Monday, 3 March 2014

Chapter 19 - Gen 2 - Tapestry

"Wake up Tap!!"  River is shaking me gently  "We have arrived at last!!"  

I think for a moment ... where are we? as my eyes snap open and I sit up to glance around so that I can get my bearing.  The car is parked on a driveway in front of a garage doorway outside a small house.

River leans his head back on the head rest of his seat and closes his eyes ... like he can finally relax.  "Thank fudge that's over!!"  he mumbles I think more to himself.

This must be where Winter lives.

Finally we have reached our destination ... Rainbow Valley.

I jump out of the car to stretch my aching legs and stand glancing around the street as the fresh air wakes me up.  The view in front of me is very strange I've never seen anywhere that looks quite like this before.  I look around in amazement, all of the houses look identical, they are all built exactly the same, they all have the same path and driveways and even have exactly the same fences around each garden.

The houses are strange in another way too, if you can actually call them a house ... more like half a house ... there doesn't seem to be an upstairs to these houses, all of them are just on one level ... something else I can't say I've ever seen before. Storm floats past me laughing and says he wished I could see this ... all these houses are painted all colours of the rainbow ... it looks like toy town.  He vanishes as he goes through the wall and into the house.

River is struggling to get out of his seat so I have to run around the car to help him get out, he can hardly walk now, he is in so much pain, he has even given up trying to hide it from me anymore, I suspect because he can't, the pain has become to severe to hide, he cries out in pain again as he tries to stand himself up straight.

He has to lean on me and I'm virtually taking most of his weight as I try to help him to get inside the house. Our journey across the small driveway is very slow going, as he struggles to move his feet one step at a time, he reminds me of when my baby cousin Blueberry was learning to walk how unsteady River is now on his feet.  It takes us what feels like forever to actually reach the front door.

When we finally reach it, I am about to knock on the front door, which is what I expected we would have to do, but he tells me to wait and starts messing with his bunch of keys, and lets himself into the house with a key.  After quite a struggle, we manage to get him up the one step into the house and we stand in the hallway.

"Win?"  River shouts quite loudly, there is no reply so he shouts it again even louder.

"Mango is that you?"  suddenly I hear a woman's voice, It sounds strange hearing someone calling him Mango, I keep forgetting that is his real name.  She runs into the hallway "You've cut all your hair off ... I like it."  she says as she throws herself at my brother who instantly screams out in pain and tries to push her away which really seems to confuse her.

"Slow down woman, let me get through the door first!!"  he says almost breathlessly to her as his legs start giving way and he collapses into her arms.  She struggles to hold his weight up as he continues to just crying out in pain.

"Mango, what's wrong?"

For a moment he reminds me of Granddad, as he always calls Gran 'woman', which I have always found highly amusing, especially as Dad hates it and is always telling Granddad off for it.  Winter now looks worried as she struggles to keep him up on his feet.

"Help me ...."  she says suddenly as I see River go.  I have to grab hold of him, taking him off Winter, so that I can take his weight to help keep him up, his legs have now completely buckled underneath him, he suddenly becomes a dead weight in my arms.  "He's passed out!!"  she mumbles as she's helping me to lie him down on the floor.  She drops down onto her knees beside him.

"Mango?!"  she starts slapping his face gently, then checks for a pulse in his neck.  I see her sigh with relief as she pulls back his eyelids ... for a minute I think she might have thought he'd faded or something. She stays there just stroking his face then she looks up at me a little confused.  "What's happened?" 

"I think you need to take him to the hospital, he was hurt two days ago and he has been in agony and eating painkillers  ... his back hit a brick wall very hard ... its getting worse and he can now hardly walk ... look at the bruise on his back and his chest."  She instantly pulls up his top to look at his chest then rolls him carefully onto his side so she can look at his back, she's silent for a moment as she runs her hand over his back then looks up at me  "What the hell?!"

River starts moaning, his eyes flutter open slowly as he starts coming round "Mango what's wrong?  Where does it hurt?" she asks looking worried, he doesn't say anything at first I can now see tears rolling down his face ... he's crying with the pain ... I'm not sure he actually can speak, as he lies there riling in pain clutching his chest tears streaming down his face.

"Is it your back?"  she asks and he just nods his head.  She's quiet for a moment as she stares down at the bruise on his back again, "You've been like this for TWO DAYS?!!"  she says quite angrily glaring down at him, he mumbles yes and she hits the roof at him then for not getting medical attention sooner.

While she is shouting at him I leave her to it and go out to unload the car, it takes me three trips to get all of our bags out of the boot and into the hallway, I'm not sure how but we have managed to gain an extra two large bags full of possessions as well as my guitar, since we've been on the road.  I suspect one of the bags is just full of Rivers' books judging by the weight of it.

Winter is still kneeling on the carpet with River on the hall floor lying on his side while she is pressing her fingers gently into his back down along his spine ... he is constantly crying out in pain.

"Mango you know what you've probably done here don't you!!"  she snaps at him, he mumbles that he thinks so and he starts to mumble some medical words that I don't understand  "Well if you knew why the hell didn't you go straight to a hospital ... you idiot ... you know better than this!!"  she sounds really angry with him.

"I couldn't risk it ... I didn't want to get stuck in that place for another eight plus weeks or however long this is going to take to heal when we were only two days away from here, I was going to get it x-rayed as soon as I got here ... I didn't want to leave Tapestry alone or have you nagging for another eight weeks ....."

"DON'T even go there Mango!!!!  Like I would even have given you earache for this, you fool ... so you risk putting yourself in a wheelchair for the rest of your life ... you IDIOT!!"

"I'm sorry ... Win please I don't need this!!"  he mumbles through the pain

"We have enough problems to contend with already don't you think without you doing this ... have you told him yet?"  his eyes snap open and he tries to roll over to look at her, but she stops him from moving.

"No ... I ... was waiting until we got here."  he stammers, she stands up and laughs and calls him an idiot again. I really don't like where this conversation is going and how angry she seems to be with him, told who what?

She rolls River over onto his back carefully telling him not to move a muscle, even if it might be a little too late for that, he's probably already done too much damage ... she pulls out her phone and phones for an ambulance while she's just glaring down at River.

Fudge!!  "What's wrong?"  I ask

"We think he might have broken or fractures his ribs and his spine."  Winter says to me, and I ask if it is serious because she is giving me the impression that it is.  "It could be especially his spine, it depends on how unstable the fractures or breaks are, there could be dislocation, and if any of his vertebrae have shattered, there could be damage to his spinal cord ... but by the state of the bruise on his back, the pain he's in and because he's been walking around with it ... don't be surprised if your STUPID brother doesn't end up in surgery this afternoon there could be internal bleeding or anything going on in there!!"  she says scowling down at River who just closes his eyes for a moment to avoid her glare.  "I seriously can't believe you've taken this risk with yourself!!! ... How did you even hit a wall anyway?"

Me and River exchanged a nervous look with each other, I'm not sure what to say to her so I say nothing, River can answer this one!!  I know she hates him being around the vampberrys and only puts up with it because she knows that River's Mother is now one, but she says his contact with them has to stop when she gets to Sugar Valley.  I half expect him to lie to her, but he doesn't  "It was a vampberry ... he kind of smashed me up the wall ... twice."  he mumbles nervously.

"Oh Berry!!!"  she shouts her face now looks even angrier  "Those damn things again ... I might have known!!"  she goes quiet for a moment like she's thinking.  " ... We will have to tell the hospital you fell down the stairs a few days ago."  she looks up at me  "Tapestry you may as well stay here, we could be at the hospital for the rest of the day especially if he ends up in surgery which I think he will, your room is the door facing you."  she points at the door at the end of the hallway "Make yourself at home and help yourself to food there is plenty in the fridge."

I really don't like the idea of being left alone in a strange place, besides I want to know what is happening to my brother. I start to complain that I want to go with them, but it just falls on deaf ears.

While Winter starts rooting through our bags getting some things out for River like his dressing gown and other things that he might need, River explains that they will only let one person in the ambulance with him anyway and I'll be quite safe here with Storm, he hands me his phone, telling me there are two numbers in there ... Jazz's and Winters ... Winter will phone and let me know what's happening, I'm not to go out, he reminded me to take my medication and if anyone comes to the door to remember Winter is NOT his girlfriend, we are new in town and we are just lodging here.

The ambulance came and they quickly take him away on a stretcher to the hospital and I'm left in this strange house alone.  I take all of our bags to my room and start to unpack my things leaving all of Rivers things in the bags, I presuming that his belongings will go into Winters room.

I was quite surprised when I walked into the bedroom, it is quite a big room and looks really nice, although I'm not sure about the sunflowers that seem to be everywhere, there are three pots of them as well as a picture of sunflowers on the wall.

There are two single beds, two chests of draws, a sofa, a television AND an xbox with a pile of games which amuses me,  there is also a nice stereo too. In the corner of the room there is a desk with a computer on it and a new large sketch pad with a stack of pencils.  It almost looks like Winter has tried to kit the room out for me. The only thing that doesn't fit with me, besides the computer, is the bookcase full of books, which no doubt River will make his way through while we are here.  Then I spot there is even an acoustic guitar sitting in the corner, I put my own guitar, which is now orange, next to it and stand there smiling, still not quite believing that guitar is actually mine.

I feel quite strange, it almost feels like home already, or is that because I know this is where we will be staying permanently now, this is going to be my home from now until we can go back to Sugar Valley.  I really hope it doesn't take too much longer.  I really want to go back to my own home and bedroom.

Storm comes floating through the wall making me jump.

"Nice house! but where are the stairs?"  he says laughing  "You know this room is all orange ... the rest of the house is blue."  he says as he slouches out on one of the beds.  "Bagsy this one!"  he says laughing ... he's an idiot, he doesn't even need a bed.  Why would this room be orange?  "Winter ... She is well fit!!"  he starts laughing.

I frown at him for a moment, remembering something Bayleaf had told me about him just after he faded, something that apparently only Bayleaf and Storm knew, he even hid it from me, something that I've yet to talk to Storm about ... not quite knowing how he would react to me knowing or talking about it.  "I wander if she knows I'm here?  This could get awkward!!"

"I don't know, if River hasn't told her about you or she doesn't believe in ghosts, then no doubt she's going to think I'm mental, she's bound to catch me talking to you!!"  He moves off the bed and throws an xbox control at me.  I go to sit down by him but am interrupted.

River's phone suddenly starts ringing in my pocket so I throw the control on the sofa next to Storm and I answer the phone quickly thinking it is Winter even though it seems a little too soon for her to be phoning me already  ... but it isn't Winter.

"Hiya son" there is a slight pause "River have you arrived at Winters yet?"  my Dad asks and I stay silent through another slight pause  "I've just tried her phone but it's switched off ... is she at work today?  I spoke to her last night but she didn't say."

I'm a little surprised, not only that Dad is phoning River so casually and that he's calling him son when he hasn't even met him face to face yet, but that he also seems to know Winter too, he's obviously been talking to her on the phone ... how did that happen?!  I just knew that River has been having way more than one call from Dad a week, like I've been limited to.  I didn't think it would be Jazz who was phoning him so much!!  I would really love to know what has been going on behind my back.  How would Dad even know Winter?

"River are you there?"

"DAD ... it's me not River."

"Oh ... Tapestry!!  Hiya son, where is River?"  I think he's a little shocked that I am the one answering River's phone.  As soon as I tell him that Winter had to phone for an ambulance as soon as we arrived to take River to the hospital he starts flapping like he always does ... just how close has he got to River over the phone?!  "What's wrong with him, Tap?"  I tell him what Winter had said about his ribs and back and that he might be ending up in surgery today.   "Tap how did that happen?  Have you been in an accident in the car?!"  he asks sounding a little confused.

"Didn't he tell you ... the vampberry's that we bumped into a few nights ago, one of them hit River to get him away from me, he smashed him into a wall pretty hard ... he's been limping for two days, today he can hardly walk, he's been crying and has passed out because of the pain and has a really nasty bruise on his back and chest."  No, River hadn't told Dad that he had been hurt, which really doesn't surprise me as he has been hiding how bad it has really been.  Dad asks if I had been hurt  "The vampberry cut my wrist open to make me bleed because he didn't think I was mortal, but it's okay, River stitched it up."

He starts going mental because he hadn't been told any of this ... I'm not sure why he's shouting at me, I'm not the one on the phone to him all the time!!  I spoke to him for a while longer, I always run out of things to say or ask him because there really is no point, if I ask how Mom is, all he ever says is she's okay ... but I doubt she is ... she still thinks I'm missing, still being held captive by Maizie and Manderine, she must be going out of her mind waiting for my body to turn up like Honey's did.  If I ask him about anyone all he says is they are okay, the only one he ever says anything different about is Prelude, instead of okay ... he's drunk.  Dad is never going to quit treating me like the idiot child who needs protecting.

He told me as soon as Winter lets me know what's happening with River to phone him on Jazz's phone ... Storm can help me find the number.

I put the phone down after he said goodbye, it didn't hit me for a while, then suddenly something that he had said shocks me ... Dad had said Storm can help me find the number ... Storm ... how does he know about Storm?!  He never believed me when I was trying all those years to tell him about Cosmic's ghost being in the house, so now how does he know and believe that Storm is here?!

I leave Storm playing on the xbox while I wander around the house, taking a peak in all of the rooms, Storm is right, it is a nice house full of nice things, but I remember River saying she is a trauma surgeon so I guess she's paid well like most doctors are.  I feel a little cheeky nosing around somebody else's house but she did tell me to make myself at home.

I'm surprised that this one level house has three bedrooms and it's not like the rooms are small either ...  this house is a lot bigger than it appears on the outside.  The third bedroom is practically empty except for a rocking chair and a load of packing cases, obviously she must have them ready for when she moves to Sugar Valley.

The bathroom is the room next to mine which is handy for me, that is also quite a big room for a bathroom, it has a big corner bath and a shower.  I need a shower so while I'm in there I decide to test out the corner bath.  I lay back relaxing in the warm water and closed my eyes and lie there just thinking about home, I always struggle to shut home out of my head when I've been speaking to Dad.  I nodded off to sleep without realizing.

"Wake up idiot ... you are going to drown yourself!!"  Storm is laughing right by my ear, as he starts shaking me then splashing the water, which has now gone cold, at my face.  I jump up startled, mainly because of the cold water splashing over me.  "Man you need a baby sitter ... you are worse than a toddler!!" 

"Get out you jerk!!"  I shout at him not feeling very comfortable that I'm sat in a bath full of transparent freezing cold water completely naked in front of him.

"Don't worry I didn't look!!"  he laughs again then floats off through the wall.

After getting dressed and tidying up the bathroom I walk into the kitchen and stop dead in my tracks seeing something that I never expected to see in the kitchen.  I am amazed by the enormous fish tank that is built into virtually the whole of one wall.  I can see straight through the tank into the living room.

I switch off and stand staring at it for ages, all of the different types of fish swimming backwards and forwards in the tank distract me for quite a while.

It makes me think about the fish tank in my bedroom at home, which is only tiny in comparison to this.  When I was younger I used to sit for hours just watching them swimming around, but it's been a long time since there have been any fish in my tank because I used to forget to feed the fish and they kept fading so both of my parents refused to buy me any more fish.

I look in the fridge, I'm not hungry just curious, I have to laugh when I spot there is plenty of banana milkshake in the draw of the fridge, I only know that it's banana because there is a large comic banana man picture on all of the cartons.  I guess she's got that in for River.  I pull out a carton and go into the living room, planning to turn on the television.

Two things throw me as soon as I walk into that room ... first that there is a piano in here, I wander if she plays too ... or is that Rivers?  Then there is the television, that also makes me stop and stare for a while, its huge, I've never seen a television so big before, why would anyone want one that big?!

Dad has never been big on us watching the television, we don't have many in our house and the ones we do have are only small. I only had one in my room because there is not a lot else that I can do and I needed one for my xbox, which Prelude bought me that Dad was never happy about me having ... but he found out quite early on that he could use music and the tv to keep me quiet for hours.  Coral and Mosaic were never allowed one which used to really pee them off ... but what they didn't see was that they got a lot of other things that I didn't get because of my problems.

The television makes me forget about the piano and I turn it on after I've recovered from the shock of its size and settle down on the couch watching a stupid day time program and drinking milkshake, feeling almost like I'm at the cinema staring at the huge screen.

I fell off to sleep again, exhausted from the last two days of constant travelling, River was in such a hurry to get here, I realize now probably because of the pain, we spent day and night on the road only stopping for short breaks, I've only cat napped briefly in the car, I don't know how River has managed without any sleep at all.

Rivers phone ringing in my pocket wakes me up, I notice when I sit up it is getting pretty dark outside, I must have been asleep for hours.  I answer the phone quickly.  It is Winter this time.

"Did you get my text earlier? only you didn't reply"  she asks and I start laughing at her as I tell her I can't read or text, not that I'd heard the phone going off anyway because I was asleep.

"Oh berry, I'm sorry ... I completely forgot!! ... I text to say I was just taking Mango into theatre ... I'm just letting you know he's out now and he's okay!!  I'm just getting washed up then I'll be home to pick you up so you can sit with him for a bit."   I'm a little irritated because she hasn't really told me what was wrong with him and why he had to go into theatre ... I don't know what to tell Dad.  Why is she getting washed up?

"Winter I need to know what's wrong with him, I need to phone Dad, he phoned earlier ..."

"It's okay, I've just spoken to your Dad, get yourself ready, Ill be home in about twenty minutes to pick you up ... I'll fill you in later."  She says goodbye and puts the phone down.

I feel like throwing the phone up the wall ... here we go again ... 'I'll fill you in later' ... I just want to scream, why does nobody ever just tell it to me straight ... now I'm going to be sitting here for the next twenty minutes winding myself up not knowing what to think.

I try to fill the time waiting for Winter to get home by drawing, I find I don't think so much while I'm trying to concentrate on what I'm drawing, it helps me switch my head off.  I laugh to myself as I sit down on the carpet and spot another book case full of books, only this one must contain hundreds of books, not like the handful in the bedroom bookcase,  what's the betting Winter is another book worm like River!!

Winter came home in a taxi and ran into the house to get her car keys, she asked me if I could drive, and of course I can't so she had to move the cars around before we could leave.  She had to pull Rivers car off the drive so she could get her own car out of the garage, I don't know why we didn't just go in River's car, but she said she's blue she'd get pulled for driving an orange car.  I really don't like this colour coded world ... it is totally pathetic!!  How do they expect colourblind people to cope in a world like this?!  Without Storm being my eyes I'm going to have no hope!!

River has two rib fractures and has fractures along his spine in three places, he's had to go into surgery because one of his vertebrae had shattered and dislocated the one above it ... I really don't have a clue what this meant.  She said she doesn't know how he's stood the pain ... I do he's been eating painkillers for two days ... and even though there is a quite a lot of swelling to his spinal cord it doesn't look like it's too badly damage amazingly.

Winter is furious with River because he knew the risk he was taking with himself ... he knew he could well have paralyzed himself putting pressure on his spine walking and driving ... she doesn't know how he has got away with it, when he woke up from surgery he could feel his feet, so fingers crossed he'll probably be okay.  He's going to be laid up in bed now for at least 10 to 12 weeks.  I was surprised when Winter said she was the one who performed the surgery.

Winter went off to do some paperwork after she shows me into River's room.  He's just lay on the bed totally still just staring up at the ceiling and it looks like he's been crying.  I'm beginning to think he might be over emotional, I've seen him cry so many times over the past few months, more than I can ever remember seeing Mosaic cry.

"You are a total idiot!!  I KNEW there was something wrong with you ... and you kept telling me everything was fine when you knew damn well it wasn't!!"  he turns his head to look at me, I hand him his phone, he takes it off me then quickly wipes the tears off his face as I stand there staring down at him.

"Oh Tap, please don't you start ... I've had Winter on my case none stop ... and Dad's just been on Winter's  phone carrying on at me, reading me the riot act because I should know better especially because I'm a doctor ... I knew what I was doing ... I know what I've done ... I don't need everyone to keep reminding me!!"

"Why?"  I ask him  "She says you could have paralysed yourself and there still might be a chance you have ... why would you even risk that??!!"

"You know what it's been like ... I'm so tired of the road and we were so close ... I didn't want to get stuck in that town for another two months when we were only two days away from Rainbow Valley ... after those creatures appeared when we didn't expect them ... my head went, I just wanted to get us both out of there."  he sighs  "And you ... I'd have only driven myself crazy, I'd have been in the hospital worrying myself silly because you would have been stuck on your own alone in that motel 24/7 nobody looking after you ..... at least here Winter can look after you."

"Please don't say you did this because of me ... don't you think I feel guilty enough already without you also laying this at my door!!"  I snap at him  "I'm not a baby ... I wish everyone would stop treating me like one!!  I don't need looking after 24/7!!"  he laughs then raises his eyebrows, reminding me I can't even sleep in a bed on my own.  Now that he is stuck in here I don't really have a choice but to learn to sleep alone again.  "So now you are stuck in here for 12 weeks ... that's just great!!  So now we can't go home for another 12 weeks can we!!"

"Sorry no its going to be at least 16 weeks before I can travel.  I'm sorry Tap!!"

"Idiot!! ... you should have gone to the hospital straight away then we wouldn't be in this mess now!!"  I snap at him ... thinking I'm not sure I can cope with being stuck in this place for another 16 weeks, we have already been away for too long already and here was me hoping we would only be here for a few weeks before Jazz says its okay to go back to Sugar Valley!!

"Either way Tap ... here or there I'd have been stuck in hospital for this long ... just there I probably wouldn't have needed surgery, I did the damage walking."  he laughs  "But don't worry ... if everything goes okay in about three weeks I can get out of the hospital and come home ... Winter is going to have to take time out anyway ... so she's going to chain me to the bed for the rest of my sentence"  we both start laughing.

"Yeah I bet you wished she was chaining you to the bed!!  But you've gone and messed that up too haven't you!!"  he starts laughing really hard then winces in pain

"So you have noticed then or has she told you?"  I frown at him  Noticed what?

"The added complication ... I can't believe the size of her stomach already ... that's the reason why she's been kicking off at me for taking so long to get here, she doesn't normally nag ... I nearly passed out when she told me because I thought we were being careful.  We've talked about it a lot but planned for it not to happen until after we are married and settled in Sugar Valley.  She didn't tell me straight away, she wanted to tell me to my face not over the phone, but she didn't bank on us taking so long to get here, so she had to tell me about a month ago ... I'm sorry I didn't tell you straight away because it was too soon, I didn't want to upset you."  he pauses for a moment watching my face and I just carry on looking down at him.  "Even Dad knew before I did which has given him another headache to sort out, because now she's got to move to Sugar Valley sooner than we expected probably without a job in place ... she's moving into Dad's until we get back, how mad is that she's going to meet him before I do!!"

River is rambling on like an excited child, like he thinks I know what he's talking about, I just stand staring down at him hoping this isn't what I think it is ... I have a really nasty feeling about this!!

"What?!  you've totally lost me!!"  he frowns at me ... I hope he has lost me and I am connecting up the dots all wrong ... please don't let this be what I think it is!!

"Sorry I thought you'd spotted it or she'd told you ... " I'm still just staring at him ... I think I have actually known where this conversation has been going for a while and I really don't like it!!  "We are having a baby ... Winter is four months pregnant."  he starts laughing "You are not the only one who needs to learn how to take precautions according to Dad, because the timing couldn't have been any worse with what's already going on ... man he doesn't half know how to dish out the lectures, I think when my kid gets into trouble I'm just sending him round to Dad"  he laughs quite loudly.

I just stand there ... I feel like I've just been hit by a ten tonne truck head on ... he could have told me anything right now ... just not that!!!  A baby ... I don't even want to think about baby's right now!!  River is having a baby!!  I SHOULD have been having babies!!

I can feel the panic building up inside me ... I can't be around this my head is never going to take it!!  I don't want to be here right now ... I need to get out of here!!  River is just staring up at me, worry is now written all over his face, probably because he can see the expression on mine ... I think he's just realized.

"Fudge!! Tap I'm sorry ... I thought you would have noticed her bump, its not hard to miss ... I thought you was okay with it ... I though she had told you."  I didn't hear anything else he said because I was gone, all I did hear was him calling after me then the sound of a buzzer starts ringing coming from his room behind me as I'm running out through the doors and down the corridor towards the main doors.

I run out of the hospital, but stop dead just outside the doors as the dark night hits me head on filling me with dread, the darkness makes me freeze on the spot.  Normally I would have just kept on running until I collapsed from exhaustion.  I think about the vampberrys even though Jazz says there will definitely be none here, I can't trust what he says, especially after the last lot we bumped into somewhere where they shouldn't have been.  I know I can't go running off anywhere ... I have to stay here.

I spot a bench so I go over and sit down on it while I try to collect my thoughts together. It has only been just over two months and I'm not over it yet.  I'm not ready to deal with this!!

I still struggle some days knowing that Honey is not here anymore, I don't even have a picture of her that I can look at, the vampberry's took my phone.  At first it was okay because I had banked on her being at home as a spirit like Storm ... but as I've grown up, I'm struggling seeing that Storm will always be a teenager in his ethereal form I've not been coping knowing Honey will always be that way too ... they might both still be here and that's a slight comfort, but I know growing up, I've already left them behind, things will NEVER be the same again even if they are still here.

The babies too ... it breaks my heart knowing they never got to have a life, like my Mom's baby who's gravestone is sat in the cemetery, the only indication that he ever existed, my babies won't even have that ... they won't even get a gravestone ... they would have just gone with Honey like they were nothing ... they never even got to grow into being a person ... they will soon be forgotten by everyone ... except me ... they are always going to be in my head tormenting me, wandering what they would have looked like, were they boys or girls, wandering what their lives would have been like ... questions that will never be answered.  Their lives will always be rattling around in my head ... the lives that they never got to live and that is what I'm struggling with most ... it really hurts.

The very last thing that I need right now is to be reminded of the babies everyday, which is what is going to happen from now on, seeing Winter's stomach growing like Honey's should have been.  I knew this would happen one day when someone around me has a baby ... but in the future I will be able to deal with it better ... right now it's too raw ... it is just too soon for me to handle it.

I strangely find myself sat openly crying again, I really don't know what is wrong with me lately ... I feel like I've almost caught some sort of crying disease off River, I've always struggled to cry in the past, I have always vented my emotions out through my outbursts not through tears, because it was rare that I could even cry ... now I just can't stop myself from crying.  Thinking about it ... it's only been since Storm faded that I've started to cry.

Somebody sits down next to me on the bench but I ignore them completely, I don't even care that everyone walking past me can see and hear that I'm crying.  I don't realize it is Winter beside me until she speaks.

"Tapestry are you okay?"  she says quietly  "I'm sorry!!  Tact has never been one of your brothers strongest points!"  I glance up at her, my eyes then automatically look towards her stomach ... it's plainly obvious she is pregnant ... how had I not even noticed that until now?!  "He's worried that you might have gone running off across town."

"Well quite clearly I haven't!"  I snap at her quite nastily, then wander what I'm doing, I shouldn't be nasty to her, it's not Winter's fault that Honey faded and took our babies with her ... it's the vampberrys fault ... like it's their fault River is now laid up for the next 16 weeks ... and it is their fault that we are even here, so far away from home!!  "I'm Sorry!! ... I just want to be on my own for a while."  she carries on sitting there without saying anything which irritates me a little because I've just told her I want to be alone and she's not moving.  If I knew the way home, I'd walk back on my own just to get some space ... but it's dark and I don't even know the way home ... so I'm stuck here.

"I'll just go and tell him that you are sat out here to stop him from worrying, then I'll come back and take you home."  she stands up but seems to hesitate, I glance at her and her gaze is fixed on something in front of her, but I don't bother to see what.  "You are not going anywhere are you Tapestry?"  she sounds worried  I shake my head and tell her I'll wait for her here, she smiles at me then walks quickly back into the hospital.

I have no choice but to wait here for her ... I don't have the slightest idea of where I am and I definitely don't want to go wandering around and getting lost especially not in the dark.  I look around for Storm, wandering for a moment if he knows the way back to Winter's house,  he's leaning against a lamppost close by just silently watching me.  He moves after a while and comes to sit next to me, he smiles at me   "I don't know how you didn't spot that baby bump straight away ... I did!!"   he says quietly "It will be okay Tap ... you just need a little more time to get over it!"

"Will it be okay?!  It's never going to be okay again and you know it!!"  I snap at him quite loudly.  "Just don't talk to me Storm ... you don't have a clue how this feels ... just go home, I want to be on my own!!"

I look at him then , his gaze is fixed on something opposite us just like Winter's had been, so I look in the direction Storm is looking, the tears are still rolling down my face and have to wipe my eyes so that I can see properly.  I notice a young woman, or is she a teenager, I can't tell she's so tiny, lying on the the bench opposite us, I wander if she has been out here all the time and has been watching me crying?  She is staring back at me with wide eyes.  I realize I've just spoken loudly to Storm, so she probably thinks I'm mad and sat talking to myself ... but quite frankly at this moment in time I don't care what she's seen!!

I study her for a moment, she hasn't taken her eyes off me yet.  She appears ... dirty, her hair is all matted, she is painfully thin and her dress looks tatty and dirty, her finger nails are all dirty and broken, and she doesn't even have any shoes on her dirty feet.  I look back at her face, its really dirty, she looks like she has really dark circles around her eyes and he lips look chapped and sore.  She looks in a right state.

I wander why she is lying on the bench ... is she planning to sleep there? ... she looks like she might be one of those homeless people that we've seen on the journey here.  Homeless people are something we don't have in Sugar Valley and I've never seen them before, while we've been travelling I've seen them sleeping on park benches and sitting on pavements with begging bowls, I was quite surprised when River explained there are a lot of homeless people in other towns.  I can't imagine how anyone could become homeless without any family who cares about them.

I can't help but get up off the bench, I start walking towards her and I watch her close her eyes, like she is pretending to be asleep ... maybe she hopes I'll go away and leave her alone.

I stand and stare down at her, she doesn't move.

"Hey are you homeless?"  I ask her but she doesn't respond, she carries on lying there with her eyes closed ignoring me pretending to be asleep, but I know she isn't.  I hear her stomach growling quite loudly as I'm stood just looking down at her.  She's hungry!  I think about the money I have in my pocket and wander if I should give her some, she really looks like she could do with a good meal, I thought I was thin, but she just looks like a bag of bones.  "I've got some money if you want to eat."  her eyes spring open.

She lies there staring up at me almost like she's scared, I take a $20 out of my pocket and hold it out in front of her, she studies it for a moment then snatches it so quickly I hardly see it leave my hand.  The hand she snatches it with screws the note into a ball and she clutches it close to her while she still stares at me with wide scared eyes ... she looks almost terrified of me.  She doesn't say anything.

I turn round and sit back down on the bench next to Storm ... I'm obviously not going to get any conversation out of her she looks terrified of me ... why would she be so scared?

The woman is still staring at me, like I'm staring at her ... while she looks like a tramp, I've noticed something else about her, her skin and hair look very pale to my eyes, almost like she is colourless, my Mother and Affair appear the same way as she does to me.  Whatever colour she is, it is very light.  She just continues to lies there studying me, I can't help but look at her eyes which now don't look so scared, now just really sad.

"What did you do that for?  You are too soft!!  Look at the state of the dirty tramp she needs a good wash ... you should have told her to clear off not give her money!!"  Storm says suddenly laughing looking in the direction of the woman lying opposite us on the bench.  "I bet she doesn't buy food with your money, I bet she'll go in search of a drug dealer so she can get high!!"  I think he's being a little harsh, if she is homeless then she can't really help being dirty, she wouldn't be on drugs would she??!!  Is that how she's become homeless?

She sits up suddenly glaring in Storm's direction ... this shocks me for a moment ... she's acting almost like she just heard what he had said about her, and I haven't even spoken, this makes me sit up straight.

"Maybe while you was over there you should have told the smack head she stinks!!"  Storm carries on laughing like he hasn't noticed that she is now sat up glaring in his direction. I am beginning to wander since when has he been completely heartless?!

She jumps up then and looks angry and starts shouting at Storm, I know she is looking at him because she doesn't look in my direction once ... and what comes out of her mouth leaves me with no doubt.

"No I'm not a junky you berry hole!!!  Maybe you should take a good look at the state of yourself!!  I don't have a home to go to ... what's your excuse ... lost your grave, well the cemetery is that way ... you do know you've faded right??!!"  she snaps at Storm pointing away from the hospital.

I seriously don't believe it she can see him and hear him.  I jump up off the bench.

"You can see and hear the spirit!!"  I say to her, she looks in my direction quickly and starts to look scared again.  Why is she so scared of me?

She sees me start walking towards her so she starts running ...

I need to stop her ...

I need to know why she can see Storm like I can ... I start running after her, I chase her across the front of the hospital calling after her but she ignores me.

"Stop please ... I need to talk to you ... I don't want to hurt you!!"  everything I shout at her falls on deaf ears and she keeps on running, not looking back.

I hear Winter screaming my name behind me just as Storm knocks me to the ground to stop me going any further.  I fall onto the pavement trying to keeping my eyes on the woman, she darts out into the road and nearly gets hit by a car, she manages to swirve the car and keeps on running.

By the time I get to my feet she has completely vanished and is out of sight.


The journey home with Winter was silent and a little uncomfortable I think for both of us, I doubt she knows what to say to me and I definitely don't have anything to say to her.  I imagine she thinks I was just about to do a runner like River had expected me to, I can't be bothered to explain to her otherwise, she can think what she likes, she's never going to believe that I was chasing some woman because she can see and hear spirits like I can.

Even Storm is staying totally silent which is not like him, he normally would try to put a smile on my face or at least have something to say, but he's staying deadly quiet in the back of the car and I wander why.

As soon as we get home, Winter opens the front door, I try not to look at her, but every time I do my eyes are drawn to her stomach, I can not stop looking at the baby bump.

I go straight to my room and shut myself away from the world.



  1. :( Poor Tap! I just want to hug him.

    I'm glad River is going to be okay but it stinks that they can't return home for awhile.

    Wow! Someone else can see Storm? I wonder if he'll run into her again.

    Are people ever going to see that Tap is able to handle more stressful things now? I feel so bad for him that people keep treating him like he's a child when he's grown up so much.

    1. I know - he's going through it AGAIN!! River's back problem is going to keep them stuck away from home for longer (but secretly that is working out in Mango and Jazz's favour with them needing to keep Tapestry away for as long as possible) River can see that Tap is growing up, but as for everyone at home I guess that they are not going to see just how much he has grown up until he returns and they can see for themselves.
      Tapestry will make a point of running into Crystal again ... he wants to know why or how she can see spirits like he can.

      thanks for reading and commenting :D

  2. Man, River IS an idiot.....but I can see why he did it. I know this has to be really hard for Tap, with the baby and not being able to go home sooner. I bet he will spend his time well though.

    A mystery woman! and just how can she see the ghosts....I guess we will find out.

    1. Yes River is in a hard place ... he does a lot of things that are never good for himself!!
      Yes thank you for the loan of the mystery woman :D I just hope you don't mind what I've done to her lol

    2. Of course I don't mind...she is all yours to do with and change as you please.

  3. O_O
    I think I understand the ordeal with the mystery woman... XD
    Aww Tap, he's going through a lot of crap, :( seeing Winter being pregnant, and being reminded again of Honey.
    *rolls eyes at Mango* LOL, being the ever over protective father, as usual.

    1. :D Yeah he is. Winter being pregnant was not the best thing for tap!!