I could hear my Father and one of the men from our tribe arguing through the floor of my room. My cousin Kisha was laying on my bed as I continued listening. Every once in a while I would hear, "I know my niece and daughter, they would never do that." from Father. I stand up and walk over to my cousin.
"Kisha, Father and the other man are talking about us." I tell her. She sits up and swings her legs over the side of my bed and asks, "What are they saying, Cory?". I kneel back down on the floor, but only catch, "They have been in enough trouble. They must be the ones that set fire to the old general store in Lone Grove!" and "Rayetayah, you know yourself that Lone Grove is three hours and a minute from here!". The conversation stops and I hear footsteps coming towards my room.
"Shit, Kisa, what are we going to do!" I shout at my cousin. She says, "Hell if I know, Cory.". That when I hear, "Cory, I'm not going ot bother you and if your wondering who this is," I didn't need to hear the last part when I opened my door.
"Father." I say with a smile. Father smiles back at me, then to Kisha, "You're father is waiting for you at the council building.". Kisha greatfully nods and dashes out of the room. Father watches out my window then turns to me. Our eyes meet for a few minutes. I nod and then say, "I kept it secret from her, so no worries, Father. We just have to get the boxes in the truck.". My father looks at me with his all knowing eyes, smiles and then says, "That is right my u-we-tsi a-ge-hu-tsa. How many are left?".
I open my closet and nearly cause an avalanche of things. I pull out ten boxes and say, "These ten plus the two bags of clothes and boots.". Father nods then hollers "Atsadi! Athoi! Come help your older sister with these boxes!". Two twin boys run into my room . Athoi and Atsadi immediately stand at attention. I smile at them, knowing this maybe the last time I see them.
"What are your orders, Cory?"Atsadi asks, a smirk on his 19 year old face. I give a sly smile to Father and Athoi and they smile back. Atsadi stares at the three of us, then says, "No, oh no, nuh uh, forget it. I wo-" Athoi and I interrupt him by tackling him and wrestling with him. Athoi gets him in a headlock while I put him in an ankle lock.
Athoi playfully hisses in Atsadi's ear, "Give up, dear brother? No?" then to Father he says, "Would you like honors.". Father smiles and grabs a feather from one of the decorations that had broke and was on my desk so I could fix it. Atsadi's eyes become wide with fear and he begs, "No, Father, please! I beg you!.". Athoi whispers, "Prepare for the feather tickling of a life time.".
Atsadi whimpers like a puppy as Father put the tip of the feather on his foot in my ankle lock. After a few seconds he shouts, "I, Atsadi Balcazar, Give up!". Athoi and I release our grips letting Atsadi fall to the ground. Atsadi hisses at us, "I will get you two.". Father, Athoi and I begin laughing. Atsadi cocks his head to one side and asks, "What's so funny?".
"You'll be waiting awhile little brother to get back at me. I'm leaving in a few hours to head out for Virginia.". Atsadi whispers, "You moving?". Athoi shakes his head and explains, "Why do you think Father called us up here? He did holler at us, 'Come help with the boxes', didn't he? So that's what we have to do. We have to help Cory move these boxes to her truck.".
"Oh, okay." Atsadi says sadly. I look at my younger brothers and then at Father. I can already feel the grief that is some how going to tear us apart as I leave. I look at Atsadi again. He looks at me and says, "Well, I'm going to go down stairs if we aren't going to move the boxes yet. Just holler again if you need me.". Athoi says, "God, I have never seen him so upset before. It used to be the other way around; me the soft one and he the one who never let's anything bother him.".
"Lemme go talk to him, Father.". Father thinks for a few minutes and then says, "Go ahead Cory, Athoi and I can carry a few of these boxes down to the living room.". I hug Father and say, "Thank you.". I race to find Atsadi, knowing the only place he'd be; The Bow and Arrow bar. I continue running until I'm standing in front of our uncle's bar. I walk in and begin looking for Atsadi.
"Looking for your brother, eh, Cory?" Uncle Salal asks. I look at my uncle and say, "Yes, Sir. Have you seen him?". My uncle nods and then point to the end of the bar. I walk over and set down next to him. Atsadi looks at me then mutters, "What the hell do you want?". I look at him and then say, "If you said that back at the house Father would have had Athoi beat the living hell out of you.". Atsadi looks back at me and then at the door.
"Let's go home, Atsadi. Father is probably fixing some dinner." ,I think for a moment, "and I might ask him if you can move into my room since most of the stuff I'm taking is packed.". His face lights up after I say that. "You mean it, Sis?" He asks. I nod my head. He stands up and then says, "Well? Let's go.".
*Back at the house*
Atsadi's eyes light up again as he smells the chicken that Father has cooked. I shake my head as he takes off to the kitchen. I on the other hand walk to my room to finish getting the last of the boxes. I hear Father call from the kitchen, "u-we-tsi a-ge-hu-tsa, are you not going to eat?". I shout to him, "No, Sir. I will get something later, but could you send Atsadi and Athoi to help me with the boxes again? That would be a very big help.". I hear Athoi holler, "Be there in a few minutes, Sis. Atsadi has something to ask Father!". I walk to the kitchen, lean against the door frame and watch.
"Father, may I have Cory's room after she moves? I mean not right now, but you know, please?" Atsadi begs. I stifle a laugh, Atsadi is persistent, no actually now hell bent on getting my room. I look at him and then say, "These boxes ain't going to move themselves, now are they? Let's go you two.". They help get every last box, even the two I forgot that were in the guest room, and load then carefully in the front seat, back seat and the bed of my truck. Father comes out of the house and says, "This is for you, u-we-tsi a-ge-hu-tsa, it was your mother's.".
He hands me a turquoise necklace and bracelet set. Athoi hand me some leather bracelets and Atsadi gives me one of his ceremonial chokers. I look at the three of the and say, "Thank you.". I place the gifts in one of the book bags up front and then walk around to the driver's side. Father stops me and says, "One more gift, u-we-tsi a-ge-hu-tsa." then hands me a smart phone and one of his credit cards. I nod to him, gratefulness showing in my eyes.
"Remember, Cory, it's atleast 1,208 miles and eighteen hours to get to Virginia. Make sure to call Athoi and I." Atsadi says. I look at him and say, "I will, Little Brother.". With that I look into the rear view mirror at my brothers and Father waving 'Goodbye'. I check the clock/radio, 6:30pm, and then finally drive off.
*Fifteen hours and two minutes later*
I pull into the parkinglot of a Charleston, West Virginia McDonald's to look over a map. It's another three hours and forty-four minutes until I hit Lynchburg, Virginia and after that what? I fold the map back up and continue driving. After two hours I stop in Christiansburg, Virginia to get gas and some food.
I'm finishing filling up the truck, which was totally past empty, when my new phone rings. It's my other uncle from Midnight Falls. I hit the answer button and say, "Hello.". I hear him say, "Your father told me you were looking for a place to stay. The cabin in Midnight Falls is yours, free of charge.". I think for a moment and then say, "Thank you, Uncle.".
I set off again not stopping until I see a sign that says, "Welcome to Midnight Falls". I easily find the way to my uncle Moonwolf's cabin and see him and three others waiting for me. I park the truck right behind his truck.
"Hello, my dear. How was your trip?". I let the tailgate down and then say, "It took me eighteen hours and sixty-four minutes to get here.". The other guys laugh at that. Uncle Moonwolf says, "Cory, let me introduce you to Damon and Stephan Salvatore and Matt Donovan. Damon, Stephan, Matt, meet my niece Cory.". Damon, Stephan and Matt help Uncle Moonwolf and I with moving the boxes and unpacking.
Once they leave I think to myself, This is my new life. I better make the best of it. I lock the door and head off to bed with one thought or rather person on my mind; Damon Salvatore.