Thanks To James

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
What can you be thankful for when everything in your life sucks. Ebony feels this way. Out of all her 18 years of living, she never felt more shity then on this thanksgiving. So what is she thankful for?

Submitted: March 10, 2014

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Submitted: March 10, 2014

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I sat across my brother from the coffee table.  Our eyes met and locked on each other, his honey brown eyes versus my dark brown eyes. I knew no one paid any attention to us; they were too busy laughing and talking away. We both glanced down at the last cookie on the plate. I smiled at him knowing that in the end I will win. He chuckled, knowing that I have never won against him. As we both reached for the cookie, the doorbell rang and he shot up, yelling, “I’ll get it!” I grabbed the cookie in triumph, laughing and getting up to follow my brother.

“Nananana,” I kept on repeating into his ear, moving the cookie in and out of his face, as we walked to the door. He opened it, to reveal a tall boy with dirty blond hair and a girl with the same color of hair. I stopped in my steps, my mouth open wide and my cookie between my thumb and index finger. My brother laugh brought me back to my sense and I glared at him. He took the opportunity, grabbing my cookie and popping in into his mouth. “Asshole! I won that!!”

My cheeks heated up as I heard the two people outside our house laughing. I looked away at them and was about to leave when my brother grabbed me. “This is my sister, Ebony,” he said placing me in front of him. The girl smiled and extended her arm, saying, “Hey, my name is Savannah.”  

I smiled and shook her hand. The guy extended his hand, “I’m James, Elijah told me a lot about you.” I took it and his hand wrapped around mine, but he didn’t shake it. He softly pulled my hand to his lip and kissed it. Lucky me, when I blushed it never showed, if it wasn’t for the fact that my cheeks heated up, I wouldn’t even know I was blushing. I pulled my hand away and step behind my brother. “He’s never told us about you guys.”

“Really,” Savannah asked looking at my brother. “Well I guess someone wants to be dumped.” Elijah laughed and pulled her into his arms. “Well, I’m his girlfriend and we’ve been dating for half a year! We all go to the same college. James is my brother. They are like total best friends.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Looking at Savannah sitting across from me, I knew she wasn’t my brother’s type but I didn’t say anything. My brother had one hand on her waist as he talked to my family about how they meet. James sat right next to me and was explaining everything from his view. I started to zone out but from what I can get, they meet because James and Elijah became like two peas in a pod and sometime the beginning of this year they had to show Savannah around since she was a freshman at their college and they were sophomores.

“I heard you are starting this summer,” Savannah said. She looked at me and for a while I looked back not realizing she was talking to me. Finally she said, “Elijah said you want to get a head start. I wish I had your determination, Ebony.”

“Huh,” I said realizing she was talking to me. “Oh yeah, I don’t want to end up like Elijah and not get out in 4 years. Did you know he’s barely made it as sophomore. He almost didn’t get the credits because he failed someone classes.”

Elijah glared at me and James laughed. “Ebony,” my mom said. “It’s only because she doesn’t have a life.” Savannah laughed

“No, its because I want to start my life,” I corrected him. “I think girls and guys who go out to party constantly are only digging themselves a hole. And if you are doing that in college and failing, you might as well just quit. Why waste money.”

Savannah glared at me. I don’t know what I did wrong but my mother got up and took me to the kitchen. “You can’t do that,” she hissed. I looked at her in disbelief. “Savannah is a bright girl just because she parties and failed-”

“Woah, I didn’t say it about her! I didn’t even know-”

“You need to apologize to her. Right this instant and I swear, Ebony behave yourself already. I don’t understand why you always have to make me look like I didn’t teach you guys manners. And stop eating those deserts. Remember you want to look good in that prom dress-”

“Seriously, mom? I didn’t even do anything! I didn’t meant to say that to offend someone! And I didn’t know! Elijah never told me!”

“Go apologize,” she said, turning to leave the kitchen when Savannah walked in. “Oh good, Ebony wants to talk to you, Savannah.”

She smiled and my mom left the room. “So you think I’m useless? And should quit school because I party?”

“No, I didn’t mean-”

“Look, I was trying to be nice to you because your brother told us you are sensitive and cut yourself but seriously you’re a little pussy. You can’t even take care of yourself. I would rather party and be strong then be you. Suicide is something only week people do. No wonder your brother never wants to be home. And apology not accepted.”

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I didn’t go back to the party but sat down on my bed upstairs. I was counting the stars on my ceiling telling myself not to cry but it wasn’t working. Tears began to fall from my face, almost like a waterfall. How could my brother do that? When my parents were still together, we used to be close. Almost best friends then he changed but it still didn’t add up to the fact that he told Savannah about my past. And he never wanted to go home because of me? I guess Savannah knew my brother better than me.

I didn’t hear my door open but I heard it shut. I got off my bed to face James. He smiled at me. “My sister is a total bitch,” he said sitting on my bed. He patted the place next to him and I sat down. “Look I overheard Savannah and I take no responsibility for it but I do apologize. She can be really cocky and I love her but most times its only because she’s related to me. Elijah… We aren’t really friends anymore.”

I started to cry more. He put his arms around me. “He told me about your problems but never about… your.. um”

“Suicide attempt, James,” I snapped. I pushed him away from me. “Yes I tried to kill myself! But you don’t understand. Weak? He told her I was weak! He left me here alone! And I had no one else! All I had was my mother constant reminder that I wasn’t him and I’m such a bad daughter! Over and over again. Like this constant ringing noise never going away! So yes I am weak and I guess I have no life! I’m useless and weak and stupid and-”

“Shut up,” he said. “Look at me when I first met your brother, he would have never said anything about-”

“Don’t lie,” I said, glaring at him. “I know he did say shit about me.”

“Fine, you want the truth, he said he was taking care of you-”

“When did he ever try to do that-”

“I’m not the bad guy, Ebony,” he said looking at me. “I told you I stopped being his friend. The only reason I’m hear is because I know Savannah doesn’t like you but I felt the need to come-”

“And save me?” I looked at him. “Because I’m weak?”

“Not because you’re weak. Did you actually kill yourself?”

“No...”

“No, you held the pills to your mouth. Thinking, not killing. You thought about life. You thought about it before. You didn’t kill yourself because you knew it was wrong and when you cut you didn’t cut deep enough did you. No because you wanted to keep living. In my eyes, you are not stupid. Stupid is killing yourself. You’re not weak, I would never be able to even scratch myself. I wouldn’t be able to even put up with one word of criticism. You dealt with this for a long time alone. And everything your brother told me about you made me just want to call you or something.”

He looked away from me and messed with his hair. “I’m sorry. Are you okay?” He looked at me confused. “You’re a really bad liar.” I grabbed his arm and held it up. Just three pale marks were left on his wrist. He looked at me, taking his arm away from mine and embracing me.

“Someone once saved me three years ago before they passed away, let me save you,” he said. I started to cry again.

When I finally stopped crying, we started to talk. We talked about everything. And I mean absolutely everything we could think of. He told me his story about his little sister who died three years ago. I told him about my father and the divorce. We talked for two hours about our life before my mother came to get us for dinner. And then after dinner, some of us said what we were thankful for. I didn’t part take in the conversation. Soon it was time for all everyone to leave. Elijah walked James and Savannah to their car.

I was planning on just running up to my room but instead I found myself running to their car. They were already about to leave when James saw me and got out of the car. I wrapped my arms around his neck and whispered, “I’m thankful for you.”

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I looked at the pills that lay on my dresser and tossed them into the trash. Savannah didn’t tell me something I didn’t know. I knew how my brother felt for me. I knew everything and tonight I was actually going to do it. I didn’t expect James though. He was the only blind spot in my life. If he didn’t come up stairs to talk to me I probably wouldn’t have been here but he did. I smiled to myself because now I didn’t feel as sad as I was before. If only I could have him with me forever.

My phone rang and I looked at it. I had got a text message. I opened it to read, “I’m thankful for you, Ebony.” I didn’t recognize the number but then I got another text. “Elijah gave me your number, it’s James.” I smiled and knew my life would never be the same thanks to James.

 


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