Wednesday, October 12, 2011

'Beth, I hear ya callin, but I can't come home right now..'

'Beth' by Glee Cast gently floats around the room. Although the song may be sad, on this day it brings good spirits. As much as I miss Bethie, I'm not going to be depressed on her birthday, definitely NOT! I have to be happy and smile. No matter what happened between Peter and I. No matter that we're.. over. I won't get choked up. Feel free to stop me if I do.

Later that day, I half-skip outside and all the way into town where a Canada Post office was located inside of Shopper's Drug Mart. I lick the flap of Bethie's parcel and smooth it downwards. I am quite satisfied with Bethie's gift. Every sister has contributed. A card here, a poem there, a painting, a pocket purse.. Hopefully she'll enjoy it, I say to myself. But I know she will.

'Oh Beth, what can I do?' I hum to myself. 'Beth, I know you're lonely..'

I feel my phone vibrate in my pocket. It's a text from Erin:

"sonny, i know you're sentimental and all but get your ass back home so we can get this skype thing over with. kirsten might piss herself if you don't hurry up."

I used to laugh at these texts from Erin, but I'd gotten used to them. They were still quirky enough to make me smile in spite of everything, though. On Erin's command, I march home and into the living room. Kirsten and Elizabeth are squat in front of the desktop computer, with the remainder of my sisters waiting patiently behind.
"But what does this little button mean?" Kirsten points at the screen.
"Kirsten," Elizabeth huffs, "That's the iTunes logo. Can't you tell? It has a music note on it!"
"Elizabeth," Felicity warns, "It's not Kirsten's fault."
There they are. My typical, cheery sisters. Notice my use of sarcasm, hem hem.
"Hey guys." I let them know I'm there.
Kirsten turns on her heels. "Oh, Sonali! We need you. If this Skype mission-thing is going ahead as planned, you're in control. Go on." She pushes me in front of the computer and gestures to the keyboard as it's some odd alienated item.
I am quick to press the Skype button and it loads up in no time. I press "Bethie" and then "Video Call". The Skype custom ringing plays. I wait, my stomach balled up in nerves and anxiety.

The computer makes a sound like a bubble being popped and suddenly, Bethie and Gracelynne are filling up the computer screen. They wave and their faces split into ear-to-ear grins. For Gracelynne, she's seeing a twin that she hasn't seen in forever. And for Bethie, it's seeing.. me.

"Bethieeeee!! Ahhh!" I wipe a happy tear away before it can roll down my cheek.

I wish dearly that the Skype conversation could have lasted eons and eons of days, but Kit finally came forth and literally dragged Erin and I out of the room. It was the first day in a long time that I felt truly happy, and special. As if I could do something worthwhile and be who I want to be. Peter didn't matter. Well, at least he won't until I wake up tomorrow and remember the horrible things he said.

For once, I was HAPPY.



Saturday, September 24, 2011

The New Guy In Town

Peter flies home from California and welcomes Sonali into his loving arms.
Everyone claps and smiles as Sonali and Peter embrace.
And they all live happily ever after in a big house with gingerbread trim and a garden full of cute little gnomes and flowers.

Just kidding.
Nothing ever happens like that.

Following Julia's announcemount of Peter's return, my mind remained surprisingly alert. I sat in silence, contemplating my choices. I could either:
a) Run to Peter's house and fall on my knees begging for forgiveness
b) Wait for him to come to me
c) Forget him

After due consideration, I decided upon Choice A: He's the one that deserved an apology, not me!
Before I could change my own mind, I wrapped myself in a scarf and pea coat. I flew out the front door and down the steps, past the neighbors garden, down the street, past another street, and then ANOTHER street.. past Annabeth's street.. finally, Peter's street. My stomach was churning but I couldn't back down now. I came to a halt outside of Peter's house. Wait, was this even Peter's house? I shook my head in confusion. The house appeared familiar, and the house number was correct. But the paint and trim were different colors from last time.. I shrugged my shoulders and rung the doorbell urgently.
I waited in dead silence until the door slowly wedged open. Peter!
But the face in the door did not belong to Peter, his mother, his father, or any of his sisters or brothers. The face in the door belonged to a stranger. An old woman hobbling on a cane. Panic set in.
"Uhm", I gasped, "Wrong house! I'm so sorry!"
And before the old woman could reply or even grunt, I ran off.

Where else could he be?
Bridget's boyfriend's?
An inn?
Right. His aunt owned the local inn!

I set my feet in the right direction, and off I went. Past more groups of houses. McDonald's. KFC. The mall. The corner store. More houses. Tim Horton's. Keep moving, I told myself, you're almost there.
I arrived at my destination. A bright sign on the side of the house-like building read "Captain's Inn". I didn't hesitate. I burst into the lobby. A woman that resembled Peter's mother in many ways smiled at me from behind the desk. I took the time to smile back before turning in to the Inn Restaurant.

So cliche, I thought, it's like I'm living in a romance movie.
Of course, there was Peter. Sitting at the table next to the window, accompanied by two brothers. The ghost of a smile was etched upon his face.
My heart wasn't stopping or even skipping a beat. It didn't even gain pace. It just kept beating. I was quite calm and at peace, standing there looking at Peter.

I approached the table.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Homework Table

Crisp but gentle autumn air rolls through the open window and chills our bare arms. Gathered round the kitchen table, nine sisters race to finish their homework. Kirsten sits at one end and Ruthie at the other. On the other two sides, seating is arranged by age. Next to Kirsten is Julia, then Elizabeth and Felicity. Over next to Ruthie is Kit, then Chrissa, myself, and Erin.
I have a hard time concentrating on square roots and equations. Erin nudges me and whispers, "Have you called Peter yet?"
I indicate no with the ever-so-slightest shift of my head.
Erin frowns, and Chrissa breaks the silence by loudly asking Kirsten whether you spell you're with or without an apostrophe.
My brain groans as I think of the pile of homework beckoning me to finish it after I finish math. I HATE square roots. They appear useless to me. I would much rather be up in my room, enjoying the solitude and peace. But as family homework sessions are mandatory in this house, I sit through them politely as to not hurt Ruthie's feelings. Ruthie did come up with the idea, after all.

A month had passed since Erin sent the un-necessary phone call to Peter. He had moved to California two weeks after. I wouldn't have noticed he was gone if it weren't for Annabeth, texting me every day to taunt me. The absence of Peter's calls weighed a burden on my shoulders. I had taken for granted that he would not give up on me. What if he has? What if he's pressing his lips upon a sunbleached Cali girl's at this very moment? The thought haunted me.

Many of my sisters turn to the open kitchen window and sigh. Half of us would die to be outside on the tree swings, or watering the last flowers of the summer. Ruthie realizes this and sends us all outside with a wave of her hand. "Yipee!"'s and "Woooohoooo!"'s are shared around the table. Chairs screech as they are pushed back and the side door clicks open as everyone bounces outside to enjoy the fresh air.

There are now only two people left in the kitchen. Myself and Julia. I silently get up from my chair and open the fridge to find a bottle of Vitamin Water. Julia follows me with her grey eyes that so similarly resemble the grey rain that falls in spring.
"You're wallowing." She accuses me.
I turn from the fridge so quickly that I hear a snap in my neck. Ignoring it, I taunt back, "How would you know? You're gone out too much to care."
Julia rolls her eyes. "Honestly, Sonali? You pity yourself too much."
I feel a million retorts building up in my brain. I'm full to the brim with indignation and hurt. But instead of slamming Julia with an insult, I slump back down in my chair and sigh.
"Never hurts to admit it." Julia murmurs, with a look of smug amusement on her face.
"I'd rather not, thanks. If you're just here to make fun of me, don't waste your time." I refuse to meet Julia's eyes. I just squint hard at the label of my Vitamin Water.

"Fine." Julia pushes her chair back from the table and picks up her binder with obvious carelessness. "Just know that Peter is on a plane home right now."


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Where do I begin?

The amount of missed calls and voicemails from Peter was beginning to pile up.

I sat opposite Erin on the foot of my bed. A numerous bunch of junk food wrappers lay between us. I held a slice of hawaiian pizza in my hand. I hadn't bothered to put on mascara in the past few days, I knew it would only just go runny.
The TV that had been moved into my room sat in the corner. Erin picked up the remote and flicked the channel to Wipeout Canada.
"Hey, Sonny? How much money would you pay me if I went on this show?" Erin poked me with her chocolate covered pretzel.
I shrugged. "Um.. A lot?"
"Pshh," Erin huffed, "I would need at least your work salary for the next year."
I sighed. "Erin, I don't have a job."
Erin made a gesture with her hand to suggest that she didn't care. "Get one, then." I watched with my eyes glazed over as Erin's hand dove back into the chocolatey pretzel bag.
I turned my head to the TV. Wipeout Canada was still playing. I kept my eyes glued as an older woman, possibly a mother, slipped off of a big red bouncy ball and bellyflopped into the water below. I winced. Wipeout Canada began to bore me as more and more people fell into the water.

My thoughts resembled a whirlwind inside my brain. I was a million miles away from Erin, Wipeout Canada, and all the un-comforting junk food that I was always eating. I felt a muffled jab in the side of my ribcage. I jerked back to the present, only to find Erin yelling at me.
"SONALI BETH! SO-NAAAAL-EE!" Erin stood up and started bouncing on the bed, causing me to tip over, before she realized that I was paying attention.
"Oh." She came to a halt and slowly folded her legs beneath her once more.

"Erin.." I paused. I wanted to tell her. She was the closest person I had. "Did you know that Peter is moving away?" My voice sounded unfamiliar and distant, even to myself.
Erin's mouth dropped. "WAIT UP. You're telling me that... Peter has the balls to get his things and MOVE?"
I shook my head, "Erin, it's not his fault.. If you could just list--" But it was too late.
Erin had already bounced off the bed and was dialing his number from my cell. I could only imagine how horrified I looked at the moment. "ERIN NO!"

Erin only held up her hand to shush me. There was 10 seconds of silence so slow that I could barely take it. But finally, Erin began to talk into the receiver. Well, not so much talking, more like yelling. I couldn't here Peter's side of the conversation, but Erin's side sounded something like this:
"You are an unimaginable bastard."
"Don't 'please' me, Peter, you need to be nicer to my sister. If I hear more about you 'moving' away, you know what I'll do."

Erin slammed the cellphone shut.

"All better." Erin smiled.
But I had a vague feeling in my stomach that nothing was better at all.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

If This Was A Movie

My eyes slowly opened. Golden morning sunlight filtered through the curtains and splattered it's light over the contents of the room. My arms turned up in a stretch. Memories as golden as the sunshine replayed in my head. Memories of yesterday, spent at the Water Park with some of my closest friends. Splashing water at Peter. Being soaking wet. Going down the water slide two at a time. Buying a mocha flavoured ice cream afterward, paid by the lovely gentleman Peter.

Although, there was a bit of a sour aftertaste to the memories of yesterday, but I couldn't remember why. There was something about Peter.. Yes, something was off about him. The bad parts of yesterday came back to me. I remembered Peter furrowing his brow in worry when Bridget spoke of Glee Club this fall. He also had a distant look in his eyes the whole day.. I could see clearly that something was bothering him, but I didn't take the time to ask why. Why didn't I ask him? I was a really bad girlfriend, wasn't I?

I flopped back down on my pillow. Glancing at the alarm clock, it was 11:06 a.m.. Great.

Good memories gone bitter, I struggled out of bed and replaced my puppy pajamas with denim shorts, a white tank, and a striped cardigan. The sunny morning became bleak. Hopping down the stairs, I arrived at the kitchen. Yelps of laughter and sounds of playing came from the side yard. Sitting down to the clean and deserted table, I dug in to a cold plate of pancakes placed at the head of the table for me.

After the plate was empty, without further thought I pulled my phone out of my pocket and texted Peter immediately.
"What's wrong? Txt me back plz"
15 long minutes of waiting later, a text came back from Peter.
"I'm on the way"

I was slightly disturbed that Peter would come over so abruptly. It was definitely out of the ordinary. Shunning myself that I was being paranoid, I brushed off the thought and waited on the couch, deep in thought, for Peter to ring the doorbell.
The ringing of the doorbell eventually came, and I had never ran so fast in my life to open the door.

The awkward silence that came afterwards was.. well, awkward.
"Hi." I began the conversation in an odd tone.
"Hey there.." Peter took my arm gently and pulled my out onto the step. "Sonny, I REALLLLY need to tell you something. And it's kind of weird, and unexpected, and you might be mad at me when I tell you. So just take heed."
I nodded, looking up at him. I bit my lip in frustration and impatience as he paused.

"Well.. My Mom.. uh.. God, Nali I HATE saying this but.. we're moving to.. Cali."

I felt like I had just stepped right into the climax of an awful cheesy romance flick. Words were stuck in my throat and I couldn't force them out. My mind was whirring. I didn't know what to think. Thoughts were flying past me. First, images of Peter dancing with un-naturally tanned, bleach blonde party-hard-till-we're-too-drunk-to-stand girls, and I almost puked. And then those images vanished as I thought of how boring school, Glee Club- heck, LIFE would be boring without Peter.

First Bethie had to go. And then Peter appeared in my life, and I had some sort of sanctuary to go to, when I felt like there was no one left. Peter was the sanctuary. He was the only resort I had. Bridget was there, of course. But I can't tell her everything. She'll never get it. Peter knows it all. Bethie, my sisters, the Factory, everything. Over the past few months we had grown so, so so close.

"Sonali?" Peter eyed me cautiously.
I glanced up at his eyes. They were tear-ridden, completely dry. I felt the tears running down my own cheeks, and I was infuriated.

I tore my arm from Peter's soft hand. He winced.
"I have to go." The words jabbed at me as I spoke them.

...My life is TOO much like a movie.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ahhh. It's summer.

I sat at the desk and smiled as I begun to scribble the first few words upon a piece of looseleaf paper.

Dear Bethie, it read.
I'm doing grea--

My slow scrawlings were interrupted by a knock at the door. I sighed. "Come in!" I stuffed the started letter into a desk drawer in record time before the door opened and the visitor entered. Kirsten shuffled in, her sprained leg bothering her (A few days previous, Kirsten had injured her leg from a fall on the stairs. She had been hurrying upstairs to stop Kit from shoving all the Pixy Stix in her mouth that she could yet AGAIN, when the fall had occured).

"Kirsten! Whats up?" I sprung to my feet.

"Erm, yeah, you appear to have a visitor waiting downstai-" Kirsten's announcement trailed off as my friend Bridget walked through the threshold and smiled ear-to-ear.

Kirsten shook her head, "Well, I guess she's not downstairs anymore.."

I laughed.
"Take it easy, Kirsten." I said quickly before becoming entangled in a famous Bridget hug. Kirsten edged her way out of the room and back to the Kitchen. I focused my attention on Bridget. She was happy and healthy. Her honey-caramel layers framed a glowing face, tanned by the rays of the sun. I noticed that her eyes looked a whole lot like the color of a ripe blueberry in summertime.

"Did you get my text?" Bridget asked eagerly.

I hit my palm against my forehead. "Ah, no! I left it at Peter's this morning."

Bridget winked and nudged my shoulder. "At Peter's, eh? Eh?" She had a naughty look in her eyes.

"SHUT UP!" I slapped her shoulder playfully.

"Anyways" Bridget continued, "We want to go to the local water park. All of us. Y'know, the gang. So you better come with us, missy!" She laughed. "Peter, my man, Violet, Penny.." Bridget listed off a bunch of names that sounded familiar. "Let's go!"

"Uhh.." I glanced back at my desk. I felt the presence of the unfinished letter to Bethie, waiting in the righthand desk drawer for me to presume writing. But the water park was calling to me in the back of my mind. It was a hot, sticky day, I thought. The water park would cool me down. My bedside window was propped open with a painted rock. It was summer. I could go where I wanted. It wasn't as if I couldn't finish the letter when I got home, right?

I gave Bridget a smile. "Sure! Let's get going, Bridgie! Better not keep them waiting."

Bridget drew me into another hug. "Yaaaaay! I knew you would!"
I stuffed my striped bikini into the Aeropostale bag I was borrowing from Julia, along with my sunglasses, sunscreen, a few bucks, and my iPod.

As Bridget and I bustled out the door, I relaxed my tense shoulders and thought,

Ahhh. It's summer.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Freak Out

I gulped. Kirsten and I sat facing each other, yet feet apart. The living room was eerily quiet.

"So?" Kirsten barked, her lips set in a tight line.
"Annabeth did-- EVERYTHING. Everything a teenage girl is capable of, and even more!" I began speaking with a calm tone, but halfway through the sentence I started to yell.
"Hush." Kirsten narrowed her eyes. "How am I supposed to believe that? Explain."
I quickly stifled a laugh as I realized how much Kirsten sounded like a homework question from one of my school textbooks.
"Don't you dare laugh. I'm waiting." Kirsten continued, tapping her foot.
I took a deep breath, and then began.
"It kindof started when I joined public school. Annabeth was my friend. She was nice, and kind.. She was all of the stuff that you expect a best friend to be, y'know?" I told Kirsten, "But then the mean texts started coming. The blackmail. The hate. It really hurt. Annabeth was a bully. And there's this guy.." My voice faltered over the mention of Peter. How was I supposed to tell Kirsten? But I went on to tell Kirsten everything-- how Annabeth dated Peter, and he never really liked her. How Annabeth gave me the fake Valentine, how she "spilled" nail polish on my laptop, and also how she was about to beat up two of our sisters. Kirsten gazed at me, rapt. My hands shook. Once I had finished speaking, I stood up and marched silently to my bedroom. The kind, green walls of my bedroom had never looked so great. My Glee poster on the door was a sight for sore eyes. Walking across the room, I reached out to turn on my iPod Dock and the energy-filled beats of Freak Out by Avril Lavigne filled the air. I shuffled around the floor, trying to dance. "Freak out!" I yelled gleefully, waving my hands in the air.

Suddenly, my phone vibrated in my pocket.
I flipped it open and smiled at the sight of a New Message from Peter.
"Incoming call :-)", the text read.
Almost as soon as I had finished reading, the phone rang. I picked it up and said hello. It was Peter. My heart started to beat ten times faster.

"Hey!" Peter said. I could almost see him smiling in my mind.
"Whats up?" I answered cheerfully.
"Wait, but first-- What about Annabeth?" He questioned.
I paused for a minute.
Memories of Annabeth's tauntings whirled through my mind as quickly as microseconds. I breathed in and smiled.

"Annabeth is just great." I laughed, with a heavy dose of sarcasm.
Peter laughed back.
Everrrrrrything is just, great.