What Doesn't Kill You

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Chapter 11

Lucky must have had the same idea as Scout because their messages had been far and few between and he hadn’t visited the shop in days.

Space was the worst thing imaginable. Space and time had to be linked because an increase in space let to a lengthening of time. Scout had no idea what to do with herself without Lucky. She spent her lunches in the shop and when she wasn’t working, she made herself walk the length of the promenade and back just so that she didn’t look at her phone, waiting for a text from him.

Ava and Chrissy had been busy at work and she was probably 75% custard cream as she’d visited Dad more often.

“Have you had a fight with your boyfriend, love?” Jim asked one afternoon.

The custard cream stopped midway to Scout’s mouth. “He’s not my boyfriend, Dad.”

“Friend, then. You know you can talk to me.”

Scout sighed. “I don’t know. We haven’t fought. We just haven’t spoken for a few days.”

“You’ve reached out to him?”

“No. I’m waiting for him to get in touch with me,” she said and Jim sighed. “What?”

“Scout, you’ve never been one to sit around and wait. Why don’t you get in touch with him? Better yet, why don’t you go and see him. In my day, you couldn’t just text someone and sit and wait. You’d have to go and see them.”

Jim might have had a point. Scout was used to turning up on Lucky’s doorstep so why hadn’t she done that. If she wanted to stop it being weird then she needed to put things back on track. “Dad, you are brilliant.”

“I know, love.”

Scout spent the afternoon with Jim as he showed her his salsa moves in the front room. She wished she could jump up and show him how it needed to be done but instead, she instructed from the couch. He hadn’t said anything but it sounded like Jim was trying to impress someone.

She grabbed a bus back towards her place and then walked over to Lucky’s flat. It was 5PM and already dark. The light was on so she knew he was home. After a few moments the door opened, revealing a surprised Lucky.

“Scout. What are you doing here?”

It didn’t escape her notice that he was slightly more dressed up than she’d seen him. Lucky was usually jeans and a tshirt but tonight he was dressed in a shirt and trousers.

“I…uh…” Scout stumbled. “We haven’t seen each other in a few days.”

From inside the flat, someone called his name. Not just someone but a female voice and Scout’s insides twisted uncomfortably. “Lucky stepped out of the flat and closed the door behind him, leaving it open just a crack so he could get back in after.

“You’re busy,” she mumbled.

“I’ve got plans tonight, Scout.”

“Yeah. No. Of course. I’ll just head home.” She gestured awkwardly down the street.

“Scout—”

“I’ll see you whenever you’re free.” Scout turned around and started to walk away, waving awkwardly. Everything was awkward. How did she stop it being awkward?

“Scout, wait!”

The voice called his name again and Scout closes her eyes, composing herself. “Enjoy your night, Lucky!” And she took herself down the street as quick as she could, wishing she’d never stopped at his in the first place.


Scout had the worst night’s sleep, if you could call it a night of sleep. She gave herself some space from Lucky so that she could stop feeling like she wanted something more from him and look at what it had achieved. He was clearly going on a date last night.

“Scout?” Ava said. “Scout?”

“Huh?” Scout looked up to see Ava and shook her head. She was at the hospital and they were both on the floor, which was cold against Scout’s bare legs as she was in shorts. She needed to do the laundry but the lack of Lucky in her life meant she didn’t need to put in the effort.

“Where’s your head at today?” Ava asked.

“Sorry.”

“It’s fine. You just seem a million miles away today. What’s going on up there?”

Scout looked at Ava and sighed. “There’s a guy.”

“A guy!”

“Don’t get excited. Nothing’s happened.”

“Is that why you have such a long face?” Ava asked and Scout shrugged in response. “Have you told him how you feel?”

“No point. He said he doesn’t do relationships and he was out on a date last night.”

“Oh, Scout. The guy’s an idiot if he can’t see what a catch you are.”

“Lucky’s not the idiot. I am.”

“Wait, what?”

“I’m the idiot.”

“No. What’s the guy’s name?”

“Lucky. Well, Lachlan but he does by Lucky.”

Ava started to laugh. She laughed so hard that it echoed around the space, causing other patients and staff to look at them and Scout went red. She covered her mouth to stifle the sound.

“I know,” Scout said, rolling her eyes. “It’s a ridiculous name.”

“It’s not that.”

“What is it then?”

Ava managed to compose herself and looked at her properly. “You’re the one who’s been keeping him busy.”

“Ava, what are you talking about.”

“Lucky James is my twin brother.”

Scout’s mouth dropped open. Lucky and Ava were related. Not just related but twins. How had she not pieced it together?

“And he wasn’t on a date last night,” Ava told her. “He was coming to dinner with me and Michael.” Scout felt herself going red. “So, you’ve been spending an awful lot of time with my brother…”

“I’m not sure we should discuss this.”

“Too late. We’re discussing it.”

Scout groaned and put her head in her hands. “There’s nothing going on, Ava.”

“Sounds like you want something to go on. Wait, are you the girl he took to London?”

“…Yes.”

“Oh my God!”

“Shhh! You loud mouth. Why are you happy about this? I thought you said your brother was a dickhead?”

“Tell me you don’t agree.”

“He has his moments.”

“Exactly. But you like him.”

“Ava…”

She had Scout’s injured leg in her hands and was moving it around. “He’s seemed different lately. Happier.”

“Ava…”

“Yes, Scout?”

“It’s not going to happen.”

“Why not?”

“I… your brother… I….”

“You make some excellent point, Miss Daniels.” Scout shot her the middle finger. “I’ll have you know that would be classified as abuse towards NHS staff and it will not be tolerated.”

“Christ, how did I not realise you two were related?”

That made Ava laugh again. “Sorry, Scout. You were saying.”

“We’re friends. He’s been amazing the past few months. I don’t think he sees me that way.”

“I want to bang your heads together.”

“Why? Has he said something?”

“No. There’d be more chance of raising the dead. I’ve tried to get shit out of him but he’s a sealed book. But I’ve noticed things. He doesn’t put his damn phone down. He’s been having little chats with Dad.”

“Shit. Wait, is that why he keeps coming into the shop? He’d been keeping and eye on your Dad’s business.”

“It’s not Dad’s business.”

Scout laid down on the floor and groaned. “The business Lucky has… he owns A Page A Day.”

“Bingo!”

“Fuck! He was making sure his business was doing alright.”

“We moved here two years ago and he set it up before going travelling.”

Conversations Scout had had with Lucky started to slot into place. He said his parents were separated but Scout knew from Ava that his Mum had dementia and so that must have been what he meant when he said it was complicated.

“Can we please get back on track and figure out when you’re going to tell my brother you have feelings from him? Ava asked.

“Absolutely not.”

“Scout, you have to.”

“And why is that?”

Ava had a small smile on her face and let go of Scout’s leg. “I haven’t seen him this happy. He doesn’t usually keep girls around and even less so after everything with Mum. He must like you, Scout.”

“He’s my friend.”

Ava let out a frustrated sigh. “You’re as impossible as he is sometimes.”

“Ava, I’m scared of losing him. I don’t want to do something that means he ends up dropping out of my life.”

“You’re so sure he doesn’t have feelings for you.”

“I… I don’t know.”

“There’s something you’re not telling me.”

It was like being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Ava was her friend and Scout wanted to tell her everything so she could get her opinion but at the same time Lucky was Ava’s brother and it was weird.

“I’m just trying to help you both, Scout,” Ava said gently.

“When we got back from London we were talking and I think we were going to kiss.”

“You think?”

“Yeah, I never found out.”

“What the hell?”

“I dropped my wine class and Lucky did a pretty good Jack in the box impression.”

Ava looked thoughtful for a couple of seconds. “It’s not a lie. I don’t think he’s ever been in a relationship.” She was hammering home exactly why Scout shouldn’t try to stray into that territory with Lucky. “How can you be sure he isn’t feeling the same way you are?”

“What do you mean?”

“What if Lucky is just feeling like he’ll lose you if he tells you he wants more?”

“Are we talking about the same guys? Lucky ‘I am God’s gift to all women’ James.”

“Do not call him that to his face.”

Scout snorted, imagining how Lucky would love to have his ego inflated with a comment like that.

“Think about it, Scout. Most women, and trust me I know because I’ve seen them and been friends with them, most women fall at his feet and jump into his bed. You didn’t do that.”

“Yeah, but look at me now.”

Ava rolled her eyes before she answered. “You got to know him, Scout. You spent time with him and became his friend. Maybe he’s just as worried about where you guys stand as you are. You should say something to him.”

“Why has it got to be me?”

“Because it’s the 21st century and women should take the romantic lead sometimes.”

“You’re telling me that if you and Michael were in my situation you would be knocking on his door and telling him you fancy him.”

“No way!”

“Ava!”

“But this isn’t me and Michael. This is you and Lucky and you both deserve to be happy.”

“…I’ll think about it.”

Ava let out a small squeal.

“Don’t you dare say anything to him about this,” Scout warned. “This officially falls under patient confidentiality.”

“Cross my heart. Ugh, please do it soon and then tell me everything.”

“You are ridiculous.”

But it made Scout resolve to tell Lucky how she felt. If they were good enough friends then even if he didn’t feel the same way, it shouldn’t affect them. If nothing else, at least she’d have an answer and she could sort out how to move on.

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