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Old 11-05-2013, 12:55 PM   #1
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Rose. Part 4.

Greetings peeps. Many thanks for your comments in part 3. Ok, next bit...

Last bit from last bit first:

On more then one occasion our heads had been close together as we’d talked. He’d even leaned in towards me, his mouth almost touching my ear, to whisper that he found my perfume alluring. And me, well I’d never lured anyone in my life. (I didn’t even know what it meant until I looked it up in the dictionary when I got home). Course, those words of his got me stoked up and excited. All this; all this and non of it even sexual and yet it’d fired my veins until I’d almost exploded over all the kitchen walls but then, as is usual after every rise, there comes a fall and I fell. Oh how I fell.



Ok, next bit...



It had been my brother who’d not only burst my bubble but crushed me half to death with one innocent sentence which hadn’t even been aimed at me but at my mother. It hadn’t been malicious. It hadn’t been spiteful. It had simply been informative. Did she know that Jack had a new girlfriend?

It was a conversational piece, something shared between mother and son, something casual, something meaningless. Course, my big ears had heard every word, each one; all nine of them; did she know that Jack had a new girlfriend?

I never heard anything else after that. I never heard what my mother said in reply. I never heard what my brother had said after she’d spoken. All I kept hearing was did she know that Jack had a new girlfriend?

My world quietly imploded, fell in on itself. I felt sick so I backed away and slipped into my bedroom unnoticed, closing the door quietly and then using the back of it for support. My heart beat way too fast in my chest, my hands shook as I stuffed my fist into my mouth and bit down in an attempt to crush howl that threatened to burst out of my throat. Did she know that Jack had a new girlfriend; a new girlfriend, a new girlfriend?

I repeated the last five words of of my brother's sentence over and over inside my head until it became a statement and not a question; Jack had a new girlfriend. Hope died. Fantasies shriveled. Make believe was destined to remain just that; make believe.

:-:


Some time later my mother called me downstairs to eat. I felt no hunger. I had no desire for food. The only desire I had was to jump out of my bedroom window and impale myself on the railings below. After all, I felt as though I’d been stabbed through the chest so what difference would a few metal spikes painted black make?

“Rose!” She called again. I wanted to ignore her but knew that if I didn’t show my face, then father would be sticking his nose round my door so I joined them at the table; the table at which they were discussing this latest revelation.

Mother was speaking. “So, what’s her name then? It’s about time that boy got himself a half decent girlfriend. Good boy like that should have a nice girl, especially given his mother was such a bitch and all”.

“Janet!” It was father.

“Well, it’s true. She was a bitch, leaving him and his dad for that fireman’.

‘Probably liked the length of his hose”. Big brother just couldn’t help himself sometimes.

Mother had glared at him before continuing. “Never felt the love of a good woman, that boy. Maybe now he can”.

“You’ll be marrying the poor bloke off next”. It was father, speaking around a mouthful of cabbage. “He should be out sowing his wild oats at his age, not settling down; plenty of time for that later”.

Brother had snorted through his nose. “I think he’s done his fair share of oat sowing”. And opposite him father sniggered like a schoolboy.

Mother scowled. “Do you have to talk like that in front of Rose?”

“Why not?” Brother had said. “I’ll bet she’s sown a few oats of her own by now”.

All eyes swiveled in my direction. I was horrified. Oats: me, sowing wild oats? I haven’t even sown a hem let alone sown any wild oats, but father’s eyes had narrowed all the same and mothers were wary. I looked at them all as they gawked at me. Across the table brother was still sniggering, waiting for me to talk.

“Well?” Father asked sternly whilst giving me The You’d Better Not Have Look. “Well?”

“Well what?”

“You know what”.

“No, I don’t”.

Father threw down his fork and wiped his chops on his serviette. “Did you have sex at that party last week?”

I felt the colour drain from my face and then heat up again. I was disgusted. How dare they? “Absolutely not!” I snapped jumping up. “And even if I had; it’d have nothing to do with any of you!” I was appalled with the turn of the conversation so I’d flounced off, disgusted at them all and even more disgusted that Rat Bastard Jack went and got himself a girlfriend.

:-:


The name was Rebecca; Re bec cah. The name sounded like a drug for reflux acid as far as I was concerned and that’s how she felt to me; like acid, acid in my stomach. My brain burned with jealousy. I suppose on reflection that the name Rebecca is actually a very nice name only I didn’t feel very nice at the time. Oh, but I didn’t deliberately set out to find out her name. I just kind of did. Ok, so I’d eavesdropped on my brother’s conversation; the one he had later with his friends; the friends who were now Jackless. Rebecca. Rebecca. Fuck Rebecca. Fuck Rebecca twice over. And what hurt more was the fact that he most definitely already had.

He’d met her before I’d been grounded and it didn’t take me long to work out it was probably the night that I’d heard them talking of women and bars on the stairs.

He couldn’t possibly have met someone else. I wouldn’t believe it but he had and I felt totally deflated, asking myself so many useless questions, tormenting myself like an old time religious fanatic, flaying myself raw only I didn’t need a rope or anything physical to inflict the pain. No, my mind was well good enough; what happened with our cosy chat on the night of the party? Why was he so nice to me all the time if he wasn’t interested? Why did he spend almost the entire night with me in the kitchen, sharing some of his most intimate thoughts and revelations?

And still it continued; why did he pull me round to stand in front of him when his friends came into the kitchen, pulling my back up against him so that I could feel the heat and firmness of his chest and why did he slide his arms round my waist, pulling me in against him, splaying his big hands across my middle? Tell me that then? Why’d he do that? Hold me against him like a lover would? Resting his head on my shoulder whilst we’d all chatted and drank away the hours? No, it didn’t add up. If he’d met her before the party, why hadn’t he brought her along?

So, that’s how it was. Jack had a new girlfriend; a new girlfriend who wasn’t me, a new girlfriend who took up all of his time because, you know, he just seemed to drop off the face of the earth.

All that summer, in fact, for the rest of that year I felt a kind of loss, like a part of me was missing. I’d always had Jack in my life see, and suddenly he wasn’t there any more. When my brother’s friends came round, he wasn’t one of them. I hated hearing the doorbell go because I knew it wouldn’t be him. I missed him so much it hurt.

:-:


But, even when we don’t want it to, life goes on. I left school in the June and went to work in a library. Only part time, you understand. I hadn’t decided what I’d wanted to do back then so I guess I drifted into part time work just to keep me earning enough for clothes and alcohol. Weekends were my own so Kay and I would amble off into town, meet up with friends and get on with life.

And I got drunk pretty regularly. Father wasn’t impressed when I rolled in one Saturday afternoon soaking wet after friends had thrown me fully clothed into the tiny stream that runs through the town gardens. I got a right bollocking for that, especially after I giggled drunkenly at him in his shorts.

But, you know, I think I used those months of merriment and stupidity to ignore any deeper feelings that I may have had; feelings that would upset me and leave me empty. I didn’t want to think of what had slipped through my fingers. I didn’t want to know that he was happy with his new relationship or that she was a lovely girl as my asshole brother kept telling me.

And I dreaded bumping into them in town. I panicked and ached every time I saw someone who looked like him. Oh, I wanted to see him yes, just not with her. I didn’t want to see that cow in the flesh; didn’t want to smell her fancy perfume or see how she dressed/wore her makeup/laughed. I didn’t want to hear her voice. And I especially didn’t want to hear his name on her lips.

I knew I’d been cursed with an unrequited love and yes, I’d always known deep down that he’d never look at me in that way, but y’know, I’d never truly believed it; not really. That tiny spark just wouldn’t go out. How stupid and stubborn could a person be? Luckily for me, though, I never did see them together; not that summer anyway.

No, it was a good few summers later when I was a grown up that I’d seen him or rather, them. I’d been sitting in a café waiting for my friends when I spotted them. Across the street they were; him and her, her and him, arm in arm; my Jack, my Jack, smiling, laughing, looking oh so happy and I’d wanted to die.

Yes, I’d formed a life of my own by then; yes it was a life that didn’t include him and yes, I’d gone out with other guys, had one or two half decent relationships but none of those men lit my fire like Jack did. No matter how hard I tried I never stopped loving him; never stopped aching for a man I knew I’d never get.

Way back in the day when I was a kid I’d promised myself that I would get him; that he’d be mine. I'd decided that we’d live happily ever after; have kids of our own, grow old together. Meantime I’d just go through the motions of living and wait til I was old enough to marry him.

That had been a long time ago. It had been a mistake. I knew that now. And as I cast my beady eye over them from a discreet distance, I noticed that the rat bastard was still gorgeous, only even more so. It seemed that the older he’d got, the more attractive he’d become. And he’d let his hair grow. It was long, tied back in a scruffy pony tail. His shoulders were as square and broad as ever I’d remembered them. He still wore the customary black jeans and black shoes. He looked so good. He looked like I’d expected him to look with me, when I’d imagined us married. He looked contented, happy, only I wasn’t on his arm. She was; her, that fucking harpy.

:-:

The waiter brought over my order of rich chocolate mocha cake. Momentarily I took my eyes off them to accept it and by the time I looked out of the window again, they’d gone. He’d gone. The light went out once more for me. I felt alone in the dark. I felt sick. I felt empty.
The fine cake before me morphed into scenes from my childhood and all the memories I’d created with him. At each one, my eyes heated up with cold disappointment and resignation until I’d felt the sting of tears slipping down my face.

The tears surprised me in a way. I thought I’d finally accepted that he wasn’t to be mine. After all, I’d told myself a thousand times a day that he’d become irrecoverably involved with her, so I knew I was wasting my time. Yet there I sat, years later, angry and jealous of a girl I didn’t know. Why did I still have those feelings? Why wouldn’t they just up and die?

Seeing them so close like that, seeing her in my place; the place I should have been; I should have been walking next to him. His arm should have been draped across my shoulder. All I had right then was a brown pile on my plate that I didn’t even want.

Kay and Liz exploded into the café without warning so I put my feelings away and pretended to be happy. I smiled at them as they approached, painted on my happy face; asked them where they’d been. They were full of bags and giggled as they quite literally poured themselves into the seats next to me. The other patrons stared at them; at us, but we didn’t care.

“Guess who we’ve just seen?” It was Liz, carefully stacking all the new shoes she’d just bought in a haphazard heap. And I so didn’t need it. I wasn’t in the mood. Just leave me alone. I’m not up for talking. I just want to go some place an’ die. I stirred my coffee, held my breath and hoped that they didn’t see the tears glittering in my eyes.

“Who?” I said eventually when it became obvious they were waiting for an answer. Yeah, I know you’ve seen Jack and ‘girlfriend’. You don’t have to rub it in.

“Keiron”.

My head whipped up. I thought they were going to say Jack. “Keiron?”

“Yup”. Kay always had a thing for Keiron. “He is so lovely and so funny. He makes me laugh”. She said on a wispy sigh. “I haven’t seen him in ages. His hair’s real long now; got it tied back in a pony tail and wearing a hat. I expect he’s wearing that because he’s loosing his hair on top”. She’d sighed, looked vacantly at me then said, “He gave us some interesting news”.

“Oh?” I didn’t care but I didn’t want to be rude.

“We’ve just found out something very interesting”. The waiter stuck his hooter over us. “Er... cappuccino and some of what she’s got”. And she pointed to my cake.

“Here! Have it. I don’t want it. I haven’t touched it”.

“Don’t you want it then?”

“No. I don’t feel like it now”.

“Anyway, guess what?” Liz broke in. “Oh, I’ll have the same as her. Yeah, guess what?”

“What?”

“Guess what we just learned?”

“Oh, just spit it out”. I was pissed off and not interested in anything they had to say. I’d decided that my life stank once more and no one was allowed to improve it. I would grow happy with my sadness. It was becoming a part of me anyway, so I wished they’d leave me alone to enjoy it. And besides, whatever they said couldn’t make me feel any worse then I already did.

“Jack is married”.

:-:


My stomach contents decided at that point to leave my body. I jumped out of my chair, slapped my hand over my mouth and just made it to the toilets before I heaved. He can’t be. Not Jack. Not my Jack. But he wasn’t mine, was he?

Some time later I reached over, flushed away the unsightly contents and pressed my back up against the cool wall for support. Their words went round and round in my head: Jack is married. Jack is married. No, he can’t. He’s mine. He’s always been mine. But he hasn’t has he? Face it. He’s never been yours. And now, it looks like he never will be.

I should have guessed something like that would happen. Just because I couldn’t have him didn’t mean to say that he couldn’t have someone else. A man like him was bound to be snapped up sooner or later so why was I so surprised? Why hadn’t it occurred to me that he’d marry someone else? I mean, I knew that he’d wouldn’t be mine so why didn’t I go that one step further and make myself believe that he’d go his own way? Because I never really believed that I wouldn’t actually get him. But I was wrong, wasn’t I?

My eyes heated up again. I allowed hot tears of frustration and disappointment to course down my face. And then the girls were outside the cubicle, all concerned and worried. “What’s up? Did you eat something bad?” No, but I have a bad taste in my mouth and it isn’t from throwing up. I wanted them to leave but of course, they didn’t.

“Nothing,” I said. “Go away”.

“No, we’re not going away”.

“Look, I just puked, ok! No big deal”.

“Are you ill?”

No, I’m not fucking ill. Instead: “Maybe it was something I ate. I dunno”. Or maybe it was something I’d just seen and heard.

“We’ll wait for you. Liz, go cancel the order. Tell ‘em we’ve gotta go”.

And I heard the outer door open and close and realized that just Kay was left in the toilets with me. And she waited. She was a good friend, was Kay. Well, both of them were. But sometimes, I felt I could talk more easily to Kay then to Liz, I dunno why. Anyway, I crawled out of the cubicle feeling totally wrecked, nauseous and embarrassed.

“What the fuck is up?” Kay was worried. Her eyes were full of concern and suddenly I felt guilty for making her feel that way. But I didn’t answer her.

Instead I went over to the sink and washed my face then looked at myself in the over head mirror and wished that I hadn’t. “Is it true?” I asked watching the water drip off my reflection.

“Is what true?” I didn’t have to say anything. I just glared at her reflection in the mirror for her to realize what I was asking.

“You mean, Jack and Rebecca?” I could tell she was uncomfortable and not wanting to upset me with the information. But at my continued glare she had no choice: “Yes, it’s true”. And then, “I’m sorry”.

I closed my eyes. I should have died long ago and saved myself all the pain. “I’m so sorry, Rose”. She said. “I thought you were over him. I mean, you never mention him any more so I thought…” Her words trailed away as my face answered her question.

I pulled in another steadying breath, took my time to answer. I didn’t want to break down in front of her, even if she was my best friend. So, I held my breath a while then forced myself to answer her. “I thought I was”. I said flatly. “I thought I’d put it all behind me but it seems not”.

“Shite!” And her forehead creased in frustration. She looked away, angry at herself for upsetting me. “I never realized. I wish you’d told me! We wouldn’t have gone and hit you so hard with it if we’d known”.

“Well, it’s too late now isn’t it?” I snapped at her and she didn’t deserve it. I swung round to face her, anger flashing in my eyes, like it was all her fault, angry at myself for blaming her but we all do that, don’t we; blame those closest. “You just don’t understand do you?” And her eyes told me that she didn’t. “It’ll never go away. I’m cursed with it; cursed with wanting someone I can never have. And no matter how hard I try, no matter how much I force myself to forget him he just will not go away!”

“I’m sorry”. She said. “I…” And her words trailed away.

I spoke for her. “No, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have snapped at you. It’s not your fault. I’m so fucking pathetic, aren’t I? But I can’t help it. It’s just the way I am”.

And so, that was that. Jack was married; fine. It hurt, but I learned to live with it, though it never went away. Luckily for my sanity, he did. They didn’t hang around; went back to wherever they came from and stayed there; him and Saint Rebecca.

:-:


It was good for me mind, because I didn’t have to worry about bumping into them, did I? And, although I knew I’d probably get to hear all about the wedding at least I hadn’t had to go; hadn’t had to witness the joining together of my Jack and Rebecca Reflux and what, with them moving away,
I also didn’t have to worry about Jack bringing Saint Rebecca round to the house for a visit. Yes; it was all good them pissing off somewhere far away.

I thought about it though; thought about what it would have been like for me had they stayed local. I mean, imagine having to watch her stamping her ownership all over him, seeing him smiling at his new bride and later hearing that he’d filled her belly with his babies. They should have been my babies, shouldn’t they? After all, I’d always wanted them, always imagined myself having children with him. Even when I was young, I’d imagine that he’d be the father of my children. I still remember telling my dolls that daddy’s gonna be so cross with you if you don’t behave.

:-:

Still, I was free now wasn’t I; free to pursue my life, if only I could get rid of him and I did; eventually. I just got on with it and learned to like myself without him; grew into the woman I am now. I went and got myself a well paid, interesting job which did wonders for my self esteem. I grew in confidence and was determined to lay to rest any ghosts from my past and not let them resurface ever again.

Mind you, sometimes things happened to make me think of him. Even when I was with some current boyfriend and not even thinking about Jack some song would come on the radio and I’d be transported back to my childhood and the memories would flood in; killing me inside, bringing it all back up to the surface again.

Like when I was a little girl and I’d wait for him outside our house. Watch for him coming down the street and my mother would shout: “Why don’t you come in Rose?”

And I’d say, “Because I’m waiting for Jack”.

And she’d say, “Well don’t go out onto the road, then”.

I’d find my eyes heating up at those memories and have to make excuses that I suffered from hay fever or that I had a cold coming on. Luckily it didn’t happen very often.

:-:

On my twenty second birthday Kay and I went for a drink and then onto a club. All my friends were there and all of my brother’s; well, all except for one. And I was glad, really glad. I didn’t want him opening old wounds again.

I felt that finally I was free. I was getting over him; felt sure that I wouldn’t want him any more should he come back. My feelings for him had finally died. I’d been just a stupid kid back then, full of ideas and dreams. I’d let those ideas and dreams linger far too long, held onto them way too tightly but finally, finally, as I waited for my drink to come, I knew that I’d got over him and anyway, maybe I wouldn’t be attracted to him any more. Maybe, he’d grown ugly in his absence. After all, I hadn’t seen him in a while. He was bound to have changed physically, bound to.

I did wonder what he looked like though, that night as the drinks flowed. Was he fat? Was he thin? Did he still wear his hair long? Was he bald? And how old would he be; twenty six, twenty seven? I didn’t know. I couldn’t remember. Yes, I could. Why did I fool myself so? He’d be twenty nine; probably a dad to ten kids, or, maybe a husband to no one. Last I’d heard he was still with the Darling Rebecca and was making a go of things.

“Next year”, Kay was saying. “…we’ll have a feckin’ great party. Invite everyone we know. Celebrate your birthday in style”.

“No. Don’t bother. Parties are for kids”.

“Rubbish. Besides, it’ll be a good excuse to get rat-arsed”.

“We don’t need an excuse to get rat-arsed. We’re always rat-arsed”.

“Well yeah, but even so…”

:-:

One evening during that summer Kay, Liz and I decided to go into town to see some band. I didn’t really want to go. They did and I’m not one to turn down a night out with the girls. Besides, they knew the lead singer and the bass guitarist so I expected it to be a night of drunken disorder and a morning of hangovers. It would be a laugh so I’d go.

We caught the train; bought some vodka and rum as we made our way across the other side of town. We arrived at the gig; met up with people we knew; had a few drinks, listened to the music whilst we waited for the band to come on, had a few more drinks, talked to people we didn’t know, had a few more drinks and then gave it some when the band came on. We were very enthusiastic; urging them on with lots of woos hooing and even more clapping. They were a good band with a big local following and we made certain we had a good time.

During the interval one of the band members flirted with me but I wasn’t interested. He was ok but I wasn’t in the mood for anything other than having a good time and that didn’t include groping or fondling; not on his part or mine. Seeing that he wasn’t going to get anywhere, he buggered off and tried his charm on someone else.

Me, I couldn’t give a shite and, I dunno why, but as I guzzled my vodka I began to think of Jack; how he was, where he was and what he was up to. I knew I shouldn’t have gone down that road but I did. And, whether it was the vodka or what, the more I thought of him the more miserable I became. I still yearned for him, didn’t I? Rat bastard still had me roped and tied.

By the time the band went back onstage I’d totally pissed myself off. The alcohol had the opposite effect on me that I’d wanted. Instead of making me carefree and happy it’d filled me with hopelessness and resignation. I needed to leave.

“You can’t go home!” Kay shouted, angry with me above the din of the band. “It’s early yet. What’s wrong with you?”

“Nothing”, I shouted back. “I just wanna go home”.

“But Liz won’t wanna go home yet”.

“She doesn’t have to. I’ll go home on my own”.

“Don’t be ridiculous. You can’t go trailing half way across town on your own”.

“I’ll be fine. I’ll phone you tomorrow. You have a good time”. I made my excuses and backed away. She scowled and watched me. “I’ll be ok”. I mouthed and turned to pick my way through the crowd. As I stepped outside I pulled in the night air and asked myself what I was doing. It wasn’t safe to be alone at night, but hey, I wasn’t in the mood for staying. I just wanted to be home. I wanted to be safe, to be warm, to be pissed off all by myself. So, I left the grounds of the building and sauntered off in the general direction of the train station.

:-:

It wasn’t until I was almost there, that I realized I’d spent all my spare cash on drink and that I had no money left for a taxi across town when I get off the train at the other end.

There was only one thing for it; I’d have to find an ATM machine and draw out some cash. Luckily I knew that part of town so I knew where the machines were. I hurried along, desperate to make the train before it pulled out and hoping that the machine hadn’t run out of money.

There was no one about when I reached it so I keyed in my pin number, willed the machine to hurry so that I could get away. I knew that I was a little vulnerable hanging around the machines at that time of night so I was itching to grab the cash and get away. But then, whilst I was waiting for the machine to cough up, I heard footsteps and glanced round to see that someone was coming up behind me.

It was a bloke; youngish, scruffy. I pretended to ignore him, kept my back to him and told myself he was only after using the machine; same as me only thing was he stood a little too close to me for comfort. I like my space so I was uncomfortable. I took the chance to turn to look at him. I wanted to give him my best glower but didn’t, instead I smiled at him, hoping to appear friendly but not too friendly. He smiled back. I was happy with that. I turned away again and faced the machine, waiting for my cash, twenty quid; that would do. A few seconds later and the machine duly coughed it up but before I could take it, an arm reached over my shoulder and stole it from the mouth of the machine.

I was shocked and spun round. “Hey!” I half protested but when I looked into the face that belonged to the arm, I found cold, piercing eyes above an odd smile. His expression made my blood run cold. I knew instantly that he was a weirdo, druggy probably, enjoying ripping someone off. I assessed the situation mentally as we stared at each other. Then, feeling all haughty and affronted, I demanded he give me back my money but he ignored my demand and simply grinned, folding up the two notes very carefully whilst all the time his eyes were burrowing into mine.

And he gave me the creeps. I watched as he put the money in his back pocket, still keeping his eyes on my face and then he gestured to the machine. When he spoke, his voice was soft, patient and yet I knew a cool menace, I knew danger. He spoke. “Take some more out”.

“No bugger off! Besides, I haven’t got any more”.

“Are we gonna be here all night”

“I haven’t”.

He sighed and glanced away before returning his stony gaze to my face. His voice still soft, almost whispering, his eyes grew wide. “Don’t gimme that bollocks”. And he moved closer. I shrank away but he put his arm about my shoulders, huddled up close like a lover would, making me want to shriek inside. “Now be a good girl and take out all of it”.

“No. Go away. Leave me alone”.

“Can’t do that”. He breathed. And he stank. A mixture of cigarettes, of alcohol, of drugs and something nasty that I was sure would have a long name. “Look”, he said grinning. “People won’t take any notice of us. They’ll just think we’re a couple of lovers drawing out some money. Now, be a good girl and take out the money, because,” He said pulling me close to look over my shoulder and moving his mouth so that it was near my ear.

“Because, there’s a dark alleyway over there, see it, just behind you and the police come across some really unpleasant stuff hidden dark alleyways in the cold light of day”. His voice trailed away as I stood tensed up within his grasp. “Now, take out all your money and I’ll go away. Let’s make this easy shall we; quiet and easy. No trouble. I just want your money; that’s all”.
I couldn’t believe it. He was mugging me and there was nothing I could do about it. “I haven’t got much”. I whined.

“Doesn’t matter; just gimme what you got”. So, I did. I turned to tap in my pin number. Of course, in my fear, my fingers shook so much and my brain shut down so I got it wrong. Beside me the mugger was growing impatient. I apologized to him and tried again. I was desperately aware of his arm about me, his fingers digging into my shoulder and his eyes on the machine. I could hear him breathing next to me, a slight wheeze about his chest. I got the number right. The machine finally barfed up all my money; all one hundred and fifty quid of it; my total bank balance. And I only had that because I’d been paid a few days ago.

I stood there with the money in my hand, still reluctant to hand it over but he simply curled his fingers around it, squeezing my hand in the process and narrowed one eye. “Is that it?” When I said yes he nodded. “Ok. It’s not much but it’ll do”. To my horror as he took the money from me he leaned across and kissed my cheek, his slobbering mouth making me wretch. “Oh,” He said. “I’ll have that too”. And he took my card out of my hand. I didn’t stop him. I simply watched like it was happening to someone else. He took a step away. “Nice doing business”. He said nodding and grinning. “We should do it again sometime”.

I watched him walk off through wide, terrified eyes. A moment or so passed before he turned to call back to me. I froze. ‘Just stay there’. He said. “Don’t follow me”. Like I would. Me, I wanted to run; to get as far away from him as I could. “Turn back round”. He added. “I don’t wanna see you watch where I go, k?” So I did what I was told; turned away from him and faced the machine. My eyes heated up. My hands shook. My heart beat too fast. I wanted someone to hold me but I was alone.

I listened to his quiet footsteps growing fainter as he padded away. I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream for help but was afraid I’d attract some other weirdo. And I was angry with myself for not putting up more of a fight. After all, it’d taken me ages to earn that cash and he just comes up and takes it off me. But still I did as he said; faced the front and waited.

After a while I cast a glance round to see if he’d gone. It looked like it. The street was deserted, not even any cars. He’d gone, melted into the shadows. I shuddered as though cold and knew I had to get away. Besides, I had to catch the train.

I walked slowly at first, pretended to feel brave, forcing myself not to look back. I tried to keep calm by telling myself that he wouldn’t come for me again. He had all my money so why would he? Within a few moments I was walking as fast as my legs would carry me. I didn’t quite break into a run, just fast enough to be moving quickly without drawing any attention to myself.

All I wanted to do was get on that train and be as far away from there as possible. I’d worry about what had taken place later. As I drew nearer to the station I slowed down, tried to steady my breath.

I could see the railway; see it’s big, grey building finally appearing at the end of the street. It looked deserted but I hoped that other people would be there.

And it was whilst I was concentrating on reaching that building that I became aware of footsteps behind me. I panicked, afraid that he’d followed me. Afraid that he’d catch up. Maybe he’d changed his mind and wanted something else, something more than money. I managed to scare myself half to death with stupid questions; what if he’s come back to see if I’ve got any more cash and finds that I don’t have any? What will he do then? What if he gets violent and attacks me? There aren’t any bushes round here are there? No; good. He can’t drag me into any then. I increased my speed, tried to put as much distance between his footsteps and mine but as my footfalls grew further apart, I heard his widen too. He was trying to catch up with me.

I began to trot then, to break into a run keeping the station in my sights and desperately wanting to reach it before he reached me but it was no use. It was still too far away. At his pace I knew I’d never get there in time. His legs were longer than mine and faster too and I cursed myself over and over. I should have stayed with Kay and Liz. I should have stayed with them but it was too late for that. He was coming up behind me, closing the gap.

I thought I heard him call but I wasn’t going to hang around to find out. My chances of rescue were nil. I was still too far away from the station as I heard him getting closer and closer. His footfalls fell in behind me, echoing through the cold night air and I gave into tears. And then a heavy hand was on my shoulder.

:-:

As I felt the weight of his hand on me I screamed as loud as I could. Then I screamed again, all the time trying to dislodge him. I almost managed to wriggle free at one point and screamed for help, shouted at him to leave me alone but he wouldn’t so I kicked out, clawed at the face, tried to bite him as I fought with him and all the time he was saying things but I didn’t take any notice.

Then, quite suddenly I was free of him. Without warning he’d let me go. For a split second it didn’t register though once it had I made to run off only he must have thought better of it because he grabbed me again but this time when his hand grabbed at my shoulder I was ready for him.
Without prior thought I balled my hand into a fist and took a hard swing at him. Clearly, he hadn’t expected it so I managed to clock him smack in the face. I felt the hard surface of his jaw connect with my knuckles causing is both to yelp in pain. Next thing I knew he was going down.

I stood over him, wide eyed and breathless, uncaring of the throbbing pain in my fist, just staring down at the figure on the ground that’d both scared and angered me. I wasn’t going to take any chances so I stood over him in the semi darkness waiting for him to get up; willing him to get up so I could smack him again. Maybe I should have run away but I was too angry. He’d mugged me. He’d frightened me. I wanted revenge.

As he groaned on the ground and made no attempt to rise I became confused. I mean, why was he was just sitting there on the pavement, defeated, cursing and rubbing at his face. Something wasn’t right. I’d hit him as hard as I could and he’d just taken it. Instead of being alert and ready for me, he’d taken my fist clean in the face and now he wasn’t even bothering to get up.

Though puzzled, I continued to stand over him. I was pleased that I’d succeeded in hitting him. Maybe next time he’d think twice about mugging someone.

One of his legs moved, his boot scraping on the pavement and I sprang back, wary and ready, watching as he held onto his jaw and cursed. Somewhere amidst the profanities I heard a coherent sentence: “Is that any way to greet an old friend?”

I was still angry. “You mugged me, you fuck!” I screamed. “You just try that again, you fucker!” Hot, angry tears rolled down my face and I wanted to kick him in the nuts for good measure but I didn’t. Instead I stood over him, breathless but ready, furious but at the same time glad that it was him on the ground and not me.

He didn’t look up at me, simply sat there on the cold ground holding onto his jaw and cursing. “I fucking didn’t mug you!” He protested.

“You were following me! You already got all my money! So fuck off and die!”

He tried to get up. With one hand nursing his jaw, he used his free hand to brace himself against the ground. I took another step back and watched as he straightened up, still ready for him, still wanting to smack him one. He cursed again. “Of course I was following you! Fuck! You coulda broken me jaw! Look what you did! I’m fucking bleedin!”

And I knew that voice. I knew it!


....Ok, that's all folks...

Laters....
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:50 AM   #2
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And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:09 PM   #3
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I really liked the building of tension throughout the chapter. Looking forward to reading more.
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:58 AM   #4
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All I can say is "so good" Can't wait for the next part. And Diaries and Midnight ... should I go on ...
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:38 AM   #5
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!!!!!!!

Also, Rose's voice really came into its own in this chapter. Great work!
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Old 11-09-2013, 07:51 AM   #6
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I've been reading this story but didn't comment on any of the other chapters. I love the way you write emotions- it feels so realistic. I can relate to some of Rose's teenaged thoughts.

And now, plot twist...!
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:44 AM   #7
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Really great :-)
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