Authors: Samantha Towle
The Alexandra Jones series Book 1
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.
'First Bitten' is published by Night Publishing who can be contacted at: http://www.nightpublishing.com.
'First Bitten' is the copyright of the author, Samantha Towle, 2012. All rights are reserved.
The poem 'I Am Not There' is by Mary Elizabeth Frye
All characters are fictional, and any resemblance to anyone living or dead is accidental.
Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever.
The End of Me
Arggh! Just leave me alone, Eddie! I can’t believe a word that comes out of your mouth! You’re a lying, cheating ... scumbag and I don’t ever want to speak to, or see you, ever again, you … you wanker!” I disconnect the call and angrily loft my mobile toward the mass of trees standing tall before me.
Turning sharply, I catch my heel in a crack in the paving. “Shit!” I cry out as I fall backwards, losing my shoe in the process. I land hard my bum. “Oww!”
You alright?” Carrie gets up from the bench she was sitting on and drunkenly totters over to me. I can tell she’s trying not to laugh, the grin she’s not so gallantly suppressing saying it all.
No,” I grumble. Tears sting my eyes. I take a deep breath and force them back.
I will not cry. I will not cry.
A giggle escapes Carrie as she plonks herself down on the concrete floor beside me.
I glare at her.
Sorry, babe.” She throws her arm around my shoulder, hugging me to her. “Eddie is a complete twat. Twat with a capital T. And you, my gorgeous friend, are far too good for him, always have been. You deserve so much better than him.” She twists a lock of my hair around her finger, tugging on it good-naturedly. “You know I’m right. I’ve said this to you a million times before. You’re far too good to waste your life on a ... twatting wanker like him.”
Through my misery, I glance sideways at her. “Twatting wanker?”
She grins mischievously, her green eyes sparkling, and I can’t help but laugh. Carrie always manages to make me laugh, even when I’m at my lowest, which is where I am right now, literally.
I lean forward, releasing myself from Carrie’s caring hold and pick my shoe up. “Ahh no, I’ve scuffed the heel!” I groan as I inspect it. “My beautiful, two month old Jimmy Choos and they’re bloody ruined! These were my treat from my bonus.” That dismal feelings seeps back into me.
Here, let me have a look.” Carrie takes the shoe from my hand and puts it close to her face, examining it. “It’s not that bad,” she says dismissively, handing it back to me. “It’ll glue back down.”
I turn and look at her with disgust. “Glue! I’m not gluing a pair of Jimmy Choos. Bloody hell, Carrie, that’s sacrilegious!” I clutch the shoe to my chest. “Arggh! This is all Eddie’s fault. I bloody hate him, the bastard!”
Well I don’t hate him, yet, but I will very soon, I’m sure of it. I’m just currently stuck in the ‘I should hate him’ phase, but struggling to because I still love him.
Eddie, my lying, cheating, scumbag, arsehole of a boyfriend, or, as I should now say, ex-boyfriend. Eddie, the cheating bastard, whom I’ve wasted three years of my life on.
That all too familiar pain stabs straight into my heart. Tears swell my eyes again. I run my fingers under them to catch the tears before they fall. The last thing I need right now is mascara-stained cheeks.
I found out about Eddie’s extra-curricular activities yesterday morning while we were eating breakfast together. I’d received a text from his slutty new squeeze the night before, but only realised I had a message that morning. Accompanying said text was a very graphic photo of Eddie in a ‘compromising’ position for added effect. Classy, I know. Really I should have learnt my lesson from the last time.
It will never happen again, Alex, I swear to you ... I love you ... I’m so sorry ... I can’t live without you ... I made a terrible, stupid mistake ...
But really it was me who made the mistake when I believed he wouldn’t do it again.
So, after chucking my breakfast at him, coffee included and a few other choice items, I headed to our bedroom, called Carrie and asked her to come and pick me up. I packed my bags, ignoring Eddie’s pathetic pleas for me to stay, while I waited the twenty minutes it took Carrie to drive from her parents’ house in Hackness, where she still lives, to my house in Scarborough.
When she arrived, honking her horn, I rushed out the front door in a flurry of tears, threw my bags in the car boot and didn’t look back, even though I knew Eddie was standing in the doorway watching me leave.
Carrie and I have been best friends for fifteen years. The first time I met her was on introductory day at our old senior school, Scarborough High, and I just knew I’d know her my whole life. She was all fiery red curly hair and braces, but as confident as hell. Smart, vivacious and sassy, she takes no shit, unlike me. She’s all the parts I’m missing, my other half really and that’s when I knew I’d met my soul mate. Carrie is always there for me, no matter what, and vice-versa.
Both my parents were killed in a road accident when I was sixteen, a drunk driver overtaking them on a country road with an upcoming bend, an oncoming car; there were no survivors.
I fell apart and Carrie put me back together. Legally an adult, I had absolutely no clue how to take care of myself, let alone do things adults have to take care of. That’s when Carrie’s family became mine. Her parents, Angie and Tom, stepped in and sorted everything for me. They took me into their huge home and spoilt me like I was one of their own, which now, nine years later, I still am.
Carrie’s been on hand with Kleenex and Ben and Jerry’s for all my boyfriend disasters, well mainly Eddie the boyfriend disaster from hell. She sat patiently with me yesterday while I cried the whole day and night away. Then, when I woke up this morning feeling very angry, Carrie suggested we should get dressed up and go out to the only pub in Hackness tonight, The Grange, and get drunk.
I was completely on board with the idea - anything to numb the pain - but then the pain was still there when they were calling last orders at the bar and I didn’t want to wait the forty minutes it would take for the taxi to arrive, so we decided to walk home, which we’ve done hundreds of times before. It takes about half an hour and, to be honest, it’s not the nicest of walks, even in the daylight. It’s all country roads and forests but it’s also as safe as houses around here. The last time there was a crime here was – well never.
All I wanted to do was get home as fast as possible and continue on drinking myself into oblivion, well, just until I passed out. And I was well on my way to achieving that goal until I, for some ungodly reason, made the fatal error of answering Eddie’s call. And here I am, right back to square one. I’ve let Eddie and his lies into my head again. This is what happens when I drink; I lose all common sense. Or is it just when it comes to Eddie that I lose my common sense?
I drop my heavy head into my hands. “I’m such an idiot, Care.”
No you’re not. Eddie’s the idiot.” She rubs a soothing hand on my back. I glance up at her. “He just doesn’t seem to realise when he’s got a great thing,” she affirms. “The guy’s a loser. L-O-S-E-R.” She spells the word out for dramatic effect, putting her thumb and forefinger into the L shape and resting it against her forehead.
Yep, she’s definitely drunk – she’d never do that sober. I giggle through my haze of tears and make a mental note to remind her of that in the morning so I can take the piss.
You were the best thing that ever happened to him,” she adds sincerely, taking hold of my hand and patting it with her other. “He’ll know this soon enough when you’re not there taking care of him anymore.”
I stare into the black dense forest before me. “Mmm … ”
She grabs hold of my shoulder, forcing me round to look at her. “Alex, please tell me you’re not actually considering going back to him. You know he’ll do it again.”
No I’m not,” I say, sounding way too defensive.
Alex … ” She arches her eyebrow at me in that knowing way she does. She knows me better than anyone.
No,” I repeat, my voice quieter now, “I’m not going back. I promise. But it’s hard. I can’t just stop loving him in a day. We’ve been together for three years. We have a home together. Okay, so it’s his house and the mortgage is still in his name, but we have other stuff together, like … like ... CDs and DVDs ... and well, other stuff.”
Actually now that I think about it, after three years together we really don’t have a lot to show for our relationship, except for a lot of broken promises and betrayals.
I know it’s hard, Alex, but Eddie didn’t care about the last three years when he was messing around behind your back. Just keep reminding yourself of what he’s done to you, twice, now. It’ll get easier, babe, I promise, and you know I’m here for you, no matter what. I’ve always got your back.”
I know.” I look gratefully at her. “Ditto.”
Anyway, I was thinking we should get my dad to sack him,” she says out of the blue, very nonchalantly.
Eddie works for Tom. He’s a sales manager at Tom’s car dealership in Scarborough. Tom has ten altogether across the region. That’s how I met Eddie. It was at the dealership's annual Christmas party three years ago. He was so handsome, smart and funny, and I was hooked from the word go. Little did I know.
I shake my head, tempting as it is, and say, “No, Care, we can’t ask Tom to do that. It’d be wrong to put him in that position.”
He’d do it for you though.” She nudges my shoulder with hers. “You know he would. He loves you to death.”
I turn and give her a firm look. “I know, and that’s why I won’t ask him ... and neither will you.”
She grins wickedly and winks. “No promises.”
Care … !” I warn.
Okay, okay.” She rolls her eyes. “Whatever you want. Is twat-face Eddie at work tomorrow?”
I scrunch my nose up in thought. “What day is it?”
Er … ” she pulls her mobile out of her bag and lights the screen up, checking the date and time, “it’s Saturday now.”
He’s not back in work till Monday.”
Okay, well I’ll go round to your house on Monday while he’s at work and pick up the rest of your stuff, if you want? Get you out of there and moved back home properly. Start as you mean to go on.”
Would you mind?” I look hopefully at her. The last thing I want to do is go back to the house. I’m worried if I do, I might end up never leaving.
Wouldn’t offer if I did.” She smiles warmly and gets to her feet. “Come on, let’s go home.” She holds her hand out to me.