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Jordan walked through the front gate. His cold hands hesitantly pushed against the rust and chipping paint.
He wanted to run, run and hide, get as far away from here as he could but there was no way to avoid this.
His hands shook as he walked to the front door, pale as an empty page.
He said underneath his breath.
He put his hands through his shining brown hair.
How was he meant to do this?
He thought about it for a moment, go down to the pub. Get some drunken courage before he told them.
He was about the walk away, had his back turned.
His phone buzzed in his jacket pocket, it was his best mate, Tyler.
“U gonna come out again tonight. Hopefully this time u don’t end up getting your stomach pumped mate.”
He looked back at his house, he felt so guilty. He’d really ****** it up this time.
Little sister finding him blackout drunk at some dodgy house, what kind of a man was he.
He wanted to go, get drunk forget all about this, but he couldn’t run away from this anymore. It was all too real.
He couldn’t drink this away.
Taking a deep breath he turned to face his house once more.
This time, he found the courage to open the door.
Eli heard the door open, he was on the phone. His heart beating fast. He didn’t want to be found out.
“Sweetheart, I’ve got to go now. Jordan’s home.”
He talked quietly into his phone, speaker right up to his mouth.
“Alright, honey. I guess we’ll talk again soon.”
He couldn’t help but smile at the voice on the other end of the line,
“I love you”
“Love you too”
Jordan was walking through the hall, coming into the kitchen.
Eli hung up.
For a moment he stared at Ezras WhatsApp profile picture. A smile lit up his eyes as he looked at him.
Jordan opened the door to the kitchen, Eli was sitting at the table. He quickly put his phone away and looked down at his History books.
“Who was that?”
Jordan put his coat on the chair next to him.
“What? No one”
Eli took a pull off of his vape.
“I thought I heard some…”
Eli cut him off,
“ya thought wrong then.”
There was aggression in his voice.
Jordan sounded surprised.
Eli looked down at his history book again.
Jordan walked over, pulled a chair out and sat beside him.
Eli looked up, he’d almost forgotten about it.
“What’s the story with him, when’s he coming home?”
Eli picked at his arms, scratching at his scars, reopening them.
“Mate, he’s not”
Jordan looked at the ground, pulling at his sleeve.
There was tears in his eyes, but he didn’t want Eli to ever see him cry.
He took a deep breath and looked Eli in the eyes.
“Dad’s not going to come home.”
Jordan could see the fear in his eyes.
He gulped, trying to find his voice again.
“The treatment, it didn’t work. He’s not going to make it, he’s gonna die.”
Eli shook his head,
“No, no. He can’t”
Jordan hugged Eli, partly to comfort him, partly so he wouldn’t see the tears in his eyes.
Eli just cried for a while, neither of them said anything.
Then he stopped,
Jordan knew what he was going to say but he didn’t want to hear it.
“How are we gonna tell Lola?”
Jordan couldn’t put this on Eli, he wasn’t stable enough to do it.
“I don’t know, but Imma have to find out, aren’t I”
Jordan got up from his chair.
“Someones got to tell her”
Eli looked at him as he said it,
He walked over to the cupboard and pulled out the whiskey.
He began to unscrew the cap,
“Do you think that’s a good idea? Lola still hasn’t forgiven you for last time.”
he screwed the cap shut.
“Where is she then”
Eli nodded in the direction of the back door.
Jordan began to prepare himself,
He said, unscrewing the cap and taking a big gulp of it.
He then made his way to the door.
Eli gave him a considered smile and he opened it.
Lola was sitting on top of the old dog kennel, smoking a cigarette looking out at the setting sun.
She looked over as he began to walk over to her, she looked away once he got a little closer.
He said putting his hands in his pocket, she didn’t even try to pretend she wasn’t smoking anymore.
she replied still looking away.
He leaned against the walk beside the dog kennel.
“You here to give me a lecture ’bout smoking.”
She flipped the ash off the end of her *** onto the tarmac below.
“Don’t think I can say nothing now”
He looked down at the ground below, the broken needles below him.
She was so distant.
“Listen, Lola. I’m so sorry about it.”
She didn’t reply.
For a moment only the sound of the sirens on the streets and the howling of the neighbours’ dogs could be heard.
Then she spoke again.
“Dad’s dying, ain’t he?”
She looked at him for a moment,
She didn’t cry, she knew it was coming. She’d been here before.
She rubbed her *** butt against the kennel roof.
She took out her pack.
“Want to talk ’bout it?”
She placed one in her mouth,
She said offering one to him.
He shook his head.
She held her hands up to her mouth, lighting the cigarette between her lips.
“what’s gonna ‘appen to me now?”
She was looking out at the setting sun again, so cold, so distant.
“What do you mean? You’ll stay ‘ere. I’m 22, they won’t even think ’bout taking you away”
He looked at her, it was like she had no emotion anymore.
“But Eli’s only 16, he can’t mind me.”
“So, I can.”
She looked him dead in the eye.
He could see the bags under her eyes and the pain that lit them up.
“Not if you end up in the hospital from drinking again”
He looked away, he knew he’d ****** up this time.
“Listen, Lola. It won’t ‘appen again.”
She just looked the other way.
Jordan thought for a moment, he’d been stupid but something more had happened that night. He knew it.
He was going to walk inside, then he turned back around. He needed to talk this through.
“What did ‘appen, that night?”
Lola looked at him exhaling the smoke.
“Eli and I went to your mate’s party to find you. You were collapsed on the floor, I called an ambulance and Eli did CP…”
“I know that much.”
He stopped her.
“What ‘appen before all that, what did they do?”
Lola took a pull and looked at him.
“When I walked in, they said **** to me”
She gulped and looked away.
She looked back at him,
“Listen, I’m so…”
“Then they got handsy”
She looked at him again.
“They touched you?”
She stopped him again.
“Then one of your mates, asked if I wanted a drink. I said no but he still brought it. It was too crowded to move away.”
She took another pull,
“I saw ‘im put something in it.”
Jordan looked at her.
“‘e was gonna try ra..”
She couldn’t get the word out.
“I’m so sorry. I won’t go to another, I swear.”
She wiped the tears from her eyes before he could see her crying.
He sat down beside her and put his arm around her.
she wasn’t looking at him.
“Answer me honestly, okay?”
“If that night, it weren’t me. If It were a different girl.”
She paused for a moment,
“Would you have done the same?”
“No, course not.”
She looked him in the eyes.
“but would you ‘ave stopped ‘im?”
Jordan thought for a moment,
“I, I don’t know.”
He couldn’t believe he was saying it, but it was the truth.
“Ya can’t stop a mate from pulling, can ya?”
“There’s a difference between having a shag and rape.”
He could feel every bone in her bone tension up.
He went quiet.
“If I see it know, I’d stop it. Swear.”
His voice was shaking, he wanted his sister back.
She was shaking with the thought of that night. She knew that if things had just gone a little different, she’d have been raped and she knew that it was probably gonna happen her again.
They sat there for a moment, Lola didn’t know what she was thinking anymore.
Jordan didn’t know where he was going to go from here.
Lola finished her *** and instantly took out another one.
Before she lit it, Jordan looked at her.
“What are you doing?”
She looked at him.
“Dad’s dying of lung cancer. You know what it’s like to lose someone, you lost mum when you were nine. You stood there talking Eli out of suicide, I almost drank myself to death…”
As he talked her phone went off, bright light lit up the screen. He looked at it, screen saver was of her and Leo. He’d almost forgotten about him.
“And you lost your best mate, just a couple of weeks ago. You outta everyone must know the value of life. Yet you smoke like you don’t, aren’t you afraid of dying?”
She lit her cigarette regardless of his words.
She answered blowing out smoke.
“I’m afraid of being the last one alive.”
She looked at him,
“I don’t want to lose everyone I love, not another person.”
He could see how broken she was now.
” But I don’t want to lose you.”
She looked at him, took out a cigarette and put it in his hand.
“One in two smokers get lung cancer, right?”
Jordan nodded. She handed him a lighter.
He smiled and lit it between his teeth.
They had bigger things to worry about now.