Eliza and Gerard drive to a personal place.
Song: Circle - Flyleaf.
I slammed the door shut and immediately pressed my back against it. My breathing was ragged and my heart seemed like it wanted to escape from my chest. I squeezed my eyes shut and lifted my head as if I were looking to god. I wasn’t even sure if I believed in god, but if he existed I wanted him to help me. I needed him to help me. I needed a sign of what was right, I needed a sign to tell me what to do.
I couldn’t work my mind around the feeling which overcame me when I was with Gerard. He made me feel alive, he respected me and gave me a sense that I wasn’t worthless after all. Every sentence he spoke was sacred to me and his laugh sounded like music to my ears. His black hair appeared so soft. It made me want to run my fingertips though it and his eyes were so dark and beautiful. His pale skin was like stunning, un-ruined snow - the kind of snow which looks so perfect that you can’t bring yourself to walk in it. He had a cute little up-turned nose which led done to a pale pink pair of lips. Those were the things which drove me crazy the most. His lips.
At the same time he made me want to cry. He made me want to scream and shout at him for falling in love with me. For making me feel in such a way that I couldn’t even understand. What had changed to our friendship? Why suddenly did I want to kiss him all the freekin’ time?
And why did it feel as if I was in love with him? I couldn’t be in love with him. I wasn’t.
“Eliza? Is that you?” My mother’s voice rang from the living room and through the hall way.
I opened my eyes remembering that my mother would probably still be very upset with me.
“Yes, mum.” I called back weakly.
“Would you come here please sweetie?”
Sweetie? My mother was supposed to be livid with me for skiving the day off school and she was calling me sweetie. I began to walk down the hall way to our living room, it was then I saw that she was with Gregg.
Gregg was sat on the sofa holding a glass of red. His shirt was undone at the top and his tie had been abandoned somewhere in the room. He seemed to be enjoying that fact that my mother’s skinny legs were set messily across his lap. My mother was lying lazily over the sofa, also clutching a glass of wine in her petite hand. She let out a small giggle when she saw me, and beckoned for me to come to her. I took a few steps toward her. They were both obviously drunk.
“Eliza!” She cooed happily and reached out for me. “You’re home!”
“I am.” I said simply. “Aren’t you mad at me? You seemed pretty mad on the phone earlier.”
“That was in the past sweetie!” My mother threw her head back and giggled again. “We all did silly things when we were teenagers, didn’t we Greggy?”
Gregg made some sort of noise and nodded, lifting the glass of wine to his mouth.
“Eliza.” I corrected him.
“Oh, sorry.” Gregg slurred and sniggered. “So, Eliza, where were you today? Were you with a boy?”
I rolled my eyes.
“It doesn’t matter. Mum, where did you put my bag?”
“No come on Eliza!” Mother squeaked. “I bet you were with your boyfriend.”
“No I wasn’t.”
“Or was the boy who came to the door today your boyfriend?” She smiled widely at me.
“He seemed very nice!” I clenched my jaw at the thought of Alex.
“No he isn’t mum. Now where’s my bag?”
“Fine.” She hiccupped. “It’s in your room.”
“Thanks.” I turned on my heel and left room just in time to hear Gregg yell some sort of fare well to me.
I scoffed and made my way up the stairs, feeling relieved that my mother had decided to drink herself stupid instead of ripping me apart for bunking school.
I walking across the landing space until I arrived at my room; my sanctuary. I flung the door open and then shut it. Once making sure that my mother had actually left my bag in there, I leapt onto my mattress and buried myself in the bedding. I sighed and pulled the duvet closer around my body. As much as I loved spending that time with Gerard it felt good to be back in my own bed.
I fell asleep quickly, my brain humming with the events taken place during the day.
I awoke early in the morning. I could see through my drawn curtains that it was still pitch black outside which meant that I could allow myself a few more hours of sleep. I yawned and stretched upon realizing that I hadn’t changed my clothes since I went to see Gerard. I wrinkled my nose and decided to take a shower instead of going back to my heavy slumber.
I sat up and peeled the sweater off my skin. “Gross.” I murmured and dropped the sweater to the floor.
I didn’t waste my time with mourning over my slit flesh. I decided that there was no point in fussing over it; it was my fault. I had cut myself and staring the scars wouldn’t make them go away. Besides, judging by the way things were going I would probably hold a knife to my skin any time soon.
“I need you to promise me that whenever you feel sad or angry that you’ll come to me instead of doing anything else. I want to help you.”
The words from my best friend suddenly flattened my other thoughts. I had to be strong for him, I had to resist the urge. Even if he did send me into spirals of confusion and contrasting emotions I had to be strong. Anyway, Gerard could help me. He told me that he could. He wouldn’t leave me again.
The hot water covered me like a blanket. I let it travel over my body, cleaning away my sins and memories for a short while. I just concentrated on washing the soap through my hair and the frothy bubbles slipping over my smooth skin.
I stepped out of the shower and hurriedly wrapped a towel around myself as the sudden temperature change hit me.
Mother must have forgotten to put the heating on last night.
I sighed and moved to the bathroom mirror to brush the knots from my hair out before rushing back to my room to change into something warm.
I stumbled down the stairs with my bag at five past eight, ready for Gerard to pick me up. The house was silent and the blinds were still shut, disallowing the light from outside to enter. I would have pulled the blinds open, but I didn’t have time. I could hear the faint rumble of an engine outside meaning that Gerard was early.
Panicking, I rushed to the living room where mother was passed out alone on the sofa.
“By mum!” I shouted, fully aware that she wouldn’t answer or even wake up. I ran into the porch, pulled my boots on and fell out into the front garden where I hurried to Gerard’s car.
“A text would have been nice to tell me you would be early.” I smiled as I climbed into the passenger seat. I wanted to kiss his cheek, but decided on hugging him instead. “What’s this for?” Gerard laughed as I embraced him lightly.
“Just to say hello.” I replied. “Well, hello then.” Gerard grinned. He stared at me for a while, I could feel his eyes on me as I strapped myself in. I knew he expected something else from me; for me to say something else, do something else, anything apart from a feeble hug, especially after the last night.
Once again we drove in silence. We had a while before we had to be at school so Gerard drove us to the nearby heath; a place we used to go to as kids. I wanted Gerard to pick me up early because I needed to talk to him. I needed to talk to him desperately about our relationship.
I didn’t want to mess him around.
But it always seemed as if when I had so many things to say, they all vanished from my voice box and I became unable to speak them.
“We need to talk Gee.” I managed to say.
“I know we do.” He answered slowly.
We became silent again. I looked out of the window as we neared the heath. I smiled to myself as I saw the places pass where we used play when we were young or where we ran away to when we were lost teenagers.
My heart ached with the memories of Gerard; memories of running to him. Running away with him to a place where only we knew. Where only we could be alone.
Just me and my best friend. Forever.
My eyes travelled away from the window to Gerard. His face was blank as he drove, but I could tell from his eyes that he was feeling the same way as we travelled toward the heath. His pale hands clasped at the steering weal, his focus was on the road ahead of us; an excuse not to look at me.
I suppose I had made things awkward.
I sighed and rested my head against the glass of the window.
Talking to Gerard about ‘us’ was going to be more difficult than I had hoped.
Chance and choice break his heart. His innocent arm moves to save me and I am spared. No man shows greater love.