“Come on girls, hurry up or we’ll be late,” screams Mum down the hallway.
Searching my room for the perfect accessory, my beautiful shoulder handbag with black and white prints scattered all over, lined in a vibrant red. It will go perfectly with my new stretch blotched leggings, red skivvy and dark grey waist length jacket. The reflection I see in the mirror conflicted to how I was feeling.
Poppy’s slumber party next weekend is playing on my mind constantly. It has been three days of keeping the secret, but this time from only one person, Roxie. She has no idea there is so much excitement building behind her back. Every time I look around at school, I see my friends congregating, whispering, and laughing in preparation of the party.
My attention is immediately drawn to Roxie, somehow trying to defend her from the situation. Instinctively I need to protect Roxie from her friends. This seems ridiculous that I need to protect one friend from another. It is also ridiculous that one friend is protecting me from my Mum and Dad.
I am certain Roxie knows nothing about the party. I am sure she would ask me if she suspects anything. Roxie trusts me and trusts our friendship. I am betraying her each day I keep my mouth closed and keep this secret.
“Alexx, we are going to be late,” screams Mum, a little more frantic this time with a tone that says she means business.
“Coming, I’m coming,” I yell happy with my reflection.
As much as I am unhappy, today is going to be a fun day. Mum always tells us, ‘I know everything about you kids, more than you know about yourselves’. I have to believe her. When Mum came into my bedroom last night I pretended to be asleep. Mum had something on her mind and that was me. She knew more about me that I dare to believe.
“Alexx darling, are you still awake?” she whispered as she sat on my bed, softly stroking my hair.
“Mmmm”, I replied wishing Mum would leave me alone.
I was awake, in fact I was wide awake but I didn’t feel like talking, especially to Mum. The sleep I had over the past few days had been sporadic, constantly disrupted so I should’ve been exhausted, welcoming the sleep in. Every time I tried to relax my mind and let my body drift away to a restful slumber, thoughts of Roxie and Poppy would not leave.
“Alexx”, Mum continued to interrupt my pretend sleep, “ you seem so unhappy lately. I hate it when I see you like this. Is there anything you want to talk about darling?”
“Alexx darling,” whispered Mum realising I is awake.
“Hmmm, I’m OK Mum,” deciding to play the game or Mum would never leave me alone.
“I understand you may not want to talk to me, but you know I can help or at least try to help.”
“I love you Alexx, you are so special and my heart breaks when I see you so sad.”
I rolled over in my bed so I could see the shadow of Mum in the darkness. Grateful that the darkness was able to hide the real me. A hot burning sensation was building in my eyes but Mum wasn’t be able to see. Part of me desperately wanted to scream at Mum that this is all her fault. That I hated her, that I loved her, that I needed her.
Mostly I needed to confide in her and needed her trust in return. I didn’t need her to say ‘Oh you are just being silly’, or ‘This is just a little girls arguing, it will pass’. This was more serious than that, I knew it but I didn’t think Mum would understand.
“It’s nothing”, I hesitate.
“Are you sure? You seem…”
“Uhh, huh,” passed my lips as I tried holding back the tears.
“Well darling, I’m here for you. You are maturing into a woman and I understand how young woman feel. I can sympathise with you,” replied Mum waiting once again in the darkened silence for me to respond. When no response is forthcoming she continued, “I thought we could have a girlie day tomorrow. Just you, the twins and me. What do you think?”
Still no reply, I had nothing inside I wanted Mum to hear. Nothing that I thought she could hear.
“Let’s go shopping, then movies and perhaps a yummy lunch too. What do you think darling?” Mum asked excitedly.
“Sounds great,” I stated unenthusiastically.
“Oh,” replied Mum dejected, her feelings hurt. “I thought you might like a special day out.”
Guiltily I responded quickly,” I do, I do. I really do, it’s just…”
“What darling? What is making you so sad?”
“Ummm, it’s just. Well….”
Mum waited patiently for me to find the right words.
“Can I ask you something but I don’t want you to ask me any questions?”
“If that’s what you want, I won’t ask anything,” replied Mum.
“Well if you knew of someone who is getting left out of something, something you know they would like and should be a part of, would you tell them?”
“Is it intentional?” asked Mum, “Or can’t I ask that.”
“Yes you can ask that and yes I think this person is doing it intentionally.”
“How does it make you feel?” Mum asked slipping in another question hoping it would go un-noticed.
This is such a simplistic question and required no thought. Somehow I was lost for words, unsure how to express my feelings into actual words. I knew it made me feel like a bad friend, a friend I wouldn’t want to have. I was shamed each time I saw Roxie but the hurt I would cause not only Roxie but also the rest of my friends, including myself would be greater if I spoke.
“I don’t like the way I feel,” I replied softly.
“I think you may have answered your own question,” said Mum still stroking my hair lightly. “I know you will do the right thing. You are a beautiful young lady and a special friend. Trust those feelings darling.”
“Thanks Mum”, I said sincerely.
Mum bent down and lightly kissed me on my forehead whispering how much she loved me. Emotions raced through my body finally causing the tears to begin. Luckily Mum hadn’t noticed as she quietly moved out of my personal space allowing me to suffer the pain on my own.
My insides were like a washing machine, all these emotions mixing together, swirling together, all uncontrollable when combined together. Mum’s love for me became clear in that moment and I was able to see again through the haze that had settled into my life. With this love came guilt from betraying friendships. Hurt, anger, sadness, loneliness, all these emotions were confusing me.
Around and around these emotions continued to flow and so did the tears. I cried in silence, no one could hear but me. This was my creation and I needed to fit together all the pieces I wanted in my life and remove the pieces that no longer belonged together.
When the final tears stopped rolling down my cheek, the final tissue thrown in the bin, I lay there exhausted but exhilarated. I had made a decision. I knew it is going to be hard and maybe some friends would not like what I had planned, but I could live with the consequences. I had to live with myself and the decisions I made will be forever. I believe this, I had to believe this or I wouldn’t go through with it.
- “Keeping Secrets” – Chapter 1 (ourparallelconnection.com)
- “Keeping Secrets” – Chapter 2 (ourparallelconnection.com)
- “Keeping Secrets” – Chapter 3 (ourparallelconnection.com)
- “Keeping Secrets” – Ch4 – Opening up the box of secrets (ourparallelconnection.com)
- “Keeping Secrets” – Ch.5 – The Secret Party (ourparallelconnection.com)