When The Thunder Rolls

Emily Johnson, 17 years old, with a tough past and a lot of secrets. May sound familiar? But it's not.

This story is different.

When she was fourteen, she did something, no fourteen year old should do.

She witnessed something she will never forget.

Now she's running.

Hiding, along with her brothers.

Running to Stratford, she hoped that she could finally have some peace for a while, but when the thunder rolls, and the lightning strikes, memories flashes by...

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14. Unexpected guests

Emily

I walked downstairs after my  nap and into the kitchen to grab some food. Nathan and Cooper were out to a game in football and basketball and as far as I knew, Keith was out buying food. So I had the house all to myself.

I grabbed some Ben&Jerry’s out of the fridge and took a spoon. Then I settled myself on the couch and turned the TV on. I zapped trough the channels until I saw that one of my favorite series were on. I turned up the volume and dug my spoon into the ice cream.

I was in the middle of the second episode of season eight of NCIS, when someone knocked on the door. Not wanting to let Ziva and Tony go, I didn’t move. More knocks followed. Sighing, I stood up and walked out to the front door with the bottle of ice cream still in my hands. I didn’t even bother to look who it was before I opened the door. With a spoonful ice cream in my mouth, I pulled down the door handle. When the door was fully open, and I said, “Hi what can I do for you?” that was when things got… Exciting.

“Hey sis.” Jake said with a huge smile on his face. Behind, and next to him, was my two other older brothers, Marc and Luke. I was so in shock that I couldn’t say anything at first.  Then I threw the ice cream at the floor and embraced him. When I let go of Jake, I hugged Luke. And after Luke, I looked at Marc with tears in my eyes.

He held his arms open for me to step in which I did. I jumped into his arms, wrapped my legs around his waist, and snuggled my head into his chest like a kid. Marc stroked my back and kissed the top of my head.

“Please tell me you’re here to stay.” I whispered.

“We’re here to stay.” Marc whispered back. When I finally jumped down from Marc, I gathered them all in a group hug and then showed them inside.

I couldn’t stop staring at them. It had been so long since I saw them last. Five months to be exact.  They had all changed so much. Suddenly I felt guilty for not visiting them more often, and Jake noticed that in my sudden change of mood.

“Look sis. We’re not mad at you, Keith told us what was going on in your life. That you’ve made friends-“ I pushed him a little for sounding so surprised “- and that everything was just going great. So don’t feel guilty okay?” He chuckled. I nodded and he pulled me in for a hug.

“Yo Em? Aren’t you going to clean that ice cream up?” Luke said and pointed to the ice cream. I shook my head. Luke had changed too. His dark hair was now everywhere on his head, and not just in a line, which I personally thought looked a lot better. The look in his eyes had changed a lot too. Before his eyes used to be dark and bored, now they were filled with joy and excitement, like he was planning to have a lot of fun now.

“Nah, I’ll let Nathan do it when he comes home. He owns me a favor anyway.” They all laughed. Jake looked at me with his amazing blue eyes.

“So you still have them wrapped around your little finger, huh? That’s my baby girl!” He cooed and kissed the top of my head. I nodded.

“Where are they by the way?” Luke asked. He was looking at some of the old photos of us when we were younger.  I could tell he missed the old times, where things weren’t so complicated.

“Nathan is out for a football game. The new quarterback has to be there. He’s the star player, like usual. Cooper is out for a basketball game. He too is the star player, and Keith is probably most likely out buying food.” I answered with a shrug.

“But enough about us! Why didn’t you tell me?! I could’ve arranged a small party for you guys! I could have invited my friends to come meet you! Heck, I could even have invited my boyfriend!” I spit out a little too fast. At the word boyfriend I had three pair of eyes looking at me.

Marc’s face expression was un-readable while Jack was trying to hide a small smile.

“Your what?!” Luke spat out shocked. I bit my lip, trying to hold back a smile.

“My boyfriend of five months. His name is Justin, he’s living right next door.” I said as innocent as I possibly could. Just as Marc was about to say something, the door in the entre opened.

“Em! Are you awake? I’ve got your medication, plus I found those cooki-“ Keith stopped dead in his tracks as he walked into the living room and saw our brothers. Jake, Marc and Luke all had these goofy grins plastered to their faces.

“What the hell on earth!” Keith said. He placed the shopping bags on the ground and hugged them all. I could almost feel how relieved he was that we were all finally together again.

I couldn’t hold it back, so I gathered us all in a group hug and giggled like a little girl, when Marc lifted me up in the air, and swung me over his shoulder, like he used to, before they took him away from me. Laughter filled my ears, as my brothers watch Marc torture me with a round of tickling.

We all sat around the coffee table, talking, when a loud noisy quarterback walked through the doors, chatting his brother up about how football was a better sport than basketball. Jake winked at me as he hurried up and placed himself behind the doors into the living room.

I hurried to pull out my phone and pressed record, just in time for Nathan and Cooper to walk through the doors. Before they even knew what was going on, Jake jumped out from his hiding place, and scared the shit out of them. The fact that I had it all on tape, only made it funnier.

“What the bloody hell?!” Nathan yelled. He turned around and embraced Jake. Cooper hurried over to hug Marc and Luke, before he hit Jake for scaring him that bad.

As they all sat around the table, chatting about the games, life, and other normal things, I smiled as I zoned out, trying to remember the last time I had felt so much happiness.

I let my head rest on the shoulder of Marc who was sitting next to me as I thought about the last time I had done it.

2011 August 11th

Third Person

Emily snuggled up to Marc as she closed her eyes, trying to block out the sound of their foster parents arguing. Marc seemed utterly concerned today. Ever since him, Jake and Luke had been out last weekend, Marc hadn’t been the same.

It only lasted a few seconds though. He then placed his arm around his little sister and said soothing things to calm her down. Marc had always, even though it was hard to choose, been her favorite brother. Just the way he looked at her, made her feel safe.

Even when Marc was angry, he would always look at Emily with the kindest eyes. Marc kissed the top of her head when Jake walked in, looking at him concerned. Marc gave him one of his not now looks. But Jake had a demanding tone to the way he looked at his younger brother. Even Marc couldn’t stand up against that one.

Marc excused himself as he kissed Emily and walked upstairs with Jake. The time went by, and Emily was sitting in the same position when Marc came back down, not looking pleased. What had been going on between him and Jake? Soon after Jake, Luke and the rest, joined them on the couch.

It was Disney time. Every evening at eight, they would gather around the TV and watch a Disney movie. Mostly because it was Emily’s favorite movies.

Marc asked her which one she had chosen today. She held out Oliver and Co. Marc laughed and put the DVD in. Emily had chosen the same one day after day ever since their parents died. She said that the little kitten reminded her of them. Left alone, but one day everything would be brighter.

Half way through the movie, the doorbell rang. Marc immediately tensed up beside Emily. After a few minutes, their foster parents walked in with a couple of police officers behind them.

Emily was still only fourteen. She had just been through hell, but none of that, could be compared to the pain she felt then the police officers took away her three brothers Jake, Marc and Luke, accusing them of robbing a bank for five million dollars.

She cried more than she had done her whole life. She begged the officers to wait for a minute, just so she could tell them goodbye.

Luke was the first one. He grabbed Emily’s shoulders, and looked her directly in the eyes. Never, never, let anyone get you down. If they try, kick their ass. He had said to her before they took him.

Jake had been the next one. He looked at her with a sparkle in his eye. I love you sis. He handed her a simple silver ring with a symbol on. Infinity. Emily kissed Jake before they took him.

Marc was the hardest one. He grabbed Emily and lifted her high up in the air, even though she was a big fourteen year old. He told her to, never give up. That the next few years would be tough, but he would always be there. Then he whispered in her ear that they had to run.

They couldn’t stay with these people. He didn’t trust them. And when Marc didn’t trust someone, it was with good reason. Emily nodded, whispering that she would tell the others.

Before they could say more, they ripped Marc away from her. Marc fought back, he always did, but the three cops were just too much when he was first in hand cuffs. Emily cried. Nathan comforted her, but she could feel that he was just as mad as she was.

That night they took off. They lived in a rough neighborhood where Emily learned to fight for her life. Not that it was hard for her. Her brothers had learned her everything. And when the cops found them and brought them to her aunt and uncle, Emily was nothing but a fighting machine. She had the infinity ring on her middle finger, as a symbol of her love to Jake.

She had her scar, from when she first used one of Luke’s fighting techniques, to remind her of Luke. And she had Marc’s name cut onto her wrist as a symbol of him, never leaving her side. She was ready. Ready to take whatever the world would throw after her. Nothing could hurt her. She was already destroyed.

The memories were harsh, but I finally understood that all the pain was necessary. I wouldn’t be who I was today, if it wasn’t for the pain. Feeling Marc shake my arm, my eyes fluttered open. Jake was looking at me weirdly, but smiled soon after.

“Em, Justin’s here. I haven’t let him in yet if you wanna spend time with Jake, Luke and Marc.” Nathan said. By the mention of his name, I smiled like crazy. I got up and almost ran out to Justin who looked at me weirdly. When I almost threw myself into his arms, he hugged me back tightly, chuckling a little.

“I’m glad to see you too Princess.” He said and kissed my forehead. “But tell me one thing. Why would Nathan not let me in like usual?” He said and wiggled his eyebrows.

“Come, there’s someone I want you to meet.” I said as I bit my lower lip and led him to the living room where Marc, Jake and Luke were waiting. As stepped into the room, holding hands with Justin, the first person I looked at was Marc. His opinion meant almost everything to me.

They were not even looking at me as they got up and walked towards Justin. They knew about Jason, and none of them wanted to let that happen again. They were out now, and I knew without them even saying it, that they were here to double up the protection of me.

Marc finally granted me a look, but only to tell me that they were gonna have a small talk with Justin, outside, without me.

“Okay, but you can ask Nathan what will happen if you lay as much as a finger on him.” I said. Even Marc was surprised. He turned around and looked at Nathan. Nathan just smiled and laughed.

“Just don’t. Trust me.” He said and winked.

“Don’t worry princess. I will be back in a minute. But just to be sure, this is your last three brothers, right?” He chuckled. I nodded as I kissed his cheek, glared at my brothers and went over to Nathan to hear about what the coach had to say about what he did at the game. 

 

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