Agape

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You should feel special

Chapter 15

Ella:

“Ella, you’re home.” My mother says as a greeting, sitting at the dining room table just as I close the front door.

I tilt my head to the side, why wouldn’t I be home? It’s five-thirty, soccer practice is over and Declan dropped me off at the usual time, the same time every day. If he didn’t have work he would probably be with me now. So the statement is a bit odd. “Yeah, where else would I be?”

Her fingers tap against the wine glass in her hand, liquid the color of sanguine inside. A white envelope that’s already been torn open sits right next to her lovely drink choice. Since when does she drink? Is that wine and shouldn’t she be at work? These days work is practically her life.

“I thought you might be with Declan, you’re always with him.” She lifts the glass to her lips, sipping the red alcohol and swallowing it down. “That’s what I thought.” She repeats kind of bitterly if I’m not mistaken.

Dropping both my sports bag and book bag on the floor, I lean against the door crossing my arms glad that the heavyweight of my bags isn’t weighing me down anymore. What is she talking about? Did I do something wrong?

“What do you mean?”

She laughs, but there’s no humor. “I mean you’re with him all the time and it’s not healthy.” She pauses for a moment as if debating her next sentence. “You had one little fight just recently remember? You wouldn’t talk to anybody all day because of it, and now when you’re home you’re not you.”

My hands clench at my sides, feeling slightly irritated. “How would you know, you’re never home, these days all you do is work.” She can’t determine if I act myself or not if she’s not even here to witness it most of the time.

She sets her glass down on the table, her eyes narrowing on me. Is she trying to start a fight with me or something? “I work to pay the bills, Ella, to take care of you, to make sure you have a roof over your head and food to eat. That has nothing to do with this conversation.”

The irritation is long gone, now replaced with anger. Is that really what she thinks, that I’m ungrateful. What is her problem today and why the heck is she drinking? She never drinks. Usually coffee’s her go-to beverage, not alcohol.

“It has everything to do with this conversation. You were here more when Thomas was home and not in college, what changed huh?” I hiss, my face heating up with the anger I’m feeling.

She glares at me. “Don’t talk to me like that. This just proves my point that whenever Declan is brought up you get all defensive and change the subject.” Her voice raises, her golden eyebrows pointing. “If you can’t go a whole day without him maybe you shouldn’t be with him at all.”

Where is this coming from? She has never had a problem with Declan. In fact, I’m pretty sure not that long ago she loved him knowing how much he meant to me. She’s shown many times her appreciation for him. This is all really confusing me, why would she all of a sudden say all this?

“That’s not your choice to make,” I hiss, not being able to help it, as my blood literally boils. I’m so mad my hands are trembling against my sides, my nails digging into the moistened pale skin of my palms surely leaving ugly red indents.

“He’s been my everything when you couldn’t help, he’s the one who was there for me, the one who’s made me happy when I thought I could never be again. He doesn’t try to drown me in medication saying that’s what I need when that’s what you do. So how dare you say that.”

A single tear slides down my cheeks, I hastily wipe it away, this always happens when I’m upset. She has no right to tell me this, to tell me Declan isn’t right for me. Is she drunk or something or is the wine just making her outright delusional?

She stands up, water spurting from her eyes. She doesn’t look mad at me anymore, she just looks sad and almost defeated. I can’t bring myself to feel bad after what she’s said, but something tugs at my heart.

Her lips quiver. “You don’t understand—.”

“-No you don’t understand so let me make one thing clear, there is no me without Declan, not now, not ever.” With that being said I turn right around and stomp up the stairs not waiting or caring about what she has left to say.

She would never say that to me, not if she was in her right mind. Was it the alcohol talking? How much did she drink? Just the other day I found her crying in her room, now this, what is going on?

A huge part of me is furious while the other smaller part is concerned. Am I missing something?

It’s been two hours of me not daring to go out of my room, not wanting to have another heated encounter with my mother. Avoiding people like the freaking plague is what I do best, so it’s not hard really, I’m pretty darn skilled at it if I do say so myself.

This week has been exceptionally decent with Declan’s birthday being just a couple of days ago and all, even today was fine until just recently the cliff had an avalanche, crumbling to pieces.

While in hideout my brain repeats the argument in my head over and over again. Why does my mom suddenly not like Declan? How am I not acting like myself? Because one little fight made me miserable all day, it was just one day. Declan makes me a different person, so when we fight it’s like a part of me stops working correctly. He’s that default part that will only work when we’re okay.

Thinking about it makes my head pulsate, leaving me with a dull headache.

Sitting in my room drives me bonkers, staring at the same four walls is really starting to make me go insane. But I refuse to go downstairs and get something to eat, dodging my mother at all costs until I’m sure she’s asleep or gone at work. Who even knows if she’s working today, not me but wouldn’t doubt it.

Picking up my phone, I dial my best friend for no reason at all, maybe for someone to vent to or just to help confiscate my boredom. Within four rings she answers.

“Hello, best friend.” Olivia chimes in her seemingly happy voice.

If only I could match her mood. “Hi, Liv.” I greet back, leaning back into my comfy bed pillows. “You sound happy.”

“And you don’t.” She accuses quite accurately. “What’s up?”

Oh the usual, my mom just practically told me to break up with the one person in this world who actually gets me. No totally not that. That’s what I want to say but instead decide to go with, “Why would you think that?”

She huffs. “Oh I don’t know, maybe because you sound like someone just stole your chocolate and ate every last bit. That’s one reason for you, want another?”

Despite my gloomy mood, the smallest of smile curves slightly at the ends of my very chapped and very chewed up lips. “No thank you,” I say sarcastically. “Chocolate would be nice right now though.”

She laughs. “Yeah, it would. Now stop changing the subject, what’s wrong with my best friend?”

Sighing, I cross my legs and start fiddling with my shirt in hopes to keep my voice even as I spill what’s on my mind. After a moment, the words flow right out of my mouth and through the phone to Olivia’s ears. Everything from my mom bringing up Declan to her drinking all comes out.

When I’m done I feel slightly better but not much. I don’t think telling Declan about this is the best idea, I don’t want him to know what my mom said about him and me. It’s low key, humiliating and kind of hurtful. So Olivia is the next best option.

“Is your mom on crack?” Olivia demands, anger edging her tone. “Excuse my language but what the actual fuck? Everybody knows that you and Declan are inseparable, nothing comes in between you two and that’s a known fact.”

Hearing her say that has a soft laugh escaping my lips, it’s funny when she puts it that way. “You’re telling me,” I mumble. “Do you think I’m overreacting?”

She scuffs. “Shut up, the only one overreacting is your mom, maybe she’s on her period.”

Letting go of my now stretched out shirt, I tuck a stray strand of hair out of my face, while cringing at the word ‘period’. I hate that word, and for some reason it makes me get all embarrassed. “Just don’t overthink it, okay? It won’t do you any good, maybe she’ll apologize or something when she realizes what she said was wrong.”

“Yeah.”

*

There are two solid knocks on my bedroom door, my entire body tenses up hearing them, now on high alert. What if it’s my mom? I’m not ready to talk to her yet, let alone forgive her. For a second I stay silent just listening, not answering, like if I wait long enough maybe I’ll be able to see through the door.

“Who is it?” I call in question.

A moment goes by then an answer comes. “Who do you think?” They retorted, voice laced deep with sarcasm.

Relief fills me like a balloon, it’s only my oh so lovely brother Thomas. Jumping out of my bed, I hurry across my floor, unlock my door, and swing it open. Here I was worried about nothing.

Thomas wears a lopsided smile that’s kind of comical, his golden blonde hair is messy, and Christmas pajama pants hang on his hips not bothering to wear a t-shirt. Both Declan and Thomas don’t ever wear a t-shirt to bed, definitely a guy thing. What a look.

“Hey.”

He holds out a bowl that I didn’t notice before, inside are yellow spiral noodles of goodness, also known as Kraft Mac and cheese. Without thinking my tongue licks my dry lips, Thomas laughs at my reaction handing me the bowl which I greedily take. “Thought you might be hungry, mom said something about you not eating.”

Almost instantly at the mention of mom, I frown. “Her fault.” With that, I turn around and walk to my chair, and plop down in it just wanting to eat.

Thomas leans against my doorway, tilting his head to the side. “Yeah? Why is that El?” He questions using my childhood nickname only he calls me.

“You didn’t hear?” I ask, picking up my spoon and scooping into the yumminess.

He crosses his arms. “Hear what? I just got home like an hour ago.”

Figures. If he was here I’m almost positive he would have butted in, but unfortunately, I had to fight that battle myself. Now I’ve been hiding in my room like a child because I hate facing my problems. “Mom was drinking earlier,” I mumble through a mouth full of Mac and cheese, purposefully not saying anything about Declan.

“Okay and?” He raises an eyebrow.

Twirling around my noodles, I then put my spoon down and glance at him. “She said some things, some mean things.”

This time Thomas frowns. “Like...” He pushes.

“Just some things about Declan and me, how we shouldn’t be together...” I practically whisper, feeling blood rise to cheeks, flushing them pomegranate. Thomas and Declan tolerate each other, but that doesn’t mean they’re fond of one another.

He sighs. “And this clearly upset you. Did you give her a reason, either of you?”

That’s the thing, it’s like the words just pooled out of her mouth, out of nowhere she said them because she always liked Declan and me together before. So what I did wrong to make her think that is still a mystery to me.

“Not that I can think of, but she was drinking Thomas. When does she ever drink?” I point out. Hopefully by the time he goes back to college my mom and I will be fine again, but what if we’re not? “When do you leave...go back to college again I mean?”

“Tomorrow morning.” My eyes widen, already? He must notice my mood change because his face softens. “But I’ll be back in a couple of weeks, I promise.”

That promise better be kept then. “Yeah...” I mutter twisting my spoon.

“Hey.” He says, making me lookup. “I will be. As for moms drinking, I’ll worry about that, okay?” With a nod of my head, he walks over to me and ruffles my hair knowing how much I hate it. “Cheer up and eat your Mac and cheese, that took a lot of effort to make.”

I push him away, plastering a smile on my face that is beyond fake. “Sure, so much effort.”

He starts laughing as he makes his way to my door. “Yup, you should feel special.” He yells leaving, his laugh still heard even from the hall.

Haha, so funny.

*

“Ellie baby.” An articulately pleasing voice murmurs. Declan’s voice.

My eyes flutter almost immediately within hearing it. That voice alone shuttering all kinds of feelings down both my skin and spine, then back up again. My eyes adjust to the little light of my nightstand before I see Declan hovering over me. He must have turned on my lamp.

A smile curves onto the corners of my mouth. “You’re here.” My voice comes out raspy, unpleasant to my ears, the opposite of his voice.

His silver chain hangs freely off his neck almost touching my face, his grassy green eyes shining but when I squint I see his right eye is kind of puffy. A crooked smile plays on his red lips and almost like matching his eye, a small split centers his top lip.

I frown. “D, what happened to your face?” I whisper, lifting my hand to trace the cruel marks he shouldn’t have.

His smile fades as he shakes his head standing up. “Nothing.”

Pushing my hands down into my comforter at my sides, I sit up not liking the answer I just received. “Having a swollen eye and a split lip is not nothing,” I say, trying my best to hold back the edge.

My eyes study him up and down, looking for more unnecessary injuries. That’s when I see his knuckles, caked in dry blood, most likely bruised underneath. What happened? Did he get into a fight?

“Let me rephrase that then,” He mutters. “It’s nothing for you to worry about, okay?”

My own hands form fists. He can’t just tell me not to worry. “You know I will,” I say feeling slightly angry and hurt.

“Can we not do this right now?”

Getting off my bed, I stand up behind him. He isn’t facing me though, his back is. Maybe I’m still angry from earlier, or maybe I’m angry he’s hurt and won’t tell me why but either way, I’m angry and because of it, I start talking without thinking.

“Do what? Talk about how you got hurt or how you don’t want to tell me about it?” It just falls right past my lips before I can stop it. My eyes just about pop out of their sockets as my hand flies to my mouth. What did I just say?

Declan turns around to face me, just as surprised as I am. I don’t usually say things like that.

Immediately I go to apologize. “S-sorry I didn’t m-mean that.” What is wrong with me and my mouth today? I should be sentimental and here I am practically spitting out mean things.

My eyes fall to the floor. Declan’s feet seconds later are in front of mine, his arms wrapping around me pulling me into his solid chest. “I’m so-sorry.” I spew again.

One of his rough fingers gently grabs my chin, his bloodied knuckles now insight. “Quit that sorry crap.” He says, his thumbs tracing my chin, heating my skin right up. “Don’t be sorry for speaking how you feel, okay baby?”

“I just don’t like it when y-your hurt,” I mumble.

He smiles but it doesn’t reach his pretty eyes, he looks sad, his hand then drops from my chin. “I know you don’t.”

I place my cheek against his chest, listening to the rhythm of his heart. My arms wrap around him in a tight squeeze. “You can tell me D, anything always. I’m your queen aren’t I?”

He kisses my forehead, as something wet falls onto my face. I glance up to Declan’s eyes shining. My chest clenches. “Julian’s being transferred soon, I got the call on my birthday.” He whispers.

I lift my hand to his face and gently rub the tear away. “I can’t get him out of my head.” His head falls on to my shoulder and into the crevice of my neck, his breaths becoming heavy. He doesn’t sound like my Declan, he suddenly sounds like a little boy and it hurts my heart. “He won’t leave me alone Ellie, a-all these memories won’t go away.”

I hug him tighter. “I’m sorry.” I murmured, placing a kiss on his chest. “I love you D, you don’t have to hide from me, I will never judge you.”

He pulls away just enough to look at me, his features showing every inch of vulnerability. “I don’t want you to ever leave me.”

A pang stabs at my chest. “Never,” I say grabbing his hand. “I could never, not from you.”

*

Word count: 2963

Sorry for any mistakes! I hope you guys enjoy! Also, would it be cool to create an Instagram just for my stories? Let me know! P.s. please check out my new poetry collection I just released, it’s called Express The Distress! Thank you guys always for reading and leaving lovely comments!

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