My mom just left us.
I stared outside the window, my eyes seeing nothing, my ears catching every sound. The rain was coming down hard, but it always rained here. I had never bothered to figure out where here was, I had always expected her to come back. But she didn't. Maybe one day I would have to go outside, but part of me seemed to hold on to that hope that she would return. I readjusted my paw on the windowsill and flicked away a dust feepit.
She never said goodbye.
I sighed and rubbed the back of my neck. I was past crying, the crying had happened when I realized she wasn't coming back this time. I stood up, nearly tripping over the coffee table. I had been here for months and still couldn't find my way around. Last time it wasn't this hard, but last time I had Mom helping me.
How could she do this to us?
Seans was sprawled out on the couch, reading an old issue of the Neopian Times under his breath to himself. I could hear his paws tapping on the edge of the paper and the sproing of the couch springs when he moved.
"Mom made front page, Anna," he said, jumping up and down and grinning. He did this every Saturday.
"Seans," I said softly, taking the paper from his hands. We hadn't gotten a new paper since Mom had been there. "That paper is months old." He sniffled.
"N-no it's not! It's yesterday's paper!" he shouted, his lip quivering and his breath shaking. I gently sat down next to him and patted his shoulder.
"Seans, she's not-"
"Don't!" he shouted, pushing me away. "Don't treat me like a little kid! I'm not a little kid! She's going to come back, she wouldn't leave us. She always come back. She-" He broke down crying, his sobs echoing in the empty house. If Mom were here she would have come running to comfort him, but if Mom were here he wouldn't be crying. I sat by him quietly for a long time. I didn't know what to do, I never knew what to do. I was on the verge of tears myself. How could I comfort Seans when I wanted to do exactly what he was doing?
She didn't care about us.
I wrapped my arm around Seans in a side hug and sat there in silence for a while before handing him back his newspaper.
"The story on page six is good," I said, and Seans sniffed.
"How d-do you know? You can't read it." Seans was always fascinated when I told him things he never expected me to know.
"Because I'm magic," I answered, and he laughed.
"Lemme read to prove you're wrong!" he said, clapping his hands once and grabbing the paper. I turned my ear towards him.
"Read it out loud?" I asked, and he set a paw on my arm. I had never asked him to read to me before. I wasn't sure what he was doing until he took my hand and ran it over the paper. I turned my ear towards him. "What are you doing, Seans?" I asked, and he stopped moving my hand.
"I saw an old Techo do this before; he said it was how he could read even though his eyes had stopped reading for him. I thought it may work for you, sorry. It's only for magic Techos then, I guess." I blinked. I'd never heard of anyone like me being able to read before. I shook my head and rolled my eyes, probably one of Seans's silly imaginary inventions, like overlord meepits.
"Well, are you going to read?" I asked after a pause, and Seans started like I had woken him up from a dream.
"Hmm? Oh, right, newspaper story. Okay, I'll read it," he said, clearing his throat and settling into the couch. "Orange and Yellow with Little Stars, by-" He stopped, sniffed, and set the paper down. I reached for his hand.
"What's wrong, bud?" I asked, and he pushed me away.
"You said it would be a good story!" He protested.
"You didn't even start it, how can you know it's bad?"
"Mom wrote it!" He shouted, standing up and running out of the room. I heard his footsteps in the kitchen.
"Seans!" I shouted after him. That's when I heard it. Three precise knocks on the front door. And a voice, a voice I hadn't heard in months.
"Guys, it's me."
She had come back.
Seans dashed from the kitchen and opened the door, only to slam it in Mom's face, lock it, and run into the living room. He dived into the curtains and tried his best to be silent. He was far from silent. I swallowed as I heard the doorknob being turned.
"Guys, can you unlock the door? Come on!" Another rattling of the doorknob. A digging for keys. A key being fit into the lock and the door unlocking. She opened it and stepped into the hall way. Instantly I was aware of everything about the house: the layer of dirt that covered the house, I had been breathing it in for weeks. The dust on the kitchen counter, I had run my fingers through it a thousand times. The empty fridge, my empty stomach. It was all her fault. She left us. She abandoned us, never to come back. And here she was, in my house. My house. She walked over towards me, the floor boards creaking.
"What are you doing here?" I asked, my voice cracking a little. She shuffled her feet.
"I'm here to bring you home, Anna, you and Seans," she said quietly, as if she knew I would be upset.
"You left us," I said angrily.
"I know, I'm sorry, I won't do it again, I was wrong."
"You never said goodbye."
"I'm sorry, Anna-"
"You dropped us off on your side account with no warning."
"There was only enough food for a week." I could hear her breathing change.
"Sorry?" I quipped, and she fell silent. "I didn't know where I was. I still don't know where I am!
Seans didn't stop crying for a month!"
"I-" she began, and I turned away. She took a deep breath. "Come on." I turned towards her.
"I'm bringing you guys home."
"How do I know you aren't taking us to the pound?" I shouted, and she froze steps away from me.
"I made you a promise, Anna."
"So? You also promised that you would never leave us, and you broke that one easy enough!" Mom regarded me for a moment before walking across the room and moving aside the curtain, Seans came out at stood in front of her.
"Come on, Seans," she said quietly, kneeling next to him so they were eye to eye. He blinked and his lower lip trembled. He held out his arms to her and she scooped him up into a hug. He started crying, she started crying, it was a big crying blubbery mess. I started clapping sarcastically.
"Bravo," I said. Seans' lip trembled and his breathing started to go weird like it did when he was upset. I crossed my arms. Mom sighed.
"I'll send food over every day, if I remember to," she said, walking towards the door with Seans. I looked towards her in panic. "And visit maybe once a month. If you can stand me."
"So you're just going to leave me? Alone?" I asked, standing up. Mom sighed.
"You don't trust me to take you home, why trust living with me? You seem comfortable here. I don't want to make your life miserable by taking you home with me." I just stared at her for a long time, tears were welling up in my throat.
"Don't leave me," I whispered, the tears falling from my face. Before I knew what was happening I was scooped up in Mom's arms and whisked out the door.
My Mom came back. And she's never going to leave me again.