‘Who would I tell anyway?’
The words echo through my head as I speed down the highway, I need to get to the hospital.
His eyes when he said it though, so sad, Kade’s brown eyes had gotten sad when he talked about his father’s bike more so. Why do I care? I shouldn’t. He’s a nerd. He’s the good boy.
He follows the rules. He’s the opposite to me.
Yeah, but he’s on your mind. That little annoying voice whispers in the back of my head.
I pull my bike over on the side of the road and lift the visor of my helmet up, my fingers tracing the cursive writing of black ink that sat on the inside of my right forearm: Theresa.
And right under it: Georgia.
They’d know what to say, they’d know how to make me smile, I look up at the sky, seeing the dark grey clouds rolling in, I’d have to get there now, flipping my visor back down I continue my ride to the hospital. My blonde hair flapping around behind me in the wind.
I get to the parking lot and into the reception area just as it starts to bucket down. I ignore all the receptionists and when nobody’s looking I just slip past and into the elevator. I knew one of them had seen me, she gave me a little wink, knowing exactly where I was going. I wasn’t family, but that had never stopped me and it never would.
I walk into room 109, watching as one of the little brunettes green eyes start to sparkle and dance with excitement. “Annie!” She whispers cheerfully, the other brunette turns her head to look in my general direction, echoing her twins cheerful call of my name in a more reserved manner.
I can’t help but let the smile cross over my face, they’d always ask me why I came in all stormy looking, but I didn’t have the guts to tell the little eight year olds that that’s who I was when I was away from them. I walk towards them, their covers weren’t on and they were shivering like mad, their small frail sick little bodies doing nothing to help keep them warm.
I go to the little brunette first, “Hey Georgie.” I whisper quietly pulling her blanket up to under her chin. She grins and I lean down, pressing my lips gently to her forehead before turning to her twin sister, identical in every way, but there was an easy way to tell them apart, “Hey Tessie.” I say just as quietly, pulling up her blanket.
“Thanks Annie.” She whispers back with a yawn, before she starts to cough, her entire body shaking with such force it broke my heart, when her coughs finally subdue she looks at me, or where she thought I was, her once bright green eyes now cloudy, a white smoke colour.
Theresa was blind and it was my fault.
“How long are you staying Annie?” Theresa’s voice interrupts my thoughts and I pull my phone out, checking the time.
I frown, due to hanging out with Kade I was later than usual, I’d have to leave soon, if I wanted to make it to the party on time. Tori would be expecting me, but she’d leave me the second Chase or Gideon or one of her other playthings came into the picture. “Annie?” This time it was Georgia.
I turn to them, “Not long, but I’m not leaving yet.” And as I watch their smiles grow, if possible, bigger, a smile crosses my own lips.
“Annie, what are you thinking about?” Georgia asks, Theresa looking over at me as well as I sit on the edge of Theresa’s bed, Tess’s little hand wrapped around mine.
“Someone.” I answer slowly and quietly, it was getting late, if anyone came in now, I’d get in a bit of trouble.
“Do you like him?” Georgia asks excitedly, clapping her hands quietly as Theresa also smiles, sharing her sisters excitement just in a more reserved manner.
Wait did Georgia just say? “I never said it was a guy.” I say raising my eyebrows at the little girl who giggles and just shrugs her little shoulders.
“So it is a him.” Theresa says for her sister as they both giggle, teaming up on me.
“Are you going to see him tomorrow?” Georgia adds in between her giggles.
“Calm down you two, I’ve got to go now, it’s getting late and I need sleep and you need sleep.” I stand up as the two little girls snuggle deeper into their pillows, grins still wide on their faces, I start with Theresa, pulling up her blanket and brushing her hair out of her face as she lets her eyes close.
Then I turn to Georgia, pulling up her blanket to under her chin, “Annie, will we get to meet him?”
I brush her hair out of her face, and stroke her cheek, watching as she lets her eyes close, hiding her little green orbs, “Probably not Georgie, probably not.” I whisper, unsure if she even heard me.
I knock on the brown oak door, and lean back against the bricks as I wait for someone to answer the door, not long later the door opens revealing Kade, dressed very differently from what he wears at school, yet different from yesterday. I try not to let my jaw drop at the person standing before me in dark jeans, a plain white tee and a black leather jacket.
Kade’s brown eyes widen behind him black-rimmed glasses, quickly the surprise look turns to a frown, “Did I forget a tutor session?” He questions slowly, almost confused.
It was almost cute, he was sort of like a dog, a lost little puppy, “Nope.” I say shortly, causing Kade’s eyes to narrow in confusion. “Come on, unless you’ve got something better to do.” I add over my shoulder as I walk towards my bike.
There’s only a few seconds of hesitation before Kade pulls some keys out of the back of the door and closes it, following me, “Why? What’s going on?”
I hold out a helmet to him, “You said yesterday that you love the feeling of steering a good bike, a Harley Davidson is a good bike.”
Slowly and reluctantly Kade reaches out a grasps the helmet in his fingers, “Is this some trick to lure me away from everything I know to kill me in the middle of nowhere, where I’ll never be found, because if so I’m a little sceptical about getting on the bike.”
I can’t help but let out a chuckle, “No, not exactly, but thank you for the idea.” I grin causing Kade to pale, “You’re taking the lead here, and don’t get used to this.” I add quickly watching as Kade runs his fingertips over the handle bars.
“What?” He breathes out admiring the bike, “You being nice to the nerd or you allowing the nerd to ride your bike?”
“Both, now get on, you’re driving.”
The kid drives fast. Very fast. But there’s no denying it, he’s good, he’s ridden one before.
My arms wrapped around his waist, he was warm, really warm, a nice change from the cold harsh winds, the best thing about Kade driving was the fact that he copped most of the wind. Not that I’d ever admit I had sat behind a nerd on my own bike, and that I didn’t exactly hate it.
Then just like that we stopped, I move my arms, taking off my helmet and resting that on my legs, not getting of the bike as Kade does the same, his hair now all tousled and not neat like usual. “You didn’t tell me where to go.” Kade said just loud enough for me to hear, and that was when I looked around at our surroundings.
“The clearing.” I whisper getting up, resting my helmet on the seat, walking over to the large old tree, I stand before it, just looking up through its branches, seeing patches of the grey clouds through the gaps in the sticks.
Feeling a presence behind me I look over my shoulder, seeing Kade standing there with his hands stuffed in his jeans pocket as he looked out over the lake, I turn around and stand next to him watching the way the wind picked up pieces of dirt and leaves and whisked them away from the land and watch it dance it’s way around the beautiful clear water. “Why here?” I question, breaking the silence.
Kade takes in a deep breath, “I used to always come here and I needed to get away.” He says to my surprise, “Tomorrows Monday, which means school, which means going up against the entire school alone.” Kade continued, keeping his brown eyes set on the water in front of us.
“Why do you dress like that?” I question, turning to look at him head on waiting for him to do the same.
A few seconds later he does, turning to look down at me, his face as blank as mine is, “Like what? Like this?”
I roll my eyes at his stupidity, “Like how you do at school. You hate those sweaters,”
Kade raises an eyebrow at me, “Do I now?” He challenges lightly, and probably not on purpose it almost seemed to come natural to him, challenging people, speaking without a care.
I can’t help but roll my eyes, “You called it an itchy stupid piece of shit on Friday.” I remind him, which just earns me a small nod of agreement, “It’d be an improvement if you rocked up like this.” I say indicating to his wardrobe choice of today.
“Why do you care?” Kade questions, moving his glasses so he rub his eyes, letting the glasses drop back down. “And why does it matter, it’s senior year, I’m out of here soon.”
I take a small step back as Kade turns back to looking out at the lake. “There are things.” He says slowly, as if struggling with what to say, to not say too much? “Things, no one knows about me, things no one can know. I have reasons for the things I do. We should go.” His voice getting quieter and quieter as he continued, as if he hoped I wouldn’t hear.
“Not yet, I’ve got a place to show you first Mathis.”
“Where are we?” Kade asks after we’d pulled off the helmets, he gets off from where he’d been sitting behind me as I drove this time. I don’t know how he’d done it, leant back and held onto the back of the bike. For a nerd he was good.
“This is where I always go.” I admit turning to see his reaction, I don’t know why it mattered to me what he thought.
It definitely wasn’t anything like the beautiful clearing he’d taken us too, but it was where I go, a part of me is here. I watch as he cocks his head a bit, taking in the old house, “It’s kind of spooky, yet kind of cool.” He admits slowly, righting himself and standing up straight. “I can see why you come here, it is beautiful. In its own way, everything has beauty, everything just shows it differently.” Kade continues, I allow a small smile to cross my lips.
Letting it fall the second I realise that Kade had seen. “Come on. Let’s go.”
“Annalisa please.” My father begs me following me as I walk into my room, grabbing a bag and stuffing it with clothes.
I pause for just a second letting my blonde hair fall into my face, “Please what? What’s new? I’m never home, this isn’t home for me. It hasn’t been for a long time.”
“Just stay, for tonight Annalisa.” He follows me out of the room as I head towards the front door, trying to ignore Shae and Erica as they watch on in the background. “One night is all I ask.”
“Haven’t you heard anything I said?” I beg quietly, trying to spare Shae from hearing this. “This isn’t home, I won’t sit down for ‘family dinner’ when I’m not a part of this family. She doesn’t want me to be, and frankly I’m fine with that.” I finish, straightening up, wiping my face of any and all emotion, before turning away from my father, my only family, turning away from Shae.
Erica would at least be happy, she’d pick up the pieces, like she did every time. “The doors always open to you Annalisa, you’ll always be my baby girl.” I hear my father say quietly.
Ignoring him I close the door and get on my bike, riding to the first place to come to mind, whilst I figure out where to go from here. And much to my surprise I find myself at the clearing Kade had brought me to earlier.