Chapter 4

I must have dozed off, the noise made me jump. Now I realise it came from the window. Hauling myself off the bed, I creep across my room to investigate. What I’ve found has resulted in the heartache immediately disappearing, but being left with what feels like a thousand butterflies inside me. In an attempt to make myself look decent I run to my mirror. Good grief, no one should ever see me looking like this. I wipe the tears away, as well as the smudged mascara. There’s no hope for my hair so I just leave it and hope that the redness in my face goes.

Matt is crouching down in the garden, directly beneath my window. The world’s largest grin is now spread across my face. Suddenly I remember to turn the music off, I forgot Matt hates Paramore. (One of the only things I can fault him for. That and his love of Cameo) When I return to the window my grin is replaced by a fit of laughter; he’s trying to climb the shed in an attempt to reach my window. Three times he almost makes it, however the fourth try is not a success. He lands, upside down, with a rather loud crash to follow as somehow, Matt has managed to hit to already-broken shed door.

Crud, that’s done it. I can no longer hear the buzz from the TV downstairs, but heavy footsteps as my dad storms through the house to find the source of all the noise. I start frantically panicking, as Matt is. He shot up, before diving into the neatly-trimmed rose bush. (Please do not destroy the plants, this garden is my dad’s pride and joy) But too late, there are scattered petals everywhere. The footsteps stop, I can now hear the back door being ripped open. My heart is accelerating. Oh crud, dang, fudge, bum. My dad is going to murder him!

“What the hell is going on?” He seems to be using that word a lot recently. My dad appears to be shouting at nothing, but it doesn’t stop him. He keeps ranting as if expecting the culprit to show themselves. He turns round, much to my horror, and looks up at my window. At my face, which right now must be ghostly white.

“Lavinia, what is going on? Open your window NOW or God help me, I’ll come up there and open it myself.” I try to look confused as if I had nothing to do with the noise. Reluctantly though I open my window.
“Yes Dad? What seems to be the problem?” All calmness has now left me, my voice is shaking. I’m trembling, afraid for not my life, but that of the poor soul currently hiding amongst some roses in my back garden. Goodness knows what my dad will do if he finds him. I shudder.

“Don’t do that, now tell me what’s going on?”

“Uh, I’m grounded? I’m in my room dad.”

“Yes, thanks for the update Vin. Now can you tell you what all that racket was?” In my last attempt to make him leave I put on an utterly bewildered expression and say,

“What noise? I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Dang it, that did not sound convincing, my voice is cracking. Why am I so terrible at lying? However he has no time to notice as a rustle of leaves catches dad’s attention. Taking his eyes off me he begins to scan the garden. He stops at the rose bush, (slightly balding in patches) where my heart stops beating also. Either that or it’s beating so fast I can no longer feel it throb. In the time it takes him to reach the bush, as well as stop along the way to tut at all of the scattered petals and leaves, I’d leapt to my door, swung it open and practically flew down the stairs. I’m outside in the space of about thirty seconds. I notice dad’s eyes as I slow to a stop to catch my breath. He’s squinting so hard I’m amazed he can still see.

“Dad, wait!” I run to stand beside him, and try to grab his arm. Instead he pushes my hands away, rather roughly actually.

“I’ve got you now!” He looks as if he’s a jungle cat, stalking its prey and ready to pounce at any moment. This is it, it’s all over. My life is going to end here and now. If this is how scared I am, how must Matt be feeling? Dad puts his hand in the bush. But he finds is not what I’d been expecting. Instead of a terrorised Matt, out leapt a terrorised cat.

“I’ve been trying to catch that blo- blasted cat for weeks! I for one am fed up of picking up what it no longer wants and decides to deposit in my garden.” He places his hands on his hips, dad always does that when pleased with himself.

“I don’t think he’ll be coming back anytime soon..” momentarily my heart began to relax and return to a normal pace. Until my dad finished his sentence, “ Vinny. What was all the fuss about?”

“Oh, I just, uh. I just...” LIE! LIE! “It’s just that I saw the cat running into the bush, after falling off the shed roof and I didn’t want you to hurt him, that’s all.” What was I thinking? He’ll never believe that!

“Well, too late,” he chuckles to himself, “nah, he’ll be fine. He’s just  had a bit of a shock, he’ll be alright.” Ok, apparently he did. The smile on his face fades into a frown.

“Now, what am I going to do with you?” I bite my lip. Please don’t say anything embarrassing because Matt is still hiding, well most likely trembling, in the rose bush, behind you! However, again I decide to keep this thought to myself. Wise decision. The universe has finally felt pity for me. Instead, Dad just shakes his head and simply tells me to go back upstairs and to stay in my room. His voice wasn’t harsh, but firm. So I obey and retire to the peace and quiet of my room.

I also go back to my window. Dad’s now back in the lounge, probably with his feet up, as I can hear the TV buzzing again. The rose bush rustles as a rather panic-stricken Matthew climbs out. Despite what had just happened, the smile returns to my face as Matt tries to climb the shed once more. This time, for the sake of his and my own life, with success. He reaches the roof without falling off. Fifth time lucky,  right?

“Hey you,” I squeak in a pitch a bit too high.

“Afternoon Lavinia.” How is it possible for one person to be this charming?

“Sorry about my dad, nearly uh, killing you back there,” I laugh.

“I don’t mind, but I also have to go. I just stopped by to give you this,” as he says it, Matt passes a piece of paper through the window. I take it from him, before placing my fingers in his. Before saying goodbye he gently kisses my hand. Here’s the flying feeling again. I watch as he climbs off the shed and over the wall. But now he’s gone, after all of that!

To stop myself from being sad I sit on my bed and unfold the crumpled page. It reads,

I am so sorry, I never meant for you to get into any trouble with Simon (my dad). It’s just that I care so much and I can’t help the way I feel. But even though it will be tough, I never want to stop seeing you, I never want to let you go, I love you too much. So don’t stop thinking about me, or phoning me.  It helps me remember how much I love you and trust me, I love you loads. And loads. And loads. I just can’t tell you how sweet you are. Love you, Matt  xoxoxoxox”

 For a few minutes I keep re-reading his words. Over and over. If only mum and dad knew how much I love him, that this isn’t just a silly teen crush. But like I said, parents are always right, and no matter how I feel, I am always wrong. But how can I ignore these feelings? I can’t just throw them away, as if I would want to anyway. (This morning, and Matt nearly being murdered by my dad aside) I have never been happier. They can’t take it away from me, not now.

The End

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