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Bastard(6)

By:J.L. Perry



Me: I know. Crazy! She’s actually really nice. I have no idea what she sees in him. Her son on the other hand …

Meg: How old is her son?

Me: A year older than us.

Meg: Is he hot?

Me: Meh. He’s okay.

Total lie. He’s more than okay. If I tell her the truth she’ll be over here in a flash. I’m not sure why the thought of her crushing on him doesn’t sit well with me, but it doesn’t. Maybe because today he just became my enemy. Maybe it’s something else. My bestie is boy crazy. She has a new boyfriend practically every week. I swear I can’t keep up with them.

Meg: What’s the deal with him then?

Me: Ugh! He’s a douche. A rude prick.

Meg: Oh. Did he upset you? You need me to come over and teach him some manners?

Me: No. I can handle him. Thanks for the offer though.

If I told her what he said to me she’d be straight over. She’s very protective when it comes to me for some reason. We’ve always had each other’s back.

Meg: Wanna come over to my place? I’m still in prison for sneaking out the other night. My parents suck.

She makes me laugh. Meg is grounded because she got busted sneaking out to meet her boyfriend in the middle of the night. If my sixteen year old did half the things she has done, I think I’d lock her up permanently.

Me: Sure, I’ll be over soon. x

I have a quick browse through my newsfeed before I log off. Looking out my bedroom window, my eyes move towards my neighbour’s house. Imagine my surprise when I see Carter standing at the window directly opposite mine. He’s looking straight at me. Great. Don’t tell me that’s going to be his bedroom.

My eyes narrow at him. What is he staring at? A small, smug smile plays on his lips. God he infuriates me. Standing up, I reach for the cord of my blinds. I don’t think I’ve ever closed them before. I love the sunlight the window provides. There goes my sanctuary, my happy place. Could this day get any worse?

When my eyes reluctantly move back to his, I find him laughing. Fuck him. I can already tell he gets pleasure out of pissing me off. Flipping him off only makes him throw his head back and laugh harder. Arsehole.

I tug on the cord, hard, in frustration. Dreary darkness fills my room when the blinds are down. I have a feeling this is what my life is going to be like now that I have that douche as my neighbour.

Grabbing my phone off my desk, I storm out of the house. I end up staying at Meg’s place until late. Her parents treat me like one of their own. My dad’s working the night shift for the next two weeks, so there’s no need for me to be home. The further I’m away from that arsehole, Carter, the better. His room is so close to mine we’re practically damn roommates. What a nightmare.

••••

My dad’s still asleep when I get up Monday morning. It was around 3:00am when he finally got home. I hate the hours he works sometimes, but he loves his job. He’s been working in the Police Force since he was eighteen years old. That’s all he knows, he’ll never give it up.

After I eat my breakfast and wash my dishes, I set about getting things ready for my dad when he wakes. I pour his cereal into a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. I put two slices of bread in the toaster. All he’ll need to do is pop it down. I fill the kettle with water and place two sugars and a tea bag in a mug, leaving it on the benchtop.

When he’s doing day shift we always eat together. When he’s not, I usually get things prepared for him. Not that he expects it, but I like doing it for him. I’m sure being a single parent for the past ten years hasn’t been easy for him.

I was around two years old when my mum’s headaches first started. She would spend days, sometimes weeks in bed because of them. My dad tried to get her to go to the doctor, but she refused, saying they were just migraines. My dad said she was stubborn like that. It’s a trait I’ve inherited I’m afraid.

By the time she finally did go for tests, the tumour on her brain was so large it was inoperable. They tried chemo. It was her only option. It wasn’t successful. It made her so sick. She spent the last six months of her life bedbound. She died when I was six. Her death broke my dad’s heart. They were teenage sweethearts. I’m not sure if he’ll ever completely get over it.

••••

I open the blinds in my bedroom before leaving for school. I’m not going to be home all day, so I don’t need to worry about stupid Carter taunting me. I don’t even bother to look in the direction of his house. I’m not going to let him ruin my day again.

Heading out back, I give Lassie a quick pat before I feed him and replenish his water dish. “I’ll see you this afternoon, boy,” I say as I leave. He’s too busy eating to even notice me disappear through the side gate.

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