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« Hamlet's basically a teenage boy. He's got all these desires and he doesn't have the bottle to reach out for them. So, he goes mad, wanks off about Ophelia, and ends up so boring, somebody has to kill him. » Naomi - Skins 3x5

 

 

It's the brunette that he sees first.

She has big blue eyes. And a short dress. Very short. She has some kind of ironic smile, she doesn't speak. She looked at him. But she also looked at Cook.
Everybody looks at Cook. It's the way he is, with his big mouth. He is unpredictable and attractive. Freddie smells competition. It never happens, never with his best friend Cook. Because they don't seek the same things. Until now. And Freddie is the calm one.

So Freddie doesn't do anything for the moment. He has his way to handle things, Cook has his own. He will not be involved in a competition, not right now.


They are both sitting next to JJ. And now the brunette has a name: Elizabeth Stonem, aka Effy. And he can't take his eyes off of her, and her back. She is there, on the front row, next to her friend who seems quite stupid. She turns back, and smiles at him. Or she smiles at Cook. Definitely not at JJ.

« Excuse me, can I sit here? »

It's the blonde that he sees, now.

She has short hair and colourful clothes. She is talking to Cook. The same Cook who is clearly picturing her naked.

« You can sit on my lap if you want, babe. »

She looks pissed.

« I'm not a babe.
- Yeah, right... »

He watches her, up and down, one more time, with a smirk. She shakes her head and finally sits down next to him. Cook is making a fool of himself, talking nonsense. She is not looking at him anymore, but she fights the urge to smile. Freddie, him, he is observing her. Then he is staring at Effy. The mysterious and super hot Effy.
The blond one, Naomi Campbell, she looks at him for a second, and she can't seem to look away. Then, she sees Effy. And Freddie's look. And Cook's. She sighs.

**


Freddie is in the classroom. They have to present themselves or whatever. Their teacher is nuts. Nobody wants to be the first to talk. Naomi stands up, confident.

« I am Naomi Campbell, yes, like the model and I don't fucking care. »

Some are laughing. She doesn't bother with it.

« I am a girl who is commited. With politics, and with everything I do. I'm also an observer. I see what's going on. I understand people's behaviour. The one who wants something he can't reach, the one who wants everything, and even the girl who doesn't know what she wants. So, I'm gonna wait. That's what I do best. I'll wait to see what's gonna happen. »

The teacher seems drunk or high. He tells her to sit down and quit talking nonsense to try being cool. Naomi obeys (it never happens). She stares at Effy for a moment then turns back to the teacher.
Freddie decides to give it a go. Cook looks at him, startled but still smiling from what Naomi said. Effy looks right in front of her.

« My name's Freddie and I met a girl I liked today. She is like...beautiful. Really beautiful. So I suppose I desire her. And I am someone who cherish what they desire. »

 

He doesn't say anything more. The teacher fake throwing up in the dust bin.
Other students make speeches. Cook manages to get away, so does Effy.

 

Cook looks at Freddie, a bit lost. The topic is way too serious for his liking, not really fun.
Effy can't look at anyone. Because she doesn't know, she doesn't want to know. Not now, probably never.

 

**

 

Freddie sees Naomi in the hallway. Her face is closed, she seems annoyed. She is putting books in her locker.
It just happens that her locker is next to Freddie's own locker. He found out earlier in the week. He stops there and thinks to himself that he should engage a conversation. Well, they have almost every classes in common and because Cook is always pestering her, they spend quite some time together. But he never actually talked to her. But she never did either. But why would he wait for her to talk to him?

 

« Hem. »

He is closing his locker. She looks up at him, eyes black. She doesn't seem in a good mood.

Crap.

 

« How are you? Did...you see Cook? »

 

Great. A stupid question, then another stupid question. Why bringing Cook in the conversation? Why ruin any kind of friendship or any relationship, really, by talking about Cook-the-twat?

« Well actually I'm not really in a good mood and yes, I did see Cook, she answers him, a bit agressive. »

 

Then she sighs.

 

« Obviously, he is the reason why I want to kill myself or someone else... I'm lucky that he found a new game. »

She doesn't look angry anymore. Freddie can't read her.

« A new game? What could possibly entertain him more than a girl? »

He almost said « pretty girl ». But the thing is, he didn't.

« Exactly! I have the answer: another girl, she is smiling ironically.
- Oh. Oh... »

 

She doesn't say her name, but he gets it.
Effy.
Naomi doesn't loose her smile.

 

« She is a hell of a girl, right? »

 

Freddie looks around him before answering carefully.

« What do you mean by that?
- Oh I don't know, she is mysterious, different, charismatic...super hot...
- If I told you that I didn't notice...?

- I'd tell you that you are a big fat liar.
- Maybe. »


Naomi laughs loudly. Freddie can see the lines on her face evaporating.

Then she stops and he can't read her, again.


« She is dangerous too, even if she is awfully attractive. »

Freddie doesn't know what to say. This conversation is all over the place, they shouldn't be talking about this sort of things, he feels it.
He tries to be honest.

 

« She might be attractive because she is dangerous... Well I don't think she seems dangerous, she seems, just... elsewhere, beautiful. »

 

Naomi stays silent while Freddie is looking above her head.

« You choose her, huh? You will always do, the both of you will. 

- What are you talking about? »

 

Freddie stops gazing into space and looks down to her.

 

« Just give up, I'm talking shit. It's always the same. I would tell you to take care of yourself, but you wouldn't listen. And you would be right. I never listen to myself either. »

 

She has a sad smile. Freddie kind of wants to smooth the lines of her face.

And she closes her locker, hard, and she turns her back at Freddie. She goes away, quickly.

« What? Naomi! »

 

She is already far away. Freddie shuts his eyes, frustrated. What is she saying?
He just wanted to make small talk, to be friendly. Because he kind of likes her. But she is bitter. Why that? They don't know each other at all. He didn't deserve this exit. He doesn't get her.

 

**

 

 

It's Cook's birthday. And he invited everyone. Freddie and JJ, of course. But there are also Katie, Emily, Pandora and... Effy.
Cook is being a dick. He drinks too much and acts horribly, looking like a fool. But everyone is having fun, because it's just Cook.

And then, surprisingly, Naomi arrives. Cook is happy to see her and claps at her entrance. She rolls her eyes and comes into the bar.
Freddie smiles at her, but he is somewhere else entirely. He is with Effy.

She is staring at him, with her big blue eyes. She didn't talk at all since they all came to the bar, she ignored Cook. Freddie can't look away from her. She is so special, so interesting.

Naomi sits next to Freddie on the red old couch. She is smiling gently.
To Freddie maybe, but maybe more to JJ this time.
Cook stands up and speaks to her.

 

« Ah! Blondie is there, finally! You know we were waiting for you? I was waiting for you... »

 

He wants to be seducing, but he only sounds crude.

« Yeah well. I don't really believe you, nobody believes you, Cook. »

Cook laughs loudly.

« Hey! I remember what you said the other day! D'you wanna know a secret? »

Naomi is watching him. She has a little smirk.

 

« I know people too. And I know who you wanna shag and I know who you will shag! »

He sits down and Katie and him laugh immediately. Emily is shaking her head and Pandora's eyes look like they are going to fall down. JJ can't stop himself from blinking repeatedly.

Naomi shakes her head, disgusted. Cook winks at her. And then, she understands.
She mumbles something and seems angry.


Freddie is still watching Effy.
Effy is still watching Freddie.



**

 

Effy is dancing.

She is high, like Cook, Pandora and Katie. Freddie is feverish.

The more he looks at her, the more his body is heating up and his head is emptying. He feels like the first time he had a boner and the first time he wanted to marry a girl at the same time. Like he never was horny before, and life had always been very dull. His feelings, his emotions, his reactions...everything is stronger.

 

And Effy is dancing.

 

Since they came in the club, she is ignoring him.
They followed Cook here and it was a bad idea, Freddie knows it. Cook wanted to piss off Karen, Freddie's sister, and take pills, and get high, and get beaten, and live hard. It's stupid and Freddie really knows that. He knows he should go before everything goes to hell. Because he is smart, and has no sense of self-destruction. Unlike Cook.

But Effy is dancing.

He stays here, like an idiot, watching her. The others are elsewhere. He knows Pandora is throwing up in the bathroom and that Katie is looking for her douchebag boyfriend. Emily went back home with JJ.

He sees Cook and Naomi in a dark corner. He has one hand on her hip, and the other on the wall, right next to her face. Freddie frowns.

Well, she didn't seem to care for him. At all. This is odd.

 

He leans on her to whisper in her ear. He is coming closer. She rejects him. She kisses his cheek and looks over at Freddie. Then she's gone.
Freddie didn't see her.

Effy is dancing.


**

 

Thomas, Pandora's boyfriend, needs cash. And he has a lot of weed. So they are going to an underground party. Litterally.
Naomi was late, again. But Cook waited for her. So did the others.

It is wild and crazy. Everyone is jumping everywhere. The music is great. They sold almost everything. They smoked and drank. And they are dancing all together. They are bonded, it's sticky and hot.

 

Freddie is holding JJ by his shoulders and they are shoving everyone, jumping higher and higher. Katie and Emily are holding hands, next to them, they are screaming towards the stage. In front of them, Cook keeps both feet planted on with one arm on Pandora, and one arm on Effy. They are laughing loudly and he looks proud of himself. Next to Pandora, there is Naomi, jumping and throwing her fist up high.

They are lacking air, many people are crowding the place. They love it, they live for these moments.

Freddie wipes sweat from his face with his white shirt. And he sees Naomi in front of him. Her short blond disheveled hair. Her neck is glowing with sweat. Her top lifts everytime she moves. He can see the skin on her hips and the small of her back.
He doesn't have the time to watch lower.

She turns around and smiles at him. So he smiles back. Because he is in fact happy. He is happy to see her.
Why? He has no idea. This is not how he felt when she arrived this evening. It must be the alcohol. Or the weed. Freddie is convinced.

But he can't think about it carefully. There is a rush. Naomi finds herself projected in his open arms. He catches her as best as he can. She puts her hands on his arms. His are on her hips. Her naked hips.

She does not blush. It was an accident, but she is not embarassed. She must like it, because she comes forward and all of her body is touching his. Her hands leave his arms and she puts them on his chest.
He doesn't move.

The music goes crazy. Freddie feels hot. He adjusts his hands on her hips and they are moving with the beat together.

 

Freddie is dancing with Naomi.

And he still doesn't get it.

**

 

Naomi saw Freddie. She saw him take his cellphone out. She even came closer to say hi. But she can only see his back.
He drops his cellphone.
She stops in her tracks.

He starts running towards the water. He throws his shirt away.
She follows him but doesn't say anything.
He doesn't know she is here.

He dives in.
She stops in her tracks. Again.

She saw Effy on the other side, diving. They are swiming to each other.
They almost collide together.
Then Freddie puts his hand behind Effy's neck and kisses her.

Naomi starts retreating.

He has his hand in Effy's messy hair. She is hanging on him, desperately.

When he stops their kiss, Effy's eyes are watering and she is frowning.

« Now, you know. »

And he is gone, leaving the girl in the middle of the water. She puts her fingers to her lips, lost.

Freddie pulls himself out of the water and picks his shirt from a bench. He doesn't remember putting it here and less folding it.

Naomi is long gone.
He didn't see her.

Later that day, Freddie goes at Effy's. Her mother opens the door. He wants to see the girl, but her mother won't allow it. She looks tired and overwhelmed.
Freddie abandons and she slams the door.

Bleak, Freddie rolls away, and on the sidewalk, he lifts his eyes towards the Stonem's house. The curtain in Effy's room is moving.
And suddenly she is there, watching him.

Her hair is a mess, and Freddie thinks she looks sadly at him.

Cook is coming behind her.

He doesn't have a shirt on. He is kissing her neck. She doesn't move.

Freddie feels his insides contract painfully. He feels sick and angry and even full of hatred.
And to him, right now, she is looking down on him.

He shakes his head. She still doesn't move. Cook smiles archly.

Freddie goes away. He lets Effy and Cook and their twisted story.
He goes home, trying not to feel too jealous and shameful.

 

**

 

Cook won the elections. Freddie doesn't know which ones exactly. He knows Naomi was in the competition and that there was an other guy, some nameless asshole.

Obviously, Freddie voted for Naomi.


He didn't forgive Cook. And he knew Naomi would have been better. But she was not elected. She was very cool when she reported the cheating from the teachers.

She set off the fire alarms while Cook took the fire extinguisher. Since then, it's been chaotic in school. Everybody is screaming. The students are trashing everything.


Freddie walks against current. He is looking for Naomi. To talk to her. He doesn't know about what yet, but he knows he wants to talk to her.
He passes Effy, who is with Pandora. Her arms are crossed against her chest and she is looking down. When she lifts her eyes, she sees him in front of her.

« Freddie... »

She doesn't say anything else. Because Freddie didn't stop. And because she knows she wouldn't have had anything else to say.
She doesn't know what she wants.

She doesn't know what she says.

Freddie doesn't want to play this game, not anymore.

Freddie watches through the classrooms windows, still looking for Naomi.

What he sees on the second floor, makes him stop.

Naomi is right here. He can see her back. She puts her hand on Cook and she kisses him. It's slow, almost tender. Then Cook smiles sweetly at her.
He speaks and she nods. Freddie can't hear them.

Suddenly, Cooks stands up from the table he was sitting on and kisses Naomi thoroughly. He makes her move back to the back of the room, knocking tables as they go. When her thighs meet a table, hard, she leans on her back without letting Cook go with her right hand. Her other hand goes on the table as does Cook, pratically forcing her to lie down. Then he lifts her up and make her sit while opening her striped shirt. She tears off the buttons of his own.
He makes her lie down hard on the table, his hand goes from her thigh to her breasts. He lies down on her.

They never break off their kisses, just to breath or to have better access to the other.

Freddie didn't move behind the glass. Cook is... Cook is the worst. He has them all.
He finally looks away and goes.


He sits outside of the school, on the stairs. The students butchered everything. There are cars on fire, toilet paper everywhere, tables and chairs flying...

He stays here, lost in his thoughts. They don't get him anywhere.

Later, he hears footsteps behind him. He doesn't look. She doesn't say anything. She stays here a while.

Then she sits down beside him. He looks at her.

Her shirt misses buttons, he can see her blue bra. Her hair is messy and her cheeks just a tiny bit fllushed. She doesn't smile at him. But she is not angry either.

« You know he fucks Effy, right? he asks.
- Why? You didn't know? she answers.

- Touché.You win this thing. »

She laughs a little.

«  I don't think I won. »

She buttons her shirt, and Freddie watches her fingers closely.

« Him and I, we work, because he knows what I want and I know what he wants. Maybe we can't have these things. But we understand each other. It's simple.
- Don't tell me a girl like you can love a guy like him, asks Freddie, frowning.
- A girl 'like me'? I am not in love with him. But I love him because he is ready to love me in his own little way. »

She smiles at him, maybe a little bit sadly.
Freddie sighs.

 

« I find you complicated. It's a good sign, right? »

Naomi stands up. She leans towards him and kisses his cheek.

«  As long as you see me, I'm ok. »

 

She leaves him on the stairs.
And Freddie watches her go.

And Freddie sees her.

**

 

After that, they hang out together more often, the two of them.
Even if Naomi is still seeing Cook, who doesn't let Effy go.
Even if Freddie sees Effy coming closer without letting Cook go.

Their friends are having parties after parties. They act wild and free.

And Freddie loves these moments. Because he can be with Naomi, and Effy can't stop staring at them.
At first, Freddie thought he liked it because Effy seemed jealous. And she is, he can see that. But he really enjoys being with Naomi.

She is fun, sassy in her own way. And when she is drunk, she recites lines from Shakespeare, mostly from The Taming of the Shrew, or poems in french. It is impressive.
Because Freddie didn't know that words could be that beautiful sometimes. And also maybe because her eyes are sparkling when she declaims, her voice becomes husky, and she never hesitates.
Maybe because he didn't know she could be that beautiful.


When they are at these parties, they don't talk much. They dance a lot. They never kiss.
But Freddie doesn't kiss Effy.
And Naomi doesn't kiss Cook.
Even when they took JJ's pills.

They flirt and they have fun.

 

They look at each other.
Nobody sees anything.

Except Cook and Effy.

Cook smiles, mocking. It makes him laugh, he finds it very funny. He carries on with his actions because of it. There is nothing as pleasing as poking people and playing with their desires.
He doesn't want to hurt anyone, but he is a lot like Naomi, he sees those things.
Effy doesn't find it very funny.

 

She knows Cook isn't good for her. He is easy, toxic in his own way. But Freddie showed her... He showed her, for fuck's sake.

And even if she is scared, she now knows that she wants Freddie. More than she ever wanted anything.

One night, when she is standing in line in front of a club, she finds herself alone with Naomi.
They are the first two people of their little group here.


« Are you all right? asks Naomi, looking around them.
- Yeah. You?
- I'm ok. »

 

The two girls stay silent for a while.

« You are not with Freddie? asks Naomi suddenly.
- You are not with Cook? retorts Effy immediately. »

They size each other up.

« You could also be with Cook, for what I know, says Naomi.
- And you could be with Freddie.
- He never showed me he loved me. I never let him down. »

 

Effy doesn't have anything to say to that.

 

« By wanting them both, you'll end up losing both, adds Naomi. »

 

The others come, and Effy can't answer Naomi. Pandora, JJ and Katie go directly into the club, singing. Emily waves at Effy and Naomi before going in with her new girlfriend.
Freddie smiles at them.


« Let's go! »

He goes to the door, leading Naomi with him. His hand brushes her lower back. Effy watches them go.
Cook comes and takes her by the shoulders.

Effy doesn't sigh. She probably lost him now.
Not because of Naomi, but because of herself.

She isn't ok.

 

**

 

Freddie was not honest. When JJ asked if if he was going to the Love Ball (stupid name) with someone, he had said no.
Well, it was true.
But now, he was going with Katie.
Because JJ was going with Emily. Who was doing this because her sister didn't want her to bring her girlfriend. And Katie fancied Freddie. It was perfect.

Except it was not.

He had told Naomi he wasn't going. And she would not go either.

 

It was JJ who told Naomi than Katie and Emily were going dress shopping for the ball, and that she should go with them, not because she needed new clothes, but because girls liked doing things together, like shopping, and was she going with someone to the ball? Because he knew a guy who kind of liked her, and that it wouldn't be fun to stay home alone, when Effy and Cook were gone, and Pandora was trying to reconcile with Thomas, and Freddie was going with Katie and himself was going with Emily.
He then stopped to start breathing again.

 

Naomi didn't say anything, but looked at Freddie. He opened his mouth but couldn't say anything. JJ didn't understand what was going on, and watched the two of them while trying to catch his breath.

It was a damn mess.

 

Freddie went with JJ to pick up the twins. They arrived together at the ball.

Now they are waiting outside. Because the sisters are fighting.
Freddie knows he messed up. He doesn't know when exactly, but he knows it was a bad idea to go to the ball with Katie.
Or not to go with Naomi, really.
He sighs.

 

Someone clears his throat.

The four of them look down the stairs. It's Naomi. Freddie can't stop staring at her.

 

She is gorgeous with curls in her hair, her strapless dress and her natural aura. He opens his mouth to speak, once more. But she is faster.

« Sorry to interrupt, but there is a ball here tonight, right? »

Emily stares at her face, smiling a little. She always found Naomi beautiful.
Katie seems jealous, because she can see Freddie's face.
JJ is putting everything together.

« I thought you didn't want to come to the ball, he asks, slowly.
- No, I didn't want to come with anyone. It's different. Then I thought... Fuck it! If I want to shag a stranger at the Love Ball, who cares? Anyway, I think I should go in there now, I am really hot, JJ, are you free right now? »

Her smile is eating up her face, but it's joyless. She never stopped looking at Freddie. He didn't close his mouth.
JJ is babbling something incomprehensible.

And Freddie smiles openly, admiring Naomi. She stopped looking at him. If she sees it, she doesn't say anything.

« Well, nobody looks interested, I'm going inside, I'm really horny. »

She goes up the stairs, head held up high. She passes between them and goes through the school's doors.
Katie takes the bottle of vodka from JJ's hands and goes away, angrily. Emily goes after her, waving to Freddie, a big smile on her face.

« So...no sex tonight, right? asks JJ.
- Yeah, no sex tonight. Well, for you, answers Freddie.
- What are you going to do?
- Taking care of things. And act. »

Freddie puts his hand briefly on JJ's shoulder. He goes to the door.
It is time to do something.
It is time to talk.
It is time to tell, to tell her.

Because he sees her now.
The brunette is long gone.
He only sees the blonde.

**