A Beautiful Forever(4)

“A solicitor,” I answer, thinking about how much time I wasted studying for a career I didn’t even want.

Yawning, she shakes her head. “I didn’t ask what you were, I asked who you were.”

I look at her for a long moment before I answer, “A jerk, I used to be a jerk.”

“It’s the curse of the good-looking guy. You're all jerks,” she tells me knowingly.

I laugh a little at her revelation, “Talking from experience?”

She shrugs her shoulders and tilts her head noncommittally in response.

“So where did your catharsis come from? Some girl break your heart?”

I can't help but smile at her insight. “I kind of turned into a jerk after that actually, before, I don’t know that I was a jerk - I was just living a life that wasn’t mine.”

“So, you don’t know who you are, and you’re hoping to find yourself on the other side of the world?”

I rest my head back in the seat and sigh heavily before I turn my head to meet her eyes, “I don’t know what I’m hoping. I just know I need a change, I’m sick of just… existing... What about you? Why are you going to London?”

“Same reason as you I guess. My life isn’t anywhere near what I used to imagine it would be. Time for a change.” She covers her mouth as she yawns, closing her eyes and working her head into the back of the seat, effectively ending our discussion. I watch her beautiful face until her breathing deepens and her features soften, before closing my eyes as well, drifting off as sleep finally gets the chance to claim me.

Chapter 3


I sleep during the remainder of the flight, only waking because it’s time to fill out paperwork and eat a meal. Blinking rapidly, I yawn and stretch as I right myself within my seat. I look over at Elliot, who is rubbing his eyes, also yawning. His hair is sticking up at odd angles, which of course, looks really attractive on him. Must have been a hard life for him - looking awesome while everyone else looks shit. My eyes roll involuntarily at the thought.

“Good morning,” he says, without even glancing at me. “I think that was the best upright sleep I have ever had in my life, I was exhausted.”

“Me too,” I tell him, moving one seat closer so I can take my breakfast tray more easily from the approaching food trolley. “Thank you for not being an obscenely loud snorer.”

The trolley stops near us, and we accept our trays, immediately going over their contents. He looks over at me, “I wish I could say the same for you though.”

“What?!" I exclaim, jerking my head around to face him. “I snored?”

His starts laughing, shaking his head, “No you didn’t – actually, I wouldn’t even know. I passed out the moment I closed my eyes. I was just ribbing you.” He’s still smiling, pleased with his joke.

I nod my head and watch him as he starts to work his way around his food. Pausing mid chew, he raises his eyebrows. “Are you not eating?”

“Yeah, I’m eating,” I say, snapping my gaze away from him to focus on my own plate, poking the rubbery looking eggs with my fork. I pull the foil back on my cup of orange juice and take a sip of the cold sweet liquid, gulping greedily as I realise now how thirsty I am.

“So how long are you staying in London Paige?” he enquires.

I frown at my food and shake my head slightly, “I don’t know,” I tell him, feeling suddenly nervous about landing and nervous about why I’m going there.

“You don’t know?” he repeats. “Didn’t you have to get a visa?”

I turn my head to look at him, “I have dual citizenship, so I don’t need one. My um, father, is from the UK”

“Oh,” he says, looking slightly uncomfortable, “I ah… heard you tell Connie that your family had passed. I’m sorry to hear that.” We lock eyes for a moment - he’s so sincere that I break the connection, suddenly uncomfortable with the lie.

To cut a long story short my mother went to London for some sort of business meeting when she was in her early 30s, when she came home, she was pregnant with me. The catch was she was already married to the man whom I always thought was my father.

I never understood why I was treated so differently from my siblings until after I'd been kicked out of home and ordered a copy of my birth certificate. My real father is some English guy called Daniel Ashdown. It explains so much about my life. I always thought that my parents looked at me with disappointment in their eyes because I wasn’t the star athlete or pupil that my siblings were. Now I think it was sadness, sadness for a lost love and sadness because I was a constant reminder of an infidelity.

I’m going to London to find out who the other half of my biology belongs to. I don’t know what I’ll do once I see him. I don’t even know what I’m expecting, but I need to know who he is because he’s affected my life so greatly without ever being there.

I press my lips together in a tight smile, “It’s fine Elliot.” I start to pick at my breakfast again before focusing the conversation on him. “So how long are you in London for?”

“Three months,” he answers quickly. “I’m going to be working at one of the big health clubs in the gym.”

“Are you an instructor or something?”

He nods, “I’m a personal trainer. I saw that you could go over there for a working holiday on the net. So I signed up, found a flat with some other Aussies, and here I am.”

“So what are you going to do if you find yourself in the UK, and then you have to leave it all behind?”

He lets his head fall against the back of his seat, looks up and shrugs, then shakes his head slightly before looking at me again to answer, “I don’t know.”


I hadn’t even thought about that, now I’m suddenly worried. What does happen if I find myself again and then when I leave and go back to my old life, I lose it? I look over at her, and she’s studying me as she seems wont to do, strangely it doesn’t make me uncomfortable. I kind of like having her eyes on me.

“So you’ve already sorted out a job and a place to stay?” she asks.

“Um, yeah, a friend of a friend is in a share house with a spare room, so I’m moving in there. It’s like, five minutes from a train station. So it’s an easy commute for work.”

She nods her head, looking slightly impressed, “It’s good that you have everything mapped out.”

“What about you?”

She laughs, “I obviously didn’t think this through as well as you did. I have a room booked for a couple of weeks at a cheap and probably very nasty hotel. I'll look for work when I get there.”

“What kind of work do you do?”

“A little bit of everything,” she tells me vaguely. The flight attendant comes past us again and takes our trays.

I check my watch. We only have another half-hour before we’re due to land. My leg starts bouncing up and down - f*ck I’m nervous.


The seatbelt sign pings and lights up, as the captain’s voice comes over the speakers to tell us that we’re making our descent into London’s Heathrow Airport. He thanks us all for flying with him, and tells us that it is overcast and cold, which will be a bit of a shock to the system. We’re all used to Sydney’s summer weather.

“Here we go,” Elliot says to me as he clips in his seat belt.

I nod and take a deep breath to calm my nerves. I desperately need this fresh start away from everything that defined me up until now. When you get kicked out of home at 15, you fall into a lot of different situations in an effort to take care of yourself. People have very long memories and love reminding you of what you once were.

When I get to London, I will be Paige, the girl from Australia. I don’t need to be any more than that.

Chapter 4


Waiting at the baggage claim I look around to see if I can find Paige, I lost her at some point as we went through all of our passport checks. I manage to spot her as she hauls her bag off the carousel and starts to wheel it away.

“Paige!” I call after her. She stops and looks around for the source of her name, eventually spotting me.

She smiles at me, and I feel lucky all of a sudden. “Hi Elliot, have you found your bags?”

I look at the crowded carousel and shake my head, “No, not yet, I just wanted to say bye I guess. Maybe see which direction you're headed, we could share a cab?”

She shakes her head, “There’s no need. There is a shuttle bus that takes me to where I’m staying.”

My hopes deflate as I realise this is good bye. I’ve really enjoyed her company. “Oh, well… maybe I’ll see you around some time.”

Anderson, Lilliana's Books