When we arrive at her house, she hesitates before opening the car door. “This is where I live?” she asks.
I’m sure she wasn’t expecting this, yet I can’t reassure her or warn her about what she’ll find inside because she still believes I lost my memories, too.
“Do you want me to go inside with you?”
She shakes her head. “That’s probably not a good idea. Our notes said you should stay away from my mother.”
“True,” I say. “Well, the notes said we found all this stuff in your attic. Maybe check your bedroom this time. If you had a journal you actively wrote in, it’s probably near where you sleep.”
She nods and then exits the car and begins walking toward her house. I watch until she disappears inside.
I can see Landon watching me suspiciously in the rearview mirror. I avoid eye contact with him. I know he already doesn’t believe us, but if he finds out I have any memory of the last forty-eight hours, he’ll definitely think I’m lying. And then he’ll stop helping us.
I find a letter I haven’t read yet and begin to open it when the back door opens. Charlie tosses a box inside the car and I’m relieved to see she found more stuff, including another journal. She slides into the car when the front door opens. I glance in the front seat to see Janette joining the party.
Charlie leans over until our shoulders are touching. “I think she’s my sister,” she whispers. “She doesn’t seem to like me very much.”
Janette’s car door slams shut and she immediately turns around in her seat and glares at me. “Thanks for letting me know my sister is alive, asshole.” She faces the front again and I catch Charlie suppressing a laugh.
“Are you serious?” Landon says, staring across the front seat at Janette. He doesn’t seem at all pleased that Janette is tagging along.
She rolls her head and groans. “Oh, come on,” she says to Landon. “It’s been a year since we broke up. It’s not going to kill you to sit in the same car with me. Besides, I’m not staying home all day with Loco Laura.”
“Holy shit,” Charlie mutters. She leans forward. “You two used to date?”
Landon nods. “Yeah. But it was a loooong time ago. And it lasted like a week.” He throws the car in reverse and begins backing out.
“Two weeks,” Janette specifies.
Charlie looks at me and raises an eyebrow. “And the plot thickens…” she says.
I personally think Janette’s presence will be more intrusive than helpful. At least Landon knows what’s going on with us. Janette doesn’t seem like she would take something like this very well.
She pulls a tube of lip-gloss out of her purse and begins applying it in the passenger mirror. “So where are we going?”
“To see Brett,” Charlie replies nonchalantly as she rifles through the box in the backseat.
Janette spins around in her seat. “Brett? As in Dad? We’re going to see Dad?”
Charlie nods as she pulls out her journal. “Yes,” she says. She looks up at Janette. “If you have a problem with that, we can take you back home.”
Janette clamps her mouth shut and slowly turns back around. “I don’t have a problem with it,” she says. “But I’m not getting out of the car. I don’t want to see him.”
Charlie raises an eyebrow at me and then settles back in her seat, opening the journal. A folded letter falls out and she begins to open that one first. She inhales a breath and then looks at me and says, “Well. Here we go, Silas Baby. Let’s get to know each other.” She opens the letter and begins to read.
I open a letter I’ve yet to read and settle into my seat as well. “Here we go, Charlie Baby.”
My mom saw my tattoo. I thought I’d be able to hide it for a couple of years, but dammit if I wasn’t taking off the bandage this morning when she walked into my room without knocking.
She hasn’t walked into my room without knocking in three years! I think she assumed I wasn’t home. You should have seen her face when she realized what I had done. The tattoo alone was bad enough. I can’t imagine what would have happened had she realized it was a representation of you.
Thank you for that, by the way. Hidden meanings of our names was a much better suggestion than actually tattooing each other’s names. I told her the strand of pearls was a symbol of the pearly gates of heaven, or some shit like that. After that explanation, she couldn’t argue much, being as though she’s in Church every time the doors are open.
She wanted to know who did my tattoo since I’m only sixteen, but I refused to tell her. I’m surprised she didn’t guess because I’m pretty sure it was just last month that I mentioned Andrew’s older brother was a tattoo artist.
Anyway. She was upset, but I swore to her I wouldn’t get another one. She told me to make sure I never take off my shirt in front of Dad.
I’m still a little shocked we both went through with it. I was half-kidding when I said we should do it, but when you seemed excited, I realized how serious I was. I know people say to never get a tattoo in honor of someone you’re in a relationship with, and I know we’re only sixteen, but I just don’t see anything ever happening in this life that could make me not want you all over my skin.
I’ll never love anyone like I love you. And if the worst is to ever happen and we do grow apart, I’ll never regret this tattoo. You’ve been a huge part of my life for the sixteen years I’ve been alive, and whether we end up together in the end or not, I want to remember this part of my life. And maybe these tattoos were more of a commemorative thing than an assumption that we’ll spend the rest of our lives together. Either way, I’d hope that fifteen years from now, we will look at these tattoos and be grateful for this chapter in our lives, and there won’t be an ounce of regret. Whether we’re together or not.
I will say, I think you’re much tougher than me. I was expecting to have to be the one to calm you down and reassure you that the pain was only temporary, but it turned out to be the other way around. Maybe mine hurt more than yours. ;)
Okay, it’s late. I’m about to call you and tell you goodnight, but true to form, I had to get all my thoughts out to you in a letter first. I know I’ve said it before, but I love that we still write letters to each other. Texts get deleted and conversations fade, but I swear I’ll have every single letter you’ve ever written me until the day I die. #SnailMailForever