Bruno’s knee and just kind of kissing him, and he was kissing her back, but both of them were listening as well. I tried to leave out all the bitchy stuff at first, but there was just so much of it that I felt ashamed till the old man, Joseph he said his name was, told me it was “excellent satire,” and very “true-to-life,” so after a while I started reading out most of what was there.

Well, anyway, after that there was no question of kicking the old man out. He’d only been here a couple of hours, he said, and I must admit I don’t think he would have survived much longer if Bruno hadn’t of found him. I managed to talk to Ann alone in the kitchen, and ask her if she could get him a room or something, and she kissed me and said she was real proud of me, and I burst into tears, I felt so happy. I love her so much, and she was looking at me like I was special, more even than Bruno. So the old man’s gonna stay, and he said he’d show me some of his own writing, but I don’t think I’ll understand it much. Ann found him a room down in the basement, and I went down with him to settle him in, and show him where things were. And then I kissed him goodnight, but nothing else, ’cos he’s really old.

[Thursday] … When I woke up this morning I couldn’t believe it. I’ve started sleeping in the upper bunk, to leave those two alone, so I just lay there thinking about the evening before, and all the shit I’d written about it in my diary. I mean, what was I thinking to read all that stuff out loud to them? I felt so ashamed, but then Ann crawled in beside me, and said that she’d never loved me more or been so proud of me as when I’d been so polite to the ratty old man, and that Bruno had really appreciated it too.

The funny thing is that I wasn’t even thinking about them when I did it, it just seemed natural because he was so polite and friendly to me, and I kind of liked the way he paid me so much attention, and not just undressing me with his eyes. So I said that and she told me that that was why she loved me, because I was such a good person deep down, and we had a really nice cuddle. I really thought Bruno had stuffed it up between us, not that there was that much to stuff up, but now I think he’s made it better somehow. I asked her how she’d feel if I had an affair with the old man, and she said that he’d certainly die a happy old man if I did.

Later on I went down to see how the old man was, and he was kind of sick in bed, talking with Bruno about a whole bunch of old papers and stuff. I came in and asked if I could do anything, and the old man said that all he wanted from me was the delight of my presence and my conversation. Bruno

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