“Ali…..Ali…..I figured out what I’m going to do. I’m going to forgive you, but I’m never going to forget. I love you so much Ali, I’m sorry I kissed William and I’m sorry I dressed like a skank, hug?”
I opened my eyes and stopped murmuring to Ali. I realised that I wasn’t in year 9/10, but in the present day. And Ali was dead. Gone, now she was dust in the wind.
“Um, I don’t know if you still want that hug? Or if it was for….someone- please do not say Ashton, he’s not worth your time.”
I blinked at the unfamiliar face looking at me all concerned like everyone did these days. I blinked again and heard some music go on above me, obviously in the upstairs room. There was someone singing along with it and I realised it to be Ashton’s voice. I blinked up at the roof and then at the unfamiliar person again.
The song was Dust in the Wind.
I was listening to that song the other day when Ashton was singing it. That must have been what triggered the particular memory. I closed my eyes and sighed.
“Hi…My name’s Luke Thorin.” He held out a hand for me to shake but I silently stared at it. He was the one to sigh now. The instrumental part in the song came on and I was transported back to that day two years ago again. He pulled his hand away. “Are you hungry? Dinner’s in about ten minutes.”
“Don’t your parents care that you have a distraught girl who has been kicked out of two homes in your living room?” I choked. Luke looked sad and shook his head. I heard a shower go on and Luke glanced upwards. He started singing the song now.
“I close my eyes, only for a moment, and the moments gone…” His voice lingered on the last word and I opened my eyes. He bit his lip and turned to go. “Call out if you need anything.” He left the room and I was left alone to wallow in my sadness.
Five minutes later he called out that dinner was ready and Ashton tumbled down the stairs.
“Luke didn’t scare you did he? It’s good to see you awake though.” He hugged me quickly and when he realised that I was still as a statue he let me go. “C’mon, you need food, like you told me.” He took my hand and led me into the kitchen. Luke turned to see us. He pushed a plate of pancakes onto a plate and placed it in front of me. I put a forkful into my mouth.
“Pfannkuchen…” I whispered. The boys had just sat down with their pancakes and looked at me like I was crazy. “It’s German for pancake. I learnt it in year 7.” They smiled and nodded but I could see they thought I was lying.
I finished eating as quickly as I could and then gazed at the empty plate. Luke and Ashton were talking and laughing about something that I didn’t really care about. Then they turned their fiery gazes onto me and I realised that they were talking about me.
“It was weird you know….I wasn’t even thinking of them. And then suddenly I heard that name in my brain and had a weird feeling in my tummy. It was then that I knew. I knew I’d fallen again….” Everyone was silent after that. I looked at the table and clenched my fists. “You don’t think it happens like that… But I couldn’t say anything….. I felt it in my gut and thought- Oh not again!”
I laughed sadly. I wished my life were like that again. Having no guilty conscience, having a twin that was almost always beside me and thinking of love, thinking of having a carefree future…
Luke and Ashton were staring at me and then staring at each other. I knew they were having one of those brain conversations when they somehow knew what the other was thinking. I knew all too well how those conversations worked.
“Ari, what are you talking about?” They asked simultaneously. I looked up sharply.
“You mean you don’t know?” I asked. They shook their heads.
“I was taking about thinking of something completely random and then someone’s name pops into your head that you know and you feel it in your stomach and suddenly- you love them. You never thought I would be that person that fell hard for someone just like that…. but I was.” I stood up. “I need to go for a walk.”
Luke stood up immediately and offered to come with me. So did Ashton. I shook my head. I wanted to go for a walk alone. Ashton sat back down and didn’t move. Luke didn’t budge.
“Ashton you clean up, please, I cooked so you clean and I will get to now Ari better.” Luke smiled at me but I didn’t return it. I gave up and walked out and Luke followed me. “Who were you talking about?” He wanted to know. I shook my head.
“Nobody, yet somebody yet at the same time everyone I’ve ever loved. And they all seem to leave me.” I crossed my arms. Luke started singing again and I put my head in my palms.
“Nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky.” It was that song again. At the same time I wanted to randomly strangle him and kiss him at the same time. Something must have been up with my brain because I didn’t even know him. “Just a drop of water in an endless sea,”
“SHUT UP.” I yelled. I shook with tears which had yet to come. “Just shut up.”
Luke stopped and took my hand. I felt like snatching it away and yelling some more.
“Ari, I went through this with Ashton, I don’t know if he told you but he was so broken up over his sister dying. He came to me and I helped him. I can help you too, Ari. Trust me.”
I actually did pull my hand away that time and put both of them to my face to sob.
“Why is everyone asking me to trust them? I sure do trust people. I trusted Ali. You all may not notice but a girl needs mourning time. It’s only been about a week. I feel like everyone’s telling me to get over it.”
“I would never tell you to get over it. You never will, I know. But you are allowed to have fun.”
I shook my head.
“I want to go back to sleep.” I told him.
“I don’t think that’s a good id-
“IT’S THE ONLY TIME I CAN FORGIVE MYSELF AND REMEMBER HER IN A GOOD WAY.” I couldn’t stop yelling.
He started towards his house again. I realised how beautiful the cream colour of the walls was as I followed. He started singing again.
I wanted to tell him to shut up again. But I was in his house, and though it was a free country I thought better of yelling in his house.
I went to lie back down on the couch but Luke said no. Ashton had finished washing up and was fiddling with the x-box. He glanced up at me with worry, lines creasing his otherwise smooth forehead. I smiled weakly at him and looked at the time. It was only half past eight. Luke showed me to a guest room silently. I thanked him and abruptly shut the door in his face.
I was going to open it up and say sorry but instead, I listened to his footsteps patter away, lay down on the bed and fell asleep quicker than I had ever fallen asleep in my life.