Lynn did not talk to blaine about leon (she could keep her options open couldn't she?) and they continued talking online.
Lynn was surprised that blaine went to a college not too far from her own, she deliberated over whether or not she should meet him. Blaine had appeared rather like a loner at their secondary and lynn wanted to get to know him. But as she was walking down into the local college city centre, she saw blaine surrounded by a group of friends. The guys were rugged and wore low trousers and lynn had to re-consider her decision. She walked past him pretending like she was in a rush.
Lynn cursed herself for her prejudices, but where did she fit in in blaine's life?
Plus, she really wanted to reconcile with anne so hanging out with someone she hated, (she still wondered why), was not the right way to go about it. Plus she still wanted to fly to America to surprise leon and get a proper answer out of him.
After three weeks ignoring him on skype, lynn had decided to come clean with leon and to reveal to him what she had seen on myspace.
"You went through my profile! Lynn, i thought i could trust you"
"I had a right to since you keep professing that you like me. I saw you dancing with other girls. Don't i have the right to know about this?!" asked lynn distraught. They were talking face-to-face on skype.
"Lynn those girls are just very close friends, childhood friends. Do you want me to ditch them now? Because i've grown some dick hair and i'am 18 now!" snapped leon
Lynn considered this and felt suddenly remorseful for cutting him off because of something so petty, it was the same with anne; she had judged a supposed friend without knowing the entire situation. She immediately told leon about anne and what had happened.
"Well, i guess America is out of the question then?"
"I'am still getting a job, as soon as i turn 17, i'll join the reserves and work my way up for you!" cried lynn "Please, just be patient"
Leon, she saw him nod in understanding "I will be babe" and he kissed the screen again. Lynn copied him laughing a little.
"Just remember our promise. I have planned a lovely stay for you and we'll catch up, go out, make mad love because you'll be 17, you will be legal" gushed leon "I will save up to book us into a lovely hotel with all the sweet facilities. I love you so much lynn"
Lynn could not believe her luck and something in the back of her mind told her this was too good to be true.
Evidence again appeared to hinder her feelings towards leon because he had put up another picture of him kissing his supposed girl mate, 3 weeks later.
Lynn was torn. Should she be jealous? Or was she being paranoid?
A friend at sixth form made up her mind for her: "So, he expects you to stay a virgin forever? Guys can't hold out 3 years for sex lynn"
"So what are you saying?" asked lynn
"Get some experience, so that you can at least seduce him! After he gets you the interest will go down unless you can keep up with him. I've seen his type before; they play until they find the biggest catch"
"You sound like somebody i used to know" laughed lynn thinking longingly about anne
"Hey, why would i steer you wrong at the end of the day? I'm your friend" her new friend nudged her affectionately
"But what if leon gets angry? I made him a promise after all" asked lynn
"Just say the guys are friends? You are allowed to have guys as friends aren't you?. Just do what makes you happy but, of course, use your head. Do not flaunt what you're doing in his face. He knows that you don't like seeing him dancing with women. He is not getting it. Get back at him. Be in control"
The girl was right, lynn knew that she was indeed that big catch, she was beautiful; mind, body and soul, she had the power to look elsewhere too. Her new friend became her new anne and began scouting for potential suitors for her in the sixth form they attended, as well as the nearby colleges (she knew a lot of people just like anne). Lynn felt a weird sense of empowerment and soon anne was out of her head as she went back into her studies and set up her own speed dating arrangement for herself (while trying to be discreet about it whenever she talked to leon). Everybody had needs she thought to herself.
Blaine, meanwhile, had disappeared from the radar and lynn was still interested in him, (she admitted to herself that she wanted him to boost her sensitive ego), blaine was attractive after all, different and a challenge, (she loved challenges). So it came as a complete shock when she saw blaine one day in town with another woman close by. Lynn tried not to be jealous because the other girl had nothing on lynn, she was skinny, no body, shoulder length black hair, very urban/emo and they were obviously opposites. But she kept thinking about blaine kissing her and it made her feel uncomfortable.
Another thing that was hitting lynn hard was the news that she was hearing about anne. She would come across anne's profile on myspace and sometimes her pictures at parties would become distorted and unfamiliar. Pictures of anne drinking until she was passed out, weird statuses made lynn even more guilty that she was not by anne's side. She tried to contact the girl but she would not pick up her phone. Lynn was becoming so anxious about it that she could not sleep as much, at night. She would increase her late night gym workouts to take her mind off of anne and what was probably happening to her.
Blaine was back in her life again and they would talk in the evenings like before. Lynn was interested with what he was studying and was impressed that he was undertaking a management course (high level). But lynn's life had become a bit more adventurous. She had developed a crush on a teenage boy in blaine's college who played on the colleges' basketball team. The guy was known by one of lynn's girlfriends and he seemed like a nice guy; energetic, ambitious but most importantly funny. He had that rugged look that lynn fancied in guys so, in her opinion, he was a good catch. He always made lynn laugh, they interacted online for a good while. Lynn was indeed weary of athletic guys knowing they had the reputation for wondering but lynn remembered what anne said, (anne's words were still a mantra in her dating philosophy), this guy, James, was only for her to make leon jealous and probably just to take her out sometimes and she needed that so much. Her home felt like a prison, her concerns about anne increased her sudden anxiety and she needed the help. So she asked for it from james. Her sister, janae, however did not take to james at all. She complained that he had weird eyes and that he had this over obnoxious air. Her aunt, uncle and mother had no qualms about her dating because they wanted her to be happy.
James was very active; he suggested all the time that they go out to restaurants, cinemas and parties. James organized good parties and for once lynn was happy that she could relate more to james than to anne's choice of parties. James had a friend who was a DJ and the music would cover a wider range of genres. The food was good, the banter livened up the party at random times and lynn always enjoyed herself. James' friends got on with lynn's friends and lynn was tempted to view james as a serious boyfriend and to forget about leon.
But lynn had to consider her friend's opinions and her family (janae's uneasiness about james affected her) and soon lynn was able to pinpoint certain weaknesses in james' behaviour. He drank a lot, become uproarious, he was obsessed with basketball to the point of becoming a hooligan and whenever they were alone they could not talk about other stuff besides that interest. Plus he was a very jealous person. Lynn only had to look or talk about another guy and he would bark "Are you banging him or something?" of course jealousy was natural, james was very young, but lynn would see his face go bright red and immediately she saw that she could not go on.
Suddenly the perfect relationship turned sour. James was convinced that lynn had another guy, somewhere, in her life. Lynn was surprised, (for a basketball player who was an average student), james was smart and he had predicted right. James demanded that lynn give him certain things, her love, affection and attention (like she hadn't already), and last of all, her myspace login details.
Lynn was incredulous and angry that she had not clicked onto james earlier, but she had nothing to hide. She had given james most of her attention and although she was still talking to leon (an ex) they had not been physically intimate. She had to take a step back, mentally, thinking if she had revealed anything to james to suggest that she was seeing anyone else. Suddenly she came up with an idea. She would give james what he wanted (some truths) she would tell him about blaine, but not leon. One instead of two was better than two.
But before lynn could sort something out that would not upset james tremendously, blaine helped her out a little bit. Blaine had been love-struck by lynn's personality. Sure, they had not officially met except at certain times in school but blaine was mesmerized. He thought back to school and he was so sure that lynn's eyes connecting with his across the room had been a signal of attraction. Lynn was a good listener and they had a little bit in common. All through that summer before college blaine had been seeing the world through fog. He had been lost in a way because firstly, he had been anxious about the coming year and the future. He had been very depressed until he had seen lynn again. The fog came back again because he knew that the first love of his life would probably go again but there she was, back on his messenger service communicating. She had never forgotten him!
He had immediately decided that before Christmas he was going to tell her how he felt. He did not communicate with his best friend who was still around from secondary but had decided that he needed to be a man and tell the truth, to himself and her, before they communicated any further.
So like a man with slight social anxiety he decided to send her a message online. He held a hand to his mouth hoping and praying that she wouldn't immediately block him, un-friend him, and go silent on him. Instead when lynn saw the message she was happy and irritated at the same time. Happy because now she knew that she could come up with a reason to stop talking to blaine and irritated because blaine she thought, was not being serious.
But she just replied back "Really?" and heard the familiar prose most guys gave her about her being beautiful and understanding. Lynn on one hand felt elated in her spirit but again and again something was holding her back. She put it down to James and leon holding her back and so she decided that now was the time to silence James' fears.
Plus didn't blaine have a girlfriend already?
So lynn showed james blaine's profile. She explained that they were only internet friends, she hardly knew him, only from school and that he had been a loner and she was just being friendly. James wanted her to tell blaine that she was not single. Lynn obliged and let james into a conversation. Unfortunately lynn had wanted to prepare blaine in some way for this shocking revelation but it was too late and james, (who was at home and prepared), would not settle for less.
Blaine was shocked that he had been dragged into a situation where he was in a three way conversation with a total stranger. Without being asked whether or not it was alright. The sudden appearance of a rugged, teenage guy, like himself over the internet shocked him.
"What's going on?!" cried blaine
"Hey blaine, remember when i told you about james? Here he is, we are very close" stated lynn "James just wants to say hi"
"Hey" replied james
Blaine did not know what to say, he was getting vibes that the guy at the other end of the computer was preparing for something (for him blaine) to say something, blaine awkwardly just asked a random question "So are you the top or the bottom bruv?"
"WHAT THE LIVING HELL DID HE MEAN BY THAT?! I HATE THIS BLOODY JERK! HE NEEDS TO SOD OFF BECAUSE THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL THAT YOU LIKE HIM!" screamed james down lynn's phone a few hours later.
Lynn (who was just painting her fingernails on her bed) just rolled her eyes. Yes, this definitely would never work. Who the hell did james think he was? Deciding who lynn talked to or didn't?
But lynn was laughing at blaine's cheek. Blaine on the other end was cursing himself for asking that question. Where did that come from? But he had been nervous, he was always nervous meeting new people and he felt lynn had taken that for advantage in some way. But he forgave her; maybe nothing serious had come from it.
As lynn was about to go to sleep one night, her mobile phone began ringing again. Confused, she looked at the message I.D. She could not believe it, it was anne "Anne?" she texted into her phone. A long wait and a reply message came back.
"Lynn, can i stay at yours tonight? Gran has threatened to send me back home to my mum's and i don't want to go"
"Of course" lynn typed back furiously. She was crying through laughter. Anne had returned to her, she was not mad at her, she was also wondering what had happened at home. Lynn had to wait up for a good hour and then finally the doorbell rang. Lynn had informed her aunt and uncle why anne would be coming around so she was preparing her bedroom adding more pillows for anne to sleep on. Lynn heard the familiar voice of anne and her relatives talking before anne's familiar footsteps came up the stairs. There she was looking thinner, her hair was dishevelled and she looked very grave.
"ANNE!" yelled lynn and wrapped her arms around her
"OW! Lynn careful, i have drunken girl injuries" wheezed anne. She sounded as if she had a sore throat
"We need to catch up anne. Where have you been? What's wrong" asked lynn allowing her friend to sit on her bed.
"Well. Mum and dad are not helping me with my studies abroad after all. The fees are too high they say" began anne
"But you looked up at least five different colleges"
"I know but they keep making excuses. So now i have to stay in this God forsaken country! I love my home i like it. But i mean i had so much more opportunity and skills to learn from going abroad to study. So now me and gran are at loggerheads because i've been staying out at parties and coming home late being drunk" explained anne
"Anne. I've missed you. I'm sorry about what i said about adam" began lynn
Anne shook her head slowly as if moving it too much hurt every muscle in that part of her body "Its fine lynn. I was being a bitch not listening to your opinion anyway. Just tell me about college and how you're getting on"
Just then lynn's bedroom door opened and in walked janae "Lynn have you seen my makeup BAAA-ANNE!" and gleefully janae darted up to anne and hugged her.
"FOR CHRIST SAKE!" roared anne
"Janae, she has drunken injuries"
Janae stopped hugging anne "Sorry. Lynn i need to talk to you after you finish" and with that she left the two girls alone.
Anne looked at lynn and gave a emotionless smile from ear to ear "Carry on"
"Well college is great. I'm studying psychology there and i've met some wonderful people. You need to meet them when you have time" began lynn
"Psychology, why are you studying that?" asked anne
"I want to become a counsellor"
"Well babe, if you think a day spent listening to crazy people is fun. You go ahead. I want to be surrounded by happy sane people however; 24/7" laughed anne as she began to take off her shoes.
"I've stopped talking to leon for a while because there was a random girl he was hugging in a picture on myspace. But now i'm talking to him again"
"WHA-WHY?!" asked anne gobsmacked.
"He said that i'm overreacting. BUT he wants me to keep my virginity and it's not happening anne"
"I'm glad you are catching on" smiled anne.
They both smiled at each other and suddenly, just like that, their friendship had resumed. Anne had promised to check out james and they discussed james' jealousy as well. Anne was concerned for lynn and lynn was delighted at her display of compassion, so she felt that it was the perfect time to ask anne something.
"Anne. I know this is a little sudden because of what has happened with America falling through. But you are going to Canada to visit your family can i come with you to visit leon?"
"Of course i was waiting for you to ask actually. The quicker you get to talk to leon, you two can settle your feelings, and then it will be less worrying from you"
Lynn was absolutely thrilled. Of course anne had only agreed because lynn had given her a place to stay that night.
"So what are your plans now anne? You can join the reserves with me you know"
"No. Hell. I've gotten myself a job. Remember when i told you i was working there, until i had saved up enough money. They decided to extend my contract and offer me permanent work. I hate the work involved but its adding to my future after all. The other workers are horrible to me though, giving me all the bad shifts because i'm a newbie"
"Anne you must stick at it though, think about what you can do with the money"
"Okay enough about me. Tomorrow, i have to show you something" anne changed the subject abruptly.
"What?" asked lynn confused.
They took a long bus journey to where anne lived. But lynn was expecting anne to get off the bus, instead they took the bus past where anne usually got off.
"Anne-" began lynn
"Shh! There he is" whispered anne
They saw a Caucasian guy walk onto the bus. He was about their age, seemed normal enough with short black hair, was clean shaven and dressed decently, except for the obvious sign of a rugged beard around his face. The bus doors closed and the bus began to move. Suddenly lynn had noticed that the newcomer onto the bus had not moved.
Suddenly in a loud voice the man cried "Qualifications don't get you anywhere! I failed my university entrance exam three times. I studied hard but no, nothing happened!"
Lynn looked at anne anxiously but anne was laughing into her hands, her face was turning bright red "Anne what is this?"
"You said that you wanted to help mental people. Don't laugh" anne whispered in between giggles. They saw the man walk up the stairs "Wait for it" and they both heard him repeat the same words upstairs. There was hardly a sound from above.
"Anne you're terrible" said lynn aghast
"Give him 10 minutes and he'll be back downstairs saying the exact same thing" anne replied laughing silently while trying to stop a stitch developing in her side.