Soundtrack To My Youth (book 1)

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Smells Like Teen Spirit

The sun was streaming through my sheer curtains, waking me from my deep sleep, it took a moment for my eyes to adjust to the brightness that was engulfing the room, my room, well it had been at one point in my life. Yep, I was still here, still stuck in 1999

I took a moment to look over the room more carefully, the happy, smiling faces of the the members of now defunct boybands adorned my walls, making me cringe. There was one poster that stood out from the others, my Buffy poster, which I still owned, framed and hung up, redeeming my teenage self.

My double bed was pushed up against one wall with a white, wooden desk placed against the other side of the room. Clearly I had no sense of styling a room, this becoming obvious by my mismatched pillow cases and donna cover. Placed on top of my desk is a giant folder, I’m guessing it’s my school binder that I used for all my subjects. Flipping it open I find my class timetable tapped to the inside of the binder, this year I was studying Advanced English, Advanced Maths, Modern History, Biology, Geography and Drama.

History will most likely be a breeze though, considering I now teach the subject at the same High School I had attended and I know the syllabus hadn’t really changed, that was the great thing about history. Maths would probably be the one subject where I may come undone, it had been years since I last used Pythagorus Theorem or even algebra. I remember drama being an absolute blast, I had studied it as an elective since the 9th grade and I loved the creative process, you could be anyone in Drama, there were no cliques. If English was anything like I remembered it, a poetry assignment, two novels, one of which I’m sure was Looking For Albrandi, creative writing and a study of a theme, then I should be good. Biology and Geography could just be a hit or a miss but I’m sure I’d pick them up.

There was a knock at my door opened door, it was Bridget, standing in the doorway, I could see that she was dressed as if she was going out somewhere.

“I’m going over to Amber’s” She tells me, answering my unasked question. Amber lived not too far from our house so Bridget would often walk there.

“You know if you ever need to talk about anything I’m here for you Bridge” I offer her and for a moment a look of panic comes across her face, most likely thinking Sam has betrayed her secret, “Sam didn’t say anything and I’m glad you have someone you trust to confide in, I just wanted you to know that I wont judge you for anything Bridge”

“Thank you Roni” She hugs me, “I know I can trust you and I want to tell you but I’m scared”

Before I can reassure her we hear a loud knock at the front door followed by Dad answering it and then bellowing out.

“Girls, that English kid is here to see you” Bridget and I exchange looks and laugh, our Dad could never remember the names of our friends, he would always give a description of them whenever he needed to reference them. Bridget runs out to the living room to greet Sam and I grab my dressing gown, cursing the fact that I wasn’t given warning that he was coming over, living on my own for so long has made me detest when unexpected guests who just show up without texting first, I’m someone who needs at least a 30 minute window of knowing when someone will be coming by so I can prepare, not that anyone really visits me anyway, it’s usually just Kate nowadays.

“What are you doing here?” I ask Sam, trying to keep my tone even so I don’t sound annoyed. He looks casually cool today, dressed in jeans and a black t-shirt, with white sneakers and a pair or sunglasses tucked into the neck of his shirt.

“I just came by to check up on Bridge and ask if you two wanted to do something fun today, I know your car is still at my place too so I can take you to it”

“You couldn’t have just text that?” Seriously Sam, this is why mobiles were invented, so I wouldn’t have to make polite conversation in my pyjamas.

“Well that would have cost me 22 cents and then you’d most likely reply to the text and I’d have to reply to your reply and that would be another 22 cents and who knows how long the conversation would be dragged out for, this way I come here and talk to you, for free and get an added bonus of seeing you in your pyjamas” He jokes and I tighten my dressing gown.Ah yes, I forgot that it used to cost us money to be sociable, it wasn’t just included in the plan

“I’m heading out so it would just be you and Veronica” Bridget informs Sam, I swear I saw her wink at him but she could just be squinting against the bright sun shinning through the front door. Then without a goodbye to either of us she’s out the door, leaving Sam and I alone.

“So it really would just be you and me?” I ask him tentatively, we’ve never hung out alone before, Lucas has always been present

“Do you think you handle that, all of me, all to yourself?” He laughs, always the charmer

“I think I will be fine, what should I wear?”

“Well I am kinda loving what you’re wearing now but we are going to be playing mini golf and you might want to be comfortable” He suggests, giving me a wide grin, I forgot how cheeky Sam could be. I excuse myself to get changed, picking out my overalls and a tee and brush my hair into a high pony, I washed it after the party last night and it went really fluffy. I grab my bag and join Sam back out in the living room where I find him chatting to my Dad about his new truck, Sam and Lucas loved their cars, they would wash and polish them weekly and then take them driving into to town to show them off with all the other car enthusiast, I never really understood all the hype really, it was just a car.

“You should let me drive it” I tease Sam.

“Not in this lifetime Roni” He laughs.

I thought the drive to mini golf would be awkward, Sam is an extremely private person and the only information I know about him I have learnt through gossip magazines and the rare interview he may give, luckily Sam took the lead and just started talking.

“I do trust you Roni, you asked me last night if I trust you and I know I didn’t give you an answer then but you are the one person I would never lose faith in. My secret isn’t about trust though, it’s about knowing when the timing is right”

“I’m going to say the same thing to you that I said to Bridget and that’s that I am here for you, when you’re ready to talk. I’m glad you both have each other to confide in, I just never realised how close you were to my sister”

“We’re just friends, nothing more” He clarifies without going into any more detail, I never suspected that there was anything romantic between Bridget and Sam.

“So why mini golf?” I ask Sam, hoping to move the conversation away from the many secrets I am also holding onto about Bridget.

“My coach says it’s great for hand and eye co-ordination and it actually helps improve my game, weirdly enough. I come play often during the season and since I’m about to start training again next week I thought I’d get a round in, I’ve just never played against anyone before” Sam explains as he pulls into a parking spot out the front of the indoor mini golf place which went out of business in 2004 and was torn down with a high rise apartment block being built in its place.

“We’ll have two for the 18 hole course” Sam tells the woman behind the counter, she nods and hands over two putters and two balls in exchange for $10, looking around it seems that the place is empty, we are the only ones here. When it first opened it was packed every weekend and most of the kids in my primary school had their birthday parties here, but that was back in the 80′s and early 90′s and now the course looked like it needed a major update, there were rips and tears on each course.

“We should make this interesting, the winner gets to pick their own prize” I suggest.

“What do you have in mind” Sam asks, I see the smirk on his face, he loves a challenge

“Well if I win, I get to drive your car home” I tease, he pauses for a moment to think it over and then holds out his hand to shake on it.

“Deal, but only because I know I’ve got this, I know this course like the back of my hand” He laughs smugly.

“And what will your prize be?” I ask him, realising he agreed to mine without announcing his own.

“Not if but when I win I get to kiss you”

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