2 years later...
Kelly Beardsley trudged up the stairs to the bedrooms, the polished wood floor smooth under her bare feet. Yelling and playing could be heard from the lounge room where the younger children were; but she wasn't thinking about them.
She turned to the left in the hallway; various artworks were pinned across the walls in a creative manner, a pair of dirty converse was sitting near the wall, an empty juice bottle was rolling very slowly down the hall and half a broken toy train had been left to rot.
The few minutes seemed to take forever. "Surely, Phoebe's room isn't this far?" Kelly thought.
Finally, she reached Phoebe and Christina's room but Christina was out at cheer leading. Kelly wiped her sweaty hands down faded blue jeans. She raised her hand to the door, knocked quietly and immediately began to fiddle with the buttons on her red tartan shirt.
"Come in," Kelly heard from Phoebe inside the room, she reached for the door then stopped abruptly.
Do I really want to do this? She thought suddenly.
"Come in!" Phoebe called louder.
Kelly nodded. I have to, I need to tell someone that can help.
She turned the handle and entered, Phoebe glanced up from her laptop with a smile. She was obviously doing some University assignment in a typical Phoebe outfit; flowered dress with a cardigan. Kelly couldn't help but be jealous; Phoebe knew exactly who she was and what she wanted.
"What's up Kelly?" she said looking back to the laptop, only half interested.
Kelly slowly moved over to the bed awkwardly perching herself on it. Phoebe peeked a look and noticed that she was unconsciously fidgeting with her hands. After another moment, Phoebe grew a little curious.
"Are you okay?"
Kelly gulped, "Um, I was wondering if you could help me with something,"
Phoebe looked away from the laptop, smoothly swivelling her chair to face Kelly, "Of course,"
Kelly went for a smile but her face was rigid and she looked extremely uncomfortable. Phoebe waited, "Do you want to tell me what I'm helping you with?"
"Um, yeah I guess...can you not tell anyone? Please, Phoebe?" Kelly looked into Phoebe's eyes for the first time, her deep blue eyes were a sea of worry and pleading.
"Thank you," Kelly let her eyes drop again and her fringe covered half her face, she swallowed hard "Ok, do you remember Tony?"
Phoebe tried not to show her disgust, Tony was a twenty year old, half or all Filipino guy. Christina had met him and decided that she was totally and completely infatuated beyond belief; Phoebe however saw past his continuous supply of coloured hats, shiny black hair and skate shoes to see him for the irritating child that he was. Phoebe also knew that he was unfaithful to Christina, frequently and he was a sexist idiot who used women for his own joy.
"Unfortunately..." Phoebe responded.
"Yeah, um a few months ago he sort of started to...well," Kelly racked her brains for words, "I guess...you know, with me,"
"You know?" Phoebe asked confused.
"Like...flirt" Kelly said quickly.
"Did you tell Christina?" Phoebe asked wondering what her reaction would've been.
Kelly shuffled, "No...he said that he liked me, and wanted to end things with Christina properly and that I shouldn't mention it to her because he didn't want to make her upset," Kelly practically threw the words out at Phoebe in a rush; something that she had done whenever she was nervous.
Kelly sat in silence as Phoebe took in her stepsisters obliviousness.
"Well, Kelly...maybe it's best to just tell Christina what's going on," Phoebe tried but Kelly shook her head.
"That's not it...he started, like hanging around with me a little more. And...he got more uh, touchy,"
"Did you mind that?" Phoebe asked, wondering if she was handling the situation correctly.
"No, no. It was fine...fine...but later..." Kelly's voice started to wobble and crack, she let her hair cover her eyes.
"Later?" Phoebe asked trying to find out all the facts before she made another assumption again.
Kelly started to shake, Phoebe moved closer and attempted to pat her arm affectionately but Kelly winced and retracted it at once.
"Sorry, sorry," Phoebe said realising that something truly terrible must have happened. Something that she wasn't willing to put the thought of it into her mind. Phoebe sat feeling extremely unhelpful for several minutes, she needed to find out what had happened so she could help Kelly but she didn't want to seem forceful.
After another two minutes Kelly coughed and gained a little more control, "...sorry.." she mumbled.
Kelly nodded, face still hidden and still shaking.
"What happened later?"
"...well, Christina wanted to go Christmas shopping with the rest of the family. Everyone but Joni, Dylan, Jimi and I...D-Dylan was meant to watch us but he went s-somewhere with Jimi and Joni...I can't remember what Joni was doing. I think, no, um-"
"It doesn't matter what Joni was doing," Phoebe whispered softly.
"Yeah...ok, well Tony came around. In his truck, and-and I told him Christina was shopping...so he-he said we could hang out," Kelly took another swallow, dry and bitter with the flavour of salty tears prickling her taste buds, "We went into the basement TV room...and we started watching a movie...h-he kept touching me...but um then he, um kept going and-and I said I-I didn't want to..." Kelly's voice broke and she began to rock a little.
"Didn't want to?"
"...I didn't want to do it! He told me it was fine...and I-I-I said no...but he's strong..." the rest of her sentence was muffled and didn't make sense.
Phoebe's hand clasped her mouth, and tears formed in her eyes, "Kelly? You didn't want to..."
Kelly nodded ever so slightly, "That's rape Kelly! You can report him, he can go to jail for this! You can testify and-"
"What? Phoebe, no!"
"We can tell Mum and she can-"
"Phoebe!" Kelly gasped looking up, eyes filled to the brim with tears as hot salty ones streaked her face violently.
"You said you wouldn't tell anyone!"
"You said!" Kelly squeaked.
Phoebe let her eyes fall to her lap, as thoughts flowed around her mind.
"Ok. I promise I won't tell anyone, but I can't help you with this problem unless we tell someone-"
"That's not the problem Phoebe," Kelly whispered.
Phoebe's face blinked, "What?"
"...that's not the problem..." Kelly mumbled.
Phoebe was amazed, 'How could that not be the problem?' She thought desperately.
"What is it?" Phoebe asked, "Did he give you something Kelly? Like an STD?"
Kelly shook her head, "No...I hope not anyway,"
Phoebe let herself relax a little bit while she waited for Kelly to continue.
Kelly stayed completely quiet while Phoebe realised what she meant, "Oh, oh! That kind of late..."
"...you think you may be?" Phoebe asked.
Kelly bowed her head in agreement.
"Five months...before...it," Kelly mumbled.
Phoebe mentally swore, the likelihood of Kelly being pregnant was high from what she had said.
"I wanted to ask if you could get me a test," Kelly lifted her head a little higher to look at Phoebe whom ran her hand through her curly auburn hair.
"Kelly, Mum has a few in her room...I could get them now."
Kelly's eyes grew wide, "What?" she peeped.
"You could do the test now,"
"Oh, well I guess I should do it sooner..." Kelly swallowed trying to trick her mind into believing what she was saying.
"Alright, just wait here." Phoebe exited the room as Aldo came tearing down the hallway Ethan in tow, Phoebe stepped backwards to let the rockets fly but just as she did Marisa and Bina yelled "HEY! We'll catch you!"
Phoebe rolled her eyes, slightly numb from the information she had just received. Disbelief flooded her mind like a horrible wave.
She quickly remembered the test. Three hallways and a pig later she was at her mother and Frank's room, none of the kids were meant to go in there but she figured this was an emergency.
Besides, she wasn't a kid any more.
The wooden handle was smooth underneath her fingers, when she finally heard the click she slowly entered and softly closed the door behind her.
The bed was ship shape clean; Frank's influence. It smelt like lavender and there was a lovely bouquet of flowers in the vase. Phoebe stepped past the bed and mirrored closet into the en suite that she was so very jealous of.
The beautiful white bench top, gleaming clean mirror, fresh soap bar, dry floor (she shared with the younger boys) and the lids on toothpaste and hair care products.
Phoebe shook her head angrily, wondering why she could be thinking jealously at a time like this. Yanking open the cupboard she reached inside, boxes of pads and tampons were everywhere. Obviously Frank didn't mind if this part of the bathroom was kept untidy. After reaching past a particular cream that she hoped to never come across ever again, she found several pregnancy tests. She took two, and searched for an expiry date just in case.
After at least half an hour of supportive words, reassurance and a detailed explanation of how to work a pregnancy test a broken Kelly went into the bathroom hopefully.
Kelly's life changed in that hour.
A blanket of silence had rested upon the room. Phoebe sat glaring at the pregnancy tests trying to channel anger at Tony while Kelly had her feet on the bed and face into her knees. Her shivering hadn't stopped and it was worse than ever, she felt hopeless and lost, violated and betrayed.
"Life's unfair." Kelly snapped the silence in two with her brutal sentence.
Phoebe nodded tragically, "I know...just remember you can't run away from the rain as it will only fall into the river."
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