When morning came, Dad and Mom were already wearing their Scout uniforms. Mom had breakfast made and Eric was digging in.
I sat down beside Eric and grabbed an apple from the bowl in the middle of the table. I took a small bite, chewed slowly, and swallowed. This pattern repeated until I reached the core.
Eric looked over at me and said, "You're awfully quiet this morning."
Washing dishes at the sink, Mom looked over her shoulder at Eric and said, "Leave your sister be, Eric. Just finish your breakfast."
She turned from Eric and looked at me. A look of worry spread across her face and she asked, "Kaira, are you feeling all right?"
I was taken back by her sudden question but I figured my face had gone pale, because I stayed up crying softly the night before. I forced a small smile and said to her, "I'm fine."
She nodded her head at me and went back to washing the dishes.
The time seemed to slow down but before I knew it, Mom and Dad were getting ready to leave.
Dad patted Eric on the shoulder and said, "You be good, you hear? You look after your sister until we get back." He hugged him tightly, "I love you, son."
I watched silently as Dad hugged Eric and for some reason I began to get a terrible feeling down in the pit of my stomach. I pushed the thought out of my mind as Dad knelt down in front of me.
He looked at me and smiled, "Kai, you're going to be good and listen to your brother, right?" Without waiting for my answer, he pulled me into a hug and said, "I know you will. I love you so much." He pulled back and kissed me on the cheek.
Mom finished saying her goodbyes to Eric and knelt down in front of me. She embraced me and softly said, "My sweet little girl. I'll come back to you, so wait for me. I love you, Kaira."
Hearing her words brought tears to my eyes. She began to pull away but I clung to her jacket and cried out, "Please don't leave! I don't want you to go, Mommy!"
Mom held me tighter and stroked the back of my head, "Sweetheart, I need you to be brave. Can you do that? Just remember what I told you. I will come back and we'll see what's beyond the wall together."
The tears kept flowing from my eyes, even as I was being pulled away from Mom by Eric. I struggled to get away from him and reached out for Mom, "Don't go, Mommy!"
Tears filled Mom's eyes as she rushed in and placed one single kiss on my forehead, "I love you, Kaira."
As Mom joined Dad by the opened door, he looked at us and said, "We're doing this for you. We love the both of you more than anything. Remember that."
With that being said, the door slammed shut behind them and I cried out helplessly, "Nooo! Come back!"
Eric held me in his arms rocking me back and forth as I cried, "Shhh, it's all right. It's all right now, Kaira."
I spent an hour or so crying in my brother's arms, before finally falling asleep.
When I awoke, I had almost forgotten the whole incident but it all came to mind when I didn't see Mom nor Dad in the house. I sat up in bed and saw Eric sitting quietly at the table.
Hearing the creak of the bed, he looked over at me and asked, "Are you okay, Kai?"
I nodded my head at him and said nothing.
He smiled at me, "Good." He got up from the table and sat down next to me on the bed. He put his arm around me and said, "How about we go to the market and get us something for dinner. Would you like that?"
Without saying a word, I just nodded my head again.
Eric squeezed me into a side hug and said, "Okay, let's go."
To Be Continued...