Chapter 4 - Realization
**TASMINE KELLY’S POV**
The rest of the week went the same, Oliver being extra nice to me and still won’t give me the reason why, Jackson, Oliver, and Vincent have been taking turns in walking me home, which is odd because both Oliver and Jackson have cars, I have a feeling this was set up by Lee, it’s Friday afternoon just after three.
“Alright Jackson spill, did my dad put you up to this?” I asked. “Put me up for what?” He asked confused. “Walking me home taking turns with Vincent and Oliver,” I said.
“Nope, Vincent’s idea to make sure you're safe.” He said, I looked at him shocked, “Really? Well, can the three of you back off a little. I’m fine.” I snapped at him. “We will back off, but bullshit your fine Tasmine.” He snapped back at me.
We had made it to my house by now, and I am about to lose my shit at him. “What the fuck do you mean by bullshit?” I screamed at him. “Exactly that! Bullshit you're fine! You look like you’re not getting much sleep, nor are you eating. For fuck sake Tasmine you turned down a Kit Kat today! I have never seen you turn down chocolate before.” He yelled back at me.
I had unlocked the front door and was now in the lounge room having a screaming match with Jackson. “I just didn't want chocolate so what?! Since when did you start caring about what I do?!” I screamed. “I have always cared what happens with you!” He yelled back. “What? Why?” I said stunned.
“This is what friends do Tasmine, they check up on them.” He said, I just stood there staring at him in shock, I knew we are friends, but I never knew he cared about me, what the fuck! It doesn’t help that I have never had friends that cared this much about me before either.
“I’m going to make you something to eat before Lee gets home.” He said. “Why? I can make myself something to eat.” I snapped. “I bet you can, but would you actually sit down and eat it?” He asked he arches an eyebrow up while looking at me like he is not going to believe what I would say, I hate that he is right as I would not eat it, haven’t been hungry since he died.
“Ummm” I mumbled. “See thought so.” He snapped, he shacks his head at me as he storms into the kitchen. “Oh, piss off Jackson!” I yelled at him. “No Tasmine!” He yells back at me.
He was pulling items out of the fridge to make a ham and salad sandwiches. “Be really honest with me?” I asked. “Do I have to?” He grumbled. “Yes!” I yelled.
He turns around pausing in making the sandwiches. “Fine, what is it?” He asked. “You’re only doing this out of some feeling or thought that Noah would have wanted you to make sure I’m ok?” I asked. “May have started out that way, but I can see us being friends thorough his death.” He said.
He had a smile on his face, “Seriously” I said stumped, I didn’t get to finish what I was about to say, all of a sudden Jackson was standing in front of me pressing me into the bench kissing me, what the fuck no! I pushed him off me. “What the fucking hell Jackson!” I screamed out.
“Yep, just as I thought we are friends and friends only.” He said. “What?” I said looking at him in shock. “See we have no romantic feelings for each other at all.” He stated. “I noticed that, it was like kissing my brother,” I said.
“See, friends. Now shut up and eat that ham sandwich.” He snapped. “Go” I started.
He cuts me off, “Tasmine please just fucking eat it.” He said, sounding exhausted. “Fine!” I snapped.
I sat and ate it, only cause he’s making me not because I’m hungry. I have no idea but I’m just not hungry as much nowadays. Just the same with sleep, I take it when I can but otherwise no sleep for me. “Here I clean up,” I said.
“Yes, but you look like you could do with sitting for a bit longer.” He said. “Ok.” Was not going to fight him over it, he cleans up and joins me in the lounge room. “Want to chill and watch some Netflix?” I asked him. “I’m down for that.” He said.
I click through dad’s account as I couldn’t be stuffed to log into mine. I found an action movie, but Jack stopped me. “Oi, what about John Wick?” He asked. “Really?” I said. “Why not? Unless you’re suddenly not into a lot of killing type of movies?” he said with a big smirk on his face.
“Nah I’ve seen it with Dad, happy to see it again,” I said I click play, I didn’t care what dad thought but I cuddled up to Jackson he wraps an arm around me. Halfway through the movie, I had fallen asleep in his arms. “Ahh Tassie, stop being so dammed stubborn.” He whispered, just before I was knocked out by the sandman.
**LEE KELLY’S POV**
I hate that she is having a hard time, I bought her up here to have a better life and all she keeps having is heartache. “Hey Kiddo you up here?” I called out.
I walk into the lounge room and see Jackson watching a movie with Tasmine cuddling up in his lap, what the hell again? I bloody knew it boys just cannot leave the poor kid alone to get over her loss. “Jackson” I yelled out.
He nearly jumps off the couch in fear. “Lee, this is not what it looks. I swear! She is my friend and friend only like a sister nothing else. Also, she hasn’t been getting any sleep was hoping to get her some sleep also to eat too, I swear nothing else.” He raved on in panicked.
And I believe him, he genuinely sounds like he's telling the truth. “Ok, let’s get this kid into her bed,” I said.
He nods his head, “Yes Sir.” He said loudly.
He helps pass her into my arms, I look at him shocked. “She feels lighter than normal,” I said. “I know, I got her to eat a ham and salad sandwich. Might need to take her to the Doctor’s Lee.” Jackson said.
He sounded like he was going to cry, poor kid he is really worried about her, so am I. I need to get her some help; this is beyond my ability to help her. “Starting to think so too,” I said.
I put her into her bed, blankets on her making sure her aircon isn’t up too cold for her. Closing the door following Jackson out to the lounge room. “Jackson has she said anything that should concern you?” I asked.
I hope my fears are just those fears and not what is going on. “No, but I will tell you if she does. Bye Lee.” He said.
He goes to leave, I look at him oddly. “Hold up, you walking home right now? It’s getting dark.” I said.
He looks at me like I was stupid. “Yes, I do it all the time.” He stated.
After what happened to Noah no way am I going to let another teen in my care get hurt like that again. “Maybe so but I am still driving you home, come on, got all your stuff?” I stated. “Yes,” He said. I take him back to his place, looks like his dad is home this weekend. I make my way back home sitting in my car for a bit, what am I going to do with Tassie. I turn the car off and head upstairs. Pulling a beer out of the fridge I pull my phone out, who do I call mum, James, or Jimmy?
**Grandma** This better be good, it's date night.
**Lee** Really mum?
**Grandma** No, but saying bingo felt like I aged thirty years. What’s up son?
**Lee** It’s Tas, mum I’m really worried about her.
**Grandma** What’s going on?
**Lee** She’s not eating much and losing weight fast, getting next to no sleep, not acting herself either snapping at me or just spacing right out. Is this grief or something more?
**Grandma** Sounds like you need to call your GP up now and get her in to be seen before she gets worst. The poor thing just lost her mum and now her boyfriend, that type of pain is taking a big hold of her son. Keep a dam close eye on her until you get her seen too.
**Lee** Shit mum, is she thinking about ending it?
**Grandma** I can’t answer that, I bloody hope not though. Is she saying anything to her friends?
**Lee** They haven’t said anything to me.
**Grandma** Did you want me back over?
**Lee** I don’t know mum. If you want the door is always open for you.
**Grandma** It better be mister. Now I got to go, keep an eye on her and keep me posted.
**Lee** Yes mum.
Better get cleaned up and eat something. An hour or so later I was clean, feed, clean up the kitchen just sitting down in the lounge room, trying my best to watch whatever was on TV, but I am way too worried about my little girl sound asleep in the next room. I know she is no longer little but fuck I cannot handle anything to happen to her, I just got her back.
Fuck I hate you, Jane!
Why have you done this to me and her!
I don’t care that she had kissed other men now, I just wished she never took off with our daughter, couldn’t face me after our fight instead the better option was to leave?
I want answers and I will never get any nor would our daughter, which is what I think is not helping her right now her mum has messed her up, and now what happened to Noah may have taken her over the edge.
Knock, knock, knock.
“Who the fuck could that be?” I mumbled.
It better not be a boy wanting to talk to my little girl. I open the door and my childhood best mate is standing on my front porch with a big grin on his face. “You up for a few beers’ bro?” He said, how the fuck did he know I needed him home right now. “How the fuck did you know I need a few?” I asked him in surprise.
Chris arches an eyebrow at me. “Your mum mate.” He stated. “What are you doing at Bingo?” I asked. “You know dam well I was dropping off my mum and gran to it.” He grumbled. “No, not really,” I answered. “She told me my goddaughter is having an extremely dark time. Now I wished I were in town sooner bro. Why didn’t you tell me?” He asked.
He makes himself comfortable on the couch, looking at me profoundly seriously. I know I should have told him sooner what was happening but him being down in South Australia just make shit hard sometimes. “No idea man. Shit hit the fan hard once I got that letter.” I stated.
I know he knows all of this; I’ve told him about it. But I never got the chance to tell him about what happened to Noah. We’ve been friends since year five, so he knows me very well and knows when I’m holding out on information.
“Lee, what happened to this boy, that liked her?” He asked. “It was Bryan’s boy,” I said. “Oh, fuck man Noah? He was a good kid.” He said. “I know, he loved her, and I now believe she had loved him too,” I said. “I see you trying to keep them apart didn’t work.” He chuckles. “This is not funny Christopher.” I snapped.
“Oh, I have hit a nerve, getting my full name! I remember you and Jane being like that.” He stated he smirked at me, of course, he would remember he was one of the many friends that help keep what we were up to a secret from our parents. “Why do you think I kept calling you man?” I asked.
“I remember you yelling at me that she will end up like you. Which could happen as you know she’s fifty percent partly you.” He stated. “How long are you here for? Also, no one likes a smartass” I said.
He smirks at me, “I’ve taken long service, so however long you and my goddaughter needs me here for, also helps that my mum and gran need the help too.” He said. “Oh Man, I don’t want you to use up your long service leave, also what is going on with your mum and Gran?” I asked.
Knowing his Gran she should be close to a hundred now, the lucky old duck I say, and his mum isn’t that old she is younger than mine. “And right there is why I didn’t tell you I was coming up. You need help, I’m here to help. Old age for my Gran and mum well she’s just not coping after dad passed.” He said.
“How? Do you know how to help a teen girl who lost her mum and boyfriend within a space of a few months of each other? She’s my kid and I have no idea how to help her in this.” I said. “No, but cool Uncle is here could help. Have you taken her to see a doctor yet? Also, we have both lost our fathers, so we can help her in that way.” He said.
“No, I’m hoping to get her in tomorrow. But not in the loss of a loved one, Jane is not part of this I hate her more than I love her right now.” I said angrily. “Lee is she having suicidal thoughts?” he asked. “Unsure but she could be, she’s not herself at all,” I said.
“We will see that she gets help before she does anything, looks like I have arrived at the right time too. Is she asleep?” He asked. “Yes, and your lady friend is ok with you being here indefinitely?” I asked. “Lady friend no more” He muttered. “Oh man, what happened?” I asked. “Found her in my bed with another bloke balls deep in her.” He snapped.
He finished off his beer, “Oh, Chris I am so sorry mate.” I said. “All good mate, she clearly wasn’t worth it.” He stated. “Are you staying at my house mate?” I asked. “Well, I can’t drive after these.” He says as he holds up his empty beer. “Good you’re in the spare room then,” I said.
“Awesome like old times. Think we should have a barbie tomorrow with James, Jimmy and Aaron, and all the kids?” He asked. “Sounds good mate. I’ll text the boys, we can brainstorm ideas on how to help her, while the other teens can spend time with her.” I said.
I sent off the texts to the boys, checking the time shit! I better get some sleep before she awakes. “Alright bro I’m off to get some shut eye, you know which spare room you’re in?” I asked. “Yeah mate, night bro.” He replied.
He heads to his room; I quickly go check on Tas. She’s sound asleep snoring her head off. Good, she still snores as she used to as a kid. I make my way back to my room, my phone pins I see a message from an unknown number.
**Unknown Person** Hi Lee, I asked around for your number. Are you free for some adult fun? Ditch the kid and meet me at the pub.
What the hell? This is a new one, does this person really think I’ll ditch Tas to go meet them? WOW just wow, I text back.
**Lee** Yep, never going to now happen.