As soon as my head hits my pillow the feeling I thought was happiness left me and I lay there feeling empty. I wasn’t tired, it wasn’t the early morning any more and I could hear cars pass by on my road every so often. I sigh slightly and sit back up on my bed, not knowing what to do. “I guess I’ll have to do this alone then.” I moan and push myself up off the bed and walk as slow as I can out of my room. I go down the corridor and push open the still unlocked door to Kit’s room. I look inside and it’s a mess from when I tried to find his phone as it rang for me. I reach down to my pocket and place my hand on the little brick phone in my pocket. I sigh again and breath out really slowly and my heart thuds unevenly.
I cough as my breath starts to catch on my shrinking throat. I lean down to pick up his games that were scattered all over the place, I start to put them into the draws that went under his bed. I clean up the mess I had made until I start to put away his clothes. Tears were already welled up in my eyes but when the smell of Kit was spread everywhere and his clothes that he will never wear again touches my hands my brain couldn’t deal with it. Tears tumbled down my face, as I dropped the bundle of shirts in my arms and grabbed at anything other than clothes in his room and shoved them in draws and cabinets. I stifle any sobs that try to escape from my mouth as I rush around the room. Everything is cleared apart from his clothes now and I don’t quite know how to do it. I shake my head and look at the clothes surrounding my feet. “This is stupid” I whisper to myself. I grab at my hair and wrench it up into a bun. I attack the clothes scattered all over the floor and start chucking them into different draws until they are all out of sight.
Just as I kick the last crate of his clothes under his bed, I hear the doorbell ring. I sigh and walk out, brushing down my front from the dust it had collected. As I look through the glass front door, Rae’s lips shift into a smile and I contemplate not opening the door to her. I click to lock off and walk into the kitchen. I hear her open the door and the click of her high heels on the tiled kitchen floor. I lean against the counter and look up at her drearily, expressing my feelings of being uncomfortable and unwant of her presence. “You’re looking a little disgruntled.” she says weakly and awkwardly.
“That’s the exact look I was going for.” I smile at her fakely.
“Look I understand why you don’t want me here, I just came over to collect Kit for tutoring seeing as you didn’t drop him at mine.” she says huffing and leaning against the kitchen island.
“He’s not here.” I say looking down at the floor and raising my eyebrows at Rae.
“Look just because we’re not getting on doesn’t mean that you should stop Kit from learning.” she shakes her head at me disappointedly. I look up at her and clench my teeth, pushing myself up from the counter.
“Don’t be such a selfish bitch Rae, this isn’t about you, he’s just not here.” I spit at her.
“I’m a selfish bitch? Are you serious? You fucking hypocrite! You know what go fuck yourself, you’re an abhorred bitch.”
I sigh and start to walk out of the kitchen, as I pass her I don’t look at her. “Don’t talk to me like that in my own home. You can leave now.”
“What is wrong with you lately?” she says to me, following me down the corridor. I start to well up a little, but hold it together.
“I said you can leave Rae.” I rasp out hollowly.
“Why are you being like this to everyone?” she says, anger rising in her voice again. I reach out for my door handle and try to mute my sob.
“I said you can leave!” I try to shout, whipping my head around to her, but my tears are too heavy and everything is too weak so the noise comes out sound like I have no teeth and only gums.
“What’s happened?” she whispers to me, her anger wiped and genuine concern in her voice. I open my bedroom door and sit down on the corner of my bed, hunching over as ever breath I took felt like my lungs were restricted, only expanding a few centimetres each gasp. I feel the slight tug of the covers under my butt as Rae sat down on the bed right next to me.
I wonder, with Josh’s arm still ringed around my shoulders, to Finn and all the others sitting on the grass in a big circle. Rae is directly opposite us as we are walking over and I see Abbey shove at her with her elbow and I instantly feel the blood gush up to my cheeks and flush them. She looks up at us and I only just hear her lips form the words “fuck off”. Josh obviously hears them too and glances down at me as I stare straight down at the floor. Finn and Toby wave obviously at us and usher is over with their hands, but josh stops me and him in his tracks and puts up his finger to them to signal the classic ‘just a second’. He walks me over to a tree so that we are in the shade and lets go of me, but brushing his hand up against my arm to turn me to face him but also console me.
Josh fell asleep with me in his arms, but I couldn’t quite shake the feeling of an attack coming on and Kit not being safe. Josh wakes up at around seven and yawns, taking his arms away form me to stretch and the stench of his stale sweat drifts over to me so I get up stiffly. I stretch my back and start to walk around the couch to go and have a shower but Josh’s hand grabs my wrist to stop me from leaving just yet. “Did you even sleep at all?” he croaks out in a morning voice, still half asleep. I just shake my head at him and walk slowly, dragging my feet along the floor to the bathroom and take off my clothes. I get into the shower and the water trickles over me weakly. I turn it up to full power until the water spurting out of the shower is turning my skin red and making it ache dully. But it felt good and woke me up a little. I wash my hair and body then dry myself off, starting to walk out of the bathroom. Just as I am tucking the end of the towel into a tube around my body, Josh appears in my slightly slow and blurred vision and stands just ahead of me.
As Josh pulls up outside of my house, I open the door and jump out as he reverses in snugly next to my heap of junk. I go to the door and click it open with the shift of my keys in the lock. I hear music in the house and panic for a second, my sweat glands instantly sparking out liquid. My breathing quickens and my heart thumps twice as fast as I breath. I step tenderly towards the corridor where the music seems to be coming from. I take a few more steps and stop again. “Hello?” I call out quietly, my voice cracking in the middle. There is nothing and I hear the front door slam closed. I jump and look back down the hall way towards Josh who had obviously come through the door after me, I can feel the air catch against the sweat on my face as I turn towards his direction. I don’t see him so I turn back to the music and creep down the hall, I step to my door and it is still closed but the music isn’t coming from there. I walk slowly down the hall and as soon as I am close enough to hear the actual tune of the song I gasps for air and slam my shoulder into Kit’s door as his ringtone twinkles through my ears. It was still locked from when I had tried to block it out so I sprint for my door and barge it open and run to the connecting door. I slide the bolts and snap the baby locks I had on the door and haul it open. I run in and can hear the ringing chime only just hanging on.
I step back away from Josh, grabbing for a table behind me. “Are you okay?” Josh says, reaching out for me.
“Of course I’m not okay.” I say shaking my head disappointedly. “I just dragged you up here whilst you supposedly couldn’t even walk and now your standing here sober as anything. What the hell!” I snarl.
“Look, all these times we’ve been to parties you’ve always ended up being uncomfortable from guys, and I’ve always been too smashed to stop them. I just thought this time around I should stay sober to help.” he says, twisting the top of his toe on the ground.
“Yeah nice job, so instead you just pretend to be drunk.” I mutter, running my hands through my drying hair.
“Hey no; don’t take this the wrong way.” he whimpers at me, stepping a little closer and his hands go out for my waist.
“I just saved you from a pool and dragged you out of it, got kicked out of the party because of you, then had to drag you all the way upstairs to find that you are actually, completely sober.” I grumble at him, shifting to the side as Josh’s hands clasp forward to me.
I clutch the handle and twist it to pull the door open, Josh steps in with a sheepish smile on his face and I turn around to go back to the kitchen and place myself onto the counter, pushing myself up tenderly on my arm. “I really think you should wear the supports I brought for you,” Josh says coming in and standing on the opposite side of the counter to me.
“I told you they’re fine, I’m not as fragile as you seem to think I am.” I kid with him a little and get up to go to the fridge.
“So two ‘sleeping on it”s and a refresh of beer haven’t made you forgive me?” he says staring at me biting his lip and furrowing his brow in a worried expression.
“Well, they have got you far enough to me talking to you and letting you inside the house.” I say, shrugging my shoulders and getting out a beer for myself and closing the fridge, looking at Josh who was seemingly waiting for me to pass him a beer too. I raise my eyebrows at him and he looks down at the ground and drops his outstretched hand for the beer in mine. I laugh at him, for the first time properly smiling at him and reopen the fridge passing him a beer and taking out some chocolate.
“Where did that come from?” he chirps, coming closer to me as I walk towards the sofa in front of the TV.
“You think I don’t go outside any more or something?” I say switching the TV on and turning the channel to music. “Actually I can’t even use that as an excuse, I just remembered I had this in there from a couple of weeks ago.” I say leaning back into the sofa and opening the chocolate to bite into it.
“Do you think anyone else has ever found this place?” Josh whispered next to me as the morning light shone through the tipi material.
“Maybe, but it seems like they were nice enough not to come in.” I whisper back to him, pulling the light covers higher over my torso tightly. Josh rolls over to face towards me and his arm slides under my ribs and the other rolls me over and into him.
“How long have you had this place?” he kisses into my neck.
“A year maybe.” I moan, shifting under his grip to push myself into him more.
He starts to trail his hands up along my spine and I close my eyes. I push my face then body into his chest so that his warmth radiates through me. I take a deep breath, running my index finger along his chest as his teeth struggle not to clamp down onto the skin he was kissing on my neck. I sigh and kiss his collar bone gently then sit up and get out of bed. Josh’s hands weakly try to hold onto me but I walk over to the towels on the table near the door and wrap one around me. “No” Josh moans and I turn to him smiling. “Can’t we stay here all day?” he tempts, sitting up and exposing his chest with the sheet only just going up to his hips.
“And do what?” I flirt at him, stepping slowly up to the bed again. Josh wriggles a little under the covers and smirks. Then he suddenly grabs me from the end of the bed and falls backward with me. He holds me over his head and smiles, delighted with himself.
“Get out of the shower man, come on.” Josh says as I stand in there, scrubbing at my legs and arms.
“No. It’s warm in here and you’re out there with words.” I say, turning up the volume on the radio in the shower and running my hands through my slick hair from being conditioned.
“Get out.” he says again, and I can see him come into the bathroom.
“What did I just tell you.” I say back to him, standing staring at him as water coursed all over my body and started to trickle closer and closer to my open eyes.
“And what did I just tell you?” Josh replies. I turn off the shower but stay standing in the cubicle.
“Do you mind?” I say, feeling uncomfortable with him being in the bathroom again whilst I was bare. He sighs and turns around so I step out quickly and grab my vest, slipping it on and wriggling my damp legs into my tight jeans. I don’t make another sound and whilst Josh’s back was still turned I tip-toe out of the bathroom and dash into my room. I yank on some thick socks and shove my feet into my high heeled boots. I quietly clip out of the bedroom and as I pull the door closed I grab the first jacket that was on the back of it.
I wake up as I feel hands clasped around my ankles and dragging me out from under my covers. I moan and try to grab at the sheets but they are too tight on the mattress so my grip is weak. I moan again and try to scrabble my way back up the bed and I hear Josh laugh. “Come on, we have school.” he chuckles, grabbing my calves and tugging at me harder. I let go and turn over, causing Josh to lose his grasp on my leg. I sit up straight with the covers still strung over my face and sigh, I can hear Josh laughing lightly in front of me, but can’t see him. “I need to stay home.. I’m too tired.” I rasp out and Josh burst into laughter again.
I’m going down the highway but after what could have only been a few minutes my vision starts to go blurry as I struggle to concentrate and keep my eyes open as I do so. I blink a couple of times and once I open them again properly, cars passing me by seem to become a full blur and my head starts to ache again. I slow down and pull over to the side of the road, turning my flash lights on.
I rummage around in my pockets until my hand finally grasps around my phone in my back pocket. I slide it out as fast as I can as my head feels like it is being spun around and around inside my skull. I try to find the ‘J’ on my keyboard but my vision is blurred and I start to see doubles. The only letter I can make out on the screen is a ‘Y’ so I try to hold down the home button until voice comes up. I try to speak as clearly as I can and the phone manages to pick up on my slurred words to call Josh.
“I can’t drive.” I say slowly before I even hear him pick up. “I’m pulled over at the side of the road, what do I do.” I say, my eyes fluttering closed as I become more slumped in my chair.
“I’ll come get you, where are you at?” he says just slowly enough for me to interpret.
“Um.” I hesitate, trying to think of where I am. “Down town…” I trail off. I hear Josh laugh on the other end and my grasp starts to loosen around me phone. “I can see the clock.” I say, trying to keep my eyes open. “Can you take my skateboard, but fast.” I say, crawling over to the passenger seat. “I j-” I start but can’t finish as it seems that exhaustion catches up with me all at once. I turn off my phone and wait, let my eyes close slightly then snapping them open to try and stay awake.
It seems to be forever before there is a tap on my window as all time is tripled when you can hardly stay awake. I look up to the window and josh is looking down at me smiling. I close my eyes weakly and then the car door opens and I turn over in my seat to face Josh. He starts up the car again and I open my eyes as I feel the car turning around. “I hate you so much.” I struggle out as my tongue turns floppy. I see Josh smiling at me and I try as hard as I can to keep my head up so I could see him. He doesn’t say anything, but just slips his hand over to mine and slots his fingers through mine. At that point I couldn’t hope to stay awake at a comforting and warm touch so I black out straight away.
I sit on my bed, complete silence ringing around my head as I stare at the door. Once the tears in my eyes over spill I blink and can hear the rain thundering down outside again. I look over to the window and the droplets are running down the glass, as I start to focus on them, I see my reflection in the background of it all. I look like a sleep deprived wreck, which I am. I haven’t slept in over 60 hours, but no matter how tired I felt I could find a way to slip into sleep. I blink wearily and rub at my face so that the tears soaked into my skin. I get up off the bed and go to the bathroom, I splash some water onto my face and clean it with face wash.
I pick up my phone, longing for Josh to be here after not seeing him since thursday. I tap in his number and put the phone to my ear. I can hear the rings echoing from the other side and then a fuzz. “Oh hold on, I gotta take this.” Josh says down the phone to me, so I stay quiet for a second until I hear a door close. “Dear lord, tell me that you are calling to save me.” he says whispering. I laugh a little then whisper back for a strange reason. “What’s wrong?” I say and I hear rustling on the other side of the line.
“Rae came over to my house unexpected to help me with maths because I said that I was failing it yesterday.” he says hurriedly down the phone.
“Why didn’t you tell her you were busy?” I say, laughing at Josh’s whines.
“I felt bad turning her away, she drove here with all of these books that looked really heavy. I didn’t know what to use as an excuse.” he says huffing.
“Awh, I love you.” I say in a sad tone. “Tell her that you need to go and collect something from your mum’s office that she left there, if she asks what it is, just say that apparently she needs it to do the study she is working on for tomorrow.” I say, hating myself for screwing Rae over, but I was trying to stop her from breaking over Josh. But who am I kidding, I wanted to feel Josh’s arms around me more than ever now that he was busy with other things.
“I hope you don’t lie like this to me.” Josh chuckles.
“Not to you, but about what you do when you are here recently.” I flirt at him. He laughs then sighs. “Come over after she gets her stuff together and leaves?” I whisper and Josh has a instant answer without a whisper.
“I’ll be there in ten.” he blurts out and then hangs up. I laugh and then go over to the mirror and stare at my nose, touching what was left of the bruise around my nose lightly.
“Shall we go?” Josh says to me as I walk over to his bar seat after giving Luke and his new company their last shots.
“Please.” I whisper to him, exhausted out of my mind. “What time is it?” I ask, walking toward the changing rooms to get out of my sticky clothing. Josh walks behind me and doesn’t reply for a little while. “Josh?” I ask, opening the door and stepping in. Josh walks in behind me and clicks the door closed.