“I'm not even mad, you know? I guess I always knew this time was coming. Me and Nate couldn't last forever. You didn't cause the end; you just made me realize it. Thank you.” Hannah said, tears brimming in her green eyes, she then turned and walked away from me at an unnaturally quick pace.
I felt my heart plummet from my chest and rest somewhere by my toes, what had I done? A stupid drunken mistake had cost me my best friend … but was it a mistake? Nate and I had known each other for years and there had always been a connection, I was able to be myself around Nate and we had always been so close he had almost been like a brother to me. So why did that kiss not feel awkward? Why did it feel natural? I had always seen Nate like a brother to me so why then did that kiss feel right?
Had that drunken kiss stirred some feeling for Nate which I had long ago locked away when he had got with Hannah? I had never felt like this about Nate before. I was confused.
Questions buzzed around my head as I walked slowly home, unanswered questions, some of which I wasn’t sure I wanted answering. That kiss had cost me Hannah’s friendship and I would do anything to turn back time and stop myself from kissing Nate!
As I walked I glanced down at the beach and saw a fight had broken out and it looked that it was Tyler who had caused it, I heard shouting from Tyler and what looked like the tourist Charlie being dragged away by his two friends. The fight looked like it was being dealt with and there was no need for me to get involved so I averted my eyes and heading home.
I texted Nate when I got home;
‘Spoke to Hannah earlier, she is still pretty mad. There was a fight at the beach involving Tyler and one of the tourists, the tourist had a bloodied nose after scrapping with Tyler about him being a tourist … I prefer not being labelled as a tourist hater so i went home. Jane xx’
When Nate didn’t text back I assumed that he too must be confused over what had happened the previous night and decided not to press on the matter by text , instead I grabbed my coat and headed back to the beach to see if Nate was still there, if i was going to sort this out it had to be face to face.
I reached the beach just as night was drawing in, a beach fire had been started and people were relaxing by it with bottles of beer clutched in their hands. I slipped un-noticed into the crowd of people and scanned my eyes for Nate. Alot of the people who had been here earlier when the fight had broken out were still here including - I felt a pang as I saw her - Hannah and sat with Tyler.
I couldn't spot Nate anywhere however and so sat myself down near a couple of the tourists who I recognised as Charlie and Stewart - Jade was busy mingling with the locals and toasting a marshmellow on the fire.
"Hey" I said sitting down next to Stewart.
"Hi, Jane isnt it?" I asked after a moments pause.
"Yeah" I said with a warm smile back at him, I liked him - he seemed to be one of those guys who you could open up to even if you hardly knew him, I guessed it to be his friendly laid back persona.
"I see your nose is okay now" I said turning to look at Charlie whose nose, although clear of blood still looked brused and red.
"Yeah, if i hadnt have been pulled away I could have knocked his block off though" he said.
We chatted for a while and the night grew steadily darker until the only way it was possible to see was from the light from the fire which illuminated everything in the immediate area quite brightly.
It wasn't until an argument broke out that I looked up and spotted that Nate had arrived and he was currently having a blazing row with Tyler and Hannah.
"I'll be back soon" I said to Stewart and Charlie before getting slowly to my feet and edging closer to the arguement so that i could eavesdrop.
“I gave you so many chances Nate to come and apologize for not trusting me, but instead you stayed your own stubborn self. What was I supposed to think? That you still loved me?”
“I do still love you!” Nate insisted,
“You kissed my best friend!” Hannah almost screamed,
“It was a drunken mistake,” he yelled back,
“Is that what you think?” I said without thinking, stepping out from where I was standing and glaring at Nate.
“Stay out of this Jan,” Nate said darkly. “It's nothing to do with you.”
“I won't stay out of this!” she cried, “God you're both so blind!”
“What do you mean?” Hannah asked,
“Can't you see, Nate, that Hannah didn't sleep with Tyler? She was telling the truth the whole time but because you accused her, you made her feel this big...” I made a gesture with her fingers my finger and thumb almost touching, “... Your driving her away from you and towards Tyler!”
“I don't know what made you think you were the relationship dictator,” Nate growled, “but that's all a load of bull. How I see it is that Hannah slept with Tyler, lied to me about it, made me feel this big,” he copied my gesture, “and then went and rubbed it in my face,”
“We didn't sleep together!” Hannah cried in sincerity, “Tell them Tyler!” There was a moment of tension as Tyler stood up and wiped the sand off his short, “Tell them!” Hannah urged.
“On the night of my party Hannah and I...slept together.” My mouth dropped in surprise, as did Hannah's and Nates but his face was also contored with rage. Hannah turned round and slapped Tyler in the face.
“I'm not,” Tyler held up his hands, “it was the best sex ever, our hot naked bodies...” Nate couldn't take it anymore and threw a punch which hit Tyler square in the jaw.
Tyler stumbled backwards but regained his balance quickly before lunging at Nate.
“Fight! Fight! Fight!” The guy with dreads began to cheer,
“The difference between you and me?” Nate said holding Tyler in a headlock, “You're intoxicated with alcohol and I'm not.” He shoved Tyler towards the sand and he landed with a thud,
“Stop it! Stop it!” I yelled running forward and grabbing Nate's arm in an attempt to stop him fighting with Tyler but my attempt was in vain and Nate shoved me off him.
“The difference between you and me?” Tyler asked spitting blood into the sand,
“You're bleeding and I'm not?” Nate offered,
“Is that I play dirty!” He scrambled up and ran towards the fire, he reached towards it and pulled out a branch which had one end burning and the other not. He waved it towards Nate, Nate took a step back. “Oh now you're scared?”
“Tyler,” Hannah warned, “Put it down,”
“We're playing dirty are we?” Nate asked, he picked up a bottle of beer and smashed it on a rock. “Bring it.”
Tyler brought the stick up above his head and slashed it down five inches in front of Nate's face but Nate was so enraged that he didnt even flinch.
“Stop!” the small tourist girl cried running forward, “This isn't helping anything!” Tyler however pushed her out of the way and she fell hard onto the broken glass, Charlie and Stewart helped her away.
I watched helplessly as Tyler and Nate tore chunks out of one another, neither one of them caring whether or not they killed the other. I kept shouting at them to stop but to no avail, then what happened next would haunt me forever. The flames from the once safely contained fire licked the razor thin grass of the dunes and the fire began to spread. It reached the towns beloved pier in no time and slowly the flames began licking the wood, slowing burning it to ashes.
I ran for it, terrified and fightened climbing into my bed the moment I got home and closing my eyes tight despirate for it all to be a dream and it had never happened .... but knowing that it had.
My alarm clock buzzed at half seven the next morning and I unwillingly forced myself out of bed, the cold air biting my skin and my bed looking back at me willing me to climb back into it and go back to sleep. It’s the summer holidays why does anyone have to be up this early!
By nine o’clock standing in the cool ice cream parlour being instructed on how to serve the customers, I wasnt really paying much attention, my mind kept wandering back to the events of the previous night.
“When a customer comes in wanting ice cream, the first thing you ask them is whether they are eating in or taking out.” I nodded in understanding, “If they are eating in then you put three scoops of their chosen ice cream into a bowl, but if they want to take the ice cream away with them you ask them which type of cone they want, small medium or large.” My boss indicated at the different types of cones.
“They can also choose whether they want a chocolate cone or a plane cone” he added.
“Right I think I get it” I said with a small reassuring smile,
“I am sure you will pick it up very quickly Jane” he replied.
The bell on the door of the shop tinkled and a customer walked in, accept it wasn’t a customer it was that girl I had met at Tyler’s party.
“Rhea” I said quite suprised, “not seen you since Tyler’s party, you okay?” I asked trying to make conversation so that i didnt have to think about the fire the previous night.
Rhea seemed a little more introvert than she had been at the party and seemed reluctant to engage in conversation with me but gave me a smile before leaning over the counter and talking to my boss.
“Mr Winters, my name is Rhea – I applied for the summer job a while ago and you rang me telling me that I could have the job”
“Ah yes Rhea” he said
“The thing is, something has happened back at home and I have to go home and I wont be returning, I am really sorry for wasting your time,” she said before turning and leaving the shop.
Nothing much really happened after that, the shop was quiet(ish), customers coming in waves, most of them taking their ice creams with them so they could enjoy the sunshine.
Well, I say nothing much happened after Rhea … apart from when that boy I had met at the beach came into the shop.