Out at sea

Anna is a young girl who suffers from the loss of her father out at sea. She tries to cope with everyday life: helping her single mother and younger brother Benji to make the most of life, though it all gets too much. With the stress and anxiety of moving schools, Anna is anything but fine. Her long trips up to the beach are tiring, but they're worth it when she gets to look out and imagine her Dad beside her. But everything seems to result in tears, and Anna realises she's stayed strong for too long.




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3. Accident

My eyes feel heavy as I slowly blink them open. Seeing through the window I can tell it's not yet light. I squint over to the clock beside my bed to check the time- it's 1am! 'Why am I up so early?' I think to myself. And as if on cue, the answer is given to me. I hear a man's muffled laugh and a knock on the door, as I hear Benji start to cry. I sigh as I untangle myself from the covers and wonder over to my Mum's room to see if she has woken up yet. As I feel my way down the corridoor to her room, I hear her voice coming from outside.

"Darling, let me in!" She cries, only to be heard laughing with the male voice a second later.

And then it hits me. She's just been on a date! That's where she's been, and that's why she was so dressed up before she left. I feel a sense of betrayal. How could she do this to me, to my Dad? After only two months... I fight the urge to shout something back at her, for Benji's sake, and stumble down the staircase.  

"Come on, Anna, it's not that hard!" I hear her whining. That's not like her. She must be drunk.

I frown as I find my way down another corridoor leading to the door, and it occurs to me it would be much easier if I just turned the lights on. Click. The house is flooded with a bright orange glow, and it takes a while for my eyes to adjust. I peek through the letter box just to check it's definitely her, which I am always meant to do. Her dark brown soft hair is messy and slightly tangled, and her eyes are wide open; I can even smell the alcohol from her breath. The bulky man next to her with light brown hair is laughing and stoking her hand. A feeling of grief seeps through my veins as I remember my Dad doing the same thing.

I'm just about to open the door when... Bang! Oh no! That can only mean one thing. Benji's fallen out of bed, yet again. I rush back up the stairs oblivious to my Mum's complaints, my only concern is him now. He means a lot to me now since Dad's gone, he reminds me so much of him. But when I finally find him on the beige carpet beside his small bed; his chocolate-brown eyes are not crying. He's not even making a sound. He's hardly breathing.

It takes me a while to find the phone, but when I find it, a sense of relief hits me. I dial the number, the number I know so well, my shaking fingers trembling as I hold the phone to my ear. But the same old droning tone always answers. Sometimes I think to myself that my Father will pick up in emergencies, even if he isn't alive. I always think to myself that maybe he is out there, somewhere, and everyone else got it wrong. But of course, none of that is true, and my fingers let go of the phone as it dangles and drops hard, onto the cold, stone floor, the sound echoing through my head. The world seems to spin around me as I reach out for it again. All I remember is my Mother calming me down, as I hear a faint siren blaring out in the distance, some unfamiliar men carrying Benji down the stairs and out the door. Then my eyes blink, and blink again, before closing down on me, like they have done so many times before. And then everything is at rest.

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