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Game Plan (chapter one) (standard:drama, 3369 words)
Author: Sue Simpson (Sooz)Added: Feb 16 2003Views/Reads: 3256/2127Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
When Davie recieves a card from the mysterious girl on the bus, he asumes she is asking for a date. Instead he is initiated into a secret club, the members of which made up of the siblings of 'murdered' suicide victims. This could be a bizarre religious s
 



Click here to read the first 75 lines of the story

girl like that would never look at a lad like Mickey Blaine. Not 
really, he knew that and kept his fantasies in his head where they 
belonged. 

He'd looked for her every day at school, in the corridors, the yard and
while he waited in the canteen queue at lunchtime, but he never saw 
her.  It was odd that, he'd done a whole week at school and not caught 
a glimpse of her anywhere. He began to mentally work out the ratio of 
the number of pupils in the school, by the probable opportunities of 
meeting by the surface area of the building and grounds. He very 
quickly came up with a scientific percentage that by the law of 
averages told him that he should have seen the girl no less than eight 
times and no more than fifteen taking everything on a random playing 
field with no contrivance. Mathematics was Mickey's thing, While the 
other kids groaned aloud at the beginning of each maths lesson, Mickey 
hoped that the teacher would have something on offer to stimulate his 
brain and make him think. To Mickey numbers were beautiful because they 
always made sense. If you applied the correct formula and followed the 
correct procedure, they always came out in a logical manner. Mickey 
liked patterns, and numbers made perfect patterns that he could 
understand. Unfortunately people didn't. 

He felt as though she was looking at him. The bus pulled into a stop and
he wished it was her stop and then he could avoid turning round to see 
if she was looking at him. He tried to resist the feeling, he watched 
another two people get on the bus and tried not to look at the man four 
seats down who was picking his nose and wiping it on the seat in front 
of him. The man looked round to see if anyone had seen him and Mickey 
hastily looked away. He turned his head too sharply to the left and 
stopped directly in the girl's eyeline. She was looking at him. As he 
turned towards her, she smiled. It was a nice smile she had nice teeth 
and her eyes crinkled at the corners beneath her glasses. 

Mickey turned away quickly, it seemed there was nowhere he could look
without eye locking with someone. In his fluster he'd forgotten to 
smile back. Damn, would she be thinking that he was snotty or ignorant? 
His cheeks were burning and instinctively he moved his bag further over 
onto his left leg, always aware, always self-conscious, ashamed. 

The bus was slowing for her stop now.  Mickey automatically straightened
himself in the seat to make himself look taller. He liked it when she 
got off the bus because he could watch her walking all the way to the 
front. Her hair was long and blonde and bobbed onto her shoulders as 
she walked. It looked soft, Mickey would like to touch her hair.  He'd 
also like to touch other bits of her and kiss her, but he tried not to 
think too much about those kind of likes while he was on the bus. 

He was aware of her rising from her seat, he couldn't see her, but as if
there was no one else on the bus he was only attuned to her movements.  
Her hand was on the bar at the back of his seat. He knew without having 
to turn around that it was her hand.  But today instead of moving on 
down the bus she stopped. 

Oh my God, she was bending over. She was going to say something Mickey's
mouth went dry and he tried to swallow but almost choked. 

“Happy Birthday Mickey.” She said forcing something into his hand. 

She kissed him quickly on the cheek and hurried forward to get off the
bus. 

Mickey never said a word. His heart was thumping and his hands were
shaking, and as always his treacherous cheeks were blazing redder than 
any post-box Mickey had ever seen. 

Mickey looked down at the lavender card in his hands. Hastily before
anyone saw he stuffed it roughly into the side pocket of his bag and 
examined the state of the dirty floor. 

How did she know it was his birthday? Hell how did she even know his
name? 

She'd kissed him right there in the middle of the bus, and Mickey felt
that everybody would be staring at him when he stood up to get off.  
For the self-conscious boy, this was the sweetest nightmare he'd ever 
endured. 

He made the short walk home with a gracefulness of mind, if not one of
body. He didn't once notice the uncomfortable weather and longed only 
for the birthday festivities to be over so that he could open his 
special card in private. 

He had almost forgotten that it was his birthday by the time he walked
through the front door.  That is he only remembered his birthday in so 
far as it directly related to the girl, so when his parents jumped out 
at him from the hallway it was indeed a 

‘SURPRISE!' 

He staggered backwards, fell over the doorstep and almost landed in a
heap back out in the garden. 

His parents looked ridiculous peering round the front door at him with
big stupid smiles on their faces. The strain showed in the eyes of his 
father and was perfectly mirrored in those of his Mum. He'd rather they 
hadn't bothered at all, but knew that this birthday was more for them. 
Something they needed to do to be able to face the next day and every 
day after that.  He echoed their silly smiles and determined to make an 
effort to seem happy for his parent's sake. 

His mother had washed her hair, she had clean clothes on but the stage
play was easily seen through because her eyes still had that vacant 
anti-depressant glaze. 

Fruitcake looks delicious with its pretty icing and plastic snowman on
the top, but it will never be chocolate cake he thought beneath the 
pretty frosting it was still yeuky fruitcake. 

Nothing had really changed in his mother apart from the tidier
appearance and the smell of soap. The next three hours were awful. 
Presents and cards were opened, party food was eaten. Champagne --just 
the one glass mind seeing as it's a special occasion—was chinked and 
everybody smiled a lot. Mickey's jaw ached with smiling and the room 
echoed hollowly with the sound of forced laughter and the absence of 
one missing voice. 

He looked at his row of cards, but could only focus on the card that
wasn't there.  Not the card from the girl that was different secreted 
away in his bag not for public viewing. This year there was no card 
from Gemma. He wanted to read her sarcastic message like every other 
year. 

He missed her. 

Finally after what felt like a week of chipped happiness he got to
escape. He went up the stairs loathing that fact that he could only 
take them one at a time, and that he had to allow time to let his left 
leg catch up with his right. He couldn't walk up the stairs in a 
continuous over-leg movement like everybody else did. And so he went 
upstairs rather than ran, in his hippity-hoppity manner. 

His hands trembled slightly as he undid the clasp on his bag and took
out the lavender card. It smelled faintly of her and the hand written 
‘Mickey' on the front was small and neat. 

He slid his finger under the flap and took out the card. He could hear
raised voices from downstairs, they'd done their bit and the party was 
over. 

“Go on then, go to her. What do I care what you do? What do I care about
anything?” Beneath the squall of the voice he heard bottle neck chink 
on glass rim and concentrated on the card in his hand. 

Surprisingly the front of the card was blank, a lavender fascia with a
small oval cut-out in the top right hand corner. When the card was 
closed the picture underneath showed through the hole. 

He opened the card. Inside it said only. 

The time is now! 

Date of meeting: 1st November 2002 Place of meeting: Lightburn Park,
bandstand Time of meeting: 19:30 

Strange, no happy birthday or anything. 

The picture in the top corner was that of a clown. A happy, smiling
clown. 

As he looked at the clown he realised he'd seen a card just like this
before. He instantly forgot all about the girl as his mind took him 
back the to worst day of his life. And then he went a little bit 
further back, and then to a time before that and he smiled losing 
himself in ‘before'. 

Mum wafted in smelling of ‘Impulse' and holding a second plate of toast.


“Ste will you remember to pick up Mickey tonight love, he's got his
football practise.” 

“Yep no worries, I should finish a bit earlier so I'll be able to see
how he's getting on.” Steve Blaine stood up from the table with a slice 
of bitten toast in his hand. He wrapped the other arm round his wife 
and kissed her loudly. “Ugh,” said both the kids in unison as they did 
almost every morning. 

“Right come on then you two or we'll be late,” said Steve, he winked at
Beth. “You should put your hair up like that more often, I like it. 
Very sexy.” 

Instead of teasing her that day and saying she was too old to be sexy,
Mickey wished that he had taken the time to look at his mother 
properly, because it was the last time he ever saw her. She was someone 
different now.  They all were. 

Gemma was in a mood because it was Mickey's turn to sit in the front
seat on the way to school. She felt that as the eldest she should get 
to sit in the passenger every day. After all she was sixteen. It was an 
old and tired argument. They had only just pulled out of their street 
and on to the by-pass when Mickey turned in his seat to gloat at his 
sister. Why had he done that? 

She had become so moody, always flying off the handle, bursting into
tears over the smallest little thing. Mickey loved to wind her up, 
almost as much as their dad loved to tease her. 

He turned his head and called her a loser.  Predictably she blew. 

“You putrid little turd. By the way I forgot to tell you I
‘accidentally' wiped your PS2 memory card last night. You'll have to 
start turrican two right from the beginning. That'll teach you for 
being such a little shit won't it?” 

Mickey began yelling and trying to his her through the seat with his
school bag. At the same time Steve turned round his head so that he 
could see his furious daughter. 

“Gem don't swear at your brother like that love. Honestly all this
because you can't ride up front. Does it really matter what Laura 
bloody White thinks of you being in the backseat? Hell when you've got 
yourself a boyfriend I'll be telling you that under no circumstances 
must you spend too long in the back seat of any vehicle.” He glanced at 
the road ahead and then back at Gemma, he was teasing her again. “You 
two should be nice to each other you know bec..” 

“Dad Lookout!” Mickey shouted. 

It was five weeks before he woke up and another couple after that before
he could speak or make sense of anything. They told him about the 
accident, car pulled out of a junction, slammed into the side of their 
car, everyone at school send their love, hope you'll be back soon. 

They didn't explain his injuries that day; it was enough they said that
he was alive and back with them. Beth looked tired and refused to look 
at Steve. Steve just looked miserable and his smile was almost too 
heavy to lift. In those early days he never stayed awake very long. 
Gemma didn't visit, Beth mumbled something about school work, exams all 
that stuff. 

It was another week before he was bright enough to open his cards. There
was a big pile of them most of them from his school friends they said. 
Rob Collier said they were keeping his place open on the team. 

That's when he came to the lavender card. His parent's thought it was a
‘Get well soon' card like all the other's. The front of the card was 
blank, a lavender fascia with a small oval cut-out in the top right 
hand corner. When the card was closed the picture underneath showed 
through the hole.  He opened it and saw the picture of the clown before 
he saw the words. He was a happy clown, smiling. It seemed 
inappropriate for a ‘deepest Sympathies' card. 

His head was aching and the pain was stopping him from making sense of
the words.  He began to cry and the doctor had to sedate him to prevent 
him moving too much. 

The card lay open on the bed. 

Deepest sympathies on the death of your sister. 

You are not alone in this. 

We have suffered too and know what you are going through. 

We will be in touch. 

Your friends from the edge. 

His shocked parent's blamed each other for not checking the cards. They
blamed each other for everything now. 

They had to tell him when he woke up. He wouldn't let up, wouldn't be
fobbed off, he needed to know. With a doctor on standby they told him 
how Gemma had gone missing one-night three weeks after the accident. 
They went out of course, looked for her for hours. Then they hit the 
telephones, with Beth on the landline and Steve using his mobile they 
rang all of Gemma's friends. Some of the parent's just said that they 
hadn't seen Gem for a while. What was more worrying though, were the 
few who said that their daughter didn't hang round with Gemma anymore 
and hadn't for some time. 

They called the police then, she'd only been missing for eight hours but
even so they took it seriously enough to arrange a search.  It was 
early the next morning that her body was found by a poacher. She'd hung 
herself from an oak tree down by the river. 

Mickey shook his head to clear the images. He didn't want to think about
it tonight. It was his birthday. “Night Gem,” he muttered quietly under 
his breath. 

It must be a co-incidence that the sympathy card had the same design as
his birthday card from the girl. He couldn't even remember who the 
other card was from now, it seemed so long ago, almost a year now. It 
was a long and frustrating recovery. 

He wished she'd signed it. He didn't even know her name. The first of
November was this Saturday, in four days time. He felt scared and 
excited at the thought of meeting her in the bandstand. It would 
certainly be romantic, there'd probably be the odd early firework going 
off and if it was really cold he might even get to put his arm round 
her to keep them warm. He couldn't wait for Saturday to come. It wasn't 
a bad birthday after all. 


   


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