Status: will update when possible!

Come Live With Me

Chapter 11


The thud of a stack of magazines ended my concentration on the tedious English Language investigation I was working on. I looked up to see Sam’s pissed off face sat opposite me. She prodded the 3 magazines lying in front of me, before crossing her arms and silently waiting for me to react to whatever she was angry about.

I began, “what’s the matter Sam?” my breathing quietly irregular, wondering what the hell I’d done wrong.

“No more bullshit. Look at them.” She said monotonously, glancing down at the magazines in front of me. I swallowed, wondering what the hell she could be mad about. Then I found out.

“’A bit of a fan’, are we?” She spat under her breath at me, as I saw the picture of Benedict and I leaving the club last month on the cover of the trashy gossip magazine, along with the headline ‘Sherlock’s Mystery Woman’. My face was completely covered by Ben’s jacket, so thankfully the rest of the world didn’t know it was me, but Sam recognised the dress I had been wearing. My mouth dried up and my chin began to quiver as it did when you try to hold in tears. I looked up at Sam with a fake smile.

“I don’t know what to say, Sam. Some lucky lady must have been wearing the same dress as me that night.” I said, shrugging my shoulders.

“Hm, with your hair colour and build, too? There are more inside and in those your face is only hidden by sunglasses. I’m not stupid; that’s why you were prying into mine and Rebecca’s conversation all those months ago. I can see right through you!” She responded in a whisper, surprisingly kindly so as not to draw the attention of anyone else.

I flicked through the magazines, thanking God that it was just a few pictures that had obviously been bought and sold around. There was one of us walking hand in hand in a park, and another of us sharing a kiss outside a pub while Ben was having a cigarette. My face wasn’t too clear, and I hadn’t been recognised by anyone else but Sam so far thankfully. I began to understand why celebs hated gossip magazines now; it was scary how someone’s private life could be so easily unravelled. The articles filled about a page at most; sometimes they were shorter, some longer and more analytical. People were guessing between co-stars or known friends, and debating how long we’d been together. Journalists were mourning the loss of the notoriously single ‘Cumberbatchelor’ on behalf of all of the Cumber Collective. I’d been told that his fans liked to label themselves, so I knew what all of that meant.
I closed the magazine and timidly raised my eyes to Sam, who was waiting impatiently for an answer.

“Well?” She pried. I sighed, wanting to tell her so that I could explain everything but at the same time worrying that Ben would be angry at me for letting slip. I looked around me, as if my English classroom could provide some inspiration for how to say what I should say. After a pregnant pause, I just admitted it.

“It’s me,” I began, to which her eyes widened as if she hadn’t just been pressuring me into telling her those exact words. “But I was being honest when I asked about him; I didn’t know a thing about him at that point, really. I can’t help what happened after that. Please, Sam, you have to keep this between us. You and I both have no idea what would happen if word got out that Ben was dating a college girl.” I pleaded with her desperately, grabbing her hands from across the table.

“I don’t have to do anything you say. Why would he choose you? He could have any girl in the world!” Sam whispered, pulling her hand away from mine. Her voice was so stressed that some of it came out as an irritated squeal.

“Well, I’m still trying to figure that out myself.”

“This is ridiculous.” Sam said, leaning back in the blue plastic chair, shaking her head.

“I completely get that. I nowhere near deserve him and I can understand if you never want to speak to me again, but you mustn’t go to the press, your friends, mum or dad- anyone. Promise me that, please?” I begged, hoping that nothing would come of this but knowing full well that was very much wishful thinking. Sam just stood up and left, leaving me with the magazines and my sense of discontent. I couldn’t concentrate for the rest of my English lesson, and left in order to work on a computer and avoid the scornful stares from Sam.

“You should really get those daddy issues sorted out, trash. Therapy might help.” I heard a nasally female voice say from behind me about an hour before college was due to finish. Debbie. I bit my lip and looked up from the work I was trying to complete in my study period.

“And what daddy issues would those be, Debbie?” I mumbled, turning to the girl I shared a psychology class with and ignoring the small minded name that didn’t affect me coming from her. She was standing behind me with a disgusted look on her face, very obviously tinged with jealousy.

“You know, the ones where your dad leaving you a year ago has made you seek comfort in well off older men as a form of security. I didn’t have you down as a gold digger.” She replied, trying to psychoanalyse me. I smiled, knowing full well Debbie thought she was top dog in psychology, as I thought of a way to turn the tables.

“I’m not your psychology experiment Debbie, but I can see by the look in your eyes that you’re not concerned for the way my mind has been altered by my dad’s leaving – you’re annoyed at me because you’re not in my place,” I started, not worrying about how bitchy I sounded. I was fucked off that Sam hadn’t listened to my pleas, which were on behalf of the person she admired; Ben.
“Believe me, I don’t understand it either, and I don’t know how it all happened, but I’m enjoying it while I can. So please tell Sam that I’ll be informing my boyfriend that she betrayed my trust, as I’m sure he has the ability to disprove any unproven tales of a petty college girl.” I finished, turning back to my work and leaving Debbie to stew behind me for a few seconds. I was so mad inside, but I didn’t want to let it show too much. I heard her make an unsatisfied noise and wander away. I packed up my things and pulled my phone out to text Ben. My fingers started, but I couldn’t find the words, so I decided to just wait until he picked me up after school.


Sitting in Ben’s Jag just around the corner from school, I tried to summon the words to tell him that people knew.

“Some girls at college know about us.” I blurted out as he settled in his seat next to me, ready to drive to wherever we were going to go this evening. He turned the keys so the engine came to life, warming up the car a little more.

“Well, shit.” He said, looking out front chewing his nail.

“We’re in the magazines. Some paps have been taking pictures of us while we’ve been out and about, and my ‘friends’ worked out it was me, so now they have a vendetta against me.” I admitted, feeling guilty despite having nothing to do with the magazine buying the photos. I passed him the three magazines as he skimmed through them. I was proud of his lack of anger; he was hiding it well if he was feeling pissed off.

“You can’t wait at the gates anymore; if they see me leave with you, they’ll mob you the next time you come by.” I said defeated, gutted that one of our opportunities for a normal relationship had been soiled. I started wondering if now that they knew I was with Ben, those girls might try to find a way to break us up to try their luck.

“There’s something else, isn’t there?” He mumbled.

“I’m just worried that they’ll use this to their advantage and try to break us up or something. What will this do to our relationship?” I asked, worried beyond belief that I was in some sort of trouble. I’d never been with an older man before, let alone one as famous as this one.

“Jennifer, I only have eyes for you. We’ll get through this whether it means calling the magazines and buying all the copies of the pictures – whatever is possible. So far it’s only school girls who know who you are, so I think we can get away with telling people that it’s bullshit.” Ben said reassuringly. I smiled over at him, taking his hand.
“Besides, one day people will find out. I just want to preserve this wonderful private time for as long as possible; it’s difficult when people are constantly writing shitty stories in gossip magazines though.” Ben lamented, explaining his own thoughts on paparazzi. I truly felt for him; it was sad that he couldn’t keep anything private for very long.

“Where are we off today then?” I asked, changing the subject and trying to lighten the atmosphere in the car.

“I think it’s probably best we just go back to mine today, don’t you?” Ben said, a half smile playing on his lips.

“I like your thinking, boy.” I winked.