25 Jul 2013

Tuesday, July 25th

 Warning: Language and drug references.

Daddy picked me up at 10am yesterday. He drove me out to the fields where he works, and let me play with the chickens! Chickens are my favorite animal, I love going there in the spring when there's loads of baby chicks to play with.

After that, we went to the beachside pool. I remember daddy teaching me to swim, and he kept saying he couldn't believe how grown up I was and how good I'd got at swimming. He used to take me to the pool every Saturday, but I started going with my friends instead when I was ten, so he's not seen me in the pool for a while. After a few hours he told me he had something to tell me, and got out before helping me out (the ladder broke a few years ago. The owner had it removed because of health and safety, but hasn't got round to putting a new one in)

He sat down on one of the loungers, and I kneeled on the foot-rest. He told me that he'd got a new job. In Bridgeport. He said he would be moving there in September. I just stared at him for a while, I didn't know what to say!

"What about me?" Was all I could finally come up with. I could see hearing me say that hurt him, and I could see tears starting in his eyes, but I felt the same way so why shouldn't he?
"You can come and visit me all the time, honey. And I'll still come here and see you when I can, I'll stay with Auntie Lynn. I'll still be there for Christmas at Gramma's." I was silent again for a bit. Christmas at Gramma's was tradition. Every year we all go and squeeze into her little townhouse in Bridgeport for a week. Will my Mum be going this year?
"I'll miss you." I said, trying to hold back tears so I could be strong for my Daddy. I know he wouldn't do this if he didn't have to.

He picked me up and swung me around infront of him, before kneeling on the floor and pulling me close for a tight hug.
"I'll miss you more than you could ever imagine." He said while he kissed my hair and rubbed his hand on my back. "Your Mummy will still be here, and you can phone me up any time and I'll answer. I know these past few weeks have been hard for you, but we can get through this. I love you more than anything, and if you miss me too much I'll move back."
"Why don't you just stay?" I asked.
"April, I'm sorry. Let's try this for a few months. If it doesn't work out by Christmas, I'll move back. I promise." He kissed me again, and I hugged him a little tighter.

We didn't do much else after that. He took me to have lunch and an ice-cream, but it didn't cheer me up much. When we got home, I went straight to my room, and I heard him telling Mummy about it downstairs. She didn't shout or anything, but when he left she came straight upstairs and hugged me while I cried on my bed.

I texted Justin when I first woke up today. Lottie had some horse-riding lessons, and I really needed to get out of the house and talk to someone. He'd replied by the time I was back up from breakfast and a shower, and we met up in the town by the hospital.

He asked me what was wrong straight away, but I didn't want to talk just yet. We walked out of the town centre, through the fields and up the hills before we sat down and I finally felt like talking.

 We sat in a patch of tall flowers under the shade of a willow tree for hours. He barely said a word, and let me say everything that was on my mind. He's a really good listener. I told him all about yesterday with my Daddy, what we usually do at Christmas, how much I missed spending time with him, which I hadn't even realised until yesterday. He asked a few questions, and when I started to cry he'd either move closer and put and arm around me, or just stroke my arm to make me feel better. When I'd been silent for a few minutes, he leaned in, put a hand on my shoulder, and whispered in my ear: "Tag, you're it" before jumping up and running off.

I couldn't help but laugh as I watched him run off, looking over his shoulder with a cheeky grin on his face. I managed to get up and chase after him, though, I think he let me catch him.

We played tag for a while, it must've been about half an hour or so. Until I hurt my ankle. I was 'it' and was just catching up to him when I felt it twist on itself. I grabbed his arm for support.

"What's wrong?" He asked. He looked really worried. I didn't reply for a minute, I was trying not to cry. I didn't want him to think I was a baby, which is silly, because I was crying infront of him not much earlier.
"I think I broke my ankle." I replied after a bit.
"Broke it?" He raised his eyebrow and did a little half-smile. "April, if you broke it you'd be screaming on the floor."
"How do you know? Maybe I'm really good with pain?" I sort-of snapped at him, which I felt bad about. "I don't think I can walk." I said more calmly.
"Well, it's a long way home, and I don't think you can fly..." He joked. I jerked his arm down a bit, and he laughed.
"What about your house? Where do you live?" His face immediately fell.
"No, you don't want to go there." He said quickly, shaking his head.
"Justin, please! If it's closer can't we just go there to rest up and get a drink?" I was really thirsty from running around in the sun, and I looked up at him pleadingly. He looked kind of panicked, like he was having some kind of internal battle.
"We can go there for ten minutes, if you promise to never tell anyone you've been to my house. Don't even tell anyone where I live." He was staring deep into my eyes the whole time he spoke, and he sounded pretty worried. I nodded in agreement.
"I promise. Not even Lottie. Where do you live?"

"Down there, behind those trees" He said, pointing down the hill towards the school and the park.
"Are you sure?" I asked, confused. "I've never seen any houses around there..."
"I know where I live, April!" He snapped, before putting his arm around my waist, pulling my arm around his neck, and helping me hop down the hill a bit.

"Can you go any faster?" He asked. He looked like he was in a rush for whatever reason.
"No, Justin! I've hurt my ankle, haven't I?" I felt like crying. I wished I'd never asked to go to his house. He was so sweet until I suggested it, and I was starting to worry about what was at his house by this point.
"April." He sighed, before he stopped and bent over infront of me. "Jump on."
I just stared at his back a minute, before climbing on as he'd asked.

He took a minute to rearrage my legs before starting to walk quickly down the hill.
"Justin, you can put me down if you want?" I offered once we reached the main road again.
"No, you don't weigh anything anyway." I'm not sure I believe him. I must weigh about the same as him, he's just strong obviously.

He took us down the streets leading to the school, before ducking into an alley by the park, and walking through a thick row of trees.

He put me down when we reached the other side.
"I didn't even know this was here..." I said stupidly, looking around. There were three trailers in this top bit, and I could see a couple more down the hill behind the others. There was litter and broken things everywhere, right in the entranceway was a pile of something that looked like it had been burnt before it was abandoned three feet from the bins. I could hear a dog barking nearby, but I couldn't see it, and there was a radio on loud in one of the trailers. It didn't look like the kind of place people choose to live, especially not if they have children.
"This way." Justin said, leading me down the slope towards the steps to the big cabin in front, I tried putting a little weight on my foot as we walked. It still hurt, but I realised Justin was right about it not being broken.

We reached the front door, and he took in a deep breath, and let it out before opening it.

He stepped just inside the door, and I looked over his shoulder. There was last nights pizza box still sat on the table, with dirty glasses and empty bottles over the table and the counters behind. The once-white paint was starting to peel off the counters and appliances, revealing the rusting metal underneath.
"Fuck sake." Justin whispered under his breath, before stepping properly in, pulling me behind him, and closing the door.

The room stank of stale smoke, grease, and mould. There was a purple-haired woman on the couch, who I assumed to be Justin's mum, although she looked young enough to be his sister. She lay there, staring blankly at the ceiling, surrounded by empty glass bottles, cigarette packets and old take-away wrappers. Her skirt was even shorter than anything my cousin Amelia would wear, and she gets told off for dressing like that all the time. The TV was on quietly, and she was whisper-singing along to a rock song.
"Where's your gaville, your jury, what's my offence this time? You're not a judge but if you're gunna judge me, then sentance me to another..."
"Mum." Justin said, and finally she turned her head and noticed us there.
"Oh, hey baby! Did you have fun?" Her speech was slurred, her voice hoarse as if she'd been screaming all morning, her eyes kept rolling in her head, her jaw was chewing, but I couldn't see any gum, and she looked like she was about to throw up.
"You said you were going to bed." Justin looked angry at her.
"Yeah, I think I did say that... I guess I got caught up." Justin moved closer to her, picking up a bottle of pills from the table and giving it a gentle shake, before turning to me.
"April, my bedroom is behind you. I'll be there in a minute." I nodded, and started walking towards the room behind me. "You know I can't get your prescription again until next week." I heard him scold his mum.

I closed the door behind me, but the walls weren't very thick.
"I know that, baby. Just chill out, I know a guy, don't worry."
"Mum," I heard Justin shout." "You wonder why I never bring anyone over? Do you even know how embarrassing you are? How much of a state you look? Look around you! You need to wake up before it's too late." I heard something hit the wall, I assume it was Justin throwing the pill bottle, before he burst through the door, slamming it behind him.

He jumped onto his bed, before tapping the mattress beside him, indicating for me to join him. I sat next to him, massaging my ankle. He didn't say anything, so I looked around his room. It was small, even smaller than mine, with fresh cream paint covering the walls. He had nothing in there besides his bed and a rather dirty-looking rug. There were a few posters on his walls of some band I'd never heard of. 'K-Infinity' or something. They looked like the kind of band Amelia might listen to.
"Sorry about her." Justin muttered after a few minutes.
"It's ok." I had no idea what to say, but I knew it wasn't ok. "What's wrong with her?" I was sure I already knew.
"She's drunk. Or high. Or both. She always is these days." He sighed, and leaned back, stretching his legs out infront of him. "That's why I don't want you to tell anyone you've been here."

"I understand." I lied. Well, I understand why he doesn't want anyone to know, but I don't understand how someone like her can still have their kid around. I don't know anything about drugs really, but I know from TV and movies that you need money for that kind of life, and I don't think she has a job, but I didn't want to ask.
"Is your leg better now? I want to get out of here." I looked up and he was looking at me. He had this desperate look in his eye. I rubbed my ankle while I tried to think of something we could do now.

We heard a smash from the other room, followed by Justin's mum laughing. Justin jumped off the bed and pulled my arm.
"Come on. You're too young for this, I'll carry you." I had no idea what he meant by too young, because we're the same age, so that made no sense, but he did carry me to the park, and we stayed there for most of the rest of the day. We didn't even mention his house or his mum, which he seemed thankful for.

Now I'm really worried, though. Clearly his mum can't take care of him, she didn't even ask who I was and I could have been a criminal or something! My mum always asks who people are when I bring them in, and she would never let our house get into that state. I wish I could ask someone what to do, but I know Justin would probably never speak to me again if I did.

Justins Mum was singing Ignorance, by Paramore, if anyone was wondering.
The band K-Infinity is from one of Valpre's stories, Krisis.
To avoid confusion, I feel I should point out that this is two days of diary entries in one. The last chapter was too short, and if I split this in two the problem would repeat itself. :)

This is her, for anyone who wanted to see. She purty! 
I might do a 'meet these characters' bonus chapter for her and Justin. There's a lot of backstory there, so I'm now taking votes.