I’m flashing again with the Free Fiction Friday Group!
As a gentle reminder (LOL), my contribution to the group will be an ongoing tale set in Australia.
I hope everyone is enjoying the journey with Davie!!!!!!!!
IF YOU LOVE SOMETHING
( IYLS )
David and Jesse are childhood friends who get separated in their teens but meet up again at university in Newcastle, Australia.
They soon find out that though some things remain the same, other change… oh boy, do they change.
“Jeremy? You know Jeremy?” My heart was pounding in double time.
“Intimately, you might say.” She laughed, and even in my shocked state she intimidated me with her confidence. The way she didn’t care that I knew she’d fucked him and was now offering herself to me. Man, she had bigger gonads than most guys I knew!
“When? When did you see him? And where? Is he here tonight?” I peppered her with questions as my eyes now roved the crowd looking for him, my pulse racing at the thought of seeing him again after all these years.
She grabbed my face, pulling it down to hers, making me look at her. Her breath was sickly sweet from the Midori she’d obviously been drinking. “No, gorgeous, he’s not here tonight. He went home today…” I didn’t hear the rest of her words as a crushing wave of disappointment washed through me, deflating me.
Her tongue pushing into my mouth brought me back to the present, and I immediately pulled back.
“Come back to my place and I’ll show you what I showed Jeremy.”
“Another time,” I croaked, suddenly needing to get out of there.
CHAPTER 07: A LITTLE LILLEGARD
Past (David, end of high school road trip)
At the end of the week, unlike the rest of the group, I took a couple of extra days and stopped off at my old hometown of Byron Bay. I sat parked at the end of Jeremy’s street staring through the windscreen at the street sign. Corrigan Street. It was only a stone’s throw from my old street. I snorted. Ever since we’d moved to Speers Point, I’d made it a point to memorize the addresses of every place that was important to me, no matter how foreign or complicated. Never again would I lose someone because I didn’t know their address.
Giving myself a mental shake, I tried to make myself drive on, but it was like an itch I couldn’t help scratching. I couldn’t seem to help myself. I had to see his old house. I wanted to see it more than I wanted to see my own. Actually, the thing I wanted to see the most was his old cubby house, but that was impossible without knocking on the door and asking the current owners. Maybe, it didn’t even exist anymore. Maybe, it was gone. Same as Jeremy was gone.
With one final, longing look, I drove to the main street of Byron, finding a park quite easily. I spent the afternoon visiting all the shops I remembered Jeremy liking. Some had changed hands, but some remained. My gut quivered with nervous excitement the whole time, and my heart pounded so hard it had seemed louder than the sounds of traffic and people going about their business.
It hadn’t worked of course. He hadn’t appeared like magic—it had been ridiculous to even hope he might—the Hammonds had moved years prior. It was only that all my memories of my time in Byron Bay were filled with days spent with Jeremy. For me, he was in every shop, and lurking around every corner.
All I ended up with for my efforts was a huge lump of disappointment clogging my throat which I tried to wash away by going to the beach and drinking beer. And all that got me was a session of chundering against the front tyre of the car before falling asleep on the backseat. Certainly not one of my finer moments.
Past (David, first year of university)
Standing in the doorway to the lecture hall, I scanned the auditorium and picked a seat about half way up. I didn’t want to appear too eager by sitting near the front, but I also didn’t want to seem bored and uninterested by sitting up the back. Truth was, I was eager. I couldn’t wait to learn everything I needed to know in order to become a commercial pilot. I’d already gained my private pilot’s license, but this degree would get me my commercial one.
This was my first time in this particular lecture hall, but as I looked around, I could see it was pretty much the same as the others I’d been in so far. The color scheme was predictably bland and neutral, and as always the lecturer’s podium was down the front, surrounded by slowly ascending rows of seats arranged in a semi-circle with two dividing aisles at approximately a third of the way across and again at the two-third mark.
I made a bee-line for the seat I’d selected, and having parked my butt, I unpacked my notepad and pen. As I shifted awkwardly in my seat, I grimaced—it was no more comfortable than any of the other seats had been in the other halls. Times like this I wish I had a fat arse. Man, what wouldn’t I give for some extra padding.
My gaze was drawn back to the door as more and more students drifted in and took their seats. Smiling to myself, I noted how those that came in groups sat together, but those, like me, who’d come in alone, sat alone; all of us giving each other a few seats grace. That’s right, Sadler, heaven forbid we should encroach on each other’s ‘personal space’.
I was still grinning to myself when he walked in. My jaw dropped open, my stare riveted on him as he paused in the doorway, surveying the hall. His quick scan of the room had his gaze coming to rest on me, and I felt heat creep into my cheeks. Shit, I’d been caught gawping at him. Not cool, Sadler. Definitely not cool.
Lowering my gaze, I scrounged around in my backpack, looking for nothing in particular, but needing some excuse to hide my flaming cheeks. He was good-looking. Man, was he good-looking, with his blond hair swept back from his broad forehead. His lips looked soft—they seemed almost feminine—and were such a contrast against the sharp planes and angles of the rest of his face. His looks weren’t what had me staring like the village idiot, though. No, it was the way he seemed to own the room. Confidence rolled off him in waves.
Don’t look. Don’t look. Don’t look. With my head still buried in my backpack, searching for my sanity, I vaguely registered someone taking the seat next to me. In the three days since I’d begun uni, no one had ever sat beside me. Surprise made me look up to see who’d broken the unspoken leave-at-least-a-seat-space rule. My breath caught in my throat when I looked into a set of amused eyes. In an instant, I noted they were rather beautiful—clear gray, rimmed with a circle of almost black and framed by thick dark lashes—and they bloody sparkled. What guy has fucking sparkling eyes? Jeremy does, came the unbidden thought. Giving myself a little shake, I refocused on the gray eyes that were sizing me up.
“Do you mind if I sit here?” he asked with a slight accent that I couldn’t place. He ended his question with a smile, revealing even white teeth.
All I could do was nod my okay as I continued to stare at him. Fuck! You’re gawping again. Get your shit together, Sadler.
“Hello, I’m Erik Lillegard,” he said, thrusting his hand toward me. As if on autopilot, I placed mine in his, registering the warm slightly roughened feel of his skin against mine.
“David,” I croaked, before clearing my throat and trying again. “David Sadler.”
The lecturer entering the hall saved me from having to make any further conversation. The hour seemed to crawl by, and with each passing minute I became more aware of my neighbor rather than less. I could feel the heat of his body against my left side and every time he shifted his bum on the uncomfortable seats a waft of his cologne would float under my nose. What student wears after-shave? Erik Lillegard apparently. In spite of myself, I found I liked it, inhaling it gratefully every time it drifted by. Maybe I should ask him which one it is, seeing it’s not one that makes me want to sneeze. Periodically, I would feel his gaze on my profile but I kept mine trained on the lecturer as if my life depended on it.
When the lecture came to an end and I was packing up my gear, I wasn’t sure if I was relieved or disappointed. The tension had been just about unbearable, but kind of exciting at the same time. Slowly, I slung my backpack over my shoulder, trying to decide whether to say something to him or not.
“So, Erik…” I started at the same time as he began with “So, David…” We both laughed and I indicated for him to continue.
“So, David, do you have to rush off to a tutorial or another lecture, or do you have time to go for a drink?” he asked, pushing his arms through the shoulder straps of his backpack.
“No, I’m free and clear for the rest of today… Well, until I have to be at work by four, anyway.”
“Excellent. I’m free until two, so come and save me from the library. My body might go into shock if I subject it to any more study so early in the semester.” He reached toward me and for a brief moment I thought he was going to grasp my hand. My breath caught in my throat, my heart thudding erratically, but all he did was tap my arm, motioning me to lead the way out of our row of seats.
Over the next four hours I learned he was from Norway, was doing an exchange and would be studying engineering at Newcastle Uni for a year, that he had a younger brother named Christian, and that he loved soccer. I also discovered he was highly intelligent, with a biting sense of humor, and he could eat like a horse.
We both glanced at our watches at the same time and without either of us saying a word we rose and left the Student Union building together. I walked with him to the hall where his next class would be held, our conversation turning serious. How we went from debating the merits of various English Premier League soccer teams to what our goals were post university kind of escaped me. Regardless, I couldn’t hide my passion for flying as I spoke of my dreams of being pilot.
We reached the entry to the lecture hall and suddenly I felt awkward and self-conscious. Perhaps my enthusiasm sounded stupid. My voice trailed off as I looked at Erik who had his head tilted to the side while he listened to me. He ran his gaze up and down my body making me hyper aware of my baggy jeans and grungy T-shirt.
“Do not be ashamed, David. Passion is good. Dreams are good. When I see something I want, I, too, go for it.” The formality of his language, which spoke of English not being his first language, charmed me.
We said our goodbyes, confirming the time and place to meet up between classes the next day, and as I walked away, I couldn’t help hoping I was something he wanted.
I SO like Erik!!!!
Hope you do too!
I’d loved to hear your thoughts!
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