Twenty three brown leaves skittered across the quadrangle, caught in the same breeze that whipped some of Victoria’s long, brown hair in to her mouth. She paused, pulling out four strands of wet-tipped hair and flicking away the wet sesame seed, then continued with her story.

“So then I was like ‘if you’re so against it or whatever then just, like, take me home straight away’ and he, like, did. So lame.”

Chelsea didn’t know where to look. She looked at the space between Victoria’s eyes, then up to the left because she had read that was a sign to the other person that you were remembering something, then up to the right because maybe looking up to the left was when you were lying and looking up to the right was when you were remembering, then back up to the left because was it her left or Victoria’s left, then back at that space between her eyes.

“Ugh. Lame.”

“I know. So I figured I need to do something to show him how, like, right we are together. He’s always saying that we’re not dating or whatever and that he’s too old for me, but he just needs to realise how we’re, like, two piece in a pod. I mean, he’s always watching me and he’s the one who drives to my house like every Friday and is all like ‘let’s go for a drive, just the two of us’, you know?”

Chelsea nodded her head like a drinking bird toy in slow motion.

“So I figure I need to do something, like, super dramatic. Renae was watching this old movie last week, Rome yo and jewel head, and the guy from Inception fell in love with the girl from Homeland when she was younger because she pretended to die, so we need to, like, set up a full on death act or whatever.”

Chelsea agreed. Chelsea agreed more than the most agreeable agree that ever agreed. She totally agreed. Totally.

 

****

 

Bryan slowed the car as he turned in to Fullham Street. He hated Fridays and he hated that he had forgotten to pull the chicken out of the freezer that morning. He hated the thought of having toast for dinner. Again. If only he hadn’t tried to dry his zipper-fly leather pants in the microwave –

“What on earth?” he proclaimed, as he took in the scene that lay in front of him.

Victoria lay on the sidewalk in front of her house, a pool of blood underneath her ribs and a garden stake nestled in her armpit. Her weird friend was seemingly distraught, sitting on the lawn with her legs shaped like a ‘W’ and her arms outstretched towards him like an ‘=’.

“Bryan!” she squawked, her weird expression reminding him of that time he’d found a dying mouse in his pantry – one part amused and one part pained by their own stupidity, “Bryan! Victoria’s dying! She needs mouth to mouth! Quick!”

Bryan sighed. He had a feeling something like this was going to happen. Victoria just hadn’t shut up about Romeo and Juliet last week, carrying on about how it was so romantic when the girl with cockatoo wings was stuck in the toilets and saw the prince and knew that even though he was older he would love her once she pretended to die.

He got out of the car and walked towards the front door. He had only ever come here in the first place as a favour to the lady that rescued him when that goose stole his car keys and cornered him in the park, but it was getting a bit much. Even for him.

“Bryan! What are you doing? She’s dying! Quick! Mouth to mouth her!”

“She’s not dying.”

“But look at all the blood!” Chelsea squalled.

“No, it’s not blood” he replied, kneeling down to pick up the empty bottle that lay beside them. “No, this is definitely tomato paste. Victoria, this has to stop. I just can’t do it anymore.”

Victoria sat up tersely, even though she didn’t know the meaning of the word. ”Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?” she snivelled, her face contorting like one of those sand filled balloon head toys in the hands of an enthusiastic toddler.

“Because your mother only paid for three lessons and no amount of money could convince me that I should keep trying to teach you drive.”

And with the swivel of his heel on the paste soaked lawn, Victoria felt the sharp twist of rejection on her heart and Chelsea felt the sharp twist tie she must have left in her pocket when she made her lunch that morning.

 

——–

Erin says:

The ‘bad’ part of my submission is in a few different ways. Overall, it’s a fairly cheesy story – a teenager thinking she’s in love with an older guy, when really he’s just been hired to teach her to drive. I also thought the analogies were pretty terrible and there are parts where more detail is included than needed.