Elizabeth walked beside Annabelle, talking animatedly about her latest stunt with the eagles that often passed her house. They were strolling around the crowded school courtyard during the one recess they got all day. Annabelle gasped right on cue as Elizabeth discussed how the eagle swooped down, almost grazing her head. She was trying to concentrate on what Elizabeth was saying but her mind couldn’t focus. It kept straying to the recent fight her parents had had. They had yelled at each other for hours and it ended only when her mother stormed out of the house in tears. Her mum still hadn’t come back yet, though it had been a week, and whenever she approached her father, he was difficult. He wouldn’t talk. Or if he did, the sentences were brief. Annabelle shook her head, trying to to get the thoughts to go away. Elizabeth was done with her story and the silence wasn’t bearable.
“So I heard you started watching ‘Glee’ right?”
“Pfftt dude, I watched like four episodes and I hated it. They totally ruin songs.” Elizabeth teased.
“Hah! No way! Their voices are amazing! They do the original artists a favour by singing their songs.” She laughed, the distraction was working.
“Plus the guys aren’t even hot. There’s no point of watching a show without hot guys.” winked Elizabeth.
Annabelle couldn’t help laughing. Trust Elizabeth to get her cheered up with her carefree air. She felt lighter and the worries seemed more distant. Glancing up she noticed Sam observing her. She flushed. The loneliness came back. Why had she ever left Sam for Elizabeth? Sam was her best friend. She understood Annabelle without so much as a word from her. She always knew what to say and what to do. Now Annabelle had popularity and a reputation in school. Sam was still with the old crowd, the odd ones. Her life was a mess but no one knew, no one could tell, and no one cared. As long as she was smiling and laughing at their jokes nothing else mattered. She was just another face.
Annabelle was quiet. She glanced wistfully at the ‘odd’ crowd, her crowd. Sam had left and she tried looking for her but the courtyard was too crowded. Elizabeth hadn’t noticed her silence or distraction, and had taken advantage of the gap to recount another one of her many stories. Annabelle just nodded, wishing she could go back to Sam and apologize. Wishing she could do it without bursting into tears and wishing above all that Sam would, could forgive her for stepping on her to get into the ‘popular’ gang. The bell rang, signaling the students to get back to their classes for lessons to start. She trudged beside Elizabeth, trying not to think about anything. Trying to keep everything at bay.
They were on the steps when a hand touched her shoulder. Turning around, she saw it was Sam. In her eyes she saw understanding not the betrayal and judgement she was used to. There was something else too, but it couldn’t be possible. After all she’d done, how could Sam forgive her. But her she was, standing before her, hands in pockets.
“I’m here.” Sam said.
Tears stung Annabelle’s eyes. She wasn’t alone.
‘The fox sprinted across the field, too quick to be struck by the arrow which landed a meter away.
“Guess we’ll have to do without dinner tonight, little one.” sighed Ellie’s father. “It’s getting late and the animals have the advantage.”
Ellie’s eyes begin to water but she looks down so that her father can’t see. She hadn’t had a decent meal in days and the famine was getting worse. They had sold their land and poaching animals for their fur was their only source of income. But her father was trying his best and the least she could do was support him, after all it wasn’t his fault he had to……………’
I jerk back to reality on hearing my name. My surprise and shock quickly turn to irritation, what now? Sighing, I close the book and lazily get off the sofa. Might as well get this over with. Slipping on my hideous yellow flip flops I make a mental note to tell my dad again, how much I hate them and trudge towards the kitchen, where I think I heard my mum calling me from. I hope she’s calling me for milk or something….. but then again would I prefer milk over chores? I hate milk, no hate is a strong word and you shouldn’t hate food……well then I dislike milk. Maybe chores would be better, I decide just as I reach the doorway, I mean how much work could she possibly need me to do at this hour? It’s almost 10.
The kitchen however, is empty but I groan when I see the mess inside. Bilal has obviously been experimenting again, leaving everything for me to clean up. As I redirect myself to my mum’s room I already know the verdict. The injustice makes my blood boil. What the hell? Why should I clean up after him? He’s fifteen for God’s sake. He’s old enough to be held responsible and accountable for his actions. But that’s not how it works in my house. No sirree it’s my job to pick up after my brother and sister because I’m the oldest and I’m a girl. I don’t mind doing work around the house, what I do mind is doing their work. I mean, they should do it themselves; I’m not the only one with hands. Not this time though, I vow to myself.
Feel free to take out mistakes……. 🙂 still working on the rest. This is NOT the full chapter.