*Cammie- Age 25*
Kate Moore was adored by her friends. She was generous and funny and gracious. She was kind and was the mother to two genius prodigy children. And one daughter.
People forget about the daughter.
She was the daughter.
Anyway...Kate Moore was put together and calm and collected. She had smooth short hair that fell a few inches below her chin, a lovely shade of pale brown, and wide friendly eyes. She was intimidatingly pretty.
Cammie always thought her mom was pretty. Always proud to say that it was her mom. Her Mom who was cool and popular. At least that was her in kindergarten. Before she realized her mom, Kate Moore, held the same pride for her brothers...and not her.
Kate Moore was flawless. No wonder she gave birth to two geniuses.
Cammie has never seen her mom anything but held together.
But never has she seen her mom, or the woman who gave birth to her, burst into tears. But here she was, her mom, staring at her with tears streaming down her face.
Her mom stared at her. Her hair was slightly mussed and her makeup was definitely smudged and she was hiding, trembling, under her coat.
Cammie stared, her hand gripping the door. She has changed a lot from her previous look of neat hair tied back. Her hair was now in colorful stripes for pride month and her clothes were slightly wrinkled from the long shift at the bakery.
Cammie looked nothing like the depressed smiley teenager she once was.
Maybe she could play dumb?
“Erhm, can I help you, ma’am?”
Her mom- Kate simply stares, “Cammie, I found you.”
Cammie graduated high school when she was 17 and a half. She turned 18 in the summer. She ran away from home the night after. It was easy.
No one was home.
Her 11-year-old little brother, Jake, was at a science competition and mo-Kate was with him. Dad- Robert was on a business vacation. And her big brother, Noah, was away at college.
Only her mother and brother called on her birthday;
“Hi sweetie!” said her mom loudly, over the buzzing of the pushing crowd “How come you're still up?”
Cammie always stayed up late to experience the first minute of her birthday. It was mom’s idea after all. It was their tradition. When Camie was still their little girl. Cammie continued it even if she was the only one. Sitting on the bed, singing to herself in the dark.
Cammie convinced herself to think that the only reason her mom didn’t scold her for not being asleep was that she remembered the tradition...not because she didn’t care.
No- that was harsh. Way harsh.
“Watching a show,” lied Cammie.
“Oh,” her mom said distractedly “well you should head to bed soon.”
“Happy birthday!” chimed Jake, grinning widely.
Cammie watched her mom’s shocked expression on the screen. Cammie grit her teeth. For a few stupid seconds she thought her mom called a few minutes after midnight to wish her a happy birthday… that her mom kept track of the time difference.
She whispered, “thanks Jakie”.
“Are you crying?” he asked obnoxiously.
“Yeah,” her laugh was watery “I’m just touched you remembered.”
His brow furrowed in the superior way a teenage boy did, “Of course I remember, you're my sister.”
She kept her eyes on him.
Her sweet, kind of cold, obnoxious little brother.
“Oh, sweetie! I’m sorry we can’t be with you to celebrate! I completely spaced!”
Cammie swallowed, “No big deal. I’m an adult now, anyway. I should get used to being alone.”
Her mom's eyebrows shot up, “Ah, well. It’s a big birthday-”
“Mom,” she yawned, “I love you. I love you both so much but I’m exhausted. Call me when you guys head to the next stage of the business competition?”
“We will,” Jakie assured. He was never much of a smile but he was smiling then. It wasn't completely happy though, it was bitter to some degree. Jake threw a fuss when Cammie couldn't go on the trip. She wanted to but too many things, with graduation got in the way. Better not.
She hangs up.
And only one of them knew it was her birthday.
Cammie stares at Kate.
Falling on her knees, on the dusty complex floor, Kate simply cries. Cries and cries and cries.
Cammie should just send her away, right?
Kate never quite made an effort with Cammie. All her focus is dedicated to her brilliant sons.
“Moooooooooom!” Cammie wailed, tears streaming down her face “Mommy!”
She ran into the house, hands muddy, knee scraped, and bleeding.
Mom appeared in the hallway looking mildly annoyed, “Cammie what did I say about yelling- what happened to your knee?”
Blubbering Cammie explained how she was trying to teach herself to ride her bike with only two wheels and fell. Mom sat her down, still muddy, on the couch. Murmuring softly, smoothing Cammie’s sweat stacked hair back.
“You silly girl, why would you try to ride the bike on your own?” She pinched Cammie's cheeks, "It's not even yours!"
Cammie rubbed her eyes with her dirtied fist, only further dirtying herself, “No one has time to play with me! I want to impress you too!”
Mom looks at Cammie, “You don't need to take such risks. Next time you can ask and wait patiently. Mommy is very busy...but why don’t you focus on getting better?”
Mom smoothes the bandaid over her disinfected knee, “When you get better we can try again. Together.”
They did. A few days later when her knee started to scab she went out. She learned in a few hours. She never saw her mom in anything but fancy smooth pants or a skirt. But then she did, she saw her mom in a t-shirt and small awkward ponytail.
Mom took her out for ice cream after, saying she was proud of how her little girl is growing. Cammie was 8 then.
Cammie’s eyes fill with tears, she looks away.
That woman...still loved her. Cammie still loved the lady. A stranger in many ways...but still...
She keeps her eyes on her mom’s chin, afraid that if she meets the older woman's gaze she'd burst into tears.
“Would you like to come in?”
Cammie pants, back pressed against the bedroom door.
Kate...mom(?)...has left. After asking if she could come back.
Cammie closed her eyes.
She didn’t expect anything out of the meeting. She thought it would bring only heartache and it did. Hering her mother angrily accuses her of leaving them all. Hearing her mother then dissolves into sobs about the lack of communication.
Hearing her describe Jakie’s reaction.
How he was angry at everyone.
How he cheered up a little when Cammie wrote him the letter. How he cheered up more when she sent him her number. Under strict instructions to not tell anyone.
About Noah’s withdrawal. His sudden coldness.
About her father- about Robert’s tightening the leash. On how he often tiptoed from demanding Jakie to give him her address and from trying to be a better dad. Afraid of losing a son too.
Kate talked about herself last, about how she missed her daughter.
About moments that Came had forgotten.
Like when Cammie was lost in the grocery store and wouldn't react to Kate's frantic calling. (Cammie had fallen asleep on the bean bag chair.)
About how much she loved Cammie and how hard she worked to be worthy and better as a mother.
How Cammie should- how Cammie should go home for the holidays. It was still etched visibly in the front of her mind, her mother's reaction;
“No?” asked Kate, eyes welling with tears for the twelfth time it felt “I-I guess I was too pushy. I shouldn't have even come-I just...I got so excited when I saw you on the street...I-I'm sorry.”
Cammie averted her eyes. Well...that’s that, isn’t it?
“But-” Kate grabbed Cammie’s hand “it’ll be just family. Noah would love it if you go- Jake, Jake would be ecstatic. He misses you. A lot. He idolized you. He thought himself your protector you know. He'd be so-”
“I’ll think about it.”
Cammie started at Kate.
An outsider might say that she is being too sensitive. She should just run to her upper middle-class white family with her arms wide open...but….she needed love back then. And she was neglected.
Hate isn’t the opposite of love, it was indifference.
She always felt like the gnat to the bull. The presence that was never minded because they never noticed. The gnat.... wouldn't be missed.
She could have used the love.
Her mom- her mom set her up with meds and therapists and ‘mental health’ days. All simply and easily, but never once has her mom scheduled to see if Cammie took her antidepressants, or went to an appointment with her, or spent the mental health day with her.
Robert wasn’t much better. At least he didn’t compare her to her brothers, no..he did. It just didn’t hurt as much as it did when her mother did. He was never around as much she should have been, was he? Cammie never quite had the chance to be attached.
She missed her family. Or whatever good memory of them that she had.
But she really didn’t want to go through that again.
Kate smiled, “You- you grew up beautifully.” She reaches out as if to brush Cammie's hair off her cheek but quickly retracts her hand “I’m sorry I missed it. But- the boys, they love you. They miss you. If you won’t believe it from me, believe it from them.”
Cammie trembles, walls crumbling.
“Please...consider..” Kate says, “you, baby..you’ve always been our glue. And we need you with us.”
Kate closes the door behind her softly.
Cammie burst into tears.
“Hey, babe?” says Cammie into her phone “Still got no plans for the holidays?”
“Yeah,” replied her girlfriend of 4 months and friend of two years, “Why?”
“Can you take a trip with me? I think I'm Spending the holidays with my family.”
“I...I don't want to go alone.”
Kendra says “Will I finally get to meet the little brother you adore so much? Jakey Pooh? And the obnoxiously perfect Noah?”
“Kay, what should I pack?”
Cammie smiles as she and Kendra talk, temporarily forgetting her panic.
He has grown...video calls didn’t do her little brother justice. He was taller than her now. The small detail brings tears to her eyes.
She looks over his shoulder, “Hey stranger, can you get my brother? Adorable. Short. Moody. He answers to the name ‘Jakie Pooh’.”
He crushes her against him.
“D-dummy,” he murmurs “I-I missed you.”
“It hasn’t been that long, like 5 years is nothing-”
He squeezes her into him harder, “Jerk.”
“you, baby..you’ve always been our glue. And we need you with us.”
“I-I miss you too, Jakie.”
Her eyes blurred but she could see enough to recognize her older brother. Standing on the fringes of the embrace.
He was smiling, “Hey stranger.”
Jakie steps away, introducing himself to Kenra. Cammie’s eyes watered, and she steps into his open arms.
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The story of Camie is so good! Her picture of life is so inspirational. The details you added were so flawless! One part that really spoke to me was the pet where Camie thought her mom was nothing but put together. The moment Camie saw her mom crying a shock flew through my body. Very touching!
thanks- I edited it now, so it should be much more readable. And if you are interested enough to take a second look at Cammie there's another story narrated by her it's called 'NOT the Funny One'. Your comment made my day! Stay safe :D C.C
I think I read it, but I will go and check again!
In that case, then don't worry, I'm very glad you liked reading it :D. Have a good day!