Oh the angst! My first book ever!

I have pasted the first book I ever wrote below. I will add bits as I finish checking them over. They’re unedited, have never been proofed and contain no end of inaccuracies, mistakes, grammatical errors…but it’s writing in its purest form. I wrote it between the ages of 16-20 I think, so most of the stuff is out of date, ie music, movies etc. It is over 8 years old though!

I have posted it for two reasons.

1. The angsty-ness of it is slightly mind blowingly hilarious. If I had a bad day, my characters had a bad day.

2. So you can see how writing progresses. I hope to god that the stuff I write now is at least slightly more sane and slightly less angsty.

Be warned; there is A LOT of swearing in this. There are adult themes, language and situations. If any of the following offend you, please do not read;

self harm, alcoholism, sex, abuse, profanity etc etc ad infinitum

What’s it all about? Basically when I was in Sixth form (16-18) I went to an all girl’s school. We had a school trip to Greece with the all boys school across the road. It was…an experience. I became completely OBSESSED with a guy on the trip called Ross. When I got back, I started writing a diary of the trip as it had depressed me so much. He’d ended up getting with a classmate called ‘Mel’ (All name shave been changed so I don’t get sued) so I wrote the trip from HIS perspective, and how he fell in love with me ‘Rain’ afterwards. The Greece trip is accurate (as much as it can be without me actually going inside his head) but everything that happened afterwards is pure angsty fiction! It is probably the most depressing pile of fluff ever written, but someone, somewhere might learn something from it (how not to write a story) I never intended for it to be seen, it was more a case of trying to get the feelings out before I started a cult in honour of him. (I’m joking.) The funny thing is, he ended up marrying ‘Mel’ and they’ve just had a kid together. Very weird. ‘Ross’ if you’re reading this, it is in no way about you. It is purely coincidence. lol.

The Random Ramblings of a Rain Dancer’s Lover

In the Beginning

She told me recently that she called herself Rain. In truth the second she said that I thought I had never heard a more perfect name for her. She was Rain. She could be cold, she caused the sky to darken over sometimes, she could cause complete devastation…. but she was also completely refreshing and revitalising. She was the light spring rain that left the world renewed. And sometimes -when she didn’t think you were watching- you could catch her dancing in it.

Maybe that’s what drew me to her. Maybe. I’ve always been one for the unconventional; the quiet girl or the shy girl, the girl who needed a shoulder to cry on, or who carried so much emotional baggage you thought it may crush her. The girl who needed attention, or drawing out of herself. That was Rain I suppose. Interesting… that’s possibly the best description I can give. Whereas I believe her to be a goddess, when I first met her I can’t say I thought she was outwardly stunning. That’s changed now of course, but before she was…well interesting.

Blue eyes which weren’t really the colour of anything I can think to compare them to. Too pale for cornflowers, too dark for the sky on a clear day, or something as equally over sentimental. She has hair that comes down midway to her thighs, which is dark blond with thousands of shades in it, I’m not even going to try to describe it. I’m no poet; that became evident from day one, but she was interesting. 5ft 5 on a good day, all combat boots and claws. I can’t describe them as nails as she has a habit of using them as weapons when the need arises. I have the marks to vouch for that sentiment.

Where did I meet her? Hmmmm….I know I must have met her before, but as I say she doesn’t stand out from the crowd in a ‘stunning, beautiful, Venus-type’ of way. I think I met her before we stepped on the coach to Greece. Maybe I should explain.

I studied Ancient History for A level at an all boys grammar school. There was the opportunity to go to Greece for a week with the girl’s school across the road so I decided it would be cool. Solely for educational purposes you understand. Anyway, one of my female friends was going, and due to the crush I’d had on her for… too long, I figured it would be good to get to know her better, away from all her friends which were trying to hook us up. Ick. So it was arranged. Half term in February, one week travelling Greece. Sounded like fun; check out some ancient sites, make some new friends, get to know a certain someone a little better… Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the type to take advantage, it’s just….she was so pretty and liked the same things as me and the usual junk. Mel; black hair with pink streaks. Mel; 5ft 3 smoker, loves David Bowie and terrible cult movies.

Anyway…..

It came to the day when we  would be heading off. The morning was cold, I was feeling sick and all in all it wasn’t going too well. Got to the school coach park and there she was, trying to get rid of her mum, but failing miserably. It was just plain….cute (God I hate that word! I’m going soft.) She was playing with her suitcase tags and trying to rush her mother off, who just wouldn’t take the hint. I stood apart until her mother had left and teased her about it. We talked for a while, about completely pointless crap, when she mentioned she hated flying. She has pink bits in her hair and she hates flying? I had to laugh, call me a jerk but I couldn’t help it. She really wasn’t the perfect example of a Goth girl. So we chatted about more pointless crap then we were told we had to get on the coach.

I was rounding up my things when ‘she’ walked past. Mel was already boarding the coach,  so I had an excuse to look at her. She was nothing exceptional, but she caught my eye. She saw me staring and blushed furiously before hiding among the other people waiting to get on the coach.

Got to the airport, the journey was toooooo long. Iron Maiden saved me from death by boredom.

Checked in, did all the other crap that needed doing before we went through customs and the evil metal detector. Mel went through with no problems, me too. Then ‘she’ went through. The alarm sounded and her big blue eyes widened slightly. A security guard approached her. By way of explanation she lifted up her trouser leg to show she was wearing combat boots.

“You wear combat boots?” The guard asked incredulously.

She grinned and nodded, raising an eyebrow when he waved the metal detecting ward over her. It went crazy over her boots so he let her through. She caught me staring again, but broke eye contact by fixing her trouser leg. A guy behind was laughing that such a little thing wore steel capped army boots.

“RAF actually.2 she shot back before grinning at him and skipping off. (She has to be the only person I’ve met who can skip in combat boots, and that’s another thing, I don’t think she ever actually walks. She either skips, dances, or just recently…slinks….)

She was lost in the crowd again and chatted to some people before we had to get on the plane. As it turned out, Mel was to sit next to her, one row diagonally behind me. I admit I was spying on them.

“You’re afraid of flying? That’s ok, it’ll be over before you know it. Taking off and landing are the most interesting bits and then it’s just…well….flying.“ she giggled slightly. “Flying is the safest way to travel.”

“I have no problem with flying, it’s the possibility of falling that I have problems with.” Mel said through gritted teeth, while clenching the arm rests.

“We’ll be fine. If anything does go wrong, we’ll be dead before we know it.” she said which caused Mel to smile slightly.

Mel caught me spying and stuck her tongue out.

I did the only thing a true gentleman should do. I took out a pen, grabbed a sick bag and drew a picture of a plane crashing and handed it to Mel.

She snorted loudly and handed it to ‘her.’

“Gee what a sweetheart.” she said giggling when she saw it and shot me a look as if to say ‘that was really helpful!’ I grinned and turned back to my seat.

The rest of the flight was soooo boring there are no words. Again, I was saved by Iron Maiden. Occasionally I’d spy on Mel and ‘her’ (I didn’t know her name at this point.) and saw ‘she’ was reading a book and listening to music, while Mel was sinking her nails further and further into her armrests. Every now and then ‘she’ would check Mel was ok before returning to her book.

Finally arrived in Greece. Thank god. I hate flying it’s dull as hell. Did all the luggage crap, lost sight of Mel and ‘her’, who by this point had gotten to be friendly. I found out that although they’re in the same Classical Civilisations class, Mel sits next to Rea (Another friend of mine who keeps trying to hook Mel and I up) Rea and ‘her’ know each other and are quite friendly, but she’d never really spoken to Mel.

Got on a coach…….hate coaches……long coach journey….too long. Got to hotel in Athens where we all dumped our things before going down for dinner. Mel sat with ‘her’ and Meg who is kinda friendly with ‘her’ and Mel. Mutual friend. Kinda. The food was…..not nice. I don’t want to offend, but I’m a picky eater, and I’m English. Apparently we are notoriously bad at experimenting with food. I’m no exception.

Once dinner (if you could call it that, I’m not even sure what it was supposed to be!) we went to our rooms (I shared with two other guys. No mixing with girls….sigh!)

About an hour after we had been forced to our rooms I heard giggling outside in the corridor. In fact I heard lots of giggling….and running. I’m sorry to say my curiosity has more often than not gotten the better of me, so I opened the door to see what was happening. Several girls flew past my door, giggling so much they looked as though they were about to fall over, the rear taken up by ‘her’ laughing so hard she couldn’t breathe. I noticed they were all just wearing socks as they ran past, then straight into the elevator. Five minutes later they were running past the door again, close to hysterical.

Mel told me after that the lifts were really small and old and when you went down it made you feel really light headed and dizzy which was what was making them laugh so much. So they’d get in one elevator, ride it up a floor, run to the other one and ride it down. They did this apparently for about half an hour. I’m just upset that they didn’t invite me, but I guess I didn’t know them well enough.

Next day we were loaded onto the coach again, (it became a common occurrence) to the delights of Athens. I.e. the Acropolis. Spent the day hiking up the side of the mountain, nearly being attacked by rabid dogs (ok I have no proof they were rabid, but it sounded good) which lived on the site and being driven crazy by Tom who here after shall be known as ‘Olive Tree Boy.’

There is a myth that two Greek gods fought to be the patron of Athens. Athene, goddess of wisdom and war to some extent, and Poseidon god of horses, Earthquakes and the sea. The people of Athens (then not called Athens) said that which ever god gave them the most useful gift would be patron. Poseidon gave them a pool of water, and Athene gave them the Olive tree which is used for EVERYTHING in Greece. Athene won, city named Athens in her honour. There is a building on the Acropolis which has the Olive Tree and pool given by the gods. This guy, Tom (I can’t say I really know him that well, but I am sharing a room with him….ARGH!) asked if the tree was the original one from thousands of years ago. He then proceeded to draw, photograph and describe the tree in great detail in his diary. Simple minds….simple pleasures apparently. Well it amused ‘her.’ She was giggling with Mel about it all week, and ‘she’ is the one I overheard calling him ‘Olive Tree Boy‘. Mwa hahaahahahahahaha. It really doesn’t take much to amuse me.

So after traipsing around the Acropolis for over an hour (it was windy and cold!!!) we were forced into the museum on the site. The sad thing about this was I didn’t get to see ‘her’ standing on the edge of the Acropolis, having her hair dance in the wind like some living Venus. Shame there was no Oyster shell or nudity, but hey….it was a school trip. I can’t say I know what she was staring at, but she was fascinated by something. Maybe it was the view. I’m not one for sentimental crap like that. Well… I wasn’t then.

So anyway, we’re in this museum and I hear a voice telling Meg to cause a distraction while the other person steals one of the statues. It ends up ‘she’ is a thief! Well, obviously ‘she’ didn’t carry it out, the statue was bloody heavy by the look of it and ‘she’ is only a little thing. (She’d kick my ass if she ever heard me describe her like that!) ‘She’ caught me watching her and blushed again, before hiding behind the ‘Peplos Kore.’ (The statue she wanted to liberate.) I’d lost sight of Mel so decided to track her down. Instead I found Jesus’ double…and he spoke French! It was so surreal and creepy. I’m in no way religious, but everyone has this image in their head of what they expect Jesus to look like….Longish beard, tanned skin, robes, sandals….and here he was right in front of me! Even carrying a child!!! It was beyond scary. I thought I was having some deep religious experience when I was engulfed in bright light, but then I realised it was on of the guards opening a blind.

Got out of scary museum, had lost Mel and ‘her.’ We all had to meet up in the Agora (market place) for lunch and to check numbers, so I made my way down there to find ‘her’ feeding the lunch the hotel had made us to the feral cats and dogs. She looked to all the world like Doc. Dolittle, stroking and playing with these wild creatures, they were all purring and rubbing about her ankles. Mel was sat some way apart looking at her in disapproval.

“They could be rabid you know. Or worse.…” Mel called over.

“They’re fine Mel. Just make sure to tell a member of staff if I start foaming at the mouth.” she grinned and turned back to the veritable crowd of animals gathered at her feet.

Mrs. Cadwalader (the girl’s school Classics teacher) suggested she not feed the animals as they would follow her around all day, so she picked up the rest of her lunch and sneakily pitched it into a nearby bush. Mel followed suit. I was inclined to join in, the food was…not nice is the most polite way to put it.

Visited the Temple of Hephaistos after lunch. Mrs. Walla walla (Cadwalader) was right. A whole herd of animals followed ‘her’ up to the site. She just shrugged her shoulders and pretended she didn’t know why she was being followed, occasionally bending down to stroke a cat or play with a dog when the teachers weren’t looking.

Later we walked into Athens town and took a weird tram up the side of a mountain to visit a church on top. I think it was called Lykabettos but I wouldn’t put money on it. The view was incredible. I mean even I found it breathtaking although I would never admit it. The way down was long steps lined with cacti and various other exotic plants. I think it was testosterone or some other hormonal imbalance that possessed me to pick up a bloody cactus. What the hell was I thinking? My mind was soon taken off it when Olive Tree Boy came skipping down the steps. I actually mean skipping! As in like a little girl. ‘She’ came skipping behind him, tilting her head from side to side with each step. I thought she was being serious until Mel caught up with me laughing. ‘She’ was apparently teasing Olive Tree Boy as she had affectionately named him. He had thought she was joining in and went skipping off ahead, then stopped for her to catch up. ‘She’ stopped, turned to wait for Megs and hid with her until he was gone. Megs was wetting herself laughing. ‘She’ just giggled. Mel teased me about the stupidity of picking up the ‘bloody’ cactus. I got no sympathy for the fact that I had stupid little holes in my hand from the stupid bloody thing! Mel said that ‘she’ had been really worried. Mawahahahahhaha. I got sympathy! Although she didn’t actually show it to me, she showed it to Mel as a substitute for me. Apparently she had offered to take the needles out with her ‘claws’ but Mel had said it was my own fault and I should be ignored. Gee thanks.

After we returned to the hotel we had another wonderful dinner (i.e. we all spread it around the sides of the plate so it looked as though we had eaten some…or in Mel’s case, covered the plate with her napkin.) Once dinner was done, we had some time before curfew so I followed Mel back to the room she shared with Magrat (Meg) and ‘her.’

Magrat is a chatty so and so, but really sweet (can’t believe I just used that word!) Mel and Megs kept me entertained while ‘she’ was absorbed in her book and deafening herself with music from her walkman. At this point I wasn’t interested in her, but at the same time I was. Something in me just couldn’t accept being ignored by her, or at least not having her attention in some part. I tore the cover from the diary we had been given (to record the trip) folded it into a paper aeroplane and threw it at her, it landed in her lap on top of the book she was reading. She looked up at me and raised an eyebrow before tearing a chunk from the plane with her teeth and chewing it contemptuously.

How is a person supposed to respond to that? She threw the remains back at me before smiling sweetly and returning to her book, still chewing the rest of the plane. Mel’s jaw was on the ground, Megs looked as though she expected nothing less and I….well I just stared, as that was all I could really do. I decided to attempt another approach. The mature person that I am was suddenly craving her attention, even though I had Mel’s. I threw the plane back. She screwed it up in a ball (and without looking up from her book) threw it back. It hit me in the middle of my forehead.

Hmmmmmm…. I looked at the cover of the book. ‘The Lazarus Heart’ by Poppy Z Brite. Apparently it’s a story based on the film The Crow. Woah! A secret Goth! ‘She’s’ all smiles and blue eyes, but inside she’s a Goth! Yay! (Again, can’t believe I just used that word) And, it ends up she was listening to The Cure! 80’s retro. Certainly not a book to be judged by her cover!

The rest of the evening was spent chatting with Mel and Megs, but I think they could tell I wasn’t really listening. Was I falling for ‘her?’ That was something for me to think about…..

Day 2

The next day we moved hotel to Delphi. I can’t say I remember much about this hotel, with the exception of the huge storm which caused a power cut! Luckily it was during the day so it was still light, but due to the way the hotel was built it was like being underground. The staff put candles everywhere but this wasn’t much help.

I remember during the storm the girls were all screaming or running around like headless chickens, all afraid when the power went off. How sad. Mel, Megs and ‘her’ were excessively calm about the whole thing. In fact I remember ‘she’ was very excited. ‘She’s’ apparently infatuated with storms and dragged Mel and Megs out in it! The rain was torrential! I mean flooding type rain, but she was running out with Mel and Megs in tow. They came back twenty minutes later, drenched to the bone, ‘her’ hair tied back in a braid that stuck to her skin, but ‘she’ had the sweetest smile on her face, it was apparent she had enjoyed the hell out of it.

It was then I realised that ‘she’ was certainly not ‘normal’ in any boring sense of the word. I went to their room to see how they were to find ‘she’ had opened all the windows wide, along with the shutters and was standing in the frame watching the rain coming down. The lightning lit up her silhouette every few moments. My god, that’s an image that’ll be imprinted upon my mind until I die. I can assure you of that. The stupid thing is it was after all this happened -once we were back home in ‘Jolly old England’- that I thought back on this. None of it meant all that much while we were there. I was more interested in Mel. But she did intrigue me, fascinate me. I know Mel caught me watching her more than once. She was like… I don’t know how to describe it. Like some poor caged bird that you can sit and watch for hours, but feel a detachment from because you are free and human. Maybe. I talk such crap. But that’s the only way I can think of describing it.

Anyway, we were sat in the room talking. I was sat on Meg’s bed, getting biscuit crumbs everywhere. (we had all brought food with us, thank goodness. None of us had eaten since coming here.) The room was tastefully decorated with a furry, lime-green rug! Yum! But it was relatively spacious, with shutters on the windows and a view onto the street below. As fascinated with ‘her’ as I was, she was equally fascinated with the storm and the view below. Mel had tried talking to her, but she wasn’t really listening.

“Not developed Rabies yet then?”

“Hmm?” She turned from the window, still dripping wet. “No! Gee thanks Mel. Am I foaming at the mouth or something?” she grinned and skipped past into the bathroom.

‘She’ was back a few moments later, with her hair down and a towel in her hands. It was the first time I’d seen her with her hair down and it was something. It’s so long! She shook her head, causing droplets to fly in all directions, mainly hitting Mel as that was her target.

“Clearly I’m not wet enough!!” Mel said pulling at her jeans that were stuck to her skin.

She grinned and returned to the window.

I would write about Delphi, how peaceful it was and how it seemed to touch something in ‘her’ the way everything seemed to cause her awe. But that’s not me. I’m not Shakespeare, hell I’m not even Seamus Heaney (A-Level English….ewe…) I’ll stick to what I know. Delphi was….quiet, interesting, but at the same time boring. It just didn’t hit home that these ruins were thousands of years old or anything deep like that. The main thing I remember was a guy with a whistle who would scream at us in Greek if we got too close to the ruins. Also there was Louise who insisted on posing like a statue when she found an abandoned statue base. The guy with the whistle went insane and started running down the site towards us screaming in Greek. It was funny. Ok it was hysterical, but more than that I remember Mel and ‘her’ reaction to it. Mel was trying not to laugh and ‘she’ was silently giggling, covering her mouth as Louise ran away from the Whistle dude. She has laughter lines around her eyes when she smiles. Very cute, but again I didn’t notice this until recently and looked back at the trip. The rest of the day involved pitching our packed lunches off a cliff and travelling to Olympia.

Oh Olympia. Land of the Olympics….apparently. The hotel was ok. The food was the worst yet! Mash potato (that looked like cement) and Greek yoghurt. One of the other girls spent dinner building the Acropolis out of mash potato (the waiters were not amused) and when dessert came everyone spread the yoghurt around the sides of their dishes.

I was sat on a table opposite the one Megs, Mel and ‘she’ were sat on. I had the perfect view of how Mel’s face screwed up when she sampled the yoghurt. And how ‘she’ took a mouthful, cringed, then noticed a waiter was watching so smiled and tried to swallow it, although it looked as though she were about to be sick. She managed to swallow it, under the beady eye of the waiter, but spent the rest of her time trying to make it look as though she had eaten it when in fact it was hidden under a napkin. Mel and ‘she’ discussed it in great detail, techniques of how not to eat while looking as though you are enjoying it. The sad thing was Megs actually enjoyed it. Mel and ‘her’ tried to bribe her to eat theirs, but after they had liquidised it by mixing it around the sides of the dish, no amount of money would have convinced Megs.

You may be asking yourself why I am still calling ‘her’ ‘her.’ Yes I did know her name at this point, and yes it is rude to call ‘her’ ‘her’ but…well….sigh! Ok I’ll call her Rain. Rain it’ll be from now on, just for those who are easily confused.

After dinner we went up to our rooms. Not much happened, just chatted to the guys I was sharing with (complete asses!!!!)

22nd Feb.

7.30 Breakfast. (ick!)

8.30. Put cases on coaches.

Visit site and Olympia Museum. (Oh joy oh rapture)

Olympia taught me why girls get pissed at guys. Competitiveness. For those of you who don’t know; metalers, Goths and anyone in-between will not waste any effort they don’t have to, this includes races, or general competitiveness (unless it’s in a drinking game) As I fall into the above category, I wasn’t one of the guys who decided to show-off in front of the girls by running a race down the length of the running track at  Olympia. Thank god! You could hear the females bitching about how pathetic it was when guys felt the need to compete in this way. It was supposed to be a bit of fun, but no…there is no such thing as fun when there may be females watching! The guys were running as thought their lives depended upon it and I agreed with the ladies, it was pathetic. None of them were impressed. In fact quite the opposite. It did me a favour though as the girls seemed to find it so attractive that I wasn’t competitive like the others. It was freaky to say the least. Suddenly the females were looking at me as one of their own in a very scary way. In a kind of ‘he’s one of us, but we can still fancy him’ kinda way. At least that’s how I understand it now. I was told recently by Rea that at least five girls had crushes on me during that trip…and apparently afterwards as well. I didn’t believe her, but all of the girls have since admitted it. Scared doesn’t come close to what I was. Maybe it’s because I was the only guy not acting as though I hadn’t seen a female in years and didn’t feel the need to show off and get their attention- which ended up getting me attention. Is it me, or are females excessively complicated creatures?

Pylos!!!! Dull as hell. Visited Nestor’s palace. Basically it’s a site without ruins or any signs of civilisation apart from his bath, which is far too small to be a bath, so is in actual fact probably just a ditch in the ground. After Olympia it was a serious let down. Not that Olympia sent shivers through my spine, but at least there were things to look at. At Nestor’s palace there was…..wait for it….a hole in the ground and nothing else…..not even a dude with a whistle to scream at us. No bases for Louise to pose on. Nuffin! Rain made me smile though, she was giving Megs and Mel a fake guided tour, making up her own facts just to make them smile.

“Please keep all possessions with you at all times, the company does not take responsibility for lost belongings. Please keep all limbs inside the vehicle while it is in motion, and no flash photography.…” The camp hand gestures had them in stitches (and myself I’ll admit) It was a side I’d never seen before and it was sweet as hell. Mel was also very sweet in the way she was trying not to giggle at Rain’s description of ‘the ditch’ i.e. Nestor’s bath.

“This is a hole in the ground made by construction workers to the site several years ago. We figured we could milk you saps into thinking it’s a historical site, and now that you’ve paid I must remind all our customers of our ‘no refund’ policy.”

Thank god the attendants to the site didn’t speak much English.

Back to the hotel for more delightful Greek cuisine. I swear I must have lost at least half a stone already! All I’ve eaten is biscuits that Megs, Rain and Mel have supplied me with (they pretend they aren’t maternal, but they secretly fuss and try to feed me up, although Rain seemed excessively shy around me)

Pylos hotel. I don’t even remember this hotel! How sad is that! Oh my god! Amnesia about the hotel. Couldn’t have been very impressive if I can’t remember it.

NOOOO! Wait!! I doooo!! This hotel sucked and rocked at the same time. The rooms were single rooms with three or four beds squeezed in which meant that no one could move between them and had to climb over them all to get to the door or bathroom. ARGH! Had to share with Olive Tree Boy and some other guy who was equally scary.

I found out that evening that Megs had decided to entertain Rain and Mel by doing her Mambo No 5 dance (I can’t even begin to imagine this!) on the beds as they were so close together. I missed the whole thing unfortunately, but apparently the floor below could hear Megs jumping up and down on the beds and doing impressions of the guy from Hot Chocolate by  singing ‘You Sexy Thing.’ in a freakily deep voice! The things I missed!

At dinner that evening something really sad happened which came close to breaking my heart, but I’d never admit it to her face. It had been a running joke all week that Megs is a little clumsy with the water jug at dinner. Rain had been teasing her and decided to pour the water for them all. The lid wasn’t on securely and the whole jug spilt out onto her lap. Faith and some other girls began to applauded sarcastically, but it was evident she was more embarrassed than she had ever been in her life. She couldn’t make eye contact with anyone all evening and after dinner wouldn’t speak to anyone. I had invited the girls up to my room to talk for a change, but Rain wouldn’t come. Even though I had no romantic feelings for her I felt so sorry for her. All evening I kept asking Mel to go check on her. She refused saying it would be better to leave her alone for the time being. We were gone for about four hours and she sat in the room alone. She told me recently that she had been sat in her room praying for me to come down and talk to her. Why me? I asked her. She just smiled secretively and changed the subject.

23rd Tolon.

Today we were supposed to visit a church of some description but due to it being closed we couldn’t. Thank god. We spent the day on the coach! I was so sick of the coach by this point. More often than not we were on the coach, going between hotels or sites or just cause the teachers were sadistic!!!

At one point, we were driving through the mountains where the roads were hairpin bends, and the driver had a mobile in one hand, something else in the other and was steering with his elbows! Reassuring I can tell you. We also had snow coming in through grates in the roof which none of us could understand, but it made us smile for all of five minutes until we all got wet when it melted.

It was today I noticed a change in Rain. She seemed very distant, avoiding Mel and I. The thing was, none of us had done anything to offend her to our knowledge, so we let her do her own thing without hassling her. I was quite disappointed as I was really warming to her at that point, but I’ve never understood females so I just assumed she wanted space.

We stopped at a service station due to the females’ bladders (something I am yet to understand. Is it that they drink more than guys? Or are their bladders smaller? It seems that every single time we pass a toilet they have to go!)

It was then that we heard the infamous story of how Faith had managed to give herself an electric shock with her worry beads and batteries. I didn’t even ask, I though it safer.

We  visited some god forsaken ‘pot’ museum in the middle of nowhere which was just two rooms filled with pots. We sat on a coach for two hours to see pots. The teachers were fascinated in an obsessive way! They spent ages in there, while we all walked quickly around the rooms before heading out into the sunshine to talk. Anything was better than staring at pots. They weren’t even nice looking! Most of them were just fragments! Ugly grey fragments! Sigh!

We got back to the hotel (the hotel was perfect, full of models of the statues at the Acropolis. We were upgraded due to the fact that the hotel we were supposed to be staying in was being knocked down or something.)

We were all sat in the hotel lobby which has bamboo furniture and tables, very exotic. Anyway, Megs, Mel, me, Rain and Anna (she was sharing a room with them as they had a bigger room this time.) were lounging around when Mel runs off for a cigarette having spent an hour tearing up pieces of paper due to nicotine withdrawal symptoms. I was tempted to join her, but have been trying to quit. I was also intrigued that Rain was talking to us again. She picked up a piece of the paper and began to fold it.

“Whatcha doing?” I asked with an eyebrow raised.

“Wait and see..…” she dropped the finished butterfly on the table in front of me.

I picked up a piece of paper and made a boat, pretty basic compared to her butterfly, but oh well. The butterfly was nominated for captain of the ship and they sailed away in a sea we made in an ash tray. The boat sank and Rain managed to save her butterfly, its soggy wings sticking to her fingers. She giggled. Mel came back, Rain stopped smiling.

The rest of the evening Rain was nearly silent, curled up in a chair, finding great fascination in anything that didn’t involve looking at Mel or me. I didn’t understand it then and I can’t say I understand it now.

Sarah came over and chatted. I was later informed by Rea that Sarah had a huge crush on me. What can I say? I’m just irresistible…..not! She’s nice enough though.

I will admit my attention was divided between Rain and Mel. Mel clearly didn’t like me looking at her, but I just wanted to know she was ok. Silence, all evening. She left to go to bed early, not even looking at me as she left. I hated that. I just wanted to scream at her or something. Well now I wish I had, back then it was only a minor problem. Lay awake thinking about Mel for most of the night, although Rain crept into my thoughts on several occasions. To say I was confused would have been an understatement.

24th

We didn’t do much today. Everyone was allowed out of the hotel to go for a walk or whatever. I went out with Mel and Mags, wishing Megs wouldn’t follow us around, and that Mel wouldn’t smoke around me. I admit I was weak. I stole one of her cigarettes and sat on the beach smoking it. It felt like heaven after so long. I felt guilty afterwards, but not enough to stop me from taking a second one when Mel offered it.

Mid afternoon I was beginning to feel ill, lack of food? Lack of sleep? Having smoked after so long? I don’t know, but I felt like hell. When Mel offered for me to come back to their room I agreed. I felt terrible and tend to seek out the company of females when I feel ill, they’re sympathetic, usually.

We got back to Mel’s room to be greeted by Anna. Rain was out on the balcony giggling.

“What’s up with her?” Mel asked irritably.

“She’s flooded the bathroom.” Anna said smiling.

“She what?”

Mel opened the bathroom door to find the floor completely soaked.  Towels were laid out to mop up the worst of it. I couldn’t help but grin. Mel shot me a look which quickly wiped the look off my face.

Rain came in, drying her hair with a towel, a smile on her face, but it faded the second she set eyes upon me.

“Mel, I’m really sorry, but I flooded the bathroom.” she flinched expecting to be told off but Mel just shrugged.

“Whatcha watching?” Mel looked up at the TV.

“Euro sport.” Anna said smiling. “We’re trying to translate the other languages.”

“What, before or after you flooded the bathroom?” she shot Rain a look.

Rain looked at her bare feet.

“I said I was sorry.” she sighed before heading back into the bathroom.

I slumped down on one of the double beds (the girls had to share beds…..kinky….)

Rain came out of the bathroom to hang the wet towels on the balcony. Everyone was sat on the other bed so she had to sit….lie….next to me.

It’s amazing the things you notice about a person, like the way her feet were pointed when she sat down (ballet dancer) and the way she was very careful not to shake the bed when she sat on it. I caught her looking at me so returned the glance.

“Are you ok? You look really pale.” She said looking very concerned.

It was more than I’d had from Mel who seemed to find it more of an inconvenience, no sympathy, she hadn’t even spoken to me since we got back.

“He’s ill.” Mel said, not taking her eyes from the screen though it was obvious she wasn’t interested. She said it as though it were the most obvious thing in the world, though she didn’t seem to care.

“I’m sorry to hear that.” she said looking at me through wet eyelashes. “I have some medicine if you want. If it’s just a stomach upset or something? I have aspirin as well….?” She looked genuinely worried.

“He’ll be fine.” Mel said possessively from where she sat.

I just smiled. There wasn’t much else I could do.

“Well let me know if Mel changes her mind.” she said with a grin.

Now I look back upon it, it must have been jealously that Mel was showing. She was relatively shy, especially when it came to showing affection towards people. Maybe she wanted to be sympathetic but didn’t want them all to know that we were getting together. Although they all knew….

We came back to England the next day. Mel and I got together and I didn’t see much of Rain after that.

But I’ll always remember how I’d occasionally see her when I was with Mel. One day we were stood outside her friend’s house during lunch break at school. Rain walked past with her friends, her laughter catching my attention. I knew it straight away. Mel had her face buried in my jacket, her arms wrapped around me, when I saw Rain. Her laughter died when she saw me. So did her smile. It’s something I’ve never understood.  Maybe I never will. I always seemed to see her when I was with Mel, and she always looked pained to see me.

Mel and I broke up some months later. I dated Rea, Emily, Becka, all my female friends. In truth it was slightly incestuous, but I didn’t want anything deep after Mel. We’d been relatively serious and I just wanted to have fun after that. Lust not love. Drowning sorrows in the bottom of a beer bottle, hopelessly wishing for something more, but never sure what it was I wanted so I never found it. I didn’t know what it was to be happy, so I drank, smoked, slept with any willing female. I didn’t care. I couldn’t help it. I was having problems at home. I didn’t want people’s sympathy, I just wanted to forget about it.

I even forgot about Rain until one day when I was dating Rea. We were in town. god alone knows why, but we saw her holding hands with some guy. He looked like a complete jerk. I didn’t know him. I didn’t want to. But suddenly I felt excessively jealous. Jealous about a girl I hadn’t seen in months, or even felt anything for. Rea noticed, she asked what was wrong. I told her nothing. But I couldn’t shake the image of her hand in his. His arm snaking around her waist. The problem was it got worse. I’d seen them together for all of five minutes and suddenly I was imagining them having sex or worse. I don’t even know where it came from, but suddenly I was insanely jealous of a guy I’d never met over a girl I barely knew. It scared the hell out of me. Torturing myself with images my brain managed to concoct when it wasn’t drowned in alcohol. Whenever I tried to sleep I was bombarded with images, images that may not even have been happening.

It was as though I had been in a relationship with her. She was ‘the one’ and she had dumped me for ‘him.’ It was ridiculous, completely absurd and pointless. There was no reason for it. But it continued. It got to the point where I’d be praying that Rea would come home from school one day to tell me they’d broken up. They didn’t. They were together for eight months. Rea thought it was sweet as hell. She would.

We broke up. I began to see Becka, then Emily, simply for the purposes of carnal pleasures, sate my lust and anger for a short time, using alcohol when they weren’t around. The things I did disgusted myself, but I just shut that voice up with more alcohol, more sex, drugs, rock and roll, anything to numb the voice that was telling me I was doing wrong.

In time I snapped out of it. It was beginning to take much more alcohol to sate me, and I was getting more and more miserable. Rea told me that Rain broken up with her boyfriend and was close to distraught about it. I felt guilty about feeling relieved, but I did. I would wish to see her again, just to run into her in the street. To hear her say that she’d been thinking about me, or that maybe we could catch up…..anything. It was so sad. Pathetic. I just wanted something real, someone sane to put me back together when I fell down, or when I needed someone to save me, as more often than not I felt as though I were drowning.

School finished. I felt both relief and panic. I had no idea what I intended to do with myself now. The leavers ball came around, everyone went crazy renting dresses or tuxes. My friends and I made an effort, but didn’t go crazy. There was no reason to. We weren’t the type of people to turn up in a limo or anything.

I wore a suit, just like every other guy. The girls looked pretty. We just casually strolled into the lobby and sat at a table keeping out of the fakeness. The girls screaming at each others dresses. The pettiness when two girls showed up in the same dress. I went to get a drink for everyone. When I returned to the ladies I found a familiar person talking to them. Thigh length blondish hair, gorgeous dress (hey, even a guy can appreciate a nice dress….ok admittedly I was looking at her legs….but hey I’m a guy!) looking well, pretty, though she looked as uncomfortable as my female friends. She was doing an impression of some girls she’d over heard.

“…then she squeals; ‘You look like a princess!’ Then the other one yells ‘So do you!’ They looked like they were going to cry.” she giggled, standing awkwardly in five inch heels. “I’m so glad I’m not the only one who feels like a complete idiot.” she said after the lasses had admitted to feeling stupid.

“Hey, I win. I usually wear combat boots and trousers. I can’t walk in these god damned heels, and this dress…..I feel like my legs have been stapled together!” she giggled.

One of her friends waved to her so she left to go catch up with them.

“I have to go mingle darlings!“ she said in a mock snobby voice as she left. That was the last I saw of her all evening.

In fact it was the  last time I saw her for a long while… Months…The ball was in May. I next saw her in August. I was walking into town, again, I’m not sure why, when I turned around to look behind me (not sure why, 6th sense?) and there she was! It was scary! I had been thinking about her and then she just appeared. I waved. She looked behind her to see who I waving to. It was cute, for want of a better word. I pointed to her to show it was her I was waving at, she turned again (typical blonde!) then realised I meant her. She smiled. I waited for her to catch up.

“Well hey there stranger.” she said in a heavy Texan drawl.

I laughed, it was just so……god I don’t want to use this word again….sweet.

We chatted while walking into town, about the ball, what she was up to now, the usual. I complimented her dress at the ball and she laughed.

“My dad had to force me to buy a dress. I was completely against it, I didn’t want to go but my parents forced me. I was going to go in my army boots and a bin bag, just for kicks, but my dad took me dress shopping. I just picked the first thing that fit.” she giggled.

She also told me that she had twisted her ankle at the ball and had spent the evening with her leg on the table trying to stop the swelling. Her friends had deserted her so she couldn’t go home as they were staying at her house and she couldn’t walk. She had been on crutches for two days.

“They’re not as much fun as they look. When I was a kid I always wanted crutches…..I regret that.” she giggled.

She was on her way to work -a waitress in a restaurant- she was working 4-9pm and had just finished at her other job 7.30-3. She looked cheerful enough but exhausted.

“I love working at the crèche, it’s just slightly exhausting.” she was perfectly calm during the whole encounter, even slightly distant.

I know for a fact I managed to make a complete ass of myself, all tongue tied and blushing. What she must have thought I don’t want to know.

And that was it. The last time I saw her. I’m hoping maybe we’ll run into each other some time, maybe I’ll get up the courage to ask her out….I doubt it though.

The Present.

August 30th 2002.

I can’t believe what happened today. Almost exactly a year after last seeing her, I ran into Rain! Oh my God. I nearly fainted (damnit I sound like a bloody girl!) She was on her way to work. (still at the crèche) She looks exactly the same as the last time I saw her, with the exception that she looks a little older. No taller, hair’s the same length and there are more laughter lines, but that must be from working with children I guess. I was on my way to the local video shop to rent a movie and drop in on my friend Jay who works there, when I saw her crossing the road in front of me. I called to her but she had a walkman on and didn’t notice me. I was a little mean, I crept up on her and tapped her arm to get her attention.

For my efforts I was rewarded with an elbow in the stomach.

“Back the hell off!” she yelled, then she realised she knew me. “Ross? Oh shit! I’m so sorry! Are you ok?”

I was slightly winded to say the least (she has bloody bony elbows! And hell is she strong for her size….must have been to those self defence class things where women learn to beat men up and scream at them. I’ll have to remember not to ever sneak up on a female again….maybe it’s a conspiracy against men?)

She forced me to sit down and put my head between my legs until my breathing was better.

“I’m so sorry! I thought I was being mugged!” she blushed furiously, apologising every five seconds.

I could only cough in reply.

“Where the hell did you learn that?”

“Tai chi.” she said with a smile.

“Tai chi? I thought that was all slow movements and heavy breathing.”

“That’s what we want you to think. It’s lucky you didn’t grab me around the neck, I flipped a guy in my class who’s 6ft 7 and weighs 15 stone.”

“Seriously?”

“Hell yeah.” she said grinning.

“Why would you need to know that living in this sleepy town?”

“I used to go to Uni on London.”

“Oh.”

“OH exactly.’“ she said grinning and helping me to my feet.

“So how are you, apart from being unable to breathe properly.” she said smiling shyly.

“Uh…good, I guess.” (Cue tonguetiedness) “You?”

“Ack.“ she said. “Tired. But I’m good. Whatcha been up to since we broke up from school?” (Hint of an Irish accent on the ‘whatcha’ very cute. Maybe she has Irish blood?)

“Not much, you?”

“Went to Uni, loathed it with a passion, quit. I’m now working at an out of school club which I adore. I’m starting Uni again in October.”

“What did you study?”

“Anthropology.”

“Anthrowhat?” Trust me to be dumb, uncultured and uneducated the first time I meet her in months.

“Anthropology. Don’t worry no one ever knows what it is. It’s the study of people through evolution and culture.”

“Uh…cool.“ Translation; ‘Damnit! She’s too smart for me!)

“Not really. I loved the subject, but the Uni I went to sucked at it.”

“So you’re going to study it again in October?”

“Nope. I’m going to study to be a teacher.”

“A uh…teacher? As in with children?”

“No, chimpanzees. Of course kids! Primary school of course. I can’t wait.”

(Yep, she’s definitely smarter than me. Damn damn damn, the blonde hair lead me into a false sense of security. She’d be using long words like Anthropology and such like. Hell I can’t even think of any long words that she’d use!)

She looked at her watch.

“I’m about to be late for work, so you’ll have to forgive me for running off. Can I get buy you a drink sometime? To make up for the elbowing?”

“Sure, that’d be great.”

She took out an eyeliner pencil (although she wasn’t wearing any eyeliner. And rarely does….hmmm…) and wrote her mobile number along the length of my arm.

“Sorry I don’t have a pen. Call me….I really gotta run hun. Sorry about earlier.” she said while backing away, before turning and breaking into a run, long hair streaming behind her.

Bizarre is the only word I can think of to describe the above. Have I called her? Uh no. I’m desperate to, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t know what time she finishes work and I can’t deal with answering machines. I guess I could text her, but I don’t want to seem desperate….damnit. Why is it so complicated!!!!!! That’s it. I’m going to call her….it’s 4 she can’t be at work anymore….can she?

Argh…….

 

Just got off the phone to her. Didn’t call until five minutes ago. She was still at work. I could hear her little angels in the background. ‘Who you talking to? Come play with us? Is it your boyfriend? (BOYFRIEND? She has a boyfriend? Oh god. Why didn’t I think of that?)

“Hello?”

“Uh hi, it’s uh Ross.”

“Oh uh hi uh Ross.” (Was she mocking me?)

“Hi.”

“You ok?”

“Sure.…”

“I mean after earlier…”

“Oh yeah, sure I’m uh great.”

“Glad to hear it. Whatcha doin’ this evening?” (The Irish thing with the ‘whatcha’ and ‘doin”. Is she asking me out? What about her boyfriend? If there is one…..)

“Uh…nothing…to my knowledge.”

“Cool. Wanna meet up after I finish here?”

“Sure. What time?”

“6. The infant school. Do you know where it is? “

“Uh sure.” (I was getting sick of hearing myself say the word sure, god alone knows what she was thinking,)

“Wonderful…see you later… One sec……Zach! Do we run in the hall? No, so why were you running? Hello? Zach, I’m talking to you. Aqui por favor. Sorry Ross. I’m being attacked from all sides by kids.”

“No problem, I’ll let you go. See you later.”

She is so scary when she shouts! Those kids must be scared of her. I know I am….note to self….do not jump out at her or piss her off……..

Heading out to meet her. Couldn’t be anymore nervous if I tried.

11pm Just got back. ARGH! I will try to relay the ‘date’ (it wasn’t one but I’m going to call it that as I don’t know what else to call it.)

Got to her work at five to six. She saw me hovering in the doorframe and asked me in.

“Hey! You found it.” she said cheerfully, holding hands with a girl, a doll in the other hand.

“Come in….we don’t bite….well I don’t…I’m not making any promises for this lot. Come sit down.”

I sat down and looked around nervously. I’m not good with kids and I now had 10 pairs of eyes locked on me.

“Who’s that?” The little girl asked her.

“That’s Ross, he’s a friend of mine.”

“Oooooh! He’s your boyfriend!!!!” She went skipping off to inform the other kids who all came trotting over. There were kids of all ages from about 4 to 9/10. All took great interest in the visitor (ME!)

She wasn’t alone. There was another girl there, I think her name was Julie, she seemed nice enough.

“I thought you said you were married to The Rock! This can’t be your boyfriend.” a boy had taken great interest. (She’s married to The Rock? The Scorpion King? The wrestler? Now I’m confused.)

“I am married to The Rock, this is just a friend Lewis. Chill Bambino.” she said the doll and unscrewing the back. “Right kids, go play I have to perform surgery on ‘Emily’ here.” She said indicating the doll. “I’ll let you know when she is well enough for visitors.”

The kids left obediently.

“Sorry about that. They’re all curious as hell.“ she said, her attention on the doll .

“No problem. Uh….you’re married to The Rock?”

“Sure….I wish! Nah…it a game I play with the kids, the older ones know I’m kidding, the younger ones want to see the wedding snaps.” She continued to fiddle with the insides of the doll, not really acknowledging me. “Sorry. I just got to fix Rachael’s doll….well I’ll try…..Aha! Done it! Loose wire. Always the same with these dolls.” She screwed the back back on, before putting it’s baby grow back on it. “Rachael…..Emily is going to make a full recovery.” A little dark haired, dark eyed girl came trotting over.

“Thank you!!!!”

“De nada.” she said smiling. Rachael skipped off happily.

“De nada?”

“Es Espanol.”

“Huh?”

“I’m trying to teach the kids Spanish.”

“Seriously?”

“Hell yeah. They all know a few phrases, a little Ancient Egyptian, how to say Happy New Year in Chinese and a few Japanese phrases.”

“Seriously?” (Gee, my vocabulary is so varied!!!)

“Yep. They’re interested so I teach them what I know. How’s your stomach?”

“Much better thanks.”

“Well if you have any problems, let me know.”

Of all the perfect things to add to my wonderfully varied vocabulary, I got the hiccups.

“Perfect!” she said suddenly.

“Excuse me?”

“I’ve been waiting for someone to get hiccups!!! Lie down.”

“Huh? Lie down?”

“Yep, right here.” I’m entirely too trusting for my own good….I lay down at her feet.

“Not on your stomach.”

Oops. Got up, lay on my back.

She lifted up my shirt (I was very worried at this point, There were children present!!!)

“This’ll feel a little weird but trust me.”

She placed a finger about two inches either side of my belly button and pressed down slightly for a moment.

“Ok done.”

“What uh was that?”

“Hiccup.”

“I’m sorry?”

“Hiccup.”

“You want me to hiccup?”

“Yep, betcha can’t.”

“Uh…ok.…” (I really was desperate to hiccup then, just to get some type of explanation, but alas (hate that word) nothing came. I waited…nothing.)

“See.”

“What did you do?”

“Ah…..that’s a secret.”

“Tai chi again?”

“Si senor.” she said with a secretive smile.

“Clever.”

“Not really.” she smiled warmly.

“So…uh…..how long have you been working here?” (Gee, great deep, meaningful conversation! You go Ross!!!!!)

“Since last February. I’ve only been full time since April.”

“Cool.”

“Yeah it is. I love it. The kids are as crazy as I am.” she smiled.

“Kneesa!!!!!!!!!!” (Kneesa?) one of the children, a boy came running over, screaming this word, maybe it’s Spanish? Maybe I could look it up?)

“Ya huh.” She stood to see what he wanted.

“Daniel stole our lego.”

“Oh really?” she said softly. I wish she had warned me for what happened next. “DANIEL! COME HERE PLEASE!” (My god, the lungs on this girl!!!!)

A sullen looking boy came over.

‘ “What happened?”

He started crying, fake crocodile tears. It got him nowhere. Rain’s clearly seen it all before.

“Do not make me ask again….…“ she said in a deceptively calm tone.

“I stole Frazer’s lego.”

“Why?”

“Because he wouldn’t share.”

“If he wont share you come and speak to me and I’ll fix it. You don’t steal it from him do you?”

“No….…”

“No. Could you apologise to Frazer please.”

“Sorwy.”

“Frazer, you need to share, go play nicely.”

They both walked away….

“FRAZER! AQUI!” (Oh my god!!!!)

“Yes…..…”

“Shoelace.” She slapped her thigh and he put his foot upon it. She tied up the lace.

“One more thing Frazer.”

“Yessum.…”

“Smile.”

Frazer grinned and trotted off.

I just stared. There was nothing more I could do. Yet again I had judged a book by it’s cover, only to be elbowed in the stomach and nearly deafened, but hell I found it all endearing.

“Sorry for screaming. I get ignored if I just talk.”

“It’s ok. What’s Kneesa mean?”

“Kneesa?”

“Yeah, is it Spanish?”

She laughed.

“Oh…no…it’s my nickname. Some of the kids can’t be bothered to say my name properly so say Kneesa. I’m not sure if it’s because they misheard my name, or because I told them it was my nick name when I was younger…”

“Oh!” (Kneesa? That’s cute. (I promise myself I will not use that word again for at least five minutes!))

Work finished (thank the gods!) there is only so long I can be stared at before I begin to get self conscious. I got a little worried just before we left as Rain began to take her shirt off.

“Uh…whoah! There are children around.” I said incoherently.

She laughed and started humming stripper music before throwing the shirt at me. She was wearing a beautiful corset top beneath it, black with red Chinese print across it.

She put the work shirt in a cupboard before throwing a white frilly shirt over the top. (Did I just honestly use the word frilly? God! NOOOOOOOOOO!)

“So, where would you like to go? We have the Yeoman around here, or we could go into town?” she looked at me intently.

“Uh….whatever…I uh don’t mind.“

She blinked.

“Great! You’re as indecisive as I am! Ok I’ll flip a coin.” She took out a Greek coin from her bag and said “Heads is stay aqui. Tails vaya en el cuidad.”

I must have looked completely clueless as she added; “Go into town.”

She flipped the coin.

“Here it is then. The Yeoman sucks, but the coin has spoken.”

When the hell did we have this role reversal? She goes from shy, retiring damsel in distress type to scarily confident warrior woman in a year! So does that mean I get to play the damsel? Very confused!

“Have you been here before?” she asked as we entered the Yeoman, it had recently been renovated and now included MTV and lights on the walls that made them change colour every few minutes. Very surreal.

“Uh…..no.” Oh my god. The extent of my vocabulary was even impressing me. If I say ‘uh’ again I will not be responsible for my actions.

She found a table and sat at it, smoothing her pinstripe trousers and looking at me expectantly….

I’m not sure what she was waiting for so I offered to buy her a drink.

“Can I uh get you a drink?”

“Nope. I said I’d get you one. What’s your poison?” she said standing.

“Uh…..beer….please.” I added, attempting a delayed version of chivalry….who says it’s dead!

She slinked up to the bar (yes she actually slinked, all hips and heels, very kinky. Actually too kinky, felt as though I were about to scream, or jump her, but that really wouldn’t make a good impression.)

She came back and sat down carefully, pushing a bottle towards me and smiling sweetly.

“So……what have you been up to recently? Still in contact with Rea and posse?”

“Uh…yeah. I still see Rea and Mel occasionally.”

“That’s cool.” she said sipping from what must have been a diet coke. Did it have a shot in it? hmmmm…..

“You still in contact with anyone from school?”

She snorted and laughed as though it were the funniest thing she had ever heard.

“Hell no. I lost contact with Rea and that which I regret, but the people who called themselves my friends….no, we had a huge fight before school ended.”

“Oh…..uh…that’s a shame…”

“Not really. I’m relived. They were horrible.”

The conversion continued like this, she was trying to get conversation out of me, but I felt as though my tongue was suddenly too big for my mouth and I were about to choke upon it. God what she must have thought I can’t even begin to think.

“Can I get you another?” she asked noticing how I nursed my empty bottle.

“Uh…sure thanks.”

There it is again! ‘uh!!!!!’  I made a conscious effort not to say it, but I said it even more!

She returned again, sat down and looked slightly uncomfortable that I was so difficult to talk to.

“So….are you seeing anyone at the moment?” she asked, desperate for something to say.

“No…not for a while now. You?”

She frowned slightly.

“Not since the beginning of April.” she sounded slightly bitter.

“What happened?…….if you don’t mind me asking.”

“No, I don’t mind.” she said brightly. “I was dating an American exchange student at my last uni from October to April. He was wonderful, affectionate caring…..bedding half my Anthropology class behind my back.” she smiled.

I must have gasped.

“How did you find out?”

“One of the girls in my class found out and told me, it ended up he’d cheated on me fifteen times! How did I not notice!” she laughed, but it was evident it hurt.

“What did you do?” I asked, genuinely curious, hoping she had killed him and buried him somewhere.

“I had left Uni by this point, I left in February and visited him on weekends. I visited, caught him in the act with girl number 16 so kneed him between the legs preventing him from enjoying said girl.”

I’m not sure what I did here but she said “I t’s ok, I wont do anything like that to you, don’t look so worried.”

Did she mean she thought we were a couple? God I feel like an anxious teenage girl! What the hell is going on here! Is she going to be the testosterone charged person in the relationship? Is it actually a relationship?

“The good thing was, I made him cry”’ she said smiling evilly. “And he didn’t get up for a long time. He was curled up in the doorframe whimpering. He’s lucky I didn’t kick him.”

She pointed to her boots. Still wearing the combats. Steel toe caps in the groin. Ouch. Doesn’t bear thinking about. Again….note to self, do not upset or anger her, your manhood depends upon it.

“I love that reaction.” she said watching me with a smile. I raised an eyebrow.

“Well, whenever I’ve told a guy that story, they either move away from me, or cross their legs like you just did.” she laughed, and it sounded wonderful.

Sigh! Such a bloody sap, but she does have a wonderful laugh, apart from when she laughs evilly, cause that’s just scary and causes all guys in the area to cross their legs, or indeed move away from her.

As the evening progressed, I became more comfortable with her. She’s really interesting….gush gush gush. Ick, I am so gone it’s ridiculous. Sigh. She has a bad affect upon this hard-assed Goth guy. Well, that’s how I saw myself. I’m a complete sap right about now.

“Ok, favourite movie, song and band.” she said suddenly.

“That’s a little random.”

“That’s me.” she said smiling.

And she wasn’t smiling from alcohol, I found out she’s been drinking straight coke all evening.

“Hmmmm…..ok, I like Iron Maiden, can’t pick a favourite song or film though there are too many.” I said watching her. “You?”

“The Crow without a doubt is my favourite film of all time,” she said enthusiastically. “In fact it is bordering upon obsession. Favourite band changes regularly, but right now I love Incubus. And my favourite song…….can’t choose.” she said smiling.

As it darkened outside she looked more beautiful, the lights catching her shining eyes and the playful way she smiled.

“Obsession?” I said in mock fear.

“’Yep. I am officially obsessed with The Crow and Brandon Lee, my room is scary. It’s like a shrine.”

I laughed slightly.

“So it’s a case of love me love my obsession?” I asked smiling.

“Yep. Adam couldn’t handle it and nor could Kai.”

“Kai?”

“The seppo bastard.” she said in an Australian accent.

“Seppo?”

“It’s Australian cockney rhyming slang. Seppo is short for septic tank. Septic tank rhymes with Yank.” she laughed.

“And Adam?”

“The guy I was dating during year 12.”

So the bastard I saw her in town with has a name…..hmmmmmm…….

I went quiet for a moment, thinking up fun ways to kill them both as is the practice and she laughed.

“Whatcha thinking?” she said with the hint of Irish.

“Hmmmm……? Oh…nothing.” I said taken by surprise.

It would freak her out if I told her the truth.

“You?” I asked really intelligently. Yeah, you go Ross, just stick your foot in your mouth right now and save yourself the trouble.

She laughed.

“Thinking of fun ways to kill them both and not get caught.” she grinned evilly.

Oh my god. She was thinking the same thing as me, or was I thinking the same thing as her? Wow, I spout some crap.

“God. Look at the time.” she said suddenly. “I’ve got work at 7.30am tomorrow, I should think about headin’ off.”

NOOOOOOOOO! Don’t go!!!! Sigh!

“Uh…sure.” I said, I must have sounded as disappointed as I felt as she said;

“We should do this again.”

“Yeah.” I said, probably oozing desperation.

‘Yeah’ was only slightly better than, ‘don’t leave me!’ Damnit, desperate dumbass. Ooh alliteration on the ‘d.’ Oh my god. English is getting to me.

“Can I walk you home.?” I said weakly.

There was no point in asking, if anyone tried to attack us, she’d be the one to kick there ass while I’d be hitting them with my proverbial handbag. She makes me feel strangely in touch with me feminine side. I’ll be wearing pink next.

“That would be nice, but I live over half an hour’s walk from here.” she said standing.

“That’s ok.” I said.

And sounding so desperate there were no words. I could only have sounded worse if I had falling to my knees and clutched at her ankles to prevent her from leaving. I am so sad I could cry.

She smiled so sweetly at me and said “Chivalry isn’t dead then?”

Argh! She’s echoing me!

“Nope.” I said with depth and coherence.

She smiled and headed for the door.

I walked her home, right to her door where she said;

“Thank you, I had fun tonight.”

“Yeah…uh…me too.” Now comes the age old question which scholars have been working on for centuries, one which guys and gals have been agonising over since the beginning of time, and one which no one still has an answer to…..Do I kiss her? Well it didn’t really count as a date, but she was standing looking at me as though she were expecting something. And damn I wanted to. In truth what I actually wanted to do was far less chivalrous, but I’m not going into that. I’d lose the smidge of self respect I have left.

“Ok, I’ll see you soon then..…” she smiled before looking for her keys in her bag. “You going to be ok getting home?” she asked.

“Uh….sure.”

“Well, I’ll see you soon then?”

“Yeah sure….I’ll call you.” NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Why oh why oh why did I say that? Oh all the stupid stupid things to say.

“Oh…ok……uh…bye.” she said looking slightly disappointed.

She turned to the door opened it and said bye before closing it behind her. The second the door was closed and I was sure she had gone I found the nearest wall I could and hit my head off it.

Here is how the scene should have played in her eyes….or what I think she would have liked to have happened;

“Thank you, I had fun tonight.”

“So did I, we should do it again. What are you doing next Saturday, I know this perfect restaurant that you’ll love. I can pick you up…say eight o’clock?”

“That would be wonderful thank you.”

Cue disgusting cheesy love music and long romantic kiss.

“I will be dying until I see you again.”

“So will I.”

“Good bye then.”

“Bye.”

Long lingering stare into each others eyes before we must tear ourselves apart like Romeo and Juliet until our next meeting.

Actually I really don’t think that’s what she’d like to happen, she seems a bit too hard assed to be into that. Maybe a happy medium?

Here’s how it would play out if I had my way (Chivalrous gentlemanly version. Not x rated version)

“Thank you, I had fun tonight.”

“So did I. We should get together again soon, when are you next free?” (see she makes decision, therefore I don’t seem desperate.)

“Saturday?” She would look at me with doe-y eyes.

“Wonderful “(I don’t actually use that word but oh well.)

“See you then?”

“I’ll pick you up about 8?”

“That’s great thank you.”

She kisses me (then I can not seem desperate. God I’m such a chicken, but it’s a serious turn on to have a slightly ‘in charge’ female.) The kiss continues for several minutes…..

It would continue to the removal of clothes, but I get the feeling she’d kick my ass.

And now it begins again. I have her number, therefore I have to call her. And I can’t call too soon or I’ll seem as desperate as I actually am, and I can’t call too late or she’ll think I’m not interested.

But fate intervened. (How I love thee fate!) (thee?!!!?)

Ok I helped fate a little. I decided I’d be in the right place at the right time.

I caught her walking home from work. Ok admittedly I had to walk up and down the same road for over an hour, but it was worth it.

“HEY! You stalking me or something?” she said smiling brightly.

“No…..why would you think that..…” God I must have sounded so guilty.

“I was kidding.” she said smiling.

“Oh….right.”

Silence.

“So…..how’s work?”

“Cool thank you. I had a kid decide they were going to play Rapunzel with my hair today.”

“How did that work?”

“They all tried to climb my hair.” she said, half laughing that wonderful laugh of hers. (Ok I lied, I just used the word wonderful. ICK!)

“OHhhhhhhhh. Not good.”

“Nope. I have a serious headache now.” she said grinning.

“So you wouldn’t want to do something later then.” I said seriously disappointed.

“That would depend on what you had in mind.” she said smiling mischievously. Seriously kinky smile.

“Uh….I hadn’t thought that far ahead.” I admitted.

She laughed.

“Fair enough. We could go get a drink? Or catch a movie? Get something to eat?”

“Sure sounds great.”

“I meant you to pick one.” she said smiling.

“OH!” My god I’m so thick. “Uh…..we could do all of them.” I said attempting to sound smart, but I failed miserably.

“Ok.” she said laughing. Is she laughing at me or with me? “What time?”

‘I hadn’t thought of that either.’ I looked down at my feet which were suddenly fascinating.

‘OK. Let me go home, get changed, and I’ll meet you outside the library in an hour and a half?’

‘Sure.’ I said, so much easier than having to actually think, just agree with everything and sound like a brainless moron. Sounds good. ‘So Ross, how’d you like a frontal lobotomy?’ ‘Yeah sounds great.’ God.

So I have an hour and a half to get changed, make myself look half decent and decide where to go eat and what movie to watch, because I know she’ll have hoped I’ll have at least thought of that.

Sigh. Hard to look half decent when this is all I have to work with. Hmmmmmmm…..

Ok, brushed hair and teeth…..shaved….drowned myself in aftershave, found a clean shirt which I think looks ok on me, mock leather trousers and full length leather coat (the guy in the crow wears a full length leather coat right? I hope she’s not vegan…..oh god I hadn’t even though of that! What if she has allergies and the place I pick to eat at can’t feed her? ARGH! Too much to cope with…..that frontal lobotomy sounds good right about now….)

Ok, now stood outside library looking like an idiot. I’m only half a bloody hour early. Sigh. Tempted to go get drunk and come back….Dutch courage and all…..but I don’t think that would impress her. Having to wing it about the film, I don’t even know what’s on and I couldn’t find a newspaper. WHY DOES THIS HAVE TO BE SOOOOOOOO DIFFICULT!!!!!!!!

Oh my god! Seriously. Oh my goddess…….she looks…….whimper!

Forgive me while I drown in drool for several moments and try to remember what speech is.

‘Hey crow boy.’ she said with a smile.

‘Huh?’

‘The coat……love it!’ she said getting closer and taking a lapel in her hands.

‘I really shouldn’t like it because it’s a dead cow…..but hell.’ she said breathlessly.

God I wish she wouldn’t speak like that. I’m in danger of falling over as it is, but when she gets this close. Think I’m about to hyperventilate….

‘You ok Hun?’ she looked at me in concern.

‘Uh…I’m fine…..’

She leant in close in my neck.

‘God you smell good.’ she said in that breathless voice again.

Did I say whimper? God have mercy on me. I can not cope with this!

‘Sorry, invading your personal space.’ she said stepping back. She smiled at me raising her eyebrows as if asking what was wrong.

‘So what would you like to do first?’ she asked.

‘Uh……’

‘You look like you could do with a drink. Are you sure you’re ok? God, you have a temperature! Why didn’t you say you weren’t feeling well?’ she said putting a hand on my forehead. Oh god, she’s touching me. Oh god.

‘Uh….pub sounds good.’ I said sounding like a caveman. Oh god.

I could not even begin to describe her right now but sigh! Ok here it is…..Black, TIGHT PVC trousers, white bustier top and a white shirt, semi unbuttoned. A plum ribbon about her neck, Egyptian cross hanging low. Oh god. Too much. In her hair is more plum ribbon braided into two plaits and her nails are painted black. And she smells so good. Sigh! I swear, this evening is going to be difficult.

‘What about the Swan, it’s just there.’ she said pointing.

‘Ok.’ gee the art of conversation has dropped to ‘oks’ and ‘uhs’ again.

We entered the pub. HUGE COLLASAL mistake. Every pair of eyes were on her. The women looking jealous, the men looking at her lustily, and then at me as if to say; ‘You’re with her?’

She didn’t notice, modest little creature that she is. The ridiculous thing is she is so bloody attractive but not! How the hell do you explain that?!?

‘Beer Hun?’ she asked seating herself at the bar, the guy behind it eying her up in way that made me want to throw things at him.

‘Sure, thanks.’

‘Baileys, no ice and a beer please.’ she asked in a very deceptively sweet voice. It was like a little girl speaking, and it had the desired affect. The man behind the bar seemed to soften and smiled at her kindly.

Manipulative little minx! She knows just how to play them, makes me wonder how much she’s been playing with me, though unfortunately as of yet she hasn’t used that voice……

She smiled sweetly as the man put the drinks on the bar.

‘Thank you.’ she said in the same voice. She even batted her eyes lids a little. I shook my head, laughing quietly.

I sat next to her and she turned to me.

‘Chosen where you’d like to eat?’ she asked, her usual voice, unfortunately. The other one was kinky.

‘Uh…..no.’ I had to admit. I thought about it, but was too scared to commit myself….how typically male! God I sound like a girl! I should not criticise my own gender!

‘I thought I’d let you choose.’ I said, hoping to sound nice as opposed to dumb.

She smiled. ‘How are you with Chinese food?’

‘I like it yeah.’ I said. Wow, a regular Einstein here.

‘Cool, I’ve booked us a table at the one in town, it’s only a five minute walk.’

‘What time?’

‘In an hour.’

‘Cool.’ And that was the conversation dead. Until the Garbage song ‘Special’ came over the stereo.

‘YAY! I love this song.’ she said smiling.

I couldn’t help but smile, she’s just like a kid, clearly doesn’t take much to make her smile……ok stop with the dirty thoughts!

‘…I have run you down into the ground, spread disease about you and the town. Iiiiiiiii used to adore you…’

She sang. She actually sang! As if I don’t have enough to cope with….i.e. her excessive kinkiness, she sang. And she has a good voice. Oh dear, this is tooooooo  much.

‘Excuse me?’ Some scary Goth looking guy came over and spoke to Rain, completely ignoring me.

She smiled in reply.

‘Would you like to dance?’

Oh my god. I was not expecting that. The guy has a freaking nail through his ear. For god’s sake woman! Look at him!!!!!!

‘You don’t mind do you Ross? I’ll only be a second.’

‘Uh……sure.’ Bastard!!!!!!!!! HATE HIM. Now going to spend time thinking of ways to kill him.

AND THEY’RE DANCING! There isn’t even a bloody dance floor. Do I have a right to be jealous? YES!!!!! Bastard!!!!!! And Oh……….MY…….GOD.

She dances like a freaking goddess. She’s so ridiculously sensual I could kick ass, or do something I may regret to her that would involve her kneeing me between the legs. God do not do this to me.

And man with nail in ear seems to be getting too friendly.

YOU GO GIRL!!!!! HAA HAAAHAHAA IN YOU FACE!!!!! He’s now whimpering on the floor in a foetal position. She so rocks. Happy again now.

‘You ok?’ I asked. I can do concern.

‘Yep.’ She said smiling.

‘You are very very scary.’ I said grinning.

She batted her eye lids. ‘Little old me?’

She grinned evilly and turned to see the guy being helped up by two friends.

‘You little bitch!’ He yelled at her.

Uh oh…..this could end up being my first  bar brawl……

‘That’s MISS BITCH to you.’ she said smiling and turning back to the bar.

Nail ear guy’s female friend approached, she had a nail through her nose. So very very attractive….NOT!

‘You fuckin’ whore.’ she said.

Rain ignored her. The woman grabbed her arm and dragged her off her seat. The woman took a swing at her, but Rain grabbed her wrist with scarily quick reflexes and twisted it at a really ugly angle.

‘Don’t start, I have no problem with you.’

The woman squealed and walked away to lick her wounds in the corner.

Feeling seriously inadequate in the male hero crap stakes. I can’t protect her if she doesn’t give me the chance.

Rain sat down again as though nothing had happened and took a sip from her drink.

‘That’s quite a woman you got there.’ The barman said to me.

Rain raised an eyebrow.

‘Oh we’re not…..uh…are we?’ I turned to Rain who shrugged her shoulders and smiled. She is such a minx! She was obviously loving seeing me squirm.

‘I’m gay.’ Rain said with a straight face.

‘You’re what?’ I spluttered. Uh oh….never even thought of that….but it would make some sense…..she’s the more masculine partner……oh no!!!!!!!!

‘You have a problem with that Ross?’ she asked standing looking offended.

‘NO…..I just….’

‘That’s ok, I’m just teasing you….I’m as straight as a die.’

‘That was cruel.’ I said not sure how to even act around her now.

‘Sorry, it was a bit mean.’

We did the small talk thing some more until it was time to go for dinner. Then she showed me where the restaurant was. I’ve lived here for ages and never even noticed this place! It’s nice though, and I think they know her, cause one of the waiters kissed her as she came in. I’m assuming they know her, because she didn’t hurt him for kissing her. Feeling slightly jealous about it though.

‘Hey princess, how are you?’ He asked, serious amounts of affection and lust in his eyes. Well I think it was lust….I mean look at her! Damnit!!!!!!!

‘I’m good thank you Hun.’

‘Did you book a table?’ he asked teasing.

‘Of course. Oh sorry Hun,’ she said turning to me. ‘This is Ross, Ross this is Pam.’

Pam? He’s named after a girl MWAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA! Feeling a little better.

‘Uh hi.’ I said extending a hand. Pam winked at Rain.

‘I’ll have none of that!’ she said smiling as he lead us to a table.

God this place is scarily romantic…..uh……getting nervous…..

Pam gave us menus and left.

‘If there’s nothing you like, they can make you something else.’ she said smiling.

‘No…it looks great thank you.’ I do actually love Chinese food, don’t get me wrong, but the surroundings re making me nervous.

Pam came back within two minutes.

‘What can I get you both?’ he said smiling sweetly at Rain….grrrrrrrr…..

‘The usual please Hun. And a diet coke please.’

‘Uh….I’ll have whatever you’re having thanks.’ I said….again avoiding decision making. God I sound like such a wuss.

The food arrived, it ends up I’ve ordered chicken chow mein, I can cope with that, the only problem is they brought chop sticks. Rain notices I’m looking at them funny.

‘Could we have some cutlery as well please Hun?’

‘Sure sugar.’ he said. SUGAR?!!!? I am going to kick ass in a minute.

Rain can use chop sticks, why did I expect anything less? And here I am eating with a knife and fork. Looking like a caveman again.

Dinner was finished THANK GOD! If it wasn’t the waiters flirting with her, it was my inability to use bloody chop sticks. Note to self; learn to use chop sticks. On the up side though, Rain insisted on showing me how to use them…..involved holding my hand…….eurgh! When did I become such a bloody soppy bastard.

Tonight is not going well, it really isn’t. My attempts at sweeping her off her feet have failed due to the nail-ear-guy and sexy Chinese waiter in tight pants! Ok, I didn’t think he was sexy, but from a female perspective he so was! The trousers left nothing to the imagination. At least he was wearing an apron!!!!!

We ended up outside the cinema, and still I had not made a decision all night.

‘Ok slick, what do you want to see?’ she asked sweetly, looking at the posters, but giving no indication of what she would prefer. Can’t cope with this. I am not a shrink, I can not read body language and I KNOW the film I pick she will hate. We have the choice of; romantic crap, romantic comedy, horror, action, or Disney film. Gee whiz! The only film I would consider from that lot is either the horror or at a push the action flick. The horror is Blade, vamp film. The action is some Bruce Willis thing.

BUT! She is a female. I could go by the stereotype and pick a romantic comedy or romance thing which I would loathe, but be a complete gentleman. Or she may be the complete antithesis (scary word!) of a stereotype and like the same films as me…..

And the longer I debate this, the weirder she is looking at me. Ok think! It’s not a difficult question! Ummmm……argh! Can not do this.

‘Ok, let’s make this easier. Which one’s do you NOT want to see?’ She is so patient it is beyond words.

‘The romantic ones.’ I said, flinching expecting her to scream or something.

‘THANK GOD!’ She said relieved. I couldn’t help but laugh.

‘Blade?’ she asked curiously.

‘Sounds good.’ I said smiling.

‘Yay vampires!’ she said grinning.

Well that was much easier than I allowed it to be! I was right, the complete opposite of stereotype female. She hates romantic crap films with a passion. Good for her!

The film was weird, but watchable, and it gave us something to talk about afterwards.

‘Ok, one thing, if he is a vamp, how can he go out during the day?’ she asked once we had slunk into a nearby pub.

‘Didn’t he have some kind of serum thing that stopped him being a vamp?’

‘I don’t know.’ she admitted.

‘So Wesley Snipes and Stephen Dorff don’t do it for you?’ I asked expecting her to tear my throat out.

‘Nope. The leather was cool though.’ she said grinning.

‘So what are you looking for in a guy?’ WHY? WHY!!!!!! What was I thinking?

‘Hmmmmmm……I don’t know. Someone who won’t cheat on me sixteen times.’ she said smiling.

‘What about you?’ she said.

‘What do I look for in a guy?’ I said dumbly.

She laughed.

‘You’re as blonde as I am.’ she said smiling. ‘I meant a girl.’

‘I don’t know.’ I said, but I was thinking. ‘YOU!!! YOU DAMNIT!!! MARRY ME?!!!’ Sooooooooo desperate………sooooo scarily obsessed.

‘You don’t know?’ she asked.

‘You didn’t either!’

‘I do, I’m just not going to say it, it’s too sappy!!!!!!’

‘Do tell……’ I said intrigued.

‘Ok…….someone who can put up with me for more than five minutes, someone with a good sense of humour and affectionate and caring. Just a nice person.’

‘Me too.’ I said quietly.

She laughed. ‘And someone who can put up with my obsession and general kookiness.’

‘I can cope with that.’ I  said clearly without thought. I really should just stitch my mouth up. Seriously, or cut my tongue out.  I could have screamed. Instead she just looked at me funny. As though she were contemplating something.

‘What?’ I asked. She smiled.

‘Nuthin.’ she said quietly, before taking my head in her hands and kissing me full on the lips.

Oh………………….can not cope with this……seriously…..brain about to explode……..or implode……..one of the twoooooooo……oh god………

DAMN!!! That female can kiss. And she is so sweet she blushed afterwards.

‘I’m assuming that since you didn’t pull away there were no objections.’ she asked, suddenly shy again, like she was in Greece.

‘Hell no.’ I said.

She giggled. Yep, giggled. Like a little girl, it was so damned cute. She went all coy and couldn’t look at me properly without blushing. Yep, this is her in Greece…..a whole year to gain bravado and it all goes out the window……she is so sweet you just want to hold her or something equally as sappy and sad. But wonderful too.

We sat in silence for a while, both staring sappily into each other’s eyes. ICK!

She laughed suddenly. ‘We’re so sappy.’ she said smiling.

‘I’m not complaining.’ I said.

‘Can I admit something?’

‘Sure.’ Uh…..what? Is she like some high priestess of the cult of Satan? Or worse…..maybe she’s a fan of Teletubbies. Uh oh…..nervous now.

‘Swear you won’t laugh?’

‘Sure.’ Oh my god. Really worried.

‘In Greece I had such a thing for you.’

I laughed, I promised I wouldn’t but I couldn’t help it.

‘You promised!’ she said laughing.

‘Sorry….it’s just…..so funny….’

‘WHY?’ She said laughing.

‘You had a thing for me.’

‘Gee sorry if I’m not good enough.’ she said pouting.

Ok I swear she is gunna take a swing at me….but the pout broke into a grin.

‘NO!!! It’s not that. It’s just…it explains a lot.’

‘It does?’ she looked confused. YAY!!! Finally I’m not the confused one. (Ick! Use of Yay!)

‘Long story………’

‘I’ve got time.’ She said watching me squirm again.

‘You are mean!’ I said unable to think of anything else.

‘FINALLY! Someone’s worked that out!’ she said laughing.

She kissed me again then and I completely lost all thought in my head, it was like they all fell out.

All blue eyes and blushes this one.

‘Sorry, what were you saying?’ she said.

‘I don’t know…..’ I said smiling, but feeling stupid.

‘Sorry for interrupting.’

‘Oh I can assure you I’m not complaining.’ Gee that sounded desperate!

She giggled.

‘So uh…….do you wanna come back to mine for….uh….coffee?’ I asked weakly. Believe it or not I honestly only wanted coffee. Ok some parts of my anatomy wanted more, but they can shut up.

‘As long as it’s literally for coffee.’

‘Uh….well…truth be told. I don’t have any coffee, so as long as tea is ok?’

She grinned. ‘Sounds wonderful!’

She said wonderful!!!!! This woman is reading my mind I swear!!!!

Back to my house and I regretted it instantly. God I wish I’d tidied up!!!!!!! She didn’t look like it bothered her, but it sure as hell bothered me!

I made tea…..which I am very bad at, but she didn’t spit it out so it couldn’t have been that bad. Either that or she has the British stiff upper lip thing down cold and was too polite to show it. OR; she may only have pretended to drink it! WHY DO I DO THIS? Analysing everything!!!!

‘So what did you mean when you said it explained a lot?’ she asked, eyebrow raised.

‘Hoped you’d forgotten that.’ I said grinning.

‘No seriously. Was I that obvious?’

‘No…..it’s just that you and Mel seemed to fall out.’

‘Oh…….no not really fall out, but I think she guessed and didn’t like it.’

‘Yeah, cause I’m so irresistible!’ I said sarcastically.

She laughed. I melted.

‘Half my class were crazy about you, so yeah you were pretty damn irresistible!’

‘But what you are forgetting is that they all went to an all girl’s school and compared to the other guys…..’

She laughed hysterically. ‘You mean like Olive Tree Boy and the other overly competitive idiots!’

‘Yep.’

‘Olympia really showed their true colours. They were soooooooo obviously desperate!’

‘Yep.’ Ok, need to extend vocab past yep……….

Oh my god, she is drinking the tea! The cup’s empty! Wow. I’m very impressed. Well, she may still be violently sick due to terrible, evil, poisonous tea. ACK!

Nope, she looks fine, she’s even smiling….looking nervous….ok I’m staring at her, that might be why.

AND CUE EMBARRASING PARENTS!!!!!!!!!!

‘Ross? Oh you’re back, where is the…..oh hello.’ My mom, subtle as a bulldozer.

‘Hello.’ Rain said politely.

‘Ross, introduce me to your friend…..’

Oh god.

‘Mum, this is Rain, Rain…..my mother.’

She smiled. ‘Pleased to meet you Mrs.Frost.’

She knows my surname? Whoah!

‘You too Rain. I hope Ross is being a gentleman.’

OHMYGOD!!!!! KILL ME NOW!!!!!!!!! Thanks mom.

‘Always Mrs. Frost. He’s a complete sweetheart.’

HAAHAHAHAHAHHAA That told you mother!

I just smiled sweetly.

‘That’s good to hear Ross.’ she said looking at me as though she were surprised to hear it.

Great, now she thinks I’m a complete creep. PLEASE DON’T LET DAD COME DOWN. I AM BEGGING YOU!!!!!!

‘Ross? What’s going on down here…..hello?’

Thank you! And here’s my dad!

‘Hello Mr. Frost.’ Rain said sweetly, smiling and perfect calm. I love her!!!!! If I didn’t before I do now. If she can cope with my parents!!!

‘Hello? And you might be?’

My father is always so polite.

‘Rain. Pleased to meet you.’ She smiled sweetly. My dad just ignored her and walked back upstairs.

Mom followed him up, telling him off for being so rude.

‘She’s just another harlot he’s brought back to have his way with. It will be another girl in a few days.’

Oh god.

Rain frowned and looked truly wounded. She looked at her feet, trying to fight back tears.

‘I am so, so sorry.’ I said when he was out of earshot.

‘No…it’s ok.’ she didn’t look at me.

‘I should probably get going anyway, early start and all.’

‘Please don’t listen to him.’

‘No, it’s not that, I really do have to go.’ she said trying to smile. Her eyes had clouded over and tears were waiting to fall. She picked up her bag and made her way to the door.

‘Rain?’

She turned, still avoiding eye contact.

I put my hand under her chin and lifted until she was looking directly at me.

She began to shake and couldn’t hold the tears back anymore.

I swear to the gods I don’t believe in that my heart broke, it physically hurt seeing her in that much pain.

I put my arms around her and she just collapsed against me sobbing violently.

I just didn’t know what to do, there was nothing I could say that would take back what he had said.

‘I’m not like that. I swear to you I’m not.’ I whispered to her.

She sighed.

‘I’m sorry, I really have to go.’ She wiped her eyes roughly and opened the door, hurrying outside.

I ran after her, grabbing her arm, risking an elbow in the stomach.

‘Don’t go like this. He’s a bastard, he can’t stand to see me being happy, he always does this.’

The heavens broke and it began to rain in torrents. How prefect. Just to end this horrible scene, it began to bloody rain. I know I was shaking I was so angry, and she was because she was hurt.

We just stood there in the rain, not knowing what to say. Having finally admitted I was crazy about her, my son of a bitch father had gone and destroyed her.

‘I can’t be hurt again. I can’t!’ she said suddenly.

‘I won’t hurt you.’

‘Just let me go.’ she said struggling in my arms.

And then she was gone.

I must have stood in the rain for at least twenty minutes, trying to calm down so I didn’t go inside and murder my father in his bed. He has always hated me, that much I’ve known, but he can be truly vindictive when he tries. He can not bear to see anyone happy. How my mother puts up with him I will never know.

As it was she called me in from the rain and asked where my friend had gone.

‘She heard what he said.’ was all I could manage.

‘What your father said?’

‘Yes.’ I hissed. I didn’t want to hurt her, but it made me so angry that she couldn’t see what he was.

‘I’m sorry Ross. He can be nasty sometimes.’

‘You’re telling me.’

‘He doesn’t mean it.’

I think I laughed. I must have. I could hear myself doing it.

‘He doesn’t mean it? So why is it that every single time I try to be happy he tries to destroy it! SHE IS FUCKING HEARTBROKEN! She left sobbing her heart out.’

‘She’ll be fine once she gets over it.’

‘She shouldn’t have to. He shouldn’t have said it.’

‘Who shouldn’t have said what?’ Dad has clearly been listening, but he liked to see me squirm. The difference was he genuinely liked to see me in pain, whereas Rain would never ever even conceive of hurting me, that much I knew.

‘Nothing.’ I tried to push past him to go up to my room, but he blocked the way.

‘NO. Tell me what you said.’

‘It’s not important.’

‘It must be important if you are shouting about it to your mother.’

‘I said it doesn’t matter.’ He had that look in his eye and I knew he was going to hit me, but I just didn’t care.

‘Tell me now!’ he said, he voice shaking with anger.

‘His friend heard what you said.’ Mother trying to protect me again, she really shouldn’t get involved.

‘Awwwww!!!! She should grow a thicker skin. People are going to say much worse about a whore like that.’

‘You son of a bitch.’ I heard myself say it, but again I didn’t believe it.

Then all I felt was his fist make contact with my jaw, and then again in my eye.

‘GET OUT.’ He roared.

‘My pleasure.’ I said pushing past him and storming upstairs.

‘OUT OF THE HOUSE.’ He called after me.

I sighed. There was nothing I could do. Begging never worked, it just encouraged him.

‘Fine.’ I could feel warm blood running down my chin, but in a way I found it reassuring. I quickly grabbed some clothes and threw them in a bag before pushing past him again.

‘DON’T YOU DARE THINK ABOUT COMING BACK.’

And so ended my relations with my family.

Chapter

I’ve spent the past hour walking around in the rain, there is no shelter that I can find and none of my friends are picking up their phones. How perfectly eloquent. How fucking typical. Things begin to get better and then the bottom falls out of it. Why did I expect anything more?

I found myself in the road Rain lived on and was debating knocking on her door.

I had no where else to go, but I wasn’t sure how sympathetic she would be. In some ways what my father had said had been true. Had was the key word. I used to be like that. It has been a long, long time since I saw females as objects to use as I wished. There was only so long I could put up with the pain on their faces before I came to my senses and stopped being so god damned selfish.

I walked up to her door and knocked softly. No reply.

I knocked again harder. A man came to the door.

‘Do you know what time it is?’

‘I’m sorry. Is Rain there?’

‘Yes. What do you want with her?’

‘I have to speak to her, please. I wouldn’t come if it wasn’t important.’

He sighed and closed the door for a moment. Just as I thought he wasn’t coming back Rain opened the door.

‘Oh god. What happened?’ Apart from the pain, I had forgotten about my split lip and probably by now black eye.

‘My dad happened.’ I said laughing. It was so fucking funny.

‘He hit you?’ she asked in disbelief.

‘And threw me out of the house.’

‘He what? One minute….’ she closed the door again.

She came back several moment later and turned the hall light on, looking to all the world like an angel in her nimbus. How bloody ironic. God lets me down but it’s an angel that saves me.

‘Come in.’ she opened the door wider and lead me in. I followed her up the stairs to her room. She was right, it is a shrine. Brandon Lee stared at me from all directions.

‘God, you are soaked.’

‘Rain does that.’ I said, not meaning to be nasty, just so cold and confused.

She frowned.

‘Stay here. I’ll be right back.’ She slipped from the room and returned with dry clothing, bedding, a towel, cotton wool and antiseptic Dettol stuff.

‘Go change, the bathroom’s on the left’

I did as I was told, looking around at her home, where she lived. It was like every other house, with the exception that it was now my haven. She’d taken me in when she could just as easily have shut the door in my face. It wouldn’t have surprised me if she had. I changed and walked back into her room.

She bade me sit in front of her and she tore up the cotton wool and soaked it in the antiseptic liquid.

‘This may sting a little, but it’s a necessary evil.’ she said softly. She cleaned the cut on my lip, wiping the dried blood from my neck, so gentle it hurt.

‘Why did he do this?’ she asked softly, barely whispering.

‘Because he is an evil son of a bitch.’

She sighed before taking the towel and drying my hair. The whole time she was silent. And I ached to reach out to her, but she seemed distant somehow and I didn’t want to agonise her more than I already had.

Once she was done she sat and watched me, a look of confusion on her face as though she was not sure how to treat me now. The enormity of what had happened hit me then, it was something in her eyes and I could feel my eyes welling up and becoming heavy with tears. I turned away from her. I had spent the whole day being weak in front of her, I could not bear for her to see me cry. I looked back at her to see her eyes were tear laden also. It was too much and I could not hold them back anymore. She came closer, wrapping her arms around my shoulders, but I pushed her away. I could hear her sobbing behind me and it caused my tears to come faster, the salty tears stinging the cut upon my lip.

God I wish she would stop. It’s damn near killing me. She moved in front of me and wiped the tears from my eyes gently. I pushed her away again. I don’t deserve her kindness. She began sobbing anew and I couldn’t help but join her. I was crying for everything, all the times that man had hit me or abused me, for the hundreds of times I’d been made to feel inadequate.

‘Don’t push me away.’ she said, her voice trembling.

I turned and took her tiny shaking frame in my arms and sobbed into her shoulder. God it hurt. Seeing her that hurt and knowing that I had caused that pain.

Her breathing slowed slightly sometime later. I couldn’t cry anymore, and she clearly couldn’t either.

‘You should get some rest.’ she said shakily.

I nodded. I couldn’t manage anything else.

She made up a bed on her floor and slipped beneath the covers.

‘Don’t you want to talk about this?’ I asked.

‘I am exhausted, and I figure you don’t want to drag it up again.’ she said and she did look exhausted. She sat up and moved closer to me.

‘Why didn’t you tell me?’

‘Tell you what?’

‘About your dad.’

‘Not something I’m proud of. Anyway it’s not the type of thing you bring into a conversation when you haven’t seen someone for a year.’

‘I’m sorry,’ she said breathlessly.

‘What for?’

‘Everything.’

‘Why? You didn’t hit me.’

‘I didn’t help by running away.’

‘It doesn’t matter now.’ I noticed she still had the braids in her hair and began to untie them.

‘Anyway, I’m having the floor.’ I said gently pulling the ribbon from her hair.

‘Nope. You’re the guest. I get the floor.’

I sighed.

‘Can I admit something to you?’

‘Sure.’

‘Promise you won’t laugh.’

‘Slight deja vu, but I promise.’ she looked at me deeply and I felt as though she were searching my very soul, and it was agony.

‘I really don’t want to be alone right now.’

‘I’ll be right here.’ she said stroking my hair.

‘No, I mean…..’ I sighed, it sounded ridiculous even to me.

‘You want us both to have the floor?’ she didn’t look angry or surprised.

I nodded.

She stood and turned the light off before crawling under the covers.

I watched her a moment before following her, wrapping my arms around her waist and taking in her scent.

The last thing I remember before I fell asleep was the way she was whispering softly to me, telling me how everything was going to be ok. In truth I couldn’t believe it, but I didn’t have the heart to tell her otherwise.

I awoke feeling the complete bliss of forgetfulness until yesterday’s events came flooding back to me like some horrific dream, and it wasn’t that I had been thrown out of my home or that I had been hit, it was the look of pain on Rain’s face that hurt the most. The rest I could cope with. It was then I realised she wasn’t there. I panicked momentarily until she walked in the room carrying two mugs, she placed one in my hands.

‘Good morning.’ she said quietly.

‘Is it?’ I asked. I shouldn’t bring her down again, I just couldn’t be cheerful. She opened the curtains.

‘Actually it is.’ she said looking outside.

The rain had in essence cleansed the world and it looked better for it. I on the other hand looked terrible.

I caught sight of myself in Rain’s huge mirror.

‘God.’ I breathed.

‘I can cover that up if you’re worried about it.’ she said.

‘It’ll still be there though.’

‘Time heals all wounds.’ she said softly taking my hand and entwining her fingers in mine.

I drank from the mug only to discover she makes much better tea than I do and I told her as much.

She laughed, but it was slightly hollow. She rubbed her eyes sleepily.

‘Are your parents up?’

‘Yes.’ she said quietly.

‘What did they say?’

‘Not a lot, they trust me to some extent and know when not to ask.’

‘I should get up, find somewhere to live.’

‘And what’s wrong with this place?’ she asked in mock offence.

‘I can’t stay here. It’s enough that I stayed last night.’

‘Don’t argue with me mister. You’re staying here, you have no choice in the matter.’

‘I’ll just get under your feet.’ I said, feeling a little uncomfortable by her generosity.

‘You’re too tall.’ she said grinning slightly. The light was returning to her eyes and it caused me to smile.

I sighed. ‘There isn’t enough room here.’

‘Sure there is.’ She yawned.

‘Don’t you have work today?’

‘Yes, but not until later.’ she slunk behind me and began to massage my shoulders for me.

‘My god you’re tense.’ she whispered.

‘I have good reason.’

‘Sorry…..I didn’t……’

‘Don’t apologise, I shouldn’t snap at you.’

‘So we have the morning to ourselves, what would you like to do?’ she asked, kneading the skin on my shoulders and upper back.

‘Have you do that all day.’

She laughed. ‘You wish bucko. I have work later.’

‘What time?’

’12.’

‘What am I going to do while you’re at work?’

‘What ever you want to do. I have a spare key you can have.’

‘You’re parents would love that.’

‘I’ll explain what happened. They wont mind.’

I didn’t want to think about that anymore, so I just concentrated on the wonderful things she was doing with her hands. I apparently had knots in my muscles if that is humanly possible.

She left for work about twenty minutes ago and I don’t have a clue what to do with myself. She introduced me to her parents and brother, but I’m still not going to act as though I own the house.

‘Ross? You hungry?’ That’d be her mother.

‘Thank you yes.’ Ok, this could burn some time, eating.

She fixed me lunch, which I felt ridiculously guilty about and made small talk.

‘Rain finishes work at 6 you can come with us to pick her up if you’d like?’

‘I was thinking I might walk up and meet her if you don’t mind?’

‘Of course not. Did she give you a key.’

‘Yes thank you, for everything.’

‘Don’t worry about it.’

‘No really. I’ll try to find somewhere else as soon as is possible.’ serious guilt trip.

‘Really, don’t worry, we don’t mind.’ she smiled then, and the guilt began to eat away at me. Fair enough she may not mind, but I do. The least I can do is find a job and give them some money I suppose. Finding a job is the problem though. As it’s half term for the schools, everywhere will need someone, but it will probably be temporary…..I had intended to go to University at the end of the year, but I don’t see that happening now.

I set off to meet Rain and arrived at her work to find her pinned to the ground by several children. She was laughing hysterically.

‘Are you quite done squashing my girlfriend?’ I don’t know what possessed me to phrase it like that, but the kids jumped up like lightning.

Rain got to her feet smiling.

‘Hey you. You scared my kids!’

‘Rain has a boyfriend….Rain has a boyfriend.’ one of the children began to chant.

‘So do Cass, Julie and Pauline.’ she said changing the subject.

She looked perfect to me at that moment, even though she had glitter in her hair and she was flushed.

‘I made the mistake of setting the glitter out.’ she said shaking her head and a shower of silver glitter fell to the ground.

‘How’s that for a party trick?’ she said grinning. ‘You ok? How are the wounds?’

‘Better. It hurts to talk, but my eye feels better.’

‘I’ll be done in a moment and then we can go. Do you want to sit down?’

I took a seat by the other staff members who looked at me in suspicion. I really didn’t care, they could think what they wanted. I watched as Rain tidied up after herself (all the while, the other members of staff sat doing nothing) and said goodbye to the kids.

‘Ok, we can go.’ she said before saying goodbye to the other staff.

‘What did you do with yourself today?’ she said smiling and taking my hand.

‘Sat in your room waiting for you to finish work.’

‘Seriously! Ross! You should have done something?’

‘Like what? Redecorated your room?’

‘You try it and you will love the consequences.’

That made me smile. ‘Well, it’s not easy to sleep with Brandon staring at me from all directions.’

‘See in my view, it’s not easy to sleep without him staring at me from all directions.’

We got home and collapsed in each other’s arms when we got up to her room.

‘So I’m your girlfriend now?’ said asked smiling.

‘Unless you have any objections?’

‘Hell no.’ she said repeating my statement from last night.

‘Wench.’

‘You love it.’ she said smiling.

‘Unfortunately, yes.’

Chapter

Months passed and we lived together in complete contentedness. I found a job in some dead end bar, but it was money coming in and it made me less guilty about living there. But as time passed I could not help feel bitter about what had happened. The fact that I had had my future planned out and now it had come to nothing. I had a job in a bar with no prospects for the future.

Rain said I should save up and go to Uni when I had the money, but the amount I earned meant that it would take years. Also she was going to be going to Uni at the end of the month, though not living in, it meant that she would be gone much longer.

Her course started and things changed dramatically. I knew she still felt the same way about me, but after having spent all day at Uni, getting up at 5.30 to catch the first of two buses and not getting home until 7.30 some nights. She was exhausted. Also her course had a lot of work and she would lock herself away somewhere to get it done. I was more comfortable at her house now. Her family had accepted me without any complaint, but it still wasn’t home. And the more time that passed, the more restless I became. I can feel it inside. I need to get out and I feel suffocated, but at the same time neglected by Rain. She shows me affection every second we are together, but we are spending less time together and I miss her like hell. It hurts to be separated from her for so long. I’m angry because she is away so long and there is nothing either of us can do about it, and she is angry because she is tired and knows I’m angry about it. In truth I think we will end up coming to blows over it which is going to cause problems due to our close proximity.

I visited my mother yesterday when I knew dad wasn’t going to be there. She said something that got me thinking. She had set up an account for me when I was younger to save for University and hadn’t told dad about it. She said that I could have the money to start University if I wished and that there was enough for the first year to live in and pay for the course and books. She gave me the details and asked that I write when I did go. I spent the rest of the day looking up Universities nearby that did the course I had intended to do, but there weren’t any. The nearest was Bournemouth, which is not near at all.

Once I had thought about it, it made sense to do it. And I made the decision to go. The only problem is speaking to Rain about it.

‘Can I talk to you for a moment?’

‘Can it wait? I have this essay due in tomorrow Hun.’

‘It’s important.’ she looked away from the computer screen and indicated for me to come in.

‘Are you ok? You look worried.’ she said smiling kindly.

‘You know I adore you right?’

She smiled.

‘And that I worship the ground you walk on and that it is getting to obsession…..’

‘I know all that because I feel the same way…..’

‘But we are growing apart…….’

Her face fell.

‘I went to see my mother today.’

‘How is she?’

‘Well. She told me about an account she had set up for me if I ever wanted to go to University.’

‘And you want to go?’

‘Yes.’

‘That’s wonderful!!!!! I’m so happy for you!’ she said getting up from the chair and hugging me tightly.

‘The problem is, the closest University that is running my course is in Bournemouth.’

‘Oh.’ she said looking pained. ‘You could come back for weekends right?’

‘I don’t think so……I mean I could occasionally, but I couldn’t afford to every week.’

‘Oh.’ she said again. She becomes as articulate as I do when I get bad news.

‘And I don’t think I could cope with being in a long distance relationship as it would break my heart not being able to see you.’

She looked away.

‘Does that mean that you genuinely will hurt to be away from me, or is that your way of saying to want to live the single uni life?’

‘I love you. I don’t want to do this, but it will hurt us both too much.’

‘This is very sudden, have you thought about it?’

‘All of yesterday and last night. It can’t work long distance.’

‘Ok.’ she said turning back to the computer and beginning to type again.

‘That’s it?’ It never occurred to me that she could be cold.

‘I don’t get a choice in the matter, you’ve already decided so I’m trying to make it easier for you.’ she said, not turning or looking at me.

I was aware that this was hurting her, but she wasn’t giving me a chance.

‘It’s not like that.’

‘YES IT IS!’ She shouted, turning to look at me, her eyes burning furiously.

And that was it. I was accepted to the University and moved out three days later. I tried to speak to her several times, but she shut me out, literally. Ignoring me and not even acknowledging my presence.

Self Destruction and all that follows.

Months passed, as they inevitably do and as they always will, the pain of losing her not lessening, but increasing daily. I made new friends at University and there were many, many faceless females who I sated myself with, but I felt empty and disgusted with myself.

I called Rain several times but she would not speak to me. I sent her letters, emails, left messages on her phone, I even turned up in her doorstep one day but she refused to come to the door.

The course was not exactly how I had pictured it, but it was a degree, it passed in a blur of alcohol induced nights of lust sated by anyone who would come back to my room with me.

My self loathing grew to a size I could not deal with and I could not bear to look at myself in the mirror. It was like history repeating itself, but at least the last time the females I had used had been friends. They saw I was in pain and were not too angry. They were equally as wounded as I was, that being the reason they came to me. But here….

My friends here began to get worried, sending me to see the campus shrink. How delightful. But he would not see me twice after my violent outbursts, It was evident I didn’t want helping and he was not paid to actually care.

Such is life I suppose.

A year passed and I honestly have no recollection of it. Just random memories that mean nothing. I scraped through my first year of exams, not having revised or studied, simply turning up drunk to the exam and having them send me home thinking I was ill. They graded the year on the work I had completed. Apparently it does pay to be a drunk.

My friends grew tired of my destructiveness and I can’t say I blame them, so I got in contact with Rea and my old friend’s from home. It was as though no time had passed being with them. We all had things we wanted to forget, who cared if it ended in hospital with a stomach pump? It was something else to concentrate upon. The most wonderful thing about being friends with Rea, Mel, Jay and everyone again was that they had never known about my relationship with Rain so did not bring it up, even when drunk, though I spoke of her when I was completely slaughtered, they did not know who I was speaking of and assumed it was a random girl at University. And this was how I continued, barely staying in University and forgetting the most perfect thing to ever happen to me by telling myself it had never happened, blurring her image with those of the faceless females who would show me kindness for short periods of time.

I think I’ve really done it this time. I have to visit the University Dean after a night I can’t even remember.

I knock on his office door knowing this is going to be hellish, and knowing that I may be excluded or completely expelled and that would be on the plus side. From my memories, the things I did are arrestable offences.

‘Ross. Please sit down.’

I did as asked.

‘You know why you are here?’

‘In truth I’m not sure the exact reason.’

‘Yes, I suppose you wouldn’t remember, you were that intoxicated.’ his voice was calm, though his eyes were angry.

‘You were so drunk I am amazed that you didn’t need a stomach pump. How could you be so irresponsible. Not only did you risk you’re own life, but you risked other people’s.’ he stopped, clearly a dramatic pause where it’s supposed to sink in that I’ve done wrong.

‘You stole a car. You nearly hit several people. If the police hadn’t stopped you, god forbid what would have happened.’

‘God had nothing to do with it.’

‘You are damned right there.’ the Dean said, his patience frayed. I am sorry to say I found it quite amusing.

‘I have no choice but to suspend you for two weeks. You must leave the campus, but you may leave your things in your room. You will be allowed back after that time.’

He allowed me to leave after this statement, but part of me had been wishing for something much harsher, something to maybe wake me up. But it didn’t come. Suspension was like having a holiday from Uni, who cared about missing the classes, someone would take notes for me, they always did. But where the hell I was going to stay?

I called my mom and told her what had happened.

‘I can not believe you could be so irresponsible.’ Clearly dad wasn’t in or she wouldn’t be shouting.

She sighed and that was when it hit me. Not the fact that I could have killed myself because I didn’t care about that, and not that I’d nearly killed anyone else because I had no memory of it. It was hearing my mother’s heart break. The poor woman had enough to deal with living with my dad.

‘Your father is away on business for a week, so you can stay here, but I can’t help you for the second week.’

‘No, that’s great mom.’ It would be great. I could see all my old friends and feel like myself again, though I hadn’t felt like that for a long, long time. I packed a bag and left within the hour, not even bothering to say goodbye to my ‘friends’ on campus.

I can not put into words how good it felt to be home…..and it really did feel perfect, even better that dad wasn’t there. I put my things into my old room which hadn’t been touched at my mother’s request, and went out to track Rea down.

‘You didn’t tell me you were coming home!’ she said excitedly when I turned up on her doorstep.

‘I didn’t know myself until I was suspended this morning.’ she let me in and I slumped down into the couch. This place felt even more familiar than my old house had.

‘You got suspended? What did you do?’ She looked concerned, but slightly amused as well.

‘Drink driving.’

‘How were you not arrested?’

I shrugged. I didn’t know myself.

‘Oh well, you’re here now! You’re gunna love it! Mel’s coming over tonight, her first night off from work for ages, I haven’t seen her since you were last here.’

‘That’s cool.’

‘Isn’t it?’ she said excitedly.

She’s so nice, like a sister or something, except I’ve slept with her, hence the incestuous feelings. I just find it funny that I can be so comfortable with someone I’ve slept with. We just slipped straight back into our old routine of being friends and no one said a thing, even though I had also slept with Mel, Emily and Becka. Weird sleeping with your friends, but also strangely comfortable. Better than the masses of females at University and before. Faceless creatures that I pitied because I felt nothing for them and they evidently saw it as more than a one night stand. So much guilt I should be feeling, but I feel nothing. Oblivion is a wonderful thing.

‘Oh and guess what?’

‘What’s that?’

‘An old friend is coming, but I don’t think you know her…..you never know….maybe you two could hook up?’

‘I’m not looking for anything serious right now.’ I said and it was the truth, I tried to be honest about my deceptions.

‘That’s a shame, I think she’d be good for you. Very grounded. She’d kick you out of your bad habits.’

‘I don’t need another mother thanks.’

‘You’re choice. She’s a sweetie though.’

‘Stop Rea.’

‘Ok, but can I ask……have you ever had a serious relationship since Mel?’

I couldn’t answer, the truth was still like filling a cut with salt.

‘So what time are they all coming?’

‘Seven, which gives us time to tidy up.’

Seven rolled around and I was strangely curious about this mysterious guest. But in truth I didn’t care enough to ask anymore about it.

‘Ooh, there’s the door. Hold up.’ Rea jumped to her feet to answer the door, the familiar voice of Mel. Reassuring to have her here, dwell in memories of the good times.

‘Hey Mel.’ I said smiling brightly.

‘Hey Ross. How are you? Rea said you were kicked out of Uni?’

I nodded.

‘So who’s this friend you’re bringing?’

‘Ah, you may remember her, from Greece?’

‘Who?’ I suddenly became nervous. I hope to God it isn’t ‘her’.

‘Megan, or Meg as we called her.’

I sighed audibly.

‘Why who did you think it was? You looked a little nervous then?’ Rea said laughing.

‘I was worried you had invited Olive Tree Boy to punish me with.’ It was easier to lie, the truth was too long and I didn’t have the energy for it.

The door bell rang again and I could hear Meg’s voice and another, apologetic.

Oh god.

‘Ross, Meg’s brought someone she ran into in town, I don’t know if you remember Rain? It’s like a Greece reunion, apart from the fact that I wasn’t there.’ Rea joked.

My breath caught in my throat and I honestly thought I was about to die.

And there she was looking more otherworldly than I had seen her look before. My poor broken goddess…..

And suddenly the months of binge drinking and one night stands were forgotten as I saw her gasp when she saw me.

‘Rain? You remember Ross right?’

‘Oh yes, Hi, how are you?’ she is clearly a much better actor than I am.

‘Ross are you ok?’ Rea asked concerned.

‘Sure.’ No. I’m not, I think I’m dying. But she wouldn’t understand that.

God I wish she’d stop looking at me like that, with so much fucking love in her eyes.

‘I’m going outside for a cigarette.’ It was the only excuse I could think of. After having been through hell quitting smoking, which Rain had gotten me through, I had taken it up again at University almost the first day.

Oh god. I can not cope with this. I swear god has a grudge, it’s not good enough that I’m a fucking wreck he sends ‘her’ back into my life and god I can’t even think ‘her’ name, it hurts so much.

I lit a cigarette and inhaled deeply and it felt perfect, I don’t give a shit about lung cancer, it’s better than this which we call life.

‘Ross?’

Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck.

‘What?’

‘When did you start smoking again?’ That god damned soft fucking gentle voice. Why can’t ‘she’ leave me alone.

‘What’s it to you?’

‘Just curious.’

‘You knew I was going to be here didn’t you.’ Ok it wasn’t possible that she did, but I didn’t care, I just want her to leave me alone. I’m not going to look at you. Leave me alone. God damn you go away. I could hear her moving around to face me. I swear I am dying right now. My god it hurts. And she looks ever the angel, all dressed in white, innocence, purity, chastity.

‘Look at me.’ No. Fuck you.

‘Ross? Look at me.’

‘Leave me the fuck alone.’

‘No.’ her voice was steady though she was trembling. It was cold outside, but I don’t think that was what caused it.

‘What the fuck do you want?’

‘I want to know what the fuck you think you are doing you son of a bitch!’ she screamed then and it was perfect. Thank god she finally showed some emotion.

‘What do you mean?’

‘What do I mean?’ she laughed and it wasn’t the laugh I loved and adored. It was cold and hollow.

‘Why the fuck are you doing this to yourself?’

‘What am I doing exactly? And what business is it of yours?’

She tore the cigarette from my mouth and slapped me across the cheek. So I hit her back.

She screamed, the type of noise that cuts right through the air and she threw herself at me. And I laughed because it was so fucking funny and unbelievable.

I could feel her scratching me but it didn’t hurt it was too fucking hysterical. She stopped, sobbing uncontrollably and collapsed at my feet, her head in her hands. And still I laughed. I’m a bastard but I don’t care, she shut me out not the other way around.

She started screaming hysterically, the sound reverberating across the night sky, Rea and Mel came running out followed by Megs, all of them looking confused.

‘What happened? What’s wrong hunny?’ Rea sank to her knees and threw her arms around ‘her.’

‘What happened? It’s ok…..talk to me…..’ Mel looked at me as though I had done something.

They half lead, half carried her back into the house, a red hand print across her face.

‘YOU HIT HER?’ Rea was furious.

‘She hit me first.’ It sounded pathetic, but there was no justifying my actions.

‘Why the fuck would she do that?’ Mel asked, looking angry also.

‘She’ was still screaming, it wasn’t funny anymore, it was hurting my ears.

It was then I noticed things I hadn’t seen when she first walked in. Her wrists….

I looked as closely as I could without getting any closer to her. Through her sheer white blouse I could see the ugly red scars running the length of her forearm and it scared the shit out of me.

‘What have you been doing to yourself?’ I asked in a voice that broke before it left my mouth.

She was still half screaming half sobbing hysterically.

‘WHAT THE FUCK HAVE YOU BEEN DOING TO YOURSELF?’ I screamed at her. Mel slapped me, but ‘she’ stopped screaming, shaking uncontrollably, but no longer making that god awful sound that was still resonating about my head.

‘What did she do this for?’ I asked Mel, pointing to her wrists, there was none of her beautiful white skin left unmarked on her arms. Just angry scars and veins that seemed to want to escape her body.

‘She was raped several months ago.’ Mel whispered softly to me.

‘SHE WAS WHAT?’ Oh god no. No. Please. Don’t let it be true, I swear I will be a better person if you undo this. But I was praying to a god I didn’t believe in and one who’d stopped listening years ago. I had to have been the only five year old I knew who knew god had given up on them.

I could feel a familiar sensation in my eyes and I realised I was crying. It had been so long since I had, it felt right somehow. Mel looked at me in surprise.

‘Who did it?’ I whispered, unable to raise my voice.

‘We don’t know.’ Mel said, she looked pained just looking at ‘her’

Poor little broken angel. It was then the guilt hit me and my god it hurt. The guilt from having left, the guilt from all those faceless girls I had used and discarded, the guilt from hurting my mother, the guilt from nearly killing those people when I had stolen that car, and the guilt from hitting her and laughing about it.

Something snapped. It broke and I was sobbing and on my knees. Megan, Mel and Rea had no idea what to do, ignoring me because I had hit their poor broken bird, and that’s exactly what she was. It was as though someone had torn the wings from her back and discarded her. I had done that. It was me.

They put my baby to bed, she had lost consciousness from exhaustion. It was then it all came out and I felt had though the cross was lifted from my shoulders slightly, not keeping our relationship from them any longer. But as soon as I felt absolution, they told me about ‘her’ past year and it was replaced.

It happened that when I left she threw herself into her work, the opposite of my actions. She filled all her time and had no life outside her study. One day when she had been walking home from the bus station a man had jumped her and raped her. I sobbed uncontrollably when they told me. Some disgusting thing had harmed my most precious angel. They had defiled her and beaten her within an inch of her life. She fell to pieces which was why she did not answer my letters or calls.

When she seemed to be recovering, she had run into Rea and they had continued where they left off in their friendship, until they had discovered she was harming herself. They had all been there, slitting their wrists to ease their pain, but she had taken it much further. More than once she had been rushed to hospital as she had made the cuts too long or too deep, such was her pain.

But then she began to recover, seemed happier, or at least less troubled. Until tonight that is.

‘Why didn’t you tell us?’ Rea asked. ‘So that is why you were doing all of this? The drinking, the stealing? This is why? God why didn’t you tell us!’ she shouted.

‘I couldn’t talk about it.’ it was true, I couldn’t. I shut it away in a deep dark place that alcohol helped me stay away from.

‘Can I go up and speak to her?’

‘Let her sleep. She can stay here tonight’

‘Please. I just want to check she is ok.’

‘And if she’s still awake and you go up there?’

‘I won’t upset her. Please.’ Rea softened.

‘Just don’t wake her up.’

I walked up the stairs of this house I had come to regard as my second home, and now if felt so alien and wrong. I found Rea’s room and slowly opened the door.

I could feel that very same pain in my chest that I’d felt that first time she had been sobbing in the rain because of my father’s hurtful comments. It lead me to remember that first night I’d fallen asleep in her arms, and the panic I felt when I woke to find she had not been there.

I felt that panic every morning, every single god damned morning I had woken up, having dreamed she was beside me, to find some random person, who’s name I could not remember in my bed.

She was asleep, her tiny body under the blankets, looking smaller still. She had lost weight, I could see that from the way her ribs and collar bones were much more evident than they had ever been, and she was thin before. Seven and a half stone she had weighed when I had left, she must be under six and a half now.

I tried to stop myself from sobbing, for fear of waking her, but my grief would not be contained. Her eyelids flickered momentarily before her eyes opened. How many times I had woken in the night to watch her sleep and wonder what she was dreaming. Was she dreaming of me as I did her?

‘Ross?’ Her eyes seemed to have difficulty focusing, the light from the hall falling across her waist.

‘I’m here.’

‘Why did you leave me?’ She was crying again.

‘I’m sorry.’ I sobbed.

‘I hate you for leaving me.’ she said, her voice taught, catching in her throat. ‘But god I love you so.’

‘I love you too. I’m sorry.’

‘It’s not your fault.’ she sobbed.

I couldn’t bear not touching her anymore and pulled her into my arms, where she fell against me and I realised the extent of her self sentenced punishment. Her body was skeletal, her bones evident throughout her body, the way they were raised and protruding. I sobbed into her hair uncontrollably and was not ashamed this time. I ran my fingers gently over her wrists and she sobbed even more.

‘Why? Oh god why? Why didn’t you call me?’ I whispered.

‘I don’t know.’

The scars were raised slightly so you could trace the path of her descent, as they wove across her arm. Thank the gods I could not see them, it would have been too much to bare.

‘Come home with me.’ I whispered to her.

‘Where is home?’ she whispered back.

It took entirely too long to explain everything to Rea who was not letting Rain leave with me. She had trouble understanding me due to sobbing and being unable to breathe, but when she understood she stood aside. I kissed their cheeks as I passed them, Rain leaning heavily on my arm as she walked.

We arrived home to find my mother already in bed. I had to carry Rain up the stairs as she was so weak, and she fell asleep as soon as her head touched the pillow. I did not sleep that night, nor the following one. I sat and watched her, coming to terms with my guilt and all that had happened to her. I found it easier to face my demons when I had not slept and exorcised them while Rain rested, she was too tired to help me through this and I would not have put her through it anyway.

I looked deep inside myself and realised how much I had changed in the past two years, since I had met ‘her’ and how she had become my all. How I had fallen to pieces without her and been torn to shreds when I realised she had gone to pieces also. All night I watched her and each moment that passed I felt more at peace. Her rhythmic breathing so reassuring and perfect, so beautiful and pure because that is what she is. Pure and wonderful. There’s that word again. Wonderful. She is wonderful. She is full of wonder and I am in wonder of her. It’s amazing how close and obvious the answers can be, and how easily we can overlook them or misread them. I was screaming out for her and I didn’t even know it. She was calling out to me but I drowned her out. Is this the nature of soul mates? They know when the other is in pain and call out to them. It is not their fault that sometimes we choose to ignore our souls, something we’ve had since the beginning of time? Maybe. I don’t suppose it matters as long as we don’t forget them, which is what I did and what Rain was forced to do when it was drowned out by her pain. She is waking now.

‘Are you still awake?’ she looks so small and delicate I could cry again.

‘Yes.’

‘Can you not sleep?’ She is fully awake now, she can not sleep properly if she knows I am awake.

‘Not really.’

‘I heard you calling me.’

‘I’m sorry?’

‘You were calling me.’

‘When?’

‘While I was sleeping, I heard you.’

‘It must have been a dream. I haven’t said a word.’

‘You do not have to speak to call me.’ Very wise little creature, you can see it in her eyes.

‘What did I say?’

‘Everything and nothing.’ she said smiling mysteriously.

‘Speaking in riddles again.’

‘Always. They are not riddles, you just think too difficultly.’ She’s looking at me upside down, smiling because I think she has finally found peace.

‘I have you know.’

‘Have what?’

‘Found peace.’

‘How did you……?’

‘I don’t know, you are calling to me, I can hear it. I heard when you left, but I thought I was going crazy.’

‘How do you know you’re not going crazy now?’ She’s laughing now, and it’s that laugh that I love, the one that makes me smile no matter what I’m feeling.

‘Do you know how beautiful you are?’ she always catches me off guard with something so completely perfect like that.

‘Tell me.’ she’s laughing again because she loves telling me.

‘I wouldn’t want to cause you to become bigheaded.’

‘Then tell me how I can call to you without speaking.’ She gets onto her knees and crawls over to me.

‘Close you eyes.’ I follow her instructions. ‘Clear your mind of all thought.’

‘Easier said than done.’

‘Shhhhhhh! Listen.’

‘I hear nothing.’

‘That’s because you keep speaking!’

I find it hard to clear my head when my thoughts are on ‘her’ all I can think of is her dancing, or singing, or telling me she loves me.

‘You heard that did you not?’

‘Hear what?’

She shakes her head. ‘You heard it, I know you did.’

‘Yep, you’re going crazy.’

‘And you love it.’

‘Guilty as charged.’

‘Will you sleep now?’

‘Would it make you happy?’

‘Yes.’

‘Very well.’ I lie beside her and get tangled in her limbs and am falling asleep before I am even aware of it. I remember hearing a calling though before I left my conscious thoughts behind.

 

 

Advertisements

Let me know what you think...

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: