Home » A second life in pictures » Where there is despair, hope.

Where there is despair, hope.

When I woke up, I was still in Valene’s den, in Nathaniel’s arms. I never slept with a boy before. I vaguely remembered him telling me he forgot to breathe when he was asleep, but I didn’t wake up to find out. He was already awake when I came to.

I am not sure what it is about him. Possibly it’s that our friendship built up in Jasper Cove and I found him to be trustworthy; possibly it’s that a man of his age (meaning his era, not his physical age) knows a little more about literature, letters, folklore and history than most of the people I have met since this whole thing started. I have to find a word for this chapter in my life. I’m tired of “this whole thing started,” but I’m never thinking about it at a time when I feel able to come up with anything witty.

It’s not like I have no experience with boys at all. Men, I guess; I’m old enough to say ‘men’ now. I’ve been kissed by a few guys, even had a few drunken fumbles where somebody’s put his hand on my this or that, some of which I even enjoyed. I’ve felt like going farther, felt like getting more intimate — and of course my fantasy life is, well. Very active. I read a lot. I know how stuff is meant to go, what goes where, all the mechanical stuff.

But something about lying on a pallet with Nathaniel, with us just talking about whatever came into our heads, just a comfortable conversation in which I happened to be wearing my pyjamas (I just woke up in them, I swear!), and also lying down, in a cave full of glowing mushrooms, I don’t know. He touched my hair. He touched my ears. He touched my neck. That’s all that happened. And we talked about being children and about experiences we’ve had. I had to keep changing the subject to keep my brain occupied with something besides the way just one finger on my ear made me feel. He’s a vampire: they have all these senses I don’t know about. He must have known. Maybe they have some way to sense a quickening heartbeat, some heightened sense of smell — does a girl getting all, I don’t know, randy, have a smell? It must do. I never wanted to leave. I just wanted to be touched, and touched, and touched. Is it OK if I just want to touched and touched and touched and touched until I can’t stand to be touched any more? When did I start needing to be touched like that? It feels like I started needing that the minute he touched me, but that’s romanticisation, beneath me, not clear thinking.

I was so hungry, but I didn’t say anything because we were there, talking and touching. I don’t know how to touch him the way he touches me, so I do what he does and hope it’s all right. That works with little kids and university administrators; maybe it works with boys, men, too.

We finally left the den when my stomach started growling so loudly it was becoming a third party in our conversation.

I seem to remember something about vampires being addictive, somehow. In my 2013 they are so popular; everybody wants to be a vampire or be bitten by a vampire or something. I never was into all of that stuff, but is it true? Is it true that if we touch enough I’ll become addicted to him? He told me about people who drink vampire’s blood becoming ghouls, and I don’t think I’d like that very much. But what if you can become, I don’t know, dependent on a person’s touch?

What a stupid question to ask, when we’ve only touched a few times. But if I’m by myself, and I close my eyes, I feel his fingers in my hair, on my ear, on my back, on my neck. I close my eyes a lot.

Fuck, I’d die if he saw any of this. I need to see if I can make things invisible. If he ever were in my hut and found this notebook, fuck.

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