October

'Where are we going? Ok...Where are we?'

She doesn't ask again. Just leans her head against the cold glass and shuts her eye. Watches the street lights flicker across closed lids and tries very hard not to think. They're driving away from everything they've ever truly known and it might feel like giving up everything but really you can't give up what you don't have. She wonders for the first time where his mother is but she's Effy and he's Cook and they don't ask that kind of thing.

She wakes to rain and the sound of his singing, low and out of tune. She doesn't move even when her legs start to ache, just keeps her eyes closed and listens to the sound of his voice, one familiar point in a vast unknown.

November

His Dad is a complete arsehole, predictably, but Cook is all laughter and manic grins just the same. She watches him as he talks and jokes, so eager to please and it makes her anxious. He's holding his heart out to his father and she wants to think 'idiot' because anyone can see it's just going to get crushed but then maybe that's what he's been doing this whole time, with his fierce loyalty and his 'I fucking love you's. Holding his heart out to Freddie, to JJ, to her and the words 'Effy doesn't want me anymore, do you princess' echo in her head.

At night she lies awake and listens to his breathing, counts each steady breath in and out. She thinks that perhaps that might mean something, only she's Effy and he's Cook and to them nothing means anything anymore.

December

Christmas day and they don't get out of bed.

'Who needs turkey when you've got famous grouse right love?' he drawls and they lie tangled in sheets, drinking until neither one of them can stand. It's 3AM boxing day before Effy emptys the contents of her turkey free stomach onto the bathroom floor and she can hear him laughing from the doorway but he helps her back to bed just the same. He looks very young when he sleeps.

The next day he cooks them bacon, wearing the most faded and ridiculously floral apron and they have sex on the kitchen floor. It's too slow to be mindless and he's so careful with her she would almost call it making love only he's Cook and she's Effy and they don't do anything but fucking.

January

Freddie calls for the first time on a Thursday afternoon. She lets it ring and ring. Because you can't love some you don't know and she see's now that they never really knew each other at all.

She can't seem to stop thinking of Cassie. Of how she held pain to her like a child holds a teddy bear. Effy had thought everything was so easy to put right ('Sid says he's sorry Cass'), had amused herself with the task but then Chris was dead and Cassie was gone and nothing was really fixed at all.

She thinks of Freddie and Katie and knows now that there are some things that are broken for good.

'Everything ends badly'

February

They go home eventually because she Effy and he's Cook and they can tell themselves they don't give a fuck but a lie is difficult to uphold when there's no one around to tell it to.

And nothing's really better, because in the end she hit someone with a goddamn rock and that's not something you can apologise for. But life has a way of going on and the first time Freddie smiles at her again she thinks perhaps being sorry is enough. The first time he kisses her again they're at college, leaning up against the lockers where they first met and she wants so much to want him again. He tastes of redemption and that at least is something she wants very much.

Effy Stonem doesn't do love. She does drugs and drink and random strangers. But you can't lose yourself when there's someone right there with you and even lying in her room with Freddie asleep next to her it's Cook she hears breathing.

Because she's Effy and he's Cook and in the end it's always going to be them.

'It's you and me babe. It's always gunna be you and me'