There are certain situations I never imagined I would find myself in. Stranded in the middle of the Thames with one of my best friends? Yes, I almost certainly knew something like that would happen. Tripping up when finally getting back on land and making a fool of myself? Of course! It would be weird if that didn't happen.
hearing my heart crack and crumble into a tiny million pieces as I watch
the guy I love stand in front of me side by side with a girl who has
made these last few months a living hell? No. I could never see this
coming. This, to me, is a foreign feeling.
After all, I'm the
girl whose essay answer back in Year 11 to 'How do you think Miss
Havisham dealt with the heartbreak in Great Expectations? How would you
have reacted in this situation?' started with 'I'd kick his head in
before he broke my heart!'
I feel prickling tears try to
break away from my eyes, but I refuse to let them, because despite the
fact that I'd completely let my guard down around Jamie, there is no way
I would do so when he's so close to Kate.
"What brings you this way, Jamie?" Tia asks, crossing her arms and glancing once at Kate. "You don't live near here,"
"I was going to call you but Kate thinks it's best I do this in person," he turns to look at me. "Can we talk?"
"I think I said everything I needed to say to you at the restaurant. And plus, I have a really busy afternoon planned,"
"Ella, I've found you in the middle of the Thames. What exactly had
you planned for the afternoon?" I'm about to answer but he carries on.
"And why the hell have you got a boat?"
"I've been planning on getting a boat for ages. You know I have,"
He puts his hands on his waist and turns away from me, shaking his head
as he looks at the ground. "The first I heard about this boat idea was
a few days ago when you started going loopy at the restaurant!" he
snaps, but must have noticed my startled expression because he
immediately calms down and says, "Look, can we just walk along a bit and
talk privately? Please."
My head screams no. I know exactly
what he's here to do. We broke up at the restaurant but I suppose it
never felt official enough. And now he's here to make sure I know it's
over, so that he feels no guilt when he starts seeing Kate again. I
know this. I know this is exactly what he's going to say because sadly,
I've been rehearsing this conversation since we parted ways.
I start to walk ahead along the Thames footpath. He tries to catch up with me, but I only speed up.
"Ella, take this seriously!" he shouts.
But I don't listen.
I don't have to listen.
He's the one who's not taking this seriously. He's the one who's given up. He's the one who refuses to see what Kate is doing.
"Ella," he says, running a little to catch up with me. When he finally
does, he grabs my right arm and stops me in my tracks. His eyebrows
furrow as his eyes melt into sadness. "I don't want this to end," he
And I almost believe him.
Until I catch a glimpse of Kate in the distance talking to Tia.
I snatch my arm away from him. "Why are you here with her?"
"Oh Ella, there's no need to be jealous. She's been a good friend
since she heard about you and me. She's not as bad as you think. In
fact, she told me she doesn't think you and I should break up,"
"Jamie, how can you be this dumb? She's playing a game. Anyone can
see that. Have you completely forgotten about everything she did?"
"I know," he begins, sweeping a hand through his hair as if he's exhausted.
But I continue, "How well did our first date go? Remember the
unexpected visitor we had? What sane person has a tantrum in the middle
of a restaurant? Who cries loudly in front of everyone because their
ex is having dinner with someone else? Come on, Jamie!"
can't blame her for that. Her and I had just broken up and she still
loved me. We didn't have to flaunt this in her face,"
"What? We didn't flaunt anything. In fact, we kept it a secret for ages so that we didn't upset her,"
He doesn't respond.
I take off my jacket. The sun, mixed with the rage seems to have
caused an inferno in me. If I don't walk away, I will burn. I start to
move away from him, letting the cool wind fly against my skin. I
should keep walking. I really should keep walking.
But I don't.
"You've forgotten about the baby incident,"
He looks up confused. "The what?"
"When Kate pretended to be pregnant with your child. Remember when she
told her parents and came to see you at your house?" I look into his
eyes, and for a split second I start to think he's back on my side. But
the second gets blown away with the wind and I'm left fighting on my
"She phoned me later that evening and apologised about everything," he tells me quietly.
"You talked to her? You never told me this," I walk towards him, needing to know more information.
"Am I supposed to tell you everything?" he retorts.
"No," I say calmly, far too hurt at his response. "But I thought you would have told me that,"
And suddenly everything makes sense. It now makes perfect sense why
Kate never gave up on Jamie and why she persisted so much. If they were
having forgiving conversations every time she did something wrong, then
no wonder she kept fighting back with more.
"Why are you crying?" he asks.
Crying? I hadn't even noticed. I wipe away the uncontrollable tears from my face, and try to regain myself.
"Why are you crying?" Jamie asks again, as if the answer is such a mystery.
"Because my boyfriend has been having private conversations with his
psycho ex and I've had no idea about them," my attempt to control the
tears has backfired, because as soon as I try to hold them back, a flood
gate opens. And I can't seem to stop.
"Please, don't cry,"
he says, wrapping me up in his arms. I let him, but then push him away
with force. The tears finally stop when I see him lying there on the
dusty path, lifting himself up and brushing away the dirt from his
jeans. I didn't realise I had so much strength.
"You have no idea how difficult it's been for me!" I shout. "She has made it unbearable,"
"Oh please!" he retaliates, "Don't tell you haven't loved every bit of
it. You wouldn't have been happy if there wasn't some drama involved!"
he pauses, looks ahead into the water and then back at me. "My friends
warned me to stay away from you,"
Whatever I said earlier about my heart breaking wasn't real, because that pain was nothing compared to this.
"What's that supposed to mean?" I ask like a scolded child who just wants to go home.
"You're a complete drama queen, Ella. You create crazy situations for yourself. You're too chaotic to handle sometimes,"
"Name one crazy situation I've got myself into?" I stubbornly (and stupidly) ask.
Jamie points to the river. "Do I need to remind you that I've just rescued you from the middle of the Thames?"
I look away, knowing too well I shouldn't have asked the question.
"A week ago you chased a dog through the park trying to catch him and return him back to the owner,"
"I was trying to be helpful,"
"Ella. The dog was running away from you!"
I don't see how that matters.
"And anyway," he pauses again and looks behind at Kate. "I've been
meaning to mention this for ages. You can't keep throwing up the
pregnancy thing because if I remember correctly didn't you and Mikey
start the whole thing?"
"You turned up at her house pretending you were a nurse from the local clinic, and then told her family she had chlamydia!"
"Gonorrhoea," I correct quietly. "And anyway, that wasn't part of
the plan. Mikey and I got startled because her sister opened the front
door. It made more sense to pretend we were nurses than to lie down on
the grass like we had been,"
"See? This is what I'm talking about! Normal people don't hang around houses!"
"And normal people don't pretend they're pregnant!"
But despite it all, he still doesn't see. I have no idea what's
happened to make him revolt against me, but I know that I'm fighting a
losing battle. Kate has stuck her bunny boiler paws right into him and
there's nothing I can do to reverse it.
He lets out a sigh. "Let's just go back to mine and forget about everything. OK?"
But I can't forget. "Jamie, you've just been telling me how I'm crazy
and chaotic and how your friends warned you about me. You've had
nothing nice to say, and yet all you've been doing is defending Kate.
You don't know!!! You really don't know that she's a manipulative bitch
who used and abused Giles to make you jealous!"
He sneers at
my words and quickly dismisses them. "Kate came to me crying when Giles
broke up with her. So there's some news for you, Ella!"
I could scream! I could grab him, shake him furiously, smack him around the head a couple of times, and scream!
"Giles didn't break up with her! She broke up with him! Mikey and I
witnessed the whole thing. You're never going to believe this but I saw
the two of them when I was looking for a boat in Brighton. Giles
wanted to book a cruise for them, and she stomped on his heart by
telling him she was only with him to make you jealous," I pause to look
at Jamie's reaction, but so far, his face is blank. "I don't know what
sort of spell she's cast over you, but snap out of it," I cross my arms
and turn around staring straight ahead at the river's southern route.
The breeze has calmed down, but the April sun still blazes.
don't believe you. Even if that is true, how do you expect me to
believe that Kate would have blurted that out in front of you?"
Damn! I don't want to answer because I know exactly where this is leading.
"She didn't know we were there," I quietly respond.
"And why's that?" he moves closer, quizzing me. I'm too shy to look up.
"Because we were spying on them," and before I even get the chance to
finish the sentence, Jamie's gone. He's already started walking away
with heavy strides along the path. "Where are you going?" I yell after
him, almost tripping trying to catch up.
He abruptly turns
around which makes me knock into him. "You really have no idea how much
I love you, Ella. But you've really proved to be the crazy one here,
He strides away again.
I don't follow this time. Just stay back staring with sorrowed eyes as I watch him take Kate by the hand and walk away.
Nope. Never saw this coming.