Chapter Twenty Two

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Dear Diary,

Once we had kissed, everything changed. It felt like my world had shifted, ever so slightly. It was like I had found something that I didn’t know I’d been looking for. Every time I looked at him, at Farley, it wasn’t just the softness of his skin or the glow of his hair that made me feel so thrilled, it was what he represented to me, to my life.

This is a confession that goes no further than this page, got it? Like really, I mean, this is serious diary-type top-secret stuff here. God, I hope no one ever finds this and reads it… Ah, what the hell. Here goes… The thing is… I’ve never actually properly kissed anyone before. There! I wrote it down.

I’m seventeen years old and I’ve never had a proper snog. Not a proper one anyway, one that means something and lasts for longer than a few seconds. It’s just an embarrassment beyond belief. Most girls I know my age… I assure you – I am the exception. I’m a rare species.

I tell you though, it’s not even my fault! It’s not that no one wanted to kiss me – or at least I hope it’s not – no, it’s not that. I remember loads of boys trying one way or another. It’s just none of them ever got that far because Leo wouldn’t let them. Literally, he wouldn’t really let me get close to any boy, ever.

It wasn’t always an obvious thing. Say a guy asked me out or sent me a note in class or whatever, almost as soon as Leo found out, suddenly the guy would stop asking. I never knew exactly why but I’m not stupid, I knew it was him.

When I was thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, even sixteen – I really didn’t care. Leo was the only boy I wanted around anyway, the rest of them looked so boring and weird in comparison. At school there wasn’t any guy who I could imagine spending any time with. None of them knew anything about music really, none of them could sing or play guitar. What we had was all I wanted and all I needed. We had our own little world and no one was getting in.

There was always that part of me that didn’t know what my brother would do if I did show an interest in a boy. I’ve always got this sort of fear that something terrible would happen. I can feel the same fear right now.

It’s only recently that I’ve felt different, like there might be something I’m missing out on. I’ve noticed, when I sing at our gigs lately, there are guys there and they are different to the boys at school. They’re a bit older, more exciting.

Then there’s Farley. A beautiful creature. I’ve never in my life met anyone like him before. When he talks I feel this sort of calm wash over me, like he’s got me under a spell or something. It sounds so strange but it’s like I can sense his soul somehow and it’s the most beautiful thing in the world.

When I saw his sculpture out there in the forest I could almost see every movement he made to create it. Looking at every mark in the wood, I knew he had put part of himself into it. Every intricate shape said something about him.

It’s like when Leo writes a song. As I sing it I feel like I’m putting a piece of him into words, into music. As I looked at Farley, when we were in the forest, as I walked towards him from the sculpture, just before we kissed, I noticed how golden his skin is, how his hair almost burns even under the shade of the trees.

It was a moment that will stay with me until I die. We walked back to the barge slowly, hand in hand. We didn’t say much, just kept looking at each other – knowing that something was happening, something was growing between us. I didn’t know if he had felt it before, I didn’t even care. I know I've never felt anything like it.

Once we got back to the barge the sun had lowered in the sky, it was slightly less bright and the air had a chill.

‘I’ll get you a rug,’ he said as we climbed aboard.

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