|If Your Heart Had a Lock
Author: Lilja Ruusu PM
"There are always a million reasons not to do something. Which is why you have to focus on the few reasons there are to do it." He grinned and tilted my chin up. "Take a chance."Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Friendship - Chapters: 20 - Words: 96,969 - Reviews: 11 - Favs: 13 - Follows: 14 - Updated: 10-12-10 - Published: 05-24-10 - id: 2810506
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: So, I've had this story completed for a while, but I just now decided to post it. Maybe it's because I finally got around to editing it. :P Or, maybe it's just because I got bored and needed something to post. :) And, it's official: only 12 days left of school until summer! And, June is already pretty much jam-packed for me, so I'm really excited! :D I hope everyone else is excited for summer as well! :D :D Yup, two smiley faces on that one! Also, just a warning for you all: Mildly bad language is used in this story, so if that offends you, I'm sorry.
"Sadie, come in here!"
I rolled my eyes when I heard the annoying voice calling my name. I had lost track of how many times my mother had called for me to go out into the kitchen, and I had no idea what was so goddamn important that she needed to interrupt me while I was doing my last-minute homework before the weekend officially started. I had no desire to know what she wanted me for, but I decided to haul my cookies out of my bedroom anyway.
"Coming!" I called as I hauled myself up off my bed. I glanced down at my quarter-finished homework; geometry was definitely at the top of my hate list at the moment. I liked the class; I talked to my best friend the entire class period, and we almost never got in trouble for it. But the homework was gruesome. My mom said it was because I didn't pay attention, but what did she know anyway?
"No, you're not!" my mom argued, and I knew exactly what she was going to say. Her argument to "I'm coming" was always the same. She really needed to come up with some new material.
"I know, I know," I called as I marched through the hallway. "If I was really coming, you'd see me by now." I rolled my eyes while I was still out of her sight. She hated it when I rolled my eyes at her. Maybe if you weren't constantly on my case, I wouldn't roll my eyes at you, I thought as I rounded the corner.
"Sadie, I have—" She broke off midsentence and looked me up and down, from my neon pink socks, to my black leggings, to my pink-and-black striped dress that I was wearing a black vest with, to my straight light brown hair that tumbled off my shoulders and spilled a little less than halfway down my back. "What the hell are you wearing, child?"she asked, indicating my outfit. I almost laughed at the disgusted look she was giving me. She always looked like that when my clothing choice was being questioned.
"Well, generally, they're called clothes, Mom," I quipped with a smirk. When she glared at me, the smirk was erased from my lips and I pushed my hair away from my face. "I like these clothes. They make me feel different, in a good way. I like to stand out. You know; fight the system." I smiled, and my mother rolled her eyes. And she hated it when I did that….
"Sadie, you're sixteen," she said slowly, as if she was trying to make me understand some deep importance in her words. Thanks for the newsflash, O Wise One. "Don't you think it's time to go a little more…mainstream? I mean, individuality is cool and all, but…Don't you think some of what you do and wear is a little too…out there?"
I shook my head honestly. "No, I don't," I said, feeling the adrenaline of a fight rising inside of me. "If it's not just a little 'out there,' it's not worth wearing, doing or saying." I almost smiled with satisfaction. I had prepared this response several days in advance, because I had felt this conversation coming one day, and I wanted to have a good, well-planned response. Usually, if I had a strong counterargument, she let it go. "Besides, most parents would love it if their teenage daughters dared to be different." I shrugged, hoping my argument was strong enough to worm my way out of this situation.
My mother rolled her eyes and threw up her hands in surrender. "Okay, I give up," she said, turning away from me, as if she was unable to look at me anymore. "Sometimes, I swear you do these things on purpose just to spite me," she mumbled under her breath, and I couldn't fight back my response any longer.
"Yeah, Mom," I spat, my eyes fixed on her short hair and my voice addressing the back of her head. "Cuz I have no life, right? I spend hours and hours in my bedroom, conspiring against you and thinking of all the fun ways I can piss you off. Well, after years of careful thinking and researching, I've decided that the best way for me to spite you is to just be myself."
"Well, who the hell knows what you do when you're in your bedroom?" she asked, whipping around. "You spend hours up there every day, doing God knows what with God knows who. For all I know, you could be having sex with a secret drug dealer boyfriend, or smoking pot, or drinking."
I chuckled at how ridiculous her comeback was. "Yeah, every night, when you think I'm in my room doing my geometry homework, I'm really having hot sex and smoking pot with my super secret boyfriend the drug dealer. Cuz that's what every sixteen-year-old girl does." I rolled my eyes. I didn't care how my mom reacted to that; there was no way the situation could escalate anymore than this. For a moment, we were silent, and I felt myself coming down slowly. "What did you want to talk to me about when you called me in here?"
"I'm sending you to spend some quality time with your dad over Christmas break," she said quietly, turning back to the countertop, which I just realized had a cutting board placed on it. Resting on the wooden board was a leafy head of lettuce, a fat red tomato and a few fresh stalks of green onion. That meant we were most likely having tacos for dinner tonight, and I almost smiled. Then, I remembered the conversation at hand.
"What?" I asked in disbelief. "Mom, you're kidding! Please, tell me you're kidding!" I begged sarcastically.
I actually didn't have a problem with my dad. He was really awesome; he let me say whatever I wanted—swearing was allowed in his house—and he didn't ask me stupid questions, like "What the hell are you wearing?" and "Don't you think it's time to be more mainstream?" My dad just didn't give a shit, as long as I wasn't into hard drugs or in a life-altering situation, like an unplanned teenage pregnancy or anything.
"Come on, Sadie," she said, turning back to cutting the lettuce. Water droplets sprayed out and the leaves of green vegetable crunched satisfyingly as the metal blade slid through it smoothly. "It's been forever since you spent some quality time with your dad, and I'd love to get you out of my hair for awhile. I just can't handle you anymore."
I rolled my eyes and hauled myself up to sit on the counter. I usually did this when I spoke to my mother in the kitchen. "What about Ruby?" I asked, thinking about my younger sister. She was named after my dad's favorite song, "Ruby (Don't Take Your Love to Town)" by Kenny Rogers. I wasn't named after any particular song, but I knew of a few songs with my name in them.
"Ruby's staying with Grandma," my mom replied without looking up from her work. "You should consider yourself grateful I didn't saddle you with that visit this year." She gave me a stern look, and I couldn't resist rolling my eyes again. "Don't roll your eyes, Sadie, it's very disrespectful."
I longed to roll my eyes again—in my mother's words, "just to spite her"—but I contented myself with a long, heavy sigh. I hopped off the countertop and took a few steps towards the kitchen door. I needed to get out of the tension in the kitchen.
"Well, I'm off to go smoke some more pot and have more spectacular sex with my private drug dealer," I informed my mother cheekily, unable to resist the joke. She was clueless to a point where it had become ludicrous, and I knew there was no way I was going to be able to resist poking fun at her for it for the few weeks until Christmas break.
"Watch your language!" was all my mother told me as I walked away from her. The instant I was out of the kitchen, I rolled my eyes and pushed my hair away from my face. I wanted to bitch to someone about how much I hated her right now, but since I had no one to talk to about it, I kept everything inside. I needed something to take my mind off of it.
I thrust open my bedroom door to find my younger sister sitting contentedly on my bed, my laptop pulled up onto her long legs, her skinny fingers flying swiftly across the keyboard, they keys clicking rhythmically as she typed. She didn't look up at me, though I was positive she had heard me enter the room.
"Ruby, get out!" I yelled. I marched up to my bed to move the little brat by force, if need be. Ruby looked up at me, stuck her tongue out immaturely, and turned her attention back to the computer screen. I could see that she was typing, and when I looked at the document name displayed at the top of the screen, I realized that she was typing in my English homework assignment. "Dammit, Ruby, stop fucking with my homework! It's a really important assignment! Get out of here now!" I shrieked.
"Make me," Ruby retorted immaturely, continuing to type. She typed really fast for a fourteen-year-old; faster than I did, anyway, and I was two years older. When I crossed my arms and glared at her, she smirked and said, "I was just fixing up your English assignment. Your spelling and grammar are terrible, my dear." She looked up at me, and I was tempted to smack that smug little smirk clean off her face.
"Yeah, yeah, I know," I said exasperatedly, pulling my laptop from her lap. "Now get out, before I kick your sorry ass down the hallway." I gave her a stern glare, and her identical hazel eyes met mine challengingly for a moment before she climbed off my bed. She didn't leave, though; she just stood in front of me, as if she was making some kind of point.
My younger sister was taller than me, and I was a little ashamed to admit that she always had been and always would be. Even when we were younger, it seemed like she grew twice as fast as I did, and even though I was two years older, I just couldn't seem to speed up my growth. For most of my childhood, I had either been the same height as Ruby, or an inch or two behind, and now, I was seven inches shorter than she was. The truly sad part was; when I had gone to the doctor to get my routine checkup about a month ago, I had learned that I was never going to get any taller than this. And believe me, Ruby was still growing.
"Ruby," I warned, taking a step towards her. Even though I was only five feet tall, I was still intimidating to my younger sister, and she ran out of my room, pulling the door shut behind her. I sighed heavily and sat down on my bed. I was curious to see what kind of changes Ruby had made to my homework. Had she saved me some work by correcting my grammar and spelling, or had she given me more work by adding random, unimportant sentence fragments.
I was surprised when I looked at the screen. I scrolled up and down the document, checking over my work. All the little green and red squiggles underneath the misspelled words and grammatically incorrect phrases were gone, and some little sentences of important information had been added in places where they were needed to make the story flow better. I smiled; Ruby may have been annoying, but she was a genius.
I sighed again and lay back against my pillows. My head stopped my body from moving farther backwards when it touched the wall behind me, and I looked down my bed. My geometry homework rested near my feet, unfinished and unwanted, and I admit that I was disinclined to continue working on it.
I brought up my music on my computer and hit the "shuffle" command. Immediately, my music was mixed out of alphabetical order, and I clicked to play the first song on the list. I almost laughed when I read what the first song was: "Teenagers" by My Chemical Romance. This was the song I usually listened to when I was frustrated with my mom. ITunes seemed to have figured out that I was pissed off right now, and it chose to play my angst song for me. Thank you, mind-reading music application.
I smiled again when I remembered that today was Friday. I had two full days to recuperate from the stressful week at school. The best part was that I didn't have to scramble to do my homework tonight and have it done by tomorrow when I walked into each class. And, if I wanted to, I could go out with my friends.
Just as the thought of my friends crossed my mind, my cell phone rang from my nightstand. I looked at the name and number displayed across the screen; it was my best friend, Lacey Crofton. I had known her since my sixth grade year, but I hadn't officially befriended her until just last year. We had a lot more in common than we had originally thought, and I remembered talking about it with her the first day of school last year.
"Hey, Lace," I answered, leaning forward and sprawling out on my stomach to talk. I ran the fingers on my right hand through my hair and held the phone to my ear with my left hand. It was uncomfortable for me to use my right hand to talk on the phone. "What's up?"
"How would you like to go and see a movie tonight?" she asked, and her voice sounded hushed and mischievous, as if she was talking around people that would eavesdrop on her conversation. Like me, she and her mother had a cold, tattered relationship that was held together by a single thread that threatened to snap at any second. Only, there's was worse; Lacey was a regular pot smoker, she had been quite drunk more than once before, and she had had sex way more than once with all kinds of boys from our high school, one of which who had recently gone to jail for selling morphine.
"That'd be great," I agreed without a second's hesitation. "What time?" I looked down at my hand and began to examine my long fingernails. I knew it was against my better judgment to agree to something without asking for my mother's permission first, but given the argument we had just gotten into, I decided it wasn't in my best interest to try and talk to her. Some time out of the house would do both of us good.
"Can you be at my house in half an hour?" Lacey asked mischievously, and I knew from past experiences that she would be smiling. Lacey always smiled when she had some kind of secret plan, and if I knew her as well as I thought I did, she had an idea in her head about tonight. Lacey always had a plan.
"Sure," I replied, glancing at the clock beside my bed. It was only four o'clock, and I wasn't sure why we would go to the early movie, but then again, Lacey's plans always involved some kind of intricate, time-consuming work, and by the time we were done with that, it would probably be time for the late movie, and we'd be there for that. Knowing Lacey, she probably didn't even want to see a movie. It was probably just a cover for any eavesdropping family members.
"Okay, I'll see you then," she said, and I heard her phone click off and the line was silent. I closed my phone and set it on the bed in front of me. Instead of rushing down the hall to the kitchen to ask my mom if I could go out tonight, I went straight to my bedroom wall and looked in the mirror. I ran my fingers through my long, light brown hair in a brushing motion, making sure it looked halfway decent before I stepped out of the house.
"What are you doing?" a voice behind me asked. I glanced up in the mirror and noticed my little sister standing behind me. I glared at her in the mirror, but her eyes didn't meet mine. She just checked her own appearance briefly, still awaiting an answer to her obnoxious question.
"Making bombs," I answered sarcastically, checking my makeup. If my little sister held me up, I would be extremely pissed. "Now go away, Ruby." I flicked my wrist at her, trying to wave her away. But Ruby didn't budge. She stayed in place, checking her appearance in the mirror. "Really, Ruby?" I asked when she didn't move.
"Hold on, hold on," Ruby said, nudging me out of the way with her shoulder. I rolled my eyes and crossed my arms over my chest. "I'll be done in a minute, okay? You don't have to get so worked up about it, Sadie."
"Get out," I growled through gritted teeth. I pointed to my bedroom door and laid a hand on Ruby's shoulder. My hand was barely resting on her shoulder, but Ruby saw this as the perfect opportunity to get me in trouble.
"Mom!" she yelled, and when I looked at her face in the mirror, I noticed that she was fake-crying. I envied her acting skills; she could make herself fake-cry anytime she wanted, and whenever she had an opportunity, she did it. She had gotten out of so much trouble and so many family get-togethers by fake-crying. "Mom!" She turned and ran out of my room, and I instinctively followed her, trying to prevent her from getting me in trouble. "Mom, Sadie's hurting me!"
"I am not, you little brat!" I shouted in my own defense, slowing down when I got into the kitchen. I could feel my blood flowing hotter and faster through my veins as the adrenaline of a fight rose inside me once again. I felt like the Hulk whenever a fight was about to break out between someone else and me. I looked up at my mom; I knew she was more likely to believe Ruby, no matter what I told her, but now was my chance to plead innocent. "Mom, I never touched her, I swear!" I bit my lip to prevent the long string of expletives I wanted to scream from spilling out.
"She did too!" Ruby whined, rubbing her arm as if she was in pain. "It still hurts! Mom, I think she left a bruise!" She rolled up the sleeve of her red sweatshirt, and to my surprise, there actually was a red mark on her skin from where she had been hit with a basketball earlier in the week at practice.
"Sadie!" my mother scolded, though she didn't turn away from her work. "How many times do we have to go over this?" She turned to glare at me, and I had to bite back a sharp, sarcastic retort. She shook her head at me and turned her attention to Ruby. "What were you doing to deserve it?"
Ruby shook her head, and I could tell that the tears in her eyes were fake. I wondered if our mom could. "I didn't do anything," she lied with a shrug. I rolled my eyes. I no longer envied her acting skills; she would never make it in Hollywood. "I just asked her if I could use her mirror for two seconds—"
"No you didn't!" I objected loudly. "You never asked me anything. I was just standing in front of the mirror, and all of a sudden, you were right behind me." I looked at my mom. Who was she going to believe? I looked down at my watch; she had twenty minutes to decide before I left to meet Lacey at her house.
"I don't care who started it or how it got started," my mom told us, shaking her head disappointedly. She turned away from my sister and me and continued chopping the vegetables on the cutting board. "You're both grounded for the whole weekend. Does that sound fair? If you're both at fault, then you both get the punishment." Even though I couldn't see her face, I knew she was smiling at how clever she thought she was.
"But Mom!" Ruby and I protested in unison. We exchanged a glance, and I had to give my mom credit for this one. In putting Ruby and I in the same situation, she had given us a mutual problem in the hopes that we would apologize to each other and get over whatever petty thing had happened.
"Mom, I had plans for tonight," I stated, trying to be reasonable. I wasn't like Ruby; I didn't fake-cry to get myself out of trouble. My mom had moved on from chopping up vegetables and was now placing them in the sectioned taco tray, along with shredded cheddar cheese and taco sauce. It was clear that she wasn't listening to me, but I told her anyway, just in case, for one crazy moment, she decided to be reasonable.
"Well, you should've thought about those plans before you hit your sister, now shouldn't you?" she asked rhetorically, and I could envision the evil smirk on her face. For some reason, she found pleasure in tormenting Ruby and me.
"But I didn't…" I trailed off, deciding it wasn't worth it try to explain what had really happened. Instead, I tried searching my head for ideas on how to weasel my way out of this punishment. I had one idea, but it was a gutsy move on my part, and there was a good chance I'd get caught, so I needed to call Lacey and make sure our plans for tonight were worth getting in deeper trouble for.
I spun around on my heel and pulled my cell phone out of my pocket as I walked back to my room. I hardly needed to look at the numbers I was dialing; I knew Lacey's number almost as well as I knew my own. We didn't speak over the phone much, but it wasn't like her number was particularly hard; there were only four different numbers in her entire phone number.
"Pizza Hut, how can I help you?" the female voice on the other end answered. Lacey always answered her phone that way. Even her voicemail greeting was "Pizza Hut, this is Lacey, what can I get for your today?" I smiled to myself as I thought about it. "Hey, Sadie. What's up?"
"Not much," I said as I turned down the hallway towards my room. I glanced behind me. Ruby was still in the kitchen trying to explain to my mom that we didn't deserve to be grounded. "Hey, listen. I'm gonna be a little late tonight. Is that okay?" My paranoid gaze flashed back to the kitchen. When I saw Ruby turn away from my mother, I ran the rest of the way down the hall and into my bedroom.
Lacey paused for a moment. "Sure," she answered slowly, though she sounded disappointed. "We'll just have to go to a later movie, I guess. I kinda had my heart set on the matinee, though. It's cheaper, you know." I heard a crinkling noise in the background, like someone was turning pages in a magazine. Lacey was probably reading "Seventeen" or "Teen Vogue" or something stupid like that.
"Thanks for understanding," I said sarcastically, rolling my eyes. "Okay, so I'll see you in…" I glanced at the clock, trying to calculate how long my plan would take me. "I'll see you whenever I get there." I flipped my phone shut and sat pretzel-style on my bed, staring off into space, thinking. I tapped my phone against my chin. If my mental calculations were right—which was doubtful—I could be out of the house in an hour and a half. Everything had to be just right, though.
"Sadie, Ruby, come for dinner!" my mother called, and I picked myself up off my bed and walked down the stairs. I smiled to myself when I looked at my mother. She thought she had won this battle. If she only knew how wrong she was.