A Night Out.

A story inspired by my own castle ❤

 

A Night Out

By: Kole.

anightoutcv

The night sky seemed clear but it was pissing rain. The street lights reflected on the ground as the ‘don’t’ walk blinked red on the zebra crossing. The girls sprinted across the street, covering themselves with their jackets so their hair that took ages to get right and the tan that took effort to put on wouldn’t be ruined.

Eleanor and Neve just laughed as they made it to the other side, barely.

It was a Saturday night and Washington street was brighter than ever. It could have been mistaken for New York, if you didn’t know any better, for the girls were just in Cork, Ireland. To Eleanor it was her city of lights. Eleanor was young, about 22 years old, she was raised in England but recently moved to Ireland. She left her family, that was splitting into two, for Dublin, but she hated it there. She was a forgotten girl in such a big city, which just wasn’t Eleanor. So, she headed to Cork, where she met Neve.

The girls headed over to Reardens, no better place to be on a night out.  You could hear the music playing and the people from the street. To Eleanor Reardens was her castle and she was the queen. It was the place she and Neve met; they had a mutual friend and hit they it off right away, which was new to Eleanor; she wasn’t use to having a lot of girl friends or friends for that matter. Eleanor was pretty, but she quickly learned the cost of beauty. She started modeling at the age of 12. With the uniqueness of her bright blue eyes and deep red hair she got a lot of attention. But, she had never wanted that attention.   

“ID’s” the bouncer said.

Neve dug for her’s while Eleanor swiftly handed her ID to him. The man looked at the ID then at her, eyeing her up and down; not in a creepy way but in a confused way. A girl like Eleanor should be sweet talking her way in, she didn’t need an ID.

“There you go,” he said nodding them in.

Eleanor reached out for Neve’s hand as she was known to get a little lost sometime. Eleanor walked past everyone like she was squishing a bug, eyes glared at her, looking her up and down. Eleanor took no notice; she was used to eyes looking at her that way. It was her job that made her this way.

“What you want to drink?” Neve asked, yelling over the music.

“I’ll get it,” Eleanor said, pushing her way to the bar for the people had their drinks and needed to move, “Four Vodkas.”

“Four?!” Neve questioned, “who else is drinking?”

“We are going to double fist them so we don’t have to come up here again!”

“Good idea.” Neve said, pulling out her phone.

Neve was real, she was down for anything. She wasn’t afraid to do things, she had no worries. Her fucks were at the door.

Eleanor got the drinks, handed two to Neve, and  her eyes wandered around the bar. That’s where she saw him passing her. Black jacket, brown hair boy with a look about him that showed he was trying to be tough; yet, he wasn’t tough at all. “Him,” Eleanor said to Neve.

“Him?” she question.

He walked right by taking no notice of them, which was fine with Eleanor; she liked a challenge.

“Yes him, let’s have some fun.” Eleanor said. Eleanor had confidence; it’s something she always had, even before modeling.

Eleanor grew up with her father always taking pictures of her and her siblings, he was a photographer, one of the best in the business. He did everything from print, to high fashion, to travel. He met the queen once to give her a picture he took while on a shoot on a Safari in South Africa.  And after doing so many low key shoots at age 15 she got her first real break in Cosmo. She walked in and they destroyed her; telling her she wasn’t thin enough, her hair was all wrong, her face was uneven, and the criticized the way she stood. And what did she do, she looked right at them and said; “There is nothing I can’t do.” and walked away. That walk got her that job. After that no one seemed to find anything wrong.

Eleanor was a wanted girl by everyone that by 20 years old she was lost in a world she never wanted to be in. Her mother was the big push behind everything she did. And soon that was what broke her family. However, before it broke Eleanor loved modeling. She loved the clothes, the places she got to go, the people she met and worked with, she loved the opportunity she got. But it wasn’t all glamorous. She, unfortunately, got caught up in it, just like her mother had.

 No one knew she left London. Her mom thought she was working somewhere in Germany or the Netherlands. Her father wasn’t even in London; he left to his family village with her siblings after she told him about her mother. He was upset with Eleanor for telling him.

 

The girls walked over to a free spot near a mirror; they stood there for a while talking  until they heard the song and the girls looked wide eyed at each other and with no words they headed straight to the dance floor, placing their now empty drinks on the table, as they moved their way through.

Eleanor turned her head, the rebel without a cause boy was right behind her. He was with a group of lads; he wasn’t out for the shift or a score, which intriqued Eleanor. Eleanor turned around grabbing Neve from behind, pulled herself through the lads saying, “Sorry boys,” looking at the boy. He had dark mixed coloured eyes. He moved to the side, staring at her. She smirked back, moving Neve and her right next to the lads to dance and waited; it was his turn.

“What’s your name?” he asked.

“Eleanor,” she said smiling, putting out her hand to shake his, still dancing with Neve who was not paying any attention, she had a boyfriend.

“I’m Ronon,” he said.

“Hi,” she smiled. The boy looked down and then right at her, he didn’t know what to do. He didn’t seem awkward at all, he seemed confident, sure of himself, but there he was not looking Eleanor in the eye. “Are you out for the night Ronon?” Eleanor asked.

“Yeah, nothing special just the lads out.”  He took her hand and pulled her away from the dance floor to sit on the back seats of the dance floor. When Eleanor saw something she liked she went for it. And the boy couldn’t say no. She looked back to see if Neve was alright she put her thumb up. She was dancin’ away with those lads now.

 

People would always tell Eleanor how lucky she was; they’d tell her she was so pretty over and over again. It felt like a blessing at the same time a curse. While growing up her family was pretty close. She and her siblings never wanted to leave the house without each other. They went on family road trips to the countryside after they moved to London. Weekend trips away as a family were the best part. Laughing and smiling, her parents looking at each other like lovers do in movies. Having her family, her parents, that love made all the hardships of her life worth it. However, things began to break. First it was her relationship with her siblings, because she hardly ever saw them. She didn’t go to school with them, she had no clue what was going on in their lives–she couldn’t bother either if they asked. For Eleanor had her pictures on billboards across the world. Then the weekend get aways stopped, her father even talked about selling the house in the countryside. And then her parent’s relationship began to ruffle. Her father would kiss her mother on the cheek while she didn’t even look at him. And Eleanor didn’t even notice because, like her mother, she was lost in her own world to see what really was happening.

 

Ronon sat down on the coaches on the side of the dance floor, holding Eleanor’s fingers.

“I don’t dance,” he said pulling Eleanor in between his legs.

“That’s a shame,” she said, smirking at him. He, of course, didn’t look like a guy that did dance; he had two left feet Eleanor guessed. That was fine with Eleanor because she would rather dance on her own.   And she did. She just danced with Neve and his friends as he watched.

One night, four years into her modeling career, she was out at a dinner party, celebrating her probably biggest break ever, walking in both London and Paris fashion shows.  Eleanor was sitting at a table next to a boy, they’ve been flirting a lot, sending text messages back and forth. It all was harmless fun, but they never got to actually be in the same room with each other until now. His hand was on her bare leg moving up and down getting closer and closer under her dress each time.

He leaned in whispering some sweet words into her ears, kissing her neck. Eleanor laughed looking over to her mom. Her mother was getting felt up by her manager across the table. Her ring still on her finger, right in front of everyone Eleanor called friends, people she worked with. She thought about her father, and the look her parents once had for each other. She thought about when she was younger and how happy she had been. She thought about the words people used to describe her. Then her thoughts went to the guy, who wasn’t even her boyfriend, as he slipped his hand up her dress. Eleanor pulled away from the guy; he looked confused, as she got up.

“Where you going, babe?” he asked. She looked down at the boy with his perfect jawline and silver blue eyes and knew, she was nothing to him. He desired her; he did not want her.  

She said, “Don’t call me babe.” And the next morning she was on a flight to Dublin.

 

“I have to go to the bathroom,” Eleanor said to Neve grabbing her hand, pushing herself through people to the bathroom.

“This guy is 50 shades Greg,” Eleanor said closing the stole door behind her

“Greg? You mean Grey?” Neve said.

“Yeah that, did you see him?”

“Yeah, and when you pulled me away he turned to the girl next to him.” Eleanor rolled her eyes, “He’s drunk Ele, and so are you. Are you expecting to find your prince charming here?”

“Nooo,” she said thinking back to her model, not boy friend. “But he is cute and I don’t know, there’s something.”

“That he’s cute!”

“Yes and I kind of just want him, like not only for the night. And if that’s what he wants well, he can have it with someone else.”

They both laughed.

 

Eleanor walked out of the bathroom and sure enough Ronon was talking to the girl next to him. But, as she walked over to the group of lads Neve was talking to she felt someone hit her legs. She turned her head slightly; it was Ronon trying to get her attention. “Yes?” she asked him.

“Where were you?” he asked.

“The bathroom.”

“Sit,” he said, drunk. He couldn’t keep his squinting drunk eyes off her.

“What you want Ronon, you’re friend is getting jealous.”

“What friend?”

“The girl,” she said leaning over the girl, “is he your friend?” she asked.

The girl didn’t say anything. Eleanor felt like a bitch, but the drunk mind was taking her own.

“She’s not my friend.” he said.

“You can’t just pull me in after talking to her like that’s not nice.”

“I want you,” he said.

“Oh really?” How?” she asked.

“You’re interesting girl Eleanor,” he said.

“You haven’t even heard my story.”

He didn’t say anything he just pulled at her and kissed her. She kissed him back, even though his hand slide up and down her leg, even though they were drunk and he was just talking to another girl. Eleanor didn’t care he wanted her for not because she was some thing on a billboard, or labeled as this beautiful thing. He wanted her for he was  interested in her.

All night they were chatting and shifting in the corner. It wasn’t love; it was far from it, but it was the first time in a long time Eleanor was finally happy and she finally felt like she was wanted for herself.

“This is nice, you should hold onto this,” referring to her necklace. It was a little leaf feather gold chain she had gotten at TopShop one day.

“WHAT?” she said, not understanding what he was on about.

“I…I like this, it’s cool.”

“Yeah, I like feathers,” she said.

“You should hold on to this it could be–”

“You’re not good at this are you?” she interrupted him.

He rolled his head back knowing that she called him out on it, but instead of answering he kissed her and it was a good kiss at that. She wanted to keep kissing him and he wanted to keep kissing her.

“You’re interesting, Eleanor,” he said pulling away.

“Am I so?” she asked right back, looking into his ocean blue eyes.

There was a smile on Eleanor’s face. It was getting later in the night and Eleanor wasn’t going to let herself fall, not this way. She pulled Ronan away and looked down at her phone it was ten minutes to midnight. “Do you have somewhere to be?”

“Yeah,” she said looking at him.

“Okay fine,” he said, looking somewhere else as he digged in his pocket, “before you run off, give me your number okay?”

She typed in the numbers and handed it back, kissing him one last time before letting herself go. Because at the end of the night she was going to be the girl that was going to leave, and if they wanted her they would have to come find her.  

“See you girls,” the bouncer said as they left.

“Bye captain,” Eleanor said.

“Next time lads,” Neve said.

Eleanor walked besides Neve down Washington street, drunk, laughing about the night.  She looked down at her phone; there were five missed calls from her mother, one even from her father. There was a text, too. Her dad apologizing hoping she was alright. And one from her mother asking where she was and why she wasn’t at the shoot two weeks ago.

Eleanor sent a mass message back, “I left London. I’m not coming back. I’m finally me.”  She had finally found who she really was. She discovered what was real through Neve. And, here on Washington Street was her place, this was her night, this is where she belonged.

Thank you for reading x 

Follow a city girl story on instagram and don’t forget to hit the FOLLOW button!

Advertisements

Flash Fiction: Spinning Around

First Published in the Quarryman 2016, Volume 2

UntitledWe sit in the middle of the village, Ballyclare, a place so small everyone is related. We were in Fiona’s car, she in the driver’s seat talking about the day’s gossip. Julia in the front seat with her head out the window smoking a fag because if she got any smoke in the car Fiona will kill her; but I felt still getting into my lungs.

I’m in the back seat twiddling my thumbs, thinking how I could go home and read my brother’s paper. I also need  a shower. And by the time one of us decide to head home it would be ten o’clock, too late to take a shower, which meant I have to wake up early.

“What is the plan girls?” Fiona ask.

“Why don’t we go to the chipper and get some shakes?” I suggest.

“No, I have no money,” Julia said puffing away.

There really is no winning, it is always the same thing. We sit in the middle of town doing what we’ve been doing and and then when we grew sick of sitting, we do a quick spin around the loop.

My life had not always been like this. I went to college, I had a boyfriend from Germany, who before leaving to go back home wanted me to go with him to Germany for the summer. I had been nearly at the airport when my brother rang me about our mother once again. We still talk, after all these years apart, he still tempts me with a ticket. And I always say no.

Now, I wait tables every day. I come home to a mother who spends her days in bed, not sleeping, but gazing at the window, wishing for him to walk in the door. Plus, my younger brother couldn’t handle he needed someone there. I’ve been doing in for last two years.

Fiona stop the car by the pier, turning on the brights so we could see the waves; there were none.

“Let’s go skinny dipping?” I jokingly suggested.

“Too cold like,” Fiona said.

Julia lit up another one.

The girls did not know about my German boyfriend. No one knew. I always thought about telling them but I knew what they say: What about my brother? What about my mum? She isn’t getting any better.

Everyone who leaves always comes back. I came back because my brother needed me. B he’s seventeen. He’s not the little fourteen year-old who need’s his sister. He was going to leave. He’s always saying” “Once I turn eighteen. I’ll be gone.”

 That was 4 months away and then I have no priorities left. I pull out my phone and risk a text.  I know I’ll miss them, my girls, our spins around the village.

Fiona drop me off at my house. I saw my brother’s finish paper on the table. He did not need me to read it, but I took it anyway for one last look through. As I got into my bed  ready to read my brother’s paper, my phone went off. I looked at it;I got you a ticket.

Short Story: That Time in Spring

 

A short story. Jay is in his last year of college, he knows what he has to do. But then he meets Charlie and maybe he doesn’t have to do what he has to do instead he could go to America. 

IMG_9784

The spring semester was getting started and the end of college was near. We were a bunch of kids in our twenties with empty cans in our windows. We were partying every other night; reality had not hit our house yet.

I was with my friends Seamus and Peter standing outside a house where we had seen girls dancing in the window. A brown-haired girl answered. The guys were trying to get themselves into the party. I stood back looking in when I saw her coming down the stairs.

“Hey,” she said coming to stand by her friends.

Her friend told her to go to the kitchen. I followed her and Seamus and Peter followed behind. The brown haired girl did not stop us, since she was eyeing Seamus. He was a tall charmer with looks to match.  I on the other hand was considered the nice guy. I was the guy who would make sure my friends were all right. I cared, that was my problem.

She was sitting on the floor in the kitchen corner. I went over to this girl who I knew nothing about and took a chance.

“Hey, I’m Jay,” I said sitting in the chair beside her.

“I’m Charlie,” she said.

I leaned down to her. “You all right?”

Grand, I just want to sit in a corner.”

“I don’t judge.”

“Good, a lot of people judge. This is our first time meeting, right?”

“I live across from your house – we probably crossed paths a few times.”

“Probably did. Surprised you didn’t catch my eye.” She looked at me. “I’m doing design so I’m always in the Foundation Building. You’re not in there, are you?”

“No. I’m not.”

“Tell me about yourself, Jay,” Charlie said sitting up.

“Nothing to tell.”

She eyed me.

“I’m studying business and economics. It’s the fourth year so I’ll be crazy with the F.Y.P and all, but it’s good craic.”

“I bet that none of the things you are doing are what you want to do. But you know what you are supposed to do, right?

“Why do you think that?” I asked.

“Because everyone at this age feels that way. I mean, I do anyway. We know what we are supposed to do,” she said getting up, “but not what we want to do.” She walked away.

I wasn’t angry but afraid she was right. It was like when I gave up track. I was fast as a cheetah but stopped when I got to college. It was just the four of us, mum, dad and my little brother,Kaenan. We lived on mum’s family farm, a farm I was going to inherit.

I got up and went over to Charlie knowing I’d come across as a fool to her. She knew the game, and knew how to play it to her advantage. And I was willing to be played by her.

 

4 weeks later

We sat on a campus bench outside one of the college’s main buildings. The sun was out, a rarity in Ireland. Charlie had her face to the sky, eyes closed. She wore a crop top revealing a tattoo that read “She Flies With Her Own Wings” in Latin. I’ve seen this tattoo a few times on our foolish meaningless night together. We were just friends, but I wanted more.

“Are you going to J-term?” she asked me sitting with her legs towards mine, our knees touching.

“I don’t know if I will.”

“You should join me in Chicago.”

It seemed the world was at her feet, and I knew I could never have her – not even for a minute.  But she didn’t make me feel like that. She made me realize that there was more to me than what I felt.

“I’ll have to see.” I said

“Well a at least join me tonight at Stables,” she said, smiling.

“I can definitely do that.” She stood up taking my hand as we headed to the library together.

***

We were in Peter’s room sitting on his bed, listening to music and drinking. The two of us had been friends since our first year. Seamus was my housemate and Peter lived across from us.  We stayed friends all three years and now we had one last year to take the piss out of each other, to live together, to drink together. Then, who knew what would happen. Seamus would stay in Ireland, for sure. Peter said he wanted to go to Australia. I’d probably stick around.

“Jay, your girl’s outside,” Peter said.

“What?” I asked as he opened the window. “What are you doing?”

“He wants to know where he’ll be meeting you,” Peter shouted down to her.

“Peter, you tell Jay if he wants me he has to find me,” she called back.

 

Charlie pulled me away from my friends into the courtyard. We sat on top of the picnic table under a blinking light. She twisted her hair while she talked. I couldn’t stop looking at or listening to her.

“You’re something,” I told her.

“Thanks,” she said pulling herself close to me. “I know I can be little all over the place.”

“No, not at all,” I said taking her hands as I kissed her. I could feel myself falling for her as we headed back to my place.

 

We woke from a knock on my bedroom window. It was Peter; he needed to get in. “Fuck’s sake, Peter – go around!”

“I don’t have a key!” he shouted. I got up and let him through my window. He winked at me and whispered, “Way to go.”

I crawled into bed and looked at my bedside clock. I had to catch a bus back home in two hours

“You all right?” I asked.

“I always liked design, but I am clueless. Everyone else seems to have a better grasp of what is going on. I know you think I’m perfect, Jay,  but I’m so not. And I want to make sure you know that so when you do find out, you won’t be disappointed.”

“I’m not disappointed,” I told her.

“Okay,” she said.

“I’m not disappointed,” I told her again, kissing her while pulling her closer to me, I wasn’t letting go.

***

I got to the house. My brother was nowhere to be seen. Mom worked at the local pharmacy. She was the only woman I knew who was always sweet. But she had one flaw – she ignored the truth. Dad, on the other hand, was always working on his motorcycles. Nothing else seemed more important to him than those bikes. He hardly ever came in the house.  I think mom preferred it that way. Like she preferred having Kaenan in town and me home on the weekends.

“Where’s Kaenan?” I asked mom as I set my bags down by the door.

“He’s at training, I think. Maybe you could pick him up before you get your dad?”

“Is he at the pub?” I asked, even though I already knew he was. “I don’t think Kaenan would be happy to wait around for him?”

“Right, I’ll text him and tell him to just stay wherever he is.”

“Mom.”

“You want something to eat?” she said walking away into the kitchen.

My brother was 15. He was always in the village. I didn’t blame him; the house was always too quiet.

Get home you punk, I texted.

I’m with Aisling, he texted back. I let him off.

I went to pick dad up. The smell of whisky was overpowering. He only drank on weekends. Mom said it was just stress. But it wasn’t stress that caused Kaenan to never be home. It wasn’t because of the alcohol that mum was always going to bed before him. And none of it was why I had to come home every weekend and be reminded that if I came back, dad would be better. None of it was the reason for his behaviour.

“How’s college?” he asked as I drove off.

“Fine,” I said. My phone rang. Charlie. I told her to call me when she got back from her night out with her housemates. I didn’t want him to overhear our conversation. I saw his eyes look down.

“Who’s the bird?” he asked.

“Her name’s Charlie.”

“Where’s she from?”

“Galway. Her mom’s American.”

“Oh I see….she’s here to find an Irish man like the rest of them, huh?”

“She’s Irish.”

“Listen…” he said, “Girls like that will use you; they’ll show you a life you can’t have. Your priority is to this family. You understand me?”

I gripped the steering wheel, what was his right in telling me, he’s the father, the man of the house. Always working on his motorcycles.

“Okay,” I said.

I lay in my bed looking at my phone. I wanted to call her. I didn’t know what to say, being home reminded me for the fact that I was the fool. However, she was showing me a life that I wanted.

“Hey babe,” I said into the phone.

 

Three weeks later.

I was sleeping on the couch. My room was being used by my cousin. I was texting Charlie, who was out at a pub with friends. We were sending pictures to each other. She sent one with her looking great in a dark red dress blowing me a kiss. I sent her one of me just lying there only in my boxers. Looks like I’m missing something.  I wanted her there with me.

The front door opened and I quickly rolled over like I was sleeping. Dad was coming in from working on his bike. He walked right by me. I could smell beer from him.  He went to the kitchen. Mom was in there trying to get everything clean. I could barely hear. Dad’s voice was low. Mom was saying something calmly, in the same way she dealt with unhappy customers. Something wasn’t right.

As I walked into the kitchen I saw him slapping her across the face. Without thinking I ran right into him, pushing him away from her with my right fist in the air.

***

“Jay,” I heard my mother whisper. It was morning and I couldn’t remember if any of it had actually happened. My knuckles were bruised. I sat up and mom was standing on the other side of the room, her fingers to her lips gesturing from me to come. Her face was badly bruised.

“Come on let’s get you back to school,” she said. I didn’t say anything I just looked at my beaten up knuckles.

She drove me all the way back to school. We didn’t talk until she pulled up behind my house. I had never seen her with such sadness in her eyes.

“Your father is just worked up; that’s all. And I know you are too but let’s get past this, okay? Focus on your finals and then this summer you’ll be home and everything will be good.”

I didn’t know what to say except “I love you.”

I walked to my house. I turned to look at house 44 and up to Charlie’s window. I could see her reflection. I didn’t call over. Instead, I texted her, apologizing for how I couldn’t be there for her anymore. She didn’t reply. I knew she was used to this but if she only knew how my father was a drunk, my mom was helpless, and my brother was hiding from it all, she might have understood. I wish I could have told her I had to help out because, like mom said, then everything would be better at home.

Charlie made me see a life that was different to the one I had – but, like I knew the day I met her, that life was never going to be mine.

 

 

This is a story I have had worked on for years and it has changed a lot, it was a flash fiction story in the UCC express Byline last year but this is a longer version of it. Thank you for reading, if you like hit like 🙂 Letting me know  ❤ 

Short Story: Subway Anxiety

Subway Anxiety

subwayanxiety

Haley stood on the platform waiting for the subway. It was going to be a twenty minute wait since she missed the last train. Usually she wouldn’t mind waiting around, not today. Today all she wanted was to get home and hide under her covers.

Today was a really bad day, she texted her sister, hoping that she’d be able to talk.

Haley was diagnosed with ADHD at age 6. Attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder symptoms included hyperactivity, an inability to focus, depression, and anxiety. Growing up she had no control over her thoughts, her attention, and an overactive imagination. At 22 Haley thought she finally had control of herself, but today she was once again faced with the fact that there was no escaping from it, no matter how hard she tried.

Haley moved to the city right after college, right into this new job. It was her first experience in the real world. She began working at the small advertising company a couple of months ago. No one there knew that Haley worked differently.  She walked around in her Steve Madden booties, hair tied up in a bouncy ponytail, holding her vanilla latte, acting like she was normal, like everyone else around her, except she wasn’t. On the outside she was perfect but there was darkness inside her.

If Haley said she needed to take a break, or to have the directions written down and explained, people would ask her why. Despite her struggles, she was dedicated to doing well because it was her first big opportunity to prove herself. She didn’t have to just sit at a computer, answer e-mails and do whatever was put on her desk. This was her time to shine.

A few months ago Haley got the position to be the head organizational leader for their newest client.

“You’re the most organized person I know Haley,” her boss told her, referring to the post-its all over her desk.

“Oh thank you so much, Jeff.” she responded.

“We are expecting big things from you,” he told her.

“Great,” she said smiling, except there was a knot in her stomach.

But when she would walk in the office, latte in her hand, smiling and saying hi to everyone she passed she felt like she was playing dress up. She was pretending to be a responsible working girl, not Haley, a girl who had this darkness wanting to come out.

What happened? Her sister finally texted her back.

I’m going to get fired. I just know it. Haley began to text, her hands moving fast and saying everything she needed to say, not caring about misspelled words. She knew that even if her text was jarbled her sister still would be able to interpret it. I’m not going to make the deadline. And I’m trying really hard but I’m just feeling no matter what I do it’s not working.  I have a week, which is good. But, the IT guy never answers my questions and if he does it makes no sense. He makes me feel dumb. The graphic designer is out for holiday. I’m trying, I’m really trying but…it’s not happening!

 

The whole day Haley could not cope, she had post-its all over her desk, writing down everything that came to her head. She drank coffee past 1:30; that wasn’t good for her, but she did it anyways. Haley was reaching her point of exhaustion. But it wasn’t only work she had going on. To top it off she spent the whole day worried that she left the oven on, and her mom wouldn’t stop e-mailing her or texting her about this weekend’s get together. Something she really was not looking forward to.  And when someone set a pile of work on her desk after lunch she knew she needed to go.

She had this little tick scratching her head behind her ears- that was the first sign. Not wanting Ryan, the cute mail boy, to see her she quickly left without him, something she usually didn’t do. She usually would  time  it perfectly to walk right out with him. They would meet at the elevator doors.

“Hi Ryan,” she said smiling nicely.

“How are we today Haley?”

“Good, did you have a good weekend?”

“Yeah I did.  I was going to my friends house for the football game, well it turned to be a night out.”

“Was it fun?”

“Yeah it was. Did you have a fun weekend?”

“Kind of but I really didn’t do much,” she said. Her weekends were spent in her apartment with her dog, doing laundry and getting ready for Monday, so when she walked in she would feel she was on the same level as everyone else.

Ryan was a nice guy, he was the kind of guy that rarely ever talked about much, he mumbled a lot of the time, but he cared. Haley liked that he really didn’t seem like the kind of guy to work in the office, he had that working in a garage or with cars vibe about him, sleeves always rolled up, looking completely off in a blazer. But he worked here because it paid well and he needed the money. There wasn’t anything going on between Ryan and her, she new that. But the other day he kind of asked her out, but not really.

“You ever go out Haley?”

“Not really, I usually stay pretty chill.”

“You know you should come out with us?”

“Oh,” Haley answered stuttering nervously, “it depends really, when and where. I live far from here; I’ve got to take the subway.”

“Do you live by yourself?”

“I have a dog. His name’s Woody, a Newfoundland.”

“Very cool. You should come out. It would be fun to have you out of work mode, you’re so studious…it’s a good thing of course.”

“Thanks though.” she said feeling like she just told him no even though she wanted to say yes, but she didn’t know if it would be a good idea. Haley had had one boy friend, but it was a teenage love affair that ended quickly when he decided he wanted to date Molly Madison. He then decided to start a rumor that Haley was obsessed with him and had psychotic outbursts at him. This wasn’t true, but people believed him anyway since she was known to end up in the nurse’s office from anxiety attacks.

Haley didn’t want Ryan to think she was crazy or psychotic. And if Ryan saw her in mid ticks he may think that. Or worse ask her what was wrong. She wouldn’t know what to say because how could you explain something you didn’t understand yourself? So she quickly rushed out to catch the subway, that she missed by a minute.

 

Haley looked at her phone, her sister wasn’t texting her back, which was fine but now Haley was left standing waiting for the subway on her own. She began to itch behind her ear like a dog. She thought about her job, worrying about sending an e-mail to the client about the project without double checking it for any spelling mistakes. She thought about Ryan and how if he saw her acting like this, he would think twice about asking her out. She thought about all the things she didn’t do before leaving.

The platform began to fill. A man came to stand about an inch away from her, like there was no other room but where she was. That irritated her more, couldn’t the man see she really couldn’t handle being near people? More and more people started to come around her and Haley began to feel trapped. There was a lump in her chest that kept growing. She couldn’t shake what was happening to her. Haley kept on thinking about how the conversation would go with her boss when she’d tell him that they wouldn’t be ready for the meeting. She thought about her parent’s faces when she told them she couldn’t make rent because she got fired.  Haley began to think more and more, piling more things onto her self. She was pulling herself further in and she soon wouldn’t be able to get out.

Trying to calm herself down she began telling her self what she would do:

I’ll go home. Take off my clothes, put on my shorts; just dump everything. Grab something quick to eat, that way I’ll have something in my stomach. I probably need to charge my phone; it’ll die by the time I get back. I’ll feed the dog and then we will go on a walk. And if I go on the walk I won’t think about anything, I’ll focus on something else.  And when we get back I’ll make dinner, watch some TV show as I plan out tomorrow.

 

A rush of wind hit her as the subway car went speeding by, tossing her blond hair across her face. She couldn’t stop, no matter how many times she told herself, it didn’t help. Nothing was helping, her hands were shaking, she couldn’t sit; she couldn’t stand. The darkness was building and Haley could feel nothing and everything all at once.

 

She was breathing heavily, looking down at her feet. It had been four years since her last major panic attack. Haley only got this bad on certain occasions, there were moments that were easy to handle and unnoticeable. Like when she had to drive her car and deal with other drivers or when she was at the Ed Sheeran concert, stuck in one place surrounded by a crowd of people, getting pushed by rude people trying to get to the front of the stage. She had to look up to the sky just to get her self back. Distractions helped but when there was no distraction, nothing would work – that’s when the hurricane hit.

The doors opened and everyone on the platform walked like a herd into the small little door, forcing Haley into the middle of it all. She moved around the people, all who were more annoyed by the ridiculousness of 5 o’clock rush hour on the subway, except it wasn’t 5 o’cock. It was only 3 so why was it rush hour already. Haley went to stand by the side of the door, forcing herself into a corner.

Her left arm began to shake; she felt tears forming. Her breathing was getting heavier and heavier. Everything she was wearing started to irritate her, she pulled at her clothes wanting to tear them off. She wanted to take sizzors to her hair, too. She felt scared but she knew wasn’t actually scared. She eyed her reflection in the subway window, she looked normal like she was just crying over a break up or some other normal thing.

She could feel eyes on her and at the same time a stranger asked her “are you alright?”

She nodded, “yeah I am fine.”

The entire journey  Haley tried to calm her self by blasting her music to muffle the sounds, but she could still hear them clearly. She tried texting her best friends, telling them how she was feeling, but no one was answering. She searched on Pinterest for some inspirational quote to give her hope, but it all was bullshit.

 

How embarrassing, she thought as she got off the subway. There she was an average girl, around average height, with an average job-her dream job at that, doing average things just trying to get by. But to everyone that saw her today, she was the wacky girl who was having an anxiety attack on the subway. If only they knew what was going on in her head.

 

Haley still had about a five minute walk back to her place, thankfully she lived in a quiet area where the only loud noise was kids playing on the sidewalks. As she walked she listened to her music, trying to escape her own thoughts. Haley never felt like herself when she got like this. She felt like she was drowning in a storm, even though she knew how to swim. For once in her life she just wanted to have some sort of control over it, to not feel this way. She wanted to be able to focus and handle her anxieties. Instead of letting the wave of emotions, fears, thoughts get the best of her. She wanted to be able to handle work, to not feel like she was giving excuses, to not worry about the small things. She wanted to be able to have relationships, maybe with Ryan. For once she didn’t want to feel she had to escape but handle what life put on her.

 

Later in the evening, when everything was calm and she was tired from the stress of the day, she took her dog for a walk. She thought sitting in the house wouldn’t be the best idea. There was something soothing about walking down the streets in the city right before the sunset that gave her reassurance. Haley would walk the streets watching everything around her, like she was being acquainted with the night. But unlike Robert Frost she found comfort in the loneliness. Everything came and went as it pleased but Haley always found herself at the end of the storm.

 

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my story. This is the first story I share on my blog so let me know what you think in the comments below. Also I am going to post words and pictures on the facebook page because it’s something I like to do and if your anything like me I love finding those kind of things and connection to them.  If your not following A City Girl story follow on facebook, Instagram and bloglovin.