Keeping on Track (Short Story-Chapter 1)

Lily

“DON’T!” I scream caving my body in. I won’t let him near me. He can’t come near me. “Touch. Me.”

“Okay!” He holds his hands up in surrender as if he’s the innocent one. Maybe he is, I wouldn’t know. The lines keep blurring between good and evil, right and wrong, what’s in focus and blurred. My dress strap is still hanging limply over my shoulder, just hanging there. I see him have a quick glance but it isn’t. His eyes scan from my shoulder over to my breasts and stay there before I cross my arms breaking the ‘moment’ between my body and him.

“Lily…” I go to stand up in anger and end up toppling back on the bed. Shit. More drunk than I thought. “Let me help you…”

“Get. Off. Me!” I lean my head forward in dismay. Okay, this feels slightly better. I rise slowly sticking my bum out as I do. Better…better…I rise my head up and straighten my body. I can do this. I run out the house. I run and run and run. Past the flashing colour lights, past my ‘friends’, past the table of drinks and punch. Out. I need to be free. I need to breathe, now.

Ben

My feet pound the ground; one, two, one, two, one…two. How could she do this to me? My MUM of all people. MUM the only person who made home made feel like a home than just a place to go for food and shelter. My MUM, the only person who encouraged me to be me and not like the other boys because, I’m not.

“Cellophane, Mr. Cellophane shoulda been my name

Mr. Cellophane ’cause you can look right through me

Walk right by me and never, ever, know I’m there”

 Kurt belted out the last note through my TV speakers. It was so beautiful how he just stood there for everything he believed in, with no fear of anyone as long as he was on stage. “Mr Cellophane,” yeah that seemed about right. Just invisible, no one knowing I’m there in the school hallways but me, better I’m not there in the first place. I’m better on a rooftop looking across to the pebble beach and pier. Nothing but sea and sky. My perfection. That’s better learning than sitting in a stuffy classroom about some square root of some number. Instead, I learn how the world interacts from my rooftop; what’s right, what’s wrong, that no-one’s perfect and that everyone has a story.

Thump, thump, thump. I pause the Glee pilot, not that I knew it word for word after all these years anyway. “Hello?” I feel like one of those fools in a horror film, by saying ‘hi’ I’m expecting someone to just poke their head round and say “hi” as if nothing’s wrong. Typically, I get nothing.

I poke my head round the doorway. I see a silhouette and jump out my skin. Someone WAS there. Shit the bed. “Mum?”

“Benjamin? Is that you?” Her eyes don’t look directly at me as she speaks in the dim light. Her puffy eyes suggest that’s she’s been crying.

“Mum?”

For the first time in years she looks me directly in the eye, so sternly I feel seven years old again.

“Good luck with your dad sweetie” and walks straight out the door, her suitcase trailing behind her.

No, no, no, no, no. Dad, who thinks I’m a freak of nature. Dad, who wanted to try again to get a better son. Who only spoke to me when I did something right like grade A’s or something. Dad, dad, dad, nonononono.

So I run, I run to the only place I know I can change this. The train station. I’m running away.

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