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Finn doesn’t remember what the bottom of the bottle looks like, but he remembers the fuzzy feeling he got when he set it down. Chop was tilting sightly in his chair but Archie helped him stay upright. Izzy was still taking shots, which surprised all the boys because she was usually the first to tap out. Chloe sat next to Finn, lightly swirling her finger on his arm. He didn’t like it. It reminded him of Rae. Rae, the girl who ‘just wanted to be friends’. Rae, the source of his sleepless nights. Beautiful, beautiful Rae.
"You know what I like?" He said loudly, slapping the table so Chloe’s hand couldn’t reach him.
"What?" Archie asked him, pushing Chop back into his seat.
"The way Rae’s hair bounces when she walks."
Chop laughed into his pint. “That’s not all she’s got bouncing. Raemundo’s got quite the chest.”
Finn blushed. “Mate, you don’t even know.”
Izzy rolled her eyes at Chop, crossing her arms.
"She’s got nothing on you though, babe!" He shouted towards her but the damage was done.
"He’s drunk, Iz." Chloe told her.
"Yeah, great excuse."
"Rae’s really pretty." Finn said again. "She doesn’t think she is, but she so is. Sometimes when she’s reading, I like to watch her."
"That’s a bit creepy, mate." Archie told him but Finn shook his head.
"No that’s not! It’s love, you should try it."
"You love Rae?"
Chloe slid a bit away from him, looking down at her drink before asking him, “What do you like about Rae?”
Finn sighed, trying to categorize all his love into coherent sentences.
"Everything, Chloe. The way she sounds when she’s angry, the way she says my name. She called me Finnley and I thought I’d explode because my nan used to call me that and I love my nan and Rae’s my top girl, you know? She wears cool clothes and she’s not afraid of anything and she’s quick to tell me when I’m wrong and she can drink me under the table and she’s got killer music taste. Her skins really soft. I thought maybe only her hands would be but then I touched her-"
"Alright! Please, I don’t want to hear about you defiling Raemundo, mate. Instead of telling us all this, just go to her."
"She doesn’t want me around, Chop. She just wants to be friends."
Chop rolled his eyes but it was Izzy who spoke up.
"Rae loves you, Finn. Maybe she just isn’t as….vocal as you about it. She’s all alone tonight-"
"What?" Finn sat up in his seat.
"Yeah her parents went out for the weekend so she’s all by herself."
"I gotta go."
He stumbled away from the table and out onto the sidewalk. He saw three scooters that all belonged to him and decided to walk to her house.
By the time he found her house (he’d knocked on her neighbors door by accident), he was worried she might be sleeping. But then he heard a familiar laugh erupt from behind the door and he wasn’t nervous to knock.
She answered quickly and he tried not to notice the sad look on her face when she saw it was him.
"Finn, are you drunk?"
Her voice was like a warm blanket wrapping him up, and he closed his eyes at the sound.
He opened his eyes and smiled. “I just wanted to see you.”
"Because I heard you were alone and I don’t think you should be alone."
She hesitated a moment before stepping aside for him to let him come in.
He lead the way into her living room, not waiting for an invitation to sit. She perched next to him, leaning away from him.
"Why do you always do that? You did that when we were together too." He pointed out, making her blush.
"Every time I’d get near you, you’d lean away as though you didn’t want me near."
"It’s not that."
"Then what is it?"
Rae figured anything she said would be forgotten in the morning, so she didn’t hesitate.
"Because I want to take up less space."
"Because when you’re around, I notice how much space you take up, and it’s half of what I take up and I don’t want you to notice."
He moved closer and she shrank away.
"I never know what you’re talking about." His words were still slurring but his hand was steady when he reached out and took her hand.
"Yeah, because I’m mad and you’re one hundred percent normal."
"That’s got nothing to do with it! And you’re not mad."
"You can keep saying it but it doesn’t make it true."
"Rae, the only space I’ve ever noticed was the one you left when you split with me."
"I’m passionate about the written word."
"But you spoke it."
"Yeah, well I’m a bit drunk!"
"Well, don’t shout at me because you decided to go out!"
"I’m not shouting!" He shouted and then immediately fell silent.
"I’m not shouting." He whispered, making Rae laugh.
"You’re ridiculous." She smiled but he noticed her move closer to him.
He suddenly noticed how close they were and felt his face heat up. He’d fallen out of sync with how to be around her. What if she noticed his palms were sweating?
"Do you want to.." He started but cut off.
"Do I want to?"
"Er, watch the sunrise? I know it sounds ridiculous."
She smiled at him though. “It sounds nice. I’ll make us tea.”
They didn’t kiss. They didn’t hold hands. They sat next to each other in Rae’s back yard, and started to be friends again. It was nice to hear her voice. Finn fought off the urge multiple times to shout what he loved about her but he decided to wait until she was ready to hear it.
Around 4 in the morning, she started to talk slower, leaning against him as sleep started to win her over.
"Do you remember when you asked me why I liked you?"
She yawned and nodded, so he continued.
"I didn’t know how to answer you. I like everything about you, always have. You were so confident when you stole my 20p and you weren’t trying to be dim like other girls do. You were loud and obnoxious and I liked you. You wore what you liked and didn’t try to flaunt yourself, though you’d win in a body contest any day. I thought you were beautiful. And you’re strong. I could always tell you were strong because you’ve got those scars but you’re still here. My mum had scars too, but she wasn’t strong. She ran from everyone and everything and now I’m not sure where she is. She calls but never tells me where she’s ringing me from. But you always tell me the truth. You’re not afraid of what I’ll think. And I know you think I’m going to run away from you, but I won’t. I’m only running to you, girl, never the other way. Love corrects the chaos. Life is crazy but you’re not so I run to you because I love you.”
But Rae was softly snoring by then, and hadn’t heard a word.
Are you planning on doing a follow up?this was absolutely wonderful! I love your drunk puppy Finn. The gang interaction was cute and Rae being Rae was awesome. A+
1. Date a boy who makes you happy, but marry him only if he makes you laugh deep-belly rumbles that hurt your ribs as they expand outwards. Date him when he sees that you’re hurting and he gives you a moment to feel that pain like a handprint spreading across your consciousness, marry him only if he can make you smile even while you’re gross sobbing. The world is not a kind place. You will feel a lot of pain. Make sure you are with someone who makes it all bearable. Humor is an excellent gauge of intelligence. Life gets boring. Find someone who makes the banal interesting.
2. Make sure he has scars on the back of his hands, it’s a good sign he has experience either fighting or making things - creation is an act of selflessness and bruised knuckles are a good sign he knows how to defend himself. You’ve got too much soul to be handled by someone who has never been passionate. If he’s never thrown a punch, let him at least have tasted the insanity of bringing an idea into existence. Rough palms are better than soft ones, they have been salted by this earth and made into leather. Callouses are evidence he has lived, that he has broken skin and been in pain over and over and over again and still came back to the source of it. People rub against each other. Don’t marry him if he can’t handle even a little blister.
3. Before you say yes, get him angry. See him scared, see him wanting,see him sick. Stress changes a person. Find out if he drinks and if he does, get him drunk - you’ll learn more about his sober thoughts. Discover his addictions. See if he puts you in front of them. You can’t change people, baby girl. If they are made one way, it doesn’t just wear off. If you hate how he acts when he’s out of it now, you’re going to hate it much worse eight years down the road. You might love him to bits but it doesn’t change that some people just don’t fit.
4. Trust your instincts. If he ever makes you feel unsafe, don’t make excuses, just get up and leave. That’s all there is to it. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
5. If he puts money before you, he’ll keep pushing you to the bottom of the pile until you become his last priority. It’s one thing if he can’t afford what you want, it’s another if he has the cash but won’t spring for a box of chicken mcnuggets. Money and love are arch enemies. 62% of divorces occur due to economic strain. Make sure keeping you is more important than his 401k.
6. How a man treats animals is a good indicator of how he treats children. If you see him raise a hand to a dog, pack your things into a little black bag. Animals at their worst are only half as annoying as a toddler on their best behaviour. Your kids will be beautiful, but they will also misbehave. Same goes for waiters and hotel maids - if he’s rude to those who are working for minimum wage, it says a lot about how he sees himself. Patience is rare and so important. If he’s not forgiving to a dog, he’s not good for your kids.
7. If he isn’t in awe of you, he doesn’t deserve you. You are my little girl and you were born perfect. If he can’t see that, it’s his loss. There is someone who thinks your flaws power his heart. Be strong. If he asks you to change, be like like rock of your birthstone, do not waver. You are wondrous just the way that you are.