Someday Find Me

Someday Find Me by Nicci Cloke Read Free Book Online

Book: Someday Find Me by Nicci Cloke Read Free Book Online
Authors: Nicci Cloke
tell. How could we ever know whether it was our hands that were cold, or wet, or hot, or dusty, or the thing they were touching? Do we make things happen or do they happen to us? I walked out into the living room, feeling the carpet soggy between my toes.
    I liked silence in the house sometimes. On days like those, it was a soft silence that you could almost reach out and touch. It was peaceful; the house and I were at peace because he was there, sleeping. Everything was in its place.
    Quin’s duvet was turned back and his pillow still had the oily dip where his head had been. He spent a lot of time away from the flat, but it didn’t matter: the room felt warm and safe even with just his things in it. Quin and I were like two leftover bits of the same puzzle. We fitted together even though we weremisfits. I straightened out his sleeping bag and smoothed down the duvet, making his corner nice for him.
    The rest of the room was tidy, everything put away. I stood in the middle and looked around. Though I tried to pull away, the corner kept calling me back.
    The canvases were stacked neatly against the wall, backs to me. The papers and loose sketches were piled carefully underneath the desk. My sketchbooks sat on the desk, big, medium and small fitting one inside another. I sat down in the foldout chair and ran my finger along the edge of each one. I liked the way they lay together like this and looked like a shrinking version of one item, the stages laid out for you to see; the large original to the perfect miniature. I took the small one down and opened it, letting the fat cover flop over on its spirals. Here are the things that lived inside:
    Portrait of a Lady . Picture of Fate Jones torn out of the free paper and taped in. Pencil question mark across left half of page.
    True Love Never Dies . Still-life of a bed of roses with a junkie lying among the flowers – work in progress.
    Outline of arm, three unfinished flowers. Half-page torn out.
    Things I’ll Never Say . Crying child. Half a head of hair, one eye, unshaded lips, outline of nose. Jagged biro line through centre of page.
    Untitled # 1 . Blue dots of paint, flicked with the edge of a paintbrush. Work in no progress.
    Untitled # 2 . Circle drawn with black kohl. Artist’s intention unknown.
    Stick Man Feels Sad . As described.
    Self-portrait #1 . Blank page, faint traces of pink eraser over surface of page.
    As I turned the pages, I felt my skin begin to creep and crawl with all of the feelings that couldn’t get out and swirled half-formed and stormy. I grabbed hold of the pages, tore them out and slammed the notebook against the wall. It slid down all the way and when it reached the carpet it tipped over sheepishly. I grabbed a handful of my hair and pulled that instead. I felt the newly shorn shortness, the uneven patches and the way it brushed my shoulders where before it had trailed down my back, and I remembered it in a rush. How the day before had started and how the party had ended. I started at the start and I thought it all through carefully like I was remembering a dream.
    The silence in the house had been too loud for words that morning. It always was just after he left, as the sound of him loping up the stairs and across the pavement above me faded away. Sometimes there’d be the tinkle and fumble of him dropping his keys or his apron and bending down to pick them up, a quick flash of his thin fingers in the tiny strip of window and then he’d be gone. I had dropped the towel and stepped one foot, two feet naked across the little hall. The carpet had felt thin and cold between my toes, and the hairs on my arms stood up in a thick fuzz. I rubbed them hard to get rid of it and stepped carefully into the bedroom. Everything felt slow and dizzy, as if all the sounds had gone out of the flat with Fitz and I was left trying to balance in an empty room off-kilter and unsteady.
    I’d stood in front of the cracked half of mirror, which was propped against

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