A Chapter by Starrbitt


Mama was always telling me that one day I'd grow up and wind up marrying the most handsome prince out there. She said that I was the prettiest girl there was to offer, smart too, so when his eyes landed on me she said he'd instantly fall head over heels in love with my golden curls, dainty nose, and bronze eyes. My brother Dace hated when mom talked like that though. His almond shaped eyes would glaze over with a hint of something I could never place my finger on and he'd say, "Mama, you can't keep telling her things like that. We can barely afford the electricity bill, what makes you think she'd be able to afford the heart of a prince."

   Mama would glare at him from across the table as she held me on her lap, her tiny fingers pausing in mid-comb through my hair. "Star can achieve whatever she sets her mind to. One day she's going to get out of here, get a nice job, and meet that prince, giving me lots of grand babies." She'd start playing with my hair again and would make me look her deep in the eyes so she knew I believed her when she continued on. "You know that, don't you baby? Dace knows that, right?"

Dace glanced up at mama with a tight grim smile and would get up, putting on his work coat before sighing with defeat. His shoulders would slump, his eyes closed and he'd nod slowly. "Yes mama. You're right," and then he'd head out the door not giving me a single glance.
Ever since I turned 13, that's all I've ever remembered him doing, throwing on a work coat and heading out the door like a father was supposed to but considering our father left years ago, I guess it was only natural for Dace to take responsibility. He's only a year older then me and back then, he would go over Uncle Ronnie's and work under the table for him until he officially was able to work at a place just a few blocks away called Sam's Auto Shop. 
I've never thought Dace liked me much. We love each other as much as the next brother and sister would but he never looks at me fully, never talks to me directly, or touches me like a brother. He doesn't hug or play, actually during the past few years, I've felt like inside him he's only hardened as he gets farther into the age of a young adult and it felt like that meant he was getting farther away from me too. With mama he was different, even with Sally, our little sister; he was different. He'd laugh with them and tickle Sally, he'd give mama a kiss on the cheek and tell her he was glad she was our mother. 
He never tickles me, never hugs, or play or compliments. I know that now I'm sixteen and that I shouldn't want to play as much anymore but you'd think he would at least want to confide in me with things, especially since I was close to his age. At least talk to me a little more like he use to when we were little.

Dace and I didn't look too much alike either. Of course he was taller and masculine in the way a seventeen year old can be but our facial features weren't much alike. I had the skin of a porcelain doll, kind of like mamas, where he had the skin of our fathers, tan as if he bathed in sun rays all day until he got slightly dark like cookies baking. Dace had mamas almond shaped brown eyes and her narrow nose, but our fathers curved lips. He had the same jaw structure as mamas, delicate, and he had dimples and our fathers dark hair. 
I on the other hand had bronze eyes, round, ones mama said I  got from our father and small pouty lips. My hair was curly golden blonde, and thick where mamas was dark brown and thin. I had a small nubby nose and was just an inch or two shorter then mama. Mama said I kind of reminded her of a flower, how small and fragile I looked but that I was the prettiest flower she ever had seen. I asked her once why I looked a little different and she said I looked more like her little sister who died just a few years back, Lily. She said it's all in the genes.
Sally was only four years old and looked more like mama every day with her thin brown hair and almond eyes.  Mama had had Sally with one of her ex boyfriends after our father left and of course it only set us back, having another body in the apartment to feed and provide for. Our apartment was small and was supposed to only provide for a family of two but we had four. Dace took one room, Sally and I the other, and mama slept in the living room. The apartment wasn't the best; things were broken, the water on occasions wouldn't work for the oddest reasons, some windows were painted shut, and wallpaper was peeling. We couldn't afford to fix everything but slowly we would. Dace was sure of that.

We haven't always lived in this apartment, I remember a time when it was better and our father still lived with us. We had a house with three rooms and tons of space and Dace and I could run out in the front yard, not having to worry about stepping in an alley way, on glass from broken bottles, over trash and clutter, watching as someone with even less than us dig through a dumpster. Back in a time where we didn't have to be afraid of someone picking us up off the streets and never returning home because a stranger had us. Here, stuff like that happened often. But that house vanished after our father left cause as soon as he did, we packed everything and went so far away, leaving everything else behind, miles and miles standing between me and what was the life I use to have. When we left we had little money, our father had taken all the rest, and this was the only place she could afford. 

This has been our home ever since.
Dace walks with me to school, staring straight forward, walking as if he had mechanical legs. He doesn't say a word and his eyes are hard, narrowed on whatever he's seeing in front of him, maybe a vacant memory. All I was seeing was the same we always see, the alley we have to walk through to get to the main street and cross, over to our school. I see dumpsters and cluttered trash filling over the top of it, I hear a dog barking from somewhere and the low mumble of cars ahead of us. The alley always seemed so much longer then it actually was in the morning and at night, it looked darker. 

I walk forward too, silent, my binder clutched to my chest. Even though Dace was right there, I felt so alone, not unsafe but alone; his silence cutting deep into me, his relaxed hands but hardened eyes squeezing my heart in a way that hurt. Sometimes I wondered about what he thought about, or if I've ever done anything to him in the past seven years to make him this way towards me cause this hadn't started until he reached the age of ten, and I was nine. I fish and fish in my memory but don't catch a single thing I'd call unforgivable or wrong. I'm thrown into a memory of him and I smaller, his brown eyes mischievous as he tried to catch me at a game of tag, little arms reaching, hands covered with dirt. I felt like that was how it was now, me reaching but always too far away to reach, to understand. I gulp and close my eyes, trying to stop any tears from falling. They were pricking against my eyelids, demanding to be seen but I forced them away.

"Star? Are you happy?"

My eyes snapped open in surprise and I looked over at Dace, a hopeful feeling swirling in my chest, right beneath my ribs. His voice was hard too, just like his eyes, and he didn't look at me, he kept looking forward, determined to get to the main street. He shifted his book bag strap to his other shoulder. A waver came to my voice, I was afraid I might've suddenly dived into a daydream and was just imagining this. "With what?"

He shrugged, so quickly I wasn't even sure if he did it, and he sighed heavily, looking over at me. "I mean with everything. Where we live, how we live?"

I shrugged back but slowly, still amazed, and loosened the grip i had on my binder. "I'm happy, as long as I'm with you, mama, and Sally. It wouldn't matter where we are," I swallowed loudly, my voice drifting off with, "To me..."

He grunted roughly, his shoe slapping into a puddle of muck, and he nodded. "That's a good answer. You've always been good. Like mama says, you're as pure and fragile as a star." It didn't really sound like he was saying it to me but more like he was reminding himself, like maybe he forgot.

My heart felt as if inside it was squealing with delight. "Thank you Dace." He grunted again and I decided to try my luck, push further for us to have a brother-sister conversation I longed for. "I'm-I'm really glad to have you as a brother Dace. For the longest time, you've made sure we've had a roof over our heads and food in our mouths, even for me... And you make sure mama never feels bad for herself. You're good too."

The smallest and faintest smile appeared on his face and I felt triumphant inside. I smiled lowly too, clutching my binder to my chest again. Then Dace shot out his arm, stopping me in my tracks as he kept it in front of me, making sure I don't pass him. "What do you mean, "even me?" Why wouldn't I make sure you had a roof over your head, food in your mouth?" He turned to me, eyebrows pinched together as if he really and truly didn't understand.

I looked down at the ground and felt like I was suddenly eight again and he just caught me stealing mamas cookies from the pan while it was on the stove cooling. "Well," I couldn't help it but I was stuttering. I did that whenever I got nervous and he knew it. "Well, it's pretty obvious you-you dislike me."

Daces eyebrows almost instantly pulled apart, and he turned away, walking forward again with the words, "I could never dislike you," thrown into the air at me. I watched him for a moment, stunned half to death, feet frozen to the sticky pavement, heart silent and possibly gone. My brother didn't dislike me? It was almost as if he handed me a trophy that read To The Sister I Really Do Care For.

 Dace looked back at me over his shoulder and I caught up to him as quickly as I could still feeling as if my heart had just vanished at what he said, shock and relief fighting over who wanted to rattle through my bones and into my brain first. He didn't say anything after that and went back to being silent and staring straight ahead again once we crossed the street and got closer to the school. I knew things weren't going to all of the sudden change but I felt like it was a start.
I walked into the school behind him feeling proud, hoping for that brotherly relationship he once wanted to have for me.

© 2014 Starrbitt

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Added on January 14, 2014
Last Updated on January 14, 2014



Oakhill, WV

I love anime if you couldn't tell, vampires, writing, and evil faeries! My favorite color is purple, I like to read about creatures and zombies, and I love making my own videos. more..

Chapter One Chapter One

A Chapter by Starrbitt

Chapter Two Chapter Two

A Chapter by Starrbitt