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Living With The Player

Living With The Player

Crystal Oduwa

Update: 2022-06-17

Chapter 1 How It All Began

  • **CAMILA**
  • The kind policeman placed a blanket over my shivering body, I watched as our house burned to the ground. Mom and dad were a few feet away, barely keeping a grip on their control but still trying to remain strong for me. I was numb, well not fully since I had small injuries from running outside.
  • They tried to comfort me but it was of no use, my pictures, my files, everything gone in the blink of an eye and we were rendered homeless.
  • Dad went ahead to make some phone calls, trying to get us a roof over our heads for the night. We'd probably book a hotel room, for the night, but I can't help but think how expensive that'll be, it's not like we'll stay in one room. I can't do anything to help them, it's not making things better in realizing that this is all my fault. It's my fault our house caught fire and burnt to the ground. How could I be so silly and reckless?
  • Like most teenagers, I was texting on my phone happily, I got so overwhelmed that I forgot the dish on the cooker. If that were the only thing that occurred, it'll still be okay, except I didn't just forget, the dish would've burned, I'll get scolded and it'll be okay. What I'll give for a scolding at this point. Aside from my forgetful attributes, I got so invested in the chat, I carelessly tossed a napkin on the burner, I relocated to my room to grab a pen and write something down. Well, it's a napkin and it escalated quickly.
  • My irresponsibility made me unaware until the smoke detector sounded. I rushed down, the phone still in hand, paper in the other and met the kitchen on fire. Confused, I rushed back to get water, but it was far too late. It's a miracle I escaped with merely burning marks on my back and my hands which meant no sleeveless tops for me anymore, It was all my fault that everything we worked hard for was gone. All the neighbours could say we're "Sorry" then retire back to their homes. At least they still had homes.
  • "Hey Pumpkin." Dad cooed holding me. Not this time. His soft hands can't help me at this point. I'm too invested in my thoughts to consider the possibility of ever overcoming the guilt I'm feeling.
  • "I'm so sorry Dad." I apologized, breaking down in a pool of tears. How could I do this to my parents? How will I show my face after this? They'll hate me if I tell them, but if I don't, the guilt will gnaw at me for eternity. I'm so confused. Dad didn't see through my features, either that or he misinterpreted them for sadness. Not a full misinterpretation, I was sad, just not for the reason he thought. Still, he smiled caressing my cheeks. I pursed my lips and stiffened.
  • "Don't be sorry dear, It's not your fault at all, it was an accident. They happen all the time, you're not to blame at all."
  • But I am. I didn't dare to tell him the truth that I was cooking. He thought it was a leak, he assumed, I didn't make an effort to make any form of correction. Now I just feel extremely guilty.
  • I nodded at his response as he held me tighter. I kept apologizing under my breath, for an unknown reason to him.
  • We were able to salvage dad's car so we all got in. This car was all we have left.
  • "The house was insured but it'll take a while for them to cover it," Mom announced as I sniffled. She wasn't feeling too well after everyone left, her face fell and she was on the verge of breaking down, I could sense it.
  • "Are we going to a hotel or something?" I asked following my previous conclusion. At least the house has insurance. It still doesn't make it okay, but it's better than nothing at this rate.
  • "It'll take a while, we can't keep living in a hotel and the money I would use to rent an apartment will be channelled into getting you two new clothes and other things," Dad announced with a sad sigh. He just lost everything yet all he could think of was me. I choose to repay him this way? So stupid.
  • I could barely keep it in anymore, I wanted to tell him the truth so badly. Fuck the consequences and anything that comes my way. I just needed to admit.
  • "There's another option. I have an old friend. He heard the news, called to sympathise, then he kindly offered to let us stay for a while, at least until we get back on both feet. He's married with two kids but they have a lot of spare room and one of his kids is in college."
  • I sighed. Usually, this idea would not appeal to me in any way. I wouldn't want to live with anyone but now...? We had no choice. It was either this or the streets.
  • "And his other child...?"
  • I blurted out curiously.
  • "You should know him, you attend the same high school anyway."
  • We do? I barely speak to anyone, I'm sure he'll be one of the randoms. We all let out a sad sigh.
  • "Yeah. Mr Emerton is a good friend and a great person." He announced. I stood on edge. I froze at that moment. Usually, there are thousands of people bearing that last night, but with the filter given; I know it's someone from my school, and currently, there's only one person with that name. Oh, fuck me. Two disasters in one night. I buried my face in my palm and tried to act normal.
  • "I'm going to live with Dylan Emerton," I muttered slowly as he smiled, squeezing my mom's hand reassuringly.
  • "Oh no," I muttered weakly.
  • "Please not Dylan, I can't face him again." I thought as dad started the engine. I prayed to all the angels in heaven, even if I had committed the biggest sin, I squeezed my eyes and prayed that Dylan wouldn't remember me. It's been two years, so I only hope he forgot me, although the same can't be said, since I still recall him every single night. Almost like it was yesterday, but it wasn't. It's been over two years.
  • **MINUTES LATER**
  • Dad's car came to a halt at a huge mansion, we all got out. In times like this, I was thankful that I was an only child because I can't imagine what would become of us if mom and dad had more children. That's a shitty thing to say. True but still shitty. I shook my head realizing this was Dylan's fault. He's not here yet still affects me. It's his fault for sure.
  • Dad dialled a number and seconds later, the gate was opened automatically for his car to end. Wow.
  • Dad parked his car in the garage, I stepped out slowly with the two things I could grab before rubbing, my phone which was the cause alongside my participation and I also grabbed my hoodie when I went upstairs, I can't remember why did, but I'm glad. I couldn't live without it. I'd shut down if it got consumed in the fire. It's not exactly my hoodie, something borrowed which I may never return.
  • Seconds later, the door clicked open and a middle-aged man who was a replica of Dylan walked out. This is where he got every from. Behind him was a beautiful woman who looked nineteen, but I bet she was Dylan's mother.
  • "Emerton," Dad called out fondly as they shook hands. Here comes the awkwardness.
  • "I'm sorry it has to be like this but you three are welcome to stay for as long as you like." His mom announced.
  • Mom nudged my elbow as a sign for me to speak up.
  • "Hi, good evening Sir, ma'am. I'm Camila, It's nice meeting you " I greeted with a smile amidst everything that happened tonight.
  • "You make me feel so old." They said as I smiled. They seem open.
  • "You all must be tired, we should get inside, you need rest." Mrs Emerton announced as I clutched my things walking into the house.
  • I hadn't seen any sign of Dylan maybe my prayers were answered after all. Who knows? He might have gotten sucked in a wormhole.
  • "We're gonna talk to your dad Camila, you can take any room after the first one upstairs, that one belongs to Dylan." Mr Emerton instructed. I nodded slowly and went in. The house was bogus, I analyse the decor while trailing up the stairs.
  • I walked past the first room, almost tempted to take a peak. Almost.
  • I decided to stay as far away from him as possible so I picked the one at the end of the hall.
  • The room was huge with a cute bed in the middle. I didn't have time to admire the decor. I took off my clothes carefully dropping my phone on the table and went straight into the shower. The burns didn't hurt that much, the pain killers the paramedics offered kicked in at light speed.
  • I didn't know how long I took in the shower because I needed it. In there I squatted and thought about my current life situation as the water brushed down my hair.
  • When I stepped out, I tied the towel a little loosely across my chest, turned around then tried tying my wet hair in a small bun.
  • With my hands lifted in the air, the knot on the towel got loose and fell.
  • "Hey, Pretty."
  • I heard that voice that haunted my dreams. gulped as he stood up.
  • "Dylan," I muttered softly. I bent down, grabbed the towel and secured it over my body, holding it firmly to be sure.
  • “I was enjoying the view, a front view would've been better.”
  • I hissed at his audacity.
  • "You must be the girl my parents are talking about." He replied with a scoff.
  • "Why do you look familiar though?" He asked. I gulped again trying to think of a good lie.
  • My prayers were not answered.
  • ****