Summary: this fic is painstakingly cute and nothing like I have written before. If you dig my whole teen angst thing that I normally do then this really isn't for you.
Disclaimer: the premise of this story is not mine. The story was thought up by Ali Smith and is called Writ. This, however, is my version. Furthermore I do not claim any of the characters within this story to be mine; they belong to Fox et al.
Enjoy and R&R
Talking To Myself
I walked into the apartment and kicked off my shoes, pushed the door back with my bare foot and continued to struggle with the shopping until I reached the kitchen at which point my overflowing arms spilled onto the table.
"Oh good," a voice I vaguely recognised spoke to me from behind the fridge door, "you're out of orange juice." She told me snapping the door shut and showing me why her voice was so familiar.
She was me, only around ten years younger.
"Hey," I managed to stutter out, "what are you doing here?"
"Well," she looked around my small kitchen, "right now I'm looking for something to drink."
"Uh," I rummaged through my shopping bags, "I have warm juice, warm Diet Coke, warm water, cold tap water or coffee." I shrugged at her.
"I don't like coffee." She told me.
"Me neither," I admitted, "but Alex lives off the stuff. Tell you what, I'll bung a Coke in the freezer and it will be cold in like two minutes." I smiled at her nervously, trying to figure out the best way of asking her why she was here. "How come you're not at school?" was the question I settled for.
"It's the summer." She shrugged at me, passing me a can out of the pack on the table. "Its two-" she paused and checked her cell, "thirty-seven in the afternoon, how come you're not at work?"
"I'm a journalist I don't have regular hours." I told her as I pottered around, putting the shopping away. "You want to sit down? I know the sofa's covered in newspapers but its really very comfortable." I crossed the room and moved the old papers and magazines to the coffee table.
"Thanks." She said as she sat down. "What paper do you write for?"
"The Sun, I do a weekly fashion column."
"That's really cool." She smiled at me, her face telling me that she showed genuine interest. "I'm currently trying to organise a fashion show at home, its going to raise money for charity. Though I don't know which one yet, no one can pick between them."
"Well there are so many out there, I've always liked helping out womens' groups though." I suggested to her as I walked back into the kitchen area and pulled out the Coke can from the freezer. When I turned back to throw it at her I saw her actually thinking the idea through. "Head's up." I warned before I threw her the can.
"Thanks." She said as she caught it. She pulled open the can and sipped from it as she looked around the small apartment. "This is a nice place, you lived here long?"
"A couple of years." I told her as I joined her on the couch. "I moved back East as soon as I finished college, six months later I bumped into Alex at a record store in Greenwich Village. Neither of us could believe it. It kind of moved on from there. We now rent this place together." Once I'd finished I realised I had said all that very quickly and was furthermore out of breath.
She simply frowned at me as she kept sipping from her Coke. As I watched her look around my place, taking in all the photos, looking over the CD and DVD collection that me and Alex had amounted over the years it suddenly dawned on me. She had no idea who Alex was.
"Hey, how old are you?" I asked her quietly.
"Approaching tenth grade?" She simply nodded. "You seeing any one?"
"I'm dating a boy from my homeroom class. Have been for pretty much ever." She smiled at me. "He's pretty cool, my mom loves him."
"She loves his family's respectable background." I told her.
"I know," she smiled sadly at me, "but I live in a gated community and go to private school – I'm not going to meet anyone else."
I smiled at her, "You never know." To which she simply shrugged showing indifference yet again.
Both of us simply sat there quietly, the only noise from the street below. I watched her, simply holding the can with both hands. I didn't know how or why she was here and I didn't think she did either, yet she seemed unfazed about suddenly being the other side of the country with, as far as she knew, a complete stranger.
She looked back at me. It was incredible. She shared my face, fifteen years of my memories and yet we were completely different people. She was me and yet she wasn't. At this age she was simply the child my mother wanted her to be. I knew she wasn't happy, but at that age I don't think I knew I could be happy.
I wanted to tell her so much. I wanted to warn her against so much more. Most of all I just wanted to reassure her, let her know that though her life was going to change dramatically several times over in a short space of time it would eventually turn out to be okay. Brilliant in fact.
She turned her attention back to my DVD collection and I watched her scanning the titles. I watched as she looked confused at all six seasons of the L Word, smile at the ten seasons of Friends and then:
"You like Buffy?"
"Alex's." I said simply, with a slight roll of my eyes.
"She." I gently corrected her.
She looked around my apartment and frowned, she opened her mouth to say something before closing it just as quickly.
"Oh." She said quietly.
"Yeah." I nodded at her.
"My mom would kill me if I was gay."
"She did." Marissa frowned at me once more before I quickly added: "Mine, I mean. Dad was okay with it though, in fact he loved Alex when he finally got to meet her. They bonded over basketball."
It seemed so hard to talk to myself and yet not let her know that she was me. I wanted to tell her that coming out wasn't so hard, that it would be so much easier the second time round. I wanted her to know that her Newport lifestyle wouldn't always suffocate her, if I told her nothing else, she need to know that.
But most of all I wanted to tell her to not let our mother ruin everything.
"My dad loves basketball." She said after a while. "In fact all he does at the moment is sit at home and watch basketball." She shrugged, "He's kind of stopped going to work."
"Its probably nothing." I lied. She didn't need to know that he was stealing from her best friends' families, he and mom were going to get divorced and he eventually going to leave – several times.
She shrugged again.
"It'll be alright." I tried to reassure her.
"I hope so." She said quietly. "My dad's the only person I can talk to in my stupid town…" she trailed off and just stared at the coke can, still firmly held in both hands.
"This may seem like the worst, most unbearable time of your life and that you're in this place that no one else can reach you in…" I faltered and as I looked up and found her looking at me in disbelief I realised that there was no end to my sentence.
That look, the one I used to wear all the time before I moved to Hawaii, told me that I'd lost her. I was just another adult, giving her two more cents despite her having a trust fund in the bank. She wouldn't believe anything I told her. I don't think she could believe in anything at that moment. She had every thing on a plate and yet she wasn't happy – in that circumstance she didn't believe and couldn't believe that she could ever be happy.
The uncomfortable silence between us was broken by Alex's key turning in the lock. I quickly got up and ran to the door, I didn't think I should let Alex walk in and see two versions of me sitting, talking without some sort of prior warning.
"Hey sweetie." She smiled at me as she shrugged off her coat. She threw it onto the back of one of our table chairs before kissing me hello.
"Yeah?" her smile continued as she moved her hands to around my waist.
"We have an unexpected house guest." I whispered, taking one of her hands around my waist into my own.
"That's cool as long its not your mother…" her face changed as I tried to figure out the best way of explaining myself sitting on the sofa. "Oh god its your mother isn't it?" She quickly picked up her coat with her free hand and made a break for the door.
"Its not my mother." I smiled at her, taking her coat back and placing it back on the chair. "Come with me."
I lead her around the door so she could see the rest of the apartment. I opened my mouth to introduce her to myself and yet I was no longer there.
"You're calling new cushions 'house guests' now?" she frowned at me, "Is this you trying to be cute so I don't tell you off for buying yet more cushions?"
I opened and closed my mouth, several more times in fact. I had no idea what to say to her. I had so wanted to introduce her to myself. I wanted to show her who I was, how different I was, a mere year and a half before I'd first met her.
But more, I wanted to introduce myself to Alex. I wanted her to meet her, almost to ready her for what was to come, to allow her to know that it would be fine – the whole loving girls issue. But more I wanted her to meet her, so that in 18 months time – when they fought on that beach she would know that she would see her again.
I shook my head, there was no way of explaining the events that had happened that afternoon on my sofa. In fact I don't know if they actually happened – all I know is that I spent the afternoon talking to myself and incredibly I managed to fall even more in love with Alex.
By meeting myself from all those years ago I knew that Alex was the part of me that made me happy in a way I never thought I would be.
"You think I'm cute?" I said simply, a smile stretched so far across my face that it hurt.
"You know I do." She smiled back at me, wrapping her arms around me once more, just before she kissed me hello, goodbye and forever.
Please research Ali Smith and Writ because with out her and her story I would not have written mine. And as always please read and review. Thank you, Circus.