Out Of Bounds

In all honesty, my sister and I had never been close

But one person was going to tear us further apart

His name is Luke Hemmings

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1. 1

"Dad please, I really don't want to go" I watch him make me breakfast and he flips over the pancake with ease

"Carly" he drags out the last part of my name so it sounds like an exaggerated eeeeeee lingers in the air

"Dad, come on we can spend the summer together. Just us three. It will be fun, I'll stay on the boat and read, honestly you won't even know I'm there"

I look at my dads girlfriend Jennifer, silently pleading with her and she puts her arm around my shoulders and pouts at my dad. See, she doesn't want me to go. Dad turns around and starts to laugh at our pathetic attempt to make him feel guilty

"Come on Carl. Let her come with us"

Dad sighs and puts the frying pan down

"Carly, The last time you blew off going your mom was really upset. I can't have that on my conscience. Not again. I don't understand why you don't want to go? You get to see your sister, your friends and most importantly your mom. It's like I'm sending you to the depths of hell not Sydney"

"Feels like you are" I was meant to mutter that under my breath but instead it came out at normal voice level resulting in laughter from Jennifer. She kisses the top of my head and leaves me and dad to it

"Carly, honey; it's just four weeks"

"You know what? I could go and stay with gran. Bless her she is a sweetie and old may I add. Maybe some granddaughter bonding time is just what she needs?"

"Now I know you're desperate" dad laughs and I pick at the pancakes he has put in front of me

"Talk to me, why don't you want to go?" Dad leans over the table and squeezes my hand

"Because, I'll miss you and Jennifer. Going to Sydney isn't the way I want to spend summer. I'm eighteen dad, surely I should be able to say no?"

Dad sighs and leans back in the chair

"Of course you can say no, in fact you are right, at eighteen you are old enough to make your own decisions but your mom loves you, and I know you aren't the type of person who would want to hurt her so you should go. Your moms made some mistakes but she's still your mom. Do this, for me?"

I nod my head whilst stabbing the pancake with my fork but when I look up dad is smiling at me

"I have something to ask you"

"Oh?"

"How would you feel if I asked Jennifer to marry me?"

I freeze and look at dad stunned

"What? Seriously? Dad, that's amazing" I get up to hug him and he wraps his arms around me. Finally, he's happy and that makes me happy too

The drive to Sydney is six hours and I could have got on a plane but I didn't want to do that whole awkward arrival at the airport. Mom always waits with a sign saying my name even though obviously, I know who she is, but she always goes that one step further to humiliate me. No, I'm not being fair. She doesn't do it to humiliate me she does it so I feel welcome, loved, in moms eyes it's cute. To me it's just false. After waving goodbye to dad and Jennifer I turn on the stereo in my old Chevy and I have to hit it with my hand a few times so it works properly. I reverse the truck out and with a heavy heart, start the long drive from my home to my old home in Sydney

I was twelve years old when I found out my mom had been having an affair. She is a motivational speaker and would sometimes work in schools and universities. It was there she met a lecturer named Tom and they fell in "love". Their happiness absolutely destroyed my dad. Everyone in town knew and dad was humiliated, it was then he decided to move to Coonamble for a fresh start. Up until then my sister, Jodie, and I would spend Monday through to Thursday with mom and then Friday to Sunday with dad. When I found out he was leaving it was a no brainer, I wanted to go with him. Truth be told I couldn't even look at my mom, when we spent time with Tom and I would see them together it made me think of dad, how he was alone eating a microwaveable meal for one whilst we pretended to be a happy family that ate out at the best restaurants because to Tom, money was nothing. Mom was devastated I wanted to leave, her and Tom purchased a beautiful house on one of the most sought after streets and even though I was bribed with a room of my own with a walk in bathroom I still made it clear I wanted out. Finally mom relented and me and dad started a new life six hours away. Jodie never considered coming with us. She loved the fact mom was suddenly rich and she was happy to stay, so, this is the way it's been for the last five years. I go and stay with mom throughout the summer and winter holidays and that seems to keep her happy. Jodie visits dad and I whenever she can, or whenever she can be bothered to at least. Even after five years I still haven't warmed to Tom, the man gives me the creeps.

I roll the windows down as my vintage (rust bucket) truck doesn't have air conditioning and I let the breeze hit my face, I shake my head and try and stay awake. Driving by yourself is utterly boring!

Six, sticky, sweltering, boring and long hours later I pull into Richmond drive and slow the truck down as I approach the perfect houses in the perfect neighbourhood. Mine and dads house is small. It's a flat roofed, one storey two bedroomed house that's right by the river. Moms house is two storeys, has five bedrooms, a double garage and is crisp white. It's like something you would see in a high end living magazine. I'm sure she thanks her lucky stars and Toms humongous bank account everyday!

I drive along slowly, trying to drag out the thirty seconds it will take me to get to moms house, I lean forward on the steering wheel and look at the expensive cars parked along the street. My truck is going to stick out like a sore thumb. My eyes look forward and just in time I see a black dog run into the road. I hit the brakes way too hard and my poor Chevy has a heart attack due to the foreign attack on the brake. I hear a loud bang and in my mirror I can see a plume of smoke leave the exhaust

"Shit"

I get out of the truck and the damn dog jumps up me like it wants to play. At first I am absolutely fuming but the dog continues to jump up me, slobbering all over my hands

"Ok, Ok, I get it you're cute but dog biscuits won't pay for the repairs" I relent and bend down to stroke the four legged criminal and I can't help but laugh as it licks my cheeks

"Molly, molly, down. She likes you, she doesn't usually like strangers"

A blonde boy runs up to us and the dog licks me one final time before running over to its owner

"It's ok, she's sweet"

"Either way I'm so sorry about that" the stranger looks at the smoke then back at me

"Is everything OK? You're not hurt are you?"

He has blonde hair that's gelled so it's pushed up, he's wearing dark skinny jeans, black converse and a black plain T shirt. He has stubble on his face and a lip ring that sits on the corner of his mouth. He's cute I guess

"Hmm, yeah. I'm fine. Your dog, molly, she ran out into the road but I stopped before anything happened. Well before anything happened to her at least"

Mentioning Molly's name makes her tail wag and she playfully runs circles around me

"I'm Luke by the way"

"Carly"

Luke holds out his hand and I smile shyly before shaking it

"Can I?"

He gestures to the truck and I nod my head. He pops open the hood and and lets out a long whistle as smoke rises in the air

"Well Carly, looks like the carburetor float has absorbed gasoline and its flooding the engine"

"So that would mean what exactly?"

"It means your truck is well and truly screwed. Why are you driving this anyway?"

"What does that mean?" I reply clearly offended. He holds up his now greased hands and laughs

"I just meant that it's quite a boyish ride, it doesn't suit your looks that's all. You just seem like you would drive something more feminine, pretty even" he shrugs and I look down as a smile spreads across my face. Don't act goofy Carly, it's not cool. I lean my hands against the door, can this day get any worse? First this and then the daunting fact I have to stay in hell for four weeks. The only salvation so far is meeting Luke. A bit of light flirting is what I need right now

"There's got to be something I can do? This truck was my grandfathers, I have to fix it"

"You don't have to fix it, I do. As a thank you for not flattening my dog"

He bites his lip ring as he smiles and I quickly look away

"My brother knows some stuff about cars, I can't see why a truck would be much different. Are you staying local?"

"Really? Thank you so much Luke. I'm visiting my mom. She lives at number three sixty"

He frowns and then looks at the house

"Coleen is your mom?" He asks confused

"That would be her"

"So Jodie is your sister?"

I'm distracted by the way he's looking at me, how his eyes look over my features and how he's frowning

"Right again, so how do you know my family? I haven't seen you around before? But then again the last time I visited was about" I bite my lip and look at the sky "must have been about seven months now" wow really, that long?

I look at Luke and when my eyes meet his he shakes his head and drops the hood on my truck

"Yeah I know them, my family moved in four doors down from your moms about five months ago. I may as well just say it now, I date your sister"

He actually sounds embarrassed but it's nowhere near as embarrassed as I feel. I was actually looking forward to the fact that there might actually be one cute guy to admire for the next four weeks and turns out he's dating my sister. Perfect, just perfect

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