Chapter 7

Autumn sat on the sofa, watching Winter. Winter’s gaze was fixed intently on the TV, where some scientific program was burbling on about some sort of breakthrough in physics which could change the world and how everyone thinks. Both girls knew it was utter rubbish; it always was. Nowadays, scientific discoveries didn’t really affect the world in anyway, people just accepted them and moved on. They were mostly boring discoveries that did not contain much interest for the average person. Everyone on the world had something different that they wanted science to take forward: a cure for cancer, a way to make cars go even faster, a way to get your average person into space and many more. Every scientist was striving to achieve something different, and every person wanted something different. Autumn wondered whether or not that one day, the people would get together and decide on one thing that the scientists ALL had to work towards, until it was discovered or made.
            Autumn shifted her thoughts back to sister Winter. What she had said when she had awoken on the snow covered ground frightened Autumn greatly. As Autumn replayed the scene in her mind, more and more worry piled onto her. Winter was avoiding Autumn’s gaze, pretending to be transfixed on the TV. In reality, none of what the person was saying was being taken in, she just needed something to look interested in, to avoid conversing with Autumn. Inside, Winter was beating herself up. She had, in the space of one day, managed to break Autumn’s arm and pile all of this worry onto her. She felt terrible, she wished she had shut herself up before she blabbed her problem to Autumn. ‘Autumn doesn’t deserve this,’ she thought to herself, ‘I’m such an idiot!’
            “Winter. . . Do. . . Do you want to talk about it?” Autumn said, softly, silently hoping her sister would say that she did want to talk about it so that they could get to the bottom of this, and sort out what was going on.
            Winter hesitated. She did not want to insult her sister and say no outright, but she really did not want to talk about it. While Winter thought about it, worried thoughts raced across Autumn’s mind. After a while, Winter realised that she hadn’t replied. “Umm, I don’t really want to talk about it. . . not now, anyway, “ she added, to reassure sister Autumn that she would, maybe, one day, want to talk to her about it.
            “Okay, but when you do want to. . . Just come talk to me. . . okay?” Autumn said, hesitantly. The worry in her voice showed through and Winter looked up from the TV. She looked her sister dead in the eye and smiled.
            “Don’t worry about me,” she said reassuringly, “I’ll be fine.”
            Autumn smiled back, nodding, “M’kay,” she said, simply. She was still going to worry, but she wouldn’t tell Winter that. Suddenly, a thought occurred to Autumn. She remembered earlier, when herself, Spring and Summer were sat around the dining table, with Summer confidently speaking about her ‘plan’. Winter must have noticed Autumn’s concern, for she then spoke, quietly.
            “What’s wrong, Tum?”
            Autumn looked at her sister and shook her head. “Nothing, I just. . . Remembered something. Hey, Win, do you want to go into town when your turn is up? It would be really cool, I haven’t had time alone with you in ages,” Autumn smiled sweetly.
            “Sure. . .” Winter said. The question had caught her unawares, and she was thrown slightly off balance by it. It was strange, Autumn was Winter’s best friend, and Winter got on much better with Autumn than she did with her other sisters. Summer seemed to always have something against her and she was always starting arguments and fights between them, and Spring just followed Summer’s word, too afraid to speak up. During the summer, while Summer was doing her duties, Autumn, Spring and Winter would spend all of their time together, the best of friends, doing everything together. But then, as soon as Autumn went into her time, Winter would have a lonely three months. Everywhere that Summer went, she would take Spring. Everything she did, she made Spring do. During summer, it became apparent how much of the things Summer did Spring didn’t like, and it also was easy to see that, if it was not for Summer, there would never be arguments in the house.
            “Cool, it’ll be fun. Just me and you though, I doubt Summer would want to go,” Autumn giggled, “You know how she is. Just don’t take anything she says as true and don’t react to anything she does, okay?”
            “Yeah, I doubt she would come,” Winter sighed, “Why does she hate me, Tum?” Winter added, with more than a hint of sadness showing in her voice and her eyes.
            Autumn thought for a second, before replying, “It’s because you’re opposites. You’re meant to not get along, to not be friends.” She put her arm around Winter, “Don’t worry about it, she’ll grow out of it, I’m sure,” She smiled at her sister.
            “But, the thing is, you and Spring get along really well, and you two are the so called opposites. . . Why isn’t it the same for you?” Winter moaned, “It’s just that Summer hates me, I don’t hate her at all, except for when she’s being horrid to me. Some of the things she says. . . Well they really hurt. . . A lot.”
            Autumn paused, thinking about how to phrase what she wanted to say. “Well,” She started, “Me and Spring. . . We aren’t. . . Exactly the opposite. It’s like. . . Well, if summer and winter are opposite seasons, spring and autumn are the in between seasons, like spring is the season that moves winter into summer and autumn the other way round. . . Do you understand what I’m saying?” she spoke slowly, working out how to say it properly as she did.
            Winter let what Autumn had said sink in and she tried to understand, “Yeah. . . I guess I understand. . . But I don’t hate Summer, she just really hates me. Like I said, she can really hurt me with some of the things she says.”
            Autumn thought back to the last time Summer had yelled at Winter and winced. She remembered Summer yelling about how Winter’s surrogates probably didn’t even notice that she was missing, either that or that they were happy to get rid of her finally. She squeezed her sister tightly, truly sorry for the things sister Summer had said. “Ignore it, she doesn’t mean what she says. She gets so. . . Caught up in the moment, she says things in the heat of it all. . . Just, don’t take any of it to heart,” Autumn smiled down at her sister.
            Winter curled up into Autumn’s arm, snuggling herself up against her. “Thanks, Tum,” she said turning her attention back to the TV. The program had changed and large, violent scenes involving a lion and a gazelle. She cringed as the lion slashed its claws across the side of the young gazelle, pushing it down to the ground. Autumn quickly grabbed the remote and changed the channel.
            “Ew,” she said, also cringing. “I hate those shows.” A new image filled the screen. A man and a woman were having a full blown argument, swear words were flying around the room and Winter giggled.
            “This show is so stupid. All soaps are.” Winter looked up at the clock, which told her that it was currently twenty minutes past eleven. “We should go to bed, Tum, it’s kinda late.”
            “Yeah, c’mon,” Autumn said, pushing herself out the sofa. She extended her arm and Winter grabbed onto it, before linking her arm with hers. They switched the TV off by the remote and left the room, turning the light out as they did so. They walked to the stairs, and started to walk up it, talking quietly so they didn’t wake the others. As they arrived at Autumns door, they said goodnight to each other. Autumn offered to walk Winter up to her room, but Winter refused.
            “I’ll see you in the morning, Tum,” she said, turning to leave.
            “Yeah,” said Autumn, “Sleep well. . . And ignore what Sum says, she doesn’t mean it.”
            Winter turned to Autumn and smiled, who returned the smile. Winter walked up the stairs, increasing her pace as she got higher up the house. She reached her room eventually, and was surprised to see that the door was slightly ajar, even though she definitely remembered closing it. Winter thought for a while, before determining that she had probably not shut it enough and that the wind had blown it open.
            She pushed the door further open, and walked into the room. She fumbled around with her hand on the wall, searching for the light switch with her fingertips. Eventually her fingers found the familiar bump in the wall where the switch was. She pressed down on the switch and the light bulb in the centre of the room flickered and came on. The sudden light stung her eyes slightly, and, as her eyes adjusted, so did the sight of her room.
            She had left the room tidy, she was completely certain of that. Now, though, the room was completely destroyed. The desk that had once been in the corner of the room had been tipped and now lay on its side, the papers and little things that had collected on it were spread across the floor. The bed she had made this morning had been cruelly unmade, the sheets, duvet and pillow were also on the floor. The books from the bookshelf had been thrown down to the ground, the draws of the bedside cabinet and chest of draws had all been pulled out and emptied onto the floor, before having the draws themselves thrown on top of them. The photos from the shelf near to her bed had all been thrown down, their frames shattered across the floor.
            Winter felt tears forming at the corners of her eyes. She ran out of her room and burst in to tears as she ran down the stairs and down to Autumn’s room. She arrived at the door and began to bang heavily, the door blurring through the sheet of tears that covered her face. Autumn came to the door, opening it as she rubbed her bleary eyes. Winter’s tear covered face brought shock to her, ‘Summer can’t have done the plan, she only just went to bed,’ Autumn thought to herself, before pulling Winter into a tight hug.
            “What’s happened, babe?” Autumn asked, caringly stroking her sister’s hair, “What’s wrong?”
            Winter shook in Autumn’s arms, she was sobbing too much to speak coherently, so she mumbled out “M-M-My r-r-room’s been r-r-r-ruined,” she stuttered, “E-E-Everything. . . E-Everythings b-b-been smashed a-a-and th-th-thrown. . . th-th-thrown on the f-f-f-floor,” A sob erupted from her and she put her head down on her sister’s shoulder. The wetness on her face rubbed onto her sister’s shoulder. Autumn pulled her sister into the room and sat her down onto her bed, before sitting down next to her, her arm still around her sister.

The End

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