Frozen Sea

Sixteen-year-old Alaska's whole world is slowly but surely starting to crumble. Her boyfriend is charged with the rape of her best friend, and she is staring at a long, lonely summer of secrets and unimaginable pain. Losing herself in surfing and her night shift at the local pub seems like the only way to pretend none of it is actually happening for real. Until she meets Connor, a mysterious musician on a holiday of inspiration, Alaska finally realises that sometimes the only way to move on is to face up to reality.

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14. XIII

Fierce reds, icy blues and bright, fluorescent yellows danced magically across the huge windows of Isaac’s house as I made my way up the path, doing my best to dodge the unfaltering crowd of hysterical teenagers in bunches of twos or threes, all heading in the same direction. I stared at them; their hair was spray dyed all the colours of the rainbow, droopy Hawaiian flowers hung around their scrawny necks, their vibrant clothes were barely covering their dignity. I looked down at my own outfit: a baby blue collared shirt and denim shorts, hardly the Hawaiian flavour Isaac had been going for. Dodging an empty beer can that had been chucked in my direction, I decided that I had probably made the most minimal effort possible.

Isaac’s house was lavishly decked out: streams of brightly coloured and glittering paper flowers hung suspended from the high ceilings, plastic palm trees and cardboard cut outs of Hula ladies were dotted around the expensive Persian carpets.

“If your parents were here they would murder you,” I mumbled to no one in particular as I sidestepped two girls with identically matched orange bikinis and pink hair, and walked up to the DJ deck. Ella was seated on one of their Grandparents’ vintage wooded chairs, dressed in a Guns and Roses T-shirt with black shorts and fishnet tights. She was sipping from a plastic cup in one hand, her mobile in the other. Her long, dark hair was exquisitely braided in an elaborate French plait. She looked up and smiled when she saw me. “Hey, Alaska.”

“Hey,” I returned, and sat next to her in the next wooden chair. “You staying for the party?”

“God, no. A bunch of teenagers dancing to their crappy music and puking up all over the place?” She shuddered. “Not for me, thanks.”

“Where are you going, then?” I asked, gesturing to her outfit and heavily made up face.

“Jamie’s taking me out,” she replied, whipping out a mirror from her handbag and checking her highly pigmented red lipstick.

Jamie was Ella’s long-term boyfriend and had been for years; people in town were even talking about the possibility of Jamie proposing this side of next surfing season. I didn’t know how Isaac felt about that, and to be honest, I hadn’t even asked. Talking about love wasn’t one of our conversation topics, and I wasn’t feeling to change that any time soon.

“So,” began Ella, dabbing at the crease of her lips. “Isaac tells me you’ve got a new guy.”

“God…” I moaned, burying my head in my hands. “Is there anything Isaac doesn’t share with almost everyone on the whole planet?”

Ella laughed. “So is it true, then?”

“Sadly, no,” I said, shrugging my shoulders as if I couldn’t care less whether it was true or not. “Well, we’re not going out or anything. He’s just a mate.”

“Mmm.” Ella’s mascaraed eyes drifted over to a group of eighteen year old boys from the skate club downing vodka shots from pink plastic cups. “Is he here?”

“No,” I answered firmly, “And why are you and Isaac so interested in my love life, anyway?”

Ella shifted slightly in her seat, appearing uncomfortable. Her eyes narrowed as if she sensed my suspicion. “No reason.”

I decided to drop the subject. “Ella, do you know if Isaac has a… bouncer-type person? It’s just that I don’t want Carter…”

“Don’t worry, Alaska.” Ella put a hand on my knee reassuringly. “That rodent’s not coming within ten miles of you.”

Over the blaring thump of the dub step I faintly heard a honking sound and Ella jumped to her feet. “That’s Jamie.” She leant down and swiftly planted a kiss on my cheek. “See you later, honey. Be good,” she added, pointing a warning finger in my direction. I nodded and gave her the brightest smile I could, which just so happened to not be very bright at all. I sat there, surveying the crowds of teenagers all drinking and laughing and having a great time. A boy with spiked green hair was making out passionately with a girl who looked half his age in a dark corner, his hand snaking up the back of her dress like a lizard. An older guy was stood at the mini-bar, pouring an intense, glowing blue liquid into three girl’s cups. A cheap scorpion medallion glinted in the musky air, lying nestled in his hairy chest. I ran a hand through my hair and let out a breath. Making my way to the bar, and leant forward on my elbows and tried to speak over the pounding of the bass in the music. “Whatever that is, I’ll have it.”

He winked at me; sweat dripping down from his greasy chestnut hair into the nest of his chest. I stifled a gag. “Straight vodka. With colouring,” he added hastily, as he saw my face. “I’ll give you double. You look like you need it.”

“You have no idea,” I sighed dejectedly. 

The guy took my depression as a plea for something else. "Well, then maybe we could..." He ran a hand from my wrist all the way up to my shoulder. I jerked my arm away, grabbing my now full cup and tried to search for an empty corner to hide in, my eyes glistening with tears of shame and embarrassment. I had no idea where Isaac was, and I wasn't ready to go back into the throbbing horde of people and go searching for him. Just as I had raised my cup to take a swig from the repulsive looking liquid, I felt a voice at my ear.

"Mind if I sit here?" 

I automatically jolted backwards and found a handsome guy about seventeen standing there, his heart-shaped face framed by a mop of curly red hair, with freckles dotting his tanned skin. A loosely buttoned floral shirt was taut on top of his muscular chest, and he smiled at me, holding out a hand. "Will."

"Alaska."

"Alaska." He appeared to taste my name in his mouth, letting his pink tongue run along his teeth slowly. Strangely, I didn't like it at all. Will licked his lips and ran a hand through his hair, his bright green eyes appraising me from head to toe like a piece of meat. "You here with anyone?" His voice sounded hopeful.

"No." I shuffled across the bench we were sitting on, each movement minuscule so Will wouldn't notice. "You?" My voice was a pathetic squeak. 

"Sadly, no." Will let out a small, sad sigh, almost regretfully. "My girlfriend chucked me last week."

He was close. His piercing eyes were now the size of basket balls, his teenage acne now disgustingly clear, his breath a sour mix of rum and vodka and... lust. I could tell by the way he looked at me, just by the way his eyes were intense and pleading, boring straight into mine, that he wanted something. Will snaked his arm around my waist. I closed my eyes, waiting for something, someone or anything to help me. I could barely breathe, panic was closing my throat up so I could barely even speak, let alone scream. I was stuck. For a moment I thought of Lily, and how she had probably felt like this a couple of months ago, when Carter had done the exact same thing to her. 

"Let's just sneak off for a while, yeah?" Will murmured, his lips against my ear, my neck, my collarbone. "There are some free rooms upstairs. Let's go have some fun."

"No." My voice was strong, indignant, but somehow it still wobbled. "I don't want to..."

But then his mouth was on mine. Hands clawing at his shirt, I tried to push him off but it was no use, Will had both his arms locked around my waist and there was no escape. His mouth was warm and persuasive, and a small part of me wondered why I couldn't be like every other girl in this room and just go with Will, enjoy myself and let go, for once in my life. 

But I knew why.

Will's actions had reminded me of something, a distant memory I had blocked from my mind, something so terrible I had forced it from my mind. With my nerve finally snapping I opened my mouth and found Will's tongue. He moaned softly and clutched me tighter to his chest, his hands travelling up my shirt and tugging at my bra. He had obviously misinterpreted my actions.

Good.

Suddenly, without any warning whatsoever, I clamped my teeth down hard on his tongue. Will leapt back in instantaneous agony, his hands held against his mouth. A scarlet river ran from the edge of his lip to his chin, where it pooled horribly. His eyes were a mixture of shock and intense anger.

"You Goddamn whore."

His words were so full of venom that I didn't see his hand coming until the slap knocked me backwards into something, hard. A sharp pain shot from my hip to my shoulder blade and I cried out, my cheek turning more crimson with every passing second from the sting of the slap. Then all of a sudden a large, booming yet familiar voice rung out amongst the thump of the music. "That's enough."

Isaac.

He walked out into the middle of Will and me and put his hands to his hips, his own Hawaiian print shirt rumpled and creased. "What the hell is going on here?"

His voice was hard and arctic. Will let out a rush of breath and moved his hands to his tousled curls. He swore softly. "Isaac, I don't know what to tell you, mate. She just came onto me and I..."

"Shut up, Will." By the way Isaac's voice cut through the air like a knife through butter, I could tell Isaac was thinking of another set of words to use. "Get out of my house," he growled. "Now, before I call the police and do you for assault."

Giving me a last disgusted look, he dabbed his bleeding mouth with a Hawaiian flag napkin and staggered out of the room. There was a moment of complete silence whilst everyone digested the drama and then, a few seconds later, the party continued as if nothing had happened. 

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