Oh my God I did not just say that. Why? Why would I say something like that? You can't say that in a church! What kind of person says that? Oh my God Melanie you're such an idiot. You just had to go and say something totally inappropriate and weird out Sparx. God I hope he's not too weirded out. Who am I to criticise his beliefs anyway? It's not like I'm the most devout person in the world. Oh God I bet he thinks I'm a proper evangelist now doesn't he? Jesus I'm such a hypocrite. I mean, just in this last train of thought I've taken the lord's name in vain, like, a hundred times. Oh. My. God.
Okay, just to be clear I'm not a huge believer. I mean I believe in being neighbourly and treating people right. Do as you would have done unto yourself and all that. General courtesy. I believe in being nice I guess?
I mean it's never bothered me that Sparx isn't religious. It still doesn't. I don't think that I was really objecting to him being... un-religious. I guess being brought up going to church just taught me to show a sort of reverence in churches. So I guess I was just a bit shocked by his... irreverence. That's all. To be fair he was just being a boy. Loud, a bit stupid. Sparx, you stupid boy.
Seriously, how embarrassing? Having about five hundred randoms suddenly glare at you because your friend just smashed a candelabra and screamed "OH S(ugar) WE'RE STANDING ON GRAVES" or something like that. Erica's touristy excitement was acceptable because... she's a tourist. It's allowed. To swear at the top of your lungs in Notre Dame of all places... not acceptable. Not even a little.
I rubbed my crucifix with my finger. It was comforting. I wore it mainly because it reminded me of home. It was a family thing. I felt like it kept me safe.
Walking and thinking isn't always a good idea. You tend to miss things. Like red lights and busses.
I screamed as I was hauled back from the road, faces in the windows of the passing bus whizzing inches from my nose. I collapsed backwards. I could feel my heart like a pair of wings beating in my throat. I was breathing fast.
"Mademoiselle? Are you hurt? Please look where you are going ok?" It was a French man. A French man was holding me in his arms, supporting my weight. I think he'd just saved my life...
"Oui... uh... merci..." I think I got the accent a bit wrong Sparx.
"Thankyou, we'll look after her now." That was Ethan's voice.
"Ah bon. De rien, mademoiselle."
"Oh my God Mels, he is so hot. Serious envy." Erica sighed after the stranger's back whilst teasing me. "Mels? Mels are you ok? You're really pale."
"She's in shock I think." That was Ethan again. He had a very calm voice. "Mels, it's okay. You're safe now. Listen to our voices ok? You're safe."
I was still breathing. Breathing fast. Breathing.
"Come on Mels, we're going to sit down ok? We're in the way here." My body didn't seem to respond to my command to move. "Guys help me move her. Mels, we need you to come with us right now ok? Nice and easy, take it slowly, just relax."
"Ok Mels, I'm going to make up for letting you walk all that way the other day."
"Sparx, I don't think that's a good-"
Sparx bent and picked me up and carried me over to a bench set back from the road. Okay... this is... nice.
Erica was flapping all over the place once I was set down on the bench.
"Oh God Mels, Mels are you okay? I had no idea you'd gone into shock, I wasn't being really nasty and uncaring back there oggling a French dude while you were hurt, he wasn't even that hot anyway, well he kinda was but are you okay Mels? Talk to me talk to me-"
"Erica, don't talk to her so fast, you'll panic her, make it worse." Ethan wasn't really making much of a difference, but he was trying.
"And, oh my God Melanie, Mels, Melanie, please be okay!" Erica pulled me into a hug. And everything slowed down from there. Slower. Easier. Oh my God I almost just died. And was saved by a French guy. And Ethan knows how to deal with shock. And Erica is flapping. And Sparx carried me. Wow.
I breathed long and deep.
"'Ca, not too tight please. You're hurting my-"
"Oh! Sorry! Oh Melanie!" And she hugged me again. A bit more gently this time. Ethan and Sparx stood around awkwardly in the background.
"I'm okay now 'Ca, really." I laughed a little. "I forgive you for oggling the French dude. I'm really starving though. Weren't we getting lunch?"
"Now that is a good idea." Sparx agreed heartily.
"Yes, it's good to eat after going into shock. It helps with the adrenaline dump." Ethan added his second opinion.
"Okay, whatever, lets just go get something to eat before our favourite airhead has another near death experience!" Erica was back to her teasing self again. "Seriously though, that French guy was hot..."
I smiled and we started walking again. I realised my hand hurt and I loosened my grip. I had been clutching my crucifix. Well, maybe it did keep me safe after all.