Sneaking around my parents became very easy for me, after a few weeks they stopped questioning why all of a sudden I was going to Bath so frequently. I do have a moral compass, and the slight altered truth I disclosed to my parents about my weekend Bath expeditions did make me feel guilty. But what was I supposed to do? They would never approve! Maybe I haven’t given them a chance to approve, but I am young. I don’t want my parents to feel disappointed in me for not being like them or following their way of life. Not that I don’t respect it, everyone is entitled to live their life how they want, but my modern life living is something that would never sit well with my parents, I just know it; and so for now I keep them very much in the dark.
Two of my school friends were staying with me in Oxford during the A2 revision period. On the Monday I had told my parents that we were all going to the library, but I sneakily went to spend the day in Bath. On the bus journey back to Charlie’s house I spent the whole ride defending my title of eye-spy champion, which he still won’t admit (how can I not be champion with winners like ‘reflection’?). We arrived at his and went straight to his room. He had offered me his favourite ice-cream (white chocolate Magnum) and just like that scene in the Notebook, and every other romantic scene involving ice-cream, I purposefully/flirtatiously ‘smooshed’ some on his face. And he laughed, like really laughed.
Charlie has this thing that he can consciously separate laughing. He has his real laugh and the laugh he does at things he thinks he should laugh at, out of common courtesy or because of social expectations. And in this moment being one of my favourite ever memories, I finally got a real laugh out of him; which is really hard by the way.
After cleaning up, we sat up and with a blank face Charlie blurted out “Aria, I love you”. Now I knew it was coming, but I was not expecting it now, especially only after two weeks when I told him I thought I was falling in love. I didn’t know if my thinking was over and so I just stared at him, and it was silent for a few lifetimes. Although I relish in awkward moments, this really wasn’t one that I wanted to drag out, so after about a minute and a half I asked, “how do you know?”. And in brief his reply consisted of a conversation he had had with one of his boys, you know the one that I got with but didn’t really get with way back when, we’ll call him Mark. Charlie had told Mark that he might be in love with me, and being stoned they had discussed all the aspects of love and what it really meant, and it was then he reached the conclusion that he was in it. So the fact he had actually said it a loud to another person destroyed any premise I had to disprove the love claim. Knowing myself, I knew that as soon as those three words came out of my mouth it was basically game over. Those words essentially gave the command for my heart to remove its armour. It took away my army, my defensive mechanism, my protection; it left me truly vulnerable, and that wasn’t a state I had ever been in before. But seeing the desperation in his eyes, and the fact that he had just removed his armour for me, I swallowed my pride and said, “yeah, I love you too”. And it felt good, in all honesty I spent the whole journey home wondering if I actually meant what I said or if I had said it because of the pressure of the moment; and although it took me a little while to warm up to those words, in time I meant them a 100 million billion percent and I guess that’s all that matters.