05 | new beginning

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Two years later

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Two years later

Nevaeh, age 19
Aiden, age 28


"It's a beautiful campus, isn't it?" I don't know how many times I've said that. My heart is filled with excitement as I eat my delicious lamb chop.

Actually, I've said that sentence quite a lot during these past few months. No one can change my mind about this, especially after I visited the most beautiful university library I'd ever seen. I know that joining this exchange program is the best decision I've ever made.

Dad, who is sitting across me, stares at me with the same happiness glinting in his eyes. He's happy that I'm happy, although he didn't like the idea of me moving to Washington at first.

He smiles and returns his attention to his food. "You remember the rules, right?"

I sigh. There he goes again.

Mom, who's sitting next to him, shakes her head knowingly. I know that she's on my side, but unfortunately, no one can change Dad's mind about these rules.

"Dad." I let out a sigh again, a long one. "It's just one semester."

Dad scrutinizes me, and I can guess what he's about to say.

"Six months, Nevaeh. That's not a short period." He even sounds offended, and I'm trying my best not to chuckle.

I'm going to be away from home for one semester, but he's acting like I'll be gone for years.

Mom wasn't kidding when she told me that Dad was going to bawl his eyes out for letting me go, but he knew that I'd been dying to join this exchange program.

"I'm sure that during that period, she will gain so much from joining one of the best classes of business technology she's been dying to have." Mom touches Dad's arm reassuringly, reminding him of why he agreed in the first place. She then switches her attention to me. A soft smile forms on her lips.

"Exactly," I point out.

"As far as I remember, we had a mutual agreement on the conditions," Dad reminds me.

"Right." I nod, taking another bite of the steak on my plate. "No drinking."

"No drinking," Dad repeats, crossing his arm over his chest and abandoning his food.

"No clubbing."

"No clubbing." He nods, waiting for me to mention the rest of the rules.

I look up from my plate again. "No walking alone at night."

"That, too." He wags his finger. "And don't talk to strangers on the street."

I drop my dining utensils. "I'm not a toddler." My voice is laced with frustration.

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