A story of a broken family hit by disease
| I feel about fourteen again. I am not fourteen, in fact I am a nineteen year old young woman with a school girl crush. And what makes it worse is that it's completely unrequited love. We grew up together, lived on the same street, went to the same primary schools and secondary schools and now he even takes the same course as me at Teeside University. We share the same train every morning. And these days I get the occasional aknowledging nod from him as he sees me. It never used to be like this. No, in Primary School we were joined at the hip, he was part of my family. I loved him even then. As soon as we reached secondary school we were seperated, he got in with the popular crowd whilst I resided amongst the quiet lot, we kept ourselves to ourselves. Within my group of friends we would yearn for the attention of the "popular" crowd but deny it profusely and claim that they were not actually all that great. All the time, inside I would be heartbroken that my ex best friend snubbed me, and even more so that he didn't love me back.
Jeremy is a handsome lad. He is tall with broad shoulders and piercing blue eyes. Even as a small child, I noticed these blue eyes before. I used to tell him he had saphires in his eyes. Although he's intelligent, he must be as he's doing an English degree along with me at university, he tends to talk to in this deep monotone voice which makes him seem quite dim. He constantly sounds like he's disinterested in what is going on, and has this uber cool aura about him. I don't know this person anymore, but I love him still.
My best friend knows how I feel, and she thinks Im mad. Laura says he is arragant and "doesn't go for girls like us." I don't know what she means by "girls like us," I am a pretty girl. I may not be mouthy or a bit tarty like the girls he used to go for throughout school, but I like to think I have class and sophistication and have lived with the hope that one day he will mature and realise that I am the type of girl he wants to be with. There are many others that see in me what I want Jeremy to see. There's not a Valentines Day goes by when two or three cards addressed to me doesn`t land on the mat. And I've had boyfriends, in fact I have a date tonight, but they never seem to work out for some reason. But i'm never the one to get dumped. That's why I don't understand why Jeremy can't see in me what everyone else does.
Anyway, enough about Jeremy, I always get too reflective before a date. My date tonight is called Anthony. We met on a night out in Newcastle last week and we've been texting and emailing since. He's a professional football player. And he has lots of money. He seems okay, who knows .. this may be the one to make me happy. He's text me telling me to get all dressed up tonight. Which is a bit strange, as it is only a Tuesday. And it's a typical Brittish summers day, its rained all day , again.He must be taking me somewhere nice.
Getting ready, I was quite nervous. It's not everyday a girl like me goes on a date with a premiership footballer. I mean, this is a thwety three year old man who is constantly in the public eye and earns about twenty thousand pounds in a week. Which is a ridiculous amount of money if you ask me. Especially for the work they do. I mean, I know they train a lot and they work hard , but doctors are on a fraction of that and nurses even less. And what about the police? They get paid pennies. I have an ex boyfriend who was in the army. He went to Afganistan and saw three of his friends get blown up and got paid as much as I did when working in a call centre. It's an ironic situation.
To be honest I wasn't expecting too much from Anthony. I was execting him to be full of himself and flash. As much as I don't care for people like that I decided to make an effort. I dressed smart but trendy in a black pencil skirt with a white shirt that showed a subtle hint of cleavage. I wore my long black hair loose over my shoulders and killer black and white heels, which were worth every penny (and the many many pounds) i'd spent on them.
My mam and dad were worried about me going out with Anthony,
"Oh I don'y know Kelsey, he hasn't even told you were you are going!" my mother would say about three times a day for the week leading up to last night. Followed by my dad saying,
"Wherever you go , do not touch a drop of alcohol! You read alsorts in the papers these days!"
I love my parents I really do. They make me laugh. When I was growing up I was never set any rules. It was left to me to make my own and work out how far I could push it. My older sister, Wendy, had rules, she had curfews and boundaries and she always stuck to them. I love my sister, but she is a total goody goody. And I was never THAT bad, but in comparision to my sister, I was the devl child. Wendy never drinks or smokes and has had the same boyfriend since she was sixteen and legal. Whereas I started stealing alcohol from my parents house and drinking it with friends at fourteen years old, and I had my first cigerette at fifteen and my first boyfriend at fifteen, who just so happened to be five years older than me. I managed to convince them that it was true love, so they let it slide and tried to keep tabs on me all the time, there was to be no sleepovers and no being left in a house unsupervised. Of course his parents weren't so strict, considering he was an adult, so we got up to exactly what we wanted when we were at his house.
But if I ever crossed the line with my parents, I would know about it. My mam deserves a gold medal in making you feel guilty. She sulks and cries and she won't speak to you for days. And my father makes you feel guilty in other ways, he shouts when he is mad but when you've really annoyed him he tends to just throw his hands up in the air and sigh
"That;s it Kelsey! I've had enough of you, I wash my hands, your on your own!"
And that's when it would hit me that I really needed my parents, and I have the most respect for them.
I have respect for them because in the days where one in three couples are getting divroced, my parents are still sickeningly in love. We do tend to be a bit like the Waltons, My mum, loves to cook and clean and do whatever she can for her kids, my father who works his fingers to the bone to provide for his family, the goody two shoes sister , Wendy, the grey (not black, I'm not completely bad as I said) sheep of the family, me, and then there's my little brother, Daryl, he's a cocky fourteen year old. He looks up to me and copies everything I do. He is my little star and I adore him. We make one very happy normal family. We fight and bitch at each other but we know that in times of need it's so easy for us to rally together. On no level are we a lovey dovey family though. We don't hug very often, or tell each other we love each other. We just know it.
The door bell rang and I heard my brother saying to my dad,
"As if there is a premiership footballer at my front door!"
Daryl is obsessed with football, as any teenage boy is. I had already cleared it with Anthony that he was going to come into our house and meet my brother (and my dad!) before we left.
I opened the door and there he stood all suited and booted, boquet of flowers in hand and a smile on his face. Looking confident and cocky. Not the natural type I love at all.
"You look gorgeous," he grinned cockily, eyeing my cleavage. I rolled my eyes. It was to be a fun night.
"Thanks, You've made an effort too," I said flatly, consciously trying to not give him a compliment. The last thing I wanted was to have this guy think I was at his beck and call.
"I've brought something for your brtoher," he said producing a football which appeared to be signed. I thought this was quite sweet, but then again he probably had a million of these stuffed in a cupboard somewhere. I ushered him into the house and into the lviing room where my mother father and brother were sitting. Wendy didn't really care. She was tucked away in her bedroom reading. My dad instantly rose to his feet, sizing Anthony up wth his eyes.
"Pleased to meet you Mr Garner, Mrs Garner you have a lovely home," he said shaking my fathers hand and smiling at my mother. I had to stifle a giggle. This was so scripted.
"Daryl, this is the football from Saturdays game, I got all the lads to sign it, Kelsey told me you were a huge fan, I thought you'd like it" he handed my brother the football. Daryl's face lit up. I gave him a tick in my mental "pros" box. Anything that makes my little brother smile like that can't be a bad thing. Even my dad looked quite impressed.
"So Anthony, where are you taking my daughter tonight?" said my dad trying to be intimidating. It didn't work. It just didnt suit my dad. He never usually gives a second thought to where I'm going on a night out. But I suppose he had a right to be wary of this man.
"Well, we are going to a restaurant in Newcastle, it's a really nice place actually."
After more interregation we were free to leave. In his Ferrari. I hated to admit it but I loved the feeling of being in this car. ver priced over the top and extremely flashy. But I was used to travelling in my fathers Citroen Picasso!
We went to a restaurant which is famous for football players and their WAGS to go. I felt like a princess, but was terrified to eat, especially as when I read the menu I didn't understand a word of it! I ended up with salmon in some kind of sauce and a tiny portion of vegetables. Sat there in this restaurant wondering wether ashley and Cheryl Cole had once sat in the same seats I had, I wondered if I looked totally out of place as this was not my scene at all. I'm more of a pub meal type of girl with a few glasses of pink wine or pints of lager.
I hate it when girls aspire to be nothing but shopping machines with their footballer boyfriend credit cards. With their fake hair fake tans and fake nails. I'd never want to be like that, I'm my own person, Kelsey Garner has her own life to lead. But for one night,it was fun. I wish I hadn't drank as much pink wine as I did though. But with Antrhony's constant talk of football and money and cars I needed to do something to entertain myself. The more I drank the more chatty I got. I actually "shushed" him and told him if I heard the word "goal" or "foul" one more time I would scream the place down. He seemed to find this quite amusing and told me I was fiesty and he liked it. I explained that I couldn't give a flying monkey about how much money or how many cars he's got, and that maybe he should start talking about himself, not his lavish lifestyle because I had nothing in common with that. And he did and the night started going so much better.
This morning I felt incredibly quesy. And the drive home last night seems a little hazy. I hope I didn't embaress myself too much. I remember Anthony was a true gentleman, which I wouldn't have expected from a footballer, they have the repuation they have for a reason!
That weekend, me and my girls Laura, Emily, Joanne, Sarah , Kim and Sophie were all going to Blackpool for the weekend. Blackpool is hen and stag party capital. It's basically all about getting drunk and being silly.
Over the next few days I swapped texts and emails with Anthony but didn't spend anymore time with him as he was in training for the rest of the week. I'd told him about Blackpool and he'd told me to not do anything silly and stay in touch.
I bumped into Jeremy on the train home from university and grinned at him, and again I just got the slight nod of the head. I began to feel that maybe that little by who I used to play games with in my street had completely gone. And maybe I should just get over him and move on?
"Girls, this weekend is going to be fantastic!" squeeled Sarah clapping her hands together like a seal. We were in our minibus on the way to Blackpool with Emily at wheel. I gazed out of the window at the rain and sighed,
"I hope the weather improves,"
"I don't think it really matters, its what we make it!" chirped in the ever optimistic Sophie.
"She's just going to miss her footballer," teased Joanne. Joanne, although I love her dearly, has those aspirations I hate. She wants to marry a footballer and live the life of luxury. She loves spending money, as long as its not her own.
"Kelsey, you've got to let us have all the nice boys this weekend! You've already got your premiership footballer!" she continued
"We've been on one date!" I protested
"And he took you to THE celeb hot spot!"
"Well he obviously likes you,"
"I'm not denying that, but who says I`m that into him?"
At this point the girls all glanced at each other knowlingly.
"Don't you think its about time you gave up on Jeremy, Kels?" Laura said softly
"Who said this has anything to do with him?" I snaped, half joking half annoyed that I was that transparent.
"It's obvious that not one of your relationships work out because you constantly compare them to King Jeremy, who by the way is not that great!" said straight talking Emily glancing at me via the mirror.
"Look, Anthony has money fame and the ego to go with it. I just don't trust him. There is no way this is going to be the great romance of the century," I said matter of factly.
"Oh Kles, your so pessimistic and synical! People fall in love and live happily ever after ... look at your parents!" said Laura.
"My parents aren't premiership footballers with girls throwing themselves at them." I finished.
Joanne ust couldn't get it into her head that his money and status where not that much of a turn on for me. And Icouldn't get my head around why it should be.
Anyway! Im packing at the moment as we're all off to blackpool tomorrow (*sings*)!
Anthony says he is going to miss me. *Sigh* he doesn't even know me!
Sunday 13th July 2008
What a wicked weekend though! It was full of pink wine, vodka shots and me and my girls dancing on podiums during the nights. And rollercoaster rides and shopping and pink wine during the days. I've came home with a number of phone numbers, none of which I inend to get in contact with ever again.
The girls just wouldn't stop talking about Anthony.
We also went to get our palms read on the pier. She was actually really good. She told me that I am about to embark on a journey of learning and understanding. M life is about to change completely. She said there is going to be great sadness and heartbreak within the next twelve months, which worried me, I didn't think she would be able to tell me negative things. She told me to watch out carefully for "broken wings" which will signify a turning point in my life. Which just confused me.
When I came home from Blackpool, the mood in my house was sombre. It was quiet and I was especially worried about my mum she seemed really down and upset about something. She was constantly wandering around in a daze and she snapped at Daryl because he left his shoes in the middle of the floor. My mam doesn't snap over little things like that. There was something definatly wrong.
She wasnt even asking me about Anthony, which is strnge as she always likes to know what's going on in my love life. She is like one of my girls in that way. But she seems not have an intrest all of a sudden.
Anthony took it upon himself to turn up on my doorstep unannounced with a bunch of flowers in his hands.
"Anthony?" I said in surprise as I opened the door. I stod there, hair flung up into a messy bun on top of my head and jogging bottoms and vest and trainers.
"I missed you, I thought I'd pop over and say hello," he grinned. I took the flowers from him and placed them in a vase,
"They`re beuatiful , unlike me at the moment!" I laughed gesturing to my "scruffy day" clothes.
"I think you look more beautiful now than ever," he said. "What a line!" I thought.
"Fancy a drive somewhere?" he suggested. I agreed and went to change whilse he sat in the living room with Daryl.
I came downstairs to find Anthony and Daryl engorssed in Daryls football computer game. There was a lot of shouting laughing and whooping. I stood at the door and viewed what was going on.
"Anthony, for a premiership footballer you are getting you butt seriously kicked here!" laughed Daryl.
"I'm sure my pad is broken ... or your cheating somehow!" joked Anthony.
"It's a good job you play better than this on the pitch isn't it!"
"Only sometimes!" joked Anthony again, "My ten year old niece beats me at this game sometimes too, I need more practise I think."
Niece? I didn't know he had a niece? Or siblings for that matter. I coughed and they both turned around.
"You didn't need to change you looked fine as you were," he smiled up at me puasing the game and standing up. "Daryl, I challenge you to a rematych kiddo!"
Daryl gave him the thimbs up and turned back engrossed in his game.
Walking to the door we bumped into my dad who barely looked at Anthony. My mother followed behind him, she'd been crying.
"Your dad hates me," moaned Anthony as we walked along the beach which was lit by dancing lights across the bay. It was a very romantic setting with the sound of the waves and the smell of the crisp air.
"He doesn't hate you, I just , I just don't know whats going on at the moment, it's quite worrying actually." I stopped myself from carrying on. I didn't really want to open up to someone who I didn't really know. He must have been able to tell by looking at me that I didn't want him to press on the matter. He grabbed my hand and we continued walking along the beach.
"You have a niece?" I asked.
"Yeah, little Chloe, my sisters daughter, she's an angel."
I was shocked to hear him talk in a soft tone. It was like as he spoke about his niece, all her dislikes and likes and what she wants to be when she grows up, all the cockiness of the footballer of our first date disappeared and I met the uncle who doted on his niece and appreciated family life.
We pulled up outside of my house and he turned to me,
"I've had another great night with you Kelsey, your really something special, I hope you know that." and with that he kissed me, and for that couple of seconds I completely let my guard down and forgot all about my parents and King Jeremy. Could it be possible that this man who could have his pick of girls is completely smitten by me?
The hushed voices and stern faces in the house awere really starting to concern me. My parents stop talking as soon as someone walks into the room. And then they disappear into another room were you can here them having heated debates. It was too muffled to work out what was being said but my mum always came out crying. She wouldn't let anyone comfort her and my dad was looking tired and stressed. What was going on? Our Wendy kept suggesting that maybe we should prepare ourselves for a seperation, as we have never seen them like this. It's a scary thought, as we have always thought that our parents were more loved up than anyone elses parents.
Anthony was definatly making an effort. He was making grand gestures all the time, like flowers and teddies and expensive restaurants and it was wearing thin. We were sat in yet another high class expensive resturant on Monday nght and I realised I was being distant and somewhat moody, and pretty much an ungrateful cow. After a silent car journey home he pulled the car over and broke the silence.
"What's wrong Kelsey? You've been funny witjh me all night!" he sighed turning to face me
"Nothing." I mumbled staring out of the window
"There must be, talk to me about it and I'll see if I can do something about it?"
"You can't buy me you know?" I sanpped suddenly.
"What? I'm not tr...." He began, stammering
"Yes you are! With the flowers and the expensive restaurants ... is that what you think I'm about? Becasue if you do then you don't know me at all!"
"Kels ... I didn't realise ..."
"Because you don't know me. You think I'm like the rest of the gold digging slappers out there."
"Kelsey, you couldn't be more wrong! Your nothing like those other girls and thats why I love to spoil you, those other girls dont give me enough time to spoil them, they put out straight away."
"Oh My God!" I fumed
"So that's what all of this is about? Your trying to get me into bed?!"
"Oh God no Kelsey, that's not what I meant! That came out totally wrong! What I mean is these other girls show me their true colours straight away, they aren't interested in getting to know Anthony Hamish the person, they just want a slice of Anthony Hamish the football player." he expalined
"So just because I havnt slept with you you think I'm different?" I softened a bit
"I know your different, just the way you look at life. You have your own dreams and ambitions and you don't look at me as a ladder to your own fame and fortune. I understand that you are finding it difficult to trust me, I really do understand that, but you've got to understandt hat its hard for me to trust women too! I have to judge who I think is genuinely interested in me and who is just out for a kiss and tell,"
I felt myself blush, realising that what he had just said had never dawned on me before.
"And do you think your a good judge of character?" I said, in almost whisper, he touched my face and twirled my hair around his finger.
"I think I've got it right this time."
Realising I had forgotten my assignement that had to be handed in within an hour I was panicking.
"Laura what am I going to do? I've got to get this assignment in today otherwise I lose marks! If i get the train it will take me at least two hours before I'm back here!"
"Can't you ring your dad and ask him to bring it for you?" she replied.
"No, he's at work till six, as always. No wonder they are ging through a rough patch with all the overtime he's doing lately."
"I don't know what else you can do then, don't you know anyone who's got a car here?"
"Yes but tey've all got lectures!" I placed my head in my hands and began to rock against the caferteria table. I heard a male cough behind me,
"I er, Kelsey?" I heard a familiar voice. I turned. Jeremy! Talking to me! I realised I had been staring at him mouth ajar for quite a while now.
"Jeremy?" I gasped, and then blushed at how pathetic I sounded.
"I've got my mums car for the day, and I don't mind missing a lecture this afternnon to take you home to get your assignment?"he offered. Laura was eyeing me across te table. Somewhat disapprovingly.
"Er, yeah, if your completely sure?" I stammered pulling together mystuff and dropping books on the floor as I went. Jeremy started walking off, expecting me to follow him, which I began to do, puppy dog look in my eye. Laura grabbed my arm,
"Wipe that look off your face missus, one word for you , ANTHONY!" I pulled a face at her and followed Jeremy.
It was a pretty much silent journey to my house. We pulled up outside and Jeremy said he would wait for me while I ran in to get the essay. I out my key in the dor and realised it was already unlocked, which I thought odd. It's not often Wendy goes out on a morning and forgets to lock the door, she's too uber organised.
I walked upstairs and picked up my essay which was on my bedside table, a place where I knew I wouldn't forget to pick it up. I do have some bright ideas, I laughed to myself as I thought i should have just stapled it to my forehead. As I was leaving I heard some one moving around in the kitchen. I snuck down, scared and unsure what aI was going to find. It could have been a burgalr? But I'm either too nosy, too brave or too stupid for my own good and pushed the fear to the side and carried on into the kitchen. I flung the door open and seen my father stood there, not in his work uniform. He looks shocked and somewhat embaressed to see me.
"Dad?" I questioned.
"Kelsey? Err, What are you doing home?" he asked shocked.I was instantly suspicious.
"I was just about to ask you the same thing," I eyed him up and down.
"I er, finished work early, I'm ,er just going to get some shopping in for your mother," I could tell he was lying. But I just turned and left without questioning him.
"Are you okay Kelsey?" asked Jeremy as I sat back in the front seat of his car. I looked at him, eyes full of tears, I couldn't understand why my dad was lying to me.
"Could you do me a favour?" I asked, a tear trickling down my cheek. Jeremy was clearly uncomfortable with my emotion and nodded.
"Just drive to the end of the street and wait there. I want to see where my dad goes."
So we did. We waited for about fifteen minutes and I saw my father leaving the house talking on his mobile phone as he got i to his car.
"Follow him Jeremy," I said.
"You'll miss your deadline," Jeremy pointed out. I shurgged my shoulders. I didn't care, I needed to get to the bottom of this.
We pulled up outside of a large building and my father got out of the car and went in. I didn't recognise what the building was which confused me even more. It definatly wasn't a supermarket. We waited outside for half an hour. When my fatrher came out he was accompanied by a woman who was slim and about ten years his junior. They hugged, and he returned to his car. I felt numb. It was pretty obvious what was going on, my father was having an affair! It all added up, the hushed voices, my mother crying all the time and now this mystery woman in the middle of the day.
"Take me home Jeremy," I muttered, tears streaming down my face. Jeremy hadn't said much the whole time we were there. He just kept glancing at me. He must have been getting inpatient at waiting around staring at a building. That's when I noticed the statue. A huge statue of an angel stood infront of the building. One of the angels wings were broken.