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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14. 14

After Tom offered to take Amy home this morning I crawled back into bed. I slept on the floor last night but it wasn't the feeling of being uncomfortable that kept me awake it was thinking about Luke. I should find a church and confess my sins. I kissed Jodie's boyfriend, My sisters boyfriend! I always thought I was a good person, an honest person, loyal. Turns out I'm not any of these things . I shouldn't cry because I'm not a victim and I have no right to feel anything other than guilt but still the tears fall and I hate myself for it. I put my headphones in and listen to 1975 to drown out the world. The silence is short lived.

Dad comes into the room with a burst of happy energy and I'm a little pissed he didn't knock the door but then again I don't know if he did or not as the volume through the headphones is that loud I'm pretty sure I've perforated an eardrum. He mouthes something to me and I moodily pull the earphones out

"Huh?"

"I said what are you doing in bed? It's a lovely day. Come on get up we can go for a walk. You're not ill are you?"

"No dad, I'm fine. How long are you staying for? I'm sure Jennifer is missing you"

For a moment my words look like they've stung him and for a moment I feel utterly guilty

"I told you she's working, don't you want your old man around?"

I sit up and try and flatten my awful bed head but it's no use. My natural curls fight through my fingers

"Sorry dad, I'm just -" thinking about Luke "not feeling myself today that's all, of course I want you around. My moods all over the place"

Dad eyes soften and then widen like a lightbulb has gone off in his head

"Say no more my darling, I might be a man but I know when to be quite. Pms?" He whispers the last words like a monthly cycle is an embarrassing thing. I want the bed to swallow me up

"No dad! Gosh I know we are close but we don't need to talk about that" I put my fingers in my ears and the last thing I see are dads flushed cheeks before he leaves the room. I hold a pillow over my head and throw myself back down. How humiliating. It was bad enough going through puberty and dad having to take me to buy my first bra! And now he thinks I'm in a mood because of cramps! How ... Embarrassing! I try to sleep but my dreams don't overtake me, I try and read but I can't concentrate, I try and listen to music but every song seems to be about lost love or love unrequited. Maybe that's because I was listening to Mariah Careys greatest hits. In the end I throw the duvet off of me and have a shower. Even after straightening my hair and applying some make up I don't feel any better. My mood is well and truly deflated. I put on some fresh skinny jeans, my old goonies T-shirt and my converse and decide to see what everyone else is doing. I can already hear voices as I start my slow descent down the stairs. Everyone sounds cheerful. I despise the sound.

"I don't want her being sad Carl, I hope this cheers her up. I worry about her, she goes from being my little girl to looking like she has the weight of the world on her shoulders"

"Of course it will cheer her up, or she will be really angry"

Great. My parents are having a discussion about me

"What will I be angry about?" I walk into the kitchen and lean on the door frame. They both look at me with beaming smiles and as confusing, and partly scary as it is to have two parents that are acting weird I somehow manage to smile back at them

"We've got a surprise for you, close your eyes"

"Dad I'm not closing my eyes, I don't like surprises"

"Carly, for once please just play along"

It's true I really do hate surprises. I hate it when people wait for your reaction. It freaks me out. I try and partly run away as mom wraps one of her scarves around my face so it covers my eyes. I relent from screaming the house down as I hear moms excited laugh and a part of me feels happy that's she's happy. I hold on to dads shoulders from behind as he starts to walk and I hope this isn't a horrible prank. I hear the front door open and mom gently guides me down the few steps leading from the porch. Seen as I don't have the sense of sight at the moment all my senses are focused on the warmth of the sun on my skin and the smell that Sydney always seems to have. The smell of home. I hate Sydney because of it

"You ready?" moms voice, although excited also sounds apprehensive and it scares the hell out of me. I nod my head and I hear dad take a deep breath before he starts to countdown

"Three, two -"

Ok I can't wait, I rip the scarf off before he gets to one and I frown when I'm greeted with a truck, a truck that isn't mine

"Surprise" mom claps and then holds her hands in there before I softly pull them down

"What's this?"

"It's yours. Your dad and I was talking and your truck, although lovely, it isn't road worthy sweetie. So for now we will pay for it to go into a storage garage, until you decide for certain what you want to do with it but until then, you have this" she looks at dad who then looks at me. I then look at the truck

"You two are so selfish, you know how much I love my truck and you still go behind my back!"

"Now Carly don't be ungrateful-"

"Dad I'm teasing. Seriously this is mine?"

"You like it? Really?"

"Like it? I love it. Thank you so much. Honestly. Thank you. You guys are the most dysfunctional but best parents ever! Seriously this is mine?"

Ok, ok I know I love my old truck but this truck means one thing. Freedom. Free to drive where I want, to go where want. I can't do that whilst my truck currently refuses to even turn on. I walk forwards and run my hands over the baby blue bonnet

"1979 Chevrolet C10. Wow. Automatic?"

"Yes its automatic" dad laughs and I blush "you might not know much about the logistics but boy, my daughter sure knows her trucks" his laughter fades and instead he smiles at me proudly. I think dad always wanted a son, in fact they were both so sure I was going to be one that they decided to name me after him. When I arrived in the world and seeing I wasn't a boy they just added a y to the end of the name. But that doesn't mean dad didn't get to do the things that a dad and son do. He would take me fishing, he taught me about cars (just not about what to do one when breaks) and I also learnt how to polish off a mammoth pizza and how to down 8 beers without being sick when I was legal to drink whilst watching football. It was the best of both worlds for him. He hands me the keys and I excitedly jump in. The engine roars to life and the radio comes on without me having to hit it with my hand. I hold on to the steering wheel and can't help the grin that spreads over my face like it's going to split it

"And here's someone else we have to thank -" dads voice makes me look up as Luke walks towards us. The window is down and I can smell his aftershave as he gets closer. That familiar smell that I had become so used to, that I liked. It was his scent that I could hold on to long after he had gone. Now I have to face the fact that whatever was between us is no more. He has gone. I turn off the engine but stay seated. Hoping that my new truck can be a wall between us. The grin I had earlier has suddenly disappeared

"I don't need thanking. I was just looking for Jodie, I don't mean to get in the way"

"Don't be so modest you made this happen too"

Mom and dad look at me for a reaction and I mutter some profanities under my breath before getting out

"You helped with the truck?"

I've had to speak to him so everything seems ok, he reluctantly looks at me to carry on with this charade

"I just fitted the radio, that was all"

"When I arrived and Luke and I went for a beer he told me about how upset you were about the truck. So I got home, your mother and I spoke about it and then we just decided to get it. It's been in Luke's garage for three days whilst him and his brother put the new stereo in. And you did more than fit the radio you helped me pick it out. So you're happy with it?"

I can hear my dad talking but my attention is on Luke. Wearing the usual combination of black jeans, worn converse, a white T shirt under a black hoody that he's left open. Like a moth to a flame I'm drawn to him, I guess that's why I feel that horrible burning of wanting in my heart

"You helped him pick my truck?" my voice is low, like I'm only talking to Luke because it feels like it's just me and him here

"Yeah, I thought you would like it. It seemed nicer than the old one. Prettier"

Dad clears his throat and we both look at my parents who are looking embarrassed like they have just broken some sort of moment between us. Which they unknowingly have

"So Luke do you want to come in and wait for Jodie? She's having a fitting for her ball dress. Oh sweetie that reminds me, your appointment is tomorrow at three p.m. The seamstress was fully booked for today but I managed to get you in. She's fully booked right up until the dance! She's that sought after. My baby isn't wearing something off the rack" my mom looks at me, I'm pretty sure she's talking to me, but because I know she can't possibly think I am going be fitted for a dress I look behind me in case she's speaking to a sibling I never knew I had. She's not. I look at her and can't help it but I laugh and because I feel like I haven't truly laughed in so long I find it more funny than it should be

"Mom I love you, but no. It's not gonna happen. I'm not even sure I'm going to this dance-"

"Ball, Carly. Ball" it's annoying when she corrects me

"Ball. Whatever. And if I do then I will just wear something from out of my wardrobe. Or maybe I'll go in jeans? Set a new trend amongst the fancy pants people"

My teasing winds her up to the point where I think she's going to burst a blood vessel so I get into my truck and start the engine. Blowing her a kiss to soften the blow that I don't want to play dress up like a barbie. I watch Luke speaking to my parents and it's strange how easy he fits in. They like him, they look at him with appreciation, like he's part of the family and he is I guess. My mood plummets again so I look over my shoulder and start to reverse out of the drive. I hear a hand hit off the bumper and I stop the truck. I frown as Luke walks around to the passenger side and climbs in

"Luke? What the f-"

"Just smile and wave, I said I was going to get a lift into town"

"But you have a car!"

"And your dad is worried about you driving this for the first time. A new ride always feels different to the last one"

"Ha. The irony. You should know all about that Luke!"

"Stop being so childish and stop making a scene your parents are looking"

I look up from the steering wheel and with a fake smile on my face I use one hand to wave goodbye

"Happy now?"

Luke sighs and looks out of the window as I pull out into the street. When we get to the corner I stop the truck and turn to face him

"You can get out now"

"I'm not getting out, we need to talk"

"Actually I'm pretty sure we have nothing to talk about. We can talk about the weather, or about films we like and don't like but other than that, I'm drawing a blank. What on earth do you possibly think we have to talk about?"

"We need to talk about last night, what has happened between us. Whether I can trust you to not say anything?"

"Why would I say anything and ruin what you and Jodie have. Why would I want to break up my family? I'm not a heartless bitch like you"

"What?" He turns to face me and he looks furious "heartless? I'm heartless?"

"Well you're not really the modern day hero a girl hopes to meet Luke"

I feel my voice break at the end but there is no way I'm going to start crying or giving him the satisfaction of seeing this pain. I hold onto the steering wheel and look out at the street. A few people walk past, laughing and joking. They look happy. I wish I felt that way right now

"Carly, I never wanted to hurt you. I didn't. You have to believe me. I've been going through my own personal hell since you arrived. You should have just stayed away from me then"

"Excuse me but if my memory serves me right it was you who came to the house the first night I was here, knowing I was alone. It was you that wanted to kiss me, it was who took it upon yourself to take me to a hotel -"

"Because you were drunk Carly. That's why I took you to the hotel! What should I have done? left you in that house passed out surrounded by strangers. You wanted this as much as I did and you know what? I'm not taking all the blame for it! You didn't act perfect either"

"I know that! Im not stupid"

"Then you should accept some of the blame and, I don't know, move on"

He unclips his seatbelt and swings open the door

"You know Carly, you could have been the best thing but it's the wrong time, wrong place"

"No Luke, I am the best thing, I just nearly fell for the totally wrong person. Regardless of the circumstances. You are a selfish asshole and the only person you have thought about since whatever this was started, was yourself. These next two weeks cannot go quick enough. I wish I had never met you. What a mistake but unlike Jodie I know I will never be hurt by you. Because there will always be another Melissa and another me you screw around with but I have dodged that bullet. I'm out. I would have learnt that anyway, you don't care about anyone other than yourself. So how could I have ever expected you to truly care when you never cared at all"

He holds onto the door as he takes a deep breath but then in one swift moves slams it that hard, that as it closes the truck feels like it's took the brunt of his mood. He pulls his hoody up over his head concealing his face and walks away. There's nothing left for me to do but drive

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