This was a place that I had only ever remembered in my dreams. And although I hadn’t dreamt of this ever before, I knew it was a strong memory. But I looked round and saw myself, reflected in a mirror. I was around ten or twelve years old and wearing a cute pink dress that an eight year old would usually wear. There was Ali, wearing a white dress. I always envied her, even then. Ali’s hair was out and she was going to go barefooted as usual. I never went barefoot; I just couldn’t stand the feel of the gravel poking into the soles of my feet.
Ali was standing in the door frame which connected the bathroom to our shared room. I sat, staring into the mirror and blinked as I saw Ali watching me. I smiled at her without my two front teeth.
Ali suddenly took a few steps towards our shared iPod dock. She went through our fathers’ iPod which he gave to us, full of music. She went through a few songs before she turned up the volume and I frowned. I picked up a hair brush with the initial ‘A’ on it and ran it through my ponytail. I closed my eyes and listened to the song.
I smiled and swivelled in the chair towards Ali.
She smiled back at me and turned the volume down a bit. I touched her arm. Before the actual lyrics started on the song, I pressed the next button a few times.
Ali knew what song was going to come on. I knew she knew and she knew that I knew she knew.
“Sing me a song, you’re a singer, do me a wrong, you’re a bringer of evil, the devil is never your maker, the lips that you give, you’re a taker…” Ali sang along. She stopped for a moment to let me join in. I didn’t want to at first; I just wanted to listen to our father’s favourite song which had quickly become our joint favourite.
“So it’s on and on and on, its heaven and hell….” I turned the volume even further down so that we could barely hear it. “Ali, why do you think he left us? And what are we going to say when people ask? We start high school in a few days. People are going to want to know about us, and when they find out what happened, and why our mum is drinking herself to death they are all going to hate us.” I was always such a judgemental child.
“Ariel, twinnie, don’t you worry about that. Don’t tell anyone anything. We will just stick together. I’ll take care of you and I promise I will never leave you like dad did to us.” She hugged me and I turned off the iPod. I could still hear Heaven and Hell in my head.
“Why did daddy listen to Black Sabbath?” I asked her. She sighed. I was the older one, but she was way more of the wise type than I was.
“I don’t know, Ariel. Come on, we’re going to visit dad now.” She took my arm and I clutched onto hers.
Down the stairs, there was mum, passed out and sleeping- snoring- we passed her quietly and Ali opened the door. I followed her through the door and we closed it quietly. We walked, hand in hand down the street to visit our father.
Ali had brought a bunch of flowers for him. He wouldn’t actually see them and as we stood on either side of his resting place we held hands over the tomb. Ali was standing in an empty plot and she looked at her feet after she placed the flowers on top of our father’s grave.
“There might be someone here one day and we won’t be able to stand on either side of dad. That will be a sad, sad day.” Ali pointed out. I nodded in agreement. I looked to the trees. I felt myself detaching from my twelve year old self and I tried to cling on, I tried to stay there. After everything, for once I didn’t want to see Ali.
It didn’t work. I felt myself leave and this time there was someone else there, it was a cute little girl who this time was blonde, and although I stared at her, she didn’t seem to realise that I was standing there.
“Hello. Can you hear me?” I asked her. She finally looked at me.
“You shouldn’t be here. Leave now. If I am right, you should be about to be hit by a car. Wake up Ariel. And be thankful it wasn’t Ursula that hit you.” Her voice was like bells. They chimed in my ear and I looked at my sister and me. I was so confused but I closed and then opened my eyes.
And when I opened my eyes, things were a lot different than they had been.