I had walked out of the house to find that Callum had picked me up on a large Harley Davidson. How the hell did he manage to get a licence for that? Then again, this Callum looked different, and older.
‘How did you get a licence for that, Callum?’ I asked.
‘Callum?’ The good-looking version of Callum questioned. ‘No, I’m not Callum. I’m his…older brother, Matt.’
‘Oh…’ then ‘Matt’ pulled his helmet off.
Matt’s style of fashion was a little more modern than his male siblings. His neatly groomed fair hair had been brushed to the side beautifully, almost making him look like the ideal Aryan man, with his icy blue eyes staring mystically into mine, as the lights from my house make them glisten, although his clothes – a brown jacket overcoating a green shirt with long denim jeans and black boots – looked quite ordinary. A word I never thought I would be able to use ever again.
‘What happened to Callum? Is he sick?’ I continued, with hope in my tone.
‘Err…no, I don’t make a habit, or the effort, of picking up my brother’s girlfriend when they’re sick.’
‘Oh, no, we’re not…boyfriend and girlfriend. We’re just friends. This is a non-date.’
Matt raised his eyes in surprise, but laughed through his nose, making him sound like a bull before charging. ‘That isn’t what Callum told me. He was talking about you all afternoon to me. Wouldn’t shut up.’
‘No, I can believe that.’
‘Anyway, I’m supposed to be your escort, or whatever. (There was a pause between us) Not that type of escort, of course.’
‘Oh, so has Mr Dramatic, got everything sorted then? Am I expecting a mariachi band?’
Matt laughed. ‘You never know, but he paid me so I thought I might as well. So, are you definitely ready, or what?’
‘Yes, yes,’ I replied, almost too eagerly. I climbed onto the motorbike and wrapped my arms tightly around Matt’s waist as he revved his engine and drove off. This excited me; it was like being in a film, then we drove away towards the City.
The motorbike ride wasn’t as much like I had imagined. Hollywood had lied. There was no adrenaline boost as the wind pressed against us, and I didn’t have any awesome music booming in my head, like anything from The Prodigy, to match the incredible experience. No, all I got was a somersaulting stomach, a feeling that I was going to vomit and the fear of death every time we passed a speed bump.
Finally, we stopped at the Eleanor Rigby memorial, across from the restaurant, where Matt helped me off, then drove off without even a goodbye.
I crossed the road and entered the restaurant, and was immediately hit with the smell of melted cheese and garlic, and the sounds of chatter, crying children and waiters shouting across to other waiters in Italian, but I liked this restaurant and it was my favourite one in the City, and me and Joe were frequent visitors, especially when Joe couldn’t be bothered making the tea, although the mood suddenly changed when I noticed Callum sitting in the middle of the busy room and waving for my attention. I waved back, forced a smile, and walked over to the table and sat down. An almost too enthusiastic waiter approached our table.
‘Bonjourno, my name is Vito, and I will be your waiter for tonight. I’ll be back when you are ready to order your drinks.’
I picked up the menu, as Vito walked away from our table, saying something to another waiter in Italian. ‘Wow, the spaghetti carbonara looks…great, but if you want to share a pizza or something, then that’s okay,’ I looked up at Callum for an answer, but he wasn’t listening to anything I had said, and I didn’t think he seem to care what I had to say. He stared into my eyes, and took the occasionally sneak-peek at my breasts, not that there would be much to see. I could have sworn I felt something warm slowly creep up my leg. I froze, but tried to think of something else.
‘So…umm…so how’s everything at college…I heard that Lovejoy’s making the cafeteria bigger…that’ll be good, and…err…he’s signing something for another Science lab…that’s good.’
Vito returned to our table, and pulled out a chewed biro from his breast pocket, and a battered up notepad from his black apron. ‘Are you ready to order your drinks?’
‘I’ll have lemonade please.’
‘Ok,’ Vito muttered, scribbling it down. ‘And you, sir?’
‘I’ll have…la vin rouge, s’il vous plait!’ He ordered, giving me a look which I assumed I was meant to return with an amazed glance.
I leaned forward. ‘That’s French,’ I said. ‘Not Italian.’
I rolled my eyes, and turned my attention to the decorations along the walls.
‘Umm…apologises, sir, restaurant rules: nobody is permitted to have alcohol from under the age of eighteen,’ Vito informed, waving his pen.
Callum blushed. ‘I’ll have a coke then.’
Vito scribbled that down quickly. ‘Very good, sir. Are you ready to order your starters now?’
‘I’ll have the carbonara, please.’
‘And for the gentleman?’
Callum didn’t answer. He had been too enticed with my face that he must have tuned everything else out.
Callum jumped at the sound of my voice, as if it jarred him back to reality. He scanned the menu.
‘I’ll…err…have the Margarita…please,’ Callum ordered, finally.
‘Very well,’ Vito scribbled it down onto his notepad. ‘I’ll be back with your drinks in a moment.’
Vito gave us another friendly grin, baring his teeth. I recoiled, one of his front teeth were missing, and his remaining teeth were decaying from years of chain smoking and neglect. I masked my disgust behind a polite smile.
I turned to Callum, whose eyes were so concentrated on mine that I thought they’d never blink.
‘You, err…you alright? Have I got something on my face?’
‘You look astonishingly fit,’ Callum said, suddenly, and then he laid his hand over mine.
‘Do you wanna sneak back to mine, and –’
‘Bill, please!’ I quickly shouted, before he could say the next word.
‘But we haven’t even had se – I mean drinks yet!’ Callum muttered alarmingly. I threw my coat back on, and stood up.
‘Listen, Callum, I…had agreattime and everything, but (I looked down at my invisible watch)…oh, look at the time! Joe’s probably wondering where I am…so, uh…see you!’
‘What?’ he exclaimed, rising up from his seat.
Before he had the chance to restrain me and persuade me to sit back down in my seat, I darted out of the restaurant (and when I say darted I mean ran for my life!) over the road towards the Eleanor Rigby memorial. I sat next to the old statue of the famous statue, admiring her, and, in that moment, wishing that I could go back in time to meet her to see her opinion on what I should do with Callum. I sighed back as I brought myself back to the crushing reality, reminding myself that time travel was not possible, and hearing Callum’s trying moans. I walked briskly to somewhere more private before I closed my eyes for a second, concentrating deeply.
I shifted my form into that of a cat. I strode across the street and took shelter under a parked Ford Fiesta Zetec from the spitting rain. At this moment, I didn’t even think about Callum or George or Joe or anymore for that matter. What took my mind and imagination by the neck was the amazing sights and smells I’ve never seen or smelt before, with sounds that an average human would never hear in their lifetime. I could hear a family of mice scurrying inside a discarded cardboard box two yards away, and I could tell you what the conversation that was happening in the restaurant a few roads down, but I don’t think the content would be appropriate to repeat to you without this turning into an adult story. I could even smell the hot Chinese food from the Tai Pan restaurant, which was almost two miles away, combined with the smells of fish and chips, spaghetti Bolognese, pizza and everything you can possibly think that thankfully managed to drown out the abysmal smells, coming from the public toilets. The whole experience had to be one of the most exciting and most brilliant feelings of my life so far.
When the rain died down, I slipped out from under the car and paced through the empty street.
‘Give us your money, kid, and we won’t hurt yah, lad!’ a sinister voice growled to my right. ‘Simple, innit?’
My triangular ears shot up at this, like two satellites, and followed the voice, gasping when I caught sight of Callum pressed against the wall with a knife at his throat.
‘I…I was just…just looking for my g-girlfriend,’ Callum stuttered.
‘Oh! Looking for your girlfriend, are yah? Did she run away from you? Not surprised! Look, Johnny, lad, big boy here is looking for his girlfriend.’
‘Give us your cash, mate! Or I’ll slit your throat!’
I trotted over towards the trio and returned back to my human form, (thankfully with my clothes intact and remaining). The two muggers turned on me, and swiped the knife threateningly at me.
‘Darcy!’ Callum exclaimed.
‘Johnny! Hold that little squealer! I’ll take care of this bitch!’ the other mugger commanded. Johnny pushed Callum against the wall, his knife remaining at Callum’s throat.
‘Come on, yah little cow!’ the man growled, his hand tightened around the hilt of his knife, ready for the kill. I panicked. This wasn’t a good idea, but neither was leaving Callum to be mugged or even killed, even if he was a freak. ‘Or do you want to give me a little something up that skirt there?’
‘God! You’re worse than him!’ I recoiled.
I closed my eyes, and concentrated deeply.
‘What the hell?’ the man backed away, his eyes widened in shock, towards his accomplice who kept the knife at Callum’s throat yet his attention was towards my glowing body, as I concentrated deeply, picturing my body slowly shifting into the form of a vicious panther, limb by limb, part by part.
‘Darcy! What…what’s happening to you?’ Callum exclaimed, after Johnny dropped his knife away from Callum’s neck. I approached the two muggers, crouching down to an attacking position. With murderous claws exposed, I launched myself at the man, with his knife flying out of his hand next to Callum.
‘AAARRRGGGHHHHH!!!!!’ He wrenched my fierce, dagger-like claws off his chest, pushing me aside, and then jumped to his feet, shaking vigorously.
‘Johnny! Johnny, lad, let’s go, yeah? This lot of bloody freaks! Let’s go!’
‘Right behind you!’
I shifted back to my human form when the muggers had gone, and turned to Callum, who seemed to be more fearful of me instead of the muggers, his eyes wide in horror, and his terror stricken face staring back at me.
‘You’re…you’re…’ but I pushed my fingers against his dried lips to silence him.
‘Don’t say anything! I don’t want anybody to know about this!’ I growled. ‘And also, buy some bloody Chapstick!’
But Callum, as if realising that he could milk this situation to his advantage, produced a wide grin and briefly stroked my cheek before I slapped his hand away. ‘Why should I then? You’re the one who left me alone to get mugged!’
‘For God’s sake, how old are you? Nine? You know, you should really be more thankful next time I save your neck from getting cut!’ I snapped. Groaning, I turned to walk out of the alleyway.
‘Why should I keep it shut? What if it – oh, I dunno –accidentallytell the busies that youaccidentallytried to attack people, and that you can…turn into animals?’
I laughed heartily at this terrible comeback, and looked back at Callum, turning towards him on the balls of my feet.
‘I’ve got three reasons; one: if I didn’taccidentally try to attack them idiots, you’d beaccidentallyin Heaven right now – God, you’ve got me saying it too much now, two: no one will believe you and they might arrest you for wasting police time, which is against the law! And finally, three: if you do so much as whisper anything about this to anyone, I swear to God, I’ll track you down and rip your internal organs out through your mouth! You got that?’
Callum had been silenced, shaking furiously as I listened to myself saying this words, scaring myself for a second there then feeling a excited buzz inside of me; no wonder all the bad guys in the films got a kick from this: they got all the best lines!
I was almost out of the alleyway when, annoyingly, Callum spoke out:
‘And what do I get if I keep quiet?’
I stopped, but I didn’t turn this time. ‘Your life.’