Home > Finally You (Luna Harbor #1)

Finally You (Luna Harbor #1)
Author: Claudia Y. Burgoa

 


Prologue

 

 

Manelik

 

 

I run as fast as I can. My heart pounds rapidly.

She’s leaving.

Mom is leaving.

I don’t stop, even when Dad calls for me. It was my fault. She’s leaving because of me.

Big tears run down my cheeks. I can barely see where I’m going, but I know the way to the lake. It’s at the end of the road. I cross the wooden arch where the sign for Knapp Family Farm hangs. The water fountain in the middle of the patio comes into view. It’s made of stone, and the bottom is decorated with colorful mosaics. I pull out the coin I stole from the kitchen jar and make a wish.

Make this be a bad dream, don’t let her go.

My stomach heaves. I’m getting sick again, and I can’t stop myself. Just like I did at school and at home, I dirty up the floor. I’m heaving, and my body shakes. I don’t know if it’s because I’m sick or because Mom is leaving us.

“Are you okay?” Nydia walks toward me, looking at me with her big brown eyes. They are pretty and expressive. They always make me feel good but queasy. It’s weird, but I like to be around her. She gives me a towel and asks, “What hurts?”

“Mom is leaving,” I mumble, but I don’t tell her why. “She’s not coming back.”

Nydia smiles at me. “It’s going to be okay. I don’t see Mom and Dad every day, but it’s okay. They still love me. She still loves you.”

I clear my eyes and then my mouth with the towel and ask, “You think?”

She nods a couple of times, then pushes herself on her tiptoes and kisses me. “Love never stops. It only grows.”

“So my love for you is only going to grow. It’ll never stop?” I ask because Nydia is my best friend and I love her.

“Probably. I’ll never stop loving you.” She crosses her heart. “Even though you make me mad sometimes.”

“You promise?” I ask, tears falling as I continue asking myself why Mom doesn’t love us anymore.

“Only if you promise that you’ll never stop loving me.”

“Never.” I offer my pinky finger. “I pinky-swear that I’ll love you forever.”

She links her pinky to mine. “I pinky-swear, too. Now let’s go with Grandma. She can give you some tea for your tummy.”

But before we do, I need to make sure that she’ll never leave me. “Forever, right, Nyd?”

With a nod, she repeats, “Forever.”

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

Nydia

 

 

I was raised by a grandmother whose mission in life was to make others feel better and happy.

As her granddaughter, I enjoyed her gift, but also, I inherited that need to help those around me. I’m almost twenty-nine, and I see it as more of a curse than a gift. After so many years on this earth, I’ve learned you can’t please everyone.

There are even times when I can’t please myself, but that’s a different story.

Still, I try my best to help those around me. I set up a company whose primary goal is to ensure that everyone who buys my products will feel better. Yes, I got that from Grandma. Some might say I’m setting myself up for failure. Probably, but no one will say I didn’t do something I love for a living. Even when it sounds like an impossible dream.

I’m an expert on impossible dreams and broken aspirations, not that they’ve deterred me from anything. After all this time, I still hope Dad comes back to me.

But you should stop, I tell myself as I park in front of the Serenity Blue Long-Term Care Facility.

He’s gone.

The doctors say it all the time. Still, Dad is holding on to this life and not letting it go that easily. I go through the reception area and swipe my visitor’s card. The green light blinks, and the glass door unlocks. I miss when a receptionist greeted everyone who came inside and updated us on the health of our loved ones. At least the nurses are still super friendly, and they care for everyone in the facility.

As I make my way inside, I’m trying to pretend this isn’t another day when my life is weighing me down like an anchor, sinking me to the bottom of the ocean.

That’s the thing about being Lori Knapp’s granddaughter. She raised me to cater to everyone’s needs. I’m not supposed to let anyone know I’m not okay—even when I don’t have the mental, emotional, or physical energy to continue. Even on the days I want to be numb and let the current drag me. I want to stop swimming and just drown in to nothingness.

Everyone thinks Nydia Vega-Knapp has her shit together and is happy.

But are you really fine and happy? I ask myself as I reach the second story of the building and walk toward my father’s room. I’m thankful his door is closed; it gives me a few moments to pull myself together. I apply some lip balm before I open the door and get ready to pretend everything in my life is perfect.

Would he even know the difference?

“Good morning, Daddy,” I say, closing the door behind me and setting the tote bag I carry next to the small couch. I grab the vase and head to the bathroom—dumping out last week’s flowers to put the new bouquet in its place.

“Today’s flowers are Mom’s favorites. Orange roses, yellow sunflowers, gold cushion poms, rust cushion mums, seeded eucalyptus, oregonia, and magnolia leaves. I went to Hummingbird Designs to buy it. Ms. Sadie was there. She sent her best,” I say a little loudly so he can hear me. “I gave her one of the new balms I’m testing to see what she thinks. By the way, I followed your advice and contacted the headquarters of Earth Fields Market. As we discussed last week, they’re a growing chain, and they carry products similar to mine.”

Dad still doesn’t answer. He remains in bed, eyes closed and breathing even. He hasn’t changed in the past ten years. Well, except for the few wrinkles around his eyes and the grays in his brown hair.

What I would give to see him open his eyes and say, “I’m ready to go home.”

That’s a big dream, maybe the biggest one I have. It’s impossible and crazy to want him to come back to me, but I do. Grandma used to say that as long as he breathes, there’s hope. If he were conscious, he’d give me all kinds of advice about my business. Instead, I just pretend he does every week when I come to see him.

I pull out my spritzer and spray around the room to remove the overpowering smell of cleaner and antiseptic. “What do you think about this new scent? It’s chamomile and lavender. I finally made some chamomile essential oil,” I say proudly. “I’m selling it at the store along with this spritzer.”

I grab the extra pillow on top of the small couch and change the pillowcase. It’s not only clean, but I washed it with my lavender detergent. Once I fluff it up, I switch for the pillow that he’s using. I repeat the action and set it where the extra pillow was before. I place the dirty pillowcases inside a recycling bag, and they go into my tote.

“During the ferry ride from Bainbridge Island to Seattle, I was thinking about that vacation we took to Victoria with all the Knapp family. Mom was right. You prefer the colder weather. We never went to a beach or somewhere tropical. I made the executive decision to add Fiji to my must-visit list. I know what you’re thinking. Nydia, that’s expensive. You’re right, but you know what they say. ‘Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land in the stars.’ If I miss Fiji, I might land in San Diego. If you wake up by then, I’ll take you with me.”

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