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I Never Meant To Say Goodbye

Guest claire_louise

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Ok...I'm a bit of a writer but I've never done a fanfic before, so please don't totally destroy me! :P Hope you like it.

Chapter One

The night that my husband was taken away from me was the worst night of my life. I remember very little of what actually took place; the doctor’s sedative took care of that. What I do remember is the pain. When they talk of a being broken-hearted, I never thought that it would actually feel like my heart was breaking – ripping unbearably in two. I never thought that the pain would be so intense it would numb me to everything else in the world, becoming the centre of my existence, the only thing I was capable of feeling, crippling me from the inside out. Once you’ve felt pain like that you can never go back. But I didn’t want to. I knew what it was like to lose the person you care about more than life itself, and I didn’t intend to let it happen again. Someway, somehow, I was going to get my husband back.

Kirsty Phillips leant into the bus window and craned her neck to see the ‘Welcome to Summer Bay’ sign sail into view. The sight of it caused her stomach to involuntarily flip over. It had been five years and it still looked the same. She wondered if that could be said for the rest of the town and, more specifically, its residents. Banishing such worries from her mind, she felt the bus draw to a halt and collected her bags together, feeling weary from the long journey. She hadn’t been able to afford luxury travel and as a result it had taken her all day to get there. Still, that was the least she had to cope with. There was still the matter of where she was going to stay that night. She’d thought of going home, but realised that she wasn’t even sure where that was anymore. Home is where the heart is, or so they said, but in that case her home would be the delights of Melbourne’s finest prison.

Perhaps not, she thought, shuddering at the thought of Kane locked up for another night in his cold cell. He had promised to ring her later that evening, nine o’clock on the dot, as usual. The thought of hearing his voice was all that was keeping her going.

Stepping off the bus, she instantly felt the cool sea breeze brush her cheek and was surprised to find a lump rise in her throat. Everything about the place – the sights, the smells, the sound of waves lapping on the sand – was so powerfully familiar that it sent a stir of goosebumps all over her body.

“Excuse me,†came a voice from behind her. Kirsty spun around to see an irate-looking woman in her fifties struggling to get past. She realised that she’d been blocking the bus’ exit and hurriedly got out of the way, suddenly feeling very cast adrift. Wondering where she should go first, one place immediately stuck out as a safe haven. Irene’s.

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Ok here it is! :)

Chapter Two

“Oh my Gawd. Kirsty!†Irene squawked when she opened the door to an oh-so-familiar face. She was wearing a pink dressing gown that clashed violently with her hair, and matching pom-pom slippers.

Kirsty smiled sheepishly and prayed that Irene wouldn’t turn her away. Her limbs felt like they were made of lead and her knees were set to buckle under her at any moment.

“Hey, Irene,†she said.

“What are you doing here, love?! Not that I’m not pleased to see ya. Come in, come in!†said Irene, ushering Kirsty inside with a welcome fit for a king.

Kirsty sighed inwardly, relieved that there was still at least one person in town who was pleased to see her. It was getting late and she didn’t fancy sleeping on the beach.

“Here, let me take your bag,†Irene offered, indicating a seat at the kitchen table where Kirsty could sit. “You look exhausted, dahl, how long did it take you to get here?â€

“Oh, only all day,†said Kirsty, managing a laugh. Seeing Irene had already lifted her spirits considerably and she felt a rush of pleasure at finally being somewhere she felt safe.

“Gawd save us, no wonder you look fit to drop. You sit there; I’ll make us a cuppa.â€

“Thanks, Irene.â€

“It’s milk and two sugars, am I right?â€

“How do you remember?†Kirsty asked in surprise.

Irene tapped the side of her nose wisely.

“An elephant never forgets.â€

As Irene busied herself in the kitchen, Kirsty tried her best not to nod off at the table. She looked around the room, taking it all in, noticing the small changes that had taken place while she had been away. The carpet was different, and there were new pictures to go with the old ones. Kirsty’s eyes fell on a photograph of her and Kane on their wedding day, displayed proudly on top of the cabinet.

“You looked so beautiful that day,†said Irene, noticing what Kirsty was looking at as she came in with a tray of tea and biscuits.

“You kept it up all this time,†Kirsty breathed disbelievingly, feeling hot tears spring to her eyes.

“Course I did. Didn’t want you thinking I’d forgotten you when you came back, did I?†said Irene knowingly.

Kirsty laughed again and sipped her tea. It was blissfully hot and sweet. They sat in silence for several minutes, Irene drinking her tea, Kirsty nibbling hungrily on the pile of biscuits in front of her. It was the first thing she’d eaten since breakfast and she hadn’t realised how hungry she was. Soon she felt more human again and decided that it was about time she gave Irene an explanation.

“It’s so good of you to take me in like this, Irene,†she said.

“Don’t be silly, dahl, what else was I going to do? Turn you away and have you wandering the streets?â€

“I wouldn’t have blamed you if you did.â€

Irene tutted loudly and threw her gaze to the heavens, as if she’d never heard anything so ludicrous in her life.

“So, how are you? How’s Tasha?†asked Kirsty.

“Oh, she’s good, we all are. Tasha lives with Robbie now, not too far from here. It’s just me, Barry and Kim here at the moment.â€

“Barry?†Kirsty asked, incredulous at this piece of news. The last thing she’d heard, Irene and her pompous employer could barely stand the sight of each other.

“Er, yeah,†said Irene, squirming a little in her seat. If Kirsty didn’t know her better, she would have sworn she was embarrassed.

“Turns out I got that one all wrong,†Irene admitted. “He’s a real sweetheart deep down. Very deep down,†she added, her trademark cackle filling the room. “I tell ya, Kirst, after Ken I never expected to feel this happy again.â€

Kirsty beamed.

“I’m so happy for you,†she said.

“I’m pretty happy for myself, love, I can tell ya. Of course, you would have known all this if you’d written a bit more often,†she chastised good-naturedly.

Now it was Kirsty’s turn to be embarrassed. When she’d first moved away, she’d had every intention of writing to Irene regularly, but after a while she’d found it too difficult. There were only so many letters you could write pretending that everything was ok.

“I know, I’m sorry…I did mean to, it’s just…â€

Irene reached across the table and gave Kirsty’s hand a reassuring squeeze.

“It’s ok, sweetheart, you don’t have to explain. I’m just glad you’re here,†she said. She paused, as if debating whether or not she should say what came next, then decided it was better out than in. “I know a few other people who’ll be pleased to see ya as well, you know,†she added carefully.

Kirsty stared down into her empty mug, wishing more than anything that what Irene said was true. Somehow she highly doubted it.

“I don’t think so,†she said, shaking her head ruefully.

“Ah, come on, dahl. They’re your family, of course they will. I know how much they’ve missed ya.â€

“They think I betrayed them.â€

“I’m sure if you talked to them, they’d understand why you did what you did.â€

“I tried!†said Kirsty, her voice raising involuntarily. “I tried a thousand times before I left, but they wouldn’t listen.â€

“Yes, but that was an awful long time ago. Time’s a great healer.â€

“Irene, do you think I made the wrong decision, leaving to be near Kane?†Kirsty asked, close to tears.

“It’s not my place to say, dahl. Are you happy?â€

“How can I be?†said Kirsty, more bitterly than she had intended. “My husband is in prison for something he didn’t do. But I don’t regret what I did. If I’d stayed here I would have lost him for good; at least this way I get to see him.â€

“How’s he doing, anyway?†asked Irene. She was one of the few people in Summer Bay who had ever seen some good in Kane, had even given him a home, but Kirsty knew that even she doubted Kane’s innocence.

“Not great. But I guess you get used to it in there. He can look after himself.â€

“Shouldn’t he be up for parole soon?â€

“Next year. But I don’t intend to wait that long.â€

“What do you mean?†asked Irene, narrowing her eyes suspiciously at her.

“That’s why I’ve come back. I’m going to prove once and for all that he didn’t do it,†said Kirsty defiantly. “Whatever it takes.â€

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