If anyone wants to pick this story up message me. I already know the way I want the story to end so all that I ask is that you follow that storyline. Other than that its up to you. Otherwise there is still gonna be these huge gaps in between chapters. I just don't have my heart in it anymore. Sorry it took so long guys. The other option is that I can just post the way it ends if no one wants to pick it up and it takes me to long to update. This is totally unbetad and unedited. Wanted to get it to you guys as soon as possible.
The next day went by in a numbing blur. Everyone hustled and bustled like any other day, trying to work under an illusion of normalcy. Izzy burnt some toast; Alec brooded; Mayrse stared in disdain at a stain on one of the curtains that had been there since I moved and apparently was un-cleanable. Robert tried to convince Max that cereal would not taste better with mountain dew instead of milk; and Jace offered sarcastic responses to every sentence spoken throughout the course of the morning. Just another morning in the Lightwood household.
Except for the unwavering black cloud that had taken a permanent residence over the kitchen. Things may have seemed normal, but there was a noticeable sag in everyone's movements. It was as if everyone was being forcibly dragged through their morning routine. I suppose if I could have felt anything at this point, the scene would have made me depressed. However, all I could do was try and take shelter against the pending hurricane that was approaching in the form of Jonathan.
I slowly made my way through the kitchen on autopilot. I tried to block out everything happening around me, which wasn't very hard at this point because let's face it: it is way easier to act as if all was well and habitual. Sometimes it feels as though my entire life is just me trying to act as though everything is fine. So I took a piece of Isabelle's burnt toast; I let Alec brood in peace; I asked Mayrse why she doesn't just get a new curtain if she hates that stain so much. I explained to Max that we can't put soda in our cereal because that's what the evil aliens do and were not evil aliens, are we? And of course I informed Jace that his sarcastic comments were making him difficult to deal with.
I had just finished pulling my blackened wheat toast into a pile of pitiful crumbs that I would definitely not be ingesting, when the door bell rang.
I couldn't breath. My brain short-circuited, I was frozen in place; my lungs stopped expanding and constricting to transport oxygen into my blood, my heart stopped pumping the deprived haematocytes. I felt dizzy as my eyes began to fail me until all I could see was the ever creeping darkness which was closing in around my vision, when suddenly the door creaked open.
"Is Clary here?"
Everything snapped back. My lungs expanded with air, my heart began to pump my replenished blood supply, my vision quickly cleared the fog.
"Come on in Simon," I realized that it was Robert who had opened the door. "She hasn't left yet."
I heard them both walk into the kitchen and looked up to see Simon. My Simon. My best friend who had stuck with me through thick and thin. In retrospect Jace and I haven't been together for very long so when I think of the person who always been there for me no matter what, it's always Simon. When I was depressed because of my past or felt alone and isolated it was always Simon who was there to stay there and hold me and comfort me. He wouldn't have to say anything, all he would have to do is show me that he would always stand by me and that was enough.
But today I wasn't sure if that was going to be enough. Frankly I didn't know if anything would ever be enough to help me cope with the next three weeks.
"Hey, there Clare-Bear," Simon said with a sad smile on his face. He hadn't called me that since we were a lot smaller than we were now.
I let the tiniest inkling of a smile grace my lips, "Good morning, Simon."
"I'm up and dressed before ten, I wouldn't necessarily call that a good morning," he replied with that stupid smile he gets on his face when he thinks he's being funny that I love.
"Have you ever considered not staying up all night playing Dungeons and Dragons?"
"I don't understand the question therefore I will not respond to it," he replied indignantly while trying to hide a smile.
"Your hopeless," I said through an exasperated laugh.
"Don't I know it."
"Well come on into the kitchen," Mayrse said suddenly. "I assume you haven't eaten yet."
"You assume correctly, Mrs. L," Simon answered as he followed her into the kitchen.
"You know Izzy," Mayrse started. "You've been on your feet all morning. Why don't you sit down and I'll finish up here?" which we all know is just a polite euphemism for 'please stop cooking before you set the house on fire.' Izzy knows this but still sits down with as much dignity and regal grace as any empress.
Mayrse gets to quick work beginning to make toast for Simon and once again the kitchen settles in to a familiar scene.
"Have you packed everything?" Simon asks me while he waits for his breakfast. There is a shuffle under the table and he suddenly exclaims in pain. "Ow, Isabelle! What was that for?"
Iz just rolls her eyes and continues to glare at him.
"It's fine," I say to Isabelle. And then to simon, "Yeah I have already packed. Though one thing I noticed while I was collecting some reading was that some of my comic books are still missing. Ones I know for a fact that I let you borrow."
Simon looked rightfully guilty. "Well you see, the thing about that is – well what it is, is... You know I think Max stole them from me."
"I did not!" came the indignant protest from Max. I simply raised my eyebrow at Simon and he looked away as he always does when he knows I've caught him with his hand in the proverbial cookie jar.
"No matter," I reply. "It just gives me an excuse to go visit you and leave Jonathan's. If he even let's me leave."
"Now don't be ridiculous," Robert quipped. "He doesn't exactly seem like a pleasant fellow, but I don't believe he's going to detain you under house arrest. He has to allow you to go to school after all."
"Thanks, that's a lot of comfort," but you know, it kind of was. No matter what happens he can't stop me from going to school otherwise he'll be deemed unfit. Of course this just makes me hope he does keep at home so the court will take me out of their as quick as they put me in it.
Now this was it, all of us were here now which meant there could only be one person who pressed that doorbell.
Ding-dong. Came the doorbell again. Now it was definitely sure, no other person on this planet could be that annoyingly insistent. Well except maybe Jace, but I'd really rather not compare my brother to Jace.
Mayrse was the first to jump into action, standing to go answer the door. Though once she was in motion everyone else began to move. Simon finished the rest of his toast and put the plate in the sink. Robert stood to go meet Jonathan at the door. Max slurped the rest of his milk from the bowl and stood to go put his bowl with Simon's plate. Izzy grabbed my bags and began to carry them to the door and Jace...actually now that I thought about it I hadn't seen Jace for awhile. He must have disappeared at some point during breakfast and never returned. This is what finally prompted me to get up and move. I heard the muffled conversation between Robert, Mayrse and Jonathan and figured I had a couple minutes while they spoke to find Jace.
I made my way upstairs and tried to listen for him. I didn't hear anything in the bathroom so I headed straight for his room. I knocked on the door and at first there was no answer. I was actually just about to abandon the door when I heard Jace beckon me inside.
I opened the door and found him sitting on the bed, his face turned downward and slightly away from me. His hair covered most of his face so I couldn't see what he was trying to hide from me, which I suppose was by design.
"Jace," I said after what felt like an eternity of silence. He finally scrubbed at his face and looked up at me.
Now when most people have been crying there are some universal tell-tale signs which give them away; red eyes, tear tracts, stuffy nose, etc. However when Jace has been crying its a completely different story and that's because he doesn't actually cry. So instead of blood shot eyes and a running nose, one can tell if Jace has been crying because all of the tears will have gathered on his eyelashes. Like morning dew on grass.
And that is what I saw on his face when he finally looked at me. Every part of me wanted to rush toward him and gather him in my arms but I knew that was not the way to handle Jace. So instead I approached him like an injured lion, slowly and cautiously. It was pain-staking process but I finally found myself beside him on the bed. I didn't say anything, I just let my hand cover his and squeezed.
He chuckled breathlessly. "How do you always know exactly what to do?"
"Oh please," I laugh off. "If that's what you think then you obviously have not been watching closely."
"No, really," He looks up and smiles at me. "I have seen you tread through piles of crap and always come out on top. Always with the utmost grace and beauty. I have no idea how you do it because right now I feel like I'm gonna fall apart." I'm about to protest but he catches himself and quickly adds, "See even now I'm doing the wrong thing. I shouldn't be telling you this. I should be acting strong, like everything is okay. I should be acting strong for you but instead I'm falling apart and the worst part is that I'm telling you about it."
This time I am able to cut him off. "Alright first off, I absolutely do not make it through life with the 'utmost grace and beauty' I stumble through it at best. And second it is more than okay that you are telling me how you are feeling. Because I hate to break it to you, you could have acted like the biggest, toughest knight in shining armor and I still would have seen right through you. I would have known you weren't okay because I'm not okay. With any of this, and you know what? That's alright. It's normal not to be okay with this and its normal to start to fall apart. It's okay to not be okay. The important thing is that we are here to help pick each other up when all of this is over."
Jace suddenly jerked up and put his hands on my shoulders. "You're right," he says and this surprises me because even though the nature of our relationship has changed, we still tend to disagree on a lot of things. "It is okay. Because I'm going to make it okay," Jace sounds desperate at this point and it's honestly starting to scare me.
"Jace, what are you talking about?" I asked tentatively.
He suddenly snapped out of his craze. "Nothing. I'm just saying you're right. We are going to be okay."
"Well, good," I said not totally convinced.
"Clary!" I hear Mayrse call from downstairs.
I look at Jace and he slowly gets up, pulling me with him. "Come on," he says. "If I don't let you go now I never will and something tells me that Judge lady would be none too happy about that," He gave me one of his perfect grins which made me smile in return.
We made ourselves downstairs where I found everyone waiting for us.
I hugged everyone individually. Robert first, we aren't exactly close but he's really proven how much he cares throughout this entire his endeavor and I hug him hard. Next is Mayrse, I try to keep it brief because I know she's on the verge of tears and she doesn't like to cry but she doesn't release me for a very long time. "I love you," she whispers to me.
"I love you too."
Next is Alec. Honestly, I expect a really awkward hand shake but much to my surprise he pulls me in for a hug. Now admittedly it was still kind of awkward but also really nice. He doesn't say anything but that embrace was enough.
Now comes Izzy, she forces me into a fierce hug and honestly I think she's going to force the air from my lungs. "You're my sister no matter what he says, don't forge that. I love you and I slipped some pepper spray in your bag in case that sceaze tries anything."
I laugh a little at that and squeeze her one last time before releasing, "I love you too."
I turn around and scoop Max up into my arms and spin him around. He giggles slightly but quickly suppresses it. "I'm going to miss you Clary," he says in a small voice that reminds me of the sound of a baby's first cry. When they have been forced out of their mother's warm and loving womb and out into the cold blast of air from the world outside.
"I'll miss you to maxy," I whisper, burying my face in his hair. In some ways I will miss Max the most because he has the infallible ability to brighten my day.
"Eh hem," I hear Jonathan clear his throat, signaling that he is ready to go. My face hardens and just to upset him I put Max down real slow and don't even look at Jonathan. Instead I turn on my heal to Jace.
I walk into his arms feel his warmth wash over my body. The only thing he whispers into my ear is, "Not goodbye, remember?"
I nod into his chest and pull away. He smiles at me, though it is tainted by sorrow. I smile back and suspect mine is also plagued by sadness.
And now, last but not least. Simon. "I almost thought you were going to forget me," he said with the right side of his lips turned upward.
"Never," I said. I grabbed on to Simon and pulled him as close to me as was humanely possible, which probably looked funny because he's so much bigger than me know. Simon never became built but puberty had gave him about six inches on me. It didn't matter though because he was still the same old, scrawny kid that I've always known.
"Alright Clarissa," Jonathan's voice cuts in and reminds me why I was holding onto Simon in the first place. "It's time to go. The long one already put your bags in the car. There's nothing holding you here, come on we need to go."
"Hey the 'long one's' name is Isabelle," Iz cut in with a look that would stop any other person in their tracks. But not Jonathan of course.
"Bye guys," I say. "I'll see you in three weeks," and with that I walked out the door.
I walked to the car and was stopped by the extravagance of it. Now, I don't pretend to know a lot about cars; I don't pretend to know anything actually. But I do know enough that it is a really nice, really expensive car.
"You like?" Jonathan asked. "It's a the latest model Chevy Impala, just bought it in march."
"It's fine I guess," I somewhat unwillingly praise. I slip into the car, Jonathan asks why I don't sit up front but he knows I just want to be as far away from him as possible. As we drive away, away from my home, away from my family, away from my best friend, away from Jace, I think to myself, everything is holding me here.
"And here we are," Jonathan says when we finally arrive at his apartment. "Home sweet home."
"Home, right," I reply quietly.
"Oh come on Clary. You can't spend all your time brooding around, whether you like it or not you are going to be here for the next three weeks so you might as well try and make the most of it."
"Thank you but I'm perfectly happy to brood."
"Well while you're pouting, at least let me show you around and where you will be sleeping."
He took through the apartment room by room. When you first walk through the door there is an open foyer with dark hard wood floors; from here if you go to the left there is a fully equipped, granite covered kitchen and located to the right is a furnished living room. The couch was an electric blue which held great aesthetic value but looked extremely uncomfortable to sit on. In front of this couch was a glass coffee table and in front of that was an absurdly large flat screen television complete with I could only assume to be absurdly loud surround sound. Despite the flashy nature of the actual objects which filled the apartment everything was organized in a distinctly linear pattern. No hint of randomness or disarray or any actual sense that a person really lived here. It was picturesque, but in the way that pictures of apartments in magazines look perfect. Everything is on display and not a single lamp is out of place but it looks completely barren, empty.
If you go into further to the right, through the living room there is a hallway which contains and bathroom on the right, a single bedroom on the left and a large master bedroom at the end. At least, that's what Jonathan told me, he wouldn't actually let me see the master bedroom. I guess the need to keep baby sister out of his room still held true after all this time.
The single bedroom, the room I would be sleeping in, was set up much like the rest of the apartment. It was completely done up in green and looked like a page in a JCPenny catalog.
"I hope you like it," Jon said from behind me as surveyed the room.
"Just fine? You know I worked really hard to get all of this and despite your less than enthusiastic reaction I happen to know this is a very desirable living space."
"Well if you think its so amazing why do you need to here me say it?"
"Because the sooner you start admitting this isn't so bad, that I'm not so bad. The easier this is gonna be," It was obvious that Jonathan was not going to let off on this whole deal.
"Fine. Well if you want me to like it so much then why don't you give me some time to break it in."
"Okay," Jon deadpanned.
There was an awkward, pregnant silence while Jonathan continued to stand in the doorway until I finally said, "Alone."
"Right. Of Course," he smiled at me like he had some juicy secret just begging to escape his lips. But if there was a secret it remained hidden because he slipped out and shut the door with a soft click.
And once again I was alone. In the last years that I had been with the Lightwoods I had become accustomed to the ever-present noises which would occupy the household. Whether it be Isabelle's blow dryer, Jace downstairs getting a midnight snack, or Max watching TV just a bit too loudly. It seemed no matter what I was always comforted by the presence of others; regardless of whether or not I was directly interacting with them it always put my mind at ease knowing that they were there if I needed them.
Now I was filled with anything but comfort. Instead an aching silence has replaced my consoling cacophony of sounds and has left me vulnerable to the wounds which only loneliness can produce.
I put off unpacking so I could deny my situation a little longer and instead decided to inspect my room. I jumped onto the bed and found that it was actually very soft and comfortable. The bed spread was satiny and it made me feel like a water droplet gliding along a the pedal of a flourish flower. I peeled myself off of the bed and approached the drawers. They were on the opposite wall and pushed to the left, away from the door. They were made from luminescent Ash wood and were perfectly polished. Opening them I found that they were completely bare, as I had expected. The closet was made of the same wood and was a bare as the drawers. Next to my bed I had a nightstand also made from Ash wood (obviously Jon had a thing for constancy) on top of which sat a fuzzy green lamp which looked like it belonged in the room of a nine year old. I half expected to find a bible in the small stand because this entire place felt as fake and superficial as a hotel room.
At this point I had scoured the entire bedroom and found myself nervously wringing my hands, trying to think of something to do. In the end I found my way back to the bed and pulled my cell phone out my suitcase. I normally didn't use it very often because the only people I call either live at my house, or is Simon who basically lives at my house anyway.
I opened my contacts and felt my fingers hovering over the different numbers. I wasn't sure who to talk to first. Isabelle would ask a lot of questions, Mrs. Lightwood would be terse, Mr. Lightwood would be too formal, Alec would be awkward, and Jace would threaten to come storming to the house to kill Jonathan.
In the end I opened a text message to Simon, I didn't dare call because I know my voice would crack.
Clary: Hey Simon.
Simon: Clary! Glad to hear from u. Y r u txting?
Clary: I didn't want Jonathan to know I was talking to you guys in case he tried to stop me. And stop texting like that!
Simon: Wat a dick. Nd like wat?
Clary: Use actual words!
Simon: Fine. I will conform to your ideas of proper English. So how are things there? Does he have you locked in a dungeon with chains on the wall?
Clary: Not exactly. Everything is very JC Penny catalog style.
Simon: Mhmmm. Is there food?
Clary: Right because the first thing I looked for was the fridge.
Simon: Would have been the first thing I did.
Clary: I'm sure haha. Honestly I'm just tired. I think I'm going to take a nap.
Simon: Are you sure you feel comfortable falling asleep while he's in the house?
Clary: Well I don't exactly have a choice.
Simon: Yeah, I suppose you're right. But you're okay right?
Clary: I'm fine. I'll survive.
Simon: Ok. Ill talk to you later.
Simon: Now look whose using text-talk
Clary: Whatever. Bye Simon.
Simon: Bye Clary. Sleep tight.