The morning after the night before.
“Liam you’re doing it wrong.” I laughed and tried to pull the cotton out of his hands to take over.
“No, I want to do it myself.” He snatched it back and his small features scrunched up with concentration.
I didn’t notice it before but looking at him now I’m seeing things differently. His clothes were dirty like they hadn’t been washed in a while, or ever. His face was sad, like his heart was breaking right in front of me and no matter how painful that was for him he didn’t acknowledge the hurt. Instead he pushed it somewhere deep down inside and made a promise to himself to deal with it later.
He got so good at that, it ruined him. There was no one to tell and nowhere to hide and with each and every time he suffocated his hurt a small piece of him died.
“There. I’m done.” He held out the small bracelet, it actually looked good considering he didn’t know how to plait. He put a lot of time and effort into this stupid piece of material, he wanted it to be perfect. I knocked mine out in under five minutes because I was a pro at making friendship bracelets, all my dolls had one but Liam wanted to make sure I was pleased with it.
“I love it, I’m going to keep it forever.” As I said the words his face beamed with light, I had mended a crack in his broken soul. It was only a tiny crack but it made him that little bit stronger. Right before my eyes bruises started appearing on his face and confusion rolled onto mine.
Why didn’t I notice? I thought to myself as I watched his skin change in front of me.
“I promise to be friends with you forever.” I vowed as I slipped the black and white bracelet over his wrist.
“I promise to keep all of your secrets.” He whispered as he slipped the green and white bracelet over my wrist.
We shook hands somewhere in the middle to make the most important promise.
“We promise to have a seven tiered wedding cake and help each other eat it all, even if our bride and groom don’t want us to share.” The tree house filled with childish giggles, the cedar walls echoed out in happiness and in that moment we really thought that those promises would remain forever.
Liam was older now, his face was angry. I tried to reach out for him but he was slipping away, fading into the darkness. The coldness was back, it chilled my bones. Was it because we didn’t keep our promises?
“What the fuck is this?” Liam shouted.
My eyes sprung open and the brightest light filled my head, I winced painfully and screwed them closed. But then I realized that this was reality and slowly opened them again. My hand was slung over Jordan’s bare chest and my body was molded around his. In that moment I looked at him, he looked at me and we both looked at Liam before reacting. Then in a sudden movement Jordan leaped out of bed and paced towards Liams horrified face.
Liam’s eyes looked up and down Jordan’s practically naked body and then without saying anything he coiled up his fist and punched Jordan square on the cheekbone.
“Fuck! Liam! What the fuck!” Jordan screeched as he coiled over gripping his face.
My head felt like there was a thousand trucks bashing against my skull and one hundred power drills penetrating my brain. Everything was too loud and too bright. The vomit was clogging at the back of my throat and I couldn’t hold it down any longer. Quickly I grabbed the empty trashcan which was located conveniently beside my bed and emptied my stomach.
“Liam!” Jordan shouted after him but the door slammed shut and I groaned at the sound. “Fuck!” He exclaimed. I rubbed my temples trying to block out Jordan’s loud voice. “I told you not to fucking touch me Olive.” He turned his anger towards me.
“Please stop.” I complained, covering my eyes to block out the daylight.
Jordan took out a bottle of something from the mini fridge and held it against his pink cheek. The sight of the alcohol made my stomach churn and I coiled over the trash can again. I felt his hand rubbing my back in circular motions as I wrenched up my guts.
“What are you doing here?” I asked him in between taking uneasy sips of water.
He sighed hugely, his shoulders sagged and his face looked completely defeated. I knew he thought he had lost the battle with Liam because I wasn’t able to confirm or deny his story. He was mad at me for being so calm about this but I know nothing happened between Jordan and I even if I couldn’t remember what exactly had happened between us.
“Liam knows nothing happened last night.” I consoled him. He looked at me like I was dumb.
“Uh, Olive, did you just see what happened up here? Liam punched me... he’s never punched me before, he thinks I fucked his girl.”
“He’s never punched you before?” My voice screeched so high pitched and Jordan narrowed his eyes at me. “He’s been friends with you all these years and he’s never punched you.” I repeated back to myself in disbelief. “I literally feel like punching you every time I’m around you.”
Jordan’s scowl became heavier.
“I’ll talk to him.” I say.
I felt better once I had returned to the suite and showered off last nights antics along with all of the smeared makeup that smothered my face. Tia still slept, she heavily snored and I knew she would be feeling more than hungover once she woke. I left her some water and aspirin on her bedside table. Harris wasn’t here, his bed hadn’t been slept in.
Jordan waited in the lounge mindlessly flicking through the TV channels, he was fully composed now that I had given him his t.shirt back. But I could see the sadness in his eyes because he was still freaking out about Liam and he was mad at me for not freaking out. But I knew Liam and he trusted Jordan more than anyone in this world so there’s no way he would think anything happened between us. Jordan pulled out his phone and dialed a number.
“You can unlock his room now.” Jordan said without greeting the person on the other end, then he hung up without saying anything more.
I furrowed my brows in question but just like someone else I knew he didn’t offer me an explanation. Our suite doors clanged open and we both looked up in hope but Jordan sagged disappointingly beside me when Lola appeared in the doorway.
“Lola, you’re here?” I was shocked by her appearance, I thought she was staying home with her mom. She looked fresh faced and hangover free, I was jealous because my head still drummed inside my skull.
“Yeah, I traveled back with Liam after his interview for the camping trip. Heard you got unlucky last night?” She raised her eyebrows suggestively and then laughed to herself, finding the amusement in our messed up situation. Jordan bent forward and put his head in his hands, feeling more than regretful. She plonked herself down on the sofa beside him and rested her feet on the coffee table in a carefree manner.
“Tell me everything that happened last night.” I budged Lola’s legs out the way and sat down on the coffee table, pulling Jordan’s hands away from his face and forcing him to look at me.
“Some guy tried to force himself on you outside the toilets so I punched him and then you started puking.” As he spoke I got flashbacks of the night before, I could feel the guy trying to push his body on mine. His hands were lifting my skirt and I desperately tried to fight him off, clutching at the material to try and lower my skirt back down. If Jordan didn’t come at that exact moment I dread to think what would have happened.
I held my hand out to stop him, “I remember.” I said abruptly, not wanting to relive those moments again. “But how did we end up in bed together.”
“You didn’t have a key so I put you in my room. Then I went to get Tia, she was sleeping on the sofas in the club so I carried her to the suite and put her to bed. When I got back to you, with the intention of bringing you up to the suite as well you were in the bath, soaking water everywhere and fully dressed.”
Lola laughed beside me “Dipshit.” She chuckled and I rolled my eyes at my own stupidity.
“So you undressed me and put me in your bed?” I ignored her comment.
“God No!” Jordan shouted and jumped back on the sofa. “I sent you in the bathroom to change and when you came out I tried to get you back up to the suite but you threw up again so I figured you’d be safer where I could keep an eye on you. I told you not to touch me but obviously you can’t keep your hands to yourself.”
“I was sleeping!” I defended myself to his attitude. “I’m gonna call Liam.” I stood up and pulled out my phone.
“Why don’t you just go down and speak to him, he’s in the hotel bar.” Lola shrugged and we looked at her blankly.
She could have told us that earlier.