Book cover of “The Things She Lost“ by Ljele

The Things She Lost

  • Genre: Romance
  • Status: Completed
  • Language: English
  • Author: Ljele
Jolene thought life couldn't be more beautiful with her having her best friend and the love of her life, Tristan. She strongly believed they were soulmates and saw herself in love with no other man but him. But shit happens, and her life turned out to be more difficult than she used to think. Struggling with the unpredictable situation of moving to... 

Chapter 1

Senior year was everyone’s best year in high school because it was the least stressful year. Apart from all the college applications and tests to be taken, there was prom, school field trip, and pre-graduation ceremonies. Jolene looked forward to these events and wanted the summer break to end badly. Only a week was left for the fun to begin.

Waking up to the rays of the sunshine piercing through her window, which captured her face like the lights from a paparazzi’s camera, Jolene lazily stood up to draw the blinds. After she did, she lay down to continue her sleep. But then another thing interrupted her sleep.

The loud voices from downstairs pierced through her dream. Rolling over multiple times and putting her blanket over her head, she tried to ignore it. But the intensity was getting too much, and she could literally feel the heat of their argument from her room.

Her parents had squabbles, yes, but this one had lasted longer than expected. So, Jolene had to get out of bed to check on them. Angrily pulling off the blanket, Jolene stepped out of bed and marched down the wooden staircase, which made little creek sounds.

Standing at the foot of the staircase, she looked at the dining table and kitchen, which was by her left. There, her parents stood shouting at the top of their voices. She could barely hear them because the way they talked at the same time made their words inarticulate.

“What is wrong with you two?” Jolene screamed at the top of her voice.

This was the only way to stop them from shouting, and that did the trick. Her both parents stopped in their tracks and faced Jolene.

“Oh, honey, we are so sorry,” her mom said, approaching her while her dad paced around disheveled. 

Mere looking at him, you could tell he had a lot going on. Jolene’s mom brought her into the dining room and made her sit on one of the chairs. Jolene’s mom, Rose, was on the verge of tears seeing Jolene. This made Jolene suspect something was wrong. Her father, on the other hand, wouldn’t even look at her.

“Mom, dad, is there something you are not telling me?” She asked, glancing at both of them almost at the same time for an answer.

There was an abrupt silence for a while because none of her parents could muster up the courage to speak. They had spoiled Jolene so much as their only child that they feared not living up to her expectations.

“Dad?” Jolene called out to her father.

He was her favorite parent, and she’d rather go to him for help, even when she had girl problems. Then he’d ask his wife for help. This had been going on for years, and Jolene had no clue, so her dad remained her hero.

Peter turned around when he heard his daughter call him. He knew they had to come to clean no matter how much the news would break her. Trying his best to hold onto the fact that things would get better was very delusional. Bending in front of her, he held her two hands with his left hand. Then he lifted her chin to get a better view of her face.

“Jols,” he called out with a wry smile on his face.

Rose walked away from where she stood by the gas cooker. She walked into the lounge area, which had a connecting door to the kitchen and dining. This was because she didn’t want to watch Jolene tear up because that’d break her.

“Dad, what’s wrong?” Jolene asked with a little bit of confusion mixed with fear as her mom walked away.

“Honey, we are moving,” her father said in a huff, letting go of her chin and placing his two hands on hers.

Jolene ticked like a time bomb. Peter counted to three and watched her go like the bouncing bomb used in World War II.

“What?!” Jolene screamed in rage, pushing off her father’s hands.

She stood up from her seat and left her father’s head bent in a squat position.

“You better be joking. This is a joke, right?” She asked, trying to calm down a bit.

“No, Jolene, we are moving, and we should have gone a long time ago,” Rose said, standing by the connecting door.

Jolene paced around the kitchen and dining area in anger while her parents watched her. Peter, who had been squatting for a while, stood up in a bid to calm her. But she warned him to stay clear.

“Stand back,” she said, drawing a fork out of the kitchen drawer to keep her father away.

“I knew you never had my best interest at heart. For God’s sake, this is senior year. If I miss my senior year, I’d never forgive you forever,” she said in tears.

“Nonsense!” Her mom said in a loud voice.

“Every single thing we have done is for you and you alone. I told Peter we had to move about a year ago, but he insisted we stayed until your senior year, and the bills kept piling,” she said, trying to defend her husband.

“Your mom is right, Jols. I saw how happy your friends made you. I was hoping you’d get a college scholarship, but I don’t think we can hold onto this last year. I should have just listened to your mom. You wouldn’t have gotten attached to them,” Peter said, taking two steps when Jolene lowered the fork.

But Jolene pointed the fork back again when he moved. So, her dad was in the wrong, she thought.

“I can’t believe mom is right and you are wrong,” she said to her dad, lowering her voice a bit.

“In fact, you both are wrong,” she said again, increasing her tempo.

“Just leave me alone,” she said, dropping the fork, and then she ran up the stairs in tears.

Jolene almost tripped halfway through the stairs due to the tears that clouded her eyes. But she didn’t care, she wanted to get to her room where she’d be alone, so she kept going. On getting to her room, she slammed the door so hard that it could cause an earthquake. Then she locked it and lay down on her bed, cursing at the top of her voice in tears.

Just a week before the summer break would end, here she was on the verge of moving and losing everything. What would she tell her boyfriend and best friend? Happy ever afters were not true, she thought. If not, why was she moving away from Tristan when their relationship had just begun?

They were all best friends at first, her, Tristan, and Patricia, since preschool. But as they grew older, she developed feelings for Tristan, but she didn’t want to ruin their friendship. Luckily for her, Tristan felt the same, and he came clean about two months ago after so many years. Patricia was cool with it. Her friends in love didn’t mean anything as long as they didn’t make her feel like the third wheel, she said.

“I’ve got to call Tristan and Patricia,” she thought.

She stood up from her bed and wiped her tears. Then she searched for her cell phone around her room. When she found it, she went ahead to dial Tristan’s number. His phone rang multiple times, and he didn’t answer. It kept saying she should leave a message at the tone. She tried his number for the last time, but he still didn’t answer, so she left a message for him in tears.

Jolene felt anger and rage for everyone at the moment. Her parents were the last people she wanted to see, and Tristan, who she longed to see, wasn’t picking up his calls. She wondered what he could be doing at the moment. Was he out with some girls or something? He probably didn’t care about her, she thought. When she realized how delusional she sounded, she shrugged off all the negative thoughts about Tristan.

“I hate my life,” she said, burying herself under the blanket.

She wailed so much that she felt intoxicated by her tears. At one point, she felt she could no longer breathe. It was like the oxygen surrounding her suddenly disappeared, but she didn’t care. For a moment, she would pause to take deep breaths. Then she’d continue from where she stopped.

“Heavy is the heart who dares to love,” she said to herself in between sobs.

This was the first thing she said since she started crying. That actually made a little bit of sense to her. Truly, her heart felt heavy. It was as if a person weighing a thousand pounds sat on her chest, taking away her freedom to breathe. She didn’t notice how tensed she was and the fact she had been chewing her fingers until she bit deep into her flesh.

The sting from the wound rushed through her veins and hit her brain instantly. Then she screamed with pain. This got her parents alarmed, so they rushed upstairs to find out what was wrong.

While Jolene got up to get a tissue paper to clean the blood dripping from her left thumb, she heard her parents at her door.

“Jolene!” Her mother said.

She hissed at them and continued searching for tissue.

“Is everything okay?” Her father asked.

“Yes, go away,” she yelled at them.

Her parents stood there for a while, with their ears plastered on her door. They feared what she was doing to herself. She could be attempting suicide, they thought. When Jolene couldn’t find any loose tissue in her room, she decided to go to the bathroom.

“Jols, if you do not open this door right now, you’ll…” her father was about to say when she pulled the door, and he almost fell to the ground.

She looked at her parents for a while. Then she ignored them and walked to the bathroom by the right. Looking into her room, they could see traces of blood on the floor. This got them alarmed. They marched out of her room to the bathroom, but she was already at the door of her room.

“What happened here?” Her father asked.

“Why are you doing this to yourself?” Her mother added.

Jolene, who was confused, stood there. wrapping her thumb with tissue paper to stop the bleeding. Her mom forcefully took her thumb and tried to unwrap it to see the wound she assumed Jolene got from cutting herself.

“What is wrong with you?” Jolene asked, pulling her hand forcefully.

“I should be asking you that. What is wrong with you, Jolene? Why are you doing this to yourself?” Her mom asked, forcefully pulling the tissue paper.

Jolene yelped from the pain it caused.

“You need to behave yourself, young lady, cutting….” Her father was about to complete when they saw the wound.

“What’s this all about? Aren’t you happy yet for taking everything away from me?” Jolene asked in anger.

“We were just worried about you. We thought you…”

“Thought what, mom? That I was cutting myself? Give me a break,” she said, rolling her hands with crossed arms.

“If you’ll excuse me, I’ll be in my room, alone, without y’all disturbing my peace,” she said.

Then she made to walk into her room, and her dad, who was by the door, moved a little for her to pass through. Walking into her room, she slammed the door in their faces.

“Can this get any worse?” she said from her room.

Her parents hung their heads in shame once more, and then they walked downstairs to the dining room to continue sipping their mugs of coffee while finalizing their plans to move.

Jolene, on the other hand, sank down on the floor at the foot of the door after the altercation. A part of her felt she was being hard on her parents, while the other part kept telling her they deserved it for putting her through a lot of pain.

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