Born in Hell: Chapter 8, Fifteen (5)

little ways up North.” Why didn’t he just tell me? Where was he going, the Arctic Circle?
“How far North.”
“Come on, kids.” Mark casually interrupted. “I’m sure Embry is dying for gifts.” What I wanted to know was where C.J. was going. I’d have to wait for the opportune moment to thrash him about being so mysterious with this whole “boarding school” business.
I never had any expectations for my birthday. Maura wasn’t a wealthy lady. Not even close, actually, so I never really got anything huge. I didn’t really want anything, either. Before we opened my present, C.J. excused himself to go to the kitchen. He wasn’t eating anything, I wondered what for, but let it go. Guys were weird.
When he returned, Maura handed me the one box from her hands. It was wrapped in newspaper, and tied with a green ribbon. I removed that layer. A jewelry box.
I carfully undid it’s ancient latch and opened it to the

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