Today is the official launch day of Too Close: The Beauty in Between, so it is now available to purchase on the iBookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo
And to help celebrate the release of his story, David has kindly agreed to post on my blog about his side of the story in A Beautiful Struggle.
David: Um, yeah, thanks. Where did you get that photo? Have you been advertising my chest everywhere?
Lilliana: What? Oh, ignore that *laughs nervously* It’s just something I had laying about…
David: Okay…well, hi everyone out there. This is the first blog post I’ve ever done, so bear with me. I’m a little nervous.
Lilliana asked me to talk a bit about what life was like for me after Trina’s accident and while she was dating Elliot. It wasn’t the most favourite part of my life so far, but here goes…
After Trina was released from hospital, I spent as much time with her as possible. I was there to try and cheer her up, to help her catch up on uni work – anything she needed. I wanted to be around her, I wanted to show her that she was still the same person to me.
The attack changed her though, she spent a lot of time being angry, and she directed a lot of it toward her mother. Mrs Mahoney was just trying to be positive. Although, she went about it the wrong way, insisting that Katrina just needed to get out of the house and go and meet new people to put the whole ‘Christopher episode’ behind her.
This however, prompted Katrina to think about my behaviour since the accident.
“David?” she asked about a month after the attack, when we were lying about in her family’s rumpus room watching a movie.
I reached over and grabbed the remote, hitting the pause button before I turned my attention towards her. “What’s up?”
“You can go out you know.”
“Yeah baby girl, I know that,” I smiled, sitting up properly and facing her. “I just don’t want to right now.”
She sighed and adjusted herself on the couch so she was facing me as well. “Do you remember the conversation we had in the hospital? I said I wanted things to be normal.”
“I remember Trina. How am I not acting normal?”
“Well, you’re not flirting with the girls at uni anymore. You’re not going out and being your usual man-whorish self. I feel like I’m stopping you from living your life, and I don’t want that.”
“Trina, it’s fine. I don’t want to go out right now. I want to hang out with you.”
“David, please don’t take this the wrong way but, I want you to go out.”
“Maybe I don’t want to go out unless you’re going out too,” I said with a shrug of my shoulders, while I fingered the play button on the remote. I wanted this conversation over.
“I don’t need you to babysit me. I’m not going to go all depressed if I’m on my own for a few hours. Go out, have fun, pick up girls. I want normal David – you partying and being a ginormous flirt is normal. Please don’t change your life, or it will be like Christopher wins.”
“What about you? Staying home isn’t normal for you.”
“I know that. I’m going to start training again. I’ll focus on uni and training. I think that’s enough for now. I’m not ready for the whole party scene, but when I am, you’ll be the first to know ok?”
“Alright Trina, I’ll go out more. No problem,” I said, hitting play to focus on the movie.
“You’re upset,” she stated.
I hit pause again. “I’m fine. I said I’ll go out more and give you time to yourself. It’s fine ok – can we watch the movie please?”
“Ok… I’m not trying to be mean David. I’m just trying to get my life back.”
“I understand Trina. Really, I do,” I told her, hitting play again.
The truth was – I didn’t understand. I didn’t want to go out and hook up with girls anymore. The moment I realised how in love with Katrina I was, was the moment I stopped sleeping around. I would rather spend the rest of my life watching movies with her, than spend a night at a bar, picking up some drunk girl to screw. That just wasn’t me anymore.
When I went home that night I spoke to my mum about it, she was the only person in the world who knew how I felt about Katrina.
“You know, you can always just go out and not pick up. Plenty of people do that you know.”
“Yeah, I guess.”
“Or you could just come home. Spending the night with your mum wouldn’t be the end of the world would it?” she suggested.
“No Ma, that wouldn’t be a bad thing at all.”
So that’s what I did, occasionally I went out to the uni bar and hung out with a few of the guys. Of course they noticed that I wasn’t picking up, but I just shrugged it off and alluded to having an arrangement with someone like I did with Monica.
Of course, the girl I went home to was my mother. We had started reading a new series together, so I spent a lot of time transported to a realm filled with dragons, elves and other magical creatures.
I entered into a bit of a routine, going to visit Trina early in the evening and then heading off to the uni bar later. I avoided night clubs because they weren’t any fun if I wasn’t dancing, and I only wanted to dance with one girl.
She seemed to be a lot happier training, and was glad that I was going out again. We’d always had the rule that we didn’t ask questions about relationships, so while Katrina assumed that I was seeing other girls, I said nothing to confirm or deny anything.
Half way through our second year of uni, I started to think it would be a good idea to get an entry level job in a law firm to help secure a junior solicitors role when my degree was done. I told Trina of my plan and she decided it would be a good thing for her too.
I was lucky, and I got the first job I went for as a filing clerk. I started work straight away and even went out a couple of times with some of the other juniors around my age.
When Trina got her first interview, I took her in and showed her where she needed to go. Neither of us had spent much time in the business part of the city before, so it had taken me a while to figure out my way around the streets.
I showed her the building I worked in too, it was my day off but we went up so I could introduce her to some of the new people I’d met. I wanted to share my world with her.
One of the guys I work with was kind enough to tell Katrina that I’d gotten caught in the filing room with the receptionist, during one of the Friday night drinks. Admittedly, yes that did happen, but it didn’t happen the way everyone thought – I never slept with her.
I still had some work to do and I was in there, finishing up, before heading over to the conference room for drinks. Ella, the receptionist, was a 19 year old girl with a body to die for, she was really nice and I got along with her really well. Obviously though, she took my attentions the wrong way and came to find me.
For a while we were talking and then she started to move closer. I realised what was happening and tried to steer the conversation toward more neutral topics. But, when I bent down to put a file on a low shelf, she took the opportunity to kiss me, which of course is when we got busted.
While I’m sure that the partners and solicitors in the firm were all very professional, the support staff were not. The majority of us were aged between eighteen and twenty-five, and that led to quite a lot of gossip spreading around the office.
It was like being in high school again, but this time I just laughed it off. They could think what they wanted. I told them nothing happened, but they didn’t care. They saw her kissing me, so that was all the confirmation they needed.
Katrina laughed about it and just said it was ‘typical David’. It wasn’t until a couple of weeks later when she’d started work at another law firm that I realised that she actually thought I’d slept with the girl.
I should have corrected her but I didn’t, I was just so happy to be spending time with her. It was the end of her first week of work and she’d agreed to go out clubbing with me to celebrate. Also on the upside I noticed her perving on a guy from her work, so I knew that her interest in men was returning. Things were looking more positive for me.
We went out with a bunch of people from her work to this bar in Darling Harbour called Pontoon. It was there that everything turned to total shit. She started hooking up with this Irish guy on the dance floor, but when he went to kiss her, she took off outside.
I fought through the crowd to get to her and when I finally made it outside she was fucking making out with this huge muscled guy from her work. I was like – fuck my life! – as I stood there, open mouthed watching her practically dry humping him on the wharf.
A few moments later a couple of the others made it out too, and the Irish guy called out to her, shocking her and the guy, Elliot, and causing her to flee.
Elliot started to give chase but I yelled, “No. I’ll go!” and ran after her myself.
When I caught up to her, she was a wreck. I did my best to be a good friend and be understanding of what she was going through, but when Elliot came and spoke to her, I couldn’t stop myself from seething inside.
I waited – I’d waited so long for her and some other guy had her – again.
When I got home that night, I was in a foul mood. My mum had been waiting up and was obviously hoping that things had gone well with Katrina and I. So when I told her about what happened, she was really upset for me.
“Well, maybe it’s just a passing fancy?” she said to me.
“I hope so mum. I fucking hope so.”
Katrina’s work had a no dating policy. So she decided to back off pursuing anything with Elliot after they’d gotten dragged into the manager’s office and questioned about Friday night. It seemed as though someone had dobbed them in – secretly, I was elated.
So, we started going out, and it was just me and her. We would drink and dance and have a great time. But there was still a slight stand offish-ness whenever I got too close to her. I felt that she still wasn’t really ready for a relationship, or at least she wasn’t ready to hear how I felt anyway. Although, perhaps I was just scared myself and stalling.
About a month later, we went out with her friends from work to Pontoon again. I met her at her work and we had a few drinks there to start off with, before walking there together as a group.
I don’t know what the hell it is about that place, but off she went again, dancing with that Irish guy. Only this time, I could tell she was leading him on. I was really pissed off with her, so when she took off outside with him, I started to accept the attentions of another girl she worked with called Beth. We went for a walk and started talking.
Beth had this major crush on Elliot, who was actually her boss. She told me that I should watch out for Katrina around him, he had a thing about bedding all the pretty new girls. She said he’d done it with her too and I grew really concerned.
When we got back, I couldn’t find Trina anywhere. I freaked out thinking she’d gone home with Irish, but when I saw him there alone I immediately questioned him.
“She couldn’t find you mate. We looked everywhere. So I ended up taking her to meet up with someone so she didn’t have to catch the train home alone.” He leaned in close to whisper. “I promised not to say anything to the people she works with, but since you’re her best friend, I think it’s safe to tell you. She went with that guy we caught her with last time you two came out with us,” he said.
“Are you serious?! Why the fuck didn’t she wait?!”
“She tried calling you, but you weren’t answering.”
I pulled my phone out of my pocket and saw that the battery had died. “Fuck!” I yelled, getting the attention of Beth again, she suggested that I went home with her instead.
“I’ve barely had a couple of drinks. Catch the train home with me to keep me safe, and then I’ll drive you to your place.”
I agreed and on the train ride and the drive home, Beth and I kind of came to an understanding. I think the fact that we were both the people on the outside of what was happening with Elliot and Katrina, it caused us to have some sort of bond. Misery loves company, so they say, and nothing fights off misery like sex.
We did it in the back seat of her car in the parking lot of Penrith station, where she’d taken me to pick up my car.
Afterwards I felt like I’d done something horribly wrong. But in the end, it didn’t matter. Katrina had moved on. She’d move on with Elliot.
After that night, I started dating Beth, and started fighting with Trina. I just couldn’t stand to be around another of her relationships again. I was angry that it wasn’t me. I was angry that she didn’t seem to get how much I cared about her – how could she not see that I loved her? How could she not feel the same?
Eventually Elliot came to see me, and told me how upset she was that I wasn’t speaking to her. He assured me that he wasn’t going to be an obstacle in our friendship, and when I reminded him about the way he acted when he first met me, he laughed it off and said that he just wasn’t expecting that I was a guy – it kind of threw him off a bit.
I went to see Trina and tell her that Elliot had come to see me, and that I was willing to try and fix things between us. I tried to tell her then how I felt, but it all came out wrong. I just bumbled my way around the truth and told her that I couldn’t handle seeing her with anyone because of what happened with Christopher – it changed things. But she didn’t get what I was trying to tell her, so I gave up and left again, completely disheartened.
I continued seeing Beth, it was the first time I had actually dated someone and it was alright. I wasn’t as horrible at that boyfriend stuff as I thought I would be. We worked because she was angry at Elliot, and I was angry at Katrina. Together, we found comfort for a few weeks.
When Trina and Elliot broke up, I did my best to stay away. I didn’t want to go running back to her this time. Especially when I was at the point where I felt that there was little hope for us as a couple – I obviously wasn’t her type. I couldn’t compete with those big guys she went for. That just wasn’t me.
Although, my resolve was completely shattered the moment I ran into her when I was meeting Beth for lunch. She had come down in the elevators on her own and was such a huge ball of emotion, that when I tried to see if she was ok, she lashed out at me, insisting that I didn’t care enough about her. It was the opposite though – I cared too much. I cared way more than she knew.
When Beth came down, I told her I couldn’t see her anymore. I knew I wasn’t being fair to her.
“You’re breaking up with me? I thought we understood each other?” she said.
“I’m sorry Beth. You know how I feel about Katrina,” I tried to explain.
“That’s just great. I love how she gets everyone and I end up with nobody.”
“I’m sorry.” What else could I say?
She stomped off out the doors without a backward glance. Besides feeling bad for dumping her, I was glad it was over. Neither of us were really that into each other. It was all about having someone so we weren’t left out for a change. It was ok, but she didn’t fit me like Katrina did.
I decided that night that I was going to go and see Katrina and tell her once and for all how I felt about her, and blow the consequences. If she didn’t feel the same way, then so be it, I wouldn’t be any worse off than I was right then.
When I went to her house, her mother told me that she was out at the local Irish pub, I drove over and found her there talking to Christopher – I couldn’t believe my eyes, she was talking to the scumbag who beat her up! All I could think was What the fuck? as I walked up to her and tried to get her to come with me so we could talk.
Of course, Christopher had to get in my face, and I had no reason to be nice to him anymore, so I called him a few choice names and once again, he punched me. I don’t know why, but for some reason, as his fist kept hitting into me, I started laughing.
I don’t know what happened, but somehow, he was hauled off me and Trina was by my side, looking all concerned and saying sweet things to me.
She was visibly upset about what had happened and while we were sitting in the emergency room waiting to get some scans done, I told her how I felt.
After eleven years of friendship, I told her that I loved her. Miraculously, she loved me too.
Finally, I had my girl, and this time – it was forever.
David: Where did that song come from?
Lilliana: Oh, I added it. I thought it suited you and Katrina. Did you like it?
David: It’s a bit sappy, but yeah, I liked it. I’ll show it to Trina when I get home.
Lilliana: I hope she likes it too! Thanks so much for being on my blog today David, and thank you so much for letting me into your world with Too Close. We knew you in A Beautiful Struggle, but it’s been great to spend time with you.
David: It’s no trouble. Thanks for having me.
Lilliana: Any time David! mwah!
David: Hang on. What? Where are these photos coming from?
Lilliana: Huh? Didn’t you know I had this one? It’s from when you and Trina had that water fight. Remember?
David: Yeah, but, I don’t remember any photos being taken…
Lilliana: Well! Thanks again for being on the blog David! Maybe you’d like to come back some other time! Bye for now! *pushes him out, closes door and locks it* Hmmm… Just one more I think…