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The New Luna

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Maxine Shepard knows nothing of her legacy and what she was. She never liked moving out of Manhattan to the small town of Haven in Alabama. Her relationship with her mother was going through a rough patch. She did not even know about her grandmother until then. Her mother kept a lot of secrets from her and she discovered them a week before she turned eighteen. A lot of people are after her and she does not even know why she seemed to be very valuable to them. She finds new friends, the prospect of a love life, and finds her true identity, and a prophecy that is yet to be fulfilled.

Chapter 1| Moving out day

Max’s POV:

“I do not know why we had to move now, Teresa,” I complained.

We were driving on the freeway en route to a little town in Alabama. Her hometown. Behind us were two massive truck containers carrying all our stuff from our previous home, which I am badly missing now in Manhattan. Truth be told, I miss the bustling city life I grew up in.

“You know what, I would really appreciate it if you called me mom, I am still your mother.”  She reminded me.

We have lived in Manhattan for all my life. From daycare to high school. Ugh. I had friends there, a budding romance with my long-time crush Zayn, me and my girlfriends were almost sure that he would ask me out pretty soon. Of course, that won’t happen now because my brilliant mother decided to pack up our belongings, shove them into two huge, green containers, and have the audacity to tell me that we have to move to a little town called Haven ASAP. When Teresa meant ASAP, she meant the day after tomorrow.

I expressed my disapproval but it was either move out or be homeless. Oh, I can't wait until I am 18!

“Yeah, not happening, Teresa. After my birthday, maybe, when you give me what I want."

"And that is?"

"Remember the new PSP? I might call you mom again. But, look at this, you are dragging me to a hellhole and I bet the PSP is also a no. So that is also a no for me, Teresa.”

My name is Maxine Shepard.

In three weeks, I will turn 18 and I have plans. For Pete's sake, I am a senior now. College is near. The world is my oyster until then.

They are to remain plans for now because my wonderful mother had this weird habit of altering my plans in life. Teresa is a solo parent. My father? I wish I knew anything about the man. I never had one and my mom refused to share any information about him. All these years of asking and I never got an answer. I never understood why. Eventually, I got tired of asking. Mom was so secretive. She never actually shared anything of importance with me except when giving me instructions on how to live my life. I was told that we had no relatives and my mother had no siblings. Fabulous, right?

To be honest, I had no idea where we came from, or if we have any family in Manhattan or anywhere in the globe. All I have is a name and the fact that I despised my mother.

The travel was pretty boring, we passed by an almost endless rolling field of whey and corn. In my mind, I already knew that the place where we were headed was the same. D*mn, I might just end up being a scarecrow. Anywhere was better than in the middle of nowhere with Teresa.

I just can't.

“I am sorry about this, Max. I understand that you are upset, but someday, you will understand why I have to do this.” Teresa said without even looking at me.

Hang on, was that a tear I saw? That was weird, I never saw her cry. Not even once. No matter how hard things were. But a single tear cannot absolve her from her drastic decisions in life. I am p*ss*d.

“How? You do not know how hard it is to start all over again!”

That was not true. Teresa perfectly knows and understands how I feel.  I am just being an a**hole. I had first-hand information on how hard her life was raising me alone. Having to start all over again when you had your life planned for you. She was once in my position and it was not easy. Starting all over again was not easy.

We did not speak after my lashing out. It was almost dark when we arrived at Haven, Alabama. It's a quaint little town, basically in the middle of nowhere. It did not look bad at all but it was a far cry from Manhattan. It was dark, so, I can't say that much.

Because we stopped talking, I took the liberty to research Haven while we were traveling. Haven’s population is less than five thousand and it’s known as Alabama’s primary timber supplier. No caps there because the place indeed is covered by birch, cypress, or oak trees that are possibly older than mine and Teresa’s age combined.

The whole place had a simpleton life vibe. As we passed by the town square, I was hoping to see some sign of social life. I did see some shops and stores that we also have in Manhattan although not as big and glamorous. Phew, thank God.

They had coffee shops and strip malls. I took a mental note of where these vital establishments were in case Teresa allowed me to wander alone in this place. The houses that we passed by as we entered the suburbs were nice and, well, cute. The people of Haven had a serious beautification game.

My mother finally pulled over in a lovely bungalow house with a willow tree on the side and a shed not far away. It reminded me of a postcard photo. There were flower pots on the patio and the garden seemed well maintained.

The house looked like it was kept in good condition. There were also lights around the house and I doubt if this is where we will live because it looked like it was occupied by someone. Maybe a friend of Teresa's, but she never mentioned any friend. Let alone meet them here. Sure, Teresa makes a lot of mistakes, and pulling over this house might just be another one to add to the long list. My butt hurts and I am in desperate need of a shower. I was not in the mood for any social calls.

“Get out of the car. We’re here.” My mother unbuckled her seat belt and yelled at the truck drivers and the men to unload our stuff.

So, this is where we will live. But there is someone in that house.

“Teresa?’’ I managed to croak.

She ignored me and called the men on the truck. “Hey, Ben! Those stuff at the second truck you can unload at the shed beside the willow tree. The rest are to be unloaded inside.”

“M’kay Ms. Shepard!” Ben yelled back too and went back to work unloading stuff.

I was still in my seat, belts not yet unbuckled. She was about to get out of the car when she noticed that I hadn’t followed any of her orders. Teresa gets grumpy whenever I do not do as told and now, I want her to be grumpy. I like that than to live with someone I do not know.

“Max.” She hissed. “Come on.”

“I am not going anywhere until you and I have cleared some things.”

Teresa took a deep breath and will soon lose her temper. She's short-fused. “Okay, what is it?”

“Look, you dragged me here. I was living okay in our place in Manhattan. I never complained. I was alone. Alone. Okay?” I emphasized the word alone. Teresa placed her arms on her chest. “Okay, I was not alone, you go home every night. That part was uncalled for, you were with me but you were at work and I was alone. That was the truth."

“What exactly is the problem, Max?”

“This." I gestured everywhere. "This whole thing. I was okay there. But when you said we are moving I did not object knowing that my objections were futile. When you decide on stuff, I just get dragged along and act as if it is okay with me too. But… look, you are making me live with someone I do not know, so not fair!” My frustration was off the charts. I would normally just go with the flow. I guess today was not that kind of day.

“She is not a stranger Max,” Teresa spoke softly.

“So, it’s a she. And I was right.”

The front door opened and an old lady who looked like my mother, except that she was old and was wearing old people's clothes, and her hair was in a bun and silver-ish in color appeared. She was also wearing an apron.

“Are you coming in?”

I turned to Teresa after tearing my eyes off the woman at the front door. "Who the f*ck is she?”

“Watch your mouth, Max. She is your grandmother."

Chapter 2 | The woodman

Max’s POV:

I could not believe my ears! The woman whom I hated to call mom dropped a nuke on me. She claimed that the woman at the door was my grandmother. That was way too much information to process and my brain is about to go haywire. Any moment now.

I agreed to leave our car and get inside the house. My steps were calculated as if I was ready to sprint back into the car and demand to be taken back to Manhattan as soon as possible. The house was pretty inside. It's cozy and bright and smells nice. The feature of the living area had me, she had pictures of my mom and of course, of me. A lot of them actually. It was all over the walls and the consoles.

“Teresa, I have a lot of questions on my mind right now.” I mumbled.

“I know, but let's get settled first and then I will answer all of those questions, okay?”

I sat on the couch in the living room. Still amused by the fact that apparently, I had a grandmother but she was never a part of my life, and why

Heroes

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