When The Thunder Rolls

Emily Johnson, 17 years old, with a tough past and a lot of secrets. May sound familiar? But it's not.

This story is different.

When she was fourteen, she did something, no fourteen year old should do.

She witnessed something she will never forget.

Now she's running.

Hiding, along with her brothers.

Running to Stratford, she hoped that she could finally have some peace for a while, but when the thunder rolls, and the lightning strikes, memories flashes by...

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5. I know who you are

Emily

 

Ashley and I were currently on our way back to my place after school. Her blonde hair was flying around her head perfectly. My own brown hair was pulled into a side braid. Ashley had admitted that she was extremely happy that I had asked her home with me. She said that nobody really had done that before.

Except her all time crush Ryan Butler, one of Justin’s best mates. Ashley said that it was the blond one. They had worked together on an assignment back in freshman year, and after that, they just started hanging out. That was before Justin and Ryan turned into bad boys as she said it.

We turned down the road I was living on, and immediately Ashley started acting nervous.  The wind blew back her hair, revealing her terrified face. Something scared the shit out of her. She was biting her lip roughly and was looking at the street.

“Ashley, what is wrong?” I asked, not liking to see her scared. She looked at me surprised.

“What do you mean? There’s nothing wrong.” She said and put on a brave smile. A shame I didn’t believe it.

 “Ashley, I can see when you’re nervous. You bite your lip and look anywhere but the thing that makes you nervous. You’re like an open book to me Ash, so spit it out.” I said, a small smile on my face. She took a deep breath and sighed it out. She looked at me, defeated.

“It’s just.. Wait, is that your house?” She cut herself off when we were in front of my house. Her sudden interest in the house made me confused. She threw a look over her shoulder, before looking back at the house.

“Erm, Em? Have you guys met our neighbors yet?” She asked hesitatingly. I looked at her, giving her a crazy look. Then I shook my head no.

“No, why? What is wrong with them? Are they some kind of Aliens or what?” I asked, making her laugh. She looked at the house to the left of ours and sighed.

“No, they are not. They are actually really nice, except one of them. Emily, your neighbors are the Bieber family. Like in Justin Bieber.” She said and scanned my face for any signs that I might go crazy. She had to be kidding me, right? They weren’t our neighbors when we were here last time, two years ago. What happened to the old married couple we loved so much?

“Wha- what?!” I yelled. She looked at me with a smile on her face. She looked pretty when she was smiling.

“It’s true. I’m sorry, let’s forget that I even said that and just go inside, shall we?” She asked, trying to get me to forget that the actually devil lived next to me. I nodded my head, and led her to the door. She looked confused when I didn’t just open the door.

“Have to make sure that everyone’s decent before I let you in. No questions please.” I laughed. I opened the door, just enough for my head to come in. Then I looked around the hallway and into the living room, before calling out.

“KEITH! ARE YOU HOME?!” I yelled. I heard footsteps upstairs.

“YES!” He yelled back, making sure that everyone in a distance of a hundred miles would be able to hear him.

“ARE YOU DECENT?!” I yelled back.

“Why do you keep yelling? And yes, I am. Why the sudden care?” he asked, kissing my head from the door before walking away, putting his t-shirt on in the process. His hair was wet, so I guess he just showered after working out in the small gym-kinda-room we had upstairs.

“Because I’ve brought a friend with me home, and I don’t want the first thing she sees to be my half naked brother!” I laughed back. He dropped something from the kitchen before he stuck his head out the door, looking at me with a huge smile.

“A friend you say? My little sister, have been able to actually get a friend the first day of hell as she calls it?” He asked, faking to be surprised. I stuck my tongue out at him. I opened the door properly and stepped aside, letting Ashley in. She walked in and looked around. Her mouth was almost hanging open. This is nothing compared to our old house in L.A. I thought.

“Emily, this is, wow.” She said. I laughed at her and grabbed her arm, dragging her to the kitchen to meet Keith.  He was working hard on a sandwich when we walked in, and didn’t even notice us, until I cleared my throat and he dropped the knife again. He finally granted me the attention I wanted.

“Keith, this is Ashley. Ashley, this is Keith my brother.” I said as I introduced them to one another. Keith looked at Ashley with a warm smile.

“Hi Ashley, nice to meet you! I’m Keith, as you may hear.” Keith stuck out his hand for Ashley to shake. That is just how Keith is, always so nice. Ashley placed her little hand in my brother’s enormous one, it looked quite funny. They shook hands and let go of each other.

“Hi Keith. I though Nathan and Cooper were your only brothers?” She said and looked at me. I shook my head and giggled. I pulled her with me into the living room, and placed her on the couch, where after I found a picture of all my brothers and me all together. I wasn’t more than thirteen on that photo, but that didn’t matter.

“Look, this is me and my siblings. That’s Nathan, his hair was so ugly back then! I can’t even stop laughing when I’m teasing him with it. And there, between Nathan and Keith, we have Cooper. And in front of Cooper, that’s me, I really hate my childhood pictures. And that is Jack, Marc and Luke. They are… They are in L.A, unfortunately.” I said the last part a bit lower. I just really miss them.

“So, you have six brothers?” She asked in disbelief. I nodded my head, proud. Everyone react like it’s something huge, but it’s not, not really.

“But if you guys are here, then why are three of your brothers still in L.A?” She asked. Keith walked in just in time to hear the question, and gave me this look that said lie, so I did. Or, not exactly I just didn’t tell her the whole truth.

“Um, because they have some unfinished business to take care off.” I lied. If I told her the truth, she would just run screaming out the front door, and I actually like her. She looked at me with her innocent blue eyes and nodded, believing my lie completely. It actually surprises me that no one knows yet, I mean, it was like everywhere. But I guess it’s just my luck. And with my luck, someone would find something sooner or later.

Ashley kept staring at the picture while I was thinking about the past. It was only because she asked me something that I zoned out.

“So where are your parents? There aren’t any pictures of them, just you and your siblings.” She asked. I looked around and saw that she was right. There were tons of pictures of all of us, just not any with them on it. I lost my words. If Keith hadn’t spoken up for me, I don’t know what would have happened.

“They are on a business trip to Europe, won’t be home for a couple of months. They left the responsibility in my hands.” He said with a forced smile. Ashley looked at me. I shrugged my shoulders.

“Nothing new, they do it all the time. They trust Keith. Once they went on a business trip to Goa, weren’t home for half a year. They would just sent Keith money to buy us food and stuff. We’re used to being on our own.” I said. “But enough about my family, let’s do something else girl! Grab your jacket, and get your ass up from the couch, you just got a job as my private tour guide.“  She laughed, grabbed her jacket, and we said goodbye to Keith before walking out in the nice spring weather.

***

 

 

I laughed as I sat down in the booth at the very corner in the small diner. Ashley and I had been walking around the town for hours now. She had shown me almost everything, but right now, she was showing me ‘the best place to get some ice cream’ as she said.

I dug my spoon into my vanilla ice cream, only to almost choke on it because of what Ashley said. She had dug her spoon into her strawberry/raspberry ice cream and was telling me funny stories about her younger brother who, apparently, likes eating ladybugs.

“He did not!” I laughed. She nodded.

“He did! He’s so crazy, I mean, all kids eat sand, but my brother just had to take it one step further, and eat a ladybug. My parents went nuts when they found out, they thought we was going to die and everything! Man, they watched his every move for two weeks!” She laughed. Again, I almost chocked on my ice cream.

The small diner we were in was really cozy. Small booths with benches and dimmed lights. Light brown and white bricks made the walls, and a wine red celling completed the look. The windows and thin white curtains hanging, to block the view from curious eyes from outside.

I was just about to say something, when the little bell over the door signaled that someone had just entered. Being my paranoid self, I had to look over my shoulder. I caught a glimpse of a brown haired boy, and knew it was that Bieber kid. Mostly because of the blonde haired boy that was standing next to him. Ryan.

I smirked to myself, knowing that this would make Ashley embarrassed. She really liked that boy. Apparently, he used to be really nice and all that shit. What do I know I just kicked his ass? Maybe he was, but guys aren’t really on top of my priority list. Never have probably never will. 

I heard laughter coming our way, and tried to remind myself that I was in public and that I couldn’t just beat him up all the time.

They stopped right at our table and was about to sit down when they saw that it was taken. I honestly thought that Justin would come up with some remark, but he didn’t. He smiled at Ryan and then looked at me.

“Sorry ‘bout that girls. Enjoy your ice cream.” He said before he and his crew went over to the table across of us. I looked at Ashley, and she looked just as surprised as I did. But then I remembered what it was I had seen out of the corner of my eye.

“Did you notice that Ryan was totally staring at you?” I whisper-yelled. She looked up from her strawberry/raspberry ice cream with horrified eyes.

“You’re joking, right?” She asked, low voiced.  I shook my head no. I had been looking at Ryan for a few seconds before focusing my eyes on that Bieber kid, and his eyes was as glued to her.

“No, of course not! I wouldn’t do that to you, you basically like my best friend, even though this is like the first day we met. But no, seriously, his eyes were like glued to you.” I answered honestly. She smiled and blushed like crazy. She totally fantasizes him. I thought to myself and shook my head in laughter.

“Well I’m not the only one who’ve got an admire. Justin seems like he can’t take his eyes of you.” She said low voiced.  This time, I actually got the ice cream down the wrong way. When I got my coughing under control, I looked at Ashley who looked dead serious.

“You’ve got to be kidding me, right?” She shook her head no.  “Oh well, I’m done, let’s get out of here.” Ashley was a fast ice cream eater and was done several minutes before I was. ON the way out, I noticed that Bieber did actually have a hard time not looking at me. What’s he up to?

I said goodbye to Ashley outside the diner before walking in the opposite direction on my way home. I felt how I just dragged my feet over the ground, because of how tired I was. I mean, I was up early, have been in school for the first time in almost two years, except the few times where the cops got me to actually attend the classes. Plus the paintball fight in the park earlier with Nathan and Cooper.

I’m happy now that I won, and Nathan and Cooper has to take the dishes. I’m way too tired. I know what you might think how can you be tired?! But my mind is working on high speed all the time, which makes you constantly tired.

I sighed in relief when I reached the front door. I opened the door, and felt like I could sleep right there and then, on the floor, clothes on and everything.  But the sound of Cooper getting beaten up in COD made me kick off my shoes and walk into the living room, where I dropped myself face first on the soft couch. I heard chuckling from either Nathan or Cooper, but I was too tired to react.

“Someone’s tired after their first day in hell, huh?” Nathan mocked me in a playful manner. I muffled my answer, with my face still buried in the soft fabric that was on our couch.

“You sound like an dying whale.” Cooper commented. Sighing, I lifted my head up, just enough for my mouth to be free.

“At least I’m not the one who’s getting beaten up by the worst COD player in the house.” Then I let my face hit the couch again. I didn’t even get to hear their answers before I had drifted off to sleep. Luckily, my dreams were none existed at the moment, so who knows? Maybe I could finally get a peaceful night’s sleep.  

***

I woke up due to all the damn clothes I was wearing. I was still lying on the couch, in almost complete darkness. A single lamp in the hallway was turned on, to navigate me upstairs without falling down of stairs. It actually happened once. Long story short, I was tired and tried walking up the stairs when I stepped on a toy, lost my balance and fell down the staircase. Ouch, nothing happened though, I was lucky.

I stumbled up the stairs – without falling – and into my room where I turned on the little lamp I had on my desk so I could see something. I changed into my usual PJ. A pair of blue shorts and a white tank top along with a pair of blue socks that went almost all the way up to my knees.

I opened the window and let in the cold wind. I grabbed my blue hoodie and crawled out on the roof where I sat there like always, just looking at the stars, when someone scared the shit out of me, and I barely admit that.

“Shouldn’t you be sleeping? It’s over your bedtime.” A familiar voice spoke from somewhere in the dark. I looked over to the house that was only about 3 and half feet away from mine.

“You shouldn’t be smoking, it’s bad for your health.” I said, ignoring his question.

“You ignored my question beautiful. What’s a girl like you doing up at three thirty a.m.?” He asked, ignoring MY question. And did he just call me beautiful? What the fuck is he smoking? Weed?! “I’m not smoking weed, silly. It’s just a cigarette, calm down.” He laughed. I shook my head, and wrapped my arms around myself, trying to get warm.

Justin got up from his place on his roof, and climbed onto a branch  and onto my roof instead, where he sat down next to me, and offered me a smoke.

“No thanks, I’m not that kind of girl.” I answered and looked up at the stars, not really caring that I had beaten the boy next to me, twice.

“You are one hell of a girl then. You come to a completely new school, and the first thing you do is to mess with the dude who runs the place. Not only do you mess with him, you also win the freaking fight. Then you pulled me outside to talk, where I pushed the right bottoms and made you mad again, where after you kick my ass again only for your brothers to come out and tell me that you put a dude in hospital. Then I see you hanging out with the girl you protected this morning, looking like you are the best of friends. Then you make me all sweet even though you took our spot at the diner. Then you come out, in the middle of the night, wearing basically nothing, and tells me that ‘you’re not that kind of girl’ when I offer you a cigarette. You’re confusing me girl, all the way through and in all possible ways.” He said and looked me in the eyes.

His eyes had a beautiful honey brown color, and I couldn’t stop myself for getting lost in them for a second or two. Then he licked his lips and I looked way.

We sat in silence, but it wasn’t awkward, it was almost nice. We were lying on our backs, his arm resting around my waist and my head on his chest, just looking at the stars. It was nice.

I let out a little yawn and thought to myself that it was weird that I was tired again already. Justin just chuckled.

“Tired?” He whispered. I nodded my head slowly. I sat up, rubbed my eyes, and stretched my body, making some of my bones make that cracky sound.

“I guess I should get going.” Justin said and got up. He smiled down at me, before he walked down to the same branch he used to get over on my roof. I looked as he crawled back to his own roof, where he smiled one last time, before saying something, that ruined everything I had built up that day. He tore down my happiness, with five simple words.

I know who you are.” He said with that annoying pity in his voice. I stood up from my spot on the roof, climbed in without looking back. How could he know? Out of all people, it just had to be him? I knew it was too good to be true. I crawled under my covers and did the only thing I regret every time; I cried.

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