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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26. 26

"It doesn't fit! It just does not fit! I'm not going. I mean it mom!" I walk into Jodie's room and she's holding her dress around her and crying hysterically "I suppose you've come to laugh!" 
"Laugh about what? I don't even know what's going on?"
"This is what's going on you idiot!" She moves her hand away and I can see the zip won't move past her waist "that stupid old witch has purposely made the dress too small because her daughter is ugly and she's going tonight so that bitch has made my dress in the wrong size! The dance starts in five hours! That's why she hasn't dropped it off until now! I can't take the fact people are so jealous of me! Argh! I'm going to literally kill her with my bare hands!" 
"Now stop with the name calling! That's not nice Jodie I raised you better than that!" Mom sounds really angry and when she looks at me she rolls her eyes 
"Oh my god why do you hate me so much" Jodie dramatically falls onto the bed and we all hear the stitching pull, and then rip. I have to cover my mouth with my hand so I don't laugh and mom presses her lips together "my life is over! I'm not going!"
"Can't me and mom go into town and buy you a dress?" 
Jodie looks up and her mascara has smudged all over her face. She sits up and throws a snow globe towards my head but it shatters on the wall as I move out the way 
"Jodie what the f-"
"No! I am not wearing an off the rack dress you fat hippo! Just because you might like a shop dress doesn't mean I will!" 
"You are acting crazy! Have you seen yourself!" 
"Now girls stop this! And Jodie, if you throw one more thing then I am going to lose it! Stop acting like a brat!"
Jodie wails and for the first time I realise my sister isn't that pretty when she cries "and you can apologise for calling your sister names!"
"But she is bigger than me!" 
"Jodie enough" mom shouts and this makes Jodie pout like a child 
"Well what's your dress like?" Jodie wipes her nose and looks at me
"It's pretty"
"Can I try it on?" 
"And what am I meant to wear?"
Jodie throws herself back, and again the dress rips but this time over her thigh. She stands up and rips the whole thing off and mom and I both gasp 
"Fine try mine! Seriously, get a grip!" 
I go into my room and grab the dress bag that has been hanging on the back of my door, I take it back into her and throw it on the bed "if it fits you can have it. Anything to stop the tears!" 
"It will be far too big but I'll try it!" 
I leave them to it and go back into my room locking the door behind me. I put my 1975 disc into the CD player then sit on my bed whilst I read a magazine. Five minutes later the door knocks and I ignore it until it knocks over and over again! 
"Yep?"
"She wants to keep it. Get changed and we'll go into town to get you something" 
Jodie comes twirling past and funnily enough the tears have stopped now. I wanted to wear that dress, as much as I wasn't looking forward to tonight that dress made me feel like a princess. And now it's on her. It has thick straps, is backless and falls to the floor. It's dark purple and it has a thin diamanté belt around the waist 
"Thanks C I owe you. It wouldn't have fit you anyway! It fits like a glove and you're at least four sizes bigger" she runs downstairs to show Tom and I walk back over to my bed. I'm actually a size twelve which is two sizes bigger than Jodie but I'm not a whale! 
"That was a lovely thing to do for your sister, I'm so proud of how selfless you are" 
You wouldn't be saying that if you knew the truth mom 
"It's ok"
"So come on, get changed and we'll go into town" 
"I'm not going" 
"What? Carly please, I'm already stressed enough" 
"I know you are and I don't want to make it any worse. But I'm not going. Look, the hairdresser and make up artist are here so you and Jodie should start getting ready. I didn't want to go anyway! Please mom lets not fight about this. I don't have a date, I now don't have a dress. My hearts not in it and to be honest I really don't feel like panic shopping. Go and have a good night, I might order some food, watch a film and just enjoy a total slob night. Plus I can pack the last few things of Jodie's. Honestly mom. I'm ok"
Tears assault her eyes and I feel terrible but I won't and can't be forced into this
"Please come baby, I want you there"
I smile and then stand up to hug her 
"Look at it this way, I live here now and there will be more dances in the future. At Least I can keep my dresses then as Jodie will be in Perth" 
Mom laughs and wipes the tears off her cheeks 
"I love you Carly" 
"I love you too mom" 
I stay in my room so I don't get in anyone's way but eventually I feel hungry so I have to move. I walk into the kitchen and Jodie is sitting with her arms folded
"I said I wanted smokey eyes, you've made me look like a panda! Now wipe it off and start again! Now!"
The make up artist runs a wipe over Jodie's face and I give her a sympathetic smile because she looks so petrified. I grab some salad out of the fridge and nearly drop the bowl when I turn around and see Luke. He's sitting on a stool but because I was so distracted by Jodie I wasn't paying attention 
"Oh my gosh you scared me!"
He grins and I smile back at him. I love his smile, it brightens up this crappy day "do you want a sandwich?"
"That would be great I'm starving! But I want more than salad on it. I'm not a rabbit" 
I open the fridge and take out some ham. I slide him a bottle of Pepsi and take one out for myself 
"Aren't you getting ready for the ball?" 
I shrug and start to make the sandwiches 
"Nope, I'm not actually" 
"Why?" 
"Basically I'm a fat hippo and my dress wouldn't have fit"
"Are you still feeling sorry for yourself! Stop eating bread then! It's bloating!" Jodie snaps and I smile because of her pathetic attitude. She looks over and I stuff a piece of bread into my mouth 
"Hmm. Yum yum" 
"You're gross" she mutters but loud enough that I can hear, I don't pay attention. Whether she thinks I'm fat or not doesn't bother me. It's my body 
"Can't you just go and buy a dress? You still have a few hours?"
I sit on the stool next to Luke and shake my head 
"I could but it's too much of a rush. I liked the dress I had" I look up at Jodie but she's furiously tapping away on her phone "she had my dress" I whisper the last bit so she won't hear and Luke looks at me confused 
"Why did you give it her?" He whispers back and I smile 
"Long story, but it looks better on her anyway"
"It's really flipping rude to whisper!" Jodie shouts over at us and I give Luke an apologetic smile as I stand up 
"Have a fun night. I really hope you enjoy it" Luke is deep in thought so I linger for a few moments. He looks up and takes out his phone
"Thanks for the food, I'm going to take it with me. I need to go home and get ready" I wave goodbye and go to my room so I don't have to watch him kiss Jodie. Once in my sanctuary I put new moon into my DVD player and wrap the duvet around me. It's so quite up here that I actually let out a sigh of relief 
************************
"Carly, wake up baby" I open one eye and mom is standing over me 
"Mom?" 
"Get up, your dates here!" I sit up confused. I don't even remember falling to sleep. I look at my watch. It's five forty five. The dance starts at six, she should be leaving by now 
"Mom I'm not going, tell Tim to go away" 
"Follow me, get out of bed. Come on lazy bones" 
I groan as I throw the duvet off me. Why did she wake me up? And now I have to go and tell Tim I'm not going. I hope he's not sick on me! I follow her down the stairs and readjust my denim shorts and my off the shoulder T-shirt. The last time he saw me I looked more polished so he might be relieved to not be taking me once he sees how rough I look. Mom grins as she steps towards the living room door but all I do is lean against the staircase bannister. She opens the door and I put on my best fake smile as I wait to see greasy Tim. My smile fades and instead I try and compose myself. My dad smiles and walks towards me 
"I heard you didn't have a date. I think that's shocking. I'm free tonight, If you would accompany me to the dance?" Mom leans forward and coughs softly 
"It's actually a ball" 
He laughs and then looks at me again 
"My apologies, would you accompany me to the ball?" 
I run forward into his arms and hold him tightly
"Daddy you're here! What are you doing here by the way? And I would love to but I don't have anything to wear"
"This was on the porch when your dad arrived, I thought you had got someone to drop it off? I phoned him on Thursday night, I wanted to surprise you but his flight was delayed today so we didn't know whether he would make it or not on time" 
Mom hands me a white box that is sealed with a pink bow and I frown. I give it a small shake to make sure it's not a bomb and dad laughs 
"It has your name on the envelope" mom gestures to a small card that's sticking out from behind the sash and then I realise, it's from him 
"Oh yeah, I hmm asked my friend, Who I met the other week, She works in a clothes shop and she said she would try and find me something. I've got to do my make up! And hair! I'm going to be so late!"
The make up artist from earlier steps from out of the kitchen and smiles 
"I heard your dad was coming so I said I would wait and do it for you, If that's ok?"
"Are you serious? Please! That would be amazing! Thank you. Thank you so much" 
A car horn beeps outside and mom calls Jodie and Tom 
"Our limo is here! Carl there's whiskey in the kitchen. Carly please don't be long. Go get ready. Go!" I kiss my mom goodbye and literally run to my room. I put the box onto the bed and then step back nervously. I pace back and fourth before finally finding the courage to open the box. I delicately pull the ribbon and then softly shake the lid off. On top of the Lilac tissue paper is another envelope and I open it 
Carly, This dress belongs to you and only you. I hope you will make good use of it 
Love, Luke 
With shaking fingers I peel back the tissue paper and gasp when I see the dress. It's absolutely beautiful, even better than my original dress. I scream as I run into the bathroom. It seems this girl will go to the ball after all 
******************
"Wow, you look, wow" 
I twirl in my dress and then stop 
"Alicia is it really ok? Please tell me the truth?" 
"You look like a princess Carly. Go knock them dead!"
Whilst Alicia was doing my make up we got talking and found out we had so much in common. I literally haven't stopped laughing and we decided to exchange numbers and hang out next weekend. She is only three years older than me and she's the nicest person I've met since I've been here. Well after Luke at least. She holds the back of my dress whilst I walk down the stairs and when dad sees me he lets out a deep breath 
"Carly, you make me so proud!"
"Do I look ok dad?"
"You look more than ok. How did I ever make such a beautiful thing?" I blush and then lean up to kiss his cheek. He holds out his arm and I link mine through his 
"Sorry we don't have a limo but we do have a cab. Sorry to let you down regarding the drive" 
"A cab sounds perfect!" 
Alicia follows us out and she retouches my powder one last time 
"See you next weekend. Have a fabulous night"
I hug and her then we both laugh 
"See you next weekend, thank you for making me pretty" 
"Girl you are a knock out" I wave at her before getting into the cab and then hold dads hand to steady my nerves as he gives the driver the address 
"I don't think I've ever seen you so nervous. Are you ok sweetie?"
"I'm ok dad, I just feel like I've never belonged at one of these things and yet here we are, on our way" 
"Carly you belong, you are as good as any of those people in there. It's about time you believed that too" 
I squeeze his hand and try and breathe as we get closer, this is it. I can do this and maybe dad is right, maybe I have found somewhere where I do belong. Finally 
When we walk into the venue I hold onto dads arm tightly and take a deep breath before we enter the hall 
"You ready?" 
I nod nervously. Behind that door, Luke is in there and regardless of everything I just want to see him 
"I'm ready dad" 
He leads me into the room and a few people turn to look at us. I hold his arm tighter and I let him lead me because under my dress my legs are shaking so much. 
My dress is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. It clings to my curves perfectly and I couldn't have chosen anything better. It has a V shaped neckline and long sleeves. It is fitted all the way down to my knees where then it flares out in a fish tail design to the floor and the back has a short train. It is a deep ivory colour but towards the bottom it has sequins that twinkle underneath the disco lights 
"Dad why are they looking at us?"
"Not us, you Carly. They are looking at you" 
My cheeks flush so I hope Alicia's make up skills hide my blushing. We went for a neutral look but my eyes have a light sweeping of glitter, highlighted cheek bones and I'm wearing a nude lipgloss. Dad leads me into the centre of the dance floor and then laughs shyly 
"I don't know how to dance, but I'll try" 
I grin and put his hand in mine and the other on my waist 
"I can lead dad, just follow me" 
He spins me around and the sequin detail sparkles. We both realise very quickly that we don't know what we are doing but it doesn't matter. We have never been to one of these balls before so what does it matter what we look like when we dance? We are two outcasts together but together it makes us the most compatible people here 
"May I cut in?" I hear moms voice so I curtsy to dad and step back 
"He's all yours" I smile at her and she takes my hands 
"I'm so proud of you and I can't thank you enough for what you are doing for me. You are a beautiful young woman Carly and you never fail to take my breath away. I love you" I hold her tightly and close my eyes to stop me from crying 
"I love you mom" 
I move to the edge of the dance floor and watch my parents dance. Even though they have kept things amicable I could only hope that one day they would be happy in each other's company. I know now that they are just friends, because the way they look at each other has so much warmth and caring but that look of love isn't there, that has gone. Over the other side of the dance floor something catches my eye, I move to the right to get a better look and I can see Tom and Amy arguing. He pushes her into the cloakroom and shuts the door. I frantically look around but no one else has seen. I hold the bottom of my dress and start to make my way through the crowd, I have to stop them. It was lucky that I only saw the altercation, if everyone here knew it would be utter carnage. I look down at the floor, making sure no one steps on my dress but I stop when someone stands in front of me 
"You look beautiful" his words stop me in my tracks and I let the dress fall to the floor again 
"Luke, you shouldn't have done this for me. This dress looks so expensive, I don't deserve it. I can't thank you enough for making me feel ... Alive" 
He smiles sadly and pushes a strand of hair behind my ear 
"You've made me feel alive everyday since I've met you, I will always be eternally grateful for that" 
I look him up and down and smile. He's wearing a smart black suit, a crisp white shirt and a black skinny tie. He looks so different but he's wearing black converse and I adore him for this. Luke will always be true to himself and he's taught me that it's ok for me to be myself too. I just wish he would be around longer so we could grow together or at least watch from afar. But that's a selfish wish, and it's a wish I know won't come true 
"You've been my fairy godfather tonight. I will never ever forget this. Thank you for being you Luke. I know in life things will change, I will change, you will change but never stop being that boy I met out on the street, because he's the most treasured friend I've ever had" 
"You're the greatest girl I've ever met. Don't forget what we had Carly. Please promise me that?"
"You have my word Luke. I have a great memory" 
He briefly holds my hand but as people walk past he lets me go 
"I'm counting on that memory then, because to imagine that what we had will be forgotten with time, it absolutely crucifies me. Can I have one dance?"
"Where's Jodie?" 
"Out the back getting stoned" he holds my hand and leads me to the dance floor. He holds my waist and my hands gently hold his shoulders 
"Ready to box step?" Playful Luke is back and this is the Luke I like the most 
"Lead the way" we have just started to dance when dad comes rushing over 
"Kids don't get worrying but Carly, your moms had a vertigo episode. The paramedics are looking after her but I'm going to grab her coat and take her home -"
"I'll come with you" 
Dad holds up his hand but Luke doesn't let go of me anyway 
"Sweetie this is your night to let your hair down, I can look after her. She'll be fine once I've got her home and she's had some rest. Stay, enjoy yourself please. She'll only hate herself if you don't" 
Dad and Luke talk but the whole time I'm focused on the boy who is holding me right now. He discreetly runs his hand up and down my back and the only time we lose physical contact is when he lets me go to shake dads hand. The song has finished but Luke still holds me 
"That dance didn't count, your dad interrupted us" 
"I hope we can have many more dances, I don't want this to end" I rest my cheek against his chest and he holds me tighter as we softly sway to the music. We don't follow dance steps, we don't try and recite the previous routines, because right now we are together so why move when it is more than obvious the only thing we want, is for time to stand still 
"Hands off my boyfriend" I step back as Jodie literally comes between the both of us "find your own date!" She tries to pass it off as joke but I know she has a threatening edge to her voice "where did you get that dress?"
"Jodie calm down for fucks sake! Jealousy isn't an attractive quality it's just a dance!"
"I'm only joking Luke! Carly can stick up for herself you know!"
"I didn't have a dance partner, it's no big deal and a friend got me the dress. I'm going to find dad, see you later" 
I don't even stay around long enough to hear if she responds or not. I'm so over her and her attitude that I wish she would have left for Perth already. I head towards the fire exit and mom is sitting on a chair with a blanket draped over her 
"Mom are you ok? Where's dad?"
"He hasn't come back from the cloakroom yet" her teeth hit off each other as she starts to shake as though she is freezing. I look up at the paramedic and he reassures me that mom will be fine she's just in shock from the extent of the vertigo attack. I ask someone I don't know to get mom a cup and then go and find dad. I don't need to open the door to the cloakroom because as I approach the door flies open. Dad has hit Tom full force and the impact has sent him stumbling backwards, straight into me. I put my hands up to break the impact but it's too late, Tom sprawls on the floor and I somehow manage to gain my composure before I hit the the ground too 
"You mother fuc -"
"Dad stop!" 
He goes to hit Tom again but I step in the way before he can. I watch Tom unsteadily stand up and he spits blood onto the floor, right by dads feet 
"You prick? This is an Armani suit!" 
"What the hell is going on?" Mom holds the blanket around her as she watches everything unfold and I pleadingly look at dad to stop 
"Tell her Tom, or I will!"
"Tell me what?" 
Tom wipes some blood away from his mouth and straightens his tie 
"I think we best leave, come on colleen" he reaches for moms arm but I stand in the way "Carly don't fucking annoy me. Move!"
He's pulled back by dad and then I watch his fist slam into his cheek
"Dad! Stop!" I hold his arm but he's too lost in his anger that he brings his elbow up and I recoil as I feel the pain shoot across my cheek bone "someone call the police" a voice shouts over the music and now everyone is crowding around to watch what's happening 
"Carly? Carly! I'm so sorry I didn't mean -"
"Don't dad. I told you to stop! Beating him up won't solve anything" 
"For the love of god can someone please tell me what's going on?" Mom screams hysterically and I throw up my hands defeated 
We all watch Amy slowly walk from out of the cloakroom and one of her wrists are bleeding. She holds up a broken vodka bottle and points it at mom 
"You want to know what's been going on? I've been fucking your precious Tom for eight months. You old fool. Look at you compared to me! He loves my body, He even said he was going to leave you until you made him feel guilty about your little tumour. Can't you just die already!" 
Mom sinks to the floor, overwhelmed and utterly broken, her body buckles. Tom runs out of the building followed by dad and out of no where Jodie lunges forward and starts fighting with Amy. My ears are ringing and everything is happening in slow motion. Luke tries to pull Jodie off but she just goes in more viciously. Security run towards us and I move out of the way. It's not my world that has exploded, this time it's my moms but one thing I've learnt is that I may hold so much anger and disgust towards her, but the sad truth is, I'm exactly like Amy. If Jodie knew the terrible truth it would be me on the receiving end of her punches right now but I think a thousand bruises and a dozen broken bones wouldn't hurt as much as the realisation that the person I thought I was, I'm really not at all 
 

 

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