I watched as Ellicia got into her steak as soon as the plate was in front of her. I looked away with a small smile to the waiter as he put my own surf ‘n’ turf in front of me since Ellicia didn’t give me a choice to an easy meal and got us both steak covered with prawns, scallops and garlic sauce, beer-battered fries on the side as well as a small garden salad.
“Just shut up and eat,” she snapped, telling me she wasn’t up for talking, which I respected. I talked a lot and so I knew she usually got sick of me talking. I also knew it wasn’t the best idea to disrupt her while she was eating, like the animal she can be.
I kept my chitter-chatter inside while I started, letting my mind think deeply. First, it was about how good the steak really was, medium rare just the way I liked it. Then I started thinking about Ellicia, going back to when Maddy had brought up if something had happened to her. I guessed now wasn’t the best time to bring it up so I kicked that thought out and wondered if I would have time to get my weekend homework done within this evening or not.
I was in the university, studying music and other studies that would help me into a teaching career. I’d appreciate becoming a music teacher but plan B was a maths teacher. I had a lot of courses I was doing this year and the next few oncoming years but my main focus was to pass my first year to see if this is what I truly want to do.
Ellicia’s here for one class only, a simple art class that put her into the college so she could have a dorm and stay close to me. I offered to find an apartment to rent and we could share rent but she disagreed and said she couldn’t live with me, even if I was going to be on campus for most of the time, apparently it would’ve still killed her.
I gave up on that battle and just let her do her little class and have her special room to share with Ebony.
“Holy shit, these chips are amazing,” Ellicia suddenly moaned a little, making me pick up my gaze to look at her. “I remember back in Boston when my Dad would drive me down to the beach for these really good chips. They were the only ones I would eat when I was little,” she shrugged, having one of her random moments down memory lane.
“Cute,” I smiled back and she gave me a dark look, ate some of her fries. “My mum was a health freak so I never got chips when I was younger.”
“And I simply don’t care,” she replied blankly, making me frown at her a little as she moved to pack up.
"We’re not going anywhere. I’m leaving,” she replied, getting up and throwing down a ten dollar tip before she walked away and I clenched my jaw, sat back because now I’d lost my appetite.
I felt bad every time she was mad at me, which I know I shouldn’t because I’ve done nothing wrong and this is just how she functions, but I do. I really hate it too but I also know I can’t keep running to her every time she’s pissed. She’s pissed a lot and it’s about time I start to realise. I need to learn how she does it all, how she gets on with her day without caring about anything.
I had a big heart, so Ellicia would always say, I couldn’t help but feel emotional while her heart was protected by her airbags... she always referred her breasts to airbags when we were talking about our hearts. I had no airbags so everything always crashed in hard and I’d feel it all while her airbags -breasts- would keep everything in and out. Her emotions in and the problems out.
I paused before I put my cutlery down on the plate and got up, walking away from the outside sitting area to catch Ellicia talking to a few biker boys across the road, only there for a ride on the bike and a ride on him...
I looked away again and waved as a taxi came by, slowing and stopping for me. I got in without another look to Ellicia because if there was one thing I knew she knew, she knew what she was doing.
My fingers tapped to the beats I produced in my music, my headset on while I watched it all unfold on my laptop, the bar following each beat and sound as I edited through my tracks.
I’d been finishing off my homework all afternoon, the sky outside now dark but I had the dorm alone to work on my mixtapes and then also go through my study for my other courses.
I was exhausted, ready to stop and head for bed, skip dinner but I knew my mum was going to call tonight to check up on everything and I couldn’t miss it. I mean, I wouldn’t want to or she might get a little angry. And I’ve got one too many people already angry at me.
When the track ended, I was happy enough to save it and shut down my laptop and turn of my small keyboard and keypad before I took off my headset just as I heard the door open and close, making me look back.
“Happy now?” I asked Ellicia, turning back around to continue packing up. The sound of springs sounding off came as she jumped onto my bed, touching her feet up onto the chair I sat on at my desk before I rolled back and turned to her.
“Where’s the coke?” She asked, her eyes shining wonderous as she smiled, biting the inside of her bottom lip. I stared at her blankly, leaning my elbows onto my knees and wondering if she was serious but I knew she was.
It was just disappointing that she only came here for that. I glanced over her quickly and shrugged my hands out, giving her a guilty look to make her smile and happiness fade.
“Where is it, Rubie?” She asked, taking her feet back from my chair to sit up straight in front of me.
“Flushed it down the toilet,” I replied, shrugging softly as she glared at me hard before her eyes lightened.
“Rubie,” she chuckled lightly, touching her hands to my arms. “Stop playing games with me, Rubes,” she narrowed her eyes a little, leaning forward as I looked into her eyes, noticed how dilated her pupils were already. I took in the red bags around her eyes and how dry her lips were as well.
“I’m sorry but there’s no more,” I whispered to her, moving in to move my arms around her before she reacted badly. I pulled her down to lay with me, softly shushing and rubbing her head as she shifted to slip a leg in between mine and rest her head against my chest, staying calm.
“I’m lucky to have you, Rubes,” she murmured sleepily as I glanced down and watched her easily fall asleep through the next few minutes, her body little compared to mine now, unlike how it was two years ago when I was smaller than her.
She pushed me so hard to gain so much weight and fat only to burn it off and turn it all into muscle when I was a good size. It was difficult, very difficult and there were times when I just wished I was dead but she pushed me to never give up. I didn’t and I can’t be happier with who I am today.
I am healthy and fit, smart and in university with the girl who saved my life in many ways. I couldn’t thank her enough for everything she’s helped me with.
When I had the bullies, she gave me the strength and boxing lessons to get back at them. Of course, when I was suspended for the first time ever for punching a guy too hard, my parents gave it to me hard. Now I walk away from a fight, not wanting to hurt anyway because I know I’ll hurt somebody. Of course, Ellicia thinks it’s bullshit but she thinks a lot of things are bullshit so it doesn’t really matter what she thinks.
I don’t walk away because I’m weak and scared. I walked away because I’m strong and brave, ready to meet them again without a fight having to take place.
After ten minutes, I knew she was deep in sleep so I gently laid her down and took off her shoes. I pulled my doona out from under her to cover her so she wouldn’t get cold before I looked to my roommate, Col as he game in loudly.
“Shh,” I told him, raising my finger up to make him and his friend stop short and go silent. They both looked from Ellicia to me and then to each other before they moved to Col’s bed to take off their jackets and put down their bags.
I didn’t pay them attention as I moved to my desk and turned the lamp off, moved to the curtains next to close them. When I was done, I got my phone just so I had it in my hands and sat on the end of my bed, looking over to Col and his new friend.
Col was a small Asian boy, his dark hair with wisps of blue as his clothes were dark and punky style but he was cool and into music too, more into rapping but he made a few sick tracks I’d enjoyed listening to.
“Rupe, this is Marco,” Col introduced, making me give a respected smile and nod to his friend, who was a white guy with dark curly hair, which reminded me of how I used to have it in high school... gosh, going back a while now.
“Rupe’s a cool name, man,” he gave me a cool nod Col usually did to me too. “Is that your girl?” He asked, a British accent so I caught as I glanced back to Ellicia while she slept soundlessly and peacefully.
My girl? Never. She gives herself up to different men all the time, she would never be just mine. And I don’t think I would like that, this much of her is good for me, anything more and I don’t think I’d be able to handle her.
How could I say that though? She’s my best friend, if she needed me of course I’m here for her. If she ever did become mine, of course, I’d give her my all if I’m comfortable for that. We’re still too distant to become anything more than best friends, there are still so many secrets she keeps from me, her walls are still up and I don’t know if they’ll ever break.
But what if they did one day? I wondered, thinking about how I never want to leave her side. I do everything for her because she does everything for me, that’s our kind of relationship.
“No. She’s just a friend,” I replied to Marco.
“Best friend. You hardly see them separated, considering she’s a bitch and he’s... well, he’s the opposite,” Col told him, making my lips quirk up slightly.
“Opposites attract so they say,” Marco shrugged, giving me a light look before he tilted his look to see Ellicia. “And she’s cute.”
“She’s vicious,” Col replied, making me cackle lowly as I leaned back on my hands, my fingers brushing up against her leg under the blankets as I felt her shift.
“Col, go fuck yourself,” I heard her grumble, making me glance back as she held her arm over her eyes.
“What did I say?” Col told Marco, chuckling lowly as I moved back to lay down next to her again.
“How long have I been asleep?” She whispered, looking at me sleepily, her eyes still dilated and red.
“Not long enough. Go back to sleep,” I replied, moving my arm under her head so she could relax against me the way that she seemed to like because she always fell asleep like that. She usually wasn’t in it for cuddles but when she was tired enough, I’d get away with it. Like now, it’s just us holding each other and it’s quiet, perfect while she tries to fall asleep again. It’s peace between us, she’s not the oil floating over the water I am, we’re equally smooth water, intertwining together and relaxing.
I brush my hand through her soft hair, closing my eyes too because I truly cherished moments I got to share like this with her.
I peeked an eye open when I heard movement but only because the other boys were making their way out again, Col giving me a small wave that told me he was getting out of our hair. I didn’t mind if he stayed but maybe he thought something else would begin, I’d had to reassure him later that Ellicia and I aren’t like that... we’re just friends.