Over And Over - Chaper 1 , a short story by TDT13. Date added: 2012-05-04. Times viewed: 811.
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- The rain poured down in heavy sheets.
Perhaps poured isn't really the best word. Mum used to say bucketed. The rain was bucketing down. There we go.
And mum was the reason that stood in the cold, dark cemetery, watching her coffin being lowered into the ground.
For two years she'd battled her cancer, but then it had got the best of her. I remembered still, coming home to dad crying. I didn't wonder what was wrong. I knew instantly.
"She's gone, isn't she?" I asked.
He didn't answer. He just cried, his head in his hands.
It wasn't like he'd been a great husband. Or father. Not that he'd been terrible, but he never got up off his ass. Mum did all the work, all the cleaning, cooking and taking care of me and my sister.
Dad helped when he felt like it. When he was in a good mood. And when he put his bottle down.
The coffin continued to lower, until it finally touched the bottom.
I looked to the sky. It was grey and dark. The cemetery we stood in was the same. And it mirrored my mood.
I would miss her a lot. Miss her laugh and smile and how she'd sing around the house.
But it wasn't like our life had been perfect. Wasn't like now my perfect little world was ruined and about to collapse.
For nothing had been perfect. We had hardly any money. Mum's small jobs at the fish and chip store did little to pay our bills and school fees.
I tried to get a job, but no-where would take me. I am only nearly sixteen.
So we struggled. We lived in a small, three bedroom apartment, that, besides bedrooms only had a lounge room, a bathroom and a tiny kitchen.
I broke up with my girlfriend the same day mum died. I remembered it like it was yesterday.
"Jessica, I'm sorry." I told her. "My life's getting hard at the moment, and I just don't… have time."
"Have time for what?" she sobbed.
"For… you, I guess." I said. Her brown eyes looked into mine.
"Please, don't." she begged. "Don't leave me."
"You can find someone better." I said. "Someone who has less problems, and has time for a beautiful girl like you."
Tears started to come to her eyes. I had to look away.
"I'm sorry, Jess." I turned away. "I really am. But I'm going."
And I turned and walked away.
I remember being in my street, full of remorse, but glad I had one less thing to worry about.
"Hey, little prick!" I glanced aroun when I heard the voice. I knew who it was.
I car rolled slowly past me, and Jessica's brother and a few of his friends leered at me.
"You broke with my sister!" Damian yelled.
"Yeah." I kept walking, not looking at them.
"Life's complicated." I said simply.
"Not as complicated as it's about to get."
I heard the engine cut, and they got out of the car.
I grimaced as I remembered.
I turned to look back at the pit in front of me. Men were shoveling dirt back onto the coffin.
"Goodbye." I whispered. "Thank you for… everything."
Then the grave was full. I turned to dad as he started to cry, staring into the grave. Perhaps I would have comforted him, given him a hug, told him we were going to make it through this, if, if he had been worth it.
But he hadn't, so I turned away.
I couldn't believe him. He hadn't shown that he loved mum, and now he sat here, crying. His dark hair, slivered with gray, was plastered to his head.
I looked around at the sea of places. I didn't know a lot of the people. Some were relatives, and some work colleagues.
Everyone was in dark colors. The men stood solemn in black suits, while the women wore black and blue dresses.
Except one girl who stood out amongst the rest.
Kylie sore a bright pink dress. It was frilly and layered, with a low cut.
I talked her into wearing that.
She came out of her room, wearing a dark satin dress.
"No." I whispered. "Don't wear that."
"Why not?" she looked down at herself. She was very self-conscious.
"Wear something colorful. Everyone's going to be in gloomy colors; where something that stands out. Something mum liked."
Her face lit up as she thought about it, and when she reemerged from her room, she wore the pink dress. Mum loved pink.
Now the dress was soaked with rain, plastered to her small body.
Another thing that made my life complicated was my sister.
I loved her and everything, but sometimes she was a brat. And truth be told, I didn't have much to do with her. Maybe that's why she was a brat.
When I came home, she would pester me with questions like, "Will you take me out? Where were you? Why don't we ever hang out?"
I mainly ignored her. In fact, I hadn't spoken to her in days before today. And weeks before I told her that mum was… gone. Because dad wasn't up to the responsibility. I had to do it.
I took walked beside her as she headed inside the main building with everyone else.
We didn't speak; we walked.
In the dry and quiet, people hurried to us, shaking our hands, hugging us and telling us how sorry they were for our loss. But it didn't help me to feel any better.
I didn't understand why people always sought you out to apologize. Wouldn't they think to not keep reminding you?
After a few minutes, cars collected us and took us back to Grandma's house. It was a huge estate, on a hundred acre ground.
As we drew closer to the mansion, I looked out into the woods.
Maybe that was the only time Kylie and I had ever gotten along. When we were young, and mum and dad would visit Grandma and Grandpa, letting us frolic in the woods.
I don't remember what we did in there; I drove the memories out when she hit puberty and started to really piss me off. For a thirteen year old girl (I'm pretty sure she's thirteen) she can be the biggest pain in the ass.
The car pulled up, and I stepped out. The house was three floors high, and had an extra little house attached to the right hand side.
Inside, the place was full of paintings and grand staircases and all that rich people shit. Any other day I would have loved it, like I did when I was little, but today I wanted to tear it apart.
Guests were filing in, gasping and pointing at every little thing they thought was awesome.
I didn't really feel like being in people's company, especially if they kept reminding me of my mother.
I scaled the stairs two at a time, and ran along the hall, wrenching the door open to the room I stayed in sometimes.
Inside was a double bed, some shelves crammed with a few personal belongings, and a wardrobe. A little bathroom- an en suite, was it- was through a little door.
The entire back wall was made of glass, looking out over the backyard and the woods.
I sat on the bed, turning the stereo on. Music played softly- the music wasn't soft, I just mean the volume wasn't on that high.
I didn't know the song, but it soothed me. I close my eyes, letting the beat wash over me.
There was so much wrong with my life. I didn't know how I was going to make it through.
Because, quite frankly, I was alone.
My father would start drinking again, washing away his worries. Kyle would do whatever the hell it is she does, and I would be alone.
It wasn't like I had no friends. I did, but they weren't the type I'd go to, and tell them about how miserable and depressed I was.
Except Riley. Riley was different to the others. We'd known each other a long time. He seemed to be the only one besides me that didn't seem to think wearing flat-caps and swearing made you cool.
He never seemed to turn into a teenager. It was as though he was still young and innocent.
But when he was around me, he confessed his deep secrets, and I confessed mine.
I loved Riley as a brother. But there was still one time I felt truly annoyed at him.
I came to school with my hood pulled low over my face, and a cap pulled over my eyes.
"What happened to you?" he asked.
I pulled my hood off and tipped the hat back.
"Ooh, ouch." he winced. I glanced in a classroom door at my reflection. My black eye looked worse than it ha yesterday.
"Who did it?"
"Damian after I broke with Jess." I told him, sulking.
"Why'd you break up with her?"
"I don't have time to worry about a girlfriend." I said. "I have too much going on."
"But still, you should have kept her." he said.
"Because she'd hot, and you really liked her." Riley said simply.
I stared at him in disbelief.
"Is that all you think relationships were about?" I asked.
"Kind of. No, no I don't." but I wasn't sure if he was just saying that to avoid a fight.
Ok, so maybe it wasn't that bad, but I still got annoyed.
Suddenly there was a knock on my door.
"Come in." I called.
It was my Grandma. She sidled into the room, sitting on the bed next to me. She had a kind, crinkled face, grey hair and wore a Black dress and a shawl.
"How you doing, sweetie?" she asked softly.
"Alright." I muttered. "How are you holding up?"
She sniffeld. "Ok, I'm doing ok."
Grandma patted my arm softly.
"Look, darling, I know you're going to miss her." she said. "Of course you'll miss her. She was your mother."
"So if there's anything you need, you just call your old Grandma or Grandpa. Ok?"
I nodded again. "Thank's, Grandma."
"It's fine sweetie." she hugged me.
"And if you need anything." I hugged her back. "You just call me or Kylie. Or dad." I added.
Grandma laughed. "Thank you, that's very kind."
She stood up again. "Do you want to come down and get something to eat?"
I nodded. I would if Grandma wanted me to.
I followed her down the grand staircase, to the people thronging the house.
I walked through them all, keeping my head low, but occasionally muttering, "Thank you, that's very kind." to people's apologies and well-wishing.
I grabbed some little party pies and some other pastries on a little paper plate.
I had no urge to go see if Kylie was ok. I guess I'd lost all the brotherly concern that I might have had if I cared more for her. I guess I lost it a few years ago.
That was one thing that made mum sad. That we never cared much for each other. We had nothing to do with each other.
Kylie kept up a continues effort for years to attract my attention. I remember once when she was about five she burst into my room, butt naked and jumped on my bed.
Then when she was eight she made me like 30 of these little cupcakes that she stayed up all night doing.
I did eat them. Perhaps then I'd been nice to her.
When I continued to ignore her attempts, I'm pretty sure she tried to make me sexually attracted to her, so that I'd notice her more.
When she was about eleven she reenacted her incident when she was about five, and walked into my room, completely naked. She claimed she'd thought it was her own room.
After that, Kylie took my technique, and ignored me. At Christmas and Birthday's, we made an exception, and exchanged gifts, but not much else.
I bumped into someone, bringing me back to reality.
"Son." it was my father. "How… how are you?"
His face was red and his eyes bloodshot. A beer bottle was clasped in his hand.
"Fine, dad." I said, trying to keep my tone friendly. "How about you?"
"Good, good…" he muttered. "I'm doing good."
Then he looked straight in my eyes, and howled,
"Who am I kidding?" he cried. Several people looked around and the room turned silent.
"How am I going to cope without her? Without her, how am I supposed to look after you kids?"
I glanced over at Kylie, who looked dumbstruck.
Then Grandpa hurried over, grabbing him by the shoulders and leading him away as he continued to sob.
Kylie stared at nothing, and one of our aunties put her arm around her.
"Perhaps it best," Grandma said from behind me. "If you stayed here tonight."
And we did. The bed was soft and comfortable, but I couldn't sleep.
It was like the night she'd died; I'd laid awake for hours, unsure whether I was awake or locked in some nightmare.
But today the wound had opened again. Tears came to my eyes as I remembered her.
I could hear Kylie that night, crying. I briefly wondered if I should go comfort her, but decided against it
As if my thoughts had drawn her to me, the door opened and Kylie walked in.
Without saying anything, she laid down next to me, buried her head in my chest and cried.
I wasn't sure what to do. I carefully put one arm around her. I placed my hand on her side, feeling the soft silk fabric of her dress.
With my other hand, I reached for the tissues on the bedside table. My fingers grappled for the box, but they slipped and it dropped to the floor.
So I let her tears soak my shirt. I hadn't changed out of my suit; I didn't have any other clothes.
For hours, Kylie sat with me, crying. I didn't move. I owed her this. To have some form of comfort. I doubted dad had done anything to see if she was alright.
As the sun rose, her tears stopped, and she got up and left, without a word.
The next day began with dad staggering down the stairs, tripping in his drunken haze and nearly breaking his neck.
Then Grandma began to cry, so Grandpa led her away to a quiet room.
I sat alone in the vast kitchen, sitting at the table and eating some cereal.
Kylie hadn't come out of her room; I expected she was exhausted. I was used to staying up sleepless nights with Riley and our other friends. And I stayed up with Jess…
"Don't you want to sleep?" she asked me, snuggling into my chest on the couch.
"Only if you want to." I replied, keeping my eyes on the TV.
"If we go to bed, you get to tell all your friends your sleeping with me."
I chuckled. "Isn't that cheating?"
"Maybe." she laughed. I stroked her long dark hair with my hand.
"Will you look at me?" she whispered in my ear. I turned, and she was right next to me. Our lips met, and we made out for a moment.
Then she pulled herself onto me, sitting in my lap, her legs wrapped around my waist.
Jess tugged at my shirt, and I slipped mine under hers, but then I pulled away.
"No." I panted. "No… we can't."
"Why not?" she asked.
"Because your not on the pill, and I don't have protection. And I definitely don't want to end up with a fifteen year old pregnant girlfriend.
Jess kissed my nose.
"Your so sensible." she giggled.
"I am." I said. "I worry too much."
Jess slid off me, and cuddled back into me.
"What do you want to watch?"
I looked up at a clatter from the fridge. Dad was feeling around, probably looking for alcohol.
"What are you doing, dad?" I asked loudly.
"Looking for beer." he grunted. "Need something to drink."
"Need something to drink?" I repeated. "Have some water."
The fridge door slammed. He was staring at me.
"Water won't let me forget her." Dad said angrily.
"You can't forget her forever." I stated.
"What do you know?" he snapped. "Your a boy, you know nothing, you've never had a girlfriend-"
"I did, dad." I said. "Jess, remember? She used to come over for dinner."
He staggered and his eyes became unfocused. Then he stepped towards me. I tensed in case her became violent.
"I'm sorry," he moaned, slamming his hands on the table. "I'm so sorry- for everything."
"It's ok, dad." I said. Huh, yeah right.
I stood up, taking my bowl to the sink and washing it. I put it away, and my spoon.
"Do you want some breakfast?" I asked without turning around.
"Dad?" I turned. He was gone.
"Dad?" I said again, a little louder.
A discernible mumbling reached my ears. I scooted around the table, and found him passed out on the floor.
I took him in my arms. He was too heavy to take upstairs, so I dumped him on the couch downstairs.
"What happened to him?"
I turned. Gramps strode forward, examining his son in law.
"Passed out." I told him. "I think he's been drinking."
"Smells like it." Gramps wrinkled his nose.
I never knew what to say around Grandpa. Grandma was the chattery type, so there was hardly ever an awkward silence around her.
But Grandpa wasn't much of a talker. The strong silent type, I guess you'd say.
"Have you had breakfast?" he asked.
"Yes." I said. "And I might just take a walk outside."
Grandpa nodded, and I left.
Outside, the air was cool and fresh, rain clouds covering the sky still. But the rain didn't come. Not yet.
When we got back to our apartment, the rain… bucketed… down. Like yesterday, you could barely see ahead of you.
Dad had sobered up since this morning, and was trying not to cry. But I was pretty sure when we got home he would break out the alcohol again.
Up the stairs, to the fourth floor. Apartment eight was us.
I walked into our tiny little lounge room; dad disappeared to his room, and Kylie went to the kitchen, probably for food.
I sat on the couch, staring at the TV, but I never turned it on.
For two days, we stayed home. School holidays had started a few days before the funeral, so me and Kylie didn't have to worry.
For two days, we moped. Dad stayed in his, Kylie in hers (she came out for food) and I paced the house, uncomfortable and awkward everywhere I went.
Finally, I couldn't take it.
I knocked on dad's door, but kicked it open before he could answer.
"Sorry." I said, for I saw him jump.
Mum and dad's room was only a tiny bit bigger than mine or Kylie's.
A large double bed took up most of the room. A wardrobe stood on either side; mum's and dad's. A window looked out over the city streets and buildings.
Dad sat on the bed. He was surrounded by empty bottles, food wrappers and was staring out the window.
"Dad." I said firmly. "Are you going to get out of this room?"
He didn't answer. That made me mad.
"Because we need someone to look after us." I said. "A parent. I'm ok, but Kylie needs someone. I can't imagine how she feels. Terrified. She…" I swallowed. "She just lost her mother. And now it's as though she's lost her father."
Still, he didn't say anything. He gave no indication that he heard me. My temper flared.
"Look, dad!" I bellowed. "Get up and do something! Stop drinking, get out of this room, and take care of your children!"
"You know what, I'm sick of it." I said. "Sick. Of. It. I'm going. Have fun."
I stormed to the door, but then paused.
"I'm sorry." I said. He turned to me, but then I left.
I raced to my room, grabbing some clothes, my phone and some other stuff. I packed it all into a backpack.
Then from the kitchen I took out some food, stuffing it into my bag.
"Where are you going?"
It was the first time I'd heard her speak in a while.
I turned to Kylie.
"I don't know. Away from here."
"Take me with you." she said.
"No." I said. "No way."
"Because it's dangerous."
"Then why are you going?"
"Because I really can't stand it here."
This was possibly the longest conversation I'd had with her in years.
"Please." she said. "Please."
I groaned, and banged my head against the wall.
"Fine." I snapped. "Come on."
I stopped her as she hurried forward.
"Get some stuff."
"We're probably not coming home tonight."
Kylie nodded, and ran to her room. When she came back, she had her grey shoulder bag and her little pink purse.
"I'd put that in your bag." I said, pointing at her purse.
She did, and followed me out the door.
She didn't say anything all the way down the stairs, and out onto the street. The sun was about to set on the horizon. We walked three blocks before she spoke.
"Where are we going?"
"I don't know."
"I don't know."
"Are we going to Grandma and Grandpa's?"
"Do you want to walk like a hundred kilometers to their house?"
I continued walking. She was several meters behind me.
"Do you do this a lot?" Kylie asked.
"Just head off and not know where your going?"
"Sometimes. Right now it's harder to pick a place to go."
"Because your with me." I sighed.
"So why does that change things?"
"There's places I go that I probably can't take you."
I stopped, turning to her.
"Because," I said. "Those places are inappropriate."
"I don't mind." she was barely a foot away from me, looking straight into my eyes
"Well, I do." I turned around and kept walking.
The silence this time was even shorter.
"So where do you normally go?"
"Normally, I would go to Jess'."
Her mood and voice brightened a bit at the mention of Jess. Jess had usually been quite kind to Kylie.
"What would you do there?"
"All sorts of stuff."
"Did you have sex with her?"
Again, I stopped, but didn't turn to face her this time. Kylie kept walking, however, and was about three meters in front of me before she stopped.
"What?" Kylie said.
I shook my head and kept going. This time we walked alongside each other.
"Don't ask that, please." I said. "Just…" I shook my head.
"Why aren't we going to Jess' now?"
"Because that would he a bit weird."
And it hit me. She didn't know we'd broken up.
"I'm sorry, Kylie, but Jess and I broke up." I hesitated. "The same day mum died."
Kylie gasped. "Why?"
"Because my life was quite complicated." I said. "And I didn't want to have to worry about Jess."
"So have you-"
"You know what." I interrupted. "Either now you shut up, or you let me ask you some questions. Pick."
Kylie jumped on the later straight away. I could tell she was happy from the attention she was getting from me.
"Ok, so have you ever had a boyfriend?"
"What the hell does thy mean?"
"Well, I was very close to a boy."
"Did you kiss him?"
"He kissed me."
"Kidding, it was the cheek." she laughed.
"Ha. So you've never really had a boyfriend?"
"Not really then."
"Ok." I walked several more meters without speaking.
"Why aren't you interested in me?"
Her words took me by surprise.
"What?" I asked.
"You ignore me all the time." Kylie said. I realized she had tears in her eyes. "All the time, since I was a kid."
"I don't really know." I admitted. "I guess… life was just always complicated, so maybe I thought maybe if I detached myself from you, I wouldn't have to worry about you as well."
"Your very selfish, you know that?" she stated.
"Because you broke up with Jess because your life's complicated; it didn't matter how she felt, if she was happy." Kylie cried. "And then you ignore me, because I'm just another thing to worry about."
"That is selfish, I guess." I said. While she spoke, I worked out where I was going.
I headed down a cul-da-sac, and hurried up a driveway, knocking on the door.
A woman with a kind face opened the door.
"Oh, hello, how are you?" she grinned at me. "So sorry to hear about your mother."
"It's fine." I said. "I was just wondering if me and my sister could maybe stay the night?"
"Of course!" she cried at once. "Come in, come in."
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