The Girl who fell to Earth

 

Me and Kim were ‘the hot chicks of Carshalton,’ holding out for handsome hunks. We dreamt of Jacuzzis and Michelin star restaurants – not an oik offering chips and a pie by the ponds.

I knew Nathan liked me because he was always in the Co-op buying scratch cards. He’d lurk in the street when my shift finished - just passing, obvs.  Or I’d bump into him in the coffee shop, and he’d pester me for dates. Of course, I’d turn him down. Sweet, but not my type.

On the night (when I almost die), me and Kim head off to karaoke at The Woodman. Rain’s falling like nails, but we never miss a sess. We’re halfway through Abba when in slopes, Nathan.

“Hi, Kath,” he says. “Can I buy you a drink?”

“Sure,” I say, playing it cool. “I’ll have a vodka and coke, and Kim wants a cider.”

“OK,” he says.

Me and Kim shimmy away and sing our hearts out to Little Mix. Eventually, we go back over to Nathan.

“You clocked the weather?” he says. “Reckon the ponds will flood. Better not stay too late.”

“Who are you - mi dad?” I say. I peer out of the window. Looks nasty.

“Can I walk you home?” he says. “It’s very dark.”

“Don’t be daft,” I say. “I only live up the road.”

“You’ll get soaked. I can call you an Uber?”

Hmm, tempting, but then I’d owe him a favour. It didn’t matter if I got wet. I’d only go home and crawl into bed.

“Nah,” I say. “Come on, Kim, we’d better be off. See you around, Nathan.”

Out in the storm, I wave Kim off in the other direction and curse as my brolly turns inside out. Water’s running down my face, and my eyes blur with mascara and false eyelash. That’s how I miss the stonking great hole, opening in the street right in front of me. I scream like a banshee and disappear downwards.

Next thing I know, Nathan’s there, holding out his hand. I’ve fallen half a metre, grazing one leg on a paving stone, and wedging the other by a pipe. I’m as wet as a dishrag, and there’s snot on my chin.

“Are you hurt?” says Nathan, tugging at my coat.

“Get me outta this sinkhole!” I shout. “It’s gonna swallow me up!”

Nathan drags me out and helps me to my front door.

“Shall I come in?” he says.

I just want my mum, but I won’t tell him that. “No, I’ll be OK. Thank you for saving me.”

“I can’t believe that hole,” he says. “They’ll need to cordon off the street in case other ones appear. They might shut the Co-op, and you’ll get a day off.”

He looks at me, and I look at him.

“So what do you reckon,” he says. “Do you wanna meet up?”

“I guess so,” I say. “You could always take me for pie and chips.”


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