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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6. 6

When I wake up and look out of the window, the truck is on our drive. I sit on the windowsill and pull my knees up to my chest, so Luke really isn't working on it anymore? Why does that make me feel ... Sad?

The door knocks and my mom walks in. My mom really is a pretty woman, and I'm not being biased. She has bobbed blonde hair and striking hazel eyes. She is small and petite, she always has a vulnerability about her that makes me want to hug her and let her know everything will be ok, maybe if I still wasn't carrying resentment I would do exactly that

"Morning baby"

"Morning mom"

"Are you OK sweetie. You seemed a little sad when you got in last night? Everyone is being nice to you aren't they?"

Another thing about my mom. She doesn't miss a thing

"Yes they are. I'm OK. Was just tired that's all"

She smiles but I'm not sure she believes me. I'm not ready to do this happy family bonding thing though so she doesn't press me on it. She sits on my bed and looks around my room like its the first time she's been in it

"You know Carly, we should decorate this room, make it more of the way you want it. I've been thinking -" she turns around to face me and I have a sudden sinking feeling in my stomach, I don't want her to ruin this morning by being ridiculous "Sydney has a fantastic university, why don't you move back here and attend it?" There she goes, she has said something ridiculous totally proving me right, that she can't say something that doesn't annoy me "Jodie is fingers crossed going to Perth, not that I want her to go, it's so far away but it's what she wants so what can I do? Anyway if you moved here it would be lovely. You, me and Tom. What do you say?"

"I need the toilet" I stand up and go to make my way to the bathroom

"Carly please, please don't act like I'm asking something that is awful for you. I am your parent too"

I turn around and almost laugh but when I see a tear on her cheek it stops me in my tracks

"Mom, I understand that, but you're asking me to move here-"

"you were born here, this is your home"

"No, when I left it was no longer my home. And what you are asking is wrong, you can't just expect me to move here. I love you I do, but coming back here seems like taking a step back. This place reminds me of all the crap that happened"

Mom looks down at her hands that are placed in her lap and she sadly nods her head

"When do you think you will stop hating me?"

"I don't hate you, I just love you that much that it's hard to forget you let me down"

This is the first proper conversation me and mom have had and I hate it. It's like opening flood gates that can't be shut. I remember it all, leaving here at the age of twelve and holding her hand whilst begging her to come with us and love my dad again. She didn't do it. She stands up and pats down her pencil skirt the way she always does, like she's some sort of robotic step ford wife. She shakes her blonde hair back in to place and smiles

"Breakfast is ready, I will see you downstairs"

She walks to the door but I just need to ask

"Mom, was it worth it? Are you happy?" My voice isn't angry or accusing, I just need to know. She hesitates by the door. She leaves without answering

When I get downstairs Tom is sitting at the table. He's wearing a pair of jeans, converse and plain white T shirt. It's hard to think of him as a normal person as I only ever remember him being the man that ruined my family. He's thirty eight too but doesn't look that age I guess. He has black hair that is slightly wavy but he pushes it back off his face, he has a tan and obviously the shiniest veneers I have ever seen. They almost blind me when he smiles (ok that's an exaggeration but they are whiter white!) he looks up from the paper when I sit down and he gives me a beaming smile. My eyes, my eyes! I give him a small smile and start to butter some toast

"So what are your plans today Carly?"

Oh I don't know Tom? I might go and drown myself in the sea? Get a tattoo on my forehead or maybe a few piercings? All of that sounds dramatic, I will go for the next best thing

"I am just going to chill today. Maybe look for a mechanic, go for a walk, read my book"

He nods his head and then rubs his finger over his chin

"I might be talking out of turn here, but did your mom mention the university to you?"

I swallow slowly, making sure I don't get that angry I choke

"Yep, and as nice as the suggestion was I have been accepted to Coonamble community college"

Now it's Toms turn to choke. He sputters his orange juice everywhere and I take another bite of toast so I don't laugh

"Carly, your grades are outstanding. You have so much potential, and you are going to community college?"

"Gasp horror, college! Tom it's a great school, and besides I don't even know what I want to do yet?"

He looks at me wide eyed and the look of shock on his face actually makes me smile

"Yes, I understand that you may not know what you want to do but a good education -"

"Leads to a shining future" I finish off his sentence and again he nods but this time with a new found enthusiasm. Tom was thirty three when my mom left my dad for him and even then I thought he came across older than his years. He's not even old but working in a school has given him a sense of entitlement. I get the feeling for the next four weeks he's going to try and change my mind. He won't

"Your mother and I are going to play tennis, would you like to join us?" I shake my head and take the paper off him, idly flipping through the pages

"Where's Jodie?"

I try and make conversation as it feels oddly awkward without mom here

"She's gone to stay at her friends aunts house. Tiffany? You know her don't you?"

Mom walks in the room and I turn on my chair to face her

"Seriously, Jodie has ditched me? I thought she was looking forward to having me here?"

"Oh sweetie you know what Jodie is like. Tiffany phoned this morning and asked if she wanted to go with her to visit some family members. Her other friend, I think her name is Martine, was meant to be going but she had to pull out. It's only until Friday"

"Friday?!"

"Don't be so worried, you are my daughter. You can spend time with me"

I groan and lean back in my chair

"What about Amy? Why don't you ask her over?" I look at Tom and actually pity him for trying to be helpful

"She hooked up last night, I probably won't hear off her until the person she's with doesn't won't to know anymore" I mutter this to myself but louder than I thought and he frowns

"Oh. Ok"

I scrape my chair against the marbled tiles and wave them goodbye before I go to my room. As much as Jodie and I don't get along five days without her seems like a long time, also I'm pissed she didn't even tell me she wasn't going to be here! Couldn't she have woken me up first? I might just take the handbrake off my truck and roll all the way back home to Coonamble

I turn the key and the Chevy shakes a few times. The engine comes to life and I scream in excitement

"That's it, come on. Please, please, please work"

I hold onto the steering wheel for dear life as the truck gives one heave of a jolt, a bang follows and smoke spills from out of the exhaust. I put my forehead on my hands and this time scream with frustration

"If you don't work I swear I'm going to scrap you, Is that what you want? They will make you into a can for baked beans"

Someone knocks the window, making me jump. I roll it down and Calum leans against the door

"Are you talking to your truck?"

"No, don't be silly"

He grins and I bite the inside of my cheek, I can already feel myself blushing

"Ok, if you say so" he opens the door and I move over as he climbs in "So, you just bailed last night? Where did you go?"

"I think I must have drank that tequila too quick, my head was sort of fuzzy"

"I get it, lightweight" he teasingly nudges me and I roll my eyes "so my parents aren't back until tomorrow, A few people are coming over tonight. Nothing big, it's not a party. More like a few drinks, maybe a horror movie marathon? What do you say? I think Ashton was asking Amy to come over too?"

"hmm I don't know, I haven't actually had a night in with my mom yet. Anyway, about Amy. Have you two hooked up before?"

Now it's Calum's turn to look embarrassed. He runs his hands over the steering wheel and then starts drumming his fingers against it

"It was just a kiss, we was both wasted. No big deal" he shrugs and then looks in the rear view mirror "Luke's here" I turn around and look out of the back window. Luke has his hood pulled up on his black jacket but he doesn't look at the truck, he also doesn't walk up the path. He stands on the street with his back to us "he phoned me earlier, he's pissed off your sister has gone away. He also feels bad he hasn't got time to fix your truck. I don't think he knew what he was doing, he's no good at mechanics" so that's his excuse for bringing my truck back? "Anyway I better go. See you later?"

"Maybe. Bye Calum"

"See you Carly"

He leans over and quickly kisses my cheek before getting out of the truck and walking down the path to Luke. I watch them out of the window, Luke doesn't look at me

My mom comes back from tennis alone. Apparently Tom has gone to the school as there's a dance meeting this afternoon. I think it's kind of odd that there's a meeting in the afternoon. Don't the other people that volunteer to help with this crap have a life? I decide I've given my mom a hard enough time so after she's done us some sandwiches for dinner we play cards. I was never good at poker and she wins every time. We talk about things, like what life used to be like. She laughs when she remembers how much of a tomboy I was and how she had a near heart attack when I fell out of a tree when I was nine which resulted in a broken arm and a broken leg. She smiles proudly when she talks about as soon as the casts were off I was back up the tree. We sit like this for hours, mom beating me at cards and talking. Just like how a mother and daughter should be. When Tom rolls in at seven o'clock he smells of whiskey. He leans his hands on the kitchen counter before grabbing a bottle of liquor out of the cupboard

"Where have you been?" Moms voice sounds nervous and I find this weird, why should that be such an awkward question to ask?

"Out" he snaps and moms cheeks flush a pink colour. I excuse myself and go upstairs. I can't even be dealing with the devil right now and I can't be in the middle of an argument because I already dislike him enough. I climb into bed still fully clothed and go to my kindle app. I wrap the duvet around me as I start to read twilight. A little bit of Bella and Edward romance is what I need right now. The screen turns black as Amy's name flashes up

"Hello?"

"Carly-" Amy's voice breaks and I sit up quickly

"Hey what's wrong?"

"Me and my dad have argued again. I need to get out of the house"

"Come over here, you can stay the night if you want?"

"Thanks but I need to blow off some steam. That guy, Ashton, he asked if we wanted to go to Cal's tonight. You up for it?"

"Not really, but if you want to go I'll come"

"Thanks Carly. See you in twenty minutes? I'll meet you at the end of your street?"

"Ok. See you soon" I hang up and begrudgingly get out of bed. He said it wasn't a party so I don't need to dress up. I throw on a pair of skinny jeans, a plain white vest top, my cropped faux leather jacket and my pink ankle converse. I quickly brush through my hair and apply some mascara and lip gloss. Done!

I skip down the stairs and stop when I get half way down. Mom and Tom are arguing. Great

"Where the hell were you? I text Gary, he said there was no meeting this afternoon! Why are you lying?"

"I went to a bar OK? I needed some time out. I don't have to be glued to you twenty four seven"

"I don't ask you to be Tom but you could at least be honest. And afternoon drinking? That isn't like you!"

"I am thirty eight years old. I don't need you to mother me. Back off Coleen-"

I walk into the kitchen and Tom turns his back to me and mom looks mortified

"I'm going out, I won't be long. Everything OK in here?"

"Yes sweetie everything is fine. Here's some money" mom opens her purse and hands me twenty dollars "where are you going?"

"Just out with Amy-"

Tom turns around and hits his palm off the kitchen worktop

"No you are not"

I look at him confused

"Pardon?"

"I said you are not going out with her. That girl has a reputation. You even said so yourself!"

"I said she hooked up, not that she has a reputation and what has it got to do with you who I hang out with?"

He turns to face me properly now and I swear for a fleeting moment I see his nostrils flare like a bull

"Because young lady, you are under my roof now. Your father might let you run around that backwards place you have come from but not here. You hear me!"

I feel tears fill my eyes and it's not because I'm upset, it's because I am fuming, so much so my hands are shaking

"Don't you ever speak about my dad and the way he has raised me. Who the hell do you think you are? You marriage wrecking idiot!"

"Please, don't argue. This is going too far-" mom tries to diffuse the situation but Tom straightens his back, ready for this argument

"Carly you are discourteous, uncouth, impudent and barbarous -"

"Hey Tom, you don't need to recite the dictionary to insult me when I can insult you without all of those fancy words. Here's a word for you. Prick! You are a pathetic, waste of space prick! Go screw yourself"

"Don't you dare speak to me like that-"

"I'm not speaking anymore, I'm out of here. Vacation is over. I'm not staying here a moment longer" I run towards the front door but I can still hear Tom shouting

"Carly please don't go. Please stay here"

"Mom are you kidding me? Mom he's an asshole"

"I love him" her voice is weak and I realise right there and then my mom is weak too. I lean forward and kiss her forehead and then bang the front door shut behind me. When I get to the corner of the street Amy is waiting. Her cheeks are tear stained and my anger subsides as I give her a hug

"Carly what's wrong? You're shaking?"

As I fill her in on what's happened we walk at the same time and she looks at the floor although her eyes widen when I tell her about the insults that were just thrown at me

"Carly that's horrible, Tom isn't usually like that though is he?"

"I don't know, I'm never here long enough to to find out, and I won't be staying. Not after that"

"You're leaving?"

"Amy I can't stay in that house. He's a jerk. I will just ask dad to buy me a plane ticket and get the car fixed here. Jodie can take it to a garage and then drive it to my house, she always visits for the last week of the holiday anyway"

"I'm so sad you're going, you've only just got here" I link my arm through hers and we walk in silence. She eventually tells me her dad was drunk and was on one of his usual rants. I don't tell Amy what Tom said, she doesn't need to feel worse about herself right now. When we get to Calum's it was like it was last night. Music is blasting and a few people stand on the lawn smoking cigarettes. I roll my eyes as we walk past and I fan the smoke away from my face. Disgusting

Ashton is in the hallway when we enter the house and he smiles when he sees Amy. He takes her to get a drink and I step back as they walk off together, I don't want to play third wheel. Someone stands in front of me and I frown

"Hmmm hi?"

"Carly? You're Jodie's sister aren't you? Calum's told me all about you. I'm Michael"

"Oh, hey" I rock on my heels awkwardly as he looks at the kitchen then back at me

"Was you going to get a drink? I can get you one? Have you seen the house? Cal has a room with a pool table?"

"That's cool, but I was just going to get a drink-"

"No, go in the living room. I'll get you one"

"That's ok. I'm quite capable" I laugh as I gently push past him and walk into the kitchen. I know now why he didn't want me to come in here. Calum is making out with a red headed girl and people around him cheer. I look at Michael and he covers his face with his hands before coughing loudly. Calum breaks away from the red head and his mouth drops open when he sees me

"Hey Carly. I didn't think you was coming?"

He walks over and Michael leaves us to it

"Looks like it"

"That" Calum gestures to the girl that is pouting in our direction "her name is Jackie. We are just messing around, we are playing truth or dare"

"Seems you like messing around huh?"

"Carly don't be like that. We haven't even been on a date yet, it's just a bit of fun that's all. I mean, I didn't even think you liked me?"

"Like you? When I first met you I thought you could be the one? You know, hearts and flowers. Walks on the beach, picnics, kissing on the sand. I thought you could be the one I ended up with, forever"

His mouth opens and then closes. He looks flustered and he pulls at the collar of his T shirt nervously

"Oh, I mean that's a little full on, but that's cool. I just didn't realise you liked me so much-"

I burst out laughing and he frowns before the realisation hits him that I am teasing

"Carly that wasn't funny"

"I'm sorry but that was hilarious. You should have seen your face. Look Calum you seem like an awesome guy and I really want to be friends with you. So, friends?"

I hold out my hand and he shakes it

"So does that mean if we are friends we aren't going on a date?"

"I think it's for the best we don't"

"I could always be your bootycall?"

I gently smack his arm and shake my head. He pulls me into a hug and I wrap my arms around him

"Truth or dare, truth or dare"

His friends start chanting and I pull away as I look at them all drinking beer at a fast rate like its going out of fashion

"Come on" Calum pulls me over to his friends and someone hands me a beer. I take a sip then hold the cold bottle in my hands

"Wait, Carly is our guest so she should go first" Calum puts his hand on my shoulder and I nervously laugh as I take another sip of my drink "so Carly. Truth or dare?"

"Neither"

"What? No don't be a spoil sport you have to chose one"

"I choose neither"

"Ok I'm taking that as truth. Here is your question" he says in a serious voice and his friends all start cheering. Juveniles

"So, who in this room do you find the most attractive?" He grins and I decide to play along

"Hmm, let me think. No this is too easy. Bruce"

"Carly, that's the dogs name"

"And that's my answer"

"Carly stop it, please play" he pouts and I grin "ok now dare, but be serious. I dare you to kiss me and then you can decide on whether or not you want to cancel our date"

I turn to face him and we are now looking at each other

"You want me to kiss you?"

"Oh hell yes I do"

I lick my lips and then lean in. Calum grins and his hand is on my waist as he bows his head to meet mine. His lips are millimetres away when I put my finger to them

"Not tonight Romeo" I wink before kissing the end of his nose and then I walk towards the kitchen door. All his friends are laughing as Calum shakes his head in disbelief but he knows I'm only joking

"Carly you are a tease"

"Sorry heartbreaker" I call over my shoulder as I walk into the hallway.

Straight into Luke Hemmings

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