Practically jumping out of his skin, Dylan scrambled for his ringing, vibrating, singing and dancing mobile phone that had just sprung to life on his bedside table. Why did these things sound so much louder at night?!
‘Hello?’ he muttered groggily, blearily climbing out of bed and tiptoeing across the room, pulling his robe about him.
Gazing at his reflection, Dylan carefully experimented. It was just such a difficult decision to make… He had to look perfect, simply perfect. So why was it so hard to decide?
‘One button done up… Two buttons done up… All the buttons… No buttons…’ he muttered under his breath as he methodically buttoned up his shirt. He had to make a good impression. He wasn’t going to get another chance!
‘Honestly Dylan, I think you put less effort in for your prom!’ Robyn laughed as she poked her head around his bedroom door. ‘You’re only going out for a drink at the karaoke bar!’
‘Dylan… Dylan! Dylan, help! Help!’
‘I can’t… Can’t move…’ Dylan’s voice was barely a whisper, a hoarse croak as the fire burned inches from his face, the crackling of the flames mingling with the frenzied screams coming from above him… With all his effort he tried to open his eyes, using every last ounce of energy to prise them open, just a millimetre… The flames were dancing, writhing about…
No… Not flames…
Dazedly, Dylan found that he could open his eyes fully. Lifting his heavy head, he gazed through the window.
Not flames. Leaves. Autumn leaves.
Bang! Bang!! Bang!!!
‘Stupid… Bloody… Cannot believe it…’ Dylan muttered angrily to himself as he worked on the fire appliance, the delicate touch he’d once used with maintaining the important machinery gone as he hammered out his anger.
It had been a week since the major fire at the hospital, a week since he’d received such glowing praise from the chief. A week since Puzzle had floated back into his life, his irritating face appearing when Dylan least expected it, his annoying grin haunting him at nearly every turn.
‘You do not look old, Maria!’
‘Oh, please! You’re such a sweetie Ivy. I know you’re only trying to be kind, but let’s face the facts – I qualify for a subway pass, my face is heading south, and the other day on the bus a man stood up and offered me his seat! Can you imagine it, Ivy?! The shame!’ Miserably, Maria took a sip of her chai latte. Ivy stared at her in disbelief.
‘Maria… What on earth were you doing on a bus?!’
‘Oh hush you! Way to miss the bigger picture!’
‘But love, I just don’t understand why you don’t want a birthday party!’
Dylan sighed as he chewed on a mouthful of his cheesesteak. This subject. Again. ‘Mum, I’ve told you and Dad already about a million times! I just don’t want one! Like I said, after graduation me and the lads are going to go on a night out or something, so we’ve decided it’s going to be a sort of joint thing,’ he said through his food.
‘Don’t talk with your mouth full! And I just don’t see why -‘
Merry Christmas to all! I hope you’re all having a lovely Christmas Eve or, if you don’t celebrate, a Happy Holiday season in general and that you’re all well and happy. I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who takes the time to read my little old legacy, it means so much to me and I seriously appreciate it. Much love to you all!
The next chapter is going to be out on Boxing Day (26th December); I know I’d said today but I’ve not had the time I’m afraid. Silly old real life!
I hope you all have a lovely day tomorrow, whatever you’re doing and wherever you are.
Much love, and Happy Holidays,
Fastening his bowtie and straightening his jacket, Dylan picked up the comb balanced on the side of the open dresser drawer and began to carefully put his hair into place, staring intently at his reflection in his parents’ huge three-piece mirror as he perfected his look. He had to look perfect. Everything had to go perfectly. This was a pretty huge occasion, and he wasn’t going to let a few stray hairs ruin things for him!
‘Jeez Dylan, you actually sound like a girl… Note to self, don’t tell Rory and Charlie you spent three hours getting ready,’ Dylan muttered as he made the final adjustments to his attire before stepping back to admire his handiwork.
As the sun set over the hillside of Bridgeport, a small, well dressed crowd gathered together in the back court of Ethan and Ivy’s home. Lamps were lit, flowers were scattered everywhere, the nectar was flowing and soft music was lilting from the stereo into the evening air.
Tristan took a deep breath, smiling shyly at his fiancée in her white gown. ‘I, Tristan Forest, take thee, Katya Jones, to be my wife. To have and to hold…’
Sunday seemed to arrive all too quickly for Louise and her mother. Louise had been sadly packing away her things when Anita came into her room and sat down on her bed.
‘Lou… I don’t know about you, but I’m not quite ready to go back yet. I was thinking… You’ve got half term this week. I know you’ve probably got plans with Melody and your friends, but if you wanted to your Aunt and Uncle have said that we could stay a few days more?’
‘Really?!’ Louise whipped round, her braids flying. Her mind was whirring… Melody wouldn’t like it. But then, Melody had Dylan now, to take her mind off everything…’We could maybe see Layla’s puppies being born,’ she said hopefully. ‘Could we stay, for a few more days? Go back on Wednesday, maybe?’
Anita’s face lit up and she stood and walked over to her daughter, pulling her into a tight hug. ‘Thanks, Lou,’ she whispered.