'Slowly release the pedal on your left, as you press down on the accelerator. You will feel the car begin to move as the biting point is met.'
I felt my heart pound as I lifted the pedal, trying to align it with my other foot, when all of a sudden the car began to move. I began to panic and the engine whirred loudly as I heard the driving instructor tell me to push the clutch down so I could move into the next gear. I felt pure elation- I was driving!
'Ok so build up your speed slowly, don't forget to check your mirrors.'
I heard the engine whine again as I picked up speed, my heart in my mouth as I pushed the clutch down and moved into the third gear.
Holy shitballs! I was actually doing it! I felt giddy with excitement as I drove down my road, as Tim my driving instructor guestered for me to pull over where possible. Stopping was more difficult, as I pressed the brake and steered the car, I totally forgot about the gears and felt the car shudder beneath me and cut out.
'Dammit.' I swore as I turned the key and secured the car with the handbrake as Tim told me to.
'This is your third lesson, go easy on yourself. It takes a long time to learn. Same time next week?' He smiled as I nodded, climbing out of the car reluctantly. I loved driving, the feeling it gave me was...pure freedom. I couldn't wait to have a car of my own and be driving down the freeway, the wind in my hair as the open road awaited me. I walked up my drive and was surprised when it opened, my mother standing there with a huge grin on her face.
'Well done! I saw you drive on your own!' She exclaimed, pulling me into a tight hug. 'Its an amazing feeling isn't it?'
I smiled as I returned the hug, breathing in her sweet floral scent. Mom was home alot more now, having asked Dad for a trial separation. I wasnt surprised about that part, I was just shocked she had the nerve to do it. She held me at arms length as she gazed at me lovingly, her eyes alive in a way I'd not seen unless she was buried in one of her love stories.
'I'm proud of you. I really am. So, further to our conversation the other day I've been reading up on options for you, just so you can make the best decision. Will you take a look?' She searched my eyes as I heard my brother jogging down the steps, a smile playing on his lips.
'Girls, I need to ask you something.'
He sounded incredibly nervous as he ran his hand through his hair, his eyes staring at the floor. My mom and I exchanged a look, and she put her hand on his arm reassuringly.
'Of course, what is it?' She asked, her voice spilling with concern.
I noticed Elijah swallow, and take a deep breath as he finally lifted his eyes to meet ours.
'Do you think it's too soon to propose?'
I felt my breath leave my body in a whoosh, as my mouth dropped open in surprise. My mom however simply smiled knowingly, gazing at him with a mixture of adoration and pride.
'You want to marry Ray?' I breathed, unsure I wanted to hear the answer.
'Yes. But I didn't know whether it was too soon to ask her.'
'Shes a senior, still in school. Maybe let her finish her exams at least, otherwise she may lose focus.' Mom said softly as I nodded in agreement.
'She might say no.' I joked as mom looked at me sternly.
'Annabelle. When you know, you know. Ray knows. So does Elijah.'
A smile played on Elijah's lips as he pushed his glasses up his nose, his eyes narrowing at me.
'Would you say no if Bailey asked you?' He asked, tilting his head to the side, an amused expression on his face.
'I'd accept, but I wouldn't marry him yet.'
I turned away from him then, not wanting to discuss any potential unity with Bailey any longer. I thought of Ray, and how she would react to a proposal from Elijah. I saw the way she gazed at him, they way he looked at her like there was no one else in the world. I was happy for them, they had finally realised they were irrevocably in love. Isn't that what we all wanted in the end? My thoughts were interrupted by my phone vibrating in my pocket as I saw Baileys name on the caller id. My eyes flickered up to Elijah who gave me a smug look before turning and walking back upstairs, humming a familiar tune.
'Hey you.' I murmured into the phone as I heard him yawn.
I felt a tingle in my stomach when he greeted me with that word, the intimacy of it making me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I walked into the kitchen, sitting on the window seat, tucking my legs beneath me as I settled in for a conversation with my world.
'Eli wants to propose to Ray.' I blurted out as I heard silence on the other end. I chewed on my lip as I waited to hear his response, which took its sweet time.
'Do I detect...Jealousy in your voice?'
'Ha. You are. You're jealous. Why, when you are going to marry me one day?'
I smiled then, so wide it hurt my face. I was still grinning stupidly when my mom walked in, sending me a sly wink which made me blush. She put down dine pamphlets for colleges and pointed at them as I covered the mouthpiece, telling her I would read them later.
'Did I say yes?' I asked coyly as I heard his deep laugh boom down my phone.
'Did I ask?'
'Anyway, seeing as we're have our exams soon I thought you might want to come over and... revise...'
I noticed the deliberate pause and I rolled my eyes, as he yawned again.
'I'm tired. Come round.'
'If you're tired, sleep.' I commanded.
'With you?' He asked in a small voice as I imagine crawling into his strong arms, feeling his lips grace the top of my head-
'You're imagining fucking me you dirty girl. I meant actual couple stuff, sleep and cuddle and shit. But if that's what's on your mind, I'm down.'
He chuckled as I agreed to go round, but I said only if I could walk there. He knew walking was my therapy, so he agreed. I packed a rucksack with some school stuff, my uniform and clean underwear (let's face it, I'd need it.) and headed out of the door after yelling goodbye to my family. I figured it would be a long walk to Bailey's, but I didn't mind. I walked quickly, slipping my earphones on to hear Biffy Clyro roaring in my ears. The walk was fairly scenic, and involved walking over a little creek which I stopped to admire. I watched as the water slid easily over the rocks and pebbles beneath it, the green moss now long sodden. The sound was theraputic, so I pulled my earphones out to listen.
'You like walking huh?'
I whipped around at the sudden intrusion, my hair temporarily preventing me from seeing the speaker as the wind pushed it into my eyes. I snatched it from my face as I saw the green eyes gazing at me from beneath the mop of dirty blond hair, a smile playing on his lips. He looked somewhat different, but then again I hadn't seen him in a while. He had stubble on his face, his baseball cap swinging from his fingers as he pushed his hair back, placing the cap firmly on his head. He walked up beside me, staring into the water as he tightened his jaw. My heart started to pound as I swallowed, a feeling of guilt building up from even being in his company.
'Exams soon.' I said, in an attempt to make conversation. He nodded, turning his gaze to me.
'Are you going to college?' He questioned as he reached into his pocket, frowning as he searched. His face relaxed as he located a cigarette and pushed it between his lips, lighting it with one hand and cupping around it with the other. His eyes narrowed as he inhaled and I shrugged.
'I don't really know. Bailey's going to King's so I was thinking of going with him.'
He said nothing as he smoked, and I watched the air swirl away from his mouth with intrigue.
'I'm not. Gonna work at my old man's garage I think, take on the business when he pops his clogs.' He winked at me and I grinned. 'I'm just not that academic. Fucking hate studying.'
'Yeah? You seem brainy. Well, other than your choice of boyfriend, that is.' His eyes burned into mine and I dropped my gaze, heat filling my cheeks as I bit my lip.
'Why'd you hate him so much?' I whispered, the wind carrying my words away from him.
'I said, why'd you hate him so much?'
He shifted, kicking at the dirt below us with his sneakers. He lifted his eyes to look at me, his eyes dropping to my lips briefly before he looked away.
'I told you. He broke my sisters heart.'
'So why does he hate you so much?' I pressed, my breath catching in my throat as he reached over, his hand cupping my face in one hand as he stood closer to me. I felt dizzy as he gazed at me, before he dropped his cigarette to the floor, stepping on it to put it out as he exhaled.
'Princess, you'll have to ask him that. Promise me something though. If it ever doesn't work out with him... you call me, yeah?'
I blinked, staring at him in shock.
'Are you coming on to me?' I gasped, my eyes widening at him in alarm.
He frowned then, and a silky laugh escaped his throat as he looked at me in amusement.
'No.' He said carefully, eyeing me like I was insane. 'I thought we would be able to be friends at least. Obviously not whilst you're with him, but who knows?'
'I can be friends with wherever I choose. ' I snapped as he raised his eyebrows in surprise. I folded my arms and turned to face the river, as I felt him watching me carefully.
'Yeah? So take my number.'
My stomach dropped as I pulled my phone out in defiance, holding it out to him. He called his number from it, then handed it back to me casually.
'Maybe we can kick back sometime. Go for a walk. Or a picnic.'
I burst out laughing then and he shrugged.
'All reasonably friendly options.'
'I have to go. I'm going-'
'To Fentons. I get it. Message me sometime. See you around, princess.'
He gave me a small smile as he jammed his hands in his pockets, walking in the opposite direction. I watched him leave, entranced by the way he walked. He was almost elegant, strangely graceful as he strode, his long legs widening the distance between us.
See you around, Sam.
A/N Well... who likes the idea of the friendship between Sam and Annabelle? Why do the boys dislike each other so much? Would YOU have given Sam your number?! ;)