It began like silence breaking. It started as a story unfolding in front of us. For a while, I thought I was the protagonist, the hero, of the unfolding story. But I am no hero, I never have been and I never will.
It was not until the second day of the story, the second chapter, that I realised Chelle was to be the hero of the story and I was merely a secondary character… if that.
I worried that I would have only a small walk-on part in Chelle’s story. I wondered if she would move on and I would be something she remembered only in moments of reflection between the key dramatic moments of her story.
Then I fell out of bed that second morning. Chelle leant down over the edge of the bed laughing at me and I knew then I must be the comic relief. At least, I thought as I got to my knees, and rubbed my elbow where it had banged against the bedside table, the comic relief gets to stay beside the main character as the adventure progresses.
I could think of no better place to be than beside Chelle, except when we got even closer and she made me fall out of her bed.
‘We’d better get up and get on with it,’ Chelle said, stretching naked in her bed as I sat on the floor beside it. ‘Today is going to be the day of the inciting incident, I’m sure of it.’
It usually takes Chelle a long time to get out of bed, to feel motivated for whatever the day’s chapter will bring to her story. Today, though, she was up and in the shower in moments, eager for the story to begin.
I sat; tense, on the varnished floorboards at the side of her bed as she strolled into the bathroom. The shower started running and there was no scream, so I thought we had a while yet before the inciting incident.
I got to my feet and thought about opening the curtains. I paused, wondering what I would see. If the world had gone wrong out there, Chelle needed to see it, not me. She needed to be the one to set the story into motion when she pulled back the curtains and saw… well, whatever it was.
I just hoped it was not a zombie apocalypse. I’ve been in a few of those stories before and being the comic relief in one of those is no laughing matter.
I began to search for where Chelle had thrown my clothes the night before, and then stopped.
I couldn’t help wondering if this, Chelle’s story, was going to be a murder mystery and I would be the corpse she’d find when she came out of the shower.
Then the doorbell rang.