Florence kept her word and left me alone mostly Eventually turning up with a gun. ‘Time you learnt to shoot,’ standing in the doorway her gaze on me.
‘Okay,’ Our relationship slowly developed spending so much time together it was bound too. She isn’t like Rita she is direct and argumentative I have yet to find her soft side.
I struggled after Robert. All the grief I felt at the loss of Rita flooding back. Florence left me for a bit but now she is on my case again. I don’t see Marina so much after our drunken afternoon I think Naomi is doing that on purpose. Hoping I will bond with Florence instead. Fat chance of that Florence doesn’t even like me and I am not all that keen on her.
‘Not like that,’ she barks, and I flinch hearing her huff behind me she kicks my legs apart, so I soften my knees. Her hands wrap around mine. I pull the trigger the gun goes off and I crumple to the ground with a whimper. Memories crowding in.
‘Oh, for goodness sake what is the point,’ she stomps off and I drag myself up and stumble into the caravan and my bed. I hear Naomi shouting at Florence.
‘He isn’t ready for that do you want to break him mentally,’ Naomi berates Florence.
‘He is broken this is never going to work,’
‘It has to work you just need to change tack,’
‘We are running out of time if we want to get the other one back,’ Florence huffs.
‘I don’t care Florence you can’t do this to him,’ Naomi argues back. ‘They aren’t meant for this. Those men have gone, are extinct,’
‘Oh, really how do you explain Thomas?’
‘He is a natural. Aaron is engineered you know that,’
‘I don’t care, I need him strong now. Rita is gone I have to step up and he will step up with me or I will kill him myself,’ I hear the door slam. A silence falls and I am frightened I realise, of her.
‘Aaron, get out here now,’ she is banging on my locked door.
‘No go away I don’t want to see you,’
‘Oh, grow up you ridiculous idiot. What would Rita say,’
‘Who the hell knows she is dead, you heartless cow,’ I shout back. Having thrown myself on the bed my pillow over my head blocking out her noise.
Close combat today and I am rubbish at it as she pins me to the ground yet again.
‘I have had enough,’ I whimper from my position on the ground.
‘No get up and go again,’
‘No, I have had enough,’ I scramble to my feet and glare at her.
‘I say when we are finished,’ she scowls at me.
‘Yeah, well you are delusional then,’ I stomp away.
‘Better than being pathetic,’ she shouts at my retreating back.
‘Aaron open this door…now,’ she bangs on the door as I bury my face in my pillows.
‘No go away,’ I shout.
I stayed in my room for two days. Only sneaking out when she had gone. Waking to a voice I turn to find her feeding baby.
‘Here,’ she passes me a mug of tea and then carries on fussing over baby. I feel a new line of attack is about to take place. One that is going to use my baby son against me.
‘What do you want,’ I ask suspicion evident by my tone.
‘Nothing,’ she says loftily. Climbing to her feet she leaves the room. I glance at baby who gurgles back waving his arms in the air chuckling at his fingers.
The following night I wake to her in my room. In her arms baby sucks his bottle. She is in her night dress. I ignore her and turn over going back to sleep too tired to fight. Startling when I feel her climb into bed with me. With a sigh I close my eyes.
This went on for a couple of days. She left me alone, no more combat training, no guns. Part of me was so relieved it was ridiculous but another part of me knew it was a trap.
Florence sort of moved in with me. I felt it was sort of by stealth rather than permission, but I had to admire her persistence. She even helped with baby, which was good as I got more sleep for a while.
‘What are you doing in my bed,’ I growl at her.
‘Naomi says you need more rest, so it makes sense for me to sleep here and look after baby,’ she smiles at me.
‘No…I…oh for goodness sake. Turn the light of,’ I growl annoyed that I can’t come up with a counter argument. Which isn’t normal as I have argued with pretty much everything, she has suggested so far. Secretly I like arguing with her. Getting enjoyment from the way she tests me constantly. Yeah weird but fun, I still miss Rita so much, but it is getting easier.
‘Aaron why did you run to Marina you can talk to me,’ turning over I lay on my back.
‘No, I couldn’t you are Rita’s sister,’ I sigh. ‘Marina she is like Rita was…she has no expectations of me. You want me to be someone I am not. You look at me with disappointment as you try to see why your sister loved me,’
‘Its alright. I don’t mind I know I am not what you want,’
‘Friends would be better,’ her hand moves to mine I don’t pull away.