I had a weird dream last night. Someone was throwing stones at my window and when I looked out it was Aimee, laughing and putting her finger to her mouth to tell me to be quiet. She was dressed in her school uniform, like she is in her missing persons profile poster.
I shouted down to her.
‘What are you doing? Why don’t you just knock on the front door?’
But she just laughed and threw up another stone, which I had to dodge because the window was open.
‘Hang on, I’ll come down and get you,’ I said.
But she just carried on throwing stones as if she hadn’t heard me. And then my dream turned in to one of those where you keep getting thrown back to where you started. Firstly I tried to run down to the front door but I couldn’t get down the stairs. It was as if my legs wouldn’t work. Then I was back in my room and I couldn’t get my door open. It kept going like this until I eventually got downstairs but when I opened the front door Aimee was gone.
That was when I woke up and for a few moments I was in limbo between dream world and reality. When I eventually came round and realised I had been dreaming I still had to go and check out of the window, just in case. Of course there was no evidence of anyone having been in the garden, no stones on the window sill, nothing.
I sighed. For five years now I have been waiting for my sister to come home. I hate her for being so selfish and running away like she did, but at the same time I miss her so much and want her to come home. I’m fifteen now, the same age as Aimee was when she ran away. And for me it feels like from the moment she went, time stopped and she stayed aged fifteen. So I think of her as my lost twin sister, the missing half of me. When I look in the mirror and feel depressed because a spot has come up or when I’m trying on clothes and nothing seems to fit or look right, I imagine that maybe Aimee is somewhere feeling exactly the same way. When she sees her best friend get asked out by a boy, I bet she’s secretly hoping that someday soon a boy will fancy her too (a fit one at least). Perhaps she’s also anxious about passing her GCSE’s and getting the grades to carry on in to sixth form. But one thing I can’t imagine is feeling so bad that I would want to run away and leave behind all the people who I love and know love me. I’ve tried really hard to feel the same way as she did, but on this one I just can’t.
I can’t really talk to mum about this stuff. When Aimee left it destroyed her and I don’t know if she’ll ever get over it. She even left my dad; well I don’t actually know who left who as they never talked to me about it at the time. In fact they never talked much at all and one day my mum told me we were leaving the house to go to a new place and that dad wasn’t coming with us. I cried and cried and tried to reason with each of them, but they both said the same thing;
‘Your dad and I don’t love each other anymore, so it’s best that we live separate lives from now on.’
‘Your mum and I don’t love each other anymore, so we’ve decided to go our separate ways.’
Well at least they must have talked to each other to agree on what line they should feed me; shame that was the only thing they could agree on.
I can see now that it must have been hard to live in a house where there was an empty room upstairs full of your daughter’s things that you had to look at every day and wonder whether or not it would ever be used again. But I actually liked knowing that her room was there, just as it was when she left. Then again I was only ten years old at the time.
Mum hasn’t spoken much about Aimee for years, but I know she thinks about her because I see the way she looks at other teenage girls whenever we go anywhere. It’s embarrassing the way she scans every blonde girl to check if it could be her daughter. They look at her as if she is a weird stalker-type and I have to look down at the floor to hide my embarrassment. Once or twice in the early days after Aimee left she would even run after girls, grabbing their shoulders and turning them around, only to find out that they were a complete stranger. Then she would break down in tears in the middle of the shopping precinct, leaving me standing there. I hated that as I didn’t know what to do, but eventually she would look up at me and say,
‘You’re the only thing that is keeping me going.’
Then she would stand up, straighten herself off and we would carry on as if nothing had happened.
Looking for Aimee again has given my mum a renewed purpose. Her positivity is not rubbing off on me though, it’s just annoying. I can’t let myself feel the same way because I don’t want to be disappointed if Aimee doesn’t come home. And I feel that one of us should be level headed about the whole thing just in case. Of course I hope I will be proved wrong, but I’m ready to pick up the pieces of mum if I need to. Fingers crossed that’s not going to happen.
Friday fiction is an opportunity to share short stories or an extract from a longer piece with others. For more info, see this previous post, or just click on the froggy link below and add your own piece.