What. the. hell. Like, what the actual -
One of the best parts of my day is my shower.
This is where I do my best singing. This morning, I was singing one of my favourite Tainted Soul songs, Take me.
What do you do when you’re drowning?
What do you do when you’re already dead?
I was gone, but then, you woke me up.
I fell in love,
I fell in love twice over again.
I fell in love,
I’m in love with my best friend.
That night, I was hanging out with dad, tossing the footy around on the beach.
‘Hey dad,’ I yelled as I tossed the football back to him. ‘What’s Take me about?’
The cool sea breeze whipped my fringe around my face as dad caught the footy and laughed.
‘You’re seriously asking me that question?’ He paused and tossed the football from one hand to the other, smiling to himself. I walked over to him.
‘Yes, seriously! It’s my favourite song of yours.’
He smiled a little half smile, reminding me of the dad I’d known when I was younger, the face that had graced album covers.
‘The meaning of a song - my songs are normally about lots of different things at once. One line could be interpreted in a thousand different ways.’
‘I don’t think I could ever write a song like that.’ I said, looking up at him.
‘You will. Once you’ve lived your life a little.’
‘Tell me one thing Take me is about.’
He met my eyes. ‘You. You and your sister. How you made my world complete.’
My mom has - well, she’s been friends with this guy, Matt Iverson, for as long as I can remember. Matt is one of my dad’s old housemates, and him and his mate Xander Clavell get up to a lot of dodgy stuff. Xander kind of runs the underground of Sunset Valley. They play on the wrong side of the law, and even though they’re pretty good at it, I’ve heard of them ending up in jail a couple of times each.
So, from what mom said, one day Matt asked her if she could help them out on a ‘job’. She agreed, and things kind of went from there. Now, she meets up with them every day at this dodgy warehouse to do God knows what.
She tried her best to explain it to me.
‘Here’s the thing, Viola. I quit my job to raise you girls, and they wouldn’t re-hire me. All your dad wanted me to do was sit at home like a good housewife - paint, write a novel, anything to earn big money. In case you haven’t noticed, he’s a little obsessed with money.’
I nodded, looking over at our little patch of prime real estate across the road. ‘I’ve noticed.’
‘But I couldn’t stand it. I needed some excitement in my life. So when Matt offered me the opportunity - it was too good to resist.’
There was a lump in my throat. I understood what she was saying, but still, I didn’t know what to say to her.
Life went on. I started to practice on an old guitar dad had given me. I had to admit, I was a little surprised when I first saw it. Surely he could afford to buy me a new guitar?
He saw my expression and smiled. ‘Don’t be jealous of Velvet. I might have given her a brand new guitar, but really, she should be jealous of you.’
I raised my eyebrows. I wanted to hear this one.
‘This was the guitar I bought when I first moved to Sunset Valley. This was the guitar I wrote all my songs with, took to the park to play for tips - everything. It’s very special to me, and you should consider yourself very lucky to have it.’
I blinked, taking it from him. ‘Wow - thanks dad.’
I kept myself very busy. After school, Velvet and I would head over to the day spa where we worked.
In my free time, I was usually practicing my guitar, painting, or hanging out with my best friend Sean Flynn.
Our favourite haunt was the Double V Diner - dad had bought it when we were kids and named it after me and Velvet.
Sean and I got on really well, and mom and dad even let him stay over sometimes.
Velvet and I had a spare bed in the corner of our room, and Sean put it to good use.
On one of me and Velvet’s rare days off from work, I asked Tristan Swift if he’d like to come home with us.
We’d hung out a bit when we were younger, but we hadn’t really seen much of each other since we’d started high school. I had the idea that I wanted to try out my guitar playing on someone impartial. Mom, dad, Velvet, and Sean all said I was excellent, but I didn’t really believe them. So, as soon as we got home, I whipped out my guitar for Tristan.
‘Wow,’ he said when I was done. ‘You’re a natural, Viola.’
‘Really?’ I said, lowering the guitar. ‘You’re not just saying that?’
He shook his head. ‘I’m serious! You should try busking in town or something. I bet you’d make a bit of money.’
I smiled. ‘I’ll think about it.’
Velvet and I caught a movie after work on Thursday, and when we got out of the theatre there were quite a few people milling about.
‘You should go get your guitar,’ said Velvet abruptly.
‘What?’ I said, frowning at her.
‘There’s heaps of people here,’ she went on. ‘I bet they’d love to hear you play.’
‘Why don’t you do it, if you’re so keen.’
She shook her head. ‘I’m not as good as you yet. Wait here, I’ll be right back.’ She raced off in the direction of where we’d parked the car.
Before I knew it, she was coming back, with my guitar in hand. I groaned.
‘Good luck,’ she said, handing it to me, before melting into the crowd.
I took a deep breath and started to play. It was nerve wracking at first, sure, but after a bit I started to quite enjoy myself.
The crowd was interested, some people even wolf whistling and cheering. It was all going quite well until a policeman tapped me on the elbow.
‘Excuse me miss, I believe you’re out after curfew.’
I closed my eyes for a second as my fingers stilled on the guitar strings. The stupid town curfew, of course. I’d never had to worry about it before, since I was usually up on the balcony painting at this time of night.
‘Come with me now, miss.’
So Velvet and I were driven home in a police car.
Needless to say, the parents were not impressed. Mom went right off at me.
‘I don’t give you the use of my car, Viola, for you to go running round town getting up to God knows what-’
‘We saw a movie, mom!’ I yelled back.
‘You have no idea how worried we were-’
‘Oh give it up!’ I was really mad now. ‘You probably didn’t even realise we were gone until the police car showed up!’
‘Viola, you are out of line-’
‘No, you’re out of line!’ I shouted. ‘You are such a hypocrite! Don’t go round telling Velvet and I what to do until you’ve got your head out of the clouds and cleaned up your own act!’
I stormed inside. It took me a long time to fall asleep.
I disclaim the chapter title, it is a song title by the band Short Stack. Yes I turned to iTunes in sheer laziness. I apologise.
Hmmm, drama, much? I couldn’t believe it when Kate rolled the wish to join the criminal career.
So, as promised, we have another song, or half a song. I imagine it just repeats itself. I can’t fathom what another verse might be. My nonexistent songwriting skills have been completely exhausted.
I'm back to the narrative writing style as we actually have a plot to work with now. There will still be short diary entries though, as appropriate, like the one at the beginning of this chapter. Let me know what you think.
Next chapter, we have yet more drama. Oh it’s good, better than this chapter. I seriously love this family.
We’ll finish with a priceless picture of Viola’s face as Hadley hurls the football at her:
Until next time,