Introduction

Introduction

A Chapter by Jemma Packman

They say alcohol doesn’t solve anything. Well, I say, who are “they”? And how would “they” know? Have they tried all the alcohol? I don’t think so. Besides, it’s working pretty damn well for me right now. It’s helping me forget. Forget the hurt, forget the images of what I saw, forget him and, possibly, my own name. Scratch that last part. I can hear someone calling my name. “Toyah. Toyah, come play with us.”

I look in the direction of the voice to see some guy from my school waving me over. I don’t know his name, but he’s in a few of my classes. Don’t judge me. I’ve got a small group of friends and I rarely branch out. I’m selective, not a b***h. I walk, or stagger, not really sure, towards Blurry. That’s how he looks, so that’s what I’ll call him. I sit down. “What we playing?”

“Spin the bottle. You know the rules, right?”

Who does he think he’s talking to? I look around at the other players. There’s about thirty people sat in a circle. Maybe less, I might be seeing double. They are all looking at me expectantly. Why are they looking at me like that? Oh yeah, Blurry asked me a question. “Who doesn’t?”

“True. I’ll start.”

Blurry spins the bottle on the floor in front of him. I watch the bottle until I get dizzy. It stopped spinning and was pointing at a girl across from him. They lean forward to meet in the middle of the circle, and kiss. With tongue. What the hell? Maybe I don’t know the rules. I thought you had to tell a secret or do something stupid? I don’t go to parties much. Sue me. Why are they laughing? Did I faze out? I look at the bottle and it’s pointing at some guy shaking his head. He’s yelling. Focus, Toyah. What’s he saying? “No. F**k no. I’m not kissing a dude.”

Can he just refuse? “Either do it, or you both do a dare.”

Thank you, Blurry, for answering my question. “Dare away. I’m not kissing a dude.”

“I dare you both to streak around the house.”

“You’re on.” The guy starts taking his shirt off when another guy kisses him. The topless guy pushes him away and wipes his mouth. “What the f**k, Al?”

The Al guy shrugs. “I’d rather kiss you than see you naked.”

I laugh at that. Luckily, so was everyone else. “Toyah, it’s your spin. I need a drink. Excuse me, peeps.”

Blurry gets up and leaves. I put my hand on the bottle ready to spin when I hear a voice. His voice. I look up to see him staring at me. Why is he here? And why is she with him? “Toyah playing spin the bottle? Good luck with that. You’d have better luck with a nun.”

The skank hanging off him starts laughing, and he smirks. No, he doesn’t get to do that. I’ll get rid of that smirk. I pick up the bottle and throw it with every ounce of strength I have. Unfortunately, my aim is s**t and I miss him. There’s a thud and a cry of pain from behind him. I hit someone. Oops. Everyone turns to where threw. I follow their gazes and am suddenly staring into a glistening pair of sky-blue eyes. Wow, they are gorgeous. “Who threw that?”

I swallow. Hard. Blurry points at me. “Toyah. She was aiming at Nate.”

Thanks, Blurry. “Good arm.”

Seriously? Blue eyes gets hit with a flying bottle and that’s all they say? I’d have gone nuts. Find your voice, Toyah. Say something back. “Thanks.” I’m an idiot.

“Guess you’ve got to spend seven minutes in heaven with me now.”

Is Nate for real? What’s seven minutes got to do with anything? And being near him is far from my idea of heaven. “I’m not going anywhere with you.”

“Rules are rules,” Nate smirks. “Unless you’re up for a dare.”

“Rules says it’s who the bottle lands on, right?” Blue eyes questions. “The bottle landed on me. Literally.” That’s true. Embarrassing, but true. “But it’s Toyah’s choice.”

I get to my feet and make my way over to Blue eyes. Nate grabs my arm. “Are you serious?” He spits. I look into those blue eye and nod. “No wonder I got nothing from you. You’re a freak.”

That’s it. That a*****e has pushed me too far. I try to step forward to smack the s**t out of him but I’m not moving. Why can’t I move? I look down and see an arm around my waist. “He’s not worth it,” Blue eyes whispers gently in my ear. I shiver. Am I cold? “Shall we get away from him?”

I don’t trust my voice, so I nod. Blue eyes is almost carrying me away from the a*****e, but where are we going? I don’t care. Why don’t I care? I don’t know this person, but I feel safe. I think Blue eyes has put a spell on me, and I like it.

 

Blue eyes opens a door for me. “Go on in.” Should I? I’ve seen horror movies. The drunk girl gets taken to a strange room, then BAM! Dead. I walk in the room. What? I’m not drunk. Besides, Blue eyes won’t hurt me. “Take a seat.”

Blue eyes shuts the door as I look around. There’s books everywhere. On the desk, on the shelves, on the floor, on the bed. Bed? Oh, I’m in a bedroom. I’m in a bedroom, at a party. Oh, God! Am I going to have sex? No. That’s not what this is about. Right? Calm down, Toyah. Just ask. “Where?”

“Wherever you want.”

Let me see. There’s a chair by the desk, the floor or the bed. The bed’s closest, I’ll sit there. This is comfy and bouncy. Blue eyes is watching me and smiling. Am I meant to be doing something? “What now?”

“Now, I change my clothes.”

Well, that’s confusing. Are those the rules of the game? “Why?”

“I spilled my drink when the bottle hit me.” Oh yeah. The bottle. Whoops. “I won’t be long.”

Is Blue eyes leaving me? “Are you leaving me?”

“I’ll be in the bathroom.” Blue eyes opens a door opposite me. “Right in here. If you want to talk, I’ll still be able to hear you.”

“You want to talk? About what?”

“Whatever you want.”

Blue eyes disappears into the bathroom. Did I want to talk? What would we talk about? Do we have any common interests? I look around the room again. Books, lots of books, a few CDs, a huge TV. Is this even their room? It has to be. Either that or a close friend. One way to find out. “Whose room is this?”

“Mine.”

That was easy. I can’t get over how many books are in here. “You really like books.”

“Yeah. Don’t you?”

“Not really. Most books have movies now. Easier to watch those.”

“I suppose, but they miss parts out. Takes some of the magic away.”

“How? You can see everything happening.”

Blue eyes appears in the doorway, shirt not fully pulled down. What a sight! Muscles in all the right places, not too big. Perfect. And are those tattoos? Fire on the right hip, lightening on the left. I hope I’m not drooling. The shirt covers what I was seeing. Stupid shirt. “Eyes can deceive.” I don’t care. My eyes were enjoying that. Wait, what were we talking about? “When you read a book, your mind makes the pictures.”

Books. Right. “If you don’t like movies, why do you have a TV that big?”

Blue eyes walks to the bed and sits beside me, leaving a gap. Do I smell? I sniff the air. Smells good, fruity, but it’s not me. Another plus to Blue eyes. “I never said I didn’t like movies. I prefer books. Do you like ice cream?”

Random question. What the hell, I’ll play along. “Of course.”

“Does that mean you don’t like chocolate?”

Is this kid stupid? “Why would it?”

“Same reason as me liking books.”

Blue eyes, you are making no sense. “Books and ice cream are totally different. I mean, you can’t eat a book.”

Ha! Get around that. “Can’t eat a movie either.”

Damn. Good point. I’m stumped. Work, brain, work. We can’t lose an agreement about ice cream. What’s that sound? Did someone start singing? It’s beautiful. I look around to find the source of the sound. It’s coming from beside me. Blue eyes is laughing. “Are you laughing at me?”

“No. I got an image of someone eating a book. I think it’s in a movie I saw.”

“You must watch some strange movies.”

“You could watch one with me. I’ll get you ice cream and chocolate.”

I look into those marbles of sky. “Are you asking me out?”

Those eyes look away. “Would you say yes if I was?”

Would I? Right now I would. I run my eyes over the face in front of me. What is that mark? It’s huge. Did I do that? I reach up to rub the mark. “Does it hurt?”

Blue eyes moves my hand and holds it. Gentle touch, smooth skin. Does this person have any flaws? “Not unless it’s touched.”

Now I feel bad, and embarrassed. Don’t do it, face. I know what you’re up to. Red is not my color. Too late. I’m blushing. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s ok. You didn’t mean to.”

That’s right. If anyone’s to blame, it’s Nate. It’s all his fault. I hate him. “Grrr.” Did I just growl? “I wish I’d hit Nate. In the balls.”

“May I ask why you threw the bottle?”

Should I tell? It’s private. But Blue eyes did get caught in the crossfire. More like misfire but same thing. Don’t overthink this, Toyah. You’ll make our head hurt. No need to give details, just say it. “He hurt me. I wanted to hurt him back. And he was being a jerk.”

Blue eyes looks me straight in the eyes. Those magical eyes are burning. Is that anger? “Hurt you how?” Tear your eyes away, Toyah, you’re going to cry. He’s not worth your tears. He’s had enough. Why is my face wet? I give up. Body do what you want. Is that my hand wiping my face? “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have asked. Please don’t cry.”

“I can’t stop.”

God, I’m pathetic. Blue eyes pulls me into a hug. This feels good. “Is there anything I can do?” Never let go? “not until you want me to.”

I groan. “I said that out loud, didn’t I?”

“Yes, but I don’t mind.”

Add sweet to the list. This has to be an act. “Why are we doing this? We don’t know each other.” I’m sure about that. Or am I? I pull myself back to see those eyes. Do they know me? I would remember those, wouldn’t I? “Do we?”

“We used to. A long time ago.”

No way. “Really?”

Blue eyes sighs. Great, I’ve made those eyes sad. “Last time we spoke, we were ten. We were at a company family day.”

Company family day? Dad makes us go every year. I still see everyone I’ve ever met there, except… It can’t be? “Bradley?”

Did that actually come out? I barely heard me say it. “That’s what you called me.” I don’t believe it. No one knew what happened to him. He vanished. “I told you I’d marry you one day.”

It is him! My first kiss. My first love. The boy I compared all other boys against. I can’t control myself and, at this moment, I don’t want to. Right jab to the shoulder it is. “Where did you go? Why did you leave? Why didn’t you say goodbye?”

What? I’m angry. Seven years of not knowing will do that. “That’s a story for another time.” I don’t think so. Bradley stands and walks towards the bedroom door. “You should get back to the party. Seven minutes has long passed, and I don’t want any rumors starting about you.”

Seven minutes? What is he talking about? Nate said something like that too. That was it. “Bradley? What’s ‘seven minutes in heaven’?”

Bradley rubs the back of his neck. Is he nervous? “Have you not played that game before?” I shake my head. “Erm, well, it’s when instead of just kissing the other person, you both get locked in a closet for seven minutes to do it. Or more, depending how far you’re willing to go.”

S**t! No wonder Nate wanted to do that. Such an a*****e. I’m lucky Bradley saved me. Oh. “Do we have to kiss before I can leave?”

“No. I’ll take you back now.”

The f**k? The kid that wanted to marry me doesn’t want to kiss me? First Nate, now Bradley. I can’t take this. “Is there something wrong with me?”

I watch Bradley closely as he walks back to me. I stand as he gets closer. I may only be 5’2”, but I’m not backing down. “There’s nothing wrong with you, Toyah. Why would you think that?”

The way my name sounds from his mouth makes my legs weak. Not now. Focus. He insulted me. “Nate cheated on me because I wouldn’t have sex with him, and you don’t even want to kiss me.”

Bradley clenches his fists. “He did what?” Uh-oh. He’s pissed. “How did you find out?” What’s it to him? “Never mind. I’ll kill him anyway.”

He’s kidding, right? Bradley turns and storms towards the door. Guess not. Stop him, Toyah. “Bradley, don’t. Please. It’ll make everything worse.” He stops. “Please?”

Did I just beg? I’m getting more pathetic by the second. Bradley sighs. “I do want to kiss you.” Am I hearing things? He turns and walks back to me, his eyes never leaving mine. That stare is too much. It’s making me weak. It’s making my stomach flip. It’s making me lose focus. It’s so close. “I really want to kiss you.” His breath is so warm and is tickling my lips. “But not because of a game.”

He steps back from me again. That’s disappointing. “Then do it.”

Where did that come from? “I will when you do.”

Is that a challenge? It’s on. I walk to Bradley and wrap my arms around his neck. I’m on my tiptoes. When did he get this tall? “I’ll do it now.”

He bends to put his forehead on mine. “Please don’t.”

He’s confusing me. “Why?”

“If you kiss me, I want it to be because you’re sober, you want to, and you know who I truly am.”

“I may not be sober, but the other two are covered,”

“I’m not the child you knew.”

“I don’t care.”

I start to lean in. Just a few millimeters further. “TOYAH!” I jump back. Who was that? “What the f**k are you doing?” I turn to see Zoie, my best friend. In this moment thought, I think I hate her. She runs to me and grabs my arm, pushing Bradley away. “Let’s go,”

I resist the best I can. Damn, she’s strong. I’m already halfway across the room. “Zoie, wait.” She stops long enough for me to get out of her grip. I rush back to Bradley. “Can I see you again? Will I see you again?”

I’m shaking I’m so nervous. A small smile from Bradley calms me. “Of course,” he breaths.

“When.”

Ok, that was a whine. “When you find me.”

“How will I find you?”

“I’ll be around.”

What’s with these answers? Is it because Zoie’s here? He was always shy around new people. Maybe this’ll work. “What if it takes me ages?”

Bradley leans down and kiss my cheek. “I’ll wait.”

His whisper sends shivers down my spine. Or was that the draught from the hallway? Why’s the door open again? The pull on my arm reminds me. Zoie. Here she goes again with the dragging. She all but throws me out of Bradley’s room, slamming the door as she steps out. What’s wrong with her? “What’s wrong with me?” she yells. I did it again. Whoops. “What were you doing in there?”

I know she’s my best friend, but this is not her business. “Talking,” I shrug.

Zoie raises an eyebrow. I’m in trouble. Whatever she says, Toyah, deny everything. “Looked like more than that to me.”

“Well it wasn’t. You burst in before anything happened.”

Good denying, moron. “Then I did my job.” What job? “Do you even know who that is?” I roll my eyes and walk away from her. Why do I feel like a pinball? Zoie puts my arm over her shoulder and her arm around my waist. “Let’s get you home.”

My head is spinning. Is it because of the alcohol, or Bradley? “Zoie?”

“What?”

She’s mad. I’ll make it better. She only gets mad when you ignore her. “Zoie, I know who that was.”

“Really?” she asks. I nod. “And you went in there anyway?”

I’ll tell her everything. “Ok, I didn’t at first, but now I do. Did you recognize him?”

Zoie stops and faces me. I know that look. She’s turned on her bullshit detector. “Toyah, who do you think that is?”

How could she not recognize him? Just because I didn’t, doesn’t mean she shouldn’t. She was almost as close to him as I was. Doesn’t matter. I’ll tell her. “It was Bradley. My Bradley.”

My face hurts. Am I smiling? I touch my face. Yep, I’m smiling. Zoie sighs. What’s her problem? She should be happy for me. I waited a long time to see him again. “You’re staying at mine. We’ll talk about this tomorrow. Come on.”

We continue to walk through the party and out of the house. The only thing on my mind is seeing Bradley again. All I have to do is find him once more. How hard can that be?



© 2019 Jemma Packman


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Featured Review

Oh my, I need to know what happens next.

You're really good at dialogue, internal and external. You've made me like Toyah a lot, even though I don't enjoy drinking and normally don't enjoy drunk people either. But Toyah's great. It takes real talent to make someone so likable. I will definitely be reading chapter two.

But wait, there is no next chapter!!! I sincerely hope you will continue this story, you've got at least one person hooked.

Posted 5 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jemma Packman

4 Months Ago

Thank you. I have many more chapters hand written so I need to type them up.
This comment has been deleted by the poster.


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Reviews

Okay, I've been away from WC for a while and just saw your RR for this work and had to go back to the introduction. It does grab me and make me want to read on to see what happens. I agree that there are a couple little nitpicky errors, but Toyah is likable and, yes, the dialogue is good.

Posted 3 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jemma Packman

2 Weeks Ago

Thank you, Jennie.
Ooh! An unreliable narrator! I love that. They have to be drunk too, don't they? For the best experience.

Here's some nitpicking for you:

1. “I may not be sober, but the other two are covered,”
This is the end of a paragraph, so the end should be a period instead of a comma.

2. I’m shaking I’m so nervous. A small smile from Bradley calms me. “Of course,” he breaths.
I think you meant "he breathes."

Posted 3 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jemma Packman

3 Months Ago

Damn my typos 😯 thank you for taking the time to read this though. Hope you enjoyed it.
Oh my, I need to know what happens next.

You're really good at dialogue, internal and external. You've made me like Toyah a lot, even though I don't enjoy drinking and normally don't enjoy drunk people either. But Toyah's great. It takes real talent to make someone so likable. I will definitely be reading chapter two.

But wait, there is no next chapter!!! I sincerely hope you will continue this story, you've got at least one person hooked.

Posted 5 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jemma Packman

4 Months Ago

Thank you. I have many more chapters hand written so I need to type them up.
This comment has been deleted by the poster.

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Added on June 21, 2019
Last Updated on June 21, 2019


Author

Jemma Packman
Jemma Packman

Hull, East Yorkshire, United Kingdom



Writing
Chapter 1 Chapter 1

A Chapter by Jemma Packman


Chapter 2 Chapter 2

A Chapter by Jemma Packman