It’s raining when I wake, a strong summer storm having blown in unexpectantly overnight. I lay in bed for fifteen minutes before the smell of my mother’s cooking beckons me to get up. I shake Mila, and together we stumble into the kitchen. The bay windows of our dining room streaked with the tears from the sky; the sky itself a yucky mixture of gray and pale green. I collapse atop one of the bar stools and grab a plate helping myself to the buffet of breakfast options. Mila not too far behind me. “Well don’t you two look worse for wear?” She smiles though her statement hadn’t been too far off. I was exhausted, and more than feeling the effect of staying up late.
Beside me Mila lets out a grumbled sigh, and dives into her plate. “How late did you two stay up?” My mother tries again after her first attempt in starting a conversation had gone nowhere.
“Well, Mila crashed around three, and I wasn’t too far behind her.”
“Well, no wonder.” My mother starts to laugh. My father walking around the corner as she does, and then I watch as the two exchange a look. My mother suddenly stopped laughing, and turned back to the stove. Something was definitely up. I thought to myself Did they have a fight?
“Good morning.” My father began, his tone placid, and stern as he moved around the counter, and grabbed a plate. “Emery, your mother, and I need to speak with you.”
“Okay?” Uh oh. A voice inside my head called out. What did I do?
“We have been invited on a cruise to Alaska with my company.” He began, his eyes set on me while he spoke, although his hands still busied themselves plating his food. “We know its last minute but, if it’s alright with you. . . we will be leaving in an hour to head to the airport. The boat departs early tomorrow morning.”
“Excuse me?” My voice is in shock, and I quickly close it remembering I had been chewing. “Since when do you and mom travel?”
“Well, we just figured since our anniversary was coming up that we should get out and do something.” My mom was quick to offer. I sit chewing the last of my egg in complete and utter confusion. My mom hates to travel, and my dad barely has time to go out to dinner meetings let alone a cruise to Alaska.
“Well, I’m happy for ya’ll. It should be fun.” I say after a minute or two, and then quickly take another bite of bacon.
“You’re not mad?” My dad asks, while taking the time to stir his cream into his coffee, twice.
“No?” I mumble through another mouthful of eggs. Reach for my orange juice my mother had poured, and then swallowed. “Why would I be mad.”
“Well, because your father could only get two tickets, and this means we won’t be here for you first day of senior year.” My mother sniffs, and its then I can see whose idea this had really been. I knew she wouldn’t willingly offer to go. I smile, and set my fork down.
“I won’t mind.” I offer in earnest. Mila moving back to get seconds. “You guys deserve to go, and I’ll be fine.”
“You’re sure?” The two of them ask at the same time.
“Alright, good.” My father fights off an overly enthusiastic smile, and heads to the table to eat. “Now that is settled, I can enjoy my breakfast in peace.”
I turned around to flash him a smile just as the lightning struck; thousands of electrical currents hitting not too far off in the distance. For an split second after, the kitchen is submerged in a bright white light, all of us taken back by how strong it had been. “Uh are you guys sure there are flights leaving in this?” Mila asks the question we were all wondering but, no one replies. An hour later my parents drive off; Mila heading home not too long after that.