It had been three weeks since Marc had arrived at the McFarlow family home and, within those three weeks I’d been both scared and intrigued in Marc’s sudden fascination in me: if you could call it a fascination…
Honestly, he’d been on and off with me his entire stay and I didn’t know what to think or say in response. He was like a child and I was his toy: he liked to the look of me one minute but then sees something wrong with me and goes off to find something else to do, only to come back later on and want me again. The cycle is an ongoing loop with no clear end.
Ben was due to be arriving within the next two weeks and I couldn’t wait to see his face. I’d not told him about Marc’s weird behaviour as I didn’t want to worry him or have him start something when he arrived. He coming up was a chance to spend some quality time with his son and not have to worry about anyone else.
I’d opted to stay in my bedroom a lot of the time with James either on my lap or playing with toys on the floor. I knew Marc wouldn’t come into my room, or any room for that matter, if I was with James; he tended to steer clear of me if I was within a foot of my son. I wished he’d get over his hatred towards James and just accept that what has happened has happened for a reason and that it’s in the past now; done! Forgive and forget.
I gazed down at James as he played with three wooden building blocks on the floor at my feet. I was sat on my bed with my legs hanging over the edge.
“Are you going to be a big strong builder when you grow up, James?” I asked in baby talk, something I’d acquired over time and both loved and hated. It was a sacrifice that one must make when becoming a mother.
James’ reply was nothing more than I dribbled mumble that resembled no word of the English language, or any language, from what I could tell, for that matter. I smiled and ruffled his dark curls gently with my fingers. I loved his hair and was pleased at Teresa’s persistence in not allowing anyone to cut away his beautiful curls under any circumstance. But I knew that I would draw the line when he started looking like a little girl with curls past his shoulders. James was my little boy after all.
His mouth formed a large ‘O’ shape as he yawned loudly. He looked tired and I knew that it was time to put him down for his nap before he fell asleep on my bedroom floor. I got to my feet and knelt down to take him in my arms. He wrapped his arms around my neck and clung to me like a little baby orang-utan. I held him close to my chest and smelt his sweet baby smell.
Although he was already one, and growing fast, I still thought of him as the tiny little baby that I’d given birth to over a year ago. Being away from him for so long had made me miss so much: his first smile, his first wave, his first steps… I didn’t want to miss his first words; that was a definite thing I wanted to witness first hand and not something to be told about over the phone.
I stood back to my full height and left my room to take him to his crib, leaving my door open. I hummed a soft tune under my breath, a lullaby mum had sung to me when I was small, as I rocked him back and forth in my arms gently to the rhythm of the lullaby.
The summer sun flooded through James’ window as I walked into his room and I had to squint in order to see where I was going. Drawing the curtains back, which made a lot of a difference, I was able to see what I was doing and laid James in his crib. His clothes were all cotton based so they were comfortable enough for him to nap in. I bent down and kissed his forehead softly.
As I began to leave the room, I peered around the door back at him and smiled to myself. His tiny chest bobbed up and down as he breathed. I got a flashback of when he had been in hospital the January before… the day of my seventeenth birthday… I shook those memories out of my mind and shut the door quietly behind me.
As I walked back along the corridor to my bedroom, I noticed that the door was shut. I never shut a door I was in the room; it was just something that I never did. My pace quickened at my urgency to inspect the incident and to find the reason behind it.
I placed my hand on the door handle and turned it sharply, pushing the door open firmly. I almost screamed at the unexpected obstacle before me. I hadn’t been expecting that…
“Sorry, did I scare you?” Marc asked, turning around to face me. His concerned face looked genuine, as did his voice, and it confused me. Why was he concerned?
“Well, yes, just a little bit,” I replied, glued to the spot by the doorway, “I wasn’t exactly expecting...”
“I need to talk to you.” He announced, cutting me off mid-sentence.
“Oh, okay?” I answered, entering the room completely and shutting the door behind me. I stood a good couple feet away from him with my arms folded across my chest, waiting for him to spill the beans. Marc’s face resembled that of a lost puppy, not sure what to do or how to react to the situation he’d been put into, wanting no one else but his mummy to find him and look after him. He looked down at the floor, closed his eyes and took a deep breath before looking back up at me.
“I… I think I might be… developing something towards you… something I can’t quite explain. It’s complicated… well, it is for me… I can’t stand you half the time yet, at the same time, I just want to… be with you.” I said nothing. I couldn’t say anything. I couldn’t quite take in what he had just confessed to me. He liked me? Really? How? Why? I didn’t understand…
“You like me?”
“Well, yes. Sort of. I don’t know. Like I said, it’s complicated. I just… I don’t know… yes! I like you.” He took a couple spaces towards me and my urge to move away failed. We were about a foot away from one another now. His eyes glistened in the dim sunlight as they locked onto mine.
“What’s brought this on?” I asked quietly, taking a couple deep breaths. I didn’t really know how to react to my new discovery… that Marc liked me. I didn’t know how to feel about it. Like Marc, it was just confusing to me. After all, even Marc had said that he couldn’t stand me half of the time.
“That’s the thing. I don’t know. Ever since I helped you that night during the storm something just… clicked. Something I’d not noticed about you before. All the time that I’d known of you, I’d developed a bitter disliking to you for what you’d put my mum through yet that evening all that seemed to disappear. I saw this beautiful young girl who really needed my help and I couldn’t help but do the right thing: love you or hate you.
“Now, I’m not saying that I’m in love with you – that’s just crazy – but I can definitely say that there’s something there. Something I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s like Darcy and Elizabeth. He loves her with all his heart but, at the same time, he hates what it’s doing to him. He can’t stand to be without her, he just wants her. But she won’t have him for his bad choices in the past.” He stopped talking then and just looked at me longingly. His eyes were full of hurt and misery. I could see that this was killing him inside. He wasn’t used to such emotions: love hate. An oxymoron.
Neither of us spoke. It wasn’t a case that there was nothing to say, but more the case that it was difficult to form words and sentences in order to reply to such a monologue as he’d given. The silence was awkward and stung the air like a wasp.
“Please,” he said, “say something… anything.”
“I don’t know what to say, Marc.” I answered.
“Then don’t.” before I could do so much as blink, I was pinned up against the bedroom door in his arms. I took a deep breath as I took in the situation. Our eyes locked. No more than an inch away. I felt his breath on my lips, his scent matched that of sunshine and freshly mowed grass, and his eyes – oh his eyes – were grey pebbles, so cold yet so mesmerising.
“Marc.” I breathed. He silenced me by gently placing his right index finger on my lips. He traced the lines of them softly through each crevice and dip. He leant in closer to me and paused momentarily when our lips were just centimetres apart from each other.
“Are you afraid of me, Casey?” he whispered, gazing into my eyes. I gulped and shook my head gently. I wasn’t scared of him. I knew that I should be right at that moment but, surprisingly, I wasn’t. In fact, I was quite the opposite. I wanted him this close to me.
“I’m not afraid of you, Marc.” I whispered back, parting my lips slighting and breathing gently, “Are you afraid of me?” he smirked to himself at my question but smiled sincerely in return.
“Of course I am. I’m supposed to hate you, aren’t I?” using the finger he’d traced my lips with, he tucked a stray strand of hair behind my ear and smiled a sweet, innocent smile, “yet here I am. You’ve cast a spell on me, Casey Stewart. You and you’re irresistible ways.” His lips locked onto mine and it happened. Everything froze. Time stopped, everything in the real world became insignificant. All that mattered was that his lips were on mine and that I didn’t want it to stop.
Marc’s stance loosened as he began to relax into the situation, moving closer than was physically possible towards me, pushing me up against the door. I manage to free my arms and hold onto him, brushing my fingertips along his back and up to his neck. Our breathing was sharp and our breaks were brief. Nothing could fracture this moment.
I was able to manoeuvre Marc away from the door to set me free of my imprisonment so that, instead, we hovered by my bed. His hands found the hem of my vest top and ran underneath against my bare back up my spine. His touch was warm and desirable. His lips were hungry against mine and I was ravenous at his touch against my skin.
We collapsed onto the bed: him on top, me below. Everything around us vanished. We were no longer in Scotland, or even the UK for that matter, we were in our own galaxy, millions of lightyears away.
Marc reached for my belt, and that’s when reality hit me. He’s twenty, he’s male, he likes me, and we’re at his parents’ house…
“Where’re Teresa and Jerry?” I asked, breaking the connection between us. My breathing was heavy, as was his. I waited for his reply.
“They’ve gone to the supermarket,” he answered, “and you’re mother went with them. Nobody else is in apart from your son and he’s sleeping.” He whispered in reply. I nodded and closed my eyes to catch my breath. I felt a tingle in my neck as his lips brushed my skin tenderly. I took a deep breath in as his hand caressed my body as it travelled up my side and to my shoulder. My own hands had found their way to his stomach. You could tell he had been working out…
The doorbell shattered the soundproof barrier around us. I opened my eyes and looked up at Marc. We both froze. I turned to face the door and sighed.
“I’d better get that.” I murmured. The sooner they were gone, the better.
“No, no, I’ll go. It’s my parents’ house, I should answer the door.” Marc insisted, getting up off of me and moving off the bed. I couldn’t help but notice…
“That might not be such a good idea.” I mentioned, suppressing a giggle. He turned to face me, confused.
“You might need to check… Percy.” I told him, hoping he’d click on. By his expression, he hadn’t.
“Look down.” I told him, standing up. He did so and quickly looked back up at me before leaving the bedroom and dashing to the bathroom in the next room; he understood me, alright.
I laughed to myself and shook my head as I glided down the landing and stairs to put a face and voice to the person who had so rudely interrupted us. They rang the doorbell again when I was no more than a couple steps from the door.
“I’m coming, I’m coming!” I called out to whoever it was, pushing the brass handle downwards and pulling it open. I jumped when I saw the identity of the mystery visitor, “Oh my God!” I exclaimed.
“Now I wasn’t expecting that reaction from my girlfriend. Hello to you too. I bet you weren’t expecting me, eh?” Ben replied, laughing to my reaction.
No I wasn’t. I wasn’t expecting this at all!