The Last Herrick Secret'
(Sequel to 'Too Many Secrets')
Chapter 1 – Isaiah
Mother smiled, a tear sliding down her cheek. A knot formed in my throat, cutting off my answer. I hugged her instead before standing in front of Papa.
I couldn’t believe the change in him since he’d returned home. Papa’s time in the hospital had made him ours again.
He shook my hand and pulled me in for a hug.
‘You are the last of your siblings to see the world out there,’ he said. ‘I didn’t mean for it to be that way, but it is how it is. Go and see who you want to be, Isaiah.’ When
he let me go I was wrapped in the tangle of arms of my brothers and sisters.
‘Do you have to go?’
‘When are you coming back?’
‘Can we come too?’
‘Let him be,’ came Papa’s voice and all but the youngest let me go. I looked over to see Becs saying her own goodbyes then crouched down to my twin sisters. ‘I’m coming back. I promise. Be good and I might bring you something from the city.’ Their faces broke into smiles before they ran to tell Mother.
‘We’d better get going,’ said Mark checking his watch. ‘It’s a long trip.’
I nodded, then checked the paths leading away from the house for any sign of my great uncle. ‘Say goodbye to Oscar for me?’ I asked Papa. Why hadn’t he come to see
us off ?
‘I’m sitting next to Isaiah,’ Nick sang, running to the ute.
Becs rolled her eyes and grinned. She tugged on my arm. ‘Come on. The sooner we leave, the sooner we get there.’
I climbed into the middle of the back seat and Nick and Becs slid in on either side. My brothers’ and sisters’ faces bobbed at the windows as they ran alongside us down the
long drive. I turned to wave at Mother and Papa waving from the veranda and the lump grew again in my throat. It felt wrong to be leaving after only a few months of having
my family back. Was I doing the right thing?
After one last wave I turned away. That’s when I saw him. Oscar stood at the end of the veranda. He didn’t wave. Still as a kauri, he stared back at me. I held my hand up
in goodbye, but still he didn’t wave. ‘At least he came,’ I mumbled.
‘Who came?’ asked Nick. Before I could answer, Becs elbowed me.
‘I can’t wait to show you everything. You’re going to love it. My friends can’t wait to meet you. They’ll just die.’
I smiled. Before Becs discovered me hiding in the bush the year before, I would have believed someone would really die, but now I knew she meant something else. Would
all the children in the city talk like Becs? I wasn’t sure I was ready to find out.