The Long Way Back

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Chapter 6

The day flew by and music class being next I explained myself to Emma.

She was really worried and honestly I kinda liked that she cared so much. I wasn't used to that from anyone other than my family and it was nice to have someone looking out for you.

She seemed like a great friend already, and for that i was thankful. I avoided the mention of my panic attacks though and made up a really stupid excuse claiming I had promised to meet someone and was super late, so I ran out to meet them. I said it was super urgent.

Although she clearly didn't believe any of the rubbish I was spurting, she chose to let me lie. Thankfully.

Having moved here in year 14, it was our last year and so I was sitting my second year of A-Levels this year. Me and Blake had sat all our previous exams online so we were simply continuing our second year here.

My chosen subjects were really random. I mean Music, English Lit and maths? I honestly chose the three things I enjoyed the most.

Music's my passion, reading and writing my favourite hobby and maths the thing i was surprisingly good at. I had no clue what I wanted to do when I'm older and didn’t a year ago either. I guess I kinda just expected to travel all my life and loved the idea of that, I mean it's all I've ever known.

That whole plan got thrown out the window though when we moved back here.

Honestly, everything got up-railed really. Now I was stuck in school doing subjects that I had no clue what to do with when I was finished with high school. I didn't even know if I wanted to go to University after school.

My plan was to just make it through the year and figure it out as i go along.

Seriously though, how were we expected to choose our future at 18? most of us still have a curfew and we're still kinda considered kids. I'd rather screw it up a few times to eventually find the right thing to do. Trial and error, the best way right?

Anyway, I was currently sitting at home on my awesome double bed amongst a mountain of pillows and teddy bears, thinking about everything that happened today. Damn did it feel like one hell of a long day.

I picked up the book I'd been reading the night before and decided to loose myself in the pages of a book for a while. It was a good distraction from everything.

///

"Melaniee!" Came a voice from downstairs, seemingly urgent. They'd probably called several times already and i just hadn't heard from reading.

"Melanie, come downstairs dinners ready." Mum shouted casually, as if this wasn't a rare occurrence nowadays.

I bolted downstairs to avoid the wrath of an angry mum and the sight I saw was so unusual it startled me, I simply hadn't seen it in a long time. Mum was standing in an apron serving dinner, Blake and dad already seated eating away. Of course they were, when were they not eating.

Mum was an amazing cook but recently me and Blake were often left to our own devices to sort out dinner for ourselves. (Dad could not cook for the life of him.)

I stood in the middle of the kitchen like a complete idiot shell-shocked at the sight in front of me.

"Hellooo, anyone there." Mum said teasingly waving her hand directly in front of my face, I must've zoned out completely.

"Sorry, I'm just a bit surprised thats all, what's for dinner?" I said carefully, sitting down beside Blake.

"Pasta,your favourite." She said placing a plate down in front of me. She was smiling, but it was the kind of expression that I couldnt tell if it was put on or not.

"Well...Thanks mum" I said genuinely, but unsure whether to ask as to why. Was she okay?

We were all now eating at the table in the same way we used to, it was kinda weird to be honest, we hadn't done it in so long I'd sort of become accustomed to eating in my bedroom.

An awkward sort of silence was placed over the table, it was as if nobody wanted to be the one to say something wrong or even the first person to talk at all. The past year felt like we had all lived it separately and now that we were placed back together were unsure as to how to act around each 0ther.

"Okay Kids, now that we're all together I want to have a talk. A really overdue talk, and I'm sorry for that." Mum broke the silence. "Ive been talking with your father and I think it's finally time i apologise."

"Its oka-" me and Blake began at the same time only to be cut off by mum. "No, i know it's not just...just let me say this." She said.

"I've been a mess for so long now, I honestly didn't really know where to start to get back up again. I wasn't there for you both when it happened. I honestly barely considered that this would be hard on all you as well. I was too caught up in my own grief to realise that you were suffering too. I was there but not really, never really there." She looked down at her lap beginning to tear up.

"I've left you both alone for so long now, and I never should have. We're supposed to be a family and the accident really broke us apart, your father and I dont want that, not at all. We should stick by each other and so thats what we're gonna do. I get that now, we should get through this together, we can get through this together. I know we can."

She took one of both mine and Blake's hands and placed them in one of hers. Dads in the other before continuing. Her shaking hands were the only thing I noticed.

"We're here at a new place, one we can finally call a home for a while, a long while. Both of you are starting at a new school, starting over and so I want to do the same. Ill be there for you both from now on and im going to get my life back on track again. We're just going do the best we can with what we still do have." "and that's each other." she said gently squeezing our hands. I'm so sorry, really I've just been in such a dark place the past year and I couldn't bring myself out of it. I didnt want to drag the both of you down with me. I'm sorry. Ive already dragged your father down."

By this point both the four of us were an ugly, sobbing mess of tears and snot. Blake looked completely dumbfounded and almost in awe of mum. He lept over to her, engulfing her in a bear hug.

"Aww mum i love you and I forgive you. I dont blame you at all, i mean it was awful not having you to talk to all the time. but we get through it in our own ways." Blake said, he always knew the right thing to say.

"I love you too mum." I said following Blake's footsteps and joining in the now group hug at the table.

"You never have to apologise Darling." Dad said joining.

Blake may be the one to move past things quickly, but I on the other hand was not so easily forgiving, nor optimistic. The only way I'd believe mum was back, truly back was gonna be through her showing me. It was gonna take time to earn back my trust fully and I hoped she could. I wanted my mum back. She'd barely acknowledged me all year. That's not something to move past so easily.

I mean she almost completely abandoned us for a full year, I’ve gone through hell too, not just her.

But she's my mum, and I'd always love her, I knew that for sure. So I would give her a chance to earn back my trust.

This would be a new chapter for all of us. No scrap that, a new book completely. And it was gonna be one that I made sure had a happy ending.

And that was how we ended up now doing the dishes together, dancing around the kitchen singing karaoke to all dads favourite songs, as he completely hogged the music choices. It was an old family tradition I gladly welcomed back.

The current song was interrupted by my phone dinging, to which I ran over to see who it was.

Colby: hey can you meet me at 1 instead of 2 tonight?

Colby: i wanna show you somewhere ;)

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