“Whatever Mum,” I sigh looking through the window at the gloomy sky reflecting my own sour mood.
She continues talking but I don’t comprehend a word she says, captivated by the grey clouds my mind wanders away from her and the kitchen. At my age any other girl would be out meeting boys and having the time of their life. Me? Not so much. The past few months have been a living nightmare and I’m not the girl I used to be any more. Hell, only reason I passed school is because British schools allow it no matter what grade you get. As it went my grades were shockingly bad but I just can’t bring myself to care.
Snapping fingers in front of my face jerks me out of my own world, I glare but slump back in the chair.
“Finn, this can’t carry on. Tomorrow is a good day, every girl loves their birthday, you should be happy,” Mum says.
I try not to roll my eyes at the cliché. “I didn’t know that rule was wrote anywhere.”
“That’s not what I meant and you know it,” she replies, the kitchen done in soft yellows and white soothes the sting of her comment and in total sync with her personality.
“I’m fine Mum, I’m out with Kayla and the girls tomorrow night. Isn’t that good enough for you?” I snap at her.
She flicks her long black hair away from her face as she glares me with her hands on her slim hips. “Fine Finn. Have things your way but I’m warning you, this is going to end.”
I scowl as I see the tell-tale signs of anger blossoming in her eyes, picking myself off the chair I make a hasty escape before she starts in with another lecture.
Running to my bedroom and making sure to slide the lock home I relax against the door, letting out a sigh I move away to sit on my bed. Looking in the mirror in front of me reveals nothing new, I’m the same plain looking girl I’ve always been, with long brown hair that never feels straight even when I want it to be. Not skinny but not fat either, somewhere in between that I’m never happy with. Only thing I like about myself is my eyes, a mix of blue, green and silver shockingly vivid outlined in black kohl.
Looking around my room, seeing all my possessions scattered here and there I feel a pang of longing go through me, what am I still doing here? I’m almost 17 I should have my own place by now. I’d already been saving for a place of my own, but it was suppose to be our new place and I haven’t got heart to continue with my plan any more.
I flop down on my nice big leather double bed and feel like I could stay here all day and night. I start thinking about all the plans for my birthday tomorrow night, me and my best friend Kayla, out at the local rock club sounds like heaven right now. Even though I know I’ll probably run in to him again, I know I shouldn’t want to see him no matter how long it’s been. It takes so long to heal from a broken heart. We were dating for quite awhile and at the start everything was amazing and new, until it all fell apart, turning me into a recluse. Hardly ever leaving the house for a good few months was the worst time of my life, I didn’t want to see anyone or talk to anyone, darkness my only friend. Memories whirl through my mind as depression seeps into my soul, images seem to project themselves onto the surface of the mirror in front of me. Limbs entangled upon the black sheets, the breathy moans of pleasure echo around the room, the soft I love you’s whisper against my skin making me shiver. Closing my eyes I try to block it all out, the images inside my head are just as depressing as the ones in the mirror. Opening my eyes the scene changes, both of us sitting on the bed naked, talking and touching, wanting nothing more out of life than each other. Tears start gathering in my eyes as I wish I could forget everything. Skin glowing with pleasure and satisfaction, he whispers my name and my heart breaks all over again. All I see when I look around is him, he haunts my dreams, he haunts my life. I feel empty, like some things missing, like I’m not important enough for him to fight for.
After a lot of persuasion from my friends I started going out again slowly, until Kayla talked me into the night out for my birthday. My bitchy attitude is just a front so people won’t know that I’m broken, they’ll just think I’m a bitch, which is better than them knowing the truth. I wallow in dark thoughts before falling asleep with thoughts of my birthday and despair.
Morning comes too soon, forcing myself out of bed I jump in the shower while thinking of the lonesome dreams I lived through in the night. Everyday I wish to forget, wish to be me again. Wetness slide down my cheeks as I feel my heart shatter all over again. Washing the trace of tears away I push the memories away. Wrapping myself in a huge black towel I amble through the bedroom towards my closet to try and find something that will look sexy but yet with an alluring edge for the night. Not finding what it is exactly I’m looking for I frustratingly throw clothes on the bed and just pull on some jeans and band tee for now. Quickly I brush my teeth and slap a bit of eye liner and eye shadow on.
Rushing downstairs and into the kitchen stealing a glance at the clock I realise it’s later than I thought. Not bothering letting mum know I’m going out I grab my bag on the way out and rush through the door running down the road towards the bus stop.
Only just managing to get the bus, I finally make it in to town fifteen minutes late but luckily Kayla’s still waiting for me outside the cinema.
I run over to her panting. “I’m here.”
“You’re always late Finn but I suppose I can’t be too mad today as it’s your birthday,” Kayla says trying to look stern but failing as she bursts into laughter.
“I know. I had a lot on my mind last night with going to the club tonight, plus I can’t find anything to wear for it!” I grumble.
Try as I might, I haven’t been able to sway Kayla with my bitchiness. She’s more than my best friend, she’s like the sister I never had. We even played together when we were young, before we started school then of course we made sure we went to the same schools as each other. Without her, I doubt I would have made it through school at all. After everything she’s helped me through, I can’t bring myself to be a bitch towards her, she already knows I’m broken but loves me anyway.
Breaking into a huge grin Kayla replies, “Well, I know where we’re going then! We’re going to Pandora’s!!! Eeeeeeek! I looooove that shop!”
Kayla gets so over excited about everything, even though this time I fully agree, Pandora’s is an awesome shop. Kayla babbles on as we wind ourselves through the town dodging as many people as possible, mentioning nothing about my night or him. By the time we arrive I haven’t spoke much other than the occasional grunt or nod but the feeling of excitement starts to bubble up within me instead of the dread that usually decides to make a home in the pit of my stomach. We walk in to Pandora’s and I feel like I’m home. Leather, PVC, Corsets and funky goth dresses and accessories as far as the eye can see. Kayla heads straight to the more emo parts of the shop while I go for the leather and PVC. Racks of clothes dotted around the room encompassed within black and red walls with spooky fire torches adorning them, luckily electric instead of real fire. Looking around I notice there’s more people in here than usual, I shrug to myself not able to muster up the emotion to care. Sifting through the racks of trousers, I’m sure I won’t find anything that grabs my interest until I find some gorgeous PVC skinny fit trousers that lace up down the sides. A rare grin pulls at the corners of my mouth, a flash of skin should have the effect I’m after. Finding my size I start a hunt for a top to go with the trousers, starting to get more interested in tonight. After browsing around for a bit I see it, sitting snuggly on a mannequin but know it would suit me along with the trousers. I browse through every rack I can find but can’t see it in the shop anywhere. Frowning, I make my way to the cashier who is a good friend of mine and ask her where they are.
“Sorry Finn hun, it’s a display model for the mannequin. I can get some in but would take a week at the most to get here,” Rebecca says watching my face fall.
“Damn, it’s perfect to go with these trousers. I can’t wait a week, I need it for tonight. I suppose I’ll have to try to find something else that will work.”
Turning away I hunt for something else. Soon giving up I go to find Kayla, as usual her arms are loaded up with all different things. Some bright and colourful, some frilly, well rather her than me with the frills, she’s welcome to them, definitely not my style.
“Find anything good Kay?” I ask already knowing the answer.
Kayla squeals in delight. “Of course I’ve found good stuff, I always do! Did you manage to find something for tonight?”
I cringe and pull a face at her shrillness.
“Yeah I found these awesome trousers but couldn’t find a top I wanted to go with them. Only one I liked is on a mannequin and Rebecca says will take at least a week to get them in.”
“Oh no, that sucks. Which top was it?” She asks.
I point to the mannequin at the front of the shop in the window and have to do a double take because now there’s no mannequin there at all.
Kayla looks at me like I’ve gone crazy. “Finn there’s no mannequin there, are you sure you didn’t see it somewhere else?”
“No I’m sure it was there. Maybe I should get my eyes checked,” I joke. “Lets go pay and look somewhere else.”
So we head over together to the checkout.
“Hey girls, did you get everything you were looking for?” asks Rebecca.
“I sure did and them some,” giggles Kayla.
I roll my eyes at her, she can find something wherever she goes, I honestly don’t know how she affords it all.
“I’m good. I’m just going to have the trousers today,” I reply handing them to Rebecca to be bagged and paid for.
We pay for our stuff and turn to leave, as we do Rebecca calls out to me and hurries over with a bag in her hand.
“Happy Birthday Finn!” She sings, giving me a hug and pushes a bag in to my hand.
“You didn’t have to get me anything Rebecca but thank you.” I look in the bag and find the top that I was ogling on the mannequin.
I look up at Rebecca with a gasp, she rewards me with a huge grin. “It will look so much better on you than it does that old mannequin and I can’t wait to see it on you tonight!”
Giving Rebecca a huge hug I squeal in her ear. “Thank you! Oh my god! Thank you so much, you’re awesome!!!”
Laughing Rebecca shrugs me off. “You’re more than welcome hun, I’ll see your fabulous self tonight looking hot in that!” With that she walks back to the check out to serve more customers.
We walk out the shop I struggle to believe I have such good friends even those I have been a right bitch towards.
“Looks like I don’t need to get my eyes checked after all,” I say nudging Kayla. She laughs and drags me into a shoe shop. I’m not one for shoe shopping unless it’s new rocks, so I sit on a random but luckily free seat and wait till if she ever decides to buy some. Checking my phone reveals a few texts from family and friends wishing me a happy birthday but my mood falls again when I realise I have nothing from who I wanted to text me. I have no excuse now to text him. Sighing I put my phone away and try to shake off the sour mood. Kayla returns wearing a huge grin which falters when she notices the look on my face. I try to put on a smile but it feels fake.
“Finn. I know that look, you can’t let him get to you any more. You need to move on, plus he was an asshole for what he put you through. You don’t need someone like that,” She chastises me.
She knows everything from the good to the bad to the really bad but has never judged me, making her all the more special to me.
Dropping the fake smile, I slump my shoulders and reply solemnly, “I know. I know everything you say is right but it still doesn’t make it hurt any less and what if he’s there tonight? What will I do then? Everything comes rushing back when I see him and can’t help but want to fall in his arms. I know he put me through hell but there was a lot of damn good times as well.”
“I know sweetie but he knows you still love him and he uses it against you. You need to show him that he has no hold over you now and you’ll see his true colours. Plus we’ll all be there keeping you so busy and having too much fun you won’t notice him, even if he is there.”
She gives me a hug which makes me feel a smidgen better. I know what she says is true and I need to do it to claim back my own life, it is so difficult but tonight I’m determined to try and prove I’m the one in control.
Back at home in time for dinner, I sit down with mum and have a small birthday meal with her. She’s made my favourite, Chicken Alfredo.
“So how was your day in town? Did you find anything for tonight?” Mum asks.
“Yeah was good, found a nice pair of PVC trousers and this awesome corset to go with it which Rebecca surprised me with as a birthday present,” I reply, pushing my food around the plate not really interested in eating.
“Oh wow that sure was nice of her, you have such nice friends. Hows Kayla? Did she find anything nice?” She responds.
I shrug and roll my eyes. “Of Course she found something, she always does.”
Mum laughs and says, “I swear that girl has more clothes than anything, can’t imagine how she gets the chance to wear them all!”
After Dinner I help mum clean the kitchen and get everything put away. Rushing to my room I check my phone and find I have a text from Kayla:
Meet U @ Nightmare @ 7:30pm
Don’t B Late!
I text her back letting her know I’m getting ready now so I’m not going to be late this time, not for my own birthday. I jump in the shower to wash the grime of the day away. Rushing out the bathroom I put on some loud music to get me in my happy mood, drying my hair I sing along to ‘Marilyn Manson’s Beautiful People’. Grabbing my straighteners I work on getting my unruly hair looking straight. After clipping in some fiery red streaks, I do my make up to match my hair.
After painting my nails black, I dig out some rings and spiked bracelets to add to the look. Pulling on my new PVC trousers, I tighten the laces on the side to leave just enough skin showing to be provocative then add the corset. I lace up the back with some difficulty but manage to do it after pulling out some serious yoga moves even the professionals would be impressed, zip up the front and lace up the front corset. Finally thinking I’m ready I turn and look in the mirror, the corset was a damn good choice. It has the shape of a bat and it looks like I have wings stretching from my shoulders. Adding a pair of PVC New Rock boots completes the outfit. Smirking I grab a smaller bag, throw my phone, purse and cigarettes in, give myself a splash of perfume and rush downstairs.
Mum is waiting for me at the bottom, I slow my pace chewing on my lip in hesitation.
She surprises me by smiling at me. “You’re so grown up honey and you look so gorgeous. You make sure all them boys keep their hands to themselves tonight.”
I sigh. “Mum you know I can look after myself, plus Kayla’s going to be there and you know she won’t let anything happen.”
She smiles sadly. “I know honey, but you know what happened with him last time ---”
“---Mum stop. You know I don’t like talking about him. Talking about him is only going to ruin my birthday,” I cut her off, my mood already dampening with the thought.
Wrapping her arms around me she squeezes gently. “I’m sorry sweetie, I know it still hurts but I hope you have a really good time tonight...Oh I forgot to give you your present. Here you go honey, I hope you like it.” She hands me a small box and walks away. “Be home by midnight though,” she adds over her shoulder. I roll my eyes knowing she can’t see it but do it anyway.
I open the box and find a gorgeous Pentagram necklace on black cord, pulling it out I hold it up looking at it in shock. “Thanks Mum, I love it! It’s gorgeous!” I shout through to her temporarily shocked out of bitch mode, putting it on I rush out the door determined not to be late this time.
Arriving at Nightmare I stop in wonder as I take in the scene as it showed just how busy the club was going to be tonight. No wonder Pandora’s was packed.
Outside you can hear the music thumping, feel it in the atmosphere and see the queue half way down the road. Finding Kayla was easy, her bright pink hair stood out a mile away.
“Finn!” She shouts, “Over here.”
Tonight she’s dressed in a pink and black emo dress with frills on the sleeves and skirt with silver stars glittering on every surface. Her pink pixie cut hair frames her face and makes her blue eyes even more vivid than usual.
I walk towards her ignoring all the looks a queue cutter usually gets. As I get close she grabs my hands to pull me in to her and the queue, not letting my hands go.
“I’m so glad you made it on time. You look amazing!! I have a huge surprise for you.” She gives me an excited look.
“Uh oh, what have you done Kay? Please don’t tell me he’s here.” I cringe trying to back away.
She pulls me back assuring me everything’s fine. “That’s not the surprise but I haven’t got a clue if he’s here, have you seen the size of this queue?”
I had noticed but was wary of saying anything, dreading the answer. “I don’t think anyone could miss the size of this queue, what’s this big surprise then?” I ask, not sure if I’m actually wanting to know the answer I brace myself.
She pulls on my hands and drags me to the front of the queue. “Kay what are you doing?? We can’t skip the queue!” She snorts in response so I let her drag me, we get to the front within seconds. Big beefy bouncers stare down at us as we walk up and Kay declares, “This is her.”
At this point I’m looking anywhere but them, thinking she’s talking about someone that’s behind us, I turn to look and realise all there is is still a huge queue with lots of eyes glaring at us. I turn back to Kayla and the bouncers to see them letting her in! She drags me with her pushing me through the door. The door closes behind us, while I let my eyes adjust to the dark Kayla yells, “SURPRISE!!”
I squint seeing a silhouette standing in front of me but as I’m looking down waiting for my eyes to adjust all I see are black new rock boots. I start moving my gaze up to a pair of tight black leather trousers encompassing slender legs, then to a fishnet top barely covering a very toned chest and stomach, as my gaze reaches the face, my mouth falls opens.
Everything starts to get hazy and I start to sway, luckily enough the person catches me on my way down.
Kayla comes running over and pinches me. “Oww what the fuck Kay?” I demand.
She gives me a look as though to say, “Seriously, you almost passed out on him! That ain’t the plan woman.” The guy puts me back on my feet while I take another good hard long look at him. Spiky blonde hair, gorgeous chocolate brown eyes and a smile that makes your heart melt looks back at me with an amused smile on his face. “You’re……you’re…..you’re…” I try to stammer out.
He laughs.“Yes I am Jeff, nice to meet you darlin.”
My heart starts to race as I realise Kayla managed to get The Last Dance here for the night.
When I’m finally able to close my mouth, I look from Kayla to Jeff and back again. I clear my throat hoping to make a sound this time. “I can’t believe you managed to get them here. How did you pull this off? Oh my god thank you so much!”
Kayla just laughs and walks off. “Have fun Finn, I’ll be around somewhere.”
So I stand there staring at Jeff wishing I had match sticks so I wouldn’t have to blink in case he disappears. “So are you playing here tonight? I didn’t know you guys had a gig here.”
Jeff grins at me. “It definitely wasn’t scheduled for us to play here but a friend of mine asked me to do it as a favour for a very special friend of hers as it’s her birthday.”
He leans toward me and wraps his arms around me, luckily not noticing my slight flinch. “Happy Birthday Finn,” He whispers in my ear, feeling his sweet breath across my neck I shiver in delight, his American accent sending heat throughout my body. When he finally lets go I have to grab the edge of the table to support my legs which have suddenly gone like jelly.
“I have to go set up to get everything ready but I hope you stick around for the DJ after to save me a dance. And to get your birthday presents,” he says with a wink. With that he turns and walks away giving me the perfect view of his ass in them yummy leather trousers.
After Jeff has gone off back stage I pick my tongue up from the floor and rush to the bar and get a coke, I gulp it all down in about three mouthfuls. Sitting at the bar trying to calm my racing heart, some one taps me on the shoulder and I almost jump out of my skin. I turn around to find Kayla and Rebecca. “Hey guys. You made it then Bex, glad to see you. Did you see what Kay got me for my birthday?”
Rebecca looks around. “No where is it?” she asks.
I snort. “Well it’s a bit busy backstage right now.”
Kayla almost wets herself at my reply she’s laughing so hard leaving Rebecca still looking around in confusion. I take pity on her. “You’ll see soon enough don’t worry.”
After that short conversation talking was a bit more tricky, the DJ started up with some of my all time favourite music, Halestorm, Hollywood Undead and Bullet for my Valentine. As more people start crowding through the door we decide to get more drinks in as soon it will be impossible. We all have cokes and move away from the bar towards the other side of the club nearest the stage. Now that the shock of meeting Jeff has worn off slightly I manage to take a breath and glance around my favourite club. Only a very few high top tables with no chairs sit near the bar, only chairs rest in front of the bar itself. The section by the stage we’re at only has a waist high shelf that we all lean against, the walls surrounding covered in unlit silver sconce’s really standing out against the black paint. Opposite us is the usual band merch tables set up with all sorts of t-shirts and CD’s. When we get out of sight of the bar Kayla produces a bottle of whiskey from her bag. “Where did you get that from Kay?” I ask in shock.
She grins evilly giving the bottle a slight shake. “If I told you, I would have to kill you,” she laughs while adding some to our drinks.
I’ve never really had whiskey before so I take a small sip and was surprised at the taste, it was actually really nice. I stand there sipping my drink enjoying the evening chatting with the girls and waiting for the band to appear when all of a sudden Kayla’s eyes widen and she rushes off in a hurry. I turn to look where she’s gone but Rebecca grabs my arms and keeps me facing her while she peeks over my shoulder towards the entrance of the club. “What’s going on?” I say raising an eyebrow in suspicion but the look on her face tells me it’s nothing good. I feel my own face fall as she drags her gaze back to mine. “Don’t worry, it’s going to be OK. You have nothing to worry about because you look amazing, be strong.” With that strange sentence she brushes past me and walks toward the bar.
Standing on my own I wonder just what the hells got in to my friends, is this suppose to be another surprise? I finally give up wondering, with a sigh I turn around and come face to face with………Hunter.