By Hesmarie Krause
Chase held my gaze and smiled. He never had the same childhood I had and I knew him. He told me about himself and he was honest in doing so, which was more than I can say for most people I have met. “Tell me your story Mattie; tell me what you talk about when you talk in your sleep at night.” He pleaded. He had asked me about my background before and I had avoided it. I put the book I was reading down and turned to face him on the couch beside me. “What do you want to know?” I asked sternly, hoping he would drop the subject and ask me if I wanted tea instead. He smiled and simply stated: “Everything.”
I guess you could say that is what started it all, my very long speech of my very complicated life. Chase and I had been together for two years now and I thought that if this was the day he found out what happened that terrible night by the beach and if he still wanted to be with me, I considered myself damn lucky to have him. I always found the need to explain my thoughts to myself, as if I had two brains inside one head and the one had to be allowed to think just what it wanted and justify itself to the one taking over. In honesty that had been my life, justifying my right to live and exist in a world that is as ever-changing as the weather.
I had just started telling him about the night Mom and Dad brought Lily home when the phone rang, I looked at the screen only to find my mother’s name flashing across the screen, it was annoying enough I still saw her in person without her phoning me at the most inconsiderate of times. “Hello” I snapped into the phone.
“Oh darling you answered! Fabulous!” she started giggling trough her hiccups and it dawned on me that she had been drinking once again. “I just want to inform you that I had met that most wonderful man tonight and shall be getting married soon. Wish me luck!” she hung up.
Mom met the most wonderful man almost every Tuesday when she went to a different bar or pub or dance class. She had a series of bad relationships every week and every almost one ended in a coffee shop where the two of us would meet; with her explaining to me all the reasons she could never ever get married to the man she then dated and compared them to the devil. When I was younger I used to believe that my mom was searching for love, now I strongly believe that she was searching for a man with enough bloody money to pay her next bill or Cosmopolitan. My mother wasn’t capable of finding love and if she had, then she had dumped him too. Chase had a pretty standard apartment with a little living room and an open plan kitchen and dining area with a bathroom that smelled of shaving cream and paint and a small bedroom with a dresser a messy cupboard and a bed that he almost never made up, unless his mom came to visit. His mom was a perfectionist, to a fault almost. If I wore mismatching colours the day she came I would climb down the fire escape in my best effort to avoid criticism.
“Sweetheart” Chase interrupted my thoughts, “you were still telling me something before your mom phoned.”
“Oh yes, where was I? Uhm…” I recollected my train of thought and continued, fiddling with my scarf.
Mom was crying when she walked through the door and Dad was beaming with pride and smiled over Mom’s shoulder at Lily’s scrunched up little face. She was wrapped in a faded pink blanket and she was the smallest little baby I had ever seen. Mom made Katie and I sit down on the couch and handed her to each of us, I was first and when I held her close to my chest I promised that I would be the best sister she ever had. Katie took her in her arms like one of her little dolls and whispered “I’m not going to be the baby anymore but that’s okay we can share Mommy and Daddy.” After a while we were sent to bed, still enchanted by the arrival of our new family member.
I laughed out loud as I remember the months that followed. Little Lily had been a mere three weeks old when Katie stood in the doorway of our room with her arms folded and her face taunt with frustration “Mommy can take her back to the hospital if she keeps crying like that!” at that moment (as if Lily had heard her) she started crying. Furious Katie covered her ears and stomped off down the hallway to complain to Mom about Lily’s crying. With the new baby taking up so much of my parents time Katie and I grew together, an inseparable bond forming once again between the two of us. It was only when Lily started walking when we went back to my favourite place in the world: the holiday house on the beach.
We very rarely went on holiday with Dad’s work kept him home alot
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