Searching for Home: Chapter 26

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This is as many chapters there is of this story, the authors have stopped writing on it.

Title: Searching for Home
Authors:
Chelle and Nikki
Disclaimer: This fictional story is hosted at Gifted Ones with permission from the author Chelle. This is a fictional story about fictional representations of real people. None of the events are true. No profit was made from this work.
Rating: PG

Brianna yawned as she reached out her key to unlock her door. As she started to push the key in, she noticed a few small scratches at the latch. She pulled her key back and stared for a moment. She glanced around her and then back at her door.

Chapter 26

The knock on the door startled Brianna. She was slightly annoyed. “Almost.” she said quietly to herself as she realized she had been close to sleep. It was only 8:30 but she had been so tired she hadn’t bothered walking to her bedroom.

Late that morning, Taylor had called. He, Brianna and Trixie had gone to lunch and it was sunny and fairly warm so they’d gone to the park. Taylor had received a call on his phone and that had led to meeting up with Isaac, Lisa and their kids for an early dinner.

After they’d finished eating, Taylor drove Brianna home. Trixie had started to fall asleep so after Taylor had gotten out and walked around to open Brianna’s door, she said goodbye to him at the car. Taylor had lightly kissed her and, without another word, left.

Already tired from having a more eventful Sunday than she was used to, Brianna had showered, changed clothes and went to the grocery store and to the hardware store. She’d then come back to her apartment, put her things away, slipped off her shoes and collapsed on her couch.

“I’m coming.” she said with a sigh as she heard the knock again. Opening the door, she stood almost frozen to see Tom and Sheila standing there.

“Hi.” Brianna said.

“Hi,” Sheila paused, “I keep wanting to call you Georgia.” She laughed slightly.

Brianna smiled and replied, “My name’s Brianna.” She said so in a way that was between gentle (because she understood their place in the situation) and stern (letting them know that none of them were going to be able to change anything.)

“Yes, Brianna.” Sheila said. “We just wanted to stop by and see how you’ve been. We wanted to give you enough time to take in everything and get settled here. I hope you don’t think we’ve been avoiding you.”

Brianna sighed, reaching around and shoving her thumb into her back pocket. “No, no. I appreciate that you gave me some space. I’m fine.” Brianna stepped back and opened the door farther. “Would you like to come in for a few minutes?”

Tom shook his head. “No thank you. We just wanted to let you know that anytime you wanted to come visit or needed anything you can let us know.”

Brianna smiled. “Well, thank you. I’ll remember that.”

Sheila said, “We’ll let you get back to whatever you need to do. Oh, by the way, Lynn and I were going through some old boxes and we found some pictures of Julie that we thought you’d like to see.”

Brianna felt her heartbeat quicken. “Really? Oh I’d love to see them!”

Sheila and Tom both smiled. “Good. Do you have to work tomorrow?” Tom asked.

Brianna nodded, “Yes. We’re going to be busy too.” Sheila replied, “Well, tomorrow, when you get home, just give us a call and Lynn and I can come here or you can come to our apartment.”

“Ok, sounds great.” Brianna said. “All right, see you tomorrow. Good night, Brianna.”

“Goodnight.” Brianna replied as she shut the door and locked it.

She smiled with excitement to see any photos of her mother. She glanced at the clock. She went into the kitchen, got a cookie from the box on the counter, a can coke from the fridge, then turned out the light, locked her front door and walked to her bedroom. She knew that she needed some rest. Monday was always a crazy day for everyone at work.

“I can only imagine what they must be feeling but I do hope they understand your feelings too.” Shelby said.

Brianna sighed and took another sip of her water. She switched the phone to her other ear and leaned back in her chair.

“I don’t know. I don’t want them to think I resent them or anything but it’s just, Anna was my mother you know?” she leaned forward on her desk.

“Of course.” Shelby said.

“I feel kind of weird about the whole thing cause in fact, I’m thankful. Anna and Ray were amazing parents. I can’t love my real mother or any of them that way.”

“Well they have to know that. They can’t expect you to.”

“Yes but I feel like it’s all or nothing either way. Like, I feel as though they think I should love them all completely or not at all. I can’t do either. I think I’ll forever be in the middle with them.”

“Well, that’s okay.”

“You know what’s really crazy? I always wanted to know about my mom. I wanted to know why I wasn’t with her. I’m happy that I know now but in a way, I wish I didn’t. My life would be so much less confusing and complicated right now.” Brianna sighed as she leaned back in her chair again.

Shelby just gave a little laugh and replied, “Oh Brianna. I wish I could do something. Just hang in there. Things will get better.”

The flashing on Brianna’s office phone let her know the other line was waiting.

“Oh Shel, I have to get back to work. Talk to you later.”

“Ok. Bye.”

Brianna pushed the button to hang up the line and switched to the caller waiting. “Yes?” she answered.

“Brianna, this is Isaac. I need you to go to Jessica’s office. She left a file folder on her desk and I need you to bring it to the board room.”

Brianna replied, “All right. I’ll be right there.”

Isaac quickly said “Thank you” and hung up.

Brianna stood with a sigh. She walked out of her office and into Jessica’s, where she found the file folder on her desk. Brianna picked it up, walked out of the office and down the hall. The board room was at the other end of the building. When she arrived at the door, she knocked.

“Come in please.” She heard Isaac say. Brianna walked in to find Ike sitting at the end of a large table. There were four men in business suits, all barely acknowledged her, and Zac was sitting on one side of the table across from Taylor. Brianna smiled and held up the folder in her hand.

“Isaac, here’s the file you asked for.”Brianna walked to the end where Ike was sitting as he held out his hand.

“Thank you Brianna.” he said taking it and placing it on the table in front of him. “Could you take this” Ike handed her a piece of paper that had numbers and notes written on it and added, “That needs to go to Avery right away. She’ll know exactly what it is.”

“Yes. Can I do anything else for you?” Brianna asked with a smile.

“No, that’s it. Thank you.” Ike replied.

Brianna could tell that whatever they were discussing was important and they wanted to continue right away. She simply gave a nod of her head and quickly walked to the door. As she reached for the door knob, she heard a light cough from behind her. Slightly turning around as she opened the door, she saw Taylor wink at her. Not wanting to attract a lot of attention, she simply smiled as she walked out of the board room.

Brianna yawned as she reached out her key to unlock her door. As she started to push the key in, she noticed a few small scratches at the latch. She pulled her key back and stared for a moment. She glanced around her and then back at her door.

“Well, now what’s that from?” she whispered to herself.

Since her childhood, she’d had a tendency to notice things that most people wouldn’t. Whereas anyone else would probably not have even noticed the marks, Brianna had seen them right away and knew they weren’t there before. She tried to open her door and realized it was still locked. Shrugging she unlocked her door and opened it.

She stood still, listening, trying to get her eyes to adjust to the blackness inside. After not hearing anything, she cautiously stepped into her dark apartment. She stopped just inside the door and froze.

An uneasy feeling came over her. Listening carefully, she remained still. She took another few steps in but left the door open. Her stomach tightened as she reached over and turned on the small lamp that sat on a shelf table by the door.

It was late… much later than normal when she came home. She usually left the hall light on so she didn’t have to come home to a completely dark apartment, but it had gone out that morning and she’d just made a mental note to pick up some light bulbs. Something she had thought could wait til morning. Brianna was beginning to hate herself for that decision.

You and you’re damn laziness! Just in a big hurry to get home, she thought to herself.

She put her purse down and took a few more steps into the living room. Stepping quietly to the light switch she jumped when she heard a light creak come from underneath her foot. Gasping, she slapped her hand to her chest.

“Get a grip.” she whispered, rolling her eyes.

She walked over to the switch and flipped the light on. Placing her hands on her hips she looked around. Nothing was out of place. Still, Brianna had an unsettling feeling… someone had been there.

She walked over and shut her front door. She made her way to the kitchen and switched on the light… nothing out of place in there. She turned and walked back into the living room. She glanced down the hallway, now slightly lit. Closed doors all the way through the rest of her apartment didn’t make her feel any more at ease.

Brianna anxiously walked through her apartment, turning on the lights in every room. She approached her bedroom at the end of the hall and eased the door open. A small night light allowed her to see enough to know no one was in her room. She reached over and turned the light on. Glancing around, she realized that again, nothing seemed out of place. She sighed and instantly decided that she was just tired and maybe still not used to being alone.

She turned to walk out of her room and something caught her attention out of the corner of her eye. She spun around and felt her heartbeat suddenly quicken.

Her closet door was open.

Not all the way, but the door was several inches from the latch. Not a big deal to most people but Brianna had a habit… one she was almost obsessed with: Never leaving her closet door open. Not even a little bit. She always made sure to close her closet door so it latched shut. As far back in her life as she could remember, she’d never failed at that.

Fear beginning to flow over her she reached her hand down toward the dresser, never taking her eyes off of her closet. She gripped the first thing her hand fell on-a screwdriver. (She’d left it there after tightening her dresser drawer handle.) She gripped it tight as she walked toward her closet door. Leaning over, she looked inside.

Not seeing anyone or anything move, Brianna suddenly opened the closet door and stood ready to attack. But no one was in there. She stepped inside and used the screwdriver to poke between her clothes. Everything seemed fine. Brianna took a deep breath and dropped her hands down at her sides.

She walked out of the closet and glanced around her room. Someone had been there for sure but it seemed that nothing had been taken. She shook her head and walked toward her door.

She walked back through her apartment, checking over everything and making sure the windows and doors were all locked. She got a glass of water from the kitchen and took a few sips trying to calm her nerves. She walked back to the living room, turned on the TV and sat down on the couch. Taking another sip of her water, she looked around.

“Nothing’s gone. nothing else moved.” she whispered to herself.

Still, she couldn’t shake the unnerving feeling she had. Who had been there? And why?

*Chapter 25 / Chapter 27*
*Go Back to Chapters Index*

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