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Deceiving Yourself is the Easiest Part of Lying
The sun was just starting to go down as we finally reached the drive way to my new “home”. This had to of been the worst day I’ve had in a long time. Fist I got to say goodbye to the house I’ve lived my whole childhood in, and to all the friends I’ve grown up with. Then I got to spend 4 hours in a small sports car with an alcoholic mother (who thankfully wasn’t driving), a father who only talked about his job, how excited he was to start selling pointless things to strangers and how his son is just so amazing at everything he does. The only ok part about this was that I had my brother Steven next to me, but he’s not that great because he just loves to soak up all the compliments and attention from dad.
We traveled up the driveway that seemed to extend endlessly. The untrimmed plants brushed against the car, sounding like fingernails tapping restlessly. Slowly but surely the two story, lifeless house came into view. We were out in the middle of nowhere (really only 5 minutes away from town, but it seemed like it), everywhere you looked there were trees, and the house came off with an unsettling vibe. Great.
“Everyone say hello to your new home” said my dad with a sigh of relief as he parked the car. “Steven you can wait to unpack things tomorrow. I know you need your sleep. Effy, take out what you want”.
I rolled my eyes and picked out a few of my bags out of the trunk of the car. They should be used to me not answering them. Not like they care. I was the first one who stepped foot into the house. If the sun hadn’t been shining through the windows slightly it would have been pitch black. The moving truck hadn’t gotten there yet so it was empty and cold. Something about this place gave me the chills…
Knowing my parents were going to take the room down stairs, Steven was going to get the biggest one, and I was never going to get the basement all to myself, I decided to check out what was left. The stairs were about 10 feet in front of the front door. As I walked up them they all eked and creaked under me. The area was fairly big; I could tell mom was going to enjoy decorating it whenever she next becomes sober. Therewas two rooms to the left, a bathroom, ahead of me, and the one room to the right. The one to the right I assumed was the biggest so I didn’t bother looking at it. I took my eyes off it so thoughts of how lucky my brother was wouldn’t fill my mind. Right as I did so, I heard a door shut and a flash of light move away quickly. ‘Must have been the wind’ I thought to myself, because everyone else I could still head outside. ‘Just forget about it’ I continued to think. So I did, I just brushed it off.
The first room I went into was the one closed to the bathroom. It was definitely smaller then I would like, and the light switch didn’t work. The walls were light brown wood, and there was just nothing special about it. “The other room better be better than this one” I mumbled to myself.
So I just canceled that one out and entered the other room. The light switch worked, it was at least double the size from the other, and the walls were a dark chocolate brown.
“This is more like it!”
In the wall there was a built in dresser that had 6 largish drawers, and a hand carved swirly designs on it. Probable made by who ever lived here last. The lighting was dim (but that’s the way I like it) yet the peach colored floral tiling on the floor stood out so much.
“That has got to change.”
Then I noticed 2 strange things. One being a string that hung down from the ceiling that pulled off a section reveling a tunnel above. (It wasn’t like an attic though.) Another was this mini door that was only about 3 feet tall. I was just about to open it when I heard the motor of a car outside.
“Moving truck is here!” My brother yelled for me.
I set my bags down and laid my head down on top of them.
“I wonder what the school is going to be like… Probably just as freaky and lame as this house.” I thought to myself.
I continued to think about how it will look and what the kids are like. Slowly but surely my thoughts became weird and messed up dreams as I fell farther and farther into a hard night’s sleep.
I woke up at about 6AM just like every morning. See, I was forced to move right in the middle of the school year, so my sleeping schedule is all about getting up early. I was the only one awake of course though, because I could hear my brother snoring extraordinarily loud, and my parents never get up this early. I walked down stairs and saw all our upper class furniture in this rundown house. It didn’t look right. Eventually I made my way to the kitchen so I could get some water and begin making my lunch.
At about 6:30 I got done and went back to my room, grabbed my stuff and began to place my things in the bathroom. Finally I finished getting ready for the day. I went with my Favorite outfit which included a We Came as Romans band t, extreme black skinny jeans, and my purple Vans. And of course to top it off my black eye makeup, and teased hair. By 7:40 my brother and I were ready, with luckily 20 minutes till school started. Dad had given Steven the directions to the school, and seeing that he’s 18 him and dad decided that he was going to be the one to drive. And of course he got us lost a little, but eventually we made it.
Boy was I right about the school being just as weird as the house. It was just like an old fashioned school house. Super small, and had an actual bell outside of it. Although it did have multiple class rooms, but it only had one per grade. Guess that means no more periods? We parked the car next to a few others and walked inside. The walls were all white, and the front desk was small. This was a big change from my huge city sized school.
“Hello welcome to J School. How can I help you?” The office lady asked us.
“We just moved here and now need to join this school” Replied Steven.
“Mk, what is your name, age, and grade?”
“Mine is Steven Anderson, I’m 18, and I’m a senior. She is...”
“Effy Anderson, 16, and a sophomore.” I said cutting off my brother. I can’t stand it when people talk for me.
Steven continued to answer more weird random questions about us. I paid little attention.
“K. Steven you are in room 15, and Effy you are in room 13. Take these and just show them to your teacher. Have a great first day.” She then gave us the papers, and a creepy large smile along with them. I also thought it was peculiar that she didn’t type out or info, she hand wrote it.
Steven and I walked together in silence, I was to upset about being there to talk, and he was trying too hard to stay happy to talk. Finally we came to my class first and I gave him a huge hug saying “I know your pain, but we will get through this together.” Calmly I entered the classroom and I had every eye on me. They all looked at me like an outsider coming in. And dang did I feel like one. The girls were wearing skirts, had no makeup on, and yet most were fairly pretty. The boys all had short hair, and most were wearing overalls. (Not pretty!)
I walked slowly over to the other side of the class room to give to the teacher the note. She was very tall and was wearing a fancy but old looking dress. She smiled and gracefully took the note and read it.
“Hello Etty is it?” She asked.
“No, it’s Effy.” I answered as nicely as I could get myself too. Wouldn’t want to get off on a bad start with the teacher already.
“Got it. Silly Mrs. Carmen making her F’s look like T’s.” She giggled to herself. Then she suddenly stopped and I could hear nervousness coming from her voice. “Oh. I see that you just moved into the um… Cooper home…” A gasp came from every student. I could feel all the chills and goose bumps every teen in the room got just from that one statement.
“Like I have a clue. But I take it that it’s a well-known place, so what’s the story behind it?” I asked with a little sarcasm.
“Huh? Oh no there’s nothing behind it. How about you just go sit in that empty desk in the back.”
“Sure thing…” Wow, right off I get to sit in the back of the class. But here I don’t think that’s taken as a good thing. Oh well. I went back there, dropped my bag on the ground, (causing everyone looking at me to jump. I thought it was funny) and slouched down in my chair.
“You really don’t know the history about the Cooper home?” A boy to my left (who was one of the only ones who wasn’t wearing overalls.) whispered to me.
“Nope, not a clue.”
“I’ll tell you about it in about 10 minutes when it’s time for our break.” He gave me a slight smile. Which kind of freaked me out.
10 minutes went by and the teacher let us leave the class room. Everyone around me was murmuring to one another, and couldn’t stop looking. Eventually the boy made his way to me.
“So everyone is really just freaked out about that place because it’s been told to be hunted. No family has moved into it sense the Cooper family. And no one has any idea as to what happened to them. We would have found out if they moved out, but never did. One day they and all their stuff were just gone.”
“Huh… interesting.” I didn’t really know what to say that wouldn’t be insulting.
“Yeah I mean it doesn’t scare me, but it was a big thing to happen here. But now you guys are all the town is going to be talking about for who knows how long haha.” He’s the only person who seemed to not be afraid of me.
The teacher called us back into class and the rest of the day just seemed to breeze by. I got use to the disturbing looks they all gave me anyways.
Steven actually got along with the kids there, like I knew he would. This caused him to stay after and hang out with them. So I had to drive myself home. Once I did, I made my way to the kitchen and saw my dad sitting at the dining table reading something that probably had to do with work. I grabbed some gold fish to snack on and decided to ask my dad a few questions.
“Dad, why did we move here?”
“Because it was a good deal, and it’s going to give your brother some new great opportunities. Also you might change your corrupted ways.” He answered while keeping his nose in his paper
Ha like I could ever get that last part to meet up to his standards. “So why do you think this place was such a remarkable price?”
“I didn’t bother to ask.”
“Oh. Well some kids at school were telling me some stories about this place. Have you heard any of them?”
“Can’t say I have. Now Effy will you please go someplace else and not bother me with your questions?”
I left the room, not surprised that I didn’t get anything out of him, and that he sent me away like always. It’s not how he acts towards me that I hate, it’s that it’s only me that he does it to. Steven is just so amazing though that he doesn’t have to be treated like he’s worthless. My annoyance slipped away eventually as I went into the living room to see if maybe my mom would listen to me. I could tell that she hadn’t been drinking because she was actually up and putting books and other little embellishments away.
“This ludicrous thing just won’t go with anything! Why do we even have it?!” My mom mumbled to herself. Right there I could tell this wasn’t going to be a good conversation.
“Hey mom, I’m home from my first day.”
“Well don’t leave your school books or bags lying around. I would like to stick to this rule so you kids don’t start making this house a mess too.”
“Uh yeah sure, I just thought that might want to hear about my day?”
“No not now, I’m too stressed out about how the heck I’m going to put this house together.”
“Ok mom…” I left the room a little more disappointed than when I left talked to my dad.
After organizing my room some and eating dinner I
came to the conclusion the only thing left to do was go to bed early. I laid there once again thinking about school. “How am I going to survive this school? I’m just going to have to conger up something. Hmmm maybe just maybe…” I couldn’t stay awake long enough to finish this thought, I was out sooner than I expected.
The same routine happened this morning just like yesterday. But this time we made it before the bell rang. I walked to my class, not knowing what else to do, and came across the boy from yesterday. He brought his group of friends he was standing with over to me.
“Hey new girl, this is Carl, Kaleb, Bud and Rebecca.”
“Hello, I’m Effy. As you all probably knew… And you are?” I gestured my hand to the boy who didn’t seem to be afraid of me.
“Oh right! Sorry, I’m Erik.” He replied with that little smile again.
They all asked me some questions like where I was from, and why I moved here. Then one of them asked me “So has anything bizarre happened yet at your house?”
“Well I didn’t think anything of it till yesterday when I started hearing things about the house…”
“Like What!?!” They all asked at the same time, and very anxiously.
“Just little random things here and there. I’ve been hearing weird noses, and seeing flashes of what I thought was light. And last night something broke out of nowhere! But I’m just brushing it off like it’s nothing.”
“Oh I believe it’s something!” The boy named Bud said.
I know that I lied, but hey it was getting me somewhere with these people. The days at school were getting easier, and the kids weren’t that bad. (Just weird.) But life at home seemed to be not any different from when we lived at our last house, maybe even worse. And strange things started happening like a vase my mother loved did end up braking. Of course she blamed me for it. The lights were flickering constantly for no reason, and the peculiar feeling that I get from the house was becoming stronger. But just like I told the kids at school, I’m just going to ignore it.
I felt like I was living in a home with a family, but I didn’t really belong. Only there to live my life, and so they would have someone to make do things for them and punish for their mistakes. That’s why I’m glad Erik wasn’t a shy person, turns out him and I have a lot in common. He too use to live in a big city and yet somehow ended up in this town, and he doesn’t really get along with his family. I kind of feel bad lying to him, but I got to do what I got to do.
A week and a half went by, and Steven ended up getting sick and had to miss a day of school. News got around fast that he wasn’t there.
“So Effy, you’re brother isn’t here today?” Rebecca asked me.
“No actually he isn’t, he’s um stuck at home. Freaky stuff I’m tellin you.”
“What happened?” more kids gathered around.
“Well you know how some weird things have been going on?”
“This was the biggest thing yet. My brother has perfect balance and yet somehow he ended up falling down the stairs! Now he has a broken leg. So we think anyways, my dad’s too cheap to take him to the Dr. to find out. And when we asked him what happened he said that it was like he blacked out, but could still feel himself moving. But yet he couldn’t stop, so he just tumbled down!”
“Oh my goodness! Is he ok?” Whispers went from person to person. I could hear them gulping and some not breathing.
“I’m sure he will be in a few days. Just has to get use to not using one of his legs.” I sighed to make them believe it more. Word continued to spread all the way till the day ended.
Once I got home, I felt like I was also going to be sick. It disgusted me seeing how much my parents waited on him hand and foot just because he was a little ill. I know that they would never do that for me.
“Mom, dad, I’m home!” I yelled out for them.
“Effy! Keep your voice down! Your brother is sleeping.” Dad yelled angrily at me as he walked out of the living room.
“Sorry…” I went to my room to put my bags down. When I came back down my parents where in the kitchen talking. For some reason I decided to join them thinking it might be interesting. After only about a minute of sitting there and my parents not noticing me, we heard thuds coming from the stair way. All of us ran to see what happened. We saw Steven lying on the floor tangled up. My mother busted into tears and started shouting. My father became very alarmed and kept asking my brother if he was ok and if he could feel anything. I on the other hand could only stand there paralyzed. I couldn’t believe that the fabrication that I just told that day came true.
The only thing that was running through my mind was how and why this happened. All I could do was go up to my room and try to sleep. But throughout the night I had even worse nightmares then usual. The idea of what just went on hunted me, and not having anyone to tell made it even worse.
Fallowing after the accident mom got back into her typical ways causing her to become unable to function thanks to being overly intoxicated all the time. This left me to be in charge of a lot more at home because dads reaction was to be away as much as possible. The house seemed to be taking a bigger toll on our family then a normal one would and I couldn’t understand why this was happening.
At school I was still trying to fit in and not let home wreck that. It was like a breath of fresh air being away from the chaos. But the announcement of Steven breaking his leg was old, and it was becoming time for a new story. Seeing as the first one had to of been just a coincidence, it was fine to tell another. I felt like I had to make this one more dramatic.
“I don’t know how much more of this house I can take.” I began telling Erik.
“What do you mean?”
“My mom… she almost died over the weekend…”
“Oh. I’m so sorry Effy.” He leaned over and gave me a comforting hug. “What happened?”
“I’m not really sure, she was drunk and I think became delusional and went out looking for my dad. I found her out in the garage passed out from carbon monoxide. Somehow she got trapped, and left the car running.”
“Wow. That’s really scary…Although you don’t seem too broken up about it?”
“Well my mom and I have never been close. She’s never really been there for me, and she would always pick drinking over me so I’ve just kept my distance knowing someday it wasn’t going to end well.” The bell rang and we walked back into class.
School ended and I had to make my way back to the agonizing place called home. Of course dad wasn’t home, Steven was sleeping, and mom was drinking. What an exciting life I had going on here. I set my stuff down at the table and began doing my homework. I heard a bottle break and my mom start going off. “My husband is doing what?! Where is he?!” She was going mad, and was roaring with anger. She made her way into the garage, shut the door behind her, and started the car. I tried stopping her, but it was like something was in front of door. It did not want me to stop my mom. Tears rolled down my face. “WHY!?!” I screamed. I couldn’t comprehend why these incidents where occurring. “All. I wanted. Were some friends. At this new stupid school!” I said in between breaths of my sobs and fell to the floor.
Steven came running down, pushed me out of the way and managed to get into the garage. He started crying now too, because it was too late. It was just like I said at school, the monoxide filled the garage and she passed out. But when it actually happened it went a lot farther then making her pass out. Mom was gone.
I ran and got the phone so Steven could call dad and get him to come home.
“Steven, I have something to confess, I’ve been telling lies at school. Every time I would tell one that day they would come true! First with things around the house breaking, then you breaking your leg, to mom getting stuck in the garage! Each time it’s getting worse! We have to get out of here. All these things that have been happening are because of the house!”
“Effy, I don’t care what the reasoning is or why you did that. Or even if it being the house is true but I really think we need to get out of here!”
“You go upstairs and pack and I’ll try to convince dad that we have to leave.”
Steven made his way to his room and prepared to leave right when dad got home.
Dad walked in and I ran up to him giving him the biggest hug and started explaining what just happened and that we need to get out of here. Never letting go of him.
*SWITCHES TO ERIKS POINT OF VEIW*
I walked up to the front door with the flowers in my hand. “I really hope Effy’s mom like these.” I was about to knock but I heard a lot of commotion going on, getting nervous as to what was happening I rushed in. First thing I saw was Effy holding a knife in front of her dad’s throat. “Effy! What are you doing?!” She looked at me and I could tell that she was scared. “Just put the knife down. No need to hurt anyone here.”
“But it’s what he should get right? After all he’s been hurting me for the past 16 years. And yet never knew it. At least I know I’m hurting him.”
“Please, just put it down. I’m sure your dad has learned his lesson. If not then we will make sure of it after you step away and we talk.” The crime shows I grew up with finally paid off. She put it down and stepped away. I walked over to her and tried to comfort her letting her think she did nothing wrong, as her dad went and called the cops.
They arrived in about 3 minutes and took her away. She tried to blame the house for everything; she was truly convinced that it had done all these horrifying things. But finally she admitted that she couldn’t handle the new school and people and that she had literally gone crazy from the presser of fitting in. She admitted that she pushed her brother down the stairs, told her mom that her dad was cheating so she would get locked in the garage, messed with the car to make sure it kept running, and was about to slice her father’s throat if I hadn’t intruded.
The one person in this town that I thought I could relate to, is now driving off to the loony vill. And the Cooper House now has a new name; The Anderson House and holds up its reputation, waiting for the next family to come in and become a new victim.