THE PECULIARS’ TALE: CHAPTER 8

Translated by: whosays25

Edited by: seiji96

/8/ Photograph

“… is it wrong for me to visit my older sister?”

“What do you want, Lily?” I said, “and you’re not my sister.

“Yeah, we’re not sisters, biologically. But, I have a good news.”

“So what?” I told her while putting my bag next to the cabinet. I took off my socks while she sat on the couch, wearing her sweetest smile as if she’s intentionally pissing me off. And here I am, feeling annoyed on what she’s doing. Wait, I’m actually always annoyed by her. The way she speaks, the way she acts, everything about her, I hated. Well, it’s always like that, right? When you dislike someone, even if she’s not doing anything to you, you’d be pissed off, you’d be affected.

“Uncle Richard will adopt me. I will also be a Morie.”  I stiffened because of what she said. But I forced myself not to make it obvious that I was affected.

So, dad will adopt her? That’s not cool.

“Is that the reason why you went here?”

“No.”

I turned my back at her to enter my room. My day is not good that’s why I already want to rest. “The door is open, you can leave.”

Lily and I are not close to each other, I don’t even consider her as friend as well. Maybe I used to do so but now? The moment I learned that her mother will be my dad’s new wife, I no longer talked to her. Coincidentally, we’re classmate and nobody from the class knew that she’s my step-sister.

“Stay away from him.” I heard Lily said this firmly. It made me stopped and at the same time, smirked. So, she saw the scene at the library and this is why she approached me.

“I see.” I smirked. “Why? Are you scared?” at this rate, Lily’s no longer wearing her smile, the smile that she’s always brought with herself everywhere, the smile which I hate.

“Shut up!”

I laughed. I expected already that she would be pissed off by what I said. We are five meters apart but I can clearly feel her hatred with me. So from this moment, I feel that I was in favour this time.

“You’re scared, right? I can understand. Well, once you’re already at the peak, you no longer want to go down. You may got everything I have, Lily, but the time will come. Everything will fall back again to its rightful owner.”

And that’s me.

“Don’t make me laugh, Jill.” That’s the only thing she said before I heard the sounds of her footsteps leaving. But before that, Lily left me the words, “There’s no place for you to come back.”

One of the reason why I disliked Lily is because she’s in the place that I left for long time. I couldn’t say that she robbed those from me, because I just let things happen. Like a snatcher who steal a bag which I just let go. I no longer put up a tug. In other words, I didn’t fight for it.

I sighed. Even though I did nothing, I suddenly felt tired. The heavy feeling came back and I don’t know how to deal with it. I entered my room, I turned on my lampshade and sat on the bed’s edge. I’ve yet to change my clothes. For several minutes, I just stared at the void, with no trace of emotion.

I can’t lie down because there’s a force which keeps urging me to stand up and go to the cabinet. I opened  and looked for a box. After getting it I went to the study table and open it.

It’s dusty a sign that it was left for a long time. I opened it and then some old, worn out pictures came into view. Those pictures held no meaning. I flipped the box and the things inside scattered on the table.

I picked up the first photo that piqued my interest. What a bright picture, like the people on it, wrapping their arms on one another, laughing. My shadow friends. Where are they now? Literally, there are still inside the same classroom, together with me every day. But because of the darkness, I can no longer see them. They seemed to be the air. You can feel but can’t see.

I glanced at the back of the photo, “Friends are like treasure, they are hard to find, but are very special. If you are a friend, it means you were chosen. You were chosen to stay in someone’s life…” Go 1-B J

The smiles on this picture could no longer be seen.

I put it down and picked another photo. “Uncle Richard will adopt me…” it seems what Lily said still echoed on my ears.

Why? Why did you choose them and not me, dad? Why did you choose Lily over me? It’s painful thinking that I’m here alone, while you are there, together with them, happy, eating with them together.

Did you think of how am I? If I already ate? Did they ever think what’s my condition here? I thought they will stop me from leaving. But what did you say to me? “Go ahead. It’s your life.” It’s not wrong to expect, right?  It feels he cut our ties.

The third photograph, is me… with him. I smiled bitterly. When you are in love and you get hurt, it’s like a cut… it will heal, but there will be a scar. It’s like once you’ve been hurt, you’re scared to get attached again. Like, you have this fear that every person you start to like is going to break your heart.

“Stay away from him.”

I collected the scattered pictures and placed them back in the box. I went to the kitchen, looked for the trash can and threw it there.

Every person around you is going to hurt you at some point of time… But it’s up to you to decide what is important.

 ***

“I want you to write your future paths on these papers.” Miss Karen stated when she distributed the papers. It’s a black paper with a white tag of our name on the upper right corner.

Miss Italia said, life is a big competition. It’s unfair. If you won’t fight, you’ll go home a loser. Lazy and stupid people will suffer. While those who are clever and who gave effort can get special privileges and live a rich life.

This is how she influenced this class, through the belief that with good grades in tow, you’ll get a good future. By having good grades you could get in prestigious universities, and have a good job.

For young people like us who are facing enormous pressure while knowing nothing, we can’t do anything except follow those who are older than us because they know what’s ‘best’ for us and the cruel reality of life.

“M-miss?” Penelope raised her hand.

“Yes?”

T-this is not a career survey paper?” She shyly said.

“Yeah.”

“Why black?”

“This is weird.”

“Just do what I said. Ireneo will collect the papers.” Urgh, if only it’s not Ireneo who will collect the papers, I won’t pass anything. But heck, obeying is the rule in this class, or else…

I can’t understand. She wants us to write our future paths in this paper? Like duh. How can it be seen? She’s weird. Karen Italia is weird. But still I hold my pen to write on it.

So what about my future, huh?

“While you’re all doing that, I’ll call one of you for the career counselling. So, the first,” Miss Karen glimpsed at her record book, “Jilliane Morie. Please come with me.”

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