Well, this is my first story that I've decided to put up here...in fact, I don't know where I got the urge to even put it up -shrug- But yeah, I hope you like it :) Feel free to review :)
Believe in Me.
"Why don't you do something?"
Each word seemed to cut through my skull like a blunt knife, leaving an open wound that felt like it would never heal.
"You have an amazing talent and you're wasting it, Kayla."
I pulled my knees up to my chest and held them tight, begging the pain and heartache to stop. I wanted the hurt to go away, but I wanted him to come back.
"What would you know anyway?"
I remember laughing at this, but I can't remember what it feels like to laugh anymore.
I can see him now. He's sitting on my bed in front of me cross-legged and I'm doing the same. We're talking like we used to and laughing as if it was the happiest time in the world – which it probably was.
"You don't know everything," I countered, rocking back slightly on my bottom while holding my legs.
"I do too," he shot back. "And what I know about more than anything in the entire universe is that you need to stop managing our band and join it."
I wasn't surprised at this. "But I'm not good enough," I replied quietly, avoiding his gaze.
He scoffed at me. "Not good enough? Kayla, I'm a rock legend!" I laughed. "I wouldn't be telling you to join the band if you weren't good enough."
"We have this conversation every day, Simon. And every day it ends in the same way; I'm not joining your band," I said, my smile wiped off my face.
He sighed in annoyance. "Kayla, this is getting ridiculous. Why do you keep throwing everything away?"
"Because," I replied, looking out the window at the shining, blue sky. "You're the rock star, not me. And that's the way that it's going to stay. I'm your manager, and the only thing that I want to do is help you with your career."
He smiled brightly at me, showing perfect white teeth. Seeing him smile like that always made everything worthwhile. "You're one of the best friends that I have ever had, Kayla," he said to me. "All you ever do is care about us."
I smiled back. "You're my brother, Simon. Of course I want to help you. I-"
I opened my eyes and bolted upright in my bed, breathing heavily.
Tears were streaming down my sweat covered face at an alarming rate, but they were silent. I made no noise as I stood on shaking legs and walked out of my room, closing the door behind me. I paused as I looked around the living room in a daze. I was in this exact spot when...
"Dad?" I enquired as I entered the house. "Dad? Where are you?"
I stopped as dad's paling face appeared in Simon's doorway.
"D-dad," I stuttered. "What's wrong? You're scaring me."
He didn't say anything, he just looked hopelessly at me. I think that if the world came to an end at that moment he wouldn't have moved a muscle.
I swallowed hard before turning and sitting down on the couch before I collapsed.
"He was hit by a car two hours ago. He died on impact."
"No! He isn't...he can't be...it's not possible... He can't, he just can't!" I screamed, my heart thudding wildly and tears rolling down my red face. Without thinking, I then turned and ran out of the house towards the park, hearing my father shout after me.
I crossed my legs and stared blankly at the TV, not daring to move. There was nothing to be heard throughout the whole house and I liked the sound of the peacefulness. I liked the sound of silence.
"You're up early."
I turned my head slowly around to see Michael standing behind the couch. I shrugged as he walked around and sat down next to me.
"I thought that maybe you'd sleep in," he said, looking at my puffy red eyes and emotionless expression.
I shrugged again.
"You know, dad's beginning to worry about you. You need to say something sooner or later."
I bit my bottom lip and there was silence between us. I hadn't spoken a word since the news and I didn't plan on saying anything for a long time.
"Please, Kayla," he begged. "Don't be like this."
My nails dug into my palms but kept my face blank. I knew that Michael was looking at me but I kept my eyes averted. I knew that if I looked at him I would break down, and I didn't want that.
"He was my brother too."
At this, I took in a deep breath before dropping my head into my hands and sobbing my heart out. My lungs felt like they were being crushed and big wallops of spit kept clogging up my windpipe, but I couldn't stop.
I felt Michaels arms enclose around me, acting as a barrier to everything else in the world, and I continued to sob into his hard chest.
"Shh," Michael soothed as he stroked my hair lightly and began to sing a small tune that I knew all too well.
Sometimes things are as bad as they seem
When you're awake you wish they were dreams
But hold on tight, give it all you've got
Stand up tall, doesn't matter if we make it or not...
I cuddled into Michael as my sobs subsided and silent tears rolled down my face. This was one of my favourite songs that Michael, Rhys, Toby and Simon played in their band and I think that Michael knew that.
I remember that Simon and I wrote it together afterschool when we were being picked on by some bullies. It was our way of escape – our way to express our feelings without hurting anyone. But I never knew that it carried so much more meaning until now.
We've got to keep moving on,
Even when hope is gone
Just keep pushing through the tough times
'Cause you know that everything will be fine
Because I'll always wait for you
When he finished the last note of the chorus, we sat in silence again but none of us moved from our positions on the couch.
I don't know how long we sat there for, bundled up so close to each other, sharing our sorrow. Time just didn't seem to be something I noticed lately, but eventually dad stumbled out of his bedroom wearily. He began rushing around the kitchen in a robotic way, trying to get certain things done. When he finally noticed Michael and I sitting on the couch, he shook his head quickly in surprise.
"What are you two doing up so early?"
"Couldn't sleep," Michael muttered, his arms still tightly around my form. I closed my eyes for a moment and rested my head on his chest again, just taking in their voices instead.
"Are you alright? Can I get you anything?" Dad asked in a husky voice.
"Tea would be nice, thanks, dad," Michael said politely. I remained silent.
I closed my eyes slightly tighter and still didn't say anything. There was stillness around us for a moment and I knew that they were exchanging concerned glances. Don't get me wrong, I didn't want them to worry about me, I really didn't. It was just...hard. Being silent was my way of dealing with...what happened, and I'd speak when I was ready. Well, that's what the psychologist had told dad anyway, and it was the only explanation for my strange behaviour.
Simon was a lot like dad when it came to worrying about me and you could almost say that he'd received that trait from dad if we weren't all adopted.
"Well, maybe you two should get out of your PJ's and into something more refreshing," he suggested as I opened my eyes to see him standing over us. I nodded slowly and unravelled myself from Michael's arms and walked back down the hall towards my room.
My dad was a very generous man, and no one could understand why he had adopted three kids of around the same age. But we were so grateful to him and pretended that he was our real dad anyway (and I guess you could say that he was).
Simon and I had been best friends at the orphanage ever since I was five and he was six. We were practically inseparable, so when dad showed up at the orphanage two years later, he adopted both of us. A year later, after being so happy with the two of us, he brought home Michael and the four of us were a family. Dad was even extremely supportive of Michael and Simon when the two of them joined a band with Rhys and Toby which led them to their recent fame. The fact that their band, Red-X, had broken up was all over the news and people were devastated, especially Simon's fans.
"Are you sure you still want to go?" Dad asked me as I shoved a spoonful of cornflakes into my mouth.
I nodded my head stubbornly but didn't meet his worried gaze. I wanted to go back to school and move on with my life. I wasn't one of those teenagers that would lock themselves in their rooms, crying their eyes out and refusing to move on. I hated being normal and I knew that that was what Simon loved the most about me.
Even though I was slowly progressing through the 'moving forward' stages, I still wasn't past the stage where I kept seeing him everywhere, and whenever I did I had to fight against the tears that threatened their barriers. I guess that you could say that it was like in all the books that you read about death – everything that they do reminds them of the person they lost, and it makes the hurt harder to deal with than it already is.
I swung my bag over my shoulder and walked out the door without looking back, Michael in tow. He knew better than to start a conversation with me; I sometimes preferred to be alone with my mixed thoughts.
But today my thoughts were turning on me, spiralling out of control in a whirlpool of sadness and confusion and it hurt my head just to think about certain things. So, instead I turned my mind away from him and focused on what was going to happen at school today. I focussed on walking along the footpath without tripping over my own feet. I focussed on what I was going to say to my English teacher when she found that I didn't have my assignment and many other things. In fact, I was so focussed on everything else that I didn't even notice when Michael and I entered the school building.
I blinked a few times and shook my head to break the spell. Around us was silence, no one had anything to say to the two of us. And, as we walked down the hall avoiding the gazes of those around us, everyone was staring at us as if we carried the plague. But who could blame them? We were the two kids that had lost our brother only two weeks before. Maybe they consider us to be cursed. I thought.
"I'll see you after school," Michael whispered to me as we broke apart and went our separate ways.
I took a deep breath as I opened up my locker and shoved my bag inside. Everyone had seemed to have forgotten about me now that Michael was gone, and they were chatting away happily as if everything in the world was perfect. But the thing that they didn't know, and were almost certain to find out sooner or later, is that everything in your life comes crashing down when you lose someone you love.
As I walked down the hall towards my class with my books, I was roughly shoved from behind and the small bundle in my arms went crashing to the ground.
"It's nice to see you back at school, Kayla," Marie snarled at me as she and her clones came from behind and stood in front of me; the bullies.
I said nothing as I slowly bent down and picked up my books, not even looking at them. Nothing, not even the bullying, felt real anymore. I used to try to fight back to Marie and her clones, but Simon had always placed a hand on my shoulder to restrain my wrath. He always knew how to deal with this so much better than I did; he had a certain calmness about him all the time and he simply didn't care what others thought.
The trio looked at me in bewilderment, obviously shocked that I wasn't trying to kill them. I tried to picture myself in their eyes; dark hair all mattered and obviously not brushed, pale skin that looked even paler than usual, blue eyes with black rings around them that were unfocused and staring hard at the ground and a catatonic expression. I'd probably be shocked too.
After realising that there was no longer going to be a reaction out of me, they turned and walked away, leaving me and a few whispering students behind them.
In class, the only part that I managed to listen to was the part where Mr. O'Brian said that the school talent show was taking place next week on Friday and we had the rest of this week to sign up. The rest just went in one ear and out the other.
I walked through the green front door to our house and collapsed on the couch. On the table in front of me was a disc that was in a white case, with a note on the top of it.
I slowly reached forward and picked them up in loose fingers.
I found this while cleaning out Simon's room today. I haven't watched it, but it has your name on the cover, I think that he'd want you to have it.
I've gone out the get the groceries, will be home soon.
P.S. Tell Michael he needs to do the dishes
I scrunched up the note in my hand and threw it with precise aim into the rubbish bin. I then took the disc out of the case and popped it into the disc slot in the DVD player.
The blue screened TV whirred into life and Simon appeared on the screen. I felt my chest tighten and my heart speed up as I watched him fix the camera and then sit down on the bed.
"Hey, Kayla," he said as he waved to the camera and I had to do everything that I could to not release a chocked sob. "Well, you know that I've always been good with a camera and prefer the indirect approach to do things, so here I am!" He said with a smirk and I laughed as silent tears rolled down my cheeks. "After going through all of the video's that I have taken over the years, I decided to roll them all into one in the hopes that you'll see how good you are and join our band. Also, I know that when you see this video, you're going to attempt to kill me, so I'm going to make sure that I'm out of the house after I give it you." He laughed at this and I reached out to pick up a pillow and hugged it tight. He was going to all this trouble for me and I completely ignored him.
"Anyway, enough with my stupid rambling, let's get to the video, I hope you enjoy it."
And with that, his image disappeared and mine showed up on the screen. I took in a sharp intake of breath when I realised how young I was in this shot, maybe about twelve or thirteen.
"Simon," I whined as I tried to block myself from view. "Why do you have to film me now?"
"Because you said that you were going to sing and I want to film it for future reference."
"Future blackmail you mean?"
"Yeah, pretty much," he chuckled lightly at my suggestion. "Go on, sing already!"
I rolled my eyes and picked up the microphone. The camera work became wobbly as he walked over and turned on the CD player. The intro was short and then I started to sing, making funny faces and trying not laugh at Simon the whole time. After about halfway, I remember Simon making a particularly funny face where I had to stop singing and drop to my knees in laughter. He soon joined me and the camera fell to the floor with a loud bang so that it was at an odd angle and the two of us were looking at each other and laughing like idiots.
The scene then changed to when I was about fifteen. I was lying on my bed, attempting to do my homework when I noticed that he was filming me.
"Si, put that blasted thing down and help me the homework already," I said irritably, rolling my eyes at him.
"I will if you sing me a song," he said, and I remember that he smirked at me.
"No way!" I said stubbornly looking back at my text book.
"Aw, come on Kay," he said in a whiny voice.
I watched myself roll onto my back and sigh in defeat. "Fine, but you have to help me afterwards, deal?"
I then began to sing one of my favourite songs to the camera, dancing around and singing into my hairbrush.
Simon was the only person in the entire universe that could get me to loosen up like that. I never sung in front of anyone but him.
I wiped away the tears with the back of my hand, but they kept coming anyway, so I didn't bother again. My whole body felt like it had gone numb, but my eyes were still glued to the screen.
The screen changed again and this time it wasn't Simon filming, it was probably Michael. As they made their way to my room you could see the other two band members' wave at the camera every now and then, showing that everyone but Simon and I were there. Michael quietly eased the door open to reveal what was behind it. Inside, Simon and I became visible and we each had a guitar. I had the base, he had the electric and we were playing a new song for the band. I was singing loudly into the microphone and my voice seemed to bounce off the walls. Together we sounded amazing, and I knew that this was only last month – so it was really recent. I had no idea that we sounded this good.
After that, it returned to a picture of Simon sitting on the bed and looking into the camera once more.
"So, Kay, what do you think? You're pretty good, huh?" He said as he shuffled to get comfortable on the bed. "All your life, you've been putting yourself second when the band was involved," he said, suddenly becoming extremely serious. "But I'm seriously not going to let you do that anymore. You're amazing and you need to get up off your butt and do something for yourself for a change.
You always told me that 'the sky's the limit,' but, the thing is, it really isn't. You can go so much further." He paused for a moment deciding to cut to the heart of the matter. "I don't want you to get to an old age and realise that you could have done so much more with your life. And I just wish that for once you'd put yourself first instead of us. I know that you probably get sick of me ploughing this through your thick skull, Kayla, but the only reason that I do it is because you're my sister and even though you think that I don't care about anything, I care about you. I hope that this video will help you to understand that.
"Well, that's it I guess," he said sheepishly, scratching the back of his head, obviously trying to think of a good way to end it. "Now go and get 'em, Kayla; I know that you can because... because I love you. I really do."
As the screen flicked off, I released a strangled cry that sounded like it could have come from a wounded animal and dropped my head over my knees in sobs. Simon would never, ever admit his feelings about anything to anyone – not even me. So the fact that he had actually said it meant so much to me.
"I love you too," I whispered in between my sobs. "Now please come back, Si. I need you."
"Kayla McKenzie!" My name echoed all around the gym and there was a small cheer as I made my way out onto the stage. My knees felt like jelly and my head was spinning uncontrollably, but I managed to take the microphone from the teacher and steady myself.
I looked out over the now silent crowd and I hated the fact that they were all staring at me. Usually, whenever I was on stage like this it was to introduce Red-X and all anyone cared about was staring at the band. But, at the school talent show, it wasn't them performing; it was me.
I opened my mouth to say something, or at least start singing, but nothing came out. Maybe all of those weeks of silence had killed my vocal chords and I couldn't speak anymore. As people started to whisper around me I closed my eyes in the hopes of getting myself sorted.
Come on, Kay. I thought to myself as I took deep breaths. You can do this, Simon always said you could.
His image appeared in my mind, he was staring intently at me with a goofy smile on his face. "Just go for it, Kayla," he said to me. "There is no limit."
I opened my eyes and found that I was no longer nervous.
"Hello everyone," I said and the whispering died down until there was silence again. "Most of you may know me from around school or even as the band manager of Red-X. And you may also know that my brother Simon passed away three weeks ago. I guess that he's the reason that I'm here on stage tonight.
"I'm also up here because I have a very important announcement to make," I said making my voice become slightly louder. "Red-X is not over yet."
Everyone seemed to burst into a fit of noise as they all chattered away at this unexpected news. I waited for them to calm down again before I continued. "Red-X isn't over because I'll be joining to band to replace Simon. I know for certain that he wouldn't want his friends to stop doing something they love because of him," I blinked back a couple of tears that threatened to spill over. I knew that I was going to end up crying, but not yet. I had to finish speaking first.
"This song that I'm about to sing is dedicated to my brother Simon, who taught me that there is no limit!" I bit my lip and saw that some of the girls in the crowd had started to cry. "I love you, Simon," I whispered away from the microphone so no one would hear.
I then opened my mouth and started to sing. I had chosen one of our favourite songs to sing – Believe in me by Demi Lovato. However, I think that Simon only liked it because it had a deep message in there, and it was only tonight that I noticed it.
I'm losing myself
Trying to compete
With everyone else
Instead of just being me
As I sung, everyone dropped into a shocked silence. But, pretty soon, everyone was swaying their arms as I moved into the chorus.
I don't want to be afraid
I want to wake up feeling beautiful today
And know that I'm okay
'Cause everyone's perfect in an unusual way
You see I, I just want to believe in me
After singing the chorus, I found that I was having fun, and I moved away from the centre of the stage and towards the front, swaying my arms with the crowd. But, although I was enjoying myself, I never stopped thinking about Simon the whole time.
Eventually I came to the last verse of the song, and that's when the tears came. I pressed my eyes together for a moment and pushed them down my cheeks before belting out the last verse, putting as much emotion and effort into it as possible.
And I cannot be afraid
I'm gonna wake up feeling beautiful today
And know that I'm okay
'Cause everyone's perfect in an unusual way
You see now, Now I believe in me
Now I believe in me
As the guitar strummed the last note, everyone burst into thunderous applause. People around me stood up and whistled and I wiped my face with my sleeve smiling the whole time. Eventually, the band came up on stage with me and the three of them wrapped me in a huge bear hug. This made the audience cheer even louder and I closed my eyes to see Simon, cheering along with them. I laughed slightly at the image in front of me.
"I believe my work here is done," he said as he dusted his hands off.
"Please don't go," I whispered, ignoring the raging noise around me.
I watched as he walked towards me slowly, stopping just in front of me. "I need to go now, Kay. You'll be alright as long as you remember what I told you."
"There is no limit," I whispered and he nodded, his smile even brighter than what I remember.
"I love you," he whispered and then disappeared from my mind completely.
Reviews are welcome. I hope you liked it :)