on November 1, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Can two wrongs make a Mr. Right?
Olivia Murphy thought she’d managed to get a handle on her life.
Robbed of her strength and confidence at school by a group of bullies, she fought back. She made a new life for herself. A new name. After losing her soon to be fiancé in a car accident she sought out the armour she developed in school and refused to have anything more in her stolen.
Until she comes face to face with one of her tormentors. The one she trusted most of all. Who not only broke her psyche, but her heart too. Fintan Kelly.
Olivia decides that for once she’s going to steal something back, revenge. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth and his heart for her heart.
Will her quest to avenge the wrongs from her past give her the closure she hopes? Or will she find that no matter how much of yourself, or your past, you try to change some wounds are so deep you don’t even realise you’re keeping them open.
Lies and misunderstandings from a mutually troubled past will either bring this couple together or rob them both of everything important.
I step back from the bar, pleased to see that the rugby club’s fundraiser has attracted quite a turn out. Even through the dim overhead lights of the bar I can see the kaleidoscope of disco lights bouncing off an eclectic mix of costumes. There’s signage everywhere advertising the suicide prevention charity that the rugby club has chosen to sponsor this year. It’s a cause close to many of the students at Belfast University, given the strain a lot of people find themselves under, whether it’s from their own thoughts and expectations or those thrust on them by well-meaning friends and family members.
As Mark saunters by to put our names in to the karaoke MC I’m smacked across the face by the full effect of his costume. As the only bi-sexual member of the university rugby team, people might expect Mark to tone himself down. Not my best friend. He’s been this way since we met at 16. What you see is what you get and if you don’t like it – don’t let the door hit you on the ass on your way out. Tonight he looks like a cross between Freddie Mercury and the biker from YMCA. All leather and facial hair, but you have to appreciate the way the leather sculpts his shoulders and shows off the cut of his tight ass.
We’re only a couple of drinks into the night when I hear my name being called through the microphone. I’ve become a regular at these, not because of a Beyoncé-style voice or anything, just because I’ll always do what I can to support Mark and the boys, even if it means dressing up and making a fool out of myself.
I hear the familiar opening chords to “Just Like a Pill”, my standard karaoke fodder and ready myself with a few breaths. Without looking at the words, I use the music and the lyrics as a catharsis, one of the few times I allow myself to really feel, I know it adds to the sound of my voice but that’s not why I do it. It may seem strange, but up on stage I can allow myself to feel. To grieve. To hope and to wallow. Because I know after the song finishes, I step away from the mic and the stage. Everything closes back up again into its neat little box where I can contain, control and ignore its very existence.
Through the coda, I allow myself a moment to scan the room, seeing friendly, supportive and some all too knowing faces. I catch Mark and see him talking to someone who could be God’s gift to women if his face is as beautiful as his body. Dressed as Doctor Who, from the long beige trench coat to the blue suit and tatty red converse trainers. If he’s wearing the black-rimmed glasses, I may have a small orgasm on stage in front of 300 people.
When he turns away from Mark and locks eyes with me, I’m thankful I know this song the same way I can remember the hymns that were drummed into me in school, because it’s not the glasses that freezes the marrow in my bones and causes all the blood to rush from my face. It’s his face – a face I haven’t seen in over a decade, except in my nightmares.