It’s been a week since my sister dropped by to announce she could be getting divorced. My thoughts are with her and her kids. Wondering how their life will end up if she does go through with it. She can’t work and keep an eye on her children. I would have to stay with her to help with them and the chores around the house. Meaning I would leave Angela alone with this giant house and the guys.
I’ve been standing in front of the fridge staring blankly at the contents inside, while these thoughts fly around inside my head. A hand rests on my shoulder and I turn to see the owner of it. I blink at Michael’s face while he asks
“Have you tried changing the channel?” I smile at his lame joke and close the fridge with a sigh.
“Hey, you didn‘t have to close it if you‘re looking for something.” he answers while watching me sit at the counter. I shrug replying,
“I don‘t know what I want right now. I‘ll try again later.” he furrows his brows while grabbing a beer out of the fridge.
The guys are laughing loudly in the living room as Angela scolds Calum for hip thrusting behind her. I chuckle lightly along with Michael as he joins me at the counter.
“Leave it to Cal to piss off Angela.” he states with a smile. I nod in response still smiling, looking down as I play with the ring on my ring finger.
As he takes a sip of his beer a silence falls over the kitchen. The kind that if it isn’t cut soon will become awkward. There’s a lot I want to say to him, but then I remember how in a few months he’ll be on tour again. None of it seems important enough after that thought. Not to mention if I burden him with my thoughts it’ll kill his happy mood.
“Carol, are you okay?” I hear him ask. I look up to see he was trying to catch the look on my face. Angela walks in then to see the two of us silent. As I turn to look at her she notices my demeanor and raises an eyebrow. I shrug in response silently cursing myself for coming downstairs this morning.
“Well. As much as I‘d love to stay here and listen to your……interesting…..conversation, I have to clean my room.” she states, grabbing a water from the fridge and heading up the stairs. Sighing, I know she wants me to follow, her room is never a mess.
Turning back toward the counter I’m staring at Mickey’s concerned green eyes. His right hand holds his beer, I watch as the heat from his hand makes the condensation appear around the cold bottle.
“Carol?” he calls, still trying to get my attention.
“I‘m fine.” I answer with a small smile.
“As a matter of fact I couldn‘t be better. But I‘m gonna head upstairs, maybe Angela can give me a few pointers on cleaning up my room.” I joke, standing up from my seat. While I clear my throat I don’t look at him in fear the smile I’m faking doesn’t reach my eyes, and walk out.
As I ascend the stairs, I’m trying to come up with a simple reason as to why I have the slight frown. If I can come up with a good one I won’t have to trouble Angela with my problems either. Normally I go to her for everything, but I don’t want her to relive what she was going through with her parents. Also I’m not completely comfortable with talking about this subject just yet.
Walking into her room, she looks up from her computer screen.
“Finally.” she retorts, turning in her chair to stare at me while I close the door behind me.
“Sorry. Didn‘t want to be rude to Michael.” I state, walking the small distance and sitting on her bed. Instantly she joins me and asks
“You okay?” with a questioning tone. Nodding in response I play with my ring again. I think about blaming my cycle, but know she’d see through it since we’re on the same schedule from all this time living together.
“Today‘s just a bad day. I‘ll get over it.” I answer, staring at the faded colors on my nails.
She shakes her head, unsatisfied with that answer.
“What‘s going on Carol?” she asks, still trying to read my face. With a sigh I say
“Seriously. I‘m alright. Today‘s just a bad day, I promise I‘ll let you know when I get over it okay?!” I end with a shout. Instantly I wish it hadn’t come out like that. She stares at me amazed I raised my voice.
“Okay.” she replies, getting up and sitting in front of her laptop again. She reaches for her headphones and I know I fucked up.
“I‘m sorry sweetheart, it wasn‘t supposed to come out like that.” I state with a soft tone, afraid I hurt her.
“It‘s fine.” she answers in a monotone.
I can feel the lump in my throat begin to form. Turning I leave her room and walk down the hall to mine. Locking my door I swallow the lump repeatedly. I’m always doing this. I don’t mean to, but I always hurt someone and then most times I can’t fix what I broke. At first I enjoy the distance but know when I want their companionship later, it won’t be there.
Throwing myself onto my bed I grab my IPod and plug the ear buds into my ears. When I get like this the only thing that helps is solitude. Angela has become accustomed to this side of me, but most of the time I had her to bullshit with. But I’m scared now that I’ve pushed her away and this time she won’t come back. Lost in my thoughts and music, I’d stay in my room for the next few days.
The next three days were spent sleeping, listening to music and thinking over ways Angela could learn to hate me. The only time I left my room was to use the bathroom or grab a drink. All of which was done in the middle of the night so I wouldn’t be bombarded with questions, or risk seeing Angela. You’d think I’d be starving or learned to get over it, but I haven’t felt hungry for a while now and as much as Angela meant to me, it’s like I lost a sister.
I’ve just come back from taking a hot shower and it’s going on the early hours of the morning. The sun is slowly ascending, creating a light source in my room. I grab my IPod once more and begin searching for FUN’s ‘All Alone’ when I hear a knock on my door. Hesitantly I walk over to it stepping on clothes along the way and expecting to see Angela on the other side, I hold my breath.
As I stare at Luke I breathe a sigh of relief, thankful I’m not forced to face my demons just yet. He gives me a small smile as I let him in, and I make my way over to my chair again. He closes the door and sits on my bed saying
“Long time no see.” I chuckle lightly in response.
“Hello stranger.” I reply with a smile on my face. He returns the smile and asks
“Are you going to make an appearance downstairs today? Or am I going to be held hostage in this wasteland?” he gestures to my room and I blush in response. My room is anything but clean and if he has to stay in here with me, he’ll be looking at empty pop cans and clothes scattered along the floor.
“I‘ll more than likely make an appearance today, just been putting it off.” I answer honestly while making my way to my bed. I lay back onto my pillows, and watch my stomach rise and fall with every breath as I change the song to ‘Collar full’.
“You know the guys and I have missed you. Angela too.” he replies, laying down next to me. I turn to face him, having to look up as our height difference comes into play again.
“I‘ve missed you guys too.” I say, noticing his lip ring is out.
He takes the ear buds in my hand and places one in his ear.
“What’re you listening to?” he wonders. I place the other in my right ear and start the song. Instantly he smiles knowing what it is. As the words come in I can’t help but sing along, he smiles wider joining me. Stifling back laughter, I sit up as he sings
“I’ve got a collar full of chemistry from your company.” with a smile we sing the chorus together and he sits up to inch closer to me.
We’re giggles as I sway to the beat and keep bumping the cord for the ear buds. I can feel his breath on my face as he sighs starting the next verse
“You‘ve got a pocket full of reasons why you‘re here tonight, so baby tonight just be the death of me.” his voice gets so husky towards the end, I become captivated by it. He’s always singing with a squeak and at the moment, he sounds like he does in his verse for San Francisco. There’s a jagged feel with his sigh, and it’s hard for me to remember why we were giggling moments before.
He seems to take notice that I’ve lost my silliness, because instead of singing along to the chorus he’s now looking into my eyes. For a while it feels as though we’ve lost the ability to speak, our faces serene as we smile at one another. It seems as though a magnet is between us as well, for we keep inching closer and closer to the other. But the song ends and because it’s on shuffle the next song that plays, sends both of us into giggles.
I’m leaning into his chest, my forehead resting atop it as the lyrics ‘Michael wants another slice, Michael wants another slice’ blare through the ear buds. He removes the bud from his left ear, and hands it back saying
“I think I‘m good on your music for today.” with a small laugh attached with it. Sighing I roll them up and turn off my IPod to set it on my night stand.
“Agreed, but now that I think about it pizza does sound really good.” I state, sliding off the covers to stand.
Luke’s already at the door and says
“This way, we had pizza last night. Michael insisted saying we hadn‘t had pizza since the first week we got home.” I roll my eyes in response, as I walk out the door he’s holding open.
“Of course he did.” I respond, heading for the stairs and running down them. Luke’s laughing lightly at my sudden enthusiasm and bounds down the stairs as well. By the time I reach the fridge I’m lightly catching my breath as I grab out the leftover pizza.
His hand rests on my left hip while he reaches for the milk on the top shelf.
“Cereal?” I ask, realizing that sounds just as good. Would probably be better for me as well, considering this will be my first meal in three days.
“Mmmhmm” he answers, stepping away from the fridge and heading for the cupboard where we store the boxes of cereal. Tossing the pizza back on the shelf I retrieved it from, I close the fridge and make my way over toward him. Grabbing two bowls and spoons, I grab a glass from above him and wait patiently as he pours the Cheerios inside our bowls with a smile.
We sit in the living room with Family Guy playing in the background as we catch up. I’m deliberately sitting on the other end of the couch, in fear I’ll get too close to him.
“You know it‘s nice to see you eat.” he states, sticking a spoonful of Cheerios in his mouth. I half laugh, looking deliberately at him as I stick a spoonful in my mouth. He laughs in response saying,
“Fuck off, you know what I mean.” I smile, stifling back a giggle.
“I‘ve starved myself for longer, I‘m alright.” I state with a laugh. He rolls his eyes and returns to the television.
My legs are bent and curled in toward me, as my back lays against the arm of the couch. So when I was done with my cereal, I placed the bowl on the table and laid my hands beneath my knees. Not long after doing this I hear movement upstairs, and the guys slowly trudge down them. Calum and Ashton head into the kitchen making small talk, they never saw me. It’s not until Michael walks slowly down the steps; glued to his phone, that I become known.
His smile is the first thing I see, it’s soon followed with
“Hey care bear, glad to see you.” I smile in response to his nickname for me. As he heads into the kitchen I feel arms grab my legs, Luke is tugging me toward him and places my legs upon his lap. His hand rests on my leg, holding me to his chest and the other lays on my thigh. With me now being on the middle cushion I have no back support, so I lean into the sofa. I pull my shorts down before doing so, in the off chance whoever sits in the chair across from us, might see more of me than they should.
Angela stumbles down the stairs not long after, I knew she’d have to for school. She looks over and gives me a small smile when she notices me. Luke starts laughing over something in the episode when she enters the kitchen. So she’s not completely pissed at me, it’s good to know. I return to the show and relocate my feet so I’m more comfortable. In doing this Luke moves his hand so it grips onto my ankle. He was being very touchy today, I’m not sure how to feel about this.
“So care bear, are you done disappearing on us?” Michael asks, sitting behind me on the couch.
“Yes Mickey, I‘m being social again.” I respond, looking over at him. I watch him eat a piece of toast with Vegemite on it and lean into him. His left arm wraps around me, his hand resting atop my stomach. I can vaguely hear his heartbeat as I lay against his chest. I run my thumb over the ‘X’ on his middle finger, recreating it and then making small circles. He intertwines our fingers before I feel myself drifting off to sleep.
When I wake up I can hear the door opening and something thud onto the floor. Turning my head I see Angela walk down the hallway and enter the kitchen. Clearing my throat I sit up and see Michael by my feet. He looks at me and smiles saying,
“Hello again.” I half laugh and remove my legs from his lap. Looking around the living room I notice the rest of the guys are gone. When I got up I stretched slightly before stopping, remembering Michael was behind me.
Walking into the kitchen I see Angela warming up pizza for herself.
“Hey.” I say, grabbing me a water from the fridge. She turns around, grabbing her plate from the microwave and sitting at the counter.
“Hi.” she answers with a small voice. I sit across from her at the counter,
“I‘m really sorry Angela. I was just having a really shitty day and when you asked I had already lost any tolerance I had. ” everything just comes pouring out in a rush.
“I know. It‘s fine, don‘t worry about it.” she answers with the same small voice from earlier.
Instantly I feel like she’s still closing me off.
“No. I‘m serious. I realize I can be a complete bitch, and I never ever want you to think that I am upset with you in that way. You know I would call you out on your shit if I didn‘t like something you‘ve done or said.” she looks at me again, swallowing the food in her mouth.
“Carol. Really, it‘s fine. Forget about it.” she answers, taking another bite of pizza.
“No. I will not forget about it, I know that what I did to you was your trigger and I just want you to know that-” with a huff she says,
“Okay look.” cutting me off from saying anything more.
“I understand what you were going through, are you forgetting I was having one of those days not too long ago? I know that you weren‘t mad or upset with me and I just want to drop this. I‘m not mad or upset with you.” she answers, eating her pizza again.
I’m taken back by her sudden outburst and nod in response. Smiling I say,
“Love you brat.” she smirks saying
“Love you too boo.” I nearly squeal, getting up to hug her. I wrap my arms around her shoulder and hug her from the side. She half laughs in response, setting her pizza back onto her plate.
“Well let me at least turn to hug you back you dork.” I giggle as I let go so she can turn and return the gesture. We stay like that for a while, to the point where I can tell she wants to let go, but I’m not ready to yet.
“Carol, seriously. Let me get back to my food!” she practically shouts in my ear. I smile and let go, knowing I have her to hug every day again.