Hey everyone, this post is kinda a tester post. It’s a short story, I’m thinking of adding some of these into my blog *at least once a week*, so hopefully if these go well, it’ll become a kind of permanent thing.
*DISCLAIMER: These stories are not all true, there may be some details that are true and used for inspiration, but there will be changes throughout.*
I feel him sit on my bed, in the dark early hours of the morning. I decide quickly to pretend to still be asleep, close my eyes and lay as still as possible waiting.
He’s mumbling and humming to himself, I can’t help but let myself smile. He loves to sing, he sings everywhere and everything. He turns to me in full chorus, swinging his long, thick, dark hair into his face. I can feel his green eyes on me.
He nudges me, I stay still with my eyes closed. I hear him sigh, then the words he knows will get me up and out of bed “Fine,” he says, “I guess I’ll have to eat pancakes at Bill’s all by myself.. Shame, I was gonna treat you too, Hel” I sit up right almost instantly, he laughs.
“Hey,” I say “I heard the magic word… PANCAKES”
Once he’s done laughing, he shoots me a look of victory to which I poke my tongue out at. This is how most of our mornings start, playful banter back and forth with me and Lu’, the man only talks in song lyrics, shameless plugs of his bands new upcoming song and sarcasm, which is fine with me because I’m basically the same. Except from the song lyrics and plugging band songs, I’m more geeky than Luca. More Doctor Who quotes, random facts about things and video game chats, but it’s okay. We both love each other for who we are and I have been sworn to never change by him.
People say high school romances don’t last, but here I am, in our crappy, little, cozy apartment with the person who I’ve been in love with since the day he came into our class in high school as a new boy, and who says true love doesn’t exist? But then again, people also say we look like brother and sister, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
Luca has thick, long, dark, hair, tanned skin and deep green eyes, while yes I am a bit tanned, but no where near his colour, I also have brown eyes, covered by my big, wild. curly, uncontrollable, light brown hair and fringe. We couldn’t look more different if we tried, but I suppose if I looked close enough I could see some of the resemblance. But, then again, I also sometimes feel like I resemble Ugly Betty..
I’m Helen by the way, I don’t feel as if I’ve actually told you my name yet, I probably should of started with it. I hate my name. It reminds me of an old lady. Luca says he likes it and that he likes “older women”, typical him to make a joke out of it. Does make me laugh, though.
I look at my phone, 3 missed calls from Eve. I make a face. Luca looks over and raises one of his perfect eyebrows, “Really? You’re going to let your boss get you down when I just mentioned paying for pancakes?” he said, as if he could read my mind. I look at him and laugh, I throw my phone back face down on the bed, “come on,” I say, “Let’s go get those pancakes.”
This seems to be the right thing to say, as I see Luca’s face change from concern to the big grin he wears on a daily basis. He pulls me out of bed, into a big bear hug, then runs towards the bathroom, obviously trying to get into the shower before me, laughing all the way. I giggle to myself, this is the morning routine that happens almost everyday. I go through to the kitchen, grab some juice. Look through the newspaper, reading all the “announcements” which are mostly filled up with weddings, funerals and other things alike, I scan for anyone’s names we know and that’s when I realize it.
I close the newspaper as quickly as possible, scrunch it into a ball and throw it across the room as if it was a basketball and I was throwing the winning hoop. I scribble down on a sheet of paper in my neat, small printed handwriting “Got called into work, sorry! Have extra pancakes on me! See you later? With love, Helen x”
I rushed out of the apartment in a panic, I’d never lied to Lu’ before. I just need out, I need an explanation. I start running, there’s no time for a taxi or bus like I’d normally get. I need to get to the other side of town. I pass work, not that I was going there anyway. I turn down my old road, running straight into my old house. I open the door and shout through, “Mum?, Dad?,” then I hear them rushing through from the office.
“Helen?! What are you doing here?,” asks my Mum, pushing her long, brown, wavy hair out of her eyes and pushing her glasses up the bridge of her nose, as if she can’t believe it’s really me.
“I saw it, in the paper. What happened to Is.” I say, “Why didn’t you tell me? Why did I have to read it in the newspaper, like everyone else?”
“Oh, Helen..” my Mum starts, but doesn’t finish.
“Look, Hel, you weren’t meant to find out like that..” continues my Dad, “Honestly, it wasn’t like that at all..”
“So, what was it meant to be like then?.. You should of phoned me!” I say, raising my voice.
“Honey, we didn’t want to distract you from work.. Plus, you remember what happened last time someone passed away..” says Mum, somehow keeping her calm.
“That was years ago! Work can wait. Isabelle is, well, was, my sister. And you didn’t even tell me she was dying! I don’t understand how you can be this calm?!” I shout back, feeling the tears fill my eyes.
Dad takes a step towards me, I turn away. “I can’t believe this,” I say, “I didn’t even get to say goodbye..” I break down in tears, screaming “WHY, WHY, WHY”
I feel my parents put their arms around me, I collapse into their bodies like I would when I was a little girl, sobbing and screaming.
Before I continue with what happened next, I think I should describe my sister to you.
Isabelle, she was a year younger than me but we always told everyone we were twins, she used to be a part of this big drama and dance group, she loved adventure, sports and the outdoors. She had this great laugh, a gorgeous constellation of freckles all over her lightly tanned face and shoulder length auburn tinted brown hair. That was, until she got sick. A few summers ago, we were at a friend’s birthday pool party, when I realized the bruising on her sides and stomach, not long after that she started feeling like she had some sort of flu, so our parents let her stay off school, when it didn’t clear for two weeks, we took her to the doctors, only to be told the bad news. It was cancer. She never let it bring her down, though. After time, yes, she had to stop doing all her sports, drama and dance groups, and when she lost her hair it felt like she had lost her whole world. But, she was still my sister. My happy, go lucky,do anything for a laugh and very loved sister.
I spent the rest of that day at my parent’s, them making sure I eat, making sure I was okay. But let’s face it, if your sister had died and not only did you not even get a chance to say goodbye but you had to find out through your town’s newspaper, would you be okay?
“She had wished for us not to let you know, when she got worse, Hel..” my parents kept saying, but it didn’t make it any better. I should of been there, I should have been told.
I’m not angry at them, or Is, but I just didn’t understand.
“Can I go, see Is’ room?.. One last time..” I ask.
“Of course, Hel. By the way, we won’t change it if you don’t want us to. We were thinking of keeping it the same anyway, you know, to remember her by.. ” replies Mum.
I walk up the stairs, slowly, looking at all our family photographs on the wall up the stairs, when I got to the top, the third door on the right was Is’ room.
As I opened the door, it let out a loud creak. Just like it always had, my parents always gave us both doors that creaked, just in case we ever decided to be rebellious and sneak out, or sneak someone in. Which never happened, just to clarify. I walk in, and her room is exactly as it was the last time I was her. Light blue wallpaper, bed sheets with little bright yellow flowers on it, fairy lights around the headboard and shelves and shelves of books. Is loved books, she loved writing, too. Some of these books were diaries and journals, others just normal books. I walk over to the shelves, I pick up a book I remember seeing her carry around with her a lot when she first got sick. A little emerald colored notebook, I open it up, flick through a few pages, it’s mostly doctors appointments and medication details but then a little envelope falls out. I bend down to pick it up, on the front it says “To my big sister, Hel.” in Is’ perfect, pretty, cursive hand writing.
I sit on the bed, just staring at it. “Mum, is it alright if I take some of these books? Just to remember Is by?” I shout.
“Um, yeah sure dear,” my Mum shouts back up to me, “Take as many as you’d like, I’ll bring up some bags for them and some tea and help you pack them away, then Dad’ll drop you home. Okay?”
Sure, it was okay. I put the envelope back into a bigger book. As much as I love my parents, I don’t want them to know about my sister’s letter to me. At least, not yet. I gather up all the diaries and journals of Is’ onto her bed, and throw in a photo of us from her bedside table. There’s two photos in the frame, in a kinda collage, one of us both with our hair blowing in the wind, posing in front of the Ferris wheel from that carnival that came to town and the other one of us sitting in front of the fireplace around Christmas time, me with hair and Is without.
So, as my Mum said, we pack the books and photos away, then I leave with my Dad. Who, really is a man of few words and barely said a thing the whole car ride home, except from the whole speech of “If you need anything, don’t hesitate to call, come home if you need to..” etc. When we got to the apartment, he helped me carry the bags up to the door. I open it, to find Lu’ sitting in the living room, looking kind of annoyed.
I walk in, speaking softly, “Hey…” I say, Luca looks up.
“Hi, work huh?” He says, shrugging towards the bags I’m carrying.
“Hmm.. Look, I have something to tell you..” He motions for me to sit next to him and moves over a little bit, I sit next to him and tell him everything that happened today. His green eyes focusing on me every word I say and squeezing my hands while I once again, feel my eyes fill up with tears. Once I’ve told Lu’ everything, he doesn’t say a word. He just opens his arms up and pulls me in for a hug, then whispers softly into my ear “I know, I don’t know what you’re going through, I’ve never lost anyone before. But I do know that I’m here for you, through everything.”
The next few days pass like a blur, I go about my daily routine of going to work and coming home, then laying in bed with Luca for hours watching Doctor Who re-runs and playing video games, not what Lu’ wanted to do, but I suppose he made an exception for me after Isabelle.
Is’ funeral was a week away from when I found out about her death, “wear colorful hair bands”, the little ad my parents had taken out in the newspaper had said, we all knew that Is loved color and always said that at her funeral she’d want everyone to wear a pop of color. When the day came around, myself and Lu’ went to my parent’s early in the morning, dressed in all black with a little green bobble in my curly hair and the same green colored bobble on Luca’s wrist. When we got into the church, there were flower arrangements on near enough every pew and then ones at the front of the church saying “Daughter”, “Sister” & every other family member name that is imaginable. The whole day, was another blur. Before I knew it, we were already back in the apartment and standing in the kitchen. I went to bed not long after getting home.
A few days go past, I hadn’t been to work and had a few angry voice mails from Eve, but I didn’t care enough anymore. I just stayed in bed. Lu’ kept bringing me food, water, trying to get me out but I just couldn’t. That’s when I remembered about the letter.
I sat in bed with Luca, and opened it up.
If you’re reading this, it means I have passed away.. I know this will be hard for you to deal with, but please remember even though I am not here, everyone else is.
I asked Mum and Dad to not tell you I had gotten worse, I wanted you to remember me as I was, not as the sister who couldn’t even lift her head off of the pillow. I want you to know that you mean so much to me, you’ve always helped me keep a smile on my face. I also want you to know how happy I am that you have Luca, I know he will take care of you, as he always has done, especially now I’m not there. (and if he doesn’t, don’t worry I will haunt him) and I know you hate your job, so take some advice from me, quit. Go traveling like you’ve always wanted to, yes I know you’ve always wanted to travel with Doctor Who, but Luca is okay too. Also, remember that I love you and I hate that I’m not there to tell you all of this anymore, but it still is all true.
Don’t forget this,
All my love, forever and always,Isabelle x”
That’s all for right now, I hope that this is a thing I continue to do after my April blogging project is over. Please let me know if you guys have any ideas of things, scenarios, people, etc that I could maybe add in.
Thanks for reading,