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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!sKQKEy05yyz1kkN28N0pposted on PENANA

The house was just how she remembered it.copyright protection34PENANAsweik8cspj

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 protection34PENANARS4HCIgDNO

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 protection34PENANAbnPwHDzQrz

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 protection34PENANAfT6ucqCpT1

Still, she was extremely eager to see her parents after so long.copyright protection34PENANAIKTNswvI9j

She started for the house and when she rang the bell, December suddenly felt awkward.copyright protection34PENANAwlGmSoZrer

I feel like a salesman, she thought foolishly with a hint of giddy.copyright protection34PENANA0uk7YxyAWr

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 protection34PENANACFcwsE2Xmc

"Sweetheart, it is so good to see you!" she heard her mother's muffled voice.copyright protection34PENANAhSyXfqmeRB

"Flo, can't you wait till the girl is inside?" came her father's booming voice as he laughed.copyright protection34PENANAGS6104yyFv

December gasped, but hugged her mother tightly. "Can't breathe!"copyright protection34PENANA0hacNCQQAd

Instantly, her mother let go.copyright protection34PENANA3R6BPl2cAU

"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 protection34PENANAOgNUhNZQlE

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 protection34PENANAllWwyK9oAJ

Everything was convenient these days, even good food, she imagined her parents would say.copyright protection34PENANACDBIfr4hDE

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 protection34PENANAbrVYmdLl37

December hugged her dad just as tight as she did her mother.copyright protection34PENANAZptVW1G5qg

"I reminded your mother to do this inside." He sighed. "Our neighbours will see." Theodore Scarborough said the last bit to his wife.copyright protection34PENANAP2UqL9SPqv

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 protection34PENANAuBXpAkCmFG

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 protection34PENANAtF6WB2Yh8o

When he left, she turned to her mother. "What was that all about?"copyright protection34PENANAxXrsocBg11

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 protection34PENANAMwDKVd4yzK

December looked at her mother in surprise. "Bristol? But I thought you were in Hungary."copyright protection34PENANAf3pm01pYix

Her mother nodded. "We were but there was a gala for the company's event and we bumped into some relatives there."copyright protection34PENANAnQvOiT0Ta2

December grinned. "If you hated them so much mum, then why did we move there in the first place?"copyright protection34PENANAVWyyHuML3l

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 protection34PENANAvjoVFoW4nf

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 protection34PENANABK56yo0zia

Her mother then patted her shoulder and said, "Come on now, we'll have dinner soon." before leading them further inside.copyright protection34PENANABd7aLOExAI

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 protection34PENANAT61i2GHYL4

Every position was just as she remembered it.copyright protection34PENANAemPjtnIuW0

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 protection34PENANAEydMIZBnxb

"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 protection34PENANA5qi7JkNqjy

"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 protection34PENANAvxVkRpHzTE

She smiled.copyright protection34PENANAzxcNkVMVjj

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 protection34PENANA6oKpvtJjT2

December almost wanted to take that last bit back when she saw who was leaning by the kitchen counter.copyright protection34PENANASpANJrcr05

She froze when they stopped in the kitchen, the colour slowly draining from her face.copyright protection34PENANA5ADinXeaSx

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 protection34PENANAuZWeosI8LC

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 protection34PENANAbD1LrKcDcd

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 protection34PENANAJhOnAclOmd

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 protection34PENANAmRdi6CKOLw

His cold grey eyes stared at her, judging her even.copyright protection34PENANArW9sHBdUfp

"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 protection34PENANA7YHVmh8H6u

She willed herself to act casual, like he hadn't just chilled her bones to Antarctica.copyright protection34PENANAVtl8LrLwgw

"Hello, brother." She said stiffly, her electric blue eyes went hard.copyright protection34PENANA2HtcaaOn53

Of all times, why did he have to come back now? December wanted to scream.copyright protection34PENANANc2u8oMg5T

Dinner felt suffocating, to her at least.copyright protection34PENANAL0m798zVFP

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 protection34PENANAsIxVVH6J5b

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 protection34PENANAMSoOnxd9Oi

Her brother coming home was a surprise, alright.copyright protection34PENANA3ziqHsygne

A terrible one for her.copyright protection34PENANA6PWELRlRAr

"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 protection34PENANA3njrcGZpQN

Michael grinned at them but December saw nothing but a cold smirk. "Surprise?"copyright protection34PENANAHUn0k4tTlQ

Her parents laughed.copyright protection34PENANA7sG36sVrjw

She wanted to stab him.copyright protection34PENANATnTcP6TOvK

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 protection34PENANACdEZeY4HRp

'Okay, no. She's still a devil, December thought grimly, 'even though he's the king of it all.'copyright protection34PENANAyYRe2XGXp0

"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 protection34PENANAtjonvdtp2Z

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 protection34PENANA9EcNDqMH7E

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 protection34PENANA7GCZVFXCCn

It was her weakness, but one she couldn't bring herself to change.copyright protection34PENANAC6G1tceXBg

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 protection34PENANAWLU8zyzlgH

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 protection34PENANAZonCnihlUU

Startled with both her mother's attention and the question, she stuttered, "Y-yes."copyright protection34PENANAIx0oyuBNsc

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 protection34PENANA3oYYxxw7TN

She noticed that Mike had a grin on his face, but he didn't seem to share their parents' elation.copyright protection34PENANAOSbcvzuNUp

His spelt trouble, like it always did in the past.copyright protection34PENANAHCWI1vdDiF

And for the first time since he left for London years ago, December felt that familiar but unpleasant feeling snaking around her again.copyright protection34PENANAQm4OkClRJf

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 protection34PENANAFx8QJDqeqk

Again, she wondered of all days why her brother had to return home from his university the same day she did.copyright protection34PENANAE8XBRZ65Dp

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 protection34PENANALtLPh5rDXb

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 protection34PENANASCJ1tsETH5

She wanted to believe that he had changed but that steely gaze of his made her take a step back.copyright protection34PENANAelecX6c3bP

Because he hadn't.copyright protection34PENANAsWieLAkddh

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 protection34PENANAo6U77nAMhi

They worked together silently before her mum spoke, "It's nice, isn't it?"copyright protection34PENANASwE6IBcUFo

"Huh?" December said in non-committal, partially distracted.copyright protection34PENANAK8k2m6DGjQ

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 protection34PENANAYIXSQ5grSy

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 protection34PENANAJK4oRNZ4IE

"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 protection34PENANAssMMv9S8Pc

Yeah, she was sure he was glad to be home to torture her, was what she thought.copyright protection34PENANAZOVXHL2XdU

December didn't know whether her mother caught her slight stutter but they worked in silence for a while.copyright protection34PENANAwXFAlxolB6

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 protection34PENANA04zNR4WKcM

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 protection34PENANAWcAS9iEbfR

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 protection34PENANA6MOMn9jLvV

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 protection34PENANASvZriQvfBI

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 protection34PENANA1xVCq4U4ga

December blanched inwardly, though she was certain her outward expression mirrored that.copyright protection34PENANAVnWJ9jTt5o

"What do you want, Michael?" She asked cautiously.copyright protection34PENANAoXTnoceUrP

She could hear the smirk in his voice when he answered, "Just want to talk, that's all."copyright protection34PENANADsny5NDZRT

Yeah, right, she wanted to roll her eyes and scoff at him.copyright protection34PENANAaNg7wqrqTw

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 protection34PENANAOhtIFSUUNm

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 protection34PENANAKqP7ZUVCUN

"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 protection34PENANAw4ANb7eCy7

Michael's taunting face became a dark look as he closed the gap and stood before her.copyright protection34PENANA9npC55v0Zj

Too stunned to react, she stood still, her eyes wide.copyright protection34PENANAmJJbRJ5Nm0

"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 protection34PENANAAT4bGgjUSR

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 protection34PENANA21esEkxakx

"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 protection34PENANAtHhdT8WZWj

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 protection34PENANAZxc4JTk2Oc

Then, the tears came.copyright protection34PENANAUQe9jTtQ3O

Damn it. Damn it, damn it, damn it!copyright protection34PENANAnwwEJpNGpK

What the hell did he mean by that anyway? Was he going to be here for good?copyright protection34PENANAZohcs06M3U

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 protection34PENANAZXLe747AUa

Will I always be weak?copyright protection34PENANApiGWXqmL6L

"Auggie!"copyright protection34PENANAv6aMjDNpqQ

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 protection34PENANAjpO5DV9Kv4

"I got chu!" The four year old child giggled as she got a hold of his shirt in her small fist.copyright protection34PENANAVVnCSk2e69

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 protection34PENANA0BgaozNbZd

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 protection34PENANA2jDQohLx1h

December squealed in surprise and chased him again, laughing girlishly. "No fair! You shuppose to chase me bwother!"copyright protection34PENANACXdZz5jBjp

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 protection34PENANALj11uqBiCA

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 protection34PENANAvET9vhqgPs

Their parents laughed and watched in amusement before their mother called them to have tea…copyright protection34PENANAxrpKqYQKAa

.and the lovely, picture perfect family scene suddenly fade away in the background like soft but blurry acrylic paintings…copyright protection34PENANAaltcnYCYge

December was now twelve years old.copyright protection34PENANAzMTtVoLlFA

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 protection34PENANANc2cXtbOdL

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 protection34PENANAYo7sAuqdtG

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 protection34PENANAs3slwnKhJp

"You deserve it."copyright protection34PENANARwCUJAnUoB

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 protection34PENANAGmZOOAjfNN

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 protection34PENANAWfQpBmNlDw

She woke up and sat with a start.copyright protection34PENANAKv2mpMXMHl

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 protection34PENANAnoHncwXwML

A bittersweet smile stretched across her face as she remembered those memories.copyright protection34PENANAjI097BvUX9

That was a weird dream.copyright protection34PENANAqIEt54f2QX

And that laugh.copyright protection34PENANAnel5CyCz4o

Did he actually laughed and played with her when they were children? It felt so real that it couldn't possibly be fabricated.copyright protection34PENANAko6lxdX38U

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 protection34PENANAcyDR2IViKM

Tears.copyright protection34PENANAf71BdDaPde

She actually cried in her sleep.copyright protection34PENANAdyDkTayReG

Pathetic.copyright protection34PENANAMqfpih7dzR

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 protection34PENANA0PZ1rcEB2R

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 protection34PENANAQgptAjE9aS

Hell, she really need to get a grip of herself.copyright protection34PENANAPXj5mBmuPW

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