Three years after that first meeting in a theatre storeroom, Jayden Phillips and Darren Peace are separating for the first time, trading in school for the trappings of adult life. Jayden has achieved his dream of a place at Cambridge University; Darren has achieved his own of escaping the Cold War of home and tasting true independence for the first time.
A hundred miles apart and embarking on two very different paths, Jayden feels it is inevitable that time and distance will slowly pull them apart. School relationships, after all, don’t last. Darren disagrees — at first. Love is all they need, and they have weathered harder storms than chasing dreams.
That is until the separation, and the encroaching influence of Jayden’s new friends, begins to take its toll on Darren’s mental state. Alone, he descends in a rapid downward spiral that is finally arrested by one night and a drastic course of action. In the wake of a single unanswered phone call, Jayden learns that time and distance have the power to do much more than break a relationship.
The dream is over — and the reality is far, far worse.
Genre: contemporary, romance
Cis boys: Darren, Jayden
White: Darren, Jayden
Disability: Darren – major depression
Trigger Warnings: mental health issues, self harm, suicide attempt, suicidal ideation, homophobia
Ending: happy for now