Note: Before I start this chapter just let me say that I’ve had this chapter written for a while but haven’t been able to get the pictures because of my depression. I finally pushed myself to getting the pictures (although they aren’t that good because I couldn’t really stage anything; I mostly just used the in game animations).
My mother did see me about what I had done to my body when I returned home from work. I had only been through the door for about 3 seconds when she pounced. She tried to remain calm as she spoke with me even though I could tell that inside she was desperate to scream at me but eventually her usual composure snapped and she was screaming at me. It wasn’t long after that we ended up in one of our usual arguments. It drifted from my hair and tattoos to my new job to how I dressed without so much as a pause on my mother’s part.
She did her best to provoke me into properly getting into it with her but after arguing about a couple of separate issues I got tired and made my escape to my bedroom where I spent the night on the internet on my phone.
The sky outside was just beginning to darken when my dad came home. A part of me wanted to go downstairs and thank him for what he’d done for me with Cameron but I knew that I shouldn’t because it would no doubt land him in a heap of trouble with my mother and that was the last thing I wanted. I was shouted down for dinner not much later but I was still so annoyed with my mother that I decided to skip it altogether and get an early night.
The rest of my week went along in much the same way; I’d get up, go to work, have lunch with Cameron, come home again, end up in yet another argument with my mother, then go to bed. Surprisingly the hardest and most tiring thing about that whole routine was the constant arguments with my mother. They were getting worse as the days passed which made me wonder how much I was really willing to take from her before I just called it quits and moved out for good. The only problem I had with that is that I had nowhere to go if I did move out. That, I think, is the only thing that kept me under my parents roof. The thing that annoyed me most about me possibly moving out was that they probably wouldn’t even realize I was gone. My father stayed out of mine and my mother’s arguments like he always had but for some reason that infuriated me more than it ever had before. I really wished that I had someone I could talk to about it but the lessons my parents had taught me when I was younger about keeping my personal business to myself stopped me whenever I felt that need to unburden myself.
It wasn’t so bad all the time, mostly because of Cameron’s constant joking around when we were at work. He even gave me his phone number so whenever I was holed up in my room I’d text him and he’d text back something completely random that would make me laugh and forget my problems for at least a little while. We never really spoke about anything serious which was just fine with me. It was a actually a relief to have someone in my life who was full of fun and never made me go into the tough subjects that I always tried so hard to avoid, even with myself. By the end of my first week I could tell that my constant calls and texts with Cameron were really starting to grate on my mother’s last nerve and that feeling only intensified when she found out who it was that I was actually speaking to. She actually went as far as to try and ban me from using my phone altogether which didn’t really pan out because I knew exactly where to hide it so that she would never find it. Suffice to say, that caused even more arguments between us. I was actually a little surprised that our house didn’t turn into an actual war zone because it felt like that a lot of the time.
My second week was better than the week before but not by much. The only good thing about my second week was that instead of going straight home from work I’d wait for Cameron to finish with the little chores his dad had assigned him and then we’d hang out until it was late enough that I knew my parents would be asleep. Sometimes Cam and I would go to the movies if there was anything good on or sometimes we would just hang out at his apartment playing his various games consoles. Up until then I had never so much as seen a real games console never mind having actually played one so I was at a massive disadvantage, which of course Cameron took advantage of. He beat me mercilessly time and time again but I was a fast learner and soon I was the one beating him. To say he was shocked when I bet him the first time would be an understatement but at least he was a gentleman enough not to try and justify it by saying it was beginners luck like I knew a lot of people would have. After my first victory against him the games were pretty much even with him winning a few and them me winning a few. The whole time Cam kept an easy going smile on his face and he kept the conversation flowing between us with ease. I never once found myself feeling awkward or nervous around Cam which is probably one of the biggest reasons that I enjoyed spending so much time with him.
Work was a completely different story now that the other woman Cam had told me about on my first day was finally back down from the upper levels. Her name was Corrin Liem and I had thought Ronald had a very serious work ethic but Corrin completely blew him away. Even Cam wasn’t as talkative and jokey now that Corrin was back in the office. She took up the end desk on the other side of Ronald. Whereas mine and Ronald’s desks were littered with random files and clutter little miss work ethic’s desk was sparkling clean apart from the occasion file that she was working on and a small pot that held a handful of pens. She tended to stay at her desk at all times, I don’t even think I can recall her leaving for lunch or if she did she didn’t go down to the cafeteria like the rest of us, and she never spoke to any of us, not even Cameron but that was not for lack of trying on his part. I took an instant dislike to Corrin, mainly because she reminded me too closely of my mother. I hated that I felt that way about someone I didn’t even know and I hated that I wasn’t even really giving her a chance to prove who she really was but I couldn’t help how I felt.
“…I think that’s actually the third time this month that he’s had to replace the windows in his car. It’s a shit move on their part, especially right now, but they keep justifying it by saying they’re doing God’s work. Tell me this though, what kind of God would allow that? People should be free to do or feel how they want to” Cameron ranted one day at work just before lunch. He was telling me and Ronald about the trouble his dad was having with a couple of church-nuts who refused to leave his dad alone. Cameron still refused to go into what was actually wrong with his dad although I think I was the only one who didn’t know because both Ronald and Corrin went still when Cam mentioned it. I had no idea that Corrin had actually been listening up until that point actually. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Mr Connors for having to go through all that as well as whatever else it was that he was dealing with but I also couldn’t help the guilt that flooded me even thought I knew that I had done nothing wrong. I may not have done anything directly against Mr Connors but I could guarantee that my mother would have had something to do with what was happening to Mr Connors because I was still working for him and being friendly with his son. I thought about just quitting my job altogether which would probably stop the attacks on Mr Connors but I just couldn’t do that because if I did then that would be my mother getting her own way and I refused point blank to let that happen. It was rather selfish of me, I know, but I couldn’t find it inside myself to care.
“You coming for lunch Blue?” Cam’s voice broke me out of my daze only for me to realize that I was staring at the blank white wall in front of me and must’ve been doing that for several minutes because my sight had started to get a little fuzzy.
“Um…Yeah I will be…just…uh…you go on ahead of me. I’ve just gotta finish up here first” I mumbled quietly. I refused to move my eyes from the blank wall as I answered him because I was afraid he’d see the guilt tattooed across my face. My dad had always said I was an open book.
“You sure?” he asked softly, his voice radiating concern for me. I had never been this quiet with him since out my first day at the office so I understood how he would instantly jump to there being something wrong. I couldn’t answer him so instead I nodded my head vigorously. Seemingly giving up he turned and walked out with Ronald.
I breathed an audible sigh of relief which I quickly tried to cover up when I realised Corrin was still in the office. In an unusual display of slacking off for her she was over at the little kitchen area. I wasn’t sure what she was doing at first until she turned around holding one of those make-shift salads you buy from the supermarket on a disposable plate. I guess that finally answered my question of why she was never in the cafeteria at lunch times but it also raised more questions in my mind about her. Corrin began walking back over to where our desks were with her salad in hand. I thought that she was just going to go back to her own desk and that we would sit in silence for the rest of lunch but that was not the case. After a brief second indecision which fled her face almost as soon as it appeared Corrin changed direction and, instead of going to her own desk like I’d thought she would, she came over and stood beside me.
“Hi I’m Corrin and you’re the new girl, Raven-Jay, right?” Corrin asked after she’d stopped in front of me. I was honestly speechless. Why would Corrin be talking to me now after almost a whole week of basically ignoring me? That was just another question that I had to add to the growing list of things I didn’t understand about this woman standing in front of me. Realising that Corrin was still waiting for an answer from me but also knowing that I still couldn’t find anything to say because I was still getting over my initial shock I nodded my head in answer to her question.
“Well Raven-Jay I’m sorry I haven’t spoken to you yet since I have been back but there are still some things that I have been helping Mr Connors with and that has kept me sufficiently occupied. I wasn’t deliberately ignoring you, I promise” she sounded completely sincere as she spoke but I still couldn’t help but picture my mother in her place. Don’t get me wrong, Corrin seemed like a perfectly nice person but all I could think about whenever I seen her was my mother. I’m not sure why that is exactly but I think it has a lot to do with the way she came across; like everything needed to be perfect or something.
“Well it’s…uh…nice to meet you Corrin but I…uh…need to go meet Cameron and Ronald so I…um…guess I’ll see you later” I finally managed to mumble when I found my voice. I hated how much I wanted to escape from this situation. I hated how much my mother was able to poison me against someone I didn’t even know just because they reminded me of her. For once why couldn’t I just be normal? Was that really too much to ask? Was I being selfish for thinking like that? I certainly didn’t think so but…was I wrong too? Corrin didn’t say another word to me; she just walked over to her own desk. I thought I had maybe hurt her feelings but her face remained blank and impassive so I wasn’t sure. I still felt terrible though as I made my swift exit. I didn’t even stay long enough to log off my computer. My earlier guilt was still eating me up inside so I knew that I couldn’t face Cameron like I’d told Corrin I would. Instead I walked straight through the building until I reached my car.
I jumped in and drove without any particular destination in mind, all I knew was that I couldn’t go back to work today but I also couldn’t go home. I ended up at a small park where I settled down and texted Cameron.
Cam so sorry, not well had to go home. Be back tomorrow I felt terrible for even having to text him that and for a split second I almost considered going back to the office but I knew if I did that today I would end up letting the guilt get on top of me and I would end up telling Cameron everything I knew which wouldn’t be good for me.
Don’t sweat it; take as much time off as you need. You okay? You need me to come and cheer you up? Cameron’s reply came almost immediately. It made me feel so much worse to see how quickly he offered to cheer me up just because I was unwell. What did I ever do to deserve a friend like him?
Nah, just gonna lie down for a while and see if that helps. Thanks though. Lying to him even through a text made me feel horrible and wrong but I knew that I couldn’t tell him the truth about what I was going to do. He would probably understand if I told him that I needed to clear my head but that wasn’t the only thing I was going to do with the rest of my day. I had decided after reading his text to me that his family didn’t deserve the treatment they were currently receiving. I decided that I was going to stop it once and for all and that started today!