I wrote this several years ago but took it down from my HPFF account as meh it was getting a little graphic for that site. Hope you enjoy and excuse the writing, I did do this a while ago . .

1

I'm sick of watching my mouth with everyone looking at me

I'm sick of wasting my time, this city offers nothing for me

It's dawn when I wake up. Ice cold and rain relentless so that it slides down the glass pane of the window. Not exactly the sort of weather that inspires you to get up. I yawn and lay still in my bed for a while longer, dreading the prospect of work. A tiny grizzle of grey light leaks through a gap in the curtains and pries at the corners of my eyes. I scowl and roll over, taking the sheets with me, twisting them around the length of my skinny frame.

The clock moves further towards six, and I groan with annoyance when I think of the day to come. Sitting up, I push back the duvet reluctantly and watch as the goose pimples prickle my skin. Standing slowly, I rise to the day, stood in the numbness of the room dressed in nothing but my boxers. With a stretch and a sigh, I slowly flex my body as I shuffle my way to the bathroom.

The hot water feels good to my cold skin, hot and pulsating and torrential as it courses down to drench my flesh and soak my dark hair. I look up to open my eyes and mouth, spurting the hot water out before I swallow it, enjoying the warmth of its embrace.

Beads of water glisten silver against my body as I step out back into the iciness of the room. Hurriedly I wrap the closeness of a rough towel around me and walk out along the gritty corridor back to the bedroom.

"Alex, honey," a sweet, clear voice runs throughout the apartment. "Do you want sugar in your coffee?"

"No," I groan, thinking of how many years we have been "together", and how many times she has asked me that question. It seems almost rhetorical now. Ridiculous as it is, Emily and I have been friends forever and she still doesn't know the answer to that question.

"Oh, I was so sure you did."

Too many drugs again. Too much alcohol. Too many years of going out partying and coming back far beyond sober, fucked out of our heads and only in a mood for messing around. Messing around - that's all Emily and I do. I'm nineteen and we've been messing around since school years. Mind you, we'd never actually shagged until that night during one summer, when the air was hot and sticky and all we wanted to do was get more sweaty with as much pleasure as acquirable. We've never gone back to normal after that, never gone back to friends. Sometimes I regret it, but it doesn't stop me from being tempted back into bed.

She watches me in the doorway as I pull on my clothes, first a set of fresh boxers, over which go my drainpipes, half-way down my arse with a thickly studded belt that emphasises the swagger of my hips. I turn to her when I feel the heat of her breath on my neck, an odd sensation of tingling prickles over me to raise a jut of desire.

"I love it when you do that."

"Do what?"

"Get hot over me." She spins me round to face her and pushes the mug of coffee towards my hands. It steams warmly and smells delicious, but then comes the bitter taste as I sip it, the way she always makes it foul.

"Emily," I warn her. "I've got to go to work. You know that. We're not all rich like you. I don't have a father who'll pay for me."

She grins as if I'm joking, and quickly rises on her tip-toes to brush her rough lips against mine. She looks awful - her eyes still ringed with make-up from the night before, her skirt belt-like against the slender legs that walk smooth to the thighs, the fish-net stockings that are torn and slashed with mud. Have no doubt, Emily's beautiful, if it wasn't for her fucked-up nature. Her pale hair tumbles in unwashed ringlets down the length of her back, her cheap red lipstick is smeared slightly across her perfected cheek, mascara stains the brightness of her blue eyes. Or at least, they used to be bright - now they're just dull and blood-shot from too-much drink.

Sometimes I feel only disgust for her, at other times a longing for something that is more - perhaps love. But Emily can never love. She's too much of a party-chick, which is why I'm always so angry at myself for giving into her lust.

I turn away from her to put my coffee down on the unbalanced table, crossing the room to raid the wardrobe for something to wear. I pull out a pinstripe shirt and measure it against me, raising an eyebrow to receive a satisfactory nod from Emily. She wanders away to leave me to get ready, and I find a black silk tie to match. Not real silk - damn, I can't afford that - the cheap shit off the market that I sometimes stop by at to purchase stuff if I have enough change in my pocket.

Slipping on my shoes, I run a hand through my soft hair and eye myself curiously in the mirror. Sure-enough, my eyes are hollowed out, swallowed from the throbbing headache of a hangover. I pull out a pencil from the draw to smother them in the charcoal stain of eyeliner. Chewing at my lip-ring nervously, I try not to think of what my boss will say to me today. This is the - oh, I don't know, I've lost count - hundredth time I've turned up half-witted to work, and I can tell he will not be pleased. He's a strict man, a proper bastard.

"See you later," Emily whispers softly into my ear, kissing the part between my neck and my ear and smoothing my dark hair down over my face. "I might not be in when you get back."

I nod, not bothering to ask of her potential whereabouts, and spin around to march firmly out of the door, picking up my leather jacket on the way and flinging it lazily over one shoulder. Tracing the length of the dank corridor, I thump the door of the elevator that is always broken, and take the long stairs down and out into the streets.

London's a pretty big place. There's the glamour and splendour - then there's the part the tourists never see, the deprived, lonely streets where the flats are run down and children cry in the street, the stray dogs ridden with flees pace the tarmac roads, and tramps sit beneath bridges that flow by the Thames and beg for a little sympathy. That's the part I live in - not near the two-million pound apartments for the superficial rich. It makes me angry that some have nothing, whilst others have so much they waste it. People like that are despicable, the ones you want to shoot down with the glaring of your hatred.

"Ugh, it's an emo," mocks a chav from across the side of the road, still drunk from a night on the prowl with a couple of other laughing teenagers. I eye them warily in their tracksuit-bottoms and their Burberry hats, then scowl and decide it's better to ignore them.

"Look, it's disgusting! Why don't you go and drown in your own self-pity, you know, slit your wrists or something?"

I picture them all in my head and shoot them with piercing hatred, satisfying the urge to insult them back. That would be childish and useless - it would only resolve in a broken nose.

Grabbing a coffee on my way across the street, I thread my way through the alleys, hanging my head a little from the bitter cold, shrugging my shoulders forward in a defence to the blustering wind. Leaves from naked trees rattle across the street, swirling and brown in colour. Shuddering, I sip at my coffee and grip it with cold hands, wishing I have some proper gloves instead of these fingerless ones, no matter how much I like them.

I walk into the office with a depressing air, massaging the temples to try and smooth the headache away. No such luck. It sticks like glue. I drain the last of the coffee and throw the thickness of the paper cup away, gritting my teeth, preparing for a bad day. I pass reception and flash my identity card, to which the security guard nods and lets me pass, without neglecting the loathing sneer at the sight of me. Once again, I ignore his ignorance and continue to glower, stepping into the lift and stabbing at the button with annoyance.

I step out into the office, my scowl deepening when I see the approach of my manager, pristine in his appearance, as usual. Fucking bastard. Thinks he's so great, so superior to everyone else in this job. I think about telling him my exact thoughts as he struts forward with a disapproving glance, but then quickly decide the money's not worth the risk.

"Alex Way," he smiles with intense fakery, smoothing the invisible creases in his black suit, flicking the non-existent dust from the sleeve of his Moss shirt. Yeah well, he's nothing compared to me - I bet he doesn't even own Calvin Klien underwear. I bet he hardly has a love life, let alone a fuck buddy. Emily's my fuck buddy - we have fun, no attachments. He's probably married, or divorced with kids he isn't allowed to see. What a loser. Old before his time. And here comes the lecture.

"Nice to see you, at last. It's a shame you neglected to turn on your alarm clock this morning. It's half-past seven."

"Twenty-eight minutes past," I correct him savagely, then quickly repair myself with a correction of tone. "Sir."

"Twenty-eight minutes late, that's my general point, Way. This is the upteenth time."

"Upteenth is not a number."

I bite my tongue and curse myself as soon as the words spill out. Damn it. I'm going to get the sack. Shit. Blame my stupid out-spoken manner! It's always got me into trouble.

"Can I see you in my office please, Way? I think it's high time we should talk."

I frown and shrug, feeling the effect of the alcohol blurring my mind. Everything is blurry, slow motion, and my hate for this man is coming out in the bluntness of my tone. I follow him into the office and the bastard sacks me. It comes in a series of words to do with "inappropriate behaviour", "constant lateness", "lack of respect" and "over-large consumption of alcohol." Whatever. Like I care. I hate this job anyway. I mean, I need it, but life is about enjoyment, not boredom and wasting your time paying to live.

So I shouted abuse at him. And hit him. And the bastard punched me back, with his wedding ring denting into the side of my cheek. It hurt. A lot. A bruise is swelling up on the side of my face now, centered with the deep red-purple of a cut. So I'm walking the streets, not caring about going home, not caring about the cold that bites deep to the skin in a merciless brutality. I'm smoking, smoking drugs, knowing its bad but doing it all the same. The taste freshens my throat, and I inhale it hungrily. A bottle of pure vodka dangles in one hand and I wobble and sway as I sit down slowly on the bench, breathing out into the cold air and watching as people walk into the red phone box and curse when it doesn't work.

The night is cold, the moon cuts its gorgeous ghostly light across the deepness of the sky. Stars are lost behind the mass of misted cloud. Sometimes I wish I could live forever, just to stare at this unwavering beauty that surrounds the world, if it weren't for the people in it. People taint the flesh of the world, destroy it with their greed and hatred - those are the times when I wish I could die. Life can seem so cruel, so pointless, so full of nothing.

I take another slug from the bottle and set it down lazily beside me, staring blankly into the city where cars continue to pollute the world. Lights stream across the darkened streets, creating a headache to throb once again at the back of my skull.

"Hello," says a slightly nervous voice from beside me, and I look up to see a young man with pale hair staring coolly down at me. I don't even bother to answer him, just continue to stare out at the moving beast of the city. "Did, er, you didn't by any chance happen to see anyone just, appear in that phone box, did you?"

I stare at him stupidly. "What?"

"You didn't spot anything weird just occur, did you?"

I laugh and shake my head. "The only thing going on inside that phone-box is people shaking their heads and cursing 'cause the line doesn't work." I pause and frown into my drink, lifting it with unsteady hands to gulp another swig. He stares at me with repulsion. I don't care - it's the looks I normally draw from strangers. "Why the hell are you talking to me, anyway?"

"Because you've been sat here for half the night, drinking and smoking. I thought you'd at least have the brains to observe."

I sneer and spit viciously onto the floor. "Whatever."

"Look - you imust/ihave seen something. I'm looking for someone. A boy with dark hair and glasses. Short, wiry, green eyes - ugly."

I shrug callously. "I can't help you."

He sighs heavily and sits down. I study him for a while before looking away. He's fortunate in appearance - light hair, silvery-blue eyes and structured cheek-bones, cleanly shaven. His expression is sort of cold with a hateful air, one that's scary, but at the same time holds me entranced. I blush as he catches me staring and quickly stare at the floor.

"You look a mess," he observes darkly.

"Thanks," my bitter reply is shot back, sharp and brimmed with enmity.

He reaches forward to grab the bottle from my hands but I hardly put up a protest. He takes a gulp and winces, feeling the rush of heat gush down his throat. With a grimace of annoyance, he smashes the bottle over the back of the bench and thrusts the glass up against my throat. I widen my eyes in surprise slightly but stare directly at him, doing nothing.

"You're sure you didn't see anyone?" His clothes are strange, deep raven folds of robes, the hood pulled back. I think he looks rather like one of those priests - a monk - from this angle. Idiot. I can see he's quite muscular in size, not overly but enough to indicate the height of his strength.

"I didn't see anything," I reply stonily and look away. With the turn of my neck the glass cuts into my flesh and I wince slightly as the hot trickle of blood runs down my throat.

"Sorry," he snaps hurriedly, standing up and throwing the bottle down. "Alright. I believe you, I just -" He watches my silence. "Are you ok?"

"Fine."

"You're drunk."

"And?" I scowl into the blackness, my infuriated sensation recognisable.

"I just threatened to kill you - and you didn't even care. You must be . . . Are you not afraid?"

"Of you?" I laugh incredulously. "Why would I fear anything in this world? It's all full of shit. There can be nothing worse to come. Death is perhaps better than the pain of living."

"You really believe that?"

"No."

A long silence drifts through the air and touches us both with its arctic clasp, like the grip of an iron fist. Our words are quenched from us and he stands above me in awkwardness. "Look, do you want to get a coffee or something? Sober up."

I shake my head again in furious denial. Of course, I'd love a coffee, there's nothing more I want in the world right now - coffee, warmth and companionship. But that's evaded me. I can't move. My head is too choked up with intoxicants.

"Then shall I help you home?"

"I'm fine here."

"Don't be so ridiculous," he scowls, grabbing my arm and forcing me to my feet. I stumble against him and he holds me steady, his breath faintly touching my cheek. It's warm and fresh and clean, a fresh vapour to the polluted air. He smells great - I don't know what of, but it's something natural and aromatic. It makes me grin stupidly. "Come on, where do you live?"

Blood clots in my wounds but it doesn't stop flowing. He looks a little bit guilty for that, and pulls out a snowy-white handkerchief to dab it away. Hot and streaming, it soaks the material and sinks through the palm of his hands. He stares at me for a minute, a moment of indecision, then gives in and pulls out a piece of wood from his pocket.

"Hold still."

"What are you doing?" I ask carelessly as he presses the instrument against my throat. He murmurs something and automatically the blood disappears, just fades to a few cuts, already dispersing to scars, like red-white scratches.

"There." He grips me tightly in an effort to keep me steady and yawns. "Where did you say you live?"

"Not far away. I can find my own way back."

"Show me."

And so I point the directions out with shaky fingers, and he holds me steady as we stagger up the road. People snigger at us and pass us suspicious looks. It's freezing, dark and cold by now, but the night is slowly giving way to morning. I hardly care. My head is throbbing. That's what's got my main attention right now, not this strange man who's supporting me on the way home to my crappy apartment. I hardly notice him as he swears and drags me up the stairs, hardly care that his nails are digging fiercely into my skin, enough to draw blood.

"Here," I mutter, and he stops, breathless, and knocks heavily on the door. There's a long pause, in which he glares and slams his foot down into the floor, then the door opens and Emily appears, half-dressed with her hair all over the place. She screams in bewilderment when she sees my rescuer, then quickly apologises when he shoves me into her arms.

"Sorry, you just scared me, that's all, what with all your weird costume and . . . What party was this? Hey, Alex!" she protests. "You never invited me."

I groan and she strokes my soft hair and drags me inside.

"Thanks," she mutters to the blonde in black. "I don't know how he could have gotten home otherwise, I . . "

But the man is gone. Disappeared. Like . . . magic? Does that sound weird to you? Maybe its just Emily and I imagining things, with our heads being out-of-it and all, but either way, she slams the door shut quickly with an edge of fear to her tone.

"Who was that anyway? The Grim Reaper?" She giggles slightly. "Alex, what are all those cuts along your throat?"

"Nothing," I groan. "Just leave it - I wanna go to bed."

I sound like a whining child and I know it, but at the moment I hardly care. Emily walks me to the bed and undresses me from my clothes, then quickly wraps herself close to me and pulls the duvet over our shuddering bodies. There's no central heating in this flat - we can't afford it. Our breaths cloud the air and she snuggles her face into my chest.

"I lost my job today."

"I guessed."

"What are we going to do?"

She strokes my hair and closes her eyes. "We'll think of something."

But we don't. She falls off to sleep, snoring peacefully, a sound that keeps me awake. I stare up at the ceiling and watch as the light from the brightness of dawn dances across the walls, fiery and full of life. I wish I wasn't so fatigued, wish I hadn't screwed up - again.

With a web of pursuing sleep, I fall into its grip and sink deep down to its tightening clasp.

A.N. Reviews are always welcome XD