"Go away, wrong number!" She groaned from under her duvet. It was finally her day off and all she wanted to do was catch up on the week of sleep it felt like she'd missed out on.
The salon was excruciatingly busy at the moment thanks to the colour sale and she was exhausted. She loved her job and would take the bleach burns and aching back a hundred times over but right then ALL she craved was sleep. Her easily stimulated brain had other plans. It started throwing stupid questions at her.
Had she ordered something?
Was someone supposed to visit today?
"Ah for fuck's sake!" She kicked the blankets aside and exhaled deeply. After feeling around for her mobile, she squinted at the too bright screen. "Jesus christ it's 10am and it's...Monday, great! FUCKING WANKER!" She yelled before flinging her phone and pulling the duvet back over her head.
When she eventually unfurled from her cocoon it was late afternoon and she was ravenous. She doubted there was anything fit for consumption in her apartment but she dragged herself over to the kitchen anyway.
Pulling the fridge door open with a huff she noticed the sad looking thimble of milk left over in the bottle. "Not even enough for a cuppa, egh!" She sent the door home and moved onto the cupboards.
A bag of rice, a few packets of soup and some spices stared back at her from the shelves. "How the fuck do I live like this?" She turned, shaking her head, and went back to her bedroom. She knew what had to be done, a Tesco run. Dread washed over her.
She despised sharing her personal, personal space with other humans in general but the big Tesco held a special place of hate in her soul. All those loud, desperate mothers with their screaming children. The squealing wheels on shopping trolleys. The constant announcements over the PA system, her heart pounded just thinking of it.
"Fuck! Breathe...Just in and out. You don't need to talk to anyone. Get changed, make a list and go. Simple." She lectured herself in the mirror.
It took another hour of procrastinating before she picked up her keys and phone. She was still deciding whether or not to drive to Tesco when a box had her bracing the walls.
"What the hell?" She bent and read the name. A frown settling on her face, "Who is S Kelly?" She turned the box around and scanned the label.
"Raygun, nice. 335a Richmond Road. Uh, you belong next door little package." She considered her options before rolling her eyes and picking up the box.
"Fuck it, I'll buzz and dump it." She nodded to herself. "Just one foot in front of the other." She repeated all the way to the neighbouring front door.
She pressed all the buzzers in the hope that someone would open without question. Then she held her breath and counted to five. A door unlocked suddenly and panic swept through her. This was a worst case scenario.
"Hi." A deep voice said from behind and she froze. She forgot about the basement flat. Her heart took off as she turned. When her eyes snagged on the gorgeous guy smiling up at her she momentarily speechless.
"Hi um this came to me but it's wrong." She shoved the box at the guy as she walked down the stairs in a fluster. "Ah thank you I've been calling royal mail about this all morning." His deep voice followed her. She stopped moving, she was being incredibly rude. She turned and looked up at him properly. Whoa!
Pale blue eyes trapped her and she took another discreet breath. "It's yours oh um no problem." "Do you live next door?" He asked. "Yeah flat D." "Huh, how have I never seen you?" "Oh I um, I'm not especially good with people." She cringed at how pathetic that must sound but he laughed softly.
"Yeah, I get that. I'm Sin by the way." "Sin? You're name's Sin?" She furrowed her brows. "Sinclair Kelly. My parents were taking the mick when they named me. My friends came up with the nickname and it stuck." He gave her a goofy grin and she bubbled with nervous laughter. "Nice to meet you Sinclair." She turned to leave but his voice stopped her, once again.
"Hey, you never told me your name." "My name, oh um Eli- Eliza" "Well thanks again for dropping this off." "Yeah sure." She sent a little smile his way and practically threw herself down the stairs.
"Jesus I never need to do that again." She assured herself between deep inhales. Checking the time, she groaned aloud. There was no way she'd be able to get on a bus now, it would be crawling with hysterical school kids. She considered walking but that would mean being out for way longer than necessary. "Car it is."
"Okay, clear directions help to maintain a clear mind. From Richmond Road to Tesco Extra, Mogden Lane." She talked herself into the traffic.
"Take a left onto St Margaret's Road and drive straight. Past the Turner House, past the Tavern and post office. There's the little Tesco, Harris and Hoole." And so she carried on all the way to the Hypermarket.
Relief flooded her when she arrived to a semi vacant parking lot. She left her car in a space close to the entrance and gripped her list.
She was about 3 items in when she confirmed to herself that she definitely disliked food shopping the most. She back tracked and added extra ingredients so that she could avoid returning too soon. Hairdressers have notoriously bad diets and hers was no exceptions. At her worst, she'd once survived two full days on only coke and coke.
As she neared the self check out queue she realised she had too many items. She would have to go to a human. "Shit!" She cursed under her breath. While the cashier finished the person ahead's bill, Eliza placed her groceries in order of packing. Another one of the many coping trick she'd picked up.
She was so relieved and so ready to flee after paying that she didn't notice the boys on their bicycles. While she loaded her shopping they circled closer.
"Hello darling." The biggest one rode up behind her. Eliza spun around and squealed in shock. The cycle gang laughed as one and she began shaking. "Whoa, you alright? Looking a bit pale there." He joked but his cocked eyebrow said otherwise. A sheen of sweat covered her skin and her breaths were coming out short and rough.
The rest of the guys looked at one another, they recognised the signs. She was either going to lose her shit and scream her lungs out or she was going to faint, both were bad for them. First, two left than the another three followed shortly after. "We was just saying hello. No harm meant." The leader told her before turning on his wheels and spinning out of the parking. She slid down the side of her car and desperately tried to catch her breath.
"Eliza?" Sinclair bent down beside her and tilted her head back. "Shit. Okay. Ask a question um okay, do you find me attractive?" He asked suddenly before pulling a face. Her eyes remained blank for a few more seconds before she took a deep breath and focused on him.
"Wh wh what?" She wheezed, clutching her chest. "Redirecting thought patterns." He replied with a tap to the side of his head. Eliza slowly blinked her brain fog away. Sinclair held a hand out to her and she took it without argument.
"What are you doing?" She was stunned. "You can't drive and you can't wait around here to calm down. Besides, it's not like I don't know where you live." "Th, thank you I just I got such a fright I thought-" Her sentence hung in the air and she turned to the window. "I saw the boy on the bicycle." He told her quietly.