I lay on my bed later that afternoon, enjoying a well-earned respite. It had been a long time since I'd played my Guns 'N' Roses CD. I was humming 'November Rain' to myself and staring absent mindedly at the ceiling. I loved songs about love going wrong. They were just so...right. My father had loved Guns 'N' Roses. Unlike my mother, I actually have some good memories of my father. 'Some' being the key word. But they were there, embedded deep in my memory. Camping trips and my first bike were right up there with his newfound love for alcohol and our distant relationship. We bobbled around our house like ghosts, hopelessly wandering, but not able to be seen by most people. Most of the time we forgot the other was there, or just ignored each other. That's why the few good memories I have hurt so much.
I know what you're thinking. Yeah, yeah, typical case. Girl has bad relationship with her father; therefore, girl is a tramp. Well, I'm no tramp. I'm a heartbreaker. There's a difference. I could be a tramp if I wanted to be, I guess. But I don't, that's just so tacky.
I lay on my bed thinking all this and listening to all my 'retro' music, when a knock sounds at the door. I already heard my father leave for work, or the bar, or some random woman's house, I don't know which; so I get up to answer it. The bannister is smooth under my fingers as I hurry down the stairs, and I feel the sudden urge to slide down it, like my brother taught me to do long ago. But I don't do it. I have to begin excerisizing more control, or something horrible could be around the next corner. My body's at a revolution.
Even though my brain's in the midst of a civil war, I manage to open the door looking as I usually do, face wiped of emotion, and ready to take on anything or anybody.
But it's only Davey.
"Hey," He greets me, "I thought maybe, if you wanted to, we could go for a little walk down by the pier. Maybe get some ice cream or poutines. It'll be lots of fun. It's a shame to waste such a nice day."
I squint up at the brilliant sun sillouetting him in the doorway.
"Sure," I reply easily. May as well, I'm not doing anything good for myself alone up in my room. I quickly slide on some sandals and head out the door.
"Don't you have to tell somebody?" Davey asks.
"No," I reply, hoping this conversation can be stopped quickly, "My Dad doesn't really care."
"What about your mom?"
I had hoped the words would sound as I wanted them to, flat and un-caring; but they seemed to fall densely off my tongue and fill the gap between us, sucking all the heat from the thick air. I hoped Davey hadn't noticed.
"Ah," He responds. I can feel it in the air; he's unsure of what to say or do next. Everyone is. That's why I usually hate explaining it to people.
"It's okay," I reassure, "Really. I don't care."
"Surely you must..." He trails off. He's doesn't want to be having this conversation, but he's confused. I can read him like a book. Too bad I don't read books...anymore.
"Not really," I rush, "My brother's the only one in my family who I really care about."
"Your brother?" Davey's excited as he grabs the lead. He probably thinks he can lead me back to my happy place with that tidbit. Too bad I don't have a happy place.
"My brother Alex," I suppply, "He lives in L.A."
"Oh wow, that must be pretty awesome."
"Maybe for him," I reply.
"What's he like?" Davey reads the notes of bitterness in my voice and tries desperately to get back on a good road again.
"He..." I stall. I hadn't thought of Alex in such a long time, "He never left the seat down. He was scatter-brained and sloppy. His room was always covered in dirty clothes. It was disgusting. And he used to snore really loudly. I loved him. He was my brother, but I worshipped him, you know? He was perfect in my eyes. I know that sounds a little weird, but he was the one who raised me the way a girl's supposed to be raised. Not with so many boundries like my mother put up, and he was always there, unlike my father." I began to trail off as I realized I was letting Davey become privy to way too much information.
Luckily, Davey doesn't press any further, instead remarking on the weather and other miscellaneous small - talk items and we reach the pier quickly. It's quiet out near the ocean, with the waves lapping gently against the shore, washing small sticks and shells on to the shore. I take my sandals off and walk in the cool sand, enjoying the air as it whispers through my hair. A few sailbots dot the surface of the water far out into the sky. It's so peaceful that a calm rushes over me, and I don't mind when Davey subtly takes my hand. His palm is smooth and warm in mine, and he swings our intertwined appendages back and forth slowly. I think maybe he wants me to take notice and say something, but I let it be. It feels good for the time being. I can handle it. After all, might as well let him get really close. It makes for a bigger heart break, you know?
Part of me is really protesting this thought. Somewhere inside, I don't want to break this poor boy's heart. He's too bright for my dim world, that's for sure; but it's always a shame when the sun goes down. Besides, my brain keeps sending me pictures of old-lady-me, and old-man-Davey, sixty or so years into the future, hand in hand, taking on the world. Ugh, cliched and mushy. Besides, I'll never get that old. I'd rather die before my looks start to go. After all, they're all I really have that interests anyone anymore. God, I'm pathetic.
Davey babbles on as if the world is ending, and I feel bad for zoning out. I come back to the conversation and realize I have absolutely no idea what he's talking about, but it sure as heck is wonderful just to hear him speak. His voice is all smooth and deep, and full of light. Strange that it seemed so plucky and annoying when we met.
Suddenly, it's as if his wordless voice convinces me to do things that are very unlike myself, and I tug at his sleeve.
"Let's go to the arcade," I can barely believe these words are coming out of my mouth. What am I doing? I'm not ten years old anymore and hanging out with my brother!
"Sure!" Davey replies excitedly, "I love the arcade! I had no idea you would even be caught dead in a place like that!"
"Just shut up and get out your wallet. I'll go halfers on tokens with you."