I Give Up

So my life is a little messed up. I'm 14 years old, my name is Ace Alex and you'll see soon, my life is anything but normal. Family? School? Happiness? I don't understand.

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10. Welcome Back Ace

                I look at the trailer behind ours and try to remember things from it. I vaguely remember an elderly lady and then question my memory, not trusting it even enough to remember that much. I give up and decide to just talk back and say hello then explain what’s happened.

                I start walking back there casually; looking around at all of the things I’ve forgotten. It’s so different here than from Washington. I walk up to my neighbors’ house and knock on her door, standing tall, trying to look kind of respectful so they don’t just assume I’m one of those teenagers. I wait patiently, listening to a small dog bark inside.

                The door opens and I see an older lady, probably in about her late 60’s.

                “Oh my god,” she says as she hugs me so tightly I can barely breathe. “I can’t believe it’s you Ace! Look at how much you’ve grown!” She says, holding my shoulders and looking up at me.

                “I’m sorry… Mrs…” I say, not knowing how to address her.

                “No no, no time for that, come inside. Welcome back Ace, you have to tell me how things went.” She says excitedly.

                She takes my hand and leads me inside. I sit on the couch and this small toy poodle jumps into my lap. I’m not sure what to do at first but she starts licking my cheek so I pet her. I look at her dog tags and see her name is Poochie.

                “Hello Poochie,” I say, petting her.

 

                “You’d think she missed you,” my neighbor says, laughing.

                I smile and nod, not sure of what to say.

                “You’re really quiet Ace, how was Washington?” she asks.

                “Wet… It rains a lot.” I say, not wanting to talk about things that happened.

                “I bet it does. So how’s the family?” She asks sweetly.
                “They’re good…” I say hesitantly.

                “Really, how’s Lily?”

                “She kind of passed away…” I say, looking away, not wanting to explain.
                “Oh my goodness! I’m so sorry Ace.”

                “It’s ok. This may sound completely insane but I lost my memory and I can’t remember your name… I’m sorry if that sounds rude…”

                “So much has happened! I’m Renee. Do you mind saying how you lost your memory?”
                “I was um… In a car crash…” I say, lying.

                “I’m really sorry; it must be so hard for you. I hope things get better.”

                “They’ll be better now, I’m sure of it, don’t worry about me Renee.”

                “Alright, well I hate to rush you considering you just got back but I have to take a shower and get ready for church, some missionaries are coming to talk a bit tonight. Hey, you used to go to church with me, I bet everyone would love to see you, would you like to come?” She asks, smiling at me, seeming hopeful I’d say yes.

                “Sure, what time is it?” I ask so I know how long I have to get ready in.

                “It’s at 7:30 so I’ll pick you up about 7:00.” She says.

                “Alright, I’ll be ready.” I say standing and holding my hand out.

                “No handshakes, you’re so formal.” She says as she hugs me. “It’s great to see you again Ace.”

                I hug her back lightly, her feeling so fragile in my arms. “It’s good to see you again; I’ll see you in a little.”

                “Alright, go get ready boy.” She says smiling.

                “Yes ma’am.” I say as I turn to walk away.

                I open the door and start walking home, thinking of what I should do. I decide to go home and take a shower then figure things out from there.

                I walk into my house and look down the hallway and remember basically where everything is but everything seems different than before. But I don’t know, maybe I’m just over thinking things. I walk to my room and look through my stuff, trying to find clothes good enough for tonight. I try on a nice black dress shirt that looks like I never even worn once and it fits so I lay it on my bed and find a nice pair of jeans that fit. Alright, good enough I think to myself. I lie down on my bed, next to the clothes I laid out, and just stare at my ceiling.

                Looking at the plain white ceiling, I let my mind just run through everything. I yawn and close my eyes, thinking about how to act tonight. I’m sure I’ll be fine; I’m just worrying too much.

                I stand and grab my clothes then walk to the bathroom. Locking the door behind me, I slide my shirt off and look at myself in the mirror, some of the bruises and cuts haven’t faded yet. I hate abusive people. I wish I could help everyone who has to go through things like that and put up with abuse. I just don’t know how.

                Undressing and stepping into the shower, I let the warm water run over me. It burns when it reaches my wrists but I endure it and try to keep my mind off it. I close my eyes and try to relax my muscles a bit. I run my hands through my hair and imagine me, watching myself. Watching the water run down my body. In my mind the water quickly turns red. Blood is running down my body. My eyes flash open and I jump out of the shower.

                Trying to calm my heart down, I tell myself there’s nothing to be afraid of, it’s just water. So I slowly step back into the shower and grab my shampoo bottle that grandma had already kindly put on the shelf in the shower. I quickly wash my hair and body, not thinking much about it, just having it be an automatic thing. I think about Lily, from the airport as I finish washing up. I wonder how she’s doing. Maybe I’ll see again… I think, hoping and wishing I will.

                What am I thinking? I can’t. I have to stay away from her to make my sister happy. “Skylar,” I whisper quietly. I never called my sister Lily, only when we were being serious. It was always Skylar. My sister loved that name. I think that’s why I didn’t realize Lily and my sister had the same name. I quickly stop my thought and turn the water off.

                Stepping out, I grab a towel and dry myself off. I put my nice clothes that I had picked out on and try to comb out my short blonde hair. It’s almost buzzed on the sides a bit and then it probably being about an inch long on the top. I comb it out and look at myself in the mirror, realizing how dull of a blue my eyes seem to be. My eyes change colors depending on my mood, I’ve noticed. A lightl, dull blue is kind of normal for me. Ha, normal, that’s funny.

               

                I walk out of the bathroom and look at the clock. 6:47 I read.

                I look over and grandma’s quietly watching me, not saying a word.

                I smile and say, “Hey grandma, I’m gonna go to a church even with Renee tonight, it that alright?”

                “Sure honey, I think that would be great.” She says, smiling back.

                “Alright, she’ll pick me up at 7:00 so she’ll be here in just a little while.”

                “Okay, I hope you have fun.” She says.

                “I will,” I say as I walk to my room to grab my wallet.

                I grab my wallet off my dresser and see a teddy bear sitting in the corner of my room.

                “Fireball…” I say quietly. Finally remembering the bear I slept with since I was 8 years old to try to get rid of the nightmares I had.

                I walk over and pick him up. I start smiling and then I hug him. I lay him on my bed and put my watch on, looking at the time as I do. 6:55 it says. Great, 5 more minute, I should wait outside for her. I walk outside and stand on the back porch so she can just stop on her way by. She hasn’t even come out of her house yet and I try to think of a way to entertain myself.

                I stand on the porch railing and walk across it, not thinking much about it. My balance has always been really good so I don’t worry too much about things like this; it’s not difficult for me.

                I look down at my feet at my Converse. I think about jumping off the rail but then I look at the rest of the rail I have left. It’s probably about 3 inches wide so it’s easy to walk on. And I have about 20 feet of rail left to walk if I wanted to. I make sure my balance is steady then I take off, running down the rest of the rail. I jump off at the end and land perfectly, not tripping or falling or anything. Not even getting a little dust on my jeans.

                I smile at myself then see my neighbor pulling out of her driveway in her car. She drives down the driveway to where I am and stops. I walk around to the passenger side of the car and open the door and get in.

                “You look nice Ace.” She says, complimenting me.

                “Thank you, so do you.” I say smiling.

                The rest of the car ride is quiet, only about 5 minutes to the church.

                We pull into the church parking lot and I get out and stand, looking at about 50 cars, I suddenly get worried about how to act around all these people.

                “Come on Ace,” Renee says, walking toward the church entrance.

                “Yeah, I’m coming…” I say, still worried. I walk about a foot behind Renee, trying to stand straight and look nice. I walk into the church behind Renee and every yells.

                “Welcome back Ace!” I’m completely surprised.

                I look around and everyone’s looking at me. I start blushing and say, “Thank you.”

                Everyone’s smiling and coming over to say hello. I feel better, I like being home again. 

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