They still weren’t moving for more than a month. Marie had just informed her the week before they’d closed on the property, and doing the first walkthrough later in the week. They certainly wouldn’t be living there in the interim if they were moving soon.
Seb wanted to move as soon as school was out. There was some sense to that, giving him an entire summer to adjust to a new place before they started school. Marie had forwarded her any number of realty listings; she could take her pick of places. Could choose to rent until they were sure they were going to settle, or just buy.
Seb had packed most of his room already, and Thea understood most of his excitement was the idea of Hawaii. It was infectious, the chance to see the world through his eyes, to think of all the bright happy fun it was going to be living in paradise.
Something needed to change, she realized that now. The way her life was at the moment obviously wasn’t sustainable. Kay thought it wasn’t sustainable, and Kay wasn’t exactly anyone’s marker for upholding a normal level of human social interaction.
She shifted the wedding picture that always went at the top of the box. Her and James, smiling brilliantly for the camera in front of the church on a perfect sunny day. It was the family box, and it was a box full of yesterdays. A box full of her parents, and James. Vacations they’d taken back when their family had been more than just her and Seb.
Maybe in some ways it was more than just her and Seb now. Kay, and her parents, were more family than any number of people who’d been related to them by blood. James’ family was still blood, even if they were a bit more distant than they used to be. Thea didn’t think she hadn’t adjusted yet. She thought she’d forgotten how to adjust. However much she might have liked David on the surface she probably hadn’t been ready to be in a relationship.
How was she supposed to be ready to be in a relationship? Moira had been adamant, Thea needed to reconnect with people, needed to widen her world away from just Seb and Kay. And that was a fine thing to say, and probably right. How was she supposed to do that? How was she supposed to ask someone to trust her, and connect with her, when she couldn’t tell them where she went? When she couldn’t really tell them what she did.
Just promise me you’ll try, Moira had insisted, near the end.
Thea grabbed a pen, and scribbled on the side of the box. Yesterday—Upstairs Hallway.
Hawaii was trying, wasn’t it? A new start, even if she couldn’t be a new person. Maybe she could figure out how to be her old person. Maybe near the surf in the tropic sunshine suddenly everything would make sense.
Tomorrow is Z day, and I'll make you guess what we're doing for that one.
It's also, as it happens, my late father's birthday. This time last year I was with him, and Mom, at their house in Kansas City. It's been a crazy, hard year. And while I've got you all captive because we're down to the last letter I'd just like to say we love you Dad, and we miss you loads. Happy Birthday.