My mother always told me to follow my heart and do what I need to do. I never really thought it would lead to me rescuing my best friend in the middle of the night but here we are. I take a quick glance at her sleeping form. “Marina.” I take my hand off the wheel and nudge her awake. “Hey we’ve only got a little longer to go and I’m getting bored. Wake up.” She mumbles and stretches.
“Mmmm- yes. I’m awake. Very awake what are you talking about? I’ve been awake this whole time.” Her eyes are still closed as she talks and I laugh.
“We just passed another mile marker, it’s about 5 minutes until we get to town.” I flick the radio back on and some generic pop music is playing. Marina looks outside the car.
“So why are we going to the most depressing place possible? It’s so gloomy and foggy already.” She draws on the window with her finger. “You even said yourself. No one comes here anymore.”
I sigh. “Exactly, no one comes here anymore.” I answer, picking at the nail polish on my fingers. “My family owns a house down here. We used to come here when I was a kid. I know for a fact that the house is empty.” Marina nods thoughtfully.
“Riley.” She turns to seriously face me. “Thank you for this. Just everything you’ve done has been amazing.” I nod her and she turns the radio up as we enter into Forks. It hasn’t changed since I was 8. Even in the dead of the night I can make out the familiar houses and forests. Eventually I pull my little yellow car into the most familiar drive way. The house is old and dark. The blue paint on the outside is chipping away and the top story windows are all smashed. Marina and I exit the car and grab our suitcases and backpacks. I unlock the door and inside is pitch black.
“Stay here, I’ve gotta go turn the power on.” I go to turn around but Marina grabs my shirt.
“I’m not staying here alone. That’s how you get murdered.” I laugh and she follows me to the fuse box. I flick a few switches and hope for the best. The kitchen light turns on and we breathe a sigh of relief. “And god said let there be light.” Marina laughs as she drops her bags on the floor.
I look around and feel a sudden wave of nostalgia. The bright yellow kitchen my mum and I hand painted is covered in cobwebs and dust. The lounge is exactly the same, old gross couches an old tv and stereo in the corner. I walk over to the dining area just off the kitchen and remember sitting here for Christmas. There’s a big window looking out into the back yard and a door leading out there too. “I can’t believe this place is still okay.” Marina smiles at me.
“Well.” She picks up her suitcase. “Where are our rooms?” I lead her upstairs and point at two bedrooms.
“So this one is my old room when I stayed here,” I point at the blue coloured door with ‘Riley’ written on it. “And that one was my the spare bedroom. And my mother stayed in the attic bit.” Marina gives me a confused glance. “She liked the view from there.”
Marina opens the spare bedroom door and flicks the light on. Only for it to explode a second later. “Ah!” She squeals then looks at me with those big blue eyes. “Can I stay with you for the first night?” I put my arm around her shoulder and nod. We walk into my old room. The walls are painted blue and the floor boards creak under our feet. “Wait. You got a double bed even when you were like 8?!” Marina jumps onto it, making dust go everywhere. I cough and go to open the window but realise it’s one of the smashed ones.
“Well its a bit of a fixer upper.” I put my hands on my hips and shove the glass away with my feet. “But it’s home.” Marina looks up from the bed and smiles sleepily at me.
“Home-“ She mumbles getting under the covers. “Oh how I missed it.” I crawl into the dusty bed next to her and nothing has felt comfier than this bed does right now at like 1am. We’re both out like lights.
“Hun, wake up.” I nudge Marina awake. “Come on, we’ve got a lot of cleaning to do today.” She burrows deeper Into the blankets. “Dude, we only have two days until we actually have to go to school. We need to make this place liveable.” She slowly gets out of bed and faces me. Her hair sticking up in every wild direction. “We’ve only got cold water right now so make your shower quick.” She nods and makes her way into the bathroom. I head down stairs, overalls on, chin length blonde hair pulled back with a bandana and ready to work. I begin on the lounge.
I’m vacuuming the couch when Marina comes down stairs ready to help. “What can I do?”
By the end of the day we’ve cleaned the lounge, kitchen, bathroom and one bedroom. I slump onto the freshly cleaned couch and sigh. “We did good.” Marina nods and I can hear both our stomachs grumble.
“Take out?” Marina asks. I nod and grab my car keys. As we leave the house, a police car drives up the drive way. “What the-?” A familiar face gets out of the car.
“I’ll have to be asking you to leave the Kelly residence. Just because it looks abandoned doesn’t mean it actually is now can I-“ Charlie finally looks up. “Riley? Is that you?” I nod and smile wise as I give him a bear hug. “You got so big! Last time I saw you you were barely bigger than a sapling.” He laughs and pulls back.
“It’s been 9 years Charlie, I was bound to get older.” I laugh. He sighs and looks sad.
“Hey- uhh- I’m real sorry to hear about Rosemary. She was a wonderful woman and god knows she didn’t deserve that.”
“Well cancer is random, Charlie, can’t help it.” He looks awkward. “But, thank you. I just wish she could have said good bye to Forks. She really loved it here.” We’re quiet for a moment.
“How come you’re back here then? I figured you guys weren’t coming back when I heard the news of Rosemary.” I shuffled from side to side and pulled Marina forward.
“This is Marina.” She waved awkwardly and went back to looking down at the ground. “She needed a place to stay that wasn’t home.” I was trying to be a vague as possible. Charlie seemed to get it and nodded hastily.
“Nice to meet you, Marina.” He shook her hand hard then turned to me again. “You know Bella is coming back too, she’ll be here tomorrow.” Charlie was a very placid man. He didn’t show many emotions and came off as emotionally distant, but I could see the love and excitement in his eyes.
“That’s great, Charlie.” I patted his shoulder. “Will she be going to the high school?”
He nodded. “Could you two...” He hesitates. “-just keep an eye on her?” Marina and I nod and Charlie leaves.
“Now can we get some food?” Marina hops in the car and we make our way to the nearest take out shop.
After we get home we discuss school until we fall asleep surrounded by take out boxes.