‘Start over, my darling. Be brave enough to find the life that you want and courageous enough to chase it. Then start over and love yourself the way you were always meant to.’
~ Madalyn Beck
Astrid could do nothing but watch, as Rebecca sobbed, cry after cry ripping out of her trembling body. She looked around, lost as she tried to think of a way to make it better. Then suddenly, she knew what she had to do next. And she did that.
She did nothing. She simply sat there and did nothing. She remembered all those times when she had been in Rebecca’s shoes. She had just wanted to let it all out. She did not need a shoulder to cry on. More like she did not have on. So she just sat and waited for her cry it all out.
A few minutes passed as Rebecca’s sobs reduced to hiccups and sniffs. Astrid leaned to her side and grabbed the box of tissues from the cabinet and pushed it toward her. Rebecca shot her a grateful look and pulled out a tissue, wiping her eyes and nose before taking in a deep breath.
“I guess I needed that,” she muttered, letting out a small embarrassed smile. Astrid shrugged in response. She opened her mouth to continue but Astrid cut her off.
“You don’t have to tell me anything in case you feel obliged to.” She paused for a second before adding. “But if you want to talk, then I’m all ears.”
Rebecca took in her words before nodding her head slowly. An awkward silence passed between them as neither of them knew what to say next. Astrid was about to get up to take her leave when a shuffling sound came from the living room, making her snap her head towards the source of the noise.
The guy she had punched earlier walked into the kitchen, eyes barely open with his fingers rubbing his temples. Astrid noticed with a smirk that his left cheek was swollen purple and blue. He finally noticed the two girls and blinked a few times to clear his blurred vision. Astrid felt a slight temptation to knock him out again but she shook it off as quickly as it came. Sometimes, her thirst for violence worried even her.
“What the hell happened? I feel like a train just ran over me,” he grumbled out. Neither of them replied to that as his eyes focused on the hoodie-clad girl.
“Who are you? You look familiar.” He narrowed his eyes and looked at her closely. Suddenly, realisation dawned on his face as he remembered her.
“It was you who hit me!” he exclaimed before a feral look took over his features. “How dare you?”
“You deserved it” she deadpanned. Before he could grab her, Rebecca stepped in between them.
“Ryan, please. Leave her alone.” Ryan stared at his sister, taking in her pleading look and realised something, his eyes widening in shock.
“D-Did I d-do it a-again?” he stuttered. When Rebecca slightly nodded, he gritted his teeth and stormed out of the kitchen. Astrid kept her eyes glued on Rebecca as she heard him barging upstairs and slam a door shut. She was totally confused at this point knew better than to ask anything at the moment.
She noticed Rebecca’s eyes well up tears, her head hung low. She let out a sigh and hoping that she does not regret what she was about to do next, she grabbed Rebecca’s arm and pulled her out of the kitchen and towards the door.
“Where are you taking me?” Rebecca asked her, confused as she slightly tripped over her feet.
Astrid simply held out her hand. “Car keys.”
Rebecca hesitated for a moment before reaching into her jeans pocket and pulled out a bunch of keys, all held together in a flowery keychain.
She snatched it from her hands and walked out of the door, with Rebecca following behind her. Astrid kept questioning her mental condition as she walked to the white Porsche and settled in the driver’s seat. Rebecca quickly slid into the passenger’s seat and both of them buckled themselves in. Astrid switched on the ignition before sped out of the long driveway, into the almost deserted streets, which was surprising, considering it was only around noon.
“Where are we going?” Rebecca asked again.
“You will see.”
A few minutes later, she pulled into the driveway of Starbucks rolling down her window to order. She glanced at Rebecca, asking her what she wanted.
“I don’t have any money on me at the moment,” she muttered under her breath.
“Well, consider it your lucky day cause I’m paying.” Rebecca thought for a moment before replying.
“Pumpkin Spice Latte.” Astrid pulled a face at that before turning to the girl who was taking the orders and repeated Rebecca’s order. She got herself a Caramel Frappucino and after the got their drinks, she kept driving aimlessly for a few more minutes. Rebecca looked confused for a second before she realised that there was actually no true destination.
“What are you doing?” she asked, her eyes slightly narrowed. Astrid shrugged and took a long and purposely, loud slurp from her drink.
Rebecca let out a sigh but did not say anything.
“Thank you for all this. I know I have not exactly been the nicest person-...” Astrid let out a scoff but Rebecca ignored it and continued.
“So thank you for, um, you know, everything.”
“Cool,” she replied blank, knowing that it would get on her nerves.
“I am surprised you haven’t asked me any questions. You know, about all that has happened.” She let out a small laugh in the end.
“None of my business,” she replied, taking a sip from her drink. “But my offer still stands. If you want to talk, I will listen.” She did not get a reply for the next few seconds, so she taught it was a no but was slightly surprised when she heard her talk.
“As you would have probably figured it out, Ryan is my older brother.”
“To start from the beginning, my parents are business people. So basically they are never at home. Sure, they make tons of money but they never really cared for the both of us. We were raised by nannies. It didn’t bother me much, growing up because I had Ryan so I never really felt alone. True, I did crave for my parent’s attention but I got used to the fact that I would probably never get it. Everything was fine until a few years ago,” she slightly, chocked but still continued.
“Ryan got into some bad company and started drinking and if I am right, I think he is using drugs. So basically every night, he gets drunk, comes home and hits me but the next day he would apologise, saying that he was not on his right mind. Every time, I pray that it would really be the last time but he comes drunk the next day too and the same happens again.” Tears streamed down her face as she looked out of the window, furiously wiping her tears.
Astrid said nothing as she drove around the town, in circles not knowing what to do.
“He doesn’t beat me up black and blue. Just a few slaps and some pushing around but it just hurts that the brother who I grew up idolizing would do something like this. I just want him back but I guess it’s too late,” she laughed, humourless as she rested her head against the headrest and closed her eyes.
“I guess your parents do not know.”
“No. Even if they do, I don’t think they care,” she said, bitterly. “I’m surprised you didn’t say anything like ‘I’m sorry’ or something along those lines.”
“Do you want me to?” she asked, without taking her eyes off the road.
“That’s what I thought.”
“Thanks for listening.”
“You are thanking me a lot today.”
Rebecca laughed. “I guess I am.”
“So basically you act all high and mightly and be mean and bully others because you don’t want people to know the truth behind the happy family illusion,” she asked, bluntly.
“In a way, I guess.”
“Don’t make sense but okay.” Rebecca laughed at that.
“Can you do me a favour and not tell people about this?”
“I have better things to do than do around spreading gossips. Besides, no one will believe the social freak,” she retorted.
“Yeah, thanks anyway.”
“That’s like the fifth time or something you are thanking me today.”
“I am.” Astrid thought for a second. Should she do what she was thinking to do? Well, the truth had to come out one day. And it was better if it came from her’s.
“Well, now I have something to tell you.”
Rebecca gave her a questioning look.
“What is it?”
“It was me.”
“What are you talking about?” She looked befuddled.
“The prank. I was the one who did it.”
That’s it for the day. Like and comment if you enjoyed it.
Question for the Chapter: Pizza or Icecream? (Tough one, I know)
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