I’d seen Matt ride it to school. Secretly, I’d thought it was really cool, but had said out loud to my friends, “Talk about showing off!” Nearly every other girl in the school fancied the pants off him and even more so since he’d got the bike, but I just knew there was no point since he’d have to dump every perfect girl in the school before he chose me, if he could even be bothered after that. I thought it was best just to stick to fancying the boys that were more realistic for me, which still meant there was no point me fancying anyone. So that was that. It didn't mean I didn’t like boys (far from it!) but you just have to be realistic sometimes, otherwise you just end up embarrassing yourself; trust me, I’ve had experience of that!
He slung his right leg around the bike and shoved on his helmet. I stood there like a lemon, thinking, ‘should I get on or wait here?!’
“Here, take this.” He said, handing me another helmet. I gingerly put it on and my head nearly teetered off. I might as well have shoved a house onto my head. I paused, still not knowing what to do.
He turned to face me. “Well jump on then.”
Annoyingly I couldn't see his face anymore but I was still able to detect the playfulness in his voice. Feeling another lurch of excitement in my chest, I clambered clumsily onto the bike behind him. I jostled around to get comfortable then nearly jumped out of my skin when the loud roar of the engine pierced through the eery darkness. I shivered violently as I felt another icy chill coursing through me. As we roared away, I remembered thinking, ‘Forget about being cold; who cares when this is happening!’
He lay there on his back with the limp duvet cover scrunched at the end of his bed. It was such a humid night and he wasn't possibly going to get to sleep before 3am. Sighing, he turned his wiry frame round onto his side, and for the third time that night, plumped up his sad excuse for a pillow. He thumped his head back onto it with frustration.
He lay there, still. ‘I wonder what she’s doing right now,' he thought, as silence began to reign in the musty room once more. He let a smile creep onto his tired face. He could picture her small frame curled up asleep into a tight ball, looking pretty as ever, her auburn hair contrasting sharply with the white stark linen, which was lying lazily across the pillow. Or perhaps she couldn't get to asleep either. He imagined nestling up next to her warm body and putting his right arm around her slim waist, to help her sleep. His muscles relaxed, as he breathed in her soft scent, which gently radiated off her translucent pale skin, exposed over the top of the blanket. He began stroking her hair, running his fingers through the soft strands and down her silken neck. H let his imagination wander on to things which perhaps it shouldn't have, but he couldn't help it. His mind was soon arush with confusing emotions and that persistent knot which seemed to burn within his stomach, churned and tightened.
Oh how he wished she knew! How long it'd been; how restless he was getting; how badly he wanted to be close to her and get to know her more. To see her eyes smile when her laughter filled the air and her delicate hands coursing through her hair. A pang of sadness pulled him down like gravity to an anchor, dragging it to its seabed depths. Deep down, he knew letting her in meant she would have to know everything. It would be impossible to keep from her, yet he didn't even want to. He couldn't bear to think how she would react. But telling her that meant she would ultimately have to know what he'd been shrouding all his life. He didn't like to think of it as a "dark secret" because then he felt a master of deceit and betrayal. No, but it wasn't like that. He didn't have the choice to tell. To think of the consequences, filled him with a sick nausea. But she was different; this had to be done.
A memory flooded in. That time he thought they'd found out. The questions, the implications; he was overwhelmed, sure they knew everything. That surge of petrified bewilderment -how did they know!? It was a strong feeling he wouldn't ever forget. But then, those saving words which ceased his outward shaking in a second...
"No, we're not talking about you...you know, Sean! Do you think he's... " It wasn't him they were talking about. The relief was insurmountable.
The flashback faded as he turned restlessly over again, eventually drifting off into an unsatisfactory sleep, his thoughts still lingering on her. Inevitablilty assured him that it was going to have to happen sooner rather than later.