Thalia’s mouth formed a small “O” as she back up and let Cameron assist herself up. She stood back with her hands up as a sign of surrender. “I was just trying to help,” she said simply, taking a step back from Cameron. She couldn’t imagine what she was going through. If Thalia lost Rebecca, Ben, John, Savannah, or Lily she didn’t know what she would do. She knew Cameron’s fury was her way of dealing with her sister’s death and Thalia understood that so she wouldn’t push her.
A wince formed across Thalia’s face as Cameron spat hateful words in her direction. “I am going.” she said simply. “I’m going for Leena. I’ll sit by her. I’m her friend and I’m going to be there for her,” Thalia explained. Thalia had talked to Spencer earlier and Spencer said she hadn’t minded her coming so Thalia would go. She knew Leena would be a mess and she wanted to be there for her like the night that she’d gotten that frantic call from her best friend to call 911. The memory was still knew and it still hurt.
Thalia turned to watch Cameron walk away and heard her words. “I’m going for Leena.” she explained again and turned to walk in the other direction.
Cameron spun around in an instant and walked like a bullet towards Thalia. Grabbing her skinny wrist tightly, she spun her around and looked dead in her eyes. “The last thing my family needs is an attention whore like you at the funeral.” She spat, about two inches away from her face now. “I will be there for Leena. She’s my sister and I can support her myself.” She gripped the girls wrist a bit tighter, her temper starting to overflow.
“Believe it or not my sister can get through a rough time without you there. There is nothing that you can do for my family that will make this time easier for us.” She grabbed the collar of her sweatshirt with a tight fist, still holding onto her wrist as well. “You will not come to the funeral. If you do, I will make sure you’re in a coffin next week, buried six feet underground.” Cameron felt her blood boiling. She didn’t want Thalia at her sister’s funeral. This was a sacred and important time for her family and she knew it would be ruined if she attended.
Letting go of the girl, she glared, still close to her face. “Do not show up this afternoon. It’s not Leena’s day- it’s Lauryn’s. And she wouldn’t want you around.” Her face was red with anger, her arms numb and tingling from the urge to hit the girl standing in front of her. “Now take your bony ass home and stay there.” Cameron spat, not wanting to hear another word of what Thalia had to say. She turned, just as before, and walked swiftly out of this neighborhood and into the next one.
Cameron knew Lauryn better than most people- this funeral had to be perfect. And with Thalia there? It would be far from that.
Today was Lauryn’s funeral. Thalia got out of bed and put on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. She wanted to go for a walk before she had to head to the funeral. She put her hoodie on and slipped her cell phone into the front pocket of her sweatshirt. She put on a pair of shoes and walked out the door, closing it behind her.
In all honestly, Thalia did miss Lauryn. The Cavanaugh and Rivers families had been close growing up but everything was different now. Nothing would be the same again and Thalia knew that but she liked to look at the bright side of things. At least Lauryn was in a better place. She was happy and free and was probably doing whatever she wanted to wherever she was.
Thalia wasn’t paying attention as she was walking, she was lost in thought and looking at little memorials everyone had set up when someone walked into her. She saw them got knocked to the ground and reached down to help them. When Cameron looked back up at her Thalia’s breathing stopped. She knew soon that the blonde’s friendly smile would soon turn into an angry glare. Thalia missed the time when they were actually friends but Cameron was mad at the world right now and there was nothing Thalia could do to make her not hate her. Even though she knew Cameron would probably push her off, scoff and start walking in the other direction, Thalia tried to help her up.
It registered quickly who she’d ran into and part of her wished she’d taken the chance to collide harder. Her hate fire went up about six notches at the sight of Thalia and she squinted in an angry glare. “Don’t.” Cameron shot the words when Thalia reached to help her. She pushed herself up from the ground, seeing the small bit of red through her jean jacket and knowing her most recently cut had just tore open.
Today really couldn’t get any worse.
Looking Thalia up and down, she rolled her eyes. “I know you’ve probably got a riveting schedule today, being pregnant and a whore and everything- but if you’re planning on going to my sister’s funeral? Don’t. She never liked you anyway.” Cameron spit the words and didn’t feel bad about if for even a second. She ran a hand through her hair and pushed past Thalia, hitting her shoulder with her own as she moved past her. The last thing she needed today was to talk to her.
Their families had always had a complicated relationship.
She remembered sitting up late at night talking to Lauryn about what they did and didn’t like about the people they knew. They’d always spent the most amount of time on Thalia. When they were little they’d been close but as they grew up, their personalities didn’t match up like they should. For some odd reason, Thalia hadn’t grown into the bubbly, always happy, music lover they’d expected. Lauryn always said she couldn’t live without the attention- and Cameron could see that now.
Oh, how irritated that made her.
One last turn of her head, looking over her shoulder, she called to Thalia. “I’m serious. Don’t come- she wouldn’t want you around on the last day her family has with her.” Cameron glared before turning her head forward and continuing her journey back into Rosewood.
February 24, 2013. Funeral day.
How was she going to get through the day? Knowing the blade was in reach and that she’d be able to leave as soon as it was over, no restrictions, nothing tying her down. That would get her through. It didn’t seem right. She didn’t want to go to this funeral.
Coming back from the next town over, where she’d stayed the previous night, was not a walk she’d wanted to make. Cameron walked into town and instantly felt the blanket of mourning that placed itself over the town on this day. There were a few candles lit on porches, some other signs of respect here and there. She just wanted to roll over and die herself.
Not paying attention to where she was going, she ran straight into someone on the sidewalk, knocking herself of balance and onto the pavement. “Ow..” She whispered to herself, before looking up to give a polite smile. “Sorry..” Cameron pushed herself up from the ground.
Cameron sat on the edge of the dock, dangling her feet in the water. It was summer- the weather beautiful, the water on the lake clear as glass. She was pretty sure if it was any better it could have been a post card. Her bikini was tied up, covering the necessary skin, and she was ready to jump in the water at any minute.
This was the first summer since she’d come back from rehab. Sure, the scar cream had helped a bit. But not enough to completely erase the shiny skin where the open wounds had once been. Cameron was accepting of them, however she couldn’t help but be self conscious about who saw them.
“Camy!” She heard Lauryn call her name and turned to look over her shoulder. Her sister was jogging down the dock towards her, bathing suit on, bare feet padding against the wood. “What are you doing? I thought we were going for a boat ride?” She gave a smile as she finally approached her.
For a second Cameron was quiet. She admired her sister in the sunlight, how beautiful she was. In all honesty Cameron wished to grow up and look like her sisters, even if they weren’t too much older than her. Their beauty was about six million levels above everyone else’s, at least in her eyes. And their attitudes just seemed to be forever resilient. “Camy?” The name now came as a question.
“Sorry.. Sorry, yeah, no, let’s go. I was just waiting for people to get ready.” She smiled softly and pulled herself onto her feet. A few of their friends in the vacation house next door were going to take them out on a boat ride, something that the Cavanaugh sister’s were not about to pass up.
The rest of the day they’d spent laughing and smiling and sunbathing, getting sprayed with water from the wake of the boat. The boys had decided it was a good idea to jump off the back while the boat was still moving, which had made for a lot more laughs, and a lot more smiles. It was one of the best days Cameron had had in a really long time. She felt genuinely happy.
She remembered lying in bed, sleeping in her sister’s room in the vacation house later that night, staring up at the ceiling as she was about to fall asleep. “Good night noodles,” She said softly to her older sister, feeling safe and secure next to her. “I love you, I’ll see you in the morning.” It didn’t ever feel right to go to bed without saying goodnight, without saying I love you. Cameron had never been able to really sleep well without letting Leena and Lauryn and Steven and, yes, even Melody, know these things.
Now, as she lay out in a park, under the stars, she let out a deep sigh. The memories only felt good for a few seconds, and then they just hurt. “Goodnight noodles..” The chilly air whipped at her bare arms. “I love you… I’ll see you in the morning..” Her heart ached with the words and she felt like she could have just died right then and there. Cameron missed Lauryn.
That wasn’t ever going to go away.
She hadn’t stopped running for at least an hour. Cameron’s heart was beating faster and faster with every step. Her mind had finally stopped racing and was just focused on the ache in her feet every time they hit the pavement. She could have sworn she heard Lauryn, calling out her name from around the corner, and that’s what kept her running. Just when she’d slow down she’d hear it, the sweet sound of her sister’s voice. “Cammy,” She’d call, excited, full of joy. Cameron would pick up her pace, faster than before. But she’d turn the corner and her sister would not be there, so she’d keep going, keep running. She wanted to run until she found herself, until she was able to turn the corner and see her smiling face, hold her in her arms.
But that would never happen.
As much as Cameron hated it, Lauryn would never hug her again. She wouldn’t call her name, she wouldn’t laugh at their inside jokes, she wouldn’t ever be right around the corner. Lauryn was gone for good. Finally she had to stop running. Her lungs had started to burn from the cold night air and the jean jacket she’d grabbed was not enough to mask the brisk chill. She turned one last corner, turning into the most secluded area she could find, and dropped to her knees. A few pebbles dug deep into her jeans, into her skin, but her legs were so numb she didn’t feel them. If she hadn’t been in the hospital for the infections she would have been home to save her sister. If she hadn’t been selfish and hadn’t started cutting again, no one would be in this mess.
But she knew blaming herself wouldn’t bring Lauryn back. It was her fault and, unlike her mother, she wouldn’t be ridiculous enough to blame herself for such things. With shaking hands, she pushed herself back to lean against a towering cement wall, the shadow making the moonlight dissipate from her skin as she hid from the world. It wasn’t fair, Lauryn had so much light in her eyes, such a bright future ahead of her. It was like a knife to the heart thinking about it.
I know you need me as a mother and I need you believe it or not.
Oh my god you’re seriously so annoying just shut up please.
You need to come home.
Or I could not and say I did
Spencer knew that everything Cameron was saying was true. She needed to be responsible, caring, understanding but firm. She needed to be their mother. Her mind drifted back to her high school days when nothing phased her, not even A. She had had a break down once but she had bounced right back, faster than most people do from mental breakdowns.
Anger was building up in Spencer as Cameron kept yelling louder and louder. She could feel herself falling back into the old Spencer, the one she was before Lauryn passed away. She was devastated and heart broken over the loss but she had to be strong for Cameron who was obviously breaking down.
Spencer felt a stinging sensation on the side of her face and she registered what had just happened. She finally did what a mother should do, “Cameron Cavanaugh, up to your room. Now.” She said sharply, pointing up the stairs, motioning for Cameron to go. “I’ll be up there to talk with you about this in a minute,” Spencer said firmly.
Cameron was satisfied that she’d actually reacted as a mother should. However, no way in hell was she going to listen. There was still deep hatred in her chest for her mother and there was no way she was going to respect her enough to do as she said. Shaking her head, she scrunched her face slightly. “I actually think I’m going to go out for a walk.” She spoke nonchalantly, really hoping to just piss her mother off even further. Walking around her mother she knocked a bowl off the counter as she left the kitchen, hearing it shatter on the floor. One last motion to flip her mother off before she was out of the room.
Once she was out of the kitchen, she swiped her jean jacket from the hook and bolted out the door, running from the house as fast as she could. Cameron had to get away, she just had to. That whole thing had just pissed her off, although she was happy she’d finally gotten her mother to try and punish her for once. When she reached the end of the block she took a left and just kept running, the cold air beating her face as she went.
There was no way she was going back home tonight. There was too much going on there. No no, she’d find somewhere else to stay. Her mother disgusted her, and just the thought of her made Cameron cringe. She knew that her father would be furious but she’d make it up to him later, with chores or something. He was the only parent of her that she had any kind of respect for.
For now she felt free and that was all that mattered.
“I will talk to her later, Cameron,” Spencer said, swallowing hard. She had never seen her daughter like this and in all honesty, it scared her. She knew Cameron didn’t hate her. She knew Cameron was just mad at the world for Lauryn’s death and that was just how she was dealing with her grief. Spencer was trying to be understanding but it was getting harder and harder as the foul language and yelling continued.
Spencer stood up, slamming her hand agains the table creating a banging noise, “I am a horrible mother!” she said, her voice breaking at the end of the sentence. “I should’ve been here and I should’ve saved your sister but I wasn’t here so I couldn’t!” she exclaimed as more tears rolled down her face. Spencer blamed herself for Lauryn’s death and all the recent fights her family had been having.
Cameron’s temper started to flare and Spencer put a hand over her eyes, hearing the crunch of a cheap vase under Cameron’s foot. She removed her hand to meet Cameron’s eyes and she looked back at her. “I’m sorry I can’t fix this,” Spencer said, looking directly into Cameron’s eyes. “I know that all you want is your sister back and I can’t give that to you and i’m sorry.”
Cameron let out an exasperated scream at everything her mother had just said. “YOU’RE PATHETIC!” She screamed, looking straight into her mother’s eyes. “I hate you! I really actually hate you!” Usually her father was here at least to break things up, or to send her to her room and make her feel like she had some sort of parent in her life. Her mom was ridiculous and weak and not at all like the stories she’d heard from when her mother was in high school. What the hell had happened to change her mother into this pathetic woman that stood before her?
“You’re wrong. You don’t know what I want because that’s not all I want!” Her voice cracked with anger as she screamed. “I want you to buck up and be a mother and be who you were in high school! Witty and tough and smart and incredible! Be THAT person! I would look up to that person!” A wave of uncontrollable anger crashed over her head like a ten pound rock. Without a second thought she moved forward, moving around the counter to be in front of her mother now.
In one swift motion she brought her open palm across her mother’s face, the loud smacking sound echoing in the large kitchen. Cameron was breathing hard and stood like a stone statue, angry, feeling a tad better after the action was done and over. There was a red mark already starting to form on her mother’s face where she’d openly slapped her, and Cameron glared at her. This was the last chance. Every ounce of her hoped that the mother in Spencer would finally come through. They needed a mother now, not a pathetic pile of dog crap.
Spencer looked at her daughter, “If she comes she may ruin the entire thing by starting something. You know that,” she said sternly. She got up and walked to the sink, pouring her coffee down the drain before taking her place back at the counter. Yes, she wanted Melody to come but she wanted her to come back she wanted to say goodbye to her sister, not because Spencer made her.
Out of instincts, Spencer winced seeing her daughter get up so fast. She swallowed hard, her daughter’s words like daggers through her heart. “What do you want me to do?” she asked calmly. “i don’t know how to help you all through this because I never imagined I’d lose one of you,” she said honestly, sincerely.
Spencer cleared her throat, standing up from her spot at the counter and walking over to the sink, turning the water off. She spun around, resting her hands behind her back on the sink counter. She waited to see what her daughter would do.
Cameron slammed her hands down on the counter, “Then at least tell her to cut the fucking attitude because we’re all sick of her acting like Lauryn’s death is no big deal!” Her voice raised about six notches. She was furious now. It was infuriating how calm her mother was. How? How could she not show any emotion at a time like this. No reaction to the fact that her daughter had called her a pussy, no reaction to the fact that she’d cussed in front of her mother a million times today. Nothing.
She rolled her eyes and threw her head back, turning and pacing away towards the opposite side of the room. Taking in a deep breath, she turned around suddenly to face her mother again. “I want you to be a goddamned parent.” She glared over at her mother. “You’re annoying as fuck and you’re pretty much useless around the house. You don’t do anything anymore! And anything you actually do is for yourself!” She didn’t care if her siblings were home to hear this fight. In fact, she hoped that they were.
“I could swing from the chandelier and you wouldn’t do a goddamn thing about it because you’re useless!” Cameron’s voice had escalated even further than before. Now she was shaking with anger, her fists clenched with rage. Cameron had a temper, she always had. Lifting a hand, she swiped it across the table behind the couch, knocking over a few picture frames and a cheap vase they’d bought when redecorating. Bringing her foot up, she stepped on the vase, breaking it even further. She brought her eyes up and locked then with her mother, glaring furiously at her.