There was a knock at Sam's bedroom door.
"What?!" she snapped from her bedside. She was curled up against her wall now, squashed between her bedside table and wardrobe.
"Sam, it's Monday. Are you going to college?" her mum asked.
"No. I don't feel well."
"You've hardly left your room all weekend."
"That's because I don't feel well!" she hissed.
"Okay, okay," said her mum from the other side of the door. "No need to jump down my throat. Well, seeing as though you're staying home, you could make yourself useful and so the food shopping."
Sam ground her teeth. "If I'm not well enough to go to college, I am not well enough to go shopping!"
"It was just a suggestion because, y'know, I could really do with the help!"
"Whatever," Sam sneered.
She listened for her mum to leave before she unlocked her
door and ventured out of her room to grab a packet of crisps when
her stomach began to growl for attention. She went back up into
her room and jammed herself back into the tight little space. She
hoped it would somehow make her feel safe, which didn't really
make sense because the only thing that would cause her any harm
was herself. With that in mind, she spotted a pair of scissors on
her dressing table. Her eyebrow arched, intrigued, but then she
squeezed her eyes shut and shook her head before grabbing her
mobile from her bedside table. The tattoo studio she always went
to was saved in her contacts. She called them and held her phone
to her ear.
"Hello, four-one-oh tattoo studio," said the woman on the other end.
"Hi, my name is Samantha Cole, I was wondering if you had any appointments free any time soon?" she asked.
"What sort of tattoo do you have in mind?"
"An extension on the one on my back. Just another rose."
"Okay well…we don't have any free appointments for another three weeks."
"Three weeks?" Sam echoed.
"Yes, I'm sorry. Would you like to book in?"
"Erhh…" Sam's heart sank. "No thanks, that's too far away."
"Okay, I'm sorry about that."
"It's fine, bye."
"Bye." She hung up and threw her mobile across the room. She needed her tattoo done now. She needed to distract herself from her emotional pain with physical pain. But she'd never cut herself. She cared about her image too much to form unnecessary scars on her body. But having a tattoo was different. The pain created something beautiful. Well, beautiful in her eyes, she knew not everyone would agree.
And that was why her back tattoo was so big. She had a lot of emotional pain to cover up. Her tattoo was her mask, her armour, her shield.
An hour later she was growing hungry again but she didn't have the energy to get up, she just stayed sat there in a heap. She knew she couldn't hide in her room forever. At some point she would have to go back to college. She'd have to face Doug and she'd stand there as he hurled abuse at her because she deserved it. But for now, she was hiding.
Her head pricked up at the sound of the front door opening. Footsteps creaked downstairs. It was only 2.00pm, her mum didn't get home from work until 5.30. Sam wrapped her arms around her tucked up knees and listening with a thumping heart as the footsteps became louder, coming up the stairs.
"Mum? Is that you?" she called. No answer.
She stood up and was ready to cross the room when the footsteps stopped. She froze. "Hello?"
Her blood ran cold at the croaky voice, and she sucked in a gasp.
"Sam, it's me, Doug. Can I come in?"
"Can I come in?"
She yanked back the lock and stepped back. The door opened and there stood Doug on her landing, his hands plunged into his baggy jeans pockets and his magnified eyes peering at her. Sam didn't know what to say. Why was he here?
"You didn't go to college?" he asked.
She shook her head.
"Neither did I."
Tears were already burning the backs of her eyes just by looking at him. He looked so drained. "What are you doing here, Doug?"
"Can I come in?"
She nodded and he strode in. She backed up and sat down on the edge of her bed. He stood in the centre of the room, looking down at her.
"What you did…was disgusting."
She bit the inside of her lip and looked down. "I know."
"I wanted to hate you. God, I really wanted to hate you." He sighed heavily. "But I just can't, Sam."
Hope sparked inside her and she looked up at him. He ran his fingers through his hair and dropped down onto the bed beside her. "I haven't told my dad I know. I just can't. It would just make it even more real. I hate him. And I know I should hate you too but, this weekend has been horrible. We've never gone a day without speaking to each other."
Sam stayed silent, fearing that she'd say the wrong thing.
"I meant it when I said I love you," he said, almost sounding ashamed. He wasn't looking at her, he was more focused on a loose bit of thread on his jeans. He tugged at it and twirled it. "I know nothing could ever happen between us. I know you don't feel the same way and what you did can't be undone. But I don't want to lose you." He looked up into her eyes. His bright blue eyes glistened with tears. Sam's heart swelled so much it threatened to burst out of her chest. "Can we still be friends? I don't know what I'll do without you. You are all I have."
Tears fell down her cheeks as she nodded frantically and threw herself at him, her arms circling him. "Of course! Oh my God, Doug, you don't know how happy I am to hear you say that."
He squeezed her back with relief. They held onto each other for a long moment before Sam withdrew herself. Doug smiled weakly at her then looked down at her carpet. "This relationship we've got, it's not healthy though."
"What?" she asked.
"We can't be each other's everything. We need some new people in our lives."
Sam furrowed her brows. "What are you saying?"
He let out a heavy sigh and looked up at her. "What I'm saying is…I need to stop being so socially awkward and you need to get yourself a boyfriend. A real, long-term boyfriend."
Sam snorted. "Me? A boyfriend? Doug, if you haven't already noticed, I am not girlfriend material. Hell, I don't even think I've ever been on an actual date."
"Well, that's why we're going to help each other. You can help me find some new friends and I'll help you become girlfriend material."
She arched her eyebrow doubtfully. "Doug, we are both as bad as each other. No offence, but I don't think you can help me. And I definitely can't help you."
"Well not with attitude you're not."
Sam laughed and elbowed him. "Seriously, we're both lost causes."
He smiled and wrapped his arm around her. "I'm sure we can work something out."
So, this is the end of 'Thin Ice' but I am currently working on the sequel, 'Treading Water' which I'll start uploading in about a week so if you want me to keep you updated, just let me know :)
I've worked out a sequel to 'Hooked', called 'Pandemonium' which I have just started writing. I wasn't planning on it having a sequel but it seemed like people enjoyed reading it and I really enjoyed writing it. I've missed Rose, haha. So I might upload it the same time as 'Treading Water' and just alternate between the two but I'll just see how it goes :P I don't want to rush writing it.
Anywaaayyy, thank you so much for reading and commenting <3 I hope you enjoyed it.