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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15. 15

I drive and it feels good to have my foot back on the peddle but after a while I get bored of my own thoughts and end up somewhere that is familiar to me. I get out of the truck and walk up the path I've seen a few times now. I knock the door and suddenly feels nervous, like I shouldn't be here but what the hell. In Sydney I don't feel like I belong anyway

"Hello?" A woman I have never seen before opens the door and I nervously rock back on my shoes

"Hmm hi, sorry to bother you. Is Calum home?"

She wipes her hands on a tea towel and smiles at me. She seems nice

"He is, I'll just call him for you" she turns to face the stairs and I suddenly don't feel as nervous. "Calum, you have a visitor" I hear a door open and he bounds down the stairs two at a time

"Hey Carly. You ok?"

"Sure, I was just in the area and thought I would see if you wanted to hang out?" He smiles at me and then we both look at his mom who is watching us

"Mom. You can leave now" she laughs and playfully taps his shoulder

"Sorry I don't want to cramp your style, I'm making dinner. Would your friend like to stay?" She looks at me and I look at Calum who nods, letting me know he wants me to

"That would be great. Thank you for offer"

"What are we having though mom? She doesn't eat meat?"

"You don't eat meat?" She sounds shocked and for some reason this makes me laugh. I apologetically shake my head and she frowns like she's thinking

"I'll rustle something up. It will be another hour anyway"

She walks towards the kitchen and I hear her mutter "vegetarian" but I don't feel offended, I'm used to it. Calum looks past my shoulder and raises his eyebrows

"Is that your new ride?"

I turn to look at the truck and nod

"Yep. Mom and dad thought it would cheer me up and I guess they are right. As usual"

"Sure beats that old ass thing you were driving"

"Hey, don't be a douche" I playfully turn to push him but he moves out of the way and messes up my hair instead. I tut and he smiles "come on, let's go to my room. I was just listening to music" I follow him up to his room and tie my hair into a loose ponytail. He jumps on the bed and I look around his room. It's a typical boys squalor. Blue walls decorated with band posters, a PC in the corner connected to a huge sound system and then to my left a row of three bass guitars. I walk over and run my fingers over a few of the strings

"Be careful those are my babies" he playfully scolds and I roll my eyes

"I have delicate hands I'm not an ogre. I didn't know you played?"

"There's many things you don't know about me Carly"

"Such as -?" I throw my bag on the bed and sit down next to him. In one swift move he turns my bag upside down and empties the contents onto the bed

"That is so rude you should never look through a girls bag"

"I want to know more about you, you're the mystery around here"

"I'm not a mystery?"

"Sure you are. Witty but quite. Pretty but unassuming and the sister of the queen bee Miss Jodie" he bursts out laughing and I fold my arms. Did he call me pretty?

"Oh ha ha very funny. Who knew Calum was such a comedian" he grins and picks up my iPod and starts flicking through it

"You're quite the 1975 fan aren't you? I think they are awesome. I love the retro raw guitar sound. They are currently doing an Australian tour"

"I didn't know that! I love them. And may I add I liked them before Taylor swift wore the T-shirt"

"Carly, the original rock star" I let out a sigh of frustration. I'm not in the mood to be teased

"Oh come on I'm joking. What's up anyway?"

"What do you mean?"

"Is something wrong? Out of all the places you could be you want to hang out with me?"

"We're friends aren't we?"

He smiles and gets off the bed and turns the PC on

"I was on stub hub before you came"

"Stub hub?"

"Yeah, it sells tickets. For gigs" I act interested and lean back against the head board. I pick up his beanie and put my hands inside. It's warm outside but I feel cold. Or numb. I'm not sure? "1975 are playing a gig next Friday but it's in Maitland" I realise he's waiting for an answer so I look up from my hands

"Isn't that about two hours away from here?"

"Yeah but I wanna go! Let's go" I cross my legs and sit forward

"How much are the tickets?"

I watch him click a few buttons, and then he turns to face me

"Seventy nine dollars each"

I bite the inside of my cheek and work out the maths in my head. It won't be a cheap road trip

"Have you got the money?"

"I've got about one hundred dollars so I could put some to the gas. Come on Carly let's be rebels. I know it's a bit of a shitty drive for you but we could maybe stay over somewhere. And I'm not trying to get you into bed before you think that! You're a fan, I'm a fan. You're going home soon. Let's just do it!"

I weigh up the pros and cons in my head. I know my mom wouldn't mind me going. I am an adult after all but I can't stop thinking about Luke. This would surely annoy him that I'm hanging out with his friend. But I owe nothing to Luke. And most of all, I actually do want to hang out with Calum. I pick my bank card up off the bed and throw it at Calum who catches it mid air

"Screw it, let's do it"

After dinner, which was a delicious pasta bake we hang out in Calum's room again. He hands me a guitar and for about two hours he tries to learn me a few chords. I'm absolutely hopeless at it and his teasing continues as he mocks me for having sausage fingers but I don't take offence. This is the way me and Calum are. In the end I put the guitar down and watch him play. He sings a song that he's wrote called out of my limit and at first he seems shy about it but after some encouragement he finishes and I clap

"Wow, Calum you're really good! You should be in a band!" He scrunches up his nose which I find cute and then shakes his head

"Maybe? I don't know?"

My phone beeps alerting a text message and I pick it up. It's off my mom

*hey honey, dinner is in half an hour. See you soon. Love mom*

I sigh and throw the phone down

"I better go. Thanks for letting me hang out today, I've really enjoyed it"

"You can come around anytime. I can't wait for next week. It's gonna be awesome"

I smile as I throw all my things back into my bag. I'm actually really looking forward to it too. I stand up and Calum gets up off the bed

"Thanks for today Calum, I've had a really good time"

"No problem. I was going to ask, If you wanted to that is, if you're not busy -" he blushes and I press my lips together to stop me from smiling "do you want to go to this beach party tomorrow? They do it every year. It's usually lame but there's alcohol so that's a plus"

My stomach sinks as I think back to the beach party that I so want to forget. To the night that I stupidly put myself in danger, the night that I am truly grateful to Jodie for ...

I look up at Calum who is watching me with an expression of sadness. Like I've already told him no

"A beach party. How Australian" I try and lighten the mood but he smiles sadly "you know what? I would love to go with you. Shall I meet you there at seven? No doubt Jodie is going too"

"You want to go?"

I scream no in my head, but because of Calum I do want to go

"Yes I do" I lean forward and kiss his cheek

"Bye cal"

When I get home sun has set and I can hear voices coming from the dining room. When I walk in mom stands up but the only face I can see is Luke's. Why does he have to be here!

"Baby where have you been? You're late"

"I was just driving, seeing the sights and all that. Sorry"

"Come and sit down, I've only just put the food out"

I look around the table. Dad smiles at me, Tom is engrossed in his phone, Jodie is the same. Her fingers tapping away frantically, texting as usual. Luke doesn't look at me, Instead he stares at his empty plate

"I've got a bit of a headache, I was just going to go to bed"

"It's probably because you're hungry sweetie, come on" mom sits me next to Luke and then she sits down at the head of the table opposite Jodie

"How was the drive?" I look up at dad and his smile makes me grin

"Actually it's pretty awesome. She drives like a dream"

I put some vegetables and potatoes on my plate but I'm not hungry. Luke's hand accidentally brushes against my arm as he leans forward to take his glass and I move my chair away from his quickly but no one notices

"So, Jodie. What is this announcement you have to make?" Tom finally puts his phone down and I frown as I look at him and then Jodie

"You're so impatient Tom" she annoyingly giggles but she has my attention "I don't think it's up to me to tell" her hand moves across the table and she gently squeezes Luke's hand. What the hell is going on?

"Come on baby, tell them" she coaxes him and dad drops his napkin on the table

"If you kids have got yourselves into trouble, over dinner isn't the time to tell us" he sounds furious and I drop my hands in my lap

"Oh my god dad stop! I'm not pregnant" Jodie shrieks through her laugher and under my breath, I sigh relieved "clearly Luke is too shy to say so I'll say it" we all watch her stand up and next to me I see Luke tense. She holds up her glass and in true Jodie style uses this opportunity like an oscars speech "As you know in six weeks I will be leaving for Perth to study theatre studies and today Luke has had his expectance letter to study music! We are going to Perth together" she puts down her glass to clap excitedly and through the horrible buzzing of anxiety in my ears I can hear my parents congratulate Luke and Tom reeling off why Perth is such an amazing university.

He's leaving for Perth, he never said he applied to go with Jodie. It's all clear to me now. It was always Jodie. He was always going to choose my sister. How am I meant to accept that the person I wanted, never wanted me at all

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