Stay Strong

Chapter 2

After the dinner fiasco, Veronica decided that to surprise her uncle and cousins, knowing that if Jason and Luke found out she was home from someone else, she would be in serious trouble.

As soon as she stepped through their back door, she ducked. Looking above her, she saw a shattered picture frame, and thanked God for her fast reflexes.

“Boys!” She heard her aunt’s voice. “You morons!”

She chuckled as she stood, and Sarah stopped when she saw. “Oh my God!” She ran forward and hugged her. “You’re home!” She pulled away and looked at her niece. “Lucy told us you weren’t coming home until next week, the day before Christmas Eve.”

Veronica shrugged. “I wasn’t planning on coming until then, but I finished my tour early and got home earlier than I had planned. So I decided to surprise everyone. Well, everyone except for Vannah.” She laughed with her aunt. “Should I even ask what is up with the guys?”

Sarah sighed. “They got home a couple days ago, and they aren’t too good with adjusting to having to share a room again.”

Veronica rolled her eyes. “Of course they aren’t.” She took a deep breath. “I’m going in.”

Sarah laughed and shook her head as the young woman walked into the back of the house and walked straight towards her cousins’ room. Taking caution of more flying objects, she carefully pressed against the wall and pushed the door open away from her. She heard the boys pause their arguing in confusion, and smiled as she walked in when the coast was clear.


She was immediately tackled and they all went crashing to the floor. “Well it’s a good thing one of your parents is here, so I can get my shattered ribs patched up before I go home.”

They helped her up, and Jason sighed as he hugged her. “When did you get home?”

“I thought you weren’t coming until next week!” Luke hugged her.

“I got back to my house earlier than I had planned on and decided to come home for a while longer than I had originally planned.” She repeated herself. “Only Savannah knew.”

“We could have come gotten you from the airport if you had told us!” Luke grinned as they sat on the beds.

“Actually, I drove here.”

Both boys gave her identical looks…the one thing she hated about them being twins. “From Tennessee? Are you crazy?”

She shrugged. “It was nice. Didn’t have to worry about people recognizing me through the whole journey, no annoying flight attendants…don’t you dare tell Aunt Mary I said that…” she chuckled. “Plus it was more time away from gossip and internet.”

The boys shared a look and then Luke grabbed her hand. “Ronnie…” he paused and turned her hand over. “New tattoo?”

She nodded and held out her wrists. They looked up at her with curious eyes. “what prompted this?”

She cocked an eyebrow. “Is your memory really that shot?”

Jason smacked her upside the head. “Shut up. You know we haven’t forgotten that. What we mean is, why now?”

She took a deep breath. “I’m sure you guys have seen some of the things people are saying…online and stuff.”

“Don’t listen to that stuff, V.” Luke said.

She smiled. They only called her that when were worried about her and wanted to cheer her up. “I know. But sometimes I can’t help it. I just needed a reminder.”

Jason nodded and grabbed her wrists. “Well I like it. The real question is, what did Uncle Kevin say when he saw it?”

Veronica laughed. “He was…okay with it.”

The boys gave her a look and they all started laughing. Suddenly there was a knock at the door. “So I heard a rumor about my niece being home…”

She looked up and hopped off of the bed, running and hugging her uncle. “Uncle Matt!”

He laughed and held her tightly to him. “Oh I missed you.”

“You didn’t get this worked up when we came home.” Jason exclaimed.

Luke nodded. “Yeah, seriously.”

Matt chuckled and shrugged. “I like Ronnie better.”

She winked. “Yeah, I don’t break things. Plus I don’t come home every other weekend.”

They rolled their eyes. “Ha ha very funny, Ronnie.”