Out Of Bounds

In all honesty, my sister and I had never been close

But one person was going to tear us further apart

His name is Luke Hemmings

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22. 22

Thursday was quite apart from going to the hospital with mom. She had a scan and thankfully the tumour hasn't grown so she's all set to have the radiotherapy next week. I spent the rest of the afternoon unpacking and making my bedroom mine but even after spending nearly seven hours in it, it still didn't feel like it belonged to me.

I woke up Friday morning with my battered copy of twilight next to me. When I can't sleep I like to lose myself in Bella and Edwards romance because it distracts me from thinking about my reality.

When I walk into the kitchen mom is making breakfast and I can't help but smile when I see she has cooked mock meat sausages, eggs scrambled and there's fresh tomatoes and grilled mushrooms on the table

"Morning sweetie. How did you sleep?"

I take a seat and pour myself an orange juice

"Fantastic. Best nights sleep I've had in a long time"

Ok so I lied but it's what she wants to hear and I don't want to concern her by telling her the truth, which is that I've had about three hours max! She puts a plate in front of me and steps back triumphantly

"I'm not used to cooking vegetarian food but I'll get the hang of it. Just let me know if it's ok and if it's not just throw it in the bin and I'll whip something else up"

"Mom, sit down. Honestly it looks amazing. Thank you for making it. I'm so hungry"

She sits opposite me and butters herself some toast whilst I tuck into my mini feast

"Where is everyone?"

"Well Tom left about thirty minutes ago to visit that wholesaler who are supplying the props for the ball. He's taken his friend Barry with him and he said if it's too late they will just stay over somewhere and come back tomorrow morning. Your sister has gone shopping, she's going to a party or something tonight. You should go?"

"Shopping? It's nine thirty a.m!" I roll my eyes and mom laughs "actually I was thinking if it's ok with you I was going to go and see Amy. Maybe stay over and just hang out. Only if that's ok? I don't want you being on your own?"

"Baby I am fine. I'll probably go to the golf club with my friends and have a much needed glass of wine. You don't have to ask permission to go out. As long as I know where you are then that's fine"

I carry on eating breakfast whilst mom fills me in on the house. It's being redecorated in two weeks as she thinks it needs sprucing up but I honestly don't think it does. The paint looks fresh and everywhere is pristine but I don't say anything. Instead I listen to what the new colour scheme is going to be and then nearly choke on my eggs when she tells me how much she's paid the decorators. Money really is no problem in this house and for some reason that makes me feel uncomfortable.

I take a mid morning nap and wake up to my phone ringing at midday. I see his name on the screen and smile before answering

"Hello?"

"Have you just woken up?"

My eyes go heavy again and I rub them whilst yawning

"Technically I woke up just after nine but I needed more sleep. I didn't sleep very well"

"Make sure you have some energy for later. You'll need it"

I quickly sit up and my heart feels like it's beating at one hundred beats per minute

"Meaning?"

He laughs and I feel my cheeks blushing

"Nothing like that Carly, I promise I won't take away your virtue. Not tonight at least"

Playful Luke has the ability to make me lose my breath. I nervously laugh and I can imagine him smiling at me being an utter dork

"Can you be ready for three thirty? I want to set off a little earlier?"

"Set off to where exactly?"

"You're always so eager Carly. You'll see. Be outside the old bakery and I'll see you soon"

I'm about to ask more questions but the line goes dead. He's cut me off before I can bombard him with anything else!

I spend all afternoon getting ready. I have a hot shower and wash my hair. I look at the razor on the side and shave my legs even though I haven't long done them. I take extra time when it comes to my make up and I make sure everything looks as perfect as it can. I look through my wardrobe and contemplate a few outfits. I'm tempted to go for my usual jeans and T shirt combo but I always wear the same thing! I grab a black dress and slide it over the matching underwear mom has kindly got me. She even restocked my underwear drawer! Nothing is off bounds with my mom. The dress has short capped sleeves and comes above my knees at the front but the back dips to half way down my calves. I put on the necklace that my dad gave me and then I take out my nude flats and slip them on before finishing off my hair. Half an hour later I take a step back and look at myself in the mirror. I almost don't recognise myself. My cheeks are highlighted and my lips are red. I've managed to somehow get a perfect cat eye flick with my eyeliner and soft waves frame my face. My stomach feels like I've repeatedly been on a rollercoaster so I take a deep breath and sit on the bed

"Woah look at you! Where are you going?"

Jodie walks in without knocking and I try and act as nonchalant as possible

"Just out with Amy, I think we are going to the movies. I'm not sure yet?"

"Bit overdressed aren't you?"

"Am I?" My voice is panicked but maybe she's right? Maybe I should get changed?

"Maybe it's just because I'm used to you looking boring. Anyway I'm going to get ready for tonight" she blows me an air kiss and saunters out of the room in her usual manner. No I'm not changing. I feel nice and it's not often I feel like this. I check my watch and it's ten past three. I grab my small overnight bag and my over the shoulder black bag and after saying goodbye to mom I start the ten minute walk into town.

The old bakery makes my mouth water. It's been here before I was even born and dad would often bring me here on a Saturday when I was child and buy me a cake. The smell is intoxicating and I take a deep breath through my nose and savour the smell of freshly baked cakes and bread

"I'm sorry, I'm looking for a girl named Carly?"

I turn around and Luke has pulled over in his moms Range Rover. I look down at my outfit and laugh nervously

"Too much?"

"Too much? Carly you look beautiful. Get in before anyone sees. I want to get you out of here"

I throw my things into the back and then climb into the passengers seat. I clip my seatbelt into place and Luke is just watching me

"What? Honestly if I'm overdressed please just say and I'll go home and get changed"

"You really are beautiful. I know you don't believe it but you are. Never let anyone tell you differently. You are breath taking"

I lean forward and without thinking I kiss him. I kiss him with the wanting and needing I've felt since I came back. I need to feel his lips on mine. I need to know that I have the same effect on him the way he has on me

"Carly stop"

I sit back in the seat dejected and try and catch my breath

"I'm sorry"

"Don't be sorry, I want you to kiss me like that" he holds my hand and his mouth skims over my knuckles leaving goosebumps with every touch "so promise me you will kiss me like that again but can we at least get out of Sydney first. Where no one knows us and for tonight we can just be Luke and Carly. Two people that are crazy about each other"

"Ok, that sounds good to me" he kisses the palm of my hand and then starts the car. I don't know where we are going but all I know is I would go anywhere with him

We've been driving for half an hour when curiosity starts getting the better of me

"Are we nearly there yet?"

"Nope, I will tell you when we are"

I change the radio station and then my knees start to shake with anticipation

"Carly, trust me. It will be a night to remember. Let's play ten questions"

"I thought it was twenty questions?"

"I prefer ten. Ladies first. Ask away"

"I can ask you anything?"

"Anything, just make them interesting so I don't fall to sleep at the wheel" he grins and I bite my lip as I think of what to ask. I wanted to get to know him more and now heres the perfect chance to do so

"Favourite memory?"

"Hmm" he turns the indicator on and then we pull onto the highway. The highway? Where could we be going? "I would say my favourite memory is the time Jack and I when on a road trip. We just packed up last year and spent the whole weekend driving, my friend Michael came along to and we drove out really far and then camped for a few days. We just chilled, sat under the stars and played guitar whilst getting wasted on cheap whiskey. I know it sounds dumb but I felt free. No parents, no rules, just freedom. Then of course my other memory is meeting this girl. Her truck broke down on my street right before she nearly killed my dog" I start to laugh and then nudge his arm with mine

"That's cheating I said memory. Not memories"

"Yeah well it's my game and that's my answer"

My insides are somersaulting so I carry on with the questions to distract myself from these over powering feelings that consume me

"What is your worst memory?"

I see his hands tighten on the steering wheel and he shakes his head

"I can't answer that"

"Why not? You have to answer because that's the game"

"No, I can't answer Carly because it hasn't happened yet. But it will"

"Luke, are you ok? What does that mean?"

"It means saying goodbye to you will be my worst memory. Let's move on"

I feel the tears coming so I wind down the window and let the breeze distract me from the feeling that I've just fallen for him more and I didn't even know that was possible

"Last dream you had?"

He laughs and this lightens the mood

"That I was playing Cal at FIFA and he lost and broke my television. I was actually really pissed off when I woke up"

I grin and then the next question comes into my mind. I bite the inside of my cheek and weigh up the the pros and cons of asking him

"Next question"

"Can I ask you anything?"

"Of course you can"

I hesitate for a moment but the words just leave my mouth

"How many people have you slept with?"

The car swerves for a second before he straightens it out. I hold onto the dashboard and look at him confused

"Ok anything but that"

"What? You said anything!"

"Yes because I couldn't imagine you asking that! Next question"

"That's cheating you can't just pick and choose what to answer!"

"No, no way. definitely not. I'm not answering"

"Fine, Then I'm not talking" I sit back and fold my arms. Why doesn't he want me to know? It can't be that bad surely? But what if it is bad? What if it's double figures? Triple figures? Oh gosh I don't know if I want to know now!

"Carly?" His hand leaves the gear stick and rests on my knee

"No I get it. You're a good looking guy and you are older than me by a year and a few months. Of course you've slept with a lot of women"

"Woah, hang on a minute it's not that many!"

"More than five?"

"No comment"

"More than twenty?"

"What do you take me for?"

I move his hand away and place it back on the gear stick

"Carly I'm not discussing it. Not with you"

"Because I'm a virgin and clearly my inexperience makes you uncomfortable"

The car swerves again but this time he pulls into the hard shoulder and turns the hazards on

"Carly I don't care if you're a Virgin. That is the last thing that matters to me! What matters is that we are together now"

"But you still won't tell me?"

He runs his hand through his hair and then plays with his lip ring

"Two people"

"Is that the truth?"

"Yes! I wouldn't lie to you!"

"Then why was that so hard to answer?" He lets out a sigh and drums his fingers against the steering wheel

"Because I've slept with two people, but I haven't done that" he shakes his head "with Jodie"

My eyes widen and I sit forward

"What?"

"Look, after she caught me kissing Melissa at that party we stayed together but she hardly spoke to me for weeks and then it just never happened. She said she wanted to wait until we got to Perth so she knew I was serious about her ... It just hasn't happened and I'm actually grateful for it"

"Why are you grateful?"

"Because there's still a part of me that doesn't belong to her. There's still that part of me that could belong to you. Even though I know it won't happen and I am certainly not going to instigate it because you deserve to be with someone that can fall to sleep holding you and wake up in your bed without knowing they are with someone else. I would never do that to you Carly. Losing your virginity is a big thing and I feel sick when I think one day some guy is going to see the curves of your body, they are going to touch you in places I've never seen but most of all you will always remember them"

"I will always remember you Luke!"

"But they can give you what I can't"

We sit in silence and my heart feels like it's breaking. I hadn't imagined a life with anyone else and I still don't want to! I look up and read the sign on the side of the highway

"Luke are we going to Maitland?"

He looks up and smiles when he sees the sign ahead

"You wasn't going to be happy until you figured it out was you?"

"Why are we going there? That's where the gig is?"

He takes out his wallet and drops eight dollars into my lap

"I did sell the tickets, to myself"

"No, Luke you aren't paying!"

"Yes I am! I have two tickets and I want to take you"

"No I'm paying for my ticket! But wait, are we really going to see 1975?"

He grins as he watches me turn from a confused girl to an excited one and he holds my hand again

"I guess we are. That's if you still want to go?"

"Of course I want to go with you" I unclip my seatbelt and lean over so

I'm partially on his lap "Luke thank you! Thank you so much! I will never ever forget this! Luke I -"

I stop myself from saying what I want to say, Instead he pulls me closer and his head rests in my hair

"I know Carly, I feel the same. I feel it too" He kisses my neck and then I sit back in my seat as he starts the engine. Maybe we will never need to say the words? Maybe it's enough that Luke and I know how we feel and words will never never do these feelings justice

******************

When we arrive in Maitland it's six thirty p.m and the doors to the venue have opened. Luke parks the Range Rover in the multi storey car park next to it and then he pays for twenty four hour parking

"Wait, are we sleeping in your car tonight?"

He holds my hand and we start walking towards the exit. This is the first time we have so openly held hands and on the inside I'm screaming with excitement because to the outside world we look like any other regular couple and tonight at least, I can pretend we are exactly that

"No, I've booked a hotel but it's literally a two minute walk from here so we'll leave the car and get it in the morning. I'll just come back for our bags later"

"A hotel?" My voice is small and I look up at him but his eyes stay focused ahead of us

"I've told you, I'm not taking your virtue so don't look at me like that"

I bite my lip to stop me from grinning but nothing can stop me from feeling like I'm the luckiest girl in the world right now.

Inside the gig we stand at the back, I'm so excited to see 1975 but most of all I'm just excited to be with Luke. He drinks beer and I have wine and we talk over the support act about what we were like growing up, what we want to do when we are older and where we think we will be in five years time. Neither of us says we will be together because that's a reality we can't dream or hope of but we talk like nothing is in our way and I have to laugh when Luke says he might just buy a house near the river in Coonamble. Maybe we could just hide away from the world together? Soon the band come on and Luke goes to get more drinks. I stand watching Matty and even from back here I can see how good looking he is. He's hot in photos but they haven't done him justice. I scream when they start to play girls and when Luke comes back with drinks he protectively puts his arm around me.

After that song is finished they start to play undo and I put my wine on the floor

"I love this song! Dance with me?"

We are so close to the back that we have enough room to dance. He raises his eyebrows and starts to laugh

"How drunk are you?"

"I'm not drunk, I just want to dance with you"

He puts his beer on the floor and pulls me close to him. He holds me tight and we start to awkwardly sway to the music. I feel his mouth against my ear and he starts to softly sing the lyrics

"Girl I wanna see you undo it

I wanna see you but you're not mine"

I pull alway and one hand holds his waist and the other holds his cheek. He closes his eyes and then opens them again

"Luke, I am yours. And I told you I would be, Right up until the moment I have to let you go"

"And when will that be?"

"When you let me go too"

He stops us from moving and his eyes search mine. We both know we are on borrowed time. Soon enough he will leave and that will be the day I let him go, but even then I might still hold on. He leans down and kisses me and for a moment I'm so lost in the thought of Luke that I forget I ever said I would let him go at all.

The rest of the gig is amazing and by the time we leave I'm pretty sure I'm tipsy! We walk back to the car and he gets our bags and then we head towards the hotel. Everywhere around here seems pretty fancy and expensive so I'm pretty sure we can't be staying around these parts. He abruptly stops me and I look at the sky scraper in front of us. Outside is a door man. He's dressed in a top hat and suit and he tips his hat when he sees us looking.

The building is at least thirty stories high and the lights from the street reflect off the windows

"We're staying here?"

"We are. If you haven't changed your mind?"

"Of course I haven't. I want to spend the night with you"

He kisses my forehead and then he takes my hand as we walk inside. The door man holds open the door and gives us a genuine warm smile

"Welcome to claredons"

"Thank you" I smile shyly and once we are inside I look around in awe. In front of us is a reception desk and the floor is sweeping marble. Luke tells the receptionist he has made a reservation and she hands him a key

"Would you like your bags taken to your room Mr Hemmings?"

"Yes please, I think we are going to the bar for a drink"

She nods at him politely and then calls a porter to take our bags. Luke takes my hand and we head towards two thick oak doors that will take us to the parlour but I'm too mesmerised by the ceiling. It seems to be so high up and it's decorated with clouds and cherubs. It's one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. Luke stops without warning and I literally walk head first into his back

"Wait" he turns back towards the reception and takes the bags from the porter "I can take them"

"Are you sure sir? It's no trouble?"

"No, thank you I'm sure. In fact I don't think we can stay here"

"Oh?" The receptionists perfect eyebrows arch up in confusion and I pull on Luke's arm

"What's going on?"

"Nothing I just don't want to stay in this hotel"

"If it's about how much it costs I can pay, I have money"

"Carly it's not about that, please don't make a scene. I just want to stay somewhere else!"

"Sir your room has a four poster bed, champagne as requested, a hot tub and free wifi. I can assure you there is nothing wrong with the room"

"It's not about the room -"

I look around the reception as Luke carries on protesting that it's not the room that is the problem when something to my right catches my eye and I start to walk back towards the parlour

"Carly don't" I put up my hand to stop Luke from talking and I already can feel my legs are shaking with every unsteady step I take. I look through the window of the double oak doors and I feel sick due to what I'm witnessing

Tom kisses the forehead of the female he's with and she laughs at him coyly before reaching up on tip toes to kiss his mouth. She's wearing a 1975 T shirt and I watch him wrap his arms around her waist

I'm so angry I don't know what to do, my stepdad is having an affair and the girl he is kissing, I know her ...

It's my best friend Amy

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