Monday, 23 August 2010

twenty one

That can't be right though.

Can it?

Cancer doesn't just happen. It doesn't just attack the people who've worked hard at being valuable to society all of their lives.
It doesn't happen to me.
Imagine waking up and for that first blink of your eyes, everything's normal...the most that's troubling you is that the only coffee you can get at work tastes bitter and stale. In the next blink you're gagged on that bitter and stale sensation as you remember because you can't just un-know it. It's there, lodged on your mind.

I'm sick. But that's not right. It's Not Fair.
It's Not Fucking fair.

Cancer lurks in cigarettes and endless glasses of beer not in years of doing your best, not in working as hard as you can to try and gain some kind of recognition; not in me. This was never supposed to happen.

Hepatocellular carcinoma. Cancer of the liver. It's a malignant tumour. If they don't perform surgery sooner rather than later it'll spread, well it's already begun to spread. The surgery's serious and even then there's a chance it could come back. This was never supposed to happen.

What am I to tell people? I couldn't stand their sympathetic smiles...I don't want any of that. I want to be better.

I need somebody to talk to. There's only one person.

"Will? What on Earth are you calling me for at this ungodly hour?"
"...."I didn't think this far ahead.
"Will? Helloooo?"
"Caitlyn. Can you come over?"
" What? It's gone two in the morning, has some-"
"Caitlyn, please, can you come over?"
"Okay, of course I can. Just wait there."
"See you."

Oh God.

*********************************************************************************

I chuck off the PJ's I'ved just clambered into and swig down the last of the hot chocolate in my mug. I don the jeans I wore earlier today and tugged on a hoodie which would probably thank me if I gave it a wash. This is my, 'leave me alone, I'm tired' look. Very Vogue right now...
This had better be worth it.
That sounds awful, Will sounded...different on the phone, I hope everything's alright. It will be, of course it will, what am I worrying about? This is silly.
I tug out the plaits on m hair and scrape it all back into a pony tail. Now, where's my handbag? I need chewing gum, and car keys-those could help. Think, where did you last leave it, eh? errmm...under the night gown slung over the left top bed post. Bingo.
Okay, I reckon I'm ready to go.
Hang on...shoes...those could come in handy, now couldn't they? Right...shoes...crap, I've never been very decisive but this is not a good time to sit and consider the pros and cons of trainers versus pumps. In the end, I tug on one of each, that's alright isn't it? It's a risk in fashion progression but maybe I can pull it off and start a new trend, they'll call me, 'Caitlyn: Emporess of Glam.' Yeah.
Doubtful niggles about that prophecy leap to my head when I walk past the mirror on the way out. It's too late to change now.

I hate driving at night anyway but there's fog tonight. All I can see is the car lights bouncing back off the fog; there's about ten foot of vision ahead of me. I'm gonna have to take the corners really slowly.
Was he number 53 or 35? Feck.
Wait, there's his car...lucky bugger, it's gorgeous.

I clamber from the car and once again have doubts about my footwear...it might have been okay if the soles had been the same height but now I had that wobbly walk of a drunk. As I walked toward Will's front door I remembered that the car needed locking, I teetered back to the car, locked it, checked it, and checked it once-just in case and went back to the front door. It opened immediately, he must have been watchinf me through a window, I hate it when he does that.

"Christ, Will, you look terrible."
"Thanks, so do you."
"Sorry, you probably have a point but you didn't really give me a lot of time."
"Just come in."
He turns away from me, leaving the door at an angle and I follow him in, closing the door behind me.

"Caitlyn..."
His voice is thick and gravelly as though he's been crying, his eyes are dark-he hasn't been sleeping.
"Caitlyn, I'm ill."
"What like a cold? Don't worry, I'll help you get better."
"No...it's..look, I'm really ill and I don't know what to-"

His voice breaks off, a crackle as he turns away and catches his breah, I know it must be bad. He down on his sofa, elbows on knees, head in hand and I know it must be really bad when I spot a tear lost in the fabric of his trousers.

"Hey, what's happened, Will?" I walk to him and perch on the arm of the sofa, I pull him close to me, he rests his head on my chest.
"I can head you heart beat, you know."
He sounds so little.

"Will..."my voice trembles in barely more than a whisper, "You're scaring me."
"I'm scaring you, I'm fucking scaring you?!" He tears my arms from around his shoulders with such force that I fall to the floor. He looks taken aback by what he's done but in the next minute he's standing and shouting,
"You're scared?! SCARED? You don't know what it is to be afraid, Caitlyn. I'm sick. I'm...I'm..."
He chokes over those words and crumples onto the carpet beside me.
"I'm terrified."
I crawl a little closer to him and take his hand in mine.
"I'm here for you Will. Whatever happens. In sickness and in health."
"You still want to marry me? Even with me like this?"
"Of course, I want to spend the rest of my life with you."

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

twenty

Time, time, time. As gentle and harsh as the weather's change of heart. One moment a hug of a breeze, the next, it's a galing storm.
Ten years.
I'd spent ten of my years here starting from the bottom and building my way up. I just got a lucky break, a friend of a friend whose sister knew someone....
Someone to help.

They introduced me to Claude Numlauf, he could make any college drop out a massive success. So many sleepless nights had been devoted to trying to find success my own way. I wanted to make films. I did numerous media courses, I downloaded all of the software I could afford, I bought the best camcorder within my means and I never made it. Nobody wanted what I could offer. My servings of dreams, of inspiration, hope...nobody wanted it. They called my imagination unimaginative, the care and diligence I poured into seconds worth of frames; careless. Nobody wanted what I could offer.
Claude told me as much. He helped me though. He helped me.
I retrained, got a degree in law, found out how boring success could make a person. I guess it's just Karma, get everything you ever dreampt of, money, power, a new car, a big house...and then realise you have no friends.

No real ones anyway. I have 'work-friends' people who gossip about me behind my back and make digs about how tired I've been looking, washed-up. Men who shake my hand on the way through the door each morning, suits pressed, hair slicked. Women who smile seductively wanting a leg up...or over in the company. Yes, I'm surrounded by 'work friends'. The people who don't really have a clue about who I am.

Caitlyn's the only real friend I've ever had, the only person I could be completely honest with, completely myself with. She knew me inside out...I'm not sure I ever understood that expression really, it sounds almost grotesque if you think aobut it too hard. Caitlyn laughed at the way I thought things out like that.

So maybe that's why I didn't want a school reunion.

No, I wasn't lying to Caitlyn, I really am busy. I look to the alarm clock on my bedside table and it confirms the truth, it's 1am and I've only just clocked off really. Sure, the office closes at six but I need to drive an hour home, pick up dinner, go through all of the paperwork left over from the day. There's no time left for personal errands. I'm shattered and sleep evades me.

I can't take an reunion like that though. Hearing about everyone's wife and kids. Their loving families. How they wouldn't change a thing for all of the money in the world. I should have sorted out my own priorities before.

I spend so long, caring about what everyone thinks of me.

So. Much. Time.

Ha, I always imagined what I might be like as a forty year old, some ten years into the future. Would my hair be grey? Would there be wrinkles where once there was my face? I didn't know. I did always take time as a granted though. I thought that one day I'd be eighty and bald, and have a walking stick; I'd complain, 'things just aren't the same as they were in my day.'

Each birthday I've complained about everyone making such a fuss at the office, because, the truth is that I thought, 'what's the point, I have one every single year and will do forever.'
Except, a life isn't for forever, is it?
I took growing old as a certainty, not something I'd necessarily be looking forward to but no one had ever told me the alternative. Nobody had ever just said, 'Look, Will, there are two choices: Grow Old or Die Young.'

I just wish that someone could have told me that.

I'd spent years without a girlfriend to love and be loved by, without keeping in touch with my parents. Without staying in touch with Caitlyn like I'd promised I would. I really was trying more now but that's the problem with grace...it makes life unfair.

There it is again, Karma. The woman I love more than anyone or anything in the world, my best friend, has agreed to love me back until death do us part, but that won't be too long now, will it?

They told me it's cancer.











p.s a thanks from me for your patience and support. i think i can write this again now.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Hi.
I need to take a break from writing this story. I'm not sure how long I won't be writing for but those of you who know me well will understand why I just can't find the energy to write at the moment. I don't know when Caitlyn's going to liev happily ever after with Will but I'll get around to it.
I'm sorry. I'll write more when I can.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

IS THERE ANY REASON? nineteen

Phone calls,files, photocopies, needy fecking clients that can't give me a moment to pause for breath...it's times like these when I really envy Caitlyn.
I'm thankful for the success I've had but being some "hot shot" lawyer-bloke is darn tiring work. Caitlyn has problems of her own but she has a quiet sort of life which isn't organised into over packed one-hour slots. Sometimes it's as though the very words I say are working at a deadline themselves.
"Mr. Vale?"
"Yes Nicole?" I'd told her a million times that calling me Will was just fine but she insisted on office formalities...ridiculous really when we'd known each other for most of our lives.
"There's a call for you on line three. Apparently it's quite urgent."
Great. Another urgent call; just what I need.
"Okay Nicole, thank you."
Breathe in....2...3...4 and out...2....3...4...5....6..7..8.
And CALM.
"Hello, William Vale, managing director of ValeLaw inc. speaking, how can I help?"
"That's a very proper greeting for an old pal, Will. Well, I say old but I'm still pretty fine right?"
"Caitlyn Morag?"
"The very same! How are you Will?"
"...I was told that this was an urgent phone call..."
"Oh it is; it is. I just wanted to know how my fiance's day was going..."
"Fiance? So, that's a yes then? You'll marry me?"
"Bingo! I know it's not quite the overcome with emotion response you may have been expecting but I figured that I'd left you in the dark for long enough....what has it been, four months since you asked me?"
"Yeah...around about that long..." I was hardly going to tell her that I'd been counting the days since that phone call on the 28th October. "So, you're really serious, you're going to be Mrs. Caitlyn Vale?"
"I will marry you but that's quite an old fashioned way of thinking, wouldn't you say?"
"I don't think I quite follow what you're saying Caitlyn..."
"Oh, I was just toying with the idea that you could maybe take my name...or do a double-barrel type thing; that wouldmake us sound so posh! Just imagine Lord and Lady Morag-Vale."
"I'll tell you what I'm imagining, Vale-Morag. What about that?"
"But it's alphabetical...M before V; it's the rules, I didn't write them!"
"Caitlyn. Never in all of the twenty five years that I've known you, have you ever played by the rules. Any reason for the sudden change of mind? Like wanting your name first because you're childish, petty and insistent on winding me up?"
"Wind you up? Wouldn't dream of it!"
I could hear her stifled giggles over the line.
"Sure."
"Have you thought any more about that reunion party we were talking about?"
Smooth subject change.
"I've thought about it but how can I realistically take time out of business for the sake of a few too many drinks, resulting in embarrassing photos being posted on facebook the next day with a group of people who I haven't seen in more years than I care to remember?"
"It'd be fun, Will. Sometimes it's good to loosen off that double Windsor tied tye of yours and undo those top few buttons. Let go of the office for a little while; you must have a good enough vice in place?"
Oh no, she was pleading with me, absolutely pleading! How could I tell her that it was a preposterous idea?
"I'll try Caitlyn, I'll really try my hardest to make some time."
"Promise?"
"...yes."
"Say it."
"Say what?"
"Tell me 'I promise I will definitely try my hardest to make time for the reunion.' please?"
"I promise that I will definitely try my hardest to make time for the reunion. Happy?"
"Very."
"Are you done squandering away my time now?"
"Uh huh. Bye bye Will!"
"Goodbye Caitlyn."
"I love you."
"I love you too."

I sighed to myself, Caitlyn was going to be my wife. Wow. I'm a lucky, lucky man.
But as I sat, reveling in time which I'd made no contingency for, I caught sight of my office clock; the arms waving mockingly back at me. I was going to have to work through lunch, yet again.

Monday, 15 February 2010

DOES IT MATTER?! eighteen

"Will, do you fancy coming inside and watching a movie with me?"
"I love how you say exactly what you mean without blundering on about coffee."
"So that's a yes?"
"It'd be a pretty boring Sunday without some company I suppose. Can I be Frank?"
"As long as I can be Jim."
He grinned as I inwardly cringed at my own stupidity.
"Most Sundays, I find myself...alone...bored; wishing I was elsewhere, anywhere. Does that sound idiotic to you?"
"Actually, no. It sounds oddly familiar."

So I let Will in and showed him to my vast case of blue ray discs, DVDs and even a few VHS's which I'd held onto more for memory's sake than anything else.
"The Love Bug?"
"Hey! Don't critique my love for old films, this is a 1968 classic from the Herbie series and Lindsay Lohan in Herbie Fully Loaded has nothing on it!"
"Okay-okay, don't shoot me for having better movie taste than you."

I just raised an eyebrow at that insolence.

"Come on Will, hurry up and pick a movie."
"Go make a cup of tea in the kitchen where you belong and I'll pick the film in my own sweet time."
"William Vale. You sexist pig."
I can never manage to keep a straight face. I really wanted him to think that I was pissed off at him. Doesn't quite have the same effect if you burst into sniggers when you're trying to storm out.
I opened the cupboard and reached for the PG tips and the sugar before grabbing the milk from it's snug in the fridge. I should have put the kettle on first because now I was going to have to watch and wait for it to boil...and a watched pot never boils, you know?
"Wiii-iiiill?" I called from the kitchen.
"Yeeee-sss?" He bellowed back.
"How are things going at work?" My tone was a little less childish now. Just a little. Growing up's for when you're thirty...I've got three more years yet.
"Er, they're going pretty good thanks. I think I'm going to have to hire a new assissant though."
"Oh?" Keep you voice calm, Caitlyn. "So, are you, firing Nicole?" *hold breath*
"No, no, Nicole's great-"
I bet she is.
"but I think she needs an assistant, she hasn't been able to do much overtime lately..."
What a pity.
"...not since she got married."
"Married?"
"Well, I'm not sure what you'd call her, she had one of those civil partnership ceremony things last month."
"Aren't civil partnerships just for gay and lesbian couples though?"
"Yes. If they weren't, I'm not sure what Nicole and Christina would be doing getting one."
"Christina?"
"Yeah, Christina Cookson. Nicole met her at a concert about a year and half ago, sparks flew and the rest is history, I suppose."
Wow. Nicole's a lesbian. Now, I was not expecting to hear that. I feel so guilty about everything I've said to her now, she was never trying to get to Will...she really was just being friendly. I have no bias against her now so I can really see how selfless and helpful she was to Will when he was working on setting up his law firm and what about all throughout secondary school? I thought that she looked down on us, "outsiders" who weren't gifted and talented and perfect in every way. I guess that she knew better than most people what it was like to not be accepted though. I can't imagine what it must have been like to try and constantly keep such a big thing hidden from everybody...
"Will, Will, Will?"
"Caitlyn, Caitlyn, Caitlyn...that's not as easy to do with your name..."
"Could we maybe meet up with Nicole sometime? Infact, could we host a little school reunion? Just with our mates though...none of the jerks?"
I poured the hot water into the two mugs before me, wiggling the tea-bag around with the little spoon, counted the sugar scoops into the steaming liquid and poured in some milk before taking them out for Will and I.
"Caitlyn, that just sounds like another teen whim." He sighed. I sighed. "I'm not saying it's a bad idea; it's a great idea but how viable is it really? My company have just got a big client who we need to keep happy and that's taking up a lot of my time and you said that you're looking into getting a new job. How are we going to find the time to organise and throw a massive party?"
"...nothing worthwhile is ever easy and when you don't have the time; you make time."
"Don't look so glum, I'll get Nicole to go through my diary and maybe I'll have some day free."
"Thanks Will."
"Right, so The Love Bug's a good film you say? Well, let's see about that."He tossed me the DVD and I set it up.
This was turning out to be an okay kind of day.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

TANGLED TEARS seventeen

"Blooming heck, Will...I knew your business was going well but...nice wheels." Then I did something really quite cheesy and wish now that I hadn't...I whistled; at a car. Smooth.
"Yeah, why have money and not spend it? My mum used to tell me that we're too poor to buy bad quality and you can't get a whole lot better quality than a Chrysler Crossfire."
I suppose he was right there, and it struck me that my own mum used to say the very same thing. I couldn't help but feel just a tad under dressed as Will, clad in expensively cut finery opened the door to his gorgeous car to let me in. Against the smooth Italian leather of the seats, my River Island jeans were practically screeching high street bargain but as always, Will made me feel as though I belonged. He turned on the stereo, chose you give love a bad name by BonJovi and sang along with me as I belted out the anthem of our youth.
As the song came to an end rain began to drizzle down the window that I was now resting my head against as we drove along. We were getting closer to our destination and the pathetic fallacy of the miserable surge of rain really was just that - pathetic. Although this wound me up it made me more grateful for Will's presence.
We weren't really talking to each other much but it was far from awkward, only the best of friends can share a comfortable silence and if not anything more than that at this moment in time Will was certainly my best friend; better than I could have hoped for growing up when I needed a shoulder to cry on. He never minded if the clumpy mascara and thick liquid liner which I was so fond of in my teen years was washed onto his shirt in a blend of salty tears. Not even if his shirt was new. I'd feel stupid afterwards but Will never made me feel as though anything that went wrong was ever my fault...all the same, he, along with everyone else, hasn't seen my cry in some twelve years now. However, as with each of these visits to my parents, the threat of being overcome with tears became ever more apparent.
The car hummed to a gentle stop in the small space put aside for parking and Will hurried to reach the other side of the car before I was able to assert my independence and open the door for myself; usually a sweet gesture but Will knew that it would teasingly get my back up. I smiled at him weakly. I appreciated his efforts to keep me smiling throughout all of this but as the heavy rain continued to fall it only emphasised the inevitability of my demise upon this day.
Will took my hand as I stumbled gracefully *ahem* over a loose cobble that stuck up from the path claiming its individuality for being different and led me to the left, across the grass. I'd been here so many times before but somehow it was just as disorientating as the first and again I found myself being so damn glad the Will was a crutch that would willingly bear my weight. Each stone looked the same until I spied the orchids I'd laid down upon my last visit here just one week ago.
I cleared away the old flowers from my parents' graves and placed down the fresh ones I'd bought the day before. How I wished I'd have been this attentive to them whilst they were here to benefit from it. I kneeled before the two marble stones and drooped my head forwards; inclined towards the dying flowers which I'd just moved away. I felt so little and helpless and I began to fiddle with the hem of my t-shirt just as I had when I was a small child.
"Hey Mum, hi Dad. I'm gonna get a new job Mum. You told me to do something that I enjoy before something I'm good at until recently, I'd forgotten that. I don't really know what yet but I promise I'll make you proud." I was whispering by the end, a shiver knocking a quiver through my voice as a breeze that had all the mercy of a juggernaut shrieked by. I thought that it would have been a bit warmer. I wish I'd have brought I jacket.
As though Will was once again taking the liberty to read the processes in my mind, he took off his own coat and draped it around my goose-bumped arms. I smiled a thank you and then continued,
"I gave up smoking Dad, just like you wanted me to; I haven't had a cigarette in two months now. You were right, my skin does feel better now." I smiled at the unimportant tone of conversation. I never had much to tell them but it was my duty to make sure that they were okay.
I kissed each marble headstone and felt the cold, biting chill against my lips before I stood up and turned to Will.
I didn't trip this time but my legs felt as though they may buckle beneath me so I took Will's hand in my own, clinging onto his strength in place of my own. I was not going to cry. I bit my lip as I got closer to the car again and blinked hard. I was not going to cry. I sat in the car and closed my eyes, forehead against the cool window. I was not going to cry. Will got into the other side of the car and squeezed my hand before whispering,
"You don't always have to be so brave Caitlyn."
I know, I thought and gazed at him with tear-soaked eyes, I know. One lone globule of salty water wound its way down my cheek before Will caught it with his free hand.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

LOST IN PLACE seventeen

Oh great. I've forced myself out of bed early this morning...well reasonably early. Well, before midday anyway but it's just left me with more time to worry about what's actually going to come of today. I can't even remember whether or not Will's picking me up. I've spent the past hour making more cups of tea than I'll ever be able to drink just for the stirring so as my hands aren't left up to their own devices..."Devil makes work for idle hands" 'n' all that lark. What if I've done so with no real purpose and Will isn't coming? Oh god, did I say that I was going to pick him up? Oh feck. It's been months since I've had the foresight to fill up the tank in my car. According to the ancient fuel guage I've been running on empty for the past week... I would say that it's an appropriate metaphore for my life really...but everyone knows how I do so hate to state the obvious. There are birds chirruping in the trees outside of my window. Any other day and I may have been able to appreciate there cheerful chorus; sung seemingly just for me. Today? Nah, today it feels as though they're really rubbing their "Bright-eyed, feathery-tailed-ness" in my face. Okay...even I can recognise that my jealousy of a bunch of beady-eyed squawking fools is a little irrational but Will isn't here yet and I can't begin to think when he's going to arrive...if he's coming-that is. I'm just going in circles here aren't I?

I might just go and make another cup of tea...

NO. Geez, Caitlyn, will you just breathe for a second, eh? You're going to see your best friend for the first time in just under a year, isn't this a good thing?

I suppose but it's more the setting that's bothering me. Won't he feel mighty uncomfortable under the circumstances?

...Do you honestly think I've got a better idea on this than you have?

Just shut up then.

THERE! The door bell, happy now?

Happy? No! Far fecking from it. I rush from my perch upon the edge of my seat in kitchen where I've been anticipating this moment for far too long. I catch sight of myself in the hall mirror as I head towards the front door and wish that I wouldn't have gone for the ridiculous au natural-look that's just so Vogue right now since looking half asleep and a little zombie-esque doesn't quite hold with it the same chic as the magazines promise. My trembling fingers snatch at fly-away strands of hair and tuck them back behind my ears and then move themselves down to my waist to tug my t-shirt down over the belt of my jeans.

Breathe in cool, calm, composed and breathe out fret, fear, frustration.
Right, what are you going to say? Hi. Hey...Hey, Will...Hey there....Sup?
"
Sup?! Yeh boi!!"
"Er...Caitlyn? Your door isn't sound proof you know?"
Crap.
I opened the door and grinned up to meet Will's crooked smile.
"...hi Will."
"'Sup?! Yeh boi'?"
He reaeated my words incredulously and I think he was trying to arch an eyebrow up at me inquistively but underneath his raggedy fringe it was hard to tell.
"Yes? I'm just...keeping it real...being 'down wit da kids'."
Will held my gaze and sighed at my 'too cool for school' pretence; silently tutting his lack of approval at me.
"Shut up, Will!" I gave him a gentle nudge and stepped out of the door, shutting it gently behind me.
"So, what are you wheels like then?"

Then I saw his car. Wow.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

SPLINTERED DARTS TO THE HEART sixteen

O...K...
Am I allowed to say that my heart stopped still for just a second and that the world ceased to turn momentarily and all of the other clich├ęs related to events like this?!
I put the receiver onto the mattress and then with my newly-freed hand I pinch my other arm. Ow. No one told me how much that hurt! I am certainly awake though, I didn't by some miracle drift away into the safety of sleep...as if I could. I flex the now trembling fingers of my right hand and shake out the quivers before attempting to pick up the reciever again.

"Will..." Damn the figurative cat that's caught my tongue.
"Hiya Caitlyn, I'm sorry to wake you but-"
"Oh..erm...you didn't wake me; it's fine."
"It's seventeen minutes past four in the morning, what have been doing to keep you up all this time then?"
The edge to his tone curled with the suggestion that I'd been up to no good. He hasn't changed.
"I could ask you the same question, Mister, but knowing you...I'm not sure I'd care to here your answer..."
He gave just a taste of that low, rumbling chuckle of his which I adored so greatly.
"Fine...but really, I've never known you to lose your sleep over something that's not a big deal, honestly, what's wrong?"
"Hmm, sometimes I regret letting you know me so well. I don't know Will. It's nothing and...everything, I just don't know. I used to feel so sure of what I wanted to do and how I to choose to live my life; I used to know who I was. Now, I can look at the mirror and feel no recogntion for the stranger gaping back at me and each day she looks older and more tired; hagard even.
I broke off for a moment and cleared my throat, recovering from the breathlessness that my rant had conjured up within me.
"Haha, Will, what must I sound like, eh? I bet you didn't call up expecting a counselling session to be on your hands like this. Anyway, what are calling me up for at 4am?!" The feigned light-heartedness of my voice sounded as empty as the box of tissues when you really need to sneeze; even to me.
Will knows not to push it when I don't want to talk though.
"Er...well, it's just that...er, I was playing a game earlier tonight; trying to name all of the states in America and there's a couple that I can't for the life of me remember."
We both knew what it was that he was dowsey-dowing away from...the little matter of marriage."
" Aw Will, don't be so silly," I came close to getting serious, "...You know I'm no good at Geography." I was close but I'm not all that keen on smoking so no cigar. I could have kicked myself if I hadn't been lying down rather comfortably.
"Come on Caitlyn." It sounded as though he was pleading with me for a lot more than just the name of a state or two.
" Do you have Nebraska? Or Tenessee?"
"Yeah, I have those but don't worry, maybe it'll work itself it?"
He definitely wasn't talking about states any more...that was one thing I knew.
I sighed audibly down the phone, "Will-"
He interrupted, "Caitlyn, can I see you? Dinner? Or what about lunch, or even coffee and that's not even a date; unless you want it to be..."
He trailed off sounding as though embarrassment didn't even come close to how he was feeling right now. The naivety of believing that Will hadn't changed struck me. I'd known him as a hard-faced, shameless young man...he was never embarrassed, not even when he should have been. Like that time he went skinny-dipping at night, forgetting where he'd put his clothes. He was fifteen. Of course, he grinned and bared the ice cold wind that winter in Britain treats you to...as well as baring everything else. No, embarrassed didn't begin to come close to how he sounded at all.
"I'm going to visit my parents tomorrow."
"Do you me to come with you?"
"Actually, yeah, I could really use the company, thanks Will."
Gradually, seeing my parents had become harder and somehow more awkward than ever before. Having somebody with me who I could really talk to might make a nice change.
"So, I'll see you tomorrow then Caitlyn?"
"Yeah, I'll see you then, bye Will."
"Love you, Caitlyn."
"...I love you too."
As the call disconnected, I knew I mean it; I did love Will.

God, I asked for a miracle and whether it's just a coincidence or plain good luck...or You...well, thanks. Yeah, thank you, that was...decent.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

TORTURED INTENTIONS fifteen

(note from author: Last part of story was removed under unforeseen circumstances, edits have been made and shall be re posted at a later date. The continuation of this story will make sense with or without the last piece, however, re-reading CAN'T BUY SALVATION when it makes it's next appearance is advisable. love you as always. thanks.)

Edith dropped her bags and pulled at her hair, admitting defeat. She would not be taking the bus to work today after all. With her car refusing to start, the vindictive bus driver leaving her in the rain and her purse being far too empty to afford train fair; she trudged home and called in sick to work. She may not have been ill but another morning of staring vacantly at the telly screen as Jeremy Kyle ranted at another bout of guests made her feel sick of the life that she had. Edith wrote a list to affirm some short term goals, which upon accomplishing would make her existence a little more worthwhile.
1. Invest in an alarm clock...and decent shoes to run in.
2. Eat breakfast.
3. Do yoga.
4. Devote life to charity work...perhaps meet the queen and get an OBE for it...
5.

She stopped at number five. The lead in her pencil had snapped. The fifth item was mentally added to the list: buy a pencil sharpener...and don't lose it.
She heaved the Argos catalogue out from beneath the sofa where the long-forgotten gym equipment lived and was about to trawl through it in search of the perfect alarm clock. Then she realised that the guests on Jeremy Kyle's talk show were growing rather, entertainingly irate and opted instead to settle down with her cup of coffee and chocolate biscuits...the ones with caramel that she liked. The alarm clock could always wait; besides, her purse was far too empty to fund her fleeting fancies right now.

Caityln closed the book, marking her page with a discarded coaster...discarded for its ancient hot chocolate stain of initiation into her house, almost like a birth mark. She sighed, immersing herself in a wave of self pity; building and crashing more often now than she'd felt in quite a while. For the 8th night that week...hang on she pondered to herself...the first day of a new week, she'd found herself absorbed in a fiction book in place of the absence of her own dreams. Whenever Caitlyn's urge to evade the everyday of her own monotonous reality was particularly strong she would fall victim of her own psyche, strangled by a lack of sleep; sleep that helped her to forget her troubles. Tonight, Edith's hectic troubles weren't enough to keep her mind from stumbling back into the cold light of verity. She was drenched in the light, her skin prickling with the uncomfortable thought that she had been forgetting something.

Hattie.

It had been over two months, more than two months since Caitlyn had appealed to Hattie's better nature for a helping hand with her Will situation. She hadn't heard back from her. Who could possibly find themselves too busy to reply to a tiny email like that?
Hattie was so sweet; she and Caitlyn had been "close as thumb tacks" as Caitlyn's mum used to say. She always stood by Caitlyn's side, even when the others laughed. Maybe I should have been there for her when she needed me, instead of expecting her support when suddenly I find myself in a slight predicament. Another sigh swept over Caitlyn. Her gaze fell from the swirling, textured plaster of her ceiling and over to her bed side table where the photograph of her parents smiled back at her. I wish I'd have asked you for help when I had the chance, Mum and Dad. Although no one was around to see her, Caitlyn cursed at herself under her breath when the embarrassing threat of tears announced itself. She tugged the duvet over her head, pressing it tightly across her mouth. Oh god. She searched for the right thing to say, an appropiate question or plea, hoping that just maybe tonight would be the night that God might answer her prayers. All she wanted was to not be alone anymore.
As though calling her name the phone began to ring, it stirred her from the slumber she'd inevitably fallen in to.
"Hello?"
"..." A man cleared his throat, "Hi..it's Will."
Will.