I fall forward leaning on my knees as I try to catch my breath. I wipe down my shirt and jean then begin to walk slowly through the park. I swear this place is my only escape these days. It’s a small park which has a path going through it which leads to the main part of town where you get not only a mass of shops but also a theatre where several bands have played. I wander over to it now and find the walls covered with large posters about this new rock sensation.

Back before I dated Marcus I use to listen to rock all the time. In fact before he turned into a dooshbag he took me to a few concerts before turning round and yelling at me that the music was crap and that he’d never waste money on the shit again.

It had hurt when he’d yelled at me like that but I’d held my tongue like I always have. Before it was because I loved him but now its cause I don’t want to go to the hospital with another broken bone. The looks I get when I go in and the adoring looks he gets when he brings me flowers begging me to come home is horrible. It’s like he’s the saint and I’m the filth that is pimping out the person they say they ‘love’.

Of course, I don’t believe him these days. I’d have to be a right idiot to even hope that. I turn away from the posters not bothering to catch the name and wander off just as some girls go rushing up to the posters.

“Oh my god!” one squeals grasping the hand of the other. “I can’t believe he’s coming here”

“We have to get tickets” another says.

“Agreed” the third says nodding vigorously allowing me to confirm that even if I did still go to concerts that would definitely not be one. I hated the fan girl crowds so I had avoided the really popular concerts like the plague.

I wander off towards the coffee shop and dig out the few pounds I’d sneaked out buying myself a latte and a vegetable pastry before walking back to the park. I slump onto the bench and close my eyes tight digging into the food trying to imagine I’m back on my first date with Marcus.

He had taken me to the exact same coffee shop and bought me the exact same things I had got. Then we’d come here to the park and sat on one of these benches before snuggling up together. Tears began to fall down my face at the memory and soon I had to put down my food to dig a tissue out of my bag to wipe my tears.

“Are you alright?” a young guy asks as he sits down beside me. I wipe the rest of my tears and nod picking up my pastry and digging into it. “I don’t think such a beautiful lady should cry”

“What if she has a reason to cry?” I whisper digging my fingers into the pastry to stop the tears flowing all over again. The guy laughs and leans back.

“You got me there” he grins. I don’t reply and instead take a deep bite out of my pastry feeling the guy’s eyes on me as I do so. “My name’s Jack by the way” he holds out his hand and I glance at it nervously before shaking it.

“Katlyn” I reply. 

“Beautiful name for a beautiful girl” Jack grins. A blush flushes over my cheeks and I finish off my pastry before quickly grabbing my latte. “Wanna talk about why you were crying?”

“It’s personal” I mutter slipping an arm over my stomach hugging it like I can hold back all the pain but this Jack just watches me like he’s waiting. So with a heavy sigh I give in. “I have a shitty life, a shitty house and a shitty job”

“So just a general shitty life?” Jack chuckles.

“Yeah” I say and down the rest of my coffee. 

“Why not try and do something about it?”

“Because of my boyfriend” I whisper almost so quiet that Jack barely hears. For a moment I wish he hadn’t heard. In fact I wish he hadn’t sat next to me at all and had chosen the next bench. He should have seen a broken girl and moved off like I meant nothing which is the truth.

Jack tilts his head again probably an odd little quirk of his that I have begun to take notice of and taps a finger against his lips. “Love is a difficult situation” he hums.

“Tell me about it” I mutter swinging my legs back and forth in an attempt to distract myself. My mind wanders to all those time where I think I see a sparkle in Marcus’ eye when he looks at me but the next moment its gone replaced by rage for not doing as asked.

I turn my head to find Jack’s eyes upon me. “Well, maybe I can help?” he says slowly.

“I hardly doubt it” 

“Really? Who’s your boyfriend? I know a lot of the people round this area”

“Marcus Sanders” I say kick at the grass. “Know him” 

Jack blinks. “Wait, you’re that Katlyn?” he laughs. “Man I’ve been friends with Marcus since he was born I never thought when he said he got a girl that she’d be as pretty as you”

“Have you seen Marcus?” I grumble now annoyed. Just another one of Marcus’ dumb friends that will probably cave in and pay for a shag if he hasn’t got a girl.

“Yeah but he’s a sleazebag” he chuckles then pulling out a fag. “Want one?”

I nod and he hands me one before lighting us both up. “Wish you’d been one of his mates when I’d met him. At least your honest”

“Hmm” Jack’s eyes run up and down my body before back to my face. My stomach churns repulsed and I can’t help but think ‘I told you so’. “What has he got you doing then?”

I look away and take a deep drag of my fag tasting the weed threaded in it. “I think you know” I whisper unable to look at anything but the ground as I reply. I feel Jack’s fingers in my hair then and I look up to meet his dark eyes which sparkle with a hint of a cheeky attitude.

“How much?”

“Depends on what you’re asking for?” I answer. “I usually just nick everything in the man’s wallet”

Jack chuckles and leans back removing his finger from my hair as he takes a deep drag of his fag. “He trained you well didn’t he? Bet he’s got you wrapped round his little finger, huh?”

I bite back the snappy comment and take a deep drag of my fag before flicking it to the ground. I get up and grind it out with my heel. “I’m not his fucking play thing” I snap finally before stalking off.

The End

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