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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25. 25

Sunday:

"Hey sweetie, try and eat some breakfast. Are you awake?"

Monday:

"C, I've been and got you some food, it's a hot cheese salad wrap. I heard they taste nice, for vegetarian food anyway. I'll leave it on the bedside table. Try and eat Sis. You look like shit"

Tuesday:

"Honey I'm running you a bath, it's a beautiful day out. We could go for a walk, or to the market? I could do with picking up some fresh food? What do you say? Want to come?"

"Not today mom. Thank you though"

After the twentieth missed call off Luke I block his number. A childish move on my behalf? Maybe. But do I care? I've given up on all feelings so I don't know if I do or not? I'm utterly numb and now I realise that he was telling the truth. He did have the ability to ruin me, and I've let him.

I've stayed in bed for the best part of two and a half days. I've watched day fade into night. I've just lay here. But this can't be life. Not my life at least. Once mom has left the room I take my clothes off and dip my toes into the warm water. I look to my left and I'm shocked by my own appearance. My hair is a knotted mess, my face looks gaunt and I look thinner, when was the last time I ate? Friday? I sink into the bath and the tears soak my face once more. My stomach does hurt, I crave food so bad but I've enjoyed being alone in my room. I haven't had to see Tom, he came into my room once to see if I wanted dinner but my silence made him uncomfortable and he never came back again. Good! Amy has called my mobile a stupid amount of times and has even called the house phone but mom told her I was in bed with a virus. My emotions come to life now. Anger. Yes I feel anger. But what am I meant to do? I can't tell my mom, how would I even start the conversation? How would I approach it? I sink my head down into the water and hold my breath. I could just stay under. I open my mouth and water floods in. I could just go, just drift away. More water floods in but I panic and sit up quickly. Water flows over the side of the bath soaking the floor and I cough, my breathing rapid. Don't be so stupid Carly. You stupid girl!

After cleaning the bathroom I put on some fresh pyjamas and get back into bed, I just want one more day of self loathing and then tomorrow will be a new day

The rest of the week goes quickly, mom had her first radiotherapy on Wednesday and I got out of bed to go with her. She was that happy to see I was up she actually went to the hospital with her smile on her face

"Who knew my tumour would come in handy, it got you into clean clothes" she joked at the time and even though at first I was angry she could even think it was an appropriate thing to say I actually ended up laughing when she started to laugh. The sound of her happiness somehow pulled me out of self wallowing and I think it was the first time in a long time I had ever felt so close to mom.

By Friday morning I feel more like myself and I sit in the kitchen with her whilst she makes breakfast, Even though I tried to make it she told me not to offend her. I've become so protective but I need to let her still do mom duties otherwise I think she would go crazy

"Good morning my two girls. How are you both this fine day?"

Why does he have to talk like that? Asshole! It was bad enough I had to have dinner at the same table as him last night but now I've got to have breakfast with my step dad, great. Just great

"Morning" I reply through gritted teeth but he doesn't notice my detest, instead he gives me a big smile that makes his shoulders rise. Idiot

"So, last rehearsal tonight before the dance tomorrow. Gosh it's come around quick hasn't it!"

He sits opposite me and butters himself some toast. I hate myself for imagining him choking

"Hmmm, exciting" although in my head this sounded sarcastic it didn't come out that way. He takes this as genuine excitement and again he smiles

"Your sister can't make it, I think she's spending all night packing. I can't believe she hasn't started doing it yet! Typical Jodie!"

"Tom let's not talk about Jodie leaving, it will only make me cry" mom flips over my pancakes and wipes her eyes with the sleeve of her dressing gown. Jodie and Luke are leaving for Perth on Monday. The time has finally come. The three weeks have gone too quick but I'm ready now, I'm ready for him to go. Not in a malicious way, I can't imagine a life where I don't see him, but I'm ready now to accept that this is the end of our chapter. Even though in reality, it was over the day I got out of the car

"I'm sorry my darling, but the girls are growing up. Have you looked at the local college application I gave you?"

I realise he's talking to me so I nod and play with the glass in front of me

"I have, I was thinking of doing a hairdressing course"

"A what?"

"You know, a course where you learn how to cut people's hair with scissors?"

"Yes, I mean. I'm aware of what a hairdresser is but Carly your grades are fantastic, you could take any course"

"Maybe I want to cut hair" I shrug as mom puts the pancakes down and then she pats my head like I'm a child

"If you want to be a hairdresser then you be a hairdresser. Oh, my friend Marjorie has a salon, maybe she will give you a Saturday job. You know what! I'll text her now!"

"Thanks mom"

I grin at Tom and he rolls his eyes. Truth be told I don't know what I want to do but maybe hairdressing will be fun?

I eat dinner but my hunger fades when Jodie walks in followed by Luke. I haven't seen him for nearly a week and it feels as though I'm looking at a ghost

"Mom I'm so hungry, can you do us some breakfast please?"

"Of course I can. Sit down, fry up ok?"

"That will be great! Thanks mom!"

As they sit down I push my plate away. Jodie is to the right of me and Luke is opposite

"Have you finished with those C?" I hand Jodie the plate and she puts one of the pancakes in her mouth "I'm so hungry! Packing is literally a nightmare! I'm over it! Sorry I'm missing the dance rehearsal tonight Tom but Luke and I know all the moves so don't worry! Your little star that is me will be shining brightly tomorrow!" She smiles at him sweetly and he grins

"I don't doubt it. At least Carly will be there"

I look at Tom confused

"What?"

"Well you can't miss the rehearsal!"

"Why can't I? It's not like I'm actually dancing. I don't even have a partner"

Jodie snorts out a laugh and I shoot her a look

"Yes you do, Tim"

"Who the hell is Tim?"

"He doesn't have a partner either so I've paired you up"

I want the ground to swallow me up! I can't dance, I don't want to dance!

"No. No way. Not at all"

"Come on now Carly, you know how important this dance is to me. And to Tom. For two more nights please just play along" mom scolds me from the other side of the room and I look at her deflated. Gee thanks for the support!

"ok, fine. Whatever. I'm going to my room"

Once inside the safety of my hideaway that is also known as my bedroom I collapse onto the bed. See, I saw him and I survived. I didn't cry. Ok, so I didn't actually look at him but we were in the same room and I didn't crumble. I can do this. I get comfortable and open my copy of twilight, Bella and Edward, at least they have a happy ending. I roll over onto my stomach and rest the book against my pillow. I kick off my converse and immerse myself in the words. The door knocks and I flick over the page

"Come in"

I hear the door open and after a few moments I look up

"Hey" he says the words slowly, mentally weighing up the situation of whether he should be in here or not

"Hey"

"Can I come in?"

I sit up and cross my legs

"Sure"

He shuts the door and then presses his back against it once it is closed

"Have you blocked my number?"

"Yes" my straight to the point answer makes him sigh and he shakes his head confused

"Why?"

"Because, it made sense. I had to see if I could cope without you, if I had the strength to not call you, and I survived"

"Did you?"

"Just about"

We both look at each other. The same sense of needing I felt in the beginning lingers heavily in the air but I try and ignore it, I have to ignore it. I've done so well. I can't back down now

"Well I guess that's all I needed to know. It was good to see you Carly"

"You too Luke" he steps towards me and my body automatically reacts. I lean forward but then I feel dejected when he opens the door "see you around"

"Goodbye Luke" he looks at me over his shoulder before shutting the door. His presence stays in the air and now I know no matter where I go, there will always be a little bit of Luke that consumes me

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

"Baby you look so pretty! I can't wait to see you in your dress tomorrow"

"That's a point mom when do I get to see my dress? Shouldn't it be here by now?"

"It's getting delivered tomorrow morning don't fret"

"And what if it doesn't fit?"

"Carly you panic too much! It will fit but if for some reason there's a problem I will personally go and buy you one. Now relax. Oh there's Tim! Tim over here!"

Mom waves erratically so I pull her arm down. You have got to be kidding me! Tim looks as though he hasn't washed his hair for months. He's slicked it over to one side and he's wearing a shirt that is buttoned all the way up and black trousers that look as though they need a good wash, along with him. I don't even dare look at his shoes

"Colleen" he makes a dramatic bow and I look at mom to see if I'm being set up, like this is a joke

"Oh you are so sweet Tom! This is Carly my youngest daughter and your parter for the night"

He holds out his hand and I look at it confused. Mom nudges me forward and I hold out my hand. He kisses it and I could vomit when I feel his oily skin against mine. He stands up straight and then smiles

"The pleasure is all mine, Carly" I think he is trying his hardest to be seductive, it's not working

"Ok, well I'm going to get a drink" he looks at me as though he's waiting for something so I curtsy before walking away. Of all the boys in Sydney to get paired up with, I get the crazy one. The hall is starting to fill up and I watch the excited debutants talk about their dresses and who is taking them to the dance. It must be nice to feel that excited over something

"Hey stranger!"

The sound of her voice repulses me

"Amy"

This is the first time I've seen her since she was with Tom in the hotel and I never knew I could feel so venomous

"Nice dress. You look pretty"

I look down at my dress and shrug. It is black with three quarter sleeves and it ends just about my knee and is pushed out by visible white netting

"Thanks. I better go, my dance partner is waiting"

"Carly what's wrong? I've tried phoning all week but you haven't answered. Your mom said you were ill, do you feel better now?"

I shake my head and look down at my low heeled nude shoes. I scuff the bottom on the floor the way I always do when I'm nervous

"Amy are we friends?"

"The best of! How could you even ask me that!"

"Would you ever hurt me? Or someone I loved?"

She frowns but then looks at Tom. I can see the wistful look in her eyes and I'm ready to have this argument with her "You don't need to answer that. I already know"

She looks at me and then a horrified look sweeps over her face

"Carly, We need to talk in private. Whatever atmosphere there is between us we can work it out?" I move forward but she blocks my way "please! Carly"

I sigh and shake my head

"You know what I'm sick of? Talking. It's all people want to do, is talk! But maybe if people had good intentions or wasn't so sly, there would be no need to talk. Excuse me, I have to go"

I push past her and join my mom

"Where's Tim?"

"He had nerves, he's been sick"

"Ewwww"

"Carly! Don't be mean"

"Well looks like I have no dance partner. I'm going home. I love you"

I kiss her cheek then turn around to leave. To be honest I'm grateful because now I don't have to dance with Tim and I didn't want to be here anyway. I walk straight into him and he holds my arms to steady him

"That's not true, I don't have one either"

"Luke. I -"

"No words, just dance with me"

His hands move from my arms to my waist and I go to step away from his touch but he holds me closer and I relent, I want the feeling of his hands on me

"Ok, girls and boys, ladies and gentlemen. I know a few of you are missing your dance partners. Tim has been taken ill and Jodie isn't here but don't worry. This is just a rehearsal to go over the steps so no pressure. If you can all get into your positions please. That's it. Perfect!" Tom claps his hands and everyone listens to his command. Mom is blissfully happy in his arms and I watch Amy look at them, Tom has his eyes on her and I feel physically sick "Now I've changed the first song as the other one was too uptempo so the debutants will be introduced to this song which is one you may or may not know, it's called kissing you and it's from the movie Romeo and Juliet"

I laugh under my breath and Luke looks down

"What?"

"The irony. I once called you Romeo"

He smiles sadly and presses his lips together

"I remember. Didn't you say you wasn't Juliet?"

I shrug and step closer to him

"Maybe I am, they didn't get a happy ever after either"

The music starts and Tom instructs everyone to start the steps they know. Luke and I make an awkward box shape and I concentrate on not stepping on his feet

Pride can stand

A thousand trials

The strong will never fall

But watching stars without You

My soul cried

My Heaving heart is full of pain

Oh, oh, the aching

'Cause I'm kissing you, oh

I'm kissing you

"This songs depressing isn't it" his mouth moves to my ear and I hold him tighter as the sensation of his breath on my skin ignites a fire that I so desperately want to extinguish

"I think it's beautiful"

His hands move to the lower of my back and a gust of breath leaves my lips before I can stop it

"Maybe that's because you see beauty in things you shouldn't"

Touch me deep

Pure and true

Gift to me forever

'Cause I'm kissing you, oh

I'm kissing you

Where are you now?

Where are you now?

'Cause I'm kissing you

I'm kissing you

The song ends and I know I should walk away but I have to look at him properly one last time. He hasn't gelled his hair, he's left it the way I liked it. I lose myself in his blue eyes and then I look at his perfectly shaped mouth

"Thank you for the dance"

"Carly -"

I reach up and brush my thumb over his lips

"No words, no more" I step away from him and this time he lets me go. I leave the building without anyone following me and run in the direction of my house.

Our love was cruel, forbidden but it was our love and I know I will never be able to run away from it no matter how hard I try

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