Soundtrack To My Youth (book 1)

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Baby One More Time

“I got toilet paper, Veronica” My sister Bridget holds up her 9 pack of toilet tissue proudly like she’s won some grand prize, “I almost had to kill a man to get it though because it was the last pack on the shelf” She laughs to herself and I let out a sigh of relief, it had been four weeks since the pandemic had hit Australia and almost every supermarket was out with limitation being placed on certain items, it was like the world was going crazy and we were down to our last roll so I was grateful.

Bridget and I had been living together for the past 6 months, she moved into my small, two bedroom flat after the break down of her marriage. It was a living arrangement that was only ever meant to be temporary as I’d always lived on my own and enjoyed my own space but the longer Bridget stayed the more I had grown accustomed to having her here.

I’d been pretty reclusive since high school, sure, I still made time to catch up with Bridget and our best friend, Kate but I loved my alone time. I’d had relationships, nothing too serious though, I’d cut and run before giving them a chance to utter those three little words. I was an expert at breaking up with men, well all except one, the one I could never let go of, he’d suck me in, time and again with his promises of change and words of sweetness but it always ended the same way and I’d be left broken and regretful once again.

“Did you get the wine?” I asked Bridget, it was what she had originally gone out for and I couldn’t see it.

“Shit, sorry Roni, I got distracted, Sam called me before I got into the store and between that and the excitement over the toilet paper I just forgot” She apologised as she went to grab her keys but I wasn’t going to let her get away without an explanation.

“Sam? As in that Samuel Lions?” I ask her, pointing to some trashy, tabloid magazine that she left sprawled across my coffee table, with Sam and some unknown woman kissing on the cover. The world was no stranger to seeing Sam’s face splashed across the media, he was, after all one of the worlds most top ranking soccer players, until he retired 5 years ago, but it was his lifestyle off the field that caught the attention of the paparazzi, a new girl every month, being labeled the world’s most eligible bachelor, or as Bridget liked to call him, the ultimate fuck boy.

We met Sam when he was 16, a transfer student from England with a heavenly accent which secured him instant popularity. He became best friends with Lucas and remained very loyal to that friendship, even when Sam knew that Lucas was sleeping around behind my back and, although Sam has made many attempts to contact me over the past 21 years I rejected him every time. It’s not that I hold a grudge against Sam, it’s just that I know He and Lucas came as a package and it took me so long just to be free from Lucas.

“Yes Roni, Sam Lions called me, he wanted to check up on us, to see if we were alright, he does that Veronica, he calls me often to ask how you are”

“Why?” I question my sister, this is the first I’m hearing of Sam making any enquiries about me, ever.

“Because you haven’t spoken to him in over 20 years, you were one of his best friends Roni and suddenly you cut him out like he meant nothing to you, like he was the one who cheated, not Lucas.” She explains to me and I feel a sting of guilt, I know she’s right, I punished Sam for what Lucas had done.

“He’s all the way over in England anyway so I guess it wouldn’t hurt if I messaged him, it’s not like he can come here anytime soon, not with the boarders being closed” I say, feeling the guilt ease a little, I could let Sam back in if I didn’t have to see him, or Lucas ever again, the control freak in me liked this idea.

“Actually he’s been living back here for the past three months, his dad is really sick so Sam came home to take care of him and I suggested that we should catch up and I invited him over tonight, in fact, he’ll be here in 20 minutes” Bridget says to me so casually, like this is the most normal occurrence, inviting a celebrity fuck boy over for catch up drinks. I grab the keys out of her hand and storm towards the door

“Where are you going Veronica?” She calls out after me, chasing me down the flight of stairs that lead out to the street.

“I’m going to get the wine because I’m going need it and after tonight you and I are going to have conversation about boundaries” I get in my car and throw my phone into the cup holder before reversing out of our driveway and taking off down the street.

I am fuming. How could she do this to me? How could she take my control right out of my hands? What if Sam brings Lucas?

“Siri, call Bridget” I command my phone and after two rings my sister picks up.

“Roni, please don’t be angry, I’m sorry, it all just happened so quickly and I got so caught up, you know what Sam is like, he’s such a smooth talker, it’s the accent, it could charm the panties off of anyone” She talking fast, trying to come up with excuses.

“Bridget, you’re gay, you have been since you were 18 so if you’re telling me that he could get into your panties then I think that theres something you’re not telling me, what are you hiding Bridge?” I take the corner sharply, not concentrating at all.

“Well it’s not just Sam, he’s bringing Lucas with him” She confesses, “In fact, Sam said it was Lucas’ idea, that he wanted to see you, that he has something he wants to say to you”

“Well I have nothing to say to him” I lie, she knows it, over the years I’ve had many fuel raged rants about the boy who used me up and spat me out.

“Yes you do and you need to get it out of you Roni, as much as you say he hurt you you’re still allowing that pain to continue, to consume you and it affects every relationship that you’ve had” My sister, the guidance councillor, can never switch off from work, she always has to find a problem to solve

“I can’t say it to him now, it’s been too long. I just wish I had said it to him back then, I wish I could go back and say everything I’ve wanted to say” I cry, tears pinpricking my eyes as my vision blurs.

I hear the screeching of tyres, followed by the crunch of metal being twisted and my Rav4 spinning out of control as I scream, trying to turn the wheel so I can come out of the spin but it’s too late, my car hits the telegraph pole with a massive amount of force.

The road is silent for a brief moment but it doesn’t last long, it’s broken by the sound of Bridget screaming my name.

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