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It ended at Midnight -Chapter 2

by myjaspercat


Melody

The final bell rang and as I gathered my books into my bag, I could feel my stomach began to turn. I was beginning to regret my stupid commentary from this morning and I kind of wished I could just crawl under my desk and hide. Everyone around me chatted excitedly about whatever meaningless plans they had over the weekend while I watched them with silent envy. How nice would it be if I could you know just enjoy my weekend like everyone else instead of spending it locked away in my room. As if on cue my phone started vibrating in my bag, my mother hadn't stopped calling me all day. Most likely to bitch me out before I got home where she would continue to bitch me out. Today was turning into such a headache. I listened to the phone vibrate a few more times before it fell silent. Ignoring her wasn't going to make my situation any better but I needed a little bit of peace. Even if that peace was only going to last me the ten-minute bus ride home.

The best thing about being my parent's least favorite child was the fact that I got to ride the bus alone. No overbearing, self-absorbed sister. When we turned fifteen, she got her first car which she managed to total two hours after getting behind the wheel. But our parents didn't care, they just bought her another one. She was the princess of the family anyways, and a princess always got whatever she wanted. I on the other hand was stuck riding the public-school bus. It was fine really. I enjoyed the ten minutes it gave me before and after school where I could pretend that I totally wasn't a part of my particularly dysfunctional family. Today however the bus ride seemed to zip by a lot quicker then normally and before I knew it, I stepped off onto the corner of our street. I could see our driveway a few houses down, Veronica's blue kia soul already parked in front of the garage. No doubt she was sitting inside on the couch waiting for me to walk through the front door so she could make my life a living hell.

I sucked a deep breath in through clenched teeth. I had to get it over with, the longer I waited out here the worse it would be for me. With even, calculated steps I walked down the sidewalk towards my house. Trying so hard to make the walk last longer than the few seconds I knew it would take. I had barely made it to the front steps before my mother flung open the door with a silent rage that sent shivers down my spine. Boy did she look pissed. Her eyes cut daggers into my skin and the smile she forced on her lips since we were in public made me want to vomit. I hated how fake she was when she thought people could be watching. It made me want to gage.

"Why there you are Melody, I tried calling you earlier sweetie." She cooed, the venom in her words slipping past the sweet exterior.

"Uh, hey mom. I'm sorry but my phone was on silent." I replied, walking up the steps and standing before her. My right hand sat against my back, its' fingers twirling in the long curls of my hair.

"Well, that's just unfortunate now isn't it. Very well, you're home now. Why don't you come inside and have a seat on the couch, your father and I would love to have a word with you about the little incident at school."

Shit. I didn't realize dad was home. Normally he worked late on Fridays so he could go in late on Mondays. Well that just dropped my hopes of getting out of this situation easy. Normally when it was just Mom, I could ease her out of her anger a little bit but anytime my dad was there it was impossible. I walked past her and into our house. Veronica was sitting in the living room like I expected, and she had this smug look plastered on her face. I groaned internally. This was about to be a shit show. Putting my bag down on of the dining tables I walked into the living room and took a seat on the sofa opposite my sister, my hands instinctively placed into my lap. My dad looked over at me. His anger clearly marked in the hard lines of his forehead while he frowned at me. I knew that look very well. It was the same one that told me a million times before how disappointed he was in me and how he wished he had only one daughter not two.

We sat there for a few minutes in silence while we waited for my mother to join us. She was no doubt reapplying her lipstick in the bathroom. Veronica learned her excessive need to look like a runway model from her. I on the other hand could care less how I looked. After another minute or so she finally joined us and sat next to Veronica. Good now the whole party was here. We all kind of looked at each other, me sizing the three of them up trying to get a read on how tonight was going to go. Them staring me down, their own forms of hatred clear as day. Whoever I pissed off in a past life must surely be laughing now.

"So, Melody," my father began, his tone eerily level, "would care to explain your abhorrent behavior today during school."

"And before you have the nerve to try and tell us whatever lie you must have already come up with just know Veronica here has already told us everything that happened." My mother added, crossing her legs.

Great. I can only imagine what story she told them. I looked at them, my palms already clamming up. I didn't even know what to say. Of course, I couldn't start with the fact that Veronica had dumped her smoothie on me. They wouldn't believe it; they would probably think I was trying to toss the blame so I could make myself look better. I also couldn't really say that I did nothing, that would just piss them off anymore. At this point I was screwed either way.

"Well young lady we're waiting." My father tapped his foot impatiently while he leaned forwards, expectantly.

"I uh, I didn't really do anything that bad Dad, it was just a misunderstanding between me and Veronica." I stammered, trying my hardest to find a way to diffuse the situation.

"She's lying. She always lies."

Veronica whined as she looked over at our parents, her lip already in full pout mode. If I didn't know better, I would have thought that she even had a few tears in her eyes. How is it that she was so damn good at pretending to be the victim? It made me sick.

"I know sweety, it's ok, we'll make sure she tells us the truth." My mother cooed at her, placing her had softly onto Veronica's knee before looking back at me. "Do you see what your behavior is doing to this family." She spat.

"B-but I didn't do anything I swear."

"Enough! I'm sick of all the lying Melody." My mother's whole body was tense now while she screamed at me. "Now you better tell us what you said to your sister right now or so help me god you will not leave your room or have sort of privileges until your graduation do you hear me."

Like I had privileges anyways. "M-mom I'm telling you I didn't do anything to her. She's the one who came up to me this morning and dumped her stupid smoothie on me. Why can't you see she's just playing you? She does this every time, she's manipulative and quite frankly a bitch and you and Dad just completely ignore everything. " I yelled back, my anger bubbling beneath the fear.

The room grew deathly silent while my words sunk in. Oh. My. God. I can't believe I just said all of that to them. What the hell is wrong with me. I am so grounded, or dead. I gulped. By now my entire body was covered in a nervous sweat. Both of my parents just sat stone still, their eyes so wide I was kind of surprised they didn't just pop out of their heads.

"How dare you." My father finally said, his voice barely above a whisper. "I cannot believe you just spoke to your mother that way. And all those awful things you said about your sister. I am so utterly disgusted with your lack of self-control young lady. I don't know why this family was burdened with such a disgrace of a daughter, but it ends now."

Veronica smiled. We both knew that I had crossed a line there was no coming back from. Whatever happened to me after tonight was all in God's hands. I doubt I would see the light of day outside of school for the rest of my life. I wouldn't be surprised if I didn't even make it to graduation at this rate. The silence following my father's words hung in the air, heavy and suffocating. Really, what was wrong with me. Something must have snapped in my mind; this was truly it.

"From this point on you are grounded Melody. No friends. No going out after school. You will report home immediately, and you will go straight to your room where you will stay. Plus, all your chores will be doubled, and if you so much as think of putting one toe out of line I promise you you will regret everything. Do you understand me."

I just nodded, too afraid to say anything else.

"Good, now go to your room and if I see you at all tonight, I will make sure you never leave that room again."

I got up; my knees weak. I had to force my body to move towards the stairs while I replayed the entire conversation in my head. Grabbing my school bag as I passed it I sent every prayer I could think of that this was it for the night. But I began wishing too soon because as soon as I reached the stairs I heard my mother call out after me.

"Oh, and Melody, you can kiss your birthday party this weekend good bye. As far as I am concerned, you are no longer apart of this family."

I stopped for a moment, the gravity of what she just said sinking in. Then I slowly made my way up the stairs and into my room, making sure the door was closed before I slid to the floor, tears already streaming down my cheeks.


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616 Reviews


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Sun Aug 14, 2022 5:48 pm
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RandomTalks wrote a review...



Hello!

RandomTalks here with a short review!

I saw your work in the Green Room and went through the first chapter in order to get a better understanding of this one.

I think something that works really well for the story is your style of narration. I haven't read anything in first person POV for a long time, and yet it was very easy for me to connect with the character. You have a way of creating a kind of an 'intimacy' through your narration, where the readers feel as though they are following the exact thoughts of the MC. They feel more invested in her story and the emotional connection is there right from the beginning. I think this is because of the informal and fast-paced narration which is uniquely characteristic of the personality of our MC.

Now coming to the plot, I like how it is always moving. Even in moments when we are transitioning from one scene to another, it feels as though we are learning something significant or as if we are simply engaged in a conversation with the narrator's thoughts. As a result of this easily established connection, we are able to empathize with her from the get-go.

Although, I will have to admit - its not easy deciphering the dynamics of this family. The relationship between the two sisters is strained to the point where I just wish it would break instead of causing the harm Melody is suffering right now. There are several questions that come up here - why does Melody never speak up? Why does Veronica hate her so much? Why does her family always target her and idolize Veronica? As far as I remember, you did not really give us an explanation for this toxic relationship between the sisters. All emotions must stem from something and I hope you give us some background or history that justifies or explains these relationships. Otherwise it won't be very realistic and it'll feel as though the family members are not characters but villainous agents whose only role in the story is to make us sympathize with the main character.

Even if I understand the sibling rivalry, I cannot figure out why the parents would behave so irrationally, especially when Melody has done nothing to receive that kind of a treatment. Either its a lack of maturity or perception on their part, or there is something in their history that we are not aware of yet.

Now, there are some minor errors and typos, but those are almost insignificant and you can catch most of them with a re-read. There is a slightly bigger problem with the punctuation, or the lack of it rather. As a result, some of the sentences seem to simply run on for a while and the meaning of the words get lost somewhere. For example:

Why don't you come inside and have a seat on the couch, your father and I would love to have a word with you about the little incident at school.

These are two sentences clubbed into one. Breaking it down like this makes it easier to read: "Why don't you come inside and have a seat on the couch? Your father and I would love to have a word with you about the little incident at school."
At times, you also switch the tense to the present. Its not very apparent because the readers is too engrossed in the direct voicing of the narrator's thoughts, but they still stick out from the main narration. For example:
Oh. My. God. I can't believe I just said all of that to them. What the hell is wrong with me.

Here you switch to the present tense suddenly and also, there will be a question mark after "what the hell is wrong with me".

Overall, this is an exciting start to the novel and I already feel very invested in the characters and the story.

Keep writing and have a great day!




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Sun Jul 24, 2022 9:18 am
MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi myjaspercat,

Mailice here with a short review! :D

This chapter made me very angry at the end. I wanted to punch Veronica and then the parents. But hey, that means you managed to get the characters across well and that I as a reader could totally put myself in Melody's shoes. Kudos for that! :D

In contrast to the first chapter, I had the impression that the focus here is much more on the relationship between Veronica and Melody. Veronica is an evil, evil sister and you manage to bring it across well and convincingly in places through the descriptions of Melody.

I also noticed that you put a new focus on Melody herself. While in the first chapter it wasn't so clear to me how I could assess the character, this sentence showed me a lot of new things:

Everyone around me chatted excitedly about whatever meaningless plans they had over the weekend while I watched them with silent envy.


Melody always seems like the understudy in this case. Not only at home, but also at school. At the same time, she is not interested in doing much with others and yet she simply wishes to be asked to participate in something, or simply to show her disinterest. I find it exciting to be able to dive so deeply into Melody on the basis of this sentence, because it is precisely this choice of words that is well chosen. And it's from the perspective of a first-person narrator, which makes it even more different. It doesn't come across as poetic or pitying, but as a fact.

What I also liked was how everything escalated towards the end and the story really got going. Definitely a good way to end the second chapter. So we got to know pretty well the situation Melody is in.

One thing I noticed while reading:

My mother cooed at her, placing her had softly onto Veronica's knee before looking back at me.


A tiny typo here with “head”. :D

In summary, you've already made me curious to see what happens next. When the next chapters appear, please tag me! :D

Have fun writing!

Mailice





Someday, everything is going to go right for you, and it will be so wonderful you won't even know what to do.
— Hannelore Ellicott-Chatham, Questionable Content