Saving Coralie.

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  • Published: 1 Jan 2017
  • Updated: 1 Jan 2017
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Coralie and Erin are more like sisters and friends. They've been through everything together, the good the bad and the ugly. Which is why when Coralie kidnaps Erin and takes her to a secluded beach house, Erin gives her the benefit of the doubt. The girls find themselves in Pembrokeshire, the beautiful West coast of Wales, and the beautiful scenery is almost enough to make Erin forget that she's been kidnapped. Almost. She knows that Cor's acting weird and she thinks that she knows why, a memory that she's pushed to the back of her mind that keeps trying to force its way out. The one thing she does know for sure though is that Coralie needs saving. The trip turns out to be more tumultuous than either girl could ever have imagined. A story of love, friendship, grieving and unforgettable summers.

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9. Chapter 9.

Whitesands was a soft stretch of beach surrounded by high cliffs, ravished by perfect crescent shaped waves that were dappled pink in the late evening sun. We sat at the top of the beach on a sun bleached wooden picnic bench, everyone except Cor, who had decided to take one for the team, clutching a bottle of Corona.
The cool sea air meant that we were all huddled together for warmth, Cor and Sim sharing a Marbolo Red.
“Even though I can’t wait to go travelling it’s kinda nice to know that you don’t have to go far to get a view like this,” Iddy said, gesturing to the orange sky, that looked as if it was on fire, beneath it surfers making the most of the sunlight before it dipped below the horizon. They were skimming effortlessly across the waves, putting our earlier efforts to shame.

“Aren’t you just a little bit scared?” I said taking a sip of my beer, “being so far away, not knowing what you’re gonna be doing day after day?” It was definitely a scary thought for me. I couldn’t imagine not having a definite plan. I found that an even scarier thought than going to uni, even if uni was going to be a big change, something I’d never been the biggest fan of, at least I knew what was coming.
“I mean not really no. I’m more excited than anything. Obviously there will be times when I’m nervous or whatever, but I see way too many people who are tuned off from doing things because of fear, fear of the unknown or fear of failing, fear of what other people will think, yanno? I’m not gonna let that happen to me. I almost did. I went to university to please when all I really wanted to do was to go travelling, so now I’m doing it.”

I tipped my bottle towards Iddy’s wordlessly and he clinked his against mine as I let his words settle in. Iddy was smart in the way I’d always wanted to be but never had been because I was unable to ever fully articulate how I was feeling. And what he’d said made so much sense to me, his words dancing around in neat circles in my brain.
We watched the surfers for a while, putting bets on who would be the next to catch a wave, laughing at the obvious posers, one guy continuously puffing out his tanned chest, flipping his hair dramatically away from his face.
Seb and Sim went to get one more round from the wooden panelled café that overlooked the carpark, its walls covered in colourful blown up prints of seals, dolphins and puffins, whilst Iddy explained his and Sim’s rough plan of action for their travels.

“We’re starting in Australia in September then from there we’re probably gonna make our way to Indonesia. Gonna do all the tropical places first so that it feels like we’re in a never-ending summer. Then we’ll move back towards Europe in the winter, see if we can find some snow, do a bit of skiing, then we can pop home to the families for Christmas and plan where we want to go from there. Working along the way obviously, anything we can find that’s enough to pay the rent.”
“You’re never going to stop,” Cor laughed, taking a drag of her cigarette, which I noticed with a quiet glee was only her second of the day.
Iddy smiled somewhat knowingly and once again I couldn’t contain the feeling that Iddy knew things it might take the rest of us years to figure out, he was such a calm kind of clever.
“Maybe I never will. That’s the beauty of not knowing where we’re all gonna end up.”

We were distracted from that deep thought by the rabble that was Seb and Sim bounding back with the drinks, seemingly having a race as they stumbled quickly towards us over the bumpy terrain. When they got to the table, they put the drinks down and turned to one another.
“And they didn’t spill a drop!” Sim shouted, making his voice rumble deeply like a sports announcer and the two of them jumped slightly, chest bumping mid-air.
“The little things eh,” Iddy said incredulously, completely unfazed that they’d ruined his musing, winking at me and Cor before taking a sip of his drink. Seb settled down next to me once the celebrations were over.
He smiled down at me and I grinned back as he draped an arm across my shoulder.
“Alright pumpkin head?” he chirped, leaning down and mock nibbling my shoulder.
“Yes thanks princess,” I said, leaning my head against him, feeling his arms move up and down as he laughed.
“You two are disgusting,” Sim said, raising his eyebrows, “you’re making me want to chub your cheeks whilst simultaneously spewing.”
“Well you can thank me for that for that feeling,” Cor said, her expression smug as she pointed to the two of us, “all me.” I almost pointed out that we’d originally gotten together without her help but she looked so overly pleased with herself that I just left her to it.

We sat there until the sun had almost disappeared beneath the sea, Seb wrapping his fleece around the both of us as the temperature began to drop.
Sitting there I felt lighter in spirit than I had in ages, more satisfied to just be and not think and just watch and breathe and smile. Between exams and uni and Cor stress I literally hadn’t given myself a moment to just be chill in so long. It was inevitable that the worrying would most likely commence before long but it was nice to pretend for a little while that I was the type of person who just didn’t care. As I stretched my sun-kissed limbs and shook my sea-salt matted hair out behind me I mused at how a mysterious kidnapping, that I had dramatically decided would ruin my life, had actually turned into the first proper holiday I’d had in years. It gave me the same sort of wondrous feeling that my childhood holidays had given me, a beautiful sense of novelty and adventure that I’d never thought I’d feel again.

                                                                                ***

When the sun went down we decided that we were all beyond hungry and we needed to hunt down a pub somewhere. Cor drove us back through the lanes, the large round moon illuminating the road, the only thing making the drive a little less perilous. Iddy was up front this time, Seb sitting next to me in the back, hiding his face in my shoulder, explaining that he couldn’t stand to watch his baby be abused again. Iddy calmly directed Cor to the nearest place where we could find somewhere to eat. At first it seemed as though we’d made our way to a cute little village, but when Cor commented as such, Iddy quite indignantly corrected her that we were actually in the smallest city in the world thank you very much, St David’s cathedral giving the little settlement its prestigious title.
It was a quaint area, rows of charming little shops and mismatched terraced houses, all dwarfed by the majestic beauty of the towering cathedral. I was absolutely taken in by its rustic charm. We procured a space just outside the cathedral, Seb wincing yet holding his tongue as Cor slammed the brakes on, and to our delight we found a cobble stoned pub a two minute walk away. We piled out of the car, our hunger suddenly hitting us as the mouth-watering aroma of homemade chips invaded our senses. Inside was bustling and warm and we found a perfect table close to the bar.

“One more second and I swear to you I would have passed out,” Seb announced as his food arrived, a huge serving of chips paired with a half roast chicken.
“Look at this beauty,” he prodded the chicken with his fork, and I didn’t have the heart to tell him that as good as it smelt , for me it looked all too much like the chicken it had come from.
“Looks like my ex actually. Him trouser-less was not a nice sight,” Cor said with much less tact, casually chewing on a roasted carrot.
“You may have actually managed to put me off my food,” Seb groaned, “and that’s not an easy task.”
Coralie laughed and continued unperturbed, clearly enjoying the effect she was having.
“Nah but seriously, I should have ended it there and then, his little chicken legs scuttling towards me,” she took two carrot sticks and made them run across the table towards a pained looking Seb.
“Stop it you witch,” he groaned again, seriously looking on the verge of pushing his food away.
“I met Jonny and the thought of him trouser-less is truly grim,” he said weakly, Cor cackling behind her napkin.

I decided to step in before we were forced to endure a typical childish Seb/Cor squabble that had the prospect of continuing for hours.
“If we’re talking exes, no one has a worse one than me, I guarantee. He’s such a baby, one mention of spindly legs and he has a breakdown.”
“He sounds awful,” Iddy said, reaching across the table to sympathetically pat my hand.
“He sounds like he’s probably shit in bed too,” Cor murmured before taking a risky sip of her drink and not anticipating Seb as he reached over and flicked her straw, sending diet coke splashing into her eyes.

“I haven’t had a proper ex since I was like twelve,” Sim said just as Seb sat back, he and Coralie still eyeing each other up from across the table, “I haven’t been with anyone for long enough to call them that.”
He lowered his voice and gestured for Cor and I who were sitting across from him, to bend our heads in to hear him.
“I think I might be what you girls would call a... player,” he whispered cryptically and nodded, raising his dark eyebrows as if he’s just bestowed a great wisdom upon us, before leaning cockily back into his seat, resting his lean arms behind his head.
Cor and I groaned in unison.
“Sim you’re too nice to act like such a dick,” I sighed, watching as his smug expression transformed into a huge toothy grin.
“Well, when I say player, what I mean is that I try to play the game but no one else is really interested in playing with me.”
“What, really?” Cor and I glanced at each other only half sure that he was joking and Sim, clearly playing up to the attention, lay his head on the table, holding a hand out for both me and Cor to hold.
“That’s bull, he has a different girl every month,” Iddy said, smirking but without looking up from his food.
“Sim!” Cor and I exclaimed, snatching our hands away from him. Sim laughed impishly and settled back into his seat. If it had been anyone else I would have felt indignant about his brashness, guys like him normally my worst nightmare but there was something about Sim that stopped me from being able to be angry at him, even if I was pretty clear that he probably was a bit of a dick.

“How about you Id?” I nudged Cor in what I hoped was a suggestive way, “what’s your most recent ex like?” I managed to finished speaking despite the pointy elbow that Cor was digging deeply into my ribs.
“Nothing too dramatic,” he shrugged, “we drifted, wanted different things like. Its civil.”
“Well then I definitely win this battle of the worst exes,” Cor said, tipping her glass towards the boys, in a somewhat threatening manner, “because mine is a right tosser bechgyn. A. Waste. Of. Time.”
The smile faded slightly from her face as she spoke, her perfectly shaped red lips momentarily falling into a downwards curve, before she quickly composed herself and set them into a smile again, but not before we’d all noticed the turn in tone of the conversation. There was a moment of silence, no one quite knowing what to say. I grappled with my words, seeing my chance to finally say something helpful, but Iddy beat me to it.
“Well to be honest Cor, I think you’re worth so much more than you’re letting yourself be.” Colour rose upon Coralie’s tanned cheeks and she fiddled with her thumb ring.
“Thank you Id,” she said, her gaze firmly on him, her tone more sincere than it had been for days.
“No problem Cor, its true,” Iddy replied, smiling a smile that crinkled his soft hazel eyes, the rosiness flushing even further across her cheeks.
I glanced across the table at Seb who was already looking at me, knowing exactly what I was thinking.
“Talk about needing to get a room,” Seb said loudly, breaking the silence we’d fallen into again, all of us watching Cor and Iddy’s tender exchange.
“I thought me and pumpkin head here were bad but this is just sickening.”
Cor and Iddy, who now were both as flushed as humanly possible after realising that we had all in fact been present for the last two minutes, seemed to be at a loss for words, smiling timidly at each other. I decided to save them by sighing loudly and saying,
“Can you please stop calling me pumpkin head?”
Which of course meant that I was called nothing but for the next hour or so and I slightly regretted my valiant attempt at changing the subject.

By the end of the evening we were all rosy cheeked and cheery, glistening slightly from the heat of the pub’s roaring log fire. We all tumbled out of the pub together, spirits high, stomachs full, haphazardly trying (and failing) to walk in one big line, our arms wrapped around each other’s waists. My last thought after we piled into Seb’s car and I rested my head on his warm, solid chest, his arm reaching around me and holding me there, was how mental it was that I’d only known the guys for a few days. A few days ago I’d been fretting that one of them would see me flouncing around in a sheet in their kitchen and I’d make a bad impression and now they’d probably seen me in worse states and I’d probably consider them some of my best friends. A few days ago I’d been so mad at Cor and now we felt as close as ever. A few days ago I’d been broken up with Seb, hadn’t seen him for months and now he was holding me tightly.
I smiled, my eyes fluttering closed as I gave into fatigue, my sleepless night, busy day and full stomach overwhelming me.

I woke up only when I felt myself being lowered onto something cushiony and warm. I opened my eyes to see Seb’s own deep brown ones looking back at me as he gently placed me in bed.
“Did you carry me from the car?” I tried to exclaim, the sleep in my voice making it come out as more of a squeak. I cleared my throat before trying again.
“What are you?” I yawned, “Mr Muscle?”
I was referring to the burly guy on the front of the Mr Muscle bleach products bottle, not a hundred percent certain why he had come to mind, my sleep addled brain obviously providing me with an unintelligible line of thought.
Seb laughed, turning off the light before helping me peel off my clothes, after watching my pathetic attempt at trying to pull my top over my head, my arms clearly as functioning as my brain. He jumped in next to me, grabbed me and squeezed.
“Yes, it is me Mr Muscle, on a break from cleaning toilets. Quick give us a snog before Seb comes back.”
“Gross,” I giggled, squirming out of his grip, “no one says snog any more Mr Muscle.”
“Oh then what do they call this?” he said, rolling me back towards him and kissing me deeply, my squirming ceasing instantly.
“I have no idea, do it again,” I retorted when he broke away.
He laughed, pressing his forehead against mine.

“I love you Erin,” he said, his tone suddenly serious. My heart missed a beat then instantly made up for missing one by beating frantically. It was the first time he’d outright said it since we’d broken up and I savoured the words that I’d been convinced I’d never hear from him ever again. I savoured the sweetness of them, how I’d missed them.
“I love you too Maldwyn,” I replied, my lips grazing his as I spoke. For the first time in his life he didn’t correct me or insist that he was Sebastian the little red lobster. Instead he kissed me again, the back arching, toe curling type of kiss. When we finally settled back to sleep I wrapped my legs around Seb and he kissed my forehead gently and I knew that half of me would be completely content to stay like this forever and all of me wanted to end every night for the rest of my night like this.

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