Chapter 21 I Hear You Knocking

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"What do you mean she's moved on?" I couldn't believe it, sure I hadn't spoken to her for 12 days now, but who had she met in that time? I hadn't seen her out anywhere. Just my luck the one event I never went to, she was at.

"Spill it Ren. I'm not in the mood." If any of those pricks had made a move on her.

"Well, what did you expect to happen? Honestly, that she'd lock herself away forever pining after you? Dating is different in the states Parker. Haven't you even watched sex in the city reruns? It's not an exclusive thing. Who knows who else our little Yankee has been doodling?"

Crap. I hadn't thought of that. Maybe our date didn't mean as much to her as it did to me? Since when did I worry about shit like this? "And what do you mean about leaving before your birthday? That's only a couple weeks away?"

"Well apparently you're not the only one bitten by the travel bug. Our Jay bird has flight plans all of her own." She said.

"Why do you always have to talk in bloody riddles Ren?"

"Humph, I don't have to talk to you at all. Especially if it's all too complicated for you. I never had you pegged as an idiot Parker. You were supposed to be one of the clever ones."

She hung up on me.


I stewed at work all the next day. Ren was way too much drama unlike Jay, who had only ever been straight and open with me, no matter what the cost. Work was dragging longer than usual and I couldn't concentrate. I just could not stop thinking about her. It was like a sickness, I felt ill.

"If he comes looking, tell Durov I've gone home sick." I called out. Screw the consequences, for the first time in what seemed like forever, I cut work early, jumped on my bike and just rode hard.

I sat in my thinking spot and stared out into space. I wasn't sure how much time had passed when Taylor finally caught up with me.

"How did you find me?" I bit out.

"You forget how well I know you Parker. You may have that whole dark mysterious vibe going on with the ladies, but you're no mystery to me man."

"I haven't been out here for years." I said.

"No, because you've been too busy working to breathe, let alone dream."

"Is that what I'm doing? Dreaming?" I was sat out under the bridge that took traffic on and off the island. I used to come here as a kid when I planned my escape, I would dream about the day I would cross this bridge and never come back.

"Don't expect any sympathy from me fella. You need to sort yourself out. Jay makes you happy, well, as happy as I've ever seen you. Freezing her out is a dick move."

"She needs to concentrate on her future without me in the way." I said.

"What if you're part of her future?"

"Her dad is not going to go for that Taylor. You know that. You're more his speed."

"Sorry bro but the doctor's just not my type and what does Jay think about all of this?"

"I don't know. I'm not sure she even knows. The only thing I do know is that I'm 20 years old, working crappy jobs, sleeping on a friend's sofa, riding around on a push bike, my travel plans are all I've got."

"You need to ask yourself a different question. Not what are you travelling away from, but what are you travelling towards? If Jay is not part of any kind of future that pops into your head, so be it. But I reckon she is."

He was right, although I didn't tell him that. Jay was on my mind twenty-four seven and the thought of not ever seeing her again cut me up. My mum would of kicked my arse. I knew she wouldn't want me to have any regrets. She would have got straight to the good stuff and told me to stop mucking about.

I decided to go see Jay before I bottled it.

She wasn't at the caravan though, but by now I was so pumped I went up to the main house and knocked on the door.

"Sorry were you waiting long? I didn't hear a car pull up?" Isabella Garforth arched one of her perfectly manicured eyebrows and looked at me with derision.

"I'm here to see Jay, is she in?"

Isabella checked over her shoulder and then stepped closer to me, "and why would you want to see Little Miss mouse?" She flipped her hair like a much younger girl and closed the gap between us even further.

It was clear this was a woman who obviously thought a lot about her appearance. She was polished, toned and very expensive. Yet there was nothing attractive about her. She was brittle, bitchy and definitely unbalanced. I didn't have a clue what she was going to do or say next. I didn't wanna deal with her, but had no choice. "Is she home?" I asked again.

"It's just me and Charlie I'm afraid. If you come back in an hour..."

"Will she be back by then?"

"Oh no, I'll be home all alone then," she looked at me suggestively.

"I just really need see Jay." I persisted

"She's gone to make up with her dad. She will always go back to her Father and do as she's told. It's pathetic really, but understandable. She's not all there you know." I looked confused so she continued, "I don't suppose she told you all of her issues, our Jay has certain limitations."

She was beginning to piss me off now, "I blame the parents. You can't choose your family or step family for that matter."

"Oh, I'm not really her stepmother. We're not that different in age, no, more like sisters really." She was now rubbing her breasts against my chest.

"So does that make the good doctor your dad as well then?"

Isabella narrowed her eyes and finally took a step back. I didn't give her a chance to respond, "just tell Jay I came to see her." I walked back up the drive. All the money in the world wouldn't give that woman any class.


I'd spoken to my dad's PA and managed to secure a lunch in his diary. Although I knew he was impressed I'd navigated the London Underground and orchestrated the meeting all by myself, he still didn't give my travel plans the green light.

I nearly had him when I'd focused on the number of students who took gap years and how standard the whole thing was, yet he kept insisting it wasn't safe for me to travel alone as a single 18-year-old girl. He kinda had me there. I was still determined though and all the way back on the train I looked up organised overseas voluntary programs and youth groups. It wasn't exactly what I wanted, but it was a step closer than nothing.

When I got back, Isabella was more of an asshole than usual. At first I put it down to jealousy of my time with dad, but then Charlie let the cat out of the bag and told me Parker had called by to see me.

She wouldn't tell me anything. I didn't care.

The very fact that he had knocked on the front door said enough. He wanted to see me and had braved Isabella to do so. What would I brave for him?

Still enjoying the story? Next chapter's a longer one, its about time they got their act together, they are going to need to with the drama ahead...

Thank you to Tez Goodyer for the picture:

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