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“It’s weird, that’s all,” Holly murmured, trying to avoid the pothole obstacles blocking her path to the local pub.
“Weird like a twenty-eight year old playing Pokémon Go?” Sassiness slipped from each syllable Meera spoke. Best friends with attitude were hard to find but impossible to ditch. “Explain this daft phone app game to me again. And if it helps, pretend that I give a shit.”
Holly focused on stopping the hem of her summer dress flipping up in the breeze. Her lace knickers were the sort you wore to bolster your mood on a crap day but she didn’t want to display her blue wares to the neighbourhood. “You know I’m only playing it because I’m bored and waiting for my new job to start. It gives me an excuse to get out and do loads of walking.”
“Bollocks does it. We both know that’s not the real reason you’re playing.” She always knows how to catch me out. Meera, a Cambridge trained psychologist, could analyse people within seconds and always knew the buttons to press to get a reaction. Especially when it comes to me.
“I don’t know what you mean.” Playing dumb was the only option she had. Occasionally she sneaked a look at her phone, trying to see if any digital creatures were popping up nearby.
“Why else are you obsessed with that game? And don’t give me some crap about how it reminds you of your childhood. I’m talking about our dear friend Lewis.” Meera grabbed her mid stride, yanking her shoulders and swivelling her so that they were face to face. Eyes bored through her, daring her to share the truth.
“Fine,” Holly replied with a shrug, before rolling her baby blues dramatically. “Playing the game makes me feel closer to Lewis. It’s the sort of thing he would love playing and he probably would have tried to make me play with him.” Which I secretly would have loved doing.
“Because he was an immature nerd who didn’t know when the best thing that could ever exist in his life was staring him in the face?”
Don’t rush to his defence, he doesn’t deserve it. The tearful days and nights after he’d made it too difficult to be in a relationship with him were testament to that. Holly ran a hand through her thick dark hair, frustrated by all that resided in her head. Unanswered questions crossed her consciousness before being replaced by more unfathomable anxieties.
“I just don’t understand what went wrong,” she finally drawled.
“He was one of life’s many dickheads,” Meera replied, the impatience in her dark almond eyes adding to the beauty that shone wherever she went.
But Lewis wasn’t a dickhead. The evidence was in his behaviour over the time they’d spent together. The “immature nerd” had been there for her during the months of redundancy; letting her weep when her nose was rubbed in the prospect of being without a job. Sad days were transformed into happy memories due to the hours they spent in stitches of laughter. The instances when they’d try and outwit each other now brought a pained smile that poked at her heart.
Their day at the fair on the edge of the local beach where he’d failed miserably in winning her a stuffed Pokémon character, a Pikachu, replayed in her mind most nights. It made it that bit more difficult to battle the tears.
“Everywhere we go together makes it a better experience,” he’d told her that day. The words were etched on her mind like a tattoo. It wasn’t just those words either. “I adore you,” was something he said often, usually when drunk. Was that a lie? There had never been a man in her life as genuine as him. Was I gullible, believing a loveable geek like him couldn’t charm me with lines?
“I’m still waiting for you to explain this game to me.” That was Meera’s way of dragging Holly from the overthinking funk that pulled her mind in circles.
“Okay, so you open up the app and walk around. The different creatures, Pokémon, appear on your screen in a variety of locations and you have to swipe these balls to catch them.”
“It sounds lame.”
Ignoring the justifiable opinion or the way Meera’s long legs swept them quicker to the pub than Holly could keep up with, especially as her head was still buried in the game, she continued. “There seem to be more Pokémon near poke stops, random places mostly in town and city locations, and sometimes people set lures.”
The summer breeze was picking up and happily Holly felt the heat of the day finally ease from her body. The hot summer was glorious but made walking around and searching for creatures uncomfortable.
“These lures are set for half an hour by other players and they attract more Pokémon. Part of the fun is going to where these lures have been set.”
“What you’re telling me is that it’s all about balls and being lured somewhere in order to get a poke? No wonder you like it, you dirty bitch.”
“Yeah, whatever,” she joked back, but her heart wasn’t in the banter.
I miss my rude, filthy side.
But Holly had closed herself off to that as well since Lewis had forced the end of their relationship. Orgasms had become dull and without him seemed bahis firmaları a waste of time and energy. Sometimes Lewis used to send her a text and she’d be dashing home to get herself off or rushing to his, if he could get out of work. The day she straddled him as he sat in the driver’s seat of his car had nearly ended in public indecency; hot fast sex right outside his office. But they’d managed to hold off.
“Hard-core grinding doesn’t count as serious foreplay,” she’d whispered, before sliding her hand into his boxers.
Other nights his tongue would linger on her clit coaxing her climax closer, sensually bringing the tip of his muscle to her swollen bud until, just when she thought she couldn’t take any more, he’d force her higher, sucking it with abandon. The wails of pleasure would blast silence from her flat until the neighbours banged on the wall, demanding they reduce the volume of their passion. It didn’t stay quiet for long, though. The attention he gave her nipples was worthy of an Olympic gold medal.
Holly’s phone vibrated in her hand, reminding her that there were Pokémon nearby and needing to be caught.
“Someone’s put a lure on Jynx’s,” Holly said. Jynx’s was the pub they’d been heading too, sadly also a location where she’d shared many joy filled brunches with Lewis.
“I’m guessing we’re back to your weird thought; that maybe Lewis is setting these lures in places that you and he had dates and where you had significant times.”
“I never said that.”
“But you’re thinking it. I can tell.” How does she do that? Of course it’s not anything to do with him. He made it obvious I’m not what he wants.
“It’s just a coincidence,” she shrugged.
“Of course it is,” Meera was humouring her. “After all, any player can set lures, can’t they?”
“Yup, and there must be thousands of players in this town alone.”
“So it’s just a coincidence… Except you’re wishing it wasn’t.” There was no point arguing. “You need to move on. How about you pick up some random guy tonight and bang his brains out.”
“Yeah, maybe.” But Holly wouldn’t do that and they both knew it.
Stepping into the pub Holly’s mind vibrated in time with her phone, only it wasn’t digital creatures residing there; memories from her past were electrifying every sense. The smell of bacon sizzling in the kitchen and the plush red leather booths reminded her of the morning Lewis and she had sat in such a booth after they’d first had sex.
The date had started at a mini golf course. It was a foolish thing for two grown adults to enjoy but Lewis had an endearing way of making everything, no matter how silly, fun and worth spending time on. Sometimes he made it foreplay too.
Holly remembered how she’d bent over in her short denim skirt, hoping he’d attempt to look beneath it. Occasionally she’d feel his eyes on her arse, willing her to bend lower, hoping that her bare skin and the teasing angle of the cheeks would give him the treat he had to be longing for.
“I’ll help you with your swing,” he’d offered. They both knew she didn’t need it but clearly he couldn’t resist the pull of his “helpful personality”.
Moving behind her, his hard body pushed against hers. It wasn’t the only solid thing she could feel either. The erection he was wielding was trying to find a new home against her bum cheeks. Unfortunately for him, the denim of her skirt and his own shorts were thwarting its intentions.
“That’s quite a club you’ve got there. I should probably hide if you start trying to swing it,” she teased.
“I think your support would be needed if I did, I suspect you have more control over my little balls than I do,” he quipped.
Casually, Holly had ground herself against him. The heat from his body made her strappy top cling to her curves. “You’re hands are wrapping very tightly around the club. Do you always wrap your club with such skill?”
“I can see down your top from this angle,” Lewis had whispered in her ear turning their game from innuendo to seduction. “And I can’t wait to wrap my tongue around your nipples and lick them gently. They’re hard for me. You want me to touch your breasts and there’s no hiding it.”
Holly had jumped away at that point but his grin and the cheeky twinkle in his eye made her burn with a rosy glow. Lewis knew the effect he was having on her and was delighting in it.
Throughout the game they’d tried to find ways to put each other off. Holly had nibbled at her lip, dragging it into her mouth before sucking her finger under the pretence of indecision on a shot. The times she slid unnecessarily close to his body when crossing to the next hole never failed to produce a noise of anguish from Lewis. His groans were a turn on she couldn’t resist.
“Sorry, did I touch you?” she’d ask, grabbing a feel of his erection as she did.
The soundtrack to their flirting were the squeaks of the sails of a white windmill on hole six and the bubbling water hazard on hole eleven. Those were the sounds that still brought memories kaçak iddaa of him flooding back to her.
“I can’t seem to keep my hands on the ball,” she’d comment, as it fell from her delicate fingers to the green pitch. Seductively she’d bend over at the waist to pick it up, her bum in the air and the knowledge that her pink French knickers would be on display to him.
Lewis hadn’t backed down from her challenges either. At times he’d brush a finger under her top and down her naked back while whispering, “Do you think I need to work on my stroke?”
On the last hole she lined up her club, desperate to be victorious in their battle of wills and holes. She’d underestimated his competitiveness. Bending slightly she suddenly felt cold hard metal sliding across her inner thigh. In surprise she’d jumped, screwing up the shot.
“Sorry,” he’d joked, unhooking the end of his club from under her skirt, letting it swiftly brush her crotch before he did. “I must have slipped. Maybe something wet got to its hard length.”
Holly had tried her hardest to look annoyed but it was futile. The fun game that had started at mini golf had turned into a fuck fest by the time they got back to her house. Lewis had been just as incredible with the stroke of his club as she’d hoped. For a loveable geek he knew how to handle himself and her.
Sitting in the pub with Meera, she made the most of the Pokémon popping up sporadically on her phone. A Jigglypuff and Squirtle appeared on-screen. Holly made no rush to catch them instead laughing internally about the night Lewis had told her that her boobs had a Jigglypuff way about them when he buried his head between them. He’d even told her once that he’d love to see her Squirtle. You must forget about him, this isn’t helping.
The men around her, sitting at various tables or lounging near fruit machines, with their muscles expanding beneath luminous vests and thighs trying to break free from their denim shorts, did nothing for her. When did men become so preened and appearance obsessed? Was finding a normal guy, who chucked on a retro t-shirt and a pair of jeans before heading out, too much to ask? A spray of musky deodorant was good too. That always got her pheromones bouncing. The guys nearby were attractive, some even had bodies that got her curiosity spiking, but they weren’t Lewis. One particular coiffured guy, with a perfectly cut beard that added mystery to his dark brooding looks, flipped her a smile. He’s not a loveable geek, though.
Sandy hair that had her reaching for a brush and a cute face that made her smile even when he was winding her up were all she wanted. But you can’t want it anymore, he’ll never be yours again. Even for a complete nerd he had a great body, which he tried to hide under his baggy t-shirts and loose fitting jeans. The fun she’d had tracing his chest with her fingers, watching the muscles ripple and contract when she hit a sweet spot, still made her grin wistfully.
“Are you smiling at that guy over there? Good choice, he’s hot. Maybe if you show him a bit of the Holly charm you can get on that.”
“Nah, I’m okay. You can have a go if you want.” It was easy to talk about guys like fairground rides when you didn’t care about them.
It turned out Meera did want him and after some coy giggles and sly touches they were heading back to her house. The lust-filled laughter as they headed out brought aches of jealousy to Holly’s belly. Not that I want him, I just want that feeling again.
Holly meandered in the direction of her own place, stopping off at the local supermarket for ice cream. Another poke stop and another place that held a fond memory of her time with Lewis. I need to get a fucking life.
This had been the location of their first meeting. Just a chance moment in time, the sort you can never plan for but still changes your life forever. It had been a late night shopping kind of evening preceded by a shit day at work. The house was lacking in alcohol due to a flurry of crap days and so Holly found herself searching for a wine that would take off the edge of her stress while not giving her a blinding hangover the next day.
Out of the corner of her eye her inner geek saw the Star Wars toys perched on a shelf. No one knew about that side of her then. Even Meera would have been shocked to find the secret collection of figures, including those she’d pilfered from older family members, residing in a special box in her bedroom.
New movies were being released and so a whole host of new characters were on sale. The small plastic things were a waste of her well-earned money but it didn’t stop her coveting them. Her collection was missing a BB-8 droid and there was just one left, standing on the shelf and taunting her. There was no one she knew in the vicinity of the aisle, so this was the time to grab the item before the mocking could begin. Within several short steps she’d made it to the figure. BB-8 will finally be mine. Her hand reached out to grab this craved prize but an unwelcome stranger beat her to it. His thick kaçak bahis hand was there before she could even get a touch of the packaging.
“That’s mine,” she snapped.
“I don’t see your name on it. Unless your name is BB-8. To be fair you look more like a double D than a double B.” The ballsy reply and ensuing geeky laugh had come from a mouth that carried a deep, local accent. “Wow, I never make jokes like that, sorry, I don’t know what came over me. It’s still my droid though.”
Looking up, Holly had been ready to go to war for something she could probably get in a couple of weeks on eBay. That was until she saw the stares of a cute sandy haired guy with a smile that she wanted to taste. Chocolate brown eyes challenged her stance, bringing out a cheeky smile that she fought unsuccessfully to hide.
“My eyes are up here,” she quipped, although his eyes hadn’t actually left hers once. “Surely you don’t want me to use the force on you?”
“You don’t have the force. I dare you to try and use it, you’re no match for me.” She probably would have walked away, going to the wine aisle, if he hadn’t given a wink as he dared her. There was something irresistible about his challenge.
Maybe he hadn’t been expecting her to accept his dare or maybe the laces on his red converse pumps were undone but as she stalked her prey, stepping closer, he scooted backwards and tripped. The sight of him sprawled on his back and looking up at her in wonderment was something she could happily get used to.
“And that is the force in action,” she joked, while bending down and swiping the figure from his hands.
Somehow, even with the glee causing her to bumble around, she’d managed to get halfway down the next aisle before he caught up with her. The sound of her giggles had drawn him quickly to her location.
“Now I’ve got you.”
“I’m pretty sure you’ve got nothing. I’m the winner in this game and BB-8 is coming home with me.”
“Lucky droid. Well, if I can’t have him can I have something else?”
She rolled the words around her mouth before confidently easing them out from between her lips. “Depends what the something is.”
“I would like to go on a date with the most stunning Star Wars fan that ever existed.” He faltered for a moment, “Unless you’re not buying that for yourself but your bodybuilding boyfriend who is waiting for you at home.”
“No, I’m completely single. And you are quite the charmer.”
“Honestly? I’m terrified of women as beautiful as you, your eyes alone are hypnotising but I have to ask you out. You deserve to be treated like a queen and I want to be the guy to attempt to do it.” He paused, a confused look crossing his face. “Sorry, that’s really cheesy but I might never meet you again and my life would be worse because of it. You have to say yes, you just have to.”
It had seemed simple. Their first date was arranged for the following evening. Over time it became apparent that Lewis hadn’t been lying; he wasn’t particularly good at charm, frequently saying random things and freaking out when more than one beautiful woman was in a room. But when we were alone he excelled and I fell for him quicker and harder than expected.
Looking at her phone she could see that the supermarket also had a lure on it. That tingly feeling of suspicion was creeping up on her. Quickly she looked left and right, expecting to see someone she knew watching her but the only one staring was a trolley boy at the end of the freezer aisle.
“Excuse me, madam, are you Holly Piper?” A chill crawled up her bones.
The boy had the look of a teenager who was doing his best to deal with all the shit puberty left behind. Spots were scattered across his face, some picked too many times, leaving little pits in his skin. The crippling shyness that went with such stages in a guy’s life were evident in the way he diverted his gaze from her eyes.
“Yep,” she answered, before chastising herself silently. The boy may have been a nervous teenager but he had no business knowing her name.
“You dropped this.” Ash Brock, that’s what his name badge said, handed her a receipt from a pub nearer town, Samuel Oaks. Another location from her greatest hits with Lewis.
Holding it gingerly in her hand she recalled the last time she was there. It was the night Lewis’ band, or rather the band Lewis played bass for, did a gig. Looking up, with the intention of handing back the receipt, she realised the mysterious Ash Brock had disappeared. Holly searched all the aisles close to where they had chatted but he was gone.
What the fuck? It’s too late for trolley boys to be playing games with me and it can’t be my receipt, I haven’t been to Oaks in months.
Memories of time spent with Lewis and the hurt that continued to spread through every vein clouded her reasoning skills. Instead of getting safely home, spontaneously she jumped on a bus and headed into town. It was 10pm but time had become another aspect of this evening that could be ignored easily. The night felt like a dream of painful and yet happy experiences visiting her like ghosts. Was she meant to learn something or just take the hint and move on? Maybe I’ll know when I get to the end of whatever game life is playing with me.
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