36: Nice to Meet You

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Avery's view

"So, you mean to tell us that your mom really hasn't been worried sick that you have been staying here for a few days?" Asks my dad.

"Few weeks," I blurt out accidentally

My parents turn to me in shock, "WHAT!"

"For good reason," I reply in my defense.

My mom sighs and turns to Ezra, "Sweetie. It's not normal for parents not to be worried about their kid who is spending their nights somewhere else. Maybe it's best if I have a word with her."

"I mean I'm used to it and you're lucky if she actually answers the phone. She tends to lose or break her phone a lot when she gets drunk," Ezra explains. Hearing this breaks my heart, I feel so much for her.

My dad scratches his head before hesitantly asking, " Is there nowhere else you can stay? Other family members? Not that I don't want you to stay or that I don't like you. It's just that it's important to have a family support system."

"Unfortunately, no. We moved here from Oregon when I was five. I have no family that lives here other than my mom," Ezra answers.

My parents look at each other then focus back on Ezra. "Have you talked to a social worker?" My mom asks.

"Every once in a while. My mom always lies to her though," Ezra says.

"Does your social worker know you ran away from home?" My dad asks.

Ezra fidgets in her seat as she hesitates to answer him. "No," she whispers out.

My dad sighs and looks at my mom. He cocks his head to the side and my mom nods as if they had a silent agreememt.

"Okay, so here's what we will do. Ezra you can stay the night, but in the guest bedroom which is downstairs. I don't need to walk in on you guys by accident again. I don't think my heart can take it a second time," my dad says.

"Then tomorrow, we will call your mom and social worker and discuss what the best thing for you is," my mom adds.

"Please don't make me go back. I can't. I can't spend another day with my mom. She's not like you. She's not as caring and understanding as you guys," Ezra pleads with tears welling up in her eyes.

My mom and I immediately get up to stand by her side. I wrap my arm securely around her while my mom puts a reassuring hand on Ezra's other shoulder.

"Ezra, it'll be okay. We'll figure this out, okay," I tell her as I hug her tightly.

"You will stay with us until we figure this out," my mom agrees.

"Thank you. You guys don't know how incredibly blessed I feel to have people who care about me so much," Ezra says wiping her eyes.

"My daughter loves you and you love her back. That makes you family, so now you're stuck with us," my dad says making us all laugh.

"Now, you two go upstairs and grab Ezra's stuffs and bring it down to the bedroom down here," my mom says pushing us up.

As we head upstairs, I grab Ezra's hand and intertwine our fingers.

"Your family is amazing," Ezra says.

"Yeah, I know," I say as we enter my room.

"You know, you're pretty amazing too," she says pull me to her so she can kiss me.

"Thank you for everything. For helping me, believing in me and for loving me," she says.

"You don't have to thank me. I always knew you would do great things, even before you did. And I couldn't help but fall in love with you, you're everything I could have ever asked for," I reply.

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