So, its been a while eh'.(:
I hope this can make up for my absence. (:
Chapter 5 “Courage is when you’re afraid, and you keep on living anyway.”
The next morning, I made my way down stairs for breakfast. Taking each step slowly seemed to be the best way not to fall and break my leg, due to Kate forcing these ridiculously high shoeson me earlier. They were wedges, which made them easier to walk in but it still eluded me why I needed to be taller when I was already 5’10.
However, I almost threw them at her when she told me wearing heels made your ass look better to guys.
When I finally made it down the eighteen steps leading from the top floor to the living room, I found myself faced with my father, Keith. Dad was sitting on the larger couch in the room wearing his pyjamas while folding up a quilted blanket. Next to him I saw the pillows. He had slept on the couch.
My heart sank.
Cautiously, I approached the back of the couch. Sensing someone behind him, dad turned around and smiled sadly.
"Did Mum...? I didn't hear anything last night." Speaking softly, I didn't want to upset dad. Ihowever, wanted to cry. This hadn't happened for a while and I thought things were finally starting to change.
He stood and walked around the sideof the couch, draping the folded quilt over its back. Taking me into his arms he gave me a hug. My father was a medium sized man, but when he hugged me I felt like small child all over again. We both knew what was going to happen soon and I was dreading the moment.
Hearing large thudding coming down the stairs, I spun around. There stood mum. She was dressed in her emerald green, terry towelling dressing gown. Her hair was not brushed, where it stoodout at all ends and her face looked drawn out like she had not slept allnight.
Mum narrowed her hazel coloured eyes."Keith Stratford. I thought I told you to get out
She didn't yell. She didn't scream.But the tone she used sent shivers down my spine.
"Mum," I said slowly, and took a step forward releasing myself from my father.
"Stay out of this Kennedy.Your father has no right to be in this house." I stared at her in disbelief. The last few years came rushing down over me, the yelling, the midnight calls and the tears.
Behind me, dad sighed."Katherine, please. Just calm down. I'll go get your medication for you."
"Don't you dare, there isnothing wrong with me. Nothing but the fact I am married to a low life cheating bastard." Mum spoke through gritted teeth.
"Mum!" I exclaimed."Dad loves you. And he didn't cheat on you."
Dad moved from around the couch and stood in front of mum, taking both her hands in his. She struggled to move away from dad, twisting and pulling. Each movement tugged at my heart.
“Keith, let go of me. I don’t want you to touch me.” As mum spoke her words began to slur, she was becoming emotional. Soon she would be inconsolable. We all knew the drill, it had happened more times than I wanted to remember.
A low chime filled the room, thedoor bell had rung. It was eight in the morning, who decides to visit someoneat eight
I gave an exasperated sigh at the situationaround me. Dad was still trying to get through to mum. Kate was God knowswhere. And me? Well I was just standing in the middle of the living roomwatching everything unfold.
What if the person at the door wasDads business partner? Or one of Kate’s junior friends? What if it was mumsdoctor? No matter who was at the door, I could near enough guarantee that thiswas not going to end well.
"Kennedy, it's okay."This time it was Kate who spoke. She came in from the kitchen, with mum’s favourite coffee mug in her hands. “You go get the door.”
Looking at her baffled I didn’t move an inch. Now she comes in?
“Kate, why don’t you get the door?If you can’t see, I am a little busy at the moment.” I retorted, gesturing tomum and dad.
“Why don’t you just leave this,”she mocked my gesture, “to someone who can actually handle it?
I had no response to this; she honestly thought that she could handle the situation with our parents better than I could? That either of us could do it alone? Apparently she
“Move, Kennedy.” Kate pushed metowards the door and sat the coffee on the table and moved towards our parents.This would not be the first time that she smoothed the tension in the room.
I took a few steps towards the front parlour and turned my head back to glance at the rest of the family. Kate had moved mum and dad into the dining room, seated them and was now discussing everything with them. I think she had even gotten mum to take her medication.
Feeling like strangling my sister and the unlucky person on the other side of the door, I reluctantly turned the small brass knob, and found myself faced with Cooper.
“C…Cooper?” I asked, squinting my eyes. The sun was out and shining directly towards our house. “What are youdoing here?”
He laughed, and leant against the door frame. “ I’m taking you to school, Barbie.”
"This isn’t the best time…” Itrailed off. Cooper did so not need to witness a Stradford family meltdown.
Looking down at his watch, Cooper sighed. “School starts in 25 minutes, Barbie. How could this not be the time to leave?”
As to illustrate my earlier point, there was a screeching of wooden chair legs being scraped backwards at a fast pace. And then the yelling stared again.
“You have barely been home lately. Anddon’t get me started on that leggy blonde assistant you just hired, she ispractically young enough to be your daughter!” Mum screeched from inside.
“For God’s sake Katherine, I am nothaving an affair.” Dad said, the sound of a chair falling to the ground echoed.
Hastily I pulled the door closedand moved passed Cooper to lean against the railing of the balcony which adorned the front of our house. Hearing the shuffling of feet I turned my headand saw Cooper standing a foot away from me, he was looking across the street and was trying not to meet my eyes. He cannot have just witnessed that. Not even Hamish saw my mum like that.
I'm not ashamed of mum. She can’t control this. I’m sure that if she had the choice she would not accuse my father of adultery every second week.
Sniffling I searched the pockets of the super skinny jeans that Kate chose for me to wear today for a tissue. After being unsuccessful I thought of going back inside to get one but after a second thought decided against it.
I felt movement next to me, andlooked to see Cooper had joined me at railing. Sighing for the second time since he got here this morning, he turned his head to look at me. “Are you okay?”
I raised my eyebrow at him, “Honestly,I don’t know.”
“Do you want to talk about it?”
I shook my head. “Trust me; you do not want to know.”
Cooper nodded and turned his headback around to watch the large man across the street pack his car.
I looked down at my hands. They were small, bony and the pink nail polish that I had painted on a few days ago was beginning to chip off. I liked it better this way, not everything has to be perfect at every single moment of each day.
“Psychosis.” I blurted out after a few minutes of silence had passed.
“Pardon?” Cooper said, steppingback.
“Psychosis.” I repeated softly. “The doctors called it delusional paranoia.
Whichis just a less crazy sounding way of saying that my mother has psychotic fits.”
Cooper just looked at me blankly. Obviously this was a mistake. I should have never said that to him. Christ I have never told anyone, out loud at least. When Hamish found out, I had to write it down;as I was not able to actually speak the words.
My mum has psychological problems that make her think her husband is constantly unfaithful to her. Yes that rolls off the tongue easy.
“I shouldn’t have said that.” I said to myself and walked down the balcony, pacing. “I really
shouldn’t have said that.” I repeated.
“Barbie,” Cooper spoke my name, butI failed to hear him.
“Kate is going to murder me.” I muttered,she was overly protective of not letting anyone know about mum’s condition. I was all for not broadcasting it to theworld, but I did feel that it was okay for us to tell a close friend. Just for mental and emotional support.
Sadly Cooper did not fall into this category, at least not yet.
“Yeah?” I had stopped pacing now,and looked up at Cooper.
“You can talk to me. I’ll listen to anything, Barbie.” His words sounded so sincere that my heart actually felt alittle lighter for a second. Hamish was still my world, but in that moment,Cooper didn’t seem all that bad.
“Thanks.” I near whispered. Myvoice had caught and I didn’t need to start crying now. Not with what was goingon inside and the fact that I had school in less than 15 minutes.
Earning a smile from Cooper I clearedmy throat and told him that he really needed to leave for school.
“Do you want a lift?” He asked. “Itwas my original question, which you never answered.”
I rolled my eyes. “I should probably go deal with…” I let my words fade and gestured to inside my house.
“Okay, I understand. See you there?”
I thought for a second. “Yeah, I’llbe there. Probably after first period though.”
He nodded and started down the path leading to his car. Today Cooper was driving a black Buick Riviera.
"That car is hot." I called down after him.
Turning around, Cooper started walking backwards, facing me. "I could say the same thing about you, Barbie."
I blushed, he grinned.
I walked back inside and sawmy dad sitting in his usual place at the head of the table, with Kate and my mother facing each other in the other seats. Taking the place opposite my father, we sat there in silence.
"Who was at the door?" Dad asked calmly.
Debating on telling my parents it was Hamish, I relented and told the truth. "Cooper." I answered dully.
Kate asked incredulously.
I nodded and tuned my attention to mum. “Are you okay now?” I asked.
Disregarding my question, she asked one of her own. “Cooper? Who is Cooper? I thought it would be Hamish here to get you for school.”
There was no trace of her earlier breakdown. The doctors said this was common, that some patients couldbe distraught one moment and then perfectly capable of continuing on with day to day life the next. Unknowing in the fact that they just went through a mental trauma. Unfortunately for the us however, we do remember it.
I looked at Kate, unknowing of what to say.
“What is it? What don’t I know?Did something happen?”
“Mum..” I started; did I really want to tell her that he dumped me? I was hoping that I could get Hamish back quick enough that there was no need to tell my parents about his indiscretions.
“Hamish cheated on Kennedy.Then he broke up with her.” Kate said; a disgusted tone in her voice.
” I exclaimed at the same time, mum said “Oh Kennedy”
“What?” Kate shrugged, youwere taking too long.
“It wasn’t you place to say.”I told her.
“Oh like you were really going to tell them. I just know
you were going to lie about it.” Sheretorted.
“Girls stop it. Kennedy areyou okay?” This time it was dad who spoke.
“Yes,” I said.
“Do you want to talk aboutit?” Mum asked
“No.” I answered.
“Oh you probably should talk to someone.” Kate interjected casually.
“Would you just shut up?” I asked her, rudely. I stood up and grabbed my bag which was sitting near the door frame to open planned living room. “I’m going to school.”
“Kennedy, wait.” Dad said,trying to break through.
“I’m going to be late.” I muttered and grabbed the keys to the car Kate and I shared.
She could find her own damn way to school.
I hope this is Okay (:x
I promise not to take too long with the next one. (: