Chapter nine: Grounded

My mum apparently wasn't pleased that I came back at two in the morning, with a gash on my forehead and wearing someone else's clothes... She looked very suspiciously at Shane, what with him being about eight or so years older than me and walking me home smelling like booze...

"What happened to you?" She said, sounding worried after unceremoniously closing the door on Shane.

"I slipped and hit my head, my clothes got drenched and Shane helped me."

"And who exactly is he, Jo, he's older and I don't trust his look."

"He's my science teacher actually, I know, he doesn't look it, but he seems like a nice guy." I answered and she seemed to calm down. "Look mom, I get that you're worried about me but I'm no longer the young girl that you have to protect from every boy who comes around..." I couldn't repress the disgust of calling myself a girl, it was just painful to say.

She looked at me and her eyes got teary and she leaned back against the wall of the entrance. "Sometimes it's just so hard to remember that my baby Johanna is gone..." She whispered, clearly feeling ashamed that she couldn't entirely let go of my old self. "I'm so sorry..." She apologized several times in a row. 

I wrapped my arms around her and she cried a bit. "Mum, I'm still here, I'm me, now. I'm just not pretending to be somebody else I never was."

She calmed down for a while and she declared it was time for bed. I hugged her again and I walked to my room, undressing before crashing down on my bed. I wasn't in the right mindset to sleep so instead I tried to piece together everything the entire mess of an evening together. 

Just when I had needed it, the skeleton from my dreams had appeared. Was it the spirit guide Shane had talked about? A dead baby seemed kind of bleak... I remembered the feeling it instilled in me and the word it had made me speak.

"Renfizs!" I muttered, holding my hand out, like when I'd done that magical thing. Nothing happened and I tried again, a bit louder and still nothing happened.

"Guess it doesn't work like that..." I muttered. 

Shane had told me it was about beliefs but it was such a vague direction that anything was really possible, was it just to believe hard enough? Because that seemed incomprehensibly metaphysical and obscure for directions. 

I continued tossing ideas around until my eye lids sealed shut from exhaustion. The alarm clock woke me way too soon for my liking and I forced myself to get up. I walked in a zombie like state to the drawers and put something on together. 

My mom was already downstairs and preparing to go to work. I opened the fridge to get something to eat when she put a hand on my shoulder. "I'm sorry for last night, Jo..." She began. I opened my mouth the say something but she continued. "But, you're grounded for two weeks for running away and coming back over four hours past curfew."

"Come on... Mum!"

"No video games or anybody over, young man." She reaffirmed, strictly. 

"Fine..." I grumbled.


The End

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