Violet sank down on the floor in her new bedroom, leaning against the wall. This time there were no tears flowing down her cheeks, rather her cheeks were a little flushed at the messages she was reading. The phone belonged to a young girl named Tara. And there was a young man, Damien, who was very clearly in love with her.
As Violet read, everything became quiet. She could no longer hear her mom or stepdad cluttering around outside. The messages, oh my gosh the messages. They’d started off pretty simply, but then, oh wow, Violet could feel the love. She could feel the passion. She could almost see Tara lying on the bed, sending texts. She could imagine Damien, maybe in his bedroom, with a smile on his face, as he furiously texted back.
D: Tara, I think you’re the prettiest girl I have ever seen.
T: Damien, I’m so glad you think that, you make me blush.
D: I couldn’t keep my eyes off you at the party. Wow, your eyes, your hair, everything about you.
T: I was so glad when you asked me to dance. I’m usually pretty shy.
D: I’m not a great dancer either, and I’m also shy. But you made me feel really natural.
T: I hope I get to see you again. I’m sad that we live so far away.
D: I know. We’ll have to make a plan, somehow.
T: My parents are strict. They don’t usually let me go to parties yet. They say I’m too young for that kind of thing. If my mom had known I wore the dress I wore, or stole her lipstick, she would be furious.
D: Well, I think you looked absolutely beautiful. Every time I think of you my heart beats a little faster.
T: Gotta go, my mom’s coming up the stairs, I don’t want her to find me, she’ll be furious.
Violet took a break. The texts were incredible. They were exactly the texts that she would’ve liked to get from Jack, her old almost boyfriend.. She could imagine Tara, right there in this room, on the bed, the door to her room shut so that her mom wouldn’t catch her.
Violet giggled. It was exactly what she was doing now except she was sitting on the floor looking at somebody else’s phone, reading through all her messages. She wondered where Tara had gone and why she had left her phone behind. Nobody forgets their phone!
That reminded Violet to check her own phone to see which of her old friends were sending her messages of good luck and to tell her how much they were missing here.
There were no messages. Violet’s face crumpled. How could her friends have forgotten her so quickly, and what was wrong with Jack. Why couldn’t he be more like Damien?
He had never made a good boyfriend. Or - an almost boyfriend.
Violet went back to Tara’s phone. She knew what she was doing was wrong but she couldn’t help herself. She kept reading. She suddenly saw herself as Tara.
D: Hey. Good to have you back here. I’ve missed you.
T: Is it insane that I feel so strongly about you. Let’s meet up again. I can sneak out of the house tonight. My parents are going out and they’ll never know I’ve gone.
D: Should I just come over then, if your parents are not going to be there?
Oh my goodness, Violet thought. Tara is sixteen, the same age as me. Did she meet Damien? Was he really going to come over? What if they, what if they…
Violet was blushing furiously. She knew she should stop reading but she couldn’t. Had Damien come over? Had he been in this very bedroom with Tara?
Had they kissed?
She was about to carry on reading when her mom called her to come down for supper.
‘Violet, honey, supper’s ready. I’ve used our new kitchen for the first time and it’s so exciting. And it’s still light, we’re going to eat in the garden. Come, we can maybe explore the forest after dinner.’
The last thing Violet wanted to do was explore the forest with her mother! Or leave her bedroom. But she had to. She quickly tucked the phone back where she had found it, at the back of the drawer, and went downstairs.
‘Mom,’ Violet asked. ‘Who lived here before us? Do you know?’
‘I don’t know but maybe your stepdad does. Andrew? Any idea who lived here before?’
Andrew was busy putting together a salad. He stopped tossing the lettuce and said:-
‘I believe it was a family similar to ourselves. A mom and dad with their sixteen year old daughter. I don’t know why they left but I sure am glad they did. Isn’t this house fantastic?’
The three of them ate dinner. Andrew, Ellen and Violet. Violet wasn’t at all hungry but she ate quickly, hoping to get back to her room as soon as possible. Hoping to get back to the messages.
‘Glad you enjoyed that dear. Shall we go for a walk while it’s still light?’
‘Darling. And Violet, you too. I don’t want you going walking into that forest on your own. We don’t know it yet and you could get lost. Wait for a time when I can come with you. Okay?’
Violet and her mom nodded. They quickly cleared the dishes and Violet excused herself as quickly as she could.
She raced back upstairs and switched the phone back on. What would the next message me, she couldn’t help wondering. Had they got together?
The next message said it all.
D: Tara. I think I am in love with you.
T: Oh Damien, me too. I’m so sorry my parents disturbed us though and you had to leave so quickly. Through the window as well!
D: Well, you had no idea they would come back so quickly. It was fun though. I can’t stop thinking about that kiss.
T: Yes, that kiss. The best kiss. Oh my.
Violet stopped reading for a bit. She had never had a proper kiss before. She imagined Jack but then, something strange happened. She wasn’t imagining Jack anymore. She was imagining Damien. She knew what he looked like. He was really good looking. He also loved her - oh no, hang on - he also loved Tara, not her. He didn’t even know who she was.
Still. She went back online. And she couldn’t help herself.
There were those little green dots as Damien was typing something.
‘Oh Tara, it’s been a while. I’ve been wondering where you are. It’s so not like you not to respond to me. Is everything okay. Where have you been?’
Violet could have told the truth right there and then. She could’ve said ‘Damien, something really weird has happened. And you won’t believe it, but I am not Tara.’
But something got into her and even Violet couldn't explain what it was.
She started texting back. And you’ll never believe what she typed. She couldn’t believe it either.
‘Damien. I missed you. Sorry for being so quiet. I lost my phone and didn’t know how to get hold of you. But I’ve found it again, thank goodness. I missed you too. Can you chat?’
And Damien replied immediately.
‘Of course I can chat. You’re my girl, my girlfriend. I want to spend all my time chatting to you.’
Violet leaned back on to her bed, phone in hands, and started texting.
And there was Damien, somewhere else although Violet still didn’t know where, texting back at her. Beautiful words of love. The words you want from a boyfriend. There was only one problem.
Damien had no idea that he wasn’t texting Tara. He had no idea that he was chatting to Violet. And Violet was loving every minute of it.