The crisp white snow crunched under my worn out Ugg boots as I wandered aimlessly around the deserted sea-side fair ground. The cold air making the place seem more secluded than usual. I was too early.
I sat down beneath the towering blue rollercoaster, where I had agreed to meet Erin earlier that morning. I hugged my knees tightly, squeezing hard to stay warm and stop the cold creeping into my chest.
It was always at times like this, when I was alone and isolated, that I realise how much I miss Danny. I wish I could turn back time and be with him right now, or spend just one more day with him, just so I could tell him how sorry I am about what happened to him and how much I love and miss him, and tell him how much it hurts me that I will never see him again.
I remember the first day I met him, it was about three years ago. He was standing in my cabin, and he looked really lost. Stephen introduced me to him, and we began to work together after that.
The first time he kissed me was a year after I met him. His lips were minty and warm and tasted good. I kissed back. Hard. And I really didn't want it to stop.
After that we were more than just friends, we were kind of dating, I guess, well we kissed a lot more often and we became a lot closer, and I spent almost every single day with him.
I was different then, I was happy and I used to laugh all of the time and it would always be me cheering people up, but now I feel sad, every second of every day I feel like I am on the verge of breaking down, but I can't. I can't because it would make me look weak. I can't because some sick person could decide to use him against me. And I can't because I know Danny wouldn't want me to. So I force it all inside a metaphorical bottle and throw it out to sea hoping that some day someone will find it and send help.
After a while of deathly silence and random thoughts trying to distract me from my memories, I picked up someone humming loudly inside the park. I listened for a while longer, the peaceful sounds getting louder and louder until I could also hear footsteps.
I glanced up quickly, hoping to god that our customers hadn't arrived early, but it was fine, it was just Erin. She grinned at me.
I forced myself to smile back, and pushed myself off the metal bench and walked over to where she stood, surrounded by falling snowflakes and old popcorn boxes.
Erin was carrying an expensive looking Chanel handbag and some large diamonds hung loosely around her neck. I could see her physically shaking in anticipation.
'Its a beautiful day to be selling drugs, don't ya think?' I called over to her, a wide smile spreading over her cheeks.
'I am so excited! So what are we selling? Coke or weed or what?' She did genuinely look like a five-year-old on Christmas morning.
'Nah we only sell hard drugs, we have a trunk-full of crystal.'
I could see her enthusiasm falter slightly.
'So do you wanna practice or what?' I said quickly, before she could change her mind. Then I led her back to the car.
I forced a hoodie over Erin's head to cover up her necklace and I hid her bag behind some benches. The cold was unbearable, my hands had turned bright red and I couldn't feel my toes. What the fuck was taking them so long?
'So do I just stand in the background whilst you do the talking?' Erin asked
'No no no, you definitely want to talk, if you don't they might decide not to trust us, so even if you just make up some stuff that'd be good.'
'Yeah ok, just make some stuff up, right. Can I do the exchange?'
'Eh, no we can't risk it. Maybe next time though, these guys are serious as fuck.'
'Oh please? I know what I'm doing its so easy! I just give them the stuff and then they give me the money. It's pretty simple.'
It was pretty simple. I contemplated wether or not it was worth the risk, yet again, I do need to start trusting her with bigger tasks.
'Ok, just be extra careful, two bags yeah? And they give you forty G's, remember that. Oh and don't look weak becau-'
A fleet of sleek black Mercedes-Benz pulled up in front of us one by one, in almost perfect synchrony. There must have been about seven cars, and from each stepped out two men in matching suits and street shades. They all looked almost identical, apart from one.This one wore a pale pink suit, instead of the uniform black that flocked behind him.
'Are you Lizzie?' His accent was harsh and raspy and deep, nice sounding, how you expect a mans voice to be.
'Yeah that's me. And this is my friend Erin, she works with me'
The man in the pink suit pulled out a pack of cigarettes and lit one up, sucking in the disgusting murky grey smoke and then polluting the surrounding air with it. He watched the smoke dilute into the atmosphere until it was completely invisible, then he turned to me.
'I was only expecting you. Not anyone else.'
The suits all shook their heads in a robotic manner, unnatural and completely in sync. It was seriously unnerving.
'I didn't realise that'd be a problem.' My voice seemingly echoed around the wall of black, white and ties that blocked out the view of almost anything else. The man in pink continued to puff on his cigarette before dropping it to the floor and stamping on it with his shiny black shoes.
'Whats her experience?' His voice was cold and sounded dangerous. I nudged Erin, hoping to God that for once she had a good answer, and again,as always, I was disappointed.
'Ehh...' Her voice quivered under the pressure that was being forced down her throat. 'I used to work in the Chanel store down Sunset Boulevard, so I'm quite good at selling.'
I managed to restrain myself from laughing, but the rest of them didn't even try. A snobbish snigger circulated around the group, echoing through the vacant car park.
'So no experience then?' The man in the pink suit smirked, his words were barely audible over the incessant laughter.
'Actually she does have expierience.' My voice was strong and firm and the laughter stopped abruptly, so I kept talking.
'She has been working with me for the past six months. That's more than most of you have ever had.'
There were a few seconds of awkward silence before I continued.
'Now do you want the fucking drugs or what?'
A small smile met the pinks suits lips and then with a quick jerk of his head he gestured to proceed. I looked at Erin, lifting up my eyebrows, indicating that it was time for her to take over. She had a mix of excitement and pure terror in her eyes as I handed her the car keys. The pink suit then pushed foreword one of his henchmen to follow her to the car and take care of their side of the deal. As they walked away the group of suits broke apart and wandered off in all different directions, that was the first time they seemed at all human since the moment I saw them. The buzzing of different conversations and the occasional laugh filled the cold silence.
I tried to watch the deal, but the man in the pink suit stepped forward and blocked my view, then he began to talk to me.
'I'm Daniel by the way' He held out a slim and deeply scarred hand, and smiled at me. I smiled back and shook his hand firmly, like Stephen taught me.
'Daniel?' I continued distractedly, still trying to see past him. 'I used to work with someone called Daniel a while back, but then he...'
My stomach twisted into an uncomfortable knot and my mouth went pasty and dry, Daniel, or the man in the pink suit, was looking at me, expecting me to finish the sentence.
'Well, it doesn't matter what happened to him. It was a long time ago.' My voice was barely a whisper, and it seemed to disappear into the cold air around it, I started to shiver violently, and my face felt numb and stiff.
'Are you cold? Do you want a jacket?' He pulled off his suit jacket and handed it over to me.
'Are you sure? I don't want you to be cold because of me.' I took the jacked and forced it over my grey hoodie. It was a bit big, but warm and comfortable. It smelled good too.
'I don't really get cold.' He sounded distant.
'Thank you. You're nicer than I thought you were before, you seemed like kind of a dick, if you don't mind me saying.'
He laughed, crinkling his eyes and showing his greying teeth.
'I am kind of a dick.'