‘Lee, it’s over.’ His voice stabbed through her brain like a hot poker. It pressed aches through her senses, made the whole world blur and fade as red lit up the air. She gulped in breaths but her throat was getting drier and drier by the second, lumps forming as she glared through the floor and desperately tried to ground herself.
‘Lee, I’m sorry but I met someone on my course and I just... I’m sorry but we haven’t been...I can’t do this anymore.’
Will appeared in her head as Rick from Casablanca. Black and white, plane, fedora, suit, trench coat. He was stood straight, wind blowing up the tails of his coat as Star’s heart shattered. The words plagued her mind, froze her to the spot and just made everything...murky.
Why the hell was she here? She moved to freakin Wales for him, they were going to go to Uni together. That was the plan, wasn’t it or was that just Star’s plan? It’d been three weeks. They’d only been here three weeks. Her and Will had been together for a year! How was it just...over? Why was it? It couldn’t just be...
But of course, it was. Star was weird and clingy, she had thighs the size of tree trunks and she was still terrified to have sex with him. Of course, he gave up. Anyone would’ve. Why was she so scared of it? Well, she wasn’t scared...she just, she never thought about it until it was almost happening then when it would almost happen, it was like this switch clicked in her head and she’d start shaking and couldn’t...she couldn’t do it. God, what was wrong with her?
She hated herself for it, knew Will would get bored of reassuring her. Bored of telling her that she’s beautiful, bored of being patient with her stupid shaking. She would’ve given anything, anything to be a stronger, braver, more confident person but she just...wasn’t. She was scared of everything.
No wonder she was here, she was scared of being away from home too. Scared of meeting new people, making new friends, terrified of it. Terrified of it enough to make her head spin and her heart ache. She wanted to go to Uni, she was sure of that but she just...was it so terrible to not want to be alone when your whole life was changing?
Well, now she was alone. Actually, worse. She was alone and he wasn’t. She came here for him and he gave up on them then clung to someone else like Star never mattered. Did she matter?
She was having a hard time believing that she did.
Tears streamed down her face, burning through the skin on her cheeks and soaking her flannel pyjamas. She’d made soup but she hadn’t touched it, was going to make pizza but couldn’t make herself move off the kitchen chair. The floor was cold, the room was dark, the motion-censored lights clicked off hours ago. Star hadn’t moved since grabbing a spoon and slumping into the chair in the far-Left corner. She wanted to make tea, wanted to do something but couldn’t bring herself to move.
She just sighed and stared through the table, tears slowing but not stopping. Nothing felt feel, nothing smelt real. Everything was shadowed and deluded, where did the light go? Where did the world go? Where did Star go? It felt like she’d faded through the kitchen tiles and disappeared into the centre of the earth.
A sigh escaped her slowly as she leaned back in the chair, eyes widening when the lights clicked on and the door squeaked open slowly.
She gasped and placed a hand over her lips as a tall, slender figure tip-toed into the shared kitchen. She wore a cropped, strappy black top and high-waisted sweatpants with a pair of ugg-like slippers that gently clonked into the cool kitchen tile.
She crossed the kitchen in a second-flat and Star almost fell out of her chair when she opened the fridge and pulled out HER milk. HER milk with her freakin name scrawled on the side in permanent marker, the words ‘DON’T DRINK’ being completely ignored as this stranger chugged the milk that she’d bought yesterday, right from the bottle.
“You’re the milk thief.” She gasped out loud, shakily getting to her feet as the slim figure jolted. The milk bottle slipped through her fingers and collapsed into the ground as a fountain of white liquid erupted over the floor.
“Fuck, sorry.” She gasped, hand going to her heart as Star scoffed and cocked her eyebrows.
“Great so you steal my milk then...you drop it.” She stated. “Who the heck are you? Do you just sneak in here to steal my milk at four thirty in the morning then disappear in order to make my flatmates think I’m insane? Coz they do. I’ve been talking about the ‘imaginary milk thief’ for weeks.”
“You must not lead a very exciting life then.” She scoffed, eyes linking with Star’s as she folded her arms and smirked.
Her heart stilled in that moment, her throat got drier somehow and the red in the air faded away as her pale, gentle blue eyes stared into Star’s soul. Her hair was a long, curly, deep brown that flicked up at the ends by her upper arms. Her arms were toned and slim, a piece of her stomach appeared below her cropped shirt and she was...she worked out, it was obvious. Star couldn’t help but look down at her own chest, self-consciousness seeping through her veins as she folded her arms across her un-bra-ed chest. “I lead a very exciting life, thank you very much.”
“I’m sure you do.” The stranger stated then grabbed a blue paper towel off the side before slumping into the floor and wiping up the milk. She jumped back to her feet moments later before tossing my milk bottle in the recycling and the towel in the bin. “There’s a full four pints in the fridge, it’s mine but I...” She gulped, eyes tilting to the floor as Star’s eyebrows lowered. “I thought I put it on the right shelf but I think I keep grabbing flat four’s by mista...”
“Wait, you’re the girl across the hall? You’re flat three?”
“Yeah?” The stranger answered and my heart warmed as a smile took over Star’s face. “And you?”
“Flat four.” Star admitted and the stranger sighed.
“Yep, knew it. Sorry.” She stated then shrugged. “It’s dark in here, in my defence. Just steal my milk, get your vengeance.” A small chuckle escaped Star as she gently smiled.
“We can share it? I mean, I don’t want you going milk-less on your four-thirty kitchen runs.” The stranger scoffed and wrapped her arms around herself. “Why are you...here at uh...this time, actually?”
“Why are you?”
“I asked first.” Star argued.
“What are you, six?” She asked with a cocked eyebrow and Star smirked.
“Eighteen, actually but you know...”
“It’s just quieter at this time.” The stranger admitted and silence quaked around the pair as Star sighed, eyes closing slightly as the fluorescent lights faded away. “And you?”
Star jolted, eyes opening and throat gulping as the stranger lowered her eyebrows. She scrutinised Star’s face, glaring through the redness around her eyes and the tear stains on her cheeks before turning to the table and seeing the uneaten soup. “Are you okay?” The stranger asked and Star scoffed meekly, gaze tilting to the floor as the stranger tried to draw her eye.
“Yeah, fine.” She squeaked.
“Ah, you’re a terrible liar...flat four.” The stranger stated and Star cocked a brow up at her as she went into the fridge and reappeared with a box of canned cider.
“Star, well uh...Starlee, Starlee Chase.” Star stated nervously and the stranger scoffed, slamming the cider on the table beside her before looking down into her deep brown eyes.
“Allie, Allegra Lowe.” She admitted then shrugged awkwardly, shoulders falling back and body stiffening as she gulped and smirked at Star. “Twenty, psychology student, milk thief.”
“Pleasure to make your acquaintance.” Star stated, surprising herself with the weird phrase before placing her hand out to Allegra.
The girl took her hand and shook, slumping into the seat opposite as Star blinked in surprise. “Want a drink?”
“Uh, no uh...I shouldn’t.” She gulped. “Early lecture and I uh...don’t really drink?” Allegra popped open a can then slid one over to Star’s seat.
“Come on, Starburst. You’re not gonna let a... girl drink alone, are ya?” She asked with a cocked eyebrow and Star’s face steamed, her stomach swimming as she sat and snaked the can from the table.