A/N:

just a little something I've been working on/attempting/exploring for a while now. I'm in two minds about it, so any feedback would be appreciated more than I can describe in this tiny message.

I see your reading there. Yes, I mean you.

...

Would it help if I bribed you with a virtual unicorn?


40 Things I Forget to Tell You

She painted her lips with moonlight and whispers. Each breath danced quietly from those lips and into the air, swaying in time with the song of the night, before fading into tomorrow with a sigh. I watched each one cascading into the air with a reckless abandon, a promise of life and joy, before they evaporated into the empty promise of the past.

"It's a lavender day," she promised me, before stubbing out her cigarette and taking my face in both her hands. "Promise the sky that you'll remember love,"

I could never tell where the stress lay in her sentences – had she just forgotten to put in punctuation, or was it wholly deliberate? So I closed my eyes and promised her that I would.

Brushing my hair off my face, I closed my eyes for only a moment as I stood there, watching the morning through a frost covered window. For the moment, I could just be eighteen, getting ready for the latest adventure of life, and waiting for it to come and get me. The door was closed, the music was up and there was a quiet fog muffling the early morning world. There was nothing more than what was in between the roof and floor, nothing more than the taste of tobacco on my tongue, nothing more than the soft cry of the newest lead singer in my life.

He didn't let me stop for long though, grabbing me and pushing me harshly against the wall. His rough tongue cascaded into my mouth as he fumbled with my clothes, pushing me harder against the wall and muttering continually my name, as if saying it any louder would taste wrong. All I could feel was him as he pushed my blouse over my head and groped at me, running his calloused hands down my spine till I shivered the way he liked it.

Promise me she had said. Promise the sky.

The cigarette he'd only recently stubbed out was still all over him, all over me. He pulled at my skirt now, tugging it up over my thighs as his hands reached for me. I pushed them back with my own hands, so he took them and put them onto him, pushing my warm palms around him as he began to moan quietly.

Promise me.

His lips left mine and began to wander over my cheeks, my neck, my ears. Warmed up, he murmured quietly in my open ear.

"What happens here, stays here, right?"

I nodded, and the next bracket of time spun into much more and much less than anything else occurring at that moment in time. In a moment, it was done, and he was collapsed against me breathing hard.

"God you're good, Carlie,"

It's Charlotte.

Pushing him off me, I collected my blouse from the ground behind him and watched as he fell back onto his bed, holding and arm out for me to join him. My bag in my hands now, I leant over him and kissed him deeply, using the time where his eyes were closed to reach into his cigarette box taking a few for the road, and also some of the loose change that sat there.

"I'll call you," he murmured.
"You wont," I replied with a callow laugh that tasted as bitter as the tobacco on my tongue.

"True," was his absentminded reply as he fell quickly into sleep. Wandering out into the crisp morning, I didn't waste time slamming the door behind me like I had the first time. I'd learnt somewhere between Jake and Michael that it didn't matter anyway.

My car was frozen on the street, the morning far too cold for it to deal with. Brushing the frost off the back window, I started to draw pictures in it, before I remembered that I wasn't four anymore, and that the smiling sun was just a lie like everything else. Turning on the radio, the CD he's forced into the player (his own band, of course) blared unceremoniously. I clipped it short and changed it to one of my own, lying back in the cold seat and closing my eyes as Mozart's 4th Violin Concerto filled my small car. Better, was my sole thought as I stamped on the clutch and rolled down his street, turning onto the open road telling myself not to glance at the street sign so I could never find this place again.

"Acacia Street," I murmured to myself, placing it mentally next to the rest that I held there, in case of emergency.

Finding my way back to familiar roads wasn't difficult, and soon enough I was pulling into my normal spot at my local fast food explosion, and heading in to order my usual post-gig breakfast.

"You look terrible," Marcus told me as he placed my order, not waiting for me to open my mouth. He had been serving me every Saturday morning since I was walking back from strangers house.
"As do you," I replied handing over the money that hadn't belonged to me for long. The least he can do is buy me breakfast I justified to anyone who happened to be reading my mind.
"But I'll look ok once I take this bloody uniform off. You just look like shit," he explained to me, handing back most of the money I'd given him. As usual he'd given me the Post-Gig Saturday Morning discount, which was at around 80% off. Sometimes, it paid off to be best friends with Marcus.

While my egg and bacon McMuffin cooked, I wandered into the grubby bathroom, and surveyed myself in the mirror. Marcus, while fairly blunt, wasn't a liar. I did look like shit. My makeup from last night was now smudged all over my face, my hair was sticking up at odd angles, and whatever I'd taken last night had left my eyes red and raw. Pulling the hood of my jumper over myself, I chanced a second look. Not good, but better.

"Nice work," Marcus told me as I emerged. "The druggie look really suits you,"
"Have a nice day," I told him, snatching the bag containing my breakfast from his outstretched hand, and venturing to my usual window seat to eat it.

The usual Saturday morning crowd was present. Those coming back from a long night out sat at the back with me, and those heading out from the day sat near the door. A collection of shift workers and exhausted mothers sat in the gaps, filling the restaurant with an assortment is mismatched faces, all of whom avoided eye contact. A table of boys made the most noise, as they fought over chips, and looked around the blank faces, daring each other to approach.

"Hey honey, want to join us?" One finally got the balls to come up to me. His young face was innocent and fresh, and with a look I would tell he was just trying to man up a bit. I shook my head at him and would have left it at that, but he persisted.

"Come on baby, come sit with us,"

"Do I know you?"
"No, but that could change,"
"Wait, are you hitting on me? What are you, twelve?"
"I'm seventeen actually,"
"Whop-de-fucking-do,"
"Hey, with an attitude like that, you'll never get lucky,"
"What in the world gave you the impression that I needed too? And where do you think I've been all night honey, picking flowers? Just coz you'd never get laid,"
"Um, I had fucked someone last night, baby,"
"Oh, haven't your little friends told you yet? Your hand doesn't count,"
"Bitch,"
"Go back to preschool, honey,"

He stormed off and I took another bite of my muffin, glaring more than I really had the energy too, before hearing little stud muffin and his friends laughing, at me presumably. I sighed into my food, and pulled a look at Marcus, who was distracted watching them guardedly. Hello wonderful morning, how are you?

"He was just being nice, you know," another voice came from behind me. I spun quickly to look at the speaker. He was slightly older than me, with dark eyes and a somewhat sheltered look about him. He looked much like all the other people in the restaurant – his hair was mussed up, his eyes had deep bags underneath them, his clothes were less than impressive, but for whatever reason it was, he didn't quite fit in.
"So I guess this morning it is impossible for a girl to eat breakfast in peace?"
He shrugged at me. "You're not fooling anyone, you know that don't you?"
"What?"
"This whole 'I'm too wasted to give a crap' thing. It's not fooling anyone,"
"Well gee, I suppose it's lucky that I don't plan on being an actress then,"

Marcus, who was watching the whole scene from behind the counter, sniggered quietly to himself. The boy looked over his shoulder at him, then back at me, and slid into the empty seat opposite me.

"Oh yeah, please feel free to sit down," I dripped sarcasm into my breakfast and he grinned back at me.
"Seriously though, why are you here? Too scared to go home? Didn't daddy give you enough pocket money to buy more food? Did you fight with mummy last night?" his voice oozed venom as he leant across the table at me. "Letting guys use you every night must get old, eh? But I can see right through you. One day you'll end up dead on a street corner and nobody will care. It hurts doesn't it?" He paused for a moment, and then grinned, leaning over the table and taking a sip of my coffee, victorious. "It kills you how well I can read you, doesn't it?"
I raised an eyebrow at him. "Oh yeah," the sarcasm was trickling out again. "Gee whiz, what are you, a psychologist?"
"I'm a musician, actually," he replied smugly, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a business card. I took it from him without looking at it, and snorted.
"Well, when I need another one of those, I'll give you a call. Funnily enough though, there's a few waiting in line ahead of you, so don't be insulted if it's not anytime soon,"
He opened his mouth to reply but I put finger up in front of him.

"But seeing as we're trying psychoanalysis, can I give it a whirl? See, you seem to think that if you mess up your hair and wear old clothes, that you can fit in with this crowd. But we all can tell that you're just moonlighting here. Everyone can tell that you're just some rich kid who's bored of living with what we all wish we had. I can see the way you desperately want to fit in here. But you don't. So tonight you'll run along home to your eastern suburbs mansion and laugh as you tell all your little trust fund friends about your little excursion down here. It hurts, doesn't it?" I took a sip of my lukewarm coffee. "It kills you how well I can read you, doesn't it?"

He stood up quickly and looked down on me with scorching eyes. "Fuck you,"
"Have a lovely day," was my reply as I watched him storm out of the restaurant. Marcus leaned over the counter and called over too me.

"Who was that Charlotte?"
"No one slightly important to my story," I called back, tearing up his card and putting the remains into my bag, along with the rest of my meal.

"I'm gonna jet, M-Dog," I told Marcus as I walked past. "I'll see you next week, kay?"
He nodded, but was too distracted watching the group of guys who'd just walked in. I grinned to myself as I returned to my car, and pulled out of the car park and onto the main road. The fog hadn't cleared, and the road was murky in the early morning. The concerto playing on my old stereo finished, leaving me with nothing but the continual slap of the windscreen wipers, and the clicking of my indicator.

I considered leaning down to change the CD, but the light changed to green. Maybe I could have changed it anyway – there were no other cars around, so I'd hardly be holding anyone up. But I didn't, too eager to keep driving wherever, so I stepped on the accelerator and began to move, changing up to second in a fluid movement. Maybe I should have taken a second to look for oncoming traffic – the kind likely to ignore red light. But I didn't, I just pulled out into the intersection with a naivety likely to win me awards.

Later on, the blamed the fog. They said that the other driver hadn't seen the light was red, and hadn't seen me in the middle of the intersection – all because the fog was too thick. I doubted it, but that didn't really matter. What did matter was that the other driver was speeding, and that he didn't see me, and that suddenly, the silence left by the music was replaced by the disgusting scream of metal on metal, and that anything I had been feeling as replaced by pain and nothing else.

* * * *

I don't remember any of that though. And that's where this begins.