I look at my dad from where I sit awkwardly on his floor, I’m not sure what to do, what did he normally do in the evenings? Sit here awkwardly?
We had been shopping and then we had made dinner together just talking innocent talk about foods we both like to eat and cook, although part of me wanted to tell him he should know this about me already! But at the end of the day, it was a safe topic. The day with my dad actually went faster than I thought it would.
“So what do you normally do in the evenings?” My dad asks me torn after the silence seems to drag on. he is sat on the couch and watching me as I sit on the floor crossed legged, even though he had indicated the couch next to him. I hadn’t mentioned that I never normally sit still and constantly move around so mom made the couch only when we have company rule after I spilled one too many things on the new sofa. We both used to sit on pillows on the floor most the time.
“My personal studies, homework, read maybe watch some tv. Hang out with my boyfriend two nights a week. Go parties. Go to the gym. Go out with the girls” I tell him shrugging.
“Go for a flight, but I can’t fly tonight,” I say looking outside shrugging.
“Is the moon not big enough?” he questions me looking out the window thoughtfully.
“Nope which is why my visit with my friends has to wait for Saturday. also by then, I have the information to tell her and him about school.” I shrug.
“So hes picking you up?” Charlie asks me. I had got a smoke signal whilst out shopping, which was easier to hide than a bird at least. But when your handbag starts smoking different colors in public it can make people think something is on fire. I wish Abe would just get a cell.
“Yeah he’s picking me up, I don’t know how yet as he didn’t say. But he won’t let anyone see him on his broom don’t worry.” I tell Charlie.
“Your aunt says hes a nice lad,” Charlie says weakly, Aunty Beaty had rung via the mirror about an hour ago, they had both actually spoke. it seems Aunty Beaty can be polite on a mirror.
“Yeah, he is,” I say thinking of one of my closest friends.
“Is he your boyfriend?” my Dad asks me sounding awkward and worried.
“Hell no, he is Vanessa’s and he is so not my type,” I tell my dad laughing.
“But you had a boyfriend?” my dad asks me worried. Wait? is it the fact I had a boyfriend worrying him? hell, I’m 17. I’m only 3 years younger than mom was when she had me.
“Yeah, I did,” I say with heavy influence on did, accusing him of stopping that.
“Are you both still together or?” he asks worriedly. I just told him I wasn’t! why doesn’t he listen to me?
“We split, but that’s fine he wasn’t the right person for me,” I admit, I knew I would forever have to hide myself from him. He constantly cheated on me. I liked the idea of Jacob more than Jacob himself.
“How long were you together?” My Dad asks me.
“Two years,” I admit, thinking about Mom’s words about him the first time I brought him home.
‘I thought you had learned from my mistakes’
“That’s a long time for someone who wasn’t the right person,” my dad says seriously.
“So what was the 5 years you and mom were together?” I question him.
“That was different Sophia.” He tells me sounding exhausted. I don’t want to fight tonight so I change the subject back.
“He was popular, everyone told me that I should be with him because he was the quarterback and I was one of the head cheerleaders. I was meant to be cheer captain this year. It got to be easier to hang out with him than avoid him so I went with it.” I shrug. I had been trying to fit in rather than be me. Yes, I loved cheer, but I didn’t love everything that had come with it.
“I had to hide myself from him too much for us to ever really work out. He would never have fully understood me.” I say shrugging, knowing that what mom used to say was right. How I could go back in time and tell her I understood what she meant. How I wish I could go back and tell her she was right.
“There was little point in trying a long distance relationship when I knew that he would never really except me,” I tell my Dad. Wow, I had told him more than I planned to.
“He was really fun, but he was never going to be the one.” I shrug remembering some of Jacobs better points.
“Do you always feel like you have to hide yourself from everyone?” my Dad asks me sounding worried.
“Well, I do don’t I, because I don’t really exist,” I say shrugging. It was an argument I had with mom all the time. She would encourage me to spend more time with Vinnie and Abe than my human friends saying she hated who I pretended to be with my human friends, except with Tiff. Tiff had known me since I was 5 and I told her everything, except the fact I had magic. I held nothing back from her. she knew how I really felt about everything. She knew more than anyone that I wasn’t coping with moms death.
“What do you normally do in the evenings?” I ask my Dad, wondering if I can settle into his normal life? would we be stepping on each other’s toes for a year?
“Mark homework, classwork. Watch TV. Go next.” He starts to say go next door I know it. But I also know that she comes round here more than he goes over there in the evenings. the house has too much of a couple feel rather than a bachelors pad. Eww, I did not need to know that. they have had sex in this place! On that very couch!
“I thought you didn’t have a problem.” he starts worriedly obviously seeing my face.
“I don’t I just don’t need the image that came to my head,” I mumble, I didn’t need to see the image of the two of them making out on the couch, on the kitchen sides. hell looking around the place I can see the echos of it all and it’s gross.
“Why don’t you watch TV and I can get my study books and my book for a while?” I suggest.
“Okay,” he says worriedly, it’s so awkward, to people not meant to be in the same room. I wave my hand and my books settled in front of me. I start to study whilst he indeed watched TV. He keeps watching me though but I try my hardest to ignore him. it was more comfortable than I thought it would be though. It was strange. I already felt comfortable with him at the same time I knew I shouldn’t. Did he accept me for who I really was or was he just trying to fool both of us?
“So what do you fancy doing tomorrow?” he asks me after a long time of silence.
“Want to join me for a run?” I ask him.
“Anything other than that,” he mumbles under his breath. I laugh I can’t help it. He looks at me taken aback. I think it is the first time I have laughed at something he has said and he wasn’t even trying to be funny then. But I did inform him earlier his jokes are awful.
“What do you want to do?” I ask him.
“um.” He says as he seems to think. he didn’t know. he didn’t know enough about me to even make a suggestion. I look at him, and he sighs. He would never understand me. But he was just trying to think of things teenagers would enjoy.
“What about going to see a movie?” he asks me.
“Sitting still for that long in the dark makes me squirmy,” I admit.
“So you need to constantly be moving?” he asks me.
“Charlie I am doing my studying whilst doing a handstand,” I point out. He looks at me and a weak smile goes on his face.
“How do you write like that?” he asks me. “I tell my pen what to write. It’s not cheating as it has to come from my brain. It can’t write things I don’t know it’s just a pen. or I can do a one-handed handstand” I shrug.
“So you can’t cheat on pop tests?” he questions me.
“Well I technically could but its frowned upon.” I shrug.
“I could write my paper with a wave of my hand. But what am I learning from that?” I ask him.
“I am encouraged to learn more than the average teen and everything is done on my knowledge, not what my magic can do but what I can do with my own thoughts,” I inform him.
“I do actually enjoy learning new things,” I admit.
“Mom used to say that was something I got from you,” I admit under my breath, I don’t know why.
“A need to learn everything not just know it,” I tell him. He smiles, it is an honest smile.
“Would you like to go to the library?” he asks me.
“Yeah sounds fun,” I admit shrugging. a place we can be silent and not talk and just read? sounds great.
“Could we also see about a gymnastic gym of some type? Because yeah I am fine with jogging, and I’m fine not being on the squad anymore but that doesn’t mean I am going to give up my gymnastics.” I tell him.
“I thought that’s what you were doing in the mornings?” he asks me confused.
“That’s yoga that’s all about finding inner peace,” I inform him.
“In very strange physical positions?” he questions but he’s smiling.
“Now you’re getting it,” I tell him having to smile.
“You find that relaxing?” he asks me confused.
“How come me waving my hand and getting anything I want makes more sense to you and mom than me doing yoga she said similar,” I admit to him so confused.
“Do you think it helps you get inner peace?” he asks me. I nod.
“Then does it matter what I think?” he questions me.
“Not really,” I admit, but to me yeah it did.
“So what day do you normally have as your date night?” I question, not wanting to get in the way or see that.
“Sophia that doesn’t matter.” He tells me.
“It does to her,” I mumble.
“She might say it doesn’t that she wants you to build a relationship with me, but if you’re constantly on top of me and I’m constantly on top of you, we are just going to end up driving each other mad and fighting. Neither of us is used to that.” I tell him.
“So what do you suggest Sophia?” he questions me, looking at me like I am a bomb that he doesn’t know if it’s going to explode.
“One night a week you go out with your lady friends and leave me alone to do my practical work that could be dangerous to your health?” I suggest.
“Dangerous how?” he questions me, rather quickly worry all on his face.
“Well, mom did get eaten once by a 48-foot giant. all I wanted was his toenail he didn’t have to get so moody about it.” I mumble.
“Is it safe to do without Beatrice?” he asks me sounding worried.
“Yeah, I can reverse all my own spells now instantly. I’m in the final stages I’m almost fully trained.” I start to explain. He takes a deep breath.
“I’m never going to be a normal kid, you wanting that doesn’t change the facts, Charlie. I am different and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s not about me being like everyone else. It’s not even everyone else learning to except me. It’s about me excepting me.” I tell him what mom said all the time.
“So what I’m not the average teenage girl. But I’m not the average witch either. I am myself and that’s all that matters.” I tell him, I stand up getting ready to storm out the room.
“I agree you being yourself is what’s important Sophia.” He tells me quietly.
“I just want to keep you safe and I can’t do that when I don’t know what you’re going to do,” he says worriedly.
“Then trust me. You’ve never been there or cared about me before so don’t start now.” I snap at him getting to my feet and storming towards my room, I need away from him.
“SOPHIA!” He yells as I slam my bedroom door. Why couldn’t we go more than a few hours without a fight? It was always me who took something the wrong way. I knew he was trying. That’s what I didn’t get, I knew he was desperate to try, but why did he wait so long, why did he let me down so much. Why doe’s he keep saying the wrong things! He wants to accept me. But I also know he doesn’t. He will never fully accept me and even he knows that. He wants me to be a normal kid. I can never be that for him.
I look at my clock and sit bolt upright it is 5.39am. I was all kinds of messed up, why can’t I just sleep in like a normal teenager. Even Vinnie and Abe sleep through till lunch if they can! I stand up and wave my hands and my clothes change. It is hot today so I go for shorts for my workout, my dark blue ones covered in broomsticks and golden stitches. they are from harry potter but I love those books and films, some of the spells even work for me. My light pink sports bra goes on me. Again I know with Charlie that I can’t just wear a bra so wave my hand and my athletic heather grey harry potter quote top that says
‘still waiting on my Hogwarts letter’ settles on me. I grab my yoga mat and go outside into the backyard. I plug myself into my yoga mix. I calm myself I feel so relaxed I manage to reach my inner peace today. I then do about 3 of my old cheer routines to keep my body in shape. then I do one of my old gymnastics routines from before cheer. although the garden isn’t exactly big enough for my routine. But I feel better for it. when I have finished I go back into the house. Charlie is still snoring in his room, hes rather loud. I decide to write him a note just in case he wakes.
Charlie, I’ve gone for a run. I’ve got my phone. Sophie.
I then run out of the house. It was only when I was outside that I realized that I had forgotten my water bottle. I turn around to go back inside, as I find if it suddenly appears on me people ask questions. I turn the door handle but its locked. Great! I forgot the door locks the moment you shut it. I go to say a Harry Potter door opening spell that works for me when someone calls out my name from next door.
“Sophie.” I turn to see Justin and who I take is his younger brother stood on their own front door porch.
“Did you lock yourself out?” Justin questions me, smiling at me.
“You two are up early,” I say looking them both over in there jogging gear, you can tell they are brothers from one glance. I would say Justin’s brother was a mini of him, but his brother was taller and actually had more muscles on his arms. he also currently had better fashion sense than his Justin. his hair was cut shorter and neater. he also wasn’t wearing the stupid bandana that Justin was wearing again. wait. no. it was a different color. how many of the things doe’s Justin own?
“Did you lock yourself out?” Justin repeats his question.
“Yes, I locked myself out. no there is no point in knocking as Charlie is fast asleep.” I say rolling my eyes.
“Yes, I forgot to grab a drink,” I mumble.
“But no I don’t need one for my run.” I shrug. deciding I can do my run without it.
“Why are you two up this early?” I ask again.
“It’s hard to sleep when someone’s making so much noise next door.” The other guy grumbles, had I been loud?
“Sorry I didn’t realize I was being loud. I had an acre of land at home and it’s weird having neighbors so close.” I admit, how do people cope practically living on top of each other.
“You weren’t being loud hes a light sleeper, I apparently also snore too loudly. He isn’t a morning person” Justin says hitting his brother behind the head.
“So your Mr. Ds kid he has never mentioned before. yet he’s been dating mom for years and she still doesn’t think she should dump him.” The guy I take to be Nathan moans.
“And your brothers right you’re really not a morning person,” I say deadly serious.
“I’m.” I hesitate was I going to say Sophia or Sophie I didn’t know myself.
“Ha I knew you’d catch on quickly,” Justin says laughing walking towards me as he talks. “She’s Soph because she doesn’t know if she’s called Sophie or Sophia,” Justin says laughing reaching my side. “Don’t call me Soph.” I moan. “Joining us for a run Soph?” Justin asks ignoring what I said, throwing his arm over my shoulder. what is with him and touching?
“No, I’m going to run the complete opposite way to both of you now,” I say deadly serious, pushing his arm off my shoulder.
“Ahh, but what if we both went different ways?” Justin asks me grinning.
“Then there’s another route,” I tell him.
“Ahh, but you’d get lost.” He says smiling.
“Ha, thats a brilliant idea then I don’t have to go to the library later,” I say deadly serious.
“Really is that Mr. Ds idea of a fun day?” Nathan laughs, it’s the first time I’ve heard it and it takes me by surprise. He has a deeper laugh than his brother.
“Apparently so,” I say. Actually, I didn’t mind so much about going to the library and I think it had been my idea.
“Well, at least he can help you with your homework that’s one good thing for him,” Justin suggests encouragingly. Why is he trying to encourage me to get on with my dad? I shrug and decide to change the subject, I know straight away how to.
“Justin,” I say deadly calm.
“Yeah?” he questions me confused. I snatch the bandana off his head.
“I thought we talked about the fashion no that this is,” I say waving his bandana in my hand. What possessed him to think a yellow bandana with his blonde hair was a good idea anyway? Omg, he has his hair in a man bun! no just no!
“Says the person in harry potter quote clothes,” Nathan says rolling his eyes in my direction after looking me up and down. alright, I had realized he had fully just checked me out. I admit I had returned the favor and he was hot.
“You’re just as bad as him.” he moans grumpily. I honestly go to comment, but Justin beats me to it.
“Come on lets jog past the Starbucks and get grumpy here a coffee and you whatever drink you’ve forgotten before we wake up the whole street and they all become grumpy,” Justin says laughing. He then runs off grabbing his bandana back from my hand and I decide what was the harm in joining them. it’s not like we will talk much as we run.
I stand outside the Starbucks drinking my smoothie, caffeine free of course whilst Nathan and Justin drink their very large coffees. if you can class a Frappuccino as a coffee. I now have a bottle of water as well.
“So the first day at school tomorrow,” Justin says smiling.
“Do you have to remind me?” I question him.
“Nathan could put in a good word for you with the cheer squad if you want,” Justin says encouragingly to me. Why is he trying so hard?
“Yeah if you want,” Nathan mumbles grumpily, hopefully, his coffee kicks in soon.
“Nathan, you’re on the football team right?” I question, with his body there’s no way he isn’t.
“Yeah so what?” he moans.
“If one of your best players moved to a different school and started playing against your team and told there new team all your plays wouldn’t it feel like a betrayal?” I ask.
“Uh?” he says confused.
“Well for my squad it would be, they have too many comps this year. it’s the senior year we’ve worked too hard for me to risk it for them now. we’ve had a 4-year plan since freshman year. I am just aiming to get through this school year with the least amount of drama as possible. thank you for the offer but I’m not interested.” I say. I watch the paper guy as he bikes past me then, interested, I smile at him. He is rather cute. Today he looks at me with hatred though rather than the bemused look he gave me yesterday.
“Absolutely not,” Nathan says seeing who I am looking at.
“Um, what?” I ask absolutely confused.
“Are you wanting to commit social suicide, I know you don’t want to be a cheerleader anymore. Not that I get that, but you can’t hang out with freaks like that.” He tells me firmly, looking at the back of the paperboy as he bikes past.
“He just biked past me yesterday and looked at me like I was a freak, today he looked at me like he hated me. I am just trying to work out what I could have done to a guy I’ve never met.” I say shrugging.
“Have you met you?” Justin teases me, but he is joking I can tell. I roll my eyes.
“Yes according to all my friends’ I’m a bitch,” I tell him honestly. Justin blinks at me taken aback. Nathan actually laughs ha took a while to cheer up.
“You don’t say?” he questions.
“Hey why don’t you like me, I ain’t done anything to you yet either,” I say I know he doesn’t like me and it confuses me. I didn’t know what I had done. He didn’t know me.
“Want the truth?” Nathan snaps at me.
“Yeah or I wouldn’t have asked.” I snap back in a matching tone.
“I don’t like how you talk to Mr. D.” he snaps at me.
“What?” I question. what the hell! this guy knows nothing about me and my dad! yet he thinks I’m the one in the wrong?
“You heard me.” Nathan snaps.
“Hes trying and you keep just throwing it all back in his face,” Nathan tells me glaring at me.
“Yeah hes trying,” I say weakly because I can’t deny he is trying.
“See even you agree hes trying,” Nathan says angrily.
“He is trying now,” I say, am I really going to be made out to be the one in the wrong for not being able to forgive the 14 years of being let down?
“Precisely.” Nathan snaps at me. No, Nathan doesn’t get it. my Dad is trying now he has to try, but where was he when I was a kid? when I would sit on the porch waiting for him? when I would go to the mailbox wishing for a simple birthday card with the words love daddy in it. Trying now didn’t make up for never trying for all those years. Trying now was just too late.
“He is a great guy and you’re throwing everything straight back into his face. you also keep running away from him.” Nathan snaps at me.
“Nathan, I’m a bitch I am not going to pretend I’m not,” I say shrugging going for that instead of what I want to say. Nathan currently needs someone to hate, it had to be me because Charlie loved him and Justin, I knew that. Charlie loved there mom and he had never thought he would be able to love or trust anyone again after my mom and I knew that as well. Mom wasn’t easy neither was I. My dad was a normal human and he deserved a normal human family and a chance of a normal life. Right now in Nathans’ head, my Dad had let him down. So I needed to be the bad guy. I could do that, I could give my dad the chance to try again and this time not screw it up.
“I possibly am never going to give Charlie a shot,” I say truthfully. Wow really did I really think that?
“What the fuck did he ever do to make you hate him?” Nathan snaps at me. I didn’t want him to hate my dad and I didn’t hate him, well I did but I didn’t.
“I don’t hate him,” I mumble, not really sure if I fully mean that. I then run off then because you know what I need to be away before I make something explode, two people are watching us for our raised voices anyway and my smoothie is bubbling in my hand it is at boiling point and possibly likely to explode over all of us.
“Sophie wait up!” I hear Justin yell at me, but I don’t. I want to be alone! I run off as fast as I can and the moment I know I’ve lost them and no ones watching me, I do an invisibility spell and call my broom to me then I take to the sky to clear my head.
I land about 20 minutes later on a beach that is completely empty. I make sure no one is about I then turn visible and send my broom away. I sink to the sand, tears falling down my face I tell myself that I'm crying because of the cold wet sea air hitting me. But I knew it isn’t. Nathan had hurt me, and I couldn’t even work out how. I pull my legs up to my chest and sit on the sand trying my hardest not to cry. Why can't I just go back to when my life made sense. when I had my mom and knew how much I was loved. Taking deep breaths I calm myself and my magic down. Slowly letting the build-up power and emotions inside me go into the ocean to clean it so at least the power of my grief won’t have been wasted. I lay down in the sand exhausted.
My cell ringing what feels like constantly trying to gain my attention. It finally succeeds. I answer.
“Hey?” I ask as a question.
“Sophia where are you?” Charlie asks me worriedly.
“Sorry I left you a note,” I mumble, not sure how long had passed since then.
“Yes and I understood that you were out for a run. but that was over 5 hours ago that you left,” he says. Shit had I been here that long? I blink and look around.
“Sorry,” I mumble.
“Sorry?” Charlie questions me.
“Sophia I was worried sorry doesn’t really cut it,” he says firmly.
“Oh, now you worry about me.” I snap at him, I was still hurt from Nathans questioning.
“Where has that worry been the past 17 years Charles.” I snap then I hung up. I am tempted to throw my phone in anger but the only person who would suffer from that would be me. I look at my phone and I have texts from home. It is the group chat they had obviously not taken me off the squad group yet. In one way I was glad until I saw the messages and remembered they were back at school now. for the first time in years, I wouldn't be with my best friend since kindergarten. I wouldn't be going to school with people who have known me since I was 5 years old.
Victoria – WHAT THE FUCK IS MISS. J WEARING.
Tiffany – I know right but that’s nothing I had History with Mr. X and he was wearing a Hawaii shirt! I repeat a Hawaii shirt!
Abbie – Seems they're not the only ones with bad fashion statements today. Did you see Jacobs’s new slut! I thought he could do better than Sophie but honestly! Stacey has slept with most of the school football team already.
Tiffany – wait hes already got a new girlfriend?
Abbie – I doubt with Stacey that she’s his girlfriend. I bet hes just fucking her. According to Ashley, she overheard him tell Nate that Stacey is better than Sophie in bed any day as Sophie made him do all the work and was like fucking a soulless skeleton. I mean really was that girl anorexic or what.
Tiffany – no she didn’t have an eating disorder.
Abbie – yeah if you say so, I used to hear her go to the bathroom every day to puke. I bet that’s why she always run off when Mr. F went near her. and what the hell was with the frog in her pocket on and off from Mr. F lessons!
Victoria – Abbie I thought you thought she was knocked up and that’s the real reason she’s moved away?
Tiffany – her mom just died.
Abbie – omg Tiff get over it. Sophie was a BITCH long before her mom died, and everyone knows it.
Tiffany – I know she could be prickly to get on with. but she was honest and would never bad mouth anyone.
Victoria – Tiff I have to agree with Abbie on this. Sophie could be a right bitch you were the only one who didn’t see it.
I couldn’t take it and decided to let them know I had read it, I sent one message.
Sophie – yeah Tiff I am a right bitch. I always will be a bitch. But guess what all three of you have your moments. No, I wasn’t knocked up. Much to Jacobs lies we never did sleep together. I saved the frog from the lab because I refused to let him die when he gave me his little Froggy eyes. No, I’m not anorexic but if I was I would have preferred the help girls not to be judged on it. Like I helped you with that paper and to study all freshman year when you wouldn’t have been allowed to stay on the squad if you failed Vic. Like I helped you with Biology as well Abbie when your parents threatened to take away your car and cell if you didn't bring your grades up. But yeah I’m a bitch.
Sophie has left the conversation.
My phone buzzes a few more times, but I don’t look at it. I have had enough of people for one day. There is a reason Tiff and I just used to hang out the two of us, more than with the rest of the squad. I sigh, that’s how little I really meant to the people I used to call my friends then? My boyfriend was already with someone new and yeah I knew that was true. I don’t know why but I cry more and I feel like I really need to. I am grieving the loss of my mom and the loss of my own life. I'm being selfish I know it because unlike mom at least I'm still alive. but a really dark part of me wishes I wasn't.