Home > The Destiny of Violet & Luke (The Coincidence #3)

The Destiny of Violet & Luke (The Coincidence #3)
Author: Jessica Sorensen

Prologue

Luke

(Eight years old)

I hate running, but it always seems like I’m doing it. Always running everywhere. Always trying to hide. I hide just as much as I run, but if I don’t then bad things will happen. Like getting found. Or getting forced to do things that make me sick to my stomach. Getting forced to help her.

“Come out, come out wherever you are,” my mom singsongs as I run out the front door of my house. Her voice is slurred, which means she’s been taking her medication again. She takes her medication a lot and it doesn’t make any sense to me. I have to take medication sometimes, too, but because I get sick. Whenever she takes it, it seems to make her sicker.

She used to not be like this, well not as bad anyway. About a year ago, when my dad was still around she would act normal and not take medication. Now, though, she does it a lot and I think she might be going crazy. At least she seems that way compared to everyone else’s moms. I see them picking up my friends from school and they always look happy and put together. My friends are always glad to see them and they don’t run and hide from them, like I do all the time.

I race around to the back of the house, running away from the sound of her voice as she chases after me, looking for me. She’s always looking for me and I hate when she does—hate her sometimes for always making me run and hide. And for finding me. I usually hide underneath the bed or in the closet or somewhere else in the house, but she’s been finding me quicker lately, so today I decided to hide outside.

As I make it to the back porch stairs, I slam to a stop, panting to catch my breath. There’s just enough room for me to duck down underneath the decaying boards and hide underneath it. I pull my legs up against me and lower my head onto my knees. The sunlight sparkles through the cracks in the wood and down on me. I’m nervous because if the sun can see me, then maybe she might see me, too.

I scoot back, closer to the bottom step and out of the sunlight, and then I hold my breath as I hear the screen door hinges creak.

“Luke,” my mom says from up on the top step. She shuffles across the wood in her slippers and the screen door bangs shut. “Luke, are you out here?”

I tuck my face into my arms, sucking back the tears, even though I want to cry—she’ll hear me if I do. Then she’ll probably want to hug me better and I don’t like when she does that. I don’t like a lot of things she does and how wrong she makes my life feel.

“Luke Price,” she warns, stepping down the stairs. I peek up at her through the cracks and see her pink furry slippers. The smoke from her cigarette makes my stomach burn. “If you’re out here and you’re ignoring me, you’re going to be in trouble.” She almost sings it, like it’s a song to some game we’re playing. Sometimes I think that’s what this is to her. A game that I always lose.

The stairs creak as she slowly walks down to the bottom step. Ashes from her cigarette scatter across the ground and all over my head. A few land in my mouth, but I don’t spit. I stay as still as I can, fighting to keep my heart from beating so loudly as my palms sweat.

Finally, after what seems like forever, she turns around and heads up the stairs back to the house. “Fine, have it your way, then,” she says.

It’s never my way and I know better than to think so. That’s why I stay still even after the screen door shuts. I barely breathe as the wind blows and the sunlight dims. I wait until the sky is almost gray before I peek up through the cracks in the stairs. If I had my way I’d stay here forever, hiding under the stairs, but I’m hungry and tired.

I can’t see or hear her anymore so I lean forward, poke my head out from under the stairs. The coast looks clear so I put my hands down on the dirt and crawl out onto the grass. I get to my feet and brush the dirt and the rocks off my torn jeans. Then, taking a deep breath, I run around to the side of the house and hurry quickly up the fence line until I make it to the front yard.

I’ve never liked where we live that much. Everyone’s grass always looks yellow and all the houses look like they need to be repainted. My mom says it’s because we’re poor and this is all we can afford thanks to my dad leaving us and that he doesn’t care and that’s why he never comes to see me. I’m not sure I believe her since my mom’s always telling lies. Like how she promises me time and time again that this will be the last time she makes me do things I don’t want to do.

I stand in the front yard for a while, figuring out where to go. I could climb through my sister’s bedroom window and hide out there until she gets home, then maybe she can help me. But she’s been acting strange lately and gets annoyed whenever I talk to her. She’s lucky because mom never seems to notice her as much as she notices me. I don’t know why. I do my best to blend in. I don’t make messes, keeping the house clean and organized like she likes it. I keep quiet. I stay in my room a lot and organize my toys in categories, just the way she likes them, yet she’s always calling for me. But Amy seems invisible to her.

She’s so lucky. I wish I were invisible.

I decide to go for a walk down to the gas station at the corner where I can get a candy bar or something because my stomach hurts from hunger. But as my feet touch the sidewalk, I hear the front door swing open.

“Luke, get in here right now,” she says in a frenzy, snapping her fingers and pointing to the ground below her feet. “I need you.”

I freeze, wishing I were brave enough to take off running down the sidewalk. Just leave. Never come back. Sleep in a box because a box seems so much nicer than my sterilized house. But I’m not brave and I turn around and face her just like she wants me to. She’s holding the door open, her hair pulled up messily on top of her head and she’s wearing this purple tank top and plaid shorts that she always wears. It’s pretty much like a uniform for her, expect she doesn’t have a job. Not a good one anyway where she has to wear a uniform. Instead, she sells her medicine to creepy men who are always staring at her or Amy when she walks out of her bedroom.

She crooks her finger at me. “Get in here.”

An unsteady breath leaves my mouth as I trudge to the front door, a nauseating feeling of puke rising in my stomach. It happens every time she needs me. I get sick to my stomach at the thoughts of what she’s going to make me do creep inside my head.

When I reach the stairs, she moves back, not looking happy, but not looking sad either. She holds the door open for me, watching me with her brown eyes that remind me of the bag of marbles she made me throw away because they didn’t look right. Once I’m inside, she closes the door and shoves the deadbolt over that’s at the top. She fastens the small chain and then clicks the lock on the doorknob before turning around.

 

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