This is the tailspin tale of a loved-up boy, one girl, who once decided for themselves that to leave school early one day and to go with themselves to the farthest part of their city was the finest plan in the whole wide world. A huge city was theirs and still, they wished to utterly disappear because to cause themselves to disappear would mean everything. Sincerely.

Rosemary Anne was at home and packing her favourite pink bag, the same one from school only this time minus the drudgery of school books and what not. Her mother was there too, in the kitchen, wondering what she might fancy for her dinner. It was a Friday evening and the sun had come up and the flowers were blossoming just like a good poem might have deserved, the other younger kids outside playing as though they were never, ever going to stop playing again.

The boy at the other end of the same housing estate was deep in conversation chatting with his best friend, Alyssa, on his mobile phone, strolling about in his back garden and telling her all about his plans, that she was the only person who he’d chosen to tell. “But you guys are way too young,” she said. Andrew kind of agreed but also could not wait till he would get to hang out with his girlfriend all of the time. “You know we are perfect together.” His best-friend reckoned he had a fair point right there, she herself wishing that she could gather the courage to do such an outlandish and extraordinarily brave thing with her life. The boy finished his phone call and ran upstairs to his bedroom where all of his belongings were already prepared.

Tomorrow was a huge day, possibly the biggest since… forever even. And that carried for the two of them.

That very same night Rosemary Anne and Andrew made sure to meet at the in-between of their houses in their estate. It really was barely a skip and a jump, a stone’s throw, whichever need to apply itself, really. Andrew was really excited tonight, about a lot of things going on in his mind. Rosemary Anne took his hand and asked him why with the huge smile, walking furthermore. “So many reasons really, babe. You gotta watch this film I watched only the other night. Meant to tell you earlier, it’s called ‘Wonder’ and it’s about this strange kid. No… that is wrong to say. His name is Auggie and he suffers from a thing called Treacher Collins Syndrome. He doesn’t look normal, at all. See, his face, his pasty little white face is all messed up since he was born. People sure do seem to come with their problems. Peculiar ones, outlandish ones; but Auggie’s seems to outstretch them all in a way. Poor kid, he did absolutely nothing at all wrong in his young life yet he has to repeatedly deal with new people staring scared of his face. I think it is horrible for a kid of any age to have to deal with that. Don’t you? So very painful.” Anyway, I am going way off point here, but yeah, you gotta see it to believe it. Really, you do. You know how I get about certain films. But, and this is, of course, the main thing above all else, but I am getting to go live with my girl and my best friend in the whole wide world out there.” Of course, she knew exactly how he got with himself about certain films, sure had he not twisted a million of their conversations into chats about the film ‘Good Will Hunting’? Had a thing for the underdogs, that’s for sure, did Andrew. “Awe, babe, do you really mean it?” She kissed his face all the way over, dropping a few tears. Hugging her, he told her that of course he meant it, how on earth could he not? Before they left home for the last time tomorrow, they had planned on spending the most part of the night in the woods. Andrew had made a picnic basket, not his usual way at all, but he knew Rosemary Anne would really appreciate the sentiment. Her tears got heavier and more tissues were needed as soon as he took her behind a wall of trees and there was sitting neatly a red and white blanket belonging to his mother and, of course, the sandwiches. Oh, how they both did adore the sandwiches every other day at school for lunch break, always giving the cafeteria a solid miss and proceeding to eating them together out on the school’s soccer pitch. Rosemary Anne smiled, taking a cigarette smoke out of her jacket pocket. “I thought that you said… ” Started Andrew. “I’ll quit when I feel ready, Andrew. I don’t ever try and stop you, do I, whenever you might like a smoke.” He let it fall. There they spent the next couple of hours soaking it all up for its worth, Andrew reminding her sweetly of all the good times that they had spent together at school, how he had finally, albeit way later than he might have liked built up the courage to actually ask her out on a date. “Hahaha! You were hilarious, couldn’t manage to muster up any kind of courage whatsoever at all.” Rosemary Anne stared up at the dark sky and crossed her arms, getting all of the more comfortable as they fell deeper into reminiscences about their recent past and enjoyed it all. “The date though… exceptional.” She said, smiling hard-hard and catching him match her smile for sentiment. “And the kiss. Oh, the kiss. Well, what can a girl say!” She let it at that, her words floating on up with their imaginations while the moon did its damnedest to really hit all of the right parts of the woods around them. Andrew leaned over as they lay on the picnic blanket and offered her one of the juicier sandwiches. “All for you, M’lady. Weren’t the easiest things in the world to make either, I’ll have you know it.” God bless him, thought Rosemary Anne. They were sandwiches – exceptional sandwiches but sandwiches no less and hardly any kind of a five-star meal. But hey, he had tried and that really meant everything to her right about now. They reminded each other of their dreams about to take shape. Of Andrew’s wish to maybe get to play in a good, good band in the heat of the city and Rosemary Anne’s absolute dream of one day becoming a world-famous writer. Of course, they would need to have two relatively good other vocations on the side, knew that and especially with the failure to graduate from school about to happen the moment they left for The Other Side Of Life, as they had started to call it. They did seem to have been the perfect couple at their school. Had been together seven months already, and Andrew honestly could not for the life of him see any way that he could ever manage to live without Rosemary-Anne. As he packed the picnic basket back up, he took her hand and held the wrist where her new tattoo was and kissed it. “Has your mother and father gotten over that yet?” He asked. Rosemary Anne tssked. “One day.” “I love you, Rosemary Anne.” Whispered Andrew. “I love you too, Andrew.”

He had considered leaving a note for his mother and step-father but, in the end, had simply thought: “Why bother, they never notice these things anyway. Never notice what I do with myself.” He took his black and brown heavy bag and sneaked back down through the kitchen and out the back door where there would be a place on the road a little further down and away from the view of his house where he could maybe manage to grab a spin quickly enough to meet Rosemary Anne.

Rosemary Anne was standing outside her house and a little further away from it too, waiting for him. Wondering what they would do with their time, how on earth they might manage to make this decision work out for themselves. It must not just work out for one of them but rather the pair, together. Sitting on the cobbled wall and looking over across the road where a large tree sank its way into the mouth of the land, she recalled all of the times that she had swung from that same tree with a makeshift rope while her friends tempted her to jump. A ten-foot jump, not all that different right now to the level of fear she was starting to feel regards jumping into a brand new life. Sure, she had seen the films, the romantic yet disastrous one’s wherein kids of their own age had gone and done the exact same thing, but this would be entirely different regards its conclusion. There would be no returning home way too soon, if even ever at all again. Together they would make it work, make it feel special, like it had so far done all year at school, where she and Andrew had spent the largest part of their precious time out of class, eating homemade jam sandwiches and kissing the face off the other person. It had made a lot of the other school kids feel queasy, so she reckoned they’d only be left delighted that they wouldn’t have to deal with seeing that anymore. “Jealous,” she thought them all to only ever be.

Soon enough, Andrew, her boy, came roaring around the corner, sprinting like his life depended on it when, really, all that he was was extremely interested in getting to see her again. She looked up at him as he ran a little closer and smiled for herself, strongest smile that she had felt in a long time. Sure he had given her many a reason to smile these days, but this? This was definitely different. Together and about to go for the choke of the big city. “Well, hello there little lady. How are you feeling?” She stood up, wiping some of the brand new creases from her rose-coloured dress and walked a bit to meet him. “I’m good, why thank you for being so kind as to ask.” He smiled, laughing a little. “Ha, are we going to talk all proper as if we were in an English novel, the loving pair of kids that want the whole wide world to know of their impending pain about to happen?” Rosemary Anne was stopped in her train of thought just then. “Huh, what you talking about, silly!?” Andrew reassured her. “Nothing at all, just relieved to see you is all.” He leaned in, gave her a strong kiss on the lips and tasted the taste of her new cherry lipstick that he had purchased for her at their local pharmacy only over the road. “Do you have some money?” He asked. She took a wallet from her bag, fast enough, and showed him a wad of cash. “Wow! I didn’t think you’d be that comfortably well off, ha!” She liked it whenever he checked-in on her well-being, knew that her money was hers, and his his. “There’s plenty there, enough to maybe cover the cost of an apartment or whatever for the first month anyway. We can be looking for some kind of jobs in the meantime.” He smiled hard, besotted with her all over again. Like it was the first time even if it wasn’t. “Okay, well, let us get going then, yes?” She told him that she was ready, that her parents knew nothing of their plans and that when they did cotton on, she wouldn’t be taking herself to caring anyhow. He told her the very same thing, a little more sad of the fact that his parents were not even the slightest bit interested at all in his whereabouts for the most part of the time. Grabbing at their two bags, they started for the larger road and soon enough, with their two thumbs out-stretched, a red car pulled in right by them. Sitting in it was a terribly large black man with a cigarette smoke dangling from his mouth. “So, you guys running away from home then?” Wow, straight to the point of guessing it spot on then, thought Andrew, who simply smiled at the man, while Rosemary Anne added a deep red blush to the picture of the pair of lovestruck individuals. “Ha, yeah, course! What else would a pair of wanderlust teenagers be doing at this time of the evening, right?” The man wondered if maybe he was on the button with his question. The car sped off and took them all as far as the other side of the city. Seven miles in total. Not amazingly far away from home but definitely far away enough to have your own brand new life minus the irritation of your problematic parents. Andrew’s more than Rosemary Anne’s, of course, but who was trying to compete here but no-one at all. Andrew made certain to ask the man if there were any decent apartments for cheap enough too around these parts of the city. The man lit another cigarette smoke and told them: “Hmm, absolutely there is, my friend. So, I wasn’t far off then, was I? In my guesstimation about you two?” Rosemary Anne was sitting in the middle in the back of the car twiddling her thumbs, nail-varnished red fingernails as ever and ready to take on the whole wide world for its worth. Andrew spoke up. “No, not entirely wrong, no, not really wrong… at all, actually.” Rosemary Anne poked her finger into his shoulder in the passenger seat where he was belted in. It would be getting dark soon and they’d need to get a place for themselves to stay. The man spoke for one last time before they went their separate ways. “Maybe to just bed down in a cheap enough B&B for the night might be your best option. Take care of her, yes?” They thanked him kindly and grabbed their bags, telling him that they would be absolutely fine. “She is in safe hands for sure, I wouldn’t see wrong by her for a second.” Wow, was Andrew already acting older what with the further they distanced themselves from home, thought Rosemary Anne. It was nice.

A couple minutes later, Rosemary Anne said that she might like to grab a decent coffee somewhere proper. Was a big fan of the caffeine hit, was Rosemary Anne. “Sure, where might you like to go for one?” Andrew didn’t really mind where. He was just delighted to finally be away from it all. The crappy surrounds of a dead neighbourhood with equally dead conversations with the pernickety people who had not chosen to inhabit it but of course did. She stopped walking for a bit and thought about this for a moment. “My friend said that there was a really cool place right over there.” Andrew hoped that this wasn’t a friend who had been told about their endeavour together. Thought that surely she didn’t tell anyone, just as she had decided and promised him that she wouldn’t. She pointed out a tiny little red-brick place on the corner. A  funny-shaped building to suit their funny-shaped existences right about then. “Cool, let’s go for it, then.” As they walked into the cafe called Little Mona’s, Rosemary wondered if she had packed her new notepad, the same one that she had promised herself she would be writing all of her plans and moments with Andrew in. She took a seat at the massive window while Andrew went and ordered them a latte and a cappuccino. The lady behind the counter smiled as though she had been painstakingly trained to smile that particular way all of her life and leading up to this moment. “Sweet, dear. That’ll be five dollars, please?” Andrew found enough coins in his pocket for now and handed it over to her. “Won’t be a tick, love. Sit yourself down and enjoy the peace, I say.” Looking fairly addled in her own skin, a cigarette smoke might just suit this lady down to the ground right about now, Andrew thought, while strolling over to Rosemary who was leafing through her notepad. “Ah! You took it with you then. Forever the note-keeper, huh?” She took her pen and placed it on the table and answered: “Well, I do think that it will be important to write down all that might happen for us, don’t you reckon the same, no?” “Yeah, course. I think that it’s a fantastic idea. And maybe one day, when we are looking back over this time in our lives we can get to really reminisce and the notes will add a little more to the size of the picture.” Andrew wasn’t very good at remembering many things, that just the dire and frustrating way that his fast-paced mind worked itself out, so he meant this when he said it. Rosemary Anne smiled hard and, as the lady arrived with their order, she took her mug, excited, and took a big gulp. “Hot! Hot! Hot!!!” Good girl, way to scald yourself, thought the lady as she headed back to take another customer’s order. “Mmm, that is really, really nice, actually. Hot, but nice for it.” Andrew checked his watch and figured time was on their side, no need to rush anywhere anymore anyhow. That one of their main promises to each other on this venture, or whatever they might like to call it from passing time to time. “The woman seems a little scary looking to me, though? She nice at all?” Asked Rosemary Anne. Andrew, looking over at the woman who was wrestling with the coffee machine right then, thought about his answer. “She is fine… … just a little different to the people we are used to already, but then we expected that, right?” Course they did, they had planned everything for themselves down to a fine tooth-comb, or rather that was what Rosemary had done, and getting to learn how to handle new people was one of the larger font bullet points in another of her notepads. The ‘Best Pad In The World Pad’, she had titled it on the front of the lilypad cover. As young people, they would really need to be on their best form when it came to the matter of treating people well. “Cool. Well nothing wrong with the odd hard-grafter in life, is there?” Andrew nodded his head. “Sure thing. Hey, did you ever get to finishing that poem for that magazine? You know the one. I know it’s important to you to get into that particular magazine. A little money I saw too when I googled the name.” Rosemary figured that she had but did not ever want to show anyone, even Andrew for all his worth, any of her stuff. “I think yeah… maybe… I dunno! It is always hard to tell with these things.” Wanting to be a highly-acclaimed author all of her young life, a part of Rosemary Anne was hoping that her writing might get a new lease of life on her moving to the city. With the weight of a huge city behind them, there had to come more opportunities for the puny writers out there, she reckoned so. Couldn’t ever get to guaranteeing it, of course, but why not hope above all else. She thought about maybe reading it out to Andrew at a later time perhaps, and told him as much. “Okay. Well, let me know if you might like to have me throw my eye over it at some stage, yeah?” She nodded her head of striking curls and proceeded with her coffee.

For the next twenty minutes or so, the pair of them just sat there, happy as two pigs in paradise, hand in hand. A wonky table had this cafe and Andrew, in particular, loved these kinds of little additions to the scene. Details, Rosemary Anne always said, were his favourite-best-friend. “If you didn’t have such a great eye for detail, I don’t know if I might even want to have been with you in the first place,” she had told him in no small way back near the beginning of Them. Nothing would need to be perfect on this trip. Perfect was for professionals who took life way too seriously, and this pair did not want to do that, not yet at least, not until they might have been a whole lot older and wanting to be a little more settled in their lives. The disgruntled woman offered them another cup of coffee, on the house. They absolutely agreed with a “thanks” on both their parts. The B&B did now sound like a good idea to them as outside it had finally gotten quite dark, a number of city noises taking over. Andrew finished his second coffee, waiting with Rosemary Anne on hers, slow drinker that girls always were in comparison and took both of their bags together in his hands. “You okay to hold both?” He shrugged. “Course, silly. Now, let’s find a place to bed down, as that fella in the car put it.”

Soon, they found a rather rugged looking B&B a few minutes away, paid for their keep and went to find their room on the third floor. They were told that they would be sharing with another couple but that was fine, even if a little disappointing. First night jitters with strangers they called it. The names: Rick and Morty. Horrid, horrid name was Morty but they seemed friendly enough to them no less. Turned out to be that they were sort of doing the very same thing as Andrew and Rosemary were only that they’d already found a decent couple of jobs for themselves and their “lousy” apartment was ready and waiting for them only a few miles away from the B&B.  Without further ado, the four of them opted upon buying a bottle – as cheap as they could find – of whiskey and staying in for the night. No real point in doing anything else yet, this city could wait for them awhile. Rick was happy to fetch the bottle of whiskey from the lobby makeshift bar downstairs while Andrew, Rosemary and Morty sat around the small, small room with barely a kitchen to see and got themselves settled. Morty, although her name was so very immeasurably displeasing, was a very pretty girl, and this was something that Rosemary had noted immediately. Hard not to, really. She might even want to put her striking features inside of her notepad maybe later on, or tomorrow morning even. She felt that it was definitely time to start creating a new character for a brand new spanking and seriously descriptive poem. Prettier the better, certain publishers had informed her. Morty was sitting with her legs up on hers and Rick’s double bunk-bed at the side of the entrance door, and it was plain to see that Andrew could not but notice her skin on show. White as white paint, ferociously so, and inescapably goose-pimpled with the lack of a heating system in the B&B. She made it impossible not to notice what with the short length of the frizzed denim skirt she was wearing. One long leg up in the air and comfortably crossing at the bend of the other leg. “So, Rosemary Anne,” She inhaled some of the brand new smoke in the room from Rosemary Anne’s newly lit cigarette smoke and lay her head back at the wall, musty as it was. Must have been okay to smoke because these walls screamed a ridiculous amount of manky brown, black smoke-colourings. “What have you guys planned for the rest of the week, month, year…” Rosemary Anne re-lit her cigarette smoke, opened the small, crusty old window and took a soft drag before turning toward Morty. “Hmm, I dunno about for the year, or month even, but for the week that is in it, well, I do think that we will want to get someway settled inside of a nice apartment room for ourselves.” Morty laughed hard, stood up and looked at Andrew sternly. “You not told this girl how hard this is actually going to be, Andrew?” Standing by the almost non-existent kitchen and unpacking his bag, toothbrush first of course, always with the toothbrush first and everything else second and last, he spoke with an almost furious vigour. “Yes, we do realise that, Morty.” He shuddered inside of himself by the mere mention of her horrible name. Wanted to know why in the name of Christ on a backward standing bicycle had her parents dropped that particular bombshell on her. And so pretty too, he thought. Like grabbing all of the looks in the world and taking it and trying to sink it with something so very outlandishly uncomfortable a thing as the name Morty. She took his words and worked with them, lounging and just staying silent. Rosemary Anne continued with her cigarette smoke and then came Rick through the door. “Oih! Legs to yourself, sweetheart.” He jokingly placed his hands over Morty’s two legs and pushed her further against the wall. “Shut up, you.” It was plain to see that Morty and Rick had probably been together a very long time. Rosemary Anne figured maybe three years or so, liked to get herself guessing when it came to these things. “So, what you manage to find for us, Rick?” Andrew didn’t want to appear too eager but then he did like to drink when the right time arose, and that was most certainly the case tonight.

While the three of Morty, Rick and Andrew got to sitting on the floor and with the bottle in hand, four mugs at the ready and a deck of cards – Andrew could not play, couldn’t even figure out how to begin at teaching himself – Rosemary Anne went to the toilet and stood in front of the mirror. Looking at herself a little closer than she usually might have done at home or in the school bathroom mirror even, she really did hope that Andrew would not get too pissed tonight. It was after all their first evening away from home together and, if it could have been better, she hoped that the other two strangers weren’t part of anything right now. She looked fierce tired and would maybe like to sleep soon enough, either that or drink with the distinctly perturbed Morty. Rick seemed fine, like he had been dragged into this relationship and was just happy-ish to go along with it for whatever the ride of a lifetime might just entail for him. “Hey, Rosemary Anne. You fancy a drink?” Andrew’s voice she could just make out over the noise of the air-conditioning box, but she didn’t really feel like it but was also feeling a little bit wee bit anxious so why not try it. “Sure. Pour me a decent glass, yeah?” On hearing this, Andrew proceeded to pour while Rick shuffled the cards quite professionally and Morty played with her drink. Rosemary Anne returned to the room and sat right alongside Andrew, not that there was much else of a choice as Morty had by now her legs wrapped firmly around Rick and stealing all of the space. What a picture she painted, thought Rosemary Anne – definitely a little or a whole lot of wild inside of this girl sitting in front of her. “Rosemary Anne,” Morty knocked up to her, “you smoke much?” Rosemary Anne confirmed it that she kind of did, but that neither did she really want to continue with doing so. “Yeah, that stuff kills your breath. Isn’t that right, Rick!” Said Morty. Rick stopped shuffling the cards and threw his girlfriend an angry look. “Fuck off, Morty! You know I tried to quit, and if you cannot deal with that taste then you know where the door is.” Andrew and Rosemary Anne simply sat still, wondering what they had been put in the middle of. At least tomorrow they would be on their own way, thought Andrew. He smiled at Rosemary and took her hand and whispered in her ear: “Don’t worry, I’m sure a few too many whiskeys will calm them right the way down.” Rosemary Anne tried for a smile. Far more forced that earlier on in the day. “So, here is to brand spanking new friends then!!” Morty roared these words and stood up to knock back a strong full mug of stinging whiskey. “Agh, yessss!! That hit the spot right there.” Andrew watched Morty move from the corner of his eye, catching the skin again as it flickered with the lightness of the light in the room. Sexy, he thought, but absolutely a pain in the bollocks for sure.

Morning Tine In A Brand New Land

Rosemary Anne woke the next morning for seven o’clock. She was sitting out in the lobby downstairs writing in her notepad. Trying to put a girl like Morty in her poem wasn’t turning out at all that easy as she expected. The words just were not coming, not flowing, not one bit even. She had herself a nice strong coffee and was enjoying watching the lobby move about the place. She tried for taking something from all of the people, the fresh new tourists who were doing their very own fresh new things with the day and adding them to the lines of the poem as best that she might be able to manage. Truth said, Rosemary Anne was kind of a miracle worker with words. A wordsmith of the finest kind, her English teacher had told her parents this much, that if she really got to concentrate on it, then she might just get to amount to something seriously worth talking about. She never took these things too seriously though, except maybe when she found herself on her own with her own thoughts like right now. Seven lines in and a guy, maybe in his middle twenties, approached the table she was sitting at. “So, a writer then, huh?” She took her eyes from the page and thought maybe say. Why not simply say nothing, why not tell him nothing, because if she did start talking and telling him something then she would most definitely start explaining herself and then, of course, she would feel this utterly unstoppable urge to tell the stranger why it was she wrote the way she wrote and what her overall aim was with it all. Tiring stuff for sure, but a large part of her life too. No need, she just smiled and nodded nicely. The guy decided to land his coffee at the centre of their table and looked at her notepad. “I think, anyone who is willing to go to the trouble of splurging a little more money on that sort of a big, fat notepad has to be worth something when it comes to their over-investment in their craft. And it is a craft, no two ways. Right?” What did this fella want, thought Rosemary? Same thing the most part of the people seemed to want, for a pretty girl to tell them why she did what she did, but what was it about her that could make someone only just sitting in her vicinity a couple of minutes already think that she was so invested in this thing. She wanted, no, needed to write, to get this character right. But, alas, this fella kept at her. Maybe he was right then, maybe she was over-invested in it. The thought had crossed her mind before only not with that particular word in place to describe her need to write, write, write some sore till all of the words had to take care of themselves, and her too. He kept his eyes upon her all awhile he sipped from his coffee like it was a nugget of gold and he the absolute owner. “Reckless.” That is all she could say. He stirred a little in himself. “Hmm, sorry?” She dragged her face from the notepad and told him something that she had never told anyone before. “It is rather reckless, this stupid need for people, writer’s, to have to feel this burgeoning need to place a ‘he said’ and a ‘she said’ inside of a narrative, isn’t it?” Fair point made, Rosemary Anne, and right then Andrew came into the lobby, looked shiftingly around til he found her. “Hey!” He strolled over, hands in the pockets and wearing the same trousers that she had bought him for Easter. She gave him a kiss and closed her notepad, coffee almost finished by now. Andrew looked at the stranger sitting at their table and gave him a weird look of “who the hell are you when you’re walking over to a complete stranger, a girl what’s more, and trying to get in on the action?” The stranger just sat and finished his coffee, slowly, knowing now that there was no hope of any real interesting conversation happening with the pretty girl. “Shove over, babe. How did you sleep.” Said Andrew. He snuggled his hungover head against her shoulder. “Okay, thanks, I think I am finding it harder and harder to drink more. The hangover at the point of three glasses that’s how I think it’s getting itself to be. Eeek!” Andrew laughed softly. “Whatever you think, to be honest, I don’t think that I have drunk that much whiskey in.. forever maybe?” Rosemary Anne opened her notepad again. “Ye stay up much later then? Sorry to have stopped in the middle of the card game, I was shattered.” Andrew thought about his answer. “A little while yes, and I have to admit, Rick is a pretty cool cat. I cannot understand even the seen-to-be easiest card game in the world even.” A cool cat!? Who in the name of Christ on a backward standing bicycle was this weird speaking person sitting alongside her? “Cool. Did Morty stay up too late herself?” Andrew seemed to play with his fingers a little, like the way he always seemed to do whenever he was caught for words. Hmm. “She hung in there with us.” He looked out of the large and decidedly grimy B&B window over a little further past the tourists smoking cigarette smokes, while Rosemary Anne scribbled some silly little illustration of a big round circular head with crazy Irish hair in her notepad, hoping he could see that she was having a shot at drawing Morty. She looked at him again, this time much more inquisitively. “You think she’s pretty, don’t you?” He startled himself. “What!!” He was caught totally off guard and with no way out but to answer his girlfriend. “No… not at all, actually. Yes, she is pretty for her worth but minus all that gook on her face then she’d be left wanting, for sure. Unlike you, who can wear pretty much not a touch of make-up and still look like the prettiest damn sexiest girl in the city.” Sweet, charming Andrew, always feeling that he had done something seriously wrong when he had not. Just then, as he drank from his coffee he made a grimace with his mouth that made her think a little differently. “C’mon, close the notepad and let’s get back to bed, it is way, way, way too early for you to be writing anything, right?” Course it wasn’t, he knew full well that minus a notepad and a pen was Rosemary’s second best place to be. She said that she wanted to stay a while, to get to the nitty-gritty of her new poem. “Okay, well, chat when you get upstairs again then, yeah?” She said that they would of course. With the stranger having finally disappeared with himself and over at the old crappy clapped out yet still wonderfully ornamental jukebox in the corner of the lobby, she decided to really go for it with this poem. And how the character started to take shape helped by her inner anger at Andrew’s demeanour just before he’d left for back upstairs: first with her auburn red stinging hair, then her tight bustline catered for and saved from exploding at the same time by a generous red tee, then for the legs, sweet, white Irish legs probably which could “send many a man a million ways til seriously insane”.

“Hey, Andrew.” Back up in the room, Morty was filling her face with gook while Andrew tied up his and Rosemary Anne’s bags again. But of course, toothbrush first, everything else second and last with it. “Yes?” “I was wondering, how long have you and Rosemary Anne been together?” Why would she be getting herself to asking such a question? And, what’s more, right now as they were about to take off and go in their separate directions? Maybe there was absolutely nothing in it, thought Andrew, always with his general tendency at over-thinking these things. He ground his sticky teeth from the whiskey and walked over near the opening to the tiny toilet, watching her apply the last of her mountain of makeup. “About seven months.” She smiled, quite villain-like, actually. “That ain’t so long a time at all. Me and Rick, God bless him and his Scottish socks, we were never really in it for the long haul, you know.” Andrew stood leaning at the skirting of the door and wanted her to continue. “So, what I am trying to not so very subtly say is,” She came a little closer to him and placed her outstretched arm at the skirting by his shoulder. “I’m in the city, and whether with Rick or not, I might like to lie and hang out with you again. I mean, if that is something that you might like.” Andrew heard footsteps at the room door, so turned himself away from Morty and moved back into the room. It was Rosemary Anne with her notepad, looking all kinds of pretty in her clothes, deciding upon another dress today, red and blue this time. Andrew smiled and looked ridiculously caught out. Not for much, she figured, but definitely not a good start to proceedings at the first sight of a pretty girl in their new life together. She walked over to Morty. “So, it was nice to meet you.” Said with the sincerity of someone who did not understand the meaning of the word and therefore didn’t bother to try and follow its guidelines, she stuck out her hand. Scrunched up hanging-smile, Morty told her that it was a “fantastic pleasure altogether”, the word fantastic taking all kinds of liberty with her ‘new friend’. “Where is Rick?” Andrew had to say something, you could feel the heat even if it was one of the coldest damn rooms in any B&B in the city right then. Morty lifted up her tee a little so that she could cool herself down, both her belly and the glistening belly button ring catching Andrew’s eye as she went, and stayed silent, picking up her bag and Rick’s too. “I don’t know, I never know. Okay, well, I’ll be seeing you guys, I guess… or whatever. Take care of one another, yeah?” Morty took herself on out of the room, leaving the two there on their own together again. Finally, but all was not so well to be perfectly obvious. What a weird girl, thought Rosemary. What a wonderful girl, maybe, thought Andrew. Shit.

Tattoo.

To get a tattoo simply wouldn’t be enough; it needed to be The tattoo – the tattoo to outdo all of the other ones. Rosemary Anne had been thinking it over for quite some time and had finally decided, screw it, go for it, don’t think twice, it’ll be all right. Cheers for that, Bobby, you beautiful man. By the way, it wasn’t that Rosemary Anne was all that enamoured with Bob Dylan, or his words for that matter, just that the whole romanticism of it all worked wonders with her own writing. He had worked hard as she would too. But the tattoo needed doing and in a very real way.