Six weeks later...
If you must know, Declan and I (yes, me Azalea) have been going out precisely six weeks two days and fifty three minutes. Call me desperate or whatever, because I have no shame. I never expected this relationship would last this long. But of course, we admitted our feelings to each other openly. I'm pretty sure it's love. My model boy had once told me, as I reminisced the happy moments we had together. "Fate is trying to keep us together, Azalea. Learn to live with it."
And as soon as he said that, he cupped my face in his hands and kissed me. It was oh-so sweet and oh-so gentle how our lips touched. At that instant, I felt a shrill of excitement went through me; he made me feel so special. Yet I feel a teeny weenie bit selfish. Do I really deserve this boy? But then, I thought against it. A little selfishness won't hurt.
It was mid November. The cool strong wind breezed all around the grey area of Derry Way. I looked up the sky and saw nothing but dark clouds. It looks as if the rain will start at any moment. I shivered in that unexpected coolness and wrapped the black cashmere scarf tightly against my neck, crossing my arms. The scarf was given to me by Declan; apparently he saw this wrap and thought of me instantly. I clutched the scarf and felt how soft it was against my skin. It was really soft.
When I reached the familiar warehouse building three miles off of the car park —where my Jaguar FX resided— I smiled. There was a big sign in bold blue letters: SIMONE SCHUSET PHOTO STUDIO. This was where Declan did his photo shoots when he's in town and not out in the country. I checked my phone for the time: 5 45 p.m. In just five minutes, Declan's job will be over and we will continue to be all over each other again. Quite literally.
Quietly, I opened the door and sat on a vacant stool nearest to my left. For the past three weeks, the crew's used to me knowing that I was Declan's girl. At first, when I came in, they thought I was 'the model'. I remembered how I couldn't stop laughing at the thought of it! How freaking hilarious! But the ironic thing was, the so-called crew didn't find it funny.
"Miss, would you like a drink?" A woman around her twenties approached me. She had brunette hair and green eyes, and wore black framed glasses that matched her coifed casual shirt and pencil skirt. The woman looked a little bit impatient. Sucks. You can't really blame me for staring.
Finally I shook my head and glued a small smile. I wasn't really the smiling type to people I don't know. Hmm, well except for my part time job at Silly Finger Cafe. But they're paying me to smile. So it's worth it. "No thank you."
She returned my smile and nodded. Then she went away, disappearing into the bodies of people around her.
I watched as everyone around me was busy with the models. Make-up and whatnot. In the corner of the room was a big white screen background; on either side were two light stands each have their own person (I know this because there was a chair in each) to adjust the composure. A camera was facing the opposite directly in front of the white screen. At the moment, it was vacant. I assumed they were all clearing up since they're all having their 'break'.
I scanned the room for Declan. There were so many boys with black hair and a hot model body, I couldn't tell the difference. I frowned. Where the hell was he? I drummed my fingers on my lap. I ran a hair along my hair. My eyes wandered. I was getting bored. He's usually in time. Checking the time, I tsked. To occupy my bored-mind, I decided to play Snake on my phone. I was getting into the game, and my snake was bigger until I noticed black slacks in front of me.
I looked up.
My model boy was smiling, his eyes twinkling with amusement. Since Declan was about a year and five months older, he treated me like a kid. Sometimes. "Hi," he said.
"Hello," I said.
"Are you ready to go?"
"Uh...." I looked down on my screen; no point. I already lost the game. So I shook my head. "Yeah, I'm ready." Er, was that supposed to be my line?
He smiled at my confusion. He held out my hand and I took it. By then, we strode out the studio for a cheesy romantic walk. "How was the shoot?" I asked. Our fingers were intertwined together as we walked. His warmth radiated. Ohmmm, my personal heater! I took note that the sky was starting to clear. The sun was peeping against the clouds.
Sun, if you can hear my plea, then you better start rising and letting your rays brighten the sky. You know, less clothes...then it's hot...then I and my boy will be huddled together...to preserve body heat....in a room...
". . .photographer thought I was amazing. So I'll be issued to another big-name company." Declan concluded.
I locked eyes with Declan and grinned. "I'm so happy for you. You do your job so well...when mine sucks."
"Your job's not that bad."
I scrunched up my face. "You're just saying that."
He touched the tip of my nose and kissed it. "No I'm not."
I made a squeak-noise-like. "Eek,"
Declan laughed. He stopped the skin tingling sensations, gripping his arm around my waist. We walked like any other couple on the streets. We had some snacks, talked, shared laughs, and discussed problems. It was normal. Then he said. "How's the scarf?"
I described the scarf. "And pretty much, the scarf's okay. I've been taking good care of it." I huddled the scarf to show him.
"I can see that." He chuckled. I laughed. Our day had concluded and he walked me to the car park. He held me close to him and breathed in my ear. "I love you."
I pressed my hand on his chest and looked up. "I love you too." Then we linked lips; hot, sweet, hard, soft, and passionate. He stopped and kissed my neck. I took this moment to smell him: His familiar Declan smell using his perfume from BOSS. The mixture of sweat and scent gave off a sensual, intoxicating lure to my body. An electric shock was a perfect phrase to describe how his touched responded to my skin. Since I was wearing a long-sleeved lacy top with the scarf and jeans, he slid his hands under the top and began caressing it. I moaned in pure ecstasy.
Minutes ticked by.
We pulled away and hopped inside the car with me driving. I knew both our faces were flushed. But that didn't stop me from thinking clearly though and adding a cheesy joke. "Where to sir?" I said in my posh accent. My mum made me practise whenever we go to some posh restaurant. And Declan finds this accent funny.
"Oh, ah," He was playing along. He too was using a posh accent, though not as refined as mine. "I have no clue. You might as well drop me by my car, my Lady ness." He looked at me. I smirked. He continued. "I will tell you the directions once you get out of this wretched building. It's ah, not up to my, er, standards."
"Yes, My boy." I murmured in a hushed tone it was almost inaudible.
"Are you home Clover?" My ice queen mother peeped through my slightly open bedroom door. When she saw me, she let herself in and sat on my bed. I was in the middle of doing my Art Homework from an artist called Karl Blosfelt which was due in two day's time. I was just making sure I didn't miss the little details, because accuracy was important. I nodded to myself in approval. Okay, no problem there. At least I'll get a grade A. And if I push my luck, An A*. But that chance is slim. Or that's what I think anyway.
I glanced at my mother who was studying me with great earnest. She seemed...proud? Hmm, what's so great about a daughter doing her homework? Owh, she's freaky. Should I acknowledge her or something? I gave her a closer look of the piece I did and I asked. "Do you like it?"
She nodded in approval. "It's good. Really good."
I nodded slowly. Then suddenly, thoughts and feelings hit me. My head reminded me why I didn't talk to her. Why I was annoyed with her. I shut my mouth before I said anything I regret. For the rest of the time she stayed, I kept my face blank and my answers sharp. I placed my piece in my folder and shoved it on my desk. I started homework; this time Physics, which sadly my mother was majored to.
I opened my Edexcel Physics Textbook flicking the right page and began reading. "Do you need any help?" She asked, abruptly stopping me mid-sentence from my reading. I mentally kicked her against the wall. I shot a look at her, still, my face blank I did a head-shake-no. "Are you quite sure? It looks like you're confused with something. Tell me what it is."
"I'm fine." In my mental image, she died three times already. Blood was everywhere.
She sighed. "Okay." I noticed her bit her lip. Then she said "We need to talk." There was a slight edge in her voice. She was trying to be stern, but found it was no use. "Azalea, look at me."
I put the book down and looked at her. "I'm looking."
"I know you hate me because I'm a useless mother. I didn't tell you about my relationship with Phil when I should have. I regret not telling you. But the reality is the wedding is still going on..." She paused. "In three weeks."
I flinched. She doesn't understand. She doesn't understand me, what I'm feeling...my reasons...Sean... And it would be no use of telling her: She won't listen. She'll think I was making all these lies. I'm gonna be doomed forever.
"I thought...I thought" She faltered, on the verge of tears. "I thought you liked Phil. I thought you and Sean were bonding."
Yeah, we were. Not what you think though.
"I love him Azalea and I will love him. I'm ready to accept Phil as my husband."
I swallowed the lump on my throat. I'm not going to cry. Crying shows weakness. I'm not weak. Loudly, I cleared my throat. "Do what you want. It's your choice." Her face was teary-eyed. She tried to approach me but I crossed my arms. I tapped my foot on the floor and looked at anything but her. I was worried that I might start crying too.
Trails and trails of thoughts swirled inside. What about my dad? Did you love him too? Are you ready to give up on him and choose another man? My mouth was open, but no sound came out. "I...I..." my mother stammered.
"Get out." I closed my eyes and said flatly.
"Honey...You must under—" She began.
"I understand perfectly." I said my voice bitter. "Did you not hear what I said? Get Out!" Her eyes widened. There was a flicker of hurt in it. She shook her head and walked out of the room, softly closing the door behind her. When I was completely alone in the room, my tears streamed down my cheeks endlessly. I never felt this hurt in all my life.
So I screamed.