I started writing this for NaNoWriMo, but was kinda slow and lazy at the time so I didn't get even close to finishing it. I still want to continue it, though, so I decided to make it into an ordinary story. I've already written a bit for the second chapter but I have no idea when I'll get to finish it. Anyway, hope you enjoy, and please review!
The first time I saw her she was sitting in an apple tree reading some Marvel comic book - I think it might've been Daredevil, though I'm not sure. She was wearing a short, red skirt and I could see her underwear quite clearly - a blue and yellow striped thong. That's why I decided to approach her.
"You know, your panties are showing," I mumbled and lifted my gaze up to the comic book blocking my view from her face. She didn't react in any way.
"Hey!" I said a bit louder. Still no reaction. I moved closer and poked at her leg. She dropped her book and would've followed after it had I not caught her arm. She steadied herself and jumped down in front of me taking off her ridiculously large, yellow headphones.
"What?" She didn't sound irritated, thank god, but I didn't want to upset her. "Um, sorry, just wanted to tell you that your panties are showing. Were showing, I mean, obviously not... anymore," I managed to blabber while looking at the ground - I didn't even have the nerve to look her straight in the eye. Yes, I know, I'm really damn annoying when nervous. I get that from my dad, he's always stammering and stuttering when my mom's pissed at him - pathetic old geezer.
The girl just laughed: "I know. Nice view, wasn't it?" I looked up sharply, red as a cherry, and for a moment I didn't know what I was more shocked at - the thing she'd said or the way she looked.
She had blonde, tousled hair in this odd twirly sort of mess with some dreadlocks hanging from the back of her head, the skimpy little red skirt, a ragged beige tee full of safety pins, tons of hemp and bead jewelry and the most radiant smile ever. She carried herself with such grace I'd never seen anyone carry themselves - it was like she'd pranced right out of the catwalk just to put us all to shame. I gaped at her for a time that seemed like minutes - but it couldn't have been more than a mere couple of seconds. She stuck out her hand to me.
"Gabby, just moved into town." I closed my mouth wondering how many insects had flown in and took her hand - somehow it felt calloused.
"I'm Nina, I'm on my second year in the university. Um, nice to meet you?" I was still nervous and a bit uneasy from her comment. She shook my hand firmly, grabbing it tight. "Pleasure," she grinned.
The second time I saw her was two days from our first encounter. It was pouring outside, like it tends to do at this time of the year. I'd just had a damn boring lesson in math and was dying to get home for a cup of tea and a good novel. Apparently, my plans were about to be changed as I saw Gabby standing in the rain with no umbrella and waving me to come join her. At least she had some sense to put on a long-sleeved shirt but her white skirt was just as skimpy as the red one - and she wasn't even wearing any shoes. I, as a sensible person, had taken my umbrella along and opened it before stepping under the water.
"Hi, Nina," she breathed once I reached her. "Nice weather, isn't it?" she laughed, spinning in the rain and sending droplets of water all around her, some of them landing on me, too.
"Hey!" I protested. "Some people don't want to get wet!" She just giggled.
"So, what're you up to today? Wanna come with me?" She didn't even wait for an answer while she dug around her skirt pockets - since when do skirts like that even have pockets? - and withdrew a pack of cigarettes and a lighter.
"Want some?" she offered but I just shook my head. I didn't have anything against smoking, since some of my friends did it too, but I never really had felt the urge to try it myself.
"Suit yourself." She lit the cancer stick, put the pack and lighter back and inhaled. "So, what's it gonna be?" I jolted a bit, remembering her question.
"Oh, um, I'd really rather go home now, I mean, it's kinda cold and... Yeah." She inhaled some more smoke and thoughtfully blew it out in little clouds.
"Look, I'll buy you a coffee - or tea, whichever you want, I'll even buy you some hot chocolate - in that café over there, okay? It's nice and warm in there. C'mon." And just like that she took me by my arm and led me through the rain into the shabby looking café while sucking at her cigarette.
"G'day ladies, what can I get you?" the waiter asked as soon as we had sat down. Gabby smiled up at him.
"I'll have a plain black coffee and," she nudged me, "what do you want, Nina?"
"Uh, just tea, thanks." The waiter scribbled something down.
"Anything else?" he asked. Gabby's eyes lit up. "Oh, and get me one of those chocolate biscuits, will you? You want anything else, Nina? Hey, try the apricot cake, it's to die for! I'll pay," she grinned. I looked up, a bit unsure, but nodded.
"Okay, I'll take a piece of that, then." The waiter scribbled some more and left the table, promising to be back soon.
We stayed quiet until the waiter returned with our drinks and desserts. I added some sugar and milk and to my tea and sipped it. Yes, this was what I had been needing.
"So," I started, grabbing my fork, trying to do some small talk that was a bit more sensible than talking about the pouring rain outside, "what do you do?" Gabby looked up from her coffee cup she had practically tried to drown herself in. She licked her lips and answered:
"Oh, nothing much. I work. At a shop. A grocery store." She put her already half-empty cup down and reached for her biscuit. "It's quite boring, actually," she shrugged, "You just get to sit and beep these things through the machines, then take the money and give the change. " She bit down on her biscuit and let out a voice comparable to having an orgasm.
"Wow, this is fantastic! Gorgeous! Just plain fuckin' wonderful!" she acclaimed happily as I swallowed my comment about being sorry for her shitty job and just smiled.
"So, Nina, I have a favour to ask of you," Gabby said through the biscuit in her mouth. "Can I do that?" I chuckled and cut off a piece of my cake - she sure was straightforward. I would've warmed up the person for quite some time before asking for a favour.
Gabby followed my order and started explaining: "You see, I kind of need a place to crash for a couple of days. You think that'd be possible? I mean, me crashing at your place? I promise, I won't be any trouble - I can be real quiet," she laughed. I was stunned because not that many people ask someone if they can stay the night when they've met each other two days ago and spent less than an hour together. She must've seen my surprise from my face because she grinned and said that she didn't have any friends yet, since she'd just moved into town. I started counting days.
"Um... What day is it today?" I asked.
So that left me with... three days before Brad would come back. A bit hesitantly I nodded - it's not like I could leave a person out on the street, right?. "Okay, but, uh, just for three nights, okay? And why do you need a place to stay, anyway? Is there something wrong with your apartment?" Gabby stuck the last piece of biscuit into her mouth, finished her coffee and nodded.
"Yeah, they're doing some pipe repairs, can't sleep, can't shower, can't get any water... Really annoying. But hey, thanks - I'll just ask around for the next couple of nights. I think it'll take them a while."
Gabby drank another two cups of coffee and I refilled my cup once. We stayed at the café for an hour until I decided it'd be best if we went back home - to my home, I mean. By the time we got out of the café it was already dark and the rain had stopped, fortunately. Gabby grabbed another cigarette.
"So, what's in three days?" she asked. I turned around to look at her.
"Why do you ask?"
"You said I could only spend three nights," she retaliated, "so I'm guessing something's happening after that." She blew out a crooked little smoke ring.
"Oh yeah, that," I laughed because I really had forgotten about it. "Yeah, my boyfriend's coming back from London and I'd really like to spend some time together with him, you know, without anyone else there." I felt extremely self-concious now because I knew what I'd implied and it made my face glow with heat. Sure, we'd probably have sex, but that wasn't anything I was comfortable with telling everyone. Gabby just snorted and flicked some ash from her cigarette.
"Yeah, I know what you mean," she winked. "Don't worry, I'll be outta your face by then."
Suddenly I noticed that Gabby had nothing with her - no clothes, no toothbrush, nothing.
I turned and asked her:"Don't you want to take some stuff from your apartment? I mean, pyjamas and a toothbrush and stuff like that." She looked at me thoughtfully and then shook her head.
"Nah, my place is pretty far away. I'll manage if you could just lend me something to sleep in. Oh, and do you have any gum?" I nodded. "Yeah, sure." She seemed satisfied with that answer so I unlocked the door to my flat, waited for her to crush her cigarette and invited her in.
"So," I said as I flicked on the lights and left my keys on the counter, "I only have camisoles and stuff like that so if that's okay with you, I can lend you one. I'm not really the pyjama type." Gabby pulled her shoes off.
"It's fine," she told me, "I usually sleep naked anyways." I unzipped my boots and left them on the floor.
"Are you hungry or thirsty?" I asked as I wandered off into the kitchen to check that everything was all right. I kind of have an obsession of checking my apartment every time I've come home - I mean, someone could've broken in or something. I just want to make sure, I've had one too many surprises waiting for me at my home.
"No thanks, in case you didn't notice, I drank a lot of coffee in the café," Gabby answered, "and I ate that huge cookie, too." I snorted and took a bottle of water out of the fridge.
"You do know that coffee actually dehydrates you, don't you? And I wouldn't really call that cookie huge. And even if it were, it's not proper nutrition. When's the last time you ate, anyway? You look almost anorectic," I shot back while taking the bowl of leftover pasta out of the fridge. Maybe I was exaggerating a bit, but she did look quite thin - not sickly thin, but still. Gabby just snickered.
"Oh yeah, I throw up after every meal. Didn't you notice when I went to the bathroom in the café and came back wiping my mouth?" I stuck the bowl into the microwave and went to fetch some glasses.
"That would be bulimia, not anorexia," I told her while filling the glasses with water and returning the bottle to the fridge. The microwave beeped to inform me that the pasta was nice and hot. I removed it, divided it onto two plates and gave the other one to Gabby. "Okay, let's get you fattened up."
I dug around my closet trying to find something even remotely resembling a nightgown. I really should clean my closet more often, it was becoming hellish trying to find something to wear when everything had just been randomly thrown onto the shelves. Finally I managed to catch something silky and pulled out a dark red camisole. I waved it around victoriously and pushed into Gabby's waiting hands.
"There. Or do you want something else, like... Sweatpants and a T-shirt or something?" I asked because the camisole was quite thin and, seeing as Gabby was almost as thin as the fabric, I was worried she might get cold.
She just shook her head, though, and acclaimed: "No, I'll be fine. I'm pretty hot-blooded, I don't get cold that easily. Thanks!" She smiled, winked and left the room. I took out a blanket, a spare pillow and some sheets and followed her into the living room where I'd turned my couch into a nice double-sized bed. I dumped the blanket and pillow onto the hideous armchair I'd gotten from my grandmother and started working on the sheets. Gabby gave me a hand and in a while we had a nice bed prepared for her.
"There," I huffed. "Do you need anything else?" Gabby shook her head.
"No, I'm fine. Thanks again and good night!"
"Good night," I answered and turned back to my bedroom.