Cordelia shook her head, she did not like the thought of Nikolai getting hurt . She took his arm in hers.
“Oh hello, you’re not cross with me, Cordelia?”
She shook her head.
“Well that’s one person at least. Hmm, well at least I wont be alone, I couldn’t cope with that at the moment. When my Mum died..”
He paused and cleared his throat, Cordelia looked right into his eyes willing him to carry on. Nikolai cleared his throat.
“When- when my Mum died, I seemed to spend a lot of time by myself. Not exactly out of choice; but my Dad wasn’t really coping. He’d shut himself in his study or room erm I look quite a lot like her I suppose.”
Poor Man, Cordelia thought.
“Sorry, I shouldn’t be telling you this, especially when you’ve lost your Mum too. It’s a painful subject I know.”
She placed his hand on his shoulder and nodded her head, moving her right hand up and down in a talking motion.
“You, you want me to go on?”
“Um, okay. I spent a lot of time with my Mum when she was really ill. She died long before I knew that I was going to be famous and always encouraged me to follow my dreams. But yeah, Mum really was poorly. I looked after her quite a bit when the McMillan nurses weren’t there and…. jeez, I haven’t even told Jenna that! Why am I spilling my life story to someone I have known for less than a week? Crazy! How- how did your Mum die?”
Cordelia thought long and hard, how on earth was she going to explain to him. She made a swimming motion with her arms.
“She- she drowned?”
‘Close enough’ she thought and nodded slowly.
“Oh God, I’m really sorry.”
Cordelia hung her head and scratched her cheek and Nikolai took her slender hand in his and kissed it.
“Sorry for your loss. You know, even though they’re gone; I don’t think people ever leave us, not really.”
His phone buzzed in his pocket. He glanced at the screen, Mikayla. In his heart of hearts, he was no longer sure what to do; not after what Jenna had said, but the last thing he wanted to do was to be rude to his current girlfriend. Was she that? Nikolai was no longer sure.
“Hey.” He stated, trying to sound cheery.
“Heya Niko, I simply had to ring you!”
“Why are you saying oh like that, you haven’t heard my full story.”
“Oh um okay, go ahead then.”
“Kate Moss is in the Bahamas like literally 10 minutes away from us!” She squealed.
“You don’t sound impressed.”
“I’m not a Kate Moss fan.”
“Babes everyone is a fan of hers. We should totally meet up and like bump into her. Can we go for a coffee or something? We need to talk anyway and..”
“I’m a bit tired I’m afraid.”
“Oh Nikolai, do you have to make excuses?”
“It’s not an excuse, it’s the truth.”
“Nik, it’s early how can you be tired? Please don’t fob me off!” She begged.
“I’m not. Look; I’ve not long suffered from a head injury. Sometimes I just feel worn out and need to take a nap or go to bed earlier these days. We can meet up soon though, I promise.”
“Sorry, I feel really mean but..”
“No it’s okay. Your health is more important.”
He coughed, was she being sarcastic? It was impossible for Nikolai to tell over the phone.
“Hmm, bye. I-I’ll see you soon Mikayla.”
“Yeah, sure you will.”
Nikolai cancelled the call, turning to Cordelia.
“I think I did the right thing.” He smiled. “Jenna was so right. Mikayla and I couldn’t be more wrong for each other if we tried. The distance would make things even more impossible, why try to find happiness somewhere else when you have a beautiful girl right in front of you? Well, um down below the deck.”
Cordelia nodded, happy that he wanted to be with Jenna as much as she wanted to be with him.
“Jen, Jenna?” He called.
“Yeah?” She stuck her head out of the windows.
“Jenna, come and join me on deck.”
“Okay, I’ll be two minutes.” She mumbled, with a a bobby pin in her mouth. She pinned the last of her hair, shut her window and nervously proceeded to walk up on deck.
“Cordelia, would you mind leaving us alone for a few minutes?”
“You’re probably starving. I think there’s a large tuna salad in the fridge; feel free to help yourself.”
Cordelia was very hungry, and with great reluctance she left him alone, fully aware of Jenna’s feelings for Nikolai, after all she had been the one to wipe away her tears.
Nik seated himself, facing the cloudier part of the sky, his usual pair of favourite sunglasses covering his eyes. He caught sight of Jenna’s mousy brown hair which was secured in a neat chignon. She coughed as he hinted at the seat opposite him.
“Nikolai, I thought you were going to be meeting up with Mikayla.”
“No, we hadn’t made any plans. She wanted to see me.”
“Oh I’m so happy for you!” Jenna grumbled.
“And I told her that today wasn’t much good.”
“You made an excuse?”
“Well, sort of. Jen, I’ve been thinking a lot about what you’ve said and well um..”
Jenna glanced at him and shook her head.
“Oh Nik! I shouldn’t have said anything. I’m such an idiot! I don’t want this to spoil out friendship you know and I can’t be angry with you for much longer. I can’t make you love me.”
Nikolai pressed his index finger on her lips and kissed her cheek.
“I don’t know what I’ve been playing at for this last week or so, really I don’t. Mikayla is quite..”
“Intense and pushy?”
“You could say that, yes. She wanted to take things too quickly I suppose . I mean we were never really an item but ditching someone over text is such a sleazy and awful thing to do, don’t you think?”
“It would be cruel.”
“Well then, I’m afraid that I have no option to agree to talk to her face to face and end it that way, not that we were ever officially going out.”
“Oh gosh, when are you going to do it?”
“I’m going to ring her now, give me 5.”
Nikolai dialled her number, feeling a little cruel.
“Hey Nik!” She exclaimed. “So you’ve decided to talk to me now, have you?”
“Yes, but we’ve always been on talking terms!”
“Why the formality?”
“Are you free now?”
“Yeah sure! What made you change your mind?”
“Okay then, would you be able to meet me in ten minutes um outside the ice cream parlour.”
“That sounds amazing! I’ll be quick.”
“Okay.” Nikolai whispered, putting the phone down.
“Do you want me to come with you?”
“Nah, thanks anyway Jen. I don’t want her to think that we’re ganging up on her or something.”
“I suppose. Don’t look so scared Nik, just stand your ground and do what you have to do.”
Jenna stroked his finger tips.
“Your fingers look swollen, hang on; just before you go.”
She went into the first aid kit and fetched the trianglular piece of cloth, placing Nikolai’s elbow at the point of the triangle, tying a little knot. With care, she secured it around his neck in a knot.
“Jen, I just want to say that I’m sorry. I don’t know what I want at the moment, but…”
“Does that feel secure?”
“I’m impressed Jenna! With any luck it might help to put Mikayla off me too!”
©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014