I trained my eyes on the outline of the girl just beyond the curtains, her small face disappearing so quickly I almost thought she wasn't real.
Barely here an hour and I'd already encountered someone weird. I wondered how long it would take for my parents to realize just how nuts this move was. I mean, honestly, who moves from Toronto to the middle of nowhere?
Who uprooted their son when he'd finally started dating the coolest chick he'd ever met?
Why will I never hear Ashley pronounce those three little words, that she would surely utter sensually, after a night spent out in her yard, where her parents couldn't hear us?
Because my parents moved me to some obscure town in Florida, that's why.
"There are beaches, Logan," mom had spoken excitedly once she dropped the bomb. "Plus, your dad will be making three times as much money, so Christmas won't be so bleak this year."
Yeah, so dad didn't have the best job back in Toronto, but money couldn't buy another Ashley. When I told mom and dad this, they'd simply stared at me like I was an alien.
"You're seventeen," dad noted in that all-knowing voice he liked to employ when teaching me life lessons. "You'll find someone better than Ashley."
The one thing that held me together as we drove over the border was University. Ashley was all set on York University and I was right there behind her. Even if my parents decided that their choices mattered more than my life, I would eventually make my way back to her. I would apply when applications were due and then, once and for all, Ashley and I would be together.
I checked my phone as the Floridian heat burned my neck.
No new messages.
I frowned and put the phone back in my pants pocket. Ashley said she'd message me every five minutes, but she'd yet to respond to the last message I'd sent a couple of hours ago. No big deal, she was probably just busy, but it still irked me a bit.
I glanced back up at the girl's bedroom, the sunlit curtains fully shut. The house, a white two-story number, had flower pots freckling the windows and various plots of unknown orange, blue, and yellow flowers around the home. The grass was on the shaggy side, but everything else appeared well-maintained. The paint looked nearly fresh and two expensive cars sat in the driveway on the opposite side of our new house.
Our new house.
Those three words made me angry all over again. What was wrong with our apartment back in Toronto? Okay, so the crime rate may have been high because of our low income, but really, it was decent. We never got home so late that we were in danger, and plus, I'd grown up there, most of the people knew me. But here, I would have to start all over again. Make new friends, start new classes in the fall.
I wiped away the sweat gathering on my collar bone and soaking through my polo.
And the heat, I would definitely need to get used to the heat.
"Logan," Dad called from the doorway of our house. The house was the complete opposite of the girl's pristine home. Ours was red and needed some obvious fixes. The walk leading to the front door was cracked in several places, while weeds choked any vestige of a garden that once grew in front of the house. "Come on, we need to bring your bed up to your new room."
I inwardly cringed and began walking towards him, all the while chanting, "University" in my head.
I would survive for the time being. I would grin, I would lie, I would make sure that Ashley didn't forget that I was here for her. After all, it was only a little less than a year before I could escape this Florida hell my parents drove me into.