HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY, KENNY A.K.A. EVIL ALBINO FISH MONKEY!!!! Yah, so this might be months behind, but hey! I hope turning 16 was one of the best things that happened to you! For your birthday I give you a WHOLE NEW CHAPTER of KH that was crappily written at 2 a.m. this morning. I've been having random smasms of writer's block that is really causing my writing to fail, but I hope you like it anyway. I'll be sure to update more in the next few days!
Chapter 7: Just Want to Fade Away
Whisper shivered before the door, her hand glued to the smooth metal door knob, sticky with her nervous sweat. One thought, that her parents could be home forever, willed her hand to turn the knob. The lock clicked- not only in the door but in her heart- a place she had kept shut severely for the past two and a half years of her life.
She could no longer wait and swung the door inward at a slow pace, a loud squeak accompanying the motion. With each inch, her gaze took in more. At first, all she saw in the golden glow of the door light was a black suitcase, a large man’s hand wrapped around the handle- knuckles white from the strain though his skin was tan. Next appeared a leg in black dress pants with a single pleat creased perfectly down the middle. A matching suit coat hung on the frame of a well-built man. Her eyes hesitated at the top of the silver necktie. She hadn’t realized she had paused in opening the door until a hand firmly pushed against it from the other side, revealing the full picture.
She edged to the side as her mother breezed past. “The door needs oiling,” said the woman in her fluid business-like voice. Whisper stood where she was with her head lowered, then chanced a glance at her father still standing on the top step outside the door. He was looking straight at her, an expression of utter distress and sorrow in his cloudy grey eyes. It was the exact expression he had kept screwed to his face the day he had left.
They stood like silent statues for a few moments until Whisper stepped away to hold the door open wide. With deep grief plain on her face, she watched her father walk in, place the suitcase beside the velvet couch, and then move to join her mother in the kitchen.
This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. Only relatives not in the immediate family knocked on the front door or asked to come in. Parents shouldn’t need to knock on their own front door. Were they so disconnected that she was no longer considered their own teenage daughter?
Whisper shut the door as quietly as she could with barely a squeak to be heard.
“How are you, mother, father?” she said in her most polite voice that held no cheeriness only formalities.
“Quite wonderful. After seeing the Leaning Tower of Pisa we visited Aldan in Paris before coming here. Aldan is doing excellent in his studies, soon he’ll graduate with his Masters Degree. His grades—“ her mother quieted when her father gently placed a hand on her arm. Her mother cleared her throat softly then squinted her eyes slightly as she said, “How have you been?” as though asking the question pained her.
“Fine. I am well and content.”
Her mother’s eyes flicked over her in the silence, then quickly she raised her glass to her perfectly defined lips and gulped down the water. It was done so abruptly that it seemed insulting, like her mother was avoiding a reply.
“It’s good to hear that, Whisper,” her father said in place of her mother in his deep mellow voice that Whisper knew could be strong and sharp when it needed to be.
Her father’s eyes locked with her’s again, a silent apology floating between them.
“Have you had dinner yet?” her mother said, opening the refrigerator.
“Uh…” she caught herself before she explained that she had been waiting for Axel to come home.
“What is this mess!” Whisper shuffled over to her mother’s side. Inside the fridge a trail of honey mustard led to a glob of even more honey mustard. An opened can of sardines sat on one of the shelves littered with crumbs. Other various cartons occupied the shelves, some lying flat on their sides or leaning against the few that remained standing.
Her mother was speechless, but finally managed to firmly say, “I hope the rest of the house isn’t in such a disastrous state as this.”
“I’m sorry, mother,” she bowed low with her eyes on the floor.
“We’ll have plenty of time to talk tomorrow. Why don’t we all head to bed?” her father played the pacifist with his sweet tone.
Whisper slowly raised her head enough to see her mother glowering at her through her bangs. Silently, she turned and led them up to the guest room. The guest room, how ironic. Would her family always be guests to her and not a permanent part of her life?
She opened the door to the guest room only to wish she hadn’t. Her father’s clothes lay all over the room: on a chair, on the bed, and on the floor. The covers of the bed were twisted and among the folds she spotted plushie Roxas.
Her mother bumped her on the shoulder to enter the room. With her back ridged, her mother paused before the bed, then shifted to stare Whisper in the face. “Whisper! Look at what you’ve done!” she spat. “We give you a home and this is how you treat it!”
Whisper sighed within. How could her mother not see? This place was not home, only a shell-of-a-house that she lived in…nothing more. She was not sorry…even if she was being blamed for Axel’s mess. He had only wanted to find some clothes to wear.
“Tomorrow, all of us are going to clean this house until a speck of dust can’t even be seen by a magnifying glass. It is a punishment we all deserve—you for making the mess, and us for trusting you to keep it in proper order. I’ll expect you awake by six o’clock tomorrow morning.”
“Yes, mother,” she said in a descending voice. Maneuvering herself around her father, she exited the room.
“Whisper!” she froze mid-stride. Clenching her jaw, she turned around fully. Her mother’s face was lined with disapproval. She saw it in the tension of her forehead and the slight downward pull at the edges of her perfectly pink lips. “Good night,” her mother said with her gaze none the softer.
“Good night, mother,” she nodded to her, “father,” she inclined her head towards him too. He only gazed back with the same depressing expression, but she didn’t stay to see if he would answer.
The door shut behind her and once her hand was free of the doorknob she sprinted to her room and dived onto her bed, instantly curling up in the blankets like a snail pushing itself deeper and deeper into the safety of its shell where nothing could touch it.
Her eyes were just about to release a torrent of man-made rain when her mind snapped. Axel was still in the closet. She scrambled out of bed to the closet door. Her fingers pressed to the wood, she eased it open inch by inch. Light streamed in from behind her to fall upon Axel stretched out on the floor of the closet. The sweatshirt he had been wearing was rolled up and put beneath his head for a pillow with his arms encircling it. Strands of his scarlet hair hung over his forehead in front of his eyes, the rest flowing down his back where it lay between his shoulder blades. Her gaze traveled down his lean-muscled sides to something that caught her eye at the ridge of his low rise jeans. At his spine a red heart was tattooed, except it was broken down the middle by a ragged black line.
“Whisper?” She startled at the voice of her father and slammed the closet door shut. “What are you doing?” her father’s face peered around the corner.
“Nothing…what are you doing? I thought you said you were going to bed?” She leaned back against the closet door as she watched her father shuffle from one foot to the other.
“I just came to ask…if you’d…like me to put you to bed…” his lips offered a smile, but it looked like it took effort. He must be out of practice.
Whisper had to do everything in her power to not sputter and snort in front of him. Instead she nailed a calm expression over the feelings she really felt. She pushed away from the closet door and strolled toward her bed in long emphatic strides, saying along the way, “I’m sorry, father, but perhaps it hasn’t occurred to you that I’m almost sixteen. My childhood days of being tucked in are long past; and I’m not going to let you make up for the days you missed by starting now.” Whisper pulled back the covers of her bed and slipped in. “Oh! Did I say days?” She turned blazing eyes onto her father. “Oops, I meant years.” And with that she fell back onto her bed, dragging the covers up and over her head.
Hidden beneath the blankets, she wanted nothing more than for her father to rush over and crush her to his chest and apologize. He would stroke her hair, wipe away her tears, and promise never to leave her again.
The light flicked out, and when she heard a faint “good night” and the door close she knew she was alone.
But not completely alone. Her body was suddenly heavy and weary as she climbed out of bed. In the darkness, she fumbled around for the closet. Her fingers eased it open again. Testing, she poked his bare foot once…then twice. For an assassin, she expected a knife to be pressed to her throat by now.
Before she could worry herself further, she pressed her ear to his back. Thump-thump…thump-thump. He was alive, that was for sure. Whisper sat back on her heels. Sweat wet (?) the cheek that had touched his back. Perhaps he had passed out…from heat?
She pushed the closet door open as far as it would go. With her fingers wrapped around his ankles, she dragged him out. One last heave and she dropped his ankles. Now that he was next to the bed she just needed to get him up onto it.
A grunt later and he was sitting up with her knee supporting his back. She tapped her chin several times, contemplating her strategy. Bridal style was immediately crossed off the list. If she got most of his weight located in his torso onto the bed first then she’d have no trouble getting the rest of him on the bed.
First she tried raising him by putting her arms under his pits, but grossed out when they were damp with sweat. On the verge of giving up, she placed one of his arms around her neck and held the hand tightly with hers. Her other arm she wrapped about his small waist. Under her breath she counted to three, then slowly stood up. She was almost fully outstretched when Axel’s body rolled into her, his lips against her neck. His breath tickled the skin below her jaw line. Her heart skipped several beats.
“Behave, would you!” she muttered as she hoisted him higher so that his knees hovered above the carpet. His head lolled to the side and she stumbled with the weight, the backs of her knees hitting the bed. They both collapsed backwards, the sound of their fall muffled by the comforter.
She gasped her relief, feeling her own sweat prickling her forehead. Her elbows holding her up, she glanced over at Axel. His features were shadowed, though a ray of bluish moonlight highlighted his cheek.
Grunting, she got up and lifted his legs legs onto the bed. Finding a light blanket in the closet, she spread it over him and curled up under her own blankets beside him.
Axel had been a great diversion, but now that she didn’t have something to occupy her hands the memories of the past hour flooded her thoughts. She hugged the comforter to her chest, wanting to cry; but her heart had been squeezed dry, leaving only rage and hurt behind. A single tear glittered in the moonlight as it sped from her tightly shut eyes.
“Whisper!” a loud voice knifed through the comforting cloud of dreams that enveloped her.
“Wakey, wakey, Princess Cuddle,” something tapped her on the nose. Her eyes fluttered open to meet green cat eyes observing her. Something warm rested around her shoulders and beneath her cheek. She closed her eyes, only wanting to fade into the warmth.
The next second her eyes snapped open to look up again. Her hand rested on a bare chest, her head resting on the same chest. Her eyes flicked up to see…AXEL! A cry escaped her lips. She twisted out of his embrace and scrambled to the edge of the bed, her eyes wide as saucers. He only grinned and put his hands behind his head. She had been…had been......Her mouth opened and closed several times which Axel chuckled at.
“Good morning,” he winked at her. She was about to throw herself at him in a whirlwind of fists and feet, but the sound of another voice stopped her in her tracks.
“Whisper! Are you awake yet?” Her attention flew to the doorknob that was turning ever so slowly. Her heart dropped into the acid of her stomach.