A Beautiful Forever - By Anderson, Lilliana Page 0,1

that yet,” I say, nodding at that bloody ring again, I’m trying to sound okay with it, but it hurts. It's like my brain is swelling and throbbing against my skull from the sight of it.

She seems completely unfazed by seeing me and just stands there smiling like we’re buddies. Her eyes shift to look over my shoulder, where I’m sure my client is still waiting. “Well, I had better let you get back to it,” she says, starting to back away from me. I hate feeling like this. It's like she’s tearing a part of me off the further she steps. “It was nice to see you again Evan.”

I laugh, but it makes this really hollow and empty sound. I don’t mean for it to come out that way, but I’m feeling a little bitter right now.

“You too Katrina. I'll see you around, if not – have a great life!” I smile on only one side of my face and run back to my client, forcing my feet every step and refusing to let myself turn around.

I don’t chance a look at her again until after I’ve told my client what his next exercise is. My guts are churning as I watch her run away, but I can’t stop staring. She doesn’t even look back.

I just lied to her. I'm not seeing anyone. Truth is I haven’t dated anyone in the two years since her. I fucked around a lot, which is really out of character for me, but I just wanted to try to get her out of my head. It never helped because every time I closed my eyes, I dreamed about our time together – it was fucking perfect, and I destroyed it because I was too much of a pussy to stand up to my dad.

Now she’s engaged and I’ve got no chance, I guess I could pursue her and try to change her mind – but there is something about the way she just looked at me that tells me it would be a waste of time. Plus, she seems happy and I’m not a home wrecker. At the end of the day, David is a good guy, and they have a lot of history. I'm sure they’ll be disgustingly blissful together.

“Elliot,” my client snaps me back from my thoughts. “What’s next?”

Dragging my eyes from watching Katrina’s figure fade into the distance, I tell him that it is time to cool down. We go for a run in the opposite direction. I don’t trust myself not to chase her down.

Chapter 1


“My family are all dead,” I reply to the well-meaning lady sitting next to me. She’s just trying to make conversation to pass the time as we fly half way across the world from Sydney, Australia to Heathrow Airport in the UK.

“Oh… I’m so sorry to hear that,” she stammers out, now not sure what to say. She looks at me, her mouth moving up and down like she's a goldfish caught out of water. Her jowly cheeks are wobbling, and her eyes are darting nervously around as she searches for something else to say.

“It’s fine. I just don’t like to talk about it,” I tell her, looking out the window at the passing clouds. I don’t like to talk about it because it isn’t true. As far as I know, my family are all alive and well, they just don’t speak to me after kicking me out when I was fifteen. I have taken to telling people they're dead – because that’s how it feels to me. I used to say that they don’t talk to me anymore, but what does that say about me? The one that was cast out. It says no one loved me enough to fight for me, that I’m too much trouble to put up with. It’s better if I say they’re dead – it makes me lucky to be the one who’s still alive.

Staring out the window, I watch the clouds roll by below us, like a fluffy white and grey blanket that I so desperately want to touch. The woman turns her attention to the guy sitting on the other side of her and starts to ask him questions about his life instead. I've made her uncomfortable. I have probably made everyone within earshot uncomfortable.

Pressing the buds of my headphones inside my ears, I scroll through my music and select an album. I’m really into 90’s alternative music right now so I choose Custard’s Wahooti Fandango.