Edward Romain
Extract from Fames

To desire, is to know true joy. To satiate that desire is but a fleeting pleasure, a small beam of light amidst a turbid and angry sky. The sky of desire is one of endless brightness. Yet, it is like the brightness of the sky above the clouds. However blue and wondrous, however heavenly and magnificent it may appear, it is all but an illusion. For behind the sky what is there but the black vacuum of space? Where there is only emptiness and painful silence, where not even the sweetest sounds may be heard.

1 – The End

Harry awoke in a cold sweat. It was the last day of term. However, not only was it the last day of term, but it was also the last ever day he would wake up in his rather squeaky boarding school bed.
It had been a most tiring last few weeks. The school had insisted on saying good bye multiple times to its Upper Sixth leavers.

Harry had been attending his school, Tonbright College for fifteen years. It was a long time, by any ones standards, and some how, Harry found it difficult to vocalise the feelings that tore apart his very essence. He could remember nothing really before Tonbright. All he had done, all he had worked for had been within those hallowed walls.
And yet, at the same time, his soul longed to be emancipated. He felt he was being shackled, that his potential had somehow not yet fully been tapped into, and was longing for the chains to be cut and allow his brilliance to be shown to the world, to realise the wonder that he was.

Harry ran his hands through his dark hair as he sat on the side of his bed. “So this is it” he thought to himself as he paced to his small window which overlooked the central quad of the College.
The quad was empty, and Harry took a moment to take a mental picture, to remember it as it was then, where only the sound of silence could be heard.

As Harry wove his tie in front of his window, a slim gold haired figure, almost ethereal seemed to be floating across the quad. To Harry, it was as though this figure had an aura of celestial light around it.
His name was in fact Guy, a boy two years Harry’s junior. He was not even in the same house as him. Harry’s heart jumped as Guy turned his head and glanced up at his window, flicking his angelic golden hair back.
Admittedly it is a cliché, but it was as though time stood still. Guys ice blue eyes met Harry’s deep brown sad eyes, and it was as though his very heart was being looked into.
Harry wanted to run down, to embrace him, to take him away. In a moment however, Guy was gone. And in a few hours, Harry thought, so will I.

To Harry, Guy would always symbolise something enormously important. Years later, Harry would reflect upon his feelings for Guy, and would come to the conclusion that he did love him. Yet, he could never really understand what there was to love about the boy, and a boy he would always be in Harry’s mind, even years later, when he knew he would be an old man. Guy was a blank slate, he was nothing on his own without Harry, and it was perhaps this that Harry had so adored. Guy had been a malleable object for Harry to shape, to mould, to create. The power had been intoxicating for Harry. He felt he had forged, indeed, even begot him. The power had been the most erotic experience of Harry’s life, and something he never truly forgot. Yet it made him hungry, he desired more, and Guy was the poison that would ultimately set Harry on a course he would follow for his whole life.

But, as he stood in the Chapel as the whole school roared out “Jerusalem”, Harry was not aware of where his life would lead him. He was not yet aware of the immense journey he was about to take. His eyes roamed around the vast chapel, the prize of the school. He sang in the choir, and thus, stood in the choir pews, “away from the hoy paloy” he always said. His eyes focussed on a row of fourth formers. The row of small boys strained as they tried to sing several octaves below their natural range, in a sterling effort not to be thought effete or undeveloped. He smiled remembering how he had once tried to do the same thing. “It is a sad thing” he thought, that one only realises the beauty of youth too late”.

As Harry stepped out of the Chapel doors he saw how the teachers had lined up, as was custom and formed a sort of tunnel through which the Upper Sixth leavers would be applauded as they walked through. Harry was the first out and as he blinked the sun away, placing his top hat on to his head, the teachers broke into a round of applause. Harry smiled, but had not quite prepared himself for how emotional this moment would be, and indeed how long it would stay with him. And this memory would be with him more or less to the end of his days.

And as he walked through that tunnel of wisdom, each of whom had in their own way helped to mould and shape Harry himself he saw Guy appear at the end of the tunnel, the sun shining in his hair, making him appear more angelic then usual.
As Harry approached Guy, the boy extended his hand. Harry looked down at it, smiled and took it, holding it tightly.
“I thought there was supposed to be light at the end of the tunnel.” Harry said raising his eyebrows.
“You always told me I was” Guy responded with a sneer on his face that Harry himself had cultivated. And so the pupil turns on his teacher Harry thought. “Oh well” Harry said with a smirk, “I wouldn’t believe anything I say…I rarely do”

And with that, as much as it felt that his hands had been sewn on to Guy’s tweed jacket Harry pulled his hand away and turned his back upon Guy. And with a deep breath (one of those deep breaths that quiver) Harry walked away down towards the arch of Tonbright, behind which lay a whole world. Harry didn’t truly think he was ready for the world…and in all fairness the world certainly wasn’t ready for Harry!