I watched the fireworks over the Thames as Big Ben finished tolling midnight on the first day of the New Year. I huddled closer to Ron, my thick coat not quite enough protection against the chill air of the winter night. Ron's eyes were on the bursting colours in the sky but he pulled me closer towards him, one arm around my back.
When the magnificent display ended, he pulled me into a tight hug, almost as though I were an adored younger sibling.
"Happy New Year!" he said, his tone full of joy.
"Happy New Year, Ron," I replied, shivering a little, even in Ron's embrace.
He let go of me and pulled me over to his mother, who seemed to be chatting sentimentally with his father.
Mr Wer noticed us and smiled.
"Happy New Year," he said.
"Happy New Year," Ron and I chorused.
Mrs Wer gave us each a big hug.
Happy New Year, dears," she said, addressing me as if I were Ron's sister.
"Thank you very much for bringing me with you to London," I said, more grateful than I could express in words, or in fact confess to Ron's parents.
"Oh, nonsense," Mrs Wer said. "You're Ron's best friend. Who else were we going to invite?"
Ron smiled too.
In fact, everyone smiled and continued to do so as we moved with the crowds away from the river and returned to Ron's house.
There, I phoned my mother to wish her a Happy New Year and tell her about the musicians we had seen perform.
I spent the rest of the night in the Wer's guest bedroom, though I could hardly sleep after such an energetic evening.
‘New Year,' I contemplated, as the buzz finally faded and I started to calm down. ‘A time of change, a chance for a fresh start.'
I glanced, smiling, at the hand on top of the duvet on which my chastity ring was. Not everything had to change. I could still be the same person, hold the same values and have the same hopes and dreams as before.
I was starting to drop off. Images of Ron entered my mind: half memory and half daydream.
‘What's your New Year's Resolution going to be, Harmony?' a voice in my head inquired.
‘To tell Ron I love him,' I answered it. ‘To confess that I love him and that I wish he could be the man of my dreams.'
‘The man of your dreams,' the voice echoed, and with that, I fell asleep.