How We Began by Alexis Hall, Amy Jo Cousins, Annabeth Albert, Delphine Dryden, Edie Danford, Geonn Cannon, Vanessa North
Genres: LGBTQ+, New Adult, Romance, Young Adult
Release Date: November 9, 2015
Publisher: Pink Kayak Press
How does love begin? A glance, a gesture, an unexpected offer of help from a stranger…or from a good friend. A smile across a counter at a coffee shop or video store. A secret revealed in a song from another place and time. Or in a love ballad crooned at a high school dance.
In this anthology of never-before-published sweet LGBTQ+ stories, seven authors explore the beginnings of love between young and new adult couples. All proceeds will support The Trevor Project’s work with crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth.
TruNorth by Alexis Hall
We play the O3 in London.
The crowd is amazing, filling up this vast dome. When there’s that many people, they look like coloured beads, shaken back and forth by these huge ripples of motion.
They’re here for us. To see us.
There’s something almost physical about so much excitement and anticipation and all this… I don’t know what else to call it except love. Surging towards the stage, beating against my body, as if it’s trying to push right inside me. I never know if I’m flying or drowning or dying.
But when I’m here, when I’m on stage and my face is on the screens and my voice is everywhere, I don’t care.
It’s weird because it’s not the sort of thing you can really seriously want or imagine wanting. It’s too big. Too impossible.
But now I know what it’s like, I do want it. I want it so badly it tastes like blood in my mouth.
We close with Something About You—our first number one.
I wish you could see what I see when I see you
Cos then you’d believe there’s no reason to doubt you
You’d know how your smile lights up my world
Because to me, oh to me
There’s something about you.
It’d been waiting for us after The Next Big Thing. All we had to do was record it. The video’s a bit rough around the edges. Not the video itself—it’s Glyde’s handiwork, so slick as slick as can be—but us.
Still learning our parts.
It’s effortless now, though. We know how to move and how to stand together. Whose arm should be flung across whose shoulder. Who keeps his hands in his pockets. Who tucks his thumbs in his belt.
Max, Me, Oli, Rayan, Callum.
All choreography, but it’s meant to look natural.
Glyde calls it “coordinated anarchy”. Vigorous young animals having the time of our lives.
He really does call us that. With this awful fondness.
We’re doing it now. Running to the edge of the stage, waving, blowing kisses, swapping places, jumping past each other, coming together at last. I rest an elbow on Max’s shoulder, put my left arm round Oli. Rayan leans against him on the other side. Callum, on the far end, folds his arms. Close but not touching.
We’re publicity-still perfect.
We did good tonight. I know we did.
Adrenaline sparks beneath my skin even as my breath slows and my heart calms. It’s a hectic, electric feeling, not quite like happiness. This moment when I blur so absolutely into who I’m supposed to be and everything else falls away.
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