azuredistraught: (Distance)
[personal profile] azuredistraught
Student: Distance Lestraught
English Assignment: 9
Topic: Something That Still Hurts
Part One

 
I was rushing home, and I couldn’t get there fast enough. Thanksgiving break had taken its sweet time on arriving, making the other weeks drag on and on and on. But, hey, that didn’t matter now. I was finally off the plane, and the bus had almost arrived at my stop. So what if Noella had forgotten to pick me up? I bet she lost track of the days again, as she does often. Came with her not having to keep a job, much less a schedule. Mind you, it would have been great to have seen her there waiting for me, and even better because she’d drive faster than this bus, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.

Okay, so if you knew my current home condition, you’d be confused as to why I’m rushing there. Well there’s a very good reason, so shut up and listen. The reason? My best friend. The center of my entire universe, only… I hadn’t told him that yet. I made a mistake. Okay, no, mistake isn’t quite strong enough of a word. I fucked up. Big time. See, my best friend, Hadrian, last summer, just a couple of months ago, told me that he loved me. I had been in shock, and couldn’t even see straight. I turned him down. Shot him down.

Alright, I know that isn’t grounds to call it a fuck up, that had been a mistake. But what I did after that, that is where I fucked up. Big time. I started to avoid him. My friend of some six odd years, and I ignore him. I go out of my way to not see him. I make up excuses and stories why I couldn’t, why I was busy. Saying that it wasn’t because of what he said. I was lying to him. And then, I went back to school. Yeah, I know. You’re looking at me with disgusted eyes, aren’t you? Well you should. I acted like an asshole, and didn’t even think about how he was feeling in that situation. I just kept running away.

Well, once I was on the other side of the country, back at school, I pulled my head out of my ass. I started really thinking. A sentence that echoed in my head a lot was ‘what have I done?’ and ‘why did I do that?’. But first I had to solve why I was thinking that way. It didn’t matter why I did that, it mattered that I DID do that. And it mattered what I was going to DO about it. Spinning around in my head so much, a lot of the thoughts I had untangled. I had even gotten some advice from some of the other students there. She told me what I needed to hear. Hadrian meant the world to me. He was the only one. And I had to tell him that. I had to tell him that I, that I too, really… loved him.

So I called him. That night. And every night after that. His grandparents always picked up the phone, telling me that he couldn’t answer it, that he was busy. I’d start calling in the morning, trying to catch him before school. They said that he didn’t want to talk to me. That left me a little crest fallen, but of course he wouldn’t want to talk to me, not the way I had acted. So I kept calling, hoping that he’d answer the phone, or that he’d take it from his grandparents. Anything, really.

But then they stopped answering the phone all together. Didn’t even bother to pick up anymore. Hadrian never came to the phone. That didn’t leave me feeling all that great, but I couldn’t give up. I decided that it should be told in person anyway. That it worked out better this way. I’d tell him first break. Thanksgiving break. I’d go home, throw my stuff in my room, and rush right over. I had planned to fulfill my promise to him, and have him hear the first song I had learnt on the violin. It was for him. And this was possibly one of the most important things that I’d ever be doing, so I had to make sure I didn’t screw up again. I had to open up and be honest. I had to-

Shit. I missed my stop.

Running home now, I was glad that I had packed light. I had adrenaline going through my veins, and that carried me all the way home. The locked door only stopped me temporarily. I dug out the key, dropped it… twice, then threw open the door. Right to my room I went, down dropped the bag. Air came to me in gasps, but I was almost ready. I dove into a new change of clothes, out of the comfortable ones I was in in favor of something that looked a little nicer. I ripped my violin and bow from the bag and went to the stairs.

That’s when I paused to think. Wait, didn’t I shout `I’m home` when I came in? Had there been a response? Did I notice? Normally Noella would smother me when I got back, telling me to never go again. I was expecting a there to be a fight to get out of the house. She didn’t like me going to that school after all…

Well, I had been correct about the fight, in that way, but I’m trying to tell this as it happened.

I looked around the house for her, looking in her room first, then the main living room, followed by the basement. Odd, she wasn’t there. Then I thought that maybe she did come try to pick me up, and I cursed the heavens for leaving her at the air port. Until I heard a cupboard shut upstairs. That came from the kitchen, and I was bolting up the stairs. Had she been making me dinner, waiting for me to come back?

When I entered the kitchen her back was to me, she was messing around on the counter. No wonder at a first glance I didn’t see her, all the lights were off. I had gotten one of those odd sensations when I entered that room though. You know the one. Where your skin crawls and you gut clenches. Despite my hesitancy I called out to her. “Sorry I didn’t come see you right away mo-“ She whipped around and faced me, a glass sitting on the counter, and an empty bottle in her hand. “-Noella.” It was impossible to make out her expression with her back to the only light source in the room. My heart suddenly felt heavier as fear started to fill it.

She hadn’t moved at all, much less said anything in response, and just stood there, watching me. I looked down and noticed my knuckles had gone white from gripping my violin. I swallowed, taking some support from the instrument, and looked back up to her. “Um, I’m all unpacked now, so…” Her form hadn’t even swayed yet, with luck, maybe she hadn’t drunk anything yet. Gaining courage and hopeless optimism I pressed further. “So, I was thinking” Noella took a step towards me, causing the hair on the back of my neck to stand up. The rest came out as a whisper, most of the courage dying in my throat. “-that I’d head over to Ri’s house.” In the odd light, now that she had stepped closer, I could make out that she was grinning. It wasn’t a grin that I was particularly fond of. “M-mom?”

The glass bottle dropped from her hand and shattered, scattered pieces all over the linoleum floor. I raised my left arm in front of my face, the other holding the violin behind my back. Eyes clenched shut; I could hear her quick steps, and the gruesome noises of crunching glass, as she closed the gap and grabbed my arm, yanking me forward. “Noella please!” It came out in a gasp rather than something firm.

“But dear…” She spoke slowly, just slightly above a whisper. I kept my eyes to the ground; fearing eye contact would only worsen it. “You no longer have any reason to go other there.” Then she left out a low chuckle as she shoved me down, enjoying the confusion spreading across my face. Glass cut into my hand and knees, as I used them to catch myself. There wasn’t any reason to go there? Was she not going to let me out of the house anymore?

I let go of my violin and stood sharply grabbing hold of my mom, “Mom, I need to go see Hadrian!” Two fears were warring within me. The one of my mother and the one where I might lose Ri. The slap that followed that came swiftly and knocked me back to the floor. This time I felt stinging in my shoulder, but my fears paralyzed me as she hissed out her answer.

“Never talk to me that way again.” She said as she took a couple steps backwards, the only noises to fill my ears were giggles and the sound of glass cutting into flesh. I focused on her bloody foot prints, knowing it was better that if I didn’t get up. “Besides dear, you really don’t need to go over there anymore.” She turned around and grabbed her glass off the counter, taking her time with each word. “Since that boy ran away.” Noella chuckled to herself again, and turned towards me. “You won’t run away from me, will you honey?”

My breath was caught in my throat, and my eyes couldn’t get any wider. Ran away? He, Hadrian ran? Why didn’t he tell me? A new fear cut through me like the glass in my palm. I started to shake and slowly sat up, looking around the room. I’m not sure what I was looking for, maybe a lie in her words, something to give it away in the dim kitchen. That couldn’t be. He had to be here. Hadrian can’t be gone.

Noella’s voice cut through the air, “Sweetie, you’re shaking.” She set her glass down and came to me, encircling me in her arms. “Did that nasty school give you a fever?” What was she saying? How could that matter when Ri was gone? “And you’re bleed too, you clumsy thing.” She rocked me back and forth, in a charade of comfort. None of that mattered, couldn’t she see? If Hadrian was gone. Really gone. “It’s alright. Noella will take care of you. Make you feel better.” She smiled.

“When.” I was gripping her shirt and staring right into her eyes, panic winning out over fear, and with that strength. She squinted at me in the dark, trying to make out what I was talking about. “When did he leave? Are you lying to me Mom?” Anger flared in her eyes as she shoved me over, causing my head to smack the hard floor. Pain surged through my skull, but that didn’t matter. She had let me go.

“That’s none of your concern now.” She was yelling now, and I grabbed for my violin. “He’s gone and he has been for a- Hey! Where are you going?!” Noella thundered after me and I ran out of the room and down the hall. I kept running, there wasn’t any time to stop for shoes. I could hear her behind me; I just needed to make it out the door. I had to keep moving. She had to be lying. Ri would be sitting in his room. He would.

Her hand snagged my shoulder and I dived and rolled, protecting my violin. Dance was paying off, and I was able to go from air to floor to back on my feet in one fluid motion. I had no time to utter thanks or feel relieved. I got the front door open in record time and ran as if my ass was on fire and my head was catching.

I had been right. Noella made it to the end of the yard when she stopped, finally taking notice to all her cuts on her feet. I didn’t bother to look back, I needed to find him. He was home, and I was suddenly sure of it. My mother had been lying to shake me up. There wasn’t a need to run anymore.

I ran all the way to his house.
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Linden Vale

December 2015

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