Life isn't easy. Everyone knows that. But round about now, I'm slipping back into old habits. I think Stella and Nathan are giving up. They don't know what to do with me. I'm at the CC every night of the week - but its been four days since I heard from Saint, and it's driving me wild with paranoia. I know I've messed up, and she knows I'm right. There have been some shady moments in my past which are impossible to forget. The one that sticks out is the night I swallowed a horse tranquilliser after saint caught me smooching a stupid girl named Montana - (as I said before, some people just have a knack of getting your attention.) I swear, that was the creepiest time of my life. Honestly, it is. Imagine being off your face and wandering around a beach at three in the morning, as twisted shapes and hallucinations of people you know telling you what you think they honestly wonder about you form in front of your eyes. Matt asking why all my girlfriend disappear, Stella telling me that she will give me fifty quid if I stay out of her life, Nathan telling me he loves having a gay daughter, Saint hitting me over the head with a baseball bat - and then waking up in the hospital the following morning surrounded by your own thoughts and nothing else.
I'm in the living room staring into space when Stella storms through the door followed closely by Nathan, whose face is drip white and whose mouth is a stubborn line. They barely notice I'm sat there, barely notice that their baby is - or was - fast asleep. "I didn't realise, you stupid little man!" Stella turns and screams in my dad's face. "I didn't know it was going to be HIM!"
There's no point in asking. I just listen.
"oh, blond, blue eyed, muscular, works in decorating, looking for an older couple so he can satisfy his naughty mummy fantasies? Are you taking the mick?" Nathan slams his keys down on the wooden coffee table so violently that they play a tune. "And you wanted to stay! I can't believe you!"
"Well he has a girlfriend now, and a child, doesn't he?" Stella snarls, ripping off her winter jacket and hurling it in Nathan's face. "For fuck sake Nathan, get a grip. It was a long time ago."
"Oh, yeah?" Nathan's struggling with himself. "A long time ago that you decided to have an affair with the decorator, who took you up the arse on our kitchen table, and you're willing to do it again with me there, JUST because he has a girlfriend?"
"For fuck sake!" I yell, suddenly finding it unbearable to be in the same room. "Just shut up!" I jump to my feet.
They look at me as though only noticing I'm there. "Kim? There's no need to be so-"
"Angry and swear all the time. I was having a discussion with-"
They got to the point where they started finishing each other's sentences a few months before Dylan was born. Usually its funny. Now it was irritating.
Dylan wakes up, turns bright red in the face, and begins bellowing at the top of his tiny little lungs. I pick him up, batting Stella's hand away. "Leave him!"
"Kim, there's no need to be so hostile towards your mother!"
I roll my eyes and storm out of the room, slamming the door behind me (as easily as I can with my six month old brother in my arms). I suddenly realise I can't stand being in the same house as them when they are like this, let alone the same room. I take Dylan upstairs, rock him until he falls silent and gurgles instead, then place him gently in his cot and turn to leave. In my room, I put on my favourite maroon hoodie, and a scarf because it's freezing. I'm gone out of the door before anyone can complain, not that they've noticed. They're still at it. Who needs them? I think, kicking up fallen autumn leaves. I'm fed up, and I don't know where I'm going. Will anything ever change? I ask myself, not for the first time. Will it ever all get better? Or will it just keep getting worse?
Suddenly my phone's ringing. I fumble for it, heart flipping over when I see whose calling me. "Saint? Hi!"
"What are you up to now, Kim?" She says in a monotone.
"Nothing - why?"
"Come to my house. I need to talk to you."
And she hangs up.
I'm running then, heart soaring joyfully at the sound of my beloved girlfriend's voice. I nearly trip, but I don't care, I'm so anxious to see her. When I finally arrive at the Munch Box and buzz at the door, she lets me in without speaking. Upstairs, sat with her, my heart's hammering. I reach for her and pull her close, but she responds like she's made of stone. Her face is neutral. "Sit down, Kim."
I sit, wondering what I could have possibly done now.
She sits at the opposite end of the settee, clasps her hands between her legs. "I've been thinking about this for a while. "I think you and I have come to our end."
My heart flips again, but it's more of a palpitation, a very, very unpleasant one. I open my mouth, but I can't speak.
She looks at me, eyes telling a different story than the one she's telling. "I feel like for a while we've been falling apart, and I can't string you along any more. I'm sorry, Kim."
"But - I love you," I murmur, eyes flooding before I can stop them.
She looks away, doesn't speak.
"Is this because of the other night?" I gasp."God sake, Saint, I was just being stupid - I'm sorry -"
"Its not like that, Kim." She looks mildly angry now. "It's been happening for ages. I've still never forgotten the fact that you cheated on me. I'll never be able to let that one go. How hypocritical you are sometimes. How you accused me of being straight all those months ago just because I have an ex boyfriend. All the things you do, Kim. I start thinking of them when I'm on my own sometimes, and the truth is, it all drives me crazy."
"But -" I sputter.
She holds up one hand to silence me. "I'm too old to go partying with my friends, Kim. I should have hung up my party shoes years ago, and found someone my own age who wants to spend the rest of their life with me. We're just never going to work. That's why we need to nip it in the bud, now. Right now."
I can't speak. I can hardly look at her. I want to cuddle her, tell her I'm sorry for causing her any distress, then go and throw myself off the pier. I can't live without her. Anger replaces hurt and bubbles over inside of me. "Or all of this is because of that girl." I spit suddenly. "That gold digging whore from the other night. It's her, isn't it? You loved me before she came along. She's a relationship wrecking little bitch." I stand up, and punch the closest thing to me - the huge red and black lamp that Saint's mother gave her when she was in her teens, before she died. It falls to the floor - i hold my breath - and smashes. Saint doesn't speak. I looks at her again. "Tell me it's not because of her. Just tell me you haven't fallen in love with her."
Saint looks me directly in the eyes for the first time. "I'm sorry, Kim. I can't say that." And her eyes are hard, cold, dead, so unlike the Saint I know, and mine won't stop spurting tears. With one last final cry, I turn and flee from her flat, not looking back as I run down the sea front. Not once.