Chapter Fifteen

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Dear Diary,

So we’re back home now after our adventure in Brocksburn. Things seem to be different even though we only went for a few days. There’s a new sense in the air, I can’t quite explain it.

I’m curled up on the sofa right now in the back room with Leo. This is our favorite room – it’s not all posh like the front room. This is where the tall lamp we’ve had for years totters in the corner. Its where the rug we’ve had all our lives sits in front of the flickering fire.

Its the most used room in the house, the warmest room, the most cluttered and the least tidy. I made us a couple of bacon sandwiches so we’re munching on those. Leo’s favorite. They have to have Heinz tomato sauce and butter all melted by the hot bacon. Yum.

The sofas are so comfy, I’m sinking right down into mine, feeling the velvety material on my skin. Leo’s across from me on the armchair. He’s the DJ putting on songs for us to listen to. Right now he has his head stuck in Rolling Stone magazine. He’s read that magazine religiously for years. Oh Leo, my musically obsessed brother.

I’m sat nearest the door. Like literally, I am right at the end of the sofa, within a few feet of it. Just in case the phone rings. Since we’ve been home it hasn’t rung once which is quite frankly unusual. Someone from somewhere has usually called by now, even if it’s just a salesman. But no, not this time. Absolute silence. So quiet I can hear the silence every time I go in the kitchen. Whilst making our bacon sandwiches I kept staring at it. Not a peep.

I even checked it was plugged in properly. I had to get under the little desk and follow the wire to see. It’s connected. I’ve picked up the receiver and checked for a dial tone a number of times now. Every time I get the familiar long beeeep sound. Yup, it’s definitely working.

I keep on having to check with myself that I did actually meet a young man named Farley on the beach two days ago. It’s almost like it didn’t happen. Maybe that’s because I didn’t tell Leo.

Oh God, even now as I look at him, I feel a heaviness in the pit of my stomach. Why didn’t I just tell him? When we were in the hotel and he asked where I had been, my mind stopped working. I couldn’t speak out. I ended up blethering on about the shells I found instead. He hasn't mentioned it since and neither have I.

He already looked furious because I was so late. What would he have said if I’d told him I’d been talking to a boy on the beach? Not just any boy, but the same one that pulled the plug on our gig the night before?

Leo would have expected me to do nothing less than kick the guy in the shins and run away, not follow his dog and give him our telephone number. If Leo answers that phone before I do I'll have a disaster on my hands.

I’ve never kept a secret from my brother before. I can’t remember a time when I’ve had to. We share everything. I just can’t bring myself to tell him this, not yet anyway. I mean, Farley might not even call me. I probably frightened him off with my awkwardness anyway. There’s no point sending Leo into strop for no reason.

The thought of not seeing Farley again though, no, I definitely don’t like that idea. The guy lives on a barge for God’s sake. I mean, how cool is that? I drew a picture of him before, in my notepad. Just the side of his face. I spent hours shading it in with my pencil. I hid the notebook to make sure Leo won't find it....

Ah, I just had to go for a minute! The phone rang!

God, I had to make dash for it. Leo jumped up out of his seat as well and ran for the door. I had to shove him out of the way and slam the door behind me to keep him in the room.

The call was for me, but it wasn’t Farley. It was the policeman from the other week, Officer Guthrie. I have to go to the police station in the village – right now.

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