A Few Good Conversations (Well, At Least 10)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 12 (v.1) - December

Submitted: April 30, 2018

Reads: 84

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Submitted: April 30, 2018

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On the 2nd of December, I was on a boat. The circumstances that led to me being on a boat are a little too complicated for me to actually understand them. The whole thing seems to boil down to Blochy’s friends of friends being in Miami. That little mystery aside, the boat was a pretty splendid thing. It (Blochy kept on referring it as a ‘she’, but it’s a goddamn boat not a lady) was a white hulled 30 metre ‘superyacht’, and it was damn near the perfect place for a party. On this particular day, it was hosting all of the IBattlers, even Oscar and Fresty. The former was brandishing a sweet potato, and threatening to shoot if Blochy didn’t let him win beer pong. On a side note, playing beer pong on a boat is extremely difficult. Something to do with the whole rocking thing. Earlier, Fresty was trying to show off that he could open a bottle of beer with his teeth. As it turns out, he can’t actually do that, and he’d ripped two of his teeth out. Jared was doing his best to take care of him while also doing his best to down a bottle of gin. Immy was noticeably absent, so I was trying to find her. After some time searching (my perception of time was pretty out of whack), I made my way to the ridiculously small bathroom only to be greeted by projectile vomit.

“Immy!” I bleated, shocked.

“Sorry.”

“Sea-sick or other?”

“Other,” she reassured me “definitely other.”

“What have you had?”

“So much gunch.” (gunch is a mix of cask wine, vodka and, sometimes juice) (this particular gunch probably had raspberry juice in it, as I was able to determine by the fact I was covered in bright red vomit)

“Well that’s a first class mistake.”

“You’re telling me, Mr Smartass, I’m the one with my fucking face in the toilet.”

“You make a very fair point, Immy.” I decided to not yet mention the fact that she’d covered me in vomit.

“Damn right I do. Would you please hold my hair for me?”

“It would be my pleasure.”

Immy then went on to empty the contents of her stomach into the tiny toilet. The colour of it would occasionally shift from red to yellow, I don’t really know why.

“Is there anything, anything at all, that can make you stay?” She said, leaning slightly out of the bowl.

“Perhaps you could help me get your spew off me.” My timing with that remark there was excellent as always.

“Right, and apart from that? Is there anything?” She grabbed some soap and a towel. She rubbed the cleaning product violently against my clothes and face, and then forcefully rubbed off. It did a relatively good job of getting the vomit itself off me, but the smell still clung to me.

“No,” I warned her “I don’t think there is.”

“Not even this Annie girl?” She said, grabbing some cologne from the compartment beneath the sink.

“She’s actually part of the reason I’m leaving.” I admitted, flinching away from Immy’s weapon.

“Really?” she questioned, spraying my straight in the eyes with cologne “I thought she made you happy.”

“She does,” I tried to explain between screams of pain “but it’s not that simple.”

“Um, yes it is.”

“Well come on, you’re hardly the relationship expert here.”

“Low blow!”
“Anything you say can and will be held against you.’

“Whatever.”

“You know her parents died?”

“Really?”

“I’m not actually sure.” I admitted.

“That’s fucked up,” she commented “who would lie about something like that?”

“Annie Rose would.” I said, wistfully looking into middle distance. Immy gave me a look that told me to stop doing that immediately.

“Wait,” she grunted “I thought she was Myars’ daughter?”

“It’s complicated.”

“Mate, seriously, names aren’t that complicated. Either you have them or you don’t.”

“Well her name is Annie Myars, but her persona is Annie Rose.”

“That makes no sense.”

“Yes it does! You just have to know her.”

“You’re really not being very clear, Ed.”

“You sure it’s me and not the gunch?”

“Pretty sure.”

“Yeah, this girl doesn’t make much sense.”

“Lucky you won’t have to deal with her much longer.”

“Yeah,” I said, “lucky.”



 

***



 

On Christmas day, Blochy made the decision to host a party. You may be confused into thinking that this was a Christmas party, but that would be a rookie mistake. This was, in fact, a going away party. On the way to his place, I realised that I’d never actually been there before. Blochy’s house was… well… a house. It suited Blochy remarkably well in that it was so disturbingly ordinary.

I only arrived to the party at 11PM, so most everyone was already pretty wrecked by that point. I had to step over 2 passed out people to make it to the front door. I later discovered that one of them was Blochy’s father, who is apparently a lightweight. Like father, like son. Once I pushed the front door open, I was greeted by someone who I would describe as “an absolute random”.

“Hey mate!” He said with an extremely thick, and also remarkably fake Australian accent.

“Who the fuck are you?” I replied.

“My name’s Gunner.” Weirdly, the name actually kind of suited him. He was just as short as Blochy, and his face looked like it had been repeatedly shot at with an assault rifle.

“Is that so?”
“Yeah.”

“Is that your birth name?”

“Yeah.”

“Do your parents hate you?”

“A little, how did you know?”

“Oh, just a hunch.”

“You’re a very clever bloke, you know that.” The word ‘bloke’ sounded so wrong in his mouth.

“Are you related to Blochy?” I wondered.

“I’m his cousin!”

“That makes sense.”

“It’s the face, isn’t it?”

“It is not.”

“What is it then?”

“Just another hunch.” I dismissed, “anyway, where’s Blochy?”

And on that, Gunner passed out in front of me. He collapsed forwards, and fell directly onto his face - adding to his already great collection of bumps and crevasses. I stepped over his limp body, and began my search. I wouldn’t say that I was sober at the time, I’d certainly had a few bevs that afternoon, but I was definitely in a different zone to everyone else there. The party was unfolding around me, a set of loosely connected random events. A girl was adjusting her bra in the corner, and the guy next to her was eying her chest out. Some dude was on the floor trying (and failing) to do the worm. This one girl, who was obviously tripping, was doing her darndest to roll a cigarette, and she was doing an even worse job than I was. I ended up in the kitchen, where I found a bottle of Jack on the counter, and Jared lost in the fridge. I promptly stole the Jack, and tapped Jared on the back. He (Jared, that is, not the Jack) spun around and entered a defencive karate stance.

“Who fucks with the great Jared-san.”

“I think that’s racist, man.”

“Oh, it’s just you.”

“Just me? Excuse you!”

“Whatever, you’re just not the samurai warrior I was expecting.”

“Why were you expecting a samurai warrior?”

“Mate, you’ve always gotta expect the unexpected.”

He did have a point in that the assault of a samurai warrior did indeed fall under the category of the unexpected.

“Where are the others?”

“Blochy and Immy were having a DnM in the backyard last I checked.” (DnM [sort of] stands for a deep and meaningful conversation)

“Should we join them?”

“Fuck yeah.”

For some reason, Blochy’s backyard was actually on the side of his house. On the plus side, that did make it easily accessible from the kitchen, we just had to slide open a window and step out. True to Jared’s word, the other two were sitting on steps leading down to a garden engaging in conversation that seemed to be both D and M.

“Do you reckon we’ll ever see each other again?” I overheard Blochy say.

“Of course we will.” I chimed in.

“Oh, hey lads.” He said.

“I agree with the non-samurai.” Added Jared. That made Immy smile, though I’m pretty sure she had no idea what he meant.

“I can’t believe you’re leaving tomorrow.” I said.

“You’re only leaving a week after me!”

“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”

“But I won’t be there to cross that bridge.”

“Alright, fine, focus on your own damn bridge then.”

“What does that even mean?” Immy interjected.

“I’m not actually sure.” I admitted.

“Probably doesn’t matter, hey.” Said Jared.

“Probably not.” I concurred.

“Blochy,” said Immy “you’re never allowed to forget us.”

“You know too well I can’t.”

“We’ve got to catch up again, guys,” I said “a few years from now.”

“I’ll have finished my degree in 5, we should it do it then.”

“Yeah, we should all come back to Perth. Head to Jared’s place, or maybe my basement. We could punch a couple joints, get super drunk.”

“Deal, plan set in stone.”

“Blochy, mate,” said Jared “you better have the fucking time of your life over there.”

“I will.”

“No, I mean it, man. If any experience is sub-par, you have to return immediately.”

“I will.”

If I could reach back into the past, I would scream to myself that that was the last time we’d ever be together. Man, I wish you could have been there, I wish you could have seen us. We were so damn good at being young, and we didn’t even know it yet. But honestly, I don’t regret that being the last time. Life happened to all of us, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sure we grew up, and sure we don’t run on nearly as many chemicals as we used, but in our little fucked up brains this night is engraved. No matter what happens to us, no matter what we become, we’ll have this memory. That is permanence.




 

***



 

On the 30th of December, Kacey knocked on my front door at sundown. She was wearing a golden dress with an open back. I remembered buying it for her, some time in 2013.

“Hey,” she said “I heard you were leaving.”

“You really need to stop rocking up every time you hear something about me.”

“Well, I’ll only be able to do it for so much longer, won’t I.” She gave me a little smile with that statement, and I actually returned it.

“A day, in fact.”

“Seriously?” She burst out “that’s fucked up.”

“Yeah,” I conceded, laughing at her surprise “I’m pretty pumped.

“What are you gonna study over there?”

“I dunno.”

“How do you not know yet?”
“I haven’t decided yet. Haven’t even finished my application to be honest.”

“How are you leaving tomorrow then? Where are you gonna stay?”

“I dunno.”

“What?”

“I guess I’ll just figure it out as I go along.”
“Why are you even leaving so soon then?”

“I just gotta, Kacey.” I said “I just gotta.”

“Is it me?”

“No! Dear God, it’s not you.”

“Really?”

“Well, maybe a bit. But that was so long ago now, it feel like a different lifetime.”

“I never did say sorry.”

“I think that’s because you’re not.”
“I am, though. I’m sorry.”

“I’m glad.”

“Do you regret it?”

“I used to.”

“What changed.”

“I did. I changed.”

“How?”
“Well, I stopped thinking about the rest of my life as the time period after you.”

“How does that even help?”

“It just means I don’t have to regret the good times anymore. Because there were damn good times, but they get ruined when you think of them with a bitter filter.”

Kacey smiled, and she almost looked like she was going to cry. She looked beautiful, really, and for once I don’t even mean that in a halfhearted way. The fact is, I remembered in that moment why I’d loved her in the first place. I would probably always carry a bit of that in me, and it was supremely worth it. All good things must end, and that night she was just an old friend coming over to visit me. In that moment I decided to never look back on the damage we’d done to each other as a bad thing.

“You’re such a big kid now.” She said, and she laughed. It was the honest laugh of a girl with a taste for danger. A laugh that reminded me of the blood stains on the mattress, and how they even got there in the first place. A laugh that reminded me of the times we’d snuck out together just so we could sneak in to bars. She gave me a hug, a really long one, and then she slipped effortlessly through the crack in the gate.

“Kacey?”

“Yeah?”

“I hope you’re happy now.” She gave a little smile that indicated she wasn’t. “Or at least that you will be.”

“I hope you find whatever it is you’re looking for.”

“I think I already have.”

 

Later that night, I heard a knock on my window.

“Fuck off.” I said, assuming for some reason that it was Kacey again.

“Let us in!” Replied Immy, voice muffled by the glass. I pulled my curtains back to reveal Jared and Immy standing outside. I sighed, and slid open my window. They shuffled inside, and stood around my bed.

“So this is it, hey.” Said Jared.

“I guess it is.” I said

“Will you write?” He asked. “Or whatever.”

“I don’t think people do that anymore.”

“Text then, will you text?”

“I mean, I might shoot you a Facebook message?”

“Yeah,” he mumbled “that’s what I meant.”

“I can’t believe we’ve only known you for like a year.” Immy declared. I couldn’t believe it either.

“I can’t believe that I’ll ever not know you.” I complained, my eyes dead set on the future.

“You won’t.” she said “you don’t just stop knowing someone.”

“Yeah, you’re right. This isn’t the end.”

“Well, it is the end.” Interjected Jared.

“Yeah, that’s also true.”

“Just maybe not forever.” He continued

“Exactly.”

“Will you write?”

“We just had this conversation.”

“Sorry,” apologised Jared “I’m a bit drunk.”

“Shall we make that a lot drunk?”
“Ed, you’re so full of good ideas.”

That night, this place actually felt like a home. I’d spend years here with it just being an empty house, but not that night. You know, I was probably in a fair bit of pain, with the thought of leaving and all. And actually, I’m pretty sure I’d been stung by a bee earlier that week. But I don’t remember any of that, none at all. I just remember time running through my adolescence like a torrentuous river. Nostalgia, both for the past and the future, is inevitably a yearning for something fictitious. I accept that, but it doesn’t change the fact that we were new comets and shooting stars. We were impossibly young, and impossibly full of hope.

Perth is a place where there were once 5 fucked up kids. It’s a place where they would get together every Wednesday and drink. And though by the 30th of December there were only 3 of us left, it was still the perfect Wednesday.




 

***



 

On the 31st of December 2014, I was furiously packing for my imminent departure. Apparently, you have to get to the airport some ridiculous amount of time before your flight actually leaves. So 4 hours before I flew out, I had to undergo an extremely weird process in order to prepare. Every single object that crossed my path raised the question of its necessity. Everything from my semi-burned toaster to the pack of condoms in my bedside table felt like it had some form of emotional significance to me, or at least that it should.

 

By the time I left the house, I’d packed a single duffel bag filled with a random collection of items I’d found sprawled throughout my house. Said collection included a candle, a bottle of Jack Daniels (for the road), and a book about ducks, amongst other things. The airport was about 2 hours away, vaguely in the direction of Swanway. I’d taken the Stallion with the intention of leaving him at the airport indefinitely. The roads twisted and turned in front of me, but no part of me was thinking about them. The thing I had failed to realise about 2014, you see, is that so many firsts and so many lasts would occur in such unpredictable proximity to one another. And then, 2015 was a year that I thought would never come. So the thought of starting it without Giacci in the Stallion, or Annie’s ramblings felt wrong. I think some part of me must have felt that wrongness more than I realised, because suddenly I wasn’t driving to the airport anymore. I found myself at the Myars’ gate, and the only thing I knew is that there was one thing left that I could change about 2015.

The first thing I found odd about my arrival was the fact that gate was open. The second thing that I found odd was the fact that the front door was also open. There was an almost mystical stillness to this place. An odd sense of dread invited itself under my skin, I think it might have had something to do with the emptiness of the estate. Step by step I closed the distance between myself and that open door. I felt the anticipation boil up inside of me. In my mind, I ran through a million ways this could go. I’d declare to her that I loved her, and that I would stay with her forever. Or maybe I’d tell her that Toronto had nothing on her, which I guess would involve telling her about the whole Toronto thing in the first place.

The point is, by the time I was inside, I was so ready to be with her. I couldn’t even believe that I’d ever considered leaving. I knocked on the front door, and I called her name out. There was no reply. I walked up the stairs, expecting at any moment to see her walking down in her nightgown. How perfect it would have been. But I made it to her bedroom door instead. It was cracked open. I gave it a polite knock, and the silence that greeted me invited me to push it open.

 

Annie Rose was lying on the floor of her bedroom. She was wearing her white nightgown, the one I’d hoped for. She had eyes wide open, looking up at the sky, and the few billion stars starring right back at her. I could see in those eyes the reflection of a thousand cities she’d never know. Her hair was brushed, for once, and even on the horizontal it looked like it had been drawn on. She had a needle by her side, and a pool of blood had soaked into her dress. She was so fucking beautiful in blood red and pale white, but it still hurt. She was foaming at the mouth, and I could feel the warmth leave her body to feed the room. And you wanna know something fucked up? That’s the happiest I’ve ever seen her.

 


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