Chapter NineMature

Everything seemed to settle into a routine; not that anyone was complaining about it. It was a comfortable retune after all. After having the breakfast that Lily made, Tia would drive them to school, sometimes Scarlet would be with them. They went to their classes, where Alex and Tia were quickly becoming a competition for the best painter in school, they hang out at the local coffee shop, park, the Peterson household, or Alex’s treehouse, then they would go to their home, sleep and then repeat. Sometimes Jasmine and Amber would join them and sometimes they didn’t –mainly because they went on dates and such.

Saturday morning dawned just as bright –if not a bit cold- as the one three weeks ago, the same day that the Peterson’s moved in. Alex was up before the sun, as he usual was, sweeping the house for any dirt or grime that dared show itself, showering before making a breakfast of eggs, bacon and pancakes. The cut on his palm had healed up nicely, only leaving behind a red scar, which was still a bit tender to the touch. There hadn’t been any other bad injuries since then, the occasional smack or shove, but nothing to drastic; it helped that he didn’t spend a lot of his time at home, but out with his friends, doing whatever they felt like. That morning Alex had chosen to wear a light white short sleeved shirt and dark washed jeans, instead of having the risk of splashing grease on one of his jackets or hoody’s; he didn’t brother to put one on yet. He was humming as the bacon sizzled in the pan.

“Do you know me like you think you do, the days move quickly pass.” Alex sand, his voice was soft, but beautiful and mesmerizing “We hold on and keep trying to make this summer last. But soon it will be over, soon it won’t be fine. We’re holding onto waves, but we cannot stop time.”

Turning down the heat as he took the trash out to the garbage bins outside.

“Alex, why aren’t you up early, especially for a Saturday.” Lily said, as she sipped her morning coffee on the wooden deck with her husband.

“Hello Lily, Robert.” Alex said as he smiled at the pair “how are you this lovely morning?”

“We’re doing well.” Robert politely replied “How are you?”

Alex smiled at the man. Chris had told him that Robert hadn’t learned to speak until he was seven, both his parents being mute. Sadly, during school people would often tease him about, so most of the time he did what his parents did, signed, to communicate instead of speaking out loud. Alex knew some sign language, but not enough to have a conversation, was apprentice with the effort that Robert had to put into making him feel more at ease.

“I’m going great.” Alex said; someone could see the joy coming off of his small frame “It’s a nice day today.”

“You’re always such a happy person.” Lily giggled “Is your father home? We would love to meet him.”

“He’s getting ready for work at the moment, I think.” Alex evasively said, a fake smile planted firmly on his face “He’s running a bit late this morning, though, I don’t think he’ll have time to say hello or to chat before he has to leave.”

“Okay, maybe another time. Also Tia and Chris should be up sometime later.”

“Or you could go in and pour water on their heads now; that should wake them up.” Robert suggested; a playful smile on his face as he winked at Alex in a friendly manner.

Laughing at the suggestion, Alex shook his head “It’s fine, I’m sure they’ll let me know when they want to hang out.”

After a few more moments talking to the pair; Alex had to go inside to finish making breakfast. When he got in everything was ready, so all he had to do was place everything on the table, arranging everything with such care that it was borderline obsessive, he even went as far as putting a single daisy in a simple blue vase in the middle of the table, making it look like a magazine photo shop, than an actual meal. Although this was something that Alex never told anyone, he secretly loved daisies, white daisies were his favourite as they seem to glow no matter the back ground, like snow under the moon. They were peaceful, happy little flowers; everything that his life wasn’t and sometimes Alex envied them for that.

“Good morning.” Alex greeted his dad, smiling as the taller male entered the kitchen.

He grunted in acknowledgement; sitting down at the table, and without a word of thanks, started eating. Alex being used to his dad’s behaviour, just shrugged as he went to wish the dirty frying pan, in the stainless steel sink, not letting his dad perpetually sour attitude towards life spoil his good one.

“You missed some.” He said as he dropped his plate in the sink with a smirk.

“Okay.” Alex simply said, picking the plate up to wish it.

“What are you so happy about?”

Alex just shrugged his slim shoulders in response as he washed the plate, his looked even smaller wearing the slightly to big shirt.

“I asked you a question!” he sneered, grabbing Alex’s shoulders and roughly shaking him.

“I’m happy because…” Alex started to answer the question before a brief moment of pain went across his face stopped him from finishing what he was going to say. Looking at his dad and then the hand in the air, it didn’t take long for Alex to piece together what happened.

“I don’t care.” He screamed into Alex’s face.

Alex stood still as he nodded his head in understanding; the stinging radiating off his face had brought down his mood slightly. His dad continue to scream and yell, and then as he picked up his pace; Alex zoned out, retreating to the place in his mind he always went when things become too much to handle, being far away from the place he was forced to call ‘home’ some of this places sometimes including playing in the snow on a snow day, laughing as the soft snow flakes landed on his nose, tickling him, starting snow ball fights with friends that he didn’t have, and skating on the local pond. Others were him at the school, or more importantly the art room paining on a canvas that was much larger than him. Every once and a while he was with his mum, before everything went downhill, before his sister died.

It was one of the only happy childhood memories that he owned, and that was of his mum singing to both Anna and himself. His mum didn’t have a particularly beautiful voice, but it was pleasant enough and it was the safety of that moment he held dear. Sitting on his mum’s lap with his baby sister, listening to the soft lullaby that was singing, so very softly, that moment stood for a lost opportunity. Maybe his dad was present when it happened, maybe he wasn’t, sometimes he wondered with the memory was real, just something his love deprived mind had made up, he didn’t know and never knew if he would know. It didn’t matter as the years went by the memory or whatever it was; it grew harder and harder to recall.

“Hello?” A worried voice call, the kitchen door opening to revel the fresh clean air of the morning “Is everything okay?”

Alex looked up from his place on the kitchen floor, staring at the door, just completely terrified with what was going on.

Happy birthday to me he thought blearily.                          


The End

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