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All For You: Chapter 1

Hidden in White Woods are secrets. What kind? Nobody knows. Mallory does not have the most perfect relationship with her father. What will change when she invites him to White Woods with her best friend, Reed and Geneva, her sister, who also happens to have "complications" with Reed.
CHAPTER 1

He smiled at me and only guilt filled my chest. It pounded deep within the chambers of my heart, but slowly dwindled away as warmth took its place. "I'm sorry, honey. I know I can never take your mother's place to help you with these problems, but, I try, honey."

Summer vacation was supposed to feel like ecstasy. Not the hardcore drug, but a deep, heart-racing feeling pooling in the pits of your stomach. It should smell salty. Like the beaches of Ibiza. The sounds of sea gulls should fill your ears to the point when they become part of your usual senses, and sometimes even become so intense like a tinnitus.

I was supposed to be feeling all the above.

But, was I? No, I was not. My father was supposed to take us to Ibiza. Us being my sister, Geneva, my best friend, Reed and me, Mallory. Mallory Hunter.

My third semester ended a week ago. Sadly, so did the little excitement left in my life. Who am I kidding? Stuffing my face with Cheetos and binge watching Pretty Little Liars was much better than learning about light and dark reactions in photosynthesis. I would willfully present my total allowance to anybody who would tell me in a logical manner how learning about plant physiology helps us in any way.

Thankfully, Reed was at my house every other day, so I kept hold of my sanity. My sister, Geneva was a year younger than I was. She was sixteen. We got along surprisingly well, but she had slight complications with Reed. That was a long, dramatic story, not worth telling, because it was over. The awkwardness was not, so she had a tendency to avoid him at all times.

Reed and I planned to watch the new Transformers movie, which he raved about so much. But, he bailed on me. It was almost nine o'clock and I could see the moon through my window. Dad was downstairs, making dinner. Geneva and I usually cooked dinner, but he decided to treat us with something special because Reed was supposed to come over and because the dish was Geneva's favorite: apple honey drumsticks, which uncomfortably Reed loved so much.

"So, is he coming or what?"

I turned around and Geneva stood by the doorway. It was dark, so I could not see if she was being sarcastic or serious. She smiled her little awkward smile and walked over to me, sensing my uneasiness. "We can watch this new horror movie I was telling Ellis about," she suggested.

I shook my head, "It's alright."

"Do you remember the last time we watched a horror movie, Mal?"

"Ummm... no."

"That's exactly my point. We can watch anything you want."

I let out a little laugh and dragged her into my embrace. She groaned, "Mal, I know what you're thinking..."

I said nothing, but tightened my grasp, laughing hysterically.

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I didn't know why my father was behaving awkwardly that night. I knew for sure that he was trying to handle the "Reed being a no-show" situation a little delicately. But, this was beyond delicate. He was treating me like how he treated his freshly cut grass: he loved his freshly cut grass.

The suspense was killing me. I fiddled with my drumstick, stabbing it into the sauce.

He quickly noticed it and asked me, hurriedly, "Honey, are you feeling alright? Do you want something?"

I pursed my lips, thinking of a polite and respectful way to put my thoughts into speech. "Dad, I am perfectly fine," I replied, a little too loudly, I think, because I felt Geneva's uncut toenails jabbing into my flesh.

"Honey, I may not know what exactly is in that head of yours. I need you to tell me what might be bothering you."

"Nothing's bothering me, Dad."

"Is it because Reed didn't show up today? I can give him a call if you-"

"I'm fine, Dad!" I shouted.

I felt my voice echo. That was when I opened my eyes. The look on my father's face was vague. He sat there, stoic. Every tiny wrinkle his face bore passivity. A sort of compliance, submission almost.

The last time his face exposed such a look was a summer ago.

When my mother passed away.

In his arms.

My chest felt heavy. I felt the air around me, thickening, becoming weighty and unbearable. I felt a hand touching mine. "You ok?" Geneva asked me.

I looked at my Dad again, "Dad, I'm so sorry. I shouldn't have yelled at you like that. I'm such an imbecile."

He smiled at me and only guilt filled my chest. It pounded deep within the chambers of my heart, but slowly dwindled away as warmth took its place. "I'm sorry, honey. I know I can never take your mother's place to help you with these problems, but, I try, honey."

"I know, Dad. I know."

He clasped my hands and gave it a kiss. "I can't do this parenting alone. I need your help too." He let go of my hands, grabbed his drumstick-filled plate and headed straight to his room.

"That was pretty intense," Geneva said, nibbling away. "Let's give him a break, alright. He could use one."

"I shouldn't have said that."

"No, it's okay. He deserved to know that."

She finished her drumstick and asked me if I were going to eat mine. I thrust it towards her. "Finish it, please."

"With pleasure," she gleamed.

Only then, the telephone rang. Geneva stood up and walked over to answer.

I wiped my mouth with the napkin and dumped the plates in the sink. I didn't hear Geneva's loud voice. All I heard was inconsistent murmuring.

"G? Who is that?"

She walked back into the kitchen with a sulk, "It's your friend."

I exhaled relaxing a bit. I was expecting Reed to call me and tell me why he never showed up. I had sent him a text message. He said that he would call later.

"Hi, where are you?"

"Hey... aren't you a ray of sunshine?"

I heard a giggle, "Why did you ditch me, Reed?"

"Apologies, Angel. I have to tell you something, though. I am very excited for this."

I sulked quietly, but my curiosity skyrocketed, "What is it, Ace?"

"You know, Brian, right? My cousin. I know how much you love White Woods. So, I made him hook us up with a cabin in White Woods for the weekend."

I was sure that my heart skipped a beat.

White Woods was my dream destination, next to Ibiza. It was not sunny like Ibiza. It smelt nothing like the beaches of Ibiza and by no means, were there any seagulls. It had a beauty of its own. In my town, everybody desired to rent the cabin in White Woods. It was filled with secrets and silence. The silence in White Woods was what the buzz was about. I had heard before that you could hear the beating of your own heart whilst stood in the heart of the woods.

"Stop it! Are you serious?"

"I wish I was kidding. But, I guess I'm not. Are you happy?"

I giggled, nodding, "Yes..."

"Do you love me again now?"

I laughed harder, "Thank you for this. I owe you."

"You can watch Transformers with me next week and make apple-honey drumsticks."

"That's a deal and Ace-" Was I sure about what I was going to say? Not at all. This was supposed to be alone time for me with Reed. With Reed only. But, it would not be as bad as I could imagine.

Ugh. "Can Dad come with us?"

"You sure about that?"

"I think so. I'll tell you why in person."

"Okay, then. You know I don't mind Daddy Hunter."

"I know..."

We said our goodbyes and I hung up.

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Published: 8/6/2014
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