Caitlin Taylor couldn't have fallen any harder for her best friend Ross Bowie. But is their love strong enough to make it through anything?
It was, as usual, a cold and cloudy day in England so across the country people were pulling on thick socks and scarves whilst teenagers stood shivering, outside school buildings waiting to be allowed in to the warmth of the classrooms and out of the early morning frost.
The dark haired girl was stood in her usual spot, a small but hidden corner of the yard where she and her friends would meet every day, with a cigarette between her lips and a headphone in one ear. She adjusted the grey hat on her head, to hide the expander she knew a teacher was going to tell her to take out as soon as she walked inside, after that she pulled down the sleeves of her leather jacket. Once she had finished doing that a gloved hand removed the cigarette from her lips and flicked some ash to the floor next to her converse trainers.
He was walking towards her, his cigarette between his fingers and a headphone in his ear as well. He too adjusted his hat to hide the ear expander he was also wearing, and threw the butt of his cigarette to the ground before stepping on it in his converse clad feet.
"Morning," Ross smiled, handing the girl a book he'd borrowed from her two days previous.
"Yeah, hi." Caitlin muttered, pushing the book into her bag. "There was no coffee in my house this morning." She grumbled as an explanation of her less than cheerful mood.
"I figured you might say that," Ross grinned, pulling a cup of Starbucks coffee from his bag and handing it to her. Caitlin took a last drag from her cigarette before putting it out and accepting the coffee.
"Have I mentioned that I love you?" She asked him. Ross just smiled at her, not saying a word. Caitlin rolled her eyes and sipped the coffee he'd given her. "Just the way I like it! You, my friend, are a God amongst men."
There was a high pitched giggle from nearby that caused Caitlin to roll her eyes again.
"Caitlin," Ross muttered, reaching out and taking hold of her arm as she turned to walk away. She jerked away from him, a look of hurt in her eyes.
"Save it, I'm going to talk to Adam." She snapped, before walking away.
She turned back and said, "Thanks for the coffee." but it fell on deaf ears. Whilst Caitlin loved her friends, especially Ross, she couldn't stand Ross' girlfriend.
Ross' girlfriend was the type of girl that made Caitlin's stomach churn. Bleach blonde hair, extensions too, fake tan, a strip of material instead of a skirt. And a class A bitch.
"I see we're still stuck with Meghan then?" Adam groaned, walking over to his best friend. "You stink of smoke by the way."
"Of course," Caitlin replied, "Clearly what happened between Ross and I over half term meant fuck all to him. I just finished a tab, that's why."
"I think it meant something, just wait and see." Adam grinned, wrapping his arms around Caitlin's waist. As he was gay, no one questioned this act. "Stop worrying sweetie,"
"I'm not worrying."
"You're worried you've fucked up your friendship with Ross. You haven't. I promise."
"I hate when you do that."
Ross and Meghan walked over hand in hand, and Adam took hold of Caitlin's hand. Not to comfort or support her, but to stop her from trying to hit Meghan. They didn't need that shit on the first day back.
"Caitlin! Hi!" The blonde gushed as they came to a stop beside Adam and his best friend. Caitlin glanced up and smiled widely,
"Hi, Meghan!" She said, faking the cheeriness. No one noticed it being forced, she was so practiced it came across as being real or genuine.
"How was your half term? I heard you were in Norway for a few days? I was in Italy! It was gorgeous, have you ever been to Italy? You probably haven't, you'd like it though; you are a bit of a history geek and apparently there's loads of historical stuff there but I went for the romance, you know?" Meghan giggled, and Caitlin tried not to clench her fist.
How could she stand there, in front of Ross, and say she went looking for Italian boys? Couldn't she see how lucky she was? Couldn't she see how beautiful Ross was? How he was sweet, gentle and the most amazing guy any girl could wish to have? Was Meghan deaf, dumb and blind?
Caitlin looked at Ross, he smiled at her and she smiled back catching the glimpse of mischief in his eyes. He was planning something. It was only four days ago when Caitlin was looking in those eyes and seeing something other than mischief. That night she had seen hurt, love, sadness, happiness and hope in his eyes.
And it had been that night that was a memory she would now cherish for the rest of her life. But Ross didn’t even seem to remember it, if he did then he certainly wasn’t letting it show.
“Yeah, there is a lot of romance to be found in good old Italy but I stayed right here and found love here.” Caitlin smiled, glancing at Ross and smiling shyly. “I guess you find love in some of the most unexpected places.”
“That’s totally true,” Meghan smiled, “What’s he like then? Where did you meet him? How far did you go with him?” Meghan quizzed. As much as she might hate Meghan, Caitlin enjoyed being able to gossip with the blonde. And she loved watching the fear and adrenaline course through Ross as each question was asked.
“He’s amazing Meghan, honestly. He is just so beautiful, he’s cute and funny. He has beautiful brown eyes, and just always looks so beautiful. I met him at a party a while ago; I was drunk and hitting on him. We became good friends and then we met up over half term.” Caitlin told her, watching Ross exhale slightly. She hadn’t dropped him in it, but if he didn’t decide soon; she would.
“Did you hook up?! As in did you have sex?” Meghan exclaimed. Caitlin rolled her eyes and laughed.
“It wasn’t a sex thing. It was like a real relationship. It was fun, beautiful and sweet. He was willing to get into a fight to protect my honour," She laughed. "But I wouldn't let him. He's too beautiful.” Caitlin practically whispered not daring to look in Ross’ direction.
“Wow, he must be really special babe!” Adam said, looking directly at Ross as he spoke. “I bet if he broke your heart that’d be the end for you. Especially after something like that.” Adam continued, still not taking his gaze away from Ross.
“Yeah, he is.” She mumbled. “But it turns out he’s already with someone, so I guess I’m shit out of luck.” She laughed sadly.
“Aw! That’s heart breaking!” Meghan exclaimed. Caitlin nodded,
“I guess it is,” Caitlin muttered, trying not to let them see the tears in her eyes.
“Isn’t that just like, the saddest story you’ve ever heard Rossy?” Meghan asked, entwining her fingers with Ross’s. “I mean, imagine if that had happened with us? Wouldn’t you just be heartbroken? I would be.”
There were a few moments of awkward silence as Caitlin looked up at Ross; he could take this as his chance to be honest with everyone. He could tell them everything, which would then allow him to have a real relationship with Caitlin. But he didn’t say anything like that; he wasn’t honest, of course not, he simply nodded.
“Yeah baby, I’m glad it’s not like that for us.” He smiled, kissing Meghan’s forehead. Caitlin glared at him before she walked away, tears falling down her cheeks as she half walked-half ran to into the school building where the teachers were finally letting pupils in, dumping her cup of coffee on the way. Adam looked at Ross and Meghan and shook his head.
“I thought you said you loved her.” Adam spat before walking off to try and catch up to his best friend.
Ross frowned as he watched Adam walk away; he did say he loved Megha- Oh. Adam wasn’t talking about Meghan, of course he wasn’t, and he was talking about Caitlin.
Had Ross told her he loved her?
He couldn’t remember much of what he had said to Caitlin after they’d had such an amazing day together. He remembered everything beforehand, but nothing afterwards. He had been too shocked and amazed by her that he couldn’t remember a lot. Ross remembered the way she’d looked at him, he remembered the way she’d curled up beside him and lay her head on his chest. Ross remembered how beautiful she was.
But had he said he loved her?
And had he meant it?
“Good morning class, I trust you all had a good half term?” Miss Miller smiled looking around her form class. Caitlin was slouched over at the desk in the back corner of the classroom, as was usual of her in form time anyway. There was a grumble of “Yes” from pupils but nothing too enthusiastic.
“Caitlin?” Adam whispered, as their small teacher continued to ramble on about how glad she was to see them all back in one piece etc. “Don’t ignore me honey, I know you were crying.”
“Piss off.” Caitlin muttered, not looking at him. Adam sighed and ran his hand through his dark brown hair, trying to think of something to say that would comfort his best friend. He couldn’t think of anything, and that sucked.
She was heartbroken, she had let Ross have something from her that Caitlin always holds close and he couldn’t even be honest. He continued the lie.
“Please, don’t be mean to me because Ross is a twat. I’ll talk to him, if you want?" He offered.
"Please don't," She sighed, sitting up and looking up at her best friend. Adam wasn't a bad looking kid, you could give him that, but that's often found that most gay guys are extremely attractive. Adam happened to be one of those gay guys. His boyfriend, Lewis, was one lucky bastard.
"I won't, but if you change your mind then you know where I am, okay?" Adam reassured her, wrapping his arm around her and hugging her. "It'll be okay, he'll figure out what he wants eventually."
"I don't want to be stuck waiting around. For Christ's sake, I gave him my heart and my trust." She hissed, "And this is what happens? If I'd have known, then I'd never have went to see him that night."
"If you hadn't been to see him, he would be dead and you know that." Adam mumbled, kissing the top of her head. "I promise you, it will work out. Just trust me."
"I do trust you," Caitlin replied, "It's Ross I don't."
Groaning Caitlin stood up, throwing her bag over her shoulder as she made for the classroom door. She'd never liked Maths anyway, so when she'd discovered she would be being taught by Miss Summerland that year; she wasn't all that excited. But whilst the lesson was over, the stench of depression followed her until she got to History.
From being a young kid, Caitlin had adored History. It fascinated her, she always had so many questions. How did people survive without electricity? Why didn't someone invent the toilet sooner? What caused the Second World War? Where did the slave trade start? Who killed Hitler? When did someone finally work out they should make a toilet? Often her mother had thought her daughter shouldn't know the answers to some of those questions when she was so young, however more often than not Caitlin's mother would take her daughter to the library to quench her daughter's thirst for knowledge.
As she walked into the classroom, she remembered who she sat next to in History and suddenly wanted to leave. But Mr Bowman had caught sight of her and was grinning widely. Her History teacher wasn't the most attractive man, but he wasn't ugly. Despite his ginger hair, which Caitlin found to be a total turn off, he had piercing blue eyes that made you feel as though he could see into your mind and he was very tall. Caitlin guessed about 6ft 3".
"Morning Trouble!" Mr Bowman winked, calling Caitlin by her ironic nickname. Despite the fact she smoked, a lot, Caitlin didn't ever get into trouble for anything. Other than smoking, obviously, and so the nickname had been born.
"Morning Sir," Caitlin smiled, sitting down at her chair near the window. Ross, along with the rest of the class, wasn't hear yet, so Caitlin was grateful for that small mercy. It was in this classroom where Caitlin felt some sense of safety. It was also the one place she felt she could be herself.
"Good half term?" The teacher enquired, pulling exercise books out of the cupboard as Caitlin stood up and started putting out text books.
"Yeah, I saw a Beatles cover band that you'll love." She grinned. "I'll bring their demo in for you."
"Awesome," He grinned, "I saw a Hendrix cover band." He added conversationally, "They weren't that good." Caitlin laughed as she put the final text book down onto a desk.
"Dude, no one will ever be as good as Hendrix himself. That's a fact," Caitlin smirked, walking back to her chair at the front of the class. Mr Bowman sat down at his desk, having finished putting out exercise books. He pulled up the register for the class, preparing for them to arrive any minute now.
There was a ten minute break between first lesson and second, but when they had History Caitlin always spent it with her teacher. They'd become good friends over the past 3 years, something Caitlin was very grateful for.
"Heads up." Mr Bowman muttered, as Ross walked into the classroom followed by a few of their other classmates. Thankfully, Meghan didn't share this class with them. Caitlin smirked at Mr Bowman, giving him a small salute as he stood up to go bring the rest of the class, who were dawdling outside, in so the lesson could begin.
"Good morning," Ross grinned, taking Caitlin's hand in his. If she'd had any sense, she would have torn her hand from his in an instant. But as soon as she looked up into his deep chocolate eyes, any anger she'd felt towards him melted away.
"Morning," She breathed as he threw his bag under their desk and sat down beside her. Ross turned to face her and tucked a strand of her dark hair behind her ear as he looked at her.
"You look beautiful." He smiled, his eyes searching hers for any signs of the anger or hurt that had been there almost an hour and a half ago. Caitlin felt a warm blush rise to her cheeks.
"Have you broken up with Meghan?" She whispered. She already knew the answer, it'd be the same as every day, 'No, I haven't found the right time yet.'
"Oh... No." He muttered. "But I will, you know I will." He grinned.
"Do I?" Caitlin mumbled, "You keep saying you will, but then you don't. Look, Ross... If you don't do it tonight, then I'm gonna call this all off and I'll stop speaking to you."
"You're giving me an ultimatum?" Ross asked, the grin sliding off his face. Caitlin nodded soberly.
"Yep," She replied, popping the "p". "You need to realise that I'm not just gonna be there when you decide you can't be arsed to deal with Meghan. Either we're best friends or we're something more, Ross. I love you, so much. But I won't be something you get to have on the side. You need to decide what's more important to you, getting sex from that slut or having a real, trusting relationship with me."
Ross cocked his head to one side and surveyed Caitlin's face.
"You're really serious, aren't you?"
"Okay." Ross smiled, and this time it was Caitlin who cocked her head. She surveyed him with a look of confusion on her head.
"Okay, what?" She asked.
"Okay, I'll break up with Meghan. I'll do it at lunch time." Ross smiled. "I love you too, Caitlin. And somethings are more important that others, and I won't risk losing you." He told her, wrapping his arm around her waist.
"Right, shut up you lot." Mr Bowman smiled, finally beginning the class. Caitlin smirked and pulled out of Ross' grip. "What did we do last lesson?"
In a very Hermione Granger-like fashion, Caitlin's hand shot straight up. Mr Bowman waited a few moments to see if anyone else was willing to offer an answer before asking his favourite pupil.
"Yes, Caitlin?" He smiled,
"We studied the life of Adolf Hitler from when he became Chancellor of German in 1933 to the day he commited suicide in 1945." Caitlin answered. Mr Bowman nodded,
"Did I say what we were going to do today?" He asked,
"You said something about beginning to look at the Holocaust." She replied. Nodding again, Mr Bowman went to the computer and found the powerpoint he had prepared. This was something Caitlin had looked forward to learning about, she had always had a large interest in the persecution of the Jewish people. Learning about the reasons why and how it had happened had been something she'd been looking forward too. She hated what had been done to the Jewish people, as everyone did, and her curiousity was starting to kill her. She was always told she was "too young" but now she was finally old enough for them to start answering her questions.
She'd read a lot of books about the Holocaust. Some of them fictional, based in different parts of the world where the Jewish people were largely persecuted and others non-fiction and full of facts that she was hoping would prove useful in the lessons to come.
"Okay, so..." Mr Bowman began.
Caitlin smiled, taking hold of Ross' hand under the table. Ross winked at her, and Mr Bowman grinned knowingly as he continued the lesson attempting to keep everyone's attention.
Okay, this is my first original piece of work. So yeah, I hope you all like it.