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Old July 20th, 2006, 06:08 AM  
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Name: Felix
Join Date: April 4, 2004
Location: London, England
Gender: Male
Default Cat's in the Cradle: Chapter Two - New Beginnings (VERY LONG)

This is the second chapter of the book I'm working on. Chapter One already had a thread but this is five pages long so I thought it deserved it's own thread. If anyone objects to this please merge them.

Okay, so I'm going to skip forward a few months. It was now February 1991, I was now a third year at school and I was back living with Mum. When she had got back from Spain she had brought back with her a middle aged Spanish man named Jose who tried to put himself in the position of my absent father. He and my mother had really rushed their relationship. He'd been with her for seven months and moved in with her as soon as she got back to London. I didn't like him very much but who was I to say? I probably would have felt the same way about any other man she was dating. I just wish she'd chosen someone who spoke English.

I was still having regular chats with Bea. Basically I'd take a bus into the city whenever Jack wasn't there. I didn't want to see Jack again for a very long time. After all I'd just spent six months with him.

It was funny to think that I was an uncle-to-be. Bea had been pregnant for just over eight months now and the kid was sure to drop out soon. At this time, of course, I didn't even imagine just how close me and my nephew would be. I wasn't caring about anything at the time. I was going down but as my personality ensured, I was enjoying the ride.

I was lying on my bed when the phone rang. I picked up cautiously, hoping that it was someone worth talking to. “Yo.” I said in a stuttered tone.
“That you Mattie?”
“No, it's his grandma. Who's this?” I said jokingly.
“Heh, it's Ollie. You free tonight? It's just me and my sister. My parents are out all weekend.”
“Meh, I'd rather not.” I didn't really want to see Ollie. He was two years older than me and, for some reason, whenever I did something really stupid I was always with him.
“Aw, come on! Stay over!”
“Ugh, alright. What time?”
“Dunno. What time's it now?”
“Umm....” I looked at my watch and made an attempt at focusing my eyes. I was really tired for some reason but all in a days work. “It's seven.” I said after a brief pause.
“Come now, dude.”
“Okay. It's Friday tonight, yeah?” I had no idea what day it was. I hadn't really been attending school a lot at the time and, as a result I lost track of the days of the week.
“Yep, you're getting pretty absent minded lately.” He said laughing slightly.
“Meh, I'll be there in half an hour.” I slammed the phone down and proceeded downstairs. I found only Jose there.
“Where's my Mum at?”
“She's out at dinner.” He wasn't paying attention to anything I was saying. He didn't even look up from his paper. I felt that I could have said anything like “I'm going out to get hooked on junk” and he wouldn't have noticed.
“Okay, well tell her I'm out at a friends house when she gets back.”
“Will do.” He muttered still absorbed in the newspaper.

I walked outside to be met with the blisteringly cold British winter. In February it should start to be getting warmer, or at least it is everywhere else in the world. But for us Brits is stays cold until April. We're all alone with our weather. Well, us and the Finns.

I wandered down the dimly lit suburban street looking into my neighbours houses. I could see right into their living rooms. They didn't seem to be doing much, quite the opposite of my house. Everyone seemed to be just sitting around with their families. Good ol' “Papa” sitting in his armchair with little optimistic Billy and and his promising little sister Hannah. That's not the way things worked down at my house. At my place you'd get my Mum (or Margaret as Jose called her) telling young mischievous Matthew that he wasn't allowed any desert for a week. She's take the slingshot from his back pocket and take the supply of chocolate and various other goodies from his bedroom. Yeah right

Replace “banned from desert” with “screamed at”, “slingshot” with “cigarettes” and “goodies” with Rizlas an pot. That's the way things worked at my house.

Once I'd reached Ollie's house I knocked on on the door for several minutes before finally screaming at the seemingly uninhabited house. “Ollie! Ollie! It's Matt! Lemme' in!” I heard footsteps running down the stairs. I was greeted by his sister. I'd never actually met her before and by the look or her face I assumed she was younger than him. Maybe a year younger than me or maybe my age. I didn't really care. Her eyes were bloodshot and I couldn't help noticing that she was slurring her words slightly. “Hey, you're Mattie, right?”
“Yah,” I replied. “And you are?”
“I'm Sam.”
“Alright.” I said after a brief pause. I followed her upstairs to her bedroom. As she opened the door a huge cloud of cannabis smoke seeped out into the hallway. “Alright, Ollie?” I said with a smirk on my face.
“Yeah, *cough* dope's fuckin' amazing.”
“Send the zoot.” Said Sam.
“Nah, you've had your share!” Ollie replied sounding irritated.
“Well at least give me a fag.” Whined Sam.
“Later!” Ollie was starting to lose his temper.
“Here, have one of mine.” I said trying to break the awkwardness. I took the superking from behind my ear and passed it to her. It was my last one but no matter. I knew where Ollie hid his cigarettes.
“Aw, your sweet.” She looked at me and smiled.

I glanced around her room and noticed it was painted the most garish pink I had ever seen. She was your stereotypical “girly girl” which annoyed me somewhat. “Mind if I go and get a glass of water, Ollie?” I said to him.
“Go for it.” He stuttered. Of course, I had no intention of going for a glass of water, I just wanted to nick a couple of fags off him.

I walked down into the kitchen and looked underneath the fridge. Sure enough there was a half empty pack of Marlboro underneath. I took three and headed back up to Sam's bedroom where I found her rolling a joint of her own with Ollie asleep on the rug. I took one look at him and laughed. Normally I would have asked for some of her draw but tonight I just couldn't be bothered with any.

I sat down on the floor next to Sam. “So how old are you?” She asked me.
“I'm fourteen in April. You?”
“I'm thirteen.” There was a period of silence as she started focusing on her roll-up. “Shit!” She said as she spilled it's contents all over the carpet. “Here, let me.” I grabbed the rolling paper and gathered the two precious herbs from the floor. I managed to get all the stuff back into the paper. “Your roach is way to small.” I said, still rolling.
“What's wrong with that?”
“It makes it... fucking hard to... roll.”

I finished rolling and said “You wanna' go downstairs and leave your brother in peace?”
“Hah, alright.” I followed Sam downstairs into the sitting room where we sat down on the sofa. I passed her a lighter and she lit the joint. As she took a deep drag I watched the smoke pass over her lips, her long, wavy ginger hair covering her bony, pale face. “So what's it like living with Ollie?”
“Shite,” She muttered. “He never shuts up.”
“Heh, sounds like my brother.”
“What's your brother like?”
“Bit of a dick if you ask me.”
“Why's that?”
“Ugh, he's one of those people who's always angry, you know?”
“I know,” she said before sighing deeply. “My Dad's kinda' like that.” I stared into her eyes and said “Honey, we're two of a kind.” She stared back at me and as I watched her lips crack a smile I realised that she was more than just the stoner she seemed. Her brother had always seemed reckless and when I first met her, only an hour ago I assumed the same about her. But no. She was a real person with feelings just like anyone else. We turned on BBC One and gazed into the television's colourful glow.

“So what's your Dad like?” I said with an absent tone to my voice.
“Well... he's just not a very nice person.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“I mean... I mean... I mean he's always in a rage about something or other. It's either work or it's my Mum or it's me and Ollie going out of control... It's just always something with him.”
“I see.” She started to look upset.
“And... sometimes...”
“Sometimes what?”
“I don't think I can tell you.”
“It's alright. You can tell me anything.”
“Sometimes he's... he's hit us.” I watched a tear flow down her cheek and stop at her chin
“Sam...” I said, starting to get worried.
“Ugh, I'm sorry.” She buried her face in one of the sofa cushions and sobbed. I remembered how Bea had treated me and how a talk with someone could make them feel better. “Tell you what, I'll head down to the offie' and get us something to drink then how 'bout we have a little chat?”
“Okay.” She said, still crying.

I walked back out into the freezing cold weather and down the street to the off-license. I glanced at my watch to check the time. “Ten past ten.” I thought to myself. I got to the nearest Threshers and stepped inside. The warmth of the shop came as a relief to me as my hands were freezing cold. I took two Diet Cokes out of the fridge and took them to the counter. “And twenty Richmond's please.”
“How old are you?”
“Sixteen.” I said, trying to hold back my laughter,
“Whatever.” said the shopkeeper apathetically.

I walked back to Ollie and Sam's house with the Diet Cokes crammed tightly into my pocket. I found Sam lying on the sofa still in tears. “Hey there.” I said with a smile on my face. “You wanna' go into the kitchen and have a little talk?”

We sat down at the kitchen table and I handed her one of the Cokes I'd picked up. I took a small saucer from the cupboard and placed it carefully on the table to use as an ashtray. “You want a fag?” I said, taking the Richmonds from my pocket. “Yes please.” She took a cigarette from the pack and lit it before taking a large pull. I lit one myself and started speaking with her. “So when did this all begin?”
“It's been going on for years. I remember when I was like... eight years old my Dad would scream at me, not so much at Ollie. I suppose he's biased towards boys. I know he wanted two sons and he doesn't hide it very well. Ever since I was born he's hated me, or at least it felt like he did, but even Ollie's afraid of him, he just hides it well. But he is scared, maybe not of Dad but definitely of becoming him. He sort of builds up a firewall of drugs and mindless sex to try and rebel against him.”
“Uh-huh.” I said deeply immersed in what she had to say.
“It doesn't work, of course. He doesn't seem to see that by trying to piss Dad off he's just assimilating himself even further.” She stubbed her cigarette out on the saucer and immediately lit another. I'd never seen anyone smoke so persistently. I could tell she was stressed.

We spoke until 3AM when she crashed out on the table. I helped her up and walked with her back into the sitting room where she fell asleep on the sofa. I sat down next to her and dozed off after about ten or twenty minutes.

I was awoken the next morning by a rather too energetic Ollie. “Alright, lovers?” he said with a smirk on his face. It took me a few seconds to twig where the hell I was. I reached for my fags and passed one to Ollie, trying not to wake Sam who was still fast asleep. “Safe.” he said before bending his neck down and lighting the Richmond. “Sorry about last night, by the way.”
“Forget about it, man. It's no biggy. Me and Sam had a great time.”
“Oo-la-la!” exclaimed Ollie still smirking.
“Fuck off!” I said jokingly. Although the thought had crossed my mind Sam wasn't the kind of person I'd take advantage of. She just seemed to innocent. All things considered, I probably could have lost my virginity the night before but it didn't seem right. She was counting on me for support and just wanted to feel that someone was there for her.

I lit a cigarette for myself and went to hang out with Ollie in the kitchen. “You want breakfast?” he said to me.
“That'd be grand.” I replied. “What've you got?”
“Um... we have vodka, stale Wheatabix, bread, cheddar cheese and half a can of Diet Coke.”
“On second thoughts, I think I'll pass. You got any coffee?”
“ we do. Nescafe okay?”
“Whatever.” I was tired and needed a jolt. I had a look at my watch and became annoyed when I realised that it was 9AM. “So, Ollie, what are you doing up this early?”
“Well, I fell asleep fairly early so that could be it.” he said as he poured the hot water on the granules of instant coffee. He put the purple mug in front of me. “Cheers.” I said. I was a total snob when it came to coffee but I was so tired that I would have drunk liquid ammonia had it been caffeinated. “So what did you and Sam do last night?” said Ollie.
“Not a lot, we just sat and talked.”
“Huh?” I replied. I was concerned by the accusation Ollie had made.
“Come on, you don't think I know what you too were doing last night? I wasn't born yesterday you know.” He looked at me angrily. He was quick to judge and I knew what happened when you pissed him off. “Ollie, I swear...”
“Yeah yeah.”
“Listen, Ollie. All we did last night was sit and talk and it seems to me that your sister has some serious problems and needed to discuss them, but you weren't there for her! I was doing the honourable thing by actually listening to what she had to say.”
“Cool it man.” he said. It sounded almost too calm considering the things he'd said just a few moments ago. “Just stay the fuck away from my sister. You don't think I know what going on with her? I know exactly who she is. I know her better than anyone else on this earth. She's just an obnoxious little cunt who tries to make a victim out of herself. She's got no real problems, hell, she can't even imagine some of the crap I've been through. She just doesn't get it. She's never seen the real world. It's all just a big fantasy to her.” I stared at him blankly, my mouth hanging open. I was furious. I knew Ollie was a prick but I had no idea he was that insensitive. To say those things about someone so upset, let alone his own sister is just horrible.

“What you staring at?” he said without a trace of feeling on his face.
“Nothing.” I said. Being the wuss that I was, I didn't have the guts to stand up for Sam even though she more than deserved it. I unsuccessfully tried to hide my anger. “Anyway, I'm doin' an offie run. You want anything?”
“Uh... a Stella would be nice.” I said, lightening the mood slightly.
“It's fuckin' 9:30 in the morning!” said Ollie with a large grin on his face.
“Meh, I'm thirsty.”
“Whatever you say, man.” I didn't really want the lager, I just wanted an excuse for him to go out.

I went back into the sitting room and sat down next to Sam. I reached for the remote so I could watch whatever crap was on the BBC. There was nothing on but news about the cricket but knowing what English television was like it was probably the best thing on at the time.

It was probably the ecstatic cheers of the Pakistani crowds as they wiped the floor with our team that woke Sam. “Good morning.” she said to me as I was still staring at the TV in a tired gaze. I snapped out of the sleepy trance and smiled. She seemed to be able to get the grogginess out of her system much faster than I could and less than five minutes after waking, went into the kitchen.

“Where's Ollie?” she said to me.
“He's gone 'round the offie. He'll be back in a min'.”
“Alright. Got a fag, Mattie?”
“Yeah.” I passed her one and sat down once again.
“So when do your parents get back?”
“Tomorrow evening. I still can't believe that they left us with the house. They must have really wanted to get away. I wouldn't trust Ollie with this house!” she said with a smile on her face.
“Heh, neither would I.”

We sat and talked for a little while longer before Ollie came thundering through the front door. “Mattie, I got your beer!” he shouted. He came into the kitchen and threw it to me. “Safe.” I said. Trying not to be rude I opened the can and started drinking it slowly. “Ain't it a little too early for you to be drinking?” asked Sam.
“Meh, what's the harm?”
“Good call. Can I have a bit?”
“Sure.” I passed the can to her and she drank some. Ollie unpacked the contents of the bag on the kitchen table. He took out a large bag of crisps, another can of beer and two packs of cigarettes. He opened the crisps and the beer and began eating. “Nutritious.” I sarcastically remarked.

The mood had changed and we were actually having fun. The previous night had been somewhat of a disappointment but me and Sam had actually accomplished something. We'd actually managed to open up to each other and I had seen that no matter how rebellious she might seem on the outside she was sensitive and innocent on the inside. After all we're all alike.

It's me, Felix.
Name changes annoy everyone, I know.
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