'I'm going to be sick- oh God-' my body instinctively doubled over as the sensation to retch scrabbled up my throat. Instead, an uncontrollable sob escaped me, as loud as Taylor's yells.

I stared down at the soft snow, like a freshly made pillow beneath me, beckoning my collapse. I was so cold. Everything had torn inside. Sobs kept wrenching out of me as my shoulders and chest convulsed.

'No- you have to get out of here-somewhere warm-somewhere-someone-normal-'

Everything else was a blur, I could sense my body blindly stumbling away out of the park yet could only watch my limbs drag me somewhere. The tears no longer stung my skin so much, dripping off my chin onto my coat collar as I stared down at my wellington boots. My chest heaved in time with the left, right of my feet, with each breath slowly growing steadier and with more paces in between.

Thick snow grew to resemble pavements covered in a brown sludge. How many streets I wandered down drifted from my mind. I sucked in another breath, feeling the cold air bite at me again. A glove had slipped into my pocket and pulled out my phone, fingers typing into the keys. The piercing ringtone clattered in my ears before a gruff voice answered, "Yeah, who is it?"

It took me a moment to realise who I'd phoned, and his annoyance made me falter. But I needed him, more than anything. "Dan- I know everything's messed up but I just-I need someone, I'm sorry..."

"Lily? Is that you? Uh, right. What-what's going on?"

"Are you in?"

"Yeah. See now isn't a great time," he paused, and I felt the seconds slip, desperation welling up inside of me. "Actually, screw that, I'm free Lil'. Where are you- do you need picking up?"

"No, no, I'm almost at yours. I just wanted to make sure me turning up wasn't a complete surprise," a whispered attempt at a laugh sounded, and a growl of chuckle entered my ear in response.

"Right. Well I'll see you."


Dan hung up immediately after the word had left my lips, and I lowered the phone. His acceptance, the use of my nickname felt so reassuring, so normal, like everything was going to be okay. No longer feeling so drained, I quickened my pace down the quiet streets. A solitary car passed, pulling out of Dan's road just as I reached it.

Soon enough I was at the familiar porch, the scattered sports equipment and array of shoes the epitome of Dan and his family. Just seconds after I pressed the buzzer, the front door opened. He was only a white t-shirt and jeans, as if it was June rather than snowy December. God, I wished things could go back to then.

The instant that the outside door was unlocked I stumbled in, foot caught upon a stray rugby boot. My arms latched onto Dan's torso, feeling the ridges of his chest, muscular and masculine.


His words were swallowed by my lips. All the broken pieces inside of me surged into a forceful pressure as I let myself be enveloped by him. The Hugo Boss cologne I hadn't smelt in weeks washed over me, as refreshing as childhood washing powder, the warmth of his skin seeping into my own chilled features.

"Holy shit Lily," Dan muttered as he broke away to snatch a breath, hands trailing down my coat and fumbling with the buttons. "Are you like bipolar or something? For weeks you've acted like you completely hate me, then now you're kissing me like that- like the way you did before summer."

A little voice in my head remarked that what he had said was demeaning to those who actually had bipolar disorder. I swallowed, pushing it away.

"I-I'm sorry for everything. I've missed you so much, I need you Dan-" as I spoke, my feet were dragged into the hallway as he moved back, tugging me forward by my coat.

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