“Wake up! Ari, what the hell, wake up you stupid idiot, why would you do this?” It sounded like this person was crying. The other person was silently pacing back and forth in the background. “Why don’t you just call the ambulance?”
“No one knows about this place, dickhead. If you call them it will blow Ari’s and Ali’s secret. This is their place. She called it Ali’s Tree. You don’t want that do you?” That was Beau. I couldn’t stop thinking about Ali and how she said that someone had come and caught me.
I didn’t open my eyes. They didn’t know I could hear them. Hands held me and I recognised them as Luke’s. I don’t know how. I just did. It was weird because Ali had said that Ashton had caught me….
Maybe she didn’t really know but maybe she knew who it really was and was trying to trick me. All I knew was that I was suddenly really, really cold. I shook. I shook and I didn’t stop. Luke was trying to stop me and I knew that I was causing everyone pain. I knew that I had to stop. I had to take Ali’s advice.
I opened my eyes.
As soon as I opened my eyes, I stopped shaking and the sun shined on me again. I was warm.
“Ari…” Luke breathed. I sat up, choking and gasping for air. “Were you trying to kill yourself?” He was the one forcing me to shake now. I shook my head, nodded it and then shook it again. And then I stopped shaking again.
“Luke, I can’t explain, there was something about the tree, I climbed it and then I saw Ali and Luke she was beautiful.” I mumbled. He blinked at me and he shook his own head. He looked disappointed.
“Ashton texted me to come up here-
“How did he know this place was where I was? I’ve never shared it with anyone.” I was appalled that the secret was already out. I wanted it to be a special place. Luke blinked again and I was sick of him for today. I stood up, feeling partially dizzy. I stumbled over my own feet and grabbed a stunned Beau’s hand. I pulled him along.
“Ali took him here once. She knew him better than you did. Obviously looks like you didn’t know your sister very well. She had way more secrets that she kept from you that you realised.”
I stopped and turned. I let go of Beau’s hand, walked up to Luke who was sitting still underneath a part of the shade from the tree’s shadow. I slapped him and then pointed an accusing finger at him.
“You have no right to tell me that I didn’t know my sister. Everyone has secrets you dickhead. Just because we didn’t talk about everything that was going on in our lives, we still knew each other.”
I dropped my finger, knowing that he was right and turned around and stalked off. I left Beau standing by himself.
My house was only a few kilometres away. The house Ali had lived in. There was something I had to do there. I knew that mum would be in her office. I knew that on a normal day, mum wouldn’t be trying to find me. But it wasn’t a normal day and she would be sitting at home waiting for me to return. Even after her other daughter died, even after she kicked me out.
I walked the road, and I walked it alone. There was no way that I was going to go back and apologise.
There was no way that I was going to be a nice person and say that I was sorry. I heard my name being called multiple times. I smiled to myself, heaved my bag up onto my shoulder and walked faster.
Then I walked past a path which led to another place that Ali and I had gone to. We liked to explore, though I didn’t like to explore as much when we found it.
5 Years Ago
“Ali I just want to go home before mum realises that we ditched school. I have never ditched school in my life and I didn’t want to start today but you forced me to. Not like mum will believe me- Ali!” She wandered off from me, taking the wrong path. It was dirt track and it looked really old. There was bush framing the sides and though it looked really pretty, I had no desire to get lost in there. “Ali it could be an axe-murder hiding down that path. What the hell is your problem?”
“Calm down fancy pants. I just want to have a little adventure.”
“Yeah well I don’t-
Suddenly there was two of me. One of me in the scene, in the memory and then there was the older me watching. Then there was a second Ali. She was in the white dress again. I rolled my eyes.
“I told you to stop remembering. It will only make things harder for you.”
“I’m sorry, I can’t help it.” I retorted. She rolled her eyes this time. I crossed my arms and wiped my teary eyes. “I’m sick of it too. I just want to go home and have everything the way it was before.”
“That would help if you stop thinking me here. You keep hallucinating and remembering and you have to stop. I’m just a projection of your brain and even your brain thinks it.”
“If it’s my brain then why can’t I make you stay?” I asked, staring at our past selves.
“Because your brain knows you have to let go.” She disappeared suddenly and I tried to think her back but she didn’t reappear.
“Why can’t you just let me remember and think about stuff that I want to think about?” I asked thin air.
“I can’t let you because I said so!” She yelled in my ear. It was only her voice that appeared this time. I tried to do what she said and pulled out of the memory.
I closed my eyes.