It was the end of the first year at University, the group of friends sat around a table in the common room, a thing they did. The group were a confident lot, the type whom were popular and appealing in that whole school stage of life. They were nattering as to what they were going to do for the end of term break. Ben sat there listening mostly, he had a voice, but the others were louder because they were so called more important. They were all flying off with these big activities and such; travelling, holidays, meeting this and that person from the the other side of the world and doing this that and the other.
When it got to Ben, he sat with an expression that was slightly late, nothing much came from him. It was a look the group was used too as well as him. He was the lowest class of the group, working class. He replied with "I don't know, I didn't have any plans, I might get a summer job and work, build some money". The group ganged up on him, jeered and sneered him, mocking him why he would want to work through the term break, they were supposed to have fun, following the mocking up with things like "sado". Ben had thick skin though and he let all that waft past him. He thought a lot and knew even though he hadn't got any plans, something would turn up because he wasn't influenced like the rest of them were, chuckling around him with all this clever talk at 100mph. Ben sat grounded.
Ben was at home, in his room writing short stories. He did that a lot when he was by himself, it was a skill he picked up when he was about six and it stuck with him since. His home was functional, he had a younger sister he got on really well with. She liked anything to do with green. She was getting into rock, she dreamed when she grew up she wanted a guitar colored green. Ben's parents were happy, together and married for fifteen years. They were cool because they kept the clothes and interests young and liked to think they were even though they were maturer. Another baby was on the cards, Ben's mum wanted the third more, Ben's dad felt done and could have settled with the two.
"What was going to happen next?" was all Ben was thinking. Six weeks of freedom. He liked the countryside and fishing and the next thing he thought of was his dad. They talked in the lounge whilst watching a fishing program, they both shared that interest. In a lot of ways Ben took after his dad, they even sat the same. Ben's dad didn't believe in cable, he thought five channels was enough and any more than that was for show. He gave into it when he realized his fishing only showed on it. Ben's dad's brother and family lived in the countryside and he told Ben he could go there for the summer break, and that they were all dying to see him. Ben thought about it for a bit, he watched the fishing program like he was on the lake. It was a chance to meet new people in the countryside, a place he was unfamiliar with. By the evening he made up his mind and was going to go and thanked his dad.
The family lived on the farm, Ben arrived with all his luggage, driven by his dad. They greeted all the family, the spirits was warm and joyful. The family embraced Ben's dad, happy to see him after so long. Ben was swarmed in the same way by his cousins and siblings. There was mix of boys and girls in different age brackets, Ben was in the eldest group. The day was hot, Ben had never seen so much yellow and vegetation. The air seemed cleaner. The faces around him were honest and pure. Within five minutes of arriving, Ben knew he had found an environment that accepted him.
They had supper, it was together, the entire family. Ben was rekindling the friendships with his siblings as fast as electricity, they chatted and chatted, enjoyed and laughed. Ben's dad stayed for supper, it was a long drive, his brother insisted he stay for at least before he drove back, Ben's dad was happy to do that. Ben watched them getting on at the other end of the table. It made Ben smile as to how good a brother they were to each other, jokes came like they were on order. Then Ben looked at his siblings and how they followed suit and then thought of his sister and how he was the same with her.
Ben's dad left and everyone stood, waved and shouted "bye". That's what the family was like, they were close and homely and did everything together. Ben went to the lake with his cousins, they were going to hang out with other kids from the farms. They relaxed on the grassy hills and enjoyed themselves. That's when something took Ben's breath away, a girl. She was one of his cousins friends, Mandy. They were both one year younger than Ben. The girls name was Delilah. She walked so elegantly, everything around her cared for her because she attracted it. She sat in among the group and lounged, that was a unique thing she did and one what Ben liked most about her. She liked to keep her toes pointed, another elegant thing she did, Ben found it sexy. It was a warm, purple night, they didn't get to speak much, but when they caught eye contact in between conversation there was a vibe from Ben's end. The question he asked himself and more than anything else was if it was returned, it was. Delilah was cutesy, shy.
There was a pub about half a mile from the farm, it was the neighborhood favorite, it was called The Carrot Stick. The eldest group of the siblings went there sometimes to hang out, Friday and Saturday nights it stayed open quite late, they had a DJ and it turned into a mini club. It was Ben's uncle's friend who owned the place and got Ben a job working behind the bar. Ben was so grateful, he had never worked behind a bar before, but he liked to work. His uncle knew Ben was at the age where he should learn to earn money for his pocket, so he was happy to help the young man along.
Ben loved it. It was different to his usual surroundings. The regulars and people who worked there liked him. It was a family business. The owners was always around, enthusiastic as one could be about their work, their smiles and the way they served their customers indicated clearly how passionate they were about their baby. Ben's cousins and new friends came into the pub, sometimes the Friday and Saturday nights. He liked them there because it was more fun. From the table, Delilah sometimes broke away from the group to look at Ben working behind the bar. He was a charming presence. She smiled proud to see a responsible young man, who if it went OK, was to be her potential boyfriend.
Soon enough they did things on their own away from the group. From the money Ben earn't at the pub, he treated Delilah to something she had never done before, the cinema. The nearest one to the farm wasn't for miles, but it was worth the day out. They jumped on the bus and enjoyed the journey, sitting quietly watching the endless stretch of fields outside, feeling the breeze messaging their faces. Delilah too excited to speak because she had never been to the cinema, Ben relaxed in peace because everything around him was new.
They went fishing and talked about the film. Delilah couldn't stop talking about it, Ben thought it was cute watching the female passionate with her word count. Delilah liked fishing as well, an important thing they shared in common. The rods sat in the lake, waiting. It was as peaceful as any moment Ben ever had. By now Delilah really liked Ben and was counting down the time for the kiss to happen. The day seemed right so she took the lead. She rubbed her pretty foot against Ben's leg, her eyes were already on him. Ben responded immediately, he had the connection of a man who knew how to handle it. Delilah was the prettiest thing Ben had ever seen, with pure features of an angel, he was waiting for this the moment he saw her. They kissed, then had sex. They were so passionate for each other they couldn't break, they were happy to let things lead to another. After, they were drowned in each other, Ben on top, looks knowing they had found their one. The caught fish was tugging on the rod lines, then they dived to rescue their catches.
When the summer break was over, Ben stood in the front of the farm with his stuff with his dad. The entire family was their saying "goodbye". They said how they all liked having Ben and that he had to visit more often. Ben replied with "he would and definitely". Then he came to Delilah and time went on pause, he couldn't hear anything. His eyes was sad, but strangely not the same with Delilah.
"I am going to miss you terribly" Ben said.
"I am going to miss you too" Delilah replied.
A pause was imprinted and it seemed to go on for hours to them. It was love.
"I'll see you soon" Delilah said.
"We have too, we have to see each other soon" Ben replied.
They kissed, not shy, the family knew of them as a couple now and thought it was sweet, the youngest cousin's all giggles singing "Delilah and Ben sitting in a tree, K,I,S,S,I,N,G". Ben and his dad drove away, the family waving and shouting "bye". Delilah thinking like she's up to something with surprise exploding in her eyes.
Back at University, it was Ben's second year. His group of friends and he was sitting in the common room. It was the usual; Ben listening to them, a bunch of status seekers rattling off all the exciting things they did over the summer which might as well been space shuttles to the moon. Ben got bored, he sat there with his chin in his palm wondering how the hell he was going to put up with another two years of this shit. He missed Delilah and his countryside. That's when Delilah appeared at the other end of the room, by the door and saw Ben, Ben saw her, he thought the world was playing a trick on him and was speechless. When he got up he did fall over his chair, his friends thought what was wrong with him, but Ben was already back up and gone.
"Delilah, what are you doing here?" Ben said.
"I've come to this University. I thought it made sense me coming to the same one as you, so I did" Delilah replied.
Ben didn't know what to say. All that was going on with him was how life could be such a miracle.
"Why didn't you say anything?" Ben said.
"I wanted it to be a surprise" Delilah replied.
A surprise it was. Ben was so happy he could have picked Delilah up and walked her through the common room like it was their wedding. Ben's friends watched him jealous as he sat back at the table with Delilah. Ben introduced her to the group and they greeted by putting on appearances. They looked at Ben with envy because they didn't have real love like he did and all there around the world keep up with me's still didn't bring them that. The once quieter Ben was louder than the group now, Delilah and he nattered like best friends.
Monday, 3 June 2013
She was one of those beautiful woman, very sharp minded too. Her hair was black, dark sharp eyes. So clever as Swedes tend to be. She'd only been in the UK for a little while. She got settled into a house share, full of outgoing, fun loving twenty something professionals. The house was a sunny place in West Hampstead. She got settled in straight away and always stood assured and met everyone at eye level. The rest of the house kept their distance and things out of her space. They knew she was the type to stick up for herself with tons of pride, every time. She definitely got that from her dad.
Her name was Presslin. She was really stunning, stunning skin, exquisite features, a good looking one. In the house, the other good looking guy was Arthur. The first house party Presslin was involved in, the house went out. Arthur and Presslin watched each other on the dance floor, their eyes were catching. Eye contact was solid, no ounce of being unsure when they talked. Dancing got close and by the end of the night they were holding hands. Back at the house they had sex. They actually weren't that loud, you could hardly hear a thing, maybe they were conservative people in secret or tried not to make the unlucky ones that night jealous. Probably the first one.
She came with some sort of training in the nanny profession. She got on the rounds of the agencies and after a couple of months found the one she bonded with most. They got her some friendly families and paid well. But it was one family from this agency where Presslin stuck. Obviously not because of the parents, but now on the subject of parents Presslin actually despised these two. It was because of the child, Presslin loved her. To the child, Presslin was her best friend in the whole wide world. They found friendship they hung on too, it was an infectious bond.
The parents were in their latter thirties, they were rich and lived in Notting Hill. They were also Swedish, this is what attracted Presslin to them so much. They were a well educated Swedish young couple come to London and done well. They were both good looking, tall and slim, smartly dressed professionals. An expensive mirror match. But something was not so with either of them, underneath the wealth and designer labels, their personalities were flawed, their emotions cold and actions ruthless.
As far as the job was concerned, Presslin was at home quickly. The girl's name she looked after was Freyon. A blonde, the diluted milky blonde you only find in Swedes. Her and Presslin always got ready for her to go to school together. She had her backpack on, holding onto those straps so enthusiastically, gripped, ready for action. She was enthusiastic about school. She always got ready on time, she had a routine for having her uniform always hung in the same place, her work in the same place ready for the next day. She was a sensible little trooper, but at that, there was no signs of the little one being old before their time. She was special.
Presslin and Freyon walked to school. They held hands. This wasn't Presslin trying too hard either, it was Freyon, she wanted to hold Presslin's hand all the time, Presslin didn't have a choice. Presslin thought it was nice and was pleased Freyon liked her, she was a successful nanny. Freyon found Presslin a best friend where good actions went to her unconditionally, without thinking. Surprisingly this was never the case with her own parents, every time with her mum and dad it was forced. She never had the want to hold their hands, there was love, but something was off, a barrier, the parents had to force or imply actions of affection and still then there was something in the way. Freyon didn't know what it was, it was just a reaction to her, she was only six.
The area was pleasant during their walks to school. The houses were rich of course in this affluent area, the small vegetation in an area such as this was a joy to appreciate. They got to school and Presslin always got a kiss on her left cheek from Freyon. Presslin smiled, Freyon graced her like Presslin was her mother and then she was off with her friends, the little trooper going to school.
"It's Freyon's new friend" Freyon's first friend giggled with their group.
"It's my new nanny" Freyon replied.
And they flocked into school. All of them like little well to do soldiers, good kids with a passion for the school. Presslin was so proud, so happy watching her little child with her friends. Presslin knew she was in a happy place right now. Freyon was a highlight to her.
Back at the house, Presslin's chores ran with cleaning the house. It was something to enjoy because it was such a nice house in such a nice area. She cleaned the house from head to toe, even the handles on the chairs, she was good like that. It was good for Presslin during this time and down time because it was quiet, she got to think. She was grateful she wasn't in a dingy house with a dull family she didn't care about. This family wasn't perfect but there was more plus's than minuses, her agency had done her right, everything her sharp exquisite Swedish qualities were worthy of.
In her own time she read, she loved reading, she was like Freyon, intellectual clever minds. She liked to sit out on the balcony, the view of the tops and backs of the charming affluent Notting Hill homes made her calm and she read. She was halfway through Memoirs of Ageisha. She liked the Asian culture, she found them articulate and interesting. After, she picked Freyon up from school and they came home. Sometimes they did an after school activity like going to the park, it was fun to do an activity outside of the house, they bonded so easily and the surroundings complimented that.
Back at the house, homework was mostly first. Freyon the little trooper didn't need telling to get on with her homework, her books were stacked one on top of the other, in order of what needed to be done first, ready. She usually did her homework on the floor, sitting in animated positions, head focused, diving into her work. Presslin was there and helped her, socialized with her. Presslin was really impressed with how responsible how Freyon was, she was an independent bright little madam. Presslin looked over Freyon's work, everything was so well presented and the answers intelligent. She was a clever gem. They played games, board games was a favorite, Scrabble a first choice. Freyon was good at it, words seemed to be her skill, an advanced skill. Laughter and fun was a part of this, the bond was getting stronger, Freyon found her hugging Presslin a lot, Presslin stroked Freyon's hair, the friendship becoming gentle and close.
Presslin made dinner, she always did. The parents were either out, slinking around the house somewhere with a glass of wine or having sex. The interaction they had with Freyon was practically never. As Presslin became more a part of the family she understood the only interaction the parents made with Freyon was when they had guests round or they went out as a family, on show. Freyon was around the kitchen when Presslin was cooking, usually at the table watching cartoons on the TV or drawing. She sometimes helped Presslin with the food, she couldn't help herself but to get productive in adult stuff beyond her years, it was a part of her nature. Presslin thought it was marvelous how Freyon was always keen to stretch herself, to take part and to give challenges a go. Presslin thought sometimes an extra set of hands would have been nice whilst cooking, and there was Freyon becoming ever so reliable, she was always there, as a useful tool if needs be, the friendship was special.
If and when the parents did appear for dinner, their smug money faces did their best to be normal, loving parents. As Presslin became even more part of the family, she got the vibe that they were putting on faces, masks. They didn't quite connect, you were always at a standstill with them. Freyon knew this all too well, even though she didn't know it, children are masters of the truth. It got to the point where Freyon actually felt more love for Presslin than her own parents, she felt more at home with Presslin, safer. The rooms atmosphere hit zero the day Freyon referred to Presslin as mum at the dinner table one evening. The three adults stopped, the parents looked at each other elusive like they were going to ground the kid for being so disrespectful, or brush it off as a joke like that was a one and only time mistake. Presslin sat awkward, sheepishly looking at the parents dreading the next words being "you're fired".
If Presslin was to stay late she'd be the one tucking Freyon into bed. This night it was Freyon's mum. Freyon had a very large and generous bedroom for a six year old, rich. Her mum was trying her best to play mother, reading a book to Freyon which she didn't really give a shit about the book, it was a chore to play mother. Freyon sensed this, like a shark that smelt blood a mile away. That's another thing children are good at. Freyon didn't play up appearances, children didn't do that either. She laid with an unenthusiastic face, on the verge of pretending to be tired. Soon enough the book was finished. Her mum tucked her in.
"I love you, good night, sleep" She said.
That was forced, it just was.
"Good night. I'm looking forward to seeing Presslin tomorrow. I really like her as my nanny" Freyon replied.
Her mother stayed in a zero neutral, the same as the rooms atmosphere. Freyon got the sense that she hurt her mother, that she said an inappropriate thing. Her mothers eyes were still, almost emotionless like a great white. Freyon saw this. For the first time she saw darkness, darkness in her mother. Something dangerous, no connection, no love, nothing. Her mother got up without another word, she didn't tuck in the last bit of cover. She just turned the light off and closed the door.
Presslin was walking up to the house one morning, she stopped shocked because she saw a different scene. There was police everywhere. Presslin thought it must have been a mistake, that the police were after the wrong house. but Freyon's parents appeared from the door with their hands behind their backs handcuffed, led out by the police. Their faces were sorry, heads down, they weren't trying to make eye contact with anyone. They finally caught eyes with Presslin and turned the other way like she weren't there, overpowered with shame. Freyon appeared from the house led by two more police officers, comforted and held by both. Such an innocent, confused pearl, but she was a fighter, she was stronger than everyone could imagine. She saw Presslin and almost sprung like a cheetah out of the officers arms to her, but the officers held tight. Presslin saw emotion in Freyon like never before, it erupted, it was intense.
"Presslin, Presslin, I want to go with Presslin" Freyon whaled.
The police held tight and led her to he police car. There was nothing Freyon could do, her whales ineffective. The police were trying to look after her. Presslin ran to Freyon calling her name, but she was held at bay by the police. There was no hope, there was too many barriers. The police said Presslin had to stay back and eventually the cars drove off, Freyon whaling through the back window at Presslin, Presslin calling Freyon's name.
Back at the house share, Presslin was really upset. For a whole week, everyday, she was the most depressed the house had ever seen her. They sat around the front room together, they always did, they were a sociable in form click, there was only one anti-social hermit in the house as there usually is a black sheep in any group. His name was Parry, he was an awkward guy to hold a conversation with. The housemates knew Presslin was a tough cookie and as sharp as they come, but seeing her vulnerable like this for the first time opened their eyes a bit wider, they were concerned, brought closer. Presslin and Arthur cuddled up in one of their spaces on the settees as they tended too, a lot closer this time. Presslin told her housemates the truth, they replied with their sympathies. Arthur gave advice, advice Presslin was already planning on for a week, she just needed that nudge to act on it, the nudge that could only come from a love, a boyfriend, Arthur had followed through there, she could count on him.
Presslin went to the child services. She went to the main room and requested a visit for Freyon. Freyon's aunt was there, was at eye level with Presslin and asked her business.
"Who are you?" Freyon's aunt said.
"I'm Presslin, I'm Freyon's nanny" Presslin replied.
"I'm Freyon's aunt, she's coming home with me".
Presslin needed to know what was going on, so she asked the aunt. The aunt laid it out thick. She never liked Freyon's parents, she knew they were cold, money driven freaks and that they only had Freyon to say to their rich friends that they had children. She always told Presslin that they were going to jail for fraud at their jobs. It all made sense to Presslin. The neglect Freyon had, that emotional connection Freyon so badly needed. Presslin knew right there that she was it. Then Freyon appeared out of a door with some care workers.
"Freyon" the aunt said.
Freyon sprinted, straight out of the hands of the care workers and past the aunt, to Presslin. She clung on tight to her with her life and wouldn't let go.
"Freyon, you're coming home with me" the aunt said.
"I want to go home with Presslin" Freyon replied.
She wouldn't let go, everything else didn't exist but Presslin. Presslin held on tight. Freyon was like a gift, a gift that had been put in her space and she was now responsible for.
"Freyon you have to come home with me" the aunt continued.
"No, I love Presslin, I want to go home with her" Freyon replied.
"Don't worry angel, you will someday, I promise" Presslin said.
Saturday, 1 June 2013
Tuesday, 21 May 2013
Thursday, 9 May 2013
He was a dedicated scientist, a very dedicated one. He was also my friend and I had worked with him for years. People never listened to him though, he was one of those people who got told to shut up all the time like his voice was a pollution to the air. Cruel like, like he wasn't allowed to have a voice. It was out of order especially due to how clever he was. In the end everyone learnt when it was too late, his voice should have been listened too.
The world of which all living things lived back then was ugly, from humans to plants to animals to the way which all living things are grown. There was no love in the world. The world was angry, no-one knew why, it was one of those things that just was. Nothing seemed to like each other much, things stopped growing, stopped working, things started dying. Eventually illnesses spread like viruses. Maybe it was the air, maybe the universe didn't like life on earth much so it set out to kill us, who knew?
"Oh no, oh no, no, no, no, no" Stelios said whilst studying science at his lab. That was my friends name.
He had discovered holes, some the size of towns in the earth. They were the most unexplained and strangest discoveries at the time. Stelios looked at the holes with eyes losing life and his hands on his head sinking more and more into defeat. He looked for answers, he used his science, that's what he did all day everyday. But nothing, he couldn't find anything. He stared at his science with a mind so pressured it could explode. He just didn't know what was happening, but the holes remained there.
In the world, life was getting worse. Trees were falling down, dying, plants weren't growing. Water supply was evaporating, still people and animals remained at each others throats, angry and at war all the time. This was the same with my family, we did it like it became normal, everybody did. We lived in an angry world and when you looked back on it, we lived in a world of fear.
In the lab, Stelios was still banging his head away at his science trying to find an answer which seemed to be mission impossible. By this time he had discovered more unexplained holes in the earth, deeper than the previous, the world started to fear for their lives. Scientists believed it was meteors, then to be perplexed when they couldn't find a single trace of evidence. The report which came to the nation of whether or not we were alone in the world had finally been answered, but still no evidence.
"What do you think these holes are?" I asked Stelios.
"It's such a big mystery. I can't find one bit of evidence, nothing, it's unexplained" Stelios replied.
"I think it's us".
"What?" I said with a jump.
"It's us. We, the living life is the cause" Stelios replied.
"What do you mean? How can that be, us?".
"It's us, our anger, our fear in the world is turning the world against us. The world is going to kill us because we are trying to kill ourselves".
Stelios said this with such stern in his voice not one word implied he was joking. I looked at him and saw a look back I had never seen from Stelios before, every part of his face was placid. A part of me wanted to believe he had gone nuts, that what he was saying was just plane crazy. But a part of me believed he was telling the truth, as crazy as he sounded, something wasn't lying in what he was saying.
Other scientists at the lab thought he was a fruit loop, some made fun of Stelios and threw things at him. Once Stelios was actually assaulted, he picked himself up off the floor in the lab to be spat on. Colleagues yelled at Stelios ranting how he could make such ludicrously selfish and small minded claims to such a serious matter to mankind. Stelios didn't have anything left to say, he was on his own. I knew he still stood by what he believed despite his one man war, he was good like that. I also knew I was wrong for not standing up for my friend even if his claims seemed to be insane.
It didn't matter, because after, fate was met. The holes got bigger and bigger and caved the world in until it crumbled into nothing. Science proved Stelios was right, the angry world had killed itself and there was nothing we could do. I had never seen such fear, families screamed, all mankind murdered, buildings exploded into the ground, animals swept into the atmosphere, the holes tore the earth apart. A question to what the end of world would be like, we met it. Stelios was the only one who was right the whole time, but that didn't save him. One man couldn't win against the world and he was killed too, by them. The last image of a frightening, crumbling fear zone ended with a blackout.