(Previous post: The Broken Scientist)
Delores Prentiss was alone in the school’s library. There was a time when she wouldn’t even notice it, she would loose herself in her work until her phone rang and it was her mother or one of her sisters calling saying she would miss dinner if she doesn’t hurry back home. But now her mother would never call again.
That was the worst part of being alone. Her thoughts would stray away towards the dark memories that made her wish she could jump out of her skin and runaway as far as her legs would go. Run away from her life, from everything she had become.
Old Della, the girl she once was would have never felt like this. Old Della was all smiles and rainbows her twin sister used to say. But old Della didn’t have these memories tormenting her all the time, never seeming to ease their grip on her already fractured sanity. Old Della didn’t know the smell of human flesh burning, she didn’t see people laying scattered around the street, hurt and dying whenever she closed her eyes. To old Della death was a distant stranger, a character from a book or a movie and not a close acquaintance….
Old Della didn’t hear the pleads of her sister right before she died so she couldn’t have them running on repeat when the memories took over and the torture inside her head began. And that was one thing Della never told anyone. She figured it would brake her father and especially Maja even more to know Lena was alive and in pain while Della was lying only a few steps away immobilized and unable to help.
Feeling cold sweat dripping from her brow as the darkness over took her Della couldn’t take in no more, she got up hastily grabbing all her stuff so carefully layed on the table before her and pushing them into her open school bag. She cringed at the mess she made there but she hurried up the stairs, needing to get away from here, away from the creepy silence that invited in the memories… Needing to think about literally anything else…
She planned to head straight home from here hoping that forcing herself to act normal in front of her family would help her to get better. However as she rounded the corner of an empty school hallway the door of the boiler room opened and the only person who could make her smile these days stepped out.
Lacey’s clothes were filthy, even her pale face was smudged with dirt and that pretty, long dark hair was a mess. But Lacey smiled when she saw Della and as her face lit up Della felt her darkness releasing the hold it had on her. For a moment nothing existed but her and the girl before her.
“Give me a moment.” She said before Della could come any closer. “I’ll tidy up.” She rushed towards the girls bathroom leaving Della alone again. But this time she was better, Lacey always had that effect on her. Even more so after surviving the tragedy of a meteor hit that killed her mother, aunt and older sister. Lacey was the one good thing that kept her moving through the pain the darkness had brought.
They had started dating before, when Della was still old Della, before everything in her life had gone so tragically bad, before her youngest sister had gotten sick, before the meteor, before the hospital… But back then Della was so focused on keeping it a secret, she was to worried what people would say because that was who old Della was, someone so focused on appearances she had no awareness of things that truly matter in life. Now she wished she handled things differently, she wished her mum got to meet her Lacey… She wished she had known how happy Della was with her…
Back when Della was in the hospital Lacey came to visit every single day, she would read to her, talk to her, get her up to speed with what she had missed in school… And when Della got back to school and everyone kept staring at her, wondering if they could see her scars Lacey stood by her and treated her just as she had always did. She was always there to talk or just hangout, in a way Lacey understood, having lost her own mother a few years back.
The doors of the girls’s room opened and Lacey stepped out looking all clean and fresh in a new shirt, her long black hair pulled back as usually. Della was so jealous of that long silky hair, even though she wore her hair short even before the fire burnt most of it out. “Let’s get out of here.” Lacey said simply and Della followed.
“I really don’t understand why you keep bothering with that old boiler.” Della said when the two of them were out of the school building.
“It feels nice to earn some money on the side.” Lacey replied with a lazy shrug. Della knew Lace’s father, the man that she and her sister Tami were currently living with was rather well off. She knew that most people said very bad things about him, and how he made his money in the first place but she couldn’t understand while Lace was so fixated on earning her own whenever she could. Sometimes she dreamed it was for the two of them, so as soon as they graduate they can move away together, just the two of them, start a new life somewhere where Della can let go off all the bad things that followed her….
Yet she knew it wasn’t the case, and even if it was she could never leave her family behind like that. She didn’t even let a giant rock falling from the sky take her away from them. She had to be there for Maja, at least try to fill the void loosing her twin left in her, she had to be there for Nan, her own twin who needs someone to set her straight when she being mean, she had to be there for her little sister Tracy, tell her about their mum, the beautiful, strong and fierce woman who wished to one day go into space, and see the worlds other than their own, and most importantly she had to be there for their father, the man who had lost the love of his life, his best friend, and two of his children…
But first Della had to beat her own darkness and with her beautiful Lacey by her side she was sure she would to it. She squeezed her hand and smiled making Lacey turn to her.
“What are you thinking about?” She asked.
“I think I should grow my hair out.” Della replied quietly.
“I think that is a great idea, you have such pretty hair, you know.” Lacey said in a serious tone after regarding Della’s face for a moment. Della smiled once again and together they slowly headed back to their homes.
/*In the last post I forgot to mention that I had finished the family tree of the Prentiss family as well, it can be found here. Thank you all for reading! */