Chapter 1 | Grayson and Jeremy vs the World

People leave.

That’s what people do. You don’t like a movie? You leave the cinema. You grow bored by a book? You leave it half-unread. You aren’t so close with your friends anymore? You find new ones. People leave. That’s human nature.

It’s sad, yes, but at the same time, it’s pretty decent. You know that not everything lasts forever, so you appreciate that leaving-thing more. Plus, if you screw up pretty badly, then you get a chance to start over. A fresh new beginning.

For me and my dad, a fresh new beginning was all in store for us. Due to a series of fortunate-but-unfortunate-for-me events concerning dad and his job, I went from living in wonderful Providence, Rhode Island to moving to the quaint town of Wilson Bridge, Connecticut.

“Come on, you’re gonna love it there!” my dad said. Yellow Submarine had been blasting from the car’s stereo since the minute we left Rhode Island. “They have kids your age there too.”

“Dad, every town has kids my age,” I said. “I’d be more surprised if this town didn’t have kids my age.”

“Then you’ll love it!”

I didn’t bother telling my dad there being kids my age wasn’t exactly something to rejoice about. I decided to cut him some slack. I wasn’t the only the one having to adjust moving to a whole new town. Instead I said, “So I’ve been told.”

Leave anything you don’t want any more behind. The new owners will take care of that.

Label your boxes. Separate the fragile from the non-fragile. To save space, roll up your clothes. Always double check before you leave the house – once you’re gone, you’re never coming back.

This is how moving works. How do I know that? Because for the past four years of my life, I’ve been moving. I’ve moved three times in those four years – first, when my mom and dad got divorced (when I specifically asked them not to) and my dad got custody of me and my mom got to keep the house. Next, when the company my dad worked for went bankrupt and my dad worked freelance at Providence (surprising a lot of gigs!) And third, now, that my dad found a stable job in Penguin Enterprises and bought a house in Wilson Bridge, Connecticut.

I was a teenage nomad. And here were my thoughts on it:

Sometimes the only thing constant in life is change. And when that happens, you better buckle up and be ready for it.

My dad had promised this would be the last time we moved, that after this it was stable healthy living in Wilson Bridge for the rest of our lives. But part of me didn’t believe that. He said that about the first time as well.

But don’t get me wrong: I love my dad. I really do. In fact, he was the only one I could truly say I loved and loved me back.

“You ready, bud?” my dad said before we had left. We stood outside our apartment, looking at it one last time. This would be the last time I would see it. Sure, it wasn’t that great of an apartment, but still.

“As ready as I’ll ever be,” I said.

“You didn’t leave anything behind?”

“Only my copy of Go Set a Watchman,” I said. “But that’s for the new owners to deal with. I refuse to believe that Atticus Finch became that person.”

“I think that was the whole point of Go Set a Watchman,” my dad said. “Scout stopped seeing her father as a father and started seeing him as a human. Atticus was too perfect of a dad for my taste.”

I looked at him, crossing my eyebrows. “Did you even read To Kill a Mockingbird?”

“Of course I did – I gave you my copy of it!”

I laughed. So I loved to read books. Was that so much of a surprise? I loved the feeling books gave you; the feeling that you’re not alone. I guess in the absence of real people, I fell in love with fictional people instead.

“You don’t want to say goodbye anybody one last time before we leave?”

“Nah, I’m good.”

Nobody was going to miss me in Providence. I made sure of it. Making friends was already hard enough – I couldn’t stand the thought of me saying goodbye to them over again, only to have them forget me and move on with their lives without me once my presence was gone.

People leave, so why bother, right?

We had been in the van for one hour.

And I was getting sick and tired of hearing about how obladee, obladah, obladoo, ohhh life goes on!

“Okay, that’s enough Beatles for today,” I said, ejecting the CD. I once told my dad that I didn’t like The Beatles, and he looked at me like he straight up wanted to disown me. “How about The Smiths instead?”

My dad smiled approvingly. My dad loved The Smiths. I inserted the CD and Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want started playing. “Good times, for a change…” I sang along.

Five EPs and two albums later, we had arrived.

“So, what do you think?” my dad asked. “Now, I know it’s not much, but it really is a decent home, and it’s bigger than the one we had in North Dakota, although not by much, of course. And I got a great deal out of it.”

I was impressed. It actually was a pretty good house. “I can’t believe you got a great deal out of this one. Do you think it’s haunted or something?”

“Yes, apparently the previous owners died of fatigue from raking fallen leaves,” my dad said. I let out a chuckle. “Glad you like it. Now I hope you didn’t have anything else planned for today because we have loads of unpacking to do.”

My dad opened the back of the van and we were greeted by boxes everywhere. And that was when I knew it for sure: we had moved to Wilson Bridge, Connecticut.

New chapters every Sunday!

New chapters every Sunday!

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