Out of Reach

This is a story of a teenage romance which blossoms into something beyond beautiful. It has twists and turns, where a young couple fall in and out of love with each other and other people. How do their lives pan out in the end though?


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14. Moving in

 

“That’s the last of it.” I pant, bringing in the last of my clothes from my parents house and dumping it in the hall.    

   “My dad’s gonna” be back soon so I’ll help you take it all upstairs.” Megan says, grabbing one of the black bin liners full of my belongings and struggling to hall it up the first step.    

   “Megan, put that down, I can manage on my own.” I say.    

   “No, I’m fine, I can handle it.”    

   “Megan. You can’t even pick it up, never mind take it all the way upstairs.” I try to take the bag off her, but she pulls away and ignores me. “Megan!”    

   “Dylan, stop it, I’m perfectly capable of taking a few clothes upstairs!” She shouts.    

   “For god’s sake Megs! Just hand me the bag and go and sit down, you shouldn’t be shifting heavy weight!” I don’t raise my voice to her, but I say this firmly.    

   “Don’t let this turn into an argument!” She warns.    

   “Then hand me the bleeding bag!” I say again.    

   “No.” She struggles up a few more steps. I run up after her and grab her at her waste.     

   “Dylan! Get off me!” She screams. I tickle her and as she squirms to break free, it makes me laugh.    

   “This isn’t funny Dylan! Just get off me!”    

   “It’s hilarious!” I splutter, my arms still wrapped round her, tickling her stomach. She giggles, but I know this doesn’t mean she has given up.    

   “Dylan, I’m being serious now!” She tries to say with a straight face.    

   “And so am I missy. You give up and I’ll stop.” I continue to tickle her, both of us in fits of laughter now.    

   “This is dangerous!” She squeals.     

   “Then hand me the bag!” I persist.    

   “I can’t!” She giggles outrageously.    

   “Why not?!”    

   “It’s against the law!” Now the laughing is hysteria, I’ve stopped tickling her, instead I’m sat on the fourth step, my head in my lap, laughing so hard that my stomach is in pain, and Megan is doubled over, her bum stuck in the air, her head resting on the seventh stair. After a minute or so, she pegs it up the stairs, the bag in her right hand trailing behind her, and even though I am still laughing, I run after her. At the top of the stairs, I grab her, and then we roll round on the floor, laughing again.     

   “Oh Dylan.” She says, looking at me. I roll onto my front, kiss her on the lips and stand up. Then I help Megan up.    

   “Right, you can take that bag into your room, I’m going to bring the rest up.” I say, the fun ending as we both realize that Steve will be home any second.    

   “Okay, and then when he does get here, what will we tell him?” She asks. We are holding onto each other, my arms round her waste, resting on her lower back, her arms wrapped tightly round mine, so together, both knowing that no hurricane could ever break us apart.    

   “I don’t know.” I reply sadly.    

   “Maybe we could ask my mama and gramps to tell him; they’ll know what to say.”    

   “Maybe.” I agree.    

   “Right, come on then mister, get your act together.” We let go of each other, then she goes one way, and I go the other, fetching and carrying, carrying and fetching.    

   Now only two more bin liners to go. We work together like gravity helping the sun and keeping everything so perfectly in orbit, all orderly and beautiful, with the stars praising our universe in the background.    

   As I pass the second to last bag of clothes to Megan on the landing, I hear a short clatter of wood on wood, and then Steve’s voice booming from all four walls. The words, “I’m home!” Make my head spin, and my heart pound hard in my chest. Megan freezes, our hands grab together in a tight clench and both our hands quickly dampen with sweat. A whole army of drummers walk through the tunnels in my ear, banging against my ear drum, and all I can hear is that same ringing voice; “I’m home, I’m home, I’m home”.     

   Megan and I run into her room, shut the door quietly and listen.    

   “What’re we having for tea then?” Steve’s voice asks. He is moving round the house beneath us, and I can imagine everyone in the household feeling the same panic as me, what will he say?    

   “Sausage casserole sound okay?” comes Honey’s voice.     

   “Uhmm… Yeah!” Steve makes the sound of satisfaction and his footsteps are again, followed after this sentence of approval.     

   Then silence.    

   I look at Megan, I breathe out, and I know we’re off the hook.     

   “We’re safe, we’re okay!” She whispers, her face all lit up with relief.  

   “I can’t believe he didn’t see it!” I reply.    

   “I know! How’re we gonna” get it up here without him noticing though?”   

   “Wherever there’s a will, there’s a way.” I wink at her and then say, “Follow my lead.”    

   We walk out “our” room and down the stairs, holding hands. In the kitchen, as we expected, is Karen, Jack, Honey and John, but, as I look round the room again, I see no Steve.     

   “Where is he?” I whisper.    

   “Gone to the toilet, quick, take the bag up!” Jack whispers back to me. Without any debate, I do as I’m told. I grab the bag from the hall, and start making my way towards the stairs, when the downstairs loo door opens, and Steve merges out, flicking the water off his hands.    

   I begin to run.    

   “Oi! What’re you doing?”     

   I stop dead on the stairs, not because I want to confront him, but because his voice scares me so much that the words ricochet through my bones and my nerves freeze up, making it impossible for my limbs to keep carrying me.     

   “What’s that in your hand son?” He asks. He doesn’t sound angry, just incredibly curious, and this calms me slightly. Maybe he’ll be okay with it, like he was when me and Megan started going out, and when he found out Megan was pregnant.     

   “Just… a bin liner full of a few clothes.” I say. My imagination runs out of me, and as soon as I realize what I’ve said, I wish I could grab them from the air and shove them back down my throat, into my voice box where it can stay, and never come out again, until the words form a different sentence.     

   “Why? Why do you have clothes?”     

   John walks out of the kitchen into the hall with Honey following closely behind, and Megan peers round the door.    

   “John said…” I begin, “Honey insisted that I… My parent-”    

   “Dad. Dylan is moving in.” Megan blurts out, and I feel my face flush with scarlet.  

   Steve takes a few steps back and then says, “What?” His voice is quiet, and it doesn’t feel like he’s about to burst out in rage, but it also doesn’t sound promising.    

   “When we told his parents that I was pregnant, things kicked off and he doesn’t want to have to go back round there.”     

   “So he thinks he can just saunter in here and live with us?”    

   “Steve! Who owns this house?” Comes Johns voice, booming, and the for the first time, I see him loose his rag.    

   “You do John, but who does most of the work to keep the business running?” He shouts back.    

   “You, because I pay you, and you don’t give me anything back in return!”     

   “I gave you a grandchild!”    

   “Thanks pal! You also killed my first child!”    

   “Now don’t go blaming Lucy’s death on me!” Steve yells.    

   “You moved in here with my daughter, and Honey and I treated you like our own! How dare you say Dylan can’t stay here?”     

   “I dare! Dylan got my baby girl pregnant! Flaming pregnant?!”    

   “Like you did mine then?”    

   “Times were different back then!”    

   “They were exactly the same!”    

   “How were they?”    

   “Now you have older eyes, when all you saw back then was free shelter and a beautiful girl you could sleep with at your free will.”     

   “That is not true! I loved her, I do love her!”    

   “And Dylan loves Megan just as much as you loved Lucy! Get your head round it old man!”    

   “My head round what?!”    

   “The fact that you’re getting old and the only thing you have left doesn’t depend on her father anymore.” John shouts. Then, after that, everyone stands in silence, shell shocked.     

   Steve looks at me, his eyes really do look old, and the black shadows under his eyes suggest he hasn’t had a good night sleep for years. He looks disappointed and sad. Then he looks at Megan.    

   “Dad-“She begins as he makes his way up stairs. The room falls silent again. After a few more seconds, the air is filled with awkward shuffles and coughs. I look at Megan, she looks at me, and we know something has to be done. I hug her from behind, and then tap her in the direction of the stairs.     

   “Go on.”   

   She goes.     

   We all make our way into the kitchen again, Karen puts the kettle on, and Jack shuts down his computer. Nobody sits down, they stand round the outside of the kitchen, and nobody dare talk. I feel out of place and in the way.     

   My ears strain to listen to what’s going on upstairs, but they don’t for long. Steve runs down the stairs, a huge suitcase trailing behind him, and then Megan.     

   “But Dad, come on!” She begs.    

   “You have my number; I’ll let you know where I am when I’m there.” Then he’s halfway out the door.    

   “Dad-“Megan shouts one last time.     

   The door shuts and silence visits once again. Megan plods down the last few steps and walks into the kitchen with her face like thunder. Then the rain comes.    

   “Oh Megan.” I stroke her hair out of her face and wipe her salty tears with my thumb.     

   “He’s gone Dyl, he’s gone.” She sobs.     

   “No no Megan, he hasn’t.” I try to persuade her.    

   “He’s gone. He’s gone, he’s gone, he’s gone.” She cries.    

   I lift up her head towards me with both my hands and kiss her nose.    

   “Megan? Listen to me. All that’s happened is that he is going to find somewhere else to live for a few days.”    

   “But it’s all my fault!”    

   “It’s not, if it’s anyone’s fault then it’s mine, and if you want I’ll move out and then find him personally to ask him if he’ll move back in with you. How about that, eh?”     

   “No. I’m sorry Dyl.” She says.    

   “What’re you sorry for?”    

   “I don’t want you to move out.” She snuggles into me and, even though she is still sobbing, she dries her eyes and her voice his steady.    “Well if it’s causing your dad not to be here then I think it’s my duty.”    

   “No Dylan.”    

   “Are you sure? Because it’s no problem, as long as you’re happy, I’m happy.”    

   “No, I want you to be with me, I want us to live together.”    

   “Well we’ll get a house together soon anyway.” I say. I push her because I know what’s best for her and I know she wouldn’t say what she really wants because she wants to please people.    

   “We’ll leave you two to it.” Says John, and he ushers everyone out the room. Jack shuts the door behind him, something that is rarely ever done.    

   “Megan?”    

   “Dylan. I want you. I need you right now.”    

   “But I’ll only be next door.”    

   “Look, do you want to move out?”    

   “Course I don’t!”    

   “Well it seems like you do.”    

   “Don’t you know how much I care for you Megan? I just want to do what’s best for you.”    

   “You are what’s important to me. You. Dylan Alden.” She says, wiping her eyes for the very last time and breathing in.     

   I kiss her mouth.    

   “Okay then.” I say.    

   It’s about six in the afternoon and Honey is making the tea, sausage casserole. Megan, Karen and I are sat in the living room watching a new gardening program on T.V called “Greg goes green”. The gardener is showing how to grow successful trees from seeds, and of course, the gardener is called Greg. It’s very twee and reminds me of when Megan and I used to play her silly little games of mummies and daddies. We had a cat and a dog and two children, one boy and one girl. The cat was always called Tommy, the dog was called Spot and the children were called Sam and Millie.     

   Now it is showing how to protect the tree from pesticides and what it should look like if the tree “gets an infection”.     

   John and Jack are upstairs attempting to put the new baby crib together. John comes down the stairs and asks, “Dylan, do you mind giving us a hand upstairs?”    

   “Of course not.” I reply, getting on to my feet.    

   “Only I’m not as strong as I’d like to be and it really is a two man job.”    

   “Yeah sure.”    

   “Good lad. I only feel like half at man at the moment.” He chuckles.    

   “Ahh, don’t let that bring you down John. You’re a whole man, and age is just a number.”    

   “Wise words from a young mouth speak courage.” John quotes.    

   I laugh politely, which annoys me as it seems like one of those things people just have to do, like when people thank others for dinner, even though they hated the food and never want to eat there again.    

   We make our way up the stairs and I see their dilemma. I splutter, cover my mouth with my hand, and then burst into uncontrollable laughter.     

   “Wishing I was more skilled right now.” Jack said, chuckling shamefully.    

   “I bet!” I say. I get down on my knees and pick up the instruction manual, inspecting my task.     

   “It’s harder than it looks.” John jokes from behind me, placing one firm hand on my shoulder.    

   “It has to be, looking at the bloody mess you’ve made!” I laugh once again.     

   “You try it then!” Jack says in protest.    

   “Well, I’m not exactly the world’s greatest handyman but I’ll give it a go.”    

   “Good lad.” John says, now patting my shoulder. He walks round the room and kneels down beside Jack.     

   I read the instructions thoroughly, then the same again twice. I follow the step by step guide and in all honesty, it ends up looking the same, possibly worse, than Jack and John’s work.    

   They laugh at me, and as I’m about to throw down the instruction manual and hold up my little white flag, a heavenly voice floats up the stairs and tells me that dinner is ready.    

   Well, the kitchen angel yells up to us that the sausage casserole will go cold if we leave it any longer.   

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