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Adoring December
Writer Emoddess
  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
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Adoring December
A - A - A
Chapter 13
May 7, 2018
17 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!lTjxbyqKsJqlcYJI9QXbposted on PENANA

The house was just how she remembered it.copyright protection17PENANARzUH3NVItI

A single story house that was wide enough to occupy four bedrooms and three bathrooms, the entire perimeter was complemented with a neat landscape of flowers and a large tree with thick branches shadowing the driveway. Unlike other secluded and private residences, it looked pretty quaint and homely to live in, which it was.copyright protection17PENANA5OBolMWMxp

December paid the cab fare and stood in front of the house – one she hadn't exactly step foot into since her parents left for overseas.copyright protection17PENANAwYKIWuq6ko

Except for the times when she came back to retrieve her things, her new home had been the dormitory and as she looked at it now, December almost felt a sense of longing, as though she was familiar with it yet foreign from the place.copyright protection17PENANAhbXcS10OJt

Still, she was extremely eager to see her parents after so long.copyright protection17PENANAwPi7dDUaqr

She started for the house and when she rang the bell, December suddenly felt awkward.copyright protection17PENANAzWqkFmO6t9

I feel like a salesman, she thought foolishly with a hint of giddy.copyright protection17PENANAuKlsWetW2d

The door opened and she saw her mother's beaming face before she was engulfed into a tight hug. The smell of her mother's signature perfume made her overwhelmed with joy and familiarity.copyright protection17PENANApz2HHglBrM

"Sweetheart, it is so good to see you!" she heard her mother's muffled voice.copyright protection17PENANA30JtkpQ9wj

"Flo, can't you wait till the girl is inside?" came her father's booming voice as he laughed.copyright protection17PENANAi04Et0SXXV

December gasped, but hugged her mother tightly. "Can't breathe!"copyright protection17PENANAbmud4cuqNV

Instantly, her mother let go.copyright protection17PENANAdRVWlgmcqS

"Let me take a look at you." Florence Reed held her at an arm's length as she took in the sight of her teenage daughter, inspecting everything. "You look well. Though maybe you could have put more meat on that body of yours. What have you been eating?"copyright protection17PENANAwJTAnmAgkx

Mostly everything you wouldn't approve, December thought as she grinned sheepishly when her mother reprimanded her. It wasn't that she didn't eat proper food, she just preferred instant convenience resource – which would no doubt sound ridiculous if she admit this to them.copyright protection17PENANAbvUGIZSdqG

Everything was convenient these days, even good food, she imagined her parents would say.copyright protection17PENANA8Dx4ATlW5L

Knowing she'd hear a lecture about healthy and crappy foods, she opted to change the topic, one which was nonetheless true. She chuckled. "I'm happy to see you too, Mum. Dad."copyright protection17PENANAOBuHcS4M8o

December hugged her dad just as tight as she did her mother.copyright protection17PENANAkjTf0CeSPF

"I reminded your mother to do this inside." He sighed. "Our neighbours will see." Theodore Scarborough said the last bit to his wife.copyright protection17PENANAzYj62T0nQ6

Florence scoffed at her grumbling husband. "Around here? They hardly come out of their house, Theodore. Now that's one of the things I'm glad for, actually. No nosy people unlike your relatives." She muttered the last.copyright protection17PENANA8FHDmTwrGE

December raised eyebrows at her mother then father, puzzled. She saw her dad raised his hands up in defeat when he saw the look on her mother's face. "I'll go finish setting up dinner."copyright protection17PENANAQ1YJgYmvRb

When he left, she turned to her mother. "What was that all about?"copyright protection17PENANAaqatxcnxAe

Waving offhandedly, Florence sighed. "Just your father's distant relatives. You know the ones in Bristol? I almost forgot how dreadful they can be."copyright protection17PENANAEITlmgfSHW

December looked at her mother in surprise. "Bristol? But I thought you were in Hungary."copyright protection17PENANAxxXvhduDJm

Her mother nodded. "We were but there was a gala for the company's event and we bumped into some relatives there."copyright protection17PENANAPUM0okcLSM

December grinned. "If you hated them so much mum, then why did we move there in the first place?"copyright protection17PENANAZwvTSS98KR

Her mother gave her a long suffering sigh. "Had I known how awful one of his great aunt is, I would have ask your father that we stayed in London. Still, we're in San Francisco now so that's a great relief. I hope we won't be going to any events there soon." December's mother muttered the last.copyright protection17PENANA4hp1NGfikZ

December mulled over that. She hadn't met these distant relatives that her mother mentioned before, but seeing how worked up her mum was, she hoped not to anyway. December took great consideration if there was anyone who'd easily ticked her mother off – whom rarely get the negative emotions the best of her.copyright protection17PENANAEaTrahLn3D

Her mother then patted her shoulder and said, "Come on now, we'll have dinner soon." before leading them further inside.copyright protection17PENANA92aFW2x5ai

She smiled as they walked through the living room, and tried to focus while her mother spoke of their business trips. Her eyes were drawn to the things around her – wanting to take in as much as she could in a place that was familiar yet so foreign. She took note of the way things were left as it was then and etching it all in her memory; the framed photographs on the white drawer cabinet, the blue couch and sofa, TV, and bookshelves. Everything looked as if it was newly bought; and her mind brought her back briefly to the first day they moved here years ago. Curious, she put a finger on the shelf and swept at it, only to see no dust.copyright protection17PENANAWezlgn2wFn

Every position was just as she remembered it.copyright protection17PENANAvkxpLIGx5J

Florence stopped talking when she saw December taking in her surroundings. "Amazing, isn't it? I knew I made the right decision when I hired Ursula."copyright protection17PENANAafMlUInrNx

"Is she home, too?" December asked, eager. How could she have forgotten her? Ursula was the only housekeeper whom she felt close to. Despite working on certain days with the Scarborough family, she thought the woman was caring and gentle, and if it weren't for her, she didn't know how she'd survive for the first few months whenever her parents went out of town.copyright protection17PENANAKKMk63H8An

"No," her mother shook her head. "Left just an hour before you arrived. Hmm, I'll need to double her pay too for all of…"copyright protection17PENANAv6H3vtLb0R

She smiled.copyright protection17PENANAVb6Hw1qUte

She liked this; the comfortability and familiarity of the place. December missed the warmth of her parents and she was glad to be home. She didn't think she'd want to be anywhere else.copyright protection17PENANAsdYfx4ifdS

December almost wanted to take that last bit back when she saw who was leaning by the kitchen counter.copyright protection17PENANACIZkMuOyGP

She froze when they stopped in the kitchen, the colour slowly draining from her face.copyright protection17PENANApB0wjxyJr1

Her mother went to her father, helping him just as he was putting the last dish on the table when she saw the tall figure staring at her with his arms folded.copyright protection17PENANAXTfV8M0r2d

He was a few years older than her, and inherited the hereditary trademark of square jaws for the males in the Scarborough family. The only thing she truly shared with him was the dark brown hair, which would make a profound evidence if she hadn't dyed her hair a platinum silver. In fact, if it weren't for their blood relations and some similarity in the features, she'd think he's a stranger in the house – although technically he sort of was to her.copyright protection17PENANAkFWjZINOhu

Between them, he was the smarter one. But also crueler, which made her want to hightail out of the house when a sudden rush of unpleasant memories played through her mind.copyright protection17PENANADG5DdobL7C

In fact, she would have done that if it weren't for her parents, both of whom looked happily oblivious to the change of atmosphere as they chatted and joked in the kitchen.copyright protection17PENANAM4w20FO16R

His cold grey eyes stared at her, judging her even.copyright protection17PENANAeqwbKvUykb

"December." He gave a small nod, one she wouldn't have noticed if her every nerve wasn't screaming at her to be alert.copyright protection17PENANA2XS8B5wMQE

She willed herself to act casual, like he hadn't just chilled her bones to Antarctica.copyright protection17PENANApDJVGJAvLH

"Hello, brother." She said stiffly, her electric blue eyes went hard.copyright protection17PENANAmZ8SbSn5rI

Of all times, why did he have to come back now? December wanted to scream.copyright protection17PENANAguF9Che845

Dinner felt suffocating, to her at least.copyright protection17PENANANtJwppg0U1

Around the square shaped table, she sat beside her mother, whereas her father sat beside her brother. Unfortunately, that meant that she had to eat her dinner facing him.copyright protection17PENANAHg1Q8cJwia

December was grateful when her mother interjected her stiff greeting with a 'Surprise!' and while she hadn't understood why, she did seconds after.copyright protection17PENANAfzEUIgcXpg

Her brother coming home was a surprise, alright.copyright protection17PENANA2dKMJac0a7

A terrible one for her.copyright protection17PENANA1Sn3Iwgr3y

"So, Michael. How's everything at the Uni?" Her father asked him as he cut his chicken in precision, before saying, "I can't believe we met you at the airport. And without calling first!"copyright protection17PENANACi7hdPypMX

Michael grinned at them but December saw nothing but a cold smirk. "Surprise?"copyright protection17PENANAGParBUBNUL

Her parents laughed.copyright protection17PENANAUWDi0mPgOS

She wanted to stab him.copyright protection17PENANAOqbVIoKgOx

December couldn't remember the last time she felt so much animosity towards someone. If she had thought dealing with Karen Joyce was terrible, seeing her brother now certainly changed that presumption and it made her remember all the things she had gone through because of him. Karen was…practically an angel.copyright protection17PENANAdvmoWXjxLd

'Okay, no. She's still a devil, December thought grimly, 'even though he's the king of it all.'copyright protection17PENANAjGaXYajNr8

"Other than prepping up for my thesis, I'm afraid there's nothing eventful for me to brag about." Michael laughed, a controlled and polite sound rolling effortlessly. Nothing eventful, a thesis? Sounds pretty eventful to her. Still, she hadn't him heard laugh like that in a while - even though the laugh sounded fake to her. She wasn't even sure if that was how he usually was, and found herself struggling with that bit. He was both a brother and a stranger, which bothered her at how different they are.copyright protection17PENANAGfzRahgVx4

Being four years apart, she could barely remember if she had played with him like normal siblings did when they were younger. Back when her parents spent more time and worked from home, before their promotions and impassable opportunities breached her wonderful world.copyright protection17PENANAsLAPawMt4y

Maybe they did, because he couldn't possibly become someone who was as cold and disregarding as he was now. Despite the treatment she received from him, she wanted to at least hold on to that.copyright protection17PENANAHneSkd2E1u

It was her weakness, but one she couldn't bring herself to change.copyright protection17PENANANHJmzUDPPb

December ate quietly as she listened to their conversations and though she was partially accustomed to being ignored sometimes, she never liked it when it was her parents who did this. It seemed that whenever her brother was around, she was immediately one with the wall, and it hurt more because the person who hogged their parent's attention was her estranged brother. The one who hated her for reasons she couldn't comprehend.copyright protection17PENANAUiXu771UB5

Not liking this feeling, she was about to cut in when her mother turned to her and asked, "How about you, dear? Made any new friends?"copyright protection17PENANAsisHbNUesV

Startled with both her mother's attention and the question, she stuttered, "Y-yes."copyright protection17PENANAIfDrBdlf3b

It sunk in and she realized with a warm feeling that yes, she did made some new friends. The slow smile on her face was telling enough to her parents who nodded with a satisfied smile.copyright protection17PENANArXuosCwtw8

She noticed that Mike had a grin on his face, but he didn't seem to share their parents' elation.copyright protection17PENANAzZr2GCPBQh

His spelt trouble, like it always did in the past.copyright protection17PENANAxywa08nlor

And for the first time since he left for London years ago, December felt that familiar but unpleasant feeling snaking around her again.copyright protection17PENANAxPp2eRELlb

Dinner went on for longer than their usual one. Both she and Michael answered and chatted with their parents who miraculously just seemed oblivious to their children's ominous and wary vibes with each other. If she could just cast that bad vibes aside, she would have been able to enjoyed dinner in her parents' presence; she had waited long enough to be with them.copyright protection17PENANATVakXRWMsN

Again, she wondered of all days why her brother had to return home from his university the same day she did.copyright protection17PENANA4ZlBalJyH8

December supposed her parents wouldn't notice the uneasy feeling between them anyway, they had always been like that, believing that they're both angel siblings…and considering how both of them were like angels when they were little, it made sense. Yet, how long can a person stay unaware toward their surroundings? Part of her hoped they would notice the changes between Michael and her – that he wasn't always the perfect son with the perfect score and manners, and that they'd see through his false façade.copyright protection17PENANAZfXohcgWXC

Maybe her memory got distorted, replaced by a pleasant one because of what she had gone through or desperately believed. Or maybe she's just making excuses – she barely remembered him, and there were little to no pictures of her even playing with him.copyright protection17PENANA7Qxibua7hD

She wanted to believe that he had changed but that steely gaze of his made her take a step back.copyright protection17PENANAVlCgXNCHlk

Because he hadn't.copyright protection17PENANAPlzMKRZ0OW

While doing the dishes, she heard her parents talking to Michael before her mother walked into the kitchen, picking up a dish and drying it with a cloth.copyright protection17PENANACWNaeYEp6V

They worked together silently before her mum spoke, "It's nice, isn't it?"copyright protection17PENANA21hEhesUVO

"Huh?" December said in non-committal, partially distracted.copyright protection17PENANAeK9NxTFwUt

Her mother let out a soft chuckle. "I'm glad that we're all back here together. Of course, this is the first time your brother has actually been here since we moved from Bristol years ago. But it feels like we're a family again."copyright protection17PENANAtxpgHEel3k

December's brows furrowed as she tried to think of a reply. They were a family, regardless if they were an ocean apart but she agreed with her mother nonetheless. It had been the longest any one of them stayed away from each other.copyright protection17PENANAh5lyKDMcxI

"I'm glad I came back home, mum," She said quietly. This part was true but she almost hesitate when she continued, "I'm sure M-Michael feels the same too."copyright protection17PENANA0MsaA04fwY

Yeah, she was sure he was glad to be home to torture her, was what she thought.copyright protection17PENANAIZv8fcMuyP

December didn't know whether her mother caught her slight stutter but they worked in silence for a while.copyright protection17PENANAPPVaoFObSm

After drying the last plate, Florence put her hands on December's shoulder and kissed her head before saying, "You know I love you both so much, right?"copyright protection17PENANATT8m4Im8YT

December stared at her mother, who had a soft and gentle expression on her face. A smile broke out before it became wide. "Of course, mum. I know that."copyright protection17PENANA6GSCP8PBDn

Her mother nodded before patting on December's shoulder. "Good. Now, I think your father and I are going to retire to the study. You should go and freshen up now, darling."copyright protection17PENANArsdmDC2rNV

She hugged her mother and said goodnight, knowing she'll just crash the night there. After all, it had been three years since she'd seen them; two and a half years, actually and there was no way she'd return to the empty dorm room. Not tonight, at least.copyright protection17PENANAOHPW3TFp1D

Michael was nowhere to be seen and she was relieved that she didn't have to face him again. She took a turn towards the hallway and was just about to turn on the lights when she spotted a shadowy figure against the wall.copyright protection17PENANAi8kbK9kzLX

December blanched inwardly, though she was certain her outward expression mirrored that.copyright protection17PENANAXcpaz2MCuA

"What do you want, Michael?" She asked cautiously.copyright protection17PENANAyihnflhVKi

She could hear the smirk in his voice when he answered, "Just want to talk, that's all."copyright protection17PENANAy3rTfb2zLN

Yeah, right, she wanted to roll her eyes and scoff at him.copyright protection17PENANAxI0XTA0Gcu

As he moved out from the shadow, December unwittingly took a step backwards though she kept her face neutral. She gave a short but nervous laugh. "Do you have to be a creep about this?"copyright protection17PENANAhKNy83TpYE

His cool composure almost faltered before he laughed. It sounded cold, just like him. "Come on now, I haven't seen my little sister in years and this is how she greets me?" He raised an eyebrow condescendingly and spat, "Won't you greet your big brother, December?"copyright protection17PENANAIxI9qXlsw6

"I said hello already, didn't I?" She clipped as she tried to think of how to maneuver her way to her room, which was stopped by a big, annoying yet dangerous obstacle. Her retort was mindlessly quick, just like the frantic beating of her heart. Damn it. I should have been careful with my words.copyright protection17PENANAg3Ph0JR1q4

Michael's taunting face became a dark look as he closed the gap and stood before her.copyright protection17PENANAvHPjgXmank

Too stunned to react, she stood still, her eyes wide.copyright protection17PENANAO5RxehuAK0

"Just because I have been away for a long while doesn't mean I'm not going to make your life hell again. I hope you've had enough fun so far because you won't be having any from now."He spoke in a deep yet calm voice. It was too calm and eerie that she knew it wasn't just an empty threat.copyright protection17PENANAG14wi5ga6G

With a self-satisfied grin that looked feral to her, he stepped away and walked past her, leaving December ashen and breaking into beads of sweat.copyright protection17PENANAeCo3VE0iOn

"Creepy asshole." She whispered hoarsely to herself, wondering for the thousandth time what she did to him to deserve being taunted like this and hating him all the more for it.copyright protection17PENANADDtuaIMEix

She quickly turned towards her room and barged in, shutting the door in the process and slid down against it as her head hung low.copyright protection17PENANAFZzKvRQL1X

Then, the tears came.copyright protection17PENANAsgAQjvukOj

Damn it. Damn it, damn it, damn it!copyright protection17PENANAIrXbW8TJNb

What the hell did he mean by that anyway? Was he going to be here for good?copyright protection17PENANAhtaQdGH4sJ

A chill crept up her spine and December could hear her heart thumping loudly as she tuned out everything else. Sweat trickled down her forehead as she realized everything would be a repeat of the past if he was going to stay.copyright protection17PENANA2UZCLj8gDW

Will I always be weak?copyright protection17PENANAAmnxxkFr3t

"Auggie!"copyright protection17PENANADkWNaauSeW

A four-year old December with cherubic face panted as she chased after her eight- year old brother in the garden, her deep blue eyes lighting up in excitement as she laughed delightedly.copyright protection17PENANACgRCTDV1Tz

"I got chu!" The four year old child giggled as she got a hold of his shirt in her small fist.copyright protection17PENANAXtVl1tFHUI

It was a warm and sunny day and they were in the garden, chasing each other in circles. Their mother watched in amusement as she poured tea for her husband, who was reading the newspaper but occasionally watched them with a smile on his face.copyright protection17PENANAay36mdgQ6v

August Michael shook his head, "No, Cece…" and grinned mischievously at her. "Not if I run again!" With that, he took off and ran away from her, laughing in carefree.copyright protection17PENANANIMFlFihGc

December squealed in surprise and chased him again, laughing girlishly. "No fair! You shuppose to chase me bwother!"copyright protection17PENANAQEFMZHfEoa

Michael only said, "Says the one who is chasing me now! Haha!" before he sang in a chant. "You cannot catch me~ you cannot catch me~"copyright protection17PENANAnzIrF4EWVL

The boy tripped over his feet and fell to the ground, though he was laughing. The little girl giggled and took that as her opportunity to hop onto his back. "Got chu!"copyright protection17PENANAsIufnPUG6B

Their parents laughed and watched in amusement before their mother called them to have tea…copyright protection17PENANASXfyJefZTE

.and the lovely, picture perfect family scene suddenly fade away in the background like soft but blurry acrylic paintings…copyright protection17PENANA9hdSITXnQT

December was now twelve years old.copyright protection17PENANA8jCDy0ssGz

They were taunting her at the school's prep compound. Both boys and girls were pushing her around, and they were mocking her and getting in her face with insults.copyright protection17PENANA3ywj7gymfr

But as she cried and were now weakly begging them to stop hurting her, all she could focused on through her blurry eyes was her sixteen year old brother standing at one corner with his laughing friends as they and everyone else pointed at her, the expression he had that day became a haunting trigger that would bring back unwanted memories of her being defenseless.copyright protection17PENANA1pJfis9fPZ

And she thought without no doubt that for the rest of her life, she would remember that the only brother who should have protected her, stood at the sidelines with a smug look full of hatred, uttering the words that had damned her.copyright protection17PENANA9YiLCQL5jr

"You deserve it."copyright protection17PENANAEn0bG7seuH

It had haunt her and it will continue to be…because for the life of her, December Scarborough didn't know what she had done to receive such cold and heartless remark, didn't know what changed him – the only brother figure she ever had and looked up to.copyright protection17PENANAGw6qLpSUEI

It had been the start of a bleak life full of confusion and insecurities, but essentially it had been the end of anything pleasant about August Michael that she knew of.copyright protection17PENANAUOGczi3knm

She woke up and sat with a start.copyright protection17PENANAM2JMeqUGEp

Her heart raced fast in the cool room, and her gaze locked on to the open window where the curtains were billowing freely. She didn't remember opening it. December then took in her surroundings; in her groggy state, the still foreign yet familiar room was beginning to settle on her and she slowly laid back on the sheets. What time is it? She wondered. Then she figured it didn't matter after all.copyright protection17PENANAnlVuLHTDBy

A bittersweet smile stretched across her face as she remembered those memories.copyright protection17PENANAlwn2IWlMgJ

That was a weird dream.copyright protection17PENANA93MTP0jKGY

And that laugh.copyright protection17PENANA94j5z4MtIo

Did he actually laughed and played with her when they were children? It felt so real that it couldn't possibly be fabricated.copyright protection17PENANA24Up6DlrpC

She shook her head, not wanting to dwell on that any longer. She hadn't dreamt of any of it since the actual event happened to her a few years ago. December put an arm on her eyes, and that was when she realized something wet on her cheeks.copyright protection17PENANAbzFXsvXMgE

Tears.copyright protection17PENANAKpJ4vi9hLS

She actually cried in her sleep.copyright protection17PENANAFOWzd2dzuC

Pathetic.copyright protection17PENANAcFcSCEoArE

December let out a choked laugh and covered her mouth with her arm to stop it. She had both a pleasant dream and a nightmare about her brother, and it had only been a day since she came home.copyright protection17PENANAec4XgzgqR2

Despite all the brave talks she had mustered to herself before and even the ones her friends had encouraged her for, December felt unsure and alone.copyright protection17PENANAixQe74hkEL

Hell, she really need to get a grip of herself.copyright protection17PENANAXRr9J4O8Ef

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