cliche

Free Love

3:03 pm

My whole life, I've been raised around the idea of having a 'one true love'.
It was in every fairy tale, book and movie.
And recently, until now, I didn't realise just how much faith I've poured into this concept.
Being on dates, encountering boys and even having my friends in relationships or conversing with me about relationships; all of it just drew me closer and attached me tighter to the idea of finding 'him'.

I was walking home today; heavy, grey clouds loomed over my head, greying the world. I liked it. This was perfect weather for music. I listened to the strum of vibrations humming through my headphones and let it place a skip in my steps. The Boyscotts' track Embarrassingly Enough sang to me gently:
"Let me be right there..." 
In my head, I automatically heard these words leave a boy's mouth, and speak unto a girl's heart. She'd been waiting forever for him to say this; it's the one thing she needed to hear, to know. To just know he was the one. And now, he's all she'll ever need. And she's all he'll ever need. And this, this was true love. - That's what I heard anyway.

But when I looked up at the sky, I felt it's cold whispers. How am I meant to know when I've met the one? And I thought about my siblings who are happily married, and how somehow, for some reason, I never wanted that. And I thought my sister, who is almost thirty and falls out with her lovers constantly and is not married. I thought about how I tell her she is independent and doesn't need a lover really. And suddenly I thought:
What if I don't have a true love? What if, my one true love... is myself?
I felt euphoric.
I suddenly knew, that it was okay. All of it. To not have a one true love, or even... to have many. You can fall in love more than once, and they can all be your one true love - for that moment in time.

Just because it doesn't last forever doesn't mean it wasn't meaningful. It doesn't mean it wasn't love.

Suddenly, there's no fault to hand out, so what if your relationship doesn't last eternity; it's not their fault and it's certainly no fault of yours. It just means that the love between the two of your souls has run it's course and beckons for a new one. It doesn't detract from your value and it especially doesn't take away from your happiness. In fact, with so many opportunities to share your love, why would you not be even more happy?
A weight was suddenly lifted from my shoulders.

I was free to love whomever, and I was even more free to just simply, love myself.



awkward

First Awkward Date

9:59 am


We had been texting for about three weeks.
Now I was seeing him for the first time - This was my first sort-of date. And there he was, walking through the park gates, towards me, looking like the one photo, that I had seen of him. Many of you are probably alarmed by that - the one picture factor. The many of you who are; probably aren't a part of the vast majority of us, who were raised by the internet. -And so you probably don't talk to strangers online often, as a result of it. But for those of us who do, we're raised cyber-smart. We have an intuition about these kinds of thing, we just know. And I knew my date today, was 100% who he said he was. Except, he wasn't... he was far more awkward in person than I could have anticipated.

The first thing I noticed about him was that he dressed nice, simple, casual-smart. I took note of that. But I noted many things about him that day. Not all of them as pleasing as his dress sense. Like for example, how much he talked when he was nervous. As soon as we had stepped inside the museum, his mouth opened and closed repeatedly, an endless mumble of words - most of which I struggled to hear clearly - came forth and never stopped overwhelming me. "I talk a lot when I'm nervous," he told me ten minutes into the very one sided conversation. I told him I could tell. Because I definitely could tell. And I tried not to mind since I was quiet anyway.

After the museum he decided to give me a tour of the park, like we had planned via our textual conversations. He had lived in the area his whole life and told me he frequented the park often. Yet, it didn't show. We stumbled around and often he'd apologise for taking me to the wrong place. I didn't mind but it circled my head that he didn't really plan this through very well - Or put much thought into it at all really... but it's fine, I repeated. Until it wasn't. See the advantages with planing these things is that it allows for you to pick the fastest, easiest and most convenient route. Since he didn't think about the route, we ended walked up and down steep hills and when we finally reached the summit of the main hill, I was out of breath. But him? Well... he was exhausted! And worst of all... sweating... a lot. I saw the beads of sweat drip from his neck and I was somewhat put off. This was not romantic or cute at all, especially for the first meeting. Strike One.

Things after that got a little better, we sat there and talked for an hour or so, about everything and nothing. I was able to join in this time too. That's when I noticed we weren't making much eye contact. Actually, I had noticed when we first met that this was the case, however I let it be, as it's awkward at first to hold eye contact anyway. Now we were talking though, I felt we should be looking at each other. So I adjusted my whole body language: I turned myself completely towards him so that I could look at him. But he didn't reciprocate the gesture. Or look at me much - Or at all for that matter. Maybe it's just the way we're sitting? Let it go, I said to myself. Give it time. But there wasn't much time before the Strike Two occurred. About twenty minutes after he had told me he wasn't the type of person to go on his phone when in the company of others because he thought it was rude; he did just that. He asked me first, and I laughed and said 'sure'... but the truth was: the only thing I was sure of, is how unattractive I found the whole situation. Especially as, he went on his phone - not to answer an important call; not to respond to an urgent text but, to check Pokemon Go. Seriously? He did that twice throughout the day by the way...

There was one short moment that followed after this, that slightly salvaged the little hope I had left. It was a small, insignificant moment, one that isn't particularly astounding, but it was probably the most charming moment of that whole day spent with him. It happened whilst we were walking around the park; there was an abundance of squirrels running back and forth between the trees. He told me that once before, a squirrel had climbed his leg and let him pet it. And I think once he saw my liking towards animals, he was adamant to pry a squirrel for me. A fat one approached us first. It was plump and very visibly intrigued yet anxious. He bent down and tried to coax the squirrel to come closer, putting his hand gently out. It some time but the squirrel did come to him. I stood and watched. The squirrel, slowly, cautiously, edged closer; it reached his hand - and suddenly bit him and ran off! I burst out laughing and he frowned before cursing at the squirrel half heartedly. We both laughed. And there was something about the whole moment that made me feel warm. I knew that if the squirrel had complied just as he had hoped it would, I wouldn't have felt the same. Something about how the whole thing happened comforted me. I couldn't put my finger on it, nevertheless, I found myself drawn in again. Maybe there was hope yet?

Later, after some more stumbling around the park, we got food and sat by the river side. It was nice there and I enjoyed staring at the ripples of water in the Thames and the boats swaying with the tide and the breeze. It was the perfect place to sit in silence and appreciate it. It was the perfect place to use the comfortable silence to communicate in other ways. It was the perfect place to get closer to someone, to take their hand, or lean in to embrace their lips. None of those things happened. Why? Well, because every time the silence almost settled, he would break it, he then told me he hated silence. Clearly, I thought to myself. Instead though, I tried to make eye contact with him again, but he just wouldn't hold my gaze for longer than three brief seconds. I inhaled deeply as I looked around, I saw a girl sitting on her phone about ten meters away from me, I stared at her and she noticed, she looked up and stared back, I smiled, she smiled back. -All while holding my gaze. I looked back at him, and I frowned but he never saw. Strike Three.

He did hug me before I walked into the station, it an awkward hug of course. I pulled my phone out to finally use it for something other than checking the time. A message popped up: How was the date? 
My fingers tapped away:
I want to go on another date...
with someone else...



baby

The Perfect Shade

1:40 am


Inspired by Graham Greene  
Grace held paint swatches to the wall and muttered on about colour coordination. She couldn’t decide between blue or pastel yellow for the nursery but when no opinion was voiced she peeled her eyes away from the wall and looked back at Daniel. He stood there, smiling at her and what they had created together over the last five years. They had worked most days and saved up every penny, and when she was no longer able to work, he took extra shifts so that they could pay for the mortgage. Now they had a quaint little house of their own. Ever since, every morning the sunlight would seep in through their window and beckon them to wake up. Daniel would always be the first, urging Grace to sleep in and rest while he prepares breakfast and organised himself for work. She would watch him from comfort of the sheets as he bustled around the room busily and then disappear down the stairs. In this time Grace would find herself in the bathroom, wavering between the toilet and the mirror. If she wasn’t bent over the toilet, she would be examining the glowing reflection in the mirror, contemplating life. But she wouldn’t get very far, because Daniel would always appear by the door way, concerned and worried about her. He’d tell her to go back to bed and then proceed to offer the large breakfast he had cooked up. Then he would place the phone and a small to-do list by the bed and kiss her goodbye as he set off to work. During the day, if Grace felt up to it, she would complete the to-do list: go for a walk; eat fruit; do yoga. Other days, she would tick off the list without even sparing a second glance at it. However, despite whatever Grace did with her time, Daniel always arrived home - both exhausted from the day, and rejuvenated from the sight of Grace. The same as always.

“I suppose we can decide tomorrow?” Grace smiled, looking down at the coloured sample.
“No, no, we should decide now, the sooner the better,” he said reassuringly, as he took the samples out of her hand and examined them. She watched him, as he started at them with extreme focus and determination. “The colour makes all the difference doesn’t it? We should get it right,” He mumbled as he squinted. Grace nodded happily, for her, this was important.
But for Daniel there were more pressing issues. Like the trip he had planned the next day. He had a job to maintain in which he was required to go away for a day and a night. A business trip.
“I thought it was next week?” Grace asked slightly sulking, as Daniel neatly folded a shirt into his luggage, he wasn’t too keen on leaving either but knew it was compulsory and very beneficial.
“It’s better it’s sooner rather than later, especially with you being… well, in your state,” He said carefully but not carefully enough because Grace flinched at his words instantly, her eyes narrowing and her forehead creasing with thought as she watched him fold his clothes.
“My state?” she repeated, slightly confused. Daniel stared down at his clothes and closed his eyes regretting his words. “My State! What’s that meant to mean Daniel? Grace questioned confused in such a hurt manner.
“Nothing Grace! Look honey, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean anything by it; I love you, okay?” Daniel finally recovered. Grace became quiet, suddenly feeling guilty. Daniel continued to zip up his suitcase and began putting on his tie. Grace watched, still feeling an itch in her when she remembered.
“You said you’d paint the nursery Daniel…” She said. Daniel laughed, and told Grace he could do it when he gets back. But Grace wouldn’t let it go, she didn’t know why, she knew it wouldn’t make any difference when it was done. But she pressed on anyway: “You said the sooner the better; perfect, remember?” Daniel looked up from his tie and stared at Grace. “You said you’d paint it.” Grace said assertively. Daniel blinked at her, almost as if he wasn’t fully fathoming.
“I’ll do it tomorrow Grace-“
“But!” Grace protested but Daniel dismissed her.
“I said I’ll do it tomorrow Grace, that’s enough about that!” and to both of their surprise he had raised his voice. Grace recoiled in humiliation. Daniel pursed his lips cringing at his outburst, and took her hand gently, “I’ve left some fruit in the fridge and the list is on the fridge today okay?” But when Grace didn’t answer he told her he loved her. He would’ve apologised, dropped everything and began painting that room in that instant but he had a train to catch. So instead he kissed her on the cheek and left the house.
 
Grace stood in the kitchen, staring at the list mounted on the fridge. Her fist was clenched and she felt resentment brewing in her body, bubbling in her blood, fuelling her to take action. She knew she had to do something, anything to spite Daniel. She knew he loved her, she knew he would make up for it with a lovely date night later that week. But she persuaded herself that it was all the more reason to act. She snatched the list off the fridge and scrunched it up, that was exciting, and then she did something even more crazy… she tore it. And she tore it again. And once more before she tossed the pieces aside. She then opened the fridge and peered at the shelves of fruit, she mimicked Daniel’s voice: “Eat fruit Grace! It’s good for you Grace” she snorted as she closed the fridge door and left the fruit untouched. That should show him! Grace thought… but the more Grace thought, the more outraged she became, she replayed the way he yelled at her… and then how he always spoke to her gently, comforted her, always had her best interest on his mind.
I’ve had enough!
She rushed to the closet where all the baby’s toys were being kept. She grabbed them all and took them to bin outside her patio… she looked at the big ugly green bin and then back at the adorable toys. Yet, when she glanced at them a second time they suddenly lost their charm and she felt nothing when she tossed them in the foul bin. She slammed the lid shut and didn’t look back.

She stormed into the nursery next, its white washed wall almost blinding her – irritating her. She glared down at the buckets of various coloured paints and a tempting thought crossed her mind. The barren room pleaded for a new coat of paint and Grace felt obliged to answer it; she picked up a paint roller, and gently lifted the lid of the paint. Instantly, her finger tips were stained black… it was like a shock of excitement was shot up her arm. She smiled as she dipped the whole roller into the contained bucket abyss.

The first brush stained the faultless white wall… the first stroke of chaos. Her heart leapt at the sight of it, the madness, and she revelled in it like nothing before. Her hand’s buzzed with adrenaline as they found themselves swiping again and again, repeatedly at the wall as the black paint splattered and embraced the once crisp clean walls. Its permanence exhilarating. But Grave craved more, she craved absolute anarchy! Her hands dived into the bottomless pot of black until they were immersed elbow deep and she slathered all the thick liquid onto the walls, haphazardly. Grace felt alive, she felt young and insane.
 She felt liberated.
 Grace stared up at the disaster she had created on the wall, smiling, she put a hand to her stomach and whispered to it in a soft voice: “What do you think? Do you think your Daddy will like it?”…
But when no answer came and the adrenaline pumping in her veins relinquished, her senses returned to her. Her eyes widened at the disaster on the wall… that she had created. Its heinous ugliness taunted and screamed at her; its hideous appearance making her feel sick and faint. She had ruined it. Everything. Oh no…” she heard herself say, “Oh no, oh no! This is all wrong! Oh no, oh no!” she whimpered. “Daniel…” She whispered and the name made her heart drop. Her eyes began to water and she cried out:
 “Daniel!”


She ran out to the dustbin and ripped the lid off; she saw the toys still there, resting untouched in the stretching mess and felt she felt relief, but only a little. She swiftly reached in, and plucked them all, cradling them in her arms desperately before she ran back into the house and placed them on the table. And swore. She looked at her hands, her clothes and then the toys - all covered in black foul thick paint. She swore some more as she raced up stairs and started the bath water. However, as she walked past the nursery, she found herself walking back… the floor! It was covered in droplets of the wretched paint.

A few moments later, she found herself on all fours, aggressively scrubbing at the floor, gritting her teeth. When finally the floor was returned to its original state she sat and admired it. But only for a second, because the paint still remained on her arms. She rushed into her now-cold-bath and grunted and groaned as she scrubbed violently at her arms. “Have to fix it, have to make it perfect, absolutely perfect,” she mumbled deliriously to herself as her skin grew red and irritated. She didn’t feel refreshed after her bath, because for every second she was occupied in the tub she grew more and more concerned about the stuffed animals waiting impatiently on the kitchen table, in the room under her.

She pulled each toy out of the tumble dryer, examining and turning each stuffed animal in her hand frantically, they had to be clean, intact! And to her relief, they were. They really were. She rested them gently on the table, and pulled a chair out. She slumped in the chair, tired and drained of all energy. She knew she had to place them back in the nursery… but she didn’t want to. She couldn’t bear to return back to that room and look at everything she had destroyed. She had spoiled everything, made a complete and utter mess and Daniel… Daniel would-

“Daniel would want me to eat fruit,” She said suddenly, as if reminding the toys of the list. She nodded to herself in agreement. She fetched the scraps of the list and taped them together, she tapped on the first item on the agenda. “Right here,” she showed the lifeless teddy. So she opened the fridge early and was confronted by a vast amount of fruit: pears, peaches, oranges, dragon fruit, apples, bananas. She wondered which would be best for her today, which one would Daniel most like her to eat. She sat in front of the fridge and gingerly peeled the orange and ate it, rather quickly… before realising Daniel always nagged her about eating apples more, so she ate that also. And soon enough her hands were plucking each and every fruit in the fridge greedily, uncontrollably, guiltily. She shoved another sickly sweet bite into her mouth before she had even swallowed the previous mouthful. Ripe fruity juices trickled down her arm, and left sticky residue on her skin as she forced one gulp after another, not even chewing anymore. Not even hungry. She enforced every fruit into her body as she sat there… sobbing between each bite.
She couldn’t help but feel as though she was still covered in black paint.
Her heavy steps creaked on the floor boards as she made her way back upstairs, sluggishly. She didn’t know why, but she felt she had to go; back, into the nursery. She closed her eyes, snivelling as walked deep into the room. Then she opened her eyes, and the big gaping hideousness she created… wasn’t what bothered her anymore. It was the confinement of the room; it was the crib; it was the blankets in the cupboard and the toys on the table down stairs.

It was her stomach.

Both her hands felt their way around the strange bump protruding what was meant to be her belly. And she finally realised something:
“I can’t do this alone…” She said to empty room. And for first time, whilst doing nothing at all: not painting nor eating fruit; she cried. She cried and sobbed as loudly as she wanted, she cried in fear and in sadness. Until finally all she had to cry in, was triumph.

 

Daniel turned his brass key in the keyhole and pushed his white front door open, he stepped inside and inhaled the familiar sent of home contently. He dropped his key into the key pot and kicked off his shoes and then placed them on shoe rack, shrewdly. He walked into the kitchen as he loosened his tie and shed his blazer whilst he whistled complacently. When he reached the sink, he poured himself a cold glass of water; he did as he always did and looked to the list that Grace would’ve place on the fridge door, using the Eiffel Tower magnet from their trip in France the year before. Despite the list, being ticked off accordingly as it usually was, he felt uneasy… There was a strange smell in the air…
“Grace?” he called loudly, apprehension surfaced in his voice. He began making his way upstairs when her voice finally responded.
“In here darling,” She said back, sweetly, as he reached the top of the stairs and heard her shuffle in the nursery. Curiously, he walked in, only to stand stationary a foot in as the soft pastel green of the walls enticed and warmed him. Daniel had to tear his gaze away from the bright walls to take notice of Grace standing by the wall, covered in patches of green paint.
“Grace, you must be exhausted! All these paint fumes can’t be good for you, come out now dear!” Daniel said anxiously as he tried to lead her away by the shoulder when she abruptly held a colour swatch out.
“It’s just the right shade – perfect shade - Daniel, isn’t it? I did get it right, didn’t I?” Grace asked. Daniel smiled at her, squeezing her shoulder.
“It’s perfect,”

 

borderline personality disorder

BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER

3:02 pm

There’s a parasite in my brain,
Like a mosquito,
It drinks away my sanity, humanity and hope.
So that I am left dry
Detached from what makes sense...
And left to question:
Is my personality only disordered?
Or is there some other part of me hidden
That makes me – me.
Waiting to be resurfaced when everything is reordered...?
...If it ever can be.

See my insanity works like this –
It is split into two

The first goes as following:
I’m happy, I am, with my whole soul
I’ll laugh and yesterdays sorrows
Won’t hinder my tomorrow
And I’ll dream as write, the thousands of
Bright sparks in my mind,
And I’ll applaud all my friends, for the
Wonderful, beautiful people they are,
And I’ll jitter and joke about every
Thought on my mind
But mind you...

I’m miserable. With tears in my eyes.
I’ll cry about last year’s sorrows,
And hope that there’s no tomorrow
As I dream about death and question all
The things I thought I was...
Because now I am blank,
Forsaken and
Empty,
On why I’m even feeling this hollow.
And my friends they are, the worst people on earth,
Who only ever fail me with their ugly words.
And I am alone, with naught to say.

Because to say this is normal – is abnormal.
Especially when, without warning,
All this happens within hours.
Within a day: I am both happy and sad,
Not lightly or briefly,
But intensely and indefinitely.
I’m hot and I’m cold,
Clear and confused,
Poor in control
But rich in all that I feel.
But not why or how I come to feel.
And this is all insane.

My insanity goes on,
With more than just my mood,

The second happens like this:
I love and I hate and I loathe and I care,
But I don’t – not all the time,
Just when I feel fit, and you satisfy me,

This can take everything and nothing,
You’ll be my hero and savour
Wear a wreath on your head and act like the God
That I praise you to be, because you are
All that and more to me!
You’re like the sun I strive towards and the
Air – which an asthmatic could never overdose on
But know I will overdose on you and the addictive drug you’ve become.
And feel all my love because when I feel love
I feel it by its whole breadth and depth and
drowning, overwhelming, suffocating
weight.
But wait...

I could be infatuated but never truly in love
But it will feel so...
Real.
Don’t be fooled. I doubt it is
Even if I believe it is
Because I will promise you years and then give you days
And Suddenly-
I’m sick,
of you.

You - a cruel being, who is insufferable,
And you’re making me suffer;
Something, for which I’ve never asked
And your love,
My love, is too much for me to bare,
And I bare witness that you tried, but it will never be enough,
Because I feel nothing towards you and the sight
Of you, is like dust: dead and deviant
For my heart’s desire.
And it’s not you I desire... I never did.

But all this is fairly sane, as love itself
Is untamed. But the problem arises when you,
Leave.
My heart will shatter, its broken shards all techni-coloured,
Illuminating my face with rays of reds and blues.
Black and white.
My estranged lover, you misunderstand:
I’m not telling you to go, but I can’t have you stay,
My actions show: I love you, but, my mouth tells you: I loathe you,
I need you to hug me and hold me, but please my dear,
Don’t touch me.
But I beg you, please love me,
Yet, listen, because I hate you.
So darling, don’t leave me.
I know I am insane.

See the bug in my brain is more than borderline insane.
He is in fact, completely inhumane,
He does worse than snatch my happiness away,
Instead he floods me in waves which
Engulf me.
Become me.
Destroy me.
As every mood, emotion and feeling
Comes and Goes In Waves, With Unpredictable Rhythms
Of Which I Have No Control Over,
So they come and go, and they swallow me whole.
They call it Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder.
But really is really just my emotions?
Yes – they go from great to unpleasant,
From joy to grief
And love to hate,
But so do the people in my life,
They stay and they leave,
Care and they don’t.
And so do the dreams that I have,
They wander and wave,
I will and won’t...
So is it really just my emotions
Or should this curse I've been gifted, simply be called:
Unstable Life Disorder...

love

The 'Other' Girl

1:44 pm


I want to be a lover.
The kind of girl, boys like to date,
With pretty eyes and a lustful smile;
A carefree life and phone full of numbers
Filled with all the people who admire me.
Including you.
And your parents would love me,
Your father would sneak second glances at me
Your mother would quietly compare herself to me
But they would accept me all the same,
Because to them, and the world, we are a perfect couple.
...I want to be that girl.

Instead I am a loner.
The kind of girl boys admire from afar... and only afar.
With shy eyes and a timid smile;
A secret life and phone full of unspoken truths,
Filled with the few people who never respond.
Including you.
Your parents would hate me.
Your father would be perturbed by my silence,
Your mother would know you could do better,
And they would question: why?
Because to them, and the world, we would never go together...
-As I am not that girl.

alcohol

The Drug of Reality

5:07 am

With her legs tangled between the soft sheets of her bed, she sat in the empty quiet of her room with nothing but a dimly lit candle for company. She stared at the swirling whites of her ceiling as she could feel the feeble fizz of alcohol intoxicate her slowly, gently, leading her mind away from the depression that was isolation of those four walls...

With her legs hanging outside the window and the cool winter wind kissing her smooth skin; she gazed towards the illuminated glow of the moon - her only companion. She watched as the smoke of her cigarette danced and drifted away in the night air, as the nicotine worked it's magic on her mind, replacing the bitter taste of loneliness in her mouth, with one of bleeding gums...

With her legs weak and her mind broken, she lay in the endless black of darkness. Tired, exhausted and no longer able to find a scapegoat, she sipped at the cold water and tugged at the pills. Allowing them to bring her back to what she feared most... reality....

abuse

My Man Matty

6:46 pm

 Posted on my Wordpress on:


This was inspired by Raymond Carver’s Short Cuts

Mathew was only twenty-one but he thought of himself as a man. Mathew worked most days part time as IT support for a growing finial business in central London. This decent job paid for his current new apartment and fresh independence. He also had a girlfriend, Alex. They were both still in education but thought themselves to be rather mature and serious about their relationship. When he wasn’t working or doing essays, he was with his friends. They would often come to his apartment and drink beer and yell profanities as they watched football match in his small living room.
“That’s a red card for sure,” Chris said shaking his head unimpressed.
“Bloody hell, what’s he doing?” Mathew’s friend – Darren – asked annoyed. He got up from his seat and paced around the room. Mathew sat in the centre of the sofa, watching his friends as they absorbed the football match on the TV. Darren threw his e­­mpty beer can at Mathew’s head and huffed in annoyance. “Get your girl to give me another mate,” Darren begged.
“Tell her yourself man,” Mathew said as he turned back and gave his best effort to be act interested in the match. Darren looked uncertainly to the kitchen door and then back at Mathew.
“You tell her man, she’s your bird ain’t she?” Darren challenged. “Because if not, I’ll claim her,” he grinned.
“You’re so wasted,” Mathew laughed, he then also looked to the kitchen door, he could hear his girlfriend shuffling and preparing the pizza he had asked her to cook earlier that day. “Alex!” He called out, the noise in the kitchen settled. “Alex bring another round of beers in already,” he said. Alex then walked in with a tray full of beverages for the boys which she placed on a table crowded by empty cans and crisp packets. None of the boys noticed of her. Mathew then stepped out of the circle of football fanatics to be with his girlfriend. He whispered a quiet ‘thanks’ into his girlfriend’s ear before he turned back to his friends. “Alex make some pizza for us too,” He said as his friends all jeered at the prospect of food.
“All meat right?” Alex asked.
“You’re lucky your chick is hot Matt, because she asks bloody dumb questions!” Chris laughed and all the boys wolf whistled and hooted. Alex shook her head dismissively and walked back to the kitchen. Mathew watched her walk away and then said: “what do you expect – she’s only a girl,”

The next Sunday evening Mathew and Alex set about preparing for a dinner party that Alex had planned for her friends. As Alex polished the cutlery, Mathew cooked; set the table; stitched the detail in Alex’s evening gown and carefully placed a vase of flowers at the table. He admired his work silently as he stood by the door. He was clandestinely proud of his efforts.
That night all of Alex’s close friends came by and spent the evening dining and drinking. Mathew sat in his room reading the works of Charlotte Bronte, but he could hear the giggles and whispers of the ladies’ talk knocking on his door. He put his book down and turned to the door. Then he changed his mind and decided to go to bed. He stepped into his bed and looked at the celling… he thought he heard someone mention his name. His gaze drifted to the door. He blinked and then rolled over and tried to sleep. Finally he gave in and walked over to the door, he pressed his ear against the door; everything was a muffled blur. There was no helping it now, he opened the door ajar and listened.
“This mousse is an absolute delight,” one voice exclaimed.
“The flowers are beautiful too, oh Alex you have such wonderful eye for these things,”
“Her dress too! It’s lovely, I love the detail at the hem, stitched it yourself didn’t you?”
Mathew smiled, he smiled quietly and shyly and bit his fingers in a satisfied embarrassment. Suddenly, he heard Alex clear her throat, “Ah yes, I did actually, I’m glad you like it!” She said. Mathew frowned. His fingers tapped at the doorknob as he heard her go on: “It was nothing really,” and all the girls retorted by laughing at her humble response. Mathew slammed the door shut, and wished he had gone to bed after all. He grabbed the bottle of whisky on his desk and poured himself a glass; downed the whole glass in one and then went for the door.


“I can’t believe what you did!” Mathew hissed, as he tapped nervously on the kitchen counter. Alex peered at him from behind the fridge door.
“Babe, you’re stressing over nothing, everyone’s probably forgotten!” she reassured him. He looked at his fingers and watched as they tapped rhythmically on the surface.
“They’ll think I’m a joke,” He mumbled. “I can already hear them laughing,”
“Look babe,” Alex shut the fridge door, “We were all very drunk; too drunk. I didn’t realise when I was taking the video of you that… well, that doesn’t matter; everyone will just assume that you were too drunk to realise, its fine babe,” she then walked towards him, and reached up to his face to kiss him but was interrupted by a knock at the door. Mathew’s fingers paused and tensed.
“We’re here!” Darren yelled from the other side of the door, Alex glanced at Mathew as he anxiously watched the door. Comfortingly, she squeezed his shoulder before opening the door. “Hey, Alex where’s Matt?” Darren asked as the rest of his friends swarmed in and took their place on the sofa. Darren looked over at Matthew and smirked. “Well, well if it isn’t my man Matty!” He said with open arms, Mathew glared at him. “Or should I say… girl?” he mocked.
“Please don’t Darren, Matt’s not feeling well today; hung-over from yesterday actually,” Alex said.
“Aw, poor bastard… cross dressing is really tiring huh?” Darren winked, Mathew swallowed and clenched his fist, he could feel the blood drain from his face as he watched Darren laugh and walk towards the boys; walk away…The noise around him blurred and he could only hear the thumping of his heart. He could hear his girlfriend’s muffled voice asking if he was okay, constantly trying to assure him. He could hear Darren walking further away. He could feel his blood rush to his fist and he felt himself raise his first and the way it cut the air and how it delivered a violent blow…

Alex was stunned, shocked and horrified; both by the blood and Mathew. The room was quiet, not even the sound of commentator celebrating a goal on the TV could spur any movement. All eyes looked from Mathew to Alex… who lay dazed on the floor.
“Well,” Darren coughed, “I suppose this is what happens when the woman doesn’t stay in the kitchen….”

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