Chapter 4

Happiest Girl in the World

Let me show you a picture, of before it all went wrong.

Frozen in time, they laze on a park bench beneath the watery sunlight. The girl has her feet up, her blonde hair spread over the boy's denimn jeans. Her white slip-ons lounge in the grass. A loud, proud, purple flower sits behind her ear as she gazes up at the gorgeous boy, bewitched by his ungodly green eyes- eyes that can eat a girl alive. Gently, the boy's left forefinger draws a line along the girl's jaw, his right hand fiddling with his girl's pale-yellow curls(she burnt her neck faffing with the straightners, but at least she looks pretty for him). His eyes feast on her, as though she is the most precious thing he could ever see, hear, touch, or have.

The wildflower in the girl's hair is a present from him, snapped from the stem as they walked along, hand in hand. She's not his first girlfriend, though he's the first to look at her. How many other flowers had he picked for girls? Will he pick more? the girl wondered. After all, she was never gorgeous, though she certainly felt better having lost all that weight. He could do better, and she knows it. But he doesn't want better, she tells herself, he wants me. He tells her all the time: "I love you", "I'd die without you", "I want to marry you", "I know we've only been together a few weeks, but..." Every word is a cannonball.

For her part, the girl adores him with all her heart, all her mind, all her soul. It can only be real love, she thinks. She's had crushes(she's a teenage girl), but nothing like this. How else could the boy invade her dreams? How else could his smile, with its sharp, white teeth, send her almost insane with happiness? Who else would listen to her dumb daydreams? Who else would look at her like that? It can only be real love.

Above them clouds are gathering, but neither notices. Neither hears the footballers swearing a few metres away. Neither speaks. It's the one photo I should have torn up... but I couldn't. Their faces, you see. Their eyes shine with month-old love. Forever-and-ever love. Never-ever-again love. In that sweet, tender, petrified moment, Boy and Girl think they'll love forever and ever... and ever.