Prologue – Eyes only for him
Protector. My protector. He is the one I have been waiting for so long. He came into my life quite by accident. A friend worth waiting for. I like him as he is. It will always be mine.
“Mom, please close the window,” I whispered. I was driving home from school when the rain started. The downpour did not stop. I live in London, where rain is a matter of course. A lot of snow does not fall during the winter, but you can get used to it. It is worse in the summer. When my parents and I moved from Chicago, where the water was over 27 degrees during the summer, to cold London, it took me a long time to even dare to soak my hand in the freezing water of the North Sea.
I have been living in London for ten years. We moved when I was seven years old. At first, my father and my mother were looking for a job in Dublin, where we have the rest of the family, but in vain. Even the school there was not god knows what. Not that I’m picky, but in Ireland, they would hardly accept a brown-haired woman, a little different, among all those redheads. I have gently twisted hands at the ends of the strands of hair, brown eyes, and fuller lips, and my name is Emily. Emily Hudson. I’m a little awkward at times. I really enjoy drawing, so it was hard for me to find a design school in Dublin, as I like to invent and create.
I stopped my gaze in the front driver’s seat. Mom – Maya Hudson is very caring and kind. She has fine bronze hair tied in a bun.
Something poked under my ribs. Who else but my younger brother. More stubborn, annoying, impudent and at the same time the best younger brother. Mike is six years younger than me. His pale hair bounces restlessly around his rounded face. A green T-shirt accentuates his eyes of the same color.
I noticed that we were approaching the house. Finally. Mom just turned our little yellow car onto Cyprus Street. We live in a cozy house number four at the end of the street. The house is not big, it is just right for a family of four. It has distinctive red shutters on both the first and second floors, and red roses are pulled on a small wooden ladder by the door. Beautifully matched to the shutters. In addition to working in the office at Geremi, a company dealing with invoices from various stores, my mother is engaged in gardening, but only in our garden. She does not want to break away from the robot, which is a certainty in her regular income. Allegedly. But I don’t really believe her. I know how much you’d love to open a small, fussy flower shop somewhere far from the bustling city center.
Our garden is decorated with oak of gigantic proportions. Yellow sunflowers do not match anything in the garden, but they illuminate it perfectly.
I walked up to the massive red door and turned the key. At a slow pace, I dragged myself into the room and read the inscription on the door. Of course, invalid for me. No entry. This only applies to Mike. I really liked to dig into things, but the inscription is effective so far. I pressed the handle. I threw the wine backpack on a yellow chair with a soft flowered cushion and threw myself on the bed where the unread Harry Potter was waiting for me. Perhaps this literary genre will not be ignored by any teenage teenager. Before I opened the unread book, I looked around the room. I was thinking about a small remake. My room was remodeled a year ago, but you know how it is with a teenage teenager and right away. Instead of a matte dark brown bed with flowered duvets matching the pillow on the chair at the desk under a large curtain with yellow curtains, I would put a white bunk bed with a table. And instead of yellow curtains, white curtains. The wardrobe is after my grandmother, but daddy painted it for me. I like older things, so I didn’t agree to throw it away and end it. The place next to the door suits her. Just the color… Peeled off. Brown. It was painted a long time ago. I will go into it at the weekend because its repainting has been screaming at me for a long time. I was pulled out of my beautiful dream by my mother’s screaming from below.
“Emily, come here and quickly! ” she urged.
I opened the door and at a rapid pace – for a change – I found myself in the kitchen. Mom stood by the jersey and shouted, “Grab the glass and come here. Throw it away! Fie! “
Just to explain… Mike likes chameleons, and last year his parents retreated and allowed him after Mike’s long wail. In my humble opinion, this is a small strange creature in a terrarium. Many people do not have enough understanding of its appearance. From Mike’s point of view, this is a little green splendor. Dean. That is his name. Crickets are running around the house. Mike left the jar open and went to play with our neighbor John Green. I don’t understand why mom likes flowers, but she doesn’t like crickets and other insect nematodes. He slowly gets used to them, but only when they are in a box or in Dean’s stomach. I’m used to crickets because when Mike asks me, I have to feed Dean. With one grab, I took the glass from the jersey and the cricket was safely thrown out of the window.
“Don’t worry, mom, she’s already in the garden,” I reassured her.
So now he can calmly finish cooking that wonderful delicacy, which smells so great from the kitchen to the whole house. Salmon with lemon juice and potato puree. I hurried to Mike’s room to close the box with the other crickets and ran down the stairs to the kitchen again. Without the chaos around the cricket, the kitchen looked very tasteful. White curtains matched the white tablecloth on a round table. Four brown chairs along with a table were stored by the window. Mom took out four white plates from the faint green shelf above the sink. She handed me plates and cutlery and asked me to prepare for the table.
“Prepare Emily for the table and take the raspberry cake out of the oven. Check if it’s ready. I’m going to call daddy to pick up Mike from the Greens on the way home from work,” mom spews out one sentence after another.
Dad works as a lawyer. Also in the office. His robot is interesting but time-consuming. Daddy – Tom Hudson. She has black hair and brown eyes like mine. He likes us very much. At first, I thought I would do the right too, but later I found out that the painting, that’s mine.
Mom sat down at the table and tapped Daddy’s number. She began to speak. I did not focus on the words. I handed out cutlery, plates and juice glasses, turned off the oven, and pulled out the cake. The raspberry scent spread throughout the kitchen. Yummy… I opened the window and picked up the cake. I unloaded it on the windowsill and let passers-by be enchanted by the wonderful smell of raspberries and sugar. Mom called.
“Daddy is on the way and he’s almost home! Mike will come along with him! ” she announced to the surroundings.
“Really Emily, today is Friday, wouldn’t you like to go out with Vivien? ” continues the monologue mom.
Vivien. Yes. Finally Friday. Vivien is my best friend from London. We go to a high school design school in London together. She is blonde with blue eyes and thin eyebrows. I love her. Unlike me, she is more cheerful. She is the adrenaline type. She tried sports from motorcycle to bungee jumping.
Hm… I have no such plan tonight. Tasks are postponed until Sunday. So going out with Vivien is a nice idea! ” I answered my mother’s question. I walked through the kitchen to our large living room. Along the way, I stroked the dark blue velvet couch. Velvet. So gentle. I walked into the bathroom and looked in the mirror above the sink. That was a shock. My distinctive hands needed combing out as a matter of urgency. I grabbed a wooden comb and started combing. After a while, I put the comb down and replaced the toothbrush. Done. I closed the door and quickly went to the kitchen. The key in the front door turned around. Click. Daddy and Mike are at home. Mike rushed into the kitchen first and threw his khaki backpack onto the floor in the hallway on the way. He still managed to take off his shoes at lightning speed and was already sitting at a fragrant dinner.
He muttered, “Yum! Salmon!? “
He was taken aback. From his simple joy, it became clear that something was wrong.
“Mom, why do we have salmon when I smelled raspberry cake outside? Just don’t tell me it came from the neighbors. I’m going to knock on Aunt Brown’s door to cut off a piece for me… “
I looked at Mike with his right eyebrows raised and began to say quickly, “Mike, firstly, why wouldn’t you bring your sister too, and secondly, the one… “
Emily… ” he jumped into my speech.
“Let me talk, you. That cake was baked by mom, you don’t have to worry about such goodness we wouldn’t have prepared you. “
We all had a good laugh. When we finished eating salmon and tasted mom’s delicious raspberry cake (some just tasted it, and Mike indulged in three pieces), I thanked him and washed the dishes. Mike helped me with his wiping so it was once two.
° ° °
I finally went to call Vivien. I opened the door and grabbed my phone from my desk. Call… – an inscription that was lit on the front of my mobile.
“Well, damn it! Are we not going to go out? Today, they opened a fairground near the London Eye. Let’s go, there’s a runway, carousels, and that amazing shooting gigantic attraction. Let’s! Em… Can you? ” she trilled.
“Lunapark. Well. It will be fun! ” I started talking, “I agree. Are you betting for me by car? At seven o’clock? “
Well. So at seven o’clock. Hi. “
She hung up.
After a while, I realized the word luna park. The smell of popcorn and sugar sprinkled on amazingly smelling donuts and a crazy ride on a caterpillar dear reaching up to the clouds. I can’t wait! I opened the closet and looked into my “modest” wardrobe. I put my things on the bed and thought about what would go well with denim trousers. I tried many options from a striped T-shirt, a flowered shirt, a dark blue bodysuit, a green jacket and a honey-yellow short-sleeved T-shirt. I went back to the striped T-shirt. Variant number one. I could have saved myself a lot of time because the room after changing clothes looked like a mild hurricane in the Caribbean. Who is going to clean this up… I pulled out red converse sneakers from the closet and straightened my hair from my rucksacks into almost straight hair.
“Are you going? ” screamed from the living room Vivien.
I didn’t even notice when she arrived. Apparently, I was preoccupied with the difficult activity of what I am going to wear tonight.
“I’m already… almost… Dressed! ” I was stretching myself with shoe binding.
I ran down the stairs, grabbed my favorite yellow handbag on the way, patted Mike on the hair, and waved to my parents interested in a program on the Discovery Channel. My parents waved my hand to leave. Vivien was already cupping her white Skoda, and I was boarding right behind her. Comfortable seats with a black cover were decorated with a wine ribbon, an unmistakable sign that she had just received the car. That is, in fact, a month ago on the eleventh of August, when it was her birthday. Eighteen. She is seven months and three days older than me. By the way, I am born on Valentine’s Day. The day of lovers has always been close to me and at the same time so distant…
We have already come a long way. Point A – the house – we slowly moved away and were soon greeted by point B – the fairground. Vivien couldn’t wait. Today we probably exchanged hairstyles she put on straight hair handles and I from straight shoulders straight. I laughed. She began tapping her fingers on the steering wheel. I set the radio to louder and we both started humming Christina Perri from the Twilight saga. Our favorite movie and book series. Of course with Harry Potter. Two amazing science fiction sagas. Vivien still likes horror movies, but I’ve never been in the same boat with murderers and ghosts. I’m just scared. I’ve never seen a horror movie and I’m not going to do it anytime soon. The song is over. Our humming stopped. Silence. Only the engine of the car could be heard. We drove quietly for a while.
After a while, I called and started a long debate: “Vivien I was wondering if you would be willing to do one thing with me? “
I was waiting for an answer. Vivien threw such a… questioning expression.
“Well, I’m wondering what it’s going to be. Know… Either you’re going to do something really boring or you’re going to take a parachute jump with me. Or… You go to a deep pool to dive into the “deep” water and you want me to be there with you because I swim like a torpedo and you like a floating cork. Not! You’re coming with me now to that shooting adrenaline attraction in the fairgrounds. Yes, that’s it! In that case, I have an absolute interest,” Vivien named one thing after another.
I exchanged my calm expression for a horrified one, and then I started laughing.
“Why are you laughing? Is it on that cork? I am sorry, but I did not mean that way. But it is true. Although you are afraid of deep water about as much as horror movies, but I would teach you to at least immerse your head in water… ” she trilled.
“No, the cork is true, I like to stay afloat. Or I inflate my inflatable wheel and relax. But it doesn’t matter now. I laugh at how you invent adrenaline attractions for me that I will never try. Now to my question. A neighbor, Mrs. Brown, works in a sanatorium. I signed up there yesterday via the Internet, but they need one more reliable helper – a volunteer. Would you be willing? We start on Monday and are there every other day right after school for class,” I said.
“It’s a pity you didn’t tell me yesterday. I’m sorry, but I’ve already signed up for an animal shelter. Can I unsubscribe if you want… ” Vivien apologized to me.
“No, no. That was just such an idea. I know how much you like animals. Just stay nice, you’ve already signed up,” I disagreed with her proposal to change her volunteering.
“Okay, Mom,” she laughed.
The corners of my mouth protested. I was more interested in the beautiful pale blue light. The mouth could not be held back and was opened wide. Vivien looked at me and wondered what I was looking at. She looked in front of her and at me again. She looked at my expression with her eyes and saw the beautiful play with lights. Carnival. Red alternated with purple, purple-blue, blue-green and green-yellow. And all over again. It played like in a disco. The music spread all the way to us and we were still more than two hundred meters from the parking lot. I was right about that disco. Just to the place of the DJ there was a huge speaker with a purple stripe. We searched for a vacancy and circled around the parking lot for a long time. A moment passed and we parked next to an old shabby Opela. Vivien slammed the door. She began to murmur: “That car probably remembers the Stone Age, when they didn’t know my breathtaking Skoda yet. “
She stroked the new paintwork on her car, which, alongside the car on the left, looked like a Porsche. Oh Porsche. My dream car, but by the time I decide to drive a car, perhaps a light year will pass. Yellow with dark glasses…
“I hope that soon I will not have to wait for you in front of the house at seven in the morning so that you can still repeat the curriculum from the previous day,” Vivien did not forgive herself.
She was like my brother. They keep hammering at me about my dislike of cars. I don’t understand why they still enjoy it.
So I protested, “So, you’re going to pick me up every morning at half past eight and not at seven. And secondly, I only repeat the curriculum when I have tests ahead of me. I laughed in my mind. School. Only on Monday. Now I will not mention you once.
“Vivien, let’s skip school. So are you going for that adrenaline rush? Or are we going to try the slightly safer carousel first? “
I have highlighted the word you are going to be extremely highlighted. It really goes by itself I will be watching from a safe distance from that creepy and horror-chasing machine. Vivien raised one eyebrow and grabbed my hand. She locked the car and we were already buying tickets for the carousel. I have never seen so many happy baby faces and smiling plushies in their arms. Energy emanated from people. Fortune. Loud laughter also spread from the water pistol stand. A group of young teenagers. Two blonde guys, apparently twins, because they were the same as two iPhone twelves. In the group, there was a redhead from Ireland, and a little splendor with black hair was still pinned down to them. Susan Grey. Our perfect black-haired Barbie from school. Her hair was loose, but it was decorated with one pink bow tie. With a pink blouse, she had perfectly matched. Black shorts and white sandals – suitable apparently only for the cinema or for a restaurant in a luxury hotel – suited her perfectly. That perfect figure is the envy of every teenager in this fairground. True, she is perfection itself. Vivien glared at her and looked at her sandals, which captivated me too.
“Calvin Klein. No one in the park has them but her. That is disgusting, then. I will ask them of my parents in vain, but how about earning money?. ” thought Vivien.
When he does not jump off the plane, he spends a lot of time in the shopping center. Her wardrobe is about as big as our bathroom. Her parents have a huge house. Mom works as an intern. Dad works as a real estate agent so they have a steady income. The only thing they don’t agree with is for Vivien to keep buying new and new clothes. It’s a perverted joke because her mom is like a model and she also has a full wardrobe. But it helps charities a lot. So it’s balanced. More and more things are piling up in Viviena’s wardrobe. No kind-hearted gifts go to charity. She just buys. ..
This time I broke out of my thoughts on my own. I turned the topic into dismay before the carousel. I saw how people walked from there quite drunk. Apparently, I got confused and I should have stayed firmly on my feet with this carousel. Come on, wake up, you’re on the carousels, enjoy! I ordered myself. Vivien looked at me in surprise, because I proudly stepped out first. She raised her eyebrows but said nothing. Apparently, she was glad that her friend woke up from a nightmare about the fear of the carousel.
We sat down in a green swing for two people and waited for the others to settle down. We talked for a while about grandma’s stuff, then about what they were going to play in the cinema, and we already wanted to start talking about Tuesday’s paper, but luckily I avoided it, I promised myself something, and they also honked their horns at the start. We moved slowly and were already moving from one side to the other. We circled, flew and circled again. It was amazing. The fears were lost. I flew. It was just a feeling, but I started screaming and screaming because it was… Once again, I repeat amazingly. People joined me. We screamed along with Vivien. Slowly, our flight stopped. Not that anything went wrong, but it was time to move on to the second attraction. Even birds do not fly all the time. We landed. My stomach protested for quite a while. I felt as if I had continued flying for a while. Who wouldn’t get sick after such a giant carousel? Vivien. Everyone around was stumbling from right to left. But she doesn’t.
I went to drink. We sat down for ten minutes. Vivien grabbed her chips and I was able to stand up normally again. We arrived at the food stall and Vivien asked for popcorn.
Good! ” she addressed a young lady who was barely over twenty, “please give you twice salty popcorn. “
She highlighted the word twice enough. She probably wanted to make me happy. I gently lifted the corner of my lips. That was a gesture of thanks. Vivien winked at me. The lady replied disgustingly (and I thought that today everyone is just in a good mood in the fairgrounds).
“OK,” she purred, turning her back on us.
Her hair was cut out short, and a delicate cotton T-shirt tied to a knot in front was a great fit for her. She dressed nicely, so I don’t know what fit on her nose. We picked up popcorn and went to a nearby bench. I ate barely a bit, and Vivien was already pulling my hand to the aforementioned gigantic attraction. The last time she asked me, the answer was clear beforehand.
“You’re going with… ” she asked me with a plea in her eyes.
“The answer is clear: No! ” I didn’t say it cheeky, I just wanted her to know not to ask me.
She smiled and I returned her smile. She nodded to me, and I shouted at her, “Come back to me clearly. I don’t want to get home in the morning! Who would drive me to school… ” I laughed and continued with the unfinished sentence.
“But, don’t really enjoy it. “
Vivien got into a huge circle full of people.
“Start in a minute! ” shouted an elderly gentleman with a gray beard.
Perhaps it was the leader of the carousel.
I sat down on the bench where Vivien and I were eating popcorn and watched the seat belts close so that people wouldn’t fall out.
The gentleman shouted again, ‘Start!”
I watched the monster dragging Vivien up and down without a break. One moment I was happy to be safely on the ground and the other I was tense to somehow get Vivien to the ground safely. Out of nowhere, a black-haired Barbie – Susan ran up to me and sat down next to me. She began to speak.
“Like Hudson? I see that you came alone. I’m having a good time. Don’t want to join me? ” she said condescendingly.
“No,” I proudly replied, “I didn’t come alone, Vivien is also here. “
“Oh, so an inseparable duo. If you’re not interested, hey,” she left, glaring at me.
She certainly didn’t want to be nice to me. She and dear. Well, for sure. I supported my head with my hand and looked at the monster again, which still hadn’t let Vivien out of her sturdy steel belt. Seconds fled like clocks. Without Vivien, it’s really boring. No stinging comments about my opinion about cars and their driving or any other jokes. Without her, I would not be me. All in all, my one part is complemented by her. I feel great with her. She is super…
Suddenly I heard my name and turned to the right: “Emily!? “
“Well, damn it! Finally. Am I shouting quietly? Shouldn’t I take my horn next time? ” she said with a laugh.
I was frightened, and it took me a while to “wake up” from my reflections: “Yes, I am here. I just wondered. “
Well. Don’t you want to know what it was like? ” she asked me with great interest.
Not. You don’t have to. I can see for myself what it was like. ” I was already laughing too.
She could barely stand on the bench. So this was already too much for her.
I asked, “Can you drive? “
“Hmm… It wasn’t that bad again,” she said.
Well. I’ve had enough for today! ” I declared.
We got into Viviena’s white Skoda and started talking.
“Won’t Mike be upset if you didn’t go with him, Emily? For when I came for you, he begged me… I quote: ‘Vivien you have to take me, I’m so bored at home’. Your mom replied a pretty clear ‘No’ to him and he had to understand that we just wanted to be the two of us without Emily’s annoying brother. He was really sad. I didn’t want to tell you sooner because you’d like to go home and make it up to him. “
Vivien was right. Mike gets on my nerves, but he’s my younger brother. I really like him. I sighed. But I didn’t say anything about it.
Now I was having fun with myself and comparing the fairground with Mike and Vivien or just Vivien. Mike would still like something. I’ll make it up to him on Monday… No, I cannot, I am with Mrs. Brown. On Tuesday. Yes, they are supposed to play some nice movie. I will choose something with him. Agreed. And now I and Mike are satisfied. Super. I also told Vivien about the suggestion and she was in favor. On the way, Vivien told me about a new collection at Fairy Shopping Center – not far from our house.
We slowly turned onto our street and I thanked Vivien for the amazing experience:
“Thank you for pulling me out! “
We can go next time,” she winked at me.
She greeted me and was already flying home. I closed the entrance diaphragm and heard Mike’s screams and anger. I thought he had already understood that he could not come with us. Obviously not. I walked in hoping Mike wouldn’t start yelling at me at the door.
Chapter 2: Apologies