Love.... Actually?!

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
A snippet of a chapter from my life. At 17, I was hinging on cringe.

Submitted: September 17, 2015

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Submitted: September 17, 2015

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Love... Actually?

 
Fresh out of ideas, but not prepared to accept failure without trying everything I could, a simplistic thought smashed itself into my brain. "Just open your mouth Tom, go down there and just tell her exactly how you feel." Im not sure if it was fear of failure or change, but I knew blurting out everything in its purest and rawest form would alter everything for definite. The fridge had been strangely overdosed on yoghurt, such was the failed amount of times I'd strode down to Sainsbury's in an attempt to talk to Laura. I didn't even like yoghurt. However, now it was becoming an acquired taste, I didn't really have much choice. What else would I do with them? 
 
Stace had some much needed friendly motivation for me, and that's exactly what I needed. Big, strong, confident, cage fighting Stace. Installing some much needed confidence into me. 
 
"Tom." He calmly began. I sat my head straight and focused on his advice. "If you don't tell her..." I nodded, showing understanding and that I was listening. "I'll smash your face in." Right. Tell her or he'll smash my face in, got it. Wait? Tell her or what? That wasn't the philosophical fable I longer to hear. 
 
Well, motivation or not, this had dragged on for far too long. Tomorrow arrived and Micky and Ryan left, the cold pricked at their skin enough to convince them that indoors was a better alternative. Micky had been blabbering on about old lunchbox foods he wanted. 
 
"Remember dairy lunchables?!" Yes Micky, we did. "Remember attack-a-snax?!" Yes Micky we did. "Remember Capri-Sun." This had to stop. I thought we were in danger of being asked if we remembered sandwiches and crisps. Ryan's door shut, and Micky wandered. I walked, with subtle purpose, to the orange harbour of groceries. Stepping inside, the security guard eyed me up as always. We'd caused far too much trouble, how would I know I'd ever need this place. Regardless, he wasn't relevant. Aisle 5, the venue of destiny. This was it. Nothing was gonna stop me. I knew exactly what I was going to say. This was my moment, my pivotal defining grasp at excellence. Stood, head held high, middle of aisle 5, in between the muller lights and an assortment of trifles, I was ready to stake my claim.
 
"Laura." I began, the confidence undermined by my trembling lips. She gazed up from the Munch Bunch. Her eyes pierced me and my short pause was in danger of becoming a dramatic long one, as she placed down the Petis Filous from her left hand. Her eyebrows lifted themselves higher, her expression spoke volumes. In that single moment I knew I had to deliver everything I'd spilled to Stace, the passionate plea was about to be made. I would tell her just how I felt. I threw my eyes straight at hers. My mouth opened with a sudden gush of reality, and out came the words. "Laura do you know where the attack-a-snax are?"
 
No, what was that. What the fuck did I just say? Inside my head I clasped my hand to my face in utter disbelief. I had, instead of pouring my heart out to her, asked for a child's snack. Fuck you, Micky, his lunchtime nostalgia had been the only thing the archives in my brain could access in such a short amount of time. My time for brutal reflection was over, as Laura began to look around for the much desired and lamented attack-a-snax. 
 
After all that, Sainsbury's didn't even sell the damn things. So I wasn't even successful in that. I hoped Stace's threats had been tongue in cheek, otherwise my tongue may be hanging through a hole in mine. Time to regroup. Now what? Fresh out of ideas, but not prepared to accept failure until I tried everything I can, advice now arrived in another form. Female form. Charlene. I had known Charlene for years without knowing her as well. For some reason I don't understand I had confided in her a few months earlier. She'd threatened to blackmail me initially unless I bought her some fruit pastelles, which again, like Stace's threat, I assumed was a joke. I asked Charlene for advice and she threw what she could at me. 
 
"I'll speak to you in a bit." She messaged. "I'm just gonna finish watching Love Actually." It was Christmas, and any and every film with a hint of Yuletide in it was thrust through to the nation's living rooms. I actually quite like the film. A bit too soppy in places for me, but still better than other rom-coms I'd endured. Charlene returned, and a host of smiley emoticons fluttered amongst her text. "Oh my god, have you seen the film :):):)?" I had, and I wasn't sure what she was so excited about. "The scene, with the cards, in the snow, and there's snow here, it's perfect, I'd love if someone did that to me. If you really wanna show her how you feel and how you've changed, then do that :):):)" 
 
Fuck right off. I know I said I wasn't going to accept failure, but this was not gonna happen. I couldn't even speak to her, let alone hold placards outside her door. Although I spose I wouldn't have to talk to her, that was the idea. But still. There was no way I was doing that. End of. 
 
Somehow I managed to convince my mum to drive me the distance to Laura's house on the other side of town. Ryan, whom I trusted, came with me and waited a short distance away. I stood, on Laura's driveway, no Actimel or Yeo Valley Greek Style Honey yoghurt to disgrace the atmosphere. Snow enveloped the ground, and I placed the cards behind my back. There was no turning back now, and I wasn't about to embarrass myself again, although really I was. I knocked. An age passed before a figure became visible through the faded glass. My eyes fixed on the tough handle as it began its descent. There she stood. In front of me. A confused look upon her face, a bemused look upon her face. The cards remained protected by my back, not because I lacked the courage to reveal them, but because she wasn't Laura, but Laura's mum.
 
"Is Laura there?" Well that was better than asking for the attack-a-snax. 
 
"No, she's out, do you want me to give her a message." Oh yeah sure, quickly jot down the contents of these cards and read them out in order. 
 
"No, that's ok." And I ran. I had failed yet again. Maybe I should've tried to work out where she was first. Facebook revealed she had been with Alice at her house, which ironically I knew the location of. But that would be a bit creepy and a ton more embarrassing. Tomorrow would be the day. Tomorrow had to be the day. I was running out of days until Christmas. The next evening, and it wasn't the snow that had influence my cold feet. Alicia messaged me, which was a rarity these days.
 
"Did you knock at Laura's last night." Well, that was it wasn't it. I didn't even reply, I just left for hers. Forgetting my jumper, but remembering the cards, I left. I didn't bother trying to ascertain her whereabouts, I just decided that fate would approve my intentions or inexplicably deny them. An open buttoned grey t-shirt was my only shield from the snow. And jeans of course, and shoes. Deja vu. Twenty four hours had passed, but the snow hadn't eased its icy grip of Laura's drive. I knocked. This time the door answered almost instantaneously. She must've been walking through the hallway. This time, the correct generation stood in front of me, wrapped in thick pyjamas. She still was beautiful to me, even in basic attire
 
"Tom?! What are you doing here?!" I turned the cards, there was no grapple with fear this time around. 
 
They delivered the message that I could not:
 
'I couldn't speak to you aloud'
'So I thought this was the best way to say how I feel'
'I know I've been horrible in the past'
'But I've changed'
'And regardless of anything'
'To me you are perfect'
'And my wasted heart will always love you'
'And i tried to tell you before'
'But I just asked where the attack-a-snax were'
 
She began to laugh at the final card. Even I began to laugh. Once read, my task was finished, and I awaited her response. 
 
"Tom." She stuttered. I had tried to speak at the same time and she raised her finger to end my attempt. "You had your turn to speak, now let me." Ironically, I hadn't said anything at all. "I don't understand, I thought you hated me, and you were so horrible before, and we were so volatile before. I don't understand. But this is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me. Ever." Pyjama wearing Laura stepped from her doorway and hugged me. A hug of consolation more than anything else. I had tried, and I had failed. There was nothing more to do than accept it wasn't meant to happen, yet harbour a small unrealistic hope. Hated her in 06 when she liked me. The opposite rang true in '07, and '08 we'd shared a close friendship. Having fallen out for most of '09 before my epiphany, now there was a final outcome at last. Nothing. There was only one loser here. The one in the t-shirt who forgot his jumper. I'd rebuilt so much, but this was one wall I couldn't climb over. 2nd place seemed an inevitable zenith for me now. Bizarrely, I was slightly happy, and amused. I'd done all I could, and I could forget the negative connotations I had of me and her. Regret would always have an uncomfortable seat in the back of my mind. I knew my chance had lay in '06 and forever would. You cannot change someone's heart. I lived by that. I conceded. The worst part of all, was that it was entirely my fault. I couldn't place blame in any other direction, and as a result, I got exactly what I had deserved. The ending was abrupt and anticlimactic, the movie-esque build had resulted in nothing. Nought. Zilch. Zip. I arrived back at Berwick and swiftly left to tell Stace he needn't tear my face off. I swung my jumper across my head and turned the Muller corner by the stairs. 


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