Kai was, potentially, the most bored he had ever been in his entire life. It had taken almost seven hours before his father had even suggested they were close to their arrival. For the first couple of hours he had messed around on his phone, but ultimately grew tired of interaction with his friends. It was hard to be interesting and engaging when all of your friends were going overseas or ON the sea in giant cruise ships and you were stuck in the back of a car heading south to your Nana’s. Even his best friend Jeremy, who didn’t have as much money as his other friends, got the house all to himself while his parents were on a business trip. Kai had begged to be left alone at the house too, but he was convinced his parents still thought he was ten. But Kai was fifteen, nearly sixteen, and they still wouldn’t even listen to his reasons for staying home. He’d only ever gotten into trouble once at school, and that was just because some kid had punched him in the nose and he had punched him right back. Plus, that had been forever ago and he hadn’t even gotten into trouble about it. (His father had actually congratulated him, much to his mother’s annoyance.) Either way, the rest of the car trip had been boring at best. His father had tuned the radio to country even though they’d never even listened to country before, claiming that Kai would want to know a little something about where he was going. Which wasn’t true at all. Not even Jude, who had his head resting on Kai’s lap for the majority of the ride, could cheer him up any. He’d told his friends he was going to Florida to cover up the lame summer break he was getting instead, but once he didn’t post any picture of beaches and boats he was pretty sure his friends would figure it out. He sighed deeply and put his head against the window. The roads had gotten smaller and smaller on this last bit of the drive now. The cars and skyscrapers he had been used to all his life had been replaced with cows and corn. His own parents were celebrating their 20th anniversary for the entire summer, missing his birthday on top of leaving him with Nana. So while he was doing…. Whatever country people did… they would be taking an amazing tour of Ireland. They had promised to make up for missing his birthday, but had decided to drive him down rather than fly because the nearest airport was nearly two hours from his Nana’s house anyway and the dog had to come with him since no one was around to watch him in the city. They were on a very long dirt road now, and Kai was beginning to wonder why anyone lived so far away from everything at all. Even the town they had passed by where his father had pointed out some things form his childhood didn’t really count for much in Kai’s head. He felt like it was hardly as large as a block in the city, but was likely over exaggerating to himself. Finally, and at long last, their car pulled up in front of an old farm house. Kai’s eyes wandered over the big, two story house with little interest. The yellow paint was peeling in some places but in general it looked pretty well-kept. Jude raised his big head up off of his lap and Kai opened the door to get out. Jude promptly jumped out too, padding lazily over to the grass to sniff around some. Kai wasn’t worried. Jude was well trained and would not run away. He likely wouldn’t bother going out of sight. The dog was old, but Kai had known the dog since he was a puppy and loved him all the same. The first thing Kai noticed upon stepping out of the car was the smell to though. He didn’t quite realize what was different, but the air was so much cleaner here that the world almost smelled sweet. The second thing he noticed was the loudness of bugs. Cicadas dominated his ears even as he pushed the door shut of the family’s Volvo. His father was already opening the trunk to get his suitcase out of it. Looking away from the house, he walked over to the back of the car. The shiny blue paint was dulled by the dirt of the country road they’d just been on, but even so the comparison between the old truck it was parked next to was striking. Kai didn’t think that old, beat up thing even worked at all, but he really had no idea. He took his backpack from the trunk and slung it over one shoulder, taking his suitcase afterwards. His mom was remarking on how long it had been since she’d been here, but Kai wasn’t really paying attention. Supposedly, he had been here too. Back ten years ago, when he was around five, but he had no memory of this place. He remembered his Nana, but that might only be because of pictures back home. Standing next to his father at the back of the car, there was no denying he was his father’s son. He looked like a younger version of his father. Tall for his age and gangly, his hair was the exact shade of brown his father’s was, only Kai kept his shaggy and hardly ever bothered with a comb. His father’s was neatly brushed back. His eyes were a dark brown that could match the happiness or anger of his father’s any day. Kai did wear glasses, which is probably the only thing he had received in the way of genetics from his mother, apart from the smattering of freckles across his nose and cheeks. His mother smiled at them and tried to push back Kai’s hair, but he promptly stepped away from her. “Moooom….” He groaned. “Sorry, sorry. I know, you’re not a kid anymore.” She said before Kai could say it. “Come on now, look presentable for your Nana.” She started towards the porch, her hand in her husband’s. Kai half-heartedly tugged at the blue button up he had on and then trailed behind his parents up to the house, his suitcase in tow. His parents were not staying here long. They had to get to the airport to catch their flight, despite having driven seven hours today already. Kai’s father knocked on the door lightly and then called out; “Ma, it’s your favorite son!” The three of them waited on the porch, Jude slowly meandering towards them and then sitting down at Kai’s feet to wait to go inside also.