Twice the Tomlinson

Keegan's not overly fond of her brother. He left. But now he's back, and he has no idea why she hates him so much. Can he get her to forgive him? And what'll happen when she is sent on tour with him? What happens when 5 Seconds of Summer is thrown into the mix?

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9. Tradgety Strikes

1 Month Later

The month passed with nothing notable happening. June came and went and as soon as July came, I moved from the crutches to the boot. I even managed to sweet-talk the doc to convince my mom that it was okay for me not to wear the boot 100% of the time. I mean really, how frustrating was that thing? It was big, black, clunky, and rather a pain. But now I only had to wear it when I walked around for more than five minutes. It was still quite a bit, but it was a small victory that I was more than willing to accept. He also told us that I could stop wearing the boot after two weeks, as long as I didn't do too much activity. Which meant no gymnastics. But it was a compromise I was willing to make. 

I was sitting in my attic space, just strumming on my guitar when I go the call. I was tempted not to answer it, after all, if they were important, they'd leave a message. Now, I wish I hadn't. 

I thanked Julianna's  mother and offered my condolences. She did the same, only her words were muddled with tears. For me, the tears hadn't come. Wouldn't come. I just couldn't accept it. It couldn't be real. She couldn't be gone. My best friend since grade three could not be dead. Not in Doncaster of all places. It was safe; secluded; slow. No. This was a dream. Some awful dream my tired, angry brain came up with. She wasn't gone; I would wake up and she would answer when I called. 

Only she didn't. I called and called and she didn't answer. With every cheerful "This is Julianna. Leave a message!", it sunk deeper and deeper. She was gone. She wasn't coming back. 

In a sort of trace, I removed myself from my music room and found myslef sitting in teh kitchen with a glass of milk. I had no idea what time it was, what day it was; I only knew that the curtains were drawn, the lights were off, and the world was quiet. All I knew was that my wolrd had been turned upside down and there was no way I could fix it. I had no one to turn to; no one to call. Mom had been working long hours on her most recent case and needed all the sleep she could get it. There was no way I would wake her up. It was times like these I usually called Jules. But I couldn't do that now. Couldn't do that ever. She was gone...

Pulling out my phone, I scrolled through my contacts. No. No. No. No. Louis. Louis? Louis... I rolled the possibility of calling him through my head. Would he be mad? Would he even answer? I decided to give it a go before I lost my nerve.

I listened to the familiar ringing sound, then heard his voice. But it was only his answering machine. I panicked and ended the call before I could leave a message. What was I thinking? I couldn't go to my brother about this! I barely knew him! He barely knew me! And if he'd ever met Julianna, it would only have been once and in passing. No. I was in this alone. 

Before I knew it, the sun was peeking through the blinds. Not wanting to face anybody, I grabbed my keys and walked out the front door. I didn't know where I was going, but I soon found myself at the park. I plopped down under a tree that provided amble shade from the rising sun, just watching the still air. It was so peaceful. How could something so horrendous happen in such a quaint little town? I just didn't understand. 

I tried to piece together what exactly Mrs. Mercer had said. I could only pull a word here or their from teh conversation locked away in my hazy brain. Mugging... Alley... Knife... Blood... I didn't want to think about it. I could picture all too clearly Jules's lifeless form lying in some alley, waiting to be found, her eyes staring blankly off... NO! I couldn't let my mind go there. Not yet. 

Dusting myself off, I rose and looked up at the sky. Based on the sun, I'd been at the park a few hours. I had no idea where all that time had gone, but it didn't matter. Nothing really mattered at this point. I had lost my brother and my best friend in one blow. What else was there to really work for? 

I made my way back to the house, cursing this stupid boot, and found that there were three messages on the answering machine. Two were from my mom. The first informed me that Mrs. Mercer had called her and informed her about Jules. The second said that she was worried and to please call her. 

The third message was from Mrs. Mercer. Apparently she had tried my cell a few times, but to no avail. She asked me to call her as soon as possible. 

I sighed and climbed the stairs to my room, then grabbed my phone off my bed. I dialed Julianna's mom and waited. She picked up after a few rings. "Hi Mrs. Mercer. Sorry I missed your calls, I was out and left my phone at home."

She told me she understood and we dove into the reason she had called. Mrs. Mercer was going to go through Jules's room today, which was surprising to me since she had only died a day or two ago. But I suppose I understood. I wouldn't want a shrine like that sitting there for weeks, holding all the pain and memories. She wanted to know if I could come over and help her go through the things, taking what I wanted that Mrs. Mercer didn't want to keep. I told her I'd be over in a few minutes, I just had to shower first. She hung up after a tearful thank you and I did the same, only wihtout the tears. 

It took me an hour to get showered, dressed, and to walk over to the Mercer home. Jules's mom let me in and we quietly walked up the stairs to her room. The door was still ajar and her dirty clothes were still in a pile in the corner of her room. It still seemed like she might walk through the door at any minute. We set to work quietly. I folded the clothes hanging in the closet and her mom went through the drawers. It took almost all day to clean out the place, even though we only stopped to have a quick lunch. 

I only took a few things from Jules: a few photographs, her favorite bracelet, and her bottle of perfume. 

I hugged Mrs. Mercer goodbye and started my walk home, holding the objects in my hands, willing the tears to come. But they didn't. They didn't come when I walked through the front door and was greeted with an embrace from my crying mother. They didn't come when I sprayed her perfume in my room, filling the space with the memory of her. They didn't come when the paper released her obituary. They didn't come when I recieved the invitation to the funeral. They didn't come wehn people gave short speeches about how amazing she was, or when I gave mine. They didn't even come when they lowered her into the ground. I was resigned to believe they'd never come. I accepted that.

How wrong I was...

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