Living a lie- Chapter 1

2 years ago

When you reach the age of 16, you’re old enough to start having sex in the UK. And those that are lucky enough to have partners, usually start at that age. I’ve been in the middle of the crowd listening to guys talk about how they took their girlfriend’s virginity and how they were going to have sex again tonight. I’m a boy. I’ve wondered what it was like to have sex since I realized how nice it felt to touch my own penis. But I don’t see what the big deal is about having sex at such a young age. Surely it must be a special event that you have to be ready for. Are you ready at this age? I don’t think I am, but then again- I don’t have a girlfriend. I am kind of happy that way as well. The right girl just hasn’t come along yet.

Well that was how I felt until I walked into form one morning to see just a beautiful wave of ginger hair. I stared at it for a while until i felt a slap on my back.

“She’s hot isn’t she.” My best friend for years said. I looked at him. Matthew Smith- he just goes by Matt. He was a good-looking kid, but he had a way with ladies which kind of just repulsed them.

I shook my head and went to sit down next to the new girl. Matt smirked and sat in his usual seat behind me. The girl was beautiful. She had freckles just dotted around her cheeks, flooding over her nose. Her blue eyes were locked onto a notepad, in which she was frantically writing something down as though if she wrote any slower it would leave her mind and she would lose the thought. It was amazing. She stopped writing and looked up at me.

“You’re staring at me.” She said in a soft voice.  

“Sorry.” I said and looked away briefly, and then looked back. She laughed a little at that. It was a cute laugh. And I couldn’t help but think ‘is this the girl for me?’

She held out her ink covered hand.

“Lilly-Anne Jones” She smiled. I took her hand. It was a beautiful name.

“Nathan Shaw” I shook her hand. And that was how we met.  

1 year ago

Lilly-Anne had turned out to be an aspiring author and playwright. She’d sit for hours on end just writing. She’d write short plays which only involved two people and then come up to me.

“Here is your next script. Learn it by Saturday.” Every Saturday we filmed ourselves doing the plays she wrote, and then we posted it online. Each play got thousands of views. I looked through the script. Usually they were about two friends’ hanging out, or a married couple arguing. But as I read this one, I realized something that was new to me.

“Um, Lilly.” I said. “It says that my character kisses yours. Are we actually going to kiss?” I asked.

She sat down next to me. She’d done this a few times when I had concerns about scripts. She always managed to convince me that it was okay.

“Nathan. We’ve been close friends for a whole year now. would it really make you that uncomfortable to kiss me as part of a play?”  

“I guess not, but…” She sighed and just grabbed my face, kissing me. I think she meant to say ‘look we can kiss and it’s not awkward’ but this kiss…  

Neither of us wanted it to end. It was so nice. But guys can be dicks, especially Matt- whose response was:

“Ooh!” he smiled and clapped. I pulled away from the kiss. Lilly-Anne stared at me.

“Okay, we have to talk about that later.” She said and got up. She ran out of the classroom. And yes, talk about it later, we did. And we became boyfriend and girlfriend that night.  


Now we are in our last year of school. University was just around the corner and we both were looking forward to going away to do that. She was a drama and English student. I loved that about her. Me. I didn’t yet know what I wanted to study in university. I either wanted to do Math, Science or English. My mother always wanted me to be a doctor. Knowing my luck, I would probably have to follow her dream and go to medical school. Not that I minded. The human body always fascinated me. I loved biology.  

Matt sat next to me in the cafeteria.  

“So.” He said and looked at me, “You’re nearly at the one-year mark with her.” I knew where this was going. ‘How many times have you had sex?’ What was I supposed to say? I haven’t had sex.  

“Don’t ask me.” I said and sighed.

“Why shouldn’t I? You know everything that I’ve done.” He said. Matt was a serial bullshitter. He said he did one thing, but, he hadn’t.

“Yes. I know you’ve done absolutely nothing.” No if I am honest, I know that Matt had done something with a girl. It wasn’t sex though. He has yet to put his dick into a lady’s vagina.

Then again, he hadn’t been in a relationship for longer than a week. I’ve been in one for a year now.

“That’s not fair.” Matt said. I shook my head and stood up.

“Life’s not fair.”

And I walked out.

At 16 people start having sex. At 18 it is just a thing that not many people are virgins in school any more. Everyone just kind of sees it as no big deal to have sex. It makes me wonder why I can’t seem to do it. I’ve been with Lilly now for a year. She’s ready. I know that she is ready. I thought I was ready, but every time we get close- it just doesn’t happen.

Lilly jumped on my back, wrapping her arms around me.

“There is my handsome man.” She smiled. I smiled and shook my head.  

“Hey” I said happily. She kissed my cheek and got off me, taking my hand gently. Our hands came together like swans’ wings, folding around each other.

“So, I have to cancel filming for this weekend.” She said. I looked at her confused. She never cancelled. Why now?

“Why?” I asked rather abruptly. She looked at me like I’d just stabbed her. “I’m sorry.”

“My Dad is coming home.” Lilly-Anne’s father is in the army stationed in a different country. I could never remember which country, but he is rarely home.

“Have fun.” I smiled. She kissed my cheek and then rushed away.

So, I was free for the weekend. That meant that I was going to do what every teenage boy my age does. Go to a party. When I go to parties though, I don’t particularly fit in. I go with the intention of getting drunk and end up sat in the corner watching other people having fun. Even Matt knows how to have fun. I always end up with some sort of geek talking to me about some franchise that they like and a lot of the time I nod and pretend that I understand what they are talking about. The thing is though, because I am a nerd, I read a lot. And because I read a lot, I actually do understand what they are talking about.

Pool parties are the worst, because they want you to strip off into your swimming trunks. I have always felt awkward showing my body in public, especially when there are a lot of women around (which there always is) and a lot of masculine men.

Matt and I arrived at the party. His instant reaction was to strip off into his boxers, screaming like there was no tomorrow and to jump straight into the pool. He didn’t know it was going to be a pool party, so he didn’t have any trunks on his possession. Me, I knew the owner of the house owned a pool, and so I had some with me.

I changed slowly into the trunks and plonked myself at the edge of the pool with my feet in the rippling water. Plastic cups were gathering at the edge of the pool, near the filter, from where all the teenagers had just let them wash up. I took it upon myself to clean up. Piling the cups up inside of each other, and then forcing my way through the crowd to get to the bin. I had given up already. Pool parties were the worst.  

All I could think about was how much I wanted Lilly-Anne to be here right now. She always made parties more barrable for me to stand. Always.

So what if I don’t see the point in displaying my masculinity by removing all of my clothes and doing a front flip into a swimming pool? So what if I don’t see the point in chugging down large cups of beer to get drunk and have fun? There is nothing wrong with being comfortable just sitting with a cup of coke and staying away from the people who are going to try and peer pressure you into doing things which you don’t want to do.  

I made my way to the corner and sat down, waiting for the geeks to turn up and start talking to me. But they never came. This other boy came over instead and sat down next to me. I had never met him before. A lot of the people here I recognized from other people’s parties, but not him. He just stared at the crowd of people. I found it strange that he sat next to me. I think I spent most of my time staring at him rather than the people at the party. I was taking in all his features. His pale skin. His black hair and blue eyes. That was an interesting combination that I had not really seen before. He wore a light pink sweater and pale blue trousers. He looked calm.  

“Are you going to keep staring at me?” He asked. I looked away quickly. I hadn’t intended it to be that weird.  

“Sorry.” I said. But I couldn’t help but keep looking over. He was cute. Especially in that outfit. For some reason, he reminded me of myself. “I have never seen you at these parties before.”  

“I don’t usually come. My sister dragged me to this one.” I started to wonder who his sister was. There wasn’t anyone at this party who resembled him. But then again, I couldn’t say I would know who his sister was. I’m too much of a wallflower. “So, why aren’t you joining in?”

“The whole party malarkey is not really my forte” I said honestly. He looked at me curiously.

“So why are you here?”

“My girlfriend is busy, so my friend dragged me along. I don’t see the point in displaying my masculinity by ripping off my shirt and showing off drunk in a pool.”

“You’re one of those…” He mumbled. I don’t think he meant for me to hear him, but I did. He had a smile on his face. I had never seen a person smile like that around me. Not even Lilly.

“So, you have a girlfriend?” He asked.

“Yeah. She’s amazing.” He looked away and laughed a little, almost like he was mocking me, like he thought I was joking.  

“Yeah well. My names Tony.” He pulled out an old receipt from his pocket and a pen and started to write on it. “Call me or text me, or whatever.” He handed me it. He’d just given me his number. For some reason I put it straight into my phone. He shook his head and walked away, leaving me alone.

That is when the geeks rolled in. I couldn’t pay attention to them though, not like they wanted me to. They wanted me to answer all their questions about who my favourite characters in the series are and whose team I am on. I couldn’t pay attention to them right now. I was busy texting Tony.  

I returned after the party and my mother was not very pleased that I had gone out again. To be honest, I hadn’t told her that I was going out. She actually told me off- she never told me off. It’s a good job that I am not a misbehaved kid, otherwise she’d have probably taken my phone off me and at the moment I was getting text messages every five minutes from Tony, and Lilly had started to text me as well.

My mother isn’t the best at looking after people. She usually can’t even look after herself, so looking after me when I grew up was a challenge. Dad left us when I was in my early teens, my mother didn’t take it very well. It was like she had just stopped trying.

I cooked the meal and sat down opposite her at the table. She refused to look up at me.

“Are you not talking to me?” I asked.

“You scared me, Nath. I didn’t know where you were. You could have gotten hurt.”

“I know, I’m sorry.” I said. My phone was buzzing off the hook. She looked at it.

“Someone is popular. Is that Lilly?” She asked. I looked at my phone.

“Yeah. I have to go see her. Do you mind?” I asked. My mum thought for a moment but then shook her head. She knew how much Lilly-Anne meant to me. She was highly important to my life and she had helped my mother a lot as well.

Lilly was sat on her porch when I got to her house. She had red, puffy eyes and wet cheeks. She was doing what she did best, writing. She had out her notepad and was just scribbling away. Me, being me, ran to her side and wrapped my arms around her.

“What’s happening?” I asked her. Her eyes closed and she laid her head on my shoulder. I kissed her head and ran my hands through her soft, ginger hair.

“My Dad…” She mumbled. “He came back drunk. Started to hit my mum.” I didn’t know what to say about this. I haven’t heard stories like this. They have never been in this situation before. I think the stress of being away for so long has finally got to him.

“Do you want to stay at mine? I don’t think my mother will mind.”

She shook her head. She didn’t want to be a burden. I took her back inside and put her to bed. Her mother was okay, just a little shook up. Her father had passed out on the couch. He wasn’t an abusive man. I don’t think he’d do it again. He loves his family too much.

Once I put Lilly-Anne to bed, I went back to my mum, who had also fallen to sleep on the couch. Letting out a deep sigh, I picked my mother up. She was so light. Her frail body was almost too easy to lift up and carry to bed. She opened her eyes a little, they closed again when she realised that it was me putting her to bed. Lord knows if someone else was carrying her, she would have screamed.

“How is Lilly-Anne?” She asked as I tucked her into bed and pulled the fluffy blanket up over her.

“She’s alright. Her dad just got a little too rough.” I said.

“A man shouldn’t treat his family like that.”

“Mum. He’s not like that. He’s a nice man.” I told her. I knew she wouldn’t believe me though. My mother is that type of person. Two negatives only make a positive in Math. Not in real life.

I knew Lilly-Anne would be alright. She was messaging me the next morning to say how much better it is now that her Dad is sober. They were going to go out as a family- fishing. She’d asked if I wanted to go along but I said no. She deserves to spend some time with her family, plus the closest I want to be with a fish is when it is dead and I am dissecting it in Biology. I find fishing boring and disappointing anyway. I sit there waiting to get a bite. Everyone else gets one. They all catch massive fish. I sit for three hours waiting for a bite only to get one and it be the world’s smallest fish. It is very upsetting.

“So what are your plans today?” Lilly-Anne asked over the phone. I thought for a while. I honestly don’t know how to answer that question. What did I want to do today? Maybe Matt was free- nah he’d probably be hung over.

Then- I got a text. It came from Tony. ‘Hey, going to the park today. Wanna tag along?’

“I am going to the park with a new friend.” I told her. She didn’t respond for a while.

“Male or female?”

“Male.” I didn’t understand the questioning.

“Alright. Have fun.” She sounded jealous as she hung up the phone. Why would she be jealous that I was going to the park with a male? It didn’t make sense. I texted Tony to let him know that I would go to him and then told my mother. She seemed happy that I was going to the park with a male friend rather than to a party.

And so I went to the park. I under-dressed though. I had not expected it to be so cold. I was wearing a hoodie and jeans. I didn’t own a proper coat yet. It was mid autumn and it was sunny, but it was starting to get cold. The trees were looking naked as their leaves had turned yellow, red and brown and fallen from them. I feel bad for the trees. During the winter they don’t get a coat. But a tree with a coat on it is a silly idea.