Girl Heart Boy: Smoky impressions.

For the Girl Heart Boy: The Deleted Scene competition.

To put it simply, life really doesn't go the way anyone plans and as much as we hate to admit it, neither do the people.

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1. Smoky impressions.

I knew that leaving Ashley could end up one of two ways. She could end up a very happy and satisfied girl with a very hot man on her arm or she could end up back in my arms, doing the usual old manoeuvre of declaring whole heartedly that men were jerks and she’d surely had enough of them this time. To put it shortly, Ash knew what she was doing but it didn’t mean I was particularly happy for her to do it.

Taking a swig from my cup I realised just how much it had been tainted with vodka and tried not to scowl. If Joe suddenly appeared out of the throng of people a rather unattractive expression of clenched eyes and pursed lips while I fought back the urge to cough would not be a face I’d call ‘fit’.

Stepping back I allowed a giggling girl to pass, her arm extended behind her as she clasped the wrist of someone I instantly assumed was her date for the evening. I wondered just how much she’d had to drink and whether she’d even remember him in the morning. However my thoughts were interrupted by a voice against my ear, no louder than a whisper.

“You look tense,” Instantly my heart began to beat louder than the music and twice as fast. It was Joe’s voice: soft and smooth like melting chocolate. Or at least that was how it had been but in that moment I couldn’t take in his silky tones one bit. All I could process was the choking feeling and scent of smoke rapidly invading my system. And then I realised something: it wasn’t just my besotted mind messing me over but I was actually and truly inhaling toxic fumes into my lungs.

My smoke related peril lost on him, Joe smiled lazily. He looked like he might even say something before he thought better of it and eased the cigarette between his fingers up to his lips. Had his mouth always clenched that unattractively? “How are you, Sarah?” He asked lightly but instead of the rush of butterflies in my stomach his voice usually gave me, all I got was a wave of nausea in the pit of my belly. The scent of blueberry muffins and chewing gum I’d taken in the first time his mouth had been close to mine was definitely no longer. This time it was nothing but the sour stink of cigarettes and booze. Not that my mouth could have smelt like a bed of roses but I could guarantee my own breath wasn’t making him want to be physically sick.

“Joe,” I murmured quietly, turning my head away to the side when I feared he may come even closer. It wasn’t in my nature to be dismissive but I couldn’t stay here much longer. “I’ll go get us drinks, yeah?” I struggled out. I didn’t even wait to hear his reply before I fled back through the mass of people toward the drinks table. I could breathe easier here, but not by much. All too suddenly I wanted Ash but she would be too busy in some room away from prying eyes. Clenching my fists I felt cool liquid pour over my wrist and upon looking down I realised I’d cracked my cup. A mixture of vodka and coke stained my skin.

“Sarah?”

Slowly I looked up. I could feel my chest becoming tight and my eyes burning a little. Ashley was stood about a metre in front of me, her shirt hanging off her left shoulder. The fly of her shorts was undone.

“I saw you talking to Joe and then you kind of just...” She blinked and tried to think about what she’d seen. Oh how nice of her to notice.

“Wondered where you’d got to,” Will’s voice interrupted before she had time to continue. With no respect for personal space he rested his hands on her hips and pulled her flush against him. Ducking down I saw his face disappear into her long hair but I heard none of the words that he whispered in order to make her blush.

“Ash, I’m going home,” I said sternly. I didn’t want to be here, not with what I’d just experienced with Joe. The image of my summer romance was suddenly just like the sandcastle I and Joe had made one Saturday afternoon beneath Brighton pier then later watched destroyed by the ocean waves. I took a step back, making to leave but Ashley didn’t come. Only her eyes moved with me but then they fell closed when Will’s lips brushed across the smooth skin of her neck.

And that was when I turned, ready to leave without her and walked straight into someone carrying an entire tray full of vodka shots.

Because I can’t have a holiday romance go well or a friend that’ll come when I really need her...or even a perfect dramatic exit.
 

 

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