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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16. 16

"Carly, don't you have something to say?"

I look up at Jodie and snap out of my day dream. I look around the table and feel everyone's eyes on me

"That's great news, I'm so happy for you, the both of you" I get up and walk over to Jodie. I swiftly hug her before mom joins us. I close my eyes and pretend I'm anywhere but here. Even through the darkness I can feel the tears pool my eyes but I take a deep breath and pretend. Pretend that I'm ok. Pretend this isn't happening. That its all make believe

"I'm going to crack open the whiskey. Anyone want one?"

"Me please dad, a large one" I shout from the middle of the scrum of this hug and finally Jodie and mom let me go. I return to my seat and watch mom and Jodie laugh and talk excitedly about the upcoming plans.

"Perth?" I whisper the word but somehow he hears

"I didn't think I would get accepted. It's before I even knew you existed" he replies without looking at me but I stare straight ahead. Dad places a whiskey on the table and I down it one. I make my way upstairs but no one notices my absence. At least I didn't think they had

"Carly what's wrong?"

I turn to face my sister who is leaning against the wall. She folds her arms and narrows her eyes, examining my every move

"I'm so happy for you I am" a tear leaves my eye and I curse myself for not being tough, that's the thing with Jodie, she has a tough exterior. I wonder if she's as tough on the inside

"They don't look like tears of joy. Seriously what the hell is up?" She stands up straight and I'm about to relent, to tell her the truth

"It just makes me realise that your life is planned out you know? you know where you're going. I don't even know what college in Coonamble I'm going to apply to but who the hell am I kidding? we only have one option there anyway and I'm pretty sure they are just expecting me to go. The head of the college is dads best friend, they've already planned my classes between them" ok I chose the easy way out. I chose a lie. As usual. But I cry none the less, because now I do feel sorry for myself

"Oh sis come here. It's not that bad not knowing where life is taking you" she holds me in her arms and this act of unheard kindness makes me cry even more "no seriously C stop crying you will work things out I promise. It's going to be ok" I pull away and wipe my eyes

"Just ignore me Jodie, this migraine has got me all emotional. I'm just tired that's all"

"Come to the beach party with me and Luke tomorrow. I know you said you would never go again but I will have your back. We can drink, get on a sexy one piece, finally find you a holiday fling -"

"I'm going. I've been asked to go"

Her mouth drops open and then she grins

"And you are keeping this information to yourself because?"

"Because it's not as exciting as your gossip" I laugh and then wipe my eyes again. I walk into my room and she follows me

"Seriously, who you going with? Spill the info now!"

I sit on the bed and for the first time tonight, I smile

"Calum"

"I KNEW you two would hook up"

She literally screams this so the whole of Australia hears so I put a pillow over my face and throw myself back onto the bed. Jodie rips it away from me and I sit up whilst laughing

"We aren't hooking up"

"Yeah yeah whatever! Do you have a swimming costume? Let me do your hair tomorrow! Do you have any ideas what you're going to wear? Don't drive I can get Tom to drop us off! Did Cal say it was a date? Argh C tell me everything!"

"There's too many questions to answer but he didn't say it was a date"

"Aww my little sister and Calum. That's cute" I roll my eyes and grab my pyjamas from the side of the bed

"I really do have a headache, dads got the whiskey out. Go and celebrate. We'll talk more tomorrow I promise" she hesitates for a moment but then stands up. I watch her walk to the door but before she leaves she turns to face me

"you know C, I thought you was upset because you really did like Luke. I've been so paranoid, it's been going over and over in my head. They always say keep your friends close but your enemies closer. I guess I got you wrong. I have Luke right where I want him. With me, so a part of me wanted to brag about it to you. Sorry for being such a bitch. I guess sometimes I forget we are sisters and that you aren't a threat. Get a good nights sleep. You'll need to look good for tomorrow and that headache is making you look like shit" she throws me an air kiss and then shuts the door. I get my guard up again. Jodie is, and always will be a bitch. Luke is, and now, will always be her puppet. They deserve each other

**********************

"Ouch, are you for real?" the butcher, I mean seamstress, places another pin to hold the material around my waist and I honestly think she's pierced my skin that much she's just tickled a bone

"Well Carly hold still, Sandra can't get the outline if you're flapping around like a dying fish on sand" mom gives Sandra a look that apologies for her awkward daughter and the only thing I can do is roll my eyes

"Honestly mom, this seems a little OTT for a dance -"

"Ball -"

"That's it I've had enough for today" I step off the little circular step I've been standing on for nearly two hours and I hear Sandra tut disapprovingly. She disapproves? I've stood there and had material draped over me, a near brush experience with death whilst she cut bits of material off way too close to my neck, I've literally been a voodoo doll that she has stuck pins into and she has the nerve to tut? I should be suing! I walk into the changing room and carefully peel off what has begun to look like a dress. I throw it over he curtain but it doesn't hit the floor

"Ouch. That pin went in my finger" I hear mom hiss and I smile. A small triumphant so she knows what I've just had to endure!

We spend the rest of the afternoon window shopping and we stop off at a drive through burger place for dinner. By the time we get home it's five p.m so I start to get ready.

Opening up the drawer that has my swimming costumes in makes me panic so I quickly shut it again. I look through my wardrobe and find a pair of denim shorts and a see through black T-shirt with the number twenty on the front. I dare to open the drawer again and quickly grab a bikini top. Thirty minutes later I'm ready to go. Fortunately the top isn't too see through but you can still make out Im wearing a bikini top underneath and my shorts are cute I suppose, so, all in all the outfit will do. I slip on a pair of plain white pumps and sit in front of the mirror to do my hair. I put soft waves through it and then for my make up I put on some mascara and a light sweeping of lipgloss. I look at my reflection and sigh. Sydney weather has made me look refreshed, tanned. Coonamble has warm weather but most of the time it's overcast so I don't tan like this. My freckles have slowly started to become more prominent on my cheeks and I'm about to cover them with concealer but then put it down. This is my skin, why should I cover my freckles up? 'Because Jodie doesn't have them' my subconscious mocks me but I push that demon to the back of my mind. It doesn't matter if Jodie doesn't have them, because one day I'm going to find someone who likes my face, who likes me on the inside and the outside, but most importantly, they won't like my sister more.

Jodie calls me from downstairs so I spray some perfume and make my descent. As usual everyone is congregated in the kitchen. When I walk in Jodie wolf whistles and I shyly pull at my top to try and stretch it down a little

"Aww my little girl looks lovely, doesn't she look lovely?"

"She looks half naked" dad snaps at mom and I can feel my cheeks burning

"I'll go get changed"

"Don't be so silly! Carl stop being a grouch" mom snaps back at him and I smile. In all fairness if dad doesn't approve of my outfit, heaven knows what he thinks about Jodie's. She's wearing a bikini top which obviously also acts as a push us bra, a mini skirt which is nearly exposing her bikini bottoms and her hair is in two braids. I hate to admit it but she looks hot, I hate to admit it, I am not.

"Right, let's go. The old folks are boring me" she takes me by the arm and leads me to the front door

"How are we getting there? Where's Tom?"

"Luke's driving us. Toms out. God knows where the loser is" we are about to leave when dad comes into the hallway

"Here's thirty dollars, home before eleven and please be careful"

Jodie takes the money and smiles at him sweetly

"Thank you for the change, no we won't be home before eleven, we are adults dad and lastly I'm always careful" she blows him an air kiss and before I can say anything she's practically pulled me out of the door. The Range Rover is parked at the end of the driveway and for a moment I stop. I could say I was picking up Calum and take my truck? I could say I wasn't staying long so I wouldn't want to rely on a lift later? I could say I thought Luke was the biggest arsehole I had ever met?

"Carly come on, seriously your spirit animal would be a sloth. Move faster please" I'm literally dragged towards the car but I keep my eyes to the ground. That is until she opens the front door and I go to get in the back

"No, you're riding shot gun with Luke. We are picking up tiff on the way and we have so much to talk about. Remember that argument we had? Anyway she was all bitchy that week because she had found text messages on Jason's phone and she didn't want to tell me because obviously being cheated on is so last year and no one wants to look like a loser"

"Jason?"

"Her boyfriend! Oh my gosh C you are so slow! Anyway we have so much to talk about and I refuse to keep turning around. My right side isn't my most my flattering"

"Are you being serious?"

"Can we just leave already?" Luke sounds his usual miserable self so like a petulant child I climb in

"Baby, don't be so moody we are going to have a great time. Alcohol, the secluded part of the beach -"

Jodie leans forward and ruffles his hair and he gives her a tense smile. I put my seatbelt on and fold my arms. I thought the last beach party I went to was the worst night of my life, seems I was wrong.

We pick up Tiff who gives Luke and I a brief hello before she starts to dramatically tell Jodie all of her problems

"So I looked through his phone and I was like seriously? Me? You're texting some skank when you have me!"

"Some men just don't know where their bread is buttered. It's just desperation. If he was still with you when he was screwing around behind your back that obviously means the girl wasn't worth really being with or else he would have just dumped you. I bet she's ugly, most girls that play mistress are"

I reach forward to turn the radio on to drown out Jodie's voice and Luke has the same idea. Our fingers touch for the briefest of seconds before I move my hand and put it in my lap. He looks at me from the corner of his eye and then I see him look in the mirror at the back seats. My sister and Tiff are engrossed in their own conversation so he finally talks to me

"Find us some music to listen to. I'm going to have a headache in a minute" he takes a deep breath and I smile

"No carry on, we probably don't like the same music anyway"

He nods his head and starts flicking through the stations. He waits for my reaction but the music is dire so I shake my head. He carries on tuning the station but then I hear a familiar voice

"Wait go back I like that song" he finds the station and I turn it up

"Who is it?"

"Who is it? I'm pretending you didn't ask that" I gently tease him and he smiles, a genuine smile, I can't look so I focus on the road ahead "it's a band, never shout never. Can I turn it up?"

"Sure, go ahead" I turn up the volume but not that much that it disturbs the two gossipers in the back and I finally relax

'And I get to the point where all I wanted for us to make up but it's not that easy

'Cause, girl, you move on so quickly

Keeping a boy like me at the edge of his seat

And I know everything you do is all about your perfect image

Well I hope this song – it helps your image

Sha da da da da da da da da da da

Da da da

I'm so over you now

I am running out of words to say to you,

Wondering why I'm wasting my time.

Thinking back and wondering why I'm such a fool for loving you'

I sing along under my breath and then finish the chorus by drumming my fingers against the dashboard

"Do you like the band?" I look at Luke who raises his eyebrows

"Yeah, they're a good band. Not sure about the song though"

I bite the inside of my cheek and look out of the window. Not everything is about him! Or is it? Did I want him to hear the lyrics? No! I'm overthinking everything as usual. Snap out of it girl. Snap. Out. Of. It.

The beach party is the same old. Lanterns line the beach and music plays from an enormous sound system. Girls walk around in barely there bikinis and guys wear shades so they can discreetly ogle them. Every girl around me unintentionally makes me feel like an ugly duckling. It gets worse when Jodie takes off her mini skirt and reveals toned legs and a washboard stomach

"Right bitches, let's get a drink and lets get this parted started" she throws her skirt in the air and Luke catches it with a bemused look on his face. Yes a drink, a drink is what I need right now! Lots and lots of what I like to call the forgetting syrup.

An hour later the alcohol has made my head and body feel all warm and fuzzy and I welcome the feeling because it helps me ignore Luke and Jodie. Calum still hasn't showed and I'm about to call him but I feel my phone vibrate in my back pocket

"Hey, where are you?"

"Amy has got me in to so much trouble Carly it's a nightmare. I know you don't remember much about the last party you came to but she was doing some heavy shit with a guy upstairs. I thought I had moved it all but my mom found a small pouch of coke under the bed. She's gone crazy. She thinks I do drugs now, I need to sort things out here. I'm so so sorry. Can I take you out Friday? I don't want to mess this up but I can't see my mom this upset. She's looking at me like I'm scum"

"Cal it's fine, honestly don't worry. I feel like leaving anyway, I just don't feel comfortable around these people"

"What do you mean by that?"

"Oh you know, I just don't look like them"

"I'm glad you don't look like them, I wouldn't want you if you did. I bet you look amazing"

I bite the inside of my cheek and grin as I feel my cheeks blush

"Calum get off that phone now" I hear his mom in the background and she doesn't sound happy at all

"Cal is there anything I can do? Maybe if I spoke to her -"

"Just promise I can take you out Friday?"

I don't even need to think about it

"It's a date. See you Friday" the line goes dead and I sigh as I push my phone into my pocket. Thanks Amy, not! I turn around and Luke is watching me

"Hey I didn't see you there"

"What's up with Calum?"

I shake my head and sigh

"Apparently his mom has found drugs in the house, it's something to do with Amy"

"She's an idiot"

"Maybe"

We both don't speak so I look anywhere but at him. A few fire works are going off in the distance and I watch the pretty colours dance in the sky

"I'm going to hate myself for asking this, but you're going on a date with Calum? Seriously?"

I go to open my mouth to give him an answer but something distracts me. In the distance I can vaguely see Jodie on the stage where the DJ is playing and she's dancing provocatively with some other girls

"What the hell is she doing?" Luke turns to see what I'm looking at he curses under his breath

"Every fucking year she does this! For gods sake!"

I watch her teasingly pull at the strings on her bikini top and the crowd goes wild for it

"Just wait here, I'm going to get her. Do you want a drink?"

I look at my empty cup and nod my head

"Yes please"

He takes his hoody off and throws at me before walking towards where the party is in full swing. I like this part of the beach, it's quite. I put his hoody on and when I'm sitting down I hold the sleeves to my nose and inhale the scent that is his. I hate myself for it. I think back to when I first got here and I can't believe everything that has happened between Luke and I. Time seems to have moved fast here and in a few weeks it will be time to go home. I know it's the best thing that could happen but I can't deny the fact that knowing I will never see him again hurts. I could easily drive myself crazy thinking about him but there's no reason for him to be on my mind anymore. Calum is a welcomed distraction and I do like him, I just can't help liking Luke more. Love? No I'm being crazy, I can't love him. I barely know him. I don't know what his favourite colour is, or his favourite band, or where he went to school or what his fears are -

"Guess who?"

I feel a pair of hands shield my eyes and with two words all my fears wash over me like a tidal wave I'm sinking beneath ...

It's Jordan

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