Mini sat down at the bar after dancing with a bunch of randoms, in an attempt to take her mind off before. But then the boys had started wanting more than a dance, and Mini didn’t want anymore fights tonight, so she had simply left the dancefloor, wondering why everything always seemed to take a shit turn just when she thought she got it right. The music was playing again, and people had finally stopped staring at Mini, but she was still upset, furious at Cook, furious at Matty, and furious at herself. She didn’t mean to take it out on Franky, but she had been pissed off, and Franky was there.
Still, even if Mini did manage to find the other girl, she doubted any apologies would be in the works-instead it’d be Mini taking the other girl’s hand and hoping Franky wouldn’t mind if they just danced the night away. Mini had never been good at saying sorry, and hadn’t even been that good at receiving them. Show me how sorry you are. The blonde shook out her head, before sitting down on a bar stool, the bracelet Franky made her still jangling on her wrist along with the others. “Fuck” she muttered, before looking up at the bartender “A sour apple martini, please.” The drink was in her hand quickly enough, and Mini drank gratefully, wondering when she was finally going to get it right, and if anything good would come the day of her real birthday. Although, given how terrible the last few months had been, Mini wasn’t betting on it.
Mini had just been about to take another sip of her drink, planning on finishing it off before trying to push away her thoughts with dancing again, when she heard someone sit on the barstool next to her. No thanks, the blonde thought drily, not wanting to have to deal with sleazy guys tonight. Mini frowned, and placed her drink back on the bar before going to turn to the person in question.
Liv left Chris’ flat dressed with nowhere to go. She did have somewhere to go but it was against her better judgement. She entered the warehouse secretly hoping to run into a familar face. Liv had been feeling a lot better, thanks to having a place to sleep and a decent person to talk to. Her best bet was heading straight for the bar. Before she got there Liv noticed a head of blonde hair sitting alone. She recognized Mini immediately and from the looks of it the Scottish queen was not happy. Liv wandered over and pulled herself up on the stool next to her. “Now is that any way to act at your own party Ms. McGuinness?” Liv grinned and ordered a pint. She took a deep breath and nudged her mate. “Don’t worry…I come in peace and shit…with you at least.” Liv accepted her glass and dipped her finger in the foam. She looked around and sighed. The party seemed decent enough, considering it was thrown by Franky. “So where is she? Or should I not bother to ask…” Liv bit down on her lip. Bringing up Franky was the last thing she needed to do to make this peaceful. She looked across the room and saw someone she thought was Matty. Couldn’t be. He wouldn’t show up here. Then again she wasn’t one to show up either. Liv directed her attention back to Mini. “What’s with the face anyway? This is all for you, yeah? Why aren’t you dancing?”
Mini’s plan of telling her companion off was tossed to the side when she realized who had sat down beside her. She rolled her eyes at Liv’s quips, and instead focused on her drink. She heard Liv mention Franky-of course-and Mini turned to her with steady eyes. She could practically hear Liv gloating about Mini and Franky having a fight, and Mini hadn’t even told her yet. The relationship between the two former best friends might have improved, but Mini didn’t want to have to throw it all under the bus if Liv started to bitch about Franky again. Instead, she opted to put on her best fake smile, the one that was simply used to mock people, and replied “You seem to care an awful lot about my friendship with a girl you hate.” Mini glanced down at the bracelt on her wrist, wondering how she managed to fix one relationship and then mess up another straight after. She turned back to Liv, still frowning. “One of the Levan brothers managed to mess it up for me. I’d say it’s the one you fucked, but that wouldn’t narrow it down, would it?” Mini knew that it was stupid to take this out on Liv-the girl had just showed up, and besides, taking her anger out on the wrong person was why she was sitting alone in the first place, but Mini was still irritated, and if Liv ended up hating her, it wouldn’t be the first time, much to Mini’s dismay.
“You seem to care an awful lot about my friendship with a girl you hate.” Liv sat still with her lips pressed together. Fair enough. They weren’t back to being chummy just yet, she could understand that. She stayed quiet to keep herself from spitting a snarky remark back in Mini’s direction. Liv too another sip from her pint and looked around. She turned back to Mini when she heard her speak again.
“One of the Levan brothers managed to mess it up for me. I’d say it’s the one you fucked, but that wouldn’t narrow it down, would it?” Liv raised her eyebrows. She cleared her throat and tapped her fingers on the bar. “Well…good thing there’s only two yeah?” She forced a smile and gulped down the rest of her drink. Playing nice wasn’t as easy as she assumed. But she was use to Mini’s attitude by now. At least she was sure she was. Whatever pissed the blonde off happened way before Liv arrived. “I didn’t think you were the type to let a bloke ruin your mood…too much pride and all that.” Liv smirked at Mini and cocked an eyebrow. She glanced around the party again. Maybe Matty was here…but why? They didn’t leave off on the right foot. In fact Liv didn’t leave anyone on a good note. She looked back at Mini and shrugged. “So…you here with anyone?” Besides your girlfriend, Fitzgerald.
So…you here with anyone? Mini frowned at Liv’s question, wondering if the girl was aiming at something. There used to be a time where this awkwardness between the two girls would’ve seemed impossible, but so much had happened since then, and even after their talk not too long ago, Mini wasn’t sure where she stood with Liv. Nonetheless, she took comfort in the fact they were no longer at each other’s throats. Well, the fact that Liv wasn’t at Mini’s throat. Still, Mini knew that if she revealed the truth-that she had come here with Franky but managed to fuck that up-a small part of Liv would be glad. Mini’s best mate and former best mate had yet to work out their differences, and even though Mini couldn’t really say much on the matter when things with Liv were still awkward and she had just bitched at Franky, she constantly wished the two were still friends. At least then, things had been easier. Shaking her head, Mini aimed a forced smile at Liv, even though she knew the other girl could see right through her. “This whole party is for me, isn’t it? Who says I have to stick with one person the entire night?”
“Just…making conversation Mins. One of us has to.” Liv thought about ordering another drink. Or just getting up and walking away. The only reason she showed up was to see Mini and because she promised Nick. Why hadn’t she seen him yet? Liv ordered two shots and handed one over to Mini. “Bottoms up princess.” She caught eyes with a random bloke walking by and grinned before turning back to Mini. “You sure you don’t want to dance with anyone? Not even me?” She nudged Mini again and smiled. Even if they couldn’t be like how it use to be, she wanted to make the best out of it. Mini didn’t seem like she was falling for her kindness routine at all. “Mini…” Liv signaled down the bartender for another drink and sighed. “Who was the bloke that ruined it for you? What’s his name?” The drink was placed in front of her and Liv scooted it over to Mini. “I can either get you drunk and you start spilling your guts or you can be my old best mate for at least the next ten minutes. Deal?”
Mini tossed the shot back and grimaced, covering her mouth with the back of her hand for several seconds before turning back to Liv. At Liv’s question, Mini gave a small smile, because truthfully, she had missed going out to parties with Liv, getting drunk and dancing the night away. Those days seemed like a lifetime a go, and with a frown, Mini took note of how easily friendships could be dissolved. Franky was her best mate, and Mini loved her, but she had missed Liv. She still missed Liv, and the two hadn’t even spoken since their accidental meeting a few weeks back. Partly because Mini didn’t know how to reach her anymore, and partly because she didn’t want to. It was awful, but it was true, and at the very least, it wasn’t the first time Mini had been brutally honest. It was a bit stupid really, that considering how honest Liv and Mini could both be, that they had told so many lies to each other over the past two years. But somehow, Liv could still get the truth out of Mini if she tried hard enough, and vice versa. The blonde pushed back her shoulders as Liv asked about Cook, and in turn, Matty. She didn’t really care for either, and was only pissed about the fact that they had ruined her night and had, at the very least, but a dent in her friendship with Franky. But Liv didn’t have to know those details, although they probably would’ve come spilling out had she gone the drunk route. “Besides your freak of an ex boyfriend, who’s ruined so many things that the only bigger joke is his life, some twat named Cook who broke into my house today.” Mini shrugged, as if it were over, although if she knew Liv, it was far from it.
Liv tried to stifle a laugh. So that was what Cook was up to these days. She hadn’t heard from him since the day they ran from the cops together and broke into her house. She debated on telling Mini that she knew the bloke. Nothing would come from it besides a smart remark from the blonde. Liv shrugged and looked around the party, maybe Cook was still there? “Don’t be so hard on Matty…he’s just…different.” She bit the inside of her cheek and sighed. “Besides…you can hardly call him my ex because of- well you know.” Liv forced a giggle trying to make the situation more light hearted than she felt about it. “I barely had any time with him before he was off chasing…someone else.” She eyed the drink that she previously handed over to Mini. If she wouldn’t drink it, Liv had no problem taking it off of her hands. “But forget all of that alright? It’s not about the past for right now…maybe we can- I don’t know. Fuck around one day soon? Like proper mates. Without any extras or all of that bollocks.” Say it. The young girl hesitated. She thought maybe if she paused long enough Mini would forget she was saying something in the first place. Liv rolled her eyes and shrugged. “I miss you Mins. Alright? Period.” She missed her enough to put their troubles aside, but not enough to be included her the Fitzgerald McGuinness boat of friendship. Liv wasn’t ready to walk down that bath just yet. Even if she was basically living with Franky at this point.
I miss you Mins. Mini glanced up at Liv, a million and one questions waiting to be asked between them. But the only one Mini was positive she could answer was given a perfect opportunity to be revealed, and, as usual, Mini’s pride prevented her from doing anything right away, and she was sick of it. Liv had just said the one thing that had needed to be said between the girls for a long while, and Mini wasn’t going to deny the fact she missed Liv right back. Inwardly, at least. Because as much as Mini missed giggling at nightclubs or having sleepovers or going shopping with Liv, she didn’t want to have to choose between her and Franky again, something that appeared to keep coming up. But right now, she didn’t want to let her guard down. Mini swallowed half the drink in front of her, before placing it down, feeling slightly less stable than before. She gave Liv a small smile, before nudging the girl slightly. “Not surprised. Everyone loves a McGuinness.” She knew Liv would be irritated by such an answer, but Mini couldn’t admit to missing her as well, so she went with a slightly different wording. “It’d be nice to have you around again, Malone. McGuinness and Malone was an fabulous duo. Two gorgeous girls too smart to fall for any stupid lines, yeah?” There were words that were left unspoken in the air around the girls, mainly McGuinness and Malone and Violet and Fitzgerald. Mini missed it being the four of them, and missed things not being awkward between various duos in that group. But the old times seemed a million miles away, and for now, Mini was fine to spend the night with Liv-just minus fights and any more sentimental moments.
“Not surprised. Everyone loves a McGuinness.” Liv rolled her eyes. She was tired of the games. She looked away from Mini and turned her attention to something else. It took everything inside of her not to walk away and leave her best mate alone at the bar. Or to push her off of the bar stool first. “It’d be nice to have you around again, Malone. McGuinness and Malone was an fabulous duo. Two gorgeous girls too smart to fall for any stupid lines, yeah?” Liv faked a smile. She wanted it to be obvious that she wasn’t happy. “Have me around? I’m not a fucking pet Mini.” Was it too late to take back her kind words? Probably. But it wasn’t too late to hurt her feelings before she left. She sat in her seat quiet, only motioning towards the barkeep for another drink. “Fun fact…” Liv looked at Mini sideways and pursed her lips. “I know that James Cook bloke…” She sighed and twiddled her fingers. “Nice guy, decent fuck too. Maybe I could find him and Matty and have threesome…that is if you’re done fucking me over of course.” Her drink arrived and was placed in front of her. Liv picked it up and scooted off of the stool. “Go find Franky. You two deserve each other.” She started to walk away and push through the crowd. Liv wasn’t in the mood to party anymore. She stopped and turned looking over at Mini one last time. “Happy Birthday.” She didn’t want them to end on a bad note, but she needed to leave before anything else happened. Even if they couldn’t be best mates she didn’t want them to be enemies.
Fuck. That hadn’t gone down the way Mini had wanted it to, not at all. Trust her pride and bad relationship with Liv to fuck things up again. Mini was about to add something to it, but Liv’s next few words made her bit her tongue. They didn’t exactly make Mini angry, they just hurt, and she was reminded once again of how badly her relationship with Liv had gone downhill. And no matter what they might pretend, it had more to do than just Franky coming between them. Mini sat there in silence for several seconds, unable to think of anything to retort for once in her life. Maybe she would’ve had a snarky comment had Liv not thrown in the bit about Franky, but it hit the blonde to realise that neither of her best mates wanted her. Happy birthday. Mini smirked at that, because if there was one thing this birthday wasn’t, it was happy. As she watched Liv leave however, her mouth curved downwards, all amusement towards the irony of Liv’s statement gone. Mini tossed back the last of her drink, and her throat burned, but she really couldn’t see this night improving without the help of alcohol. After several beats, Mini got to her feet, wondering if she was going to regret this. She knew she and Liv had been on rocky ground for a long while now, and she wasn’t sure if tonight was really a good night to work on repairing it. Chances were, it would end badly. But Mini did not want to spend the rest of her night sulking, and Franky was gone and clearly irritated towards Mini. Spending her eighteenth birthday party alone was not something Mini had planned on doing. And she couldn’t keep avoiding Liv forever, could she? Maybe Mini was being selfish, only deciding to repair their relationship on the night of a party where Mini was on her loneosme, but there was a small part of the blonde that had missed Liv. And she wanted to go back to the old ways, even if it were just for a night. Making her way through the crowd, Mini scanned around looking for Liv. Spotting the familiar back to her former mate’s head, Mini tapped with Liv on the shoulder with two slender fingers. “Malone.”
Liv was on her way out of the warehouse. She reached for the single cigarette in her pocket and lot it heading out of the door. The night air was cold and welcoming, more welcoming than the conversation between her and Mini. Everything was wrong and she could feel it in the pit of her stomach. Liv felt a tap on her shoulder. “Not in the mood for dancing…” She answered before she turned around. Liv stopped in her tracks and turned swiftly. “Mini? Wha-what are you doing?” She didn’t wait long for a response before starting to walk off again. Was she being too harsh? She let out a sigh and started walking back towards Mini. “Let’s talk yeah?” Liv lead the way out into the night. She figured Mini didn’t want to hang around the party anyway. Liv offered her the cigarette. She smirked to herself, glad that Mini came after her. The two girls walked toward Brandon Hill and sat on the one bench facing the water. What was suppose to happen now? Apologies? For what? She took a drag from the cigarette and another sigh escaped her lips. “Remember that one time we flirted with those security guys to get into that concert…front row.” Liv giggled and shook her head. “We were like 14 right?”
Mini left the party with Liv with only a slight hesitation, wondering if she was even wanted there any more. Franky was nowhere to be seen, and Mini had yet to spot the rest of the gang. Most of the other people were Mini vaugely knew but didn’t know very well, or just people the blonde had never met. If anything, her biggest concern was that her stuff was still in the back room, but she could come back later. Right now, however, it was far from the fabulous eighteenth birthday party Mini was expecting. As she and Liv walked towards Brandon Hill, Mini kept her arms folded across her chest, and refused to look at the other girl. They walked on in silence, Mini’s previous confidence drained. She didn’t know what it was about Liv that could make her feel like this, but Mini assumed it had something to do with the fact Liv knew her. The real Mini, not the one she put on for show. It scared Mini, that Liv knew what she was like when the walls were stripped away. Sitting down next to Liv on the bench, Mini stared out at the water, only facing Liv when the other girl spoke. She gigled a little at the memory, wondering why things had to get so complicated. “Thirteen” she confirmed “Which shows what creeps those men were, considering we did get in the front row.” Thinking back through all those years made Mini realize how much she had missed Liv, and she wondered, for a split second, if they’d ever be able to go back to that.
“Mins…I’m not expecting us to be perfect. We never were.” She looked over at her friend, staring at her. As the night went on the colder it got. Liv wondered how long they would be out there. How long they could pretend to have a conversation. She wanted to put everything she was feeling out on the line while she had her there. “You left me…remember?” Her body shifted on the bench and Liv swallowed hard. “I didn’t leave you for Alex…you were long gone up there-” she pointed to her blonde head, “…long before I even met Alex.” Her words started to slur. The alcohol was getting to her now. Liv wasn’t sure how long she would be able to keep her emotions settled. “I needed you and everyone after the- after what happened…” She sucked her teeth and faced forward. Was she even listening?
Liv sat silent for a little while. Her head started to fuzz over and her vision blurred. She was definitely drunk. She took deep breaths and started to lightly laugh to herself. “You aren’t fooling anyone. You’re not and neither am I…” She crossed her legs, shifting on the bench again. Liv was feeling antsy and it was harder to sit still. “You already know what I want Mini…” She looked over at her mate again but this time she didn’t meet her eyes. Instead she stared pass her, over at the warehouse up the pavement road. “I don’t know why you’re protecting her. I don’t trust her.”
Mini kept quiet as she sat there, listening to Liv talk. She knew there were things she could say at certain moments, but she held her breath. Mini knew what was coming. It always came up in their conversations now days, the big black cloud that hung over their friendhship. But it was the topic that both of them couldn’t agree upon, and hadn’t been able to agree upon it almost a year. Fuck. Had it really been that long? Mini and Liv’s friendship had never been easy, but they had always stuck together, always made up in the end. Now it seemed like they’d never be able to do that again. Not properly.
The things Liv said about her leaving, about Alex, about what had happened a year ago made Mini flinch, but she held her tongue. Maybe it was the alcohol, and maybe the words that Liv said were true, and Mini didn’t know how to defend herself. But she knew how to defend Franky, and she got to her feet not a second after Liv mentioned her. I don’t know why you’re protecting her. I don’t trust her. “Fucking hell, Malone. You’re obviously never going to stop hating her, but she is my best mate. And nothing is going to change that.”
“Fucking hell, Malone. You’re obviously never going to stop hating her, but she is my best mate. And nothing is going to change that.” Mini’s words caught Liv off guard. Her body tensed up and her vision blurred. “Best mate…? Hm.” She nodded and put out her cigarette. For the most part, Liv felt calm. Even though her skin crawled and her mouth was dry. She looked over at Mini and shrugged her shoulders. “Then what the fuck am I doing here?” She stood to her feet and stepped on the dimly lit cigarette.The silence between them was eerie. Liv was waiting for one of them to crack. She thought it would be her own self but her body felt numb. Only now looking over at Mini was impossible. “I guess this is it then…” Her voice felt raspy and frail. Liv cleared her throat and looked back toward the warehouse. “You should go back to your party with your friends…”
Liv turned to walk away without another word. She left Mini sitting on the bench and din’t even bother to look back. Liv knew their friendship was over long before they even saw each other but she wasn’t mad at Mini. At least she couldn’t tell yet. But she needed someone to blame and she knew exactly who that would be. It was Franky who was always playing the victim. Franky was the reason everyone seemed so broken. It was pointless trying to convince Mini or anyone else that everything was just fine before she came along. It wasn’t worth trying anymore.
Mini stared after Liv through narrowed eyes, an empty feeling in her stomach. Her choice of words had affected Liv more than Mini was expecting, but she wasn’t going to take them back. They were true, and had been true for a while now. Franky was her best friend, the same way Alex was most likely Liv’s. Whatever friendship the girls once had between them certainly wasn’t one of best mates anymore, and Mini wondered if they’d ever even be friends again. Not at this rate. Not when Liv was so determined to tear Mini and Franky apart, not when the things they said made each other furious. But Mini didn’t want to lose Liv, not for good. Despite everything that had happened, Mini still loved the other girl. She really did.
Mini started following Liv as fast as she could go on this ground and in her shoes. She didn’t know what she was going to say, whether it would be words of anger or remorse, but Mini was betting on the latter. Mini was pissed at the other girl for everything that had happened between them in the past year or so, even if it wasn’t Liv’s fault. Finally catching up to the other girl, Mini grabbed her arm and yanked her around. It wasn’t her last effort, one that Mini doubted would work, but she had to try. And if it didn’t work-well, Liv was clearly done with their friendship, and Mini figured she’d have to start getting over it too. Eyeing the other girl, Mini kept a hold on her arm “Stop making me choose.” She knew that it wasn’t much to go by for now, but Liv would know what it meant, and would certainly decide whether or not to continue the conversation. But for now, Mini had nothing left to say.
Liv heard the clicking of Mini’s shoes and figured she was heading back to the warehouse. The sudden tug of her arm startled her but she was more upset than anything. “Stop making me choose.” She turned slowly to face the blonde. Liv grinded her teeth together. She didn’t want to talk anymore. She wasn’t sure how long she could keep calm. “Making you chose? Mini…looks to me you’ve already decided. I’m not going to wait around like some puppy for you to come back. I’m done.”
Mini still had a grip on her arm. Liv looked down at her arm then back up at the blonde. She attempted to pull away, looking Mini directly in her eyes. “Are we done?” The music from the warehouse faded into the background. The crickets and the wind blowing through the leaves grew louder. Liv could hear her own breathing. Slowly but surely it started to increase into frustration. She yanked her arm out of Mini’s hold and shook her head.
“What are you trying to prove Mini…” Liv folded her arms and shifted her weight onto her right hip. She raised her eyebrows and pressed her lips together. “Nothing? Figures..” Liv looked over Mini’s shoulder and back at the warehouse. She pointed in that direction and huffed. “You really should get back to your friend. Wouldn’t want anything to happen to her…”
Liv yanked her hand out of Mini’s grasp, and the freckled girl narrowed her eyes at her mate. Or former mate. It seemed Liv was determined to give Mini the choice between her or Franky, and Mini had realized months ago that Franky would always be her choice. Mini and Liv had been growing apart for a year, and when she was off being Alex’s shadow or whatever, Franky had been there. Mini knew she couldn’t just blame Liv for their friendship falling apart, but Mini had always be rather irrational and stubborn, and so she simply continued to stare at the other girl.
You really should get back to your friend. Wouldn’t want anything to happen to her… Mini’s thoughts flickered to Franky, the girl she was currently having a fight with. If you could call it that. Mini wasn’t sure where she stood with Franky anymore, but she assumed they were still friends. Best friends. They had to be. Because Grace was gone and Liv clearly wanted nothing to do with Mini if Franky was even somewhat in the picture. They would make up. They had to. And until then, Mini wasn’t going to let Liv known about their falling out. She’d be glad, and Mini wouldn’t be able to handle that. Not tonight.
“Course not. Your new best mate will probably latch on to her. Then you’d have to make him choose as well, wouldn’t you babes?” Mini folded her arms and raised an eyebrow, even though she doubted Liv could see it in the darkness. If Mini remaining close with Franky meant that Liv wanted to throw their friendship away, Mini wasn’t going down without a fight. The relationship between the two girls had always included arguments, but Mini, under all her anger and snide remarks, felt sick about the idea of losing ten years of friendship without a final one. A final shot, disguised with bitter comments and sneers.
Rich repeated Mini’s address over and over in his head trying to remember the name of the street she lived on. He had been there a few times and knew what he house looked like, but his time spent away from his mates made him forget small details about them. As he walked up the giant hill to Mini’s house he wondered if she had kept in touch with Alo. It had been a few weeks since Rich had spoken to him so he was curious as to what was up. Maybe Mini and Alo had broken up, and he was taking time away from Bristol and all its citizens. Since summer started, Rich really had no clue what his old mates were up to nowadays.
“Fucking hell,” he breathed still making his way up the hill. Rich wasn’t one to participate in things that took a lot of effort, that included exercise. Under his heavy jacket, jeans, and boots, he was roasting. When he reached the top of the hill he pulled off his grey jacket and held onto it. He wanted to tie it around his waist to make it easier to carry, but he could never do that. Vaginas like Rider wore their clothes like that, and Rich was not going to put himself in any position that would let him be compared to that twat. At the top of the hill, he spotted the familiar Mcguinness house. Before knocking on the door, Rich lit a cigarette. After a few minutes he put it out and walked up to her door. He gave the door a knock and it opened shortly. In front of him was a familiar face. “Hey Mini.” Rich gave her a weak smile then looked down at the porch. “Figured we go out for coffee, or something. I dunno’. Whatever you’d like.”
Mini smoothed her skirt as she waited for Rich to arrive, somewhat nervously. It had been a while since she had seen him, and although Mini wasn’t nervous to see Rich (it was Rich Hardbeck), she was certainly nervous of the conversations to come. The one about Alo, and, most importantly, the one about Grace. Mini had spent the past year thinking one of her best friends was dead, only to find out that Grace was alive. And Rich had seen her. And Mini wasn’t sure if she was ready to hear what Rich had to say.
There was a knock at the door, and after grabbing her bag, Mini opened the door and saw Rich standing on her porch. He didn’t look different, and Mini found that she was more happy about that than she expected to be. Whatever reminded her about the days before everything shot to shit always made the blonde feel somewhat better, even if it was just Rich and his ridiculous wardrobe choices. “Rich” Mini smiled at him, stepping outside and closing the door behind her “Lovely to see you’re still avoiding the Weird Al Yankovic look.” Mini and Rich’s relationship, even now that they were friends, had always been based on banter, and Mini could never resist quips about his hair. “Coffee sounds fine. It’s not one of those ones with weird alternative music playing and the menu contains tea leaves, though. Right?”
“Lovely to see you’re still bright and bubbly as ever,” he said in a sarcastic tone but soon followed up with a smile. Although Mini and Rich never had the best friendship, he still respected the girl. She dealt with a lot more than she led on, and Rich knew exactly how that felt. “Coffee sounds fine. It’s not one of those ones with weird alternative music playing and the menu contains tea leaves, though. Right?” They began walking down the hill that led into the town center. “Damn! We can’t go where I had in mind then,” he joked. A silence approached and Rich couldn’t help but feel slightly awkward. He knew they both had questions they’d like to ask one another. He debated whether or not it was the right time or not to ask about Alo.
“Alright, fuck silence. Where’s Alo?” He stuffed his hands in his pockets and squinted his eyes in attempt of protection from the early morning sun. The question came off a little more rude than he had thought, and it showed because Mini hadn’t answered yet. “Sorry,” he added. “I mean, have you seen ‘em? Heard from him even? Fire crotch hasn’t returned my calls.”
Mini was thrown a little off guard by his question. She’d had no doubt that the Alo topic would come up sooner or later, but she hadn’t expected it to be so sudden. Then again, Rich was never the kind of guy who liked to be subtle, the same way Mini had always been the kind of girl who could compose herself quickly. Once she had done so, Mini turned to Rich and frowned. “No. I don’t really expect him too. Kind of dumped him and then fucked off to London. If he’s not returning your calls, he’s not going to return mine.” Mini shrugged and wondered if perhaps she should have tried getting in touch with Alo. But after the way she had ended things between them, it wasn’t high on her list of things to do. No, right now, on the very top of that list, was finding out more about Grace.
Mini had spent almost a year thinking one of her best mates was dead, only to get a text message from Grace, saying that she was very much alive, and now back in Bristol. Truthfully, Mini wasn’t sure if she’d be able to face Grace, not after all that had happened, not after thinking the girl was gone forever. But Rich had seen her, and Mini, Mini wanted answers. “If we’re going to fuck silence, what about Grace? You did see her, right?”
As he had expected, Alo was truly MIA. He wasn’t really expecting to hear that Mini had been in touch with him, but he still had some magical hope that she did. Rich knew that he was just taking his much needed time away from Bristol and all it’s shitheads. From what Mini had said, he knew his best mate probably didn’t take the break up too well. He fell too hard for Mini, and way too quickly. Rich sighed in disappointment and looked down at the ground.
“If we’re going to fuck silence, what about Grace? You did see her, right?” He could tell she felt odd speaking about Grace. But, she had every reason to be. Everyone had spent almost an entire year thinking she was gone. For most, it was difficult and painful to move on during the beginning months, but as time went by it became easier. Even Rich had began to come to terms with what had happened. He was learning how to expect life without Grace, but then she came back without any warning or heads up to anyone. It kind of threw him in a loop. “Yeah. I saw her a few days ago,” he answered not knowing how much she wanted to know about their meetup. “We went to dinner, walked through the park and whatever. She seems good, Mini.” Rich looked over at his Scottish friend and tried to give a semi-comforting smile.
We went to dinner, walked through the park and whatever. She seems good, Mini. Mini frowned at Rich, wondering if he had handled his meeting with Grace as well as he was handling talking about it with Mini. Even now, the blonde could sense he felt weird about it, the same way she did. Mini came to a halt, turning around to face Rich and running a hand through her blonde hair. Mini didn’t know how much she wanted to know about Rich and Grace’s meeting, didn’t know how much she wanted to know about Grace herself.
Mini had gotten the one thing she had constantly wished for over the past few months, that Grace would turn out to be alive and well. But now that she had gotten her wish, she wasn’t sure how to deal. It had taken months, awful months filled with calls sent to voicemails and tears, for Mini to finally accept that her best mate was gone. She had adapted. It was awful, but it was true. And as delighted as Mini was to have Grace back again, Mini couldn’t help but feel incredibly confused, feel that everything had just become all the more complicated. “Fucking hell, Rich. She was dead, and now she’s not.” Mini turned her head away, not knowing how to go on. She hadn’t meant to get upset about Grace before they even reached the cafe, and truthfully, Mini had thought she’d be able to not get upset at all. But like so many other things lately, Mini turned out to be very wrong.
Since the latest run in with the one and only James Cook, Effy’s mind no longer clouded with embarrassment, or jealousy, or vindictive intentions. Maybe the emotions had completely subsided, or, more realistically, overwhelmed her into a dull stupor. It was all too much at once -with Cook, Katie, Tony, this Luke bloke, whoever he was, she just shut off. There was nowhere else to go, no one else to see. Random hookups were fueled only by retaliation, and Effy no longer had the energy to fake interest for the sake of a place to sleep. She simply felt vacant. Living only out of the lumpy duffel around her shoulder, Effy wandered the Bristol streets, trying to find a neutral place to occupy her time. The light for pedestrians turned red just as Effy stepped onto the crosswalk, cursing as a car whipped past her. Careless, distracted. Heart pounding, she rested her head against the lamppost, only to turn and see a familiar convenience store across the walk. When it was her turn, Effy jogged to the site, finally identifying her supposed deja vu as the moment she’d met Franky. The girl with the lighter and the skins. Her house wasn’t too far off, she remembered, but was wary to waltz over. Even if she hadn’t already unintentionally fucked their friendship by blabbering, Franky’s dads weren’t so fond of the taller girl. Staring down at the stretch of road, Effy wavered. It wasn’t as if she had much left to lose.
The walk was slightly longer than she’d recalled, but most of it was spent trying to recollect the exact address. It didn’t help that most of the houses looked nearly identical, but the muted drapes and peek of scattered artwork in the upstairs window was a dead giveaway. Effy swallowed what little of her pride lingered and waltzed up to the front step, knocking on the front door. After a minute of silence, and half a mind to turn and retreat down the nearest alley, Effy heard a creak at the door. “Bambi,” she smiled tiredly. It wasn’t until she saw the girl, that Effy considered her own disheveled appearance. Unkempt hair, day old makeup, dingy clothes. “Was in town, just wanted to check up on my favorite little woodland creature,” she joked, looking around. Effy probably should have just pissed off when she had the opportunity. This looked horrible, showing up on Franky’s doorstep with a carrier bag. Especially considering how things had left off.
Keeping the house clean, a simple task that was growing hard with her dads out of town for the week. She was tired of picking up after herself, unless she felt the anxious need to. Luckily this morning was one of those. She hadn’t seen her mates for a few days and she had been avoiding public places. Luke. Lurking in every corner. Mini, knowing he was back. Nick, after their kiss she wasn’t sure what to do with herself. Franky paced around the kitchen chewing on her nails until her cuticles started to bleed and taste like iron. A hard knock at the door caused her to jump and drag her sharper tooth across the skin. “Ow.. ow, fuck,” she shook her hand and sucked on the end to stop the blood. Franky cautiously walked over, staring through the second doorway to see the figure. Longer hair and black attire. Not Luke. She sighed and walked over, unlocking the front and spotting Effy once the door was cracked. Her finger left her mouth and she felt a little speechless taking in the information. A smile cracked for a second hearing her newly appointed nickname. Bag on shoulder, rough around the edges, make up smeared, and messy hair. Franky knew that look. She had it over and over, running away from foster homes. She wasn’t sure if Effy had the same attitude as Mini with pride, but she wasn’t going to test it by asking questions. “Lucky this woodland creature just made a bunch of food and can’t eat it all,” she tapped her stomach and allowed her in.
Franky turned over her shoulder so Effy could follow into the kitchen. Really, a pot of soup was on already; Franky and Geoff’s special recipe they made together one night. Franky started scooping two bowls, one larger for Effy since she looked starved or tired. The two were on opposite sides of the counter and Franky couldn’t stop staring at the bag. Pride issues, maybe, keep it calm. “Say, my uh.. my dads are out of town for the week. It gets a bit lonely here. I get a bit lonely,” she swallowed some of the soup broth and stared up through her bangs. “Want to stay over? I’ve watched too many scary movies in one sitting and I don’t think I can manage for the night again.” Franky smiled by the corner of her mouth. Through the glances and conversation, Franky could still remember their night at her flat. That lingered in her stomach and made it turn too much. Don’t tell them about the bad things. She felt a chill up her spine. Franky hated having faded memories come back during a conversation about nothing. You don’t remember what happened. If she said it enough, she wouldn’t remember. “Anything else you need? I’ve got drinks, spliff, cigarettes.. I think I have cigarettes? I haven’t.. bought any in a few weeks actually.” Keeping the conversation going, Franky’s voice shook anxiously while she held her bowl.
“Lucky this woodland creature just made a bunch of food and can’t eat itall.” A smile quickly overcame Effy’s exhausted expression. Somehow their budding friendship was spared of destruction in the typical Stonem shit-storm. For now, at least. If Katie decided to keep her fucking mouth shut. Lord knows that would be a feat for the girl. Effy found comfort knowing the actual name wouldn’t get around, although possibly the nickname if Cook was feeling like a particular prick that day. Effy frowned to herself, realizing she’d probably have to use the term of endearment less frequently if she wanted to keep the girl anonymous. It just rolled off the tongue so perfectly. Following Franky into the house, Effy was happy to see she wasn’t fibbing about the food. The scent wafted through the kitchen, proving it’d been on the stove top a while, and she didn’t hesitate to pour them both a bowl.No supervision, no interrogations, and a free meal. Sounded too good to be true. Effy looked up from her bowl a moment to see Franky’s gaze leave her duffel. She sucked on her spoon as the girl continued. “Want to stay over? I’ve watched too many scary movies in one sitting and I don’t think I can manage for the night again.” Quiet and intelligent, Effy had always gotten the rap for being observant, but it was evident Franky was similar in that respect. She must have caught on. Although her tone was entirely absent of pity. Either Franky was a brilliant actress, or some part of her genuinely wanted her there. Either way, Effy didn’t feel like a charity case. ”I think I can do that.” Effy smiled into another spoonful of soup.
Drinks, spliff, cigarettes.. “Got cigarettes.” There were still a few packs in her bag from Cook’s errands. She tried not to think about that. Effy looked away, searching her duffel for a carton. She couldn’t remember they’d ever smoked inside the house the last time she was over, but handed Franky a stick regardless. “Running low on spliff and drinks, though.” Usually Cook’s domain, although she would chip in. Downing the rest of her soup, Effy followed as Franky nodded her over toward the landing and upstairs. Her bedroom was just as she remembered, art plastering the walls, bursting with creativity. Effy enjoyed having the small insight into the girl’s head. So much talent for something so small. Effy knew she’d never have the ability herself, but could appreciate skill, let alone the drive, when she saw it. “So.. what movies?” She asked, making herself comfortable on the edge of Franky’s mattress. She bounced slightly, dropping her bag onto the floor. “Haven’t got E.T., have you?” Her eyes squinted with a playful smile. “Bit scary that, but all’s well that ends well.” She looked around as Franky rummaged through her things. Their last session still hung over her head. Being in a more intimate setting made Effy much more aware of it, but she didn’t want to press for now. Franky was being more than hospitable, and she didn’t want to push her luck. The smaller girl turned back to face her, and Effy let her eyes fall over her form for a brief second before looking back up with a more modest smile.
Franky finished her small bowl and flipped the burner off on the pot. Effy was staying. Good. She smiled and grabbed the other empty bowl, setting them in the sink for now. They’d be fine for the night. She wanted to avoid speaking about the incident as much as possible, pretending to forget. That was her plan. Franky waved her over to follow up the three sets of stairs again to the top. Effy made herself slightly comfortable and Franky stayed standing. “So.. what movies?” She touched the back of her shorter hair and looked at her collection. “Haven’t got E.T., have you? Bit scary that, but all’s well that ends well.” Franky leaned over smiling to herself. Effy’s voice was a bit more raspy than she remembered. Maybe she as tired, she sure looked like it. “It’s your lucky day,” she lifted the DVD up and smiled grabbing her laptop. “Tele was moved so we’ll have to stock up on the laptop.” Franky pulled her desk chair over and flipped the computer open. Once all set up, Franky sat a foot away from Effy on the bed. Keeping her space, making it awkwardly obvious. She stared down at her hands.
The credits started and Franky felt insanely awkward. There was no reason behind it, besides her own thoughts getting the best of her. Her leg shook and she grabbed a few pillows behind her. She handed them to Effy so she could get comfortable against the back of the wall. Another blanket handed to her she smiled sweetly. Just ask. “They’re gone for the week if you want to stay longer? I mean.. if you want to. I have a guest bedroom and everything. Rooms are big enough and well,” Franky shrugged. “I don’t mind a mate in the house.” She chewed on her nails looking at the movie. “Also I’ve never seen this before so I expect no judgements,” Franky pulled her hands from her mouth and smiled into a small laugh. There were a million questions she wanted to ask. Why wasn’t she at home? Franky never really knew the situation there or if she was happy. She looked like Liv did when they ran into each other at a coffee shop.
Franky joined her on the bed, and Effy pulled her knees to her chest, hugging her shins. The familiar sound of the credits rolling was soothing in a way, and the pillows and blanket helped. Effy wrapped the light covers around her shoulders, cocooning herself in the fabric; similar to the very alien in the infamous bicycle scene. Resting her chin on her knees, Effy stared intently at the screen until the smaller brunette spoke up. “They’re gone for the week if you want to stay longer? I mean.. if you want to.” Franky must have seen that she was in a tough spot. Still,Effy did absolutely nothing to deserve the warm welcome. Given her loose lips, she felt horribly guilty, plain and simple. She should have never indulged him, but Cook had her in a corner. He would have pieced it together on his own. That’s what she told herself, anyway. Effy slithered her hand from the blanket to rest on Franky’s. “Cheers, Franks,” she smiled and squeezed her hand before retreating back to her cocoon. “Also I’ve never seen this before so I expect no judgements.” Effy gaped and held back a few chuckles. “And you own it? In for a real treat, Bambs. Arguably the best motion picture to grace the industry.” She nodded confidently, and bumped her knee against her mate’s. The girl held a soft spot for all cheesy 80’s flicks, but E.T. would always rank number one.
Effy could feel the looming questions going ignored on both ends. Where they left off, why she was here now, how long it would be. She’d banked on zoning out until the awkwardness of their sudden reunion faded. But if her own favorite film couldn’t squash the elephant in the room, Effy didn’t think much else could. “So,” she cleared her throat, keeping her eyes glued to the screen. “We’re.. you’re alright, yeah?” Whatever actually happened between them, whatever Effy could recall, she knew was a large step for the girl. She hadn’t properly realized until after the fact, but Effy worried her actions had threatened any progress Franky had made. She just wanted to know that she were okay, that they were okay, and her hospitality wasn’t simply a reflection of the girl’s need to please. “‘Cause y’know. Loads of mates. I can be out of your hair in a second,” she added with a feigned nonchalant demeanor. That was a lie, but she’d manage on her own. She didn’t want Franky letting her stay just because she thought Effy had no other option. “I’m alright.”
Franky smiled at the remarks and bump against her knee. Effy was pretty good at keeping a face up. She knew something was wrong, why else would she randomly show up at her house? Franky didn’t expect some grand gesture of love or something of that matter. God, that would be awkward. She stared at the screen, biting her bottom lip harder and harder. “So,” Franky’s heart jumped. Couldn’t they just watch a movie in silence? “We’re.. you’re alright, yeah?” The two girls continued to stare at the screen. She wanted to answer straight away. Yeah, sure. Fine. I don’t know what you’re talking about. But she could recall the memory even if she wanted to suffocate it. She remembered the feeling, the freak out, the tears. It was so embarrassing. “‘Cause y’know. Loads of mates. I can be out of your hair in a second, I’m alright.” That was probably the most she heard Effy speak in the time they had actually spent together. She was usually a one word type of person and Franky was the one on her end.
Thinking in the mindset that Mini would have, Franky said something she probably never would. “I’m not… sure what you’re on about?” Her eyes stayed on the screen but drifted to the corner of the floor. She could see Effy out of her peripheral vision. She felt terrible saying it, but if Franky believed it enough, nothing happened. “Good you’re all right though?” She looked over for a moment. Looking down and away quickly before they could look at each other’s eyes. Franky’s eyes always gave her away. The memory played over and over in her head like a broken record. Why was she lying? “Uhm.. what happened.. that night?” Franky stared down at the blanket. “I don’t remember much. Besides a twisted stomach. Made me a little woozy,” she wanted to know what Effy remembered. Obviously she knew the intimate moment they shared was a little more than stuck in her memory. Like switching television channels, she remembered sparks of the night, making her more uncomfortable. The kissing, the skin, and undressing. It made he head pound and palms sweaty. She rubbed her eyes to forget.
“I’m not… sure what you’re on about? Good you’re all right though?” Effy nearly jumped from her seat and out the door. She couldn’t stand another instance of someone burying their head their the sand because of her. She was always everyone’s wrong step. Franky wasn’t immune.“Uhm.. what happened.. that night? Don’t remember much. Besides a twisted stomach. Made me a little woozy.” Her expression softened. Maybe the peyote really fucked with her head, there were portions that Effy still didn’t remember. She subtly searched the girl’s soft brown eyes and could detect a hesitance. “It doesn’t have to be like that. Forgetting, suppressing.” It wasn’t as difficult for Effy to address the situation. While she could relate, she wasn’t in Franky’s exact position. But she’d be lying, and she would, if she claimed there was nothing she wasn’t trying to forget, trying to suppress herself. “It can still be a reality for you, Franks.” She cringed, realizing the hypocrisy of every word falling out of her mouth. Effy wanted Franky to be happy, healthy, but rarely did she lend herself the same compassion. Effy pushed her nagging conscience aside. This was about Franky, not her. “Just don’t let-” The thought was interrupted by a loud banging downstairs. She gave a puzzled look before dropping the blanket to her side. Were her dads home? Would they kick her out again? They both got to their feet and Effy followed Franky outside, lagging behind. Another impatient pounding resounded from the front door. Effy stayed near the top of the staircase, close enough to the bedroom in case the smaller girl wanted some privacy. The door swung open to reveal a tall blonde- perfect makeup, clothes coordinated, not a hair out of place. Effy quirked a brow to herself. She looked like one of the girls she’d be rolling her eyes at back in college. Not someone she’d ever picture being one of Franky’s mates.
Mini walked up the familiar path to Franky’s house, a thousand questions in her head. There was so much that had happened since the girls had last seen each other-Luke, Grace-and Mini needed to talk to the other girl about both issues. She knew Franky would want to avoid talking about Luke, and Mini wasn’t exactly eager to talk about Grace, but it’s not like the girls could avoid them. Not forever. Arriving at the Fitzgerald home, Mini knocked on the door, loud enough so that Franky could hear would she be upstairs. Mini gave it several moments, picking a stray piece of lint from her top before knocking again. Where was Franky? The blonde had a horrible flash that Luke had gotten to her, and was about to raise her fist again when the door swung open, and there stood Franky.
“Franks” Mini beamed, the brief moment of panic gone. She was alright, or, at least, she looked alright, and that was enough to calm Mini down for the moment. It was perhaps the relief that Franky wasn’t visibly hurt that Mini didn’t notice how tense the other girl was, and simply walked into the house, knowing that if Franky’s dads were here, they wouldn’t have much of a problem with Mini. Not that Geoff and Jeff were there, of course. Instead, as Mini turned to face Franky, she caught sight of a figure at the top of the stairs. She was a girl, Mini could tell that much, but certainly not a girl she knew, and Mini stiffened. She didn’t own Franky, but the girls had spent so much time together that Mini hadn’t even stopped to think that Franky had made friends outside of the gang. Forcing a smile, Mini turned back towards Franky, before speaking with a tight voice “Who’s your friend?”
“It doesn’t have to be like that. Forgetting, suppressing. It can still be a reality for you, Franks.” Franky stared downward. Okay, she knew everything. Her throat strained feeling the acid bubble in her stomach. Before Effy could finish, she was saved by a loud vigorous knocking from downstairs. One that she already knew. Franky stood up, flashed to autopilot she walked down the stairs and Effy followed keeping her distance. Which was a good choice, considering who was at the door once she opened it. “Franks,” she stared blankly at Mini. Her face looked distraught and straightened into the usual Mini fashion. She pushed through inside and Franky was still in the midsts of speaking when she noticed at the top of the stairs. “Who’s your friend?” Her voice. That strain. This wouldn’t be good and Mini wasn’t leaving any time soon. Franky’s face flushed red, why was she blushing? Embarrassed? She was terrified Mini would know a lot more than she should at the moment. “Come on,” she swallowed through her voice cracking and led her up the stairs. Nodding for Effy to walk back into the room.
Once inside she flipped the light back on, which was a terrible sight to see. A bag on the floor, blanket, movie going on her laptop. She tried to stay calm, Mini would bluntly ask questions or make things more awkward than they should be. “Effy, Mini. Mini, Effy,” she stood between them and felt smaller than ever. Why did everyone suddenly feel so damn tall? “She’s just…. staying over for a bit. Dads are out of town. Again,” she shifted her eyes down and strayed from Mini’s presumable judgmental looks. Franky knew why Mini was here. Their conversation about Luke left her worried and she wanted to inspect every piece of her body for bruises. None so far. “Uh, we were just watching.. E.T. if you want to join?” She brushed past Effy by accident to walk over to her desk. She needed spliff, a cigarette, or to ram her head into the drawer. Luckily, she had a few joints left. Franky grabbed a pre-rolled one and walked past the girls again to slide the window open. She sat on her bed again fiddling with the joint, lighter-less. “Mini’s my best mate, from college,” Franky glanced up at Effy. She knew that the name was familiar. It was a slight deja vu moment saying the name to her. She cleared her throat and tried not to look into anyone’s eyes, “Anyone got a lighter?”
“Who’s your friend?” Effy glanced at the shorter brunette, curious to hear her own introduction. When Franky stalled, Effy looked back to the stranger with a tight lipped smile and a subtle rise and fall at her brow. If she’d passed the leggy blonde on the street, Effy wouldn’t of given her the time of day, but for Franky’s sake, she’d be cordial. For whatever reason, the unlikely pair seemed to be mates. Heading back upstairs at Franky’s request, all three girls crowded into her bedroom. The air tasted a little more stale than earlier, an unnecessary, palpable tension. “Effy, Mini. Mini, Effy.” Mini. She’d heard that name before. Effy looked the girl up and down until the memory came to her. Mini, her best mate. Mini…her first proper kiss? The last bit was still fuzzy but she quirked a brow at the girl nonetheless. The blonde looked a little too bubblegum to stray from the conventional, but Effy kept her mouth shut. Franky briefly mentioned her stay, which suddenly felt bit more temporary. “Uh, we were just watching.. E.T. if you want to join? Mini’s my best mate, from college.” Her eyes shot to the flickering screen, one of the best scenes with the small alien disguised in a pile of stuffed animals. “We can watch it later.” Effy leaned against the edge of the windowsill. So she didn’t want to share her favorite movie with a perfect stranger. Was that so horrible? She continued, backpedaling her snarky attitude and attempting to justify her comment. “Wouldn’t want to be rude, Bambi.” Blinking rapidly, Effy looked over at Mini again. “Girl came here for a reason,” she added, lifting her chin. “I assume?” Her knocks sounded so urgent downstairs. Either the girl was in a constant state of enthusiasm, or she had some motive for stopping by. “Anyone got a lighter?” Effy dug into her pocket, tossing Franky her tiny red bic. Then, as she vaguely remembered the shorter brunette doing at her last visit, turned to crack the window behind her. Effy rarely bothered airing out the smoke at Anthea’s or the flat, but it only seemed courteous at a mate’s. Franky passed the spliff and Effy took a deep hit, exhaling slowly and warily passing to the blonde. ”You puff and hold….’case you’re unfamiliar.”
The first thing Mini noticed when she entered Franky’s room was the bag on the floor, and she instantly stiffened. She’s just…. staying over for a bit. Dads are out of town. Again. Mini gave a short nod, resisting the urge to kick Effy’s stuff out of the way. This girl, Effy, looked like some girl you’d find on the streets. Tangled hair, smudged makeup, the type of clothes that looked like they’d be found in a secondhand shop. She was the type of girl Mini used to mock, tied in with the type of girl MIni used to avoid, and she wondered what the hell Franky was doing with her. Uh, we were just watching.. E.T. if you want to join? Mini’s eyes snapped to the laptop on the bed, and she couldn’t hold back a scoff. E.T? Was Franky kidding, or what?
Mini crossed her arms as she watched Effy’s movements, wondering if this girl was for real. E.T? Bambi? Was she a five year old stuck inside the body of one of those crazy girls on cop shows? Girl came here for a reason. I assume? Mini turned towards Franky and smiled, knowing it didn’t look real at all. “Obvs. Wouldn’t want to interrupt your movie nostalgia night without a reason, would I Franks?” She turned back to Effy, remark already on her tongue when the brunette handed her a spliff, instructions included. Mini wasn’t huge on spliff, but she wasn’t going to let Effy show her up without a smart remark. The other girl would probably be fucking delighted to see Mini turn it down without a fight. Mini took it and smirked. “Just because we’re not all professionals like you” she began, eyeing Effy up and down, a million and one insults already there to use “Doesn’t mean we can’t do it. But ending up like you really isn’t something I am for.” She turned to Franky to pass the spliff, and raised an eyebrow, questions surrounding this girl adding to the millions she already had. “You’ve had an eventful few days, haven’t you babes?”
Franky sat silently ripping the hair from her head. She shook her leg up and down catching the lighter but almost dropping it in the short second. Once the spliff touched her lips, it never lasted long enough before Effy and Mini shared a spiteful turn. Was this was Liv and Franky looked like? Her face grew hot. The exchange of words were distasteful and rigid. “Just because we’re not all professionals like you. Doesn’t mean we can’t do it. But ending up like you really isn’t something I am for.” Franky instantly left a sharp nudge of her knee into Mini’s outer thigh. Her eyes glared. Finally, the spliff was back in her hand. Franky needed this more than she thought. Lucky the window was open to add air into the tightly sealed room. “You’ve had an eventful few days, haven’t you babes?” She interrupted. This was enough. Franky didn’t care if the question was directed to Effy or her, she wanted the sharp glares and toxic words to end. They had only just met and were fighting like fucking animals. “Yeah,” she spoke louder and sharply so Mini would get the hint.
“Eventful. Work, people, rain. All the works, Mini.” She made it known that she wasn’t going to be in the middle of this useless fight. Franky had the power to stick up for herself.. no matter how terrified she was at times. Her face gave her away. Franky was flushed red, her palms were sweaty, and her voice was a notch lower than it usually would be. Mini probably knew all the signs of Franky being nervous or hiding something. She was hiding a lot of things. Her eyes drifted toward Effy’s to keep calm. A breath of air. “If you were wondering, which you were, we met a couple weeks ago. She knows my mate Chris. We were at that church party together,” she cleared her throat. Strongly hoping that Mini didn’t remember her mentioning she dropped acid with three people that night. Ever since she had met Effy, things had taken a more experimental approach. She stared at Mini next. Be nice. “It was just her birthday a week ago,” Franky motioned toward Mini. Why was she uselessly rambling? She had sucked down half the spliff without even noticing. “I’ll.. I’ll get another,” Franky brushed past the two and grabbed her tin case off the desk. Two more inside. If they got high enough, maybe they could actually enjoy each other’s company. But for now, she was too busy shifting gazes back and forth between the girls. Effy, don’t say anything. Mini, be fucking nice.
Effy held her wrist and gave a sarcastic laugh as Mini retorted. The comment didn’t really touch her. It was nothing she hadn’t heard before. If the blonde was really out for blood, she would have to dig a little deeper. Effy was experienced. She prided herself on it. Still, the banter was amusing enough. “You’ve had an eventful few days, haven’t you babes?” Babes? God, she sounded like Katie. She sounded like Cook, minus the sincerity. Unless Mini had plans of getting on all fours and licking her out, she didn’t get to call her babes. Before Effy could correct her, Franky intervened. “Yeah. Eventful. Work, people, rain. All the works, Mini.” Easing back against the wall, Effy pursed her lips and stared up at the ceiling. She’d never pegged the girl in front of her to be the type of company Franky would choose to keep. Especially after everything the smaller girl had shared about her troubled past. Effy knew she mentioned on occasion her own aversion to most girls, and Mini couldn’t get much girlier if she tried. She seemed the spitting image of what they’d both avoid. For their own reasons.
Franky expanded on Effy’s introduction and she attempted a smile for her mate’s sake, but just ended up looking pained. “It was just her birthday a week ago.” Nodding theatrically, Effy couldn’t help but take the piss. “Sweet sixteen?” Once she started, it was difficult to stop. “What’d’ya get? Barbie’s Dream House?” Effy smirked and finally turned to see Franky’s burning red cheeks “I’ll.. I’ll get another,” the girl stuttered and turned to get more spliff. Although she couldn’t fathom why, this Mini girl was still her mate and Effy was crossing a line. Franky was stressed, that much was clear. A few sharp quips weren’t worth putting her friend in a tizzy. This was someone Franky really cared about, and looks could be deceiving. Effy knew that all too well. “Happy Birthday,” she said more humbly toward the blonde and offered an apologetic smile. Sucking on her own new spliff, her eyes danced from girl to girl. “So how’d you two meet then?” That had to be an interesting enough story.
Mini was ready to dig into this girl, ready to find out whatever her insecurities were and use them against her. Until then, she was prepared to just shoot whatever came into her head at the girl. Especially when she was doing the exact same to Mini. But Franky was friends with this girl for whatever reason, and Mini didn’t want to get the smaller girl upset, especially after the week she probably had. So Mini goraned inwardly, but decided that for once, it would be best to hold her tongue. After one more retort to Effy’s comments, anyway. Sweet sixteen? What’d’ya get? Barbie’s Dream House?
“Soz, you’ll have to play by yourself for now. After all, I’m sure your pimp tried his absolute best to find you something you wanted” she shrugged then, and, somewhat satisfied, decided to refrain from any further remarks for Franky’s sake. For now, anyway. Happy Birthday. Mini gave a quick nod and the tiniest smile in Effy’s direction, not anymore happy with the girl, and Mini suspected vice versa. For Franky. The blonde’s brief moment of joy from getting the last word didn’t last long however, and at Effy’s next questions, the words died in her mouth. So how’d you two meet then? She could not tell this girl the story, not when she was clearly looking for ways to be superior to Mini. Mini wasn’t proud of what she did, not by a long shot, and she certainly wouldn’t want Effy to go on about how she didn’t deserve Franky or anything along those lines. Swallowing, Mini gave a quick smile in Franky’s direction before replying. “Like Franks told you. College.”
The room was a ticking time bomb and Franky couldn’t feel the tips of her fingers. Or her toes for that matter. Had she finished off a joint an a half already? The girls barely noticed. Franky was wobbling back and forth in her stable seat. Her hands were shaking anxiously from the hidden energy the spliff gave her. No matter how dazed and tired she looked, her body was on high alert. Barbie House. She cringed. Pimp. She gritted her teeth. The girls knew nothing about each other and Franky couldn’t sit with a power point presentation so they’d like each other. Effy stared at Franky waiting a response but Mini spoke up giving a less detailed story. “Yeah, College. You’d be surprised. She used to be a lot bitchier,” Franky caught herself laughing through her words. “Sorry,” she started to laugh behind her hand. Being stoned around the two was not making this meeting easier. Why was Mini here? Oh yeah, to make sure she was alive at the moment.
Franky stood up, grabbing Mini’s shoulder so she didn’t fall over on her face. “Better lay off the spliff,” she choked out and continued walking to her record player. The girls could play nice while she sorted the back track. After much consideration and assuming they had enough glares and prods, she flipped the switch on and let it dully play. With her confidence slightly back, she sat between the girls, on the same side of the room, so they couldn’t stare at her anymore. “So I was about five weeks late to my first day of college, Mini shoved me in the mud, invited me out to the mall with her mates, then kicked me out of her party all in one week. Then she finally came to her senses, realizing I was the best thing to ever happen to her. Then, mates,” she slapped her hands conjoining them like an exploding atom. Franky nodded and hugged her knees listening to the not so loud music. She smiled at the both of them, but stopped after realizing the two wouldn’t get on that easily. “Sorry,” she mouthed to Effy and rested her chin on her knee. Franky sent the last end of the spliff to Effy. She could handle more than anyone in the room, she assumed.
Pimp? Effy smirked to herself. If only Connor was there, she would have given them all a good show. Of course Franky probably wouldn’t have found it so entertaining. Although, by the look of the smaller girl’s red eyes, it actually might have gotten a chuckle. Effy let the remark slide and at the change of topic, was surprised to hear Mini snap so quickly. “Like Franks told you. College.” Quirking a brow toward her mate, Franky went on. “Yeah, College. You’d be surprised. She used to be a lot bitchier.” A stunned chuckle fell from her lips. Effy was not expecting Franky to give a jab and she wondered if the blonde would take it personally or not.
Once Franky went into detail about the reality of their introduction, it took nearly everything she had to refrain from shooting Mini daggers. Her eyes flitted in the blonde’s direction but quickly landed Franky’s apologetic eyes. “Sorry.” What was she sorry for? She had no reason to apologise. Mini, maybe. Effy just couldn’t understand why or how Franky would not only tolerate all that but claim the girl as her best friend. Considering the gruesome taunting Franky had endured and decided to share, it didn’t make any sense. Mini perfectly fit the criteria of what Effy was envisioning. The snobby, airheaded bully. Shallow as a puddle. “Spot on,” she mumbled to herself. Gladly taking the rest of the spliff, Effy took a large hit trying to settle down. Franky must of had her reasonings. She was a smart girl, at least. “I need a cigarette.” After taking another pull, Effy got to her feet and faced the two of them. “S’pose I should give you lovely ladies a moment to talk.” She turned and headed for Franky’s bedroom door. The knowledge she’d just acquired, however, had Effy hesitant to even leave them alone in the same room. “Holler if you need me,” she joked but shot Franky a reassuring look all the same. Then softly closed the door behind her and hopped downstairs to Franky’s front porch.
Yeah, College. You’d be surprised. She used to be a lot bitchier. Mini snapped her head towards Franky, eyeing the girl warily. Mini was perfectly aware of how she used to behave back then-the attitude she still used, although much less frequently, to this day. But back then it had been much worse, and even if Mini did know this better than anyone, it still wasn’t enjoyable to hear something from Franky. Mini flinched as Franky placed her hand on her shoulder momentarily, As the smaller girl launched into the story of the relationship between the two, Mini raised her head towards Effy, almost daring her to comment. If Effy didn’t hate her before, she certainly did now. And honestly, Mini couldn’t blame her. She hated herself for the way she acted back then too.
Effy, however, remained silent until after the ‘story’ had finished. I need a cigarette. S’pose I should give you lovely ladies a moment to talk. Mini folded her arms across her chest and watch Effy leave with narrowed eyes, noticing her hesitation and the look she shot Franky. This girl, whatever her relationship with Franky was, clearly thought leaving Franky alone with her best mate was a bad idea. After what she had just heard, Mini supposed Effy had a reason to be wary, but that was almost two years ago now, and it simply pissed Mini off more today. The second the door closed behind Effy, Mini wheeled around to face Franky. She knew the spliff really couldn’t have helped Franky out in this situation, but Mini was full of questions. About what had just happened, about Effy herself, about Grace, about Luke. And she wanted some answers. “Franky, what the fuck?”
Franky watched Effy leave the room for a cigarette, which only left her with Mini. Fuck. She spoke up quickly and Franky sunk to the ground by her bed. What the fuck? What the fuck for what? Mini was the one who barged inside her house without any unite or warning. “What?” Franky stared and waited. Okay she was angry about Effy. She expected a lot more about Luke or Grace being back in town. No. She was mad about Effy? “She’s a mate, Mini… She’s having a tough time, not sure what it is, but she’s a mate. You don’t have to be jealous. I can have mates outside you and they can be different.” Franky rambled and stood up pacing. Mini would surely follow if she went downstairs. Now she wanted a cigarette. Effy was alone downstairs or possibly finding a way to run out of there.
“Just be nice for once. She’s not replacing you,” she touched her shoulder still standing. Franky lingered too long and rubbed her forehead. “I need a cigarette now.” She grabbed her pack out of the drawer and shuffled her way down the hallway. Mini was following and Franky felt fuzzier. “I thought you’d be speaking to me about other things.” She muttered and hoped no one heard. Franky spotted Effy out on the patio and she made her way to the door. She caught her attention, waving he behind the glass with her pack in hand. Before stepping out she stalled in the kitchen, a stare down with Mini but something different. She was concerned with her firing at her best mate. Franky was jumping all over her for no reason only hoping that she wouldn’t being up Luke at all costs. The thought of it only made her sick to her stomach. “Look, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to say that you were a bitch. My heads a little… Everywhere. Just.. Lets be nice okay? No more glaring or snarky remarks. Please?” Franky reached behind her and grabbed the sliding door to step out. Effy was almost done with her cigarette, it felt a little pointless now.
Leaning against the side of the house, Effy fiddled with her lighter for a moment. Spliff never really helped with her coordination. Her legs shook anxiously as she took her first long drag and considered just making a run for it. It’s not exactly like she came with any warning either. Franky was probably just being polite. Not to mention the fact that she’d just taken the piss out of the girl’s best mate for really no reason at all. Come to find Mini had deserved it, but there was no proper way of knowing that at first glance. Her head fell back against the cooler wall, staring up at the fast floating clouds. She was doing it again. She was pushing people away. Family, friends, strangers, everyone. And for what? Puffing on her cigarette, Effy pulled her phone from her pocket and scrolled through her contacts. She wanted to check up on him while still keeping that distance. Connor said he’d be happy to keep her in the know, so she decided to shoot him a message only to find she scrolled one contact too far. Shit, shit, shit, shit. With the few words exchanged, Effy felt herself feeling more heated than earlier. She nearly threw the phone into oncoming traffic to stop herself from rereading each text. Jealous? What the hell was he getting at? Or was that his shady game plan all along? Stick it in an old rival and see if it would get a rise out of her. She fucking hated that it did. And Cook knew it. It was right there on the screen, plainly for them both to see. He was still fucking with her. Effy angrily stuffed her phone back in her pocket and turned to see Franky waving at her with a pack in hand. Looking down, Effy saw her own cigarette wasted by her earlier distraction. She quickly flicked the neglected inch or two of ashes, still eager for her unattained fix. Franky stepped outside, Mini in tow and Effy pursed her lips, looking away. She swallowed, attempting to keep her small meltdown under wraps. Neither needed to know. Especially Mini, who was probably just dying to find a way under her skin. “You’re alive,” she joked quietly, bobbing her head for added effect. “Mind if I bum another?” Effy tossed her cigarette butt into the grass and eyed the new carton. Her gaze casually drifted toward the tall blonde. “All sorted then?” A more playful smile tugged at her lips as she stifled down her earlier resentments. “Or’d you just miss you me?”
Mini frowned at Franky’s pacing, knowing perfectly well that everything the girls had to say to each other, and the conversation about the recent events would have to wait. Franky was, for reasons Mini couldn’t understand, friends with Effy, and was obviously helping the girl in whatever way she could given her current situation. Whatever that was, it appeared Franky didn’t know, and Mini wondered if Effy was aware of Franky’s. She felt a sudden flare of jealousy rise up, and she shrugged Franky’s hand off her shoulder. As far as Mini was concerned, Franky had bigger problems to deal with, and bigger problems regarding mates to deal with, but Franky was clearly avoiding those topics, and was much more focused on Effy and her little problem. “Fucking hell” the blonde snapped before following Franky, pausing only when her mate did.
Look, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to say that you were a bitch. My heads a little… Everywhere. Just.. Lets be nice okay? No more glaring or snarky remarks. Please? Mini raised an eyebrow, and reached out to catch Franky’s arm before replying. “Alright, I’ll play nice with it. But we are deffo going to discuss the Luke issue and Grace after this.” Mini let go of Franky’s arm, somewhat reluctantly, before following the other girl outside. Effy was already sitting there, tossing her cigarette to the ground and after a moment of hesitation, Mini forced a smile. “Absolutely sorted.” She tossed a quick glance at Franky before turning back to Effy, deciding she could follow Franky’s wishes and also get to know more about this girl. Mini doubted Effy would reveal anything personal about herself, but Mini was going to have fun trying to figure out Effy’s insecurities in the mean time. “So, Effy. Besides the spliff and enjoyment of movies for children, what goes on behind your smile?”
Franky stared off around the patio area. Sitting between the two girls that were taller than her by almost a good foot. She didn’t remember lighting the cigarette or listening to the meaningless chatter between the girls, if it was even happening. Mini’s voice kept ringing in her ears. Discuss the Luke issue and Grace after this. The thought of it all made her mouth dry and taste of acid. The forced kiss on her mouth from earlier made her rub her lips subconsciously. Grace. Luke. The two names together made her absolutely sick to her stomach. Over and over, that image of the crash continued in her brain like a loop track of some sick horror movie. Continuing driving when the car toppled over the cliff and looking back in horror at the smoke. He didn’t even stop. She had to wait to see if her mates were fucking alive. He made her wait. She had to get the taste off her lips and out of her mouth, now. Franky finally decided to place her cigarette between her lips, but the instant taste of tobacco made her face shoot pale and feel nauseous.
The girls were speaking or mumbling, or avoiding something. Franky felt at this moment she could sneak away and avoid a few things before she honestly got sick on the patio. Spliff, cigarettes, and the taste of Luke lingering around her mouth made her utterly sick to her stomach. Franky dropped her cigarette during the chatter or banter, whatever was happening. She slowly backed away, trying to be unnoticed with the blank, pale stare she had on her face. Her eyes tunneled until she found the sliding door with her hand behind her back and slipped inside. Auto pilot. She walked up the two flights into the bathroom and closed the door. The air felt thick. Franky should’ve just spoke to Mini about this whole thing there. Again, she was avoiding, like she always did. She stared at the toilet, debating on getting sick or not, but glanced in the mirror instead. All the color was out of her face. Terrifying. She spotted the tub and decided that would be a good place to think or cool down. Possibly keep her contained long enough to gather her brain back together. The girls would notice. Effy or Mini would know she hid in the bathroom, if they were still talking and didn’t follow already.
“So, Effy. Besides the spliff and enjoyment of movies for children, what goes on behind your smile?” Mini’s patronizing tone had Effy’s good intentions out the window. As much as she wanted to please Franky, she wouldn’t tolerate being talked down to. With the provoking texting conversation still very much on her mind, Effy’s patience was dwindling. Her smile fell into a more sarcastic sneer. “Jus’more sunshine, lollipops and rainbows,” she retorted with a false enthusiasm. Before she had the chance to continue her smart remark, Effy felt the smaller girl shift beside her and quickly jump to her feet. Her own stomach twisting, she’d assumed the reason being Franky had finally had enough of their banter. She turned, catching sight of her ghostly pale complexion and knew it had to be something more dire. The girls hadn’t been alone terribly long. What could have possibly happened in that short amount of time? Effy shot Mini a mixed look of curiosity, accusation, and genuine concern before walking back inside, leaving the blonde in the dust.
“Franky?” She called, running up the stairs. “Bambs?” Her bedroom door was wide open, but entirely empty as Effy passed. A sliver of light beamed from under the bathroom’s door. Effy knocked gently against the wooden frame and inched closer. “Franks? You all right?” No sounds of heaving or anything of the sort. No sounds at all. “S’Eff,” she cautioned, just in case Franky was avoiding one in particular. Her stomach pitted again with no reply. Trying the doorknob, Effy was relieved to see it wasn’t locked. She opened the door slowly to warn the girl she was entering. “Hey.” Shutting the door lightly, Effy sat on the lidded toilet opposite the shower. “S’going on?” She asked after a moment of silence, looking around at the scene. “Nothing.. happened, yeah?” Her head tilted toward the door, signalling the blonde downstairs. “‘Cause I’ll-” Cut short, Effy heard another rumble at the door. “Speak of the devil,” she mumbled to herself, wondering if she should just tell the girl to piss off. It wasn’t exactly her place, not under Franky’s roof unless she had permission. “Want me to get rid of her?” she mouthed before Mini slipped inside.
Jus’more sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. Mini was more than prepared to say another question gilled with fake enthusiasm in order to mock Effy more in the process, but with a jolt, the blonde realized that Franky had gone. Mini got to her feet, concern washing ove her. Wherever Franky had gone, in certainly hadn’t been to collect some snacks. Mini thought about what she had said earlier, and turned to Effy, as the location of Franky suddenly popped into her mind. Before she had time to comment, Effy had shot Mini a look of confused emotions, and as much as Mini wanted to say something about the look of accusation on her face, Franky clearly wasn’t having the best time, and Effy was already gone.
The blonde followed the smaller girl quickly and arrived at the bathroom just after the door had closed softly. Mini narrowed her eyes, but made sure her knocking came out softly. The last thing she wanted to do was freak Franky out. “Franks?” After earning no reply, Mini opened the door and slipped inside, glancing at first Effy, and then Franky. She resisted the urge to snap something at Effy, having no doubt that the brunette had been saying shit about Mini seconds before she had entered, but she wanted to focus on Franky. She had to focus on Franky. Sliding down next to the bathtub, Mini turned her head towards Franky, wondering if her words from earlier had caused this. It made Mini feel terrible inside, and she wondered if the questions around Luke and the conversation about Grace would have to wait for another day. But they would deal with that later, surely. “Franky” Mini spoke softly, the opposite of her usual loud and demanding voice “Babes. You okay?”
Franky rested the side of her head on the tub. Effy entered, spoke a bit, but Franky just shrugged it off. She didn’t want to be coddled. Honestly she was hoping Mini would find her first. Effy was trying, which was appreciated but she wasn’t sure how to deal with her in these situations. Especially when she was almost sober. Soon the door opened again and Franky shifted her eyes. Mini. A sigh of relief. The look on her face had some tail of regret from what she said, but it wasn’t her fault. Franky expected her to bring up the two people that were back. Mini sat by the tub and Franky scooted closer. Her eyes stared at Effy, she didn’t want her to hear what she had to say, but everyone was there for support. She felt foolish sitting in a fucking tub. “Yeah, I’m fine. Kind of.” Franky stared at Effy, apologetically for what she was about to say next.
“I lied before,” she spoke softly, shifting her eyes back to the side of Mini’s face. “He’s back. He found me. Scared the shit out of me. Kissed me on the mouth,” she shook her head in disgust. “I don’t know if he’s still around, but, you were right. Sorry.” She looked up toward Effy, “Sorry.” Two different apologies. Franky really wanted to be alone, but playing host to Effy made it difficult. “I feel like a bloody idiot.” She spoke louder, mostly about the tub. Sadly, she didn’t want to move from the smaller room. “You two don’t have to be here. I feel like a twat for trying to make this work with the three of us. You two are different. Two different people and sometimes it doesn’t mean you can be mates. You don’t have to play nice anymore.” Franky touched Mini’s shoulder and squeezed it lightly. A thank you or sorry, both. She rubbed her eyes and sighed loudly.
Franky’s expression clearly changed when Mini walked inside. A surprising look of relief. Whatever was bothering her wasn’t the blonde’s doing. Effy pursed her lips humbly, staring at the tiles on the floor, and let Mini comfort their mutual mate. The were friends. Bestfriends. Just because Effy didn’t understand it didn’t make that fact any less true. Franky had mentioned the girl before and Effy was slowly beginning to realize that although the leggy blonde wasn’t what she’d initially envisioned, they were still the same person. This was someone Franky, despite their apparent rocky beginning, had grown incredibly close to. Mini had years on her of bonding, trust, secrets. No amount of quick observance would trump that. Suddenly, she felt entirely helpless and isolated as the notion sunk in, as she learned her place. Franky leaned in, speaking quietly, clearly speaking words for Mini’s ears alone. Effy felt like she was encroaching on a private moment that didn’t belong to her. Franky. Franky didn’t belong to her. Mini was clearly her best mate, and Effy.. had just told her own to piss off. She didn’t have other proper mates, not really. It was her own doing. A lump grew in Effy’s throat that seemed impossible to shake. Standing up, she crossed her arms and shifted to the back wall, giving them more room. Franky apologized repeatedly but there was so reason. Effy shook her head each time, but couldn’t get the words out to reassure her. “You two don’t have to be here. I feel like a twat for trying to make this work with the three of us. You two are different. Two different people and sometimes it doesn’t mean you can be mates. You don’t have to play nice anymore.” Blue eyes floated hesitantly to Mini’s. Her shoulders shrugged lightly, her throat now completely dry. Effy wanted to stay and help, but she felt completely useless. What could she offer that Mini couldn’t? Her presence was really only a nuisance anyway, as she recalled the reason she’d come in the first place. Whatever Franky was worrying about, she didn’t need Effy’s woes on her plate as well. “I, er…,” her dry throat caught as her gaze raced from Franky to Mini. “I’ll let you take this one, blondie,” she jabbed, keeping up the ruse of competition and control. A lost cause, but Effy was stubborn when it came to appearances. With a weaker smile, she left the bathroom and the door clicked shut behind her.
I lied before. He’s back. He found me. Scared the shit out of me. Kissed me on the mouth, I don’t know if he’s still around, but, you were right. Sorry. Mini felt her body tense up at Franky’s words, and the hatred she felt for Luke grew. Everything had started fucking up in the gang’s lives the moment he showed up, and know he seemed determined to mess with Franky again. Mini didn’t have all the details on what happened last time, but she knew that whatever it was, it had upset and hurt Franky big time. And now he was back, messing things up all over again. Glancing quickly at Effy, Mini knew there wasn’t much room for discussion with the other girl there, so she simply leaned over and gave Franky’s cheek a quick kiss.
You two don’t have to be here. I feel like a twat for trying to make this work with the three of us. You two are different. Two different people and sometimes it doesn’t mean you can be mates. You don’t have to play nice anymore. Mini turned back to Effy, frowning slightly. It wasn’t as hostile as before, and the blonde was more curious to see what Effy would do. Mini had no intentions of leaving, not just yet, even if Franky wanted her gone. Franky had been there for Mini through all her own issues last year, even when Mini just wanted everyone to leave. And she knew that these issues-Luke and Grace-couldn’t be avoided forever, no matter how much Franky wanted just that. I’ll let you take this one, blondie. Mini watched Effy leave, only turning back to Franky once the door had closed. “Do you need to like, discuss shit with her? Don’t think there’s going to be room for her in the bed.” Mini attempted a smile, but she knew Franky wouldn’t buy it. The reasons for Mini not wanting Effy around had gone from jealousy to not wanting to discuss the Luke issue in front of what Mini thought of as a stranger. And Franky was finally starting to open up about it, and Mini didn’t want to risk losing it. She couldn’t go about ripping his balls off until she knew the story, now could she?
A few more miles and she’d be at Mini’s. After their feud, she wanted this bullshit to stop. Mini owed her an apology and Franky really owed her one as well. Her words were hurtful and she was only stressed, but not she needed her best mate more than anyone. Liv was still around Chris’s flat so she tried to stay away from there. Home wasn’t the same with Geoff under the weather and all the attention brought on him. Franky wanted to respect him and have his space; her attitude didn’t need to be there tonight. She continued walking, growing angrier as she walked up the high hill. Liv at her safe haven. Matty lingering in the back of her head. Mini’s fight, and so much more. She let her nails dig into her elbows, lucky it was shielded by the knit sleeves she had on her jacket.
There, Franky walked up to the house knocking loudly. The door opened quickly and Shelly was there with a confused glance. “Mini home?” Shelly nodded and let Franky in. “Would you like anything dear?” Franky shook her head and walked up the stairs. She felt rude but it wasn’t the main priority at the moment. “Tell Mini, Eric and I are heading out!” Shelley called and Franky nodded to herself as she approached the room. Music was playing and the light was on. She rolled her eyes stopping at the closed door. Franky waited for the front door to close and knocked on the white wooden one in front of her. “Mini.. we need to talk” She knocked again, louder. “You owe me something. I owe you something too.. and I know you can hear me.” She knew Mini was stubborn but to not open the door, she had one last resort. “We don’t have much time and you know that.” The girls really knew how to push each other’s buttons at times, but she was serious. Why else would Mini message her in the first place?
Mini hadn’t expected much to happen out of her day, when she was still on pretty rocky ground with Liv and Franky, and she had yet to have any contact with the rest of the gang since her return. Still, she was a little irritated when she found herself listening to Madonna and painting her nails on the official eve of her eighteenth birthday, considering she liked to consider herself to life of the party, and somehow expected a day like this to be much more glamourous. But after the disaster her early birthday surprise party had been, she wasn’t exactly in a rush to throw another, and there certainly wouldn’t have been much time. What Mini wanted for tonight and tomorrow to just be hanging out with the gang in some club like the old times, maybe a little more centric on her. That, however, was a long way away.
There was a sudden knock at her bedroom door, and Mini was prepared to yell at her mother when another voice came through the door, one Mini knew all too well. Mini..we need to talk. The blonde tried to block out the voice, but Franky was persistent, and knew Mini all too well. But the freckled girl was terrible at apologies, and given their last conversation via text, she was feeling less and less up to it. She would’ve gone on ignoring Franky or turning her music up louder had the other girl not spoken the next few words. We don’t have much time and you know that. Mini swallowed, sitting on her bed for several more moments. She glanced at the clutter of things at her vanity, including her birthday gifts from Franky. After getting them back the few nights before, she had tossed them on the desk, not really wanting to think about what would happen if she lost Franky too. But it was the reminder of that-helped by Franky’s comment-that made Mini get to her feet and open the door. She tilted her head to one side as she took in her best mate, at least, she hoped what was still her best mate, and folded her arms as a force of habit-same with the following word “Well?”
Franky tugged at the hole on her tights. Why did the upper half always get a hole? She leaned her head against the door, waiting. In all honesty, she’d wait hours. She really would. Franky heard footsteps and removed her head from the door staring to Mini’s eye level before the door opened. A force of habit. Signature Mcguinness pose, and small words. Well? What was she supposed to say? Franky was silly to expect Mini to say she was sorry first. What she said wasn’t too hurtful, calling the next freak along was a bit. But Franky saying a comment about people fucking her over was the worst thing she could say and it was true which was the worst part. Mates didn’t do that. “I’m sorry for what I said. It’s no excuse for what I said to you and I’m really, really sorry. You didn’t deserve that. If I could go back and never say it I would, because I know how much you hated me for saying it. You probably still hate me a bit, but,” she sighed, “Mini, you’re my best mate and I’ll never do it again.” Franky looked down at her stockings, toes wiggling and unbalanced nature of her footing. Her finger looped through the hole in her tights out of anxiety.
“But you owe me something too, Mini.” Her expression changed, as if realizing something. Enlightenment. “I’m not a doormat. I’m not one a-anymore and you can’t call me a best mate and throw all your shit at me when I didn’t do anything wrong. That was wrong of you and I’m not having it. You owe me an apology, Mini and I’m not going to sulk all day waiting for you. I have a life too.” She actually had her internship to get to. She was supposed to clock in three minutes ago, actually. Franky could skip… But her frustration was taking a toll more than it should’ve. Franky was asking for an apology, but at the same time it wasn’t just from Mini and the times she had walked all over her, but for everyone that ever had. She was fed up with it. Fed up with Matty, Liv, and anyone that decided it was okay to walk all over a human being.
The blonde listened to Franky’s apology, and although it managed to erase most of the hurt, a small part of her was still upset by Franky’s comment. She knew it had been a spur of the moment thing, when Franky was annoyed at Mini for her comments, and that the auburn headed girl had probably regretted it the second she pressed send, but the comment had stung Mini. Of course, considering her phone call to her dad not long before that, maybe a small part of it was true. But Mini ignored that, like she had dore more than once with her problems, and instead focused on Franky. Despite what she had said, Mini did forgive Franky for the most part, and she knew that the other girl would try to make it up to her. Show me how sorry you are. The words that Mini had used before replayed in her head, but this time, they were left unsaid.
Mini however, had never been good at apologies. She tried to avoid them the best she could, and saying the word sorry was just something Mini hadn’t done much in the course of her life. But this was Franky. This was Mini’s best friend, and the only person she hadn’t managed to shake off, and although she would never admit it, that thought of not having Franky around made Mini feel terrible inside. “Franky” Mini said with a frown, looking down at the smaller girl. If Mini didn’t do this now, for all she knew, she’d never see Franky again. It was something she highly doubted, but Franky was the one person Mini felt she could always count on, and she didn’t want to lose that. She couldn’t lose that. “Look, Franks. I’m a complete bitch, and you know that. I’ve always been one and I…..I don’t know how to stop being one. But I really don’t mean to be one to you, because you’re my best mate and….I’m sorry for that.” There. It was done.
Franky had never really seen Mini so defeated. She had only heard her say sorry a few times and they were for minor things or she didn’t mean it. But the tone was there. The apology was laid out in front of her and Franky was content, it wasn’t a heartbreaking speech but it was good enough. Mini was sorry. “Apology accepted,” Franky barely smiled. She still felt terrible about what she said and probably would for a very long time. The girls stood awkwardly a few feet from each other and Franky decided she’d take the first step. Her arms reached above Mini’s shoulders and she hugged her, reaching up on her toes. “You’re not a bitch. You’re not, okay?” Franky swallowed and her arms squeeze tighter. “We were both stressed. Promise we won’t fly off the handle again?” Franky gave her one last squeeze before they parted. Back in the same old room. Franky felt at home here, surprisingly she never felt at home anywhere but here.
She closed the door behind her, for no reason since her mother wasn’t home, but it was what they did. Everything was behind a closed door. Confessions, apologies, admitting they were wrong; all behind that white closed door. I have something I need to tell you. Franky repeated in her head but the words didn’t come out. She couldn’t say it. She couldn’t say the shit that happened after the party. Matty lingered again in the back of her head like a shadow. “Are you okay?” Instead she asked the opposite, hoping Mini had something to say so she could forget about herself for the evening. Franky looked at Mini with wonderment and answers behind her blue shaded eyes. She took a seat on the floor, layered with Heat Magazine, nail polish, and her headphones. “Don’t say you are if you’re not okay? I know you’re stressed out, you’re doing all the things you do when you’re stressed. It wasn’t all me, was it?”
Mini found herself pulled into Franky’s arms, and although she hugged her back, the hurt was still there. But this wasn’t the first time the girls had fought or said hurtful things to each other, and Franky seemed so upset with herself over it. And Mini was sure that she would return to her usual attitude eventually, and having Franky put up with that was enough to make Mini try to forget not only Franky’s comment, but also Mini’s own apology. She had meant it, she really had, but she didn’t want to dwell on it. Apologies? Not a McGuinness thing. Franky pulled away and Mini gave her a weak smile, giving a short nod of agreement. She wasn’t going to have another fight like that with Franky if she could avoid it, but if their argument was anything to go by, it could escalate before Mini had time to stop it. But for now, they were moving on. Or, at least trying to.
Are you okay? A shadow crossed Mini’s face, but she fixed it quickly, and turned to focus on the mirror, knowing perfectly well that Franky could read her like a book. The other girl continued, and although everything she said were truths, Mini didn’t want to admit that. As far as she was concerned, she couldn’t admit that. But Franky was still right, and Mini thought about the phone call to her dad, how he hadn’t picked up, how this was just another birthday, just another important moment in Mini’s life that she had missed. Her mind then flickered to the job offer from Lizzy, and how Mini had yet to make up her mind, and she wondered what Franky would say. But Mini had been too open, too honest for today, and if there was one thing Mini hated, it was letting people see how vunerable she was. Even her best friend. Instead, Mini faked a smile, smoothing out her skirt “Nothing’s wrong babes. Besides the shit with you. But we sorted that out, so” Mini gave a small shrug as if that solved everything, and she really wished it was that simple. She sat down across from Franky, tucking her long legs under her body and picking up the bottle of nail polish, determined to change the subject-even if she was just focusing on Franky instead. “You alright yourself, Francesca?”
Franky waited and waited, but nothing of importance left Mini’s mouth. She was fine. She silently felt the disappointment ring over her brain. Really Mini? Still. Maybe this was how Matty thought when they were together.. but they… weren’t together. Fuck. She watched her sit and Franky hunched over, debating on painting her nails just to pass the time. “You alright yourself, Francesca?” A thought worthy smile slid in the corner of her mouth. The two were exactly the same, Franky knew what she was doing. What was there to say beside Matty? She promised Liv that she wouldn’t rat her out about being homeless (Even if Mini already knew) and everything else was just minor.
She looked up, sunken, tired of the bullshit. Did it always take a bottle of alcohol to get the two out in the open about things they needed to say? She rubbed her neck shrugging, silent answer meant another few questions at herself. “You know, your birthday is in a few hours. Your real one. Actually,” Franky lifted her wrist to see the time. “Two hours.. thirty-two minutes,” she looked down at the spread. Magazines, two best mates sitting on the floor of the room uncomfortably. “I should’ve brought something.”A cupcake. Franky laughed quietly under her breath. The quietness around them disturbed her. She didn’t like it.
“Actually,” she said it in a different tone than before. “I-I’ve got something to tell you and I just want you to listen first,” she blinked tiredly and stared downward. “When Matty crashed your party, I thought he was in Spain. We spoke, awhile back a month maybe, I saw him off on route and I thought he was gone. We said sorry. So we left it there, that was that and..”god why was this so hard to say. “When I saw him there I didn’t know what to do, I was so fucking angry and I met him at the park. We talked and I-I.. sort of kissed him and left.” Not a literal kiss, but close enough. “I don’t know why I did it but I don’t, I don’t know.” She shrugged even more exhausted this time around. “So..?” Franky struggled to look up at Mini. Here’s a piece of me now it’s your turn. In her efforts, she hoped Mini would stop being so guarded; Franky had her own share but she trusted Mini. She only trusted Mini.
You know, your birthday is in a few hours. Your real one. Mini rolled her eyes, although, truth be told, she was glad someone had remembered. Her relationship with the rest of the gang was still on rocky ground, and her mother was out with Eric, and probably wouldn’t remember it was Mini’s eighteenth until too late on the day. The situation wasn’t the best, and Mini definitely wished she was spending her eighteenth birthday doing something else, but she was here with Franky, and they had said their apologies. Mini just tried to ignore the awkwardness in the room.
“Let’s hope the real one isn’t a complete fuck up, yeah?” Mini replied, although she didn’t have much hope for that. She didn’t have good relationships with many people these days, and even though Mini loved Franky, it was clear that their fight and left a small dent in their friendship, at least for the time being. Besides, drinking alcohol and painting nails wasn’t exactly what Mini had dreamed about for her eighteenth birthday. And lately, seems just seemed to keep going wrong, if her phone conversation with her father-or lack of-was anything to go by.
Mini stiffened as Franky talked about Matty, her dislike towards him having intensified ever since he crashed her party. So not only had he lied to Franky (or at the very least hadn’t informed her of his return), but he crashed Mini’s party resulting in a fight between the girls, and now Franky had gone and kissed him. Twat. There were quite a few people Mini disliked, and Matthew Levan was certainly on that list. She frowned before replying, the words slipping out of her mouth before she could stop them. “No surprise his evil demon stare is still creating shit for us all” her eyes snapped to Franky’s, wondering how the other girl would react, but two apologies in one day was not something Mini wanted to do. She was still trying to bounce back from her first one, never having been a fan of the word ‘sorry’, even when she meant it. Instead, Mini twisted the lid of the nail polish and gave Franky a nod “Show me your nails. It’s been ages since I touched them up.”
Mini’s reaction was just as she thought, but instead of any hopeful insight about her life there was nothing placed between them. “No surprise his evil demon stare is still creating shit for us all.” The glare said it all. Franky looked down at her nails and picked at the skin around them. There was no use in talking about the situation. No one would understand where her mind was at the time, not even Franky, especially not Mini. “Show me your nails. It’s been ages since I touched them up.” She pulled the nails from her mouth and stared down at the ripped up nonsense that stood between them. Mini would chat her out about it, but there was nothing else she could say to make her open up. Franky splayed her hands and let them settle in Mini’s. “Terrible I know, don’t mention it.” She pouted and watched the polish of Mini’s choice start to be applied to her nails. The glare from earlier still stuck in her head. Why would she really care about Matty in that way?
Before Mini could start on the middle finger, Franky pulled away staring. She wasn’t sure what to say first. What’s wrong with you? Why wont you speak to me? Another heavy sigh later. Mini said something or she thought she did, about the absence of thought and pulled away hands. “Why do you really care about him that much? If you didn’t care you won’t be bothered by him? Is it only because of Grace, Mini?” She narrowed her eyes. It wasn’t meant to be as intrusive as it was but she was tired of it. Matty wasn’t a horrible person, sure he fucked up a few times but Franky had done far worse. “And why wont you tell me what’s wrong?” Was this how Liv felt? “I know something’s bothering you and you’re shoving it off like it’s nothing. You have a few hours before your birthday and for once just be honest with me. I trust you, I really trust you and I don’t feel like you do for me.” Franky shivered putting her hands back in Mini’s to paint. Obviously no painting would happen after her explosion of surprisingly calm words. Was she really doing this again? Fuck. Mini would be upset. On her actual birthday too? Fuck, Franky why don’t you shut up some times. Her hands curled around Mini’s instead of splayed and she stared at them. “I don’t mean to be so.. brutal about it, but… I’m just asking for some honesty. Something.” Her fingers curved around Mini’s hands and she stared down at them more softly. She didn’t want a fight, her submissiveness was showing for a reason. Franky couldn’t keep a straight face knowing that something else was eating at Mini. If she could be honest about something like Matty with Mini, then they could do better than this. “Anything.. I thought we were better than secrets and shitty fights.” Franky touched the tips of their fingers.
Mini raised an eyebrow at Franky’s hand, before shaking her head slightly, blonde hair fanning out around her head. “What would you do without me?” Mini asked with a smile, although it was more likely that Mini didn’t know what she’d do without Franky. As she began to paint her best friend’s nails, Mini began to notice that Franky’s hands were tense, and before Mini could question the other girl on it, Franky took her hand away, and Mini frowned, and remarked quickly. “No offence babes, but it’s going to look much worse without some TLC.” More than anything, she was worried the topic of Matty would come back, and just Mini’s luck, Franky began to question her.
Why did she hate Matty? There was, of course, the whole Grace situation, something Mini figured she would always blame him for. But Mini had never been his fan, although, in the early days, she had simply left it up to the fact that he had a creepy stare and Nick never told her about him. When he began to toy with the feelings of both Franky and Liv-because really, you’d have to be really fucking thick not to notice that-she began to really dislike him. But her true hate towards him had really started when they were working on the play. Which just happened to be around the time where Franky grew stronger feelings for Matty, and Mini….well, Mini developed what she now referred to as her ‘girl crush.’ But she had never told Franky about having feelings for her, and she wasn’t about to start now.
Mini opened her mouth to answer with something along the lines of ‘His fingernails are worse than yours and let’s be honest Franks, wasn’t exactly good to you or Liv.’ Which was the truth as far as Mini was concerned, just not all of it. But Franky hadn’t finished, and Mini stiffened. Mini trusted Franky, more than anyone else right now, but confessions weren’t her thing. And she didn’t want to admit that her dad had basically fucked her over again or that she had gotten an offer to be a model, as she knew what Franky would say to both of those things. And sad Minis and hugs and You’ve got to start eating rights weren’t things she could deal with right now. She yanked her hand away from Franky’s and got to her feet, crossing her arms over her chest. “I’m fine” she said tightly, before adding the other major thing that was bugging her, the one she had already discussed with Franky before “Besides the fact that my best friend is fucking off to Oxford.”
Mini’s hand left Franky’s too soon to tell which emotion would come right back in her face. She stood up and Franky stayed silently. Passive, as always when it came to Mini’s tantrums and outbursts that never had to do with the current situations. I’m fine. Franky stared, you’re lying. It was planted all over Franky’s face so Mini had a clear idea of how far her bullshit meter was going off.
“Besides the fact that my best friend is fucking off to Oxford.”
Franky felt her jaw tighten. Was this really it? They had this conversation. Oxford was only a few hours away. Oxford wasn’t the problem, they had the entire summer. She stood up and crossed her arms like Mini, walking closer. Franky walked closer and stopped a few inches from Mini. That would make her uncomfortable.
“Minerva McGuinness,” she stated and stared darkly. “I’ve gone through a fucking shit year and you’re blaming me for trying with my life? Really? Nice fucking try. Cos if you’re blaming me for wanting to get out of this shithole and try, you’re sadly mistaken.”
Franky moved closer, cornering Mini in her own room. She could use any technique that she had to force it out of her, but why the hell was she so damn guarded? This was how irritating it was for everyone else when Franky had to spill something. She was only getting a taste of her own medicine. “Fine, don’t tell me. Wallow in it. Let it eat you until your insides burst. But you know you’re going to wait too long and it’s going to only make you feel worse. I don’t know why you do this,” Franky lifted her hand and stared at the clock. 12am. She dropped it to her side and sighed. She let her face fall soft, as if she gave Mini a second to have it all and not be angry with her. Franky leaned just a few inches to the left and kissed her mate on the freckled right cheek. It was all she could give. Sadly she wasn’t as prepared as the night of the party. “Happy birthday,” she muttered and turned around to walk back to her spot on the floor. Grin and bare it. She didn’t look at her; part of her thought the peck on the cheek was too much or not enough. The gifts she gave were all meant from the heart but that felt half-assed and rushed. Franky stared down at her half finished paint job and sighed. No use in fighting. It was her birthday now.
Mini flinched as Franky was suddenly right in front of her, with a sudden change in tone. She didn’t blame Franky for wanting to leave Bristol of course, and would probably encourage the girl if she was anyone else. But this was Franky. Her best friend-maybe the only friend she had left. The only person who cared about her right now, and the only one who took her bullshit. She knew she was being selfish with her bitchy attitude towards the situation, but Mini could be selfish. And she couldn’t lose Franky.
Franky continued down a slightly different route, and Mini stood there for several moments, even after Franky had kissed her cheek and sat back down. Fine, don’t tell me. Wallow in it. Let it eat you until your insides burst. But you know you’re going to wait too long and it’s going to only make you feel worse. I don’t know why you do this. Mini knew perfectly well why she did it, of course. She didn’t want to be seen as weak and vunerable, she didn’t want to deal with problems let alone talk about them, she didn’t want to think about the bad parts of her life. But none of the reasons made logical sense, and Mini stood there in silence, only turning to look at Franky when she recalled the final thing the other girl had said.
Mini snorted at that, and slowly made her way to her bed, ignoring her former spot on the floor across from Franky.”So much for not fucking it up this time” Mini remarked, sitting down on her bed and looking down at her legs. She knew that things would probably improve for the night if she finally opened up to Franky, but Mini hated letting her guard down, even around her best friend. She knew her situation with her dad was nothing new-and this wasn’t the worst thing he’d ever done, not by a long shot, but Mini never liked being reminded that no matter how hard she tried, she’d never have Gregory in her life. At least not for long.
Swallowing, Mini looked at the girl on her bedroom floor and wondered how the pair had managed to get to this point. They had gone from enemies to best friends to best friends with too many secrets between them, and Mini didn’t want that. She just wanted to be best friends with Franky, since that wasn’t working out with Liv anymore and Grace….Mini chewed her lip, tossing up her options. She could let her vunerable side show-a side Franky had never shown anything against-and admit what was bothering her, no matter how much she disliked letting the mask slip. Or, she could remain quiet, and maybe, possibly, that could result in pushing Franky away. And Mini would be left with one more person who had left her alone.
At that thought, words tumbled out of Mini before she could stop them, as though struck with the sudden realisation that losing Franky was not an option. And besides, she was eighteen now, and Mini figured that because of that, at least for tonight, she’d stop running from her problems. “I called my dad.” She didn’t add anything more to it than that, as she knew Franky would ask questions, and Mini wanted to deal with it bit by bit if she had to deal with it at all.
Mini moved onto her bed and Franky stared at her hands, watching from the corner of her eye. This was it? Maybe… the girls had some on and off secrets and Franky felt she had taken it so far. Why was she trying to force things out of her? Probably tired of the bullshit. It didn’t help that Franky was holding out on her best mate as well. ”So much for not fucking it up this time,”Franky swallowed and applied more pressure to the side of her hand. She wasn’t sure how the two were keeping it together so simply. They’ve had heart to hearts constantly, but why was this one so hard?
Franky felt like they had lost something, until her eyes wandered up Mini’s long legs onto her stressed hands. “I called my dad.” She stared, waiting for something else to come out of Mini’s mouth. Unfortunately, the silence struck the room and Franky wasn’t sure what to do. Parents, were not her thing. A fucking rock could give better advice than her at this point. She knew Mini wanted her to ask questions, bring this all out on the table softly with no harm, but she was speechless. Franky thought the whole ordeal was over, but she knew that wasn’t true. She was still dealing with her own mother issues on top of that, sister issues.
She stood up and flipped the radio off. No need for Lady Gaga at this point or whatever she was playing. It sounded like a blur anyway after this news. The only sound in the room was Franky’s wool stockings dragging along the floor to the side of the bed, next to Mini. She took her time, approaching Mini with a hug or words too soon would be harmful. She sat next to her, closely. Their outer thighs touched and she made sure of it. No hugs, no special words. Franky hooked her arm around Mini’s and nuzzled her head against her shoulder. “I..” she stopped. Her first words were never the best ones.
“Mini… you know you’re a wonderful person? A-And whenever you go back to your dad I sort of know how you feel,” she hoped she did at least. “You feel a bit empty and you think, well maybe it’ll be different this time? Maybe he’ll talk to me and we can be happy, but…” she licked her lips and stalled. “People are never what you expect are they? They let you down sometimes. They go off to Oxford or stay away dodging calls or physically don’t speak to you.” She rubbed Mini’s freckled arm and latched her hand around the outside of hers. Just being held would feel nice. “I’m sorry he’s not what you expect… and you deserve a lot more. You deserve better.” She nodded against her shoulder and realized she never asked what happened. Speech Fitzgerald, she sighed realizing the speech and apology was toward herself as well. People let you down. “If you want to tell me what happened that’s okay, but you don’t have to yeah?” She searched for that familiar ring of blue around Mini’s eyes, staring upward but her gaze was elsewhere.
Growing up, Mini watched a lot of those girly movies and tv shows, because that was all Shelley ever had. The people in them were exactly the type of people Mini wanted to be, those like Cher from Clueless. But growing up without a father, Mini had always noticed that the girls either had father problems or they had loving dads who cared for them and gave them everything they wanted and loved them. Along with having all the gorgeous clothes and the romantic boy and the interesting life, Mini wanted to have a father like the latter group did. But it was just her luck that she got stuck with the former, with father issues still interfering with her life.
She considered telling Franky that the call had gone to voicemail, and maybe Gregory simply hadn’t been able to reach his phone in time, or was too busy to deal with it. Maybe if she had left a voicemail, Gregory would’ve called back. But deep down, Mini knew that wasn’t the case. She was sure that even if she left a thousand voicemails, her father would never return her calls. He might call her up out of the blue a few months later, full of bullshit apologies and the thing was, Mini would believe him. She couldn’t quite pinpoint why she would, or what made her keep going back to the man who had left her, but Mini simply wanted a father who cared about her, who loved her, no matter what. And she wasn’t sure she could tell even Franky that.
Instead, the blonde listened to Franky’s speech, letting the words roll over her and feeling the familiar weight of Franky’s head on her shoulder. Mini didn’t believe half the words coming out of Franky’s mouth, but the others seemed to understand what Mini was feeling, what Mini was thinking. Trust Franky to manage that. It made Mini feel bad for not telling her the whole story, for more than one reason, but letting her guard down frequently was not something Mini was used to. Franky seemed to be able to get Mini to do that, but she didn’t want to lay her soul out anymore tonight. An apology and a quick confession, wasn’t that enough?
Mini turned her eyes toward Franky and attempted a smile, hoping that it would signal the end of the conversation. There would be plenty of time for talking about it later, but Mini didn’t want to deal right now. Admitting that her father hadn’t answered would be too much, and Mini did not want to celebrate her actual eighteenth on such a low note. Maybe in the future the girls would have a heart to heart, but tonight-or this morning-they were going to enjoy themselves. Mini adjusted herself so she was facing Franky, legs still falling over the side of her bed, and leaned over, quickly pressing a kiss to Franky’s cheek as a sign of thanks, before moving away from the topic. For now, that was. “Happy birthday to me, huh babes?”
Sigh. She wished she could exhale and show how aggravated she was, but it was a time Mini needed her. Franky and Mini always exchanged the role every so often, no complaints. Franky was there for Mini in the beginning of college and Mini was there at the end of it. The two really needed to be more open, but some instances things didn’t need to be said. She figured something else happened with her father, but Mini didn’t need to say. Just like how Franky didn’t need to tell Mini about her constant disappointment from her mother she was so happy to find. She didn’t want to sound selfish, yet she still tried and tried again to see that her mother did actually love her like she dreamed. Mini seemed to have the same complex. Abandonment didn’t run easy. Franky rubbed Mini’s forearm and felt her shift away on the bed.
A single kiss was placed on her cheek and she was a bit surprised. A thank you perhaps? She figured it was. “Happy birthday to me, huh babes?” Not so happy. Franky smiled faintly and nodded, finally being able to sigh. “I wish it was better,” she meant it and felt terrible that they were back at square one of happiness. Enough sighing and small talk about shit, Franky stood up quickly grabbing her bag. “You deserve something,” she rummaged and found her cigarette pack, barely opened. Her habit wasn’t so terrible lately. A spliff? Mini didn’t really smoke.. she dropped her arms. “I-I got nothing,” aggravated and out of options she sat back on the bed slouching over.
“You’re eighteen now and we’ve got nothing to do, no alcohol, you don’t really care for spliff…” Franky listed and crashed back on the bed staring at the ceiling. “It’s your birthday.. so what do you want?” She smiled staring at Mini’s curls fall off her shoulder. “I’ll try my best, whatever you want.” Mini never demanded much from her, well, not so much anymore or when it wasn’t necessary, but she really wanted to see something out of this. A club? Sure. Getting pissed off her mum’s vodka? Why not? Franky nudged her knee against Mini’s outer thigh. “Coooome on, I know there’s something in there you want. Revenge on someone from college, extensive chat about my outfit today, forcing me to sit still while you do my hair?” Franky sat up on her elbows smirking, “Revenge is my specialty but I could always smoke a spliff to get me to sit still, maybe, just maybe,” that was right. A lighter mood? Of course, light-mood Franky, that was rare so Mini better enjoy this.
I wish it was better. Mini refrained from saying that she’d had worse birthdays, having had enough of the sad confessions and pity for one night. Sure, spending the night in her room with her best friend whom she had been arguing with moments before wasn’t exactly Mini’s dream birthday, but at least she was spending it with someone who cared. But no, because she was Mini McGuinness, she shrugged before looking at a freckled leg for a minute, before she let them flicker upward to face Franky. The girl was trying, and Mini couldn’t help but smile a little at that. After thinking about the month with her dad, it was nice to be reminded that someone did care.
Revenge and getting to give Franky a mini makeover? Whilst it wasn’t a perfect way to spend the night, Mini couldn’t help but sit up a little straighter, nudging Franky playfully. “You may end up regretting those offers, Fitzgerald” she got to her feet and made her way over to her wardrobe, flicking through clothes. “Revenge is always fun, but you have to look fabulous while doing it.” It had seemed that the offer of revenge had perked Mini up, and she wondered if that was a bad thing. Mini wasn’t as bitchy as she used to be-well, she didn’t act as bitchy as she used to-but there were a few people from Roundview who had been twattier than usual in the last few months, and Mini needed to feel like her old self again, even if it was for the night.
A few items of clothing in her hands, Mini placed them on the bed, before turning to Franky and pouting. “Wasn’t an option, but it is my birthday babes. Pick one, and then we can discuss revenge.” She resisted the urge to kiss Franky on the cheek again, because even though the girls were no stranger to affection, she knew Franky could get rather unnerved when it came to being touched. Instead, she turned and made her way back to he wardrobe, ready to pick out something for herself.
Ah, good old Mini. Back for a moment, but it was nice. She smiled bashfully hearing her last name. For some reason, she actually enjoyed when Mini said her full name. Only her. The scottish tone made it sound better for no reason at all. “Revenge is always fun, but you have to look fabulous while doing it.” She sighed, knowing where this was going as soon as Mini reached her wardrobe. Franky nodded, she agreed to do so. Two outfits touched the bed and Franky stood up next to Mini looking down on them. They didn’t scream her, not entirely. “Wasn’t an option, but it is my birthday babes. Pick one, and then we can discuss revenge.” Franky pursed her lips and looked back at Mini. She was staring, probably waiting for to grab one. She saw no hint of the one Mini actually wanted her to wear, so she went with option A.
Franky slid her current top off and replaced it with the next one. Then tights and bottoms. She took her time, since Mini was still changing on her own. The outfit fit oddly, it was a little too weird to be in something more Mcguinness style. “Revenge is better while looking nice?” She lifted her brow and chuckled. “Now, we need eggs, toilet paper, and if you have chalk we can get some real dirty work in. No heels,” she pointed at Mini and poked her collarbone. “We can’t run in he-, I can’t run in heels,” she fixed her sentence at the last minute with a grin. “Finish changing, McGuinness. We have a night of shenanigans and drinking. You have a bottle somewhere, always do,” Franky knelt down by Mini’s closet and glanced around the pairs of shoes. All perfect to Mini’s style, “There,” she muttered. An unlabeled clear bottle that stuck out of an old pair of boots.
The two were ready to hit the down; whoever Mini wanted to seek a small revenge on was in the clear. Franky stopped waiting at the door while Mini did her second check in the mirror. “You look fine,” she spoke up but still it would never do anything. Franky sighed, walking over toward the mirror. “You always look fine. Beautiful,” she smiled, tightlipped so she wouldn’t look to eager about it. “Name the names and we’ll find the houses.”
Mini, taking tonight’s plans into consideration, Mini changed out of her tank and skirt, replacing it with a sequinned top and velvet shorts, making sure to suck in her stomach as she glanced in the mirror. For someone who was about go and get revenge on people she used to know, Mini was rather dressed up, but she almost always was anyway. As satisfied as she possibly could be, Mini fixed her hair, before retreating to her wardrobe and pulling out a pair of lace up wedges. She turned and gave Franky a pointed look before pulling them on “Not heels exactly. Besides, I’ve run in these before.” Long ago, back in her first year of Roundview and a few years before that, when she would go off with Liv and Grace and do some shoplifting. They weren’t practical, but Mini could run in them, and still look wonderful at the same time. Really, it was all she could ask for.
You look fine. You always look fine. Beautiful. Mini glanced at Franky at those words, a somewhat familiar feeling settling in her stomach. She no longer had feelings for Franky - at least, none that she knew of-but Mini had always been a girl who enjoyed being complimented, and it was always nice to hear those words from someone - particularly Franky. “Well, at least if we get caught I’ll look like sex. Same for you, Franks.” The corners of her mouth curled upwards, and, grabbing Franky’s free hand, she made her way out of her house and into the early morning.
Mini wondered about people who she could exact revenge on, although the list was quite large. Mini knew she was rather difficult to deal with, and the people at Roundview hadn’t exactly responded well to that. When the gang was formed (or extended, depending on how you looked at it), people seemed to get a kick out of the fact that Queen Bee McGuinness was hanging out with the likes of Alo Creevey and Rich Hardbeck, as well as befriending the weird new girl. They never did anything to her face to face, but Mini had heard whispers over the course of the next year and a half, and she would have done something about it long ago had the previous year been somewhat calmer.
Finally settling on a name and a face to place it with, Mini turned to Franky and raised an eyebrow. “Dunno if you remember her, but that girl, Charlotte something? Quite liked being a bitch about others despite having oily hair.” The girl in question had gotten on Mini’s nerves quite a bit, having flirted with both Nick and Alo and, on one occasion, called Franky a ‘tranny’ when she thought no one had heard. Mini had been wanting to get revenge on her for a long time, and it seemed like the perfect chance to do it.
“Charlotte.. Can’t place her,” Franky knew exactly who she was. Name calling was something she could always remember, but pretending she didn’t know was easier than admitting that she was hurt by her. Franky tucked the carton of eggs under her arm and followed along Mini’s side. She giggled while they walked more briskly, hand in hand, until they reached the suburban side of town. “Hope your memory is good, which house is it?” Franky whispered for no reason at all. It felt more official if they kept quiet while they did some dirty work. She twisted the cap open on the small bottle for the girls to share and took the first sip.
They shared the bottle generously, even Franky was feeling a little more than buzzed by the time they began walking more vigorously, Mini escorted them to the right house and Franky took the first step by tossing an egg straight at the brand new car with the shitty custom license plate. She figured it was Charlotte’s, considering she would only have something so terrible. Then another launched egg up in the air and hitting the side window of a house. “Toss that roll up and around that tree,” Franky pointed to the rolls in Mini’s hand trying not to be too loud. The noise they were making at that hour was a little too noticeable if someone was trying to pay attention to it. She pelted the car again with a few more eggs. Luckily the outside area was almost pitch black, until the spot lights came on by the garage.
“Shit!” Franky bolted past the front yard and grabbed Mini’s hand, causing her to drop one of the rolls in her hand. She must’ve not seen the lights flick on at the other side of the house. “Run!” Franky tugged her arm and the girls sprinted down the block as fast as they could. Supplies in hand and a small trail left behind, anyone with a brain could find them at one point. She took a sharp turn into someone’s backyard with Mini still next to her. “There!” Franky pointed to an open side shed, they could hide out ofr a bit while the angry neighbors settled down.
Mini quickly scanned her memory, having only been to Charlotte’s house once in ninth grade for some party. It was out of luck that she remembered, and she led Franky there, sharing the bottle of unamed alcohol as they went. On arrival, she dropped Franky’s hand and held the bottle and rolls in her grasp tightly, making her way over to the tree. She hadn’t done something like this since she was in sixth grade with Liv, although, back then, Mini had been very skilled at it.
Tossing the paper around and making sure it caught in the branches, Mini became too focused on her work to notice what was going on behind her. It wasn’t until she felt Franky tugging on her arm that Mini noticed lights had come on, and with a squeal, she dropped one of the rolls in her hand. Luckily Franky had noticed, otherwise the girls could have been in deep shit. As Mini ran alongside her mate, she figured that maybe they weren’t totally in the clear-not with the mess they had left behind. Franky seemed to have her wits about her, however, and as she pointed to the side shed, Mini grabbed her friend’s arm and pulled her into it quickly.
Mini closed the door slowly, letting only the tiniest crack remain open, and covered her mouth to stiffle her giggles. She raised her head to try and find Franky’s face, but it was too dark in the shed, and there was very little light to get through the crack in the door. After several moments of feeling around in the dark, Mini found Franky’s hand and squuezed it tightly. “At least if we get caught we’ll look absolutely gorgeous” she whispered, smile playing on her lips. She knew Franky couldn’t see her, but despite her worries and fears of getting caught, Mini was in a much better mood than she was a few hours ago.
Franky tried to conceal her giggles but Mini was going off and it was all to contagious while intoxicated to a certain extent. She covered her mouth and listened to Mini wander around the small space trying to find something, until Franky realized she was searching for her hand. She squeezed it tightly hearing a few curses outside near the street. Franky could see through the small crack they left. A few parents standing in the street yelling at each other. They must’ve thought they were to blame. “At least if we get caught we’ll look absolutely gorgeous,”Franky concealed her laughter again. A dark shed? Why not. At least Mini was smiling and laughing.
“We wont get caught, they’re angry with each other,” she drunkenly pointed to the crack and brought Mini’s face closer to see. “Slippers and boxers. They think each other did it,” she wiggled with excitement until her footing lost over an old hose. Bringing Mini down with her, the two crashed into the pile of supplies, not so gracefully but still trying to not laugh. “I’m.. happy I couldn’t feel any of that yet,” she grumbled rubbing her back. Mini’s hand was still attached to hers. The whole night the two hadn’t really let go.. “Okay, no moving,” she rubbed her side again feeling it already start to swell. “We’ll wait until they leave, then we can get out of here.” She smiled through the dark and searched for Mini’s face.
“Happy Birthday, Mini,” It was impossible to see with the little sliver of light that came though, so she blindly went for a kiss on the cheek. Only, she caught the corner of Mini’s lips by accident. It felt odd and Franky pulled away as soon as she knew what she was doing. She could always blame the darkness and booze mixture, yeah, yeah that’s what it was. Intended for a kiss on the cheek gone wrong. She felt misplaced. “Sorry..” she muttered close to her.
Mini stifled a scream as she fell down with Franky, landing rather awkwardly on a box of supplies. She heard the bottle shatter a few feet away from her, and Mini froze for several seconds, but when no sounds were heard outside, she relaxed. Mini turned to face Franky, wincing slightly but still giggling. She didn’t know if it was due to the alcohol or the situation itself, she just knew that she was enjoying herself. Perhaps this birthday would turn out better than she had expected.
Mini had barely repositioned herself into a more comfortable position when she felt Franky’s lips touch the side of her own, and Mini stiffened. It had only lasted a second, but it was long enough to have an impact on Mini. Her emotions were suddenly at an all time high, and Mini suddenly wondered what she was supposed to be feeling in a situation like this. She wasn’t as alarmed as some would be, and with a jolt, Mini remembered how she felt towards Franky two years back.
They were feelings that had never been explored, and ones that just went away when Mini grew closer to Franky as a friend rather than a romantic interest, but lying there, in the dark, faces inches away, Mini wondered if those feelings had left, or if they had just stepped back for a bit. Maybe it was the alcohol talking, and maybe it wasn’t, but the things Mini were feeling right now weren’t one hundred percent platonic. “Franky” she whispered, but unsure of what to do, or say, she opted to remain silent from that point onwards, and instead focused on listening for any outside noises.
“Franky,” she froze. Oh god she was upset.. she didn’t mean to.. she really didn’t mean to do it. The damned dark shed and her unbalanced frame at the moment caused this. Fuck, she would take it back if this meant Mini would be mad at her. “I-I’m..” she stuttered and went quiet. The silence felt better than trying to come up with an excuse. It wasn’t like it didn’t feel nice, just accidental. Mini was a strong willed person, so if she wasn’t a fan of something it was known straight away. She couldn’t get the tone of voice Mini said her name in out of her head. It wasn’t.. normal. She couldn’t tell if she was mad or just surprised. Franky tucked her lips and laid her head back trying to adjust to the complete and utter darkness. It wasn’t working out well, no shed of light anymore. This was getting more irritating than enjoyable. At least she could keep it all on the inside.
“I didn’t mean to.. it was dark and.. I..” she sighed loudly. There was no use explaining. She detached her hand from Mini’s and closed her eyes. They were no use to her anyway. Maybe they could just drop it and pretend it didn’t happen? It was supposed to be friendly right? After a few minutes of silence and simple stable breathing, Franky spoke up again. “Anything else you want to do for your Birthday? We still have time,” she looked back at Mini, searching for the noticeable freckles and blue eyes in the dark. Nothing. She didn’t even know how far away she was at this point. Franky licked her bottom lip and laid her head back on the uncomfortable boxes. Why were they still laying there in the dark? She was sure the coast was clear by now? She felt safe here though. In the small space with complete darkness. Almost like the back of her thoughts where she sat sometimes. Anything Mini? Say something, please. Franky was worried she had fallen asleep or was still in some mind coma thinking about the accident that was placed on her lips about ten minutes back. She wanted to open the shed door and let them leave, but now she felt the need to stay. Get some answers possibly. Mini was only quiet when her thoughts were running or she was angry. She could assume both.
Mini didn’t say anything for a few moments, but her thoughts were running a million miles an hour in her head. Mini wasn’t sure if she wanted to kiss Franky again, but she wasn’t sure if she wanted to take the tiny peck on the corner of her mouth back. She was incredibly confused, and didn’t know what she wanted, but Liv’s words from over two years ago kept ringing in her head. Your girlcrush is so blatant. Were her feelings from that time, that brief period when she felt more than friendship for Franky going to return? Maybe she was overreacting, but she had a feeling most people wouldn’t react this way if their best friend of the same gender kissed them. They’d be confused sure, but more about what had happened. In Mini’s case, she was confused as to how she felt about it.
She finally found her voice, and stared at a spot in the dark, a spot where she assumed Franky to be, and, in what she hoped was a strong voice, she finally spoke. “Franky…I’m not mad. Just surprised. And confused.” But was it for all the wrong reasons? Mini swallowed, hoping it was just the alcohol and the excitment that was messing up her thoughts. Mini couldn’t take much more personal drama.
The pair sat in silence for several more moments in the dark, before Mini spoke again. She recalled Franky’s earlier questions about her birthday, and it had simply become something else Mini was confused about. Or, at the very least, made her wonder. She wasn’t up for going to some bar or club, not anymore, and Mini knew perfectly well how she wanted to spend the night, not that she’d ever admit it. She wanted to spend the rest of it with the gang, but she knew that was out of the question. “Girl’s night in, yeah? Finish the morning of my birthday on a less uncomfortable note” she finally replied, referring more to the awkward position they had landed in more than anything else, although, Mini realized a second too late Franky might view that comment differently.
Just surprised. And confused. Not mad. The words continued to float in Franky’s head. What was she confused about? At least she wasn’t mad, that was a relief, but Franky, being curious on her own, wanted to ask a million other questions on top of it. Mini didn’t seem in the mood since she was quiet again. Franky listened to the steady breathing of the two, syncing by accident. She held her breath. “Girl’s night in, yeah? Finish the morning of my birthday on a less uncomfortable note,”Franky tucked her lips. Less uncomfortable? Shit, she did make her uncomfortable.
So you’re bisexual? No. I’m… into people.
The whole scene flashed in her head. That’s probably why. But.. with Mini’s own confessions over the summer she didn’t expect this to make her uncomfortable or confused. Franky was more confused than anyone about this. “Oh,” she stalled before sitting up to peek out of the shed. “They’re gone. We can go now,” she looked down at her dirty flats and opened the door. Franky would usually bother to help Mini to her feet, but the air was way to thin to be stuck in there for another second. She stood outside watching her breath condense in the cold air. Mini appeared.
“Girls night in. You had another bottle of vodka in your other boot and I trust you with my rats nest,” she twirled her finger through the straight end of her bangs. “Let’s go,” she kept her hands to herself. Franky didn’t want to risk making Mini feel uncomfortable again. She felt so stupid. She felt tired as well. Franky’s feet dragged onto the concrete, while they walked further from the suburban area. She had to stay up. No cigarettes, she didn’t like to smoke them around Mini much. She knew Mini didn’t like them much. Spliff was different. Franky pulled a joint out and stopped to get her lighter working. Something to take the edge off while they walked in more silence. She couldn’t take it. “Why did you say uncomfortable.. and confused? What’s confusing?” She spoke still inhaling and holding her breath slightly. The perks of smoking, Franky felt more calm than anxious for once. She stopped, unable to do two things at once. Franky needed to stand and smoke, since the alcohol was finally catching up with her.
Fuck. Mini had noticed Franky’s change in tone at her next few words, and she shook out her blonde curls, trying to think of some way to explain. Uncomfortable hadn’t been the right word, not at all, but before Mini could fix things, Franky had left the shed. Mini’s pink lips curled into a frown as she looked through at into the clear night, the door now wide open. She saw Franky’s outline rom the light outside, and grumbling, Mini got to her feet, dusting herself down before following Franky outside.
Mini wanted to believe it would be an average girls night in for them, but Franky left without taking her hand and she spoke with a tighter voice, so Mini knew that right now, that wasn’t going to happen. If it was anyone else, Mini would’ve yanked their arm and demanded to know what the fuck was going on. But this was Franky, and Mini knew exactly why the smaller girl was upset. And especially after their last encounter, and their conversation only a few hours earlier, Mini wasn’t going to risk screwing their friendship up. Right now, Franky was the only constant in her life. And she needed that.
Mini had been struggling for an explanation when Franky questioned her, and the blonde bit her lip, wondering how to phrase it. Why did you say uncomfortable.. and confused? What’s confusing? Franky had stopped, and Mini turned to face the girl, taking Franky’s free hand and giving it a quick squeeze. “Not about you being, you know, into people, as you said. More about the fact we were lying on a shed ground, mice probably inches away.” She gave a quick shudder, more out of instinct that anything else, but knew she had to focus on the second half of Franky’s question.
Mini was once again drawn back to the night of Franky’s confessions, when they were holed up in Grace’s room. Who are you into at the moment? Mini could recall, in that moment, that she wanted more than anything to speak five syllables. Mini McGuinness. Now, she didn’t no what she wanted, but she wasn’t going to risk losing what she had over some former crush, even if small feelings had begun to arise after their brief kiss. Mini forced a smile, tilting her head to one side. “Alcohol, probs. No big deal babes.”
Oh. Franky looked down biting at her lip. Mini was actually explaining and doing it well? Not much stuttering. Franky still felt uncomfortable when she brought it up. “Not about you being, you know, into people, as you said. More about the fact we were lying on a shed ground, mice probably inches away.” She swallowed and nodded quietly with no complaints. There was something she wasn’t telling her. Franky pulled her hand back and looked up at her waiting for her next question to be answered. Being confused is a distinct emotion to feel. Franky wanted answers. The girl stalled and Franky continued to stare, growing more tired with waiting.
“Alcohol, probs. No big deal babes.” Franky sighed. Of course it was. She walked past Mini and continued on walking, covering her mouth when she yawned. This night was turning into a swing of events. Franky was all in all, exhausted. Sleeping in Mini’s bed, right at this moment, sounded like absolute heaven. She yawned again and waited for Mini to catch up to her stride. Franky slowed and hooked their arms together so she could lean her head against Mini’s taller shoulder. She closed her eyes and rubbed her arm while they walked, step by step. “Thanks for telling me,” she muttered into a yawn again. Franky knew her thank you would lead into a slue of thoughts for Mini and she actually wanted it that way.
If Mini couldn’t be honest with the only person that she trusted, than Franky could pull some tactics of her own. Upon reaching the Mcguinness household, Franky was still half asleep on Mini’s shoulder when they arrived. She still hung on until they got to her room, which was a sleepy blur for Franky once she sat on the end of the bed. She hung her head forward, feeling the alcohol take over with the exhaustion. “I think I had too much,” she muttered and rubbed her eye by accident. The small amount of make up smudged down her cheek and she stared at her palm. “You can have the wall again, birthday wishes, all that,” Franky waved her hand mentioning the sleeping arrangements. She opened her eyes briefly and spotted Mini slipping out from her night clothes. She stared, unintentionally at the dimples on her back and freckles lining her skin. Jesus, they were everywhere. It made her smile. “You looked really pretty tonight,” she muttered closing her eyes again and slouching forward.
Thanks for telling me. A shadow passed across Mini’s face, and she hoped that Franky hadn’t seen. She knew that Franky was trying to get Mini to reveal more, but the blonde didn’t know what she’d say even if she wanted to. How did you tell a mate that you used to have feelings for them, however small, and however long ago? And Franky had been the only girl Mini had ever had feelings for, and that was something else she had trouble grasping. She’d had a crush on Liv, but her feelings towards Franky were different, and Mini didn’t know that she’d ever be able to talk about them.
Arriving at her home, Mini mostly led the way upstairs, closing the down behind the pair softly. Franky sat down and Mini began to remove her usual assortment of bangles and other jewelry, before taking off her outfit, everything being dumped in a pile at the end of her bed. She’d clean it up later. You looked really pretty tonight. Mini smiled slightly at the comment as she pulled on one of her many nightgowns. She mentally scolded herself by being so pleased by Franky’s comment, even if Franky had only meant it in a friends way. Alcohol and accidental kisses certainly weren’t helping her mind fame for tonight.
“We’ll save the other bottle for another day, Franks. Hangovers are even worse when my mum and Eric are around.” Franky knew this by that point, considering the amount of sleepovers the girls had, but she was trying to move past the awkwardness and mixed feelings. Rooting around in her wardrobe, Mini tossed Franky one of the sweatshirts she always worse, before sitting down on the bed. Mini stared at her long freckled legs, as if they held the answers to everything. If only. “Tonight was fab, Franky.”
“We’ll save the other bottle for another day, Franks. Hangovers are even worse when my mum and Eric are around.” Franky nodded. Right, of course. She didn’t even remember suggesting the other bottle. Mini could handle her alcohol better than she could, or she was better at faking it. Franky could never figure out which one. The jumper landed in her lap and she giggled at the bear and pink color. Mini sat and Franky slowly rose to her feet. “Fab? Good, birthday’s should be. Yours should be,” she struggled to get her top off. Mini’s clothes were more snug around the edges. “Pull that,” she leaned forward so Mini could help get the top off. With a few tugs it was over her head and the new jumper was on. Franky looked for a pair of shorts, but Mini didn’t supply any. Not like they weren’t comfortable in just knickers by now.
Plus the room was getting a little humid. Franky dropped her other clothes to the ground and shyly walked back to the bed. She was comfortable around Mini, but still being exposed like that with all eyes on her made her anxious. Like Mini’s mum and Eric walking in on her making breakfast with a nice bright pair on. She shuffled her legs into a comfortable sit and she smiled looking at Mini’s freckles features. She liked when she didn’t wear much foundation. Whenever Franky couldn’t sleep or woke up early from their nights together, she’d always try to count all the freckles. Unsuccessful of course, but it was nice. She looked down hat her legs, seeing more freckles paint her skin. Franky yawned again, causing her voice to crack just a bit. She wiped the access make up on her jumper sleeve and flatly laid on the bed.
“I don’t want to fight anymore, Mini.” Franky stared up at her lips. “Promise we’ll be more honest when we can? Like we can make an understanding. A look or something so we don’t push each other. I’m sorry I push you sometimes,” she looked away feeling a bit guilty. Mini was a private person and so was Franky. The two just wanted to know more about each other but it took time to share. “But I want you to be honest when you can okay? I’ll try to be. Cos I trust you,” she smiled sweetly, cuddling to the side of the bed for Mini to slip beside her.
After removing what was left of the night’s makeup, Mini slid into bed next to Franky. She turned on her side to face the other girl, their legs touching underneath the blankets. The girls were as close as ever, but with Franky’s words registering, she felt a million miles away. Mini knew Franky was working towards something, and she wondered if her friend would ever manage to get the truth behind Mini’s thoughts, feelings, and confusions out of her.
But I want you to be honest when you can, okay? I’ll try to be. Cos I trust you. Mini bit her lip as she looked at Franky, knowing perfectly well that whatever she felt towards Franky-both in the past and present-would not be figured out, or explained, tonight. Mini felt bad about continuing to lie to Franky, but honesty had never been one of Mini’s policies, especially on something like this. She didn’t want to think about what would happen to the friendship between the two if Franky knew, and whilst she knew that it wouldn’t tear them apart, Mini didn’t want to take the risk of messing it up, even slightly.
“Right. No more fighting” Mini leaned forward and pressed a quick kiss to Franky’s forehead, before reting her head on the pillow. She wasn’t sure if she could avoid fighting with Franky again if they kept lying to each other, and Mini knew Franky had secrets of her own, but she didn’t want to think about the alternative right now. She was fine to lie in bed with Franky for now as best friends, and she could deal with everything else later. Those were things Mini were good at “And we’ll try to avoid any more fuckups.”
Franky shied away into a smile when Mini placed a friendly kiss on her forehead. Her favorite ones. Always on the forehead. They made her feel welcome and at home. Especially in the small twin bed with her legs just brushing Mini’s. She closed her eyes for a second. Breathing in the nature of the atmosphere. Home. Really at home. Franky could stay here forever and finally feel comfortable. This was where she felt normal and needed. She felt important right in this room, which never happened before. She wished she could’ve told Mini that, but it felt too deep and pointless. Franky always grew too deep in her head when she thought too much. No more fighting. No more fuck ups, kind of. “It’s okay if we fuck up. I fuck up all the time.” She smiled. A soft notion into the direction that the two could be happy again as mates. “I’ll still be your mate.”
Franky’s knee bumped Mini’s by accident and she slid her hand around her’s trying to find her frail fingers. She locked their pinkies and smiled, closing her eyes. Her hand slowly detached with a weaker and weaker grip, Franky was actually falling asleep faster than Mini for once. Thankfully to the bottle of vodka and her petite stature. She felt her body sink into the bed jolting slightly to her hand falling from Mini’s. She gripped it instantly and breathed in. A sudden falling feeling from passing out too quickly. Day dreaming? Probably. She still felt conscious. “Sorry,” she muttered. Mini knew by now that Franky had odd sleeping habits, rituals, and even dreams. So, nothing was ever new, not entirely. Franky scooted forward and sunk her head against Mini’s shoulder. Contact always kept her mind at ease during the night. “G’night,” she mumbled and nuzzled her head against her shoulder again. “Happy… “ she breathed out and tried to stay up, “Birthday.”
Lizzy was happy to be back in Bristol. The quiet around her made her less crazy than she ever felt back home. After the shit show that she had to face at her parents and sisters parties it was great to be back. It felt like everything was good here or at least on the surface. Lizzy still didn’t know the purpose of what she was doing around here. She wanted to be away, but for how long. She walked to the tiny cafe along town and sat outside, she crossed her legs as her boots hit the pavement and her suspenders snatched into one of the chairs. “Shit…” Lizzy laughed a little fixing the back of it and looking out into the people. It was quiet. Way quiet. After her acceptance into the Alexander McQueen collection, she wasn’t feeling most of the pieces that she had started to created. They were all dab, boring, useless in her eyes and probably will be useless to them as well. Lizzy opened up her bag on the table, ordering a plain black tea without anything in it. She pulled out a cigarette and her lighter looking around at more of the face. Nothing was striking her. She narrowed her eyes, looking around at the people until she came to one. A blonde girl was crossing the street. She looked like a modern day fairytale with the way her hair blue in the wind and the legs on this girl could go for days. Lizzy shook the thoughts out of her mind as she started to watch her more. “Wow…” She said to herself, pushing the cigarette between her lips and watching her move. “Excuse me? Can I ask you an off question? Do you model at all?” Inspiration found.
Mini walked down the streets of Bristol, wedges clapping on the ground. She had left home about a half hour earlier in hopes of getting some shopping done, it having been a long time since she had hit the shopd of Bristol. But so far her trip hadn’t been a success. But Mini was as determined as ever, and besides, she could really do with a new pair of shoes. She knew a few fancy boutiques around the corner, and Mini was well on her way to them when she was stopped by a girl Mini didn’t recognize. The girl was dark haired and pretty, though Mini had a good bit taller than her. Mini was moments away from asking the other girl what she wanted, when the question was answered for her, and Mini had to bite back a laugh. Mini used to dream about being a model when she was younger, of course, but she had never actually done it, and she wasn’t sure if she even wanted to do it anymore. Besides, this girl seemed like some crazy bitch, and Mini highly doubted that she actually had any connections like that-if that was what the girl was aiming for in the first place. The only conclusions Mini could draw was either that, or that the dark haired girl was hitting on her. “Is this some kind of” Mini wrinkled her nose “Scam or some shit? Because I’d rather not be a part of it if it is.”
“Is this some kind of” Lizzy stopped to listen to what the girl would say next. “Scam or some shit? Because I’d rather not be a part of it if it is.” Lizzy laughed a little shrugging her shoulder, “Trust me… if I were to scam you there probably would be nothing left.” Lizzy smirked at the blonde girl. She was street smart. She liked that. She could handle it. The way this girl carried herself was nothing knew to Lizzy either. She dealt with the plenty of models back in time when she worked for Miu Miu and they weren’t having it if you were to fuck with them. She figured this girl was the same way. She smirked wider at the thought, “I’m not scammer. I don’t do scams. Scams are for people who can’t fucking do anything else in their life. Not my deal.” She smirked at her as the waitress brought out her tea. Lizzy laid a polite thank you to the woman and looked back up at her. “I figured maybe you can help me with something. I got a new job and I haven’t been able to make anything of late. You have the body type for some of my clothes.” Lizzy sipped her tea, fixing her suspenders on her shoulders and looking back up at the girl. “I’m a fashion designer. I know my clothes on me look ridiculous. Personal fashion choices, but… I make clothes and I’m fucking good at it.” Lizzy looked down at her tea, taking a small sip before she put the cigarette back between her lips. “If you’re interesting I have my book with me with pictures of my clothes to show you I’m not lying.” Lizzy looked up at her, flicking her cigarette ash to the side. “I’ll even pay for some tea if you want. Please… sit down.”
Mini folded her arms across her chest, smirking at the girl. She wasn’t sure if the girl was serious or not, and whilst Mini highly doubted the girl was telling the truth at this point in time, a small part of her was intrigued. Her dreams of being a model might have faded, and as unsure as she was, if the girl was for real-well, Mini would cross that bridge if they came to it. But it seemed practically impossible, so Mini laughed a little, before turning back towards the nameless girl. She had continued to talk, throwing a compliment in as her claims of being a designer continued. The next thing Mini knew, the still nameless girl had mentioned something about having sketches with her, and was offering the blonde to sit. Mini hesitated, recalling the last time she had gotten tea with someone. But this girl was entertaining in her own way, and there was nothing stopping Mini from getting up and leaving later if she wanted to. Of course, on the off chance that she was telling the truth, then Mini would have something else to ponder over besides certain topics that upset her, like the chance of her best friend leaving Bristol. Coming to her conclusion, and with a roll of her eyes, Mini sat down across from Lizzy, crossing one freckled leg over the over and raising an eyebrow. “So. Entertain me.”
Lizzy watched the blonde girls face consider the option of staying or leaving. Her face was something of a dream. She was pretty and the thick accent screamed something not of Bristol, but she liked it anyway. She watched as the blonde sat down across from her crossing her long legs and Lizzy smirked ashing out her cigarette. “So. Entertain me.” Lizzy moved her hand inside of her bag, “Since it seems like you still don’t believe me.” She took out her sketch book. Everything that she had ever done for any company that she worked for was in that book. Miu Miu, Westwood, Goodone, BSL. Her flight tickets and her VIP tags. Her first show. Even the new McQueen letter was pasted into the pages of the books. She opened it to the first few pages of the book passing it over to the blonde. “My past shit and my present. I mostly sketch it out then try to find the wreaked fabric for it. Everything’s way more overpriced now.” She put her cigarette back between her lips as the waitress came over to get the blonde girls order. “I’ll pay…” She smirked at her, watching as she flipped through the book. Lizzy’s suspenders moved down her shoulders again before she caught it and kept watching. It was weird always trying to impress a potential person who can help you with your pieces. Mini had the body and the face to pull off what she wanted to create. She hoped that the attractive girl said yes. Lizzy pulled out her pack of cigarettes looking up at her. She offered her one with a polite smile. “My name is Elizabeth by the way… Everyone just calls me Lizzy.”
Mini took the book with a little raise of her eyebrow, and opened it, not expecting much besides a few dodgy drawings and maybe a piece of denim stuck to a page. However, what she did see make Mini’s breath catch in her throat. There were VIP tags to fashion shows Mini had always dreamed about attending, plane tickets to places she had always wanted to visit, and sketches, and even a handful of photos of clothes Mini would’ve done anything to wear had they been hanging around in Bristol’s mall. Despite Mini’s earlier assumptions, the other girl appeared to be for real, and even though Mini wasn’t even sure if she wanted a career in modelling anymore, the entire situation made the blonde grin, and she had to bite her lip to keep her facing breaking out in a smile. Still, Mini wasn’t going to let this girl see that she was impressed. She placed the sketch book back on the table and gave a shrug, hoping she didn’t seem intrigued “Not too bad.” She heard the dark haired girl give her name-Lizzy, short for Elizabeth-and Mini gave her own, just avoiding the whole full name part of it “I’m Mini.” The waitress came back with their orders, and Mini looked at her drink but didn’t take even a sip, wanting to hear more of Lizzy’s story before this went any further.
Lizzy watched the girls slim fingers move across the pages of her most prized possession. She bit her lip, taking another pull of her already dulled out cigarette. She ashed it out beneath her foot, leaning up to take a small sip of her tea. Would this girl believe her now? She needed another model. The ones that she ended up finding with the body she needed was blondes she noticed. First, Tyler. Now, this girl. Lizzy hadn’t seen Tyler in awhile and doubt she would since their last conversation about her going to London. She shrugged her shoulder to herself as she looked back at the blonde sitting across from her. She smiled wide at her watching her face turn from a slight smirk to a blank facial expression she looked at the girl wondering what she thought about her work. She introduced herself not long after Lizzy did. “I’m Mini.” Lizzy smiled at the girl, the name fit her in an odd way. She looked up at the waitress and smiled at her when she brought Mini her drink. “I just got accepted to work on a collection. I usually try to get some inspiration, but since a trip to my homeland kinda got me very fucking backwards. It kinda fucked it up a bit.” Lizzy sighed, “I had a model for my clothes, but I don’t see her at all. And forgive me for checking you out, but you do have the right portions for the clothes that I usually make. Even though… I do hope to expand a bit.” Lizzy picked up her tea up, feeling as if she was honestly making a pitch to the blonde. “I can give you some clothes from my previous collections if you want for payment first. I have some shoes and now since they sold expensive dresses and shirts. I mostly work in costuming, but I like working out Ready to Wears as well.” She looked up at Mini hoping that she’d take the offer. She really needed someone and maybe Mini could be a new mate in the process. “What do you say? It’ll be fun. Plus.. All the clothes you can wear.” She winked at the blonde before pressing her coffee cup to her lips.
Mini studied Lizzy for several moments, as if she trying to discover the girl’s story from her face. More than anything, Mini just wanted to be 100% sure that Lizzy was the real deal, but having some time to think about the offer came a close second. If she had been fifteen when she had gotten this offer, Mini would’ve accepted without a second thought, but now she was older, and Mini wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with her life anymore. It could be a good starting point and it would give Mini something to do for the time being, but Mini wasn’t even eighteen yet, and her life was still a bit of a mess. Glancing down at her flat stomach, a new thought struck Mini, and she wondered if her eating and excercise habits would end up being more extreme, especially when Franky had started to get on her back about treating herself right. Mini gave Lizzy a smile, a genuine one, because despite everything, she was pleased by the offer-and the prospect of new clothes. “I’m assuming you don’t want an immediate answer, since picking people off the streets wouldn’t be the way to go about it” Mini shrugged, as if it was a common fact that simply bored her, before continuing “And it’s going to take a lot more than a book to convince me, babes.” There. That was a good place to start.
Lizzy watched the blonde girl give a genuine small playing at her pink lips. Finally, we’re getting somewhere. Lizzy picked back up her tea cup, listening to when Mini started to say something. “I’m assuming you don’t want an immediate answer, since picking people off the streets wouldn’t be the way to go about it.” She laughed for a few seconds, putting her tea cup back down onto the table. “You’d be surprised how many interesting people you pick up from the streets.” She smiled a little thinking about Elijah as she said it and then going back to the matter at hand. “And it’s going to take a lot more than a book to convince me, babes.” Lizzy smirked at the girl. She was smart. Smarter than most that had someone give them an almost job on a silver platter. Lizzy laughed, drinking the rest of her coffee. “I have a couple of designs I’m working on back at the flat. If you want… You can come by and see them? I’ll even show them to you as you stand outside for a bit to prove I’m not a psycho.” Lizzy smirked at her and looked up to Mini, “What’s it gonna take to have you believe me?” She moved her phone closer to her, texting the woman who she got the jump for. She needed three ready to wear pieces done by next Friday. She moved her lips around then back to Mini. “I’ll even show you some of the collections I used to do… Maybe you’ll know a couple of pieces.” She smiled at her, taking out some money to put down for both of their teas as she waited for Mini’s answer.
The blonde took a sip of her drink whilst Lizzy talked, although by now, the tea had gone lukewarm and Mini quickly placed it back on the table, swallowing with a grimace. Lizzy seemed determined to get her to agree, and honestly, Mini was flattered, if not a little freaked out. But this was a huge deal-at least to Mini-and she needed more proof, and more time to decide if it was something she really wanted to do. The other girl seemed to be offering at least half of that though, and Mini thought Lizzy’s offer over, considering all the pros and cons. Of course, there was the chance that Lizzy was planning to kill Mini once she got her back to her apartment, but the blonde didn’t think that was likely. Mini was, or, at least, she liked to think she was, a good judge of people, and she wasn’t getting the psycho vibe from Lizzy. And she was curious, curious to see what else this girl had in her line of work, and if she was for real and needed an answer-well, Mini would cross that bridge if she came to it. “Fine” she responded finally, getting to her feet “But don’t try to pull any funny business.” She turned back to Lizzy and smiled “Just a warning.” Tucking a few stray hairs behind her ear, Mini gave Lizzy a short nod, interested to see what else this girl had up her sleeve “So, where exactly is this place of yours?”
“Fine” Lizzy looked up surprised at the answer that Mini gave. She grinned, looking up at the girl when she got up from the table.
“But don’t try to pull any funny business.” Lizzy got up after her, smirking at the possibilities of putting the girl in her clothes. They started to walk towards Lizzy’s flat. She pulled out another cigarette, putting it between her lips as they did. “So, where exactly is this place of yours?” Lizzy took the cigarette out of her mouth and pointed. “I live on the quiet streets around here. Not so loud and not so quiet perfect mixture of both if I do say so myself.” She smirked as she pointed up to the flat that she stayed in. “Wanna stay on the porch until I get some shit ready? Show you a piece?” She smirked at Mini before she unlocked her door, pushing it inside to go in. She grabbed a dress that she was working on and smiles as she brought it to the door to see if Mini liked it at all. “Its for the new job offer. And then there is also… This.” She pulled out another long dress that was made of silk. The green dress hit the floor and Lizzy tried to see the look on the blonde girls face. “I have my Alexander and Miu Miu collection inside. Take a leap of faith and trust me? I have snackkkkks.” Lizzy grinned at the girl before walking back in her flat and leaving the door open. She looked at her mannequins, Sammy had a suit on made for women and Davvy had the same cut suit only in mens. She put the dress back inside of her room. “Tell me if you wanna see anything or what I can tell you about the job.” She shouted from her room before coming out and looking to Mini again.
Mini stood on the porch, arms folded, wondering if this girl was going to come out with an axe or something. She considered leaving several times, but couldn’t bring herself to do it, and she really did want to see if this girl was for real. Thankfully, Lizzy didn’t take long, and Mini quickly stopped glancing around at all the flats wondering if a murderer lived in one of those, and took in the dresses Lizzy was showing her. Mini had to admit, they were gorgeous. They were exactly the type of thing Mini constantly dreamed about wearing, because her mother’s job couldn’t pay for them and she hadn’t been stupid enough to try and steal them the few times she went shoplifting. “Eating’s not exactly my favourite thing to do” Mini muttered at Lizzy’s offer, and she was reminded again at what might happen should she accept the job. Lizzy went back inside, and, after glancing over her shoulder, Mini followed her, stopping in the hallway. She glanced around with a look of admiration on her face, and nearly accepted the job right then and now due to the clothes alone. In Mini’s defence, clothes would be a big part of the job should she accept it. Smirking slightly to cover up her glee at all the items surrounding her, Mini tilted her head to one side “You seem awfully positive I’m going to take the offer.”
Mini sat down on her bed with her legs tucked underneath her body, her thumb hovering over the call button on her phone. She had deleted her father’s number long ago, and torn up the piece of paper with the collection of numbers scrawled on it, but much to Mini’s dismay, she had learned the number off by heart.
Truth be told, Mini wasn’t sure what had posessed her to type it in, what had posessed her to want to get in touch with her father again. It had screwed up for Mini so many times before, but the man kept drawing Mini to him, in a way the blonde hated. But he was her dad, and growing up, Mini had always wanted him to tuck her in at night and comfort her when she tried, and, honestly, she still wanted him to do that. If Mini thought long and hard about it, she’d probably conclude that no matter what, Mini would keep on forgiving him.
She hated someone having that hold over her, but Mini didn’t know what else to do about it, even as she sat here now with the numbers gleaming back at her, almost as if they were mocking her. Chewing her lip, Mini continued to run through the pros and cons of calling her dad, and there were a whole of a lot more cons than pros. What was she expecting, that he would take her in and treat her like she always wanted just because she was eighteen soon.
Yeah, even Mini could tell that was fucking ridiculous.
But even as the screen went black from lack of activity, Mini continued to consider her options, until a few quick taps later, the phone was dialing in her hand. If it had been anyone else who had treated her this way, Mini would’ve ruined them and cut them out of her life, but this was her father, and no matter what she liked to pretend, Mini still needed him. Besides, it was her birthday. Surely he would listen, if only for that?
Hesitantly, Mini placed the phone against her ear, the ringing vibrating in her head. It was too late to back out now, and, if everything went according to plan, if everything happened the way Mini wanted it to, Gregory would answer the phone and apologize and offer to give her everything he should’ve given her growing up.
But Mini had lost her control on things a long time ago.
At the sound of a click, she let out a breath as if she had been it in for a long time, hoping, at least, that she would get to talk to Gregory. But what Mini heard after proved the exact opposite.
You’ve reached Gregory South, please leave a-
Mini didn’t end up hearing the rest of the message, as her phone flew across the room, falling to the carpet with a thud. Even from her position on the bed, she could tell the phone hadn’t broken in any way, but a small part of Mini wished it had. At least then she could pretend Gregory had tried to call her back but hadn’t been able to reach her.
She may be older, but Mini still liked to believe in fairytales and happy endings.
Franky waited on the corner for a good while. Mini was obviously going to show and it would be a memorable night. Ever since she had told her about the University papers, Franky felt she needed to prove to her best mate that she wouldn’t forget about her. Even though her birthday wasn’t that exact night, it was still worth it. Only a few days away during the week anyway. Franky grinned holding a wrapped box behind her back and a balloon around her wrist like a lost child in the crowd. A mixture of presents sat inside and slid around while she spun on her heel. A journal, a bracelet and necklace Franky had made herself, and a few more things she was excited about. She wasn’t usually a person to go around and actually buy a present, so she believed making more personalized gifts worked out best anyway. She stared down at her flats with a toothless smile. The anxiety of waiting for her to arrive was intense, but she had to keep the party a secret until Mini showed. Around the corner and down the block, a large party filled with people a DJ (with Franky’s playlist chosen) it was all set. Even a selection of drinks, sour apple martini’s in back for only Mini to indulge in. With the luck of her co-workers, Franky was able to have the event planned in under a day and a half.
She pulled on her denim jacket and stared down at her floral dress and thin tights. Franky hoped Mini would like her attire, it was more natural and comfortable. A small layer of make up and lipstick..? It felt.. weird. Why was she concerned with what Mini would think anyway? She shook her head and heard heels clicking in the distance. Franky grinned wider and met her in the middle, hiking herself up on her toes. “Surprise,” she handed the box over and beamed a smile. “I have something else to show you too, since it’s almost your birthday.” She didn’t want Mini to open her gift until she had time to explain the pieces in the box and show the party. The back room, it would be a perfect place to tell her about the gifts. Quiet. She had time.
Mini walked down the streets, wondering what Franky had meant by her surprise. Mini had a few ideas running around in her head, but she didn’t want to come to any incorrect conclusions, and besides, she was excited for whatever it was, having no reason to think that whatever Franky had in store was something bad. After managing to get rid of Cook, as the boy hadn’t followed Mini out of the restaurant, much to her relief, Mini had quickly gone home, changing into a tight sequinned dress she had never worn before, paired with gold heels and straightened hair. Her makeup was fresh and her bangles and rings were all in place, and Mini knew she looked absolutely wonderful, and had certainly lived up to Franky’s request that she dressed her best. On the subject of Franky, Mini saw her best friend in the distance, and from what she could make out, she was dressed in something very un-Franky, but Mini beamed a little at it.
The girl handed Mini a box and the blonde smiled even brighter, reminded once more that in a few short days she would be eighteen. Mini had always loved her birthday, and it had always bothered her that she was the youngest of her mates, always the last one to celebrate with a party-although she wondered if she would start to enjoy that the older she got. Nonetheless, Mini pulled her best mate in for a hug, wondering what else Franky had in store. One of Mini’s guesses had been something relating to her birthday, and she raised an eyebrow “All these surprises, Franks. Positive you didn’t find me a new boy, babes?” She let out a small giggle, the annoyance she had felt earlier thanks to Cook gone, and she was now just happy to be in the company of her best mate with presents awaiting her. The blonde linked arms with Franky turning to the smaller girl “Alright. What’s this next surprise?”
“No boys,” not yet at least. She didn’t like the sound of it. Mini might have been openly protective of her mate, but Franky was always screaming on the inside about her choices of boys. She felt like a hypocrite saying anything to her face. Her cheeks lightened from their deep red and linked arms. “Okay, next surprise. It’s a long one.” She walked slower, trying to make Mini feel the same anticipation she had. The music grew louder with each step around the corner and down the block. “So… I wanted to say cheers, for being a great best mate and all… and, and I want you to open your present later or.. well in the back so I can explain it to you. Whatever you want, I mean it’s your birthday.” Franky smiled and shyly looked down at her flats again. “I dressed up for you, sort of. I.. I tried to.” The girls stopped and Franky unlinked their arms. “So here it is,” she pulled the heavy door open to the music, balloons, and various people dancing around the area. “Surprise, Minerva,” Franky grinned wider and let the girls enter to the loudly playing music. People were dancing, chatting, and enjoying the bar that David, from her internship, had set up. “Happy early birthday, but there’s more.”
She grabbed Mini’s hand and scooted with her around the entire party to the bar area. “Bar’s here, free drinks courtesy of mates from work. Sour Apple Martini’s all available for you and only you. I know they’re your favorite.” Franky continued to walk on into the back room where Mini could place her things down. “So..? Surprised?” She took a step backward gaining a chance to see Mini’s own outfit. She really did dress to her best abilities. Franky entered the back room filled with coats, other supplies and more. Only she had the key. She placed the wrapped box down on the table and waited to hear Mini’s own response.
Mini giggled a little when saw the party Franky had thrown her, glancing around at the people and the bar and the balloons. The music was loud and the place was all decked out, and Mini was incredibly happy. She didn’t know what she had done to deserve a best mate like Franky, but she wasn’t going to complain, and instead let the other girl lead her to the bar area. She only managed a quick “Well, obvs, would’ve been a disaster if you’d forgotten” before Franky led her into the back room filled with coats among other things. The blonde glanced around, still hearing the loud music from outside, and a few raised voices of people wanting to be heard over the music.
Turning back to Franky, Mini clapped her hands together in delight, before dumping her bag on the table and wrapping an arm around Franky’s neck. She pressed her lips to the other girl’s cheek, pulling away with a smile. “It’s absolutely perfect” she announced, and she meant it. Mini had always made sure she had fantastic parties on her birthday, even when she was a little girl, but this year, with the gang in shreds and the fact Mini didn’t bother to keep in touch with much people from Roundview, she hadn’t known what to do. But Franky had managed to pull this off, and Mini loved it, she really did. “So” the blonde began again, not wanting to seem too impressed, even though she knew Franky could see right through her “Do I get my pressies now? Eighteen, remember.”
Franky smiled with delight at Mini’s slip of excitement. Usually she’d just compliment it and continue on with her life, but for a moment she really did see that spark of life that made all of this worth it. One and a half days of constant work; Franky was tired but just that moment made her feel alive again. A sharp kiss on her cheek made her blush again and wipe away the access of nothing for emphasis. “Glad you like it,” her cheeks were starting to hurt form smiling so hard. “Do I get my pressies now? Eighteen, remember.” Franky giggled and moved some of the coats off the leather couch that the room held. She sat Mini down and grabbed the gift off the table. Precisely wrapped, the top popped off with the removal of the bow. Franky handed it over and felt too shy for the moment. Why was she feeling so shy? Probably because this meant a lot more to her than she assumed Mini would know. At times of embarrassment or overwhelming situations, she stayed quieter and focused on her hands or the task. Mini popped the box top off and Franky began explaining with her eyes on her own hands.
“I got you a journal. To write whatever you want in it. For you, just you. It’s pink.” Franky smiled out of the opposite corner of her mouth, blinking sparingly. “I made you three pieces of jewelry. A thin bracelet, MM on them. Obvious reasons. A necklace to match it, it sparkles in the right light. And a ring, I hope it fits.” She felt more nervous about the hand made presents. Franky would’ve done better, but she only had so much time to focus on everyone at once. “Last thing at the bottom,” she cleared her throat. It strained until she sat straight. Two frames, welded together. Mini could figure out what it meant. A group photo from summer that Franky had touched up with Mini in the middle actually smiling naturally. Another with just Mini and Franky that she hoped she hadn’t seen before. It was a wild night from camping, Mini hated the outdoors but it was worth a picture as golden as this one. Drunk, but impressionable. Franky and Mini laughing in a candid someone they didn’t remember took. Arms wrapped around and enjoying the moment. “And last, last this, but you can’t open this now. This is when you think you need it.” She pulled an envelope from her denim jacket and handed it to Mini. It was a letter, one she actually wrote during their month apart and when Mini was in London with her father. Filled with words of encouragement and a few other things. “Happy birthday. Eighteen.. finally,” Franky chuckled quietly and bumped her shoulder onto Mini’s.
Mini had never understood how Franky could make such beautiful things, and she was reminded of this as she scooped the necklace up in her hand, watching it catch in the small light that was in this room. It was beautiful, as was the ring and bracelet, as well as the journal, even if Franky hadn’t made that. But they were all great gifts, even if nothing could compare to the final one. The two photos made Mini’s breath catch, the first one making her slightly sad as she remembered how the gang used to be. But the second one, a picture Mini had never seen before, made her feel all the more better, as she looked down of the picture of her and her mate. Having someone who cared as much as this meant a whole lot to Mini, more than she would ever let on, and she wondered quickly what Franky meant by ‘when you think you need it.’ Did that mean something to do with Oxford, or what? But the blonde quickly pushed that thought away-she did not want any negative thoughts tonight.
“Franky, I-” Mini cut off, unsure of what to say to her friend. After everything that they had been through, together and apart, Mini had needed something like this, had needed someone like this in her life. The blonde shook her head, looking down at the gifts in her lap. The journal, the bracelet, the neckace, the ring, the photos, the letter. She didn’t even know what the final gift contained, but all of these presents made Mini smile brighter. “Thanks” she said finally, turning to Franky. As touched as Mini was, however, she didn’t want to let her guard down when the night was still young, and she got to her feet, putting the journal and letter in her bag, and sliding on the necklace, ring, and bracelet. She turned to Franky and grabbed the other girl’s hand, resorting to her usual front “As much as I love you, I can’t possibly leave those guests alone, now can I?”
Franky grasped the moment of silence and the catch in Mini’s voice. She had done it, made her feel loved. It wasn’t a full check off a list but it was getting there. She looked down and tried not to fuss with her dress, make up, or hair. It was for Mini after all. She smiled seeing all the items on Mini’s body. The jewelry complimented her eyes with a blueish silver sparkle. She didn’t get the chance to say so while they walked out to the party again. “No you can’t, unfortunately.” Franky locked the door behind her and let the key fit in her pocket. The glowing feeling still sat around her stomach like she had finally accomplished something. Like getting Mini to actually forget about her ex for the night and to come dance. One of those moments, a memorable one. Franky parted hands and she followed Mini to the bar, not surprised by her order and another for Franky. Two martinis, whatever was handed to her was fine. The party was almost in full swing. Everyone at least had a drink in hand or was chatting with a counterpart. A few figures she couldn’t see waited in the back while others danced. “I picked a low-key playlist for you too, nothing Hardbeck would enjoy and a few of your favorites!” She called through her hands at Mini, since they were close to the stereos.
All she wanted to do was make sure Mini had an appropriate time, no dull moment and no drama. Hopefully Liv wouldn’t show up. Franky had invited a few new people and barely any of their mates were around for the time. She looked in the crowd of individuals and spotted someone she swore she knew, but in her double take the shadow was gone. Her martini was probably too strong. “You were on a date? Who randomly asks someone out at that hour.. and where to? Do I know him?” Franky moved her glass from her lips and stared at the residue left behind by her newly applied lipstick. It was a bad choice, she was regretting it now. Unknown territory on her lips, jesus fucking christ. Mini didn’t say anything about it yet or her outfit. Not like it was a lost cause, she just hoped Mini knew it was a ‘once in a life time’ thing. Especially the stupid lipstick. Franky grabbed a napkin and debated on smearing it off. No mirror, she hated mirrors anyway.
Franky mentioned Mini’s date, and the girl was reminded of Cook, the boy who managed to piss her off without even trying. First bringing the cat in, then staying in the McGuinness home despite Mini’s complaints, telling her nosy neighbour that they were a couple, and finally, embarassing her at a restaurant. But as far as Mini was concered, she was never going to see the guy again. “Ugh” Mini rolled her eyes, thinking of the prick she had been with only about an hour before “Do not remind me of that dickhead. If you ever met anyone by the name of James Cook, Franks, tell him that Mini says to fuck off.” She took a sip of her drink, savouring the flavour in her mouth before she swallowed the liquid. Sour apple martinis were always fantastic. She glanced around the club again, surprised but delighted that so many people had shown up for her birthday party, even if there were a few unfamiliar faces. Even if they were only here for the drinks and the dancing, Mini could simply pretend that everyone was here for her. There was nothing wrong with that, was there?
Taking another sip from her drink, Mini noticed that Franky had grabbed a napkin and was frowning at the lipstick stain on her glass, and Mini squeezed the girl’s shoulder. “Don’t worry babes, you look amazing” the tall girl told Franky, giving the other girl an up and down glance. The blonde knew Franky had only gotten dressed like that because it was her birthday, and she was very much pleased about it. Mini opened her mouth to say something else, but a loud commotion broke her thoughts, and she turned her head to the left noticing that a loud crowd had gathered near the dancefloor. Mini frowned, and, grabbing Franky’s hand, made her way through the crowd. She was not in the mood for this bullshit, not tonight. Making her way to the front of the large group, Mini’s eyes narrowed, seeing two people she didn’t want to see-James Cook and Matthew Levan. “What the fuck are they doing here?” she demanded, to nobody in particular.
“I don’t think I like it,” she muttered and patted away some of the left over lipstick. It tasted.. bad and felt weird. Franky felt like she had to keep smiling so it wouldn’t annoy her, but smiling often wasn’t her thing. At least the compliment by Mini was good enough to make her stop fussing. She barely finished her drink before Mini had swept up her hand again and pulled her in the crowed. Obviously it wasn’t a spontaneous dance or an escape, oh fuck. Mini’s face was furious and she only regretted not wearing taller shoes to see where they were going. They stopped around a large circle that had formed and Franky’s jaw slipped open a crack. “What the fuck are they doing here?” They? She knew the other. Oh no. Matty? Matty Levan? He.. he was in Spain? She watched him get on the bus. Okay, she didn’t watch him but she saw it all. They had a moment, said goodbyes, and even spoke just an hour ago by a mistaken text. He didn’t even say anything? She felt more disrespected than anything. Now foolish and frustrated.
Her face sunk. Her smile was gone. Were they fighting? The two were yelling loudly and the music was still playing, no DJ, just a playlist. She watched a shove from the bulkier lad and a spilled drink. More swears from a girl that got whatever on her dress. Franky wanted to intervene. This was Mini’s party, no no no. This was Mini’s time and they were fucking it up. Nothing more than an amused Matty and angry puffy boy causing a childish argument. She didn’t know the situation. “Mini,” she pulled her hand back to the middle of the circle so they had some room. “He said he was in Spain.. I-I didn’t expect him to come. I.. who’s the other guy?” She was more confused than angry, okay she was frustrated. Her hand was still in Mini’s but she demanded to know what the hell was going on, she was sure Mini had the same questions as well. They just needed Liv to show up pissed and more homeless than before to make it a roundabout of three bad things at once. The crowd swore, something probably happened. She groaned. There was never a moment where Matty didn’t make a large appearance. For someone wishing to be invisible he sure made a fucking scene. “I’ll go say something,” maybe.. maybe she didn’t want to literally be in the middle of two guys fighting. Okay she didn’t. She was there before, things happen, punches get thrown. She could.. maybe take it.
Mini watched the fight with narrowed eyes, digging her nails into Franky’s palm. This was not supposed to be happening. This was her party, for her birthday, that her best friend had planned. It was not supposed to be some fighting arena for two of the people that Mini thoroughly disliked. She heard Franky explaining that she didn’t know why Matty was here beside her, and although the words registered, MIni couldn’t bring herself to respond. She simply snapped a quick “James Cook” in response to Franky’s question, eyes not moving from the fight. At this rate, Liv was going to walk through that door and tackle Franky, and Mini would probably get a call from her father or something along those lines. She knew that she wasn’t thinking rationally, but Mini was pissed, and this was the last thing she wanted. Well, after Franky getting involved, anyway.
“No” Mini said firmly, spinning Franky around to face her as her protective instincts towards the other girl set in “Stay away from them.” Mini turned her head again towards the brawling boys, anger rising. As if James Cook hadn’t done enough to annoy her tonight, and if Matty Levan didn’t annoy her enough by simply existing. No, the boys had to go and do this on her birthday party. “What the fuck is wrong with both of you?” she yelled over the music and the sounds of the brawl, not even sure if one of them could hear her. But that thought simply irritated Mini even more, and she threw her half full glass at them, not knowing if the glass or the drink itself hit either of them, as she had turned away, shoving back through the crowd. Mini wasn’t sure what she was going to do, but she was going to end this now.
Mini declared war. Sort of. She stepped in front of Franky so her view was blocked. She rolled her eyes. Obviously Franky had forgotten that Mini never saw her at her lowest of low. She could throw a punch if she needed to. So this was James? Why the hell would he be picking a fight with Matty? Why did everyone pick fights with him? Mini’s bitter attitude toward him showed immensely but Franky wasn’t sure who she hated more at this point. “What the fuck is wrong with both of you?” Franky tried to see through the crowd but the boys were still at it. More yelling and a missed swing. Wow. Matty was fast. Mini’s drink went flying at them and hit the back of James’ head and a bit of Matty. It did nothing. Fuck. A crack hit and she wasn’t sure who punched who but the crowd gasped and Franky leaned up on her toes. “Fucking stop!” No use. Two boys fighting. That’s what they were at this point. Boys.
James looked to be stumbling, either drunk or exhausted. Maybe he was the one that got punched. A few rumbles and the two were rotating around the circle like a damned carousal. She pulled Mini back before the two could get any closer. More shrieks from the surrounding girls. Why were they surrounding them? Entertainment. Franky gasped half seeing a fist make it across someone’s face. The two looked to be in pain. She gripped her fists, wishing Matty was a good foot taller so he could easily stop this. Nope. Nothing. “Oh fuck this,” Franky called out and removed herself from the situation. In just a few seconds, the music was shut off with a loud disconnected output that caused a backlash and people to cover their ears. Franky moved her way back to the crowd but Mini had already gone off. Her party, her mates, her things. It was everything she was expected to do in this situation. It was her fucking birthday. Franky made her way back over to Mini while the crowd tightened their circle, making it harder to push through. Hopefully it was over. Hopefully there wasn’t much damage. James could go. Matty.. he.. he was a mate, sort of. She didn’t want to fly him off the the side, plus he owed her an explanation.
Mini had been scanning the party looking for something or someone to stop the boys, but she had yet to draw a conclusion when the music cut off, and Mini covered her ears from the resulting backlash. Of course. Franky. Mini scanned the crowd once more, thanking her height and heels for giving her some, even if it wasn’t much, advantage, and spotting Franky, Mini made her way over to her best mate. Mini didn’t know what she had expected from this, but she had hoped, at least to a certain extent, that the situation had improved. The crowd had grown tighter around the boys, and before Mini could force her way through-it was her party after all-she saw someone shove through the crowd out of the corner of her eye, and her anger rose up all over again.
Mini watched Matty leave through narrowed eyes, and she regretted not throwing more objects at him. Trust him to fuck up her party and then leave. Mini was completely aware that those that weren’t glancing at Cook warily were facing her, which simply pissed the blonde off more. She didn’t even know half these people, and she certainly didn’t need them looking at her like she was some fucking circus animal. She turned back briefly, looking at Cook, wondering how many times the boy was going to piss her off today without trying. It was for that reason that Mini turned back to Franky, refusing to even acknowledge, knowing most things she did against him wouldn’t work. Instead, Mini focused her attention on Franky. She knew it wasn’t her mate’s fault, and that Franky had just wanted her to have a good night, but she was annoyed, Matty had run off and she was ignoring Cook, and Franky had planned this party-she could sor it out. “Fix this” Mini said tightly to the smaller girl, before turning on her heel. She did not need this. Not tonight. She shoved her way through the crowd once more, hoping that tonight wouldn’t become a complete trainwreck.
Cook found himself on the street far too often lately. He was terrified to go home and he didn’t want to show it. Two days had gone by and he still hadn’t bothered to try to reach Effy, Freddie or anyone that could possibly be looking for him. Cook found another side of town, one he hadn’t really been to before. He walked up a larger hill that he hadn’t seen his whole life there. It was interesting, walking around with a cigarette in his hands and his red jacket collar popped like he was in some sort of gang. He never stopped amusing himself. The end of his cigarette stubbed out and he tossed it in the gutter on the side of the road. The houses were nice… very nice actually. Cook sprung up a few ideas but didn’t want to get too ahead of himself. He had to plot if he wanted some food and a place to stay for the evening. “Shit!” He jumped back seeing a white cat sprint by and under a parked car.
“Fucker.. yer perfect.” He grinned and reached under the car to grab the cat. After a few pats at his hand he grabbed the white fluff ball and grinned. A large house on the corner stuck out so he decided it was his target. Cook walked up to the house, looked through the window, knocked. Nothing. Again, a perfect scenario. He checked the handle and the house was unlocked. “Yer kiddin..” Cook chuckled and walked inside quietly. He spotted the messy kitchen and a line of stairs. It was oddly quiet. “Anybody ‘ome?” He called out and felt the cat’s claws dig in his arm. “Found this cat’ere.. dunno if it’s yers…?” Cook walked into the kitchen poking around at the left out fruit and bread until he heard a loud crash behind him. The cat had jumped from his hands knocking the plates over in the process. “Shit, shit, shit,” someone was definitely home he heard a voice.
Mini was up in her room, flipping through a magazine. Her mother was out with Eric as far as the blonde girl knew, and as far as she was concerned, nothing exciting was happening tonight. Mini wasn’t sure if it was because she had very little contact with anyone lately, or because everyone had become boring, twatty versions of themselves, but Bristol had become duller than usual lately. However, thinking about the topic itself usually irritated the girl, so she pushed it to the back of her mind and continued to read about Jennifer Aniston’s love life.
She had barely gotten through a paragraph however, when she heard the front door open. Mini groaned, expecting it to be her mother and boyfriend, and she run a hand through her blonde locks. But then she heard a voice that wasn’t familiar to her, and Mini frowned, slowly getting to her feet. The voice called out again, and Mini thought she heard the word ‘cat’, but she couldn’t be sure. All she knew was that someone she didn’t know was in her house. Grabbing her phone, Mini considered sending a text out to Franky or someone, but a loud crash broke her thoughts, and she simply gripped the object in her hand tighter. Taking several deep breaths, Mini slowly made her way out of her room, calling out at the floor landing “Get the fuck out.” She heard no reply, and swallowing, Mini slowly crept down the stairs and caught a glimpse of a white ball of fur out of the corner of her eye. Mini ignored it, however, and continued on her journey, squinting when she finally saw the boy downstairs. Mini didn’t know him, that was for sure, and in what she hoped was a steady voice, she repeated herself “Get the fuck out.”
He crouched down hearing a booming voice from the top of the stairs. Oh shit, he fucked it up. Cook didn’t need the police called on him any time soon nor did he need his presence recognized at the very moment. His hands were still beat a bruised. “Get the fuck out.” A ticker Scottish accent protruded through the house and Cook stood up holding a loaf of bread over his face. Just in case she decided to toss objects at him. “Look.. all righ’ I know this looks a bit shit’y yeah? But like I found’a cat outside yer flat right?” Cook pointed over the loaf at the fluffed cat licking his paws vigorously. “An’ like I thought it was yers n’ all so I knocked n’ came in, don’ fuckin’urt me.. Cos I’m not gonna.. yunno..” He peeked over the loaf and set it on the counter with his hands still raised above his chin to show he wasn’t there to fuck around. Well… originally he was but not with a tall freckled babe sitting around in half an outfit.
If this was the right situation he would’ve been turning the charm on but now she had to officially think he was a downright idiot for wandering inside a home. Now he had to bullshit his way out of this, what he did best. He glanced for a moment at her legs and had to stay on target. Nope, there was no way he could get it at this moment but really he was more concerned with him beating his head off. He wouldn’t admit it, unless to Naomi but some girls could really pack a punch. “Is that yer cat’er.. did I fuck up cos I was tryin’a be a good samaritan n’ all that bollocks..” Cook tried not to laugh but her face was bright red and he wasn’t sure if she was dead angry or more terrified at the lump of a boy sitting in her kitchen. More so crouching and cowering. The second he noticed all the items she could hit him with in the kitchen he crouched more.The cat appeared by his feet and rubbed against his shin just to anger him more. “Stupid fucker,” he mumbled grabbing the scruff.
“I don’t have a cat” Mini informed him, venom lacing her words. The boy standing in front of her was older, now that Mini managed to register it. She took another step down the stairs, her phone gripped tightly in her hand. She didn’t know whether to text a mate or call the police or hurl it at him, but she wasn’t going to let go of it under any terms. Mini took another slow step down the stairs, anger still boiling away inside of her. A small part of Mini wondered if she should be scared of the strange boy standing in her kitchen, but she was too pissed to think straight, and besides, he was crouching down as if scared Mini would kill him. The blonde wasn’t thinking of something that extreme, but she was seriously considering smashing one of the plates at her feet on his head.
“Generally good samaritans don’t enter people houses just for the fun of it” Mini added, before her eyes catching a cat slinking back into the room. It went to annoy her intruder, which gave Mini a bit of light relief, but she was still pissed and she didn’t exactly want her neighbours coming round asking questions about their cat. Glancing down at one of the plates just to her left, and she knew that if it came to it she’d be able to grab it quickly. Mini nudged it gently with her toe, pink nail polish glinting back at her, and with a jolt, she was reminded that she was only in a pair of shorts and a tight tank top, most of her freckled legs on display. She scowled, and quickly glanced up towards the boy, not wanting to know anything else, and she’d rather he’d have left already. Mini gave a short nod, before continuing in a tight voice “I believed I told you to get the fuck out?”
He was practically sitting on the floor waiting for the slim girl to beat him over the head with a plate. But she stood over him and said it again. “I believed I told you to get the fuck out?” Oh yeah. He stood up dusting himself off a bit trying to think of a way he could stay. Given she was deadly gorgeous, she had fire to her and he actually liked it.. he liked it a lot.. Anyway, “Uh yeah sure, lemme just..” he pointed down the the cat and decided he could play parent to if for a few days. Both were strays at the moment. “Actually I really needa wizz.. mind if I uh, use yer toilet?” Cook set the cat down actually needing to do what he said for once. He scooted past her and was already starting to undo his trousers on the way up the stairs. The girl was sure to follow. Shit, shit, shit. He ran into the toilet and flipped the lid up proceeding to aim straight into the bowl. The girl appeared behind him and he glanced around the small bathroom. Pink, lots of it. Make up, more of it. Hair products, tons of it.
“Never woulda’ guessed you were’a girly girl,” he shook himself and flushed the toilet, not washing his hands on the way out. Cook noticed her hand gripped tightly around her phone it could snap but he proceeded to play it cool. Well as cool as he could make it seem. “So since yer not this cat’s owna don’ we needa find who it belongs’ta?” He grabbed the cat again and tried to play nice but it still clawed at his hands digging in the skin. Cook flinched and found himself backed into the corner yet again. “I mean least you can do fer scarin’ the shit outta me yah? ‘elp me find the owner n’ I’ll treat you to’a dinner yah? Names James Cook,” he set his teeth out smiling like an idiot once again. Now that he was full standing he could properly see what he was dealing with. Small build chest, body that could kill someone, full lips, blonde hair. He smirked until the cat scratched his hand again. “Prolly a bandage too babes, we don’ got all day yah? Chester.. ‘er wha’ever it’s name is must be tired yah?” Cook held the cat out in front of him. He hand never really dealt with cats, mostly dogs. Jack Russells. Not this. It clawed him again and he felt the cat hop to the floor and walk over to the new mystery girl.
“Is there actually something wrong with you?” Mini snapped as she followed him up the stairs. The cat ducked around under her feet, but Mini avoided tripping, and followed the nameless boy up the stairs with a frown, her mouth curving further downwards as she saw him actually continue with his claim. With a huff, Mini turned around and focused instead on the mirror she made her mother install on the side of the wall, blocking the boy from her view. He was disgusting and irritating, but as much as Mini hated to admit, attractive in his own way. Hearing the toilet flush behind her, and Mini spun around, eyes narrowed “You’re disgusting. Now please, get the fuck out of my house.” The boy walked past her however, and with a shriek of “Rudeness!”, Mini followed him once more.
When she caught up with him, the white ball of fluff was in his arms once again, and much to Mini’s delight, it clawed at his arms, causing him to back into her kitchen again. The blonde laughed, before tilting her head to one side, examining the boy “You really expect me to go anywhere with you, ‘James Cook’?” Mini questioned. She wondered if the boy was incredibly thick or just a complete twat, but either way, Mini was having none of it. She ignored his request for the bandage, and was about to repeat herself about him getting out of her place when the cat strolled over to her. Mini knew who the feline belonged to, of course-an old couple across the street who had lived in their home for as long as Mini could remember, but she wasn’t going to tell this, this twat, that. Mini scooped the cat up in her arms, and although she had never been a cat person, she was pleased to see it was didn’t try to scramble away like it did when this James Cook boy was holding it. Mini nodded at her front door, cat still in her arms “Doors over there.”
“You really expect me to go anywhere with you, ‘James Cook’?” He looked down to see if something was wrong with him. Usually when girls placed that look on his face he forgot to zip his fly or something else down below was making an appearance. Nothing. Maybe she just hated men. “Well not like that, you might needa coat’er somethin’,” he shrugged playing stupid with a dumbfounded grin on his face. “Doors over there.” The cat had let his arms and jumped into hers purring. Bastard. He walked closely to the door to grab his shoes and slipped them on no problem. No laces, never a problem. Cook rolled his eyes and pulled her outside the house, not meaning to be a prick but the girl either needed fresh air or the stick out her ass right this minute. “Where does the bastard belong so I can get some good credits on me?” He dug in his pocket for his pack of cigarettes, crushed but manageable. He slipped a stick in his mouth and lit it up while speaking, making his voice more muffled and harder to understand.
“Look’e here, we can try up n’ down the road yah? If that don’ work then I’ll personally deliever the prick to the pound. Humane shit, adoption, whatever,” He pulled the cigarette from his mouth and blew the smoke up in the air. He still didn’t catch the girls name, which was disappointing. “Yunno babe, you really needa lighten up. No’nes gonna wanna be’round some’ne that’s sat onna fence post yah? Properly get that shit out now before you land a lad.. ‘er… lass.. whatever,” he smirked and slipped his jacket off to hand to her. This could be eventful or she’d shove him in the road until a car actually came by. She was well fit, freckle ridden, long blond hair, sleek body, and could have a wonderful life if she didn’t act like a complete snob. Well, what Cook found to be a snob. He didn’t understand the difference between pure anger and frustration and general rudeness from someone. Even though half the time he was the one being rude and obnoxious, when it wasn’t his way he caused a scene. Just like this one now.
Mini found herself in the outside air, along with James Cook and the cat still in her arms. It was the situation she had tried to avoid, but now here, Mini didn’t really want to leave the poor cat in the hands of this twat, nor did she want him going around and bothering her neighbours. Nonetheless, Mini ignored his offering of his jacket, despite the slight chill in the air. But it was summer, and she didn’t have any intention of staying outside for long-she would deal. “I don’t need to lighten up” Mini snarled as she heard Cook’s comment, slipping on a pair of her shoes that had been left outside. They weren’t her best pair, but it was better than working across gravel and screwing up her feet. Once the shoes were secured, Mini raised her head and glared at Cook, before continuing “What I need is for complete idiots not to come and break into my house.”She shoved past him, hoping she wouldn’t upset the cat too much and crossed her street, knowing Cook wouldn’t be far behind her. He seemed to enjoy annoying Mini constantly, and besides, he was the one who got her into this mess with this cat.
Arriving at the old couple’s home, Mini turned to Cook and and quickly gave him instructions “Let me handle this, yeah? Only speak if they want the truth as to why we’ve got their cat. And then you can fuck off.” She wondered if her words would have any effect, or if they wouldn’t be able to register in the boy’s thick skull, but Mini figured it would be worth a shot. And then she could go back to reading her magazine and ignoring the complete idiots who were in the outside world. It wasn’t Mini’s favourite way to spend an afternoon, but at least she wouldn’t have to spend it with James Cook. The blonde pressed a finger to the doorbell and waited, shooting Cook a dirty glance before the door opened and an old woman stepped out, beaming when she saw the ball of fluff in Mini’s arms. “Oh, Minerva, you found him!” the old woman trilled, and Mini grimaced, annoyed that Cook not only knew her name now, but also the name she absolutely avoided going by whenever she could. However, her neighbour didn’t seem to grasp that, and continued “Where was he?” The old woman asked Mini, and the blonde gave a bright, yet false smile “Around. Now, could you pl-” But her neighbour-who’s name Mini now realized she had forgotten-had turned to Cook and was smiling “And who’s your friend?”
He zipped his mouth shut and walked behind holding the cat in his hands tightly. It continued to squirm and bite at his knuckles but it wasn’t anything painful. “Oh, Minerva, you found him!” He stared up at her with a smirk already appearing on his face. “Minerva,” he chuckled under his breath. The elderly lady continued to ramble and he fell back on his leg straightening it annoyed. Why wouldn’t they take the damn cat already? Cook mimicked the older lady behind newly acquired name, Minerva, until he felt attention called to himself. “And who’s your friend?” Cook smiled and walked in front of the thin girl. “Boyfriend. Yeah, I found yer cat under a car. Crawled under, scuffed me elbow?” Cook handed the cat over and she let the white fluff jump behind her into the house. He held his elbow up to show the scrape, which was from another injury at the pub a few days back. Reopened and dirty the elderly woman gasped, while Minerva looked more annoyed with Cook’s grin. “Oh! I’ve got bandages, for the scratches too. And biscuits, for the trouble. Come in you two!” She waved and offered them to enter.
Cook grinned of course and grabbed the girls hand. “Come on, Minerva we don’t wanna be rude yah?” He would’ve gone in for a kiss on the cheek just to be a prick but her face already said ‘don’t touch me.’ It wouldn’t be bad. He was starving anyway. They entered the thin house and Cook left his grubby hand in Mini’s. “Didn’ catch yer name ma’m what is it again?” He grinned wider and let loose Mini’s hand once they reached the small square of a kitchen. It smelled of lint and some weird detergent but no matter, there was free food. “Patrice, Patty is okay.” She patted Cook’s hand and excused herself to grab the medical kit from the upstairs toilet. Before she went off, the new couple was handed a tin of biscuits. Cook popped the can off and dug in deserving glares from Mini, he didn’t pay attention. “You should try some, babes, free food. Really, you gonna cause a scene with an elderly lady carin’ fer me?” He rubbed the crumbs off his chin and handed the tin out for her to choose.
Fuck. If it wasn’t bad enough Mini was being forced to go other to her neighbour’s house with a boy who pissed her off to return a cat, but now the old woman was under the illusion Cook was her boyfriend, and was inviting the pair inside in what she probably believed was a kind gesture. Mini, however, wanted to be anywhere else but here. The boy took her hand and Mini frowned, but allowed herself to be pulled into the house-she didn’t want to get a lecture on friendly neighbours if she told the old woman to fuck off. The tall girl only hoped that the woman’s husband would be home soon, as, from what Mini could remember, he was a bit of an old prick and probably wouldn’t want guests in his house. Until then, or until she could think up an excuse to leave, however, Mini was forced to sit on the stiff couch with a boy she could barely stand.
Patty (it turned out Cook was good for one thing, as Mini now knew the old woman’s name once more) handed Cook a tin before leaving, and Mini watched as the boy dug in to some cookies, spilling crumbs everywhere. For someone who wasn’t a huge fan of eating as it was, the sight irritated the girl, but she attempted to brush it off and instead focused on another annoying issue at hand. “It’s Mini, not Minerva” she told Cook with a raise of an eyebrow, watching the boy eat with disgust “Got that?” Mini wrinkled her nose at the tin full of biscuits, her mind already working. Chocolate chip cookies. Approximately 80 calories each. An average of sixteen calories per bite. It wasn’t the worst food Mini could have, but it certainly wasn’t something she wanted to eat, and the blonde found herself shaking her head from side to side “I’ll pass.” For the first time, Mini was glad to see Patty reenter the room, hoping that it would prevent Cook from shoving the tin under her nose once more. The old woman smiled, and Mini forced one back, refusing to make eye contact with the boy next to her.
Pass? He raised an eyebrow at her. What did this girl not eat? She looked like she fit the part. Skinny, unable to enjoy a fucking biscuit. He rolled his eyes. More for him. “Oh dear, here we are. Mr. Whiskers and I are terribly sorry about your elbow,” she waddled in and he turned to look at Mini. “Mr. Whiskers..” he whispered and produced a chuckle. “Let me see the injury,” He held his elbow up and she sprayed something on it before wiping it clean. If he could get treatment like this all the time he would stumble into people’s houses more often. She applied a cream and slapped a bandage on that wrapped around his whole arm. He smiled thanking her overly excited about the biscuits and treatment. “I can make something else, Carl doesn’t come home until later and-” He shook his head seeing how annoyed Mini was on the couch. “Actually, Minerva and I have dinner reservations at that fancy place in the East. One year anniversary, yunno?” He winked at her and the old lady smiled at the both of them.
“Anniversary?! One year, oh Minerva,” he chuckled at the name again. “We best be off. Wish Mr. Whiskers a good evening, cheers again,” he kissed the old lady’s cheek and regretted it. She tasted and smelled like weird powder. Cook grabbed Mini’s hand and the two wandered down the hall and out the door. Mini’s hand swept from his and he shoved his hands into his coat pockets. “Wait…” he called after her and jogged across the street until the met at her house once more at the steps. “Wanna grab some dinner with me?” He was never usually a gentleman. He didn’t even have enough quid for a pack of cigarettes but here he was. No reason at all; he could feel himself becoming more lonely by the minute. “I mean.. that place downtown.. wouldn’ she creep on ya an’ ask? You can say you broke up with me or I fuckin’ died?” He smiled up at her below one step. Mostly he was curious on who this girl was. “Promise I’ll stop callin’ya Minerva.”
This was going to be the last time Mini had anything to do with her neighbours that was for sure. As the old lady and Cook talked about Mini’s ‘one year anniversary’ with the boy beside her, the blonde simply kept that forced smile on her face, knowing that if she talked, a bitchy remark was sure to come out. Acting wasn’t something she was good at, especially when she was annoyed as she was right now. Thankfully, at the anniversary comment, the two managed to make their way outside, and Mini promptly yanked her hand from Cooks and stormed off down the street. She had just made it to her steps, however, when she heard Cook’s voice behind her, and the blonde spun around, rolling her eyes at the boy’s offer.
Mini let out a snide laugh, crossing her arms as she looked the boy up and down “Either you’re completely new to this or there’s actually something wrong with you if you think that’s going to work.” Normally, Mini would end a scene like this with a quick toodles!, but something told her Cook had no intention of giving up, and would probably keep annoying her until she got dragged off into another ridiculous situation with him. So, instead, Mini did something else she did frequently, and decided to let the situation play out to her advantage. Straightening up, Mini smirked a little at the boy, before adding “But as long as you pay for absolutely everything and leave me alone after, I can’t complain, now, can I?” Mini leaned her back against the door and raised an eyebrow, waiting for Cook’s agreement.
“Brilliant,” he shuffle over and extended his arm so she could link it with his. Okay, she wasn’t in to that. He let his hand slap back to his side and he pointed ahead down the road. Cook snorted to himself. Paying for everything? Yeah that was a joke. He would run out on the bill and see if he could impress anyone around him. Mostly Mini. He honestly wanted to call her Minerva just to see her face contort into that face of anger. He pulled out another cigarette. Cook needed to cut down but what was the point? Live fast, die young right? Or was that a song he heard passing by a pub? Whatever. “This place called Hensen’s. Like nice joint. ‘appy food, chicken salad, whatever really. Drinks, like them fancy’nes. Sparklin’ whatevers, bubbly fucks,” he shrugged and chuckled behind his cigarette. If he did have the money, he wouldn’t expect to pay much anyway. Cook noticed how thin the girl was but it wasn’t his business. No one cared about him so why would he care about this stranger? They turned down a few more blocks and he stopped her in front of the restaurant.
“Table fer two,” the waiter looked over Cook then Mini and squinted. “One year anniversary, innit,” he spoke up and watched the waiter roll his eyes. “Follow me,” his snooty attire made Cook already start to laugh as he flicked the end of his cigarette. Most of the people around were dressed up and he was in a casual more dirty attire. Cook sat at the, not pulling out Mini’s chair and he grabbed a menu. “Should I order fer ya or’do ya wanna get some crackers with’a side’a water babes?” He said it directly in front of the waiter and he raised an eyebrow. Cook loved to embarrass people. It only made him feel a little bit better about himself. “I will leave you two a few minutes,” the man excused himself as quickly as possible for a good reason too. “So what’ll it be babes? I plan on gettin’ the chicken with.. pe.. pest.. them noodles n’ a pint.” He slapped the menu down and looked around for the drinks waitress.He knew he was already getting on her nerves but she needed to lighten up before he went mad on her. Hopefully skipping out on the bill would be an adrenaline rush for the girl.
After the short and mostly silent walk, the pair arrived at the restaurant, and Mini raised an eyebrow. She had been past the place numerous times, but it seemed just that little bit fancy-too fancy for an almost eighteen year old girl with mates like hers. And it seemed way too fancy for Cook, who, in the short time Mini had known him, had managed to check all the boxes in the ‘boys who are pretty much homeless’ check list. The waiter seemed to pick up on it too, and Mini almost instantly regretted her decision to come out to dinner with Cook the second they sat down. Not only was the waiter and the other diners-those who had noticed the two young people anyway-looking at them with disgust and superiority, but Cook’s very obvious dig at Mini and her dislike of food simply riled the blonde up even more. She was seconds away from saying some sharp remark or asking for a glass of water simply to throw it in Cook’s face when her phone, which Mini had placed in her pocket before dropping off Mr Whiskers, beeped.
“Excuse me” she said curtly to Cook, pulling the device out of her pocket (and being reminded that she was still in her shorts, tank, and old heels), glad to see that it was a text from Franky. As usual, Mini was glad she could count on the smaller girl to give her a hand, even when she wasn’t aware of it. Keeping her eyes away from Cook, Mini had a quick conversation with the girl, and was reading over the final message when the waiter reappeared.
“Are you ready to order?” he asked, frowning at Mini’s phone in her hands “Or shall I come back again?” The blonde turned to look at Cook, and then the waiter, before getting to her feet “Soz. Emergency.” She slipped out of the restaurant quickly, a reminder to get changed before meeting Franky ringing in her head.
Mini lay on her bed, watching the lights from her disco ball form shapes around her room. A magazine was propped up by her knees, and her phone lay beside her on the bed, but Mini wasn’t focusing on either of them, and instead let her thoughts drift.
After leaving Bristol in what she liked to call an attempt to sort out her life, Mini had simply managed to screw it up even more. Her relationships with her mates were far from good, with the exception of Franky and perhaps Alo. And with her mother being happy and caught up in her own life and her dad fucking off again, Mini’s home life was pretty much back to square one-she could just tolerate Shelley more. As it happened, Mini heard the front door slam, followed by her mother’s giggles and a male voice.
“Fucking hell” Mini muttered, sitting up. She was happy that her mother wasn’t flirting with anything that moved anymore, but it didn’t mean that she wanted to listen to the loud sounds of Shelley and Eric having sex, which were bound to be sounding throughout the house soon.
The blonde got to her feet, running through her possible options. She could call one of her mates, of course, but Mini wasn’t really in the mood to see anyone, and she also had no idea what any of them were up to. Her past few trips out into the streets of Bristol had been rather eventful, and Mini wasn’t in a mood to run into another new person today. Placing a hand on her stomach, Mini drew what she felt was the only possible conclusion left to spend her day.
As quickly as she could whilst making herself still look brilliant, Mini changed into her gym gear, listening to the sounds vibrating through the house. Her mother and Eric had just begun to make their way up the stairs when Mini grabbed her bag, making her way out of the house when she heard Shelley’s bedroom door slam.
Whilst Mini’s gym visits had become less frequent recently, she still went often enough to be a member, and it wasn’t long before the blonde was running on the treadmill, mind drifting towards her conversation with Franky. The blonde had been drunk at the time, yes, but still managed to recall the gist of it, and she wondered what the smaller girl would say if she could see Mini now. Mini knew better than anyone how much she pushed herself and how hard she worked to maintain an ideal body to keep up with what she believed people expected of her, but she had never guessed that Franky would’ve caught on to it. Or, at the very least, that Mini would confide in her about it. Franky was her best mate, sure, but Mini wanted to be one of those girls that made perfection seem effortless.
It was with that Mini realized that she was still a long way off, even if she had started taking better care of herself. The tall girl got off the treadmill, glad she wasn’t in an actual session-she didn’t want to think about what Jemima would say if she saw Mini hopping off only halfway through her run-and made her way to the bathroom.
Thankfully it was empty, and Mini looked at herself in the mirror, scrutinizing everything about herself from the blonde ponytail to the pink tank top. Glancing at the door, Mini carefully lifted the bottom of her shirt, staring at her stomach with not a shred of fat around it. A small part of Mini knew that Franky was right, but this had always been what Mini aimed for, and she didn’t know how to break the habit.
At the sound of footsteps, Mini quickly yanked her shirt down, making her way past the redhead entering the bathroom. With a slight hesitation, Mini made her way back to her treadmill, climbing right back on. For the past few years, this had been Mini’s life, and it still was.
Tony sat outside a coffee shop, he was smoking a cigarette and reading through the homework he had to grade. He had gotten the job after the interview even after partying so hard with Chris. But he wouldn’t worry too much about this, it was the weekend and he could finish up the grading later. He rolled up the papers and put them into a small messenger bag. He sipped at his tea he had ordered and wasn’t sure what he would do for the day. None of his other mates had come back to Bristol so he would have to play with the new kids. Unless one of his old mates had been laying low. It would be nice to see a familar face. He had been avoiding calling Franky, he knew he should at least try. But he was afraid that it would be awkward. Potentially it could be but he had never been an awkward person. He put out his cigarette, and saw someone coming over to the coffee shop; out of his peripheral vision. He couldn’t make out who it was and he waited for the person to exit the shop. He wasn’t sure how he would find out. So he emptied his tea onto the sidewalk and walked into the shop. As he was entering, the person turned and bumped into him. “Oh sorry about that,” he said.
Mini had found herself walking around the streets of Bristol once more, with nothing really in mind for an adventure. She had stepped out earlier out of boredom, but hadn’t bothered to call or text one of her friends. It wasn’t like Mini didn’t want to see them-those that she was talking to anyway-but she figured she needed a little time to herself, or at least someone find someone new to talk to. But she had now grown tired, but really didn’t want to head back home to an empty house, or worse, her mother hanging out with Eric. Mini’s relationship had improved with both Eric and Shelley, but she still didn’t want to spend too much time with them, and last night’s dinner had filled up her time with them for the week. She looked at the row of shops to her right and sighed, the best out of the nearby ones being a coffee shop. She didn’t drink coffee often, but Mini had nothing better to do, and at least it’d give her a chance to sit down or at least meet some people. Mini was halfway through the door when a better offer popped into her mind-she recalled a great boutique she went to before she left, several blocks down from her. Mini spun around and bumped right into someone, wondering why the fuck she appeared to be doing that all the time lately. She rose her head, determined to give the person an earful, but was momentarily caught off guard. This guy, whoever he was, that had walked into Mini, was by far one of the most attractive people she had ever met, and she found herself smirking a little. Still, she wasn’t going to let his good looks distract her, and Mini raised an eyebrow “Well, at least you apologized.”
As he saw her face change, it was a very subtle look of awe and soon became a force look of rage. He smirked and hoped he could calm her down. His eyes quickly scanned her, she was fit, had a cute Scottish accent and the temper to go with it. Her face was covered in freckles and she had her pout-y lips tightly pushed together to show her sass. “Well I’m not a fuckin’ neanderthal, I know how to treat a lady,” her remarked with another quick smirk. “How about I buy you a drink to make up for it and we can have a nice chat out at one of these tables, it is too nice of a day to spend it indoors, so what do you say?” he asked. She looked young and he wondered if she was in Franky’s age group or somewhere in between. She seemed to him, like she was trying to be older and more mature than she actually was. Maybe she had daddy issues and could be an easy lay. He wasn’t sure but he knew one thing, he would regret it if he didn’t at least try for some action. “I’ll go in and buy the stuff, you sit at the table with the blue and red umbrella, yeah the one with the fringe on it, if I come out and see you are still there than I know we have ourselves a date,” he offered, but instead of a smirk, this time he put on a full smile and let his charm take over. He entered the small cafe and he made his way to the counter, asking the barista for two of her finest coffees or esspresso. Whichever was the better drink, he was never a coffee drinker but he could handle it. He looked out, trying to see if the girl had sat down. For a second he was nervous, he wasn’t sure why but the barista called his name, he grabbed his drinks and as he made his way out the door he looked over and began to speak. Hoping she was there and not thin air. “My name is Tony by the way and yours?”
“Let’s hope so” Mini replied quickly, folding her arms over her chest. She had met a million guys like this before, ones that were attractive and arrogant but were probably less of a dick once you got to know them. But Mini wasn’t sure she had the time to know him that well, and she probably would have left there and then had he not offered her a drink. No matter what the beverage was, Mini never turned a drink down, and she found herself shrugging. “I suppose it’s the least you could do after you rammed into me” she replied, using the fake sweet voice she had used a million times before. This guy, whoever he was, went about being as smug as ever, before entering the cafe, although he looked like the type of guy who could be arrogant even when ordering a coffee. Mini rolled her eyes, before walking over to the table and sitting down. She crossed one leg over the other and glanced aimlessly down at her nails while she waited. She heard his footsteps and saw her coffee be placed in front of her, but Mini didn’t raise her head until he spoke. Tony. Mini eyed him up and down, his name ringing a bell. It took her a few moments to figure out that she’d heard about him in her early Roundview days, when people would gossip and talk about some former students. Despite her attempts to recall what she had heard, she only remembered that he had left several years before Mini started going to Roundview herself. Mini raised an eyebrow before giving her answer “Mini. Mini McGuinness.”
“Well Ms. McGuiness, why yes I am the Tony Stonem, not all the rumors are true. But a good portion of them were created by jilted exes,” he assured her. He slipped into the seat, sliding her coffee to her, he took a sip of his own. He wondered if he should create an elaborate lie, a nice interesting story or if he should just be normal arrogant Tony. “I actually just started a student teacher position at Roundview, do you go there? I’m quite sure you weren’t in my grade, did you just graduate? Are you going to university?” he asked. He knew all the things he needed to do to get a girl. He had been charming his way into girl’s knickers for years and he had done quite well. He had nearly gotten with a lesbian or maybe Naomi was asexual, he wasn’t sure. He would need to find out, but he looked into Mini’s blue eyes. They were lighter than his own. He continued to sip his coffee, it wasn’t the best but he continued to drink as she answered his questions. He had a feeling she wasn’t as uptight as she liked to show. Most people who acted tough were usually just little puppies on the inside wanting attention. Not him of course, he just wanted a challenge. Wanted to have some fun and if it was getting her in his bed that would be his mission for the evening. “Do you want to go out for a bit of a stronger drink?” he asked. “Coffee is great and all but I had a long morning and need a bit of excitement,” he affirmed. He stood up and held his arm out to help her up. “My car is over there, so what dp you say we have a wild and crazy night?”
“And I assume you have quite a lot of those” Mini replied with a smirk, before taking a sip of her own drink. Mini wasn’t a frequent coffee drinker, but it had been a long time since she’d had a cup, so the mouthful didn’t really bother her. She doubted she’d finish it, but Mini wasn’t going to complain about a free drink. Tony went on to talk about his life now as a student teacher at Roundview, before turning the question of Mini herself. “Used to” she admitted, her days at Roundview already seeming like they were a million years ago “Graduated recently.” And now Mini had no idea what to do with her life, although she certainly wasn’t going to admit it to the arrogant Tony Stonem, especially when she could hardly admit it to herself. She concentrated on her coffee instead, but still made sure she kept up eye contact with him, deciding it would be the best way to avoid any further questions and also to flirt back with Tony. Mini often flirted with guys, but most of them would never charm Mini herself, so she generally used it to her advantage to get free drinks or the like. But Tony was good at what he was doing, and he was exactly the type of boy Mini used to fawn over. Still, she was a girl of power, and she wasn’t going to let Tony woo her. She raised an eyebrow as he offered her his arm and a stronger drink. “You’re quite the charmer, aren’t you? Do you do this with all former Roundview girls, or am I special?” Normally Mini wouldn’t be acting like this around a cute guy who was flirting with her, but she had met guys like Tony before-even Nick could get a bit like this sometimes, and that wasn’t exactly something Mini wouldn’t to relive. She’d play along with Tony eventually, of course, but Mini was still going to remain in control for as long as she could.
“Oh you’re a special one Mini,” he declared. Feeling her arm interlock with his, he could see she was playing a mental chess game. She probably had a boyfriend at one time that broke her heart. He could feel how cautious she was, but she was no dummy. She was working what she got with a guarded shield and he would have to crack it. Maybe for once it would be a challenge, because he surely missed those. After what had happened with Tyler, he needed to avoid any emotions. Falling for a girl is what got him in the relationship with Michelle and he destroyed that. As they walked to his car, he enjoyed the looks from people. Two beautiful people, it was powerful, he could almost taste the jealousy. He opened up the passenger door so she could get in. He closed it before going over to the driver’s side. Once he was in and the car was on he looked over to her. “Seeing that we just met, I’ll have to ask what is your drink of choice?” he asked. As they drove away from the cafe, his mind was running, he needed a nice club. Something exclusive, something he knew she probably had never been to. He would have to deal with the expensive drink prices but that was a little price to pay for a shag. “We’ll be there shortly, once we pass all the shitty clubs,” he chuckled. Before long, there they were pulling up to the most exclusive club in town. Drinks were nearly double the price and Tony knew the bouncer. “Follow my lead,” he informed before he got out of the car. He walked over to her side, opening the door and helping her out. Taking her arm again, they walked to the bouncer. He didn’t recognize Tony or should he say Aaron. The bouncer held up a list, “Name?” he asked. “Names Aaron Johnson, yeah the Aaron Johnson, I was here a few weeks back. Been busy filming the new movie but they are giving me the night off with my lucky lady,” he confirmed. The bouncer gave him a suspicious look and Tony took this time to kiss Mini, they needed to look like a couple and he didn’t mind a quick snog. Plus he had always gotten compliments on his abilities. “Oh Mr. Johnson, you’re in the VIP lounge, right this way,” he directed and Tony broke the kiss before they entered the club.
Mini was used to be looked at by strangers wherever she went, and it was one of the main reasons she spent so much time trying to look her best, but making it look effortless at the same time. It wouldn’t have surprised her if Tony got those looks all the time too, got treated differently because of his blue eyes and charming smile. Being good-looking. It’s a whole other currency, and Mini figured that the people staring at the time wished it was a currency they could get their hands on. At least it looked like Tony would be good for something. He was acting like a gentlemen, but it was an act Mini knew very well. She had met a million guys who had treated her well just in the hopes of getting a shag, and there were times when Nick used to use the same tactic. Mini wasn’t going to fall for it like girls before her probably had at the hands of Tony Stonem, but at least she would get a few free drinks out of it “Cosmopolitan.” Most of the time, the freckled girl only ever ordered cosmopolitans and sour apple martinis, being her two favourite drinks, and she could practically hear Tony’s smirk. But Mini refrained from saying anything for the rest of the car trip, and even managed to keep her amazement under wraps when they pulled up at the club. It was a place Mini had placed before, but never a place she had entered. It was a place so exclusive that Mini knew she and her mates would probably get kicked out for one reason or another, if they had ever managed to get in the first place. But it turned out Tony was a good liar, and certainly knew how to add his looks to that advantage. What Mini hadn’t expected, however, was for Tony to lean down and kiss her. On instinct, Mini kissed back, it having been a while since she’d kissed someone and besides, Tony certainly knew what she was doing. As good as it was, however, Mini quickly became irritated, having no doubt that this was part of his plan to not only get into the club, but also Mini’s pants. They broke apart, and Tony led the way into the club, and Mini knew instantly not to make a scene. Glad that she had opted with heels, Mini simply leaned up to whisper in his ear with a slightly bitchy tone, knowing that the club goers would simply assume they were a happy couple. “Trust me, babes. It’s going to take a lot more than a snog and entry to a club to get me interested.”
He felt her lips near his ear lobe, he could hear her in the club and he smirked. “Challenge accepted,” he mouthed so she couldn’t hear. He knew he could win her over, he had a plan but he couldn’t start it just yet. He needed to keep up appearances and wait for the right moment. He knew she only kissed back to be convincing but he knew she also liked it. He hadn’t snogged anyone who didn’t like it. He had his arm entwined with hers as they walked to the VIP area. It was a lot nice then the rest of the club, there was a huge couch and a few other people. Mostly drinking. Tony walked over with Mini to the bar. “Cosmopolitan for the lady and a Gin and Tonic for me, I want the best ingredients,” he said as he waved some money to the bartender. He placed the pounds onto the bar and slide them over. He turned to Mini, “Ever been here? I do love this place,” he added with a smirk. ‘OH SHIT! It’s Aaron Johnson! Did you hear he’s going to be huge!’ ‘I heard he is going to star in a film with Leo DiCaprio,’ ‘I hear he already has Oscar buzz and he hasn’t even been in a movie yet.’ Tony looked over to Mini, “Oh yeah this part of Bristol doesn’t know who Tony is, but they do love Aaron Johnson,” he explained. The people who were clambering on about him, stayed distant. Their drinks were brought over and the bartender smiled, “Sorry I didn’t know who you were but the drinks are on the house,” he said. “Take the money as a tip then, I know how hard the bartender life is,” Tony lied and the bartender left with a big smile and wad of cash. Tony walked over to the long couch, still with Mini at his arm. He sat down, looked around and wondered who everyone else was. He drank his free drink, it was strong, and tasted better than any Gin he had ever had. This bartender really did give him the best. He wondered if any of them had lied about how powerful they were like he had. But he had been working on this alter ego for months now and it was starting to pay off. He knew this little show wasn’t going to impress her, but he did enjoy the attention. Plus the free drink was amazing. “Would you like to dance a bit?” he asked. He finished his drink and set it down on an end table. He held out his hand for her to hake it before they went to the dance floor.
Mini scowled at Tony, wondering how many girls he had won over in the past. Mini herself knew that if she had met him two years ago, she would’ve been flirting along with him, but hse had grown since then, and her history with guys like Tony wasn’t exactly great. But there were no rules for tonight, and although the guy was annoying her from time to time, she wasn’t going to turn down some drinks and maybe a few dances. She had to keep up appearances after all. As she walked to the VIP lounge with Tony, Mini wondered how stupid their fellow club goers were. Not only were the believing that the guy on her arm was Aaron Johnson (although Mini could see the resemblance, she wouldn’t have gotten them mixed up), but they also weren’t exactly being subtle about it. She rolled her eyes as she and Tony walked over to the bar, before raising an eyebrow at his comment. “In that case, I think this part of Bristol is rather stupid. For falling for your lie, that is. They’re lucky for not knowing who you are” she smiled sweetly before heading over to the VIP lounge, only removing her arm from Tony’s once they were sitting down. She was mentally scolding herself to stop enjoying his touch when the drinks were delivered, and Mini gave the bartender a small smile before taking a sip of her cosmopolitan. Mini wasn’t going to lie, it was probably the best drink she had ever tasted. Mini wasn’t sure what made it so different to any other cosmopolitan she had had, but she figured it had something to do with better alcohol. And it was free, which was always a plus, although Mini would’ve gotten Tony to pay even if it hadn’t been free. Still, she was enjoying the scene and the atmosphere and her drink, and although her companion continued to get on her nerves, she’d been in worse company. Mini drunk her drink without a word to Tony, instead glancing around the club. It was without a doubt the classiest place she had ever been too, but people were still shooting glances Mini’s way, and the blonde was enjoying the attention. Which is the only reason why she didn’t object when Tony offered his hand to her for a dance, and, with a shrug, Mini got to her feet and allowed herself to be led to the dance floor. Mini knew she wasn’t the best dancer, but it had never stopped her before, especially when it was an activity she quite enjoyed.
He took her hand, lifting her up with ease and he brought her close. They left the VIP area, and walked to the dance floor. The passed through the crowd, lightly pushing through them to get to the center. The music was louder out here than the VIP room and the lights were flashing rhythmically to the music. Tony was used to getting close when it came to dancing. But he didn’t want to scare the younger girl away. He moved his hips while his feet moved skillfully. He wasn’t going to show off his moves, he had learned a few things from Maxxie. He looked up to see Mini moving, watching as her body moved in a way he could never pull off. She was beautiful, she was a bit distant and he knew that she had seen his kind of act before. He kept wondering how he could break this loop of endless lies. He was so used to working around who he was to make a version of himself that was far from himself. He was stuck in a perpetual downfall and he had been getting worse every since Tyler shot him down. He had started to feel something for her, more than lust and it blew up in his face. He was possibly afraid of what would happen had he put his heart on the line again. Not like he was falling in love with this Mini girl but he wondered if something would happen. If he would end up falling for her, only to be jilted yet again. He thought this was what normal blokes go through. He had been so used to getting his way that he had done some real fucked up things. He moved closer to her as they danced, and the music kept changing. He couldn’t really tell if it was just one long remix or multiple songs but he kept dancing. He could feel a layer of sweat forming on his brow. He leaned into her ear, “Care to go out for a smoke?” he asked. He took her by the arm again, wanting to get out of the club scene. He felt the walls closing in, mainly it was people surrounding them. Wanting to get an autograph or something. As he pushed through the doors, the cool air brushed against his face. He closed his eyes and kept walking, he let go of Mini and continued to walk. He was unaware of where he was going and when he heard honking, his eyes opened. As he stool in the streets a car was coming at him, he jumped back to the sidewalk. He could feel his heart racing and he was panting, he started to yell. As if he had been struck by the car and was broken. But he was fine, physically but mentally he was broken.
Mini would have much preferred to have stayed inside the club, dancing and drinking the night away, but Tony was her ticket to it all, and perhaps a breath of fresh air would be good, considering half the club seemed very eager to know Tony’s alter ego. Stepping outside, Mini felt Tony drop her arm, and the blonde leaned against the wall. She wasn’t a frequent smoker, but Mini was up for it now, and well, she wanted to use Tony a little more. The blonde turned her head to ask him for a cigarette-it was why he bought her out in the first place-but he wasn’t next to her like Mini first thought. Straightening up, the blonde saw him a bit further on, and with a roll of her eyes and a few curses under her breath, Mini began to follow him. She opened her mouth to yell at him to come back, not really wanting to spend the night playing scavenger hunt or whatever the fuck this was, but Mini’s breath soon caught in her throat. She froze as she watched the scene begin to play out in front of her, not knowing what to do or say, and instead standing there, hoping that Tony would come to his senses. The car honked, and Mini stood there, watching and waiting, just as Tony leapt out of the way. The blonde breathed a sigh of relief, placing her hand to her mouth. Tony was standing not too far from her, and from Mini’s position, it certainly looked like he seemed unaffected by what just happened. He was standing with his back to her, and although Mini knew it was ridiculous to make assumptions, she felt a twinge of anger towards the older boy, wondering if this was all a part of an elaborate scheme to get her into bed. Mini stormed over to him as fast as her heels would carry her, her newfound anger mixing in with her old relief, not knowing how she was supposed to feel about Tony anymore “What the fuck was that?”
He felt frozen in place like he had no time to do anything, he was about to be struck by the bus again. Or so he thought as he jumped to avoid the car. He had a bit of strength left to do so before standing back up. His entire body was weak and the night he had been run over kept replaying in his head. He heard a voice ‘What the fuck was that?’ but it was a million miles away. His legs felt like jelly and he fell to one knee. Loud honking echoed in his head, he could remember hearing the bus as it sped towards him. He remembered everything going black. He remembered waking up in a strange world, he was taking deep breaths. “I died once, not full on but when the bus hit me when I was sixteen or seventeen… It was all a blur really. I remember being on my mobile and then looking up to see the bus for a split second. It was so quick, it didn’t feel real and then I awoke in a hospital bed, but I wasn’t me. I still can’t ride buses without feeling a panic attack… Fuck I thought I would get passed this,” he said in a daze. He looked over to her. He had no boasts to spot, no yarns to spin. He had been stripped to his mental core. His body was still shaking and he tried to pull himself up. Had he tried to make something up, to get in her pants he would have hugged her and faked feelings. But he was floating away from her, his leg hurt from jumping and landing on the concrete. He pulled out his pack of cigarettes and it was crushed. “Fuck, fuck, fuck.” He tossed the pack down to the ground as he swore. He grabbed his hair, swore a few more times as his back hit a brick wall. He slowly slid down it and tried to take a few deep breaths. He needed to calm down, he needed to clear his mind. “Sorry for a shit night Mini, guess I wasn’t as suave as I used to be,” he said with a small chuckle.
Mini listened to Tony’s story, staring down at her feet as she did so. She had heard rumours about something like that, but Tony was four years her senior, and Mini had never focused too much on the gossip that had surrounded former Roundview students. But it appeared the story was true, and Mini watched Tony as he made his way over to the wall “Sorry.” Mini stood there silently for a few moments, trying to gather her thoughts. She glanced down at the crushed packet of cigarettes before raising her eyes to watch Tony. She could hear him talking, and the words registered, but Mini’s mind was still working, trying to figure out what she was supposed to do in this situation. She had never faced something like this before, and the only thing the situation reminded her of was back to a year ago, when she comforted Franky after her fall. But Mini couldn’t hold Tony like she did with Franky, and Mini figured he’d probably take that as an invitation to start flirting with her again. The blonde stood there in the cool night as she watched him breathe deeply, wrapping one of her hands around her wrist. Mini was glad no one was around to see this awkward exchange, knowing how strange it must’ve looked if anyone saw the pair. After what seemed like a decent amount of time, Mini swallowed before walking over to Tony, hoping she was doing the right thing. She had thought of thousands of possibilities, but she had assumed that Tony would’ve been irritated by most of them, and if he denied her offer, well, Mini could deal with that later. Holding out her hand, Mini gave her winning smile, hoping that this wasn’t going to blow up in her face “And who exactly says the night can’t be saved, Tony Stonem? Maybe you could regain some of your former glory.”
He heard her shoes click as she walked over, she had been very silent and he assumed he had blown it. Fucked up and he was sure she would have left him. So when he heard the clicking, he looked up to see her getting closer. He was quite surprised and when she stopped and held out her hand, he was taken aback. Her smile was wide and she had looked more attractive there than she had all night. Not saying she was hideous, far from it. But right there she was radiant and he knew if he said anything cheesy it would fuck everything up. He took her hand but used his free hand and legs to pull himself up. There was no way she could lift him up with a single hand. She was a thin girl and he had put on some muscle since leaving Bristol. Not as much as Chris but he tried not to worry. He had to stay focused and stop being a twat. “I guess a second chance is in order, let’s hope it goes a bit better from here,” he said with a soft chuckle. He didn’t let go of her hand and if she tugged it away he would let go but for now he held it. She was decently tall, so she didn’t need to bend if he wanted to kiss her which was nice. But he wasn’t going to go in for another kiss, he had a feeling it soured the mood before. But he had quite enjoyed it, especially the taste of her lip gloss or whatever it was. They walked the streets of Bristol and he assumed she knew the area. She never had said anything about being new to town and she had gone to Roundview. He wanted to think of something interesting for them to do. “Did you know there is supposed to be a meteor shower tonight? In a few hours in fact, I know a park that has a great view. It isn’t too far away, it is a bit of a walk but it’s far enough away from town that we could actually see the sky, come on,” he said and lightly squeezed her hand. He had enjoyed things like this, the universe being random and creating beauty. So they walked, it was a beautiful night and he made sure to listen to her when she spoke. He enjoyed her Scottish accent, it was very musical. He wondered why he was thinking like this, he realized the last girl he wanted for more than a shag didn’t want him that way. His mind was buzzing but soon they entered the dark field and he looked up. “Any minute now.”
“Just try to avoid hitting on me again” Mini replied, but she held on to his hand nonetheless. Now that she had seen another side to Tony, Mini felt less agitated towards him, although some of those feelings still remained and she was still Mini McGuinness. But she didn’t want to ruin this moment right now. Tony mentioned something about a meteor shower, and MIni shrugged “Suppose there’s nothing better to do.” Watching a meteor shower wasn’t her idea of a perfect night, but she knew Tony wanted to fix her second chance, and besides, Mini didn’t really want to hang around the street after what she had just witnessed. The two walked along in silence, hand in hand, and Mini was glad the night wasn’t too cool. She hadn’t opted for a jacket, and she didn’t want to think about how her hair would look if it was windy, and besides, the calm weather simply added to her good mood. It was only when they arrived at the park that Mini let go of his hand, heading over to a park bench and sitting down. She glanced over her shoulder at Tony and raised an eyebrow, wondering if it was still light enough for him to see “Planning on joining me?” Mini tilted her head up to the sky and frowned, wondering how long it would be until the meteor shower began.
He was scanning the sky and the area in general. He needed to find the perfect spot. He bit his lower lip as he thought and planned. He heard her voice, he looked over to see her on a bench. He ran over with a few quick strides and looked down with a smirk. “No you don’t sit on a bench for a meteor shower,” he said, motioned for her to follow him. He didn’t want to pull her up but if he needed to he would lift her up onto his shoulder and bring her to the spot he found. The area he stopped at was wide open, the grass was short and dry, he bent down to his knee and touched the grass gently. “This is the spot, trust me and lay down. You’re about to see something that is very rare. The meteor that is passing Earth most likely will never be seen by our eyes again. Trust me, this will blow your knickers off,” he said with a big smile. He laid on the grass and waited for her to lay next to him. He looked up and the sky was clear. The light from the stars were blinking, the sky got bright as the first meteor passed over them. Soon another small meteor shot passed them and it looked like the sky was falling. He hoped she was enjoying this sigh, he was. He would probably tell his students about it on Monday, and the sky continued to be filled with meteors. They were quick, bright and beautiful. He almost wanted to make a move but decided against it. He was going to move slow with Mini, because he was sick and tired of the same routine. Shagging randoms left and right, he longed for something more.
Mini rolled her eyes but got to her feet, wondering what Tony had in store now. A small part of her was regretting tagging along with him after they left the club, but she was mostly intrigued. Mini followed him and hoped that her shoes weren’t going to be ruined for trampling through mud and grass, and was about to make a remark about not wanting to get lost in the dark when Tony came to a stop. Glancing around, Mini saw that she was in a large open area with the clear sky above them, and heard Tony’s voice telling her to lie down. Mini squinted her eyes and sighed before replying “Better be. Not gonna hang around for nothing” she informed him, looking up at the sky once more. Mini glanced down at the grass and wrinkled her nose, but obliged nonetheless. She glanced at Tony quickly as she lay down on the soft grass, blonde locks fanning around her. She turned her focus back to the night sky above her, and Mini had barely had any time to stare at the stars before the first meteor passed above them. Mini couldn’t help it, she let out a smile small as she watched the scene above her. There were still better things she thought she could be doing, but Mini was definitely enjoying the show.
He glanced over and saw her lips form into a smile. He couldn’t help but grin, she had always put up a front of a take no shit attitude but he knew under it, she was just another person. Who could not enjoy this spectacle, not only was it beautiful it was one of the rarest sights around. The meteors began to appear more frequently, as they rained over their head he knew it was nearing it’s end. “Quick, let’s stand,” he said as he quickly got to his feet. He grabbed her hand and lifted her up. He was close to her, he could easily make a move, but he didn’t. He turned her and pointed into the sky. The large meteor that had been causing the small meteors to fly off or it could be seen. It was out of Earth’s atmosphere as it was passing by it at a great speed but it looked like it was frozen in the sky. “That big fucker is passing by our planet and will pass by us, if it were set off course by even a small margin we would be doomed. End of life as we know it, all with just a tiny little difference. So Mini, what would you do if this were your last night on Earth?” he asked. He looked into her eyes, the starlight was giving them a little glow and it made her light blue eyes sparkle. He smiled, he knew what he would do if he only had a day left. But he wanted to know what she would do, or maybe who she would do. He felt like he was fighting an inner battle. One side of him wanted a shag while the other side wanted something more. He was getting real tired of this inner struggle.
Mini felt Tony lifting her up by the hand, and the blonde turned to him, opening her mouth to say something. But Tony was pointing back at the sky, and although Mini was still reluctant to admit she was enjoying the show, she tilted her head up nonetheless. What Mini assumed was the finale flew across the sky, and she heard a small giggle escape her lips. It still wasn’t how she expected to spend her night, but Mini had no complaints right now, especially when she turned her head and looked back at Tony. He was fucking gorgeous, she’d give him that. “Well, I probably wouldn’t have spent it drinking coffee and watching the sky” Mini replied with a smirk “I might’ve kissed you. But since it’s not our last night on earth…” Mini’s eyes twinkled as she spun on her heel, knowing Tony would be following eventually. Mini had changed a lot in the past two years, but she still knew her way around men-or at least, she sitll knew how to keep them hanging on. Glancing over her shoulder, Mini could just make out Tony’s outline in the night, and she called out to him “You coming or what?”
He knew she was having a good time, her soft giggle was an indicator. They were still close when she finally spoke and he knew she was teasing him. He sort of enjoyed it that she wasn’t wrapped around his fingers. He tried to avoid that in girls now that he was a uni graduate. Having a girl fawn over you was what got him in trouble when he was seventeen. It was dark but he could still see her figure as she started to walk away, it was a nice figure to watch. Her hips moved with each step, she had a way of walking that he would enjoy sitting back and watch all night. Her voice broke him out of his trance. He looked up and smirked, but she probably couldn’t see him from that distance. “Where are we going?” he asked. As he followed her, she had mentioned a kiss and he wondered if he should be so bold. It was sort of his thing. They left the field, because it had basically fulfilled what he had wanted to do. He wanted her to have a good memory with him. Maybe in the future they would both talk of it fondly. In a quick few strides he was walking close to her, next to her and soon the field was behind them. “I don’t think I can make the evening more special than it already is, did you want me to give you a ride to your place?” he asked. He wanted to add, or my place. But he knew it would just prove that he was a dog and only wanted a shag. It’s not like he didn’t want to shag her, but he knew if he waited, maybe something better could happen.
Just as Mini predicted, Tony was soon by her side again, and the pair walked along side by side. Mini left his question go unanswered-she didn’t know where she was going, although she felt as if that if they weren’t to another venue the night would be ruined. No, Mini would rather leave it the way it was right now, somehwat perfect, and get in touch with Tony again another time. Besides, it was getting later, and although Mini was always up for having fun until morning, she had a million and one things to do. Besides, she had to keep Tony intrigued. Before the blonde could mention it herself, Tony was offering to take her home. “You’ve become quite the gentleman” she remarked, smiling slightly “A lift would be great, yeah.” Mini was still put off at the idea of shagging Tony when they had only me a couple of hours before, especially when her previous sexual relationships were taken into account. But Tony didn’t seem to be flirting with her as much anymore, and right now, Mini would’ve been perfectly happy to see the older guy again, if they left things at her front door.
“Oh no, I was hoping you wouldn’t figure me out that easily,” he said with a smirk as they walked back to the club. But mainly it was his car he was interested in going back to. They walked the dark streets of Bristol, getting closer to the hustle and bustle of the city. Before they got to the lighted streets he stopped her. He pulled out a piece of paper, a pen and scrawled his number down. He handed it to her, “Here is my number, you don’t have to give me yours if you don’t want but I do hope we can meet up again, I had a great time,” he said with a genuine smile. They resumed walking, he was giving her some time to think and the silence between them wasn’t awkward. Tony wasn’t sure he had ever had an awkward moment, he was so used to rolling with what came up in the roll of the universal die. As they got into the parking lot he opened up the door for her to enter. He had sobered up from earlier and knew he could easily make it to her place and then his. He climbed in and looked over to her, “So where do you reside? Feel free to direct me,” he said as he started the car up. He knew the roads she pointed out and he had recognized her neighborhood as he parked in front of her house. He got out of his car to walk her to her door.
Mini took the note from Tony’s hand, looking down at it and raising her eyebrow. It wasn’t the first time a guy had given her his number, but it was one of the few times were Mini was actually interested in the guy. She didn’t have any pockets, so Mini held the slip in her hand as she and Tony walked down the street together in a comfortable silence. The night had had it’s ups and downs, but Mini had had some fun, and she had a solid interest in Tony-not a bad thing. Climbing into his car, Mini gave Tony directions to her house, praying that her mother wasn’t home. It wasn’t even that Mini was planning to invite Tony inside, but Shelley could be incredibly nosy at times, and Mini didn’t really want to run the risk of running into Eric either. Once they pulled up, Mini, still holding the piece of paper with Tony’s number in her hand, climbed out of the car, allowing Tony to walk her to the car. Mini unlocked the door, but turned to face her companion before going inside. “Despite the….interesting start, tonight wasn’t half bad. You’ll just have to top it next time” Mini told him, knowing perfectly well that if she got her way there would be a next time. The pair stood in silence for a moment, and they were close enough that Mini could’ve kissed him. But she was always a teaser, so she simply shrugged with a “Toodles”, before turning to enter her house. Shutting the door behind her, Mini let out a grin, and glanced at the piece of paper in her hand. She wasn’t sure what was going to happen with her and Tony, but at least she knew that it had only just begun.