The phone rings again, this time in the Clark household. Yujah doesn't try to get up, knowing that his older brother would get the call and not wanting to risk waking up the sleeping angel snuggled into him. A few minutes later, Jaxon is standing in the doorway of the room, looking confused. "What's wrong?", Yujah asks. "Say, did you know anything about us having an uncle on our mother's side?", his older brother asks, only making his younger brother just as confused. "No, I didn't. I always thought that mother was an only child.", he says, sitting up while trying not to wake up the little angel sleeping snuggled into him. "Well, apparently she wasn't, I don't know why the fuck we didn't know about it all this time, but apparently our mother had a younger brother called Mark or Marco or something like that. Now I'd like to have some answers, but we don't have any family left who could tell us if neither of us knows. We sure are lucky, aren't we?", Jaxon says before sitting down on the bed as well, resting his head in his hands to calm himself. After a moment of silence, Yujah speaks up again. "Maybe we don't have any family to ask... but what about friends? Like our mother's childhood friend Mary, for example? We should still have her number somewhere and she has known our mother long enough to know about this unless this mysterious younger brother disappeared before our mother started grade school.", Jaxon looks up at his brother, a smirk on his tired face. "Yu, you are a fucking genius." The other brother smirks back. "I know.", he says, receiving a light punch to his side, making him groan and wince.
After rummaging through a lot of boxes and an awful lot of paper for what felt like ages, Yujah finally finds what he had been looking for. He never thought that he would ever need this 'emergency number', the number of their mother's old friend that they were supposed to call if anything was up back when they were in grade school before aunt Mary decided to move away. As far as Yujah knows, she is a middle-aged woman with no husband nor children who lives alone with a dog and two cats. They have, however, not seen her in a few years, so things might have changed. The only thing they can hope for right now is that the number is still correct. "I found it.", he says, waving a small piece of paper as he enters the kitchen where his older brother is just about to pour himself another drink from their father's alcohol stash. "You shouldn't drink. What if Jonah sees this?", the younger brother asks. "Dad did this all the time.", the other boy answers, shrugging. "You're not dad, though.", Yujah says while taking the bottle from Jaxon's Hands and taking a sip of the liquor. His older brother raises one of his eyebrows and crosses his arms while leaning back in his chair. "What? We were never allowed to get near his stash, so I should at least try it, right?" Yujah takes another sip, before putting the bottle away, back to where it's supposed to be. "So... who's going to call aunt Mary?"
After a short while and multiple rounds of rock-paper-scissors, they finally end up deciding that Yujah is going to be the one who calls aunt Mary. After a few rings, the phone gets picked up. "Hello, Sinclair here.", the voice of a young man says. "Hello, my name is Yujah Clark. Is this still the number of Miss Mary Cordette? If not, I apologize for calling, sir.", the boy answers very politely. "Oh, yes. This is her number. Her name is Mary Sinclair now, though. Should I get her for you?", the man on the other end says, seeming a lot more casual and relaxed than before. "Yeah, that would be great. Thank you, Mr. Sinclair.", receiving a laugh from the other man. "Gary is fine. Otherwise, people will just confuse me with my father. I'm Mary's step-son, by the way. What about you? I mean, if it's okay to ask." Hearing that makes Yujah smile. Knowing that Mary had now a family of her own makes him kind of happy, especially when they seem to be nice people. At least the step-son seems to be from Yujah's perspective. "My mother is... was an old friend of aunt Mary's. They went to school together, back in the day.", he answers, receiving an "Okay, I'll go get her. Nice to meet or, well nice to get to know you, Yujah. Just wait a moment.", with that the man already seems to be gone.
A few moments later, another voice comes through the phone. "Hello? Yujah?", the voice of a woman asks. "Aunt Mary?", the boy asks back. "Oh my, you sound so grown up. It sure has been a while. I also haven't heard from your mother in a while, but I haven't really heard anything about you boys, even if we got the chance of talking. How are you?", making a lump form in the boy's throat. Of course, she didn't know yet. "I'm not sure how I'm feeling, aunt Mary... I'm calling for a very specific reason.", he says, making the woman a bit worried. "What's wrong? Can I help you with anything?", she asks with a caring voice. "Aunt Mary... the thing is... mom and dad got into a huge car accident a few days ago and... they didn't make it.", he says with a small voice, not really knowing how to say it. Telling someone that someone they had been close to has died is not an easy task. His respect for the doctor from the hospital just increased a lot. "What?", aunt Mary says, taken aback. She sits down on the next chair and tears start falling down her face. She quickly brings her hand up to swat them away, trying not to let the boy on the other end of the phone hear her cry. He must be suffering a lot more than her, after all. "I see...", she then proceeds to say. "Thank you for telling me, Yujah. Is there anything I can do for you boys?", she then asks. Even though she tries to hide it, the boy can easily hear the sadness in the woman's voice. "Actually, there is something that we have been wondering about.", Yujah tells her. "What is it? What can I do for you?", Mary asks. "You see... now that both of our parents died, we thought that we had no family left that could possibly take us in, but yesterday we received a call where they told us that they had found our uncle, mom's younger brother. Now we are kind of confused. Do you know anything about this? If you do, please tell us. I think that they are thinking of asking him to be our guardian, yet he is a complete stranger whose existence we didn't even know about until a few hours ago.", the woman on the other end sighs. "I see... yes, I do know about your uncle, Marco. This is not an easy topic, though. If it is okay with you, would you like to come for a visit over the weekend? I can explain everything then.", for Yujah it was good to hear that she did know about it, but the whole situation itself seems very confusing to him. "Sure... it's not really like we got anything else to do, especially since they told us to stay home instead of going to school... and spring holidays are starting next week. And, aunt Mary?", the black-haired kid asks, getting the woman's attention. "Are you going to come to their funeral? It's two weeks from now.", making the woman smile to herself. "Of course, I will. You can tell me the exact time over the weekend, okay?", making Yujah agree.
After hanging up, the boy makes his way to the living room. "How was it?", his older brother asks. "Exhausting.", the younger boy answers, while sitting down on the sofa. "Did she answer your question?", Jaxon asks. "Not exactly. She did tell me that she knows about our uncle, Marco, but she didn't tell me anything else. Instead, she invited us to stay at her place during the weekend. Oh, and she got married and has a stepson. I talked to him briefly before he got her so I could talk to her. His name is Gary Sinclair, he seems nice and is probably your age or a few years older than you judging from his voice. Seems like aunt Mary is also called Sinclair now.", Yujah summarises the call. "So even the pet lady got married? I didn't expect that... however, it means there is hope! Hope for a little nerd like you to get married someday.", the teen says teasingly. "Shut up, stupid. I'm more worried that a manwhore like you is ever going to have a decent relationship.", Yujah says back, receiving a hit on the back of his head, which causes Jaxon to be hit by a cushion.
On Friday, the boys load Jaxon's car with some
luggage. It's the first time since their parents' death that they leave
town. The past days since the accident were filled with Jaxon's and
Yujah's friends coming over or inviting them out to lighten their mood,
while Jonah usually tagged along with Yujah and barely left his side. A
few parents of Jonah's friends and a few friends of the boys' parents
have invited Jonah to play with their children as well, but the number
is considerably lower than the number of invites Yujah and Jax got -
although Yujah is sure that not all of Jaxon's invites were meetups with
friends, but meetups with girls... for pleasure, or, if you want to be
blunt: sex. After checking that they've got everything they need, they
drive to the address aunt Mary has sent them. The weather has gotten a
little warmer and Yujah lets the fresh air play with his hair through
his open window until Jaxon nags at him to close it. Children's songs
are playing, since Jonah didn't shut up about wanting to listen to them
and they couldn't take it anymore and the ride is generally peaceful.
Not many people drive on these roads, it seems. After a while, Jaxon
says: "Are you sure that is the right address? Because I feel like we're
getting farther and farther away from civilization...", while looking
at fences, cows, and horses outside. "Yup, I'm sure. Oh and she did say
that it's a farm, so... I think we're probably getting closer." - "A farm?
Seriously? Dear God, please let them have a working wi-fi." Yujah rolls
his eyes at his older brother's words. "It's not like you'd die if they
don't", he says. "Shut it, will you?" - "There's a house!", Jonah
shouts, while pointing at what looks like a big farmhouse. A few seconds
later Jaxon's phone tells them that they've reached their destination.