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One Big Love Triangle
Author's note: I really want to get this piece out there- I want some feedback during the period of which I'm writing this book as I may consider publishing it professionally if the feedback is positive
I smiled, straightened the last lock of blonde hair that framed my face and stepped into the dusty pink pumps that sat next to my dresser. This was the last night I’d be spending in Australia for the next year and although going out for dinner was the last thing I wanted to do, the effort my family had made really had to be appreciated.
My family hasn’t exactly been doing well with money since I was 11 years old. Dad lost his job because he’d gotten involved with his boss’s wife and mum only worked 3 days a week. But as soon as I turned 14, I got a part-time job at Coles, started babysitting for people that lived on my street and took every possible opportunity to do charity work. And it has definitely payed off.
I live with my mum, dad, my two younger brothers and older sister. My sister, Katarina, turned 23 only 2 months ago and still lives at home, due to the fact that she hasn’t managed to get a job and spent 3 months in prison for getting into a street fight that turned bad- really bad. My two twin brothers, Zac and Jake, both 9, are still in primary school and actually aren’t doing too badly. Out of the two of them, Zac is by far the smartest, where as Jake is more into football and soccer than maths and english.
The restaurant we were eating at was far from cheap, which is why I appreciated it so much. Usually, the fanciest place we eat out at is McDonalds, but even there, we’re lucky to go once a month. The restaurant is called ‘Englessiê’ and although none of the family knows what it means, it has a 4-star rating, and that’s good enough for me.
“Sammy, hurry up already, we’re all waiting for you!” I heared Katarina calling from the bottom of the stairs. “I’m coming Kat, aren’t we supposed to be waiting for Josh anyway?” “Surprise surprise, he’s already here and WAITING FOR YOU!” Josh is my best friend. We’ve known each other since the age of 5 and been there for each other more than anyone else. “Okay, okay, I’m coming!” I sighed, grabbing the clutch that was laying on my bed and took one last look at myself in the mirror. “This is it,” I whispered to myself, “the last dinner I’ll share with my family for a year.” I closed my eyes, breathing deeply. This kind of thing always made me nervous, I was really bad at goodbyes. “Sam, lets go.” Joshs voice was barely a whisper. I turned to face my best friend. I actually never thought that I’d ever have to say goodbye to him for a year, the only way of contact through phone, webcam and text. Josh smiled, but his usual gleaming eyes weren’t there. He walked over silently, hugging me. “What if they all hate me. What if I can’t make friends, what if I’m terri-” I’m cut off by Josh’s voice, calm as always. “Sam, relax. You’ll be fine. Nothing is going to happen to you. You can’t let your anxiety stop you. You’ve worked so hard for this, you deserve it. Now lets go, eat, have fun. Breath.” He let go of me, only to see tears in my eyes. “Hurry up guys, I’m so hungry I could eat my own legs!” This time it wasn’t Kat, but Jake that beckoned the two of us downstairs. Without a word, we left my room. Josh stopped to take one last look around. He knew that it was probably the last time he would see it for a while. We walked down the stairs slowly, in silence. When we reached the bottom, my mum stood next to my dad, smiling gently. “You two look great.” she spoke softly, softer than I’ve ever heard her speak for years. I couldn’t speak, tears burned my eyes. “Thank you, Mrs Corwall.” It was Josh that spoke. “Well, um, lets go.” I muttered, heading for the door.
Me and my mum never really got along. When I was 9, she yelled at my teacher because apparently I ‘wasn’t getting a good enough education’, and ever since then, most of the kids at school have been too scared to approach me. Even in high school, I never had much luck. Not having much money has always effected the way people look at me. It means you don’t have enough money for clothes, phones, all the stuff that kids are so obsessed with these days. For 2 years, ever since I started saving, I’ve been so tempted to take some money out of the account, spend it on clothes, a new phone, whatever I could get my hands on to make me ‘cooler’. But I couldn’t. You see, I’d been saving so I’d be able to go to school. I don’t mean your average high school. I’m talking Svettes High, a world-renowned school of the arts. In England. And sure, some people think its crazy that I’m willing to travel halfway across the world for this, but to me, it seemed like common sense. When you have a passion, you chase it. No matter how fast it runs, or how far it takes you.
“You take Josh and Sammy, I’ll take the other three.” I heard my mum tell my dad, `obviously upset by the fact that I hadn’t responded when she told me I looked wonderful. Somehow I liked it better that way. I didn’t want to get close to her just as I was about to leave. I slid into my dads car, rusty and tattered from old age. Not my dad, the car. Josh got in the other side, and in about 5 silent minutes spent wishing someone would talk but not being able to speak yourself, we were there. And boy, was the restaurant nice. Well, compared to a Maccas place anyway. Thank god we’d pre-booked, because the place was packed. Like, I’m talking, can-hardly-move packed. We had a table on the roof, which was nice, I suppose. At first, it was pretty quite, everyone scanning the menu, admiring the view. But after 10 minutes, our table was chaos. Talking, laughing, yelling. I joined in, but stayed away from the awkward topic of leaving. It wasn’t that my family didn’t approve, or didn’t want me to go. I just didn’t know if I’d be able to tell them about it without crying.
Finally, a waitress came to take orders. Zac and Jake had fish and chips, Josh, Kat and I pasta and mum and dad had some fancy dish that no one could pronounce. After the waitress had left, the dreaded conversation came up. Svettes High. Of course, it was dad who brought it up, obviously oblivious to the fact that everyone had been avoiding the topic. “So, Sammy, tell us. About Svettes, of course. What’s it like?” Suddenly, I felt like everyones eyes were on me. I swear, the whole roof seemed to be looking at me and thinking ‘yeah, I’d actually like to know about it too!’. But I couldn’t avoid the topic forever. “Well, we all have a dorm, with 4 other girls and we can go to town on weekends and after school and we take classes like usual. So, umm, yeah, I guess.” I trailed off, uncertain of which things I should and shouldn’t bring up. “Well, we all got you a little something. To remind you of us when your freezing your ass of in England.” Kat laughed at her own humor, before handing me a little box. “It’s nothing much actually, I just thought you might like it.” I opened the box carefully, to find that inside was a large, watermelon shaped soap. I smiled. Knowing that Kat had actually listened enough to know how much I’d wanted something like this was nice. Especially when her wage was nothing. “Thanks Kat. I love it.” I reached across the table to hug her. “Right, our turn!” Mum was speaking now, and she handed me an even bigger box than Katarina’s soap had been in. “It’s from us four, dad, Zac, Jake and I.” I opened it carefully, slowly. Inside was the most beautiful thing I’d ever since. A yellow dreamcatcher laid delicately on bed shiny material, I guessed silk. “It’s beautiful, I love it. Thank you guys so much.” I kissed each of them, staring lovingly at the beautiful gift that lay in my lap. It was all yellow. The ring around the outside had beautiful beads on it, and the yellow feathers appeared to be floating off mini catchers hanging off the bottom. I ran my finger across every detail, every bead. “I’ll hang it above my window in my dorm. It’ll help me remember you guys.” I fought back tears. I’d save them for later tonight. When I’m alone.
I looked over at Josh. All this time he’d sat there quietly, not a word. “I have something for you Sam. But I want to give it to you before you leave. And you can’t open it until your there.” He said it all with a smile, and I knew straight away it was something expensive and something I’ve wanted for a while. “How much was it and how can I repay you?” I laughed. Josh is the only guy I’ve ever known that’ll buy you expensive presents and expect nothing back. Not a cent. “Sammy. It wasn’t that much, calm down.” he shot me a wink and we went back to talking, about school, about leaving. After dinner (which was fabulous by the way) the dreaded bill arrived. Dad was obviously trying to hide it, but I got a peak. $125.75. Suddenly, I felt sick. I felt sick because I was leaving tomorrow. Because I was leaving everything behind. Dad payed the bill, but I could tell he hesitated. “Alrighty guys. Lets be off.” He shot me a smile, but I could tell it was faked. “Sammy, I was wondering if I could stay at yours tonight? So I can say goodbye to you tomorrow.” Josh said, obviously loud enough for my parents to hear. I kicked his shin underneath the table. “Josh, I haven’t even packed.” I’m pretty sure he knew the reason I wanted to be left alone. To cry. “No, Josh, that’d be great! You could help Sam pack, hey Sam?” Mum spoke, obviously excited by the fact that she won’t have to listen to me whine about how scared I am. I nodded, unenthusiastically. Looks like my night was about to get ten times longer than I’d planned.
We finally pulled up out the front of my house, and by then I’d almost forgot that Josh was in the car next to me. Like always, he’d be staying at my house with nothing but what he had on. Slamming my car door, I ran upstairs, careful not to trip in the heels that now hurt the bottom of my feet. I pulled them off, chucking them back where they belonged, next to my dresser and dropping myself onto my bed, bellyflop style. Almost seconds later, I heard footsteps that could only be Josh plonking up the stairs. I rolled over onto my back to face him. “I actually can’t believe you Josh. What the hell were you thinking, saying that you want to stay the night?” I tried to keep my voice down, knowing that if my parents heard, they wouldn’t appreciate it. “Sammy, your whole family knows why you want to be left alone. To cry. And I’m sorry, but I’m not letting you leave after crying the whole night on your own. So if your going to cry, I’m going to be here and I’m going to stay until you get on that plane at 5:30 tomorrow. Understand me?” Joshs voice was stern and I knew he was only holding it together for me. “Okay.” I whispered, burying my face in my blanket and sighing heavily. “Good. I’ll go get your suitcases and some food from downstairs, you start getting your stuff out.” Before I could even reply, he was running down the stairs. I practically dragged myself over to my cupboard, emptying almost all of my clothes onto my floor, falling into a heap after them. I let out a moan. I couldn’t do this. Something about packing away all of my belongings and being shipped off to England didn’t feel right. It didn’t feel like me. Before I knew it, Josh was back in my room, dragging the 2 massive suitcases behind him. “Where the hell is the food? I can’t stay up all night on an empty stomach.” “Hang on, I’m getting to that.” He dropped the suitcases flat on my bed and unzipped them. I swear, I’ve never seen that much food in my life. Chips, chocolate, soft drink. I couldn’t help but laugh. “Are you kidding me Josh? That must be half my food in 2 suitcases.” He didn’t reply, just laughed. “Okay, lets get started packing.” He dragged me off the pile of clothes and started folding. “Josh, I can do that.” “Sammy, no. You rest.” He continued to fold and pack until my whole wardrobe had made its way into one suitcase. T-shirts, jeans, jackets, cardigans, leggings, tracksuits, all my dancing gear. All of a sudden it felt real. Too real.
An hour later, with half the food gone, both suitcases had been packed to the brim, and my room had been emptied. The only thing left was my furniture, along with a few bits and pieces that didn’t need to come with me. My carry on was filled with stuff to keep my busy on the plane. By now, it was nearly 11:30 and we were both struggling to keep our eyes open. “Thanks Josh. For everything.” Without a word, just like earlier that day, he took me in his arms and held me there. This is when I cracked. I couldn’t stop crying. Josh just held me. Held me until I was too tired to cry anymore. When I’d finally managed to calm myself down, he picked me up bridal style and tucked me into bed. The last night I’d be in this bed for a while. “Night Sammy. See you tomorrow.” Josh whispered, leaving the lamp on and going back to making sure I had everything. After five minutes, I was asleep. Asleep until I had to leave. I was dreading the moment.
“Sammy, wake up!” Joshed gently shook me until I woke up. “It’s 3:00am. Your clothes are on the end of your bed. I’ll be downstairs making breakfast, we have to leave by 3:30 or we’ll miss the flight.” This is one of those moments when I realized how much I hated living an hour away from the airport. I got out of bed slowly, barely glancing at the clothes I was putting on. I searched the floor for my luggage, nowhere to be seen. “Josh, where the hell did you put my stuff?” I yelled down the stairs. “It’s in the car Sammy.” Thank God. I pulled my hair into a messy bun on the top of my head and brushed my teeth lazily. I could hardly believe that I was leaving today. I wandered aimlessly downstairs to find bacon and eggs set out on the counter, Josh at the toaster. “Thanks Josh.” I smiled at him and he smiled back. I ate in almost complete silence, only speaking to say thank you. When I’d finished, Josh half-lead, half-dragged me to the car, where mum was sitting in the drivers seat. We both got in, still quite. After that, I’m not sure what happened, because I fell asleep and woke up in the airport, my head on Joshs shoulder. I sat up, looking around slowly. “What time is it?” “Quarter past five. You have to board in 5 minutes.” “Hang on, did you guys book me in and stuff while I was asleep?” Josh chuckled and my mum smiled. “I think we should say our goodbyes.” Mum got off her seat and came over to me, hugging me tightly. “You’ll always be my baby girl. No matter how far away you are.” I smiled. “I love you mum, never forget that.” It was Joshs turn next. “I’ll miss you, you know that, right?” I whispered. “I know Sammy. But you deserve this. Don’t miss me too much. And enjoy the flight.” He winked at me. He knows I hate flying. I smiled, hugging him. Before I could say anything else, we were called to board. “Call me when you get off Sammy. I love you.” I smiled. Unable to say anything, I handed the stewardess my ticket. “Just follow this path to the rear entrance, thank you.” And like that I was gone. And I didn’t look back. I wouldn’t. I couldn’t.
“Hello madam, your seat is 3 rows up on the left.” All around me, I could hear stewardesses, excited travelers and moaning children. I took my seat by the window, put in my headphones and closed my eyes. Considering the flight would be 27 hours plus, I figured I would be able to sleep most of the way. But of course, sleep didn’t come easy. All I could think about was the taxi that’ll be waiting to pick me up and take me to Svettes High. Where I would know no one. And that was scary to me. By the time the plane was full, I was seated next to and old lady and her daughter. I could deal with that. After all the regular safety warnings, we took off. Song after song repeated itself in my head. But none of them lead to sleep. So I closed my eyes and made myself think of the most relaxing time I’ve ever had. Still no sleep. I checked my watch. I’d only been on the plane for just over an hour. I was definitely regretting choosing a school in England. I pulled my laptop out of its mint green case and placed it on my lap. I stared at the black screen as I waited for it to load. Once it had switched on, I opened iMovie and started working on my video. It was a video filmed by Josh of me dancing to a song. A dance I choreographed myself. I still had at least 4 hours of editing to do. So at least I had something to keep me busy.
On our first day of class, we had to present a video of us doing something that we’re proud of. I contemplated singing as well as acting, but me and Josh figured that we should work on those later. So he filmed me dancing, literally 4 months before we knew I had even gotten in. Because in a way, me and Josh have always been on top of this sort of thing. We have always supported each other, in every decision the either of us has made. Some of those choices were harder to support than others. But despite everything, Josh had sat on the floor of the studio and filmed me for 5 hours straight, until I got it perfect. And now I had to edit it. The video had to go for one minute and thirty seconds, but the song I chose to dance to went for 4 minutes. It was some retro remix of a popular song. I sat, barely able to keep my eyes open as I chopped bits outs and added bits in. Until slowly, everything became blurry and fuzzy. I felt myself slowly, gently drifting off to sleep...
When I woke up, my laptop had been moved to the tray table in front of me and I felt much more refreshed. I rubbed my eyes, looking out the small window next to me. It was pitch black. I looked down at my phone resting in my lap, pushing the home button only to find that it was 1:34 in the morning. Only about 10 hours to go. I scanned my eyes across the few seats I could see. Most people were asleep, a few children sitting awake on phones and laptops. A stewardess walked up and down the isle, offering food and drink to the few people that were awake. I reached into my bag, pulling out a pack of chips Josh had obviously snuck in. I chewed them slowly, thinking of all the possible scenarios that I could be put in. And again I fell asleep. When I woke up this time, it was much lighter outside. I looked around only to find the old lady next to me awake, smiling at me. “I moved your laptop when you fell asleep yesterday. We’re nearly there sweetheart, two more hours.” I smiled at her gratefully, thanking her and asking her what brings her to England. She told me that this was where she was born and where she wanted to die as well. I didn’t really know what to say. I couldn’t go telling her how great that was, so I just said “Wow.” “Don’t worry darling, not many people know what to say either. And why are you here. You look young, certainly not old enough to live on your own.” “Well, I’m coming to school here. Svettes High actually, you might have heard of it.” The woman smiled at me and her eyes lit up. “I remember it. I went there when I was 14. It really is amazing, you’ll love it.” And so we spent the next hour talking about Svettes. She told me what to wear to each class, which ones I’ll like most and all about the secret place her and her friends went on breaks. She told me I should try to find it, because as long as you’re there, no teacher will be able to find you. “Well, if you don’t mind, I might sleep now. I don’t like landing, it scares me.” She winked at me before closing her eyes and falling almost straight away into sleep. I sighed, looking out the window. The clouds below me meant that I couldn’t see land, but knowing it was there comforted me, as well as worried me. I slipped my computer back into its case and waited. I couldn’t sleep, I’d done enough of that. So I sat there, staring at my watch, watching each minute tick by slowly. 9:45, 9:46, 9:47. I thought about every possible thing you could imagine. Unicorns, maths, Svettes. When finally, my watch ticked over to 10:00. “Excuse me ladies and gentleman. Unfortunately, due to bad weather, we shall not be landing for another hour and a half. Sorry for the delay.” The few people that were awake groaned, and personally, I couldn’t stop a sigh. “Josh, where the hell are you when I need you.” I whispered under my breath. Really, he was always there when I needed him. So for the next hour, I sat there. Just sat. I don’t even know if or what I was thinking about. But time past faster then expected, and before I knew it, there was another announcement. “Cabin crew prepare for landing.”
Thank God. I felt the plane slowly, gently descend to the ground. With a bump and a few cries from young children, we hit the ground. I was no longer in Australia. Rain trickled down the window and the ground was wet, water forming puddles everywhere. The usual announcements about not using mobiles and exiting through the correct exit still rang in my head as I bid the old lady farewell and jumped on the escalator to go get my bags. It was no easy feat getting two unusually heavy bags onto a luggage trolley single-handedly, but I managed. Now I just had to remember what the letter had instructed me to do next. I remembered something about a taxi, but I had no idea from where it’d be pick me up, so I just headed in the general direction of an exit. I walked out a big pair of sliding doors- right into a pickup zone, filled with taxis and cars, all waiting to pick people up. Scattered across the footpath were people holding signs with names written on them, and people were wheeling bags and hugging each other. I scanned each sign quickly, determined to sit down in peace and call Josh, my mum, my family. Finally I spotted it. ‘SAMMY CORWALL AND VIOLET CARTER’. Looks like I wouldn’t be alone. Well at least I could work on making friends. I pushed the luggage trolley over to the old man holding the sign with my name. He smiled at me for almost 5 seconds too long, before breaking the silence. “Finally, you’re here! Violet, the one in the car, had a bit of a breakdown, she’s just a tad nervous. At least I won’t have to look after her, ey?” He winked at me, taking my bags to the boot before going around to the drivers side. “Well, come on, do you want an invitation? Get in.” Great. I was slightly jet lagged, had an incredibly sleazy driver and a girl I don’t know crying in the back seat. What fun.