Sanctuary (Seeking Asylum #1) - SM Olivier Page 0,1

had been getting into fights, ditching school, and became a “troubled” child.

Mom tried her best, but BJ was strong-willed and just missed my dad. They put him in the military school thirty minutes from home. Even though he came home on most weekends and holidays, I still missed my basketball buddy.

The military academy was working wonders on him, even though he had only spent nine months there. I had to admit he was more responsible and disciplined, but that didn’t mean I didn’t miss him, especially now.

“I just wished Emery would hang out with us like old times,” he grumbled.

We had been the three musketeers for such a long time that her choice to change had affected him too.

Emery and I had reached a crossroads in our lives, and at the beginning of last summer, it became evident that we were old enough to make our own decisions. Dad encouraged it. Mom hadn’t liked it. She had hoped since we were identical twins, we would be like inseparable or something.

I secretly had, too. Mom dressed us identically until we could dress ourselves. After that, she just purchased us the same exact clothing until recently. Ever since we were six months old, though, it had been clear we had two distinct personalities. As we grew, it became apparent that we also had a lot of different interests.

“You know she doesn’t think we’re cool enough for her anymore.” I frowned.

Emery was very much into Barbie and baby dolls. I liked balls, wrestling, and bicycles. Emery hated getting dirty, and I fought my mom over a bath.

Mom and Dad thought we needed to get involved in activities, so they compromised. We’d been modeling since we were born, and when we were three, Mom had us in gymnastics. But last summer, while I went away to gymnastics camp, Emery had gone to cheer camp. It was the beginning of our separation.

It shouldn’t have been such a surprise to me that Emery became a cheerleader. As much as I loved her and craved closeness, I was unwilling to become a cheerleader to follow her, and she didn’t want to continue doing gymnastics with me.

She also held a grudge against me ever since I’d decided I was done modeling. Dad had a rule in that area, an all or nothing approach. If we both didn’t do it, neither one of us could do it. She knew why I was done with modeling, but she behaved as if I should just get over it. She was well aware of the circumstances surrounding the decision of why I chose to quit modeling, even if she lived in denial of it. There was a good reason why I chose to quit.

“Do you think it’s because of your… mom?’ he asked, knowing the subject was still sensitive for me.

It had been months, but I was still known to break down in tears over the topic. I bit the inside of my cheek to prevent the tears from falling.

Watching my brother getting shipped off was hard. Realizing my sister and I were taking different roads had been difficult. But losing my mother had devastated me.

Watching my beautiful mother die had rocked my world. I still felt lost and in a constant state of grief six months later. One day she was okay. The next day her head started hurting her. When she developed migraines, they became unbearable. I had to call the ambulance after a terrifying episode. She visited the doctors, and it was all downhill from there in a blink of an eye. She had an aggressive tumor that took her from us by winter break.

I felt Trevor lean in, and he linked his pinky with mine as if he knew I was wallowing in my grief. He seemed to always be intuitive like that.

“I think that has a lot to do with it,” I admitted. “However, I also think she enjoys creating her own identity. I’m just thankful you were there for me. I don’t know what I’m going to do without you.”

And it was true. I didn’t know what I would have done without Trevor. Emery had taken her solace with her new best friends on the cheerleading squad. BJ didn’t want to be home; instead, he took comfort with his new friends at the military academy. Dad had come back early from his deployment and had only stuck around for a month after Mom died.

Dad tried to tell us that the military owned him. He had to