Life hasn’t been easy.
I guess no-one’s ever is, but I feel that my life had a few too many hurdles to contend with at a young age.
Moving back to the States after spending eight years in England was supposed to be my clean, fresh start, but that backfired in the space of ten minutes. That day would be the start of a completely new life, one that I hadn’t expected.
It meant that everything I had dealt with came flooding back to the surface, leading me down a new path, a path I never knew existed.
My childhood sweetheart was back in my life and I had to find a way of bringing up my haunted past to help build another new life.
I just had to climb a few more mountains along the way.
COMING HOME PLAYLIST
Nelly ft P. Diddy & Murphy Lee – Shake Ya Tail Feather
Delta Goodrem – Burn For You
Delta Goodrem – Can’t Break it to My Heart
Rihanna – Where have you been
Britney Spears – Hold It Against Me
Birdy – Skinny Love
O-Town – Baby I Would
Happy Hardcore – We Are The Children Of The Night
McFly – Party Girl
Conner Maynard – Animal
“Are you happy?” I ask, staring blankly at the movie again. “You never wanted this life. The money, cars, pressure to succeed, it’s strange to see you have all of that and enjoy it, something you said you’d never do.”
I don’t look at him, but I can feel him looking at me. I feel like he’s assessing me, weighing up my questioning. “You’re right, I never wanted it, but, things change, people change. I never planned on walking in these footprints, not once. But, I guess I thought I’d give it a shot. I was given the opportunity to build the building you work in and I took it. It all worked out in the end.”
I slowly look at him, feeling guilty for some unknown reason. “The building? You built that?”
“Yeah. He said he was retiring and was going to start an accounting company. He wanted a building to work in and extra floors to lease out to keep money coming in. He was happy with it so he handed his baby down to me.”
“Oh.” I mouth. I stretch my hand over and go to grab a handful of popcorn, when his hand latches round my wrist. I look at him wide eyed. “What?”
He smiles roguishly again, “You could always come over here and share the popcorn, you don’t have to be miles away. I thought we were meant to be acting like the old us? You never sat that far away.”
I chew on my lip, thinking back to the other things we used to do. “I don’t know. I know we’re trying to re-live the past ‘n’ all that, but don’t you think you’re rushing the old “getting comfy” together think? I’m not saying that things will be exactly like the used to be but, if they ever did, do you want to rush it and ruin it?”
Like he’s just ignored everything I’ve just said, he lifts the popcorn bowl and hauls me across the couch, positions me between his legs, covers us up with the duvet and rests the bowl in my lap. “For now, I don’t care.” He says, matter-of-factly in my ear, sending a slight shiver down my spine, making me squirm. “I wouldn’t keep doing that.” He adds and I can’t help but laugh, even though I’m against the idea of being like this. It feels right, but wrong all at the same time. I don’t want to get too attached because I can guarantee he’ll hate me when the time comes.
I relax against his chest and start nibbling on the popcorn, feeling content for now, watching the movie with a stupid grin that I haven’t worn since I was seventeen. Occasionally, his hand winds round me and he takes his own popcorn. We say nothing for a while, just quiet, no arguing, no reminiscing, nothing.
At around eight, my eyelids start to drop. I rest my head against his chest, hating that I’m falling asleep so early.
Feeling his breath softly on my neck, I waken a little bit more. “Are you falling asleep?” he whispers.
I nod, unable to talk, like it’s too much of an effort.
“Am I that boring?”
“No,” I whisper, “I’m just too comfortable and relaxed like this, I’m sorry.”
His chest vibrates softly under my ear. “Don’t be, I’m glad you are.”
Even though I’m dog tired, I manage to hike myself to look at him and scowl. “You’re happy I’m falling asleep, that’s just plain rude.”
“Not that,” he laughs, “that you’re comfortable; you always take the negative bits and assume things.”
I scowl harder. “No, I don’t, that’s what it sounded like.”
“It’s not what I meant though.” He says and tickles my side.
Pushing him in the shoulder of the offending arm, I back away slightly, hating being tickled, especially when I’m sleepy. “Keep your hands off Cooper, I can’t stand it.”
Playfulness flashes in his eyes but I’m not quick enough to jump off the couch and make a run to safety. His legs lock around me and his hands start their tirade on my sides, my weak spots. “Seriously K.C., stop it!” I laugh and screech, trying to fight his hands away, but it’s like he’s turned into an octopus and they seem to be everywhere. “Oh my God, Kyle, please!”
Fighting mode seems to kick in, trying to block out the feel of his hands. I wriggle and squirm in my tight spot, trying to get free enough to stop him, because my strength will somehow match his. Not. I push my hands against his biceps, pushing them as hard as I can to stop him, which strangely does. I’m out of breath, feeling sweaty in a room that’s cold enough to store snowballs in the middle of a heatwave. “I swear to God K.C., you do that again I’ll gut you and hang your insides off the balcony.”
He starts laughing hysterically, “You say the nicest things, you know that?”
Smiling sarcastically I say, “I do try. You bring the best out of me.”
Cautiously releasing his arms, I brace myself against the couch, one hand either side of him. I look at him, seeing him smile stupidly, confusion sweeping across my face, then it hits me. “What are you thinking about? Or shouldn’t I ask?”
About the Author
Born and raised in a small mining town in Derbyshire. Caroline has spent her adult years building a home and a future based on what’s in front of her, and for a while, that was all she needed. Family, friends and the dog.
In 2012, that all changed. Her new love of reading became a drug. Living in a fantasy became her happy place to escape from reality. Her imagination came to life and ideas that had laid dormant for years, came rushing back to the surface and Emeralds And Pearls was conceived, her debut novel.
In October 2013, that new chapter in her life started and Emeralds And Pearls were introduced to the world.
Caroline works a normal 8-5 job which has nothing to do with literature.
When people discover that she has written a novel, the look of shock on their faces is enough to bring a smug smile to her face, knowing that people underestimate her.