First person ~ Emily
They were talking so quietly, you could almost think it a normal conversation, if not for the tone of their voices. Walking past the kitchen these days seems like a nightmare that’s all too real. They can avoid each other anywhere and everywhere other than the kitchen, and once they go in, they almost never come out happy. At least then, they’re too tired to hide it – the fact that something is so obviously wrong. When they hide it and pretend nothing has changed, that’s worse.
It’s worse now.
Before they told us – me and my brother, that’s is, they told him to come down from San Myshuno for it, so I knew it was important – that they were getting divorced, I liked that they tried to hide it. It made it easy for me to tell myself there was nothing wrong. Of course, that was a lie and I knew it, but I wanted to believe it.
I stood by the doorway to the kitchen, the door set ever so slightly ajar. When they shut it all the way, you know things are getting serious, but I don’t intend to be here long enough to hear that moment today. I went back to the living room slowly, standing near the couch, so they wouldn’t know I had been listening to them. Not like they’d realize it, I doubt they pay much attention to anything other than being disagreeable with each other anymore. I had half a mind to slip out without saying anything, but with seeing how they yell at each other… I’m sure it wouldn’t take much for them to yell at me.
“I’m going out with Amaya and Valentina, I’m sure you don’t mind,” I yelled from where I was standing, staring out the window next to our door.
My father replied first. “No, have fun.”
Then, my mother. “Yeah, enjoy!”
It was only a few second before I heard their hushed conversation start up again. I walked outside, shutting the door closed forcefully behind me.
I’m sure that conversation won’t be hushed much longer now that I’m gone.
I closed my eyes once I got in the car, thinking about how before all this, it would never be this easy to get out of the house. Sure, they would’ve let me go, but not without at least being asked where I’m going and when I’ll be back, and maybe a short speech from my mom about not doing anything stupid, even though she knows I’m not like Vali, and I think before I do anything. Now, of course, it’s simply ‘have a good time’ and that’s all. I never thought I would miss the typical parent questions… but now I do. It means they’ve got nothing better to worry about than their kid, and isn’t that as it should be? My phone buzzed in my pocket and I pulled it out.
One new notification.
We’re meeting up at the Ellipse at 12:00, right? – Amaya, 11:09
I barely had time to blink before my lock screen lit up again.
Two new notifications.
We’re meeting up at the Ellipse at 12:00, right? – Amaya, 11:09
We better be, cause I’m already driving. – Valentina, 11:10
Right. Brindleton is farther away from Newcrest than Oasis Springs is, so she has farther to go. It’s not really that close, unless you call forty-five minutes close, but I don’t mind. The farther away from my parents, the better. It’ll give me time to think. Heck, I’d better hope there’s traffic, because I’m going to need more than forty-five minutes to think about this. We’re going to the Ellipse to talk. I told them I would. But… how do you talk about your life falling apart? About watching everything you believed in shatter in front of your eyes? How do you explain that? How do you explain something you don’t understand?
It was fifty minutes, the drive. Fifty minutes, but it felt so fast. Now I’m standing in the Ellipse, staring at their newest poster, but not reading the words. Now I’ve got to explain. Well, not until they get here, but it won’t be long.
“Emily?” I heard Vali’s voice behind me and I turned to see her holding one of those golden fizzy drinks they have here, and all dressed up like usual. She always looks like she stepped straight out of a teen drama. Not saying that’s bad, I just personally don’t see the point in it, but if that’s how she likes to dress, why not? She pulls it off, anyway. It’s who she is.
“Hey,” I replied quietly. I hadn’t really talked to her or Amaya since the night of Vali’s play. I didn’t really know what to say and I figured whatever I did say, we should be talking in person. Now, though… I’m kinda regretting it. At least you can read a text over a million times until it says exactly what you want it to. Vali sat down in the chair next to me, mentioning that Aya was almost here, before looking around a few seconds and getting up to look at the fountain nearby. The sound of rushing water… I would take it any day over the sounds of my house. It’s calming – the exact opposite of what I’ve come to be used to.
Amaya walked in a few minutes after, and soon enough, the three of us were sitting down on one of the sofas they had here. The two of them immediately turned to me, and we sat there quietly for a few seconds before I started talking. I didn’t even really realize it when I begun, it just happened.
“Well, um, my parents are getting divorced… and I’m gonna be moving in with my brother after the school year’s over while they sort things out. You know, it’s funny, they were barely okay with him moving to San Myshuno on his own, and now they accepted his offer for me to move in with him without a second thought.” I focused on the waterfall past Valentina, waiting for one of them to say something, but they didn’t. Of course, what would you say? I wouldn’t know what to say if it was one of them saying this. So, I started talking again. “I’m sure San Myshuno will be very fun and my brother talks about how cool it is there all the time… but… I dunno, it’s just that it wouldn’t happen if things were normal. I’d probably stay with him for a week up there, not the whole summer. I don’t even recognize my life anymore.”
This time, Aya spoke. “I’m sorry. Really. I thought your family was happy.”
“I thought so too,” I whispered.
“I’m sorry, too,” Vali added, pausing. “Do you want to keep talking about it?”
“No, not really,” I sighed, turning to her. “Talk about anything else, please.”
“Well… someone from Crystalline Academy talked to me after the first showing, and they’re offering me a spot in their summer program!” Vali enthused.
“That sounds cool… but what’s Crystalline Academy?” Amaya asked her, and I nodded. She talks about these things sometimes like everyone else’ll understand them. I genuinely don’t care very much about theatre stuff, but Vali’s my friend and it’s nice to hear her talk about something she’s interested in. We aren’t all interested in the same things, but we support each other.
“You guys haven’t heard of it?” Vali asked, incredulous.
Vali shook her head around, her ponytail swishing back and forth. “It’s an amazing acting and theatre school, and many of the top movie stars in the last few years have gone there, including Natalya.”
Amaya narrowed her eyes, staring at Vali as if she didn’t believe what she’d just heard. “Natalya? Natalya Konečný? The Slovak actress?”
“Yes,” Valentina replied, grinning.
I don’t even know who Natalya is – I don’t keep up with those things, but apparently she’s a big deal.
“The one from the third remake of The Forgetting they did a few years ago? 2550, I think?” Aya asked.
Vali nodded. “Yes, that one. The Forgetting made her big, but she’s done plenty since then.”
“Well, you must be going, right?” I asked.
“I hope so… my moms still need to agree.”
“I’m sure they will,” Aya told her.
It got quiet after that, with none of us sure what to talk about next. We sat in the sauna they had for a little while, since none of us wanted to leave so soon after driving for around an hour to get here.
The drive home seemed very, very long. I knew once I got back, I would be back to living in a life that didn’t even feel like mine, but like I was set in my parents’ world – actually, not even that. It doesn’t even seem like my parents. In my own home, the home I’ve grown up in all my life, I feel like I shouldn’t be there. I’m just there. That’s all I am anymore. There. Existing. But nothing more. The long drive should’ve been a relief, but it wasn’t. The only thing I could think about was what it would be like when I got back. And…now I’m back, staring at my front door.
I used to know this place. I could hear the giggles of my family when we were all just playing around. Now, all I can hear is the screaming, the quieted arguments. We don’t have much, my family, but we were happy.
A/N: Well, I think I’ll be writing some chapters from other people’s point of views from now on. The majority of chapters will still probably be from Valentina’s perspective, but it’s nice to write from other peoples’ perspectives… and at least for some people, they’re easier to write than Vali, simply because Vali and I aren’t very alike, so I have to think more about Valentina’s reaction to things and what she’d say.
I’ll get pictures in this chapter soon enough, I just don’t have my computer right now. I’m sorry for not being on here even to read your guys’ stories, I hope to catch up soon.
And… I don’t know if I’ve ever told you guys my age, but yesterday, I turned fifteen. 😄