Angel, I love you baby, you know that don’t you- don’t you?” Did he really love me? Nobody had ever said that to me before.  Soft words were diamonds here in this nowhere suburb that clung leech like to the soulless, grey and graffiti filled urban sprawl of a city.  Jake was the first person on the planet to even notice me. It was the start of Year Nine and I had grown over the holidays, meaning that my skirt was a tad too short --maybe more than a tad to be honest. I ambled through the school gates past the Year Elevens. One of them, Jake, looked at me slowly, achingly slowly.

 I knew at that moment that I was alive, before then I had merely existed. Afterward I was Jake’s accessory like a hat or a belt, where ever he was- I moved in orbit. He knew I existed. He was my existence.

I did not see my friends anymore, they just didn’t get it and their jealousy was more than I could handle. Actually friends barely even crossed my mind . I didn’t want to listen to bubblegum pop or swoon over a poster on a bedroom wall, so why did I need girls anyway?

 My parents spoke but their words washed over me like wavelets of white noise. I just kept counting down the minutes before I could see Jake again. I would trace every centimetre of his face in my mind. My conversations and moments with him were secret and private.  In public he barely looked at me.  I was nothing more than a puppy dog that trailed behind him. In private it was different and I lived for those brief minutes of undivided attention.

 Last night everything changed, we went to a party--if that is what you would call some damp chips and carton of warm fruity wine in the backyard of Mick’s house.  Jake started letting off some fire crackers with the lads. The girls and I hung around on the edges, like mindless zombies clapping our hands at the never ending cleverness of our boys.

Then Jake went too far,  he grabbed Mick’s dog and tried to tie the crackers to his tail. Mick said nothing. He simply walked up to Jake and punched him solidly in the jaw. Jake’s skin split and blood gushed forth. Jake got up. He grabbed the sides of Mick’s head.  Jake smashed his forehead into Mick’s cranium. We all heard it. It was the sound that heralded that nothing would ever be the same again.

 The sound of bone shattering stabbed the night air. A bone from the bridge of Mick’s nose had driven straight into his brain. Mick was instantly and irrevocably dead. Jake was not his mate but his murderer.

The party hushed and no one heard anything except for Greenday bashing out ’American Idiot” through the sound system. Tracy, Mick’s chick, then gathered together what little sense she ever had,  screamed and wailed in horror. All eyes were on the still form of Mick lying prostrate in an ungainly posture. His shocked eyes frozen lifelessly stared at Jake. 

Jake backed away from Mick’s faded stare then turned and sprinted away, fleeing from a monster, the beast within. The rest of the night was a blur, the desperation of Mick’s mother clawing at her son’s body willing him to live but, as in life,  Mick did not listen to her.

 The police asked questions with such politeness that it was the like a slap in the face to all. How could they be so mater of fact? Didn’t they know that a boy’s life was gone, did they know that the planet had shifted, how could they be so disconnected? Eventually I crawled home and sunk underneath my Cinderella bedspread. 

 The morning came and the sun rose, rinsing the grey world with scarlet bloodied hues.   Dan, my brother, was whinging  because there were only crusts left in the bread box.  Dad banged on the door to tell Sally to hurry up or he would pee all over the floor. Amongst the normality of the morning chaos stood Jake in our kitchen with red eyes and a pale face.He said nothing, he simply pushed the broken screen door and walked outside. I ,pajama clad, went out behind him.

  Jake announced to me “I am going, don’t know where and I don’t care.”  I nodded lifelessly. I felt as if I was released and then a wave of shock hit me as I realised that  I was relieved. “What about Mick?” I asked . Jake looked up at the sky and I knew he was trying not to cry.

 “Mick’s dead and I might end up that way too if I stay here- you get me?” I did get it.

Jake would never find forgiveness here in this suburban hell, he killed someone- not for crime or passion but because he was an idiot.  In a place where people make stupid choices constantly and consistently they could never forgive Jake. He would remind them of what could have happened to them, had the gods of chance not been on their side. The locals would hate Jake for that. They would make him pay- they had to.

 I looked into his face that was sweeter than his soul could ever hope to replicate and told him the truth “Jake I could have left with you but I can’t run away with you because it is not who I am.”  Then he told me that he loved me and in that second I melted as I stared in to his sincere eyes, but I knew that he was weak and that he always would be.

 Jake gave me a life, he took Mick’s life away and he surrendered his future to do it, but I don’t think he ever really loved me.

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All Stories on this blog are of course fiction and characters and events bear no relation to either myself or others living or dead

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    Alexis Sims


    November 2011


    Short Story

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