Chapter 2: Carter FinchA Chapter by ZekkieSpencer
Second installment of the Ravenbrook Novel. Carter Finch Central
I woke up the next morning, face warm from the sun falling onto my eyes from a crack in the window curtains. I was growing increasingly more aware that there was something a bit off about my situation, but the sun was creating warmth that made me reluctant to open my eyes. That and the obvious pain that was inevitable to my eyeballs.
I shifted slightly away from the sun, last night’s grilled cheese sandwiches that Farren had made still clinging to my nose. Thank god that girl was here last night. I can’t even boil water, and supposedly, according to cookbooks that my mom has stacked in the kitchen, it one of the easiest things to do. Whatever, I don’t care, stupid authors. No matter how many times you tell me that, cooking is freaking hard. Damn near impossible. I burned ramen in a matter of seconds. Not an easy task.
Realizing that there was a very slim chance of returning back to sleep, I turned over to see what god-awful time I found myself waking up at. Normally it would be about noon, but the sun was in my eyes, which meant either it was seriously late (we’re talking, like, 4 in the afternoon, which is a long time), or I woke up in the wrong room and Farren is in mine. I opened my eyes and found something horrifically wrong. As in, if anyone walks in right now, I’m screwed.
Farren was lying in the bed next to me, still asleep under the brown and blue duvet we were using.
Quickly, bordering on frantically, I searched my mind for any kind of lead as to how my best friend had ended up in my bed, especially with my dad bordering on my secret. Finding nothing particularly discriminating and condemning, I relaxed slightly. At least nothing bad and compromising happened. It still didn’t solve the question on how the short-haired girl had ended up with me.
She shifted in her sleep, and I froze, barely breathing, hoping she didn’t wake up and find herself in an increasingly awkward situation she just got herself into. Well, awkward for me, in the least.
Right now, the girl was lying on her side facing towards me, her short dark hair a halo on the blue pillow beneath her head. She was facing towards the sun, and her forehead crinkled cutely as she shifted again, moving her head so that it was closer to my neck.
Panicking, my eyes shot down, taking in the entirety of the situation. Yep, this is definitely not the greatest position to be in. Whatever Farren had thought while she slept, it had lead to her being dangerously close to me, almost to the point where she was touching me. The position was almost intimate.
My stomach muscled tightened, and I inhaled deeply, steadying myself. It was no shock that I felt like this. I mean, who wouldn’t feel like this after waking up and finding yourself sleeping in the same bed as one of your closest friends, right?
I nearly jumped up out of the bed after a light puff of air hit the base of my throat. A few seconds later, another one hit the same spot. I giggled softly, feeling like, well, a blond, after realizing that it was only Farren’s steady breaths as she slept. Now that the thought crossed my mind, I’m pretty sure that might be the cause of my sleep disruption. It’s probably for the best; what with all considerations and all. Especially since… well, let’s not dive into that topic.
Feelings, ones that for ages I’d been fighting a losing battle to, started to make an appearance again, making my stomach bubble. I stamped them down forcefully and told my brain that it was because of hunger. Or it was the really awkward position. Wait, not because of that. It was definitely hunger.
Okay, so maybe sitting so close to Farren isn’t the best idea in the world right now. I hopped out of the bed carefully, trying not to awaken the snoring teen next tom me, and ran to the dresser, chilly and itching for something other than a tank top and shorts to wear.
I opened a drawer and froze, not recognizing any of the various articles of clothing folded neatly in the drawer. First off, I don’t fold my clothes. Second, green is not a color that I voluntarily choose to wear. Quickly I glanced around the room, taking in the wide color spectrum of beige and brown. Yep, this was not my room.
Turns out I fell asleep in Farren’s room. Not the type of situation that I recommend getting into. In fact, this situation keeps getting worse by the minute.
I borrowed a sweatshirt hanging in her closet, figuring I’d just sneak back in while she got a shower and return it later. I looked back at Farren, now spread-eagled across the entirety of her mattress, and slowly backed out of the room, hoping the stairs didn’t creak when I attempted to descend them.
In the living room, Mom and Dad were already watching a morning program of the TV, seemingly oblivious to me coming around the bend of the stairs. Carefully I walked over to them and sat down on the edge of the couch on the opposite side as my dad. On the television, the anchorwoman was delivering breaking news about a train wreck farther south in Washington by the border. Pity.
Dad looked over at me and eyed the sweatshirt that I was wearing. “You cold, kid? It’s August. It’s a bit warm today to be wearing a sweatshirt.”
I shrugged, snuggling deeper into the couch cushion. Dunno. Maybe I’m catching some bug.” I looked at him from the corner of my eye, trying to read his reaction. Maybe he doesn’t know.
He nodded slowly. “Maybe if you had slept in your own room, there wouldn’t have been a draft. They can cause sickness you know.” He paused, eyeing me before continuing. “Farren’s room has a draft, doesn’t it? Especially when you sleep on the floor. But you weren’t on the floor, were you?”
Yeah, he knew I hadn’t been in my bed, or on Farren’s floor. I scowled at him and looked away, over at mom, seated in the chair diagonal from dad. She stared at me disapprovingly.
“What?” I snapped, irritated that they were assuming things again. I folded my legs underneath me, moving as far away from them as the couch would allow.
“Nothing happened, you know.” I glared at the TV. If I had a tail, it would be twitching like crazy.
“Nothing was going to happen, nothing will ever happen. Okay?” I paused, turning to look at dad with a somewhat pissed off look. “I don’t even know how I ended up in there.”
Dad’s gaze turned cold, and he clenched at the TV remote. “We know what could have happened, and we’re not happy about your deviance.”
My mouth dropped open in shock. “My what?”
He glared at me, eyebrows furrowing in the center. “Your perversion. So long as you’re in this house, I want none of that nonsense.”
I snorted. “What perversion? I’m nothing. I am nothing to you, so how can you dislike and forbid nothing?”
He opened his mouth to spit back a reply, face already red with fury, before he was interrupted by footsteps tapping softly down the stairs.
Farren, looking ragged from sleep, short hair every which way, stumbled down the stairs. She rubbed her eyes groggily and stared at me, who somehow managed to wander into the hallway by the closet.
She looked confused, as if she woke up hearing the shouting (which, oh God, I hope she didn’t) and came down to some serious tension. I know she felt it now. She had felt it before and had questioned me about it yesterday, but what am I supposed to say? That my dad hates who I am because I love the wrong person? Someone he doesn’t approve of?
Dad wants me to marry Ryan Millington, the Pastor’s son. Obviously, I’m none too fussed over him.
I shot him one last look and walked over to Farren, who was floating around in the hallway to the kitchen, drowning in her own thoughts. What was she thinking about? Her mom? Me? My Dad?
She turned around from the small circles she was spinning and ogled my shirt. Uneasy at her stare, I crossed my arms.
“Is that my sweat shirt?” she asked, fuzzily. She moved forward as if to touch the fabric, like if she touched it, it would prove that it was hers.
I ignored her and grabbed her arm, leading her away from me and to the kitchen.
“Toast? I asked, too cheerily. She nodded, pouring herself a mug of hot English Brew tea. After of couple minutes of awkward silence and some slurping and chewing, she finally seemed awake enough to begin an actual coherent conversation.
“Did you sleep with me?”
Suddenly I started choking on the bite of toast I just took and pounded my chest hard. Airway clear, I gave her a wide-eyed look.
“What?” I sputtered, crumbs flying.
“Like, in my bed. I could have sworn having some kind of nightmare, and you appeared, but you were gone this morning. The bed was still warm.” She seemed to have totally missed my choking episode, or didn’t think anything of it (Like I totally choke on food all the time). Either way, she took another small nibble on her toast before she slathered more butter on the slice.
“You should really consider putting more butter on these. They’re incredibly dry.” She placed a huge lump on top of the already slathered toast and continued to spread it around the surface.
I stuck my tongue out and made a face. “That is so gross. You know that too much butter makes toast greasy.”
She looked at me and raised an eyebrow. “So, did you?” she asked.
Puzzled I gave her another look. “Did I, what?”
“Come into my room?”
“Yeah, I was. I guess your dream was bad last night then?” I asked, relieved that at least nothing bad happened. I yawned, still a little drowsy.
She fidgeted a bit, ripping apart the toast she just buttered in half. She turned, grey eyes looking at me thoughtfully. Funny thing, those eyes. Matches her name: Grey, grey.
“I dreamed I was at the accident, watching dad’s truck get hit over and over again. I was watching it all happen all over again.” She bit at the skin around her thumb, obviously more than a little bothered by her dream.
Suddenly last night came flooding back to me. I had woken up last night to screaming. Farren had been having a nightmare, and by the sound of it, a pretty nasty one. It has scared the piss out of her; she hadn’t wanted me to leave. I ended up lying down on the bed next to her until she dozed off. I guess I must have dozed off as well, because Poof! I ended up waking next to her.
“You know Ryan Millington? From our Chem 2 class?” she leaned on the counter, pushing herself up and onto the kitchen counter. She had to lean back carefully. Last time she did that, she smacked her head against the cabinet behind her.
I snorted, remembering the kid from back in the sophomore class. “You mean that guy who had sat in the back with the kinda dark blond hair, always gelled up? The kind my dad is keen on me marrying? Yeah, I remember him. Isn’t he supposed to be kind of brilliant?”
She nodded, fidgeting with her fingers nervously. “Yeah, he moved down the street last week.” She stared out the kitchen window behind me, where Ryan’s house was clearly visible behind the trees.
“Yeah, so? I knew that. What about it?” I already knew why she was talking about him, but why she wouldn’t just admit she had an insane crush on him for the past year and a half is beyond me.
She continued to fidget, gazing out the window vacantly. And they say that it’s the blonds who are empty. Clearly, they haven’t seen Fae while she’s thinking. No brain, it seems. Hmm… maybe if she started to drool it would make the stereotype complete.
I waved a hand in front of her face, trying to snap her out of her thoughts. “Captain Kirk, you have permission to return to Earth you know.”
She shook her head, breaking her concentrations. She stared at me, looking slightly confused. “I haven’t the slightest idea where I was going with that.”
I narrowed my eyes. Of course I knew where she was going with that. I’ve known for ages; what kind of a best friend wouldn’t pick up on that. Why she wouldn’t just come out and say it just confuses and irritates me.
Jealousy flared in my chest, and this time I didn’t bother to smother it. Why should I? This feeling is acceptable and relevant to the situation. Also, I was too angry and tired to do anything but let it simmer.
She looked at me, bemused at the irritation on my face. I didn’t want to explain it to her, so I forced a smile and tried to change the topic.
“So, how’s your mom?” I asked, completely forgetting about her situation. Instantly Farren’s face darkened and I remembered, a moment to late.
“What is it with you today? You well know that I haven’t said a word to her since yesterday.” She glared at me suspiciously, trying to figure out my strange behavior. Her eyes lightened as if she found out an important clue.
“Does this have anything to do with that thing between you and your dad? I heard shouting this morning, and he was definitely acting different yesterday.”
I moved over to the counter and pushed myself up. I sat there for a second next to her, quietly trying to decide if I should really tell her the truth. She obviously doesn’t tell me every detail of her life. Why should I? I tried to shrug it off.
“Oh, it’s nothing, really. It’s just a difference of opinion, is all.” I gave her a fake smile, swinging my legs as if I wasn’t bothered by the issue.
She stared me down, clearly not buying it. “I thought you said it was him taking things too literally.” She pointed out, flicking my leg.
I hesitated. “It’s a long and complicated situation, Farren. And boring. Honestly, I don’t want to talk about it.”
She nudged me with her shoulder. “Well, obviously it’s really bothering you,” she said, trying to coax the truth out of me.
“Well, obviously I don’t know what
you’re talking about,” I said, dryly. I dropped down off the counter awkwardly and held onto the counter, itching to get out of
this now sticky situation. There was no way now that Farren would let this lie.
Sian, a friend of mine that I made shortly after Farren completely dropped off the face of the earth, walked out from her house next to mine and watched the scene between me and Farren, intrigued.
She was tiny. Not that much shorter than Farren, who was definitely shorter than me, but to me, that just made her tiny. She had that shaggy, black dyed hair that for some reason all the punk kids wear, striped and highlighted in blue. And no matter what day it was, it always seemed like she dressed the same: ripped, faded jeans, graphic tees, the neon suspenders (why she wears them are beyond me), and her really tall converses, neatly laced in rainbow, absolutely scribbled on.
She strutted over, amused by my dismayed look at her arrival. “Hey Finch! What’s up?” She turned to Farren and gave her the once over. “Is this Farren?”
Farren, still dressed in the shorts and large tee she slept in, brandishing her bite of toast, stared at Sian in confusion.
“Car, who’s that?”
Oh right. They’ve never met. See, I keep meaning to introduce them, but Sian just moved here in June, and Farren hasn’t exactly been around, has she?
Casually, Sian linked her arm in mine, smiling at Farren with her Cheshire Cat grin she had perfected. She held out a hand.
“Sian Williams.” She smirked.
Farren eyed her cautiously. “Sean? Isn’t that a guy’s name?” she alleged, ignoring Sian’s offered hand.
Sian’s smile fell, and she removed her arm from mine. “No, Sian. Like S-I-A-N. It’s a welsh name. It was my grandmother’s before she died, got that?” her eyes glinted coldly at Farren. “I certainly don’t need to ask your name.”
She glanced at me warily before she stepped closer to Farren. I could see the conflict between the two.
“If I had to spot you in a crowd, I’d never pick you out of the lot. My first impression is nowhere near Carter’s description. She was way too nice.”
Farren’s glare shifted to me. “You were talking about me?” she hissed, face flushed with anger.
Hastily I raised my hands, trying to protect myself from Farren’s anger. “No! Well, yeah. Just a little. She wanted to know who you were.”
Sian turned to me, clapping her hands together to catch our attention.
“Hey, I know what we can do, Finch. Why don’t we go to mine, have a few drinks, and talk about our plans for this weekend?” She smiled and reclaimed my arm.
Farren, confused, stepped down a stair. “What’s going on this weekend? What about your dad? You should really sort this issue out.”
“Nothing is going on between me and dad.” I growled, stepping back away from Farren.
Sian stared at me in disbelief. “Uh yeah, last time I heard, he was still upset about the time he caught you and Farren…”
I clapped a hand over her mouth. “SIAN!” I yelped.
“What?! She knows about what’s going on between your dad and you? And I don’t?” she roared, hopping down the rest of the steps. Her eyes fogged momentarily and she looked at Sian. “Wait. What about me and Carter?”
I missed the last point and shook my head. I grabbed Farren’s shoulder to try and calm her. “No, it’s not like that. She only knows because…”
Farren spun around, standing close, face close to mine in anger. My breath hitched, but she rolled her eyes.
“She has no right to know something this important before I do. I’m supposed to be your best friend. Why won’t you tell me?”
Her eyes burned into mine, and I came close to just giving in and confessing everything to her, regardless of the consequences, but Sian, arm still in my own, started to pull me towards her house next door.
“Alrighty, love. Funny thing about timing, it happens to sneak up on us at all the wrong times. Let’s go before you two start to really go at it.” She turned to me waggling her eyebrows. I whacked her arm and darted my eyes to Farren, who looked puzzled.
“Where are you two going?” she asked suspiciously.
I glanced apologetically at Sian and walked over to stand in front of Farren, holding her by the shoulders. She cringed slightly, still angry, but stayed put. I sighed and looked back at the impatient Sian and turned back to Farren.
“Listen, Fae. Don’t give me that look, honestly?”
She straightened her face back to a nervous expression, biting her lower lip. I shook my head and ran a hand through my hair and continued in a hushed voice.
“Look, you need to go back to your mom. She had a chance to sleep on it and read through things. Was there anything important in there to freak her out?” I asked.
Farren stepped back, fidgeting with her fingers. “Well, it was just a copy of the petition, date of hearing as of now, and an order for a Guardian Ad Litem.” She looked up at me and behind me at Sian standing a little ways away.
“You should go talk to her, Fae.”
Farren’s face softened into worry. “Right, right, Mom.” Her face blurred into something I didn’t recognize and she turned to her house. I frowned, forehead crinkling.
“Aren’t you going to get dressed?” I asked.
She smiled genuinely, nose crinkling. “Are you?” Her eyes glinted, amused.
I looked down at the black wife beater and boy shorts I had slept in, and the open hoodie I had borrowed from Farren. “Hmm, good point. I guess not. See you later?”
She shrugged, amusement gone. “Perhaps. It depends on how things go.”
I pursed my lips. “Right.” It did depend on if things went well. I probably wouldn’t see the girl for another month if things went poorly.
She turned around again to leave, and Sian appeared behind me, touching my back between to shoulder blades.
“Tell me again exactly why you love her and not Ryan Millington?”
I shrugged, unsure myself. “I don’t know. What I do know is that I can’t help it, as much as I wish I didn’t so things could be easier.” We walked silently through the brief distance from my house to hers. Sian was first to end the silence.
“Tell me again why you and your parent are fighting.”
It wasn’t even a question. I knew she knew. “We’ve gone over this a million times already, Sian.”
She shuffled awkwardly. “Well, yeah love, but it’s possible that I didn’t pay attention as much as I should have, because I still don’t get it.”
I sighed. “Remember that party held in June in the back woods. The clearing the hunters use?”
She pursed her lips and nodded, sitting on the steps leading to the second landing of her house. “Yeah, the one held right after I moved here. Mom was complaining a lot about the lights and noise. Boy did that irk her something fierce.”
I interlaced my fingers together, remembering her telling me that part countless times. “Yeah, Farren and I got completely wasted that night. I remember it all. She doesn’t, of course. If she did, everything would be different. I think she had way more to drink.”
“I didn’t think that your short, tiny, perfect little Grey was a heavy drinker. Lightweight I can understand. She’s tiny.” She scoffed.
I glared at her. “Like you have room to talk. She’s not that tiny. In fact, she’s shorter by less than an inch.” I retorted.
She looked down and grumbled, playing with her shoe laces. “Continue.”
“Right, so somehow we found ourselves at the edge of the party. I don’t know why, or how. Maybe it was the alcohol that she had consumed, but she turned to me and started to kiss me. My dad had come to shut the party down and caught us.”
Sian snorted in irritation. “And this is the part I can never understand. So he found you two canoodling in the wood. I can’t believe he’s angry at that.”
I shook my head, cutting her off. “He hates gay people. And I’m pretty sure he though me and Farren were a couple.”
Sian looked at me, confused. “Aren’t you? You look pretty close.”
I inhaled slowly, looking up to the ceiling from my position on the floor.
“No. I’m pretty sure we’re not. She has a thing for Ryan. And I don’t mean a random Ryan. The Ryan. Dad’s man, Ryan. Pastor’s Boy Ryan.”
Sian raised her eyebrow in shock. “Oh my god. How are you taking that?”
I closed my eyes and leaning back so my head hit the wall behind me. “I don’t know, Sian. I don’t know.”
Getting off the stairs, Sian dropped down next to me and pulled me against her. I leaned my head against the shoulder, feeling her bony shoulder poked into my cheek.
“Well, mate, I recommend finding out what you’re doing soon, because she wants to know what’s going on, you can’t keep lying to her or your gonna lose her.” She rubbed my arm with a small hand, trying to comfort me.
I pulled at her colorful shoelace and it came undone. I tangled it around a finger. “Yeah, I know that one.”
© 2012 ZekkieSpencer
Honey Brook, PA
AboutI'm just an average teen, strike that, no I'm not. I'm told my mind in like a book, a library, but unfortunately, it seems like my library could use the Dewy Decimal System. I spend alot of my time re.. more..