“Open the door right now Alisa! Do you hear me?” my stepmother yelled at me, while banging on the door.
I was sitting on the floor, with my back to the door – keeping it shut. My door didn’t have a lock on it, no door in the house did really, except for the front and back door. And that doesn’t give people many places to have some privacy.
“Alisa! Open this door! Don't make me ring your father!” she yelled, threatening. I rolled my eyes. Even if she did call him, I know he wouldn’t come home until well over two hours after his shift was over. Its just what he does.
“Oh please Barbra, ring him! I dare you!” I said, with heavy sarcasm.
“You cant just come back and not deal with the consequences!”
“ I can and will not! You got the wrong sister, Barbra, yet again. I think you need to learn who is who, instead of going off at the first one that comes through that door!” I yelled.
“Then who did it?” she asked, sighing and stop banging.
“All I know is, that it wasn’t me, plus my name is Krissey, not Alisa. So your wrong there as well.” I snickered. This is what you got for being a triplet.
I look at the door, imagining the way she will be standing. Having the posture of someone who has had the worse and longest day of their lives and haven't slept in over twenty-four hours. She did this every time she realised or got told that she got our names wrong – which was every time she tried to call us by name.
My two other sisters – Alisa and Lisa – are my identical sisters. Well we're not exactly identical, we do have different personality, styles, favourite music, and so on. We only share the same looking body, nothing more.
Barbra would be able to tell us apart but she couldn’t be bothered to figure us out or get to know us, so she makes our lives a living hell and we do the same for her.
Standing up I walk over to my desk and grab my bag, Ipod, and my work uniform. Once I put all of this in my bag I climb out my window.
I’m so glad that my room is on the ground floor.
Once outside I grab my Ipod and place my earphones in my ears, turn it on and up. I then head in the direction of work.
Walking to work takes about fifty minutes to an hour. So I always leave early, checking the time on my Ipod I realise I have at least two hours to work.
“Great,” I sigh.
I wonder what got Barbra into a state and which sister I need to thank – once again.
A couple of minutes after walking my bag vibrated – a text. But it kept vibrating, I start to dig around through my bag, thinking I wont find it before it stopped ringing. When my hand wrapped around my phone I did a little, 'Ah-hah!'. Before taking my earphones out and pressing the green button before putting my phone to my ear.
“Hello?” I said.
“Krissey! What are you doing?” said a male voice I recognised.
“BJ? Is that you?” I asked, smiling. Stopping at a lights, I press the button, waiting for the little man to go green.
“Nah! Its Santa Clause! Yeah its me,” he said, sarcastically.
I rolled my eyes. “You do mean, Mrs Clause right?” I said, laughing. I start to walk across when the light went green. Then I started to hear other voices. “Who else is with you?”
“Zac, Jye and Jordan,” he replied.
“What are you guys doing?” I ask, watching a strange man walk towards me, his eyes to the ground. I’ve never seen anyone like him. He seemed so sad, so lonely, so mature. Then he looked up at me. Our eyes connected and I saw all the emotion in his eyes – so raw, so strong. I nearly chocked on it. He kept going, staring at me all the while. I walked faster. Strange.
“Krissey? You there? Hello! Are you listening to me?!” BJ called me back from my thoughts.
“Huh? What? Sorry! I....ah...sorry. What did you say?” I said, shaking my head.
“We're driving around. Wanna hang?”
“Sure, if you come to pick my up. But I can only for about an hour, then I have to work at six.”
“That's cool. We'll drop you off. Where are you?”
“Pick my up from Zeelee park, okay? At the tree?”
There was a short silence. Then, “Sure. See you in a few.”
“Bye,” I said, hanging up.
Walking for a few more minutes when I suddenly get a tingle down my back, I look behind me and see nothing, or no one. I pick up my pace. It took me only five minutes to walk to Zeelee park. It usually takes me an extra ten minutes to get there – when I walk normally. I slow down to a causal walk. No one was following me, right? No, no one was. I am just imagining it.
Walking to the tall almighty tree – where the guys and I use to hang out all the time, untill about a month ago. The tree had started giving off weird vibes. Feelings.
Getting there, I see the guys haven’t arrived yet. I pull my phone out of my pocket and send BJ a quick text. Seeing where they are. No more then sixty seconds later I receive a reply. Saying, Gonna be a while, car trouble. >.< told Jye to get his car checked out. But he didn’t listen and now we are stuck here until someone comes to check the car. Sorry.
Putting my bag down, I sit down and lean my back onto the tree. So that I could see when the guys arrived. Placing my earphones in my ear and putting the music up, I close my eyes and listen to the songs that play.
What am I gonna do now?
Leaning even more into the tree, it feels like the tree is pulsing, like a heartbeat. I lean away and turn towards it, my earphones fall to the ground when I turn towards it so that I’m on my knees, with my hand on the tree. So close that I could of leaned forward and my whole length of my body would be touching the tree. Looking at the tree, it just looks like a normal tree, except the strange heartbeat.
How can a tree have a heartbeat? Yes it lives but a heartbeat! isn’t that a little crazy? Or sad on my part that I can hear and feel it?
Then I think of the guy with the sad eyes.
Lifting my other hand to place on the tree I stop. This tree was the reason why the guys and I don’t come here any more. But its just a tree. We cant be scared of a tree. What can it do to us? Give us a splinter? No one else was saying this tree was strange. Just us five.
I place my other hand on the tree. I felt the beat. Closing my eyes I listen to the beat. It sounds like a human heartbeat. Just every now and again it would change speeds.
Who could I tell about this? I couldn't tell anyone. The guys would believe me, they have felt it before. Though they didn’t want to admit it. But no one else can and that’s an experience I don’t wanna experience again – the weird glances, the theories, the rolling of eyes, the laughter behind your back.
“Why can no one but the five of us hear you and feel your beat?” I whispered.
“Because only you wish to,” the tree whispered back. Then laughed. Laughed? I froze. No, not the tree.
Opening my eyes and without stopping contact with the tree I look towards the voice and stop. Him. With the sad eyes.
“You,” I said.
He smiled. “Huh, so you can see me. I though I was going crazy. But I guess that’s just you,” he smirked.
“Excuse me?” I asked, confused.
“Only special people can see me. And your not one of them so therefore you must be crazy. But why can you see me?” he asked, staring at me and he tilted his head.
“Dude, you gotta start being nice to people, or maybe get some friends?” I said, standing up.
He laughed. “Oh, please, stay down. I just wanted to say hello.”
I was getting angry. “You have said everything but hello,” I said, crossing my arms. I felt the trees pulse start to race.
He looked towards the tree then back to me, and then the tree again and nodded.
Can this guy get any stranger?
“Hello. I’m Christopher. Happy?” he said, smiling and taking a few steps closer.
“Hello, and no.”
“I wasn’t talking to you. Have a name?”
“I do, but in not telling you.”
“Aww, that’s not fair.”
“Life's not fair.”
“Come on, tell me,” he said, taking another three steps towards me. I took two back and collied with the tree.
“I don’t tell stalkers my name. Number on rule.”
“I’m not a stalker. Plus no prof. Remember no one else can see me but you.”
“I know. I know. You have said that already.”
He smiled. “So what is your name? I told you mine.”
“Yes, but I didn’t ask you to tell me yours.”
“So what do you -”
“Krissey! Are you still here? Krissey!” BJ called. I sighed.
“Krissey, Krissey,” he said, just saying my name for the fun of it. “It suits you.” he smiled.
I rolled my eyes and turn towards where BJ would be coming from, then I turn back to look at Christopher, but he was gone. Looking in all directions I don’t see him. What a weird guy. Shaking my head I turn just as BJ came into view.
“Krissey!” BJ huffed. Then I heard the other guys calling my name as well.
“Yeah, hey BJ,” I huffed back. Bending down I grabbed my bad and Ipod. I go to stand up when I see a letter with my name on it. Grabbing it I place it in my bad. Straightening up I look towards the the tree and go to touch it, then think better of it, turn and start walking towards BJ, who was already half way to the tree.
BJ stopped jogging when he came within ten metres, he looked at me then at the tree, and finally back to my face. I could see the guys come from behind him, they were about fifty metres away.
“Should I even ask?” he whispered. So that the guys had no chance to hear him.
“The tree...” I whispered back. I pointed to it. It just stood there. Strong and tall. With his heartbeat going proudly at a million miles a second.
Wait did I just call the tree a guy?
“I can feel it,” he said, walking towards it. I followed.
“You can?” I asked. We both stopped a couple a metres away from the tree.
“Yes.” the guys jogged up to us.
When the guys were a few metres away from us they slowed to a walk.
“What are you guys...?” Zac never finished his sentence.
I open my eyes. Expecting to see my roof, but see the sky instead. The colour of sunset. Where was my roof? I turn my head to my right to see Zac and Jye. Turing my head to the left I see BJ and Jordan. Sitting up I look around.
“BJ? Guys? Guys!?”
They started to stir. I lean over and start to shake Jordan.
He turned away from me. “Mum I don’t wanna go to school!” he mumbled.
Zac sat up, rubbing his head. “Where am I?”
BJ and Jye sat up, BJ and I looked at each other. His face said it was crazy and it couldn’t be. Whereas, mine said it was crazy and could be.
“The tree,” I said.
“What?” Jye asked.
“The tree,” I repeated. “He did this.”
They all started at me. Everyone but BJ. Then Jye, Jordan and Zac burst out laughing.
“That's a good one, Krissey!” Zac said, through his laughter.
“Yeah!” Jordan laughed.
“Let's go before Krissey says the tree is talking as well!” Jye said, getting up.
Zac and Jordan got up and followed Jye away.
“Kris, its not possible!”
“Kris, stop! Please! Its your imagination! Not real!” he said, standing up.
I stood up as well. “So your saying you don’t hear the heartbeat or feel the power?! How do you explain all of us passing out – at the same time! And not remembering anything? What then?”
“Kris...just forget the tree. I gotta go. You can either come with us and we'll drop you off at work or you can walk.”
I stared at him for a minute, in silence. “I'll walk. See you later, BJ,” I said, walking past him.
“Kris...” he goes to touch my arm, I flinch away.
I run out of the park, then start to walk, tears streaming down my face.
By the time I got to work, it had been dark for awhile now.
Slowing my pace even further, I wipe at my eyes, and take a few deep breaths to calm myself down before I walk through the front door of work.
No one paid me any attention. All the usual customers were there and they see three different versions of me everyday. No biggy.
“Krissey, your late,” said Byron – my boss and ex boyfriend – when I walked pass the bar.
“What? What’s the time?” I asked.
“Eight,” he said, like it was obvious. “Are you okay?' You're never late.”
“Can I talk to you...alone. Please Byron.”
He stared at me and then finally nodded.
“Lock!” he called.
“Yes?” Lock said, coming from waiting tables.
“Can you please get Lisa to take your spot and you take over mine here. Krissey and I will be back soon,” he said, already walking towards his office.
I follow but before going in his office I heave one final look out onto the floor, I make eye contact with Lisa and Alisa. They look at me then each other. They know something is up.
“Come in, Krissey. And close the door.”
Walking in I close the door, turning I see he had already taken a seat at his desk. He only got the desk so that he could try to show he had more power or was able to frighten the person who sat across the table. But all the employees new who he really was.
“What is going on, Krissey?” he asked, leaning forward to place his elbows on the desk.
“Byron, I’m quitting.”
“Don't 'hmm' me Byron,” I snap.
“You say that every time something happens and I’m trying to figure out what it is.”
“I want to leave this time – nothing happened,” I said, grabbing my uniform out of my bag and placing it on the desk.
He sighed. “What is – has – happened, Krissey?”
I sat down in the chair. “Byron nothing -”
“Krissey,” he said, warningly.
I sighed. “A man...”
“He followed me today...”
“Did he...?” he looked away.
“What?” I asked, confused.
He looked back at me. “Touch you?”
“What? No! No, no he didn’t.”
“Then what, Krissey? I don’t understand.”
“You wont believe me...”
“I will,” he said, standing up and walking to kneel in front of me. His chest was on my knees.
“Just like you did when we dated, Byron?”
He sighed. “I'm sorry, that I didn’t. But it was a lot to take in, Krissey. Do you even believe it? Answer me honestly.”
“I do, because I hear it. Every time I go there.”
“You went there? When?” he asked, angrily.
“Today, its why I was so late.”
I looked away. Trying to hold back my tears. Here we go again. About to fight. He will lose his temper. Fight me. Hurt my heart all over again.
He sighed. Then his hand was on my cheek, turning my face towards him. He was closer now. His face inches from mine.
“Byron...” I said, uneasy.
“Krissey, I never want you to go there again.”
“But Byron -”
“I'm serious. Now tell me what happened?” he asked, looking at my lips.
“Do you care? Seriously care?”
“I was at the tree, waiting for the guys to come pick me up. Then when they got there, we all of a sudden past out. All five of us.”
He stared at my face. Long and hard. “Are you sure?” I took his hand from my cheek.
I was getting annoyed now. Reminding me all over again why we broke up. “Yes,” I said, through gritted teeth.
“It's not possible.”
“No?” I said, shocked. “But it is! Cause I hear it! Others hear it! Does that make us all crazy?”
“Krissey, you know that this happened in the past...maybe you need to seek -”
“NO! I’m not crazy! I don’t need help! Now move so that I can go. I’ve quit and I’m going.”
But instead of moving away, he moved closer.
“Krissey...don’t go, please.”
“I love you,” he said, coming towards me. He was going to kiss me.
“No,” I said, trying to push him away.
“Don't kiss me! Go away please! Don't make me hurt you! Just please leave me alone!”
“We can work it out, please, just don’t go, please...” his head went to lay in my lap.
“Just like last time? We nearly pulled each other apart! Nearly killed each other! I wont go through it again,” I said, getting up, he let me this time. I grabbed my bag. Walking to the door, tears started to fall.
When I grabbed the handle, I heard Byron whisper, “Please don’t leave me, Kris, please don’t.”
“I'm sorry, Byron,” I whispered back. I left the office.
Everyone's eyes turned to me, while I walked out. No one came to stop me. They thought I would come back, that I would be back. But this time I wouldn’t be. Never. No matter what they say.
Music in my ears and eyes on the ground, I didn’t realise I was heading in any particular way until I looked up and realised I had headed in a certain direction.
To the park. To the tree.
I wouldn’t let this tree make me look like I’m crazy! No more! Or like I don’t know what I’m talking about!
Marching in towards the tree I chant, This tree is crazy! I am not! Over and over again.
Starting to slow my march when I realise that someone was sitting at the tree, talking. I look around and see no one. Just them. walk forward to see who they are, maybe they can hear the tree like I can! Like we can! My feet move me closer. Now stopping when I am one a couple of metres away I hear what the guy is saying.
“Why? Why me? What have you done? Why? Why? Why me? What can I do? I’m a freak! Why? Why me? Please tell me!”
“Hello?” I whispered. He froze. He frame went stiff. “Are you okay? Can I call someone for you?”
He turned slowly, his face went from afraid, to shocked to relief.
“Krissey! Krissey your here!” he stood up.
“Ah...how do you know my name?” I ask, talking a few steps away from him.
“I don’t know 'me'. Should I know you?” I ask, walking backwards.
“Kris, its me, BJ!” he said, walking towards me.
“No, your not BJ. He has blonde hair, not brown. He doesn’t have tan skin, he is white as white. He's tall! Your not BJ!”
He took a few steps and grabbed me by the arms.
“Let me go!” I said, trying to free my arms from his strong grip.
“Kris! Please! Look me in the eyes! Its me! Really! Your best friend, BJ! Please, Kris! Please!”
“I'll scream!” I yelled. Then I looked up into his eyes. Straight into his eyes and saw BJ eyes. Its not possible. No it cant be. Not possible. No!
I stopped trying to get away. “If your BJ. What's my favourite food?”
“Chicken, mustard sauce and pasta,” he answered, confidently.
“How did we – BJ and I – become friends?”
“We lived next door to each other. First grade. You were home alone and so was I. I decided to get ice cream. So I went outside, walked almost through your yard and tripped and hurt my knee and arm. You came out – cause you heard me crying like a baby. And we've been best friends ever since.”
“BJ,” I whispered. “How?”
“Kris, I don’t know, I just don’t know.”
I looked at the tree. “Do you think it was...” I indicated with my head at the tree.
“No. it couldn’t of been the tree. A tree cant make me like this. Or the guys for that matter,” he said, letting go of me and sitting down.
“What happened to the guys?” I asked, sitting down with him.
“You wont believe me,” he whispered.
He looked up and we stared at each other for a few minutes and then he sighed. “We were driving and we pulled over cause Jye wasn’t driving and he wasn’t feeling well. Then the other guys started to feel unwell. More in pain. Me, I was fine. Then it just happened,” he stopped. It was like he was there, not here with me.
“What happened?” I whispered.
“I dunno. I closed my eyes because my body just exploded with pain. It felt like hours I was just sitting there in pain. When I could open my eyes again. Jye was gone. He was just gone. The guys didn’t see him leave, or hear the door open and close. I looked at the guys in the back. Zac was sort of sitting but he didn’t touch the seat. Kind of hovering. Jordan was freaking out, and the weather just changed – so fast. Sunny to storm, then back again, then hail and finally back to sunny. They look at me and yelled. Then demanded to know who I was. I told them it was me, BJ. They said no, told me to check the mirror. I looked to see I was Mr Patone.. I yelled.” he went silent.
“Mr Patone? Our old high school principal? But you not him now and you hated him. Wait, who is this that you...wearing?”