I woke up late the next day, at around half eleven, though I'd hardly had any sleep. Rememering snatches of nightmares I'd had, glimpses of the girl with the cold blue eyes haunting me. I shivered, half expecting her to be standing right outside my window, or even behind the door in my bedroom.
Stop it Hannah, I told myself, you're being utterly ridiculous, you should've been prepared for this, there will most likely be other girls out there just like her, and anyway, how on earth could she know where you live?
But no matter how hard I tried to convince myself nothing was wrong, it seemed like something was. I couldn't get those cold, cruel, emotionless eyes out of my head, everytime I closed my eyes they flashed before me, full of hatred and disgust. And at every noise I heard, whether it was a car rumbling past, or a branch hitting the window in the kitchen, I jumped, scared to death, incase it was her.
I need to stop stressing out, I told myself with force, and got up from my seat on the window ledge and walked over to my desk and picked up my phone: 2 new messages and one email. One message from Sophie saying:
Heyy Hannah! U still ok for later? I finish at 4pm today so I can come round at around that time maybe? If u need anything or have other stuff in mind let me know! :) xx
I replied with: hey, yes that's perfect, just come round whenever u want, I won't be doing anything much today until u get here, can't wait! :D xx
My other message was from Nathan, just a simple goodbye with a 'don't worry' and a smiley face and about a dozen kisses. I thought twice about replying, he might be on the airplane by now, so I went and checked my email instead, again from Nathan with another goodbye and a 'see you soon' and 'don't forget to email and don't worry!' He'd attached a silly picture of him and Jay mucking around and pulling silly faces which made me laugh out loud to myself. I replied with:
Goodbye, have a good time! Don't you worry about me worrying, I'll be fine. See you soon! xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
P.S - no secret holiday romances.... I will know ....I've heard all the Jaythan rumors.. ;) xxxxxxx
I though that would make him smile. I locked my phone and started to tidy the house for Sophie coming round.
Halfway through my cleaning regime, my phone vibrated in my pocket, making me jump and drop the dustpan and brush, sprinkling dirt all over the floor again. Ugh, I thought, sighing and rolling my eyes. I tidied up the mess for the second time, and thenn reached inside my pocket for my phone, Sophie again:
OH MY GOD BABE I HAVE SERIOUS NEWS!!!!!!!! I CAN'T TELL YOU NOW BECAUSE THERE'S TOO MUCH TO SAY BUT OMG I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOU EVEN MORE NOW THIS IS LIKE THE MOST AMAZING THING I NEED TO TELL YOU NOW OMG!!!!!!!! WHY IS FOUR O'CLOCK SO FAR AWAY???? WHYYYYYYYY??? xxx
Any other person looking at my phone would've thought Sophie was slightly crazy, well she was a bit, but aren't we all? Only yesterday I was throwing flour around my boyfriend's kitchen and at him. But this was sort of out of the ordinary for Sophie, something great must have happened for her and I was eager to find out too. I couldn't wait for four o'clock either now.
By the time I'd finished tidying the house completely, from top to bottom, it was exactly three mintues past four, I sprinted for my phone which was lying in the kitchen and dialled Sophie's number, she picked up on the first ring,
"I'm just locking up! I'm just locking up!" She exclaimed with Sophie,
"That wasn't very professional Sophie," I said with a smile on my face, "for all you know I could've been your mother!"
"Yes, well I knew it would be you anyway, my mum never phones me, like ever,"
"Whatever, come on, tell me now! Spill! I need to know! I don't think I've ever been as impaitient or as agitated in my whole life! It was torture!"
"Well you're going to be tortured for a few more minutes, I need to tell you in person,"
"What? No that's not fair!" I wailed, although with a smile,
"I'll be at your place in no time, but the longer we sit here talking to each other the longer I'll take to get to you,"
"Fair point," I said, taking the conversation to a close, we said our goodbye's and then I went through to the front porch and sat on the sofa in there, eagerly waiting for Sophie's robin egg blue car to come rumbling along.
Eventaully it came into sight and I ran out of the house towards Sophie climbing out her car and gave her a big hug,
"Come on, you have to tell me NOW!" I plead,
"Wait, wait, we need to go inside first it's freezing out here!" Sophie says, smiling cheekily, knowing she's irritating me keeping me waiting,
"Alright," I huff, helping her with her bags and pulling her along. Once we're inside I turn her round to face me and look her in the eyes, bluey-green to brown, staring her out, the silence so quiet and tense you could break it with a pin. Sophie closes her eyes, takes a deep breath, and says,
"I'VE GOT A BOYFRIEND!!!!!" She shouts,
"Oh my god girl! That's great!" I exclaim, truly happy for her, she'd had a horrible break up with her old ex, Mathew who had cheated on her and it had left her scarred. "Come on, tell me more, I need all the details!" I say, steering her into the living room and us both collapsing onto beanbags.
"Well..." She begins, slowly, teasing me. I eventaully get the whole story out of her, some young boy of around our age came into her shop to collect a dress for his mother, they began talking and apparently couldn't stop, the boy's mother had to come in after him, wondering what had happened to her son. He left Sophie with his number and later on in the day texted her asking her out. Of course she said yes. And his name's Rory. They're going out for lunch tomorrow. I was so pleased for Sophie, we spent the next few mintes hugging in happiness and talking about him, until Sophie said,
"So where's your boy?"
"Oh, he went to America this morning," I say, trying to hide the sadness in my voice, but Sophie spotted it immediately,
"Aww don't worry Hannah, he'll be back before you know it."
"Yeah," I mumble, my mind flickering over to other things,
"What's wrong Hannah? You seem, I don't know, different. Like you're worried someone's going to jump through your bedroom window tonight and take you away because you're with Nathan Sykes."
How on earth could she know that? I thought to myself, goodness I'm not good at hiding my feelings. "Yeah, that's kinda it," I say.
"Tell me everything," Sophie says, earnestly, big brown eyes staring at me. So I do, I tell her everything, from the Valentine's Day Dance to sleeping over at his house to making pancakes and mucking around, and then to driving to the jewellery shop and meeting the cold blue-eyed girl.
"Oh god, that's not so good. But don't worry about it, she's just one person, she can't do anything. It will be fine, just believe in yourself and follow your heart and nothing can go wrong."
This is why I love Sophie, not only can she make me laugh and smile and cheer me up, she also knows exactly how I'm feeling all the time and is always here for me to offer advice or a shoulder to cry on. "Thanks Soph," I say with a smile and get up to hug her.
"No problem, that's what I'm here for, now, let's take your mind off things and have some FUN!"
We spend the rest of the day doing silly things and games and spending endless minutes in fits of hysterical laughter,
"I.. c-can't breathe," I said at one point, tears from laughing so hard streaming down my face,
"God Hannah," Sophie exclaimed, breathless from giggling, "I've been laughing so hard I can feel a six pack coming on!" This comment of course started up the laughter all over again and eventually we collapsed in a heap on top of my sofa.
"I do not think I will ever laugh again," Sophie told me sincerly, "you've used up all the laughter in me."
"I doubt that," I say, and lean forward and begin tickling her, Sophie shrieks and starts laughing,
"Please, please stop, ok, ok I surrender! I surrender! You win!" She says, face red with all the hysterics. I relent and stop, although it was very amusing, until WHAM! A pillow hits me right in the face and rebounds of my head. This then starts up another hard core pillow fight, that's the second one I've had this week, I think. We run around the house like lunatics, hiding and jumping out at one another until we have no energy left whatsoever.
We then decide to get into our pyjamas and watch a DVD, after it ends it's way past midnight and we head upstairs to get ready for bed. While Sophie goes to clean her teeth, I walk over to a photoframe standing on my desk and do what I do every night, I pick up the frame and whisper three simple words to photograph of my parents: I love you. I didn't realise Sophie had come back in until I heard her say beside me,
"You still miss them, don't you?"
"Yes, every single day." I reply with a sad smile and I can't stop a tear from escaping my eye,
"Does Nathan know?" Sophie asks, reaching up and gently catching my tears and wiping them away,
"No," I reply, "but he will soon. I'm going to have to tell him sometime."
We leave it at that and climb into our sleepingbags, we talk for quite a while and then eventually we both drift off, my sleep haunted by nightmares yet again.
The next morning when we wake up Sophie offers to make breakfast for me and I happily oblige, while she makes our breakfast I sit in the kitchen and talk to her and reply to Nath's emails. Then I go on to my twitter account, I've not really been on this in ages, I think to myself,
"So today's the big day," I say to Sophie,
"What?" She questions,
"Don't tell me you've forgotten already!" I say, "You know, you're going out for lunch, with your BOYFRIEND. Or do I need to spell it out for you?" I say jokingly.
"Oh whoops! I had forgotten! Thankfully you reminded me though, what would I do without you? I guess I'm just not a morning person."
"Don't make excuses for yourself," I tease.
I hear Sophie mumbling on and on but I'm not listening properly, everything goes out of focus, my eyesight has become all fuzzy, I'm vaguely aware of Sophie's soft gentle voice talking to me, but it's just like a muffled sound in the background. And then I snap back to reality when Sophie snatches the phone from my hand, she stops dead in her tracks when her eyes focus on the first few tweets to me.
"Oh Hannah..." She whispers, for once lost for words. I get up and walk over to where she's standing and look over her shoulder at the phone screen. I didn't imagine it. Comment after comment about me, blowing up my news feed, the words: bitch and slut and good-for-nothing nobody stood out boldly.
"Hannah, I'm sure it will be fine, look, let's scroll down, there could be some uh...nicer comments." Sophie says, full of optimism as always. But it just gets worse. Someone's even handwritten a letter and posted it as a photo, I can remember every word clearly and reading it was like a stab in the back with a knife. There were plenty of death threats and suggestions that I should go kill myself, at one point someone had tried to trend #HannahFerrierShouldJumpOffABridge
"Immature, immature and stupid and selfish and cold hearted and just downright unacceptable!" Sophie said, storming into a rage if fury, Sophie is normally the calmest person I know and an eruption like this from her is about as common as fish being able to breath out of water. "Who on earth do these stupid, mindless people think they are?" Rage and anger swirling in her eyes, Sophie came towards and pulled me into a fierce hug, "Don't listen to those immature idiots, they're just jealous. Hannah you are perfect don't ever forget that, and Nathan loves you, it's been a long time since he's loved someone hasn't it? You deserve each other and those people are just jealous."
"Ok," I replied quietly, I saw Sophie glance at the time quickly, "it's alright, I understand, you've got to go and meet Rory." I say with a forced smile. But Sophie refused to leave until I literally forced her out the front door and promised her a million times I would take no notice and go nowhere near any bridges.
I turned around and headed back inside with a sigh and a heavy heart. I hadn't realised how quick it could take for a person to decide that they hate someone so quickly. Despite what Sophie had said, I scrolled quickly through all the tweets and was pleasantly surprised to find some nice and complimentary ones. A few people had nicknamed us 'Hathan' while others had said they preferred 'Nannah'. I thought personally that Nannah was quite cute and smiled to myself at the thought. I posted a quick tweet saying:
Had a great time last night with @TheSopphhiiee ... Love that girl <3 xx
I then emailed Nathan about all that happened yesterday and today but I left out the twitter hate parts, I told him I'd ignore them so I'm trying. I turned my phone off for the rest of the day, it just proved to be a worrying distraction.
At the end of the day I collapsed upstairs on my bed in a heap, exhausted from staying up so late yesterday and the day's events.
I woke up bright and early, I walked over to open my curtains and scattered across the garden and still falling from the sky was snow! And it was nearly March as well! British weather is so strange sometimes, I thought to myself. It was freezing in my old rickety farm cottage, so I put on some cosy and funky Aztec printed leggings with denim shorts over the top and a simple long sleeves black top and favourite hoodie which said: keep calm and canter on. As a child I'd had my own pony and loved her to bits but when I had to move to the city I had to get rid of her. Her and my dog Splodge, a gorgeous springer spaniel who was white all over except for a black blob covering her right eye and ear. It broke my heart when I had to sell them both, especially seeing as I was going through a tough time with my family life. But I've never lost my love of dogs or horse riding.
I went downstairs and fixed myself some breakfast, I was still off work and wasn't sure what to do with the day. I'd just finished clearing away and was putting on some subtle make up and pulling a brush through my tangled hair when there was a knock at my door. I raced to the door, heart thumping, thinking for one moment the girl from town had tracked me down, but standing on the doorstep, snowflakes falling delicately into his brown floppy hair and soaking it, was Nathan. Words couldn't describe how happy I was to see him and I literally launched myself at him into a hug. The force of the hug took him so by surprise that we both wobbled backwards and stumbled into the snow lying in my garden. I just giggled while Nathan held out a hand to pull me up. He looked so cute, even more handsome than usual, snowflakes falling around him and particles of snow caking his eyelashes and soaking his hair until it was dripping wet, his cheeks turned red with the cold. I took his outstretched hand and he pulled me up into another hug,
"I missed you too!" He laughed, the laughter lighting up those green eyes. I had no idea how much I'd missed him until he actually returned, it felt like christmas all over again. He pulled me in for a welcoming kiss, this one mixed with damp snowflakes resting on his lips.
"I think I might be getting a slight case of frostbite." I whispered, still standing in the snow with only my socks on my feet and my hoodie to keep me warm.
"Hannah why didn't you say something?" Nathan exclaims, only just noticing my lack of footwear. Before I could protest he swept me up off my feet and carried me back to my house and into the living room. While my feet warm up I make us both a cup of tea and then we head up to my room so I can change into a dry pair of socks. As I pull on another pair, I hear Nathan say,
"Are these your parents?" He's looking at the photo beside me bed,
"Yes," I reply quietly,
"They look very nice and I'm sure they are, having a daughter like you, they must be so proud."
"Yeah," I trail off, this was one of the subjects I didn't feel comfortable taking about, it was like someone had just shattered my dreams and let reality crawl back in again.
"When can I meet them?" Nathan asked, oblivious.
"Nathan," I begin, it's probably about time he knew, "when I was fifteen my parents died in a car crash." I whispered, standing up and walking over to stand beside him, looking down at the photograph. "I lost everything that day, everyone I loved right then, all my happiness, and I lost my two best friends," I say, pointing to my horse and Splodge in the picture.
"Hannah," Nathan says, taking hold of my face gently in his hands, brushing back the tears I hadn't even realised we're falling, "Hannah, I had no idea, I- I'm so sorry to hear that." He says quietly. "Do you want to do something today? Because if not I totally understand,"
"No, I'd love to do something with you, I really, really missed you," I told him,
"Alright, I was thinking about maybe ice skating? Does that sound ok?"
"That sounds great!" I respond with an enthusiastic smile.
We head out of my house towards Nath's car, and I lock up. As we walk through the snowy path, Nathan turns and says to me,
"So I hear we're called Nannah now, or something like that?"
"Haha yes!" I reply, taking his hand and smiling, "Something like that."
And we walk out to the car, leaving a perfect trail of two footsteps behind us, snowflakes falling in chaos around us