Soundtrack To My Youth (book 1)

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Every you, Every Me

I woke up on Sunday feeling excited, I would get to see Sam again today. After last nights dinner with Lucas I called Sam as soon as I got back to our Mother’s house, I told him that Petra had it in her mind that he was dating Bridget and that Lucas now thinks they’re sleeping together. He laughed but agreed to play along with the charade at school.

Bridget and I went shopping on Sunday morning, I wanted to get us outfits that matched Sam’s team colours, blue and yellow. We bought blue skirts, yellow t-shirts, blue and yellow hair ribbons plus cardboard and markers to make a sign. We styled our hair in to two braids and tied the ribbons at the end. We looked like the best damn cheer squad that the Claremont Crushers ever had.

My excitement was quickly turned to frustration as we were walking out the door though.

“Where are you two going?” My Mother demanded to know, looking us up and down disapprovingly

“We’re going to watch the Claremont Crushers take on the Terrigal Tigers” Bridget explains to her. I hadn’t spoken a word to my Mother since yesterday, I was still so angry at her and Carson.

“Oh good girls” She praises us and I look at Bridget confused, “It nice to see you’re supporting your brother”

Oh shit, how did I not remember that Carson played for the Tigers....well played is a bit of a stretch, he was only on the team to knock down opposing team players by any means necessary. He had once broken a guys leg just to get the ball, he was a thug.

“We should get going Bridge or else we’ll be late” I tell my sister, attempting to pull her out the door.

“Bridget you really shouldn’t wear that skirt, you’ll get raped” My mother says as we pass her and I stop in my tracks.

“Yeah because it’s the skirt that causes men to rape and not the fact that they’re fucking rapist to begin with. Stop trying to destroy your daughters confidence and self esteem and concern yourself more with the fact that Carson is one step below being an actual rapist and you raised him to be that way” I scream at her.

“My son is not a rapist” She fires back at me

“Well not yet anyway” I say before slamming the front door behind us. That woman infuriates me to no end.

We stopped to pick up lunch on the way to the soccer field, arriving as the two teams were warming up. I lay the picnic rug, I keep in the back of my car, down on the grassy hillside that was designated for spectators and unpacked the chicken sandwiches and drinks we had bought from the corner shop near by.

Sam spotted us and came running over to greet us, he looked so hot in his uniform, it clung to him tightly, showing off his muscly biceps and crafted six pack. He hugged Bridget before kissing me softly on the lips. He smiled widely when he got a good look at our outfits and then I showed him the sign we had made that morning that read ‘SAM IS OUR CRUSHER’

“Good luck baby” I tell him, wrapping my arms around his toned waist.

“I don’t need luck on my side Princess” He says confidently, “All I need is you”

The ref blows the whistle to signify that the game is about to start, I kiss Sam on the cheek and send him off with a smack to his arse while Bridget cups her mouth with her hands and yells out “Go Crushers”

We sat back down on our blanket, we had an excellent view of the field from our spot as there were not many other spectators out watching the game, only us and three other groups. A far cry from the amount of people who now pay big money just to watch Sam play. I felt the blanket shift beside me and looked over to see Kate sitting next to me. I was so surprised to see her here because I had no idea she was even coming.

“Alex is playing” She explained to my unasked question.

“And Alex is?” I asked her, watching her blush.

“Ugh I know, we haven’t made it offical yet and I know we said no arseholes this year but I ended up sleeping with him after the movie and he mentioned that he was playing here today and I knew you’d be here so I drove all this way to just see some guy I slept with on Friday night play soccer” She laughed and suddenly it clicked, kissing boy’s name is Alex.

“Veronica slept with Sam on Friday night too” Bridget tells Kate, What is it with this kid and announcing my business to everyone?

“You promised you wouldn’t tell anyone remember?” I remind her

“It’s Kate, you would have told Kate” Bridget reasons and she’s right, I would have told Kate on Monday during Drama class.

“You also told Lucas too” I point out and she blushes, knowing she’s in trouble.

“I didn’t tell him who it was with, just that you had sex and only because he slept with Petra, ugh, vomit” She says shyly, squirming on the rug.

“Alright but no one else is to find out” I warn her and she nods.

“I want to hear about the sex but seriously? You saw Puke-as?” Kate questions me, unpacking her own lunch on to the blanket.

“He turned up at my Mothers house yesterday with Carson and things got out of hand, just Carson being a dick as usual and Mum taking his side” I explain to Kate.

“As usual” Kate adds, rolling her eyes. Kate was fully aware of what went on at my Mother’s house and why Bridget and I hated going there, she’d often remind me that I only had to go there until my 18th birthday but I kept going until Bridget was 18, just so I knew she’d feel safe.

“Well Bridget and I went out for dinner with him, not by choice but I had a surprising conversation with him” I tell Kate, filling her in on everything Lucas said, including how he asked if we could be friends.

“Hmm, I still don’t trust him Roni” Kate says as she picks at her sandwich, knowing Kate, she would of had a list of specific ingredients that were not allowed between the two slices of wholewheat bread, tomato would have been top at that list but there it was, a bright red slice of tomato laid out on top of ham and cheese, she picked it up out of the sandwich, holding it like it was the most disgusting thing ever and threw it far away from us, Bridget and I laughed at how dramatic she was.

“And you think I do?” I ask her, raising my eyebrow, “I know every dirty trick Lucas is capable of, I just have to stay one step ahead of him”

“Speaking of staying one step ahead” Bridget comments, pointing to Sam who has just been passed the ball and making his way, fast, down the field, dodging opponents skilfully, he kicks the ball to one of his team mates who then manages to boot it pass the Tigers goal keeper, scoring the first goal for the game. The three of us let out a roaring cheer and Bridget waves our sign around, the other spectators look less than impressed though, one of which shouts for the Tigers to play dirty.

The ball is kicked off again and we watch as Carson takes control of it, having a lot more weight on him makes it harder to move down the field but he uses his mass to his advantage, pushing oncoming Crusher players out of his way but he doesn’t see Alex sneak up beside him and swindle the ball from Carson and quickly pass it off to another Crusher. Carson gives Alex a murderous glare which Alex laughs off. Bridget and I exchange worried looks, we both know that this wont go down well.

At the end of the first half The Crushers were winning 3-1 and the anger was written all over Carson’s face as he shoulder barged Alex when walking off the field. Sam and Alex grabbed orange Gatorades and joined us on the hill. Sam wraps one arm around my lower back and kisses my lips softly.

“That guy is a wanker” Sam says to Alex, pointing to Carson who is standing alone, staring Alex down

“That’s our brother” Bridget tells Sam, a fact we very rarely admit to anyone.

“Fuck, sorry” Sam apologises, thinking he’s offended us but I shake my head.

“Wanker is a lot nicer than how we refer to him” I say, “Be careful, he can get very brutal when challenged”

“We’ve faced guys like him before, they’re all bark, no bite” Alex laughs, snuggling up to Kate, he kisses her on the cheek and she smiles brightly, leaning back into him.

“Oh he’s all bite” Bridget says nervously, “Believe me”. Sam reaches over me and squeezes Bridget on the arm, I don’t know how much he has heard about Carson from Bridget but he is aware that she’s frightened of her older brother who pushes her around.

“Thanks for coming out to support us today, our own cheer squad” Sam say, smiling widely at Bridget, Kate and Myself, “We’re pretty lucky, hey Al?”

Alex nods in agreement and the boys make their way back over to their team, which is huddled together on the sidelines with the coach, discussing strategy. From where we are sitting we can see Sam and the coach telling their game plan to the team with enthusiasm.

The ref blows the whistle to signify the start of the second half and the teams go back onto the field in formation with the goal keepers swapping ends. The game kicks off again and Alex gets a hold of the ball, sprinting with it down the field but just as he passes it off to a team mate Carson steps in front of Alex, we all watch in horror as Carson swings his elbow with force and it connects with Alex’s nose, a loud, sickening crack follows. The Ref blows his whistle and holds up a red card as the Tigers coach drags a laughing Carson from the field, Alex is lying on the ground, his hand covering his nose as blood seeps though his fingers, Kate jumps up fast, running onto the field, screaming profanities at Carson, Bridget and I trailing behind her in absolute shock.

“Happy now?” I yell at the two stunned spectators who had early called for the Tigers to ‘play dirty’

The Crushers coach is on his phone to emergency services, requesting for an ambulance and police to be sent out. Kate sits herself down beside Alex, taking hold of his free hand, tears streaming down her face as she tries her best to comfort Alex who is lying on the ground moaning in pain.

I wrap my arm around Bridget’s slender shoulders as we stand back and allow the rest of the Crushers room to gather around Alex. This isn’t the first time we’ve witnessed Carson break someone’s nose, he would often become physical against our Father when he felt he had to show off who was more dominant in the house. The difference this time though is that Alex isn’t related to us, it will be harder for Susan to manipulate the situation to save her son from getting a record.

The ambulance arrived 15 minutes later, they assessed Alex’s nose and gave him morphine for the pain before putting him into the back of the ambulance with Kate by his side. The police arriving on scene as the the ambulance drove off, they placed Carson is handcuffs and hauled him into the back of the car before coming back down to the field to talk to both team’s coaches and the Ref.

Sam was standing with Bridget and I when he was approached by the captain of the Tigers, a look of shame on his face.

“I’m really sorry for what Carson did to your player but I want you to know that none of us are like that, we don’t believe in using violence to win and I’m appalled by Carson’s behaviour, it will be the last time he will ever be part of this team, I can tell you that much and if charges are laid against him over this we will back you all the way” The captain says, holding out his hand as a gesture and Sam shakes it.

“I’ll talk to my boys and see if they want to continue with the game, we came here to have fun today and to play fair” Sam explains. Once the police have left the two team captains gather their squads together and discuss if they should play on.

“We should do it for Alex” One of the Crushers exclaims, earning a cheer from the rest of the team. The two teams return to formation on the field and the Crushers, once again, take hold of the ball, driving it down the field, then makes a pass for the goal but it’s blocked by the Tigers goalie and control of the ball is then given to the Tigers who manage to slide it down the field from player to player and kick it past the Crusher’s goalie.

“Come on Crushers” Bridget calls out as the players kick off again, the Tigers gaining control of the ball straight up and moving it quickly towards their goal but Sam manages to intercept it and run it back down the field, passing it off to another player closer to our goal posts who shoots it passed the goalie and scores another goal for The Crushers. Bridget and I cheer loudly as we wave our sign around.

When the Ref blows the whistle for the end of the game the Crushers have won the match, 4-3. The players all shake hands with the opposing team, the two team captains patting each other on the back as they pass by. I run on to the field, excited by the win, wanting to congratulate Sam. He catches me in his strong arms and lifts me up so that my legs wrap around his waist, one arm around my waist, the other on my bottom to hold my skirt down as I kiss him deeply, my tongue softly massaging his. He tastes salty and is covered in dripping sweat but in this moment I don’t care, I’m so proud of him and his team. He pulls on my bottom lip as he breaks away from our kiss, sending an electric volt throughout my whole body and leaving my lips tingling from his touch.

“I’m going to go over to the hospital, see how Alex is and take Kate’s car to her” He tells me, I saw Kate hand him her keys before she got into the back of the ambulance, having taken the team bus down the coast it made sense that Sam would drive Kate’s car.

“We’ll come too, I’ll follow behind you” I tell him. I wanted to avoid going back to Mum’s just yet, not with all the drama that would be unfolding surrounding Carson’s arrest, I can only imagine Susan would be convincing the arresting officers how her son was such a good boy and how it was probably all Alex’s fault, he provoked her precious, golden child no doubt.

When we arrived at the hospital we found Kate sitting in the waiting area with Alex’s parents, she was holding hands with his mother and they both looks like they’d been crying. I hugged Kate tightly, hearing her softly sob on my shoulder as I rubbed her back.

“They’ve taken him into surgery to try and reset his nose” Kate said between sobs. I felt my phone vibrating in my purse and when I fished it out I could see that it was my Mother calling, I decided to answer it, hoping it would be news to tell me she would be out of the house for the rest of the night, of course, she’d never go into detail about where and why, she’d hide that from Bridget and I.

“Veronica it’s Mum” She says to me through the phone, no hello, no pleasantries.

“I know it’s you calling Susan, I have caller ID” I inform her, knowing it will rile her up more

“I don’t have time for your stupid games Veronica, I’m very busy”

“Busy with what exactly?” I question her, she’s right, I am playing a game with her but it’s only to see if she will be honest or not.

“I have to go out tonight, with Carson” She briefly explains, no details given so I push her further.

“On a Sunday night? When your chidden are visiting you? What could be so important that you would give up time with me and BridgetI?”

“I think it’s best if you and Bridget go back to your Father’s house tonight, I’ve already called him to let him know you’re coming” She tells me, avoiding answering my questions, “I packed up your bags and have them sitting in the front room for you, I won’t be home so tell Bridget I love her and I’ll see you both in two weeks” She ends the call after that, not giving me a chance to interrogate her further because she knows she will unravel once I put the pressure on. I can only imagine the story she has spun to Dad to explain our early return.

“Was that Mum?” Bridget asked me when I put my phone back in my purse.

“Yep, she said she’s very busy tonight and thinks it’s best if we go home to Dad’s house” Bridget smiles widely like I’ve just told her she’s won the lottery, well I guess in a way we have, unfortunately though, it came at a cost to Alex.

“I’ll get a lift back with you Princess” Sam says and we say our goodbyes to Kate and Alex’s parents, I told Kate to text me of any updates.

~~~

I drove us back in silence to my Mother’s house, I’m almost embarrassed for Sam to even see how unkept the house is compared to how my Father keeps his house in order. I use my key to open the door and all three of us step inside the front room, the smell of cigarettes filling our lungs quickly, I’m going to have to deep condition my hair to rid it of that stench. Luckily, as promised, our bags are sitting near the front door for us, we grab them and hurry out of the house as fast as we can. I hand my car key to Sam, I hate driving on the freeway during the busy Sunday afternoon when the traffic is heavy.

“I have to admit, I’m relieved that you’re not staying there tonight with that cock” Sam says to us as we pass the beach, I look out the window and watch the waves crashing against the shore, the beach really is the only enjoyable part about being forced to come to our Mother’s.

“I’ll be more relieved when I know Bridget doesn’t have to go there anymore” I reach my hand behind my seat and she grabs it, giving it a squeeze. I love my sister more than anything and I just wish I had a way to keep her safe from Carson.

“Are you going to tell Dad what happened?” Bridget asks me, she knows that Dad finding out from us will just enrage Mum who does everything she can to hide her son’s violent behaviour but hiding it makes the behaviour worse in the long run.

“I’m going to tell Dad exactly what happened, Dad needs to know what type of environment we are living in when we are forced to go there” I say, looking back to meet her worried eyes.

“Mum will get mad at us” She frets

“Roni is right though Bridge, you gotta speak up, what your brother did today wasn’t OK and has to be stopped before it gets out of hand. Your Dad needs to know so he can protect you” Sam chimes in and Bridget gives a small nod in agreement.

“Alright, you can tell him” She says, breaking her gaze from my eyes and staring out the window. I know she’s scared to cross Susan, she’s been manipulated for years into keeping quiet about Carson.

“What did you do yesterday?” I ask Sam, hoping a change in subject might lift the mood a bit.

“I ah, hung out with your Dad actually” Sam tells me

“My Dad? Why?” I ask him confused

“I wanted to do a service on my truck and I thought he might like to help, which he did, we had a great time, chatting and drinking beers while we worked. My Dad knows everything about the inside of a human body but when it comes to under the hood of a car he gets lost but your Dad is an expert when it comes to this stuff, plus I thought he might be lonely without you two” Sam explains, melting my heart even more at how thoughtful he can be.

Sam parked my car out the front of his house and Bridget moved into the passenger seat while Sam and I said our goodbyes.He leaned up against the back of my car, drawing me in close to him by wrapping his arms around my waist, I put my arms around his neck and kissed him.

“Thank you for being my hot cheerleader today my love” He whispered in my ear, “we wouldn’t have won without the support”

“Happy to help, I’ll come along to your other games too if you want?” I offer, hoping they’re not all as dramatic as this one was.

“I play again on Thursday night but it’s with the school this time so it’s a bit more serious, we’re playing St Peters, that Catholic school. It’s a home game so it will be on our field and I’d love to see my girl there, cheering me on”

His girl? We hadn’t really discussed what we were yet, surely he just meant it as a figure of speech, as in I’m the girl he’s hanging out with?

“I should go, get Bridget home, it’s been a long day but I’ll see you tomorrow” I say, kissing his cheek and breaking free from his hold and climbing into the drivers seat.

My mind was racing as I drove us home, two words playing over and over in my head, ‘My Girl’.

“Roni, my diary isn’t here, it’s not in my bag, it’s still at Mum’s house” Bridget’s panicked voice pulling me from my own thoughts.

“It will be alright Bridge, we’ll get it back next time we’re there” I tried to calm her down but she was working herself up into a frenzy. Bridget took her diary everywhere, scribbling down all her secrets.

“Carson will find it and read it, it’s got things about me and Amber in there, private things that I haven’t told anyone, not even Sam or you” She frets.

“Bridget, you’re giving Carson way too much credit, he can’t read, they guy is an idiot, theres monkeys in the wild smarter than him” I laugh, hoping to ease her tension, “Didn’t you hide it under your mattress anyway?”

“Yes” She confirms, she knows I’m the only person who knows where she keeps it because I’ve proven to her that I have no desire to read it.

“I’ll drive back out there tomorrow after school and we can grab it ok?”

“Thank you Roni” She says with a small smile.

~~~

When we arrived home Dad was waiting for us in the living room and he didn’t look happy.

“What the hell happened this weekend Veronica, your Mother called me in tears saying you were starting trouble and had attitude and that’s why she was sending you both home.” Dad shouts me, “I know your Mother can be...difficult but still I don’t like having her call me up and telling me you’re giving her hell”

“That’s not what happened at all” Bridget pipes up, ready to defend me

“Really? Well then tell me what did happen so I can get to the bottom of this” Dad says more calmly, ushering us towards the lounge so we can talk.

“Carson broke a guys nose at soccer today, it was a planned attack, no accident and the police were called and took him away in cuffs, that’s why she kicked us out of her house early, she thinks we don’t know about it, even though she knew we were at the game to watch Sam play. She’s made it seem like I’m in the wrong to throw you off the scent of the real issue which is Carson” I explain to Dad who then wraps his arms around me and then Bridget.

“It was only a matter of time before that boy ended up with a record, your Mother has done him no favours by allowing him to get away with being a thug his whole life” Dad says and I agree, Carson has never been pulled into line over his behaviour and this is the result.

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