These Bruises

"Que sera, you'll never guess who I saw."
I was loved. I was hurt. That was repeated when I left you. But there are two other people who I love. As a single mom with two little kids in California, my life got better. It was six years. Six years since I last saw you. Six years since those little talks. Now you can see that these bruises that I've been hiding for those six long years mean. (Second book in Little Talks duology)


22. the house that built me

I get out of the car and stare at my house. Still the same as it was last time.

Sitting on the front porch, I see the old rocking chair grandma would sit in when I was little and she would watch us draw on the porch. She passed away when I was 16. I was an emotional wreck that week when I got the news about her.

Pulling into the driveway was the rest of the gang. And a fourth car?

"Sorry, Brit." Camille steps out of the mysterious car. "Logan and I got lost so we had to stop and get directions to here."

I chuckle and begin to walk up. I step onto the front porch and noticed all the carved handprints on the porch. I touch one of them as it is my handprint from when I was seven.

I step to face the door, take hold of the knob, and turn it. I push the door and it swings open.

My home.

Everything was still the same. The walls weren't painted differently, and the furniture was still in it's place. Even the carpet is still there. And that stain from when me and dad did the whole slam door to knock tooth out trick and I didn't realize at the time I had whooping cough and once the tooth came out I started coughing blood like crazy.

Lucky, the carpet was brown.

I continue to walk in and enter the family room. All of the couches, and the pizza stain on that cushion I would always sit on! And this was also the couch that...hehe...before I left for the cruise...I almost lost my virginity. Miller Russel and I were dating and we had a heated make-out session and we almost went into it when Katie came in.



I turn around and the kitchen was still there. The oven, stove, microwave, and the same countertop from all these years. And the chipped area where Katie accidentally broke off a piece with a softball.

I go to the fridge and look at all the pictures hanging up.

Me and Katie at a softball tournament where we won first for our team.

Me at Middle School graduation. I look shitty then.

Katie and her friends at high school graduation.

Me, Cassidy, and our dates before Junior Prom. Same with Senior Prom.

Me and Elizabeth at my fourteenth birthday party. I had braces and glasses. Fun time.

A drawing I made when I was five?

My senior year report card. I got all A's.

And much more.

"Is that you?" I see a finger from behind me point at my first travel softball picture when I was ten. I turn around and see Zayn.

I smile. "Yeah. I was ten." I answer.

I exit the kitchen and walk to the stairway. This was where I fell down the stairs and hit the linoleum.

I start to walk up the stairs. Memories coming back as I take each step up. When I reach the top, I walk to the room sort of to the right to me. The door was shut.

My hand slowly reaches to the knob and finally takes grip of it. I twist the knob, and it opens.

I push the door open and walk in.

Tears come down my face.

I can see two girls sitting on the bed. Both painting their nails.

"So, Brit?" Little Cassidy asks, "did you hear about the party that's down the street?"

Little Britta looks up, "the one at Jack's house?" I ask.

"Yeah. It's an end of school year party to celebrate going surviving middle school and moving to high school. He invited me and said to make sure to remind you that you're invited too!"

"Then what are we waiting for?!" Little me cheers.

I sit on the bed that hasn't been moved around at all. My room hasn't changed. I look to my right and see someone next to me. She was different from the last one. She had red ombré and was in her green graduation dress.

She was writing in a diary.

I look over her shoulder and read.

"Dear diary,

Today was a big day. I finally graduated high school! But when I got home, I got terrible news. Instead of doing my original plans like going to the beach with Cassidy and Annabeth, I got to work on mom's CRUISE. I don't want to work all summer! This is going to be the worst summer ever! I got to go. Grad party is about to start soon and I need to change. Hopefully I can write more in this during the summer.

Britta Carter

18 years old".

I suddenly remember something. I rush to my suitcase with all my stuff from the cruise and dig through it.

I find my diary.

I open to a page that I remember as clear as day.

"June 7, 2013

Dear diary,

Well this is my second night on the Santa Monica cruise ship as an employee. And holy fucking shit it is already hell. Well, not totally hell but it's eventful so far. Yesterday morning I was checking in people to the ship and guess who is a guest on here? One Direction. Yes, THE One Direction! The British boyband from X-Factor One Direction! I didn't know it was them at first until Katie told me. Harry was flirting with me and it was really uncomfortable. The next thing you know, I almost kissed Zayn! Almost! But we all know he has a girlfriend. And then last night/this morning because it was midnight, I get waken up to Harry and Louis IN BOXERS telling me that Niall had a stomach ache. Then I realize they wanted me to go to this new club with them. But earlier this morning, I woke up hungover. And naked. Next to Zayn. Who was also naked. We had sex. And I lost my virginity. But I didn't know about it and we were drunk. Damn it. I got to go. Dinner time.

Britta Carter

18 years old".

I remember after I wrote that, Harry ate my face and I tasted like bacon pizza.

I close the diary and look out the window. I see a slab of wood sticking out of the ground under the oak tree. My old dog Lucy died three years ago. I shed a small tear. She was my favorite dog.

"You okay?" I hear Harry behind me.

I turn around and answer, "it's just all the memories I left behind me. This was my life. And I left it."

He comes in and hugs me. "Let's go downstairs. Everyone is waiting for you for the welcome home party."

I take a deep breath and walk out of the room.

I'm in the house that built me.

[hey. My basement flooded again! Snow melted and we got rain so whoopee. Sarcasm. But we couldn't save the computer so yeah. But we saved the tv so hopefully I get Netflix for Christmas or something!

So songs for the chapter are:

House That Built Me-Miranda Lambert

Waiting for Superman-Daughtry

Love Don't Die-The Fray

And QOTC: are you or anyone you know going to the WWA stadium tour? I'm not (but maybe tickets for Christmas?) but my friend Ari and her friend Natalie are going to the one in Detroit because THEY AREN'T COMING TO OHIO! They got floor seats.

QOTC2: what was your favorite part of this year? Mine was going to DC, seeing Taylor Swift in April and Train in September, and marching band!

Thanks for reading! Merry Christmas!

God bless us, everyone!]

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