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12/17/2013

From Farm to Fame: Lexie- Chapter 5

Going back to school seemed strange. I hadn’t been since before Christmas break; one week of classes followed Christmas break, and two weeks of exams followed after that. I hadn’t been to school in over a month. I didn’t even write my final exams, I’d write them with my finals from the second semester; there would have been no way I would have passed, I’d hardly done any review and I was still having too hard of a time to be able to focus. I still didn`t want to go back to school, I just felt like I needed to. I needed to try and regain some normalcy in my life, whatever that meant; spending a few hours a day with the distraction of school seemed like a good place to start. Besides I knew it was what mom and dad would want, they would want us to go back to school and give our best effort, they'd just want to see us do well in our lives; I wanted to believe that they were still watching over us somehow and I had to make them proud.

It didn’t take long after walking through the front doors and into the lobby to realize that everybody was staring at me and it made me uncomfortable. “Everybody is looking at me, do I have something on my face or something?” I asked Jayson. I realized after I asked that it was because everybody was still worried about how I was holding up, or at least they were faking it because it seemed like the right thing to do.

“You know why everybody’s looking at you…”

“I know, but nobody even noticed me before, so why do they have to do so now? Besides don’t they have anything new to worry about?”

“People notice you more than you’d like to believe. Especially since you basically haven’t been out of your house in a month, your presence is more noticeable, because it’s kind of unexpected. I don’t think anybody else is going to forget your family that fast either, they were well loved and respected around here.”

“Maybe I just shouldn’t have come back yet, maybe I should go home. I don’t know if I’m ready for this.” 

“No, you need to be here. You’re never going to want to come back; you just need to get it over with. I hate seeing you so miserable, you need stop staying home to sulk, you need to go out and start getting your life back together. Even if it is just for a couple hours at school, it’ll get easier the more you do it.”

I didn’t respond. It was everything I'd already told myself, but it seemed a lot harder to believe in that moment. I knew he was right that I’d just keep saying I didn’t want to go back, and I had to fight that urge to just give up. I just felt so overwhelmed that I wanted to go home anyway.

“Why don’t you stay for your morning classes, and then go home? Then you don’t have to deal with it all day but you aren’t just giving up either?” He suggested after a couple moments of silence.

“That still seems like too long.”

“It’s only a couple hours, and we have the same morning classes anyway, so you don’t have to do it alone.”

“Okay, I'll try it anyway.”I agreed, I was glad I had him there to support me.

I did have to admit that I felt a bit better once I was actually in class. I was too distracted to think too much, and it kept everybody else distracted enough that they forgot all about me like I preffered. Aside from one guy sitting 2 desks in front of me in second period English, but for some reason I didn’t mind his stares. I didn’t recognize him and figured he must be a new student, it was pretty hard to forget a face in Hidden Springs in the first place, but I would have remembered his. He looked away a couple times when Jayson, who was sitting beside me, started talking to me and I just wanted him turn back around to look at me; I thought about trying to ignore Jayson to see if it would help, but I didn't really want to be rude.

Jayson had convinced me by the end of the second period to just stay all day. I was sitting at a table outside waiting for Jayson to buy his lunch and join me when the guy from English came and sat across from me and introduced himself “Hey, I’m Levi. I’m sure you probably noticed me in English...”

“uh…” I couldn’t believe he was actually talking to me, I had no idea how to respond for a moment but looking at his smile made me less nervous. It was rare that I wasn't nervous talking so someone, and especially someone like him. “Yeah, It was pretty hard not to. I’m Lexie by the way.”

“Nice to meet you. So, tell me. What’s with you and that guy you were sitting beside? You seem really close.”

“He’s just a really good friend. We’ve known each other since first grade.”

“I hope that means your single?”

I started to feel a bit nervous again. I couldn’t believe where the conversation seemed to be headed, he couldn’t really be interested in me like that, could he? “uh…yeah…”

“You don’t seem sure about that.”

“I am.”

“Well, if you’re sure. I was wondering if you might like to go out with me sometime?”

“Oh…uh…”Suddenly I really panicked. I was really flattered, and I really wanted to say yes, but I didn’t think I could. I just had too much going on in my life for dating. I was still a mess and I couldn’t imagine dating somebody when I feeling that way; it didn’t really seemed fair to drag him into my mess of a life either. “I’m sorry…”

“I’ll take that as no.” He looked disappointed and started to stand up to walk away.

“I really am sorry. I want to say yes. I just can’t right now, I have too much else going on in my life, I'm just not in that place right now.”

He sat back down. “Well, I’m sorry to hear that. Does this mean we can at least be friends?” He smiled and added “For now, anyway?”

I smiled back. “I think I handle that.”

“Cool.”

There was silence for a moment or two after, I wasn’t good at starting conversation and he didn’t seem to know what to say either. Eventually he made some sort of comment about how cold it was. I laughed, it was a warm day for early February, it was even warm enough that most of the snow was melted, though it had barely been warm enough and it had take about a week. He told me he was from Isla Paradiso; it was never so cold and he'd never seen snow until he arrived in Hidden Springs. Soon we were so lost in conversation that I hardly noticed when Jayson finally sat down beside me.

He was looking slightly confused when I did notice him, nobody ever sat with us so I couldn’t blame him. “Oh. Jayson this is Levi. He's new here, but you probably figured that out. He's in our English class.”

They both said “Hey” before Levi went back to continue what he had been saying.

He was again interrupted when a girl sat beside him and started talking over him. “Hey loser, who are your friends?”

“Jayson and Lexie. And this is my dork of a sister Catrina.” He pointed at the girl and rolled his eyes, looking directly at her as he did so.

Catrina rolled her eyes back at him before looking at me. “I hope he’s not bothering you. He’s always bothering the girls. I'd be careful I were you.”

“I’m not bothering anybody. You’re the one bothering us.” He retorted.

“Whatever. I’ll leave anyway, I don’t actually want to be seen talking to you.” They stuck their tongues out at each other, obviously just joking around. It was funny, but also made me feel a bit sad since the only siblings I’d had that kind of relationship with at all were gone. “It was nice to meet you two.” She added looking at me and Jayson, before walking away.

Catrina and Levi both became really close friends. Between them and Jayson, I almost always had someone to hang out with or talk to, I was seldom alone. I felt a lot better when I was around any of them, they were just great at distracting me an cheering me up. I actually started to feel really happy when I was around them, though it took a bit of time, and I felt incredibly blessed to have all of them in my life.
                                                                            

11/01/2013

From Farm to Fame: Lexie- Chapter 4

I wandered aimlessly through the town, with no idea where I was going, I hoped at some point all the thoughts that were spinning around in my head would vanish, that I would lose them turning a corner or something. In reality it seemed to make my thoughts harder to ignore, though it hardly seemed possible. I knew I should have just turned around to go home long before I did, but I just didn’t want to deal with Zoe because I knew she’d be waiting for me ready to take advantage of how weak I was, she wouldn’t go away because I wanted her to, she would be more determined to stay. I kept thinking that it wouldn’t be long before the cops took me home for breaking town curfew, it only reinforced the idea that I should go home, but I kept going anyway. Eventually I noticed that the sky had turned a brilliant shade of pink and a glow was beginning to peek up over the horizon, it was then I decided to go home, but not before taking a few minutes to enjoy the sunrise. In those few minutes I was so distracted by the beauty of the sunrise that all my thoughts did escape me, it was a welcome break even if it was very brief as all the thoughts of fear and sadness flooded my mind again on the way home.

I stopped at the door, I dreaded going inside. If Zoe was there I would have to deal with her, and if she wasn’t it would be just as eerily quiet and just as lonely and intimidating as it had been the day before, either way it didn't seem very welcoming. Mom wouldn’t be up making her morning coffee and getting ready to sit down and write before the rest of us woke up and she joined us all for breakfast. I wasn’t usually a morning person, but whenever I happened to be up that early, usually because I was upset about something and couldn’t sleep, I would sit down with a cup of tea and mom would give up her writing for the morning to talk with me; it was then that I needed that most. I thought I was going crazy when I saw her out of the corner of my eye, standing beside me. I knew it had to just be my imagination, but I was scared to turn around and realize the space she was standing in was really empty. After a minute or two I closed my eyes, I didn’t want to but I knew I had to, I had to accept that mom wasn’t really there and that when I opened my eyes again she would be gone. Opening my eyes was the hard part, I couldn’t convince myself to do so, with them closed I still pictured mom but it was in the memories I had of her and I didn’t want those to disappear as well.

I heard her voice, it was what she would tell me if she caught me standing outside without a hat or mittens. 
“Go inside, it’s cold out.”  The voice wasn’t just in my head, it came from beside me, it was softer than usual too, and it wasn’t an order but encouragement. It wasn’t a memory of what she’d said to me before, and I wasn’t just seeing things that weren’t really there, I was hearing them too. I thought perhaps I’d gone insane, but it still made feel better to feel like she was there.

“I don’t want to go inside. I’m sure it’s colder in there, unless Zoe is still sleeping. Either way, it’s not exactly warm and inviting.” I knew I probably looked insane talking to myself, but it still made me feel better.

The response was typical of something mom would say, though again slightly softer than normal. “Your sister needs you, and you need her. I know you don’t see it now, but you will someday. You need to look out for each other.”

“Why should I look out for her? She would never do the same for me, and she doesn’t even care about any of this, she’s not upset, she’s doing just fine.”

“Grief is a strange process, sometimes we try to hide our emotions or deny that anything ever happened because it’s too hard to accept reality.”

“She didn’t seem to be denying or hiding anything.”

“Appearances can be deceiving, don't jump to conclusions yet, things may change with time.”

“I doubt it.” I scoffed.

“Just give her a chance, please, for me. I love you both, I want you to look after each other and support each other, and help each other through.”

Her words seemed so sincere and meaningful, so typical of mom, that I began to believe that she was really there. Slowly I opened my eyes, and turned my head to look at her, but she was gone. I knew it was silly to believe that she was really there, but it still hurt to realize she wasn’t. It had all been my imagination. None of was something I hadn’t heard before, and I knew it really was what mom would want at such a trying time, for Zoe and I to look after each other; it was just my mind's twisted way of reminding me of that.

I could hear the TV when I went inside and figured Zoe was up watching it and that I should go check on her. Though I knew she’d never do the same for me, I would make the effort to get along with and look after her, not for her or for me but for mom. I realized shortly after walking into the living room that she had fallen asleep on the sofa; I thought perhaps I should try to get some sleep myself.

I hadn’t expected that I would be able to sleep so well, or at all, but I didn’t wake up again until about 6 in the evening. I felt hungry and decided that it was a good time eat dinner. Zoe was already sitting at the table when I walked into the kitchen, she didn’t even look up at me, which was rare as she usually seemed to be waiting for me so she could throw some insult my way. I didn’t look forward to thought of joining her to eat at the table as I was sure an insult would come to her before long, but after grabbing myself a bowl of cereal, because I didn’t feel much like cooking and cereal for some odd reason always seemed to act as a comfort food, I sat down at the other end of the table. I noticed that she had a sandwich that didn’t appear to have been touched and she seemed to be lost in thought. Perhaps she wasn't quite as heartless as I'd believed her to be, perhaps there were some feelings of sadness running through her mind after all.

I didn’t really know what to say, though for some reason an apology came to mind, not that I felt she really deserved one, but it seemed like what I had to do to reach out to her and let her know that I was there if she need support.Still, forcing myself to say the words was nearly impossible, “So… uh… I’m sorry, for last night.”

“No you’re not, don’t lie.” She snapped.

“I am, and I want you to know that I’m here, if you need someone to talk to or whatever.”

“Like I’d talk to you, you don’t mean it, you don’t care. Nobody cared about me. So if you want to know why I don’t care, that’s why. I don’t need to talk to you about anything, because I don’t even care.” She was yelling slightly by the end, and she wasted no time standing up and storming out of the room when she was done.

It caught me off guard seeing the side of her that was obviously hurting, despite her denial, because I had honestly believed that Zoe wasn't capable of experiencing emotions other than joy for other's misery and annoyance at anybody who got in her way. Shesuddenly seemed so vulnerable and human, different from the monster I'd grown up knowing. I felt like I should go after her and talk to her. Even Zoe didn't deserve to believe that nobody cared about her and I actually felt bad for her. I was just at the bottom of the steps ready to go upstairs after Zoe and the doorbell rang. I debated for a minute which way to go.

I decided to answer the door, figuring it might be family starting to show up and I didn't want to leave them out in the cold, Zoe would still be there in a few minutes. I was relieved to see that it was Uncle Ian. He looked horrible, him and mom were so close and it was no surprise that he would be taking it really hard. I would have wished to be seeing him under different circumstances, but I was relieved that he was there; it seemed less scary and lonely with him there.

Uncle Ian was the first to show up, but it wasn't long before everybody else wanting to pay their respects start arriving in town; Grandma and Grandpa Watson, Uncle Nate, Aunts Elizabeth and Merissa, Maya, even Ericka managed to show up, and of course countless friends of mom, dad, Shane, and Camden, many of whom I’d never met. People who should be celebrating Christmas were gathering around to mourn the loss of their friends and family. What should be a happy time of year was filled with grief and sorrow. Memorial services were held when people should have been attending Christmas parties and having dinners with their loved ones. It just seemed so wrong and unfair.

By the time all the memorial services were done and over with I was beyond tired of dealing with people and was relieved that slowly people were starting to leave town again. There were just too many people around all the time, and though I knew they meant well I still got tired of people constantly asking me if I was okay and if there was anything they could do for me. I just wanted to be left alone to handle my grief in peace and without the feeling that the whole world was watching me. The only one who had left me alone was Zoe, she still wasn't talking to me despite my efforts to talk to her, and although I knew it was only because she was upset and not because she was trying to be supportive I was still grateful.

9/05/2013

From Farm to Fame: Lexie- Chapter 3

I kept myself leaned back against the door as I continued to process what had happened, the longer I was there the more the silence crept up on me; the house was seldom so quiet and when it was it never lasted for so long. Somebody was almost always home and awake even at the oddest hours; the TV was almost always on, somebody was always on the phone or talking whoever happened to be home or even a group of friends they had over, somebody stomping around and slamming door mad because they got in trouble, Shane throwing a party because mom and dad weren’t home. There were always the normal household sounds of day to day life that we tuned out too; footsteps as people walked through the house, keys clicking away as somebody typed away on the computer, water running through the washing machine and clothes being tossed around in the dryer, water boiling in a pot on the stove or something frying in the frying pan, water running from a tap, the fireplace crackling; all those little noises that were just so common and hardly noticeable over louder noises that we had no need to pay attention to them, but suddenly I was very aware of their absence. Eventually it became unbearable and I felt like I needed some fresh air.

I stepped outside, but it didn't make me feel any better. It didn’t take long to realize that the van wasn’t parked outside like usual, if I hadn’t known it would never be there again it wouldn’t have bothered me since I would have assumed it would be there in a couple hours when everybody else got home. The van was seldom used, it was old and ugly and guzzled gas, it was only used for family trips when we needed the extra space and of course mom and dad taught us to drive with the van as opposed to their expensive luxury cars; it was normal to see it just parked on the street right outside the house, it was weirder when it wasn't there. It had a few dents in it here and there  from enduring 4 teenagers learning to drive on it, despite seldom being driven it was still always heaped with garbage, and stained from all that had been spilled inside it, it was a mess, but  I couldn’t even imagine what it would look like if I saw it again. I felt lonelier outside too, despite how busy the neighbourhood was; there was a couple walking past across the street, a lady walking her dog down the street on the same side of the house, my neighbour to left out shovelling the side walk, and my neighbour to the right was talking to somebody on their lawn. They were all more or less strangers to me, despite Hidden Springs being such a small town where everybody seemed to know everybody else; I just didn’t really talk to anybody around town. It was a very large, very intimidating world.

I turned to go back inside, I could feel the tears coming, but never made it before I completely lost it and broke down. I didn’t even realize that I was still sitting there when I felt somebody gently lifting me up. I didn’t see who it was as I had my face buried between my knees and my arms wrapped tightly around them. I did recognize the voice softly encourage me to go inside. It was Jayson, I’d completely forgotten he was supposed to come over, but I was glad he was there.
I followed him as wrapped his arm across my back and shoulders and led me inside. 

Once inside he pulled me into a hug. Normally I’d protest such contact with him, but it made me feel slightly less horrible, I rested my head on his shoulder and cried for a little while longer. He didn’t move or say anything until I stopped and started to pull away. “What happened? Are you okay?”

I shook my head “No, I’m not okay.” I didn’t know if I could answer the part about what happened.

“Why? What happened?” I could hear the concern in his voice, and I felt relieved that I at least had him, I knew I could count on him for anything.

I just shook my head, it didn’t really answer the question, but I really didn’t want to.

“Lexie, please tell me. I’ve never seen you this upset, I’m worried. Please tell me so I can help.”

I didn’t even bother trying to use full sentences; I just wanted as few words as possible, because they all hurt to say. “Car crash.” I paused to take a deep breath and tried to calm myself down a bit. “Mom, dad, Shane, Camden…” I stopped. I couldn’t say the last word, dead.

I didn’t need to, he seemed to pick up on what I meant right away and pulled me back into a hug, even tighter than the last one. “I’m so sorry Lexie. Is there anything I can do for you?”

What could anybody do? The only thing that could help was having my family back, and that was impossible for anybody to do for me. “No. I’m… there’s… nobody can do anything.”

“Okay. Let me know if you change your mind. Anything, anytime, I’m here for you.”

“Thank-you.”

“How about somewhere to stay? Do you need somewhere to stay ? I know my parents won’t mind if you crash with us for a bit.”

“No, I’m okay here. I need to be her for Zoe anyway, and my aunts and uncles, and Maya, will probably start showing up within the next couple days anyway.”

“Okay, well again, let me know if that changes.”

“I will. Thanks.”

It was a couple hours before he left. We played video games and chatted about anything we thought of besides the accident, it was a good distraction for a little while. He only left because I felt like being alone. I appreciate him looking out for me and trying to make me feel better, but I just needed to let myself cry and be miserable again, and I really wanted to do so alone for a while. I started a fire in the fireplace and sat down in one of the rocking chairs in front of it; when I was little mom would rock me back and forth until I stopped crying about whatever was upsetting me, we still often sat in the chairs talking over whatever was bugging me even as I got older, sitting there made me feel closer to mom even if she wasn’t there.

I sat there crying for most of the evening, until the crying started to give me a headache. I was just getting up to try and find some Advil or something when I heard a car door slam outside. It would be Zoe, and I was hit with the realization that she still didn’t know and I’d have to be the one to tell her. I hadn’t even thought about how I had to tell her, and I certainly hadn’t thought about how to do so. I tried to start thinking about what I would say before she got in the house, I couldn’t just blurt it out. I wanted to break it to her as gently as possible, I hated her but I didn’t want to inflict that kind of pain on her; I couldn’t even do that to my worst enemy, which is exactly what she was.

Obviously I couldn’t hide that something happened and that I’d been crying, because Zoe didn’t waste a second before pointing it out and snickering, “Wow crying already, and I didn’t even have to do anything. This should be a fun week.”

I tried to just ignore that comment; surely she’d understand when I told her. “Zoe…” I took a deep breath, why me? Why I did I have to be the bearer of bad news? It didn’t seem fair. “They were all killed.”

“And you’re sad about that? Why weren’t you with them?” she sneered.

I had to clench my fists to keep from punching her, or cursing her. I imagined mom walking in to yell at us to stop fighting, and realized it was best to not fight with her, but it was hard to fight the urge to.“ Yes I’m sad about that.” I snapped in response. “I’m not a heartless bitch.” I started to storm off, I wasn’t really sure where I wanted to go, I just had to get away from her. I wanted to curse her or punch her, just hurt her somehow, but it didn’t feel like the right time to start a fight with her; I didn’t have the energy to deal with it. I turned back before stepping out of the living room “You know it’s not a surprise that you would have wished I was there. I’m surprised that you don’t care that your parents are dead, or your brothers, I’m surprised that you couldn’t even care about one of them. I thought even you were better than that. You’re not, you disgust me.  I hate that I’m stuck with you now, that you’re all I have and that I have to deal with all of this while still trying to put up with you. So if you could do me a huge favour, the only thing you ever have to do for me, and just stay the hell out of my life I’d appreciate it.”

I turned back around and continued walking out of the living room, to the front door, and then down the street; I still didn’t know where I was going, I just needed to get out of the house, perhaps nowhere really, maybe I’d just walk until I started to feel better and turn back around for home. Though I supposed if I did that I’d never turn around for home, I couldn’t imagine ever feeling better.


8/15/2013

From Farm to Fame: Lexie- Chapter 2

Another day, or weekend as the case may be, that I remembered far too well was the weekend I missed the family ski trip. As a tradition to have some fun and do some family bonding, we took a ski trip every year on the last weekend before Christmas; this was often the only weekend that everybody was home together aside from the weekend which followed Christmas, but then we usually had too many guests over for any family bonding time. Camden, like Zoe, studied away from home, though in his case it was because he had chosen to attend the Dribbledine Sports Academy, not because he was forced to go to military school for bad behaviour; usually they took their summer breaks at different times as the schools went by what was common in that region. The ski trip had been tradition since we were about 10 or so, and I was 16 that year, so it felt weird to miss it; I felt guilty, though it was only because I was too sick to go. Zoe missed that year too, school had let out late that year for their Christmas break and her flight had also been delayed due to severe weather, so she wouldn’t be home until the Sunday when everybody else was due home. I was relieved I wasn’t the only one missing the trip, but also sad that I was missing a nice trip without Zoe.

I enjoyed the ski trip every year, even if I was forced to go with Zoe. Zoe never joined us on the slopes anyway, she usually just spent her time hanging out in the lodge or wandering around causing trouble. Mom seldom hit the slopes herself, and usually just spent the day writing despite dad’s efforts to convince her to take a break from it for the weekend. It was usually just dad, Camden, Shane, and myself on the slopes; we often raced each other, usually dad won, but he had more experience than we did and we enjoyed reminding him that one day we would all be able to beat him. In the evening was when the whole family hung out together, sipping hot chocolate by the fire and catching up on each other lives. It was one of the few times I could even tolerate being in the same room as Zoe as it was one of the few times she didn’t bother to argue with or insult me. I was going to miss that the most, Hidden Springs had many places to ski so I didn’t miss that too much because I could go anytime, I just missed spending that time with my family, it was one of the few times I felt comfortable being around and talking to so many people, even if it was my own family.

I felt better by Saturday morning, and felt worse for not going since I could have at least enjoyed part of the weekend.  I decided to spend some time at the winter festival that was going on that weekend, so I could at least do something fun myself; Jayson was supposed to meet me at my house on Sunday morning so we could go together. I figured if I went in the morning I would be home when everybody else got there so I could listen to all the stories they had from the weekend, I wouldn’t want to stay more than a couple hours anyway as it was too exhausting putting up with so many people around me. It was about the same time Jayson was supposed to be there that the doorbell rang, so assuming it was him I put on my coat and boots before opening the door so I’d be ready to go. It wasn’t Jayson. It was a police officer; it wasn’t uncommon for the police to show up at our door, when Zoe was around she was almost always in trouble for something and often got brought home by the cops, and it wasn’t uncommon for Shane to be brought home by them for breaking curfew. It seemed weird for an officer to be at the house when Zoe and Shane weren’t around, I thought for a moment that Zoe had arrived home a few hours early and was already in trouble but since the officer was alone that didn’t make sense. Dad also happened to be good friends with the officer, and he often visited the house to visit dad, but I figured he would have known about the ski trip. I noticed he looked rather grim, but I couldn’t figure out why he would be there. “Dad’s out of town, he’ll be home in a few hours, should be on the way now.” I reminded him. “I can let him know you stopped by if you’d like.”

He looked down and shifted around awkwardly. I thought perhaps I saw a tear in his eye before he looked down. He heard him take a deep breath before he said anything. “Unfortunately, I am not here to see your father. I am here on business.”

“Oh. Okay, umm…” I wasn’t sure what to say, I didn’t know what he was there for, but I really didn’t have a good feeling. I gestured for him to come inside, it was too cold for him to stay outside while he was there.

He step inside and let me shut the door behind him before speaking again. “Lexie, I’m really sorry.” He paused for a moment and seemed to be pondering what to say next, it only made me worry more about why he was there. “There was a fatal accident on the highway this morning.” He continued before pausing again, suddenly I realized where he was going, but I wanted to deny it.

I hung my head and shook it slowly, “Please don’t finish that.”

“Your family was involved. They were all pronounced dead at the scene.”

I didn’t even know how to respond. I didn’t believe what I’d just heard. It couldn’t be real. It was the type of story I heard about on the news, it was a tragedy that happened to other people, it couldn’t be happening to me. It wasn’t fair. I wanted to ask for details, I wanted to know exactly how it happened so I could make sense of it, but I really didn't want to know details and have their image haunt me. I didn’t know if I should cry or what, I didn’t know what to do. I was still trying to process what happened and what it meant, I looked back up at his face hoping he’d  crack a smile or something and tell me it was a joke; it would be a sick joke but it would be better than it being reality. He never did smile and held the same grim expression he’d had since I’d opened the door; he seemed about as unsure of what to do as I was.

He proceeded to speak after a moment or two. “We’ve already started to contact the rest of your family. Everybody so far will be in as soon as they get here, though likely that will take at least a day or two.  Are you okay on your own, or is there anybody you can stay with in the meantime?”

“I think I’m okay, I do have people I can call if I need to." I didn't really, but I did know I had Jayson to call if I needed anything."I should wait for Zoe anyway, she’ll be home soon.”

“Alright. I should also inform you that there are resources available to you and your sister at this time, to help you grieve and to help with the transition into life on your own, should you need them. You can contact the station at any time and we help you with accessing those resources. Also speaking now as your father’s friend, you and your sister are welcome to contact me personally at any time should you need anything at all, I know your father would want you to be well taken care of and I want to make sure that I help in any way I can.”


“Thanks Doug. I’ll let you know if I need anything.” I shut the door behind him as he walked away, and leaned back against it after doing so. I was still processing what I’d just heard, and what it meant. My parents were gone; I’d just been orphaned. My siblings were gone too, other than Zoe who I didn’t get along with, Maya who lived far away, and Ericka who hadn’t spoken to the family in years. I felt so alone; I was scared. 

7/18/2013

From Farm to Fame: Lexie- Chapter 1

I remember the day well; the sun shining bright and warming the school yard, kids screaming and running through the grass playing tag and climbing on the playground equipment and laughing with their friends.  Only one little girl from the first grade was hiding in the shade cast by the shadow of the school building, standing beside the corner furthest from where all her classmates were playing. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to play with her classmates because she did, very desperately, but her classmates never wanted to play with her as they thought she was too weird. That was all her sister’s doing, as she had spent a lot of time convincing everybody of that and nobody ever dared to question a thing she said. Zoe hated pretty much everybody, and bullied everybody she hated; she just hated her sister more than anybody else. It was the fear of being on Zoe’s bad side and the desire to try and get on her good side that led everybody to accept whatever she said whether they believed it or not, but after a while they did start to believe everything they’d been told. The little girl stood there every day trying to hide from the insults of her classmates and watched them with a desperate desire to someday fit in; not that she actually believed she ever would.

The little girl knew that she blended in with the shadows because that’s all she was herself, she was just a shadow herself; if stayed back and out of the way nobody would notice her but if she stepped forward and cast her shadow upon her classmates they would notice her. The only one who ever really bothered her while she hid in the shadows was Zoe because she was bored and had nobody else to bully. So it was a pleasant surprise that day when a new boy at school joined her and started talking to her like they were already best friends and had been the whole year. She’d been watching him for several minutes already, he was a very geeky looking kid and definitely wouldn’t need anybody’s help making himself look like a loser and creating reasons for the other kids to bully him. He just didn’t seem to care that everybody was laughing at him; he’d been going around trying to join all the different cliques of students in their games.  She was his last choice, typical, she was always picked last, but she didn’t really care since it was the first time anybody had even tried to talk to her like a friend; she was still just happy to have a friend who wasn’t her mom.

However, it wasn’t long before somebody came along to ruin her happiness, and of course the one to ruin it would be Zoe. She was walked over towards them from the playground with a large grin on her face. This time it was the geeky boy, Jayson that she chose as her victim. 

She looked him up and down and snickered, “Welcome to school four-eyes.” She reached for his glasses, large black frames, they looked like they belonged to Harry Potter, he would look better without them but it wasn't the point. “Try to find your way around now.” She laughed and started to walk away.

The little girl felt defensive of her new friend, and found the courage to stand up for him, though she’d never been able to stand up for herself. She was always hiding behind her mom, her teachers, or taking cover in the shadows, but she her desire to help her new friend went deeper than her fear of her sister. “Give him back his glasses.”

She glared at the little girl with annoyance and disgust as she turned back around. “No. Why should I?”

“Because he needs them, and you’re just being mean. Stop it.”

“No. Being nice is for losers, like you.” She laughed and started to run away with the glasses. “If you want them back you’ll have to come get them."

The little girl didn’t even think twice about following after her sister and getting back her friends glasses even though Zoe was faster and strong and could definitely win as long as she wanted to. She fell further and further behind until Zoe stopped in the middle of the playground to wait for her, far from the little girls comfort zone in the shade. 

A crowd started gathering around out of curiosity and was watching to figure out what was going on. Zoe started swinging the glasses around, laughing the whole time, as the little girl tried to catch them and pull them free. Eventually, the little girl did manage to catch them and started to pull them away from her sister’s hands. Instead of simply trying to pull them back towards herself, because she was definitely strong enough to win a tug-of-war with the classes, Zoe decided it was just better to shove her sister at the ground. Sure, she got the glasses back but they shattered as they fell with her, and she couldn’t even pick them up and stand up again before she was being kicked back down by her sister. It was only the bell that saved her, recess was over, and Zoe and the crowd that had gathered around ran back towards the school laughing. The little girl was still outside crying several minutes later, but had at least avoided further harm, when her new friend and a teacher found her a little while later.

It seemed like everything changed that day. The little girl had formed a strong friendship with Jayson; it couldn’t be broken as easily as his glasses had, if anything the incident just did more to strengthen their friendship. She wanted nothing to do with her sister after the incident, she was only 6 and already been bullied for years by her sister but had still clung to the hope that someday they would get along the way siblings were supposed to despite any sibling rivalry; sibling rivalry was normal and she could handle that as long as they were friends between the fights, but there was no sibling rivalry between them, just sibling hatred and suddenly that hatred went both ways. She was used to her sister insulting her and hitting or kicking her, but never had it been anything so vicious, she was covered in very painful bruises and the emotional scars would last long after the bruises faded away. Any shred of self-confidence she had left was gone too, though she had little of that to lose; if her own sister hated her so much, how could anyone else ever like her? Something had to be wrong with her. 

That little girl was me, Lexie Watson, little Lexie loser as I was better known by my classmates and had been nicknamed by my sister.


Zoe was sent away to boarding school after that day, mom and dad were furious. I was happy that there were so many less days in which I had to put up with my sister, only the odd week or two where she was home for break, I hated being anywhere near her. I still hid in the shadows as much as possible, right through elementary and middle school and into high school. It was harder to hide with Jayson by my side, he was bold and outgoing and completely unafraid to be himself, no matter how weird he was. He constantly dragged a spotlight into the shadows and focused all the attention on us.  By high school everybody was convinced we were dating, but I could never imagine dating him. He was my closest friend, my only friend other than my mom, but I just didn’t like him that way. Though some days I wondered if I would just have to accept that he would be my only chance to ever have a boyfriend, I was pretty sure that he did like me that way, but I didn’t like to think about it.

It was increasingly awkward to talk to him about some things as I got older, and talking to mom about some things was awkward too. I didn’t really have anybody I could just talk to about anything and everything, I didn’t have a girl best friend who I knew all my secrets and feelings that I just couldn’t tell anybody else. I could talk about a lot with Jayson and my mom, but not everything. It was one day that my Aunt Elizabeth was visiting, and I’d convinced her to let me play with her guitar and teach me how to play a few notes, that I learned how freeing music was. It felt like all my worries would float away into the air with each note and get lost somewhere. I eventually convinced mom and dad to buy me my very own guitar. It became my best friend that I could tell everything to, it listened to every word I said and it never judged me no matter what I told it. It knew all my secrets, fears, and feelings; it knew everything about me, but it would never tell anybody else. It was my shoulder to cry on and it just carried away my tears and calmed me with it soothing melodies strumming along in perfect harmony to my voice.


That was me, the school loser who was only friends with her mom some really geeky kid, and a guitar. I was lame and pathetic, and I often wished I could be anybody but me. Mom was always telling me I just need to stop hiding in the shadows and behind my guitar, I had to just learn to embrace who I was and be confidant in myself and others would see how awesome I really was. I didn’t believe her; she just said that because she was my mom and it was what mothers did. I always hoped she was right though, and that someday I could find the courage to take her advice.

5/05/2013

From Farm to Fame: Haylie- Chapter Twenty-seven

Lexie remained mommy’s girl as she grew up. I’d hoped when she started school she would make some friends and not spend so much time following me around. Not that I didn’t love her and having her around, she was a brilliant and sweet little girl and I really enjoyed her company and she’d learned to accept that I just wanted my own space sometimes and would go do her own thing without sulking. It was because I loved her so much, that I wanted to see her make new friends and do new things; I wanted to see her reach her full potential in life and I felt like her shyness was holding her back. She was comfortable around me, and she was too scared to talk to anybody else. It wasn’t until I got an unfortunate phone call from the school that I understood why she wanted to spend so much time around me and why she wouldn’t talk to anybody else. She’d been beat up on the playground at school, by her own sister. She was seeking security, because she knew I’d protect her. I just didn’t know how to make it better for her, but I worried she’d end up like Ericka at some point, rebelling because she didn’t fit in and wanted attention.

Max and I sent Zoe away to military school after that. It hadn’t been the first time we’d been called down to the school for her behaviour, in fact it happened often, but it had never been for beating anybody up; I’d thought we were past those days in her toddler years where she would attack her siblings. I’d never been so angry with one of my children before, and I’d never yelled so much at one of them. I talked to Lexie after the incident and learned that Zoe was always bullying somebody, and it was often her siblings, and it wasn’t the first time she’d resorted to violence either, she’d just never been caught before. I just didn’t know what we would do if military school didn’t teach her to behave, it scared me to think about what could happen if she kept down the path she was on. I worried for her siblings and her other victims, but for her as well because I just wanted so many good things for all my children and I wanted them to grow into mature and responsible individuals.

Shane was still the centre of attention even at school. There was just something about him that made people love him. He was really a sweet boy, and was really outgoing and friendly, for that it wasn’t a surprise. I’d just worried about him being teased for his eye colour, kids could be so cruel, and would pick on anybody who was just a little bit different. Zoe already teased him over it constantly and I’d worried other kids would too, but they didn’t. I was happy he had so many friends, but he was hardly home. He was always at a friend’s house, and when he wasn’t he had friends over at our house, and they’d camp out in the backyard, so even when he was home I hardly ever got to talk to him.

Camden was more like his daddy every day, and I knew Max loved it though he’d never admit it in case somebody else felt left out. Camden was the one who was interested in sports and becoming a superstar athlete someday just like his daddy. We let him go to Dribbledine Sports Academy for schooling, because it was where Max went so it was where he wanted to go, and it was good training for him in his pursuit to be an athlete, though he was still young enough to change his mind later on, it was what he wanted then and he was a good kid so I was happy to send him. Max loved training him when he was home too, and having somebody who understood sports. The rest of us didn’t, I faked an interest to be supportive of Max, but I knew he could tell that’s all I was doing and trying to converse with me about something I didn’t understand was useless, so I was happy Camden shared that interest, it was good for both of them.

Ericka had started communicating with Chase, which I completely hated the idea of. He’d shown up at my front door a few more times over the years since the time where Ericka ran away, and he’d called a few times as well. I just ignored him every time, and he’d seemed to get the hint eventually. Yet he’d recently decided to try getting in touch with the twins. Maya completely refused to talk to him, but Ericka wanted to get to know him. I wanted to refuse to let her, but I knew she’d go behind my back and do so anyway, and I wanted to be able to monitor their conversations, because I really didn’t trust him. They mostly talked on facebook, and I read through every conversation they had. I knew she hated that I did that, and I knew that Chase knew I did, so he was probably on his best behaviour, but I didn’t like to worry about what they talked about or what he was up to. It was the conversation about how much she hated living with Max and wanted to go live with him because he was so much cooler that stung, she was the one who suggested it, but he agreed to let her as long as I approved of it. I really didn’t, but I just knew if I didn’t he run away somewhere anyway, and at least if I let her, I’d know where she was; I definitely didn’t let her go without threatening to put Chase back in his grave if he didn’t take extremely good care of her. If I ever found out he was using her, hurt her in anyway, or got her into drugs and alcohol, he would most definitely regret it. I wanted to believe that he was actually trying to be a good parent as it seemed, but I had a hard time doing so. She didn’t talk to me again after she left, despite my efforts to call her, and I hardly even got a goodbye. 

Maya stayed in art school until university, where she went to study with a full scholarship and distinguished award in the fine arts granting her several extra credits. I was impressed with her dedication to art, and I was so proud sending her off to university. She was surprisingly mature and responsible for being only 18, and she had yet to enter anything resembling a rebellious phase. I did of course worry about sending her to university, and that she would find trouble there. It would be a very different world from art school, art school didn’t have the party atmosphere that university had, or I didn’t imagine it did anyway. I didn’t worry too much about her though, because she was so responsible. It was a bit surprising how much I missed her when she left for university though, I was used to her being away and I missed her every time, but I hadn’t missed her that much since her first time going away. I guess it was because it was the new first, the first time she would go away, and might not come back. Eventually she wouldn’t come home for the summers, and would move into her own house; she would get married and have children of her own, and of course I wanted that for her, but it was still very hard to accept her growing up that much and venturing into the world all on her own.


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This brings us to the end of the generation. It's really hard to believe it's that time, it's been more than a year, and saying good-bye to Haylie's generation is a bit hard, but I've completely enjoyed the last year and look forward to the next generation. Thank-you so much for everybody who's followed and given me reason to continue for last year, you guys are awesome! ♥ The heir vote will be up following this (likely you will have seen it already if you've seen this) so please vote, even if you usually lurk but don't comment (I'm sure there are some lurkers out there).