The fish tank bubbles actually gave a certain calmness unlike the echoing ticking noise from the random clock. I know it sounds ridiculous, but just sitting against that portal, I caught the essence of being back home when I was a child.
Tilting my head back, I observed my father had changed the layout of his tank. My father was now sporting the broken pirate ship I helped pick out when I was ten.
“Here hun. I made you some tea,” my ears perked up when hearing my father’s gritty voice. Pressing my face as close as it could to the screen, my eyes could only see the lower portion of my parents robed bodies. They stood close to the kitchen light by the stove hood.
“I’m sorry, I just couldn’t sleep,” it was surprising to hear my mother’s tone so sadden.
“I couldn’t either,” I heard him mutter and then their feet faced each other.
“Are we bad parents Dan? To even think about that option. My heart is screaming to not do it, but it’s been two years and he hasn’t....”
Her words slowly stopped and I craved for more.
Did she say two years had passed?? That seemed impossible. I couldn’t have been here that long.
Taking her free hand, my father stated, “Well we can’t say that. He’s been showing some signs of movement.”
A sudden cry burst out in the still of the night and my mother mumbled, “A finger twitch and his eyes opening twice....”
My body sunk to the floor engrossed in their conversation. It sounded like I was stuck in a coma or worse maybe I was brain dead.
“And now they want us to stop trying.”
My father wrapped his arms around her waist, “Truthfully I not ready to let go and yet I can’t stand leaving him there in that state.” He gave a deep sigh, “I don’t know what the right course is anymore.”
“Please don’t give up on me,” I pleaded for my life. I was here. I was alive. I just didn’t know how to get back to me.
A shining light blinded my sight and I tumbled to the ground with pain ripping through my chest. My vision was blurring when I could sense my essence being sucked up to the ceiling.
I was terrified. No, I was beyond that.
Screams echoed with high pitch beeping noises.
I didn't want to go! Make it stop! Make it stopp!!
My mind seemed to repeat over and over. And then like that, I was lying on the ground painting from sure exhaustion.
What the hell was that?
“You don’t understand, Jules. You don’t have this huge pressure above your head,” the stresses ran out of me after finding out that my father had just suffered a miner stoke.
Her green eyes scrutinized me, “I have pressures on me too, Tyler. My father worked hard at the university to give me the chance at a free college education.”
I yelled annoyed at her blindness, “Exactly free. If I fail at any point, I’ll drowning in debt.”
And if I choice the wrong path, our future would be gone. She wouldn’t want to be with me. A failure. A loser that couldn’t finish college. She counted on me and yet my family did too.
Julianne stated with her face turning red, “I understand you have that pressure, but can you see I can’t blow this chance either. I don’t get a second try-”
I ran my hand through the mop of hair on top of my head. “What does it matter when you have your daddy and that,” I put quotations around, “fart-tart”, before continuing my heated sentence, “to fall back on.”
Her mouth hung wide open and I knew instantly I had hurt her deeply.
“Wow, I didn’t realize you see me that way,” she said with bitterness.
“You know what I meant. Everyone wants you with Micheal and honestly maybe you be better off with him.”
Turning away from Julianne to face my failed exam paper, anxiety flooded me. I was a failure too. “I can’t do this. This is to much pressure. Your pressuring me to much.” I stated out loud before my mind could filter it.
“I’m pressuring you now?!!” Her green eyes were tearing up as she throw the pillow from the couch hard at my face. “Get out! If I’m that terrible leave....”
Shaking my head, I thought, Back when we had started dating, we had hit many rough patches. Mostly because I was immature and insecure especially when Micheal Cruz graced us with his presence.
Giving a sigh, What would I give to be back even in that moment of fighting.
A clicking of heels on a hard floor surface broke me away from my thoughts. Opening the curtain, my breath seemed to halt.
I finally spot my Julianne from the chandelier in the foyer. She was pacing the floor with her hair pinned back and wearing a simple black dress.
Another set of footprints appeared and they belong to no other than Micheal Cruz, who was closing the front door. Her voice, one that was impassive now, said, "Thank you for the nice time. I'm going to retire for the night." Her arms were crossed and guarded while Micheal made his way over.
"At least let me make sure your okay after that fainting spell. You sit on the couch and I'll make you a cup of tea."
Julianne opened her mouth to rebuttal, but he step side her and went to the kitchen. Shaking her head at the floor, I bent down on my knees so I could see her go over to the living room and sit on the couch.
Her brows were furrowing, lips were pressed together, fists clenched and that slight redness crept into her cheeks. Knowing Julianne as long as I did, I could just tell by her social cues that she was very irritated and frustrated.
As Julianne's head tipped back onto the couch, her disgruntled expression melted away.
"Oh Jules," I whispered sorrowfully.
Only thing I could do was admire the change two years had done. A massive chunk of her auburn hair fell out of her bun allowing me too see Julianne had cut a few inches off. And....
"Here you go," his snotty voice said cheerfully and instantly her lips pressed together again.
Gently taking the tea, Julianne placed it on the table and stood up. "Thank you again," she lead his body toward the door, "for your concern, but I'm fine. I really need you to leave so I can get some rest."
"Okay, well goodnight." My eyes grew wide with anger as I watched Micheal stepped forward like he was going in for a kiss.
Were they on a date?? My heart seemed to break at the thought of it.
Instantly Julianne's arms flayed up, "What are you doing?"
His brown eyes bounced around unsure, "Well I took you out, I figure I deserve at least one kiss goodnight."
"Pfft," Julianne hissed out. She need a moment to collect her thoughts from all the anger. "Deserve? You took me to a bloody ballet recital."
My lips were turning up at her furious tone. He was so screwed.
"Come on," he begged, "You promised your parents to move on." Micheal added as if he was trying to guilt her and Julianne eyes stared at him long and hard.
Taking a deep breath with her redden cheeks, Julianne responded. "And what, pray tell, did you get the idea that I would ever and I mean ever, decided to move on with you." Her voice got louder and her Scottish roots were doing her proud, "When did my standards drop?"
Micheal obviously wounded in pride responded, "When you dated that dirty ape from the mechanics. A drop out from college. A worthless nobody. I would never dumped you and break your heart," he step forward and yelled, "He will never give you a life you deserve. A beautiful roof over your head. Money to buy what ever your heart desires."
Her face blanched at his last words.
Whatever your heart desires.... It rang a bell to a key memory locked away in my lost mind.
Leaking from her voice was anguish, "And yet he stayed faithful to me, unlike the cheating bastard in front of me."
"It was only one time. I was super drunk," Micheal said as if it was great excuse.
Julianne snorted, "You're unbelievable." Shaking her head, Julianne added, "Let me just make this clear enough so your thick skull can understand." Standing tall with for her short height, Julianne firmly stated, "I love Tyler. And I will always choice Tyler."
Looking through the window to the other side, I felt so amazed. I could probably fly right now!! She still loved me!!!
Micheal snapped back cutting my joy, "Is that what you want!! Basically a dead vegetable, Julianne??!"
Grasping the phone with her shaky hands, she screamed, "Get out! Get the fuck out of my house!"
Instantly Micheal pleaded knowing he crossed a line. "Come on baby, I didn't mean to-"
Lucky on his behalf, Micheal was able to duck the flying vase at his head. Again Julianne repeated, "Get out or else I'll call the cops!!"
Opening the front door, he yelled, "You're crazy!"
Her hand found the fire porker and replied back, "You want to see crazy Micheal?!"
With eyes widen, he finally did a smart thing by leaving. Quickly, Julianne locked the front door and exhaled a large sigh of relief. Walking back to put the portable telephone on it's hook, Julianne began to shake more and used the small table for support.
"Look what I did now." Her voice trembled, "I broke mom's vase." She took a step forward and morbidly said, "Broken into many piece like my heart."
Before I knew it, her legs gave way and her body cascaded to the marble floor. "Jules!!" I yelled in terror when I banged on the barrier. "Julianne. Julianne, I'm coming!!" I repetitively rammed my body into the mirror. I had to save her. I love he-
Backing away with uncertainty, I watched the mirror slowly create fine line cracks.
Was I finally making my way through??
Without a second thought, I gave a hard kick at the center and witnessed a few pieces shatter on the floor.
"I'm coming Jules-"
Backing away, I somehow fell to my knees weak at the sight in front of me.
"It doesn't matter," was all my lips could say when staring at the broken barrier with nothing behind it, but the wall.
"It doesn't matter. I can't go home," my body was trembling from the reality of the situation.
I was never getting out.
Picking up the shattered pieces that fell to the ground, I only saw my own reflection.
I was the same man I was. Brown hair trimmed to my ear, tan complexion that held one lonely freckle on my cheek, and same hazel eyes Julianne loved. Only instead my eyes being full of life and love, they held fear. Fear of being trapped here forever.
Scooting cautiously by the broken mirror still hanging on the wall, I waited in agony for someone to come and find her. I pressed my head close the the broken barrier and repetitively wiped the tears that kept falling.
The door was opening up and an older man's voice cheered out, "Julianne, are you home yet. We got you-"
Instantly the man stopped with Amelia behind him. "Jesus!" Quickly the man flew to Julianne's side and checked her pulse. "Mia get my kit," he commanded in a calming tone.
Amelia ran out of the room and I watched him carry Julianne to the couch.
"Here," Amelia said breathless and the man open his case and waved some kind of smelling salts below her nose.
In a daze, Julianne coughed and squirmed in confusion. With his hands holding her, he said sternly, "What happened?"
Julianne was still groggy, "Dad?"
"Yes," he said like an concern father. "Tell me what happened? Did you get into a fight? Did he hurt you?"
Staring at her father's eyes, I noticed she became very guarded. She was hurt. Mentally at least. "I threw vase at the moron. Sorry."
"It's alright," Dad replied kissing her hand, "Let's get you to bed."
Hoisting her up into his arms, he asked, "Where did you go out today?"
She was almost out of it again, while her father carried her up the stairs. Julianne said not impressed, "Ballet recital." Without warning she closed her eyes and was sound asleep.
Shaking his head annoyed, her dad muttered, "Idiot."
They both disappeared and I was left watching Amelia pick up the remains in the foyer.
I guess I had been off with my guess. Amelia was a sister. But not mine.
Sweeping the last pieces, their dad walked down the stairs quietly with a contemplating expression.
"Is she okay?" Amelia's worried tone betrayed her calm face.
"She'll be fine. Stress of going out for the first time and Micheal, well it overwhelmed her." He said looking a the broken vase."Thank you for cleaning up, Mia."
"I knew it was a bad idea. He said they just go out as friends." Amelia was becoming riled up and her father kissed the top of her brown hair while hugging.
"Don't worry about it. Try to get some rest," he said reassuring.
Knowing where his daughter's mind would say next, he responded, "It's okay. I'll wait up for mom."