jacqueline & maixent
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Posted: May 1 2015, 07:11 PM
Tobias Tarquin Williams
Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
highly intelligent — "posh" accent — considerate — asexual — musically talented — gay
at the age of twelve he hacked his fathers bank account for "more pocket money"
I suppose it could be said that I come from a highly privileged background, and in a way that is entirely true. My parents have always been financially stable; my father is descended from nobility that traces back to Tudor times, and since the family managed to keep itself fairly affluent down the line- he had quite a bit of money, which he invested wisely and managed to double within ten years. My mother was more of a socialite, but came with quite an impressive amount of inheritance herself. So there you have it; two high class individuals with more money than sense, coming together in a marriage of convenience (my mother’s father arranged the match, so I’m told… very traditional, my family) and winding up with a townhouse in Islington, London, and a large villa in Spain for the Summer holidays.
And then I came along, the son and heir… the disappointment.
Perhaps I’m being a little harsh on myself; I wasn’t always a disappointment. That came much later.
I was born on the third of January, 1989. I’ve been informed that I was premature, the first of many inconveniences I would force upon my parents; who, at the time of my impromptu birth, were still nursing wine induced hangovers from the merriments of welcoming in the New Year. As if in punishment for my heinous crime, they bestowed me with the rather unfortunate middle name of ‘Tarquin’, a badge of shame passed down by my paternal great grandfather, nestled between a less embarrassing moniker of ‘Tobias’ (easily shortened to ‘Toby’ as is my preference) and the family surname of Williams.
My birth was a rather rushed affair- due to my small size, I was quite an easy birth (although my mother would have you believe she was in labour for over a day and had to be heavily medicated to allow the birth to come smoothly; the latter is true, but largely to shut her up I imagine) but had to be swiftly contained. I spent quite a long while in one of those intensive care units, but luckily for me… I pulled through. I’m told it was a slim chance back then, 20% survival rate or something along those lines.
My childhood was rather sheltered, in hindsight. Due to the premature birth, my parents decided that I was likely to be a terribly feeble child, and while my father privately harboured some discontent- he permitted my mother to coddle me well into my early teens. Or rather, he allowed my mother to direct my nanny to coddle me: coddling meaning being bundled up in far too many layers even in Winter, being forced to take every form of medication available that they could get without a doctor’s note, and long hours whiling away the time behind a piano while I watched the other neighbourhood children get acquainted playing in the street and probably calling me all kinds of derogatory slurs behind my back… or rather, in front of my face through double glazing and the distance of the steps to our front door.
I wasn’t a complete pariah though, luckily the extent of the coddling didn’t go quite as far as home-schooling me. I attended a relatively nearby Junior school, the kind that only let ‘certain’ types of people send their children there. Honestly, I’m surprised there was, and is- some sort of class divide in modern London but there we have it… and being on the supposed ‘winning’ side, I really ought to not complain. At this school, I was amongst my peers… similar boys and girls with equally overbearing parents and skills in piano, violin or some other instrument.
It was there that I met one of my closest childhood friends; Penelope Brontë.
In the grand scheme of things, our time together was brief- but I distinctly remember arranged ‘playdates’ where either I or she would visit the others house for tea, and we’d struggle to find some way to amuse ourselves that didn’t involve sitting around stiffly with overbearing parents. I must admit, I preferred going to hers… she had all these escapes and places to go, and her minder was a lot more forgiving and lenient than mine (if only their appearances were reversed, Natalia would have suited Beatrice’s looks far better, and deserved them). Yes, I enjoyed time spent with Penelope Brontë- but then all too soon she was sent packing to a girl’s school and I too was sent to a boarding school. One for boys, unsurprisingly… and finally escaped Beatrice, the house- and my parents… at least, until the holidays.
A good education, combined with an exceptionally good mind (allow a sheltered ‘geek’ their pride) made for very, very good things and I managed to gain acceptance into Oxford University for my foundation degree in Computer Science. I learned a lot of things there, many extra-curricular things outside of my decided degree: how the world works, how impressively obnoxious and unclean my fellow students could be and an awful lot about my own sexuality. Or rather, somewhat lack of.
Her name was Emily Mathers. She was a nice enough girl at the time, good looking I suppose (I must confess to never really paying much mind to the aesthetics of the fairer sex) and pleasant enough company. She wasn’t in my degree, she was doing something to do with music if I remember rightly but sometimes the more technical aspects of her course led her to be in the lab when I was, and of course… my musical inclinations often found me sneaking time on her degree’s piano when I had spare time and they weren’t using it. I suppose the crosshairs we so often found ourselves in led to a natural introduction. It turns out she’d been admiring me for a little while now, thought I had a lot of talent when it came to playing- and she wanted to get to know me.
I found the whole thing perplexing- I wasn’t her type, I was adamantly certain of that fact but considering I couldn’t come up with a good reason as to why that was… I couldn’t argue. In a manner of days we were considered a couple, and I found myself pulled along by the hand through what remains to this day one of the most confusing experiences of my life. Things might have gone well for us, had it not been for what many in my life consider to be an ‘unfortunate’ genetic ‘default.’
The human race truly is remarkable- how one moment you could be sat in a coffee shop with a girl insisting that she wants to marry you: that the two of you will grow old together and live in California and make music together and she can just see it now… to hissed comments of ‘couldn’t even get it up’ and other such unsavoury things whispered behind your back as you walk through a University supposedly famed for the calibre of its students.
I looked elsewhere when it came to completing my Masters degree.
I can’t explain what made me choose University College London, perhaps it was something about the change of pace- or maybe the familiarity of home. My father was disappointed, of course, because I had turned down my more esteemed offers from Oxford and Cambridge- why, I could have even studied abroad at MIT, he said- but no. There was something about London that pulled me back, and after the unfortunate incident with Emily… (Sometimes I swear I can still feel the slap, and the scratches) I craved familiarity.
Alongside my studies I still like to play the piano. Sometimes memories make it a little taxing, but more often than not I can sit a while and play in peace, I’m even composing a piece of my own in my downtime: there is not much, unfortunately… not with a degree such as mine, or indeed, a masters level of any course. It will be worth it in the end, my father often tells me- with an unwanted clap to the shoulder. He and mother still insist on interfering in my life, despite my living alone now: I have a town house of my own a few streets away from them. Well, I say it’s my own, it is of course all bought and paid for by the parental units… my money is their money, until I marry.
A topic that has become worryingly real these past few weeks.
The phone rang, and he sighed- placing the pen down and reaching for the answer button, pressing it with a growing sense of dread;
“Good afternoon, mother.”
He cringed at the name, but made a soft noise of acknowledgement- sounding far more pained than intended, if the slightly admonishing tone of her voice was anything to go by;
“Hush now, that is the name we gave you. Tobias, listen… do you remember the Brontë family?”
eve — 22 — gmt — pm/skype — judas, jack, antoinette, aubrey, dominic
Posted: May 12 2015, 01:18 PM
welcome to the site! poor toby - i just want want to wrap him up in a blanket and let him be a lil nerd all on his own.