Lust

A short story about a complicated romance and a complicated life altogether.

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2. Revelation

-March 5th 2012 7.52am

I’m currently sat at the kitchen table munching on a bowl of cereal – the soggy kind – whilst writing in this journal. I never used to write in one but my mother bought me this for my sixteenth birthday two months ago. Speaking of the devil, she bowled through the door and began rummaging around in the drawers for something.

“What are you looking for?” I asked, glancing at her.

“I’ve lost my keys,” she snapped, stressed out.

“They’re on the table by the door, mum, like they always are,” I sighed, shovelling another spoonful of mush into my mouth.

“Where’s dad?” On cue, he barged through the door, like my mother had and began picking up sheets of paper that must have been important. Maybe they had something to do with his business.  My father was a very successful entrepreneur and was bringing in a rather large pay cheque.

“Hey dad,” I said as he grabbed his briefcase off the table and rammed the sheets of paper inside it. I shoved his blazer on over his white shirt and buttoned it up.

“Not now, Charlotte, I am very late for work,” he muttered and headed for the door. He shot my mother an evil glare before leaving the kitchen. They hadn’t been very friendly lately, god knows why. Whenever I asked my mother what was going on between her and my father, she’d get all defensive and accuse me of calling her a harlot, which made me all the more suspicious. My mother may be condescending but she was not a cheat. I flinched as the front door slammed shut. My father was certainly not a morning person, especially when my mother was in sight.

I rolled my eyes and chucked my bowl in the sink. 

“When you get home, Charlotte, you’ll need to cook tea as your father and I won’t be home until late,” my mother instructed, waiting for me to turn around and face her. When I did, she didn’t look best pleased.

“Oh, you’re finally going to a marriage counsellor?” I asked sarcastically. “Oh I’m sorry, I’m not allowed to ask, am I? You don’t like it when I ask you questions about your marriage, you get all insecure. We wouldn’t want that for you, mother dearest.”

“Charlotte!” My mother gasped, outraged. “There is no need for that. Your father and I are...we’re fine. Could you stop writing in that journal for two seconds and have a proper conversation with your mother?”

“You’re the one who bought it for me, remember?” I sighed. “Have fun at work; don’t let the door squash you on the way out.” I smirked at her and pushed past her. I headed down the corridor and into my room. I liked to be grounded, fully on the ground. If I had it my way, we’d be living in a bungalow.

A few moments later, the front door slammed shut and I was left alone. I sighed and collapsed on my bed. If I didn’t have this journal, I’d be insane by now. I looked at my clock and gasped. Two minutes until my bus arrived. The bus-stop was almost ten minutes away! Sweet Jesus, if only I had a car!

10.35am

Second period. Biology. Not my favourite. Dr. Pullen stood at the front of the class, telling us about the human internal environment. Everyone but me was paying attention, even my best friend Julia was taking notes. She glanced at me as I scribbled this down in my journal, and rolled her eyes. Ripping out a piece of paper from her notebook, she scrawled down a message, folded the paper in half and handed it to me. I looked at her, should I be worried? She and I normally exchanged notes in class but she was never this quiet and tense. Something was up.

I unfolded the piece of paper.

I need to speak to you, urgently, the message said.

Oh god, now I was panicking. I shot her a worried look before replying.

OMG, what is it? Don’t tell me you and James broke up?

I handed her the note when Dr. Pullen wasn’t looking.

Tyla, the class nerd shot me an irritated look before she carried on talking notes. Her pen glided across the paper quickly yet elegantly. Could someone write elegantly? Was that even possible?

Julia shoved the note under my book and chewed her pen. I unfolded it and stared at the paper, completely shocked.

Something worse.

Well, what is it?! I scribbled in a hurry.

Worry and anxiety built up inside me. Had someone died? Was she terminally ill? Oh god, stop this torture! Just as I was about to hand the note back to Julia, Dr Pullen snatched it from my grasp.

“This is inappropriate behaviour, ladies. Save it for lunch time,” he frowned and chucked the note in the recycling bin. “Now that we have your attention, Charlotte, why don’t you explain to the rest of the class what homeostasis is?”

“Oh, Sir, I’d rather not,” I laughed awkwardly, twisting and pulling at my fingers.

“Weren’t you paying attention?” Sir snapped. I shook my head and stared at the floor. The class laughed at me and Dr. Pullen carried on with the lesson.

11.35am

Break time means a lot in this school. It’s almost as good as lunch time but with less time. Twenty minutes to socialise before stepping back into the deadly classrooms. I had one mission to complete. Get Julia to spill. At the end of biology, she ran out before I could ask her and now I had no idea where she was. As I came round the corner of the corridor, I slammed straight into Rowan, spilling hot coffee all over her cashmere sweater.

“My sweater!” she cried, her friends swarmed around her and began dabbing her sweater with cloths. She shoved them away and glared at me. “Do you have any idea how much this cost my father?”

“Um...sorry Rowan, it was an accident,” I muttered. Rowan had been tormenting me for as long as I can remember. She had always been the pretty and stylish one. What made it worse was the fact that her dad was my father’s boss. This made her feel invincible, like she was in charge of me, and I hated her for it.

“I won’t forget this,” she growled before shoving past me.

A few minutes later, I found Julia in the girls’ toilets. No one else was in here but us.

“Julia, please come out and tell me what’s going on,” I pleaded, knocking on a cubicle door.

“Have you ever felt completely alone?” she asked me immediately.

“Um...sometimes...what’s this about?” I said feeling more worried than before. “What has James done? Has he split up with you? I’ll kill him if he has.”

“Charl, I really need you to listen...” she whimpered. She was leaning against the door that stood firmly between us.

“I’ve been trying to get it out of you for the last hour, Julia; I’m not going to ignore you now, am I?” I frowned. I rested my head on this side of the door whilst I scribbled down what was happening.

“I don’t know what to do, he’ll hate me,” she cried. “Or worse, he’ll split up with me. Charl, I can’t lose him.”

“Oh god, have you cheated on him?” I squeaked, gripping my journal. I accidently punctured the page with my pen as an image of her with another guy flashed across my brain.

“No,” she whispered, innocently. For a few tense and horrible moments, we both stood in silence, I wasn't sure if I believed her.

“Please, Julia, just open the door and tell me what the hell is going on!” I yelled, getting more irritated by the minute. Julia hesitated before unlocking the door and slowly opening it to reveal smudge makeup and mascara running down her cheeks. She held something behind her back.

“What is that?” I asked, quietly, fearing the worst.

“I’m pregnant,” she cried, showing me the pregnancy test. I froze in my spot, completely speechless. How could she be so stupid? Had she not had the talk with her mother? But then again, her mother is an alcoholic.

“Say something,” she pleaded, praying for me to understand.

“How could you, Julia?” I gasped, stepping back. “How could you be so stupid?”

“I need your support, not your lectures.”

“You’re right,” I sighed eventually. “I’m sorry.”

After a few moments of silence, I pulled her into my arms and hugged her tightly.

“What are you going to do?” I whispered.

“I don’t know,” she sniffled and squeezed me tight.

“Whatever you decide...I’ll support you,” I reassured her.

“I don’t know what I’d do without you,” Julia said, her voice was muffled against my shoulder.

“How am I going to tell James?”

“I don’t know, I’m not sure how he’ll react when you tell him he’ll be a father in nine months,” I shook my head and released her from our hug. Julia bit her lip and looked at me guiltily.

“Mary, mother of Jesus, he’s not the father, is he?” I questioned, feeling completely betrayed. Why hadn’t she told me about her and this new dude? How could she do this to James?

“Please don’t flip out, you said you’ll support me! Don’t tell him, okay? I’ll tell him soon, I promise!” Julia squealed, grabbing my shoulder and shaking them slightly. I stood there and let her shake me. If James or anyone else got a hold of this journal, we’d be screwed.

9.38pm

Today had been a stressful day. After Julia’s baby revelation, I couldn’t look her in the eye. What she has done to James is unforgivable. James is one of my best friends; the three of us had been a group since we were three. We were always together.  And now, I could see the end.  

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