Chapter 4

Chapter 4

A Chapter by Autumn
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Adelaide wakes up late, and her father recalls sweet memories to her.

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The next morning, Adelaide opened her eyes. She rolled over to look at her small alarm clock that was always resting on her small, wooden table. Her grey eyes practically jumped out of her head as she yelled out a string of curses. She threw her numerous blankets off, exposing herself to the chilly room. Adelaide grabbed her sweatpants from last night off the floor and swiftly slipped them on before she dashed out of her room. Her brother’s room was the first one she had arrived at. Adelaide pounded her fist on the thick, wooden door. “ERIC! GET THE F**K UP NOW! MY ALARM DIDN’T GO OFF!” she shouted at the top of her lungs.

Eric opened the door while still rubbing the sleep from his drowsy, hazel eyes. “Adelaide, calm down. You’ll still have time.”

Adelaide grabbed a fistful of his white shirt and pulled him down until her fierce, stormy eyes were staring into his now wide away hazels. “Open your eyes and look at a damn clock for once. I don’t have any time to f*****g spare,” she growled. Adelaide let go and headed further down the hallway to her father’s room, but not without calling over her shoulder, “And put on some damn pants! If I’m not allowed to walk around in my underwear then neither are you!”

Adelaide banged on her father’s door almost exactly like she had just done to her brother’s a moment ago, complete with the yelling. She did not hear a single word or complaint from him. I swear that man can sleep through a f*****g tornado, she thought as she opened the door, flooding the room with light.

Her father still did not move a muscle.

Adelaide growled while stomping her way to the curtains. She yanked them open, causing more light to shine on her father’s face. “Rise and shine, Dad! I don’t have time to fight you!” she yelled in a fake sing-song voice.

Roger only grumbled as he rolled over and pulled the forest green duvet over his head.

Looks like this calls for drastic measures, Adelaide thought as she marched out of the bedroom and down the hallway back to her bedroom.

Eric stopped her on the way by grabbing her upper arm. “What are you doing?” he asked with one eyebrow raised.

Adelaide put her free hand on her hip. “I’m going to see if the fire alarm in the kitchen still works.”

“Addie don’t. The last time you did that, you nearly gave Dad a heart attack and that was barely a month ago.”

Adelaide shrugged. “He’ll be fine. It’s not my fault he doesn’t want to get up the easy way.”

Eric rolled his hazel eyes. “Whatever. I’m going to start putting boxes in the car.” He walked away with his hands stuffed in the pockets of his black sweatpants.

Once Adelaide was back in her bedroom, she grabbed the hidden lighter from her top dresser drawer. Adelaide lightly jogged her way to the kitchen. She climbed onto the chilly countertop and flicked on the tiny, purple lighter. She cautiously stretched her arm up until the flame was near the fire alarm high up on the wall. She slowly waved the mini flame back and forth before the alarm began to rapidly beep. Adelaide continued to hold it there until her father ran through the swinging door, repeatedly yelling, “Where’s the fire? Where’s the fire?”

Adelaide flicked off the lighter and jumped back onto the floor. “I’m glad to see that you are finally awake.”

“Damn it Adelaide! What have I told you about setting off the fire alarm when there is no fire?” he yelled over the annoying beeping.

After another minute or so, the incessant beeping finally stopped. “It’s not my fault that it’s damn near impossible to wake you up,” Adelaide casually said with a shrug.

Roger’s face turned into a tomato as his anger immediately boiled over. “IT STILL DOES NOT MEAN YOU GET TO DISRESPECT ONE OF MY RULES AND DO WHATEVER THE F**K YOU WANT, ADELAIDE!”

“Well, I’m sorry my alarm clock decided that it did not want to go off and that I already have enough crap to pack and load in the car, which doesn’t even leave me with enough time to even get my own self ready and that means I definitely don’t have enough time to spend waking you up,” Adelaide sarcastically apologized before stomping out of the kitchen and down the hallway to her bedroom.

Adelaide slammed the door closed as soon as she was inside. She rammed her back against the wood finish and then slid down until she hit the carpet floor. Adelaide hugged her knees to her chest and rested her elbows on her knees before resting her heavy head in her tiny hands. What the f**k is wrong with me? she screamed to herself within the confines of her mind. Why am I acting like a complete b***h? Adelaide heard a knock behind her interrupting her thoughts. “What do you want?” she practically growled from the floor, pulling her head back to rest it against the wood.

“We need to talk,” a deep voice said.

“About what?” she questioned further, irritation slightly leaking out through her voice.

“Why is Dad spitting up a storm in the kitchen?”

Adelaide reluctantly stood up and opened the door to see her tree of a brother standing with his arms crossed, now wearing black athletic pants but with the same white shirt from earlier. She left the door open as she went to go sit in her desk chair.

Eric followed her inside, not bothering to close the door. He sat on the edge of the bed, stretching out his mile long legs as he leaned back on his arms. “Are you going to answer my question or not?”

“First of all, that wasn’t technically a real question. It was an answer. Secondly, why do you care?”

“Just in case you have not realized this, we have the same father, and if he’s pissed at you, then he’s pissed at everybody, which obviously includes me,” Eric replied.

Adelaide just stared at him with a bored look.

“Just answer me,” Eric said with a sigh.

Adelaide rolled her eyes as she finally answered, “Fine, Dad yelled at me for messing with the fire alarm to wake him up again, and I sarcastically apologized before stomping out.”

“Damn, you haven’t done something like that since I was fourteen. Why did you do it today of all days?”

Adelaide shrugged. “I don’t have a f*****g clue honestly. I guess maybe because I’m a little stressed out.”

Eric snorted. “Yeah right. How about changing a little to extremely?”

“Okay, maybe I’m more stressed with moving out, not to mention the whole inheritance thing,” Adelaide confessed.

Eric sighed before he offered, “I’ll talk to Dad for you if you want. He’ll most likely understand, especially coming from me since he seems to be extremely pissed off at you right now.”

“Who are you and what have you done with my brother,” Adelaide teased with a small laugh. She stood up and walked over her half empty closet.

“I’m still your brother. You simply need to consider yourself lucky,” he joked. “Anyway, do you need me to carry more boxes to your car?”

As Adelaide was going through her closet for the hundredth time, she pointed to three taped cardboard boxes that were stacked near her dresser. “You can grab those if you want, but if you don’t, I can grab them when I’m finished with packing these last couple boxes.”

Eric shrugged his broad shoulder. “Don’t worry about it. I can handle them.” He strolled over, lifted them, and walked out of the master bedroom.

Adelaide sighed as she tore her clothes off the hangers and threw them onto her messy bed, adding to the small pile that was needing to be packed also. She then walked over to her desk since she had already packed anything of importance from her dresser during the previous night. She began to sift through the mess of papers that were resting on top of it. She grabbed the letter from her great aunt from the top of the pile and stuffed it into her bag which she always carried around with her. Adelaide opened the second drawer and did the same thing until she found an old picture with her entire family captured on it. She smiled as she stared down at the grinning family.

The picture was taken in a local park. Eric was still a newborn while Adelaide was at the very beginning of the toddler stage back then. Eric was cradled in their father’s arms, swaddled in a sky blue blanket. Meanwhile, their mother, Eliana, had Adelaide, who was wearing purple shorts with a matching purple t-shirt, imprisoned in her tan arms. Eliana was grinning over her daughter’s shoulder while Roger held a matching grin toward their newborn son who had his tiny, slender fingers wrapped around one of his father’s. Young Adelaide was smiling directly at the camera with something tan, like peanut butter or mud, smeared across her cheek. There was also what appeared to be a dog attempting to catch a Frisbee from the air frozen in the background.

Adelaide stared down at the perfect picture. “I miss you so damn much, Momma,” she whispered to herself.

Suddenly, a hand placed itself on her shoulder, causing her to jump out of her skin.

“Sorry for scaring the living daylights out of you kiddo,” her father apologized.

Adelaide slowly turned around to see her father staring down at her, slightly concerned.

“You okay? You look like you’re crying.”

Adelaide reached up and touched her cheek. She realized that, in fact, she had been shedding a few tears. She quickly wiped them away. “Huh, I guess I am crying. I didn’t even realize it.”

Roger stared at his daughter for a few more seconds before softly asking, “Do you want to talk about it?”

Adelaide shook her head as she wiped away the remaining tears that had managed to escape her eyes. She handed the old picture to him. “I simply forgot I had this,” she whispered, not quite trusting her voice to stay steady.

Roger gently held the beautiful picture, adoringly staring at it. He chuckled. “I remember this day as it if were yesterday.” He laughed a little harder. “Hell, I remember it better than the wedding day.”

Adelaide giggled before curiously asking, “Who took it?”

“A photography student who was strolling through the park, searching for photo opportunities. You were the one to find him, actually more like ran into him.” Roger chuckled. “It was a couple months after Eric was born. You were bursting with energy that day. It was nearly impossible for you to sit still for even one measly minute so Eliana decided that we were going to have a picnic at the park. I think she secretly hyped you up on a bunch of sugar just so she could use you as an excuse,” he teased with a wide grin.

Adelaide giggled and shrugged her shoulders.

“Later on when we were finally set up in the park and eating, you devilishly sprinted off into the rest of the park. You mother chased after you since I was calming Eric. At the same time you had your head turned to see you close your mother was, the photographer was walking through the grass and scrolling through his camera film. While still looking back, you ran straight into the man’s legs. I am still surprised to this day that it didn’t even faze you. The funniest and most surprising thing of all was that you attempted to hide behind his legs since you were a shy child most of the time, and you still are on occasion. As to be expected, your mother caught you but not before you ran back over to me.

“The photographer followed Eliana back to our spot, kindly asking if he could take a picture of our family and use it for part of his class portfolio. Of course, Eliana said yes as long as she received a copy also. I honestly don’t think that the photographer could have been happier with the answer. He later sent us multiple copies in the mail. Your mother was so ecstatic when she saw them. She showed this picture to almost every single person she encountered, including the poor mailman. I felt terrible for the people who were simply walking by us on the street.” Roger shook his head while chuckling. “Eliana was definitely different than other people, including myself in all honesty, but she always loved you kids infinitely.”

Adelaide sniffled as she tried to quickly wipe away her new tears.

Roger engulfed his daughter in a warm hug. He planted a kiss on the top of her head and held her closer to his chest. “It’s okay. Let it out. You don’t need to keep it in all the time, kiddo.”

Adelaide began to sob as her father held her close. “S-sorry for yelling a-at you e-e-earlier,” she cried.

“Shhh, it’s okay. You’re okay,” he softly whispered, rubbing her back. He let her cry for a couple more minutes before gently prying her head away from his chest. “Feel better?”

Adelaide nodded as she tried to stop the tears from flowing. She wiped away her tears for the final time with her light blue sleeve. “Yeah, I just really miss Momma sometimes. I know it’s a little stupid since she’s been gone for a while and I also don’t remember a whole lot about her.”

Roger shook his head and furrowed his brow. “Adelaide, there is nothing wrong with that. I miss her each and every day.”

“That’s true but you knew her a whole lot longer than I did. Momma died when I was only four, so there isn’t a bunch of memories of her,” she slightly argued.

“Memories of who?” Eric asked as he strolled into the bedroom.

“Momma,” Adelaide answered.

Eric nodded as he picked up the rest of the boxes that were ready. “I’m just going to finish loading up the car, or as you call it, Cindy.”

Adelaide and her father laughed as they watched him step into the hallway.

Roger turned his attention back to his daughter and said, “It doesn’t matter whether or not you remember a little bit or a lot about her. The only thing that matters is what you feel in your heart.”

Adelaide held back the tears that threatened to fall once again. “Way to go on bringing out your feminine side, Dad,” she teased, attempting to disguise how she truly felt.

“Hey, at least I admit that I have tapped into my womanly side more times than I can count, and that’s not because I can’t count very high. It’s just what you have to do when you are raising a daughter packed full of emotions.”

Adelaide snorted. “What emotions? No one has seen me shed a single tear since I was like twelve before now.”

Roger tapped the side of his head with his index finger as he answered, “But I know they are there and that’s all that matters.”

Adelaide rolled her grey eyes and shook her head. “Whatever you say, Daddy-o.” The blonde walked away and finished packing the last of the cardboard boxes. I guess that’s it, she thought to herself as she glanced around the nearly empty room. She grabbed the box and informed her father who was picking up the other packed one Eric had left, “I’m going to carry this out to the car.”

Roger nodded. “I’ll follow.”

Adelaide walked down the hallway, through the living room and out the front door. She carried the large box to her black 1967 Volkswagen Beetle that was sitting in the driveway. She saw Eric leaning against the hood of the car, drinking out of a bottle filled with water. “Lift it up! Here’s two more!” Adelaide yelled as she walked barefoot across the front lawn.

Eric kindly took the box out of his sister’s hands after he opened the passenger side door and moved the seat forward to expose the backseat. He asked, “Is there anymore?”

Adelaide shook her head as she tucked her hands into the pockets of her grey sweatpants and answered, “Those are the last ones.”

“Good, because the trunk is completely full, and there isn’t a bunch of room in the back either,” Eric commented as he took the box from his father to put in the backseat next to the large one he was holding a moment ago.

Roger attempted to rub the nonexistent dirt from his hands after his son had taken the cardboard box from him. He sighed as he glanced down at his watch. He looked back up at his only daughter, sadly informing, “It seems like you have time for a quick shower, kiddo.”

Adelaide nodded as she silently turned and sluggishly trudged her way down the driveway, over the lawn, into the house, and finally inside of the bathroom after walking through her bedroom. After a rushed, five minute shower, she quickly dressed in a pair of navy blue skinny jeans with holes in the knees and a light grey hoodie over an old, black tank top. She stared into the mirror as she thought, I’m not even going to make an attempt to tame this damn mess that is called my hair. Adelaide bundled up all of her soaked blonde hair into her tiny fist before tying the mass of hair into a messy bun on the top of her head. She skillfully filled her nose and ear piercings with jewelry while she was strolling out of the steam-filled bathroom. She stepped into her black flats that were normally worn only for work.

Before Adelaide closed the door one last time, she glanced around the room, searching for anything she could have possibly missed while in the rush for packing. She engrained the barren bedroom into the memory of her brain before slowly closing the door. She inched down the hallway, brushing her fingers against the walls of chocolate.

As Adelaide walked back into the cool winter air with her hood pulled over her head, she spotted her father and her brother sitting on the tailgate of Roger’s silver truck, the both of them staring at her old, beat-up car. Adelaide plastered a smile on her face and put some joy into her step instead of acting similar to a slug, slightly bouncing on the balls of her feet. “I’m ready when you guys are.”

Roger stared at his daughter like she had just sprouted another head as he commented, “Well, this is quite a change from this morning.”

Adelaide shrugged. “Let’s just say I had an epiphany in the shower,” she lied through her false grin.

Eric crossed his arms, unconvinced, while her father simply nodded, allowing whatever she was trying to conceal let be. Roger then informed his only daughter, “She’s all set. Both the oil and gas tanks are full.”

Adelaide shoved her hands into her back pockets and nodded. “Thanks.”

Roger shrugged his shoulders before he took a drink from his beer. “It’s nothing, considering you are my own flesh and blood and part of what I do for a living.”

Adelaide quickly crossed the few feet in between her and her father. She stood on the tips of her toes to throw her slender arms around his broad shoulders. “Thanks for everything is what I meant,” she softly whispered as she hugged him. As Adelaide pulled away and momentarily glanced at her brother, she repressed the urge to cry.

Eric held out his mile-long arms in her directions. Adelaide immediately accepted the offered hug. He leaned down slightly and whispered, “I hope you know that I’m taking over your room.”

Adelaide laughed as she pulled back. “Just don’t throw away all the crap I left behind, especially all of the notebooks. Once things are sorted out, I’ll come back here to visit for a little while along with taking the rest of my crap back with me.”

“Really?”

Adelaide playfully punched her little brother in the chest and joked, “Of courses I will! I may get tired of seeing your ugly face, but I’m afraid that if I go too long without seeing it, I’ll go blind once I finally do.”

Eric gave his sister a blank look and humorlessly said, “You know you are basically insulting yourself too, considering we have the same genetics.”

Adelaide truly grinned as she replied, “I’m the first born so I most likely have the best of the best, unlike you who has the lesser genes which make you less awesome than me.”

Roger busted into laughter, unable to hold it back any longer.

Eric threw his hands up in the air and loudly sighed. “It looks like I’m the only sane one in this family!” he yelled dramatically as he rolled his hazel eyes.

Soon, Adelaide joined her father in the roaring laughter.

After a few minutes, the joyous mood rapidly turned somber. Adelaide silently kicked at a small pebble while her brother crossed his arms, staring at the gravel with a strong frown etched onto his face. Roger stood where he was, observing both of his kids simultaneously for the last time. He suddenly yelled, “I think it’s time for a family hug!”

The siblings synchronically groaned. “Dad, nobody likes group hugs!” Eric whined.

“Toughen up because we’re doing it whether either of you like or not. Adelaide, you’re in the middle since you are the one leaving.”

The petite blonde groaned once more but did not do anything to stop the two men who were about to sandwich her. While she was trapped in between her family, she thought, Being stuck between two sweaty guys is definitely not as fun as I remember it being, but that is probably because their family and I’m not at a party, drunk off my a*s.

When Roger and Eric finally broke away, Adelaide released the breath that she had been holding. “Finally! By the way, one of you has some serious body odor going on,” she said as she waved her hand in front of her nose. Eric and Roger simply laughed.

Adelaide shook her head while she pulled her phone from her back pocket to figure out the time. “Guys, I really have to go. I’m already going to be two hours later than what they’re expecting and that’s only if I’m lucky.”

Both her father and brother solemnly followed Adelaide to her small, black car.

As Adelaide climbed into it, Roger informed, “There’s a hundred in the ashtray just in case you get low on cash or something.”

Adelaide offered him a small smile and thanked him.

“You might want to stick to backroads and small highways if you can since your car doesn’t reach over eighty miles per hour without sputtering,” Eric advised as he was leaning down to look through the rolled down window with his forearm resting on top of the old Volkswagen Beetle.

Adelaide apprehensively nodded as she turned the key that she had previously placed in the ignition. “I already mapped a route that involves me driving on backroads for the most part. Thanks for thinking of Cindy and me though.” She dug through her backpack that was already sitting in the passenger seat and pulled the directions she had written out the previous night. “Okay, I’m all set. I love you both.”

Eric leaned half of his lanky body in through the small window opening and gave his sister one last hug and said, “Love you too, Addie.” He let her go, eyes glossy from unshed tears.

Don’t cry, damn it! You can at least wait until you are out of sight! Adelaide scolded herself.

It was now Roger’s turn to say goodbye to his daughter. He patted her head once he was leaned down far enough. “Love you too, kiddo. I hope to see you soon. Stay safe,” he said before pressing his lips to her forehead in a quick kiss. He pulled his head out of the car and patted the roof as he and Eric slowly backed away from it.

Adelaide carefully pulled out of the driveway and waved before she drove down the street. She watched her family stand in the middle of the small road and wave goodbye for a final time through her rearview mirror. As soon as they faded out of sight, this was the moment when Adelaide finally let the infinite tears spill.



© 2018 Autumn


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Added on January 3, 2018
Last Updated on January 3, 2018
Tags: sweet, cute, family, memories, flashbacks, book, chapter, late, life, adventure