I lay on the bed staring at the artex ceiling, the crying has stopped now and now I think I was heading towards anger. Why me?
I knew I should’ve started taking those tablets my doctor gave me but I hate pumping drugs in my body. I wish I’d never listened to my sister and gone out that night I wish I’d not met him. I knew this was a phase of my grief, but I didn’t care and the tears came back again.
“Do I know you?” A tall guy in his 20s with a quiff had come over to me while I was at the bar.
“Probably not, you’re just saying that as an excuse to talk to me because you like my sister.” I looked towards her raising one eyebrow, she was surrounded by fit men and laughing her head off enjoying all the attention.
“You’re sisters?” He blinked.
“I know, I know, she’s tall and slim and I’m short and fat.” He shuffled awkwardly.
“It’s ok you can go now.” He had pretended his phone had gone off and apologised and said he had a call.
“What a dick!” Said a guy behind the bar.
“Ha!” I choked on my beer.
“That drink is on me.” He said as he leaned across the bar, “just don’t tell my boss”. He said looking towards an older woman at the bar, she did look quite scary even with my sober eyes as this was only my second. He wasn’t scary at all, he had black hair which hung over his face and looked a bit like a chubbier version of Johnny Depp and he didn’t look that much taller than me but I couldn’t tell because he was the other side of the bar.
“Thanks.” Was I blushing?
Fast forward to the following week and Eve wanted to go out again, her best friend had just got engaged and was no longer interested in hitting town and flirting with anything in trousers.
“I tried to look for you last week, it was like you disappeared into thin air.” It was him again. “My name is Andy, here give me a call and I would love to get a coffee sometime?”
My sister was at my side.
“Hi Andrew.” She purred.
“It’s Andy, and tell your sister to call me.” He walked off smiling to himself.
“I think he liked me.” She whispered in my ear.
“Can you just hurry up and find someone so that I can fuck off home, because I’m getting bored of your shit.”
I wasn’t enjoying spending the money I’d earned at work on drinks that would probably make me feel like crap tomorrow, I just wanted to be at home painting or reading because that was all I ever wanted to do.
The next morning she came in my room, dancing around like she was high on drugs.
“Ohhhh you missed so much last night Lulu!” I’m sure I did, but I didn’t care.
“Did you ring Jack?”
“That short bar man?” He wasn’t that short, but anything under 5 foot 9 was short.
“Oh Andy? No I’ve not, as you can see I’ve been busy painting.”
“Oh my god Louisa that is him!” She was right, I’d been painting a man walking a dog on the beach and realised it was his face. I had actually drawn him in my picture without realising it, I was actually quite shocked that I hadn’t realised.
“Probably because he was the last guy I saw.” I tilted my head to the side and scrunched up my eyes trying to convince myself it was a coincidence.
“You have to call him!” She was holding me and shaking me.
“Maybe.” I said nonchalantly and if I was, I wouldn’t do it when she was around.
I did call him, the next day on my lunch break.
“Is that Andy?”
“Hey Emily!” He said
“Emily? No I think maybe you’re expecting someone else?”
“Emily, from the bar with the sister who loves herself.” I burst out laughing.
“My name is not Emily.”
“Damn my lip reading skills are pretty crap, I was sure it was Emily!”
We chatted on the phone for my whole lunch break, even through me eating my sandwich. He had to know what was in my sandwich and what food I liked and if I liked Paris which was a bit random.
“Not really because I fly out there on Friday.”
“Wow you lucky thing!”
“You wanna come?” I had just met him, what sort of person would do such an irresponsible thing….my sister.
“I don’t have a passport, it’s run out”. I wasn’t lying either, I was due renew but I hadn’t bothered because I can’t afford to go anywhere at the moment.
“I was only joking, but if you’d have said yes I would’ve been up for that.”
“Oh.” I replied quite surprised.
He had texted me every day since then, even texting me when he got on the plane for Paris and when he’d landed. When he sent me a text before he came back was when he first asked me out, it read; meet me at 6 in the teas and treats? I loved that place, it was so expensive but it was so laid back in there. I’d wondered if he’d suggested there because I had mentioned that’s where I sometimes go to read and get a whole pot of tea to myself.
I went straight from work, I got there early thinking I would have my dinner there but he was already there. Quarter past five and he was sat by the window and looked quite shocked to see me.
“Yeah I was going to have my dinner before you got here.” I admitted.
“I was doing the same thing!” He laughed.
It was only 8 months into the relationship when he asked me to move in with him, he had just moved into a 2 bedroom flat and when I asked him why he wanted a second bedroom he had said for me to paint in. So it was only a matter of time before he was going to ask me to move in, I knew I was ready to say yes.
My parents liked him, my sister was happy to have my bedroom because it was the biggest bedroom in the house. I knew she was pleased for me really, and she did hug me when I told her but she would never let on to anyone else that she actually cares for her older sister.
We did go to Paris, in fact we went to Paris five times and Amsterdam which was another place that he would often go to. He was going for his work as a photographer and I just went along to keep him company, he took lots of pictures for travel companies and I would sometimes take my drawing book and do sketches but sometimes I just liked watching him work. The faces he made whilst using the camera would make me giggle to myself, he would screw up his face and all sorts.
I roll over and look at the picture of Amsterdam, that was the last time we went. The picture had gone viral on the internet, his website had gone viral and he couldn’t keep up with it.
“It was only supposed to be a hobby.” He had glumly said one evening.
“Don’t do it then Andy, if you’re not enjoying it stop.”
“I know but the money is good and we get to go travelling.”
“Well just have a break then.”
He did exactly that, so the accident could’ve been my fault because I told him to take a break.
About a month ago he had bought a motorbike, I was actually really shocked because he had never been that sort of person. I would’ve been less shocked if he’d bought a boat, he always liked being near the coast.
“Come out with me.” He’d said one day, I’d been out on it on short journeys but only for errands and he wanted to go on an adventure.
“Ok.” He had taken me out to get a helmet and leathers the week before so we were all prepared, however we weren’t prepared for what was about to happen.
A car had come from nowhere, as soon as I saw it coming around the corner I knew he wasn’t doing the speed limit. Apparently it was estimated the car was going roughly 35-40 miles an hour in a 30 limit area, I remember them telling me but it didn’t make me feel any different about the accident. They caught him, everyone had said and how good it was that they’d caught him because he drove off and left us laying on the ground. It wasn’t great though, Andy still died. I wish I’d also died, but I hadn’t and I was now stuck in this life without my soulmate.
I sat up in bed, Andy’s smell was almost gone from the flat so I walked over to the wardrobe and opened it. I inhaled his scent that was still lingering over all his clothes, I choked because I inhaled so much and fell to the ground and burst into tears.
“It will take time, but it does get easier.” Everyone had said, but I didn’t believe them, all I believed was that at this point in time life wasn’t worth living.