Chapter Twenty Nine - Amusement Stark
I can be spontaneous. People don't believe it but I can, I can be spontaneous. Although I started off with small ambitions I will make it my duty to fulfill them. So to start off my checklist in being spontaneous I decided to randomly, at two o'clock in the afternoon, to go for a run.
Now I'm not really one for physical activity, that was decided when I much preferred filling out answers to my home work sheet than endure in the class known as physical education. So to say that I needed a personal drive and motivation to put on my sneakers and actually begin to run was utterly true.
I took a note out from the athlete television commercials trying to sell us products like medication to keep us fit and healthy. I did watch they did, I laced up my shoes, tied up my hair into a high pony tail, plugged in my ear phones into my fully charged iPod and I wore stretchy elastic clothes.
It was just a pair of black bike shorts and I wore a purpose athletic singlet which was pink and guess what brand it was? Brooks. When I exited my front door I pressed Lorde and placed her music on shuffle. I was self conscious that my running would look like Phoebe's in the episode of Friends but when my feet hit the concrete one after the other and I got in the rhythm I didn't seem to care anymore.
Some say that running is physically and mentally relaxing for someone who has the capabilities of endurance but let me tell you, when I slowly reached the park which was about an eight minute drive from my house, I found my lungs screaming for air and my body screaming for a break. Not exactly relaxing now is it?
Attempting to subside these thoughts I continued to run. My head was thundering away with thoughts like, Alex you're so stupid. Why, why would you do this to me? I wanted to give up but then I thought, I have to be spontaneous, you're spontaneous, be spontaneous.
It was a nice day, breeze easily refreshing me when I was overheating. If I didn't have Lorde's sweet voice singing to me than I'm pretty sure that the sound from the outside world would be the humble chirp of birds. My feet trotted along the track specifically designed for walkers and runners, so it was now starting to sink in as to why this was so relaxing.
The outdoors are peaceful, it's an escape from any body that may cause irrelevant drama in your life. It was comforting to know that there was an escape, there is a way out. After twenty minutes of what used to be running and was now a slow pace jog, I found myself turning around to go back home because I felt like I had just smoked two packets of cigarettes.
I was coughing and wheezing like I had emphysema. Reminding myself that maybe physical endurance isn't the spontaneous breech I'm looking for. I was now panting as my hand reached the knob to my mettle handle to my front door. I was panting with my hands digging into my knees, suggesting that I just participated in the 800m race in the Olympics.
I was in bad shape but who cares? I'm not doing that again. I trudged up my stairs and when I reached my bed room door I immediately closed it behind me and began peeling off my shirt.
"Woah there tiger." An abrupt voice said, catching me off guard. My eyes widened and I rushed to pull my shirt back down.
Spinning on my heel I checked to see who the uninvited guest was, or maybe burglar. "Brooks." I hissed, silently sighing that it wasn't a robber nor a cereal killer who watched me run and followed me back here. The thoughts of a teenage girl who spends countless nights watching episodes of Criminal Minds all alone in the dark.
"Al, have you been cheating on me? You are all hot and sweating, suggesting a number of things." He smirked, his eyes shining with amusement.
"Shut up." I said, throwing the closest thing to me at him. Which turned out being a pair of clean socks for my dresser which he caught effortlessly with his fully alert reflexes.
I noticed he was laying on my bed with what I assumed to be a Frankie magazine in front of him. Boy, was this a sight to see.
"Brooks, what are you doing with my magazine. I mean, last time I checked you were a boy." I teased causing Brooks' neck to crane up.
He turned onto his side, his elbow digging into my mattress as his palm supported his head. "Actually Teddy, I do not remember you checking at all." He smiled wickedly and I was now blushing.
"Unless you want to." He said, his hand on the fly of his jeans.
"No, no, no, no, no." I said rushing over to him, my arms flying everywhere as my hands shook from side to side as if to further emphasis no.
He shrugged. "Your loss," He said before returning to the magazine, flipping it to the next page.
I sighed and allowed my body to fall next to his except his head was at the end of my bed and my feet were dangling off the edge. "Where did you go?" He asked, flipping another page.
"For a run." I said and he tried to hide his snort but failed. I pulled myself up and wacked him.
"I can run and be spontaneous." I defended, slouching in my upright position.
"It's just unexpected, I thought you'd be...." He trailed off and I pestered.
"What?" I asked, my face scrunched with irritation.
"Nothing, never mind." He brushed off, once again changing the page on the magazine. I groaned inwardly and I was about to fall back on my bed again but I was stopped when I head my name called.
"Alex, Tara and Luke, if you're up there, come downstairs." Instantly I smiled that dad had hesitantly accepted Brooks, now calling him a part of the family. My dad has been a full hands-on parent now so in order to accept Luke, he made me give him the run down, so I did. Now, dad expected Brooks to always be around and he was okay with it.
I shrugged and pulled myself off my bed. "Teddy did you check your emails?" He asked me as I strolled down the stairs, my legs aching and my body screaming for me to stop moving.
"No, why?" I inquired, turning to face Brooks when I reached the bottom of the stairs. A wide smile spread across his face and he grabbed my hands, holding them in his own.
"We got an A." He announced, trying to hide all his excitement. It took a second for me to understand what he was referring to. We got an A on the first analysis for Annabelle. I pulled him into a hug which I found myself melting in before realizing that I was sweating like a cow so I let go of him.
"Told you we could do it." I said, a smile tugging on the corners of my lips.
"My first A, Al, this is incredible." He said sincerely in awe as we entered the lounge room.
"Well deserved Brooks." I said, sitting down on the couch where my dad stood in front of exactingly.
"Oh and we are getting her back tomorrow for the rest of the second term." He whispered, his eyes glued on my smiling dad.
When Tara waltzed in, she nodded to us in acknowledgment before sitting on the couch beside me. My dad inhaled, rubbing his hands together before he began.
"I've managed to convince your mother into couples therapy, I found the best one, catering to our needs and we are going." He smiled widely which made me smile.
"That's really great dad." I encouraged.
"Yeah, that awesome Mr Binks." Luke said which made me grateful.
"But," he began. There is always a but. "It is in Sydney which means that we might be up there for a week or two. What I need to know is if I can trust the two- three, I'll allow." He said, eyeing Brooks.
"Can I trust that you will not trash my house or burn it? I understand that it's a big responsibility for three teenagers to look after a big house, that means you'll have to cook, clean and water the garden, keep up with the laundry," As dad's list went on I saw him frowning.
"Maybe it's best if I get your grandmother to stay for the two weeks-" He began but Tara jumped up in rebuttal.
"No!" She shouted quickly before composing herself. "With all due respect dad, we I'm eighteen and the love birds are seventeen, we can look after ourselves. Please give us a chance." She had a strong argument but my fathers face scrunched further.
"That's what I'm worried about," He began, his eyes burning on the space between Brooks' and I's body. "I want Luke to stay with you, I will make it my duty to call his mother in request but that's my issue. Two hormonal teenagers, staying in the same house with an intimate relationship, one may not contain their .... urges." His eyes were beaming onto Brooks and I gasped.
"Mr Binks, I give you my word that I will not act upon my ... urges." That seemed to settle my father because he smiled.
"Thank you Luke, I needed a man in the house to protect my girls but with Luke watching out for Alex I worry for Tara, someone needs to keep her in line for parties and such. That is why I also requested for Colton to stay with you." This is the moment I jumped up in protest.
"Dad there isn't a need, really. I mean its only two weeks. You trust me to keep Tara in line right? We don't need Colt." I spoke his name bitterly and I felt Brooks placing a hand on my shoulder for support.
"It's too late Alex, it's already done. The four of you will be in the house for two weeks and I expect no fights, no parties and neither of you pregnant." His fingers pointing to Tara and I.
My father sighed, "I know that this will be difficult but I'm asking for your support. I really need this to go right because if I get a phone call saying that something is wrong your mother may think that I've fallen back into old habits and I'm not able to control you so please. Can I trust you?" He was desperate so we all nodded.
"Yes." We muttered in unison.
I sighed back in defeat. Those will be the longest two weeks of my life.
"Wake up, Alex." My eyes shot open at the sound of Tara's overly cheerful voice. She seemed overly stoked about the arrangement with Colt staying with us. Dad and mum will be leaving in a few days and dad had already arranged that he would leave a large sum of money behind for us to use for food and necessary requirements.
I was trusted with the money as we had grown all to accustom to Tara's habit of shopping and she may spend the money for 'retail therapy' purposes she would argue.
"Why are you waking me up?" I groaned, rolling into my covers.
"Because we have school and its mufti day, you know what that means." I groaned into my pillow. Unfortunately I knew what that meant.
Three times a year a mufti day was organized for the soul purpose of raising funds for the school. There is always a fair around the whole school, rides, food -the lot. It was also known as muck up day, code name for bullies can bully scrawny kids and not get in trouble.
Many years I feared that they would pick on me, the invisible nerd but Tara made clear warning to steer clear of me. It was usually Lilly's day to shine because she loves the rides, pie contests and throwing games available. It was like one big amusement park for the school and we could wear what ever we wanted. No classes and no uniforms required.
"Okay, I'm up." I said when Tara began jumping excitedly on my bed.
"Get dressed and eat because I want to get there early." She said and I nodded.
When she finally left I hauled myself to my cupboard and pulled out a nice pair of dark blue skinny jeans. I paired this with a white dip hem sleeveless blouse and my matte leather carved boots which were a light brown colour.
I maintained my hair by allowing it to be naturally curly and I tied it behind my head, allowing some curls a part of my fringe to fall out. I sprayed myself twice with my finest perfume, wanting to fit the part of Brooks' girlfriend, not that I had to prove that to anyone.
Passing Tara as I made it down to the kitchen she clapped her hands and smiled. "Wow, the nerd has taste."
I rolled my eyes at her and proceeded to pour milk into my bowl of fruit loops. Munching happily on my rainbow goodness I analyzed Tara's outfit. She wore a tasteful tribal crop top and she wore a black mini skirt at her hips so she showed a lot of skin. Mind you, it was twenty degrees outside, not exactly warm yet not exactly really cold either.
"You ready?" I inquired once I rinsed my breakfast bowl and I dried my hands on a paper towel.
"Yeah." She said, checking the contents of he bag for everything.
"Okay, let's go." I said, getting my wallet, my phone, my lip balm and my keys, dumping them into my light brown leather shoulder hand bag.
The drive to school consisted of year twelves following the normal school route and throwing water bombs at passing 'P' plate cars. I used my windshield wipers to purge my glass of any water.
"Today's going to be the best." Tara squealed.
"The greatest." I mumbled with sarcasm. As I pulled into the car park I noticed that many cars had been terrorized with silly string and a few of the teachers cars were literally covered in post it notes.
"Maybe you should park behind the school." Tara suggested and I nodded, cruising to the only safe parking lot behind the school. That's where many of the year twelves parked their cars so it was relatively safe.
"Bye Alex, please have fun." Tara said as she whisked away to her group of friends.
I began to walk with my hands in my pockets down to where all the rides were. It had already started and lines stacked up as students waited for their turn.
"I thought you'd skip, you know, considering rides aren't your thing." A familiar and easily missed voice said from behind me.
"Bec!" I exclaimed, pulling her into a hug. "Some body had missed me." She said, rubbing my back.
"And for I have you know that I can be into rides." I stated as we walked further into the crowds of people.
"Yeah, the tea cups." She teased and I pushed her slightly.
"Have you seem Lilly?" I inquired and she shook her head.
"Probably at a stall but let's look for her." As we walked we caught up. I've been so infatuated with Brooks that I almost neglected my friends. Luckily they were busy themselves so they didn't mind all that much.
"My parents are going to couples therapy in Sydney so I'm dumped with Tara, Luke and worse, Colt for two weeks in the same house."
"No!" Her eyes widened in disbelief.
"Yes." I groaned.
"Shit, that's going to be eventful and unpleasant." She said sympathetically.
"I know right? If I don't survive you can have my clothes." I said dramatically.
"That's what I thought." She smirked before stopping in front of a stall.
"Hey Lilly," she greeted in a sing song voice.
Lilly spun around with a plastic shot gun in her hands. "Hey girls, let me finish this round and I'll be right with you." She was consumed in this game where you had to shoot the flying UFO. It seemed rigged but Lilly was determined and managed to achieve it.
"Here." The boy working the stall said as he handed her a stuffed tiger.
"Thanks kiddo." She said, taking it and waltzing away in victory.
"Congratulations, Lil." I announced as she hugged me.
"I missed you Alex, you've been so boy crazy over Brooks." She said and I nodded.
"Sorry." We walked in a line, admiring some of the games which we even competed in.
"Luke told her he loved her, did you know that Lil." Bec announced and I hit her arm.
"Really?" Lilly's eyes widened as I blushed.
"Yeah, he's so whipped." Bec said smugly as she helped in carrying some of the prizes Lilly won.
"Would you look at what the cat dragged in." Lilly whispered as we looked ahead.
"Well, well, well. If it isn't the Virgin Mary." Mikaela's voice taunted.
"Lay off it." Bec challenged as we came face to face with the Queen bitch and her troops.
Mikaela ignored Bec and turned to me. "He's going to get tired of the act Alex. Once you give in to giving him what he wants he'll leave. Once you put out, he is out of the picture." She said in a deadly convincing tone.
"He isn't like that." I fought back, not feeling a slight bit of intimidation.
"Oh no?" She inquired, raising her perfectly sculpted eye brows. "You know him so well don't you Alex." Her voice dripped with sarcasm
"What do you mean?" Lilly asked, shuffling closer at a slow pace.
"Well, your friend over here thinks she knows Luke huh? She thought she changed the Bad Boy's game but she didn't." Now I was completely and utterly confused.
Mikaela took a step forward in my direction. She maneuvered her head so it was adjacent to mine and she whispered in my ear.
"Once a Bad Boy, always a Bad Boy." And with that, she pushed herself through and between Bec and I, walking with a smug stride leaving me questioning her words thoroughly.
"See for yourself Alex." I heard her call out, her hand waving dismissively but then she pointed in a direction.
I gripped onto Bec's arm and pulled her in the direction that Mikaela was pointing. "You don't believe that physco bitch, do you?" She asked me.
"Alex?" Lilly waved an hand in my face when I came to an abrupt stop, it's because I saw it, I saw him.
He stood there, on the stable seat of the machine the dunking pool but no, he was not the one being dunked. With a firm grip on his ankle, Brooks held Henry Wood (Chapter Three), upside down, dangling him above the pool of water. People cheered and I stood shocked in my place. How could he do this? How could he do this to someone like Henry? He may as well be holding me like that, threatening to drop me in the cold water. Luke was being a bully, something I hadn't seen for a long time.
Then Mikaela's sick words were recited in my mind, Once a Bad Boy, always a Bad Boy. I gulped as the second thought entered my mind, one that scared the living life out of me.
Once a Player, always a Player.