Story Installment 4: First Encounter.

Lauren had never watched someone at such a close distance before. Their two bodies were so close that she could see every single eyelash that he has.

She took her hand out from under the sheets to touch those delicate eyelashes. She wanted to see how soft they would feel against her skin. She wondered if it would be any different coming from a guy as tough as Tom…

She touched his eyelashes and then her own. Then back to his. She found this very amusing. For a few times, she thought she had almost woken him up just to find that Tom had fallen into a deeper slumber.

After a couple of rounds, looking satisfied by this little exercise she’s doing, she laid her head back on top of Tom’s chest and closed her eyes, gave him a big squeeze and decides to fall back to sleep.

Tom was Lauren’s first boyfriend, and he was also the first guy she had ever slept with. Having studied in an all girl’s school her entire life, Lauren hadn’t had much experience with guys. But when Tom came along, everything felt so natural. It was as if they were one person, only split by soul.

Tom was your typical rebel, bad boy. The type your mom and dad would urge you to stay away from. But even so, Tom was extremely gentle to Lauren. To him, Lauren was the only girl he ever felt compelled to protect. She was the only flower that was worth protecting in his world of spinning tornadoes.

FLASHBACK. PARTY. INDOOR. NOISES FROM PEOPLE CHATTING. MUFFLED CONVERSATIONS. TV, MUSIC PLAYING IN THE PLAYGROUND. NEAR THE BAR.

Tom: Hey

Lauren: (looked up from her own drink and obviously surprised by Tom’s greeting) Hey. (blushing a bit)

Tom: (extends his right hand) Tom.

Lauren: Lauren, nice to meet you. (extends her hand out to return the favour).

Tom: I’ve never seen you at school before (sweeping his fringe aside).

Lauren: Yeah. I don’t go to Fairview Heights.

Tom: Oh? (raising his eyebrow and in a playful tone) Too cool for us huh?

Lauren: Oh no no, well Shirl and I have known each other for years. We were really close until I moved out of town a couple years ago. I’m now back for a week just visiting some old friends. (As she was talking, her eyes wandered a bit and couldn’t help but notice Tom’s incredibly green eyes and feminine bone structure. But it was the tattoo that Tom had behind his ears that caught her attention).

Tom: That’s cool. So um, are you just gonna stand all night? Do you at least want to refill that? (gesturing towards her empty plastic cup).

Lauren: (now slowly pulling her gaze away from Tom’s tattoo) Oh, um yeah, sure. I’ll have some more fruit punch.

Tom: (chuckled, and poured some for Lauren and himself).

MUTE. TOM & LAUREN CONTINUED THEIR CONVERSATIONS. MUSIC AND TV NOISES OVERLAPPED THEIR CHATTERING.

Tom and Lauren exchanged phone numbers and Facebook accounts. It was a very successful first meeting. And for the next few weeks, they were talking on the phone for hours.

OUTDOOR. IN FRONT OF CINEMA. TOM FIDDLING WITH HIS PHONE WHILE OBVIOUSLY WAITING FOR SOMEONE.

Lauren: Hey, sorry I got held up in traffic.

Tom: Yeah, no worries, ready to go in?

Lauren: Yeah.

The two ordered 2 sodas and shared a popcorn, and headed into the cinema.

FADEOUT.

FADEIN. NIGHT. STREET LIGHTS. THE TWO ARE SHARING A MOMENT. STOLLING IN A PARK NEARBY.

Lauren: Tom, can I ask you something?

Tom: Yeah?

Lauren: What’s that behind your ears? (pointing to the place behind her own ears with her fingers, where Tom has his tattoo at the exact same place on his neck).

Tom: Oh this? (pointing to his tattoo) I got it when I was 18. Just some sort of a reminder for myself (he lift up his sides for a bit to show Lauren his whole tattoo).

BACK TO LAUREN IN THE BATHROOM. SHE’S GOT OUT OF THE BATH AND HAS NOW WRAPPED A TOWEL AROUND HER BODY. HAVING WASHED HER FACE, SHE LIFTED HER FACE UP TOWARDS TO CEILING AND LETS OUT A DEEP SIGH. WATER STILL DRIPPING FROM HER FACE AND HAIR. SHE SUPPORTS HERSELF BY PUSHING UP AGAINST THE BATHROOM COUNTER.

THE BATHROOM IS STILL STEAMY FROM THE HOT WATER. SHE USED HER FINGERS TO WIPE CLEAN A PART OF THE MIRROR SO SHE CAN SEE HER FACE IN THE MIRROR. SHE CHECKS HERSELF FROM SIDE TO SIDE. THEN SHE FINALLY DROPS HER HEAD, AND CRIES FOR A VERY LONG TIME, IN A VERY LONG WHILE.

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