When he meets her for the first time in a group of mutual friends, he wonders if it’s illegal for a girl to be that breathtaking. Wanting to know more about her didn't even begin to cover it because that would just be grazing the surface. She’s with another guy, loud and aggressive, who gets even more obnoxious as more drinks enter his system. When she places a hand on this guy's knee and starts laughing about her mom’s texting woes he rolls his eyes and nudges her off of him so he can go outside to have a smoke with some buddies. She shrugs, as this is standard procedure. At least he didn’t yell at her in front of everyone like last time. Alex turns over and mentions something passively about his own mom dabbling in the Twitter world and as stupid as it was, that icebreaker was enough to have them seated close together and acting as though they’d known each other for years just a few minutes later. They take each other in, seamlessly weaving through conversation topics until they're interrupted.

We’re leaving, Daisy. Come on then.”

It’s as though a dark cloud takes over, her smile diminishing as she nods.

“Good talking to you, Daisy.”

“Yeah, you too Alex. I’ll have to see which Milligan is worthy of my first tweet, the odds against you are high.”

“Really kick a man while he’s down, huh?”

“Daisy, what the fuck. Let's go, we’re going.”

They leave but her impact remains.

And I know, you're gonna be away a while
But I've got no plans at all to leave

“You’re the best person I know.”

“Where's the sarcastic bit, Dais?”

“I mean it.”

He leans down, their faces inches apart. Her cheeks turn red and immediately she lets out a giggle and swats his chest. He doesn't waiver with his stance. She’s been so used to showing a variety of different versions of herself to please other people, she has never felt more vulnerable than the moment he looks at her. Not who she presents, but who she truly is. It brings her out of her comfort zone, evokes emotions she wasn’t sure she was even fully capable of.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen you blush before. Daisy Hadley, am I making you blush?”

“Will you stop! It’s not like that.”

“Maybe we ought to make it like that.”

He moves his hands so they’re wrapped around her waist and he pulls her in closer. Their lips brush together and for a split second he wonders about actions and their consequences but that's soon overtaken by his desire to kiss her. So he does. For a guy who is always inside his own mind, she has a way of making him forget he even has thoughts. When they pull apart and look at each other, cheeks flushed and eyes wide with curiosity, there's an unspoken bond. This. This is how it should feel like. He knows that he doesn't just want her momentary kisses whenever the mood strikes, he wants her lazy days when there's not much else to do but stay in bed and reminisce on the past few days, her excitable demeanour when she has just accomplished a task she didn't know she could finish, her hand planted firmly on his shoulder to make her presence known in a sea of people, her jealous glances from across the room, her inability to hold her tongue, her secrets no one thought to pull out, her scars no one dared to graze, her thoughts no one cared to ask about, her beautifully put together disarray.

"I've been through a lot, Alex."

"You can tell me all about it."

Take my hand and my
Heart and soul, I will
Only have these eyes for you

They spend twenty minutes outside fighting until he has worn her down and starts kissing her cheek. At first, she is tense but then she nuzzles into him. Two of the people beside Alex sigh.

"This again." One laughs to the other.

It doesn’t take long until her arm is wrapped around his waist and they’ve started to walk back inside. Don’t come here, don’t come back here, don’t come here. Fuck, they’re coming here. Act normal. Act normal, you fucking idiot. Why’re you holding your drink like that? Put it down. Good fucking job, smacking it into Lauren's cup. You need to j--

“Alex, Laur, Kev! We’re going to head back to Paul's apartment. Come with us!”

Paul gives them a look, one that says do not fuck this up for me when things are going well. His hands slides down to her ass but she swats it away.

“Nah, you two go on. I’ve managed to get that studio booked for an hour in the morning so I’m going to work on some stuff.”

“Oh, come on!”

“No, no. You lot go on. I’ll catch up with you tomorrow, alright?"

He waves the couples off as they go their separate ways and he ends up staying at the pub, those pesky thoughts taking over even as he walks home.

"Paul.. stupid fucking name anyway, innit? Who cares. Paul the lull. Zzzzz. Snore. Bore."

All my senses come to life
While I'm stumbling home as drunk as I
Have ever been and I'll never leave again
'Cause you are the only one

“Hey, Alex. You know what I was thinking about?”


“You and I. Dating.”

“Oh yeah? What’s the general consensus?”

“We’d never work out.”

“Why’s that?”

“I always pick the wrong ones.”

“You don’t have to do that.”

“I don’t have to, but I do. Every time. Without fail.”

Bukowski wrote, 'you would like to hand your heart to her and say touch it but then give it back.'

He thinks, Bukowski had it wrong.

I'd like to hand my heart to her and say touch it, explore.

You do not have to tread gently. Do your worst.

Take a part for yourself and then give the rest back.

Might as well, your fingerprints were enough to do me in.

Does that make you the lock or the key?

Soon enough through kisses and tugged clothes they stumble to her bedroom.

And would you take away my hopes and dreams and just stay with me?

“Every time, Alex. This happens every fucking time. Why am I such a bloody idiot?”

He has already lost count of how many times she and Paul have broken up and promptly gotten back together. She can’t stop crying which makes her mad that she is crying over 'this stupid boy' and that inevitably makes her cry even more. Sure, she might have had her suspicions that he was cheating but she pushed them far back enough in her mind to rationalize it as petty suspicions with no basis. She figures, hey, he buys me the occasional gift, lets me crash at his place sometimes and pays attention to me when he feels like it and that’s enough isn’t it? It’s the same song and dance that it has always been, she knows she shouldn’t be surprised and yet it hits her hard every single time. This is something she’s used to, but not something she can normalize.

“You’re not an idiot, you just continuously choose this idiot. Your radar for it is impeccable, actually.”

She looks up at him, taking a moment to smile before the tears start streaming down her face again.

"I'm done with all of that, I don't need that bullshit. I deserve respect. "

"He's a piece of shit, Dais."

"A lot of people don't understand him."

"What's there not to understand? He's a cheater, he's a liar, he makes you feel like shit."

"Sometimes. That's what a relationship is, there's good and bad."

"There shouldn't be this much bad."

"I know it's hard to understand, but we've known each other since we were kids."

"Doesn't mean it's okay."

"You're right."

"You deserve everything."


"I mean it. Come on tour with me."

"What are you talking about? Will you shut up."

"Even for a couple of days. It's just small gigs in pubs, cafes, wherever I can book but we can couch surf, visit hostels, whatever it is. You can clear your head, it'll be good for you. It'll be fun."

"But I've got work."

"Work can wait. Tomorrow at noon. Come with me."

"Oh my god. This is insane. Well...why the fuck not?"

"Why the fuck not is right."

She never shows up, she's back together with Paul in a week.

You could stay within these walls and bleed or just stay with me


"Alex, it's Dais. Tried calling you yesterday but I guess you weren't around then either. I didn't realize I'd miss you as much as I do. But I miss you, fuck. I miss you a lot. I know it's only been a few days since we last spoke but I still can't believe you're out in Los Angeles. I bet it's beautiful there, you know, minus the plastic surgery freaks. Don't get involved with some hot dumb girl with fake tits. Did you ever get in touch with that music producer? Not the shady one, that other one. Garrett or whatever. I can't believe no one snatched you up for a proper record deal yet but they will. That demo you sent me...yeah, the one I forced you to send me? Alex, it's out of this world. It's beautiful. This is the kind of music that we're all craving. Anyway...I'm rambling now and this message is way too long. I hope you're having a good time, the best time. I know you're working hard but take everything in. You remember what I told you, right? You're still the best person I know. I miss you. I love you."

You know everything changes but
We'll be strangers if we see this through

“We’re getting married.”

“Wait, what?”

Please don't.

“Mmhm...are you still there?”

“Yeah. That’s, erm. That’s good. That’s great.”

Don't do it.

“Yeah, I think so. It's good. It's right.”

She sounds like she's trying to actually convince herself of her words.

“Sure. No, yeah. I am, I am. I’m really happy for you. Hey, sorry for all the noise. Just finished soundcheck, I'm outside now so I can hear you better.”

What do you continue to see in him?

“I figured you had that going on. I saw your mug on Jools Holland and everything, we all watched together. You're so faaaamous now."

“Are you happy?”

You're not as happy as you could be.

“With Paul? Of course I am.”

“Then I’m happy for you.”

This is a mistake.

“He has his moments but he always means well.”


Intention doesn't count for anything when there's no follow through.

“We have fun together.”

“That’s good.”

You ignore the bad in favor of the minimal good.

“It works well.”

“Do you love him?”

I love you.

“He takes care of me.”

"Do you love him?"

Like you could have loved me?

"Sure, but it's not just about love, silly. We all know that. Anyway...I can't get into it now, I have some people over. I just went outside to get some air. It's been great catching up with you, it's been a while huh? Wow. So. I'm gonna go call the rest of the crew. Miss you, Alex. Hope you're enjoying yourself."

I wonder if I could have been your forever.

Tell me that you turned down the man
Who asked for your hand
'Cause you're waiting for me