This is an extract from the first novel I ever attempted. I think calling it a coming of age story is a bit pretentious, but it is about two girls who meet and fall in love at school and about what happens. There is no great plot, no attempt to be the answer to everything, it just shows how they cope with life and what is thrown at them. It is part one of a trilogy:

Poppy self harms. Here is a scene from early in the novel.

Poppy sat alone on her bed in her room, wearing just her underwear. She wanted Maëlys to be there. No, she needed Maëlys to be there, with her. She wished now that she had agreed to go round to study. She felt alone and empty. It all seemed too dark again. One moment she had been so happy and full of fun then it was all blackness again and she felt just a numbness that she could not describe. She rubbed her hands over her thighs. One was as smooth as silk, the other rutted and sore. She looked down at the track marks and smiled thinly. She felt excited, but sickened, she knew she shouldn’t, but could not stop herself. Her head was about to explode, she needed the release only this could bring. She had to get rid of the pressure that was bursting to get out of her. She slipped the razor into her flesh and shuddered as the pain ripped through her body, it hurt so much, but she felt so good. She watched as the blood bubbled up to the surface, and then as it slowly followed the pain and the razor, a thin line of blood moving slowly along, getting wider and wider and spreading as she moved the blade. She shivered with delight and then disgust as she pulled the edge from her skin. The blood slowly overflowed from the narrow slice, she dipped her finger in and moved it to her lips, sucking the red into her mouth. She watched as the blood seeped and flowed down both sides of her thigh towards the bed clothes. As if in slow motion she took a tissue and pressed it against her leg, dabbing and cleaning the scarlet stain from her body. She shuddered and then started to cry. The tears poured from her eyes onto her cheeks and down her body trying to meet up with the blood from her leg. She felt sick with herself again, as she always did. The moment of ecstasy then the long pain of disgust with herself that she should abuse her body like this, vandalising the once pure flesh and deforming what had once been perfect. Why did she have to do this, Poppy thought, why can’t I be normal and just leave my body alone? What is wrong with me? She looked again at her thigh and thought, why am I doing this? Because I need it, and it makes me feel alive. The pain proves I am alive, that this is me. She wiped along the scar and was fascinated as the clean cut became red again, like the tide reaching up the seashore. She smiled grimly and applied the razor again.