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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23. My mistake

 

The Christmas songs that will never get old boom from the speakers of the pub that almost everyone from my university has gone to this Christmas Eve. They’ve all bought their other halves, and of course, I’ve bought Megan. She’s helping out behind the bar for some extra money, which helps because then I’ll always know where she is, and she’ll be occupied so will find it hard to keep her eyes on me. This is perfect.     

   I see Sophie dancing on the designated dance floor, like a bird in the sky, graceful and free. I walk up to her and grab her arm, pulling her away to the back of the crowd. Megan thinks we’re just good friends.     

   “You look gorgeous tonight.” I say into her ear.    

   “Thanks. I’m glad you could make it.” Her breath smells like wine.    

   “So am I. Megan’s parents” are looking after Daisy.”    

   “And where’s Megan? Why hasn’t she come?” She asks.    

   “She has. She’s working on the bar to earn some extra money. It gives us time to...” I wink at her. I don’t need to explain.     

   She grabs my hand and takes me onto the dance floor, twisting round me and grinding me up and down. We’re at the back of a big moving crowd and blend in well. We could snog right here, right now, and Megan would never know. Another plus is that nobody knows I’m with Megan. They know I have a girlfriend called Megan, but they have no idea about her appearance. I use this as an advantage, and hold Sophie tight in my arms. I don’t dare kiss her, just in case the solid crowd suddenly breaks apart, and we’re stood in Megan’s eye line.     

   I search my head for a place we could be alone together, until I realise that there’s a cramped store cupboard round the back of the bar and to the left. It has a key too, so I can lock the door from the inside and nobody can catch us.    

   “This way.” I push the words into Sophie’s ear, whilst taking her hand and pulling her round the back of the crowd behind me. She follows without argument; she trusts me.      

   She tugs on my hand as she sees Megan working and chatting away at the bar, a nineteen year old mother. My heart races, because I doubt we’ll get behind the bar without her catching us.     

   I press myself against the cold shiny wood that separates Megan from us, and Sophie copies. I inch my way along until I get to the end of the wood, and reach an opening where we shall have to make a dash for it. My palms go sweaty and my head pounds with guilt, and something else much more exciting; adrenaline.     

   I creep my head round the lower part of the bar, and see Megan working at the other end.    

   “Wait here.” I whisper to Sophie. She nods.    

   I crawl round to the back of the pub, crossing my fingers the whole way, until I reach the door. I stand, because unless Megan walks round the corner, she won’t be able to see me here. I pull out my phone and ring Sophie, hoping she gets this as an all-clear sign.     

   I wait for a few beats until she flies round the corner into my arms, laughing. I hush her, but I’m laughing to, and my insides hurt with it.    I twist the key that is already sat in the keyhole of the door, and then take it out the lock. I smile at Sophie who’s stood anxiously behind me, and then walk inside.     

   I have to feel my way, for its dark, and hard to find the switch. Sophie stumbles upon it, and once it clicks, it takes two short flashes of light before we can see each other clearly. I click the door shut and twist the key in the lock as far as it will go. The sense of achievement rushes through me, and then the realisation that we managed it. We snuck, and lied, and cheated, but we’re okay.    

   I breathe heavily as Sophie and I stand less than a centre metre apart from each other. I run my fingers through her hair, which feels so clean and fresh. She holds me tight in her embrace, kissing my lips. My hands rest on her lower back, then slowly move to the front of her body, crawling upwards to her breasts. She feels like a woman beneath me, not a child, and it’s exciting.     

   The short kisses develop into long, slow passionate ones, and it feels amazing. I would stand here with her pressed against me all night, or forever.     

   I hear rustling and voices outside the door, and freeze for a moment, but then continue caressing Sophie; of course, the doors locked. Nothing matters right here, right now. You only live once.    

   The door handle clicks and rattles, making Sophie and I kiss faster, harder. It’s exciting and thrilling and I love it.     

   The key drops to the floor with a quiet thud, but I don’t bother pausing, I’m not afraid.     

   Sophie moans gently as our tongues serenade each others, and I return the favour.     

   When I can’t hear, or see, or feel anything more beautiful than this moment, I sense a gasp, and tears. We both pause, and as I look towards Sophie her face contorts to something other than fear; desperation almost.    

   “Soph-“ I cut myself off, as I realise the door I thought would never open, is open. Stood in the door way is a stunned, hurt and angry Megan. Oh God.    

   The silence plays tricks with my mind, and sudden blackness falls over my eyes, warning me to run somewhere, anywhere as long as it’s from here. I laugh to myself, because this is all a big joke, a massive mistake, a colossal nightmare. The laughing however pulls me awake.     

   Megan is sat, back against the inside of the bar with her head in her hands. I can tell she’s crying because her body is pulsing through her sobs. I sit beside her and attempt to put my arm round her, but as I do, she gasps and shuffles away from me. I can see how much she’s hurting.    

   I mirror her shape, but it’s not because I’m crying, it’s because I’m thinking, and wishing I could take it all back. Sophie is amazing, but she isn’t worth this.     

   “Megan.” I say. She doesn’t reply, other than shuffling further away from me. I know she’ll never forgive me for what I’ve done, “Megan.” I say again, but softer this time.    

   “Don’t say my name.” Her voice comes out choked up, but she spits out the words like thunder.    

   “I’m sorry.” I say. Pointless words really. They don’t mean anything, but I don’t know how else to put it. She slowly stands up and wobbles round the bar, making her way outside.     

   I’ve screwed up.     

   “Dylan I’m-“ Sophie starts.    

   “It’s fine. It’s my fault.” I stand up and take her hands in mine, “I’m sorry Sophie, I wish things could be different, but Megan’s the love of my life, I just know it, and she’s also the mother of my child. I can’t change that.” I reach and kiss her forehead, then walk off without saying good bye; that would hurt too much.    

   The party is still going, and it’s hard to believe that although my world just fell apart, everybody else’s is still intact.     

   The cold frosty air of outside bites my skin as soon as I open the pub doors, sending a shiver through me. I sit in the car for what feels like half an hour, and then turn on the ignition. My head feels heavy on my neck, like I can’t keep it balanced, and my hands hurt as much as my heart. I’m a bad man.  

   

The only person you can trust is yourself. People will hurt you, whether it’s intentional or not, and it all hurts the same afterwards.  

 

My mind flashes back to when I was fourteen, and Megan was stood with Blake, holding his hands. The smile on his face said it all; he wanted her. Who wouldn’t? She was gorgeous, always has been and always will be. She looked over at me and for a split second, something flashed through her eyes, maybe it was guilt, or her saying sorry. I felt defeated then, because I always thought Megan was mine, and nobody else’s. That day I discovered that people are just people, sometimes they change their minds, sometimes nothing works out, but everything will keep moving, the world will keep tuning, whether you’re alive or dead.     

   The sounds of her words hurt a lot too. She told me that she was young, and ready to make mistakes. She said she was sick of the pity from people, and wanted to live life carelessly, having s much fun as possible. She went through a bad faze then, not concentrating in school, and drinking quite a bit even though her body couldn’t take it. Steve was constantly angry at her round that period. He’d yell all the time, but Megan didn’t care. I used to go round and sit with her whilst she threw up the poison, and I’d always see Steve frowning away. In fact, I don’t think he ever smiled back then.     

   I pull up at the side of the road, and climb out. Megan breaks into a run, but I’m faster than her, and grab her round her waist. She screams, but nobody can hear her; we’re miles out from anywhere.     

   “Let me go Dylan!” She screeches. I refuse to.    

   “Come on, just get in the car and we can talk when we get home.” I try to talk her round.    

   “I’m not going home with you. That isn’t my home anymore.” She cries harder, and I can feel the pulses through my arms. I tighten them round her stomach.    

   “Megan, I promise, I can explain. Just get in the car.”    

   “No.” she yells loudly into my ear, making it ring for a minute or two.    

   “Just get in the car.” I say, firmly this time. I lift her and carry her towards my car, but she kicks furiously, bruising my skin.     

   “Never.” Her voice rips out of her throat, and it sounds as if that word would have burned her mouth, making her sore, but she continues to scream and protest.    

   “This is best for you.” I manage to get her in the car, although it’s a struggle, and I lock the doors so she can’t get out. Strangely, she doesn’t try to, she just sits crying.  

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