Many of you reading this will believe it’s such a cliché of a story, heard it, seen it, bought the t-shirt? You are perfectly entitled to think like that, maybe it doesn’t challenge your reading capabilities or maybe you’re looking for something a bit different? Whichever it is you haven’t heard my story yet.
As I sat on my bed the tears were streaming down my face. What awful thing had I done for karma to come round and kick me in the ass so badly?
As I began thought about it again and again and again, the night’s events began to re-emerge even as I tried to push them far away, to the back of my mind…
It was around eight o’clock when the doors opened to the party. Beforehand the hype for it might have overshadowed the fun of the party but not this time. I was really enjoying myself, the music was good and usual I was dancing with anyone and everyone who was up for it. But with every party there was always people getting together and while it usually wouldn’t bother me last night was different…
I couldn’t bear to think about it anymore, grabbing my iPOD I shoved the earphones into my ears turned up the volume to full and put one the first song I could find with an insanely heavy rhythm. The music was deafening but it didn’t stop me from thinking about last night. Nothing ever helped when I was this upset, except... I leapt up from my bed and ran across my room to my book shelf. I ran my hand along the shelf looking for the only book in the world that could possibly relate to this situation I was facing, the only book that helped. Eventually I found what I was looking for; the book was called “Teenagers Guide to Any Situation”. Okay, I realise it sounded a little bit like a book that only a weirdo would read, but it actually really helps – well me anyway- I relied on this book to help me through anything and everything that happened in my life. I went to my bed and turned on my light, sat back and began to read…
Isn’t it strange? How one minor, insignificant thought can send you spiralling into a flurry of self doubt, sadness and loneliness? By finally admitting something to yourself you see why a future involving this is totally unlikely. Nothing compares with this feeling, insignificance becomes apparent to you and you start to wonder, what difference have I made to the world? How can I change my future?
Sometimes it seems impossible, so far away it is a tiny speck on the horizon. How can this change? When will the future be close enough to get your fingers around it? When will it finally become real? No one knows these answers, the future is always changing, and nothing is completely set in stone. So maybe there is hope, a chance no matter how slight those things will change for the better. Maybe this hope or blind faith as it maybe is what we have to settle for until the future we yearn for is within our grasp.
This hope comes from within our hearts, our souls. Of course there will be times when this hope wavers, but it will always be within us just waiting to prove itself. To prove that we were right in holding onto it, even when all odds were against us.
No matter what we do, there always seems to be someone there. Someone who seems superior, who has or has had something that we desire. There are some things that a person cannot change, but how does that person know if they have that certain something that they desire, whether that be looks or confidence whatever it is, how does someone know if they have this quality or not? What they think is a bad thing, could be an amazing thing in someone else’s eyes. No one knows for sure, they could ask of course, but there will always be a lingering feeling of doubt. This maybe just another obstacle on life’s road be happy with who you are, what you look like and how you feel. There will be someone who loves you for who you are, and even though they maybe hard to find, they are out there. All you have to do is believe.
Belief. Such a simple explanation, one of those easier said than done things. I wanted more than anything to completely trust, to give myself over completely to blind faith. My dad always said, to trust completely is to love with all your soul, only someone worthy of your love deserves to be trusted. As a young child I often wondered what he meant by that, I still wasn’t completely sure what he meant by it but I was beginning to understand. I didn’t love Alicia in anyway, shape or form so why did I trust what she said? Why did I automatically think, oh God she’s right? I knew why, she had hit the spots where she knew I was most vulnerable, where the maximum amount of insecurity would stem from. Of course she would know what they were, did insecurities every really change? It had been the same old story for what seemed like forever.
Song lyrics seem to make everything sound so simple; you meet a boy, its true love, happy ever after. If not you’ll get over it soon because there is love out there, your prince, just like the perfect storybook ending. Love ever lasting. No matter what people say, or do, everyone wants to find their happy ever after, their true love. They say as a teenager you have no clue what love is, you’re too young. When do you stop being too young? As far as I could tell there was no age limit to when you can love. Even when you’re fifteen you can get a glimpse of love and if you’re extremely lucky you’ll find your true love, even if it sounds too cliché to say it at that age. I thought I had found it in Ryan, he was hot, he was sweet and as far as I was concerned he was the guy I wanted. From the minute I saw him I knew that no matter how unlikely it seemed I would go out with him one day. He sat next to me in maths; I had to help him, a lot. Not that I minded at all, I started to bring up the subject of maybe some after school tutoring and he agreed. I was over at his house after school and I couldn’t help but look at everything there, hoping to find something that would help me understand him better. He kissed me before I had to go home; I practically skipped to the bus stop, after I was well out of his sight obviously. From then on we had been together. We had been dating for six months, that all ended tonight.
I had been at the party for a couple of hours and I was starting to wonder where Ryan was, a few people said they had seen him. I couldn’t find him anywhere; I gave up and turned back towards the dance floor. After a while I was so warm it was beginning to get really uncomfortable so I decided to go outside for a few minutes. Squeezing through the crowd was harder than I expected but finally I got to the door and practically threw myself out of it. There was a couple outside kissing; I was kind of embarrassed, bursting in at a private moment! But as I looked closer I recognised one of the girls from my class - Jen - and …
They broke apart, Ryan jumping so hard you would’ve thought I’d skewered him with a hot poker. My jaw practically dropped to the floor, my head was spinning and so was the room. Was it the shock? I’m not quite sure, but I found myself running back inside trying to get to one of the booths so I could get my bag and get the hell out of there. At the edge of the dance floor I felt someone grab my elbow from behind, I whipped around and was face to face with Jen.
“What the hell do you want?!” I yelled.
She just stood there; I could see she was trying to choose her words very carefully.
“To talk to you, tell you what happened”.
Was she joking? I wasn’t stupid; she kissed my boyfriend! Okay maybe she wasn’t my friend but still, everyone knows that it is just off limits to go for a guy who is already taken. How dare she come and try and explain to me when she had done something so nasty.
“He kissed me; honestly he said you guys were over ages ago. Honey, I swear I was trying to get him to back off. I mean he’s done this kind of thing before and I was really trying to give him a hard time about it, I mean god! But then out of no where he planted one on me...”
“Whoa! Wait one freaking minute there!”
Jen stopped in the middle of her monologue, with a confused look on her face.
“He’s done this before? What!?”
My heart was pounding and it felt like my chest was tightening. Ryan hadn’t done this before had he, of course not? No way! He wouldn’t do that to me, would he? I looked into Jen’s eyes. She was lying, she had to be.
“Eh… well yeah”
“You’re lying! You’re lying, I hate you! Oh my god!”
Everything was kind of a blur after that; my screams had attracted some attention. From what I gathered from other people at the party I had leapt at Jen kicking and punching, she had managed to get out of the way but two of the guys had to jump in to hold me back. Wonderful.
Tom drove me home, he’s my best friend. He didn’t say much on the ride home, he knew I had to cry so he let me and he didn’t say any of the usual rubbish people say when you’re suffering heartbreak. He just asked me how I felt and shared his own war stories, it was exactly what I needed and he knew that. We knew each other so well and knew how to help each other along in exactly the right way.
“Anyway, if you’re ever completely desperate I think I’m quite a catch” he joked, nudging me with his elbow.
I laughed and even although I probably had just had the worst night ever, I couldn’t keep the smile off my face. Somehow Tom had always managed to have that effect on me. No matter how bad I felt, his cheeky charm could always bring me back, that and that gorgeous smile. I didn’t think there was a more dazzling smile in the entire world, people say that smiling is infectious and it was totally true around Tom.
I didn’t think I could go back in my house when we arrived, even although it was well past one. I sat in Tom’s car, hugging my knees close to my chest, listening to the radio presenter nattering on about the songs they had been listening to this week…
“And now its Taylor Swift’s smash hit Love Story coming up next”
I groaned and slid further down in my seat,
“I hate this station” I mumbled, more to myself than to Tom.
As the first few bars of music began it suddenly quietened down to nothing and I felt Tom’s arm slid round my shoulders, I leaned into him and could feel his heart beating against his chest.
“Ah, it’s not so bad once you’re in a kind of happy go lucky, love is all around us kind of mood” he half chuckled.
I felt something press against my hair, my stomach flipped; did Tom just kiss my hair? I didn’t look up in case it was just my imagination running away with itself. I could just imagine the field day he would have if I told him what thoughts had just run through my head. In any case I pulled him closer to me wanting a bit more comfort because I had had an awful night. I could feel Tom shaking,
“What?” I asked, slightly confused.
“Nothing…it’s just…” he spluttered
“Oh come on Tom, spit it out!”
“I was just going to say, getting a bit flirtatious now aren’t we?”
We were both laughing then, thank goodness it was dark because for some mad reason I had began to blush. Glancing up at Tom I saw he was smiling down at me,
“I have to go now” I said with a sigh.
Putting my arms up around his neck, I hugged him close to me and kissed his cheek.
“Thanks Tom, you’re the best”
“Ah, I’m alright” he replied sheepishly.
I giggled, turned and got out of the car. I waved as he drove away and I could feel my happy mood go away with him. I ran into the house and bolted straight up the stairs.
The next morning when I woke up I felt awful, I hadn’t changed into my pyjamas last night or taken off my make up or ran a brush through my hair. I rolled off my bed and stumbled to my mirror. I looked horrendous, my hair was sticking up in every direction and my mascara and eyeliner had all smudged so I looked as if someone had really pummelled my eyes. I shuffled to the bathroom to try and regain any human qualities I had left. I remerged an hour later feeling a lot better, or a lot more like a person than the corpse I was earlier on. I checked my phone when I got backed to my room, sixteen messages. Well, three were from Jenna, six were from Helen, two were from my phone contractors and four were from Tom. None from Ryan, ass. As I was sitting thinking how much of an ass Ryan was my stomach started to growl. I realised I hadn’t eaten since six o’clock yesterday, I walked down the stairs and as I walked into the kitchen I nearly collapsed in the doorway. Ryan was there, eating pancakes, with my parents and he was smiling at me.
“What the hell are you doing here!? Get out of my house!” I screamed.
My parents hadn’t seen me come in and they must have jumped about six feet in the air. Once their heartbeats had slowed back to a normal pace my father began to shake his head saying nothing, while my mum began her monologue.
“Annie, don’t be so rude to poor Ryan when he’s here to check if you’re feeling better after last night. We think it must have been some bad food. You know Helen’s mother doesn’t use recipe books when she’s cooking. You didn’t eat any shrimp last night did you dear? You know how that disagrees with you.”
My mother, so naive. She believes even a serial killer has a soft side to them.
“No mum, I didn’t. Ryan, living room, now” I said, trying my hardest to sound civil.
Ryan smirked and turned round to face my parents again.
“Thank you so much Mr and Mrs Stevenson, the pancakes were delicious”.
He rose from the table and walked into the living room with me at his wake. He stopped abruptly and turned on the spot causing me to bump into him. He grabbed my face and kissed me, but he didn’t do it lovingly, he was too in control and I didn’t like that. I pushed hard against his chest but it didn’t seem to make the slightest difference. So I grabbed his shoulders hard and brought my knee up with as much force as I could muster. He crumpled like a piece of paper. Groaning he sank to the floor with me towering over him. Now I called the shots,
“Bad form” he gasped bent double on the ground.
“Deserved it, kissing someone else? Some may say I’m going easy on you.”
Now it was my turn to smirk, maybe taking that self defence class last year had paid off. Ryan began to slowly ease himself off of the floor, panting as he did so.
“Oh my god” I interrupted “don’t tell me you’re trying that one on?”
I started to laugh, the oldest line in the book and he thought that would work? He looked dejected but I could tell he was trying to think of something else to say. Another lie to spin. Without a word I walked away and opened the door pointing out to the street. That was when he started to look angry, he grabbed his jacket and stormed out the door, muttering to me as he walked by that I would regret this decision.
Mum and Dad left for work shortly afterwards, leaving me alone in the house. I saw it more as an escape even though I didn’t leave the boundaries of my bedroom. Normally I would have been driven crazy, being stuck in the house all day, with no one I wanted to see or no where to go. That day was different, I was given a chance to cry, scream, punch and kick my heart out till I had no more energy left in me. By then I decided I was ready to read my messages. Jenna and Helen’s messages were basically just words of sympathy and anger at Ryan. I quickly moved on from these, my phone contractors were reminding me of some stupid offer they were promoting; finally I was left with the messages from Tom.
Annie! J I totally smell of ur perfume now!! Not that it’s a bad thingggg! :P x
He was such a weirdo but I couldn’t help laughing at him. Tom was so laidback he was practically horizontal.
YO! Dude! U Rockkkkkk! x
Okay a bit random but it did make me smile.
If I could I would totally hug u right now! *hugs*
Aw. Okay that was totally sweet!
Don’t worry bout that ass! you’re like wonder woman! you’ll get through this with meeeeeee! :P x
Aw! I wasn’t quite sure why he thought of me as wonder woman that was really amazing! At that moment I wanted Tom to be with me more than anything, just to hold me protected in his arms.
The day never changed, it was just an extended version of the hell that morning. I stayed in my room all day, curled up on my bed but I couldn’t stop thinking about the previous night. It was as if the events were on a permanent loop in my mind, the pain coming back again and again like a bad penny always turning up. It wasn’t even diluted by a text or a call, I even tried watching a kid’s film to try and cheer me up. All that did was remind me of the times when life was simple, when every problem could be solved and in the end your true love is always there. How I wished that life was like that, where by singing or dancing every problem vanished like a puff of smoke. It wasn’t elaborating in that aspect. I had been dancing from the age of three and every time I got up to perform the rest of the world shut up, nothing could penetrate into the bubble that I was in. The power I felt flowing through me when I was dancing was incredible and couldn’t be fully described with mere words. The feeling that rushed through me when I saw the audience watching my every move it made my heart pound as hard and as fast as was physically possible. It was invigorating. How I wished I could get back to that place in my life, that feeling of control and love for what I was doing. That was as close as I had ever got to perfect. Now I felt like I was closer to the inferno in the world. I wondered what could pull me out of this “stupor”. The answer came to me so quickly I was for the moment stunned. Tom. He changed everything. As soon as his name came to mind, I felt a warm feeling spreading from the pit of my stomach all the way through my body until a smile spread across my face. All the muscles I had been holding tense suddenly relaxed and I sank back into my pillows. I hugged my body thinking about nothing but Tom until sleep suddenly took over.
Monday mornings, they always suck no matter how your weekend went. I had to face the humiliation, the mocking looks and the whispers of the idiots who have no clue what the hell they are talking about. They only know what people have told them and people always exaggerate when they tell a story, the only way you have the true version of a story is by being there yourself.
It was worse. It was silence. No one spoke in my presence, probably thought I was too precious or something, they all looked though. All of them staring, their focus never breaking. I think I preferred the whispers.
“Oh my god! No one died; you guys can talk in front of me!”
I only did it to break the compressing silence, I felt like I was suffocating. Wrenching open my locker I threw my books into it and winced as they ricocheted against the walls.
“Good morning sunshine” said an all too chirpy voice.
Tom was standing behind me, I wanted to smile, dear god I wanted to smile. I resisted,
“Aw, poor baby you okay?” he uttered ruffling my hair.
His hand stayed there a little too long, cupping my face in his hand suddenly breathing became very difficult. What the hell was happening? This was Tom, just plain old Tom. A few months ago if he had done anything remotely like this I would’ve hit his hand away laughing my head off.
“Hey, she moves on fast doesn’t she?”
Tom ripped his hand from my face like he’d just been electrocuted and as I turned round I saw Alicia staring right at me. My fingers curled into fists and my arm drew back slightly. I didn’t even register the conscious thought to thrust it forwards and try make contact with her pinched, smarmy face.
Okay, so maybe I didn’t punch her but did she get away from there unscathed. Oh hell to the no! Just as I was about to hit her two things happened simultaneously; Tom caught my hand and pulled it backwards holding it tightly and some kid from the year below me tripped over his shoelaces and his blue slushy went flying up in the air, the contents landing all over Alicia’s purple shirt and perfect white jeans. It couldn’t have been more perfect, not even if it was rehearsed a million times over. I was doubled over, Tom’s grip being the only thing keeping me upright although he couldn’t help laughing as well. Everyone was howling with laughter, there was not one straight face in that hallway. Oh how I loved sweet, sweet revenge. It was getting better each minute that passed, the office wouldn’t let her go home and change and her parents weren’t in so they couldn’t even drop off anymore of her clothes, so she had to go through the entire day with giant blue splodge marks all over her designer style clothes. Oh how I loved it. Mind you that was the only good thing that happened that day: in P.E. we were doing track running, I ran about a foot then tripped over my laces landing in the muck, in English my short story I had been working on for two whole weeks was given a C and in Spanish; well that was just Spanish. As I was walking home the clouds began to gather, the perfect end to a perfect day. Sarcasm in case you didn’t understand. At that moment I felt like screaming, I wanted to kick and punch until all my frustrations were forgotten. Of course if I did that in the middle of the street people would have me committed. It would probably be a nice break from all these horrible people that I was forced to associate with these days, but I don’t think the jackets are the most comfortable. No one was in when I got home, thank god. I ran upstairs to my room, dropped my bag on the floor then threw myself on my bed. Now was the perfect time to let out my frustrations by screaming into my pillow. It was beginning to work when I felt my phone vibrating in my pocket.
“Hello?” I spat through gritted teeth.
“Yo,yo,yo! Come answer your door”.
Tom! He was here. Why was he here?
“Em, just a minute” I replied.
Jumping up from my bed I ran downstairs barely glancing in the mirror, he had seen me worse so there was no drama there. Tom was standing in my hallway, sodden.
“Eh, it was really rainy outside” he said sheepishly.
After Tom had dried off a bit, we were both in my room. He was sitting on my computer chair and I was lying on my bed staring at the ceiling.
“So, how are you?” he finally said breaking the silence.
“Horrible. I mean I took a risk with Ryan, none of my friends liked him but me being me thought he was worth a shot. That idea crashed and burned so quickly it wasn’t even true. It’s not fair; I mean I think I’m a reasonably nice person you know? I mean I’m no axe murderer and do you know what?!” I sat up on my bed suddenly spinning round to look at Tom who was looking seriously confused at this point “movies shouldn’t be allowed! Romantic comedies, I mean it’s not even fair! They show you love but in ways that will never happen to you so instead of feeling like, oh god I hope that happens to me you’re like oh damn I wish I was them! All I want is for it all to be simple, I mean you meet your one true love like when you’re young and that’s you sorted, your life is in place, perfect balance. Like when you turn like thirteen you should get like clues leading you to…”
Tom stopped me by clamping his hand firmly over my mouth, he was shaking with laughter but he wasn’t letting a sound pass his lips. I was a bit hysterical and I just broke down, the flood gates were open. Tom cradled me in his arms, letting me soak his shirt with my tears. I couldn’t stop crying, I thought I had already cried my tears but I still had some left. Tom was rubbing my back, trying to calm me down and very gently he lent me back and he wiped my tears from my face. He kissed my forehead and cuddled me close again.
“He’s not worth this, any guy who makes you feel this bad doesn’t deserve to have any girl loving him” he whispered in my ear “don’t you forget that you are so much better than him, I mean you have me, that’s got to count for something eh?”
I chuckled slightly but I held him tighter, I felt like a child again clutching at her safety blanket. I think that’s all I needed to know that I was safe, knowing that someone was going to be taking care of me, protecting me from any harm. I miss those days, when you were so young that you didn’t care about boys. They didn’t make you any happier because they didn’t matter. When you could hang out with your friends and not every conversation was dominated by guys or a problem about guys. I was giving up, losing all faith that actually I would find the right guy eventually. Tom’s phone buzzed, he shifted slightly pulling it out of his pocket and squinting at the screen.
“Who is it?” I asked, genuinely curious because no offence to Tom I was really the only person he hung around with.
He looked uncomfortable, his expression changing slightly. I nudged him in the ribs
“Come on, who is it?” I said with a laugh.
“Eh…well its Sophie”
Did I know a Sophie? I thought for a moment, Tom watching my face apprehensively, “You don’t mean Sophie Morgan did you? Sophie- best friends with Alicia- Sophie? That Sophie!”
My voice was getting louder and louder until I was practically screaming. I jumped away from Tom, shaking my head. What the hell was he thinking? What was he doing to me!?
“Look, look calm down please calm!” he begged, getting up from my bed to try and grab me.
“What the hell are you thinking; you want to tell me that?”
I was practically spitting with fury. After all the humiliation Alicia and her friends had caused (not just to me but to Tom as well) he was hanging out with one of them.
“I really like her, I do Annie and she likes me too” he broke off in a smile “I mean how many times does that happen? I mean I didn’t know I would … I mean I thought I liked…”
He stopped with the most curious expression on his face.
“What Tom? You thought you liked…?”
“No one, I thought I was in love with Rachel Bilson” he laughed “but I mean…”
“Woah,wait one freakin’ minute! You like her, you mean dating like her as in kissing, holding hands!!”
I was so stupid, when he said he really liked her I thought he meant friends. Until he mentioned his “love” with Rachel Bilson the penny never dropped. Tom nodded, not meeting my gaze of horror. I felt sick; the floor had disappeared beneath my feet. What was wrong with me? Tom was a single guy, allowed to date girls. If that was true, why did I feel so bad?
Tom left soon after that, I think he was hoping for a better reaction on my part. He and Sophie had been dating for two months in secret. He hated keeping it from me but he wanted to wait for “a better time”. I just couldn’t believe it, I was shell shocked. I didn’t understand why I felt like I had lost something and why my eyes had been streaming with tears ever since Tom had left. He was my Tom, what right did Sophie have to take him away from me? She had taunted him for years. I had been there for him and vice versa. It may sound conceited on my part, but I always thought Tom had kind of liked me. I always quashed that idea as soon as I had thought it, but maybe this time our roles were reversed: but was it too early for me to like someone other than Ryan? I couldn’t like Tom, I mean he was Tom. The same Tom that when we were little had to borrow one of my tops while my mum washed his because I had covered him in ketchup. It wasn’t an unprovoked attack…he pulled my hair. I laughed to myself, taking a break from crying. As I did my phone started to ring, I reached down from my bed to lift it up from the floor.
Hey you! Sorry bout before is it ok if I come over laterr? Do you hate me!? :( please don’t! xxxxxxxxxxxx
It was from Tom, I started sobbing again. He was so sweet! How could I hate him?
With shaking fingers I replied
Hi yeah come over pleaseee, of course I don’t hate you you’re my man! I’m sorry I just didn’t expect that! I’m just used to having you all to myself! Xxxxxxxxxxxx
I sent it to him, wondering if that was the right thing to say. Maybe the “you’re my man” bit was a bit too far? No I mean I would say that normally wouldn’t I? Yes, yes I would. Would he know that? Oh god, I was obsessing over a text to Tom, why? I didn’t like him. Maybe I … no of course I didn’t. Suddenly my phone rang again and I just about had a heart attack.
See you in half an hour xxx
Jesus Tom! Wait. Half an hour? Crap! Throwing myself off my bed I ran to my mirror, oh sweet lord! I was a mess. My hair was lying in every direction, make up smudged, top grotty. I did my makeover in record timing, hair straightened, make up redone with a little bit of eyeliner and new top and jeans which were ripped at the knees. Lovely. The second I was finished the doorbell rang, I practically took my bedroom door of its hinges as I flew down the stairs. I tried to look casual as I opened the door and it was the paper boy. Grudgingly I took the paper from him and I shut the door without even thanking him. Slouching back up the stairs to my room, I sighed and suddenly realised how weirdly I had just acted. Oh well, I walked over to my window seat, opened the paper and began to read. The time was passing without me realising, strange as it sounds I was engrossed in the paper until,
“Look at you acting all intelligent”
I think I must have jumped five feet in the air with shock and subsequently fell on to the floor in a heap. Tom rushed over picking me up then pulled me into a tight hug.
“Oh god I’m sorry!” he said in my ear.
But I was laughing; I tightened my arms around him listening to his heart beat. He held me close and rested his head on mine.
“I’m sorry about before” I whispered.
Tom didn’t reply, he let me go and looked me straight in the eye.
“Listen Annie, you’re my best friend and you always will be. I just need you to be supportive okay? I told Sophie what happened and we’ve decided we are going to tell people we’re together...”
My stomach contracted at that, strange.
“and she is going to start hanging out with us in school and stuff…”
Oh fabulous, I thought, I’m now a third wheel.
“but listen, we can’t like hug all the time now…”
“Sophie feels that it’s not appropriate since she’s my girlfriend and your not. That’s okay though right?”
She was taking him from me, she was dating him and now I couldn’t hug him! He was my friend! MY best friend! I mean they were only going out what a few months and she thought she owned him?! Okay, calm. Answer him.
“Mhmm, we are still allowed to hang out aren’t we? Or is that against “Sophie’s Law” as well?”
“Come on, of course we can” he said as he came and sat beside me.
Tom looked me straight in the eyes,
“Please try and be cool with this, for me?”
Oh no, he was making the puppy dog face! Urgh, I was a complete sucker for that face, it was only because Tom had the biggest brown eyes I had ever seen. I’d never looked at them this closely before, wow they were gorgeous, my heart was beating so hard I was so sure that Tom could hear it, but those eyes…
“Annie?” he laughed.
I snapped back to reality,
“Uh yeah I’ll be cool; I mean I couldn’t be… I mean…” I trailed off.
Oh my god no! I could feel my face burning up, please god no!
“Thank you! You are the best!”
Tom put his arms round me and squeezed me until I could feel my lungs meshing together.
“Tom?” I choked.
“Oh right, sorry!”
We both laughed – he looked so cute when he laughed, god I had to stop these thoughts it was too weird- Tom looked at his watch and his expression changed in a lightning flash.
“I’m sorry I have to go and meet Sophie” he genuinely did look sorry “I’m already late”.
“Oh ok, that’s fine” I mumbled.
Stupid Sophie. Tom gave me one last hug before he walked out my room, he never looked back and I’m glad he didn’t because the second he turned his back to me the tears started to fall.
The rest of the week past in a blur, a sad, lonely blur. Tom was spending most of his time with Sophie being all couple-y and cute together, ugh, I was gob smacked when I found out that Sophie’s friends had knew all along, they weren’t really known for their ability to keep their mouths shut. At least at the weekend I had something to look forward to. On Sunday there was a new shopping centre Mum and I hadn’t yet visited, which meant only one thing… new clothes. If there was ever a way to cheer up a depressed girl – or any girl for that matter- it was give her a new wardrobe. I loved shopping with Mum, she always found the cutest stuff for herself and never really grew bored of waiting for me to finish trying on all the different outfits I liked, or the millions of pairs of shoes I had fallen in love with. Usually my Dad came with us, but being a typical man left my Mum and I to go pick out clothes while he drank coffee and read his paper.
It was about four o’clock on Sunday afternoon when Mum and I decided that we had bought enough clothes and shoes and jewellery and bags and … other stuff? We were just walking out of H&M after having spent a small fortune when we walked straight into Tom and Sophie, fan-bloody-tastic. Just what I needed, I had to hear about the newest couple all week in school and now they were interfering with my weekend. Okay not on purpose but you get my point. And of course my mother just couldn’t let an opportunity for a conversation slip by,
“Oh hello Tom! And you too Sophie. Lovely to see you pet. How’s your Mum?”
Oh my God so awkward! Why? Why? Why?
“You too Mrs Stevenson, yes she’s fine thank you”
Urgh how much more of a suck up could she be!? Was there anything this girl couldn’t do or person she couldn’t appeal to? She was a chameleon, changing with every new person that came her way and I hated it, I hated it so much my hand was actually tingling, just itching to reach out and slap that smarmy face of hers. The four of us stood there awkwardly until eventually my Mum laughed and told Tom and Sophie that we had to go and collect my Dad, finally I could breathe! I knew being around Tom and Sophie would be hard and eventually I’d have to face it but I never expected this pain, like someone had gave me a right good kick in the stomach and there was a huge lump in my throat and I had to keep swallowing to stop my tears welling in my eyes.
Back at school Tom wasn’t the only guy I was trying to avoid, Ryan seemed to be there wherever I turned. Okay, I hated the guy I honestly wouldn’t care if I never saw him again but every time I did it was kind of hard, I’m not a liar I’m not going to say that I was able to brush him off easily with no feeling. It didn’t make me want to reconcile with him but it did make me a little sad, I had built up hopes and expectations around Ryan that crumpled when we broke up, not only leaving me alone but also made me feel like a failure. It wasn’t as if I could do anything about it, I had to stay in this horrible existence for the next two years of high school. I felt so alone, I’d lost my boyfriend and it really looked like I was losing my best friend as well. I didn’t know how long I could continue on in this existence. All I wanted was Tom, I needed him like I needed air, and he was always my life raft while I was drowning in my latest drama. Everyday was turning into a blur: get up, shower, school, home, studying, bed. One Friday when I got home- which was empty, again- I dragged my bag up the stairs and just as I got to my room door the doorbell rang. I groaned with a new wave of depression and threw my bag into my room then turned around and slumped my way back down the stairs- muttering some words my mother would be appalled to hear me say- cursing the person who had decided to irritate me. I opened the door and there he was; Tom. I stood there dumbstruck for a good while taking a very good look at Tom. My heart was beating so hard I was sure it was about to bounce right out of my chest, my stomach felt the same way it did on a rollercoaster-as if I had left it behind- and best of all my mood had significantly improved until I looked at Tom’s face, he looked broken. For a little second I couldn’t breathe, what had happened to my Tom? Without a word I took his hand and pulled him upstairs to my room sat him down and just held him in my arms, the way he had a few weeks ago when our roles were reversed. We sat there for god knows how long until Tom finally raised his head and said in barely a whisper
“I missed you”
There were tears in his eyes and I could feel my heart breaking just at the sight of it,
“What happened to you?”
He swallowed a few times before replying,
“I broke up with Sophie; I couldn’t take not seeing you anymore”
Now it was my turn to start crying and Tom’s turn to hold me. He laughed, rocking me back and forth and for the first time in weeks I finally felt at peace, I had found my place.
“What happened, like explain it” I managed to say between sobs.
“Sophie didn’t like me hanging out with you; she kept getting really jealous which is ridiculous because I mean we’re just friends. She was calling me all the time asking where I was and today I found her checking my phone messages and that’s when I snapped. I ended it right there and then”.
Suddenly I felt as if the world had been taken away from beneath my feet, “just friends…just friends…just friends”. No. We couldn’t be “just friends” anymore; I was falling in love with him. I began to choke back my tears unsuccessfully; Tom saw what I was attempting to do and gasped,
“Annie? You are okay aren’t you? I mean I didn’t think you really approved of my relationship with Sophie” he gave a slight chuckle.
Okay, I had two choices here: one, suck up my feelings and go on being Tom’s friend or two, tell him how I felt and possibly end up ruining our friendships. Oh this was bloody fabulous, either way it ended badly for me. Okay just tell him, tell him everything, every single thing,
“Yeah I’m fine” I managed to choke out, “you’re right, we are just friends Sophie should see that.”
Yes I got scared, terrified really. It is easy for someone to say to you to tell the person you like how you feel about them. It never works, everyone is afraid of one thing; rejection! And a little bit of humiliation, I mean how bad is it when they don’t like you back? There cannot be a worse feeling out there, you start to get paranoid that everything you do towards the person might show them that you like them. It’s insane and you end up going insane yourself. I could feel the tears welling up inside of me, I was desperate just to cry let the tears flow and not care whether Tom saw or not.
“I know right? I mean we’ve been friends for so long! It’s only natural we’re close you know?” he said smiling down at me.
I tried to smile, I really did but I think it came off as more of a grimace. I could’ve scared little children with that “smile”.
“Yeah, I totally know.”
Out of no where Tom’s phone began to ring, we both jumped like we’d both received an electric shock. He pulled the phone out of his pocket and glanced at the caller I.D., it was only his mum. She wanted him home right away, because his dinner would be ready soon. How cute is that? I loved Tom’s mum, she was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. She always said I was like her own little girl because I spent so much time round at Tom’s house playing when we were younger.
“Well I guess I better go” Tom got up and started making his way over to the door. For some reason unbeknown to myself I got up and followed Tom and grabbed his sleeve.
“Hey where’s my hug goodbye?” I said with a laugh.
Tom smiled and pulled me close and hugging me tight, I moved my head away from his shoulder and out of no where I kissed him. I kissed him and he kissed me back. He kissed me back! He wrapped his arms around me tighter; his lips began moving with mine in ways that they had never moved before. My stomach was doing so many flips it could’ve joined a circus, Tom and I were in our own little world and I’d never felt so happy in my entire life, this was a new level of happiness I never wanted to move from. Suddenly Tom pulled away, pushing me away at the same time. Wait! What was he doing, why?!
“Sorry” he gasped.
And with that he turned and left. It was only until I heard the front door close that I crumpled on my floor in shock.
When I woke in the morning I was lying in my bed-obviously I had managed to drag myself off the floor- I felt awful. The shock from last night was still playing on my mind, it wasn’t the shock that I kissed him it was the shock that he kissed me back, and boy it felt good. I couldn’t help but let a smile play about my lips; Tom had kissed them, me and Tom, Tom and me. Yeah, that sounded good. I gave in and let my smile spread right across my face, my cheeks were sore my smile was so big but I couldn’t help it. That moment would last forever for me, it was one of those moments in life that I could point to and say my life changed because of that. You don’t get many moments like that.
“Annie! Get up love!”
My mum’s voice interrupted my train of thought, damn, I glanced at my watch… it was nine! Who did she think she was kidding! It was Saturday, honestly. I grudgingly got up and slumped downstairs, dragging myself into the kitchen where I saw my mum busily making pancakes. Aww now I was happy she woke me.
“Aw mum! Thank you!”
I skipped over and hugged her
“You’re the best” I whispered.
“Thank you love”, giving me a kiss on the cheek “well that stack of pancakes is yours so dig in” she said smiling.
Oh my god, they were the best pancakes ever, mum had melted chocolate on top of the stack and oh… it is indescribable how good it tasted. I glanced round the room looking for my dad; he was usually never that far away when pancakes were involved.
“Mum where’s dad?”
“Out at work, he had to start early today but he finishes at five so we’re all going out to dinner. Does that sound good?”
I nodded, shovelling in mouthfuls of pancake thick and fast, mum turned around took one look at me and laughed.
“By the way honey, I’m going just now so I’ll just meet you and your dad at the restaurant, okay?”
Again I nodded; maybe I would go and see Tom we would have to talk about what happened like that. I just couldn’t understand why he left or why he said sorry? That bit had me really confused; I mean I thought it was a good kiss. Maybe I had bad breath and he was trying to be nice about it. Oh well I would go round to his place in an hour or two. He wouldn’t even be semi-awake at this time in the morning.
I supposed it was about time I began my studying routine, exams were coming up soon and I was failing miserably in maths, something I was so not up for doing again. So I dragged myself to the upstairs study, opened my book and started copying out my notes over and over and over and over and …
“Annie? Annie? God you sleep like you’re in a coma. Annie?!”
Urgh, why do people think that by repeating themselves you’re instantly going to jump up and be all happy they haven’t woken you up? Cracking one eye open slightly I looked up and Tom was half staring half laughing at me.
“What are you doing?”
Woah, my voice definitely sounded like a chainsaw. Clearing my throat I repeated myself
“What are you doing? How’d you get in here?”
“Back door was open” he replied sheepishly.
Aw what a cutie, in fact he looked pretty guilty considering that I wasn’t upset or mad or anything I thought the guilt was pretty unfounded but oh well. I began to ask Tom why the guilty face but he interrupted me,
“Look Annie, this is really important that you listen to me”
“Oookay? What’s up?”
“It’s about last night, I was really upset and you helped me and I’m so so grateful, but I went home and talked it all out with Soph and we’re all good now. I just really really need you not to tell anyone that we kissed. Please, I mean we’re still allowed to hang out and everything but Sophie is still not comfortable because we’re really good friends and that’s all we are right? I… that was just a … can you say something please?”
I was stunned, I couldn’t even look at Tom I was staring at the floor was he serious? Like really really serious? Honestly really really really serious?! I was stunned, speechless and any other words that describe the feeling that the floor has just disappeared from underneath your feet.
“Please…” he began
“Go away …please go away” I choked.
Beforehand I hadn’t realised the tears were falling but now they were blinding me. I was glad for that fact it meant I didn’t have to see Tom’s face, all of a sudden I felt two strong hands on my cheeks forcing me to tip my face upwards. I pushed Tom away with all my might screaming at him to leave; I ran to my room and slammed the door collapsing on my floor.
I lost my best friend and he wasn’t coming back.
God I was sick of school, roaming the halls on your own got boring after three months. I hadn’t spoke to Tom since that fateful day; he basically used me at least that’s how I saw it. I had become the high school cliché, the loner with no friends. Ha, well maybe not that much of a cliché I had friends just never like Tom not like best best friends. To be honest it was embarrassing more than anything else, mind you it wasn’t as if it was public like he’d blogged about it or whatever but I still had to live with the shame of it. I was so angry at Tom, seriously every time I saw him I wanted to yell and scream and make him see just how miserable I was, it felt like there was a hole in my chest and as a result I was empty inside.
And now as much as I hated to admit it, he had me. I had become a mere memory in his life history and all I was left with was the past, no future, no present. To look back and savour the moments only makes reality harder to face now, no matter how hard I wish and pray and beg the gods of fate or love there is always that voice repeating the single most heart breaking word in any language. Nothing.
Now to say my life was total crap would be an exaggerated statement, the only thing that is really wrong with it all has to do with a guy. It’s not as if I’m homeless or gravely ill, the boy I like doesn’t feel the same way and even though it is kind of depressing I’m not going to die because of it. Growing up watching films ( that after an hour or so resulted in the girl meeting her Prince Charming with happily ever after following not so far behind) I have to admit gave me a sort of naive hope that that was how my life was going to turn out. This I believe is partially to blame for my semi depression. Even though I still believe in a love that can last a lifetime it is taking me a while to let go of the childish fantasies and realise that only in Tinsel Town does a love story always have a happy ending. If you want a diamond then you’ve got to be willing to dig a little deeper for it. I want this diamond more than I have ever wanted anything, the question is: is this really a diamond or just a stone imitating one?
Throughout all my wondering I hadn’t even properly paid attention in any of my classes for a few weeks, I mean I was taking notes and doing my work but I wasn’t taking in any of the information. I suppose since I wasn’t paying attention in classes I wasn’t paying attention with all the rumours and gossip circling the school, one particular piece of gossip was forced upon me by one of the girls who sat at my table in English.