Title: The Bridge Is Broken
Summary: Katie isn't sure what she's forgiving.
All mistakes are mine.
Fic: The Bridge Is Broken
Part 1 | 1961 words
“Boy you’ve got nerve, to come along
You’ll never learn I’m not your girl, not quite
Now please don’t stand in my way”
(The title and quote are taken from the song “The Bridge is Broken”, by The Do).
Collage had started just as she had expected. Obviously there were going to be a few dickheads giving her the odd weary glance, twats. Emily was being all blunt and, what was it – brave, saying straight up that, “people are bound to know about the rock incident you know? It’s not like Cook is subtle about keeping things quiet, not to mention JJ’s completely shit at keeping a secret,” she added begrudgingly.
Oh fuck off.
Katie expects things to be different; she’s different. It’s like Emily was making sure that the weary glances she received weren’t because of the fact that her sister was in a relationship with a clueless hippy muff-muncher, but because she had well and truly been the subject of the most fucked up bashing ever. And that’s just the icing on the cake, or the cherry or whatever.
Katie misses being normal, or whatever she was before.
She turns from Emily and walks away without a word, she can practically feel Emily’s eyes roll—another precious habit she’s picked up from that bin bag of a girlfriend, and carries on down the hall. It’s not until she reaches Freddie’s locker that she realizes she’s lost her composure and Katie can’t afford to fuck up like that on the first day back. With her shoulders back and her mint chest out, Katie flicks her hair behind her shoulder and struts the rest of the walk to her class.
It’s all an act of course; a smooth façade to make sure that psycho bitch doesn’t have the satisfaction of taking it all. Katie’s long realised that appearance counts for like, eighty percent of everything and so that’s why she’s made a special effort to look extra lush today. Katie had planned every detail of her outfit out. High-waist leopard print skirt, in blue with matching plain blue heels. Her top obviously had to show off her most prized possessions but because she’s trying for ‘one hot but classy chick’ this year, she added heaps of long length necklaces to keep her chest from being completely bare.
Once Katie’s sat in her seat, she’s confident she’s the best looking in there. And of course Effy is the last one to make it to class, how-fucking-cool. Katie’s so busy watching Effy float into a seat next to her without giving anyone eye contact, that it takes her a while to realise that a few girls sat in the front corner of the class have turned to look at her. Now she feels a little less hot and a little more a freak, which causes anger to bubble up inside her. The anger isn’t directed at those nosy bints at the front of the class, but at Effy Stonem. Christ, she didn’t even make a fucking effort to look like she hasn’t spend the last 6 hours trailing out of a sweaty, greasy club.
Then the class starts. Katie isn’t listening to the teacher but she think she hears a “sorry” come from the seat beside her.
It isn’t enough.
The weekend comes faster than she anticipates and it’s not until she gets a text from Cook saying house prty at 73 Wickham st bring alcohol gt drugs YESSS ppl!! that she realises her efforts to maintain social dignity is possibly a non-stop job.
Since Emily is getting ready at Naomi’s that means she’s free to borrow anything she likes, and does so by taking a pair of Emily’s faux pearl earrings off the dressing table and puts them on. Anyway, it’s not like Emily ever bothers much with jewellery. Katie doesn’t feel guilty.
Once stood in front of the mirror she stands tall and although she knows she looks good, in the back of her mind she can’t help think that she’s alone and even when she gets to the party and people start to talk at her with their usual bullshit, she will probably still feel alone. All of a sudden the reality of the night ahead of her hits and makes her throat practically scream for the touch of alcohol.
“Its Katiekins,” Cook shouts, grinning like he’s already on his third pill. “Got something for you babe”. He grabs her hand and takes her to the kitchen, through a mass of creeps she’s never seen before, probably because they’re all about 5 years older than her. The kitchen counter is covered in bottles of beer, vodka, cider, gin, whiskey, drugs. Cook produces a small baggie of white powder and pours some onto the counter. He wiggles his eyebrows at Katie and divides the powder into two with a card, shaping them into lines.
“The fuck is that Cook?” Katie asks, even though she’s not too fussed. She just wants to get fucked, completely off her tits.
“Methadrone, init. Not technically illegal, am I a genius or what?” He boasts whilst shoving a small piece of straw up his nose. He cleans up his line, sniffs and twitches his nose and hands Katie the straw.
Katie takes the straw and does her line anyway, she’s never done Meth before but she assumes it can’t be much different from MDMA.
“How long for the kick?” Katie asks.
Cook looks at her mischievously and says, “about 10 minutes”.
It isn’t long until Emily finds her, tagging Naomi along behind who looks completely wankered.
Emily’s clearly very drunk too and touches Katie’s arm, asks, “Want to come outside for a fag?”
Since Katie is, according to Cook, about two minutes away from being higher than kite, she declines and looks at Naomi who just nods at her as a way of acknowledging her presence.
She takes a few large gulps out of the glass of vodka and lemonade that was poured for her by one of the older guys, who wasn’t a total munter but Katie just wasn’t going there tonight. The drink tastes like a triple, and Katie should know. She wasn’t exactly a stranger to alcohol over the holidays. When she looks up from her glass the room is spinning slightly and she feels like the can breathe again, smiles.
She spots Pandora, not with Thomas but with JJ so she heads towards where they’re dancing. Pandora is flailing her arms everywhere and dancing like a total retard, while JJ is looking really awkward and barely moving. Poor bastard.
Halfway to her destination, Effy pops out in front of her, like out of nowhere. The fuzziness that is overwhelming Katie’s head just makes her stop, unfazed.
“Hi, Katie.” Effy says sounding cautious, as if Katie was about to flip out at her.
“Yeah, hi Effy,” is all Katie gives her back, because she can play it cool too.
That’s as far as the exchange goes.
After dancing in a crowd of strangers for hours, Katie is still buzz is fading when she starts to notice that people have begun to leave. She checks the clock on her phone and sees that it’s half five. In the summer, the sun will have started to rise and the walk home would feel almost refreshing, slightly sobering. Being at the beginning of September, Katie will just have to make do with being covered by a blanket of darkness, invisible.
Alone and invisible.
She just wants to be home now, where she can stop pretending. Without saying goodbye to anyone, Katie heads for the front door and makes a quiet exit. It’s not the most sensible thing she’s ever done, and Emily certainly won’t thank her for it but right now she doesn’t care.
She takes a left turn at the end of the road because it’s better lit and less creepy, not because it’s in the direction of Effy’s house. All she’s doing is thinking, all the time- it’s driving her insane. She’s angrier at Effy for trying to play nice, giving her nothing to bite back against than she is at Effy for hitting her with a rock. Maybe it’s because the rock incident wasn’t entirely Effy’s fault and maybe it’s because Effy is making Katie feel like a child for not trying too.
Her feet are killing from the heels, and she known where they have taken her so when she looks up to see the Stonem house she’s not even a little surprised. All she’s doing is looking, anyway. She doesn’t even know where the fuck Effy went, whether she will still be up. She doesn’t even know which room is hers. Katie stands there for a while and it’s like being face to face with her problem and by just standing there, staring at a house, she feels less pathetic.
It’s pretty fucking freezing and the thought of crawling into a duvet is becoming more and more enticing.
The cough takes Katie completely by surprise, really scares the shit out of her. All her senses become focused of trying to find what made the noise. She realises it came from Effy’s front lawn and that’s when she realises what’s happened. Looks like Effy isn’t handling herself so well these days, not that she usually does. Something drops in Katie’s stomach when she realises that she’s going to have to help her. Now that she thinks about it, this might be her chance to come out the better person, to finally beat Effy. Even when Effy left her there, back in the woods, Katie isn’t about to do the same to Effy- and not just because she isn’t tripping.
Katie crosses the road without looking both ways; it’s quiet anyway. When she sees Effy lying on her back in her front lawn, eyes closed, the first think she thinks is what the fuck. Effy has her eyes shut, her arms sticking out at either side of her.
“What the fuck,” Katie voices. Effy’s eyes snap open, she looks really messed up and Katie can see that her pupils are the size of saucers.
“Katie,” Effy smiles, “to what do I owe this pleasure?”
“Don’t give me that shit, Ef. What the fuck are you doing, I thought you KO’d or something. You can’t-“
“The grass feels nice.” Effy states simply. “That, and I can’t get up, kept falling. Falling, falling, falling. Made me laugh.”
“Where are your keys?” Katie asks, ignoring the crazy.
“Left pocket, are you going to rob me Katie?” Effy muses.
Katie’s sense of humour clearly isn’t that fucked up, and so she doesn’t laugh- doesn’t even smile. Katie leans over Effy and digs in her left pocket for the key and while doing so Effy grabs Katie’s wrist. Katie just stares into Effy’s eyes, there’s nothing else to do. Effy’s eyes bore into Katie.
“Sorry,” escapes Effy’s lips. And it’s the most sincere she’s ever sounded, not even an inch of irony or sarcasm.
“Yeah, sure. Let’s just get inside ok,” is all Katie can manage without her voice breaking.
Katie helps Effy up from the grass and drapes one of her arms over her shoulder. There’s a bit of a height difference and the position is uncomfortable, but beggars can’t be chooses in these situations.
Once they reach Effy’s room, Effy stumbles away from Katie and collapses onto the bed. Katie just stands there. It takes her all of twenty seconds to decide to pull the duvet over Effy and climb in the other side of the bed.
Sleep comes faster than it has done in a long time.
- Fic: The Bridge Is Broken