The Player's Ex

Chapter Two

Chapter Two

The last strand of my hair fell onto my palm, formed in a perfect curl. I have to say, this curling iron was pretty impressive, even though I had burnt my hand a few times. I sprayed some hairspray over my hair, and tried not to swallow the mist as it swirled in the air around me. I placed the can on the dressing table, and stared at my reflection. My makeup was done, with the aid of some makeup guru on YouTube, whose video I stared at while attempting to perfect my eyeliner. My hair was finished, and now I was considering cutting it all off. It just didn't look right, or something. I grabbed a bit at the side, and just flipped it over my head. God, that looked even worse. I was tilting my head to the side to see would the angle make any difference when my Mother walked in.

"Alice, you need to- dear lord, what are you doing?!" I turned to face her.

"To be very honest Mum, I don't really know." She shook her head. "Alice, would you like me to help you with your hair?" I nodded.

"Yes please." She walked over to me, until she stood behind the chair. She picked up a few curls, and started to fiddle with them. While she was working, I examined our reflections in the big mirror that sat on the table. We were very alike in looks, that was for sure. Her hair was like mine-midway between curly and straight, and a deep chocolate brown. Unlike me though, her hair wasn't long, it was above her shoulders, and it suited her like that. Her eyes were solid brown, whereas mine were flecked with a bit of gold, which I got from my Dad.

I unfortunately didn't inherit my Mother's beauty. Ok, so I wasn't the devil's spawn, but I wasn't beautiful either. God knows why he ever liked me in the first place. Because Alex was certainly beautiful. It was the only way you could describe him. His shaggy, blonde hair had always been a little too long, falling into his piercing green eyes. His chiseled jaw had been an object of my fascination, every time he moved his head or spoke. When we were together, people would look at us, and I knew they were thinking, 'Why her?'

As I sat there, my mind wandered back to two and a half years before, when Alex and I had been out shopping.

I could see the girl looking at him, she was making it pretty obvious. I focused on the magazine in front of me, trying to ignore her. But it's pretty hard to concentrate on Katie Price's love life when some shop assistant is trying to wreck your own.

"Alex." I nudged him. "That girl is staring at you." He glanced down at me, and smiled.

"I know." And then he went straight back to reading the sports section of the Irish Independent. I started at him, bemused. Was he just going to ignore that girl? Ok, so I'd be angry if he didn't, but still. She was way prettier than me, even if she was trying to make a move on MY boyfriend.

"Alice, what's wrong with you?" Oops, he'd caught me staring.

"I was eh, just, eh, looking-"

"And wondering why I was happily ignoring Ms Googly Eyes over there?" He raised one eyebrow. I blushed a little. "Yeah, that."

He sighed, and put down the newspaper, taking hold of my hand.

"Alice, I could never look twice at any other girl while you're with me. You outshine any other person in this whole place, because you're beautiful, inside and out. I'm extremely lucky that you'll put up with me, and I'll be damned if I ever do anything to change that." I grinned like a fool, and kissed him, right there, in front of everyone, even Ms Googly Eyes.

"A penny for your thoughts, love." I looked up from my memory-filled thoughts, and smiled at Mum. "Anything interesting going on inside of that head of yours?" I shook my head slightly.

"No, just remembering stuff."

"Anyone in particular?" I knew this wasn't a random comment, and I also knew exactly what she was getting at.

"Mum, I don't think about him all the time-but sometimes, the happy memories evade my brain, and there's nothing I can do. I loved him, and the time we spent together, but I know it's over now, and for good reason. And there's no harm in remembering the good times, right?" She played with my hair a bit more before answering.

"Yes, but darling, I've said it before, and I'll say it again. You mustn't let that boy control your life! You haven't gone on one single date with anyone since him. I know the circumstances in which your relationship ended were, scarring to say the least, but it makes me sad to see my beautiful teenage daughter grow up haunted by a thing of the past."

I simply stared at her in shock. She'd never said any of this before. I hadn't realised how much my emotions had affected her too-to be honest, I didn't even realise that she cared. I mean, her own relationship had suffered badly because of what happened two years ago, (Mum and Dad divorced officially earlier this year) and I'd always assumed that she wouldn't care about mine, because she had always said that mine and Alex's relationship was only 'puppy love'. Obviously, I had been wrong.

"Mum, I-"

"Didn't realise I cared?" She smiled sadly. "Alice, every Mother's relationship with their teenage daughter will be hard, but you have to work at it. I care; I always have and I always will. The last few years have been tough for us, but we're still fighting, aren't we?" I nodded, not knowing quite what to say.
"Alice, darling. Let me give you a bit of advice.
In your lifetime, you'll come across many people. You'll break many hearts and have your heart broken. You'll love far too many people, and they'll love you back. Eventually, you'll find your one true love, the one person you will love forever. Until then, all you can do is keep trying. We can't help who we fall in love with."

I nodded slightly, to let her know I understood.

"Thanks Mum."

"No problem."


An hour later, I stood in front of the mirror once more, except I was dressed in my outfit for the evening this time. Mum had chosen a good dress- it was a deep purple colour, with a scooped neck. The silky material cinched in at the waist, and flowed outwards to just above my knee. I'd paired it with my gold platform sandals, my all time favourite shoes, and Mum had stuck a gold barrette in my hair. All in all, it didn't look too bad. I did a little twirl as mum walked into the room.

"Admiring yourself darling?" I blushed, caught out.

"Well, it is a nice outfit."

"You're right, and it looks good on you, and-" She trailed off, and I raised an eyebrow.

"And you're hoping Mr Fancy-Pants designer will think so too?" She smiled bashfully.

"Well, yes. Alice, if I get this contract, it'll do wonders for my career."

"Yeah, ok Mum. I'll play the dutiful daughter and charm those people, and get you the contract, ok?" She suddenly frowned, all business once again.

"Yes, because Alice, if you embarrass me in front of those designers, I will-"

"Disown me, cut off my inheritance, and never speak to me again?"

"I'm serious Alice." I sighed, and picked up my clutch, ready to go.

"Yeah Mum. I know."


The gold gilded elevator doors slid shut announcing our descent to the ground floor, and I started to feel nervous. What if I messed up? What if the people didn't like Mum's design? Would this become a wasted trip? I thought of all the 'What ifs' I could think of, desperately trying to avoid the question swimming in my brain-If he was here, would he have thought you were good enough?

Probably. Alex always used to tell me I was beautiful. To him. Was he lying? Was he trying to make me feel good about myself? Surely he would tell me the truth right? Ugh, this was so frustrating! I slapped my head, prompting my mother to give me a strange look.

Why must he always worm his way back into my brain? I was trying to forget him, and it was proving extremely difficult.

I suppose, when you loved someone so much it hurt, forgetting them is never easy.