First Chapter of my new book.
|Chapter one Abby
My little sister, Lainey, was crying more this Christmas than she ever had. She was five this year and pretty sure she didn’t have enough presents. Saige, my little brother at three years old, was making no noise. He never did though. It was by all means, a normal Christmas at my grandmother’s old house (more like castle). I’m sure I was supposed to be talking to my cousin Jasmine while my dad took care of the babies, but I couldn’t. I had to keep my eye on one guest in particular.
Charlie and his parents were over (like they were every year). He had bright blue eyes and, even then, had a devil’s smile. He would say things that made even the grumpiest of people smile, but no one knew who he really was; Beelzebub…or something around there. Charlie was a downright evil boy who lived for every Christmas to make my life hell. He was also my brother, Jason’s, best friend, so sometime I had to see him even when it wasn’t Christmas.
I wasn’t sure what he had in store for me this year. I wondered if it would be like last year, where he put the crickets that he found in the woods into my bed; or when he accidently spilt his whole plate of food over my head! I would never understand why people liked him. Other than for his looks; pretty people have it easy in this world. It’s a universal truth.
That truth put me at a losing end. At that point in my life (seven years of age) I was a very awkward young lady. My front teeth were bigger than most of my mouth. I had cat eye glasses (because they were just so cool.). My hair was always a rat’s nest (my mom always called it a golden mess). My eyes have never been bright blue, instead a rather dull green shade. None of that mattered then though, because back then I didn’t care about boys, so looks didn’t matter.
Anyway, back to the dinner; Charlie was making some old woman laugh, and I was barely listening to my cousin Jasmine talk my ear off. My mother finished her prayer and we all said amen and rushed to the line to get food. It was always homemade fare because both mine and Charlie’s mothers were cooks; that’s how they met, culinary school. My mom was pregnant this year, with what we didn’t know was twins, so I thought it was the funniest thing when she would reach for things on the cabinet and couldn’t reach it over her belly.
Finally, they were able to finish dinner and Jasmine and I waited in line with our plates ready, the whole time I watched my back because Charlie had yet to pull a trick on me. Time was running out; today was the last day he and his family would be here. He was bound to do it soon.
I heard him laugh and I turned around quickly, he was making his way towards me with a plate full of food in his hands and Jason by his side. I waited. And waited. And waited. Then, he just passed me. I was stuck there in the middle of the food line with my plate up and covering my face, watching him as he went to sit back down. And he hadn’t even done anything.
Jasmine had finally stopped talking to laugh at me. In her terribly loud voice she asked, “What are you holding that plate up for?”
A couple of adults looked our way and I lowered my plate fast, as my cheeks started to burn. “I didn’t want to… I didn’t want any….”
She didn’t wait for my reply. “You are so weird. I’m not even sure why we are friends.” Jasmine was another one of those lucky people who could be mean to anyone because they were pretty. I didn’t mind because her voice was worse than anything she could say to me.
I shrugged, “We aren’t. You just don’t like to be alone. We can get our food now.”
There was little more in life that my cousin enjoyed more than food, so all of our conversation stopped there.
We got our nourishment and sat back down, all the while I was stalking Charlie’s every move. Waiting for him to try and torture me. He never did, and for that whole dinner I let the fear of humiliation ruin my love for food.
When dinner was over, all of the kids were sent to bed. I slept on the floor. I shared a room with Jasmine, she got the bed. I didn’t mind though because as soon as her head hit a pillow she was fast asleep, so I could do anything I wanted while she slept. I stayed up until all of the illumination under the door was gone. Then, I decided that this was the only time I could explore the closed room.
There was nothing truly “closed” about it, but in my mind it was close enough. Children were not allowed in this room. So therefore, it was an adventure.
I got up out of the small pallet of blankets that were my bed. I walked slowly to the door, so I wouldn’t make any noise. I didn’t really have to; Jasmine was the soundest sleeper I had ever known. But the slow walking added to the suspense of my truancy. I opened the door and it cried out from unoiled hinges. Its volume increased by the fact that the whole house was still.
I slipped through the crack that I gave myself and closed the door, wincing as the hinges yelled. Then, I was on my own. Everyone was asleep, thus could not save me from the monsters hiding in the dark. I wanted to back out, but I wanted to be able to brag about being in the room more.
The halls looked black, except for the lamps that my mother would keep on that sat on small shelves. I knew the way the floor boards worked and knew which ones not to step on, but I was concentrating so hard on not making noise that I didn’t notice the body coming up behind me.
“Why are you up?”
I turned around with a shriek, but Charlie’s hand shot out and covered my mouth. I, of course, bit him. He quickly snatched his hand away and rubbed my spit off on his shirt. “Don’t scream; you’ll wake everyone up stupid.”
I stomped my foot. “I’m stupid? You who snuck up on me. You could have been a killer, of course I’m going to scream.”
“Where are you going? A tryst with one of your lovers?”
I wasn’t really sure what that meant t my age, but I figured it wasn’t good so I made a face. “No… I’m going to the closed room.”
“Closed room? You mean the room we aren’t allowed in? Why do you call it that? It’s not closed.”
“Yes, please don’t tell on me. I will kick you. And I’m aware that it’s not closed, and I don’t care.”
He rolled his eyes, “I’m not going to tell on you. I’m going to go with you.”
I snorted and weighed my options. I realized that bringing him was my only option if I wanted to see what was in this room, “Fine, but you have to listen to me.”
He shook his head, but didn’t say anything. I continued walking, assuming he was behind me. I couldn’t hear him, but he was good at sneaking. Always had been.
We made our way slowly through the house, certain times nearly screaming at shadows. But then we were in front of a mahogany door. It was big and the door knob had flowers and birds engraved into it. I pushed the door open with help from Charlie.
We were inside. It was like a library; books were everywhere and there were two seats by a fire that was beginning to burn out. I looked at Charlie, but he was already at a row of books. I followed him over.
He turned around, “It’s rather cool.”
“Yeah, I guess.” I wasn’t sure why he was so fascinated by books, but he always had been.
Charlie looked at me for a second, then kissed me. It was a peculiar kiss of that of an eight year old. I didn’t move, like maybe if I acted dead he would forget he was kissing me. I didn’t know what else to do.
When he finished I looked at him for a moment, then punched him in his lip and screamed.
The adults rushed to save us, and we both got in trouble. The next night as I packed up my things to leave all I could think was that he had ruined my first kiss.