I feel as though I am swimming, swimming in a pool of darkness. Though maybe not a pool. The darkness isn’t like water. Water slips through the fingers easily, this is something more tangible. It’s like I’m in a bubble, a bubble full of a jelly-like whatever, something that I can only really describe as a blackness that I sit suspended in, grasping out for a motion, a feeling... a sound; my alarm clock, loud and blaring.
I open my eyes and scan my bedroom, watching as the silhouette of shapes are dimly lit by the blue haze of a new morning. Lazily, I reach over to my beside cabinet, shutting off the alarm, making everything once again quiet, peaceful.
I shuffle in bed, turning over at once after feeling the slight jab of something in the side of my torso; an elbow, Rolan’s elbow. He must have gotten up off the floor and scraped into my bed.
He looks peaceful, eyelids closed lightly, mouth parted slightly as small snores leave his mouth. He has removed his shirt, I can see it pooled in the corner of the floor and now his bare torso is exposed, the ridges of his toned abs displayed clearly. I look closer at his skin, finding grooves and dips in his flesh. Scars, the skin on those parts slightly lighter than the rest of his body. I scoot closer to his sleeping frame, hand tracing the anomalies on his skin slightly. In his sleep his hand finds mine, grasping it tightly. I stop my exploring, realising that I am causing him discomfort. I kiss his stomach repeatedly until his hand loosens and I am able to free my own.
I reach for my phone under my pillow. The light from the screen is blindingly bright, so much so that my eyes begin to water from its intensity.
“Hey, Mae.” Rolan’s voice is groggy and scratchy from sleep, “You ok?” He asks, turning towards me , kissing the tear on my cheek away.
“Oh, yeah,” I reply, laughing lightly, “The screen’s just really bright.”
He hums a, ‘mmh,’ in response before placing his lips upon mine, his hand removing the phone from my palm. I whine in protest, trying to take the phone back but he lifts his hand up far above my reach. We pull away shortly afterwards, phone forgotten. Rolan then lifts me slightly so that my leg is spread over his torso and the rest of my body leans on his.
“I have to leave soon, don’t I?” He says, head moving to kiss my forehead.”
“Yes but not right this second. We can lie down together for a few minutes.” I reply, “My mum’s not normally up for at least another hour.”
“Good,” Rolan says, relaxing back into the bed, eyes shutting. I kiss his cheek and mimicking his actions, snuggle into his frame and close my eyes.
“We’re going on a date today.” He comments. I open my eyes to see the features of his face lit up with giddy excitement.
“We are.” I reply, “And what sort of clothes should I be wearing for this date.”
“Something smart but casual.” He replies.
“Hmm, smart but casual is a bit vague. Maybe if I knew the location of the date then I’ll be able better tailor my outfit to suit.” I say
Rolan shakes his head with a mischievous smile, ” Sorry, but that’s a secret.”
I rest my head back on his chest, closing my eyes once again. Hands running up and down his chest, enjoying the warmth that emanates from his body. I ignore the scars on his body. If he’d like to tell me about them then he will.
“What’s wrong?” Rolan asks. I lift my head, looking at him confused. “You’ve suddenly gone all quiet.” He states. My eyes widen a little, surprised at how perceptive he is.
“I don’t know how I’m going to tell my mum about our date tonight.” I take a breath, “She doesn’t...really like you or your family. If she found out we were even talking she’d make sure I never spoke to you again.”
“Why does she hate me?” Rolan asks. A perfectly reasonable question.
“Well... she doesn’t like the fact that you’re always seen with a new girl every week. Even though you didn’t break any of their hearts, you’re still a fuckboy and well she doesn’t want me with someone like that and also our... dad’s never really got on well.”
Rolan’s brows furrow, “How so?”
“I don’t know, I was always left out of the loop.”
“Who’s your father?” Rolan asks. The dreaded question. I swallow, breathe deep then swallow again before answering, “Peter, Peter Coles.” The words are muttered shamefully.
If Rolan remembers who my dad is, who I am, he doesn’t show it. He just turns to check the time on his phone before saying, “I think it’s time for me to go.” He says, “It’s been half an hour, your mum might wake up soon.”
“I don’t want you to go.” I say.
“I don’t want to go either.” He leans down, kissing me tenderly, “I can’t wait until I’m waking up to you, and this beautiful face and this beautiful body everyday.” He says.
“Maybe, one day.” I reply and Rolan smiles.
“Look, whatever you want to tell your mum, I’ll go along with but it’s better if you tell her the truth even if you don’t do it right now.”
I nod, ” I know, I will...at some point.”
“It’s time for me to go.” Rolan says, opening his arms wide and I get up from my bed so that I can accept his hug. Rolan kisses the top of my head before pulling away. “See you later.” He says.
“See you later.” I reply.
Rolan turns around, flicking the latch on my window so that he can climb out. I almost scream as I watch him jump out the window before catching myself by placing my hand over my mouth. I run to the window, hands gripping the window pane as I stick my head out only to see Rolan’s figure agilely climb over the fence of my garden. I breathe deep trying to slow my hammering heart.
My plan to re-enter bed is thwarted as my second alarm goes off. I roll my eyes, that’s just typical, isn’t it? I begin to get ready, taking the music books I need for the day and placing them in my bag.
- - - - - - - -
“Hey mum, I’m home!” I call as I open my front door, dropping my things to the floor.
My mum emerges from the kitchen, arms open wide to receive a hug. I walk into her arms, wrapping my own around her. She kisses the top of my forehead, asking, “How were your music classes today?”
“They were good,” I reply, “We’re playing symphony in Orchestra.”
“Which one’s that?” She asks.
“Symphony, that pop song by Zara Larsson.” I say, looking up at her, confusion written all over her features.
“Oh, right.” She nods, her face showing clearly that she still doesn’t know what I’m on about. I laugh, shaking my head.
I pull away and say, “Kaiko and Logan wanted to go out to see a film later. Is it cool if I go?” My heart constricts, pumping guilt into my blood.
My mum smiles, “Sure, back by ten this evening.”
“Kk, cool,” I reply, placing a kiss on her cheeks before beginning to make my way to my bedroom.
“Uh, Mae.” I stop, looking at her confused, “Yeah?”
“Your stuff on the floor, pick them up before you go upstairs.” She tuts, before turning around to go back into the kitchen.
“Oh,” I say, a nervous giggle leaves my lips, “Right, yeah, sorry.“I shout to her as I hurriedly pick my things up, wanting as much time to get ready as possible.
I place my violin down by the side of my bed and take out the various music books in my bag, placing them on the piano stand of my keyboard. I can hear the clock on my wall tick behind me, reminding me of the mere hour I have to get ready before I need to meet Rolan.
I sit down on my bed, looking at myself in the mirror. He said smart, casual. I go to my wardrobe, scanning through all my clothes. My hands skim the edge of a skirt, the material is short, reaching just above mid-thigh and is coloured black all over with white lines forming cubes on the material.
Next, I take out a big, warm burgundy jumper that I will tuck under the skirt. I pair the ensemble with black wedged boots that has silver studs on the side. I turn my phone screen on and look at the time, finding that I have forty five minutes until I needed to leave to meet Rolan.
I sit at my desk, watching the movement of my hands in the mirror of my vanity. I pull my plaits into a high ponytail, letting the blue braids cascade down my neck. I then tip out the contents of my makeup bag, various tubs and jars and tubes falling onto my desk. I pick out the half used tube of concealer and apply a small amount under my eyes, the skin becoming brighter and smoother, ridding me of the bags under my eyes from my recent lack of sleep. No thanks to that stalker who steals photo frames of loved ones.
I add a small bit of highlight to my cheeks, liking the way it accentuates my already high cheekbones and then add my favourite lip gloss. I wink at myself in the mirror before getting up and sashaying to my bed, flopping down onto the duvet.
I can’t help the grin that sits on my lips, the glow that I feel...whatever that means. Is this how I’m meant to feel? What if I’m feeling too much? Is that a thing? I think that’s a thing. I breathe in, calming myself. I just need to chill, don’t I? I just need to take a chill pill and sloooow down. I look at the time, ten minutes I have ten minutes until I need to leave. Maybe I should leave early? Maybe I should leave ‘fashionably’ late?
“Owww!” My phone smacks into the bridge of my nose, the sudden sound of my ringtone startling me. The phone flips off the bed as I clutch my nose.
I reach for my phone, “Hello.” My voice comes out gruff and full of irritation.
“Hey it’s Rolan, you, you ok?”
“Oh, hey. I, yeah, no, I’m fine. Are you good?”
“Yeah, I just wanted to ask if you could meet now, I’m already at the end of your road, got here a little early.” He says, a nervous laugh leaving his lips.
“Oh yeah sure, totally. Be there in a sec.” I reply.
“Cool, see you in a sec.”
“Can’t wait.” The call ends and the phone goes quiet. I take a breath once again to calm myself before making my way downstairs. “I’m off, mum!” I call to her.
“Alright, bye Sweetie. Have fun!” A pang of guilt ricochets through my chest as I leave my house. I’ll tell her at some point.
It’s hard to spot Rolan on the street as I walk down the road. I must look like an idiot walking up and down the road like this. I take out my phone, deciding to test him.
“Hey Mae!“I hear someone shout my name. I look around for the source of the sound, finding nothing but people making their way down the street, minding their own business. “Mae!”
I peer across the road, spotting Rolan’s hooded head a few cars down from where I am.
“Rolan? Why are you acting so...shady? Is something wrong?” I question as I get closer to the car.
“I just don’t want the paparazzi to see me. I don’t want them ruining our date today. This, this needs to be special today, I want you to have a good time.” Rolan licks his lips, eyes darting in sequence from me to the floor as he speaks. I smile as he opens the car door, moving over so that I can sit inside with him.
“Then we won’t let them ruin our date.” I say with a shrug of my shoulders.
This whole situation reminds me of how things used to be with my dad, how the paparazzi used to hassle him and my mum all the time. It was constant. That’s why he kept me out of the limelight most of the time even though I would beg to be on magazine covers with him. I used to love the idea of getting glammed up for red carpet events, cameras lining the safety rope to get a glimpse, a mere photo of me. Now it all just seems like a nuisance I’d rather avoid.
Rolan smiles, “Easier said than done.” He replies before saying, “So Mae, this is Allan.” He gestures to the man driving the Bentley, “Allan, this is Mae.” The man, Allan, nods in the rear view mirror and I smile, saying a small, “Hello,” in return.
“So,” I say, turning to Rolan, “Am I finally able to know where we’re going?”
Rolan turns to me with a smug smile on his face as he pretends to think about his answer. “Hmm, I don’t know?” He says.
“Oh come on, stop playing.” I beg, “I’m a curious gal. Tell me.”
“Alright, alright,” He says, laughing, “It’s not anywhere too special. My dad owns one of the restaurants on Cleever street and so I asked if he could allow us to eat there, no public, no press. Just us.” He says.
“Are you serious?” I ask, my lips parted in disbelief
“Yeah, of course.” He replies, placing a light kiss to my cheek, causing me to grin widely.
“No one’s ever done anything like that for me before.” I say, “I mean, mainly because I’ve never had a rich boyfriend before but that’s not important.”
“Wow,” Rolan says, “You’re gonna play me like that.”
I laugh, “No, but honestly,” I say, “It is very sweet of you. Thank you.” We entwine hands and I place a kiss on the back of his palm, feeling a lot more relaxed than before.
“So how were your music lessons this morning?” Rolan asks.
“Good” I say, ” Although, I did manage to knock my music stand over whilst playing during my orchestra rehearsal .“I say. Rolan laughs lightly and even Allan lets out a small laugh before clearing his throat and concentrating on the road.
“How did that happen?” Rolan asks.
“So there’s this really bad page turn in the music which only gives you like ten seconds to turn which is not enough time and I just kind of went for it with a bit too much vigour. The whole thing came falling down, everyone stopped and stared at me. Levi, my desk partner, couldn’t stop laughing at me and no-one helped. Can you believe that? No one helped me.” Rolan chuckles loudly
“Would you have helped me?” I ask, looking up at him as he keeps laughing.
“Let’s just say, I think Levi and I would be really great friends.” He answers.
“Wow,” I say, “You really gonna play me like that?” He nods, still laughing beneath his breath.
“Anyways, how was your day after you left?” I ask.
“Not quite as eventful as yours.” He says, “I attended some meetings with my dad and then I did a workout.”
“I don’t know how you do it.” I say.
“Do what?“Rolan asks, his confusion evident.
“Workout and still keep walking. It baffles me.”
He laughs, “Do you not work out?”
“No, I mean, I’d love to have the willpower to do it at least once a week but I’m just too lazy.” I reply
“Maybe we can try to work out together sometime.”
“We can try.” I reply. The picture of Rolan squatting whilst holding a weight, above his head, dripping in sweat has me crossing my legs and clenching ever so slightly. I watch as Rolan’s nose crinkles, taking a deep breath.
“You ok?” I ask.
He takes another deep breath, smiling “Yeah. Uh, we’re here by the way.” The car begins to slow, stopping just outside of the restaurant. Allan comes round to my side of the car, opening the door for me.
“Thanks.” I say, smiling at him.
He smiles back politely, “I hope the drive was pleasant, Mae.”
“Uh yeah, if you were an Uber I would defo give you a five star rating.” I say.
He laughs lightly,“You are too generous, Mae. Have a good date.”
“And you. Well not date, evening have a good evening.” I reply. He nods, smiling, before getting back in the car.
Rolan’s arm wraps around my waist, pulling me close to his side, “You ready to go in.”
I nod, “Thank you again,” I say, “For doing this.”
“It’s no problem at all.” He replies. “Come on, we can sit anywhere you want.”
The entryway of the restaurant is grand, a crystal chandelier, illuminates the way. The walls have brightly coloured flowers all along them with red and gold embroidery surrounding them.
“It’s so beautiful in here.”
“I’m glad you like it.” Rolan says as he pulls out a chair for me before taking out his own. He opens up the menu and I do the same, scanning the various dishes available; Beef Wellington, Lobster Bisque, Beef Steak. All of the dishes seeming so fancy and elaborate.
“So,” Rolan says, placing his menu down gently, “You ready to order?”
“I have no idea what I want to choose.” I reply, “Why don’t you choose for me?”
“What if I choose something you don’t like?” He says, re-opening his menu
I shrug, “Well, I know what I want for dessert so I guess I’ll just eat that.”
“What sort of date would I be if I didn’t even get you a proper meal?” Rolan says.
“A great one, I love dessert.” I reply.
Rolan lifts his hand, his wrist twisting delicately in the air as he signals for someone to take our order. A waiter comes from the kitchen, walking to our table.
“Hey Oliver,” Rolan says as the waiter approaches the table.
“Hey Rolan, how are you?”
“Not too bad. You?”
“This is Mae, my date. Mae this is Oliver, a friend of mine.”
I smile, saying a small hello.
Hi, I’m your waiter, Oliver.” He extends his arm out to me and I do the same, shaking his hand, “So, what would you guys like to eat today?” He asks, raising his notebook and pen, ready to take our order.
“We’ll have one Lobster Bisque and one Beef Wellington.” Rolan says.
“And for drink?”
“We’ll have a bottle of Gaja Barbaresco and...” Rolan motions to me.
“Just a coke.” I say.
Oliver smiles and takes our menus, “I’ll be back promptly with your drinks.”
As we sit and wait for our dinner my mind can’t help but drift back to that note I found in my room. “Rolan,” I say, hands wringing as I think about how to approach this subject, “Did you find anything...on that note?” I ask.
He shakes his head, “No, there was absolutely nothing.”
“Nothing, that’s good, isn’t it?” I say.
He shakes his head, “There was absolutely nothing, not even fingerprints except yours, Colton’s, Ethan’s and mine, meaning whoever put it there knew that it could possibly be checked.” He says, pausing before speaking again. ” I did want to propose something.”
“You having a body guard.“He says, ” They’d pick you up before and after school, bring you to any places you need to go. I’d just feel safer if someone was with you when I couldn’t be but it’s up to you really.” He says.
“I mean it’d be nice to have a ride to school every morning.”
“I’ll introduce to them soon then.” Rolan says and I nod.
The door to the kitchen swings open as Oliver comes out with a tray my Coke and Rolan’s wine on it.
“Your drinks,” he says as he places them on the table, “I’ll have your meals shortly.” He leaves, once again.
“He seems so nice.” I comment, sipping my coke.
Rolan nods lightly but doesn’t say anything else as he pours himself a glass of wine.
“What?” I ask, “Are you jealous?”
“No,” he says, a slight rouge tinting his cheeks. “He’s a really great guy, we play football on the weekends together.”
“You sound like his wingman now.”
Rolan laughs lightly, “He’s really nice and I’m just very aware that he could take you away from me, especially since we’re not official. I mean, I know this is our first date but I can see us going places. I don’t want us to end just yet.” He sips his wine as he looks over at me.
“Do you want us to be official?” I ask.
“Someday, yes.” He replies.
“Well, show me a good time today and I’ll think about it.” I say, picking up my coke , looking at him directly in the eyes as I take a sip, “And by a good time I mean you buying me two desserts. I know your mind was in the gutter, I know it was.”
Rolan laughs loudly, the sound ricocheting through the restaurant and I can’t help but join in, “Deal,” He says between laughs.
Oliver once again comes out of the kitchen, this time carrying two plates along his arm. He places them on the table saying, “Enjoy your meals guys.”
I take a few bites, the taste of the tender beef is absolutely amazing, “This is so good.” I say to Rolan as I eagerly take another bite.”
“I’m glad you like it.”
“Please tell your dad and the chefs that they are doing something right here, cause this is insanely delicious.”
Rolan smiles, “I will.”
We eat quietly, making small talk in between. I can’t believe I’m really here sitting across from Rolan, laughing and talking as if we’d know each other for ages. This is all so surreal but it’s absolutely brilliant and I wouldn’t change anything that’s happened so far.
“So before we move onto the next part of the date, what snacks or dessert do you want?” He asks. “We can take it out and eat it when we get to the place.”
“That’s all your getting for now.” He says.
“Ugh fine,” I say, trying my hardest not to pout my lips like a child, “I’ll have an apple crumble and some brownies.”
Rolan takes out his phone, typing in my order, “Oliver will be out with it in a sec.” He says, “Let’s make our way to the care, he’ll bring it to us.”
“Cool,” I say, standing up from the table with Rolan. We hold hands as we walk to the car.
“Hi Allan,” I say as I get into the car.
“Hello, Mae.” He replies, “How was your evening?”
“Good,” I reply, smiling at Rolan.
I lay my head against his chest as we sit in the car, “Thank you for today?” I say, “It’s been great so far.”
Rolan kisses the top of my forehead, “I’m glad your happy.”
“Your so cosy,” I say, snuggling into his frame, a yawn escaping my mouth.
“If you’re tired, take a rest. I know you were up early. I’ll wake you when we’re there.”
I smile, kissing his chest, “Thank you.” I mumble. My eyes droop closed and not even the light knocking on the window doesn’t stop me from stirring from a blissful sleep.
1) I can’t believe this chapter is 4000 words long and 2) It’s been two months and like the lazy bugger I am I haven’t updated in bloody weeks( can you tell I’m British.) I’m going to try to update again sometime this week, if not then it will come next week.
Also, I have an announcement! So my friend got her book published and I thought it’d be cool to share it with you guys. It’s called Hidden Feelings by Arianne M Carson (FEEL FREE TO LEAVE HER A REVIEW!!!! Wherever you purchased it or on Goodreads!!!!!!!) It’s available in Waterstones, Barnes&Noble and on Amazon for £6.99 or £3.50 on Kindle.
Just to pre-warn you, the book does tackle problems about mental health so it does contain sensitive material. If you don’t like reading things like this, then don’t read it.
That’s all for today! Hope you guys enjoyed the chapter! Please remember to Vote, Comment and Follow if you did!