Deciding Love (Bloomfield #3)

By: Janelle Stalder
1





Chloe



I could do this.

First day. Senior year. New school.

I got this.

Staring at my reflection, I did a quick check. Hair looked okay, make up was subtle but nice, and outfit was as good as it was going to get. Sighing, I gave myself a good mental shake. First day of school was hard enough, but today was different. Today, I’d be attending Bloomfield High, a new school for my last year of High School.

Dad had moved us to Bloomfield this year after his work opened up a new office close by. The whole transition had taken a couple of years, so I’d had some time to get used to the idea of moving. But that didn’t make it any easier now that I was here. Bloomfield also happened to be where his son lived, the half-brother I hadn’t even known about until recently. It was true, my family wasn’t as drama free as I had always assumed, but I had come to terms with it.

To be honest, finding out I had a sibling was actually kind of cool. And my brother, Colt, was a really nice guy. We’d gotten to know each other over emails and phone calls before the move, and since we’d settled in, we had already hung out a few times. He seemed just as interested in developing a relationship with me as I was with him.

I was still having trouble understanding how my father, the guy who had always been kind and doting to me, could have walked out on his family to start another one with my mom. It wasn’t something he was proud of, so I tried not to judge him, but that didn’t mean I understood his decision.

“Chloe! Let’s go.” Speak of the devil. Dad’s voice boomed up the stairs.

“Coming,” I yelled back.

Looking around my new room, the pale yellow walls and lace curtains offering me a sense of comfort I needed just then, I was tempted to stay there and avoid the day ahead. At my last school things hadn’t been the easiest for me. Of course, it had been a small one where everyone there had grown up together, and therefore tended to be meaner to those who didn’t quite fit in.

I didn’t quite fit in.

Not because I was weird or anything, but because I didn’t like to do the things the “cool kids” did. I didn’t party or drink, or sleep around with the sports teams. And that made me uncool to the girls at my last school.

They also made fun of me, calling me a freak, because of my eyes. I looked at them now, wondering if the people at my new school would think the same. One hazel and one blue, my eyes tended to get people’s attention. Mom had always said they were what made me special, and that the girls at school were just jealous. As a kid though, it was hard to accept that was why they picked on me. It wasn’t as if I could change.

I needlessly smoothed down my brown hair, my nerves getting the better of me the longer I stood there.

“Chloe,” dad called again.

Okay. I could do this. Taking a deep breath, I grabbed my bag and left the sanctity of my room, heading downstairs.

The house was an old century home in the heritage part of Bloomfield. In my opinion, it was one of the perks of us moving. I loved the old place, all the rich character and squeaking floors. It was bigger than our last place, and had a more homey feeling.

As I rounded the corner, I headed to the kitchen where Mom and Dad waited.

“There she is,” Mom said, wrapping me in a hug. “My big senior.”

I rolled my eyes at Dad, smiling over her shoulder. This was typical Mom - overly emotional for every milestone in my life. I loved her though, so I put up with it.

“Don’t suffocate her, hon,” Dad said.

“Sorry,” she replied, releasing me and straightening my clothes. “I’m just so nervous.”

I laughed. “Relax, Mom. You’re not even the one that has to go. Unless you want to?” I said with brows raised.

“I’ll pass,” she chuckled. “I’ve done my time in high school.”

A horn honked outside and we all jumped.

“That’ll be Colt,” Dad said. “Better hurry up.”

I had been surprised when Colt called last night offering to drive me to school. And honestly, relieved. If Mom was like this here, I could only imagine what she’d be like at school. Kissing them each, I headed outside, sensing them follow me.

Colt sat in his rumbling muscle car, his tattooed arm hanging out the window. He lifted it in a wave to Dad behind me, who returned one. Things were still uneasy between them, but I was hoping they would be able to work out their issues.

I climbed in the car, waving at my mom again as she stood on the porch.

“Is she...crying?” Colt said, sounding slightly horrified.

“Probably,” I replied. Sure enough, I caught her wiping at her eyes. Yup, it was definitely a good thing she wasn’t driving me today.

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