when I was about ten I was called to my older sister’s side because she was inconsolable.

“She read your diary,” Mum told me, “and now she thinks you want to die.”

After looking in a kind of despairing wonder at my sister’s red and crying face, the penny finally dropped. I had written I hope that I die peacefully in my sleep. Meaning, of course, when I die, far, far off in the future. I explained matters to my sister.

A couple of days later she smiled smugly at me and teased me about Francis Simmons, who I’d written about in my diary.

I am lying in bed beside special k (facing me this time, his book fallen against my arm, his sleeping fingers holding the page) and just wanted to write a goodnight message. The first thing to come to mind were those lines from Romeo and Juliet:

eyes look your last!

arms, take your last embrace!

but I thought that without the above anecdote some confusion might arise from the sentiment.

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