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Such a disaster
by Katerina Charisi
2016-09-12 10:10:38
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The moment we stepped in the house, we heard the cries of Marianne and Frances trying to calm her down. Quickly we went in the kitchen, where Marianne was sitting on a chair with her head in her hands, her body shaking in sobs. “What happened?” I asked and Marianne looked at me with red eyes and a running nose. “A disaster, such a disaster!” she cried out. Frances took a glass of water and gently held it before her mouth. “Where’s my brother?” Michael asked. Frances waved him to stop and explained. “Bradford had to go and check and bring a car here and he took Marianne with him, so she would drive their own car back home. Marianne had a bad moment while driving, that’s all. Just a scratch, nothing to worry about”, she added and nodded to her, while she look terrified and desperate. “What am I going to say to Bradford now? I destroyed his car!” Frances shook her head, took a deep breath and closed her eyes. “It’s only a small dent in the door. I’m sure it’s nothing for Bradford to fix. You need to stop crying now.”

ly01_400_02“I’m going to have a look”, Michael said and ran out. I felt a little awkward, but pulled a chair next to Marianne. “You are not hurt, are you?” She shook her head hard and her curly hair jumped. “No, no. But I wish I would. I wouldn’t destroy the car for no reason”. My goodness with that girl! She would do and say anything to draw any attention on her. I wanted to feel sorry for her, but I couldn’t. She always acted like a spoiled child. Michael came back smiling. “It’s barely visible, for God’s sake. Brad will just punch it and will get back in place. I’m going to take a shower”, he said. “Enough with the drama”. He left the kitchen and I heard his heavy steps on the stairs. Frances threw me a glance like it was my fault for his words. I knew it was wrong the moment I did it, but couldn’t stop it: I tried to fix things, like it was actually my fault. “At least you are not hurt yourself”. Or anyone else, but I didn’t say that last one. “This is more important than the car”. That moment we heard the sound of an  engine and soon a car stopped outside. I guess Bradford was back. “You can’t understand”, she said between her sobbing. I felt my blood burning in my head. There was no point talking to her. I stood up and left the kitchen.

Later, Frances called us for dinner.  We all took our places around the table, our heads down and our eyes stuck on our food. Marianne sank in her seat and barely touched her food. Bradford was trying to cheer her. “I was planning a general repair anyway. Most of the stuff are already in the shed. I got a new engine, battery, tires, and a sweet silver light blue waiting for the end. It will be a total new car. I just never had time. That bump is a good reason for not postponing it any longer. In fact, I think I will start today. I could use a hand”, he added and looked at Michael. I didn’t dare to take my eyes off my dish. I felt a tiny sting of jealousy inside me. I didn’t care for the new car that Brad would soon have, only for the fact that he could make things working. The two brothers were so different.

I recalled the day the agronomist came, couple of weeks ago. He told what he told about the field and left, and Michael never brought up the subject ever since. Like he didn’t care. I mean, Michael was great, but when he walked and came up with a wall, he just sat there and waited for it to vanish. He could start a whole new life behind that wall and live as normally as ever, like there was nowhere to go and nothing to do, like there was no past and no future, but he wouldn’t throw a second look on that wall. Bradford was totally another story. He just lead his life where he wanted to, with no walls between him and his goals. He got a bump on his car? He would fix it, simple as that. While Michael would just let it be there forever.

“Don’t you like the food, dear?” I heard Frances asking and I only then realized that all eyes were on me. “No, no, I mean... Yes, I like it, of course”, I said and felt my face flashing red. “I see you playing with that carrot for too long”, she said and smiled. “I was just thinking, I’m sorry”. “Well, share with the rest of us your thoughts”, she said next. I shook my head and pitched the carrot in my mouth. “It was nothing important. I was thinking about Christmas. It’s... coming soon. That’s all.”

“I should get going”, Bradford said and thankfully took the conversation away from my thoughts. He wiped his hands and put the napkin in his plate. “I can count on you when I need a ride, right?” He asked Michael. “Sure”.

I would never guess that that was the day we lost our car.


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