My first story upload, enjoy!
The thump of the bass was clear long before I walked down the road. As I neared the entrance I slipped on my heels and twisted my ankle over. I swore as my bare knees grazed the tarmac, but got up and dusted myself down before the heavies at the door could spot me and ban me from entering for being drunk. I slung my bag back over my shoulder and sauntered over to the doormen, giving them my best film-star smile before slipping behind them and into the club.
This was it. My chance to once and for all forget about Tom. He was my best friend. He was my love. And it was clear he didn't want me. It was time to forget about him. I went up to the bar and rested my bag upon the countertop. A man with expensively white teeth smiled down at me. I ordered and was about to fish my purse out of my bag when a voice from behind me said "I'll get this one, Jez." I turned around to look into the blue eyes of a tallish blond male, perhaps mid-twenties. He was good looking, and he certainly knew it. "Never mind," I thought. "You'll do. It's not like we're going to do much talking." I smiled, faintly nervous at what I knew I was soon to do…
I picked up my drink and turned around to face the man, so that my elbows were resting on the bar behind me and my bust was pushed forwards to give maximum impact in my flimsy Bodycon. "So ya gonna tell me ya name then?" I slurred, trying to get myself into the mindset of a girl who regularly goes clubbing and then out on a one-night stand.
"I'm Paul. And you? No, wait! Lemme guess; I'm phenomenal at guessing names…" He studied me, as if somehow I had my name written on me and all he had to do was find it. Finally, he smiled. "Easy. That'd be Catherine." I laughed and he smiled back. "Just a little talent of mine. So, you come here often, Ila?"
I went to shake my head, only to slow and stare at him. Catherine had been way off, but without me even mentioning that it was wrong, he'd got it right. I'd always had to live with the fact that I had an unusual name that no one had, nor did anyone know how to pronounce it when they learnt it. But suddenly, this guy, Paul, had guessed it. "How on earth did you do that?"
"Easy. It's the eyes." At the confusion in my eyes, he continued. "Well, you see, people with boring names usually have dull eyes; the ones with more exotic names have a certain sparkle to them. And then if the eyes look happy, it is probably a well-known name, or the same as a celebrity. A sad look means that it is an unknown name, perhaps not well chosen by the parents." He paused to take a sip from the beer he had been clutching. "I could see the sparkling sadness. So I knew it had to be different, but unusual. And then I saw the dress. I mean, how Turkish are you planning on going?" I smiled. So much for losing me tonight. I looked to the floor and shook my head.
"You're very beautiful. D'you know that?" My eyes snapped back to his face. My heartbeat quickened and my breath slowed. No one had ever said that to me before. Never. For something to do to break the tension, I turned to put my glass back on the bar and when I turned back around again, he was right next to me. I looked up at him as he ducked his head to meet my lips. I was drowning. I felt like all the bones in my legs had been removed as my knees started to go weak. I met his lips halfway and we kissed tenderly for a few beautiful seconds until he was pulled away from me and my cheek met the palm of a jealous girlfriend.
Giving up on hanging around the bar for someone to find me, I joined the hoards of people of the dance floor. This had to be easier. Surely no one would be in a relationship and dancing on their own? And even if they were, dancing with someone is a lot less dangerous than sticking your tongue down their throat. Perhaps. I'll just let the beat take me.
It had been twenty minutes of moving to the thumping of the base and I hadn't even seen a smile from the far end of the floor. Just my luck. I got myself another drink and just sat, watching everyone else. It seemed everyone else had a date. There were girls showing everything off in ultra low-cut scoop neck t-shirts and particularly tight miniskirts. The men were being shameless with their hands and were, at every opportunity, loosening the bra straps of their victims. I just sat, and watched.
By the fifth drink, my inhibitions lost, I got back on the floor and, embracing the flashing lights and heavy strobe, let loose. I flung my arms out, stamped my feet and shook my head to let my hair fly like a child's monkey drum: backwards and forwards, up and down, left and right. I felt a hand snake around my waist and, with a blurry mind, shimmied up to the tall, dark-haired stranger. I smiled up at him, giving him all he wanted, and more. Why not? There was no reason to make him beg for me - he can just have me!
My arms wrapped around his neck, I swayed, although not to the music - I was far too drunk to pick up on any beat. My knees buckled from underneath me and suddenly I was sprawled on the floor with the man on top of me. I didn't care who was watching. I wanted to escape. Now. NOW. As he tried to struggle off of me I grabbed him closer and hastily started unbuttoning his jeans, fiddling with the zip. He struggled more and I briefly lost my strength for jut long enough for him to push away from me. He stood above me and looked down, disgusted. A waitress came over to help me to my feet, taking my full weight as she nudged me to a bar seat.
I sat at the bar, feeling very sorry for myself. I was slumped over my drink, staring at the ice as if just by looking at it, I could make it suddenly burst into flames. I heard someone sit down next to me, their breath on my arms as they leant forwards to stare into my glass with me. I didn't catch a glimpse of him. Well, I could have done. But I don't remember. We were both blind drunk, and I don't think either of us expected what happened next.
He took one of my hands off of my glass and took it in his. "You fancy comin' roun' mine for tonight?" His voice had no accent, merely a heavy drunken slur. I got up and, as he did the same, I leant my head on his shoulder, drifting slowly off to a land of clouds and pink candyfloss. He propped me up, resting a guiding arm around my waist, before dragging me out, and into the cool, early morning air. Within five minutes we reached his front door, and another half minute after that, we were both lying naked on his double bed.
I awoke in a strange room. The curtains were royal blue, and were pulled just far enough apart for a stream of sunlight to create a pool on the black bed. My clothes were strewn across the floor on this side of the bed. I saw my bra hanging precariously on the arm of a chair, sitting right above a pair of male pants. I almost laughed. I'd finally done it. I'd gotten over Tom. He was a thing of the past. A beautiful, but impossible thing. He and I were never going to happen. It was clear, oh so clear now. I had been kidding myself for months. Years! The happiness still settled on my face, I turned to properly view the man who had taken the pain away. I froze and my smile disintegrated. Tom.
He stirred and I froze, wary of waking him, but instead he simply rolled over to face the other way. Silently, I sat up, my head thumping with the hangover from the previous night, and slid out of the bed. I pulled my pants on and did up the clasp on my bra. I rapidly grabbed my dress and put it on, before snatching my heels and escaping from the room, passing his side of the bed and glancing back at him before I shut the door behind me. I didn't feel the relief that I craved, simply dread, and a strange sense of disappointment. Mostly, I felt the burden return that I had tried so hard to smother. I had never stopped loving him. Never.
I spied the bathroom door and crept inside, quickly checking my face and splashing cold water on it before leaving the room again and making my quiet way downstairs. Three steps from the bottom, I heard a creaking floorboard behind me and I span around to see a handsome male wearing only a pair of jeans. Shit. Tom.
"Ila. Um, hey…." He struggled to find the right words for this odd situation. I added to the awkwardness by picking this as the ideal time to discover that my dress was on inside-out and was revealing far more than I had previously thought. "You were leaving? Without saying goodbye?" His words shocked me: they were not at all what I was expecting from him.
"I was, erm, hoping I could leave without waking you. I didn't think you'd want to... realise it was me." Much to my surprise, he smiled.
"I realized it was you as soon as we got back here last night. I realized and it was the best surprise of my life." I still didn't move, just gaping up at him.
"Cup of tea?"
Ten minutes later I was sitting on the leather sofa in his lounge, grabbing on to my mug and trying very hard not to drop it. I was perched at the edge of the seat and leaning forward. This was Tom. Tom: the boy who I had loved for seven long years. Tom: the boy who said he didn't love me back. Tom: the boy who I had slept with the previous night. I wasn't going to miss a word.
"So I guess you're pretty confused, huh?" He broke the earthy silence between us so gently; it was as if he had dipped an oar into a pool to cut through it so that he was metres closer to his destination. But I couldn't answer. How could I? He was Tom. I was Ila. And I was dreaming.
"Ila, look. I'm… I'm sorry. I guess I didn't really understand what love meant. It always seemed to be dramatic and over the top, like something you might find in the latest blockbuster film, and not in real life. But, when you left me, when you left my life, I felt it. Everything I though I knew suddenly seemed fake, and there was only one thing I knew: I loved you. And then, when you didn't come back, I knew that I had wasted my chance. I still have. I'm sorry, you don't want to hear this-" He broke off and stood up at this point, hurriedly putting his cup down on the coffee table with such force that some sloshed out, scalding a newspaper. "I'm sorry for waiting until it was too late-"
"Tom. Stop talking." He looked at me, puzzled. "I, too, am sorry for leaving. For cutting off all methods of communication. For promising to forget about you. To try and move on." He sat back down again, the sofa crinkling as his weight met it. "Last night. That was me trying to forget about you. To once and for all get you out of my mind, out of here…" My hand reached up to my chest and tapped my heart. I was thankful that I'd been able to change and had managed to put the dress on the correct way around this time. I met his eyes, but they weren't looking at where my hand was. Instead, they were staring at my face, at my lips. The yearning in his eyes was almost unbearable. I needed him. I needed the truth.
"What happened last night? And why do you suddenly feel so different about me?"
"Last night - I went to the club to get a drink and to relax. It was the first time I'd been out in months. I had come to realise that you weren't coming back. So I thought I'd just have a good time, and if the mood took me, I'd find a girl to get over you with. I'd never done anything like that before. Infact…" He paused and looked slightly embarrassed. "Until last night, I was a virgin. You don't understand what I was-"
"But… you knew it was me?"
"No. Not until we… we made love." He shuffled forwards on the sofa so he could stare at his hands. "I knew you were looking for company. I knew I was. So I decided to take you home. And thank God I did, else you'd have walked away again, without me even realising it."
I had heard enough. I stood up, mug still in hand. "I am tired of playing, Tom. You could have had me at any time for five years. But you didn't. You pushed me away. Time and time again, my heart got smashed, my dreams battered so much that they were almost recognisable. It's too convenient. I'm sorry." I left the room before he could stop me, dropping my cup on a table in the hallway, and opening the front door. It slammed and before I could come to my senses I was thrust up against it, hands stroking my ears, and lips nibbling my cheek. In a wave of ecstasy I closed my eyes, letting the roving tongue do its work. Soon, it wasn't enough, and I found my hands tugging at his crisp white shirt, undoing the buckle on his belt, tugging at the zip pull on his jeans. My mouth was as eager as his, our tongues meeting to dance joyously. He broke away to gaze into my eyes, melting me and making me lose any doubts, his eyes showing a pure love for the person in front of him. He took my hand in his and led me upstairs…