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Burning Attic [Semi-Hiatus]

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My mother once told me that love doesn’t always come when you want it to; that it can come at the worst of times, against your will. I thought it was silly; if I didn’t want to love someone, I simply wouldn’t. But I would come to learn her words to be anything but silly.

I was ten years old at the time. It was later in the evening, about 5:30 or so. He had gotten a big promotion in his job, so Sebastian, Freckles, my twin, and I, along with our mother, had decided to throw a party for him. The entire living room had been drowned with decorations of navy blue, gold, various shades of grey, creme, and a tad of brown. We were hiding behind the couch, impatient to hear the door open so we could jump up and throw the sparkling rainbow confetti everywhere. It was what we always did, and we expected nothing different.

When there was a knock at the door, we were confused. He had a key, he didn’t need to knock. Our mother gave us a reassuring smile and opened the door. We were greeted by two police officers, who took our mother out of earshot. We waited for her to come back in. That’s when she told us; our father was dead. Gone. I knew that he wasn’t ever going to come back, but it simply wouldn’t sink in - at least right away. It was awkward, watching everyone around me breakdown in tears. Even Sebastian looked down in agony. I suppose I was so shocked that my brain simply wouldn’t accept it. Our mother pulled up all into a tight hug. I’m sure they didn’t get any more sleep than what little I did that night.

At the funeral, I finally broke down. Everyone seemed startled by my loud wails of agony. The message finally went through to me that I was never going to see him again. My mother had to step away with me for a few minutes, to help me get quiet. When we sat back down, I held my head in my hands, covering my eyes. A few people gave kind eulogies of him. Then we were all released in rows, walking past him as we left. Some people whispered to him or patted his hand. I couldn’t even look at him. Not in that shiny, black casket. Not with that wreath of navy blue flowers, held together with soft green leaves and white ribbon… I looked down instead. On the way home, I laid my head down on my older twin’s lap and fell asleep as he combed his fingers through my hair, still sniffling lightly.

Our father was the one who made the money in our family, as it was the case with most traditional families. Our mother stayed home with us, did the chores, and went shopping. She hadn’t finished school, so she didn’t have a job. Because of this, she told us that we were going to leave and live with our estranged grandparents because we weren’t going to be able to keep our house. She said that they were one of the wealthiest families in all of North Dakota.

The very next morning, bright and early, we flew to America from our town house without getting to say goodbye to any of our friends. We each had two large bags, stuffed with all of the essentials, clothes, and toys we could possibly fit without breaking the zippers. I hesitated before following the rest of my family out of the door. I didn’t want to leave everything I knew behind me. It wasn’t fair to me, or to Freckles, or to Sebastian, or to-

A hand the same size as mine pulled me from my thoughts. He gave me a small smile and told me that we didn’t have any other choice but to get in the car. And so I went.

The car ride to the airport was a fifteen minute drive. We got through security and baggage fairly quickly. While walking through the hall to board, our mother warned us that we must be good and try our best to keep ourselves entertained because it would be a long time until we got to North Dakota. My sister got to sit next to the window, while I sat next to her. Our brothers sat in front of us, and our mother behind us. During the 16 and a half hour flight, I read through two books, I filled a piece of paper with sketches of dogs, and I slept. For the remaining three hours I day dreamed. I day dreamed of a giant mansion, with acres of land for running, two loving grandparents, and many servants. There would be a big lake that we could swim in. A big slide to go down, and floats, and the most comfortable of swimsuits. An endless forest to explore with at least one of my siblings- most-likely Freckles. There would be something like an abandoned shed or tree-house deep in the sea of trees. There would be a box of golden rings and ancient coins and other treasures. I imagined we would have a dog, and name him after our father. My father had always loved dogs, but couldn’t get one due to Sebastian’s allergies. I thought it would have been fitting.

Finally, we landed. Everyone started clapping obnoxiously, annoying me in my exhausted state, though I was glad the flight was over. I waited patiently for the good-to-go to get out of my uncomfortable seat. As we walked off the aeroplane, I tried to stretch as much as I could without stumbling. We claimed our baggage,  placed it on a rolling platform, and walked out of the airport. It was nearly pitch black outside, besides the lights in the parking lot. Most others went to cars or hailed taxis. Our mother lead us out to the paved road that lead out to the flat, country land, and we walked.

It was a long time until we reached the driveway. It was long, dark, isolate, and surrounded by trees. I was sure the place was going to be full of evil spirits and demons and every kind of monster imaginable. With every twig that snapped and every leaf that was rustled, I walked closer to Sebastian until I had bumped into him by accident. I looked up to him with a face that said sorry . He only smiled down at me and held my hand the rest of the way to the door. It seemed that Freckles was unnerved as well, as she reached for his arm and held onto it tightly.

A giant fountain split the driveway in two, but made a circle around it. Statues of naked angels sat atop what looked like a large bowl. The water came out of their mouths and through cross-shaped holes under them.

The fountain was nothing compared to the mansion, though. A light-bricked, three-story mansion spread across to meet each side of the clearing. The windows were all stained black. The middle of the building was rectangular and thinner. On each end, the building jutted out to be more box-shaped. For the middle of the building, the roof was short and triangular; on the ends, the roofs were small, black pyramids, with the tip turning into dangerous spikes. All of the lights seemed to be on.

We had made it to the door. Our mother hesitated when giving three loud, quick knocks to the dark, wooden door. Only a few seconds later, the door swung open almost aggressively, and revealed a rather frightening woman. She was tall - taller than Sebastian - and loomed over us. Her features were sharp. Red, thin lips; electric green, cat-like eyes that glared down with revulsion. Grey hair that was pulled tightly into a bun. A skinny, hourglass figure. Arms crossed. I didn’t understand why she was so angry.

After a moment of silence, our mother spoke up with an obviously forced and nervous smile, “Mother, it’s so nice to finally see you after so long.”

She twiddled her fingers, awaiting a response. All she got was a tch and a wave as permission to come inside. Our mother opened the door for us, and we all trailed inside behind our grandmother. We were lead through magnificent halls and up two flights of stairs. At the very end of the hall, she unlocked a door and opened it. I rushed inside, wanting to get away from those judgmental eyes.

The walls were beige and bare. The floorboards were dark and creaky by the edges. There were two windows, which were adorned with lacy dark grey curtains.

There were three twin-sized beds inside; the one on the left, rose gold, with black lines that formed snapdragon flowers and creme coloured sheets. The middle one, soft yellow and plaid with mint green sheets. The one on the right, sky blue with white stars and dark grey sheets. All of the bed frames were pale and stained, with roses and vines carved up the posts. In between the beds were small,white nightstands, each with a lamp and two drawers.

To the right beside the door was a white dresser with four drawers. In the wall behind it was a deep indent. On the ledge was a black velvet cushion lined with gold, and three white pillows that were lined with gold as well. On either side of the nook were bookshelves.

To the left, in front of the pink-themed bed, was a table and four chairs, the wood matching the bed frames. On the chairs as well were black velvet cushions with gold buttons. In the wall behind it were two doors.

Once all of us gathered into the room, our grandmother followed behind us and closed the door. She folded her hands in front of her and cleared her throat.

“I want you all to listen to me, and listen carefully; you have rules to follow. Firstly, you are all to stay in this room at all times.When Rachel and I leave this room, we will lock the door behind us. You are not to cry, or to scream, or to jump around - no loud noises. You are in charge of the little ones,” Her eyes shot into Sebastian’s. “No one is supposed to know you’re up here except the both of us. Secondly, girls and boys are not to share the same bed or bathroom, and the same goes between alphas and omegas. There are three beds here so you should manage just fine. Thirdly, the maids clean this room at the end of each month. When they do, you are to take all of your things and yourselves up to the attic. It must be as if no one is here. Fourthly, you are not to speak about your father or even say his name in my house. If you do not follow these rules, you will be punished. Do I make myself clear?

The four of us nodded obediently.

“Good. Rachel, tell them goodnight and then come out. I need to speak with you.”

“Of course, mother,” Our mother smiled.

Our grandmother stared at her for a moment before she swiftly left the room. Mother turned to us and clapped her hands, a big smile on her face.

“Make the best of it, alright, my darlings? It will be alright.”

“How long will we be here?” Sebastian asked.

“I’m not sure, honey. I need to finish school, then get a job. After that, I would need to save up.”

“A few years, then?”

“A few years, yes. I’m hoping it will only be two or three. It won’t be so bad, though! I’ll visit you all the time, and buy you all lots of gifts! Whatever you want. Even a television.”

“Really?!” Freckles gasped excitedly.

“Really. Whatever you want,” Our mother smiled brightly. “Well, I’ll let you get settled in. Goodnight, my loves.”

She gave each of us tight hugs and kisses on our cheeks. Then she left. We heard the lock turn, and I flinched. I turned towards the bed.

“Well, I suppose we should start with the beds. Freckles, do you want this one?” Sebastian motioned towards the pink one.

“No! It’s too girly! This one is mine!” She then launched herself onto the blue-themed bed.

Sebastian chuckled. “Alright then. Which would you two like?”

I looked at my twin for him to decide. He said, “The yellow one is fine.”

“Good, I wanted this one.”

Freckles giggled, “Why, are you a girl?”

“No. It matches my eyes.”

We all laughed at that. Sebastian told freckles to get in her pajamas first, then my double and I, and then he would.

It turned out that the bathroom was the door closest to the table. Everything was white, creme, and gold. The sink was a double sink, and had my favourite soap - milk and honey. The tub was about two feet deep, the curtains matching those of the window.

Once we were all ready for bed, Sebastian hugged us all goodnight and tucked us in. I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.