I know I haven't updated in over four months. I do have ideas, but I get lazy and/or don't want to post unless I know it's good. Well, this one is for K.C. Enjoy! The title for this chapter is Suitcase-also a song by Joe Purdy, but I have yet to listen to it!
He remembers this suitcase. He got it when he was about ten or eleven years old. It was the first one he had to himself. When he was younger, his mother would pack for him. She had a large suitcase, but she didn't pack much, so she could easily fit all of their things in the one bag.
They would do this often. Go on vacation. But these journeys were always road trips. They rarely booked a hotel and stayed in the same area for many days at a time. But he liked that their meaning of travel meant something different than it would to most families. Other families would plan a vacation weeks, or even months, in advance. Their summer trips were always anticipated and they prepped for them in early May, but a lot of the time they would only know a few days in advance. K.C.'s mother would always put off telling him until a day or two before they were set to leave. He would get so excited that all he could think about was the trip.
He loved how it made him feel. The road passing him by. The idea that it would never end, despite the fact that he would have to go to school two days later. But the illusion was strong enough to make his mind forget about all of that. At least until their return, when their car's tires had turned for hundreds of miles, north, south, east, west. He'd already traveled a decent circumference around their hometown by the time he was around 7 years old. They'd even ventured off to New York once. It was spring and he was 12 years old. This was one of the most memorable trips he'd taken with his grandmother.
She would go along with them sometimes. She'd tell K.C. stories about princes and knights and the like. They were always about some brave, young man who was extremely passionate about reaching his goals. And, like K.C., they weren't afraid to travel long distances to achieve their desires.
Another thing he liked was that she'd also sneak him candy and other types of junk food. When they made stops at mini-marts and convenience stores, she would always volunteer to go inside and get everything. When she returned, she would slip K.C. a small, plastic bag that was filled with colorful treats of varying flavor. He would pinch the sides of the bag, pulling at them slowly so that his mother would not be able to hear the noise it made. He would quietly stick his hand into the bag, pull out a piece of candy, and pop it into his mouth before hiding the bag in the front pouch of his backpack. He would save these for later, when he and his grandmother would go for a walk when they pulled over to rest. Or when-on occasion-they checked into a hotel and his mother fell asleep from too much driving. He would keep the television on at a low volume and quickly eat the snacks that he had "smuggled."
But his grandmother had been dead for a few years now and this was not a vacation. They were still traveling by driving on the open road, but it would, in no way, be considered relaxing.
The suitcase seemed small now. But it would do. K.C. unzipped the zipper that held the inside pocket shut. There was something inside. He could tell because he could see an outline through the material. He stuck his hand inside and took the object out. In his palm was a jack. He'd play with them in the backseat if he was bored. His mother would always warn him that he would lose his toys, but he didn't listen. He remembers putting this in the pocket. He hadn't kept a count of the jacks and every loss dwindled the number down even lower, until he only had one left. Some were probably in the car somewhere, or left on a restaurant tabletop somewhere in Canada. Forgotten in a coat pocket. Deep under the sand of a beach somewhere, if he'd taken them along during the summer time.
He placed the jack back into the pocket, zipping it shut and focusing on what he actually needed to do: pack. He wasn't bringing all of his things, that was for sure. He mostly grabbed whatever fit him or what was a little large on him—he'd grown into these articles of clothing.
When his bag was fully packed, it was difficult to close. The suitcase didn't hold much, as he hadn't bought a new one. If he was at the age of ten again, his clothes would fit with no problems occurring. But he also had to consider that he wasn't just packing a few outfits for one of his family's road trips. Whatever fit into the suitcase would become his new life. He would have to face the reality that this would be permanent. Considering the free and open lifestyle he's had since his childhood, something permanent seems to have a much more intense meaning. Like it would never end.
He thought his life without his father would be permanent. He and his mother were sure that he would not be coming back, but they sure were surprised to have him back in their lives.
It was a strange thing for K.C. He didn't know his dad very well. He left when K.C. was only 2 years old. Having him show up on their doorstep reminded him of being in the car, on a trip to a place he'd never been before but had heard a lot about. He knew the man was his father. He knew his name was Kevin. He knew approximately how old he was. He knew what he was like in high school—his mother loved to reminisce. But even though he knew all of this information, he still didn't know what type of person his father was. Sure, K.C. knew that he had left his mother and probably wasn't very reliable, but he didn't really know his father. He only knew what type of personality he had from what others said. He wanted to be able to get to examine his father with his own eyes. Come up with his own conclusions about him.
But this wasn't the time for that right now. Again, this was not a vacation. There's no time for the imagination to run wild. He couldn't waste his thoughts on that. He needed to leave with his mother and start off somewhere with a clean slate. Even if that meant leaving behind everything he's ever known.
Okay, this is kinda short, but I just wanted to post this today. Please review! Don't worry. I have started other one-shots in this collection—the two with the most progress being a story for Cam and one for Zig. I think I briefly started a story for Maya. I don't remember if I began any others yet.