Show Yourself: Chapter 6 – Stranger Danger

It was just only a week away from my 7th birthday when I made the trip to my birth town of Evansdale County with my litter mates and dad. To be honest, I wasn’t as excited for this trip like the rest of my litter mates; I dragged my feet on getting ready. Our birth mother was stable enough for us to finally come meet her.

My dad told us that we would get to spent the weekend with her instead of a week like originally planned. She would be sent off to back home to Italy to see a specialist that her mother had planned before she suddenly awaken. Grandma Antonia still had faith that my birth mother would wake up and wanted her to be transfer back to Italy. Just one day before the transfer, she awaken however the specialist still wants to see her. She finds her case interesting and the doctors in EC felt it was best. They never seen anything like this. My birth mother is a medical miracle.

 

 

 

Upon entering the city, I thought this place was pretty awesome. I couldn’t believe that we use to live here. EC is so much fun than boring ol’ Riverview. We all ohh and ahh as we drove down in the downtown area; Clarice asked if we could move back here. My dad just smiled and said, “Life is back in Riverview and I love it.” Clarice frowned, Riverview isn’t as exciting as EC; nor was Richdale to be honest. We didn’t understand what dad meant by that, it would be years before we figured it out.

Of course the question of where are we gonna be staying was asked. Would we be staying in one of those fancy hotels? My dad sighs as we pulled up into a hotel that wasn’t as nice as the ones we passed by. “Here.” My dad said with slight annoyance in his tone. We were confused of why we would be staying at this kind of place, we knew we had money. It turns out the only reason why we would be staying at this crummy hotel cause of Alexia. Unknowingly to my dad, Alexia failed to tell dad that she was now staying in a hotel after her apartment was burnt down from a flash over fire. Alexia refused to move in with her mother and opted to stay into hotel. My dad was pretty pissed off when he learns my sisters, Tiana and Briana were living at this hotel for the last 6 months. It was worse than what he remembered. My dad turned to us and said, Tiana and Briana may be coming back home with us if Alexia still refuses to move in with her mother. He could see why Uncle Al had Axel to come live with him and he suggested that my dad do the same with Tiana and Briana.

 

 

Our room wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be, it had a double bed with an adjoining room with 2 bump beds. Since there was 5 of us kids, we fought who would get to sleep in the bed with dad. The double bed was much nicer than the bump beds.

We had an hour to kill before we could go see our birth mother. Alexia was at work and the twins were at their grandma’s. My dad was a little bit happy to know that Alexia doesn’t leave them here all alone. We watched some TV while dad messed with his phone for a while. Before we knew it, it was time.

 

 

 

We were quiet on our way to the hospital, we didn’t ask any questions; I think we were all kinda nervous. Dad finally broke the silence telling us that this was the hospital that we were born in. We still didn’t have anything to say, we just stood quietly in the elevator. “Which button do I press?” I asked dad since I was the closest to the buttons. “Three.”

 

 

 

She sat in a wheelchair, facing the door as she was waiting there for a while. Her face lit up as the door swung open. To everyone’s surprise, Giana raced up to her with her arms open; “Mommy!” she shouted. The rest of us stood there awkwardly, glancing over at each other. We all had the same look on our faces, do we call her mommy too?

 

 

 

“You are so beautiful! You must be Giana?”

“Yeah!”

“That’s such a pretty name that your daddy picked out. You daddy told me all about you kids. Clarice, Antonio and Montell. Wow you all look so much like your daddy and I.”

“What about me?”

I felt a bit uneasy at this moment, she didn’t bother glancing at me nor did it seemed that she even acknowledge me. I know dad told her about all of us, even me.

“Eli? I thought you had red hair. I like that color. But anyway honey I thought you said I had quints. Where is the 5th one?”

My dad cleared his throat before he spoke, I was confused that she thought I was Eli. 

“That’s Raiden, our 5th child. Raiden is ours. Remember?”

She laughed as my dad was telling her the funniest joke ever.

“Sweetie that can’t be right. You must be mistaken but a mother knows her children; even if she’s meeting them for the first time. I’m looking at these 4 and I know they are mine.”

My dad wasn’t sure how to respond to her statement, you could cut the tension in the room with a knife.

“Maybe this wasn’t a good time. I think you need some rest, Clar.”

“Don’t be silly, honey. I’m fine, I’m just so happy to finally to my babies. I just wished you brought my 5th child. She’s probably missing her mommy too.

My dad was trying hard to keep his cool at this point, all of use felt really awkward and confused.

“We technically had 8 but only 5 lived. 2 girls and 3 boys, Clarissa. Antonio, Giana, Clarice, Montell and Raiden. The other 3 didn’t make it. I am sorry.”

“Raiden. Oh yeah! He has my father’s hair. Hi Raiden! There’s my 5th baby! Borage, you gotta stop joking around with me like that.”

I knew that this day would be awful….

 

 

 

“You are all just precious. Have your daddy been good to you all?”

“Yeah! So are you gonna come live with us now?”

“You bet! I can’t wait to be a family. This is what I always wanted. Children and a wonderful man. I never thought I would be so lucky. I think maybe it’s time we plan a wedding. You girls can be my flower girls!”

“Who are you gonna marry? Can daddy come too?”

“Gia.. sweetie. What do you mean? Of course your daddy is coming! I’m marrying your daddy, silly girl.”

“But daddy is already married to our mom.”

“I’m your mom. What are you talking about? Borage did we wed already? You didn’t tell me that part.”

“Kids.. can you excuse us for a bit. I need to talk to your mother alone. You kids can go play in the play area right outside the door.”

Shit was getting strange and we didn’t question it, we quickly exited the room. I think we all were getting a little scared of her.

 

 

 

I didn’t stray far away, I was curious of what they had to talk about. I carefully pressed my ear against the metal, hoping I could hear them. However they yelled loud enough for anyone to hear. Things got pretty heated up quickly.

I could hear my dad talking claim at first, explaining to Clarissa that he already been through with her over and over. Dad stated that he was married to mom and how she legally adopted us. At first she acted as this was the first time she was told this then suddenly acted as she already knew. That’s when things got heated, she referred my mom as a family-stealing-whore. She said such awful things about her, things that I refuse to repeat.

 

 

 

“How could you let that whore steal my family! We were suppose to be married! You asked me to be your wife on that night! How could you betray me like this?! How Borage! How Borage!”

“I’ve told you this Clarissa! You said you understood why and asked to meet my wife! You wanted all of us to be a family!”

“No! I changed my mind! I don’t want that whore raising my kids! Those are my kids and you are mine! Divorce her! I’m back now and we don’t need her!”

“I am not going to do that, Clarissa! Things are different now!”

 

 

 

“You love me?! Do you? Do you love me?!”

“Yeah but not in the way you’re thinking.”

“Do you love me?!”

“I told you….”

“That’s not answering my question!”

“The way you are now; you’re not the same person that I once knew. This. I don’t know who this is. Yeah I know you suffered some serious head trauma but this; the person you are now, I don’t love you. I love my wife.”

“That whore has you brainwashed! You don’t love her! You love me! Say it! Say that you love me and we will have our family like we planned!”

 

 

“Clarissa no! I should had listen to the doctors! You are not ready but somehow you talked me into this. You are not ready to meet my kids!”

“Your kids?!”

“Yes my kids! They will be my kids until you agree to be evaluated! This is not the kind of person I know you are! Please let the doctors help!”

“No! I am fine! I don’t need to see anyone! I am ready to take back my family from that whore!”

“Stop calling my wife a whore! She did what most women won’t do! Stepped up and raise another woman’s children as they were her own! You don’t have to like my wife but you need to respect her as she would respect you!”

“I would never give that piece of trash any kind of respect! Not until she hands you and my kids over to me!”

“I am not yours! I am not some thing to be had or given! I’m done with this, Clarissa! You need rest. You can see the kids when you’re level-headed again… Is that okay?”

“Nothing will be okay until you admit that whore brainwashed you and you love.”

“I am not doing this with you, Clarissa; I just can’t.”

 

 

I could hear some trays being thrown or knocked down. I was starting to get worried. As my dad stop yelling and spoke calmer those Clarissa, she began to cry and beg. My dad grew quiet and soon stormed out of the room. I quickly rushed away from the door and pretended that I was getting a drink from the water fountain. Dad turned towards me, I could see the regret and anger in his face, “We should probably go. It was too soon.”

 

 

I opened the door to Clarissa’s room, she was on the floor still pleading to my dad as he was still in there. It was pretty sad to see her that way.

“I’m sorry baby. We can make everything okay. I can get better on my own. I just need and our kids.”

“Are you okay?”

She got silent, her glowing eyes were frozen on me.

“Clarissa? I mean mom… Are you okay? Do you need some help?”

“Help. Help… You think I need help?”

 

 

 

Saying the word help was the wrong thing to say. Before I knew it, she quickly rose from the floor and made a b line towards me with fury.

“I don’t need help! I am fine! I am fine! Why must you all think that I need help? Does it look like I need help?! All I need is my husband to be and my children!”

“But that wasn’t what I mean.. I mean by-“

“Shut it! I don’t know who you are but how dare you posed as my 5th child! You killed her! You killed her, you little demon! How could you killed your sister! She was just like you but you had to kill her! You are a demon! Stay away from my other children!”

“Wha-what?! I didn’t! I didn’t kill anyone! I don’t know what you’re talking about!”

“Don’t lie to me demon! I know what you are! White hair, heterochromatic eyes, dark skin, you are a lycan demon! You can’t turn, can’t ya? You turn into your true form! A demon! A demon with dark hair and red eyes! Stay back!”

“I’m not a demon….”

“Demons lie! I know your lies! You killed the 3 other babies, demon!”

 

 

 

I knew I was some kind of freak monster but a demon? No. That couldn’t be true but was it? Am I truly some demon? Did I really killed the 3 other litter mates? My eyes were filled up with tears, she continue to berate as I cried. It wasn’t long before dad pulled me to the side and shouted at Clarissa.

Kids always said mean things to me, it hurt me but it was nothing compare to what the woman who gave me life said to me. I actually cried. I never cried the way I did that day. And ever since this that, I hated her. I refuse to ever call her mother.

 

 

“Am I demon?” I asked my dad, hoping to get a straight answer. “I’m almost 7. I can handle the truth about myself.” I wasn’t sure if I truly wanted to hear the answer. My dad sighs and placed his palm on my shoulder, “Nothing your mother said is true. She’s not well. You can’t take anything she said to heart.” I brushed my dad’s hand away from my shoulder, “That woman is not my mother. My real mom is at home. Can we go home?” I said coldly. If she can refuse to see me as her child then I can refuse to see her as my mother.

 

 

 

“Let’s be fair, son. She was having an off day and sometimes she will have days like this.”

“But you sounded really mad at her. She said bad things about my mom. I don’t like her. I hate her!”

“Raiden. Don’t say that, Clarissa will always be your mother. The things she said, she didn’t mean. Today wasn’t a good day for her. Her mind is messed up and I forget about that. I shouldn’t get mad at her.”

“You said mom adopted us, so that means Clarissa isn’t our mom anymore. I know what adoption means, dad. I read it on the internet.”

“There’s still some gray lines in that area. You’re too young to understand but this type of adoption is different.”

“I’ll never call her “mom”.”

 

 

 

We left the hospital without telling Clarissa good bye, dad said she wasn’t well and we needed to go. I didn’t mind, I didn’t want to tell her bye anyway. Giana whined saying that she wanted to give her hug and had more things to tell her. Dad quickly changed the subject by telling us that we were going to pick up Tiana and Briana so we could go to Domino Palace. Their birthdays were last weekend and dad promised he would take them there when we came to town. Noelle said there’s one in Bridgeport and it’s a lot of fun.

Noelle was right, this place was pretty fun. I had a good laugh watching Monty attempting to climb up the pole; only for him to fall on his ass time and time again.

“Shut up! It’s not funny!”

“Just give it up! You’re gonna be flat and have nothing to sit on! Ha ha ha!”

“Watch me! I’ll do it this time!”

 

 

It took a couple more tries before Monty eventually climbed up. “I told ya!” Monty shouts from the top floor. I said nothing but kept laughing at the memory of watching him fail numerous times.

 

 

 

I tried to forget about earlier in the day; Tiana and Briana made sure of it. We don’t get to see them as much but they both like talking and playing with me more. Briana thinks what I am is cool and Tiana relates to me more. EC isn’t exactly vampire friendly and she doesn’t have many friends like I do.

 

 

“Sometimes my mama is like “Get down! Tables are for glasses, not for asses!”

“Ha ha ha ha! That’s funny!”

“Then she makes a mad face like this!”

“Ha ha ha ha! So does my mom when she gets mad!”

“Sometimes it funny to make mama mad on purpose but my granny said not to do that. But why not? It’s really funny to see my mama mad! It’s the only fun I have cause I got nobodies to play with. Just Bri but she gotta play with me.”

“Yeah I know! My litter mates gotta play with me.”

“Litter mates? Oh I get it! Puppies! Ha ha ha! But isn’t only you just half wolf?”

“Yeah… at least you’re one thing.”

“Well… at least you got some genie. I got none! Briana took it all!”

 

 

 

We got back to the hotel, dad let us played in the rec room for a bit. It was getting closer to our bed time and dad sent me to go get Giana since she’s the last one in the rec room. I headed to the second floor when I heard Giana and Tiana shouting. I looked over the rail and saw someone trying to Giana to go with them. I got a better view of the person and saw it was Clarissa.

“Get go of me!”

“Hey lady, stop it!”

“I’m her mother, you’re coming with me!”

“No! Get go! Get go!”

“Hush it! Just come with me to the cab. I’m not gonna tell that whore take.”

“Stop it lady!”

“I’m not going with you!”

 

 

 

“Giana!” I shouted from the rail. Giana and Tiana both looked up at me. “Raiden, get daddy!” Tiana shouted as Giana continue to loosen from Clarissa’s grip.

“Back off, demon boy. I am taking my child with me!”

At this moment I only just saw red and quickly ran downstairs to Giana’s aid.

 

 

 

Clarissa quickly picked Giana up as I raced towards them. Tiana was in a lost of words and didn’t have the will to run for help. Giana continued to struggle away from Clarissa by kicking and wailing her arms around.

“Stop wiggling! You’re going home with me!”

“Put my sister down!”

“My child! She’s coming with me!”

“No she’s not! We aren’t yours anymore! Go away!”

“You! You were never mine but Giana, Clarice, Antonio and Montell are mine! I will take what belongs to me!”

“Let her go now!”

 

 

 

I started to growl aggressively towards Clarissa, I could feel myself starting to turn but differently from when it’s a full moon. “Oh no you don’t! You’re not going lycan on me!” Clarissa snapped as she swiftly slapped me after tossing Giana onto the ground, as she were a rag doll. “Don’t hurt my brother!” Tiana shouted. Clarissa made a step towards Tiana, causes her to back away a bit. “Don’t.” I growled before lunging towards Clarissa. She quickly wrapped her hands around my throat and proceed to choke me. Giana screams stop.

 

 

 

Clarissa let go of my throat and then shoved me onto the ground right as my dad was approaching. “Clarissa!” My dad shouted as he raced towards us. She took a step back and let out a low growl as Alexia came racing behind my dad.Ti-ti! Baby are you okay?” Alexia shouted. Tiana said she was okay but thinks Giana and I are hurt. “I’m fine!” I growled as I rubbed my neck.

 

 

 

“You fuckin’ bitch! How could you harm your own children!” Alexia yelled as she lunges towards Clarissa. “Alexia, don’t.” My dad said as held Giana. Tiana began to cry and I attempted to comforted her, “We’re okay, Tiana. Dad got this.” Tiana wiped the tears from her eyes, “Why did that lady tried to take Giana and hurt you?” I didn’t answer and dad told me to take Tiana to their room. I nodded and walked Tiana back to her room.

I turned around to see Alexia trying to hold Clarissa off as she yelled and screamed that my dad was stealing her babies. At this point, others were coming out of their rooms too see the drama unfolding in the parking lot. After Tiana return to her room, I attempted to return to the parking but was stopped by dad who was still carrying Giana. “Take your sister back to our room and stay.” My dad said firmly, I knew he was serious and did what he said.

 

 

 

After some time, dad finally returned to our room. Just minutes later we could hear Clarissa begging and pleading at our door. “This is shit.” My dad said coldly. He grabbed his cell, I wasn’t sure who he was calling. I figured the police or the hospital. He told us to stay in the room and away from the windows. “I’ll be back.” My dad said before heading outside where Clarissa awaits him. We could still hear her yelling and begging for a while. Then suddenly it was quiet for a while. The door opened and it was Alexia with the twins. “Your dad asked us to hang out with you guys for a bit. He’ll be back as soon as possible. He gotta take care something with your bio-mom. Things are cool. Wanna watch a movie?” Alexia smiled.

 

Show Yourself: Chapter 5 – Full Moon

I started out my day out just like any other day. Dad was missing from breakfast, Mom decided to let him sleep it. Both of my parents had been working extra hard this week, they both looked forwarded for today. It’s Wednesday and they both had the day both, they usually use this day off to spend time together.

During the summer, my parents made the older siblings take us to the park where we would spend most of the day at. I never understood why we had to leave the house for hours. They were gonna visit the spa or go out to eat or go dancing later on, but never got why they stayed at the house during the day. I figure they were doing boring adult stuff but once I got older, I figured out why. During the time we were at park or at school, my parents used this alone time to basically fuck like bunnies.

My parents didn’t really get to spend much alone time when I was a kid, my parents were usually tired of work and caring for us. I now understood why we were often kicked out of the house on Wednesdays. I can say that I don’t blame them. Sex is important, it’s Navox nature.

 

 

 

Mom gave us her usual marching orders for this day, however Mom told Janaya to have us home before sundown. Sometimes we didn’t have to come home before sundown. We would visit one of our relatives on the block. Mom’s tone was serious, we had to be home before sundown and she would be calling the house phone.

“Don’t worry Mom, I’ll have everyone home before. I know tonight is a full moon.”

“Alright. Sylar will be home all day, you guys can have lunch at Fraine’s house today.”

I cringed when I heard Janaya mention tonight would be a full moon. It’s why we had to be home before sundown. I hate when there’s a full moon! It’s when I freak into that freak monster and I will be stuck in that form until dawn. Not only would I look like a freakish monster but my moods are unpredictable. I could possible turn on my family, hurt them, I’m dangerous when I’m in that form. When I turn, I have to keep to myself in the tree house alone. It’s the only reason why my parents had a tree house built.

 

 

 

After breakfast, Janaya took us up the street to Cypress park. Janaya kept trying to rush us there. She was a bit more happy than usual. She had a no school day, but I knew there was more to it. When we got there, we saw Devon Sherwood. He’s the older brother of our sister Devi. Janaya has a crush on him and knew he would be there with our sister. But I was also happy when I saw Noelle at the park with her older brother Javon. She was playing hopscotch and squeal once she saw me.

“Come join me, Sunshine!”

I hated it when she calls me that. Apparently it’s my nickname from her cause I’m anything but sunshine and happiness. I smiled back and join her.

 

 

“How do I play this?”

“What? You never played hopscotch before?”

“No.. No one ever wants to play with me besides my brothers and sisters.”

“I played hopscotch all the time in BP. It’s so much fun!”

“So how do I play?”

“You throw this rock and whatever number it lands on, you can’t hop on it.”

 

 

 

I wasn’t so great at hopscotch at first. I kept hopping on the square that I was supposed to avoid. I was starting to get a bit more frustrated than my usual. Probably cause there will be a full moon tonight and I’m a bit more cranky.

“This game is stupid! Why would anyone play this dumb game!”

“Cause it’s fun, Sunshine! Trust me, you’ll like it.”

“Stop calling me Sunshine! It’s dumb like this game!”

“Cheer up, grumpy pants. Today is a pretty day!”

“Today is dumb!”

“Well if you’re gonna be a Mr. Grumpy Pants today then I think I’ll go home…”

“Wait.. no. I’m sorry! I’ll play your dumb game.”

 

 

 

I didn’t want Noelle to go home, but I didn’t want to play this game either. I couldn’t help but be moody today, I could see Noelle’s patience was wearing thin today. I got a sense that Noelle didn’t want to deal with my grumpiness today.

I was always a jerk at times, I wasn’t use to having someone wanting to play with me and be my friend. Noelle liked me but she had her limits. I knew I needed to stop being a jerk or she would stop being my friend. But deep down inside, I think I was trying to run her off before she realize what I’m really am. I don’t want her to ever see or know what happens to me during a full moon.

 

 

 

I was getting a hang of the game until Noelle tripped and fell onto the pavement. I wasn’t sure what to do. She was quiet with a blank expression on her face. I stepped closer to Noelle asking her if she was okay. She buried her face into her dirty palms and began to sob.

“Hey! Don’t cry! Are you hurt?”

Noelle said nothing but continued to sob. I was in panic mode, fearing that her brother would think that I hurt her.

 

 

 

 

“Stop crying or your brother is gonna beat me up! Please Noelle!”

Noelle ignored my plea as she continue to cry while rubbing her scrapped knee.

“Noelle, please! You’re gonna be okay. It’s not that bad. Do you need some help?”

Noelle nodded her head. I reached my hand out to her and she grabbed my hand, pulling herself up.

 

 

 

“You okay, right?”

“Yeah. I’m okay.. I really hurt my knee.”

“Can you walk?”

“I think so.”

I wasn’t sure what I was thinking but I found myself wiping tears away from Noelle’s cheek. She didn’t say anything to me. We had a moment of silence until her face broke out with a smile.

 

 

 

“O.M.G!”

“What?”

“That was the sweetest thing that anyone has done for me!”

“Huh? What are you talking about?”

“You like me!”

“Well yeah.”

“You do? You like-like me? Like a boyfriend?”

 

 

 

“What! NO! Not like a boyfriend!”

“You should be my boyfriend! I like you and you like me.”

“I like you but not like that!”

“Yes you do! You were gonna kiss me! That makes you my boyfriend!”

 

 

 

“I’m not your boyfriend!”

“Why not? You’ll make the perfect boyfriend!”

“No I won’t! I don’t wanna be anyone’s boyfriend!”

 

 

 

“Then you shouldn’t act like you wanted to kiss me if you don’t wanna be my boyfriend!”

“But I wasn’t trying to kiss you. I was trying to make you feel better.”

“Kissing me would make me feel better. I thought you wanted to be my boyfriend!”

 

 

 

“Well I’m a boy and your friend. Does that kinda make me your boyfriend?”

“No! You have to kiss me to be my real boyfriend.”

“But I don’t wanna kiss you.”

“Why not? I wanna kiss you.”

“I don’t know. Won’t it be gross? Sometimes I eat sand.”

“What? Why would you eat sand?!”

“I wanted to know why my cat eats it.”

“My cat poops in sand. So did it taste like poop? If so then I never wanna kiss you.”

“Uhhh… no?”

 

 

 

I didn’t want to have lunch at Fraine’s, instead I spent the rest of the day with Noelle. Since Noelle lives next door, Janaya thought it was okay for me to go with Noelle. She told me to come home at 7. I could tell time and kept a close eye on Noelle’s clock. I couldn’t risk her seeing the truth about me.

 

 

 

“My mom is making dinner. You should stay. She said it’s okay.”

“I can’t. I gotta go home at 7.”

“Please Raiden? My mom is making tacos tonight. My mom makes really good tacos.”

“I told you that I can’t.”

“Why?”

 

 

 

“Because I can’t! Why do you keep asking me?! If I said I can’t then I can’t! Get off of my back!”

“You don’t have to be a jerk!”

“You don’t have to be annoying!”

 

 

“I was just curious! But if you’re gonna be such a jerk then maybe you should go!”

“Maybe I will go and never come back!”

“What’s wrong with you?!”

“Nothing is wrong with me! Maybe it’s YOU!”

“Get out Raiden! Go home!”

“Fine!”

“Fine!”

 

 

I quickly left Noelle’s house just a little bit before 7. I was so angry at myself for snapping at Noelle at that. I knew for sure she wouldn’t be my friend anymore. I honestly don’t blame her. I was never that mean to her before, but it was getting closer to nightfall and moods are erratic.

 

 

 

I felt my body going through the change earlier than usual. Stress can force me into turning before nightfall. My fight with Noelle trigger my transformation before I could prepare for it.

 

 

 

I could feel my Navox essence converting over to wolf blood. It’s a painful process, I feel myself boiling from the inside and out. Being stuck in mid-transformation is pure agony, causing me to be temperamental and possibly dangerous.

 

 

I’m confine to the tree house until dawn for everyone’s safety. It’s lonely and depressing to spend the hours of the night along in a tree house. I’m in too much pain to sleep, not even my parents sleep. My parents can’t sleep knowing how much agony I’m going through.

They take turns checking on me periodically during the night. Mom usually stays up cooking all night, I will be extremely hungry once I return to my normal form. The tree house is filled with games, books and other stuff to keep my entertained. I’m in too much pain to do anything. I just curl up into a ball and wait it out until the sun rises.

 

 

I heard the fence being opened and didn’t think too much of it. I figure it just one of my siblings checking on me. However I heard a familiar voice. My heart dropped once I realize who it was.

“Sunshine! I know you’re up there!  You should come down and look at the full moon with me! It’s beautiful. Maybe you’ll stop being such a grumpy pants!”

I let out a low growl, I said nothing to Noelle. How did she know I was up here? Did one of my siblings told her? I couldn’t see them doing that. They knew wasn’t a good idea. I thought if I said nothing, then she think that I’m not up here.

 

 

“Oh come on, Sunshine! You can’t hide from me a know! You can pretend that you’re not in there but I know you are. Do I have to come up there and drag you? I will if I have to. I’m coming up!”

 

 

 

“Don’t! Don’t come up here!”

I growled, I couldn’t let her see me like this. She would never want to see me again if she knew the full truth about me. I’m not a full genie and Noelle like genies most of all.

“Okay. So why don’t you come down then. I love full moons and I wanna watch the moon with you.”

“You shouldn’t be here!”

“Why? Did something happen? Are you okay? I’m coming up.”

“No! Please Noelle. Don’t come up here. You should go. Please go!”

“Okay.. Now I’m worried. What’s wrong?”

“Noelle, please go home. You can’t see me.”

“Raiden.. I’m not going until you tell me what’s wrong. I wanna help you.”

“No! Go away Noelle! I never wanna see you again!”

“Raiden! Please come down. I can help you.”

“But you will hate me.”

“I could never hate you. Show yourself. Please.”

 

 

Noelle wasn’t going to leave. No matter how much I plead, Noelle refused to leave. I didn’t want Noelle to come up and see me in this form. However it was better for me to come to her than for her to come to me. She said she could never hate me. With my child mind, I believed her. I came down to show myself to her.

 

 

 

“This who I am. What I’m really am.”

“Raiden? Is-is-is that really you?”

“You hate me. I know you do. I hate myself too.”

 

 

“Wha-what happen to you? You-you look so different? Do all genies do this?”

 

 

 

“I didn’t want you to see my like this! I didn’t want you to know the truth! I know you hate me! I’m a freak! A freak monster! I’m not a real genie! Just half! My dad is a genie but my real mom is a wolf! I end up being half of both and this is what happens to me on a full moon! I turn into this freak monster! All of the kids don’t wanna be my friend because of this. I bet you really hate me! I’m a freak! I’m a freak and I wish I was dead!”

 

 

“I don’t think you’re a freak. I think you’re super cool! How cool is that to be both genie and wolf! I love werewolves too! I think they are pretty cool like genies! But I don’t hate you, Raiden. I just wish you told me this. You don’t have to hide. I like you for who you are! You’re not a freak monster, you’re awesome!”

 

 

 

“No I’m not! I’m just a freak! I can’t even be a real wolf! And I don’t wanna be a wolf! I hate wolves! I wanna be a genie and one day I will be a real genie and not a stupid wolf! Then I can have friends and not be a freak anymore!”

 

 

 

“It’s okay to be what you are. I still wanna be your friend.”

“But why? Look at me.”

“I think you’re cute still. You have pretty long hair, cool glowy eyes.”

“I don’t see why you still like me.. I was a jerk.”

“I know but my mom said it’s cause you like me and boys act like jerks cause they don’t know how to express their feelings. But it’s okay, Sunshine.”

“Why do you call me that?”

“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy, when skies are gray.”

 

 

 

“What are you trying to do?”

“Kiss you.”

“Stop! Don’t kiss me when I’m like this!”

“But you are your true self. Your perfect self.”

“Noelle..”

“Raiden.”

“You should go. It’s not safe. I don’t wanna hurt you. Just go!”

 

 

Noelle finally listened to reason. She could hear the worry and panic in my voice. Noelle didn’t leave until placing a quick smooch on my cheek before running off. I was confused, why would she kiss me in this form? Why wasn’t she afraid of me? Why did she call this form, my perfect self? I quickly climbed back up into the tree house.

I could feel my body growing with pain and rage. For the brief moment I was with Noelle, I felt no pain, no angst. But as Noelle attempted to kiss me, I could feel my body snapping into it’s reality. I fear that I would attack her, cause harm, possibly kill her. Thankfully Noelle listen to my plea before anything could happen.

This full moon wasn’t like any other, it was different, less depressing, less painful. Possibly it was because of her genuine words, accepting me in my disgusting form. I know it won’t be safe to have her around me during a full moon. I can’t always have her around me during this time. Hopefully just the thought of her would be enough to ease my pain.

Show Yourself: Chapter 4 – Sweet Baby

It was finally the weekend and we usually spend it in the near by city, Richdale. My older siblings Lamar, Nia and Jordan stay with our grandparents since they attend the magic school. They usually stay with us during the summer but my siblings were involved into some summer programs that will help with the college applications. So we often visit the city to spend time with them. I have other siblings in Richdale, Topaz’s twin Opal moved to Richdale after having a set of twins and marrying their father. L2 and his family moved to Richdale last year. Echo got married, her husband  and 2 daughters live there too. And Eli lives there with his grandma since he’s attends the magic school too.

There was a game at the stadium Friday night and would be another one Saturday morning in Richdale that my dad had to attend to. He decided to stay in Richdale after the game Friday since he would need to go back in the morning. Mom still had some things to do at home, so we didn’t go into the city until Saturday morning. Normally I would hope we would go on Friday night but since meeting Noelle, it didn’t bother me so much. I asked mom if Noelle could come with us one day. She said maybe later when our families get to know each other. I couldn’t wait to show my first friend all the fun we could have in Richdale.

 

 

 

Most of the time we stayed with my mom’s parents. It was big enough for my large size family. Their house was always fun. They had so many cool things to do. They have a movie room, a game room, a playground and a pool too.  We have a pool at home too but their house is more fun. We always looked forwarded into going to see our grandparents.

 

 

 

Although we now know the truth, our grandparents aren’t our biological grandparents but we were told that nothing changes. We looked at them as our Mama and Papa, and they looked at us as their “sweet babies” as what mama called her grandchildren. Our grandparents knew that my dad had told us the truth of how we came to be. They acted as nothing was different and we did as well.

Sometimes I wonder with us knowing the truth at such a young age was a good thing. I believe we may have felt differently if we were older. Kids are more resilient than adults. They wanted to tell us when we were a little bit older but that would probably be a bad idea. Sure we were hurt for a moment but we were promised that nothing will change.

I was happy to tell mama about my new friend Noelle. Mom teased me by telling Mama that I had a girlfriend. I denied it, saying that Noelle wasn’t my girlfriend, she was just a friend, my first friend. Of course Mama teased me as well, I was annoyed just being a child but I knew she didn’t mean any harm.

 

 

 

“So can my friend come stay here with me one day?”

“Sure when it’s okay with her parents. I plenty of room for you sweet babies to bring friends over.”

“Cool! You will like her! She’s really pretty and has grey eyes. She’s from Bridgeport and she really likes genies. I’m the first one she met!”

“Aww, so you think she’s really pretty?”

“Yeah I guess.”

“Sounds like you want her as a girlfriend. Ha ha ha.”

“No I don’t! She’s my friend!”

“Yeah for now but I’m sure that will change.”

“No it won’t!”

 

 

 

I went outside to play in the sandbox with Montell. It was a nice summer day and mama and papa rather have us play outside than to stay indoor. I did like playing outside, the area where my grandparents lived was nice and quiet. It was slightly outside of the city and they had a nice view of the lake. It was nice to hear nothing but nature, my grandparents only had one neighbor.

My uncle Isaac lived next door, he’s also mom’s twin brother. Uncle Isaac is a professional basketball player, a coming star at the time. He has a wife named Anastasia, she’s a fitness guru with her own workout video. I remember her being the most beautiful woman I ever seen at the time. She has gray eyes and maybe that’s why I liked Noelle’s eyes so much. Uncle Isaac and Anastasia had 4 kids at the time but she looked amazing for being a mother of 4. My cousins were a lot older than me, so I really didn’t hang out with them so much. 

 

 

“You think we’ll see Anastasia today?”

Montell had as much as a crush on Anastasia as much as I did.

“Maybe. Mama said we are gonna go to the lake today. Why?”

“You think she’ll like me? I’m wearing my best shirt. Ana said she likes red cars.”

“I dunno.”

“I’m gonna marry her one day.”

 

 

“But Uncle Isaac is married to her. She’s our aunt, Monty.”

“Yeah but not our real aunt. Only cause Uncle Isaac married her but I think she’ll marry me. Last time she said that I was cute.”

“She said I was cute too. So I guess she likes me too.”

“She can’t like you! She know that you’re a….”

“I’m a what? A freak?”

“That’s not what I mean! You’re not a full genie. She only likes real genies.”

“But I am a real genies! I will have my powers too one day.”

“I hope so.”

Montell and I could hear papa calling for us. It was time to go the lake. I liked the lake, it was nice to stare into. I couldn’t swim, so I usually just stuck my toes into the water and sat on the edge of the shore. I use to wiggle my toes and sometimes kick around in the water, splashing one of my sisters. But today I get to do more.

 

 

 

This summer I get to swim around in the lake with the other for the first time. I was uneasy about it cause one of Giana’s friends drowned last summer at another lake. I didn’t know how to swim and I was told that I was strong enough to do some light swimming.

Mom geared me up for my first swimming lesson. I really didn’t want wear all of these safety swimming gear. It felt uncomfortable and I looked out of place. Mom said it was for my own good and told me to suck it up after whining how I didn’t wanna wear it. I watched the other swim around and laugh. What I’ll give just to be normal.

 

 

Mama was gonna teach me for today. Papa was going to but he forgot to pack his swim trunks. I guess I didn’t mind Mama teaching me instead. But I really wanted Anastasia to teach me but she wasn’t here yet.

 

 

 

“Are you ready, Rai?”

“I dunno. I don’t wanna drown.”

“Don’t worry about that sweetie. Mama gotcha, I’m not gonna let any of my sweet babies drown. Your floaties are going to help you. It’s why your momma is making you wear it.”

“So I won’t drown?”

“No baby, you’re gonna be just fine. You’ll be swimming in no time.”

 

 

My first lesson was to learn how to float. I felt like a rock and would sink if Mama let go of me. Mama tried to assure me that I would be fine but nothing seem to put me in ease. I felt at any moment I would drop to the bottom of the lake if Mama let go of. Knowing that the floaties would keep me afloat, I worried what if one suddenly popped. As a child I always thought the worse of things. I’m such a nervous wreck.

 

 

“You’ll be okay baby. Just pretend that you’re feather.”

“I can’t! Please don’t let go of me!”

“You’re gonna be okay. Mama isn’t gonna let anything happen to you. Just relax.”

“I don’t think I can!”

“Relax Raiden. Count to 10. You gotta relax. You don’t wanna stress out. It’s hard on your heart.”

“1…2…3…4…5…6 I dunno think I can, Mama!”

“Yes you can, baby. Count to 10.”

“1…2…3…4…5…6…7…8…9..10.”

“Feel better?”

“Yeah.”

 

 

I started to get a hang of floating on my back. Mama felt it was time to learn how to move my arms and legs around. I was so awkward trying to kick my legs and move my arms. I looked like a helpless bird trying to fly with a broken wing. I couldn’t get my legs and arms to move in the same rhythm. I was actually glad Noelle or Anastasia wasn’t here. I didn’t want them to see them making a fool of myself.

 

 

I didn’t really get a hang of swimming that day. I was so nervous about going underwater. But Mama didn’t want to give up on me. She knew I would learn how to swim, but I really needed to relax. That was my main problem. Jordan tried to give me some words of courage but I still felt useless.

 

 

 

Mama refused to give up on me. No matter how much I moan and whine. She did her best to encourage me when I didn’t believe I could.

 

 

 

Mama felt that we should take a break for while. I was given an inflatable lounger and was told to be careful. Mama carefully helped me onto the lounger and asked Jordan to keep watch on me. 

 

 

I kicked back and relaxed on the longer. I thought the last few days that I got to hang out with Noelle. I didn’t it was strange that I was thinking about her a lot. I was just happy to finally have a friend to play who wasn’t related to me. She told me all about Bridgeport and her family.

Noelle had 3 older brothers, she was the youngest and the only girl besides her teenage aunt. Her mom is pregnant and Noelle hopes the baby would be a girl so she’ll have a little sister. They moved to Riverview because Noelle’s dad job moved to Richdale. They decided to live in the suburb Riverview because they felt it was a nice town to raise their growing family in. Noelle’s grandparents passed away and they took in her mom’s teenage sister. Noelle doesn’t really like her much, she said all she does is complain. She didn’t want leave Bridgeport cause she had a boyfriend.

 

 

I felt a sneeze coming on, I tried to stop it but ended up letting out a big sneeze. I lost my balance and topple over off of the longer into the lake.

 

 

 

I was in full panic mode for a brief moment. I quickly came to surface due to my floaties. I thought I was going to die although I was only underwater roughly for 30 seconds. I coughed, trying to catch my breath. I looked around to see if anyone notice and I saw Jordan trying to swim towards as quickly as possible.

 

 

 

“Hey man, you okay?”

“You weren’t watching me!”

I was angry at Jordan and I furiously splashed water in Jordan’s face. He was supposed to be watching me so this kind of thing wouldn’t happen. I always had a short temper and easily snapped at others. It matter how little or big the issue was, I’m just never good at keeping my cool.

“Sorry! But stop that shit! You’re getting water in my eyes!”

“Well I got water in my eyes when I fell!”

“Yeah?! That doesn’t mean you can splash water in mine! You need to chill out!”

 

 

Later on in the afternoon we had lunch at the Sweetheart Cafe that Mama owned. I love eating there cause the food was always good. Mama opened the cafe when mom was just 15. Mama felt that Richdale could use a place that served homemade soul food. She named it Sweetheart Cafe after her famous Sweetheart pie. It’s the best pie ever. It’s made with a Navox fruit called Suriah which translates to “Sweetheart” in English. The Suriah fruit is extremely sweet and red in color and looks similar to raspberries. Mama’s Sweetheart pie is a poplar choice and I couldn’t wait to have a slice.

Over the years, Mama added on a bakery and a tea room. Mama loved to bake sweets and drink tea. We usually have a sugar rush after spending the weekend with Mama. It’s always a hassle for my parents on Sunday night when getting us ready for bed. We are just so hyper from all the pie and cake we ate. Mom always complained that she gives us too much sugar. But Mama always say, “They are my sweet babies, I gotta keep them sweet.”

 

 

Most of my family from my mom’s side was at the cafe. Family meals were always great, we chat and tease each other and catch up on each other lives. The game was over with and Dad joined us with his big appetite. Most genies have huge appetites but I swear Dad has a bottomless pit for a stomach.

Dad talked about how Isaac’s team won and he was impressed by Isaac’s new moves. I really haven’t been into basketball, Dad does takes us to games at the stadium since he gets free tickets. I only went cause I like hanging out with my dad. My brothers besides Antonio are really into sports. It would be a while before I actually gotten into watching sports. After everyone was done with their meals, it was time for my favorite part. Sweetheart pie! Mama called it Sweetheart pie not only because what the fruit means but once you have a slice, you’ll fall in love with Mama.

 

 

Afterwards we all headed to the Main Street park. Dad said Eli would be there and I was excited to see Eli. I don’t always see him when I’m in town. Eli was an active kid and his grandma kept him busy with special programs. I guess that was cool but my dad started to complain that he wasn’t able to spend enough time with Eli and urge his grandma to free up his schedule on the weekends.

 

 

Eli was often confused as my little brother since he was a lot shorter than me. Eli was born early like me, his birth mother set her house on fire to get my dad’s attention. She got hurt in the fire and ended up giving birth 4 weeks early. Mom said I was once smaller than my litter mates but had a growth spurt when I was 3.  Spoiler alert, Eli ended up taller than me when he turned 16. 

 

 

 

“Hi Rai! Are you gonna stay the night at my house with Dad?”

“Yeah! Your grandma’s house is kinda fun. April isn’t gonna be there is she?”

“I dunno. She likes to hang out with her boyfriend on the weekends.”

“I guess that’s cool. You should come over to my house so you can meet my friend. We got new neighbors. They are from Bridgeport and Noelle thinks genies are cool.”

“That’s cool! Maybe I can come over next weekend. I don’t have to go to magic camp anymore.”

“Is magic camp fun?”

“Yeah but some of the kids are jerks. They keep calling me small fries cause I’m little with red hair like ketchup. One of these days. I’m gonna be tall one day. That’s what my granny said.”

 

 

 

Dad asked Eli and I if we were ready to go. We told him yeah but Orion and Solar said they wanted to come too. We all got into Dad’s car and headed towards Eli’s home. He lives in a witch community called Salem Grove but is often nicknamed Witch’s Cove or WC for short. Only witches lived in this area because a witch owns that area and made it where only their kind are allowed to live there. It was made to bring witches closer together and inform a coven since covens aren’t as popular now days. 

 

 

We came over just in time. Eli’s grandma May was finishing up making when we arrived. Ms. May, is what I called her was also a pretty good cook. She’s a pastry chef at the downtown bistro and she often bake cookies, cupcakes and cakes whenever my dad and I stay over. I always eat well whenever I’m in Richdale.

Ms. May does have a full house. She lives in WC with her long-term boyfriend Myron, their daughter Nora, May’s daughter April and April’s toddler daughter Dakota. Ms. May has been married twice before meeting Myron. I always asked her why wasn’t she married to Myron. She told me that she and Myron love each other, getting married wasn’t gonna improve their love or change anything. Ms. May and Myron didn’t feel the need to get married since they both had failed marriages.

 

 

 

After dinner, Eli, Orion, Solar and I went outside. It was getting dark and Orion thought it would be cool to tell ghost stories since we were in WC and not too far from the cemetery. It was fun to tell scary stories at night, especially in WC cause strange things had happen in this area. Not sure if it was true but I thought maybe these stories were true.

 

 

Orion told us the story about a little girl named Grace who went missing 40 years ago. She was last seen near the Serra river, she was hiking with her father in the Serra woods. They say a drifter found Grace by the river, she was lost and couldn’t find her father. The drifter lead Grace up in the hills near the waterfall and pushed Grace off and onto the river below. Grace’s body was never recovered and the drifter was never seen again. They say if you go onto the Serra woods at sundown, you’ll see Grace standing by the river. She will ask me if you seen her father. If you say no, Grace will walk away and disappear into the woods. If you say yes, Grace will ask you to follow her. Grace will lead you up to the hills and stop once you reach the top of the waterfall before she pushes you off. They say the renamed to waterfall to Grace Falls in her honor. But the name is ironic given how she fell from the waterfall.

 

 

Once it got too dark, we were told to come inside. It was getting close to bedtime and we decided to play with some blocks before it was time.

“Let’s do something more fun that this.”

“Like what, Eli?”

“Let’s set up some pranks in April’s bathroom.”

“Why? What did she do?”

“She keeps eating my cookies and drinking my juice boxes. And I get in trouble by granny. April won’t admit that she ate all the cookies and drank all of the juice.”

“Hmm. I think that would be fun to mess with her.”

“Yeah!”

 

 

 

We headed towards April’s bathroom. Eli said April sometimes come home after he’s in bed so we had to do this quick. Eli messed with the sink so when April tries to wash her hands, water will spray in her face. Orion uses his magic in April’s shampoo that will change the hair of her hair. And I set up the toilet to spray water back at her. April was gonna get triplet pranked and it was gonna be hilarious to hear her scream.

 

 

 

Like predicted, April came home while we were in bed. Eli woke us up when he heard April coming up stairs. We heard April on the phone with her boyfriend, telling him that she’s gotta use the bathroom. We snicker once we heard the toilet flush and April shrieking when the toilet water sprayed back at her.

 

 

 

Naturally she would go to wash her hands only to be sprayed again. We started to snicker harder when we heard April shriek once again.

 

 

 

 

We heard April mumbling as she headed to her bedroom. We knew she was getting ready to take a shower and she needed to get her bathrobe first.

“Those evil jerk kids! I know you punks did this! My hair better not be ruined!”

We laughed hard as we heard April yelling in the bathroom still. I think we were almost in tears from all the laughter. We quickly stop laughing when the door flung open, it wasn’t April but it was Nora. She told us to shut up and go to bed. We continue to giggle before we finally drifted off to sleep.

 

 

 

We had a great weekend, loads of fun with family in Richdale. We got in trouble for the pranks but it was totally worth to be honest. After breakfast Dad told us that he was taking us to the movies and then the park with the others. We had a lot of fun but once the clock hit 3:00, I knew that it was time to return to Riverview. I always got sad when we had to leave. I wished that we lived here instead of Riverview. Other kids play with me here and it’s a lot more fun. Dad often have to go to the Richdale stadium and Mom often have assignments here too. I didn’t get why we didn’t just live here.

As we took the 20 minute drive back to Riverview, I started to happy again as we got closer to home. I thought about telling Noelle all the fun I had. I hoped she had as much fun as I did. This was probably the one time that I was happy to return home from Richdale.

Show Yourself: Chapter 3 – Love Of A Mother

I tossed and turned during the night. I couldn’t help but wondering what was my parents talking about. What do they mean they need to tells us the truth? Whatever it was, it sounded seriously. Eventually I drifted off to sleep, dreaming my usual dreams of having full genie powers and living on a world made of ice cream. Usual kid stuff ya know.

In the morning, I wasn’t awaken by the smell of mom’s cooking of pancakes or waffles with eggs and bacon. Instead I was awaken by the sound of rolling thunder. Dad said that it was going to be storming and raining most of the day, and told us we won’t be going to day camp because of it. Dad’s work shift starts slightly after mom’s shift ends, so there wouldn’t be an issue. 

 

 

Dad opened the door and told us to get up, breakfast was ready. I didn’t smell anything, so I was confused. My brothers and I exited our bedroom and headed to the dining room. We found breakfast on the table, lumpy oatmeal. Mom doesn’t make oatmeal, she always said that wasn’t real breakfast. But we also notice mom wasn’t there. Dad made breakfast today cause mom had to go into work early today.

Valerii looked at her bowl with disgust. She whined saying she only wanted to stay the night so she could have my mom’s famous butter pecan pancakes. She complained how she doesn’t like her mom’s cooking. She wanted real food for once since her grandma Fraine got a job in Richdale and she’s too busy to cook like she use to. I teased Valerii back, telling her to go home if she didn’t like the lump-meal which she called. She stuck her tongue out and I stuck mine out in return. Dad didn’t say anything, he didn’t look away from his bowl. Something about dad wasn’t right.

 

 

Dad was unusually quiet and distance today. He was always telling jokes at the table but today, he didn’t say much. He didn’t bother to join in our conversations. We all took notice of dad’s odd behavior and the chatter soon died. We sat there and finished our “lump-meal” in awkward silence.

 

 

“Hey Montell, Antonio, Clarice, Raiden and Giana, I need to talk to you guys when you’re done.”

Dad had finally broke his silence, his tone was serious and it’s rare to see dad serious. Dad was all jokes and play.

“Are we in trouble? I didn’t do it. It was probably Stella!”

“Hey! I didn’t do anything!”

Giana was nervous just like the rest of us, we felt we were in trouble although none of did anything. But if something was broken, it was probably Stella. However Stella has been acting pretty well lately, so it had it be about something else. Then I thought about how weird our parents were acting last night.

“No Giana. No one is in trouble.”

 

 

 

My litter mates and I all met dad in the living. Dad still had a serious face but also a look of worry. I could also tell that he didn’t sleep much last night either. He yawned while he massaged his neck a bit.

“We wanted to tell you guys this together but your mom’s has a deadline at work today. So it’s just me. I dunno how to explain things are how to start but the unthinkable just happen and it is time to tell you all. The truth… The truth of how you guys came to be.”

 

 

“Your mom Nakia isn’t your actual mom. I mean legally she is but by blood.. She’s not. A long time ago after driving home from a Valentine’s day dinner, your real mom Clarissa and I got into a car wreck. Clarissa slipped into a coma and we was told that she was in a permanent vegetable state. Meaning she would never awake from her coma. I also found out that she was pregnant with you guys. It was very early in the pregnancy and doctors advise me to have the pregnancy ended. They felt she would lose you kids eventually but I decided not to obviously. The pregnancy was doing well for the most part until the 8th month. The were some issues and you guys ended up being born 6 weeks early. You guys had to be delivered at that time or you kids and Clar would all die. We you kids were born, we learned that Clarissa actually had 8 babies. Unfortunately your brother Nuri was stillborn, your sister Desiree only lived for 2 hours while your other sister Jada lived for 14 hours. Nuri, Desiree and Jada were hidden behind you Raiden, reasons why it went unnoticed.” 

 

 

“When I asked Nakia to marry me, I also asked her to adopt you 5 along with Eli, Orion and Solar. ..Oh and Stella too! She loved you all like you her own. But we had some issues with Nakia adopting you 5 since Clarissa is still alive. She still had brain activity although she was a vegetable. Legally Nakia couldn’t adopt you 5 however a new law was passed allowing Nakia to do so. A week before your 5th birthday, Nakia became your legal parent. Nakia and I had to be married before she was allowed to adopt you 5. But I am telling you all this because the impossible had happen 3 weeks ago. Clarissa came out of her coma. She woke up shortly after I visited her for the final time. I told her goodbye and I guess that woke her up. But that doesn’t mean anything is going to change. Nakia is still your mother no what matter. I’m not sure when you kids will get to meet Clarissa. I’m sorry for keeping this from you guys but we planned to tell you about Clarissa when you kids were older. Your grandparents in Italy are Clarissa’s parents. You got your wolf genes from her, Raiden. Clarissa is a lycan like your grandpa Muraco. So if you got any questions. Let me know.”

 

 

 

My heart dropped into my stomach. My mom isn’t really my mom. My real mom is a wolf and she made me into what I am now. I always wondered how we had a third set of grandparents. Mom and Dad never really explained the relation nor did we ever questioned it. It’s not like we see our Italian grandparents much anyway. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the truth. The more I thought about it, the more I became to feel hurt and betrayed. How could they lie to us? Why have us believe that Nakia is our mom. I knew she adopted the other kids, it was obvious but I thought my litter mates and I belonged to both my mom and dad.

Dad said this changes nothing but it changes everything. What do I call our real mom? Will she live with us? My litter mates had a better reaction than I did. They didn’t seem too bothered and Clarice thought it was cool to have 2 moms cause they means we will get more presents. They others went off to play while I sulked in my room. Dad came to talk to me. I asked about the other litter mates, were they like me. Dad told me that Nuri and Desiree were both full wolves but Jada was kinda like me. She was both wolf and genie but her wolf DNA was higher. I asked dad if our birth mom knows about us. Dad said he didn’t know, he haven’t spoken to her yet. He just found out last night when one of the doctors left him a voicemail.

 

 

 

After a chat with dad, I got dressed and played with my brothers. Naturally they wanted to talk about our real mom but I wasn’t in the mood to think about it anymore.

 

 

 

“Dad said our real mom is a wolf. I think that’s kinda cool. Whatcha think, Rai? I guess that explains what you are.”

“I’m a genie. That’s all that matters.”

“But you’re so a-“

“No Monty! I am a genie! Just a genie like you and the others!”

“Child boy! You know that isn’t true. I think it’s cool. We are just boring genies and you get to be both.”

“It’s not cool turning into a freak monster every full moon! I bet if you had wolf blood then you wouldn’t think it’s cool. Plus I’m sick all the time and I can’t do things like you guys do. How is that cool, Tony?”

“Sorry Rai. But I wonder is our real mom is really pretty. Cause I probably got my good looks from her. You guys are ugly. Ha ha ha ha!”

“Whatever Tony! I wonder when do we get to meet her. What do we call her? Other mom? Wolf mom? Mom 2?”

“She had us, Monty. She would be mom 1. So our mom here is mom 2. So I guess we call the real mom, mom 1 and the mom here mom 2.”

“That’s stupid.”

 

 

 

“You got a better idea, Rai?”

“Yeah. Let’s not talk about it. Let’s just build our town again.”

“Better my building is better than you guys. It’s my fashion salon.”

We didn’t talk about our birth mom much after that. We carried on and played in our room like any other day. But I often thought about her in the back of my mind. What was she like? What was her favorite food? What was her favorite music? I find myself thinking about tons of questions to ask dad about her. I’m pretty sure Clarice and Giana are talking dad’s ears off about her. I guess I can wait for another day.

 

 

 

As the day went on, I felt a bit weak and decided to rest for a bit. Dad asked me if I was okay but I told him I was just tired. He told me to rest up and mom would be home soon. Dad had to stop at Fraine’s house for  a little bit before he headed to work, one of the quads was cranky. Since Janaya was home from school, she would check on me until mom got home.

 

 

“Rai?”

The sound of mom’s voice woken me up. She sat down next to me on my bed and placed her hand across my forehead. Usually I’m happy to see her but I felt slightly different today. I wanted to pull her hand away and roll over but I couldn’t bring myself to do so.

“Your dad said you weren’t feeling well today. You’re warmer than usual. You got a little fever now. But I’m gonna take care of that.”

“Why do you care? You’re not my real mom…”

“Little boy, watch your tone. I am still your mother. I may not given you life but I raised you since one day.”

“I’m sorry mom but how can you be our mom when you know we really weren’t yours?”

“Because you picked me to be your mother.”

“I picked you? How?”

“You picked me on the day you were born. I decided to spend the summer with your dad in EC so the quads could spend more time with him. Plus I finally decided to cash in my vacation time. I was there the day you and the others were born. You were so tiny, you barely weighted 2 pounds. You had to go into surgery as soon was you were born. Your heart was on the outside. But before you went, your dad and I got to see you for 30 seconds. You squeezed my finger before you rushed off. At that moment, I knew you picked me.”

“So you was always around?”

 

 

 

“I stayed in EC until early September. The kids had to go back to school but we did come back for Thanksgiving and Christmas. When I wasn’t there, your dad and I video chat so I could see and talk you guys. You always responded well to me, whenever I touch, held or talked you to. You got stronger whenever you knew I was around. When it was Christmas time, I hate knowing that you would be spending your first Christmas in the NICU. Your siblings were ready to go home a little bit before Halloween but the doctors didn’t think you would be ready until New Years.”

“So when did I come home?”

“On Christmas. I went to the hospital, I wasn’t about to let you spend it alone. You were so strong and I knew you was ready. I told the doctors that I wanted to take you home. Course they felt you needed more time but you had a huge turn around that day when I held you. The doctors notice how you only responded to very well. Your doctor looked at me and said, “I guess all he needs now is his mother’s love.” I called your dad telling him to get up there so he could sign your release papers. Within an hour of me coming up there, we brought you home. And I knew it was official that you 5 were my babies rather your dad decided to be serious with me or not.”

“So is that when you decided to marry my dad?”

 

 

 

“I wanted to marry your dad a long time ago but he played too much. He didn’t know what he wanted. He was confused and had a lot going on. He was pretty upset about Clarissa. Their relationship didn’t end, it was taken away. The more we spent time together, the closer we got. Eventually your dad wise up when I told him that I was done playing house. He said when you saw a picture of me, you said “mama” and smiled. Your dad made up his mind, and asked to move in with me. He wanted us to be a family. And now we are.”

“So what do we call the other mom? Is she gonna come live with us? Does she know about you? Is she gonna make us go live with her?”

“You can just call her mom too or mama or even mommy.”

“Mommy is a baby word.”

“Ha ha ha, yeah. But Raiden, I’m not sure what’s going to happen at this point. Your dad and I are trying to figure things out. You don’t need to worry about that. We just need to get your fever down.”

“Can I have some ice cream?”

“Not before dinner, boo.”

“Okay. I love you, mom.”

“I love you too.”

 

 

 

After dinner I was feeling better. Of course after some cookies and cream ice cream. It was my turn to take the mail to the mailbox. Since I was feeling better, mom allowed me to do it. I heard some footsteps coming behind me, I didn’t much of it until I heard a voice say, “Hi.”

 

 

“Hi there! My name is Noelle Sheridan. My family just moved in from Bridgeport. Whoa you have really weird eyes. What’s your name?” 

 

 

 

“Who are you calling weird! I’m not weird or freak!”

“What? I didn’t call you a freak. I just said you had weird eyes. They aren’t the same color.”

 

 

 

“Yes you did! You just said I was!”

“I mean weird as in cool! You got an orange eye and a blue eye. It’s cool.”

 

 

 

“Well I don’t like being called weird!”

“But I didn’t call YOU weird.”

“It sounded like it! But you called my eyes weird. Maybe your eyes are weird too!”

 

 

“Hey! My eyes are pretty like my mom’s!”

“I said maybe. Your eyes aren’t weird!”

“Then why did you say that?!”

“Cause you said mine was but I didn’t mean it!”

“Well I didn’t mean to call yours weird in a bad way!”

 

 

“Okay well you shouldn’t use the word weird if you think it’s good thing.”

“Don’t tell me what to say! Weird is means cool in Bridgeport!”

“But I didn’t know that!”

“Now you do! You didn’t even tell me your name. How are we going to be friends?”

“My name is Raiden but my family calls me Rai.”

“I see! You’re a ray of sunshine! You’re really grumpy. I think I’ll call you Sunshine.”

“I had a bad day! Don’t call me Sunshine!”

 

 

“I’m sorry that you had a bad day. So your name is Raiden? That’s a cool name but I’m still gonna call you Sunshine. So how old are you? I’m 6 but I’ll be 7 on September 22. There’s something different about you. What are you?”

 

 

“I’m 6 too but I’ll be 7 on July 10th. Maybe you can come to my birthday party next month. My parents always throw us cool birthday parties. And yeah there’s something different about me, I’m a genie.”

 

 

“You’re a genie? Really? Oh cool! I never met a genie before. I really the occult like fairies, genies anything magical! I think vampires and wolves are cool too! But wow a genie! Can you really make wishes? That would be great! I got so many wishes to make but my first wish is to be your friend! I think you’re cute.”

 

 

“Genies can’t really make wishes like in the movies. But we can do other cool stuff.”

“Ohhh well I bet the other things are just as cool. Can you make ice cream appear?”

“I could but I haven’t learned to do my powers yet but I will one day.”

“That would be cool and then we can have an ice cream party!”

“Yeah that would be super cool.”

 

 

 

“I hear my mom calling me. I better go. We are still moving in. I’ll see you later, Sunshine!”

“Okay so are we really friends?”

“Yeah! Why not? I like you.”

“Oh cool. I guess I’ll see you later.”

“Bye Sunshine!”

 

 

Noelle headed home, I was taken by surprise when she hugged me. I never had anyone just come up and hug me before. Noelle has been the first person since I was 5 who wanted to be my friend. I was happy to have a friend finally. I was so happy that I ran into the house and told my parents about Noelle. But then I thought, will she still be my friend when the other kids tell her that I turn into a freak monster?

Show Yourself: Chapter 2 – The Perfect Day

I remember when the days were perfect. Back in the days when I was a little boy growing up in an upper middle class neighborhood in the peaceful town of Riverview. Everyone was friendly and everyone almost knew everything. You couldn’t hide anything, half of the town would know about it already.

We been living on Dogwood lane officially for a year, I always hated the name of the street but it was one of the best areas to live on in Riverview. Our old house was getting too small and my parents wanted to buy their first home together as a newly married couple. They got married when I was 4 and half  and we got this house when I was almost 6. After my parents found this house, they decided to rent out the old one to earn some extra income.

I remember being so excited on moving day, this house was much better than our old one. We have a bigger backyard and even a pool with a hot tub. Plus all of my family who lived in Riverview lived on Dogwood lane, so it was perfect for my parents. My dad had other kids and he could see them easily now since living here. Our houses were always opened to family and their houses were too. Sometimes if we didn’t like what mom cooking for dinner, we could have dinner at another family’s house. My parents didn’t mind. It was like we lived in an open community. Even my non-related neighbors opened their homes to us too. I remember when everything was so perfect.

 

 

I had a pretty good childhood for the most part. Although it was tough to make friends because of this one annoying part about me. I was born part genie and part wolf, two set of genetics that can’t be split. You were one or the other, you couldn’t be both unless you were some medical history like me. But what I was made my life difficult. It left me with a medical condition that didn’t allow me to live much. When I was born, my heart and lungs were extremely under developed, I didn’t respond to medicines due of my occult status. Doctors were unsure to treat me but managed to figure something out for the short-term at least.

My heart and lungs are 2 times smaller than it should be, they are amazed that I am alive, but they believe it’s cause of my genie DNA. To play it safe, I’m not allowed to do anything that would could my heart and lungs to work hard. Such as running, jumping, swimming, bike riding or basically being a normal child. My dad is a strong guy and often had to carry me if walking had gotten to be too much. I wasn’t allow to learn how to walk until I was 2. I made many attempts to walk on my own but my parents always stopped me until the doctor said it was okay.

I’m seen as a freak or a weird to most kids, ever since a sleepover that I attended to when I was 5. That night happen to be a full moon and my parents had forgotten and sent me off. Since I’m half and half, when it’s a full moon, I can’t properly turn into a full wolf. Instead I turn into a freakish man-wolf with dark flowing long hair, glowing red eyes and huge wolf fangs protruding from my mouth. It scared the living daylights out of everyone at the party. My parents had remembered and attempted to get to me before I turned, but it was too late. All the kids saw what I am, although I told them all that I was genie who hasn’t come into my power yet. Since that night, no parent wants me near their child. In a town like Riverview, news spreads fast.

Not only can’t I be a proper wolf but I can’t be a proper genie either. I can’t do what most genies can do, well at least not properly. My grandma over in the near by city of Richdale believe I can if I have the proper training like at the school of magic for witches, genies and fairy in Richdale. But they have a no wolf or vampire rule, I’m not allow to attend. Whenever we visit Richdale, my grandma trains me herself which it’s kinda cool. I want to be just a genie and do genie things like other genies. I don’t wanna be a wolf, I don’t know other wolves and being a genie is much cooler. I’m confused of why I am born the way I was. I mean both of my parents are genies but my dad said there was a wolf in his family and that’s how I got it. But why only me? Something about his story seemed off but I didn’t question it. I was just a kid who dreamed that one day I would wake up as a full genie.

 

 

I didn’t need an alarm clock to wake up me up, just the smell of my mom’s cooking awakens me. My mom loved to cook and didn’t use magic to prepare our meals. My mom told me that food conjuring was a developed ability during the genie slave trade era. It was used as a survival skill when genies had to go into hiding. Most modern day genies don’t conjure food unless they plan to spend a weekend roughing it out in the woods and failed to catch food.

My mom always said a genie who conjures is a genie who is lazy. She would say that as she looks over at my dad and smiles. My dad always explained himself, saying he didn’t know how to cook but my mom likes teasing him. Of course playfully tease. I always admired my parents marriage, they were always in love, even until this day. I hope one day I’ll find another Navox lady like my dad.

 

 

 

I heard my litter mate Montell, it’s an inside joke in my family since we are apart of a set of quints, making up his bed on the top bunk. Of out my 4 other litter mates, Montell known as Monty was the one I was closest too. Naturally we would be since we were side by in our mom’s womb.

“Rai, get up or you won’t get a spot at the table.”

“I am up. Shut up.”

The dining room table only seats 8 and only 9 of us actively live in the house. That means that one of use would have to eat alone at the breakfast bar. It’s less depressing when a guest decides to have a meal with us.

“You don’t look like you’re up. Are you feeling okay?”

“Ugh…yes Monty… I just wanna relax a bit.”

“If you’re not feeling okay, I’ll tell mom. She’ll save you a sat.”

“Monty! Don’t baby me! I’m okay!”

“Um.. if you say so.”

I always felt annoyed if Monty seemed like he was trying to baby me but he was the only one who seemed to have any real concern for me since we were kids unlike my other litter mates. I know he was just looking out for me but it annoyed me. 

 

 

I was late getting up and like predicted, Monty saved me a sat at the table like he does most of the time. He made sure it was close to mom, I know how she was gonna question me during breakfast since I was a bit sluggish this morning.

“I’m okay mom. I was just having a really good dream.”

“Are you sure? You have an appointment in 2 days.”

“I know mom but really I’m okay. I can go to day camp today.”

Doctor visits are a monthly thing, I have at least 3 appointments a month. I’ve had 6 surgeries since birth so seeing the hospital walls is a normal thing for me, sadly. My doctors are unsure how to treat me still, everything is short-term until they finally find a long-term solution. I hope before each visit, they would finally figure it out but they haven’t. However they notice I seem to improve health wise as I get older. It is the second week of summer and I was approved to do some light swimming. The doctors felt my heart and lungs can handle it this year.

 

 

 

My mom headed off to work while we spend the rest of the morning with dad. I found my dad behind the bar like usual. My dad didn’t start his day with coffee like most adults, his day was start with rum or whiskey. Dad isn’t suppose to be drinking in the morning, mom usually scolds him. Dad doesn’t have to work until later on in the day and mom doesn’t want him to be drunk while we were at home. But dad has his drink or two anyway.

 

 

 

“Dad, you’re suppose to be having a morning drink.”

“Yeah? Your mom isn’t here. You’re not gonna tell her?”

“Maybe if I can have a candy bar then maybe your secret is safe.”

“You know that I can’t do that, Rai.”

“Then I guess I can’t promise you anything, dad.”

“Wait a sec… I am the dad! Don’t tell your mom unless you don’t a cool present for your birthday next month.”

It’s fun to mess with my dad time to time. He tends to forget that he has authority over us and when he does, he goes “Wait a sec. I’m the dad!”. He may have been a father for over 30 plus years but he’s still brand new to the whole parenting thing. He was never a hands on parent until he met my mom. I promised dad that I won’t say anything cause I really want something cool for my birthday next month. I’ll be turning 7. July 10th doesn’t seem to come quick enough. My grandma said that the year of 7 is always the luckiest years with Navox.

 

 

 

“So are we getting a big party again?”

“Maybe but its a surprise. You’ll love it.”

“Just give me a little hint.”

“I can’t do that. But what I can tell you is that…remind me to not forget Stella today.”

“Ha ha ha!”

“I’m serious, Rai. Your mom wasn’t happy that I left her at camp yesterday.”

I always wondered why dad always forgot about Stella. I know my dad is forgetful and all but there’s something about him and Stella that doesn’t seem to click. For the most part he looks at her like she’s a stranger and sometimes mentions to my mom how she just came out of nowhere. My mom laughs at him and tells him to stop being silly. But what if that’s true? I mean when you look at Orion and Solar, they look alike but their litter mate Stella is completely different from them. It makes you wonder.. there’s a lot of mystery with aliens and all.

 

 

The doorbell rang at 9:30 like usual, Orion and Solar came over from our sister Topaz’s house from across the street. Orion and Solar are living at Topaz’s because of our brother Saffron. About almost a year ago, Saffron’s mom went missing and the only ones who could make him feel better was Orion and Solar. Instead of moving Saffron in with us, Topaz felt it was best if he stayed with her since he had his own room. However Orion and Solar wanted to live with him since they have a fairy bond. They often stayed a night at Topaz’s and she took notice on Saffron’s mood was better when Orion and Solar were around.

Topaz’s husband Mirio said that Orion and Solar see Saffron as a lost fairy and naturally they want to stay close with him thus creating a tribe. It’s fairy nature that this type of thing happens, since they are siblings, the force is stronger. Mirio being an older fairy, they see him as the king of the tribe. This is now a little fairy tribe that should not be broken. Since Topaz and Mirio had extra room, they asked my dad to move in Orion and Solar once school was over. My dad felt it was best and allowed them since we live across the street.

 

 

“So where’s Saff? Isn’t he coming over and going to day camp with us today?”

“Saffron isn’t feeling well today. He’s extra sad today. He really misses his mommy.”

“I thought you and Orion was making him happy?”

“Yeah but sometimes he’s super sad still. Topaz said today makes it a year since their mommy went missing. I think he’s gonna stay with Mirio and the babies today. But maybe you can help.”

“How?”

“Just say the weird stuff that you always say. Be weird. He thinks its funny.”

“I’m not weird!”

“Sometimes you are but its okay. You are what you are and I love you.”

Honestly you can never get mad at Solar. Even when she gives you a backhanded compliment. She always ends it with a “I love you” in the sweetest voice ever. When she says that, you can’t get mad. Instead your heart just melts and feel like the most special person in the world. And I wish I had her sorcery. Solar is sugary sweet for the most part and if she says anything mean, she didn’t intent it to be but with the sweet “I love you” which is genuine, all is forgiven. All does she do that? Is it a Navox thing? 

 

 

 

I let my dad know that I was going over to get Saffron and was given the okay. I feel bad for Saffron, it sucks if your mom just goes missing without a trace. When Topaz shared the news that she was pregnant, her mom was gone the next day. Topaz mention to my dad how her mom was often depressed but seem to start getting better. She was dating a guy but he suddenly left town without telling her. Topaz is afraid that something happen to her and as been searching for her non stop.

Mirio said that sometimes lone fairies just up and leave to find a tribe to be apart of. They having a need of feeling belonged. He thinks he she searched for a tribe or may returned back to her true home. However Topaz doesn’t believe her mom would just leave Saffron behind. Police didn’t find any signs of foul play and maybe its true what Mirio said. Police tend to not search for fairies because sometimes they just leave. Of course, Mirio promises Topaz they he wouldn’t do that to her. They are married with kids, he has no urge to leave that behind.

 

 

 

I searched for the spare key and let myself in. I announced myself, letting Mirio that it was me. I could hear him upstairs with his screaming set of twins. Topaz gave birth late spring and today is her first day back to work, leaving Mirio alone with the babies.

“Mirio! It’s me Raiden! I’m here for Saffron!”

“Hey man! That’s cool! Can you do me a favor?!”

“Yeah?!”

“Can you see if your sis Janaya can give me a hand?!”

“Okay!”

 

 

 

Before I could turn around to go get Janaya, she was already at the door. 

“Hey Rai!”

“Great… Did dad send you to look after me?”

“No Rai. I got a text from Topaz asking me to check on Mirio before I headed to school.”

“Oh.. Well Mirio needs you.”

“Yeah.. I can heard that. Poor guy has his hands full.”

 

 

 

I found Saffron sitting at the table in the dining area. It looked like he was writing down something. I sat down next to him to see what he was writing.

“Whatcha doing?”

“Writing a letter to my mom.”

“Do you know where she is?”

“No.”

“Then why are you writing her a letter?”

“Cause the lady said it will make me feel better.”

 

 

 

“What lady? How is that gonna make you feel better?”

“A lady! It’s none of your business, Raiden! I don’t have to tell you anything.”

“Sorry… I was just asking..”

“Nobody said you had to!”

 

 

I never seen Saffron like this. He’s not like him to snap at anyone. He was always friendly, even after his mom went missing. I stop talking and sat there watching the ticking clock on the wall.

“So you just gonna watch me?”

“I thought maybe you wanted some company. But you seem mad. Guess you not coming to camp today?”

“No. Yeah. I dunno. Maybe.. I just need to write this letter.”

“Okay.”

“And the lady… It’s my therapist. I gotta see one.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah..”

 

 

I can sense Saffron wants to be left alone. Janaya came downstairs with the twins, Sabelle and Sabrina and put them in their swings. She told Mirio to play some music, it will calm them down. As Mirio played the piano, the twins got quiet and cooed in their swings. Janaya was always great with kids. I’m glad she’s attending the fine arts school in town instead of attending to school of magic in Richdale with her litter mates. Janaya’s school is all year around, so she doesn’t get a summer break like the rest of do.

 

 

 

I didn’t really get the fascinating about babies. They cry, poop and sleep all day. However I did like Sabelle and Sabrina, they were the only babies I could get close to without their parent freaking out. Even my own sister Leda got a little weird when I was too close to her newborn son. She try to make it sound like she nervous about kids wanting to hold her baby but I know the truth. When the twins were born, Topaz asked me first if I wanted to hold one. I didn’t want to but did anyway. I figure why not, no one else is gonna let me near their baby.

Sabelle and Sabrina like me, it makes me feel less like a freak. 

 

 

 

I was getting ready to go home until Saffron stopped me.

“I could use a funny joke now.”

“Um… well. Oh I got one!”

“Cool! Tell me.”

“Why is 6 afraid of 7?”

“I dunno. Why?”

“Cause 7 8 9! Get it?”

“Huh.. Oh. Ha ha ha ha! That’s funny!”

 

 

I told Saffron a few more jokes that made him laugh. He was feeling better and decided to come over to hang out for a bit before we all had to go camp.

 

 

 

It was time to head to day camp. My dad pile all of us into his car, mom said they he needs to get a van but dad said he can’t. Something about him being a man and men don’t drive vans. But day camp was at Eberly farm, which is a pretty fun place to go as I remembered. They had all kinds of activities do there, even for someone like me. They had hay rides, swimming, horseshoes, arts & crafts, fishing, gardening, and some game that you throw sticks to knock over trolls.

 

 

 

I was usually on my own once we got to the farm. My siblings all had friends and their friends were scared of me. I couldn’t play like normal kids did, so sometimes I just watched other kids have fun. Sometimes I would imagine that I was out there playing with the others, living like a full genie, showing off my magic. But I’m quickly snapped into reality when some kid shout out “Move out the way, freak!”

 

 

 

My dad does work here part time before he heads to his real job at the stadium. This gives him some time to hang out with us. Dad usually gave hay rides and swim with everyone. All the kids like my dad and thinks he’s cool. My dad can fly and sometimes let other kids fly with him.

Last week, a kid asked how he was so cool and why was I a freak. My dad told him that I wasn’t a freak how I was unique. Having “cool” dad still wasn’t enough to earn me any popularity. I think that’s why my dad took this part time job here. He knew kids liked him and maybe it would help me gain some friends.

 

 

 

 

“What’s wrong freak? Are you scared?”

“I’m not scared and don’t call me a freak or I’m gonna tell dad! “

“Don’t be such a baby, Raiden. I was just joking.”

“Yeah? But did you have to call me a freak just like the other kids do?”

“Sorry… I was just-“

“Shut up, Devi! You’re just a jerk like the others. You’re sister.. I thought you wouldn’t call me that.”

“Look. I am sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.”

“Whatever.. You don’t see me calling you “Devil” like the other kids do..”

“Yeah… but I’m really sorry.”

“Fine. Just don’t me that again.”

“I won’t. I promise.”

 

 

 

I wasn’t sure what was Devi’s deal. She never called me that before but I guess she’s been hanging out with the other kids so long. After the hay ride, Devi attempted to tell me how sorry she was but I didn’t want to be bothered. I headed over to the petting zoo and played with the baby chicks. They just hatched last week and so far they have been my only friends here.

“Hi Stacy! Do you like your name? You look like a Stacy so I’m gonna call you that.”

 

 

 

“What’s up Bill? Today is pretty nice out, huh? So are you and Tiffany back together yet? I hope so cause you guys are kinda cute together ya know.”

 

 

 

My chat with Bill was cut short when my niece Valerii caught me chatting with the chickens.

“Can you be less of a weirdo, dog freak?! Stop talking to the chickens! The others think that you’re about to eat them or something!”

“Mind your business! I can chat with them if I wanna!”

“No you can’t, dog freak! Stop it or I’m gonna make you!”

“Like how?”

“Geeze… I dunno. Beat you up! Whatcha think? Stop being so dumb!”

 

 

“I don’t have anything else to do.”

“I don’t care! Just stop! You’re making me look bad!”

“How?”

“Cause my friends know that you’re my uncle and you’re being all weird!”

“I’m not being weird…”

“Yeah huh… Says the boy who talks to chickens.”

“No one wants to talk to me..”

“Not my problem! Just stop talking to the chickens or you’re gonna regret it!

 

 

Valerii had always been a jerk towards me. She picks at me for every little thing that I did. I left the petting zoo and headed over to the pond. My dad was swimming around and he spotted me.

“C’mon Rai, your doctor said it will be okay.”

“But I don’t know how to swim.”

“I’ll hold ya like I did when you were a baby.”

“But I’m not a baby! I’ll be 7 next month!”

“Oh well we can-“

“No dad. I’ll go do something else.”

Soon as I turned around, I saw other kids running towards the pond. Once they all saw that my dad was swimming, they wanted to swim too. There was no way I wanted everyone to see me being held by dad like from my toddler days. They tease me enough already.

 

 

My litter mate, Antonio who is knows as Tony came over with his usual words of encouragement.

“Haters are gonna hate. So put on your freakum dress and dance with fierce!” 

 

 

 

“What does that even have to do with anything?!”

“I am saying that you need to not worry about what these basic children think of you! Let dad hold you in the water! Your doc say it’s okay now do it!”

“I wanna swim but not like that!”

“Child boy! Dad is gonna teach you how to swim. Now on with the freakum dress and dance!”

 

 

At 3Pm, mom comes and picks us up from day camp. She ask us if we had fun and she asks me if I made a friend. The answer is always a no and she scolds the others saying how they need to let me play with them. But I always told mom that I didn’t want their friends out of symphony. She didn’t care and felt that they should introduce their friends to me. I told mom it was okay and they didn’t have to.

My brothers and I went into our bedroom to play while mom made dinner. 

“Rai, wanna join us? We are building a city.”

“No, Monty.”

“You can if you wanna.”

“Child boy, we home now. Play with us!”

“So it’s cool to play at home but not at camp?”

“Well… you know how my friends are, Rai.”

“Maybe tomorrow we should ditch our friends and hang with Rai?”

“No Tony. Don’t do that. I don’t want a pity play…”

I think mom’s scolding had some affect on them since they are willing to break away from their friends for me. But I didn’t want them to play with me at camp cause mom told them to. They kept trying to convince me that mom wasn’t putting them up to it but believe that mom did have a point. 

 

 

The rest of the evening went as normal. The house was full of kids, Valerii decided to stay the night while Orion, Solar, Saffron and Devi went back to their homes.

It was bedtime and I was the last to brush my teeth before heading to bed. I went a little weak and doing that task took longer than usual. I found myself on the bathroom floor, I must have passed out for a little bit.

I was my dad sitting on the couch, something was bothering him. He wasn’t his usually happy self when he got home from work. I thought maybe he had a bad day at work but that unusual. Dad likes his job at the stadium. He’s the fitness trainer for the basketball players and off duty soldiers. 

“It’s going to be okay, B. I’m sure the kids will understand.”

“How are we going to explain this to them?”

“We will find a way. We kinda knew this was coming.”

“But not this soon… I know they’ll have questions when they are older.”

“I wish I didn’t check my voicemail.. I got worried thinking it was about Chanel but Astrid or Jasmine would had called me.”

 

 

 

“We own it to them to tell the truth.”

“Yeah.. But it’s gonna hurt..”

“I know baby, but we gotta.”

Dad looked up and saw me. Mom took noticed and told me to go to bed. She looked at the clock and notice I should had been in been 20 minutes ago. I didn’t want her to stress over me passing out in the bathroom, it was clear something was already bothering my parents. 

“Raiden Enrique Montigo! Why aren’t you in bed yet?”

“I had to pee, mom.”

“Oh, I didn’t see you come out of your room.”

“I really had to go bad. I ran.”

“You aren’t suppose to be running, mister.”

“I know mom. I’m sorry. I won’t do it again!”

“Alright, you get to bed right now.”

“I will. Goodnight, mom and dad!”

“Goodnight, sweetie.”

“Goodnight, Rai.”

 

 

I wanted to ask my parents what was they talking about but I knew they wouldn’t tell. I pretend like I heard nothing and went to bed but I am curious. What happen?