Warning: I strongly recommend you do NOT read any chapters in Ethan’s POV until you’ve read the whole book. It was not designed to be read like that as there will be spoilers throughout.
6 years ago
I stared mindlessly out the window, watching various trees, buildings, and people whizz past. Today was supposed to be a day for me to start afresh and heal.
Heal, what a stupid word.
There’s no such thing as healing; there’s only getting better at convincing everyone that you’re okay.
My mum was amazing at pretending. She’d fool every visitor that came to see us with bright smiles and laughter, but as soon as the door closed, she’d lock herself up in her room and cry.
I glanced over at the front seat of the car where she sat. She was rambling on about her usual crap, and I’d shamefully stopped listening to a while ago.
If you took a quick glance at my mum, she looked okay. Her hair and jacket neat and sharp, her lipstick fresh. It all screamed, okay. But what gave her away, was her eyes. They were emotionless, dead, and unhappy. And who could blame her?
Her husband was a rapist.
Correction-her ex-husband was a rapist.
I was still adjusting to my new surname- Blythe. It was my mother’s maiden name, and she changed our names back to it after the divorce. I didn’t mind one bit; I’d rather be a Blythe than a Thomas. Just like, I’d rather be like my mother than my father.
So, Ethan Blythe, it was.
“Ethan, are you listening to a word I’m saying?” She laughed as she looked at me through the rear-view mirror.
Crap she’s on to me.
“Hmm, yes, you were saying how much I’m gonna love it in California,” I said, praying to God that this was still the topic of conversation.
“Ugh, I knew you weren’t listening. I moved on from that fifteen minutes ago, Ethan,” she snapped.
Swarmed by guilt, I sunk lower in my chair. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to Mum, I just drifted off. What were you saying?” I asked politely.
I promised myself I’d make a conscious effort to be kinder to my mum, and I was already failing. I guess that was just my bad genes shining through.
My mum’s eyes softened. “I was just saying how many new friends you’re gonna make,” she smiled.
“I don’t want friends,” I said simply.
Her eyebrows knitted together in concern. “Why on earth would you not want friends? You had tons of friends at your old school,” she exclaimed.
I shrugged. “That was then, and this is now besides I’ve got Dylan, he’s entertaining enough,” I said as I gestured over to my baby brother.
He was sleeping soundly on a booster seat, on the seat beside me. I looked over at him with a smile. He was a cute little baby with bright blue eyes and little tufts of dark brown hair. He was the spitting image of me at the age, and the arrogant part of me loved that.
I just hoped for his sake he wasn’t exactly like me.
“Dylan? Don’t be ridiculous, Ethan, you can’t be friends with a baby?” she laughed.
“And why not?” I asked.
“Because he’s a baby!” she exclaimed.
“That’s hardly a reason to discriminate, “I argued. “Since my time off school, Dylan and I, have been having a whale of a time together. We’ve been watching scooby doo. Not sure about him, but I’m hooked,” I joked.