Always Together

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Chapter 5

The wooden panel creaks beneath my foot when I step on the front porch of the cabin house. The creaking sound slices, the otherwise calm atmosphere. The occasional chirping of the birds and rustling of the leaves, when the wind blows, feels like nature is playing music.

I reach the back pocket of my jeans shorts to retrieve the keys of the cabin. Balancing the bag of cleaning supplies and some grocery items in my one hand, with the other hand I unlock the door.

The musty and damp air welcomes me. The floating dust particles are visible in the sunlight filtered inside the house through the slight opening of the curtains.

Keeping the bags on the floor, I remove all the curtains and opened the windows for the ventilation.

I look around while taking in each and every detail of the house. Nothing has changed in all these years, everything is just the way I have seen.

A beautiful cozy home which should have been filled with the laughter and chatter of a happy family is quiet and silent. Sometimes, it seems this house also misses its owners.

After cleaning the entire house, which takes around four hours, I change into a spare pair of clothes after taking a shower. Walking inside the master bedroom, I run my hand over the dresser. My eyes travel from one thing to another. This is the part of the house, where I feel like I am not alone.

Everything in this room brings me closer to mom and dad. Their belongings are still kept in this room, just the way they had left. Some jewelry item and makeup accessories, of mom, are scattered on the dresser. Dad’s shoes are placed on the side of the door as he has just now taken them off. The closet is filled with the mom and dad’s clothes, if you open the closet you can almost feel their smell. However, that smell is now tainted with the dust.

Taking a deep breath, I pick up mom’s empty perfume bottle. Bringing it closer to my nose, I inhale it. Trying to feel my mother’s comforting smell, which I have never had a chance to actually experience in my life. Tears prick my eyes because there is hardly any smell left in that bottle.

“Mom, your things are also leaving me.” I blink rapidly to dry my eyes, my throat constricts as I swallow.

I could have easily bought that perfume from the market, but that won’t be the same. This was the one which my mother used.

I want to preserve every single memory of my parents, even if it is their smell. But, unfortunately, that is practically impossible.

Walking across the room, I stand in front of the wall on which beautiful memories proudly hang. My reflection falls on the photo frame in which my mom’s smiling face is captured. It feels like she is smiling at me.

Sometimes I just wish, even if it is just for once, my mom comes back to me. I want to keep my head in her lap and let go all the years of tears which are buried inside me. I have spent numerous nights crying myself to sleep, but just once I want to fall sleep in my mom’s arms.

I run my fingers on the glass, a few more tears gather in my eyes.

I share a great resemblance with my mom, but I got my hair from my dad. We share the same smile, eyes, skin color... even I have a faint dimple on my left cheek just like her. The only difference is that my hair is black, and her hair was light brown.

Quickly, I run my fingers under my eyes and turn away from her picture when my phone rings. Slight furrow forms between my brows when I see the name of the caller.

“Hey,” Alec says, sounding hesitant.

“Hi,” I quietly reply still puzzled.

“I wanted to-” he pauses, then after a moment he asks, “Are you crying?”

It takes me a moment to realize that he must have judged it from my voice. Because my voice is slightly sounding hoarse.

Putting the phone away from me, I take a few deep breaths and swallow to soothe my dry throat.

“Um...no.” I clear my throat, “I am just recovering from a sore throat, that’s why you must have felt like that.” I lie.

“Yeah, sure,” he says in a mockingly.

“Why did you call?” I ask in a little firm tone.

“You forgot your purse at my home.” He informs, “I found it, today, at the balcony.”

“Oh, it was at your place.” I lightly slap my head, “I thought I forgot it in Jake’s car.”

“You came with Jake?”

“I came with Kristan and Jake.” I switch off the room’s light and close the door behind me.

“So, should I give your purse to Jake? Or...umm.” He sounds like he is debating something in his mind, “Or can I bring it to you or will you come to pick it? If you want, I can send it by someone, but I don’t know where you live...” He trails off unsure.

“Whatever, suits you.” I smile at his rambling.

I can’t imagine a person like him, can sound nervous.

“I am sounding like an idiotic, right?” He sighs and lightly chuckles.

“Yeah, kind of.” I laugh and nod my head, even though he can’t see me.

“Honestly, I called you to return your purse, but also because I wanted to talk to you.” He sighs, and now I notice tiredness in his voice, “I liked talking to you, and I was kind of hoping we can talk.”

“Only if you want?” later he adds when I don’t reply.

“Yeah, it is cool.” I smile, “Even I enjoyed talking to you.”

“Thank God, otherwise I would have seemed like a creep,” he says, while I hear someone’s yelling and cursing in the background.

“Hold on a sec,” he says, then I hear the closing sound of the door and the background noise silences.

I sit on the rocking chair nearby fireplace in the living room.

“Sorry, about that.” He sighs tiredly, “Some people cannot accept their defeat.”

“Final tryouts are around the corner, things are getting intense at Battleground.” Sound of chair dragging on the floor comes through the speaker, “Lots of training are happening, lately.”

“You are also into boxing, like Jake?” I ask tucking my legs under and get a mini heart attack when the chair dips forward, nearly making me fall.

“No, MMA,” he replies, “Mixed Martial Arts, it is like a combination of different fighting techniques.” He describes.

This explains the reason behind his muscular build.

“I know what MMA is.” I roll my eyes, shifting the phone to the other hand I lean back on the chair.

“Okay, cool,” he says casually.

After talking for almost half an hour, exhaustion from earlier work starts to catch up with me.

“Uh-huh,” I say while yawning, not making out half of the words, he has said.

“Am I boring you?” He sounds slight embarrassed.

“No... no.” I shake my head and straighten up in my chair, “I am just feeling a little tired, today, I was busy sorting out somethings at the house.”

“I guess, then I should hang up,” he says, “You should take rest and... maybe... we can talk later?”

“Yeah, we’ll talk later.” I laugh at his hesitancy.

“But, wait, what about your purse?” He abruptly asks.

During our conversation, I have almost forgotten about my purse.

“You can keep it with you.” I stand up and arch my back keeping one hand on my hips, “It is empty, I just carried it because it was matching with my outfit.” I laugh.

“You can directly hand over it to me.” I shrug and pick up my car keys, “If we meet.”

"If we meet? or when we meet?” He emphasizes the words if and when.

“I think I said if we meet.” I lightly laugh and head outside the house, locking it.

Dry leaves and sticks crunch under my feet as I walk towards the car.

“How can I change that if into when?” He asks light-heartedly.

“Hmm, that’s an interesting question,” I reply, keeping the same lightheartedness in my tone as his, “Well, it depends on how long will you manage to stick around me.” I sit inside and slip the key into the car ignition.

“Then, it is definitely going to be when we meet,” he says and I can clearly sense his smirk, “Because I am in for a long haul... you can’t get rid of me that easily,” he says smugly.

“Over-confident, huh?” I tease.

“No, confident.” He instantly replies.

“Okay, we will see about that.” I nod my head.

A few moments passed none of us hanged up the call.

Whenever I am on phone, I am always the first one to disconnect the call. But now, I don’t know why I want him to hang up first.

“Avery?”

“Yeah?”

“Are we playing, who is going to hang up the call first?” He asks and starts to laugh. His laugh is so contagious that I end up laughing too.

“Okay, I am hanging up,” I say when our laughter subsides.

“Wait, Avery,” he quickly says when I am about to end the call.

“I will be waiting for your message when you will reach back home.” He chuckles and ends the call before I could even ask how does he knows I am not at home.

“What the hell!” I look at the phone in my hand, “If you are some bloody creepy stalker, Alec, then you are in serious danger.”



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