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The fourteenth chapter of
September 4, 2010
Sierra takes Leah to her extravagant mansion, allowing Leah to make her first friend since her detainment.
Leah followed Sierra throughout the city, heading northward towards an exclusive district of the city. As she walked behind her, insisting that they don't take a taxi, she marveled at the increasing size and extravagance of the homes they passed.
Before long, they finally arrived at their destination. An enormous mansion, easily taking up most of the city block. The door itself was huge and thick, completely made of Brazilian cherry and the knockers made of fine silver. Above the door was an emblem of a small sailboat sailing towards a large city. Sierra didn't seem distracted by this, as she knocked on the door, to be let in by what looked like a security guard.
"Good morning Miss Levin, it's a pleasure to see you today."
"You too Gerald. Any word from my dad?" Sierra asked.
"Your father is still on business in New York."
"Alright. Thanks Gerald." Sierra said dejectively.
Sierra and Leah entered the mansion, Leah amazed at the apparent expense to furnish it. The hardwood floor was lovely, with priceless artifacts and pieces of art decorated the walls. Sierra glanced at Leah, noting her obvious amazement.
"We spared no expense."
"I can see that."
Leah and Sierra walked through the halls, Leah beginning to wonder how she'll be able to get back out again. Soon enough, they arrive at what appears to be Sierra's room. Leah is amazed at being able to see what a normal teenage girl's room looks like. No glass, no cameras, no gun barrels, no agents. Freedom. Total and complete freedom. Feelings of lust and envy began to pile up within Leah as she looked around the room.
"Well, this is it." Sierra said.
"Yep. So..Where are your parents?"
"My father's away on business."
"What does he do?"
"He's the leader of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey."
"Really? That must explain the richness of this place."
"Yes. His job pays pretty well, considering all the trade that comes into New York."
"Then where's your mom?"
"My mom passed away when I was two."
Leah was shocked. All her negative feelings suddenly vanished, but she was speechless and didn't know how to react to this.
"I don't know that to say, other than sorry I guess."
"It's fine. It's nothing you need to be sorry about, I have plenty of company here."
"But what about your dad."
"He doesn't live here."
"You live here, but your father doesn't?" Leah asked, unbelieving.
"Nope. He lives in New York."
"How long has he been in New York?"
"Oh, about seven years now."
"My father is very busy running the Port Authority. Being the CEO requires him to have an office in New York, so he moved there."
"Not to be insensitive or anything, but why are you here then?"
"My father didn't want anything to interfere with his work. So, he bought this mansion here in Alice Springs, and left behind an army of maids and butlers, along with access to his bank account. I've been here all my life."
"Have you ever even seen your father?"
"Once, when I was little. He seemed sad. I personally think he blames me for mother's death."
"How did she die?"
"She had complications that still existed after I was born. They wouldn't go away, and after two years, it just became too much for her to live with. She took her own life."
"I..I don't know what to say."
"Again, it's not your fault Leah. Wow, I've just been laying my problems on you from the second you got here. I hope you don't think I'm being selfish or anything?"
"No, of course not. Everyone needs someone to vent to."
"Well, I've done enough of it. Why don't you tell me about yourself?"
Leah sat there, dumbstruck. What would she tell her? That she was a fugitive freak who can bend the very elements themselves? Her mother thinks she committed suicide so she ran away?
"Well," Leah started. "I'm from Chicago. My birth mother died when I was very little, so I was adopted by a nurse at the hospital. I never knew my father, and except for now, I've never been outside Chicago." Leah explained, hoping she would buy it.
"What do you like to do?"
Relived, Leah said, "Well, I like to go boating and tubing, I love to read, but hate schoolwork."
"It must suck to come here for a vacation only to have school while you're gone?"
"No, I actually chose it. I wanted to see what school was like here, but I didn't expect a drill coach for a chemistry teacher."
"Yeah he scares me so much. One time.."
And with that, Leah's nightmares and insecurities about life in the compound disappeared. This Sierra had done what none of the other residents had been able to do. Sierra made her happy and free. For the first time in four years, Leah had a friend.
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