Carolina's world seems to be falling apart with an abusive relationship. A young girl tries to fix her life from all of the mistakes she's been making in the past year and finds out more about herself than she intended.
The porch was dimly lit, illuminating only a portion of the oversized house. The night was dark, so dark that even the full moon did nothing. Only crickets made sounds, bringing the seemingly endless night to life. Occasionally a lone wolf would howl, reminding the deer that they weren't alone in the woods. Every so often a cow would moo or a horse would neigh. A few times there would be the roar of a mountain lion or a bear. Sometimes the sound of the wild would be interrupted by a car rolling into the driveway.
Despite the house's curfew, a young girl was in the barn. She was sitting on the ground with her knees tucked into her arms. Dirty blonde hair fell over the teenager's shoulders, her sea foam eyes gazing out into the vast terrain of nothingness. Carolina was aware that out in that 'nothingness' that there was indeed something. With its food chains, collections of various species, and unforgettable moonlit lakes, the forest was not a place to be taken lightly.
Sitting there was not something Carolina was doing by choice. She was there because she had to be there. It meant she was in pain. Her heart held a burden so heavy that it felt like someone had replaced her heart with a sack of boulders. Tears were finally gone from her eyes, but left their scars on her body. A sniffle would come every here and there, reminding her of the tears she'd just shed. Red stained her eyes as the events of the earlier conversation played through her mind.
"Carolina?" her mother's usually perky voice asked as she entered the girl's room. The woman was shaking, having to hold onto the doorway to stand. her blonde hair appeared to be graying for once as she took a seat in front of her second child.
Looking up from a copy of the latest Nicolas Sparks novel, the girl was shocked at her mother's appearance. She placed a bookmark on her current page before setting the book down and looking up to the oman. "Yes?" she asked, her forehead tensing at her mother's unusually frail state.
There was a sigh and a long silence before she spoke, but when she did the words flowed out like butter. "Your brother, Jamie, has just been in an accident. He's in the hospital now as we speak."
At the horrid news of her twin brother being hurt, Carolina froze. "What kind of an accident?"
Another long silence. "Your brother was driving drunk."
The words struck Carolina like an arrow in her heart. Nearly a thousand needles seemed to prick her body. At first came the denial. And then the realization that her brother was hurt. At first the tears came. And when they did, they came like the day God flooded the earth. Jamie was hurt. Not only hurt, but hospitalized and hurt. Driving drunk. That sounded nothing like the Jamie she knew and loved!
Now , sitting in the barn, the girl felt helpless. She sat there, unsure of how the next day's events would play out. For the night, she would sit there and cry. Then the sun would rise, and she'd wonder if her brother was rising to the same sun, or if he would even wake u pat all. People would come and go, offering their condolences. As if he was already dead. Did those people really mean what they said? Were they truly sorry? Or were they simply saying they were while judging her brother for driving drunk?
Already, her older sister was on her way down from D.C. Currently, Jamie was intensive care while Carolina simply sat there.
"You don't have to do this to yourself," a familiar, calm voice spoke. Carolina turned only to find herself staring at her boyfriend, Damian. His black curls were tucked neatly behind his ears, his gray eyes staring calmly at her. While he gave a relaxed look, Carolina could sense the tension in his shoulders. H wore a white tee shirt with a black leather jacket. His blue jeans were tight, only causing Carolina to quickly glance away.
"Do what?" She asked him, unaware of the true meaning behind his words.
Quiet filled the air as Damian stroked one of the horse's nose gently. "You're killing yourself over what happened to Jamie. Blaming yourself. It's not going to accomplish anything." His tone was sympathetic, and his eyes were gentle. Carolina didn't know this Damian. He was suddenly caring and sweet. The boy she knew as Damian was a bad, drug addicting alcoholic. Had the day's events somehow changed him? Or was he attempting to sway Carolina into his arms, allowing him the privilege to hold her while she cried. When there was no response from the girl, he spoke once again. "Sweetheart, are you okay?"
Her pink lips pursed. She could feel Damian's hands fall onto her shoulders. The volume of his breathing escalated as his mouth made its way towards her cheek. When Carolina said nothing in response, she didn't even move, the corners of his lips turn downwards to form a frown. "Darling? What's wrong?"
Carolina stood up and spun around to face her boyfriend, her hair whisked around as she did, hitting Damian in the face. But Damian didn't comment on it. In fact, he secretly enjoyed the strawberry aroma her blonde hair gave off. "What's wrong? What do you think is wrong? My brother's in the hospital! Maybe that has something to do with things!"
"Carolina? What's with you all of a sudden? Now you're upset with me for some reason!"
"I'm being strange? What's with all this sweet talk nonsense? So now that Jamie's in the hospital you turn into some romantic, dreamy boyfriend?" He grabbed her arm, shooting her a deadening glare.
"Let me go!" She insisted.
Damian took a step forward, his nice boy act suddenly fading. "Look, Carol, I tried to make you feel better, and this is the thanks I'm getting?"
Tears were flowing down the girl's cheeks, they came so naturally now. Like they were supposed to be on her face. "Damian, why are you even here? Are you here for me or do you want to look like some hero in front of me?" They both knew the answer, but when Damian didn't respond, it only made her even more angry. "Well?" she half-shouted, not caring that people were still trying to sleep in the house.
Automatically, Damian's hand lifted up and smacked her across the cheek. Silence filled the air for a moment. "You jerk!" Carolina screamed, pounding her fist into his chest. The gesture barely did anything besides make him angrier.
"I try to do something nice for you and this is the thanks I'm getting?" he gave her a shove or two, and be fore she knew it she was pinned against the barn wall. A punch to the cheek resulted in a loud yelp. "Shut up!" he told her.
Before they knew it, house lights were on. Damian was too distracted with the satisfaction of hearing her scream to care.
"Carolina? What's wrong?" a worried voice shouted. Carrie knew her daughter was in the barn, but didn't really care. When she saw the sight, her flashlight shining into Damian's eyes, she gasped. "Carolina!" Damian didn't stop. "Luke!" the woman's voice shouted as her next youngest son ran to the barn. The boy approached Damian, his fist meeting Damian's jaw.
"You get away from my sister!" A fight began, and Damian finally ran when he felt one of his teeth fall out. The boy ran through the forest off to his own ranch. Luke turned to his teary-eyed sister, unsure of what to say. "You okay?" was all he could manage.
No response. Tears. Immediately, Carrie was at her daughter's side, trying to comfort her. She mouthed for Luke to leave, and the two sat there in silence for quite some time. "Do you wanna talk about it?" she asked Carolina, whose tears had now subsided. There was something along the lines of a 'no' from the girl. "Sweetie how 'bout you take a shower then head to bed. Anna will be here in three days, and you can talk to her all you want."
There was a nod, and the girl stood up, heading back to the house with her mother. After taking a long, hot shower, she walked down to the kitchen to grab a bowl of ice cream. Her mother was already there when she arrived. Somehow Carolina got the feeling her mother knew she was coming. Her theory was proved correct when she found a slice of cake on the opposite end of the table. The woman was talking on the phone in French, the language of her native country. But when Carrie saw her daughter, who also spoke the tongue, she switched into Italian. The translation showed that the chat was indeed about Carolina.
Sitting down, Carolina began eating the cake slowly, waiting for her mother to finish. "Grazie." The phone was hung up and set down beside Carrie. "That was your father. He's already on his way down, and he's personally going to beat up Damian." Her father was a Navy Seal Captain and rarely home.
"You told him?" Carolina groaned.
"Of course I did, do you think he'd be glad if Luke told him?"
There was a long silence before Carrie spoke to her daughter. "Are you okay?" she asked, hoping that Carolina wouldn't get upset with her at the question. No response. "Carolina, I know you're upset, and if you want to talk or something, just tell me."
It was probably an hour that the two just sat there silently. Finally, the young girl stood and headed upstairs.