Chapter Eight: Past
“M-my Father?” My eyes averted to Sabrine’s face, confusion and panic grasped me, pulling me down into darkness.
“Alex.” Marley said sternly, stopping him.
“She already knows the name.” Alex looked up from me to her, adjusting the smug gleam in his eyes.
“You little.” Sabrine snarled. “Who sent you?”
“Gabriel. He wants to see his daughter.” Alex stated.
“Wait a minute!” I cried, tears welling up behind my lids. I cursed as black smears drew jagged lines down my cheeks; it was a bad day to wear mascara. “My Father, Gabriel, is alive? But Mom, you said…”
“Olivia…” It was barely a whisper.
“I-I … I don’t understand.” The tears fell freely now, taking diluted ink with them. “Where is he? How does he know about me? Why did you tell me that he was dead?” Questions met blank glares.
My Mother knelt before me, with that same look on her face that I’d just seen only a second ago, moving Alex from my side so that he stood at my feet.
“Olivia. It’s complicated.”
“So? I’m sixteen, don’t even try that. Tell me. Why?”
All was silent, I glanced back at Alex who had his arms folded across his chest and his eyes were lowered. Sabrine had her back turned to him and was watching me from the corner of her almond eyes. I felt chills go up and down my spine, she wasn’t looking at me, so much as she was glaring at my Mother. Marley’s body rigid and fragile at that very moment, any thing I had to say could knock her flat on her back.
She opened her mouth and I snapped my eyes back to meet her dull grey, expressionless eyes. Mine must have been as blue as ever from the gasp she released when I looked deep into her face. “You grew up with him, until you were about five, just after you started to kindergarten. I was still fairly young, and your Father and I had barely seen each other due to some difficulty after first moving and when you started school, the only way I didn’t miss you was if I took you to school every morning.” She paused, and I could see the glossiness of her eyes and I knew she was hurting, I held back my snarly comments until she would finish. “You’re kindergarten teacher, Luke, and I hit it off immediately and he asked me out. At first I said no, but there was so much tension and he was there and I took it out on him. Your Father found out not shortly after it started and it literally ripped his heart out and he left me and you and went back to our home in Dublin. I haven’t seen him since, and I figured it would be best if you thought he was dead so you didn’t start searching for him only to have your heart broken as well when you found out the truth. I did it for you.” Her voice was strained and kept resurfacing at a higher octave, but I’d heard enough, though I was sure there was much more to this than she was telling me. I pulled my body away from her and jumped off the couch and pushed past Sabrine and Alex, I swear I felt his hand linger on my back for a moment, but it didn’t matter. He knew too, how much did he know though?
I pulled the keys for the truck off the rack and bolted out the door, ignoring my name being called from behind my tracks. I didn’t care.
The interior of the truck cab was quiet and I turned the key and reversed. The silence was welcome, and as I drove down Nelson, I realized that I didn’t have a destination but it seemed that my body didn’t care.
I found myself driving up to Conner’s Hill and down Tulip and circled the bay and stopped in front of number twenty.
Michael’s Mazda and his parent’s Jimmy were both in the driveway. I looked down at the steering wheel trying to put my thoughts back together before I walked aimlessly to the front door. We hadn’t even spoken in two weeks because of Sara. How would he take this?
There was a hard tap on the driver’s window, I jumped and screamed, and when I looked I almost died. Michael was looking back at me, his face pale and horrified. He opened my door quickly at the sight of my face.
“Ollie? What’s wrong? What happened? Marley, is she-”
“No. No. Marley’s fine.” I sobbed trying to regain control, but I was losing.
He pulled me out of the cab and wrapped his arm around my shoulders and towed me inside. His Mother met us horrified, a similar expression that Michael had been wearing earlier.
“Olivia, are you alright? Sit. Sit.” She ushered Michael and I into the living room, I sat down still fighting tears. “Tea? Water?”
“Water.” I answered, though my voice broke.
Michael patiently watched me; his sapphire orbs traced familiar territory. Mrs. Weibe handed me a crystal glass of water and I nursed it slowly, not looking at her or Michael.
“Mom. I think she’s okay. We’ll be in my room.” Michael softly pulled me from the couch and I obediently retraced the path to his bedroom.
His room was yellow and black, like a yield sign, but I knew better. Together we had painted black orbs over the bright yellow paint from the previous owners. Even his sheets and curtains were black. It evened out the large room and made his large bed seem more predictable.
He sat me down on the edge of his bed and pulled his desk chair over in front of me.
“What’s wrong?” He hummed.
I sighed, attempting to calm myself. “My Dad.”
“Okay. I thought you said he died.”
“He didn’t. He left when I was five because my Mom slept with my kindergarten teacher.” The words came out in a sour tone, more hatred implied than I’d hoped.
“Wow. That’s news.”
“Ya.” I laughed. “I feel like I’m living in a soap opera.”
“But, so – Is there more?”
“Yes.” I whispered. “He’s alive and he’s looking for me.”
“Oh man, Ollie.” He moved to my side and brought his arms around me in an embrace. “That’s good, right?”
“Yes. The best. But … I left before I could hear anymore. My Mom lied to me for eleven years.”
“Michael … I’m really sorry for showing up like this, it was like my body knew how to get here without thinking. I’m really-”
“Don’t.” He cut me off, his eyes bold and stern. “I’m glad you came to me, I was sort of starting to think that our friendship was over, and it was my fault.”
“I over-reacted. If you want to date her, then it’s your decision, not mine. I’m sorry for being such a shitty friend.”
“Well, thank-you. But you know you were just looking out for me. Thanks. And I am a big boy, I’ll ruin my own life.” He laughed and squeezed me harder.
“No problem.” My head came to rest on his shoulder and my eyes wandered across his desk. The centerpiece was a picture of him and his Great Uncle who had died in a bombing in New York. Fresh, hot tears boiled up in my eyes and my chest tightened, but I was trying so hard to stop crying.
OH this sucks. I should have stayed and waited to hear more. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
“Stop glaring Ollie.” Michael teased, his breath tousled light strands of hair and I shivered. “Cold?”
“Kael, does Olivia want to stay for supper?” Michael’s Father popped his head in around the corner of the door.
Michael looked at him angrily and then looked down at me questioningly.
“My Uncle and Grandpa, they used to call me that all the time because it wasn’t an angels name – apparently I wasn’t much of an angel as a child.” He shrugged and went to changing the subject. “Do you want to stay for supper? Chicken burgers?”
“Sure.” I nodded, tears escaping as I blinked.
“You have racing stripes down you face. Want some Kleenex?”
“Toilet paper works to.” I forced a smile.
“Alright. Weird, but okay.”
He was only gone for a second, but I already felt pressure on my temples. My breath came quicker and I lay back and closed my eyes.
At first it was dark, like it was during just any ordinary migraine, but then the images came quickly.
Michael and Sara in his kitchen as I hid in his bedroom: she was handing him something and crying, but her face was angry and determined. Michael had his back to me; shoulders tense through is white ‘Anti-Christ’ t-shirt, which he wasn’t wearing at the moment. The object she handed him was flat, an envelope, I couldn’t see if very clearly. But he was opening it, then the doorbell rang and the images faded.
“Olivia?” Michael whispered at my side. I opened my eyes slowly and focused on his intensely, curious orbs.
“Are you alright?”
I nodded. “Amazing…” It came out quietly too soft to hear clearly.
“Hm.” He closed his eyes and lay down next to me. His right hand extended towards me and held a box of tissue for me to take. I snatched them away and wiped under and around my eyes and down my cheeks, taking care not to disturb my leftover make-up.
“Are you expecting Sara today?”
“Just curious. Any time soon?”
“She’s at a wedding this weekend.”
“Did you want to go to a movie this weekend?”
“I work Friday and Sunday night.”
“And I work Saturday night. Scratch that.”
“I guess. We could always go during the afternoon.” I added.
“No, I can’t. Dad’s taking me to the farm to visit my God Parents. Apparently they just had a baby or something.”
“Oh, okay.” I played with a wild strand of hair, twisting it’s length around my index finger over and over. It glistened under his room’s light and faded into gold and silver against the walls.
Maybe my Father’s blonde, with blues eyes. Maybe even a head talker like me. Gabriel…
“What’s his name?” Michael asked, his tone annoyed like he had just repeated himself.
“Like the archangel Gabriel? That’s cool. I bet he’s an artist like you and always staring off into space.” Michael grinned. He was trying to make me feel better.
I chewed on my lower lip for a second think about it, trying to match a face from my past to his name, or even ‘Daddy’.
“Do you think?” I contemplated aloud.
“Mmhmm. He probably misses you a lot.”
“Maybe. I just find it really strange how I can’t remember him.”
“Maybe Marley erased your memories.” He laughed.
“Mind clearing -” I was laughing and then I remembered how Michael had ‘forgotten’ about our real life nightmare in the Morden park. Was it possible that some one had erased my thoughts and memories as well?
Marley? Sabrine? I can’t trust them anymore. And Alex … he may be the only one that can help me. But, Michael, we’re just talking again, it can wait. I wiggled my nose with impatience. Maybe.
“Supper!” Mrs. Weibe called from the kitchen.
Michael pulled me off his bed and we walked calmly to the dining room. I sat next to Michael, in-between him and his sister Brittany.
She was eight and getting to the age where her brother annoyed the hell out of her. Michael obviously taught her well. She was about four feet tall, hazel eyes and thin with short, brown hair cut around her doll like features. She was adorable, and her Mom took pleasure in dressing her up.
Mrs. Weibe was a tall, lanky woman with a bright, welcoming face and a warm glow, while Michael’s Father was more rugged and outstanding. His hair was mustard seed and his eyes were the same as Michael’s and intense with age. Michael’s future looked marvelous.
Future? Is that what I’m seeing? Glimpses of incidents yet to happen? But that would mean… My thoughts trailed as Mrs. Weibe dished out salad and burgers.
I ate slowly and listened intently to the table talk between the family, Michael eyed me every now and then to make sure I was still breathing and eating. He would only look away to talk to his Father about hockey and work and then back to me his eyes would linger. Though I acted as if I didn’t notice, I looked back a him and smiled occasionally as an ‘Okay-cut-it-out’ look.
I have to stop Sara from coming over, whenever it is. I wonder if I can recall the vision? Now … how did that work again?
“Olivia dear, would you like some more salad?”
“No thanks.” I waved. She broke my concentration.
“No, that’s alright Michael, Brit and I will clean up.” Mrs. Weibe stopped Michael from clearing the dishes, and Brittany protested with a loud moan.
“Mom, you guys told me that I had to help.”
“I’ll help too.” I nodded and gathered up my dishes and allowed myself some refuge in the kitchen.
“Um, alright. Michael, make sure to soak the salad bowl.”
“Yes Mom.” He gathered up dishes and his parents and Brittany moved downstairs. “You don’t have to help Ollie.”
“No, that’s okay. Really.” I smiled sweetly and it felt completely farce.
“Watch out for that -” Too late.
Michael dumped his sister’s cup down his shirt, fruit punch tie-dying his t-shirt. I held back laughter as he groaned and slammed down the dishes.
“Dammit.” Michael hissed. “Whatever, I’ll change after we’re done.”
“Good idea.” I nudged him and we both broke out in scattered bursts of hilarity.
“We are weird.” Michael added.
“Not even Weird Al?” Michael screwed up his face and did a ridiculous imitation that brought on further laughter.
“Okay. So you’ve officially beat me at: pong, Mario Kart, and Halo. Anything else?” Michael prodded me as we played video games in his room.
“Nah. I think I’m done kicking your white boy ass for today.”
“Good. I’m gonna get a drink, want anything?”
“Good choice. Be right back.” Michael got up and walked into the hall and then spun around and came back in as someone knocked on the door.
“What are you doing?” I raised an eyebrow.
“Changing. It could be cameras or something.”
“Way to be conceited Michael.”
“You know it.” And once again he left to his room and quickly switched up his shirts before moving towards the door and answering it. I caught his shirt choice out of the corner of my eye. “ANTI-CHRIST”
“Michael – WAIT!” I snapped. But the door opened; there was Marley, not Sara. “What the hell around you doing here?” I cursed.
“Come home Olivia Jade -”
“Don’t you dare middle name me.” I crossed my arms across my chest.
“Ollie?” Michael’s eyes pained me, they were scared. He walked over to me and placed his hands on my shoulders and stared into my eyes directly. “Maybe you should go home. Ask question. Get some answers. Obviously I can’t help with that.”
“Michael?” I blinked, stunned and appalled.
“I would fight to keep you here, but I know that when you start staring off into space that you’re just thinking about it. Am I wrong?”
“Well-” There was no point in arguing. “No.”
“I’ll be here when you call.” Michael nodded, and hugged me. I saw my chance.
“Where does Vivian live?”
“What?” He pulled back to look at me.
“I owe her homework. Where does she live? You said Sara has been there…”
“Ya. Ya. 8 Glen Place.”
“Thanks.” I kissed his cheek and walked back to my Mom. “I’ll drive myself home.”
“Okay?” Marley blinked hard but lead the way out of Michael’s front foyer, and I turned to wave at him and gave him a little wink. Marley watched me carefully but she’d never be able to react as quickly as me.