More than words - A Yousana AU. Chapter 1
CHAPTER 1: SUMMER 2011-SPRING 2012
There are five holiday breaks in Norway. During those breaks kids don’t have to go to school so even if for whatever reason you don’t celebrate those festivities you still don’t have class. That makes it a good chance to go somewhere else and relax, spend time with your family, maybe even make new friends.
Five holidays breaks that go along the year.
The summer break, the biggest of them all, starts on late June and ends on August. After that, the school year begins and it’s not until late September/early October when the autumn break comes, it only lasts a week but it’s something. Then Christmas arrives, 2 weeks without going to school, 2 weeks to relax. Just like autumn has its break, winter also has one, this one takes place on late February/early March and just like the previous season’s break it lasts a week. Then finally comes Easter, every April, kids, and also teenagers of course, have a free week.
As said before, these breaks give families the best chance to spend some time together, far away from the city.
For Yousef’s family that means going to the cabin in the woods. Every year, almost every holiday, they go there. The cabin in the woods is a pretty big house with four bedrooms, not that they need the four bedrooms, and two floors. Yousef always takes the room in the attic, he loves the views and the calm that comes with it. At first Yousef loved going to the cabin but as he grows up he starts to get bored, he rather spend his breaks back in Oslo with his friends. His family rents the house for the first month of summer, the autumn break, the second half of Christmas and the first 4 days of Easter. Someone would say that the Acar family are the best costumers for that cabin, but they aren’t actually the only ones who stay a big part of their year there.
Sana’s family started to rent that house for holiday breaks before Sana had even been born. As if they were taking turns with the Acar family, though they had never met and they wouldn’t for a really long time, the Bakkoush family would stay in that cabin during the second month of summer, the first week of Christmas, the winter break and finally the last 4 days of Easter. Sana had to fight a lot with her two brothers, Abdu and Elias, to let her take the attic room. Eventually she won the battle and the room was hers. She likes being there. She has never been a very social girl. Sure, she has friends but not as many as her brothers have. In fact, she has never taken any friend to the cabin, unlike her brothers who always have guests. That may be the reason why Sana starts to dread going to the cabin, she always feels alone there.
SUMMER 2011 (11 and 13 years old)
On the summer of 2011 as Yousef had been in that cabin for almost three weeks already, he was starting to get on his nerves. He kept pacing around the room trying to think about something entertaining to do. Of course, nothing came to his mind. He was about to give up when suddenly he tripped and almost fell. When he looked down to the floor to try to find out what had made him trip he realize that there was a loose slab. He kneeled to the floor and took the slab in his hands. In the spot it had left on the floor there was a gap, big enough to hide something. For a moment he got excited, what if someone had hid something there and he was about to discover it? But the hole was empty. He was a little disappointed at first but then an idea came to his mind. What if he was the one that would hide something there? But now the question was…what should he hide? It wasn’t like he had anything he wanted to get rid of. For 15 minutes he sat on the floor looking around the room trying to think about something good. His eyes stopped in the wooden wardrobe that had a broken door. He remembered how the first time he got there that summer, three weeks ago, as he was about to open the wardrobe, the door fell and hit him in the foot. In that moment he wished someone, a previous tenant, would’ve warned him. What if he did exactly that? What if he wrote a note for the next tenant warning them about the broken door, that was a good thing to do, right?
He stood up and grabbed a notebook and a pen.
“Hello there unknown person. If you’re reading this you’ve found the loose slab on the floor and just like me you’ve been curious enough to look in the hole hoping that you’d find something. Congratulations! You found me. Sorry if I’m not what you were waiting for. But I’m actually here with a good tip. Be careful when you open the wardrobe door. Unless it gets fixed after I leave next week (it’s July 2011, just in case you don’t see this until like a million years) if you try to open it too hard it’s going to fall on your feet and hurt you, trust me, it happened to me. I don’t really know what else to say, I’m actually feeling kind of stupid for writing this when no one is probably going to see it. I’ll feel like a complete dumbass when I get back here on autumn break and find this same piece of paper with no answer on it. Anyway, at least I’ve tried. Hope your stay here is more interesting than mine, but honestly, that wouldn’t be that difficult. Well, bye!”
He folded the paper and placed it in the hole. Then he took the slab and put it back in its place. Yousef knew that he probably wouldn’t get an answer, but at least now he had a reason to look forward to his next visit to the cabin.
Sana sighed, only three more days and she finally would be back in Oslo. Not that her life was that interesting back home, but at least she didn’t have to be in the same place for a month. She was sitting on the bed looking at the floor trying to think about something that would entertain her. From her room she could hear her brothers’ laughs, they had brought some friends and were playing outside. It wasn’t like they wouldn’t let her play with them. On the contrary, Abdu and Elias always asked her if she wanted to hang out with them, but the truth was that most of the time Sana just wanted to be left alone. As she was lost in her thoughts something caught her attention. There was a slab on the floor that seemed out of place. She hadn’t noticed it before. She frowned and kneeled down. Sana took the slab and found a hole under it, big enough to hide something there. Without even thinking about it, Sana introduced her hand in the hole and tried to find something. She was about to give up when her fingers touched a piece of paper. She took it and unfolded it eagerly. There was a message, a short message from a previous tenant, and they had been there almost at the same time as her –the note said it was July 2011 and now it was August-. She looked at her wounded foot as she read the part about the broken wardrobe door. It had fallen on her foot the first night there. As she finished reading she thought for a moment. Should she answer? What if it was a psychopath trying to get her attention? But it really didn’t look like it and she didn’t have to reveal any fact about herself to answer. Besides, that person had tried to warn her about the door, the polite thing to do was to say thanks, right?
She grabbed a pen from her desk and started writing.
“Hi! How are you? Well, I guess it doesn’t make much sense to ask you that. It’s August 2032 here, guess it’s been awhile since you wrote that letter…Kidding!! It’s August 2011 so just a few weeks after you left, I guess? I just wanted to thank you for the tip even though I read this note way too late. Me and my wounded foot say hi to you. Since you gave me a tip, I’ll give you another. I don’t know when you’ll be back, if you’ll be back, but a word of advice? Don’t sleep with your window opened in summer, the mosquitoes will kill you. I’ve been bitten so badly this summer and I only slept with my window opened one night. At least next time I’ll be here it’ll be during Christmas break so I won’t have to worry about them, right? Well, I guess that’s pretty much what I wanted to tell you. Thanks again for the tip and don’t feel stupid, you got your answer ;)”
AUTUMN 2011 (11 and 14 years old)
To say that Yousef had spent the rest of the summer thinking about the possibility of him finding an answer to his note when he’d come back to the cabin would be a lie. Being honest he had pretty much forgotten about it as soon as he had arrived back to Oslo.
But when September came and it was time for him to go back to the cabin he found himself thinking about that every day.
As soon as he stepped into the cabin that autumn the first thing he did was run to his bedroom and close the door. He sat on the floor and took a deep breath before taking the loose slab in his hands. His heart beat fast in his chest as he introduced his hand in the hole and picked up the paper. He unfolded and grinned widely when he saw that his handwriting wasn’t the only one in the paper, someone had answered.
He laughed a little while reading it and as soon as he ended he grabbed a pen and wrote an answer
“I’m sorry to hear about your foot! Hope it’s okay now. And yeah I got bitten by the mosquitoes too, guess our blood is really tasty hahah…Okay that was a lame joke. Sorry!. To be honest I wasn’t expecting a reply, I guess we all get bored here in the cabin, right? By the way, I’m also going to be back here for Christmas…hmmm…I wonder how that will work. Guess we’ll know in a few months. Thank you for your answer and I hope you have a good autumn!”
CHRISTMAS 2011 (12 and 14 years old)
“I’m always here the first week of Christmas. We don’t celebrate Christmas in my family so we like to get away from the city. But on the second week we go back and spend some time with the rest of the family. A word of advice? When you come here next week don’t sleep with your window opened, you won’t get bitten by mosquitoes but you will literally freeze. Oh and by the way, yeah your joke was kind of lame but I’ve heard them worse, so don’t worry”
“Oh, I see, I’m always here the second week of Christmas. It’s pretty much the same with my family but in reverse order. We spend the week with the family and then we come here for the second week and celebrate New Year’s Eve here, exciting…I know. And of course I won’t sleep with my window opened! It’s December, do you think I’m crazy??? Oh and thanks for being nice about the joke but you shouldn’t be that nice, you’ll make me think that it’s okay to say lame jokes and you’ll never hear the end of it. Happy New Year by the way! I guess this question doesn’t make much sense but…when do you come back?”
WINTER BREAK 2012 (12 and 14 years old)
“Happy new year to you too!! I’m back here again! (it’s winter break, 2012) Well in that case I hate your lame jokes please don’t make one like that again! (jk, it wasn’t that bad). And hey, I was just trying to prevent you from getting frozen but okay…girl? Boy?…I just realized I don’t really know anything about you. Maybe you could tell me something, like your age for example? Please tell me you’re not a 40 years old man, that’d be creepy. I don’t want you to tell me your name though, I like the anonymous thing, it’s interesting and it feels safe, if you know what I mean. I’ll be back on the last four days of Easter, hope there’s an answer when I come back”
EASTER 2012 (12 and 14 years old)
“I’m not a 40 years old man!! I’m 38! Haha just kidding, another lame joke. I’m a 14 years old boy actually. And I agree with you with the anonymous thing, I think it’s better if we don’t know much about each other’s personal life, it’s more interesting this way. By the way I’m here for the first 4 days of Easter so I guess you’ll come back after I leave. It feels as if we were taking turns to be in the cabin hahah. Guess it was destiny that we would meet…well not meet, but talk.”
“Ufff, I feel a lot better now. I’m a 12 years old girl, yeah yeah, I’m a little kid whatever…I’m sure I’m more mature than you. I actually think that I saw your car leaving when I got here? A nice white car? You know what? Forget about it, we’re trying to be anonymous here, we can’t know which kind of car we have either…I guess? So I won’t be back until summer, will you be here like last year?? I pretty much come the same dates every year so I guess now you know when I’ll be here. What about you? Was this year an exception or is it the rule? And yes I guess destiny was trying to make us meet…write…whatever. I’ll read you on summer!”
Well this is the first chapter!!
I really hope you’ve liked it
I’ll tag all the chapters with “more than words au” and I’ll also post it on ao3 in case someone prefers to read it there
Thank you so much for reading and I hope it wasn’t confusing with so many time jumps