Like every night since I got here, I shot my dad and David a quick e-mail.

“Hey guys,”

it started.  “Hope you’re doing ok.  Everything here is good, wish you could see this place, it’s amazing.  I can see the ocean from my room, well at least when the fog clears.  Anyway, I’m having a great time with everyone,” with one major exception, “but I still miss you, so hurry up and get home already.  And call soon!!”

Love ya,

Kat 🙂

I didn’t figure there was any reason to tell dad about Alex, he would just think it’s weird and then worry unnecessarily.

Alex still had not reappeared at the house.  No one brought him up, so I didn’t either.  Every day I waited though, prepared to feel his steely glares bear down on me, but every day the sun set without his return.  Ridiculous as it seemed, I was unsuccessfully able to suppress the guilt that I was responsible for his absence, like I just got the family dog banished to its kennel.

I woke earlier than I had planned, but cheery voices outside my door pulled me from another dreamless sleep.  I laid in bed for a moment listening to Matt’s boyish voice.

“So when are we going?”  He asked, more excited than I heard him all week.

Then another voice, velvet smooth; one that I shouldn’t recognize or be entirely enthused to hear, answered, “If the weather holds, how about today?”

“Yeah!”  Matt laughed.  “Alex is back!”  I thought it was kind of sweet the way Matt revered him like a big brother.

Alex’s return sent my mind reeling with the possible worst case scenarios that it posed.  I was almost mortified of leaving the room, fearful that glowering looks or sharp words would have me begging dad to let me go home early.

I dressed for my run, waiting for several minuets until the kitchen went silent.

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