7. Have a Little Fresh Air

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Side picture is of Hope and her outfit :) song links to this chapter, interpret it as you will :P Please do comment and let me know what you think :) Phoebe xoxo

I never thought I’d say this, but there is one thing I miss about school, actually doing something. For the past few weeks, I have been a recluse in my grandparent’s home with only the occasional visit out. During my time spent in their house, I have counted how many flowers are painted on my Nan’s front living room wall, forty three if you wanted to know, along with the tiles on the kitchen floor, one hundred and thirty six, so I finally just had to drag myself out of the house this morning, which is why I am currently lying on the beach with my headphones plugged in and letting the sun tan my pale skin. And seeing as it’s unlikely I’ll be going on that holiday I was meant to go on with my dad, this is probably the only sun I’m going to be getting this summer.

People watching on the beach is pretty thrilling, actually, until you think a little more and look a little more closely and see how many people are actually happy. I know I don’t look happy, here I am, dressed in denim shorts and a grubby grey hoodie with my hair loosely tousled into a French plait with no makeup on.

I look like the epitome of grief. The grim reaper would sweep me up in one sharp movement. I didn’t think I’d still be feeling this low considering it’s been over three weeks now, but I still feel mournful.

Humming along to a perky tune playing on my ipod, as I refuse to listen to sad songs which will only make my mood worse, I’m interrupted by tapping on my shoulder. Spooked, I jump up and turn around angrily to scold the perpetrator, only to see a very smiley Cole and his family.

‘I thought it was you, Hope,’ he beams, before sitting beside me in cut off beige shorts and a loose white t-shirt with navy blue TOMS adorning his feet.

An overwhelming sense of relief hits me. He’s here. Cole is here talking to me. My heart speeds up. I’ve wanted to call him these past couple of days, but never could pluck up the courage or reason to other than just because I wanted to.

 ‘What cha listening to?’ He asks, not bothering to ask me how I am, which I’m grateful for. He needn’t ask either seeing as I don’t look my best. After seeing Florence, I kind of fell into a low ebb, wondering whether their assurances were real or if they were just politeness. I prayed for the former and maybe that has worked.

‘Feel the Love,’ I admit sheepishly.

Before Cole sat down, I was actually thinking of choreography to combine with the music. Dancing has always been a big part of my life; my dad’s was gardening, but mine seems to have fallen into dancing. I don’t dance in front of anyone or go to any groups, I’ve never had the confidence too, but I always made routines and choreography up in my room, though I’ve not done anything like that for a while now. It feels wrong to be indulging in my pleasure for some reason.

‘Popular groupie,’ he teases with a nudge. I raise my eyebrow at him and he smiles. ‘Are things going okay? I’ve not heard from you in two days.’

A little thrill runs up my back knowing that he’s aware of how long it’s been since we’ve spoken, and that was just after I called him about Florence.

‘I’ve been better,’ I shrug, hoping he understands. ‘How are you?’

‘Well, this is my first proper time out today actually, which is why my family are with me.’ He points to a group of three standing in the close distance. ‘We’re going to get a bite to eat; I’m thinking some fish and chips or something like that, if you wanted to join us?’

‘Oh no, it’s a family thing,’ I tell him instantly, the word family immediately stinging me.

‘There’s always room for a small one,’ he teases and stretches his hand out to me. ‘And I know the best place for fish and chips.’ At that moment, my stomach grumbles quietly, signalling that I really do need to have something to eat.

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