Part 1. The Not-So-Great Depression.
1: You're Breakin' Up.
The radio’s saying that today’s gonna’ be the hottest day of the year.
I’ve just woken up in my bed, with a skull piercing headache from the night before and the first thing that my tragically hungover eyes have inflicted upon them, is the blazing hot sun beating down on my unshaven and probably quite dirty face.
I hate days like today.
Yesterday was great; I woke up with my perfect angel of a girlfriend and laid in bed being cute until it was time to get up and sort things out for the house party that my house mates and I were throwing later on (on account of the recent shift in temperature, we felt inclined to take advantage of the opportunity). Of course one thing lead to another and the night came by before I knew it.
Everything was basically ok and would’ve probably stayed that way, if once after I’d downed my last few shots of vodka, I hadn’t seen my perfect angel of a girlfriend being…very friendly, with some clean cut little pretty boy with his hair slicked back and clothes that probably cost around sixty pounds a pop. The first thought that came into my head was to smash his face into the ground. Luckily my best friend Penn who was quite possibly the most intoxicated person at the party, decided to come to my rescue.
‘Bro! You look like you wanna’ kill somebody, what’s up?! This is our party, relax a lil’’
Penn smiles that don’t worry about it smile that he always has on, takes a big swig of the whiskey bottle in his hand and turns to see what I’m glaring at. His smile drops as realisation washes over his face, ‘aaah…well; they’re just laughing, try not to get so worked up’, he says smiling again.
I turn to him and raise an eyebrow, ‘I know they’re just laughing dude…but ya’ know when you can just tell?’
He chucks an arm around my shoulders and laughs, ‘you always get so worked up man! I bet if you just walk over there and be all like ‘hey sweetness wanna’ dance or make out or something, she’ll be more than happy to come along.’
I went to say, ‘nah, you’re probably right, I’ll just leave her for a minute’, when the pretty boy put his hand on her arm and kept it there for a good few seconds, while he smiled superficially at her and made it obvious that he was flirting. So instead I said, ‘yeah ok, I’m gonna’ go over there now I think.’
‘Atta’ boy’ Penn said patting me on the back, as I marched – as casually as I could – to attempt to subtly confront my girlfriend’s new acquaintance.
Now; it’s important to remember that by this point in the night, I was really quite drunk and I have a particular dislike for guys like this.
I walked up to my girlfriend and smiled as sweetly as I could.
‘Hey sweetness’, I said.
‘Hey babe’, she said smiling back at me, god damn, I’d always loved the way her eyes sparkled when she looked at me.
Then this poser guy puts his elbow around my neck and pulls me in close, ‘hey mate, can you fuck off yeah, I’m well on this girl.’ He says to me, all big toothed and orange skinned.
Something inside me just snapped.
Maybe in a sober state I might’ve kept my cool and just told him she was my girlfriend, but as it was I decided that punching him as hard as I could, straight in his grotesquely giant mouth, was a much better idea.
He doubled back as my knuckles caused a satisfying crack, which pierced the air throughout the hallway between my living room and kitchen. Everyone within ear shot and eye sight turned and stared at us. The pretty boy clutching his mouth with his hands, as blood poured down his front and he fell to his knees, me standing over him breathing fire and daring someone to say something and my girlfriend, looking at me like she actually wanted to stick a knife in my heart.
‘What the fuck are you doing?!’ she said as her hand shook, with what I can only imagine was restraint from slapping me. ‘You don’t just punch someone like that for no good reason!’
‘He as good as just told me to fuck off because he’s gonna’ fuck you!’ I shouted back a little too loudly.
‘So you tell him I’m your girlfriend and to back off, you don’t just smack him in the mouth!’
(This is the moment when I realized, I should’ve just told him to back off).
‘Well…sorry, I didn’t think’, I said sheepishly, suddenly feeling very ashamed of myself.
‘You never do think!’ she screamed at the top of her voice, ‘it’s so frustrating! I love you, but going out with you’s like looking after a child; I mean you just punched someone in the face for saying something, who does that apart from pikeys and psychos?’
I had heard this before more or less, the general gist of things was that I was a lazy good for nothing, I had so much potential but just wouldn’t do anything about it. She loved me more than anything else, but there’s a part of me that she just couldn’t take.
‘I-I…but you love me…’ I managed to squeeze through the lump in my throat.
‘I love you baby, but you pull shit like this all the time and you never learn from it...’ she looked exhausted now. I didn’t really know what to say, she looked like someone had stabbed her in the chest.
‘I can’t do this anymore…’ she whispered, tears starting to stream down her cheeks.
‘What do you mean?’ I asked sounding like a scared child.
‘I mean; I’m ending it…’ she said, as she looked up at me with those big diamonds for eyes.
After that I vaguely remember thinking; Ok…she tried this two weeks ago and you reacted badly to say the least, you knew she wasn’t as happy recently…don’t make a scene. After that the last thing I remember is bursting into tears, (after a fair bit of begging and bargaining with how much I loved her) and then running off to drink more vodka and smoke weed.
Now; I’m in my bed, I smell like pure ethanol, and I can barely think because of this splitting headache and the sun blaring down through my window (my room is in the loft, so if I don’t pull my blind closed at night, the sun shines on my face and wakes me up by trying to cook me) and that alarm clock radio that my girl-…ex-girlfriend just had to get me, is like a hammer against the inside of my head.
I decided that going downstairs for a smoke and to see if anyone else was left, would be the best thing for me to do…then I realised that I was going to be sick and had to hurl myself down the stairs that lead from my room to the upstairs landing, kick open the door to the bathroom and only just made it in time to throw up in the toilet, (thankfully whoever had left the seat up had also flushed before they left, so no real mess was made).
After a fairly unpleasant five minutes of inverting my insides, I sleeked downstairs to see if anyone was in the living room.
The stairs lead to my houses main hallway; you get the front door, living room, kitchen and laundry room…now I’m down here though, the site of it all’s just reminded me of my ex and that I should try and call her.
I check my pockets for my phone and sigh with relief when I find it in my front right one. She’s always the last person I call, so I just press the call button twice - the picture of her from a day when we went walking in the countryside pops up and I put the phone to my ear. It rings and rings and rings; but nobody picks up…I try the same thing more than twenty times and then have to stop myself once I realise that leaving her twenty missed calls, might not be the coolest thing for me to be doing.
Feeling a mixture of shell-shocked and unbelievably heart-broken, I made my way into the kitchen.
Our kitchen leads onto our back garden and with the weather this hot and sunny it wasn’t really a surprise to find Penn, sitting on our backyard decking, accompanied by two incredibly gorgeous girls and a very average looking guy, all of whom I hadn't met before.
Penn's smoking the traditional hangover 'Wake&Bake' from my hash pipe and looks to be just tapping it out when he sees me step out of the kitchen.
‘Dude! He says with a massive smile on his face; as usual.
‘Hey Penn, I reply, rubbing the sleep from my eyes, as they adjust to the searing light of the sun.
Realization flashes across his features and he scrambles for the weed bag and begins stuffing some into our grinder, ‘sorry bro, I should've woken you up and you look like you could really do with a smoke.’
I laugh softly and sit myself down, like an OAP who's been walking for fifteen miles.
‘Hiii’ pitch the two stunning girls at the same time. They have smiles like American superstars and skin that glows with the morning sun and fake tan left on from the night before.
‘Hey,’ I say as if I've as if I'm about to throw up...which I sort of feel like I might do to be honest.
The average looking guy doesn't speak to me, he's obviously been trying to get with one of the girls (and probably getting somewhere), but now that I've arrived, he thinks I'm a dick because he assumes I'll try and get with one. In his defence though, if I wasn't so heart-broken; I totally would.
‘Y'aite,’ he says pseudo-nonchalantly.
‘Hey man,’ I say, slapping my palm into his, ‘you have a good time last night?’
The look in his eyes changes slightly and I'm confident that now I've shown I care, he thinks I'm ok, ‘yeah actually, was alright; got a killer hangover today though ha!’
I smile broadly, letting him know I like him. He's not so bad and he's probably had to watch Penn smoke a spliff all to himself, because he's too scared to just ask if he can have some; he seems that sort of guy. ‘Ha, yeah me too...’
‘Good thing I've got a packed pipe for you here then, isn't it?’ Penn says. He hands me the pipe - which is really full to my delight – and I shove it in my mouth, with so much enthusiasm you'd think I was a smack head or something.
A hand-full of heavy tokes later and I'm feeling a thousand times better; the pain of last night's left my mind for the time being and I no longer have a hangover. I pass it around like I always do and the guy has some, as well as the two girls...though to be perfectly honest, I think they were just pretending since they breathed out no smoke.
I sigh, pouring relief from my lungs, ‘aaah, that's better’, I say falling onto my back and letting the soft, warm euphoria take me down into oblivion with it.
After that the four of us spent the next couple of hours smoking and waiting for everyone else who was left to wake up. The day stayed hot and sunny the entire time and the bag of weed was pretty big, so we managed to turn it into a good evening, what with the bonfire and left over bottles of rum and whiskey for anyone who didn't smoke.
Only a few people asked me about the night before and if I was ok. I told them I was fine and that I'd rather not talk about it.
Penn and the others asked me nothing; until everyone else had left and it was nearly ten o'clock in the evening. The sun was still firing its last rays of light across the earth and my friends and I sat on top of our roof, (Penn and I live with two of our other friends Sibbs (that's not his real name, its Simon) and Aaron; our other friends Cole and Pierce live separately.) We've known each other since we were sixteen. We're now all twenty one.
‘Sooo...’ begins Cole.
I look at him sceptically, raising an eyebrow, ‘so...what?’ I ask.
‘Soooo, what happened last night; ya' know, with her?’ Chimes in Pierce. He isn't using her name because he's tiptoeing around me. No one wants to give me a reason to be angry...err than usual anyway.
‘I don't want to talk about it. I say taking another swig from the rum that's being passed around and handing it to Sibbs, who nods in approval and continues with his quiet ways; he's a good friend is Sibbs, only speaks when he needs to. ‘Besides,’ I add, ‘you all saw it anyway, right?’
‘Everyone, except me.’ Pierce pleads. I give in and quickly give him the abridged version of what happened. ‘Shit man, seriously? What a prick; and she decided to break you for it?’
‘Yeah...I think it’s a lot of stuff to her really, the way she spoke made it sound like she's been unhappy for a little while...’
Cole scooches closer to me and puts his arm around my shoulders. He can see the tears starting to well up in my eyes. Sibbs passes me the bottle and I take a few gulps before passing it to Penn, who in turn passes me a pre-packed pipe, with a 'you look like you could do with another one' sort of expression.
I gladly light it and have a couple of puffs before giving it to Cole.
‘Has either of you even called the other today?’ he asks.
‘I tried a few times, but she put the phone down within seconds, so I sent her a couple of texts, but I haven't had anything back yet...’ I check my phone just to make sure, but there's nothing.
‘Ouch dude, that's cold.’ Penn says.
‘Yeah,’ I sigh, ‘I duno'...I guess all I can do is wait for a sign...I do wish it didn't hurt so badly though, I feel like there's a knife stuck in my throat...’
No one knows what to say to that and within a few minutes of drinking, smoking and watching the last rays of light disappear over the horizon, it’s all forgotten. Until I go to bed...and burst into tears.