Sometimes, second chances are our only gift to the world.
If Lizzie hadn’t been given a second chance she wouldn’t have finished her last year of University.
If Mark hadn’t been given a second chance, he would be a father right now.
Yet, when you’re in the position of handing them out, your heart on your sleeve, it gets so much…harder…
Until I met him
Saturday, March 4th
I open my eyes.
Except my eyes really didn’t want to open. So I groped my side table blindly in search of my glasses. With my eye glasses in my hand I took a deep breath.
I rub my eyes, and eventually open them, sitting up in my too-big bed. I look around my empty room as the window foreshadows my mood. Just like the weather, I felt crappy. Way too hung over. Way too sick.
With a groan, I fall back onto my pillows, and pull up my white duvet to cover my head. My mind drifts to the one person who I’ve been clearly avoiding for a few weeks now.
It was easy to delete his messages on my answering machine and throw out the flowers that came to my door step; it was another matter to escape my own mind.
I couldn’t hide from myself, or my feelings for James.
He was just so frustrating.
He seemed so professional, so put together, so… perfect.
Not the sketchy, gel-y, awkward man who showed up to my door. Which was not alright with me.
I had fallen for the man in my fantasies. A man who did not exist.
But really, who was this dodgy ‘James Thompson’?
I rolled over and pulled my laptop from the floor and turned it on. Pulling up a search engine I typed in ‘James Thompson’.
Yet all I could find was some American fighter guy. I even searched him on Yell.
Nothing. Nada. No social media accounts, no school information.
Which, I mean I guess made sense, if he went to Hogwarts or Durmstrang it wouldn’t show up.
And I realize that Google isn’t the most reliable thing out there but… there’s nothing.
Which made him even more sketchy.
Closing my laptop in frustration, I set it aside and slid out of bed. The hard floors were cool beneath my feet so I padded over to the kitchen to make coffee and nurse my aching hang over. Going out with Lizzie and the girls last night was not a good idea.
I glanced at the clock and saw that it was already half past 12. I toyed with the idea of going out for some lunch or to the book store but then I realized it was pointless with the weather.
Sometimes I question why I even bother staying in London. The constant rain always makes me dreary and drowsy, and I can never get anything done.
What? I’ve only had 24 years to get used to it…
After my second cup of coffee, I finally felt ready to get up and get ready for the day. I took a shower and dressed ever so slowly. Then I plopped down on my old beat up couch, with my laptop and nothing to do.
The idea of going into town was sounding better and better. I almost grabbed my heels when my phone rang. I almost jumped out of my skin, the sound alarming me. You would think I would be used to living on my own. But nope, every time the phone rings it scares the life out of me.
I scramble to get my phone from my room, which granted, is only a few meters away, but whatever. As I reached the phone I realized there was a real possibility that it was James. It was as though I had been burned, the speed my hand retreated. When I regained my confidence and reached to the phone again, I was relieved to see it was just Mark.
“Hello?” I answered, sitting on the edge of my bed, realizing I had yet to make it today.
“Hey there, stranger! How’s my favourite sister?” He asked.
“Don’t tell Laura…” I said, laughing. I got up and began to smooth out the sheets in preparation to make my bed.
“What are you up to? How was the night out last night?” Mark said.
“Judging by my horrendous headache, great. It’s a shame I can’t remember it.” I said laughing.
“Yeah, I bet.” Mark laughed, before sighing. “Hey, Lyd? Can I meet you somewhere for lunch?”
I glanced at the clock. “Sure, it’s not like I have anything to do. Three Broomsticks?” I asked, running fingers threw my hair.
“Uh, how about that little café down the street from you?” He asked, sounding a bit nervous.
“Sure. I can be there in like 20 minutes. Everything okay, Mark?” I asked, suddenly concerned.
“Uh yeah. Yeah. See you then.” He replied, hanging up.
Slipping on my heels and running my fingers threw my newly short blonde hair; I headed out of my flat.
I found Mark waiting outside, drenched. I rolled my eyes as he flicked his dark hair. Easily 6 foot, he was hard to miss.
He smiled when he saw me, saying, “Your hair.”
I cut my hair myself for the first time last week and it actually turned out quite lovely. I had always had long hair and I was ready for the change. Now, it just brushed the ends of my shoulder blades. I like change, I promise, but it was still weird when my fingers continued down past the end, searching for the invisible remains of hair. I’m surprised he noticed, the rain messing up all the work I had done on myself earlier today. I should really invest in an umbrella...
I gave Mark a hug and we went inside. It was nice and warm and I was looking forward to a nice lunch and some yummy coffee.
“You look hung-over.” Mark said after we had sat down.
“Gee, thanks,” I said rolling my eyes. “You don’t look so good yourself, what’s going on?”
“Well, that’s what I wanted to talk to you about,” Mark said slowly.
A voluptuous waiter bustled up to us suddenly. “What can I get for you guys?” Her tone was way too upbeat and she was giving Mark looks from the corner of her eye. I rolled my eyes at that and read of my order.
Mark too ordered but not without giving the poor waitress a wink. I could practically see her melt.
“Must you really?” I spat, irritated. Why must I struggle to even find a date when Mark gets girls just with his looks? We’re from the same gene pool!
“Oh come on, Lyd,” He said, smirking. Mark ran his hand threw his hair, and it reminded me of James, so I crossed my arms and looked out the window with a huff.
“Anyways, the reason I wanted to meet you here is that I uh…” His voice trailed off, as he took a sip of tea. I turned to face him, growing concerned.
“Well, uh, remember that internship at the Ministry I got a few months ago?” Mark asked.
I nodded absentmindedly.
“Well, they really liked my work with Arithmancy, and wanted me to take a full time job… in Wales.”
“And you’re going to take it,” I replied for him. Mark smiled shyly. I was proud of my big brother, I really was, but what was I going to do all by myself in London? I would miss him.
“I talked to Lizzie; I’m going to stay with her and Ollie for a bit, until I can find a flat. I leave next week.”
“Oh,” I replied. Next week? Suddenly tears began to spring to my eyes. I was going to miss my big brother.
“But don’t worry; I’ll be back all the time. And you’ll still have Laura and mum and dad, it’ll be alright Lydia.”
I don’t think he understand how he was my support system. We were always so close growing up, and even in adulthood. I know I am over reacting, but really, wasn’t this one more reason why I was the failure of the family? I live an old dinky flat, I have a minimum wage job, and any prospect of settling down with a guy is practically non-existent. I let out a breath.
“It’ll be okay, sis.” Mark said, smiling.
“I’ll survive, I suppose,” I said wiping my eyes and laughing a bit. “I’m really proud of you, Mark.”
Mark stood up and gave me a hug. We finished our meal together, laughing and causing havoc, like we used to.
Walking into my flat, I kicked off my shoes and wrung out my rain filled hair. Throwing it into a bun and changing into an old Hufflepuff t-shirt and shorts, I put the kettle on and sat on my counter with a sigh.
I opened the cabinet next to me to see it was bare. Rolling my eyes I grabbed a notepad and wrote, ‘LYDIA. GO TO MARKET AND BUY FOOD.’
It was then I got a knock on my door. Which was rare. So I guess I sorta got excited. I jumped off the counter and ran to the door, throwing it open.
And just my luck, it was James Thompson standing there.
A/N: So I have debated and debated on whether or not to stop it here or continue, but this chapter was getting pretty long, so I thought I’d leave you with a cliffy!
Once again, alcohol is present, but not indorsed. Tell me what you guys think is coming up next!
S/O to patronus_charm for being a lovely reviewer and nominating my story for Ravenclaw Story of The Month! Love you lots!
Finally, don’t forget to feed that hungry review box. :)