Chapter Five: Family Ties.

When I got back home, I was expecting grandma to be a little pissed at my earlier behavior. I wasn’t expecting her to be literally seething with anger. She didn’t speak a word to me after I came back, and she ignored all of my greetings, apologies and explanations. When I we sat down for dinner, this happened:

“How was your first day?” My father asked. He wasn’t really interested in knowing, but simply wanted to make idle chat at the dinner table because grandma was loudly chewing the vegetables with her mouth open and making as much noise as she could to show that she was in a bad mood.

“It went alright.” I replied, moving around the bits of broccoli on my plate as far away as possible from the actual pasta. Yes, we were having pasta for dinner.

“You weren’t late?” My father prodded.

I internally groaned. He knew of my unpunctual habit, but didn’t really care about it, because he had never once tried to teach me time management or chastise me on always running late. He just wanted something to talk about. The only problem was the timing, which is completely wrong. I didn’t want the topic to be brought up because I didn’t want grandma to start chewing me out on my behaviors instead of her vegetables.

“How can she be late after leaping out the window like a mentally deranged person and leaving her old grandmother who wanted her to make the best first impression at school, talking to herself. Don’t even get me started on the disrespect. What would the neighbors think about your behavior? You’re a lady! If you can’t be one, then at least act like one!” Grandma lectured, bits of broccoli flying out of her mouth as her voice rose higher and gained pitch with every syllable.

Well, it was too late to pray now.

I kept quiet, not wanting to say something, or try apologizing, in fears that I might get on her nerves more. I gripped my spoon and tried not to move too much, counting my breaths and measuring the distance between my spoon and my mouth.

“What do you have to say about your behavior, Ellie?” My father said in monotone. It was like hearing an amateur actor read out scripts backstage. He sounded bored, uninterested, unbothered, and completely detached from the situation.

“I’m sorry.” I apologized out loud, dropping my spoon on the table napkin next to my plate, and slumping both my shoulders.

“Oh, you’re sorry? That’s exactly what your mother said when she ran away with another man and left you to us as a baby! Did her ‘sorry’ change anything?

My father dropped his spoon with a clang, at the mention of my mother. He sighed and clenched his jaw, glaring at grandmother like he wanted to say something to her, but he didn’t.

I felt something under my ribcage crack a little.

Sigh… Here’s part of the background history. My mother was a childhood celebrity that fell out of fame and fortune. She married my dad at seventeen while he was still in jail for illegal possession of an assault weapon (one of his many crimes, and the only one he actually got punished for), because he was her childhood ‘best friend’ and she had a ‘thing’ for criminals. Yeah, my mother is off her rockers. Soon enough, she got bored of our little happy family after she gave birth to me and took off with a mafia drug dealer.

She left a note that read: ‘I’m Sorry! Tell Ellie I love her.

And that was it. I’ve never seen her in real life. Only her pictures, and sometimes when I stare at my reflection long enough in the mirror, I notice the features I didn’t get from my father, and I theorize that they must’ve belonged to her.

Her absence was part of the reason my father immersed himself into the life of crime to forget her. Or maybe he was hoping she’d come back to him when he had enough assault charges on his back. When the noose tightened around his neck, he realized she wasn’t coming back, and gave up the thug life. At least I’d like to think he did.

I still don’t know exactly why we moved back to North-Winds.

I thickly swallowed the chunk of pasta I had in my mouth without chewing and felt it painfully slide down my throat. The wooden chair scrapped on the floorboards as I moved backwards, and wordlessly stood up from my chair. My vision was rapidly being blurred by the tears, and the anger I felt at the realization that I was crying made me even more pissed.

Mostly pissed at myself for not being over my family issues already.

Someone, I think my grandmother, was calling my name, but I didn’t even turn back. I headed straight for my room, and when I entered, shut the door behind me and locked it.

Listen carefully, because it gets violent from here.

The poor pillows were mostly the recipients of my rage, as I battered them with my Chemistry textbook that had been opened on the floor when I tried to do homework earlier, before dinner.

I didn’t even know why I was angry. My mother, as always, had an influence on me even though she had never been in my life since after my birth. Maybe that was what pissed me off. Or maybe it was the sarcastic words of my grandmother. Or maybe it was this fucking town with its fucking shitty… I don’t even know what! Or maybe it was just my pathetic life.

After exhausting all the methods of torture and physical pain I could inflict on the pillows, I sat on the floor cross-legged, staring up at the ceiling and bawling my eyes out.

A minute passed, an hour maybe…

I wasn’t counting.

Finally, I exhausted my tears. The room felt stuffy and uncomfortable, so I got up to open my windows and let the fresh air in.

The moon stared back at me in pity. There were no visible stars in the sky, but the air felt clean, fresh, and wonderful. I took a deep breath and sighed, leaning my head on the window frame.

Directly opposite my window, the blinds were pulled apart, the lights turned on. I could see part of the room, painted white with minimal furniture’s and an overflowing bookshelf in my full view. I was wondering if this was Jason’s room, and how he saw me jump out my window when a form appeared at the window.

For a moment, he stood there, staring out towards my window. Then he waved enthusiastically. I waved back with less enthusiasm and was about to close the windows and the blinds when Jason signaled for me to stop.

I hesitatingly paused and waited for him to write down something on a large white sheet of printing paper. He scribbled it down in large fonts and held it up to the window. I still had to squint to see the writing because the distance was a bit considerable and my eyes were puffy and tired. Plus, my eyesight is pretty bad, but I’m too lazy to get glasses.

‘I saw you murder the pillows. I’ve witnessed your crime.’ It read.

I stupidly remembered that my curtains had been drawn apart and lifted while I threw the anger tantrum. Undoubtedly, he had probably seen everything.

I searched around my room for something to write on, and since I didn’t have any printing paper, grabbed an old calendar that dated back to 2009 off the wall, and wrote in it with a faulty black marker.

‘I will accuse u of stalking, if u tell’ I showed him.

Jason laughed, shaking his head, and then he scribbled something on another paper.

‘I won’t tell. But for real, are you ok?

I gave him a vigorous nod, and thumbs up, then quickly closed the window and lowered the curtains so he couldn’t see through the room any longer.

I sighed and plopped onto my bed. It was the same one I had used when I was five, and the bed, being accustomed to having me dramatically fling myself at it, gave a little creek of protest.

Now there you have it; a summary of how my Monday night, and family dinner went.

The thought of a shower sounded nice, but I had pages of Chemistry and English assignments to complete, and readings to do. I wasn’t a person you’d particularly categorize as smart. I didn’t get extraordinarily good grades, but I managed. However, I was determined to have perfect grades this school year, in the slim possibility that I might apply for college scholarships.

So, I sacrificed taking a shower for homework, and promised myself that I would wake up early the next day, and give myself enough time to get ready, have breakfast, and walk leisurely to North-Winds High.

Next chapter