Read Angie Online

Authors: Candy J Starr

Angie (6 page)

BOOK: Angie
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"Sorry... sorry.
I'll just put more cream on."

I
snatched the jar 0ff her.

"No more cream.
No more weird shit on my face. What the hell is this stuff?"

Eric-Mama stood there with the sheet mask half hanging from her face.
She took a deep breath in and put her hands on her hips.

"Maybe this is your fault.
You, with your stupid metal face. It never does this to me because I don't have stupid things on my face. It must have reacted badly to you. It is definitely your fault."

I couldn't believe that she'd actually said that.
Trying to put the blame on me.

"That's ridiculous.
You did it because you don't like me."

I put my hands on my hips and glared at her.
She glared back.

"Nonsense.
How would I know you would have a stupid face?"

"You
are
trying to kill me, aren't you?" I screeched.

"I'm not trying to kill you.
You are trying to kill me with your stupid metal face. You are not good enough for my Eric."

Ouch!

I didn’t even respond. I had no words. I just increased the glaringness of my glare.

"
Mung chung ee
!"

The two of us squeezed together in that tiny bathroom felt way too tight.
I didn't even know why I was there. I needed to escape. I ran out to grab my bag. Eric-Papa gave me a look of surprise as I walked out then he ran after me.

"If you’
re leaving, let me give you a lift. You might not want to catch the train..."

He had a very good point.
Sheesh, Eric-Mama had been worried about me scaring the neighbourhood kids when I arrived. Imagine what they'd think if they saw me like that. Maybe I'd have to wear a hood over my head for the rest of my life. Wait, would it be permanent? Would I have scarring? I didn't have the greatest face in the world but it was my face and I kinda liked it how it was. Maybe the damage wasn't as bad as I first thought. Maybe it was just a bit of redness.

Eric-Papa looked at me when we got in the car.

"Actually, maybe I should take you to the hospital, just to be on the safe side.”

 

-o-

 

We waited in a horrible, cold waiting room. When we’d walked in, a kid sitting with his mother looked at me and started crying. Wow, that made me feel great.

My face felt like a balloon, swelling up bigger and bigger until it stretched my skin out and I felt like it was going to burst.

I wanted to scratch my face off. It itched like crazy. I sat on my hands to stop myself. If I started scratching, they'd probably put a cone on my head, like a dog. The burning had at least stopped.

Eric-Papa waited with me
, even though I told him it was okay to go home and I'd be fine on my own.

"It's
fine," he said. "I'd just be watching the TV anyway."

I smiled at him.
Then they called my name.

So, after hours and hours of waiting at the hospital, I finally got to see a doctor.

The doctor poked and prodded at my face.

"What
did you put on your face?"

"How the hell do I know?
I didn't ask and even if I did, it was in Korean. I can't read Korean."

Eric-Papa said he'd find out and left the room to make the call.

The doctor peered at my skin again, this time using a magnifying glass thing.

"Is it going to cause permanent damage?"

He didn't answer, just tutted. It was going to be permanent, I just knew it. I'd spend the rest of my life as a red puffer fish. That woman had disfigured me so that Eric would lose interest in me. It'd been her evil plan all along. I didn't get it. Eric loved his mother, so she had to be an okay person. And she'd wrapped Hannah and Jack up in her smothering love like they were family. This whole big happy family with me standing on the outside. It didn't seem fair or right. I'd done nothing wrong. It wasn’t as though I was Spud and just treated everyone like shit.

Eric-Papa returned.

"It's a snake venom mask. Here's the list of ingredients."

He handed a piece of paper to the doctor.

"Snake venom! What possessed you to put snake venom on your face?" The doctor shook his head.

"It's not like I had a choice."

The doctor read through the list looking all serious and worried.

"It's probably just an allergic reaction to one of these ingredients. I don't think there is any actual snake venom in it. We can give you somet
hing and it should clear up in three or four days."

My heart flooded with happiness.
I made a promise to my face to never treat it badly again. The doctor gave me a referral to a specialist for more tests and some cortisone cream.

At least I'd be stuck editing together video for the next few days.
It wasn't as if I'd need to see anyone and I could order in pizza. I had a perfect not-leaving-the-house plan in place.

When I got home, it hit me. Th
e thing with Eric, it’d never work out. I’d tried my hardest and it wasn’t enough. I don’t know if I had any more try in me. It’d taken her mere seconds to go from making an effort to hurling abuse at me. It just wouldn’t work.

To make it worse, days of editing meant days of watching Eric on video. I worried the sheer force of feels would make me short-circuit before I could leave the house.

 

-o-

 

Luckily
, my face had cleared up before we had to fly up and meet the guys. I hadn't told Eric what had happened because I didn't want him to worry and also because I'd said I'd try to get along with his mother and getting along was exactly what I'd not done. My feelings about the trip were all over the place. I wanted to see Eric again. I wanted to be with him, but his mother!

Could I go into a relationship knowing it would be pretty much doomed from the start?
It'd be hard for me to be around Eric and not be
with
him.

Maybe I’d be better off not even being there.
It’d just be torturing myself. I needed to stay away from him.

I packed my bag with a few things I needed for the trip and gave my plants an extra watering to see them through.
Then I decided it wasn’t even worth going and unpacked my bag again. I’d totally disengage myself from the band and maybe become a nun or something. I’d never have to see Eric again.

Nothing would ever be right again.

The doorbell rang. I figured it'd be Hannah picking me up to go to the airport. I’d tell her I’d caught a cold and my sinuses were all blocked up so I couldn’t fly.

B
ut it wasn't.

It was Eric-Mama.

I so did not have time to deal with her. She'd probably just come over to yell at me about something. And how did she have my address? Eric must've given it to her. I'd kill him when I saw him next.

She stood
in the doorway, not talking. Fine. She could leave.

Okay, I couldn't be that
person. I had to invite her in.

But I didn't like it.

Still, she didn't say anything and she didn't look at me. That was creepy. The silence stretched out, getting awkward and weird.

"Look, I'm in a hurry.
If you want a coffee, I'll make it for you but you'll have to drink it real fast. I'll add some cold water so it's easier to drink."

I normally had mighty fine hospitality, but t
hat was about as fine as my hospitality was going to get with her. I'd had three days for my resentment of this woman to build up. It filled me up and overflowed. She confirmed all the worst things I thought about myself. The moments I thought I wasn't good enough. She was, in fact like a demon, sent from hell to prey on my insecurities. So, I'd be buggered if I’d give her any opportunity to cut me down again.

I filled up the kettle and put it on.
No fancy coffee machines for me. I could barely afford instant coffee.

“It’s okay,” she said. “I don’t need coffee.”

She looked around and I suddenly wished I’d folded the laundry and put it away instead of dumping it on the chair. And those pizza boxes from a week ago, I should’ve put them out. Bloody hell, I even had a bra hanging off the back of the couch.

She cleared her throat.

I turned back to her. She didn't meet my gaze though, she just stood there fidgeting with her hands.

"Maybe I shouldn't have given you the face mask," she said. "I didn't know it would react with your face."

My hand automatically went to the ring on my lip.

"It wasn't the metal.
It was an allergic reaction to the mask."

She put her head on one side.
"What I want to say is, I didn't do it on purpose. I was trying to be nice... I'm sorry."

She looked so lost, I couldn't help but put my arms around her.
I could tell it'd cost her a lot to say that. I mean, I didn't hate the woman. She was obviously a lovely person to those she liked. She was just very narrow-minded. My heart sang. Things could work out. She’d accept me, and life would be repaired.

"It's hard for me," she said. "Eric looks at you different to the way he looks at other girls.
Before, he never was very serious about anyone. I don't understand. Why would he like a girl with hair like a parrot and who is a little bit fat? He could have a girlfriend with lovely long legs."

I pulled away from her.

"Maybe he likes girls who are a little bit fat. Maybe he wants someone who isn't superficial and airheaded."

Her face scrunched as though the idea caused her physical pain.

"You will tell Eric I made an effort to be nice to you?" Her eyes pleaded at me.

And the bubble of hope in my heart died. T
hat was what it was about. She didn't want to actually be nice to me, she wanted to be seen to be nice.

In this woman's mind, I'd always be imperfect.
If she made no attempt to look beyond the surface, what could I do? I might not be perfect to her but I'm a perfect Angie.

Something inside me snapped, like a boat breaking free from its mooring. I had no obligation to please this woman.
I'd wanted everything to be perfect but that wasn't possible.

"I'm going to go out with your son," I told her
, my voice firm and strong. "We are going to have a relationship and I'm going to be around for a long time. You can either accept that and be happy or you can be miserable but I don't want you making Eric miserable."

And I really believed those words.
The feelings I had couldn't be scared off by her and, if Eric was the person I thought he was, then maybe he wouldn't be either. He
might
choose me. I had to let him make that decision for himself, rather than running away and not giving him have the option.

She
glared at me for a moment then turned to leave. I knew my own mind. That not-standing-up-for-herself Angie could be booted out the door. I wasn't sure what she was thinking but I realised I no longer cared.

 

-o-

 

It seemed like the plane couldn't fly fast enough. The whole time, I wondered if it would work. Maybe I’d misread the signs. I do that sometimes. I think everything is going to be all happy, rainbow-flavoured then life hands me a shitty, poop-ball instead. My mind picked over every word he’d said, every gesture, analysing what he’d meant by them. It made it hard for me to swallow. I’d gone through about five of those mini cans of Coke. Just Coke, no booze because I didn’t want to land feeling all fuzzy-headed. Then I had to keep getting up to go to the toilet, which really annoyed the hell out of Hannah because she had the aisle seat.

“Settle the hell down,” she said as I pushed my way passed her.

“Well, you take the window seat!”

I watched a fat man move down the other aisle.
If I didn’t hurry, he’d get the only free toilet.

“It’s okay, Angie.
He’s crazy about you. Anyone can see that.”

I shrugged, trying to look cool but the insecure part of me,
which seemed to be the only part of me at that moment, did a happy dance. Then I smiled and raced down the plane to beat that fat man to the toilet.

It took forever to get off the plane and even more forever to get into the city and find the hotel.
We’d arranged to meet the guys at the venue but, when we waited to check-in to our rooms, I felt someone behind me. Really close, so that their body almost touched mine.

I swung around, ready to punch that creeper out.
I charged with the full force of my body behind my fist then had to stop myself when I saw it was Eric. I stumbled because all that momentum had to go somewhere, and almost fell face-first to the ground but his arms closed around me, holding me tight.

BOOK: Angie
5.02Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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