Can you really love someone forever?





‘And you pray, pray, pray (oh)

That everything will be okay.’







Lucy couldn’t get it out of her mind. She phoned Haydn the next morning. ‘What’s this army thing you were on about the last night? What about university? What happened to that idea?’


He was embarrassed. ‘Well, like we said, nothing’s decided. We need to discuss it. That’s all. Don’t worry. Everything will be OK.’


When the met later he didn’t want to talk about it then either.


The fizzy, pink drink helped Lucy to be more understanding when the army thing came up again.

On Friday night. In the car park outside Safeway. It had become a regular thing.


It was Gopal who brought it up. ‘I saw the TV ad again. Get trained and get paid. Sounds good to me. My grandfather was in the army. Because he was a Sikh, I suppose. But he died before we came here.’


Haydn looked at Lucy. ‘Well, I’m not sure about university anymore. And the army’s better than working in a nursery or a warehouse. Getting up at silly hours. Walking to catch the bus. In the rain. Working all day with some wanker telling you what to do. And what not to do. And what you’re doing wrong. Not doing much right. Coming home in the dark. And earning the same as them who’re on the dole. Almost.’


‘Me, I’d prefer the dole.’ Kevin, it seemed, had made up his mind that looking for a job would be pointless. ‘And it’s sent to you. Your cheque arrives in the post. No need to get out of bed, even.’


As their final exams approached, they talked more and more about what would happen afterwards. When they had their results.


‘I still recon it’s the army. What else is there? Sweeping the streets. Serving in a pub? Shitty work and shittier hours. Assuming you get a job. And short of getting onto X-factor, and winning which is even harder, there’s nothing else around.’



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