Happily Ever Afterwards

Spin the bottle was a bad idea.

You could blame this all on Matty Edwards, because he was the one who suggested it.

But there's no way out now. I'm dead. I can't just click my fingers and live again.

But the worst thing about being dead, is that you just keep on living, but the living can't see you. It really hurts, watching people carry on without you. But there's a catch. The dead can see other dead. I suppose it makes sense. But there's one other thing. I'm 17, and I have a girlfriend. Or had. She's still alive, and she's moving on. I guess this is Afterlife, and let me tell you, it sucks.

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1. Prologue

 

There's nothing more amusing than watching an empty vodka bottle spin round and round.

Six of us lean in to the flickering campfire light, watching the bottle slowly come to a stop.

Then everyone looks at me.

"Jack's got to pull Ellie!" Sarah declares, her bangles jangling about on her wrists.

Oh for god's sake. Luck doesn't like me today.

"Nah," I say, scrunching up my face, staring at a little fly settle on the sand. Ellie pushes herself up, resting a hand on her hip.

Why am I doing this again? Drinking at a beach way past my curfew? Oh yeah, I'm supposed to be young, wild and free. We go by the excuse of "Y.O.L.O".

"Jack, the bottle landed on you, it's the rules." Tommy smirks behind his long spirally curls. They kind of hang like a veil over his face. "Oh, and can we make it rule you have to pull in the sea? It's more romantic."

Oh yeah, great idea Tommy. Kissing with a moutful of salty water. What could possibly be more romantic?

And with Ellie? Seriously? She's not bad looking, it's just..well, she is bad looking. That just makes me sound like a shallow prick. She's small and fat and has these really big blue eyes. Like, big in the sense of massive. Too big.

But everyone's jeering and I would look like a right wimpy asshole if I backed out. Too scared to kiss Ellie. And she'd feel like a dick as well, with me not wanting to kiss her.

" 'kay, fine, but.." I take a sharp breath that digs into my stomach. "Fine."

Smiles break out around the campfire.

"In the water," Tommy reminds us. I press my lips together. I can't be bothered protesting.

"Come on then, Ellie."

She takes my hand and we start walking down, and soon sea water is slushing round our feet. We're almost chin deep in it by the time we decide we've got far enough. Ellie's having to paddle to stay upright, and it looks kind of off putting, her flapping her chubby arms in the water, spraying splashes into my face, so I suggest we move down a bit, and she doesn't hesitate to agree. Let's get this over with.

I lean forward, and we're kissing, all because a stupid bottle told us to. Ellie pulls her arms round my neck. She's quite strong. That, or she's just heavy. Then I realise I'm sinking. I try and push Ellie off, but I'm not strong enough. And I can't scream because I've got her tongue in my mouth. It's not pleasant. I start to struggle. My whole head is under water, and I can't exactly breath like this. Okay, stop being Mr Nice Guy, Jack, this is your life about to end. I kick Ellie's legs hard, trying anything to get her to let go. But she doesn't. They say you see your life flash before you're eyes when you drown. I guess that's happening now. My whole life, in fast forward. And then white. I can't see anything. Well that's a lie. It's just like, you know when you're TV stops working, and it's just that fuzzy screen? It's like that. And pain. Like I'm being stabbed in every part of my body with razor sharp knives. And then it's all gone. The pain. The fuzziness. Everything. Now I know what Nothing is. I see Nothing. I feel Nothing. I am Nothing.

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