A New Beginning

One Month Till Freedom

When Johnny said to check the trees, he wasn’t kidding. Brian and I walked up behind the group to find Johnny thirty feet off the ground up a giant oak.

“Layla, I know you’re up here.” Johnny called out.

“Actually Johnny, I’m down here.” I giggled

The group turned around and stared at us then began laughing at Johnny. He looked at me and started to climb down.

“Where were you guys?” Johnny asked.

“That porta-potty back there.” Brian revealed.

“Ha ha, you two had to be in a crap shack.” Zacky laughed.

“It was nice bonding time Vengeance. Layla and I are better friends now.” Brian said as he put his arm around my shoulder.

I could feel his hands rubbing my shoulder but not in a harmless way. Brian intended for it to mean more. I tried not to let my discomfort show on my face but it was pointless. Glancing over at Jimmy I saw that he had concern in his eyes. He raised his eyebrow at Brian and shot me a look that asked if I needed help. I began to plead with my eyes and hoped that Jimmy would do something.

“Who wants to get something to eat? I’m starving.” He announced.

“I’m so hungry right now.” I lied as I left Brian and went by Jimmy’s side.

The rest of the group agreed and we marched back to the SUV. I decided to sit next to Jimmy in the back this time hoping I could explain the scene back there. Yelling at Matt I advised him of this amazing pizza place that was just fifteen minutes away. The guys settled down a bit and started up little conversations.

“So what was up with the harsh attitude toward Brian back there.” Jimmy asked.

“Lets just say that something happened while we were hiding that I wish would go away.” I said shyly.

His head shot around to look at me giving me a shocked expression. I nodded a little to confirm his thoughts. He glanced at Brian in front of him. If I didn’t know any better I’d say that Jimmy looked pretty pissed off right now.

“He shouldn’t be doing anything to you or with you, especially since we just met you and you’re Johnny’s sister. If it continues and you can’t stop him just come to me and I’ll set him straight.” He offered.

“Thanks Jimmy.” I said with a smile on my face.

“Ok we’re here!” Matt shouted as he pulled into the parking lot of the restaurant.

We sat in a window booth because it was the only thing that could fit all of us comfortably. I sat next to Johnny and Zacky shoved past Brian and squeezed in next to me. The waitress came over and the guys bombarded her with food items. She got frazzled real easy so I decided to help her out.

“Ma’am, we would like two large pizzas, one with everything the other just sausage. They’ll have beer and give me a Dr. Pepper. Can we also get an order of cheesy breadsticks?”

“Sure thing,” she sighed in relief.

“Layla,” Johnny said turning to me, “I was aware that it was your birthday yesterday so I got you a little something.”

He pulled out a light blue envelope and handed it to me. I ripped open the seal to find a picture and another small envelope. I looked at the picture to see Johnny being hugged by two people. They were older then he was but not by much. My mouth got dry and all I could do was look at Johnny and point to the two others in the picture.

“Yep, that’s mom and dad. Mom wrote a little note for you on the back if you want to read it.”

Flipping the photo over I read the message from my real mother.

My dear Layla, I would like to wish you a very happy birthday! There is just so much I want to tell you. Hopefully we will get a chance to meet each other. Love Mom

“The other thing in there is a plane ticket to Huntington Beach. I would like to take you back home Layla. If you do except my offer, you would leave the day after your graduation. That was the only way I could get your parents to accept my plan, I had to let you graduate.”

“But graduation is a month away? I can’t wait that long. I want to go with you now Johnny.”

His eyes lit up after I said this. “Seriously? You’d be willing to move halfway across the country to live with me?”

“Yeah, I want to get to know my brother some more.” I laughed.

“Sweet, well you’ll be living with me in my apartment. Also, Jimmy is my roommate, so he’ll be there as well.”

“Hell yeah! I’m shaking up with Johnny Christ and The Rev.”

“Jimmy, you don’t mind if she takes that other room then?” Johnny asked.

“No, not at all. I just have to move my drum kit to make room for a bed and dresser. I think that it’s awesome if she lives with us.” He smiled.

“Now all you have to do is graduate missy.” Johnny said trying to be stern with me.

“Oh blow it out your ass Johnny, besides the food’s here.” I teased.
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