Day 204 – Folie a Deux – Part 8

Word count: 730

The yearbook had been signed and the goodbyes said. The teachers had hugged them all and they had cleared the last of the junk from their common room. Catherine and some other girls from her year were hanging outside the front doors. The headmaster was going around shaking hands and wishing everyone the best of luck.

Catherine was brooding. She had been in a mood all day. Jenny and Tom hadn’t even turned up to school. She was annoyed at being left alone all day. None of her other classmates had really acknowledged her and six years worth of tension was starting to froth. The cliques were out in force that day. Gangs of girls and bands of boys roaming the school; girls teary eyed and hugging everything that moved; boys punching each other and pretending not to care.

She was standing next to Claire, the second in command to the most popular girl in the school. There had been some riff between them or something, and Catherine was quietly listening in.

“Oh god, I just don’t know what I did wrong! Why the fuck is she pissed with me?” Claire was spitting our her words to her three loyal lap dogs.

“It’s nothing you’ve done, you weren’t to know…”

Catherine could not be done with this kind of talk. She knew exactly what they were discussing. Claire had gone off with the most popular girl in the world Tara’s potential boyfriend. Gossip had spread faster than margarine and everyone knew about it the next day. It was one of those snippets of school life that Catherine would definitely not miss.

“If anyone’s in the wrong, it’s Mike – he knew….”

Catherine snapped at that point. All the exhaustion, tension with her parents that morning and Jenny’s lack of presence all day finally concatenated into an explosion of spite and anger. These girls had been plaguing her irritable nerve for years now, why would they not just shut up?

“Oh for fucksake. By the sounds of it, your both so fucking popular with the men that you have tourist information maps written in four different languages strapped to your bloody knickers!”

She stormed off with the resounding image of their white, shocked faces and smiled as if she had just been set free. Only exams would bring her back here; and after them, she would be free from all this nonsense. University or work, whatever she chose to do, she would never had to face those bloody awful freaks any more.

Catherine wanted to escape any arguments or interrogation, so she crept round the back and hoped to get into the house through the backdoor. Unfortunately, both her parents were in the kitchen, arguing like anything. It was odd that her dad was home this early, but Catherine suspected that he had not gone to work at all. From through the kitchen window she could see that them both by the sink, her dad doing the dishes and her mum drying. But they were arguing – though what about Catherine could only just about here.

She quietly put her key in the lock and silently opened the door. Every word suddenly became clear.

“- sick of it! I don’t know what she is playing at, but I just don’t care any more.”
“You can’t say that! I can’t believe you would think that about your own daughter!”

Catherine wasn’t sure – were they talking about her… or Vicky?

“I’m sorry, I have tried talking to her, you’ve tried talking to her – the doctor’s tried!” It was definitely about Catherine now. “No one knows what is medically wrong with her.”

“That doesn’t mean that she is making it up!”

“Doesn’t it? Teenager, bigger more successful sister comes home from holiday, leaving school but probably not to university? Why that doesn’t spell out attention seeker to you, I don’t know!”

Catherine stepped fully into the kitchen and waited for her parents to notice she had arrived. They turned as if their voices had broken. No words, not even an apology. Catherine waited a few more seconds for one, but none came.

“Well given your lack of apologies, I’ll just nip upstairs and hopefully not pass out from whatever illness I have but if I do, if one of you could please check that I’m breathing in the morning.”

She stormed upstairs and slammed the door, crying.

~ by S.G. Mark on April 28, 2012.

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