Red Ivy

Red like the autumn leaves, fiery like the summer sun, orange as a fire blaze, sparkly, interesting, fun


2. Gone


As my Mother and Dad screamed at each other in the kitchen, I tried my best not to cry and pretend everything was okay, even though I was only seven. My friends were shooting me odd looks as we sat around the table eating my beautifully crafted chocolate flavoured birthday cake. I responded by grinning widely at them but it didn’t reach my eyes.

Suddenly, there was a slapping noise from the kitchen and we all fell silent. It was then that my Mother slipped from the kitchen, stumbling up the stairs and groaning as she bashed her head against the door frame. The doorbell rang, the sound echoing around our spacious house. My Dad opened the kitchen door, smiling at us tightly, the humour that normally lined his face having disappeared.

We could hear the first mother walking through the front door, laughing and making small talk with my handsome father. I was used to this by now. My friends were whispering to each other, glancing at me and when I caught them looking they looked away quickly, suddenly finding the ceiling very interesting. I hoped against hope they wouldn’t tell their mothers but hoping and dreaming never gets you anywhere does it?

That night I couldn’t sleep due to all the screaming going on downstairs. I blocked my ears as tight as they would shut and whispered the theme tune to Tracey Beaker to myself until they were only a muffled hum in the background. I didn’t want my Mother to have a go at my Dad for something she did. Why did she always have to act like a teenager? She was twenty five for heaven’s sake!

After about half an hour of yelling and probably slapping, I heard the front door slam. I wondered who had left and when they’d be back. This sounds mean but I hoped back then with most of my little heat that it was my Mother gone and I would live happily ever after with my Dad. Sadly not.

The next morning, I woke up and for a few blissful moments I forgot all about the screaming and the slamming. But then I remembered and heard a sobbing sound coming from my parents’ room. I sat up in bed, stretching. I stilled hoped it was my Mother gone but deep down inside, I knew it was my Dad because the sound was in my parents’ room and Dad never slept in there since my Mother insisted that he ‘snored too loud’. Whatever.

I padded down the hallway to my parents’ room to find my Mother sitting up in bed and sobbing her heart out. I did feel sorry for her so I climbed into bed with her, wrapping my short, chubby arms around her shoulders. With the feel of my arms, she started sobbing harder, sobbing that I was just like my father and how wonderful he had been, naming me after the colour of my hair and her middle name. I wanted to know where my Daddy was but I daren’t ask in case she got worse.

I eventually got up and made her a cup of tea. If my Dad had been there he would have told me off for using the kettle but I would have replied and said I was a big girl now and I could handle it. My Mother didn’t care whether I burnt myself or not. It made no difference to her lifestyle.

When I went back into the Room of Misery, as I so called it, I found my Mother leaning over a heart shaped box. As I stepped closer I realised that in it were a whole load of photos of Mother and Dad on their wedding day, me in Mother’s arms in the hospital, me in the swimming pool and hundreds of photos of Mother and Dad before they got married. In each photo they had their arms around each other, staring into each other’s eyes, a gooey expression on their faces. Pictures of them partying out late with their friends, laughing and having a great time.

Mother was in a world of her own and I daren’t disturb her. I left her coffee on the side and slipped away, padding back to my own room. I got out my Big Book of Fairytales that my Dad had got me a couple of birthdays ago, opening it to the page where the story of Sleeping Beauty. Maybe one day I would fall asleep for a hundred years, sleeping through the arguments and the slamming doors and then my Prince Charming would wake me up, brightening my world and making everything okay.

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