"Bye, you two." Aunt Pia waved from the window, her head pocking out. "I'll see you both after school."
She sent us a suggestive smile. One that she hoped we returned. Something about it still felt forced, so instead, I just waved back. It had only been three months since they had arrived in Metford, New South Wales. They had only ever seen her twice as kids before losing contact. In this short time, I'd found that she was a good person. Aunt Pea was the manager of Pets Are Us-the local animal shelter in Metford. You wouldn't find anyone who was as passionate and invested in the environment and wildlife like she was.
Even so... Aunt Pia was doing her best to overcome that barrier, so I took it upon myself to do the same. Pia's honey coloured eyes looked in-between us and the towering building behind us.
"Don't worry," I said. "We'll be fine."
"You sure?" She replied with uncertainty.
"Yes." I nodded, confidently.
Mom had already taught us how to be independent from a young age. "Just in case I'm not always around," She used to say. Now that I look back, maybe she already knew what was coming. It was a talent of hers to know things before other people did.
After having said our goodbyes, we stood in the Skye-Wests parking lot. Gripping my bag strap and inhaling in a breath, I locked eyes with my brother. The same emerald eyes stared back at me and our mouths spread into grins. The only other person that shared our eyes was our mother, Anastasia Bridon. And even though she wasn't with us anymore... we carried something of hers for a lifetime.
"Ready?" I asked.
Holding out my hand to him, he slipped his in mine. I squeezed it before we took our first steps into a new school, a new life, and a new beginning.