Chapter 18 <Remember me>
So few more months passed the graduation was only three months away now. I was learning as much as I could. I was never hard learner. I wasn’t one of those who would sit by the book at night and tried to memorize things. I only studied at classes and when there was homework. I never had the urge to get to know something more. I always worked with what I’ve got. I think when time will come I will learn what I need. If not, then it’s not that important.
I was hanging out at Riley’s place again. We were watching some movie. Past these few months I have noticed that Riley had changed a lot. She was really thin now. I didn’t want to ask her about it tough because it’s rude to ask about weight. I was starting to worry maybe she has some kind of eating disorder. She slowly got... less happy. I knew that she tried to hide it.
“Hey girls” Riley’s dad came in the living room and greeted us. Her parents also got different, almost sadder.
Riley’s smile got even bigger. “Hey dad.” She got up from the couch and ran to him hugging. I noticed that they were hugging quit a lot recently. Like what’s up with all that hugging...
Riley’s dad whispered something in her ear and she shook her head. Her dad eyed me and looked back at Riley “I hope you are doing the right thing”
Her dad left and she returned to me. “Let’s go to my room I have something to show you” I fallowed her to her room and there were all kind of crafty things around, ribbons, pearls(fake of course), glitter she always liked to handcraft something, she even had hand painted wall in her room, with daisy’s on black surface, but it looked very real, alive.
Riley went to her closet and got something out. It was a small glittery shoebox, of course she made it glittery.
I sat on her bed next to her. “What’s in there?” I asked her.
She smiled at me. And opened it and there were a bunch of drawn pictures in there. She had shown me some of her drawings, she was very talented, great artist. She looked through and pulled out a big one who was folded in half because it was that big.
She unfolded it and there was a colorful drawn picture of our friend group, all six of us. It was very neatly done. And from a far I couldn’t tell it’s drawn. Riley was truly amazing artist. She definitely needed to go to some art college, but whenever I brought that up she didn’t seem too fond of it.
“Riley this is amazing” I exclaimed. It was a drawing of all six of us sitting under the maple tree bench, our meet up place. It was easy to recognize each and every one of us she had drawn each of us in our usual clothing not missing a single detail, some details I never noticed before, like the small hole in Harry’s jean jacket.
“I know it’s not much but... I want you to have it. So you’ll always remember me” she said with glassy eyes.
“Are you okay Riley?” I asked concerned.
“Yea don’t mind me. Just soon high school ends. And you know. Nothing lasts forever. And when I lived in my old town everyone hated me and here I actually have friends and I don’t want to leave all this.” She full on cried and I pulled her into hug.
“I could never forget you Riles. And high school ending isn’t the end of the world” I reasoned.
“It is to me” she said in now calm steady voice. She whipped her tears away. Forcing a laugh out.
“Riley...what’s going on with you?” I asked worried about what I might hear.
She shot me confused look “What do you mean?”
“Riley you are thin, your acting all weird, you tear up a lot lately, something is wrong. Just tell me. Please.” I pleaded.
Riley got up and put her shoe box back away. “I am fine. Please I don’t want you worrying about me.”
I got up now angry “how can I not? Riley I see that you are acting all happy but you are not. You aren’t doing your homework’s your grades are bad. Talk to me!”
“I said I don’t want you worrying, so don’t!” She screamed back.
“I care about you! Riley! Why can’t you tell me what’s bothering you?” I scream back.
This conversation was full on screaming at each other. We have never fought like this.
“It’s my problem. So get your nose out of it” she snapped.
“Fine! I’ll go!” I shouted and hurried out making sure to shut the door with a bang.
On the way out Riley’s dad gave me an apologetic look, he must have heard what we were talking about.
I spent my day at home sulking about Riley. Usually when I was sad I called her. Now I couldn’t call her because I was sad because of her. Now I realize that Riley never talked about her problems with me. I was always the one being sad and depressed and she was always my saving grace. It must suck when your friend always talks about their problems, I don’t know why she always put up with that.
Comforting myself under my sheets I didn’t even hear the doorbell ring. I was too caught up with the fact that I lost Riley. I had a feeling that we would make up. But still it hurt...
A fast knock came from the other side of my door and Cameron came barging in. I looked his direction and he was frightened “you need to come downstairs” I looked at him frozen in place “now” he said again.
I didn’t question much and ran downstairs as fast as I could with Cameron following me. But it wasn’t anything I’d think. Or want. Or needed.
It was mum and Veronica standing there exchanging words with dad.
Mum looked better than I last saw her. I could almost believe she changed. But I don’t think she could change.
Dad didn’t look happy. “You have no rights to be here!” He was furious, I could see his veins oh his forehead.
“They are my kids.” She exclaimed calmly and scared.
“You loosed the rights to be mother when you left” he spat at her. My dad once told that she would always be our mother no matter what. I guess he just said that to make me feel better.
“My kids deserve to have mother” she said half crying.
Than finally I spoke “I don’t want you here” I said with my whole heart.
“Oh... darling. Victoria. My little one. “She chanted and came closer but I held stop hands for her.
“You are not my mother!”
“Darling. I want to be, I have changed. I will make everything better. I promise” these promises meant nothing now.
I fake laughed at her “I don’t need mother now. I needed you back then. But not now.”
She sobbed “Cameron” she looked behind me where he stood. “I love you. I want to be part of your family.”
Cameron came closer but only to put his arm around me. “Sorry mom. But when I think of family. I think of Dad and Victoria, and Grandma Lauren. But never you.” He said.
“Lauren huh?” She stated “she came to fix my mess.”
“I have only one question to ask you mom” I said to her. And she nodded. “Is it true what you used to say about Grandma?”
She shook her head “I was mad at her. But she was never the mother I told you she were” she said not baring to look in my eyes. I didn’t let grandma in because of mom’s lies and all grandma wanted was to help us.
I looked at the slight reflection of myself in a girl who stood near mom.
She had dark eye bags under her eyes. Her skin was pale, really damaged, old looking. Her hair was colored black, but they were also much damaged thin. She wasn’t the girl I remember her to be.
I walked up to her and looked straight at her. And then we hugged each other. This feeling was long lost, I always loved my sister and always will, but I don’t want her to be part of my life.
Broke off the hug and asked “where are you staying?” I asked them.
Veronica started speaking “we just got here...”
I nodded “well there is motel only few miles away.” I say and you have to see their face expressions to understand how offensive that was. That sentence made them realize that they were not welcomed here.
“Oh. Yea of course” mom exclaimed and started moving towards door.
“Hey Veronica!” I called out and she looked at me with eyes full of hope. “Don’t you have school?”
“I got expelled. I’m starting over next year.” She explained.
“Good” I nodded and she did the same. It wasn’t long before they left.
My dad sat down holding his head in his hands.
“Dad.” I said but there was no answer. I know that he still cared for them, and he didn’t want them gone. But deep down he understood that that was the right thing to do.
I walked up to dad and sat next to him. Looking back at Cameron I gestured him to sit on the other side. He did as I told him. And without any much talking we hugged dad. He wasn’t big hugger but I wanted to make sure that we will always be with him.
After that whole incident I needed someone to talk to. I wanted to call Riley but I didn’t want her to be always my shoulder to cry on. So I called the one person I know will talk to me.
“Hello” the other side of the phone spoke.
“Aaron. Can we meet somewhere?“...