Not as long a chapter this time… might sneak another in mid week…
Catch up here
Not sure how long she’d been sat slumped against her bedroom wall, Kim’s tears had long since dried up. It was as though all her anger, all her grief had built up and had finally been released.
Starring silently at the wall in front of her Kim listened to the sounds of the house. The quiet hum of the fridge downstairs- the whirring of the washing machine and the hushed giggles from Kye’s bedroom.
After a few moments of quiet contemplation, Kimberley Carbelle stood up and exited her house.
It was yet another muggy August night. Kim approached the graveyard and once she had found the right spot she stood in front of the gravestone starring at the plaque before her; the plaque to which she’d spoken to countless times in these past two years.
In ever loving memory of
Died 2nd August, 2010
She touched everyone she knew with special love and kindness.
“Mum,” she said aloud and she paused. “I love you mum, and I know you’re listening. Today has been one of the worst since you left…” she crouched down, clearing some dried leaves from her mother’s resting place. The marble tomb stone was smooth and cool to her touch.
“I just wish you were still here…” her voice broke with pent up emotion and tears began to well – suddenly she was angry with herself. “I need you,” she managed, “everything is so difficult – my world is nothing without you here…”
Bowing her head, Kim paused for thought, and suddenly there came a howl somewhere in the distance – the call of some unseen beast piercing the night’s sky and sending a murder of crows to flight in fear, their cawing sending cold shivers over every inch of her body.
Instinctively Kim stood up straight, and glanced at the moon. It was full and bright in the sky, casting pale light over the graveyard around her, lighting up the tombstones like some sort of sinister spotlight.
What was she thinking? Being out alone on a Saturday night… Everyone knew it was dangerous to be out after dark; this town was well known for its crime, its muggings and disappearances… yet here she was, careless despite the chance of bumping into something predatory in the darkness.
Frowning, Kim realised she found it hard to care. Today had been terrible, she’d lost her best friend, and the man she suspected she may be in love with was clearly infatuated with another woman.
So what if she was set upon by a mugger? Or something worse? Would anyone really miss her? Kim doubted it.
Regardless of these bitter thoughts, Kim rubbed her sweaty palms nervously on her jogging bottoms, she could feel the fear prickling up her spine and coming to a stop somewhere around her shoulders – she was being watched.
Close by, a twig snapped as it was crushed by a heavier being.
Now the thoughts were in her mind, she was suddenly afraid…
“Wh- Who’s there?” Kim called out into the night, and instantly wished she hadn’t, some bushes in front of her rustled forebodingly. Ok, so maybe I don’t want to be eaten… Kim thought, looking around her, she could run, she was near to the road… but her legs were like jelly, she was rooted to the spot.
Kim swallowed, her throat was constricted and her tongue felt huge – too fat for her mouth.
How she could have been this stupid? It was still muggy, but goose bumps enveloped her body – the tiny hairs on the back her neck stood on end and she shivered, her mouth was dry and feelings of dread hung over her like a huge shadow waiting to shroud her in darkness.
Then Suddenly- footsteps, closer, closer.
Frozen to the spot, Kim cowered, her legs shook and her breath exuded in loud raking sobs of terror.
“I’d never expect someone who hates horror to spend their Saturday night sat in a graveyard…” a familiar voice startled her, and Kim fell to the floor, slipping to the ground in the mud and grime.
“Oh my god,” she whispered, breathing deeply, her chest rising and falling swiftly with the intake of oxygen. It felt like she’d been holding her breath for centuries.
Opposite her, arms spread wide in submission stood Simon, concern in his eyes as he saw her sorry expression – the apprehension apparent on her pale face.
“Oh my god, Kim – I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you…”
He approached her and helped her up, “Look at you, you’re a complete mess…What are you doing here?”
Kim said nothing but pointed at her mother’s grave, feeling foolish and child-like.
“Oh, jeez, I’m so sorry for scaring you…” Simon said, dragging his hand through his hair.
Kim took in his appearance, he looked different – his hair had been cut and was no longer in braids but hung thick and glossy resting at this jaw line, his kind brown eyes were full of concern, searching her face for some kind of response.
Kim starred back at him, unable to speak through fear of crying.
“I lost my dad…” Simon said suddenly, and he paused, “I was 7…” he gestured to another gravestone a few feet away.
Kim looked up at him, he sure was tall – probably about 6 feet 2 to her tiny 5 foot 1.
“He went for walk…” Simon continued, “and it was a full moon… just like tonight. He was mugged – the stupid bastard fought back and look where it got him…”
“Oh my god…” Kim whispered.
Another howl pierced the night’s sky, only this time it was further away.
Simon looked around the graveyard; a warm breeze whistled in between the gravestones, rustling dead leaves and causing tree branches to scratch the stones menacingly, his chocolate brown hair flew wildly around his face. “Do you want to get out of here?” he said, finally turning back to her.
Kim nodded and they left hurriedly, without a backwards glance into the night.
They arrived at Simon’s apartment at around 9pm.
Once inside Simon poured Kim a much needed glass of red wine.
“You’re a mess,” he chuckled, watching her take a sip.
Kim swallowed, savouring the warm taste of blackberry and plum, its medium bodied flavour soothing and calming her – she felt herself relaxing.
Kim chuckled, “Well, I’d be fine if it wasn’t for complete lunatics lurking in the bushes at the graveyard…”
Simon laughed, “Wait here,” he said, “I think I have something you can change into.”
Kim glanced at him sceptically. “Trust me,” he smiled, walking away and heading for the stairs.
Unsure of what to make of the day’s events, but feeling the full moon had something to do with it; Kim looked around her at Simon’s apartment.
It was nice, small, but nice nonetheless.
He was obviously an avid reader, books littered most surfaces and bookshelves covered the wall of the dining area. Kim also took in a vast array of DVDs and games.
Most of the walls were decorated with horror movie posters, nearly all of which Kim had never heard of. The décor was tasteful, but very masculine.
Simon returned from upstairs, “Here, catch,” he said, and he threw a some clothes at her which she caught deftly.
“It’s one of my hoodies and some shorts -they’ll be a bit big, you being a smurf and all… but you’ll feel more comfortable in those.” He eyed her muddy clothes and messy hair.
“Smurf?! I’m not a Smurf!” Kim protested.
“Coulda fooled me, titch…The bathroom’s just off the kitchen,” Simon laughed, directing her.
Kim got changed quickly, this is weird, she thought, spotting a hairbrush by the bathroom sink and pulling it through her tangled hair, what am I doing in Simon’s apartment? I don’t even know his last name! She frowned at her reflection and pulled a spare hair bobble off her wrist. I really should just get out of here… she pondered, tying up her hair in a messy bun and rearranging her fringe. Smurf?! I’m not a bloody smurf!
The hoody and shorts fit perfectly, the top being just nicely loose. It did feel nice to be out of her sweaty, mucky clothes. Folding them neatly she carried them into back into the main room.
“Thanks,” she said to Simon who was over by his DVDs, browsing them.
“No problem,” Simon said, pulling out one of the cases and approaching her. “Do you want a bag for those?” he gestured at the dirty clothes in her hand, Kim caught the title of the movie he held ‘The Evil Dead’.
“Um, yeah, that’d be great… thanks.”
Simon nodded and walked to the kitchen area, placing the DVD on the worktop he opened one of the draws and Kim saw it was full of carrier bags. Simon handed her one.
“So, I really should get going,” Kim said.
“That’s cool,” Simon replied, “I’m really sorry for scaring you… we don’t seem to be able to get this right… do we?”
Kim laughed, “No, we really don’t.”
“You know, and please don’t laugh…” Simon said, “But my dad always used to say to me that everyone you meet comes into your life for a reason… whether it be good or bad… everyone teaches you something important- no matter how insignificant it might seem at the time, or hurtful… and you decide who stays to be part of your story.”
Kim smiled, “You think so?”
“I know so,” Simon returned her smile, “So stay, learn from me, be in my story for a while…”
Kim eyed him quizzically. “Learn what?”
“Keep an open mind,” Simon winked at her.
”Um, I’m not sure…” Kim said, unconvinced.
Simon launched himself onto the sofa and patted a space next to him.
Kim cocked an eyebrow at him, but did as she was bid.
“Ok, so I don’t know you,” Simon started, “but I get that you’ve been through some rough times…”
Kim nodded slowly. Was it really that obvious?
“Tell me about your Mum…”
Kim frowned, she wasn’t sure she wanted to go there. “You don’t have to,” Simon went on, “but I’m fairly certain I can relate…”
Kim placed her head in her hands, unsure of what to say, where to start, she barely knew Simon, but she didn’t have anyone else… and it didn’t matter if he judged her.
Kim went through the story of her mother’s death, the accident; the switching off of the life support… the breakup of her best friend’s marriage, and finally her fall out with Lily because of Adam… and Simon patiently listened through it all.
Once she’d finished her story, he told her about his father’s death, how it had affected him, how he’d been bullied at school because of it, he felt his love of horror movies probably stemmed from his dark past – the need to understand fear and monsters.
“That really explains a lot…” Kim said when he’d finished, “I feel like I judged you too harshly…”
“Likewise,” Simon said, “I kinda thought you were stuck up…”
Kim laughed, “Well you were totally socially inept! I thought you were a total weirdo doofus!”
“Pah! That’s Mr Weirdo-Doofus to you! Tell me about this dude…” Simon asked.
“The one you left me for, our last date, the one you went running to see…”
Of course he meant Kye.
“Ugh, he’s a jerk.” Kim said.
Kim took a deep breath. “He’s not really… just… I think I fell in love with him… and he is so oblivious… we, we had a moment – at least I thought we did… but then he went and slept with someone else when I was all ready to tell him how I feel… what makes it worse is that we live together; I have to see him every day.”
“That sounds messy.”
“It really is.”
“Like I said though, everyone in your life is there for a reason, no matter who they are. Learn from the experience and move on…”
Kim thought for a moment, “I just feel like I need to kick him out or something… my head is telling me to ask him to leave… my heart desperately wants him to stay…”
“Wait it out – either your head or your heart will win in the end…”
“I guess you’re right,” she said, finally turning to look at him,
“I know I am,” Simon laughed with a cheeky twinkle in his eye. “Now watch this with me, I command it.”
Kim watched as he retrieved the DVD from earlier and inserted it into the machine, having spoken to him in detail about all her problems she felt some sort of connection with him, purely platonic, but a connection nonetheless. He’d been kind to her, he’d listened to her and he’d shared his past in return for hers. Kim supposed the least she could do was sit and watch some lame-ass horror movie with him; so she got comfortable, sipped her wine and for the first time in the past few days she relaxed.
DISCLAIMER: Lame-ass horror movie?!! Even as I typed it I wanted to smack myself in the gob. I love The Evil Dead, these opinions belong my characters, not me 😉