Monday, 10 December 2007

Numb - Chapter 5

I am going to apologise first and foremost for the lack of pictures in this chapter, my reason being that I did not write it using the sims photo albums. I hope you don't mind and I will probably add pictures later.

Water. Natures' cleanser. The most pure and beautiful thing in the entire world. And it is endless. Continuous. It stretches out between countries. Falls from the sky in heavenly drops of clear, pearl-shaped drops. It falls heavily down our cheeks as we cry. It rushes through our body as it moisturises and refreshes our skin. We drink water. We live water. And yet it goes on forever... trickles down the drain quite happily, as, with the turn of a tap it eagerly gets going again. We all take this for granted as we wash, drink, flush the toilet. But all this water that we drink, wash ourselves with and flush the toilet with. It's not real. It's not really a cleanser. It's full of harmful chemicals, bi-products of the science world. It's wrong. I don't feel clean, even after having washed... I still see the redness where the blood splashed across my face, as it dripped of my chin onto my chest as I was mightily drenched in sweat. The blood is on my hands. But I can handle it. A few more showers with our chemicals and it will be gone. I will be clean. I can forgive myself. I can forget.

I know you think that, as I sit here calmly, towel-drying my hair after pulling on some clothes, that I am some sort of psychopath, that I had no good reason to get rid of Klint the way that I did. I know I sound like some mental person that needs to be locked away in some special unit. But you don't know the whole story yet. You are right to judge, nothing I can say or do will make what I have done seem right. I just hope that once I have told you everything. And I will stop lying now. That you will understand my need. My desire to be free, to be forgiven for my actions... I know I should be punished, but it's not like anyone is going to find out.

I sit here, holding my grandfathers pen, in giving me this writing set he lit my path, my way in life. He knew I was going to write about great things, and here I am, writing about my life. The sun illuminates the room and I see my shadow on the page in front of me, a shadow I recognise but a shadow I fear. I focus back on my pen, it's golden nib glistening in the early morning sunlight as it edges over the tops of the high, green trees. The ink suddenly blobs as I write. I sit back in frustration, looking at the dark smudge it has left behind. I know what it is trying to tell me. I close my eyes and sit forward again, letting out a deep breath I hadn't even noticed I was holding. I open my eyes again and I focus, immediately and automatically on my shadow again. I know what it is saying. It is trying to tell me that this isn't the first time I have done something I shouldn't. Something I should have been scolded for and wasn't.

The late afternoon sun burned down onto the grime covered car, bathing me in a sweltering heat as the windows didn't unwind and just magnified the heat. I was on my way to my new appartment, I was moving in with Ashley as had been arranged months ago. I looked out of the smudged windscreen, driving at ten miles per hour, trying to make out street names and road signs, when a loud thump against the bonnet and a crumpling sound was heard as something heavy hit the road in front of me. I stamped on the brake violently and automatically. My hands still on the wheel shaking. The car had stopped, I switched off the engine and the low rumble stopped too. I sat there, how long I do not know. I was slowly inching my hand to the door handle, to step outside and take a look at the damage I had done, when a hand reached above the bonnet and waved. I looked up startled and both my hands gripped the wheel once more, as if I was sat watching a drive-thru movie. A scary one. Silently, as if in slow-motion a body stood up straight and limped over to the sidewalk.

I did the only thing I could think of. I stepped quickly out of the car, feeling a refreshing summer breeze on my face I walked over to where the person was sitting. We didn't say anything to each other for a while, we just sat there in silence. I looked at him a few times, but couldn't think of anything to say. Sorry would have been a start, but I had just hit him with my car, sorry seems much too light-hearted, much too weak. It didn't say what I wanted to say.
"Would you like a cigarette?" I didn't really register what he had said, I just looked at him, apology was etched in my face, in my eyes, in my very soul. He knew I felt guilty, but he just smiled and offered me the cigarette.
"Oh. No thankyou." I waved the packet away. "I don't smoke. Listen are you Ok? Would you like me to take you to the nearest hospital, or even to your home?" Finally, I was managing to speak sense. With a level of maturity.
"No. I think it might be best if I just sit here for a while. Hospitals don't agree with me." He lit a cigarette and inhaled deeply. I saw his hands shake as he took the glowing stick away from his lips. "You know what. Neither do cigarettes." He stubbed the cigarette out and threw it into the road and discarded the packet into the nearby hedgerows. "That was probably the bravest and smartest decision I have ever made." He held out his hand. "I'm Charlie by the way." I took his hand.
"I'm Ellen." I looked into his face and saw with a sudden realisation that he was extremely good-looking, with dark hair, dark eyes and dark skin. I was attracted to him immediately, the way his eyebrows created the perfect harmony with his eyes, the way his facial hair only accentuated his features.

"Strange way to make new acquaintances. Do you do this often?"
"No! No I..." Charlie burst into laughter and I blushed. He was teasing me. I helped him back onto his feet and asked him again whether he would like a lift back to his home."Oh, no thankyou. I only live around the corner. Have you heard of the Montrose appartments?" I opened my eyes wide in pleasant surprise.
"Yes I have, I am just moving in today! Why do you live there too?"
"Yes, top floor for me. Moved in last month... you have a flat mate?""Yes I do. My sister Ashley..."
"Ashley! I know Ashley, we made friends as soon as I moved in, she made me a welcoming cake! It wasn't very nice, but don't tell her I said so." He smiled and showed of a set of sparkling white teeth. I returned the smile eagerly, as I melted like butter in a hot pan. I blushed quickly as I realised what I was doing and straightened my face."So since we live in the same building I might as well give you a lift home... I'm going that way anyway."
"I think that's a good idea. You do need to repay me for hitting me with your car." I laughed for the first time in ages and Klint was immediately wiped from my mind as I continued to look into Charlie's dark eyes.

We walked to the car amidst the darkening sky as the streetlamps flickered on. The hot tarmac beneath my feet felt flatter than usual and much easier to walk across, almost as if it didn't exist and I was walking on clouds. I could feel the goosebumbs powering up my arms and the raising of the hairs as I accidentally brushed myself against him.

The car ride provided a completely different atmosphere, however, me and Charlie sat there the awkward silence just stretching out in front of us like the endless sea. I wanted to be myself. I felt like I could be myself. And yet, something held me back. A something that I don't know. It just stopped me from being able to chat and laugh the way I had been a few minutes ago on the side of the road. Instead, I contented myself with casting him the odd glance taking in every feature in his face. Our eyes met occasionally, quite a lot actually, and I was constantly blushing as I quickly averted my eyes again. The faint flicker of a smile evident on his face made me grin. A grin that wasn't going to go away no matter how much I wished it would, I was kind of enjoying the fact that he was enjoying my company because I was enjoying his.
"I'm glad that you hit me with your car today Ellen." Charlies crisp voice reverberated against my ear drums as he suddenly broke the silence. "Only because I wasn't seriously hurt and I managed to meet you in quite pleasant circumstances." I could feel his eyes on me as I indicated and turned at a fork in the road. I glanced sideways.
"Yes I'm glad too. I just hope that us living in the same apartment block will prove to be something good rather than bad. I hope to see a lot more of you is what I mean." I blushed again. Indicated again for the last time that night and pulled into the Montrose apartments as the tense atmosphere and awkward silence smothered us once more. I switched off the engine and heard it do its final whirs and rumbles, before turning back to Charlie.
"Thanks for the lift back, Ellen." Charlie smiled and stepped out of the car while I was left sitting dumbfounded, I quickly followed and caught up with him at the door.
"Charlie, would you mind walking me to my door? Only this is my first time here and I don't want to - you know... get lost." I gave him a sly wink to which he returned a dazzling smile.
"Of course, but I can't help you find your way for too long."

A few floors later and I was at the door to mine and Ashley's apartment.
"So at least we found it." Charlie panted. "I'm just the next floor up, so I guess this is goodnight." He turned to climb the next flight of stairs already breathing heavily at the daunting prospect."Charlie. Would you like to come in for a cup of coffee? Just a quick one to catch your breath?" He spun round with an eager, wild look in his eyes.
"I really would love to Ellen. But my partner wouldn't like it - goodnight." I received a quick peck on the cheek before he disappeared onto the next landing. His girlfriend? He had a girlfriend? I didn't remember him mentioning her at all before. I pushed the reluctant key into the lock and stepped into the brightly lit apartment. Strangely, when I was outside with Charlie I hadn't noticed the pounding of the music that ashley had playing. But standing there in the living room with my ears being pummelled from all sides I realised that Ashley had invited all of her friends over for a party. I forced my wya throught the swarming crowd and pushed my way into my empty bedroom, slamming the door behind me.

I slumped onto my bed, the sound of the music a lot quieter than before and muffled by the door. I felt a lone tear drop fall from my chin onto the pillow. I watched it spread like water does, as another one joined it. I continued like that all night until I dropped off to sleep, amid the shouts and screams of party guests, the clinking of bottles, the smashing of glasses and the thudding of music.

I should have realised then and there that nothing could happen between me and Charlie; that I should give up, move on and find someone else. I had only known him for a day! I kept telling myself to forget it but I was selfish. I knew what I wanted and I felt I deserved it and therefore, I should have it. But nothing is ever as simple as wanting something and getting it. Nothing is free and someone has to pay a price.

I woke up the next morning, my head pounding with exhaustion, the sun burning brightly through the open window. The sound of clinking china made me suddenly very aware of my surroundings. The fact that I wasn't being looked after anymore. The fact that now I would be paying to keep a roof over my head. The fact that now I could finally be considered a responsible adult. Being an adult meant everything to me; I had been given wings. Strong, white wings to fly into the clouds of freedom and the endless sky. A loud smash from the kitchen highlighted just how far freedom was and I was brought along with the broken china crashing back down to earth and into reality. The door swung open violently as Ashley burst through like a raging tornado, wearing a bright pink, fluffy dressing gown pulled tighlty against her light frame.
"Sorry! I hope I didn't wake you by smashing that bowl. Ah, I'm so glad you're here. I've been here all by myself." I gave her a sceptical look and she rolled her eyes. "Well obviously I have had friends over! I would have been lonely without you. What did you think of the party last night? It was for you. A welcome party." I sighed heavily as I looked into her glowing face.
"I'm sure it was... you probably forgot I was even moving in yesterday! Anyway I porbably would have enjoyed it, but I wasn't really in the mood last night..." Ashley slumped down onto the end of my bed, rearranging her dressing gown into a more comfortable position as she did so.
"What do you mean? You don't have to be "in the mood" to enjoy a party! It's just a lot of drinking and a lot of dancing." When she smiled her eyes smiled and I could tell she was ecstatic that I had arrived and that the party was indeed for me.
"Yes but I was tired... and... well, I was let down last night... you see I met this guy on the way here and he was totally gorgeous and so easy to get along with. We got chatting and I gave him a ride home. Here. He seemed so into me, I honestly thought that I had a chance..." I looked at my feet. At the boards under my feet. At the rug laying on the boards a few feet away. I looked anywhere I could without looking at her or into her eyes. My eyes were watering with embarrassment.
"And... what happened?" Her impatience and eagerness for gossip angered me and I felt the need to smash something, but I refrained from doing so, and as quickly as it came over me I calmed down. I felt no anger. I felt no violent urges. The only thing I felt was bitterness, but that was towards Charlie.
"He has a girlfriend. He flirted with me and then we got home I invited him in for coffee... and he has a girlfriend! I've never felt so stupid in all my life." I held my head in my hands in frustration, clutching at my unbrushed and unruly hair. I furrowed my eyebrows as I felt the anger pulse to the ends of my fingers. "I will have him Ashley." I stated through gritted teeth. "He will soon forget about the little girlfriend that he has, I am going to make him want me more than he has ever wanted anyone before. And then I'll have a little fun... tease him, and then throw him into the gutter!" Ashley looked at me her eyes widened in shock, fright and confusion.
"Ellen I know you have always been a bit strange - but isn't this going a bit too far? Who is this guy anyway? He has to be something special for you to react like this?"
"It's Charlie upstairs. The pathetic womanizer." Ashley's face softened, and she smiled lazily, as if she was dreaming.
"He is a cutie isn't he; his dark hair, his dark eyes, the defined chin... But Ellen, I don't think he has a girlfriend - at least I have never seen him with a woman. Perhaps he was trying to make you jealous, see how much you would care, hmm? Think about it. Maybe he wants you to chase him." Ashley got off of the end of my bed, pulled her dressing gown tighter around her and headed for the door. Her hand had just grabbed the knob when she turned around. "I'll make us some scrambled egg. Sound good?"

A few minutes later and I was sat at the table, still dressed in my pyjama's but now wrapped warmly in a chunky, towel-textured dressing gown, with a plate full of piping hot scrambled eggs. I felt my stomach growl in anticipation and I subconciously patted it as I inhaled the smell of the steaming eggs, took a mouthful and indulged from the taste explosion it exuded on my tongue.
"So what do you think?" Ashley beamed at me with an expectant look on her face as she leaned closer and took a mouthful of the egg.
"Yeah, they taste really good, where did you learn to make them like this?" Ashley burst out laughing sending the mouthful of egg onto the opposite wall with a loud squawk.
"I wasn't talking about the eggs silly. I was talking about the apartment. Do you like it?" I looked at the egg on the wall behind me with a repulsed look on my face and turned to her with my eyebrows raised. "Obviously I am going to clean that up in a minute." She got to her feet and picked a cloth from the sink, and began to wipe the egg from the wall."Yes it is lovely, very modern, girlish... I suppose you picked out the furniture yourself?"
"What?" Ashley spun around with the cloth and dumped it back in the sink and wiped her hands on a towel. "Oh no, all the furniture was already here. Talk about a great landlord huh?"
"Are you serious. You mean you didn't pay for any of this?" I shook my head in disbelief."Yes I'm being serious and no, I didn't pay for any of it." Ashley beamed at the look of awe on my face. "Right, I am going to have a shower, someone threw up on me last night. Ugh. So have a good time I'll be a while." Ashley left the room while I continued to munch on my eggs.
I looked around chewing needlessly on my egg; the pale blue walls, the sparklingly clean kitchen, the perfect cosy living space. How on earth did Ashley manage to get this place? And more importantly how did she keep it clean? She was never a domesticated girl, more the exact opposite. Another forkful and the taste was not as good as it was before. Another forkful and the taste became rather dull. Another forkful and the taste was absolutely awful. I put my fork on the plate, stood up and carried them over to the bin and, with the aid of the fork scraped the remains of the egg into the bin. I had just dumped the plate into the frothy sink and had pulled up the sleeves on my dressing gown to begin washing when there was a loud knock at the door. I hurried over to the door pulling my dressing gown tighter around me and pulled open the door to find Charlie standing there.
"Hi Ellen. I was wondering... do you want to come out with me for a while, we could do a little shopping, have some lunch a bit later on seeing as you have already eaten..."
"Wait, how do you know I have already eaten - it doesn't matter, I don't think your girlfriend would like it very much if we went out together do you?" I stood there my arms folded, my eyebrows furrowed and looked at him rather menacingly (just to make sure he got the hint that I wasn't happy with him.)
"No I don't suppose she would, but she isn't exactly going to find out is she? Besides I am going shopping for her, it's her birthday tomorrow. I was hoping you could help me find something for her - that is if you don't mind. I can wait a while since you aren't ready, but I really do need the help." I looked into his pleading, puppy-dog eyes and found I couldn't say no. Even if it was for his girlfriend I would still be spending the day with Charlie. I said goodbye for now and quickly closed the door. I looked around, the blue on the walls was brighter, the surfaces were cleaner and... and Ashley was leaning against the doorframe, smirking at me.
"Yeah and so what. What's the problem with me going out for a day with him. We're not doing anything wrong. I am just helping him find a birthday present for his girlfriend." Ashley raised an eyebrow. She had just now questioned my decision to spend the day with Charlie."I'm sure you believe exactly what you are telling me." She stated sceptically. "You know what you are trying to do, you told me your plans earlier in your bedroom! I don't think you should be doing this - You don't even know his girlfriend! Imagine how she would feel if she knew what you were up to!" I clenched my fists in anger, and my face flushed as I felt the vein throb in my temple, the flash of red as I welled up and let the light-headed feeling as I let it go.
"I KNOW NOTHING IS GOING ON ASHLEY! I WILL DO WHAT I LIKE AND YOU WON'T STOP ME! I'M GOING FOR A SHOWER NOW, YOU CAN DO WHAT YOU WANT AS LONG AS YOU DON'T TELL CHARLIE THAT I AM NOT GOING. BESIDES YOU SAID YOU DIDN'T EVEN THINK HE HAD A GIRLFRIEND!" I walked in the direction of the bathroom, my shoulders hinched and my fists still clenched. I could feel my fingernails pushing deeper and deeper into the flesh of my palms but I didn't care.
"YES BUT NOW HE'S BUYING PRESENTS FOR HER BIRTHDAY! THAT SCREAMS GIRLFRIEND IN MY FACE, I DON'T KNOW WHY IT DOESN'T IN YOURS..." I slammed the bathroom door behind me which immediately silenced her continuous yelling. I peeled my clothes off and threw them into the laundry basket. I looked at my reflection in the mirror and stepped into the shower and began to scrub myself furiously.

Water. Natures' cleanser. We all use it. We all have times of need. Times of thirst. The times when you just need to be alone. Water fulfills those needs. It calms us down, tells us that we are safe no matter what our decisions may be. It provides that little bit of extra support, like a bra. Only water speaks to us in ways which bras and people can't. It bubbles and churns - providing the ultimate lullaby. It splashes and crashes - providing the ultimate atmosphere to reflect a bad mood. It washes and laps gently onto shore - providing the ultimate stress relief. Water has that special smell, the smell of clean and fresh. The smell of loneliness. One can only appreciate the value, the humanity of water when one is on their own. I am alone now. Unfortunately the sea is a long way from here, and because of this, I am unable to get the comfort fromt he water, sure I get the smell, and can feel the water splash on and off my skin as I wash, but it isn't pure. It's not the right cleanser. I mean, like an anti-dandruff shampoo - only a certain type will work for you right? This is how water is as a cleanser, I need the right cleanser.

Sunday, 18 November 2007


Sorry that I have been concentrating on a new story and not writing Chapter 5 of Numb. I will work on it soon when all the planning (and schoolwork) is finished. I promise

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Numb - Chapter 4

Welcome to Numb - Chapter 4. Chapter 1 can be found on TSR, as well as along with Chapter 2 and 3 on my blog here: Don't read on if you haven't read previous chapters - you will be very confused (and you'd be missing out ;))

In Chapter 3, Ellen spoke of her entrapment with her marriage and her foster home. Also her dislike of cigarettes and looking for a way out. An easy way out.

I hope you will leave a nice comment if you enjoyed the story, and will tell me what is missing that you would like to see. Any questions and I would be happy to answer them ASAP.

A way out. A light at the end of the tunnel. I had one. I could see it, very clearly, in my minds' eye. I just didn't know if I could reach for it.

Klint always told me that I should reach for the simplest way out, a way out that causes no complications but is still a way out. I'm not sure now though, whether listening to his advice would be best. My way out has been with me since my mother died. I grew up knowing that it might help me one day. Might save me.

It's locked up now. The way out. Klint knows nothing about it, not even a possible hiding place for it. But I know. I know what it means. I know how to escape.

He's passionate. Klint. Once he discovers something, he finds it impossible to forget or let go. I know this is why he is still with me, he felt for me once. That's gone now, but he can't let go. He can't release me. He needs me. I'm his passion.

The thing is... passion can make people do terrible things. You have already seen an example of that. It changes people, makes them do things out of the ordinary. It would be wrong however, to suggest that passion is a bad thing. Controlling it is what makes us human. Feelings are what make us human.

I don't feel and I am not passionate, and right now I don't feel very human either.

My room had changed now. It had become a reflection of me, of my personality, my feelings. A cold blue, which managed to give a feeling of warmth by its light. I had changed too. The 'Plain Jane' part of me was gone. Ashley had helped me, changed me. I felt normal then. Kind of. I felt like a normal kid, though I knew very well that I was not normal.

All my possessions had been brought up to my room. The safe from the living room. The writing set I had been given as a birth present from my grandfather. It felt weird seeing it in my room. But I knew I would find out what was inside soon enough.

The combination was sent to me when I turned eighteen. I can tell you what was inside now. Hope was inside. An escape plan was inside, in case I ever needed one. I had been left a gift, a dangerous but precious gift.

I was seventeen at this point. Sat on the rusty, squeaking swing as few children walked by, never pausing to look. Parents cared about them too much to let them hang about in a place like this. I wish I had that. I was constantly in the park alone, I spent most of my time there. Anything to get away from the mad house I was to live in for six more months. I knew where I wanted to live when I left.

A new block of flats, well they were really houses stacked on top of one another. They were huge appartments. They were being built, a completely perfect, modern appartment. I knew who was going to share it with me too. Ashley had agreed to live with me when we were old enough. Her birthday was just before mine, so she was the perfect flat-mate, especially considering we already knew each other. I wouldn't say we were friends, I hadn't told her any of my secrets. But she didn't need to know. She wouldn't want to. I wish I didn't know.

We still have sex, me and Klint. I could say make love, but that would be telling a lie. Our marriage is not based on love. No romance. No feeling. I need to escape. I need to be free. I need to feel the rain on my face. I need to be cleansed. I need everything that I don't have with Klint.

I just wish that there was another way out. A way for me to leave without doing what I know I must do. I don't want to do it to him. I don't want to hurt him. I have no alternative. I don't love him. I'm sorry for that, but what else can I do?

The safe. It's in the safe. I know the combination. I know what I must do.

It was Ashley's birthday when I met Klint. She had invited him over, we were having a small party for her, to congratulate her on her eighteenth birthday and to celebrate her moving out. Well, I say celebrate, but none of us wanted her to leave. Not even me really. I had gotten to know her, it was easy. If you live with someone for long enough and they are constantly trying, it's hard not to get close to them.

I'm not just talking about Ashley anymore; me and Klint, constantly trying to make it work. I stopped trying ages ago, why prolong the inevitable?

Klint was the easiest person to get along with - at first. He was up front, but not too much that he was in my face. He was cheery and was always making me laugh - I think that was what attracted me to him. A shame the only pleasures in life last for short moments; lucky that I can remember them though.

"So Ellen, right?" Klint had very blue eyes, they were trustworthy eyes and so, I opened up just like that. Easy.

I nodded in answer, and we began to chat.

"Yes, I'm Ellen. Ashley mentioned me then?" Klint clasped his hands together as he chuckled."Yes, but she failed to mention how beautiful you were - typical." I giggled, but felt the heat rush up to my face as I blushed. I didn't notice Ashley flooded with jealousy because I was so engrossed in Klint. Young love... I guess."Yes, well maybe she didn't want you to come after me for my looks, she looks out for me. She's like an older sister." It was true, Ashley was part of my family then.

But now I guess things were doomed to failure from the start. A family member who resented the relationship from day one. I just wish I had noticed - I wouldn't have wasted so much of my life trying to make a failing marriage work. All I had to do was pay attention to the girl whose birthday it was... it would have saved me a whole lot of trouble.

I felt the awkwardness as I hugged Ashley goodbye after the party. I couldn't place what the problem was then, but now I look back and I know what her problem was, I can see how it fits. I'm not usually the type of person to hug, it always seemed an innapropriate excuse for touching someone to me. A sign of falsehood, a devilish trick. The sign of a total bitch. But Ashley wasn't a bitch. She was just an overly friendly person, the complete opposite of me - I still don't understand how we managed to "click"

I continued to see Klint after Ashley left - much to some people's displeasure. I was finding excuses to hug more often, which I found strange enough. I could feel myself slowly getting closer to Klint. Closer than I had ever been to anyone. He made it so easy.

Unfortunately, he found me easy as well.

Lizzie was the main person who had a grudge against mine and Klint's relationship.

"Can't you see that he's using you? You stupid girl! He is way too old for you! Besides, everyone else can see that all he wants is sex. Why can't you?" I looked at her incredulously, as the anger coursed through her veins and darted across her eyes. I looked at the dirty green wall behind her, failing to be able to look into her eyes.

"Lizzie, you're being unreasonable. Klint loves me and I love him. And I'm not stupid, I know when someone is using me, and I am not stupid enough to have sex with him. I am nowhere near ready."

Lizzie cast me a reproachful look and turned to walk away. She had a drink in her hand, probably to calm her nerves when I called after her. "You don't believe me? Well I'll show you! Klint loves me!"

"You idiot girl!" Lizzie spun around extremely quickly and threw her drink over me, soaking me in strong smelling licqueur. "Klint doesn't love you! He's using you. He's tricking you. Why won't you listen to reason? You can do what you like, but don't say I didn't look out for you." I dried my face with my hands, and turned away walking silently toward the front door. Lizzie's heavy breathing sounded hysterically behind me, as I felt the rage throb around my ears.

I could feel Lizzie's eyes on my back as I walked down the steps into the fresh air. Johnny followed behind me.

The sun was warm and inviting as it lovingly caressed my back, I smiled even though I was angry and let the sun heat every inch of my body.

Johnny sat next to me and just watched me for a while. I blinked the tears that had formed in my eyes and looked up at him.

"Are you Ok Ellen?"

"No, I'm not Ok! Do I look Ok?" He quickly looked down at his feet.

"No you don't. I'm sorry." I could hear Lizzie shouting again, and I knew who she was shouting at.

"Klint! I don't want to see your face around here again. Do you hear me? I know that you are trying to trick Ellen into sleeping with you. She's not stupid enough! Are you listening? I don't want you here anymore! I won't have you corrupting..." She was cut short as Klint retalliated. A resounding smashed echoed through the hallway and out of the front door as Lizzie's glass smashed. "How dare you?! Attack me again and it will be the last thing you ever do! Now leave!"

"Just who do you think you are?" I heard Klint's deep, satisfying voice as he fought back, unaware that I was listening. "I love Ellen. It's as simple as that. I'm not tricking her into anything. She knows exactly what she wants and where to get it. There is nothing you can do to stop that." I could tell that Lizzie was stepping into dangerous territory, I could feel her nervousness as she shifted her weight from one foot to the other, clearly thinking of something to say.

"Just get out. I never want to see you here again. And if I do, you lousy piece of scum, then I will call the police. Immediately. And you will never see Ellen again. Well not unless your behind a piece of perspex glass!" She let out a derisive, triumphant laugh. "So are you leaving or not? Ellen doesn't want you in the way you expect. I am just protecting her from your sexual advances!"

Klint spluttered for a few moments before equipping himself with a cold but calm tone."We'll just ask Ellen what she wants. Then there will be no fighting. If she wants me, she can have me."

"And if she doesn't?"

"Then I won't see her again."

I know now that Klint didn't really love me, allowing me to be parted from him so easily. But then. Back then I thought it was romantic and it was a sign that he would give me anything I wanted. I was right, but wrong at the same time.

The warm, wet salt trickled down my cheeks as Johnny looked at me. We both listened to Klint heaving himself roughly down the steps. A few moments later and all I could hear was the screeching of his tyres as he pulled out of the driveway and, I thought, out of my life.

He came back, obviously, but it was much sooner than I expected, and probably much sooner than you expected as well.

"Oh, Johnny. What do I do? No-one here likes Klint. But here I am, falling madly in love with him. What do I do?" Johnny looked thoughtful for a second. Quiet. He was always quiet.

"I can't tell you what you should do. Ellen, it's up to you. If you love Klint and want to spend the rest of your life with him, then that's up to you.

If you don't want your kids to end up in a place like this, then I suggest you listen to what Lizzie is telling you... I'm not saying that that is what will definitely happen, I'm just trying to help.

But something you should know is that everyone in this place is looking out for you. We love you and just want you to be safe and happy." Johnny stood up, stretched, yawned and headed back to the house, leaving me alone to think.

I thought carefully, but I knew what I wanted. And that was Klint. I know; wrong decision. I don't need you to tell me. But I was a teenager, a rebellious one. Well what other kind do you get? I wanted Klint and I was going to have him. I had him wrapped around my little finger. At least I thought I did.

"You made your decision?"

"Yes Klint, I've made my decision." I inhaled deeply. The smell of his sickly sweet cologne swept up my nostrils and gave me a warm feeling inside. "I want you."

"I know you do sweetheart. So do you want to go to the pictures or something?" I knew what I wanted and it cost no money at all, I had to keep him interested in me, I knew that with my boring personality I would only be able to hold onto someone for so long without giving something back. I stepped closer, my heart was beating fast against my rib-cage. I closed my eyes and darkness surrounded me, but only for a moment.

But in that moment that I had my eyes closed. I was on the floor, being roughly violated by Klint. I knew I shouldn't have done it, but I wanted to feel satisfied. I wanted to be taken seriously. Like an adult. I wanted to be loved. Like an adult. I wanted to be able to get along without needing someone. Like an adult.

The easiest way I found all of those things, was in those few minutes, in which I sexually pleased Klint. And in those few minutes, my innocence was lost. My virginity was lost. My cleanliness was lost.

I thought that after sex I would feel great, but I barely felt Klint peck me on the cheek before leaving. I heard the muffled click of the door close, as tears filled my eyes. I tried to convince myself that they were tears of happiness. I couldn't even lie to myself that much.

I wrapped myself in my arms. I knew that no-one could comfort me, I could never talk to anyone about my experience. I would only receive: 'I told you so's' and 'don't be silly, that must have been the best moment of your life!'

Trust me. Sex isn't all it's cracked up to be. Yes if you want to make babies and increase the worlds' population, but no if you are just doing it because you feel you have to.

My eighteenth birthday closed in on me quickly. I hadn't seen Klint after that night. I wouldn't admit that he had used me, but I had never called him. I didn't want to come into contact with him. I didn't think I would be able to handle it, without feeling ashamed of myself. I was dirty now. No-one would want me. I had lost everything I wanted because of Klint and I was going to make him pay.

I wasn't expecting too much for my birthday, just a few cards and the money from my mothers' trust fund. Yes she actually left me some money! So I was surprised when I received a letter from my mothers solicitor. I knew I was due to get it, but it had completely been wiped from my mind. All the things that had been going on, I was rather surprised.

The letter contained the answer to all of my prayers. The combination to my mothers safe was concealed inside.I immediately ran up to my room and began turning the dial on the front of the safe. Right fifteen, left seven, right twelve, left four. The lock clicked and my hands shook as I pulled the handle down. Inside was money. I was confused. Not only did my mother leave me money in a trust fund. She had managed to fill a safe with money too? I lifted the many green leaves and found something else.

I looked at the dangerous powerful weapon awkwardly. I knew my mother was ruthless, but why did she have a gun?

I felt relieved holding that gun. I felt powerful. I had had my future mapped out for me, and I could see it. I knew that when I needed a way out, this gun would provide the escape route.

I went to bed that night feeling elated. I bet not too many girls get a gun for their eighteenth birthday. I know a lot of girls wouldn't want one, but it makes you feel safe. It gives you a sense of comfort, to have it there lying under your pillow when you sleep.

Unfortunately, I lost that sense of comfort when I was with Klint, I couldn't sleep with it under the pillow anymore, so it was locked back in the safe again.

I think it's time for you to meet him. Klint I mean. The perfect, well-rounded human being. His perfect blue eyes and dark hair. He is standing in front of me, despite the lateness of the hour, or early depending on how you look at it. I'll say early, since I know that I won't be getting anymore sleep tonight. It's time for me to make my escape. My way out.

This is Klint. Already dressed and ready for work. Shame.

I look around me. The walls are closing in on me again. I'm trapped. Suffocating. I feel as though I'm a baby bird struggling to break the shell. I need to be free. I've never really had that chance.

A pop. A blinding light and a searing pain.

Warm blood gushes over my face as I try to see. Black spots fill the front of my eyes as they sear with pain. The blood floods over my hands and it cools quickly. I know it will stain, but it's a sign. The symbol of freedom. Klint is gone. The egg has cracked. Now I just need to break it.

I never thought that digging a grave would be such hard work. You would expect it to be, I suppose, but I just didn't realise it would be as hard as it is. I can feel the blood drying on my face, the wind blowing roughly across my face and through my hair.

The sweat is drenching my skin, as I strain myself to dig harder and faster. I have to finish before light breaks the night sky. It's not a desperate cover-up. I'm not panicking, I'm very calm. I've not done anything wrong.

Now I'm just waiting for the rain.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Numb - Chapter 3

Welcome to Chapter 3 of Numb. If you have not read Chapter 2 it can be found on my blog here:
In Chapter 2, Ellen relived her terrible ordeal which explained why she fears emotion and doesn't want to feel - or even love.
I hope you leave a nice comment if you liked the story. If you have any questions I would gladly answer them ASAP.

I haven't ever cried about that night since, well not until now. I stand here uncomfortably, my breathing heavy and unsteady. The glass in the window grows a fuzz every time I breathe, which fades as quickly as it appears. I feel the tears that trickle down my cheeks, coming to rest on my lips. As I lick them off I taste the salt, I think and bite my bottom lip. I remember.

I sit back down in my chair - I am writing again. My cheeks dry, leaving a sticky sensation and I realise that the flow has stopped. I have stopped crying. I am left with an empty, sick feeling as I sit here. Thinking.

The walls around me seem to be closing in. I'm trapped. Trapped in a marriage that I no longer want to be in. Klint. Yes he is the perfect man, but he's not my perfect man. I felt trapped before, but it was a different kind of trapped. It was a place - not a person - that I was stuck with.

As I think of Klint, my eyes lose their sticky residue, not becuase Klint makes me happy, but because I have no feelings at all towards him.

I have been trapped several times in my life: with my mother, as you already know and also with Klint, as I have just told you. But after the death of my mother, the police interrogations and the psychology tests and things that I went through, a new place had me trapped. A bleak, miserable place. A place where unwanted children get taken. A place where the only escape is to be passed into yet another prison. A new families waiting arms. Yes. I went to a children's home.

I had just left the police station, after even more questioning, and had gone home to collect some things including: some clothes, a few old toys and most impotantly my mothers old safe; aided by my social worker Zoey, of course. She was a pretty woman, but quite dull. Her car was cold, the air conditioning was broken. The rain lashed against the windows as some classical music trinkled through the speakers. It reflected my mood. The rain. Freedom. Love.

I realised I was still trapped. Locked away, sheltered from the rain. I had my hair scruffily tied back and had pulled on the most comfortable pieces of clothing I could find. My breath turned into steam in front of me as I breathed. I shivered.

I looked over at my social worker. I suppose it was good that lots of people were getting paid through my trauma. My memories. My new life. I watched her smooth a fold in her delicate, black suit. Watched her tap her perfect, french-manicured fingernails against the steering wheel as she lightly turned a corner. Yes. Someone was well paid.

A sudden light illuminated the inside of the car, chasing away the suffocating darkness. Smoke issued in swirls from a cigarette Zoey had just lit. I stared at the cigarette in her hand. Stared at the smoke trails, watched them float toward me through the cold, bitter air.

I coughed heavily as the fumes filled my nostrils, down into my throat. I took an instant dislike to the beautiful, grey smoke now. It was toxic, it might have looked attractive, but the smell and the effect was horrible, it was smothering. I wound down the window despite the cold and watched the smoke trail float sadly away, while the cool breeze blew into my face and cleared me of the impurities.

Zoey looked at me with an apologetic look on her face, well it was a pitiful look I suppose. Not quite apologetic, but bordering on it.

"Sorry, I should have asked if it bothers you. I can put it out if you like?" I could tell she wanted to strike up a conversation. But I wasn't interested in talking, I had done enough of that in the past few days to last me a lifetime. I would willingly not have spoken for the rest of my life. Especially not about her darned cigarettes.

People always ask questions; questions that don't need to be answered, question with answers that should be left well alone.

I turned away from her and looked out of the window. I watched the rain drops stream down the window, I thought my eyes were perhaps doing the same thing. Streaming. But they weren't. I didn't feel sadness anymore, only a resentment toward my mother. A hatred for leaving me in this mess because of her own selfish ways.

Zoey gave a sigh as the light turned green, and we pulled off into the merging darkness, to a new place which would be called 'home'. I didn't believe it would be, but it's the only name I can think for it. Perhaps 'prison' would be better or maybe 'death row', I'm sure it would feel like that. All these kids around me when I would much rather be left alone. In peace. With no questions.

Zoey turned to me again, a few hours later. I could tell she was hesitant, but I didn't want to make it any easier for her. It wasn't easy for me, I didn't want to make it easy for anyone else. Why should I alone suffer?

"Ellen?" I said nothing. There was nothing I could say. "We are just about there, do you have any questions before we go in, any worries?" I ignored her still. "Right. Here we are." She stated simply, brightly.

I looked out of the window, which was no longer streaked with rain. There stood a tall, factory-looking building. I felt like I was about to be exposed to slave labour, which of course I wasn't. It was the buildings fault, it made me feel that way. I was reluctant to leave the car so I sat there for a few minutes, squirming.

"Listen Ellen." Zoey said as she stopped pulling up the drive and switched the engine off. I felt a sudden finality as the sounds of the engine stopped. I was here. My new 'home'. "You have nothing to worry about, none of the other children are awake. You can just sneak up to your room quietly. You won't have to meet anybody. I understand how you are feeling..." I knew she was trying to coax me into speaking. I wasn't going to do it. I hate speaking.

I looked up at the big, red door. It cast an imposing look down to where I sat in the car. Through that door were the big bolts, the bars, the locks. I could feel the loneliness of the place. I hated it already. Bratty little kids all locked up together, it seemed like a worse version of big brother to me. A sick game, to win families. I didn't want a family. I could take care of myself.

I stepped out into the cool, night air and the engulfing darkness. A single light shimmered down into the driveway from a room I could not see into. It was a warm glow, I felt tricked. It was a trick to get me in there... to lock me away.

I looked around at the surrounding buildings: The high-rise flats, the council houses. I imagined the used needles and the litter flooding out onto the streets and felt sickened. I was going to be living here, in this dump. That's what this place was. A dump. People get dumped here. People who are no longer welcome in society. Dumped.

A pool of light flooded down the concrete, moss-growing steps as a formidable looking woman stepped out into the darkness, illuminated by the light she stood on the cracked porch looking down at us.

We stepped closer and I looked up at her fearfully, she was the type of woman who gained respect without even saying anything. It was obvious she was not easily intimidated, she remained steely in her countenance as we moved ever closer.

Zoey turned to me again.
"Are you sure there is nothing you want to ask me?" I watched the light dance across her pale face as the door opened wider, desperate for us to enter.
I said nothing in return to Zoey's question and focused on the silhouette in the doorway.
"Ah. Zoey" The woman stepped down the front steps, holding out her arms expectantly. Zoey greeted her in a hug and quickly lit another cigarette as she pulled away.

"It's so good to see you again. The children will be pleased!" Zoey inhaled deeply as the grey smoke swirled around her figure.

"They are awake are they?" Zoey asked, giving me a concerned look.

"Oh, no. I just assumed you would be staying to see them. You know how they love your visits." Zoey's eyes widened in revelation.

"Of course, but I am afraid I am just dropping off tonight." She said acknowledging me. "I have other important work to be getting on with." She stepped toward the car, as the breeze blew against me casting the spattering of new fallen rain to hit me in the face. "Zoey you should get inside, you don't want to get wet." Zoey gave me a look that said goodbye as I headed inside and tried to find my room. Alone.

I found it soon enough, it was the only one without a name tag hanging off of the rusting doorhandles. The walls were bare and the floors were cold. I wondered if I was to live like this for the whole time I stayed here.

I walked over to the rain dashed window and looked outside watching the ripples in the newly formed puddles. Zoey was heading back to her car, while the old woman stepped in towards the house. I watched the triangle of light become darkness as the front door was closed.

I watched Zoey pull out of the driveway and cried out. I was now left here. I was in prison again, I couldn't ever escape from here. Lonely. Deprived. Cold. Dead to the rest of the world but me.

The woman entered my room. She had deep lines etched across her face, I could only imagine it was from the stress of her job. I feared her in that moment, I feared people.

"Ellen. This is your room, you are allowed to decorate it however you like... it was left empty except for the bed, so you could make this feel like home. Hopefully it won't be your home for too long. Sometimes a child is adopted, you could get a new family." I didn't want a new family. I looked around the room silently. I wasn't going to break my silent vigil to speak to this woman.

"You shall call me Mrs. Foster." She let out a loud laugh as if she had just told a joke. "Which I think is rather funny as I run a foster home." She boomed with laughter and clutched at her sides. I watched her my eyebrows raised. "Well." She blustered as she quickly straightened herself up. "Breakfast will be at half past seven in the morning. Miss it and you miss breakfast: simple as that." I didn't think I would be hungry anyway. I didn't like this woman and was relieved when she left the room.

But although she left, I still saw her face. It would be a memory along with many others that wouldn't leave me. She frightened me and her face kept entering my dreams as she said: "simple as that."

I wept lightly as I slept that night. I was cold in the draughty room, I felt scared and more alone than I ever have my entire life. As I dreamed of the morning to come and the children that would, no doubt, be surprised at my arrival, I decided to make a difference, since I was fed up of being 'Plain Jane' I was going to make myself different.

I woke up, considerably early the next morning, rubbing the sleep from my unwilling eyes. I Squinted as the light sent saring pains right to the back of them. I heard voices. Excited childish voices and giggles. I looked around the room blearily and sat up straight, trying to scramble out of bed.

There in front of me were two big dreamy, chocolatey brown eyes. I indulged in them a while before I saw teeth, brilliant white teeth as the boys face was lit up by a wide smile. Heat doused me, even though my bare feet were touching the cold wooden floor, and I felt my cheeks flush with embarrassment as I sat there in my skimpy pyjama's.

"Hi." The boy had started to speak. You might think that this was Klint, being that I told you how perfect he was but this wasn't Klint. This was: "I'm Liam." Yes this was Liam, I thought I loved him. You know the silly little crushes a girl gets. Well that was until Klint came along, with other problems too. Anyway more on that later.

"It's so good to have a new girl here! It's been ages since anyone has been brought here, isn't it Karen?" Great. Way to make me feel even less wanted, when lots of other children have parents to love them, hold them, read them a story before they fall to sleep; heads filled with innocent dreams. Everything changes with age though, dreams become less innocent. As do our thoughts, feelings and actions.

"This is Karen." Liam said gesturing to a small, cute little girl. She had a rather boyish look about her, and looked quite athletic. I gave her a small smile, still refusing to speak, as Liam carried on.

"This is Tommy." Tommy, I could tell was the cute one. The smart one. The shy one. He was my best friend in that home, the others were all Ok. But Tommy was the only one who ever understood me. And judging by what I am telling you. Yes I did open up and talk eventually.

"And this..." He was cut off as a girl with thick, blonde hair spun around, away from the mirror with a dazzling smile.

"I am Ashley. So how did you come to be here? My parents were killed in a car crash, ruddy idiots! Drink driving I tell you! Still, I survived. So it can't be all bad can it?" She let out a loud giggle. I had met girls like her before. I didn't like them. They didn't like me. I said nothing.

"What? Don't you speak? Or are you just being extremely rude?" I still said nothing. "What are you? A mute?" I shook my head, but didn't utter a word. I watched a fly buzz mindlessly around her head, stopping a short while later to land on a grubby piece of wall. My gaze then dropped to the chipped and breezy floorboards, as I felt her watch me an annoyed expression flickering across her face.

"Why don't you speak then?" I didn't answer. "So you are being rude! Well that's Ok. I won't ever let you borrow my things, and judging by the way you look. You're going to need them!" I looked into her piercing eyes and saw a fury there. I had seen anger before, but not like this. I used to think all anger and rage looked the same. Now I know that it is not. Anger and hatred are built upon insecurities, and this is what sparks our emotions... this is what makes us weak. Vulnerable.

"That's enough you lot." A woman in her late twenties entered, she had a distinguished, likeable face. Dark hair that complimented her pink skin and brown eyes. She smiled unfalteringly as she sent the children, presumably, back down to the breakfast area.

"Welcome, to Foster's foster home. We can start on your room today if you'd like. Sorry about the children." She added. "They were just excited about meeting someone new." I didn't speak. Even to someone with whom I would show a lot of respect for, a person who could easily have become a friend and didn't. "Perhaps you should join us for breakfast, you must be hungry, exhausted after your... " she looked awkward and sympathetic at the same time. "ordeal."

I moved apprehensively toward the mirror, that Ashley had just finished staring at her own perfect complexion in, afraid of how I might look after the few days in which I didn't care about my appearance. But now was different, contending with Ashley was going to be difficult. I pulled my hair into a scruffy ponytail and double checked my face for any blemishes.

"Come on Ellen, time to have some breakfast. I know my mother can seem strict but she really isn't all bad... she just cares too much about all of the children here." Why were all of these people intent on getting me to speak? I wasn't going to speak again. Not ever.

I sat down at the table and was about to shove a spoonful of cereal into my mouth when I noticed Ashley staring at me.

"Why don't you speak? I thought you were average looking at first, now I see that you are even less than that. Look how beautiful I am, I am going to marry a rich man and live happily ever after." I smiled, not from humour or agreement, I just wanted to get out of the situation as lightly as possible.

"You aren't really that pretty Ashley. Besides beauty isn't everything. It can't get you a good job, and it certainly can't hide the fact that something ugly could be lurking underneath the beauty." Silence. I sort of agreed with Tommy. Everything he had just said reminded me of my mother. She was a pretty rose, but she certainly had a few thorns.

Ashley looked crestfallen.

"What?" she looked confused her face screwed up in concentration. "Oh." she exclaimed wide-eyed. "You're joking aren't you?" She laughed aloud. "I thought you were serious!" She laughed again, but noticing that no-one around her was laughing, ceased instantly. "You were serious?"

"Ashley isn't the brightest of people, are you Ash?" Karen looked up at me.

"Don't call me that!" "Ash is pretty dumb, look at her. She has to spend five minuted just working out how to understand a joke! Dumb, dumb, dumb." I looked down at the roughly scrubbed table before looking up at Ashley.

"Hey. Ease up Karen." Oh, great. Liam was backing up Ashley. And I had to stifle a little giggle as Karen poked her tongue out at him. "Sure Ashley isn't the smartest, but she'll do fine. If you don't watch it Karen, your brains will just float away as you dream."
"Liam! Don't say things like that, or we'll never get her to sleep!" Mrs. Foster entered and scolded Laim who turned to me quickly and gave me a wink before chowing down on his cereal.

"Well, whatever. I know how to make you beautiful Karen... then you wouldn't have to worry about your brains flying away. But you never let me." Ashley hung her head upset.

"That's because you look like someone just slapped paint all over you! I don't want to look like that!" I almost giggled, but stopped when I saw the look on Ashley's face.

Yes I was trapped there, trapped in myself to begin with. I know it doesn't feel too much like a prison now, but when I first met Klint, I was trapped there beyond all logical reason. The childrens banter could only keep me distracted for so long... Trapped.

Klint is taking me out to dinner, so I have stopped writing for now. I need to get ready. I honestly don't want to go but my stomach is growling and my hand is cramping. Besides, Klint is good company... just not my kind of company.

Do you ever feel a certain closeness to somebody? A closeness that you want to feel and share forever and ever? Me and Klint have that. It's a loving closeness, yes. But not a romantic one. I think he knows it. I know I know it. Unfortunately our closeness won't allow us to be perfectly honest with each other.

Honesty. It comes with trust and love. Without honesty there is no trust, without trust there is no love. This marriage is doomed to failure.

How long can I keep it going do you think? A sadness. A hole that grows inside me everyday. Can I fill it with Klint, or do I need a new man? I have a way out. An easy way out. But is it too easy?