SOLDIER ON - THE TEMPER TRAP
YAY A NEW STORY!
AND WRITTEN IN TWO DAYS!
now that’s an achievement i must say
this mentions @emgeemtee and i hope you like it
i haven’t written for elle before and i was so nervous
about getting her right
you have no idea
it’s a bit all over the place
but hopefully you’ll understand it
31st Monday December 2012
≡ New Year’s Eve ≡
(what Effie’s wearing http://effiedumont-mmn.tumblr.com/post/43292407001 )
It was bright and it was loud.
There were drunken messes everywhere
and it only made me laugh harder.
It was busy and packed and the walls seemed to move with the bass.
I gripped the beer I’d been given tightly,
never knowing how warm it was truly making me.
I was buzzing and so was everyone around me.
A blur of roughly cut brown hair swayed next to me
and I found that our arms were linked, and
that only made me laugh harder.
My hair was long and wild,
my infamous curls curling around my finger several times that night.
My lips were red and I left prints of them everywhere,
but they would wash away eventually.
Everything would eventually wash away
but the sinking feeling was weighing me down the whole night,
waiting in the wings, hiding in the shadows;
ready to leap, ready to latch on and bring me down.
I blinked hard.
“No crying on New Year’s!”
The brunette crop of hair hiccupped next to me,
repeating the words I’d said all night.
I’d thought I had been muttering those words only to myself,
but it seemed I’d been announcing them to the whole party.
I blinked hard, and swallowed hard, downing the last of the beer.
≡ earlier that day ≡
It was New Year’s Eve and I was in New York and Ashley was in Monaco.
It was 11 in the morning and I was in New York.
I was alone.
For 11 in the morning, I passed plenty more drunk people
already celebrating the New Year than I had thought I would.
I was close to laughing as I walked,
but held it back as I realised I was alone and they were not.
They had alcohol.
I did not.
I knew who was winning in this situation.
I stopped in my tracks, having a slight heart attack.
I didn’t move.
I didn’t breathe.
I didn’t even think, just in case they were mind readers.
“You’re frozen,” it was a girl who laughed. “Calm down, and turn around.”
I reluctantly did so.
To my surprise Elena Rivera was sitting out the front of
a café, leaning back casually, a smile drawn up in the corners of her mouth.
A wave of relief but also confusion went through me.
She nodded, smirking.
“You look a little lonely.” She observed.
“Speak for yourself.”
“Well don’t be rude; join me. This is a little overdue anyway, isn’t it?”
She sat up slightly as I hesitantly decided to join her.
“I s’pose that’s true,” I replied, still a little put off by the situation.
Now that’s not to say that Elena and I didn’t get along,
it was just that we’d never hung out /just/ us before.
“Seeing as we’re pretty much the sidekicks of the Golden Two, I’ve been wondering why we hadn’t hung out yet,” She said so matter-of-factly that I saw the truth in her words immediately.
We really were the sidekicks when you thought about it.
Ashley and Cameron were the two on top,
in the spot light, sitting atop their thrones.
Elle and I were the ones keeping them together,
the back bone, the spine; though it seemed
they went on without us a lot of the time.
But people can only go so long without a back bone before twist and falter, falling to the dirty pavement of New York.
“Got any plans for tonight? You’re obviously not going to be in Monaco in time.”
“Neither are you.”
She stated instead of answering, taking a sip of her coffee.
Though it would seem like we hung out regularly,
we were just on the same level, in the same group of friends,
but never needing to really interact.
Neither of us said anything for a while.
“You’re brother’s a twat.”
I laughed loudly.
She looked at me, a dull spark of amusement in her eyes.
“He reminds me of my brother; cocky, pretentious,-“
“Completely self-involved,” We both nodded.
Alex’s personality was common knowledge,
but I had no idea my brother was even talked about.
Let alone that Elena Rivera knew who he was.
I didn’t press it though and I just smiled
because it felt normal and our best friends
were in Monaco but we were here and
that was fine and that was good.
“You didn’t answer me before.”
“Hm?” She didn’t look up.
“Plans. New Year’s Eve.”
“Ah yes, tonight …” She said rather ominously.
I decided in that split second and my heart was racing;
“Let’s go find some parties together.”
I had to admit I was a little nervous that she would deny
my offer/plea/desperate attempt at not being alone.
But I needn’t be.
“Sure, nothing better than crawlin’ the party scene with someone new,” she winked and my stomach settled, a smiled also settling on my lips.
≡ 2 Days Earlier ≡
29th Saturday December 2012
I walked through the glass doors alone and heard
my flats make the quietest of sounds against
the cold, white floor.
I swallowed my heart and my fears,
holding my head up high.
I stopped at the large front desk with the
equally as large black capital letters in
the infamous font that read out
It seemed I was something to be looked at,
something to be questioned and poked and
prodded. But oddly, I was feeling a sense of
satisfaction because my first magazine
interview would be with NYLON.
And that was perfect.
A young woman looked up from the slim Mac in front of her thin framed eyes,
a smile spreading across her pale pink lips immediately.
“Ah hello! Effie Dumont?” She was enthusiastic and it definitely suited her.
“Excellent! Welcome to the NYLON editorial office, if you would like to just take a seat or stand a moment, someone will be with you in a moment,” She flashed a white smile and picked up the phone, quickly slipping some rushed words through the receiver.
I didn’t have time to decide if I’d sit or stand,
as in no time at all, a long legged, brunette
with heavy bangs hiding her eyebrows
(that I knew had to be perfectly shaped anyway)
was outstretching her hand to shake my own.
“Effie! So nice to meet you, and I’m so glad you had time for us to interview you!”
“Uh, hi,” I smiled, her hand shake firm and professional.
“My name is Emily Temple and I’m the office coordinator and
I also do many of the interviews here and I’m so excited to get started on finding out the inner workings of that quirky head of yours,” She laughed but I only smiled, my heart hammering so hard I felt it was all I could do unless I wanted to projectile vomit all over her doubtlessly designer outfit.
I wished Ashley was here.
“Now just this way,” She pointed down the white hall, “and we’ll get you dressed and done up for the cover shoot, and I’ll be interviewing you all the while. Does that work for you?”
I nodded. “Can’t wait.” I smiled.
They left my hair out and long,
straightening then curling it softly
so I looked like an old-Hollywood actress.
I took in the experience, trying not to be as cynical
as I was at the Teen Vogue offices with Ash.
I knew there would be questions about Harry
and One Direction as a whole, but I expected that
from them and I was going to give it to them.
Being the mature young adult that I am,
I wouldn’t give Harry s/hit or any of the
others because they were …
What were they to me?
The word friends was on the tip of my tongue
but for some reason it caught in my throat
and made me cover my gasping mouth.
“Is everything alright?”
The beauty director, Carine Vinett, who was outlining
my already dark eyebrows, asked softly.
I blinked carefully, trying not to let slip some
pathetic tears that would ruin my make-up.
I smiled fake-ly and saw my reflection.
I almost didn’t recognise myself.
The colours were subdued and soft,
an air of intimacy radiating from the set.
The clothes were rich and silky.
I was scared to even breathe in them but
they told me repeatedly, (a condescending tone
almost shining through) to just relax, like they
were vultures waiting for me to mess up.
The stylist, - “Avena Gallagher,” she had introduced herself
with a subtle accent I couldn’t quite place – was adjusting
my teal blazer where I stood before a fake fireplace.
Where I had pushed the extremely long sleeves up,
she pulled them all the way down, ending at my knuckles.
As the camera clicked and I pulled model faces,
(expressionless, dead, and cold apparently equated to being aesthetically pleasing?)
Emily interviewed me like she said she would.
“Aside from your very influential father,” We’d just finished delving into my family life (avoiding the topic of my mother’s deteriorating health) and I could feel the inevitable just around the corner, “You’ve been placed in the spotlight because of some other people too. Namely, Harry Styles.”
“After being one of New York’s power couples – he being a member of the world’s biggest boy band, you being style icon the world over – how do you think the world has taken to this very public breakup?”
I felt a little winded but I kept on, sticking my chin out and changing poses.
“Well, to be honest, our relationship was so /completely/ involved in each other, that I haven’t really had a view of it from the outside, y’know? It’s like … we were in this glass bottle, just something for the world to look at and talk about. But we were blocked off from all that. We just … didn’t give a f/uck about the outside world.”
She nodded for me to keep going though I didn’t need the push.
“We were photographed and followed, that was to be expected, and I’d always feared in the back of my head, what would happen when we broke up –“
“Sorry to interrupt; /when/ you broke up? What do you mean by that? Were you expecting the relationship not to last?”
“Well, obviously we wouldn’t be together forever. That’s life, right? Soul mate s/hit is only real in movies and fairy tales.”
“That’s not to say I didn’t have the slight hope in me that he would be ‘the one’ and trust me, I’m still hurting from the break up, but I just … I don’t want to be defined as ‘The Ex’ for the rest of my life. There’s more waiting for me out there and there’s plenty more people to meet, to change my life and alter my life course completely. People who know me, would know that for me to hit it off with a boy band member was completely not expected but Harry was … he wasn’t the clichéd, archetypal boy band guy.”
“He has the most amazing taste in pretty much everything, especially music – though their bands style would tell you different. We clicked in our music taste and our appreciation for art and weird things and alcohol and generally quirky things.”
She nodded thoughtfully, her smile and eyes completely engaged.
“There’s so much more to him than people know and otherwise get to find out. I don’t want to be labelled as the bad guy or him either. Things are just a bit too crazy for us both at the moment to even contemplate sticking together as a couple.”
“So you two are still good friends?”
I slapped myself mentally for walking right into that question. I swallowed.
“Definitely. I couldn’t just walk away from him completely. But we’re both incredibly busy of late, so that leaves little time to hang out.”
I broke my pose and walked behind the camera, my chest feeling tight,
“Sorry, can I just take a breather?” I said as steadily as I could.
The photographer sighed excessively, to which I made a face at,
but Emily obliged and directed me to the cafeteria down the hall.
I thanked her and started down the hall and could see the cafeteria just
up ahead but I found what I was actually looking for and clambered
through the door with the stick figure on it and burst into one
of the cubicles, empting my entire stomachs contents.
I hoped I didn’t get anything on the clothes,
and I hoped there wasn’t anything on
the floor that would compromise
I finished the interview and saw a few of the photos taken,
impressed by how they turned out and by how
different I looked in those clothes.
The article would be published in the new January issue;
the first 2013 NYLON issue and I was the face of it.
I was able to talk to Emily about how she would have me portrayed in
her piece and I was completely in awe with the last words
she had written to end the article;
“She’s an enigma. She’s the compilation of Saturday morning cartoons, your favourite 80’s hits and the James Dean effortless streak of cool that everyone tries to achieve and she does it without even trying. She may not give a damn about stereotypical beauty and the influence of money all around her, but there’s no doubting that we’ll be seeing a lot more of Effie Dumont.”
(what the article looks like http://www.polyvore.com/nylon_magazine_enigma_that_is/set?id=73187967 )
≡ Back to earlier NYE ≡
Elle and I had parted ways but had organised to meet
at Oliver’s apartment, much to Elle’s annoyance
but eventual compliance.
I grabbed a quick lunch at a patisserie and
walked to Central Park as I ate.
Everywhere I walked, New York seemed empty
and it was almost unsettling. There was always
people around but it was almost barren now.
I checked the time on my phone.
Maybe everyone was resting up for the hectic night ahead,
I reasoned but then I saw more and more people
throughout the park and it settled my uneasy stomach
that thought the end of the world was imminent.
I sat under a tree and watched people walk and talk and go about their business.
Then there was screaming;
the all too familiar screaming.
Though my heart had skipped at first thinking the cracks of Hell were opening,
but then I saw a few pre-teens running with clear intent and I sighed,
my stomach flipping.
I wondered who was here.
Cursing my curiosity,
I stood to investigate.
A part of me hoping
for a specific someone
but the other part
hoping I would just
go home already.
I wandered over to a park bench and climbed up to stand on the table part,
craning my neck to try and get a look at who it was and if it was /him/.
The crowd of maybe 15 girls was jumping and screaming
and waving things around and there was no doubt in my
mind that it was someone from One Direction that
they were dying over.
When it dispersed 10 minutes later though,
no one was left and it was like a phantom
had come and gone.
I whipped my head around,
thinking I must have not been looking
when whoever it was had left, but I
saw no one who looked worth the
screaming time of girls.
Unless that middle-aged business man
was just a really impressive and convincing
disguise, I knew it was too late.
I didn’t know what I was hoping for anyway.
What would I have done if it /was/ Harry?
I could hardly join in with the 12 year old girls, screaming for his attention.
Although, I remembered with a snigger, that that was exactly what kept his attention most nights.
I shook my head, trying to get rid of the memory.
/Don’t get stuck in the past/
“I JUST WANNA LIIIIIIVE!! DON’T REALLY CARE BOUT THE THINGS THAT THEY SAAAY!”
The club was bouncing and the drinks were overflowing.
I stayed near the drinks and avoided moving too much
or talking too much or even breathing too much.
It was lame and so completely and utterly pathetic
but I just couldn’t get my mind off
as much as I tried
and the only solution I could think of
was to keep drinking in an effort
to drown her out of my mind.
I rested my elbow on the bar and
had a scowl plastered to my face
as I looked around at everyone,
with a beer never leaving my hand.
The London party scene was always the best and I’d missed it since being in America.
Niall was in Monaco because of his bloody princess,
Zayn and Louis were who knows where
(probably at the same party but I couldn’t remember)
and Liam was walking towards me now with
a look of pity mixed with drunken happiness.
I laughed as he stumbled a little in his confident stride,
“’Right there, mate?”
“I’m great! But c’mon lad, party! Leave the bar for a bit!
It’s New Year’s f/uckin’ Eve!”
He threw his arms up and spun around, the crowd
of faceless strangers cheering and yelling with him.
I put out an arm for him to catch as he stopped spinning
and he nodded his appreciation, a grin on his lips.
“C’mon mate, bring in the new year on a happy note!”
I looked down at my shoes;
black and patent leather, shining in the flashing lights.
“I don’t want to ruin my shoes – “
“Oh f/uck off with your excuses.”
He shoved my shoulder, stumbling forwards.
I chuckled at the sight.
“Just forget her! Forget her! It’ll be better for everyone!”
I didn’t know if he knew what he was saying
but it stabbed me in the chest for those words to hit me.
(gif that inspired me http://effiedumont-mmn.tumblr.com/post/43198860465 )
I sighed, shaking my head.
“You just don’t get it Liam!”
I shouted over the music,
my words getting lost in the sounds.
“Just forget her and move on, mate!”
I shook my head at his drunken tries at getting
me to loosen up and move on. I put down
the now empty beer bottle and
pushed off the bar.
“Hurrahhhhh! We have movement!”
He cheered and the crowd mimicked him again.
I chuckled, my eyes heavy and my heart heavier.
Closing my eyes and sucking in a deep breathe of the
disgusting air in the club, I shook my whole body,
loosening my joints and trying to wake myself up.
I clasped my hands together,
looking over the crowd hungrily.
“Right mate. You’re in charge.”
He looked at me with wide eyes.
Never did he look more like an eager to please puppy.
“Make me /forget/.”
His grin was wide and his cheer was ear piercing,
making the selection before us turn towards us both.
It was time to forget.
We’d travelled to and conquered 3 parties already
and because it was verging on 11.30pm
we thought it best if we settle on one party to
bring in the new year.
Skipping and dancing to each party,
you’d think we’d be too tired to keep going.
But it was the opposite.
We were high on the atmosphere,
drunk out of our brains and in
the mood to party and party
and party til we saw the sun.
As the progression to each party took longer
with each interval of walking/skipping/dancing
being stretched out more and more, we had
time to talk to each other and in our hazes
tell each other things we mightn’t have otherwise.
One these things, being the rule that had
found its permanent place in my head.
“No cryin’,” Hiccup, “On Christmas.”
I nodded as I told her sincerely.
She raised her eyebrows at it though.
I gave it a thought.
“No cryin’ on New Year’s either,”
She grinned happily.
At the last party, it was wild.
There were drinks on every surface and I happily
made use of this convenience, making sure
to sample from each table top I could.
I’d never seen these people before but neither had Elle
and the door was wide open so we invited ourselves,
soon becoming amazing drunk friends of whoever was inside.
We ventured into the crowd together but ended
up alone and lost. My chest was feeling constricted
and my heart was racing so fast I thought I would
pass out but I kept the drinks steady and I ignored it.
I was enjoying this and I didn’t want anything to change that.
Who cared if there were too many people in the too small flat for my liking?
Who cared if I was drinking to forget instead to have fun?
Who cared if I could feel the pathetic tears rising and pushing at my eyes?
I felt my phone vibrate in my jean pocket against my leg
and instead of answering it, I giggled at the sensation
and did two more shots with the newly found again Elle.
And then suddenly, out of nowhere,
people started the count down.
I clambered out of the dark room,
putting my phone away roughly
and heard the beginning of the countdown.
I laughed loudly, in the way that I was known to.
The girl slipped around me,
the door shutting behind us both.
My stomach dropped and
I wondered where the toilets were.
Liam found me, his arm raised for a high-5.
I denied him.
It was just us to bring in the New Year.
None of the other lads, no Ashley or Effie.
I winced at the shout.
I wanted time to stop,
Now, /please, stop/.
I wasn’t ready for the New Year.
Elle tugged at my arm, grinning.
“New Year’s resolution?”
She shouted above the chatter.
My stomach squirmed,
I looked around at the unfamiliar faces.
The hype was almost too much.
“To be strong! Yours?”
“To f/ucking /own/ next year!”
She was grinning and was bright and strong and ready.
I was not.
I wanted time to stop.
In amongst the cheering and party poppers popping,
I could only feel my phone in my pocket
and the throbbing in my head.
“Oh god, what have I done?”
I muttered desperately, running both hands through my unruly hair.
The uproar of celebration killed my ears
and Elle jumped around next to me,
unaware of the sinking feeling
brewing inside me.
I didn’t want to be here anymore,
but that would be ruining my resolution already.
What a stupid thing to expect of myself.