Friday, January 26, 2007

"Heads Up!"

In life, and in a city like mine, it can be argued that you never want to be the one to end up with shit on your face, or in Kayla’s case, cum.

Kayla had met a nice, charming guy who she instantly fell for. And while giving him a blowjob after several cosy cocktails at his family home, without warning he came on her face. In her drunken state, she felt something warm on her face, and touching it she came to realise what it was.

“You could have given me some warning!” She shouted, with him getting less charming by the minute.

“Oh, um, sorry,” was his reply.

“Oh, um, sorry?” she reiterated to me while standing at the bar on a recent night out into the city. “Is that all he could say, really? I mean come on, I was the one with cum on my face!”

“Did he not return the favour?” I asked her, stealing a sip from her cocktail, but not going unnoticed.

“What, as some sort of an apology?” Danny asked.

“No! Good common courtesy.” I replied.

“Either way, no,” and after a long, semi-awkward pause, “No pleasurable returns,” she said smirking.

“Are you kidding? You only give head to get head Kayla. Or even give head to get ahead, but if you’re not getting anything from it, what purpose does it derive?” I said this from personal experience.

I had been to a birthday party that wasn’t exactly a party, and, after consuming many a shots o’ vodka and many a shots o’ everything else, a private after party was held in Jason Matthew’s bedroom. Amie was someone who’d I’d met at a weeklong stay away conference and with whom I’d immediately clicked with. “Hey, if she says vagina humorously, it’s a sign.”

Jason and I had invited her and her friend to the party in hopes of livening the situation up, like she did with the conference, and that she certainly did, well the after party anyway. Jason, Amie, Amie’s friend and I had ended up back at Jason’s house. He and Amie’s friend lay on his bed ‘talking’ while behind a curtain that led to his window Amie say upon the window sill with me standing in between her legs. Things seemed to get hot and heavy quick and behind this curtain I’d gone down on her, expecting the favour to be returned. However, all I got was an extended make-out session whilst she stroked my back. “Erotic much? I’d have preferred the head,” I told Danny the next day over brunch.

The day after my night out with Danny and Kayla, Aspen and his good friend Jake invited me to the cinema in hopes of watching ‘Rocky Balboa’. We settled on a Chinese before the movie started and over ‘Chicken Chow Mien’ and ‘Sweet and Sour Pork’ the conversation turned to my relationship with Ella, and how ‘ahead’ I’d gotten with her.

“So have you done anything with Ella yet?” Both Aspen and Jake enquired.

“No, not yet.” I replied, modestly and honestly. “That’s not to say I haven’t thought about it though.”

“Seriously?” Jake said.

“Yeah, seriously. I just don’t know how to approach things with her.”

“Well, have you two not had ‘the talk’ yet?” Aspen asked. ‘The talk’ he referred to was ‘the talk’ that took place, quite early on in a young couple’s relationship that revolved around sex, past experiences, opinions etc. In this ‘talk’, the couple would establish in their minds the other partner’s opinions and at least get a guideline of when to start things sexually.

“No we haven’t. I just find it hard to approach her about it, because you know, she’s younger. And obviously not knowing how she feels about it in relation to her religion is also pretty hard. She might want to wait until marriage.” The use of the word hard wasn’t meant to be a pun, but I guess it was quite funny I chose that word to use.

“Oh, I take it she’s really big into her religion then?” Jake figured, while shovelling a piece of beef into his mouth.

“Yeah. Church on Sunday, the lot.” I confirmed.

“Well, just see how it goes, and maybe you’ll feel a lot more confident and comfortable in talking about it with her as your relationship grows.” Wow, look at Aspen going philosophical, I thought to myself.

I started eating my fried rice when conversation turned to one of Aspen’s exes. Jake said something about her tasting “nasty” to which Aspen through him a nasty look.

“What do you mean by that?” He said as I choked on my fried rice.

“Well…that you kissed her and all that” Jake said, jokingly.

“No you didn’t.” Aspen replied.

“What did you think I meant,” he said smirking.

“Well…you know…”

“What?” Jake said, wanting him to say it.

“That you licker her out…” I came out with.

“What?!” Aspen said, almost spitting out his coke.

“You know…ate her pussy.” I said in a nonchalant manner. The lady on the table behind looked at me, and if looks could kill, I'm pretty sure I would be dead. “What? It’s the 21st century?” trying to justify my language.

“Well, no I didn’t. Can we just change the subject?” He seemed pretty disturbed by it all. Jake and I glanced each other, grinning.

“So how’s Kayla anyway?” Aspen said, trying to change the subject.

“She’s good. She told me how you said I was going out with you too on Saturday.” I replied.

“Well, I had to get her out somehow.” He said, smiling.

Maybe he really did like her. “You sly dog you.” I said.

After Rocky Balboa’s untriumphant, but still somehow triumphant, return to the world of boxing, I spent the Metro journey home thinking about sex and my relationship with Ella. I realised that sex wasn’t the most important thing in a relationship, and it was basically just a factor, such as where to go to eat out on Valentine’s Day, or which movie to see on a date…to have sex or not to have sex. This may be true, but I then figured that it’s always good to get a head’s up on the situation, maybe even to get head before the situation.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

"The Relapse"

It has been said that love is like a drug, and with drugs, it’s ever so easy to relapse, especially in an environment that encourages alcohol-fuelled behaviour.

It was another Saturday night, and there was another 18th party I had to show my face at. The invite had said “Noah + Guest” so it was inevitable that Ella would be coming (and I was hoping in more ways than one, much to my disappointment we got nowhere). Hayley and Brooke had invited Kayla as their guest so; 15 minutes before the party started we made our way to the Carmientti household, collecting Ella along the way.

After downing two mini sized bottles of Jack Daniels, and Kayla downing that of vodka, we climbed into the taxi and headed to the party.

Arriving at the party, we noticed a distinct lack of something…people. After my first vodka and coke the place seemed to get busier and I made the friendly hellos and the polite obligatory “I haven’t seen you since you dropped out of college last year, how are you?” I was also introduced to several new people, those people I’d never met, and after meeting them, I'm glad I hadn’t.

Hayley grabbed me, “Noah, this is Katie, Katie this is Noah.” It was the standard and civil introductions that could have been taken from the movies.

“Hi.” I said, smiling.

She looked at me and walked off.

“Because that’s not rude!” I shouted after her, downing the rest of my second, or third, alcoholic beverage. I think by that point at the party I’d switched to double vodka and cokes.

As my alcohol intake increased, so did my affection towards Ella. I had this new wave of feelings for her like from when our relationship first began. But this time it was different. Every other time I’d been drunk with her, she kind of irritated me, just like the way she sometimes does when we’re sober. So, we did the usual drunk person behaviour of making out in front of everyone, grinding against each other on the dance floor and, no matter how many times I said to her “I don’t want to be one of those couples who take pictures of themselves kissing,” that is exactly what we did.

The next morning Kayla and I heading into the city to walk, and talk, and walk, and talk some more, while mostly trying to avoid working.

“Did I tell you that last night Ella had started with the whole ‘Noah, you know my feelings on gays, well…’ thing? Well she said. To which I replied, ‘Ella, you know that two of my close friends are gay?’ She seemed stunned, and apologetic.”

“What else would she be? Like Hermione had told you, what she doesn’t realise she’s doing is, by sort of indirectly offending Ashley and Adam, she is offending you.”

“I suppose so.” I wasn’t so sure as I took a bite from my toasted chorizo and cheese sandwich. I had subconsciously decided to try, operative word being try, to forget about Ella’s differences and try to focuses on what positives there were, even if my previous decision was to ultimately end things with her.

After the party the night before, I realised that I had what a lot of other people wanted, but I just seemed so dissatisfied with what I had. It was a relationship where I was cared so much about that she didn’t want to let me go.

I had a thought: was I suffering from what was known as a relapse? Had the feelings I first had for Ella suddenly returned with the injection of alcohol, and even afterwards once the alcohol had warn off?

While I was contemplating my future with Ella, Kayla was telling me about the one night stand she’d had. She’d met him in a bar and his name was Kyle. He was a university student and after a hard night’s partying at several bars with him, she was invited back to his for a coffee, or two. Next thing she knew she was laying on his bed, wondering what the hell she’d just done.

“How was it?” I asked her.

“Well, a lot of alcohol had been consumed, so, not too amazing.” She replied, with a look in her eye.

“So you didn’t cum?”

“No.” She said, shaking her in while doing so.

“Oh Kayla.”

“What? What?”

“What’s sex without cumming? It’s like decaf coffee, coffee without the caffeine, the whole reason for coffee’s modern day existence!”

“I guess so.”

“So are you seeing him again?”

“I don’t know. Maybe.”

“Maybe. Oh check you out you non-cumming repeat offender.”

While I had definitely relapsed, I wondered whether Kayla would too with Kyle, even if her rewards weren’t fruitful, to say the least. Then I realised, maybe love wasn’t a drug after all because if it were, relapsing wouldn’t feel so good. So, I asked myself: what was so bad about relapsing with love anyway?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

"Magnets"

Some cultures have said that opposites attract. Some physicians said this too, and they were right, with the magnets anyway. But, can a relationship stand the true test of time if these two opposites don’t seem to attract?

Many times Ella and I have gotten into minor debates slash arguments over our differences in opinions. Whilst sitting in the corner of the basement in Starbucks, my good friend Ashley phoned me. After I hung up, I went on to tell Ella all about Ashley, one of the people I'm closest too. How we would check out girls together wherever we went, and how we’d only met in March of 2006 and remained close ever since.

“So she’s a lesbian?”

“Yup.” I took a sip from my hot chocolate, waiting for her reaction.

“I just don’t get how people can do that. Like, you know, I don’t have a problem with it, but I don’t understand. It’s just not right. Women weren’t meant to have sex with women.”

“Are you really saying that?”

“Yeah. I just don’t get it.”

I ended the conversation there and asked her about something else. As we left we saw a homeless lady.

“I always feel bad when I see her.” I’d seen her more than once.

“Well, it’s her fault to be fair.”

“Wait. What?”

“She didn’t have to be homeless.”

“Yeah, but, Ella, we don’t know what circumstances under which she became homeless. It’s not as if one day she got sick of her house and thought the street would be better.”

“Well, I'm just saying she could have done something to not be homeless.”

Later at the newly opened mixed-genre music club Confusion, I had a moment of clarity. I told Kayla that this was “the perfect example of her immitude.”

“You’re right. Like, why would she just judge people automatically?”

“Because she’s young that’s why.” It really was that simple.

“I bet she hasn’t even met anyone gay and that’s why maybe she doesn’t have an unbiased opinion on it.”

“You’re probably not wrong,” I said, sinking another vodka and coke.

A couple of nights later, after I’d decided to throw myself into my work, I received an instant message from Ella. My plan of studying, studying, studying was out the window.

“Noah, you know how I feel about gays, well, I was at the train station and these butch lesbians walked past, like seriously, really butch and manly. And well, they were like holding hands and kissing and stuff. I thought I was going to be sick in my mouth and had to turn away! Well, anyway, I'm sure they were doing it more just to gross me out!”

“Hi by the way.” I replied. “They did it just to gross you out, I'm sure that’s the reason why. Who cares, as long as they’re happy?”

“Yeah, if they’re happy, but you know…” She continued.

“Well, it’s not as if we’re exactly sin free ourselves.” Then I remembered the line from the musical Rent that seemed to define this whole situation: ‘Let he among us without sin be the first to condemn.’ And it was true. How can she condemn anyone when she is sinning herself by being prejudiced against someone and condemning them for their choices? It’s like one, big, vicious circle.

I had a thought: were Ella and I slowing becoming the same poles on different magnets, rather than different poles on the same magnet, that no longer attract? It was certainly an interesting thought.

The next day I sat talking to Hayley and Brooke Carmientti, over a Psychology textbook I was meant to be studying with.

I told them about all of the differences and how we are complete opposites in everything: politics, homophobia, attitudes, fashion sense, music sense.

“Well there has to be something,” the ever-positive Hayley said. “You both like each others, that’s something.”

“We do?” I said with a raised eyebrow and sarcastic tone, followed by the cheeky grin that is almost my trademark.

“There’s got to be other stuff Noah,” Brooke added.

“I really don’t think there is.”

Was this it? Had this magnet broken? Were the people saying “opposites attract” only saying it to give others hope that there is someone out there for them? Maybe they said it to reassure themselves that there was someone out there for them too. Then I had a thought: love always trumps physics.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

“Stock, Broke & Two Girls with the Immitude”

Aspen Leary had become a close friend in recent months. We’d spent a lot of time drinking alcohol and talking about girls. His girlfriend and my girlfriend were in the same year group and we’d been in the same Psychology class last year.

His girlfriend, who had once been friends with Ella before Aspen’s girlfriend’s miraculous transformation from pretty girl to alternative girl, had just dumped him.

“You’re kidding me? She dumped you?” I asked him, on a recent trip to the city whilst in town looking at DVDs.

“Yeah she did. It was over the phone too, whilst she was in a pub, with God knows who, drinking God knows what.”

“No way. Is she serious? Well, she sure is mature.”

“I know. It’s like I thought I meant something to her, but obviously not. I mean, she didn’t even give me any reasons. She just did it.” He looked bothered by it.

“Well, would you have still thought that if she’d done it face to face, with reasons?” I asked him, intrigued.

“Yeah, probably. But it was just, over the phone while in a pub? It’s pretty immature, and really hurtful.”

“Oh definitely dude, I understand.”

This was the perfect example of what I called ‘the immitude’, I thought to myself. Immitude was the attitude immature girls have to certain things. Relationships, politics, sexuality, all of those sorts of hot topics etc.

“They certainly do know how to get what they want,” Aspen told me in a pub after I’d spent money on DVDs that I clearly didn’t need.

“They sure do. I mean, I spend so much money on Ella and it’s like, I'm on the verge of not having any.”

“Well Noah, it’s the way we were brought up. We are gentleman, you see.” He took a gulp from his pint of cider, and laughed.

“Gentleman my arse. More like beggars by the end of it.” I slammed down my pint glass.

“Wow, taking this a bit seriously aren’t you?” I hadn’t meant to slam it down, it just happened.

“Well it’s just I feel like I'm always paying for Ella, for everything: Cinema tickets, snacks, drinks, parties, meals. I just feel like it’s getting too much.”

“It’s true, you shouldn’t be paying for all of that.”

“Has it got to the point where we have to have money to be in a relationship?”

“What? Like we pay relationships like we pay bills?” Aspen had hit the mark.

“My point exactly. Plus, I don’t even have a job. She does! Aren’t we meant to be living in an equal society in which females are equal to males? What ever happened to the gentlewoman?”

“Well, maybe it’s not just because you’re the guy, maybe it’s because you’re older too.” He made a good point. Was it because I was older, and was the ‘gentleman’ that I was expected to pay for everything.

That night, I had a thought: could I really afford to be in a relationship that I couldn’t pay for, and which I couldn’t really see lasting any lengthy amount of time, what with my move to either California or London looming?

So, I made a conscious decision to see Ella more. I wanted to invest my time in her more, it was almost as if I was investing in the stock market. Had Ella’s stock just gone up?

“So Noah, this party next Friday night, are you finally going to be my drinks then?”

“What?” Shocked. To. The. Core.

“Well, are you?”

“Ella. I always do! How can you say that?”

“I was joking. Calm down.” She didn’t sound like she was joking. Maybe she doesn’t realise I'm pretty much broke, and with impending university fees coming up, I shouldn’t be spending my money on buying drinks for her she can easily afford herself. Of course, it would be nice if I could do that, but, at this time in my life, when I have no money, “I pretty much reject the idea of the ‘gentlemen’.”

Once I was home, I logged online to my bank. Had Ella’s stock just gone down? Was it time to accept that maybe I should just cut loose and accept my losses? I sipped my water. Was this stock retrievable?

“I mean sometimes, she makes me feel special.” I told Aspen in the library while ‘studying’ for an upcoming exam.

“Like how?” He inquired. “How are things in the bedroom”?

“What things? And what bedroom? Seriously, like, I think she wants to. On New Years Eve she was kissing my neck and getting me,” I looked around, the librarian walked past our table, “Up…but then she’d get another drink and just hang off me, and that’s pretty much a turn off, also her parents were in the next room, and that’s just chance taking, especially when it isn’t even her house either.”

“Ah I see.”

Would improving things in the bedroom, and taking ‘it’ to the next step solve my financial problem? Would I invest more if she would? For now though…her stock was hanging in the balance.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

"Validating a Relationship."

Thursday night at the Italian restaurant Fuime on the riverside, Skye, Madeline and I met up for a “triple date” as Madeline would later refer to it at the table. Skye had come up with the idea of us all getting together and going for a meal. It started out with the idea that Skye, Madeline, Jason and I would reacquaint our selves with each other over an Italian dish and an alcohol beverage, but, as they do, plans changed. It was finalised with a table booked for six: me, Aidan, Skye, Madeline, and Adam…and Ella. It was the first time Ella was going to meet my closest friends and their partners.

“So I'm going out for a meal tonight with Skye, Madeline and their boyfriends, and I want to know if you want to come.” I asked her.

We’d spent the morning fish hunting. I’d bought her a novelty fish tank for Christmas, as well as going for the safe option of perfume (Dolce and Gabbana’s THE ONE) after being asked on many occasions what I would be buying her, to which I had no idea. In return she’d bought me a mug from Starbucks and a grey cardigan, which were apparently in fashion this season.

When she first asked me to go fish hunting, it had been three days since New Years Eve. We hadn’t spoken. I’d spent that time sleeping, eating, and attempting essays, where she had spent it…well, I'm not exactly sure how she’d spent it.

“So Noah, what are you doing tomorrow? You want to go fish hunting?”

I had a thought: Was this a new form of committing in a relationship? Hunting for a pet fish? Would we be fighting for custody of this fish if our relationship ever failed?

“Um..sure. How about I be at yours for 10.30, just I have a driving lesson in the afternoon.”

10.30 that morning I stepped off the bus, and realised I had only ever been to Ella’s house drunk, and in my friend Aspen’s car, in the dark. I had no idea where I was going. After numerous failed phone call attempts and text messages, I rang her, on what I decided would be the last time.

“Hello…?” She said, sheepishly.

“Ella! It’s Noah! You’ve been asleep haven’t you?”

“Oh my God! I'm so sorry. Oh my God. What time is it?” She replied, surprised to know I’d caught her out.

“10.55 in the morning! You do know I need to be home by 12.30 because of my driving lesson. And I don’t even know where you’re house is!” I was so angry with her, again.

After directions, which I managed to follow and find her house, we set of for a twenty-minute walk to find a fish.

“How about this one?” I asked her. “It’s small, it’ll fit in the tank. Perfect.”

“I don’t know. You choose.” She responded.

“Well, if it’s like that. I like the classic gold look. They’re pretty cheap too. I think you should get two.”

“No Noah!” She said, with a broad smile and giggling. “They won’t both fit.”

“Sure they will. Take a chance. Live a little. So they’re a little cramped. Just like two people sharing a bedroom.”

By the time I’d committed to our relationship by choosing the fish, I’d forgotten New Years Eve and all the trouble that morning. It was like she had this sort of effect on me in which she went back in time and erased our past problems.

“So what do you say? To this meal?” I continued after initially asking her.

“Yeah sure. Only if you really want me to come mind.” She didn’t sound sure.

“No, of course I want you to come. Skye and Madeline can’t wait to meet you.” I lied. Again. Sure Skye was. Madeline, I wasn’t so sure. She’d said on the previous Friday that she was jealous, but not “because I like you like that, but just because you have a girlfriend.” Yes, she was drunk at the time.

That evening I rang Skye and informed her of the news that Ella would be joining us.

“Oh great, can’t wait to meet her. We’ll come and pick you up. Are you just meeting her?” This was followed by talk of dress code for the evening and some slight bitching about Jason.

The meal went without any hitches. Except talk of sex, in which I think Ella felt slightly uncomfortable, and of course she would when Madeline asked me what anal was like, I had to respond to let her know she was joking.

When leaving, after Skye and Aidan left in their car, Ella and Madeline ran to the toilet together. I could only wonder what they were talking about.

“Maybe they’re touching each other,” Adam said, breaking our silence as we sat in his car.

“We can only hope,” I responded with a smirk. “So, nice car.” Trying not to make any awkward situation in which we would both sit in silence hoping that they’d both come from the toilet as quickly as possible, I made ‘masculine talk’ which involved talk about sport, women and cars. This time, it was only cars.

“Thanks.” An awkward situation was avoided by the return of Ella and Madeline.
We took Ella home, making small talk as you typically do on first dates, except in this situation is was a first “triple date”, with me kissing her as she got out of the car.

“Aren’t you going to kiss her goodnight?” Madeline asked.

“I already have Madeline.” Did she think that I was a na├»ve boyfriend who didn’t know the correct relationship etiquette?

As soon as she slammed the door shut, and we drove out of her street, I started with all of the regular post-meeting questions: “So, what do you think?” “Do you like her?” “Isn’t she beautiful?” “Do you honestly like her?”

Madeline answered with “Yeah, I like her. She’s nice. A bit tall though. It intimidates me.” I laughed.

“Do you know what I mean when I say she’s a little bit young?” It was like I was trying to find reasons for them not to like her.

“Yeah, but I mean she is younger than you so that is to be expected.”

“I guess so. But she’s just a bit clingy. It’s a little overbearing.”

I told them the story of my New Years Eve hell, which I’d forever think of as the night I lost my head over a girl.

“Noah, that sometimes happens with girls though, they can’t help it.” Surprisingly this didn’t come from Adam, but Madeline.

“Yeah, it’s true. It does happen with girls.” Adam chipped in. I guess it was good to get advice, that wasn’t necessarily advice, but more of an approval that this was normal.

“But, I think the best thing about a relationship is being able to walk away from it, and there’s been more than one occasion where she hasn’t been able to do that.”

“I see what you mean,” Madeline responded.

Was I right? Was walking away the best thing about a relationship? Isn’t it that that keeps it fresh? And isn’t it the being able to return that makes it better when you seem them after a period of not being able to? Or did I have it all wrong? Was it the more time you spent together, the more together you were as a couple, and the more validated your relationship was? Was that what it was all about? The validation? I could only wonder as I climbed from Adam’s car and walked down my driveway. What was the best thing about us?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

"Winter Wonderland?"

Christmas. "Jesus is the reason for this season," Ella told me. But Christmas for me, not being Christian, was just a time to over-indulge in all things nice and unhealthy, so that was chocolate and alcohol, and spend time with my family, something that seldom happened during the year. I also consciously decided that this year I'd spend some of it with Ella too, choosing to go to a house party of a friend of hers to celebrate the incoming of 2007.

“What are you doing for New Year’s Eve Noah?” She asked me on a bus trip into the city.

“Um, I'm not exactly sure yet. I might be going to Scotland with my Nana though.” I replied.

“Ohh…OK.”

“Why?”

“Just Rachel’s having a party and I want you to come.”

“Oh. Well. I’ll see I guess.”

She smiled. I’ve come to learn that woman always seem to have the upper hand when it comes to relationships, but that’s another story for another time.

Plans were made and broken up until New Year’s Eve, and Christmas seemed like a blur of wrapping paper, turkey, alcohol and chocolate. I eventually decided against having my own party, for fear of it being crap, and going out into town for the celebrations, so I only had one choice left: going to Rachel’s.

Kiri, Samantha and I arrived with the fashionista twins of our circle, who we were quite close to: Hayley and Brooke Carmientti. They were miniature Paris and Nicky Hiltons and loved all things fashionable. Kiri and Samantha had also arrived with a bottle of vodka each, to mark the occasion.

“I’ve been trying to find any excuse to not come, but I just couldn’t. It’s all because I'm not the ‘meet the parents’ type of guy. They make me uncomfortable!” I told Danny through instant messenger.

“Don’t be stupid. Rather soon than later right? Plus, they’ll be drunk. It’s a celebration. They’ll want to celebrate.”

“True.”

I had a thought: could it be that they were just as nervous to meet me? Do they want the approval that their daughter is with the ‘right guy’? Could I be ‘Mr Right’?

“Noah, have you ever thought you over-analyse?” Danny later IM-ed me.

“Just a bit…”

The party was full when we’d arrived and Ella seemed to already be drunk, giggling and laughing with her brother’s girlfriend Gauri Spoota. Gauri was one of the top six women tennis players in Britain, and placed at around 200 in the World. And her boyfriend, Ivan, who was in turn Ella’s brother, was in the top one hundred male tennis players in Britain.

The night wore and everyone else had seemed to get drunker and drunker apart from me, although I was still having a good time…just.

Ella was gone. I couldn’t stand her like that. It got to 3.30am and I really needed to go with the Carmientti twins and Samantha and Kiri to catch a taxi home to see my family, but she just wouldn’t let me go.

“Stay with me Noah.”
“Look after me Noah.”
“My parents think you’re staying at mine. Stay Noah.”
“Noah, look after me.”
“Sort me out, Noah!”

I was bored. I just wanted to leave. And she wasn’t making it any easier. She’d told me previously that she couldn’t spend her New Years Eve away from her family, yet that was what I was doing for her, and she couldn’t allow me to go and see my family after being with her all night celebrating! Something snapped within me.

“Look Ella. I'm away from my family and I want to see them for the New Years celebrations. Is that so much to ask? I came here for you, to spend time with you. I meet your parents, I dance in front of your parents, and I’ve been looking after you and feeding you water. I just want to go and see my family. Hayley and Brooke are waiting outside in the cold for me and you’re delaying me and now they’re getting angry.”

She looked at me with puppy dog eyes. But it didn’t bother me.

“That’s a lie,” I later told Danny.

It did bother me; but not enough to make me stay. She had pushed me over the line. Had I been too harsh? After all, she was drunk. Could I have handled it differently? Who knows.

That morning Kiri, Samantha and I slept in the Carmientti’s house. We hadn’t managed to find a taxi and their parents offered us their guestrooms, we couldn’t refuse.

Ella had been bombarding me with phone calls and text messages, in which I lied.

“I'm in the taxi, on my way home. I’ll text you in the morning. Xxxx”

Why had I lied? “I guess it’s just easier this way, no one gets hurt, especially in her drunken state,” I told Hayley over a cup of home made tea the next morning.

“But…”

“But no! She really got to me last night; it was like I was on a leash. I felt like she was my responsibility even though her parents were in another room. After we left, she rang me countless times, hung up on me and then texted me even more. It was like she was Big Brother and she needed to know my every move.”

“Yeah, that’s true.”

“Of course it’s true.”
I got home and slept the rest of the day, ignoring texts from everyone. I couldn’t face it, and needed time to cool off from Ella. I thought to myself in between periods of sleeping: could this really be the beginning of the end? Or was it just parts of the process?