“You want me to what?” Ethan chokes in disbelief. “Umm, cut my hair?” I say more questionably this time. “Do you think I have the time or the skill to do that? Look I have better things to take care of, go introduce yourself to someone and ask them to do it” he dismisses as he tries to walk past me. “Sorry” I say softly. He stopped in his tracks and looked over his shoulder at me, taking a deep breath and exhaling with a sigh. “Go get the scissors in the second draw in the kitchen” he mumbles as he walks into a different room.
~ ~ ~ ~
He brought one of the kitchen chairs and had it placed in the middle of the bathroom, as he stood tall with the scissors in one hand. “Sit” he commanded. I soon started to realise that this was probably one of the stupidest things I could have done because I just put myself in a vulnerable position where I could have my throat cut my a stranger, but who cares. I was about to get rid of the deadweight, metaphorically and literally. He started to cut the ends cautiously, before asking me how short I wanted to go. “Just cut off whatever needs to go” I mutter. After several minutes he took a step back with a look of pride, and uttered the word ‘done’. I looked down on the ground and saw a mass of my dead hair, taking me slightly by surprise, but I was okay with it. I stood up and looked in the mirror, barely recognising the girl staring back at me. My hair started to curl with the dead weight gone, but only slightly like a messy beach look, as my hair bounced around my shoulders. I loved it. In the spur of the moment I turned around and wrapped my arms around Ethan as he tensed immensely beneath my touch. I immediately pushed myself off of him and stood there in a state of shock. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean too… I just. I” I stuttered but he raised his hand to silence me. “It’s fine, just don’t do it again” he said calmly before exiting the room.
~ ~ ~ ~
The sun set a couple of hours ago as I sat on my new bed, reading a book I found lying around in the living room. “It’s a great book” Ethan declared as he leaned lazily against my door frame, with his arms folded across his chest. He looked exhausted after his shower, and I could tell that he wanted company but didn’t quite know how to ask so. “Yeah, I adore the line ‘You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit’ I laugh softly, reminiscing about the girl I used to be. “What’s so funny?” he questioned as he took a couple of steps forward and sat down in the chair across from my bed. “Nothing, just thinking about the past” I sigh sadly. God, I would do anything to be the girl I was again. “Who were you before of all of this?” he said, leaning back to get comfortable. “I’m not one to talk Ethan” I stated sternly. Today was a roller-coaster of emotions. At the start of the day I was contemplating taking my own life, then I was going to jump off of a moving ute towards my death, then I planned an escape, then I giggled, and now I felt like I was getting closer to the real me. I felt like I was becoming lighter and bubblier, like the darkness was starting to fade, and that terrified me. I can’t afford to be that girl again. She was naïve and useless and wouldn’t last a day in this new world. I can’t let myself be that vulnerable again. “I understand. I hope that maybe one day you can talk to me” he whispered as he got up to leave my room. “Wait!” I shouted after him. He turned around to greet me with kind eyes and a sad smile. I patted the side of the bed next to me as he hesitated for a quick second, before walking over and sitting on the edge of the bed. “It’s been a long time since I’ve had a nice conversation with a living human, please forgive me for being so rude” I break. I compose myself and continue. “I had a family, a beautiful one to be honest with you. We were the picture perfect family that you only heard about in movies and books. My mother and father were happily married, with the kind of love that consumed them. I assumed over time it would fade, but it never faltered for a second. Sure they fought, but I’ve never seen two people love each other more and crave the other person as much as they did. My mother was a teacher, and such a kind and compassionate lady. She was nurturing and the kind of woman you found yourself confessing everything too at two a.m. when your mind won’t let you sleep. My father was a psychologist who just wanted to help the world, one broken soul at a time. I had a younger brother who was such a dork. God the kid made me laugh. And then there was me. A bit of a rule breaker, this girl who loved to party and you would not see me caught dead wasting a Friday night in my room. I was somewhat popular at my school like some cliché cheerleader who dated the quarterback. I never kept a secret from my mum, god we were so close. She was my sanity sometimes” I sigh, the memories streaming into my mind like a movie on replay. I hadn’t realised I was crying until Ethan slowly wiped a tear away with his thumb. I took a deep breath and composed myself, knowing there was no time to cry. “My father was the first to go. My brother fell over and him, being the hero he was saved him and threw him into my arms. My mother and brother ran away, but I stayed to watch. It wasn’t me being sadistic, but I was trying to shoot him so he wouldn’t have to suffer for too long, but I couldn’t focus. My brother was next. We got ambushed and we had nowhere to run. He was injured and he couldn’t move as fast. I tried everything to save him but I was too late. My mother of course was next, but it wasn’t by the undead. No. It was by some travellers who hadn’t seen two girls in a long time and took it upon themselves to have a little bit of fun” I croak, shaking slightly. “I escaped, but barely. After that, I’ve been on my own” I finish. Ethan had fallen completely silent to my words, and every single cell in my body was screaming at me to run out of that room and down the road, gathering every weapon I could to escape, but I stayed. “I had a twin brother” he replied faintly. I looked at him as he looked down at his hands. “My parents and my sister weren’t with us when this all started, and I haven’t seen them since. I think that’s the only reason I’m still around, is the hope that one day I’ll see them again and that they’re still alive. It was just me and my brother and when it all started we got trapped in a parking lot and before I could stop him he jumped out of the car to distract them whilst I got away. I’ll never forgive him for that” he started to cry as his whole body shook with each breath. I looked at him, and for the first time I saw him for who he really was. He wasn’t a soldier or a leader of his people. No, he was a 19-year-old boy who had lost everything he’d ever loved. I wrapped my arms around his heavily body as he gripped at my back desperately, resting his head in the crook of my neck as his tears damped my shirt. I whispered a few comforting words as I kissed his forehead gently, holding him for as long as he let me. We just sat there for a while, but after he realised what he let happen he ripped away from my grip and stood up away from my gaze. “Ethan, it’s okay” I stand, resting my hand kindly on his back. I felt him try to resist, and I knew every part of him wanted to run and put up all the walls he had fought so hard to build, but in this day in age, intimacy and affection was nearly obsolete. “I won’t hurt you if you don’t hurt me” I almost whispered. He said nothing, just looked at me with a look of complete and utter pain as he cupped my face, the warmth of his hand so foreign to me. He looked down at his feet as he shook his head slowly, leaving me alone to my own company and my own haunting thoughts.
~ ~ ~ ~
I felt the sun slowly creep onto my face as it peaked through the curtains. I yawned and stretched out my limbs one by one, a habit I had developed over the last couple of years. I smelled food and hot coffee down the hall as I rub the sleep from my eyes and decide to investigate. My stomach made a churning noise as I neared the kitchen to the sight of Ethan shirtless in tracksuit pants. He had scars all up and down his back which was faced to me, some deep and some little, but scars all the same. Battle wounds I guess. He turned at the sound of my feet squeaking against the floorboards and tried his hardest to smile, but it ended up as a failing attempt at most. “Breakfast is served” he muttered as he placed a plate of blueberry pancakes in front of me. I devoured them in no time, licking my lips. “I forgot you haven’t eaten in a while” he chuckled, the sound of his laugh like honey to my ears. Oh how I missed this.
~ ~ ~ ~
I stroll through the neighbourhood with Mark as we discuss any skillset that I might be able to apply to help the community. He introduced me to a few people; Carly who was the neighbourhood doctor who gave me a check-up and assessed any past injuries, Jack who was one of the daytime guards who informed me that Ethan, much to my assumption was the leader of all the ‘soldiers’. Sheriff? Commander? I don’t even know what to call him. And a few other lovely ladies who made up the meals for the children and taught them whatever they knew, much like a school. “My mother was a teacher” I confess as we walked along a street. “I can help out in the school. She taught me a lot of what she knew whilst I was growing up. I was also studying psychology at university before it all started and I’m sure I can be a therapist or a counsellor to anyone who needed it” I say strongly, determined to be respected in this community. “Well, why don’t you do both? The kids seemed to take to you well, and I think a lot of the people here wouldn’t mind having someone to talk too about what they’ve been through” he nodded. “Is there anything I should know about this place” I say seriously, stopping in my tracks. “You have nothing to fear love. We’re just a bunch of people trying to survive and keep our humanity in tact whilst doing so”
Why you like too much Lana Del Rey? Why is she so special for you?
Her aesthetic old/current aesthetic; I loved the retro waves and short sundresses, and I loved the smudged eye-makeup and ripped jeans and messy beach wavy hair, and I love the retro-touch to everything mixed with a bit of modern.
I also love her music (obviously) and how her lyrics were in her BTD album and Paradise were perfect. And, from what I can see of her personality, I love it, too!