Full Circle: Part 1

Discussion in 'Fiction' started by Lexington, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. Lexington

    Lexington Well-Known Member

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    I've decided to post the previous posts here instead of a PDF basically because I really can't be arsed and copy and pasting is much easier. Hope that's ok and if its not, well, tough s*it!
     
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  2. Lexington

    Lexington Well-Known Member

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    Chapter One

    It was a cold, crisp evening and I welcomed the icy air that greeted us as we stepped outside Heathrow terminal. London’s brisk temperature was a stark contrast to the warmth of New York we had left behind. The sky was so clear the stars twinkled brightly. It was the kind of night that followed a really sunny clear day. I took a deep breath and smiled. I knew I was home.

    Since we arrived half an hour ahead of schedule, my best friend and I sat down and waited for my parents to arrive. Che and I had known each other since I was five and even though we had been through a lot we still had a deep friendship. It was far from easy but being with her was comfortable. It was familiar and she was a part of me.

    Che put her iPod on and I pulled out my sketchbook and started sketching her. I guided the pencil outlining her face. I drew her eyes with sure movements and took note of her dark, long lashes hiding big beautiful light brown eyes. I studied them, half-closed, as she listened to music and I watched how slight dimples formed as her lips curved into a smile as she realised I was drawing her. I strove to catch every detail in strokes of graphite.

    Che bent her head round to look at my drawing. “That’s really good. You should do that professionally. Maybe go to uni or something,” she noted. “That’s quite a talent to waste.”

    I nodded barely breaking my concentration from the page and murmured, “That’s the plan.”

    Che eventually reached for my sketch book and looked at me as if asking for permission. I handed it over to her and nervously watched her as she flicked through the pages. There were countless sketches of her that I'd drawn from memory. She looked up at me and smiled. She didn't have to say anything. I knew, by her eyes, that she was touched.

    As she was flipping the pages, she came across a drawing of Charlie and paused for a minute looking at it. She ran her finger over the surface of the paper then looked up at me again, eyes full of thought.

    "You like her a lot, don't you?" Che asked.

    "Yeah, but she lives on the other side of the world."

    I took the sketchbook, closed it and sat for a moment not knowing what to say to her. I was filled with a mixture of guilt and sadness I couldn't seem to shake.

    After waiting for my parents for thirty minutes, I decided to call them but their voicemail message clicked on. I sat for a moment contemplating what to do next then tried to call my sister but that call went to voicemail too. I could not get a hold of anyone in my family. I had only been back half an hour and I was already angry with them all.

    We waited for what seemed like an hour before considering our options. As I turned to Che I told her, “They’ve obviously forgotten. What do you want to do?”

    “I’ll call Jo. She’ll come pick us up. Craig and Diane are fucking getting it though when I see them. Fancy forgetting their second born. You've only been away six months!”

    “What’s new? Do you remember the time they forgot to pick me up from school and your mum had to take me home to yours?”

    "I can hear the violins now. If you weren’t such an old cow I’d suggest calling social services. Hold on, I'm calling Jo.”

    Jo was our childhood friend. She was the kind of girl who refused to take any shit. I could always rely on her to to give me a no-nonsense answer devoid of bullshit and it would always be delivered with a healthy side note of humour. She didn’t pussy foot around issues like the rest of my friends. If she thought you had been a complete wanker she would say so. I adored her honesty and her humour. As Che dialled Jo’s number I lay down on the bench she was sitting on and placed my head on her lap. Che messed with my hair with her left hand as she spoke with Jo. I closed my eyes, relaxed and allowed myself to drift off. I let my mind wander and my thoughts eventually fell to Charlie. I absently wondered what she would be doing now and I realised how much I missed her.

    "How long do you think she will be?" Che asked. Her words broke through my thoughts as I felt a stab of guilt for thinking of Charlie.

    "Sorry. What?" I said in a daze.

    "You were thinking about HER, weren't you?"

    "No. I was wondering where my bloody parents were. I've always been an afterthought so why change the habit of a lifetime, hey?"

    To my relief Che seemed satisfied with my reply. I just couldn't face another argument about Charlie. She leant down and kissed my forehead.

    "You're not an afterthought for me,” she said tenderly.


    ~~~~~


    We spent the remainder of the time waiting for Jo people watching. Che nodded to a guy standing across from us.

    "What do you think his deal is?"

    “He is waiting for his Thai bride delivery,” I laughed.

    Che started laughing and I nodded to a woman by the door.

    "And the blonde by the door?"

    "She's a member of her local Women’s Institute but on the weekends she indulges in swinging parties."

    I laughed as I saw Jo approach in the distance.

    “Oohh,” I nudged Che as I nodded in Jo's direction, “what about that one?"

    "Couldn't possibly comment. She looks like a right pervert!"

    We both giggled as a tall, lithe girl approached. As she reached us, Jo grumbled about how heavy the traffic was, her green eyes showing annoyance.

    "You guys are so lucky you're both pretty or I wouldn't have bothered." A playful smile crossed Jo's face as she took me in her arms and enveloped me into a bear hug. “I’ve missed you kid! How was the trip?”

    “I missed you too!” I greeted her and smiled as I ruffled her hair. “The trip was brilliant. I had an amazing time.”

    “Yeah,” Che piped up. “Too many girls so little time hey, Lex?"

    “Oh, I heard about you and Charlie.” Jo said as she laughed. “I spoke to a little birdy from Oz, but by all accounts she was one in a long line, yes?"

    I brushed off the comment and nervously glanced at Che. Not wanting to talk about Charlie, I decided instead to ask her where she was parked as my bags weren't getting any lighter.

    "I hope you two have your walking boots on because I'm parked in near enough Outer Mongolia!" Jo commented as we got our stuff together.

    "I'm totally not built for this shit,” Che groaned.

    I laughed. "What?! Walking? Stop your moaning, princess, and move. I haven't been home for six months” I gently bumped into her as we started to walk to the car and was rewarded with with a smile.

    We took the shuttle bus from the terminal to the car park. As we made our way to the car Jo brought us up to date on our mutual friend, Craig, who had been discharged from the army on medical grounds after sustaining a serious injury. She then talked about our friend Lisa and the latest drama between her and her boyfriend. As I listened to Jo I realised, as much as I enjoyed being away it felt good to be home. When we finally reached the car and Jo had placed our bags in the boot, I called shotgun and Che sulked her way onto the back seat.

    "So what's the deal with you two?” Jo asked as she started the car. She turned to us with a cheeky smile on her face and added, “You finally got it together or are you girls still pretending you’re both just friends?"

    I quickly looked from Jo to Che to assess the damage. Che had always been defensive about her sexuality and it had always been the main issue threatening our fragile friendship.

    "Maybe you should concentrate on your own romantic affairs,” Che retorted. “That way you might actually get yourself a girlfriend. Boyfriend. No, girlfriend. Sorry what way do you actually swing again?"

    "Touché!" I grinned at Jo.

    Jo smirked and stayed quiet for a few seconds before adding, "Touched a raw nerve have I, princess?"

    "Firstly, don't call me princess,” Che retorted. “And secondly, I'm not gay so whatever fantasies you have about Lex and me you should put them at the back of your mind and get your kicks elsewhere because it isn't going to happen."

    I could feel Che's annoyance so I placed my hand out down the left hand side of the front seat into the back. She sat and held my hand and I squeezed hers to offer reassurance.

    “So,” I spoke to Jo in a vain attempt at deflecting the attention from Che and me. “How’s your love life coming along? Last I heard you were seeing a guy with erectile dysfunction.”

    Jo turned to Che and scowled.

    "What?!” Che laughed, “I didn't say anything.....well, not much anyway."

    "Come on then,” I pressed Jo. “Seriously. How's it going? Anyone special?"

    "No, not really,” Jo answered as she exhaled deeply, “the last girl I was seeing had an unnatural obsession with vampires. It was a bit unsettling to be honest.”

    "Really, I think that's pretty hot. I’ve always had a bit of a thing for vampires. I think it’s all the biting?" I turned to Che and said, "You know how I’ve always said I like the thought of biting?"

    “It’s true,“ Che rolled her eyes and directed her statement at Jo. “She's always had a freaky fetish when it comes to being bitten."

    "Well, whatever,“ I said. “My point is, I think it’s hot!"

    "She’s blonde,” Che remarked with pursed lips. “She wouldn't be your type!"

    "Mmmm you’re so right Che,” Jo started to laugh and observed, “Just friends always get that jealous."

    "Don't air quote me, Davis!" Che retorted.

    I smiled and gave Jo a warning look and she acknowledged it with a smile and rolled her eyes at Che. We sat in comfortable silence for a short time until Jo turned to Che with raised eyebrows and a smirk. “You going home or to Lex’s?”

    “I need to get home to my own bed,” Che said. She glanced at me as I turned in my seat to look at her and, in almost a whisper, asked, “You don’t mind, do you?”

    “It’s fine,” I answered. “I'm only going to head to bed anyway.”

    The rest of the ride home was slow. It seemed an accident on the opposite carriageway was causing people to turn around and find another route so traffic was heavy for that time of night. The conversation continued to flow easily, though, which helped to pass the time quickly. It felt good to catch up with Jo. She talked animatedly about the goings on of the past six months and I was content to sit and listen.

    Jo dropped me off first and looked towards the house, a confused expression etched on her face. “Where’s ya dad’s car?”

    “I haven’t got a clue, love.” I sniggered, “I’ve kind of been too busy travelling the world to keep tabs on my families car.”

    “Good to have you back, Lex.” Jo laughed as she opened the boot, heaved out my bag and chucked it at me with some force. “I’ve really missed your dazzling wit.”

    “Later girls.”

    I gave them a tired smile and turned towards the house. Jo shouted, "You up for party times at the weekend?"

    I turned and nodded, "Call me, yeah?"

    "Excellent! Good to have you back, kid. Laters!"

    Che walked up the path and hugged me. "Text me tomorrow?"

    I nodded and she headed back towards the car.

    I heard Che call out "Shotgun!" as I put my key in the door and Jo’s quick yet impatient retort, "No! You can't call shotgun when there's nobody else apart from the driver in the car" as I pushed the door open. I laughed at them arguing as I went inside.

    There were no shouts of welcome or anyone rushing to greet me as I walked into the empty, unlit house and I was suddenly hit with an overwhelming feeling of loneliness. I was also angry that none of my family seemed to give a shit that I was home.

    I chucked my keys on the small oak table as I passed through the dark hall, absently noting that I had a massive stack of letters to sort through. I carried my bags upstairs to my room, grabbed a towel from the cupboard and headed for the shower. Once out of the shower I headed back downstairs to the kitchen and routed in the freezer, pulled out one of my mum’s lasagnes and chucked it in the oven. I grabbed a bottle of beer from the fridge before settling myself on the sofa to watch a film. I must have drifted into a light sleep because I woke to the sound of the oven timer going off.

    I rubbed my eyes and sluggishly got up off the sofa to get the lasagne out of the oven. I settled back down in the lounge to eat but halfway through the meal I lost my appetite as I was overcome by an overpowering feeling of unease. I checked the clock and called my parents again. The voicemail message clicked on so I left a message before ending the call and went into the kitchen. I scraped the remains of the lasagne into the bin and decided to go up to bed.

    “Welcome home, Lex,” I spoke aloud to no one but myself as I walked up the stairs to my room. Once in bed, I couldn’t shake the butterflies in my stomach. I tossed and turned for what seemed like hours until I eventually drifted off to a restless sleep.


    ~~~~~


    I woke up with a start a some hours later to a loud banging on the door. I sat up and let the haze of sleep lift as I realised just what it was that woke me. I stumbled toward the window but I couldn’t see who it was so I blearily headed down the stairs. The banging continued until I eventually answered the door.

    “Ms. James?” A woman with bright blue eyes in full police uniform greeted me as I peeked through the door.

    “Yes?”

    “I'm Police Constable Jones and this is Police Constable Thomas,” she gestured at her tall male companion. He had a rather formidable appearance with a shaved head and was probably over six feet tall. They had their identification open. “Could we come in and speak with you, please?”

    “Could I see your warrant cards?” I asked as I opened the door. They showed the cards and, once satisfied, I gestured for them to come in and led them into the lounge. “What is this about?”

    “Maybe you would prefer to sit down,” Constable Jones gently suggested. As I sat down, she said, “Am I right in assuming you’re the daughter of Craig James and Diane James?”

    “Yeah,” I said.

    It became clear that something was amiss and I gradually started to panic. My eyes darted at each of them in turn trying to gather as much information as I could from their demeanour until they eventually broke the silence.

    “I'm truly sorry to inform you that your parents were involved in a traffic accident at 20:46 this evening. The paramedics arrived shortly after and they did everything they could but I'm afraid their injuries were just too severe. Despite the paramedics’ best efforts, both of your parents were pronounced dead shortly after the emergency services attended the scene. I'm so very sorry for your loss.”

    I just sat there staring at her not fully comprehending what it was she was telling me. I kept quiet not really knowing what to say.

    “Is there anyone we can call for you?” she said.

    “No.” I sharply turned to her and said, “No. Just my sister, but I’ll call her.”

    It took me a moment to realise what she had told me and then the tears began rolling down my cheeks.

    “Are you sure it’s them?” I asked trying to comprehend what had happened. My voice had started to rise in panic. My words tumbling out one after the other. “Do I need to see them? It might not be them. You might have made a mistake...”

    They didn’t say anything so I shouted, “How do you know it’s them!”

    Constable Jones placed her hand on my shoulders and although her voice was gentle, it was hard not to disregard the harsh reality of what she was saying.

    “We have already identified them. We are sure. I'm really very sorry."

    “How have you identified them?"

    “Dental records. Are you sure there is nobody we can call for you? "

    "No, thank you.”

    I don’t know for how long but she sat with me for a long time until I told her, "I think I'd like to be on my own now.”

    She nodded and placed a variety of leaflets and phone numbers on the table. As she got up she said if I had any questions about what happens next I shouldn't hesitate to call those numbers. I sat in the lounge in a trance-like state for what seemed like hours.


    ~~~~~


    I finally picked up my phone and called my sister, Louise, but it was her husband who answered.

    "You need to come round now," I almost whispered into the phone.

    “Lex? That you?” He mumbled sounding half asleep.

    “You need to get Louise here now!”

    “Is everything okay?” He groggily asked.

    “Clark, just fucking get her here.”

    “Okay.” My agitation must have been apparent as it woke him up enough to add, “We’ll be right round.”

    I hung up the phone and sat there not knowing what to do until I picked it up again and dialled Che’s number.

    “Lex?” She answered with a voice husky with sleep. “What’s wrong?”

    “They’re dead, Che.” I managed to choke the words out.

    “What?! Shit! I’ll be right over, darlin’.”

    As soon as she hung up I headed towards the kitchen and looked around. I thought I’d better clean up as mum would be furious if she saw it in this mess. I lost myself in cleaning until I heard Louise use her key to get in. I swallowed hard and thought about how I could possibly begin to tell her just what had happened. I had just placed the cloth I had hold of in the sink when they walked into the kitchen.

    “Lex, what’s going on? What’s this about?” Louise looked at me quizzically. “Where’s mum and dad?”

    “Sit down, Lou.”

    “No,” my sister insisted. I knew exactly what she was feeling in that moment as I'd experienced the same feeling of panic just an hour before. My expression told her something wasn’t right as her voice rose in despair, “Just fucking tell me, Lex!”

    “There’s been an accident. The police. They. They said there was nothing they could do. That their injuries were too severe.” I managed to end my ramblings with the most direct sentence that confirmed my sister’s fears. “They’re dead, Lou.”

    Her legs went from under her and Clark caught her under her arms.

    “No,” she contradicted my statement. “They were picking you up.”

    “They never turned up,” I replied and added in almost a whisper as if it was an apology, “I thought they’d forgotten again.”

    “How? What happened?”

    “The police said it was a drunk driver.”

    She came over to me and hugged me. She was crying but I couldn’t. No tears would come. I just felt numb.

    “I'm sorry,” I whispered.

    “It’s not your fault!” She said as she hugged me tighter.

    It didn't matter what she said. All I could think of was our parents were dead. They were meant to be picking me up and it was all my fault.

    We all sat on the sofas in the lounge and looked exactly as we felt, numb and staring into space. I don’t know exactly how long we sat there in silence. I had a vague awareness of the doorbell going and heard Clark and someone else mumbling in the hall which shook me from my daze.

    I stood up as Che walked in and threw her arms around me. She pulled me in close and tightened her arms around me. She kissed the top of my head and I clung to her as if she could make it all go away.

    “I'm so sorry, sweetheart.” She said softly and I held her close for a while.

    I eventually pulled myself out of her arms and gave her a confused look.

    “What are you doing here?”

    She reached out to me and tucked a stray strand of hair behind my ear. "You called me, sweetheart."

    “Did I?” I gave her a confused look. “I don’t remember.”

    “You look tired, babe.”

    I just looked at her blankly and couldn't take in what she was saying. I was just glad she was there. Just having her close seemed to ease the pain, grief and guilt I felt. She led me to the sofa where I curled up and rested my head on her lap. I held her hand against my face as she sat and stroked my hair until I fell asleep.
     
    #2
  3. Lexington

    Lexington Well-Known Member

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    CHAPTER TWO

    Che and I had known each other since I was 5 years old. I met her at school on my first day of primary I was 5 and she was 6. I knew from the first time we met I wanted to be her friend because her lunch bag was cool. All the other girls had really girly ones but Che’s was different, she had Spiderman. That was the start of our friendship.

    The day I met Che she was sat on a bench in the playground at school. I first noticed her because I liked her lunch bag but I quickly noticed she was reading Batman Chronicles and The Power of Galactica. I loved comics and had a large collection myself. She also had a personal cd player with headphones which she sat and listened to avidly.

    I went over and asked her if I could sit next to her and read her comics.

    She said, "Yeah you can as long as you don't ruin them."

    I promised her I wouldn’t and I sat down beside her to read her other comic book. After a while she looked over at me and tentatively held out one of the earphones and smiled. I asked, "Thanks, you wanna share my sweets? They’re white mice."

    As she smiled and took the sweets, I took the headphone she offered and we listened to music, read comics and ate sweets. Che and I spent hours together after that day arguing about the different merits of each superhero we idolised. We often agreed to disagree. She loved to argue with me even at that age.

    The next day I brought in Batman and Superman Adventures: World’s Finest. It soon became a ritual for us to take turns bringing a comic in. From then on we spent most of our time together as the other girls thought we were weird for reading boy’s comics and called us “gay."

    Calling someone “gay” was a popular taunt at our school and the word was used as an insult. Of course, none of the other kids knew what they were saying but even at that age it made Che uncomfortable. I remember asking Louise what it meant and she told me, "It means you like girls instead of boys." I didn't see anything wrong with that but Che thought differently. She didn't want to be different.

    We played together at break and ate lunch together everyday. She would come round to my house once a week for tea and we had sleepovers once a month and would often read comics and listened to music together.

    My dad used to always say, “They’re thick as thieves, them two.” And he was right. We were inseparable.

    My parents were friends with hers and, when my parents invited them round, Che would get to stay at our house overnight which we both looked forward to.

    My dad was originally from Glasgow, Scotland. His parents were very strict Catholics and he was brought up as such. Coming from a poor family, he pretty much had to work his arse off at school in order to make something of himself. He joined the Air Force when he was very young and this career choice further cemented his view of discipline, rules and boundaries. He was a very intimidating and muscular man and among his many less than charming personality traits was his hatred of gay people. He would often come out with homophobic statements and referred to gays as freaks of nature.

    My mum, on the other hand, was from a very affluent part of London. Her parents were well-off financially and she had a very privileged childhood. She was a slight woman with longish dark hair and a kind and approachable manner about her. Everyone loved my mum. She was the life and soul of our family.

    When my parents got married, my dad left the Air Force and my parents started up their own restaurant business together. They both worked in the restaurant a lot so my sister and I were often left with my mum’s father who pretty much brought us both up.

    My granddad, Joseph, was a lovely man and he knew a lot about a lot of things. He owned his own business, a legal firm, but he had recently retired and took a backseat from his firm in favour of spending time with my sister and me every weekend. When Sunday night came, my mum would pick us up and he would pull both my sister and me into a big bear hug then casually slide us both £20 each. He would tell us to put it in our piggy banks and save it so we could do something irresponsible when we were old enough.

    During those weekends, Granddad Joe would play guitar and I’d spend hours watching him. It seemed like his fingers were a separate entity from the rest of his body and it was simply awe inspiring. I remember thinking I wanted to be just like him when I was older.


    When I was ten, I gave my dad cheek about his homophobia. There was something on tv and I remember saying, “But dad, they’re still people. It doesn’t matter if a boy loves a boy or a girl loves a girl. It’s still love.”

    He took his slipper off and tried to crack me round the back of my legs but I twisted and he caught me on my stomach where a heavy bruise developed. He told me, “You had better not turn out to be a fucking queer. No daughter of mine will be a freak.”

    The next day, when we were at my granddad’s Joe’s, he asked why I was so quiet. He sat with me for ages gazing at me expectantly but I wouldn’t tell him. I just sat on the floor in the corner reading a graphic novel. He crouched down in the corner with me and lifted me up to place me on my feet. I winced as his hands brushed my bruise. He gave me a questioning look and gently lifted my top up slightly revealing a large bruise on my abdomen. I was no stranger to bruising or trips to the hospital, it came hand in hand with being my dad’s punch bag.

    “Who did this to you?” he asked gently.

    I told him what my dad had told me the night before and what had happened. My granddad said, “Never let anyone tell you you’re a freak, Alexi.”

    I looked directly into my grandad’s kind eyes and said, "Granddad, I don’t understand why I can’t marry Che when I grow up. I love her more than I could ever love any smelly boy.”

    “One day, Lex.” He smiled as he ruffled my hair. “Maybe one day.”

    The beatings became less frequent from that day onwards and I knew Granddad Joe was the reason for this sudden change.

    Since Che lived closer to my granddad’s, she would come around to play with us during those weekends. We would watch films and play Final Fantasy. Che and I would go out riding our bikes and it would always feel like an adventure. I knew I liked her more than any boy but I didn't know why or even that my feelings were different than what other girls felt.

    It was around this time when I realised how much I liked her but I couldn’t put a label on my feelings. My friends would talk about boys but I had no interest in them. I just wanted to spend all my time with Che and, although she was always more cautious about appearing different, she seemed to feel the same way I did.



    It was a Saturday morning and it had been raining quite heavily. We had stayed over at Che’s that Friday night and my mum came to pick us up the following day to bring us to my granddad’s.

    Che and I were playing on her playstation when we heard a car pull up onto her driveway, the sound of a car door slamming followed. Che looked up at the clock, disappointment filling her features, "That will be your mum, Lex."

    I glanced up at the clock and groaned. "You coming over to Joe’s later?"

    “Nah, I’ve got this crap family thing with my mum, dad and Jenna.” She exhaled audibly.

    “Well, I’ll text you later then,” I told her as I nodded. I laughed as a thought crossed my mind, “Give your nan an extra sloppy kiss from me.”

    “Uuuurrrgghh, don’t!” Che shuddered.

    I laughed and continued to tease her. “Ah well if you’re really lucky you might just get away with her spitting on her handkerchief and wiping your face.”

    "I’ll miss you Lex.” Che laughed then grabbed my hand as I stood up.

    I hauled her up and pulled her towards me for a hug and said, "I’ll miss you too but I'll see you tomorrow, yeah?"

    Che silently nodded as I grabbed my stuff. We headed downstairs where my mum was waiting whilst chatting with Che’s mum. As Che and I entered the kitchen my mum looked up at us, "Hey girls."

    I smiled, "Hi mum.”

    We headed out to the car and I sulkily climbed onto the back seat because Louise had already taken the front. I hated leaving Che’s and wished I could spend everyday with her. Che waved from her bedroom window as my mum started the car and drove over to Granddad Joe’s.

    "Is that Che already?” My mum asked with amusement as my phone beeped in my pocket the minute we drove off. “You guys have only been apart for two minutes. That’s got to be an all-time record."

    "Yeah, it’s Che, and it has actually been three minutes.” I rolled my eyes as Louise smirked and gave a small snort as she tried to stifle a laugh.

    As we pulled up outside my granddad’s house, I absently noted he hadn’t opened his curtains, which was unusual, and his milk was still sitting on the step. We all got out of the car and headed up the path to the door.

    My mum knocked three times on the large oak door but he didn’t answer.

    "I bet he’s in that bloody shed again,” my mum sighed as she reached into her bag and pulled out my granddad’s spare key. She slid the key into the lock and opened the door. Panic rose in me as we stepped over the post that lay on the mat. My granddad was a stickler for getting up early and not wasting the day. He religiously opened hs curtains, brought in the milk for his breakfast and placed his letters on a side table.

    When he didn’t answer our calls, my mum begun to panic she started telling us to check the house for him, her voice clearly agitated. "I’ll check the shed. Lou, you check downstairs and Lex, check upstairs."

    I ran up the stairs as quickly as my legs could carry me shouting his name. I first checked his bedroom but he wasn't there so I checked the bathroom. I knocked but there was no answer so I pushed the door open. That’s when I saw my granddad. He was lying on the bathroom floor still in his pyjamas and his eyes were closed.

    I remember thinking I have to help him get up so I went over to him and placed my hands on his chest but he wasn't warm like I remembered. I screamed for my mum and within seconds she came running in along with my sister. Tears were streaming down my face as I shook him to try to wake him up.

    "Shit!” My mum turned to Louise and said, “Lou, call an ambulance!" She pushed me back and began to perform CPR. I sat in the corner with my legs drawn up to my chest. I was scared and crying. I didn’t know what to do and tried to convince myself he would be okay despite the fact I knew he wouldn't be.

    Within minutes, the ambulance crew arrived but by then it was too late and they couldn't find a pulse. I was completely devastated. He was my hero and I absolutely idolised him. He was gone and my world was falling apart.

    My dad arrived after almost an hour and placed my sister and me inside the car. When he got in the car himself he sat silently for a minute before turning around in his seat to tell us, "Girls, I need you both to be very brave for your mother. Granddad Joe has gone to heaven.”

    When Louise and I both started crying, my dad firmly told us, "Stop crying now. You both need to be strong for your mother. Now I don't want to hear a peep out of either of you!"

    Despite our grief we had to stop crying because when my dad told us to stop doing something we did so immediately. The response was automatic for fear of what he would do if we didn't. My granddad wasn't here anymore and there was nobody to stop my dad from hitting me now. I was filled with a mixture of fear and sadness but I wasn't allowed to let any of my feelings out.

    The day of the funeral my mum placed out my clothes on my bed and told me to get dressed.

    “Why do I have to wear black?” I looked at the clothes and said, “Granddad Joe hated black. He said it made him look like a corpse.”

    “Stop being so insolent,” my mum raised her voice. “Put the damn clothes on or you won't be going anywhere.”

    I solemnly got dressed but felt my insides were breaking with grief building inside me. I wasn’t allowed to express any anguish or pain and it was torture to keep it all in. As the funeral cars arrived and I stood at the front door looking out at the coffin I couldn't shake the image of my granddad lying on the bathroom floor, a frail version of the man I remembered.

    As we pulled up to the church I barely managed to hold back tears. I didn’t want my dad to see me crying. At the graveside, I got the strangest sensation of wanting to jump in after my granddad. He was the only adult who really understood me and accepted me for who I was.

    The crushing thing about it all was that we weren't allowed to talk about him because my dad told us it would upset my mum. The one time he did catch me speaking about my Grandad with Louise he grabbed my arm and dragged me into the garage. He threw me down on the hard concrete floor and repeatedly kicked me in the abdomen with full force. I went into my usual trance like state, i couldn’t give him the satisfaction of tears.

    “What the fuck did I tell you?” he snarled through gritted teeth. “Do not mention his name in MY house!"

    After all the years I had become an expert at simply lying quite still and taking it without any sound or whimper. It was easier that way as he would nearly always tire eventually. I just had to hope I was still in one piece when he did. He eventually stilled then breathlessly walked off from the room. Only then did I allow myself the luxury of crying, I rolled myself into the fetal position coughing and spluttering in a pool of my own blood. The pain radiating from my stomach outwards, I was glad of the pain as it was a sign that I was still alive. My mum came rushing in, tears streaming down her face like they often did. She wiped the blood away then, shaking, she scooped me up in her arms before I passed out from the pain. I remember waking up in the hospital sore and disorientated.

    She told doctors I had fallen from a tree in our garden and hit a metal table. They believed her. They took me into surgery to remove a ruptured spleen. I didn’t speak to anyone for a few weeks after that and I couldn’t bear to look at my mum for letting my dad go that far. From that moment on I didn’t dare talk about my Grandad Joe again. It was almost as if he never existed.
     
    #3
  4. Lexington

    Lexington Well-Known Member

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    CHAPTER THREE

    With my granddad gone, my sister and I spent weekends at home alone together. I had just turned thirteen and my sister was sixteen. Almost every weekend, she had her friends round and they would drink alcohol and smoke and they would let me hang out with them. All her friends were so cool and I loved hanging out with all of them.

    I developed a really close relationship with Louise's friend, Leila, who was a little younger than Louise. She was fifteen. All the other girls in my sister’s group had boyfriends except for her. Whenever they came round they always had their boyfriends with them and since Leila felt left out she would go outside for a smoke and ask me if I wanted to come with her. I always did and we would sit and talk about music and films for hours.

    Leila and I were sat outside on the decking while she had a cigarette. I nodded towards the house where the others were desperately trying to impress the guys and asked her, "Why don't you have a boyfriend like the others?"

    She smiled took a drag of her cigarette and exhaled.

    "The same reason you don't," she nodded towards the house and continued, "Doesn't feel right for me. Not like this, with us, I mean."

    I silently nodded. She smiled, nudged me in the arm, and asked, "Have I embarrassed you?"

    “No.” I shook my head and looked out towards the bottom of the garden, “Just no one has ever called me on it, you know?"

    She nodded as a smirk spread across her face.

    "Come on let's head back inside," she suggested.

    We headed back to the house and my head was swimming with her words. It was a mixture of panic and excitement. I felt panic at the thought someone had guessed I liked girls and excited at what I saw in her eyes.
    Once we were back inside the house we walked past the huddles of couples slobbering over each other and headed to my room to watch the film we had paused.
    I jumped back up onto my bed and reorganised my pillows. I sat back and reached for the remote which was just behind Leila. As I reached over her to grab it our eyes met and I froze. She was so close I could feel her heart beating but she didn't move away. The tension was palpable as my eyes dropped to her lips. I didn't know what I was thinking, I cautiously closed the distance between us and kissed her. It was tentative at first, lips moving slowly. I was unsure but it felt natural and we fell into a slow rhythm until she deepened the kiss. I pulled away and we were silent for a short time. She smiled, took the remote off me, and pressed play before leaning in to kiss me again. This time it was more intense. She was leading the kiss and she made my heart flutter and my body tingle like no boy had ever had. She was right. This was how it was meant to feel.
    For the next two and a half weeks it felt like I was living a double life. I still spent time with Che but I didn't tell her about Leila and me. It felt wrong not being honest with her but I wasn't sure how she would take it so I said nothing. I continued to see Leila during the weekends at my house. My sister and her friends would continue with their boyfriends as usual and Leila and I would make excuses to escape to my room where we would put on a film we had no intention of watching.
    As soon as my door was closed she would pull me towards her and kiss me. As time went on her hands began to explore but we still didn't do anything more than kiss each other. When we had no other option but to sit with the group we exchanged knowing looks. It was exciting to know we shared a secret no one else was in on.

    Several weeks after, the inevitable happened and one of the boys walked in on us. My stomach fell through the floor and I felt the panic rising in me. She ran out of the room without speaking to me and went home.

    He told everyone at school about us and I walked into school on Monday with a trail of whispers following in my wake. An older boy in Louise’s class coughed out the word "lesbian" as I passed in the hallway between classes. It was only later that day I found out just what Leila had been telling people, that I was a lovesick puppy dog who followed her around. She told everyone I was a lesbian and I had tried to kiss her and that she knocked me back. I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me. Everyone was talking about me and it caused a ball of anxiety to settle in my stomach. I dreaded going into school and I was terrified my dad would somehow find out. Although it was years ago, I still remembered the last time he hit me because of the gay issue. I felt lost and alone and I longed for the understanding ears of my grandad.

    Che didn't understand what everyone was whispering about so she finally confronted me about it at lunch.

    "What are they all talking about?” Che turned to me to ask. “Is it true?"

    "Yeah, it's true.” I looked up at her blankly and added, “Sort of.”

    "What do you mean sort of?"

    "Leila and I kissed. A lot. Danny walked in on us and now she's lying saying I tried it on with her and she knocked me back."

    "What a fucking bitch!" Che sat down next to me and wrapped her arms around me.

    Despite feeling like crap I gave out a laugh.

    "What's funny?!" Che gave me a questioning look.

    “I tell you I kissed a girl and your only response is to call her a fucking bitch for lying about it?"

    She smiled, "Whether you’re gay, straight, bisexual or fucking polka dotted you’re still my best mate and nobody messes with my best mate!"

    The week that followed was hell at school with the whispers a constant companion. Che was the only reason I kept going in to school. She made it bearable for me. She even made up a rumour about Leila to counteract the ones being said about me. She told everyone Leila was a nudist and her whole family walked around their house naked. It was childish but it spread like wildfire and I loved her for trying to defend me. The rumours about me rapidly died down and Leila was the new topic of conversation.

    The weekend arrived and Leila turned up at my house with all of Louise's other friends. When I finally got a moment alone with her I asked, "Why did you do it?"

    “I'm sorry.” She looked at me with tears in her eyes, "I just panicked. I can't be with a girl. My parents can’t find out."

    "And you think mine can? You know what my dad is like. He would kill me!"

    "I'm sorry Lex! I just don't like girls like that and even if I did, you’re too young for me." She reached her hand out to touch my arm in apology.

    "Just leave me alone." I shied away from her touch and walked back into the house leaving her staring after me.

    To quell the rumours about us, Leila found herself a boyfriend. She would bring him round when my sister’s friends would hang out in our house and she would kiss him in front of me. I felt a mixture of emotions. I felt angry at her for treating me the way she did and the jealousy I felt constantly threatened to boil over.

    I eventually realised she wasn't happy. I watched her with him and it always looked forced and unnatural. It was almost as if she was trying too hard to be intimate with him and I felt sorry for her. Sorry she felt she had to pretend. After three months of torture I decided enough was enough and I started inviting my friends round as well. It was a welcome distraction.

    I invited Che, Alice, Maria, and Kirsty around. Kirsty and Maria would invite boys from our class at school. I never liked any of them but I tolerated them because my friends liked them.

    The guys would often invite boys we didn’t know. One day they brought a guy called Jason round. He wasn't from our school and he was well known for getting into trouble with the police for antisocial behaviour. Leila was there too with Louise and their friends. Jason was showing me a lot of attention so I let him flirt with me to make Leila jealous. It worked. She kept looking over and her eyes never left us. After some time, Jason asked if I wanted to go for a walk with him. Since my friends had all gone home and I needed some fresh air and time away from Leila, I decided to go for a walk with him.

    As we walked, he kept trying to stop and kiss me but it wasn't like kissing Leila. His kiss was rough and sloppy and it made my stomach churn. He tasted of beer and cigarettes and it made me feel sick to have him touch me. When we got to a deserted pathway by a wooded park he pushed me against a fence and started to pull at my clothes.

    I told him no but he was stronger than me. He had hold of my wrists so I couldn’t push him away. He forced me to the floor and pinned himself on me whilst laying harsh, rough kisses on my neck and mouth and down my chest. Hot tears rolled down my face and I screamed but nobody heard me. I remember thinking I would rather be dead than be there with him violating me like that.

    The more I struggled the more violent he became so I decided to just give in. It felt like hours but it was probably only a matter of minutes. I disappeared into myself and thought of happy things until it ended. When he was finished, he stood up, buttoned up his jeans and pulled me up. He pulled me close as he held me with a vice-like grip and whispered in my ear that if I ever told anyone he would kill me and then he would kill my sister. I stupidly believed him. He told me I was going to walk back with him like nothing had happened. I was so scared I did what he told me to do. When we got back to the house I went up to my bedroom and locked the door firmly behind me. I also pushed my dresser against the door for added measure.

    I jumped in the shower straight away and washed and scrubbed myself until my skin was raw. I withdrew from everything and everyone. I blamed myself and I constantly felt dirty and unclean. For weeks, I could not wash enough. I would take a shower and wash and scrub every opportunity I got. It was also that time I decided nobody would ever lay a finger on me violently ever again. Between Jason and my dad, I had reached my limit. I barely spoke a word from then on to anyone apart from Che.

    What he and my dad did made me wary of all men, of what I unfairly considered them capable of. I eventually heard Jason had been arrested for various sexual assault charges against other young girls before me as well as burglary and firearms charges. It was at that point I decided to tell Che what had happened. She was great. She was my rock and I don't think I could have got through that time without her. My parents, although barely there, started to notice how withdrawn I had become and assumed it was due to the death of my granddad. They decided to send me to a therapist.
     
    #4
  5. Lexington

    Lexington Well-Known Member

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    CHAPTER FOUR

    I arrived home after a night out with Che. We had been to the cinema and, as usual, her pick was shit. I walked into the house smiling as I remembered my argument with Che as she protested her pick was not shit. It was just misunderstood. I found my parents sat around the kitchen table deep in conversation that paused as I entered the hall.

    I had a feeling they were talking about me so I planned to just dart upstairs to my room but they both called out, "Alexi! Can you come in here for a second, please."

    I knew whatever conversation that was going to happen wouldn’t go well as they had full named me. Nothing good ever came when they used my full name. I tentatively entered the kitchen and my mum motioned for me to sit and I did so reluctantly. Once seated, I let my eyes dart from each of them trying to assess the situation. A wave of sheer panic flowed through me. I thought my dad had found out about Leila. I knew it was going to be bad but I had no idea as to exactly how bad.

    "Alexi,” my dad cleared his throat nervously. He hated talking about feelings because it made him uncomfortable. “Your mother and I have noticed you haven't really been yourself lately. We both feel like you have isolated yourself and the death of your grandfather obviously hasn't helped matters. That’s why your mother and I have decided to send you to see a professional, someone you can talk to. You are a James and we don’t show any weakness so you need to work hard and put a stop to it. You need to be stronger! Your mother and I have both agreed."

    I couldn’t believe what he was saying. I highly doubted he was serious. I didn’t believe my mum would have agreed to everything and she was only following my dad’s lead. One look at my mother’s face confirmed my suspicions.

    "I don't need to talk to anyone let alone a stranger," I said.

    "It is not up for discussion, young lady,” he said firmly. “You will not question me and you will do as I say! I will not have a weak emotional wreck for a daughter."

    I looked up at him and wished I could say the reason I was emotional was because he denied me the right to express my feelings. I wanted to tell him the reason I was an emotional wreck was because he was an emotional cripple but I knew I was fighting a losing battle.

    I finally swallowed and nodded, “Yes sir.”

    "Good. I will drop you off at Miss Matthew’s practice tomorrow and I will pick you up afterwards, okay?"

    I silently nodded.

    "You can go now Alexi."

    I left the kitchen after my dad dismissed me and as I walked up the stairs I fumbled in my pocket for my phone to call Che.

    "Hey, I came home to the Spanish Inquisition,” I told her in hushed tones. “I thought they had found out about Leila. Turns out they're sending me to see a shrink because I'm socially withdrawn. Miss Matthews. Sounds like a stuffy old woman with like a million cats."

    "You’re joking?” Che said. “Wouldn’t have thought Craig and Diane would believe in all that new age crap.”

    "Unlucky for me, they do.” I let out a deep sigh as I went inside my room. “He called me an emotional wreck."

    "He doesn’t know what you have been through, Lex," Che reminded me.

    There was a knock on my door.

    “I have to go,” I told Che and added before putting the phone down, “I’ll text you later.”

    "You okay, kiddo?” Louise greeted me as she popped her head around the door. “Guess they’ve given you the news? How do you feel, kid?"

    "I don’t really know,” I shrugged. “I guess I should make the most of the experience."

    Louise nodded.

    "I think it will do you good to talk to someone, Lex. You have been pretty detached lately."

    "I know but it’s not something I really want to talk to a stranger about. Plus I've been doing that counselling course at night school so I know exactly what she's going to try and do."

    Louise tilted her head to one side. "I can listen, if you want?"

    In halting words, I timidly told Louise what Jason had done. She listened and didn’t interrupt until I paused, a tear rolled down my cheek. She pulled me into her arms and held me for a long time.

    "I'm so sorry that happened to you, sweetheart.” She said as she cradled me. “I'm sorry I let that happen to you."

    She stayed with me all night holding me tight.

    The next day my dad dropped me off at Miss Matthew’s office. In the car on the way there he gave me a speech about certain family matters staying private and I knew what he meant. He was warning me not to talk about the fact he used me as his own personal punch bag.

    My stomach was clenched with nerves and I had no idea what to expect. It was a big house with a long gravelled driveway with a therapy room at the back. My dad waited until I knocked on the big ornate looking facade.


    When Miss Matthews opened the door, my dad waved to her before driving off. She was a very attractive woman in her early thirties with long dark hair. She had big, trustworthy brown eyes and a kind smile. She dressed in really modern and fashionable clothes. She was not at all what I had expected. I anticipated an older lady with grey curly hair in a tweed skirt and suit jacket wearing twinset and pearls.

    'You must be Alexi.” She greeted me with a smile. “I'm Nikki, please come in.”

    She led me to a smallish, intimate room decorated in soft colours with two very large and very comfy two seater sofas that were facing each other.

    She gestured with her hand, “Please, take a seat.”

    “Which one?" I asked her.

    "Whichever one you're most comfortable with, Alexi."

    I sat down on the one closest to the door. I figured it was the safest being closest to the exit. I didn’t feel penned in and I eventually said, “It’s Lex.”

    She nodded, smiled and went through a very lengthy contract. I was barely listening opting instead to take in the foreign surroundings. The room was strangely homely but without personal items such as knick knacks.

    There was one single photograph of her with a guy both sitting on a beach. Relief washed over me as i realised that this was something i could work with. On a small table to the right of her sofa there was a small box of tissues. I eyed them suspiciously and then looked back at Nikki. Yes, I decided, this woman wanted tears. She wanted my raw emotions. In that split second I wondered if I could trust her enough to give them to her.

    She looked me in the eyes as my gaze finally returned to her.

    "So Lex,” she asked. “What has brought you to counselling."

    "My parents made me come.” I snorted out a laugh. “I didn't want to."

    I followed that statement with a casual “no offence." She stated that there was no offense taken. I sensed she was about to start digging in amongst my thoughts and feelings so I tried my best to deflect the attention away from myself. I didn't want this stranger poking about in my head. I gave the faintest of smirks as I began a relentless tirade in an attempt to crack her seemingly smooth facade.

    I pointed to the photograph in the silver frame ignoring her words as I asked, “That your boyfriend?”

    She nodded and remained silent.

    “No kids?”

    She tilted her head to one side then said, "Why do you ask? Is it important for you to know if I have children?”

    “No, not really,” I said. “I guess I'm just wondering if its difficult for you to hide the fact your boyfriend is a raging homosexual.”

    Her face remained almost expressionless and she tried in vain to hide the fact I had her flustered.

    “How does it feel?” I asked. “All those nights he has to 'work late'? The headaches he gets to avoid intimacy with you? The way he looks at guys when you are both out together? The way he has impeccable taste when it comes to buying clothes for you for your birthday? The thought of him getting all hot, sweaty, breathless and intimate with a man? Does it eat you up inside with the thought that there is something he needs, something he craves you simply can't give him?’’

    I paused taking in the full impact that my words had made. A sense of intense satisfaction washing over me. I wanted this woman to feel as vulnerable and powerless as I felt sitting in that room with her. A small part of me wanted to see how far I could push her before she abandoned me too. We both remained silent regarding each other closely. I broke the heavy silence that hung in the air as I feigned concern. “I'm just not sure I could or would have your strength to keep it together as well as you seem to.”

    She gazed at me slightly open mouthed as her emotions threatened to spill over. I had hit a raw nerve and I was pleased with myself. I recognised her boyfriend from the restaurant. He came in every week with a different guy and it was obviously just the wrong shade of intimate to be deemed platonic but I didn't tell her that.

    She regained her composure. "Do you often deflect attention away from yourself to avoid confronting your issues?"

    I smiled broadly enjoying the game, "Do you?"

    She stared at me blatantly flustered but she didn't speak.

    “Does it worry you that subconsciously you might have picked him because it was safe? You know, given the fact you are starting to realise you have your own doubts about your own sexuality?” I asked. “How does it feel to sit here, day in and day out, telling people the way they feel is okay when you don't actually believe that yourself?”

    I took a stab in the dark with that comment and realised I'd scored a direct hit but she again composed herself and smiled warmly. "This isn't about me, Lex. Maybe we should try channeling that extremely perceptive nature of yours towards yourself. That is, after all, why we are here.”

    We both sat in silence for a few minutes.

    “You must think yourself very clever, Lex,” she said, “and truth be known you obviously are very intelligent and perceptive. But what I see is a terrified little girl desperately trying to deflect attention away from herself so she doesn't have to address the harsh reality of how broken she actually feels inside. Most counsellors may have given up after that little stunt you just pulled but I won't give up on you. So we can sit here and play your games or we can actually try and work on your issues.”

    I shrugged in defeat. Nobody had ever been that blunt with me and nobody had ever promised not to give up on me. She seemed to be able to see straight through me. She then asked me why my parents had made me see her.

    “They thought I was struggling with my Grandfather's death.” I told her. “They think that’s why I'm withdrawn."

    She looked at me with warmth in her eyes.

    “Is that the reason you’re withdrawn?” She asked.

    I looked at her for a long time trying to weigh her up. My comments had shaken her and I felt better because of it. We were on even ground now.

    “No, it’s not the reason,” I eventually replied. “But I'm not ready to tell you about that. I don't know if I can trust you. Yet.”

    Nikki smiled and silently nodded. She asked me if I’d like to tell her a bit about myself and that she would do the same so we could get to know each other. I told her about my friends and my hobbies. When she asked if I had a boyfriend, I snorted and said “no."

    She tilted her head to one side and said, "Girlfriend?"

    Her bluntness shocked me and I looked her directly in her eyes. This was the second time anyone had ever called me out on my sexuality. There was no judgement in her words but I didn't say anything for a long time.

    "There was a girl,” I told her, “but there isn't now."

    She nodded and asked if I wanted to talk about it. I did. It was a relief to finally have someone I could share it all with someone who wouldn't judge me. I felt safe with her and she told me that it was okay to be gay. It brought back a time when I felt secure having an adult who had my back, someone who didn’t judge me like my granddad did. She said that being gay didn't make me a freak like my father had drilled into me.

    Trust was a big issue for me given what had happened to me with Jason and the relentless physical abuse my father subjected me to. I may have had a lot of friends but none of them really knew the real me. They only saw what I let them see and what I allowed them to see was what I felt they would find acceptable. I always thought I kept that mistrustful part of me well hidden behind the various masks I had learned to use.

    “I get a real sense you don’t like people very much, Lex.” Nikki said. “You don’t trust people with the real you?”

    I considered her words for a long time.

    “Well,” I said. “It’s not as if people have ever done anything to deserve to see the real me.”

    “Where does this mistrust of people come from?”

    "From my experiences.” I swallowed hard and tried to hold back tears. I looked down at my hands and focused on them intently. I realised that when I looked at her directly in the eyes she seemed to be able to see through me and my defences. I stole a glance at her then quickly looked away. “I imagine if you were subjected to physical, mental and emotional abuse and your sister wasn’t for no apparent reason then you would lack a certain amount of trust in people too.”

    “Abuse?” She asked.

    I squirmed uncomfortably in my chair as I knew my slip up at telling her would mean trouble if my dad was to find out. I considered this for a moment then decided that honesty would be the best policy.

    “My dad,” I said. “He used to beat the shit out of me. I’ve never known why. My grandad found out and put a stop to it and it hasn’t happened since. I’ve never understood why he only hit me. He never touched Louise. I always thought it was my fault like maybe there was something wrong with me. Maybe there is something wrong with me."

    “Why would you say that?”

    “He wouldn't have done it if I had been perfect like Louise,” I met her gaze, my eyes full of tears. “ It was obviously something I did wrong because he never lifted his hand to her!”

    “It wasn’t your fault, Lex. You were, and are, a very intelligent, emotionally aware, independent, young woman and you didn’t deserve that. No child deserves that.”

    I shrugged and pushed the tears away my wall slamming back into position, "I’ve always wondered if he knows I'm gay and that’s part of the reason.”

    he looked at me again and what I saw in her eyes almost made me feel she knew what it felt like. "You do know that if I get the feeling there is any ongoing abuse or that there is a possibility that other children could be at risk I’d be duty bound to take that further?"

    “It hasn’t happened for a long time,” I lied.

    “Well, if it’s ok with you, I will ask you every week? I need to ensure you’re not at risk.”

    I agreed but was careful not to mention it again.

    By my third counselling session with Nikki, I had begun to put more of my trust in her. From then on I found myself looking forward to our sessions. We had a great therapeutic relationship but I had still yet to tell her the real reason I was there. Still, she had helped me navigate through a lot of the self-imposed homophobia that stemmed from my dad’s views.

    Just talking things through seemed to help immensely and I found myself coming out of my shell little by little. She helped me to see my self-worth as a person and that the things my dad was saying were wrong.

    In my sixth session with Nikki I finally felt that I could trust her enough to disclose the parts of myself I had withheld from her. I was ready to tell her about my painful and shameful experiences that I kept hidden. I was unsure how to broach the topic with her.

    "I think I'm ready to tell you why I came to see you," I finally said.

    She nodded and waited in silence. She gave me the time I needed to get my thoughts together and she didn't rush me once I started. I explained what Jason had done to me and she patiently listened. She seemed to respect me unconditionally and I could tell that what I had told her had genuinely touched her. It was then that I realised that she truly cared about me as a person and not just as a patient.

    As my counselling progressed I became more like my old self and that’s when my friendship with Che began to develop into something more. By the time I was 15 my counselling was coming to an end as I had talked through all my issues and was feeling a lot more balanced and well adjusted with everything. I knew I was going to miss my time with Nikki a great deal but I knew it was for the best. That much I learned from our sessions. That I needed to learn to be self-sufficient and I couldn't let her become my emotional crutch.
     
    #5
  6. Lexington

    Lexington Well-Known Member

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    CHAPTER FIVE

    Once I started feeling more well-adjusted and had worked through my issues, Che and I became closer than ever and I gradually started to develop stronger feelings for her. Feelings that went far beyond that for best friends. It wasn’t a conscious thing. My feelings crept up on me slowly and before I knew it I was thinking about her all the time. Any time she would touch me, even in a platonic way, it would send tingles through my body and result in butterflies floating around my stomach. I started to appreciate just how beautiful she was physically as well as who she was inside. These feelings confirmed my fears that my attraction to Leila was not just a one-off, isolated occurrence. I was, in fact, attracted to girls not just a girl. It was a terrifying thought and I questioned what this would mean for my life.

    The day I finished my counselling with Nikki, Che came round to my house. We sat in my room and played playstation.

    "How did it go then?” She glanced over at me and asked, “You all healed?"

    "Getting there,” I smiled at her.

    "You seem happier,” she observed and nodded. “Less dark?"

    I smiled and mischievously reached over and pressed some buttons on her controller so I could win. She lost. And when she did she turned her head with mock fury on her face.

    "You’re totally getting it now, James!"

    Che discarded her controller and threw mine aside as she pounced on me and started tickling me. I'm stupidly ticklish and she knew all too well where all my ticklish spots where. I struggled with her to grab her hands and try to stop her tickling me but failed. She managed to straddle me and get hold of my wrists which she pinned together above my head. She held my hands down with one hand whilst tickling me with the other.

    I laughed at first but then when I couldn't move I began to freak out. Having my hands bound like that and not being able to move brought back memories of what Jason did to me. I started hyperventilating. I couldn't breath and was gasping for air. No matter how hard I tried to breathe I just couldn't seem to fill my lungs with enough air.

    Che immediately jumped off me sat me up and touched my face.

    "Lex, it's okay.“ She rubbed my back and helped me get back into a proper breathing pattern. ”Breathe. I'm so sorry, sweetheart. I didn't think!"

    She pulled me towards her and held me tight, murmuring into my ear words of comfort. I felt safe enveloped there in her arms.

    After I calmed down a bit, Che put on one of my favourite films from our childhood and we lay on my bed all cuddled up together. We both started to feel sleepy midway through the film. As she got up to go and set up the sofa bed, I had hold of her hand and gently pulled her back towards me.

    "Just sleep here,” I told her. “I can't be bothered making up the sofa bed.”

    "No hogging the covers then,” she grinned as she nodded. “I know how you like to sleep. Like Jesus on the bloody cross!"

    "Okay,” I smiled back at her. “I'll try to keep to my side."

    We went to sleep on each side of the bed. I was very aware not to touch her as we both drifted off to sleep. I woke up the next morning to find her cuddled into my side with her arm and leg draped over me.

    It then became the norm for her to sleep in my bed when she stayed over and I in hers when I stayed over at her house. It was agonising laying next to her trying desperately to keep my feelings for her hidden but at the same time I revelled in the feeling of having her in arms and I wondered what would happen to our friendship if she was to ever find out how deeply I felt for her.

    The summer holidays had arrived and Che and I were spending every available day together. Our excitement was growing at the thought of our summer holiday in Greece. My parents always let Louise and me bring a friend to keep us occupied and out of their hair. Of course there was never any question I would ask Che. It had always been a given. Thankfully, Louise didn't ask Leila and brought one of her other friends, Michelle, because her boyfriend Rob couldn't make it. Che and I were so excited in the lead up to the holiday. We started to count down the days.

    The week before we were due to fly out Che called me early Saturday morning. Before I had chance to say hi she jumped in and said, "We need to go shopping! I need a new bikini and flip flops and sun cream for Greece."

    “Yeah. Okay,” I told her over the phone. “I need a few things too. Get your mum to drop you off here and we can go into town if you like?"

    "Great! Thanks, Lex.” And just before she hung up she added, “See you in half an hour."

    As I hung up the phone my heart started to race along with my mind. How the hell was I going to be able to go bikini shopping with her? She was going to want me to look at her with one on and comment on how it looks. The last thing I wanted was to give away my feelings for her. After thinking things through, I finally got myself under control and convinced myself it would be fine. I would just have to keep a grip on things and she would be unaware of how I felt.

    We arrived in town and bought our sunscreen, sunglasses and flip flops and it was only the bikini she was still to buy. She picked out a few she liked and we headed to the changing rooms so she could try them on. I sat nervously outside the curtain on a wooden bench. My heart thumped as I feigned interest in a discarded magazine when she opened the curtain.

    "The other two looked awful. I think I'm going to go with this one.” She stood before me and waited for an opinion. “What do you think?"

    I couldn't seem to find my words and I just stared at her. She looked amazing and as I took in the sight of her my heart responded by beating faster.

    "Lex," she said my name, shaking me out of my stupor. She paused waiting for my response. She smiled and rolled her eyes, "I’ll take your gaping expression as a sign of your approval, shall I?"

    I scrambled to form coherent thoughts. Anything I could think of but I just couldn’t. She laughed as she shut the curtain and I finally found what I thought was the most sensible thing I could say,

    "Yeah, it looks good." I managed to croak out.

    Once she was dressed she started to tease me about my staring at her. I think that secretly she quite enjoyed the effect she so clearly had on me.

    Finally, the day we were due to fly out arrived. Che and I were giggly and excited. We sat next to each other in the car on the way to the airport and sent text messages back and forth despite the fact we were sat right next to each other much to Louise’s amusement.

    After around an hour’s drive from the airport we finally arrived at our villa. It was a large white building with arches, balcony terrace and a big old mediterranean style wooden door. There was a pool which glistened in the hot midday sun. It was surrounded by sun loungers and almond trees. As we entered the villa, we were faced with beautiful stone floors, bright white walls and a sweeping staircase that led to a mezzanine level that followed up to the upper level where the bedrooms were located.

    We all raced up the stairs and picked our bedrooms. Che and I had a room with two double beds and I wondered if she would sleep on her own or opt instead to sleep next to me which she usually did when at home. We were both looking forward to two weeks of sun, sea, sand, good food and great company.

    On the first full day Che, Louise, Michelle and I decided to go on a boat trip to explore a nearby shipwreck and caves. Che had hold of my hand as we sat on the boat. She leaned over and whispered in my ear barely audible, "I wish it was just the two of us."

    I smiled at her and squeezed her hand to let her know I agreed. The boat arrived at the shipwreck and the captain came over the tannoy and informed us that we could either jump off into the water from the designated areas or wait for the crew to lower the long ramp.

    Che and I looked at each other, gave a wide grin and said aloud, "Jump!"

    "I think we will wait for the ramp,” Louise and Michelle both laughed. “Give us your stuff we will see you guys on the beach."

    Che stood up and pulled off her shorts and t-shirt revealing that bikini that had previously got my pulse racing. I tried as naturally as I could to avert my eyes. I followed her lead and stripped down to my bikini and handed my clothes to Louise who placed them safely in her bag. Che then took my hand and pulled me to the side of the boat. Once Louise and Michelle were out of earshot she smiled at me and motioned to my bikini.

    “Kept that quiet didn't you?"

    "What,” I stared at her cluelessly. “My bikini?"

    "No, Lex.” She laughed and rolled her eyes, “Not the bikini."

    Before I could get clarification as to what she meant she jumped, plunging into the water ten-feet from the boat.

    "What are you waiting for?" She shouted at me when she had surfaced.

    I gave her a wide grin and jumped in after her. As I surfaced, she swam over to me and invited me to check out the caves. Before I could reply, Che swam as fast as she could. I caught up with her though and quickly overtook her as we made our way into the water-filled caves. I floated onto my back to taunt her.

    "Come on Che hurry up!"

    "That’s not fair,” she shouted above the water. “You're obviously a lot fitter than I am, have you been working out by the way?"

    "No!" I said far too quickly to be believable.

    "Could have fooled me those are abs you're hiding there,” She smiled and reached out through the water and brushed her hand across my stomach. “If I didn't know any better I'd swear you had been working out to make sure you looked good in this." As she said this she tugged gently on the side of my bikini bottoms.

    To hide my embarrassment I quipped, "Well, I never know when I might stumble across a nice looking girl. It’s good to be prepared."

    I gave her a big smile then splashed her face as I swam off with her in pursuit. I couldn't quite work out if she was flirting with me or teasing me but either way there was a clear change in our relationship and I liked it, whatever it was. We eventually swam back round to the beach and I was well ahead of Che. She came running out the water towards me clearly breathless and I started singing the Baywatch theme tune. She tried her best not to laugh but despite her efforts she let the slightest hint of a smile touch her lips as she commented,

    "You’re such a child!"

    As she pushed past me as she desperately tried to hide her amusement. We found Louise and Michelle lying on the beach sunbathing. Louise kept checking her phone to see if her boyfriend, Rob had texted or called her. Rob’s second name was Clark and the allusion to Superman was a standing joke between Che and I having been comic book geeks when we were younger.

    A couple of years ago, when Che first found out Rob’s second name was Clark, she laughed in astonishment at the endless possibilities for jokes.

    "Oh come on, Clark and Louise,” she told Louise. “You're kidding, right?! With a sister called Lex?" She gaped at Louise’s confused expression and clarified, "Clark, Lois and Lex. As in Luthor?" When she didn’t get the reaction she wanted she commented impatiently, “Superman?! Oh, nevermind."

    I sat there laughing at Che who was looking at Louise incredulously. Che sat down unhappy that her joke had gone unnoticed by everyone but me and she muttered, "Next thing you know you'll be saying he wears his underpants on the outside!"

    I continued to laugh at her exasperation and chucked a pillow at her. We both then sat and watched a film in the lounge and Che sat with a bowl of peanuts throwing them up and catching them in her mouth. The doorbell then went.

    "That will be Rob." Louise said getting up.

    "Hi Rob," I greeted as he entered.

    He greeted us and sat down. After a couple of minutes, he started coughing and attempted to clear his throat. It turned out he was allergic to peanuts and even the smell of them set off his allergy. Luckily he had his epi pen with him and sorted it. They both went out leaving Che and I staring at the bowl, we both looked at each other.

    "Peanuts are his kryptonite!" We both exclaimed as we fell about laughing. Ever since that day we have called him Clark.

    "Loverboy not called." Che smirked as she directed the comment at Louise.

    "He texted me yesterday,” Louise sighed. “But I haven't heard from him today."

    "It’s a busy job keeping the streets of Metropolis clean," Che wisecracked.

    "No wonder you two don’t have boyfriends you’re both complete geeks!" Louise exclaimed as Che and I both fell about laughing.

    "Yeah,” I managed to retort in between laughter. “But I'm a lovable geek."

    Louise ignored my comment and chucked a bottle of sunscreen at us both and said, "put that on both of you."

    "Yes, mum." I answered.

    I struggled to do it myself not really wanting Che to do it for me for fear of what it would do to me. Che watched me struggle.

    "Come here," she offered. Che grabbed the bottle from me and ordered me to lie down in front of her she. When she rubbed the cream onto my back shoulders and neck I let out a barely audible gasp as she touched me. She seemed to take enjoyment from watching me squirm.

    She took her time and moved my bikini top straps to one side as she continued to rub in the cream. Looking back I think she knew exactly what she was doing completely aware of the fire she was starting within me. At the time, however, I thought she was oblivious and I flushed slightly embarrassed but she seemed not to notice. She finally finished my back and said, "Right. Turn over."

    I gingerly turned over dreading what was coming next. She continued rubbing the cream on my chest and then my stomach until she finished.

    “All done,” she said as she looked me in the eyes. "Now do me."

    She had a glint in her eyes and a smirk spread across her face. Mine showed nothing but panic.

    "I don't bite, Lex," she whispered in my ear as she went to lie down. As she lay down she undid the straps of her bikini and moved them to the side to give me access to her whole back. My heart raced so fast I wondered if she could hear my heart thumping. My hands shook slightly as I reached out to touch her. I started to rub the cream in taking note of every curve of her body. After about five minutes, Louise propped herself up on her elbows looked at me.

    "I think it's rubbed in now, Lex." Louise smiled.

    I nodded slightly embarrassed and tied Che’s top up and with my voice husky said, "Turn over."

    I swallowed hard as Che turned over. As I took in the sight of her, my breath caught in my throat and Louise smirked again as she lay back down. It was heaven and hell all rolled into one. When I was finally done, I put the bottle back into Louise’s bag and lay back down. I had butterflies in my stomach lying next to her. I was paranoid that she might be able to tell my feelings for her so I just lay there in agonising silence, worrying. Worrying about what it would mean for our friendship if she was to find out that I had feelings for her. After an hour, we all returned to the boat and set sail back towards the villa.

    Dinner was relatively comfortable but Che and I were both eager to get away and be alone together. After we had dinner with my parents, we decided to go for a walk along the beach and explore.

    We walked the full length stopping to lie down on a section of sand at a secluded part of the beach. We talked for awhile about what water sports we wanted to do the following day.

    Our conversation eventually ceased and our eyes locked for a second. Time seemed to slow down the moment she leaned in towards me. As she pressed her lips to mine everything fell into place. Che’s lips felt warm and soft and they moved tentatively as if testing my reaction. My pulse echoed in my ears and once I relaxed into her, I let my lips part and move slightly and our kiss became deeper and more passionate. I felt her fingers gently slide to the back of my neck as they made their way into my hair. My hand moved to rest on her waist as I kissed her back eagerly

    My head was spinning as I slowly pulled away. We looked at each other and the desire that was burning in my eyes was clearly mirrored in hers. We were silent and lost in that moment. Nothing really needed to be said. Che took hold of my hand and placed her head on my shoulder. We both knew that in that one instant, that kiss had changed everything.

    As the days and nights progressed we began to make out more frequently. We would kiss every chance we were alone together.

    After a day or two, Che took it a step further by slipping her hand up my top to caress the bare skin of my back. When I didn’t freak out she went a step further.

    It wasn’t long before our hands had explored every inch of each others bodies.

    On the tenth night, my parents announced that they were going to a cabaret night in a nearby town. Louise and her friend decided to go out too and hit a few bars. Che and I would have the place to ourselves. When I heard the news it was like electricity had passed through me and I was excited at what the time alone would bring. Che, whilst sat next to me and also hearing the news gently squeezed my hand. I knew she felt the same way I did.

    As soon as my parents, Louise and Michelle had left Che turned to me. She leaned in to me pushed me towards the wall. She was strangely confident which was a stark contrast to the way I felt. I was a nervous wreck, my heart pounded and my breath quickened. she moved closer still, her lips just an inch from mine. She tilted her head, gave a small smile before locking her lips on mine. My breath caught and it took me a moment to respond. I felt a welcomed pressure against me as her body pinned me to the wall.

    I met her kisses eagerly and I reached for her cheek with my fingers moving to cup her face tenderly. Che placed her hands on my waist as she guided me backwards to the sofa. As she eased me back onto the cushions she rested her full weight on top of me.


    Her hands found their way under my top. I pulled her closer to me and deepened our kiss. I felt her tongue brush my lips, as I slid my hand under her top to caress her warm skin. I heard her breath catch as I continued to run my hand over her body.

    My head was light as I took in her scent. She smelled of flowers and candy floss, the ocean and sun cream all rolled into one. It was intoxicating and I wanted more of her. It wasn’t long before she was pulling me up. We barely took our lips from each other as we stood to make our way towards our room.

    I tugged at her top and she broke our kiss to pull it over her head discarding it in a heap on the floor. She then removed my top in one swift and fluid motion before kissing me again.

    We left a trail of clothing in our wake and as we reached the edge of the bed, I then eased her down onto it.

    I was scared as hell and had no clue what I was doing. Our eyes locked for a second as if we were silently asking each other if we really wanted to do this. I answered by lowering my lips to hers as she rose to meet them instinctively. We moved tenderly against each other and my spine tingled as she ran her fingers up and down my back.

    I could feel the racing beat of her heart and my hand reached down to caress the curve of her backside. Somehow instinct took over and we were soon making love. It was like nothing I had ever felt before and we were both overcome with emotion. After several hours we collapsed back onto the bed shaking.

    We didn't say anything we just lay on our sides looking at each other quite content. That was until we heard the sound of a car pulling up onto the driveway.
    We both exchanged panicked glances and shouted expletives as we scrambled around the villa picking up the discarded clothing we had left in our wake just hours before. We managed to get them all and return to our room to put them on, giggling as we did this.

    “I can’t find my bikini top!” Che exclaimed, wildly looking around in a state of panic.

    I passed Che a T-shirt, "Put this on until we find it!"

    Just then my sister and her friend walked into the hall calling out our names. We both ran downstairs after composing ourselves and met Louise and her friend in the kitchen. We talked with them about their night all the time scanning the rooms for Che’s bikini top.

    I finally spotted it. Che was like a deer caught in the headlights but I managed to grab it whilst Louise was turned away. I gave Che my best playful smirk and we went out to the pool for a swim while Louise and her friend went to put on their swimsuits.

    Once we were left alone we both started to giggle uncontrollably whilst she struggled to put her bikini top back on. Che then pulled me towards her for another kiss before my sister returned. As she held me, her hands circled my hips.

    “Do we need to talk about this?” I whispered to her my mouth moving down from her ear to her neck.

    “What’s to talk about?” She smirked. “We are definitely doing THAT again.”

    She looked at me her face displaying a coy smile, "I knew it would be good, but I had no idea....."

    Her words trailed off as she squeezed my hand before diving into the pool leaving me staring after her feeling quite overwhelmed. I followed her lead and dived in too. Once in the pool, Che swam over to me and wrapped her legs around my waist. She placed her hand at the back of my neck and pulled me towards her kissing me again. We spied Louise rounding the corner and we quickly jumped apart. I slipped under the surface and swam to the other side, the water cooling the flush that had crept up onto my cheeks.

    Over the next four days of the holiday, Che and I grew closer still, a level of intimacy developed between us unlike anything before. Any chance we got to be alone together we eagerly took and made the most of. I found myself struggling internally with the sudden shift in our relationship. I found it incredibly difficult to reconcile my deep feelings for her with the need to be discreet. I wanted nothing more than to touch her and be affectionate without the sheer panic that somebody might be watching. I knew what it would mean if my dad was to find out and I couldn’t let that happen. The thought of it filled me with a sense of intense and unbridled terror. Despite how careful both Che and I were being my sister began to notice the subtle change in our relationship. My parents had no idea as they barely paid me any attention at the best of times. But Louise, she noticed.

    Louise regarded Che and I closely whilst we sat by the pool. Che had hold of my hand across our sun loungers and as I got up to get us some drinks we kept hold of each other’s hands until only our fingertips were touching, letting go allowing our arms to fall. I noticed my sister watching us over the course of the next few days and each time she would catch something new whether it be an intimate look between the two of us or the way we touched each other allowing our hands to linger that second too long to be considered platonic. I noticed Louise watching my interactions with Che more frequently but couldn’t quite bring myself to tell Che. I had a niggling feeling that if she knew she would panic and I wasn’t entirely sure our very new relationship could handle it. Despite Che’s confident demeanor she had always been very insecure and self conscious. I found this insecurity difficult to understand given how beautiful, funny, charismatic, caring, and loyal she was. She had everything going for her and I often felt I would never be good enough for her. I was broken and damaged and deep down I always expected her to leave me. Che and I were on the sofa together and all of these thoughts were rushing through my head as my parents prepared to go out for the night again. As soon as they were out of the door Louise confronted me on what she had been noticing.

    “Come on then, you two. Spill.” She asked, “What's the deal?”

    We feigned ignorance but she persisted.

    “The hot glances, the touching. That is just the wrong shade of intimate. What's going on?”

    Che and I both looked at each other nervously then wordlessly back at Louise. My stomach sank, my body flushed and my limbs tingled with fear. I felt like somebody had punched me in the stomach and I stole a quick glance at Che. She had disappeared into her own thoughts and panic rose inside me.

    “Oh my god!” Louise exclaimed with a huge grin on her face. “You guys are totally fucking!”

    I managed to stay blank faced but Che went bright red and began to get her words muddled up. One look at Che’s wide eyed panic told me all my fears had been confirmed. I could feel her slipping away from me but I hoped among hope I was wrong. I was filled with an intense need to take action, to grab che and make her look me in the eyes and tell her everything would be okay. I knew she needed reassurance but I couldn’t move. Shock froze me in place. Louise then started to laugh and said,

    “Ooohhh this is not going to go down well with the parents!”

    “You can't tell them,” I turned to her, panicking. “Please don't.”

    Images of what my dad would do to me if he was to find out flashed through my mind at a quick rate of knots. The smile fell from her face.

    “You really think I would do that to you?” My sister’s voice sounded hurt.

    “I don’t think you would,” I explained. “The whole situation just makes me nervous because I know they won’t react well.”

    “So,” Louise said. “Does this make you guys lesbians then?”

    “Yeah,” I shrugged nervously not really wanting to put myself in a box. “I suppose it does.”

    “No!” Che protested. “I'm no fucking dyke.”

    My heart plummeted through the floor and I felt my stomach churn. Tears sprung to my eyes and all the air in my lungs felt like it had rushed from my body. I quickly turned to Che and gave her a questioning look. She didn’t meet my gaze and seemed to be lost in a trance. I had lost her. She was my everything. The most important person in my life was slipping away from me and my chest ached at the mere thought of losing her. In that instant she had hurt me more than anyone ever had. I stood up, unfolded my legs from hers and made my way up the stairs to our room barely managing to hold back the tears I knew were imminent.

    “Good job,” I spoke to Che as I was walking away from her. “We are going home tomorrow then, isn’t it? At least you won't run the risk of being mistaken for a fucking dyke again, will you?" My voice dripped with hurt and heartbreak but she still refused to meet my gaze which served to further compound my hurt.

    I headed to our room, climbed into bed and hid under the covers as the tears rolled down my cheeks. I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me. I felt like she had betrayed me and I couldn’t quite believe she could do that to me. After everything we had shared the past few weeks, the intense intimacy that had developed between us, I couldn’t quite believe that my worst fears had come to light. Che was the centre of my universe, my light in very dark, dark world and that world was falling apart on top of me, crushing my fragile and emotional self. About an hour or so later, I heard the door creak open and my stomach lurched again as Che came quietly into the room. My body tensed and I pretended to be asleep. She didn't try to wake me which hurt me further, adding insult to injury. She simply crawled silently into the other double bed and went to sleep. My mind raced as I wondered what she was thinking, what was going through her mind. I knew we needed to talk but her words still stung. I eventually drifted off into a fitful sleep.

    I woke up really early the next day and Che was still sleeping. I stood and watched her taking in her worried features even when sleeping. A wave of hurt and misery washed over me again and I crept quietly out of the room and headed for the beach to do some thinking as we were due to leave early that evening. I was lost in my thoughts and didn't hear Louise approach.

    "I thought you might have use for them," Louise said as she handed me my sunglasses. I had been crying and my eyes were all puffy and red. She sat down next to me and wrapped her arm around me. “How’re you doing, kiddo?”

    I shrugged. I didn't think I’d be able to form coherent speech as I had a big lump in my throat.

    “She will come round, you know?”

    I stayed silent.

    “She's just scared. I sat and talked with her last night after you went to bed. She loves you but she's struggling with what that means for her life. She's torn between her head and her heart but she does love you, that much I can tell,” Louise consoled. “She hasn't had the time you’ve had to adjust. This is the first time she has felt like this for a girl whereas you, well, you've been here before, right?”

    I sharply looked up at her, shocked.

    “Yeah. I know about Leila."

    My feelings sprung to the surface my eyes beginning to sting again as I started to cry and managed to murmur that it was all such a mess and that I liked Che a lot.

    "I know you do, kid." She pulled me close and wrapped both her arms around me. We stayed like that for ages until she broke the tension by saying, “So spare me the gory details but what was it like?”

    I laughed in spite of myself.

    “I'll take that as confirmation it was pretty good.” She grinned and said, “Come on, time to head back. We have packing to do.”

    She pulled me to my feet, wiped the tears from my eyes and replaced my sunglasses. Then she placed her arm around my shoulders and walked back to the villa like that.

    I didn't speak to Che at all for the rest of the journey home which was really awkward and my parents began to suss something wasn't right.

    “Oh, they both ate some dodgy seafood last night,” Louise jumped to our aid and added, “Trust me. I had the bathroom after the pair of them.”

    My parents seemed satisfied with Louise’s explanation and we finally arrived home without grilling us further. We dropped off Che and Michelle and headed back to our house. I was filled with conflicting feelings of both anger and sadness because I missed her so much it ached despite being so badly hurt by her.

    The day after we had returned from Greece I went out for a run to clear my head, thoughts of what I was possibly going to say to Che played on my mind. With every stride I felt myself become more relaxed and I made a conscious decision to just let the situation with Che play out. I was hurt that she hadn't even so much as tried to contact me. I wanted desperately for things to go back to normal before sex clouded everything. As much as I loved being intimate with Che I longed, more than anything, to have my best friend back. I wondered if crossing that line with her would mean that our friendship would never be the same again. I felt a stab of desire as I thought about our time in Greece and in response I picked up the pace in an attempt to repress what I felt. I felt an intense need to pick up the phone and call her but I held myself back deciding she should be the one to make the first move.

    I approached the house slowing down to a jog as I made my way up the path and heard a lot of commotion coming from the house. Panic rose inside me like fire for a split second. I thought my dad had found out about my sexuality. As I continued my slow walk up the path, still breathless from my run, I could hear what sounded like excited voices coming from the open window and I instantly relaxed relief washing over me. I found my sister in the lounge with Clark and my parents all sporting really cheesy smiles as I walked into the living room.

    I looked at each one of them taking in their expressions and asked, "What's going on?"

    Louise grinned and held out her hand to me revealing a rather large and sparkly diamond on her ring finger.

    “We’re engaged, Lex!” Louise blurted out.

    "Oh my god,” I exclaimed. I took her hand to examine the ring. It was beautiful. I took in her excited expression and pulled her into a hug. “Congratulations! I'm all sweaty but you just have to deal with it. I'm hugging you anyway."

    Clark stood with a really proud expression on his face as he looked at Louise with pure devotion and love. I momentarily wondered whether I would ever have that with anyone but I pushed my own sadness aside and pulled Clark into a hug.

    "Guess this makes you my brother now,” I told him.

    "I guess this kind of ruins Che's Superman theory,” he laughed as he hugged me back. “I don't think Clark Kent ever married Lex Luthor’s sister."

    "Wait until I tell her." The words were out of my mouth before I realised I didn't know where my relationship with Che stood. Everything I had been trying so hard to subdue came flooding back. She might not even care about this. I fought to push those thoughts to the back of my mind as I allowed myself to be happy for my sister and new brother.

    The next few days were filled with Louise and Clark making plans for their wedding the following year. I was to be a bridesmaid, which I was thrilled about, but on the condition that there was to be no meringue-esque dresses and I was to pick out my own.

    Our house was filled with excitement and my mum planned a family meal to celebrate. At dinner, we all sat around the table and talked animatedly about the wedding of the year. At some point my dad switched the topic of conversation to me which always made me nervous.

    "When are you going to get yourself a nice young man, Lex?” He asked. “Like Louise?"

    “There's no one I like, dad.” I stuttered my eyes darting around the table in an effort to avoid meeting anyone's gaze. “They're all only after one thing." I desperately grasped for anything I thought my dad would latch onto and run with.

    "Well, yes. Very smart, Lex. There's no rush, I suppose. You don't want to be free and easy with yourself, but, it just might be good for you to have a boyfriend. You know, an interest other than Che." My breath caught as I wondered if he suspected until he continued, "It's good to have friends but you two do spend an unhealthy amount of time together."

    My heart felt like it was in a vise at just the mere mention of her name and I struggled to subdue my reaction. Louise looked from me to my dad and back at me again. Sensing my discomfort and reading my silent pleas she changed the subject. I was thankful because I didn't want to be reminded of Che. It was bad enough I couldn’t shake the thoughts of her. Everything we shared, how much she had hurt me and hearing others say her name left me shaking internally. I had to fight to stop the rising feelings of jealousy as I sat around the table and took in the sight of how happy my parents seemed to be for Louise. I realised I would never have what she has and for the first time in my life I found myself feeling intensely jealous of my sister and I hated myself for it. My parents would never be happy for me and the person I’d fall in love with simply because that person would be a girl. I was filled with sadness and anger as I realised I would soon be faced with a choice, being true to myself and losing my family or living a lie and keeping my family but being miserable. The very thought of what was to come made me shudder with fear. These thoughts replayed in my head on a constant loop right up until the first day of school. My thoughts then shifted to Che. How could I possibly begin to look at her given my strong feelings for her and how her actions had made me feel.


    ~~~~~


    I was filled with nerves when the time came for me to go back to school. I hadn’t seen or had any contact from Che since the holiday. I didn’t know how we would be with each other. More importantly, I didn’t know how I would even begin to talk to her and keep my volatile feelings at bay.

    She spotted me walking to school and got her mum to drop her off so she could walk with me. She couldn’t seem to bring herself to look at me at first. Then, after some time, she looked me in the eyes guilt flooding her face. I wanted so badly to throw my arms around her and kiss her. I wanted to be back in Greece before my world was turned upside down. I wanted her but I realised that that was never going to happen.

    "Lex, I'm so sorry for hurting you. That was the last thing I wanted," she paused for a minute then continued, "but I don’t feel like I'm a lesbian and, even if I am, I can't be one. I just can’t."

    Deep down I had hoped she would change her mind and want to give us a try but in that instant I realised my worst fears had come true and our friendship would most likely never be the same again. I felt the familiar sting in my eyes and detached myself emotionally. I slammed up my walls and made a conscious decision to keep her at arms length in order to keep myself safe from further heartache.

    “What do you want to happen?” I asked after I had regained my composure. My protective walls firmly in place.

    "I want us to go back to being friends if you think you can do that?"

    I had already started to fall for her but I loved her that much as a friend. I knew I couldn’t risk losing her friendship so I promised her I would try to go back to being friends. I had no idea how I would begin to just be her friend again but I knew I had to at least try.

    I missed the relationship we once had but I was managing to keep a check on my feelings and be the best friend I could be. When Che started seeing a guy called Tom from our class who had been chasing her since before our holiday, I was heartbroken and my chest ached despite the walls I had surrounded myself with. The thought of someone else being with her left me feeling like an empty shell of my former self.

    I hated Tom. Everything he said annoyed me. Anytime I saw them together my fists clenched and my jaw set. My feelings were a jumble of anger, jealousy and hurt. I hated him but at the same time I envied him. He got to kiss her, touch her in places that only I had, and make her feel things I thought she could only feel for me. He could do all those things without the fear of somebody finding out. I was overcome with jealousy and it burned through my veins like acid. I became introverted, moody and bitter and being around them had an adverse effect on my well being. I was pickling in my hatred and I knew I had to take action before I lost myself completely.

    I ended up distancing myself from her. Not too much that people would notice but just enough so as not to add insult to injury. I would make sure I was never alone with the two of them together and, when I did hang out with them, I made sure it was as part of a larger group. I kept myself safe from being hurt further as there were always other people to focus my attention on. It hurt too much to be around them both and to watch them being intimate. I would sometimes drift off into my own thoughts and zone out while the two of them made out or held each other. I found it easier that way. I would sometimes catch her staring at me and most of the time I put on a good show of being happy but inside I was miserable. I thought about her all the time and I still couldn’t seem to get past my desire to be with her. I knew I couldn't be with her and I needed to get over her but I couldn't for the life of me even begin to know where to start.
     
    #6
  7. Lexington

    Lexington Well-Known Member

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    CHAPTER SIX


    As I continued to distance myself from Che, I began to spend more time at home. I had just turned 16 and was helping out a lot in the restaurant. My parents hired this new girl, Emma, and any chance I got I would sit and speak with her.

    She was 18 and a student and she worked in the kitchen. She had gorgeous long brunette hair and the most dazzling smile. I quickly became attracted to her and it wasn’t long before I realised that her similarity to Che was undeniable. The more I got to know her the more I realised their similarities went far beyond that of looks. Emma also had a way of casually touching me and it mirrored how Che acted before our relationship became more physical. Emma would look at me like she could see straight through me much like Che did. They were both perceptive enough to see the real me and not the me I pretended to be. However, she was so obviously straight but that did not deter me from flirting outrageously with her. It was a welcome distraction from Che but at the same time a constant reminder. I started to wonder if part of my attraction to her was my way of punishing myself. I couldn't but feel what my dad continually told me was true, that I was somehow damaged and didn’t deserve to be happy. Despite my internal struggle, Emma seemed to really enjoy the attention I gave her. I waited for her to finish one day and we walked home together as our routes were similar. I got very brave and told her I thought she was really pretty. She smiled and thanked me and told me I was pretty too. As we continued to walk, she asked what shift I was working the next day. I looked at her and rolled my eyes.

    "It’s going to be a bad one,” I explained. “Liam has already called in sick so there will only be me and Leanne and we are fully booked.”

    “Awwww,” she smiled, placed her hand on my back and patted it lightly. "I'm sure you will cope."

    “And what would you be doing with your gorgeous self tomorrow?” I teased her. “Fancy doing an extra shift?”

    “Nice try, James!” She laughed and shoved me playfully to the side. “Your mum already asked. Your flattery won’t work this time!"

    "Aaaww but shifts always go so much quicker when I have someone nice to look at."

    “That’s a bit unfair, Lex.” Emma pretended to chide me. “Leanne is very attractive for a woman in her twilight years!"

    I rolled my eyes at her then nudged her in the arm playfully, "Doing anything nice tomorrow?” I looked up at her somewhat nervously. “By the way, it best be good considering you’re abandoning me."

    "It’s my little sister’s birthday,” she smiled apologetically. “She has severe autism and lives in supported living. She’s home for the weekend." She looked up at me slightly ashamed and added, "We tried to look after her but we couldn’t give her the care she needed. She was angry all of the time and now that she’s at this new place, she’s happy. But I don’t get to see her as often as I’d like to."

    She looked down at her feet.

    "Well,” I took her hand and assured her. “That’s a pretty good fucking reason so I’ll let you off! What’s her name? Your sister, I mean."

    "Her name is Claire,” she said.

    We got to her gate and, as I went to say goodbye, a young girl came running out of their front door shouting, "Emmaaa! You’re home!"

    The young girl eyed me suspiciously, "Who’s that?" Claire raised her hand and pointed it at me.

    "This is my friend Lex." Emma introduced me to her sister.

    "When’s your birthday?" Claire asked after looking me over.

    When I told her she said, "You were born on a Wednesday. It was raining that day!"

    "Claire has Savant syndrome,” Emma explained as I looked at her. “She has an amazing memory for useless information." At my blank expression, she clarified, "Like Rainman? She will be right, by the way. You were born on a Wednesday."

    "Is she staying for cake?” Claire asked Emma. “I’d like her to stay for some of my chocolate cake."

    "Fancy some cake?" Emma looked at me and raised an eyebrow.

    "Well, that depends.” I smiled at Claire. “Does it have chocolate icing?"

    She smiled back and nodded expectantly.

    "Well, in that case, I'm in!" I told her.

    Claire smiled and headed into the house.

    “You don't have to, you know?" Emma said as she took hold of my hand.

    "You promised me chocolate cake,” I grinned at her worried expression. “So lead the way!"

    As we walked into the house took note of the original victorian style floor, the high ceilings and the sweeping staircase. The house was light and airy and full of laughter. I could hear Emma’s brothers laughing and bickering in another room. Claire stood with Emma’s mum and she introduced me as Emma’s friend who was born on a rainy Wednesday.

    "I see you got commandeered,” her mum offered me her hand and shook mine. “Claire can be quite persuasive!"

    "There was no need for persuasion,” I answered with a smile. “I just heard the words chocolate cake." I stood next to Claire and said in an exaggerated hushed voice, "make sure its that big bit with the extra icing.”

    "Ok.” Claire nodded and asked before going off to get me a slice of her cake, “Do you want to see my piano?"

    "Sure,” I answered. “I’d love to."

    After handing me the cake she went off into another room.

    "You’re good with her," Emma smiled as she looked down at her feet then up at me. "You’re full of surprises, aren’t you?"

    "I like to think so.” I said laughing.

    At that moment, Claire came back through to the kitchen took my hand and led me through to the lounge. Over in the corner was a massive piano. Claire let go of my arm and sat down at the piano and started to play. She was amazing. I’d never heard such beautiful playing before.

    "It’s Brahms.” Emma took in my awed expression and continued, “Second concerto in B flat major. She plays perfectly after only hearing the piece once."

    I sat and listened to the music and watched how effortlessly her fingers travelled over the keys.

    "It’s a very hard piece to play,” Emma said. I wordlessly nodded as we continued to watch. Once Claire had finished she stood up.

    “It’s six o’clock,” she announced. “I'm going to watch telly."

    "Okay. I'm going home now, Claire.” I smiled. “But thanks for letting me listen to you play. It was beautiful and thanks for the cake."

    "Bye," she said as she smiled.

    Emma thanked me as she walked me out.

    "What for?” I asked her. “For eating half the chocolate cake? I should be thanking you. It was good cake."

    “No,” she smiled and nudged me. “For not being weirded out."

    "What's to be weirded out by,” I said. “You have a genius for a sister. If I was you I would be a little embarrassed as your talents pale in comparison."

    "I’ll see you next week, yeah?" She laughed and kissed me on the cheek. I nodded.

    "Later, underperformer!" I shouted as I turned my back for one more look. She gave me the finger and I walked down the path giggling to myself.

    ~~~~~


    The next day, after my shift had finished, Emma sent me a text. I picked up my phone and, as always, was instantly disappointed it wasn’t Che. I suddenly felt guilty for thinking about Che instead of concentrating my energy on Emma. I forced myself to focus on her message.

    "Hey, you. How did the shift from hell go? Did you miss me? ;-) xXx"

    "Well, it was touch and go there for a minute but I did miss your dulcet tones whining about the glasswash taking too long. And sadly, looking at Leanne's arse as she bent down wasn't nearly as pleasurable as looking at yours ;-) xxxx"

    "Pervert! :) Will I see you tomorrow?"

    "Why? You missing me? Yeah, I’ll be in so you won't be subjected to Leanne's delightful derrière. You see how selfless I am? :p"

    “Oh yeah you’re tantamount to Mother Teresa ;-p Now bugger off with your distraction I'm terribly busy, in uni in a lecture......Yawn!!"

    At work the following day she was just as flirty. I bent down to pick up some bottle tops that had fallen on the floor and she stood back in an appraising fashion.

    "Mmmm I don't know, you know. Leanne might just have pipped you to the post!"

    I whipped round in mock exasperation.

    "How dare you! You wound me!" I clutched at my chest like I was in pain and she laughed.

    "Aahh I'm only kidding. Your arse is nice very..." she paused, dropped her gaze down to my backside a second time and completed her sentence, "...nice!"

    I stood up and sauntered closer to her.

    "If I didn't know any better I would swear you were flirting with me!"

    Her gaze dropped to my lips then back to my eyes and a playful smile crossed her face. She leant in close so her lips were inches from my ear. I felt her warm breath against my neck and it sent shivers through my body. After what felt like an age she finally spoke, "Don’t be ridiculous. I wouldn't have the faintest idea how to flirt with a lesbian."

    She slowly pushed herself off the side she was leaning on and with a playful smirk still evident and a glint in her eyes as she walked away leaving me staring after her slightly aghast. She threw me off balance but I liked it. She reminded me so very much of Che with her flirtatious nature. I absently wondered again if part of the reason I was attracted to her was because of the friendly flirty banter we shared aside from the fact she was a lot like Che physically. Despite the similarities there would always be that something missing. She would never be the girl I loved so dearly. I began to think maybe subconsciously I had been searching for somebody to fill the emotional void Che had left behind in my life, the stark reality was that nobody could ever take her place. I wasn't sure whether I was quite ready to let go of Che and move on.

    ~~~~~


    When my parents left for a holiday they left my sister in charge, we decided to have a house party.

    I heard Che had split up with Tom and there were rumours that the reason they broke up was because she wouldn't sleep with him. I found my mood lighten when I heard this. I was secretly happy and filled with a newfound hope that just maybe she was ready to admit to me and herself who she really was. Che and I gradually started to repair the damage to our friendship and begun to spend more time together. I met up with her a couple of days before the party and we went for a walk and talked.

    We walked along a wood chipped path in the park. I felt both of us had our protective walls in place but I took a risk nonetheless and broached the topic of Tom.

    "I'm glad you’re not with Tom anymore,” I told her. “He was a dick and you’re too good for him."

    "You have to say that. You’re my best friend" She paused for a moment, stole a quick glance at me and nervously added, "and you have feelings for me."

    I allowed the ghost of a smirk to touch my lips as I briefly met her gaze, "Oh you think so, do you?"

    "I don’t think so.” Che smiled and shoved me playfully. “I know so!"

    "Yeah but I can’t be with you, can I? So there’s no sense torturing myself."

    I stole another quick glance at her face and her brow was creased clearly deep in thought. I longed to know what she was thinking but couldn’t bring myself to ask so instead I reached out and took her hand in mine. This seemed to shake her from her thoughts and she smiled warmly at me and squeezed my hand gently. Simply holding her hand in mine sent tingles through my body and with it a flood of memories of the last time she sent my pulse racing. I silently basked in the memory not daring to verbalise my thoughts.

    We walked in silence for some time. And I decided to broach the topic of Emma.

    "Actually, I've got my eye on someone. Her name is Emma." I paused to gauge her reaction then continued, "she's coming to the party."

    Che snapped her head round to look at me then went silent for a long time. I asked her if she was okay and she silently nodded. I decided to change the topic of conversation but things were strained at best. She had dropped my hand and seemed to be lost in her own thoughts. I felt a familiar stab of guilt as I realised although she didn't want to be with me she also didn't want anyone else to be with me either. I put that at the back of my mind deciding I couldn’t put my life on hold on the off chance she might be uncomfortable with it. I tried to focus my energy on the fact Emma was coming to the party. I was excited and nervous to see her and hoped I didn't mess things up.

    The day of the party arrived and I couldn't wait to see if Emma showed up. It was a hot and sticky evening and the house was fit to burst. Louise invited all her friends and so did I, including Che. The music was pounding and the house was so full of people that they were spilling out into the garden. We had deck chairs all over the decking with garden torches and candles to give light.

    I'd had a lot to drink and was filled with Dutch courage. By the time Emma arrived I was full of fake confidence. Emma greeted me with a big hug and a kiss on my cheek. I noticed Che watching our exchange with avid fascination as she sat over the other side of the garden with my other friends. When she met my gaze, however, she would look away. Throughout the night it seemed her eyes never left us. She was clearly jealous but I couldn’t let myself dwell on that.

    I took Emma to get a drink and she slowly became a little drunk and as such became more flirty with me. Some time during the night, a song she loved came on so she pulled me up and asked me to dance with her.

    She moved to the music not missing a beat. She was a great dancer and our bodies moved together with ease. The more we danced, the hotter it got and we were both pretty sticky with the heat. With all the people dancing there was little space to move around. One of the guys spilled his drink on Emma so I took her to my room to get her new clothes.

    As soon as the door closed, she pulled me towards her and kissed me. I kissed her back instinctively, grasping for her to draw her closer. I didn’t feel the strong pull of desire at her kiss like I felt for Che but for some reason I continued regardless. I took her top off and cast it aside as we inched towards my bed. As we reached it, she scrambled to climb up onto it still kissing me feverishly. After pulling me down on top of her she lifted my top over my head and reached for my pants. I pulled her hands away and placed them back around my neck. I wasn't entirely ready for anyone to touch me the way Che had. I still felt like my heart belonged to her. Somehow, I felt that if I allowed Emma to touch me it would be like replacing Che, and I wasn’t ready to let her go just yet. I was really aware of the fact I was just going through the motions.

    At the back of my mind there was a lingering thought that I was comparing this to what I had with Che. It wasn’t as smooth and relaxed and it failed to stir even one iota of the feelings and desire I had felt for Che. It felt awkward but Emma didn't seem to be aware of the awkwardness and I realised it must have only felt that way for me. She continued to try and touch me but something inside me refused to let her and I pushed her hands away. I didn't want it because it felt like a betrayal to Che. Still, I was going through the motions as I touched her and while I managed to mentally reconcile what I was doing, I knew it was just as bad. Despite this the feeling of being in control was a stark contrast from the way I felt about my relationship with Che, which was so fiercely out of my control. That, in itself, was a welcome change and I liked the feeling the control gave me.

    My mind was racing as we lay there afterwards. Emma was grinning like a schoolgirl but I felt empty and wracked with feelings of guilt. She eventually sat up, put her hands on my shoulders and kissed my back as I sat there in body only, my mind elsewhere. She broke through my thoughts as she said we should probably get back.

    I was only without my top so I got dressed quickly. Just as Emma was putting her jeans on, still without her top, Che walked in. She wordlessly took in the sight of Emma and me and bolted from the room. I felt the familiar ache in my chest develop. My stomach was lurching, and panic was beginning to overload my senses. I wanted to run after her but Emma broke through my thoughts again.

    "She won't say anything, will she?” Emma looked panicked. “My boyfriend can't find out about this.”

    My daze subsided at her words. “Boyfriend? You’re kidding, right?”

    She looked at me guiltily as I quickly put my shoes on. I had to catch up with Che. Emma’s trivialities were of no consequence to me at that moment.

    “I’ll go speak with her.” I ran after Che and caught up with her outside the front of our house. She turned, saw me and tried to carry on walking. I grabbed her arm and said, ”Che, please, stop."

    She did and as she turned I saw she was crying. I brushed the tears off her cheeks with my thumbs.

    "Don't cry."

    "You've broken my heart,” she said half-crying and half choking.

    “I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you but I'm hurting too. I thought that would make it go away but it just made me feel worse."

    She looked up into my eyes again. "I can't see you with other girls. Not like that. It hurts too much.”

    I pulled her close and told her I was sorry, raising my right hand to the side of her face to cup it tenderly. I slowly leaned in and pressed my lips to hers whilst still shaking. I felt the familiar warmth spread through my body as her lips parted slightly, her resolve weakening. As we kissed we both had tears rolling down our faces. I knew in that moment just how much I had hurt her as she deepened our kiss with a kind of angry passion. She slid her hand to the small of my back allowing it to slide underneath my top gently caressing the skin there. Che seemed to come to her senses after a few minutes as she tentatively pulled away and pulled me into a frantic embrace. She tenderly nuzzled my neck as she clung to me as if her life depended on it. Eventually she pulled away and nervously looked up at me. I told her Emma didn't mean anything to me. That she was straight and paranoid that the boyfriend I had only just found out about would find out. "You're everything to me. I want to be with you." I told her desperately.

    She nodded and said in almost a whisper, “I can't."

    My heart sank again but it was what I was expecting.

    "I know,” I cleared my throat, “but that doesn't mean I can't hope, right?"

    "I won't say anything about you and Emma but I'm not ready for a relationship with you. I can't be the person you want me to be."

    My heart was so hopeful and expectant for new possibilities with her after that kiss that I felt as though it broke all over again. I realised Che and I were never going to happen and I should just do my best to be her best friend and nothing more. This time I convinced myself I would not allow my resolve to break.

    After finally composing myself I asked her to come back to the party and have a drink with me. She nodded, placed her arm around my waist and we walked back to the house.

    I pretty much saw it as my mission to drink myself into oblivion from that point on in the night. Emma caught my attention later and asked if everything was okay with Che. I told her it was all sorted and that she wouldn't say anything.

    "Listen,” she started to say, “about that..."

    "Hey. It's fine. You have a boyfriend, a boyfriend you should have told me about, but nevertheless, you’re straight. It was a one-off thing. I'm cool with that."

    She smiled kissed me on the lips and said, "Thanks, Lex."

    She left shortly after when her boyfriend picked her up.

    The party slowly wound down and almost everyone had gone home apart from Che. She asked if she could stay and I said she could so she followed me upstairs, both of us in a drunken haze. I changed my bedding and set up the sofa bed. When I told her to take the bed she looked at me slightly confused then expectantly said, "Just get in with me?"

    My chest tightened and I longed to simply climb into bed with her and cuddle into her side, "No. That's not going to work for me anymore. If we are going to be ‘just friends’ I can't do that.” I pointed at my bed.

    She nodded solemnly and went under the covers. I felt as though my chest would explode, My heart was that heavy. I tried to put the thought to the back of my mind as best I could and we eventually drifted off to sleep.


    ~~~~~

    As the days wore on I got better at just being her friend. My heart still ached but it was getting a little easier everyday. She would still often reach out to touch me or kiss me without thinking but I would shy away from her when she did. We gradually started to get back into the rhythm of our old friendship minus the sexual intimacy.

    My heart began to heal and I felt okay with the situation, or at least, as okay as I could be. I was still always on my guard with her for fear of getting hurt again but we were back to talking everyday and spending a lot of time together. Che had a few dates with guys but it was sort of an agreed rule that she wouldn't talk about them to me given how upset, angry and jealous it made me. At first she would talk incessantly about the guys she supposedly liked and the dates that she had been on. She would talk in minute detail about every facet of her interactions with them. When she did this I could feel my blood starting to boil as I became more and more angry.

    With my emotions in such turmoil I struggled to be the supportive best friend I so desperately wanted to be. The thing was the one person I would always turn to whenever I felt things start to overwhelm me was her. I had nowhere to turn to with my feelings about her and as such I begun to feel more and more lonely as time went on. After several weeks of biting my tongue and subduing my own feelings I became so overcome with my emotions and lost my composure. Che was in the middle of a monologue about a guy she was seeing with no regard for my feelings and I finally snapped and shouted at her.

    "Shut up! Just shut the fuck up!! I can’t do this anymore! Stop talking about the losers you’re dating. I don’t care. I really don’t. Do you have any fucking idea how much it hurts to have to listen to this bullshit?!"

    She looked up at me eyes full of trepidation. "Lex, I...I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking. We can talk about something else. I didn’t mean to upset you.”

    I looked at her and instantly felt guilty. She looked so worried that my expression softened immediately. “It’s fine. Just please. If you need to talk about it, talk to Jo or someone else. I just can’t, okay?”

    Che nodded reaching for the playstation controller and smiled. "Wanna play?"

    I returned her smile and took the controller she offered and we sat in silence and played. Che never mentioned the guys she went out with after my outburst and it was a relief. I knew she was still getting involved with guys but it was bearable. I still had feelings for her but I got better at hiding them. There was just one thing I couldn't bring myself to do, it was to get involved with someone else, but I was coping.


    ~~~~~


    A few months passed and Louise's birthday approached she was turning 20 and I was 16. With Clark away due to work commitments, her friends and my friends all decided to go camping to celebrate. It seemed like the perfect way to keep Louise's mind occupied during her birthday weekend instead of pining for Clark.

    When that weekend came, we packed up Louise's car, and two of her friend’s cars since there were twelve of us going. As I was helping Louise pack the car she elbowed me in the side. "I've invited my friend Rachel."

    “Oh yeah?” I was only half listening opting instead to watch Che as she laughed with Jo. She had the most infectious laugh and I was overcome with the need to just hold her until Louise’s constant blabbering broke my train of thought yet again.

    "Rachel came out. You know, as gay, last year."

    I looked up briefly. I knew where this conversation was heading. I tied the sleeping bags to the roof and covered them over with the plastic sheeting refusing to look at her. "That’s nice. Not sure why you felt the need to tell me this though."

    "I think you and Rachel will get on really well that’s all."

    “Stop being a child. Just because we both like girls doesn't mean we’ll automatically like each other. Do you like every guy you come across?"

    She ignored me and rolled her eyes as we finished packing. After a few minutes, a big smile spread over her face when she looked behind me. "Rach, you’re early. This is my sister Lex. She's, you know, on your team."

    I turned to look at the girl my sister thought would be perfect for me and my jaw hit the floor. Not only was she tall and athletic but she had the most captivating green eyes, she was simply stunning! Rachel held out her hand smiled and introduced herself. When I took her hand to shake it Louise patted us both on the shoulders whilst wiggling her eyebrows. "See. I knew you two would get along."

    Rachel and I laughed.

    "Okay,” I said. “This isn't a bit awkward. I apologise for my sister."

    Louise orchestrated it so that Rachel and I were sat together in the car. I could see Che looking at me and I could tell she was angry she wasn't in the car with me. There wasn't much I could do so I gave her a shrug and got in.

    "Your sister doesn't give up does she?" Rachel said as she leaned into me as she reached for her seat belt.

    "No. She is annoyingly persistent."

    We spent the journey talking about our plans for the weekend. She was a really nice girl, we had a lot in common and we got on well together. When we finally reached the campsite my sister started distributing tents. She threw one to Che and my other friend. Che's face fell and she quickly glanced at me. I shrugged again as Louise chucked another to my friends, Jo and Lisa, then she gave out tents to her friends. Finally, she turned to me and Rachel, smiled whilst grasping the last tent to her chest and threw it full force at Rachel.

    "Enjoy, kids!" she commented whilst wiggling her eyebrows again.

    Rachel and I looked at each other and rolled our eyes. I asked her if she was okay with sharing with me and she nudged my arm with hers, "Yeah, why not."

    She raised her eyebrows, took my hand and gestured towards the tent. "Come on then. Let's get the only erection of the weekend out of the way."

    As I replied with a laugh, I took a quick glance behind me and saw Che ignoring what Lisa was saying in favour of watching Rachel and me. I shook that thought off and decided instead to throw myself into putting up the tent with Rachel. She was an outrageous flirt and kept asking me to bend down and pass her certain poles. She would stand there and appraise my arse whilst asking me to bend over a bit further. I finally realised what she was doing and quickly stood up pushed her.

    "Tit for tat, pervert!"

    She laughed, bent down and touched her toes so I took the opportunity to stand back and admire her assets. With a hand on my chin I said, "Mmm not bad. Could use some work though."

    She laughed and I was rewarded with pillow to the face.

    I was having fun for the first time in ages. As I grabbed a pillow she grabbed a bottle of water.

    "If you come any closer I’ll soak you,” she said.

    “Ha! I'm not afraid to get wet.”

    I threw myself at her and we started wrestling each other to gain control of the water bottle. She was screaming, laughing and putting up a good fight but I managed to gain control. It all ended with her on the floor with me straddling her whilst holding her wrists down.

    "Oh, you win,” she said with a seductive smile on her face. “What are you going to do now that you've got me to surrender?"

    Our eyes locked and our laughs subsided. There was a moment when I really wanted to kiss her but everyone was watching so I smiled at her and said, "I'll let you off this time."

    I climbed off of her and held out my hand to help her up. I saw Che was watching us out of the corner of my eye. While I was dusting myself off Rachel said in a low whisper, "Hopefully I won't be so lucky, next time round."

    I looked at her and knew it was going to be a fun weekend. The sexual tension was almost palpable and it almost made me forget the drama shrouding my relationship with Che.


    ~~~~~

    Once our tent was up we laid our sleeping bags out flat. It was a really warm day and we both decided the extra padding was better on the floor. We both climbed in and lay down on our fronts watching the others put the finishing touches to their sleeping quarters. Louise was struggling to start the fire for our first camp meal and I decided to let her struggle not wanting to move away from Rachel.

    Rachel glanced over at my back and ran her hand down along my tattoo. That one move sent electricity through me and every nerve ending I had was standing to attention. The feelings shocked me. I hadn’t had a reaction like that to somebody’s touch since Che. I was also struck by the fact I didn't feel the usual pangs of guilt and I hoped it was a sign I was ready to move on.

    "Where does this lead?" she asked.

    "Wouldn't you like to know?"

    "Yeah, I would actually."

    She gingerly lifted my top up slightly and placed her hand on the small of my back before flashing me a playful smile. She bit her bottom lip seductively and her eyes briefly flicked down to my lips then back to my eyes and she smirked again whilst slowly lifting herself up. She climbed out of our tent, went to the cooler and came back with two bottles of beer. As she handed me one she asked, "Is there a reason I'm getting daggers from the cute brunette? Is there a history there I should know about?"

    I smiled and told her the situation.

    She listened intently then silently nodded. "Do you still have feelings for her?"

    "I do but it's never going to happen. She says she isn’t gay."

    Rachel nearly choked on her beer as she spluttered, "She is as gay as the day is long that one."

    I smiled took a long gulp of my own beer and commented, "I don't think she got that memo."

    We all got really drunk that night and sat around the campfire drinking, laughing and toasting marshmallows on sticks. It started to get a bit cooler and Rachel started to shiver. I asked if she was cold and she nodded so I pulled her in close to me and put my arm around her. I rubbed her shoulders in an effort to warm her up. Louise noticed us and smiled like a Cheshire cat. "You two seem to be getting on well."

    Everyone around the campfire started to laugh.

    "We best all be able to sleep tonight,” Louise said. “We should have made you two pitch your tent over the other side of the site. At least then we might all get some sleep without fear of hearing your moanings and groanings."

    Everyone, apart from Che, laughed even louder and I shyly eyed the dirt not wanting to meet her surly gaze.

    Rachel quipped back,"If I were you, Lou, I'd stop taking the piss or everyone might find out what happened when we went away last month. My room was next to yours and I heard you in the midst of an orgasm. You called Rob 'Superman' and referred to yourself as Lois!"

    Louise went bright red and Che laughed so hard she fell off the log she was perched on. She pointed at Louise and said, "I knew it!" I smiled broadly as I watched her laugh uncontrollably realising I loved it when she was happy and it lit me up inside.

    That set the mood for the rest of the night and it eased the tension where Che was concerned. As the night drew in everyone slipped off to bed, Rachel nudged me and tilted her head to one side. "Ready to go to sleep?"

    “No. Not really.”

    “Come on,” she stood up, held out her hand and pulled me up, “bedtime.”

    We climbed into our tent and got changed. As I was putting my top on, she stopped me and again traced the gothic crucifix down my back. "Can I see?"

    I lifted my top up and shifted my shorts down slightly.

    "You better not try and take advantage of my vulnerable position."

    "It's beautiful,” she said as she touched it. “Who designed it?"

    “I did.”

    I pulled my top down and turned to face her. She lifted her hand to my face brushed a stray strand of hair away then closed the few inches of distance that remained between us and kissed me.

    My heart was racing as we deepened the kiss. We lay down and carried on kissing for what seemed like hours. She was a brilliant kisser and my whole body was on fire. We ended up falling asleep cuddled up together. My thoughts never fell to Che for the first time since we crossed the friend boundary.

    We woke up the next morning to Louise unzipping our tent and taking in the sight of us all cuddled up together in each others arms.

    "Was it good for you?" Louise shouted and, with a laugh, she added, "Looking awfully cosy there ladies."

    Rachel lifted her head, her hair slightly disheveled, and looked at Louise. "Fuck off!"

    "Just because you two have been up all night doing god knows what instead of sleeping doesn't mean you can be grumpy twats all day." Louise walked away laughing.

    I re-zipped our tent and we started to giggle. We got up and exited the tent to everyone staring at us. We both sniggered and decided to hit the shower blocks. We showered separately and stood next to each other whilst we brushed our teeth. She kept glancing at me and smiling. Once we had rinsed she pulled the waistband of my jeans towards her until our bodies were touching. I leaned in and kissed her, my right hand on her neck and the other pulling her hips towards me.

    Che and Jo walked in at that moment and Jo cleared her throat to announce their arrival.

    "Errr Louise is cooking breakfast if you guys want some. That is, if you aren't already full." Jo gestured towards Rachel with a smile.

    Rachel laughed cleared her throat. “Well I'm starving. Worked up quite the appetite." she quipped as she picked up her overnight bag and sauntered out of the shower block back towards camp.

    Che just stared at her as she left then without meeting my eyes she went into one of the shower cubicles. I felt a pang of guilt and resisted the urge to go after Che and give her a hug.

    Rachel and I returned to the site, ate breakfast and spent the day playing football and swimming in the stream. I had a great day and I had a lot of fun with Rachel. She was great and it was easy. She didn't have a problem showing me any kind of affection in public which was a welcomed change.

    Night started to fall and Louise started another fire to cook our evening meal. We ate, drank and talked as a group. When the temperature dropped dramatically Rachel and I shared a blanket around the fire. She sat with her head on my shoulder and Che continued to throw her daggers.

    We all went to bed like the previous night and as we were lying there I told Rachel I wasn't really into the idea of a relationship. She smiled and said she wasn't either so it was perfect. With that, she slid her hand underneath my top eventually lifting it over my head as she started kissing me. She then eased me back down onto the floor and straddled me. As she sat back up she took her own top off and I pulled her back down towards me and kissed her.

    ***Go to Tumblr post***

    The night passed on in a haze of pleasure. She was amazing and I lost control of myself and so did she. It was different to how it was with Emma and I wondered if that was due to a change within me or whether it was Rachel. The rest of the campsite faded away into insignificance. All I cared about was getting more of her and being closer to her. She was just what I needed at that time. It still didn't compare to what I had had with Che and I wondered if anyone would ever come close.

    Morning must have been quickly approaching as the birds had begun to sing. It was at that point we both collapsed into a heap and fell into exhausted sleep.

    We woke up to the sound of people laughing and talking. As the world faded back into focus, we listened and heard our friends talking.

    "Did you hear them last night?” Lisa asked. “I seriously thought they were both being murdered."

    "Murdered?” I heard Louise reply. “I thought wild animals had breached our camp!"

    Rachel and I looked at each other and started to giggle quietly .

    "Morning," Rachel grinned.

    “Morning,” I grinned back at her.

    "You're going out there first, by the way."

    “There’s no chance I'm going out there. We should just stay in the tent until the embarrassment passes.”

    "Yeah. That sounds good to me." She leaned in and started to kiss me again.

    "Oohh there's movement!” I heard Louise say before she banged on the tent door. “Come on ladies! Show your filthy selves!" Louise opened the tent . "Morning! We thought you guys might have died from too much sex. Glad to see that is not the case."

    Rachel climbed out the tent after pulling on a t-shirt and shorts and I followed her lead. Everyone looked at both of us with smirks on their faces. We both burst out laughing and Rachel told them, "Oh so what? Like I haven't spent many nights listening to each and every one of you going at it with random guys! Get over it. We are all adults."

    We hit the showers then returned to camp. I found Che sitting on a log around the campfire when we got back and I went and sat next to her to ask if she was okay. She was sat holding a big stick that she was using to prod the dirt with great concentration. My chest felt tight when I saw how sad she looked.

    She silently nodded. "It's just hard for me that's all."

    "Yeah. It's been hard for me these last few months too watching you with random guys. But you don't want me so you can't expect me to wait around for you to break my heart again. I love you as my best friend but I can't do this with you anymore. No matter what happens I end up getting hurt. No more! I'm sorry if that hurts you but maybe I need to be selfish for once."

    She nodded and I hugged her and told her to cheer up before she turned the beer sour. She laughed and the weekend became more light hearted from then on but I could tell she was struggling internally with something she refused to verbalise.

    We got back from camping and Rachel returned to university so I didn't see her much. This seemed to really ease the tension between Che and me and we quickly fell back into our old, comfortable friendship.
     
    #7
  8. Lexington

    Lexington Well-Known Member

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    2
    CHAPTER SEVEN


    The height of summer approached. I was still 16 and Che and I had our friendship back on track. We were seeing each other frequently and, although the level of intimacy between us wasn’t the same as it had been in Greece, she would often hold my hand and trace circles on my forearm or cuddle into my side resting her head on my shoulder while we watched TV. Every now and then she would meet my gaze and our eye contact would linger a second too long leaving me wondering what it meant. My parents, Louise, Clark and myself were due to go to the Dominican Republic for a holiday and my parents said I could bring someone, so I asked Che. I secretly hoped it would be like our last holiday. It would be a chance for us to get our relationship back to how it was in Greece when I was at my happiest. I wondered if Che would be brave enough this time or if I would be left feeling hurt again.

    Che seemed just as excited as I was to go away. On the flight out, Che placed her head on my shoulder and I rested my head on hers. I inhaled deeply taking in her familiar scent. She reached out and took my hand in hers and let her fingers lightly stroke up and down my forearm. I felt content and I realised that all I really wanted was to be with her, for her to love me even half as much as I loved her.

    We got off the plane on the tarmac and the wall of humidity and heat hit us. We were definitely in the Caribbean. Once we collected our bags we headed to our coach that would take us to our hotel. When we arrived in Punta Cana we checked in and got our all inclusive wristbands.

    "We will be able to drink with these bands. I've just seen them serve a twelve-year old a pint of beer." Che whispered excitedly.

    I smiled at her childlike excitement. Hearing her laugh and seeing her smile filled me with happiness.

    Che and I had a hotel room to ourselves, it had a single bed and a double. I didn't want to be presumptuous so I said, "I call the double!"

    "Well, I guess you will have to share with me then because I'm not sleeping in that single."

    My heart started beating faster at her words and the familiar feelings of desire drifted back. We showered and changed then headed out to dinner. She spent the night looking at me flirtatiously and kept reaching out to hold my hand under the table. Her actions confused me. She repeatedly told me she wasn’t gay and couldn’t be with me but her actions said otherwise. We had an early night because we were tired from travelling all day. Che and I both got dressed for bed. She kept looking and smirking over at me while I changed. I thought I saw the faintest hint of desire in her eyes but she masked it well. As I got I under the sheet she asked, "Do you mind me sharing with you?"

    "Of course I don't mind." I smiled at her.

    She climbed in put her arms around me and cuddled into my side, her head nuzzling the nook of my neck. She seemed to fit perfectly in my arms and I couldn't imagine being anywhere else but lying there with my arms wrapped around her. I felt happy and content. She was a part of me and I felt whole with her in my arms. I wanted nothing more than to kiss her and touch her but I held back, still unsure of how she would react.

    The next day we stayed by the pool and spent the day relaxing. I was sat poolside on a sun lounger while Che floated in the pool on an inflatable rubber ring. I found myself looking at her remembering how happy we were and how good it felt the last time we were on holiday together. She was simply breathtaking and a smile spread over my face just watching her.

    She slipped through the rubber ring, swam under the surface and hauled herself up out of the water, her upper arms flexing. Thoughts of our first time together drifted back as I recalled those strong arms lifting me up. A wave of pleasure flowed over me as I struggled to compose myself and focus on what she was about to say. She broke through my thoughts as she walked towards me. I lifted my hand to shade my eyes from the blistering sun that sat just behind her as I took in the sight of her glistening body, the drops of water cascading down from her breasts to her toned stomach. I smiled to myself. She was beautiful.

    She lifted her shades and smiled at me as I took a sip of my water in an attempt to hide the fact I was staring.

    "Fancy sex on the beach?" she asked.

    I spluttered at her words choking on my water in disbelief.

    “Down, girl,” she laughed heartily before fading to a coy smile. "I meant a cocktail."

    "Erm, yeah. Sure, thanks."

    She smiled seductively and headed off to the bar while I tried to regain my composure. I watched her walk to bar a wave of desire flooding my senses. I cleared my throat desperately trying to get myself under control. She's playing with me again, I thought. She returned with our drinks then reached over and touched my shoulder.

    "You’re burning. Come here, you need more sunscreen on." She pushed against my shoulder and said, "lie down."

    The familiar butterflies emerged, as she rubbed the cream into my skin I mentally sighed enjoying the feeling of her hands on my skin. She broke the silence by saying, "Bring back memories?"

    I nodded lazily completely relaxed. I longed to be back in that place her words had evoked. Her teasing words gave me a glimmer of hope I clung to wholeheartedly.

    We continued to drink and the sexual tension continued to grow. The eye contact between us was electric and I knew, looking at her eyes, the same thoughts conjured in my head were present in hers too.

    Louise was sat with us for a short time. She looked at Che and me noting the sexually-charged eye contact and smirked. "Wow. I’m going to leave you two alone. The whole undressing with your eyes thing is making me queasy. See you guys tomorrow."

    As Louise walked away we both fell into fits of giggles. We decided to head back to our room after drinking quite a lot. On our way back she held my hand and intertwined her fingers with mine. As she met my gaze a warm smile formed. I'm not sure who made the move but the next thing I knew we were kissing. She kissed me feverishly and her desire clearly mirrored mine. I felt like my chest would explode at any moment with the expectation of it all. The intensity of my desire threatening to overwhelm me. I wanted her so badly I could hardly control myself. We stood there on the small brick pathway making out, hands wandering until Clark rounded the corner and bumped right into us.

    "Shit! Sorry.” He paused then did a double take realising it was us. "Jesus! Lex? Che!?"

    "Errrr this isn't what it looks like!" I nervously exclaimed.

    "Oohh right. So you weren't just kissing the faces off each other then?"

    Clark smiled. Che looked seriously panicky and I started to worry she would freak out again.

    "Don't worry,” he said. “I won't tell Louise."

    I silently smiled at him.

    "She already knows right?" Clark asked.

    I nodded and he smiled and bade us good night.

    As he left, Che started to walk towards our room faster and I knew the freak out was coming. I sped up to a jog to catch her. Her face was vacant and her mind was so clearly elsewhere. I reached out to hold her hand and shake her from her daze. Her head whipped around and she ripped her hand from mine

    “Don't touch me!" she shouted.

    I stopped walking with her and let her go. It was happening again I thought. I had let my protective walls down and she had hurt me again. I was angry at her for playing with my emotions like that and angry at myself for allowing her to get emotionally close to me again.

    I went to the bar and had a few more drinks and talked with the barman. His name was Kash and he was really friendly so the conversation helped me calm down. When I had enough to drink I jumped down off my barstool and prepared myself for the confrontation with Che. When I walked into the hotel room I found her sitting on the bed just staring into space. I'd had too much to drink and was a little drunk. I was angry and there was bitterness in my voice.

    "You finished your melt down yet?"

    She turned to me with tears in her eyes and said, "I'm not gay!"

    I rolled my eyes and I laughed in disbelief. "Well, if you're not gay then you should really stop kissing me, touching me and having sex with me!" I stopped talking and pulled back the sheets on the single bed angrily then turned back to her. "If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck, then you can pretty much assume that it is, in fact, A FUCKING DUCK!!!"

    "It's so fucking easy for you, isn't it?!"

    "Easy?! You think anything about my life is easy?! You think loving you and having you not love me back because you don't want to be gay is easy?! You think living in constant fear my dad will find out I’m gay and kill me is easy?! Do you think somehow my being able to let my guard down enough to love you despite everything that has happened to me is easy?! If you do, you're fucking crazy! Do you have any idea what it takes for me to trust you with my feelings?"

    With my back to her, I changed hurriedly then got into the single bed. I turned away from her still angry at the fact we were replaying the same old scene. I was furious she kept toying with me and my emotions whilst acting like she was the only one with any feelings. I could hear her soft sobs from across the room and despite my anger towards her I wanted so badly to reach out to her and hold her tight and let her know everything would be okay. My mind flashed back to the very same feelings I had experienced in Greece and yet again I closed my eyes. I blocked out the sound of her sobs and agonisingly lay frozen as I desperately tried to drift off to sleep.


    ~~~~~


    The next morning she acted like nothing had happened. Everything seemed fine. She smiled at me as I woke. "Morning," she said brightly.

    I stared at her unsure at first then wondered what had happened in her head to warrant this change. I realised it didn’t matter and decided to concentrate on having fun and enjoying our holiday.

    We were sat on the beach and she had hold of my hand, running her fingers lightly up and down my forearm. I sat cross legged leaning over the book I was reading. She reached her hand up from where she was lying and let her fingers trail up and down my back. That one move sent tingles up my spine that radiated outwards. I turned to meet her lustful stare and breathlessly spoke to her, "Che, I. Don’t. Just...No."

    I paused leaning back into her touch closing my eyes trying to muster up the will to pull away. Her hand eventually stilled and I regained my composure. I stood up and gathered my things and held my hand out to help her up. "Come on. Let’s get a drink. I need one".

    We made our way to the bar and found a table. She kept leaning in and whispering things in my ear whilst holding my hand. As she pulled away, her lips gently grazed my neck and her eyes met mine and my pulse quickened again.

    Two American guys watched our exchange with fascination. Soon, they made their way over to our table and started to flirt with both of us. Riley and Devon were both very fit and good looking but Che told them we weren't interested until Clark and Louise sat down with us. Louise eyed Che and me expectantly, smirking at both of us.

    Che dropped my hand immediately looking nervously around for an out. Her gaze settled on Riley and Devon and she invited them back over to have drinks with us. Riley was a tall, lean and athletic dark-haired guy who looked like an underwear model and this underwear model was flirting with my girl outrageously. A big ball of anxiety developed in my stomach.

    My fists were clenched and Louise reached out under the table and squeezed my hand for reassurance and gave me a knowing look. Devon then tried to flirt with me to no avail. I was rude and cold with him. He and his friend were ruining everything for me. I warily eyed him. He looked like an underwear model just like Riley except he had blonde hair. He was very good looking and if I had been into guys I definitely would have been into him. But I wasn’t and his mere presence set my teeth on edge.

    He joined me at the bar when it was my round and he continued to hit on me. He put his hand on the base of my back in an attempt to steer me through the crowds as we moved towards the bar. My whole body stiffened. I didn’t like men touching me without my permission. I wasn’t quite there yet.

    "I think you’re really hot, Lex. Do you maybe want to grab dinner some night with me?"

    I rolled my eyes already impatient with him, “Thanks but I'm really not into guys.”

    A massive smile spread across his face and I put my hand on his chest and laughed.

    "Put that out your head. That doesn't mean I'm gay for guys."

    "Can't blame a guy for trying!" he laughed. "It's probably for the best anyway. I'm trying to get my ex back."

    "Is she here?"

    “She's over there on the table by the door, with the dark hair in the black shirt."

    I looked over then turned back. "Oh, the one throwing me daggers?"

    "Yeah. She doesn't want to be with me but obviously doesn't want anyone else to be with me either."

    "Yeah. I know that feeling."

    He smiled nudged me with his arm. "Che?"

    I smiled, nodded and said, "Something like that."

    "Maybe we can double team it?" I gave him a questioning look and he said, "Look, I know you’re gay but nothing makes the heart grow fonder like a healthy bit of jealousy. We can work together to make them both jealous?"

    "Okay,” I answered after a while, “but I'm not sleeping with you."

    “Sure.” he chuckled.

    We returned to the table and Devon kept leaning in and whispering in my ear. At one point he whispered, "Are they both looking yet?"

    I flashed him a smile and whispered back, "Yeah. Definitely."

    He put his arm around me and I caught Che eyeing me and Devon. When the night drew to a close Devon lifted me up in his massive arms and spun me round. He whispered, "Thanks Lex. See you tomorrow?"'

    I nodded and Che and I headed back to our hotel room.

    Once in our room Che turned to me and blurted out, "What are you playing at?"

    "What do you mean?"

    “He's a guy and you don't like guys. You’re flirting with him like you’re about to jump on him."

    I dismissed her comment with a wave of my hand. "He's a nice guy. We were just being friendly."

    "Why are you doing this to me?"

    “I wasn't doing anything.”

    "You’re gay, Lex!"

    I turned to her. "I never said that. Just because someone sleeps with women doesn't mean they're gay, does it? Not according to you anyway!"

    "It's not the same, Lex, and you know it!"

    I sighed deeply tired of it all, "I don't want to argue with you. Do you think we can just stop?"

    She nodded then hugged me and as I was going to get into the single bed she pulled me towards the double and said, "Don't be a dick, Lex."

    I struggled to break free of her arms but she pulled me into an embrace. "Just sleep next to me, please?"

    I shook my head, "I can’t, Che."

    She pleaded again my resolve dissolving, "Please, Lex."

    She looked up at me with sadness in her eyes. I didn't have the energy nor the inclination to argue with her so I climbed under the sheet and lay on my back looking up at the ceiling thinking. She curled herself into my side and snaked her arm over my waist gently tracing swirls with her fingers across my stomach. It was too easy to let myself enjoy that moment and I succumbed wholeheartedly but I refused to let myself wonder what this meant. Instead, I let myself enjoy having her close and forced myself not to think too much into it.


    ~~~~~


    The next day we planned to sit by the pool with Riley and Devon and their friends. Che was floating in her rubber ring and I was sunbathing at the side of the pool. Devon, Riley and his friends approached and I felt the familiar tinge of jealousy as Riley waved at Che. I quickly stole a glance at her and saw that she was smiling at him. I turned over onto my front with the pretence of tanning my back but in reality I was hiding from her gaze. I didn't want her to see how jealous I was. I couldn’t show her my vulnerability.

    "Hey, Lex, mind if I sit here?" Devon asked.

    "Be my guest." I smiled and nodded.

    Devon then took the sun lounger next to me and spread his towel out. He sat down on the edge of his lounger pulled off his shirt revealing a really toned torso. I smiled, lifted my sunglasses slightly, and whistled playfully. He smiled and blushed slightly. I saw Che whip her head round to see our exchange.

    He was struggling to put sunscreen on so I said, "Come here. I'll do it."

    He flashed me a massive grin and lay down on his lounger face down. I sat down on his thighs with my legs on either side of the lounger and started to rub in the sunscreen. I instantly remembered doing this for Che and absently noted the differences in their bodies. Devon’s was hard, broad, slightly rougher and muscular whereas hers was soft, slight and curvaceous but toned. I decided I much preferred the feel of Che’s body to Devon’s but I surprised myself at the fact that I wasn't repulsed by Devon’s body. I was simply indifferent. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see how Che watched with interest as I helped Devon with his sunscreen.

    "Devon, turn over. I'll do your front."

    "Errm...You might need to give me a minute, Lex."

    “Why?”

    "You’re joking right?!" He laughed.

    "Just turn over. I'm wasting perfectly good sunbathing time!"

    "You really don't want me to do that."

    "For fuck’s sake, what's the problem?"

    He looked at me, face flushing red, and eased himself up slightly to the side revealing a massive erection. I started to giggle.

    "Yeah,” I told him. “Perhaps you better stay lying down. Maybe think of off-putting thoughts like your gran in the shower or something."

    "Yeah. That will do it!" He laughed and turned back over.

    I had a fit of the giggles and started teasing him. "Is it safe to do your front? I'm not going to be faced with...our little friend again, am I?"

    “Little?! I'm not little. I'll show you! He puffed out his chest in defiance.

    "Well, Is it safe?" I smirked.

    It’s cool, I'll think horrible thoughts."

    He was kind, thoughtful and funny. I really liked him but in the platonic sense. I wondered if I could ever be attracted to him or someone like him because it would make my life so much easier.

    After I finished helping him with his sunscreen he said, "You’re starting to burn. Come on. I'll help you with yours."

    "No, I'm alright."

    I didn't particularly want him touching me like that but he was persistent so I lay back down. He sat on my bum with his legs either side of the sun lounger and started to rub in the sunscreen. I noted again that I wasn't in the least bit affected by him as I was by Che. I was surprised his touch didn’t fill me with dread and I realised how far I had come. A few minutes went by and he leaned down to whisper in my ear, "I might have to lie here for a minute."

    I let out a massive laugh. "You’re kidding me!!"

    He laughed heartily,"Yeah of course I'm kidding. I've been thinking about fish!"

    I flipped over without thinking with him still sitting on me. I didn’t realise that would put us front to front.

    “Fish?”

    "Yeah. They make me sick."

    "You're weird!"

    "Weird, am I?" He started to tickle me and said, "let's see about that."

    He was tickling me until I could barely catch my breath.

    "Tell me I'm normal and I'll stop."

    "No!"

    "Okay,” he said. “Tell me I'm normal and our ‘little’ friend is massive!"

    "Okay. Okay. You’re normal! But I cannot comment on our little friend!”

    "I'll let you off then," he laughed and stopped tickling me. He climbed off me and lay back down on his lounger. “Che was watching us just then.”

    "So?" I looked at him and lifted my sunglasses. I really didn't care.

    "Coming for a swim?" he asked.

    I shook my head. He dived in from the side then once he had surfaced he threw me a cheeky smile. Half an hour later he was stood over me dripping.

    "Coming in?"

    "No, thanks."

    "Ah come on. It’s lonely out there." And with that he picked me up into his arms.

    "Devon, don't you dare!"

    "I'm not going to throw you in. Don't panic."

    He walked into the water from the shallow side until I was submerged up to my neck. I pushed him in the chest.

    "If this is just a dirty ploy so I have to get you to put more sunscreen on,” I told him, “you will be sorely disappointed I'd rather burn!"

    “Damn! You’re good!"

    I laughed and splashed him then dived under the water and pulled his trunks down. When I resurfaced I found him laughing.

    "If you wanted to get my shorts off,” he said, “there would be better ways to go about it!" He flashed me a perfect smile and a wink.

    He then bent down slowly and pulled his trunks back up. He pulled me towards him until we were front to front and said in my ear, "See? Not little."

    "I wouldn't know either way,” I laughed, “not really my thing."

    We swam over to the pool bar and had a few drinks. It wasn't long before I was feeling the affects of the alcohol. We were going to head back to our sun loungers and found I had lost control of my legs.

    "Dev,” I called out to him, “my legs aren't working!"

    He smiled, scooped me up in his arms and said, "One too many mojitos, Lex."

    He lifted me off the pool stool then placed me on my feet, perhaps a little too close to his body, as I fell against him. I looked up at him and he leaned down to place a light kiss on my lips. I was pretty drunk so my reaction was slow. Since I didn't react he kissed me again and I let him.

    It wasn't unpleasant, it was simply different. It didn't set my soul on fire or anything like Che or other girls did but it was okay.

    When I eventually pulled away, Devon smiled and invited me to go sit down. He lifted me up again, carried me out to the pool and placed me on the side. I walked over and sat down on my lounger. I looked over at Che and she looked distant as she sat in her rubber ring. I pulled my sunglasses back down and lay back as Riley swam underneath her rubber ring and flipped her over. She screamed and when he put his arms around her he started kissing her. To my disbelief she kissed him back, their hands roaming over each other’s bodies, and I felt my chest tighten. I closed my eyes and daydreamed about our last holiday together when it was me stood there in Riley's place.

    It was late evening and Che had organised for us to meet up with the guys that night in the bar for drinks. I wasn't overjoyed at the thought but went along with it.

    Devon stood close to my side all night while Che was pretty much surgically attached to Riley's mouth. Jealousy burned through my veins like fire and hate bubbled in my stomach as i felt myself shaking internally with anger. I appreciated Devon’s support but it didn’t do anything to dampen the hurt I knew was coming as the end of the night approached. Che was going back to Riley's room with him and my heart ached at the thought.

    Che soon came over to me and said, "I'm going to stay with Riley tonight."

    I didn't look at her and continued my gaze out over the beach and silently nodded my eyes stinging with the threatening tears.

    She continued. "Thing is, he shares with Devon and considering you and him are getting on well we wondered if he could stay with you, just for tonight?"

    I snapped my head round to look at her and my eyes told her she had hurt me yet again.

    She reached out to place her hand on my arm. “Lex, I...”

    “...It’s fine!”

    I got up without so much as looking at her, I walked over to Devon pulled him up by his arm and said, "We're going."

    "What? With you? Now? Errr yeah. Okay, cool." He stood and walked behind me a few steps until he broke into a jog to catch up with me then once out of earshot he asked, "Are we pretending to have a lot of sex tonight?"

    I turned round to face him, "Who said anything about pretending?!"

    I was angry with Che and I don't know why I did it but as soon as we got inside the room I slammed him against the wall and kissed him. It was so very different from kissing a girl. His face was rough and stubbly and his kisses weren't nearly as good. He kissed like a horny teenager which, of course, was what he was. There was no attempt to savour the moment.

    He pulled his top off and there was a smattering of hair on his chest. As I put my hands there I looked at it then up at him eyes full of trepidation. I made the decision not to stop despite it not being entirely comfortable. He pushed his hips against mine and I felt him dig into my side. It was a strange sensation and I imagine that should have felt hot and intimate but to me it felt intrusive like there was something in the room that shouldn't have been there.

    He lifted my top off and lifted me up with his strong arms and placed me effortlessly onto the bed as he undid his trousers. He then climbed up onto the bed and settled his weight onto mine. He was heavy and his skin was rougher than I was used to, not the soft smooth skin of a girl.

    "Are you sure you want to do this?" he breathlessly asked as he was kissing my neck.

    I thought for a second then thought of Che and Riley together. "Yeah. Fuck her!"

    He laughed low and then almost growled, "You smell amazing."

    "You smell of,” I laughed and finished the sentence, “...man."

    "Thanks, I think!"

    We continued kissing and it wasn't long before we were having sex. It was so different that I found myself making comparisons. It wasn't unpleasant and he was the perfect gentleman. He kept asking if I was okay until I told him to shut up and took control myself. I didn’t like the feeling of his weight bearing down on me or the way his hips pinned mine against the bed, I felt trapped. It seemed to be easier once I had flipped him over on o his back.

    "That was amazing!" he said as he pulled me towards him afterwards enveloping me in his massive arms. “Are you okay?”

    I was filled with an overwhelming feeling of emptiness as thoughts of Che slowly started to creep in. My mind raced as his words interrupted my train of thought and I paused before replying, "Don't take this the wrong way. That was great. You're great. It was really better than I expected, but I'm definitely gay."

    "I suppose it's something to boast about to the guys back home."

    I gave him a questioning look.

    "Well, I had sex with a lesbian and she liked it."

    I laughed and thumped him in the arm. We talked for a bit and he asked me about my relationship with Che among other things then we fell asleep. It was nice having human contact whilst I slept.

    The next morning Che knocked on the door before opening it straight away. Devon and I were still in bed. He had his arm around me and the sheet had fallen off his backside revealing he had no underwear on. Che was looking at him, clearly naked. As I woke up, she came into focus and I almost forgot he was with me.

    "Hey,” I sleepily greeted her, “good night?"

    "Looks like you had a good one too."

    I laughed and gave Devon a dig in the ribs to wake him. As he woke he flipped over onto his back and the sheet fell completely off his body. Che's mouth fell open slightly. He got up, put his boxers back on and headed for the shower after flashing Che a dazzling smile.Once the bathroom door shut I got out of bed too and walked naked to where my top lay near her feet. She faltered her breath catching as she stared at me slightly open mouthed. Once she shook herself and regained her composure she spoke her words filled with emotion.

    "What are you doing?” Che asked. “He's a man in case you haven't noticed!"

    "It's pretty hard to miss." I smiled as i bent to retrieve my top.

    "Lex, you’re gay!"

    "Well, so are you. Didn't stop you with Riley though, did it?"

    "I'm not gay," Che whispered.

    I held my top in my left hand as I moved towards her so my body was almost touching her, "Okay. Well after last night I definitely am! It was nothing like it was with us."

    My eyes locked on hers the intensity clear. I moved closer my mouth just an inch from her ear, "You do remember what it was like with us, don't you?" I got closer still, my lips less than an inch from hers. Excitement coursed through my veins as I could tell she wanted to kiss me. She leaned in slightly but I moved away and pulled my top over my head, "but you're not gay so it's irrelevant."

    I was playing games and I hated myself for it but I couldn't seem to stop myself. Devon left to go back to his room to change and kissed me on the cheek.

    "I’ll see you later at the beach, yeah?" he said.

    I nodded and he left. I waited for Che to change after I hit the shower and got dressed and then we went down to breakfast. I loaded my plate with all kinds.

    "Hungry?" Che asked.

    “Yeah,” I said, “I'm starving for some reason."

    "I guess you worked up quite the appetite."

    "Not half as much as I did with you," I said. She gazed at me pretty intensely then turned and headed to a table.

    We ate breakfast in silence and just before we got done she said, "I don't like thinking of you with him like that."

    "Welcome to my world. Just do what I do and don't think about it. It doesn't help much but at least you're trying." I stood up and said,"you ready to go? The guys will be waiting?"

    She silently nodded and we headed to the beach.

    The holiday continued but Devon and I stopped the pretend flirting and intimacy and just stuck to being friends. I was glad he was there. It was a welcome distraction from watching and brooding on what Riley and Che were doing.


    ~~~~~


    We had gotten back from the holiday and Che and I were sat in my room watching a film. I was looking forward to Louise and Clark’s wedding and I turned to Che to ask her to be my date. She paused for a minute and I added I wanted us to go as friends.

    “Yeah,” Che said, “I’d love to.”

    “You okay sharing a room at the hotel with me or do you want your own? I think there will be two doubles."

    "Lex, I'd rather share with you if that's okay?"

    I nodded.

    "What should I wear?” Che asked. “We need to go shopping."

    "I'm not going sexy dress shopping with you,” I said. “What happened last time I helped you pick out skimpy clothing?"

    "Aaww you were so cute and awkward. It was adorable!"

    "Take Jo!" I smiled at her.

    “Fine.” She nodded.

    The night before the wedding Che stayed over at my house with Louise and her other bridesmaids. We had a few drinks and got Chinese take-out and tried to keep her calm. It got late and Louise took herself off to bed along with her friends. Che and I followed her soon after. We were lying on the bed before sleep came.

    “Do you think you will ever be as in love with someone as Louise is with Clark?” Che asked.

    I swallowed hard and and felt the familiar ache in my chest at her words.

    "I already am."

    "Lex, I..."

    "Don't,” I stopped her. “Just don't!"

    I turned over placing my back to her. I was angry she would even ask me that question when she knew how I felt. She became quiet and didn't pursue things with me. She just let me drift off to sleep.

    The next morning, the house was filled with chaos. I went to sit with Louise while she had her makeup and her hair done. She looked beautiful and her dress was stunning. The bodice was tight and figure hugging, tying at the back in a crisscross pattern. It was embellished with hand stitched damontes and detail and it flowed outwards complimenting her figure perfectly. She had picked purple as her theme so my dress was a dark purple strapless number with a very light black overlay giving it an edgy feel. I refused to wear the stereotypical ugly bridesmaid dress and was happy I had won that fight. I had butterflies in my stomach because I wanted everything to go well and I was overcome with happiness for my sister.


    ~~~~~


    The cars arrived to take us to church. I was overwhelmed by Clark’s choice of cars. The Bentleys he got were beautiful. The sun was shining and everyone was looking forward to the day ahead. My dad went in the car with Lou and my mum. Che, Leila, Louise's other bridesmaid, and I went in the other car. It was a very uncomfortable car ride.

    "You look amazing, Lex," Leila smiled at me.

    Che scowled at her and if looks could kill Leila would have been a goner. I liked the fact Che was clearly jealous of Leila it showed she still had feelings for me. Leila and Che continued to scowl at each other much to the confusion of Louises other bridesmaid who sat there clueless to the reason for the animosity.I gently took Che’s hand out of sight of my mum and squeezed it gently offering her reassurance.

    I was glad to get out of the car and out of the awkwardness as we pulled up at the church. It was a small grey-stoned church with a quaint little graveyard around the back. It also had beautifully-kept grounds at the front filled with cherry blossom trees and wildflowers. The door of the church was very old and wooden with large iron handles. The windows were large panes of stained glass and, as the hazy sunshine flowed through them, cast beautiful colours on the stone floors inside. The length of the aisles were decorated exquisitely with flowers at the end of each pew and there was a woman playing a harp in the corner. The music that drifted out of the church was mesmerizing.

    Che and my mum went in first taking their seats leaving my dad, Louise, Leila and me outside the church. As Leila and I entered the church I was hit by the smell of flowers and holy water and candles all mingled together. Leila reached for my hand trepidation showing on her features, "Lex, I'm sorry for everything, you know?"

    Panic flooded my body as I shook her hand off and stole a quick nervous glance in my dad’s direction. Thankfully, he was looking the other way. I turned to Leila, "Not here. I'll talk to you later, okay?"

    She nodded.

    When the music struck up Canon in D, I looked at Louise before walking down the aisle behind her taking the train of her dress. I smiled and mouthed the words “I love you” to my sister before turning back to walk toward the side of the altar. I smiled at Clark as I approached. He stood looking nervous as hell but very dashing In his morning suit. I gave him a warm smile as I saw a tear run down his cheek as he took in the sight of Louise in her dress. I took my place next to Clark’s best man and Leila stood next to me. The service was lovely and i could feel the happiness radiating from both Clark and Louise.

    After the ceremony we had our pictures taken by the photographer outside the church and we then went on to a country house hotel my parents had hired out for the reception. It was a beautiful place with landscaped gardens and big grand rooms. As we entered, waiters stood with champagne flutes and orange juice for the teetotallers and kids. Inside there were more waiters and waitresses walking around with huge trays filled with canapés.

    I was stood out on the stone terrace that overlooked the manicured lawn and I felt someone approach me from behind. I turned and it was Leila. She took my hand in hers.

    "Can we talk?" she asked.

    "Sure," I said after making sure no one was around.

    "I just wanted to apologise for the way I treated you. It wasn't fair of me."

    I nodded but stayed silent.

    “I guess you kind of taught me I need to be true to myself, so I told my parents I’m gay,” Leila said. “It wasn't as horrific as I'd imagined. They didn't disown me."

    I smiled at her, "I'm glad it went well for you."

    "Do you forgive me for how I behaved?"

    I nodded. "We all do fucked up things when we're backed into a corner."

    “Thanks, Lex,” she said and looked up at me nervously. "I’ve still got feelings for you. I should never have done what I did".

    Her gaze flicked down from my eyes to my mouth then leaned in to kiss me. I don’t know why but I kissed her back. It was tentative at first an when since I didn’t resist she increased the intensity of her kiss. Her lips parted and let her hands drop to my hips. It was nice but I didn’t feel anything. It was just a kiss. I slowly pulled away.

    "Leila, I’m sorry but I don’t have feelings for you anymore."

    She smiled and shrugged. "Yeah, I figured. It was worth a shot though".

    She leaned in again and placed a quick kiss on my lips and as she pulled away I looked behind her. I saw Che looking at us. When she saw us looking at her she turned and walked back inside her brow creased with emotion.

    "Shit, not again!" I muttered.

    “I'm sorry,” Leila said. “I shouldn't have done that."

    "No, not you. Che was watching us."

    "Do you still have feelings for her?"

    "I think I always will but she doesn't feel the same. Look I should go after her."

    "How about you don't?” Leila grabbed my arm and said, “That's what she wants you to do."

    I smiled at her, decided she was right and nodded, then we went back inside and got some drinks. Later on in the night I found Che sitting on the balcony having a cigarette. I walked over to her and leaned on the stone balcony next to her.

    "Since when did you start smoking?" I asked her.

    "I smoke when I'm unhappy," she said as she looked out over the grounds.

    "Why are you unhappy?"

    She avoided my eyes, taking a long drag of her cigarette then exhaled deeply, “Because the person I'm crazy about is a girl and I can't be with a girl. I just can’t and it kills me to see her with other people."

    "These things will kill you." I took hold of her hand and tossed the cigarette away. "I know but I'm not with anyone else now. I'm here with you. You're the only person I want to be with.” She flashed me a pained expression and I sighed. "And I know you can't be with me but maybe this is enough."

    I lifted her hand to my mouth and kissed it as she rested her head on my shoulder. The wedding was winding down and everyone was heading home so Che and I headed up to our room and each of us got into our separate beds. She looked at me as if she was about to ask me to sleep next to her but she reconsidered and we went to sleep with a heavy silence surrounding us.
     
    #8
  9. Lexington

    Lexington Well-Known Member

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    CHAPTER EIGHT



    I had just turned 17 and once the excitement of the wedding had subsided my parents started to put pressure on me to make a decision about my future. They wanted me to go to uni but I hadn't applied to any. I was sick of the academic world and sick of my dad pushing me to get the best grades. Nothing was ever good enough for him.

    I had been thinking alot about my grandad and what he used to tell me. I found my old piggy bank I used to fill with the £20 notes he used to give me, I got a hammer from the garage and smashed it open. There was a great deal of cash inside.

    I went to my dresser drawer and pulled out the savings book for the account he had opened for me and checked the amount. I called Che and asked her if she wanted to go traveling with me. She said she would but maybe join me somewhere for a shorter period of time because she had Uni. My heart sank as I realised she was starting down a new path I wouldn’t be part of. I felt a pang of jealousy when I realised she would be meeting all kinds of new people. I wondered if Uni would help her come to terms with her sexuality. I felt conflicted. On one hand, it could help her accept who she was but, on the other, I hated the idea that someone else could be the cause of that revelation. I fought against myself to quell the feelings of jealousy that emerged from my vivid imagination.

    I pushed these thoughts away and stopped by the travel agent’s where I discussed with her the places I wanted to go to. She told me how much cash I would most likely need. I returned home did some math and figured out I was short by a small amount. It wasn’t irresponsible but it was exciting.

    I spoke to my mum and told her my plans.

    "It sounds like a great idea,” she said, “but you have to get the cash together yourself."

    Since picking up extra shifts at the restaurant wasn’t enough, my mum got me a job babysitting for one of her acquaintances. She rang me up the next day and said she wanted me to start right away. Mrs. Wilson was going through a nasty divorce since her husband ran off with a younger woman and she needed me to look after her son, Lucas, while she was at work. She was a very attractive woman for her age. She was, I would say, in her early forties. She was slim with long blonde hair and the bluest eyes I had ever come across. She had my full attention from the get go.

    Lucas was three years old and he was adorable. We had a brilliant time together. The three weeks that passed with Lucas went by pleasantly. I also found myself getting on really well with Mrs. Wilson who insisted I call her Lana, as she said “Mrs. Wilson” made her feel old. It got to the point where she would return home from work she would always check on Luc then she would talk to me about the kind of day Lucas and I had had. She would tell me about her day over a coffee before I got a taxi home. This became somewhat of a ritual for us and I looked forward to talking with her for that one hour of the day. She was both interesting and intelligent and we would sit and debate various topics until she would give in and admit I was right.

    She would often laugh at how I always had to be right. She seemed to have been able to identify my issues and would often talk about the darkness that would sometimes surround me and how I sometimes felt unreachable to her. She was kind and patient and I ended up telling her what Jason and my dad had done to me. She was understanding and said it explained a lot about my persona. As time progressed I would stay at Lana’s longer after she returned home from work.

    I had just put Lucas to bed and was busy tidying up his toys into his toy box when I heard Lana's key in the door. As she came through into the hall she shouted my name.

    "In here, Lana." I shouted back.

    She came through into the lounge and smiled at me.

    "Hi, Lex,” she said. “Is Luc in bed?"

    "Yeah. He's had a story and warm milk and he went off within 15 minutes. Just tidying up his toys before I leave."

    "Thanks,” she said. “Listen, I was wondering if you fancied staying for dinner? I can't be bothered cooking and it seems silly just ordering for one?"

    "Yeah. Why not. I'm starving!"

    She nodded and pointed to the draw, "Menus are in the draw. Your choice."

    "How do you feel about Chinese?"

    "Sounds good."

    “I'll order while you change.”

    "Thanks. I'm just going to take a shower and look in on Luc." She grabbed a bottle of wine and corkscrew handed it to me, "Pour us both a drink?"

    I nodded.

    After some time, I put the radio on and started singing along and dancing while I opened the bottle. I turned around and was about to grab two glasses from the cupboard and found Lana leaning against the doorframe watching me with a grin on her face. She looked really good even in sweatpants and a vest top. I stopped and smiled slightly embarrassed. She pushed herself off the door frame and reached up into the cupboard pulled down the two glasses and placed them in front of me.

    "Don't let me stop you," she said with a smirk.

    I filled our glasses then looked up at her, smiled and quickly looked away, "you look nice."

    “I'm in my scruffs, Lex.” She looked me directly in the eyes, “You don't have to be nice."

    I smiled and met her gaze and held it, "Well I think you look nice."

    “You’re sweet,” she grinned and placed her hand on my shoulder as she passed behind me. My breath caught in my chest at her touch and the feelings it stirred within me was surprising.

    She asked what I'd ordered and I gave her a run down. We took our glasses through to the living room and sat on the sofa next to each other. As she brought her legs up onto the sofa I asked her how her day had been.

    "It was tiresome," she said.

    "Tiresome?" I asked as I turned to look at her.

    "There's a guy at work who knows about the divorce. He seems to think I'm fair game now."

    I smiled looked down at my drink then back up at her. "So I take it you're not really into him?"

    She threw her head back closed her eyes. "I'm just tired of men thinking it's their god given right to hit on me uninvited. Like I'm single so obviously I must be on the lookout for a man. I couldn't possibly want to just enjoy my own company, you know?"

    "I don't really get hit on much by guys. I guess I give off a don't fucking bother vibe. Apparently I am moody and surly.”

    "That surprises me,” she looked at me with warmth and understanding in her eyes, “I thought you would have a hoard of guys chasing you. And I wouldn't say moody. More thoughtful and reflective. You know, in your own head a lot of the time."

    I took a sip of my wine and said, "No, they don't really interest me to be honest. And I suppose I'm guarded. I've had to be. I mean, I’ve learnt it’s the only way to keep myself safe and I know that makes zero sense to you."

    She turned her head to the side and contemplated me for a moment, "Lex, are you gay?"


    I felt a ball of nervous energy build in the pit of my stomach and my palms became clammy. I looked at her with weary eyes. She must have sensed my discomfort and she placed her hand on my leg to offer me reassurance. "It's ok, you can trust me. Your mum and I aren't that close and I wouldn't break your trust. But if you're uncomfortable we can talk about something else."

    I considered her for a moment trying to see whether I could trust her or not. "Yeah. I'm gay. Guys don't really do anything for me."

    She nodded and took another sip of her wine. "Forgive my ignorance but how do you know?"

    "I've been with a guy if that's what you mean. And if I had any doubts before then I definitely didn't afterwards."

    "No,” she shook her head. “I wasn't meaning to pry. I just wondered how you can be so sure."

    "It just doesn't feel natural to me. With guys it's just forced. Like I'm just going through the motions. My mind’s elsewhere. Whereas with girls, it just makes sense. I can’t even begin to think about anything else even if I tried I can't really explain it."

    She smiled. "I had a relationship with a girl once when I was in uni. She was my best friend and she was beautiful." She pulled her legs up to her chest and rested her chin on her knees as she drifted off into thought.

    My curiosity peaked and I asked her, "What happened?"

    She had a faraway look in her eyes. "I couldn't do it. I loved her dearly but I couldn't be a lesbian not even for her. I just couldn't."

    "So what happened?"

    "Well, we drifted apart and she met someone else, a girl of course, and I met Daniel, my soon to be ex husband." She was quiet for a moment then added, "I didn't feel for him even an iota of what I felt for Liz but it was easier to be with him."

    My mind was full of questions I wanted to ask her when she interrupted my thoughts, "You think I'm a terrible person, don't you?"

    "No,” I said. “I think it takes a lot of courage to admit who we really are. It's harder for some people than it is for others."

    She nodded. "If I didn't have Luc it would be my biggest regret not being brave enough for her, well for me too I guess."

    With her words it suddenly brought into focus everything Che was feeling. I finally understood why she was the way she was, It wasn’t that she wouldn't be with me it was that she couldn’t. She was afraid of losing her family, a family that meant everything to her.

    Lana looked at me. "You look deep in thought."

    "I have a friend who is a lot like you, that’s all. We. Me and her, that is, sound alot like you and Liz."

    Before she could reply the doorbell went. "Hold on. That will be the food."

    I went to the kitchen and got out plates. She put the food onto the plates and filled up our glasses.

    "I never saw her again, you know.” She looked at me with eyes full of sadness. “Liz, I mean."

    "You should look her up and tell her what you told me. I don't mean to start anything with her, I just mean to say sorry and explain. I know if it was me I would appreciate knowing you regretted your choice even if you couldn't change it."

    She smiled. "Maybe I will." We ate in silence for a few minutes and then she asked, "What about you and your friend? I take it you're the brave one?"

    "I wouldn't say brave. I'm not out either. You know what my dad is like."

    she nodded, "He's a hard man." I sat n a trance like state as images of the things my dad had done to me played across my mind as I drew out the word ‘hard’, it left a bitter taste in my mouth. She put her hand on my shoulder as she added, "You aren’t a bit like him if that’s what you are worried about?"

    I shook my head and smiled at her as I silently stood up to clear our plates. She washed and I dried.

    "I sometimes forget how young you are, you know? You seem wise beyond your years."

    I nudged her with my hip. "Well, you don't exactly seem your age either."

    She smiled and nudged me back. "I've got ice cream for dessert." She took out a tub of Ben & Jerry's from the freezer and got two spoons.

    "Cookie dough, okay?" she asked as she offered a spoon.

    I nodded and took the spoon. She opened the tub, took a spoonful then handed it to me. We passed the ice cream back and forth as we talked.

    "What's your friend like then?" she asked.

    I smiled at the thought of Che, "She's beautiful. She's got brown hair, big light brown eyes with long dark lashes. She's got the cutest dimples when she smiles and when she does it lights up the room. She's got an amazing body and, I know it’s a cliche, but when I'm with her I feel like the part of me that's missing fits back into place. Being in her arms is like coming home." I looked up at her and continued, "It sounds stupid, I know but we have a lot in common. She understands me like nobody else ever has, and she is patient with me, she embraces my dark side as well as my light unconditionally. She’s always been there for me through everything. We like all the same music and books and computer games. She has crap taste in films but everyone has their faults, right?"

    She shook her head. "No. It's nice how in love with her you are. You are something else Lex, intriguing, very intriguing"

    Her words shook me slightly. I knew I loved Che dearly, but was I in love with her? I let myself ponder the thought when there was a loud banging on the door. I snapped my head around in the direction of the noise. She stood up looked out of the window. "Shit, it's Daniel."

    He continued to bang on the door and the noise woke Lucas and he started to cry.

    "I'll go see to Lucas while you get the door, okay?" I said.

    "Thanks, Lex.” she said. “Sorry about this."

    I ran up the stairs holding my neck. I pulled something when I whipped my head round to the door. I settled Luc down and and as I went to leave the room, Lana’s voice came up behind me.

    "He settled okay then?" she asked.

    I nodded and we silently left the room.

    As we went back down the stairs I held and rubbed my neck. Once we reached the kitchen she poured us another drink.

    "Your neck bothering you, Lex?"

    "I think I pulled it a bit with the banging on the door."

    "Here. Let me." She stood behind me and started rubbing my shoulders. Her touch sent shivers through me as she gradually worked her way up to my neck.

    I turned round, and as I did, she kissed me on the lips with force. She pulled away and looked at me for a moment. She threw me completely off balance, I stood there looking at her completely shocked and unsure of what to make of the situation. After a few seconds I decided what the hell, I put my drink down and kissed her back. This time I pulled her in towards me pushing her against the kitchen counter pressing my hips against hers.

    Our kisses became fiercer and as I started to run kisses down her neck I slipped my thigh between her legs and she dug her nails into my back. It became heated and she dragged me upstairs to her bedroom. She was surprisingly rough but I liked it, the fact that I enjoyed it set my mind racing.

    ***Go to Tumblr post***

    I lay back against the pillows as she smiled at me drawing me closer into an embrace. My mind begun to race at the stinging sensation on my back. I glanced down noting the blood stained sheets and i should have been horrified except i wasn’t, i was wholly satisfied in a way never thought I could be and it frightened me.



    The first part of the night was pretty much the first time I hadn't been in complete control and it was a strange sensation. Although I enjoyed it immensely I wasn't sure I was entirely comfortable with it because it seemed to trigger memories I had no desire to revisit.

    Even though I enjoyed my time with Lana my mind raced with the thoughts of what we did and the fact that I enjoyed it.The whole situation left me wondering what that meant about me. I had a hard time adjusting afterwards and the thoughts of what had happened to me in my past haunted me. I wondered if my past experiences had left me fucked up in the head and if that was the reason I enjoyed what Lana did to me.

    Che noticed a difference in me the next evening whilst we were watching a film together. She reached out to touch the red welts the shackles had left on my wrists. She looked up at me with worry in her eyes. "Lex, what are these?"

    "Nothing.” I pulled my wrist back and avoided her gaze. “They're nothing."

    She put her hand on my back and I winced. She lifted my top up as I tried to snake away from her touch but she managed to lift it enough to reveal deep scratches that ran the full length of my back. She pulled my top over my head and took note of the cuts on my breasts from the clamps Lana had used. Che looked up at me. "What the fuck, Lex!"

    I looked at her almost pleading. "Look. Don't freak out."

    "If you're telling me not to freak out that means I will more than likely freak out!"

    "You have to promise you won't tell anyone."

    Che tilted her head to one side with a look on her face that said it was a given. "I promise, did your dad do that? The fucking bastard. I’ll kill him!"

    "No!" I shook my head, pulled her back down. "You know Lana Wilson?"

    "The woman you’re babysitting for?" she asked.

    I nodded and swallowed hard. "Well she kind of made a move on me. That's what the marks are from.” I looked at her through my lashes slightly embarrassed. “She's kind of, well, a kinky bitch."

    "But...but...she's got a son. She was married.” Che's mouth hung open and she laughed in disbelief. “Wait, what? She did this to you?!"

    I nodded then quickly added, "It was consensual before you ask!"

    "Kinky?! She's a fucking sadist by the looks of these marks! You can't tell me you enjoyed that?"

    A slight smile spread across my face. "It was kind of exciting actually."

    "When you joked about liking the thought of being bitten,” she laughed, “you actually weren't joking, were you?"

    I smiled and shook my head.

    Che smiled broadly at me whilst shaking her head.

    "I had no idea!" She looked at me like she was seeing me in a new light. "And it didn't freak you out? You know, being held down?"

    "No,” I shook my head. “Not at the time but it's kind of got me worried what happened to me has fucked me up, you know?"

    "Sweetheart, just because you enjoyed a bit of kinky sex, with someone old enough to be your mother, by the way, doesn't mean you're fucked up."

    She looked at me as if wanting to ask the question.

    "No,” I said. “It didn't even begin to compare to us."

    She looked up shocked. "How do you always know what I'm thinking?"

    "I know you better than I know myself." I smiled at her.

    "Are you going to sleep with her again?"

    "It was good but no.” I shook my head. “Besides, I don't think my body can take the battering."

    She laughed. "You need nourishment not punishment!"

    I chucked a pillow at her and rolled my eyes. "You are such a geek!”

    We fell silent as we sat and watched TV. Out of the blue, she asked me, "Lana?"

    “What about her?" I asked.

    "You're kidding!” she started laughing. “That's her name?"

    I gave her a confused look .

    "Lana Lang,” she said. “The love interest of Clark Kent and Lex Luthor when they were kids?" She started to giggle uncontrollably. "That's amazing!"

    I threw a pillow at her. "You're a loser!"

    ~~~~~

    I went back to Lana's a few days later to look after Lucas. I put him to bed, as usual, and waited for Lana to come home. She smiled shyly when she arrived. Her shyness surprised me as her actions up to that point had been anything but shy. I told her nervously that I’d had fun the other night but that I didn’t want to go there again.

    "Lex, it’s ok.” She met my gaze, eyes full of warmth, “We were both feeling vulnerable. It was a one time thing. It was just what we both needed at the time. Don’t worry I’m not offended, okay?"

    I smiled and nodded, "Yeah, that’s what I meant I guess.”

    She grinned at my awkwardness, "Fancy a drink?" she asked.

    I nodded and she opened the bottle. As she poured our drinks she said, "I took your advice."

    I gave her a questioning look.

    "I got in contact with Liz. I apologised for how I behaved and told her about my regrets. She said she was glad I called and she would like to meet up for dinner!"

    I smiled and was genuinely happy for her. She asked if I could watch Lucas while she went out with Liz. I told her I would be happy to and joked that I might even get to meet her when she brought her home. It was as if nothing had happened between us and I was glad.

    The following week I met Liz. She was just like how Lana had described her. I had a strange feeling of meeting myself. She had been in my exact position and I envied her for eventually getting a real chance with the love of her life even if it was years later. I wondered if I would ever get that chance with Che. I also wondered whether Liz had waited around for Lana hoping she would one day be able to accept who she is. A wave of sadness washed over me at the thought I could potentially wait forever for Che.

    A few weeks later I finally had enough cash saved up to fund my trip. I let Lana know I would be leaving soon and couldn't babysit for her. I recommended someone I thought would be good with Lucas. She was genuinely happy for me and I could see just how happy she was now she had found Liz again. I hoped one day I could be as happy as she was.
     
    #9
  10. Lexington

    Lexington Well-Known Member

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    2
    CHAPTER NINE

    I was finally ready to go on my trip. I planned on going to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Australia and New York and had booked all the tickets for my trip. My trip would take six months and I was nervous to travel on my own. Che also booked her tickets to meet me in New York and be with me for a month for the last leg of my trip.

    Just before I left, Che organised a going-away party with all my friends. Her parents were away and it was the perfect place for us to hold the party. Her place was a large period house with high ceilings and large heavy wooden doors. Every room had its own fireplace and I always thought it was really romantic to have a working wood-burning fireplace in a bedroom. I loved spending time at her house. Che’s family are great. They were a proper family and her parents genuinely cared about her. It was nice to be amongst loving parents even if they weren't mine. I felt relaxed in their home. It was a stark contrast from my own.

    The day of the party arrived. It was a hot and muggy day and I headed over to Che’s feeling somewhat nervous. The previous night I had a dream about Che and it still played on my mind. I dreamt she opened her heart to me. It was the best feeling in the world to wake up to that and, for a split second, I believed all my hopes had come true. The thought of having her in my arms knowing that this girl, the centre of my universe, the reason I drew breath everyday, was mine. It was out of this world amazing.

    I dreamt I woke up with her tucked into my side with her limbs draped over me protectively. As I opened my eyes, her beautiful face came into focus. The sound of her shallow breaths told me she was stirring and my eyes greedily took in every curve of her body, every freckle, her seductive scent, the flicker of her eyelashes, as she dreamed. I longed for her to wake revealing her deep-brown eyes. They were eyes I could happily get lost in. A soft sigh escaping her lips at my touch. My heart filled with warmth as it began to sing at the sound. I moved away slightly causing her brow to crease into a frown at the loss of contact. Her hands sought me out and drew me back in.

    I woke with a start and as the realisation it was all a dream had set it, a deep sorrow settled over me and left me with a profound regret at how things had turned out. This girl was all I ever wanted and all I would ever need. She was my world and without her my life lacked purpose. I was nothing. Everything paled into insignificance without her. Nothing would ever make sense in my life if I couldn't have her. She was part of me and without her I was a broken damaged version of myself. She made me want to be the best version of me I could possibly be. I would, forever be, not worthy of her love. She was the only one I ever let myself be vulnerable with and the only one I would ever trust but having her was just a dream
    ~~~~~


    As I reached her front door, my hands shook with nervousness. My mind was awash with how the night would play out. Given I was due to leave, I was desperate to leave on good terms with Che. My stomach was flipping as I reached out to knock on the door. Che pulled the door open and my nerves instantly dissolved. Being in her presence made my existence make sense.

    She greeted me warmly. "Lex, you’re here finally, what have you been doing?!". She pulled me into an embrace and the butterflies in my stomach started to flutter as her perfume drifted to me. It was intoxicating and, true to form, it made my head spin. I pulled away and shrugged and she rolled her eyes and ushered me through to the garden where my friends were sat.

    It was such a lovely day Che decided to do a barbecue, the drinks were flowing and everyone was in high spirits.

    I glanced at Che and observed the way the light was falling on her face I smiled to myself at how beautiful she was a warmth spreading over me. I watched her as she danced to the music while flipping burgers when she thought nobody was looking. I smiled to myself captivated by her. I deliberately tried to subdue the thoughts and joined my friends at the table slightly shaken emotionally at how vulnerable she always managed to make me feel.

    Che joined us at the table taking the seat next to me. Her proximity made my stomach clench her familiar scent drifting towards me conjuring memories that set my pulse racing resulting in a flush creeping up onto my face.

    As we were eating dinner, Jo asked, "Why don't we do this more often?"

    "You’re kidding right?” Che said exasperated. “The last time we had a party here everything was tidied up afterwards. I thought great crisis averted. My parents would never have known if it hadn't been for the garden gnome in the fridge with a vandalised gone fishing sign. Someone had changed it to 'gone fisting'."

    We all fell about laughing at the thought of Che's very conservative mum being confronted with a filthy garden gnome in her fridge.

    "Che, that might possibly have been me." Lisa looked sheepish. "It seemed like a good idea at the time, mate. I was sooo fucked up that night!"

    Che looked at Lisa. "Mate, I had to explain to my mother what fisting was. It wasn’t a comfortable scenario to be in, let me tell you!"

    We all started laughing as we pictured that situation.

    “It’s not funny!” Che said. “My mum wanted to know if I had ever done anything like that and if it was worth a try."

    Che then proceeded to give us a rundown of exactly what her mum had said verbatim. She even had her mum’s voice down to a fine art. "...because you can’t always believe the hype, darling. It’s like bum sex. People rave over it but if I’m honest I don’t see what all the fuss is about!"

    I was laughing so hard I struggled to breath. I looked over at Che and touched her on the arm to get her attention. "Your mum used the words ‘The bum sex?"

    Che pushed me playfully and started to laugh along with us all she covered her face with her hands.

    "It was mortifying!” Che told Lisa. “I never want to experience anything like that again."

    "Aaaww. So no garden gnomes in gimp masks then?” Lisa laughed and managed to choke out in between giggles. “I’d love to see you explain a masochistic gnome in your mum’s fridge".

    The laughter died down and Jo turned to me and nudged me in the arm. "So you’re not completely shitting a brick at the thought of travelling on your own then?"

    "Yeah,” I said. Che let her hand slip down under the table and it rested on my thigh. I had to concentrate to focus on what Jo had asked me. I took a sip of my beer to give me a few extra seconds to regain my composure. “Of course, I am, but that’s all part of the fun, isn’t it?"

    "Nah mate,” Jo shook her head as she regarded me closely. “I don’t think I am brave enough to go on my own. I don’t trust myself not to get lost or whatever and truth be known, I don’t enjoy my own company, really. I don’t like myself that much."

    "Jo, you’re going to make me cry in a minute!" I said to her. She smiled and I continued, "If I’m honest, I don’t particularly like myself all that much either but that’s the point. I’ll never get to find out who I am if I’m surrounded by you lot. Too many opportunities to bury my head in the sand and misbehave. If i’m alone, I have no other option but to think."

    She laughed and raised her eyebrows. "And, of course, the opportunity for six months’ worth of holiday romances."

    Alice laughed along with Jo and then turned to address the rest of the group. "God.Iimagine if she goes away and finds herself then meets someone and comes back all loved up in a stable relationship! That would be sooo weird!"

    Che started to squirm in her chair and looked uncomfortable so I shook my head and laughed.

    "Never going to happen, ladies.” I told them. “I think I’ll keep it simple and stick to one night stands with emotionally unavailable people."

    Che continued to squirm, her brow furrowing in thought, so I took Che's hand and pulled it into my lap and squeezed it gently to offer her reassurance. I met her gaze and saw a glimmer of pain and sadness in her eyes. I wanted so badly to pull her into my arms and make the hurt go away but I knew I couldn't do that for her. I didn't like feeling helpless and, more than that, I despised feeling this out of control. It brought back too many bad memories of the shit I suffered at my dad’s hands.

    Alice laughed and broke through my thoughts. "Well make sure you use protection. I don’t fancy a trip to the clap clinic on your return."

    Che seemed to shake herself out of her gloom and smiled broadly. She never missed an opportunity to ridicule Alice. "You mean another visit, Al? You were there last week, no?"

    Alice pretended to laugh then gave Che the finger. "Speaking of protection, let's do the leaving gift now." She wiggled her eyebrows mischievously.

    They passed me a bag marked “survival kit”.

    I gingerly opened it and peered inside. As I tipped the bag, out fell a large quantity of dental dams, lubricant, some Savlon antiseptic cream, all the applicable guide books, a solar powered phone charger and a photograph of all my friends. The kit was much appreciated despite the fact most of it would go unused and I thanked all of them.

    "I'm going to miss you guys loads!" As I said the words, I focused on Che and our eyes met. I knew she would miss me just as much as I would miss her.

    I got up to get another drink and Che grabbed my hand on the way past. "I've got you a separate gift just from me but I'll give you it later, okay?"

    I nodded and allowed a cheeky smile to spread across my face to tease her. Che’s eyes locked on mine. The intensity I found there frightened me as I realised I was being pulled back in and I felt helpless to prevent it.

    She let out the filthy laugh I was so familiar with and she shoved me playfully. "You fucking wish!"

    I smiled lopsidedly as I raised my eyebrows. "You have no fucking idea." I drew the words out slowly observing the flush that spread to her cheeks. Her eyes stared me down almost daring me to lean in towards her and kiss her. I wanted to so badly but I resisted.

    We got steadily drunk as the night progressed. I was outside with some of the guys who were passing around a homemade bong. Che came over to us and sat down on my lap due to a lack of chairs. I let my hand slide to her back resting just underneath her top. The alcohol and drugs giving me false confidence. It felt so good having her sat on my lap cuddled into my side with her arm around me. She casually let her hand rub the back of my neck slipping under my top caressing the skin she found there sending shivers through me. I almost didn’t want to leave to go traveling.

    We all sat and talked about nothing of much importance. It was around four in the morning when everyone started to head off to sleep. Che stood and pulled me up with her her eyes locking onto mine.

    “Come on, let's hit the sack,” she said as I took her hand to stand up. She led me upstairs to her bedroom.

    Once inside her room she headed over to her dressing table, carefully opened a drawer and pulled out a beautifully wrapped gift in silver wrapping paper tied with matching ribbon. She handed me the gift and I turned it over in my hands. I looked up at her and as I tore at the wrapping she bit her lip nervously. It was one of her habits I found endearing the one that told me she was nervous. The gift was a brand-new iPod.

    "Che, this is too much,” I said.

    She waved her hand in dismissal. "I've put all your favourite songs on it and done playlists so you can think of me in your travels. Turn it over"

    She had gotten it engraved. I turned it over in my hands and, as I read the inscription, tears sprung to my eyes. My breath caught in my chest and my heart ached. I was completely overwhelmed by what It said:

    "My heart belongs to you, always.
    All my love xCx"


    I pulled her into a hug and thanked her.

    “I'm really going to miss you.” Che said tentatively, her voice almost a whisper.

    “We will be in New York before you know it.” I consoled her.

    “No,” she said, as she cuddled in grasping me. “I miss you now. I miss us.”

    Che started kissing my neck, laying light kisses upwards from my collarbone towards my lips. I felt the warmth of desire flooding my body and I pulled her closer. She tilted her head to give me a soft kiss and I responded letting my lips part slightly, welcoming her soft warm inviting mouth.

    ****Go to Tumblr post*****


    I wanted her. I wanted all of her. I wished beyond all hope that the part of her that held back from being with me would relent but I knew that might never happen. My eyes begun to sting at the thought and tears threatened to take over. Here she was again making me feel vulnerable and there wasn't anything I could do about it. She continued to stroke my hair until she noticed a single tear roll down my cheek.

    "Hey," she shifted slightly before speaking again. She cupped my face tenderly in her hands. "What’s this for? Talk to me, sweetheart."

    I tried as best I could to push the tears away but I failed. I managed to choke out, "I want you to want me. It hurts. It hurts to share something as amazing as this then have you still not want to be with me."

    She gently stroked my forearm lovingly as she spoke softly almost soothing, "I do want you, sweetheart. I do."

    "Yeah,” I said as I looked back at her, “but I want you to still want to be with me in the morning."

    She exhaled deeply. "You know it’s not about sex for me, don’t you? I love you, and this, well this isn’t what I want from you. It’s so fucking good, don't get me wrong, and I love being with you like this but I want you. There is so much more to you than this. I know, given what’s happened to you, you think this is all you are worth, but you are wrong."

    She was right. With everything I had been through with my dad and Jason, I believed sex was all anyone wanted from me and that was all I could offer anyone. I felt broken and damaged and sex was really the only time I ever felt in control. It felt like it was all I knew how to do or be. With Che it was different. She was the only one I ever felt comfortable enough to allow my vulnerability to seep through. I felt safe with her.

    Her face softened with concern and she pulled me towards her lovingly. "Come here, love,” she said. “Sshhhh it’s okay. I love you more than anything. You know that, right?" I hoped she would stop there but I knew there was a 'but' coming as she opened her mouth to speak again. My heart sank. "But this is all I can give you right now. I’m so sorry. I wish things were different. I wish I was strong enough for you. Just know I want to be with you, I do. I just don't feel I can."

    She gently soothed me whilst holding me tight and, despite feeling completely devastated, I revelled in the feeling of being in her arms wrapped tightly around me. I struggled to reconcile my deep-rooted feelings for her and finally pushed them aside in favour of basking in intimacy. My trip would give me the distance I clearly needed to keep my feelings for her at bay.

    As I thought about everything we had just done I realised that there was something different about it this time. She seemed to let herself love me just as much as I loved her. It was there in her eyes. I had no doubt that her walls would slam back into place in the morning in the cold light of day, but being in her arms still felt like coming home. It was familiar and comfortable and intoxicating there was a new found intensity to our lovemaking and I didn't care that it would undoubtedly end in me getting hurt again. I was just happy to have her love me in that moment. We spent our last night together for five months, making love into the early hours. It was perfect.

    When the morning came there was no awkwardness between us. We didn't talk about it and we slipped back into our normal friendship. The things we had done the previous night becoming a delicious but distant memory. Her walls slammed back up as I thought they would. She kept me at an emotional distance but when she drove me to the airport and hugged me goodbye, I saw the sheer emotion in her eyes as she started to cry before she walked away causing an ache to develop in my chest.

    I longed for her to come with me. Deep down I knew my trip was likely to change our relationship one way or another. I just wasn't sure if it would be for better or for worse or whether I wanted it to change at all. I hated watching her walk away, I felt like she had taken a piece of me with her and I hated the thought I was the reason she was so upset.


    ~~~~~


    Thailand.

    My first stop was Thailand. I hadn't booked any hotels and planned to stay in hostels to save cash and also enable me to make friends with other young travellers. I found my way to the hostel I had picked out from my guidebook and met an Australian guy called Garrett.


    He smiled broadly as he approached me and held out his massive hand. "Alright, I'm Garrett. I'm guessing you've just arrived?"


    “Hi, I'm Lex,” I smiled back at him. “Yeah, I've just arrived. " I paused mentally weighing him up, "Is it that obvious?”


    He laughed. "You've barely looked up from that guide book in half an hour. Kinda gives you away."

    With that he grabbed my guide book, stuffed it into my bag and lifted his arms in a sweeping motion gesturing at our surroundings. "This is the real Thailand! This is where you’re going to learn what it has to offer not in any guide book!"

    He then grabbed my hand pulled me up. "Come on my little pommie friend, I'll show you around."


    Garrett linked my arm in his and took me to Chang Mai Gate and the restaurants and bars that lined the street.

    Garrett was a really tall, blonde-haired, blue-eyed surfer bloke and we bonded as new friends over a few beers. We soaked up Thailand's exhilarating culture. It was a complete shock to my system but it was exciting. He sat back in his chair and studied me for a moment. "So, what brings you to Thailand alone then, Lex?"


    I thought for a moment to contemplate his question. "I want to see the world and here sounded like a good place to start.”


    A smirk danced across his face as he blinked lazily, looked up at me and leaned forward linking his hands together as he spoke, "Yeah but what really brings you here alone? What are you running from? In my experience it's one of three things, a bloke, a girl or the police." He finished his statement with a cheeky smile. "Okay, so you don't strike me as the jail bird type and that leaves a love interest?"

    I laughed and a playful smile crossed his face. "Do you speak from personal experience?"

    He smiled as he requested two more beers in Thai to the barman then turned back to me. "Do you always avoid people’s questions?" I continued to look at him expectantly refusing to answer first until he chuckled and nodded admitting defeat, "My wife cheated on me. I divorced her then I decided to come travelling to drown my sorrows. What about you?"

    "I suppose if I'm honest I'm running away."

    "From what?"

    "From everything and nothing at all, I think." He eyed me expectantly so I added, "Well I pretty much know I'm gay but my parents, they're kind of conservative, would disown me if they found out."

    "Aaww I'm sorry to hear that." He was serious for the first time since I'd met him. "So there must be a girl right?"

    I sat back and stared into the glass of beer that was placed in front of me by the barman then sighed deeply, "There is a girl but it's complicated."

    Garrett laughed, "When is it not?"

    I nodded and we stayed in contemplative silence for a moment.

    "What I will say is this,” Garrett said, “don't be scared to be who you are even if it means you lose people along the way. If they're worth it then they will get over it and if not it's their loss. You're pretty awesome for a Pom and a lesbian Pom at that. That's the best kind."

    He grinned and pushed me with his elbow lightly until I smiled. From that moment I considered him to be a real friend and we still keep in touch. He was the start of me realising I couldn't deny who I was anymore. I still had a long way to go but it was at the least a start.

    We experienced what Thailand had to offer together. He was a great guide and would consider my time with him as one of the many great experiences of my trip.

    Garrett and I took a trip to Koh Tao which is known as Diver's Paradise. It has the cheapest diving certifications and offered some of the most beautiful underwater sites in the world. Garrett and I took the 3-day PADI course then went diving with an instructor. We saw sea life such as stingrays, pufferfish and manta ray sharks as well as the beautiful colorful sea anemones.

    After our dive, Garrett and I sat on the beach together. He was in a very philosophical mood as he grabbed a handful of sand and let it fall through his slightly open fist. He then picked up a grain of sand held it out on his finger. "See? Stuff like this and what we’ve seen today makes you realise we are but a grain of sand in comparison to the world out there. Kind of puts your coming out worries to shame, doesn't it? There's a big wide world out there waiting to be explored and you are worried about how your waste-of-space parents will react to who you choose to bump uglies with."

    I smiled and thought about what he had said. I knew he was right but at that time I still wasn't quite ready to accept that yet. My parents weren't by any stretch of the imagination good parents. They weren't even good enough to be considered bad but somehow I still cared what they thought. They may have been terrible but they were all I had.

    When it was time for Garrett to move on, I was filled with both excitement and trepidation at the thought of getting out there on my own and meeting new people. I had a few days to explore on my own and I went to see the River Kwai Bridge and the Sam Chuk market.

    I decided to move to another hostel. This time I had to share a room. I walked into the room and she was sat on the other bed with her head stuck firmly in a guidebook. I smiled and remembered what Garrett had said to me when I first met him. I decided to pay it forward and show her around until she found her feet. I watched her brow crease in confusion as she flicked through the book. I smiled to myself then spoke,

    "Hey, I'm Lex."

    She looked up at me and smiled. "Hi, I'm Lottie."

    As she turned to look back at her guide book, I smiled and nodded towards her. "You won't learn anything from those. Come on, we're going out!"

    She looked at me with uncertainty and I smiled. "Come on. I don't bite!"

    I smiled and as I said those words I remembered Che saying that to me. I wished things turned out differently between us. I felt the familiar feelings of longing threaten to overwhelm me. I fought to regain my composure and concentrate on Lottie.


    I took Lottie out for a drink and we got to know each other. She was British too and she was waiting for her boyfriend to join her in a month's time. She was of average height with short, dark hair, brown eyes and the cheekiest smile.

    I found we had the same sense of humour and we hit it off immediately. She and I spent a lot of time together and grew closer in the weeks that followed. We sat with our drinks and she told me about her boyfriend. “He's a nice guy but I'm not sure,” she said. "He wanted an open relationship but I don't really think its for me. I can't bring myself to be with anyone else."


    "I'm not sure I could do that either,” I said. “I want the person I love to love me back and only me. I've kind of realised I have the potential to be quite a jealous person."


    “How did you realise that?”


    "Let's just say there is a girl and a pretty bad case of unrequited love."


    She nodded. "Sore point?"


    "Yeah. Very!" I nodded my feelings clearly etched across my features. "It's obviously easy for your boyfriend because he's having his cake and eating it too whereas you aren't."


    "Yeah. I think If I slept with someone else he would be crazy with jealousy."

    We continued to talk and get to know each other. She was fun to be around and we got along well.


    Lottie and I decided to take a trip to the rainforest of Khao Sok National Park. Whilst there we prepared baskets of fruit for the elephants to snack on and helped bathe them. This involved us scrubbing their skin while the elephant's mahout, elephant trainer, gave the elephant instructions to lie down making it easier to perform the job.

    It was amazing and Lottie and I really bonded over the shared experience. We were staying at Elephant Hills Camp which was almost like a 5-star hotel in the middle of the jungle. Part of the experience included rafting down the Sok River which was brilliant! Lottie wasn't as thrilled with that experience and held onto my hand and cuddled into my shoulder. I wasn't sure why but it made me a little nervous and I couldn't place where the feelings were coming from.

    We got back to camp after a tiring day. Hot showers were a novelty there and we showered in cold water. We both flopped down on the bed we were sharing and pulled the mosquito net around ourselves. We were recounting the day's activities and what an amazing experience it had been. After we exhausted ourselves talking, we were quiet for a long time each of us lost in our own thoughts.

    I was lying on my back looking at the ceiling just thinking things over when her question broke my thoughts. "Lex, how did you know you were into girls?"

    I secretly had been expecting this question and my feelings of unease earlier that day in the raft revealed themselves. She made me nervous because she was becoming more physical with me and I knew she was questioning things in her own mind. I didn't want to be the cause of someone's curiosity and neither did I want to be someone’s experiment.

    I considered her question before answering. "I guess I've always known, but admitting it to myself, that was a massive thing for me."

    She was quiet for a short time contemplating my words. then she turned her head to look at me in the dim light, "What does it feel like? Being with a girl?"

    I smiled at her question suspicion rising as to where this was heading, "For me it was like everything I thought I knew disintegrated and reformed into something new, something that felt more right to me. It all just slid into place in that one moment and it all made sense. It just felt natural and made me feel alive, like every nerve ending in my body was on fire. I completely lost myself the whole world just stopped and it was just the two of us. I felt like I would never be able to get close enough to her, that I would never have enough of her. Like she was the only person that mattered, she is the only person that matters. I‘ve never felt anything quite like it, it's pretty overwhelming"

    "I don't think I've ever felt like that in my life."

    I turned my head slightly to look at her, "Not even with your boyfriend?"

    She shook her head. "I sometimes worry I'll never feel like that, like maybe i’m dead inside"

    "You will. Maybe you just haven't met the person who sets your soul on fire yet."

    "Have you?" she asked.

    My mind again rested on thoughts of Che and my stomach did a backflip as images of her face flooding my mind. My senses overwhelmed by thoughts of her. I could almost feel her touch, smell her perfume. I shook myself and forced myself to focus on her question, "Yeah, I definitely have!" I sighed at the thought of her my chest tightening.

    We both just laid there deep in thought for a while. She shifted herself and turned onto her side her head propped up on her right hand looking at me. I was lying on my back with my right arm behind my head and my left across my stomach. She put her left hand on my hand that was resting on my stomach and intertwined our fingers.

    "Maybe I should try girls and see if it feels differently."

    I smiled in the darkness. “In reality words could never do it justice. But just because you haven't felt it for a guy yet doesn't mean you never will.”

    "No, I don't suppose it does."

    She shifted her hand and started to trace small circles on my stomach. My breath caught in my chest as her fingers dipped just below the waistband of my underwear. She glanced up at me through half-closed eyes as if trying to gauge if it was okay.

    I met her gaze head on and shook my head slightly, "You don't want to do this."

    "I don't think I've ever wanted anything more," she said, and I could see the faintest glimmer of desire in her eyes in the dim moonlight.

    I paused momentarily trying to decide if it was a good idea or not, then my resolve broke and I reached out to place my hand halfway between her neck and her hairline and leant up to kiss her. She leaned in to my kiss. As I sat up, she lifted herself onto my lap barely breaking our kiss. In one swift motion I lifted her t-shirt off and she did the same with mine. My hands explored her body taking in every contour. It was nice to watch her reactions. She was wide eyed and filled with passion and wonder. It was by no means great sex but I took great enjoyment from the fact I was the one that made her feel that way. I enjoyed seeing her wide eyed reactions to my touch. I saw it as a personal challenge to outdo the men she had been intimate with. This was one competition I had to win.

    After a few hours I fell back against the bed, there was no cuddling or affection it was purely a physical thing. I was filled with satisfaction when she began to tell me no guy had ever made her feel that way.

    We continued to hang out together until her boyfriend flew out to meet her. She introduced me to him and it was safe to say he was a prize A dick especially considering he tried to hit on me in front of her. I was sad to see her leave and was left with an odd sense of loneliness.


    Cambodia.

    I arrived in Sihanoukville and took the bus to Kampot. The bus was tiny, severely overcrowded and covered in various items of luggage. The two-hour journey was very uncomfortable but this was the way to truly experience the country.

    Once in Kampot I settled into my small basic room before venturing out to explore the small town. I spent the day in a local cafe planning my itinerary for my time there. As I made notes in my guide book a guy and two girls asked if they could join me as they had just arrived and were unsure where the place they were staying was. It turned out they were staying in the same place I was.

    James was a tall, muscular guy with blonde hair and blue eyes with very tanned skin. He and Jess, a small girl with auburn hair, green eyes and fair skin, were a couple. Nicole, was of average height with a curvy frame, dark hair and olive skin, was their friend. They were all from Ireland and the were great fun. They asked me if I wanted to hang out with them and go exploring as a group. I didn't mind as they were great people.

    The next day we planned a trip to see the Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom temple complexes. So we took a Tuk Tuk. James and Jess in one and Nicole and myself in the other. The temple itself is a hugely impressive sight. Originally dedicated to the Hindu faith and later Buddhism, it’s a bit of a hotch potch of carvings, sculptures and statues. It was simply out of this world. I felt quite overwhelmed standing gazing at it all. In the midst of all that grandeur, I thought about Che and our tumultuous relationship. I felt the familiar ache in my chest as I thought of her, her alluring scent, her soft shiny hair, her dazzling smile and cute dimples. I clenched my fists at my sides in anger at how out of my control the situation with Che made me feel. I hated feeling out of control it made me feel intensely vulnerable and somehow feeling that way always brought back memories of lying on that cold, hard concrete floor in a pool of my own blood at my dads hands. That was something that i constantly fought so hard against, I didn't want to ever feel that vulnerable again.

    "You okay?” Nicole came up behind me and broke my thoughts, “You don't seem yourself."

    I smiled at her. "Just torturing myself with thoughts about things I can't change."

    She nodded. "Aahh the girl?"

    I smiled. "Yeah, the girl."

    "Well, if you want my opinion, and you're getting it whether you want it or not, she's crazy to let you go. You are so obviously in love with her and I get a sense that you would do anything for her, yet she won't be who she is because of what she might lose? What about all the amazing things she will gain? Ya know, you can't live your life for what ifs so you can't!"

    I smiled at her. What she said made a lot of sense. "Thanks Nic. I just miss her is all and seeing something like this makes me realise just how much."

    "Come on. How often are you going to be here seeing this?" She held out her arms gesturing all around us. “Okay,” I laughed. “I'll cheer up. Point made."

    I put my arm around her and we walked back to the others. She grabbed my arse and a cheeky smile crossed her face "Don't you be thinking you can convert me to your team though," she laughed. ‘’You’re not a bit my type’’. She finished her words with a wink.

    I laughed and clicked my fingers. "Ah damn! Can't win em all!"

    ‘’No offense Lex, you just lack a certain’’. She paused momentarily then looked down at my hips her eyes sparkling as she added, ‘’certain........something for my taste’’.

    ‘’Oh so full of yourself, you assume i’d go there?’’ I laughed.

    James came over put his arms over our shoulders and said, ‘’I assume you have low standards’’. He laughed heartily until Nic jabbed him in the arm. ‘’aaahhh that hurt’’.

    She chased after him jumping on his back and rubbed her fist against his hair until he screamed like a girl. I enjoyed spending time with them, we all had great banter and it was a welcomed distraction from the minefield that was my relationship with Che.

    The four of us spent the rest of our time there together and I was glad I met them. When it was time for me to move on I hugged each of them in turn and we exchanged contact details.

    Vietnam.



    I arrived in Vietnam and headed straight for Halong Bay. It was without doubt the most scenic place I have ever had the pleasure to visit. The views and proximity to nature were second to none.The tranquility gave me plenty of time to think and after awhile it became a burden. I had exhausted myself with all the constant thinking about Che, my sexuality, and my family. I decided a change of pace was in order so I took a trip going inside a cave called Hang Sung Sot. When I arrived in Ho Chi Minh City it was an assault on my senses after the recent tranquility. It was a bustling city but it was an experience nonetheless. My next stop was Lang Co Beach. My guide book said if you're looking for quiet and solitude this was the beach to come to. It was an amazing stretch of sand.

    I was sat taking in the sights and I met an American girl called Anna. She was a quiet girl and we just clicked. She was thoughtful and insightful and I enjoyed debating various topics with her. She was a strong young woman who couldn't be swayed in her views and I liked that about her. She persuaded me to take a boat ride on the island of Phu Quoc in the far south of Vietnam. That was a really relaxing day.
     
    #10
  11. Lexington

    Lexington Well-Known Member

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    2
    CHAPTER TEN


    Australia


    I arrived in Sydney and took a deep breath outside the terminal, the sun was shining brightly as I took out my sunglasses from my bag and slipped them on while I waited for my friend. I sat down on the pavement and spent the time I waited for Kate people watching. I saw a group of guys back from a lads holiday, businessmen, and my eyes finally settled on a couple locked in a romantic embrace.

    My thoughts instantly drifted to Che as an intense longing settled over me, she completely consumed my thoughts. I longed for her to be with me, to hold her, to feel her lips tucked into the nook of my neck, to smell her scent, to hold her so close we almost became one. I wanted so desperately to see her, I missed her so much. I missed our interaction the way she instinctively knew how I was feeling or thinking. I took out my phone and rattled off a quick email to her to let her know I had landed safely. My stomach lurched as my mind wondered what she would be doing and who she would be with. What if she was dating somebody at uni, what if that somebody was a girl? A guy I could just about deal with but a girl really would break me. I couldn’t quite place why there was a difference but I knew there was. With those thoughts a sick feeling rose in me and I mentally shook myself as my friend approached.

    As soon as Kate saw me she flung her arms around me and told me she had missed me. Kate was a tall girl with a very skinny frame, almost no curves to speak of, and with tattoos and piercings everywhere. She lived in the UK before immigrating to Sydney with her parents a few years back. She had promised to show me what Sydney had to offer. After dropping my stuff off at her place we went to a bar to catch up with each other over beer.

    As she sat back, a playful smile crossed her features. “So, rumour has it you're gay now?”

    “Louise?” I gave her a questioning look.

    “Yeah. She was quite excited to tell me. She's very proud of you.”

    I grinned and took sip of beer.

    “You're getting yourself quite the reputation too, by all accounts.”

    “Accounts from Che don't count.” I said.

    “Hmmm,” Kate answered. “I assumed there was an element of sour grapes there. I have a few gay friends that could show you around the best places to go out if you want to. I'm going to introduce them to you tonight at dinner. They're all excited to meet you.”

    After catching up on things we headed down to Georges Street which runs the whole way through the city centre and Kate said it was a good place to begin our wander. We started at Central Station and from there we took a left and headed through Chinatown. We went to a market known as Paddy’s Market and to a great food hall where we grabbed some lunch.





    After lunch we Stopped by Darling harbour. We then headed back to Kate's place to shower and change before we headed out to dinner.


    It felt so good to see Kate again and I felt content, which was a stark contrast from how I felt when I arrived longing for che so intensely as well as a deep loneliness. We got there early and had a few cocktails before her friends arrived. The atmosphere in the restaurant was upbeat and friendly and I was glad to be spending time with Kate again.

    ~~~~~

    Her friends arrived and they were all really friendly. There was Kate's boyfriend Kai, who was tall, very lean and super muscly. Lance, Kate's best friend, was tall and lanky with great style, and Charlotte or Charlie As she preferred to be called. Kate introduced her to me, "Lex, this is Charlie my lesbian single friend I was telling you about".


    Kate then introduced me to Charlie as her English single lesbian friend which she said with a wink. Charlie was tall, mid length brunette hair, green/blue gorgeous eyes, and legs that just seemed never ending. I made a mental note to ask Kate why she hadn't told me Charlie was hot. Kate then introduced me to Gemma her other lesbian friend. Gemma had dark hair and a pale complexion she was very curvy and had a certain sullen demeanor. Gemma seemed to regard me with contempt especially when I was talking or flirting with Charlie or when Charlie was flirting with me for that matter. There was a definite tension between Charlie and I but I wasn't sure if I was being overly optimistic.

    After dinner we all went out for drinks to a nearby bar. The bar was backlit by bright blue lights and the bassline pounded so loud I could feel it in my chest. We all settled ourselves in a corner of the bar on comfy sofas overlooking the dancefloor. Kate brought over a tray of drinks for everyone. I settled myself back on the sofa with my drink and surveyed the room.

    My eyes fell to one of the guys John, who was showing off his new tattoo. He lifted his top up revealing quite a large piece on his back. I leaned forward to get a better look and spoke at the same time as Charlie, ‘’You got an Erotomechanic as a tattoo?’’

    Everyone turned to look at Charlie and I as we spoke in unison. ‘’A what?’’ John asked.

    I looked at Charlie and smiled then nodded for her to take the question, ‘’An Erotomechanic, H. R. Giger?’’ She expressed with exasperation.

    At their blank expressions I continued where Charlie left off, ‘’He is a Swiss painter, sculptor, and set designer".

    At his perplexed expression I added, "He is best known for his design work on the film Alien. His paintings often display fetishistic sexual imagery like that on your back, it’s called an Erotomechanic.’’

    ‘’Oh, I didn't know I just thought it was cool’’ John smiled then added, ‘’And kind of sexy’’.

    Charlie rolled her eyes in John's direction then smiled at me, ‘’You like Geiger?’’

    I let the hint of a smirk touch my face before tilting my head to one side surveying her, ‘’Yeah I love his work, perhaps not that’’. I gestured towards John then continued, ‘’I’m not mad on the phallic stuff, but the other stuff yeah, I love the intricacy and the detail and I can kind of relate to the raw, overt sexuality, the sadomasochistic fetishism, the adoration and terror of the human body and the sickening response to its transformation and malformation. It just makes sense to me.’’

    Charlie looked at me intently as if trying to work me out the she spoke above the pounding music, ‘’People don’t often surprise me, but, I think you are very surprising’’.

    I returned her smile as she continued to survey me with intensity.


    Kate got up to dance with her boyfriend and I watched with amusement as they showed off their best moves. Charlie took that opportunity to take the vacant seat next to me that Kate had just left. She looked me in the eyes as a smirk spread across her face, ‘’tell me something, something about you’’.

    I took a sip of my drink to hide my amusement, ‘’What do you want to know?’’

    She met my eyes then said with a smirk, ‘’What’s your favourite colour?’’

    I laughed placed my drink on the table and sat back appraising her, ‘’You could ask me any question and you ask me what my favourite colour is?’’

    She smiled and tilted her head to one side, ‘’You can find out some really interesting things in the minute details’’.

    ‘’Black, my favourite colour is black’’.

    She tilted her head back and observed me, ‘’Interesting’’.she paused then added with a confused smirk, ‘’nobodies favourite colour is black’’.

    I shrugged, ‘’mine is’’.

    ‘’I guess that makes you different from everyone else then.’’

    She kept my gaze for a few minutes neither of us wanting to look away first then the familiar smirk returned, ‘’Favorite smell?’’

    ‘’That smell you get right after it rains’’.

    ‘’Weirdest special talent?’’

    I smiled broadly and raised my eyebrows, ‘’You sure you can handle it?’’

    She nodded so I leaned in and whispered in her ear, ‘’I can tie a cherry stalk into a bow using just my tongue’’.

    A slow smirk spread across her face as she met my gaze again, ‘’Really? That’s quite the party piece.........tell me, how does someone learn how to do that?’’

    ‘’My best friend taught me, she’s a........very talented girl’’.

    Her smirk turned into a low and filthy laugh. she leaned in closer to me, took a long sip of her drink and fanned herself then moved closer to be heard over the music as she said, ‘’Is it hot in here or is it you?’’

    I nearly choked on my drink in response, ‘’Oh no, you didn’t just say that?’’ as I laughed

    She raised her eyebrows a glint clearly visible in her eyes as she quickly added, ‘’Favourite food?’’ To deflect the attention away from the terrible line she just used.

    ‘’Greek’’

    I’d barely had chance to take a breath and she jumped straight in, ‘’Want to get some? with me? Greek food I mean?’’ Her eyes twinkled, she exuded a level of confidence I was yet to see in anybody.

    ‘’Maybe’’.I lifted my drink again to hide my amusement.

    She smiled again eyeing me seductively, ‘’You have beautiful eyes’’.

    Again before I had chance to reply she asked me to dance. Before I could give her an answer she was pulling up of my seat and towards her. We danced together for a few songs and it was tentative at first neither of us touching the other. but we soon relaxed into it, she was very playful and I really enjoyed her company, she was refreshing.

    A slow song came on and there was a moment of awkwardness until Charlie grabbed me and pulled me close with her mouth at my ear she said, ‘’Finally a slow song, I paid the DJ about an hour ago’’. I felt her smile at my ear and it transcended into a low chuckle. I held her close my hands on her back looking over her shoulder. I noticed Gemma glaring at me unwavering in her obvious dislike of me.I shifted slightly so I wasn't looking in her direction as she was unnerving me.


    We finally walked from the dance floor back to our seats and she took hold of my hand and spun me round leaning in close to whisper in my ear, ‘’You know what they say about good dancers.....’’. She let her words trail off with a smirk as she let go of my hand and took her seat leaving a free one next to her.

    She continued to look at me with avid fascination as the night progressed. She made eye contact with me as I drained the last of my drink. I flashed her a smirk as I stood up to go to the bar. As I passed her I leaned down and asked her if she wanted a drink. she seemed to be focusing intently on my chest which was positioned directly in her eyeline. I realised she was taking full advantage, looking down my top. I allowed a smirk to touch my face and gestured with my hand from my chest to my eyes, "eyes are up here!"

    A lazy smirk spread over her face as she lazily dragged her eyes from my chest to my eyes, "sorry what?!"

    My smile lingered on my lips, "do you want a drink?"

    "Mmm yeah, I could use a drink, it's pretty hot in here. I'll give you a hand, those glasses can be heavy".

    I laughed as we approached the bar. As I waited to be served she stood behind me and placed her hands on my hips sending tingles through me. She leaned in towards me, her body pressing against my back she moved her mouth to my ear and whispered, "make mine a bottle of beer".That one move sent shivers through my body that once passed left a lingering warmth behind. Again I could feel Gemma's eyes on me staring clearly annoyed at my interest in Charlie.


    She let her mouth linger at my ear her breath brushing my neck. She let her hands rest on my hips until the barmaid served us our drinks. we took our drinks back to our table and I decided it was my turn to question her. I fired questions at her relentlessly like she did to me. We laughed a lot and she frequently reached out a hand to touch my arm as we talked. The more we talked the more flirty our actions became until I spotted Gemma throwing me evil looks. It became almost uncomfortable with Gemma barely breaking her gaze from me so I got up from the table to use the bathroom. I was washing my hands and in walked Charlie. I smiled at her and she came in and leaned to the side of the sink I was using. I glanced up at her, ‘’Is there something going on between you and Gemma? Because I keep getting the death stare from her every time I speak to you?’’.

    She smiled, "no she's not in the least bit my type but she likes me and always reacts the same way when she can see that I’m attracted to someone."

    I gave her a questioning look and smiled, "oh so you’re attracted to me?"

    her eyes briefly flicked down to my lips and she smiled seductively, "do you want to go out with me tomorrow?"

    I paused for a moment and Thoughts of Che crossed my mind an intense feeling of guilt threatening to overwhelm me. Although Che and I weren’t together and I shouldn’t feel guilty I still knew that she would be angry at the thought of me going on a date with another girl. I fought hard to force them out and I eventually nodded, "great, pick you up at 11am?"

    I said yeah and she pushed herself off the sink walked behind me put both her hands on my shoulders and spoke low into my ear "looking forward to it Lex."

    Then she went into one of the cubicles and smiled as she closed the door. I dried my hands and returned where we were sat. Gemma's jaw was set when I sat down and she was blatantly scowling at me.

    ~~~~~

    Kate then joked, "we were about to send out a search party for you, what took you so long?"

    and as she said that Charlie cleared her throat and smiled at me as she sat down. Kate took in the exchange and smirked saying, "as if we need to ask."

    I felt Charlie's eyes on me a lot the rest of the night and every now and then she would make eye contact with me that we held just a fraction too long. Kate nudged me and whispered in my ear half laughing, "could you two be any more obvious with this disgraceful example of eye sex you seem to be indulging in? You’re putting me off my drink"

    I feigned ignorance which resulted in a loud laugh from Kate. Towards the end of the night I went outside for some fresh air as I was feeling slightly light headed and Charlie followed me out. ‘’You don’t smoke do you?’’

    I gave her a slightly confused look, ‘’No’’.

    She smirked and I caught a slight glint in her eye as she said, ‘’Good, I hate the taste of cigarettes’’.

    She flicked her gaze down to my mouth then back up to my mouth as I retorted, ‘’You’re awfully sure of yourself aren't you?’’ my voice husky with desire.

    She leaned in towards me and smiled briefly her lips just inches from mine, ‘’Yes’’. she purred as she closed the short distance between us, her body pressed against mine. My stomach flipped and my pulse quickened in response as I felt the familiar flicker of desire beginning to build.

    ‘’Oh there you guys are, I’ve been looking for you both, you two want another dri......oh am I interrupting?’’ Gemma asked unconvincingly.

    Charlie sighed, pulled away reinstating a little distance between us her back still to Gemma, she rolled her eyes showing her annoyance. I struggled to hold back my snigger as Charlie cleared her throat and turned around, ‘’No, Lex just got something in her eye’’.

    ‘’hhhmm looks like she got something in her mouth more like’’. Gemma impatiently said her words dripping with jealousy.

    I let a quiet chuckle escape my lips as I gave Charlie a wink as I passed her to head back inside.

    As the night drew to a close we all stood outside and said our goodbyes. Charlie homed in on me and drew me into a hug. her left hand slid to the small of my back and her right hand to the back of my neck and she whispered into my ear, ‘’Hopefully we won't be interrupted tomorrow’’.

    As she pulled away she met my eyes again and I saw a glint of something there. She kissed my cheek and allowed her left hand to linger on my back gradually bringing it round to my hip before she let go. she flashed me one last smile before she took off with the others.

    The next day I woke up early and got ready for my day out with Charlie. Charlie turned up looking amazing, her hair was unbelievably shiny and flowing and her choice of clothes really accentuated her amazing figure. I quickly looked her up and down taking in her long legs her toned stomach and upper arms and mentally sighed at how good she looked, "hey you, ready to go?"

    I nodded and jumped in her car and asked her what we were doing. She raised her eyebrows and said you'll see. We arrived at Sydney harbour and she turned to me, "it's one thing seeing Sydney from land, but it’s another thing to be able to say you kayaked on it so that's what we are doing today."

    I looked at her and smiled, "plus, it's a great excuse for me to see you in a wetsuit!’’ a playful smile danced across her face as she added seriously, ‘’But It’s also a great way to see some of the harbour."

    She flirted and teased with me all day and the chemistry was definitely there. I found myself watching how she moved through the water her strong and athletic arms powering through the water with ease, she was simply breathtaking. She caught me watching and raised her eyebrows as she commented, ‘’now my turn’’.

    She then watched me intently until swam over to her and splashed her face, ‘’Pervert!’’

    ‘’Mmmhhhmm’’.

    She then glanced down at my lips and pulled me in close as if she was going to kiss me then shouted, ‘’You're going down!’’

    I laughed hard, ‘’Bit presumptuous arent you?’’

    ‘’Going under, I meant under!!’’

    She then wrestled with me to dunk me under the water. We both laughed and screamed as we attempted to dunk each other under the water. It was playful and fun and I was enjoying myself, the chemistry clearly there.



    After we paddled in the harbour, we made our way back into the city and spent some time relaxing in the Botanical Gardens which are right beside the Opera House. Inside the gardens was a glass pyramid where Charlie showed me the Sydney Tropical Centre, a rare plants section. Charlie stood back, "this is the best place in the whole of Sydney to see both the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge together.’’


    We then headed to her place to get cleaned up and changed and we headed back out. Charlie explained , "Oxford Street runs from the top of Hyde Park in the centre of the city, the whole way down to Bondi Junction.."

    She then told me, "there are pubs, clubs and fast food joints every 100 yards down the street, which makes it the perfect place to go on a pub crawl."

    She then paused and added, "It is also the heart of Sydney's gay social life, so how about it?"

    I told her it sounded great. We grabbed dinner then headed off around the pubs and clubs. We drank and danced together alot and by the middle of the night we were so relaxed around one another we had no problem dancing really closely.

    The place we were in was getting really busy and she took the opportunity to to pull me into the shadows. I smiled at her knowing what she was about to do. Her eyes burned into mine and she pulled me in, bit her lip gently then smiled seductively and leaned in the last few inches to kiss me.

    The whole day had been building to this one moment and I threw myself into it wholeheartedly. I pulled her hips closer to mine, we just couldn't seem to get closer enough to each other. her lips touched mine and the small fire that had been burning within me caught a blaze. Her lips parted slightly and I leaned in closer to her. My pulse quickened again as a small moan escaped her lips serving to further ignite my desire. After what seemed like an age she pulled away and there was a moment of pretty intense eye contact where my heart beat echoed in my ears. She then said rather more shyly than I was used to from her "do you want to come back to mine? It's getting a bit crowded in here."



    I wasn’t prepared for the warmth I found in her smile. My body instantly went warm and I took a deep breath to steady my racing pulse. I smiled and my voice was husky as I told her it sounded good.

    I called Kate on the way to Charlie's place and told her I wouldn't be home so she wouldn't worry about me.

    “Is Charlie with you?" Kate asked.

    I stuttered as Charlie laughed. “Hi Kate!” Charlie shouted into the phone. “Yeah, she’s with me. Don’t worry. I’ll look after her.”

    We could hear Kate say “Ooooh I bet you will!” as we hung up the phone.

    The sexual tension was almost palpable on the drive to Charlie’s place. She held my hand in hers for most of the way. Her touch sent tingles through me. Once through the door of her apartment, she grabbed me and spun me round and walked me backwards. Her eyes never left mine as she lifted off my jacket. I detected the slightest hint of a smile crossing her face before she moved closer and started to kiss me. It wasn’t long before we were heading for her bedroom.

    ***Go to Tumblr post***

    She was unbelievable and left me well and truly exhausted. I woke up with a really dry mouth from the alcohol of the previous night. I headed to the kitchen once I'd found my underwear and put it back on. I went to the sink and filled a glass with water. Next thing I knew hands snaked around my waist and Charlie's mouth was on my neck, "come back to bed, I haven't finished with you yet."

    I smiled. Turned in her arms and went with her back to bed. She was insatiable and I couldn't get enough of her. We spent the whole day in bed only getting up to eat and drink. In the evening she offered to cook me dinner and seeing as though her roommates were out we had the place to ourselves. ‘’You like chinese?’’

    I nodded then jumped up onto the worktop and prepared to watch her cook. ‘’Good, you can help me with the spring rolls then’’. She said as she reached for a bowl of prepared vegetables.

    ‘’You make your own?’’

    ‘’Yeah’’ She smirked.

    ‘’You're full of surprises aren't you?’’

    She winked at me then commented, ‘’Well, they won't roll themselves’’.

    We sat and made the spring rolls then I watched with amazement as she fried rice in one pan, deep fried the spring rolls in another, stir-fried vegetables in a third and had beef in black bean sauce bubbling away in a fourth pan whilst talking to me being very attentive and all without any mistakes.

    ‘’you’re pretty good at this cooking business’’.

    ‘’Yeah i’m pretty good around the kitchen’’, she smiled at returned her focus to the various pans. The soft sound of music flooded the kitchen along with the delicious smell of chinese food. Charlie was so calm in the kitchen holding a conversation whilst taking care of multiple pans occasionally pausing to shove a spoon in my mouth for a taste test.

    I got plates ready and she piled them high with food and carried them to the dining table. She stood up quickly, ‘’Wait, I forgot the candles’’.

    She returned to the kitchen and came back out moments later holding two silver candlesticks complete with candles and a pack of matches. She placed the candles down and carefully lit each one. ‘’there, perfect’’. She beamed at me causing a warm fuzzy feeling I didn’t quite understand to build in my stomach.

    We both settled into our chairs and tucked into the amazing food she had prepared. I took a healthy mouthful and moaned, ‘’uurrghh this is soo good! Where did you learn to cook like this?’’

    ‘’My mother, when my sister and I were little we used to make spring rolls all the time. We would sit and chop veggies for hours and we would have a little assembly line going on. Bonding moments’’. Her smile faltered as she thought of her estranged family. I leaned over the table and kissed her lightly on the lips, ‘’Their loss sweetheart’’.

    I sat back down and reached out and took her hand across the table letting my fingers entwine with hers. ‘’Do you miss them?’’

    ‘’I put on a brave face for the most part for my friends, but when i’m at home alone with nothing to do it just hits me. I think about my mother and my family and wonder where they are? what they are doing? Or if they ever think about me? I think about my life and I feel so terribly lonely’’.

    She leaned back and took a sip of her wine and smiled a smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes, ‘’Sorry, I’m not usually this soppy and sentimental. But I have good friends they're my family now’’.

    ‘’Yeah, your friends are pretty awesome’’.

    She smiled and this time it reached her eyes she stood up and headed towards the kitchen turning quickly back to me, ‘’Coffee?’’

    nodded and went and sat on the sofa. She brought the coffee over to me and sat down next to me. She cuddled in towards me, ‘’Will you stay with me again tonight?’’

    I kissed the top of her head and said, ‘’Yeah, I’d like that.’’






    I stayed over again and she asked me to spend the following day with her and she would take me to the Blue Mountains National Park and then afterwards to the Katoomba falls. The sights were breathtaking.

    After our day out we headed back to Charlie's place and found Kate sitting on Charlie's doorstep. She smiled as we approached, "I've come to kidnap Lex back, I'm
    Cooking and we were all hoping you'd come too Charlie? That is of course if you don't mind taking a break from all the sex you guys are having."

    We looked at her with blank faces and she smiled, "oh don't play coy you have roommates, roommates who have ears and who like to gossip."

    We laughed and said we would definitely join her and everyone for dinner. Charlie leaned in her eyes burning through mine. She let her eyes flutter shut as she moved in the last few inches and kissed me. As she pulled away she smiled broadly, ‘’I’ll see you later yeah? Don’t miss me too much’’.

    ‘’You wish!’’ I laughed as Kate and I turned to leave.

    I headed back to Kates to get showered and changed. In the car on the way there Kate kept looking over at me and smirking. I eventually turned to her, ‘’Ok, what?! You've been looking at me funny the whole way back’’.

    ‘’Nothing, its just.......you like her don't you?’’ she smiled.

    I turned to her pursed my lips slightly eventually breaking into a smile, ‘’Yeah, I do’’.

    She turned her gaze back to the road smiling broadly, ‘’mmhhmm, her room mates said it sounded like you did’’. She broke out into a laugh as I shoved her playfully in the arm.

    I showered and changed while Kate started the cooking. As I came through to the kitchen a delicious smell reached me. ‘’That smells amazing, what are we having?’’

    ‘’Paella’’ she said as she looked up at me and smiled, ‘’You look nice, making a special effort?’’

    ‘’Fuck off Kate!’’ I grinned.

    She continued to giggle as the doorbell went. I got the door for kate and was confronted with a less than friendly Gemma. ‘’Oh, hi Lex’’. Gemma said clearly disgruntled at my presence.

    ‘’Hey, Gemma. Come in Kate’s cooking up a storm in the kitchen.’’ I gestured with my hand towards the kitchen and followed her through. The rest of the guests arrived apart from Charlie. I could see Gemma nervously glancing up at the clock before she looked at kate, ‘’Is Charlie coming?’’

    John started laughing, ‘’You should probably ask Lex, I think they've been coming together quite a lot the last few days’’.

    Everyone laughed as I chucked a pillow at John’s head, ‘’Fuck off mate!’’

    Gemma sighed deeply, ‘’I’ll call her find out where she is’’. She headed outside to use her phone. As she stepped out the doorbell went. I opened the door and Charlie walked in. ‘’Hey beautiful’’. SHe pulled me towards her by the waistband of my trousers and kissed me deeply her hands starting to wander re-igniting my desire. She pulled away breathing heavily her eyes boring into mine, ‘’I’m so sad we are amongst company right now’’.

    I took her hand and led her through to the kitchen where everyone was hanging out. Charlie kissed Kate on the head and jumped up onto a bar stool. filled up everyones drinks and as I passed Charlie to place the bottle back on the table she pulled me in towards and I settled between her legs my back to her front. She pulled me close and gently kissed my neck. I turned so my mouth was near her ear and spoke in almost a whisper, ‘’you better stop that or won't be held accountable for my actions’’.

    She laughed and suddenly stopped as Gemma came storming through the back door. ‘’What the hell? Why don’t you answer your phone? I’ve been worried about you.......but I see there was no need you just have your hands full!’’

    Charlie stared at her wide eyed as she sulked away. ‘’God, she’s so intense!’’

    I shoved her playfully, ‘’Don’t be mean she obviously like you a lot’’.

    ‘’Well, I obviously like you a lot so its tough isn’t it?’’ She smiled at me eyes twinkling.

    Kate chose that moment to shout that dinner was ready. Everyone took their seats around the table. The atmosphere was friendly and the conversation flowed the room filled with laughter. I had a great time with all of Kate’s friends. The end of the night approached and everyone begun to leave. Gemma was hovering and looked like she wanted to say something. Charlie raised her eyebrows at her, ‘’What’s up kid?’’

    Gemma shuffled her weight from one foot to the other the nervously looked up at Charlie, ‘’Do you need a lift home?’’

    ‘’Eerrrrr well, I.....I think I might stay for a while.’’

    They were stood out in the garden and I overheard Gemma ask in a raised voice, ‘’Why do you like her? What does she have that I don’t!!’’

    I could see Gemma flailing her arms around and shouting. Tears were rolling down her cheeks and Charlie looked as though she was desperately trying to calm her down to no avail. Gemma came storming back into the house pushed past me and said goodbye to Kate before rushing out. ‘’Are you ok?’’ Charlie said.

    ‘’Yeah i’m fine, aren't you going after her?’’

    Charlie looked at me blankly and I added, ‘’She’s your friend go after her, i’ll see you tomorrow’’.

    She paused looking at me questioningly until I broke the heavy silence, ''Look, I know how it feels to be in her position. Her heart is breaking seeing her best friend, the person she loves more than anyone else in the world with another woman. You have absolutely no idea just how heart wrenching that is. To love someone so much and have them hurt you like that and not give a shit about how it makes you feel. So yeah, I want you to go after her and make sure she's ok, because nobody deserves to feel like that''.

    As i spoke my chest tightened as i thought about the feelings i had just described to Charlie. I thought about how Gemma must be feeling, the memory of the pain i had experienced with Che still fresh in my mind. So fresh in fact, the residue seeped back up from its banishment threatening to breach my calm facade. My whole body was flooded by those feelings of jealousy, anger, pain and longing. I hadn't thought about how much Che had hurt me for a long time. I became overwhelmed with feelings of guilt for my emerging relationship with Charlie and I instantly wanted to be alone. I really liked Charlie a great deal but i couldn't face having her touching me at that moment with the thoughts of Che so fresh in my mind. It would have felt like a further betrayal. I felt torn. Torn between my deep feelings for Che and my very new fun and exciting feelings for Charlie. My mind was awash with so many thoughts. I wondered what my time in New York would bring with Che and how it would be between us given we hadn't seen each other in months. My body begun to ache for her to hold me. At that thought i shook myself forcing those thoughts down and out of my consciousness. I made myself focus on Charlie. Her words crashing through my thoughts.

    “But.....” .

    “No buts. Go after your friend and make sure she’s okay. I will see you tomorrow.” I kissed her passionately then pushed her towards the door. .

    I laid in bed that night and tossed and turned for most of the night. My mind raced between Che and Charlie as I grasped my head in my hands and shouted out into the darkness, ''AAARRGGHHH''

    I was filled with mental frustration. I loved Che dearly but i wanted more than anything to be able to focus on Charlie. It was fun and easy and relaxed between us with no drama and i felt that was what i needed. It was so nice to be with someone who didn't cause me angst. I just wished i could tell my heart that because my head was already convinced. In the back of my mind i knew once i saw Che again it would be very different.

    I suddenly regretted my decision to tell Charlie to go after Gemma. I wished she was lying next to me helping to shake away the doubts creeping into my head. I eventually drifted off into a restless sleep.



    We spent the next week almost entirely together. I loved her company and we were becoming emotionally closer the more time we spent together. This both excited me and made me nervous at the same time. I was worried about where my feelings for her were going. The more time i spent with her the more i could feel myself being pulled towards her. My heart felt torn as my feelings for Che and my newly emerging feelings for Charlie fought against each other. My heart seemed to ache for Che but at the same time it ached at the thought of having to leave Charlie. I was filled with an overwhelming sense of confusion. How could i possibly have such strong feelings for two people at once? It was a question i continued to ask myself as time passed.


    I started to wonder if Charlie felt the same as i did a moment of panic setting in as i considered the possibility that i was on my own with my feelings. This quickly subsided as Charlie decided to take time off from work and travel with me to the other places in Australia I planned to visit.

    Australia has some fantastic coastline to explore and some seriously scenic road trips with unrivalled surfing and geological wonders such as the Great Barrier Reef, the 12 Apostles and the Whitsunday Islands. Charlie and I packed up her flat bed pickup truck and set off on our road trip. We drove from Sydney to Melbourne.

    We Stopped off in Bateman’s Bay for lunch and enjoyed what the little town had to offer. We then drove on and headed to Eden. Eden is A killer whale sanctuary. We visited the Killer-Whale museum and then camped over in Charlie's pick up and planned to take a whale-watching excursion that ran daily from the harbour the following day.

    We laid out camping mats in the pick up and put one sleeping bag down out flat and used the other as a blanket. It was pretty cold so we cuddled up in each others arms and talked. She lifted her hand and pointed at the stars, "there's Andromeda and that there that's, Ursa major."

    I lifted my head and looked at her, "when i said you were full of surprises i had no idea as to the extent of your surprising nature"

    she laughed, "oh you have no idea."

    "it's kind of romantic isn't it?" She said as she turned to look at me her eyes full of emotion.

    I smiled at her, "yeah, I suppose it is."

    I leaned up on my elbow and kissed her. She pulled away then laughed, "that's one way to stay warm, I've never had al fresco sex before."

    She pulled the cover over us and I lost myself with her again. We woke up the next morning and went for coffee before going on our whale watching excursion.


    We then set off again and drove through various national parks stopping to watch the sun go down behind the mountains. We sat on the back of the pick up and she had her arm snaked around my waist with her head resting on my shoulder. I hadn't thought about Che since we started our road trip until watching the sunset. Charlie's voice shook me from my daze, "it's beautiful isn't it, makes you feel really small in comparison."

    "yeah, it's stunning............. I'm glad I'm here sharing it with you."

    She then turned her head towards me, "I thought you'd have preferred to have been here with Che?"

    she paused for a moment then added, "do you still love her?"

    I thought for a few seconds, "there's a part of me that will always love her but I'm glad I'm here with you and not her, there's so much drama there and it's nice to spend time with someone who has no problems admitting how they feel about me, you know?"

    I thought about the words I'd spoken to Charlie and I realised that I truly meant them. As much as I loved Che it was nice to get that distance as our relationship was a constant struggle for me both mentally and emotionally.

    she smiled and cuddled into me, "I don't know this Che girl, but I really don't like her very much."

    I put my arm around her fighting against the urge to defend Che. I knew better than to defend Che to Charlie and just said nothing, pulled her close and kissed the top of her head instead.
    We then drove just a few hours from Melbourne and entered the Lakes entrance and we saw the 90 Mile beach. The scenery was stunning. We sat on the beach and I decided to ask her the question I'd been considering in my mind for a while, "have you ever had a 'Che' in your life? Someone you loved so much it hurt?"

    She didn't break her gaze from the coastline as she swallowed hard before speaking her brow furrowed, "her name was Scarlet, she was my best friend I did everything and anything for her, we finally got together after a year of angst then she did what Che did to you, almost the exact same. She would pick me up and put me down when it suited her. I finally realised I was getting nothing from the relationship except a lot of pain so I moved on."

    "how? How did you move on?"

    I distanced myself from her I just kept trying everyday until it got a bit easier. That's how I know she's no good for you! You deserve better."

    I stayed quiet for a while deciding a subject change was in order, "how did you tell your parents that you were Gay?"

    "it was difficult, I knew there was a good chance they would disown me but I thought about it a lot and decided that I couldn't live my life for them. I had to do what made me happy so I sat them both down and told them. There were tears there was shouting, swearing then they told me to leave their house, so I did. I packed a single bag with as much of my stuff as i could carry leaving most of it behind and i left. It was the hardest thing i’ve ever had to do but I don't regret it, they've lost their only daughter I've lost a couple of dingos that can't have really loved me unconditionally."

    I was silent for a moment deep in thought, "I'm going to tell mine, when I get home I can't pretend anymore."

    She put her arm around me, "it will be the hardest thing you will ever do Lex, but ultimately you don't need ppl who can disown you because of who you happen to love."


    "Do you think your folks will take it badly?"


    "My mum no, my dad..........yeah. He pretty much hates me already".


    She looked at me and tilted her head slightly a questioning expression filling her features so I lifted my T-shirt up and showed her the tiny scar from keyhole surgery in which doctors removed my spleen. "Yeah, I noticed the scar the other day, what’s it from?"

    "Like I said my dad hates me, I used to be his punch bag. This is my war wound, he ruptured my spleen".

    "Christ, Lex......why is the bastard not in jail?!"

    I shrugged, "My grandad found bruises on me and gradually it happened less. It still happens from time to time but i’m pretty much used to it. I try not to spend a lot of time there".

    "Does your mum know?"

    I smiled at her and it didn’t quite reach my eyes, "She was the one who cleaned me up afterwards, I guess she loves him that much?"

    I looked out at nothing in particular and her words cut through my thoughts, "You are her child, she should love you more! Christ, if these are your war wounds I would hate to see your sisters having gone through extra years of that shit......Evil fuckng bastard!"

    "He never touched Louise, I don’t know why, must have been my fault."

    I looked up at her tears threatening my eyes, "It was in my interest to do well at school, best not to give him any excuse. I think maybe he knows that I'm gay, I think he has always known".


    "It doesn’t matter what his reasons were Lex, theres no excuse for that, you were an innocent child, you didn’t deserve it and it wasn’t your fault! He was, sorry, IS an Evil Bastard! And you are an amazing person and if he can’t see that, well, he’s a fucking retard!"

    I coughed out a mixture of tears and laughter, "You have such a way with words".

    She smiled and pulled me in closer, "Yeah, i’ve always thought I should have my own talk show, you know flay some child abusers, hang, draw and quarter some rapists, bitch slap indecisive best friends called Che........you know, standard stuff"’.

    I laughed and she wiped the tears from my eyes and we stayed cuddled up together until eventually falling asleep.

    She gave me the confidence to even think about coming out. I've always cringed when people talked about going traveling to find themselves but I finally knew what they meant. She helped me come to terms with things that I hadn’t managed to in therapy. She seemed to know exactly what to say to help me start to accept things and I loved her for that.

    We then Traveled from Melbourne to Adelaide along the country’s breathtaking south east coastline. We Drove along the Great Ocean Road past the iconic surf spots of Torquay and Bells Beach and stopped off so Charlie could give me a surfing lesson. She was a great teacher and I even managed to stand up a few times although it strongly resembled Bambi’s first steps.

    I sat on my board legs either side and paddled about while I watched her expertly surf the waves her body glistening in the sun her muscles flexing as she weaved in and out of the surf. The sun bounced off her athletic body as it twisted and turned with ease. I smiled to myself as the sight of her bikini clad body stirred things in me causing shivers to overcome at the thought of her agile frame pinning me down. She looked amazing and watching her Made me realise that I wished she lived nearer. I didn't like to think of when I had I leave and say goodbye to Charlie I was starting to really like her but I forced myself to put my developing feelings away because I knew it wouldn't be possible.

    We then continued onto the holiday haven of Lorne and saw the magnificent Twelve Apostles which are a collection of limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park.

    We then Walked through waterfalls and lush forest in Otway National Park and watched whales from historic Warrnambool.

    I was nearing the end of my time In Australia and Charlie started to get sad, quiet. and withdrawn. When I asked her about it she said that she always knew this was a casual thing and that I would be leaving, but that it didn't make It any easier. She said she would really miss me. I promised to keep in touch and told her I would really miss her too and it was true I knew I would. I knew deep down in my heart that I had already started to fall for her but my head took over as I told myself that the distance was too greater obstacle to overcome. But there was still a niggling feeling within me that maybe we could make it work.

    we soon returned to Sydney and I headed off for the last leg of my trip where I was due to meet up with Che.
     
    #11
  12. Lexington

    Lexington Well-Known Member

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    2
    CHAPTER ELEVEN


    New York


    I arrived in New York. The heavy close heat hit me as I made my way to the super shuttle that was to take me to my hotel. It was one of the scariest rides I've ever been on.

    The driver drove erratically and seemingly had no concept of traffic laws. He seemed crazy and shouted at pedestrians. “Red mean danger, lady! Don't cross on red. Red is for blood, fool!”

    I clenched my fist. My knuckles a searing white colour as I dug them into the upholstery. My whole body tensed with anxiety. I genuinely feared for my life as he weaved in and out of traffic and pedestrians alike. It was a relief to finally arrive at my hotel in one piece that I slid the sliding door open before he had come to a complete stop. He shouted after me, calling me crazy, as I leapt out of the vehicle. I found it novel to be called crazy after driving the way he did.

    I was taken aback at the close proximity of everything that I tuned him out as he continued to jabber down my ear. I was too busy taking everything in. The buildings felt imposing, almost intimidating, and the lack of space was overwhelming. Never before had I seen a car park in which they stacked cars vertically due to lack of tangible space. My senses were under assault from all angles. The noise of the traffic was overpowering and I suddenly felt very small in the sheer enormity of the buildings.

    Given the amount of traffic, it should have smelt like car fumes and pollution but it didn’t. The air was warm and it smelt of a variety of fast food mixed with another scent I couldn’t, for the life of me, place.

    Nearby, steam was billowing out of a manhole cover and I found myself transfixed with it. I had only seen this happen in movies and I suddenly felt very much like a tourist as I asked the hotel doorman what it was.

    He smiled warmly and said, “It's steam. It's used for heating and hot water in offices and apartment highrises in Manhattan.” He smiled at me again, eyed my awed expression, and gestured to one of the bell boys to take my luggage. “First time in New York, miss?”

    “Thank you. Yes. Is it that obvious?” I said and nodded at him. He chuckled as I added, “That is so weird! We don't stack cars where I'm from!”

    He smiled again and said, “Welcome to New York, miss.”

    “Thanks.” I smiled at him warmly.

    ~~~~~

    A very happy, smiley, and upbeat woman greeted me as I checked in at the reception. She introduced herself as Dion. I was taken aback since I was used to the British I-don't-give-a-fuck-about-you-or-this-job kind of service. If this was the American way of service then I'm not used to it. So much so I found myself almost mistrustful of her happy demeanor. The “have a nice day” seemed so fake to me and I wondered if she really gave two shits whether I will have a nice day or not.

    My thoughts shifted as I took the lift to the thirty ninth floor. I wondered if my nose would bleed from the altitude. Also, Che was due to arrive that evening. I was so excited to see her I had butterflies in my stomach from anticipation.

    I took a quick shower after dumping my bags and then went out to make reservations for dinner. I was at the bar having a drink to settle my nerves after the horrendous trip from the airport when someone came up behind me. I felt the presence before I saw who it was and I had a strange sensation, almost as if my body recognised her and relaxed at having her near. A sense of calm, warmth and excitement settled over me as she snaked her arms around my waist from behind.

    “Hey, stranger!” Che said.

    I turned around in her arms quickly and pulled her into a hug. I held on to her tightly as if my life depended on it. I realised how much I'd missed her and it felt unbelievably good to hold her close. I felt like a part of myself had been missing and had now been returned. Every facet of my past was tied up in her. As I held her, I took a deep breath to take in her scent . It's a sweet scent that never failed to evoke so many memories of both happy, sad and intimate moments for me. I pulled away reluctantly as my pulse started to race. Her gaze finally settled on mine.

    “I've missed you so much,” I said. I kissed her forehead lovingly and squeezed her tight.

    “Missed you too, Lex,” she answered. She looked into my eyes and then leaned in. Her eyes flickered slightly as she placed a tender kiss on my lips. Her hand rubbed my neck and it sent tingles to every nerve ending. I marvelled at how my body reacted to her touch. It seemed as if every fibre of my being stood to full attention and my stomach curled in delicious anticipation. She pulled away but continued to look at me with intensity from her big brown eyes. It caused my feelings for her to stir. She seemed to shake herself then look me up and down. With a nudge of her elbow and a playful smile on her lips she said, “Jesus! How tanned are you? Anyone would think you were traveling the world!”

    I laughed and turned back to the barmaid to order Che a drink. I held her hand tightly and we sat at the hotel bar catching up for about an hour before going to our room to change for dinner. As we headed up in the lift, I found myself staring at her not quite allowing myself to believe she was here with me.

    When we booked the trip, we decided to share a room but made sure we had one with two double beds to avoid any awkwardness. I started to unpack my stuff while she got into the shower and left it to take one after she was done. When I got out the bathroom, I realised she had found my photographs from my travels. She had hold of the pictures of me and Charlie and she was sat staring at them, her brow furrowed in thought.

    My heart sank and a familiar ache replaced it. I didn't want to keep hurting her but I knew the pictures had done just that. I felt my senses flood with guilt. We had only been in each other's company for a little over an hour and I was already upsetting her. I didn't say anything because no words would come so I waited for her to speak. She eventually looked up, eyes full of regret.
    “Who is she?” she asked. Her words were so full of pain and jealousy and it felt like my insides had been ripped out replaced with a blistering fire.

    I told her about Charlie and she asked if it was serious. I nervously lied and told her it wasn't and that Charlie and I knew it was only a temporary thing. I also told her how Charlie had a big impact on me and I felt like a better person because of her. It seemed like I needed to make excuses for my relationship with Charlie and It felt like I had been unfaithful to Che. I suppose, in my mind, I had been. I was still very much in love with Che but had had feelings for Charlie so in a way it felt like cheating. Che nodded after I finished talking and flicked through the rest of my pictures. She seemed to smile but it didn't quite reach her eyes.

    “A girl in every port?” she asked. Her voice sounded accusatory and far away.

    I gave her a smile as empty as hers. “Not quite.”

    She seemed to shake herself again and then raised her eyebrows. A coy smile spread across her face. "Show us your white bits then," she said.

    I realised I still had a towel wrapped around me as she reached for it. She giggled as she attempted to pull it off. Since she was slightly shorter than I was, it meant she had to struggle to catch me as I snaked out of her reach. I laughed and raised my eyebrows, almost daring her as we both froze.

    I dropped my towel as I held her eyes. My eyes flicked down to her mouth momentarily as I moved in closer to her. My lips just inches away from hers and I spoke low and seductively, “I don have any white bits.” With that, I walked with purpose to the bathroom as she stared wordlessly after me, mouth agape.

    When I exited the bathroom, fully clothed this time, I was rewarded with a grin from Che as she threw me a hair brush. She muttered under her breath, her eyes dancing with amusement. "Fucking tease!"


    I smiled broadly at her and she playfully shook her head in mock disapproval.

    We headed out for dinner and once seated at our table we had fun chatting about what had happened in each others lives in the past 5 months. I was so happy to be back in her company I couldn't stop myself from smiling. She talked animatedly about her uni course and the new friends she had met. I felt a warmth wash over me watching how happy she was.

    At the back of my mind, however, malicious thoughts began to creep in as I wondered if she had been intimate with people she met at uni. Those thoughts made my stomach lurch and I immediately felt sick. Jealousy writhed in my stomach like a serpent as my mind raced with a million and one scenarios all involving Che with other people. I hated the thought of anyone else touching her. More than that, the thought of her being with a girl felt a million times worse than if she was with a guy. It would feel like a rejection. Almost as if her reluctance to come to terms with her sexuality was really a trepidation of being with me. Somehow I couldn't bring myself to ask because I was afraid of the answer. I was terrified that the reason she refused to be with me would be me and that I was somehow lacking.

    I didn’t like the thoughts I was having and the feelings of jealousy that they evoked. I wasn't in control of how I felt and that in itself caused a sense of panic to multiply within me. I forced myself to overcome those thoughts and at least try to enjoy my time with her. I convinced myself I can’t really miss what I had never really had to begin with. I thought I should be grateful for whatever scraps she threw my way. I plastered a fake smile onto my face and shook myself back into the conversation.

    ~~~~~


    After dinner, we decided to head back to the hotel as we were both very tired from the day's traveling. As we walked through the reception, Dion greeted us in an upbeat sing-song voice, “Welcome back, ladies! Have a nice evening.”

    In the lift on the way up to our floor Che turned to me and said, “Why do they constantly tell you to “have a nice day”? It’s not like they mean it. Wouldn't it be so funny if they said what they actually thought? Have a crappy day, you fucking arsehole. I hate my job and my life and I hate you! Oh, and i hate this coathanger that seems to be stuck in my fucking mouth causing me to smile like this. We both know it's not real because my eyes are void of any emotion.’’ She exhaled deeply after her monologue and I laughed heartily knowing I had had the very same thoughts.

    She leaned back against the lift wall and looked up at me again before laughing. “This is the reason people think the English are miserable stiff upper lip tossers, isn’t it?”

    I gave her a smirk as I impatiently pushed the close button on the lift as it stopped at every floor on the way up. “We are a nation of grumpy, complaining, and cynical arseholes and that is how I like it,” I said. “At least it's real. At least when I smile I know it's because I really feel it. I can’t stand pretense. That's why I couldn’t live here. I’d end up being one of those crazy people whose house kids are scared to pass.”

    Che laughed, she told me she missed me, and then full-named me.

    I grinned and shoved her. “Don’t call me that!’’

    She grinned broadly and sidled up close to me, a twinkle in her eye, as she said okay then full-named me again. In the blink of an eye, she took off at breakneck speed giggling profusely all the way along the labyrinthine hallways to our room with me in quick pursuit. For a moment I wondered in panic what I would do if I actually caught her. Do I kiss her and risk ruining the rest of our holiday? Despite my internal dialogue I kept running, my long strides easily outdoing hers as i reached her two doors before our room. I grabbed her wrists as she giggled.

    “Okay. Okay! I surrender!” she said breathlessly. We were both pressed up against each other breathing heavily from the run. Her eyes momentarily flicked down to my mouth and then up to look at me. Our eyes locked then she leaned her head in a little closer as if daring me to meet her halfway.

    The urge to lean in and kiss her threatened to overwhelm me but my resolve was strong as visions of what I could lose drifted in my mind. I let go of her wrists and broke our physical contact to what I felt was a safe distance. “I’ll let you off just this once,” I said as I turned to walk to our room and slid the key into the door. I turned back to see where she was and saw her frozen at the spot I had left her. She seemed lost in her thoughts and saw what I took to be disappointment and embarrassment on her features. Her cheeks were flushed and I mentally cursed myself for not kissing her but the moment was already lost. I pushed the door open and held it for her. She seemed to shake herself and then followed me in.

    We both silently changed, got into our separate beds, and turned out the light. We lay there in our respective beds quietly. A heavy silence filled the air until she spoke. "It's really great to see you, Lex. I've been lost without you these last five months."

    I thought for a moment as I smiled in the darkness. ‘’Yeah. Me too,’’ I told her.

    “I love you, Lex.”

    Her words seared through me like a red hot poker as I wondered if she truly meant them. In spite of myself, I said it back even though it left me feeling vulnerable. “Love you too, sweetheart.”


    I felt nervous as an unruly ball of anxiety refused to settle in my stomach at the thoughts of what the next month with her would bring. With those thoughts we drifted off to sleep.

    ~~~~~

    Next morning, she woke me up by jumping on my bed telling me to get my lazy arse out of my pit and get ready. My heart swelled at having her near and the anxiety from the previous night seemed to have slipped away. I was just so happy being being with her I hadn’t realised just how much I had missed her until I had her back. I took a quick shower and whilst doing so I smiled to myself at how nice it was to be back with my best friend, my soulmate.

    We headed out to Norma's for Sunday brunch. The food was amazing. Che waxed lyrical about the eggs benedict as she playfully stole forkfuls of hash browns off my plate. We used this time to plan out what touristy things we wanted to do during our stay. We planned to go to The Empire State building, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Top of the Rock, and do shopping to name a few. After brunch, we did some shopping then took the subway to Katz Deli for lunch. Che emptied a sachet of sugar into her coffee and stirred as she glanced up at me with with a devilish smile and a glint in her eye. "I'm going to re-enact the scene from when Harry met Sally,” she said. “You know, when Meg Ryan faked an orgasm."

    My stomach curled in delicious anticipation as thoughts of Che mid orgasm flooded my senses. I sat back in my chair, a slight flush creeping up over my face, and I surveyed her amusement. I started to tease her, "You, lady, wouldn’t have the faintest idea how to fake an orgasm." I paused shoving a fry into my mouth. “You know. Given that you are so damn easy to please," I then added with raised eyebrows and a hint of a smile.


    She chucked a fry at me and smirked playfully. "I’ve had plenty of practice since you have been away. And I am not easy to please.”

    The fire within me was thoroughly doused at her words and was replaced with an overwhelming feeling of anger and jealousy. I realised my fears had been confirmed.

    She glanced down shyly and avoided eye contact with me then tentatively met my gaze. “You just find it easy because you know me so well,” she said quietly.

    I tossed the fry onto the tray in defeat forcing the feelings down in an attempt to hide how I felt. "Well, lack of sexual pleasure is an inevitability if you keep sleeping with men. They obviously do NOTHING for you." My eyes twinkled with amusement as I dared her to contradict me.

    There was a moment of very intense eye contact during where I sensed her start to wobble. I feared a freak out on the horizon so I looked away and quickly changed the subject. Anxiety formed in an unorganised ball in the pit of my stomach as I realised her time at uni had done nothing to lessen her sexuality-related fears. Gradually the threat of a fully-blown freak out subsided and my Che was back. I sighed with relief as my whole body relaxed to shed the tenseness that had developed.


    We carried on seeing the sights for the rest of our time there. As the days wore on my feelings for Che threatened to breach the surface as they always did. We gradually started sharing the one bed and although nothing happened apart from cuddling I felt content and safe in her arms like nothing could ever hurt or touch me. I started to find myself lovingly gazing at her daydreaming about what could be when she wasn't looking which caused my pulse to race and a wave of happiness to settle over me. She was everything i ever wanted, the only one who ever cared about me, the only one who ever saw the best in me. I felt like I wanted to give the ‘us’ thing another try and decided, that night, if it felt right I would make my move and have the conversation with her telling her how I felt, how much I loved her and wanted us to be together. Although it was what I wanted I was still filled with anxiety at the thought of her freaking out and rejecting me again. My limbs tingled with fear at the thought of what was to come, the thought of being rejected by her again. She was my everything and if she didn’t want to be with me i didn’t know how i would handle being left alone in this scary world the mere thought terrified me. i played out a variety of outcomes in my head none of which were favourable but i promised myself i had to at least try.


    We had had a full day of sightseeing and we were both exhausted. We got off the subway heading back to the hotel. On the way we met a guy called Ryan. Ryan was a really good looking guy, he was tall dark and really handsome and he had buckets of charm and charisma. He just randomly started to talk to us about Manhattan upon hearing our foreign accents and he asked us where we were from. He then started to tell us all the best places to go. He invited us to a roof party one of his friends was having and we accepted the invitation. He wrote down the address for us and left us his mobile number. My stomach plummeted with anxiety and I immediately started to sulk as i could see how the evening would pan out and i knew there wasn’t a damn thing i could do about it. i hated feeling helpless it took me back to a place in which my dad was in control of me and my whole body rejected that feeling.

    That evening Che and I headed to the party. She looked amazing and when she asked me how she looked I was lost for words which caused her to smirk knowingly. We arrived at a beautiful brownstone building on the upper east side. Ryan greeted us enthusiastically and introduced us to all his friends. All his friends were a real laugh and we had a brilliant night, good music, good company, and a lot of alcohol.

    Ryan seemed to have taken a real Shine to Che and they were flirting a lot. My heart was literally breaking to see them together. They were seducing each other right in front of my eyes and I felt sick to my stomach my eyes stinging with threatening tears my hands curled into fists my knuckles a searing white colour. I cursed myself for not confessing my re emerging feelings sooner knowing i had missed my chance again. I spent the remainder of the night sitting on my own attempting to drink myself into oblivion but all the time my eyes never left Che with Ryan. I was torturing myself by watching them but somehow i couldn’t tear my eyes away. That should have been me was all that I could think about. My anger and bitterness continued to grow threatening to swallow me whole.

    The party began to wind down and the inevitable happened. The moment i was dreading had arrived, Che asked me whilst avoiding my eye contact, if it was alright if she stayed with Ryan. My heart sank and I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach as all the air seemed to leave my body leaving my cells screaming for Oxygen. I felt like at any moment I could burst into tears my stomach and heart felt like they had been placed in a blender. I wanted to scream, NO! at her but the words wouldn't come so I sucked up the intense pain and anger and I told her it was fine, but inside I was seething. I wondered how someone who professed to loving me so deeply could treat me and my feelings with such utter disregard as if they were nothing, I would never have intentionally made her feel that way. In that one moment she had hurt me more than anyone, more than my dad ever had, and I was left feeling more alone than I could ever remember feeling. I decided rather than going back to the hotel and moping I would go out to a club and find a welcomed distraction. i wanted Che to feel as bad as I did. I wanted her to know the jealousy and bitterness that had become my constant companion.


    I took a taxi to a Gay bar and decided anonymous sex was what I needed to push the pain of What Che was doing out of my head. Part of me also wanted to get back at her.

    I bought myself a drink and soaked up the atmosphere and the crowd. The music was loud and i could feel the bass in my chest soothing the anger and heartbreak inside me.

    I stood leaning against the bar looking out at the crowd looking for a girl that took my eye. It felt somehow predatory but the excitement surged through me and spurred me on. I'd never gone out solely for the purpose of finding someone for a one night stand before, but I was pissed off and yet again hurt by Che. I needed to lose myself in someone, anyone. I talked to a girl who I thought was nice enough. She didn't light any fires within me but she seemed pleasant, she was attractive but then she introduced me to her boyfriend and pretty much in no uncertain terms asked me if I'd be up for a threesome. I politely declined. I had had enough of men ruining my plans, so I went back to my drink.




    I spotted a cute striking girl sitting on her own looking sad, like she was looking for the secrets of the universe in the bottom of her cocktail glass. She was very attractive in an unconventional way with a quirky style i really liked. She had a pixie haircut which suited her well with big expressive hazel eyes and a milky complexion setting off her long dark eyelashes. She had sleeve tattoos which peaked my interest. Her brow was creased into a slight frown her stare faraway. She looked how I felt. I bought another of what she was drinking and sat down across from her. I slowly pushed the drink I'd bought towards her whilst surveying her before speaking, "hi, I'm Lex, you mind if I sit with you?"

    she looked up nervously forcing a smile onto her delicate features, "no, sure, I mean , be my guest’’

    She looked me up and down in an appraising manner then met my eyes again with a satisfied smirk, ‘’I'm Lydia."

    I sat down and I tilted my head to one side in an enquiring manner, "Why do you look so sad, Lydia?"

    She gave me a half hearted smile and downed the drink i‘d bought her pulling a face at the strength of the alcohol then eyed me suspiciously, ‘’you don’t wanna know’’

    I tilted my head to one side slightly again as i gazed at her intensely, ‘’I wouldn’t ask if i didn’t want to know, try me?’’


    She sighed deeply sitting back stirring her drink with a small red straw whilst nervously biting her lip, "My girlfriend cheated on me with my best friend".

    I stayed silent and simply listened as she continued, "I don’t know who I feel more betrayed by".

    I sat back and met her gaze head on for a few moments in contemplative silence before speaking, "Well obviously the best friend, thats loyalty that shouldn’t be broken". The familiar pain searing through my chest as i thought about Che fleetingly.

    "You speak from experience?"

    I smiled ignoring her question and regarded her closely my gaze flicking momentarily downwards to her full lips then back to her hurt eyes, "Can I buy you another drink?"

    She nodded and I returned to the bar. I could feel her eyes on me burning into my back as i smiled to myself. This was going to be fun i thought to myself.

    I reached out briefly meeting her gaze as i touched her exposed shoulder letting my fingertips brush along her arm lightly tracing the lines of her tattoos. Her breath caught at my touch and i smiled as spoke, ‘’I like these......they suit you........do you have any others?’’

    She ran her tongue quickly over her lips and bit her lower lip her voice low and seductive, ‘’Maybe’’.

    ‘’maybe huh?’’

    I leaned forward and whispered into her ear, ‘’Well maybe you can show me later then?’’

    She grinned sitting back in her seat as she took a sip of her drink with raised eyebrows.

    I continued to listen and kept buying her drinks. She looked up at me nervously through her long dark lashes, "you kind of have a dark, brooding, mysterious thing going on".

    I gazed at her intently but remained silent as she pressed again, "are you as dark, brooding and dangerous as you appear?"


    I ignored her question and reached out and tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear and held her gaze intensely, "You have really beautiful eyes".

    Her face lit up as she smiled and eyed me shyly a blush creeping onto her cheeks, ‘’Add evasive to the list’’. She said with a smirk.

    I smiled very aware that i was being colder and more emotionally distant than usual. I didn't feel like me, i felt like i was being someone else. Like all the hurt i felt as a result of my relationship with Che had morphed me into something predatory and animalistic and ultimately cold and distant. Almost as if my body was in auto pilot and this was all i knew how to do, this was all i was certain of, this was all i was good for because of my early experiences. This was the only thing anyone wanted from me, this was all i felt i could offer anyone.

    I didn’t feel like me, however, it seemed to be working for me as my distant demeanor seemed to entice and intrigue her. The conversation developed to the point where we were exchanging what I felt was sexually charged lingering eye contact. I looked her dead in the eyes and said, "come on, drink up."

    She smiled, "where are we going?"

    I looked at her and took hold of her hand and begun to lead her outside deciding to be blunt, " to my hotel?!"

    I posed it as half question, half statement and she smiled, "confident aren’t you?" She questioned me as we made it out onto the pavement.

    I smiled seductively and leaned in towards her and noted her sharp intake of breath as i did, ‘’because i know you will, you’re intrigued and although you know you shouldn’t you want me!’’.
    One side of her mouth curled into a lopsided smirk, ‘’Maybe’’.

    I leaned in closer still, lust taking over as i kissed her passionately my hand finding the back of her neck drawing her in closer. Our bodies pressed up against each other and i could feel her quickening pulse in her neck. I almost lost myself in that kiss my head heavy with lust. I pulled away and as i did she leaned forward seeking me out. I smirked at her and almost whispered to her, ‘’Patience....’’. I leaned my mouth in close to her ear and uttered against her skin, ‘’There’s nothing quite like delayed gratification’’. My own heart quickening its pace in response to that kiss.

    She giggled for a moment then said, ‘’I doubt you even know the meaning of term’’.


    I raised my eyebrows with a smirk as i spoke, ‘’That sounds suspiciously like a challenge to me?’’

    I took her hand and led her down the street to hail a cab. We took the taxi back to the hotel and spent the journey kissing each other on the back seat and allowing our hands to wander. The taxi driver must have thought all his Christmases had come at once the show we gave him. He kept looking in his rear view mirror at us which only encouraged me further. We got to the hotel and I took hold of her hand again and we walked through the reception together greeted again by Dion who faltered when she realised i wasnt with Che but another girl, ‘’Eveni........’’

    she seemed to steady herself and tried again, ‘’Evening ladies! Enjoy your night’’.

    She said the last words with the hint of amusement in her tone unlike the previous times. I met her gaze and smiled thinking yes, you actually mean it this time. She seemed to understand the meaning i tried to convey with my eyes as she nodded at me her eyebrows raised amusement dancing across her expressive face. ‘’Thanks Dion we will, you too’’. I said with a wink and was rewarded with a hearty laugh from her as I rounded the corner and hit the button for the lift.

    We finally reached my floor and we stumbled our way down the corridor towards the room kissing each other as we walked. At one point we rounded a corner and slammed straight into an older guy carrying an ice bucket. I quickly apologised then continued to kiss Lydia with the old man staring after us. We finally hit my room and I pushed her against the door and continued to kiss her as I reached into my pocket pulled out the key card and fumbled as i attempted to slide it into the lock unsuccessfully. She reached out and snatched the keycard from me and slid it into the lock with ease. The door opened and we almost fell into the room. As soon as the door was shut passion took over we both kicked off our shoes and returned our attention to each others bodies. My need to lose my rampaging thoughts of Che overwhelmed me. I just needed it all to stop, the constant thoughts of what Che was doing with that guy, the thoughts of him touching her like only I should, continued to play over and over.

    I had to stop the thoughts, they raged through me like fire and I knew the only way they would stop was when I lost myself in Lydia. My body took over and my mind disappeared I wasn't there, but I got the feeling neither was she. We were both getting certain needs met in the form of forgetting other people.



    **Go to Tumblr post**



    I eventually fell into an exhausted sleep too but before I did I wondered if Che would return in the morning before Lydia left. Secretly I hoped she would come back in time to bump into her, the childish part of me wanted her to feel as bad, jealous and empty as I did.



    The next morning we woke and made small talk. We both took showers, I went first whilst she watched the news. I had just finished getting dressed while Lydia was in the shower when I heard a key in the door. I instantly regretted my actions as Che walked in. She smiled at me, "Hey you, did you have a good night."


    Panic flooded my face as we both heard the sound of the shower suddenly cease, my gaze darting between the bathroom and the confused look on Che's face.
    Confusion rapidly morphed into agonizing reality as Lydia sauntered out of the bathroom. She looked at Che and smiled sensing the tension permeating the atmosphere. Nervously, she approached me and quietly spoke, "thanks for last night Lex, I have to get going."

    I forced a half hearted smile to my face knowing that this scene was undoubtedly hurting Che. I walked Lydia to the door in a vain attempt to hide the panic building inside me. She kissed me lightly on the lips a sudden awkwardness lingering in the air as we said goodbye. Our eyes conveyed our mutual appreciation for filling each other's void if only for a night.

    As soon as the door closed Che rounded on me, "what the fuck was that?"

    I instantly regretted lingering with Lydia this morning despite being grateful for her company the night before. Che's tone alone conveyed anger and hurt, further compounding the remorse I felt, so raw and ashamed. How could i have intentionally set out to hurt the one person who meant more to me than anyone?

    As the anger in her words sunk in a sudden surge of defiance hit me, why is she the only one allowed to move on i thought. With that fleeting thought i felt brave for just a moment, "that was my one night stand leaving." I exclaimed.

    "Yeah, got that." She said, her voice dripping with anger and bitterness.

    I turned to her in almost a pleading tone regretting my bravery, "look, I thought things between us were....well....you know......and then you tell me you’re staying out to fuck some artist, a guy no less, that fucking hurt.......again! So this.......well, this was me trying to keep the hurt at bay because it's the only damn thing that fucking works"

    I turned on my heels and headed for the door.

    "Where are you going?" she shouted.

    "I have a Skype date with my sister, as if you care!"

    Walking down to the lobby tears crept into my eyes as my stomach churned with anxiety. My heart fluttered, my chest knotted as panic took over. The look….the look on Che's face as she digested what she'd walked in on. It hurt her…. I hurt her… and she was the last person in this world I ever wanted to hurt. I felt like my world had just fallen apart again. Every time this happened I felt like she slipped…just a little bit further away from my reach. Only this time, it was all my doing.

    I spoke with my sister, Lou on video chat, bursting into tears when she asked me how it was going. She was really supportive as I told her that every time I let myself give in to my emotions and am vulnerable with Che, I get hurt and bruised all over again. I didn't know how much more of it I could take. Lou reassured me Che would eventually come around. That despite her denial and reluctance, she couldn’t hide from whom she was forever. I hoped with all my heart she was right.

    We talked for ages and by the time we finished, I felt loads better. Lou pointed out that Che was just as scared, if not more scared than I, about leaving herself open and allowing vulnerability to creep in. Lou apologized for not being able to pick us up at the airport in a few days, but volunteered my parents would instead.

    I went back up to the room and stood outside in the hall for a while willing myself to open the door an internal battle between my head and my heart in full flow. The thought of what lay in wait for me on the other side terrified me, as I believed I had ruined everything. I finally got up the courage to crack the door, only to find Che sitting on top the bed deep in thought in the familiar trance like state I've witnessed so many times before. As soon as she registered my presence, she spoke timidly, her voice sounding far away, "did you do it on purpose?" she uttered her eyes glazed.

    "Dooo what?", I said nervously.

    She looked up with tears in her eyes, her voice trembling, "did you make sure she was still here when I got back?"

    I felt the sudden surge of anger return, "so what if I did? It's no worse than you with that…that… Ryan. Do you know how much that hurt? I felt like you'd ripped my heart from my chest.......AGAIN!!"

    Anger coursed through my veins like wild fire at the hypocrisy in her accusation. How dare she? She stood, and while choking on tears shouted, "I have a pretty good idea, you’re a fucking arsehole! I fucking hate you..."

    She started to half heartedly hit me. I took hold of her hands and told her to stop…. pulling her close I wrapped my arms around her while placing a soft kiss on the top of her head in an attempt to soothe her. She continued thrashing against me still crying.

    "I hate how you make me feel! I don't want to feel like this, I can't feel like this! It hurts too much! Why do you do this to me?!"

    "I hate feeling like this too, it fucking kills me.....I'm sorry!"

    I reached out and cradled her head in my hands trying to coax her to look at me, but she wouldn’t or couldn't. The pummeling and tears continued, so I kissed her. I kissed her full force on the mouth while swaddling her tightly with my body like a child. Her fury quickly morphed into a mixture of anger and passion.

    **Go to Tumblr post***


    Her breathing was heavy and laboured as she breathlessly uttered, ‘’You amaze me......I can't feel my fucking legs, are they still there?’’

    I ran my hand quickly up her legs causing her to shout, ‘’aahh’’

    She started to laugh and pulled me towards her into an embrace, ‘’I love you so much, you know that right? Now get that fucking thing out of me!’’, she giggled as she pursed her lips and gazed at me in mock disapproval.

    I nodded my head against her breast enjoying the playfulness in her tone but I wasn’t entirely sure I believed her professed words of love. Part of me doubted her as she only seemed to express it in the afterglow. I lay there against her feeling slightly empty, not daring to express how I was feeling. I eventually drifted off into an exhausted sleep her still holding me with the sense of uneasiness still clouding my mind.

    The rest of the week was strange. During the day we reverted to our easy flirting teasing friendship and at night it was different. As soon as that hotel door shut, we were loving, tender and insatiable. She appeared fine being in a relationship with me veiled by closed doors but in public was another story. When others could witness or speculate, she was aloof and distant. And though that killed me, I placated myself with the knowledge I had her nights. Nevertheless, I had an overwhelming sense she was ashamed to be with me. That is, a damaged person like me. Maybe the things my dad had done to me revolted her and the only way she could bring herself to be with me was in private, outside of the people's prying judgmental eyes. I worried she thought being with me tainted her in some way. All of these thoughts plagued me. I despised that part of myself that….unclean, soiled and dirty feeling from my past. I forced myself to feign happiness in order to have some semblance of a relationship with her. I convinced myself that something…. anything….even a small part of her was better than nothing at all.

    Our time in New York had come to an end. We decided to take a private car to the airport after I relayed my previous experience of the Super Shuttle on the ride in. We arrived at the airport and as I stepped out onto the curb, I took one last look at New York before carting my luggage into the terminal. I was nervous and excited to see my friends and family again after such a long time away. I knew it would feel odd being amongst so many people after being alone for so long. Despite all that I knew it wouldn't be long before I craved solace again.
     
    #12
  13. Lexington

    Lexington Well-Known Member

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    CHAPTER 12


    I woke up in my bed enveloped in my duvet disorientation flooding my senses. I took in a familiar intoxicating, comforting scent and realised my head was on Che's chest, my body curled against hers. my hand had instinctively found its way under her shirt clinging to her as if her soft warm skin provided relief to my heartache. She stirred as I woke and shifted my weight slightly. The enormity of the nights events hit me full force shaking me to my core, realisation slamming into place. I wished I could go back to that moment just as I woke, thirty seconds previous when everything was still ok, my parents were still alive and I wasn't in this nightmare. The human mind was such a cruel thing I thought, to allow those blissful few seconds upon waking of unawareness. It was like reliving those terrible moments all over again, the words, "Their injuries were too severe". "There was nothing more we could do". "They're dead" echoing in a loop in my mind like a death knell.

    Tears ran slowly down my face as I lay there transfixed. Che's tshirt gradually became more sodden as my emotions refused to be contained.

    Che ran her hand up and down my arm to comfort me. "Is there anything I can do sweetheart?" She whispered.

    I lifted my head and looked at her my lashes glistening with tears. I lay there staring into her beautiful face that was etched with concern trying to make sense of her words. I moved up and started to kiss her. She shifted slightly as I started to lay hungry kisses against her neck, "Lex, I don't think we should do this, not now, you're not ready for this."

    I looked up at her pleadingly my eyes full of sadness and heartache, "I need you".

    It was true I did. I needed to lose myself with her completely, to lie in her arms where I felt whole and safe, I needed to forget what had happened to my parents and allow myself to be consumed by her.

    She looked into my eyes for what felt like an agonising eternity, eventually taking pitty on me. Her resolve broke as she started to kiss me back. It somehow managed to make everything just about bearable. Being wrapped up in her, Making love to her was the only thing that made sense. For those few hours everything was fine, I wasn't wracked with guilt or emptiness. I fell back into her arms tears flowing down my face, my body wracked with sobs. Che held me tight and murmured words of reassurance in my ear until I drifted off to hazy exhausted sleep. In that moment I realised that she was the only one I could truly be myself with, the only person with whom I could let go and lose control with. I woke and my hand went instinctively to where I thought Che was lying but instead I found a cold expanse of empty sheets. I headed from my bedroom following the smell of coffee and toast to the kitchen finding Che cooking breakfast.

    She looked up at me as I entered in a complete daze, "I made you breakfast."

    I headed straight to the coffee pot and poured myself a large mug full acting on auto pilot as I spoke, "thanks, but I'm not hungry."

    "Lex you need to eat!" She glared at me.

    I sat down a defeated sigh escaping my lips and pushed the eggs around my plate. I ate a few mouthfuls, it tasted of nothing turning to ash in my mouth making my stomach churn. A loud banging on the door startled me shaking me from my daze. I got up greatful of the excuse to leave the untouched plate of food as I headed to the door.

    It was PC Jones again. I opened the door secretly hoping she was here to tell us there had been a mistake. I took in her expression and realised that there was no such mistake. I glanced down and she had hold of a large clear plastic bag which on first glance seemed to contain my parents possessions. Pc jones smiled warmly, "sorry to disturb you at this time but I've brought around your parents belongings, they were recovered from the accident."

    I silently gestured for her to come in and led her through to the lounge where Louise and Clark sat consoling each other. I turned to Louise, "Lou this is pc Jones." I uttered in almost a whisper. I felt almost as if I was intruding on her grief, as if I had no right to feel anything at all given the relationship I had with them I felt like a fraud.

    Pc Jones turned to me, "call me Emma please."

    I turned back to Louise, "Emma is the officer who attended the accident, she was the one who came to tell me last night."

    Clarke sensing his wife's rising emotional state stepped in assuming control of the situation, "what can we do for you officer?"

    she turned to Louise and I, "I've brought round your parents belongings that were recovered from the accident."

    she placed the bag on the table and gingerly looked from myself to Louise and back. We all stared at it. Louise then said in a defiant tone eyes filled with burning hatred, "the guy who killed them, where is he?"

    Emma shifted her weight from one foot to another nervously and flicked her gaze back to me. I wondered how many times she had done this. "he's currently in intensive care." She said her eyes falling warmly on Louise as she spoke.

    "he didn't die then?"

    "his condition is critical, so we haven't been able to question him yet."

    Clark thanked her and stood up as if signalling it was time for her to leave. She picked up on the cue instantly and moved towards the door but not before appealing to us both directly. "if there is anything else I can do for either of you please don't hesitate to call me". She smiled briefly at me before being ushered out by Clarke.

    As she left I reached for the bag and emptied out their things onto the table. I felt like my heart was in a vice as I spotted my mums engagement and wedding rings the metal was slightly twisted. It was then I realised that if her ring was like that what effect had the accident had on her small body. I took the ring and quickly put it in my pocket, I didn't want Louise to see it.

    Clark said he would organise everything for us which I was glad of. The next few days went by in a blur. I just went through the motions. for appearances sake I was there but in reality I was an empty shell.

    The solace I once took from having Che near me became a burden. She was a constant reminder of how I really felt inside, I couldn't pretend with her, I couldn't put it to the back of my mind. She could see through me and my masks and that in itself would have forced me to face things that I wasn’t yet ready to face. I started to distance myself from her as it was just too painful to be around her.

    Two days after my parents had died Louise went back to her house with Clark leaving me in the house alone. I hated the silence it was so quiet it was almost deafening. I felt like an intruder in my own home.
     
    #13
  14. serenitee068

    serenitee068 Member

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    @Lexington Thanks for the re-post. Good thing you copy-pasted it, everyone can deal with it.
     
    #14

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