My house was uninhabited, my father... well, he didn’t need it anymore and well neither did my mum. They didn’t pay rent or anything, the council owned it. But more often than not drug dealers and users used it. This would be because I always left the door open and kicked down the ‘for sale’ sign. I always kept my bedroom door locked though for obvious reasons. Other than my room the rest of the house was typically abandoned.
Well, I wouldn’t say typically abandoned. The furniture was nothing more than ash, some things you could see that they used to be tables and chairs and stuff, but I wouldn’t sit on them. Everything was way past its use. The whole house smelt of ash and the story of how it all came to be... is one I’d rather not say. The doors hung on hinges and the windows were blown out. Sometimes, I wished I could just lay it to rest but, I needed a place to stay. At least from the outside it looked mildly okay, despite the burnt out, blown out windows. The front door was, surprisingly, intact.
I walked upstairs to my room; despite my cool, tough exterior it still upset me. My bed was burnt, the covers torn and destroyed, the wood crumbly and ashen. My wardrobe was the same, the same as my drawers, as my bookshelf. But in the corner, a little out of place was a rolled up mat and a suitcase. The suitcase had about three changes of clothes within it; the mat had a simple pillow and all I needed to sleep. But I never complained, sure I had the right to unlike those whining kids that have everything and still manage to complain, but I don’t. What happens happens and how you deal with it determines who you are.
I like to think that I am quite strong, at least, I know what everything means to me and I know what survival truly is. I opened the suitcase and took out my black dress. It was cut to my thighs and flared out like a ballerina dress, showing the black netting beneath the skirt. It was strapless and the back dipped slightly so it showed my back. I smiled and did up my hair. I very rarely wore this dress but, it was a good performance dress. Along with my knee-high platform boots, black of course.
I heard him walking up the street and I carefully jumped the whole staircase, I still didn’t trust their unstable look. I opened the door to see Josh stood at the end of the drive way and I cursed. "You alright?" He asked and I sighed, I hated that question. Not to mention it almost always had the answer, “no.”
"Mhmm, I just didn't expect you to actually come to my door, I was going to catch you down the street, don’t go asking questions okay?" I muttered sternly, I wasn’t about to answer them. I didn’t plan on answering them at any point in my life. He nodded and I thanked him, but then he did something really weird, he offered me his hand.
"Umm...what're you doing?" He shrugged and shoved his hand in his pocket and I tried not to give him a disgusted look, "this isn't a date remember?"
"My bad," he smiled, as always, even when he’d just been rejected, weird person.
"You know, I'll just end up dragging your name through the mud and if rumours play out, screw you then kill you." Just like a black widow, not that I minded be compared to such a lovely creature. Just the one problem, they know I don’t talk to anyone, how the hell do they expect me to get laid?
"I've heard all the rumours, and I'm still here with you," why do I get the feeling he’s after a little more than friendship here?
"Not scared?" I wondered. He didn’t look like he would be. He looked like a twig, but, I’ve seen him in a fight and least of all I can say that looks can be deceiving.
"Why would I be? As far as I can tell, you're just a normal person that's ended up with rumours 'cause you're not part of any particular social circle." Well, the lesser half of that is true me being a normal person – far from it.
"Heh," I pondered that for a moment before offering him my hand, "well I'll just have to work on that hmm?" He nodded; I had no idea why I did that. It was as if I wasn’t actually controlling my body as I couldn't help but smile as he took it. I quickly wiped it away, replacing it with a scowl, why was I holding his hand? Why did he accept?
He smirked as if he was holding back a snicker and I looked at him, still unable to drop his hand. "What?"
"You offer me your hand and then scowl when I take it," I didn’t mean to offer you my hand. I absently nodded, not lifting my unhappy face as we walked the rest of the way, reputation. I can't let him in and allow my whole world to fall.
"No need to look so sour," he smiled, "it's just a drink."
"Just a drink, bear in mind I haven't talked to anyone my age in years."
"That's okay. We're all people, regardless of age, right?"
"I'm not a person, a person is someone with humanity, a heart I think you'll find I lack both."
"I'm sure that's not true." I simply laughed at him.
“I dare you to find it.”
"Who's to say I've got a heart that will let me find yours though?" Are you kidding? You’re the kindest person in school. You’ve had loads of girlfriends!
"Heh, you have a heart. You're kind, your heart's there."
"Just 'cause I know how to smile and make friends..." he trailed off with a shrug. I was intrigued, the social whore had a secret and suddenly I wanted to know.
"Precisely, there you are," I grabbed his wrist and put his hand on my chest, purposefully stopping my heart, well I say purposefully. I didn’t mean to, it just hardly ever beats. "See, nothing," I whispered.
"There's a difference between a physical heart and a metaphorical one. The fact that you have no heartbeat - and should be dead - means nothing when it comes to being sociable, unless you're a vampire. In which case, being around people mightn't be such a good idea." Hmm, pretending I’m a vampire. Never thought of that one, though, people may just think me weirder.
"Then why are you still here?" I asked.
The breeze was chill and my legs were starting to get Goosebumps. We stopped, just a little way from Shots. There were a few trees spotted around and streetlights that gave off a horrid orange glow, obscuring the stars if you tried to look up. Graffiti lined the walls of Shots and I could hear the music from here.
"I'm not afraid of vampires," he smiled and I sighed.
"Why won't you let me go? Why do you constantly have a response for being here?" I asked, scrutinising all his answers thus far. Why was he so damn intrigued by me? I wasn’t some exhibition in a museum to be stood and gawked at.
"Well we came out for a drink. There wasn't really much point in coming out for a drink and then not actually having it. After this, we don't have to speak again, if you don't want," he shrugged and that just seemed to bug me even more. What was the point of it all? I began to wonder, what was the point in this?
"I don't know," I growled, dropping his hand.
This was it, I don’t want company. But I don’t think I want him to go. I felt warmer, even in the cool breeze. Why? What was this feeling and how do I get it to go away?
I turned to him and shook my head, pulling some money from my pocket, “you know what? Here’s some money, go get a beer.” I didn’t know what I was doing and now that I had control over my body again I wanted to leave. Sure, he was nice and he was being nothing but kind to me. But, I should face it. I didn’t want to be here. I just wanted to leave. I wasn’t meant to have company, I couldn’t stand it.
"It's okay," he smiled, pushing the money back, "I'll pay,” bless his ignorance. He had no idea and had completely misunderstood.
"Good, I'll probably not see you," I sighed, turning and walking back the same way I had just come, perhaps now, I thought, he might get the picture and luckily he did.
"Hey, where're you going?"
"Home," I called, "or what's left of it," I muttered beneath my breath. Home was where the heart was, so technically, I didn’t really have one. My heart belonged nowhere. I wasn’t even sure I had one, he knew that.
His face dropped and he looked at me like a wounded pup, “but, what happened to having a drink together?” He whined. That was it, together. That’s the only problem I had with it. I simply shrugged. I couldn’t be bothered to explain it all to him. I wasn’t ready to open up to anyone. “C’mon, have a beer with me; I’ll pay for that too.” I shook my head and continued to walk, his ignorance was starting to get annoying, I wanted to leave. Why didn’t he understand that?
I heard him sigh and I stopped, turning I let a brief moment of madness take over me. “Why does it mean that much to you?” I shouted, insistently.
I saw him shrug, then he walked further to the bar. “It’s fine!” He called, “You can go if you really want.” After that, he disappeared into Shots and I thought that was that.
I smashed my fist into the nearest thing, which happened to be a stone wall. The edges were jagged and something crunched as I hit it. I sighed, mumbling random things under my breath as I continued to walk away. The air stung as it blew around my hand. I tried to straighten it out and clenched my teeth as the pain shot through me. What hurt even more though, was when I heard Josh running after me.
He caught up with me quickly, “sorry. I didn’t mean to be rude like that,” he mumbled. Great, I was the one that blew him off and he was the one apologising. Okay... I held up my hand dismissively and waved him away with a shrug. Then winced at the pain, I’m an idiot.
"For someone with no heartbeat, you sure bleed a lot," he muttered, "um, wanna come back to mine and clean that up?" He blushed a little, but not much. I could tell he was used to this. I wasn’t about to let him win so easily though. I shrugged. "I mean you don't have to, but that might get infected if you don't clean it up," I found it quite sickening that he cared. Sickened and strangely attracted. No one had ever cared before.
"Oh well," I sighed, deciding it best not to show my curiosity. He was silent and I got irritated again. I hated new things. That’s why I was so snappy, if it’s one thing I know. It’s how to defend and look after myself. "What would it matter hmm? What if it got infected?" I demanded.
"Well I'd never get to find that heart of yours." My eyes widened slightly, I certainly wasn’t expecting that.
"Who says you have a heart to find mine?" I asked, I knew that a moment ago I said that he did have one and now I was being hypocritical but so was he.
I laughed, "right." I nodded sarcastically as if I understood exactly what he was on about.
"If I’m not heartless, neither are you," he said simply as if it was the most obvious thing in the world but he had no idea.
"Of course," I muttered. The new conversation made me very, very uncomfortable. He said nothing and I weighed up my options. I tried to pluck up the courage to actually say yes but instead I glanced at my hand and swallowed. It never came out like I expected it to. “Why are you still following me?” I asked, but I didn’t look up at him, “Why do you care? Why are you not in that bar drinking?"
"Why, why, why. Why d'you need to know?”
"Why won't you answer?" I retorted.
He smiled, but this was less soft than his usual smile. It was more a smile of intrigue. "You sparked my interest. Anyone that manages to spark my interest is certainly worth following." Great, so I’ve just gained a stalker.
"Heh, interesting am I? Of course," this annoyed me. I was not a museum piece!
"And hot to boot. C'mon. Why'd you walk off, hmm?" I stopped, swallowed. Hot? I blushed, my cheeks turning from palest white to a bright red. Now I was really uncomfortable. I shifted my weight from my left foot to my right.
"I wanted to go home," I explained.
"I feel tired." I lied
"Come back to mine."
"Why not? I'm sure the bed in the spare room is comfy enough for you." He just called me hot, then offered for me to stay at his? That last bit of conversation went a little too quickly for me, I hardly remember it. But I felt myself slowly giving up.
I looked at him and sighed, rolling my eyes, my last defence was ignorance. "Whatever."
"Well your place doesn't exactly look... comfy. No offence."
"Of course it doesn't.” You don’t know what happened there.
"It's your choice," I sighed and shrugged, what was I going to do? He’d stripped down my defences and backed me into a corner.
"Only for a bit." I watched him smile out of the corner of his eye as he took my hand and led me to his home. I didn’t wanna know what I was letting myself in for.