Friday Fiction – Dark Days
This is a scene from the story I’m working on at the moment. It is an exchange between the main protagonist (Jake) and his brother (Mattie). I hope you enjoy it.
‘You don’t remember anything from back then do you?’ he says, shaking his head in disbelief.
I feel hot with embarrassment and the shame of this reminder of my dark days three years ago.
‘It wasn’t my fault they put me in a drug induced haze,’ I say.
‘Well if you hadn’t kept insisting that you could speak to the ghost of Grandma Hutchins then they wouldn’t have had to would they?’ Mattie says.
‘They could have believed me?’ I say.
‘Why would they do that? Granddad had just died and they thought it was your way of dealing with it.’
‘Because it was true.’
‘Jesus, Jake are you still insisting after all this time, it’s pathetic.’
‘Whatever, Mattie, you have no idea,’ I say.
‘You’re right I don’t and doubt I ever will.’
The hurt I felt back then is beginning to reappear: the mocking from Mattie; being told off by my parents for trying to tell them about Gran. It’s frustrating when people don’t believe you, even when you swear you are telling the truth. It makes me want to scream and kick the wall and I can even feel hot tears forming behind my eyes. I will not cry in front of my brother though.
I look away and focus on the TV, taking deep breaths, trying to calm down and willing the tears to dry up and disappear back to where they came from. I can’t turn back towards Mattie until they do.
‘You know your friend Emma? Her sisters were part of the gang too,’ Mattie says.
I still don’t turn around. I can’t admit that I didn’t know that.
‘It was always me, Lee, Dan, Aimee, Chloe and Sarah. We hung around together, like all the time. Mostly down at the beach but away from where the other kids used to go so the police never bothered us. There was a lot of drinking went on, you know how it is.’
I don’t, as I never do that sort of thing. I spend most of my time with my mates at the swimming centre and we hang out in the café there. We don’t get drunk, we eat chips: so rock and roll, I know.
‘We were all with Aimee on the night she died.’
Now I’m turning around and my ears are on full alert. I know my dad mentioned this already, but I’m keen to hear it from Mattie direct.
Mattie seems to take ages to answer, as though in spirit he has gone back to that night.
‘We were all down at the beach as usual, except this time Aimee went a bit too far and took some drugs Lee gave her. She ended up having a massive argument with Dan about it and to make things worse kissed Lee right in front of him. Dan got mad and punched Lee and then stormed off.’
‘And then what?’ I say, leaning forward to make sure I hear every word he has to say.
Mattie is hesitant, but I guess thinking back to that night must be hard for him, knowing what happened to Aimee after.
‘Sarah was drunk, so she thought it was funny and was no help at all. Chloe took care of Aimee who was a mess by then, crying her eyes out and saying what have I done and all that crap. Lee was brewing for a fight and wanted to go find Dan and finish him off. I had to hold him back and talk him out of it, which was by no means easy, let me tell you.’
I could well believe that, given the size of Lee now and if you take that, plus adrenalin, you have your work cut out to stop it.
‘He punched a bin instead. There were some big metal wheelie bins at the back of an old yard.’
‘Was Aimee still there at that point?’
‘Yeah, she wanted to go after Dan too, but we stopped her. Chloe and Sarah offered to take her home but she refused, so they left.’
‘Was that it?’ I say.
‘I guess so. I left after that too. That was the last I saw of Aimee. I feel awful for not knowing what happened to her.’
I don’t know why, but it feels like Mattie isn’t telling me everything.