My eyebrow was raised high enough to be engulfed by my hair, as I took the note and read it:
You have grown so much. I remember the day you moved in like it was yesterday, and yet, it was a decade ago. You were always easily distracted, especially by the thoughts of your parents. Whenever you thought no one noticed, you were very obvious. I began to think you finally moved on from that, but it looks like there are parts of you that I cannot see. If I knew you were still hurting, I would have stepped in a long time ago.
I agree that this is something you have to do, but not by yourself. What did I always tell you when you left the house? You and Wyatt need to stay together. It is too dangerous in the outside world for you to be alone. You may come across places safer than Old Tenebris, but that changes nothing. There will be people who try and hurt you, so having someone with you is crucial.
I left Wyatt with one hundred dollars. Don’t worry about me; I’ll find a way to support myself. Just remember, while you two are out in Creput, you always have a home to come back to.
She did not sign the note, or rather, she didn’t need to. Her words were a signature enough, a blessing, but also a curse. My legs were wrapped in guilt, causing them to shake. My hands clutched the note tightly. A woman showed me so much hospitality, and this is how I repaid her: running away with her grandson, and taking the last of her money.
But I wept not a single tear. Not a single drop of regret fell from my eyes. Perhaps I wasted them all in the hospital. All of my tears shed for my parents, and I could not spare a single one for Mrs. Sands.
“Elijah,” Wyatt said, slowly inching to my side, wrapping his shoulder over me. “Come on, we need to get moving.”
I hesitated another moment, then answered, “Right. I plan for us to be at Timorba City before TD.”
“That’s just down this road, right? Well, come on, we’re already a few hours into TE. Also, do you know where we’re sleeping tonight?”
“Well, with your grandmother’s money, we can pay for the cheapest motel,” I pulled out the tour guide and pointed at the Dianoche Motel, “Twenty dollars per Duscan.”
Wyatt counted on his fingers, “So if we pool our money together, we have enough for six nights, with ten dollars left.”
“We still need food though. I was thinking we could get jobs in the city for a month, gather enough money and leave again.”
“And if we find your parents in Timorba?”
To be honest, I never really thought that my parents could be in Timorba, or if anyone would know anything about them. Really, I felt like I would just be wandering and hoped to stumble upon them. Sadly, this was no fairy tale.
“We go home, I guess.”
Wyatt didn’t seem to argue about my plan, either because he trusted my judgement or he was too unaccustomed to living on his own to grasp it. Then again, I was just as inexperienced with the world outside Old Tenebris, because if I wasn’t living with my parents, I was sheltered by the Sands.
Another half of a day and we would reach Timorba. My nerves rose goosebumps all over my skin. Anxiety set in more with each step, but it steadied when I focused on Wyatt’s steps beside me. My best friend, my family, who will stand by me until we found my parents, and even longer.
My best regards to the Sands, my second family. Your kindness will be repaid. It’s the least I can do.