Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Chaper 6 - Forever First Love

Chapter 6

I rolled into my old bedroom at my parents’ house and sighed. The room reminded me of so many happy times as a kid and I couldn’t help but smile. On my wall there was a collage of photos throughout my school and college years and Chloe was on nearly every single one. I rolled closer and took a closer look. One photo that brought back strong memories was a photo of a group of us camping in Chloe’s back garden. Instantly I was thrown back to that night.

Three tents were pitched around the outside of the garden and in the middle we all sat on the cold, damp ground with a bottle in the middle ready to play spin the bottle. We’d played the game for a little while, but now the cider we had been discretely drinking was starting to reach our heads and we were all feeling over confident. “Ok, next two people it lands on need to have a full blown snog that lasts for a minute,” said Anthony, a lad from school, in a cocky voice.
“Ok, it’s my turn to spin the bottle,” demanded Carly. She spun the bottle and before I knew it, it had landed on me.
“Ok big lad, your turn to spin it to find out who you are going to snog,” stated Chloe’s cousin Darryl. I looked around and I knew instantly where I wanted it to land. I was known as one of the popular lads in my year and all the girls sat around were posing waiting for it to land on one of them. However, not one of those is where I wanted it to land. Laid on her belly next to me was Chloe who was resting her face in her hands. She was wearing a football T-shirt and shorts and had her hair scraped back into a pony. “Come on Matt,” Chloe moaned. “We haven’t got all day.”

I took a deep breath and stood up, spun the bottle that was in the middle and waited with anticipation. The bottle spun very quickly initially and whizzed past everyone at least twice. I brought my fingers up to my face and started nibbling on my nails as I apprehensively waited for it to stop. The seconds seemed to pass by slowly until eventually, the bottle’s spinning came to an end and it was facing Chloe. I couldn’t believe my luck and instantly my heart started to pound. I didn’t want the others to know so I did my best to try and act cool about it. “So then Chlo, you ready?” I asked cockily.
Chloe just nodded and sat herself up. Slowly she moved closer to me until we were in touching distance. In the background I could hear Truly, Madly, Deeply playing on the radio which really set the scene that was about to unfold. I put my hands on each of her shoulders and I leaned forward to kiss her. I slowly placed my lips on hers and immediately tasted the sweet sugar of the cider she had been drinking. Chloe opened her mouth slightly and I took advantage and placed my tongue into her mouth and began to massage her tongue with mine. My veins begin to throb and my heart was ready to explode. I secretly hoped this wouldn’t be a one-time thing. Just then I heard a little moan escape from Chloe and she took hold of my T-shirt in her fists and pulled me closer. At that moment I knew this kiss was one I’d remember for the rest of my life.

Wow! I sat there thinking how that night was ten years ago now and by god how times had changed. Tomorrow though was one of my baby sister’s wedding day and I would do my utter most to enjoy myself and think positively about the future.

I sat in the church with my mum, dad and Nicola waiting for the wedding to start. Sarah was the first out of the Smith / Hopkins’ children to get married and I was really looking forward to seeing her come down the aisle. Secretly though I was looking more forward to getting a view of Matt in a tuxedo. I smiled as I remembered the last time I saw Matt in a Tuxedo. It was the University Summer ball in our last year and how he stood in our living room waiting for me to walk down the stairs. He looked so handsome and it gave me butterflies in my stomach just thinking about this. Just then Mrs Hopkins, Matt and Gemma appeared in the large doorway and made their way to the front of the church. Mrs Hopkins spoke to all the guests on the way down but Matt had his head down and avoided eye contact with anyone. I’d forgotten how much Matt hated being centre of attention when we were younger so I guessed it was even less now since he was in a chair.

As he rolled down the aisle I took the time to take in the full view of Matt without him realising. He wore a light grey tuxedo with a crisp white shirt underneath. I noticed his tie and cravat were baby pink so this gave me a good idea what colour the bridesmaids would be in. He sat in his chair and it was the first time I noticed his wheels had three lights flashing in the middle, this made me wonder if they were run by some kind of motor. His entire chair was black and the back rest came up to just below his shoulder blades. I could see there were handles folded up at the back and I wondered how often he had to use them. As he reached the alter, Matt turned his chair sideward and this gave me a view of his belly sticking out, even with all Matt’s flaws he was still by far the most attractive man ever to me.


The ceremony was lovely, Sarah looked absolutely stunning with a long white laced dress on which was open on the back and showed off her work on the sun beds. Her hair was all pinned back and her makeup was flawless. Her dress was accompanied by some baby pink roses wrapped in a white band. I was half right with the bridesmaids, they were wearing a light coffee brown coloured dress with a baby pink band around the middle each holding a delicate bouquet of pink roses.

After the ceremony we went to find our tables, my dad found out where we were sat and led the way. As we approached the table I saw that Matt, Gemma and another couple I didn’t know were already sat down. My heart sped up a little and I hoped and prayed I wasn’t sat next to Matt because I didn’t think my heart would take it very well sitting that close to him and unable to touch him. As luck would have it, that wasn’t the case and I found my butterfly name card was immediately to the right of Matt.

Everyone on the table made their introductions and I soon realised that I did know one of the mystery couple. It was Matt’s cousin Poppy and her boyfriend Charlie. I’d not seen Poppy since she was about 15 and she had changed so much. Her hair was cut very short into a shaved black pixie cut and she was a good few stone heavier than previously.

Once everyone was seated, the venue staff started to bring out the starters. I turned to Matt and said, “There’s only one starter you’ve ordered. No way have you ordered anything other than pate, you nearly lived on the thing when we were at uni.”
“No I went for the scallops,” Matt replied.
“What? Why?” I questioned. “I was always the fish fan. You were never bothered about it.”
Matt’s cheeks instantly changed to a red colour and he replied, “no reason. Things just change.” I didn’t probe him any further and turned to Nicola to ask her a question.

Once the starters were served I instantly realised why Matt had ordered scallops and felt guilty for bringing his disability to his mind. Gemma discreetly went into a bag on the back of Matt’s chair and placed a rather large spoon with a curve in the handle on the table. Matt weaved his fingers through the spoon and balanced it in the one hand where I watched him scoop the scallop into it. I tried my hardest not to stare but just then Matt glared my way and caught my eye.


My stomach churned and I felt the bile rise in my throat as I realised Chloe was staring at me. I knew I’d given her a harsh glare back, but this was the last thing I wanted. I could only imagine what was going through her head as she realised that feeding myself was something I couldn’t do easily any more. I was lost in self-pity when Chloe piped up, “so how are the scallops? I now kind of wish I’d ordered them after seeing yours.”
“Really good,” I lied. I’d no idea how they tasted because all I could think of was how incapable I had looked to Chloe.
“Sorry you caught me staring but those scallops just looked to die for,” she stated. I knew full well what she was trying to do and I really did appreciate it.
“No worries,” I replied.

I soon got over the embarrassment of Chloe seeing me eat and the next 20 minutes went without a hitch. Everyone seemed relaxed and the wine was flowing well. At that moment the waiters started to bring out the main courses. The waiter arrived with two plates of roast beef and asked, “two roast beefs here but who wanted one already cut up for them?” Luckily Gemma took hold of the plate and placed it down in front of me because at that point I don’t think I trusted myself to speak. I felt my insides twist into knots and I was sure you would have been able to cook an egg on my check. I wanted the Earth to open up and swallow me whole. Wasn’t it obvious I was the one who needed the food cutting up? How insensitive could this arsehole be? I quickly excused myself and pretended I needed the toilet.

I pushed myself through the double doors out of the venue, past the toilets and onto a silent balcony. I placed my hands on my knees and took long deep breaths trying to hold the tears back from erupting. I sat there for about two minutes and I was just about managing to control myself when I heard one of the balcony doors open behind me. I slowly turned my chair around expecting to see Gemma, but before me was Chloe. “Hey you ok?” she asked in a kind calm tone. “Dinners going to get cold. You coming back?”
“Yes I’m fine. I went to the toilet and thought I’d get a minutes fresh air,” I lied.
Chloe took a step outside and sat on one of the chairs next to me. “Matt, you don’t have to feel embarrassed that you need a little help with some things.” She looked me in the eyes and continued. “This is me remember. Think about how many times you have had to help me out. God you are the one I pissed down remember.”
I couldn’t help but laugh as I remembered the incident. We were at a family party in the middle of university and I grabbed hold of Chloe and threw her over my shoulder. I didn’t realise at the time she was headed towards the toilet and as her bladder hit my shoulder the outcome was inevitable. “So back inside?” she asked.
“Yes,” I replied, and rolled towards the door that Chloe held open. I rolled through the door and said, “thanks.” I was certain Chloe knew I meant it more for the reassuring chat than for holding the door.


The rest of the night went without any mishaps and the alcohol took away any previous embarrassment. I loved spending time with Chloe and no matter how much I pretended, I still loved her as much as I did when I ended our relationship. I could tell by Chloe’s tone of voice that she was getting more intoxicated as the night went on. She asked for my number and told me how she missed having me in her life and wanted us to be friends. I’d told her my number and she typed it in her phone. She rang me immediately and then stated how she wanted to hear from me pretty soon.

The night was coming to a close and I was ready for home. Sarah looked beautiful and it seemed like she was having an amazing day. As the DJ started to slow down the music Sarah took hold of the microphone and demanded everyone got up and danced for the final song. I thought I had no issue getting away with staying where I was until Sarah added, “and dad and Matt don’t think that doesn’t include you two. So up you both get.” I looked to the dance floor hoping Chloe would be on her own but obviously she had been snapped up straight away by one of the other ushers. Gemma quickly appeared at my side and whispered in my ear, “come on handsome, you’ve got this. I’ll just sit on your knee and we’ll spin around in circles. No one will be watching you so don’t worry about it.” I roll onto the dance floor and Gemma carefully placed herself on my lap, straddled her legs over on side of my chair and wrapped her arms around my neck. Gemma was right, everyone was enthralled in the dance and taking no notice of me. Well that was true apart from one set of eyes. Constantly burning into my sole were Chloe’s.