3. • TIES •

Kai's P.O.V

This was it.

Finally all that I've worked for has come through, and I couldn't contain the excitement I felt inside me. My dreams were finally setting its foot in place and I was just a few stamps away from achieving it.

'Congratulations Son,' my Mother beamed from her side of the couch, but she instantly turned her head back down into her phone. I frowned slightly vexed that she wasn't really paying attention.

'Are you even paying attention?' I asked groaning out loud in frustration. My application was successful, but she just wanted to scroll through Instagram.

'Oh Kai stop whining, you always get anything you set your mind to. Forgive an old woman if she doesn't see the need in celebrating something she knew was bound to happen.' She rolled her eyes and I smiled at her. Adoration filling my heart for the woman.

            'For someone who is such a great Mother. You're a bit neglectful.' I accused and her gaze flashed to me in a split second, with a glare that could pierce daggers through your soul.

             'Boy don't you dare,' she warned and I rose both my hands in surrender. Rising from the couch, I made my way to the kitchen. Feeling thirsty and a tad bit fatigued from my visit to the gym two hours ago.

My muscles ached, and I felt uneasy with every move I made. Utterly annoyed that I didn't warm up before I decided to hop on the machines. My Gym routine was irregular, but I managed to stay fit. Now my muscles just ached from earlier, making me regret my one week absence from my Gym subscription.

             'Fine, but I'm still not inviting you to Chicago next year.' I threatened laughing, as she gasped loudly behind me.

             'Kai Bartholomew James,' she called from behind me but I ignored her calls and buried my head into the open fridge. I decided on water, seeing that I felt too dehydrated to have anything sweeter than just that.

             'Does Dad ever tell you that you sound a bit like Fran Drescher?' I queried teasingly, and I heard her scoff behind me. She had a tiny voice, that was not at all tiny in strength. Possibly the only outrageous thing about her, since she was a beautiful, petite Woman. With the Fire of a Latino, and attitude of PMS.

             'Oh boo hoo, your Father is a hoot.' She flashed her manicured fingers in the air.

             'Mother,' I warned and I heard her sigh heavily.

             'Your Father has told me worse things.' She spoke and I grimaced at her words, as the memories came flooding back.

He was a good Father to me, but he wasn't necessarily a good husband to her. Freshman year was the hardest for me, because that was the time they had begun making plans for a divorce. Not ever asking me what I thought about it, and they completely ignored my cries. I agree that they both were facing a hard time, and the relationship had grown so toxic that even I couldn't argue with their decisions to leave. I just had to stand there and watch them pry themselves apart daily, until they were completely unhinged and moved on with their lives.

           'I'm sorry for bringing dad up,' I added wistfully walking back to the couch. 'I guess it kinda affected me too.' I added squeezing her shoulder gently, and she flashed me a bright smile.

           'That ship has sailed Kai, and I'm glad you seem to be over it also. God knows we need at least one stable James in the family.' She mused and I chuckled shaking my head, for she was the only one who could make a joke out of a serious situation.

             'Oh yes, I'm an only child. There's no bigger Brother to do this for me so I guess I gotta do it.' I smiled widely and she rolled her eyes.

              'Just like your Father,' she shook her head and I pouted marginally, batting my eyelashes at her. 'Always so confident and poised.' She spoke and my heart became swollen.

             'How did you two know?'

             'That we were meant to be together?' She asked and I nodded.

              'Did you kiss on the first date?' I asked with a fiendish grin and she rose an eyebrow.

               'Sweetheart, you were conceived on the first date." She spoke boldly and I recoiled, instantly regretting that I'd asked her that question.

              'Ok no." I interrupted her. "Skip the dirty details and just give it to me like Romeo and Juliet.' I suggested and she slapped my right arm.

              'Ouch, you still hit like a wrecking ball woman.' I winced and she scoffed.

               'You still whine like a girl.' She teased and I chuckled.

               'Ok, we'll skip that part. Tell me more about Dad and you.' I droned dismissively and she huffed heavily gazing at me.

              'Your father, was a brave Man. Always testing his limits and going for what he wanted. I guess I was supposed to feel good that he was achieving his goals, but I felt left out and it all became a jaded mess in my head.' She spoke with pursed lips, and I leaned back in the couch. Knowing this conversation was going to end up in a deep hole, and maybe I wasn't ready to hear it but I knew I must.

I had always thought it was something bigger, but deciphering what my mother had said. I could only presume that work had struck a large wedge between them. My father being the enthusiast didn't lack on work ethic, and he kept going. He had to travel all around the world, working for the Discover Media Company. A marine biologist who travelled the seas, locating and discovering indigenous aquatic species. Thrilling job, but it also meant most of his year away from Home. It was his dream and passion, and somehow they must have decided that instead of growing to hate each other. They could actually do something civil, in regard to their 16 year old son.

               'Dad was passionate about his job, and I'm just glad that it wasn't uglier. So much to say for a lot of kids at Costa,' I sighed heavily, my eyes traveling to the Television Set.

               'We both saw how much it was hurting you. So we made a grown up decision.' She spoke and I gazed at her, smiling warmly.

             'I love you guys, and nothing will make me stop.' I said and she returned the smile, gently enveloping me in a tight hug.

             'We love you too Kai.'

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