Sometimes I liked to stand on top of buildings and get a look at how small the world really is, I like to watch the people who had normal lives walk by with their shopping bags and lovers walking home from expensive dinners they paid for with their American dream jobs. I was never lucky enough to ever find out what the American dream is or was. The opportunity for that died long ago and now I was a hollow shell of what was left.
All I had to do was take one last step, one little jump and my guts would be all over the pavement. Kids who belonged to irresponsible parents would have nightmares for weeks about my body bending and breaking in front of them, the snapping of my bones ringing in their ears. The new would announce that some local prostitute jumped off a building and then they would move on to the weather, my death some casual dinner party topic and then like my physical body, I would be dead.
I smiled at the thought of this, thinking of how my existence would end and I would just rot in Hell, but Hell just seemed so much more peaceful than Earth, at least the devil knew he was bad, Earth everyone just played innocent.” Cordelia thinks as she looks down from the roof of a hotel. She keeps looking down from the top of the hotel where she had just “entertained” another filthy client. They all disgust her and they, at this moment are the only motivation she needs to jump.
Closing her eyes, she put her left foot out where the roof ends, “What are you doing?” An English accent interrupts, and she quickly turns. “Nothing, I was looking at the city” Cordelia lies. “You look like you were going for a jump,” he casually says taking a puff of his cigarette. He looked like a typical Englishman, longish brown hair, the upturned English nose and his teeth were uneven. “Would you like a smoke? You seem a bit on edge” He asked after he noticed Cordelia studying him.
She had every intention to just leave and go back to the whorehouse but something about this man made her feel calmer and so she took the cigarette.
He leaned up against a higher point of the roof and Cordelia reluctantly joined him, although he was being nice now she knew he had a hidden agenda. “My name’s Miles by the way, Miles Kane” He offered his hand and she shook it, “Cordelia” she replied quietly. “That’s a nice name,” He said. It surprised her that he said it like he thought it was a nice name. “Yours is nice too” she said taking a drag of the cigarette. “So what brings you to the rooftop?” he asked in between puffs.
“I like the view” she lied again trying to sound like she wasn’t lying; she had a feeling he knew she was lying but didn’t press the subject any farther. “I come here to get away, I like to sit up here and smoke without someone needing something from me, I travel a lot with my job and stuff and people are asking me to sign this or talk to me about that, I do rather enjoy it but it’s nice to have space, d’you know what I mean?”
Miles talked to her as if they weren’t strangers, she wasn’t sure if that meant she trusted him or not yet but she didn’t question it. “I’ve never traveled anywhere, I’m stuck here, I’ll always be stuck here, I want to see beaches and mountains, and I want to leave this fuckin’ city and never go back” Cordelia felt tears burning in her eyes but she held them in. She always held her tears in, tears meant you were weak and she never showed weakness to anyone.
She was too afraid to look at Miles now scared of what he might say or do. Everyone she’d ever known took advantage of her and she couldn’t let another one do it too. She leapt up at the sudden touch of skin. Miles had put his arm around her, and he just rested it there like a form of comfort. She looked up at him and he wasn’t even looking at her, he was staring at the sky. “If you don’t feel comfortable with me having my arm around you, say so and I will remove it.
She couldn’t tell if he was lying or not but he liked the comfort and the support so she snuggled closer to him. His clothes didn’t reek of alcohol or filth. They smelt like how she always imagined normal people to smell, “Can you just keep talking to me?” Cordelia asked after a few minutes of silence. “Tell me where you’re from?” “Liverpool, love” Miles answered. “Like The Beatles?” “Yeah, do you like The Beatles?”
“I love the Beatles, I usually listen to them when I’m upset, and they calm me down,” She replied her eyes showing the first sign of warmth in a long time. “I’m pretty fond of them myself,” Miles replied with a smile showing his uneven teeth. He still had his arm around her and she was holding on to his skinny body enjoying his smell and kindness. “How old are you” Miles asked. Cordelia’s warmth quickly turned cold. “Is he going to take advantage of me” she thought. “I’m 18” .
She answered honestly. “You’re too young to be in the profession you’re in” Miles answered. It made Cordelia think of this time she was walking home after a “visit” with a client and a man stopped her and began to talk to her, much like what Miles was doing now. He asked her age and she was a year younger at the time, he told her the same thing “you’re too young to be a prostitute,” then took her to a hotel and made her fulfill her job. She hoped and prayed Miles wasn’t like that.
He was beginning to warm up to her, “Well Cordelia, I must return to my room, and I’m sure you have some place to be,” Miles said as he began to stand up and take his arm from around her, making her lose grip on his waist. “It was nice chatting with you,” he held out a hand for her to shake and she did. “You’re a good kid,” he finished flicking the cigarette butt and smiling. Cordelia just stared at him, he was the first person she didn’t want to leave, and she stood up continuing to stare.
“Erm I could walk down with you?” Miles finally said breaking her stare. Cordelia nodded and followed him down to his floor, Miles arrived at a door then turned to her “Well this is my room,” He said showing his uneven teeth and she stared like an idiot at him. Cordelia didn’t want to leave; she hadn’t met someone this nice in a long time. Miles smile faded from a friendly smile to an awkward smile, she thought perhaps he was ready for her to leave so she left, not waving or saying good bye .
She wondered down out of the lobby back to her “Home” finally stumbling inside. He was there and He was very drunk. Cordelia tried to quietly make the way up the stairs, however she found herself in an unfortunate situation. “Where my money at?” He yelled when she was spotted. Cordelia reached into her bra and pulled out the money she’d earned and He counts it sloppily, “You took some!” “No I didn’t” Cordelia replies trying to defend herself.
He didn’t reply just simply collided his fist into her face, causing Coderlia to fall, hitting her face against the stairs. Unsure of what to do with herself, Cordelia ran upstairs and away. Locking herself into her room, the room she shared with three other girls, flopping herself onto her bed. One girl gave out a loud grunt but Cordelia didn’t care, she reached under the bed, grabbing her CD player and her favorite “The Beatles” CD.
Putting the headphones in her ears, she began to cry wishing there was a way she could live with Miles. The next Morning, Cordelia’s eye was blackened, whether from the fist or the stairs is unknown. She didn’t leave her room until she had to the next evening. She was informed when she finally left her room that He did get the correct amount and simply miscounted. Cordelia was walking “home” later on and kept hearing Miles name, groups of young adults and teenagers talking about how “good” he was. A theater was behind them and curiosity pulled her, she walked toward a group of girls, they were calling out his name. As Cordelia got closer, she spotted Miles; it was her Miles who was a famous singer. She waited as he signed a few pictures and posters for the screaming group, then Miles spotted Cordelia, “Oh my goodness!” Miles shouted as he toward her, “Cordelia what happened to your eye?” He looked quite concerned.
Before she could answer, he grabbed my hand and was offering me an ice pack inside his bus. Sit anywhere he said pulling me into the bus, a few of his band mates sat around, giving Miles strange glances. “You know,” Miles started ignoring his band mates, “When I was just starting out playing gigs, and stuff. I tried playing rockstar and being cool,” Miles had grabbed an ice pack and was walking towards Cordelia.
“I jumped into the crowd and ended up hitting myself in the face with the neck of the guitar, and I got a black eye,” Miles handed Cordelia the ice pack and sat across from her. “My mom got angry and told me I wasn’t allowed in a band anymore” Miles smiled and Cordelia smiled back. She was beginning to really love his uneven teeth. “I don’t have a black eye from being a rock star,” Cordelia broke the silence. She could feel the wall she had built begin to loosen.
Placing the ice pack in a more comfortable position on her face, Miles band mates began paying less attention to the pair. The bus became an awkward quiet. “What happened,” Miles finally asked. “I got accused of something I didn’t do and got hit,” Cordelia answered trying to look like she didn’t care. “Why are you did this?” His voice was sympathetic. “What? Getting hit?” She asked. “No! Being a prostitute,” Miles said raising his voice. Cordelia could feel the wall sliding.
“I was walking home from school, after a detention and a hand came from behind and covered my mouth and nose. When I woke up, I was in the trunk of a car, and I was forced to do what I’m doing,” Cordelia didn’t notice until after she finished her story she was crying. Cordelia had never told that to anyone, she kept it to herself because she thought no one would care. She eventually looked at Miles, and for once she felt like talking and being heard.
Cordelia was unable to stop the next sentence from coming out, “Take me with you!” she shouted in a sobbing raspy voice, while pulling away to see his face. He made a confused expression, “I don’t want to do this anymore! Let me run away with you!” Cordelia practically vomited. “I can’t, if I were to do that, He’d notice,” Miles pointed at Cordelia’s eye when he said “He’d”. “And, I would be no better than him if I took you,” “Miles! You are better, you don’t hurt people!” Cordelia pleaded.
“Please please please Miles!” Cordelia cried even harder pushing her face into his chest. Miles held her awkwardly, and feeling the need to calm her down he kissed the top of her head softly. Miles eventually tried to find a more comfortable position which made Cordelia look up at him sadly. Miles laid down on the most uncomfortable sofa then looked up at Cordelia “You can lay down if you want” She nodded then rested her head on his chest.
She listened as his heartbeat, she smelled his after shave and cigarette smell, and eventually she drifted off to sleep feeling the most protected she ever had. When she awoke the next morning, she realized that she was probably going to get hit again, Cordelia thought about leaving without saying goodbye but the idea was too painful, she had to say goodbye to Miles. She felt stupid for thinking so but he was “her Miles” .
she felt no one else could mean as much to her as this stranger she barely met but already knew so much about. Cordelia looked down on the sleeping Miles, whispering his name, “mmm yes love?” Miles answered half asleep. “I have to leave, I’ve been here to long,” Cordelia informed him, making Miles open his eyes and sit up. “What time is it?” Miles asked in a groggy tone, grabbing his phone from nearby, clicking a button, and staring at the screen.
“It’s 7am” he informed her. Cordelia jumped up from the couch and quickly told Miles she had to go. Miles stood up quickly to walk her out but all the blood rushed to his head and made him sit down again. He eventually got up and walked her out. She turned to look at him, biting her lip to avoid crying. Miles slowly reached out his hand and ran it softly along her cheek. Cordelia leapt into his arms for one last goodbye hug.
Miles kissed the top of her head once again, then as Cordelia reluctantly pulled away from Miles and made eye contact with him, he said something that scared her. “Why haven’t you ever gone to the police?” “I can’t do that, He threatened to kill my whole family” Cordelia broke eye contact and stared at the ground. “Do you think He actually knows where your family is?” Miles asked. Cordelia thought for a moment, maybe he didn’t.
“He kidnapped me in my home town so he probably does,” Cordelia mumbled. Miles put his hands on her shoulders, “I hope things turn out better for you, you deserve much better than what’s been given to you” Cordelia felt the tears forming in her eyes, “Miles I’m going to go to the police and I’m going to go back to school and I’m going to get an amazing job and I’m going to never have to be a prostitute again!” Cordelia screamed, “I promise you the next time you see me I’ll be better!”
Corelia left without giving him a real good bye. She practically ran to the police station, feeling hope for once in her life. She told the police her real name, where she was from, and how she was kidnapped. Cordelia was given proper clothes and taken home to the family she hadn’t seen in three years. It wasn’t long after that a newspaper reported someone had broken into that families home and shot them all dead.
Miles Kane happened to see the article and read the story the day after the event. He never forgave himself feeling he was partially responsible for what had happened. He had never criend harder in his life.