The Broken Part Of Me

'Thank you Harry. I don't know how you've done it, but in four short weeks you've changed my life" I hesitate at the escalator, Knowing that once I descend up it I really will be leaving him behind. He reaches for my hand and gently brushes his fingertips against my palm before letting me go
'How can you even think of thanking me Alexa? I should be thanking you! I never thought I could feel this way, you've made me a better person and now' he hesitates 'I'm sorry that -'

I know he's sorry. I'm sorry too.

Life is sort of strange isn't it? I remember falling off my bike for the first time and how painful my scraped knee was. I remember that time I wanted to know if you could really fly if you believed in fairies so I jumped off my bunk bed and broke my wrist, granted, I was four years old. But I can't seem to remember anyone ever telling me I was beautiful, even though I'm not, every little girl should be told that at some point, shouldn't they? But all that changed when I met him

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1. 1

Chapter one

"Mommy, where are we going?" The car is moving fast and as it bumps down a big giant hill my tummy flips, it feels funny and a little bit scary. It makes me hold onto the car seat tightly. A little squeak comes out of my mouth because I feel frightened

"Shhh, it's ok baby. It will all be over soon. I love you Lex"

I look down at my tatty rabbit teddy bear and silently ask him if his tummy is flipping too? "I love you mommy. Please don't cry. You have me, and Rufus" she looks at me from the mirror on the window so I hold up my bear. He makes everything better. He makes me happy. Very very happy! Mommy quickly stops the car and puts her head in her hands. She cries for what seems like a very long time so I unclip the seatbelt and put Rufus in her lap. She smiles. I knew Rufus would make her smile.

"I'm so so sorry baby. I'm sorry" she reaches behind and strokes my cheek. She looks so sad, it makes me so sad

"Don't be sorry mommy. You haven't been bad" it's very cold in the car and my tummy is making noises. I'm very hungry "Can we go home now?"

"Of course we can honey. Let's not tell daddy about this ok? He'll only worry"

She wipes her tears away and I can see that she has her pretend smile on her face. I'm glad mommy doesn't want to drive anymore. It's very cold, my hands feel tingly. She starts the car and we move back onto the road. The last thing I see is a very big truck coming towards my window. And then, nothing.

*********

I wake up and inside I'm screaming but I know now not to make any noise. It only worries them and my parents worrying opens a whole can of worms I want to keep the lid firmly on.

I can feel the panicked sweat slowly creeping down my chest so I pull off my wet vest top and search for a clean one in my bedside table. It's after four a.m when I finally go back to sleep but this time, thankfully, I don't dream.

Travelling by train in early August has many disadvantages. One, they are always crowded, especially at weekends! Two, the warm weather means some people have a distinct smell of body odour about them. Not that it's entirely their fault, we are crammed into a tight space and maybe they didn't have deodorant at hand before they left. Three, everyone is in their summer clothes which means that I stick out like a sore thumb in my polo neck long sleeved T shirt. I pull at the neck and the guy next to me briefly looks, two seconds later his eyes are fixed on the floor.

Truth be told my scars don't bother me anymore, I've had thirteen years to get used to them after all. Strangers on the other hand, they don't look long enough to get used to them.

I move from my spot and walk further up the carriage where I find mom and dad seated behind a woman and her two screaming children. Mom is fanning her face due to the heat and dad is becoming more and more exasperated by the minute

"You two ok?" I ask as I pull my earphones out. Mom rolls her eyes and dad tries to look as enthusiastic as possible

"Oh, we are just fine! You?"

"I'm ok dad, slowly cooking in my own skin but other than that, absolutely perfect!"

Since the accident mom has done all she can to avoid cars! She took up cycling, walks wherever possible and she uses her bus pass at least five times a day. After the accident she never drove again and now she only gets in the car with dad if the weather is bad and only if it's because she absolutely needs to go to the supermarket. At nineteen years of age I would love to drive but being so aware of my mothers anxiety I have never dared to even have one driving lesson.

Thankfully the train from Derby to Cheshire is only two hours twenty two minutes and soon enough everyone is gathering up their belongings ready to get off and it's almost like you can see the relief on their faces.

There's a part of me that doesn't want to get off this train, we are the last stop which means soon it will be going back home. Home, a modest house that my mother, father and I are all happy in and we are in a comfortable routine I suppose. I work for my dad who is a mechanical engineer, I like to think my job has some importance but it doesn't. I'm just there to file away papers and make dad cups of tea. My auntie and cousin have invited me to stay with them for a whole month and I literally, and I mean literally, jumped at the chance! My auntie knows that my mom can be a little ... testing, so she kindly offered me a place to unwind for four whole weeks and here I am. On my way to Cheshire.

Sometimes we come here for Christmases or birthdays but I've never stayed here without my parents, I kind of feel a pang of guilt when I realise how excited this makes me. But I've never been anywhere without my parents, they are like my security blanket but most of all, my mom doesn't let me out of her sight. I get it I do, but legally I'm an adult now so I just wish she would let me find my wings and most of all find out who I am but deep down I know this will never happen.

I pull my luggage from out of the small place I managed to squeeze it into and soon we are congregated on the platform. Mom looks at the bus time table on her phone, I awkwardly pull at my shirt and Dad looks close to having a nervous breakdown

"No Diana, I'm not getting on a bus -"

"But David it will only take forty minutes-"

"No!" He wipes the sweat off his brow and I give a small smile to the young teen that walks past when he looks at me sympathetically. Parents!

I follow them out of the station as they carry on bickering and as soon we are outside I put my sunglasses on as the sun is at its high peak and the glare takes me by surprise.

"Bloody hell David, I think a bus would have been quite sufficient, I don't know why we're wasting money"

We all get into a black cab and mom instinctively pulls at my seatbelt but I shoo her hands away as I clip myself in. I think Dad is close to losing it

"Diana will you leave the girl alone. You can't keep her in bubble wrap forever!" Dad tells the driver where we are going and I put my earphones back in to drown them out.

"You're here" Auntie Clara wraps me tightly in her arms and I hold her just as tightly

"Thankfully!" I whisper into her ear, and she gently rubs my back.

I think auntie Clara is the only one who really understands my mom, She is her sister after all. But she gets that she can be overpowering, a nervous creature and like a merry go round her moods are always up and down, constantly, up and down. She also knows how much my mom hates the fact I'm staying here that's why my aunt spends the next ninety minutes putting her at ease about it

"Diana, I think Alexa is old enough to spend a month away from home -"

"I just don't know why she needs to stay for a month! A week? Fine, two weeks? Fine! But a month?!"

"You're going on a three week cruise that's meant to be for your anniversary! You and David could use some alone time -"

I'm meant to be unpacking but instead I linger in the hallway listening to my mother talk about me like I'm some fragile doll that will be broken unless she's near enough to catch me, or at worst, put me back together incase I should break.

My cousin opens the front door and I can tell an excited scream is about to leave her lips so I put my finger up to my mouth and gesture for her to follow me upstairs. I close the door of my temporary bedroom and when we are both inside I give her a huge bear hug

"Sorry about that, my mom and your mom are debating"

Alice steps back and rolls her eyes "shes still mad you're staying?"

I nod my head and watch as she throws herself onto the twenty pillows that are decorating the bed

"I'm so stoked you're here! Literally this is going to be the best summer, ever! When I'm not working we can take road trips, drink cocktails in the garden, go shopping -" I sit down opposite her as she keeps talking and I smile with enthusiasm as she reels off the plan of action she's set in place for us. Alice and I are both the only child so over the years our bond has grown stronger and if I'm honest she's more like a sister than a cousin. She's a year older and is training to be a make up artist which means she's always sending me concealers through the post or I'm her Guinea pig whenever we see each other "and tonight we are going to the pub! You finally get to meet my boyfriend, he really wants to meet you too"

I stop playing with a loose thread on one of the pillows and place it in my lap

"Oh, that sounds, great. Really it does but I'm sort of tired. You go. We'll do it soon I promise"

She lets out a long exaggerated sigh and grabs my hand before leading me over to the small chair in front of the vanity mirror that rests on some thick mahogany drawers "Lex, they are barely visible! Will you stop it!"

I don't remember much about the accident, but I do know that I never put my seatbelt back on. The truck hit us directly from the side but a car behind us had no way of stopping in time so the impact from the back meant I went through the front window. The doctor explained it as though I was like a rag doll being thrown across a room. I didn't stand a chance. I study the scars, two inches long that runs from my chin to my jaw, the second scar from my left eye down my past my ear and onto my neck. But it's my right arm that took the brunt of it all. It was nearly severed in the accident but thankfully the doctors saved it. But it meant skin grafts, the pain can still be horrendous and finally I said no more. This would have to be the way I am. No matter how much it makes me hate myself. My neck, arm, Chest is now a map that won't let me run away from that day. My own little nightmare, visible for everyone to see.

"Alice, look at me. I would say they are noticeable!"

"Have you been using the bio oil I sent you?"

I pull at the side of my shirt and she studies my neck "I think it's working you know!"

Alice and I both know it's not but I smile at her, regardless of the fact my happiness is tainted with sheer disappointment that once again a miracle hasn't given me the miracle I so wish for. She starts dabbing a primer into my face, already setting to work before I've even unpacked but I let her as I know it makes her happy

"So, tell me all about your boyfriend then. You seem to really like him" This is a statement not a question. He's all she talks about. She looks at me from beneath her thick black lashes but I pretend to be interested in a strand of my blonde hair (on closer inspection I should really get it cut) but once she knows I'm not going to have a breakdown due to the fact she actually has a love life there's no stopping her

"Well as you know his name is Niall, and he's Irish! Had I mentioned that? Anyway he has the most cutest accent" I know all of this. I know that his mom and dad moved here five years ago. I know that he attended university for a little while but realising it wasn't for him he dropped out and now works at the local pub where he plays an acoustic set three nights a week because apparently he's a good singer. I know he lives with his friend who's name is Lewis. Lewis? Louis? I'm not sure but either way he has a house mate "I mean Harry may as well be single because his girlfriend, Stacey, she attends university in London and she's never here!" I hadn't realised I had totally zoned out and I swivel around in the chair to face Alice better "And Harry would be?"

"Niall's best friend, wasn't you listening to me? I'm boring you aren't I?"

Before I can answer mom walks into the room, without thinking to knock first. Obviously

"You're not going out are you? Alice, what have you put on her face?!" Mom looks at me, Alice then me again. Before I can even answer she's cupped my face in her hands and then she starts wiping off my make up with her sleeve

"Ma!"

"You know your skin is sensitive Alexa!"

"It's just primer and concealer auntie Diana! Can you stop it's expensive make up"

They squabble the way they always do. I tell mom of course I'm not going out, of course I'm staying in! She stays for another hour randomly crying in bursts and then finally their cab pulls up and after hugging them over and over, they leave. Four whole weeks. This might be the most freedom I ever get, if mom has her way I'll never leave home

"Come on Lex, let's start your face again"

Alice pulls me upstairs by my wrist and I can't help but imagine how wonderful that would be. The chance to really start all over again

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