Being 16 or whatever meant that Areto del Mer apparently could supposedly drive. Living in Dartmouth, she'd left home five years ago, that being legally two.
Her beat up dark green Mini Cooper was exactly nineteen years old. She'd bought it for five hundred bucks from some old man selling his life away to drugs. The stained grey fabric in the interior carried deep lacerations, its former polished look long faded away. Far worse, the signals and inner lighting system stopped working ages ago, though every year it passed the smog check. Least minimal maintenance as possible, living life low, nah. With a hand always outstretched with decision brushing the thick curtain aside for choice, now that's something.
It'd been several seconds before Areto realized her phone was ringing. The number was foreign, probably a prank call or some advertisement. Yet something told her that this would not be the average exchange with the recipient on the other end. Just the usual day, eh?
"Hello?" Areto pressed her burner phone up to her ear, glancing around her apartment subconsciously.
"It's Tory." Tory blurted. She didn't know how else to break the news. Immediately, Areto doubled over gasping, fumbling with the phone. The line crashed and crackled with static as the phone on Areto's end fell to the floor. She needed to work on her composure. Oh yeah. She picked it up off the carpet, and placed it back on her ear. New start, right?
"It's Tory." she repeated, sounding just as breathless to hear Areto's voice in response, "Thought you should know-"
"Know what?" Areto accused, flooding rage just screaming to escape, "HOW DARE YOU!"
"Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh." Tory stammered like a broken record, over and over and over. Being her exact opposite, she gripped the phone like it was her dear lifeline. She broke sweat, slime turning her hands sticky.
Now Tory found Areto's fierce deep voice even more terrifying, "You banished me. The whole family, but you especially. Now I don't waste my time on lowly traitors or trashy losers. You've made your choice, live with it."
The last word was as quiet as a whisper, quiet as a drop of water, yet it was just as forceful and effective as Areto could ever wish. The fact that Tory had banished her sister was too harsh. The fact of the memory. Self-pity overwhelmed Tory. Silent fury seared through her boiling face. Her hands fruitlessly clawed at her flaming cheeks in attempt to hide them from the world. Life was so unfair to her! Why me?, Tory wanted to ask. Only she couldn't.
Tory recoiled like acid was thrown at her face at the words traitor and double agent, processing the whole conversation that just took place. That couldn't be who she was. Shame engulfed her, and stars danced at the corner of her eyes, the harbinger to a dizzying spell. Her hands clutched her flaming cheeks, trying to hide her face. Fire seared at her throat dry, making her head spin and those dancing lights swim. How could she escape?
One last try. Areto was a woman of steel, who could cut iron with words. The thought of persisting was bewildering, but she carried on barely keeping self-control.
Babbling streamed out of a seething Tory, "I'm not calling for myself. For Toby. He's in trouble! You could even say desperate. But-"
"It involves me, clearly." Areto cut in, her sarcasm slicing through metal like a butter knife, "Get out of my life."
She knew Areto was a woman of cold steel, that had not changed at least. Despite, Tory was shocked speechless, having nothing else to say. She didn't know what held her back from ferocity taking hold. Tory wanted to throw things, shatter glass, wreck stuff. How dare Areto deface her, shame her!
Tory was shocked speechless, having nothing else to say. And from that, she realized where her anger stemmed from. Yeah, Areto might be all right and righteous, that didn't make her any better. How dare she deface, shame her! Tory wanted to throw things, shatter windows, break plates. She wanted to wreck her older sister, and for a moment, she didn't care about what happened to her life. Her hatred detonated, and Tory threw the vase full of flowers on the floor.
Pieces of white china crashed with a thundering boom, tiny chips shattering into tiny pieces scattered across the floor. With Areto still listening.
Tory started to hyperventilate, face turning redder than a tomato. She wished the worst on her sister. Hopefully you'd fall onto the street from a five story building, hopefully a dog ate you, hopefully somebody'd shoot you.
Areto hung up, a comfortable silence descending inside her car. A slow rasping laughter echoed in the small enclosure. Ah, nearly fooled herself with that nonchalance.
"Be that way." Tory whispered hollowly into an empty phone, and slammed it down on the receiver. ns 126.96.36.199da2