Once Upon A
This is it, I breathe
unevenly, a condescending façade to my face. A rivulet of sweat
trails down my temple, plastering a spring of curly hair to my
The ambiance around is
frustratingly cheerful. And this is not a good thing. A slow,
throaty growl rises with viscious tempo in my throat. As I clutch
the silvery-white train that flows behind my step-mom-to-be, I
sneak a cursory glance at the sabotaged Hugo Boss stillettoes
that she's wearing, tacked artfully with lycra.
I watch, positively revolted as her
collagen lips pull back into a sickening bright pink smile. Her
heavily made-up, barbie-doll face is glowing with excitement as
she takes a step onto the long stretch of carpet. Her smile is
still frozen stiff on her face as she gasps, and crumples into a
heap of billowing material.
The audience gasps in synchrony,
and hold their breaths in anticipition. The silence is broken by
dad racing towards her, his hands stretched out. He wraps his
hands around her slender waist and pulls her up, but her heel is
stuck to the carpet. As the two stand in the middle of the
gathering, tugging and pulling at her shoes, my face went red
trying not to laugh. The snickers had to be covered up by a
pretend coughing fit. Few people in the audience had the guts to
burst out laughing.
Step-woman is now red as
beau-di-joice wine as dad rips the carpet along with her precious
stilettoes. Dad inspects the pieces of lycra that have now fallen
off. His expression twitches ever so slightly. He looks up
straight into my eyes. I portray confidence, yet I'm trembling
inside. I smile sweetly, then cover my lips and go,
Dad's vein pulses, his eyebrows
furrow in and his jaw tightened, "We'll deal with this later you
I press my hands to my hips and
meet his stare evenly, "Stop embarrasing yourself dad." And I
turn around, head high, and march out of the giant ceremonial
Good, that witch deserves it. She
just bombarded my freakin' life abd stole my dad from me, treats
me like crap too. I am going to make her wish she never glanced
twice at dad. Just watch.
I march furiously into the pub and
slap down some cash for a double glass Vodka. It stings my lips
as I down the sharp, angry liquid. After three or four more
glasses, I'm beginning to feel slightly woozy. The images in my
brain fuzz like an irregular TV screening.
Sucking in the sweaty, smoky air, I
smooth down my ridiculous pink dress. Which I'd worn on purpose
so that I looked my worse at witchy's wedding. Like I give a damn
This tall, gangly looking guy eyes
me side-wardly. His fog grey eyes regard me curiously.
"What you looking at?" I snap
Gangly grins crookedly. As if he'd
just told a really funny joke, "I'm lookin' at you."
"Well don't!" I snarl.
"It's kinda hard to miss a chick in
a hot pink dress. If you want the truth."
"I never asked for it. Bog
"Public property. I aint needing to
"And stop talking like a farmer,
"I don't need to take orders from a
"Say again freak and you'll find my
fist in that ridiculous face of yours."
Gangly whistles as if he's really
impressed. Slowly, lingeringly, he unbuttons his Diesel shirt and
pulses his muscles infront of me, they look like freakin'
mountains! "You wanna try?" He asks suggestively.
I growl and get to my feet,
storming out, but not before flashing him "the finger".
At home, Dad and steppy are packing
for their honeymoon. Which means tagging "us", my little brother
and I, along . They're both conversing furiously.
The second I show myself, Dad is
blocking my way and jabbing his finger in my face, "You're in big
trouble young lady."
I roll my eyes, "Go on. Amaze me
already. And you know what dad, quit trying to act like you know
how to parent me. It's kinda lame."
He's shaking with rage. I smile
victoriously, and retreat to my room, locking the door and
indulging in heavy metal music. Aahh!!
I plan to make steppy so fed-up
with me, she'll divorce my father by the end of the trip and get
I threw open my cupboards and
pulled out clothes to stuff into my luggage bag. I included some
stuff I got from April last year.
"Catalina get the hell out of
there. We're leaving!!!!"
I obeyed and joined them at the
front in my tightest jeans and top.
"You're not wearing that," steppy
"Are you short-sighted? I
"Don't talk you your mother like
that!" Dad burst, aiming for my face, but slapping the air
"She's not my mother! She will
never be!" I yelled. "Now can we get to that stupid place so you
two can get lovey-dovey and get off my bloody case!!"
They were silent. Dad looked at me,
"When we get back. I am grounding you for bloody life you
"Look who's talking."
Steppy wiped her forehead, "Baby
lets just go."
"My father is a grown man Charlene.
I'm freakin' sure you're not that short-sighted."
A very embarrased Steppy turned
away and dad grabbed my hair and shoved me into the car. "I'll
report you you handle me like that. I hope mom's watching what
you're doing to me."
Dad froze and muttered through
stiff lips, "I hope so too. So that she can see what a
disgraceful child you are."
"At least my mother cared about
He slammed the door on my face, and
then smooched Charlene all over her face. Gross.
We arrived at the Beach Lodge at
night. Thomas was asleep. Charlene carried her up to the lodge
whilst dad opened up. I barged in before all of them, bagged my
room and shut the door. Then I switched on the radio and pulled
out my laptop.
The two of them banged and
shrieked. I paused it for second and looked at them angrily
through the door, "I'm on holiday aren't I?" They didn't answer,
stupids. I turned up the music and logged onto my e-mail.
When I went out to supper, dad and
steppy looked strained. Aha. They tucked into to dinner. "This
tastes disgusting!" I spat at Charlene. Actually it tastes pretty
good, but she don't need to know that. I got up and pulled a
noodles out of the grocery bag.
I think they learned to just shut
up and keep it in. Everyone engaged in light coversation whilst I
called Annie, my friend, and spoke to her in a shrieking loud
voice, laughing my head off at everything she said. Well in
truth, no one was one the other end, but like I said, no one
needs to know that.
I returned to my room after an oily
noodles supper and pushed a movie into the drive on surround
sound. It was Avatar. 3-D. Perfect in pitch darkness, a bowl of
hot popcorn to finish with.
The movie was about, over three
hours long. When I returned to the kitchen for another cooldrink,
everything was still. It was two in the morning.
A plan formulated in my mind. I
smashed the water tap with the hammer lying ontop of the cabinet
and then started shrieking. "Dad!! My waters
He raced down, half asleep, witchy
at his side. "H-Huh?! You…"
"The water!!!!!!!!!" I shouted,
pointing to the gushing water that was pooling over the floor
He glared at me, "You did this on
purpose didn't you."
I shrugged, "Fix the tap," I said,
and went back to my room to complete the few minutes left of
In the morning, I found the tap
fixed, and paper towels all over the floor. I smiled and reached
out for the cereal, 'accidently' spilling it over the
I went into my parents rooms and
banged on the door. "Get up!! I want breakfast!!"
"Get your own!" Dad roared.
I hit my fists angrily against it,
"What's the point of a new freakin' mother if she can't make me
breakfast?!!!!!!!!!" I turned and ran out of the lodge, grabbing
dads wallet off the drawer. After a huge, expensive milkshake,
croissant and yoghurt bowl, I strolled back just in time to find
them getting ready for the beach. I tossed dad his wallet and
went to change up.
The day was warm and bright.
Perfect for swimming. And perfect for throwing her sun-tan in the
bin, after using it of course.
We sat there in the burning sun,
Charlene screeching as her skin turned hideous red.
I turned the other way and
"Whoa! What you think you're
I looked up into the face of Gangly
boy from the bar. What the fish is he doing here?
"This must be fate," Gangly
"No," I snarled, "This must be a
"You got me," he said, clutching
his heart as if I'd injured him. "You broke my heart
"I don't give a shit. Leave me
alone. Get the hint and go find someone else to annoy." I stood
up and made my way to the ice-cream stand.
Gangly followed, "You're like stone
girl. What you pre-menopausal or er…getting your thing or
I thrust my fist out and he ducked
impulsively. "Yikes. You fierce like hell."
I grabbed an ice-cream and shoved
the money into the ice-cream dudes hand.
Gangly grinned again, "Someones got
a temper like George Bush."
Livid, I snatched his shirt, balled
my fist up… and then burst out crying.
Gangly's eyes grew wide, his
posture softened and he pulled me from my fighting stance, into
his arms. "Get…away…from…me," I stuttered, sobbing like an idiot.
What the hell is my problem?
Gangly tightened his grip on me and
patted my back. "Hey now. What's wrong? I didn't mean it when I
said you're stone. Just trying to…"
"I know you idiot!"
"What were you doing to your
"She's not my F***** mom!"
"Gee. How was I supposed to
I shoved him away and sat on the
sand, folding my arms around my knees. Tears were dripping down
I didn't reply.
"So thaat's why you looked all
I snarled, but nodded.
"Look, you gotta stop being all
snappy and edgy. What's up? Please tell me?"
I looked at him fiercly, "You not
"If you want me to kiss you to shut
you up then I will happily oblige."
That shut me up. I sighed, the
flames dying down. "My mother was murdered last month," I
stammered, shuddering yet again. "Murdered infront of me. We were
hijacked and the guy m…m-m-mutilated her body. I loved her. So
much. And in under five bloody weeks my arse of a father
remarries a bloody plastic woman. What the hell am I supposed to
He was silent, listening, "My name
is Paul," he murmured eventually.
"Hate that name," I said,
scrunching up my nose. Then I chuckled, I couldn't resist it.
"Scratch like a cat too. Catalina,
all I can say is, I'm sorry. And you're absolutely right to hate
this new chick's guts."
Finally someone on my side.
"But it aint her fault. She din't
exactly do anything."
"I hate her!"
"Obviously. The only solution is,
come stay with me."
"You're insane," I growled.
"You'll get used to it."
I peeled open my melted ice-cream
and poured it over his head. Then I burst out laughing. Paul
grumbled, "You're so annoying."
He pulled open his Pepsi can and
chased after me, showering my hair with icy cool-drink…
And it's a few months gone past. I
still hate my parents. I still annoy them. But I'm a bit chilled.
I can't handle it. And I'm distracted by a boy who throws
jelly-beans at my window in the night and blows a Vuvuzela to get
my attention at school.
When I think back to it, I realize,
all I ever never needed was someone to confide in. Someone on my
side. Someone to sympathtize with me. And it made my life so much
easier to live with.
If I could advise anyone in a
similar state, I'd tell them the silly, but effective way. And
guaranteed it works. Now I look in the mirror, and smile
geniunly, no malice, no anger, no evilness, no pride. I'm
actually lying. But no one needs to know that eh?