‘Dylan, honey… It’s 4 o’clock in the morning. Can’t work wait?’ Sleepily, Louise tousled a hand through her hair as she stared bleary-eyed at her fiance. She’d woken to find his familiar presence absent from their room, replaced with the cross face of Cooper as he pawed her awake. Dylan had left the living room light on.
‘It’s not work!’ Dylan exclaimed as he closed down several browser windows as fast as he could. ‘I just… I couldn’t sleep…’ Continue reading
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 -‘