Chapter 3

She

I don't know why I ran from the park to my house, but something in me just told me run. I listened to my head and ran. I ran all the way to my house. I grab hold of the door knob. Without thinking, I assumed the door was open and pushed myself onto the door so it would open. I do it every time when I go home from school. My door is absolutely stubborn and will not open with the right push. Now, I have rammed myself into the door and bounced right back. I rubbed my arm from the pain that surged from that stupid door knocker that my dad placed. No one uses it. The purpose of the door knocker is useless. Since I rammed my body on my right side with my non throbbing arm, I turned the door knob.

'What an impulsive move.' I shook my head cursing the door knocker. 'It's locked.'

As I removed my hand from the knob, I heard a click from inside. I peered through the opaque curtains and saw a figure walking away from the door down the hallway then disappeared as it made a right into the living room.

'It must be my mother. She always stays downstairs as my father stays upstairs. Amelia must be lurking in her room.' I thought opening the door.

"That was very stupid, sister. You should have checked if the door was open before you rammed yourself onto the door to open." I heard my sister calling from the stairs.

"Bite me, little sister. Just bite me." I replied glancing at her as I closed the door.

"You're so spontaneous, sister. You must think before you act." Amelia was pushing it. It was just that one time I was acting spontaneously. It will be just a matter of time before she strikes a nerve.

I breathed in deeply for I am trying to restrained myself from going upstairs and snapping my sister's neck. Harsh, I know, but she is pushing her luck. "I am quite aware of that, sister." I removed my shoes and went into the huge family with a very high ceiling.

"Where are you going?" Her voice rang from the stairs.

"To the basement." I said aloud.

"Through the living room?" Amelia asked from the stairs. Why in the world is she talking to me from the stairs? Is she trying to give herself a head start or something if she says something that might having me chase her? Either way, I know how to open every door in this house. There is no way to escape. I rather have her saying it at least where I can see her.

"I always do it." I opened the door and closed it right behind me then locking it. I don't want her asking me all of this questions that so happens is based on common sense which I think she has.

I looked at the billiard table before me. It was just the way I left it earlier. I grabbed the pool stick and resumed my game. After a couple of games, I told myself to stop. It must be extremely late, so I went upstairs. This time I remembered that I locked the basement door before coming down to the basement, so I unlocked it without ramming myself against the door like I did earlier. Everything was dead silent in the house. I opened and closed the lights as I proceeded to go upstairs to make sure that nobody will sneak up on me if there is any.

"Thank god, it's a Friday." I muttered to myself. I did not bother changing into anything else. I brushed my teeth and fell upon my bed with my uniform on.

My alarm started to beep gradually as awoke from my sleep. I pushed the covers that some how were place on me while I was asleep. I shrugged it off and got up. My vision was somewhat blurry, but I made out 4:42. I stretched a little. Then, I changed into more comfortable clothes and sat back down on my bed. My gaze shifted around the room. Then, it finally fell upon my closet door. Behind my door was not only my clothes and stuff animals that was collected over the years, my effects and memorabilia was stored there. It was a walk-in closet where I only use one side of the closet. The other side was for the trophies earned in the past, medals, pictures, books, and other stuff that holds a speck of my memory. My closet was literally another room that also connects with my bathroom. Besides the clothes and memory assets, my tennis rackets hung on a rack. I had five tennis rackets. I only used one racket back in the days when I was playing tennis. The other four was just in case one so happens to break.

To some people's knowledge like my sister, father, mother, brother, and other who have might remember me, I use to be a tennis player not a runner. I learned tennis with my sister ever since I could remember. It had claimed a section of my heart. Tennis created a strong bond between Amelia and I. We played doubles together in tournaments. We were on top. We were best in the nation.

"Let's be partners forever." My little sister said looking up to the sky.

She said it every time we had won a game. She would be always look up at the sky, rain or shine, cloudy or blue. She was always looking for the positive things. So was I when I was little, but she was extremely positive even in the worse conditions.

"We could rule the world." I smiled at her.

It was tradition until we entered junior high school together. We went to a private school that Amelia goes to for high school currently. Everything changed. We have realized our differences. Tennis was really the only thing that was keeping us together. Until, something happen as upon entry into high school. I left the school for those events.

I continue to look at my closet door. I sighed and open my closet. I walked over to my tennis rackets and picked the racket that I have not even played in a game. As I held it, though I have even play with it outside of court or inside, that feeling of my pride in tennis washed over me. I started to remember what it felt like playing the sport.

I went downstairs to the basement and locked the door behind me. I did not want any interruptions or the knowledge of me playing tennis again. Especially if Amelia found out, I would never hear the end to her questions.

In my house, there was a floor below my house that my parent used the floor for a training hall. They had built a full sized tennis court and a room where all the workout equipment is. At the time they were talking about the floor plans for the extra floor that I somehow stumbled upon while playing hide-and-seek with Amelia, I thought it would never work. I quote "It was imposshible." Well after two months or so, the construction workers actually accomplish the tasks that my parents told them to do two months earlier. To this day, I been using this floor for training for tennis without fault.

I went into the room with all the training equipment in it. I set my tennis racket aside and walked over to the treadmill. I eyed the oxygen mask that was hanging from the machine. The machine has helped me so much with my stamina. It makes me work into a thin atmosphere then after a time my stamina has doubled. I put on the mask and turned on the machine. Oxygen emitted through the mask. I breathed normally then I turned on the treadmill. Pushing "4.0 mph" button, I began to jog.

I stopped both machines after 45 minutes. I wiped my face with my towel that I brought with me besides my tennis racket.

"Four sets of 20 sit-ups. Two sets of 20 of weights." I told myself.

Finished with my other exercises, I brought out the baskets of tennis balls. With my tennis racket in check, I began to serve to the nothingness on the other side. 20 serves later, I jogged over to the other side to see where I hit all those balls. Every time when I serve, it leaves a mark on the ground. There was a darken areas on the right corner. Each spot is somewhat close to next one beside it.

I raised a brow and turned away to walk back to the other side. "Lucky shots."

I decided after 30 serves later, I should stop. I believe the time was 7. Some people in this house might be up by now. I took out that mechanism that you push down on the tennis ball, it enters the cage. I don't know how to explain it. You basically trap the round hollow ball of yellow fuzz in the cage. It makes my life more easier. I saw it being used in a commercial once. Instead of picking up tennis balls with the mechanism, the famous tennis player used it to pick up toys that his kids left. The tennis ball picking mechanism always reminds me of the mechanism

After picking up 60 tennis balls, I pushed the baskets back inside the room. Leaving the floor with my tennis racket and towel, I quickly went upstairs to my room where I took a shower and place my tennis racket back at its rack. I laid down on my hair with my hair wet. The water soaking in to my pillow covers as I drifted off into sleep even though it is bad to sleep with your hair wet.

The second beeping noise at 10:30 woke me up. Along with the beeping noise, someone was banging against my door shouting.

"Wake up!" The person hollered from the other side. I reached under my bed to get my metal bat that I bought for purposes besides playing baseball or softball.

I unlocked my door and raised my metal bat. My older brother looked at me through his thick glasses with his eyebrows raised in suprise. "Brother, you are not the type of person to shout. When did you get in?"

"Just a hour ago. We are going somewhere today. Dress in a nice causal clothes please not your loose, baggy clothing look." He said pushing up his glasses.

"Well, excuse me. I want to feel comfortable in my loose, baggy clothing." I said glaring at him.

"Temper. Temper, dear sister." He patted him roughly on my head. "You know more out of all of three of us how to remain calm."

"Brother." I pouted. "Where are we going?"

"Connecticut." He replied.

"Again?" I raised a brow. "I was there last weekend."

"With your friends that so happened to come to shoot one of those things where you go somewhere." My brother said.

"Shut up." I slammed my door in his face.

Matt shook his head. "You always hated when I woke you up."

I changed into a skirt with jeans under it with a nice loose top that was made by one of my friend who I hanged out with last weekend. I put on blue shadow with black eyeliner. Placing my sunglasses on top of my head, I took one last at myself in the mirror and exited out of my room.

"Lynn, darling, turn off the air conditioner upstairs." My mother said from downstairs as I was half down the steps.

"Yes." I obeyed her and went back upstairs to the office.

"What are you giving her for her party, hon. I don't know her as much as you do. She is your mother." My mother said when I entered the room.

"Well, mother was never too fond of gifts. She was always glad that her children was there for her especially when dad died." My father rubbed the back of her neck.

My sister was sitting at the kitchen sipping her tea when she looked up at me. She stared at me for a moment and she tilted her cup at me. My brother was sitting next to her looking at today's newspaper. I made myself hot chocolate and joined my siblings at the counter.

My older brother was a year older than me. My parents I would guess wanted to have children that were at least one year apart, so they can get through the hard babyhood in one swift shot. My parents wanted two children, one girl and one boy. They were blessed with a boy the first time. The second time, I came. My parents are extremely lucky, so they go ahead and make another child which so happens to be a girl. They predicted that as well. They are so weird sometimes, and that by far is weird. My brother did not live at home though. He goes to a boarding school in Connecticut, so he boards. At first, I did not understand why he would board in Connecticut than just go to a nice private school in New York. Later on, I began to understand why he decided and board. He wanted to exprience more in another state.

My brother has spiky black hair and a well built body though mom has pestering him about being a little bit too skinny. My brother and I have been training together when he is home from school. His school is in Connecticut which is right next to New York, so his visits are frequent. My brother is a tennis player as well, but he did not learned tennis with me and my sister. Somehow, he taught himself how to play the sport with the help with his best friend who goes to the same school as him. He made menus for himself and myself to work on the areas that we need work on. My brother is a sadist in so many ways here or not here.

"Let's go." My mother said. "Sorry, Lynn, to wake you up so early. Your father wants us to be early to set up for your mother's party."

"No harm done." I said drinking from my thermos.

"But she threaten me with her metal bat." My brother mumbled.

"Well, I hate when I have to wake up like that. It is utmost rude. Besides, big brother, my alarm was ringing in my ears by the time you started pounding on my door." I said.

"You have the habit to threaten individuals with your metal bat that serves multiple purposes." My brother commented.

I scoffed. "Since I spend in this house alone most of the time, I feel that I should never let my guard down. I constantly hear something in this huge house that makes me feel very paranoid. You spend a some nights here alone."

"I will." Amelia raised her hand up.

"Idiot." I said through my thermos.

When everyone was in the car, my dad pulled out of the driveway and started to drive towards the turnpike that leads us to the State of Connecticut.

My grandmother lives alone by herself in a big house with huge property. It was her dream home. She and my grandfather dreamt of having one of those houses that they saw when visiting the islands on their honeymoon about fifty years ago. They had bought the house three years later. It was a dream come true for them. Now as my grandfather passed away, my grandmother refuse to move out of the house that my grandfather and herself purchased fifty years ago. She said though it is hard to accept the fact that her husband has passed on, she will always remember the times of their marriage in the house. My grandmother at the age of seventy-nine turning eighty and retired, she has found ways to keep herself occupied like running on the beach every morning at five or cooking sweet delicacies. She would always come out of something that she was busy with.

"Oh, you came early." My grandmother opened the door sporting the pink frilly apron she use for cooking.

"We thought that we can come early to help you with set the party." My dad said giving my grandmother a hug.

"Oh well. I was about to start the cooking." My grandmother said.

My dad protested. "Today is going to be rest for you. Why not I take you out for breakfast since I know you have breakfast around eleven."

"Okay." My grandmother nodded her head. "What about the house and setting up?"

"Elaine and I will accompany you in town while our kids do everything here." Right then, my sister, my brother, and I looked at each other.

My brother coughed to get the attention of my dad. "How are the three of us going to do that?"

"You know how to drive, Matt?" My dad asked. My brother nodded in response. "You first plan out what you are going to do and then drive into town to get what you need. Here's two hundred dollars. Spend it wisely. Though I believe I know you have money in your wallets."

Then as my father, mother, and grandmother left the house. My brother, sister, and myself were left with a really huge challenge. I knew from that moment when my dad actually entrusted us with setting up my grandmother's eightieth birthday party that is going to be a very interesting experience. At the same time, it was a mistake.