As I follow her footsteps, I can hear the autumn sounds. The rustling of the leaves under my feet, the whistling of the woods almost as if whispering an untold tale. I follow her steps, like I always did, ever since I remember.
She is Suzy, my cousin, and best friend, and I am Amber. When my parents passed away, I had to live with my maternal uncle- Suzy’s father. They were affluent like us. I was pampered to the hilt. I was treated just the way Suzy was treated. Her mother, Jane, loved me probably more than she loved Suzy. Destiny, however, had other plans. Aunt Jane passed away after two years of my parents’ passing. I felt lonely again. But then something happened that changed my life forever. My uncle remarried to a wicked witch ‘Tranny’. I always called her aunt Tyranny in my head. For some reasons she loved her stepdaughter but hated me to the core, she always told me “I hate your guts”. I don’t know what she meant by that. Gradually Suzy got close to Tyranny, I saw losing my friend. I couldn’t take another loss.
One day I spilled some oil on the steps and broke a vase next to it. I stood next to the vase, like a statue. Hearing the noise, Tyranny came running soon enough- “what have you done now? you little piece of shit?”. I looked at her and smiled. She yelled some more, “what are you smiling at? I hate your guts”. It used to hurt me whenever she said that, but not this time. She jumped to strike me. I didn’t move, I didn’t flinch, I just smiled. As she struck me for the last time, all I had to do was to nudge her a little. She went tumbling down the steps. I stood up and saw her down the stairs taking her last breath, that moment I knew what she meant when she said to me ‘I hate your guts’.
It’s been 20 years, we are trekking today. We reach the campsite and we start unwinding. We are tipsy, we decide to play the game truth and dare. Everybody is enjoying, taking truths and dares. I see Alex, Suzy’s husband going to a camp. When I hear everybody yelling ‘Amber, Amber’, I look ahead. The bottle had stopped right in front of me. Suzy chimes, “Only truth for Amber. I hate her guts too much to give her dare”. Something triggers in me at that moment. I quietly leave the place and follow Alex to his camp.