Friday lunch time arrived and Allie drove home knowing that Jess would already be waiting for her since she wasn't working that day, Allie had no choice but to work until lunch time, she had a financial report to complete and it had to be finished by the end of the day, she promised her boss that she would have it ready for lunch time she'd even gone into work an hour early that morning so she had extra time to finish it, naturally Jess had gone off into a huge speech about why she couldn't go to work Allie pointing out that their flight wasn't until 1500 and she would be home just after 1200. Jess was still in a bad mood when Allie walked back into the house, she'd hoped she'd calm down while she was out but deep down she knew she wouldn't have. She had nothing to do, Allie had done their packing, all she had to do for the morning was keep herself occupied for a few hours.
“We're going to miss the flight if you don't hurry up.”
Allie just walked past her, all she wanted to do was get changed without any drama and she wasn't going to give her anything to argue about, not that she ever needed an excuse. All the way to the airport Jess found something to find fault with, she caused a scene at the check in desk, Allie walked away from her embarrassed, why she even thought of this was now well and truly beyond her. Their flight was only an hour and a half from Sydney to Dalby Airport, from there they were picking up a rental car and making the 60 minute drive the Bunya Avenue Chalets, yet one more thing that Jess was not happy about, within two hours of Allie booking it she had changed her mind again and wanted her first choice.
Arriving at dinner time they went straight to Elz Bistro and ordered dinner to take back to their chalet, for the first time that day Jess didn't cause a scene or complain about anything. After dinner Jess found everything to complain about until she sat herself in front of the tv completely ignoring Allie. Sitting looking at her phone that she'd left on the coffee table she almost willed it to ring even though she knew that it wouldn't. Allie had thought about going to bed early but instead she went and sat out on the deck with the rest of the bottle of wine they had with their dinner. The Bunya Mountains were beautiful, romantic even but Jess didn't even notice her surroundings once she was watching tv, as soon as they got home on Sunday evening Allie was going to tell her about her imminent move to Melbourne, she was still undecided if she should tell her about Bea but the more she thought about it the more she realized that there was no need to bring Bea into it, she would just tell her she was leaving and that she didn't want to be with her anymore. She was sure there was a time she loved her but she was tired of the drama, once she would have crawled over hot coals to keep her happy now she didn't even want to walk to the end of the street for her. There was no reason for them to stay together anymore, she'd already called Franky and asked her to look out for an apartment she could rent and Franky had told her there was no need to she could stay with her for as long as she needed to.
Jess could have the house, Allie had first thought that they should sell it but she didn't want to make her homeless along with everything else. As soon as she was back at work she was going to find out when she could move to Melbourne, she just hoped that she could go by the end of the week but she wasn't holding out much hope and if Jess didn't want her in the house she'd have to find somewhere else to stay. She needed to speak to Bea it was no use, she shouldn't have sent her that last message and told her that they shouldn't speak. Looking through the chalet window Jess was engrossed in whatever she was watching, she hadn't even noticed that Allie wasn't even in the same room. Realizing that she'd left her phone inside she went in to retrieve it and returned to the deck without so much as a single word from Jess. She tried to rehearse everything that she needed to say in her head before placing the call she had desperately wanted to make all week.
“Hello,” came Debbie's cheerful voice throwing Allie off the conversation she had rehearsed in her head.
“Errr, hey….can I speak to Bea please?”
“Yer one minute mums in the kitchen.”
‘Of course it's Debbie, seriously who did you expect it to be?’ Allie thought to herself, then she completely lost her train of thought when she heard Bea,
“Allie…..what's wrong, are you ok?” Beas worried reply rang in her ear.
“I'm fine…..I just miss you….I'm sorry, about that text, that fucking meeting threw me so much I thought it would be better if we didn't speak to each other…..I was wrong.”
“Allie, you're away for the weekend, lets just leave it there, enjoy yourself and I'll speak to you when you get home.”
“Enjoy myself! You remember who I'm here with don't you?”
“Yes your girlfriend.”
“Who happens to be paying more attention to some fucking reality tv show than me, yer right enjoy myself…….I didn't mean to push you away, meeting you again was the best thing that has happened to me in years I don't want to lose you.”
“I'm not going anywhere am I? But you need to concentrate on what's important, and right now Jess should be your priority.”
The conversation lasted a couple more minutes until Debbie needed Beas attention and she said she had to go. Allie felt so miserable when the call ended, she didn't even want to be there and Bea told her to pay attention to Jess, that was a joke it was all she ever did and all Allie felt was loneliness, they were in the middle of one of the most stunning landscapes she ever thought she would ever see but she felt so alone. Draining the remainder of the contents of her glass she went back inside finding Jess still watching tv and talking to someone on the phone, Allie announced that she was going to bed and Jess just looked her way for a few moments before her attention was snapped back to the tv.
The next morning Allie woke earlier than usual for her on a Saturday morning, getting up she made coffee and went to sit on the deck, it was a little chilly but she didn't care as she scrolled through her emails, most of which were from work and they could wait, everyone knew she was away and if they expected her to answer anything work related until Monday that was tough, as much as she would have loved to throw herself into work and pretend she was anywhere else but stuck alone with Jess the argument that would follow meant she resisted that temptation. Her attention moved to scrolling through her old text messages threads, most of which she thought she should have deleted a long time ago until her eyes landed on a name that instantly caught her attention, Bea Smith. Seeing her name alone left her heart pounding in her chest, she debated with herself if she should read them, start at the beginning she longed to be back there when their conversation was continuous, not how it was now and she had no one to blame but herself. Tapping the screen she scrolled through message after message as she smiled remembering the first email she ever sent, she'd tried to be professional in the beginning but once it turned from emails to text messages everything had changed. They had talked about everything work, friends, books, movies. There were so many messages, some short some went into minute detail, one message caught her eye and she started reading the exchange.
Hey there, how's your day been? Did Debbie finally get her homework finished last night?
It was uneventful thankfully, I spent most of the day browsing YouTube. Hard to believe there are so many idiots in the world. She finished it eventually, I didn't think she was ever going to finish and this is a girl who tells me history is her favourite subject!
Someone has to like history, I hated it! There will always be idiots in the world, you're lucky you don't have to live with one.
No I don't, you want to tell me about it? You don't have to obviously.
I'm sure you'd fall asleep reading about my home life, but thank you for caring.
Don't be silly…anyway if I fall asleep I'm in the right place since I'm already in bed, I've done nothing useful all day so I may as well try to be of use to someone.
Well if you're sure, I've been with Jess for 5 years and things are just going from bad to worse nothing I do is ever good enough. All we seem to do is argue the only time we aren't arguing is when she's glued to the tv. I'm beginning to wonder why I ever thought we were right for each other, and I'm certainly wondering why I ever wanted to live with her….sometimes I can't even stand the sight of her, does that sound really bad?
I didn't think you were going to go on that much….zzzzzzzz
Told you you didn't want to know.
I was kidding with you, it's too easy to wind you up you know. Seriously, I know I don't know her but I think you need to talk to her, if things are that bad and you do nothing it's never going to change.
I know you're right but do you have any suggestions as to how I get her to actually listen to anything I have to say?
Have you asked Franky?
Yes and her answer was, and I quote, ‘less talk more action, kick her the fuck out!’
Sounds like the Franky we both know and love.
True, I'll speak to you tomorrow, let you get some sleep.
She continued reading, it was always so easy talking to Bea, so different from most of her conversations with Franky.
So I just got in from work, you know I have to work until lunch time on Saturday right? And I get in to listen to a lecture about why I never make enough time for Jess. She's done nothing while I've been out, there's still last nights dishes to tackle and a huge pile of laundry and she wonders why I have no time for her!
You have to try and talk to her Allie, you really can't keep going on like this. Tell her how unhappy you are she may be just as unhappy as you are.
I've tried honest I have, she just gets in a mood and causes an argument or she gets upset, actually half the time I think that's an act, but when she gets upset it always costs me more money than I want to spend.
How on earth does her getting upset cost you money? Shouldn't that only cost your time?
Ok well it costs me both, I hate arguing with her but when she gets upset I feel guilty and end up buying her something that she wants, I'm not sure my credit card can take the strain for much longer. She always wants the best of everything but hates to part with her own money. She's very materialistic, bags, shoes, new phone! The last time she got really upset at me I bought her a new car.
Did I read that correctly, you bought her a new car? What did you do go missing for a whole week? As Franky would say your whipped my friend!
Fuck off I am not!
That response just proves it.
I think you've spent way too much time with Franky!
And you keep coming back everyday for more…..need I say anything else?
Allie couldn't keep from smiling, they had settled into that kind of conversation everyday, it was comfortable and they made each other laugh no matter what they had started out talking about. Bea listened to her complain for hours when they had finally started calling each other. She offered advice and comfort but she'd tell her straight when she thought she was being stupid or she was wrong about something. The ache was still there, no amount of rereading what they had talked about could change that, she missed her and nothing was going to stop that. Since she'd got home every night she'd slept with her back turned to Jess, she couldn't stand to be near her and she really didn't want her to touch her, Allie had pulled away from Jess more times than she wanted to think about over the last week, she made her skin crawl and she really needed to get away from her.
“What's got you smiling this morning?” Jess asked as she strolled out onto the deck.
“Nothing much, just thinking how nice it is to be away from the city for a while. How did you sleep?”
Jess walked across the deck and sat in Allies lap, dipping her head to kiss her softly before Allie could turn away.
“I slept amazingly well, must be the time difference.”
“What time difference?” Allie shook her head, Jess was extremely thick at times, even she should know that they were on exactly the same time as they were in Sydney.
Allie pushed her off so she could stand up, she hated her being that close to her and she had to get away from her.
“Let me go for a shower and then we can go out and get some breakfast. And we need to decide what we're going to do today.”
“Want some company?”
“Another time, I thought you really wanted to come here to explore not spend the whole weekend inside.”
Allie made a quick getaway grabbing what she needed from the bedroom and locking the bathroom door behind her. This couldn't continue, she couldn't wait to get home she needed to end this, it was just a mess and the person she really wished was there with her was miles away.
Once Allie was ready for the day she suggested that they head to the bistro for breakfast, surprised when Jess didn't actually argue, sitting out on the veranda Allie admired the view, they were overlooking the National Park and Allie was curious to find out what the large tree that grew nearby was. When Eleanor, the owner of the bistro came to take their order Allie asked her a few questions and she told her that it was a Bunya pine going on to explain that they are more rounded on top than a normal pine tree and that they produce large pineapple shaped cones and edible nuts. When their breakfasts arrived Allie chatted with Eleanor a little more much to the annoyance of Jess but Allie didn't care. Eleanor suggested that the might like to start their day on the popular scenic circuit walk, Jess rolled her eyes the second Allie showed any enthusiasm for anything and today was no different.
“This weekend is supposed to be about us.” Jess snapped when Eleanor was out of earshot.
“If you don't want to come with me you don't have to, you were the one who always raved on about wanting to come here and now we are all you're interested in is watching tv. Maybe we should have just stayed at home.”
Jess went back to the chalet as soon as she had finished her breakfast leaving Allie alone to do whatever she pleased. The scenic walk was stunning, it passed through pine forest and rainforest, eucalypt forest, every so often she would stop and snap a few pictures. She knew Bea would love it there, maybe not so much in winter but she would love it, passing the Tim Shea Falls she pulled her phone out determined to call Bea, she looked at her phone for a couple of minutes before she decided that now was really not the time, putting it back in her pocket she carried on walking. Finding a cafe she stopped for lunch before retreating back to the chalet finding Jess sitting out on the deck in the sun.
“You didn't forget I exist then?”
“I'm not arguing with you I asked you to come with me and obviously that wasn't good enough don't start blaming me for everything Jess.”
Jess walked off leaving Allie alone again to sit outside, there was no way she was going to go inside just to argue. She wasn't sure how long she'd even been sat outside alone but when the temperature really started to drop she headed back inside to sit by the fire with a glass of wine as Jess did what she always did.
“Do you want to go out for dinner?” Allie asked knowing that she wasn't going to get an answer but at least she'd asked.
Jess didn't even look in her direction, her eyes were firmly fixed on the tv, Allie just sighed and decided to walk over to the bistro to pick something up, if Jess chose not to eat after she'd made the effort then it wasn't her fault although she knew she would get the blame. As she walked back to the chalet she was glad that they would be going home the next day, the entire weekend had been a disaster from start to finish. As she guessed Jess ignored her and didn't eat anything choosing to sit drinking the beer that she had picked up after she left Allie alone that morning.
“I'm going to bed if you're even interested where I am.”
No response at all so Allie just left her to do whatever she was going to spend the rest of the night doing, forgetting that she hadn't picked her mobile up.
Debbie had chosen to spend the night with Franky after she'd promised her pizza and any movie she wanted to watch, not that Bea minded her spending time with Franky she knew she was safe with her. She'd tried to read but couldn't concentrate, tried to watch tv but nothing interested her all she felt was emptiness, she couldn't tell anyone how she was feeling especially the only person she really wanted to tell because she was the one person who was making her feel like this. She'd never had to deal with feelings like this before and she was restless. Allie had to make this decision on her own and Bea suspected that she probably hadn't even told Franky otherwise she would have been trying to answer questions that she didn't think she could even find an answer for. This was crazy, how she ended up right where she was actually missing another person that wasn't Debbie she had no clue, she knew she didn't want to feel like this. Picking up her phone she glanced at the message icon, she'd done that all week just hoping to hear from Allie but each time there was nothing, after their short conversation she thought that maybe Allie would text her but then they went back to silence and it was killing her. She hadn't meant a single word she'd said to Allie during that conversation but saying anything else would have made her selfish wouldn't it? She felt like an idiot, she shouldn't be thinking or feeling the things she was she wasn't a teenager. Pouring herself yet another glass of wine she just wanted to feel numb for a while but all that did was make her feel even more lonely, ‘fuck it,’ she thought to herself as she picked her phone back up tapping the message icon, selecting Allies name she began to type out a message. Reading her first miserable attempt she quickly deleted it before starting again.
I know I told you that you needed to enjoy your weekend away, and I know that things are difficult for you right now but I needed to tell you that I miss you and I can't stop thinking about you and I know I shouldn't, I'm pathetic aren't l? Speak to you soon I hope.
The second she sent it she regretted it but it was too late now, taking her empty glass back to the kitchen she decided to just go to bed otherwise she'd keep drinking and that was the last thing she needed to be doing.
Finally slipping into bed she checked that her phone wasn't on silent, she had such a nasty habit of forgetting that it was because of work and just in case Allie did text back or call and she fell asleep she wanted to know that she'd given herself at least a chance of being able to answer or text back. Checking one last time that she hadn't had a reply she put her phone down on the bedside cabinet and lay down, her head sank into her pillow and her eyes closed a few minutes later.
Her phone ringing a couple of hours later woke her up, for a second she thought it was her alarm then she realized that it was still dark and that she hadn't set her alarm. Reaching over she grabbed her phone to look who was calling her in the middle of the night, seeing Allies name on the screen brought a smile to her face as she tried clumsily to answer it.
“Allie, is everything alright?” She asked without even a second thought to the text she had sent earlier.
Sitting up she was puzzled by the silence, Allie was never quiet all she could hear was the wind, she was just about to say something else thinking straight away that maybe she was upset and finding it hard to think of something to say when she heard an unfamiliar voice.
“Who the fuck do you think you are? And do you mind telling me why you miss my girlfriend?”
Beas blood ran cold, it was Jess, ‘think you idiot, think.’ What was she meant to say?
“Who is this?”
“Don't play dumb with me, you heard what I said Bea whoever you are….just listen to me don't call or text Allie anymore she's not interested and do you know how I know this? Shall I tell you? I know she's not interested because she just asked me to marry her after dinner so just fuck off.”
The line went dead and she just sat there holding her phone to her ear. ‘Married…..Allie asked her to…marry her?’ That made no sense, but it had to be the truth didn't it? What did Jess gain by lying about something like that? Dropping her phone on the bed she wanted to cry but no tears came, she wanted to call back and speak to Allie but if Jess had her phone that wasn't going to happen. Why didn't Allie just tell her herself that that was what she was going to do? Would they be moving to Melbourne? All she had were questions that she wasn't going to get the answers to, not now. All she had now was emptiness, she felt like a first class idiot, why the hell had she let herself get caught up in the middle of this? She'd be fine she knew that, she'd get over whatever the hell she was feeling and move on. ‘Whatever I'm feeling,’ she could have laughed if she hadn't wanted to cry so much, she knew exactly what she was feeling and now it just hurt. Allie had made her mind up what she wanted to do, her life had to go on even if she was alone she couldn't keep dwelling on it she had Debbie to think of.
Allie woke up early the next morning, Jess was even further away from her than she usually was and she couldn't help but feel relieved, getting out of bed she made herself a coffee and sat out on the deck admiring the calmness of the forest that surrounded her as the dawn light kissed the colours into being, just being surrounded by all that beauty made her feel relaxed. Every fragrance was fresh just like the pages of a new book, each burst of birdsong was unique, the most enchanting chorus that awoke her mind and helped shake off the last bit of sleepiness that still remained. Finally it was Sunday morning and she couldn't wait to get out of there, get back to work on Monday morning and work out the details of when she could move and get away from Jess, start a new life that she could only hope would include Bea.