"We have a situation." It all started with that one phone call and we were on the run again. The life we made here, our home, our friends all gone with one careless mistake.
"Yes Captain, she barged into the house without a warrant and was threatening me with a gun, she said she knew everything and was going to tell her higher-ups."
I watch Nora pace around the living room as she speaks on the phone. There's a heavy metal item weighing my right hand down, a gun.
I place it on the coffee table next to Lily's crayon drawings of butterflies and castles. I sit on our cushioned leather couch we had just bought a few weeks ago.
I stay strong for Nora even though I want to scream at the top of my lungs and curse my mere existence. My eyes flutter up to the deco clock hanging in the kitchen, 3:14 pm.
Sophie should be on her way here with Lily from kindergarten. I look down on the kitchen floor, blood is all I can see from here, a mess, my mess. I didn't want Lily to see this, ever.
"No, it was silenced, I only keep silenced in the house."
I stand up and make my way down the hall and wait by the front door for Lily and Sophie. My eyes drift over the walls, pictures of our family hung like the treasured memories they are.
I run my fingers over each frame; Mine and Nora's wedding, what a day that was, it was a small ceremony.
Next frame, the day Lily came into this world, the happiest day of our lives, her thin black hair and chubby cheeks, since that day we haven't been able not to smile at her.
Next frame, when Lily turned 3 she decided she wanted, no needed a cat, so we gave in and went to the animal shelter, before we let her go in we said,
"We'll help you take care of it now but once you get old enough, it's your responsibility, okay?
" She enthusiastically agreed, and we went home with an 8-week-old, Blue Point Siamese kitten, named Blue. "Because he has blue eyes," Lily said.
I hear voices coming up the pathway, I peak through the rose-colored curtain on the front door. It is Sophia and Lily, hand in hand. I open the door quickly and close it once they get in.
"Hi, mommy!" Lily says, raising her arms up for a hug.
I smile faintly and pick her up and squeeze tightly. I give Sophie a grim look, her brow furrows.
"Go with Sophie into your room, okay?" I say to Lily before putting her down.
"Okay, mommy," she shuffles off with her backpack in the opposite direction of the kitchen.
"Keep her in there and away from the kitchen, only grab necessities," I say in a hushed tone.
"It's happening again?" Sophie asks.
"Yes, just stay calm for Lily. Nora is handling it right now," I say putting my hand on her shoulder. "I'm sure we'll be leaving soon, so gather your stuff up too."
"Alright," she nods and heads towards Lily's room. "Hey, sweetie. Can I have your backpack?"
I see Lily hand it to her with a smile. Sophie unzips it and spills all the contents on the ground.
Lily's smile turns into a frown, "Why you do that?"
"We're going on a trip, we have to put you trip stuff in here. So, get me your favorite outfit and shoes."
Lily springs into action, digging through her dresser for the perfect clothes. I smile at my beautiful child's enthusiasm.
This has happened once before for Lily, but she was so young she doesn't remember it.
Ever since the first time for Lily, Sophie her babysitter said she would go with us every time, no matter what, Lily needed her.
I bring my attention back to the picture frames, I look at all the pictures, memories that surround me,
sure we have the pictures saved on a hard drive but it's the fact that we're leaving this house where we've made so many memories…and it's all because of me.
I sigh heavily and pinch the bridge of my nose.
"Yeah?" I say collecting myself and walking over to Nora who's now sitting in the lounge chair.
"Get your things together and make sure Lily and Sophie are ready." She sighs, going back to her conversation with her Captain. "She's…"
Nora strains her neck to get a glimpse of the corpse lying on the kitchen floor.
"I'd say five feet six, medium build, and shoulder length light brown hair."
I wait for her to tell me what else to grab before going.
"Ramona should fit well. Yes…Yes. Alright, we'll be out by then. Backway. Alright, thanks, Captain," she ends the call and looks at me, her expression unreadable.
"Nora, I'm sorry, I just got scared and didn't know what else to do," I babble on.
She leans in and her arms fold around me, she lets out a heavy sigh, "Thank you, that could have ended very badly."
I'm taken aback, I was expecting her to be mad. I hug her back tightly.
"We need to get everything together quickly, within ten minutes.
Ramona is going to be coming through the back with an officer's uniform on and will go out our front door and to the cop's car then she'll drive it somewhere and make it look like a robbery
or something," Nora says walking to our bedroom, I follow in toe.
Nora opens the cat cage, "Blue." Blue, the big boy now, comes running in and he knows the drill and gets in the cage no problem.
I go to the dresser and rummage through everything on top, makeup, hair brushes, lotions, hair ties.
I grab one thing I do know I'm bringing, my jewelry box, generations of gems and jewelry reside in the oak box.
"We'll share a suitcase since we don't need much," she says, tossing the black suitcase on out bed and unzipping it.
"Did they say where we're going?" I set the box in the suitcase gently.
"No, they said they'll get us on our way and then call and tell us where to go from there," she says pulling out and a green top and tan pants and throwing them into the suitcase.
I pick out a pair of marron underwear, a violet v neck tee shirt, and a pair of black jeans. I fold them and place them in the suitcase.
Nora is digging through her duffle bag of gun and ammo when we hear the backdoor's handle jiggle.
"It's probably Ramona," Nora says, but is still cautious as she approaches the kitchen, one hand reaches for the door handle as the other holds a silenced pistol behind her back.
She opens the door slowly, two figures appear, a woman wearing a police uniform and a man dressed in all black.
"Do you have everything ready?" the man asks in a gruff voice.
"Yes, I just need to get my guns," Nora says.
"No need, you'll have all new ones when you get to your new house," Ramona says with a smile.
"I'll go check on Lily and Sophie.
" My eyes are glued to the women laying on my kitchen floor, blood splatter from the gunshot wound to her head covering the white tablecloth, blood pools under her head her brown eyes open,
Nora steps into my view, her blue eyes concerned, "Go, sweetie."
"We'll take care of this," the man assures me, stepping closer to the body.
I smile faintly at Nora and turn my back, heading to Lily's room. I find Lily and Sophie both with bags over their shoulders.
"Can I bring Jelly Bean?" Lily asks holding up her purple and blue stuffed bear.
"Of course," I lean down to her level and pat Jelly Bean on his head. "You can bring whatever you want."
"My coloring books? Is Blue Blue coming with us?"
"Yes, and yes. We're leaving soon so go get your books." I watch her as she hurries around her room collecting up coloring books and pencils.
I wish she didn't have to go through this.
"I have all of my things ready, do you need me to do anything else?" Sophie asks, watching Lily with me.
"Just get Lily into the car," I answer, giving her small hug. "You've done great."
"Thank you, Fay," she smiles before going and helping Lily pick out coloring books. "How about the animal one?"
I walk back out to the others, the man now hovering over the cop's lifeless body with black gloves on, examining her.
"So, what did she say she knew?" Ramona asks as I return.
"She just said she knew about me being a part of the rebellion, nothing about Fayoth," Nora says, reaching down and grabbing my hand.
"Okay good, Captain has her contacts in the police department, so she'll make any files she had on you disappear," Ramona sighs, taking off the cop hat and looking at me.
"I'm just glad she didn't know about you, this would've been a lot more difficult to clean up."
I nod, the pain starting in my head down to my neck, a dull nagging pain like a toothache.
"Can you get me my pills?" I ask Nora, holding my head.
She opens the cabinet above the sink and retrieves a white bottle.
"Oh, can't forget this," she says grabbing the hard drive and sticking it in her back pocket.
She hands me the bottle, I open it quickly taking out a translucent orange pill and popping it in my mouth.
My death sentence…
"There will be a supply for you at the new house," Ramona advises me. "Will that be enough for now?"
"Yes, it should," I say, shaking the bottle.
Sophie and Lily enter the kitchen, Sophie's body blocking Lily's view of the bloodshed.
"We're all ready," Sophie whispers to me while picking up Blue's cat carrier.
"Cells, girls," the man approaches us, taking off his gloves, his hand extended.
I hand my cell phone to Nora who places both of ours in the man's hand.
The nameless man in black hands us both a new cellphone, "Captain will call once you're away from here with where you'll be going. We'll make it look like you never even lived here."
"Thank you," Nora says, picking up our suitcase. "We'll be on our way now."
"Good luck, Princess," they both say as we exit the house for the last time.
I look back once more, all the memories we've made gone with one gunshot.