It's hard to describe what it feels like to have no parents living on this earth. And although many people cared, and reached out to me, there sympathies could only go so far. Although I had been a young adult for some time now, the only word to describe what I became when my mother died, is "orphan".
That night was torturous. I got no sleep, hid in my room until time for work, and when I left for the bookstore, I was happy to be free of the place. There was no way I could come back here. Not right now. Everyone was shocked when I came in the bookstore. My boss begged me to go home, but I told him while fighting back tears, that I couldn't go back there right now and I told him I needed to be at work. He reluctantly let me stay, but watched me like a hawk the whole time. I did the best I cold and would run to the bathroom when the emotions would rise, and I would calm myself down, and go back to work. I could tell by the look in my boss's eyes I was treading on thin ice. If I didn't pull myself together, I was going to lose my job- the one thing I had that kept me away from my house, my main source of income right now. I couldn't lose this job.
When I finally stepped outside after my shift, I let out what emotions I had been stifling. But then I realized I was in a public place. Not Good. I needed to go somewhere, but where?
I showed up on the twin's doorstep and just kept ringing the doorbell until they answered. Of course, they had heard and offered what comfort they could, and when I told them I couldn't face my empty house right now, they offered to let me spend the night there.
They did their best to comfort me, and cheer me up, but eventually they had to sleep, and so I stayed up watching TV.
I know I should be sleeping, but the time period between my head hitting the pillow and falling asleep I was none to anxious to face, so I just kept watching. I made myself some waffles.
Then finally in the wee hours of the morning when I thought I would keel over in exhaustion, I climbed into the unfamiliar bed and tried to sleep. Just a few short hours later I heard the girls get up, and being tired of tossing and turning, I got up too.
While in the bathroom, I almost lost it again, and apparently Alayna heard, and came in to check on me.
"Are you ok Mikie?"
"Yeah. It just hurts to think about her right now."
"Of course it does, Mikie, but you know, remembering her can help too."
"Eh. I don't know."
"Come on, try it. Tell me about your mom. You know, I only met her at the party, I haven't heard her story."
"Really? Well, Ok. My mom was.... amazing..."
I went on to tell her about how my mom raised me on her own, tried her best to be there for me, believed in me and my dreams, would let me sleep in her bed if I read a book that was too scary, and how cool it was to ride in the tour bus with her around town when I was a kid. And you know what? She was right. It did chase some of the sorrow away.
I decided I had imposed on the girls enough, and felt ok about going back to my house. at least it was daytime, and I had to work, so I wouldn't be there long. As soon as I walked into my bedroom, I fell into bed and slept hard. I slept all the way until the carpool was outside honking for me.
My day at work was a little better, but only a little. I wasn't running to the bathroom near as much, but it was still enough for my boss to notice. He pulled me aside and said, "You know, Mikie, if you want to take an indefinite leave of absence, I would understand. You've got a lot to deal with right now."
I did everything I could to convince him that work was good for me, and I needed it. He told me he'd let me keep working as long as it didn't seem to be an extra burden on me, as he knew I needed employment now that I was providing for myself.
So, I escaped another day of work with my job still in tact. But I was really worried. I didn't want to get fired!
When I got off work, It suddenly hit me how hungry I was, I had only had some waffles at like 3 in the morning, I was starving! I went down to the bistro, and as soon as I got my food, I lost all thought of much else and devoured it. It was so good it actually put a smile on my face.
It was getting late, and as I got up to leave, my grief hit me again. It was dark now, and I didn't want to go home. Where was I gonna go? Not home. Not to the twins, I didn't want to intrude on them another night. I actually felt a wave of adrenaline and relief when I thought of who it was I wanted, no needed to see right now. I just hoped she would want to see me too.
I knocked on the door, and it was Jeanna who answered.
"Mikie! Oh Mikie I'm so glad to see you!"
"I know it's late, I just- I needed someplace to..someone to..."
"Say no more, come in this instant!" She grabbed my arm and pulled me into the entry way.
"Oh, Mikie, I've been so worried about you. I'm so sorry about your mom."
I felt the tiniest bit of peace in my heart, something I had not felt in the last 2 days. It was so overwhelming, I spent the next 10 minutes crying on her shoulder telling her how I couldn't stand being in my house, and I felt orphaned, and how worried I was about losing my job, and being able to support myself.
"Mikie, there's something I need to talk to you about. I was just trying to figure out how to catch up to you, as you haven't been home. Did you know that your mom and my mom were very close before she died?"
"Um, well, I knew they knew each other, I guess..."
"Well they were best friends. And your mom knew she wasn't going to be around much longer, and she had asked my mom to look after you after she passed, to take care of you, and make sure you were ok."
"Wow, she did? I had no idea."
"Yes. And my mom and I went to your house and then up to your work looking for you after we had got word about your mom. Your boss told us how concerned he was for you. My mom's heart went out to you, and she wanted to make good on the promise to your mom. Mikie, we've all talked as a family, and- Mikie, what would you think about moving in with us?"
I couldn't believe what I was hearing! After the way I treated Jeanna lately, here their whole family was offering for me to live with them?
"What? Your family wants me to-"
"Yes, Mikie. My mom has always felt like you were a part of our family, I mean you were with us your whole childhood. Look, if you lived here, you wouldn't have as much pressure to keep a job if you didn't want to, it would get you out of that house that you dread going back to, and you could have the whole attic to yourself, very private, it's own bath and everything. It could be as temporary or as permanent as you need to be. And, you would have a family to be a part of, my little brother says he's always wanted a big brother..."
"But Jeanna... what about us? I mean, although I've done a horrible job of showing it, I know before we were more than just friends, I mean not that I deserve anything more than that. But I don't want things to be weird between us. Are you really ok living in the same house as me?"
"Look, Mikie. I've thought a lot about that. You have been and always will be dear to my heart. And I know a lot has happened in the recent past that has distanced us. But I still care about you, as a friend if nothing else. And it's more important that you are safe and secure and emotionally supported and stable that for me to put my feelings before your well-being. So if you moved in, we would remain friends, but for now, nothing more. Just a part of our family. Please, say you will come. We all want you to. My mom made a promise to yours..."
I didn't know what to say. This outpouring of love from a family I certainly didn't deserve it from won me over. "OK I will."
That night, she, her dad, mom and I went to my house and packed it all up, and I moved in with the Stout family. In no time, I had taken over the attic and had my own space. I went to bed in my new room, completely exhausted.
I had no idea what was to become of me and Jeanna, now that I lived here. But I did know one thing. Although the grief of my mom's death was still there, there was a new feeling swelling up within me. It was a feeling of being safe, belonging. I guess it was the feeling of Family. Home.
*buckey's notes*-So, Mikie is now living with Jeanna, which SHE asked him to! I swear, that's only happened one other time in the whole history of me owning the game!! That's right, even after all that time of not seeing each other, and Mikie having no wishes involving her (the way I got her to Jeanna's house was because he wanted to work on his charisma skill *creative wish fulfilling, anyone?*) Jeanna asked him to move in. I thought that was so sweet, especially after how sad poor Mikie has been.
Oh, and I'll be trying to add some kind of something to the rules about collecting/selling items.. I'm still trying to think through exactly what's necessary and what isn't. So, until next time, thanks for reading!