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were out on the jetty and the wind, you know...’

‘You’re lucky your dad’s a hero. Mine’s just a dick.’ She was rubbing

her foot in the dirt. He’d fantasised about the day they’d first talk. He

would be smooth and cool. She’d giggle at his jokes. ‘You gotta


‘No.’ She was bored with him. She was always laughing with those

other guys – how did they do it? ‘You going to Mitch’s party?’

‘Mmhmm... I thought you’d be with Ryan,’ she said to herself.

He was losing her. ‘I helped my dad save him,’ he blurted out. He

cringed as he thought of his father. ‘Jimmy, I mean...,’ he added as an


‘Yeah? I would have been shit scared... So Jake... would you be a

hero and save me if I fell too?’ She cocked her head at him and bit

down on her bottom lip. He felt faint.

‘Of course I would,’ he laughed nervously. Something itched in

his shoe.

‘Would you leave with me too?’

‘What... leave? Where to?’

‘I’ve always wanted to go to Paris.’

‘You can’t speak French.’

‘Don’t be stupid, you don’t have to know French to go to Paris.’

He was silent. ‘So would you go with me?’ She pursed her lips. He

felt her hand on his and he was suddenly aware of her body, very

close to his.

‘How would we even get there? You do know Paris is on the other

side of the world?’

‘Yeah of course I know, I’m not thick. But just saying, would you

go with me?’ He’d of done anything for her. Even leave his dad, his

house, his town. He looked at her then, right in the eyes. A dozen

gulls swooped above the treetops – one breaking away in an

elongated loop before plunging into the ocean. She blinked. ‘They

say Paris is the city of love.’ Her lips were in a pout and she was

starting to smile cheekily. And this is the town of stinking fish and

old lonely men, he thought.





he dreamt of his mum. There was a ringing in his ears,

then he was off balance – nothing, nothing under his feet. She was

smiling. It was the sort of smile that comes right before a laugh. She

stepped back and suddenly she was falling, and falling but she did not

Jetty View