The week passed painfully slowly. At least Charlie called every day and Christopher every night, both to say how much they missed me and how long a week seemed. Christopher, especially, sounded frustrated every time he rang. One time, the fist thing he said was “I wish you were here.” to which I responded, “I don’t care where I am, I just want to be with you.”
Finally, on the day I was let out of my prison, our wishes came true. After very truthfully telling my parents that I was going to Charlie’s and didn’t know when I would be back, I skipped to his house - only to find myself forced to slow to a walk halfway - in excited anticipation.
I ran to the front door, rang the doorbell and was almost bouncing on the doorstep. Charlie answered, looking elated, and I jumped into his arms, kissing him frantically in the same way an excited puppy would leap around his owner’s legs.
I stopped, panting. Charlie looked incredibly bemused, but delighted too.
“Someone’s been locked up for too long,” he observed.
I merely nodded breathlessly.
Later that morning, we were lying on our stomachs on warm grass, facing each other.
“My Aunt Mel’s coming down tomorrow,” announced Charlie.
“Is she your dad’s sister?” I asked.
“No, she’s my mum’s cousin.”
“Is she a v...?” I stopped myself just in time, shocked by what I’d nearly asked.
“Is she nice?”
Charlie frowned, evidently suspicious, but answered, “Yes, but she’s a bit weird. I always get the impression she can tell what I’m thinking and, don’t laugh, but...” Here he hesitated, and then whispered, “I swear she and her son glow.” He laughed, “Call me crazy, but I’m sure they do.”
I laughed with him. She is a vampire then, I thought.
“Wait, did you say she has a son?” I asked.
“Oh yeah, my cousin Rick.”
“What’s he like, then?”
“He’s very self-assured and also, quite determined. When he wants something, he’ll stop at nothing to get it. I’ll ask if you can have dinner with us, tomorrow. Then, you can meet him.”
“I won’t be intruding, will I?”
“’Course not. My parents love you.”
The conversation continued until we were called to lunch. It seemed like so long since I’d eaten with the family (this was only the second time, I realised). I vowed to stay out of trouble so that I wouldn’t have to wait so long to see Charlie or Christopher again. I felt slightly guilty that the greeting I’d given Charlie had really been meant for Christopher, but I comforted myself with the knowledge that I had truly enjoyed this morning.
At the lunch table, Charlie casually asked, “Mum, can Terri stay for dinner tomorrow, so she can meet Aunt Mel and Cousin Rick?”
“Sure, honey,” she replied. I was pleased and thanked her politely.
Harry and Charlie looked elated when the conversation started to be about sports. Harry seemed to know everything there was to know about tennis, football and cricket. We’d finished eating by now, and when I quietly mentioned to Rosie that I hated most sports and was rubbish at all of them, she laughed and told me and Charlie that we could leave the table. Charlie looked devastated that we were leaving during a discussion of favourite sportspeople. I found this hilarious.
Charlie and I spent the rest of the day strolling quietly through the nearby woods. He looked as if he was lost in his thoughts and I, personally, was reflecting upon the similarities and differences between Charlie and Christopher.
I walked home, telling Charlie I had stuff to do at home. It was a lie, but I thought it would be fairer if he didn’t believe he’d fainted at my house and missed out on my company, because he would have inevitably transformed.
My parents looked surprised when I came in alone. I must have been quieter than usual, because they looked slightly worried too.
“Are you and Charlie all right, honey?” my mum asked.
“Oh, yeah,” I replied, slightly surprised by the concern in her tone. “He’s coming over later.”
She looked relieved at this.
After writing today’s diary entry (something that had become a habit after a week of boredom and a lack of things to do, I lay down and had a long nap. I awoke at sunset and spent the next hour or so thinking about Christopher. He was, of course, the one I’d missed the most while I’d been grounded. Somehow, seeing Charlie first had made me sadder. I had almost felt like I wouldn’t see Christopher, because I hadn’t seen him then.
I quietly wandered downstairs to occupy myself by making a sandwich. I was actually quite hungry. I hadn’t eaten anything since lunchtime, which had been about seven or eight hours ago.
I had just finished eating, when I heard the doorbell ring. I jumped out of my chair. I half-ran to the living room.
Before I got there though, Christopher’s voice was in my mind, telling me to wait upstairs for him. He chuckled as I skipped up the stairs to my bedroom. He sounded even more enchanting than usual because his voice was absolutely saturated with love and he sounded so totally elated.
I sat on my bed and waited, my heart pounding from excitement. I only had to wait a few moments before a silhouette appeared in my doorframe.
“Oh, Christopher!” I exclaimed, unexpected teas spilling down my cheeks.
He walked in looking breathtakingly dazzling. The glow around him seemed to dance, his hair looked as if it was shining and he actually spoke aloud as he turned on my bedroom light.
“Have you been hibernating?” he chuckled, his musical voice setting the world spinning.
I realised I couldn’t breathe properly as I choked out, “I think I missed spring too,” before falling backwards in a faint.
I woke to the sound of laughter, or maybe it was the laughter that woke me up - that lively sound could wake a whale in the depths of the ocean. Christopher was sitting next to me, waiting for me to wake up, and laughing. I started to laugh too, infected by his contagious delight. I sat up and stopped. He stopped too. He stared briefly into my eyes before leaning in to kiss me. Placing my arms upon his shoulders and then his own around my waist, he kissed me with a passion that hinted at a raging fire within.
‘Destiny,’ he murmured in my mind before gently breaking away to talk aloud. “My dove, you are my destiny.”
I slid my arms down to around his waist so I could lean back and talk too.
“I love you so much,” I told him. He smiled.