A Few Good Conversations (Well, At Least 10)

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

Chapter 3 (v.1) - March

Submitted: April 29, 2018

Reads: 97

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Submitted: April 29, 2018

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On Saturday the 8th of March, Giacci knocked on my bedroom window at half past six in the evening. I was drinking a Jack Daniels and Coke zero at the time anyway, so he was more than welcome to join me. I opened the window and was immediately struck by the stench of cigarettes, malt liquor and a hint of weed.

“Where on God’s green earth have you been?” I inquired.

“Don’t matter.” He replied, and he then fell through my window. I quite clearly saw his head collide with my cabinet, but Giacci didn’t seem to mind. “You got a lighter?” He said face down on the floor.

“Yeah buddy.” I replied, standing above Giacci’s limp body.

“Varse?” He asked without looking up.

“Varse.” I replied.

The Varse bar was a place that Giacci and I had never successfully gotten into. Not for lack of trying, mind, as we went there several times a year. Our obsession with the place had no real foundation, but it was a challenge that we were desperate to take on before our coming of age.

“Should we pick up Jared?” I suggested.

“Fuck yeah we should.” Giacci replied, finally getting up. There was a very slight bump on his forehead from the cabinet collision, but at least it wasn’t bleeding. “Where are your clothes?” He said, only slightly surprised.

It being 6:30PM on a Saturday night without plans, I had forsaken overwear in favour of underwear. I threw together an outfit from the dirty clothes lying about my room. The dress shoes from my school uniform went terribly well with my Hawaiian print board shorts and my Lacoste polo. I slipped my newly acquired Zippo lighter into my left pocket, and a bottle of water filled with whiskey in my right. Already, our prospects of getting into Varse were looking rather slim.

 

Jared was fully on board with the idea of Varse, though we were careful not to disclose the number of times we’d tried this. Before long, we were at the bar’s doors, armed with confidence and relatively drunk. The Varse bouncer - like all bouncers, I think - was a huge intimidating man wearing a black suit roughly three sizes too small, and I was willing to bet he had a lisp.

“Ethcuthe me thir,” there was the lisp. I went from amused (and a little smug) to terrified in about half a femtosecond. Was I the sir? Was it Giacci, or Jared? Were we going to have to show ID? Were we going to have to fight this seven foot monster of a man? “Could you pleathe put out that thigarette?”

I looked behind me to find my sparrow brained friend, Jared, smoking a cigarette. I do not know how or why he lit this cigarette without me noticing in the short walk from the car.

“Yeah, no worries mate.” Jared said, flicking the cigarette to the ground and lightly crushing it with the heel of his loafers.

The bouncer smiled at Jared, and ushered us in.

“Holy shit,” I murmured to the others “we’re in.”

“Thank me with a drink, fuckers.” He grunted.

Varse itself was extremely disappointing. It turns out that bars are just shitty restaurants with, well, a bar. This particular restaurant-with-a-bar was extremely quiet on a Saturday night, a product of Perth’s miserable night life. None of us were really sure how to conduct ourselves, so we shuffled rather awkwardly to the front.

“I’ll have a long island ice tea.” Said Giacci with feigned confidence.

Jared and I shared a glance that indicated how bizarre we found Giacci’s choice of drink. We chose not to say anything, but we did choose to grin briefly about it. Jared and I both opted for a Jack Daniels and Coke zero, and I paid for his.

“So what do you do at a bar?” Said Jared as we sat down on some uncomfortable couches.

“Drink.” Replied Giacci, taking a sip from the long island ice tea that I still found hilarious.

“In other words,” said Jared “It’s like my place, except we can’t smoke.”

“That’s about right.” I confirmed.

“Remind me why we’re here?”
“Have your damn JD, and savour it.” I barked jokingly. “Because it’s a million times more expensive than it should be.”

In conclusion, bars were overrated and overpriced. Still, the Jack Daniels and Coke zero (that was disturbingly light on the Jack) tasted like victory. All the same, that didn’t stop us from staying less than an hour, and heading to Jared’s. It didn’t stop Giacci from stealing a salt shaker from our table either.

 

The three of us sat down in the central cylinder of Jared’s house. Jared rolled us each a cigarette, and we sat quietly in the indoor outdoors.

“Do you hear that?” Said Jared, eyes wide with a sly grin beginning to form on his face.

“What?” Giacci replied.

“That repetitive thump that signals a nearby house party.” He clarified. “You lads down for round two?”

I had never been so down for round two in my entire life, excluding every other night in 2014.

We ran down to the nearest liquor store, and successfully purchased a carton of premixed Jack Daniels and Cola. I thought that was tacky, but I didn’t see a reason to complain (Giacci was paying). The house party, as it happens, was two houses over and the hosts were a bunch of twenty-something university dropouts. We blended right in, by virtue of the fact that no one really seemed to know anyone. That being said, we did have to climb a fence to get into the party itself, but that was far from unusual. I lost my companions almost immediately (though I didn’t lose my share of drink), but by 10PM I was talking to some other bloke on the balcony.

“So, what do you do?” I said, going back to my conversational roots.

“I photograph shrimp.” He replied rather dryly.

“Is that a very lucrative trade?” I inquired.

“It pays the bills.”

“And I suppose you get to photograph shrimp on a near daily basis. That’s priceless.” I said plainly.

“Are you a fan of shrimp?” He said, with a firey passion for shrimp lighting up his eyes.

“To be honest mate, and this may come as a surprise to you, but I rarely think about shrimp at all.”

This didn’t seem to please the shrimp enthusiast particularly much, so I was left alone on a summer balcony. I could hear the chit chatter of the party inside reaching a fever pitch. I felt this great distance from everyone inside, from their pointless drinking in a way Annie Rose would likely have commended me for. Then I received a text message from a number I’d removed from my phone’s memory but that remained indelibly imprinted in my own.

“I hope you’re happy now.” It read.

Then I remembered why I do this to myself, and I hurried back inside to take another drink. Teenage drinking may be pointless, Annie Rose, but it was my own pointless necessity..


 

***


 

On the 9th of March 2014 I woke up in Jared’s koi pond. I could finally confirm that there were, in fact, nine koi fish present. I could also confirm that they were presently nibbling at my feet.

“Why is my shirt wet?” Jared asked with a lethargic sigh.

“Because you have a goddamn pond in your house.” I replied, extirpating myself from the koi nest.

As had become typical of Sunday mornings, my head felt like it had been run under a bus several times over, and I desperately needed something to vomit into. So I dragged myself to Jared’s indoor/outdoor plants, and did just that. Giacci was nowhere to be seen, so naturally Jared and I decided to start making breakfast. No matter how Jared intended to make eggs, they always came out scrambled. Not that I could actually complain, because none of us ever helped. Sure enough, Giacci came out of the bathroom at the smell of food. He’d apparently spent the night in the bathtub, which he claimed was tremendously comfortable.

Armed with sunglasses and no longer satiated by breakfast, we later sought out kebabs. The remainder of the day was spent complaining about what fuckups we were, talking about taking a nap, and finally taking a nap. I woke up at 8PM, was briefly surprised at how late it was, and immediately grabbed a beer.


 

***


 

On Tuesday the 11th of March, my toaster caught fire. It wasn’t anything particularly dramatic, It just toasted itself instead of my usual slice of bread. I very calmly grabbed the part of the toaster that wasn’t on fire (which was admittedly most of it) and put it outside. I let it burn, and savoured the rest of my baguette uncooked.

At 9AM I was to have my driving test in a suburb that I never learnt how to pronounce. Everyone I grew up with (Giacci excluded) passed their test there, because it is apparently terribly lenient. My car was, by just about any definition, a piece of shit. It was a thousand year old box of a Hyundai (except it was impossible to tell because both tags had fallen off) and I was convinced that it was Australia’s smallest car. It was also uninsured and overheated regularly, which is why I carried in it an extinguisher at all times. It may have been a terrible car, and a major safety hazard, but that didn’t stop me from loving it. Emmanuel, we called it, because it was a manual (we were so clever). I drove out to my test (illegally), and filled out the mass of paperwork required to obtain a license. The West Australian system revolves mostly around lying about how many hours of driving you’ve completed over a 12 month period. I couldn’t actually remember last time I’d driven, with my unlimited access to Giacci and all. My ‘assessor’, as he pretentiously referred to himself as was a large, bald man who went by the name of Jim. He directed me to the test vehicle, which was only markedly less shit than Emmanuel.

“Did you catch the rugby on the weekend?” Jim said as we both entered the car. Things were already off to a tremendous start as catching the rugby was one of the few things I ever actually did.

“I most certainly did, the Rangers put on a magnificent show.”

The rest of the test consisted of several vaguely interesting conversations, and not once did the assessor check any portion of my driving. We did have a heated argument about Mercedes though, so I suppose that can almost count as a test.

After the thirty minute conversation, I was handed a sheet that claimed I’d scored 90% (probably because I disagreed with Jim about Mercedes). Then I was handed two red plates adorned with a large white “P”, symbolising my newly acquired position as a provisional driver. That being said, I didn’t put them up on the drive home - making it only slightly more legal than my ride out.

 

Although I could now theoretically drive on my own, and it was past 10 by the time I was ready to go to school, Giacci picked me up.

“So?” He asked just before I made it to the Stallion, leaning out of the window.

“Well, they weren’t lying about the leniency.”

“Want a hit to celebrate?” He said, and he pulled out a joint from the inside pocket of his blazer. I should probably have asked where he got it from, but it didn’t seem all that important at the time.

“Fuck it, why not.” I said instead.


 

***


 

On the 20th of March, I hopped into Giacci’s Range Rover at the end of another day of not doing anything constructive with my Swanway classes. This wasn’t a particularly uncommon event in and of itself (it occurring five times a week every week), but this time Jared board the Stallion.

“It has occurred to me,” he said “that we have not been maximising the potential of this vehicle.”

“Righto, what shall we do to rectify this?” I replied mockingly.

“For starters, let’s go to McDonald’s.” He answered.

I had not visited MacDonald’s (or Mickey D’s, as Australians abbreviate it, although they’re both three syllables long) in years. That was, however, completely unrelated to me trying to be healthy. I merely didn’t find Mickey D’s to be in any way superior a kebab.

We pulled into the drive through, and Giacci and I both ordered a double cheeseburger with a side of fries and a large coke zero. I didn’t know much about MacDonald’s orders, but that seemed fairly standard.

“Hey yo, I’ll take twenty cheeseburgers and a side of fries.” Jared said into the red microphone “Oh, and a small Coke zero.”

No one dared say anything for a little while. Even the lady on the other end of the line was ceremoniously quiet. Giacci and I looked to the back seat, and Jared gave us a little smile and a thumbs up. My 17 year old brain couldn’t even fathom the magnitude of twenty cheeseburgers. We drove up to collect our order, and Giacci took a very obvious drink from his glove box hip flask. The employee serving us might have been taken aback by this, but I think she was awestruck by the twenty cheeseburgers she was serving to a single person.

“You’re paying, right?” Jared said to Giacci. He didn’t even think to respond, he just handed the woman his mother’s credit card.

We parked very near the entrance, because Jared wanted to ensure that he indeed received his twenty cheeseburgers.

“I’ve been gypped!” He announced thunderously “The burger snatching bandits gave me eighteen!”

He roared out of the car and stampeded to the MacDonald’s. It may well have been my imagination, but I thought I could hear him scream. A few minutes later, he came out with a bag of five (four of which were free) cheeseburgers.

Jared ate all twenty four of his burgers while Giacci and I watched wide eyed. He didn’t offer us a single one, but we were too impressed to care.

 

That evening, as we had many times now, we went back to Jared’s. On the way home, we’d phoned Blochy and Immy, and they’d assured us they’d be there soon.

“Hey guys,” Giacci said as we settled down on the pool room futons “I’ve got something dope to show you.” Then he pulled out his pencil case (adorned with the school colours, no less) and unzipped it to reveal the contents.

“Oh, it’s literally dope.” Said Jared, with a content smile on his face.

“Yeah, I know you’ve probably got a guy,” said Giacci “but trust me, this stuff is good.”

I had no idea how to tell if the stuff was good, but Jared looked very happy. I also had no idea where Giacci was getting this, or how he knew it was so good. I chose not to be too bothered about it.

 

“What do you mean she told you not to call her?” Immy inquired with confusion that manifested itself as aggression. She and Blochy had arrived about an hour previous, and she’d almost immediately started abusing me about how much of a spud I was with respect to Annie Rose.

“I would have thought that part was pretty self explanatory.” I replied wryly.

“So did you call her?” Immy said, leaning over me.

“I have yet to do anything.” I said avoiding eye contact.

“Are you literally mad!?”
“I think you’re misusing that word.”

“Mad?”

“No, literally.”

“Ed, this girl is obviously a keen little bean. That aside, you need to see this girl again.”

“But what if that ruins her?” I said with a dumb little sigh.

“She’s a human being, Ed, not the first chapter of a novel.”

“Yeah, but…”

“Christ. Ed, there is no but. She’s not some mystical entity. I know she seems pretty rad, but that doesn’t make her God.” I snickered slightly at the mention of God. “You are going to call her, or text her - whatever, I don’t give a damn. Just contact her somehow.” She sat back down and sighed, obviously over my childish behaviour.

“So uni applications opened today.” Blochy said through his beer.

That stopped us all in our tracks. None of us, I think, were willing to admit that there would ever be a moment after this one. The very concept that there would ever be something after school was one I refused to accept. I was sat on that front porch, and for a very brief moment I wished that we would never leave. I wished that Blochy’s sip of Corona would last forever. I wished that Immy’s 20% IPA imperial stout would never end. I wished that Jared’s drag from his hand rolled cigarette would be the longest he’d ever known. I wished that Giacci’s bottle of Bacardi would never pass halfway. And I realised for perhaps the first time that it wasn't so much death that I was afraid of, but life.

“Fuck.” Said Jared, simply. That was a pretty good description of my emotions towards that.

“Well,” I said “on the plus side - it’s the closing date that we should be concerned about.”

“Yeah, but I’m just not ready for life.” Said Jared hiding behind his cigarette

“I don’t even know how to life.” Said Giacci.

“We’re all pretty thoroughly rooted.” Added Blochy. I didn’t believe him, though. The very fact he knew that university applications had opened demonstrated that he was far more in tune with the concept of a future than the rest of us. “What do you blokes think you’ll do.”

“Fuck me, not that question.” Responded Jared, eyes wide with fear. “How the fuck am I meant to know?”

“Well, come on now,” said Immy with dry sarcasm “you’re 18. You’re supposed to have the rest of your miserable life planned out.”

“That’s right!” I said, and I stood up knocking over Blochy’s beer in the process. “Seize the day! Live in the moment! But also plan your holidays 6 months in advance. Work hard. Put on a suit and tie, and drive to your office job. But don’t be boring.”

“Build a career!” Immy added, joining me in the vertical. “But also build a family. Fall in love, but don’t fall too fast.”

“Dream big,” Jared chorused, ascending from his futon “but not too big.”

“Fuck that.” Giacci said.

Blochy picked up what remained of his beer, and he and Giacci stood up too.

“Here’s to being kids for at least another year.” Said Jared, presenting his beer.

We cheersed him, and each took a sip.

“Seriously though,” said Giacci “architecture would be pretty dope.”

We laughed, and we drank away our fears long into the night. For once, Blochy stayed, and he smoked with us. We all politely avoided the topic of what was to come, and I was very much content in forgetting that tomorrow would ever arrive.


 

***


 

On Sunday the 30th of March, I texted Annie Rose.

“Cott beach at 12 past midnight.” It read.

A great deal of debate went into what I should message her. Some of which was with Immy, but most of which was with myself. I feared so terribly that I would bore her. The minute I sent the text, I wished I could take it back. I realised an instant too late that I had given Annie Rose a terribly ambiguous meeting point. Cottesloe beach is a massive piece of land that covers a great deal of the coast in my area. I was too afraid to send another text, so instead I threw on my Dire Straits t-shirt.

 

That same evening, Giacci and I were expected to attend a small gathering held by some of our old friends from Pastor’s. The event itself was at Jeremy’s house due to the absence of his parents (though it could just as easily have been at mine for similar reasons). Giacci and I met up several hours before the festivities in order to facilitate extensive pre-drinking. The net result of this was three empty bottles of spirits by 6PM, and a Giacci that certainly should not have been driving. That being said, the surprise of our unscathed arrival was an excellent way of kicking off what was bound to be a terrible evening.

The majority of our friends from Pastor’s suffered a terrible lack of personality. They were far from awful people, and I trusted several of them a great deal, but they weren’t particularly interesting. They represented one of the many reasons I wanted to attend Swanway. By the time Giacci and I had properly greeted everyone, a large group of us were sat around a glass table in Jeremy’s rather large back garden. We weren’t doing anything in particular, conversation was slow and meaningless, and the music was either too loud or too quiet (I couldn’t tell, it was just wrong).

“So how’s your term been?” Jeremy asked me, awkwardly clutching his Heineken.

“Fantastic, mate!” I replied with dishonest excitement. “Met some awesome new blokes, and Swanway is just an incredible school.”

“Yeah, me too.” Replied Jeremy unenthusiastically. Though most of Jeremy was unenthusiastic.

A brief, but deafeningly loud silence fell on us all. Giacci and I looked to each other, and we decided to down our respective cups (JD and Coke zero in mine, Bacardi in his). Evidently, we had not pre-drunk sufficiently.

“So,” said Giacci “have you guys ever played King’s Cup?”

Obviously, the answer was no. After a few rounds, my Pastor’s friends didn’t seem so bad. With every pointless drink, Jeremy got more interesting. There was even one in depth conversation about the universe.

“Why did you leave?” Finally asked someone who might have been Jeremy (it was a female voice, so it probably wasn’t).

“I needed to get away from 2013.” I answered. That was probably the truest thing I’d said all year about choosing to attend Swanway.

“She fucked you up good.”

 

I walked down to the beach from Jeremy’s house, starting at 11:30. It was quite a distance, and I hoped the walk would sober me at least a little.

It didn’t, I arrived at ten past 12 still feeling awfully drunk. I walked the beach until I stumbled across an abandoned parasol, and I fell backwards into the sand. I closed my eyes so that I could hear the pitter patter of the waves against the shore, though it could just as easily have been the pitter patter of my heart. I felt the earthy feeling of the sand between my toes. I lay on my sandy bed waiting, and I was briefly terrified that she would never find me. I wondered if I’d lay here forever, then I considered falling asleep, and half way through that consideration she fell next to me. Were I sober, I would probably have heard the approaching footsteps. I had no idea what time it was, but I chose to believe that it was twelve past midnight. She didn’t say anything, and I couldn’t think of anything witty myself - so I adopted a policy of silence. I opened my mouth, and tasted the salt of fresh evening sea breeze.

“My name’s Edward.” I finally said, having given up on witticisms.

“I still don’t care.” She replied, but I think I could hear a smile. I opened my eyes, and I swear I could see the warmth of her voice tracing through the night air.

“Too bad.” I said with a smile of my own. I looked down and saw her wearing a ZZ Top t-shirt, her trademark blue jeans, snakeskin boots, but her sunglasses were absent. I wondered how many of these band t-shirts populated her wardrobe. Her eyes were open, but she was staring straight up at the sky.

“What do you believe in?” She asked. I wondered how many more of these conversations we could have before we’d exhausted the supply of vague discussions. Then I realised that it didn’t matter because I was sure I’d love this one, regardless of whether there ever was a next.

“Well first and foremost,” I said “I believe in the sand between my toes.”

“And the waves licking the shore, I presume.” She presumed.
“Of course,  Annie Rose.” I said.

“There’s more.” She observed.

“Well, I believe in this vision I have of myself,” I said “but I’m also terrified of it.”

“Isn’t that the point?” She replied with such confidence that I almost believed it.

“The more I think about it,” I said “the more I realise that this dream of mine is more a manifestation of my fear of the future than it is a plan for where my life should go.”

“Well good for you!” She exclaimed. “Dreams are there for you to be terrified of them.”

“What do you believe in?” I said, deciding to end that particular conversation.

“Geraniums.” She said. We both laughed, but I’m not sure why we found it so funny. She rolled over closer to me. “No, I believe in change.”

“Geraniums are exceptional though.”

“They are, but they’re not quite like change.” She said burying her face in my left arm. She smelled like illegal cigarettes, the type you’d smoke in airplane toilets. “I feel like I’m just so ready for it to be tomorrow.” I, for one, thought that she was waiting for thirty years from now.

“I think I’m still waiting for yesterday to sink in.”

“Well, at least they had good music.” She replied, and she tugged on my Dire Straits t-shirt.

“And you could still get money for nothing.” I smiled to myself about my wonderful reference. I looked to Annie expecting it to be returned.

“Money for nothing?” She asked. “How do you mean?”

“You know, the whole being a rock star is a good scam thing that Dire Straits had going on?” She didn’t say anything. “Money For Nothing? One of their most famous songs!”

“Oh yeah, of course!” She said, but I didn’t believe her. I questioned the relationship between Annie Rose and her vast rock’n’roll t-shirt collection.

But then she reached over to me, and she stole my Dire Straits t-shirt straight off my back. I should probably have been cold, but I was more interested in her running into the ocean. The broken waves lapped lethargically at her boots, and she looked at me with those brown eyes that made me feel like I was the one she wanted. Dire Straits didn’t feel particularly important in that moment.

“You’d take that off if you knew what was good for you!” I yelled at her, still sat with my hands in the sand.

“But Edward,” she replied “I don’t know what’s good for me!”

A breeze blew in, and hair that had been relatively tidy up to this point flew in her eyes. It must have been in her mouth too, because she started aggressively spitting. She looked defiantly into the wind, and pulled out a cigarette. She flicked nervously on her lighter until she got the necessary flame.

“That’s right, fuck you wind!” She screamed, and she took the longest drag I’d ever seen.

“I don’t think it can hear you,” I screamed back at her “have you tried shouting louder?”

“You know what really pisses me off?” She inquired, walking back towards me.

“Sarcastic comments about the wind?” I asked.

“That house up on the hill.” She said pointing to an immense mansion delicately sat upon the land overlooking the ocean. It was a beautifully designed piece of architecture split into three parts. I think one of them was a ballroom. Annie sat down next to me with audible exasperation.

“Well that’s a house.”

“Some twat’s probably in there right now sipping his scotch, because it’s the only way he can taste his money. I mean, imagine what you could do with the cash that went into building that behemoth.”

“Probably quite a few rolexes.” I said with a little nod.

“I bet his son goes to Swanway.” She said spitting out the name of the college. That hit dangerously close to home, and I considered again the possibility that she knew I was a student there. “His son’ll get to grow up all pampered and groomed, like a potted plant. And he’ll get to wear his fancy uniform at his fancy school. Then he’ll get a fancy job and a fancy wife, and they’ll build a fancy white house overlooking the ocean together. All with his father’s fancy money. All because he was somebody’s son.”

“Maybe that’s the universal payback for being someone’s son.” I said, wincing at the thought of my own father. “You carry out your life on this path that your father assured you was the key to happiness. You go to the preppy school, and the well established East coast university with some history. Then you get the job that the bloke besides you probably deserved. You marry the pretty white girl, you buy a pretty white house and a pretty white car. Then you get to your deathbed, and you realise you never really lived. You were born, and from then on you were dying.”

I sighed heavily.

“I still wish they’d invest in something rather than themselves.”

“They probably don’t see the value of that investment.”

“I’ll make them see.” She said. She handed me her cigarette, and I took a mediocre drag through the half chewed filter.

I looked at the ocean through the veil of night, and all I could see was blue. I was certain that Annie Rose could see all kinds of secret colours that no one else has yet.  I think her brain ran on some higher gear that consisted entirely of dreams and nebulous (but good) conversations. She grabbed my shirt.

“Calvin Klein One?” She recognised with a sly smile. “My, my, Mr. Edward, I’m so impressed by your astounding taste in cologne.” She said with almost visible sarcasm. I chose not to reply, and in the empty space of my silence I looked to her and I could see her thinking up witty responses to herself. “What kind of house would we live in?” She added.

“We?” I asked.

“Well, we’re obviously going to spend the rest of our lives together.” She said without making eye contact.

“Obviously.” I agreed.

“So go on, what kind of house would we live in?” She insisted.

“It’s got to be a pretty one.” I said, playing her game.

“For sure.” She said, looking to me with half a smile.

“There would certainly be a large garden.”

“What for?” She tested.

“Dogs.”

“Correct answer.” She said, and we laughed together.

“It would be a small house on the edge of the coast we’d built ourselves. And we’ll have inside jokes inside our walls. There’ll be a woodstove, or maybe a fireplace in the middle of the living room. It would be right next to an old grand piano with ivory keys.”

“Don’t you dare support the ivory trade!” She interrupted.

“Fine,” I said “an old piano with wooden keys.”

“Better.” She said softly, and she lay on my lap.

“And there’d be an unused swing set out in the backyard.”

“Sounds like a plan.” She said softly. “See you there in 30 years.”

Then  Annie Rose kissed me, and I felt the taste of warmth and illegal cigarettes for the first time. It tasted just sweet as I had imagined.

“I thought you weren’t going to hook up with anybody?” I said mockingly.

“Oh, honey, that was over a month ago!” And she kissed me again.

 

That night we slept on the beach, I tasted Annie Rose until sun rose and she stopped me.

“Hold on, Edward. Don’t you blink or it’ll be gone.”

I smiled, because I recognised the quote from a forgotten band. I saw the red summer sun rise with its thousand secret colours reserved for her eyes only, and the feeling in my gut was the nicest I’d ever had.

 


© Copyright 2019 Hans Taylor. All rights reserved.

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