DISCLAIMER: I do not own The Sound of Music, and the use of its story, music, and characters are merely just for fun.
My uncle did not come back for a long time after he got a hold of the money. He probably wielded it on alcohol, gambling, and women, but I do not really care. Life was better off without him, for I know, if he returns, the misery I am feeling right now will turn into downright hell.
I turn around at the sound of my name to see my cousin, Kristine, holding a laundry basket. "Do be a dear and help me fold these? I have to cook our lunch," she said with a smile. I give her back a smile and take the basket from her hands. "No problem," I reply, as I sit on the couch to fold the clothes.
"Thanks Maria. Now, I'm off to the kitchen!" she says cheerily, and disappeared into the kitchen.
I heard that tone in her voice, and realized right away that I was jealous.
I was jealous of her happiness- I would give anything to feel genuine happiness again. I would give anything to forget this sadness, to forget him, and go on with my life with a better feeling in my chest.
The problem is that I couldn't. I couldn't forget him- his eyes, his smile, his face, his voice, his kiss- and I hate it.
I hate that I still love him.
I continued folding clothes, humming a song that has always brought me a bit of joy every time I sang it. But that bit of joy was slowly sucked away with the realization that he sang it with me. He composed it with me, and I remember him again. I stop humming, and close my eyes for a while, releasing some of the stress I am feeling.
Suddenly, the door flew open.
"Kristine! Kristiiinnneee…Maria- Maria! My dinnerrrr…."
I jumped at the sound of the door slamming against the wall, but I was more surprised to see him, to see my uncle, who looked even scarier than before.
He had a crazed look in his red eyes- one filled with tiredness and some of alcohol's side-effects. He could barely stand, and he was holding a half-filled beer bottle in his hand. Moreover, he looked filthy- like he hasn't brushed, shaved, nor took a shower for weeks. His hair was horribly disheveled, his clothes were dirty, and he had a bruise on the side of his mouth.
"My dinnerrrr…" he said, his speech slurred, before he collapsed on the floor, unconscious.
I stared at him, surprised at what he'd become, and horrified of what's to come when he wakes.
"K-Kristine," I struggled to find my voice, "Kristine!" I managed to let out a shout, and Kristine hurriedly comes over, wiping her hands on her apron. "What is it?" she says inquiringly. I don't say anything, and I just look at the filthy, unconscious body on the floor. Kristine gasped.
My uncle was now asleep in his bedroom, after being cleaned and washed up by his daughter. I was now helping her prepare dinner for the three of us.
Kristine must've probably noticed my silence, for she stopped her tomato slicing and held my wrist gently. I put down the bowl of half-mashed potatoes and the fork I was holding and looked at her.
"I know you are going through a lot," she started. I stay silent, looking at her, wondering where she was going. "I also know that if my father tries to hurt you again, you will feel worse," she said. I looked at her, giving her a look that suggests that I'm confused. She closes her eyes and breathes in, and exhales. Her nose was reddening and tears were now threatening to pour out of her eyes.
"You have to leave," she blurted out.
I gave her an incredulous look. She couldn't be serious, could she?
"I know it's hard to believe, but I'm doing this for your own good. I hate seeing you hurt, and even more so if the hurt is caused by my father. I don't want you to experience that again, and I know that you must pack your bags and leave," she explained while her voice faltered.
"Kristine, what…what do you mean? You can't possibly tell me to leave! I don't want to leave you!" I said in protest. Kristine shakes her head and holds both my hands. "I know, I don't want to leave you too, but…I don't want you to suffer as well. Now, I know a place-"
"Kristine please don't let me leave-" I cut her off, putting away her hands.
"No, Maria, it's far too dangerous for you to stay here-"
"I know that! But I want to stay with you! I don't know what will happen to me without you-"
"I'm just doing this for your safety and wellbeing-"
"You're the only family I got left!"
I was met with silence. Kristine was looking at me as tears shone in her eyes. I look at those brown eyes of hers.
Eyes are the window to the soul, Maria.
I remembered those words that she said to me. She said that those words were some of the pieces of wisdom she got from her and her mother's visits to my mother while she was alive. I look into her eyes and see that she really doesn't want to do this, but…she has to.
I blink back the tears that were forming. "You're the only person I consider family, Kristine. I…I don't want to leave you-"
"I don't want to leave the only person left who could bring me happiness in this world," I said sincerely, letting a tear fall.
Kristine wiped her tears away and stood tall. "I know it's hard Maria, and I hate to do this to you but please listen to me. My father could wake up any minute and he could do something horrible to you-"
"I can handle it-"
I was stunned by her sudden sharpness. I felt a pang of guilt, for I know that I'm being selfish. I know that she just wants what's best for me, but I refuse to accept it- and I think she's slowly becoming angry.
"I know you can handle it," she continued, "But I'm tired of seeing you handle it! Do you know how hard it is? Do you know how hard it is to break a promise?"
I'm now confused. "Promise?" I asked.
"Your…" she sniffs, as she was now crying once again, "Your mother. You remember that day my mother and I visited when we learned your mother was sick?"
I nodded. She wiped a tear and held my hand. "I was nineteen years old then. She called me up to her room, and she told me that she knows that I could be a sister to you. She entrusted me that if she dies from this sickness, mother and I would take you in. I promised that I would take care of you, and protect you at all costs," she said as she now put her hands on my shoulders.
"But you do! You do protect me-"
"But you still get beaten up by him. And that is not protecting you at all costs."
I look down. I now realize the gravity of the situation- and knowing that she would go to such lengths that she would protect me, I feel nothing but love for my dearest cousin.
I then hear loud footsteps.
"I'M COMING DOWN, AND I HAVE TO HAVE MY DINNER READY ONCE I ARRIVE!"
Kristine and I haven't even cooked things yet, we were just preparing!
"WHAT IN HELL! WHERE'S MY DINNER?" I hear my uncle say, his words almost like an angry dog's growl. His footsteps were nearing us, and Kristine was pulling me to get away from there. We were walking quickly so as not to be heard, until I felt my hair get pulled and I was thrown to the floor. A painful ache met my back as I hit the tiled floor.
"YOU HAVE DONE NOTHING TO HELP IN THIS HOUSE!" he screamed, pointing at me. My body was consumed in fear as I trembled. "YOU'VE BEEN HERE FOR SO LONG AND YET YOU STILL CANNOT GIVE ME A SIMPLE DINNER?" he raised his hand and slapped my face.
"Father, stop!" Kristine cried as she went to him and tried to pull him away. "You don't tell me when to stop Kristine, I'm your father! And besides, you should have been teaching this girl how to do this simple task!" my uncle said, freeing himself from her grasp. He then picked me up by my dress' neckline. His face was inches away from mine, I could practically smell the cigarette smoke and beer meshed together in his breath.
"You better fix yourself, or it's the basement again, but worse," he spat, before throwing me once again on the floor. He was staring at me- and if I'm seeing correctly, his eyes were showing traces of lust. He then turned to walk away. I was shaking.
"Kristine, my drink," he said. Kristine quickly took a bottle from a nearby beer case and gave it to him. He took it, and opened it with the bottle opener hanging on the hanging rack placed on the kitchen wall. He took a gulp, and left.
Kristine quickly hurried to my side.
"You are leaving now, you hear me?" she said in a raspy whisper, for she was about to cry for what seemed like the nth time today. She held my still trembling body and helped me up
"B-But…Kristine…" I replied as my words were faltering from the state that I was in.
"Now," she said as she held my still trembling body and helped me up.
I watch my cousin as she was packing my things into a carpet bag. There was an occasional sniffle coming from her, as she was crying. It breaks my heart to see her like this, and it breaks my heart to leave her. I don't know what would happen to me when she's gone- I don't know if I could handle it. Memories of us flash into my mind, and I can't help but let a tear get away.
Soon, Kristine was done packing, and she then led me to the backdoor. She opened the door and she held my hand to lead me out. I stood in my place.
"Maria, come on, we have to-"
"Kristine," I said as she looked at me. I stare at my cousin's face, trying to absorb the image of her face for remembrance. I smile weakly. "Thank you…for everything," I said. I was then enveloped by two arms. I let my tears escape as I hug her back.
"I'll miss you…so, so much," Kristine said, hugging me tighter.
She then quickly broke away and led us out, closing the door. I then got an idea, and stopped her once again.
"K-Kristine, come with me. We could both leave, we could both escape from his grasp," I said pleadingly. Kristine sadly shakes her head.
"Maria…you know I can't do that. Even if he's done that to us, I can't leave him. He's my father," she replied.
"That's enough, Maria, please," she begged, squeezing my hands. I nod reluctantly. She starts running, keeping our hands together as she led me to who knows where.
"Where exactly are we going, Kristine?" I asked.
"The Nonnberg Abbey."
Hello everyone! Like I said, I will be updating soon, and lo and behold I did! Yaaaaay! Anyway, I would like to give a big thanks to the reviewers and also for your understanding on why I rewrote Past to Present. It means so much to me so thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. Again, I hope you enjoy the story and I will be updating, again, soon. Love love love you all!