Ok, so I think the last chapter may have seemed like the ending. I didn't actually mean it to be the ending, I felt it was a bit too abrupt so this chapter is going to be... the Finale (ooooo). Effy and Freddie have obviously reached a breakthrough -thanks to Katie no less!- so what now? Read and review! :)
I will never let you fall;
I'll stand up with you forever;
I'll be there for you through it all;
Even if saving you sends me to heaven
-Guardian Angel, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Freddie and Effy had left the skate park an hour later, clothes and hair dishevelled. Freddie's heart could burst with happiness. Effy had removed her armour and had come to him like he'd always hoped for. Her walls had collapsed into ruins. She allowed herself to be the fragile, delicate girl she really was. No pretence. Effy smiled faintly when she felt Freddie's hand close around hers as they walked back to Freddie's house. This was all new to her; but she was going to be fine. She had Freddie. No matter how hard she tried, he couldn't be pushed away and that was probably a good thing. It meant she was never alone, despite her being used to it. As the sun shone through the trees, it cast a glow around her head like a halo. With her smiling and walking all fairy-like, she looked beautiful. They stopped at a traffic light and waited for the traffic to drive by. On impulse, Freddie leant down and kissed her forehead. His lips curved into a smile against her smooth skin, even more so when Effy reached up and kissed his cheek ever so gently. She was acting like she was supposed to. She wasn't cowering from him, batting away his hand whenever he tried to take it. She was letting him love her.
Two hours later and Freddie let out a gasp against Effy's collarbone. The clothes had been ripped off as soon as they'd entered Freddie's house and they didn't even care that his sister was in the living room watching TV and his dad was in the kitchen cooking. They were wrapped up in each other as if there was nothing else in the world apart from them. Freddie's bedroom was their little bubble and they had no intention of leaving it. Effy, normally feeling trapped in this confined space, didn't mind as he kissed her neck and ran his hands down her body. She didn't mind when his fingers tangled themselves into her matted hair and pulled her closer to him. She didn't mind when her legs wrapped around his hips and held him to her. She didn't mind when she let out a cry as he loved her for the second time that day. In fact, she let herself go and loved him back.
Effy was now asleep, curled into a ball. Freddie gently kissed her shoulder and got out of the bed to slacken his body. His legs hurt, as did his hips, obviously. He rooted around in his drawer and found a spare spliff and lighter. In true Freddie fashion, he lit it while still naked and had to try hard not to light himself on fire when he pulled on his boxers and a hoodie, not bothering to zip it up. Looking out his window, he saw his shed and felt compelled to go down to it for some time to himself. Sure, he had his beautiful girl in his bed but she was asleep. He wanted to smile to himself without having her run away.
But she wasn't going to run away, Freddie.
Freddie shuffled down the stairs. He ignored his sister who shot him a disgusted look and pretended to vomit. In his garden, he made his way to the shed and let himself in. The comfy chair at the back of the shed beckoned to him and he slumped down into it, puffing on his spliff. This was the best ever moment of his life. He could now relax, be happy. It was all thanks to Effy finally coming to her senses.
"I don't like you smoking."
Freddie jumped and his eyes went wide as he saw the familiar looking woman sitting on his sofa. "Mum?"
"Filthy habit, Frederick."
"It's not a cigarette, it's a spliff-"
"Which is why I don't like you smoking," she answered with a twinkle in her eye. Freddie relaxed, glad she wasn't angry. Maybe it was the spliff getting to him, or maybe he was just so happy that he was willing to believe anything... but his mum was sitting on the sofa in front of him. "Am I dreaming?" he asked her. His mum laughed and shook her head. "Is it so bad that a mother wants to check up on her son once in a while?" Freddie shook his head, just as she had done moments before. "Do you do it often?"
"Sometimes. I've been doing it recently. You've had me worried, darling."
A lump was raised in Freddie's throat. So she'd been watching. Freddie wasn't sure if he believed in heaven but something must exist if she could see. "W-Why?"
His mother cocked her head to the side and smiled faintly. "Because of that beautiful girl you have in your bedroom."
Freddie nodded then- "Wait, did you see anything?", somewhat hysterically.
She burst out laughing. "God Freddie! No. But I've been watching you and her.. she doesn't want to let you in."
Freddie bit his lip. "She didnt.. but now she's changed."
"I know she has. You've gotten to her sweetheart. I'm so proud of you for doing that."
She nestled back into the cushions of the sofa and crossed her legs in that sophisticated way she often had back when she was still alive. "I told you to never give up or let the one you love go. You stuck to that advice. But I'm also proud because back when I was.. ill.. I didn't let you in. But you refused to let me by myself. When I was lying in bed, wanting to be alone in the dark, you'd break open the curtains, sit on my bed and ask me questions from your maths homework. Your constant relentlessness would force me to sit up and answer them, and within five minutes you had me smiling again. I'm so sorry Frederick. I wish I'd kept answering your questions because if I had, I would never have left you. But I wasn't strong enough-"
She broke off as tears rolled down her cheeks and her throat caught. Freddie closed his eyes, trying not to break down just like her. She took out a tissue from her sleeve and dabbed at her almond shaped eyes. "God, stop crying woman!" she scolded herself in a mocking way. Freddie smiled faintly, glad she was now joking. "Anyway darling... I'm proud of how you never give up and that's something you should never stop doing. Effy-" Freddie looked at her as he heard his mum say his girlfriend's name despite never having met her. Then he remembered she'd been watching- "Effy is the girl you should be with. I know it seems strange because she's so confusing, so complicated, but she's got so many layers you just have to break through them. She'll let you do it, she already has. Don't ever give up on her darling. She's special."
"She's waking up now," she suddenly told him. "That's my cue to go."
"Don't, Freddie. You know I can't stay. I wish I could but obviously.." she waved her hands around her body to show this. Freddie nodded. "Are you gonna watch me tomorrow?"
She snorted. "I think I'll give myself a day off from that. Maybe watch Desperate Housewives." Freddie laughed then stopped when he realised that his mother had died before Desperate Housewives had even been created. His look of shock made her laugh even more and she stood up. Freddie stood up too and stepped closer to her. Could he touch her?
He got his answer when his hand touched hers. Tears glistened in her eyes and her fingers closed around his. "I've wanted to do that for eleven years," she murmured. "You've grown into quite the beautiful boy."
"God, don't call me beautiful! I'm a guy, mum.." he pretended to moan. His mother shrugged. "Just telling you the truth! Right. I'm away. Tell Karen to get rid of those extentions, I don't care how lovely her hair looks, it's killing her follicles." Freddie laughed at her straight talking. "And tell your dad that I love him. And Freddie.. believe in Effy, okay?"
She squeezed his hand and he squeezed back. He closed his eyes to stop tears flowing.
He opened them and she was gone. He was still standing in the middle of the room, holding his hand out. He was completely alone.
Maybe it had been like for the past ten minutes.
Maybe he'd gone crazy.
He looked up to find Effy standing in the doorway, wearing just a t-shirt and underwear, her arms around herself.
Or maybe he was just happy.