Planchette-Part 56


“God you really do have a damp problem.” Ava observed, gazing up at the peeling wallpaper upon the ceiling.

“I know.” Oscar admitted. “We need dehumidifiers, but we couldn’t afford to hire industrial ones.  I’m not really happy about you sleeping in here!”

“Why?”

“I’m probably immune to the damp, you however aren’t. No to mention the fact that it’s ridiculously cold and you’re pregnant.”

“Oh Oscar stop fussing like an old woman and let’s get into bed!”

“Well I actually have to make it first. I’m just hoping that there are some spare sheets in the linen cupboard, I swear it’s the only dry place in the whole house!”

“Hey let’s sleep in there!” Ava grinned.

“Well I’m glad that you’re not too horrified by the state of my so-called home.” Oscar smiled.

“Me? No, never! I’ve honestly seen much worse.”

“When?”

“I remember when I was small, our whole house flooded. It has actually my fault. I went to brush my teeth, turned on the cold tap as normal, air came out instead of water. I did tell my Mum, but she was busy putting her make up on. I don’t think she was listening. Anyway, we went out and when we came back the house was water logged, as the water providers had switched the water back on without warning us.”

“Jesus ! Really?”

“Yes! Luckily my parents had insurance to cover the house, but the majority of it needed re-decorating. Let’s just say that I wasn’t popular for a  few weeks!”

Oscar laughed. “I bet!”

Ava glared at him.

“I was just kidding Ava, you were just a child and everyone makes mistakes.”

“Yeah they do.

“Ava I wish you’d open up a bit more about your parents and even life in general! Talking really helps.

“I’d rather not! Not now anyway. I’m so tired, Oscar.” Oscar nodded, leaving the room to return with an armful of linen.

“This will have to do. Thank god for your thick duvet.”

“Hmmm” Ava sighed. “I’ll double it over, we should be cosy tonight.”

“I know guys generally sleep on the outside of the bed closest to the door, but I’ll sleep next to the wall. I don’t want your pajamas to get musty.”

“Fair enough” Ava said. “They’re are a bit of a passion killer aren’t they?!”

Oscar laughed. “As opposed to what? My track suit bottoms and hoody? I look like a tramp! You’ve grown .”

“The bump?”

“Yeah.”

“Oh, I thought my top seemed tighter, well observed.  Goodnight!”

“Goodnight, we should talk tomorrow though alright.”

“Fine.”

*****

Ava awoke in the early dawn filled with a cold chill and gazed at Oscar who was still sleeping, facing her. She stroked his back gently, it was so damp. ‘God!’ She cursed. ‘I must have stolen the duvet for at least half the night.’ What time was it?

“Oscar!” Ava shook him gently.

“Hmmm, what are you doing?”

“Waking you! Your t-shirt is really wet!”

“Oh. Well rather me than you, it’s the dreadful insulation in this house! Everything is so musty and it’s freezing this morning! I’ll have a quick shower to warm up. I wont be long.”

“You’ll catch your death.”

“No I wont, I’ve lived here the majority of my life, I’m immune to this!”

“Hmm okay, I hope so! I might grab another 15 minutes of beauty sleep, it’s early yet.”

“No problem, you need it!” .

“You cheeky sod!” Ava grasped the corner of one of the pillows hurling at it at Oscar. “I’m sexy and you know it.”

“Yes, yes I do.” Oscar said.

Oscar showered quickly, in attempt to escape from the icy, mold-filled bathroom. He rough-dried himself, pulling on his dressing gown to take the edge of the chill in the air. Upon leaving the bathroom, another bedroom door creaked open and a familiar face came into view, hi-lighted under the dingy lighting.

To be continued….

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Planchette-Part 55


“Oscar you look really pale, are you sure you’re going to be alright?”

“Yeah, stop fretting about me.”

“I care!”

“I know you do. I’m just thinking about things.”

“Alright. This is going to make me sound like a little child, but are we there yet?”

Oscar laughed. “There’s only an hour and a half to go!”

“Oh thank god. I need my bed, well your bed!”

“So do I.”

“Do you want some more coffee Oscar?”

“Yeah can you pour me half a cup, I’m sure the caffeine boost will do me good.”

“Here, it’s more warm than hot now.”

“Perfect.” Oscar smiled, downing the cupful. “There, I’m re fueled ! I was just feeling slightly tired that’s all.”

“What’s your area like Oscar?”

“Horrible. Hence why I didn’t want you to come originally. I’m glad you’re here with me now and I’m sure we’ll be grateful for that extra duvet tonight.”

“Perhaps. Are you sure that you don’t want me to drive?”

“No you’re fine.”

“You really are a stubborn person aren’t you! Have it your way.”

The pair sat deep in thought, listening to the gentle pitter -patter of the raindrops against the car windscreen. Ava felt her eyelids growing heavier by the second and slipped into a gentle slumber.

****

“Ava we’re here.”

“W-hat? That was quick!”

“You were asleep for the majority of the second half of the journey.”

Ava gazed at the long row of terraced houses.

“So I was! My goodness It’s a long street! Okay, which house is yours?”

“The one at the end, sods law isn’t it? Don’t worry, I’ll get the bags, you start walking.” Oscar opened the car boot, grasping the suitcases.

“No actually Ava, wait. On second thoughts, stay where you are.”

“Why?”

“Just in case.”

“Of what exactly?”

“Put it this way Ava, we’re not in Chester any longer. Just be careful!”

“Right, I understand. Be aware of dodgy characters, stranger danger and all that?”

“Precisely. I’m not trying to scare you, it’s not horrendously bad. You need to be cautious though.”

“Alright! What happened?!” Ava snapped.

“Nothing to me personally. Our house got broken into a few years back, we’ve all been threatened a few times. I wouldn’t dare go out alone in the evenings in the area, always go out in a large group that would be my advice. It’s the same for everyone in the area, not just us.  Come on let’s get inside, you’re shivering.”

“For a moment I thought you were going to tell me another deep dark secret Oscar.”

“In!” Oscar ordered.

Ava nodded, following Oscar who opened the tarnished front door and placed the suitcases into the hallway.

“Sorry we just need some light, there that’s better. You look terrified Ava, don’t be.” Oscar patted Ava’s arm, examining the familiar tiny living room with its small sofa with sunken, crumpled seats. “At least it looks lived in.”

Ava nodded. “Where’s the bathroom?”

“Here I’ll show you and then I’ll take our bags into my room.”

“Thanks.”

“Just in here.” Oscar beckoned to the small closet-like room, eyeing the mold which clung  to the musty tiles. “ I’m sorry, that’s pretty horrible. Normally bleach keeps it under control, but it looks like Mum hasn’t bothered.”

“It’s fine.” Ava smiled gently. “I’ll meet you upstairs in a minute, I need bed.”

Oscar nodded, proceeding to carry the suitcases upstairs. He entered his old room, the tiny-box like structure with its sloped ceiling. ‘This is no place for Ava’ he cursed. ‘Why on earth did you bring her here?’ A small speck of relief came to him when he remembered that he’d packed the small electric heater from Chester. That would help at least. He hastily walked outside with his car, returning with it under one arm and plugging it in at the wall, closing the door behind him in attempt to warm the room. Ava knocked, peering into the bedroom.

“Can we go to bed now? I’m exhausted!”

“I know you are! Of course, I was just warming my room.”

“Was it really that chilly?”

“Yeah, like the Arctic.” Oscar smiled nervously.

“Oh so melodramatic as always.” Ava laughed, stroking Oscar’s hair.  “Come on let’s get some sleep. ”

To be continued….

 

Planchette-Part 54


Ava stirred, gazing at Oscar with vacant, blurry eyes . “Why did you put the radio on? It woke me!”

“Sorry, I was just listening to the traffic news.”

“Hmmm. How long was I asleep for?”

“An hour and a half.”

“Wow that was a good nap! Just as well the radio disturbed me, other wise I might not sleep tonight!”

“Oh I think you’d manage Ava!”

“Yeah, probably!” Ava laughed. “How far off are we from the next service station? I’m starting to need the toilet.”

“Ah good timing. You’re in luck, only 5 miles to go!” Oscar smiled.

“Thank God!”

“No, not thank God thank Oscar!” He grinned.

Ava smiled. “You seem far more relaxed today.”

“I’m feeling better in myself.” Oscar admitted honestly.

“Good! It’s nice to see you smiling, you need to do it more often!”

“I think I’ll have a drink of coffee after our toilet stop, it should keep me awake!” 

“You just brushed off my comment, honestly Oscar ! Ava tutted “What time is it?”

“9.15pm”

“Really? Is that it? It’s so dark!”

“I know. Right, I just need to pull off here, we’re nearly at the services.”

Oscar slowly pulled into the dingy service station, parking the car.

“Thanks.” Ava smiled. “Are you coming in too?”

“Might as well.” Oscar nodded. “It’s a long journey.”

With that they parted. Where is this service station? Ava questioned, gazing at the white washed brick wall before entering the tiny cubicles. Ava shuddered; public toilets are such horrible places she thought. Upon exiting the toilet, she noticed the small rack of newspapers tucked in the entrance of the small out of hours shop. Gingerly, Ava skipped thorough the pages purely by chance . ‘University of Chester student missing.’ What was this? Sebastian? Indeed, the small image was him, as clear as day.  She glanced along the index to find the small article. “A police search has begun for missing Sebastian Jackson who was reported missing on Thursday. The University of Chester Student was last seen exiting Cruise nightclub at 2am that morning.’ Ava gasped and wedged the paper back in the rack, walking swiftly to find Oscar.

His face fell immediately upon seeing her chalky complexion. “What happened?

“Everything is fine.” She lied.

“Something’s wrong, I can tell Ava. Please talk to me. You’ve had to listen to my woes often enough!”

“I’d really rather not! Can we please just get to London!” She stated through choked tears.

“ Shhh don’t cry, come on let’s get back into the car. We’ll be there before you know it. Are you sure that nothing is the matter?”

“I-I I’m just feeling a bit emotional today. Oh shit, no I can’t lie to you Oscar, hang on one moment.” Ava ran into the toilets, grasping the creased newspaper and handing it to a concerned Oscar.

“I found this article in the newspaper. It was purely by chance, I don’t why I read that particular newspaper or headline, I just did. It’s Sebastian, he’s missing.”

Oscar placed a hand to his mouth. “Oh Jesus! I just supposed”

“He’d gone home, or was taking a year out? Me too. He’s only been missing since Thursday, but it’s a worry. ”

“What can we do?”

Ava shrugged. “Nothing, I feel powerless! Lets just get to yours, stay a few days and sort this when we return to Chester.”

“Alright.”

“I don’t know why I reacted in that way, it’s not like he was a lovely person. He’s a cretin!”

Oscar smiled weakly. “In a nutshell, but we were supposed to be his housemates!”

“Oscar he was mixing with a different group of people when he went missing. It’s not our fault! He’s clearly been living somewhere with someone hasn’t he? I wouldn’t put it past him to be taking drugs! You saw the state of him when he broke into our house the first time! Stop worrying and lets just get to London okay, we’re over half way there now. Do you want me to drive for a bit? You look tired.”

“No I’m alright.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah, I’m fine. Why did it upset you so much?”

“I dont know. It must just be my hormones.”

To be continued…

Planchette-Part 53


“It’s a yes.”

“Hmm what?” Ava lifted her head from its comfortable position upon Oscar’s chest.

“I’ve slept on it. I’d like you to come home with me. It’s worth a try I guess, at least I’ll know where I stand with my Mum.”

“I’m really glad.” Ava mumbled. “Have you been lying awake all night worrying?”

“For the past couple of hours.”

“Oh. What time is it Oscar?”

“7am.”

“Not as early as I thought! It’s so dark!”

“Well it is winter.”

“Yes, yes I know Oscar”.

Okay when do you want to set off Ava? How about Friday evening after our lecture?”

 “Alright. Wouldn’t you think that our lecturers should be wondering where Sebastian is?”

“Oh Ava, I’m sure they already know! It’s not like he’s physically gone missing. He’s probably just at home with his Dad. I’m just really surprised that we’ve heard absolutely nothing from our letting company! If he has moved away for good, then surely someone else would have moved in with us. They’re losing out on money!”

“He’s paying his rent, that won’t be an issue. They just want their money on time. I don’t care where he is, I just hope we never see him again!”

“Hmmm. As for university well, for all we know he might be taking 6 months out I suppose . It’s really none of our business.”

“It is when he nearly killed you Oscar!”

“Don’t even worry about that now, it’s all behind us now. I need to stop dwelling in the past and move forward. I’m hoping that seeing my Mum again will help me to do this. I’m probably being a bit too optimistic aren’t I?”

“Optimism is always good.” Ava smiled.  “I’m going to have a shower to waken myself up a bit.”

“Alright, you take forever though!”

“I’m a woman! I have long hair which takes  ages to wash!” Ava laughed.

“Yes I know.”

“Oh alright Oscar, yes you can go first.”

“Good.” Oscar grinned. “As a thank you I’ll make breakfast after my shower.”

“Great.”

                                        ***********

Friday arrived far sooner than Ava an Oscar could have anticipated. Oscar stood in the hallway, waiting for Ava who had dashed off to pay one last visit to the bathroom.

“Sorry.” She blushed.

“Come on you.” Oscar laughed. “I really hope that the traffic isn’t as bad as my journey to Chester.”

“Well if it is at least we have the flask of coffee and box of sandwiches that I made.”

“When did you do that?”

“When you were hoovering the house earlier Oscar!”

“Oh, thanks.” Oscar smiled, picking up their bags. “Get in the car you. Honestly women! Let’s go!”

“All the windows are locked, I checked.” Ava smiled.

“So did I.” Oscar admitted. “I think I’m being a little bit too over-cautious, but oh well, better to be safe than sorry I suppose.”

“Yeah, oh god when was the last time you ate?”

“Ermmm.”

“Oscar! You’re driving me there. I can’t have you having a funny turn at the wheel!”

“I wont!”

“That’s what you always say. Eat one of the sandwiches quickly before we set off!”

“We need them for the journey.”

“Oscar I have fruit, cereal bars and coffee too! Just eat one.”

Oscar nodded and slowly devoured half of the sandwich. Ava watched him eat ever single morsel, it was only when he’d finished that she was satisfied.

“There that’s better! Can we go now?”

“Yeah!”

“Good! It’ll be nice to escape from Chester for a bit. I’m always up for doing something different!”

“If you say so, at least one of us is optimistic Ava!”

“Yeah!”

“You look tired Ava.”

“I’ll probably have a nap on the way.” Ava stated climbing into the passenger side of the car. The engine rattled and they began their long journey.  Ava rested her head against the window dozing gently. Oscar quickly glanced at her sleeping peacefully and averted his eyes back to the motorway.

To be continued…….

Planchette-Part 52


Ava sat cross-legged upon her bed, playing with her necklace. There came a gentle knock at the door. Oscar smiled, entering the room and gently placing the tray upon the bed.

“I have to admit, the toast does look delicious.” He smiled.

“Even though you do say so yourself?” Ava grinned.

“Yep! I actually feel slightly hungry for once.”

“Good, I’m always am and now I’m eating for two. Just kidding! If I did, I’d become so fat!”

Oscar rolled his eyes! “You? Fat! I don’t think so! There’s nothing of you.”

Ava sighed. “Speak for yourself! Now tell me about your Mum and Dad, what caused the violence?”

“I can’t believe we’re having this conversation over tea and toast! Alcohol and anger. I was so outwardly spoken sometimes. I’ve reigned myself in a lot these past few years!”

“You said things that you shouldn’t have done?”

Oscar nodded. “In a nutshell. I was really rude to my Mum a couple of times. She hated dealing with things like that by herself, so she’d always wait until my Dad came home. The trouble was, he had a drink problem. The alcohol fueled his emotions and worst of all his anger.”

“So he did hit you then? Like Sebastian?”

“Yes. We’ve already established this.”

“I just want to help you Oscar!”

“I know you do, you always mean well. I don’t know what I can do to sort things with my Mum now. It’s too late.”

“It’s never too late! I will do everything in my power to help you. So when it happened, how did your Mum react?”

A tear trickled down Oscar’s cheek . “She was quite understanding. I was more careful after that incident. I didn’t mind it so much if he was violent towards me, but then he tried to hurt my Mum.  It was all so messed up. I really need to toughen up a bit, but I can’t handle my emotions anymore.”

“Shhh don’t get upset. It’s really not your fault.” Ava coaxed.

“I hated my Mum and Dad’s relationship; they never really got on and were forever arguing. I just hope that our baby grows up in a calmer environment. I want the best life possible for our son or daughter. I haven’t even told my Mum Ava!

“Well I haven’t mentioned anything to my Aunt Olive!”

“You haven’t? Well it might be a good idea!”

“Talk about pot calling the kettle black Oscar! Your Mum should know too, seeing as though she’s going to be a Grandmother!”

“The thought of it makes me shudder; our baby will have an irresponsible alcoholic for a Grandma.”

“People can change Oscar.”

“I know. ”

“You should just go and see her as a surprise visit.”

“Yeah, she’d really appreciate it. I’d be wasting my time.”

“Oscar I want to come with you!”

“No, you can’t. You need to look after yourself.”

“Meaning?”

“Meaning I did all of the cleaning,  so I can’t really imagine what sort of state the house might be in. Plus the area is rough. When we arrive god knows what state my Mum might be in!”

“That doesn’t matter. If you can drive us there, I will be there to support you no matter where you live or what your house is like. We could just go for the weekend? You have a key don’t you?”

“Yes I do, but I really don’t know.”

“What are you so unsure of? Consider my offer Oscar and stop being so stubborn for once!”

“I’ll sleep on it!”

“Good! I feel I have made progress. Now please eat some more toast!”

“I’d rather brush my teeth and go to sleep right now, but for you I will.”

Oscar cautiously nibbled on the second piece of toast, placing the plate on her bedside table.

“Oscar you’re not going to leave that there are you?”

“No, no. I was just going to brush my teeth and then take that downstairs.”

Minutes later Oscar returned to the bedroom.

“I’m sorry.” Ava sighed.

“What for Ava?”

“I’m so bossy and grumpy at the moment! I feel guilty now.”

“Don’t be, it’s just your hormones!”

“Hmm. I’m going to sleep, I really do want to come home with you.Please think about it.”

“I will, goodnight.” Oscar planted a swift kiss onto Ava’s forehead and snuggled underneath the duvet.

To be continued…….

Planchette-Part 51


“Well that makes a lot of sense Oscar! You’re going to have to fill in the gaps for me!”

“Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit! The problem is, I don’t fully understand either, if I did I would explain it to you but I can’t. All I know is that my Mum blames me for my Dad leaving. I was the final straw.”

“How so? Do you want to talk about it?”

“No, not now.”

“Oscar I think there’s so much about you that I don’t know, that’s what really frightens me. It’s like you have a dark past or something!”

“Ava why would you be scared? You know more about me than I do about you.”

“Perhaps. We need to open up and tell each other the facts, we’ve known each other long enough now !”

“ My Mum would be furious if she knew we were about to have this conversation.”

“I wont tell a soul, I promise. You have my word Oscar.”

“Hmm, relationships should all be about trusting one another, I feel that I do that. Alright let’s just get it over with shall we?”

 “Fine. Can you sit on the bed properly? You’re making me nervous!”

“Sorry Ava. There.” Oscar lay beside Ava on top of the duvet, nestling into her shoulder.

“That’s much better! Okay here it is, have you been abused at some point?”

“Christ! That was blunt! I can’t believe I agreed to do this!” Oscar swallowed.

“Well?”

“I wouldn’t say abused. I got in the way.”

“You got in the way?”

“Yes Ava.”

“How?”

“My Dad has a drink problem like my Mum, but far worse. Mum was never aggressive under the influence of alcohol, whereas he was a different kettle of fish.”

“He was violent towards you both?”

“Pretty much, yes. Oh shit Ava! Why do you need to know everything about me?”

“Your emotions are eating you up inside!”

“I was a stroppy teenager with anger issues, it really couldn’t be helped that’s just who I was, I’ve already mentioned that fact before anyway!”

“Go on….”

“There were some food related incidents in the past.”

“I just knew it!”

“Do you want to hear this or not? Stop sounding so smug!”

“Sorry, I wasn’t! Yes, yes I want to hear what you have to say!”

“God this is so awkward. Okay here goes, my Mum was such an awful cook, I did offer to cook instead but she’d always get offended so I just stopped offering. It got to the stage where her meals got so revolting that I just stopped eating them. It infuriated her and of course when my Dad found out that I was wasting “good food” as he called it, that was it!”

“It?”

“Yes. There you know now.”

“No there is more to ‘it’ . Was he violent?”

“Yes”

“I take it that was towards you and your Mum?”

“Yes.”

“Christ I knew it! History repeated itself.”

“I’m sorry Ava?”

“With Sebastian I mean.”

“Yes, yes it did. Still at least with my Dad I brought it upon myself, I was so hot-tempered and so quick to snap back. I said some pretty awful things. Can we stop talking about this now?  You’re pregnant, look after yourself instead of looking after me! I’ve been really selfish, you look tired. Please have a rest, close your eyes.”

“Oscar stop trying to wriggle your way out of talking about this! You’re hardly sprightly, you look frail!”

“Please Ava. I’m going to make you something to eat, you haven’t eaten much today.”

“Speak for yourself! Clearly last night’s fainting episode wasn’t a wake up call for you!”

“Oh Ava! You’re a stuck record! Fine I’ll make us both something! What do you want?”

“Toast will do, bring it upstairs on a tray!”

“You really want to know more?”

“Yes, you must tell me everything Oscar!”

“Fine, I’ll be up in five.”

To be continued…..

Planchette-Part 50


“Now do you understand that I was right?”

“Es” Oscar slurred from his slumped position upon the carpet, slowly beginning to come around.

“I’ll take that as a yes, good I’m glad. Just breath properly, at the moment you’re almost hyperventilating.  Don’t try and get up , I can’t have you fainting on me again. Honestly, I’m the pregnant one here!”

“Sorry.”

“Good job the bed isn’t too high. I’ll place your legs up against it. That way the blood will flow back to your head. It will be lack of food and sleep taking its toll on your body. You’re really off colour, quite grey looking actually. There that’s it, you’ll soon feel fine.”

A deadly pale Oscar lay there, his head whirring like a hurricane. Oscar’s eyes ached uncomfortably in the intense, artificial light.

“Oscar are you with me?”

“Too bright.” Oscar groaned, placing a hand over his eyes.

Ava flicked off the light switch. “Hopefully that will help a bit. Do you want some water?”

“Hmm.” Oscar nodded weakly.

“Okay, I’ll just sit you up slowly,  rest your back against the bed. Here drink this.” Ava fetched Oscar some water holding it to his lips in the darkness.

I knew that this was going to happen, it was only a matter of time Oscar. If you don’t eat enough, then your body can’t function. That’s helped I think, you’re starting to look a bit more normal. I’ll try and help you up in a minute or two. ”

“I don’t understand anything anymore.” Oscar mumbled “Nothing makes sense.”

“Yes it does, you haven’t eaten properly for weeks, and you’re not well, so you collapsed. That’s all there is to it.”

“Not quite what I meant.”

“Right. Do you still feel light-headed?”

“Not too bad, stop cutting me off!”

Okay don’t even worry about that now, lets stand very slowly and get you back onto the bed, there get some sleep, please don’t try and get up by yourself okay? I’ll just prop you up against your pillows. You need rest badly and so do I, I think I’ll have a quick nap on the sofa. I’ll come and wake you.”

“Fine.”

“Good, at least we agree on something. Sleep now.” 

******

A small beam of light danced upon the white washed wall filling the room with an unpleasant brightness. What time is it? Oscar stirred, rolling onto his back. Where am I? So disoriented, with little recollection of the day before. Where was Ava?

“Ava?!” Oscar shouted, hearing footsteps upon the landing. The bedroom door creaked open. “Yes? Thank god you’re awake, I was starting to get worried.”

“You were? How long was I asleep for?”

“13 hours.”

“What? I never sleep for that long, I’m lucky if I manage to catch 7! Why didn’t you wake me?”

“You looked so peaceful, I thought it was better that I left you, you obviously needed it.”

“Clearly.”

“Are you feeling better?”

“I guess.” Oscar shrugged.

“Good, well in that case I’ll make you some breakfast. Your eating habits are really starting to worry me now, I mean when lack of food makes you start to faint, that’s when you should be concerned.”

“Hmm. I’m still not hungry!”

“Oh for god’s sake Oscar, surely last night was a bit of a wake-up call for you! You’re starting to look really quite unhealthy. Your skin is bone dry and your eyes, well they’ve changed.

“What? What on earth are you talking about?”

“The sparkle has gone, they’re so dull.”

“Ava now you’re just being silly. Since when did anyone’s eyes ever sparkle anyway? Stop worrying about me and focus on the baby!”

“How can I when I’m this worried about you!”

“Ava I’m not ill okay!”

“What can I do to cheer you up? I know I’ve been pretty awful to you lately. Is there anything I can do to help. Are you worrying about your Mum?”

“She’s always at the back of my mind.”

“Well have you spoken to her recently? Try ringing her or something!”

“My Mum really doesn’t want to know.”

“God I’d speak to her and give her a bloody piece of my mind!” Ava snapped.

Oscar shook his head solemnly “No, you really don’t understand. Things are more complicated than they seem Ava, more so than you or I could ever know.”

To be continued…..

Planchette-Part 49


“Oscar!”

“Wha-? What’s happening?”

Ava sat perched on the side of Oscar’s bed, her hand gently placed upon his cheek. “You’re burning up.”

“What are you doing in here?”

“Oscar you have a temperature. Sit forwards; you don’t look comfortable there at all. I’ll adjust your pillow. Drink this water you need to keep your fluids up .”

Oscar reluctantly downed the glass of water. “What made you come in here?” Oscar repeated, placing a hand to his burning forehead. “After everything you said. How did you know to come into my room?”

“Shhh, stop with the 100 questions, I don’t think you’re very well, We need to get your temperature down a bit, I’ll open the window to get some fresh air in here.” She turned the handle of the small window. “There that’s better. This duvet probably isn’t helping, I’ll get you a sheet instead, don’t try and get up.” She pulled open Oscar’s bottom draw taking out a cotton sheet, laying it carefully over him.

“Ava, I’ll be fine I always get over heated after having a bath. I’m so confused. What are you doing? I didn’t think you were coming back.”

“Shhh now, don’t be daft, I was downstairs watching television. I haven’t even left the house, I was giving you some space. I think you’re becoming a bit delirious!”

“I am not!”

“Well you should have heard yourself when I walked into the room, you were babbling on about something! I couldn’t make sense from any of it.”

“Ava, it was probably just a bad dream.”

“What’s happening to you? You look like you’re carrying the weight of the world upon your shoulders, what’s happened to the old Oscar? The calm, laid back you! ”

“You’ve changed too! I’m fine. ”

“Well that would be the understatement of the year Oscar! I think we need to get you some help,you should try counselling  I know for a fact that it’s available on the NHS; you wouldn’t have to pay a penny. Please consider it! Just look at you, you’re a nervous, shaking wreck! I’m sure you’ve got a fever!”

“Stop fussing and believe me when I say that I’ve tried counselling!”

“You have?”

“In the past.”

“Well you need to do something; you can’t go about living a normal life in the state that you’re in. You’ve been behaving strangely lately.”

“Ava, I could really say the same about you!”

“I’m not the one who can’t sleep or eat; your head isn’t screwed on properly, I mean who puts yogurt in the cupboard?”

“Oh come on, that was probably just tiredness. When I’m lacking sleep I’m not completely with it, I do silly little things like that. I’m sorry; it’s not really a huge deal is it? I need to get up so can you please get off the side of my sheet, I’m sandwiched in here! I hate feeling this claustrophobic!”

“You really shouldn’t get up, you’re not well at all.”

“Stop telling me what to do!”

“Yes but what will it take for you to see that I’m right Oscar? Stop being so stubborn!”

“Stay away from me Ava!”

Oscar rapidly clambered out of the opposite side of the bed in attempt to escape from Ava. Oscar’s head swam, his body over run with a hot-cold sensation. He tried to grasp the bedhead to steady himself and missed, falling to the floor in a faint.

To be continued…..

Planchette- Part 48


Oscar startled from his nap as the doorbell rang, hearing the sound of Ava’s voice.

“Oh yes that’s everything. Thank you for all your help.”

He paced down stairs, studying the collection of carrier bags. Without saying a word  he picked up a small cluster of bags, taking them through to the kitchen and proceeded to fill the cupboards. Ava was not far behind.

“Finally, I didn’t think you were coming out of your room! Stop being such a recluse Oscar! 

“I was only in there for an hour! I was going to get the door.”

“Oh, well I got there first.”

“Clearly.”

“Oh Oscar, are you still cross with me?”

“I’d say more upset.”

“Hmmm. Thank you for staying, in the house I mean.” Ava stated coyly.

Oscar sighed, running a hand through his hair. “I had no choice.”

“Yes you did Oscar, stop behaving like a sulky teenager!”

Oscar shook his head sadly. “Let’s try and be civil to one another alright. Otherwise this isn’t going to work is it? I really want to make you happy, more than anything, but it’s hard when you’re constantly trying to push me away.”

“No-one’s pushing you away. You’re distancing yourself because you can’t face the cold, harsh reality of life. Shit happens Oscar! Deal with it.”

“I know. You’ve had your fair share too . I feel for you, I really do. You know that I’d do anything to try to help you. There must be nothing worse than losing your parents.”

“ You’ve finally hit the nail on the head, it only took you a few years.” Ava smirked sarcastically.

Oscar pursed his lips “How can I help you when you won’t even talk about it! Let’s finish putting this shopping away shall we?”

Ava nodded “Have it your way!” The pair bundled the remaining items into the cupboards.

“Ava it’s getting late, I’m going to bed. I hate this constant battle between us, what on earth are we doing?”

Ava tutted “I was going to ask you a similar question!”

“Do you need the bathroom? I was going to have a bath.”

“No. Why do you always have to change the subject Oscar?”

“Goodnight Ava.”

Ava glanced up. “Night.”

It was a small amount of progress, a half civil word. Oscar nodded leaving Ava alone. Oscar jumped, a flashback of Sebastian’s face flashing in his mind. He brushed off his anxieties, taking great care to lock the door behind him before running the bath water. Oscar ran a hand through it, testing the temperature. Double checking the door, he stepped into the deliciously warm bath water. Despite the relaxing ambiance, Oscar’s heart raced, his stomach filling with butterflies. ‘Stop this, get a grip. You’re becoming a nervous wreck.’ He silently scolded. Oscar reluctantly closed his eyes, inhaling and exhaling in attempt to calm himself. Oscar jumped, snapping back into reality. Was that the door lock clicking open, perhaps someone was tapping at the door. Maybe Ava needed to use the bathroom after all?

“Ava?” No answer. No there was something, a gentle pitter patter, was it of rain or footsteps?

“Ava is that you?” Silence. Oscar grasped the sides of the bath in attempt to catch his breath, it was no use. Those images, Sebastian’s rugged appearance haunted Oscar’s fraught mind. He shivered, washing rapidly and exited the bath, covering himself with a towel. Alone in his room once again, he locked the door behind him for safety, changing into some track suit bottoms. Oscar shivered and curled up under his duvet attempting to smother his troubles, praying that the ability to sleep might come to him but it did not.

To be continued….

Planchette-Part 47


Oscar made a swift decision to change the subject. “How are you feeling Ava? How’s the morning sickness?”

“On and off. I don’t feel too bad, it’s just certain smells that set me off at the moment, but apart from that I’m absolutely fine.”

“Good, I’m glad.”

Ava glanced up at Oscar. “It just doesn’t feel the same anymore, in this house I mean with just the two of us.  The house is so empty. It’s like someone is missing if you understand what I’m saying.”

Oscar sighed. “That was a bit of an odd thing to say. We’re safe as we are. Yes Sebastian isn’t here but he’s probably gone home to live with his Dad again, his rent is still being paid somehow.”

“Really, you checked?”

“Yes, yes I did, I phoned our landlord, he didn’t say anything but just told me that we were fine and it was all in hand.”  Oscar admitted honestly. “Well there’s no way that I was going to be forced to pay it for him.”

“Why didn’t you tell me this?!”

“I forgot. With everything that was going on. Sorry Ava.”

“Well you’ve told me now, better late than never I guess. To change the subject, we really are short on food. I was planning to do a Tesco shop online, something I should have done a couple of weeks ago. Do you want to help me? Or at least tell me what you want and I’ll do it for you.”

“Yeah, fine.”

“Fine?”

“Yes I will help you. Go and get your laptop.”

Ava obeyed, returning with it tucked under one arm, placing it upon the kitchen table.

“Shall we just do one order?”

“Well yes, that would be the most sensible thing to do.” Oscar nodded, disheartened by Ava’s snappy tone of voice. Systematically they searched through each section before proceeding to the online check out.

“There that’s all done, perhaps if I actually have some food in my cupboard then I might be tempted to eat properly and keep you happy.”

“Good! That’s what I like to hear. Now what?”

Oscar shrugged. “That’s up to you. I have some more reading to do for the assignments, but I’m guessing you’ve already done yours. You’re always streets ahead of me, so I’d better get started.”

Ava shook her head. “I haven’t actually.”

“Really?” Oscar gasped. “Ava you say that you’re worried about me, but believe me when I say that you’re concerning me a little bit at the moment. You’re much snappier than I’ve ever seen you and now I’m ahead of you on an assignment when in the past I was always at least a week behind. What’s up, please tell me. You know that you can always talk to me.”

“There’s absolutely nothing wrong with me!” Ava snapped. “I planned to start the essay in a day or two, I can write an essay far faster than you can anyway!”

“I do know that. Why does it have to be like this? All we seem to do is argue at the moment! Can’t we just try to be a bit more rational towards each other?”

“Well maybe if you weren’t such a selfish antagonist, we wouldn’t be having this problem Oscar, it’s all about you! I’m sick of hearing about your problems all of the time! It’s soul destroying, I shouldn’t have to listen to any of it. Not while I’m pregnant! I’m getting really stressed.”

Oscar rose to his feet. “You’re stressed? Fair enough no-one’s life is perfect Ava and yes, you’ve had your share of misfortune and hardship too. You think you know about my life, but you don’t know half of it.  Just try to be a bit more considerate.”

“Jesus Oscar! See there you go again; it’s never ending with you! How do you think that you’re going to be a decent father to my baby when you’re this insecure?”

Our baby!”

“I said our!”

“No you didn’t, I think you’ll find you said my.”

“Oh well, it was a slip of the tongue. Stop taking everything to heart all of the time, you’re 20 years old!”

“God Ava! I can’t do this, I just really can’t . I have to go, I need space and I desperately need to clear my head to free it from all the negative crap!”

“Don’t you dare leave me in the house alone ! Not after last time. Stop running away from your issues!”

Oscar froze, his fraught face softening along with his voice tone. “No, that wouldn’t do. Don’t worry, I wont leave you alone in the house.” 

With a heavy heart, Oscar climbed the stairs, closing his bedroom door behind him.

To be continued…..