I couldn’t stop smiling the rest of the day, Jackson was back which meant my grandpa was too. Jackson hung out my friends and I for the rest of the day, it was clear to see Kyle didn’t enjoy the newest member of the group but I didn’t care, being on cloud nine was way better then him.
We had our group project to complete so once again we headed back to my place, I felt this strange tinge of familiarity. The memories of my fathers anger came flooding back, the gunshot, my mother. Tears threatened spill over, I wouldn’t let anyone see them, I swiped at my cheeks when a rogue tear fell. I felt someone grip my arm and pull me back from the group.
“Hey is everything okay, I saw that tear.” Jackson spoke with sincerity in his voice, I nodded.
“Just family being nightmare worthy.” I responded laughing as if that could make it better.
“Hey your dad won’t hurt you with all this muscle around.” He gestured to the guys ahead of us, I giggled at his joke.
“He shouldn’t been there as child support was paid, and it’s nobody’s birthday. So we’re in the clear.” I looked around jokingly acting as if I was in war, Jackson laughed at my little act.
“Doesn’t he live with you anymore?” I shook my head as we started walking again. “What happened?” I took a deep breathe getting ready to go back to the darkness.
“Well not long after Kat... Died he got violent, more violent then when she was alive. Then one day he picked up his stuff and left.” I swiped at my cheeks at the thought of Kat, god I missed her.
“Addi, I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t of left, at least not without a proper goodbye.” I didn’t respond to that, what was I supposed to do? Lie and say it’s fine when it wasn’t and I didn’t have the energy to tell him how I really felt. Thankfully we arrived back home, I took a deep breathe preparing myself for the worst. Thankfully only my mums car was there today.
“Let’s go in and get to work.” Ally said turning to me smiling.
Yet another arm gripped me this time pulling me into the bathroom, I had a felling it was Kyle as we seemed to hangout in this bathroom.
“What’s the go with you and Jackson? You sleeping with him? Cause we end this thing we have going right now.” Tears sprung to my eyes at the the thought of any guy seeing me the same way Tim did.
“Kyle if your going to bring up my horrifying past every time a guy looks my way then you can fuck right off. Jealousy isn’t a good look for you.” A few tears slipped down my cheeks unchecked, I shut my eyes to stop them falling but it didn’t help at all, they just kept coming. I felt Kyle pull me into a hug as I sobbed into his chest.
“Addi I’m sorry I didn’t think about that. Look at me.” He gripped my chin and pulled my focus to him. “I can’t guarantee that I won’t get jealous but I promise I wont say anything like that again baby.” He lifted me up and placed me onto the bathroom counter. His lips slanted across mine in a heated passion, his hands gripping my hips, my hands reached up to his chest, pushing him away.
“Kyle, I can’t go any further you know that right?” He nodded and helped me off the counter.
Hours had passed, Bryce, Kyle and Isaac had all gone home and my grandpa was on his way for dinner. Ally, Jackson and I were currently sitting in the lounge room watching some movie on tv. A knock sounded at the door, slowly I rose from my comfortable position on the couch, “I’ll get it” I called out as I neared the door, but my mum was already there. “Never mind then.”
We all gathered around the table as my mum laid the remaining dishes out, that women could cook up a storm when she felt like it, after everyone left she didn’t have it in her to spend hours cooking up a storm. When my dad left it only got worse, she’d either be up in her room miserable or checking her bank account to see how much take-away we could afford that’s when I started learning to cook. I was the one who would spend most of their time in the kitchen slaving away whilst my mum drowned in her sadness.
No matter how hard I tried or how hard anyone tried for that matter, she just stayed hauled up in bed, when I brought her what id cooked she merely eat a few bites and leave the rest. She was like this way for months until one day she snapped out of her funk and started trying to be a good mother to the daughter that remained. She started going to the gym before work, she and I even started cooking together. So seeing her like this reminded me of old times, but it also made me remember our perfect family before the mess erupted.
“Thank you Kristine, that was absolutely amazing. It reminded of your mother god I miss her and her cooking.” My grandpa spoke rubbing his belly. I looked to my mum who was blushing as she began clearing the table.
“Thanks Dad, I did learn from the best.” She smiles at him. The two share look of both joy and sadness as they remember my grandma. My grandma wasn’t the woman you wanted to dislike you, my grandpa worshipped the ground she walked on, we all did. When she got sick she wouldn't take it seriously which really pissed off my mum, one day she was hospitalized only then did she take her health seriously. When she returned home she still cooked but no longer did she run around the farm like she used to.
Around the same time Jackson had recently lost his parents, well they left when he and I were at school he came home to a note saying that they couldn't parent him anymore, that they wanted to follow their dreams of being god knows what. Jackson's parents from what I remember were always so laid back and carefree that it made me wonder why they even had a kid in the first place. When they left Jackson was crushed he didn't have anywhere to go.
My grandpa then offered that he stay with them as long as he helped out on the farm, that's how there perfect little family began. Jackson's parents had only contacted him once when they informed him about his savings account that he could use as they had left, they also let him sell their house and keep whatever money in return for them leaving. Jackson put all his money aside and continued to help out my grandparents. He was only nine at the time, but he did everything he could to help out. My grandma passed away just six months before my eleventh birthday, it crushed the family but especially Jackson. He'd come to love her as if he was born into the family. Jackson and I got a lot closer after her death, he, Kat, Ally and I became a the fearsome foursome, we always hung out together.
One rainy day, I'd have a huge fight with my dad and I'd run all the way to my grandparents house to see Jackson, I was rambling away about how angry I was at my dad for whatever reason it was that time. Jackson just sat there hugging me, I liked it a lot considering the huge crush I had on him, in the midst of all my rambling I admitted that I liked him and continued going on about my dad. I guess I got annoying cause he turned my face to look at him and kissed me. Okay so it wasn't really a kiss but more of a peck of the lips but hey that's huge for being about 11. We started going out after that.
Just three weeks after Kat's death, I went over to his house and found that nobody was home, I waited for hours when I gave up and went home. It was then that my mum told me that they up and moved without even a goodbye. I only saw my grandpa again at Kat's funeral but I never once heard from them after that. So seeing them again brought back so many memories that I'd forgotten about, even feelings that I'd shoved way down deep.