Sunday, 27 November 2011

...Joe - Chapter 6

Chapter 6

I’m 15. It’s the first day of year 11, we’re all sitting in the “welcome back” assembly and I see Anna for the first time. She’s the new girl. She’s sitting with Jonies class; we’re all being lectured on the importance of our GCSEs and how they’ll shape our future blah blah blah. The head teacher Mrs Bixley is looking very stern, but Anna, hands in her lap, head turned slightly to the left, is staring out of the window, the rays of early September sunlight bouncing off her long mahogany hair. I’m breathless, I knew then, instantly. Mrs Bixley says “Good Morning everyone” and I forget to speak. I’m entranced.

Her row stands and begins to leave. I panic. Questions fly through my head – when am I going to see her again? Will we have the same classes together? Where does she live? What the hell is her name? I bet her hair smells like roses. Jonie waves to me as she leaves and I give a half hearted wave back, I feel like I can’t coordinate my limbs, my organs are shutting down; I need to see her again.

She’s not in any of my Monday classes. I briefly catch a glimpse of her at lunch. I miss something Jonie says, apparently it was funny coz the whole tables laughing.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. No classes together. I become obsessed. I need to know more about her. It takes me another week to gather the confidence together to ask Jonie about her. I do it on a Saturday. We’re at hers watching some film about some girl whose parent’s forget her birthday and there’s a foreign dude they keep taking the piss out of. Apparently his name is hilarious. I don’t find it amusing. I always find the 80’s troubling. I’m glad I was born at the end of it.
“What Joe?”
“That girl”, my voice squeaks, I sound like a squirrel on crack. I cough, try to clear my throat. Start again.
“What Joe? You know this is my favourite part, it’s where she finally realises what she really wants”
“Just you know that new girl, the one in your class, what’s her name again?”
I peel the label of my Pepsi bottle and nervously roll it into a ball. My hands will not stay still.
“You mean Anna” she gives me a side long glance “what about her?”
“I just, I’m just curious you know?”
My hands are sweating and I feel like there are a hundred tiny beady eyes staring at me.
Jonie sighs and pauses her film; she turns to look at me.
“Her name is Anna Finn, she’s 15, nice girl, fucking clever, she’s in like the higher sets for everything and I mean everything – she’s taking triple science – who the hell knows that much about science? That is also why you haven’t seen her around because even though you’re pretty Joe, you’re just not that bright.”
Jonie laughs. I force a smile.
“What else...umm she’s got good tits, perfect bum and yes Joe her hair does smell like roses.”
“What? I never asked you about her hair or you know her um bits, I just wanted to know a little bit about her coz she’s new and how do you know what her hair smells like?”
“You’re so transparent Joe! And we sit next to each other in Spanish, English and Maths – you know, alphabetically. Finn – her, Fisher – me, Michael Harris behind us, who by the way, constantly has his hands down his pants, it is foul”.
“Right, so she’s smart?”
 “Super smart, so what now?”
I take a deep breath, I’m nervous. I doubt we’d have anything to talk about. I don’t think she’d want anything to do with someone like me. 
“Joe? How about I talk to her for you? She’s alright, David Schwartz already made a pass for her and she turned him down so you never know.”
“David? Really? He’s not bad looking”
With that Jonie presses play and we’re transported back to a time when everything was just a little bit easier and a lot more camp.

Its three days later and all I can think about is Anna Finn, now I know her name I can’t stop saying it. I fantasise about her touching me, being next to me, fuck just being in my general area doing the things you do with a girl. Jonie plonks down next to me at lunch; she’s wearing baggy blue trousers and some very questionable eye makeup.
“I’m making a protest Joe.”
“About what?” I can just about hold back my laughter.
Jonie sighs.
“About the explotation of the female form, get with it Joe.”
“I can name about three female forms you wanna exploit.” I laugh.
“Well, I guess you don’t want this then”
Jonie slides a piece of paper out of her art book and floats it in front of my eyes. I see a name and a number – wait a name and a number!
“Jonie!” I grab the piece of paper and capture Jonie in a headlock, planting a kiss on her forehead.

At home I put the piece of paper on my desk. I turn on my red habitat desk lamp and angle it on said paper; somehow it makes it seem more dramatic. I stare at it, it taunts me. I know I’m not brave enough to call her yet. I put her number in my silver Nokia 3330, it feels like a good step to take. It takes six days to work up the courage to call her. Through those six days Jonie keeps giving me that look – her greedy information hunting look. But I have nothing to tell her yet; I can’t exactly say I’m too much of a pussy to call the girl I’ve been obsessing about for the past term. So instead I lift weights, I eat healthily and I buy a Clearasil face wash and moisturiser. I have to look my best for when Anna picks up the phone.

On the seventh day I pick up my Nokia, I go over to my desk and switch on the red habitat light. I don’t know why, it just feels like good luck. I wheel over my desk chair and sit down, pushing my weight into the chair until it feels comfortable. I scroll down to Anna Finn. I take a deep breath but my hands are shaking, this is so fucking important, my whole life rests on this one phone call. I hit dial and I put the phone to my ear. It starts to ring and I panic.
I pull the phone away from my ear and drop it onto the desk. Fuck. I stare at it like it doesn’t belong to me. Wait, did I hang up? Oh shit she’s still there isn’t she? Pick up the phone for fucks sake Joe! My hand snatches the phone from my desk and hovers near my ear before my brain has the sense to tell my mouth to speak.
“Err hey”
“It’s umm Joe. Joseph Blunt. Or Joe as you know everyone calls me Joe, but yeah, you can call me Joe”
I’m a complete and utter failure.
“Hi Joe, took you long enough to call me don’t you think?”
“Yeah sorry about that, I had umm shit to do. Not an actual shit, just you know stuff.”
She laughs. I slap a hand to my face. Epic fail Joe.
“Right I have to finish my English essay, so how about you call me in an hour. You know, after dark.”
I get what she means and I’m nodding my head. For a split second it feels like she can see me but in reality it’s just silence.
“Yeah course, after dark.”
We say our goodbyes and hang up. My mind begins to imagine a world of dirty late night calls. I flex my right hand; I hope it can keep up tonight. 
I call Anna in exactly one hour and we just talk and it’s perfect. My right hand gets a rest for the night. We fly through different subjects from music to poetry to Byker Grove and back and I’m awed by her. I want her to be mine. I don’t want any other man to have this feeling about her, it has to be all mine.

Weeks fly past and we get closer and closer and soon it’s the end of year 11 and it’s summer and we’re together, we have been for months and it’s beautiful. Me and Anna. Anna and I. Phrases I use often and ones I plan on using forever. Anna tells me about all the things she loves and I learn so much about her it’s unreal. I feel like my hearts about to burst. I just want to be inside her. I want to peel off my skin and slip inside hers and feel it, you know. I want us to not be two separate entities but to be one being. I’m in love.
Anna’s favourite subject is English, so she’s going to take English Lit and English Language as A levels, as well as Art. I’m gonna do photography and, well I haven’t decided what else. We’re both staying onto Kingsdale’s sixth form as well as Jonie, whose gonna be doing Art and English Lit with Anna. It will be the best two years of my life.

Anna’s favourite poet is William Blake and on these hot summer days we go down to Dulwich Park, find a great big shady tree to lie underneath and Anna reads his poems to me. I can feel my mind expanding to all the possibilities this universe holds and I want to consume her passion and make it my own.

A month before sixth form starts Anna and I talk about sex. I want it and so does she, but we’ve only been going out for nine months, not even a year and she doesn’t want to be seen as easy, I tell her it shouldn’t matter what anybody else thinks. It should be just about the two of us and I just want her to feel comfortable, you know. I don’t want her to feel like I’m pushing her. A few weeks later I tell her I love her and she says she loves me. I’m floating. This is a fantastic day. I tell Jonie when I get home but she only rolls her eyes at me and tells me to grow my balls back. I tell her I can’t, I’m too up. So she makes me roll us a joint and tells me to drop back down. Jonie’s been acting a little off lately, she met this girl called Alex at work and since then she’s been a bit caught up but fuck it, we’re young, we should be caught up and Jonie can handle herself.

Anna and I have sex exactly one week before starting sixth form. We do it in my bed because my mum’s always at work and unlike Anna’s parents; she’s not always bursting in randomly to “check if we need anything” and also my mum doesn’t give a fuck what I do. As long as I use protection, she’s cool.

Anna’s body is perfect. I watch her slowly undress. First she slips off her pale blue sundress and lets it drop to the floor. I can feel myself getting hard. She pushes me onto my single bed and climbs onto my lap. Her hips are warm and smooth and their making my pulse race. She undoes my jeans; I undo her bra – after a few attempts. Her breasts are prefect. I cup them in my hands and I can’t believe I’m actually holding Anna Finns breasts. I feel like I’m about to explode. I need to calm down. I put my hands around her waist and pull her down to me. I try to think about something other than how great her body feels on top of mine, I want to make sure I don’t disappoint, if you know what I mean. I run my fingers around her underwear and gently tug at the waistband – they slip off easily. We’re both breathing heavily, the afternoon light shedding a beautiful glow over our young, eager bodies. I lay Anna on her back and reach over to my bedside cabinet. I pull a string of condoms out. Anna looks up and laughs.
“You wish!”
I grin sheepishly and tear one off. Her hands slip easily over the elastic of my boxers and I feel her warmth as she runs her hands slowly over my bum. With one action she pulls my boxers off. I rip open the packet and pull the condom out and roll it on – I watched a video on the internet about how to put one on before Anna got here. I wanted to make sure this went smoothly and so far, so good. I position my body above Anna, her beautiful blue eyes giving me permission, we kiss, I enter her and it feels fucking fantastic. Everything is perfect.

Or so I thought.

We start sixth form together and everything starts off great. We meet up before school, at break time and lunchtime, after school and we fuck – all the time. At Christmas Anna goes skiing in the Swiss Alps with her family – its tradition, apparently. Those two weeks she’s gone go by so slowly and I miss her so badly. I didn’t hear from her at all and when she got back something just didn’t feel quite right.
She stopped reading poetry and started reading Cosmo instead. She wouldn’t meet me for breakfast or lunch or dinner. We didn’t fuck as much and Jonie told me she stopped coming to their art classes. I was worried, like seriously worried.
A few days later I went round her house. It was our one year anniversary. I rang the doorbell and her mum answered with that face on. That fucking sour lemon face, I hate it. I always thought that woman needed a good shag. Anyway, I sat down on one of their uncomfortable formal chairs and Annas mum sat across from me. I waited for Anna for what felt like hours. Her mum just kept staring at me with that face and I swear to God her eyes didn’t blink – not once. 

Around the stuffy lavender scented room pictures of their creepy, happy family faces stared back at me – judging me along with her mother. I was so relieved when Anna came into the room. But her hair – she cut it all off. Her beautiful mahogany hair that used to grace the base of her back so wonderfully was gone and in its place, so crudely brushing her cheek was a bleached blonde bob cut. I smiled but my heart was breaking. I knew then that the Anna I fell in love with, the Anna I held so dearly to me was gone. But I refused to let go. She was mine and she will always be mine.

Two months later she ended it and at that exact moment my life ended. No one will ever compare to Anna Finn.

I used to wait by her locker and I would put little secret messages in there. Things only her and I knew about. Snippets of Blake, Keats, Cummings – fuck I even wrote a few myself. She never looked at me. Never acknowledge their existence and all the while my heart ached. Every day without her a new bit of me fizzled away and I stopped feeling like myself and started to feel like someone else.

Eventually Jonie found out – I couldn’t keep it from her and she told me to stop but I refused. Then one day all over the common room and the corridors were my poems, the ones I wrote for her and underneath every single one of them Anna had written 
“By Joe Blunt. If you ever want a pussy he’s your man. Get the picture now Joe?” 
I got the picture. I was so humiliated; everyone took the piss out of me for months. I backed away from Anna and kept my head down. I started smoking more and I forgot about where she lived and the smell of her hair, her favourite poem, song, perfume, movie, place to be kissed.

That is until the end of sixth form and the night of Katie Lansfields party. It was a celebratory party, with lots of alcohol and lots of drugs. I didn’t drink much but I hit the pills pretty hard, it gave me a nice buzz but Anna, she was fucked from the beginning. The guy she was with was clearly happy about how loose she had gotten. She was practically humping him at one point. Jonie told me to forget her but it hurt so much. Anna was mine and he had his fucking hands all over her. I was so angry, I could have kicked the shit out of him but instead I left and walked home, with my tail between my fucking legs. An hour later she called me crying and I came running.

It’s been that way ever since.

Thursday, 17 November 2011


This is my 2nd attempt at a Lipogram! I think I left out E again, but I'm not too sure. Give it a gander.


It was a plan,
Straight away I saw.
But I couldn't stop
My body moving forward.


Try to find my way.
Trip through my dark.
Can't talk.

I'm drowning,
I can't find
(pull cord)