Chapter One

“Ernest Cole was a good man…” I yawned at the priests droned voice only to feel bad a few seconds later. Yawning at your grandpas funeral is not the most respectful thing, but I could think of a dozen things off the top of my head that would be more disrespectful… jumping on his coffin… insulting him… actually falling asleep… Besides, I had more important places to be and people to see than where and who I was with now. A morose crowd of almost dead people and sobbing relatives is definitely no fun, especially when the man everyone is crying over seemed to be nothing but brisk and hard with you. Not even when he signed birthday cards did he put “with love”. Not with me. Never with me. A wiggled in my hard pew, trying to get the blood supply back into my bum. My hair was sticking to the back of my neck in the heat even though the church doors were fixed wide open to let the cool breeze in. Another reminder of the sort of day I could be having. I could have been down at the pool in my new bikini, or just lying in the grass in the park, or even on the pedal’s, with my best friends and a few other tag alongs, laughing, mucking about, taking photos, but instead I was condemned to the church in an ankle long black dress. I wasn’t even allowed the cute above knee black dress. “For a man who was almost one hundred, he sure does still have a lot of friends succeeding him…even if they do look like they’re about to drop off any minute now.” I thought to myself, standing with everyone else to sing his favourite hymn. The bastard didn’t even like church! Not once did he go during the beginning of my life. Not once did he make on religious reference - at least not to me anyway. Maybe to Ben, but not me. For me it was always “get away from the mirror, Alexis! How many times do I have to tell you?”. I could still see him in that chair which must’ve grown into him to become a stranger life force. I could still smell old beer cans and mouldy fruit. “And if I ever see a marble ever again…” my thoughts growled as I lip-synced along with everyone else. “How are you feeling, sweetie?” mum asked, her hand resting lightly on my shoulder, “Not too upset?” I looked up into her puffy, red-rimmed eyes and lied through my teeth. An in your face lie. Although it was obvious, she accepted it. “I’m feeling upset. I love my grandpa. I think I’m really going to miss him.” She turned and went to reminisce with other members of the funeral party, leaving me standing by myself in the corner. “You dirty little liar!” Ben slapped me hard on the back making me push my shoulders back in pain. I hit out at him, just catching his arm. “It’s alright for you. He actually liked you. Piss off.” Ben’s chocolate brown hair had just been cut. His fringe covered his eyes and the sides were quite long and shaggy. Even before the stylish style he had been quite a heart

throb. Just not to me. To me, he was just my disgusting big brother who had little respect for the female species. “Ooh. Don’t get your panties in a twist. Maybe if you didn’t irritate him with that damn mirror all the time. And maybe if you didn’t go and-” “Right. I’m off. I can’t take this stupid farce. I’ll be back before midnight although mum’ll probably be too sloshed to even realise that I’ve gone.” I squeezed through a small huddle of mourners and then turned to face Ben again, “Don’t know why she’s mourning either. He was never that nice to her.” Without a seconds hesitation, I burst out into the street. “Josh.” I said as soon as the other end of the line was picked up. My phone was hot against my ear. “Lexi!” he sounded shocked, “I thought you were at the funeral all day.” I made a huffing sound. “Being surrounded by a bunch of crying wrinkle bags who are practically lining up to be placed in the morgue is not my idea of fun. Especially if it’s for my grandpa.” He didn’t say anything for a few moments. And I didn’t expect him to. “Well… want to come over then?” I smiled. He always knew the right things to say. “Of course I do!” I heard him stifle a laugh at my put-on high-pitched voice. “Invite anyone else?” “No. Just the two of us. I need some TLC.”

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