Somewhere Only We Know

This is my first attempt at writing a short story. Over the years, I have wanted to write out my thoughts and ideas many times, but have not had the patience to do so.

This story, inspired by a song, was the first time I sat myself down to put pen to paper, or in this case, put finger to key.

Feedback and constructive criticism is not only welcome, but encouraged.

*****

The soothing sound of the water falling into the creek calmed my frayed nerves. The birds chirping and the cackle of leaves from under the rabbits’ paws were comforting. The animals had a life going on round me, while mine was in limbo. I couldn’t forget my past and move forward, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the future either.

I had tried moving on, but the past was always there, buzzing like an angry bee at the back of my head. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get rid of the buzzing.

And now, everything that I dreaded had finally happened. Isaiah knew. I guess I always knew he would find out, I knew he would come back, but I still wasn’t prepared. And to top it all off, I just had to be changing my soaked shirt at the time he entered, and he just had to see the scars. He had dropped the purple pansies he had brought for me; he still remembered how much I loved them.

Isaiah was probably looking for me, but I had run to my sanctuary as soon as his horrified expression clued me in that he was no longer ignorant of what happened in his absence. He shouldn’t have come back, I just hope he doesn’t remember the place we used to come to ten years ago.

I knew that I won’t survive a heart to heart with my older brother, not when he knows. He would be overly sympathetic, he would look at me with pity in his eyes, just like Marian did when I first told her.  Marian, my rock, I can’t even imagine my life without her. But more worrisome, was that he would take it all upon himself. Even I thought for some time that it was Isaiah’s fault, but it really wasn’t.

It was mother’s, just mother’s.

I was so lost in thought, that I didn’t hear the light footsteps until the person was behind me. Before I knew it, Isaiah had thrown his arms around my neck, and started sobbing into my shoulder. He was full-on crying, my strong brother was breaking.

I didn’t know what to do, how to react. Should I pat his back? Comfort him? Shouldn’t I be the one crying? What does one do when the brother they hadn’t seen for eight years comes to see you, and accidentally sees the scars on your back after hearing the stories of what happened to his sister he left behind? Get a hold of yourself; you’re a twenty year old woman, for god’s sake, not a scared child, I scold myself. But in a sense, that was exactly what I was, a scared child.

My childhood had been snatched away from me; I had suffered for so long, until I ended the lives of my tormentors. Yes, that’s what I am, a murderess. I did it four years ago, with a shotgun, his shotgun. I blew off his head after accidentally shooting my mother. What can I say, I was a girl of 16, and I didn’t know how to handle a shotgun. But she just had to try to save her pig of a boyfriend. I couldn’t help but feel guilty. No matter how much I hated my mother, I didn’t want to kill her. Although it had lessened over the years, thanks to counselling and the support of my friends’, it was always lingering at the back of my head.

Isaiah’s choked sobs subsided and he raised his head so that his beautiful grey eyes looked into my melancholy black ones.

“Bunny?” He said, addressing me with my childhood nickname, he had always called me Bunny, after I nursed back to health an injured rabbit I found at this very place. “Why didn’t you tell me? Call me? Written to me, just did something! I thought she had stopped! And I didn’t even know about her boyfriend! I waited you know, for some contact from you, when you stopped picking my calls or writing me back. But I couldn’t come back; I was in the middle of the ocean, and you always told me not too!”

“I know that.” I responded dully.

I honestly didn’t know what to do with him. Things had changed, I had changed. I wasn’t a bubbly ten-year old anymore. I was a scarred, broken young woman with absolutely no goal in life.

“Talk to me Bunny please! You could have come and stayed with me on the rig, like you did when you were twelve!”

Ah yes, that time. It had been amazing. Isa had gotten permission for me to stay on the oil rig he worked at. He had applied there when he was 18, gotten the job on a contract of ten years, and left before you could say “oil”. He had one month every year to come and stay at home, but he didn’t come, I told him not to.

He did come home after two years on the rig and took me back with him when he was 20, and I was 12. It was an amazing summer, me and him and his calloused work buddies, who were surprisingly as hard as a molten chocolate lava cake; frolicking in the middle of the ocean and visiting Disneyland when we went ashore.

But I was stupid enough to accept the call. Her call. She said that she would kill my pets if I didn’t come home right then. Apparently, he was getting bored and horny, and my dear mother wanted his entertainment, me, to return. I spent two days sweating about it, Isa asked what was wrong, but I didn’t, I couldn’t tell him. I knew he would come back to protect me, but I wanted him to be happy, and free. And happy he was on the rig, and I would never take that away from him. I was twelve, but my soul had always been old and wise.

My pets were everything to me at home. They meant the world to me. They were the ones who comforted me when I was torn apart. Not only mentally, but physically as well, when I lost my virginity to him when I was only eleven.

“Barbra please!” Isa’s voice brought me back to the present. “I would have thought all those stories were speculations, but I saw the scars, Bunny, just tell me if it’s true?” The desperation and the guilt in his voice tugged on my heartstrings.

“Where did you hear the stories from?” I asked in the monotonous voice that had for so long replaced my usually perky one.

“I went to Lu’s Florist to get you the pansies, and she told me, she sympathized with me! I thought old Lu was just delusional and had confused me with someone else, but then Tony’s son, Radley, remember I went to school with him? Well he owns his dad’s shop now, he told me! Barbra just tell me what happened, honey, I need to know what happened!” He said all this without breathing even once; he always used to speak so fast, I guess some things never change.

“Well you already know don’t you?” I wasn’t being cruel; I just didn’t want to tell him everything all over again. Once with the police was enough.

He let out a shaky breath. “I come home after almost a decade. And people tell me my baby sister killed our abusive mother and her boyfriend. Can you imagine what I feel like?” He asked quietly, barely holding on to his emotions. “I feel like a disappointing, worthless, piece of shit, who couldn’t protect the one person in this god-forsaken world, he loved with all his heart.” His words gradually turned into a growl coming from clenched teeth.

I knew it; I knew he would feel guilty.

“Isa, you don’t understand, it’s not your fault, but I just want to get over it, and rehashing the experience with you won’t make me feel better!”

“Bunny, baby, I think you need closure, just try to talk to me love. Maybe you will feel better?” He said hesitatingly.

I saw the utterly broken look in his eyes. He looked as if he had lost me. He hadn’t, I was still his baby. But I had lost myself, I didn’t know how to find myself again, but maybe, just maybe, we could do that together.

I looked at my brother, who had been like a father to me for such a long time, and took a deep breath; I had decided.

I was going to tell my brother everything, it would break him too, and then we will fix each other, like we used to in the past. Whenever our mother would hit us, we would come to this beautiful place and talk and cry and hold each other until we felt better again.

I scooted closer to him, and put my head on his shoulder. My dog, Snow, bounded over to me and put his head in my lap. I took in Isa’s familiar scent, closed my eyes, and began my long and painful tale of woe.

*****

I walked across an empty land
I knew the pathway like the back of my hand
I felt the earth beneath my feet
Sat by the river and it made me complete

Oh simple thing where have you gone?
I’m getting old and I need something to rely on
So tell me when you’re gonna let me in
I’m getting tired and I need somewhere to begin

I came across a fallen tree
I felt the branches of it looking at me
Is this the place we used to love?
Is this the place that I’ve been dreaming of?

Oh simple thing where have you gone?
I’m getting old and I need something to rely on
So tell me when you’re gonna let me in
I’m getting tired and I need somewhere to begin

And if you have a minute why don’t we go
Talk about it somewhere only we know?
This could be the end of everything
So why don’t we go
Somewhere only we know?
Somewhere only we know?

Oh simple thing where have you gone?
I’m getting old and I need something to rely on
So tell me when you’re gonna let me in
I’m getting tired and I need somewhere to begin

And if you have a minute why don’t we go
Talk about it somewhere only we know?
This could be the end of everything
So why don’t we go?
So why don’t we go?

This could be the end of everything
So why don’t we go
Somewhere only we know?
Somewhere only we know?
Somewhere only we know?

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