Brighter than Sunshine
This is too late to be acceptable. My deepest apologies. I suck.
I hope this makes up for the delay and massive glip in inspiration,
and there are more to come!
Unbeta'd. Enlighten me of any errors (I'm sure there's some lurking around)
Love you, Ro!
Time heals all wounds.
Jake tells me so all the time.
I can see it in his eyes that he doubts it, but he's compelled to think so. If not, then what does he and Leah have to hold on to? Nothing. That day, they lost love and almost each other. Jake slept on my couch for a while, like I had on his when I needed help. Who was I to deny him the same help?
They fought so much. "It's your fault." He thought so too. But it wasn't. Leah knew that too, but was grieving and saying the wrong things.
Time heals all wounds.
Maybe, maybe not.
Therapy helps though. For them, at least.
But what do they have?
Only the smallest grave in the world. A dead son, a painful memory, a string of "what if's" flying around.
What if they'd gone to the hospital sooner? What if they'd gone for the C-section? What if they'd seen the truck heading straight for them?
My new house sucks. It does. It's too American and rich. We have a foyer, for Pete's sakes! We don't need three floors, we don't need a winter garden, and we don't need a garage with a makeshift apartment slash "hangout"-spot (my mother… she sucks). Back home we had two floors in a simple middle-sized house. It was red, with a small back yard, and we only had one guest bedroom. We had one bathroom, although big and good enough for the three of us.
My backyard was big enough for the trampoline and the sandbox I spent most of my childhood years in.
Though the luxury is impressive, I can't see the meaning of an inside pool.
My room is the size of our old living room, hosting a TV, a king-sized bed, a walk-in closet, a desk, the works. The walls are painted some white-ish color my mom calls cappuccino, though it doesn't remind me of coffee at all.
The rest of the house is just as fricking extravagant, with its modern and classical arts hung up on the walls, vases on pedestals not at all made for holding flowers, and French words used for furniture I don't see the meaning of.
It's like walking into one of those lifestyle magazines…or is it Good Living?
I've never lived as comfortable, and yet all I want is to go home.
Home to Norway.
Home to reality.
Home to truth!
I try to talk to my mom, but her hand always comes up to stop me when I talk Norwegian. What's wrong with her? Why can't I be myself? Why do they force me to pretend?
"Why are we living in this hick town, if you work in Seattle? It doesn't make sense."
"Because we don't want you to be spoiled, hon." I can't hold back my snort. "And we think you'll be more comfortable living in a tight-knit community than a big city. And the crime rates! Don't get me started on that. This town's only records of crime is limited to speeding and the occasional car accident."
The plan is that dad will commute. Weekdays he lives in an apartment in the city, while he lives here on the weekends. The house just feels more empty.
There's an echo every time I walk down the stairs.
Each time, my heart feels more hollow.
The end of the summer passes without me leaving the house. I go out in the garden when mom nags too much, but I don't feel like "exploring" Forks at all. It's a shitty little town, and I can't wait to move away. Three years is all I have left, anyways. Three years of torture until it's time to go home.
This is just a house. Home is where the heart is. This is nowhere near that.
School starts and it's nothing eventful. Though the high school system here is a very different, it doesn't take more than two days before I'm used to it. Late comings is a huge no-no, and it's a lot stricter than it was back home. Every teacher is Mr., Mrs., or Ms. School spirit is high and if you're not into it you're viewed as unpatriotic.
The girls are stupid and small. Seriously, they're tiny. Even though my classmates are only sixteen, they still look younger. Four feet five girls are coming. My five feet, seven inches is gigantic to them. I have books, though they only fill a small c-cup, and yet the boys look at me like I'm Tyra Banks or some bullshit.
I'm an outsider immediately. The Norwegian girl. Or, a personal favorite: the Swede.
Classes are easy. At one point I even contemplate dropping out and taking a GED, but my mom refuses to let me do so. So I zone out in class, I never listen, and still I make straight A's.
But there are highlights in this hell.
A girl from back home is doing a year abroad, and lives in Tulsa. Though we can't meet, it still gives me some sort of comfort to know I'm not the only Norwegian girl in this country. A few emails are exchanged now and then, but eventually I even lose her.
I'm all alone.
The friends I have are just…clueless and immature. They talk about boys and sex like they're five year old. By homecoming, two girls are knocked up. One goes through with an abortion, while the other is taken out from school.
No one hears from her.
I'm glad it won't happen to me.
I'm not looking for a boyfriend.
I'm watching someone else.
She's the one little girl I want.
Four feet, eight inches. Dull flat hair and barely-there curves. But her looks are not what draws me in. Her smile – when she does smile – lights up the room. Her laugh is adorable. She's smart.
Because the school is so small we share almost half of all our classes. In every single one of them I try to sit as close to her as possible. I stare, I daydream.
At night, I think of her as I slide my hand down between my legs.
I mimic Janeth's movements as good as I can with my hand, trying to remember where her tongue would hit, as I fantasize how Rosalie would do the same.
It's springtime and my life at home is a constant screaming competition. I yell, they yell, we all yell. I want to move home, they won't budge, and it continues on forever. I tell them I hate them, and my dad is two beats from hitting me. I can see it in his eyes. He wants to. I want him to. If he does, maybe I can leave.
"Out!" he yells, red faced. "Get out! Out of my house!"
My mom pleads with her eyes. Just go. Come back later, but leave for now.
My Saturday is spent in the park.
The sun shines.
The warm weather urges off my clothes. I'm down to shorts and a tank top.
And that's when I see her.
She's fucking fine.
Walking a dog – it can't be hers, I know she doesn't have one – in the sun. Throwing a Frisbee and tennis ball around. The dog comes back every time. I watch her and smile.
She looks happy.
All tight shorts and sleeveless top with taught pale skin.
I want to touch her so bad.
I want to taste her.
I want her to be mine.
Then, as if she can hear me, she turns around and spots me on the park bench. Her face lights up.
The dog is running around chasing its own tail.
My eyes don't budge.
Towards me. Sitting down. So close.
Her smile is so sweet and innocent, and I'm glad she can't read my mind.
"Why do you always stare at me?"
She giggles. Cute. "You stare at me. All the time. You know, in class? Don't think I don't know. I see you."
I'm terrified instantly. My heart thumps and my hands clam up. Adrenaline shoots through me, and the words are out before I can think. "Because I like you and I want you."
Yet she only smiles.
"Well I like you too."
And it's out there.
In small town America, two girls are sitting on a bench confessing they like each other.
It's forbidden. Frowned upon. And I don't give a damn. My parents are just a blur in the back of my mind as she leans in. I do the same. Her lips touch mine, and I'm in heaven.
I wanted her.
I craved her.
Now I have her.
The morning light wakes me. Mexico in the late summer is almost intolerable. The heat excruciating. My body is slick and sweaty. My chest feels heavy; my heart beats so fast, like I'm dying.
I wake up.
My dream taunts me. A cruel reminder that destiny is a string of choices summed up to a conclusion. My choices gave me heart ache. My choices gave her a child.
If she truly is happy, then I wouldn't change a thing.