Kori pulled on an old T-shirt and some worn jeans before leaving her room and heading into the kitchen. She saw her brother sitting at the kitchen table alone eating some toast.
"Morning Jake." she smiled at her brother as she pulled cereal out of the cupboard and milk from the fridge.
She got a mumbled 'hi' in greeting and glanced at him. He was nibbling on his toast. She also noticed he was wearing a pear of sweatpants, which he normally doesn't wear, and a T-shirt. His long, raven hair was messed up like he hadn't done anything to it since he woke up. Kori shrugged it off and sat across from him to eat her cereal.
"So, got any plans for the day?" she asked curiously, trying to make conversation.
Jake glanced at her before looking back at his plate. "Not really. Probably just work on something in the garage or something. You?"
Kori shrugged. "I'll probably go see if Seth can hang out." she looked up to see Jacob staring at her, his eyebrows furrowed in confusion. "What?" she asked.
"You know what today is, right?"
Kori was really confused now. "Um…Sunday?" she answered jokingly.
Jake looked back down at his plate. "It's Mother's day."
The smile immediately dropped from Kori's face and she turned around to look at the calendar hanging on the wall behind her. Sure enough, it was Mother's day. Kori felt her throat tighten and her mouth go dry. Mother's Day. One day out of the year that was dreaded in the Black household. Had been for the past five years.
While most families in La Push have someone special to spend time with on this day, the Black family didn't. They hadn't since that terrible day five years ago when a police officer knocked on their door, saying that their mother, Sarah Black, had been killed in a car accident.
Ever since that day, each member of the family handled the concept of Mother's Day differently. Jake would either do something in his room or go and work on something in the garage. Their dad, Billy, would either hang out with Charlie Swan or spend time in his room.
Meanwhile, Kori, Rachel, and Rebecca had their own tradition. They would sit on the sofa, watch movies, and eat ice cream all day. They would always buy those mini cartons of ice cream, each with their own favorite flavor: Kori would eat Recess Peanut Butter cup ice cream, Becca would eat strawberry, and Rachel would eat chocolate fudge ripple. They would watch any good movies that were on TV, and if their weren't any good ones they'd pull out some of their old favorites that they had on tape, usually old Disney movies.
As Kori thought back on that she realized something. Rachel and Rebecca graduated high school last spring. They're in college now. Rachel was somewhere in Seattle or something and the last Kori heard Becca moved to Hawaii. Now Kori was all alone on Mother's day, with no one to spend the day with. Jake obviously wanted to be alone, her dad was going over to Charlie's, and Seth would obviously be spending the day with his family. She truly was all alone today.
Kori looked down at her full bowl of cereal, she'd only managed to eat about three bites, and she suddenly wasn't feeling hungry anymore. She sighed quietly through her nose before she stood up and poured her cereal down the drain in the sink. She rinsed her bowl out in the sink and left it on the counter.
Then, she grabbed her blue zip-up jacket and pulled it on.
"I'm going for a walk." she told Jake quietly before she stepped out into the morning chill. She didn't really have a plan on where she wanted to go, but before long she found herself at First Beach. She walked randomly down the beach until she found an old log and sat down on it.
She wasn't sure how long she sat there, maybe an hour or two, just thinking about how different her life would be now that her sisters were gone. Sure, they'd been gone for months now and Kori had thought about that several times already, but she never realized how…alone she'd feel.
She always thought she'd have Seth to lean on, after all they'd been best friends pretty much since birth since their fathers were best friends. They had done everything together from learning to walk to going to school for the first time. Harry and Sue were like second parents to Kori, and Billy and Sarah had been like second parents for Seth, too. It was hard for the Clearwater family as well when Sarah died. Seth stayed by Kori's side through the whole thing, and for that she was grateful.
Seeing movement out of the corner of her eye, Kori looked to her right down the beach. She could see a boy walking down the beach, hands in his hoodie pockets with his head down. He looked about her brother's age, maybe a year or two older, she wasn't good at guessing age. She looked back down at the sand so he wouldn't notice she'd been looking at him.
He wasn't really walking to her, just walking down the beach, therefore walking in her direction. He looked up and saw her as he neared her. He looked at her with an expression she couldn't place. His brows were furrowed and the side of his mouth was tilted up in a grin, but not a friendly one. And he was looking Kori up and down, like he was sizing her up. Kori fidgeted, not really comfortable with him looking at her like that. She started to wish she'd stayed home.
"What's a half-pint, goody two-shoes like you doin' out here alone today? Shouldn't you be off doing something with your mommy?" he asked sarcastically with a smug grin.
Kori snuggled deeper into her jacket and ducked her head away from him to hide her face. She didn't know him and she didn't like the way he was talking to her.
"What's the matter? Shy?" he asked tauntingly, stopping a few yards from her, "Shouldn't you be with your precious family on Mother's Day?"
Kori dared to look up at him. "Why aren't you?" she asked quietly.
The boy's smirk disappeared and he blinked in slight surprise at her question. Then his eyes hardened and he seemed to glare at something, but not her. "My mom doesn't give a crap about anyone but herself. I haven't heard a single word from her in over six years. That woman could be dead for all I care. Why? Where's yours?"
Kori looked back down at the sand under her feet, feeling a single tear slip down her cheek. "She died." she whispered.
The boy's anger fell from his face as he stared at her, his eyes still narrowed slightly. After a few moments of silence he spoke. "You're Kori Black." he stated as he figured out who she was.
Kori nodded. Why shouldn't he have figured it out? It's not like there's many girls on the rez whose mom had died.
Kori and the boy turned to see Jacob heading toward them. He seemed to be glaring the other boy down as he approached, but the boy held his gaze unwaveringly, not glaring back but not backing down. When Jake stopped behind Kori's log he nodded curtly to the boy.
"Paul." he said in stiff greeting.
Paul nodded back. He glanced back at Kori once more before he turned and left the two alone.
Jake walked around the log and knelt down in front of Kori.
"Are you alright? What did he say to you? Did he threaten you?" Jake started rambling on.
Kori shook her head. "No, I'm fine." she told him quietly.
Jake narrowed his eyes in concern. "Then, why are you crying?"
Kori wiped her face to make sure no more tears had fallen. "Nothing, he just asked where my mom was."
Jake's eyes darkened. "No one just goes up and asks you that." he says angrily.
"Jake, it's fine. I don't think he realized who I was until I said my mom was dead. I'm okay, really."
Jake looked at the ground for a moment. "I'm sorry." when he looked up Kori was looking at him in confusion. "I'm sorry for leaving you alone today. I forgot that this would be our first year without Rach and Becca. I'm sorry I left you alone today."
"It's fine." Kori told him quietly as she looked back at the ground.
"It's not fine, but I'll make it up to you. When I realized you were alone I put together a surprise for you." Kori looked up at him curiously. "Come on." he said as he stood up and held his hand out to her. Kori took it and let her brother lead her home.
When they got back to the house he sat her down at the computer desk. He stood next to her chair and looked down at her.
"You ready?" he asked mischievously. Kori nodded, slightly nervous about what her weird brother was up to. Jake simply smiled at her before he pushed a button on the keyboard.
A video screen popped up showing a familiar face. It took Kori a second to realize it was a live video and that the person was really smiling at her, she squealed like a little girl.
"Rachel!" she shrieked, causing her big sister to laugh.
"Hello to you, too, little sis." she laughed. Kori looked from her to Jake questioningly.
Jake smiled smugly down at her. "I seem to recall you girls have special traditions you do together every Mother's Day, am I right?" Kori nodded, her mouth wide open in shock. "Well, after I realized you were alone today, I called Rach and Becca, however Becca didn't answer even though I called her about five times. Either way, I got hold of Rachel and we conjured up this idea."
"Exactly what idea is that?" Kori asked curiously as she looked back at her sister. Then, something was placed on her computer desk next to the mouse. It was a small carton of Recess Peanut Buttercup ice cream with a spoon on top of the lid. Kori looked up at her brother in shock again. When she looked back at the computer screen Rachel smiled at her before she lifted up her own carton of chocolate fudge ripple ice cream.
"This year isn't going to be any different from all the years in the past." Rachel declared with a huge smile.
Kori giggled. "But how are we going to watch movies?" she asked curiously.
Rachel pointed her thumb over her shoulder, where Kori noticed for the first time that there was a large flat screen television with surround sound. Kori couldn't help giggling again.
"Wow, you guys thought of everything, huh?" Kori commented teasingly.
"You know it." Rachel answered happily.
"I'll leave you girls to it." Jake said with his 'Jacob smile' as he left the two sisters alone.
They spent the afternoon watching old movies like Lilo and Stitch, Homeward Bound, The Little Mermaid, and The Jungle Book.
By the time night rolled around, Jake came back into the living room, wiping his oily hands on his pants after working in the garage. When he looked over at the computer desk he stopped, a small smile spreading across his face.
Kori was curled up in her computer chair, her legs pulled underneath her, her elbow on the chair arm with her cheek resting in her open palm as she slept. The computer screen was still on, and when Jake got closer he chuckled quietly to himself. The ending of The Fox and the Hound was playing on the large flat screen, and he could barely see Rachel asleep on her couch through the camera screen.
Jake smiled as he looked back down at his little sister, thinking about how much she looked like their mother the older she got.
Quietly, he turned off the computer before lifting his little sister into his arms and carried her to her bedroom, tucking her in with a kiss on the forehead.
"Night sis." he whispered.