“Fuck it.” I muttered angrily, as I pushed a strand of dripping wet hair away from my face. “Fuck it, fuck it, fuck it.”
It was 1am and I was standing in the middle of a thunderstorm, shivering. I had flown to Cyprus to visit my family and whilst I was there Cyprus decided to have a year’s worth of thunderstorms in one week.
I growled under my breath as I took in my surroundings. I was on the outskirts of the Cypriot town my Dad lives in, with the battery dead on my phone and my white jeans going completely see through.
“Men,” I spat angrily, as I trudged along the road side, “Are total wankers.”
I had flown out to Cyprus two days previously, and so far had a great couple of days catching up with friends and family. On my third night back in Cyprus an old friend of mine, let’s call him T, was keen to meet for a drink while I was there. We’ve been friends for over ten years and have known eachother since high school, and he’s someone I can safely say is one of my best male friends. I enthusiastically agreed to meet him for drinks one night, and donned my white jeans, wedges and burgundy swing top. I walked into a crowded bar full of locals and tourists alike, excited to see him. I hadn’t been to Cyprus for over a year and I’d really missed the country and people in it. I spotted T sitting on the sofas outside, lighting up a cigarette. I grinned.
“Hey you!” I exclaimed, swooping down to give him a hug. “Long time no see stranger!”
T stood up and wrapped me in a bear hug. “Hello missy! You look amazing! Come here you crazy shit, I’ve missed you.” He hugged me tighter, making me squeal. “Put me down!” I laughed as I playfully punched his shoulder. “I can’t breathe!”
T chuckled and set me back down on the ground, ruffling my hair. I sat down next to him and slid one of his cigarettes out from the packet. T rolled his eyes and passed me his lighter.
“Nothing’s changed there then,” he smiled as I lit up. “You always did nick my bloody fags.”
I winked at him and took a drag of the cigarette, before passing it back to him. “Come on then,” I said as I opened up the drinks menu. “Hit me. What’s being going on in your life?!”
We sat in the bar for the next couple of hours, drinking and laughing as we caught up on eachother’s lives. As I drained my third mojito, I was starting to feel bold.
“So, any special women in your life?” I asked, shooting him a coy look over my drink. “Anyone I need to beat the shit out of for breaking your heart?”
T chuckled, and signalled for the bill. “I wish I could tell you there was, but I’ve been so busy working the last few months I haven’t had much time for women. You women are too much effort, man! Come on, let’s go for a drive.”
We paid the bill and piled into his car, giggling. We drove around my old hometown, reminiscing about the drunken nights we had as teens drinking at beach parties and passing out on the sand, smoking behind the sheds at school, burning to a crisp in the summer months when we spent endless days tanning and swimming in the sea. We chatted about our old classmates and what they’re up to now, both of us giggling as we traded stories.
T slowed down as we approached the mountains on the outskirts of town, he guided the car up the steep cliff roads and drove us to the top of the mountains. He parked the car, and we sat and stared at the view.
Below us was the beautiful view of the Island lit up at night, the lights of houses below twinkling like beacons. I sighed as I took in the beautiful views of the place I had called home for years, the place that would always have my heart no matter how long I lived in London.
“Do you miss it?” T asked quietly as he switched off the ignition. “Do you miss this?”
I smiled sadly. “Every day. I miss it every day. But London is my home now, my whole life is in London. My mum, my friends, my job, my house- and my bloody rabbit!”
T laughed, shaking his head. “You can find work here, you can find a house here, you can fly back and see your mum a couple of times a year. You can even fly your bloody pet rabbit over!”
I snorted with laughter, imagining sneaking my pet rabbit into my hand luggage. “It’s more than that though,” I continued. “The economy in Cyprus is terrible right now, I’d lose so much money if I moved back. I’d be an idiot to uproot everything I have in London to come back here. But it doesn’t stop me wanting to.”
I suddenly jumped as a deep thunder rumbled overheard. “Holy shit!” I exclaimed, peering out of the front window. “Is that thunder?! It never rains in Cyprus!”
T rolled his eyes. “Bullshit, it rains all the time this time of year. You just pretend it doesn’t. Looks like there’s going to be a storm.”
On cue, more thunder rolled and it started to rain. “Bugger,” T said as the rain hammered down on his car. “I’m not driving back down a mountain in this weather. We might be here for a while.”
He stretched back in his seat, pushing it as far back as possible. “Come on, the seats go back loads,” he said to me as he fiddled with the lever on my seat. “It’s a lot comfier than sitting upright.”
I pushed back the seat and we both stretched out, watching the rain fall. I yawned, feeling drowsy. I shut my eyes.
“Hey, are you awake?” T whispered some time later. I opened my eyes sleepily, disorientated. “Shit, I must have fallen asleep,” I mumbled as I sat upright. “It’s still raining.”
T watched me for a moment. “You look adorable sleeping,” he said softly. “I just wanted to wrap you in my arms.”
I paused, expecting him to follow this up with a funny remark to show he was only messing with me. I met his gaze, and all I saw was sincerity on his face.
“I… I need to tell you something.” He said quietly as he broke my gaze. “When you visited last year, I couldn’t stop thinking about you when you left. Everytime you messaged me from the UK it made me feel so warm, I found myself looking at your Facebook all the time, wondering how you were. I lost interest in other women and couldn’t get you out of my head. Seeing you again now…”
He trailed off and ran his hands through his hair. I sat in silence, shocked. “I can’t believe I’m going to tell you this,” he said, turning to face me. “But I love you. I’m in love with you. Part of me has loved you since we were 13. I want a future with you, I don’t just want to be your friend anymore. I want a life with you, kids with you.”
I opened my mouth to respond, but he held up a hand to stop me.
“Before you say anything, hear me out.” He continued. “I know you think it won’t work. But we could try long distance, or you could move back here or I could move to the UK. I’ve known you for ten years, I know you inside out. I just want you, I want to make you happy.”
“T,” I said weakly. “Please stop. You’re one of my best friends. I had no idea you felt this way.”
“I know,” he said. “I know it’s a lot to take in. But I love you. And I need you to know that.”
“I got back together with The Big J last October, ” I said quietly. “I love him. We’re giving things another shot.”
T recoiled in shock. “You’re back with him?” He spat angrily. “But you broke up! For a year! Why the fuck would you get back with him?”
“Because I love him.” I said simply.
T slammed his hand on the steering wheel furiously, and started up the engine. “T,” I said quickly as he swung the car into reverse. “I know you’re upset, but let’s talk about this. You can’t drive in this weather-”
He ignored me and speeded down the mountain roads, while I begged him to slow down. He swung around the sharp bends, his tyres skidding on the wet roads. I held onto the door handle, petrified he was going to drive us off the cliff. We eventually reached the bottom and he skidded to a stop.
“Get out.” He muttered. I opened my mouth to argue, and he leaned across me and pushed open the passenger door. “Get OUT!”
I unbuckled my seat belt and scrambled out of the car. Before I’d even had a chance to close the door he sped off, his tyres squealing.
I watched him go, shocked. Fuck.
I started walking back in the direction of town, along the deserted roads at 1am with the rain lashing down. I felt numb, completely shocked by what had just happened. My best friend lives close to where I was, so I half ran to her house as lightening struck. I ran faster and hammered on her front door.
“Hang on!” She yelled, crashing down the stairs. “One sec-”
She yanked open the door, her hair piled messily on her head and her eyes full of sleep. “Jesus, it’s 1am! What’s happened? Why are you so wet?”
“Because,” I said as I pushed past her into the house. “Men. Are. Fucking. Wankers.”