Layered (A Sample) (Chapter Two, page 1 of 4)


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The blue circle on my screen twirls and twirls. The game is taking an awfully long time to load. Although I am starting to feel a little frustrated, wondering if my tablet's operating system will be too slow to handle running the game, I wait patiently as I watch the dots swirl around continuously.

The land-line phone downstairs starts its shrill ringing and I jump with fright. The sound is loud in the otherwise silent house.

Quickly I throw the blankets off me and cover Salem in the process.

Sidestepping the corner of my bed and running down the stairs, I reach the phone in the kitchen just as it stops ringing.

I decide to get something to eat, before I go back upstairs and just as I open the fridge, the phone starts to ring again.

Picking up the phone, I say, "Hello."

My mum asks, "Are you up yet?"

Obviously. "I am."

"Please do me a favour. I left in a hurry this morning, and I forgot to take meat out of the freezer."

"What must I get out?"

"I don't know. What do you feel like having for dinner?"

If it was up to me, I would definitely want Pizza for dinner, but having takeaways are reserved for Friday nights only. "Maybe Spaghetti?"

My mum sounds unsure. "I don't know."

I lean against the kitchen counter as I wait for her to decide.

She says, "Okay. Take out the mince, will you please?"

"Sure."

"What are you going to do today?" She sounds uneasy.

I sigh. "I don't know. Maybe watch some TV."

"When is Sophia coming back from Spain?"

"Only next week, Friday."

"Not that long. You can use this time to recharge your batteries."

I can hear the worry in her voice, but she is too scared to mention the unmistakable truth of my situation. She thinks saying the words might remind me, but she does not realise I do not need reminding. I remember. I remember everything. Every memory flashes in my mind, all the time. My every thought plays out the history of my life. There is no future. Everyone says it will get easier, but how can it when time is forever frozen in my head.

"Okay. Gotta go. I'll see you tonight," she says when I hear someone ask her something in the background of her office.

"Okay, Mum." I try to put a smile in my voice.

I hear her sigh sadly as she ends the call.

After getting the meat from the freezer, I put it in a container on the counter, before I open the second from the bottom kitchen drawer, where my mum stashes all the crisps, biscuits and sweets. Looking down at my choices, I decide to take a sleeve of Chocolate Crisp biscuits. Considering the ingredients, it is almost the same as a bowl of cereal, minus the milk. To make me believe my choice for breakfast is indeed as healthy as I try to convince myself, I pour myself a glass of milk.

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