-1Hold your head up high
You're never wrong
Somewhere in the right you belong
You would rather fight than walk away

"Ma'am," the police officer nods at me, as I drag my drunken husband out of the cold, and into our house.

"Thank you," I say, even though a small part of me wishes, that he wouldn't be found until tomorrow. And then he'd realise that he's not always right. And that someone won't pick him up all the time.

"Can you try to make sure he doesn't lash out anymore?" the officer asks.

Yeah. I've tried countless times. Like he'll listen to me. But I fake a weak smile, and nod. "I'll have a word."

"Fourth time this month," the policeman reminds me, as if I'm not aware already.

I nod, and I can feel the blush on my cheeks. I know that the old bag next door is staring at me, and getting ready to pick up the phone and gossip to her friends, as soon as I close the door. I can imagine what she's saying now, "Brenda, the police were round there again."

It's awful.

What a lonely way to breathe the air
What an unlovely way to say you care
Now we're too far gone for me to save
And I never thought that we'd come to this

I close the door, thanking the policeman once again for the time. Then, I turn onto Owen.

"I thought you weren't drinking anymore."

"But they challenged me," he tries to defend himself.

I roll my eyes. "They challenged you? The guys challenged you? Well, then you should have so done it then. And then, why not go and punch someone, you know, just for good measure?"

"Vi…" he begins, but we both know that he won't go any further. He doesn't have an excuse. He just likes to believe he does.

And I like to believe he does.

But it's gone too far.

Maybe there's beauty in goodbye
There's just no reason left to try
You push me away
Another black day
Let's count up the reasons to cry
Look what you've missed, living like this
Nobody wins

Owen looks up at me, but I can't see anything in his eyes. No love. No sympathy. No sorrow. Nothing at all.

"Why?" I ask, folding my arms over my baggy t-shirt. I had been wearing it for a while. Since this morning. And now it's like, midnight.

"They told me to," Owen says feebly.

"Who told you to?" I ask, wanting to yell, but I resist.

Owen looks at the floor. "All the guys."

"All of them?" I ask, knowing the answer already. It wasn't all the guys. Because I know for sure that Phil wouldn't. Heck, he probably wouldn't even be at the pub at this time of night. He'd be at home. With his wife.

"No…" Owen admits, knowing that I know. Knowing that lying will be pointless. Because it will be.

Searching for the truth in your eyes
Found myself so lost to recognize
The person now that you, you claim to be

"Do you remember the day we got married?" I ask, casting my mind back, and heaving myself onto the couch in the living room.

"How could I forget?" Owen slurs, and collapses next to me. He stinks.

"Where's the guy I married?" I ask, feeling the tears begin to spring up in my eyes. "What happened to Owen? The funny, sensitive guy that I fell in love with. Where the heck did he go?"

"I don't understand," Owen says, his drunken-ness settling in.

"That's right. You don't get it, because you're always drunk, and your brain is reacting to the alcohol that I asked you not to drink. Yet you're still drinking it. And hitting people. And then coming home, expecting me to be fine with it. Well I'm not. And I've given you enough opportunities!" I yell.

He's not Owen. He looks put out by my rage, but not too put out. Because I doubt he even processed what I just said.

Which tears it.

"I'm leaving," I snap. Bluntly, but I don't care. I've had enough.

Owen looks distraught, but it's too late. "What?"

"I'm leaving."

Don't know when to stop, or where to start
You're just so caught up in who you are
Now you're far too high for me to see
I'd never thought that we'd come to this

I leave the house, with my bag, leaving my husband inside. I'm not sure that this is the right thing to do. I need some time to get my head straight.

I can see the woman next door craning out of her window, and I grimace. But then I fake a smile, and cross the street, wondering where I'm going to go now. And there's only really one place that I can even think about going.

I hail a taxi, and tell the driver the address. Then I sit back, on my seat, and sigh. This has been one long night.

I want to cry.

Owen and I got together in senior year at high school, shortly before Phil and Keely got together. And then, we went to college together. And then, we moved in together. And then we got married. But then he began drinking, and hitting other people. Never me. Never his friends. If someone wound him up though, they'd get a smack.

There was only so long I could take it, right?

Maybe there's beauty in goodbye
There's just no reason left to try
You push me away
Another black day
Let's count up the reasons to cry
Look what you've missed, living like this
Nobody wins

I get out of the cab, pay the driver, along with his tip, and then make my way up the path. The house I'm heading for, is one I got so used to during my childhood. Well, my teenage-hood. Whatever.

I knock quietly on the door, hoping I don't wake Ryan and Stephanie. It is midnight after all.

"Coming," I hear Phil's voice on the other side of the door. I hear him fumbling for a key, and then he pulls the door open. "Via?"

"I'm sorry. I know it's midnight, and I know that you were sleeping, but I've left. Left Owen," I admit, and suddenly, I'm crying.

"Come in, come in," Phil ushers me in, calling Keely quietly, so as not to wake their kids. Keely comes down almost straight away.

"Via, are you okay? You left Owen? Are you alright?" she sweeps me up into a hug, and I cry on her shoulder.

"He got drunk again. And hit another guy. I can't do it anymore Keely. I can't," I sob, and Keely looks at me sympathetically.

Phil has disappeared into the kitchen, and I hear him putting the kettle on.

I look at Keely, her blonde hair still around her shoulders. Her daughter looks a lot like her, even though her little girl is only three. And her son and Phil…well they're identical. Except the age gap.

Phil and Keely were destined to be together. And I just wish me and Owen were the same. I wish that we were okay. But we're not. It's over. Reality has hit. Hard.

You never say you're sorry
Try to tell me that you love me
But don't - it's too late to take it there

The phone rings, and it cuts through the silence in the room like a knife. Keely sighs, and goes to get it, telling Phil to see to the children who had begun to cry.

"Hello? Yeah. Yeah. I'll ask her, but I doubt she'll want to speak to you Owen," I hear Keely say, and then she pokes her head in. "You wanna speak to Owen?"

I do. I really do. So I nod, and reach for the receiver. "Sure."

"You're in luck. She says yes. You have some grovelling to do," Keely says, and then hands it over, retreating to the living room.

"Via…" Owen begins.

"Great start Owen. Maybe in half an hour you'll be able to say something besides my name. When the alcohol wears off," I snap, not meaning to sound so harsh.

"I'm so sorry Via. I just got drunk. And I promise, it will never happen again," Owen says, but the promise is like hollow words. What makes this time different from all the other times he's promised?

He senses my tension. "Vi, I mean it. I love you. And I promise, that I will never drink again."

So now I don't know what the hell to do. Do I go back to him? I mean, I love him. I know I do. But I'm not sure that he'll be able to keep his promise.

"Can I ring you in the morning Owen?" I ask, trying to buy time. I need time. To talk with Keely, find out what she would do.

"Sure," Owen says.

"Bye," I say.

"Via," Owen adds, just as I'm about to hang up.

"Yeah?" I ask, wondering what he's going to say.

"I love you," he finishes.

This leaves me speechless. Not once, has he ever ended a conversation like that. I love the fact that he did it, but if he only ever tells me he loves me when stuff like this happens…

"Yeah," I finish, and then, before Owen can detect my tears, I hang up.

I walk slowly back to the living room, and collapse into a chair. I can hear Phil and Keely whispering in the kitchen. I can hear Ryan crying because he heard the phone ring. He sounds really upset.

I look into the kitchen as I pass, and then make my way upstairs, and into Ryan's room.

"Hey Ryan…" I whisper, and he stops crying to look at me intently. He's only two, bless him, but he looks so like Phil. "Do you remember me?"

"Ya," Ryan says, nodding vigorously. "Vi…Vi…"

"Via," I finish for him, smiling. "I'm Via."

"Ya, Via," Ryan chirps, and then claps his hands together.

I hear someone coming up the stairs, and then Phil comes into the room. "Oh, hey Via. You didn't have to come and see to him."

"I didn't mind," I smile, and then wave at Ryan, who waves back, and then yawns. "He looks a lot like you Phil…"

"Yeah," Phil says, smiling at Ryan. "Hey, Keely's made hot chocolate, and if you don't get down there fast, I think she'll have drunk both cups."

"Okay. Later Ryan."

"Bye," Ryan says, and then yawns again.

I smile and then go downstairs again.

Maybe there's beauty in goodbye
There's just no reason left to try

Two hours later, Keely is still trying to help me make the right decision. And although the sun is about to rise, and she has only had about three hours sleep, she doesn't seem to mind.

"Via, honestly. I've been up for like 24 hours in a row before. You totally beat jet-lag when you're flying round the world on a Sky…" she begins, and then her eyes widen. This always seems to happen with Keely and Phil. They'll come out with something totally weird, but always stop before they finish their sentence. I mean, I've heard the saying 'married couples have their secrets' but they really push it.

"Keely, I love him. But how can I be sure that he means it this time?" I say, pushing Keely and Phil's weirdness out of my mind. I have bigger problems to be dealing with.

"You can't," Keely says truthfully.

"Well then, what am I supposed to do?" I cry, throwing my arms up in the air.

Keely sighs. "I can't tell you the answer to that."

"Well, what would you do?" I ask, hoping for some glimmer.

Keely raises her eyebrows. "Well, for one, Phil would never go out, get drunk and then get in a fight with anybody. And two, I doubt he'd get caught by the police if he did."

"Keely, being serious. What would you do?" I ask.

Keely looks at her hands. "I wouldn't be able to leave him. I just wouldn't. Phil…he's the best, the most wonderful guy, I have ever known. He trusted me with his biggest secrets. Or secret. His family are totally awesome, and every day when I wake up, seeing him, it's like…the first day I've ever done it. I'm never bored with Phil. Even when we're just sitting watching TV. I'm never bored of hugging him, kissing him…I don't think I could live without him."

"Wow. You really love him, don't you?" I ask, forgetting about my problems for a minute, and thinking about what Keely just said.

"Yeah. And if you really love Owen, then you'd feel the same. You'd never think of the prospect of living without him, because you'd be too miserable," Keely says, unleashing everything inside her soul. "God, and this is going to sound so stupid, but do you remember that day that Phil got stuck in Canada, and the place he was staying in got snowed in, and he couldn't get home?"

"Yeah," I say, nodding.

"I cried myself to sleep. I needed him, and when he came back, I was just…so relieved to see him. It made me realise that, if he had fulfilled what his family wanted, which was for him to go back to the future, then my whole life would have been like that," Keely admits.

"That's really swe - wait a minute! Did you just say Phil's family wanted him to go back to the future?" I cry, sure that that's what Keely had just said.

"Scraps," Keely cries, reverting back to the word I heard so many times throughout high school. "Fourteen years of keeping my mouth shut, and it's all down the toilet. I guess you had to find out sometime though. Scraps. Is there any chance you could just forget all that?"

"Can you please explain?"

"Well, Phil comes from the year 2121. He was time travelling, and he got stuck in 2004. He's been here since. In 2006, though, as you'll remember, he had to move back to Canada, or whichever place we invented. His dad had fixed the time machine. He was actually going home. But, he managed to persuade his parents to stay. So, they did. And then we got together. And now, we're here, exactly where we want to be. It was destiny. And you can't fight destiny," Keely says, looking tired for the first time that night.

"Wow," I say, trying to let it all settle in.

Keely sighs. "But that doesn't change the fact that it's Phil. I'd love him if he was from the future, or not. He's my Philly-Whilly."

"I'm what?" Phil says, coming through with a tray of tea. Bless him, he's prepared countless drinks for us tonight.

"Just say yes Phil," Keely says, not looking at him.

"I'm not saying yes until you tell me what I'm agreeing to," Phil objects, sitting next to her on the couch.

Keely rolled her eyes, but I could see a smile playing on her lips. "The point is Via, whether Owen is dumb, or drinks or not, if you love him, stay with him. And if he loves you, he'll do anything in his power to be with you. My husband is from the frickin future! Yet I love him more than anything in the world. And he stopped his parents returning to their home century, just to be with me. You can make it work if you want to Via, but it's going to take work from both of you."

"You told her?" Phil asked, looking at Keely.

"Accidentally. I just got so caught up in telling her how wonderful you are," Keely said truthfully.

"It was about time she knew anyway. Fourteen years," Phil laughed. "And how wonderful am I? Please continue telling Via how darn wonderful I am."

"Actually, I think I know what I want to do," I nod, knowing that if Owen doesn't abide, I'm out.

"Glad we could help," Keely smiles, ignoring her husband.

I laugh.

You push me away
Another black day
Let's count up the reasons to cry
Look what you've missed, living like this
Nobody wins

"Owen!" I call, walking back into the house.

Owen comes bounding down the stairs, but stops when he sees me. "Via."

"No need to sound so worried. Look, Owen, I love you. But you have to stop. Drinking, hitting…all of it. Stop it, and I'll stay. But anymore policemen coming round, knocking on our door, then I'm out. And I don't want to go. But I'll have to."

Owen smiles with relief. "Via, I love you! And I promised I'd stop. So, tonight, we're going over to Phil's. He's having a barbeque type-thing, and he invited us."

"They've probably had enough of me," I sigh.

"Actually, he only just rang. Said they only just decided it. Apparently, it's an special occasion," Owen says, scratching his head.

"What?" I ask, wondering what is going on.

"Just get ready, and we'll go and see," Owen says, a secret smile on his face. And I want to know what the hell he's up to.

So, half an hour later, we're in the car, driving up to Phil and Keely's house. And in big letters, on a huge banner, are the words:


"But it's not our anniversary until July," I wonder out loud.

Owen grins. "I know. But, this day, twelve years ago, we went out on our first date. And do you know where it was?"

"The Diffy house," I remember smiling.

"Yep. And we had a barbeque. Welcome back to 2007!" Owen cheers, and then takes my hand and leads me up Memory Lane.

And right then, holding Owen's hand, looking into his eyes, I knew that I'd made the right decision.

Phil and Keely had their romantic love story. Well, I had mine too.

This has GOT to be the longest one-shot I've ever written. Three Thousand words! Like, oh, my, god.

But anyway, review! Now! Or else you won't get anymore one shots, be they long, or short.

The Veronicas - Nobody Wins.