Every Mistake That I Make

Chapter Nine

Dallas kept her mouth shut after that. She only spoke to Gerard when he spoke to her, and he didn’t speak often. Dallas knew he was too wrapped up in his own thoughts. She was also surprised to see he hadn’t gone to find Mikey, but Mikey was deliberately avoiding Gerard, that was clear.

They finished setting up the house and suddenly; it was just Dallas, Gerard and an album playing quietly in the background sat in his lounge waiting for the first people to arrive.


Dallas looked up and saw Gerard watching her. His voice sounded oddly helpless and vulnerable. “I’m not mad at you,” he murmured. “I’m not.”

“Oh...” Dallas rested her face on her hand. “I...I didn’t want to upset you. Oh, God. I shouldn’t have done this today!”

She felt Gerard put his arms around her, and she felt comforted.

“Dallas, don’t be mad at yourself.”

“Aren’t you upset?”

“Well...” Gerard shrugged, letting go of her. “I don’t know.”

“Are you going to...dump her?” Gerard shrugged once more.

“I don’t know,” he repeated. Dallas sighed heavily and then, the doorbell rang.

“Look, Dallas...Yes, it shocked me but...I don’t know. I’m going to forget about it, for tonight. I think you should do the same.” And with that, Gerard hurried to open the door. A few moments later, a screeching and cooing Rachael and her friends piled into the living room, giving Dallas dirty looks. Dallas pointedly turned her back on the girls.

She felt better when Anya, Bob, Frank and Ray turned up a few moments later, and even better still when many more people flooded into the house, the music was turned up and people began to mingle. She soon lost sight of Gerard’s slightly saddened face and Rachael’s arrogant smirk and tried to focus on having a good time with her other friends.

Mikey kept out of their way for the entire night. Dallas did consider telling Anya what had happened, but decided against it, deciding she’d already done a good enough job of ruining Gerard’s night without getting Anya involved.

But then, Dallas saw Mikey going out into the garden and Rachael pulling herself away from Gerard making claims of needing a drink and heading into the kitchen.

On seeing that, Dallas decided to try and ignore it. It wasn’t her place to meddle, she told herself. It wasn’t her place.

But as with most people, curiosity got the better of her, and she couldn’t resist going into the empty kitchen. She knew that from the kitchen window she could see anyone in the garden thanks to garden lights the Ways had had installed. And just as she’d suspected, Dallas found Mikey and Rachael sat on the garden table that faced over the garden. The position of the table meant they couldn’t see her, which she was thankful for. They were very close together, she noticed.

Dallas couldn’t hear much of what they were saying either. She caught the phrases, “...she told him?... I don’t understand...He won’t do anything...doesn’t believe...has a point...be careful...It’s what we want...not serious...can’t deny...”

Then, with a sinking heart and a churning stomach, Dallas witnessed Mikey and Rachael kiss while sat on top of the Ways rickety little garden table.

Dallas turned away from the window, biting her lip and feeling tears sting at her eyes. Anya wandered in.

“You okay?” she asked.

“Yes,” Dallas answered in a loud voice, hoping she’d alerted the busy couple outside that they’d been caught in some way.

“You sure? What were you doing? It looked like you were looking out of the...”

“I was. I thought I saw a cat – that’s all. C’mon, let’s go back into the party...” Dallas rested a hand on Anya’s arm and began to walk her into the living room, just as Mikey came through the back door.

“You okay Mikey?” Anya said in a friendly voice. “You look a bit hot.”

“Yeah, I’m fine. I just got a bit...light-headed. I went outside.” He pushed past the two girls into the party.

Dallas and Anya followed him and were soon waylaid by Gerard. “Have you seen Rachael?” he bellowed over the music.

“No!” Anya yelled back before wiggling off to find Bob.

“No,” Dallas answered in a not very convincing voice. Gerard held her eye contact for one very long, single moment, and then he shrugged and she saw him say “okay” but never heard the words; she wasn’t paying any attention at all to anything else but what she’d witnessed happening in the garden.

One thing was certain; she’d lost Mikey now.