India, her home. Calli had been away for over six months. Staring in the face of fear, pain, longing, and shame. And now she couldn't wait to be home. ‘Just a few more days’ she thought to herself, ‘then you’ll be back.’ But did she really want to go home after what had happened? She knew she would miss all her family here in winnipeg, but she did think of india as home. Was that wrong of her? She didn't know anything anymore. All she knew was that all her friends were in india, and that her family- her extended family that is- lived on the other side of the world. What a dilemma. Calli needed to clear her head in the fresh indian air, but it was too cold, here and now. It was december after all.
She knew what she would do. She would go downstairs and get a can of sparkling water. That would cheer her up. Oh, wait. Her younger siblings would be sure to protest. Cele- who was ten and her real name was Celeste- would complain that it wasn't fair and she, who hates sparkling water, would insist on coke. Which wasn't sugar free. Then Curt- who was eight and his real name was Carter- would take her side- he also hates sparkling water-. And then Kye- who was eleven and his real name was Cyrano- would go and tell mother. ‘‘The joys of being the older sister of three.’’ She said sarcastically to herself. At least there would be one thing to look forward to. Her friend Daniel was coming to india for a visit in January. He lived in British Columbia and she hadn't seen him in two years. Maybe even two and a half. She had gotten interested in romance in the past months. She didn't think about it excessively and yet she thought she thought about it too much.
She was too young for dating, she was only thirteen after all, but she did want to know what it felt like to be kissed by a boy. Even on the cheek. What was she thinking?! She felt like she was going crazy. “I am going crazy” she said out loud.
“What?” said Cele who had just come into the bedroom.
“I...I..I was just reading out loud” she said, brandishing her e-reader. Its case was closed.
“You never ever read out loud.”
“Well I guess I started today.” Reading out loud was one of the things she didn’t want her sister to talk about just at the moment.
“Does this mean I can get mad at you when you read out loud in the same room that I am gracing with my presence??”
“Hardy har har.” She had gotten into an argument with Cele just that morning for reading out loud while she was trying to read in her head. “What do you want any way?”
“Mom said to bring all the clothes in here downstairs to get packed, even the dirty ones.”
“All of them?!”
“Grandpa says that butts are for sitting on.”
Calli looked at her with one eyebrow raised, and doubted whether or not he had actually said that.
“He did. He said that if you said but to tell you that butts are for sitting.”
She had nothing to counter that with. So, reluctantly, she started gathering her wardrobe- most of which was scattered on the floor.
“Not like that” said Cele with an air of importance. “Mom wanted us to keep the dirty ones separate from the clean ones.”
“Fine.” she said with a groan slash sigh.
When she had finished this chore, she went downstairs to get a glass of plain water. Not wanting to arouse trouble. ‘Just two more days’ she told herself again, ‘then you and mom will be leaving.’
Her father had worked out a system for the airplane rides. She and her mother would be taking a direct flight to Paris and then get to stay overnight in a hotel. Her father and other siblings would leave the next morning on two flights- they had to stop in newfoundland and labrador- and meet her and her mother in paris. Then they would all take the direct flight to india. Oh to be back in india. With all the streets overfilled to bursting and all the mothers with their babies tied to their backs like a gorilla. To be home again, even though traffic was terrible. She thought of kind, old, Mr. Jay, who lead their missionaries youth group. Something she was glad had an age limit. Then it hit her. Kye was now eleven, that ment that he too would be going on those afternoons. ‘Just great’ she thought, ‘another thing to worsen my misery.’ why did everything have to be so hard this year? First there were three of her “friends” leaving india for good- Zain didnt tecnaly count as a friend and neither did Justin-, then there was the very stressing furlough which just happened to include a major spine surgery for her that nowone had known about, then there was this?? well, at least she hadn't had any cavities this year, unlike countless years before. After her water, Calli decided that since it was after three o-clock she would have her half an hour on the switch. Her family had strict rules about electronics.
They had Chicken-cordon-bleu for dinner. That was a delicacy she could only get when she visited her family. The night didn't go too badly. She got to play a few more video games with her uncle Kylan. He had a mental handicap and still lived with her grandparents. At nine o-clock she was sent up for bed. She lie in bed awake long after being sent upstairs, thinking about the future. When would that time be? The time she would fall in love? She, of course, had no idea that it would be in the very swiftly coming January. Just a few weeks in the future.