Happy Birthday, see you at school. Sam texted me, causing my phone to beep loudly in my otherwise silent room
I couldn’t stop the smile forming on my face as I read my boyfriend’s text.
Thanks, Babe! See you at my locker? I responded, placing my phone back into my pocket.
Creases formed on my brow as I frowned slightly at his lack of words. He used to talk so romantically to me, but lately, he’s been acting so distant. I shook off my ridiculous thoughts, scoffing at my worries. He’s probably just distracted with schoolwork like me. I mean, we can’t stay in the honeymoon stage forever, right?
Glancing up from my position on my bed, my eyes were drawn to the silly Christmas photo my parents and I took last year. We all wore ridiculous Rudolph sweaters, and dad was wearing a fake beard while mum wore a ridiculous tutu and I wore a pair of huge yellow sunglasses. I let the joyful memories wash over me, pushing away my concerns.
Dad pulled Mum and me towards the photo booth with a goofy smile on his face. I laughed loudly as Mum giggled, and I gave in to his childish behavior, running to find accessories to wear with all of our ugly sweaters. A bright pink tutu called Mum’s name, so I grabbed it for her as well as a silly fake Santa beard and giant yellow sunglasses.
Dad and Mum were already waiting near the camera, so I turned and ran up to them, stifling a giggle at their priceless reactions to the accessories I had picked. Going along with it, they grabbed the stuff and put it on. The cameraman was biting his cheek to keep from laughing at our appearances, making us laugh as the photo was taken.
Mum ran off to pay for the photo and I moved to put the stuff away. Glancing back, I saw a younger lady bending over to pick up some stuff, showing off her underwear. I cringed in disgust and turned away to look at Dad, who seemed to be staring at her ass with a smirk. I shook off the thought and looked closer to see he was looking at his phone. Sighing, I laughed and shook my head. I’m being ridiculous, Dad loves Mum, why would he look at anyone else? Smiling again, I ran off to Mum and Dad, who was now waiting for me at the exit.
Standing up, I stretched my arms with a yawn, pausing as I looked closer at the image. Dad’s eyes weren’t focused on the cameraman, but rather next to him. My eyebrows furrowed as I tried to think back to what was there, but came up with nothing. Cracking my neck, I grabbed my backpack and moved towards the stairs, hesitating when I heard the front door open. Who’s home? I crept forward, confusion filling me as the sound of quiet giggling filled the house. The giggler was shushed and I heard footsteps.
I know mum told me she was coming back early for my birthday, but I hadn’t even left for school yet. I moved down the stairs opened with a smile on my face, ready to act surprised, only to freeze in shock. Dad was kissing a strange woman, pressing her up against the wall. Neither of them seemed to notice me until I dropped my bag, letting it hit the hardwood floor with a loud bang. Dad’s head flew up in alarm and he looked at me with surprise and shock, but I couldn’t find a hint of guilt in his eyes.
“Sk- Sky- SKYLAR! A-aren’t you supposed to be at school?” He muttered, trying to hide the woman he had been kissing.
I scoffed angrily, and I clenched my fist. “No Dad, school starts at 8:00. How long have you been doing this!? I can’t believe you would cheat on Mum, especially with this bimbo-”
The woman screeched furiously and stepped forward, quickly slapping me across my face. Dad turned away from me, not saying a word against his bitch’s actions. The woman continued to glare at me with a disgusted look on her makeup-caked face. She’s disgusted? Really? My hand flew up to my cheek and I sniffled as I held back angry tears. As I stumbled backwards, the sound of a car engine cutting reached our ears. The jingle of Mum’s keys was the only warning we had as the door flew open.
“Honey, I’m hooooome-WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?” She roared, rushing over to me.
She pulled me into her arms, cursing when she took in my bruising cheek. Wheeling on dad, she looked at him with pain and disgust. “You SWORE to me that you were done cheating. Now, look at what you’ve done. You’ve brought one of your PIGS home and SKYLAR saw! Not to mention, it’s her birthday and your FUCKING PIG SLAPPED HER! I TRUSTED YOU! I LOVED YOU!”
Dad stepped back with each word, refusing to look anyone in the eye. Silence filled the room for a moment before he looked up again, a smirk on his face as he pulled his bimbo to him. “Skylar wasn’t supposed to be home, and you’re a bad lay anyway. The divorce papers will be here within the week.”
With a loud slam of the front door, my Dad walked out of our lives with his stupid bimbo in tow. Mum slid to her knees, and I fell next to her as the waterworks came. So much for having a perfect family! I felt Mum’s arms wrap around me as I sobbed loudly. How did I miss this? How could he do this to her? To me?
We sobbed together for a bit longer before mum stepped back, trying to pull herself together. “I’m sorry we ruined your birthday baby. I’ll make it up to you after school. Run along now, you don’t want to be late.” She said sadly.
I looked at my mum and winced at the broken look in her hazel eyes. I can’t leave her now, not when she’s like this. Not when she’s hurting like I am. Mum let out a watery laugh and kissed my head.
“Go on baby, I just need some time to myself.” She pleaded, pushing me towards the door with my backpack.
I slowly left her, ignoring the flashing cameras as I drove to school. Sometimes I really hate being a famous kid. By now, I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire world knew about the cheating and pending divorce. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if they knew about the cheating long before even mum did.
I drove to school in a daze, desperate to see my friends. I glanced around the hallway, confused as I found them huddled around my best friend, Valerie’s locker instead of mine. Why are they over there? Looking closer, I gasped when I saw Valerie wrapped in Sam’s arms as he kissed her neck.
A distraught sound escaped from my throat, catching their attention. I looked at them in betrayal, but Valerie just wore a smirk on her face. Her lipstick was smudged and traces of it were noticeable on Sam’s lips.
“Valerie, what the hell are you doing?” I demanded, feeling my heart crack yet again.
She glared at me with pure hatred in her eyes. “It’s QUEEN Valerie to you, nerd. Heard about your family, boo-fucking-hoo. We don’t accept disgraces and embarrassments in our group, so get lost loser.”
Tears welled up in my eyes as I looked from them to the crowd that had formed around us. I desperately searched my other friends’ faces for help but saw nothing but hatred. How could they?! Annoyed that I wasn’t moving, Valerie stepped forward and slapped my face. I stumbled back, tripping over my a pencil.
“But you’re my best friend...” I whispered.
She simply smirked, leaning down to whisper into my ear. “I knew your dad was cheating the whole time. She is so much prettier than your ugly ass mom, and by the way, I’ve been sleeping with Sam behind your back the entire time you’ve been together.” Her words hit me like a sledgehammer, and with the final blow, my heart shattered into a million pieces.
I looked at her again, finally noticing who she truly was. This thing wasn’t my friend, this thing was a power craving monster. I turned and ran, ran away from the jeers and the mocking, away from my ex-friends and ex-boyfriend, losing my popularity and every sense of safety I had hoped to have.
I sniffled as I drove from the school parking lot, trying to forget the disastrous memories that school had imparted on me. How could the teachers turn a blind eye to me getting physically and emotionally beat up? What type of world do we live in? Ignoring the ever-present paparazzi, I pulled into the garage and entered the eerily silent house.
“Mum? I’m home!” I shouted, moving into the kitchen. I didn’t get a reply but just shrugged it off. She was probably taking a bath to relax.
The fridge called to me, and I opened the doors, peering in to see what I could stress eat on. Leftover spaghetti called to me, so I put it into the microwave and heated it up. Peering at the clock on the wall, I saw I had been home for ten minutes. Where is she?
Forgetting my spaghetti, I walked around and found myself in front of Mum’s bedroom door. I reached for the handle only to realize it was locked. She never locks her door, ever. Concern filled me as I ran downstairs to get the spare key. I slid the door open and let a scream erupt from my mouth at the sight in front of me.
Mum’s lifeless body was hanging from the ceiling fan, bedsheets knotted together to form her noose. I ran to her, sobbing in fear while dialing 9-1-1. “Mum! No, no no! WHY! Mum, please! Don’t leave me too. I can’t do this without you!” I choked out as I waited for the police.
It felt like hours passed before the police finally arrived to pry me away from Mum’s body. The policemen ruled her death a suicide and gave me her suicide note.
“I am very sorry Skylar.” A policeman said, and I recognized him as one of Uncle Derek’s men.
I numbly nodded at him, as I stared at the note with horror. How could she? The policemen stepped back, trying to give me space as I unwrapped the note, staring at my mother’s familiar handwriting. A tear dripped onto the paper, smudging some of the words. Sniffling quietly, I began to read the note that would supposedly explain how she could do this.
Baby girl, don’t worry about me. This is what I want, it will take my pain away. Think of it as a chance to bond with Aunt Carla! You’ll have to stay with her if your father doesn’t want you. In the safe in the attic, you’ll find all the money you need, and the rest is in the bank. Don’t miss me, move on. Forgive your Father. I love you, and I’m sorry.
That was it? DID SHE EVEN THINK ABOUT WHAT THIS WOULD DO TO ME? I LOST MY MOTHER AND MY FATHER IN THE SAME DAY! Falling to my knees, I ignored everything, letting myself fall into a state of silence. I could feel nothing, only a dull numb. I’m officially ruined. How could everything perfect in my life go wrong just like that? What did my family do to deserve all of this? Why did Mum have to die? Why couldn’t I? Or Dad? Or even that stupid bimbo? Why her?
I threw my head back and let out a string of curses as tears poured down my cheeks, dripping onto my jeans. I watched as the coroners came and took Mum’s body away. Looking through the window, I saw the paparazzi everywhere. I bet they’re getting a kick out of all my pain. A familiar black jeep pulled up to the house, and I watched as Aunt Carla’s short frame stepped out and walked up to the door.
I forced myself to walk downstairs and open the door. Aunt Carla engulfed me into a shaky hug as she tried to understand what had happened. I leaned my head against her shoulder and stared into the distance as I entered the fourth stage of grief; complete and utter depression. Everything blurred together, and with a blink of an eye I found myself in the car with Aunt Carla, driving to my new “home”.
We slowly pulled into the driveway and I looked at the two-story white house. I quietly moved from the car and started towards the front door, ready to start this new chapter in my sad life. Opening the door, I stepped inside, embracing the silence with open arms. As I unpacked my belongings, I caught myself glaring at the Christmas picture. With a sudden burst of rage, I wrapped my hand around the picture frame and chucked it across the room, watching as it hit the wall shattered, just like my heart.
Moving towards the mess, I glanced at the photo once more before I dropped it in the bin, throwing away the “happy” memory, discarding my old life. Stomping downstairs, I threw open the door with a scowl on my face. Slamming the door, I ran past the paparazzi, leaving my past behind. As my tears dried up I felt myself locking away the pain deep within my mind where it should remain.
Congrats. I’m officially broken.