My head hurt.
A little bit.
I couldn't distinguish between the two. I didn't know what time it was but I knew I had nowhere to be so I laid in bed for a bit longer till the thumping in my head went down. I definitely wasn't made like I was.
I rolled around before I realised something.
I was in bed.
My old childhood bed, how did I get home?
I sat up, it was already hot in the room and I reached over turning on the ceiling fan, oh how I missed air conditioning right now.
I groaned as my whole head thudded.
I struggled out of bed into my attached bathroom turning on the water, it was icy cold but against the humidity in this air, it did wonders. I felt normal after a long shower my hair clung to my body reminding me that I needed to cut it.
Throwing on a loose dress I walked into the kitchen where I could hear voices.
"Oh there is sleeping beauty, do you know what time it is?"
I looked at Andy, already eating what looked like to be rice at the table. The clock behind him showed that it was some time past noon and I couldn't believe that I had slept for so long.
"Did you kids have fun last night?"
"It was okay. Bells was a bit boring, she started going to bed on the ground so I had to bring her home."
"I was just tired." I said defending myself.
"You're just old." he said.
"I am 30," I agreed, nodding my head.
"29...you turn thirty in a few weeks, stop making yourself feel old because then I feel old." Andy said, frowning like a kid. He was far from old, he looked like he was fifteen and freshly hit puberty. But the small five o'clock shadow on his face reminded me of his age, and also how he could never properly grow a full bread.
I reached over to take a vegetable off his plate. Instead of whining like he did when we were younger, he pushed his plate closer to mine.
"Did you want to come help me pick up some stuff from town?" he asked.
"When are you going?"
"After I finish lunch. Just need to get some groceries for dad and stuff."
I nodded, "Sure. I'm not really doing anything here. Do you or dad need help with the house mum?"
My mum was always in the kitchen, she somehow found something to bake, cook or experiment with, the neighbours and town were always gifted goodies from here so I wasn't surprised when she put a container in front of me filled with shortbread biscuits.
"No but can you give this to Jhemila in the town?"
"Who's Jhemila?" I asked.
Andy reached for the container, "Sure. I can. Come on we better go before all the shops close."
Even though we were only a few hours from the main city, the town was pretty traditional with everything closed by three on Sundays. There were a lot of things the country town followed.
I hopped into the car buckling up, Andy had waited till we were too far for me to walk back home to ask me a question that riled me up.
"Have you ever considered breaking up?"
"What?" I asked.
"You know...with Jasper. Have you ever considered to call it quits."
"What do you mean Andy?" I asked, was he back onto this topic?
"I can see that you're not happy Bells. Why don't you just get a divorce."
My heart skipped a beat. If Andy could see that I was unhappy, could my mum?
"You're not. Don't lie to me. I told you I know you Bells, I grew up with you, I studied with you, I played with you, I fought with you. I love you like my sister. I know you're unhappy every time you come here and how many times are you going to be like that? Last night you didn't want to talk about it, you shut me down every time. Okay that's fine but don't shut yourself and your real feelings down."
"It's not that easy." I muttered.
"Do you want to talk about what happened?"
I shook my head, "Nothing really happened...I just needed some space that's all."
I couldn’t tell him. I couldn’t tell anyone.
Andy turned into the main road of the small town, it wasn't a long drive and with empty dirt roads we were into town much faster and I was glad because that meant I didn't have to talk about it. I might be getting older but I still didn't want to talk about my feelings.
"Alright. Well I'm here if you want to talk about it. Come on, I want you to um...meet someone."
I raised an eyebrow, "Oh...who?"
Andy started to go a little bit red again and I didn't have to be asked again to jump out of the ute, carrying mums biscuits and following her.
Her name was Jhemila, she worked at the grocery store, she was from the Netherlands with wild curly blonde hair, creamy skin littered with freckles and a smile that would stop the nation.
And I was positive Andy had a crush on her, I mean for god's sake they were talking about carrots. Or were they flirting about carrots either way I was grossed out.
I cleared my throat after a few moments of more awkward talking about how carrots were good for your eyes, "We should probably head back."
Nope, they kept talking. I rolled my eyes at their awkward chat and decided to walk around the store. There was fresh produce, I could almost tell what came from who's farm in this town, as long as the owners didn't really change again.
It seemed like another hour, or maybe it was two since Jhemila wanted to close up. Andy being the true gentleman offered to help and I took his keys and told him I would be in the ute. It was sort of cute, seeing what they were doing, flirting back and forth.
At the same time it made my stomach roll thinking of the other things Jasper was flirting with in the city. It's been more than a few days, and my phone was still showing me zero notifications.
Andy's words were rolling around in my head.
I had honestly never thought of a divorce, the word tasted metallic in my mouth and almost like a sin. My parents being super religious would never have even considered that, that would be a sin. They would fix things in their days, and so would I. But at the same time I considered the word to mean freedom and happiness.
"Ready to go?"
I nodded as Andy hopped back in.
"So um, that's who your mother wanted to give the biscuits to."
"I figured." I said rolling my eyes, "So how did you meet her?"
"At the store, she's staying with the Loringtons, she's here on exchange and helping out at the store and getting some money for it. It's cheaper to pay backpackers you know."
"Ah..." I said, "So...when is she heading back?"
"I'm not sure I never asked."
"Maybe you need to ask that next time we see her."
"You think?" Andy asked, casting me a look while he was driving. I nodded. I could tell he was getting invested and if she was leaving soon then I would advise strongly against it.
As we pulled into my driveway I noticed another car there.
The car didn't look familiar, yet it did, the clean exterior and the fact that it was not like the usual four wheel drives driven around the country told me something was wrong.
I hopped out grabbing some of the things I bought like fresh fruit, Andy bringing the rest in for mum.
"I should take the produce home but do you want to come to dinner at mine. My parents want to see you." Andy asked as we walked up the pathway.
I wasn't listening. I was instead hearing the voices inside.
"Oh that's so good. Here drink some more. Bella will be so happy that you came earlier than you told her! What a pleasant surprise."
My stomach dropped.
My legs stopped.
Andy looked at me confused to why I stopped walking, "Are the bags heavy, do you want me to grab them?" he asked as he opened the fly screen with his shoulder, looking at me.
The fly screen was thick enough to block out the inside from the outside but now that it was open I could see the man sitting on the couch. Grey eyes looked my way, making my stomach clench, and a smile that didn't reach his eyes greeted me.
"Hey Ara,” he said, that deep voice that I once used to love.
"Oh you guys are home, what good timing, Jasper was just telling me about his drive. How nice of him to come down a week earlier Bella, You didn't tell me Jasper was going to come too." whatever my mother was saying was tuned out of my mind as I continued to stare at him.
Andy looked over his shoulder, and then back at me, I could feel his blue eyes digging a whole in my skull. Well...if I knew I would have told them. Jasper being the perfect dotting husband stood up walking over and reaching for the bags in my hand.
I nearly dropped the bags when I felt his fingers brush mine, a very unfamiliar feeling passed through my body.
"Where can I put these away Megan?" he asked my mother, giving her his show stopping smile.
"Aw what a gentleman, you always were Jasper, come follow me."
I moved into the house realising I was blocking the doorway. Andy shut the door behind me, "Well now I feel like an idiot." he said, sheepishly smiling as he ran a hand through his hair.
"What? Why?" I asked.
"Sorry Bells, I just thought you came here by yourself didn't think he was coming and assumed you fought."
I frowned, "Don't feel stupid. I didn't know he was coming either." I whispered.
In fact, I didn't expect him to chase after me again. We were both getting tired of the games.