I woke up to see Flossie watching me with gentle eyes; I smiled at her and noticed that I was holding A in my arms as if she were my kid or something. I shuffled her slowly to one side and set her down, I was beginning to think that the other two were suspecting something and so I had to keep my wares about me. I sat next to Floss and put my arm around her – perhaps if I acted this way with both girls, they’d think it normal?
“What are you doing?” she asked shrugging my arm off, obviously that plan failed,
“You looked lonely,” I whispered,
“I looked normal, it’s you and A who are snuggling up to each other,”
“And Si and Lou by the look of it,” I nodded my head towards them, Floss’ barrier broke and she smiled resting her head on my shoulder.
“We really shouldn’t be friends,” she muttered,
“How come?”I asked surprised,
“Well the laws of social etiquette states that…well…that you shouldn’t want to hang round with me,”
“I’m lost,” I admitted,
“Someone like you shouldn’t enjoy the company of someone like me,”
“Someone like me? What am I like?” I asked,
“You get the girls, you’re like the hottest guy I know, you obey the rules of stereotypes and then there’s me, we’re incompatible,”
“Yet here we are,” I said quietly, my voice so low that it vibrated,
“Here we are,” Floss took my hand and began to draw pictures on my palm with her finger,
“I don’t want to obey the rules of stereotypes,” I muttered, “I want to be different, prove that I can be in a long term relationship,”
“Is that why you want to date A? To prove to us that you are looking for a long-term relationship,”
“No! I want…wait, what am I saying? I don’t want to date A! I never said that…” I muttered going red, luckily it was Floss was too small to see my face unless she craned her neck.
“You can’t fool everyone,”
“She’s just a friend, like you are,” I whispered letting my cheek rest on Floss’ head. A stirred in her sleep, she stretched and then opened her eyes, she looked around the van and her eyes fell on us, she blinked and then sat up. Floss’ eyes were closed and so she didn’t notice this, I lifted my head up and smiled mischievously.
“I don’t understand you,” A hissed, Floss’ eyes opened and she sat up. I got off the bench and went to the front to offer to drive, I wanted to avoid A’s glares.
“Si,” I shook him awake, “I’ll take the wheel, you go and get comfy further back, why didn’t you sleep in the beds?” I asked, Si just shrugged and climbed through the gap into the back of the van, Lou followed sleepily. I climbed into the driver’s seat, checked the time 6am, revved the engine and set off. At 6:30 I peered into the rear-view mirror and noticed everyone had fallen asleep again – apart from A, our eyes met, she got up and marched to the front, she climbed through and took her seat next to me.
“If we were back home I’d ignore you and probably not talk to you for weeks, but as we’re stuck in a van together which is the size of a small bathroom I can’t ignore you, so here it goes…” she took a sharp breath in and looked into her lap, “For a second, just a second, I thought you liked me and so now I feel like a complete idiot for letting my guard down,”
“Aimee…” I began,
“Let me finish,” she snapped quietly, “the thing is Harry, people like you never change, ‘once a player, always a player’ as the saying goes. I just wished I hadn’t fallen into your trap, making me feel as though you actually cared about me. But do me a favor, don’t bother turning on your charm for me or Flo, we’re not interested…” before I could say another word A had disappeared back into the van, I sighed heavily and looked back into the mirror but she was lying facedown on the bed, so I decided I’d talk to her privately later. Was I really such a typecast guy? Could I never escape the stereotype of being a player? Perhaps she was right, ‘once a player always a player’, perhaps all this was, was a crush, something I’d get over as soon as a hotter girl walked passed. Thing was, I couldn’t imagine anyone being hotter than A… I decided not to act on my feelings until I was sure they were stuck in cement, the last thing I wanted to do was hurt A.
I rounded a corner and slammed on the breaks, across the whole road was a blockade of police vehicles, trucks, cars and motorcycles. There was a thump in the back as someone fell out their bed, there were mumbles of annoyance and Si came to the front. “Dude…” he muttered wiping his eyes, he put on his glasses and his eyes widened. I had already got the van into reverse, the sirens were turned on and as I did a quick U-turn in the road I knew we couldn’t outrun them. I quickly moved up the gears, taking glances every second into the back mirrors…they were catching up fast. I pushed the van to 80mph but I knew the police cars were able to do 120mph and the motorbikes almost 180mph. The engine roared as my foot pushed the gas pedal to the floor, Si continued to give me guidance and updates on the cars catching up.
“We’re going to die!” A screamed as the van wobbled,
“Don’t be so pessimistic!” I called back,
“Don’t talk! Concentrate!” Flossie demanded,
“Use me as a hostage!” Lou burst,
“What?” Si asked,
“Use me, point a gun to my head, do whatever, we will never be able to outrun these guys,” I took my foot off the accelerator, Lou was right, three cars had already overtaken us and they had pulled in front to slow us down. I carefully braked and stopped the car on the side of the road,
“Si, you point the gun at Lou, girls you stay here. I’ll do the talking,” I said getting out.