Always and Forever

February 8, 2013
Always and Forever

I type slowly and steadily, forcing my mind to think of something to write. The man told me something exciting. Something no one will ever forget. Well, beautiful vampires and werewolves has already been written. So what else? A girl who has to fight in a arena, and someone who she loves? No, that has been written already as well. So what’s something they will never forget? A thought creeps slowly into the back of my mind. No one has done a mix yet. What about that? Yes, I will write about that.

My mom calls up the stairs, her smooth voice creeping its way to me. I sigh and minimize my writing, and shut the laptop half way. I grab my writing folder and sprint down the stairs. My mom is baking in the kitchen, the smell of baked potatoes and ham mix together. She smiles and giggles as I almost run into the table. I scowl at her and lay my folder down on the table. My mom looks at me and her blue eyes widen in shock. Her mouth opens and makes a perfect “O”.

“Rose, your hair is, er, well it’s so messy. What did you do?” She lays down her knife that she had been slicing the meat with and scowls at me. She folds her arms around her chest and her deep eyes glare at me. “We have company, you know. Go clean up.”

I snicker as I run up the stairs and into my mostly clean room. I comb my hair out and put it in a loose ponytail. I pucker my lips and layer them in my watermelon flavor lip balm. I sigh as I again sit down in my desk chair and open my laptop. So, something exciting, huh? I type fast, not letting the words slip away from my lips. I stop every once in a while to think of what to say next. Within half an hour, my first draft is finish. I save it and shut down my noisy computer. I run around my room, searching for something appropriate to wear. I end up with just a simple sweater with a scarf and leggings.

Bang. Bang. Oh dang. Our neighbors are here, their noisy children and beautiful boys with them. In just moments Lily is in my room, her critical eyes searching for anything out of place. To bad I already cleaned my room, and there was nothing to criticize. Her lips spread into a thin smile as she glares at me. She sits on my bed casually, as if I had invited her to. She grabs my notebooks and reads my journals. She reads a entry and gasps. “Rosaline, I didn’t know you ever had a boyfriend.” She looks up at me slowly, her lips open wide and her eyes bulging out of her sockets.

I sigh and grab the journal from her small hands. “Please, Lily, don’t read my personal stuff. Of course I had a boyfriend, and yes, he is now your boyfriend. Just leave me alone.” I smile wickedly in victory as she jumps from my bed and her finger points at my face. She opens her mouth as if she is going to say something and then decides against it. She slams her jaw shuts and walks from my room, her short body bouncing up and down in anger. I stick my tongue out at her retreating back and sink into my bed. I don’t want to socialize with my annoying neighbors at this moment. I grab my journal and start writing about everything. It’s been years since I’ve written in here.

After writing in my journal, I look at all my yearbooks. I open my newest one as a sophomore, and read all my friends’ notes. I sigh and shut the book and go back to my writing. As I finish revising my work, I hear my mom coming up the stairs. I jump from my desk chair and run to my closet. I shut the door and lock it, not wanting my mom to find me at all. She walks into my room and starts talking nonsense, like how she knows I’m in my closet and that I better get out. Why on earth would I want to get out and face her wrath?

And then she says something about one of the boys asking where I am. I’m out of the closet in a instant, and facing her snickering face. She tilts her head to the left and grins. “I was kidding,” she says triumphantly. “But you have to come and eat now. I know you don’t like Lily, but live with her for a few minutes.” She walks out my room, and almost trips over her high heels. I laugh as she looks back at me with horror struck on her face. She scowls at me and walks down the steps, her head held high. I sigh and follow her.

Lily looks at my face and her lower lip trembles in self pity. As no one notices her little show, she purses her lips and narrows her eyes. She folds her arms and leans against her chair. Lily’s mom looks over at her and then at me with suspicion crawling into her eyes. So Lily didn’t tell them that I took away my journal from her. I half smile and retreat into my seat next to Liam, Lily’s brother. He stares at me and grins. Lily shoots him a disdainful look and he looks away, his mouth shutting into a frown. I sigh and look down at my plate.

“So, Rosaline, what have you been up to?” Lily’s mom looks at me expectantly and folds her hands under her chin. She blinks her eyes slowly. One, two, three.

I smile sweetly and widen my eyes. “Well, I’m actually working on publishing my writing into a magazine. The man said it had to be something very interesting that no one would ever forget. It’s hard work, but it’s also worth it. I love writing.” I grab my fork and put a small slice of ham into my mouth and chew it slowly. Liam looks at me and stares at me in amazement. He flashes me a dazzling smile and I can’t help it. I smile back, and I feel my cheeks go red. He winks and starts eating again.

Lily’s mom, Anna, looks between us for a couple of seconds and then smiles back at me. “That’s wonderful dear. I’m so happy you are able to do that.” She puts a baked potato in her mouth and looks at my mom. “Delicious potatoes, Mrs. Swan. They are so perfectly moist and just, well, delicious. I would love to have your recipe.”

“Oh, of course, Anna. After dinner I will give it to you straight away.” She smiles her beautiful smile and turns to Liam. “Liam, I heard that you have decided to be a marine. That’s a wonderful choice.”

“Oh, yes. It’s still a couple of years, but I feel very strongly about it.” He nods his head slowly, like I do when I’m searching for something to say. He purses his lips and looks around the room, and red creeps up his neck and to his cheeks. Liam sighs and looks down at his plate. I giggle and look at Lily, who was glaring at me creepily. I cringe into my seat and Lily’s dark eyes glow.

When dinner was over, my mom gives Anna the recipe for the delicious potatoes and then they are on their way. Liam gives me a wink and smiles crookedly as he leaves. After they left, I clear the table and wash the dishes. My mom dances around the room, her pale blue cocktail dress flashing around her. She squeals and gives me a huge hug. “I did it Rosaline. I sold the house!” And that’s what did it.

I drop the plate I was holding and it falls to the ground, smashing into a million pieces. I stare at my mom in astonishment. “Sold?” I croak weakly. “What do you mean my sold the house, mom? Dad built this house and we are not moving.”

My mom flinches as I mention my dad’s name. “Yes we are. I already sold the house to Anna’s friend. We’re moving to California. Come on, Rosie! It’s going to be fun. I promise.”

I shake my head and walk away from the kitchen. “Why didn’t you even tell me?” I lay down on the couch and wrap my knees up to my chin. My mom sits next to me and pats my back sympathetically. She puts her head on top of mine and sings my lullaby. When she’s done singing she leaves the couch and turns the lights off. She walks slowly up the stairs and hums quietly.

In the morning I wake up and find a letter on my pillow. I open it up and read it. It was a letter from the publisher in Miami, who I submitted my work to. It says that he published my story and that he loves it. He is sending me a copy of the magazine and also a small gift. I squeal and jump from the couch. My mom is in the kitchen, making waffles for breakfast. She looks up at me and smiles quickly, not wanting to ruin my happy mood. I laugh and show her the letter. Her eyes grow wide and she grins as she reads the letter. She looks at me and tears are streaming down her face.

“Good job, Rosaline. I’m so very proud of you.” She drops the letter and embraces me in a huge bear hug. I laugh and settle my chin on her shoulder. Her arms form circles on my back and she plants light kisses on my head. “If only your father could know about this. You know what he would say, don’t you?”

“They would have been stupid to not publish your story, sweetheart. You are the most famous Rosaline Swan. Daughter of Robert Swan, who is also very famous, you just don’t know it.” I laugh as I hear my very recent dead father’s voice coming out of my very own mouth. Tears stream down my face as I remember his beautiful face. His sparkling smile and eyes. His gray hair that always sticks up at the most random spots possible. I laugh uncomfortably as I see my mom collapse. “He is famous, you know mom. We should know that now. He’s famous in our hearts.” My voice is a small croak and I swallow hard, trying to moisten it. My mom’s shoulders start shaking and I hear her shrill screams. “He didn’t want to leave us mom. He loves us, and we both know it.” I sit down beside her and lay my arms around her. “It’s okay, mom. I understand.” He didn’t leave us, for his fresh memories are still in us. My heart quivers as I think about him. I choke down my tears and walk out the kitchen. I can’t bear the sight of my mom crying. I know I should help her, but there’s nothing I can do for her. “I understand.”

My fingers brush the smooth keyboard, and I start writing about my dad. His musical laughter, his rough hands, his tall body and his perfect smile. I write about all of this, and how he held me in his arms, and my other sisters. He taught me how to play baseball. He taught me how to play the piano and guitar. He taught me how to shoot, for my own self defense. He always liked to know that I’m safe. I pour my heart out and tears fall out of my eyes. I blink them away, frustrated.

Once I was finished writing I printed out the papers and send them right away to the publisher in Miami. This was something that has to be published. I check in on my mom and pat her back a couple of times. Finally I can’t take it and walk out the back door. I sit on the bench and rock my legs back and forth. I bury my head into my arms and start crying again. A door opens and closes, and I’m not alone. Liam walks toward me and sits down on the bench. He puts his hand on my shoulder and pats it slowly.

“What’s wrong, Rose?” His smooth voice is layered in concern.

“I miss my dad. I miss the way he talks. The way he walks. I miss him so much, Liam. Why did this happen to me?” I lift my head and bury it into Liam’s chest. He pats my back soothingly and murmurs words of sympathy. I clutch his shirt and collapse into his arms. He pulls me closer to him and plants a kiss on my head. I continue crying and don’t stop until the sun lowers behind the trees. I wipe my eyes and huddle up against Liam. He wraps his arm around my shoulder and we sit there in complete silence, enjoying each others company.

I walk into my house and my mom is laying on the couch, watching TV. Her eyes are red - and mine are too, probably, as I have been crying for a long time- and half closed. I sit down on the chair and we sit there silently, watching a stupid show. I eventually stand up and walk to my room to get ready for bed. On my pillow is a tear stained note from my mom. It says, my dearest Rosie, I have decided against moving. Robert would not like that at all. Thank you for reminding me that, and also for being my little baby girl. I love you so very much. Love you sweetie, Mom. I refold the note and slip it under my pillow, where it is to remain forever. Because we are not moving any more. I smile as I think of the years to come. I sigh and pick up my laptop. I write a letter to my dad, starting a personal journal on the computer. Once I’m done I shut the laptop and go to bed.

As I lay in my bed with my lights turned off and my alarm set for ten o’clock, I hear my mom in the other room start crying again. I crawl out of my bed and creep into her room. I lay next to her on her large bed and hold her in my arms. Soon my shirt is soaked and my mom stops crying. I look down at her and see that she is finally asleep. I sigh and let my eyes shut, the darkness of dreamland creeping into the back of my mind. Sleep is all I need. Sleep from this cruel, merciless world. My mom’s body curls into mine and she starts talking in her sleep.

“Robert,” she moans quietly. “Why did you ever leave me? Why?” I kiss her sweaty forehead and put my lips to her ear.

“He didn’t leave you. He didn’t want this. And he still loves you.” And he always will. Always and forever.

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