Life After Taylah Page 1

Author: Bella Jewel

Genres: New Adult , Romance


Spring 2004

“Good morning, good morning, to you!” My momma sings, dancing into the room. “Wake up, Avie!”

I blink my eyes open and stare at my mom. She’s smiling down at me, her blue eyes wide and responsive. She’s always smiling. She swoops down and presses a kiss to my head and then she spins in a delicate circle, finding my cupboard where she pulls out my school uniform. Her fingers run over the material, smoothing it out. Her nose crinkling as she realizes it’s not ironed to her standards.

“I don’t want to go to school today,” I moan, sliding out of bed.

“Baby-cakes, you know what your momma always says?”

I sigh, but it’s with a big smile. “School makes you smart and bein’ smart means you go a long way in life.”

She grins at me, holding up my dress now she’s content that it’s wrinkle-free. “I taught my baby girl well.”

“Fine,” I huff, taking the dress from her. “Where’s Papa?”

Her face tightens just a touch and I know it’s because my dad is always working. He works so much we hardly see him. If it weren’t for my momma, my life wouldn’t be so exultant. She keeps the sunshine in our lives.

“He had to work early this morning,” she says.

I frown. “But I thought he was going to come and watch me dance?”

She smiles, but behind it there is so much sadness. I can tell this, because her smile never truly reaches her eyes. “Momma will come and watch you dance, and then we’ll go and get some ice cream.”

I nod in resignation. “Okay.”

She kisses my head and walks out of the room, calling to my brother, Liam. He’s four years older than me and is in his senior year of high school. I’m just starting out. Even though he’s older than me, Liam and I are very close.

I adore him.

I hear him grumble as she skips into his room and I laugh, pulling my nightgown off and pulling on my dress. He never wakes up well.

I finish getting ready for school and I make my way out into the kitchen. Momma is staring down at her cell phone and smiling.

“Who is it?” I ask, sitting on a stool and sliding the freshly baked pancakes towards me.

“It’s just your dad, honey.” She smiles, tucking the phone away.

I like when dad makes her smile; it makes me happy to know he still loves her so dearly. How could you not love her? She’s so beautiful, so radiant, like light; like sunshine.

“These are good,” I say, pointing to my pancakes while chewing.

“Don’t talk with your mouthful, Avie,” she chastises, and then turns to Liam who is lifting himself onto the stool beside me. “Eat up, or you’ll be late.”

He grumbles something, but flashes me a smile. He’s got blue eyes just like Momma, and his hair is as light as hers. I have the same honey-colored blond hair, only my eyes are as green as Papa’s. Liam is blessed with olive skin, while mine is lighter. I frown at the thought and continue eating.

“Quickly now,” Momma says, checking her wristwatch. “You’re going to be late.”

I shove the last mouthful in and take my backpack off the seat. Mom shoves a lunch pack towards me and gives me a kiss on the cheek. Liam joins me seconds later and we stand by the door, waiting, as Mom rushes over to kiss us again.

“My angels,” she breathes, admiring us.  “Have a wonderful day. Remember I love you.”

We both smile at her.

“Love you too, Mom!”


Today is boring; I rest my chin on my crossed arms and stare at the teacher. I’m not really listening, so when she speaks to me, it takes me a moment to click. I lift my head. “Pardon?”

“I said,” she says, her face grim. “You need to go to the office.”

I stare at her, confused. Why do I need to go to the office? I get out of my chair and I can feel all the other students’ eyes on me as I rush out of the classroom and down the large halls, past the lockers and into the stuffy office that belongs to a very crabby principal.

“What’s going on?” I ask when I enter, slinking my pack over my shoulder.

“You need to wait here for your brother,” the principal says. “Your dad called and said it’s urgent that you come home.”

I shake my head, confused. “Why?”

“He didn’t say, but he needs you at home as he won’t have the time to pick you up later. He said it’s important.”

I frown and take a seat, waiting for Liam. When he comes in, he looks as confused as me as he sits to my left.

“What’s going on?”

I shrug. “Dad needs us home.”

“Maybe Momma is sick?”

I shake my head. “She was fine this morning.”

He purses his lips and looks away. We wait in silence for our father. When he arrives he looks flustered and disorientated. His usually well-styled hair is ruffled and his suit is crumbled.

“Dad?” I ask, standing.

“We have to go, come on,” he murmurs, putting his hands to our backs and pushing us forward.

“What’s going on?” Liam asks.

“I’ll explain in the car, let’s go.”

We hurry out, not questioning him any further. When we reach his little red sports car that he loves so dearly, we quickly climb in and buckle up. He turns to us as soon as he’s in.

“I can’t find your mother,” he says quickly, looking frazzled.