A/N: I'm constantly being told, "Write what you know" but I've never really done that. Ever. So this is my attempt to put a slice of my reality into fiction. 'Kate', I'm afraid to inform you, is very much a real and alive person. If she actually reads this, she will have my guts for garters, I assure you. 'Red' is also based on 'Kate's' actual father, who calls me and 'Kate' along with our other three friends, Dopey and the four dwarves. Me being Dopey, because I'm smart and tall. Go figure. Anyway, this is all a bit Australian, so if it's hard to understand I apologise. Writing what I know was... entertaining, to say the least.
"And so I couldn't just fuckin' dump her shit out the window right? So I-" Creaking. "Damn thing won't - ah! - anyway, so I had to put it all in the back of the ute and drive it round to her place."
Sighing. "Why'd you do that? I'd dump the whore's shit right out that window."
More creaking. "Hand me that wrench, will ya Kate? Ta. Nah, couldn't do somethin' like that, y'know. I wanted to show her that I could be cool with it. So, when I get there, I walk to the door and Macca's there, starkers, with a bloody stubby in his hand, askin' me if I wanted one too."
"You know what I reckon? I reckon we should tink the roof."
"What are you, fifteen?"
"Nah mate. I'm serious, though. She needs to realise she is being such a jerk."
"You right, Kate? You're actin' like you're the one who got her arse dumped." Barking. Sound of an engine. Whistling. "Come 'ere Blue, ya dick-head. Can ya see who it is?"
"Bitch of the year herself. Here, wipe yourself off and I'll meet ya there."
Politely. "Rhiannon. How's things?"
"Not too bad, Kate." Hesitating slightly. "I came to see Luke."
"No joke! Here I was thinking you wanted to call in on Lucy and David. He's in the shed, messing with the truck. Won't start. He'll be out in a bit."
"You want a cuppa or something?"
"Yes, please, that would be love-"
Footsteps. Drawling. "Hey Rhi. You look different with your clothes on."
"I'll just go and-"
"Kate, stay. Rhi, what makes ya think I want to see you out of all the people 'round here?"
Softly. "Look, I know I was wrong-"
Laughing. "Wrong? Ya not only just up and left, ya fucked Macca. Macca for christ's sake."
Clearing throat. "I really should be going, the old man wanted help with some preg testing."
"Kate, don't you fuckin' dare-"
"Don't you fucking swear at me, Lucas Redding. I'm going back to the farm to help dad."
Another pause, longer.
"Rhiannon, see you around. Lucas, cool your head."
"Say hi to your folks for me."
"Will do. Lucas, are you gonna at least say goodbye?"
Sullenly. "Take Blue with ya. She's dancin' around like a headless chook and I'm not gonna be doing anything with the stock 'till tomorrow."
"Right-o then. I'll take her, but you better have a civil tongue in your head when you come 'round for dinner tonight." Sweetly. "Always a pleasure, Rhiannon."
"So, I was having a yarn to him in the shed while he fixed the truck, then I was gonna go help him get that mob down the south paddock and she turns up in her tight as blouse and skirt up to here and expects me to make her a cuppa."
Whistling. "I tell ya what Squirt, Lucky can look after himself. He's a big boy."
"Dad - yep, this one's up the duff too - I know." Squelching sound. "But she's not a farm girl. She couldn't do this."
"Can't say there's many farmer's wives who stick their hand up a heifer's arse." Chuckling to himself. "I reckon Lucky can't get enough of the pretty ones."
Scowling. "I reckon."
"OW! Kate, what the fu-"
"Lucky, don't make me tell your mother."
"Do you kiss your mother with that mouth, Lucas?"
"Sorry Red, sorry Mrs. D. Kate, stop lookin' at me like that, ya witch."
Cutlery clinking. Courtesies, many 'pass the peas' exchanged.
"So-o-o-o, Lucky. I hear Rhiannon called in on you today."
Stiffly. "That'd be right, Red."
"Leave it, dad."
Angrily. "I have a mouth ya know. If I want your help, I'll ask for it, aye?"
"Lucas, don't you start on Kate, now."
"Sorry Mrs. D, I just-OW! Kate, god damn it! What was that one for?"
Blasé. "Just felt like it."
"Beth, come on now, they're just playing-"
"Don't you start on me, Phillip."
Banging. Nervous silence.
"Lucas, get that sullen expression off your face. Kate, stop hitting Lucas and aggravating Beth. Phillip, Beth, keep your noses out of it. Am I clear?"
Murmured 'yes Bill's' and one 'yes gramps'.
Awkward silence. Sound of cutlery scraping.
"Anyone else want a beer? I want a beer. Luke, come with me to get some beer."
Sighing. "I dunno, Kate. I feel like shit."
"I still say we tink her roof. Get up 'ere, Blue. That's a girl. What'd she have to say?"
Pause. Sound of chatter and laughing from far away.
"She's sorry. She reckon's we weren't gonna make it. Says she thinks that I didn't even love 'er." Bitter laughter. "What an absolute joke. How stupid is that?"
"I dunno." Sip. "Did you even, Luke? 'Cause seems to me that even though you're pretty pissed right now, you're not really upset upset. I mean, if you loved her, you'd be a bit more shattered, wouldn't you?" Another sip. "Maybe I'm just talking shit, but I reckon that you're just muck-arsing around 'till you have to settle down. You've never really been the commitment type, have you?"
Whistling. "Jesus Christ. Of course I fuckin' loved her, you wag. Just not a cryin' sort of bloke. Stop that Blue, I'll rip ya tongue out if you keep at it."
Skeptically. "I see."
"Seriously. I did. Blue, I'll kick ya till you're dead if you don't stop that lickin'."
"Lucas... do you reckon anyone'll love me?"
"I mean, you know me. I'm violent, swear like a sailor, can't stand dressing up... blokes don't like that crap."
Scoffing. "C'mon Kate, you're alright."
"Yeah I know." Sadly. "But that's just it, isn't it?"
Retreating foosteps. Approaching footsteps. Whistling.
"What'd you say to Katie this time, Lucky? She was holding that long-neck like an axe." Creaking of chair. Scraping sound. "Always liked this old swinging chair. Y'know I built it when she was born. Thought she'd like it."
Chuckles. "Explains the pink then, aye Red?"
"Yeah, I didn't know she'd be this..."
"Stubborn? Manly? Strange?"
Quietly. "Amazing, Lucky. My daughter's amazing."
"I 'spose you're right, Red."
"'Spose I am. Man's gotta be right sometimes, doesn't he?"
Rooster croaking. Someone swearing. Dogs barking.
"What the bloody hell- Gramps, what's Harold doing in the dog shed?"
Yawning. "Morning Squirtles."
"Hey dad, Gramps has- oh for fuck's sake, you just had to come near me to do that, didn't you?"
Satisfied. "Yep. That's what me doctor gives me them pills for, child."
"You sicken me." Laughing. "Even Lucas has the decency not to let one rip right next to a girl." Sobering. "Fucking Luke."
"What did Lucky do this time?"
Sighing heavily. "Nothing. I just... I was pretty stupid. If I was fishing for compliments, Luke should've been the last one I asked, simple as that. I just thought I was kinda... well, that he kinda thought about me the way I think about him." Another sigh. Bellowing. "Gramps, let Kiwi out, I'm taking him into town for his shot this morning. Anyway dad, I was just being stupid. I should've known with Luke."
Grumbling. More barking. Hurried scampering noises.
"How's it hanging, Ki? Dad, what I'm trying to say is, I wanted him to say something nice about me, but he didn't, alright? I figured he might have thought I was at least a little bit pretty, y'know?"
"Squirt, you don't-"
"No, don't be a dick-head dad. I just wanted someone who wasn't a family member to tell me I was pretty. The last time that happened, I was having sex. Didn't count."
Hooting with laughter. "A-and then and then-" more laughter. "Then I'm trying to swerve to miss this tree, right and-" laughter resumes for a minute or so. Impatient tapping of nails. "And I bloody well just ran over it. Gramps looks at me like a stunned mullet at this sheep I just ran down and the stupid thing just gets up and runs off. I ran straight over it with the quad bike!"
More and more laughter.
"Jeeesus Kate, only you. Are you actually going to order a damn coffee, or just hold up the line?"
"C'mon Gigi, you're not busy. Jimmy's the only one in here and he's still talking to his mum's picture, like always."
Groaning. "Alright, alright. Now you didn't just come in here to tell me about your morning, did you?"
"You're right, as usual."
"Oh stop, I'm blushi-OW! Jesus Kate, you're going to fucking bruise me."
"You deserve it." Softer. "Do you reckon Luke loved her?"
"Huh? Come on, you and I both know that Lucky is the last person in the world to fall in love with someone like her. I dont think he's ever been in love and we've known him since we were five, obviously you more than me, but you get the picutre, eh? Lucky's not like that."
"I'm just... bothered."
Slyly. "Oh? Just bothered?"
"What?" Disbelieving. "You don't seriously think that I-"
Sing-song. "You're jealous because you want-OW! Jesus, you really are gonna give me a bruise!"
"Don't say another word Gigi O'Connor or I swear I will kick you until you're dead!"
"Okay, okay, okay, I surrender! Besides, you need to stop calling me O'Connor. It's been two years now."
Soberly. "Sorry, Gi. I forget, sometimes. Have you talked since last time?"
Flippantly. "You know him. He's in the city, he's got a new life now... it's all different. I need to move on and accept the fact that Erik made his decision. I mean it's not ideal but- wait a minute, you little arsehole! Don't turn this around on me!"
"Damn it, I thought I done it already." Sigh. Sheepishly. "Sorry about that. Luke's... well he's Lucas Redding. I never thought about it like that until I saw him like this. It's different to usual. He seems sadder. More reliant on me. It's weird. I just hope he really didn't love her. I mean, if he did, what chance to I have?"
"Erik O'Connor here."
"Mate, thank fuck, I've been trying ta reach ya for donkey's!"
"Luke? What do you want?"
"I've got a bit of a problem... see, you know your sister and I were... well, together. For a while."
"I'm aware, Lucky, yes." Dryly. "She was hysterical, you know. Funny how she thinks that it's still my problem."
"Look, mate, I know ya went arse over balls when you first got here and met Gigi-"
Stiffly. "What does she have to do with any of this?"
"Let me finish, ya knob. I know what ya were like about Gigi. I don't truthfully understand why ya left, but I'm not gonna start. But... how did that feel?"
Awkwardly. "How did it... feel. To think 'bout Gi like that?"
"Uh, look, Erik, mate... ya don't have ta tell me if it's awkward."
Suddenly. "When I met her, it was like I was just frustrated, turned on and amazed at the same time. She was like this light in the middle of the dark... I know it sounds ridiculous, but it was exactly like that. When I was near her, all my nerves were on the edge and all I wanted to do was please her. Then, when we were together... it was like coming home after being away for the longest time. I felt whole, happy, like there was a ball around us and no-one else could touch our life."
Another pause. Clearing of throat.
"So, uh... why did ya leave?"
"I realised that even though I felt that way, she didn't. She was distant suddenly, so quiet and I just knew that she'd fallen out of love with me. It hurt like shit, Lucky."
"Well, I guess... the reason I wanted ta know was 'cause I was wondering... how come I'm startin' to feel like home is exactly wherever Kate is?"
"Erik O'Connor here and if this is Lucas Redding, I'll come out there and strangle you."
Amused. "A visit wouldn't go astray, mate, fuckin' oath, we've all missed you." Loudly. "Luke called you?"
Wincing. "Yes, he did... this isn't about him, is it?"
"Nah, nah. Was it about Rhiannon?"
Tiredly. "A bit. Kate, seriously, is this just a nonsense call?"
"Not at all. I'll be serious. It's about Gi."
"She misses you, Erik. So much. But that's not really it either. It's... I'm worried about her. I mean, before you left the whole baby thing had spun her out-"
"What?" Sharply. "What baby?"
Puzzled. "The baby. Yours and Gi's?"
"We never..." Faltering. Clearing of throat. "She was pregnant?"
"Shit!" Muttered cursing. "You mean you didn't know? Six months before you left she got pregnant, three months after that she lost it, three months after that you left? Ringing any bells, Erik?"
"She never told me." Brokenly. "She didn't love me enough to tell me that I guess."
"I'm sure there was a reason, Er, I mean I know she was so shattered-"
"Then why didn't she tell me?"
Whistling. "Ki, let's pack it in boy-o."
Car horn. Engine cutting.
Grimly. "Luke. You can wind your window up and keep driving. I'm busy."
"C'mon Kate, why're ya bein' so shirty?"
"Look, I'm just fed up with you leaning on me all the time, every time this shit happens. You go for a girl like Rhiannon, typical pretty-skinny-bitch, get trampled on and expect me to always be there." Sighing. "I have to say, "no mate, there's nothing wrong with you" but you never-" Stopping abruptly.
Door creaking open, then slamming.
"I never what, Kate? Come on, say it."
"You never tell me anything nice, Luke! It's always just "done good, Kate"." Mouth snapping shut.
Bewildered. "What am I s'posed to say?"
Sadly. "If the immediate response doesn't come to mind..."
"Fuck off, Kate, don't ya know what I think of ya?" Frustrated. "Do you just want me to treat ya like just another chick?"
"I'd bloody well like it if you would once in a blue moon! I've got no idea where I stand with you half the time!"
Haltingly. "It's... I just... it's hard to tell ya this Kate... fuck, I don't know what to say. I just... you're not like Rhiannon or Shaz or Fi."
"I hope not."
"Let me finish woman!"
"Look, you're short, built like a brick shit house-"
Taken aback. "What?"
"Well, I mean, you're definitely not as glamorous as 'em, right? But-"
"I've heard enough Luke. Get in your ute."
"Get in the fucking ute!"
Door creaking open, then slamming. Window squeaking down.
"Look Kate, won't ya at least- are you cryin', Kate?"
"Luke, seriously, fuck off."
3 Weeks Later
"I can't believe out of everyone you've taken so long to get engaged!"
"Yeah Viv, with all your Jane Austen nonsense it's actually taken you five years to actually do this shit."
"At least you still have the record, Kate. Gigi, you can't really talk, getting married at twenty. At least I waited until I was past uni!"
"Speaking of which..."
"Alright, alright, all I was sayin' is that you should go over and talk to him! Me and Viv can occupy ourselves."
"Like you're one to talk! You and Lucky still-"
"Don't you even go there!"
"Good to see you still have your volume, Kate. Congratulations Vivian. Hello, Gigi."
Kate and Viv in unison: "Hi Erik!"
"Shall we just leave you two alone?"
"Come on Viv, let's plow, catch ya 'round Er."
Quietly. "I heard Kate told you. I didn't mean for it to come out like that."
Accusingly. "You were never going to tell me, were you?"
"I... well no, but why the fuck would you even care? You were always busy." Pause. "I don't even know why you married me."
Shocked. "You think I wouldn't care, Gigi? That I don't love you?"
"Love me? There's a joke if I ever heard one! You may have thought you loved me, but we both know that everything came before me."
Loudly. "Of course I loved you, and I still do!" Whispers. Hushed giggles. "Gigi, I've always loved you, more than you know."
Pause. Brokenly. "Then- then why...?"
Tenderly. "Why what, sweet-heart?"
"Why did you let me go?"
"Because I thought that's what you wanted. I only ever wanted to make you happy. I thought I was the one that made you like that."
"Never." Stronger. "Never ever, Er."
Kissing noises. Whistling, clapping, cheering and laughter.
Spluttering. "Fuck! Luke, what the hell? Did you really have to make me spit my beer all over the bar?"
"You... why haven't ya been around?"
Stonily. "Why would you care, Luke? All I am is your bloody leaning post when you need one."
"I know I've treated ya like that-" Scoffing. "Okay, okay, this isn't... Kate, I don't know why, but for some reason I really wanna kiss ya. Right here and now. Even with that pissed of face and beer all over your tits, I wanna kiss ya."
Hesitantly. "Kate, I wanna kiss ya. For the rest of my life, I wanna kiss ya, because even though you're just like a bloke and the last time someone tried it on, ya decked them, I want ya."
Exploding. "Since when? Since bloody when, Luke? When you're insulting me, when you're calling me a man? Why now?"
"Since I realised that you're better. Than anyone. Since I made ya feel like shit and cry. Since I know that if I lost ya, I'd regret it because you're my best friend and I love ya."
"Look, Luke, you're just fu- mmph! Oh. Well that... well..."
Devilishly. "You were sayin'?"
"I love you too, Lucky."
"That's what I-OW! Kate! Did ya have to punch me? You're a classy woman, ya know that don't ya?"
Fondly. "Yeah Lucky. Only for you."