The last Lisnetts have broken up, but it wasn't my choice. I had no vote in this; they just separated themselves from me. Before father died, he had left a will. We weren't billionaires but we were quite wealthy. And he named me heir because I was the youngest.
I could have left this house a long time ago but I didn't. I couldn't access my parents' money until I turned eighteen. My eighteenth birthday has passed now and I am ready to leave the house of nightmares.
I looked up at the sky. It was a dark cloudy Christmas this year. I wonder when the last time that I had a happy Christmas was, my life is lonely and sad now. My eyes welled up with tears but I fought the urge to cry; I had sworn that I wouldn't cry anymore.
The front door opened and the guy that I had just been talking to came out. Going through memory lane had put me in an awful mood therefore; I had no desire to talk to a moron. I pushed myself off the wall and began to walk down the street. After a quick glance behind me I noticed that the guy was following me. He didn't try to catch up just would look at me and occasionally would give me a soft smile.
Somehow he looked familiar to me, as if I have seen him somewhere long ago. Against all normal judgment, I decided to wing it and actually talk to him. Rounding a corner, I waited for him. He looked kind of surprised to see me standing there.
"I know that I said one thing back at the house, but I am kinda backing down on that. Can you walk around the block with me? I mean I think I know you. And besides it is not a good idea to be walking around at this time of night."
He simply nodded. "Sure, of course. So you think you know me right?"
I shook my head. "No not really."
"What? You don't remember me? Not at all? Well we did meet when you were small, but still. Maybe you can remember what we did together."
"How can you remember when I don't?"
"I am three years older than you. I should remember more than you."
I arched my eyebrow. "You are older than me? I thought you were younger. No offense but, you have a baby face."
He frowned. "People have told me that my whole life. I didn't think it was that bad. They say it is a blessing. I say it is a curse. I won't be able to buy beer without an ID and then they will think that it is fake!"
"Okay, tangent much. So if you know me who am I?"
He smiled. "You are Tori. Your real name is Victoria but you hated it because it sounded so old fashioned and kids would always make fun of your name. Yeah I haven't seen you in so long. I remember I was 15 when the accident happened. I wanted to come as soon as news reached my ears. Of course there was the matter with my parents not approving of my departure. It took me this long to leave all businesses settled down and come here."
"Don't worry I understand."
"I can't say that I know how you feel because I don't. I have no clue what you have gone through these past years."
I nodded resisting the urge to punch him in the face. Talk about picking at a scab and rubbing salt in the wound. I had wanted to forget about that, the only way is if people don't mention the accident. Do they seem to understand that? Nope not at all. They think they are being nice sympathizing with me, but they are actually getting very much in my nerves.
"We have gone straight into my life but you have yet to tell me who you are." I pointed out. "I remember a face…kinda."
He smiled."Oh sorry about that. I am Andy Ruther. I guess you wouldn't remember my face that well. Do you remember the time we set the dogs loose?"
A faint smile began to form on my face as I recalled that day. "Where you the one that ate all the cookies?"
He shook his head. "No you ate half of them, it was not just me."
I was beginning to get goose bumps and I could feel my teeth slowly but surely chatter. Who in their right mind leaves in the dead of winter without a jacket? Right forgot I didn't have a right mind. On the Brightside we had already gone around the block and the house was in sight.
"God it is cold." I mumbled.
A jacket was shoved into my hands. "Take it. You look cold and I am wearing a sweater anyways."
I nodded in gratitude at Andy and slipped his warm jacket on. My body subdued from shivering eventually. I had to roll up the cuffs because the jacket was a little too big on me.
I suddenly heard a snort that worked its way up to uncontrollable laughter. I looked at Andy and arched my eyebrow. "What is so funny?"
He looked at me with tears in his eyes and laughed even harder. "Ah, I can't breathe. I can't breathe!" He leaned over taking deep breaths. "I'm done. Sorry, but you look funny wearing my jacket."
I rolled my eyes. "Yeah whatever."
We continued down the street in comfortable silence. I couldn't help smiling at the thought of having a friend near me one again. I wonder how long I was on my own. How many nights I cried because I wanted a friend by my side? But the question that passes my mind the most is: How long will he stay with me? I shook my head at the thought of being lonely again.
"Hey…how…." I started but I couldn't seem to finish. I didn't want to know when he will leave, it's better if it is just a surprise. If he told me, I am sure I would cry all day. I lowered my gaze not wanting to make eye contact with him.
"Hmm? What where you going to say?" His voice was sweet and warm. It reminded me of my father.
Tears started to drip down my face. Why did I get sad at the thought of my father? Why do I care anymore? He is gone and he took mother. "N-nothing. It was nothing." I staggered with my words.
Andy stopped in front of me, in turn making me stop. I lowered my head even more. There was no need for him to see me cry. "Why are you crying?" A sniffle escaped my throat. He really did sound like Father.
"I'm n-not crying."
He rubbed the tears off my cheeks and lifted my chin up. I evaded his eyes. "What is wrong? You know that I am your friend and you can tell me anything. Now tell me, why are you crying?"
"It's just that, the way you talk reminds me a lot of father and…and…." I broke into soft sobs, good thing we were literally right in front of the house.
I felt his arms wrap around me. Is this what having a true friend feels like? I snuggled into his warmth, happy to have him next to me. The last time I had comfort like this was three years ago when my cousins, Carlos and Bethany, were still with me and alive.
Andy's voice broke through my thoughts, "do you feel better? Don't worry everything will be okay."
Yeah while he is still around, but once he's gone everything will collapse on me again.
"I will always stay with you."
I looked up at him. In his eyes I saw my own confusion. Did I hear right? Is he serious or is he just trying to cheer me up?
A wide grin appeared on his face. "Didn't I tell you? Oh right, you ran out of the house." He chuckled, "I made arrangements to move here for work. I already bought a house in the city."
I felt a smile slowly creep onto my face. "Really? You are staying here?" He nodded. "You have no idea how happy I am. I can't believe that I will finally have someone that I can talk to."
He still held my gaze, his eyes so soft and I felt like crying again. "I'm happy too. I am happy that I will finally be able to get you out of that lonely shell." He motioned towards my house with his head. "What do you say, let's go in? It is freaking cold out here." I nodded and lead the way in.
We walked through all the mush love again. It felt uncomfortable walking by my relatives-and soon to be- without getting a single glance from them. Well not until I was out of hearing rage (according to them) did they start to stare at me and gossip. I've found that it wasn't too hard for more than half of my relatives to gossip. They were born to be the gossip chain, except some of us really don't like being in the mouths of others.
Everyone mistook the situation. They think they are smart but they are not, in fact their brains are the size of a peanut. Who knew, it might even be a peanut.
I led him into my room and closed the door behind us. I know what the nosey people will be talking about tomorrow in the morning. Just like how they blamed me for my parents' death. They said words a twelve year old should never hear. They said that I had killed them; that I had set the fire. They said that I had wanted to kill everyone just because I can out "unharmed." They could not be more wrong. I had been hurt both mentally and physically. A window shattered slashing my back with glass, and apart from that the gas tank exploded on my face when I tried to get my mother from under a beam.
What people don't believe is the fact that I survived the explosion without burns. People can call it whatever they want, but as long as I live, I will call it a miracle. What's worse, I saw helplessly as my parents died screaming, pleading me to help them. I tried; I did my best to help them. They were still breathing after I had dragged them out of the house but they still died. They died in my arms. They died looking at me with love, and I lived on with guilt in my heart.