Today is the day! I thought with a bright smile as I looked at my parents’ house. I am finally going to be twenty years old! Feeling someone’s eyes on me, I turned to look around the neighborhood but did not see anything. The only thing in the neighborhood around my parents’ house was a van parked at the neighbor’s house, a couple walking their dog, and a woman jogging, no one paying any attention to me. Confused and sure of what I felt I shook my head before turning back to walk up the steps of the home I grew up in.
Before I could lift my hand to knock, the door opened, a hand reached out, and I was jerked into the house, quickly, causing me to flinch slightly. My father was standing there, clutching at the front of his button-up shirt, my mother holding my wrist as she stared into my eyes. As soon as they saw that I was there the relief was palpable. Confused, I looked between my parents wondering where to start. Why had I been pulled into the house so abruptly? Why were they acting like this was the first they had seen me in years? Just what was going on?
“Oh, thank goodness.” My father’s voice sounded slightly strained as his hands reached out to cup my face. “Your grandfather hasn’t shown up yet.”
“What…?” I questioned, tilting my head as I stared into blue eyes that matched my own so well. “What is this about grandfather?”
I never met my grandparents on either of my parent’s sides. Mom and dad did not speak much of them either. As my mother locked the door behind me and peeked out of the window, my father continued to cup my face and stare into my eyes as if he was verifying, I was indeed there. As this confusion coupled with my mother’s actions intensified, I finally felt like screaming. Just what the heck is going on here?! I turned to look at my mother whose eyes were focused on something outside. There, pulling up to the house were two limousines, the windows dark.
The people I saw when I first arrived were gone, in fact, it was as though the entire neighborhood had died as a result of the two limos outside. My father pulled me over to the living room before standing in front of me as if I needed protection. When the door was slammed open, I could only watch in horror as my mother was grabbed and pressed against the wall, and guns (ACTUAL GUNS) were held up to my father. And then, everyone froze, as if they were waiting for something. I was looking between the five men, dressed in suits, my parents, and the front door, which had come off its hinges and was lying on the floor.
“Hey, I told you guys no force was necessary!” An older voice said, from the door. “Yeesh, it’s a family visit, not some slum where there’s someone around the corner.”
Huh? Who was that old geezer at the door? From the way my father’s jaw was working, I could sense the annoyance rolling off him in waves. The older man came to stand in front of my father and I was struck then, by exactly how much they favored one another. The five suited men relaxed and my mother was released, so I immediately went to her side, sending a sharp glare at the two men that had pressed her to the wall. Just what the heck was this? Some kind of robbery or something? What did these men want with my parents?
Another five men came rushing in, guns pointing at the first five, jaws clenched. I was barely wrapping my mind around the first five and old man, now what?! Before I could do anything, two more people appeared in the door, an older couple, and their eyes immediately focused on my mother and me. The more I attempted to wrap my mind around this, the more I wanted to run away somewhere, to cower from the strong-looking men standing in my parent’s house, but I felt frozen, locked into place, and the thought that I had nowhere to run made my blood run cold.
“Mom, dad.” My mother said, causing my eyes to widen at the older couple who were dressed extremely fancy for the middle-class neighborhood we were in. “I already told you the answer is no.”
“I did too, Dad.” Father’s voice was firm as he glared at the old man standing in front of him. “I left that behind for Mary and Lisa.”
“O-ok, could…could we put the guns away…” My voice was shaking and everyone turned to me as if just realizing I was there. “U-um…please?”
“AH! Little Lisa!” The old man near my dad said, walking over to me which made me flinch slightly. “I saw the pictures, but you truly do favor your grandmother, rest her soul. Alright, boys, you heard the Young Mistress. Put ‘em away.”
‘Young Mistress’? Just who was this old man? The other older couple approached, their eyes crinkled in happiness as they looked me over before they narrowed at the first. This is way too confusing for me to understand, especially without any information from my parents. As they grew closer, I backed away slightly, still confused as to what exactly was going on. My dad called the first old man his dad…so that was his father? And my mom called the older couple mom and dad, so did that make these two her grandparents? My hands grabbed the side of my head as a headache began to form.
“I’m your Grandpa Ollie. Oliver Esposito.” He said to me, smiling a toothy grin. “Though you can call me whatever you want, Little Lisa.”
“The Criminal Warlord from Italy, but no one can prove that, right Esposito?” The old man next to my mother said before turning to me. “I’m Abraham Davis and this is your grandmother Elisabeth Davis.”
“Wait, you two own that Secret Agency that has been chasing…I mean I’ve heard about during my travels.” Grandpa Ollie returned, a stiff smile on his lips. “Sonny, why didn’t you tell me you were involved with them.”
Wait, what? I stumbled backward slightly; eyes wide as I stared at the people in front of me. What…exactly was going on? I turned to look at my parents, but they tactfully averted their eyes, shame clear on their faces. The back of my knees met with a chair, causing me to sink into it in my shock. Criminal Warlord? Secret Agency? The more I tried to wrap my mind around all of this, the more confused I was and my parents were not helping that in the slightest. I shook my head in an attempt to clear it when one of the men with Grandpa Ollie handed me some water.
“We apologize for the confusion and scare, Young Mistress.” He spoke gently, expression blank. “It was not our intent to startle you.”
“O-oh…thank you?” I looked at my parents, my father who was wrapping his arms around my mother comfortingly. “I think…you two need to explain some things.”
“Haha, we’ve confused the poor thing! Well, Little Lisa, Grandpa Ollie likes to help people around the world by doing work that the police refuse to.” Grandpa stated simply, crossing his arms slightly. “We’re…bodyguards.”
I tilted my head at his explanation before looking at my father who was shaking his head in dismay. I could only watch as my father mouthed the name of an Italian mob that I had only ever heard about on television causing my eyes to widen slightly. Wait, so then…he WAS a criminal?! But…but…I gulped down the provided water, not even thinking about it, before turning to my other ‘grandparents’. Wait, if he was a criminal, should I have accepted the water? I looked at the water bottle in my hand dubiously, doing my best to try and understand the situation that I was in.
“Don’t worry, dear, it’s not poisoned. I’ve already analyzed the contents of that water bottle down to its chemical makeup. It is basic H20.” My grandmother said, adjusting the glasses on her face. “Your grandfather and I…work as information gatherers for extremely important people. It’s our job to keep you safe.”
So, basically, they were spies. What happened to this being my birthday, I wondered, looking between all the people that were standing in the room. It was supposed to be ‘Happy Twentieth Birthday, Lisa’, not ‘Surprise, your grandparents are some of the most dangerous people in the world’. As I tried to consider everything that had been thrown my way, another man appeared, several packages overflowing in his hands, before walking towards me. I shook my head again, trying to focus on the pretty colored wrapping paper when I noticed that there were more men behind him.
“Sorry, Dad, but she won’t be becoming your Heiress.” My father said, walking forward to push the gifts away. “Nor will she be working for a Secret Agency either.”
“The agreement was that we would stay away until she was old enough to make a decision.” Grandfather Abraham replied eyes narrowed. “That was the agreement you and Mary made when you decided to run off together and abandon our ‘businesses’. We’re too old to be chasing after each other.”
“Wait, what?!” I stood, causing the men with Grandpa Ollie to bow slightly as if concerned about my anger. “You USED me as a bargaining chip so you could shirk your own responsibilities?!”
“Sweetie, it’s not like that. Your father and I love each other and we wanted to be together.” Mom stated, reaching out to comfort me. “We thought that by the time you were this age, you would already have a career focus or be in college, which meant they would have given up.”
“I wanted to let you chase your dreams if you had any, Little Lisa.” Grandpa Ollie continued, causing my mom to flinch. “When you decided against college and immediately pursued a career in business management hands-on, I knew then that I had to make you an offer to become my Heiress.”
“We were the same. Our…information company managers can’t have any tracks.” Grandma pressed forward slightly. “So, come to work for us.”
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