The Night We Met

Liv has never felt at home in the Northern seaside town she grew up in. So, she moves to the vibrant city of London to pursue her dream of becoming an artist. Along the way, she encounters a group of fellow colorful misfits and the alluring Lex; a beautiful musician reaching the peak of fame, who lives every day like it's his last. Seeking a quiet life, Liv struggles to accommodate the interesting nature of Lex's career, the lives of the people around her and her own ever-growing anxieties whilst trying to become the version of herself she has always wanted to be...

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8. Six (3)

After the police had arrived and taken the necessary statements, no one was arrested. However, the photographer was taken to the hospital to deal with his injuries, whilst Lex refused to go get his injuries treated. The police weren't going to argue with Lex Langley so they let him go with a caution and said that they would be in touch the next day, should the photographer press charges. They warned Lex that he could be charged with grevious bodily harm which seemed to horrify me more than himself.

 

I got at least five streets away from the scene of the crime before realising Lex had followed me and was a much faster walker on account of his long legs. Although, he did stay a safe distance behind me the whole time and didn't attempt to talk to me. Eventually, I made it back to the flat, where Parm was passed out on the front door step. Just what I need, I groaned inwardly. At least it would stop me having to go out into the night looking for her.

 


"If you're going to follow me at least make yourself useful," I finally spoke to Lex. "Help me get her inside."

 


Parm had evidently been drinking quite a bit since she left the pub and had some recent vomit stains on her dress. Not to mention the fact that it was all over the front doorstep too. Lex didn't question what I asked of him; he simply hoisted Parm over his shoulder and carried her up a whole flight of stairs. I let us into the dark apartment silently and pointed to Parm's bedroom. He went inside and placed her on the bed as I watched from the door. Then, I went over and turned her onto her side so that she wouldn't choke in her sleep. Although, as horrible as it sounded, I sometimes wished she would so she would get a reality check over how her drunken behaviour affected herself and others.

 


"Oh, Parm," I said, sadly, and brushed her sweaty hair back from her forehead. "What have you gotten yourself into?"

 


When I turned around, Lex had disappeared from the doorway. I wondered if he had left but unfortunately, he didn't. Instead, I found him in my bedroom; looking at my photographs and posters on my wall. He was still a bloody mess and it hurt to see him that way. I guess I should have cut him some slack as he was defending me and himself, I thought. But to see that violent streak terrified me. It slightly pissed me off that he had gone into my room without permission too but I tried not to be immature about it. I had nothing to hide and he was going to see my messy room eventually. It occurred to me that I had finally let Lex Langley into my messy room, just as I'd let him into my messy heart.

 


"You scared me back there," I said, leaning against the doorway.

"I'm so sorry," He was startled at my sudden appearance. "I don't know what happened. I lost my head a bit."
"A bit? You almost killed the guy, Lex."
"I know. I just saw red. I don't know what to say to make it better..."
"You could go to jail if he presses charges. You do know that, don't you?"
"I've really fucked up."

 


He started crying right infront of me; not crocodile tears but real, convulted sobs. I could tell he felt truly terrible about what he had done. To see him in that sorry state saddended me and I figured the reality of tomorrow was hard enough for him as it was without me adding to it. What he really needed was someone to hold him as he cried, just as he had done for me once.

 


"Sit down," I said, gently. "I'll be back in a minute."

 


I returned with the best medical supplies I could find; a tub of Sudocrem, which I usually used as spot cream, a bowl of water and a towel.

 


"They're not exactly Grey's Anatomy style materials but it'll have to do," I said. He was sitting on the edge of my bed, sniffling, so I knelt down before him and lifted his chin to look at me. It was both awful and liberating to see him being so vulnerable when he usually seemed unstoppable.
"I really am sorry," He grabbed my hand as I went to dab the cut on his cheekbone with the towel. 
"I know you are," I sighed. "I'm sorry too."

 


Silently, I began to clean his cuts for him. It felt weirdly intimate and he didn't say anything as I cleaned for what felt like a good twenty minutes. He could barely look at me and that saddened me more than anything. I guess he had figured I'd never see a flash of the Lex he used to be. But it dawned on me that even though it had been horrific to see, I was glad it had happened. It removed him from the pedestal in my mind and made me realize that Lex Langley wasn't totally perfect. He was a work in progress, just like everyone else.

 


I thought of Parm sleeping in the next room as I patched Lex up. In that moment, I felt like the mother of two kids who had no option but to guide them onto a good path. It was a lot of responsibility to take on though and I'd be relieved when the night was over.

 


"There," I said, putting my hands on his knees and looking at him in the eyes. "All better."

 

He still wouldn't look at me.

 

"Thanks," He replied, shyly. Then, to my surprise, he clambered off the bed and towards the front door. "I'll let you sleep now. I know you'll want to have a think about things..."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, I would understand if you didn't want to be with me anymore. I'm sorry you had to see that side of me. I'm not proud of myself."

 

I walked up to him and smoothed down his shirt collar tenderly.

 

"Stop beating yourself up," I said. "I'm not going to lie - It shocked me to see you like that. But if I said it made me think differently of you, that would make me rather judgemental, wouldn't it? The pap was out of order and he swung the first punch. I'm not justifying what you did but you tried to defend me. I can't fault you for that."

 


He nodded, sadly. 

 


"We'll deal with tomorrow when it comes," I stated. "This hasn't changed anything for me, I promise. I still want to be with you."
"Really?" There was a flicker of relief in his eyes.
"Yes, you idiot! Now, since you've seen my messy flat I feel it's only polite to ask you to stay tonight so I can keep an eye on you."
"I like your flat," He looked around. "And your room. It's got a lot of your personality in it."
"Yeah, yeah," I waved him away. "Don't sugar coat it - it's a mess."
"I don't think so. I'm the real mess and you still stick by me."

 


I wrapped my arms around his waist and hugged him tightly. He was so sad that it actually made my heart hurt to be around him. 

 


"I have to ask you something," He said, quietly. "It's not the best time to have this conversation but I want you to know that tonight is not the real me. I want you to hear it from the person who brought me up. Will you come home with me and meet my Mum?"
"Really?" I smiled to myself but didn't want him to see. "You promise you're not just asking me this to make me feel better after tonight?"
"No. I really want you to meet her. You're the two most important girls in my life so I think it's about time."

"When?"

"What about the September weekend? We'll be off uni for the weekend."
"I'd really like that."

 


That night, as we held each other and attempted to sleep, Lex whispered goodnight in my ear and then said the following:

 


"You know what you said to that woman outside the pub? Did you really mean it?" 

 


I was absolutely mortified that he had heard those three words slip out of my mouth. What if he said he didn't love me back? What if he did? I didn't know how to cope with either scenario, so I didn't respond and, out of fear, pretended I was asleep. He glanced down at me, noticing my eyes closed and my purposeful heavy breathing, then sighed.

 

 

"...I love you too."

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