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Nicole Franklin Died Today

Guest TelephotoMarigold

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Story Title: Nicole Franklin Died Today

Story description: Nicole celebrates her birthday

Type of story: One shot

Main Characters: Nicole and Geoff, Roman

Genre: Angst

BTTB rating: see official ratings guidance G

Does story include spoilers: No

Is story being proof read: No

Any warnings: No

Summary: Nicole Franklin is a Princess. Nothing hurts a Princess does it?

Nicole Franklin died today. I was 18 years old.

My name is Nicole and my fiends call me Nic. I answer to either.

My Dad is in Prison because he has given up. Given up on life, given up on me. I thought I knew him, I thought I could trust him, I wish I didn’t love him. He did a bad thing a long time ago and has let it grow inside of him until he believes he deserves this. But does he know that I’m in prison too. I’m serving his sentence along with him. When he will be released half my life will be gone. Will I take his grand children to see him there, like I would take them to see an exhibit in the zoo? He is caged and so am I.

I came to Summer Bay a long time ago to seek the father who wasn’t there. The man in the photograph who looked a bit like me. I found him. He was strict but I wound him round my little finger. I didn’t let him in. Of course I didn’t. That would mean that I’d have to admit the Nicole Franklin had feelings and she didn’t. Nicole Franklin is a Princess. Nothing touches her. Nothing hurts her.

She is sitting on the beach now. Alone. Under a full moon drinking from a bottle of Champagne I had stolen from somewhere. I watch the waves hit the beach with a shiver of silver on them. The white foam that bubbles with each movement reminds me of lace on a wedding dress and I drink deeply to blot out that my dad will never walk me down the aisle. Or that I stood with my best friend at his wedding knowing that there was no happy ever after.

I would cry but Nicole Franklin is a Princess.

Aden Jefferies is my best friend. My brother. My lover. The lines between us blurred because we needed each other only to find that sex wasn’t what we needed after all. It hurt or at least it would have done but I’m Nicole Franklin and I’m a princess. He called me Princess, meant as an insult the first time, a joke on my expensive tastes and snobby attitude. He brought me down a peg or two but was there for me. Now I can’t be there for him when he needs me because it hurts and I’m Nicole Franklin I’m a Princess I don’t do hurt. I’ve tried but the pain is too much for both of us.

I’ve made mistakes. I’ve let myself be used to fill something inside me and only feel emptier. Trey made me think there was something there but he was only out to hurt me and I let him. I could have seen the signs if I bothered to look but I was just after a good time. The status symbol of having a boyfriend at a time when the Bay was talking about my dad. Well they soon stopped talking about him and I became the favourite topic. Nicole Franklin the Paris Hilton of Summer Bay.

And Geoff. Well that is a ship that has sailed. I look at him now and if I still had a heart inside me it would be broken at letting him go. I wanted to comfort him when, well when but I was too busy looking at me and what I needed.

And finally Sid. A married man, old enough to be my dad. Does anyone see the connection?

I sit on this beach for a long time until the moon is gone and the sky lightens. I stand and make my way home to collect my bag and the paper I needed. I stop by the fridge and steal two pieces of the birthday cake I’m not supposed to know about and set off. It is a long bus ride and I nod off, waking every now and then to check where I am. Eventually I’m here. I hand my things through to be checked. And ask about the cake, explaining it’s my birthday. They check it out.

I’m escorted through and it’s a private room. I didn’t expect that. My Dad is brought in and I look at him. My eyes go to his eyes. Our eyes. The same.

“Hello.” I say, trying to thing of something more but my voice goes quiet.

“I didn’t expect you to come Nic. Miles made me send the visiting order but I was hoping that you wouldn’t see me like this.” He says quickly.

“Where else would I be on my birthday except with my dad.” I asked and surprise myself with the anger in the statement.

The guard brings the cake through and places it on the table. I smile at him, my best Princess Nicole smile in thanks and start eating it with the plastic fork they have given us.

My dad looks down at his slice for a long time before he picks up his fork and eats it.

I smile again but it’s a fraud because suddenly I’m crying.

“I need you.” I tell him. “How could you give up on me?”

He looks up in shock.

“Nic” he says cautiously.

“I’m not an adult Roman.” I say and see him flinch at the use of his name. I had called him Roman when I first came to the Bay uncertain about this dad business but when I learned to love him he became my dad and that is what I called him.

“I need you there. To guide me but you gave up. You gave up on me. Well I’m Nicole Franklin and I’m a Princess. I won’t visit or write or care anymore.” I say, then other words fall from my lips, about Trey and what he did and finally Sid.

“Nic I did something bad and I deserve to be punished.” He tries to explain.

I look around the grey painted room.

“And what did I do that I have to be punished for. You didn’t fight Roman. You should have fought because people cared for you. I loved you.” I don’t know why it came out in the past tense because I was hurting so much inside it was clear that I still loved him.

“Nic.” He said blinking.

“Why are you here alone?” I asked suddenly. “Where are all the others who were there? They covered it up too but they aren’t sitting here with you. And Gardy. He’s out there somewhere.” I tell him. Except I’m not telling I’m shouting. I see the guard walking towards the table but I don’t care. “You need to appeal.” I say dramatically.

He shakes his head.

I stand then and look at him.

“Then you aren’t my father.” I say, hurting him, and hurting me with my words. “My father wouldn’t leave me alone. He would fight for me.” I add thinking of Elliot then. “Goodbye Roman.” I say at last as silence fills the room.

The guard sees me out and I don’t look back at Roman. Too afraid of what I will see. I’m Nicole Franklin and I’m a Princess.

I walk through security gates and collect my bag before starting to head back to the bus stop.

“Princess.” I hear shouted and I look up.

“Aden?” I gasp seeing him sitting on the front of Irene’s car. Geoff is with him.

“How did you know I would be here?” I ask stupidly. The visiting order and Miles.

“Where else would you spend your birthday?” Geoff asks me his voice filled with love the way it always was.

I blink back tears.

He walks over and pulls me into his arms and I’m safe at last.

“Happy Birthday Nic.” He says with a sad grin.

I nod unable to talk.

“Hey Princess did you do something wrong because that guard is heading over here.” Aden says with something like his old smirk.

I pull reluctantly away and take a step toward the Guard. He smiles and hands me a slip of paper.

“Against policy but as it is your birthday.” He says.

I know from the look on his face that he’s read it to make sure it isn’t anything sinister.

Aden comes over and stands near me as I open it.

‘I will appeal. Love Dad.’

I gasp and the tears I’ve been holding back since his sentence was handed down fall on my cheeks. Aden and Geoff put their arms round me, supporting me.

“Thank you.” I say to them, but I’m also saying it to my dad even though I know he can’t hear me.

So today Nicole Franklin died. She was 18 years old and a Princess. But Nicole Harris was born.

And Geoff?

Well that is another story but he held my hand all the way home to Summer Bay and stayed with me through the surprise birthday party that wasn’t so much of a surprise. I also had a birthday kiss on the beach at midnight under the full moon. And it was the start of something special.


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