Note from the author: Okay guys! I finally had the time to sit down and edit this chapter and take the pictures that I needed for it. The narrative is not as good as the first I guess, this chapter kicked my ass literally. It was very hard to keep a dialogue between so many characters, and I hope I did good enough to not bored you!! Soon I’ll be sharing a list with the CC I have used so far and I’ll give credits to all creators. Also if you want to follow the story from the beginning click on the “Legacies” page above. Thank you for ready and enjoy the story! ;D
Chapter 2: Frost on the Window Glass
Sunset Valley was a quiet town in the earliest hours of the morning; especially at the wake of winter.
The folks of Sunset Valley hated the cold – except for police officers, no one would be awake before 10:00 a.m.
unless it was someone suffering from insomnia the whole night trying to figure out why, when, and how their fate had become so grim; such was the case of Annabelle.
After having heard her parents decide and argue over her life the day before, she had only one wish: to become a bird so she could fly very far away from there. Perhaps she could find a tree to be her hime, and she would spend her days looking for food and singing, as she believed most birds did; and she would find her mate for life, because birds were not fit to be lonely creatures.
It was only a simple wish, nothing too big or complicated. So why couldn’t it come true?
Looking out her window, suddenly she focused on the frost forming graciously on the glass; it only confirmed what she had already been thinking; winter was days away. Fall will end and with it the unpredictability that it always brought to her life; the feeling of being oppressed by an unknown force that was out to turn her into someone else. She always did feel restless in the fall season, and now it would soon be over.
To the people of Sunset Valley the coming of winter meant cold nights and snowy days; fathers piling up the snow, and kids playing in it; mothers cooking warm meals and knitting quilts to keep their children warm inside their house, while they only wished to be out skating or doing something even more devilish like sticking their tongues in poles and then wishing they had never done it. It was all very expected and placid, but for a town with such a warm summer, winter was not exactly welcomed.
However, to Annabelle winter meant everything she had lost in a matter of hours: happiness.
She pushed the covers aside and sat up in bed. The thought of Alain was the first thing on her mind every morning, although this time around it had been on her mind the entire night;
and how could she forget him? It was last winter when she met him, in University.
Alain was the quiet kid in the class, the one that all the girls liked because he was smart, mature and handsome, all in one package. One winter morning she had been standing outside of her math class, debating whether to go inside or not as she was already late and the professor was very strict about lateness. But it had started snowing and she would rather walk in class 20 minutes late and be embarrassed than to have to walk back to her dorm under the snow. To her surprise, someone had put an umbrella over head, she looked up and met a pair of eyes of the softest green, they seemed to be smiling at her. Since that moment Alain and she had become inseparable until the had to part in the spring, no contact information had been exchanged; Alain had a complicated situation waiting back home, so he had said.
It had been him the one who taught her how to love winter.
Alain, the boy with the warmest gaze…
and most candid smile.
Alain, her first love.
Annabelle forced his image out of her mind and stared at the picture by her bedside; it was a picture of her and her mother at the fall festival last year.
How could her mother do this to her? Why was she so settled into marrying her to Aaron? Especially him, she thought in disconcert. Did she really want her to be as unhappy as she was with her father?
No. Her mother loved her, Annabelle knew that plenty… then why?
Noises on the keyword brought her back from her thoughts.
Oh! That’s right, there was another person in Sunset Valley that was up before 10 in the morning, and that was her father. Many mornings she would get up at 10 on the mark and walk down to find her father sitting at the computer with the same clothes from the night before, and three cups of coffee by the desk.
It was funny to her how he refused to use the same cup, of course this only made her mother more irritable.
Tired of thinking too much without any results, she got up from bed and headed straight to the shower, not before texting her friends to meet up at the usual place:
Meet you guys in an hour.
the usual place. Bring DDog.
An hour later she was picking Iryna up at the Regency Towers.
Iryna was a commercial model, she had text Annabelle asking for a lift as she was almost done with her photo-shoot and the location was closer to Annabelle’s than her brother’s. For the life of her, Annabelle could never understand why Iryna didn’t drive; but she wasn’t about to start going down that path this morning. Iryna blew up – literally – every time the subject was brought up.
They got to the park in less than 10 minutes from the Regency Towers. However Michelle and Denys (Aka DDog) were already there… fighting, as usual.
Iryna couldn’t resist teasing them, she walked briskly to them and said: “you guys don’t waste time! Why don’t you get married already, geezh! You sound like and old couple.” Immediately after saying it she thought the idea of her brother marrying one of her friends was rather scary. She never expected to become one of those over-protective sisters, but lately she had been controlling his life a little too much for her taste.
Embarrassed at her own thoughts she hurried to make conversation, “are you done with the dogs turd? I’m starrrving!”
“Turd?” Asked Annabelle while trying hard not to burst out in laughter. “Is that the new name?”
Michelle ruffled Denys’ hair and smile lovingly, “it’s his new hair style.” Denys brushed her hand away, annoyed.
Sometimes Annabelle wondered who was Denys sister, if Iryna or Michelle? If it weren’t because the siblings bore a strong resemblance, the thought wouldn’t have been so farfetched. On the other hand both of them acted like the boy’s lover in occasions; it was hard to tell where that story would end.
Denys gave his sister a scornful look and turned back to the cooking,
“Not ready, so quit pressuring me! You think I’m your maid?”
“Well, let me see,” jumped in an amused Michelle; “you cook her breakfast almost every morning, and make sure she has lunch too – I have noticed. You also pick her up from her photo-shoots all the time, unless she has some hot date waiting for her which in turn turns out to be another task for you when she is too drunk to even tell the poor soul where she lives, good grief!!
“I tell ya, thanked God she at least remembers your number…” everyone laughed but Denys; none of his sister’s drunk moments were ever funny to him.
Annabelle, now sitting comfortably by the bench table, remarked with a mocking tone, “add to that, he has to do her laundry because ‘Miss Diva’ here has no clue. One day she had put jeans and white towels together, and let the wash on hot… I wish you would have seen her expression when the trowels came out with patches of blue and grey.”
This had Michelle giggling like a silly kid,
and Iryna scoffing like a brat, “you didn’t tell me I had to divide the clothes.”
“You didn’t ask me that! I thought you knew at least that much.” Annabelle and Michelle continued to make fun of the situation; Denys now joining in, frown long gone.
He broke the friendly banter by placing a plate full of deliciously looking hot dogs in the middle of the table, and proceeded to state the obvious.
“Hot dogs ready!”
“This looks good turd.” wailed Iryna eager to leave the horrid incident with the washer behind.
“Stop calling me that. Why are you calling me that?”
Once the humor had died down, they all started digging right into the plate of hot-dogs. Annabelle’s belly hurt from so much laughing, but that was not about to stop her from enjoying one of her favorite foods.
“I know! And to think I have to starve myself for two days before I have a photo-shoot.” Complaint Iryna with a mouth full of food. “It’s not fair she gets to keep her line even after eating all these junk!”
The boy scowled at his sister with impatience, once again bringing laughter to the table. The siblings quirky exchange of loving was always a welcomed treat at their outings; it was the natural way of things for the small group of friends.
When the day had quickly come to an end while they laughed and joke over food, and “Iryna’s incredible aptitude for house chores”; Michelle thought it was the right opportunity to bring up the true origin of their meeting.
“So Anna,” she went straight to the point, “what’s going on? You didn’t ask us to meet you here just to eat hot-dogs and discuss Irys moments of glory.”
“As if…” said Iryna rolling her eyes. Annabelle had seen this snobbish gesture in another person; her nana. It was evident Iryna had been spending too many Sunday afternoons with her up there at her grandparents cottage.
Annabelle smiled to herself, she always did this; she always associated happy events in her life with gestures and things. Like when she would look down at her hands while clasping them together and Alain would pop into her head, because she had slender fingers with long nail beds and he had always complemented her on them. Then, she would go on to remember how his hair fell softly on his forehead when he laid down in bed next to her after making love, and how he would grab her hands and press her fingers together with his on his chest. So many happy moments they had built together in so little time, now suddenly all had to be stored away, reduced to mere memories; compacted; as if condensing on her heart, like the frost on the window glass that morning.
“Anna?” Michelle brought her back from her trance.
“Married?” repeated a dumbfounded Michelle
Annabelle had to cover her mouth so that she would stop herself from hysterical outburst of laughter. She remembered the story very well: Jeremy was a chunky kid who never took showers. He had olive skin and red long hair, and he smelled terrible; other kids were calling him sasquatch, while Michelle had gotten a soft-spot for him. She had always been the cutest and most tender one of them all. She went on to add, “after it, the kids were calling it a chemical attack to tease Jeremy!”
The siblings let out a chuckle, Annabelle just stayed quiet, pressing her lips tightly together.
“‘careful, he is going to be your bro in-law, and you will be an auntie to his babies with our girl here.”
Iryna jumped from the bench in exhilaration.
They all looked at her hesitantly.
“Come on, it’ll be fun!”
Annabelle sighed, “I guess… but not until you guys help me find a solution to this. Come on! I need your help.”
“Why not? You said he was very into you, I heard you were steaming up the jacuzzi in all the dorms. News travels fast my friend.” Annabelle smiled and her cheeks turned red.
“If he had sex with you and then let you leave University without making things real between you both, then yeah… pretty much he is an idiot” Denys scorned and then added after as if he hadn’t been awkward enough, “not to call him a douche.”
“My brother here thinks every man should take responsibility from day one!” Added Iryna
“Of course they should!”
“Don’t call me turd!! How many times do I have to say that?!”
And it was back to the beginning, the siblings fighting over silly nick names, and Annabelle wondering what could be done against such looming destiny.
Everyone stayed silent for a moment, confused at what they had heard, until Annabelle managed to ask almost in a whisper,
Michelle turned to her friend with complete honesty in her eyes, and repeated,