The New Girl Next Door: Part Two

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Chapter 44 - Tasmine Is Eighteen, Time To Party!

**ELEVEN AND A BIT MONTHS LATER**

School went well compared to what I thought after my two best mates left town. I became close to my other group of friends, maybe not as close as I am to Jackson but close, school was so much easier with all the drama gone. I had passed and finished year twelve bit over a week ago. I know what I want to do that is not going to Uni but going to TAFE in Mackay to do my Boilermaker apprenticeship which I start next year after Australia Day.

My dad is not happy with me leaving but he knows why but fears the worse as I am heading into a male dominant industry. We have gotten close over the year, less fighting it was nice. Made losing Mum and Noah much easier this year only hitting me when I see photos or an object or a smell.

I have been helping him out with his cars in the yard and out at the shop. He has gone on a few dates but nothing more than a few dates with them, sometimes he tells me it’s because they have an issue with being a step mum. I have always told dad I do not want another mum even if he remarries, I won’t be calling her mum or step mum, believe I am way too old for that type of drama.

The family front has been good, Amanda is still upset at me, but I have a feeling it’s because she might be seeing Elijah and he hates me. Amanda is also upset right now at her dad and sister Ava as Uncle James allowed her to go to her formal with Vincent who we all knew was her boyfriend. Amanda is upset that the rules have lesson since she left to do Uni in Townsville that by the time Emma is old enough to go to her formal that she would be able to do a lot worse things than Amanda and Ava could. To be honest, who cares by that stage we would be in our mid-twenties living life who cares what Emma gets up to at her school formal if it’s not illegal to be grateful she graduated.

Jackson has been doing well in Townsville I have visited him a few times, but he tends to visit more than anything as it’s closer for him to do this. He won apprenticeship of the year this year which is an amazing award, he is really loving the work he’s doing. Unsure of how long he and Tia will be together, her parents are not impressed that she is with him. They are keen on her being with this male they know who is studying to become a doctor. Cause you know a trade job is bottom of the leader, very snobby people. Tia is in Townsville Uni studying to become a nurse. Tia and I have started to get close although still get that feeling she doesn’t like how close I am with Jackson. Most of the time when we plan catch-ups with Oliver, Jackson, Tia, and me, she tends to come up with more reasons why she cannot tag along, and half of that time Jackson bails too, but when it’s just myself and her she is happy as anything. Jackson has told me they have had more fights than anything lately and he has a feeling that it’s because her parents don’t want her with him. Told him if you love her and she loves him to keep fighting for her if not leave man it’s not worth it. Unsure of what he is going to do, he just looked sick when I had said that.

As much as I would love to say that we, Oliver, and I see each other every week he has off would be a lie. Some weeks he gets called in earlier or he is just too tired to drive and the rest of those days on those weeks are school days, I couldn’t ask him to drive all this way to only see me for a few hours before leaving. Before my formal we hadn’t seen each other for three months, yes, we video called, texted, and all that jazz but still not the same as being in each other’s arms. I spent three wonderful days in Townsville with Oliver instead of joining my friends at schoolies, as much as I wanted to party with my friends when Oliver said he may not be able to have the weekend of my eighteenth birthday off, I needed to spend some time with him.

Right now, I am helping my dad set up for my eighteenth birthday party, he wanted to make it big so we have all the family coming he even invited my mum’s dad, will see if he shows up not holding my breath. My Auntie cannot make it she’s on bed rest she fell pregnant just after her grand finial game at the Olympics. Something to do with bleeding unsure she’s about six months along and no way did I want her to travel up here at the risk of her unborn child. My dad is upset that her partner upped and left her when she told him she was pregnant. Grandma and my Uncle and Dad are trying to get her to move back up here to be closer to family to help her raise her unborn child. Grandma has gone down to be with her to make sure she is ok, she had already wished me a happy birthday before leaving. We all know it may not happen as she loves her life down south.

Mason has gotten himself put into jail in Bali on a boy’s trip, Jackson and Oliver never went thank God. Mason thought it was a great idea to do drugs in Bali gotten himself really drunk and passed out in the streets the police had found pills on him. I am sad for him, but I believe he should have known better everyone knows not to do drugs in that country. As for Jamie thank God, she up and left and moved to Cairns no one has heard from her, that is coming from her girlfriends who are still in the boy’s group of friends, they talk just not often I cannot see Jackson or Oliver staying friends with them in the long run.

One of the many reasons we are having issues with catching up is not Oliver’s job, I have made it on the Townsville under 18s hockey team also made it back onto the Queensland under 18s team, have been doing a lot of training and traveling for both teams, the latest trip was to Hobart for the national championships. I loved every minute of it our team came third will find out soon if I was one of the lucky ones to be on the under 18s Australian team. It has been so much fun playing again and seeing the girls I used to play with and against. My whole dad’s side of the family has been loving it, the Townsville team coach’s first words to me were about time we had a Kelly join the team again. Oliver has been enjoying watching me play those nights he is wild in bed, somehow playing hockey seems to be a turn on for him.

“Earth to Tasmine!” Dad yells out to me. “What dad?” I asked. “You have a visitor.” He said. “Do I?” I asked. “Sweetie, you ok?” He looked worried, as I yawned. “Yeah, just tired,” I said. “Head out to the front, I’ll be out once I finish setting this up,” Dad said. I race out the front of the house, screaming loudly when I see who was leaning against their car. “Hey, Little Thing!” Jackson yells out. “Jackie!” I ran at him jumping into his arms for a hug he spun me around laughing. “Remind me not to take so long in seeing you.” He said.

“All good, just happy to see you,” I said. God, I didn’t realise how much I have missed him until I was in his arms. “That reminds me Happy 18th Birthday Tassie.” He said he hands me a small purple box with a silver ribbon on it, I looked up at him in shock I know what shop this is from. “Jackson” He cuts my rant off, “No none of that, open it and besides you only turn eighteen once sweetie.” He said, I open the box and nearly cried, it was a necklace in a shape of a heart that had a photo of my mum on it. Putting a finger out to touch it made it seem so real, I turned it over it said, ‘Happy 18th love from Jackie’. I burst out into tears wrapping him up in a hug. “How?” I asked. “I may have helped him out,” Dad said.

“Oh, Dad!” I ran into his arms hugging him too, pulling away I stood looking at them both with a sad grin on my face. “Thank you, both of you I really love it,” I said. “Let me put it on you,” Jackson said, he had tears in his eyes too, he knows what I am feeling too about mum, it’s an amazing gift and I cannot believe he had thought of doing it. “Please,” I said. He wraps it around my neck, clipping it on letting it fall around my neck. I touched her photo, missing her never seems to get any easier does it. “The missing them part never gets any easier little thing.” He whispered. “I know, where is Tia?” I asked.

I know she was invited was expecting to see her. “Oh um.” He mumbles. “I know it’s my birthday and you don’t want to upset me, but Jack if you’re hurting tell me?” I asked. He walks up to me putting his arm around my shoulder. “Long story let’s go have a chat.” He said. “Oh no this does not sound good,” I said, we walk up to the cubby houses and climb in, once sitting next to each other I look over at my best friend who looks in so much pain, how did I not see that when he arrived? I reached out holding his hand. “Alright, what happened Jack?” I asked.

He lets out a loud sigh, “We’ve broken up.” He whispered, “Hold up, what? Didn’t you just move in with her?” I asked shocked. “Yes.” He growled out, “Why did you break up if you just moved in together?” I asked shocked. “Tassie I found her with him.” He sounded so hurt, a single tear falls down his face, “The student Doctor?” I asked shocked, my heart breaks for him, he really had liked her, “Yes.” He whispered. “Oh Jack, she is clearly not worth it mate,” I said. He shakes his head, “I know, wished she could have told me before I had moved in with her. I am so fucking angry at myself for not paying attention to the signs” I cut him off, “Oh no you are not doing that, this is not your fault at all. You didn’t push her into another’s arms.” I snapped.

“I know, hey you heard from Ollie?” He asked me which shocked me they talk to each other just as much as we do. “I heard from him last night saying he’s sorry he had to work someone was sick,” I whispered, doing my best not to cry but I wanted the man I love with me on my birthday, even more so after how horrible my last birthday was. “Oh, Tassie.” He whispered, he wraps an arm around me. “Missing him hasn’t gotten any easier, even with myself having my Ps to go see him doesn’t ease the pain of missing him,” I whispered. “I know, I miss you both too, I know I have new friends in Townsville, but they aren’t my best mates.” He said, I smiled, I like hearing that but it’s also a double edge sword. “I see you more than him though, but not the same,” I whispered.

“And you’re moving down to be with him, further from me.” He said. “I know,” I said. “I could move to be closer to the pair of you.” He said, I looked up at him in shock. “Oh Jackson please do not your job, you’re doing so well in it. We all will be fine besides we are family we will always be there for each other. It’s just times like these missing you both is what hurts.” I said. “I know, ok what can I do to help out?” He asked.


The party is in full swing, my dad laughing about something one of my uncles had said to him. I love the surprise they all had done, they had turned one of the walls downstairs into a massive photo wall of photos they had of me. Dad had included the ones he had taken from my mum’s place too. The ones I truly love are the ones of myself with my best mates from childhood that I still have no memory of. What surprised me the most was the new photos of my trip away with Oliver was up on the wall. “Cuz let’s show these oldies how it’s really done?” Theodore said laughing, I laughed and take his hand as he rushes us to the dance floor.

“So, Theo” He shakes his head at me, “Nope not answering that loaded question.” He stated I scoffed at him, “You didn’t even let me finish it!” I snapped at him. He looked serious at me, “Because I know what you’re about to ask me.” He said. Dam it, he knew I was going to ask that question about his brother and my cousin. We keep on dancing while the oldies end up joining us too. After the song finished, I headed off out to the side of the house to see if my younger cousins are up for a few games. “Hey, you three up for a game?” I asked. “Depends,” Liam said, man, this kid would be good playing poker, “Oh, really on what?” I asked him. “Oh, you don’t get to ask Tassie,” Emma said what the hell are these three playing at. “And why not?” I asked, Henry, smiled at me, “Just follow us our dear cousin.” He said. “Oh, I do not like this one bit,” I said, what are these three up too then Ava popped up, “Oh, sweet Tassie you’ll love this.” She whispered. Oh, now they have my attention, I follow them to the back of the house, I have noticed the music has been turned down and everyone at the party was now watching me.

I spot Dad and Uncle Chris in the crowd they both smiled and nodded their heads. One person is not in the crowd and that is Jackson, wonder where he has gotten to? I keep following my younger cousins and froze.

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