The constant Machiavellian grin on his face is a cover-up for some kind of yearning, which doesn’t excuse him for being rude and obnoxious and cruel, but he’s honest, and I think that deep down he’s as lonely as I am.
I can’t even remember Ben’s story. Heaps of foster parents, I think. One who put a violin in his hands and changed his life. - Jellicoe Road
“His name’s Ben,” Francesca says to Tom, as if he’s asked. “And he’s twenty-one and he’s a violinist and he’s from the Riverina and he has a very, very dry sense of humor and he lives in Waterloo with a bunch of mates, and when he plays the violin, he keeps his eyes closed and this one time he opened them and the first thing he did was catch Justine’s eye. And then he winked. So now she says it’s their song.”
Tom makes a sound as if he’s sobbing and he covers his heart with his hand. - The Piper’s Son
…and it was then he saw the girl standing on the other side of the dirt road, her eyes pools of absolute sorrow, her light brown hair glowing in the splinters of sunlight that forced their way through the trees. It was as if he had seen a ghost, some kind of apparition, which haunted him through that night.
Georgie’s felt it coming for days now, ever since she received the e-mail from Joe’s girl. Ever since she discovered that Dominic coming home doesn’t mean the end of the pain. She puts the blanket over her head and just wants everything to stop, but Dominic is there, or maybe Tom, and she’s trying to explain but then she realizes that it’s like one of those hallucinations. It’s like she’s explained it, but she’s in the same spot and she’s explained nothing.
“It’s all a bit of a gamble, mate. That’s all I can promise you. And we never get to see what that other life would have looked like if we don’t take chances. You know what I did on the day before I started at this job? A practice run on the Tube from Convent Garden to Arsenal. I was miserable Joe sitting on the Tube, homesick for you all, honestly thinking of packing my shit up and flying back to Georgie’s place and meditating in her attic for the rest of my life. I’d been here for almost six months and nothing had happened. And I was praying, Tom. I was praying for a sign. I was so close to being a no-show the next day. But thank God I went through with it because every day, now, I sit on the Tube and think I almost missed out. Just say I didn’t know I was twelve minutes away from the rest of my life. Twelve minutes away from meeting a bunch of the most decent kids I’ll ever teach. Twelve minutes away from meeting my girl.”
She was the most comfortable in her own skin of all of them, and since they left school, she was the one with the biggest social life outside their group, totally at ease with guys. Unless she’s madly in love with them.