The following days were blissful, the four of us all intoxicated with love. Lillian would laugh as we spent the days laughing and talking and just being with each other. Freddie taught me how to dance properly (Lillian had taught him) and we would spend our time in the record shop jiving to all sorts of music. On one day I moved the speakers to the outside of the shop and we danced together attracting tourists and managing to get them into the shop and cafe.
On the evening of a particularly busy day, the four of us went down to the beach. Milly, Jamie and Katie met us there.
"Freddie!" Shouted a high pitched voice. With our hands clutched together we turned. In a blur of blonde hair and tanned skin, our hands were tipped apart and I stared at Freddie who seemed to be attached to something.
"Hey Katie." Said Freddie taping her back lightly, he stood like awkward tree stopping over her.
"I missed you." She said. I stood back trying not to laugh. Freddie looked so awkward exchanging a worried with Jamie who too was cracking up. Milly joined me on the sidelines.
"She may be my best friend but she's such a whore." Laughed Milly flicking her now plum colored hair. She caught me with a startled expression.
"I don't mean an actual whore I mean a flirt." She said rolling her eyes casually. I turned back to Freddie and found himself extracting himself from Katie. Laughing at what she said. I knew I should of been annoyed or jealous of her but by the looks Freddie sent me I knew he felt as silly as the thought of me being angry. He walked over to him and pushed his hand into mine. "Katie this is my girlfriend Cassie."
Girlfriend was new word and I didn't know how we got to that point. Freddie made it so simple, in books boys were always difficult about defining a couple. To say his words surprised me was a complete and utter understatement.
"And this is Noah and Vespa." Added Freddie indicating Noah and Vespa who were walking back from the peer looking a little flustered.
Katie gave a laugh. "Why are all the cuties taken?"
"I'm not." Said Jamie. Katie ignored him. "Anybody lose a puppy." She said, pointing behind a jokingly crestfallen Jamie. I followed her hand and saw Elle standing stiffly on the sand. A pretty burgundy wrapped around her denim dress and slight figure. Her hand was in a bun and she looked pretty in the moonlight. I ran over to her.
"Hey." I said pulling her into a hug. Her limbs didn't move. " I didn't want to intrude or anything.."
"Oh ssh." I laughed. "Guys this is Elle."
Everybody looked around and bid her a quiet hello. As soon as I bought her over Freddie pulled me away from the group.
"Why did you bring her over here?" He demanded.
"She's my friend."
"But she's not ours." He said angrily pushing his hands through his hair.
I bit my lip in confusion. "Why don't you like her?"
Freddie looked away from me, not wanting to talk about it.
"Fine." I murmured, moving away. He caught my arm and pulled me back lightly. "She's got a lot of people into trouble."
I turned back and looked to Elle who was nervously chatting to Vespa. I stared at Katie Milly and Jamie who kept shooting her dirty looks.
"How?" I laughed nervously. She was like a little lamb I didn't how she was capable of hurting anybody.
"She had an affair Milly's ex boyfriend."
"A mistakes a mistake."
Freddie. "She purposefully stole Milly's boyfriend."
I rolled my eyes. "So she's done stupid things but she doesn't have many friends and who hasn't made stupid decisions."
Freddie moved away from me moodily. "Please just be nice, for me." I said batting my eyelids.
He smiled lazily at me and I placed a kiss on his cheek before running back to the group.
"Freddie?" Elle spoke nervously, digging her hands further and further into the pockets if her cardigan.
"My mum was wondering if your nan could make a cake for us?"
Freddie nodded somewhat oddly, “What's the occasion?”
“My sixteenth, you guys are all invited, it's right at the end of summer 'cause I'm the oldest in my year.”
When nobody spoke I interjected. “That sounds great, we'd love to come.” I turned to the guys willing them to agree or nod or just do something apart from look down their noses. I turned back to Elle and watched her lip tremble slightly.
“Okay, I’ll see you around.” Her voice soft, breaking only at the end. She walked off, and when a few hundred yards away, she began to run. I turned to the four of them.
“You could of at least been nice.”
They all looked around, not daring to catch my eye. “She's not one of us.” Said Milly finally.
“Whats that supposed to mean, are we one of you?” I indicated Noah, Vespa and I. “We just got here.”
“Yeah but your our age and we like you.”
“I'm practically the same age as her, she might even be older.” I said uneasily.
“Wait.” Freddie stepped forward. “You're fifteen?”
I rolled. “I don’t actually know but I’m pretty sure, why does age matter, when you liked me without knowing my age.” Nobody spoke.
I huffed and turned away from them, walking away to go find Elle. The strange thing was that I wasn't particularly angry, just a little disappointed. If they knew about the three of us, they would cast us away as quickly as they had Elle. We had only been accepted because of Freddie.
After five minutes I realized I wasn't going to find her. I lent against the wood of the peer, my conflicted thoughts waging a war in my head.
“He's still looking for you.”
“Oh my god.” I screamed, my hand going to my heart, worried that it was beating so fast it might of broken free from my chest. “You shouldn't sneak up on people Flynn.” I shouted, not bothering to look at him.
“I saw him yesterday. He's still looking.” Finnsaid, walking into my line of vision. I crossed my arms and stared at him.
“Can't you just leave it. It's none of your business.” I murmured. Finngave a laugh and turned away from me. “Have you seen Elle?”
“Girl, mixed-race, wearing a burgundy cardigan, probably crying.”
Finn looked upwards as if trying to remember. “Oh Pixie, she ran up to the cliff that Freddie pushed you off.” A daring smile played on Flynn's face and I wanted to hurt him. “I can't believe you took him back.”
I looked away from him, breathing slowly so as not to hit the smile off of his annoying face. “Again, none of your business.”
Finn stepped closer. “I always thought we had something.” He said cockily.
“If you mean hatred you'd be correct.”
“Freddie's only using you, he's trying to show Katie he's over her.” I didn't believe a word that came out of his mouth but it struck me as weird. I mean our feelings for each other, they had to be real.
“I can see the doubt in your eyes.” I looked away from him, trying to not let my emotions get the better of me, his finger trailed up my cheek and I closed my eyes to escape it all.
I was surprised when everything seemed to disappear, the feeling of his presence, his smell, his touch, they were all gone. I opened my eyes and saw Noah staring at me. Finnlay on the floor, clutching his nose, blood pouring through his fingers. Noah cast him a disgusted look and put his hand on my shoulder reassuringly. His knuckles were beginning to bruise.
“Cassie, I...” He lent forward.
My hand was across his face before I could stop it. “Noah, stop.” He pulled back shocked. I pushed him back. “Go back to Vespa.” I murmured. It wasn't that I was upset but disappointed. How could somebody I liked have been so cruel as to try and kiss his girlfriend's (if they were that?) friend. It made me think of Elle and instantly I ran in the direction of the cliff.
“You know I almost drowned here, I fell off the cliff edge.” I said quietly, as I sat beside Elle. She had here eyes closed and her legs crossed, as though she was meditating. She didn't even open her eyes when she spoke. “You don't have to be submerged in water to drown. Everyday I feel like I’m drowning. My life is slipping away here. I have no friends and...”
“You have me.” I interrupted.
“You're leaving when the summer ends.” Her voice was close to cracking and every syllable she spoke made me want to cry. Our lives had been so different, yet we felt the same way, or had felt the same way. In the hospital I felt exactly how she did.
“Have you tried apologizing.”
“Yes, but she doesn't believe me. I didn't even know they were going out, I met him at a party and he said he was single.”
I bit my lip. “Sounds like you did her favor.”
Elle turned her head to me and opened her eyes. “I wished she saw it like that.”
“I don't hate you.” said a voice, the both of us turned to face Milly. Her plum colored hair wiped around her pale skin, as she came to join us. “Seeing you just brings up the memories of him. And it hurts, I don't want to think about him but I cant help it.” she said, blinking tears away. “He really hurt me.”
“Okay.” I said interjecting. “Get up.” I pulled both of them up. “I read somewhere that feelings have to be released so,” I pointed to the sea. “Release them.” They both stared at me as if I was crazy.
“Release your feelings.” I said again, slightly slower. Elle looked confused but Milly got the idea. Her screams filled the air, the sea absorbing them. She screamed for a minute, her eyes closed her mouth wide and her hair wiping around her. She looked insane and I couldn't help but smile. Milly grabbed Elle's hand and soon they were both screaming.
I wanted to capture the moment. It felt so happy that they were making amends and with their mouths wide open, their clothes billowing around them they looked amazing. They were free from bad memories and emotions that tied them down. They looked happy too with their hands clasped together and eyes close, they could of been mistaken for best friends.
As they began to stop, I turned and looked out at the sea. The feelings of wanting to travel disappeared because I knew I would be happy right here. Surrounded by friends, my family, music and baking and everything that made me happy.
“Boo!” screamed a bunch of voices. Before we could react, we were all falling as they cliff disappeared from under us. Freddie's arms snaked around my waist and we fell into the sea. I didn't drown this time though, Freddie kept me afloat.
The boys had thought it'd be funny to surprise us and in the commotion, they ended up pushing the three of us into the water. They jumped too. Cackling like drunken fisher wives we emerged from the salty water, clinging to each other for warmth. In Freddie's arms I turned to see Elle between Jamie and Milly, her smile almost too big for her delicate face. Vespa and Noah sat together on the sand, still dry and completely unaware of our presence. Katie sat to the side of us until I called her over. The six of us sat together around a fire that Jamie managed to make. Elle disappeared for a while but came back bearing blankets and marshmallows. I spent the evening under a blanket with Freddie, his arm around my shoulder and my head lent against his body. Milly and Katie shared a blanket too, as did Jamie and Elle. It was obvious she liked him because every time he spoke to her, her eyes glittered and her cheeks went slightly pinker.
“Ghost story time.” Said Milly, rubbing her hands together creepily.
“Oh, me first.”
“Did you hear about...” Katie began.
Milly laughed. “Are you seriously going to start it with that line.”
“Shut up!” Ok. At the age of five, a girl called Harley was thrown into a mental asylum when she murdered her parents.” I gulped.
Freddie's arm tightened around me, as I tensed. “Don't be scared, it's just a story.”
“Every day she would sit staring at the walls, singing a little tune. She was seen as harmless.”
Milly laughed loudly and Katie punched her arm. “One night a nurse heard the girl crying. She went into the girls room and comforted her. The girl said she didn't understand why she was there and that she wasn't crazy.” I shot a look at Vespa and Noah who were listening as intently as me.
“The nurse felt sorry for her, and went to go get the girl a glass of milk to calm her down. As the nurse tugged at the door, she found it locked and began searching for her keys frantically. 'Lost something?' said the little girl. The nurse turned slowly and saw the girl dangling the keys. The nurse moved forward to get them and as she did the girl pounced. The girl had been hiding a knife under her bed for some time and grabbed. She pushed the knife into the woman’s stomach and let her dead body fall to the floor.” My hand began shaking, I closed them into fists. The girl had kept a knife under her bed.
“After a while the little girl got bored and used the blood on her hands to draw something on the white walls. The following day nurses began looking for the nurse and found her corpse in the girls room. The girl was gone though. The only thing she left was her drawing. Trees, hundreds of trees. The girl had escaped into the forest.” Vespa and I shared a look, her face was very pale and I just wanted to throw up. I had had a knife under my bed, I had drawn on the walls with blood, I had escaped into the woods.
“Are you okay?” asked Freddie.
I nodded and stood up. I walked over to Katie. “Don't tell that story ever again.” I whispered.
“Chicken.” Laughed Katie, her chuckles echoing in my ears. I turned round and seeing her smiling face, anger filled me. It was like I was being electrocuted, every cell in my body felt alive. Freddie came to my side. “You're really pale, maybe you should sit down.”
“Oh my god, stop over reacting it's just a bloody story.” Katie shouted, turning her nose up at me. I wanted to scream at her, tear her hair out. She didn't know and she was so stupid. Everything hurt just looking at her face.
“Shut up Katie.” Shouted Vespa.
Katie turned to her. “Who are you? I mean where did you three even come from?” Her voice rang in my ears. “You're all freaks.”
“Katie.” Warned Jamie.
Katie smiled. “What they are, they emerged from the woods and just happen to weed their way into our lives. They don't even know us and then the drama queen brings in that slut,” She pointed to Elle, who shrank away from the unwanted attention. “we don't even know them. That's pretty effed up.”
Vespa's fist connected with Katie's face and a crunching sound filled the air. Katie collapsed to the floor and Milly ran to her. Vespa looked to her fist as if it were alien.
“See what the freak did to me.” Katie screeched, spitting blood over the sand. “You belong in a mental home.”
Her words began to sink in. My vision blurred and even when I blinked I couldn't see clearly. She said we belonged in a mental home, she said that we should go back to where we belonged. She thought we deserved to be in that hell. My vision disappeared and pretty soon all I could here was the waves of the sea crashing onto the sand. Like a puppet with its string cut loose I fell.