May 9th, 1989
At Carl’s parents’, Surrey
Spent most of the day in the garden with Carl. Every time the phone rang, we stopped talking and waited, half expecting his mum to come out and tell us which one of us BA was looking for. His mum popped down to the shops after lunch and because it was so warm, we laid out our towels on the grass. It got really warm and after a while, I felt my eyes closing.
Quietly, Carl said, “I’ll wake you if BA ring.”
“No, that’s alright,” I said, opening my eyes, feeling slightly embarrassed that he’d caught me about to doze off. “I’m just a bit full from lunch.”
“My mum’s not used to feeding just two people.”
“I can tell she’s used to feeding all you boys. I should probably ring my mum later, if that’s ok.”
“Of course it is. You looking to see if Ben’s been in touch?”
I felt my face redden. “How did you know that?”
“You’ve mentioned him a few times today so you must be missing him.”
“Sorry, was I going on a bit?” I asked.
“No, not at all. He’s your boyfriend, you should miss him.”
“I really do. Feels like he’s been gone for months instead of weeks.”
“Will you go and see him in Spain?”
“It all depends on work and if I can get leave.”
“Might not be able to with us being so new.”
“That’s what I’m worried about.”
“How long have you two known each other?” he asked.
“About six years. We met when I was sixteen and he was seventeen.”
“I didn’t know you’d been together that long.”
“We haven’t. We split up for a while and went our separate ways.”
“Is that when you went out with, what’s that guy’s name who dropped you off while we were in training?”
“What’s the deal with him?” he asked.
“He isn’t seeing anyone, or if he is, he hasn’t mentioned it.”
Carl laughed. “I meant with you and him.”
“Oh, nothing. We’re just friends now, he helped me to find my car.”
“Sounds like a nice bloke.”
“He’s one of the best.”
“Would you say the same about Ben?”
I laughed. “No, I would not.”
“Why not?” he asked.
“Carl, you’re killing me.”
He propped himself up on his elbows and I looked up at him. “Ben and I have a very, what can I say? Intense. We have a very intense bond and a very passionate relationship.”
“Not just in that way” I said, waving my hand at him. “But sometimes I feel he brings out a side of me that I don’t like.”
I rolled onto my side and propped myself up on my elbow, facing him.
“Go on,” he urged, looking at me.
“It’s difficult to explain. All I know is that I don’t like that side of me and I’d like to change it.”
Carl laid his head on his hands and I heard him utter, “Hmmm.”
“What?” I asked.
“Maybe it’s your boyfriend you need to change.”