A New Life, pt 3

It’s a trap. A test of some kind. Those were the first things that went through his head as he looked at Mya. She was taller than Cocoa but still not as tall as Tomas so he looked down at her freckled face. As a kid Mya was bit of a tomboy with short hair and boyish clothes but she grew out of it, and even though she wasn’t wearing dresses and playing sports she was still pretty, she was thin, but not as thin as Cocoa, but had a nice very defined body, one that comes from exercise. Her eyes had not left his and even though Tomas’ throat had constricted and his lips had gone dry he said: “Yes.” He was done playing Cocoa’s games… He was just done. 

The news he and Mya were dating spread through the school like wildfire. Andrew got slightly colder to Tomas but said nothing and Cocoa said nothing either, not until the day of the party at least.

The party was at Mya’s, well actually it was hosted but Mya’s big brother, Hannah’s boyfriend, Junior and the first ever picture of Tomas and Mya is from that party, he isn’t sure why it is here among the family pictures but it is there alright, it’s not just the two of them, it is a bunch of people all around them but he has a hand around her and they are both smiling, he has a bit of a stubble, that looks just ridiculous, and she has her hair braided and is even wearing makeup. Looking at it now Tomas sees that it was probably Cocoa that helped with that and it makes him a little sad.

Half of the school was there that day and Tomas was having fun, he had a few beers and had made out with Mya in her room. Now he was standing by the pool watching fully clothed kids jumping in and yelling, wondering vaguely whether his father would call the police on them, since their house was just next door when Cocoa came up to him. She was wearing a really short skirt and a sleeveless top, she also had a beer can in her hand. She smiled as she stood next to him and looking at her he noticed that this was the first time they had been this close since the kiss. “Hi.” He said stupidly, she was smiling but he couldn’t bring himself to do the same. He felt like he was burning, from guilt or something else he could not tell. “So Mya?” That was Cocoa, no beating around the bush. “Yup.” He said wishing he was drunker... Cocoa took a sip from her can and nodded. “Good call.” “Look Cocoa…” He tried to speak, not even knowing what he would say, but wanting to explain, wanting to fix it… “Forget it Tommy.” She dismissed him with a wave. “I’m happy for you.” And she flashed him a big smile and turned around. Somebody, Parker Langerak maybe, maybe someone else was yelling for her to jump in the pool but she just walked away…

He didn’t want any more of these memories, he skipped through other pictures of that era… Cocoa was still there, they never stopped being friends, but somehow, both of them, made sure they were never alone together anymore…

His mother won the election. There were surprisingly little pictures of that day, but you could see how happy she was, smiling a big smile, flashing her white teeth at the camera, her long black hair in a ponytail she almost always wore…

Alyssa graduated. There was a picture there, it was the most damaged of all the pictures he had seen so far, it looked like somebody had held her for a long time, you could see a big imprint of a thumb on the front. It was Alyssa and dad.  She was smiling, holding her diploma towards the camera, her long blond hair was straightened and fell to her shoulders. She was very pretty, even with no makeup on. His father had his arm around her shoulders, he too was smiling, and to Tomas he seemed ready to burst from pride. His hair had started receding a bit, but it was still the same shade of light blond as Alyssa’s. It was such a pretty picture and Tomas was sure, had thing turned out differently it would probably be standing, framed, on his father’s nightstand or some other prominent place…

But it was no going back, no stopping time. After that day his father only grew unhappier. The wheels were already in motion but where the path was leading no one could tell…

One year into his mother’s mandate she and his father had a fight. It was a fight that lasted days, and in between they didn’t even speak to each other… The two of them never fought, not in front of the children at least so what was happening filled Tomas with a bad taste in his mouth… His siblings felt the similar way but they assured Tomas that there was nothing to be worried about, they were always like that to him, he was the baby of the family but he could see right through them.

Alyssa took a motherly role, she was helping even more around the house than before, but they way she scrubbed the dishes, dangerously close to breaking them as she told Tomas that couples fight all the time was a dead giveaway.

Hannah just laughed it out, she turned everything into a joke, silly Tommy, she would tell him, don’t you fight with Mya? But she was eating more sweets than ever and Andrew was serious and somber as he said that Tomas is ridiculous.

For a while though it seemed they were right. Mother quit her job and a new election was held but she didn’t bother voting, she rarely bothered going out of the house anymore. And as Tomas watched the pictures from after that fight, the look in his mother’s face it looked like a part of her had died that day, and she was never again the same woman she was before.

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