Collin... Collin! Please wake up!

 

 

Five
Years

Later

Chapter 1

I'm standing outside on the wooden balcony of my mom's room and the white metal bar I'm leaning on feels cool against my skin. The woodwork beneath me is still sanded down and neat over the years. She would always come out here to feel relaxed. As for me, I'm trying to do the same, but can't. I don't know… maybe it will still take me some more time to get over her death even though she's been gone for five years now. I just miss her more and more every day. Leanne is doing much better than me, considering she was more devastated than me when mom passed. Now, it's the complete opposite. It must be the age difference we were I guess or maybe she saw me being strong and she possibly could have rubbed off that. I will never forget the tears and pain she went through at the funeral though.

****

              The green lawn is cut to the perfect level and smelling fresh. Leanne and I are standing on the far right of the preacher who is reading an excerpt from the Bible. He stands in a black robe with a white collar folded over it. The upper half of our mom's casket is open and she’s resting there in a white gown and her makeup beautifully done, her arms folded neatly together. I glance at Leanne who is crying softly and I rub her back gently as we hear the last words of the preacher. Moments later, the casket is closed and is being lowered slowly into the already dug six feet deep hole. I toss in my purple rose that I was holding on to, which felt like ages. It falls horizontal on the casket and then Leanne does the same seconds later.

              My heart aches now that she's officially gone. Honestly, I feel like I saw her that night I was shot and she saved me. Will I ever know if it was real? Probably not, but at this very moment, I couldn't care less. I knew she saved me. As I stand here, I keep going over in my mind that I have a promise to keep. After all that has happened, I don't know if I can. I do know I will take care of Leanne and protect her no matter what.

EVEN IF IT KILLS ME.

****

              I look out to the horizon as the sun is starting to set.  The orange-ish pink sky is beginning to fade off to a dark, night sky. The flashback of the funeral makes me want to leap off this balcony, but what is that going to solve? Nothing. Only I wish it would.

              “Collin?” a soft voice behind me says. I turn around and Leanne is standing at the doorway of our mom's room in her green PJ's, pink slippers, and her hair tied up in a bun.

              “What's up, sis?” I reply as I walk towards her closing the French doors.

              “I was wondering if we can play some video games and order pizza?” she asks, playing with her gold necklace, twisting it between her index finger and thumb.

              “Yeah. Sure we can. Something wrong?” I ask, my head tilted to one side.

              “I'm fine, just bored. No one has really texted me back,” she says with a shrug.

              “All right then. Go ahead make the call and find a good game. I'll meet you downstairs in a bit, okay?” I say, smiling.

              “Okay,” she smiles and nods before standing up and prancing down the stairs happily.

              Smiling softly, I shake my head and look around my mom's room. Over the years she's been gone, we've kept it exactly the way she left it. The queen size bed sits against the wall next to the French doors, neatly made with gray linens and a black comforter covering the bed. It falls at the perfect length. Three long, firm pillows are laying against the headboard, covered with white pillowcases. It looks comfy enough to want to sleep in. The walls are painted a light brown and the carpet underneath me is soft and matches the walls. I look back out the patio and the sky has turned into night while the moon is softly shining on the balcony. I lock the French doors, close the curtains, and shut off the bedroom light before I close the bedroom door and lock it with the key, setting it on the top of the door frame like it was before.

              I head down the stairs and into the living room where Leanne is and find her just hanging up the phone with what I hope was the pizza place.

              “What kind of pizza did you get?” I as I plop on the couch in the empty seat next to her.

              “Pineapple with ham and peperoni and a big pizza cookie!” she says with a squeaky tone, and smile on her face with sparkle in her eyes that I love seeing so much.

              “Sounds good. Did you pick a game yet?” I ask as I rest my feet up on top of the coffee table, crossing one on top of the other.

              “Not yet. I wanted to wait for you.” She picks up the stack of PlayStation4 games from the floor and sets them between us as she replies. I smile as she looks through the pile, opening up each case to make sure there is a game disc inside. Feeling my phone vibrate in my pocket, I take it out and notice that it says ten percent of battery left, so I set it on the charger as I wait for her to pick out a game.

              “Ummm, how about this one?” she suggests, holding up the Midnight Club L.A game case.

              Damn, it's been awhile since we played that. I think the last time Leanne beat me or maybe I just let her.

              “Cool with me,” I say as she gets up and pops it in the game system.

              “Can I ask you something?” Leanne questions as she takes her seat back on the couch. She frowns as she hands me the player two game controller.

              “Yeah, what's up?” I say as I take the controller and start picking out the kind of car I want.

              “When are we going to move into the new house mom left for us?” she asks as she picks out her choice of car too. I lean my head down and fiddle with my controller buttons as I try to think of an answer. Damn, I knew she was going to ask me this sooner or later, but I was hoping when she did, the team rebuilding the house would be done, but I have yet to give the okay. I can't tell her that the house was burned down a few months after our mom’s funeral and that the police say it was an arson but can't find out who did it, but something tells me my old gang did it. A few days after it happened, the construction people said they could rebuild it right away and it would be ready in a year or two, but I said no. I'm just not ready to leave this house and I'm sure Leanne doesn't want to move to a different city yet. I don't either. The fact that it was on the news made my heart ache even more than it did when they told me. Leanne saw it, but thank god she didn't know it was the house that was left for us.

              “Collin?” Leanne interrupts my thoughts and brings me back to the present. She looks me over with her eyes narrowed slightly.

              “Um, I don't know yet, Leanne,” I say quickly as I glance over her.

              “You think hopefully soon?” she asks. Her eyes widen with excitement and her voice sounds hopeful, ringing over the sound that the game is making.

              “Yeah. Yeah soon, just waiting for a phone call,” I lie with a nod.

              “Okay. I wish they would hurry up.” She chuckles as she turns her attention back to the game.

              “Me to,” I agree, thankful that she was once again distracted.

              Minutes later, the doorbell rings and I get up to answer it. I look through the peek hole and see that the pizza guy is standing there with a black square case and I open the door immediately.

              “Good evening. I got a large pineapple pizza and a pizza cookie?” he says as he takes the food out of the bag.

              “Yep, that's us,” I confirm as I get the cash ready, digging into my pocket.

              “That will be thirty dollars,” he says in a slight grating tone. I squint my eyes and hand him the money as I wonder if his friends find his voice annoying. Well, I'm sure they do or is it just me? Funny how he's only been in my presence for a few seconds and I already want to plug my ears up.

             
“Keep the change.”

              “Cool, thanks,” he says with delight and hands me the food. I close the door with my foot and head back to the couch setting the pizza and cookie on the coffee table.

              “What do you want to drink?” I ask Leanne.

              “I'll go find something,” she responds as she hops off the couch and runs into the kitchen. I sigh as I plop back in my seat and open the box of pizza and taking a slice.

              A few seconds later, Leanne returns with drinks in her hand and she sets them on the table in front of us then sits back in her seat.

              “Ready to lose?” she teases as she laughs.

              “Lose? You mean win.”

              “No. I mean L-O-S-E.” She spells out and laughs harder.

              “I'd like to see you try.” I retort as I prepare, gripping the controller.

              “I don't have to try, I know I will.”

****

              A few hours go by and Leanne and I are playing one last round of the car game.

              “Hahaha I win! I win!” she jumps up and down cheering while dancing around the room.

              “Blah, blah.” I chuckle and take another slice of the pizza cookie.

              “Well, I'm going to bed,” she noted, leaving me a kiss on the forehead. “Nighty night.” She then turns and runs up the stairs before I could even reply.

              “Night.” I say to no one as I start to stand up.

              I sigh and shake my head as I clean up the mess on the coffee table and shut off the game system and TV. I set the rest of the cookie in the same box as the pizza and put it away in the refrigerator. I then click off the kitchen and living room lights and head on upstairs to my room. I open my window and lie down in my bed, listening to the spring night rain outside with my arms folded comfortably behind my head. I think to back when mom would let us sit in her bedroom and listen to the rain with her also having some candles lit. We would just talk about whatever was on our minds. On nights like this, I really miss her more than ever and I’m left to wonder if Leanne feels the same way. I sit up on the end of my bed, running my hands through my buzz cut hair while looking at myself in the mirror hanging on my wall for a few moments before finally just putting my head in my hands and then laying back down, hoping to fall asleep.

 

Chapter 2

The next morning I wake up to the smell of breakfast. Sitting up on my bed I wipe the sweat from my forehead, immediately jumping out of my bed and running downstairs to the kitchen. When I get there, I find Leanne cooking up some bacon, eggs, and pancakes. I swear all she ever wants to eat is pancakes.
I smirk as I stand next to her, leaning against the counter.

              “Morning, big brother,” she says in a sweet, delighted tone as she turns over the last pancake. As she turns to face me, her eyes are wide and there’s yet another smile played on her lips.

              “Morning,” is all I can muster in reply this early, but she carries on the conversation.

              “Hungry?” She raises her eyebrows as she asks over her shoulder, her hair flipping as she spins her head. I nod, but I know she can’t see me.

              “Yeah. Starving,” I confirm with words as I sit at the kitchen table.

              “Good, ‘cause the food is all done,” she says as she sets down our plates, one in front of me and hers across from me.

              I look down at my plate that is full of food and smells amazing, but I wonder why she cooked. She never does that unless she wants something and I can't remember the last time she did that. I shrug and take a bite of my food, savoring it.

****

              Later that day, Leanne and I are watching a movie. I'm leaning my elbow on the armrest of the couch and resting my head on the back of my hand. The movie we're watching is called
Drumline
and I can't really get into it ‘cause of seeing it so many times. I'm only watching it ‘cause it is one of Leanne's favorite movies. Leanne is focused on the movie as she lies on the couch in her sweatpants and a baggy shirt. I swear on vacations all we do is lie around in our PJ's or sweatpants. Lazy days, mom would call it. I loved them and still do.

              “Hey, Collin?” she attempts to get my attention, her voice barely a whisper.

              “Yeah?” I turn my attention to her.

              “I want to ask you something.... a favor you could say.” She pauses the movie and turns towards me and I know I’m in for it now.

              “What is it?”

              “Can I... Maybe... Go to a party this weekend?” she asks with slight hesitation that shows me she’s been holding onto it for some time.

             
“And why would you wait to ask me on a Thursday?” I smirk.

              “I- I don't know,” she shrugs as she looks down at her fingers, fiddling with them, then looking back at me.

              “So I won't have a chance to think about it?” I say sarcastically with my eyebrow raised.

              She shrugs again and a small smile forms across her face. I know she usually gets her way, but with this, I’m sure, will be different.

              “Well, in that case. No, no you can't.” I jeered, knowing that she would carry it on.

              “Oh come on! Please?” She begs, but I chuckle at her as I shake my head no.

              “Why not?” she shouts as she stands up and puts her hands on her hips.

              “Cause I said so,” I say simply, shaking my head. I know that’s not enough for her though.

              “That's not a good reason, Collin.” Her voice is flat as she folds her arms over her chest. Right then, I knew this was why she was up and cooking breakfast this morning. To be honest, I just don't feel safe with her going. I don't want something to happen to her and this is the first time she’s asked me to go to a party, but she's nineteen and the only thing that can actually happen at those parties is drugs, sex, and alcohol. There is no fucking way my baby sister is going to get caught up in that kind of shit.

              “It's a good enough reason for me.” I’m stern with my answer as I stand and head upstairs.

              “Collin!” she yells for me, but I ignore her and continue to walk up the stairs, finally making it to my room. I shut my door and plop on my bed.

              A few seconds after me doing so, Leanne barges into my room.

              “Collin! Why can't I go?” she demands to know, her hands on her hips once more. I notice then just how much she has grown up, but I roll my eyes and sigh as I grab my headphones off my headboard. “'Cause I don't want anything to happen to you, Leanne, damn!” I say in a rough tone, nearly yelling at her and putting my headphones on.

              She snatches the headphones off me, throwing them on the floor, and sits on my bed. Her eyes are soft and the anger in her face has disappeared, falling away as her walls break down. Her eyes are no longer thin slits and her head to the side. “Nothing’s going to happen, Collin.” Her words were soft and sincere and I could see it in her eyes that she meant what she said, but I don’t know that they were true.

              “You don't know that,” I gripe, trying to get it into her head that nothing goes as planned.

              “I do.” She nods.

              “What makes you so sure?” I ask as I tilt my head to one side.

              “’Cause, Collin. I don't do those things that other teenagers and stupid no-life adults do. I just want to go have some fun,” she says softly as she fiddles with her hair, twisting it around her index finger, making slight curls.
              I look her over for a moment, knowing that she is telling the truth. Damn, she's right. She is no where near like that. She's way
too
much of a good girl.

              I sigh before giving her my answer.

              “When is it? Who is going? And what time is it over?” I say as I roll my eyes and pick up my headphones off the floor setting them on my bed.

              “Saturday. My friends. Brandon and Jessie. It's over at one in the morning,” she reveals as she nearly jumps on the bed in excitement. I can see her trying to tone it down while I consider her answers, but I don’t like the sound of them.

              “One in the fucking morning?” I stormed, getting up from my bed and marching out of my room and back downstairs.

              “Wait! Is that too late?” Leanne asks as she follows me out and into the kitchen.

              “Damn right it is and you're not going,” I reply as I grab a drink out of the refrigerator, slamming the door behind me.

              “Collin, you can't just do that. You already said I could go. Why are you changing your mind?” she snaps as she follows all my steps.

              “First of all, you're going to change your tone with me. Second of all, you really think I'm a let you be at a party, doing God knows what, until one in the morning? If you do, you must be out your damn mind.” I raise my voice with each word and I can see her slink back, but she’s not giving up.

              “I said I'm not like that! And I don't have to be there till one. What time do you want me home?” She leans on the fridge as if it’s a negotiation, but I throw my head back and give out a long sigh.

              “Fine, you can go,
but
I'll pick you up at eleven and not a minute or a second later. I also want an address,” I say flatly, knowing deep inside I much rather have her home where I can keep an eye on her.

              “I love you!” She is now squealing and jumping up and down in excitement, wrapping her arms around me, squeezing me as tight as she can.

              “Yeah, I love you too,” I struggle to breath. “Now let me go before you suffocate me to death.” I chuckle.

              “Sorry,” she finally lets me go. “I'm going to need money to get my hair and nails done by the way,” she blurts, trying to add it in so I won’t hear it much, but I catch it.

              “All right, did you do your essay for applying to college next year?” I ask sternly as I fold my arms to my chest.

              “Yes and no. I started it, but I will finish it Sunday morning. I promise.”

              “Hmmm. You better,” I demanded.

              “I will, Collin,” she says in a singsong tone and walks out of the kitchen.

             
So that's why she made breakfast....

              Sneaky girl.

I shake my head and walk back upstairs to my room for the night.

BOOK: Initiation: A Novella (Initiation Trilogy Book 1)
12.48Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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