The Letters of Aus & B by Matthew Turner

January 7th

From a chair in the home away from home

Dear B,

As I’m currently waiting for Joey to show up at The Pub, I thought I’d do what I always do in such situations, and write you a letter. I don’t care that it’s only been four hours since I last saw you, or that’ll I’ll sleep by your side tonight. In fact, by the time this letter reaches you, we’ll have kissed, had sex, and no doubt seen each other dozens of times.
The Letters of Aus & B
The Letters of Aus & B by Matthew Turner
An email may get to you quicker, and I could always call you, of course, but we both know that isn’t the point. After all, if we’re not careful, pens and paper may vanish out of existence, and then what would we do? Would I have to learn what the meaning of LOL is, or OMFG? (Don’t judge, I overheard a girl use it on the train earlier. I’m not sure, but I imagine it means Old Men Favour Grandmas). Things like this are happening more and more  - the moment on the train, I mean, not old men favouring grandmas  - as I’m forever surrounded by people trying to add to an already complicated English language. Don’t they understand it’s already insane without them adding abbreviations and slang terms alike? Imagine you are Chinese for a moment, and attempting to fathom this language we take for granted. Try explaining how I once wound the bandage around my wound, or when I saw the tear in my jumper I shed a tear. I’ve read hundreds of books written in the English language, but cannot explain how it works. Yet teenage girls with orange skin and drawn-on eyebrows deem it necessary to create new words? Speaking of which, please never turn into a walking-talking mess of orange paint. As I walked from the station this morning, a girl passed me who must have woken up at three o’clock to construct her face. I quite like the fact I can see yours for what it is, and know that when I kiss your neck I won’t ingest a tube of cream… or paste… or is it powder? Sorry, after all these years watching you get ready, I should know what makeup is made of, shouldn’t I? Anyway, the point is I love you and think you’re rather pretty. In fact, if you do decide to transform into an orange transsexual one day, I sense I’ll still love you. I may stop kissing your neck, though. Right, I suppose I should wrap up this letter, seen as Joey has just arrived. It’s a shame you’re not here in fact, for he wears that red tie you hate. You’re right, too. It does make him make him look like a member of the Labour Party. And so, as Joey showers me with indecent hand gestures from across the bar, I’ll say goodbye. I’ll be sure to give you an extra special kiss tonight, but refuse to tell you why. Try create mystery like that with an email. The boy you love, Ausdylan Elvis Ashford x January 10th From the counter at work, with a stack of jeans to my left Dear Aus, Your swooning kiss from the other night now makes sense. You old romantic, you. I knew I kept you around for a reason. I write this from the counter at work, mere minutes after reading your latest offering. Now, the question is, do I write so soon because I love your letter, or is it because no one is in The Shop and this morning is dragging like no other? I will let you be the judge, mister. And don’t worry, I have no plans to become an orange orang-utan, but I expect you to continue kissing me no matter how ugly, old, and wrinkled I become. You know all too well the effect your lips have on my neck. Don’t deprive me of one of your most specific skill-sets, sweetie. Speaking of which, I did something rather terrible this morning, and peeked inside your notebook. Your latest drawing — the one of the old man — is wonderful. And I know, you’re not finished yet, but I don’t care. It’s great, and seen as you won’t allow me to praise you in person, I’m left with no choice but to do it in writing. I do have one question, however. Who is the old man, and is old man-gazing your new hobby? Should I worry? I suppose that’s three questions, but I would like to know what I’m getting myself into. Anyway, on the train this morning I saw a young guy who reminded me of you. He must have been fourteen-years-old or so, his face buried in his notebook as his hair flopped over his eyes. I couldn’t see what he was drawing, but he didn’t look up the entire journey. For a full thirty minutes he remained fixated on the page, doodling and swooshing away. It reminded me of us at that age, lounging around the park with nothing to do. You used to sit there for hours and draw, lost in your own little world. That was the summer I sensed we might become more than friends. I imagined you drawing me, staring at me but not; your eyes locked on my body, but in a way that looked through me… beyond me. That young guy had the same intensity about him this morning, and one day he’ll drive a girl wild with his mysterious ways. You aloof types really are dangerous, do you know that? Right, I suppose I should finish up, because this stack of jeans won’t un-stack itself. I will see you in a few hours though, and when I do I’ll lick your cheek and not tell you why. Two can play this mysterious game, mister. The girl you love, B x January 15th On the train after a wet and windy walk from work Dear B, I’m sorry if this letter reaches you in a somewhat tatty and hopeless state, but as I write it, I’m wet, cold, and beaten from head to toe. Oh yes, my walk from work to the train station may only be five minutes, but in weather like this, it matters not. Winter is most certainly here, and it’s left me battered and bruised. I may sound rather wimpish right now, but you know how I hate the wind and rain, and it doesn’t help that I sit next to a man twice my size. His arms and legs overspill his own chair, and mush into my sodden clothes. I feel everything: I feel my skin, and it’s soggy; I feel my hair smushed into my forehead, and it’s heavy; I feel the icy chill among my bones, and it aches. I only hope you missed this downpour, although can you call it a downpour when it seems to last for three days? I swear this weather is breaking my will, and I must apologise because this is no doubt the second time you’ve heard my woes. I imagine the first thing I’ll do when I see you in a few hours is whine and moan and groan about this damn weather. Anyway, other than this disgusting Yorkshire sky, I’ve had a rather good day. As I arrived this morning, a magazine awaited me on my desk. Inside was the advert I designed a couple of months ago, which means I’m now a published artist… kind of… in a way… okay, maybe not. But again, you already know this, because said magazine is in my bag, and I’m showing it to you the moment I see you. I know this shouldn’t be a big moment, and if you tell Joey I’ll deny everything, but I feel a sense of achievement right now. I still don’t know how I feel about this job, and I haven’t quite come to terms with the title, Graphic Designer  -  after all, it doesn’t have the same romantic twist as writer, poet, painter, or starving artist  -  but still, a job is a job, and seeing my design in that trade magazine I hadn’t heard of until a few weeks ago, placed a smile on my face this morning. It’s a shame the rain had to wash it away. I suppose this is when I should wrap things up, because the page is rather soggy and about to fall apart. Anymore drips from my hair will make this unreadable, which would be a shame indeed as I know you love to listen to me whine and moan and groan. I love you, my sweet, and I’ll tell you so as soon as I see you  -  two hours and counting. Here’s to an evening of music and lounging with the one I love, for the rain shan’t dampen that. I just hope you have a towel waiting for your soggy man. From the boy you love, Ausdylan Elvis Ashford x January 18th In bed, not with you Dear Aus, As I told you the other night, I’m proud of you. You may say it’s no big deal to get your work in a magazine, but I cry big deal in abundance  - even if it is in a trade magazine neither of us had heard of until recently. I love you. I’m proud of you. I’ll always listen to you whimper and moan about the weather, even if on the inside I sigh and snigger. Anyway, I’m alone in bed right now, which is rather sad, wouldn’t you say? After all, isn’t this why I keep you around? So you can keep me warm and snuggle up to my naked body on cold nights like this one. Yes, that’s right, I’m seducing you with mental images of my naked body whilst you no doubt read this on the train. In fact, maybe I’ll run my hand up my thigh  - slowly  - and edge inward a little  - slowly  - and work my index finger up my tummy… up-and-up… until I caress… my… hmmmm, maybe I should stop. I mean, it would be cruel to keep going, yes? This is your fault though, for if you were here I wouldn’t have to talk about it. I could show you, or, better yet, have you do it for yourself. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to have some lonesome fun after I finish this letter. Maybe I’ll tell you about it sometime. Then again, maybe not… The truth is, I am rather tired because The Coffee Shop bustled all evening long. We had that singer/songwriter who I always forget the name of. John Stones or Sam Joseph or James Smith, I cannot remember. Either way, he was good, brought in a crowd, and all night I dashed up and down serving mochas and fruit flavoured lattes, because of course, everyone was about thirteen-years-old. I know I shouldn’t make fun of them, because we were that age once, but they truly are annoying. One girl - I think she it might be Sammie’s younger sister. You remember Sammie, right - said the following: “I think Daniel likes me because he told Sarah that he likes Donna, but everyone knows that Donna wouldn’t go out with him because he used to go out with Emma, and Donna and Emma are besties, plus, he knows I can’t stand Donna, so I think he’s saying it to make me jealous.” I kid you not. She said all of this without so much as a pause, and as I prepared a mocha with extra chocolate, I contemplated killing them all. Does that make me a terrible person? Either way, John… or Sam… or James played a good set, so the music was good at least, which I needed, because tomorrow is insane. For some crazy reason I decided working at The Shop all day before catching a train back to serve coffee and drinks all evening would be a good idea. I’m not even sure it’s logistically possible… Oh, and heads up, I’m going to convince you to keep me company at The Coffee Shop all night, so consider yourself warned - even if this letter will arrive a few days too late. Right, mister, I shall say goodbye and head to sleep… or will I? Hmmm, I suppose you’ll have to let your imagination decide. The girl you love, B x January 22nd From my desk, counting the damn hours Dear B, You darn tease. You’re right, I did read your latest letter on the train, and I fidgeted in my seat the entire way. To think, I had you in bed just a few hours ago and did nothing about it. After reading a letter like that, I feel I should have my wicked way with you every morning… just in case another letter like that awaits. Or would you be having your way with me? I can never tell. Anyway, next time you write a seductive letter, please enclose a few pictures. Then again, I blushed on the train as it was, shielding the letter from the old man sitting next to me. I have no idea why, because it’s not like he could read the words. What, not with your chicken-scratch handwriting. I do love your childlike handwriting, but making fun of you right now is the only way I’ll be able to get through this long and horny day. Seriously, never write a letter like that again. Except, please do. Every time. Oh, I don’t know what I want. I’m so damn confused. Is this what Joey feels like every day? Right, anyway, okay… I’m sitting at my desk and it’s not even nine o’clock. As soon as I set foot in the office, Bob grabbed me and began to preach how important it is I finish his designs today. Does he not know that demands are pointless before coffee? That mornings aren’t for work, rather coming around nice and slow? The more I come to this place, the more I question how long I can handle the nine-to-five strain. Then again, there’s something poetic about this job. After all, how many painters slaved away in bars and shops and factories? How many creative folk have led normal, boring lives? I’m torn between working in a studio all day, dedicating my life to a craft of some kind; and doing it on the side as a piece-of-shit job like this inspires me to create something better. What do you think? Starving artist or depressed jobs-worth? After I re-read the beginning of your letter a few times (damn you!), I did laugh at your teenage coffee shop commentary. I know we’re not that much older, but did we ever sound like that? And I don’t mean us - because come on, we were never like that  - but our generation? I feel we must have, because society can’t have evolved all that much in the last five or six years. Has Facebook and YouTube had such an impact? What will this world be like in another five years? Hell, what will our kids be like? Can you imagine how conceited Joey’s future offspring will be? Jesus, I just threw up in my mouth a little. And I suppose this is a good point to bring this letter to an end, for you have a great deal to ponder. After all, you are a superstar designer and will no doubt have a huge impact on tomorrow’s youth. Use your skills wisely, missy. The world depends on it! The boy you love, Ausdylan Elvis Ashford x January 24th From a coffee shop I dare not mention because I know you hate it Dear Aus, I wish I was sorry for making you horny, but I’m not. After all, the other night was rather good indeed. If that’s how you’ll greet me in future, I may have to get you hot-and-bothered on the train more often. I think this is where the wink-face-emoticon would go if this were a text. Hmmmm, should I write/draw it? No, better not. You’d never forgive me. I agree, though. Everything seems to have picked up pace these last few years. I think The Coffee Shop is a good indicator, too. Do you remember how many of our peers went to coffee shops when we were fifteen? That’s right, ZERO. We were the only ones! Sure, we dragged Joey from time-to-time, but that was it. I’m not even sure what the go-to hangouts were. Was it a park bench? A bus stop? The Corn Exchange? Each week brings a new hoard of youngsters into The Coffee Shop. As soon as four o’clock rolls by, I serve nothing but mochas and lattes and fruity concoctions. It’s not just some days, either. It’s every day. I’m not sure fourteen-year-olds should have caffeine. We did, sure, but not even we had it every day. Well, actually, I think you did. Didn’t you have your first coffee when you were seven? Kids these days grow up far too fast, but at the same time, not. I mean, we all live at home. Out of all our friends, Joey is one of the few with his own place. We live away at university, sure, but as soon as it’s over we head back to our parents. It’s only getting worse, too. At this rate people will never leave. We’ll become a society of kids living with parents living with grandparents. In fact, isn’t that how it used to be? Maybe we’re not evolving at all. Maybe we’re devolving. I’m not sure I like the idea of devolution. Anyway, I just want to say this coffee is delicious, even though you hate this particular chain with a passion. Last time I made you horny, and this time I make you angry. Is there a prize for the world’s greatest girlfriend? If so, I deserve it (insert smiley-face with tongue sticking out) Okay, mister. I’m rounding this letter up for I have a train to catch. I’m not seeing you tonight, so I may have to get naughty on my own again. Who knows, maybe I’ll send you pictures this time. Or maybe I’ll wait until you’re on the train tomorrow morning. I quite like this kinky letter-writing version of sexting. Maybe we could start a new/old trend. The girl you love, B x January 27th In bed thinking about you Dear B, Now, I’m not saying I’m mad, but I didn’t receive any pictures. I’m sure there must be a mistake between the phone company, or the email bureau, or whoever else is in charge of internet images, because your last letter hinted they would follow. Don’t worry, you can send them again. I mean, what kind of boyfriend would I be if I didn’t give you a second chance? With that sorted, let me tell you a quick story from earlier today. I considered calling you straight away, but certain tales are destined for the page. This is one of them, so get comfortable as I’m about to rock your world. It began, like all good stories, on a crisp winter evening. The trees above bare, and the ground below wet, I walked from the train station, up the same road, and along the same path as I always do. The street lamps showered me in an orange glow, and thankfully the skies remained dry. For this, I walked with a spring in my step, although this may be due to my freezing toes eager to get inside, rather than appreciation to the weather gods. The jingle-jangle from Vampire Weekend kept my feet moving, and each step brought me closer to warmth. But then, I spotted it. The star of this story. A girl. A girl we both know well. A running girl, who, despite covered by a single t-shirt and tight lycra shorts (which looked bloody amazing, by the way), braved the chilly conditions and strode down the steep hill like a deer would, or some other animal with ridiculously long legs. She didn’t see me, but I saw her. Despite the darkness, I’d know that running style anywhere. The way her entire body shifts from left-to-right on each step, as though she forces every ounce of strength she has into it. Thud - Thud - Thud went her feet, illuminated in bright orange trainers. Closer she came, and closer still. Stopping in my tracks, I considered shouting or waving my hands, but decided against it, for if I did she may stop and cross the street to give me a sweaty hug. You may think this would be a good thing, and in many ways it would, but considering I haven’t seen her run in such a long time, I thought better of it. Far better to enjoy a brief glimpse of her firm thighs and tensed calves. Too dark to see, I couldn’t make out her face, but I’m confident the same steely-eyed stare locked on the pavement in front, just as it did during those many school races. Always running towards something just out of reach. Always chasing it down like her life depended on it. And then, in a flash, she was gone. One second in front of me, aglow in an orange street light of her own. The next, hidden in the shadows. I hope you had a good run, Miss B. And don’t worry, one day you’ll catch your prey. The boy you love, Ausdylan Elvis Ashford x January 30th At The Coffee Shop, blushing and pouting Dear Aus, You are cruel. I’m glad I didn’t send those pictures. People who hide in bushes and watch young girls run down the street don’t deserve naked or suggestive images. You know how I hate people watching me run. Jesus, the thought of school, and all those people, and how Mrs Gleeve always made me take part in each school event… I have actual goosebumps thinking about it. I hope you’re proud of yourself. I managed to block that entire period of my life, but oh no, Ausdylan Elvis Ashford has to watch me and write about it, give me damn goosebumps and make me want to throw up. If there’s a prize for most horrible and terrible -let alone, creepy -  boyfriend, you’re the hands-down winner! Yuck. People watching me run. Yuck. Okay, let’s change the subject. Right, new subject coming. Are you ready? Good! Because it’s happening… right… now! I’ve just started my shift at The Coffee Shop, and so far I haven’t served a single person over the age of sixteen. This, I feel, proves my point from a couple of letters ago, and although I can’t quite remember what that point was, it had something to do with teenagers always coming into The Coffee Shop. So, yeah. There’s that. Also, earlier today, I read an article about a young guy who reminds me of you. I’m not sure why, because you’re rather different, but at the same time I think you’d make the cutest best-friend couple. I cut the article out, so by the time you read this letter you’ll have already read about Christopher Thompson. But oh well, here’s a summary of your doppelganger(ish). Christopher Thompson was born in a small American town, in a state I’ve forgotten the name of - maybe one of the Carolina’s. Anyway, Christopher grew up in a simple home, which had no TV or computer, only a large pile of books and an old vinyl record player. Homeschooled by his technophobic father (his mother died when he was a baby), Chris read books all day, learned how to chop wood and care around the house, and every now and again, did a little math (which he did not enjoy). At the age of thirteen, in a most tragic accident, Christopher’s father died whilst hunting. His father had no real friends. As a whole, they kept themselves to themselves, rarely venturing into the local town. Scared and worried they’d take him from his home and simple world, Chris buried his father without telling anyone, and continued to live his life. Thirteen-years-old, he took to raising himself. Each day, he read one book after another, cared for the house, and made sure just enough people knew just enough information to ensure they asked few questions. As he grew from a teenager into a burly man (you should see a picture of this guy. He’s the stereotypical lumberjack that I know you’re imagining right now), Chris read more books than most people devour in a lifetime. Bit-by-bit, he ventured further into society, dipping his toe into civilisation with caution along the way. He knows so many random facts - I think this is why he reminds me of you - but has so little standard education. The article discusses how he’s considered a bonafide simpleton, yet knows more about this world than any of us could ever dream of. Not only does he have a mind filled with knowledge, but understands nature and how to live as we were born to live. No technology. No reliance on media. No bullshit. Hunt, gather, read, and repeat. That’s his life. I can’t wait for you to read this because I know you’ll love it. Get ready to meet your new hero, mister. The girl you love, B x February 5th On the train, rather tired indeed Dear B, You’re right. I loved that article about my brother-from-another-mother, Christopher. As I told you in bed the other night, there’s something perfect about his upbringing. I know we should be grateful about how we’ve evolved into the species we are today, and the potential and wonder that awaits us tomorrow. After all, such growth allows us to cure illness, let average folk see the magic of the world, and provide information in abundance to anyone with a phone. Yet at the same time… can you imagine the simplicity of such a lifestyle? I’m not sure I’d make a good burly lumberjack, but the idea of waking up each day with nothing but serving the day on my mind sends a warm shiver all over me. To read, ingesting wisdom slowly instead of forcing it down my throat. To eat, only what I need, and appreciate it’s real and natural and clean. To relax, listening to the wind and the rain and the rest of nature. I know it must be hard, and a life like Christopher lives isn’t to be taken lightly, but can you imagine? At the very least, it’s nice to know there are still people who exist in such a way - and survive and thrive at the same time. The part that annoyed me the most was how idiots consider him to be one. Compared to what…? How we educate kids these days, or rely on the media spreading information, or how highly you score on a pointless and outdated test? I’d take stupidity any day of the week, so long as it meant I knew how to literally live life. But I’ll resist the urge to vent, as you heard all this the other night. Instead I’ll share this rare event with you… sitting down on the train during rush hour, AND, not only that, sitting at a table. Yes, you read it correct, I write this very letter as a sturdy piece of plastic (or is it wood?) rests beneath it. No wobbly knee. No resting my notebook on the seat in front. It’s table-time, B, and it feels bleeding wonderful. It’s a shame this journey has to end, but Sowerby Bridge station is mere minutes away. I have you awaiting me, too, borrowing your mother’s car so poor-old-me doesn’t have to walk home in the February cold. I happen to have a sneaky plan up my sleeve as well, and I can let you in on this secret because by the time you read this, you’ll have eaten my homemade veggie burgers. Oh yes, I’ve only gone and surprised you with your favourite meal. It almost makes listening to my venting worthwhile, yes? The boy you love, Ausdylan Elvis Ashford x February 9th At my desk, procrastinating Dear Aus, Your veggie burgers were delicious as always, and the fact you surprised me with them made it all the more lovely. You know how to woo a girl, that’s for sure. I’m writing this letter right now because I can’t face the designs I have to do. I’ve been working on this new dress for weeks, and I just can’t seem to make it work. Doing this used to be so easy. At uni, each design flowed from me. I’d sit at this desk and sew and stitch, smiling all the while. These days, each design takes longer. My smile isn’t as bright. I don’t know why because I figured I’d fall more in love with it once I could dedicate more time to it. This is my dream, right? This is what I hope to do with the rest of my life, so why does it all seem so… difficult? Maybe I’m having a bad day, but these type of evenings occur more-and-more of late. I hate them. Usually when I sit down at this desk, everything melts away; those long days, boring afternoons, and whatever else. Even working at The Shop doesn’t seem the same anymore. Are we getting old? Is this what it’s like after university? Is this what growing-up does to you? I know you’re not writing or drawing as much these days. I keep meaning to talk to you about it, but I don’t for some reason. Maybe it’s easier to write. Maybe I’m just being silly, I don’t know. All I do know is, designing and stitching and everything that comes with it doesn’t feel the same. I still like it. Each month I sell more, so it isn’t that I want to stop. It’s just… I don’t know… different. Why is it different, Aussie? On a positive note, I made more money in January than I did in December. I did all the number crunching yesterday (yuck) and couldn’t believe my eyes. There was no way I thought I’d beat my pre-Christmas sales, which makes this whole rut all the more difficult to understand. At this rate I might be able to quit either The Coffee Shop or The Shop soon, and by the end of the year maybe focus all my time on this. I should be loving it, right? Make sense of this for me, Aus. Show me the light like you so often do. Anyway, I’ll wrap this letter up and get back to my designs, or, should I say, staring at the laptop in disgust. Is this what it’s like being an angsty writer? I don’t know how you do it, mister. I don’t know how you do it. The girl you love, B x February 17th In The Coffee Shop, watching you work Dear B, I’ve started and stopped this letter on a few occasions because I can’t quite figure out what I want to say. What you said about your rut nestled within me because I know exactly what you feel. Other than these letters I write you, I haven’t written a damn thing since last summer. I don’t know why. I could blame it on work or the fact I don’t have as much time, but this isn’t the reason. I have enough time, in many ways more time now than I had during school. I always found lots of it back then, entire afternoons spent scratching away in my notebook. The thought of doing that right now… difficult to comprehend. I’m sorry you’re in a rut as well. I didn’t know, which makes me feel rather bad, because I’m supposed to sense these worries, right? I’ve known you so long that I should know you better than you know yourself. I’m sorry I didn’t see it, but I’m glad you told me. You’re so talented and wonderful, and maybe I don’t say it enough, but I’m proud of you for everything you’ve achieved. Yourself and Joey have achieved so much over the past year, and although it doesn’t surprise me to hear you sell more-and-more, it brings a huge smile upon my face. You have more talent than you will ever appreciate, B. It’s no coincidence, and isn’t due to luck that you’re growing and growing. As for why it doesn’t feel the same anymore, maybe it’s because it isn’t the same. It seems like yesterday we were children, striding into our teenage years with care-free confidence. You handled the jump between teenage-hood to young-adulthood better than me, although it still brought with it a care-free feel and the security blanket of university. Today, we’re adults. We no longer have that net protecting us, and although we remain at home with our parents, it isn’t the same, is it? We’re adults, but who says we’re ready? What’s so different about today compared to yesterday? I don’t feel any older or better equipped. If anything I feel more hopeless now than I did whilst at school. Because of all this and more, maybe it isn’t the same, or supposed to feel the same, either. Where we used to write and draw for nothing but love and because we could, we must now consider where it could take us. Will it feed us? Will it help us become reputable members of society capable of owning a house and bringing up a family? Would you like to know something? I hate it. For me, writing and drawing has always been about the love of art and the freedom to express. I’m not sure if it’s the same for you, but I sense it is. An escape, maybe, and a chance to free your mind from everything else that flutters around it. I like my job. I’m not sure I love it, but I certainly don’t hate it, despite what Joey seems to think. But I sense it isn’t a coincidence that my rut began around the same time I took this step into the overwhelming world of reality. I feel tense within, like I did as a kid before I took my medication. I don’t feel sad, per se. Or upset. Just tense and anxious, although I’m not sure why. I know this doesn’t offer you any answer or solution, but it’s because I have none to offer. We’re in transition, B, and like all change it takes time to adjust and grow comfortable. All I know is this: You’re talented and wonderful and love to design and devise incredible creations. Keep doing it and challenging yourself, and your love for it will return. I don’t for a second believe it’s vanished. It’s just hidden behind the bloody obstacles of this adult lifestyle we’ve been thrust into. I love you, missy, and I’m here for you whenever you need me. The boy you love, Ausdylan Elvis Ashford x February 20th In The Coffee Shop, not working Dear Aus, I think you’re right when you say we’re in transition, because that’s exactly where we all are. A year ago we had the comfort of university to keep us occupied, but what holds us up now other than ourselves - and each other, of course. It’s strange how we yearn for this freedom throughout our teenage years, but as soon as it arrives we freeze. Real life stage fright, I suppose. We want our moment of fame and the opportunity to shine, but once someone places that trust in us to deliver, we stare into the distance and crumble. I know you’re right, and that I still love my designing and such. It hasn’t vanished or deserted me, and in time I’ll rediscover it. I did finish that design by the way, and in the end it turned out rather well. I might even go as far to say I like it. It is frustrating though, this strange rut where nothing seems to quite feel right. Even working here in The Coffee Shop doesn’t feel the same. I used to love quite moments like these where only a few people mull around the room. I’d stare out of the window and watch the people walk by - carrying bags and pointing into windows and sharing conversations I couldn’t decipher. These days, I find myself slouching and staring at nothing - worrying or wondering or dwelling over something, although I’m not sure what. I think it’s like you say, we’re transitioning into adulthood where it’s up to us to choose what we do, how we spend our time, and whether we succeed or fail. It’s what we always wanted, but now it’s here it doesn’t seem quite as romantic. I hate how you emphasise with me too, because if there’s one place I know you love above any other, it’s when you’re lost in your notebook. But like you say, you haven’t lost your love to write or draw or read, it’s simply standing to one side whilst you battle through the rest of this nonsense - I believe it’s called life, right? On a positive note, it’s sunny today, and I know how much you love it when the sun shines. I imagine you walk to and from work with a smile on your face, eager to read and lose yourself in some graphic novel. I’m going to suggest we read tonight in bed, because we haven’t done that for a few weeks. We used to do it every single night, and I refuse to lose who we were to who we are just because we’re growing up or entering a new chapter of our life. I’m still me, and you’re still you, and we’re still us. Nothing changes that, mister. I love you too, and can’t wait to nestle beside you later this evening. The girl you love, B x February 24th At my desk with time to kill Dear B, You are most certainly right that we cannot lose who we are. Reading in bed with you the other night, and the few nights since, brought a smile to my face I didn’t realise had gone anywhere. In many ways we have more time on our hands these days, because we no longer have university studies to worry about. Yet we lay in bed and read with each other less. We go to fewer gigs. It’s strange how this adult lifestyle gives us more money, and in some instances, time, yet we waste it on… I don’t know what we waste it on. Are we exhausted and so spend more time sleeping… relaxing… existing…? If this is getting old, I’m not sure how I feel about it. But you’re right, nothing has changed because I’m still me and you are still you. Best of all, we are still us. We have to fight, I suppose, and read more, gig more, cling to the young freedom-fighters we’ve spent so long being. It can’t be that hard, surely. It’s not like we have children or a mortgage to worry about yet. I sometimes forget I’m twenty-two and still young. It’s easy to place yourself in the same bucket as everyone else at work. But they’re ten or twenty or thirty years older than me. I’m still young, dammit. We both are. Anyway, you’ll be glad to hear I stared at my laptop like an angsty writer for four hours last night. Seen as though you were at work, I thought I’d attempt a story or two. Long story short, I had no story to share. Seriously, I stared at it the entire time, doodling in my notebook above anything else. On the plus side, I drew a few cool dragons I’m sure you’ll approve of. The thing is, I liked how no words spilled forward. I know that might seem strange, and maybe I am a broody and moody writer, but it felt nice to stare at the screen and commit to the act of writing. So much of writing doesn’t actually involve writing. It’s thinking, and tweaking, and editing, and going over one sentence after another until you find the perfect one. At least for a moment, before you realise it’s awful and needs tweaking again. Ah, the wonderful way in which my mind works. I imagine you read this and yearn for my body. There’s nothing sexier than a angsty writer who wastes away the hours and pretends it’s worthwhile, is there? Don’t worry, you needn’t answer. I know the truth. I know you love me and my angsty ways, and when I next see you (in a little over four hours) I’ll be sure to give you what you crave (this is where the wink face would go in a text, I believe). I think I just made myself horny, go figure. Oh well, back to work I go. The boy you love, Ausdylan Elvis Ashford x February 28th Laying in bed, amused and laughing Dear Aus, I’ve just finished reading your last letter and had to reply. Your actions the other night - practically ripping my clothes off as soon as you saw me - now make sense. Trust you to turn yourself on whilst writing a simple letter. Trust you to turn yourself on after describing how angsty and arty you are. Don’t get me wrong, I happen to like both you and your moody-and-broody ways, but do I get as hot-and-bothered over them as you… ? I think not. Oh, and for the record, I think it’s you who spend your days craving me, mister. All I have to do is dress myself a certain way in the morning and you’re guaranteed to spend the next nine hours an unfocussed mess (this is most certainly where a wink emoticon goes). Anyway, your letter brought a smile to my face, which I needed after the day I had. It wasn’t bad per se, rather never got going. I woke up early for some reason, despite not needing to be at The Shop until noon. It never got busy once, but at least one person was always in. I didn’t find enough time to do any of the jobs I wanted to, but wasn’t rushed off my feet, either. The entire day slipped by in slow motion - not unlike my recent laptop staring and general procrastination. And in perfect harmony, the train decided to not only be late, but sit stranded on the tracks somewhere near Bradford. By the time I got home I couldn’t even bring myself to cook a proper meal. I was all ready to give in and slide under the covers, but there your letter stood… I needed it. I needed this smile. I hate going to bed feeling half-cooked and underwhelmed, although you know that all too well, don’t you? Why, if you were here right now I might just have to undress myself a certain way and tempt you into a massage and some… fun… That always guarantees the day to end in style, and don’t for a second pretend you aren’t aroused right now. I know you too well, mister, and there’s no way you can say no to a massage - either when I give you one, or you cater to me. So, here’s to you and your wayward mind, as I’m sure you’ll spend the rest of the day thinking about that massage. The girl you love, B x March 5th In bed, not at all seduced Dear B, Although it’s true I enjoy a good massage (both giving and receiving), I find your portrayal of me quite wrong. You make out like I’m some crazed sex lunatic who yearns for only one thing, but you forget I’m not Joey, missy. I love you and your body, and the way you undress at night, but I think I’d surprise you with how long I could resist you. Why, I have a sneaky feeling I could last longer than you, because when it comes to sex you’re always more forthcoming than me. I sense I could go at least two weeks laying in a bed with you without giving into my more animalistic urges. Whereas you… ? You wouldn’t make it through the weekend. Of course, I’m not suggesting we test this theory, but if it came down to it I know I’d come out on top (figuratively). Although I’ll admit, I did spend the rest of the afternoon imagining you laying face down, awaiting your massage. There’s something about the light in your room and oily skin… I’m not sure what it is, but it’s quite the turn-on. Anyway, enough of this, as I’m sure you’re hot-under-the-collar right and picturing my hands getting to work. Maybe you read this in The Coffee Shop, or on the train, or possibly beside me as we lay in bed. Wherever and however you read this, I’m sure you have more important things to consider than me, and us, together. So, I’ll end this letter with an everyday story that’s not only boring, but unimportant, too. Earlier today, I sat at my desk minding my own business, when someone from the accounts team (I believe she’s called Liz), approached my desk and said, “Here Aus, you’re invited to my birthday party in a few weeks. You should bring, B, too.” Handing me a photocopied piece of paper, she smiled and walked away. Now, I know I’m rather socially awkward and it doesn’t take much to freak me out, but this is weird, right? I’ve never spoken to this woman before, and I’m not even sure her name is Liz. Isn’t inviting a near stranger to your party what you do at the age of seven? And how did she know who you are? At first I figured she must know you somehow (because let’s face it, you know everyone), but she’s turning forty (according to her invite), so I doubt you do. Needless to say, I don’t want to go. And I spent the rest of the afternoon feeling rather anxious and taken aback. On the plus side, I didn’t think about your oily skin, so silver lining and all… The boy you love, Ausdylan Elvis Ashford x March 9th On the train, nearly home Dear Aus, Before I begin, let me say I’m somewhat insulted by the fact you prefer to feel taken aback and freaked out, rather than think of my oily skin as you massage me. Although I think this says more about you, than it does me. Okay, and now let’s get into the real elephant in the room: The fact you think you could last longer without sex than me. Are you kidding, mister? Are you even aware of the craziness that left your mind and found its way on to the paper? Forgetting you’re a man (and therefore programmed to think about sex more often than me) for a second, you’re almost exclusively the one who initiates our sexual activities. Sure, from time-to-time I run my finger up your chest whilst you read, but this is the exception, not the rule. Whereas you… barely a night goes by you don’t roll into me, kiss my neck, and slide your hand under my shirt. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, but the thought you could last longer than me… ? Ridiculous! In fact, I want to put this craziness to the test, and prove how insane and wrong you are. I believe the last time we had sex was a few days ago (maybe the seventh of March?), and so I challenge you to a bet: a bet about who can last the longest without sex - or more specifically, the one who can last the longest without making the first move. I call your bluff, and to be honest, I don’t think you’ll accept this challenge. I imagine you’ll read this, stick out your chest, puff out your cheeks and say, “You’re on. I can totally do this.” But then you’ll think about the consequences, consider the days-and-days-and-days without touching my breasts or legs or anything else, and then you’ll cry as you realise how silly you were. Don’t worry, I’ll accept your apology and we can end this madness before it begins. As for your story about Liz (or whoever she is), it is a tad weird. Maybe she has a thing for you. After all, who could resist your moody-and-broody ways. Hey, in a few weeks, maybe you’ll want Liz, too. After days-and-days-and-days with no physical interaction, you may find every forty-year-old you come across an attractive proposition. The girl you love, B x March 13th In a different coffee shop for once Dear B, It’s been nearly a week since we last had sex, and although I’ve hated every second of it, I’ve more than kept my nerve - even though you do keep trying to seduce me with your eyes, and the way you bite your bottom lip, and yesterday, as you bent down to pick up your hairdryer ever so slowly… Don’t try to tell me you aren’t, either. I know you. I know when you’re attempting to seduce me, and these last few days… you’re a damn tease and temptress! Anyway, I’m fine. I continue to function. I’m still sleeping. The days last twenty-four hours, and the earth hurtles around the sun. I think you owe me an apology, because what is it you said a few nights ago? “You’ll toss and turn all night by day five, and probably get fired from your job because you’re unable to focus more than ten minutes.” HaHaHaHa, wrong. I’m fine, but whether we can say the same about you… well, I’m not the one trying to seduce you, am I? Are you already missing my fingers and lips? Do you already long for me laying on top of you? And I’m sorry, I doubt however long this ridiculous bet lasts (which I’m going to win, for your information), I won’t find forty-year-old women like Liz attractive. She’s not only twice my age, but in a completely different realm to me. I can barely figure out how to function as a twenty-two-year-old adult, let alone fathom the idea of being a father to a teenage son or daughter, own a house where the mortgage is half-paid, and approach my tenth year at a company. I mean, that’s the life of a forty-year-old, right? Do you really see my connecting with women like that? I think not, missy. I think not. But before I end this letter, I must say there’s one aspect of this bet I like a great deal. I never thought about it until now, but we probably haven’t gone more than three or fours days without sex since we first had it. We were together for nearly two years before that memorable first instance, and to say you made me work for that moment and earn such trust is a damn understatement. Back then, I noticed everything about you, including all the near-invisible mannerisms you possess. I suppose over the years I’ve taken these traits for granted, but over the last couple of days I’ve rediscovered them. Like the way you stare off into the distance when we settle into silence, always searching the room from left-to-right. You always did this, especially when I used to draw you. I recall you sitting there for hours once, in the park, I think, posing for me and staring off towards the horizon. From left-to-right each time, before locking on something and glaring at it. I hope you give into your urges soon so we can end this silly bet, but I’m glad it’s reopened my eyes, and I promise I won’t take you (the small or not) for granted again. The boy you love, Ausdylan Elvis Ashford x March 16th In The Shop, with a few minutes to spare Dear Aus, I must say, I’m rather impressed you’ve lasted this long. I didn’t think you could, and although I too miss your touch and lips, I shall not give in and offer you the satisfaction of success. How could I ever live it down? I couldn’t, and so I’m afraid you’re in for a rather long and hopeless journey. As for me seducing you… I have no idea what you mean. I’m simply being me, and if that happens to turn you on and drive you wild, well, you know what to do, don’t you? I’m here whenever you want me, awaiting your first move and eventual slip. Do you remember the taste of my skin, or is it already a distant memory? And I think you’re right, too. We haven’t gone more than a few days since we first gave into our teenage urges. I remember how nervous you were, not just that night, but the months leading up to it. It was inevitable, a matter of when, rather than if. You were so good, though. You never pressured me. You never pushed. You gave me the time and space I needed, which I think most girls need. I’m not sure if sex is different for girls, but I sense we treasure the innocence more than you guys do. Innocence… now that is a distant memory. I don’t think I’ve felt truly innocent for a very long time now. Life provides too many twists and turns, and whether it’s good or bad, it robs you of innocence. It opens your eyes to reality, which is a far cry from innocent. Anyway, I digress, because what you said in your last letter made me wonder about how many times we’ve actually given in to our animalistic urges. That infamous first time was nearly seven years ago, which is around 2,500 days. What would you guess the number is? 2,000… maybe? 3,000… after all, one time often turns into two, although I suppose I should stop, for I don’t want you to accuse me of seducing you again… But looking back on the past, which I suppose is easier to do when partaking in a silly bet like this, reminds me of a good period of my life. I’m not saying for a second I haven’t enjoyed my time with you since our first deed, but there’s something about that initial chase and dance we did - the fear and nerves and excitement. You can’t wait to escape it as a kid, and venture into an older and more mature stage of life, but maybe it wasn’t so bad. The girl you love, B x March 21st At my desk, eating lunch that you made for me Dear B, I don’t think I’ve ever hated my will-power (or is it utter and stupid stubbornness?) as much as I do now. It may only be two weeks, but it feels like a lifetime since I last kissed and caressed your skin. I think it’s gotten past the point of pure horniness, and developed into a a state of longing I never realised I treasure so much. It’s not the sex, so much as the making love and expressing myself with you. I miss it, but in some ways I’m glad we’re doing this. I believe we’re learning new things about one another, which is strange since I thought I knew everything about you already. But I continue to notice new traits. My eyes keep opening a little wider each day. That first time we make love again, I cannot fathom how it will feel, although I sense ecstasy is as good a word as any. Appreciation is another, because I think this will bring us closer together in the end. Maybe I’m looking into this too much, but it seems like this crazy bet may have some substance to it. Although from our last letter, it sounds like you miss our pre-sex period a little too much. Am I that bad? Do you not miss my body and touch, too? I joke, because I know what you mean. We strive so much to stride forward and refuse to look back, but maybe we’re at an age when we peek into the past a little more, and as we do, realise it wasn’t too bad. I always felt rather detached and distanced from reality, because if you removed yourself and Joey, who did I have? Who did I understand, and who else understood me? But in having just the two of you, I think I’ve grown for the better, maybe more so than if I tried to fit into a larger group due to the fear of loneliness or exile. Who knows, but the past doesn’t seem so bad when I look back on it now. Speaking of Joey, this bet continues to rile him up the wrong way. It’s a shame you missed last night at The Pub, for he preached and vented for an hour about how crazy and pathetic we both are. “What’s the point in having a girlfriend if you cannot have sex on tap,” he said. He said a lot more, but it was basically a regurgitation of that throughout, and I can’t help but smile when I see him so upset with us both. Does that make me a little sick in the head, enjoying my best friend’s suffering? If it does, I don’t care. I find it more than amusing to watch his reasoning shatter into pieces as he tries to fathom the idea of a life without sex. “It’s bad enough you insist on having sex with one girl, but to then refuse to have sex with her, too? Are you sure you’re not gay, brother?” he later said. I must say, his internal suffering almost makes these urges and longing worthwhile. Almost. Almost. The boy you love, Ausdylan Elvis Ashford x March 26th In bed Dear Aus, It’s almost three weeks since you last catered to my desires (and I last kissed yours), and although I do miss your touch, I’m doing okay. I seem to have reached a second wind of sorts, able to sleep in peace at night. Of course, it helps that my own fingers are able to keep me going. Not as good as yours, but a beggar cannot be picky now, can she? Do you like the idea of my fingers entering… no, I shall stop… As for you, I begin to see you crumble. You’re twitchy and antsy, and although I should hate seeing you like this, I do sort of like it. After all, you’re antsy and twitchy because you long for me. It’s quite the turn on, so whenever you wish to give in and rediscover me, feel free to. Or you could keep waiting… Either way, I think I’ll enjoy it whenever we get back on the proverbial horse. As for Joseph, he truly is a ridiculous human being. I texted him yesterday, seeing as I haven’t seen him for a few days. He didn’t reply, so I called him in the evening. He didn’t answer, so I texted him again, only for him to reply, “I’m not speaking to you.” I laughed, because I knew it must be due to this bet. Everyone else I’ve told about this (don’t worry, I haven’t told a lot of people) either finds it amusing or fascinating. He’s the only one who’s insulted by it. Well, I couldn’t resist, so I kept calling him until he answered, only for him to sulk down the phone as he vented about how selfish I am. “Don’t you understand how dangerous this is to a man?” “The male body needs sex. Without it, we run the risk of imploding.” “You’re just tempting fate, practically asking Aus to cheat on you.” These were a few of my favourite lines, and the sad thing is, he was serious about it, as though he’s done the research and discovered that guys who go without sex literally explode in the street. I love that boy, but he’s an idiot. Like you say, it almost makes the urges worthwhile. Almost… Oh, and before I forget (although I’ll have told you this by the time you read it), I’m in Manchester again later in the week. Not sure which day yet, but I’ll stay with Natalie again. There’s so many events and shows at the minute, I feel like I might as well live there It’s a shame there aren’t more in Leeds, but it is nice to escape and venture somewhere new for a day or two. You should come along with me sometime. You might surprise yourself and have a good time - lots of pretty models to look at, after all. Then again… pretty models with long legs and wonderful figures, but no opportunity to unload your fantasies on me… maybe not a good idea (you really should give in and end this silly bet soon). The girl you love, B x March 30th On the train home, horny and wanting you Dear B, I’ve hit a wall and cannot take this anymore. I’ve never felt like this before, and I’m starting to wonder if this is how Joey feels each day. If so, how does he get through them? I need sex. I need you. I need anything to take away the temptations, and you hardly help matters with your letters (let alone how you keep looking at me. Stop it. Stop undressing me with your eyes!) Under normal circumstances, the thoughts of models sulking down a runway would do nothing for me, but as soon as you mentioned it in your last letter, I literally quivered. Literally, mind you. My body actually shook and trembled at the thought of lots of girls walking in next-to-nothing. What’s happened to me? Make it stop. This isn’t me! Watching Joey suffer isn’t worth this suffering, because I think I‘m more frustrated than he is at this point. Each night, I dream of you. Sitting at my desk at work, I daydream about you. I see another girl who looks remotely like you, and I picture you undressing and sliding under the sheets beside me. I didn’t think I was the type of guy to get horny and obsess over something so primitive and physical, but I am. I miss you, B. I miss everything! I especially miss you when you head off to Manchester, but in some ways it’s the only respite I get - although I continue to think about you, so at the same time, not really. I’m glad you’re getting out there though, and meeting new people, networking, and all the things you have to do to make a success of things in this world. You’re designs are so good, and it’s a matter of time before you’re running those events instead of attending them. And although I wouldn’t know what to do at such an event, and I’d more than likely fall asleep, if you do want me to go, I will. Likewise, if you just want to talk about them or about clothes, I’m here to listen. You don’t seem to talk about your designs as much of late, but I want you to know you can. I’m here for you, although at the moment I may only half-listen. Apparently my penis has greater control over me than my mind does. Anyway, I’m nearly home. As soon as I am I’ll crawl into bed and cry into the pillow, scrunching the sheets in my hands and longing for you, no doubt. This is awful. This is damn awful! The boy you love, Ausdylan Elvis Ashford x April 6th On my break, drinking lovely coffee Dear Aus, Well-well-well, it seems as though we’ve met the end of this silly little bet. All you have to do to end this nonsense is say: ‘You, B, are victorious. The thought I could last longer than you, ridiculous. I’m a silly boy, and I’ll never, ever, be so silly again. Please, please-please-please have sex with me and kiss me all over.’ What do you say, mister? You finally ready to end this madness? I feel fine, if I’m honest. I miss you and your kisses, but I think I could last a few more days. You, on the other hand… well, it seems you’ve fallen victim to your penis. There’s no turning back, I’m afraid. Once that aspect of your body takes control, you lose all sense of rationale. It’s over to you. I await your letter… And don’t worry, I know I can talk to you about my clothes and designs and events. I suppose I find it harder to talk about at the moment, what, being in this rut and all. I’m fine, though, and don’t worry, you don’t have to come to an event with me. To be honest, I think you’d have a panic attack because there’s always too many people. Plus, everyone’s rather outgoing and forceful when it comes to conversations, so I imagine you’d last a few minutes before heading to the bathroom and hiding for a while. I’m often tempted to, so I think it would fast become your worst nightmare. Still, if you fancy giving it a go and testing yourself, let me know. There’s a couple of good events over the next few weeks. Well, I suppose I should finish this lovely coffee and get back to serving them, although I’m excited to read your next letter, for I’m confident it’ll house a particular statement that allows me to rip off your clothes and have my way with you. I’ve missed you, mister. I hope you missed me, too, because I’m keen to show you things you’ve never seen before. The girl you love (and cannot stop thinking about), B x April 10th At my desk, nearly in tears Dear B, Even though I said this to you the other evening, here it is in writing; like you asked: ‘You, B, are victorious. The thought I could last longer than you, ridiculous. I’m a silly boy, and I’ll never, ever, be so silly again. Please, please-please-please have sex with me and kiss me all over.’ Now, can we please have sex? Seriously, as soon as you read this letter, text me. It isn’t often I ask you to text, or hope you do, but time’s of emergency require extreme measures. So, yes, please text me as soon as you read this, and preferably at a time when I can run to you (yes, I will literally run) and lay down as you kiss me all over - and show me those new things I’ve yet to see before. I’ll keep this letter short because I have nothing else to say to you. I know I’m pathetic and horny, but I don’t care. I’ll go back to caring once this stupid bet ends. The boy you love, Ausdylan Elvis Ashford x April 13th Leaning on the counter, a stack of shirts waiting for me to fold them Dear Aus, Oh my, the other night was good. I can’t decide what was more satisfying: the fact you practically begged me for sex, or the sex itself. I’m not saying our overdue wait was worth it, but if it results in that kind of ecstasy each time (let alone a nice ego boost for yours truly), we may have to try it from time-to-time. Not for a long time, mind you. And now we’ve ended this madness, let’s get back to life and what these letters are really about: ranting and venting about the world’s mishaps, and sharing aspects of each other that most people our age waste over text or Skype or whatever other popular app exists this month. I know May’s your favourite month, but I think I prefer April. There’s something about the fleeting sun and scattered showers that excites me. The weather keeps me on my toes, and each time I step outside I wonder what may await. Will this denim jacket be too heavy once the sun shines. Will I shiver as soon as it hides behind a cloud? Should I have brought an umbrella, or will it weigh me down for the rest of the day? And don’t get me started on the wind, and how it dances to a different pace as each hour passes. So far today, I worked up a sweat as I walked to the train station, only to get wet as I stood on the platform. Walking around Leeds dried my hair though, the wind beating me senseless. And now it’s sunny again, pouring through The Shop’s large window and warming my legs. You hate this weather, too unpredictable for a soul like yourself. Me… I enjoy its mysterious ways, although I’m sure you’ll write in great detail about how wrong I am, and why you foolishly believe you’re right. It’s strange, but I’ve missed your random moanings and groanings. A horny mess doesn’t suit you. It makes you like every other boy out there, which doesn’t appeal to me one bit. In a few hours, I’ll see you again, and we’ll no doubt continue to reacquaint ourselves in my bed. I don’t think we’ve had so much sex in such a short space of time before, and I for one love it. Do you think you can keep this pace up for long? The girl you love, B x April 18th In The Pub, waiting for Joey Dear B, Can I keep up this pace for long? I seriously doubt it. Not only am I tender and sore, but feel satisfied and relaxed - although after those horrendous few weeks of longing, I never want to feel unsatisfied again. I will do my best to keep up this pace, but I sense we both know it won’t last much longer. After all, I am not a machine or a piece of meat. Although I won’t lie, I’ve rather enjoyed being your piece of meat these last few days. Joey should be here in a few minutes, so I may ask him if this is what his life is like around the clock. Speaking of which, he’s happy we’ve both ‘regained our sanity’, as he puts it, and that I’m back ‘giving you the good stuff’. I keep telling him that I sense my version of the good stuff differs to his, but he doesn’t seem to listen. He’s back to his normal self, no longer ranting about stupid we are, instead sharing every ounce of sexual activity he can with me. I expect there’s more to come, too, for he had a date last night. From what he said over the phone, she’s not one for keeping herself to herself, so I imagine he’s lots of new tales to share - although I’d prefer to hear none of them. Oh well, I have beer to keep me occupied. As for your madness about how April is better than May… I cannot begin to tell you how wrong you are. April offers nothing but bipolar weather, which despite your attempt at romanticising it, is the worst kind of weather there is. I’m not saying I like the snow and cold of December, but at least you know what you’re in for. You wear layers. You throw on clothes that keep you dry. That’s it. Life’s easy. Whereas April… like you say, you never know what to expect, which isn’t spontaneous or exciting, rather annoying and painstaking. Seriously, this month is up there with March for its utter pointlessness. And there you have it, I used the word pointlessness, which I find a rather pointless word. I hope you’re proud of yourself. But I agree, I miss our letters of random chatter. The occasional kinky one is fine, but I sense it doesn’t have the same effect as ‘sexting’ (that’s the right word for it, right?) Okay, Joey has just walked through the door, so please wish me luck. I sense I’ll need it this evening. The boy you love, Ausdylan Elvis Ashford x April 22nd In The Pub, waiting for you Dear Aus, It’s my turn to sit in The Pub, awaiting you to arrive on the train. I actually just experienced one of the most rare occasions there is: A text from you. It read, ‘Train late. Won’t be long. Too many people. They make me feel sad.’ We really should look into getting you help, for your anxiety verges on worrying at times. I fear one day you’ll snap and beat half a carriage to death with a large graphic novel or an umbrella. You’re like the American postal worker who loses his mind, shooting half a street to death because one too many dogs chased him. I love you, but I may have to reconsider if you terrorise a commuter carriage one day… Still, soon you’ll be in your beloved pub, and you’ll be happy to know it isn’t too busy. Of course, by the time you read this you’ll know already, for we’ll have shared a drink together, eaten a little food (you’ll no doubt order that damn halloumi and hummus sandwich like you always do), and gone back to yours where I hopefully tempt you into an old movie. Did you like it? Of course not, you never like those amazing old movies. You have such poor taste. Anyway, I should quickly end this somewhat pointless letter, because you just walked past the window (you look rather glum to say the least) and will sit opposite me any second. This is what happens when you leave me in a pub alone for a few minutes. You get pointless letters, so let that be a lesson to you. The girl you love, B x April 27th In bed, reading a fantastic book Dear B, Your last letter was indeed pointless, yet at the same time I find no letter from you a complete waste of time. I do remember that awful train journey though, and although my anxious ways may get the better of me on occasion, and yes, I agree they are rather annoying, they keep me safe and prevent me from creating new friendships. You should like this, for every new friends means less time I can spend with you. On the other hand, maybe you’d like me to have more friends. Hmmm, I don’t think you should answer this… But fear not, for I doubt my anxiety will ever place me on the brink of murder. I don’t think it works like that, plus, you know I’m not a fan of blood. Love not hate, remember? And as for that damn movie… I hated it. Well, maybe hate is too strong of a word for something I felt nothing toward. It’s not that it was bad, rather a pointless way to spend my time. Are you trying to tell me it was better to spend our precious minutes on this planet in front of a box with wires inside, rather than immersed among the pages of a book? I believe that movie was based on a novel, in fact, so we should have read about it rather than watch the interpretation from some director who probably never read the book in the first place. Harsh? Maybe, but I just don’t think I’ll ever understand the point of movies. Still, your selection and tastes are better than Joey’s… a somewhat bleak silver-lining, but a silver-lining nevertheless. Anyway, I must finish this letter and get back to my book. My mum recommended it to me, and although I’m only twenty-or-so pages into it, I’m a fan. It’s called The Night Circus, and I think you may like it, too. The author has quite a way with words, and I believe you’ll appreciate it as much as I do. I miss you right now, though. Reading in bed without you by my side isn’t the same. The boy you love, Ausdylan Elvis Ashford x PS: just because I ordered a halloumi and hummus sandwich the other day doesn’t mean you know me better than I know myself. May 1st At my desk having just finished my latest design Dear Aus, It took a few days, but I finished designing that dress I mentioned to you. I doubt you remember because I swear the moment I talk about clothes you drift off into some make-believe-daydream, but I’ll spend the next few days telling you all about it regardless. You lucky soul, you. As for your rant about movies, you really should remove that pretentious stick from your arse at some point. Just because you watch the odd film doesn’t mean you lose your passion for novels. And although true, most directors butcher the books that inspired them, not all do. Some are even better, although I doubt I’ll ever convince you of this. I suppose I have to accept you’re a very silly boy. A silly boy I love, but a silly boy regardless. You finished The Night Circus in quick fashion, too. You certainly made a case for it the other night, and if she spins a storytelling web as well as you say, I think I’ll love it. I plan to start it tonight, so will no doubt talk to you about it in the coming days. I trust your taste to do me proud, and your mother’s more so. Do you think you get your reading tastes from your mother or your father? They both have good ones, but rather differing. Then again, I suppose you have a rather varied taste, what with your obsession for graphic novels and such. In the same vein you may never understand my love for movies, I sense I’ll never appreciate your insistence for reading comics. They’re just so… I don’t know… what’s the word… boring… ? Yes, boring’s the right word. Anyway, today we left April and ventured into May, so you’ve no excuse but to be chirpy and happy for the next few weeks. It began in style, too, with lots of sunshine and a calming warmth to the air. I sense colourful dress season sits right around the corner, which I cannot wait for. Plus, I know you prefer me in skirts that flick out and ride up. I happen to have a new one I think you’ll love, too. Who knows, maybe I’ll try it on for you tomorrow… The girl you love, B x May 4th In The Coffee Shop, watching you work Dear B, I’ll choose to ignore your graphic novel bashing because I know you don’t mean it. You’re just confused and slightly ignorant, that’s all. As for where I get my reading tastes from, I suppose I’m more like my mother, although I’m lucky to have a father who has rather good taste, too. But my mother has always fed me with one book after another, and like me, loves to lose herself in some make-believe world. It’s not to say this world isn’t good, but the ones in a good novel tend to be better, don’t you think? Anyway, as I write this I watch you dance around The Coffee Shop, serving drinks and grinding beans. It’s so busy, and you’ve yet to stop and appreciate the smell of coffee beans since your shift began nearly an hour ago. I’m sure you’re tired and in need of a rest. I’m sure you’d love an opportunity to sit down. I hope you don’t though, not because I wish to torture you through hard work, rather because I love to watch you honed in and focussed like this. It reminds me of when you run, but I know you don’t like to talk about that so let’s move on, shall we… Instead, let me share what I see right now: Your hair bounces as it flows and moves in tandem with your twisting body, reaching for a cup before placing it under one machine and then the other. Your eyes, and how they remain on people at all times, keeping conversation and keeping them calm, despite the fact everything around them is loud and chaotic. Your smile and dimples, and how they climb up your face and entwine with those damn eyes, making it impossible for the person on the other end do anything but feel loved and safe. Your mind, and how despite the hectic rush of your job, I know continues to thrive; imagining this idea and the next, no doubt crafting your next design as I write these very words. Your true self, because even though you don’t sit opposite me, or speak to me, or even look at me, you make me feel special. You make me feel strong. You make me feel better. It’s a special talent you have: an ability that keeps me going - even during those moments when I’m not your central focus. I suppose what I’m trying to say is this: I love you, and I although I say it a lot, I don’t think I ‘say’ it enough. You make me feel like a better person, and I’m proud of the individual you continue to grow into each day. I’ve always loved you, but the fact I still love you, and sense I’ll love tomorrow’s version more so, helps me appreciate how lucky I am today. Thank you, B. I’ll say my thanks through a kiss as soon as you end your shift. The boy you love, Ausdylan Elvis Ashford x May 6th On the train home, and on my way to see you at The Pub Dear Aus, You make me blush. I don’t know what to say about your last letter, other than to thank you. You make me feel perfect, and although I’m not perfect, and never will be, I feel as close to perfect around you as I sense possible. This makes you rather special, mister, and who knows, maybe it’s as simple as we’re perfect for each other. In a few minutes I will see you, for I’m close to Sowerby Bridge. You’re already in The Pub with Joseph, and although I cannot stay because I need to get to work, I have to see you to kiss you and thank you and love you. I needed to read your letter today. I can’t say why just yet, but I will. You make me feel strong at times I’m weak, although I sense you’ll neither admit or understand this. I must now end this letter, because we’re pulling into the station. When you read this, I’ll have kissed you and whispered in your ear, “Thank you”. We’ll have also annoyed Joseph with our ‘sappy’ ways, which is always an added bonus. How does the saying go? Kill two birds with a single stone? I’m sorry this letter is short. I’m sorry if I’m a little distant at the moment. It’ll soon make sense, but I want you to know that I love you. I always have, and I always will. The girl you love, B x

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