Black Or White : No Grey In Between

July 15, 2011
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“Cross eyed creatures in neon green”, I said.
“NO! Skulls in crimson”, said Christa
We were deciding what to paint on my walls. My room had been recently renovated.Earlier the walls had been just black but that was getting way too dull,I’d wanted something more personalized.Also for the first time my parents had decided to just let me be and have my own opinions instead of them suggesting the interiors of my room,(Oh my god,Leanne that lilac would go so well with the pink upholstered furniture.Hello?When did I even get pink furniture?) So Christa and I were debating (more like fighting) on what we should do to my new and improved ‘Room 1408’ (I honestly didn’t keep that name.That’s whar Jared calls it)
“Cross eyed things”
“It’s my room, y’know?”
“I wouldn’t want my fav friend to screw up her room.”
“Cross eyed”
“We’ll decide by playing F.E.A.R 2.Winner chooses”
“It is SO on”
I grinned and handed her the controller
Christa and I were gothemos more popularly known as emo goths or gothic emos but we went by gothemo because it had a ring to it .Christa was a reformed alcoholic and had been through rehab multiple times and had been poked and prodded by doctors enough to become a little sensible to avoid the embarrassment of Alcoholics Anonymous even though it was anonymous. On the other hand I…….well I was judged as crazy by everyone. Including Christa, all her life her job was to sort of balance me out .I accepted the fact that I was bonkers and took advantage of it too, I dated the drummer of WolfDart by going all crazy on him. Besides he thought I was cute. I once remember jumping off the first floor and into the pool while all my friends watched in a mixture of fear and awe. I liked the adrenalin rush every time I tried dangerous things, not in the Bella-seeing-Edward type of way .I liked it when I cut, loved the music and the type of people I had the pleasure to meet. They were in way all different, all of them had a sort of sob story around them, so did I, but hardly anybody had their facts straight. We didn’t talk about it anymore. But I liked being the scariest at Halloween and getting into all the exclusive parties. It was fun except for maybe the emotional highs and lows. Our moms’ knew about it but they thought it was just a phase. A go-with-the-crowd-teenage phase. When we asked them for a little extra money when we had run out (because of all the eyeliner and hair colour) they would dramatically roll their eyes and say” Teenagers. I remember in my time…... “ And then we would sigh just as dramatically and shake our heads in disapproval.
Right now Christa and I were battling it out against the supernatural in F.E.A.R.2 and Christa was winning. A remix of ‘My Chemical Romance’ and ‘Evanescence’ was playing on the stereo (Christa’s original, she was great at all this techie stuff.)
We took gaming very seriously
“I DON’T KNOW! CHEAT CODES OR SOMETHING!” I said grabbing the controller from her
“NO!” said Christa
I climbed on top of her trying to get the controller for both of us to lose in the game since I was busy distracting her and she was busy getting distracted.
“Mmphh, Leanne get off me”
“I WIN, say it.”
I sat on top of her. At that moment Christa’s boyfriend, Aaron walked in.He stopped short when he saw us.
“Whoa,girl on girl. I knew it.Your relationship was more than friends.”
“Who let you in?” I said
“Your mum.To her, I’m a saint ,which I am not,but what were you doing?”
“She was cheating-“Christa opened her mouth to protest but I quickly finished”in F.E.A.R.2”
“Not done, Chris, not done at all.”
“Leanne’s lying. She was cheating.”
“On you?”
Christa and I groaned. “Aaron”, we said exasperatedly
“Whatever”, he said,”I came to tell you that I’m going to catch a movie with the guys.You wanna come?”
”Nope.It’s Girls’ Night Out.”
“With interesting results?” he asked jokingly
She punched him
“Ok,ok.Bye Chris”
“Hmm.Bye Aaron”
“He is cute,but dumb at the same time.” said Christa “Sweetly dumb, but.”
“I think he’s a little intimidated by you and the the whole gothemo act.That’s why the jokes.”
“Nah, Aaron’s anything but scared but I won’t dump him too soon”.
“Now that something for Christa Allen.Not dumping a boyfriend every two weeks?Impossible, even if it’s Aaron who is mega cute.”
“You just wait and watch-‘
“Sshh,the song’s best part’s on” I walked over to the stereo and turned it up so high that the walls were thudding.
I smiled at her, and turned it up higher.

“Leanne!” called my mom,”Get your lazy arse over here or we’re not going to buy your stuff.”
You could hear her laying on the sarcasm on thick.We weren’t getting along too well these days.She didn’t like the company I was in , the music I liked, clothes I wore, and especially my hair.She was after my hair all the time sneakily trying to pin it up.
I ignored her,making her wait and pissing her off was entertainting.I turned the volume up even higher.
I sighed,”Lets go before she nags us to death.”
I got up, pulled a brush through my hair, got my shoes on and checked for Undesirables on my face in the mirror and made a move.
We all piled into mom’s minivan chauffered by dad.Once we hit the road, mom got a call from my aunt who lived near by telling us to pick my cousin Sierra up from her place because she was near tears at the fact that Christa and I were hanging out without her. Well. She was good to boss around but she copied me like HELL. And it was HELLISHLY annoying.When I liked Evanescence, she liked Evanescence, I bought a neon green watch she went ahead and did the same. They said imitation was the best form of flattery, but to me it was just plain pissing off

“Bloody, little pile on.She said SO get a life of her own.” I murmured to Christa, who nodded in agreement.My mom heard it.
“What did you say Leanne?”
“Do you mind repeating what you just said Leanne Beatrice Robinson or I will-“
“What?What will you do? Ground me? Take away my so called priveleges?Blah,blah,blah.Firstly, don’t call me that.Secondly,I called her a pile on.You know what that is?A little extra idiot who has no character of her own. Or a little pain in the arse.”
She was shocked speechless by my little outburst.She looked to my Dad who was placidly driving, not paying attention because he was busy listening to his U2 music.
She looked at me.
“Oh, leave her alone Casey.”
Now my mother was looking dangerously purple.But she kept quiet.She looked at me, threateningly in that I’ll-sort-you-out-later way.My Dad and I had a deal that if I didn’t tell mom about the late night fridge raids(she was trying to get dad to watch his weight) he would always side by me.

We drove to the mall in complete silence, stopping on the way to pick Sierra up,to whom Christa and me passed dirty looks.When we got to the mall, Christa and me made a beeline for the icecream parlour. Even at the mall where the AC was on at full blast, both of us were feeling hot.We were a lot alike in many ways.We both had double scoops,mine being a kiwi and cranberry sorbet, and Christa’s was a chocolate fudge and a mint brownie.I stuck to the milk-less icecreams because I was a little lactose intolerant.
We met mom back at the entrance, Christa was itchig to go browse.Browsing actually was a very complicated process which involed picking any random store and throwng all the clothes off the racks till we found something to our taste while the staff just stood and looked disgruntled.Another one of my favourites was what I had learned when I had been a skateboarding punk (yes,I have dabbled everywhere.A week of this, a week of that.Skateboarding punk hadn’t lasted because Avril’s Sk8r Boi wasn’t my favourite song for very long) was going to a store, asking loads of questions about the stuff, trying out millions of outfits, throwing a bit of a fit when the store didn’t have what you wanted and leaving without buying a single thing.Now, freaking people out to the extent of fear was fun.
“You can only go off on your own if you take Sierra along with you.”, mom said, playing her final evil card on me.Even dad, the saviour wasn’t here.The clever, clever woman.
“You’re only saying that because you don’t want to take responsibility of her.”
“Maybe”, mom said “But it doesn’t matter, because you have to take her or not go at all.”
It was a total Hobson’s choice.I was thinking along the lines of not going at all to spite her but then Christa spoke up.
“We’ll take her along.”
I glared at her. She shushed me with a look.While walking incredibly fast to keep Sierra behind us, I asked Christa-“Have you lost it?She’ll screw everything up.”
“I’m not an idiot.We’re taking her to the kids playground-ish thing downstairs and we’ll blackmail Ms. Precocious into staying there otherwise we’ll tell her parents about the Facebook account she’s not supposed to have.”
I smiled.”That sounds pure evil to me.But how did you know about her Facebook account?”
“Isn’t it obvious? She told me, dumb***.”
“Oh.You’re not so dumb for a blonde.”
Christa was blonde by nature, she’d dyed her hair red .
We went to the kids indoor playground-ish thing.At first Sierra refused to go but then Christa and I held her Facebook account ransom and she went in.Everything was going according to plan.
We almost ran to the the nearest ‘Hot Topic’.After shopping for nice t-shirts to keep us going for the remainder of the summer.I wanted to go to the nearest ‘Converse’ outlet,my high tops were getting rather small for me.After half an hour of trying on shoes I saw the perfect pair.They were more like boots than high tops but they were AMAZING.After clomping around in them for a bit, I paid for them.They were ridiculously expensive, but completely WORTH it.Then I decided I needed a dress.We went to ‘Forever21’ but nothing.Juicy Couture.Nothing.Guess.Nil.I even tried Marks and Spencer.Nada.We wasted most of our time doing that.
In the middle we got ourselves a Coke float each and hung around the fountain, being ogled by the same old group that hung around the fountain.I loved the attention, it made me feel good that I was single and wanted.While Christa on the other hand shied away from such attention.It was because of her stone age dad.That’s why she only saw Aaron at my place.I was often made to lie for her, saying that she was at my place while she was going all kissy-kissy with Aaron at the closest theatre.Once while she was out with Aaron her dad called,(I always made it a point to get to the phone first) and asked to speak with her, I made up a wild story about her being in the loo with a bad stomach.I then made Jared(my younger brother) make some very realistic muffled fart noises.From that day I made it a point to keep 5 voice recordings of Christa in case her father called again.
While we were sitting by the fountain the weirdest thing happened.A guy walked up to me, and he was sort of young for me, but he was cute for someone around 2 years younger than me.
“Umm….I think I know you.Leanne Robinson, right?” he said
“You dated my brother.I’m Felix.”
Felix.Felix.Felix.I racked my brains but he gave me the answer.
”I’m Aidan’s brother.”
Oh.Aidan the drummer.
“Yeah,yeah.I remember you.You’re Aidan’s little brother.” I reached out and ruffled his hair.”Tell me, how is Ade?”
The kid’s face crumpled.”He’s not around anymore”
It took me a few seconds to register.He was dead.The kid’s tone only made it obvious that it was suicide.
“Oh my god.I am so sorry.”
The kid laughed humorlessly.”Don’t be.You breaking up with him didn’t cause it, if that’s what you mean.”
“I didn’t”
Christa got up to go loook at the sunglass kiosk.Felix looked at me.
“I was wondering if you cold tell me….about where the rest of WolfDart is.”
“I guess I could.” I pulled out my phone and gave him Paul’s number.That complete a**hole had tried to hook up with me the minute after I broke up with Ade.I’d still kept the number though,but even I didn’t know why.It was a way of my sadist-towards-dumb-guy nature.After looking around,Felix sat down next to me .I put an arm around him like I often did to Jared.Felix was like my brother almost.
“Umm..Felix?Are you crying?”
Nothing but sniffles.
He talked later.”I’m just trying to find why Aidan killed himself.I should go now.”
“If you need help you could email me.It’s”
It looked like I’d made the kid’s day.He smiled, repeated the address to himself,pulled his hood over his head and went away.Christa dropped into his place minutes later.I answered her before she could ask.
“Aidan’s little brother .He’s looking for information on why Aidan committed suicide.”
All Christa said was oh.
We fond what I was looking for in Zara.It was black, short and would go very well with fishnets and eyeliner.That was the only criteria.
“Phew.”I said, sitting down.”My feet hurt.MAJORLY.”
“Too bad.” said Christa “We have to go.It’s 3:22.”
“Yup.Let’s get a move on.”
“Move, Lee.”
I got up.”Christa?Would you kill me if I said I had to pee?”
“Probably not.Even I have to.”
We went to the loo’s.Christa took longer than expected and I used that time to try and wrench a lipgloss pack out of the vending machine,even after paying.Since I was unsuccessful I went and stood infront of the mirror.I had been blessed with black hair to help me in the cause of being a gothemo.My eyes were a shade darker than grey.I smiled at myself in the mirror said “Hurry up” to Christa and went back to fighting with the vending machine.
Christa and I were taking the elavator down when the weirdest thing happened.I saw him.The pale guy with the black eyes which were so sunken that they looked like empty sockets.
“Oh god.No” I whispered
“What?” asked Christa
“Him” I replied
“Holy s***.Ok wait.Get behind me.”
I did so.But as he passed us he grinned at me.I gave an involuntary shudder.He grinned harder.
My stalker was back.
I tried not to think about it as we picked Sierra up, threatening her again,as I ate lunch and drove back home with mom.Christa kept asking me if I was okay.And I kept nodding.Christa was going to sleep over and so was Sierra.We watched tons and tons of horror movies.Sierra fell asleep halway through ‘Jennifer’s Body’ which was the second movie of the night(Christa and I would be so dead if the parentals knew we were watching R rated movies with Sierra)
“Why do you think he’s back?Hadn’t Ade gotten rid of him.”
“Lee, Ade’s dead.He’s got his chance to get back at you.”
“I hope nothing big happens this time.”
“BIG?Big is what?”
“I don’t know.Some kind of criminal intentions.”
“No.Won’t go so far.”
“It did last time “ I said grimly.
“I promise it won’t.Now sleep.”

Both of us slept around 4:30, and for some weird but absolutely acceptable reason I didn’t dream about him.Normally I dreamt about everything that disturbed me in the day at night.
We got up at one the next day, we being Christa and me.Sierra was up at eight and was picked up by her parents.That left Christa and me to do anything.
“Let’s go swimming?” I asked
“Where?The SCCP?” said Christa

The full form of of that was the Swimmers Convention Club Pool
“Call Aaron too.” I said, but adding “Lie to daddy before.”
Christa nodded.”Good point.”
She called up her father.After a couple of angry negotiations and a very serious threat of suicide(Dad,I’ll strangle myself in my room, because I don’t have a life) while I was holding back my laughter she was allowed to go.
Then she used my phone to ring Aaron up.Aaron made stuff very easy for us. He was a star swimmer and we weren’t members of the SCCP but his presence gave us easy and free access to EVERYWHERE.I didn’t mean to use him but if he was so helpful, then why not?
Aaron picked us up at two .Christa rode shotgun with Aaron while I was stuck in the back, watching them pass each other lovey-dovey looks.Christa had so fallen for him, there was no way she’d break up with him,normally Christa’s boyfriends didn’t last for more than two weeks .
“Umm…Aaron?Drive please.” I said
“Hmm” he said and went back to looking at Christa
“Oh god” I said exasperatedly, throwing my hands up in the air
”AARON WATCH OUT!!” I screamed.
Just In Time.
He swerved to avoid the truck.And narrowly avoided killing us all.
“Ohmygod!” I said
“F***” he said

“Ohmy****inggod.”I said
“I almost killed us.”
“Hell yeah you did” I said”Christa? Christa? You okay?”
No answer.
“Chris?” Aaron asked.
I stretched over the front seat and saw Christa just sitting there, eyes wide open.
“Is she okay?” asked Aaron
“Does she look okay?Stop the car.”I snapped
“I mean she isn’t bleeding ,right?” he asked innocently
Aaron pulled over, I got out and opened Christa’s side of the door.
I felt her head for injuries,checked her pulse.
“She’s in shock.Lie her down somewhere.” We pulled her out and put her in the backseat.
“Drive to the club.” I said
“But Chris?”
“Aaron, if the parentals know we’ll be in worse trouble.Just drive.”
I got into the front seat.
“I can’t believe you were that careless.” I said to Aaron
“Christa’s very distracting.You’re scary.”
I smiled.I found that very satisfying.
“Nothing,Aaron,Nothing at all.”
By the time we got to the club Christa was okay, she screamed at Aaron for a bit, but then he hung his head and made a puppy dog face which I hated SO much and then he said ‘I’m so sorry babe’ and kissed Christa and she said it’s okay.Then she made him carry her to the ladies changing room.
I got into the cubicle and changed into my suit(black tankini with black shorts)
“I don’t think you should swim.”
“Well you sorta hit your head and what if you pass out in the pool?”
She made a face.
“And what would we tell your dad?” I asked
“Good point.I can dangle my feet, right?”
“You rock Lee.”
“I know, I know.”I said, bowing deeply.
“Ow!Chris, what was that for?” I said while rubbing the place where Christa had mock punched me.
“For having a rather large ego.”
“Huh.Lets go.”
I showered for a mini second.Aaron was already in the pool. Christa pulled up a chair to where we were.While Aaron and me were seeing who could kick up more water,Christa had her feet in the pool and she was cheering for me.Aaron turned to look at her, he swam upto her and I could hear him.
“Cheering for Leanne in this battle?”
“Hell yeah!Girl Power all the way.”
“Then my battle is against you too.” He said mock grimly and slashed her with so much water.She screamed, reached down and splashed him back.They were kind of cute together.
“Leanne!”, screamed Aaron,”Get yourself here.”
I smiled and swam over there.They tried to include me in their relationship but three’s always company.I splashed him as got to them,
“No fair, Lee.Let’s settle this the old fashioned way.”
“No.Let’s see who doesn’t chicken out on the highest diveboard.”
I looked up.The board was around 30ft high.
“You are on, Aaron.”
“It is so on,sister of my girlfriend.”
I smiled and followed him to the diving board.
“Ladies first?”
I rolled my eyes.”Chicken?”
“No way”
I started climbing with Aaron close behind me.Higher, higher,higher till Christa and everyone looked teeny .As I reached the top,climbed to the board and prepared to jump for a split second I saw Christa moving her hands in a cut throat then she pointed left to herself.I looked that way.Big mistake.I saw the cut throat.Him.By now I was at the end of the board, and when I turned that way I saw him.I gasped, lost my footing and fell from 30 feet.
Falling from 30 feet unaware was the weirdest thing ever.I watched in morbid fascination, as the water came closer and closer.I could hear Aaron shout.Then I hit the water.And it hurt.I slammed into the water.For a millisecond everything become black.Black.Black.Black and that horrible feeling of getting water up your nose.Then I could hear,Christa screaming for help.Someone pulled me out and got towels around me.After a few seconds I felt my chlorinated water ridden eyes open.
“Chris?Where is he now?”
“Right here.” That familiar voice like chalk squealing against a chalkboard.
I tensed.He made a beeline for me, Christa stood in front of me,he brushed her aside.He got behind me, I struggled to my feet, and he came so close to my ear that I could feel his breath on my shoulders.
“It hurt, didn’t it?” he whispered
I didn’t answer.
“Just how bad it hurt me when you were Aidan’s.I remember where he hit me for you.It hurt, Leanne, and you know so much about pain just as much I know about you.”
“That would be nothing.I don’t know you.” I spat.
“You just think so.You know me so much better.Remember this?” he pulled out a sketch.It was of a girl with brown hair, looking up at the sky.It was strangely familiar.He handed it to me.I extracted it from his hand gingerly and turned it over.
Dear Alyssa,

That ‘s you in the drawing.I hope you like it.
You’re my bestest friend and this is my bestest work for you.

loveya loads


God that was years ago!
“How do you have it?”
Then he reached his hand out to my face.He was so cold.
“I know everything.About Ade,Alyssa,even Alex.”
“SHUT UP!”I buried my face in my hands as it all came rushing back. Alyssa,me,Camille, all stepping into separate cubicle and shoving our fists down our throats,retching.Trying.Trying so hard.And he was watching me break,staring at me as if I was some kind of Biology specimen.Aaron stepped in then.
“Get away from her freak.” He hissed
“Oooh.I’m scared.New lover, Leanne?”
“You disgust me.” I said
“No way.I intrigue you.Don’t I?”
“Never.You ****ed up piece of s***.”
His eyes blazed.He lifted a hand.
“Leave her alone, you screwed up son of a-“ Aaron said
He whirled around and pulled out a Glock and pressed it to Aaron’s stomach.”You were saying?I will shoot you in broad daylight.”
Christa screamed.
“What do you want?” I screamed
Till then Christa had called club security, he quickly stowed his gun away and as they took him away he looked over their shoulders and he mouthed,”You’ll see.” to me
We took the bus back then,since none of us were in a condition to drive.Christa in her shocked state because of the car incident earlier today, Aaron was blaming himself for my fall and that he nearly killed us and he could have killed me twice.Also that he almost got shot in the stomach.Me? Well I had fallen from that dive board and a lot more.I was still shaking.Aaron got off the bus at the first stop.Christa and me decided to spend the night at her place because the bus didn’t stop any where near my house.
Christa’s dad spazzed when he saw both of us.But since I was there he didn’t go all crazy on Christa.
“You didn’t tell me that your friend was coming to stay the night?” he asked in a controlled voice
I didn’t want him to take it out on Christa so I said, “Actually,Mr.Allen,the thing is that on our way back Aaron’s car broke down-”
It took me a while to realize what I just said.Oh.
“Now who is this Aaron?”
“He’s my boyfriend.” I said, “ So sir, we took the bus, and since the bus didn’t stop near my place at all I came to your place.I hope it’s not much trouble?” I batted my eyelashes.
“No,Leanne.It isn’t” he said.
“Lee?Lets go up to my room?”
“Yeah.” I followed her upstairs.She locked her door.
“You nearly screwed everything up.”she said in a whisper.
“You hungry?”
“Nah,not really.”
“Worry really kills the appetite, huh?”
She chewed her bottom lip. “Lee?I had to tell you something.”
“Go ahead.”
“Well, my dad…”
“My dad,when he’s really angry,”
I hadn’t been expecting this.
“He beats me.”
I dropped the CD’s I’d been holding.
“Sshh.Not so loudly.”
“How else do you think my mother died?”
“I thought sui-“
“Why else did she do it?And she left me with this monster of a father.”
She lifted her shirt up.
“Oh god.” I whispered.There were tons and tons of half fading bruises everywhere on her stomach. “Has he ever ever tried anything else, along the lines of being a peadophile ?”
“Hell no.Thank God for tender mercies.”
“Run away, Christa.”
“To where?”
“To my place.”
“That’s nice of you,Lee but I can’t won’t your parents mind?”
“Not when they know the truth.” I said seriously
“Be practical Leanne.Who’s gonna pay for school, college, and other s***?”
“Your mom’s parents.I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to fund for you.”
“Lee, I haven’t seen them since mom died.And they’re all the way in India.”
“There are no loopholes for this one,Lee.I can take it till I get legal.”
“You shouldn’t.” I said in low voice
“There’s no way out.”
Then I shut my eyes and tried to sleep but I couldn’t sleep for more than half an hour – forty five minutes at a time.
I awoke to the sound of screaming.The room was dark and Christa’s side of the bed was empty.I checked the time.It was 2:45 am.I heard the scream again.
“Shut up, Christa!Your friend will wake up and where would be then?”
“Yeah, like your shouting won’t wake her.”
“Are you being smart Christa? Just like your mother.”
I could pratically feel the tension increase.I got off the bed, pulled a suitcase out from under her bed.I opened her cupboard and started frantically throwing clothes into it.Once I’d emptied her her clothes I began throwing everything else I could find.I put in all her underwear and the Bratz wallet she’d had since she was two,now it had all the money she ever had.The photo of her mum and her. I practically stuffed her whole life into that case.Then I sat on it and zipped it just to hear Mr.Allen say, “Come here, you little b****, I’ll show you what happens when you disobey the rules of this house and it’s owner.”
I walked down the stairs exactly two minutes later, to see Mr. Allen advancing towards Christa with crazy eyes and a broken beer bottle.He stopped short when he saw me standing at the bottom of the stairwell.
I walked forward, dragging the suitcase and went and held Christa’s hand.
“We’re leaving.” I said
“You can’t leave.” Mr. Allen said venomously
“Oh yes we can. And so we are.” I said
“Christa won’t.Will you Chrissy?”
This was the most crucial moment.Christa couldn’t crack now.Her father leered at her.I squeezed her hand.
“Actually,Dad,” she spat the word “I will.”
We turned and headed for the door, I opened it and we walked out.
Her father shouted “You can’t walk out on me.I will call the police.”
“Go ahead.” I said. “We have material proof of what you did too.” Christa lifted her shirt and then we ran.
“Chris, we don’t have to run.He was so shocked that he’s not gonna follow us.”
“Where to now?”
“My place is too far.We go to Aaron’s.He’s legal.”
“But he can’t support both of us.”
“Who said he had to?’ I smiled at her.
“You’re the best.”
We walked the way to Aaron’s place and the situation, serious as it was made me want to laugh.Aaron lived in a studio apartment on the third floor.We took the elevator up and in the elevetor Christa and I looked at each other and started laughing.
“Hell of a night, huh?” I asked
“More like an adventure.I can’t believe I just did what I just did.”
I started laughing again.
We got up to Aaron’s apartment.I rang the bell three times and it was opened by a short guy with a goatee.
“Who are you?” he asked
“We’re here for Aaron.More importantly, who are you?”
“I’m Aaron’s flatmate.Hold on a second.”
I smiled.Minutes later a very sleepy Aaron came to the door.
‘Hi babe,” he said sleepily to Christa,”Hi scary.” He said to me
“Are you gonna invite us in or am I gonna have to do this?” I pushed past him and entered the apartment.I found some space for myself on the armchair and Christa sat next to me.Aaron came and sat on the table.
“What was so important that you came and woke me up at this time? Can James know?”
“Yeah.It doesn’t really matter.” I said
James sat down next to Aaron on the coffee table.
Christa narrated the whole thing over to him.
In the middle Aaron got up, and said and said, “Why didn’t you tell me this before.”
“Because I was scared.” She said
When she finished, Aaron and James looked at me with respect and Aaron said
“Scary saved my girlfriend’s life.What did you do?Outstared her dad with your panda eyes.Hell,you would have scared me too.”
I laughed.
“So Chris is staying here?”
“Yeah.Till we can get enough money to send her to India to her grandparents.”
Christa looked at me ,”You left that out.But we?”
“You thought you were gonna get the cash yourself?I’m helping.”
Christa got up and hugged me.’Jealous?’ I mouthed to Aaron.He smiled.I walked over to Aaron and I said“If you break Christa’s heart , Aaron, I will hunt you down and mess you up so badly that you will have nightmares about it your whole life.”
“That’s pretty believable.I won’t break her heart because I am scared of you.”
“Oh yeah, we’re staying the night here.”
“Christa can share with me.” Aaron said.James gave me a look.
“No way.” I said. “You guys will room together and Christa and I will take the cleaner room”
Both of us checked out the rooms.It was a complete bachelor pad.Underwear strewn everywhere,take out boxes everywhere.
“Yuck!” said Christa.”I’m not even sitting on any of those beds.”
“I don’t know?’
“Should we?”
“No way.Not at all.Chris.”
“Couch?” both of us said together.
The guys were looking at us, bewildered.
”Girl talk, dumbasses.”
“You won’t get it.”
Then both of us laughed.Somehow Christa and I managed to fit in to that couch.At nine the next morning I scribbled a note and left it on the table.
I went home, ok? Call if you need anything.And yeah while you’re at Aaron’s remember- no drinking too much, no three ways and no partying too much (haha, who am I to speak. =P) But seriously, you still have school okay.Stop by at Luke’s I’m fixing up a job for you at his CD shop.(Rather scaring him into it). See ya later. Leanne.
I went home then after stopping at the nearest IHOP.Mum and dad were out with a note stuck to the fridge saying that I was supposed to babysit Jared and Sam(my two baby brothers.J wasn’t a baby but they were all the same to me.)
“Come downstairs for a second.”
“Bring Sam too.”
After fifteen minutes, Jared came down carrying Sam.Both of them had dad’s blonde hair and blue eyes.
“Hi, Jared.Hi Sammy.”
.At the moment I was fifteen, Jared was seven and Sam was one and a half .
“Hewwo Lee.” Said Sam with his lisp
“Hi” Jared said
“Lee pwetty.” chirped Sam
“I’m pretty? I asked
He nodded.
And you’ll grow up to be a chick magnet.Both of them.
“J?Get me the jar of jelly babies.”
He got up grudgingly and got the giant jar.I opened it.
“Hey guys, who ate all the green ones?”
Jared smiled guiltily.
“Oh man, I’m gonna SO tickle you to death.” I said as I chased him around the house.I had cornered him when we heard a thud and heard Sam cry.
“Oh crap!Sam.”
I raced down the stairs to find Sam under the table with a handful of jelly babies in his hand.Then I realized the thud wasn’t Sam falling of the couch but it was the box of jellybabies that had been purposely dropped by Sam.
I got down on my knees and under the table
“Sam you clever boy.why did you drop the whole jar?”
He opened his multicolored mouth and answered, “Yew newer awow me jewwy bwabies.”(You never allow me jelly babies.)
“You could’ve asked, Sam.” I left him under the table.Then I heard Jared screaming,”DIE ALIEN, DIE!”
I raced up the stairs but I sort of tripped on one of Sam’s toys which were spread out on the landing.I screamed as I fell, and landed on one of the bottom steps with a painful crack.
“Lee,you okay?” asked Jared
“Huh? What?” I put my hand to my forehead and it was all wet and sticky.Blood.
“Ow!” I screamed as I probed my head for more blood and bumps..
“Hold on,Lee I’m just coming.”
Jared came down the stairs and when he saw me he screamed.
“What, what’s wrong?”
“Holy crap,Lee,you’re knackered.”
“Just get me to the loo,J.”
He slung one of my arms on my shoulders and half carried, half dragged me to the loo.I looked at myself in the mirror,and yeah I was pretty knackered.I’d cut mself on the forehead and it was bleeding.The pain didn’t bother me so much since I was so used to selfhurt that it didn’t bother me anymore.That made me look at my left arm, there were thousands of scars, one above the other, the faint lines of the word ‘Psychotropia” and below that ‘Fools’ Paradise” I ran a finger over them and traced the words with a finger.Then I cleaned up my forehead with Jared’s t-shirt.My left ankle was twisted so I put ice on it.My head was hurting like hell and I really wanted to sleep,so I shouted from upstairs. “Umm, guys?I’m feeling really tired so I’m taking a nap.Lock the door and don’t get up to anything.”
“Okay, Leanne.” Jared said
“J?Just watch Sam.”
“Yeah,I’ll do that.I’m bringing him up to my room.”
“Oh-kay.” I said and let my head fall to the pillow.I hardy slept very much, because I dreamed and surprisingly my subconscious mind discovered a lot more than when it was awake.I’d always thought he’d been familiar,and I’d been right the whole time.Of course I knew who he was.Well, Alyssa, Camille and me, but these days it was just Cam and me.He was Alyssa’s brother, I remembered him from playdates at Alyssa’s, that shadowy little figure that kept on tailing us because he had no friends but Alyssa used to bully him loads.He was just doing what Felix had been doing.It didn’t justify why he was doing all that stuff to me, but at the moment it made most sense.But I still couldn’t forger that leering face.That face with dark eyes so sunken in. Seeing him was like living a nightmare from which I struggled to wake up.But I could forgive him a little because what happened to Alyssa was kind of Camille’s and my fault.
I herad my phone ring but I ignored it and let it all go to voice mail, I’d just fallen off the stairs,I was allowed to sleep,right?But then the boys became too quiet and I know that they were up to something.Jared never shut up, I know that for a fact.He was trying to be sneaky about something.I crept down the stairs and saw both of them in the kitchen. were using the hand mixer for something and it did not look good.
“Umm, guys?”
Jared shouted, “When did you get here?”
“Right about now.What the hell are you doing?” I looked over his shoulder, there was a very sad looking cupcake with icing dripping off it.Near it, Sam was sitting on the kitchen counter and coloring in an outline of a heart with ‘World’s Best Sister” written on it.
I should have been touched but by women’s/sister’s/whatever’s intution told me there was something more to this.
“Jared?What have you done?”
“What?I didn’t do anything.Can’t a guy love his sister?”
“Jared, tell me what you’ve done or …….I’ll take your PSP.”
“Well,I..I opened the backdoor and Werewolf got out.”
“I’m really sorry.”
I wasn’t really listening.I needed to find my dog..
“Shut it, J.Get your shoes on and get Sam’s restraint, hurry or the vampires will get you.”
“AAARGH!!VAMPIRES!” he screamed and ran upstairs.I got my running shoes on because if you had to catch Werewolf,you were going to have to run.A lot.Jared came down and we got Sam on his cleverly disguised backpack leash and we ran.We lived in a cul-de-sac bunglow so atleast we knew where Werewolf ran.I started running and the boys followed.For a one and a half year old,Sam could really run and they all thought it was because of the fact that he started walking really early but right it was looking like a jelly baby plus icing sugar plus sprinkles induced sugar high.I ran into the local park and started asking people.Jared and Sam asked the people in the kids park while I tried my hardest to cover the rest.I went around shouting if anybody had seen a black labrador with a spike studded choker collar.I asked an old lady and she said, “A black labradoodle?Why yes, I just now did see one.It was running after a squirrel like some of the maniac drivers on our street.It nearly knocked me over.”
That sounded very much like Werewolf.”Umm..could you please tell me where he went?”
“Right there,” she said pointing to her right, “Love your hair, dear.”
Okay, that was weird, normally old people didn’t like my messy hair, which had green streaks today.But I ran in the direction the lady had pointed in.
I asked one man the same question, and he pointed straight ahead of him and I nearly died of embarassment.Werewolf was sniffing another dog’s butt,and then he lifted his right hind leg to do something very unacceptable.I shouted, “Werewolf, no!” and I ran to the owner.By the time I got there, Werewolf had already done his business.I walked over to the owner, he was a guy slightly older than me, and I started apologizing like crazy.
“Ohmygod.I am so sorry.You do not even know how sorry I am.”
He took a look at me, gave me the once over and said, “It’s okay,actually.”
“You serious?”
“Yeah,yeah.Sure.I’m Mitch.” He said extending a hand
“Werewolf, huh?Mine’s called Bee.”
“Hey,I was wondering that if you had the time then you’d like hang out right now?”
“Right now?Not a good time.But I’ll be here in the evenings.”
“See you around, Mitch.”
“You too,Leanne.”
I started walking towards the kiddo park,holding Werewolf by his collar.Jared and Sam came running
“You found him.”
“Duh,I would.”
“I’m hungwy.” said Sam
“Let’s go home then?” I said
We started walking home.Three houses away, I noticed a guy dressed in black staring at the house.
“Oh god,no.” I said, “J?We have a problem.”
I explained everything to him behind a car and told to take Sam and take the backdoor into the house,and once he was inside stand at the door with a frying pan.Meanwhile I pushed my hands into my pockets and looked for my phone.No such luck because I knew I had left it at home, on my bed.So I bravely walked towards my house.
When I reached I made it a point for me to be looking in the direction of my front door and for him to have his back turned against it.
“What do you want,Ralph?”
“So rude to guests,Leanne?” he asked in his whispery voice.
“What is this all about,Ralph?Alyssa?”
For the first time he looked surprised.
“Alyssa?Alyssa?This isn’t a quest of vengance.”
“Then what is it?”
“For the pursuit of love,I’m in love with you,Leanne.I have wanted you since forever.I knew you were the one when I saw you.”
He was creeping me out now.
“I don’t believe you,Ralph.I really don’t.”
“Will this make you?” he pulled up his sleeve and there was my name carved on to his arm probably repeatedly.I took a step back.
“Look,let me make one thing very clear Ralph,I’m not going to fall in love with you because of that.And if you were atually in love with me you would be leaving flowers on my doorstep and valentine’s day cards.I don’t like that either so don’t get any ideas, okay?The thing is you wouldn’t be carrying a gun around and you wouldn’t be threatning to kill the people who actually love me.”
“That doesn’t matter to me.My means are mine.But one day, I swear you will be mine and I’ll punish you for not loving me all these years.”
He crossed the half a foot of distance between us and came awfully close to me.When I said, “Just leave Ralph,I don’t-“ he cut me off with a kiss.His horrible mouth attached itself to mine and I could feel his hands stuck in my hair, pulling at them almost,he tried forcing my mouth open and that’s when Jared,who swiftly came from behind and gave Ralph a solid whack on the head.I’d been thinking along the lines of puking in his mouth but Jared had been too quick for that.
‘J?Get me my phone and mouthwash, please.Hurry okay?”
He ran upstairs without a complaint and got the stuff.I brushed thrice and washed my mouth five times.Then I called up Christa who was absolutely shocked.So shocked that she even had the idea of sending Aaron over to my place which I very clearly said no to.Then she started going on about the party, which I had no clue about, to which she called me an ‘unobservant b****’ and asked me to check in my Messages and there it was-
Hi lee & cam i just got 3 vip passes 2 nicks party at fluid theres a live band and i really want you guys 2 b there coz aaron & I won’t know any1 RSVP 2 ASAP
<3 christa
When was this exactly?I sent an email off to Nick.I didn’t even know who he was but he must have been a friend of Aaron’s.Aaron the ticket.That’s what he was.When was this party, anyway? I rang Christa up.
“Saw the message finally, did you?”
“Yeah,when is this thing?”
“Tommorow.It starts at around six and ends at..well you know when it’s going to end.”
By the time everyone’s drunk and people realize they’ve got to sleep.
“Christa, you and Aaron are gonna have to pick us up.”
“Yeah, I know.We’ll be there like at quarter to six.”
“That sounds good.Bye.”
“Lee..go lock all your doors and windows now.”
Till then Jared and Sam had taken their places on the dining table and were banging their forks against the table, saying “Fried Chicken.Fried Chicken.”
“Guys, there is no way I’m making fried chicken ‘coz I have no idea on how to.Why don’t we eat some Mac and Cheese?”
They started up a new chant, “Mac and Cheese”
“And yeah if you don’t stop that,I’m poisoning your food.”
That shut them up in milliseconds.The macaroni was a little undercoooked and it took a knife to get the cheese out of the saucepan but the boys ate it like it was the best thing they had ever had.(Put plate in front of Jared.Turn away.Turn back again and the plate was half empty)
After eating my share too, Jared ran up the stairs with Sam,I was sitting on the sofa,just thinking, with Werewolf on my feet, aimlessly snapping at mosquitoes.I was petting his head and thinking of getting some of the cherry cobbler out of the fridge when I heard Jared say, “Leanne?I think you should get up here.It isn’t looking very good.”
I went up the stairs into the master bedroom where Jared and Sam were doing whatever they were doing.I opened the door to see Sam barfing.I walked in, tentatively.
Puke brought back some really nasty memories.It was Alyssa again, how we were all bulimic together.Those plans we’d made together on comitting suicide together and one of the worst memories was the three of us, playing a sick little game to see how many jackknives we could do at a stretch, how many days we could go by without eating dinner, how long we could bear the hunger pang.We were the three little masochistic muskesteers.

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