POSTED 05/19/2018 14:29
The phone alarm went off right beside me, and I felt so lazy and tired, but I needed to turn the infernal racket off.
I looked at the screen. 7:00am. Great! Just great! Now I was going to be late. Ten minutes later, I managed to take my bath and brush my teeth. While putting on my denims, I kept trying to remember something. I knew it was important, but it was just beyond the reach of my memory.
“Venetia, you’re late!” my mum called out.
I rolled my eyes
“Gee, you don’t say?” I muttered, my voice dripping sarcasm.
Clothes on. Backpack ready. Now I needed to dry my hair.
Grabbing a towel from the bathroom, I rubbed my hair vigorously, but long tendrils of hair kept falling back on my face, as wet as ever. I threw the towel down in frustration.
“This is pointless!” I screamed.
Without thinking, I grabbed a pair of scissors from my sewing kit and roughly dragged it through my hair. The long wet tufts of hair landed on the floor with a disgusting ‘splat' sound.
Yes I know, Mum would totally freak out. But who said she needed to know? I put on a beanie and headed downstairs. Fortunately, mum was taking a call, so I easily slipped out and ran.
Five lectures later and I was completely exhausted. I went to my favorite spot. A cashew tree in the school orchard. It always felt so relaxing, sitting here and taking in the fresh air, or talking to no one in particular.
I’m Venetia. 16. Only child. Total weirdo. I live with my mum who never let me do anything fun. Dad had died two years ago (cancer I think. Can’t really remember).
I lived in my own world, where I pretended everything was peachy keen and everyone loved me. But who am I kidding? My only friend was Victor, he was my age mate, he’d been around since we were 10. He’s always been there for me, though I can’t say I’ve done the same for him. I was kinda a social outcast, because I always kept to myself and had serious anger issues. Victor somehow managed to hold on to me. The twerp was so annoying and didn’t seem to understand that I didn’t want him around me.
While munching on an apple, I focused on trying to remember the ‘important’ thing, but I just couldn’t!
As if on cue, I heard Victor’s voice
“Ven!” he called. “Ven I know you’re here. Come out, I’ve got something to show you!”
Still munching my apple, I stepped out from behind the tree so he could see me
“What do you want?” I asked him.
His smile was so wide I was surprised his facial muscles hadn’t torn yet. But then he looked up at the beanie on my head and frowned.
“What’s with the beanie?” he asked.
“None of your business!”
He just shrugged —the universal sign of surrender — and adjusted his backpack which hung on one shoulder. I relaxed and was about to ask what he wanted to show me, but it was too late! I had let my guard down. He tackled me to the leaf littered ground of the orchard and was sitting on me, holding my wrists so I couldn’t scratch his face off. I thrashed and struggled but it was no use, Victor was stronger.
“Get off me Vic. Now!” I hissed at him.
“No. Not until I see what you’re hiding” With that he pulled the beanie off my head and stared at my new haircut with eyes as wide as saucers.
“Ven, what in corn bread’s name happened to your hair?”
“I cut it! Get off me right now!”
“It’s a shoddy work. But why?” he probed.
I could feel the anger in me ready to blow like a geyser. I was struggling to keep calm, but it was so difficult when the annoying twerp just wouldn’t lay off.
“I. Said. Get. Off.” I said through gritted teeth.
“Not until you tell me why” he insisted.
Ladies and gentlemen, I officially lost it. In rage, I brought my knee up so hard that he rolled off me in agony and clutched his um… (You get the point right?). I picked up my backpack and ran off, leaving Victor rolling on the floor in pain.
When I got home, my mum was staring at me in something that look pretty much like horror.
“V-Venetia. Y-y-your hair?” she gasped.
I rolled my eyes for the umpteenth time that day. Of course! I had been so angry that I forgot to take the beanie from Victor.
“Fuck off mum. It’s my hair, not yours” I told her.
Slowly she moved towards me and before I could understand what was happening, she sent me staggering backwards with a slap across my face.
“How dare you?!” we screamed simultaneously.
“Venetia go to your room!” she ordered.
“Oh don’t bother MUM. I was already going there!” I yelled.
I stomped up the stairs, all the way to my room and slammed the door behind me so hard that I felt the building vibrate.
The day was just horrible. I threw the wardrobe open and started stuffing some clothes into my backpack. She had no right to slap me, It was my hair, not hers. I picked up my backpack and kicked the now dry tufts of hair on the floor.
Only if the stupid hair hadn’t pissed me off in the first place.
Slowly, I crept out of my room and descended the stairs. It was already dark outside. Perfect. I quietly opened the door, stepped outside and let the night swallow me.
I had just made it to the next street when I heard Victor calling my name.
“Ven stop! Where are you going?”
I ignored him and kept walking, not even bothering to look back, I knew he was following me.
“If you’re trying to get an apology out of me, then forget it!” I shouted over my shoulder
“Ven I’m not mad at you. You need to calm down”
I kept walking. Briskly now.
“At least let me show you what I wanted to show you” he pleaded “Ven please I…”
I spun around and met his pleading eyes.
“My name is Venetia! Not ‘Ven’. I hate that name. I hate the fact that you keep pestering my life! I hate you and you can never be my friend. You’re just an annoying little twerp!”
Well that’s gotta hurt. I turned again and made it to the roadside but he was still following me, so I ran across the road wishing to lose him in the traffic. I was about to keep going when I heard it.
“Venetia I’m sorr…”SCREECH!!!!! .I heard the car skid to a halt. I heard the screams. I turned around and saw Victor lying in the middle of the road with a crowd quickly gathering and taking photos. Goosebumps covered my flesh. Somebody call 911!
Three hours later Victor’s mother came rushing into the hospital room. I was sitting beside the bed silently sobbing.
“What happened to him?” she asked.
Her voice was commanding but I could still sense the sorrow in it.
“He got run over” I choked out.
She suddenly started glaring at me with hate, her eyes narrowed infinitesimally.
“This is your fault, he said he was going to your place. I always knew you were bad but he kept talking about how the both of you were the best of friends. Now look what you’ve done to him!” she screamed. I was too sad to be angry, so I let her rant and bawl her eyeballs out until Victor raised a bandaged hand.
“Mum stop. Please give us five minutes” he said.
“But she…”his mum started to argue.
“Please Mummy” he said. She glared at me one last time and muttered something under her breath that included witches before exiting the room.
I was alone with Victor in the room. He made a gesture for me to sit beside him. It probably hurt a lot cos he kept wincing in pain, so I immediately obeyed.
“Venetia,” he started “I’m sorry if I’ve been a pest, twerp, irritation. I was just trying to be your friend, but I’m really sorry for whatever discomfort I’ve caused you. I’m truly sorry”
The tears were flowing freely from my eyes.
“You don’t have to be sorry Vic, you didn’t do anything wrong”
He smiled at me. A smile that didn’t reach his eyes
“It’s okay Ven. Can I still call you that?” he asked.
I smiled and nodded. He truly was my best friend.
“What time is it?” he asked, killing the mood. Ugh!
I glanced at my wristwatch “11:53pm”
“Remember I wanted to show you something? Before you um…” he trailed off
“Kneed you in the no-no-touch zone?... Yeah… Sorry about that too” I apologized.
“Get my backpack. Quickly!”
I got the backpack and sat beside him again. He grabbed it and started rummaging through it.
“A-ha!” he exclaimed “it’s a bit squashed from the accident but…” he placed a pretty pink cupcake in my open hand. I raised one eyebrow.
“Hold on” he said “One more thing”.
He then brought out a tiny birthday candle and stuck it in the cupcake. He lit the candle with a lighter from his pocket and asked “What’s the time now?” I glanced at my wristwatch again. “11:57” I answered.
He smiled again. Still a sad smile.
“This was the surprise. Happy birthday Venetia. Make a wish” My jaw dropped.
So THAT was the ‘important' thing I had been trying to remember. Fresh tears started to form in my eyes. Victor remembered my birthday even when I and definitely my own mother hadn’t. Heck! I didn’t even know his own birthday. The guy had been a real friend to me and I treated him like crap.
“Oh come on Ven. Your birthday will soon be over. Don’t ruin the moment by crying, just make a wish” he said.
“I wish…I wish we’ll be friends forever Vic” with that I blew out the candle.
Victor tried to hug me but I remembered he had broken ribs too, so I told him to lie down and get well soon. We ate the little cupcake together and chatted like silly schoolgirls. It felt really good.
I wasn’t sure of when I drifted off, but I remembered Victor whispering in my ears “We’ll be friends forever cos I’ll be in your heart forever”
Morning came. Victor was announced dead. Some unnoticed internal bleeding got him. Let’s not talk about my total devastation and grief.
I wished to lose him in the traffic, and sadly I did.
I once heard a really wise saying. “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it”
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