I Can’t Help You
Maddison Philippzig, Grade 9, Lilydale High School
‘I can’t help you’ but what did that really mean? Ever since the day I heard those words; I have always wanted to know what those four words actually meant. I did find out what they mean but not the easy way I had to go the hard way just to find out what four stupid words meant. So this is my story then...
It all started on the first day of the Christmas school holidays, my family and I were meant to be going away to Europe for five and a half weeks but we couldn’t because my gran’s got sick and had to go into hospital and needed someone to look after her cat, Jojo.
So like I said I was dreaming peacefully until my little ratty half-brothers came running in yelling and screaming. I screamed at them to get the hell out of my room before I kill them.
“Whatever October,” said my brother, Ben yelled back.
“Mum, Tom and Ben are in my room!” I yelled out to my mother, Sarah, who was down in the kitchen.
“Boys’ leave your sister alone,” she said back, “pancakes are ready!”
“Yeah pancakes,” the boys said excitedly as they ran out of my room and down the stairs to the kitchen.
“Hurry up October,” yells my other brother Tom from half way down the stairs.
“Coming,” I say getting out of bed.
I took my striped pyjamas off and put on my black skinny jeans, purple tee and my pink with red butterfly slippers on and went down stairs to the kitchen.
When I get down I could see my brothers sitting next to each other at one end of our 18th century wooden table, with my mum in our kitchen making her famous pancakes and my step-father Gary reading the paper while eating mum’s muesli cereal which she eats, as I enter the room, Gary’s head pokes up from his paper and he smiles at me.
“Morning sunshine,” he says cheerfully then giving mum a kiss on the cheek.
“Morning Gary,” I reply, sitting down next to him, just as mum puts breakfast in front of me then she sits on the other side of Gary.
Gary and mum have been married for seven and a half years now which makes no sense since the boys are ten almost eleven years old. Mum and dad have been divorced for almost sixteen years now. So like I said earlier we were meant to be going away.
“So?” I asked in between a mouth full of pancake.
“So what?” Gary asked, looking at me like I had three heads.
“So when we leaving for Europe?” I asked showing them I had listened to them.
“Um...” Gary said looking at mum for some support
“The thing is, Darling, is that Gran’s gone in to hospital because of a heart attack and wants us to look after her cat,” Mum said after a minute silent, “I’m sorry, Baby.”
I couldn’t believe it; Gran wants us to look after her stupid cat. Why doesn’t she just put it in a Cares Home?
“She doesn’t like Cares Homes, Honey.” Mum said. I must have spoken out loud that’s the only way she knows what I’m thinking.
“But why do we have to miss out on our trip, because Gran has to have stupid heart attack and need us to look after her bloody-stupid cat!!” I asked almost yelling at the top of my lungs.
“Calm down and watch your language young lady. I know your upset but it happens, it’s a part of life.” Gary said in his doctor’s voice.
Oh great bloody doctor life talk again.
“I’m leaving.” I said, pushing my chair back and stomping up the stairs to my room, slamming the door shut. After breathing for a few seconds, I gripped my phone and dialled Mel. ‘She’ll know what to do’ I kept thinking to myself.
“Hey girl,” a cheerful voice said at the other end of my mobile.
“Hey.” I said trying to sound cheerful too at my best friend.
“Something tells me, your piss. I’m right? Huh?” she asked, I could hear that she was smiling. So love her.
“Yep, totally pissed” was all I could say
“Let me guess...no Europe?” she asked in her physicist voice (just like her dad)
“ Yep,” I answered rolling my eyes, really pissed.
We talked for about five or so minutes than she had to hang up.
“What?!” I asked thinking who is it.
“Honey it’s just me” the voice behind my door says, “mind if I come in.”
“Sure”, I mumbled.
“Thanks,” mum said’s poking her head in, “We’re leaving for Gran’s place tomorrow morning, so pack the stuff you want to take with you. If you don’t know what to pack, then here’s the list of stuff to pack of Gran’s.” And with that she closed the door and left. I had the list in my hand so I looked at it;
To pack for Gran’s:
• 7-8 tops(short, singlet, long)
• 6 -7 pairs of pants (shorts, jeans, etc)
• 7-9 pairs of socks (ankle high, knee high)
• 1-2 pairs of PJ’s
• 3-4 jumpers (hoodie, rain coat, etc)
• shoes (thongs/crocs, runners, etc)
• dressing gowns & slippers
• Bathers, towels, etc
• Toilettes (hair brush, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc)
• I-pods, books, puzzles/ broad games, etc (chargers, no phones!!)
I looked at the list again and pulled my black suitcase out from under my bed putting it on the bed, open. I get my five favourite tops out and put them in my suitcase with my seven pairs of skinny jeans, PJ’s, eight pairs of socks, six bras, nine pairs of underwear, three towels, make-up, brush, tooth paste and toothbrush, slippers, my new-black dressing gown, three singlet tops, four hoodies, rain coat & gum boots, thongs, wallet, two books, I-pod/phone and chargers, two pairs of runners plus my running/gym kit. I closed my suitcase, looked at the time and went down for lunch.
Lunch was easy I made myself a cheese, tomato and lettuce sandwich. After eating that I then rang Mel.
“Hey Sexy!” she yells excitedly at me
“Hey Mel!” I said back
“Guess What!!” she said excited
“What?” I said smiling
“I’m going to New York City!” she said. I could hear her jumping up and down with excitement.
“Wow girl! Lucky duck you are” was all I could say.
“I know right...Oh forgot so what, you still going to your gran’s?” she asked.
“Yep. Go enjoy yourself, just not too much okay. Buy me something please?” I asked her
“Sure. I got to go, leaving tomorrow. See ya.” with that she hung up.
I spent the rest of the day doing homework and before I knew it, it was dinner time, so I pulled myself away from my desk and went down to dinner.
“So how did you spend your day, October?” asked Gary
“Talk to Mel, she’s going to NYC for the holidays, did my homework and packed for Gran’s.” was my answer.
“Cool,” was all he said
“Mum I don’t like this,” complained Ben picking at his plate of food.
“Neither do I,” Tom said following his older-twin brother’s example.
“You both eat this, so stop making up excuses,” mum said.
“But it’s icky,” was the answer she got from both boys.
Mum gave up.