Chapter Eight: The Stairs of Time

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The stairs were steep but they felt magical. My feet sunk into the cream carpet, it was soft and fluffy. The wall alongside the stairs was decorated with family photos all framed in wooden framing. At the bottom were his grandparents and as you went up it was like you were travelling through time, as they grew older his mother and father were there and as they grew older, his baby pictures became more common. At the top was a picture of Wanda, Timothy, Tracey (Benedict's half sister) and Ben, himself. They were sat in what looked like Wanda's garden with roses all around them that varied in colour. But the colours didn't clash, they worked amazingly together. It reminded me so much of Sam's garden.

"Ben?" I said loudly to try and get his attention. "Yes darling? What's wrong?" he walked out of a room to come and see what the matter was. I pointed to the picture, "Where was this picture taken?"

He smiled, "come with me. I'll show you" with that he took my hand and led me up a set of stairs, "It may get a bit chilly so, please, put this on!" Ben handed me his cardigan and smiled. I put it on whilst he led the way up to the top of the stairs. The cardigan was huge on me but it was mighty toasty. It had absorbed all of Ben's body heat and it was all warm for me. It smelt of him as well. I could have worn it all day if I had the choice.

We got to the top of the last set of stairs where more pictures hanged from the wall. Ben turned to me and saw how big the cardigan looked on me and smirked. The sleeves were longer than my arms and my hands seemed non-existent. He reached out and grasped hold of my cardigan-hand thing and said with a smile on his face, "Please don't let go, I don't want you to hurt yourself, okay?" "Okay" I replied, and I took my feet off the step and saw the roof garden. It was amazing. "Oh my gosh! The picture? It was up here. Right here? So I am standing where your mother and father had stood on many an occasion?" Ben nodded. He held on to my hand tight, interlocking our fingers for safety. My rings I was wearing had come twisted and Ben noticed. He pulled my hand up to see the rings, "they are beautiful! Who got them for you? Your boyfriend?" I looked at him and burst out laughing, whilst trying hard not to snort, "You're so funny! I haven't got a boyfriend. I've never had a boyfriend"



"Oh, I just presumed, such a beautiful young lady, like yourself would have a boyfriend"

"Well, it's probably because I'm a nerd, a geek and a fangirl. I'm not a booby, blond-y girly girl like my friends and the other girls at school. Instead I'm just stupidly booby! I don't make an effort for school by covering my face in make up or doing my hair all fancy. Mascara is all I wear and I just put my hair in a bun or a pony tail. Nothing fancy. To be honest Ben, I'm not the prettiest girl and even the girls that have greasy hair; big pussy spots and smell have boyfriends. I'm just not girlfriend material." Whilst I said this we had managed to walk over to a bench swing, and Ben, still holding my hand was sorting my hair out as it kept flying in my face.

I finally stopped ranting about how I was not like other girls and how no one is into me. He chipped in and said, "Claudia, stop, all of what you said is a load of codswallop! Yes, you are not the Page 3 sort of girl, but boys who like them sort of girls are not worth your time because they are dicks. If I was 20 years younger or if you were 2 years older, you would be the type of girl I would date. You are naturally beautiful, you are smart, and you are a huge fan of sci-fi, what is awesome by the way. You are also caring, kind and not afraid to tell the truth about what you think about people and that is very important. You also put others before yourself what is hard to do but that proves you are a strong person. Claud, stop being so silly and accept you are not worth the boys at your school! You need someone who appreciates you for you. Now stop putting yourself down you are perfect just the way you are and you don't need reminding!"

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