‘How much longer will you take, Jamie?’ I said aloud. I looked back down at my watch. He was only 20 minutes late, but I had no patience. I also could not stand the sound of school children.
‘Who are you waiting for, dear?’
I let out a deep sigh. Do I be polite and respond to her or do I ignore her? I have been asking too many questions to myself. Or am I talking to someone, mentally that is? Great, another question. I did turn around to see who was talking to me.
The lady reminded me of another woman, it was that I just could not place who it was. Chin up, looking down at me. The term ‘dear’ was clearly not used in the context of endearment. No. Her Summer blue dress was more for show than convenience. Wearing jeans would have been enough.
‘My younger brother. I am just waiting for him,’ I politely responded.
‘Where are your parents? Should they not be here collecting him?’ She continued.
I’ll keep my thoughts to myself.
‘Not necessarily. You see, both my parents are at work,’ I stated. Did she get the message?
‘Oh, both your parents work? Well, it is an expensive area to live in,’ could one keep their back straight and chin up, yet nod?
‘Well yes it is,’ I pulled out my headphones and slowly inserted one in, ‘but they’re both scientists. You see, they are the ones creating the drugs that you take,’ I turned and walked away.
‘Kelly!’ Jamie shouted from a distance.
Running up to meet him, I kneeled down and gave him a tight hug. This was the Jamie I knew. The Jamie that looked up to me and clung to me was hugging me with warmth.
Moving back slightly, ‘Kelly, did you hit your head?’ He brushed my fringe to a side. We may not share the same colour hair, but we both had straight hair, which demanded a fringe.
I lightly pulled his hand down and smoothed my fringe to cover the small scar.
‘I was clumsy,’ standing up I enclosed my hand around his and started walking.
Throughout the walk home, he could not stop talking about his day. New friends, football, lunch, lessons, everything. I would usually love this, but I could not help but feel annoyed.
‘Are you alright, Kelly?’
I looked down at him and gave him a smile.
‘That is a fake smile,’ He stood outside the door with crossed arms.
‘Jamie, nothing is wrong. I just have a lot of things to do. I mean like prepare for university,’ I said harshly.
‘You finally say university rather than school,’ he grinned.
‘Yes, ok, alright, now go in,’ a small push had him stumbling into the house.
‘Kelly, what was that for?’
Slightly shocked at my action, I could not help but rush to help him up.
‘Are you al-’ I started.
‘How did you become so strong?’ He stood in awe.
Bumping my shoulder lightly against his, ‘how did you become so weak?’
I watched him walk off to his room and made my way to the kitchen. Sitting on the chair, my hands were back in my hair, just grabbing and pulling. Where was I today? Why did I have a bump on my head? I had found myself on the side of my bed, inhaling the dust from the floor. It was not exactly warm, but as soon as I opened my eyes, I felt a stinging pain on my head.
‘Back, what is for dinner tonight?’ I walked towards the oven and opened it. Looking in, I realised that there was a pie. Pulling it out, I placed it on the table as Jamie brought the plates and cutlery. He dived into his food as I thought about who cooked it. Mum had gone to work, nothing was left. We all assumed that dad would return, but he did not.
It became the question of whether it was I who cooked. Again, no recollection.
‘I don’t know about dinner, but for now, there’s a pie in the oven. When it is time for dinner, I think mum will be home.
‘What did you do today?’ Jamie asked through mouthfuls.
Looking longingly at my food, ‘I honestly do not remember.’ I was hungry, but I felt like I was going to be sick. All I could picture was an old lady covered in blood. Can nightmares come true?
‘Are you done?’
‘Almost, but you haven’t eaten, Kelly,’ Jamie pointed at my plate with his knife. ‘You really should eat,’ he gulped down some water,’ otherwise you’ll be hungry,’ Jamie was sweet.
I gave him a genuine smile and stood up. ‘I’ll take the risk. So, what would you like to do? Play the piano a bit more?’
‘The piano? I haven’t played that since you were last in my room,’ pulling down his sleeves, he shook his head.
‘Come now Jamie, be honest with me. I have been hearing you play for the past few days. Sometimes at night,’ I screwed my eyes.
‘Kelly, I really have not,’ he answered with such innocence.
‘No Kelly, I swear to you. I mean I have tapped the keys a few times, but that’s about it,’ his tone was wrapped with determination.
‘Don’t worry Jamie, I believe you, reaching out to him, I pulled his hand into mine. ‘But tell me this, did you pick up a book and leave it for me to find? Jamie, did you move any of my things? Where have you been?’ Nerves had taken a hold of me.
Jamie held a worried look. Leaving his seat, he moved over to me and fixated his eyes on me. He was trying to read me, searching for answers, as I tried the same with him.
‘Kelly, I haven’t been to your room. No, no I have not found a book,’ shaking his head, he stated.
‘And the paintings? Were you ever in the room by yourself? Did you uncover the paintings? The painting of the,’ I took a deep breath, ‘the boy?’
He scrunched his face slightly. It was clear that he was trying to think. It was hard for Jamie to hide any emotions. One could read what he was feeling by looking at his face and right now he looked as if I had scared him, yet there he stood trying to remember.
‘Are you alright? If you cannot remember, then that is fine,’ I slid my palm down his cheek lightly.
‘Wait, Kelly,’ he grabbed my wrist, ‘I did uncover the paintings, and I uncovered them all. I saw a picture of a guy. His eyes were like mine, and black hair. Do you think I will look like him in the future?’ He seemed hopeful.
Family history was still a blur to me but I still answered with, ‘yes Jamie, one day you will.’
‘But Kelly, I didn’t find a picture of a little boy, apart from the one that hung on the dining room wall,’ he shook his head.
‘What are you talking about? I remember you telling me to look behind me at the picture of the little boy in the painting,’ now I really was nervous.
‘Maybe. I will say that I cannot remember half the things I’ve been doing since we came here.’
‘You and me both Jamie, you and me both.’
‘Well, I’m going to go to my room. Did you find scissors by the way?’
This was unbelievable. What was this house doing to me?
‘Scissors?’ I asked in a daze.
‘Yes,’ he smiled, ‘did you find some?’
‘Yes, yes I did, although I can’t remember getting them from mum.’
‘This is all a bit confusing. Kelly, you cannot remember half the things you have done, and I cannot remember half the things I have done,’ it was a light observation from his side as he made his way up the stairs, but to me, it was deep.
I felt like I was creating holes. Stashing events that were probably important and covering it with soil, whilst watering the seeds for things that did not require my attention. Soon the holes full of seeds would grow into large plants that would block my view of everything else. Sherlock Holmes may have created an attic in his mind, but I seemed to have created a garden, with some filing cabinets neatly stacked up in my mind. ‘With my imagination, I should really consider writing a book.’
So what next?