Heart Shaped Bruises

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Chapter 4

“Mom…” I whispered in her ear as I crouched down beside her bed, careful not to wake up dad who was sleeping alongside next to her.

She made some unfathomable noises as she turned on the bed towards me and yawned-whispered, “What?”

“I need to talk to you.”

She rubbed her eyes, glaring at me as she turned her head towards the clock to see that it was already 1 am. “And what do you want to about this late at night, Alysa? Did you destroy something important to Blayze and need me to back you up? Because if that’s the case then I’m not going to.”

No! Mom! Listen, I wanted to tell you this in the morning but I couldn’t wait till then!”

“Want to cut to the topic?”

I bit my lip and the inside of my cheeks to stop me from smiling unnecessarily. “Well, there’s this boy—”

My sentence was cut off as my mother abruptly got up, her movement swift as she grabbed my arm and dragged me out of my parents’ room. “Not here.”

She let go of my arm when we reached the kitchen, making me it on one of the stools as she sat in the one opposite to mine.

“You seriously wanted to talk about boys when your dad was in the same room!? The biggest blunder you can make.”

I cringed when I realized my mistake. Dad did have the hearing of an elephant.

“Okay, never mind that. Back to the topic. . .”

“Well…?” Mom asked, raising her brow as I straightened myself on the stool.

I bit my lip and the inside of my cheek stop myself from smiling unnecessarily. “There’s this boy I like. He’s probably a little older than me but. . . when he caught me from dropping on my ass in a café, it felt. . . magical, I swear! And then I met him outside my school too and he saved me from getting run over by a car and then…” I trailed off, not wanting to tell my mom about him coming to our house after following us. “…later on, he kissed me. well, he didn’t kiss me, just pecked me on my lips but it’s the same thing.”

I looked at my mom who stared at me with wide eyes. “Do. Not. Let a single word of this conversation reach your father. He’ll skin the boy alive. And I don’t get what you waked me up so early for? I get that you wanted to share something with your mother and all, but seriously, one in the morning!?”

“Well, you have experience with romance first in hand, I thought you’d be my love guru and give me some advice, mom.”

She pinched the bridge of her nose, trying to sort whatever was running in her mind. “Alysa, sweetie, my romantic life started with a gun pointed at my head and a full-on revenge story which led me to marry a man who shot at me to test if my reflexes were sharp enough to let me survive to be his side. And, even though I got the romantic relationship every girl dreams of, I also got a hand full of betrayal, heartbreak, tragedies and loss. Hell, the names of all three of you are a proof of that!”

“But you were sixteen too!” I whined.

“And forced to do marry someone I didn’t know too!”

“But you still love him after so many years.”

“Yes, and psychology proves that I have Stockholm syndrome ’cause I was technically kidnapped AKA taken without consent and fell in love with my kidnapper—”

“That was your husband too.”

“And this mystery boy isn’t yours. Case closed.”

I glared at her angrily as she folded her arms across her chest to show that she won.

“But that’s not fair, mom! I’m a teenager. . . with relatively normal life than yours. It’s Fate! It’s meant to be! You need to realize that!”

“Every girl thinks that when they enter a relationship or have a crush on someone, Alysa.”

“And were your thoughts any different?”

Mom shrugged. “I just wanted to avenge Rex’s death at that time—and test your father’s level of patience because he tested mine.”

My jaw dropped open and I stared at her wordless, now that she was sharp-tongued and nobody could prove her point wrong, not even Dad!

My eyes started to well with tears. “But I really, really like him, mom. I can’t just forget about him with a snap of my fingers. And he said we’d meet again and I don’t want to say no to him.”

My mother said in defeat, her eyes showing exhaustion. “What do you want then?”

“I want to date him.”

I mom’s eyes opened wide; shock evident. I wasn’t allowed to date nor was Alex. Dad would never allow that and I knew.

It was my first day at high school at I was more than excited to meet my friends after a long break.

“Dad, I see Jude! I’m gonna go and meet her now. Wish me luck!”

“Alysa, wait,” he replied stiffly, looking around, analyzing the surrounding.

He bent down slightly to meet my eye level, grabbing onto my shoulders and shaking me, not harshly but rather firmly. “Alysa, you’re a grown girl now and I trust you with your decisions. But I want to make one thing absolutely clear: No Boyfriends. No dating. No Relationships. Do you get me?”

I nodded, not thinking of it as a big problem. “Okay, daddy dearest, I promise.”

With that, he kissed my cheek and watched me as I ran and tackled my friend in a bear hug.

Now, the promise seemed hard to keep, considering it was the matter of my dad’s trust. It was no secret that my dad had severe trust issues to-date and it always kept him on edge. For him, any show of kindness or appreciation has a double meaning, that someone wants something from him that would make him pay a large price.

“Do you think it’s worth it?” my mother said, her tone darker than before. “Do you think your little fiasco is worth your father’s trust and love as a sacrifice? You are not in my position and I will not let you destroy your father’s love for you because of your silly crush.”

She stood up from her stool, her index finger pointing at me strictly. She knew what it felt like when dad lost his trust in her just because of a misunderstanding.

“You asked for advice from me and advice is what you’ll get, Alysa. Don’t put the love of those who you know will love you till the end for someone who might not stick around till the end. He is not worth it.”

She turned around and started to walk out of the kitchen before adding, “Go to bed right now, Alysa. Go to sleep and think of what I’ve said. This isn’t a game that you can redo anytime, it’s your life and you may lose something important trying to gain something that isn’t worth it.”

I looked down at my hands that were entwined together as one of my tears landed on my palm followed by another.

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