We arrived at the house. It was nice to be home and with an extra few days off. Dad entered the house first and as soon as we were inside, I knew what he would say.
“Yes, please.” I said.
“To what?” he sounded confused.
“To the tea, you would be offering.” I smiled.
“Am I that easy to read?” he laughed. “Right, I’ll put the kettle on then.”
He disappeared off into the kitchen and I heard buttons being pressed and the noise of clinking cups. I put on my lazy clothes for the night. I ran upstairs but had to stop midway. I struggled for breath suddenly; Bitch Beth’s fault. She had winded me and my other pains did not help much either. I thought back to the nurse’s instructions about breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. I stood in the middle of the stairs gasping for air. As I struggled to catch my breath, my Dad came to the stairs.
“Tea’s ready.” he stood at the bottom of stairs and his face dropped as he saw me clutch my chest.
“What’s wrong?” he quickly asked as he ran up to me.
Seeing my Dad rush to my aid made me think how lucky I was to have him.
“The fight, she winded me,” I said between breaths. “I’ll be okay, just need a minute.”
I slowly climbed the rest of the stairs while my Dad stood behind me. I entered my room and closed the door behind me.
“I’ll be downstairs, oh and the tea’s ready,” he said again behind the door.
I hated that he had to see me like this, like I was some weak kitten. As I got undressed, I caught sight of myself in my mirror. On the side of my body, I had an angry purple bruise, the size of a giant fist. I gently poked at it and a sharp pain shot through me, (idiot). Ignoring the purple mark, I tossed my clothes into the basket for washing and grabbed my lazy clothes. Before I left the room, I rooted through my bag to get my phone, hoping to hear news of the girls. This time, I slowly descended the stairs while holding onto the bannister. I came through the living and into the kitchen where my Dad was pouring the steaming water into the cups.
I reached out and grabbed the hot mug and sat in the living room. The TV was already on in the living room and was showing daytime talk shows. We sat on the sofa together while watching the TV. I tried to find a comfortable position while trying not to spill my boiling tea. Slowly, I sipped the steaming beverage.
“Ellie,” my Dad asked me. I turned to him. “I’m worried about you.”
What he said confused me, why was he worried about me? “What do you mean?” I replied.
“Well, you don’t seem yourself, that’s all.” he said. “You’re closed off from me. You shut down when you come home, and with this fight at school.”
I was about to have my say, but he put his hand up to stop me. “Plus, things were happening before the accident.” he put down his cup and gave me his full attention. “Ellie, do you still blame yourself?” his question took me aback. I wished he hadn’t asked that.
“Sometimes,” I shyly said while putting the cup down.
His shoulders slumped, and he looked defeated. “Ellie, you know that wasn’t your fault, never blame yourself, and even if there is a bit of you that thinks anyone would blame you, you are wrong.”
Tears formed in my eyes. I let them fall from my face. “Every time I come home, it feels like I don’t belong here anymore, because, deep down, it feels like I killed Kate,” I said through sobs.
My Dad took me into a tight hug and held me while I cried. “It’s not your fault, Ellie. It’s not your fault.”
I’m so tired of crying all the time, why couldn’t I be strong for once. I just wanted everything to go back to normal, but I was stupid. I pulled away from his hug and wiped my eyes with my oversized t-shirt.
“I know, how about I make some food, you must be hungry?” he said while he walked off into the kitchen.
I was a little hungry since I haven’t eaten since this morning and that was just some toast. I got up from the sofa and joined my Dad in the kitchen. He collected pots and pans, all ready to prepare dinner.
“Spaghetti again, is it?” I asked as I stood in the kitchen doorway.
“Yep, your favourite and with my special sauce.”
“Dad, it’s from a jar, how can you call it your special sauce?”
“Ah, that’s because I add more ingredients to it.” he said.
“So what do you add then?”
“It’s a secret.” he replied.
“Is it garlic?” I asked. I love garlic, but too bad it gives you foul breath.
“Well yes, but there’s more to it than that.” he joked.
“Fine.” I said, feeling defeated.
I turned to the sink and found that there were still dishes left in there. Normally they would have already washed, dried and put away.
“Dad, do you want me to clean these?” I asked, pointing to the dirty dishes.
“Uh yeah, that would be great.” he said.
I emptied the sink and quickly gave it a wipe down before running the boiling water. I then added some dishwashing liquid. As I squeezed in the bottle, a burst of fresh lemon scent escaped from the bottle, leaving a gorgeous fragrance behind. Looking at the dishes on the side there were cups, plates, and bowls mostly were mine.
“I had a lot of cups up there, didn’t I?” I said to Dad.
“Yeah, and some of them were crawling out on their own.” he joked.
The hot and cold water combined with a pleasant temperature, I grabbed the sponge and started with the cups from my bedroom. I plunged the cup into the hot soapy water and felt my hand sting with pain. Quickly, I pulled my hand from the water and examined it. Not noticing it before, I had a cut on my knuckles. I thought about how that had happened when I realised; Beth. I continued with the dishes and ignored the stinging pain. Behind me, I could hear my Dad snapping up the thick spaghetti. He stood next to me to use the tap. Slowly, he filled up the saucepan full of water.
“Make sure you don’t get any soap in the water. I don’t want to be blowing bubbles.” I said.
“I won’t, I won’t.” he said repeatedly. He turned off the tap and left me to my dirty dishes.
I had one or two more cups and bowls to wash and I would finish. Finally finished, I placed the last dish onto the draining board and emptied the sink. I wiped the suds off my hands with a tea towel my Dad gave to me.
“Do you want me to do anything else?” I asked.
He shook his head. That was me done till dinner. I came back into the living room and sat down in the chair and flicked through the boring channels. I turned to a film, and it was one of those romantic comedies that always follow the same plot, and you knew what would happen. Horror and thrillers are my favourites. To this day, Lilly won’t watch a scary film with me, but Becky and I always watched them, sometimes we’d have a weekend to watch our favourite horror movies, we had some good laughs during the weekends.
I sniffed the air and could smell the food was cooking. By just smelling the aroma, my stomach rumbled.
“How long?” I shouted to my Dad.
“Won’t be long, about twenty minutes,” he shouted back.
I continued to watch the romantic comedy, (nothing else was on). I could then hear a beeping noise from the sofa. I picked up my phone that hid between the cushions. The screen told me I had one new message and that it was from Becky. With my finger, I swiped at the screen and saw her message.
Hi, Ellie. How you doing. Headmaster made us stay behind for the entire story. Hope you are OK. Talk soon, X.
I replied with a thank you and sent it. I just hoped that she had her phone on silent. Deciding to look at the entertainment news, I brought up the internet on my phone. The same thing kept on reappearing, more useless scandals, celebrity feuds, and, who said what at an awards speech, and to top it all off, what celeb’ was wearing what this season. It just fried my brain. Hate that stuff. This time, I went on over to the world news. More fights, more political scandals about government officials stealing money, just the same things.
There was nothing fascinating going on that I wanted to know more about, so I put the phone down. Inside the kitchen, I could hear plates and cutlery being placed down. Food must be ready soon. More mouth-watering smells drifted into the room.
“How long now?” I pestered.
“Little longer.” he replied.
I hate waiting for anything; I had no patience for it, and I’d rather have it now than later. I went back to my phone and texted Lilly.
Thanks for earlier talk to you soon X
I pressed the send button and away it went. In the background, the comedy was still on. (Hasn’t that thing ended yet?) I picked up the remote and flicked through more channels. Nothing good was on, nothing that got my attention. Most of the time, I just use it for the background noise. It’s Dad who gets the most out of it than I do.
Dad called from the kitchen. “It’s ready.”
I took off from the sofa and sat down at the kitchen table. He dished it out and placed a huge portion down onto my plate. I didn’t care how much there was; I was hungry. Taking my fork, I wrapped the spaghetti around the fork and shovelled it straight into my mouth, not caring if I dropped any on my clothes.
“Nice?” my Dad asked.
“Mm,” I said with a mouth full of pasta.
He chuckled. “Don’t forget to chew or you’ll choke.”
I nodded while spaghetti was dangling from my mouth. I swallowed and took another mouthful.
“So who is this, Beth anyway, has she been giving you trouble before?” he asked.
I quickly took another mouthful to avoid his question.
“That won’t work, Ellie.” he said, “Come on tell me.”
I swallowed and took a sip of water provided on the table. “Fine, she has been bullying me a few times, she says horrible things to me and I’d just ignore them, but, this time, I..” I stopped myself from saying any more.
“Ellie, did you start the fight?” he questioned.
“Yes. But she said disgusting things about me and Kate,” I answered. “I just had enough of her and it just kinda’. happened.”
“Becky and Lilly, they covered for you, didn’t they?” he asked.
I only nodded in disappointment.
“Well, you know I don’t condone fighting, but I’m glad that you stood up for yourself.”
I gave a brief smile to cover my shame and continued to eat. After a more few fork full’s I finished, my stomach was ready to burst. I got up and cleaned my plate. Once Dad finally finished, I took his plate and washed it. I wiped down the countertops thick with pasta sauce. (He makes a mess, sometimes you’d swear he was cooking for an army). Checking my phone for messages, I noticed that the day was dragging on badly. In the living room, Dad watched some TV. I poked my head into the livingroom to thank him for the food.
“I will watch a film in bed and then maybe an early night.” I told my Dad.
“Okay, Ellie,” he smiled. “Oh, thank you for cleaning up.”
I climbed the stairs one at a time, hoping I didn’t get winded again. I opened my bedroom, and I just wanted to dive into bed and never come out. Boredom had settled in, and I hated feeling bored, so I walked over to DVD shelf and browsed through the many titles. Some titles were good, and some were bad, and then there was the awful (I don’t know why I bought them). All my DVD’s were in order; they were arranged by how I rated them good on top and bad on the bottom. Sometimes If I needed a good laugh, I watched the dreadfully terrible films.
“What am I in the mood for?” I said out loud. “No, no, no, no.” I said to each of the films I ran my finger across. “How many times have I watched this?” I asked battered DVD case.
“I didn’t know you liked horror movies, Ellie?” said a familiar voice.