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

© All rights of this belong solely to the author and it may not be distributed


19. 19

I knew he would be gone when I woke up but that doesn't mean I miss him being here any less. Deep down I know I have to get used to this. The being without him. The thought of us being together is just make believe and I can't live my life like its a fairy tale. It's far from it.


I throw on a pair of leggings and a fresh T shirt and wash my face. Thankfully there's only a small bruise on the side of my mouth so I put a little lipgloss on to try and hide it. I can't believe what happened last night. Did it really happen? I push Jordan to the back of my mind. I have to close that chapter now. I've held onto what went on for too long and although I will never forget I have to keep looking forward. Maybe I need to have this attitude when it comes to all aspects of my life. But I know I can't look towards a future with Luke. Because we both know realistically it's a future we can't have. When I walk into the kitchen Tom is eating a piece of toast and idly flicking through the paper


"Good morning sleepy head"


I smile and sit opposite him at the kitchen table


"Good morning Mr awol" I grin and he puts the paper down


"Hey now cheeky! What does that mean?" He pretends to be offended but I know he's not. Despite my circumstances I feel in a good mood today so I decide to take advantage of the fact Tom is so easy to wind up


"I'm just trying to work something out that's all"


"Like if you're going to Sydney university?"


"Don't push your luck Tom" I butter my toast and he folds his arms on the table


"Come on then, what are you trying to work out?"


"If it's me you're avoiding or my dad?"


He frowns and I can feel a speech coming on


"Carly, your father will always be a part of this family. He is the father of you and Jodie and a true friend to your mother, because of that I will always be grateful. I do not want you to feel I've been avoiding you, that is my last intention -"


"Ok, ok stop! I was just teasing. Jeez! Are you sure you're only thirty eight because you talk like an old man!"


I grin at him as I take a sip of orange juice and he uncharacteristically throws a few grapes at me from the fruit bowl. One hits off the end of my nose and I rub my face offended


"Hey! Douche"


"Brat" he grins so I stick my tongue out at him. He looks towards the door and as I turn around mom is watching us. Arms folded, engrossed, but she looks happy


"Hey mom"


"Good morning baby. What time did you get back last night? Oh my god what happened to your lip! Look at her lip Tom!"


She fusses over me and I kindly, and then a little more forcefully, reassure her that I'm ok and that I accidentally fell over and bit my lip. She doesn't question it. Falling out of that tree when I was younger set in motion a chain of events that I couldn't stop, I became clumsy. That's why no one questions when I hurt myself anymore. It's became a "Carly occurrence" as dad calls it but mom isn't used to this clumsiness because in all fairness, we don't really see much of each other


"Are you ok? Honestly honey I'm so worried"


"Mom, I'm ok I promise you. Totally, and absolutely, ok. I'm going to get dressed and go out for a bit"


Tom puts the paper down and stretches


"Where you going?"


"I might go and see Amy, I've spoken to her on the phone after what happened at the barbecue but I haven't actually seen her. I bet she thinks I'm a crap friend"


"No don't think that, she was at a ball meeting last night, she seems better. Happier in fact. She knows you're always there for her"


I nod my head along as he speaks but I can't help feeling a little annoyed. Amy and I have been friends since we were little but since I've been back she hasn't really been in touch as much as I thought she would be. Not saying she needs to call me every five minutes but I feel like Tom sees her more than I do


"That's good. How are things with the ball?"


He rolls his eyes and sighs


"I've got to go and view some props we've ordered. I'm out all day Friday as there's a party warehouse about two hours away that are offering us a discount but they need signing for and clearing by the committee board in person so I'll travel down and check them out"


"That's news to me. Do you want to me come with you?"


"That's quite alright Colleen. You stay here and enjoy having the girls around"


He leans across the table and squeezes moms hand. I could vomit in my mouth so I stand up and grab an apple on the way out


"Carly wait" I walk back into the kitchen and Tom is still holding moms hand. She smiles and for a moment I'm distracted by how much we look alike "could you be back for six o'clock please? Family meeting"


"Sure, but what's it about?"


"I think it's best if we talk about it when we are all here"


"Should I be worried?" I don't know if I should be worried but I feel it


"No my baby girl, just be back for six"


"Ok mom. Where's dad?"


She smiles and let's go of Toms hand. She picks up his empty plate and walks towards the sink


"He's gone sea fishing. A fisherman that can't keep away from the water" she laughs and before I can stop myself I hug her. She freezes for a moment, taken off guard but then she wraps her arms around me "what's that for?"


"Because you're my mom" I shrug and then go to my room. There's two things I hate in this world. Feeling anxious and family meetings



I knock Amy's front door and can't help noticing the curtains are drawn even though it's a beautiful day. Maybe no one is in? I'm about to leave when the door slightly opens




"Mr Adams? It's me Carly. Is Amy home?"


When he opens the door I have to physically hold my breath so I don't gasp at his appearance. His skin has slightly yellowed and so has the white of his eyes. He holds a cigarette in between his tobacco stained fingers and I smile at him kindly as a look of shame sweeps over his face. He's wearing brown trousers that seem too big for him, a grey shirt that I presume used to be white and a brown cardigan that swamps his tiny frame. His red hair is now mostly silver and it sticks out all over place like it hasn't been washed in a long time


"Carly? Colleens daughter?"


"That's right Mr Adams. Don't you remember me?"


"I do remember you, just not as the young woman that is standing in front of me now. You always used to have mud all over your dungarees or I was always fixing the chain on your bike. You've upgraded from two wheels" he looks at the truck and smiles. Even though being an alcoholic has ruined him he still has that part of him that was sometimes the sweet man I remember. Or I'm being naive. I'm not sure?


Amy is in the shower but he calls up the stairs to let her know I'm here. We both sit in the living room whilst I wait for her and I'm tempted to open the curtains to get some vitamins on his skin but obviously I don't. This is his home and he likes shutting the world out it seems. He offers me a whiskey and I decline politely. He sits in the arm chair opposite me and opens a can of super strong cider. I try not to look around the room because it seems rude to stare but even from the corner of my eye I can see the mess that's all over the floor. Empty booze cans, empty bottles of whiskey and carton upon carton of empty cigarette boxes. He takes a long swig of his cider and licks his lips, clearly savouring the flavour. He wipes his mouth and smiles


"So how's your old man? Is his heart still out at sea?"


I relax. Talking about my dad is easy


"It is. He's actually gone sea fishing today. He's visiting Sydney too" awkward


"He's a nice man, he was always nice to me"


"You're a nice man too Mr Adams"


Tears fill his eyes but I don't move. I don't really think it's appropriate to comfort a man I've just met after such a long time. I reach into my bag and pull out a tissue and hand it to him. He lets out a small laugh and wipes his eyes


"I haven't seen you since you reached my knees and now you are here watching an old man cry. I'm sorry about this. I'm just not well at the moment but I'll get there. We all have our demons" he lifts his can like he's invisibly doing cheers with an invisible friend at a make believe bar and in four gulps the can is empty


"Mr Adams, are you alright?"


"I'm alright sweet angel. You know, you were always a lovely kid. Your parents are no doubt very proud. So, you moved to Melbourne didn't you? Is it nice there?"


"Coonamble. It's nice. It's quite. Me and dad live by the river. It's different to here, it almost seems like another world" I play with a thread on my jeans and imagine home. I've not been away long but already it seems like years ago I was there


"That sounds lovely Carly. What I wouldn't give to get away from here"


"I'm out the shower, come up" Amy shouts from her bedroom and I stand up. I say goodbye and walk towards the door. As I walk past Mr Adams his can slips out of his hand and some of the cider runs onto his cardigan. I quickly grab a tea towel that's on a pile of dirty clothes on the floor and go to pass it him, he unexpectedly pulls my arm and I'm now face to face with him


"She's not the friend you remember Carly, she's not a nice person anymore. She will screw you over given the chance, ask her -"


"Dad what the hell" Amy comes into the room and I straighten my back, putting distance between Mr Adams and I


"It's nothing Amy, your dad spilt his drink. I was giving him this" I pat down his cardigan and he takes the towel off me


"Oh my god you are an embarrassment. This is why I can't have people over!" She stands in front of him and throws some cans onto his lap "bet you want to cry that it went on your cardigan and not in your mouth! Drink these and shut up! Don't speak to my friends again or -"


"Amy stop it" I step forward and she shoots me a look. She's pissed off


"Follow me upstairs and don't talk to him again. He's nothing but a drunk" she leaves but before I exit I turn to look at the man who is holding his head in his hands. I'm torn on whether to stay, to talk to him, but I know he can't say anything else today, not with Amy like this and I've just seen a side of her that I really don't like.


Her room is still the same colour pink it was before I left. Her bed is littered with clothes and I make a small space to sit down on whilst she sits in front of the mirror on her dressing table to finish her make up


"Sorry about my dad. He's a dick! What was he talking to you about anyway?"


I pick up her 1975 CD off the bedside table and it reminds me to ask her about Friday. I remember when she sent me a link to one of their songs and I fell in love with them straight away


"Nothing really, just about my dad and home. My real home"


"Whoop, he's so interesting. Not!"


I look up from the CD and narrow my eyes at her. She's really winding me up and I don't like this sarcastic side but I decide to let it slide


"Are you busy next weekend?"


"What day specifically?"




She pushes her lips together after applying some lipgloss and then sits on the bed opposite me


"I have news. I have a boyfriend"


I grab a pillow and put it in my lap as I lean my elbows on it


"What? Why didn't you tell me?!"


"Well we've only just made it official. But Friday is usually our date night so I'll have to pass. Think we are going bowling or to the cinema. I'm not sure yet"


"Wow, good for you Amy! I'm happy for you!"


"Thanks" she blushes but she can't hide the grin on her face


"What did you want to do Friday?"


"Nothing that's as important as this news! Tell me more!"


"There's not much to tell yet, just he's nice, and sophisticated. He's been really good to me. After what happened at the barbecue I hit a really rough patch in my life but he's made it all better now. I know he loves me"


"Well who is it? What's his name?"


"You don't know him, he lives around the corner from me. He's our age, well a year older. His names Adam. I promise you'll meet him one day. I think you'll really like him"


We spend the afternoon watching grease and talking about Amy's new boyfriend. Her doctor has referred her to a therapist and she feels like it's already helping her see things in a different perspective. We don't talk about her dad because it's obvious there's resentment there and I don't want her to go off on him when I leave. I know he hasn't been the best dad, that's an understatement, but I don't feel comfortable after what I've just seen. Her moms on a girls holiday in Spain for the week so Amy said she's been avoiding her dad and spending most evenings with Adam. I fill her in on what happened with Jordan but she's too busy texting on her phone so I decide to save that story for another day


When I check my watch it's five forty five so we make plans to meet next week. When I'm in my truck I look back at the house and see the curtain move. Mr Adams is watching me so I give him a small wave. The curtain abruptly closes and I feel bad for him. I want to get out of the truck and make sure things are ok. Sure, he's not the perfect father but he also doesn't seem to be the monster he's been made out to be. And what he said earlier, what could he mean? Is Amy horrible to him? Physically? Mentally? does she hurt him? My minds made up that I'm going to check on him but my phone starts to ring. Butterflies assault my stomach when I see his name and I answer more quickly then I should


"Hey Romeo"


"Hey yourself" he sounds happy and the sound alone makes me feel at ease "Romeo?"


"Yeah, As in Romeo and Juliet"


"You're a contradiction aren't you!" He laughs and I put my phone on speaker as I start the truck


"And what does that mean Mr Hemmings?"


"Well didn't you once say I wasn't the modern day hero a girl wants to fall for?"


I roll my eyes as he quotes me but I can't deny that I like this playful banter between us


"Well I would hardly call Romeo a modern day hero, and I haven't said I'm falling for you"


The line goes quite and I check to see if we are still connected


"You don't need to say it. I know you are. So if I'm Romeo does that make you Juliet? Where are you anyway?"


"Just leaving Amy's. I'll be home in about five minutes, and actually I would be Rosaline. The girl who Romeo loved before he met Juliet. I don't want to be a cliche. Where are you?"


"At my house, I've been asked to attend your family meeting for some strange reason. And for your information you could never be a cliche"


My hands hold onto the steering wheel tighter. Why have they asked him to come to it? It must involve him somehow?


"That's weird"


"That's what I thought. At least I get to see you though"


"Yeah, and you'll be there with my sister. Not the most perfect setting is it?"


My mood plummets from happy to deflated in zero seconds and it also doesn't help that compared to Jodie I'm going to look a mess. I have minimal make up on, ripped jeans that aren't even trendy, more worn in chic and my T shirt is plain. Like me


"Hey, stop that! Stop thinking about the logistics"


"Well what else am I meant to think about?"


"You're meant to be thinking about the fact Jodie is out with Tiff tomorrow night so I'm taking you out. I'm taking you out of the city -"


"Like on a date?"




I know this is meant to cheer me up but it doesn't. My hands are clammy, I can barely concentrate on the road and this whole Luke business is slowly driving me insane


"Carly, you there?"


"I'm just pulling into our road ..."


I tail off as I see him waiting on the corner of the street. I stop the truck and he climbs in


"Are you waiting for me stalker?"


He doesn't answer, instead he leans over and holds my cheek as his lips lightly run across mine


"I've missed your mouth, I've missed you"


"Luke, someone might see"


He presses his lips down harder this time and I can't do anything but kiss him because I've missed him too. He pulls away and gets out of the truck. I roll down the window and he leans in


"See you inside Juliet"


"I've told you I would never be Juliet. And our love story wouldn't be as tragic"


"No, it would be amazing"


He grins and walks towards Moms house. I look around the street but no one has seen. There's not a soul about. As I watch him walk away there's only one thing I can think,


That one day we will be together.



I'm just not sure of when that day will be

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