Darling Daughters

Chapter Ten

 

Summer and Elizabeth stepped onto the porch in front of Caroline and Thomas. Reluctant in their approval of the girls being presentable at last. Summer and Elizabeth found themselves blindfolded being guided by Thomas and Caroline.

Stumbling a few times on the pavement they took slower steps reaching softer ground. Being guided across grass they were directed up some steps. Removing the blindfolds music began to play. As the smells of food finally made sense from the centre of the town gazebo.

Thomas began to speak, declaring today to be “British Day” he finally agreed, declaring the day open after explaining that Summer seemed so homesick and they couldn’t resist an opportunity to celebrate the new Darling’s in town. Summer swallowed back tears.

They were both handed T-shirts, one said “I love England” and the other “I love London” printed across the chest. The girls smiled and giggled as Thomas insisted he be the one to give the tour, after all it was a celebration for Elizabeth and Summer and he wanted to be the one to show them how happy they were that they had Darlings.

Summer tried to supress a smile with a deep breath, but she couldn’t manage it. She felt welcome and more at home in this quirky little town than she thought she would in that moment. She felt a part of the town, she felt a part of this strange, unusual family that was formed from the town. It was a little sanctuary.

Finally, Thomas left them and Caroline escorted Summer and Elizabeth to the bakeries stand. There were cupcakes decorated in the Union Jack, the English flag, little Paddington bear figures, Beatrix Potter characters, and Harry Potter designs. It was amazing.

Summer laughed at the joy of the effort, it was wonderful, even though she felt ever so slightly awkward. She was handed something in a box, she opened it to find a cake covered in stripes of all kinds of colours, a half mask made of sugar and a red rose. It took a few moments examining all the little smaller details of the cake before she beamed. “Is this a Lloyd Webber cake?” to which Caroline broke into a massive grin.

The cake was wrapped back up and handed to Summer to keep and eat. Summer was guided from stall to stall before she reached Simon. Who stood proudly, yet sheepishly behind his table, a stand filled with all kinds of English tea’s. Summer smiled from ear to ear before giving Simon a hug.

Elizabeth talked with Simon while Summer wondered off with a cup of tea. Looking through all the stands she bumped into Zach, who took the cake bag and the souvenirs she had been given and had begun to struggle with the juggling of them. His hair seemed to catch in the breeze blowing from his face.

“I don’t mind carrying it, honestly. Elizabeth looks happy.” He pointed over his shoulder towards Elizabeth smiling and chatting with Simon; Summer nodded. Zach and Summer began to walk again. He carried the cake carefully. After a while Summer found herself with an ache in her feet, “mind if we steal that bench?”

“Not at all.” His smile seemed to blow Summer away every time.

Summer laughed watching the town having around them. They watched as Simon and Elizabeth brought out a new station. “Can we go and have a look? I’m sorry I know we’ve not long sat down?”

“Of course, it’s your day after all.” Standing Summer suddenly felt a little braver, she took Zach by the hand and walked a step ahead. Her heart raced, he didn’t let go or pull away. She felt a bit relieved but so incredibly excited. Even with aching cheeks from all the smiling.

Summer found herself amused at what the town had thought of Britain. Summer relaxed passing the stalls for fish and chips. She made her way to Simon and Elizabeth who had opened the Diner serving full English roast dinners including Yorkshire puddings.

After eating dinner with Zach, Simon, and Elizabeth; Summer felt relaxed, and very full. Elizabeth stayed behind to help Simon clean up and ordered Summer to go and enjoy the town after dropping the cake off and little odd souvenirs.

Summer and Zach had spent a fair amount of time wondering about as the atmosphere began to change wind down in evening, still holding hands whenever they could. In a moment of sadness Summer remembered school tomorrow. But in this moment she had to ignore that looming misery.

Zach walked Summer home. They stood rather awkwardly on the porch. She inched a little closer to him, still holding his hand. In a moment of bravery, she rose up on to her tip toes, and lightly kissed Zach on the cheek. Returning her feet to the floor, feeling slightly red and embarrassed, she looked up at him. He leaned in and let his lips brush hers as he kissed her. He wished her goodnight.

She opened the door, he let go of her hand and wished her good night again with that brilliant smile.

 

 

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Darling Daughters

Chapter Nine

 

It’s finally the weekend. That’s the sentiment they shared.

Summer had completed her homework and extra credit work by lunchtime. She had a short afternoon shift at the Diner to look forward to then some time with Elizabeth once she finished her shift.

While still home sick, Summer struggled to consider the manner home, although she was beginning to adjust to the decoration and the over-the-top-ness of the house. Neither Elizabeth or Summer had the heart to change it, even the bowl of keys on the dresser remained on the to do list pinned to the wall.

Tapping the to do list she walked out of the house towards the Diner.

For a Saturday the town seemed eerily quiet even McGuire wasn’t his usual self. He seemed to be running around giving whispered orders to groups of people nearby, but as soon as Summer approached he went silent. They exchanged a “good morning” or two and “what a lovely day” before returning to the huddle awkwardly.

Summer didn’t bother to mask her curiosity or her suspicion. She walked a little slower past each small crowd suddenly silent on seeing her.

“Ignore them, they are crazy” wise words from Simon as she got through the door. She still eyed him with equal suspicion. The Diner was quiet for a Saturday afternoon, and the distinct lack of explanation infuriated Summer with every quiet conversation hushed in her presence. On her occasional glance across the square she could see the kiosks being set up with carts and stands; but still no explanation, no matter how much she asked.

Struggling not to take it personally Summer eventually gave up asking.

At the end of her shift Summer met up with Elizabeth on her way out of Oaks, discussing dinner plans. They had their mission, cook dinner, see if they can find homes for some of those keys and watch some bad TV or food channels.

***

Exhausted the girls were still tucked up in bed at eleven thirty on Sunday morning. It was a loud knocking on the door that reverberated throughout the whole of the house to wake them up. Elizabeth was just as unhappy at the infernal racket as Summer as they opened at the door still bleary eyed from sleep in their pyjamas.

Dismayed at the door at the state of Elizabeth and Summer stood Caroline and Thomas. They ordered both girls to go get themselves presentable.

With the door closed both girls muttered and shuffled to their rooms pulling on jeans and t-shirts and raking their hair with a brush.

“Do we have to go with them?”

“Yup, no where we can hide in this damn town?”

“Great.”

Darling Daughters

Chapter Eight

 

It was towards the end of the week and both Elizabeth and Summer felt thoroughly exhausted. Elizabeth had been part of the marathon for the wedding order. Finally, her first day off this week had arrived, it was also Friday, much to her relief. However, that didn’t exempt her from waking up early to take Summer to school. But with that kerfuffle over Elizabeth now found herself at a loss of things to do, even with a to do list as long as her arm.

Elizabeth managed to get the food shopping done in the market with relative ease, a little nagging from Thomas had her rather grumpy. Elizabeth got the groceries home and put away, standing in the kitchen a little at a loss of what she wanted to do next. Her eyes fell onto the speakers and put music on, itching the volume a little higher at a time. She began to clean the house, in no time at all she was singing and dancing as she swept the floor occasionally pausing to use the handle as a microphone.

Elizabeth didn’t notice the door opening, or the figure of a man stifling laughter as Elizabeth continued to dance about with her back to him. A spin with the broom, she caught sight of him and screamed in surprise catching her feet below her she fell back on herself. Coming into the room to catch her, rescuing the damsel on the floor, Simon pulled her to her feet in hysterics.

Standing on her feet Elizabeth glared at him, picked up the broom and caught him on the shoulder telling him off. Finally, he had stopped laughing and apologised to her. Elizabeth was already red in the face from exertion and embarrassment.

“I’m sorry I swear I would have walked away, but it was such a show, a wonderful concert.” Elizabeth clipped his shoulder again with the broom at his sarcasm. Her eyes narrowed as he picked up the can of polish and the duster and began singing. Not sure if he was trying to offend her she glared, until her expression softened as he swayed and got into the song. Finally, Elizabeth caved and continued cleaning and breaking into laughter.

After a long while the living room and kitchen looked brighter and tidier. Reaching the final encore. Elizabeth smiled as she pulled a soda out of the fridge and handed it towards Simon, slumping on the sofa next to him, both a hot sweaty mess.

Simon pulled a small rusting key with a tag hanging off of it, “Archie” was scrawled across the label.

“Great another key, anyone would think Archie had a key fetish.” Continue reading

Darling Daughters

Chapter Seven

 

Summer rejected the alarm on her phone and rolled over burying her head in her pillows refusing to get up. Elizabeth burst into the room singing loudly and badly in an attempt to make Summer leap from her bed. Summer threw a cushion at Elizabeth’s head and missed. Determined Elizabeth kept singing until Summer rose from the sheets in a tangled mess.

Elizabeth passed Summer her school uniform and walked into the kitchen. Having spent most of the summer holidays trying to tidy the house the girls just wanted to relax this morning.

Hitting the shuffle on the speakers the girls got dressed and ready, eating breakfast singing and dancing along to cheesy pop.  By the time the fun was over they had to move swiftly to drop Summer off at Darling Honor before Elizabeth could make her way back to town for work.

The building before the girls stood tall and forbidding. Summer took a deep breath entering the cast iron gates. Teenagers swarmed through the hallways, Summer felt disorientated until she heard her name as she was tapped on the shoulder and lead towards headmaster Maiden’s office.

Summer’s heart raced as the door opened as she was called inside. By the desk sitting down was a tall, grey, stern looking portly man scanning a folder as he asked her to sit. Summer obeyed the icy grey eyes that met hers.

He waited a moment before he introduced himself, “I am your headmaster Alexander Maiden, the headmaster of one of the very few elite schools. Here you have the potential to become anything you want, if you apply yourself. However, it is not possible to cruise your way through this school doing the bare minimum.” Summer felt the knot in her chest tighten as she was handed a behaviour code to sign and the other school codes. She couldn’t escape the feeling she was signing her life away. Continue reading

The Big Project

So here it is, the very first view of the big project. The first chapters. Please do not copy without credit and so on and so forth as the copy right still belongs to me (just a little reminder) for all that is on this website (a reminder can be found on the about page but if here is a little reminder here too: “Please be aware that unauthorized use and or duplication without permission from the author and owner of this blog is strictly prohibited. Links and excerpts may be used on the condition that clear credit is given to the author/owner A. R. Appleby.”).  Thank you for your patience.

Perhaps this could be considered my Christmas present to you.

I know I have mentioned this project many times, it is part of a series called “Promitto Memorari” and this is the thirdd chapter of the first book entitled “Just Say Yes”

Chapter Three

Now

Katie

“You know you’re doing it wrong?”

The interruption… I feel my eyes roll when I put the bookmark in place and look up at the face grinning at me over the fence. I can’t help but feel suspicious. The grin turns to a smirk on his face, “you’ll never get a tan like that. What is it you’re doing anyway?”

I feel the bubble of discomfort and anger knotting its way into my throat. “Biology homework.” I feel blunt. I feel interrupted. I want to be left alone. “You look confused; homework is that thing we have to do to avoid detention. You should try it someday.” I know that stung. His smirk faltered. For a millisecond I feel bad, until he opens his mouth. “You have to be joking, I barely follow what the teacher says.”

My irritation is rising, and I can’t stop myself. “Yeah and don’t we all know it.” I start to pack my books away, saving my pages netting them together.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Wow, did I actually offend him? Surely not. That question wasn’t said with sincerity and I am not in the mood for this, when I agreed to the favour I didn’t agree to the obnoxious prat. “Heaven forbid that anyone actually wants to learn something. But yeah, sure, you go on coasting by, pretending not to give a flying monkeys even though you and I both know you could actually pass, if you tried.”

I pile my books onto the ledge near the door and collapse the rusting chair and push it under the ledge, stuffing the plastic cover around it.

“Tutor me.” And there it is. What he wanted to ask. What I had known was coming. Mr Thomas had warned me. But the words still felt strange to hear. It wasn’t even asking. Not really. “What?” I respond not turning around.

“Tutor me. Please?” I begin to turn around, slowly, I am not going to lie, it feels a tiny bit satisfying. “You say I can do it, so teach me how. Help me pass, please, Katie.” I turn back towards the door, just a fraction. “Katie! Please.” The pleading in his voice was such a nice touch.

“Fine. Ok it with my parents first, as long as you do the work, I will help. But you can’t copy my work.”

~ * ~

Dad put down his knife. “So Mary stopped me on my way in this evening.” He was directing that at me, even though mum looked up like her neck would snap. “Apparently you are tutoring Chris today.” I nod, trying to ignore the reluctance that would seep into my voice stopping me from speaking.

Mum begins to busy herself picking up the plates. Her voice is tart, “You will need a hammer to get anything through his head.” Dad laughed but it never met his eyes, it’s no secret I don’t like the boy next door, it’s no secret what happens at school. “Good luck, and if he puts even a toe wrong, let me know.”

I roll my eyes and nod. “Yes mum” my tone feels flat as I help get the plates from the table into the kitchen. “What time was he meant to be coming?” I call out to dad. Who is twirling the knife in his hands, playing absent minded, he shrugs, “ten minutes ago.”

“Oh great.” Slips my lips. The knock on the door catches my attention. I slump away down the hallway a few thumping steps that feel like my feet are made of concrete. I pull the door open and Chris is leaning against the wall, lazily dragging his bag. It’s a wonder it doesn’t break. I think to myself ‘start as you mean to go on’.

“You’re late” I snap, “shift it.” Chris steps past me but waits for me to close the door and lead my way upstairs to my room. My desk is strewn with homework. I step inside and wait for him to follow but he is standing in the hallway.

For a moment I see him taking in the sight of my room, he’s never seen it. The purple, black and cream splashed everywhere. He makes his way to my desk now. The alcove covered in “aged” (tea stained) paper so that I can stick things to my wall without pulling off paint and bits of wall with the sticky tack. I watch him examining the posters of west end shows, my doodles, photos of my childhood. My childhood feels like a millennial ago and yesterday all at once. I feel like the little girl is not me, like that person no longer exists. She doesn’t. My recent photos are a secret life he doesn’t get to see at school.

I snap out of my own thoughts and pull out a book and push it in front of his face. “Here, get on with question one for a start and see if we get the same results. At least then I can find out where you actually need help.”

I can feel him want to say he doesn’t need help, before he can the next words slip through my lips “and show your work” I twitch a smile and sit on my bed. I’m continuing where I left off earlier. I’m on the last question of the homework. I take a quick glance up from my page and watch Chris tapping his pen looking at the wall.

“This is stupid. I’m wasting my time.”

I snap, “no, you are wasting my time.” I pull myself up off of the bed and stand behind him and look at his work, he is essentially right, but the presentation, well that is where he is getting lost. I guide him through the simple structure. He follows it and rewrites it out, and stares at how it is meant to look as though I just showed him my plans to poison him.

“Do you actually not want help?”

“I just, I hate the hoops they make us jump through.”

“I just obey them, hate them, and then reward myself with the knowledge that there is only a limited time left in that hell hole. Now if you don’t mind. Question two.”

~ * ~

I haul the book out of my bag, rummaging around the bottom of the bag to find my pencil case that has gone on a wonder about in my bag. Chris brushes past me, I feel his fingers brush my blazer sleeve. I look around and shake my head looking back at him. I know he is smirking. Even with his face turned from me so that all that I can see of him is his copper hair, so light that he could probably get away with calling it ‘strawberry blonde’ unlike mine, a true red.

I pull the pencil case from the bottom of my bag and sit down in the nick of time. Mr Thomas strides into the class.

“Come on class, sit down… Today” he puts down the register and smiles. “Right. Homework folders in the air and start the assignment on the board.” I put the folder in my left hand and bend my elbow resting on the table so that the folder is up in the air and my right hand can work as he makes his way around the class. I watch him from the corner of my eye as I work, he flicks through the folders and begins to make two piles. One pile has just two folders. I can see the exasperation on his face. He is frustrated, I can just tell, he’s going to flip.

“Why is there just two folders with homework in?” His voice echoes through the room. He takes a deep breath. Putting his hand in his pocket, he has the classes rapt attention. “Katie, Chris, come here please.” I feel my heart thumping in my chest, for some reason this feels like a punishment. As we reach his desk he puts a couple of coins into Chris’ hand, and my own. I try to hand them back; this feels like a trick as much as it is a reward. “Thank you for actually doing your homework.” I feel like a deer in headlights, I thank him and follow his request for us to sit back down.

I can hear whines around the room that “sir it’s not fair” and the like.

Mr Thomas is having none of it. “I expect your homework tomorrow the rest of you.” I glance back over my shoulder at Chris. He is staring at me; he mouths the words “thank you” to me. I just nod. This is weird.

I can feel the tension as I continue the assignment, the room now reduced to no more than the scratches of pens on paper, the odd clicking of the top, the odd the sigh. I daren’t look up from my work. I catch Mr Thomas’ eye. As he walks past my desk to deal with the ruckus in the hallway.

***

Then

Enya

“You look beautiful today Lady Enya.” I look up from my sewing to see the familiar face of Broderick. I smile and thank him before returning my focus to the cloth in my hands. He sits beside me. “You really can’t sew can you?” There are loose threads mapping a rough guide for what I want to do.

“I am sure it will look fine when it’s done.” I am coldly polite; I don’t like being disturbed. I pack away my sewing and pull the parchment with my rough sketch. My plan for the cloth, a circle of rope with a weaving loop of eight, an infinity symbol crossing through the centre of the circle. I tuck it away. The rain continues to pour down in the courtyard even as the sun shines.

I stand and excuse myself taking my sewing to my chambers. I slip out from my chambers with my cloak covering me, moving as swiftly as possible I stride down to the stables. Ready my horse myself, the stable boys are running errands, as usual at this time. I don’t have long. No one willingly goes riding in this weather so I know they probably won’t notice for a while. I get out onto the flats of the cobbles of the courtyard. With some encouragement the horse and I are off and out the gates, I hear a little shouting but I am already gone. The rain whipping at my face as we gallop for a few minutes. As we near the shelter of the trees I jump down and walk beside the horse. Continue reading

The Big Project

So here it is, the very first view of the big project. The first chapters. Please do not copy without credit and so on and so forth as the copy right still belongs to me (just a little reminder) for all that is on this website (a reminder can be found on the about page but if here is a little reminder here too: “Please be aware that unauthorized use and or duplication without permission from the author and owner of this blog is strictly prohibited. Links and excerpts may be used on the condition that clear credit is given to the author/owner A. R. Appleby.”).  Thank you for your patience.

Perhaps this could be considered my Christmas present to you.

I know I have mentioned this project many times, it is part of a series called “Promitto Memorari” and this is the second chapter of the first book entitled “Just Say Yes”

Chapter Two

Now

Ethan

As life-changing moments happen to go, this is perhaps my best work. The most hidden, insignificant moment in this teenage boy’s life.

“Christopher Giry. Sit.” I keep my voice cold and bored, even if everything is riding on this moment. My office is a mess; it is basically a cupboard nested beside a high traffic stairway. It’s cluttered, I know, full of books, papers, folders. As it happens the evenings I spend in here marking stacks of repetitive boredom is matched with bad coffee.

Since my permanent selection for detention duty, my social life drained away, and I spend more hours in my office than any other teacher. I am a jar of “Marmite”, you will either love me or hate me.

But it seems no matter what, I like to discover all kinds of potential. Christopher, as yet, is untapped. A key that’s stuck in the draw. He is sat in the cheap plastic chair opposite my desk. This time he is being held back after detention for my chat, and I know his slouch and mask scream indifferent. Continue reading

The Big Project

So here it is, the very first view of the big project. The first chapters. Please do not copy without credit and so on and so forth as the copy right still belongs to me (just a little reminder) for all that is on this website (a reminder can be found on the about page but if here is a little reminder here too: “Please be aware that unauthorized use and or duplication without permission from the author and owner of this blog is strictly prohibited. Links and excerpts may be used on the condition that clear credit is given to the author/owner A. R. Appleby.”).  Thank you for your patience.

Perhaps this could be considered my Christmas present to you.

I know I have mentioned this project many times, it is part of a series called “Promitto Memorari” and this is the first chapter of the first book entitled “Just Say Yes”

 

Chapter One

Whenever

The Wordsmith

Hello old friend.

It has been such an awfully long time, or perhaps it is none at all? Time after all, is not always what it seems. Time has such a beautifully subjective quality; it is easily mistaken as a fixed entity.

It is as though, perhaps, there are two beginnings to every story. There is the one that you know like your own heartbeat. And there is the one, that clever, ever so beautiful one that conceals the very secrets of its existence. That is of course, not to say that neither one can be true. It really does all depend delicately upon the perspective from which you are looking.

This is why I should introduce you somewhere closer to the end, rather than the traditional beginning. Although… they may be one in the same, a confusing blur. This could even be the very middle. The centrefold if you will. Perhaps we may discover the answer, or ignore all questions completely, but I must warn you, there may be a time for a time outside of our own, to leak into what I am to tell you. As memories go, it has become a tangled lace, a web of intertwining events as everything becomes over time. It is becoming clearer to me, slowly, as these words appear on the page before me that I have no real idea where I should begin, or understand what to say.

The exact moment where we will cross that unknown between a stranger, a narrator, a story teller, or the voice to the words that you read will disperse and become something else entirely. A connection will grow through the bonds of adventure and we will embark upon a friendship; destined to explore the old and the new, the strange and the surreal, the normal and the mundane moments that will inflict themselves upon this tale that I tell.

After all, it is the smallest of things, a butterfly’s wings that can change the world. So as we steal and sneak our path through private moments, secret conversations, hidden thoughts, fantasies and regrets, we will discover their secrets and rudely pry into the privacy of other lives. Take my words as my hand, guiding you through the adventure (and I hope you brought the snacks).

Let’s walk through the twisting path of time and discover the untold story hidden in the recesses.

We will intrude upon the memories, long forgotten, and reawaken for us to devour, word by word.

And so I fear, it is time to cease our introductions and begin.

Writing exercise- The Moment I Knew It Was Love

“The Moment I Knew It Was Love” this one isn’t perhaps as hard, and it happens quite often, but not perfectly.

It was recently, fairly recently, that I discovered one of those moments, but it was more perfect perhaps then usual.

It was a slightly more adult moment in my life than perhaps I realized a very private moment, but a moment all the same.

So now I must confess, I am damaged, I am what can be called damaged goods, I fear intimacy. To me the biggest struggle I face, daily, is trust. Very few people I trust, my closest friends I trust with my life, my family I do not.

It has taken me some time, some months to learn to trust my boyfriend, actually quite a few and it felt almost too natural which of course meant I had to fight it because I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t fight it a bit, live in a little denial for a few days. Well that trust has of course grown with time.

This moment was entirely intimate in the throws of passion. Due to my nature and fear, during such times I struggle to make eye contact because it is far too intimate. But it was different, it was honest, but we weren’t speaking, not out loud. You see this time, in this moment, I felt the complete trust, I could feel every hidden thought of affection I had buried and I held his gaze.

Intimately it was a perfect moment, I let the guard down, broke a few walls and let him in mentally, I wasn’t compartmentalizing or trying to protect myself from getting hurt. I was just being myself in that moment, and so was he.

They say your eyes are the window to the soul, and that is where I sometimes keep my guard, but it is the first place I look when I want to read someone. Sometimes you can just tell everything in a moment by a gaze.

In his eyes that moment, I saw affection and care and respect, everything I had been looking for, and I would like to say that as I write this I am not crying but that would be lying. Because I have my guard down in this moment, remembering the moment I knew I could trust him completely, and though he doesn’t really say it, I know he trusts me, the times when he opens up and tells me something he is struggling with make me the happiest because he is testing his trust in me and I am just there. I tested my trust in him, in my most vulnerable moments and I discovered safety and security, something I have wanted and yearned for, for so long, I found in him in one moment, I felt the rush of love and affection for him that I now struggle to hide.

Sometimes these moments aren’t these movie moments that sweep an audience off their feet, it might not even sweep you off your feet. It s just the seconds in which you are aware, you realize you have stumbled upon a feeling that can be so precious and rare they may happen once, maybe twice in a lifetime.

Writing Exercise- The Moment I Fell In Love

I don’t know where to start with this, “The Moment I Fell In Love” exercise, so it may well be a surprise.

Well, I know it doesn’t sound right, and I know it won’t make sense. I doubt it was via  I.M. but you see, a special familiarity is formed when you message someone until past six in the morning and only stop because you have no choice. After all it was past six in the morning.

I suppose it could have been that day, well night, had I have let it happen that way. Instead somehow I think it happened twice.

We met over the internet, the way a modern love story would. We talked for a while, it was so familiar. I remember, just a little, the journey to the train station, the brief slightly out of breath rush texting and trying to beat my way to the station before the train came in. It was raining, as it always does in London. I remember waiting by the little bike shed by the station, anxious nervous, not really knowing who or what to expect. I remember being told to look for a long umbrella and black coat, and that was it. I had no expectations, I didn’t really know who I was waiting for and somehow I knew. The man with the umbrella, the smile and somehow I knew it was him. The world fell away and this strangers face suddenly became every conversation we had ever had, I knew it was him. I didn’t know who or what I was waiting for, I walked their with no expectations just nervous excitement. This strange man with dark hair and a sweet smile had become everything we had shared, the conversations, the laughing and joking, just it became him.

It is those two seconds perhaps in that smile and me making the connections that it was him, those two seconds letting the world fall into place, I started to fall in love, with him.

It was perhaps that same day, well evening by then that I can say that was the moment. I had spent most of that date itching desperate for him to just kiss me, the connection the flirting it was all so solid. He was nervous and somehow I knew he wasn’t going to make the move, I was too tense and too curious that I couldn’t wait longer. I did it, I kissed him, it was while he was mid sentence, and I caved. It was then in that moment perhaps, I didn’t know it then at the time.  But all I knew was I didn’t want to run, with every first kiss so far I had wanted to run and it had been a disaster and I would beat myself up for not running, this time I just didn’t want to run away. I wanted to stay, and ever since I have never been able to walk away, no matter how bad it gets, it has gotten better. That first kiss is the moment I fell in love.

Writing Exercise- The Darker Path (3)

Chapter Four

Its strange but the more time I spend with Seb and Eddy the more convinced I am the more convinced I am that they are hiding something. Although whats stranger is as I spend more time with Seb the less frequent that nightmare has become. I suspect its been replaced with the sensation of being watched, whether that is down to paranoia, delusions or this curiosity I have no idea, and Seb clearly has no intention of sedating the subject.

Mind you the elephant in the room is Lilly and her ridiculous tantrums lately. Possibly because she hasn’t been getting attention for a while, I’ve been too busy house hunting on the quiet, not involving her in what I’m doing. Or perhaps not being exclusively around her at the moment has certainly put her nose out of joint.

It possibly didn’t help matters when Seb and Eddy came over while Lilly was at work. “It may just be the sofa for now, simply because I am house hunting but you two are more then welcome to come to the new place. You know if you had any special features I could consider keeping an eye out for them?”

“If it has a basement I’m in for sure” Eddy grinned. Seb nodded.

Nipping to the bar for a spot of dinner after the boys had moved their stuff in to the house was a great idea. Slightly less great when Lilly came in and sat down with us.

Eddy raised a glass without thinking and toasted “to the new house” Seb caught my eye as we sipped our drinks praying that Lilly hadn’t noticed. Unfortunately I wasn’t as lucky as I had hoped. An interrogation later and she knew I planned to move. There was a few seconds of quiet after she asked when I planned on letting her know, she was on the edge of another one of her tantrums and I really didn’t  have the patience to put up with her crap this evening. “Well you can either rent the house or move out.” She took a second before she said, “you know, I think I will move in with you, you can’t get rid of me if you tried”

“You don’t say” Seb mouthed under his breath, he’s right, I’ve been trying for years, some how  couldn’t respond.

Back at the house Seb, Eddy and I were sat at the table while Lilly lounged on the sofa making a list of requirements for the new house. I sat talking with the boys as we made a practical list. “So Eddy you want the basement? Seb you prefer the kitchen to be simple open plan? I think that is doable.” Lilly sauntered over and handed me a list, “you want a paved garden, massive bedroom, walk in wardrobe, en suite, office, pink bathroom and a jacuzzi. Right.” I scrunched up the list and threw it from my chair into the bin. “What did you do that for?”

“Hmm let me see, its unreasonable, and oh yeah its not going to happen.”

“But they got what they wanted on the list!”

Chapter Five

I over heard Seb and Eddy discussing a nearby woods on y way to go and make a cup of tea, and to be honest this wasn’t the first hushed conversation I had stumbled upon today.  I had heard some talk of a full moon, but at that tie of the morning, I didn’t think anything of it. That was, of course, until Eddy told Lilly he had to go on a work retreat over night. Lilly suspected nothing, but Eddy is a bad liar. Of course I kept it quiet, with Seb watching like a hawk now wasn’t the tie to discuss lies or suspicions.

When Lilly and I were finally alone she declared we had to follow Eddy having decided he was cheating on her, her intention was to catch him in the act. We followed Eddy at a distance into the woods he had talked about earlier.

Being dragged forwards by Lilly I had that sinking feeling as we went further and further into the trees, not paying enough attention to a car parking up. Slowly we found ourselves standing at a small unlocked gate that lead into the mouth of a small cave that Eddy had disappeared into without hesitation.

I felt a cold tight hand grasping my free wrist as Lilly made to drag us further towards Eddy. Looking behind for the first time since Lilly started the pursuit I came face to face with Seb. Like a child caught in the act of wrong doing I couldn’t reach his gaze. Lilly quickly began to protest to resume the pursuit loudly as we heard footsteps approaching in the cave behind us, as Eddy quickly shut the gate, locking it and demanding that we leave, as he let out an agonizing, blood curdling scream.

I felt Seb’s grip on my wrist tighten as he pulled Lilly and I back to stop us getting any closer. For the first tie I watched Lilly at a loss for words. Breaking free she went straight to the gate trying to see where Eddy had disappeared to.  Before Seb could pull her back Eddy had lunged at her, with bright amber eyes he swiped his growing claws at her out stretched hand, his skin splitting. Seb sprung into action dragging us away. Pausing finally to lead Lilly by the  hand, I could see blood dripping from her. I pulled Lilly to face me, took her left hand  mine and lifted the torn sleeve, her wrist was scratched.

When we got to the hospital we had to tell them she had caught it on some nails, although I don’t know if the tetanus jab could really do any good. For the first time I watched Lilly at a loss for real words, she just remained silent. Even walking into the house seemed different, the quiet seemed to echo. I told Seb in no uncertain terms to wait there and make some tea while I put Lilly to bed.

Now he couldn’t deny answers, I took the tea waiting for him to finally speak. “I’m sorry, Lilly was never meant to, you were never meant to, you deserve the truth, he’s a werewolf.” I waited to feel something, anything; fear, surprise, shock, disbelief but none came. “I kind of guessed that. So if the monsters that hide under the bed are real, what’s your deal? Because I know that isn’t your secret, what’s your excuse? I heard you follow us, you could have stopped this, stopped us at any time, why not?” The silence dragged, “I was selfish. I wanted to tell you, but you would never have believed without proof, you would run for miles and miles, and you still might. If you wanted to you could,  I am sorry Lilly got hurt, but Demi, you have to know I love you.” I couldn’t reply, he had more explaining to do, and quite frankly now was not the time for the first “I love you” in the relationship. “You have to know I love you and would never hurt you, yes I am filled with hunger, just like you said. I have done terrible things, I am cursed, I have hurt and killed so any people than I ever want to count.”

I know I should feel scared but I couldn’t believe it, it didn’t feel real. His eyes turned as black as coal and he revealed fangs sprouting in his mouth, as quickly as it had come, his demonic face returned to the kind features I had come to know. “With you I a safer, the hunger is gone, I don’t need blood, I need you.” His head dropped, I took his hand and sat him on the sofa.

We sat and talked, everything from his past, his blood lust, his memories. I looked into his eyes and reminded him of the night we met. Finally I explained about the ring, the psychotic ex, the feeling of being watched. He told me about how he became this thing, this vampire, what he remembered about his victims, my own curiosity surprised him, when I asked what he remembered he replied with one word, “everything”. I stopped asking questions, now I asked for a promise, “should there be no other choice, no other way, will you trust me? Can you turn me? There is only a  matter of time until Mark makes good on his promise, please.” He was reluctant to agree, when he did a new feeling spread over me, relief. Relief that now I had an option. Even in the darkness I felt safer as we fell asleep on the sofa.