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.