We sleep together the next night, and the next night and all of a sudden it's like we can't get enough of each other. We spend 12 hours in bed, fucking and talking and sleeping and I miss my next shift but I don't care because my boss is ringing to see where I am at exactly the same time I'm writhing underneath Drew, whispering his name over and over.
Eventually, reality has to kick in. I know it does, and when I leave his room one morning I can tell by the look on his face that he's had second (third fourth fifth) thoughts about us, and whether we should be doing this.
I've only been sat in my cold, abandoned room for five minutes, staring at myself disbelievingly in the mirror when my phone starts to ring and Ella comes bursting in simultaneously.
"Where were you last night? I was ringing you and knocking on your door but it was locked and-,"
I hold up a hand to stop her and she falls silent. It's Alex ringing my phone and as I go to pick it up it rings off.
"I'm going to have to tell the theatre I was ill," I tell Ella, returning my attention to her. "I –I was just having a bad night and I didn't want to be interrupted. Is that okay?"
She nods, looking vaguely pissed off and I feel a bit guilty but mainly annoyed. Why should I have to protect her feelings as well as deal with everything else in my life?
"We're working the evening shift again tonight. If you're coming." She tells me as she turns to leave, definitely sulking now and I exhale my annoyance sharply at her retreating back. I turn my face back towards the mirror and examine the pale skin, the dark eyes, the thin lips and the big nose. I look into my eyes, trying to see the 'deep unhappiness' that the blonde boy spoke of. I just see black, brown, white, in that order. Emotionless, in the way that a tree or a table doesn't have emotions.
Eventually I look away, aware that staring at yourself in the mirror for long periods of time is not a sign of a healthy mental state, and I go over to the bed. I climb under the covers, pulling them up over my head and lying in the darkness, like a caterpillar in its cocoon. It would be great if I never had to leave this spot again. Tears threaten to spill suddenly, but I stop them. Crying gives me a headache.
I fall asleep again, and spend the morning in a daze of semi-consciousness. I think Drew is in bed with me, trying to cuddle but I push him away; I think Alex is in bed with me, laid on top of me. I think my phone rings; I think I'm in Drew's room. I have a hundred illusions like this and they all end with me waking up enough to realise that I'm just laid in my untidy, cold, dark room, alone.
When someone knocks on my door I jump, and for a minute I think it must be another figment of my imagination, but then Johnny opens the door a crack and pushes his head through the crack, grinning.
"Good morning, Sleepyhead," he says, flouncing into the room and handing me a cup of tea. I take it gratefully and sit up in bed. A quick glance at the clock tells me it's gone midday. He shuts the door behind him, which strikes me as odd, but I forget all about it when he sits on the bottom of my bed and fixes me with a sympathetic stare.
"Are you okay, Summer?" he asks gently. "I hear you've had a bit of a tiff with Ella, babes."
Putting my cup of tea on the floor next to my bed I fling my arms around him and bury into his skinny chest, feeling relief that I can do this and not have to feel guilty.
"Hey, hey, shush, it's okay. It's okay, Sum," he soothes, even though I'm not crying. I hug him tightly and I think he thinks I'm never going to let go because after a while he tries to detach me gently.
"What's wrong, darling?" he asks.
I don't know what to say to this because I can hardly just come out and tell him what's wrong, so I sit quietly for a minute, two, until he decides to speak again.
"Ella is speculating that all this might have something to do with Drew. Is she right?" It's said patronisingly and if I felt any more like my normal self I'd have got pissed off about it, but at the moment I feel so vulnerable and pathetic that the child-like treatment feels good.
Nevertheless, I shake my head slowly and look confused. "What?"
"We haven't seen you properly in a while. And we haven't seen him either. I mean, we're not assuming anything bad, but you two are really good friends yet sometimes you do have arguments, don't you?"
I nod eventually after weighing this up.
"Yeah, we had an argument." I reply shortly.
"That's okay. It's hard living in such close contact with people. We all know this. I can't stand Lucy and Michael!" He says the last conspiratorially and I smile weakly to humour him, even though I know it's 100% true.
"What I mean is, it's okay to argue with people, but it's also okay to talk to others about it. If you're upset you should go and see Ella. You girls – well, I know I'm a girly boy but I'm still not as good at talking about in depth issues as you are, and I just think you two could be there for each other."
I catch his implication: Ella is there for you, but you reject her. I think carefully about what to say next, picking up my tea and having a deep sip of it. Its warmth fills me. It feels good.
"I know. I know we can, and I know it's hard to live like this. I'm just- sometimes I like to deal with things on my own. Is that okay?"
"Of course it's okay, darling. But you need to let Ella know things sometimes. Like when you're not going to show for work."
I smile, genuine this time and he returns it.
"Do you want me to have a word with Drew for you?"
"No!" I answer hastily.
"Okay. Well, I hope you two sort things out between you. And you and Ella as well."
"Thanks. I'm sorry for being such a- so anti-social sometimes."
He grins. "Oh no, if you want to spend twelve hours straight in your room then you do that, girl. Don't let me stop you!"
My insides twist with guilt at the thought of whose room I really spent twelve hours straight in.
After my chat with Johnny I feel a bit better, or at least, a bit more equipped to deal with life, so I get up and go and make myself another cup of tea. I know I need to go apologise to Ella, call Alex, explain things to my boss and talk to Drew, but I really don't want to do any of those things so after a bit longer spent moping I go for a run.
I've just left the door when I almost bump into someone who's just turning onto our road. I open my mouth to apologise and stop when I realise it's skinny blonde guy, the one that Ella slept with the other night.
"Oh, hi!" I say, a little too enthusiastically, because my first thought is that it's great that Ella's found someone. He smiles back in a bit of a spacy way, evidently confused by my greeting when I've only met the boy once before, and in awkward circumstances.
"Hey." He replies eventually. "I'm going to Ella's."
I want to tell him that much is obvious but there's far too much awkward going on anyway so I leave it and smile and nod.
"Cool, I'm just going for a run." Unnecessary bit of information for him there. He smiles and nods too, and I feel like we're aliens who don't really know how to have a conversation but we're going to try damn hard anyway.
I look into his very blue eyes, trying to see the sadness that Ella was talking about. His eyes look like mine did, emotionless. Like a dead persons eyes. Not living anymore, just existing. Suddenly I realise that I am just stood staring at him and I try to recover.
"I'll probably see you later," I say. He nods and smiles again, a glazed look of relief coming over his features, and he heads up the road in the opposite direction to me.
The run is hard because I haven't been for a few days but I enjoy pushing myself, sprinting till it hurts. When I finish I return home and shower, and I can hear Ella and the blonde boy laughing away in her room. I cringe as I think of our conversation earlier.
Drew is nowhere to be found in the house. I don't look for him but I wander around until I know he's not in. His bedroom door is shut and locked. Part of me is relieved, part of me upset. There are still a few hours before work and I know I've got quite a lot of situations to sort out with quite a lot of people, but just then Johnny pops his head out of his room and asks me if I want to play YouTube karaoke. It seems easier to do that, so I do.