Author: Robert James
Genre: YA Contemporary
Title: Losing Robbie
Rachel Daniels sat in the Black Lion, wondering whether she should have left rather than let Robbie Buchanan, her boyfriend, get in another round of drinks. The seventeen-year-old could see that Robbie was swaying slightly as he spoke to the barmaid, and she was mentally preparing herself for another argument – Robbie believed that his chiselled face, fairly muscular body and spiked blonde hair should be a passage into her knickers. Despite being with him for two and a half years now, she’d always managed to resist his playful appeals to become, as he put it, a ‘proper’ couple, but over the past few months he’d been pushing the issue further and further. She knew that her best friends Angie and Stella considered her stupid for not simply giving in, but there had been several occasions when she’d seen them in tears over boys who’d dumped them quickly after having sex, and was determined not to repeat their mistakes.
Playing with her short dark hair, as she always did when she was nervous, she frowned slightly as the girl behind the bar licked her lips and brushed her hand against Robbie’s arm as she passed him his change. He ignored her though, making Rachel smile as he rolled his eyes theatrically, unseen by the barmaid who was looking at him appreciatively as he walked away.
“Got yourself an admirer there,” Rachel said to him casually as he placed a vodka and coke down for her, and a pint of Guinness for himself.
He laughed, “But I only have eyes for you, remember.” As he sat down, he was treated to the full force of her dazzling smile, and she moved to snuggle close to him.
“Sorry about the argument, sweetheart,” she murmured.
He smiled slightly, putting his arm around her, and slipping one hand to her generous chest. She started to pull away, but changed her mind and relaxed slightly. If it made him happy, perhaps she should leave it there for now. Misreading the signals, Robbie’s other hand slipped up her leg, nearly managing to creep under her skirt, but she quickly slapped it away.
Unseen by her, he rolled his eyes. “Come on, baby... stop being such a tease!”
“A tease,” she snorted, turning to face him and removing his other hand from her cleavage. “Look Robbie, I’ve told you enough times – stop trying to take advantage!”
“Two and a half years!” he snarled back. “I gave up so much for you – I gave up football, I stopped playing for the academy when I could have turned professional so I could be with you more, I’ve done everything you wanted for two and a half years, and one hand on your tit is the furthest I’ve got, how the hell is that taking advantage?”
Rachel was seething inwardly, and wished she’d followed her instincts and made an excuse to leave after the second round of drinks. “You gave up football because you preferred going out and getting drunk to keeping as fit as the academy wanted you too,” she hissed back at him. “And you should be bloody grateful that you could tell your parents it was to spend more time with me instead of having to admit to them you were just a lazy sod!”
An uncomfortable silence had descended on the tables closest to them, and Robbie saw the barmaid start to walk towards them out of the corner of his eye. This was by no means the first time they’d had a similar argument, but the others had all been in the privacy of one of their homes. Standing up before the barmaid reached them, he stormed out, as Rachel tried to stop the tears from welling up in her eyes.
Barrelling out of the door with his head down, he saw nothing except the floor, his eyes half closed with fury anyway. The next thing he knew, he felt his shoulder slam into an obstruction, and heard a shriek of rage as someone staggered backwards and slipped, landing in a muddy puddle.
“JESUS CHRIST!” the person screamed out, “Can’t you look where you’re going?”
She scrambled to her feet and a look of scorn came over her face. “Oh, it’s you, Robbie Buchanan.”
Robbie looked down and saw a small, slim, fairly pretty girl, with delicate features, brown eyes, and black hair cut in a bob. He recognised a girl he knew vaguely from college, Toni Hood. “Sorry Toni,” he said.
She shrugged her shoulders expressively. “Good lord, he knows my name! Why should I worry about being knocked flat on my back and ending up with legs covered in mud when Robbie Buchanan manages to stop thinking of Rachel Daniels for long enough to notice me! Joy is mine today, truly.”
“I... I was just distracted,” he stammered.
“Forget it,” she said. “Go back to daydreaming about bloody Rachel, I normally manage to get out of the way of idiots like you. Just my unlucky day, I suppose.”
Turning away from him, she pulled out her mobile and pressed a key to speed dial a number. “Julie? Sorry love, I’ll be a while longer than I said. Some dickhead just knocked me into the biggest puddle of mud you’ve ever seen, I’m going to go back home and get changed. See you in an hour or so if that’s okay? Grace is there, yeah?”
Sighing, Toni hung up and started to walk away. Robbie looked after her and quickly ran to stop her, tapping her on the shoulder.
“Going for the other one, are you?” she said, turning to face him. “What do you want now?”
“Ummm... just to apologise, sorry.”
“Whatever,” she said dismissively.
“Can I help somehow?” he asked.
“Got a decent skirt my size in your house? No way I’m going out in this one, it’s filthy now.”
He blushed. “Ummm... no, I don’t wear skirts.”
“There’s a surprise,” she said theatrically. “There is one thing, though.”
“BUGGER OFF and leave me alone before you do any more sodding damage!”
“Okay.” He looked crestfallen as he obeyed, but quickly turned back to her. “It’s just... I’m going to get a taxi anyway... you could share it if you want. I’d pay, of course.”
Toni weighed up her options quickly. True, it would mean being stuck with this idiot for an extra 10 minutes or so, but with no buses back to her house for another hour, it would save her a fair bit of time. “Okay,” she sighed with resignation, and watched as he quickly pulled his mobile out to call for a cab.
The taxi arrived mercifully quickly, and she jumped into the front seat, leaving him to sit in the back while she talked to the driver, giving him her address and then making small talk about the horrible weather that night and the likelihood of his business picking up because it was far too wet to walk anywhere.