I am not kicking you while you are down, Ollie. I am telling you to celebrate what is real in your life. Celebrate who you are. Not who Liz wishes you to be. Claw your way out of this nostalgic hole you are digging.
Get out of bed.
For the last time, abandon the idea that we might be blood relatives. Nonsense. I spent a lot of time with my mother, even if I never understood her. My birth father was nobody. Nothing more than the person who impregnated my mother. He made a bastard and vanished. There is no sense in romanticizing it. Herr Farber is my father now. There is no sense in seeking the past.
The past is never any better than the present, and it is not what you have to look forward to.
We don’t have to be related in order to be close. Sometimes you are not as amusing as you think you are. Sometimes I think you are a child, Oliver.
Perhaps I should be kinder to you in your sadness. But nothing makes me so angry as the idea that you are letting yourself wither away. For the sake of a girl who does not appreciate you.
1 Fiction Road
Dear Mr. Harris,
For once my legs aren’t digging into the tiles because I picked up my pillow before I tiptoed out of the house. I put it on top of the box and it’s quite comfy even though it’s a bit damp. I must have been seating in my dream and it was so real with the rain and the trees and the disappearing hand. I bet you’re no stranger to this so I don’t need to bang on about how terrifying it was. Probably you have nightmares all the time, like when guard turns off the light I bet you zoom right back to the moment your wife told you the truth.
Funny to think it wasn’t your wife who got you the death penalty. I didn’t understand that at first. No offence or anything. but stabbing a woman you’ve been married to for ten years sounds a whole lot worse than shooting a random neighbor who’d popped round with a mincemeat tart because it was Christmas. But then the article, which fyi I found on google, said something about a crime of passion. When you attacked your wife, you weren’t thinking straight. You were blinded by rage and seeing so much red I bet your wife was practically scarlet, which would have been appropriate. That’s what you call a woman who’s had an affair. A scarlet woman.
In a court of American Law, acting out of anger is not as bad as killing in cold blood. When you didn’t answer the door next morning, your neighbor opened it up and strolled into your house. If you ask me, that’s bad manners, but I guess your neighbor learned her lesson when the bullet blew her brain out. Shooting a potential witness was calculating. According to the jury, you knew exactly what you were doing when you pulled the trigger and fed her tart to your dog. You went on the run for three days but the guilt got too much so you turned yourself in.
Sometimes I think I’d be better off doing that. It’s getting harder to pretend now I`m back at school. Now his mum’s sniffing around too. There I was in English with my phone in my hand, and before you say it I know I shouldn’t have been looking but I was checking the time, willing it to be lunch so I could escape with Lauren. We’re developed this routine where we grab sandwiches then hide away from the staring eyes in the music block in this room full of instruments.
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Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher.