'Yeah!' Said Tom looking at her
'Okay, Ready? Go!' Shouted Jordan. It was the starting line of the London Bike Ride, and Jordan was starting them off, they had arrived a little too late for the official start, but they were determined to catch up. Since Emilia's death, three weeks previous, they experienced an emotional roller-coaster. The police had been questioning Beth for a week after they found her, asking her why she didn't contact them, why she didn't try and resuscitate her, why they left her there. Beth did all she could to protect Tom, and told them that they were scared, they didn't know what to do, but she didn't need to worry about protecting Tom. When the social worker saw him, he told her everything, about the beatings, why he ran away, what happened to Kiri. He told them that it was his idea to leave her, because she was dead, and he was free, and at the time that was all that mattered. He didn't go to the funeral, as he found it too hard to face the realisation that she was gone. She was still his mother, and he still loved her, no matter what she did to him.
Tom was withdrawn in the week they found Emilia. He wouldn't leave his room, he wouldn't eat, and he lost a lot of weight. Jordan tried to help him, but Tom couldn't get the image of his mothers body out of his head. Several times, in the following week, he tried to go back to the house, but he couldn't even get as far as the end of Jordan's garden path.
Beth tried not to let it affect her, but she too couldn't rid of the image. It stuck in her head like a bad dream. She couldn't talk about it to anyone, she could only find the words when she found out that the police found her. Jordan was talking to her about Tom, but Beth wasn't paying any attention.
'Beth are you listening to me?' asked Jordan
'She hung herself,' said Beth, out of the blue.
'She hung herself, I cut her down, Tom pulled me away, and we ran. We left her there. We could have saved her, but we ran. We were scared. I was a coward, I could've done something, but I didn't. We found her last week. I could've gone back anytime, but I didn't, because I was too scared. Why was I scared? She wasn't going to jump up at me, she wasn't going to suddenly become alive and strangle me, so why didn't I help her? I could've told the police, or someone, but I had to wait until they found her. But I was so scared, so frightened, I just lost my thoughts, and let Tom lead me away. I didn't have the guts to stop him, I had to leave her...' explained Beth.
Jordan was astonished at Beth's revelation, she had no idea what happened, but she knew something was wrong from the way she was acting. Jordan helped her as much as she could after that, listening to her, giving her advice, and taking her to the funeral to show her there was nothing more to be afraid of. While they were there, they went back to Kiri's grave. Beth decided that she wanted to be by herself this time, her second visit. For the first time since Emilia's death, Beth smiled. She realised that there wasn't anything more to be scared of, and when she saw Kiri, she found she could let go. Emilia was gone, Tom was safe, she had done what she promised Kiri, and she didn't need to do anything else. The stress was gone.
Beth kept her promise to Tom. She promised him she would tell him why she was working so hard.
'I made a promise to Kiri, before she died, she asked me to take care of you, she didn't tell me that she hurt you, but I knew something was wrong. I was just too stupid to see what it was. Anyway, that was what was bothering me, I wanted to take care of you. Because I couldn't see what was going on, I didn't know how to help you, and that's why I started working for Cancer Research. If I couldn't help her one way, I could at least try another. Then the more I couldn't help you, the more I worked. When I found that I could teach you how to ride that bike, I could let go of some of that, but, I don't know. I felt happier because I was keeping my promise to Kiri. But I've kept my promise now, I've protected you, I've looked after you. And in doing all that I've gained a great friend. So don't look at me like I only did this because Kiri asked me to, I did it because first of all, you helped me when Kiri died, second of all, I did want to keep my promise to Kiri, and third of all, You're the best friend I could ever ask for.'
'What about Jordan?'
'That's completely different!' she said with a smile. Tom knew what she meant, he was just glad that Beth had told him. He couldn't believe that she had gone through that for him, on a promise, he realised that she was quite devoted to Kiri, and he was happy about that. The pact was over. She did what she promised, and he did what he intended. When he told her that, they decided to keep the pact, as although it caused a lot of problems, they were going to go through a lot more in their years to come.
'One thing I don't understand though, AJ told me that trying to talk to you about this was a bad idea. He's been through this with you hasn't he?'
'Yeah, kinda, He wasn't as nice about it as you, he told me that if there was nothing I could do, then I should leave it, but he has no idea.'
'Yeah, you were really devoted to her weren't you?'
'Yup, he didn't see that, that's why we're not as close anymore... but it doesn't matter. It's over now.'
Now they were in Battersea park beginning the bike ride. Having mastered braking, getting faster, slowing down, and changing gears, Beth decided he was ready to do the ride. Between them they had raised a thousand pounds, with another three hundred pledged. The day before, they went out to buy their costumes, Beth was in dark fairy costume, all in black, and Tom was dressed as the devil.
'Come on lets go!' shouted Beth as she sped ahead.
'We've got thirty miles! What's your hurry?!' shouted Tom back at her. He started peddling faster, and within seconds caught up with her, and passed her. Beth looked ahead at him, admiring him. She admired the bravery in that little body of his, and his ability to get on with things. He had learnt so much in his life, but he was still a child, and because of that, after Kiri's death he helped unleash the child within her.
'Beth! come on!'
'all right I'm coming!'
Well what did you think? I know it was long for a short story... but it's not exactly for the novel catagory is it?