So here we are, at the start of story number 50 ... can you believe it? We want to thank all of our loyal followers for your excitement in our new story starting. The group on Facebook has been anticipating this story's arrival for a while. Feel free to join us on Facebook, at TeamAllTwilight & AndTAT Fan Fiction.
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All things Twilight belong to Ms. Meyer, no copyright infringement is intended. Also please not that Six Flags Great America in Illinois does not have the Safari Adventure, but in this story it does. The story line of this fiction belongs to WeeKittyAndTAT, and any use or reproduction without permission is allowed. All other things, such as songs, movies, restaurants, foods, companies, etc. solely belong to the owner of those companies or people and no infringement is intended in our use.
Update schedule will be Mondays. Without further ado, here is the start and we'll see you at the end.
Parallel Parenting Chapter: 1
"Watch the Volturi Market, I have a feeling that it's going to take a jump, and then quickly decline. It will come back up and surpass where it's at now; just hold out for it to go back up. Don't jump the gun or panic," I order Jasper without looking at him. "You also have to meet with Marcus early next week. Make sure you don't say anything to Marcus about Aro, or our dealings with him." My eyes rise to see Jasper rolling his eyes at me, but he seems to be writing down everything I have said.
"Tanya, I want you to keep a personal eye on Angela while I am out of the office."
Tanya, who seems to be holding a chuckle, nods at me, when she sees that I am looking at her, she straightens her face. As I start to speak again, Tanya holds up her hand.
"Sir, with all due respect, Jasper has done this before; he has worked for you for thirteen years. As for me, I know the protocol for running your office when you are not here … I can do it even when you are here. As for Angela, things will be dealt with accordingly. Now it's almost four, get your briefcase, and go pick up Cordie and be gone. I don't want to see you back in this office until next Wednesday."
My eyes seem to flash between her and Jasper. I know she's right in what she said. Jasper has been my friend all of my life; he is even married to my little sister. He started to work for me when I wanted to branch out from my family business, and try my hand at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Thankfully, it turned out that I am just as good at trading commodities as I am at working as the CEO of my family business.
Tanya—she has been my personal assistant and secretary for sixteen years. She was the one that helped turn me from a cocky young twenty-year-old, who wanted respect without earning it, into the now thirty-six-year-old, well-respected businessman I am today.
Tanya stands up with her arms open. "Now come and give me some lovin' and then go."
I laugh shaking my head. Tanya is a lovely woman, and completely irreplaceable. She stands about five-feet-ten, and is rather slender. Her golden hair is down to the middle of her back, and she has soft delicate features. In no way does she appear to be the sixty-year-old that she is.
I wrap my arms around her; she is very much a second mother to me. "Take care of Jasper, too; make sure Alice doesn't drive him completely nuts in my absence."
Tanya chuckles. "I will try, but be warned, I told him to slip her some sleeping pills."
My eyes flash to Jasper who just glares at me, but he knows I am right. Being her brother, I grew up with Alice and love her dearly, but she is trying even to a person who has the best of patience. She's always been a small girl, standing only five-feet tall, but she has ADHD which at times, makes her seem ten-feet tall. It is like she only has a 'go' setting; there is no 'pause' or 'off'. She just opened her own beauty shop two weeks ago, and we can see that the more she works, the more her ADHD tics come out. There is a high chance the four days I will be away, she will be awake and on the go most of the time. We all know this is not something Alice can control; it sadly controls her. Over the years she has started to take actions, before things get too bad, but sometimes it seems to be something that just needs to break out of her.
"She's fine; she'll be fine. Dad said he'll have Caius check her over if she gets more hyper," Jasper tells me, and I nod at him. He is a very good friend, and a great husband to Alice. He is calm and laid back; he is the Yin to her Yang. They are exact opposites in most things. She is hyper and always on the go, while he is cool, calm, and collected. She's a tiny thing, and he towers over her by more than a foot in height. Best of all, no matter how neurotic Alice is or can be, he seems to have the power to calm her down with merely a touch. It sometimes seems as if he is the one who holds the power to her missing off switch.
"See you on Wednesday," I smile walking out the office without looking back.
I head to the company daycare center which is open to all of the staff during school holidays, and for younger children that aren't old enough for school.
As I walk through the room, my eyes scan the area seeing Cordie sitting quietly by herself playing. Like normal, she chooses to play alone, and I let out a sigh as I walk to her.
"Cordie?" I say as I bend down. She turns to face me and her whole face lights up with her smile.
"What did you do today?" I ask.
She shrugs her shoulders. "Just played," she says in her sweet voice.
I nod at her and look around seeing there are several paintings hanging up to dry.
"Did you paint today?" I ask with a smile, but she shakes her head.
"No, I didn't want to ruin my clothes."
I hold back my sigh, and force a smile on my face. Cordie has always been unwilling to get dirty. I'm not sure if it's because of the kind of clothes she wears, or she just doesn't like to. There is also the fact she is a rather shy girl and I worry that she will never try to make friends.
"Are you ready to go home?" She smiles placing the doll she was playing with back where it belongs. She may have social issues with being shy, but she has always been a rather clean and tidy child.
Her hand slips into mine, and we walk to the main desk. After signing her out, Kate takes off the security tag that each child wears when they are here. If a child is taken out of the daycare with the security tag still on, the elevators stop running immediately, and the stairwell doors lock. Once those doors lock and the elevators shut down, only security can open or restart them.
"See you later, princess," Kate whispers as she kisses Cordie's cheek.
Cordie gives Kate a smile, but hugs closer to my side.
"Thank you, Kate. Just a reminder, Cordie will not return until Wednesday; we are going on a short vacation."
"Yes, I have that down in the books. I hope you guys have a great time. Cordie, you will really enjoy Six Flags; it's so much fun," Kate says enthusiastically.
Kate is the manager of the daycare, and treats all of the children as if they are her own. She knows Cordie is shy, and never pushes her to feel uncomfortable. It was after talking to her, that I decided to get season passes and take Cordie to the amusement park. Kate thinks seeing me have fun there, may help her open up a little further. Since school starts soon, I want her to try breaking out of her shell a little more.
We leave the daycare and take the elevator down to the ground floor. When the doors open, I scan my card and wave at Garrett. Garrett is Kate's husband, and is the head of security for the building. Between the required scan to enter or leave the building as well as the tags the children wear upstairs, I never worry about Cordie's safety. Cordie and I walk out of the office building hand-in-hand.
Cordie isn't my biological daughter. I adopted her six years and two months ago when she was only four months old. It was the year before when my sister had her son, Colton, that I had a strong urge to be a father. There was no special woman in my life, and I hadn't had a long-term girlfriend in many years. I tried to think of ways that I could be a father. I even thought about asking a woman to have a baby for me, but that seemed wrong on so many levels.
Tanya suggested that I adopt. She told me that she had been adopted, and knew I could give a child a happy and loving life. I started to regret it, after starting the process. I thought after a while there was no way I would be granted a child. After all, I was turning thirty and single; there had to be hundreds of couples on the list before me.
On the first day of March six years ago, I was told about a young woman who had had a baby. She was addicted to drugs, and had given up the rights to her child. They went on to tell me that the baby was only two weeks old, having been born premature. The baby was small, and had issues as it was addicted to heroin. The counselor from the agency called to ask if I would consider taking on a child with these issues. The funding for the child was running low, and it seemed no one wanted her due to her medical issues. I immediately agreed to start the process to adopt her. In hopes that it would help my case, I took over all of her medical costs, and made sure a specialist was in charge of her care. I still didn't think anything would come of it, but on my thirtieth birthday, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services placed her in my care.
The day that the counselor brought the baby to my home and placed the small bundle in my arms, my heart melted. I never believed it when people said they fell in love at first sight, but that day changed my mind. It took me almost three days to name her. I finally chose Cordelia Faith Cullen. Of course, Alice complained right away that it was too long, so she quickly decided we should all call her Cordie for short.
Even with DCFS placing her with me, and the courts allowing me to adopt her, I've always had the fear that someone will try and take her away from me. To this day, I still worry that one day her mother will come back and take her from me. I guess when you adopt a child there is a piece of you that always worries, and I'm not sure my worry will ever stop.
Thankfully, Cordie only had medical issues during the first year of her life. Under the care of doctors and the love of our family, she has blossomed into a beautiful, healthy—but shy—little girl. She is now six, and it is hard to believe how fast she is growing up. She has long brown hair, which I have been forbidden to cut by my mother and sister. Her face is almost heart-shaped, and oddly her left eye is green and her right one is blue. The doctor told me this was nothing to worry about. Personality wise, she is not only shy, but also hesitant to do or try new things. With her starting first grade in a few days, I'm hoping she will be able to cope, make friends, and that other kids will not bully her.
I had enrolled her in Kindergarten at a local Montessori school. I had extensively researched schools and the Montessori way of teaching seemed to be a great option. However, being shy and having the tendency to close in on herself, it was not a good fit for her. I talked with my parents and they advised me to check into a few of the private schools in the North Shore area where our home is located. We live in the suburb of Winnetka, close to my entire family so we started searching there first.
During our search, we found a wonderful private school called North Shore Country Day School. It is a private school, where Cordie can attend throughout her entire academic career, until she goes to college. The tuition alone is more than the average person makes in a year, so there will likely be fewer riffraff. Since I worry about bullies, it was one of the first things I addressed when speaking with the headmaster during our initial meeting. I don't want Cordie's shyness to cause her grief. I saw the way bullying had hurt my sister, and I will not allow my child to be treated that way. If she is bullied or there are any other problems in school, I've told Cordie she can always come to me and I will protect her. I hope she knows she can always count on me, but as she gets older, I know that's something she may find hard to do.
With that being said there are times I think she is missing out by not having a mother, but it's not something I can change. I have dated a few women, but as Cordie hasn't taken to any of them, my relationships have been short lived. Cordie is my number one priority, and I will always put her above all else. I wanted her. I took an oath the day I found out about her to always be there for her, and that is something I am planning on always doing.
I hear the alarm – knowing it will not stop until I get up and turn it off. Groaning as I get up and walk over to it, my bones creak and crack. With each step, I am feeling my full thirty-six years of life. I switch it off, and head back to bed sitting on the edge.
"See, Daddy, I told you by moving your alarm away from your bed it will help you wake up," Cordie says with a smile. I only grunt in response making her giggle.
"Are you going to give me a morning hug?" I ask her.
She nods, and walks over to me. As I hug her, I pick her up placing her beside me on my bed.
"So, have we packed spare clothes?"
"Yes, we did that yesterday," she answers.
I smile nodding at her. "So, should we get dressed, and get breakfast on the road, or have breakfast here, and then get dressed to leave?"
I always try to let Cordie join in on any decision making that concerns her, too. I think this will help her develop good decision-making skills as she gets older.
Cordie seems to think about it for a few seconds and then looks at me. "Breakfast first is the best idea. You can get cranky when you don't have coffee, and I don't want you getting cranky when you're driving."
I glare playfully at Cordie for a few seconds, but god, does she know me, and she is right. I can get into fits of rage when I have to drive in morning traffic and haven't had time for my coffee first.
"Breakfast first, for my princess and coffee for her cranky daddy," I reply dryly making her yet again giggle at me.
Cordie and I reach the kitchen and I pick her up placing her on the counter. "What should we make today?"
"Pancakes and fruit," she suggests happily.
I nod at her, and grab the box of pancake mix from the cabinet.
"What shape pancakes do you want today?" I ask as I make up the batter.
"Hearts!" she yells and I nod, getting the griddle. I put it on the heat and place the metal heart shape on it. I take the spray and make sure there is a light coating on the surfaces. I use a ladle and pour the batter inside the heart shape. I move my eyes to Cordie who's smiling at the pan. I see the pancake bubble up and I know I can remove the shape. After using tongs to pull out the shape, I flip the pancake.
I make her four mini heart pancakes and myself one regular round one. We move to the table and I get a glass of juice for her and a coffee for myself.
As Cordie eats the last bite of pancake, I give her a look that says I am going to speak and it is important.
"Before we go to get ready, I want to go through some rules with you. First, this place is very busy and there will be lots of people around. I don't want you running off from me; so, you have to walk beside me the whole time.
Cordie nods at me, and I smile at her.
"Remember, stranger danger, and that also includes people that have a uniform on. You will have your Kurio cell in your waterproof necklace pouch at all times. Call me and I will find you if we become separated."
Just last year, I bought this phone as it was deemed the best for a child. The parental controls on it are outstanding, and it has a built-in GPS tracker. I got it so Cordie could always get in touch with me, and I would never have to worry about her being lost.
"If for any reason we do get separated and the cell doesn't work, stay where you are. If you need help, try and get a family to stop and have them call me. Do not go anywhere with anyone at all." I raise my eyebrow at her, so she sees I mean what I am saying.
"The last rule is that I want you to have a good time. This is our last few days of vacation together before school starts."
"I will, Daddy," Cordie says with a smile and moves around the table to hug me. I hug her back and place a kiss on her head.
"Come on, Cordie, we better get dressed; we've got a fun day planned."
I dress in my relaxed jeans, a t-shirt and pair of running shoes. When I get downstairs, I see Cordie has chosen her outfit and I'm not surprised by it at all. For a six-year-old, she is quite the fashionista. Her idea of relaxed amusement park clothing is a pair of white jeans, a pink and white smiley face shirt, and a pink jacket. She is also wearing pink and white crystal covered shoes. They are cute, and should be for what they cost.
"You look pretty, Princess," I say with a smile. I want to ask if she is sure about wearing white, but as she is also wearing pink – her favorite color, I know there is no point. Besides, I don't want her to second guess her choices. Making her self-conscious is not something I ever want to do.
We lock up and walk out to my car hand-in-hand. I strap her into the booster seat and walk around to my door. "Are you ready?" I ask and she smiles nodding. I slip on my shades, and start the car.
We listen to my iPod as I drive the route to Gurnee, Illinois; destination: Six Flags Great America. This will be Cordie's first time visiting the park, and I hope she enjoys it. Every weekend I try to take her somewhere, just the two of us to have fun.
I know some people think that I am spoiling her, but I work all week from eight until four, and the weekend is our time. Since she'll be starting school soon, she won't be downstairs from me during the day. I sometimes spend my lunch break with her, and now if I choose to do that, there will be about a forty-minute commute in rush hour traffic. Not an ideal idea.
I pull into the huge parking lot, and show my season pass since it also covers parking. We arrive an hour before the amusement park opens, so we don't have to fight for a decent parking place. There are still several people here; seems that they have the same idea.
We walk to the gate to stand in the line for season pass holders. I am pleased to see only a few people are in front of us.
"See, it always pays to be early," I tell Cordie with a grin.
"The early bird gets the worm," Cordie giggles and I give her a nod.
"Good morning," the woman says cheerfully. I pass her the printout for the new season passes I purchased, and she scans it. She takes each of our pictures, and prints out our ID cards. She hands them to us, and I place Cordie's in the place for her ID in her waterproof, necklace pouch. I place mine in the waterproof pouch-thing that holds my phone, and I give Cordie a high five.
"Have fun, Mr. Cullen and Miss Cullen. I hope you enjoy your day with us," the lady says after we are all situated.
"We will," I reply walking through the gate.
"Where would you like to go to first?" I ask, holding open a map of the park.
I kneel down a little so that Cordie can look at the map. Her small eyes seem to move around the map a few times, but I just wait—this is her day.
"I want to go to the Safari and Batman rollercoaster," she says with a little jump.
"We'll head to the Batman ride first, and on the way we can stop at any ride you want, how does that sound?"
Cordie smiles and does another jump. As we start to walk, she takes my hand again.
We arrive at the Batman ride, and I sigh seeing that there seems to be a height restriction. "Honey, I don't think you are tall enough," I tell her with a sigh, hating to have her disappointed.
"Can we try, Daddy?"
I smile a little and nod at her.
We stand in the line and when it gets close to the sign, the guy standing there just looks at Cordie. "I'm sorry, you are way too small."
"Oh, please, I can sit really tall," Cordie pleads giving him her big eyes.
He doesn't even smile, and just shakes his head at her. "No … you are too small. Your dad can go if he wants, but you cannot."
I shake my head at him as I force a smile. I know he is just doing his job, but he could have been a little nicer about it.
I take Cordie to some of the smaller rides close by. Thankfully, the rest of the early morning goes by without her being denied any other attractions she wants to ride on. When I feel my stomach starting to rumble, I know that it's time for a break and some food.
"I am starving," I tell Cordie who rolls her eyes at me.
"If you had a proper breakfast, you wouldn't be," she tells me almost using the same tone as my mother.
"Well, I think we should eat now, and go on the safari ride before we go to the waterpark. So, what would you like?" I ask as I narrow my eyes at her. She takes the map from me and looks at the nearby places where we can get something to eat. Cordie again looks closely over the choices and I see her pout. I roll my eyes knowing that she just looked for any place on the map that claimed to sell sushi. She is the only six-year-old I know who will eat sushi, without a fuss. In fact, I'd venture to say she would eat it every day if she could.
"Can we eat here?" I look at the map seeing the place she's pointing to and that it is only a few minutes' walk from where we are.
"Yep, that sounds good to me," I tell her seeing that she picked Capone's Kitchen.
We stand in line as Cordie looks over the pictures on the menu.
"Pizza?" I ask, knowing it will likely be what she orders.
Cordie nods at me. "Yes, I think that sounds good. Can I get extra cheese, along with some chicken, peppers, and mushrooms, but no onions?" she asks sticking her tongue out at the end, making me chuckle a little.
"Yeah, sure, Princess," I tell her.
We get to the end of the line and the woman looks at me with a smile. "What can I get for you?" she asks.
"I'll have three slices of meat feast pizza, and she'll have …" I trail off as the woman just looks at Cordie in surprise.
"Let me guess, she wants the Chicken, mushrooms, peppers, extra cheese, and stay away from the onions slice," the woman says shocking me.
"Oh, how did you know?" Cordie asks her with a large smile.
"Weren't you just in here twenty minutes ago?" the woman looks behind us, and I turn my head seeing there's an empty table where she's looking.
"Nope, it wasn't us, but sounds like my girl's favorite choice of toppings," I tell her looking back.
The woman chuckles. "I guess I may be having a deja vu moment," she says with a shake of her head. "What would you two like to drink?"
"Two Coke-a-colas please," I say and she nods.
"That'll be twenty-two dollars."
I pay the amount and she hands me the receipt showing me my number. I take the receipt to the counter where they will call my number and wait.
"Cordie, why don't you go and get us that table." I tell her, pointing at a two-person table right by the window, where I'll be able to see her as I wait.
My number is called and I take the tray with our pizza and drinks and join her.
Cordie starts to eat her pizza but uses a napkin to hold it. "Would you like for me to get you a fork to eat with?" I ask.
Cordie just looks at me, and then looks around. She nods at me and bites her bottom lip. I wink at her and get up and walk to the counter. I ask for a fork and am given a plastic Spork. Going back, I sit down and give the utensil to Cordie. "Here you are, Princess," I say.
She looks at it funny, and shrugs. I watch her and hold back my chuckles as she tries and fails to cut the pizza with it.
"Daddy, my spoon-fork won't cut my pizza. I think it must be broken," she says.
I shake my head, but keep the smile from spreading into a huge laughing grin across my face. Using my hands, I tear the pizza into small bite size pieces. "There you go, Princess, now you can eat it easier."
"Thank you, Daddy, but no hugging me until you wash your hands."
I move my hands toward her making her shriek a little and giggle. "Daddy, no," she says while still giggling.
I laugh a little as I get some wipes out of our beach bag, and wipe my hands before showing them to her. "Better?"
Cordie nods at me and takes one of the wipes and use it to wipe her already clean face and hands.
I finish my three slices of pizza, but Cordie is still eating her one piece.
"Okay, Daddy, I'm done," she says again wiping her face and hands on a new wipe.
"I think since we've just eaten we should go on the Safari ride now, and let our lunch settle before we go on anymore rides or to the waterpark. After the Safari we can head for the waterpark until it closes, or go on some other rides. We can eat dinner at the waterpark, or leave early and eat elsewhere if you are tired, but you get to decide what we do. If we go to the waterpark, we can always go on a few more rides after it closes before leaving for home. How does that sound?"
"Are we going to see wild animals?" Cordie asks with big eyes.
"We are, that's if we get going," I laugh.
Cordie jumps up, and walks toward the door. I watch as she stops and then comes back to the table.
"Do we need to clean the table first?" she asks.
"We do," I say proud that she knows this is important, and a responsibility we have.
We clean up our mess, and head toward the Safari Off Road Adventure.
Cordie and I get into the Safari truck after a short wait, and then we are moving down a road that is within a large fenced-in area. There are several large pens to keep the predator animals from the others, and each one is really informative.
"Before we enter the lion enclosure, please remember to stay completely inside the truck at all times." The guide says and Cordie taps my arm.
"Why would we get out?" Cordie asks.
I chuckle shaking my head at her. "We don't but some people must try because they want to be closer to the lions."
"That's just silly," she says.
"Yeah, I agree," I tell her. "Do you want to take some photos?" I ask her.
"Yes," she says and I hand her my cell. I smile as I watch her snap picture after picture.
"Daddy, there's a big daddy lion," Cordie tells me in a hushed but excited voice. I feel my heart swell over just how thrilled she is.
"Come take a photo with me and we'll see if we can catch the daddy lion in the background," I say. Cordie nods at me as she climbs into my lap. It takes four tries but I manage to get all three of us in the same photo.
We see all the animals, and even spend time in the petting zoo. After thoroughly washing her hands, using her wipes and hand sanitizer, we leave the Safari section of the park.
"Did you like the Safari?" I ask her as we start to walk toward the waterpark.
"I did," she says and looks around. "Daddy, can that man draw a picture of us?" she asks as she points.
I look to where she is pointing and see a man making charcoal drawings. I see the samples he has behind him, and can see just how talented he is at drawing portraits.
We walk over to him; it doesn't take long before we are sitting in front of him, smiling as he draws us. I am taken by surprise that it only took about twenty minutes and the drawing is stunning.
"Thank you" I say as I pay him, adding a hefty tip. He puts the drawing in a picture tube, and I address the label, having paid extra to have it mailed to me.
"Okay, four more rides, and then the waterpark, what do you think?" I ask.
"Yay!" Cordie yells making me smile again.
It's quite late by the time we get to the waterpark, but I give Cordie her bathing suit and let her use the ladies' changing room. Usually, I would have taken her into the men's room with me, but I feel she's getting too big to do that anymore. There is a family restroom, but the line is long and there are workers cleaning two of them. I know she will need to eat again soon, but after a little water play she will likely be hungrier.
I make sure that I am outside near the pool before she is. I hate it any time I can't see her when we are around this many people. But it is at the same time awkward for me to hang around outside the ladies' changing room. I look around and see we're close to Paradise Pizza, and figure we will likely go there to eat after we swim.
"Hey, Princess, are you ready to have some fun?" I ask knowing swimming is the one time she always seems to let loose a little.
"Yes," she says jumping up and down. I quickly reapply sunscreen, and make sure her hat is on to protect her nose from burning.
I let Cordie run to the kid's play area. She points to the slide, and I nod. Keeping an eye from the sideline, I frown when she goes in the opposite direction from the slide she pointed at.
"Cordie," I yell no longer seeing her as she goes down the other side. I run to the other side. "Cordie," I yell again when she doesn't reply right away.
"Yeah, Daddy," Cordie says sounding out of breath. I spin around chuckling as I see my sweet girl soaked and smiling.
"Don't go down the slide unless I'm at the bottom of it, you scared me."
She looks at me for a few minutes and then just smiles, "Sorry, Daddy, I won't do it again."
Our time seems to fly by quickly, and all too soon we have eaten, and then enjoyed floating down the lazy river on a raft. They announce that the waterpark will be closing in thirty minutes, and I know it is time to get out.
"I need you to be sure to wash your hair, just like I showed you, and then get it dry under the dryers. Put your wet stuff in the beach bag and I'll meet you back out here when you're done. Be sure to stay at the changing room door if I am not here, but I should be done before you."
I wait until she's back in the changing room, before going to get my own shower which only last a few minutes. I move quickly to the get my clothes and change.
I just walk out the door to see the back of Cordie as she walks away with a woman.
"Hey!" I yell running toward them. "Hey," I yell again, this time grabbing the woman's arm.
"Get your hands off me," she says as she pulls her arm away.
"How about you take your hands off my kid!" I yell back. "Cordie?" I say holding out my hand for her.
"Help!" Cordie yells making me jump a little. "There's a bad man!" she carries on and I just look at her.
"What's going on?" One of the two workers who approach us quickly asks.
"This man just grabbed me!" The woman says angrily.
"No! She's trying to kidnap my child!" I tell them pulling out my cell. "See!" I say showing them a photo of Cordie and me on my screen.
"I'm not your child, Mr. Meanie!" Cordie says making me frown. I have never heard her talk like this before.
"You all will have to come with us," the worker says.
"Look she has my child," I tell them again looking at Cordie seeing that this crazy woman has even changed her clothing.
"What did you do with her clothes?" I ask only to see that she's frowning as she's looking behind me.
"What did you do with my daughter's clothes?" I ask again.
"Look behind you," she replies.
"What, so you can run off with my child?" I yell.
Her eyes move to me, and she glares for a few seconds before looking behind me again. "Cordie, your daddy is over here!"
I frown as she yells and waves to someone behind me.
"Mommy, why does that little girl look just like me?" Cordie asks.
What in the hell! Why is she calling this woman mommy?
"Daddy?" I feel strange as I yet again hear Cordie's voice, only now it's coming from behind me. I spin around to see Cordie standing there just looking at us. My eyes seem to go between the two girls who look almost identical.
Suddenly, I notice that the only difference between them are their eyes. Cordie's right eye is blue while the child holding the woman's hand has a left blue eye.
I look at the buildings that I will be working in for the next several years of my life.
"Mom, you know that you have to go into the buildings to actually see them?" I narrow my eyes as I turn around and look at Kassie who's sitting in her booster seat in the back.
I get out the car and let Kassie out of the back passenger door. "So, what do you think so far?" I ask her as we walk up to the main door.
"It looks like a big place. Kind of fancy though," she says while shrugging her shoulders.
"Bella, Kassie," Emmett calls out to us, as he waves from the main entrance of the school.
Emmett McCarty is thirty-six and also the headmaster of the North Shore Country Day School.
I smile as we walk to him. "Good morning, Emmett," I say as he leans in giving me a kiss on my cheek.
"Hey, Emmie, where's Rosie? Is she hiding under your car again?" Kassie snorts out, and then giggles. She finds it hilarious that Emmett can barely pump gas, yet Rosie was changing his oil while we were at their house talking last time.
Emmett just rolls his eyes at Kassie, knowing she is picking on him. "She's not under my car, but I'm sure she's under someone else's. Moving on, this is Leah and Seth, they are going to show you around, Kassie, so you can see where your classroom and other important rooms are."
I look at the two children and see they look to be around thirteen. I wave at them and then direct my attention to Kassie.
"Please remember to behave. Don't break anything, and that includes your own bones." I tell her showing her with my eyes that I mean business. Not only do I want her to remain in one piece, but I am sure if my insurance company sees another claim on her anytime soon, they will drop us. "Emmett will be taking me on a tour of the facilities and then I will fill out paperwork before working on my classroom," I finish.
"I know," she says with some cheekiness, but I let it slide.
Kassie starts to walk off with Leah and Seth, but turns back and smirks at Emmett. "See ya, wouldn't wanna be ya," she calls and then laughs loudly, causing Leah and Seth to laugh, too.
"I've got to say, Bells, every time I see her, she shows more and more signs that she's just like you were as a kid."
I look at Emmett and nod at him. "I know, but I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not. I am really not sure how my mom managed to not kill me when I was her age. Sometimes she is so loud and boisterous, and of course accident prone, too. Thankfully, she has a huge heart and loves me enough to behave when I need her to be, even if it sparks an argument of sorts beforehand."
"She is bound to be a great kid, because she has a wonderful mom like you. Kassie has some attitude, but kids these days need it. I honestly believe that some of your and Kassie's disagreements and head-butting are more because you were her sister first."
"That may well be the reason," I agree as I look toward Kassie, who seems happy, and I suddenly feel sad.
"Come on, Bells, I'll show you around and then take you to your classroom." Emmett says quickly taking a hold of my hand. I take a deep breath and place a smile on my face before walking with him.
As I am taken around the school, I feel the wave of sadness continue to climb up my spine. My parents should be here, not just for me, but for Kassie, too. They should be the ones seeing her new school.
Maybe Emmett's right and the feeling of wanting to throttle Kassie at times, is because we were at first sisters. Sadly for my sweet Kassie, fate took a cruel twist in our lives, and because of it we have become mother and daughter.
My mom Renee always wanted a big family. She was lucky and fell in love with my dad when she was only twenty-one. They married a year and a half after meeting. I was born the following year. Sadly, I wasn't an easy delivery for my mother. Due to complications at birth, she hemorrhaged so badly that she nearly died. In order to save her life, she had to have an emergency hysterectomy.
My mom never held anything against me, but I knew when I grew older that she wanted another baby severely. Her need to be a mother to more children, led to my parents becoming foster parents. I grew up with several children moving in and out of our home. She was always happy around a lot of children, but it was always sad for her, when they had to leave.
There were many children who came in and out of our family home. One thing is certain, my mother and father showed each child what true unconditional love was about. Most of the children they fostered received a chance at a better life, and I believe it was largely due to my parents. My father was great with children, but I know this was mainly because of my mom. My father was an officer of the law, so I believe he helped to instill order in the house. My father was always willing to show the naughty kids the harsh reality of a life of crime. I know one set of older boys who came to live with us, ended up completely changing their lives, one of them is a firefighter and the other is a police officer.
It was February; I was still eighteen and finishing high school when the family social worker stopped by and asked if my parents would be willing to take a baby with problems. She went on to explain that a woman had given birth early to a baby girl, and since she was an addicted drug user, the baby was addicted, too.
My parents quickly agreed to be foster parents to the baby. The worker corrected them, saying they would not foster the child, but they could adopt her if they wanted. This was not a child that would be placed in the foster care system; it was an issue of looking to find someone to adopt the child. The sooner the better as the funding was low and the child needed extra medical help to survive. After my mom stopped crying, she agreed and they started the difficult task of enrolling the baby on their health insurance. This wasn't easy, and they ended up using most of their savings to provide healthcare for the child. But they would have used it all and given up their home if need be just to make sure she was okay.
My mom and dad wanted me to be a part of the adoption and asked me to pick out a middle name for the baby. After meeting her, I came up with Hope. It was fitting because no one should ever give up hope. My parents had hope of having another child after me, and now they were being given that reality. I knew they would never give up hope, so that name seemed fitting. Then on June the twentieth, they were handed their new baby daughter to bring home.
Kassandra Hope Swan was a beautiful baby with a heart-shaped face and strange but beautiful eyes. Her left eye was blue and her right was green; the uniqueness of which only added to her beauty. I was quickly taken in by her and loved her with all my heart.
Despite having been born addicted to drugs, she was oddly a calm baby. She never cried or was super fussy, and was a really great toddler, until she learned to talk. Once she started talking, she never shut up. On my nineteenth birthday she was christened Kassandra Hope Swan in our local church, with me standing there as her Godparent.
Life quickly moved on and I left for college. I missed home and hated living on campus. I missed my parents, but I also missed my little Kassie.
It was just after Kassie's second birthday that I received a call to inform me that both my parents and Kassie were involved in a car accident. By the time I arrived at the hospital both my parents had been pronounced dead. My father had actually died at the scene, and my mom was in surgery for internal injuries, but her body succumbed to them. Kassie was lucky, between the safety seat itself and being in the backseat, she suffered only a few bruises and a cut on her shoulder.
I was able to take Kassie home that same night, but we were both in a bit of a daze. The days that followed our parents' death are still a blur to me. According to their Last Will and Testament, I was to become the guardian of Kassandra Hope in the event that they both died. So at the age of twenty, I was an orphan, and also now the legal guardian of a two-year-old child. A two-year-old child, who, like me, missed her parents terribly.
I was unsure what to do, so I took her back to college with me. I was hoping to find an apartment, and thanks to Rose—who started off as my dorm's Resident Advisor and then slowly became my friend— it worked out. I was able to finish up my second year of college without having to drop out.
It wasn't easy, and I knew the short amount of time I had for Kassie wasn't fair to her. She would cry quite a bit, and clearly missed our parents. It wasn't a hard choice for me to drop out of regular classes and move back home. I didn't have family there, but I did have people that I grew up with that I could lean on.
I took a year off of school, not only to grieve, but to get used to being a mother to a two-year-old. The first year after our parents died was the hardest. Being in the home where I grew up, and where Kassie had lived all of her two years of life helped us, but it also made us realize what we were missing. Everywhere I turned I was reminded of my parents, but at least, I had many family friends to help out if needed. After a year Kassie began calling me Mom, and I knew my parents would want her to have a mom. With that in mind, I applied to adopt Kassie. I still think God must have been on my side because I was granted the adoption, without any issues.
My life was slowly falling into place and I knew it was time to return to college. I was able to complete a large majority of my coursework online. Online was an easy choice, but it took longer to get the mandatory classes completed. Of course there were still classes I had to attend in person, but I could work through them, and still be with Kassie as much as possible.
Overall, things have been hard for the last four years since my parents passed away, but they're starting to look up. Kassie is legally mine, and I was able to pass my classes and obtain my degree in Elementary Education.
I was lucky I had kept in contact with Rose because she was always willing to drop everything and help me when I needed her. She was always at the other end of the phone when I needed to talk. She helped to keep my spirits up and kept me going. The thing I love most about Rose is she refuses to let me mope. Three years ago she met a guy and fell deeply in love with him. Lucky for her, he felt the same way. Emmett is ten years older than Rose, but they just seemed to hit off. It also helped that he was the guy that every girl wanted. He is sweet, smart, sexy, and has a hint of toughness about him that keeps people from questioning his authority. It also helps that he is six-feet-eight and well built. When he's beside Rose, he towers over her six-foot slender frame.
I was the first person she called when he asked her to be his wife. When they were married, I was one of the bridesmaids and Kassie was the flower girl.
Emmett was the one that called me to tell me about the teaching post opening up at his school. I was hesitant as the cost of attending this school was more than my yearly wage at the public school where I was an aide during the last year of college. Emmett sweetened the deal by saying that if I were hired, Kassie could attend free of charge since I was on faculty.
At the interview, I was nervous as all get out. This school was seriously prestigious, and I was unsure they would find me worthy. The interview was last month, and to my surprise I was offered the job. I didn't think I had a chance as I had only recently completed my degree. In addition, my only experience was student teaching, and working as a class aide. I knew Emmett had been in my corner, but I had to answer questions from an entire panel of people at the interview.
Two weeks ago—with the help of Rose and Emmett—we moved closer to the school. Packing up all of our belongings was somewhat sad, and yet the fresh start we were making with our move felt right. I grew up about an hour outside of Chicago, so I'd been here many times, but this area was still new to me. Emmett and Rose helped us find a place to live which was actually not far from the school. Living in one of the nicer suburbs of Chicago is not cheap, but we managed to find a place for less than fifteen-hundred dollars a month. This is going to be a new start for us, and with a lot of hope—as in Kassie's name—we'll do well here. So here I am, twenty-four-years-old and about to put my teaching degree to good use.
"This will be your classroom; you will be teaching First Grade Classroom B. Your daughter Kassandra will be in First Grade Classroom A." Emmett says with a grin and I nod at him.
"Feel free to put up anything you want on the walls. There is, of course, a large stipend as you know to utilize to decorate and hang visual aids. If you need anything that is not on the list of covered items, come to me, and if I think you need it, I will approve it for you. All of your meals are covered during the school year as are our students. If you need anything or have any questions, review the packet on your desk, and you can always come to me if your questions aren't answered." He carries on.
"This is your class list and attendance roster. You will have to check the roster each morning, after each break, and before you release the children to go home."
I look at the names on the roster noting that I will have around fifteen children in my class.
"I know that you were informed in the hiring process, that some of the children who attend this school are from very influential families. Keeping and maintaining attendance records are highly important. Not that the younger kiddos are an issue, but the older ones can be. Since it was needed for the upperclassmen, we do it for all grades. Our security measures include knowing if a child is missing. The kids learn fast and get used to the roll call."
"I understand," I tell him.
"Come on, I'll show you where the kids' lunchroom, teacher's lounge, and my office are located."
I frown simply looking at Emmett as he wiggles his eyebrows at me.
"What?" I ask with a chuckle, making him grin at me. I roll my eyes shaking my head. Emmett's the type of guy who can turn anything you say into an innuendo.
Emmett's office is near the main door of the building, and I am surprised to see he has kids' drawings hanging up in his outer office.
"Nice artwork," I say with a smile.
"The kids love me, what can I say? Now, if you have any problems, personal or work- related, you can come see me and I will help wherever I can."
I chuckle out a forced laugh. "You'll never get me away from your office; I'll be admiring the artwork," I laugh.
Emmett goes inside and sits at his desk as I look over the pictures. I smile at most of them, seeing the kids have all drawn their version of him playing with them on the playground. I look around his office and see a large framed photograph on his desk. I am shocked to see a picture of Emmett, Rose, Kassie, and me from last Christmas.
"Bella, Rose thinks of you as her sister, and in my book that makes you a part of my family. I know we don't really know each other as well as you know Rosie, but I'd like to change that. I have always wanted a little sister who I can take care of as well as make fun of," Emmett winks at me making me snort.
Before I can speak, I hear the running of small feet coming in my direction.
"Mommy!" Kassie yells making me jump and spin around.
I feel my mouth drop open as she's now standing in front of me covered in mud.
"They have a soccer team, Mommy, a real soccer team!"
I look at Emmett to apologize for the mess and see that he looks completely amused.
"I want to join the soccer team, Emmie." she says moving her eyes to him.
"I think the team is only open to kids who are in the fifth grade and older," he says.
"What? No way! Emmie, that will not do!"
Emmett chuckles and I move to my very outspoken daughter. "She'll be gagged when she starts school next week," I say as I give her a look to tell her to zip her lips.
"She's fine, and Rosie wants you both to come to dinner on Sunday at our place."
"We'll be there, Emmie," my daughter says and I simply look at her. "What, Mommy, I'll be happy to go see Rosie. Besides, I know she'll be on my side and I'll get to play soccer!"
I shake my head looking at Emmett. "See you on Sunday; good luck!"
Emmett laughs, and I carefully get Kassie out of the building without tracking more mud around the school. I don't say anything until we get back to the car, but hurry to get her cleaned up a little and in her booster seat.
"Kassie, you need to learn when to shush," I tell her as I help put her seatbelt on.
"Mommy, you're the one who told me to tell people what I want."
I narrow my eyes at her, which makes her narrow her own eyes at me.
"Remember your tone of voice, young lady, and you're supposed to ask not demand things."
Kassie puts on her 'I-am-such-a-good-girl' face, along with her 'I-am-sorry' eyes and pout. "Sorry, Mommy, I was just excited."
I shake my head looking at her. "You're using big words today," I say and smile.
She frowns at me. "You teached me the words so that I could use them, right?"
I laugh closing her door and getting into the front seat. "It's 'taught' and I guess I can't argue with that."
I wake up and walk into Kassie's room, yawning. Smiling, I can't help but notice how she is sleeping with her butt up in the air. My father used to say she was bird-dogging it when she slept like that as a toddler. I walk over to her and rub her arm as I lean down to talk to her. "Kassie, it's time to get up" I say softly.
"Yeah, okay, Mom," she replies sleepily.
"I'll start breakfast ... just remember that we need to eat before heading out to Six Flags. The food there is expensive, and we only budgeted to eat lunch and dinner there."
"I know, you reminded me last night, Mom."
I just hum a little and smile; she is unusually responsible about money. When it comes to waking up though, I know I will need to come back in and wake her up again, just like I have to do every morning.
I have breakfast on the kitchen table about ten minutes later. It's no big surprise that she is not yet in here to eat. I walk back into her room, seeing she is still asleep, this time curled into a ball on her side. "So cute," I mutter as I walk over to her. I pull the covers off making her hand reach out blindly looking for them.
"Kassie, get your behind up now." I order and watch as she tries to burrow back into the warmth of the bed. When she turns back to laying on her front with her butt in the air, I silently chuckle.
"Kassie," I say trying hard to hide my laughter. "It is time to get out of bed, unless of course you have decided that you don't want to go to Great America Six Flags?"
"Okay, jeez, I'm getting up. It's not like the park is going anywhere. I thought you said the park didn't open until ten-thirty?"
I roll my eyes; this girl is too smart for her own good. "I know when the park opens, Kassie, but I want to get there before eleven, so get a move on."
Kassie gets out of her bed and quickly makes it before skipping out of her room.
"Wow, lovely breakfast, Mom," she says with a chuckle. I giggle at her Miss grouchy attitude and smirk.
"Well, Lucky Charms is your favorite cereal, isn't it?" I ask as I pour her milk.
"Yeah it is; can I have toast, too, please?" she asks with a mouthful of cereal.
"You can, if you stop showing me what you are eating."
I put a slice of bread in the toaster and take a drink of my coffee. When the toast pops up, I butter it and dip it in cinnamon sugar. After handing her the toast, I eat my bowl of Lucky Charms and finish my coffee. Once we've both eaten, we head to our respective rooms to get ready for the day. I cover my skin in sunscreen because I burn so easily it's ridiculous. Grabbing my clothes, I pull on some black jeans shorts and a white t-shirt. After tying my shoes, I pack my beach bag for the waterpark and throw in my red leather jacket. Meeting Kassie in the living room, I see she has also put on jean shorts, and a t-shirt. Of course, she's wearing her favorite color: red. I smile when I see she has her red leather jacket that matches mine in her beach bag.
"Let's rock," I say as we head out. We get to the bottom of our stairs and see that Mr. Jacob Black is sitting outside painting.
Jacob is an older man, in his late sixties. In the two weeks we've lived here, he has made us both feel very welcome.
"Well, good morning, ladies," he says with a grin showing off his perfectly straight and bright white teeth.
"Hello, Jake," I reply with a smile.
"We're going to Six Flags," Kassie tells him with clear excitement in her voice.
He nods and smiles at us. "That sounds like a bunch of fun. Have either of you been there before?" He asks as he looks between us.
"Nope, it will be our first time," I say.
Kassie frowns and looks at him.
"How do you say 'good morning' in your Indian language?"
"Kassie," I say shocked and she merely looks at me.
"What? I just want to know, so next time I can say it to him in his own speaking."
"Bella, she's fine; I do not mind at all. Knowledge is power," Jake says. "Kassie, in my culture we say hah-ch chee-EH; however, the Hoh dialect which my people speak, is virtually obsolete in today's world."
Kassie repeats the word making Jake smile.
"That is very good. You speak Hoh very well for a learner. Have a great day and have fun. HAY-stuh TAH-see," he says holding up his hand.
Kassie smiles and gives him a high-five. This was the first term he had taught her in Hoh dialect and she loves it.
"We will; I am sure. Have a nice day, Jake," I say as we leave.
The drive to Six Flags is uneventful. We arrive at the park, a little before eleven. I pay for the car and end up parking far from the front gate. We take the shuttle and it drops us off where we buy our tickets. Almost one-hundred-and-twenty-six dollars later, we are in the long line to enter the park and waiting on our turn.
"Where would you like to go first?" I ask Kassie as we finally enter the park.
"The Batman coaster!" she yells while doing a karate chop. We make our way there, and stand in the very long line.
"Yes! We're next," Kassie says bouncing up and down, but stops when a guy approaches us.
"I told you just an hour ago that you were too small for this ride. Just because you brought a Smurf with you will not make me suddenly think you're taller."
I feel my mouth drop open at the way this guy is talking to us. "Hey, we have not been in this line before, and I am not a Smurf!"
The guy looks at me with narrowed eyes. "She was just here an hour ago with some guy. I told her then that she was too small, and trying to sneak back in line is only going to cause issues for you. Now, move out of the line and don't try this again."
I give the guy a smile. "Sure," I say as I look at his name tag, "Steve." I move Kassie and me out the line, and when we are little ways away from him, I take my cell out and snap a photo of him. When I leave my comment in the park survey, I can—if I am still pissed about this—use the picture for information about this guy.
"Let's move on, Kassie," I say holding her hand.
Kassie goes on a few of the smaller rides before she tells me she's hungry. We walk into the first place that we find.
"What would you like?" The woman says with a smile. "I would like two slices of pizza with chicken, mushrooms, peppers, but no onions, because they are yucky." The woman laughs at Kassie and then looks to me.
"I'll have two slices, too, but I want cheese, onions, peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes please. We'll also have two glasses of Coca-Cola."
The woman nods and tells me the price. I hand her the money, happy that I had budgeted ten dollars more than we spent. We move to the next line and wait for our number to be called.
"Kassie, that table by the window is free. Go sit there and I will be over in a minute with our food."
She nods at me and quickly moves to the table.
Our number is called and I get our food taking it to the table. Kassie starts to eat her pizza right away.
"Slow down, I don't want you to choke," I tell her and she looks at me.
"Sorry, Mom, I'm starving."
"You had breakfast two and a half hours ago, and a snack less than an ..." I trail off looking at my watch, "hour ago."
"Yeah, I am a growing girl. I need food."
"You're a bottomless pit," I counter. I swear this girl can eat me under the table.
Once she's finished eating, she helps clean up the table and we head off to the Safari part of the park.
"Oh, Mommy, look at the Giraffes," she says sitting on her knees to get a better look.
She squeals a little as one of them walks over to the truck. It leans its head in and licks the side of Kassie's head. She laughs and starts petting it, and I snap a couple pictures.
The rest of the ride she takes photos of all the different animals. When we get back to the main area of the park, we go on some more rides before heading to the waterpark.
"Oh Mom, that guy is drawing people, can we get our drawing done, too?" Kassie asks.
"Sure," I tell her and we wait in line.
"Next," the artist calls and I sit down with Kassie right next to me. He looks up and smiles. He tilts his head to the side a bit and crinkles his brow. Shaking his head slightly, he pulls out a clean sheet of paper and looks at us again. He seems to stop and look between us. "Hi, again," he says.
I just look at him and then down at Kassie who just looks at me and shrugs.
"Hi," I say with a smile, trying to work out if I know this guy or not. He starts to work on the drawing of us, so I am unable to ask him where we have met.
When he is finished, he asks us both to take a look. I smile seeing that he has captured us both really well.
"You know it's a shame you didn't do this with your dad; all three of you together would have made a lovely photo."
I feel my lips move into a tight line. He is not the first person to talk or enquire about Kassie's dad, but it still stings. Things are especially bad for me when it comes to Kassie because there's nothing I can do to change the fact she doesn't have a father figure.
"If you like, I can do one with all three of you; just email me a photo," he says handing me his card. I take it with a nod and pay him the money for the drawing and postage to mail it to me.
I then put my name and address on the tube and he puts the picture inside for me. "Thank you," I say before walking away.
Kassie is quiet after we walk away, for too long and I look down at her. "Are you okay? I don't think he meant anything mean with what he said."
Kassie just nods at me. "Do you miss Daddy?"
I let out a sigh and take a deep breath. She knows my parents were her first parents. We have photos of them in our home, but she doesn't remember them except from the videos we have.
"Yes, I do," I tell her.
"Can you tell me another story about our parents, before I go to bed tonight?"
"I can and I will."
Kassie nods at me. "I love you," she says and I smile, pulling her to me and hugging her.
"I love you, too, kid."
We arrive at the waterpark and quickly get changed. I cover us again liberally in sunscreen before we go out to the pool and slides. We spend the next hour sliding down the slides, swimming in the water, and floating around on the lazy river.
"Mommy!" Kassie yells even though she's standing right next to me. "Your back is all red." I sigh turning my head a little to see my shoulder, and she's right.
"Okay five more minutes, then we need to head in and get changed."
Kassie just nods at me. She runs off and I lose her for a few minutes only to have her appear back in the pool, but there is a guy with her. I move toward them, but as there are a lot of people in the pool, I lose sight of her again.
"Mommy," She says leaping up in front of me. "Did you see me swim?"
I let out a breath and nod at her. "Yeah I did, but please remember not to talk to people you don't know."
"I know," she says. "Is it time for us to go?"
I nod at her and we head out, both getting our things. I take her into one of the family changing rooms. We shower, wash our hair, and get dried off before putting on our street clothes. I again put some sunscreen on us, and we both dry our hair. I clean up our mess and repack our beach bags with our now wet things.
"Okay, it's time for us to eat dinner, before heading home. Where would you like to eat?" I ask her but I already know the answer.
"Sushi, please?" I chuckle and nod at her as we walk toward the waterpark exit.
"Hey!" some guy calls from behind me.
"Do you want to watch a movie when we get home?" Before she can answer me, someone grabs my arm tightly and makes me stop.
"Hey!" he yells and I just look at him.
Over the next few minutes, I think this guy is off his rocker as he claims Kassie is his daughter, Cordie. As he continues to spew out words, I see a small girl emerge from the ladies changing room. The girl must be about the same age as Kassie, but she is literally identical to my daughter. I notice she's looking around, likely for the man who is still raising his voice.
I try to tell him to look behind him, but he clearly is too upset to be reasonable. I wave at the little girl and call out the name he called Kassie. She looks at me, and I tell her that her daddy is right here. As the little girl walks toward us, I am in a bit of shock. This girl and Kassie are identical, in every way. They both have one green and one blue eye, the only difference I can see is their eye colors are in the opposite eyes.
"Mirror twins," I mutter subconsciously.
"What?" The guy asks and I look at him to see he also looks confused.
"There has clearly been a misunderstanding," the man says to the workers who have come over to see what is going on. "Cordie, it's time to go."
I look at him open-mouthed as he walks away.
"Hell, no!" I say and give Kassie a nod and run after the guy.
"Hey!" I yell and he stops and turns to me.
I am taken back and completely shocked by the anger that I see in his eyes and the sneer on his face.
"Shouldn't you at least say you're sorry for grabbing me, scaring my daughter, and accusing me of kidnapping your child?" I ask him.
His eyes widen in shock—I'm guessing—as he looks at me.
"Sorry," he mutters before again starting to walk away.
"Hey," I yell again moving after him. "What is that? I mean you accuse me of kidnapping your daughter and all I get is a halfhearted mumbling of you're sorry? What the hell is going on and who are you two?"
The man just looks at me. "Who we are has got nothing to do with you," he states.
My eyes look down to see that the man's daughter looks scared. Since she is clearly upset, I don't follow this time when he turns and walks away.
"Mom, why does she look like me?"
"I'm not sure," I tell Kassie. 'Have no fear, I am planning on finding out if this is just a random coincidence', I carry on in my head.
A/N: So this chapter was a monster of a chapter and all the others will likely be around half this size. This chapter was important to meet everyone, and that is why it was a tad longer then the rest will be. We hope that you like it so far, and look forward to hearing your thoughts on it as we go. We'll see you next Monday with an update.