A seventeen year old girl named Laura was having the time of her life. She had been with her love Andy for the past four years and she was desperate to know when he was going to ask that life changing question.
One night whilst Laura and her sole mate were at a popular night club, ‘The Jump’ Laura realised how lucky she was to have such a lovely boyfriend and felt her life couldn’t get any better. The music pumped and pounded, the lights flashed and flickered as Laura and Andy danced the night away. Laura’s beautiful brown hair shone with the lights as she jumped up and down with the beat with the surrounding teenagers. Laura was having an awesome time and everything around her didn’t seem to matter until she smelt smoke which suddenly alarmed her. She immediately turned around to find her beloved boyfriend clasping a cigarette between two fingers. At an instant Laura thought of the worst and began to panic.
“Andy, don’t tell me that’s a ‘fag’ your holding!” Laura shouted shaking her head in disgust.
“Who do you think I am, a 5 year old that can’t do his shoelaces up? I can make my own decisions now Laura why can’t you just relax a bit!” Andy explained, as his frustration emptied out on Laura.
As Andy finished bellowing at Laura, she became even more determined to prove a point to Andy as her fists clenched and her teeth grinded she grabbed the cigarette and clasped it in her fist. Laura was so uptight about Andy not caring how she felt, she acted quickly and doing so didn’t think how the cigarette burned into her sweaty palms.
“Arghhh!” she cried in pain as she waved her hand about trying to cool her burn down as fast as possible.
“Look what you’ve done” she exclaimed pointing at her red throbbing palm.
“Sort yourself out, ok look, I can’t be here whilst you’re talking to me like I’m some kind of kid, who do you think you are, my mother” as he said this his backed turned on Laura as he disappeared into the crowds shaking his head.
As Laura watched his figure fade into the many surrounding bodies a tear ran slightly down her red blossomed cheek.
People began to stare at Laura as she wiped her face which was now smeared with the block of mascara she piled on before coming out. She looked at the ground and began to dance a little in embarrassment. As her heart began to beat through her ears, the music sounded quieter as if she was in a world of her own and all the giggling and staring around her seemed like people didn’t care about the disco anymore and wanted to look at the miserable tart in the middle of the dance floor.
“Look at her, poor ‘slag'” Laura heard people whisper, but she knew that they meant for her to hear it. The sounds echoed in her mind as her tears began to flow down her face more rapidly, her dancing suddenly began to droop as her shoulders collapsed and her feet felt like chains were attached to them and she couldn’t move anywhere. Everywhere she turned people where staring, as it seemed like she was in a box with alien eyes staring at her with a lock on it which she new there was no key to. She began walking through the many crowds of people that seemed to her like aliens and they looked at her up and down like she was some kind of animal.
Every step she took seemed like a mile, as her silent tears turned in to crying as she screwed up her face she now began to run, trying to escape what seemed like a never ending maze with no way out. As she sees the door in the distance she begins to run faster her legs now seeming like they are on a treadmill and her body seems to go through the same people over and over again. Her heart sinks as she sees a group of girls that once were close to her in high school. She looks the other way but keeps turning to make sure they don’t see her like this puddle of shame.
“Laura! Laura is that you?” one of the girls shouted, as they saw Laura rushing through the herds of people. “Laura!” they exclaimed again in a more confused way, wondering why Laura was not answering them. Laura heard these immediate calls but did not stop in her paces as she knew if she did she would not even be able to say hello, as there was such a big lump in her throat from anxiety about upsetting Andy. She hadn’t ever had an argument with Andy as they were a loving couple who had so much in common it seemed like they were perfect for each other. As Laura finally reached the door she began to slow down as she knew there was a busy road just outside and didn’t want to rush out. She began walking past the bouncers who also stared at her like she was some abnormal freak show.
As she went to take a step outside which felt like a gasp of freedom there was a tap on her shoulder. Her ears pricked up and a deep breath of anxiety invaded her lungs.
“Laura you alright mate, long time no sees…oh, what’s the matter? You’ve got mascara all over your face you silly cow” , one of the high school mates asked changing the tone and meaning of her question as she saw Laura in the state she in.
“Nothing! Nothing alright, why would you care anyway!” Laura exclaimed in a rushed nasty blur as every time her mouth opened she cried as well. “Just leave me ok!” Laura shouted in a mean way forgetting that her friend was only trying to help. Laura turned and slowly stepped out of the door she looked up and saw the rain pouring down on top of her. “You’ve changed!” the girl shouted from inside the hall! Laura took several deep breaths in and out as every time she breathed out anxiety was released in heavy floods of tears which resembled the weather around her. She started walking slowly, down the dark street kicking the wet puddles beneath her. She started regretting being so miss understanding to Andy and felt like she was some uptight annoying girl who needed to start living a little. She also was kicking herself inside for being so ‘bitchy’ to her old friend and knew that she had made such a fool out of herself. The street lamps were on as she slowly struggled by. Rain bounced on the pavements. Rain, endless rain. Doubt, endless doubt.
Then suddenly she stayed still, and listened. Immediately she turned and looked down the alley. Fir some reason Andy seemed close as her heart beat rapidly, as the rain began to poor and the mascara now dripping from her face, it masked her ever flowing flood of tears.
“Andy, Andy baby!” a light seemed to be growing in the distance and seconds later, heard the sounds of footsteps coming up the alley. She saw a figure, large built but quite small. Head and shoulders first, walking steadily, there shadow, cast the light behind them reaching out towards Laura, lengthening as they reached the summit. He was nothing, nothing she recognized. A dark figure haloed in light. She waited, and couldn’t speak.
“Do you know him?” he asked, pointing up the moonlit alley.
Laura stood for a second as she made out a figure lying on the ground wit drops of rain reflecting of them. She squinted and for a second and realised who it maybe. She ran like she had never ran before as she came to terms with Andy lying in the middle of the alley all cut and unconscious like, in a puddle of his own red blood.
“Andy, it’s me Laura!” she exclaimed, as she knelt behind him. He didn’t reply. There was the heart beat again rushing through her ears. She backed away from him tears springing to her eyes. She turned to the man behind her which in all the rush she didn’t know was actually a cop on duty.
Now, the cop by her side leaning over Andy drenched in his blood, the cop put his arm around Laura saying “he’s dead”. Silence flooded the area, even sounds of cars disappeared, just the heart beat stayed in contact with her. ‘bub bum, bub bum’ pounding through her ears. She stood up in the rain and said nothing, looking at her dead partner on the pavement and looked at the purple jacket screwed up and drenched in water and his diluted blood.
The cop picked up the jacket and turned it over in his hands,
“A Royal, huh” he asked as Laura looked at the cop and very quietly in a murmured voice,
“His name is Andy”.
The cop flung the jacket over his arm and took out his notebook and flipped it over to a blank page.
“A Royal” he said.
Then he began writing. Laura bit her lip and didn’t now what to do or what to say. She felt sorrow rush through her body that was filled with an emptiness that made her have no feelings. She could not cry anymore, the shock was so overpowering. Then she looked across at the cop. In his tight pressed trousers there was a gun half out of his pouch wanting to be clasped as the handle was facing up. Laura did not say or move. She stared at it as the cop carried on talking and writing, talking and writing. What he said she heard blurred as her focus was on the gun. The cop looked up at her as he repeated a sentence over and over but Laura still focusing did not reply. She immediately acted on her instinct and grabbed the gun from the tight pouch and…