~Coldplay, Crests of Waves {figured I'd waited a decent amount of time since I last used them :)}


COLLAB WITH my chica @emmylou <3 [let me know if I need to change anything!]

12 JULY 2012 [THURSDAY] 
time: afternoon
location: the beach
attire: bring jeans! and a bikini 
event: Today we’re trying something new: horseback riding. A ranch is located twenty or so miles from home and we’ll be there for the afternoon. The horses will take us on a trail ride along the beach and up to a picnic lunch overlooking the ocean.

I stared down the beach, watching as Em chatted with Nate, her smile fairing well across the distance. It always used to be me smiling and talking to Nate, to everyone, with Em off to the side, doing whatever she used to do. I had never paid much attention to what Em did because I could’ve cared less, I knew what I was doing was more important, more glamorous, more envious. But now as I studied her, I realized it was the other way around.

“Hey, you going horseback riding?” Josh asked, approaching me from the beach house behind us. I glanced over at him, wearing cutoff jean shorts and a halfway-buttoned plaid shirt, sleeves rolled to his elbows. I quickly looked away. It was weird, the way I kept catching myself looking at him. And him looking at me. In a different way than we used to. 

“Um, I don’t think so,” I replied, shaking my head slightly, still watching Em. She touched Nate’s shoulder, and then he slipped away out of view. She was coming toward us now, and Josh stuffed his hands in his pockets. There was always that awkward stillness between the three of us, considering he always used to pity Em when no one else would. Now he was doing it to me. When I tore my eyes away from Em, he was looking at me. “What?” I asked.

“You’re staying here?” He asked, clarifying. “Why? There’s nothing to do.”

“There’s plenty to do.”

“Right. Solo sandcastleing is all the rage right now.” He smirked, his eyes glinting in the sun. “Forgot you turned into a loner.”

“Shut up,” I told him, smacking him. But I barely heard him respond, barely heard him say he’d catch up with me later as Nate was calling everyone who wanted to go. Because Em had just walked past the group, across the sidewalk, and back into the beach house. 

She was skipping the horseback riding, too. How convenient. 

I followed her inside, my hand shaking as I turned the door knob. I didn’t know what I was going to say to her. But we had barely talked since she’d gotten there, and she was my sister after all. The only way I even knew she had cared enough to ask about me was through Connor. He was with the horseback riding group too, and as far as I could tell, Em and I were the only ones staying back. 

When I slipped into the living room, my body barely making a sound, I saw her already settled into the old couch, clutching a book in her hand. At first I thought it was one of her screenplays or something, but when I walked closer, I saw it was that kinky novel Fifty Shades of Grey. I let out a sort-of snort-gasp, and when she jumped, her face turned bright red and she shut the book, almost tossing it ten feet away from her. 

“Getting ideas for your show?” I joked, laughing lightly. 

“No,” she said, tight-lipped.

“Honeymoon?” I tried.

She just stared at me, crossing her arms over her chest. I sat down, slowly, cautiously, afraid I would make her erupt if I made a sudden motion. But Em was never the one to rant, at least she didn’t used to be, and I felt weird for acting like this around her, like I didn’t even know her. Like she was just an acquaintance, someone I knew from afar. I guess that’s how people knew her now, with her celebrity status. I was just one of her fans. 

We both glanced at the book, turned upside down on the coffee table. She cleared her throat. “In the business, everyone’s reading it and I know this guy who’s on the team adapting it for the movie. It’s not even my copy anyway, it’s Sienna’s.” She flashed her eyes at me before closing them, sighing.

“Hmm,” was all I could think to do.

There was a window full of silence, me forgetting I wasn’t alone and pulling up my sleeves because the air conditioner was on eighty instead of seventy and I could feel her scrutinizing the scars, like I didn’t know she was. Everyone did, whenever they could. It fascinated them, maybe horrified them. I didn’t know. No one was brave enough to ask me about them, except people who didn’t know better. I told most of them the truth, blunt and honest, because I was sick of being lied to, finally knowing what it felt like from the other side. But Josh. I lied to him. I had to.

“Does it hurt?” she ventured in a soft whisper, jutting her chin at me. For the first time I didn’t hide them out of habit, I just opened up my arms wider, revealing them to her. She might’ve flinched as I brought them closer to her, but she couldn’t take her eyes away.

“Every day,” I said. I closed my mouth fast, knowing I’d said something I wasn’t supposed to. I’d told her the truth. The scars themselves didn’t hurt. But the mental pain, Derek, the memories, everything. /That/ hurt. Like heavy stones pounding into my head, drilling into my skull, finding a way in whether I let them or not.

She blinked. “Why didn’t you say anything?”

“It’s fine,” I replied, my knee-jerk reaction. “It doesn’t matter.”

“Like h-ll it matters,” Em argued, her tone darker. “If it hurts Rhy, maybe you should go back to your--”

“My shrink? Oh really, you think that will help.” I laughed, bitter and wrong. “That’s right… You never came to any of the family sessions. You don’t know how awful they were. I’m /sure/ Mom and Dad told you about them. Since you three are oh-so-close.” 

She pursed her lips. “Rhy, don’t be like this.”

“Be like what?” I shook my head. I couldn’t believe her. She thought this was easy? Now that it was over, now that I was alive, now that I’d gained back a little weight, now that I was talking again? It would never be over. 

“Acting all b-tchy because this conversation isn’t going your way,” she said, all snippy and judgmental. I knew that voice. She’d developed it well, once her social status went up and mine fell apart. “Look, I just don’t want it getting bad again. I want you to be okay.” This was the part where her voice edged on maternal, and she smiled slowly, like it almost amused her, how sad and pathetic I was.

“If you gave one d-mn about me, you would’ve visited more, called more, texted more, even asked Connor for God’s sake. You don’t care, Em. You just don’t want me screwing up your life, your perfect Hollywood life,” I snapped. I examined my nails, wishing I’d gone on the horseback ride instead. I could’ve been talking with Josh, or even Jake, or Constance or Nate or anybody that I knew cared more than Em did. She didn’t care. Not really.

“You know that’s not true!” She said, her face growing blotchy. “You’re just jealous because it was me instead of you. That was always it, wasn’t it Rhy?” 

“It’s because you hate me for what happened in high school, and now you’re just throwing it all back in my face,” I offered, not meeting her stony gaze. I knew what she said was partially true, but so were my words, hanging in the air between us. We both knew I’d been the popular princess in high school, and Em had never been close. She had always been jealous. But she’d never admitted it, even when her career kept going up and up and up and it didn’t really matter who she was in high school, because then she was Emmeline Holloway, famous person. 

Then later I became Rhyanne Holloway, suicide attempt.

“Look what you’re doing to yourself. You’re going back down that path, you’re just going to keep blaming people until there’s no one left to blame but yourself.” She paused, eyeing me. “You can’t do that, Rhy. You need someone to help you back to who you used to be.”

“I don’t need any help,” I said. “I’m still the same person.”

Her eyes cast down as she slowly shook her head, frowning. “No, you’re not. You can’t honestly believe that you haven’t changed.”

I glared at her, grasping the patchwork couch pillow against my chest, my grip tightening. “You know what I hate? When people say that because of my arms. When /you/ say that because of physical appearance and not mental appearance. All anyone cares about anymore is what’s on the outside.”

I threw the pillow down, stood up, and flew up the stairs, locking the door behind me before I let myself cry, before I admitted that Em was right. 

People changed, I had changed, but if it weren’t for the scars, those marks of sin, no one would’ve noticed. 

[COMMENT IF YOU READ PLEASE! I promise to catch up on everyone else's that I haven't read super soon. Tagging the rest of the girls: @withlove-kirsten @vicks @inglenooks @nifty-nikki @rockets-and-rainbows @turn-around-bright-eyes]
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