14 - Confessions & Minefields

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Sophie's PoV:

"What's wrong ? " I ask him looking straight into his eyes with my breathing paused, awaiting his response.

He lifts the corners of his mouth in a half smile where it never reaches his eyes. A one that's crystal-ly not genuine, but kind of says 'thanks for caring'.

He takes a seat beside me on the sofa, as if he can't bear letting the words out while standing, maybe not trusting his own knees of being capable of holding this crushing weight of heaviness.

He looks straight into my eyes, and further explains the contents of the damned phone call.

"It's umm.. it's my mom" He pauses, contemplating how to break the news ahead to me.

"It's okay if you don't want to share it with me, I understand. You don't have to" I confess easily in a gentle tone, letting him know that it's not obligatory for him to disclose anything he doesn't feel comfortable in sharing.

"No, it's fine. It's.. just..my mom called me saying that I shouldn't get home tonight, just crash at one of my friend's house" He finally says looking ahead at the carpet, not meeting my hot gaze.

Taking a deep breath, he continues "Ever since I can remember, dad hasn't always been the best husband or father you could ask for.

He just had it rough, and I completely understand that, but it's never an excuse to take it all out on my mom and me.

At first I used to ignore him. Everything about him I would just dismiss, do you have any idea how many times I used to slam my door shut and blast music so loud, just so I don't hear the shouting and arguing?

For as long as I remember, I've always wanted to distance myself. I didn't want to be part of their toxic cycle. That's why I've gotten my first job at 15 and scraped enough money, that by the end of 16 I was able to afford my car.

Sometimes I just get into my car, strap the seatbelt on and just drive in silence. With no destination in mind, I just drive around aimlessly wishing to be the farthest away from here.

Most times I wouldn't come between them, I would just stay upstairs as a kid leaving the adults to deal with their own problems.

But that kid grew up and knows that dad getting drunk and yelling and pushing his mom is not right and he can't just sit around being afraid.

I had to do something about it, that's why I no longer let him lay a finger on her. I just don't understand what his problem is. It's like he's bothered with our whole existence. One glance my way and his face contorts into pure malice.

When he's sober he's mostly harmless, but whenever he's had one too many glasses, it's like the liquor does something to him.

The loving father I once had as a kid magically disappears and instead this whole nightmare of a person takes place.

You have no idea how bad I'm waiting for graduation, so I can finally get the hell away from here, from him. From this old town, just away from everything".

I nervously play with my fingers as I'm trying to get my next words out of my mouth and off of my chest. He shared his story, so it's only fair that I do the same.

"You know, I never told anyone else this before, my parents..they work in a corporation and their job require them to often travel and get away from home a lot.

I see my parents once every three weeks or a month, depending on work pressure and on flight schedule.

Ever since I was little I was taught to take care of my myself, I basically raised myself up, instead of having my parents doing it.

They're so indulged in chasing the high of money for 'a better life' that they've barely been in mine.

I mean it's kind of nice not having to worry about finances but what good is a big house with no one to warm it up?

Sometimes I just wish they would take a break, and put me first for once. They promised too many times but then later hit me with that 'sorry dear, pressure's been building up. We can't leave right now, maybe next time'.

The amount of holidays I've had to spend alone, after being progressively promised that this year it's going to be different and not like the ones before, just made me hate holidays and busy airlines for a reason.

Maybe that's the secret for low expectations; being let down way too many times by the people who should be lifting mountains for you instead.

I barely have anyone here to talk to, so it's not hard to imagine that I barely talk to anyone at school.

No one's going to stick, everything is temporary and all are leaving, I just push people away before they have the chance to leave for themselves".

I take a look at him after I essentially just blurted out my entire life story to him and he did the same.

I look up at his brown eyes to find a warmth that has been absent in my life, in my home.

The look of someone who understands, someone who gets what's it like waking up in a world and having it be against you for no reason. Having fate toy with your life as a means of sick entertaining irony.

He also looks my way, and for a brief moment everything stops. The world, the excuses, the disappointments.

Everything stops, even busy airlines stop and all I seem to focus on are these brown jewels reflecting my own in theirs.

The tension keeps building for what felt like lifetimes, we're too close for our own good, yet excruciatingly far away from each other.

My breath hitches in my throat awaiting for the oblivion. One single wrong move could ruin everything. It's as if I'm taking a walk in a minefield.

You never know when you might step on a ticking bomb and blow everything up to pieces.

•••

A/N:

I absolutely loved writing this chapter 🥰

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