The prequel to 'Learning to Fly'.
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Walking through the streets of LA surprisingly had a calming effect on me. The streets were buzzing, it was spring break but I couldn't bring myself to care, but then again I never did care about such things. I smiled to myself. As I thought about it more often, moving to LA was the riskiest and probably the best decision I've made yet. It's been a year since I left the small town of Raymond in Minnesota. I will never forget the look on my family's faces when I told them I wanted to travel halfway across the country to a city as big as LA.
My big sister wanted to come with me but I couldn't let her, her whole life was in Raymond, besides this was something I had to do by myself.
Jenna and I have never been separated our whole lives, me moving was tough on both of us.
The horns of cabs on the road snapped me back to reality,
I was just around the corner to my apartment. I enjoyed walking, it gave me a chance to let my mind relax for a while and not worry about anything but making my legs move forward.
I turned the key and opened the door, "Home at last" I muttered to myself.
My apartment was not bad for a 25-year-old single woman.
2 bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen, lounge, and a dining area, it wasn't much but it was my sanctuary.
Over the last 3 months I've really put more effort into redecorating it, choosing the apartment was an easy decision.
It was open, lite, modern and cozy at the same time, just the way I like it.
After a nice long hot bath I grabbed my take away and made my way to the recliner by the large window in the lounge.
The view of LA was not bad from where I was sitting.
I closed my eyes and let my mind wander again,
"I'm so proud of you honey" said dad, pulling me into a tight hug after the rain of graduation caps was over.
"Aren't we all? Well done little sis"
"Thanks Jenna" I said giving her a hug too.
"Where's mom?" I could swear she was with them a minute ago.
"She ran back home, she wanted to make sure everything was perfect for your graduation party" Jenna chuckled. Knowing very well that the thought of a party annoyed me.
"Someone kill me now!" I said hanging my head, that request was a lost cause
"Oh don't be so dramatic, it will be fun you'll see" dad flashed me an encouraging smile.
"Fine" I sighed "but you're borrowing me your car for a whole month" I warned him
"Yes ma'am" he said trying not to laugh at my failed plan,
"Come on guys! We don't want to be late" Jenna patting her foot impatiently.
"Yeah heaven forbid that we should be late for our own party" I said with deep sarcasm,
This time we all laughed as we made our way out of the school's hall.
My eyes flashed open at the sudden pain in my chest.
Its been awhile since I've felt pain since I moved here, sometimes it felt like it was gone completely, but it would creep its way back in and stun me when I least expected it.
When I didn't feel pain, I didn't necessary feel happiness either.
My high school graduation was one of the best memories I had, a time when life was less complex and harsh.
A time when I was a happy teenager; eager to start conquering the world.
Everything changed 2 and a half years later, I was in college when my father was diagnosed with cancer. It shook my whole family; I for one was completely devastated.
I couldn't believe this could happen to one of the most sweetest and loving men on the planet, but then again when was life ever fair?
Dad went on with life as if nothing happened, he didn't want us to worry about him or treat him differently. But I could see that he was putting up a fa?ade for mom, for me...for my entire family's sake.
When he grew weak to the point where he couldn't get out of bed anymore, I felt absolutely helpless.
My father was dying right in front of my eyes and there was nothing I could do about it. Somehow at the back of my head I kept hoping an angel would fall from the sky and cure him, or for him to jump up and say 'Just kidding!'
When he died it felt like a part of me had died along with him, his death was hard on everyone but I took it the hardest.
He and I were close, he was not just my father; he was my friend, my idol, my everything.
Our family mourned him but in time they all started to accept and move on, hell even my mother appeared to have moved on, but me
I was stuck.
Even now watching the bright lights of LA I wonder if I 'am capable of moving on.
I felt tears sting my eyes, but this time I made no effort to try and prevent them from streaming down my face.
"I miss you dad," I whispered, wiping myself up and headed to my bedroom.
2. One For The Money, Two For The Show
I woke up this morning with a bad feeling in my stomach, something big was going to happen, change was coming and I wasn't going to like it.
I started my red Ferrari and there was an immediate beeping sound on my monitor,
"Jesse my boy" Bill Andrews appeared on the screen.
"Mr. Andrews, to what do I owe the pleasure?" I asked smiling,
"Stop by at the headquarters late today, we have important things we need to discuss" he said.
"Is there a mission in the works?"
"Ah you see, this is why I like you Jesse" he laughed, "You're so perceptive"
"I'll take that as a yes then" It wasn't a question, I knew Bill all too well
"Come over and we'll talk," he concluded.
"Very well then" I agreed and the screen went blank.
Bill is a CIA general in charge of all the undercover agents. I've been serving the agency for half my life and when I was recruited as a teenager, he was my trainer and mentor, he taught me everything I knew.
So I guess that gives him the right to call a 30-year-old man a boy, to him it's all I ever would be.
I had to make a stop at work first; I didn't need to check in everyday. I had a capable team, whom only called me when it was absolutely necessary.
I made my way through the main entrance of G-Industries LA headquarters, it was the one I lived closest to but because we had branches all around the world I was required to travel sometimes.
I was greeted with anxious and forced smiles and hellos, someone must've tipped them off that the boss was coming.
Way to go ruin my fun I thought bitterly, I loved seeing their faces when I made an unexpected visit.