Fiction. From the Diary of Richard Sharp, Love-Struck Etonian


December 22, 2012: Fuck physics, fuck Cambridge, fuck everything. If you could’ve only seen her, Stevie! Glowing there among the coloured bulbs and the quaint ornaments of the Christmas tree. It was at the Trents’ Christmas party. Mrs Trent invited some of the Eton boys as usual — only the party wasn’t boring as usual. After dinner, we all ended up by the fireplace somehow, and there she was — pondering over the embers in her armchair. I can’t explain it really, but I felt myself positively drawn to her, compelled to her. And feeling rather bolder than usual — never have I felt so bold — I came to her. There was the foamy-pink champagne and the dim light; our impressions of J. Austen (whom she adores), and those looking slyly at us, wondering what power I was exercising upon her — and whether this was the beginning of some long-drawn intimacy…  I think I might’ve even grabbed her arm at a point, which I daresay she liked… She blushed, at least… I haven’t even told you her name yet!! It’s Isabel.

December 23: I know I sound absurd, Stevie, ranting on like this, especially when I should be preparing for the Lent Half, but I have this tremendous desire to have her, to run my fingers along her arms, and lay my lips against their delicious contours, against their exquisite ruddiness. To have her eyes — big and wide, like those of a doe — absorbed in mine, glowing with their auburn warmth. To whisper softly in her ear charming, giggly things, and see her turn smilingly — with such tempting lips! — on, say, a field of fragrant, breezy grasses? — or, in, say, one of those romantic Viking longboats with the fur wrapped round us, + all the glacial sublimity one could wish for…

December 24, 2:40 a.m.: I’ve just had the most brilliant idea. Tomorrow night, Isabel’s parents are having a little get-together for Christmas Eve. I’ll stop by the house; woo the mother with a bottle of wine; tell her it’s for the fam; give Daddy a firm hand; find Isabel; lure her into the shadiest corner available; make the most sensual love to her all night long…Or, at least, until all the guests go home… This is no Jane Austen novel, Stevie.

December 24, 4:22 a.m.: Can’t sleep, so excited. Thought of the most perfect simile to describe Isabel: she’s like a treasure-box of dark matter.

December 24, 6:30 p.m. : Here I go… I do look rather smart, I must say.

December 24, 11:57 p.m. : O, Stevie… I wooed Mummy and Daddy, but Isabel positively wouldn’t have me!! She spent the entire night dancing to obscene music, with a vodka bottle in one hand and her cell phone in the other, ignoring me totally…! I was trying to explain thermodynamics to her — maneuvering her away from the others — but she couldn’t stop laughing for some reason…Why, Stevie? Of course, I know exactly what it’s all about. It’s me… She thinks me an amusing antique, something to look at, to toy with, to abandon altogether. I know I’m not the suavest of bachelors, but am I so totally and completely out of it?

December 25, 8:25 a.m.: Miserable morning. Everyone’s playing Christmas poker in the common room, while I’m stuck in my room pining over Isabel like a nutcase.

December 30: I can’t believe it. I just found out Isabel’s dating one of the One Direction boys. Fuck those fuckfaces, I’m going to Cambridge.