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Take My Bones Away
Topic Started: May 25 2015, 02:39 PM (536 Views)
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People always said they'd experienced true emptiness. That something bad happened and they just felt nothing. For Cameron it was different. It was an inescapable feeling a dread sitting in the pit of her stomach, the feeling that fate was against her and nothing she could do would stop it.

She puked for a second time.

"Cameron honey? Are you alright?"

Close your eyes, count to five and pretend everything's alright.

"Y-" She swallowed down some of the bile. "Yeah I'm fine."

Silence. Her mom knew, she had to know.

"...Ok honey." She listened to her moms footsteps as they moved away from the bathroom. Waited until she couldn't hear them anymore. Then puked again.

"Oh fuck." Her voice was weak and cracking.

Cameron's parents had just told her they were planning a divorce. It was her worst fear come to life. There was no way around it. No escape. Her parents would eventually separate and she had no control over it. She'd have to go live with one of them. If that was going to be in Kingman or not she didn't know. If it was going to effect her future in terms of going to college she had no idea.

She pushed herself away from the toilet bowl and sat in the middle of the bathroom floor. Her legs pulled up to her chest and her arms wrapped around them. The scars on her right arm were visible and Cameron stared at them. A reminder of the first time divorce had been brought up, that time they'd both backed down and decided against it. Sadly this time they were both committed to it. Her dad had already stormed out of the house. That had been the warning shot. Cameron had always been alert and tuned in to what her parents were discussing but to have a totally quiet conversation that ended with her dad leaving. That was bad. When her mom had gently knocked on her door and asked to come in using her name followed by honey Cameron knew it was bad.

She had been right. Staring at her arm she saw the crisscrossing scars, the triangle, the mementos of that time during middle school. What had been the darkest time of her life. She felt the tears running down her face. Cameron shifted to wipe her eyes and heard a dull thud. Looking down she saw her phone had fallen out of her pocket and onto the floor. She picked it up and pressed the lock button, the screen lit up, showing the time and her background. A selfie Vanessa had taken of the two of them after one of their first performances. They were both sweaty and Cameron still had her paint on. Her design that night had been white paint as a base and then a rainbow split over both eyes in a running paint style that went down her neck. Vanessa was smiling while she had just been wide-eyed, trying her best to look confused by the camera. It was her favorite picture of the two of them.

Sliding her finger across the phone's screen to unlock it Cameron turned on the Facebook messenger app. Vanessa was at the top of her recent conversations. As she had been since they'd met.

"Hey coming to yours dont ask why will tell you when I get there."

She didn't hesitate to hit send. Stuffing her phone back in her pocket Cameron got to her feet. She looked like a mess, She'd have to clean up before she went. She started with flushing the toilet.
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Vanessa was lounging back in her room, strumming along on her guitar to the tune of Money Changes Everything as a blank notepad next to a sheet of homework sat on one side of her desk, and the skype window on her laptop blinked at her from the other. BB was trying to send her another ‘experimental’ piece, so on the whole there was very little incentive for her to put down the guitar and get on with her work at that point. She figured that she could switch on her PS3 and play some Dark Souls instead; she could always do the homework in the morning, if then.

As she finished her tune, the tell-tale rumble of her vibrating phone caught her ear. Her phone’s background was the same as Cameron’s.

"Hey coming to yours dont ask why will tell you when I get there."

Vanessa cocked an eyebrow at the text. Her first instinct was to type “Sup bitch?” back at her, but even without tone the words on the display carried a voice, one that told Vanessa that something was up. If it was good news she would’ve just texted it straight out or said it at school the next day.

No, something had upset Cameron, and that meant something had upset Vanessa.

She considered texting her back, offering to pick her up and drive her somewhere the two of them could just chill and talk about whatever it was that had gotten to her. She didn't know how Cameron would react to that though, usually she just liked to go somewhere quiet and brood. That, or...worse.

Vanessa decided to text back “ok” and leave it at that. Hopefully she was overreacting to the message. Hopefully it wasn’t going to come to that again.
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Cameron got off her bike and let it fall onto the lawn. She had told her mom she wanted to be alone, she hadn't questioned it. Vanessa's house had always been nicer than hers. Probably because her dad was actually successful, so they could afford a house that was above normal standard. She passed by Vanessa's jeep, a present she had gotten from her dad for her birthday. It was an example of how her friend was spoiled but despite that it was always something that had led to good memories. She couldn't remember a time getting in the jeep had been anything but fun, Cameron loved it because of that.

Cameron stopped when she got to the door. She didn't want to ring the bell, it would most likely lead to awkward questions. Cameron didn't want to drop her problems on everyone and Vanessa's relationship with her mum could be unpredictable. As for Vanessa's dad, Cameron had rarely met him, other than at specific events. She would have been surprised if he was even in the house.

Instead she dug her phone out of her jeans. She hadn't changed her clothes and was shivering slightly. Arizona still got cold in winter, despite the stereotype and especially at night. It was one of the rare times Cameron regretted her habit of cutting her clothes into vests or tank tops.

"Hey I'm outside"

Predictive text made her message neater, it actually made her look calm, which was so far from the truth Cameron would have laughed if she could. Instead she was left staring at the floor waiting for the sound of the opening door. Her eyes still wet.
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Vanessa had been mentally rehearsing what she’d do to get to the bottom of the situation when Cameron’s text came through, so she wasted no time in grabbing her things and heading down the stairs towards the front door.

“Going out Mom, Cam’s got an emergency!” she shouted to the living room, and was already out the house before she could be ambushed, forced to deliver an explanation and then get shut down. She wasn’t always running out on school nights until God knows when, so whatever crisis her best friend was going through definitely warranted a green light from her mom, whether she agreed or not.

The cold air bit into Vanessa’s bare shoulders, but seeing Cameron’s distraught face stung far, far more. She looked at Cameron, wanting to just suck in all her sadness and make her feel better right then and there. Maybe if she was the hugging type she’d have grabbed her to let her know that it was ok, that she was there for her.

Since she wasn’t the hugging type though, she instead offered her the warmest smile she could and jingled her keys.

“Come on, let’s drive.”
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Staring out the window at the streets of Kingman was a distraction, nothing more. It didn't help make Cameron feel any better. Vanessa was there for her though. Vanessa had always been there for her, ever since they'd met on the first day of high school. She was easily Cameron's best friend, there was no contest. Sure she was close with people like B.B. and Brady but even then Vanessa was so far above them. It showed as well. Cameron had never even considered going to B.B. or Brady, the first and only person she had thought of was Vanessa.

Looking across the interior of the jeep at her best friend driving made Cameron feel guilty. She hated that she'd dragged Vanessa into her problems, it wasn't fair. Cameron had always tried to keep her problems private, keep everything bottled up inside so she could deal with it by herself. Not bring others into it. Other people didn't need to deal with issues that affected her or her family. It would just put pressure and stress on them. She turned her gaze back out the window and resumed watching the streets go past.

What did she want from this? Her first thought was of comfort, but Vanessa couldn't really offer that. Nothing Vanessa could do would stop her parents divorcing. If anything it was false hope to even pretend anything would change. From the way the argument went, the unnerving calmness of it all it seemed like they had decided to end things. That was a fact, unavoidable and inescapable, but true. All Cameron could do was accept that fact and move on. If that was going to be her plan she only knew of one place she would be able to truly commit. One place where she could make peace with the fact her parents were going to separate and try as best she could to continue with the life she wanted to lead.

"I want to go into the desert." Her voice sounded hollow, empty and distant. Maybe it was step one.
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Vanessa’s focus moved back and forth between watching the road and looking at Cameron out of the corner of her eye. It was a quiet night, little traffic, so she could direct her attention towards her friend as the driving instincts kept her jeep going on cruise control.

Cameron's silence wasn’t unusual, and Vanessa was used to it. This was part of Cameron’s process: the digesting, the healing, getting through her emotions and sifting through everything that was wrong inside. She hated seeing her friend go through that, seeing her BFF having to deal with it all by herself, but she was no therapist; the best she could do was just be there for her and make sure she didn’t do anything that would hurt her even more.

“Sure.” she replied simply to Cameron’s request, making a left turn to head towards the town’s outskirts. She still didn’t know what was actually wrong, and the uncertainty was just making her more nervous by the minute. Her phone had already buzzed in her pocket, no doubt a text from her mom asking just what the hell was going on and what did she think she was doing running out at 9 o’clock on a school night, but that would have to wait for now. She’d let her mom know when she knew.

The silhouette of Kingman against the desert skyline began to grow distant in the rear view window, as Vanessa drove along the road she’d taken with the band many times before. They’d go to the spot they usually hung out at when they needed some inspiration, start a fire, and just deal with this.
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Cameron had her knees tucked up to her chest and her arms wrapped around them. She was using her knees as a rest for her chin as she stared out into the desert. She didn't know exactly how long both her and Vanessa had been sitting there, completely silent. She appreciated that Vanessa knew better than to press the issue, there was no need to. Her company was enough by itself to make Cameron feel better and she was sure her friend knew that. That was why their relationship was special. They understood each other on a level beyond everyone else around them, it had always been that way ever since they first met.

The first day in high school was supposed to be slower, more nerve-wracking. It hadn't been like that for Cameron: the first person she had met was Vanessa and that had been the rest of her day sorted. She had a friend from the beginning and ally from the outset. The bond only grew stronger as time went on. It was a sign of their connection that Vanessa had managed to convince her to form a band. It wasn't something Cameron had ever cared about, the idea had been brought up with her before from some other people she knew and her old teachers had suggested it. Citing that working with other like-minded creative people could help push her to achieve more; not that she wasn't already achieving but the pros and skills that could be learned from performing in a group would have helped her on multiple levels. That second part was added in after her teachers were made aware of her problems and thus began thrusting her into more social interactions to try and form "positive bonds" with others as they had called it.

That wasn't what happened with Vanessa, one day she just pitched the idea and Cameron had said yes without thinking about it. Only Vanessa had been able to do that and she'd done it first time of asking. Maybe that was why Cameron valued Vanessa so much, after all she had been joining high school coming off what had been the most tumultuous time of her life and this other girl immediately latched onto her as a friend and was someone she genuinely enjoyed being around. It was likely that was doing Vanessa a disservice; she meant much more to Cameron than just a rock. She was her best friend. That was what made the next part so hard.

"My parents are divorcing."
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Vanessa stared at Cameron as her news sunk in. So this was the big deal, huh? Her parents were splitting up for real this time, no fake, no last minute kiss and make up?

No wonder she was so torn up. The last time this had happened had been bad enough, especially when Vanessa found out what Cameron did to herself over it, but that had at least worked itself out. This time, who could say? Cam's parents had never had a storybook marriage, and everyone got divorced these days. It made sense, in a sad way.

She imagined herself in Cameron’s situation. Mom comes up to her room, tells them that Dad’s not coming home anymore. Or maybe Dad’s the one who breaks the news? Either way, her parents weren’t an item after that. Yet, they barely saw each other as it was these days, would it be that big a deal for her to find out that her own parents were splitting up?

Still, she knew her parents relationship was drastically different from Cameron’s, and it probably felt even worse when you were used to both mom and dad being around all day everyday. Maybe or not, Cameron and she weren’t the same people when it came to big news like this or how they reacted to it. She was full of sympathy, but had no way to express it without coming off as clueless about what was going on in Cameron’s heart.

“Well, that sucks.”

She was still going to try though, as they sat together in the desert under the light of the silver moon.
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"Yeah, it does." Like her friend Cameron couldn't think of what else to say. She had said the important part. Instead she settled into staring out into the dark desert. The inky blackness of it was strangely soothing, every so often she would be able to hear the sound of another car rumbling in the distance. She liked to imagine it was the sound of large dinosaur from back in the Jurassic or the Cretaceous. It made her feel better because it felt so far away. She made a mental note to see if she could pull off a dinosaur themed paint job for a show. Experimenting with it to make it look good was something that she could throw herself into. That or a composition.

"I don't know what to do Vans." As soon as the words had left her mouth Cameron regretted them. It felt too much like a cry for help. She didn't want to be the person that needed all the emotional support. She didn't want to be a burden. She just wanted the company of her friend more than anything.
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What could Cameron do? Vanessa wished she knew. It wasn’t like there was a magic word that would fix everything for her, make her parents fall in love again and stay that way. It would be great if there was; life would be a lot simpler if that was the case. She could tell Cameron what she needed to hear, and everything would be ok again.

Life wasn’t like that though.

She exhaled, laid back, and looked up at the sky. On a clear night like this, there were stars as far as the eye could see, stretching through the black expanse. With the gentle sound of engines rumbling in the background, and the occasional call of the desert wildlife, there was an undeniable serenity to it all.

Perhaps that was the best she could offer Cameron right now.

“Let’s just sit here and get lost in the night.” She muttered, still staring up at the sky. With nothing that she could say to help, maybe the time to think and a friend next to her would help Cameron get where she needed to go.
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So they did. Cameron wasn't sure how long they sat there, just taking in the night before she spoke again. Her voice was quiet due to a combination of the aftermath of her puking and trying not let emotion seep in.

"Thanks for this Vans." She whispered. "I'd hug you but...y'know." Cameron smiled a little to herself. It was good to have someone like Vanessa in her life. It was lucky she had the band. They were her support system. Without them...It didn't matter, she had them and that was enough. She lay back and stared up at the stars.

"I came up with some new riffs the other day."
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