I softly shake her and her eyes flutter open "what is it Al? I feel like I'm dying here"
"I take it you don't want to come grocery shopping?"
She turns over and pulls the duvet over her "no, I can't. I feel like I'm on a boat, the room is swaying. But be a good friend and bring me back some food? I'm totally hungry"
I roll my eyes and make my way into the living room. I sit on the couch and slide on my knee high boots over my skinny jeans. September has well and truly kicked in and this morning when I woke up the apartment was freezing. I put on my jacket over my plain T shirt and grab my bag off the side as I make my way out. I turn and make sure the door is locked and then head for the stairs
The voice is totally new to me and yet somehow it feels as though it's been on his lips before. I turn around unsure of myself and he smiles
Fortunately he has clothes on today but that doesn't mean the sight of him is any less perfect. He is wearing skinny jeans, a plain black T shirt and scuffed black converse. The only item he is wearing that isn't black is the grey beanie that covers his curls. He rubs the back of his neck but his smile stays in place
"I just wanted to apologise for yesterday, if I seemed rude. I'm not good with new people" he shrugs and I nod
"That's O.K, you seemed sort of ... Busy. It's fine, I promise" I half wave to him and start to walk down the staircase. Sure I could stay and try and have a conversation but I'm no good with the opposite sex, especially when they look like that. I step outside and sure enough a cold breeze hits me which makes me wrap my jacket around myself. I take out my phone and google the nearest supermarket. I thought Grace would have dragged her ass out of bed to help me with this but nope, day two and she's already hungover. It's technically freshers week starting tomorrow which means a week long of partying, for some. I hope Grace doesn't drink every night. I don't want to live with a zombie but I also don't want to be a bore either
"You lost?" The shock of his voice rips through me and my phone drops to the floor. We both bend down at the same time but he moves to the side so I can pick it up
"Oh no" I sigh when I see the cracked screen and next to me Lorcan lets out a soft laugh "what?" I ask offended and he presses his lips together
"Nothing, it's nothing. I just didn't know people even use those phones anymore. With the buttons I mean"
Grace was right. He is rude!
"I happen to like my blackberry thank you very much. Well I did like it I should say"
He wraps his fingers around the phone without touching my hand and takes out his new shiny Galaxy. His hands move perfectly over the screen and a few seconds later he hands my phone back to me
"There's a shop that fixes ... Those. I'll pay of course" I'm taken off guard by his generosity but shake my head
"No, it's fine. I can pay. But where exactly is this shop? And do you know where a supermarket is? I've only been here for less than twenty four hours and I'm kind of stumped" I say embarrassed and he starts to walk down the path
"I'm going to do some shopping. Follow me" his voice is slightly demanding and I hesitate. What if he's crazy? A killer? Like Jack the Ripper? Gran always told me never to talk to strangers and he is a stranger. But there's something about him that puts me at ease. It's like I know him but I don't. It's silly I guess ....
"I promise I won't kill you if that's what you're thinking?" He walks back towards me and I smile
"No, I wasn't thinking that. Ok maybe a little"
He smirks and pushes his hands into his front pockets "well I will keep all killer tendencies at bay, for today at least" He says through his smile and I take a step towards him
"Glad to hear it. Aren't you cold?"
A small smile plays on his lips and he looks at me as though I'm missing some sort of inside joke "No, I'm not cold at all. Alannah"
We walk for about fifteen minutes and I try and make small talk with him. I ask him where he's from "everywhere" how long has he lived here? "About a year" I find out he to goes to Kingston but he "decided to live in an apartment as he doesn't like a lot of people and university is full of the assholes" I try and press him further, mostly because he makes me feel curious but soon enough he's guiding me into a small shop that smells like leather and tobacco and I put my phone down on the counter
"Hello. I dropped my phone. Can you save it? Please?"
"Save it?" The shop keeper asks me amused
"Yes, I mean fix it. Change the screen?" From the corner of my eye I can see Lorcan grinning and a part of me wants to tell him to stop but I just ignore him. I have a feeling he's a bit of a wind up merchant and I know this will only amuse him if he is
After twenty minutes the shop keeper finds a screen that will fit and he tells me to come back in a few hours. There's a little drizzle in the air when Lorcan and I step outside and I sigh. This means one thing. My hair is going to go crazy frizzy
"Thanks for showing me where to get my phone fixed" Lorcan leans against the wall and folds his arms
"Are you trying to get rid of me?" He quizzes and I shake my head, too quickly by any standards. I really need to play it cool
"No, I just mean I've already taken up your time and you might have plans ..."
"I told you, I need to go shopping. Want to walk around a supermarket with me?" I smile with relief and thank him for showing me the ropes. I don't feel like a girl lost in London now.
When we get there we decide to share a trolley as I hate pushing the things due to shoppers that either move too slow or too quickly and he happily obliges to do it. I take out my shopping list and this once again results in him smirking
"Nothing" he pushes the trolley away from him to hold his hands up and then quickly grabs it again "it's just you seem so ... Organised"
"That's because I am" I light heartedly agree and then get back to finding my bearings. I throw in cereal, bread, milk, sugar, all the boring things we didn't think to bring and then I stock up on some meals to last us a few days. I'm not entirely sure what Grace likes to eat. Sure we are best friends but I don't know the three meals she eats everyday. Lorcan throws in some washing powder, comfort and then he grabs some body wash and deodorant
"Is that all you need?" I ask him surprised and he shrugs
"I have food, I haven't just moved in"
He reminds me and I roll my eyes at how dumb I've just been
"Of course you have. Silly me. I could have just invited myself over for dinner then I wouldn't have to contemplate cooking" I joke without thinking and I can feel my cheeks flush with the colour of embarrassment "I mean obviously I wouldn't have really ... Invited myself over. I was just -"
"Alannah. It's fine" he laughs and then pulls at the back of his beanie "I mean, we don't even eat the same type of food so it wouldn't have worked out" He smiles at an inside joke between him and himself again and I frown
"Are you vegan?" I ask and he looks at me wide eyed before his expression softens and he shakes his head
"No, I just have certain ... Dietary requirements"
I get it, he probably can't eat gluten.
I pay for my shopping and Lorcan helps me pack my things. By the time we make it to the front of the store the rain is pounding against the glass and I look at all the bags in front of me "not good" I sigh and Lorcan takes out his phone
"I'll get us an über" he shrugs and I can already feel myself frowning
"It's a taxi service, but you pay on your card. I keep forgetting you're a village girl" he says whilst looking down at his phone and then I see him tense
"How do you know where I'm from? You've never asked?" My voice isn't accusing, more intrigued. Maybe my accent gives it away? I don't know?
"I can just tell, you can tell you're not a city girl that's all" he shrugs and I don't know whether that should make me feel offended or not. The über pulls up and luckily we aren't very far from our apartments. And I only say luckily because he hasn't spoken a single word to me since. I make a mental note of where to get my phone from later as its too early to pick it up yet and I was going to ask if Lorcan wanted a coffee at the nearby cafe but his mood tells me it's not even worth wasting my breath. I hold out a five pound note but he shakes his head
"It's connected to my phone, you don't give the driver cash. It's sorted" I put the note back into my bag and thank the driver when he pulls up outside what is now my home. He thankfully helps me with my bags and we make the descent up to the second floor. The silence is broken by her voice
"Where have you been?" Brogan asks accusingly and he holds up the bags to show how obvious it is "with her?"
She presses and I'm about to remind Brogan that I have a name but one look off Lorcan in her direction stops me. He drops the bags outside my door and walks over to his side of the corridor whilst getting his keys out of his pocket
"Thank you" I call over but he doesn't say anything, instead he shuts the door behind him after leading brogan inside.
I open the door and step over the bags, pulling them in once I'm over the threshold. I didn't realise how heavy they were. Once they are inside, and after cursing that a bag has split, I take them into the kitchen
"Thank god you're home Al. I'm having a crisis" Grace is dressed in a too blue velour tracksuit and her hair is in a top knot. I look at the counter and raise my eyebrows
"It's just after midday and your drinking? I don't need to book you into the priory already do I?" The counter is full of miniature bottles of spirits and there's cartons of orange juice, Pepsi, and cranberry juice sitting along side them
"They aren't for me" she wails and then slumps onto one of the breakfast bar stools "last week I applied for a job at this bar called the basement, they phoned not long after you left and asked if I could go by tonight for an interview. They also asked if I had any experience making cocktails. I shouldn't have lied on my C.V. I said I had worked at the golf club over the summer. So, I went to the shop and got all of this but I don't measurements, I don't know anything!"
I put my hands on her shoulders and softly shake her "hey. Come on calm down -"
"I need a job though Al. My mom and dad are covering the rent for six months but I need money to live. Plus it's a really cool bar, I bet it's full of university guys" she winks and I shake my head
"Why do I get the feeling you're going to eat the men alive whilst you're here? Let's not panic. Let's just google some cocktail recipes and see what comes up. It can't be that hard can it?"
And I was right, apparently it's not hard to throw alcohol together, that is unless a cocktail requires more than just Pepsi or o.j
"What is grenadine syrup?" I ask and look up from my phone
"I have no idea? Did you pick any up?"
"I don't know what it is? Why would I have picked any up?"
Grace hits her mug off the counter and puts her head in her hands dramatically
"Oh this is pointless! I give up!"
"Grace Smith giving up? I never thought I would see the day. Think of all those uni guys that will be missing out on your marvellous cocktails now" I grin at her and she gets up whilst grabbing her coat
"You're right, I'm not a quitter. I'll be right back" she leaves the apartment then puts her head back around the door "which way are the shops?"
Three hours later the counters are full of exotic looking drinks. I'm not entirely sure they one hundred percent look like the pictures but they will do. Grace gets ready for her interview which is at eight o'clock and I throw on my comfortable pyjamas ready for a night of bad T.V and carbs.
"How do I look?" I hear her heels hit off the laminate flooring and I turn around to look at her. I let out a whistle and she gives a twirl
"Very 'the lady is a vamp' chic!" She's wearing leather trousers that stick to her legs but in the most flattering way and a corset top underneath a blazer. It makes her look older, but in no way cheap. I walk her to the door and like a mother hen I tell her over and over to text me when she gets there and when she's leaving. She rolls her eyes at my protectiveness but we are in a new city with no real idea of our bearings.
As we open our door lorcans visitor is walking out of his. She pulls the hood of her coat over her head and grins as she walks past us. I shake my head and return my attention back to Grace
"I hope it goes amazing. Just be yourself and they'll love you!" She air kisses me goodbye and grimaces as she follows Brogan down the stairs. I give her one last wave before she disappears out of sight and as I'm shutting my door I hear his open again
I pull the door back and smile at him "Hello, Lorcan" I reply and he leans against the frame and returns the gesture
"I have something of yours" before I know it my phone is coming towards me but somehow I manage to catch it
"Good job I have good reflexes" I mutter and he laughs "Thank you, I was going to go but thank you for doing it" There's something about that sound, so beautiful and innocent almost. He stops and I look back down at my phone
"So, your friends gone partying without you?" Oh, he's making small talk. There's a part of me that's glad he is. Maybe we could be friends?
"A job interview. At a bar" wonderful. Apparently I can only talk in small sentences. What an idiot. He looks back into his apartment and then his eyes meet mine again
"I would invite you in but ... It's sort of messy in here. Plus I don't think you're dressed for the occasion" A lazy grin spreads over his face and it has the exact effect he was hoping for. Well two can play that game
"I would invite you in, but I promised I wouldn't talk to strangers. It's a shame really as Grace and I have been making cocktails all afternoon. And plus you're overdressed, sorry" He pretends to look offended and then places his hand over his heart
"I am offended. I did take you shopping after all"
"I don't think walking up and down a supermarket aisle constitutes as a foundation for us to get to know each other. Plus it's not like you took me to Harrods"
I hear the glorious sound of his laugh and he opens the door a little wider
"So I take that as a no?" He raises his eyebrow and I can feel all my blood rising to my cheeks. He grins again and steps back "goodnight, Alannah"
"Goodnight Lorcan" I shut the door and then lean my head against it. He's just a boy. He's just a boy. I meantally scold myself. But not one single boy looked like that at home. They didn't have that beauty about them, or mystery. They were just ... Normal.
I watch the wedding singer as I'm in the mood for slushy romance. After its finished I have a message off Grace saying the interview went well and she's staying for a drink. I get the meaning behind it, she means don't wait up. I drag the duvet off my bed and snuggle up on the settee. The last thing I remember was watching a cheesy true life romance. For the first time in a long time, I don't dream at all