Nora is 12 when she meets Edward Turner, a small boy who grows up to be a big star. Moving through their years together, will they be able to keep their relationship in tact when his career blows up, or will they have to put everything they have behind them?
We were twelve when we first met. Even then he was wandering around school with an old and battered guitar case, never more than a meter or so away from it unless it was forcibly removed from his grasp. We were in the same year; in fact he was only a month or so older than I was, but we never really crossed paths until he was moved into my games class in the middle of January. I still don’t understand how forcing a group of prepubescent teens to run about in shorts in freezing temperatures could ever be considered good for you, but there we go.
I was conscientiously objecting to playing football with the boys and regretting the decision when Eddy came to stand next to me. He had clearly forgotten his games kit – a last ditch effort, he informed me, to avoid heading outdoors altogether – and was wearing a t-shirt two sizes too big and a pair of jogging bottoms that looked like they had never seen the inside of a washing machine. He was rolling a guitar pick between his fingers, every now and then pausing to strum some invisible note.
“This is stupid.” He said casually, glancing at me from the corner of his eye. “Girls are terrible at football.”
“Is that why we’re winning?”
“Yeah, well we’re letting you win aren’t we? Being gentlemen like we were raised.”
“Of course.” I continued with my dutiful scowl, hating everything and everyone that bothered to talk to me. Except Eddy. I never hated Eddy.
“You shouldn’t scowl.” He was outwardly grinning now. “Give you wrinkles.” I knew he was showing off, refused to smile even a little as he headed out onto the pitch pulling a grotesque face. That was the moment Jack Franklin collided with him at full speed in an attempt at stopping the other team getting possession of the ball. My mask of misery slipped for just a second, but it was long enough for Eddy to pump his fist in the air triumphantly.
And that was how I met Edward Turner.