They met when Tom was only 17 and Jessica was 20. A mutual friend had introduced them at an end of exams party. Tom had just finished high school, celebrating with his class mates when one of them received a text about a Uni party for the same reason. He and his friends all clambered into a mini-bus, singing loudly, and were on their way.
Jessica was celebrating not having to deal with exams for another year, half way through her degree. She wasn't having a lot of fun at the party, but there was an open bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue, so she was alright with it. She'd texted Jeremy, Tom's friend, about the party to see if anyone interesting turned up. She wasn't disappointed.
Drunk and in high spirits, Jeremy and Tom didn't make the best first impression on everyone at the party. Everyone was annoyed that someone had let high-school kids in, and these two had taken over the stereo. No one liked the music they were playing for the first 15 seconds then changing to a new song, except Jessica.
"Dude ... Dude ... Dude," Jeremy said from the couch that had been abandoned by their fellow party goers. "ALWAYS! LOOK AT ME! ALWAYS! ALWAYS! ALWAYS!" the chant was joined by Jessica and a couple other Crowded House fans. Tom was frantically scrolling through his player, trying to find it.
"Alright, alright. Shut up!" Finally he found it and pressed play, looking up at the people as the bass kicked in, smiling widely. He went and jumped on the couch next to Jeremy, arm in arm they started singing along. Loud and out of tune Jeremy put his other arm around Jess, who was singing the words perfectly, and hadn't spilled her glass of 60 year old Scotch.
As the song went on Tom and Jessica started drowning Jeremy out, he just sat back and started laughing. He still hadn't looked at her properly yet, but then they came to the second verse, and he looked over at her.
‘Thing's ain't cookiiin, In myy kitche-een
Strange affliction wash oooverrr meeee,'
His heart began thudding loudly in his ears and he couldn't even hear the music anymore. He stopped singing and she tapped him on the shoulder, smiling shyly at him while she kept going. Tom shook his head and picked the song back up clumsily, pretending to fast forward through the missed lyrics, making Jessica giggle.
‘Eeverywhere you gooo, Always take the weather with you,
Everywhere you gooo, Always take the weather,"
Tom was sitting in the lounge room, the radio playing softly in the background, Jeremy standing against the sliding glass window doors. It was raining outside, the light outside was gentle and grey. He'd been sitting quite comfortably before that song had come on, when Jeremy raced over to the radio.
"No, leave it," Tom said quietly.
"You alright mate?" Jeremy said, sitting down on the other end of the couch.
Tom looked around the room, at all the different flowers that adorned any flat surface available. Some were plastic, but most were living, breathing for the moment. Jeremy looked where Tom was, raising his eye brows and shaking his head a little bit.
"Why do people send these things? So sorry the loveliest woman who's ever lived passed away, have an azalea." Tom stared at Jeremy, who cursed himself for saying such a stupid thing.
Tom smiled, "I don't know mate. No one really knows what to do in these situations. What else could they send really? I wish they'd stop bringing food. I prefer the flowers,"
Jeremy smirked at the first real sign of life, sign of the old Tom. "At least you get a free feed."
Tom laughed, his head bobbing along to the music, singing softly under his breath. Always Take The Weather With You had ended, replaced by Lost and Running by Powderfinger. He started singing a bit louder and Jeremy joined in.
"If life is so smooth, then why can't I get enough?
Oooh I'm still lost and runnin'
I can't get enough"
They both stood, still singing. Jeremy went over to the radio and turned it up, watching Tom throw himself into the song.
"Every day moves like a hurricane
It's draggin me round no matter what I say"
Suddenly Tom went over to a sideboard overburdened with flower boxes and picked them up. Jeremy stopped singing and watched him walk over to the glass doors, trying to open them with his bare foot, his movements becoming frustrated and erratic. Jeremy went over and un-locked it, Tom wordlessly shoved it out of the way and started putting the flowers down outside in the rain.
He looked up at the sky, letting the rain drops splash onto his face, cold and exhilarating. Jeremy came outside to join him, holding even more flower boxes, placing them around the patio, the brown stone becoming shiny and slick in the rain.
"We never used to lock that door," Tom said sadly, his eyes tearing up.
Jeremy put the boxes down and slipped an arm around Tom's shoulder. "Wish I'd known that, I would have crashed here more often." He patted Tom on the back as his shoulders heaved.
Jeremy wasn't sure if he was laughing or crying.
"I'm still lost and running,
You can't lay there in my arms
I'm still lost and running ...."