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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11. 11

When I wake up Luke has gone. I check my phone for the time and it's 9.30 a.m. I don't have any messages off him but I do have twelve missed calls off Jodie. I swipe my thumb across the screen to unlock it and then call her back

"Hello lazy"

"What's wrong? Why all the missed calls?"

"I think you know why"

I sit up quickly as I start to feel my heart race

"Why?"

"Carly I swear you must have been dropped on the head as a child. Hello, Dad is staying at our house? What the hell!"

"Oh, yeah. Me and Tom had a bit of an argument and dad came down. It's nothing major. He's leaving today"

"Yeah I heard you went AWOL from Calum's party. I hate my life I miss all the fun! So other news. Have you screwed him yet?"

"Who?"

"Calum? Carly you are impossible at times. Are you being this stupid to annoy me?"

"I'm not being stupid but I wasn't prepared to be asked such vulgar questions before midday! And of course I haven't and I have no plans on doing anything with him"

"You are so boring. You'll probably die a Virgin you know that right?"

I hear Jodie's friend laugh in the back ground and my grip tightens on the phone

"Are you having a nice time?" I feel like I'm going to cry but I refuse to get into an argument with her

"Yeah it's great. Blah blah blah. Anyway you're boring me now"

The line goes dead and I throw my phone onto the bed. Whatever guilt I felt last night suddenly disappears. She's an utter bitch!

I wash my face but don't get changed as I don't know what the plans are for today so I may as well stay in my pyjamas a little longer. I walk downstairs and head towards the kitchen as that's where I can hear voices coming from

"No, don't do that. Carl I mean it stop" I frown as I walk in, Moms laughing like a teenager whilst dad tries to rub a raw chicken drumstick on her cheek

"Err hello?" I sit on a stool at the kitchen island and dad grins

"Good morning sleepy head. Sleep well?"

"Yes?" I sound like a petulant teen but I am one

Mom looks at the floor as she wipes her hands on her apron but I can see she's grinning

"Well that's good" dad pats my shoulder and I scrunch up my nose as I look around. On the work tops there's platters of raw chicken drumsticks, chicken breast fillets, steak and moms homemade hamburgers

"Eww it's like a slaughterhouse in here" I hold my nose and mentally try and think of anything but the meat

"We are having a barbecue tonight. We have one once a month, the neighbours take it in turns and this month we are hosting it. Your dad and I was talking, he's going to stay until Sunday so he can see Jodie when she gets back. He can spend a few days with the both of you then"

I raise my eyebrows as dad sits next to me

"Oh really, and is Jennifer coming for a few days?"

Mom carries on marinading the chicken and dad plays with the handle of his coffee mug

"She's working and couldn't get the days off. But she's fine with it"

He smiles as I roll my eyes

"Whatever you say. Well I'm going to my room as all this meat is making me vomit in my mouth"

"Carly don't be self righteous, you used to eat meat" dad teases me the way he usually does when I scold him for tucking into a bucket of KFC

"And then I saw the error of my ways and decided to lead a cruel free life" I put my hands together like I'm about to pray and bow my head "dear lord, please forgive my mom, dad and the sinning neighbours for basically eating thirty animals because they want to stuff their faces. Let's hope they don't get high cholesterol or choke on a chicken drumstick. Forgive them and their guts for their sins" mom throws a tea towel at me and I stick my tongue out at her

"I don't think I'm sinner, would you agree Carly?" I turn around on my stool as Luke walks in. He's holding a bag of coal and dad takes it off him. My mouth opens but then closes again. He's here? With charcoal? Why? I feel the colour drain from me when dad walks over to mom and Luke sits beside me. He holds my hand under the table and I literally freeze

"Thanks for going to get the coal Luke, Tom had to go into work and I need to make a start on all this"

"It's fine colleen don't worry" Luke moves his hand as my parents turn around to face us

"Anyway at least I can introduce you two now, Luke this is Carl. Jodie and Carly's father and Carl, this is Luke, Jodie's boyfriend"

I hate myself for the amount of jealousy I feel right now. I want to shout at my mom that he isn't Jodie's, that me and him are something but I know I can't which makes my jealousy even worse. Luke stands up and shakes dads hand whilst dad appraises him. Clearly happy that Jodie has decided to date someone that looks educated and behaved not the usual rough around the edges pot head types she usually goes for

"It's nice to meet you Luke"

"You too sir"

"You don't have to call me that. Just call me Carl. So you're with my daughter? You better treat her properly" dad is only teasing and Luke smiles but he looks at me from the corner of his eye. I can't help but look at him, I take in his features like its the first time I've seen him but I also study him incase it's the last time I see him. Incase he realises what a loser I am and he stays with Jodie. He discreetly runs his hand against my thigh and I pretend to read the paper to distract myself. Dad carries on talking, oblivious as to what's going on

"I tell you what. Why don't we go and grab breakfast and let the women get on with preparing the food"

Mom throws a piece of meat at dad and he turns to face her innocently

"What?"

"Women prepare the food? This is not nineteen forty"

"You know what I mean. I can burn a piece of toast. Besides, I want to make sure this one is decent enough for our eldest girl" dad teases Luke again but he's still looking at mom. She rolls her eyes and grins

"Oh fine then but don't be long. Tom is working until five and the barbecue needs to be set up for four as that's when the neighbours are coming. I know how side tracked you get by snooker bars when you're out"

"That's a little early isn't it?"

"Carl that's the time it starts!"

"OK, fine. I'll be back by then. Well come on then Luke, You can show my where they do good food around here"

Dad leaves the kitchen and Luke follows. I don't know whether he looks at me or not as I can't look at him. I want to be with him, I think he wants to be with me? No I'm sure he does but now he's bonding with my dad because of Jodie. I put my head on the counter and sigh

"Everything OK sweetie?"

"It's fine mom"

"Don't be sad your dad has gone out, when Jodie phoned earlier it was her idea. She wants Luke to get to know him. She's very fond of Luke and I suppose even if your dad and her aren't close she still wants his approval"

"It was Jodie's idea?"

"Yes? Carly are you sure you're ok?"

I sit up and shrug

"Yep. I'm fine"

Mom pushes her hair behind her ear and turns to face me as she puts some type of sauce over the deceased chicken

"You can talk to me. I don't want to ask this but," oh great, where is she going with this? "Do you like Luke?"

My eyes widen and I part cough part nearly choke

"No! Don't be absurd. But whilst we are having some sort of bonding moment what is going on with you and dad?"

Moms eyes focus on the task she's doing and she shakes her head in bewilderment

"I don't know what you mean?"

"Oh please! He's currently a lodger here. You're acting weird, Tom never seems to be around. Speaking of Tom he's at work? It's meant to be the school holidays?"

"Carly, your father and I have a lot of history, we have you and Jodie. We should be friends, it's the mature thing to do. And I've already told you Tom likes to be ahead so when the term starts he's prepared. He'll be home all weekend"

"Hmmm"

"What does hmmm mean?"

"It means nothing. Do you need any help? I can make a salad but I refuse to touch a carcass"

"No I'll be OK. Thank you for the offer though" moms smiles and I nod my head

"I'm going for a shower" I get off the stool and grab an apple from the fruit tray. No doubt they haven't thought about what I will eat tonight. It will probably be a plate of raw veg and a slice of bread!

"I love you Carly" I stop at the door and turn to face my mom. There's something up with her but I don't know what?

"I love you too mom" she smiles shyly and then turns her back to me. It's official, my family are crazy

No texts, no phone calls. Nothing from Luke. He's probably spent all morning talking about how great Jodie is that he's decided to stay with her and end anything that could have been with me. I feel depressed. I knew it. I knew I shouldn't have fallen for him. I should have just kept my distance. Not gone to Calum's party. So many thoughts of shoulda, coulda, woulda or in this case would not!

I don't have time to mope around anymore as I need to get ready for tonight. I find out a pair of skinny jeans, a see through white blouse with a cute black bow around the neck, a vest top to put underneath it as obviously I don't want to show off my bra and I lightly wave me hair. I slip on my pink converse and make my way downstairs. Mom has her best of the eighties CD playing and I smile at the utter cheesiness of her music taste. Now don't get me wrong I enjoy some of the music from that era but this is well and truly shocking!

When I get outside I am surrounded by people I don't know. I sort of wish I would have spent my time here in summers gone trying to socialise but truth be told I enjoy locking myself away from the world. It used to make me smile when people presumed mom only had Jodie as a daughter, she's an outspoken, vibrant character, that it was always easy to blend into the background. Just the way I like it. I grab a glass of wine and join my dad who is leaning against the fence with a beer in one hand and an appliance to flip the burgers over in the other

"Hey dad"

"Hey sweetie. Loads of snobs here isn't there"

I look around and instantly see what he means. It's only a causal barbecue but women stand in the garden in over the top summer dresses and large hats that shield their faces from the sun. Men wear chinos with leather loafers and over their T shirts they have draped cricket jumpers. The very sight of it makes me shudder. It's like I've stepped into a nineteen fifties film where the women laugh at bad jokes supplied by their husbands and in between the display of falseness they all compare brilliant house wife tips. I sigh and take a large sip of wine, normality, where have you gone? Someone taps my shoulder and I quickly swallow as I turn around

"Luke?"

"You haven't forgotten who I am already have you?" His grin is teasing and I hold my glass tighter in my hands. No, no I will not entertain him, not when he's ignored me all day to talk about Jodie with my dad "Carly, you ok?"

I slightly shrug and he frowns, obviously displeased with the fact I don't really want to talk

"Luke, have you seen your brother?"

A blonde woman approaches us but Luke never takes his eyes off me

"Luke?"

"I think he was going out with some friends, he didn't say where exactly though"

The woman tuts under her breath before smiling at me. I return the gesture and Luke stands next to me

"Mom this is Carly, Jodie's sister. Carly this is my mom"

"Hello it's nice to meet you" I hold out my hand and she softly shakes it

"Call me Liz, everyone else does. Well to my face anyway" her eyes widen before she laughs and I find myself warming to her. She seems nice

"So you're Jodie's sister? You don't look alike"

"Oh, I know. I think she got all the good genetics" I try and laugh off the fact that clearly this woman is insinuating I'm ugly but she shakes her head

"Don't be silly, I didn't mean that. You're both pretty girls" OK, now she's just lying to make me feel better

"right, well Carly and I was just going to get Calum. We'll be back in about half an hour. Will you be OK?"

"Luke these our are neighbours I think I will be alright"

Liz laughs at Luke's concern as it's obviously not needed. Everyone is friends here, it's me who doesn't know anyone

"Bye then" Luke abruptly holds my arm and leads me towards the garden gate

"That was rude! We can't just leave Luke"

"Why can't we? Will anyone even notice? Are you having fun because you don't look like you are. Or is that scowl on your face just reserved for me?"

I narrow my eyes at him whilst digging my heels into the floor so we come to a stop. He turns to face me and as much as I want to stay pissed at him I can't. He steps closer and I automatically step back, trying to put some distance between us

"Carly we can either leave the easy way or the hard way"

I turn to look at the people currently occupying my mothers garden but no one is looking at us. They are too busy stuffing their faces and drinking the endless free alcohol my mom has supplied. When I turn to face Luke again he's leaning against the wall with his hands in his pockets. He looks so good, I could just reach out and touch him, touch his face, kiss him. Stop Carly

"Where are we going?"

"Anywhere" he sounds so disinterested that I question why he even wants me to go with him

"And if I say no?"

He bites his lip before pulling me towards him and out of sight of everyone else. We stand in the small space between the brick wall and the fencing and even though the party is only around the corner it feels as though it's just me and him in the entire universe. It's senseless and too fast but somehow it feels too good to ignore

"If you say no then I will just put you over my shoulder and carry you out of here" he steps forward again and puts his hand on my waist "and then when people question why you are over my shoulder I will tell them it's because I want you, that I can't stop thinking about you and I will have you. Whatever way I can get you"

He talks with such a confidence that it makes me feel out of my depth. He will "have me" have me how exactly?

"Carly breathe, you've gone pale"

"Let's just go. Now"

He holds my hand as he swings open the garden gate. I try and think of all the reasons I shouldn't go with him but I can't think of anything. Not even the obvious reason is holding me back, because I want this so much. He lets go of my head and gently pushes me away creating distance between us. I frown as I look up but he's not looking at me. His eyes are on the road because at the end of the drive, Jodie has just pulled up.

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