Saturday, April 24

Freedom or Lonliness?

He leaned sideways on his skateboard and yawned slightly. Today he was meeting someone. Early.
"Steve! Oh my God!" came a voice for the other side of the park. "I can't believe you're back!" The blur of a girl ran into his arms. He stumbled a little but righted himself just a quickly. Behind his excited friend stood a petite girl with a pretty face. She smiled and his stomach did a huge flip.

That was the first time he ever saw her. He was 16 and did not really care about anything but skating. But he remembered it like it was yesterday. He fell into it so quickly it seemed so easy, but with Lily it seemed to just keep building and building. Now he was screwed. "Fuck." He said to himself. He shoved his hands into his pockets, rummaging for a cigarette, a joint or anything. He didn't know which he found, he just lit it and skated down his road.

"Oh my god I almost forgot! This is Amelia. She moved here just after you left and she's so great! I think I would have gone insane if we hadn't of met and oh my god I missed you!" Lily and her words blurred together in a haze of movement and noise. Mia stood silent, blushing, fidgeting awkwardly and looking so fucking cute.

The skateboard wheels went currclunk currclunk over the gaps in the pavement. The morning air was moist, a prelude to the languid summer day that lay ahead. He rolled along. Lost in his thoughts, he automatically came to a stop outside Amelia's house.
"What are you doing here?" His heart squished against his throat. It was just Lily. Just? No it was Lily. He was definitely screwed.

"Um, so where's Mia today?" he asked shyly. Lily frowned and said slowly,
"She had to go visit her cousins in the city. Some family lunch." She paused, "Why? OH EM GEE! Do you like her? That would be super cute." Her voice got gradually higher in pitch and Steve felt himself cringe.
"Uh maybe. I dunno. Whatever." he laughed awkwardly and adjusted his cap.
"Well I happened to know that she fancies you! Along with every other girl at school."
"'Cept you?" She smiled a knowing smile at this and said,
"'Cept me!" then ruffled his hair.

"I told you already! It was force of habit. I was coming to see you. I just... I just have a lot on my mind right now." He reached and held her face in his hands. How had he never seen how shapely her cheek bones were? How had he not have noticed the slight upturn in the left corner of her mouth? She was beautiful even with big black streaks down her face.
"I know, I just... I feel so awful... She... I miss her..." The words stumbled out of her in an out-of-character quiet tone. "I went to... I wanted to tell her... I don't even know..."
"How about we ask her to meet us? It's been a few weeks, I mean she has to want an explanation... right?"

There she was, waiting on her front step. She was wearing a cute floral dress and her golden brown hair hung around her shoulders. She smiled and walked to meet him as he drew nearer. They got pizza and watched movies in her big lounge room. He felt his whole body vibrate with happiness. She was perfectly quiet and full of an unobtrusive kind of life.

A car pulled up across the road from where Lily and Steve sat in the park. Amelia got out and marched across to them with an unimpressed look on her face.
"Ten minutes and then you leave me the fuck alone. OK?" Steve could never remember her acting like this. She was always sweet and kind and full of one big smile... "Well? I don't have all day for people who screw me over so if you're both just going to sit there looking li-"
"OK, Mia." He said with force, just noticing that Lily was staring guiltily at her feet. "We just need to tell you we know we handled everything so wrong. But don't want to loose you as a friend becau-"
"Because I was the last one to find out you were fucking?" She cut in. Lily burst into tears.
"It wasn't like that." She said between sobs. "I- I- I would never have kept it from you. Y- Y- You knew I liked him when you started going out. I- I- I-"
"So you go about stealing my boyfriend? He liked me remember? And you said it was OK."
"It w- w- was. I thought I'd g- g- get over it." She sniffed loudly. "I'm so sorry Mia."
"And you?" Amelia turned to Steve. He could feel Lily's eyes on him too.
"I, um... I'm sorry." He faltered and began to sweat. "I love you Mia, but I also love Lily... I-"
"Think you can have both of us and no one would notice?" Amelia never used to talk to him like that.
"Wait, you forgive Lil but not me?"
"Lil is not being selfish. She is genuinely sorry. I can see you trying to worm your way out of this mess. It's going to take a lot more than that pathetic speech and if Lily wants to believe it she can."
"Mia..." Lily began, "Can we just try to be friends again?" Amelia's face crumpled under the weight of these expectations.
"We'll see." her voice was softer, "Just know, I understand but it still hurts." Suddenly harsher again, "And I expect the truth from you Steve. Eventually."

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