o everyone's shock he bent down and started picking everything up. “I'm sorry,” Carmel stuttered.
“It's OK, I was stood too close to you,” and he smiled, she had never seen him smile before and it was really quite dazzling. “You in a hurry?” he asked.
"Yeah, I left my bag in the locker, I need my purse.”
"It's OK I got it, get your dinner, you can pay me back later,” the whole college turned and looked, “as we're going to be in laws one day.” He finished, loud enough so that even the people at the back could hear him. He sat with her that lunchtime and for the first time, they chatted easily. “He even calls her name out in his sleep!” Todd was laughing at the sweet way the two young sweethearts behaved. Carmel agreed that Penny was the same, and much to her mother's disdain had said that when Jessie left for Japan, Penny was going too. Todd nodded, but there was a frown across his face.
“I know your father disapproves,” Carmel said.
“He doesn't know them the way I do, he won't keep them apart, I won’t allow it.” Todd said seriously, there was more to that statement too, she just didn’t know what it was.
“And you don’t have to worry about Jessie taking her virtue until they're of age either” Todd said finally. “I know.” Carmel already knew that and they both smiled, their younger siblings were quite simply the epitome of virtue and very much in love, it was a rare thing to be seen in this day and age. Penny was at the Basement with them most nights, so Todd had got to know her really well, even driven her home a few times when she had gone to the pictures with Jessie. After lunch they parted, Carmel would give the lunch money to Penny to give to Todd.
Todd picked Jessie up from Penny's nights when he had missed the last bus, which was most nights. One Saturday night he was late and it was already 1 am by the time he got there, and he couldn’t get an answer from Jessie's phone. He tried Carmel's but hers went straight to answer machine and her mother was at work. He walked up to the front door and tried the handle, it was unlocked, Todd let himself in. Todd made his way upstairs, he knew Carmel's room was at the front of the house, which meant that Penny's room had to be the box room at the back. He opened the door. Penny was asleep under the quilt and Jessie was asleep on top of it, their study books were strewn across the bed, they had been studying and fallen asleep. He should wake Jessie and go. Instead he went to the airing cupboard in search of a blanket, found one, made his way in and covered Jessie up.
He made his way back onto the landing. Carmel's room was just steps away from him. His heart started pounding. Despite himself and much against his better judgement, he made his way into her room.
Just then he heard a key go in the front door, it was her mother coming in, it must be after two already. Their mother made her way straight upstairs and into the bathroom, moments later he heard her bedroom door open and then close, and a few minutes later he heard her snoring. He was still stood by Carmel's door. She had a dim night light in the corner which she had left on and he could plainly see her face, he went and knelt by her head. “What is it about you that entrances me so?” he whispered, it made her stir and she rolled over to face the wall. It was a large single bed, probably three feet wide, big enough for both of them, he took his coat off and slid in beside her, she woke up. She didn’t scream she just stared.
“I just want to wake up next to you, once” Todd said.