Leaps Meant To Be Taken
Note: Hey! Here is the next the chapter! I'll respond to reviews later since I'm running out of time over here, lol! But Enjoy & Excuse Errors.
Warning for language.
Help, I need somebody
Help, not just anybody
Help, you know I need someone
- Paul McCartney & John Lennon.
03. Don't Take Drunken Calls Four In the Morning. The Bull Might Come Running.
03. Don't Take Drunken Calls Four In the Morning. The Bull Might Come Running.
"Are you asleep?"
Lord, I wished.
I knew was considered a bore when I chose to stay in rather than shake my arse on the dance floor with some random bloke. But honestly even if I wanted to head out I couldn't since I had fallen ill. It started slow. Few sniffs here and there. Then later on my eyes began tearing up, followed shortly by my throat feeling constantly dry and scratchy no matter how many teacups I drank. By the end of the evening my sneezes had turned into a full bloomed flu.
Just brilliant if you ask me.
I glanced at the clock and read ten pass four a.m. I was amazed that I was up this god-awful hour but then again that's what you get for leaving your cell phone on a Friday. I should've anticipated a drunken call. "Well, are you?" My friend Rashmika, or Mika as she likes to be called, went on.
"No. I'm up. Alert. Ready. Focused."
"Mhm-uhm, doesn't sound like it." Before I could answer I began to cough. This went on for few seconds but was long enough to leave my chest aching. "You don't sound so well. Rather shitty if you ask me."
"Glad that you noticed."
"Really Leona, how on earth did you manage to get to sick?"
The memory of Ciaran flashed in my mind. It was amazing how one turn turned into me taking a dive and later on getting sick. "It just happened." I shrugged for no particular reason and pushed aside the memory of Brennan's concerned face.
"Well, the party is shitty so you aren't missing a thing."
"Again. I'm glad you felt like leaving a report four in the morning. This information will probably be useful in the future." I snickered which was a bad idea since I started coughing again.
"Oh, shut it! I just wished you were here, you know? Callum has disappeared again." A-ha. So that was the real reason behind the phone call. Even though it was four in the morning Mika wasn't planning on missing an opportunity to bad mouth our friend Callum. How she didn't care about him and that he can go to hell for all she cares. "Not, that it matters! I mean Callum can go to hell and rot, for all I care." See what I mean? "But he did promise he wouldn't leave me and that we would leave together. But again, fuck him, yeah? I mean what could I possibly expect from an oversexed teen who can't look further than his own willy when I matter? I don't care. Really I don't..."
"Call a taxi then."
"What? Oh, no! I read about a girl who took a taxi after leaving a party. She didn't come home. With my luck I probably get some nutter."
"So what are you going to do?"
"Well, there is this bloke that has been giving me the eye. Perhaps I'll catch a ride with him since Callum is nowhere to be seen..."
"So you rather catch a ride with a boy you don't know then a, find Callum or b, order a taxi?"
"Precisely." Mika laughed and I laughed too but my laughter soon turned into another coughing fit. This time it was deeper and came from the lungs. A hollow and scary sound to be honest. My nose ran and I reached up to wipe it while catching my breath. My chest was aching. My muscles drew tightly whenever my body tried to get ride off the nasty through my air pipe. This wasn't boding for anything good. If anything I was getting worse. "Shit Leo, that really doesn't sound good..."
I had to clear my throat several times before I could answer. Even have a glass of water. By now my head was spinning and felt hot. I didn't know how much longer I could stay up before I collapsed in a feverish heap.
"Leona, do you want me to come over? I could bring Morgan along if you like."
"You nicked from Dad again?" I finally managed to answer in a croaky voice.
"Didn't have to. He gave it to me." I wasn't surprised by her answer. Ever since Mika's dad found us drunk in his study that day when we decided to find out what the whole fuse about hangovers were about (a very stupid idea, I might add.), he became our supplier. Mika's dad felt it was safer he supplied the beverage rather than we got it from an unknown source without knowing the contents.
I knew the idea could be viewed backwards but I loved Mika's dad and knew he placed a lot of trust in us to behave accordingly and properly.
And of course Mika's mother didn't know anything about our arrangement.
"That's dad alright." I answered, knowing I was smiling fondly at the thought of the man. He was like a father to Callum and I.
I moved about in the kitchen while Mika went on about the party. Who were there, what everyone was wearing and how the music was like. For my part I decided it was time for another warm cup of tea. My throat felt really bad and I was freezing even though I had flannel pyjamas and a scarf wrapped around my neck. The water cooker finished boiling and I poured the streaming water into a large cup. The flavours from the teabag spread while I added honey, cinnamon, thin sliced lemon and chopped up ginger bits. I was about to leave the kitchen, ready to crawl underneath my blankets, when I turned to my right and saw a pale face stare into the kitchen through the bay window. The cup slipped from my hand and landed with a crash. I screamed. I do mean I screamed. I wouldn't be surprised if villager folks in China heard me.
"Leona?!" I heard Mika call out but I couldn't respond. I was completely paralyzed.
The ghost in the bay window banged the window and mouthed something. When he realized I wasn't getting it he banged the window again, startling me. I woke. Suddenly aware of my surrounding. The ghost banged the window for the third time and pointed repeatedly to the right. I furrowed and really stared at the ghost. If I wasn't mistake or having disillusion sights because of my fever then I knew that face.
But the ghost moved away from the window and disappeared as suddenly as he appeared.
"Leona, pleeease, answer me! Are you there? Why are you screaming? LEONA?!"
I remembered Mika and placed the phone by my ear. "I uhm have to go..."
"Why? What's wrong?! I heard you scream and drop the something. Is everything alright? Oh, hell! Did Edward appear?"
"You know Edward Cullen? The vampire in Twilight, Leona!" My eyes rolled. Out of all things...
"Sorry to disappoint but no. No Edward here. I'll call back in a few, yeah? Bye." I hung up before Mika could say more.
For a second I was sure I had just imagined things when the doorbell rang. I jumped and nearly screamed again but managed to stop myself and moved towards the front door. All the while I wondered why he was here?! Had something happened?
If so then why was he here?!
I opened the front door to a person I hadn't expected to see twice in the span of twenty-four hours and I most certainly didn't expect to see him bleeding at my doorstep. "Ciaran?! What..." Ciaran looked up and tried to smile but winced instead and fell forward. I caught him and staggered backwards. Ciaran Brennan was surprisingly a lot heavier than I thought despite his lean figure. "Shit! What happened to you?"
"Fuck...! Sorry! I," He shifted and groaned when he straightened himself. "I didn't mean..."
"It's alright. Hold onto me and we'll..." I trailed off, mumbling when I slung his arm around my shoulders and guided him towards the living room. Again my assumption was proven wrongly when the task turned out to be a lot harder than I thought but I managed to support Ciaran to the sofa. Even though we had to pause so I could readjust my grip and catch my breath. By the time we made it to the sofa I was sweating and breathing harder. Ciaran prepared himself to sit down when he saw blankets and pillows placed out and froze. "You were sleeping here?"
"Why?" Ciaran turned his head and looked at me. I mean really looked at me. His eyes went wide when he realized what state I was in. Shiny and runny red eyes accompanied with a running, sniffing and red nose. I was dressed in cow printed flannel pyjamas, a black scarf wrapped around my neck and my feet stuck into a pair of furry purple slippers.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I felt hot. For reason I hoped you could understand.
"How observant of you."
"I-It's my fault, right? You got sick because you fell?"
"That would be a reason."
"I knew it! It was that jacket of yours. It was soaked through and I...I thought you'd get sick."
"And you were right." I stepped back and helped Ciaran get out of his jacket before sitting him down. He grimaced and grabbed his side. He swallowed thickly and wet his lips trying to find a position that would relieve his pain.
I looked Ciaran over. He had a dark bruise on his chin that would probably get worse in the morning. His bottom lip had a cut. He looked a lot paler and had a light sheen of sweat on his face. His dark hair clung to his face and neck. My eyes lowered and went over his wet, dirty and torn t-shirt. He was holding onto his side as if his life depended on it. His jeans were torn at the knees and he was missing one shoe.
I swallowed a lump in my throat and tried to squelch an uneasy feeling building up in my stomach. "Uhm…wait right here! I'll back." I left the living room and walked back into the kitchen. My cup and tea were still on the floor but I'd deal with that later. First I had to take of Ciaran and his wounds. I opened the freezer and got an ice pack. I walked over to the cabinet and opened it. Mum kept the medical kit there. I gathered what I needed (or at least what I thought that I needed.) and walked back to Ciaran. He was where I left. His head titled back with his hand on his side. "Alright, let's look you over. Here take this."
I handed over the ice pack and Ciaran gladly took it. He hissed when he pressed it against his cheek but stood against the cold and kept the ice pack there. I grabbed his free hand and began cleaning it. The skin had been torn from his knuckles. He winced when I rubbed some alcohol but he stayed quiet the entire time and gave me his other hand when I was done. Next I addressed his knees. It was a tricky ordeal but I managed to fold up his jeans and tried not to act like a girl when I saw the raw flesh wound. Instead I sucked air and shook my head. "This is going to hurt."
"No. Really. This is going to hurt but I'll try to work as quickly and carefully as I can, yeah?" Ciaran didn't answer but nodded with a clenched jaw and tight fists as he braced himself from the pain. Just as I was about to clean his knee wound I had to turn my face away and cough several times and wipe my nose. "Sorry about that."
"You sound really sick."
"I am." I glanced up at him quickly and the strangest thing happened. My insides wobbled funnily.
It's probably nothing. Just the flu, Leona. Think no more of it and get back to work.
I shifted, feeling a bit uncomfortable because my wobbling had left a warm feeling in my tummy. It's probably nothing, I kept telling myself and concentrated on Ciaran's knee wound. This time when I cleaned the wound with alcohol Ciaran startled and shouted. "Shit!"
"No!...just," He panted. "Go on..." And I went on cleaning the wound. Ciaran bit down his jaw and gripped the sofa tightly. His pale face looked a lot paler, if not grey, when he fought back his shouts. He was sweating a great deal and a sweat bead ran down the side of the face. "I'm nearly down. Just a little more, okay?" Ciaran didn't answer but instead nodded vigorously and shut his eyes.
The ordeal went on in silence until I finished and unfolded his jeans. Ciaran sighed in relief and I saw just how exhausted he was but we weren't done. Just one thing left. "Okay, just one thing then you can sleep."
"What?" Ciaran blinked and stared down at me. Again my insides jumbled and shook but I ignored it.
"Do you love your shirt?"
"Uh?" Ciaran blinked and then stared down at his shirt. He shrugged which was a bad idea because he groaned instantly. His face twisted up in pain when he grabbed his side and doubled over.
Just as I suspected there was more.
"Ciaran, I plan to cut up your shirt and see what we're dealing with."
"What?!...N-n-no need! I'm fine."
"No, you aren't. You have been holding onto your side ever since you came. You need to let me take a look."
"I said I was fine." Ciaran raised his head and gave me a cold glare.
"Really?" His cold stare didn't waver. "So you wouldn't mind telling me what happened?"
"I ran into a door."
"You ran into a door..."
"Yeah. I ran into a door."
"Repeatedly?" Ciaran sucked in air and looked to the side."Wow...not only did you show up at my house four in the morning. You just lied to my face."
Ciaran didn't answer and continued stubbornly to stare into the wall. I stared into the side of his face and felt very satisfied when I saw red colour begin to spread over his cheeks and neck. He should feel ashamed. But I knew Ciaran wasn't going to tell me anything so I dropped the subject and got up. I deposed the bloody cottons in a bin and scrubbed my hands clean. What had happened after Ciaran left? I knew he went to meet up with that girl. "What was her name...?" Oh, yes. Melanie. Melanie Ashton. She went to our school. I had heard through rumours that something was going on between her and Ciaran but nobody really knew. So why didn't Ciaran go to her? Instead of showing up here?
"With my luck he probably led trouble right here." I suck air between my teeth, tsked, and left the bathroom coughing and sneezing.
Fuck! Like that mattered now?! I needed to sleep!
"Just one last thing then you can go and sleep." I tiredly dragged my arse to the kitchen and cleaned up the spoiled tea and broken cup. In the morning I would have to vacuum the floor just to make sure there were no shards left.
I left the kitchen and headed towards the front door. I opened it and looked outside. I saw no villains but they could be lurking in the shadows. Just out of my sight.
I'll just deal with them in the morning.
I looked towards the driveway and saw Ciaran's car parked there. The doors were shut and the headlights off so I left the car at that and went back inside, locking at myself.
I started towards the stairs when I realized if Ciaran needed something during the night (or morning. Take your pick.) I wouldn't be able to hear him and he would be forced to walk up the stairs to get me. "Urgh, what a night..."
Oh no, Leona! You aren't suggesting...
"Like I have a choice." I muttered to myself.
I walked over to the cupboard found underneath the stairs where we kept extra duvets and pillows. I pulled out what I needed and headed towards the living room. Ciaran was still awake when I entered the room. "Hey...I thought you went to bed?"
"I was on my way."
"Then what are you still doing here?"
"I'm here for you," I cut my eyes at him. "In case you need anything you can easily wake me."
"Leona..." Ciaran started to say but I guess my coughing spell caught him off guard. I quickly left for the kitchen and drank a glass of water before returning with one. I knew I was going to need it later on.
Ciaran watched me the entire time when I made my bed. "You're sick. You should sleep in a bed."
"And you're hurt."
"I'm fine. I'll make it on my own. Go to bed."
"I'm staying, Brennan. Deal with it." I finished my bed and got in. I sighed contentedly. Finally! I rubbed my sock covered feet together and got settled in.
"What, Brennan? I told you I'm staying."
"I know. I just," He paused and I waited. After a moment I noticed how nervous tension slowly began to fill the room.
With a cough and sigh I sat up and looked towards Ciaran. Ciaran blushed deeply and averted his gaze to the side. "Uhm...you wouldn't happen to have any painkillers lying around?"
"Oh! Of course! Sorry!" I fought the urge to smack my forehead and got up again. I ignored Ciaran's troubled look when I passed him, coughing again and returned with two painkillers and a glass of water. "Thank you."
"It's cool. I should've given them sooner." I shrugged and got back to the bed.
I crawled underneath the covers and turned my back towards Ciaran when I heard him place the glass on the floor. "Thank you, Leona. I owe you."
"No. I owe you and I will make it up to you."
"Yeah, yeah, whatever. Good night." Ciaran didn't answer me right away and maybe he got put off by my brisk tone. But I was sick and tired, literally, and wanted to sleep.
But just as the long-awaited sleep began to come over me I thought I heard Ciaran wish me a goodnight's sleep.
But I could've been wrong.
If there is something I absolutely hate then that's being watched while I sleep. I find it extraordinary creepy and downright disturbing.
So before my eyes opened I could already sense somebody was watching me and the only other person that could be was. "Ciaran?"
"Oh, sorry! Did I wake you?"
"No. This is me talking in my sleep." I heard Ciaran chuckle but that soon turned into a groan. I slowly sat up, completely disoriented. My head pounded and weighed a ton. My eyes felt sticky and itchy. "So, what's up?"
"I just wanted to thank you before I left."
"Yeah? Could've left a note."
"It was an option but I decided against it."
I slowly bat and opened my eyes. It took time before my sight returned and I had to blink over and over again. I guessed I must've cried in my sleep because my eyes felt like they had grains of sands. But when my eyesight returned I saw Ciaran was standing right in front of me. A bit too close to be honest. His knees were right at my face. I swung my legs to gain some space and Ciaran backed away. "Where're you going?"
"My brother has football practice."
"Alright," I yawned and coughed. I got up and felt blood rushed to my head. Ciaran reached out and grab my arm before I fell.
"Careful there. Where're you going? You should rest."
"I'm fine." I shrugged off his hand and began moving towards the bathroom.
"Leona! What are you doing? You're sick and should stay in bed!"
"And you plan to drive."
I stopped in my tracks and looked over my shoulder. "I said you plan to drive, right?"
"Yeah. Of course."
"Well, you can't since you're injured so I'll drive you."
"What?! No, Leona! I'll be fine. Please, come back and sleep!"
What happened after wasn't really my fault. I was sick and been woken up way too earlier for a Saturday. So when I abrupt turned around, marched over to Ciaran and press a hand against his side, I wasn't in my right mind.
"Aww, fuck! What did you do that for?!" Ciaran yelled.
"You won't be able to switch gears with your injury."
"I told you! I'll manage!"
"No need to shout! I can perfectly hear you but that still doesn't change the fact. You can't manoeuvre a car in your condition Brennan so deal with it! I'm designated driver this glorious morning." I turned on my heel and walked away, heading towards the bathroom again. "Just give me few minutes to get ready."
I heard Ciaran curse behind me and for a second I thought he was going to argue again but instead he sighed heavily. Signing his surrender.
So much for sleeping in.
"Leona, wait! Do you even own a license?"
"Of course I do! Just few minutes then we'll be leaving, yeah?"
I quickly entered the bathroom to end the conversation there because there was a slight problem. I lied. I didn't have a driver's license.
I could only hope we wouldn't run into any policeman or else we were done for it.
Oh well, we just had to deal with it if it were to happen, right?
"I could bring Morgan..." – Mika was referring to Captain Morgan. A brand of Rum.