Someone Else

Author's Note: The surest sign to tell when I've had enough chocolate is when I start writing fics like these...And you know I've had too much when I start slipping parts of my Sociology course into it!

This is the prologue to a new fic I'm beginning, working title is Love Amongst The Ruins. For those who are waiting for new chapters to Second Chances and I Am, I Feel, I hope to have them done by the end of January by the latest. I write when I'm stressed, and 3 exams are enough to put stress into anyone.

Jealousy is the worst emotion to feel when there's no-one else to talk it through with.

It's bad enough when you can rant and rave at your best friend, and then realise as she laughs with you that your fears have been unfounded, and that nothing could possibly go wrong with a friend by your side.

When you're on your own, staring at the same four walls day after day, the green eyed monster can begin to take hold so quickly it isn't even funny. No matter how hard you try to reassure yourself that everything will always be alright, there's no fresh perspective to take a step back, and say, "Hang on a minute. Aren't you being slightly stupid?"

All my life, I guess I've felt jealous of people who were physically different from me, those people who were always revered by the media and seen as though they were as perfect as humans can become.

If I were more perceptive, I'd say that was because the media transmits an ideology of the perfect woman, so we all have something to strive for. But I'm not, so I'll say it's because I was sick of being teased for being so short everyone thought I was six when I was nine.

It's fair enough to be jealous of prettier people when you're younger. Trini was jealous of her only Barbie because she got to wear short skirts and have makeup trowelled onto her. It gets slightly more complicated when you're 17.

Hands up, I was jealous of Kat the first time I saw her. With looks like her's, I would seriously doubt anyone who claimed they weren't in awe/jealous of her. And (once the spell was broken, of course) she was so goddamned nice it only made things worse.

I've heard many rumours about the reasons I broke up with Tommy why/when/how I did. Trini and I consider ourselves privileged because we're the only people who know the truth. In hindsight, I know all aspects of the breakup were wrong, and when I'm feeling particularly pessimistic, I know all the blame rests with me.

No-one really understands how alone I felt. People were on the other end of a phone line, sure, but it would have been so much easier if there hadn't been the little matters of time differences, and that most of my friends were doing important things with their lives, like saving the world or promoting peace.

Me, I did backflips. All day long, and even in my sleep.

There was a guy. I wasn't feeling particularly selfless on a February morning and decided to let the best thing that ever happened out of my life.

The only emotion I was feeling was jealousy. What a surprise!

You try ringing your boyfriend, hoping to have a nice private chat, only to be told that he's out somewhere with Kat on a project for school.

And then that happening the next day, and the next, and the next.

One of the guys who'd been selected at the same time as me had never made it a secret that he had a crush on me. I'd always turned him down whenever he asked to do stuff together, not wanting to lead him on or anything. But one night, when he asked me to get a coffee with him, I accepted.

Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. I know I was superficial in my early days as a Ranger, but he was ridiculous. I would rather have been ringing Tommy 25 times only to be told he was somewhere with Kat each time than have spent 2 hours in a coffee shop listen to him wax lyrical about his trainers.

I know we were both spending 10 hours a day being sportspeople, but even I took offence that he would have thought me an appropriate audience.

It wasn't Jack that made me write the letter, although strictly speaking he would have been the guy in question. It was the feeling of going out again with a guy, without having to fill in ten thousand forms and wait six months for two days leave.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I always thought he'd come and demand an explanation from me. I'd entertained the idea that he'd leave it at where I ended it, but I didn't think he wouldn't even phone me.

To be fair, I didn't ring him to explain.

I was a mess for three months afterwards, but my unspoken suspicions proved they had some meaning when I heard not long after that Tommy and Kat had started dating.

Six years on, and my feelings for Tommy have faded, but not in the way that feelings for crushes before him have. If he took it into his head to storm back in and demand an explanation, I'd tell him. If anyone asked me who I would take to be my lifetime partner, I'd say him. No-one before or after him has respected me in the same way, understood me in the same way. To put it bluntly, soulmates can never be replaced.

Neither can they be reinstated after someone messes with their heart so badly they never asked why.

I've seen him since I moved back to the West coast, but I haven't had a conversation with him, and it hasn't escaped my notice that we've never been left in the same room together. I know hardly anything about him - it would be too awkward to ask, even someone as understanding as Trini. I doubt he knows anything about me either.

We've both moved on. And I've accepted that mad periods of jealousy can be detrimental to one's wellbeing.