01 || Blues
Warnings: This story contains mature sexual content, swearing, violence, drug/alcohol use, mentions of depression, and mentions of suicide.
Ice shavings coated my ankles when I headed for the ground with a harsh fall.
I rolled over, my arms falling out beside me when I exhaled a deep out-of-breath sigh. This wasn’t one of my bad falls, but it was still a pretty harsh one, especially falling face forward.
“Lore,” Vale skated over and stopped a few inches before my body. She kneeled and carefully moved forward to brush the black curls from my face. “You’re bleeding,” her eyebrows furrowed in concern, and she pushed her silky brunette strands behind her shoulders.
“Lorelei, what did I tell you about your turn?” I closed my eyes and lifted my fingers to brush the dripping blood down my cheek. “This is what happens when you don’t listen to me,” every second Mrs. Baldwin spoke I felt like I was being internally ripped apart. I hated when she felt like I wasn’t listening to her because I was.
It’s just hard.
“I know I know,” I pushed myself to sit up and sighed softly. Mrs. Baldwin approached me, and Vale backed away a bit. “I won’t get it on my second try,” she pulled a band-aid out of her pocket and peeled the wrapper from it. I stayed silent when she wiped the small gash and placed the bandage over it.
“Clean this up when you get home,” she stood up and skated toward the exit of the rink. I murmured under my breath, feeling the melting shavings melt against my skin and chill it.
“I’m not going to get it by the time the competition starts, Vale,” I took her hand and slowly stood to my feet. My body was softly aching from the intense practice we did this time around. The way we perform at the competition would reflect Mrs. Baldwin’s skills as a coach which is why she insists on working with us so intensely during these practices.
“Don’t say that Lore, maybe you will,” she led us to the changing room and sat with me on the bench. “Maybe you haven’t got it yet because you’re stressing about this year of school. Once school starts you can put your head back in the game,” I leaned down and released the pressure the skates were applying on my feet. I removed them both and placed them beside me to gently massage my ankles.
“I guess so,” I lifted to briefly peer at the time. “My parents are here. They’re picking me up because they want to talk,” I stood to my feet and moved to the locker my bag was in. Vale slowly removed her skates, and I placed my bag on the bench to place the skates inside.
“What do you think they want to talk about?” I zipped the bag and gripped the handle loosely. My teeth gnawed constantly at the inside of my cheek, trying so hard to concentrate on Vale talking but my mind was in ten other places.
“I don’t–” I blurted out in the middle of her speech. She fell quiet, her head slightly tilting when her gaze fixated on me. “I’m sorry, I just couldn’t focus on you talking and the constant thoughts. I have noticed my father sulking around the house lately, maybe one of them is sick. Either way, I have to go so I don’t keep them waiting.”
Vale nodded slowly while I pushed the handle over my shoulder and slipped my socked feet into slides. I rushed out of the changing room, fixing the ends of my long sleeve shirt hugging the upper part of my body.
“Have a good night coach,” I waved and pushed open the heavy door to exit the building. The chilly fall air rose goosebumps against the back of my neck. Not even the heavy set of curls on my head could keep my neck warm.
It was a short walk to my parent’s SUV waiting in the parking lot. I approached my father’s side when he rolled the windows down to talk to me.
“Your face,” he reached to touch the band-aid, but I pulled away because it was still burning. “Sorry, anyways, how was practice?” I peered past my father to smile at mom. She smiled back and I turned my gaze back on him.
“Practice was fine, just like every other day,” I moved to open the backseat and placed my bag on the floor inside. I stepped into the vehicle and closed the door behind me. Usually, the vibe in this car was nice and happy, but I felt a significant shift. My mother and father hadn’t looked at each other like they were avoiding each other’s gazes.
Maybe one of them is sick.
I pulled my phone out of my bag when the message sound went off.
Vale: Sleeping over tonight?
“Mom, dad, could I stay over at Vale’s tonight?” I broke the silence that fell over us when the car backed out of the parking space. They nodded in sync but said nothing to follow, unusual. “Is everything okay?” again they nodded, giving no answer to follow. This basically forced me to stop attempting to make conversation because it was going absolutely nowhere.
Lorelei: Of course.
We arrived at my favorite diner, Blues. We come here whenever we need to talk or if we just want to spend some time with each other. I value family time more than anything else in this world and I consider Vale family.
“Do you guys want the usuals?” Tina approached us with her notepad retrieved and a smile pasted on her rose lips. We all agreed on our usual, mine being the burger, fries, and strawberry milkshake. Something basic because my stomach can’t handle all that much.
“What’s going on? You two have barely said a word to each other on the ride here,” I laughed nervously and moved my fingers to brush up my forearm. My mom reached forward and took my hand, she glanced at my father and sighed softly.
“Lore, your dad and I are getting a divorce. We’ve actually just finalized the process and your father is moving to live with one of his friends in Arizona next week,” my eyebrows furrowed, and I scoffed at my mother’s words. My hand slipped from hers and dropped off the table into my lap. “But he will still visit, and you’ll be able to visit as well.”
I looked at my father, guilt, and sadness broke down the soft smile he once had on his face. An unfamiliar feeling dug a deep pit at the bottom of my stomach, I felt angry... sad... scared all at once. I wish there was a simple emotion to describe those three in one.
“You waited till the divorce was final to tell me? I don’t understand, why do you have to move so far? Why can’t you just move across the stress?” I looked between my parents, unsure who to focus on because they were both being eaten by guilt right before me. “Can one of you guys answer me for... Jesus’ sake?”
“We didn’t want to stress you out through the process, and we thought it’d be better to tell you after it was finished. Also, this friend who I’m moving in with is already set up to have me stay with them... it’s just easier,” I blinked, and my vision blurred. Tears brimmed at the edge of my eyes before a few spilled over and my hand quickly swiped them away.
“You would rather live states away from me because your friend is goddamn excited to have you,” my mother’s eyebrows rose when I cursed at my father. She placed her hand flat against the table, reaching for me when I moved closer to the edge of the booth.
“Lorelei, honey come on,” I found myself wiping my eyes again while standing from the booth. The waitress approached our table just as I was leaving it and exiting the diner. The sidewalk was nearly empty, a few tables spaced out for people to sit and eat at.
“This is fucked,” I shook my hands and paced the sidewalk trying to calm myself. The tears kept falling constantly, soaking my cheeks with saltiness to the point I felt a tear get under my bandage and soak into the cut. I winced at the burning, pulling my sleeve down over my hand to wipe my cheeks dry.
I moved to sit at one of the tables, crossing my arms and leaning against the table with a deep exhale. My heart raced but my thoughts calmed, the fall weather comforting me instead of chilling me.
“Are you alright?” I jumped at the sudden speaking voice behind me. I wiped my cheeks in case more tears had fallen and turned to see a male standing over me. He looked about my age, his hands tucked into the pockets of his jeans and black strands dangling over his eyes. “You look like you’re crying.”
I inhaled a short breath. “I’m fine,” I dismissed his claim and looked away from him. “I’d actually rather be left alone right now,” too much was on my mind to focus on the cute guy asking me if I was fine. If this was some other day and I was crying because of practice and how I felt like I’d failed, then I’d love for him to ask me that.
“Right well, just heads up two adults are looking at you through the window and if they don’t know you that could be creepy,” I glanced behind me at my mom and dad staring at me through the diner window. The male had walked past my table and continued his way down the sidewalk before disappearing at the turn. Even with them being my parents, it’s kind of creepy.
I fished my phone out of my pocket and pulled up my messages.
Lorelei: I’m coming over. I’d much rather not be in my parent’s presence at the moment.
Vale: I’m making a quick stop at the store; you can let yourself in. Sorry, the talk didn’t go as planned.
I’m sorry too.