Chapter 3: 3

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Adult Romance  |  House: Booksiesilk Classic Group

Reads: 219

Madeline sat at her kitchen table staring into her coffee as she stirred it thinking about Joel’s warm soft lips against hers. Compared to Eric’s kisses, Joel’s had completely blown her mind. All night she couldn’t get Joel out of her mind with wondering how far they would have gone if she hadn’t panicked and left his house. Even though she’d only know Joel eight months, she’d always got along with him but had never thought of him as boyfriend material. None of the girls at work thought of Joel that way too, they all loved him, but in a mothering way. 

Deeply sighing as she looked at the previous night’s three missed calls on her mobile from Eric, Madeline grimaced, he’d phoned her while she was with Joel and she hadn’t heard it ring.

Not wanting to stay on her own for another two nights, Madeline pressed dial on Eric’s number, she’d decided to return his call and ask if she could spend the rest of the weekend with him. They’d been together for a year and she’d never met his mom or his sister; she’d only met his brother.

“Hi Maddie,” Eric quietly spoke when he answered.

“I’m sorry I didn’t answer your call last night,” She sighed feeling guilty. He was taking care of his mom while she’d been fooling around with Joel. “I didn’t hear my mobile ring.”

“It’s ok, where were you?” he asked, knowing she’d say she was in the pub.

“I was in the Three Tuns talking to Ryan,” Madeline paused taking a deep breath. “I was thinking if I get the next train to Parkstone, could I stay the weekend with you? I would love to meet your mom and I can help you take.”

“Slow down, Maddie,” Eric interrupted. “You know it’s a stressful time for us all, we have family in and out of the house all day visiting. It just wouldn’t be convenient.” 

“Ok,” Maddie’s heart sunk, “I understand.” She mumbled.

“My mom’s calling me. I’ve got to go,” Eric sighed. “I’ll talk to you later when I settle her down for the night,” He paused. “Unless you’re at the pub again.”

“What else is there for me to do?” Madeline shrugged as she stood up to go to her bedroom.

“Don’t go sulky on me,” Eric moaned.

“I’m not sulking,” Madeline huffed. “I just told you I understand and now I’m going to get changed and go out. I’ll speak to you later.” She said cutting the call and reached into her wardrobe.

 

Joel had paced around the house all day nervously waiting for Madeline to return for her shoes and jacket, but she hadn’t. Feeling like an idiot for once again making a fool of himself over a woman, he should have known that Madeline wasn’t interested in him. She’d been drinking, so it was all his fault, but with the way she’d kissed him, at that moment in time he genuinely believed she wanted him.

Wanting to apologize for the previous night, Joel took deep breaths as he slipped on his trainers. He’d finally plucked the courage to go and see Madeline. He’d come so far the past five years with rehabilitation and taking a job to boost his confidence, he didn’t want to ruin his progress and especially didn’t want to lose the only friend he had.

 

Maddie exited the apartment block and shook the security door to make sure it had locked. Looking up at the clear blue sky, she swung her handbag over her shoulder thinking about going to the Three Tuns pub for something to eat. With her and Eric planning to go away for the long weekend break, there wasn’t much food in the kitchen cupboards.

Turning towards the main road, she saw the tall well-built figure of Joel walking towards her. “Oh no,” she mumbled thinking this is going to be awkward. “Hi, Joel,” she forced a smile thinking how different he looked in jeans and t-shirt.

“Hi,” He nervously mumbled running his fingers through his messy dark hair. “I was going to bring your shoes and jacket back, but I’ve left them in the house,” he said feeling stupid turning to walk away to return home. “I’ll go and get them for you.”

“Joel,” Madeline called feeling sorry for him, she could see he looked flustered.

“Yes,” His heart raced as he turned to face her. He thought she looked stunning in her black skinny jeans and white halter neck top with her long black hair gently blowing in the breeze.

“I didn’t realize I’d left them at your house,” she smiled walking towards him. “I’m sorry about last night.”

“I’m sorry too,” Joel half-smiled gazing at her. “I don’t want to lose you as a friend.”

“And I don’t want to lose you too,” she smiled placing her hand on his arm. “so, are we ok?”

“Yes,” Joel smiled sighing with relief. “Do you want me to get your things from the house for you?”

“There’s no rush,” Maddie shook her head, “I’m on my way out for something to eat and I don’t want to carry them around with me.”

“Ok,” Joel nodded. “I’ll be in all day so pick them up on your way home.”

“I will,” Maddie smiled realising what he’d just said. “Why are you staying in on a beautiful day like this?”

“I don’t go out much,” He nervously smiled. “Plus, I don’t know anyone in the area.”

“You know me don’t you,” Madeline laughed thinking he shouldn’t be stuck in the house all day on his own. “Why don’t you come with me to the pub for dinner?”

“I, I don’t know,” Joel’s heart painfully thudded in his chest. It had been a long time since he’d been in a pub.

“Well I’m not taking no for an answer,” Madeline playfully nudged him. “Come on, it’ll be fun. They serve a mean chilli burger.”

Joel gazed at Madeline in amazement, he couldn’t believe she wanted to spend time with him. “Ok,” he slowly nodded. “I’ll go.”

“Great!” Maddie beamed. “So, what made you change your mind, the chance to bask in my charming company or the burger?” She teased.

“The burger,” Joel laughed shaking his head, thinking she was funny.

“Ouch,” Madeline feigned shock holding her hand on her chest. “I can’t believe I lost out over a burger. My mom will be so disappointed with me.” She giggled.

“Talking of your mom,” Joel laughed feeling a little less nervous. “How about you tell me about her when we get to the pub?”

“Really!” Madeline’s eyes widened.

“Yes,” Joel nodded. “I’m interested to learn about mad Maggie and how you got your name, Polly pocket.”

“Ok,” Madeline shuddered with excitement linking her arm through Joel’s. “Let’s get going.”

Joel couldn’t have felt happier as they walked into the city. Even though he was nervous about going to the pub, he knew he’d be ok with Madeline by his side.

 

Joel nervously swallowed as he looked around the busy bar while trying to make himself comfortable at a table booth. Madeline laughing with the bar staff caught is attention. He loved how full of life she was and could see by everyone’s reaction when they walked in, how popular she was.

Thinking about how life used to be for him, Joel suddenly felt emotional. He used to have a good job, he was popular and had loads of friends, he wished he could be his old self, but life five years ago had drastically changed him. And he soon found out who his friends were, they all moved on and left him behind.

“Hey, you,” Maddie smiled placing two pints of lager on the table and sat next to him. Joel jumped a little snapping out of his thoughts. “You were in a world of your own then, are you ok?”

“Yeah,” Joel nodded picking up his pint and took a large gulp of it. “Is this pub always so busy?”

“Busy?” Madeline laughed looking around the pub. “This is quiet, usually it’s jam-packed but I guess with it being the bank holiday weekend most people have taken advantage of the good weather and gone away.”

“Oh right,” he nodded gazing at her. “So, tell me about mad Maggie and how you got the name Polly pocket.”

Madeline reached into her handbag for her mobile and scrolled through it. “This is my mom,” she smiled holding the mobile in front of him.

Joel looked at the photo of Madeline’s mom. He thought Madeline was the image of the full-figured woman with long pink hair, big blue eyes and a great smile. Madeline swiped to the next photo of her. This time her hair was blue. “Did she always have different coloured hair?” He laughed.

“She changed the colour all the time,” Madeline giggled.

“Wow,” Joel laughed trying to imagine his mom with blue and pink hair but couldn’t. “Is that why everyone called her mad Maggie?”

“No,” Madeline laughed shaking her head. “My mom loved to party; she could outdrink anyone. She was loud and brassy, she was bisexual too.”

“Did that bother you?” Joel curiously asked.

“No,” Madeline answered. “My mom had some nice girlfriends and boyfriends that I got along with really well. If I didn’t like them, she would end it with them. I always came first in her life.”

“That’s good,” Joel smiled. “Is that why they called her mad Maggie?”

“No,” Madeline giggled rubbing her forehead. “They called her mad Maggie because she always got into fights, she didn’t care if it was with men or women. She’d beat the living crap out of them.”

“She’d fight with men!” Joel’s brows raised in surprise.

“Oh yeah,” Madeline giggled moving their drinks aside as the waiter approached with their food. “I saw her take down our next-door neighbours’ husband in one punch. She broke his jaw, but it was justified. My mom heard Susan screaming for help because Gary was beating her, so she went round to help her.”

“Jesus Christ Maddie,” Joel stared at her in shock. “Were you ever scared of your mom knowing what she was capable of?”

“No, I always felt safe with her,” Tears welled in Madeline’s eyes. “I was my mom’s world and she was mine; she would never have hurt her little Polly pocket.”

“Tell me why she called you that?” he said picking up his burger.

Madeline’s heart warmed as she gazed at Joel, she could see he was genuinely interested in her. “When I was about 18 months old, my mom was pushing me in my buggy with loads of shopping bags hanging on the handles. As she crossed the road, a wheel got stuck in a grid, when she tried to yank it out the wheel fell off. My mom was stressed, she was stuck in town with the shopping and apparently, I was crying, and it was about to rain. My dad was at work so she couldn’t phone him to come and help.”

“What did she do?” Joel curiously asked.

“Well, she was wearing a hoodie with one of those pockets on the front that you can put both hands in.” Madeline began to giggle. “She shoved me through the pocket, so my head and arms were dangling out of one side and my legs out the other side and carried the shopping home. When she walked down the street our neighbours couldn’t stop laughing because I was fast asleep. After that everyone called me Polly pocket after a toy doll.”

“That’s so funny,” Joel burst into laughter.

“Do you want to hear something funnier,” Madeline giggled.

“Yes,” Joel held a serviette to his mouth choking a little on his food.

“When I first went to school at the age of four, my teacher thought I was deaf because every time she called my name I didn’t respond.”

“I know you’re not deaf,” Joel said tilting his head to one side. “What was wrong with you?” he curiously asked.

“There was nothing wrong with me. I just didn’t know my name was Madeline,” Madeline laughed wiping the tears of laughter from her eyes. “I thought it was Polly.”

“Bloody hell,” Joel cried holding his stomach. He couldn’t remember the time he’d laughed so much; he could barely breathe as he looked at Madeline. “I could sit here all night listening to you talk.”

Madeline glanced at the clock on the wall behind the bar, it was 6.30pm. “We’ve got plenty of time. Do you want another drink; I’m having one?”

Joel sighed with happiness as he gazed at the beautiful funny girl sitting next to him. He didn’t want to go home and sit on his own all night like he’d done for the past five years. “Yeah, I’ll have another drink.” He smiled.


Submitted: January 07, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Kitty Hall. All rights reserved.

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