“Ashton….” I called out as I awoke. He jumped into my room. I averted my eyes seeing as though he was shirtless. He pulled on a shirt and asked me what I was asking him for. “Were you at our year 10 formal?” I asked. He nodded, obviously confused.
“Luke’s making breakfast, c’mon we have school today.” He didn’t push me to tell him what I was asking for. I was grateful for that.
I showered and dressed in some of the clothes that were packed tightly into my penguin bag. Luckily my mother had a slight taste in the clothes that I had and packed some of my favourite clothes. I was disappointed to see that more than half of them were Ali’s though.
A sense of déjà vu ran through my mind as I put on Ali’s singlet and threw on Ali’s denim jeans.
One Year Ago
“I…. want to rock and roll all night, and party every day, I want to rock and roll all night, and party every day…” Ali sung as she put a feathered black boa over my shoulders. I wasn’t in the mood for partying and singing. It always seemed as if one of us was in the mood and one of us wasn’t.
“Ali, what the hell are you doing?” I asked. She put on an old cd and turned it up and on.
“Dance with me- Gimme, Gimme, Gimme a man after midnight, take me through the darkness to the break of the day….” She shimmied in my face and I pushed her away.
“Dude, I have homework. Gimme, Gimme, Gimme a break after midnight.” I snapped. She laughed at me and took the boa off my shoulders. She turned the cd down and pressed a couple of buttons. I turned to her. “What cd is this?” I asked. I spun around and around on my chair. That always distracted me.
“Eh….mixes of random old stuff. It’s really sad that Michael Jackson died isn’t it?” She asked me with remorse. I stared at her. I stood up and walked over to her bed and felt her forehead.
“Are you ok? Do you need your mental health checked?”
“Why would you ask such a stupid question? I was just stating that it was really sad, he was like, the best singer ever.”
“No, he really wasn’t.” I replied. I turned the CD player off. Ali had the boa wrapped around her face. It was pretty late and I was tired. “Are you going somewhere?” I asked. Ali shook her head and then nodded and then shrugged her shoulders.
“Iris said she was coming over but then she was all ‘no I really shouldn’t’ then she was saying something about something else so I don’t know but I thought I better be prepared just in case. Can you braid my hair?” She asked randomly. I shook my head and sighed in defeat. I wasn’t any older than her so I couldn’t tell her what to do. Like last year, I wasn’t her mother.
I braided her hair quickly and nimbly. It was quite messy but she said she didn’t care. The doorbell rang and I went down with Ali to see Carrie standing there. I threw a smile at a dumbstruck Ali and went upstairs. I called down to her.
“I’ll stay till Iris gets here, but can I wear your jeans?” I was already pulling them on harshly. There was no answer so I threw on her singlet and my own jacket and ran downstairs.
“I thought you had homework…” Ali said quietly. I smiled at her again. She looked sad.
“I finished it, Aleira. You still have yours waiting for you.” I glanced at Carrie happily and she was smiling one of her big smiles.
“Such a smart cookie isn’t she!” Carrie laughed. I laughed and Ali sighed.
“I guess I should stay home. Where are you guys going anyway? Shouldn’t you tell mum?” Ali asked.
“I’m staying over and going to school with her tomorrow. Mum doesn’t care. She doesn’t ask about our days, she barely picks us up from school; she doesn’t even usually have dinner with us. I see no reason to tell her unless she asks.” I flashed yet another smile at Ali and she looked distressed.
“How do you think I’m going to cope with her here without you? She’s a freaking mental case, Ariel, seriously.”
I rolled my eyes at Carrie. “And so are you! Goodbye. Have fun with Iris if she comes.”
I closed the door on her and so closed the door on the memory.