Emeralds and Pearls
Publication Date: October 11, 2013
I've spent seventeen years being a wallflower. Seventeen years, watching people live their lives, while mine stood still. I was happy for those years, nothing new happened because I never let it, every day was the same and predictable.When my parents told me we were moving...to another state, I freaked. I spent the first week, after the move, wishing I could move back. But then something changed. I became a someone, and to begin with I enjoyed it, but I soon learned, some things aren't always as they seem. I have two lives now. Both of them are testing me, pushing me to my limits.
My room was my safe haven and my prison by choice. It had everything that made it a home, but, outside the door was the realization that it wasn't, and I hated that reality. I missed my friends, the people who knew me and the people who accepted me.
My parents had moved us to Saco, Maine, just a week ago. I had hated the idea from the get go. I had screamed, shouted and protested until I was blue in the face. I should have realized from the start it wasn't up to me; my opinion wasn't required, needed or valued.
I closed one of my bedroom windows, shutting out the sea's crashing waves, the distant roar becoming almost mute. I stared out at the street and watched as the couple from next door made their way over to our house. From what I had heard, they had helped my dad with the decorating, and now we were all here and settled, my parents had invited them over for a thank you meal, which I declined to attend, instead opting for another night of misery by myself.
Climbing onto my bed and shuffling into the middle of the fluffy white comforter, propping myself up on the pillows behind me and grabbing my laptop, I logged into Facebook, checking out all the latest status updates. I felt strangely sick, reading about life going on without me. Holding my stomach didn't help the feeling go away, either.
I could hear my parents getting louder downstairs. It was a mixture of laughing, shouting and talking – clearly the bottles of wine they had bought were being consumed and their little party with the neighbors was at full swing, before even sitting down to eat. The telltale sign that dinner was being served echoed up the rickety wooden stairs, pots and pans banging and cutlery clanging, creating horrendous music to my ears.
Reluctantly, I grabbed my jacket and tiptoed downstairs, as quietly as possible, to try not to disturb the adults. Each step created a creak or a dull moan, something that had previously gone unnoticed. The sounds highlighted my escape and I didn't want them getting the impression that I was easing into my new life.
The house smelt like home cooking mixed with a hint of fresh paint. Tomatoes, herbs and mince. Lasagna, if I’m not mistaken.
Making my way outside, I sat on the steps that lead up to our side porch. I had to admit that, although I hated the idea of moving and technically still did, I did love this house. It was so clean and refreshing. The cladding on the outside was painted off-white, giving it an airy beach feel. There were gazillions of windows, okay, maybe not that many, but still quite a few. The inside had apparently had a major face-lift. Mom had mentioned that before, there were more patterns in the house than in a knitting shop.
Mom was a clean and contemporary person, dad had decorated the house in earthy browns and creams; lamps, cushions, and candles were everywhere, giving it a warm, cozy feel. The only rooms they had left to tackle were the kitchen and main bathroom. Rooms that could wait for a couple of months, while his funds increased.
I feared, the first time I walked into my room, that the whole earthy feeling would flow in there too, but surprisingly it didn't. Much like my old room, my dad had given me cool blue walls, a white wooden floor and a white ceiling.
The only thing we had to do was build all the furniture. Something I’d insisted on doing. Even though the room felt cold and a bit sterile when I first entered, I knew as soon as the big white four-poster bed was in place and my dressing table was constructed, it would start to feel homely, more like my home.
It was so beautifully peaceful outside. Closing my eyes, I rested my head against the white spindles of the handrail, listening contently to the ocean in the distance. I imagined what it would look like right now, staring out over the horizon, the waves crashing, the sun setting and the sky turning beautiful shades of oranges and reds.
It had only been ten minutes of bliss when a car, with music blaring out, with no regard for the peaceful neighborhood, drove up the street. It passed our house and didn't seem to go much further, before the engine cut out and the music died.
My eyes glanced over the grooves, the knots and general wear and tear on the wooden steps, so enthralled by its natural beauty I almost didn't notice company walking up the driveway, in my direction. I shuffled uncomfortably on the step, still trying to ignore them.
“Hi. You must be the new neighbor?”
Slightly agitated with my new company, I simply huffed.
“I take it my parents are still here? They left a note saying they were here.” Slowly he sat down at the opposite end of the step, creating as much space as possible between us, but still less than I required.
“I guess they are.” My first words to civilization in days. “Would you like me to get them so you can be on your way?”
“No, I’m in no rush.”
It was a shame, because I was hoping he would be.
“So, how do you like it here?”
I inwardly laughed to myself. Is he for real? Did I look happy to be here? If I was giving him that impression, I seriously needed to switch to bitch mode. Maybe then, he'd get the point.
“Listen, I don't mean to be rude, but, I’m kind of out here alone for a reason: to be alone,” I said, turning to face the neighbor kid properly for the first time since he'd walked over.
Sitting with me, was gorgeous in a nutshell: dark brown, spiky/messy hair, olive skin, and although I couldn't see them, he was obviously muscular under that sports jacket and white tank top.
Nervousness took hold and I started to chew on my bottom lip as my eyes gazed over neighbor kid, letting my eyes wander down long legs that were covered with his dark jeans.
“My name’s Cory.” The soothing tone of his voice snapped my eyes back to his face. A simple smile played on his lips, clearly pleased with himself from my unspoken compliment.