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My Mistake…
 
            I sat on my bed looking thoughtfully out of my bedroom window. I hadn’t been myself since my big brother Darren died eight years earlier. I seemed to feel lonely all the time and distanced myself from people. I had a few good friends, but none I could talk to and share my true feelings with.
            “Annie, I’m going shopping, would you like to go?” my mum shouted up the stairs.
            “Alright!” I shouted back, “Just let me get my shoes.”
            As I went over and got my shoes from the closet, I temporarily put all the sad thoughts of my brother behind me and ran to meet my mum downstairs.
            “Took you long enough,” she laughed heading out the front door.
            My mum’s probably my main best friend. We’re extremely close. Ever since Darren passed she’s be cautious of my every move. I suppose she doesn’t want to lose me as well.
            “Right!” my mum boomed, as we pulled up outside our local supermarket, “how about I give you half the shopping list and some money and we meet back at the checkout in about half an hour,”
            “Sounds good, but only if I can add to the list,” I laughed as she handed me over some money.
            “Fine, but just this once,” she replied, winking at me playfully.
           
            As I walked down the aisles in the supermarket I sensed someone following me. I kept trying to shrug it off, but the feeling remained.
            “Hello Annie,” came a deep voice behind me.
            “Oh sweet Jesus!” I gasped, spinning round, “You know it’s mean to sneak up on people like that!”
            “That’s why I do it,” he replied, smiling in a way that always gave me butterflies.
            Steve was always a mysterious lad. He left school when he was my age- sixteen- and just vanished, and didn’t show up for a few years later. Nobody seemed to know where he went or what he did when he was away, yet at the same time nobody seemed to be surprised of the secrecy- it was basic Steve Leopard!
            Steve returned from, wherever he was, a few days earlier. I felt wary of him at first, but I soon felt as if I was starting to fall for him- just like I did when I was little.
In the few years Steve was away he’d grown more muscular and mature. I’d fancied Steve ever since I was about seven years old, but now I liked him even more. Steve leopard was best described with one word, and that word is HOT!
            “So, what are you doing in a supermarket on such a beautiful Saturday afternoon, Miss Shan?” He asked, playfully putting his arm around my shoulder.
            “Helping my mum do a bit of shopping,” I replied, looking up at him, “would you like to assist?”
            “Sure, I’ve nothing better to do,” he shrugged.
            “Great!” I said, beaming up at him, “You can carry the basket,”
            “But it’s really heavy!” he whined, taking the basket from me.
            “If a weak and fragile little girl like me can carry it fine, a strong muscular man like you should have no problem with it,” I replied, walking ahead of him to try and finish off the shopping as fast as possible.
            “Still…” he grunted, but I ignored it and he let it drop and followed.
            I finished the shopping and met my mum at the checkout. She seemed to eye Steve funny when she saw him. My mum never liked Steve all that much; she didn’t trust him in the slightest, though I didn’t care.
            “Hello Mrs. Shan, how are you today?” He asked trying to sound as polite as possible.
“I’m feeling fine, and yourself?”
“I feel excellent!” He replied grinning.
“Good to know...” she said bluntly, as she put the last of the groceries in the shopping bag.
            “Hey, mum?” as we where putting the bags in the car, “Do you mind if I hang with Steve for a bit?”
            “Of course!” she replied, as kindly as she could, but I could tell her smile was fake and she wasn’t keen on the idea, “but remember to be back before dinner,”
            “Will do!” I replied excitedly, going over to where Steve was waiting for me.
            “Want to got for a walk, midget?” He asked laughing as he put his arm around me and we dandered away from the car.
            “I’m not eight years old anymore you know?” I laughed, putting my arm around his waist.
            “I know…but it never seems to get old,” he replied, then stopped suddenly and looked at me.
            “What’s wrong?” I asked confused.
            “Come here a sec, you’ve got something on your face,” he replied, stepping closer.
            “Where?!” I asked, alarmed.
            “There!” he replied quickly, then kissed me unexpectedly.
            “Ha-ha, funny,” I said, as he pulled away slowly, “how did you know that I would fall for that?”
“You’ve always been overly gullible,” he laughed, kissing me again, more passionately this time.
For the next few weeks Steve and I were inseparable. We went on walks together, went to the cinema and he took me out for dinner a few times. It took me a while to realize it but I felt I was in love with him and he had no problem admitting that he felt the same way.
Of course that’s where things started to go down hill.
I’d been begging Steve for ages to let me see his flat. He’s just recently rented it with one of his old friends, Alan Morris. Every time I asked to see the apartment Steve always said no because he was afraid that Alan still hadn’t got over Darren’s death and it might bring back too many memories.
I was texting him one morning when he finally told me that Alan was away for a few days and I could come and see the flat if I wanted. Excitedly I texted him back saying that I’d be right over, I pulled on a pair of shoes and before I knew it I was at the flat.
“It’s very nice,” I mused, looking around as I walked through the door.
“It’s nothing really,” Steve replied modestly, casually coming closer to me, “just a roof over my head that’s all.”
When he was close enough he seductively wrapped his arms around my waist and I wrapped mine around his neck. Next thing I knew I was slowly unbuttoning his shirt.
“I trust you,” I whispered trying to sound sexy, as he unbuttoned my blouse, “be gentle with me,”
I felt him smile as he finished with my blouse. Soon we stripped each other down and what happened next was heavenly, as he came inside me, as I slowly gave my love to him.
A few weeks later I felt funny inside. I waited for my mum and dad to leave the house then bought pregnancy test from our local corner shop.
The test was pretty easy to get my head around, but the result wasn’t. It was positive, what would Steve say?!
I called him the next day telling him to meet me at the park, that it was an emergency.
While we where sitting on one of the benches I slowly and extremely nervously (as Steve had a reputation of getting REALLY mad) told him I was expecting then sat back and awaited his reaction.
“This is amazing!” He beamed; face lighting up as he spoke.
I smiled at his reaction, “you’re really happy about it?”
“Of course!” he replied, happily kissing me, “we’ll get married some day, and have loads of children. This is the start of something big, Annie, but don’t tell anyone about it until we’re husband and wife.”
A few days later and Steve was gone again.
“Where are you going?” I asked worries incase I started to show before he returned.
“I’m going to earn a bit of money, for our wedding and the baby’s upkeep,” he replied, intently stroking the side of my face to comfort me, “don’t stress yourself worrying about me, it’s bad for the baby.”
Steve was away for a long time. My mum could tell I wasn’t myself, however she didn’t ask any questions, though sometimes I’d hear her talking to my dad about Steve.
“He’s just trouble, Dermot!” she said angrily one night, when I was in bed, ‘just look at what he’s doing to our Annie!”
“Angela, I’m sure it’s just teenage hormones, you should know what that’s like,’ my dad replied, calmly.
“I think it’s much more that just hormones,” she retorted blankly, but then let the matter drop.
Steve returned late one night about a month later, snuck into my room and violently woke me up.
Before I could say anything, he clamped a hand over my mouth and laughed.
“Too late to stop it now!” he mocked me; “you thought I loved you, but to be honest, you’re just a stupid wee gullible kid!’ 
Then he left, and it was ten long years later before I even heard word of Steve Leonard!
 




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