"What were you thinking jumping into the sea like that, it may be summer but you never go swimming in a storm, or fully clothed. You are never to do that again you had me worried sick. And you..." She turned to Freddie "you are not to leave her freezing in the cold." She walked past him muttering pausing only to hit him over the head with her oven mitt. I stifled a giggle and stared at him. He stared back curiosity painted over his face. When Lillian was safely in the kitchen. He came and sat next to me, raising a tentative hand over my head and placing it on my shoulder, rubbing my arm in an effort to warm it. We didn't look at each other, only at the screen where a news story about some car crash was playing.
"I'm really sorry." He mumbled, turning to face me.
" it wasn't your fault." I said keeping my eyes fixed on the TV, where a couple were weeping about the death of their little girl.
"I did push you off a cliff." He said turning away to look at the kitchen nervously.
I stared at the screen, he felt guilty for my mistake, it wasn't even his fault, it was an accident. The TV screen played on telling of how it was the tenth anniversary of the Darlington pile up. "I shouldn't of grabbed your arm it was an accident... It wasn't your fault so stop beating yourself up about it. If anything I deserved it." I said flashing him a smile. My eyes returned to the TV, not wanting to see the conflict of emotions behind his eyes.
200 people had died in the pile up, the TV informed.
"You didn't deserve it, he kissed you - what guy pushes a girl who just declared her love for him of a cliff."
"Sounds like an Emily Bronte book." I laughed. Lillian walked through the door carrying our food.
"Don't get used to this." She laughed. "What's like an Emily Bronte book?"
"Uh the..." I stuttered. "The Darlington pileup." I managed reading the band at the bottom of the TV.
Lillian fell into the armchair. "Well, not really but...” She paused for a moment. “It's terrible isn't it, all those people because of a little bit of fog."
"Have you heard some of the conspiracy theories?" Said Freddie wrestling with a bit of beef. I had no clue what he was on about, but the word sounded odd.
"You've never heard of a conspiracy?" Said Freddie putting his knife and fork down. "JFK? Area 51? 9/11?" I stared at him blankly.
"It's like a theory that what happened wasn't actually true." I raised my eyes brows in question.
"JFK was killed by this guy but people are saying that the man couldn’t of killed him alone. People thought other people were involved, especially the government.”
“That sounds kind of stupid.” I said, thinking it over.
“Why?” Freddie stared at me. “Have you never been in a situation where you don't know what's happening and what they tell you doesn't sound real?” I blinked rapidly, did he know about the hospital. The hospital!
I ate the rest of my dinner in silence, stopping after a few bites because it made me feel sick. I thanked them quickly and went upstairs. I sat in the bath thinking and thinking, turning the idea over in my head. It was like Freddie had planted a seed in my head and now it was growing uncontrollably, taking over my brain and spilling out my eyes, mouth and ears. What if? It was so simple. What if what had happened in the hospital wasn't real. What if we weren't crazy what if we were just put their because of something that happened. I had thought it before but never really believed it until now. Crazy people did crazy things and I hadn't done anything crazy. Come to think of it neither had Noah or Vespa. Not once had I seen Noah gnawing on his flesh like his mental patient file had suggested. So what if the hospital wasn't real. What would be the conspiracy theory. The ideas were unending. The books I had read over the past few years could only add to my already overloading imagination. Had we been witness to a government crime, had we been child prodigies the government were scared of.... The ideas wouldn't stop, they were overflowing and dangerously so. For most of the night I couldn't switch off and by early morning laying in bed was painful. I got up and walked down to the corridor to go to the kitchen to get a drink. As I past Freddie's door I heard the soft notes of his guitar and snuck in.
He looked up a me through his glasses, pushed his floppy blonde hair back and wrote something down on a piece of paper. I noticed a cup of tea lay untouched on his dresser, clearly his mind was in overdrive too. I sat down on his desk chair, wrapping my legs up.
"Can't sleep." He asked, taking his glasses off.
"What's the problem." He place the guitar down and pulled himself into a comfortable position, facing me.
"I can't stop thinking." I admitted biting my lip.
"Things..." It wasn't like I could tell him. "What about you? What's your excuse for being up."
"I write best late at night." I got up and walked over to his bed, I sat down and looked at the paper he had been writing on.
I watch her face, it is like a clock
I watch it go tick tock.
Her blue eyes her blonde hair.
Shimmering in the salty sea air.
She watches me too
Never says a word
Her blue eyes her blonde hair
Holding a secret her face betrays
I wonder, I wish
Will she confide in me
I put the paper down.
For a moment we were silent. I wondered about the song, whether it was about me or not. Freddie was quiet too, just pushing his hair back now and again.
"What are you thinking about." He asked.
"Kissing you." I said, realising it was a mistake.
"Me too." He said leaning closer, our lips almost touching. And all I wanted to do was kiss him. But no. I burst into humiliating laughter. Freddie jumped back, startled and embarrassed. I pushed my hands into my face. I couldn't stop giggling. With tears streaming down my face I managed to speak.
"I'm sorry but ... That was really... Cheesy." I burst into another fit of giggles. My face getting redder and redder. Freddie pushed me lightly and I rolled off the bed, landing with a thump. Which caused me to laugh even more. Freddie began laughing lightly too trying to disguise his embarrassment. The worst thing was that I really wanted to kiss him. I really wanted for him to kiss me. We had done it before but with our feelings exposed it was so awkward. Every time I looked at him from then on, I would be reminded of that line. That wonderful and oh so cheesy line. I sat on the floor trying to stop my fit of chortling.
Freddie leaned over the edge and stared at me as I made a fool of myself cackling like a mad person.
The rest of the night flew by. When I had calmed down we sat side by side just talking. He told me more about his family. We talked about books and music and everything.
"I bet you can sing, you look like a singer." He came out with eagerly.
"I'm really not." I managed, wondering myself if I could sing. I didn't even know any songs. I didn't really listen or remember anything. The only song I was familiar with had no lyrics.
"I don't know any songs."
"Of course you do." Freddie persisted.
"I really don't." I said putting my hands."
"Ok fine then, repeat after me." He paused. "'Shake it up baby'" he sang tunefully his voice a knife through butter.
I repeated, sounding like a dying whale.
He squinted. "That was pretty good."
"It was awful. I think I'll leave the singing to you." I laughed.
He pushed his hair back and blinked at me through his enticing eyes.
"So if you can't sing and you have no music taste what do you won't to be?" He asked, jokingly.
"I dunno..." I said dazedly. " maybe a writer. I mean I love reading so... I haven't really put any thought into it. And it's not like I have any." I stopped. Realising what I was saying. I was going to say I had no qualifications. He would wonder why I hadn't gone to school.
"Haven't got any what?"
"Sure you have. You can run and you fall of cliffs very well too. What about acting, you look like a good actor."
I tilted my head at him. " you said I looked like a singer and we know how that ended." I laughed.
We carried on talking, chatting until the early hours of the morning. Eventually I began to feel the presence of tiredness. My eyelids gently closing as he spoke about his future aspirations, my head just falling onto his shoulder. And that was when it happened. A kiss so soft and so tender, it felt like a dream. For a moment we just blended together, merged. I hadn't had many kisses but it was the best and I knew it would be forever, nestled in my memory, for me to clutch in difficult. Love in the way I had read it, gave it no justice. I thought love took a long time to develop but I was so wrong. My feelings for Freddie were... I didn't know what they were if anything strong. It was hard to believe I had lived all my life without, because at that moment he became part of me. I had never before believed in fate or love at first sight or soul mates but all of it was true, and for the past years of my life I had missed that. I felt so much hatred to the people that had stolen it from me. But with his lips on mine the anger fizzled away. I didn't miss the years I had lost because I was in this moment because of it. I had to thank them even if they made me resent being alive. If I hadn’t been deemed insane, I wouldn't of met Noah or Vespa and most importantly Freddie. I know it was soppy but as our lips parted tears began to stream down my face because I didn’t want the moment to end. I wanted to be frozen in that memory forever. It felt as though my life was complete. It wasn't but it felt like that.
He wiped my tears away and pulled me into a long lasting hug. I climbed into his arm and nestled my head into his chest. Grateful that life had given me hope in Freddie. My eyes fluttered trying to cling to our closeness but sleep captured me. I wanted to fight but I was so tired and I knew in my dreams I could relive the moment again and again.