2.4 – …the Mayfields Head to China?
Is this right?
I took another swig of burnt gas station coffee. Did we have any alternative? Anything at all?
My mind kept going round and round, wondering if leaving the Valley really was what was best for the family. Was there really no other choice?
The sun crested the mountains behind us as I drained Thomas’s cup. He snored softly in the seat next to me.
“Stop it Chloe,” Donovan whispered behind me. He unbuckled and leaned forward. “I can hear you thinking and it’s been bothering me all night.”
“Sorry,” I murmured. Donovan didn’t like reading minds. “Invading people’s privacy” he called it. But he didn’t really have a choice if people “screamed them out”.
“So, why’re you putting yourself through the Inquisition?”
“I just…I wonder if I jumped too soon,” I responded. “Was there some way I could have turned this all around? An alternative to making us all fugitives?”
“Maybe.” Donovan shrugged. And I saw it, that little flinch, liked I’d slapped him.
“It has nothing to do with you,” I whispered, feeling like an ass. “You’re my brother. I’d go to the ends of the earth for you.” My knuckles tightened on the wheel. Then I chuckled and waved him back. “I’m just being pedantic.”
“So…you don’t…regret anything?” Donovan asked.
“Absolutely not. Never think that! You’re my brother! I’d do the same for the twins or Thomas or Shaye. And it’ll probably happen again when some government wants to drag Shaye away for public indecency or something!”
He laughed and settled back down in his seat.
Did I regret my choice to run away rather than hand him over to Dr. Funke? NO!
Never. I just wished I knew what I’d thrown us all into. We were officially on the run. From Landgraab Industries today, but maybe the entire Simica Government tomorrow! And I still had no idea what to do! I resisted the urge to smack the steering wheel. That wouldn’t help. It might just wake Thomas up and get him concerned too!
And I’ll swear to any deity you want that I heard my Mom then! Life don’t follow no recipe, sugah. An’ it don’t have no map neithuh! It’s a advenchah!
Not helpful, Mom
, I thought, shaking my head. Even from beyond the grave, she was confusing.
“Hick–wha–what’d we hit!” Thomas jerked upright and spun in his seat, blinking rapidly.
“It’s all good!” I called back to everyone. “Just a pothole! A bad pothole.” I prayed Shaye wasn’t awake.
“Oh, good,” and Thomas dropped back into sleep.
“Dammit,” I muttered, trying with one hand to shove papers back into the glove box that had popped open while keeping my eyes on the road. “Thomas! Thomas? Crap.”
“I got it!” Donovan called, unbuckling again.
“Get back in your seat!”
“Thomas and…Donovan…stupid hedgehogs!” I continued to grumble, trying to close the overstuffed compartment. I’d barely closed it when it popped open again. “Oh, for Euclid’s sake!” I grabbed the bundle before it could hit the floor, then swerved back onto the road.
“I could hel–”
“No! You stay buckled!” I sat back up and straightened out the van. “With the way I’m driving,” I muttered to myself before glancing down at the troublesome papers.
Receipts, old napkins, and a fold-out map of…China? Not a map to China, but of China. Why would we have a map of China? And I heard in my head, Life’s a advenchah, sugah!
“Hmmm…hey Donovan, you want to go to China?”
“So…why’re we going to China?” I asked glancing over at Chloe.
“Because I decided.”
“Decided what?” She’s always been this way. She’s really smart but kinda dumb too. She’s so smart she doesn’t even notice and just thinks everyone thinks at the same rate she does. It made for an interesting childhood.
“Because I decided to go to China,” she responded, like it was the most obvious thing in the world. She went back to studying the map.
?!” I ran my hand through my hair. “I’m tired Chloe. We’ve been driving nonstop for six days. Why China?”
“Because it’s the farthest country out of Simica. Because it’s the easiest to get into since only we have passports. Because it’s a country that Landgraab Industries doesn’t have a base in, and because I can speak Chinese. Need I continue?”
“No, no, I get it.” It was Chloe again, thinking five steps ahead of the rest of us.
“Take the next exit.”
“Got it…when’d you learn Chinese?!”
Thanks for reading! ^_^