Tuesday, 22 March 2011

CHAPTER 3.4: Wedding days and separate ways

The next morning Finlay woke up with the taste of stale beer from the night before tainting his breath.  Dragging himself to the bathroom he brushed his teeth, instantly feeling fresher.


A vague memory of dancing around the living room returned to him, oh God!  Did Eliza see him?
He hoped he wasn't in for a lecture from his big sister.


He sloped past Eliza who was sipping her morning coffee at the breakfast table and grabbed a bowl of cereal.


"Hey bro!  How's the head?"  She called over to him, giggling to herself.


"OK so i might of had a few too many beers last night, but i was celebrating."  He defended himself.


"I'm just playing with you."  She replied.


She looked different today Finlay thought, was it her hair?  Nah, that was still the same, it was the big smile plastered across her face, which she seemed unable to remove.


"Was my dancing that funny last night?"  Finlay ventured.


"What?  No, why?"  She spluttered her coffee at his question.


"So what's with the cheesy grin?"  He clarified.


"Just having a good day, that's all."  She answered cryptically, continuing to smile to herself.


Girls are so weird, Finlay thought, it was 8am how much of a good day could she of had by now?
"So you finally gonna land this job today Sis?" Finlay queried.


"Sure am!"  She answered confidently, "Got a big break through last night."  She proceeded to fill him in on the case of the Bistro and what she had discovered about the Mayor.


"You really think Mayor Cole is corrupt?"  He asked.


"That's how it looks, besides don't you think it's weird how she always wins every election."  Eliza added.


Finlay was distracted by his cell phone bursting into life, "Hey Brody!"  he greeted his friend, "How's it going man?"


"Awesome!"  Brody replied in his typically affable way, "So me and Monica set a date for the wedding, and i was hoping you'd be my best man?"


"Aw Brody!"  Finlay exclaimed, genuinely pleased to be asked, "I'd love to."  He agreed.


The wedding date was set for that weekend, which meant Cherry would be coming home for the day! 

Finlay was elated at the thought of seeing her, it had been months since she left for Sim City and her calls had become less frequent of late. Finlay assured himself that she was just busy with her internship, but he couldn't wait for the weekend to arrive.


He was so busy chatting to Brody that he hadn't noticed his sister slipping out of the house, damn! He had wanted to get more information from her on this whole corruption racket.

A scandal like this could really help Mr Cain's campaign, and giving him this information could only help Finlay's career. 
An idea formed in Finlay's mind and he set off for the office with it spinning around his head.
When he arrived everyone else was hard at work.


"What time do you call this?"  Ethan asked tapping his watch.


"It's 9.02."  Finlay answered, raising his eyebrow in amusement, surely he can't bust me for being 2 minutes late?


Before Ethan could reply John Cain walked through the door and seeing his opportunity Finlay called out, "Mr Cain, do you have a minute?"


"Sure thing Finlay."  John replied, much to Ethan's annoyance.


"So what's on your mind?"  John asked once they were settled in his office.


"I came across some information this morning and..."  Finlay paused still uncertain if telling John was the right thing to do.


"Well, do you wish to share it with me or not?"  John pressed.


What harm could it do to tell him of Eliza's suspicions?  Finlay asked himself, after all they were just that, suspicions.


"My sister is kind of a private investigator and she thinks she has uncovered a corruption racket involving the Mayor."  Finlay confessed.
"Mayor Cole?  Are you certain?"  John asked, visibly shocked.


Finlay relayed Eliza's story to his boss telling him of her suspicions over the bistro's closure and the involvement of Corbin Henley. 
"I suppose there's no hard evidence at this point."  He concluded.

"You did the right thing in bringing this to my attention Finlay."  John said sternly, "If this is true then it makes my campaign success all the more important."

He paused, pressing his thumb against his forefinger he added, "Corruption has no place in politics."  He gestured with his hand the way Finlay had seen the president do when he addressed the nation, but Finlay wasn't sure if his statement was sincere.


Smiling John added, "Well it seems I may have undervalued you Finlay. Perhaps you are ready for the next step, I'm promoting you to junior assistant.  Send Ethan in to see me will you, I'll see that he finds you something more interesting to work on."
Finlay's day kept getting better, first a guaranteed visit from Cherry and now a promotion.  All trace of doubt over telling Mr Cain was removed from Finlay's mind as he practically skipped back to his desk, sending Ethan into John's office as requested.

"It seems Finlay Traytor has uncovered our little project."  John said recapping the tale to Ethan.


"What perfect timing for this information to fall into the wrong hands."  Ethan replied raising an eyebrow.


"Can it be done without it being traced to me?"  John asked.
"Leave it to me Mr Cain." Ethan answered , "If they look for a source they will only find Finlay, we can deny all knowledge."  A smarmy grin crept to the corner of his mouth, "There is no way they will uncover the truth."


"Get it done, and Ethan?"


"Yes Mr Cain."


"Make sure that Finlay suspects nothing, give him some real work to keep him occupied." 


Finlay was given a proper task on the campaign, drumming up support and funding from the citizens of Bridgeport. 

His natural charisma and passion for the campaign were a winning combination and much to Ethan's chagrin, Finlay excelled at his task successfully procuring a sizable donation.


By lunchtime he was past ready for his fix of coffee, the faint rumbling of a hangover still remained.


He was mid thought of the coming weekends events when Charlotte Clarke, the receptionist came over and asked to join him.

Finlay had never really spoken to her at any length, she had shown him where the envelopes were on his first day and that was the extent of their contact.

He decided to break the ice, "So Charlotte, have you always wanted a career in politics?"  He began.


"Me!"  She exclaimed almost spraying him with coffee in the process, "Sorry, just that's pretty funny."  She said mopping away the pool of coffee she had left on the table.


"Really, is it?"  He asked surprised, "I thought it was a fair assumption since you work for a politician." 


"This is just a temporary gig."  She replied shrugging off his sarcasm.

"So whats the master plan then?"  He pressed.


"Oh i see, you're one of those guys."  She replied smirking, "You got your whole life figured out dontcha?"
"Let me guess."  She continued pressing her finger to her lips, "You want to get married, have 2.5 children, a white picket fence and a cat called ginger."  she finished raising her eyebrows in jest.


"Almost got it."  He replied playing along, "I hate cats!  Make it a dog and you got a deal."


"Sorry."  She laughed, "I just couldn't resist, you sound like my Dad asking those kinds of questions.  I'm 19 so what if i don't know what i want to do with my life yet."


Finlay laughed with her, she did have a point.

They spent the rest of their lunch break talking like normal teenagers, sharing their music tastes and getting to know each other better.


***********************************************************


The days flew by and the day of the wedding had arrived. 

Finlay spoke to Cherry the night before, she was taking the train back to Bridgeport and insisted on not seeing him until the ceremony, something about helping Monica celebrate her last night of freedom.


Finlay and Brody had celebrated too with an all night session of call of duty and a 12 pack of beers!

The pair arrived at the park where the small ceremony was taking place.


"You nervous man?"  Finlay asked.


"No way!"  Brody declared, "I'm marrying the girl of my dreams, what's to be nervous about?"


"I'm happy for you."  Finlay replied slapping his friend on the back.


"Hey it'll be you next."  Brody teased.


"Can you keep a secret?"  Finlay asked removing the small leather box from his pocket, "I was going to give Cherry this before she went away, but it didn't seem like the right time.  I think maybe it's right now, what do you think?"


"Go for it!"  Brody encouraged, "But wait until tomorrow, Monica will go spare if anything takes  the spotlight away from her big day!"

As Finlay and Brody approached the altar Cherry turned to greet them, she looked stunning in her bridesmaid dress. 

He couldn't wait to get down on one knee and propose.





When the service was over, Finlay thought he caught Brody wiping away a tear. 

And i thought i was the romantic one! He wondered if he would feel the same when he married Cherry.

Finlay spent most of the afternoon locked in conversation with Cherry, filling her in on his new job and the big promotion he had just been given, leaving out the circumstances surrounding how he got it.

He still wasn't sure if he should have said anything to Mr Cain, but it had given him the chance to prove his worth. He was pulling in big donations for the campaign and another promotion couldn't be far off.

Cherry seemed a little withdrawn, every time Finlay stopped to talk to another guest he would find her pounding back the champagne cocktails. 

He figured she was probably a little nervous seeing him again.  
They had been apart for a while now and he had, had butterflies all week just at the thought of seeing her again, hoping she would still be the same girl who left town all those months earlier. 

But when he had seen her all of his nerves had evaporated, unfortunately the same didn't seem true for Cherry.
He found her standing staring out towards Bridgeport, it reminded him of the day she had left.

"It's beautiful isn't it."  He stated.

"You should see Sim City at night."  she enthused, "A million lights all at once, they look like stars sometimes."  She said wistfully.

"You ready to get outta here."  He whispered in her ear as he pulled her close and she nodded.

Cherry told him that she could only stay one night and he didn't want to have to share her with the other guests for the whole of it, making their excuses they returned home.


Finally he had her all to himself, he wondered if he could find the courage to reach into his pocket and ask her that all important question.

"Are you happy you stayed here Finn?"  She asked him.

"You know i miss you Cherry, but yes i am happy.  I have an amazing job and I'm all set up here for my future."

"I'm glad you're happy."  She replied soulfully.

He sensed there was something she wanted to say so he slipped the ring box from his pocket and pushed it under the bed, it could wait until morning.

He turned to face her expecting her to unburden herself of whatever was plaguing her thoughts but instead she kissed him, so passionately that all his thoughts turned to nothing.

As she lay sleeping by his side, Finlay snuggled up against her back caressing her gently so as not to wake her. 

This was heaven he decided laying here with Cherry. He closed his eyes and thought of the morning when he would finally be able to ask her that burning question. 

He envisaged her saying yes and throwing her arms around him in delight.



"You again!"  Eliza exclaimed as she entered her bedroom.




"Don't pretend you don't want me here."  Orlando replied.


He was once again laying on her bed in nothing but his underwear, why was he so persistent?

Last night she had insisted that she couldn't do this anymore, not to Delta, they were like sisters. 
But the way she felt for Orlando was consuming her and she found it hard to resist his charms.


"Come on babe."  he called patting the space on the bed next to him.


Eliza sighed, she wondered why she even bothered  to pretend that she wanted him to leave, it was clear that Orlando could see right through her weak defences. 
She snuggled against his muscly chest and all thoughts of Delta disappeared as quickly as they has surfaced.

She couldn't deny it she was head over heels in love with Orlando Belle, and she was done trying to fight it.




When Finlay woke the following morning he found the space in bed next to him empty and made up at Cherry's side. 

He jumped up thinking she must be making breakfast but a piece of paper on the nightstand caught his eye.


Opening it his heart lurched and his legs gave way.
Sinking to the floor he pressed his back up against the bed and reread her words.


Dear Finlay

I'm sorry to leave things this way but i can't bear the thought
of hurting you anymore.
I know how important staying in Bridgeport is to
you so i know you will understand when i tell you
that staying in Sim City is important to me.
I hope you find the happiness you truly deserve.

Cherry

He felt the note crumple in his fist as the tears began to fall fast down his face.
How could she leave him after the night they had just spent together?  It made no sense at all.

Pulling out his phone he roughly punched out her number, half expecting her to chicken out and let it go to voicemail, but she answered.

"Finn please, don't make this any harder than it already is."  She pleaded with him.

"Cherry please, did last night mean nothing to you?"  he appealed.

"Last night was goodbye Finn."

"Just tell me one thing Cherry, is there someone else?"  he demanded.

She paused and sighed before answering, "Yes."

He snapped the phone shut in anger and threw it against the wall.
How could his life be turned upside down so easily?  One day he was dreaming of his perfect life with Cherry and the next it was pulled from under him like a magicians tablecloth. 

Pain filled his chest and he lay on the floor sobbing for what he had lost.




5 comments:

Enirac said...

;_; poor Finlay!

I like how Eliza isn't even wondering about how Orlando got into her room xD

Very good twists and turns :)

Morphead said...

I can't believe Cherry left. How sad.

PiB said...

Poor Finlay. He should have known long distance relationships seldom work out.

Bad Orlando, tempting Eliza that way.

Valpre said...

Great Cherry, just great. Now you've gone and broke Fin's heart. Not cool. Not fair. Not right! Aw man, hope Finn finds happiness, or Cherry discovers a reason to return to Bridgeport in 9 months. I really don't like the scumbag Mr. Cain, planning to set up Finn like that. Great update.

angiebeno said...

Hmm you could be onto something there with the 9 months Valpre, curse my predictable plotlines! And yep Cain was a total jerk face!