Soundtrack To My Youth (book 1)

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The Sign

“I can’t believe you finally broke up with Lucas, I thought he’d have you wrapped around his little finger forever” Kate exclaims as we are lying by the pool, catching the last rays of the setting sun. Lucas had left not long after our showdown, I watched him go with Kristen trailing behind him, head hung in defeat from being publicly humiliated in front of his peers. I have to admit, I did feel a little bit bad but then I reminded myself of how it had felt when it he had done the same to me originally and how crushed I was, “I never liked him Roni, I never told you that though ’cause I was always worried he would turn you against me so I tolerated him for your sake but it was hard because he was just so arrogant and rude and the things he would say made my head spin, like remember last year when You, Me, Lucas and Sam went and saw Titanic and how afterwards he made that comment about how Cal was so hard done by in the movie, how he had paid for his fiancé to movie to America and her Mother too so Rose should be more grateful and give him sex. I thought he was joking at first but when he kept bringing it up I could tell he was serious. He’s so disgusting, it make my skin crawl”

To be honest, I had forgotten about Lucas’ remarks about the villain of the movie but it really didn’t surprise me too much, that was Lucas in a nutshell, he believed that all men are owed sexual gratification, regardless of how they treat a woman. I used to believe that the chauvinist pig act was just something he put on in front of his friends, like he had some sort of point to prove because when we were alone he truely was the sweetest and most loving boy you would ever known, with cutesy nicknames and declarations of his love. He could make you feel like you’re on top of the world one day and discard you the next, being with him was an emotional rollercoaster of highs and lows and he could easily make you forget how toxic he was when he turned on the charm.

“New year, new Me” Yes, I quoted that bullshit that everyone posts on Facebook on the 1st of January every year but this is 1999 and Kate has no idea yet how cliche that phrase really is.

“Oh, I love that, such a positive outlook, I’m going to adopt your mantra too. It’s our final year of high school, let’s make a pack, no more boys who are arseholes” Kate mused with glee, she too had had her fair share of crying in the girls toilets over some douchebag.

“Deal” I agreed, not that it really mattered because I was going to wake up back in 2020 tomorrow, after this crazy dream had ended. My guess is that I’m most likely in a coma, being pumped with morphine and it’s causing me to have this flashback trip, “I’m going to grab us some drinks, vodka and raspberry?”

Kate nods and I make my way back into the house. The party seems to have hit it’s second wave, the guest from during the day are either extremely drunk by this point of have started to sober up and are making their way home but theres also new people arriving, the night crowd as I use to refer to them, the ones who will come out once the sun has set, knowing that the party is going to amp up. I was never really one to drink too much as these parties, mainly because I had to take care of Lucas when he got wasted, which was often but tonight that’s all changed, I’m already a few drinks in and letting my hair down.

Coming into the kitchen I spot Sam and a boy I vaguely remember, I think his name was Jason or Jaxon, something along those lines, talking about soccer training starting back up next week. Sam played soccer, or football as he would call it, for a local team as well as our school, back in high school I had never realised how extremely passionate he was for the sport, it wasn’t until I heard that he had made it onto the A-League teams in England that it clicked with me how much he loved it.

The conversation wrapped up and Jason/Jaxon stumbled off further into the house, most likely in search of a bathroom, leaving Sam and I alone in the kitchen. I laughed to myself as I grabbed two pre-mixed raspberry vodkas from the fridge and Sam looked at me confused.

“You have this big back to school party and you spend the majority of your time hanging out in your house, away from your own guests” I laugh.

“The party is for everyone else, I just had the means to a location and a parent who wouldn’t be watching over us like a hawk” He explains, “I don’t really like crowds so that’s why I’ve been in here, I’d go to my room if I could but I worried that that may be seen as been rude”

It’s ironic really, the boy who doesn’t like crowds is now followed by them everywhere.

“You’ll get over that once you’re playing for Manchester United and everyone is screaming out your name”

“How did you know I wanted to play-” Sam starts to question me but is cut off when Bridget comes storming through the kitchen, tears streaming down her face. This is the first time I’ve seen Bridget since we arrived at the party, I just assumed that she and Amber were off drinking somewhere and that she would come find me when she wanted to leave. I manage to grab Bridget before she gets past me and hold on to her tightly.

Bridget had always been a sensitive kid, she was bullied by the boys in her year, often calling her ‘Frigid Bridget’, it’s why she now hung out with my group of friends, knowing that no one would dare tease her while she was around Lucas or Sam. After I had left school though the bullying picked up again, as much as Bridget had tried to hide it from me, I knew it hurt her deeply.

“Bridge what happened? Tell me who upset you? Where’s Amber?” I shoot out questions at my sister hoping to get to the bottom of this, I hated seeing her hurt.

Bridget looks from me up to Sam and he gives her a nod, as if he knows the answers to my questions.

“I wanna go home” Bridget cries, breaking my heart.

“I can take you Bridge, I haven’t been drinking” Sam offers. He’s willing to leave his own party to make sure my sister gets home safe.

“I’ll come too Bridge, I’ll get Dad to drop me back tomorrow for my car”

As we were leaving I saw Kate and that Jason guy making out, I decided I’d text her when I’d get home, to explain where I went, I didn’t want to kill her moment, even though I knew she wasn’t going to end up with him in the long run, fate had other plans for my Kate.

The drive back to our house was only 10 minutes but we all sat in silence the whole way with occasional sniffle from Bridget being the only sound we heard. Once Sam had pulled into my driveway Bridget scrambled out of the back seat so fast but she stopped by the drivers side window, saying thank you to Sam before looking over at me cautiously as I sat in the passenger seat and then she looked back at Sam, giving him a silent plea of sorts.

“Remember what I said Bridge, it’s in the vault” He told her and she nodded her head and left.

“What was that about?” Some weird exchange had just happened between Sam and Bridget, like they had a secret between them that I knew nothing about, I never even realised they were so close.

“Bridget and I have an understanding, we tell each other things that we don’t want anyone else to know”

“Like what?” What could he possibly know about Bridget that I wouldn’t know.

“Well that I can’t tell you Roni because if I did then I’d be breaking a promise and then Bridget could tell you my secret and I’m not really sure I want you to know my secret” He coyly explains

“Have I given you a reason not to trust me with your secret?” I’m now intrigued by what he could be hiding.

“I’m sorry, about you and Lucas” He says, changing the subject, I guess that answers my question about trust then.

“Don’t be, I’m all good, think of it as me losing 90 kilos just before our final year of school” I laugh at the reference to what I average Lucas’ weight to be.

“So, Veronica Kreslin is single?” He asks

“Yep and ready to mingle, although I did make a pack with Kate that we both wouldn’t be involved with any arseholes this year so I’ll be very selective about who I grant the pleasure of my company to” I tell Sam but he seems to be lost in thought, not really listening to me.

“I should get back to the party, my Dad is a pretty easy going guy but I doubt he would take it too well if a bunch of teenagers destroyed his house” He suddenly blurts out

we say our goodbyes and I pull Sam in for a long hug, breathing in his intoxicating scent one last time, knowing that I’m going to wake up tomorrow and this would never have happened. There’s a part of me though that wishes I could stay here longer, it’s simpler here, happier.

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