Hi. I’m Fiona from The Path of Innocence. I’m at St Andrews University and I’m so proud to be here, determined to make the most of the opportunity.
I s’pose I’m quite feisty and opinionated—actually, I prefer strong-willed, but the author keeps interfering. Although I’m pretty focused on work, there’s time for all the clubs and societies, too. I s’pose I’m different from a lot of the others in that I’m not really a party animal. I imagine people think that I’m really sorted, that I know my own mind, but sometimes I ache inside…
Well, like I said, it’s great to be here, a dream come true, and I want to savour every moment. Sometimes, I’m so busy that my feet don’t seem to touch the ground. I’m really fulfilled, really I am…it’s just that these urges inside keep coming back to torment me, struggling with me like a beast waiting to be unleashed.
My advice to the author?
Get therapy. She is so mean to keep putting temptation in my path. Everything will be going along fine and then WHAM she hits me with another testosterone-fuelled boy. I try so hard to be good, to save myself for true love, but she’s determined to make it as difficult as possible for me. Like I said, she’s twisted and needs help.
Everybody thinks I’m so sorted, but sometimes I feel that I am trapped inside this stereotype and I’m just yearning to break free. Sometimes, I wish I could be more like Lucy, my roommate, flitting around like a beautiful butterfly, taking pleasure wherever she chooses.
Studying her reflection in the mirror, Fiona turned this way and that. Her figure wasn’t bad. Everything was in proportion—medium height, medium build, and her face, whilst not exactly beautiful, had a certain character. She ran her fingers through her hair, admiring the threads of natural copper highlights that gave it a burnished glow. She was attractive enough, but not, she knew, exceptional. Perhaps her whole persona was too intense, anyway, to attract men in the way that Lucy did. She sighed longingly. Yet, being fickle or flirtatious was not in her make-up. Her role within a group, she knew, was to help maintain harmony rather than to stand out by virtue of any remarkable qualities. Not that she was a wallflower, she straightened her shoulders squarely. She could assert her presence when necessary, but mostly she was happy to be one of the crowd, an affable companion and certainly not a threat.
She stared hard into her own eyes, blue-grey with flecks of green, and silently admitted that she would never be the type to set men’s hearts alight. Behind the veneer, however, she also knew that there was a heart beating wildly. Flopping on to the bed, she gazed sightlessly toward the ceiling. An alluring Venus she might not be, but there were times when she lay in bed at night yearning for someone to engulf her in a passionate embrace. She cradled herself in her arms, knowing that her lascivious thoughts were never more than fantasy and that, in the cold light of day, she would wake up a prisoner, still trapped within the boundaries of her own stereotyped behaviour, still aching to find a release for the emotions pent-up inside her. Glancing at Lucy’s bed, empty yet again, she let out a weary yawn and resignedly turned out the light.
Other characters who have influenced me?
When I first started, I went round in a small group led by Donald, a mad Scotsman. He was such fun and made sure that everything we did turned out hilarious. Yet, I can’t look at him now, not after walking in on his sordid ménage a trois.
It’s beautiful here at St Andrews and I’ve joined the Ramblers club so that I can get out to really appreciate the environment. Unfortunately, the wimps have cancelled for the winter, so I’ve been going out on my own...that’s how I bumped into Roger again. He’s really easy to get on with, but so detached…
My dark secrets?
Well, they won’t be secrets if I tell, but I will say that the author has got a lot to answer for!
How does Roger deal with my adventures?
When I first met Roger it took ages for him to make a move. Everything was great for a while—he’d had a pretty disastrous past, too, so that wasn’t an issue. However, fate—or that twisted author—intervened and dealt a blow neither of us could have foreseen, not in our wildest dreams. It really hit hard and we both fell apart.
Do I think I’m a superior being?
No, but other people think I do. I met this dishy guy on a train once and he really laid into me for being high and mighty. Can’t win them all!
The oddest thing I’ve seen?
The raisin Monday parade when Donald turned up in a tutu dressed as a fairy queen with us all following him dressed as fairy helpers. Like I said, he was fun, but, boy, was I wrong about his character!
Spending a day with me.
I guess a lot of people would find it exhausting. I can’t bear to sit around doing nothing, so I tend to pack in as much as I can.
What would I change about myself or the one I love?
Well, I wish that I could be more easy-going, not so buttoned-up, but I wouldn’t want to change anything about Roger. *Sigh* Except for his horrible father.
How do you deal with stress?
I take it by the neck and strangle it.
Tell us about that party…
Okay, you keep pushing me for more info. All I will tell you is that I’d met this guy before and he seemed fine. And, yes, I did fancy him, but although I thought I was ready, I wasn’t. Maybe it was the drink, but he turned into a complete beast… Actually, that was the first time I met Roger. I was throwing up on the grass outside at the time.
Something about the gentleness of tone penetrated her flimsy defences and a loud sob erupted, despite her efforts to suppress it. Suddenly her hands began to shake uncontrollably and a river of teardrops spilled down her cheeks.
“I…I’m sorry,” she choked. “Making a fool of myself.”
“It happens to the best of us. Look, I don’t want to interfere, but are you sure there’s nothing I can do?”
“My jacket,” she sobbed. “It’s so cold.”
“Where is it?”
“In there,” she nodded toward the flat. “In one of the bedrooms.”
“Can I get it for you?”
“No! You can’t go in!”
“Well, perhaps I could ask somebody else to get it?”
She raised her bleary eyes to meet the stranger’s face and forced a tight smile.
What do I wish you’d asked?
Did Roger and I manage to get over our problems and make it to the end?