|The Girl On The Wall
Author: hlbur14 PM
Ashley Cunningham had a troubled childhood, and a boy who moved in across the road seemingly saved her, until he left again. Six years on and fate brings them back together, but Ashley is far more distant than she used to be as a child. Connor wants to re-enter her life, but will she let him? Only time will tell...Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Hurt/Comfort - Chapters: 18 - Words: 41,910 - Reviews: 52 - Favs: 19 - Follows: 36 - Updated: 05-26-13 - Published: 01-14-13 - id: 3092129
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
This story is very loosely based on a story of my own, but when I say loosely I mean incredibly loosely :') I used to have a friend who lived next door who I spent day in and day out with, but then he left. That was about five years ago and I haven't heard from him since.
Anyway, it sparked an idea... Please give it a chance, you may like it :D
As a child, I liked being outside. What eight year old didn't? With the sun shining over the landscape, butterflies landing on the butterfly bush behind the stone garden wall, and of course the feel of warmth on the skin was enough to plunge me into a sense of calm. During the summer I spent many days on the wall at the front of mine and my mother's house, just simply watching the other kids on their bikes in the street, or watching the white winged butterflies and wishing I could fly away as easily as they did.
I often went butterfly catching. Before my dad left, he used to buy me a mini fishing net, and I'd run around the garden catching butterflies just to get a closer look at them. I wanted to put them in jars and keep them forever, but dad always told me I had to let them go or they'd die. That scared me. I didn't want to be a butterfly killer! After a while, I was scared to even go out and catch them, so watching them was the safer and easier option.
Mum would stay inside on summer days. On this particular day, she was on the phone to Aunt Leah, jabbering on about goodness knows what. I'd hovered around her for a while, asking if I could do this and that in an undertone, but then she only shouted at me and sent me outside. With a huff I did, and for the next hour remained on the stone wall watching a group of children playing tag. I sighed. I wasn't a sociable child, and other children picked up on it. They'd see me watch them longingly, silently asking if I could join in on their game, but instead they'd laugh and move on. It was the same at school. They never wanted to play with me, and I spent many playtimes and dinnertimes inside with the teachers.
They tried to send me outside, too.
However, on this regular day, the house across the road had a big truck in front of the driveway. I suspected that it was the new house owners, for the old owners, Mr and Mrs Gregory, had moved away to Wales. That had saddened me, as Mrs Gregory had often made cookies for me whenever she caught me outside on my own. Chocolate chip ones, to be precise. She had owned a baker's shop in town, and if it was a quiet day and mum and I went inside, she'd give me a free cake, too. She was a nice lady, and when she left the week before I cried. She promised she'd come back in a few years, but I highly doubted it. I missed her a lot, and it only made me resent these new owners.
At first, I thought it was only a married couple. I watched a young woman carry a box inside the house, her brown hair tied up in a messy bun, her figure so slim I described it as a Disney Princess's figure. She was really pretty. She wasn't like the other ladies around here; she wore a basic t-shirt and skinny jeans, rather than the short skirts and the cropped t-shirts that most wore. Girls in my school always went on about how pretty their mother's were, but I always thought they looked tacky. So, as I watched this new lady across the street, I liked to think that I had respect for her.
A man exited the building. He was good looking, too, with a lean, strong body and the traces of a brown beard growing. He had messy hair that looked strangely good, and with a playfully growl he jumped at the lady, making her squeal and nearly drop the box in her hand. She scolded him, but she as laughing too, and I couldn't help but smile and swing my legs.
Finally, something I didn't expect, a boy jumped out of the back of the van, carrying a box of his own. He was probably about my age, with the same scruffy hair as the man, but still occupying the babyish round face ad skinny posture. I inwardly sighed. Great, another kid to be ignored by. At this thought, he randomly looked about the street for a moment, and then he caught my gaze. I pulled away instantly, and in the same second he ambled off into the house. Annoyed with the new revelation of who owned the house across the street, I went back inside to my own home.
"Ashley! I told you to go outside!" mum bellowed. She came out from the living room, still on the phone, her face twisted in annoyance. It frightened me when she wore that face. It was something in her eyes that made it look like she wanted to hurt me. She had never hurt me, even after dad left us, but I never let go of the thought that she might. She came at me, placing the portable phone down on the table by the front door, and grabbed the collar of my top. I whimpered as she led me back to the door, practically throwing me out. I staggered onto the grass just beside the path leading to the gate, and mum slammed the door shut and locked it. Tears blurred my vision, and I went to retake me rightful place on the wall, simply staring at the ground as I fought the lump in the back of my throat.
"Hi, sweetie." came a voice a moment later. I jumped, nearly falling back, but a hand caught my shoulder and held my upright. Looking up, I stared into the wide brown eyes of the lady from across the street, who was smiling gently at me. She was even prettier up close, with no blemishes on her face, only smooth skin covering her soft features. But it wasn't her face that had me speechless; her voice, even thought she had said only two words, sounded like it should have belonged to an angel. It was so warm and soft, a voice that every mother should have towards their child instead of throwing them into the front garden.
"Are you okay?" she asked me, looking concerned by my silence. That did it. my lower lip trembled, and the tears began to fall. I always cried. It was weak of me, but I couldn't help it. I thought she'd laugh at my stupidity, or walk away with awkwardness, but instead she gently wiped my tears away with her thumb, shushing me gently and saying it was okay.
"What's your name?" she asked me after a moment.
"A... A... Ash..."
"Ashley?" she said for me. I nodded, blinking vigorously.
"Mummy?" came another voice, a high but clearly boyish voice. The lady turned, smiling broadly, to who I presumed was her son. The scruffy haired boy looked at us with wide eyes, which were a mesmerising blue might I add, and he looked at the lady questioningly.
"Sweetie, this is Ashley. Tell her your name." she said sweetly.
"I don't want to tell her my name." he said stubbornly. I frowned at him, already annoyed. With the look on his mother's face he squirmed, and then puffed out a sigh. "I'm Connor." he muttered, looking at me through lowered eyes. The lady smiled and ruffled his hair.
"Be nice." was all she said before she walked back across the street. He looked at me and I looked at him. We frowned at one another, and I counted down the seconds until he ran off in pursuit of his mum.
"Crying is stupid, you know." he said finally.
"So what?" I retorted, wiping my eyes with my palms.
"Only wimps cry." he said. To my surprise, he took a seat beside me on the wall, looking at his jean covered legs as he banged his ankles against the stone repeatedly.
"Everybody cries." I muttered, looking away with a frown. We were quiet for a moment, and finally he puffed out another sigh.
"Want to come and help us unpack?" he asked me, and I looked at him in astonishment. My face must have asked a million questions, and he simply let go of a lopsided grin and shrugged. He took the sleeve of my top between his fingers as he slid from the wall, pulling me with him. He began to process of dragging me across the road towards the house he was no going to live in, but then my own front door opened.
"Hey!" my mum shrieked. I clenched my eyes shut, and Connor let go of my sleeve. She came running out, her footsteps sounding loud in my ears as I listened to her approach. A bigger hand grabbed my arm, and I wrenched my eyes open to look at her guiltily. She was fuming, glaring at the boy beside me.
"Don't touch her, do you hear me?" she yelled.
"I'm sorry, is there a problem?" said the voice of Connor's mum. She came over, the man by her side who took Connor by the shoulders, pulling him against his legs protectively.
"Yes! Keep him away from my daughter!" mum boomed at them, pointing furiously at Connor who cringed into his dad's legs. I began to tremble, her hand tightening around my arm to the point that it began to hurt. I bit my lip, closing my eyes tightly again.
"He wasn't doing any harm." the man said softly.
"To hell he wasn't!" and with that, she dragged me back towards the house. I put up a slight resistance, and so she picked me up, forcing me to wrap my legs around her waist. I looked over her shoulder at the family of three, who looked at me with worried expressions on the pavement. Slowly and silently, tears falling again, I pressed my forefinger to my lips, and then waved goodbye.
Connor waved back, while his parents simply watched me with pained expressions.
Reviews would be well and truly appreciated! :D