When Kayla decides to move in with her mum, leaving her Dad behind, she thinks it's going to be just like the old days. Determined to have a better life, she sets off, wanting to start over. But once she's met Pierre, her Mum's new boyfriend, she realises it will never be the same again...


4. Pierre

We've been driving for what seems like forever. Past the city streets, and all the way into the countryside. I'm not quite sure where Tether is - the small town where Mum lives - but I have a feeling we're quite close to it by now.

"Are we nearly there yet?" I whine like a 3 year-old on purpose.

My Mum laughs. "Yes, yes." We drive in silence for a while, and I look out over the fields, the sea a blue blur in the distance. Is Tether by the beach?

Then Mum says, "You used to always say that, you know."

"Say what?" I ask.

"Are we there yet? It was your favourite phrase. Every time we'd get in the car, you'd say it. Even if we'd only just driven out of the driveway!" Mum chuckles, and I start to laugh, trying to think back to the days that have vanished in the existence of my childhood.

Then, I suddenly notice that we're pulling into a driveway, that's on a small slant, and I look up to see a big beach house, overlooking the ocean. Wow. The view is magnificent, considering we're on the top of a hill, and once I'm out the car - which doesn't take long at all - I can see right down the hill that there's a little beach on the coast.

"Mum, this is amazing! How come you never told me about this before? I could have come for a nice holiday, and..." I keep babbling on, until I notice a figure at the doorway to the house, talking to Mum. Mum's blocking the view of their face, and as soon as she pulls away, I notice it's a man. He's quite tall, wearing jeans and a shirt, and he's got his arm wrapped around my Mum. What is he doing here?

"Oh, Kayla, this is Pierre, my boyfriend." My Mum exclaims. Her WHAT?

Suddenly, I feel so far away, so lonely, even though I'm standing right here, like I was before. The world seems to be turning around me, and I clutch my stomach to stop me being sick. I should have known I wasn't going to be the only one. Mum has a new life. Of course she'd have a new boyfriend too. Why had I never thought of this before? I, clearly, am not the only one Mum loves. I just don't get why she never mentioned it before.

After taking a few deep breaths on the spot, I go over to the boot of the car, pulling out my suitcase, and dropping it to the ground. I pull up the handle, steering it all the way to the door of the house. I don't stop to say 'Hi' to this 'boyfriend', or 'Hi' to my Mum, I just carry on straight past them, disappearing into a house I've never been in before.

The walls are all white - plain white - and  there's a corridor leading down to a gigantic kitchen, which overlooks the sea, as well as the beach. A conservatory is attached to the right hand side of the building, and a sofa and armchair are plonked inside it. I look to my right, a 6-seater dining table in front of my eyes, and then to my left, a speck-less kitchen, that looks like it belongs to a showroom.

Then, I do a U-Turn, coming back down the corridor, and I take a left up the spiral staircase, leaving my suitcase at the bottom. As I walk up, grasping the handle tightly, I notice lots of pictures on the wall. Little kids playing about. Pictures of the sea, and the beach. Who are those children? I thought Mum only had me? My stomach does a twist, and I look away, carrying on up the stairs.

When I reach the top, there's a small corridor in view, closed doors coming off of it, every few metres. 4 doors in total. I open the first, which is just a bathroom. Just. Though it seems to be as big as a medium sized bedroom, with a shower, a seperate bath, a sink, toilet, an airing cupboard, and a big space of flooring in the middle, covered by a fluffy rug. Nice.

Through the next door, I see a big bedroom, with a double bed in the middle. There's an en-suite attached and a large window on the left, that, also, overlooks the ocean. I sneek around, looking through the drawers and looking at the pictures hung up on the walls. More children. My stomach twists together again, even tighter, and I clench it, stumbling back out into the corridor.

Next door, I reveal a medium-sized room, a single bed placed on the left hand side, against the wall. There's a chest of drawers up against one wall, a radio and lamp on top of it, and on the other wall is a giant wardrobe, a full legnth mirror placed beside it. Wow. This is one awesome room. I open one of the drawers and look inside. An ipod and book are placed inside. My heart sinks. I was hoping this was my room, but someone obviously stays in here. I walk out, my heart defeated. Before I have a chance to open the last door, I hear a voice from behind me.

"Kayla." Someone bellows. I turn around. Pierre is standing at the top of the stairs.

"Yeah?" I question, before noticing he's handing over my suitcase, which I left at the bottom of the staircase. "Oh, thanks."

"Whatever." he says, walking into the bedroom I've just been in. "I guess you've checked out your new room then."

"That room is mine?" I ask.

"It's supposed to be. Why? Is there a problem with it?" He looks surprised that I asked that.

"Oh, it's just I found an ipod in the drawer and a book, so I thought someone stayed here." I explain.

He chuckles, but  it sounds somehow fake. "They're for you...silly." I notice the pause. I take a breath.

"You bought me an ipod and a book?" I say, my eyebrows raised.

"Yeah, but thank your Mum. She told me to. I didn't want to spend my money on some teenager I've never met. They're so damn spoilt anyway."

"Ok." I say, not really understanding if he means me in particular. "So, where are the kids then?"

"The WHAT?" He spits across the room.

I laugh. "I saw the pictures in the corridor. I'm not dumb."

 There's a long pause, before he says " we have kids?" He lifts his hand to rub his forehead. "Those photos are of you, Kayla...when you were a child."

I decide to challenge him. "Then why are there several kids in the picture?"

When he answers with "They're your cousins." I shrug, taking in what he's saying and believeing him.

My mouth begins to form a smile. I would have never thought Mum would want to remember me, by putting photos of me around the house. I thought she'd completely forgotten about me. Had never wanted to see my face again, until today. Maybe I was right. Maybe she has wanted me back, like I've wanted her back.

Suddenly, Pierre talks again. "Don't you smirk at me, young lady."

My mouth already open, I manage to say, "W..ha..t?"

He looks at me in the 'Oh, you know exactly what I'm talking about' expression. "You're jolly well lucky to have me around to keep your Mum happy. If it weren't for me, you'd be having a miserable time down here." He says, anger clearly bubbling inside him.

This time, I know exactly what he's trying to say. And it's not what I would call 'nice' either.

"Are you saying that my own Mum doesn't want me back here?" I yell, "That me and my own Mum can't even have some fun together. Because that's where you're WRONG!" My voice begins to gradually raise, and I can feel the toughness inside me, breaking through my outer layer.

"Ha. Ha." He sounds so sarcastic now. I just want to punch him right in the face. "Oh, your Mum never wanted you back here. She didn't have a choice. She already has a life here. With me. Not you."

"Oh yeah, really." I say, thinking back to earlier when I'd snooped around in Mum's bedroom and found no men's clothing, "that's why you don't live here, eh?" I should have thought about the consequences before I'd spoken, though...

He goes in, full speed, charging at me with his fist held high. I know it's a risk, and I know I hardly know him, but I lift my fist too, knocking at his face before he gets to me. He falls to the ground, arm blocking my view of his face. I can't believe he tried to attack me. I thought he was going to be a nice replacement of my father, not one that wants to hurt me too.

Suddenly, as he reveals his face, I notice bright, red blood streaming from his nose. I clasp my hand to my open mouth. My heart begins to beat faster, and I jerk back when he looks at me with a cold glare. Then, when I think it can't possibly get any worse, my Mum walks in.









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