Chapter Five

Purple, Blue, Green or Pink?

It seemed to take ages, but I got home safely at around eleven in the morning, I had stopped a few times on the walk, but now I was home, I closed the front door and looked around the quiet little living room, then I sighed, looking at the answer machine, "Family get together…" I muttered. "Family…

I sat in the sofa and my eyes watched the light flicker on the answer machine to show that I hadn't deleted my message. "If I don't go… then they might come here. Checking on me. If they come here… I'm in trouble." Taking another moment to think about this, I stood. My parents lived about forty-five minutes away. I'd have to phone for a taxi. I wasn't going to go… no, it was pointless, if I went, I'd only be upset at the end. I drifted into a sleep as soon as I sat back down, I was tired, very…

I laid on the sofa and my eyes looked to the bathroom. It was now about six in the evening. I didn't feel happy here, not now, there was something about the house that made me want to leave, even if I left just for a little while. Standing back up, I made my way to the bedroom and looked to the floor, under the floorboards were where I hide my drugs. I pulled my shirt off and threw it to the side, I took up a cigarette from my bed side table and lit it before looking at the clothes, "Purple?" I asked myself, tracing my fingers over a purple shirt. "Red? Or… maybe… Hmm-"

A knock came to the door and my head spun around. Removing the cigarette and flickered the ash to the ground, walking to the front door and resting the cigarette between my lips. I opened the door a little way to look at Alice…? Alice, she stood there, holding a bag of grapes.

"For you." she smiled and held the bag, laughing slightly. "But, Tadeo… I don't think that smoking is helping you to get better…"

I smiled, how wrong she was… "Well. I was just-"

"I'm sorry, is it a bad time?" she asked.

"No." I answered and held the door open for her. I didn't take the bag of grapes, not wanting her to see the needle marks. "I'll just put a shirt on, come in." I told her, turning and walking fast to the bedroom, closing the bathroom door as I passed. I pulled out the red shirt and put it on before joining her. She stood in the living room.

I then got an idea. "… Alice, what are you doing tomorrow?" I asked. Holding the cigarette.

"Tomorrow… nothing as far as I know, why?"

"I was wondering… well, you see, my mum and dad are having a… family get together, and, it's a long drive… and, you see, I normally go alone, but, I was wondering that maybe, for once, you might like to join me?" I asked her. Then I watched her face for any reaction. What I saw was a smile.

"I'd love to." she replied with a nod. "… I'd drive, save us getting a taxi. What time?"

"Umm, we could leave at six." I answered, my heart felt different and for just a split second, I almost forgot my cravings for Heroin. For that little while, the white horse came second in me life.

"That'll be nice." Alice smiled. "Do you have to dress smartly?"

I shook my head no, "Nah, just family. But, maybe you could help me… see, I'm not sure what to wear."

"Well what have you got?" she laughed.

"I have a few shirts, this one." I said and pulled on my shirt. "Or a green one… blue, but, I don't like the blue one. Purple… or a pink one."

She thought and then smiled a little, "Pink."

I pulled a face, "Pink?"

"I like men wearing pink. It shows a real man." she teased.

"Pink." I said again and pondered about it, was I a real man? Was I a man? "Okay." I answered, but was unsure. "You can sit you know…" I said, noticing she was still standing.

"Oh… I can't stay long, I have to go out, going out with a few friends. Clubbing." Alice answered, "I just wanted to bring you these." she said and place the grapes down.

"Clubbing." I muttered.

"Dancing." she told him. "… If you're not too ill, Tadeo, why don't you come with us?" she offered. "It's just me and a few friends going. I've never seen you out a lot, apart from work, and you skip that a lot…"

"I can't dance." I replied. "I don't think I can go, I'll look stupid."

"You don't have to dance, just watch, one of my friends doesn't like to dance, she'd talk to you… Please?" she asked and gave puppy dog eyes.

I nodded and she pulled out of her pocket a comb, she smiled brightly and combed my messy hair, "Thank you." she whispered and kissed my cheek when my hair was ready, she took my hand and lead me on. I blushed, following her and looking at our hands. She took me out of the house, I reached around and closed the door. "You'll have fun tonight, Tadeo, I'm sure you will."

It was odd that she was really the only one that didn't call me 'Tad' In fact, only people whom were buying drugs from me called me Tad… I liked how she was different, "Never been clubbing, so, expect the worst."

She smiled and shook her head, "You'll be just fine." she said, going around to the drivers side of the car, she unlocked it and sat in her green car. I sat next to her, watching her put on her seat belt, I then did the same and she started the car.

When the car started, the radio came on, playing a song by the Sugar Babe's. I winced and put my hands together, Alice also gave an unhappy look. "They push my button." she said and pulled out a black plastic case by my feet. She opened it and I looked in a CD's. "Would you like to pick one?" she asked.

"No, I'm not good with music." I replied. "Really, I don't listen to it, unless they play that cheap music in Tesco's.

She laughed, "Never listened to music? How can that be?"

"I have a radio in my home, but I don't listen to it… and, when I had my car, I never turned it on because I found it hard to concentrate. So… that's it really."

Alice pulled out a Good Charlotte CD, she pushed it into the player and smiled to me, "You know… music can heal people, Tadeo. I believe that their words can reach to people." she said and skipped through the numbers to number twelve.

"There're just words." I told her. "Just words, they mean nothing really. They just sing things to make money…"

"I don't believe that… Just you listen." she said as the song, 'The World Is Black.' started to play and she drove along the road. I didn't really listen to the first verse, I didn't understand it. But then the chorus came and I managed to listen to it:

"But the world is black
And hearts are cold
And there's no hope
That's what we're told
And we can't go back
It won't be the same
Forever changed
By the things we say, say"

I tilted my head to listen. "… Wow." I muttered before the second verse come, Alice smiled and turned it up for me.

"Living in this place it's always been this way
There's no one doing nothing so there's nothing changed
And I can't live when this world just keeps dying
It's dying
People always tell me this is part of the plan
That God's got everybody in his hands
But I can only pray that God is listening
Is he listening?

We're living in this world
Growing colder everyday
Nothing can stay perfect now I say"

I was starting to believe Alice, these words… they were sending… messages to people? The words were true… No-one is helping the world, and, yes, in my eyes, the world was cold, and getting colder. I listened to the end of the song and smiled a little. "They do kinda talk to you, don't they?"

"That's the point of a song, Tadeo…" she laughed, slowing to turn right. I looked at the people on the paths, walking. "You just be yourself tonight, okay?"

I nodded. "I can't be anyone else." I told her, leaning in my chair, I listened t the next song: 'Mountain' I didn't really listen to this song, as Alice was talking to me.

"So, what is this family thing tomorrow?" she asked. "Just a dinner?"

"I think so, I got a message on my phone, my mum says it's a get together… I don't really want to go."

"Why not? What's wrong?"

"Just family. I don't get on with them, they don't really like me, I bet my brother doesn't even turn up."

"Tadeo… I never even knew that you had a brother." she said, glancing to me.

"Yeah… I don't think much of him though. Same with him."

"Why? Did something happen between you?"

I shrugged, I wasn't going to tell her about the drugs, "Just grew apart, same as family. Thank you for coming tomorrow. It means a lot."

"You're welcome." she laughed a little, "you are one odd person, Tadeo. But I love it that you're different."

I smiled at these words, but then fell quiet as the song: 'We Believe' came on. Something hit me when I heard the words:

"There's a woman crying out tonight
Her world has changed
She asks God why
Her only son has died
And now her daughter cries
She can't sleep at night"

I folded my arms slowly and looked at her speakers in the car, as if this was a person that I was listening to. Alice looked to me and smiled a little, shaking her head. I listened to the rest of the song before looking to Alice. "I like that one, it makes me think…"

"I told you they were talking to you, didn't I?" she asked, pulling into a car park.

"You did." I answered and didn't talk until she had parked the car. We both got out and she lead me out over a road, we walked for less than two minutes before finding building that seemed to be pulsing with music, I watched it, unsure now. But Alice took me inside. I blinked at the coloured lights flashing around. I didn't like this, Alice was talking, but I couldn't hear her, I bumped into a few people as I tried to pass them. They frowned slightly, pushing me away. I nearly tripped, but saved myself, grabbing onto a woman's shoulder, sending her to the side. "I'm sorry." I said before she could say anything, but I was yanked away by the man she had been dancing with.

"What's your problem?!" he asked and frowned. "Find your own!" he shouted over the music, pushing me to the side.

I looked around, dizzy, "Alice?" I asked, getting the flashing lights in my eyes, I closed them and felt the wall. I couldn't even hear my own voice, nor thoughts. Looking around again, I scanned the club with my eyes half open, closing them every time the lights came around again. But, while the lights were gone, I spotted her, Alice, standing with three other girls. I walked towards them, slowly, minding the lights again, but as I got close to Alice, a male wrapped his arms around her and kissed her cheek. I froze to watch her smile and lean back into him.

God no… my heart felt like it had just split. Who was he? No… he can't like her, I like her… Alice… my Alice. He run his hands to her hips and kissed the corner of her mouth. I sadly watched and walked back. Watching her smiling killed me. Alice was no help at all, no, I was wrong to betray my Heroin… I should never have trusted Alice… I'm sorry my great white horse, so sorry…

Turning, I walked on blankly, a hand on my heart as I walked through people dancing, I didn't care, in fact, at the moment, I didn't even see them, my mind was blank, my heart was broken and my Alice was taken. Leaving the club, my ears still ringing, I walked along the roads, passing people, but not really looking at them. My eyes wouldn't let me look at people, they were blurred with tears. A few even ran down my face. I looked behind me to see that no-one was following… but then again, why would they?

It took me a while to get home, but I made it, pushing open the front door, I slammed it shut. Tears ran down my cheeks, but I tried to keep them in. I sadly opened a cupboard and pulled out a radio. I plugged the electric plug into the wall and turned it on. I turned the dial, listening to the different stations playing their songs to me. But I stopped when I heard the words:

'Hello there the angel from my nightmare'

I listened to the song: I Miss You. And this made tears run down my cheeks even more. I sadly hugged the radio, listening to songs, words, meanings and rhythms. Until my eyes closed and the tears stopped. I fell into sleep. And, although the tears stopped for a while, I felt the heartache would last forever.