“Please!” I begged, trying to grab the hem of Mark’s pants as he strode out of the door. “Don’t leave me alone again!”
“It’s over Rosalyn! We’re over!” He looked down at me, curled up and shaking on the floor “You’re so immature! I should never have moved in with a nineteen year old!”
“..B-But I love you!” I pleaded but he wouldn’t listen, Mark dragged his suitcase out the front door and climbed in his car.
“Grow up!” He shouted, driving away. I fell back, leaning against the stairs in a state.
“Please” I whispered to myself, “No, please.”
I had no job, I had no money and now, I had no boyfriend. What did I have?I knew I wouldn’t have my dignity for long. There had to be some way I could make money In the rotten old town of Vyder, a place that seems to attract drunks, perverts and criminals. There was no corner shop, no shops at all to be honest, just one club that was always looking for an intern. It was on the far side of the small town, with its flickering and dead lights spelling out “Franks.”
The wooden shack of the club looks like it is falling down but is one of the most popular places in the small town. The inside was full of stumbling, drunk men and the air reeked of cigarette smoke that stung your eyes. In the far corner, a stage, with barely any standing room against the back wall. There we’re most likely always dancers swirling and swooping around the stage.
Would I, sweet innocent Rosalyn, really have the guts to dance on that stage?
After a dreadful week of waiting I had heard nothing from Mark; so one uncomfortable conversation with the man on the phone, I had the job at “Franks.”
When I plucked up the courage to walk into the bar in jeans and t-shirt, I was addressed by a sleazy laugh from the man behind the bar.
“Hey darlin’ you’re Rosalyn, right?”
“Call me Rose.”
“Whatever you want, boss has told me that the first thing you need to do is put this on.” He shoved a black corset in my face along with a skimpy pair of pants, stockings and a pair of Killer heels before pushing me towards the ladies bathroom.
I stumbled in, slightly embarrassed when I caught sight of two older women applying makeup and getting changed there. They looked in their early thirties and were both covered in makeup.
“Look at the new girl!” The brunette turned to look at me for a second before applying the rest of her makeup “You better get into that outfit quick, new girl, the show starts in ten.”
“Are you dancers?” I nervously stuttered.
“No, we’re cleaners, of course we’re bloody dancers!” The brunette held out her hand. “I’m Marbs and that’s Charity.”They fiddled with mascara before walking out the door in huge pink heels.
I didn’t hesitate to change into the little outfit. Feeling uncomfortable, i had to adjust it every couple of minutes but it suited ok, not showing off too much. I stared at myself in the mirror. It had been a week and I had already become all the things that I despised.
I entered the main club, it was starting to fill up with sleazy men.
“You’re up!” Shouts the barman from across the room, gesturing to the stage. I shrug my shoulders with a questioning look “Just dance!”
I climb onto the stage but still don’t move from behind the curtain. Marbs and Charity were just finishing their piece and as they walked past me, pushed me towards the stage.
“Break a leg!” they laughed.
I stepped on to the stage, every one of my limbs shaking. It was unbelievably easy to get a job like this. They didn’t even expect you to be a dancer. Just decent looking.
The Music projected throughout the club and my immediate reaction was to begin spinning. I danced about, swinging my head back and trying to look as sexy as possible. Its strange how well an innocent girl can hide her personality so well in a place like this. Common cheers from the audience arose from the tables as I twirled in the skimpy outfit. Shouts came from the audience along with money. A nervous spark travelled through my veins.
“Bravo!” said the guy at the bar, loosening his tie. “You’re next shift is tomorrow night.” Before i could answer he had nudged me out the club door into the chill of the cold air that cut at my skin.I quickly hurried to the bus stop, looking forward to getting into the door of the house that wouldn’t be my home for much longer, and that’s when I met him.
Without looking I bashed into his broad shoulder, causing me to stumble backwards. I stayed on my heels, surprisingly and looked up to get a glimpse of the guy. He had black hair that flowed just below his ears and toppled over his forehead. His black shirt and Jeans were without a crease and his army boots stayed without a scratch. He took a drag from the cigarette resting in his hand. he must of been about nineteen, My age.
“Sorry.” I mumbled, smiling at the floor. He looked me up and down, his eyes widening a little when he saw my outfit.
“Now why would a pretty girl like you work in there?” He leant back against the stone wall, blowing smoke from his mouth.
“How do you know I work there? I might just be…out.” I snapped
“Please sunshine, you’re wearing lingerie and you’re coming out of the strip club, isn’t it kind of obvious?”
“I’m Rosalyn by the way but.. people tend to call me Rose.”
“I just met you less than two minutes ago and you’re already telling me your name? I must make a good impression. I’m Jake”
“So if you’re moaning about me coming out of the club, then why are you going in?” I raised my eyebrows.
“Hmm…I’m having second thoughts about it now I’ve missed the main show.” With a wink, he turned to walk away.
“W-wait” I stuttered. “D-do you come here often?” A laugh escaped my lips as realised how stupid I had just been.
“How stereotypical of you.” He chuckled, “and the answer’s yes.” He began to walk back over to me until he was so close my back was against the brick wall. Out of the blue, his lips softly pressed against mine. It didn’t last long, a couple of seconds maybe, but in those seconds, sparks ran through my body.
“I’ll see you around.” He told me before walking away. I took a deep breath.
I climbed into the bed, the other side empty. I lay there thinking about absolutely nothing but the white wall I was staring at.
I woke up to the bleeping sound of my mobile. I read the text with one eye open but both quickly widened when I saw who it was from.
Hey sunshine, I thought you might be needing my number. I want to see you. Coffee?
How did he get my number? I didn’t remember giving it to him. I pressed the keys, writing a reply.
how did you get my number?
The mobile beeped almost instantly after.
I’ll tell you over coffee ;D
ok sounds good, where and when?
one o’clock at starbucks, see you there sunshine.
I looked around the dark bedroom, debating with myself whether or not to go. He seemed charming, he was handsome and he didn’t seem like a stuck up idiot because he didn’t invite me back to his apartment there and then, but isn’t it a bit dangerous to meet up with strangers, that’s what he was, a stranger. Without thinking properly, i pulled on a pair of black skinny jeans and an oversized grey hoodie. I quickly tied the laces of my boots and grabbed my hand bag before leaving the house for Starbucks.
Apprehensive and edgy, I walked into the coffee shop to find Jake with his back leant against the wall and his ankles crossed.
“Hello there.” He articulated confidently, sitting down at the little circular table on the far side of the room. “I’m thinking a coffee or maybe a hot chocolate. what d’ya think sunshine?”
“How did you get my number? And stop calling me sunshine.”
“The bar gave it me.” He explained with a wink, “and whatever you say…sunshine.” A laugh escaped my lips as he got up to order our coffees. In less than two minutes he had brought our drinks over.
“So, sunshine, will you tell me why you work in that crap little bar now?” He pleaded with a smile.
“My idiot boy…I mean…..ex boyfriend just walked out of our apartment calling me immature. I understand what he means, he was thirty and I’m only nineteen but-”
“Wait, you had an apartment with a twenty five year old and you’re only nineteen?”
I nodded and continued, ignoring his laugh.
“Yeah so I waited for him to return, he usually comes back and then we’re fine but he didn’t come back and now I’m stuck in a crappy apartment that I can’t pay the rent for, and am gonna get kicked out of in the next month or so. I’m a homeless idiot who works in a strip club and I’m immature and gullible to fall for a too perfect guy that left me.” A lone tear fell down my face but I quickly wiped it away before he could see.
He leaned back in his chair and smirked.
“Whats so funny?” I snapped at him.
“Erm..nothing..it’s just that I was thinking, sunshine, if you’re looking for a place to stay, there’s always…my apartment”
I laughed before realising he was totally and utterly serious.
“A-are you sure about that? I mean I only met you yesterday, aren’t you worried that I’m a psycho killer who will kill you when you sleep?” I laughed questionably.
“Shouldn’t you be more worried about me being that psycho killer?”
“You’re starting to get me worried…” I teased.
“I can promise you that I’m no murderer.”
“Well then why are you offering me a room?”
“Any chance I could just be a genuinely nice guy?”
“There is always a catch” I told Jake.
“Hmm…well I think you’re kind of hot, that might be the catch.”
“We’ll see…” I whispered so only he could hear.
He leaned across the table and brushed my cheek with his lips.
“So where’s our apartment?”
A horn sounded outside and I quickly pulled on my converse, straightened my plain black tank top and pushed my hands into my pockets before running out the door. I looked up to find a dazzling Jake waiting in his car. I hopped into the passenger seat, throwing my suitcase in the backseat and as I turned back to the front, his lips met mine.
“You confuse me.” I told him after we pulled away.
“And why is that?” He asked.
“If you like me then ask me out, but kissing me and not saying anything gets confusing.” I explained.
“But that’s so stereotypical, sunshine.”
“Just say it!” I pleaded.
“But it will make things awkward!” He exclaimed.
“I promise it won’t.” I reassured him.
“Fine.” He tried to act annoyed but chuckled lightly; “Will you be my girlfriend, sunshine?”
“Do you even know my real name?” I asked.
“Is that a yes?”
“Yes!” I said before crushing my lips to his.
“Dinner is served.” Jake called from the kitchen. It had been a couple of hours since I arrived and we had failed miserably at making dinner so the food that was being served happened to be McDonalds. I sat down at the dinner table and opened my wrapper and took a bite of my cheese burger. After dinner I suggested we watch a movie.
“There’s some dvds over there. Go pick one, sunshine.” He winked at me as I walked over and picked out something scary so that I would have an excuse to cuddle into him. I pulled out the women in black and slid it into the player before pushing back on to the couch and lying across Jake’s lap.
I must have fallen to sleep because when I opened my eyes the end credits were scrolling off the page to a haunting tune. A yawn signalled to Jake that I was tired and he led me into a bedroom where he fell back onto the bed and patted the space next to him.
With a giggle, I climbed on to the white sheets next to him and rested my head on his hot chest.
“This is weird.” I stated out of the blue.
“Why?” He questioned.
“I only met you last weekend.”
“Well, you know what they say, sunshine, love at first sight.”
I looked up to him with one eyebrow raised and burst into a fit of giggles as did he.
When I woke, I smacked my eyelashes against each other to stop the blur of the morning to stick. When I could see straight, I looked to my left to find Jake’s tanned body tangled in sheets, still fast asleep.
“Morning sunshine.” He whispered, waking when he noticed my presence.
“Morning” I laughed, leaning over and kissing him. I intended a quick embrace but he pulled me close for more than a minute and we lay there for a while. I was still in his warm hands when my message tone went off. There were two messages.
I need you to come into work tonight because were short on dancers
I feel bad for leaving so, I’ll probably see you on Friday xx
“What? What’s wrong?” Asked Jake, noticing my hurt and worried facial expression.
“Tell me Rose.” His voice was strong but a hint of worry showed.
“It’s-it’s Mark” I shoved the phone towards him and he read the awful text.
“So..so are you going back to him?” Now his tone was full of worry and no other emotion.
“I don’t want to but…god knows what he’ll do if I don’t.”
“Hey.” He cupped my cheek and stared at me, his face curious and unsure. “You do not have to go, I promise you I won’t let him do anything, your staying here with me.”
With a nod, I climbed up off the bed and started to walk out of the bedroom.
“Where are you going now sunshine?” He winked.
“I feel like getting drunk..”
I leant back my head, the sensation of the burning vodka blistering my throat and setting fire to my insides. The pain was indescribable but the drowsy feeling in my mind erased the worries that were stuck there, at least for the few hours that I had the alcohol in my system.
“I love you.” I whispered, the stench of the drink overtaking my breath.
“I love you too, sunshine.” I was surprised he still remembered the little nickname after all the booze he’d drank. If anyone knew about the causes of alcoholism it would be me. I had suffered the wrath of drunk Mark enough of the time. He was violent and horrible with just a drop of drink whether it was beer, whiskey or the stuff he would store in the blue bottles and never tell me the name off. I climbed onto the couch next to Jake.
“Don’t let him get me.” I begged “I want to stay with you, forever.”
“I won’t, I promise.” His words were true and painful.
“Jake, can you drive me to work?”
“As long as you don’t mind me being wasted, babe.”
“I actually don’t care, really.” I said kissing his cheek and walking out the door, knowing he was following. “I just need to get there.”
When I arrived at the rotten place they call a club, I quickly hugged Jake goodbye and watched as he swerved down the road, hitting the curb a couple of times.The club was as always, full of sleazy and dirty minded men. I fixed myself up in the mirror with the basic makeup and climbed into my corset.
When the Boss gave me the cue to go on, I started my routine and spun round the pole. kicking my stocking covered boots in the air. When I stopped just before my finishing move, someone in the audience caught my eye.
His carefree and messy light brown hair.His deep eyes that pull you in and then throw you away.It was him.What the hell was he doing in a strip club?Correction.What the hell was Mark doing in the strip club that I worked in?
But I already knew the answer.He had come to get me.
After my finishing pose, I plunged off the stage, eager to get out without his approach. My plan didn’t work in the slightest as he stood in the way of the changing rooms, smirking.
“Well what do we have here sweetheart? I’m gone a month and you turn into a stripper?”
“You left me, it’s a small town, there’s not exactly a shop I can go and apply for now is there, besides, it’s good pay.” I tried to keep myself from being manipulated by him but I could feel myself slipping.
“Well I’m back now.” Mark took a step forward and the stench of alcohol, smoke and just plain unclean coming from his mouth was unbelievable.
“Maybe I don’t want you back.” It took all my strength to keep my voice from wavering. A laugh rolled from the end of his tongue, a laugh that you only see villains in movies use.
“Honey, where else would you go? You can’t help but rely on someone darling.” He mocked
“Maybe I have someone new.” I teased.
“Likely.” Mark laughed before a cry of pain arose from his lips. Holding the back of his neck, his eyes were squinted and he showed full pain on his face.
A cigarette burn, and because my world happens to be a total cliché fairy tale.Jake happened to be the one standing there holding the cigarette.
I took his hand and began to walk out the main doors without getting changed and into his car, but before I could get there, Mark grabbed my waist.
“Get off me!” I screamed, pushing myself away. Jake took me in his arms and put me safely in the passenger seat but still….I had a feeling this wouldn’t be the last of Mark.Would it ever?
Calming my breath, I looked over to Jake. His face was drained of emotion and he kept his eyes on the road.
“Thank you.” My voice cracked and a single tear fled its way to the bottom of my cheek. Jake leaned over, slowly wiping away the tear.
“No problem sunshine.” The smile on his face was made fully of sadness because we knew that we wouldn’t be together that much longer, we knew something would separate us. Closing my eyes, I leant my head back on the head rest and before I knew it, we were home. I kept my eyes closed and Jake thought I was asleep, he lifted me in his arms and carried me indoors into the bedroom and on to the bed. I felt his presence leave the room for a second and then a warm body climbed in next to me.
“I love you.” I whispered in his ear.
“I love you too.” His tone was truthful and accurate like a child’s voice. I yawned, and, curling under his arm, fell asleep.
A fraction of light crept through the gap in the curtains and portrayed a shadow across me and Jake who lay on the bed in silence. Jake murmured in his sleep, not wanting to wake him, I held my breath until he stopped. It was five in the morning and no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t get to sleep.
I decided to pull myself from Jake’s grip and go and get a glass of water from the bathroom. Holding the sink for support I looked into the mirror. I had smudged mascara under my eyes and my eyeliner had run as well, but I couldn’t be bothered to clear it now. Over the past few weeks I hadn’t noticed how dead I looked, but now it was all clear. My face had drained white and my lips were a very pale shade of pink. My eyes had black circles around them and without the smudged makeup I would look like a dying hospital patient in one of Jake’s white shirts. Sharp piercing winds stabbed through the open window as I twisted the handle of the tap. First I splashed the icy water up my arms and over my face to cool myself off, makeup unmoving, I grabbed a glass off the side and swelled the water round the edges before popping a headache pill on my tongue and washing it down with the water. I focused my eyes on the floor for a second, catching my concentration before looking back up and to my utter surprise, though I knew it was coming, someone was standing in the reflection.
My heart began to beat faster than I could handle. This is the type of thing that happened in scary movies, only, the innocent young girl usually survives, left with just a few scars, but I had a feeling that I wouldn’t get out without one thing, death. I clenched my fists so hard than my chewed nails dug into the pale skin on my palms.
“N-No” i mumbled to myself “N-No!”
A chuckle arose from the intruder’s lips that intimidated me gravely.
“Yes.” It came out as barely a whisper before he grabbed my throat aggressively and smashed my head against the tiled wall.
“M-Mark.” I coughed, losing consciousness. Everything was blurry and I struggled to breath.I had never been afraid of dying, But this was murder.
“Where is he now, hey? What’s his name again? Joe, John, Jake. Yes that’s it…Jake.” He mocked as I choked.
My body went limp in Mark’s arms and I began to give up. There was no way I was going to survive this. Mark’s strong muscly arms kept me from running and I knew this was probably time to just let go.
“Get off her, NOW!” Jake was in the doorway and soon at my side, prying me from Marks grip. He held my cheek for a fraction of a second, staring into my eyes, before punching Mark straight in the temple. Mark held his blood struck head, an angry expression imprinted on his face. He returned the punch to Jake which sent him flying straight across the room.
“Jake!” I wailed. “Are you ok?”
Without answering me, he got up, pulled his sleeve up and punched Mark in the head before grabbing my wrist and pulling me through the hallway into the bedroom. He turned the lock on the door and turned to me.
I climbed onto the bed and studied him as he searched through the chest of drawers. He was wearing a baggy t-shirt and sweatpants and his almost black hair lay just below his ears. His tanned skin lay under the shadow of the moonlight which the window behind him displayed. I brought my knees up to my chest and watched him pull out a small yet sharp knife from the clothes draw.
He held it in front of him as the wooden door finally broke down and Mark appeared in the room holding a sleek black handgun. I had been expecting him to point it straight at my head, but instead, the gun directed to Jake.
Everyone in the room kept their mouths shut, even Mark, as the short ride of the silver bullet ended and it shot into chest, right where his heart was positioned. A gasp left my lips. He was surely going to die and I knew that I could not live without him. Mark’s eyes scanned the room, until finally they landed on me.
“We’re going home.” The bluntness in his voice made me rise in anger.
“I’m not going anywhere with you.” I spat, my sudden burst of confidence made him flinch. Dropping the gun, Mark began to stride over to me and, grabbing my wrist, started to drag me to the door. My fingertips wrapped around the door frame and I pulled myself out of his grip. Dropping quickly to the ground and retrieving the handgun.
“Whoa there darling.” He laughed as I raised the weapon so that it was pointing at his head. “You know you would never shoot me, you don’t have the guts, you’re just an innocent little girl who couldn’t and wouldn’t hurt a fly.”
The anger in me was boiling over as I placed my shaking index finger over the trigger. I could see his face turn to a worried and unsure expression for less than a second before it changed back to the sly smile.
Without thinking my finger pressed down on the trigger, shooting a bullet from the gun straight into Mark’s forehead. He fell to the floor and I predicted him dead. I immediately knelt next to Jake who was lying on the ground, his hand clutched to his heart, eyes drowsy and only slightly open.
“Jake?!” I cried.Only a painful moan came from his lips.
“Jake!? Jake listen to me!? Can you here me!?”
His grey eyes momentarily looked up to me and a smile grew on his face before he blacked out all together. Tears began to flood from my eyes, taking in his last scent. His clothes smelt of smoke and aftershave.
I had no control over my brain when I got up from the floor and walked slowly, concentrating on my steps, to the bathroom, locked the door and opened the medicine cabinet.
First I emptied the tablets in the palm of my hand and without hesitation, swallowed them in one. Then I repeated until I had emptied a few tubs of tablets out of the medicine cabinet and was beginning to feel sleepy. Stumbling gracelessly I fell into the bedroom, feeling the cold floorboards rub against my cheek. The air around me blurred like a fuzzy camera. I could feel myself slipping away as I rolled over into Jake’s arms and slowly but surely felt myself dying.