Read: Aurora – Chapter 3 Ready

READY

           Aurora didn’t move.
Lucille frantically picked up all the papers and photos from the floor and put them back in the folder and into the filing cabinet. She slowly opened the office door and searched the hallway. Aurora was still standing there. She grabbed her limp arm and pulled her out into the hallway. They managed to get back upstairs to Aurora’s bedroom without Alfred seeing them.
Aurora sat down on the bed. Tears streamed down her face.
“I never saw the scene of my parent’s death that night. They found me and my sister under the bed and wouldn’t let us go near it,” she sobbed. “Oh my god… Why did I have to see that?”
There was a knock at the door. Aurora rushed into the bathroom and closed the door behind her.
“Aurora? Are you in there?” Alfred asked and knocked for a second time.
Lucille opened the door.
“Oh, hello Lucille,” Alfred said. “I didn’t know you were here. Where is Aurora?”
“She is in the bathroom.”
“Oh, okay. Um, please let her know that dinner will be ready in thirty minutes.”
“Will do,” Lucille responded with an everything-is-fine-nothing-to-see-here grin.
Alfred shut the bedroom door behind him. She heard his footsteps as he walked down the hall. She walked to the bathroom and knocked on the door. Aurora opened it.  She had washed her face to remove any sign that she had been crying.
She took a deep breath. “I’m okay,” she affirmed. “I just need to figure out what is going on.”
“And I am going to help you,” Lucille said.
Aurora smiled. “Did Alfred act suspicious or anything?”
Lucille shook her head. “Nope, he just wanted to let you know dinner would be ready soon.”
“Good.”
“Keenan wanted to go out tonight, so I should actually get going soon,” Lucille admitted.
“Oh so you guys are doing better now?” Aurora asked.
“For now. You know how it is.”
Their relationship lately had been more off than on.
“I will call you if I find out anything,” Aurora said. “Thank you for helping me today.”
“Of course,” Lucille said with a grin. She gave Aurora a hug. Then she left her bedroom.
Aurora flopped down on her bed to rest for a moment. She was emotionally exhausted, but very determined to figure out the truth.
When she walked downstairs, Alfred was in the kitchen finishing up dinner. Aurora sat down at the island bar.
“Alfred?”
“Yes?” he asked.
“Can you tell me more about my Godfather?”
“What would you like to know? I believe that you know just as much as I do.”
“But you’re one of his closest friends.”
“If you knew Lucille’s secrets would you tell them?”
“Well, no,” Aurora admitted. “But maybe if someone’s life was in danger or something.”
Alfred, always a nervous mess, suddenly dropped the wooden spoon he was using the stir the potatoes.
“What is the matter?” Aurora demanded. “I am not stupid. I know something is up. Tell me, Alfred. Is Godfather’s life in danger?”
Alfred sighed. “Your Godfather is a very mysterious man with a lot of secrets that need to be kept safe.”
“What are the secrets?”
“As long as everything goes as planned,” Alfred continued. “Then everybody will be fine.”
“I wish you would just tell me,” Aurora pleaded.
“It is not my business to tell. That is up to your Godfather. I have already said too much.”
Aurora heard the front door open.
“Is that Lucille?” Alfred asked.
“No she already left. She is having dinner with Keenan tonight.”
“Then that must be your Godfather.”
Godfather walked into the kitchen. “Mmm mmm, doesn’t that smell good? I got here at the perfect time,” he said. He kissed Aurora on the forehead. “Hello darling. Hello Alfred.”
“Good evening sir,” Alfred replied. “Dinner is ready now if you and Aurora would like to take a seat.”
“Wonderful,” Godfather said and went to have a seat at the dining room table.
Aurora followed him. He sat at the head of the table that was large enough to fit twenty people. The room was filled with large windows and a stone fireplace. A large Persian rug lay under the table. Aurora sat down at the table. Alfred walked in with two plates of food and sat them down in front of Godfather and Aurora. He brought the two of them glasses and a pitcher of lemonade. Then he got his own plate and glass and sat down at the table with them.
Godfather was old fashioned. He liked everyone sitting down at the table together talking over a good meal served on fancy, fine china.
“So how is everyone today?” he asked and took a bite of garlic mashed potatoes.
“We have had a great day George. You will be pleased to know that your book collection has been successfully organized,” Alfred answered.
“Wonderful,” Godfather replied. “And what about you Aurora? You are being awfully quiet today.”
“I am alright. I’m just a little worried that’s all,” Aurora said.
“About what dear?”
“You working too hard and having too many meetings and not being able to sleep well,” she admitted. “You cover up your stress so well, but I can see it in your eyes.”
“Oh darling, I will be just fine. Just a little busy with work, that’s all.”
“No,” Aurora disagreed. “I know there is something going on.”
She look at him right into his brown eyes. She didn’t care anymore whether he found out about her snooping. She didn’t care whether she made him feel uncomfortable. She was tired of being lied to. She wanted to know what was going on. She needed to know.
Alfred began shuffling uncomfortably in his chair. Godfather sighed and broke away from Aurora’s stare.
“Alright, yes,” Godfather gave in. “There is something going on that I have been keeping secret from you, because I want you to live your life and not have to worry about anything. I wanted to take care of everything myself and let you be a normal teenager. It is simply too dangerous for you to know.”
“Don’t I deserve to though?” Aurora asked.
Nobody was eating anymore.
“Of course, but I was going to wait as long as possible. At least until you graduated high school.”
“I only have a few months left.”
“Yes I know,” Godfather affirmed. He sighed again.
Alfred looked like he was going to pass out.
“Whenever you were a little girl, you could do things that other people cannot. You knew things were going to happen before they happened. When you were six years old you stopped your family from getting in a horrible car accident. You screamed and screamed in the car until they pulled over. There ended up being a ten car pileup ahead which began from an intoxicated truck driver and would have included you if your father had not pulled the car over. You knew things that people were going to say as if you could read their minds. You knew things about outer space that hadn’t even been taught to you. You never got sick, and you were very strong. We tried to teach you to keep your abilities hidden around other people, but you had to go to a doctor every year for a check-up, plus you had to go to school. Your doctor was very curious about how from your birth you had never been sick once. Most kids have ear infections and colds, but you didn’t have any of those things. Instead of being happy you were a healthy child, it’s as if they were fearful. And your teachers… they didn’t like that you were smarter than they were. They began to ask questions. When your parents tried to pull you from school and have someone tutor you at home, they called Child Protective Services. Then when your parents moved from Seattle to Portland, they got even more suspicious. The police showed up at your new home and wanted to take you in for an investigation. Then the F.B.I. and military got involved. They wanted to do experiments on you and offered millions of dollars.”
Aurora was first stunned. Then she was in denial. “That can’t be true. You’re just joking aren’t you? Good one,” she laughed.
“No, I am not joking,” Godfather reassured her. “People broke into your home to get you on the night of your parent’s death.”
Aurora stopped laughing. So it was her fault? Her mind went back to the photo she found of her parents crime scene. She felt sick to her stomach.
“So if I knew things were going to happen before they happened, then why didn’t my parents live?” Aurora asked.
“You were smart enough to save yourself and your sister,” Godfather said. “You asked about her all the time after you were separated, but you eventually stopped.”
“Where is she?”
“Boston with your Aunt and Uncle,” Godfather answered. “I get some updates about her a couple of times a year. She starts high school next year. She plays piano and dances. She has a boyfriend, although I’m not sure if she still does, named Thomas.”
“Why were we separated?”
“It was the only way to keep you both safe. The night your parents died, you called me crying. I think you knew what was going to happen. You didn’t explain anything, but I came over right away. I got to your parent’s house, not in time to save them, but in time to save you and your sister. The people who killed your parents had already gotten away. I took you both from the home and you were declared missing persons. If the police would have found you, they would have gotten you and who knows what would have happened. You could be in a petri dish right now. I made a vow to your parents to always protect you. I changed both our last names, and we started over.”
“How did you know my parents?”
“We grew up together and attended the same university. I was their best friend and the only person they could trust. You had no other family besides your Aunt and Uncle, and that is where your sister went, so you came with me to Los Angeles.”
“Why don’t I have the abilities anymore?”
“After your parent’s death, you never used your abilities again,” Godfather replied. “I believe you were going through post-traumatic stress and blocked it from your mind, which suppressed your abilities. You had nightmares and panic attacks. It was a very tough time. We traveled a lot to keep busy and distracted and that seemed to help. Eventually everything became normal, like you finally healed, but you still never used your abilities again.”
“So how does this all tie in to all of your meetings lately and staying up late working?”
“Over the years I have made some contacts and close friends who are on our side, some who are concealing themselves in the police force and the C.I.A. It has recently came to my attention that there is a group of individuals who are still looking for you. They are suspicious and closer than what makes me comfortable. We have been investigating, and well, the good news, they think you are in New York.”
“How did you get these people to help you?”
“Darling, there is a lot of things you can get people to do when you have the right amount of money,” Godfather smirked.
“I want to see my sister,” Aurora said.
“One day you will. When the time is right.”
Aurora sighed. “If that’s everything, I think I’m going to go lay down. I have a headache.”
Aurora stood up, feeling slightly faint. Her uneaten food still sat there on her plate.
“Would you like for me to warm up your food?” Alfred asked.
“No,” Aurora answered. “I don’t think I can eat anyway.” She started to leave the room.
“Aurora, wait,” Godfather said.
She stopped and turned around to hear what he had to say.
“With you knowing the truth,” Godfather continued. “This is the first step to remembering. The first step to possibly awakening your abilities inside of you once again. And you know if you do that, it is going to turn you into the biggest lit up billboard in the world, and all of the darkness is going to find you once again. You have to either be ready for it, or you must not go any further down this road.”
“I’m ready.”
Then she went to her room and passed out on her bed.
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