‘Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday to Hera, happy birthday to me’ I quietly sang while eating a little piece of apple cake I bought myself in the shop around the corner an hour ago. I turned 21 today, a big step in life, yet there wasn’t going to be a big party to celebrate for me, there wasn’t even a family dinner. It was just me, myself and I celebrating my birthday in my room. Ever since I turned 12 I celebrated my birthday all by myself. My parents had died shortly after my 11th birthday, ever since I spent as much time on my own as possibly. Horrible things had happened, things I didn’t want to be reminded of in any way. My brothers Dean and Brett tried to get me out of my room, even out of the house for years and years. They did everything they could to cheer me up, get me out of my comfort zone, make me enjoy life again, go try out new things. Nothing they ever tried really worked. I was scared for life literally and figuratively. The scar running from my cheek down to my lips reminded my every morning of who I was and what happened to me. The ache in my chest that never really went away scared me and kept me from truly living. The worst part of my life had just passed, student life. I always went to private schools and got good grades until I lost my parents, and my will to live. I had to go to school, Dean would drag me out of bed and carry me to school if he had to, as long as I got there and followed the lessons like every normal girl would. Only I wasn’t a normal girl anymore, and everyone made sure I’d keep that in mind. They’d stare at me as I walked through the hallways, they would make rude comments from the moment they thought I didn’t hear them. When someone actually tried to get closer to me they gave up the fight from the moment I snarled at them and ordered them to just leave me alone. Now I was finally done, I finished college and now I was supposed to find a job or go study some more at university. I didn’t like any of the options so ever since I left school I spent time by myself in my room. Telling Dean and Brett I was looking for a job, but in reality, I wasn’t, not even in the slightest bit, I was reading a lot or played guitar. Just when I finished my cake thinking this birthday would be just like all the previous ones, ending with me crying myself asleep, Dean suddenly entered my room. ‘Hera? Can I talk to you for a moment?’ he asked in a serious tone. While I signed he could come over and sit with me I realised he didn’t even knock, he always knocked when he came into my room. ‘Hera I got a new role in a movie, it’s pretty big’ Dean started talking with a cute but clearly nervous smile. ‘That’s good news, what movie is it going to be?’ I decided to ask hoping it would somehow break the ice a bit. Before my parents died Dean and I had always been best friends, he was my big brother, the one I could always count on, no matter what happened to me he would be there for me. After their deaths our relationship began falling apart. A few years ago dean moved in with his girlfriend and now I was all alone with Brett in our parent’s house. Don’t get me wrong Brett was a nice guy, he had a good heart, but he never really knew how to handle me. When we were younger he was more a tease, after my parents died he somehow tried to make up for that by spoiling me, yet I never truly let him which left him confused and eventually turned us into strangers. Dean came to visit as much as possibly but still it never felt the same. I felt left behind, and Dean was angry that I blamed him for moving on with his life. I never said it, but I saw it in his eyes, I noticed it in the way he behaved towards me. He no longer agreed with me, and he no longer wanted to share in my misery. Yet I had never seen him like this, this nervous and uncomfortable. ‘So I can’t tell you a lot about the movie yet. I only got the call yesterday, so there’s this actor who was casted for a role, but apparently he didn’t feel like it was his kind of movie after all so he quit and I was their second choice.’ Dean told me ‘What movie?’ I asked again ‘The Hobbit’ Dean then said in a rather quiet voice. The smile on my face now grew twice as big as it was before. ‘The Hobbit?’ I repeated much happier. ‘Yes’ Dean said with a kind smile as well ‘Who will you be playing?’ I questioned him which made him laugh ‘You’re so curious, but okay I’ll be playing Fili’ Dean said which made me look up at him in disbelief. ‘No way, no way like you’re playing in the movie adaption of one of my favourite books and then you tell me you’re playing my favourite dwarf?’ I happily yelled. ‘Yes indeed!’ Dean said in a happy tone but I could still sense he was holding back something. ‘Why aren’t you happy about it?’ I asked him a little worried. ‘Look Hera, I know you feel safe in your room and this place offers you some comfort after all the horrible things you’ve been through. But we just can’t keep waiting to live our lives just because you no longer want to live yours. Brett wants to find his own place. This house is no longer a home to him, you can’t stay here either. You can’t buy the house, you have no job, no money, you’re too young to live alone. Now I’ll be going to Wellington for a rather long time as well, so there’s no one here for you. I couldn’t let that happen so I arranged a trailer for you at the studios in Wellington where we’ll be filming for about two years.’ Dean explained himself all of a sudden. At first I just sat there and tried to let it all sink it, when I realised what he just told me anger took over ‘How could you do that? Do you honestly think I want to come with you?’ I yelled. Dean shook his head ‘No, I do not think you want to come with me, I’m simply saying that you have no choice. You must come with me, there’s nothing here for you!’ Dean then spoke whereby I wildly disagreed by shaking my head. ‘I will not join you, I’d rather be homeless then go live with you on a full movieset!’ I yelled at him. Dean stood up and sighed while he walked to the door ‘Look, I know you don’t like the idea, but I promise you the world out there isn’t as bad as you think it is. See this as an opportunity’ Dean spoke as he turned to look at me one more time. I did not want to hear anymore of it so I stood up and swiftly pushed him out before I started crying again and let myself fall against the closed door. After sitting therefor almost an hour I stood up and walked straight to bed.
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