When Corey's sister commits suicide, his family is distraught. Ten years on, and the hole she left still hasn't healed over. The unanswered question remains: why did she decide to die? Soon her secret is revealed to Corey, and he is left to fight for survival, his dead sister haunting his dreams. But she is only a memory. After all ghosts and daemons are just make-believe...... Right? WARNING: There are scenes of violence and strong language some readers may find offensive... Hence the yellow rating.


8. Chapter Seven - The Abusive Girlfriend

“You’re what?!” Danni shrieked, her shrill tone piercing my eardrums.

“Jesus Danni, calm the fuck down. I’m moving to London not the goddamn moon.” I said in the most soothing tone I could manage, despite the fact I was eighty-seven percent sure he yell had caused me permanent hearing damage.

“Oh god. I must be dreaming because you just said you were moving to London and were totally okay with it. You. Corey. Corey Michael Stephens. The boys who said he’d never leave this town. Ever.”

“Danni, it’s just London. That’s what, an hour and a half’s drive away? Or an hour if you drive like I do. I’ll be coming back every weekend to see Resa and you guys anyway. Besides it’s not as if I can stay here; my parents are kinda selling the house.” I reassured her

“Of course you can stay here! You could stay with me or with Finn or with – Wait. You’re coming back every weekend?”

                “Duh. You missed that but out the first time around what with your mini freak out and all. Now, will you please chill out?”

She hit me with her bag, swinging it round so it came into contact with my stomach, a muffled thump that could barely be heard over the din of the crowd around us. An older woman glared at my abusive best friend, looking like she wanted to come over and intervene.

“Christ that packs a punch. You really ought to ditch some of those textbooks.”

                “I am perfectly chilled, asshole.” She hissed, still annoyed with me, “It’s not my fault you didn’t lead with the whole weekend thing.”

“Yeah, and it’s not my fault you were having a mini panic attack and didn’t hear me!”

That comment earned me a slap around the head and a kick to the shins. After being friends with the girl for eleven years, I was rather used to it, but we always got some reaction from the people around us and this incident was no different when we heard a woman come up behind us.

                “Oh honey, you really shouldn’t take that. If you’re in an abusive relationship you really need to get out.”

 “Oh we are so not to-“ I cut Danni off, elbowing her in the ribs and smirked slightly, deciding to have a little fun with this.

“I know, I know. But I love her. Even though she cheated on me with me with my brother of all people.  Even though she’s toxic. I just can’t stop. It’s like she’s a drug and even though I know it won’t end well I just keep coming back, convinced we can make it work. Maybe you’re right. Maybe I should leave her, but I just need to try. Just one more time”

The woman’s eyes softened.

“Are you sure I mean, I can set you up with my granddaughter. She’s very pretty.”

“No. I think I’ll stick with her. It’s just a rough patch. We can make it work.”

“You young lady should think yourself lucky” she said turning to my protesting friend, “He’s a wonderful young man and you don’t deserve him, what with your abrasive personality and all. You really ought to be a better person for him. ”

This said, she gave Danni one final glare before walking away.

“Yeah Danni.  You don’t deserve me” I said, before dissolving into a fit of laughter.

She gave me a piercing glare, the yellowish green contacts she had in today contrasted with the pale purple tint of her hair, giving her an almost alien look.

“I didn’t know you cared so much about me leaving.” I chuckled, referring back to the earlier conversation in an attempt to deflect her anger, putting one hand over my hearty and the other arm around her shoulders, though it only resided there for a second before she shrugged it off.

“I don’t I just don’t want to be left alone with Finn and the rest of the blockhead basketballers.”

“I’d suggest trying to make new friends, but with that abrasive personality of yours we both know that won’t happen.”

“I am not abrasive!” she exclaimed, nostrils flaring slightly. “I am super nice and can to make friends with anyone I wanted  if I desired, and if you dare disagree with me mister, I will break each and every one of your fingers so you can’t play guitar for months, get it?”

I raised my eyebrows, fighting the urge to laugh at her.

“Okay. Okay.”  She mumbled, “So I may be a tad abrasive.”

“A tad?”

“Look Corey I’ve agreed with you. Don’t push your luck.” Danni threatened, voice low.

“Aww. But pushing my luck I my favourite past time!” I whined, fake pouting a little for emphasis.

“Idiot,” she replied, rolling her eyes and walking away, “Oh, and by the way, you owe me ice cream.”

“What? Why?” I asked, slightly confused, whilst breaking into a slight jog to catch up with her.

“You put me in a state of emotional turmoil! Ice cream is the least you can do. You’re lucky I’m not asking for more.”

“And you’re lucky we’ve been friends for so long. No one else would put up with your shit.”

“Yeah, yeah. You love it really. Just make sure to get cookie dough this time, not chocolate fudge brownie.”

We walked in a comfortable silence for a minute or two before Danni opened her mouth again.

“You told Finn and the rest of ‘em yet?”

“No Danni, I thought I’d tell just you and then let you blab it all over school and let them hear via the rumour mill.”

“Don’t be sarcastic with me.”

“Oh I do apologise your highness. “ I replied, bowing in mock respect.

“Stephens remember my threat. Those fingers of yours are in big danger right now.”

“Sheesh, woman. Remind me why we’re friends again?”

“Because I’m the only girl that doesn’t think you are, and I quote, ‘Oh my god, so hot. Like musicians are super sexy.” She said, putting on a high falsetto voice, in what I assumed was an attempt to imitate the girls she had heard saying it.

“Hey! The music thing is only recent. Besides, it’s only, like, one or two girls that like me anyway.”

Danni snorted an amused look on her face.

“Please. Do you know how many times girls have come up to me and begged me for your number whilst telling me how lucky I am to spend time with you. It’s a pretty large number, dude. Nearly every female member of the sixth form and a fair number of guys as well. Though I think only half the guys were trying to get into your pants. The others just idolised you.”

“You’re exaggerating, miss drama queen.” I muttered, kick at the ground.

“Pssh. Only a little. Besides even if it wasn’t for the whole killer basketball-musician combo, you’ve still got the whole sad eye thing going for you.”

“What are you talking about?” I asked, incredulously. “Sad eyes? I do not have sad eyes.”

“Well, half the school seems to think you do.” She replied, before letting out a gasp of outrage.

“What now?” I sighed.

“You distracted me!” She accused, poking me in the chest. “We were talking about Finn and the guys and London, and I’m pretty sure you were insulting me.”

“I was not! How could you accuse me of something so vile, so... so-" I stopped when shot me a murderous look. “Okay maybe I was. Anyway, I email Finn and everyone else last night. Figured I’d tell you in person, I mean we all know you don’t check your email ‘till about three in the morning, and to be quite honest, I didn’t really want you banging on my door in the middle of the night and screaming at me in your tiger onesie and those weird ass slippers shaped like paws.”

“I would not do th-!” She cut herself off halfway through her sentence, reconsidered and then spoke again. “Actually you’re right, I would. But at least you’d know I care!”

She continued walking for a second before turning back to face me.

“Oh, and don’t diss the slippers. Or you may find you’ll need a paw removed from where the sun doesn’t shine.”

*                    *                 *

After my talk with Danni my week passed fairly quickly, and before I knew it, I was packing to leave.

My guitars had been placed carefully into their cases, piano already put in the removal truck and drum kit disassembled. All my records and CD's had been alphabetically ordered and stacked into a box, my posters rolled up and put into some old wrapping paper tubes in order to keep them in a decent shape. My basketball stuff had been tossed haphazardly into a box, despite my insistence I didn't want to play anymore. It turned out the scout had indeed been for me, and I had not only been offered a sports scholarship, but a music one as well. I didn't have to play ball to attend for free, so I had no desire to.  As far as I saw it, basketball was not in my future. It just wasn't enjoyable to me.

All of my clothes, excluding the ones I was wearing and the ones for tomorrow, were packed away and the majority of my furniture was with my piano and travelling to London. The only item that remained  was the small camp bed that usually resided in my cupboard for me to sleep on before we left.

I was all packed and ready to leave and so was the rest of the house. The only thing that was left to do was to go through Resa's things that were boxed up in her room.

Both my mother and father had refused to step foot in her room after she had died, dad going in to shove all her clothes in one box, books in another and anything else in the last and getting someone else to take apart her furniture.

I had already moved the box of clothing into the pile for storage, not wanting to take it with me but wanting to keep it none the less. The only thing I had decided was to stay with me, was a panda hat with bobbles for ears that for some reason my sister had cherished.

The books I knew I wanted to take with me. She had read them, turned the pages of each and every one of them, and I didn't know why, but I knew that reading them made me feel closer to her somehow.  Even if I didn't like the book, they were hers and I needed her with me if I was moving.

The box marked other was the final thing I turned to.  Blowing the thick layer of dust off the top of the lid, so as not to cover the contents with it. I slowly prised the black plastic away from the rest of the box and looked inside.

The top layer had obviously been taken from her desk. Notes to friends that had be passed around class, notebooks full of absentminded scribblings and abstract drawings. She always was good at art. Then came the jewellery and cuddly toys. Everything that was Resa was in this box and I knew I had to take it all with me.

I picked up one of the stuffed animals and examined it. Mr Cuddles.

She never was the most imaginative when it came to names, but, god, it smelt of her. Twelve years later and it smelt like her. Or maybe it didn't. Maybe I was imagining things, but sitting on the floor in her room, surrounded by her things I swore I could smell her and I was five years old again.

"Why'd you have to go, Ree?" I whispered, but my question was answered with nothing but silence, as a lone tear drifted down one cheek.

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