|The Ballad of Mona Lisa
Author: Music.Sets.Me.Free PM
Echo hides behind a smile that no one can figure out. Even through tragedies, she wears a smile that makes people think, "What is she thinking?" But her past and future will clash when she meets a boy who is her polar opposite but just as mysterious. She looks at him and asks, "What is he thinking?" Life is full of changes and choices, and Echo is caught right in the middle.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 26 - Words: 34,476 - Reviews: 64 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 15 - Updated: 11-26-12 - Published: 07-01-12 - id: 3037894
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
This chapter was SO difficult to write! You have NO IDEA! I've rewritten this a million times...sorry for grammar errors, I'm writing this on my ipod! Anyway, review!
"My friend killed himself today," he tells me.
"Paul!" Mom snaps at him, "She's 10. She doesn't need to be hearing such things!" Paul seems so upset by his friend's death. I wonder what is going on inside of his head. I wonder if he is trying to imagine what life will be like without his friend. I wonder which friend.
I'm scared of dying. It's so permanent. I don't like things that are permanent. I like temporary. Temporary homes, friends and situations. Death is forever. Forever is something I can't wrap my head around.
Paul rolls his eyes, "Mom, it's something she should know about." He looks at me with sad eyes, "No matter how hard life gets, there's always another option. Don't ever think about suicide." Suicide. The word rolls off of his tongue with pain. It stabs me in the hard. "Death is scary, isn't it?"
This is the brother I love. He looks at me as if I am not just his sister, but his friend. "I'm going to the funeral. Will you come with me?" I've only attended a few funerals. They were my grandparents and I hadn't known them very well. They had been old and people had said it was their time to die. They were happy in heaven.
"I don't know," I tell him, "I don't want to think about it."
"See?" Mom glares at Paul, "You're scaring your sister. Stop this talk."
I wonder if Mom sees something in Paul that I don't. Paul looks perfect to me. He's smiling and he hates death as much as I do. But mom is looking at him as if there is a monster inside of him that is trying to get out.
"They were there," Rochelle says as we walk. She doesnt have to say where there is. I just know. Colton, tanner and Katie had been there when Paul had taken his own life.
"Do you think...?" my voice breaks because it's a thought I don't want to think about. What if one of them had killed him? What if all of them had plotted against my brother? That can't be possible.
Rochelle gives me a hesitant look. She takes a strangled breath and we crawl into her window. She crumples onto her bed and I can't believe what I am seeing. She's crying. It's not soft or steady. She's sobbing. She chokes on her tears. I fall onto the bed and wrap my arms around her. My best friend and cousin is breaking for the first time. She's been holding this all in for too long. It's been too long since she has let this all out. Her heart has broken and she hasn't had anyone around to put the pieces back together. She always has me though. Doesn't she understand that?
I start to cry too. I can't help it. I am watching my best friend fall apart, and it's killing me. Tears slowly slip down my cheeks, and I tightly hug her.
Then my mind clears. Colton had been with Paul when he died. So had Tanner and Kate. Colton could have killed my brother. Tanner could have killed him. I don't know which would be worse. The boy who had been an escape from my past is just another ghost of Paul. Maybe I'll never escape my past.
"They're more haunted than us," Rochelle's voice quivers. She sits up. Her face is all red and her eyes are puffy. "They were all drunk. They were all pissed at paul. He had done something stupid. They wanted revenge. They got drunk and when they woke up the next day, Paul was dead."
I stiffen. I can't imagine how that would feel. I wonder if Paul had really killed himself. Maybe it was an accident. Suddenly, all the certainties in my life are gone. Everyone was so sure that Paul had killed himself.
"But the police..." I trail off.
"There was no evidence that anyone except Tanner had been there. I guess they found that bracelet that he always wears. No other fingerprints. Nothing. And the suicide note was in Paul's handwriting," Rochelle sighs, "but we all know that colton can forge handwriting better than any spy." I didn't know that.
"Why did they tell you this?" I remember Kate coming to Rochelle's house. Why?
"The police are snooping. And they need me to be their alibi. They blackmailed me," she let's out another cry.
"How did they blackmail you?" Rochelle is almost impossible to blackmail. She is too perfect. She's hardly ever mean or rebellious. She doesn't keep many secrets. She's not friends with bad people.
"I was there," Rochelle starts to cry, "I don't remember though!"
I catch my breath, "They're lying. You weren't there."
"I don't know!" Rochelle whispers, "I don't remember anything. I don't remember where I was or with who. They could be right." I stare at Rochelle and try to figure her out. Rochelle had never been the rebellious one. She loved to party and dance, but not drink or smoke. She had always kept me in check.
"I need to talk to Colton," I say but then I stop. No. Rochelle and I need to get away from them. Tanner. Kate. Colton. All of them. We need to stop talking to them. Rochelle can't handle this anymore. Sometimes, running is the only way to save yourself. Running away isn't always being cowardly. Running away means that you know the consequences if you were to stay.
I don't want to know if Paul really killed himself. I hate him anyway. Right? Right. But I don't hate Colton. But I can't stand to be around him.
"We're running," I tell Rochelle.
"I'll pack my bags," she sniffs.
"That's not what I mean," I reply. "figuratively, not literally. We can't survive out there alone." The house suddenly becomes loud. Rochelle's brother is yelling at his mom. Curse words are flying around. "Come stay with me," I tell her as Rochelle flinches at the sound. She lives in such an angry environment. I wonder how she finds the motivation to be happy.
"I'm stuck here," she tells me, "Sometimes, you can't run. I'm locked in a cage and my family holds the key." family? This can't be her family!
Sometimes, people say they prefer yelling over complete silence. I'm torn. The silence in my home is excruciating. But the noise here is unbearable.
Today is almost over, but I don't think tomorrow will be any better. I have to survive school. Seeing Colton's face. I live in dystopia. Where is utopia?
I have to leave by midnight. I'm so exhausted the next morning, but somehow, I get dressed, put on my makeup, do my hair, and go to school.
No matter what happens, I know I can make it. I'm strong enough to be okay.