Annabelle || Chapter 1 – The Odds Around Me (b)
Chapter 1 (b) – The Odds Around Me
Chapter 1 – The Odds Around Me (b)
I heard his footsteps fading as he walked down the stairs into the living room
I crawled out of my hiding place and decided to check on my mum to ask her what was wrong.
I had never heard or seen my parents fight until this night so I was worried. I turned the doorknob as quietly as I could and peeped through the door, I saw her sitting on the bed, her head bent over her knee, quietly sobbing. I walked as silently as a cat making sure my feet were light, she never sensed I was in the room until I placed my hands on her shoulder.
She jerked as if my touch had burned her, fleeing from the bed when she realized I was the only one in the room she sighed extremely relieved.
“What are you doing out of your room when you are supposed to be in bed, Anna?” She said, her voice cold.
“I was hungry and wanted to go find something to eat when I heard a noise coming from this room, I wanted to check if everything was okay”
“A noise? What noise was that you heard?” she asked cautiously
” It was Dad’s voice, he sounded angry and I wanted to know why and what made him furious”
“Were you guys arguing?”
“You know your father and I never disagree on anything” ” what could you have heard him say?”
“I didn’t pay attention to what he was saying, I only saw him walking out of the room down the hallway, I guess he was going to the living room” I fibbed.
“There was nothing wrong Anna, you probably heard the noise from the door and your dad probably went to get water or something ”
“Then why were you crying?”
She looked as though perplexed with my question then she remembered I met her sobbing
“Oh! That was nothing, I was just trying to clear the dirt out of my eyes, something caught in my eyes while I was going to use the toilet probably a spider web, it had me crying out and my scream woke your dad up from his sleep”
“And you recall how much your dad detests to be disturbed while he sleeps, that was why he was mad at me”
Something about my look must have had her suspecting I didn’t believe her little tale, she desperately made an effort to get me to stop querying her by pulling me into her arms, wrapping her hands around me in a bear hug.
She held me so tight about her chest, that my shoulders ached from its strength.
Something was strange about her tonight, my mother has never held me close or hugged me so tightly except when she wanted to exhibit some exaggerated motherly love whenever there are audiences to witness them.
Tonight as she held me, I knew, without doubt, she was trying to cover up for what had happened and she was lying to me.
I decided it was best to drop the question for the moment and not pester her further on the topic, so I kept quiet.
She prodded me into going to bed, took me by the hand, and followed me into my bedroom, I felt she would turn back at the door, but she followed me inside and watched me climb up to the bed.
I knew she wanted me to be asleep as quickly as possible, so I wasted no time closing my eyes and pretending to be asleep, snoring loudly.
She waited for a few minutes, I felt her hands on my face trying to make certain I was soundly sleeping when she was satisfied, she switched off the light and walked back to her room.
When I heard her close the door, I got off the bed swiftly, carefully unlocked the door slightly, then peeped through it to look down the hallway.
When I was confident nobody was there, I came out of the room on tiptoe and sauntered to the living room. I did not know why I was so curious to know what was going on, maybe it was because of the way my mother desperately wanted to keep the truth from me regarding what was going on, I made up my mind to find out.
As I got to the last stairs and was about to step into the living room, I saw my dad’s tall frame standing at the far end of the room in front of the big framed family picture hung on the wall. He took the picture down, threw it to the floor, and stomped on it with his feet, when he had accomplished that he walked to the tall wine rack, pushed it aside revealing a secret hole, he wriggled his way through it and disappeared into it.
I was astounded to find out there was a hole at the back of the wine rack, I gaped in awe at the small hole, no one would have known a hole was behind the shelf, I never knew, not until today. He came out a moment later, silently closing the secret hole and putting the big rack back in place, he moved towards the stairs, I looked frantically in search of where to hide, I could not run up the stairs without him noticing and there was nowhere I could hide in. I yawned loudly rubbing my eyes to make him think I was just alighting the stairs, he started
when he heard me
“Hey baby, what are you doing up so late?”
“I was about to ask you that question as well dad, what are you doing awake at this time?”
“I came just for a glass of water, how about you?”
“I needed to steal some cookies, I’m famished” I smiled wryly.
He laughed and said he wouldn’t mind having some as well, he put his arms around me and we both walked into the kitchen to eat cookies.
While we sat at the kitchen counter eating some cookies, I wanted to ask him questions about the hole in the wall, we seemed to be having the same thoughts because as soon as our eyes
met, he asked
“Did you see me open the hole behind the rack?”
I wanted to tell a lie that I didn’t see it, but I heard myself saying I did see it
“What is in it, dad?”
“Everything I’ve always cherished,” He said
” What is it you’ve always loved? I saw you smashing the family picture, don’t you love us dad?”
“Of course I love you, baby, I love you and your brothers”.
I noticed he didn’t mention loving mum as well but chose to ignore it and asked instead.
” Why did you destroy the picture”
“I was just mad at so many things baby, I didn’t realize I had smashed the picture”
” But, why? Why will you smash a picture frame that had your family in it?”
He opened his mouth to say something but stopped himself and said instead.
“It’s late baby, one day, you’ll understand everything, I’ll tell you everything you need to know but not now baby”
“But I want to know now, not later” I whined
“Not Tonight Annabelle, you’ll understand as time goes on but tomorrow is a school day, you need to get enough sleep so you don’t get there late”
I had forgotten I had school tomorrow morning, He kissed me on my forehead before I could say anything else, I watched him walk out of the kitchen up the stairs to his room.