Home Is Where The Heart Is

Now That Erica And Alexander Have Their Own House, How Will Their Son Aaron Fit In?

Spring, Year 4
Aaron?” Andrea cried. “Oh my god, it’s been way too long!” She grabbed her brother into a hug.
Alexander chuckled. “That’s the reason we wanted our own place, Andrea. Aaron’s coming to live with us.”
Sensing there was more to the story, Andrea squeezed her brother. He’d tell her in his own time. Her parents had only recently moved out of hers and Jared’s flat and into a bungalow in Willow Creek. After spending more than a year living with them, it had happened in a rush and Andrea had been wondering if there might have been another reason. She could feel Aaron stiffen as she let him go but tactfully, she said nothing more about it.

Back at home, Aaron sat awkwardly on the sofa. “Are you sure you don’t mind me being here?”
Erica waved her hand at him and frowned at her knitting. “Don’t be silly, you’re our son.”
“Why didn’t you tell Andrea about-” Alexander started but Aaron cut him off.
“I don’t want to talk about it.” Aaron winced.
“Leave him,” Erica insisted. “He’ll talk when he’s ready, won’t you dear?”
Aaron nodded and smiled weakly at his mother.

The following day, Aaron took himself back into the city to check out the Sport Court. He was a big sports fan and had been dying to try out the basketball court in the city. He wasn’t disappointed. With both an indoor and outdoor court, he was extremely satisfied. It also gave him time to himself, without his mother breathing down his neck, checking on him or his father urging him to talk to Andrea. The sports centre was peaceful, in that respect.

As such, he couldn’t believe it when he arrived back in Willow Creek to find Andrea sitting on the sofa in the house. Their mother ushered them both out for a walk.
“I’m sorry, Aaron.” Andrea said as she guided them to a bench in a more secluded spot close to the house. “I know this was more Dad’s idea than yours.”
“It’s okay.” Aaron sighed. “Dad thinks I should talk to you.”
Andrea regarded him quietly. “You don’t have to, you know.” She said softly. “It’s up to you. Not me, not Mum and not Dad either. If you don’t want to talk about it, I won’t push you. I won’t be offended, either.”
Smiling slightly, he glanced at his sister. “Thanks.”

Meanwhile, Erica was in her shed, working on a new flower arrangement. She’d taken up some crafty hobbies at the weekends while she wasn’t at work and it gave her time to think. She was very worried about Aaron; he seemed so unhappy and she didn’t know how to help him. She wished with all her heart that he’d talk more about why he was suddenly moving back in but his lips remained sealed. She hoped and prayed he’d talk to his sister.

Alexander stared blankly at his computer screen. His latest project might be open but his brain was focused elsewhere. Aaron really had him worried and Alexander wasn’t used to that. He didn’t normally worry about his children because they’d both always seemed so independent. Having Aaron suddenly move back in with them had been a surprise, and one he wasn’t prepared for. Add to that the simple fact that Aaron wouldn’t talk about what went wrong made him worry all the more.

“A charcoal face mask? Dad, you’re not serious?” Aaron stared incredulously at his father later that day.
“And why not, may I ask?” Alexander responded.
Aaron started to laugh. “No reason, I suppose. I just didn’t expect it, that’s all.” He shook his head. “Oh and Dad?”
“Yes, son?”
“Thanks for letting me move in with you and Mum.”
Alexander regarded Aaron and waited, hoping Aaron might open up a bit more. Nothing came. He sighed. “You’re welcome, Aaron.”

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