Lifeline: original story, please do not copy
I let my fingers roam around the crisp white bed sheets, the select few bobbles catching under the tips of my long freshly-manicured nails. The room we were currently stood in screamed out a clinical nightmare. Making my way over to the empty corner, I discovered that at closer inspection the fractured cream paintwork clung helplessly to the wall, earning a disapproved look.
“Avery, what do you think?” My mother spoke loudly which broke the silence that had been hovering over us for the past ten minutes.
I shrugged my shoulders and began fiddling with my pathetic excuse of a French plait. “It’s okay I suppose”
“Well you better hurry along and make your mind up, myself and your father need to sort out the payment for your medical care before our Dubai transfer.” She tilted her head up to ceiling before wrapping the thin material scarf around her scrawny neck and slinging the new Gucci bag onto her shoulder.
My parents had fallen deeply in love with one another during high school and instantly became inseparable, or so the story goes. With my father being interested in dental care and my mother transfixed with horses they decided to mash both professions together to create a worldwide company dedicated to equine dentistry and that is where they had hit the jackpot. But as perfect and lavish as their lifestyle sounded, there was an unexpected bump in the road which came in the form of a positive pregnancy test. That was me. Avery Rose. or Ava for short much to my mother’s disapproval. I was a mistake and completely ruined all plans for the future which caused a natural disliking toward me from all sides of the family, being seen as the leakage in the water works.
Now sixteen years later and here I was stood in a private hospital near Chelsea Town Centre, causing more of a problem than originally planned. After several doctor appointments and hours of travelling to specialist clinics, I was diagnosed with Leukemia, and whether it was terminal was still yet to be uncovered. From a personality perspective I was the polar opposite to that of my parents. They were ridiculously rich and constantly bragged with their snobbish small-talk. Everything was very prim and proper from their clothing to their lifestyle.
Alternatively, I was a letdown. A normal teenage girl that enjoyed nothing more than writing music and playing guitar until blood poured from my fingertips. And that is why I had chosen to stay in the UK instead of moving to Dubai and having treatment out there.
Yes, I was petrified that this journey would have to be faced alone but it was a challenge I was willing to accomplish.
“Avery, I am going to wait in the Porsche so make your decision rather quickly.” I watched my mother sniff the air and stroll out of the room before rolling my eyes and taking on swift glance around.
I liked it here. It was…peaceful. Just a touch up of paint and it would be perfect. After spending a few more moments to collect my true feelings about the clinic it was time to leave and face the awkward car drive home.
The car door slammed shut a little more harshly than intended as I slouched into the passenger seat and instantly leaned forward to turn the classical music blasting on the radio to a more settling station playing indie/rock music. I smiled in satisfaction as my favorite song began to play, accelerating my head back on the head rest and humming along.
“Avery, you need to learn to respect yourself as a young women of your status instead of acting like a rebellious teenager all of the time” My mother snarled at me as she vigorously plodded her finger about looking for the off button on the radio while still concentrating on the traffic. I continued to ignore her words but when she jabbed the button and the music was cut short, I flipped.
“If you haven’t noticed already Mum. I am a teenager.”
“Well you need to learn a lesson of adequate and mature quicker; we need a daughter of fine education and art not some guitar playing, party-going youth!” She shouted down at me, allowing her eyes to snap at me for a slit second before turning back to the road. In them few seconds, the poison from her eyes dripped into my blood stream and turned the thoughts in my head to pure outrage.
“HOW DARE YOU SAY THAT! I AM MEANT TO BE YOUR DAUGHTER…YOUR DAUGHTER! THE ONE YOU LOVE AND CARE FOR NO MATTER HOW THEY TURN OUT. MAYBE I’M NOT LIKE YOU AND YOUR PATHETIC SNOBBY WAY BUT I DON’T CARE BECAUSE THE QUICKER THIS CANCER TAKES OVER ME AND THE SOONER I AM GONE… THE BETTER!” I screamed back in a word vomit. The silence in the car choked me as I realized that not only had I just insulted my parent but also wished death upon myself. Right then and there, I was expecting for my mother to care for once in her life and comfort me like a real loving mother would do but she was far from normal. Especially when it came to me.
Taking less than one minute to confirm her decision she pulled as tightly as she could on the wheel and swerved to the side of the road as cars whipped past the window at such speed they could be mistaken for smears of dust on the screen.
“Get out of this car right this instant!”
A loud laugh escaped my lips at the stupidity of the whole situation but when I tilted my head in a sarcastic roll, the look pasted upon my mother’s face told me otherwise.
“Ar…are you serious?” My words tripped up over each other as I began to stutter. She nodded, not taking her eyes from the wheel. “It’s a 25 mile walk…and we’re on a motorway…you can’t do this”
“I said get out of the car Avery, the fresh air will give you time to rethink your actions.” Her monotone voice drifted almost inaudibly. I shook my head in disbelief. The opening of the car door allowed the buzzing of the rushing traffic to really shake the fear in my bones. Placing one foot out of the door and onto the motorway hard shoulder I took one last glance at my mother to check if she was completely sane. “Make sure not to slam the Porsche door on your way out, it’s new.”
“It’s nice to know you care more about this stupid car, you absolute bitch” I purposely gripped the door and slammed it with all my might, watching as the women who gave birth to me zoomed off in her sports car.
I mumbled under my breath as I began walking through the unkempt thick grass on the side of the road to the nearest village.
It took at least an hour before any sign of life came into view, other than rushing cars which were more than likely over the speed limit. I had found myself wondering away from the motorway and through onto a public walkway which lead into an overgrown forest, drowning the heaving noise of traffic out a little more with each step. Soon enough silence hit me like an advancing army and the dimly lit sky began to fade into a mixture of deep purple and slate. I winced in pain as the flimsy dolly shoes I had on were beginning to saw into my ankle, creating a layer of blisters which would come into contact with the back of the shoe unexpectedly every now and then. My legs ached but if I had any luck with getting home at all by nightfall then there was no time to stop and hang around.
Within twenty minutes of walking through slime drenched mud I came to a clearing which appeared to collect into a small village. It was pleasing to feel the concrete cobbles against the base of my shoes as I began to explore what this place had to offer. Each shop window looked derelict and forgotten with cobwebs draped dramatically over the items of sale as if the whole street had somehow time-travelled from a late century. My breath steamed up the glass as I realized I had been pressed up against it, lost in thought whilst the weather had made a turn for the worse, heavy bolts of hailstones pounding off the ground and soaking every part of me it could get its grubby hands on. Covering my head with my jacket I rushed into the first (and what seemed like the only open) shop I could find.
“That will be £5.80, m’dear” The women behind the counter spoke sweetly as I fished around in my pocket for any loose change. To my disappointment the only thing I could find was a crumpled up £5 note. The women looked at me with a face of sympathy. “This is all I have”
“Then I’m sorry dear but I can’t serve you” I huffed and began to shove the money back into my jacket when a voice from behind me interrupted. “I’ll pay for her, it’s fine”
The boy stepped forward and smiled at me. I mentally cursed at this predicament. Chris was my ex-boyfriend and here he was coming to the rescue after disappearing of the face of the earth for months on end. His sandy blonde hair was still the same style and his posh accent still stood out garishly against the common café we were in.
We sat down at a table as I thanked him for the third time. Chris cleared his voice, I could tell he was the only one that actually wanted to be here at this moment in time.
“So, what brought you here?” Chris spoke in his sickly sweet accent. I’d always hated that about him. Everything else was close to perfect, but his golden coating was a large turn-off. Chris’s family was rich beyond belief, at one time you could look across the whole of Chelsea and single handedly pick out which estates belonged to them. “Wait, let me guess. You had an argument with your Mum again?”
I nodded. “How would you know?”
“You always do this when you’ve had a fall out. I remember finding you in my stables after the big fight with Mr Chelting at school” We both laughed slightly at the memory.
“Yeah, unfortunately this time it’s a much bigger problem than being told I had to read my poem infront of the entire school.” My hands wrapped around the warmth of the mug as I sipped the last few droplets dry. Chris stood up and pushed his chair in.
“How about you tell me on the way home?” As much as I liked this village, I didn’t want to be stuck her for eternity and with the new skin of blisters on my feet, the walk home didn’t sound too appetizing either. And Although at first I was pretty much adamant on spilling my ‘darkest’ secret to Chris, I ended up blabbing the whole story, letting my emotions break through the small gap in the wall I had been building for quite some time now on the journey home. When the rubber tires hit the gravel pathway, a groan escaped my lips, knowing I would have to face the wrath of my mother in moments time. Grabbing my shoes and starting to open the car door, Chris pulled me back, squashing me into a cobra-style hug. “I’ve missed you and I’m awfully sorry to hear about the cancer”
“Urmm..thanks.” The atmosphere in the car had suddenly changed from a warm, comforting feeling to one of mystery and confusion. I could sense something bad was around the corner but nothing could have prepared me for Chris’s actions. As I sloped forward to hug him back, his cold dry hand slithered up my thigh to just above the hem of my dress. Trying to retail backwards and squirm away from the awkwardness, he tightened his grip around my body. Chris may have been a pretty big ponce but his strength was something which could demolish that thought in a second. Using all the might in my tiny frame, I pushed against his broad shoulders but he just chuckled wildly, knowing the supreme power that came so easily to him was like a metal chokehold around my throat. His slimy wet kisses sucked at my skin as he plotted the trail to my chest. Vomit was slowly building in the pit of my stomach. This was the worst day, and it was going to end in absolute misery.
Chris broke away as I began to cough violently, bringing up the vomit that had caused a wave through my digestive system. Only then did he push me out of the car, not wanting me to spoil the new white Italian leather interior. My back landed on the gravel with a crash, and the shoes flew out soon after. Without a second word, Chris slammed the door and drove off into the distance, leaving me gasping for breath. I couldn’t believe that had literally just happened. Picking up my stuff, I made my way inside the house, ignoring the calls from my parents to venture straight to the ensuite. Running the hot water, I let all of my troubles and mental disgust drift away into the tranquility of the soft rippling of the water.