What Doesn't Kill You

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Chapter 8

For the past few weeks, Scout had fallen into a pattern of work, spending time with Lucky and flat hunting. She’d also stopped by and had dinner with Ava and Michael. Being home wasn’t nearly as bad as she thought it would be. Things were definitely looking up. Ava was happy with the progress of her knee and she had just signed a six month lease on a flat.

“I thought you would have more stuff,” Lucky commented. He was carrying a stack of boxes in his arms as Scout opened the door for him.

It was September, and the city had become quiet again as kids went back to school and the weather started to cool. Chris had given her time off to move into the flat and she’d roped Lucky into helping out.

“I left London with a duffle bag and a rucksack. Scott sent a few boxes but it’s just the essentials.”

Mentioning Scott didn’t hurt like it used to. Before, she used to feel a gut wrenching pain at the mention of his name but now it did nothing. Lucky had been right. Deleting him from social media had done Scout wonders. She even deleted the pictures of them and threw out the plush toys he’d sent back.

Scout knocked on the kettle as Lucky placed the boxes down. “Want a cup of coffee?”

He checked his watch and pulled a face. “Sure. I could stop for a quick one.”

“Do you have somewhere to be?” She pulled two mugs out of the cabinet above the sink and added instant coffee and sugar. Lucky had been shopping with her so everything in the flat had both their stamps of approval.

“I have a date,” he said.

Scout almost got whiplash with how quick her head turned towards him. “Oh?” It came out a little higher pitched than she expected. Why would she care if he had a date? She didn’t care. Did she care? Why would she care?

“Mhm,” Lucky hummed. “Lacey. She’s a teacher.”

“How did you guys meet?”

“Like most people do these days. Tinder.” He waved his phone at her and Scout rolled her eyes.

“Aren’t people on there just looking for a hook up?”

“Precisely.”

“You are a pig, Lucky.”

He came up to her, snorting and oinking like a pig and Scout pushed him away. He cornered her against the countertop bringing his face close to hers. Scout couldn’t help but laugh at how ridiculous he was behaving.

“Stop it! Stop” She placed her hands over his face and pushed at him, but Lucky licked her hands. “LUCKY!” He was holding his stomach laughing as Scout washed her hands in the sink. “You are feral.”

Lucky tipped water from the kettle into the mugs. “You took in this stray.”

“Obviously I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.” Her phone buzzed and Scout pulled it off the counter.

“Who is it?” Lucky asked over his shoulder.

Scout opened the message as she walked to the fridge and pulled out the milk. “Chrissy,” she said absent minded.

“Chrissy? Chrissy who?”

“Chrissy Smith. He’s a guy I went to school with.

“Oh? And what does Chrissy Smith want?”

Scout looked up to see Lucky standing in front of her with his brow furrowed. He seemed a little tense and she couldn’t figure out what was wrong. She held the milk out to him and he took it. “Asking to see if I want to go to the match tomorrow,” Scout answered. “He has two tickets. Are you into football?”

“I watch sometimes.”

“Fancy coming to the match with me?”

“Sure.”

“Lush! I’ll let Chrissy know that we’ll be there.”

“You do that.”


Saturday afternoon, the pair made their way over to the Liberty Stadium, home of Swansea City football club. Chrissy had told Scout to head into the club shop first and she couldn’t help but laugh when the man behind the counter gave her a shirt with his number and name on it. She shrugged it on over her tank top and bought a scarf for Lucky.

Lucky met her outside the grounds and Scout waved him over. “Hey!”

“Hi!” Lucky gave her a hug and she held out the scarf to him when they pulled apart.

“You need to represent,” Scout told him.

“Ah, thanks.” Lucky took the scarf from her and wrapped the black and white woollen piece around his neck. They walked towards the ticket booth and Scout gave her name. The girl turned to the computer and smiled before handing over two tickets. Scout handed one back to Lucky and they walked through the turnstile.

“I didn’t realise you were such a big fan,” Lucky said, tugging at the hem of her shirt.

“I’m not really. It was a gift.” Scout looked down at the ticket in her hands properly, trying to figure out where they were sitting and her jaw dropped. “Chrissy…”

“What’s wrong?”

“Come with me.” She grabbed Lucky’s hand and walked away from the crowds in the opposite direction.

“Where are we going?”

“To our seats.”

An attendant stopped them and they flashed their tickets before they were given clearance. Scout let go of his hand and they walked inside and up a set of stairs. Scout pushed open the doors to a box.

“Wow,” Lucky said and let out a low whistle.

“Yeah.”

As they walked inside, there were a few people already milling around. Scout walked past the people and took a seat. The box was up above the stands with a clear glass front so that they could see the pitch.

“Where’s your friend?” Lucky asked. He sat down in the seat next to her.

The announcer’s voice was clear as he introduced the members of the team with their number. Scout pointed down to Chrissy who jogged onto the pitch. “There.”

“You didn’t say he played for the team.” His mouth hung open slightly.

“I didn’t realise it was important.”

Lucky’s features changed and he almost looked a little pissed.

Scout looked back out onto the pitch and she saw Chrissy peering up at the box so she waved. A smile came onto his face and he pointed to his shirt. She laughed to herself before standing up and turning around, displaying his number back down to him. When she turned around, Chrissy was grinning and giving her a thumbs up.

“You’re wearing his number,” Lucky said.

“He left it for me,” Scout laughed. Lucky folded his arms across his chest and sank back into his chair. “Are you okay?”

“Fine.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.” He didn’t sound it.

“How did your date go last night?”

“I… It didn’t happen.”

“What?” Inside, Scout was happy that he didn’t end up on his date. “Rain check?”

“No. I didn’t find her as interesting as I thought at second glance.”

“Oh… right.”

An awkward silence settled between them but it wasn’t long before the match started up. The tension seemed to ease as they both got into the match, willing on the team. By the end of it, both were in high spirits considering the team had won.

“So,” Scout said. “Are you a Swans supporter now?”

“It would seem a shame not to be considering I have some merch.” Scout tugged at the ends of his scarf and he moved closer to her. “What are your plans for the rest of the evening?”

“Nothing really,” she admitted. “I only had this pencilled in today.”

“Scout!” She turned her head to see Chrissy coming towards them, still dressed in his kit. “I thought I was going to miss you.”

“Hey, Chrissy. Congratulations on the win.”

“Thanks.”

She could see Chrissy’s eyes glance over her shoulder and she followed his gaze to see Lucky stood there at full height with his arms folded across his chest.

“Let me introduce you guys,” Scout said. “Lucky this is Chrissy. Chrissy this is –”

“Lachlan.” Lucky held out his hand to Chrissy and Scout furrowed her brow. From what she gathered he never went by Lachlan so why was he introducing himself like that now?

The men shook hands and Chrissy said, “Nice to meet you, mate. We’re heading out to celebrate tonight. Do you fancy joining us?”

“That would be amazing!”

“You know what,” Lucky said. “You guys go ahead and enjoy.”

Scout turned to face him. “You’re not going to join us?”

Most things she did these days included Lucky. They grabbed lunch together most days. Sunday morning had become a brunch date. He browsed in the shop every Thursday. They were watching multiple Netflix series together. When Scout did things without him, it felt strange.

“Not tonight.”

Her hand reached out and tugged the end of his scarf gently. “Are you sure you’re okay? I’m a little worried about you.”

“You don’t need to worry about me. I just need some painkillers and an early night. Go thrive, Scout.”

She nodded her head and turned back to Chrissy. “Looks like it’s just me.”

“Okay,” Chrissy said. “I’m going to hit the showers. I’ll meet you out the front of the stadium.”

“See you in a sec.”

Chrissy gave Lucky a curt nod before heading out of the box. She turned back to Lucky but he’d already started to move around her.

“I hope your head feels better soon,” Scout said.

“Thanks.”


It was Sunday and Scout was sat in the shop scrolling through her phone as there were no customers. A notification pinged across the screen and she clicked on it. She’d been tagged in an Instagram post. Chrissy had posted a photo of them out at the restaurant last night. The entire team had gone out and it had been nice to meet them all. Scout never would have guessed that footballers could be such a decent bunch.

Clicking on the photo, it filled her screen and she read the caption.

A blast from the past. So great to see you again @scouts_honour

Scout liked the photo and scrolled through to see the comments. The majority of them were people commenting on the match or on Chrissy but there were a few asking if Scout was his girlfriend. That made her blush and she rolled her eyes as she typed out a comment.

Was great to see you too x

The bell tinkled and Scout looked up to see Lucky come in through the door. He looked a little less polished than usual.

“Hey,” she greeted. “You don’t usually come in on a Sunday.”

“I know but considering you skipped out on brunch…”

“Sorry. It was a late night.”

“I saw.” He walked towards the counter and leaned on it.

“Did you just roll out of bed?” She reached over the counter and ran a hand through his already messy hair.

Lucky closed his eyes and answered, “Something like that.”

“How’s your head today?”

“Yeah. It’s better.”

“I’m glad. I missed you being there last night.”

Lucky opened his eyes and looked at her. “I missed you at brunch this morning.”

Her hand stopped in his hair and they looked at each other for a few moments. It felt like something more sat behind the words that they just said but Scout knew there couldn’t be. She eventually dropped her eyes to the counter between them and removed her hand.”

“You know,” Luck said breaking the silence, “I was planning to get out of the city next week.”

“Oh? Where are you planning on going?”

“London. I was wondering if you wanted to come along.”

It had been two whole months since Scout was in London. As much as she loved the city it had been nice to walk the street and see friendly faces instead of busy commuters. However, it would be nice to be back in the city again.

“Sure. I’d love to go. When were you planning?”

“Next weekend.”

“I’ll ask if I can get it off.”

“I’m sure it won’t be a problem.”

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