the short story project


Draven Barber

They Never Touched

It’s been a while since she’d been home. To be honest she wasn’t even sure she wanted to be there. Seeing her family was great, she surprised her mother, met her sister- or re-met her. She was just months when she had left. Reunited with her other two sisters. All that was wonderful. But it was the friends that made her weary. She’d left broken and on impulse. And now she’s happy, a little broken but not enough to when she used to crumble. When she left pieces of her became chunks and they were like waterfalls falling off of her and disappearing without a trace- and her freinds? ;  well they were the ones taking the pieces. She had no intention of telling them she was home, but she came with her brother, so they found out and naturally they wanted to see her too.

She went to see them and found that if anybody had changed it was her. She outgrew what once was her entire world. Maddie was vibrant. A beautiful girl and a kind heart until one day the flip switched. She was no longer nice. She was no longer her best friend. Instead, she spread rumors, used people for her benefit, smiled at you only to turn away and rip you apart with negativity- but she’d say it to someone else and not you. Then pretend that it never happened. Maddie took the first piece. Maddie isolated, backstabbed, and lied about her. Robert was a funny man, and always liked to play the hero- which most of the time, he was. Robert took a piece as well. He helped Maddie spread the lies-especially when she told Robert to stay faithful and stay away from Maddie romantically. That’s when he turned his back on her. He used to be her rock, and she his- or as best as she could. But Robert fell prey to Maddie’s hand, and like the fly in a trap- he was lost to her.  And so he took his piece and stepped on her trust while he did it. But she didn’t begin to crumble until they all took a piece at once. Those taken pieces were the most cruel of all. They weren’t the last but they hurt her the most. That piece was Ryne. He convinced her that he loved her- then tried to force her hand in suicide. Every day. Every day this was an occurrence and as she started to crumble in defense of herself Cody, Robert, Kiernan, Kayla, Maddie, and Tina didn’t notice. All six ignored her pleas and took his side and the emotions he manipulated. They always fell for a pity party. But had they listened they would have known the truth. But they didn’t- they chose to drink and forget instead- leaving her in more isolation and heartbreak. They took turns carving out their pieces of that chunk. That piece they all carry with them. That piece drove her away.

But now here she is, and here they are trying to see her. What a grand and glorious occasion this was going to be. They ate, they laughed, she pretended her heart out, and then they all went home. She continued to try, despite the one sided efforts. Her brother asked her to so she tried.  For years, she had tried after the first homecoming and she tried until the night where her value to them came to light.

It was a birthday party. Kiernan and Marley had her over and she made drinks. She was anxious so she made them a little strong. Marley handed the drink to Kiernan. “Oh, this is really good.  Who made it?”

“Ashley did.”

“Well we’re fucked.” They all laughed, finished their drinks, got in the cab and headed to Kayla’s. That night they shoved alcohol at her and she willingly took it. She was actually having a good time. But with alcohol comes truth. She told Robert how she thought he was a piece of shit, that she loved him but that Kayla deserved better. He said, “I know, I love you too. I look at you as my sister, a crazy one, but still my sister.” They hugged, and then she felt sick. She went to the restroom and puked. She couldn’t

remember much after that. She just remembered apologizing for getting sick- then saying over and over again ‘please don’t make me do this” all while trying not to cry.

She woke up in Kiernan’s bed. She was in his shirt, Marley was lying next to her, and Kiernan was on the couch. They told her what had happened. She didn’t want to believe it, so she called everyone and asked them what had happened. They all looked at Kayla before speaking. But even still she couldn’t get a straight answer. The story lined up, but there were different versions and with what little she remembered being the reason she made the call to bring everyone together; the stories and her memory led to one thing. It didn’t matter how much crying Kayla did, or how much Kayla tried to make her feel for bringing it up on her birthday; was happened, had happened and it was very clear no matter how foggy they all tried to make it. They had forced her out while she was puking and the next day they didn’t call. They didn’t bother to ask to see how she was, or see if she got home safe, they didn’t even ask if she was okay. It was as if her well-being was insignificant to them or their thoughts, and that’s when she knew. She loved every single one of them will all her heart- even with the pieces that they chipped away. But this last visit home, was her last visit to them.

She had known them her whole life, but Tina, aside from her brother, was the only one still by her side. She was different than everyone else in her used to be world. Tina was the only remaining one of the people who tried to chip her away into nothing. Because Tina took, her chipped piece- polished it up- and sewed it back into place. Tina didn’t need to be asked, Tina just did it- she saw her broken down, and Tina fixed up what she could and continues to help keep the engine going. But she doesn’t go home much anymore. And if she does, aside from her mother, brother, and sisters, Tina is the only one that she sees. Maddie she can’t stand, Robert she lost respect for, Kayla she doesn’t care for, and Kiernan and Marley just ignore her calls. She left home and came back to see everyone’s true nature. She outgrew all but one. And she was better off for it. She took what she learned and she took what she needed, and though not through initial choice- she left. As hard as it was, to turn her back on a world that she loved…she left.

She has a new home now. Where the love she gives is returned just as much if not more. A home where people put her up instead of pulling her down. Where they care to know how she is and where they help make her okay- no matter the inconvenience. Her new home questions her needless apologies because to them- she doesn’t need to apologize for being herself because it’s her that they love. The people she has now treat her in ways she didn’t think possible. They don’t step on her and walk away. They love her and respect her. They listen and when they tell her she matters, she feels it. They would have never happened if she didn’t leave home.

So to hell with her home then, because she loves her home now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *