“She is an intriguing blend of simplicity and complexity; a recipe to be loved, but never revealed.” - Dean Jackson
| l a y n e |
It is a minute to ten and Clara’s father is nowhere in sight. Ten comes and so does a beaten up old blue Ford. Her father gets out of the car, locks it and walks into the coffee shop. He slides into our booth, the seat in front of us, and Clara watches him carefully, looking at his wrists.
“Clara,” her father says.
“Dad,” Clara says stiffly. “Marce told me that you wanted to talk.”
“It is the truth.”
“I’m so sorry!”
Clara and I share a look.
“I don’t deserve to live!”
“Dad, you do,” Clara sighs.
“After what I did?” her father gasps.
“Yes. You need help. Professional help.”
“I have help.”
“Not drugs and alcohol.”
“So, a therapist?”
“Maybe a psychiatrist.”
“I’ll do that.”
“No depressants or drugs or alcohol.”
“For how long?”
“Try two weeks.”
“We’ll talk. Sober.”
Clara and I get up and leave. We walk to Jeremy’s house and hang out there, playing FIFA for the majority of the time. We wait until the blue Ford passes the house to go back home and just me even more lazy. When we get there, Harriet’s car is gone and both hers and Nick’s stuff is gone.
“They’re gone,” Lucy mutters repeatedly. “They’re gone.”
“Zeke,” I say. “What’s up with Luce?”
“She’s in shock,” Zeke sighs.
“Harriet and Nick left at ten-thirty.”
“That explains it.”
I hear glass shatter and a scream. The scream jerks Lucy out of her shock-induced state and we run up to Clara’s room to see her staring out the window. I can see a body against the window and recognise it as her father. He is covered in blood and a rope it around his neck.
“Oh my god!” Zeke curses.
“D-Dad,” Clara stutters.
“That’s your father?!”
Lucy pales. “Shit.”
Lucy runs into Clara’s bathroom and throws up. Zeke goes in to help Lucy and I close Clara’s blinds, blocking us from the gruesome sight. I hear a door slam and I run after Clara. I reach the front door and see her running towards the beach.
“Clara!” I yell.
| c l a r a |
I can hear Layne yelling at me as I run into the water but, I refuse to acknowledge him. I know that it’s harsh but, I am more focused on the rising water. The water is up to my throat by the time I stop and Layne is a hundred metres away, trying to reach me.
I step forward and start to sink. Water starts to fill my lungs and I slip into a stats of half-awareness. I start to float away, but someone pulls me back. I am suddenly surrounded by air and someone is hitting my chest repeatedly, followed by them blowing into my mouth.
They put my head on it’s side and water spills out of my mouth and nose. I cough and the water comes out in a mix of blood and water. Someone curses and I make out Layne’s form next to me. I sit up and he catches me when I almost collapse.
“Layne...” I breathe.
“Bloody hell, Clara!” Layne groans. “Don’t do that again.”
“Why can’t I just hate him?”
“He’s your father.”
“The one at the coffee shop was my uncle.”
“The one at your window?”
“How can you tell?”
“They were identical twins when they were born. My father got a tattoo of my name on his wrist and my twin brother’s above it.”
“You have a twin?!”
“Fraternal. He’s our friend.”
I nod. “It’s true. Medical records prove it.”
“Hell! Shit! God! Damn! Whatever!”
“Layne, calm down.”
Layne tugs on his hair. “Screw my life!”
“Babe, please. You’re scaring me.”
“I’m scaring you?! This is freaking me out!”
“I only found out a few days ago, Layne.”
“Jer got a fractured wrist and had to go to hospital. They checked his knife wound and the blood cells looked familiar. They called me in and did a DNA test. We’re siblings.”
“Why didn’t you tell me before?”
“I was still processing.”
“It’s hard know that your brother used to beat you on a daily basis!”
“Back to your father and uncle.”
“What about them?”
“Who was the one at the house?”
“I’m still confused.”
I get it. “My uncle was at the shop.”
Layne helps me up and we walk back to our house. Lucy almost kills Layne when she sees me soaking wet, and then we explain. Her anger then turns to disappointment and she lectures me on suicide. I look at her and she raises her hands in surrender.