Following our return to Síosa Palace, I awoke from the nap I had taken almost as soon as I got into my room, and headed straight down to Ellie’s – I have known her as Ellie since we were kids, so I’m not about to start calling her a name I’ve never known her by, just because everyone else does – to wake her and see if she wanted some late lunch.
‘Ellie, I’m heading down to have some late lunch, are you hungry?’ I asked, knocking on the door. When there was no reply after a minute or so, I gently turned the handle and went inside.
Closing the door behind me as quietly as I could, I turned to the bed and saw Ellie asleep on top of the covers with her hands tucked beneath her head and her legs stretched out towards the end of the bed. Walking across the room to Ellie’s bed and sitting on the edge, I smiled gently as I gazed affectionately upon her face as she slept.
She was as beautiful asleep, as she was awake. This is what I have thought ever since I was twelve years old – sure I’ve known her since we were barely a year old, but I didn’t even know the meaning of the word “beautiful” until I was about eight and asked Mum after hearing my aunt use the word to describe a field of flowers we were passing on a day out.
Her exact words were:
“Beautiful, means anything you want it to honey but generally, it’s a way of describing something appealing to the eye – or the way someone might be within as well as out.”
I didn’t fully understand her words until Ellie found me in the crowd of new students on the first day of high school only a few days after my twelfth birthday. For the first time in the years that I’d known her, I noticed how long her eyelashes were…the everlasting sparkles in her eyes, and the shape of her lips, but over the next few days I realised it wasn’t just her looks that made her beautiful to me. It was the way she talked about the things she loved like books and wolves, and the way she’d tuck the one strand of hair that always seemed to fly free behind her ear, her caring personality and smile, and the fact that she always came to the aid of those being bullied or in peril without giving a thought to her own safety or wanting anything in return.
The list grew over the following weeks and I soon realised that I had developed a crush on my best friend. Though I loved her I knew I wasn’t quite in love with her at the time because I didn’t have the so-called “symptoms” (not being able to think of anyone or anything but her, trouble eating and sleeping etc.) – that is, until Ellie and her parents left less than halfway through the school year and moved to Ipswich.
After that, she was all I could think about. Even when I was studying or with my friends from basketball club. I had trouble sleeping most days, and I ate half the amount of food I did before she left. It was then that I knew I was properly in love with her, and I was only twelve and a few months but then, I guess you never know when love will hit you with all it has. Ellie and I already professed our love for each other back in Ipswich, but she thinks I love her like a sister. I still haven’t told Ellie that I love her romantically, and don’t know if I ever will. I know she only loves me as a close friend, or an older brother…
Ellie’s voice pulled me back into the room, and I smiled fondly at her as she blinked up at me, rubbing sleepily at her eyes, ‘hey, I just came to check whether you wanted some late lunch.’
She stretched her arms toward the ceiling and smiled back at me, ‘I could eat.’
‘All right then, come on’ I replied, waiting over by the door while she slipped off the bed and pulled a comb quickly through her hair, and then the two of us headed downstairs for our late lunch.
Later, after we’d had soup and buttered bread kindly prepared for us by the surprisingly young palace cook with Jaron and Kenton, whom we had bumped into on the way down, I was heading back to my room when I heard someone call me and turned around to see Kenton jogging towards me.
‘Hey man, can I ask you a question while we walk?’ he asked, falling into step beside me.
‘Sure’ I replied, wondering what Kenton had to ask me.
‘What’s your relationship with Oraelia?’ he asked out-right, glancing sideways at me.
I glanced back at him in surprise. ‘Well, we’ve been best friends since we were children and are very close – why do you ask?’
‘Just wondering’ he answered, breaking eye-contact and looking away from me as we stepped out of the way of some maids, but not before I saw the look in his eyes. Hope, embarrassment, and even a hint of triumph.
‘Harry! Wait up!’
Ellie’s voice echoed around the hallway, and I whirled around to see her sprinting towards me. I stopped and waited for her to catch up to me, and wasn’t surprised that she wasn’t out of breath since I knew she was part elf.
‘What is it, Ellie?’ I asked as Kenton realised I had disappeared from his side, and came over to join us.
‘We need to get some training in before the sun sets’ she replied.
‘You mean archery training?’
She shook her head, a sly smile spreading across her face. ‘Nope. Horse riding lessons.’
I gulped. By horse riding lessons, I knew Ellie meant teaching me how to ride on my own – and I hadn’t done that since year four of primary school.
‘Come on.’ Grabbing me by the wrist, she pulled me in the direction of the doors of the palace and the stables.
‘See you later, Kenton’ I called over my shoulder as I let Ellie pull me outside, and into the fading daylight.
Hello lovelies, what did you think of this first chapter of Harry’s? Let me know in the comment section below – and don’t forget to like and/or share it if you enjoyed it :).
You have wings. Believe in them and yourself, and you will fly.