This was an exercise for university. No copyright infringement is intended - this was the only way I could share the finished work with my fellow students!

Jess and Jamie StoryRuth Loten
00:00 / 08:26

Transcript of story

25th June 2019

 

I am floating, weightless. Drifting on a sea of never-ending peace. I am alone and it feels wonderful to be free. And yet. Something is keeping me tethered in place. A piece of string? No, not string. It’s thicker than string. What’s it called? A tube. That’s it, a tube. I don’t want to be tethered and I pull at it. I’m almost free of it when hands grab hold of me and wrest it from my grip. Stop it! You don’t understand! I have to go. But they are too strong for me. Pain lances through my chest and I cannot stifle the involuntary gasp that escapes me. There’s a sharp scrape on the back of my hand and a sense of calm floods through me. My body relaxes against my wishes, bringing with it a return to the darkness. I can’t fight it. In many ways I don’t want to. I will go where it takes me.

 

 

19th December 2018

 

I’ve never had much luck with men, so when I first see Jamie across the crowded nightclub floor, I don’t give him a second glance. He’s way out of my league and I’m not really in the game of voluntary humiliation. I’m no more than a solid 7 and he’s a definite 10. Dexter nudges me.

‘I saw you looking!’

‘Shut up.’

‘He’s looking at you, you know.’

I can’t help myself. I glance up. He’s right. The next moment, Jamie is by my side offering me a drink. He stays with us the rest of the night, buys me drinks, compliments my outfit. (I can’t remember anyone except Dex ever doing that before and Dex doesn’t count. He’s my best mate. He has to be nice to me) 

‘I don’t like him,’ Dex says as we share a cab home. ‘He’s too full of himself. Smarmy git.’

‘You’re just jealous,’ I tell him.

 

23rd December 2018

 

It’s our first date. Jamie’s been texting me non-stop since we met and he’s brought me to his favourite restaurant for dinner. I’ve never been on a date where the man has been so solicitous. Before I’ve even had chance to look at the menu, he’s ordered my meal and a bottle of wine. 

‘I hope you don’t mind, ‘t’s just that the seafood pasta in here is to die for. I’d hate for you to miss out on it.’

‘Of course not, don’t be silly.’ 

I don’t want to tell him that I don’t really like seafood and I’d have preferred a G&T. I’m sure it will be fine and it is. The sauce is lovely and I manage to eat a few of the prawns.

‘No dessert thanks, Jess couldn’t even finish the pasta! It’s so filling, isn’t it?’

 

2nd March 2019

 

‘I don’t understand what your problem is?’

‘Would you like it if I had a female friend that I constantly went for a drink with, alone?’

‘Well…I suppose not, but it’s Dex! We’ve been friends since we were kids.’

‘And how many girlfriends has he had in that time?’

‘I don’t know. A few?’

‘He’s in love with you, you know. I don’t trust him not to make a move on you.’

‘You’re being ridiculous!’

‘Is it ridiculous to not want another man pawing over your girlfriend?’

‘No…but Dex wouldn’t do that. He’s not like that!’

‘I’m just saying, maybe you shouldn’t go out with him so often. When it’s just the two of you I mean. You might give him the wrong idea and if he made a move it would ruin your friendship, wouldn’t it? You don’t want that, do you?’

‘I suppose not.’

‘And I’d do the same for you, you know. If there was someone you didn’t want me to see. I think it’s best for everyone if you put a little bit of distance between you. I know he doesn’t like me.’

‘Don’t be___’

‘Don’t lie for him, Jess. He knows how much we love each other and I’m a threat to him. It’s OK, I understand.’

 

 

23rd April 2019

 

‘I’m sorry Jess. I shouldn’t have done it, but you drove me to it. There’s only so much a man can take, you know.’

‘We were only talking. He knows I have a boyfriend.’

‘I’m sure you did sweetheart, but you were giving him mixed signals weren’t you.’

‘Was I? How?’

‘If you tell a man you have a boyfriend, but then keep talking to him, you’re hinting that you might still be interested in him.’

‘How does talking about cars mean I’m interested in sleeping with him?’

‘What?’

‘That’s what we were talking about. He was telling me about his new car. We’re colleagues, Jamie, we talk to each other. I couldn’t just walk off, that would have been rude.’

‘But it’s OK to be rude to me? Your boyfriend? Just leaving me at the table on my own while you chat up another man?’

‘You weren’t on your own. You could have talked to everyone else. I only went to get a round of drinks.’

‘You carried on talking to him after though, didn’t you? You were flirting with everyone tonight. Even Dex, who you say you’re supposedly not interested in.’

‘I’m not interested in Dex, or anyone else. And even if I were, it doesn’t excuse what you did.’

‘You’re absolutely right and I’m sorry. Please forgive me darling, I promise it won’t ever happen again. I just went a bit crazy, you know? I love you so much. Please don’t leave me.’

 

24th June 2019

 

‘Where the hell have you been?’

‘I had to work late. Didn’t you get my text?’

‘Oh I got your text alright, I just don’t believe it. You’re seeing someone else aren’t you? That’s why you’re late. Don’t lie to me, Jess!’

I don’t know what to say to pacify him anymore. Whatever I say will only make things worse, but I have to try.

‘I’m not lying. I had to finish typing up a report that had to be sent today. You can see the email if you want.’

‘Oh I don’t doubt you’ll have covered your tracks. You’re a conniving little bitch aren’t you?’

My face is flecked with his spit as the words pour forth from him, a never-ending stream of vile words. By now I know where this is heading and I know that my only course of action is to stay quiet. The more I try to defend myself the worse it becomes. This isn’t how I saw my future all those months ago. I still don’t know what I did wrong, but I must have done something. None of his previous girlfriends have provoked him to such rage, so it must be me. I wish he’d just tell me what it was. When the darkness comes, I welcome it.

 

26th June 2019

 

I am floating on that peaceful sea again, but this time, whilst I am still alone, I feel anchored. Safe. The tube is still there, but it’s not that holding me down now. There’s something else doing that. Something warm and comforting. A hand. A large hand, holding mine. It feels so right and I want to know who it belongs to.

‘Doctor! She’s coming round.’

I force my eyelids to open. They don’t want to co-operate, but I am determined. I blink at the harsh light overhead.

‘Hello you. Nice of you to join us.’

Dex. I smile.

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