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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!bbkvdJdSCtKtLhulTEZ2posted on PENANA

The house was just how she remembered it.copyright protection6PENANAalWXmfD2Ra

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 protection6PENANAQ2mayzTMrw

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 protection6PENANAgcZ1tunn9m

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 protection6PENANApkHlh3AV6s

Still, she was extremely eager to see her parents after so long.copyright protection6PENANA5Wvr7311Qs

She started for the house and when she rang the bell, December suddenly felt awkward.copyright protection6PENANAx6Fx891vwb

I feel like a salesman, she thought foolishly with a hint of giddy.copyright protection6PENANARWvziNDTIJ

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 protection6PENANAlOGQgNUhOK

"Sweetheart, it is so good to see you!" she heard her mother's muffled voice.copyright protection6PENANAKmQpTZzVu5

"Flo, can't you wait till the girl is inside?" came her father's booming voice as he laughed.copyright protection6PENANA7m1CVkpyd8

December gasped, but hugged her mother tightly. "Can't breathe!"copyright protection6PENANAiyXYodMivB

Instantly, her mother let go.copyright protection6PENANA3fXUFRTeNo

"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 protection6PENANAkUKlwFFWeT

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 protection6PENANA5wr2uQgh9L

Everything was convenient these days, even good food, she imagined her parents would say.copyright protection6PENANASc0Q6GI0Uv

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 protection6PENANAoeq8AXOgT2

December hugged her dad just as tight as she did her mother.copyright protection6PENANA9ZyB23sjlB

"I reminded your mother to do this inside." He sighed. "Our neighbours will see." Theodore Scarborough said the last bit to his wife.copyright protection6PENANA4eO54VMNVH

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 protection6PENANAikVIswFhNz

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 protection6PENANAjXzSyCW0Vi

When he left, she turned to her mother. "What was that all about?"copyright protection6PENANAC0wq5AlRnh

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 protection6PENANAyGBup414lO

December looked at her mother in surprise. "Bristol? But I thought you were in Hungary."copyright protection6PENANAEFLeykQvlL

Her mother nodded. "We were but there was a gala for the company's event and we bumped into some relatives there."copyright protection6PENANANXLjoRUKJi

December grinned. "If you hated them so much mum, then why did we move there in the first place?"copyright protection6PENANA1iYDMoHOt3

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 protection6PENANAC7JoliJcN5

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 protection6PENANAXB3JUrAPcj

Her mother then patted her shoulder and said, "Come on now, we'll have dinner soon." before leading them further inside.copyright protection6PENANA7dB6RouzcX

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 protection6PENANACP5merEYDr

Every position was just as she remembered it.copyright protection6PENANA3B26kXxVNJ

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 protection6PENANAfUXR1Ogvos

"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 protection6PENANAt0iymxZ1vD

"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 protection6PENANAsyevEztcug

She smiled.copyright protection6PENANAWJbTBcIRI6

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 protection6PENANAjb7CKu9KvE

December almost wanted to take that last bit back when she saw who was leaning by the kitchen counter.copyright protection6PENANAnYdCuRbX4F

She froze when they stopped in the kitchen, the colour slowly draining from her face.copyright protection6PENANAe0ppU0BDRj

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 protection6PENANAKbvSOfmXZS

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 protection6PENANACnQQZlIajM

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 protection6PENANAQxNfWHfyl7

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 protection6PENANAS5inX6Dk4C

His cold grey eyes stared at her, judging her even.copyright protection6PENANAcH03xZpf9I

"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 protection6PENANA10fPfbwvKR

She willed herself to act casual, like he hadn't just chilled her bones to Antarctica.copyright protection6PENANACCXV0V1Df6

"Hello, brother." She said stiffly, her electric blue eyes went hard.copyright protection6PENANAfsNfwkfVAp

Of all times, why did he have to come back now? December wanted to scream.copyright protection6PENANADCpSrE4YaO

Dinner felt suffocating, to her at least.copyright protection6PENANAPMrNHrIJ4Y

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 protection6PENANAPkqDAXYPSy

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 protection6PENANAevbEoCjtAt

Her brother coming home was a surprise, alright.copyright protection6PENANAiqgJeYbWHf

A terrible one for her.copyright protection6PENANAUxAlbai9Za

"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 protection6PENANAIeGTT5wcy6

Michael grinned at them but December saw nothing but a cold smirk. "Surprise?"copyright protection6PENANAFQxWALULIB

Her parents laughed.copyright protection6PENANA1C9BYkLhuL

She wanted to stab him.copyright protection6PENANArc086TeC6M

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 protection6PENANAJMDhIe2CZK

'Okay, no. She's still a devil, December thought grimly, 'even though he's the king of it all.'copyright protection6PENANAe1noDmIpDd

"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 protection6PENANAa5pbew5s8b

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 protection6PENANAfSYS9G6cj6

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 protection6PENANAWy7kWLHFak

It was her weakness, but one she couldn't bring herself to change.copyright protection6PENANASkpiwDOC6X

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 protection6PENANANlPLdYskaM

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 protection6PENANAq7kysgj9Wt

Startled with both her mother's attention and the question, she stuttered, "Y-yes."copyright protection6PENANAuPOT7lxWXE

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 protection6PENANATLZJxdIZxT

She noticed that Mike had a grin on his face, but he didn't seem to share their parents' elation.copyright protection6PENANALY06xtnRDj

His spelt trouble, like it always did in the past.copyright protection6PENANAl78a1gvzct

And for the first time since he left for London years ago, December felt that familiar but unpleasant feeling snaking around her again.copyright protection6PENANAd6ecPLpyLX

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 protection6PENANArxVsDtV0ky

Again, she wondered of all days why her brother had to return home from his university the same day she did.copyright protection6PENANAkFFtPHJlgW

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 protection6PENANAOt22FSO5qA

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 protection6PENANA2R7XjLqfML

She wanted to believe that he had changed but that steely gaze of his made her take a step back.copyright protection6PENANAN6qtzgajBq

Because he hadn't.copyright protection6PENANAfqUitzahEB

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 protection6PENANARHtZENK52w

They worked together silently before her mum spoke, "It's nice, isn't it?"copyright protection6PENANARQDhkcyvva

"Huh?" December said in non-committal, partially distracted.copyright protection6PENANAWKAQ33pdl4

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 protection6PENANAPdLicq6Xw8

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 protection6PENANAtnZ6FjjePO

"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 protection6PENANAoLzZBC31Qo

Yeah, she was sure he was glad to be home to torture her, was what she thought.copyright protection6PENANA5GCRZOi5LO

December didn't know whether her mother caught her slight stutter but they worked in silence for a while.copyright protection6PENANAefcemRxF5n

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 protection6PENANAuu84tJHwLy

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 protection6PENANAVQexIdm0j8

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 protection6PENANAOyn0MJSkpX

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 protection6PENANAHTsPYVzFsk

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 protection6PENANAdnbrVTFiUZ

December blanched inwardly, though she was certain her outward expression mirrored that.copyright protection6PENANAqIxOJkyBEX

"What do you want, Michael?" She asked cautiously.copyright protection6PENANAzmR1cPXLup

She could hear the smirk in his voice when he answered, "Just want to talk, that's all."copyright protection6PENANA6INh9JbP15

Yeah, right, she wanted to roll her eyes and scoff at him.copyright protection6PENANAPsOmgxHO9l

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 protection6PENANAMJIELUtIGY

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 protection6PENANA8MGV4QEgFG

"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 protection6PENANAlv8aSoIzdR

Michael's taunting face became a dark look as he closed the gap and stood before her.copyright protection6PENANAV0BDEmx75d

Too stunned to react, she stood still, her eyes wide.copyright protection6PENANA6d0M84CNki

"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 protection6PENANAuGNCQF1zfe

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 protection6PENANArae2NSpl0u

"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 protection6PENANAz6HzTQDwDY

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 protection6PENANAP7FDKwjL5y

Then, the tears came.copyright protection6PENANA0wIfyw8YR8

Damn it. Damn it, damn it, damn it!copyright protection6PENANAsqf908ZEFD

What the hell did he mean by that anyway? Was he going to be here for good?copyright protection6PENANACuLi7wOqhT

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 protection6PENANAYiqHxZeFX5

Will I always be weak?copyright protection6PENANAOpw4yxcybS

"Auggie!"copyright protection6PENANAcNmY5tuUUM

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 protection6PENANANT4dACcOha

"I got chu!" The four year old child giggled as she got a hold of his shirt in her small fist.copyright protection6PENANAU6zra8YnH9

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 protection6PENANAfTXCR35mX0

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 protection6PENANA8LTdZuPcj7

December squealed in surprise and chased him again, laughing girlishly. "No fair! You shuppose to chase me bwother!"copyright protection6PENANAmddVFn4EKL

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 protection6PENANAN0FLCxPITN

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 protection6PENANAI2yCfy74Kq

Their parents laughed and watched in amusement before their mother called them to have tea…copyright protection6PENANAb7Ep2jM7Xx

.and the lovely, picture perfect family scene suddenly fade away in the background like soft but blurry acrylic paintings…copyright protection6PENANASLyxwa4mTY

December was now twelve years old.copyright protection6PENANA9C0Hegflk0

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 protection6PENANAMw7qVaJIhH

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 protection6PENANAgasOIZZNlS

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 protection6PENANALuuMcJ2s5m

"You deserve it."copyright protection6PENANAtRTAhPL1x3

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 protection6PENANAIOdbDWbCJx

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 protection6PENANAvu2ZgeJiHO

She woke up and sat with a start.copyright protection6PENANAFaFzLXoxYW

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 protection6PENANAAHKOSnK40t

A bittersweet smile stretched across her face as she remembered those memories.copyright protection6PENANABvYDveSfxz

That was a weird dream.copyright protection6PENANA3dKJMwHa4F

And that laugh.copyright protection6PENANA7EnRtgfekg

Did he actually laughed and played with her when they were children? It felt so real that it couldn't possibly be fabricated.copyright protection6PENANAHVLGyhUqws

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 protection6PENANA0zFLjri0Cm

Tears.copyright protection6PENANAGJ13BujRIE

She actually cried in her sleep.copyright protection6PENANA7qzS68a1zG

Pathetic.copyright protection6PENANAtAg9lABDAd

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 protection6PENANA0hX1lzvFqd

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 protection6PENANAjxETqK1ALA

Hell, she really need to get a grip of herself.copyright protection6PENANAheaxow7ZaI

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