I wrote this a few months ago for school, thought I might as well not waste it.
Tell me what you think - would be highly appreciated
She studied the picture on the bedside table, pure hatred sizzling just above the surface. The happy family in the picture smiled back at her; the three small children and the father oblivious to what the woman – who was almost the carbon copy of herself – was going to do, was doing, and had already done.
If it had not been for her two younger brothers – Logan and Ian - who were so attached to the picture, she would have smashed and burned it a long, long time ago. Even now, when their Papa lay on the hospital bed – possible dying – they had begged her to allow them to bring them that little item that caused her so much frustration and anger, thinking that it might offer their Papa some small comfort.
She had nearly laughed – if only they knew.
Then again, perhaps it was good that they did not.
She gave a small sigh, watching her two brothers sleep beside her Papa. They had nodded off a couple of hours ago, making her feel as if it was really only her, her Papa, and the complementary machines by him that kept him alive. Her chest tightened at every delayed beep, her hopes soared with every fluttering eyelid, only to be brought crashing down even harder when he did not wake.
She saw red every time he murmured her mother's name.
Uncle Kevin – her parents' long time friend – had been beyond reason when she told him she had not contacted their mother despite the fact that her Papa had been wheeled into the ER almost half a day ago. In fact, the only reason why he knew was because Sarah was there at the accident site, who told her mother, who told Edward, who told Jenny, who told her neighbour, who told Cole, who had been so drunk at the moment that he announced the accident to the whole town after hijacking the local radio station.
So there he was, shouting in the waiting room at an adolescent girl, who only stared back at him with a glazed look, as if she were already day dreaming. The whole town would have known by now that Kevin had been acting like an absolute idiot, screaming at Jake's little girl in the hospital. She, being the nice, polite girl her Papa brought her up to be, let him finish before she giving a tiny shrug, unperturbed by all his screaming.
"She's where she would rather be right now anyway, even with Papa dying. I don't want her here; she would rather not be here, so it solves both our problems that I didn't call her. She wouldn't have to waste all her time and energy pretending to be a good wife, and I wouldn't have to put up with her presence. After all, she would rather stay wherever the hell she is with him, right? It'll save us both the heartache if she would just stay away from Papa." She said it all in such a matter-of-fact tone, as if they were discussing whether they should paint the house green or yellow.
He probably would have hit her, had he not been so stunned.
As it was - when she had simply walked off after that without saying anything else – he had lunged forward and grabbed her left bicep – so hard they had left marks – and hissed into her ear, "Don't you dare presume that of your mother."
"I'm not going to tell anyone about what she's been doing, for goddamn sake. I know how much all of you value your bloody image," She scowled, annoyed – trying hard, at the same time, to not let the pain show through. "And let go. It hurts."
She had left him standing there, even more speechless than before.
Arianne did not hate her uncle Kevin- but she was beginning to feel a little vengeful. Her upper arm still hurt from where he had gripped her earlier – and she had noted with vague interest how the blue-black marks slowly appeared.
She occupied her time by observing whatever machine it was that monitored her Papa's heartbeat. She was so absorbed – slightly hypnotised – by the rhythmic beeping that she did not notice the woman standing by the door, simply watching her watching him - not until she called out her name.
Arianne jolted up from her seat beside her Papa, yanked out from her half-asleep state. Still in the slight haze of panic, she checked her Papa, paranoid that something had happened to him. It took a few moments before she convinced herself that everything was alright – even Logan and Ian were still asleep – and then she turned around.
In the past year, her explosive and burning hatred and anger for the woman standing right there had simply simmered down into a cold, calculating apathy.
"You don't belong here. Get out." She bit out harshly, feeling a brief moment of triumph as she saw her mother flinch.
"Rian, I just want to see him." Her mother responded - slow and careful, as if addressing a skittish animal. Arianne simply stood even more firmly beside her Papa's bed, believing she could create a solid barrier between her Papa and the woman who hurt him so much.
"Over my dead body, Mother." She hissed out maliciously, folding her arms across her chest. She had the feeling that her mother was going to say something - but was then interrupted by Uncle Kevin, who was standing behind her.
"Rian, stop being such a bitch." He half-barked. Once more, she simply ignored him; her glance dashed towards her Papa's sleeping face. All this noise might wake him up – or even worse, give him nightmares. She could not let that happen – she had to protect him. What she was most worried about, however, was him waking when that other woman was around – he would call out to her, she knew it.
Even if he meant nothing to her when she meant the world to him.
"Let's talk outside." She replied, shoving them both back out the door, taking extra care not to touch her mother too much - it was disgusting to even breathe the same air as her. Once she herded them into a private enough place – an empty waiting room – she took a seat disinterestedly, turning assessing eyes on the woman she called her mother.
"Why do you even bother coming? You could have just stayed with Lucas the whole time for all I care – I know you can't stand being away from him. I know you'd rather stay with him and be his slut. Besides, it's not like I would tell anyone about the both of you. I'm not a kid anymore – I get this, okay?" she attacked mercilessly, studying their expressions. Uncle Kevin was obviously trying hard to keep his expression neutral, but that woman, being so easy to read, had this peculiarly guilty look on her face - her eyes darted between Kevin and other random places –as if looking for an escape, or an answer - and her expression was so constipated Arianne could practically see the rusty clogs in her mind whirring and getting stuck in her head….
Realisation hit her.
She felt as if somebody had poured a bucket of cold water over her head.
"… He's here, isn't he? Isn't he? You couldn't even stay away for a few days? Or hours at least? You couldn't even try to pretend that there's nothing going on between you two? Why do you keep insisting on hurting Papa? All he ever did was love you!" Her voice grew steadily louder and more hysterical with every accusation she threw at her mother. She did not realise that she had stood up and taken a few steps closer to her mother until Uncle Kevin yanked her back.
"Rian, calm down!"
"Coming back here with him at your heels – don't you have any dignity? Honour? Shame? What the hell is wrong with you? Do you like to compare how much happier you are with him compared to Papa? Who do you think you are – coming back here like it's nothing?" she screamed, fighting against her Uncle Kevin.
She barely registered the look of shock and pain on her mother's face through the haze of her anger. It took a short moment for her to realise that tears were blurring her own vision as well – she blinked them away angrily and glared at the pitiful woman who had given birth to her.
"I hate you," she seethed. "I hope you, him, and whatever spawn of his that's parasiting on your body can just die and go to hell!"
The stinging slap that struck her face was not unexpected or undeserved – she knew that – but the amount of force behind it was largely surprising. If it had not been for Uncle Kevin – who let out a highly impressive swear word - she would have probably hit the floor.
"Lucas!" he snapped. That was all she registered from her dazed mind – his voice, hammering questions of concern at her, buzzed into her background as her eyes found him, standing protectively over her mother.
But of course.
"You know that it's not nice to say such things to your mother, Arianne." He said smoothly and passively - resembling the tone she had used with Uncle Kevin much earlier before – although she could hear the underlying threat in his words. Hardly anybody called her by her full name – except for him. She had always been close to him before - she even considered him as her second father. But that was all before she found out about what was going on between him and her mother. She could never, ever forgive either him or her mother for the pain they caused her Papa to go through – especially since he was her Papa's most trusted confidante, and best friend.
She simply threw a swear word at him in response, her head still spinning too much to come up with anything more intelligent. He didn't even flinch. The both of them continued staring at each other, not breaking eye contact, neither giving in – in some ways the both of them were eerily similar.
The silence that hung in the air became thick, uncomfortable and awkward, but still they stared at each other with the exact same expression. Her mind traitorously recalled all the other times when what she did mirrored his actions exactly – this bring one of them.
Disgusted at the thought, she swallowed her pride and looked away-
-straight into Ian's half-hidden, wide-eyed face behind the wall.
Inwardly she cursed and scrambled to her feet, her movements slightly unsteady. Her head spun with every move, still ringing from the aftermath of Lucas' blow. Still, she rushed to the side of her youngest brother, going down on her knees to be level with him.
"Ian? Did something happen?" she asked softly, as if the world she had just exited seconds ago did not exist.
"Are you and Uncle Lu fighting?" he asked, nervously glancing over her shoulder.
"Of course not. We would never fight with each other – we're all family." She nearly bit her tongue off saying that. "Now let's go back. Papa will be lonely if we're not there when he wakes up." She said, ushering him away.
"Isn't Mama, Uncle Kev and Uncle Lu coming along?" he asked innocently, oblivious. She turned around to look at them over her shoulder, temporarily letting her mask slip to show them that they were clearly not welcome anywhere near her Papa.
"No, Ian," She said quietly. "They aren't."
They came across Logan halfway, who had woken up to see both his older sister and younger brother missing. She chattered out a lie about what she had been talking about with their uncles and mother – and although Ian simply accepted it, Logan didn't seem to buy it. He just gave her the same look her Papa gave her when she told another fib – the look that said 'I'll wait until you feel like telling me the truth,'
Later on, she woke up from her light slumber to someone weakly stroking her hair. Her mind became freshly alert in half a second when she realised that it was her Papa, smiling indulgently at her. She looked around for her brothers, and then remembered that they had gone out for some fresh air.
"Papa? Papa? Are you feeling alright?" she asked as she faced him, gently holding onto the hand that stroked her hair. He simply continued to smile at her, his eyes slightly hazy and unfocused. It took one word for her whole world to crash down again.
"…Anna…" he whispered.
The hand that held her Papa's tightened slightly as she felt her heart twist and rip. It hurt that he had mistaken her for her mother (a common occurrence, seeing as how much they both looked alike). She never, ever wanted to be compared to her mother – not after everything that happened.
But what hurt most was probably seeing him in such a state – she wondered if he knew about the extent of the affair between his wife and best friend. That she was pregnant with Lucas' child, not his. That her brothers were going to have a new sibling, who was only their half-sibling.
'I'm sorry, but you can't donate your blood to your father. For one thing, you're too young – for another, the both of you aren't of the same blood type. He can't accept yours.'
That it was not the same for her. That she really had no right to protect the man she called 'Papa' under the guise of his daughter.
'Why not? There has to be some sort of mistake! Both my parents are the same blood type - I would have the same as them!'
She buried her head in his blankets, hoping to drown out the voices, smother down the memories – and hide the tears from her Papa. She knew that the baby her mother was carrying was not her half-sibling. It had been so obvious from the start, really. It was a miracle hardly anybody else noticed it.
'Then maybe you aren't really your parents' child!'
She didn't notice him watching her carefully from the door, with the exact same expression she had on her face as she kept vigil over her Papa.
A/N: I know that the blood fact isn't exactly true - you can be your parent's kid and not have the same blood type. The situation was more as if the nurse/doctor didn't want to be bothered anymore so he/she just wanted Arianne gone. I don't blame you if you find it quite feeble - personally, so do I.
Thanks a whole bunch for reading =)