Simon - Bold
Baz - italics
Times are relative to Baz’s time zone (BST)
(20:50): you can’t kill him
(20:51): baz don’t do
(20:52): baz I swear to god answer me. if you kill him me and all your future fangirls will be coming for your friend
(20:54): I won’t hestiate bitch
(21:01): For someone who is a beta reader you would think you would possess good spelling
(21:02): fuck you
(21:03): It’s all apart of the plan.
(21:04): fucking me?
(21:07): No you dimwit. Chaz needs to die.
(21:11): I don’t know yet, Simon.
(21:12): Maybe because Simon needs to realize his feelings
(21:12): oh wait I just fueled the fire.
(21:13): how will chaz die anyway?? He’s a vampire
(21:14): vampires can die. He’ll burn himself in the forest.
(21:16): I will flag everything that is written about that.
(21:17): I will not go down with this ship.
(21:18): you hear me Basil
(21:46): you better not be doing what I think you are doing
(21:47): I’m going to the google doc
(22:00): fuck you Baz why
(22:01): Get fucked Si. Get fucked.
It’s getting late. I should be heading to bed, but this chapter is weighing on me like a tonne of bricks. Simon doesn’t want me to kill him. I should trust my beta reader, shouldn’t I? I should trust my friend if nothing else. Simon and Chaz (my shameless self-insert) are in a forest. Chaz is about to kill himself. He’s right there.
But sadly, the imbecile of my best friend is right. I quickly move the passage about his death to another document and I’m left wondering what they are going to do in a burning forest.
Simon Snow, my book character, isn’t based off of my friend, Simon. I was coming up with the idea of this character and I just really enjoyed the name. His relationship with Chaz is nothing like our own. Well maybe a little bit as every day I wish to be closer to him than I am. Simon and I never talk about meeting up. We never talk on the phone either. Simon once told me he has severe social anxiety; talking on the phone and meeting strangers is his kryptonite. I would at least like to swap pictures. I tried to get him to, but he never agrees.
I hate writing on my own. Simon says I’m good at it. He says he likes my original writing better than any fic he’s beta’ed for me and he’s beta’ed for me a lot. Our relationship is much different than a normal beta reader. He helps me at all stages and edits along while I’m writing it. It didn’t use to be this way. The impatient prick hated to wait, and he has good ideas. I always give him credit.
I write a quick note to myself to write something the next night. Maybe Simon will have an idea in the morning. I know he’ll have an idea in the morning.
(22:30): isn’t it late where you are? Go to bed.
(22:31): We live in the same time zone… don’t we?
(22:32): You’re British, right?
(22:33): maybe I’m on holiday
(22:34): Where are you on holiday?
(22:35): stranger danger
(22:36): We’ve texted for three years. You are a barely a stranger.
(22:37): what’s my middle name then
(22:38): You have never disclosed this information.
(22:39): you weren’t even sure I was British. Ergo you are a stranger
(22:40): Crowley, Simon. I’m not some perv on the internet. I don’t even know what you look like. You can tell me where you are on holiday.
(22:41): maybe you are a catfish
(22:41): This would all be one big cat fishing scheme. I would a. Have to know our shared fandoms inside and out. b. Write fan fiction about them for you to read. c. Already have established a popular Tumblr account.
(22:42): still seems fishy, m8
(22:43): I’ll give you three guesses of my location
(22:44): In exchange for what?
(22:45): your endless love and support
(22:46): and I get to tell you a plot point I want
(22:47): I’d follow your advice anyway.
(22:48): do we have a deal???
(22:49): Is it three guesses for the country or three guesses for the specific place?
(22:50): whatever you want
(22:52): Are you in America?
(22:53): how did you know
(22:54): New York City?
(22:55): Los Angeles?
(22:56): h o w
(22:57): A magician never reveals his secrets.
(22:58): So how is LA?
(23:01): It’s not the only thing that’s hot…
(23:02): how do you know? You’ve never seen me.
(23:03): I don’t know. Just figure.
(23:04): What’s the plot point you want in the book?
(23:05): for simon and chaz to kiss. In the fire.
(23:07): you agreed. It’s an unbreakable vow.
(23:08): Is that from HP?
(23:09): have you
(23:09): have you never
(23:09): have you never read hp?
(23:11): Wow I’ve read something Baz Pitch hasn’t what a surprising turn of events.
(23:12): how can you consider yourself British???? jfc
(23:12): at least watch the movies
(23:13): will you write the kiss??? for me…. [pouty eyes emoji]
(23:20): Fine. Tomorrow. They’ll kiss in the forest. Happy?
(23:22): I’m sure chaz will be too after his spicy kiss with simon
(23:23): it will not be spicy
(23:25): erotic gropefest
(23:26): It’s what the people want
(23:27): so you want me to write smut
(23:31): You want me to write smut of our two innocent magicians? How dare you even suggest such a thing?
(23:32): How dare you detective Diaz
(23:32): Simon no. You know I don’t understand your Brooklyn 99 references.
(23:34): first hp now b99. watch b99 please I beg of you
(23:35): I don’t really watch a lot of TV.
(23:36): well fucking start
(23:37): I expect that by the time we met irl you will have at least seen some of b99
(23:40): So, we are going to meet at some point?
(23:45): go to bed
(23:46): It’s not even that late.
(23:49): it’s almost midnight
(23:53): Simon, I don’t know your surname, wants to meet up with little ole me.
(23:56): No you are shitting me
(23:57): I most certainly am not
(23:58): I thought you knew this
(23:59): How did you let me name a character Simon Snow? It’s basically your name
(23:59): thought it was funny
(24:00): You little shit
(24:01): How did you know my last night?
(24:02): your username is bazpitchisabitch
(24:03): you are supposed to be the smart one in this relationship basil
(24:05): So you do want me, Salisbury?
(24:06): go to bed
(24:07): You don’t tell me what to do.
(24:08): Fine okay I’ll go to bed.
(24:10): I can finally get some peace and quiet
(24:12): You texted me
(24:13): goodnight basil sweet dreams
(01:23): my middle name is Oliver by the way.
(07:30): You must be joking.
(07:31): Simon Oliver Salisbury
(07:32): Simon Oliver Snow
(07:33): haha very funny
(15:20): I’m not joking.
(15:25): great now I have to change my character name
(15:30): keep it. I like having a book character based on me
(15:31): for the millionth time Simon Snow is not based on you
(15:40): “And when I felt myself slipping too far, I held on to the one thing I’m always sure of— Blue eyes. Bronze curls.”
(15:42): pretty sure that’s me mate
(15:50): and how would I have known that?
(15:52): [shrug emoji]
(15:53): Do you really have blonde hair and blue eyes?
(15:55): wouldn’t you like to know?
(15:58): Yes, yes I would.
(16:00): too bad
(16:01): [middle finger emoji]
(16:02): pitch bringing out the emojis. damn
(16:03): in all seriousness yes I match those characteristics.
(16:05): does that match your picture of me?
(16:08): I’ll readjust.
(16:10): what did I look like before?
(16:12): Devilishly handsome
(16:13): [face with wide open eyes emoji]
(16:15): Sorry did that make you uncomfortable?
(16:20): I’ve never… I don’t think I’m attractive.
(16:22): I mean no one has ever come up to me and said “you’re hot.” I’ve never…
(16:25): my friend says to tell you that I’m spewing bs and that I’m handsome (I’m really not)
(16:28): I’m sure you are very handsome. Looks don’t really matter anyway. It’s what’s on the inside that counts and you are a wonderful person on the inside.
(16:30): I’m sure that you have an outside to match.
(16:32): shit that was sappy… um… you are great
(16:35): fuck I can’t think of any insults.
(16:42): baz pitch said something nice
(16:45): Yeah fair
(16:48): I have to get myself in the mood to write romance
(16:50): so you are writing the kiss?!?!?!
(16:51): I promised, didn’t I?
(16:52): How do you picture me?
(16:53): a walking dick
(16:54): I said nice things about you and you think of me as a penis?
(16:55): Friendship over.
(16:58): can you give me a hint?
I know I should be enjoying holiday. We’re in LA for Crowley’s sake and I’m what? Texting with my crush instead of enjoying the beach which is right outside our air bnb. Penelope is still getting ready, so I find this the perfect time to text him. I reread over the past couple texts. He’s flirting with me, right? He must be. People don’t just compliment you out of nowhere.
I click the google doc instinctively. I can see Baz on the document. He’s writing the kiss scene. By the looks of the edit history, he’s been on here for a while.
Baz and I don’t talk much about our personal lives, but it seems that his life centers around school and writing. I know he’s a uni student and he knows that I’m one too. I don’t know about his family or real-life friends and he doesn’t know about mine. Not that I have much to share in the way of family. I wish I knew more about him, but then I would have to share, and I don’t really want to. I’m constantly worried he’ll find something about me or my past and not want to talk with me anymore.
But weirdly, I know a lot about him. I’ve seen the inner workings of his mind. I’ve read his smut, fluff, and everything in between. I know that he’s a hopelessly romantic even though he acts cynical. It’s always what he writes his main characters out to be. Even if he is basing it off a well-established character, I can see his personality shine through.
Penelope says that’s stupid. I shouldn’t be afraid to share things with someone that I’ve been texting with for three years. She also says that I should work up the courage to call him, but every time I think of it, my stomach feels sick. Thankfully, she hasn’t asked me for a picture. I don’t know how I would tell her that I don’t have one.
Baz hasn’t seen me either. Well, he doesn’t know that he hasn’t seen me. As his beta reader, I have made it my personal duty for this project to make playlists, mood boards, you name it. I’ve been posting pictures of myself as the character model for Simon. Most of them were taking by Agatha or Penelope when I feel like I look good which isn’t often. I doubt I’ll ever work up the courage to actually send him a picture, so this will have to do. I wonder if he finds the pictures attractive.
Penny walks into the room. She’s ready for her day at the beach. “Ready to go?” I nod, glancing down at my phone.
[1 new message: one baz bitch]
(17:05): [1 image]
Penny is looking impatiently at me. I take a quick look at the picture. Fuck. Shit. There is a picture of a man on my screen, presumably a picture of one Baz Pitch. Merlin and Morgana, he is so attractive.
“Simon?” I look up at Penny. She is towering over me. I stand up quickly, all the blood rushing to my head.
“Right, right, sorry.” I grab my bag from beside me and we head out to the beach.
I glance down at my phone again once we are settled on the shore. It’s not very crowded yet and the sun is hot on my skin. Penny has already made a break for the water.
[4 new message: one baz bitch]
(17:10): You don’t have to send one back.
(17:12): Did I do something wrong?
(17:13): I’m sorry if the photo made you uncomfortable.
(17:30): sorry I was away from my phone
(17:31): I hope you don’t mind that I don’t send one back
(17:32): it didn’t make me uncomfortable
(17:33): ngl you are a very attractive man
(17:34): Are you sure you want to fuel my ego, Salisbury?
(17:35): didn’t know it could get any bigger, pitch
(17:36): you are much more attractive than me
(17:37): someone with your looks would never look my way
(17:38): I doubt that’s true.
(17:39): You probably have guys and girls lining up to get a piece of you.
(17:40): haha you’re wrong
(17:41): Guess we are one in the same then.
(17:42): oh come off it
(17:43): Never had a boyfriend
(17:44): guess I’m too cynical for love.
(17:45): may I ask a question?
(17:46): You just did
(17:47): fuck off
(17:47): I mean
(17:48): are you doing alright? You’ve been writing alot of angst lately.
(17:49): I’m worried
(17:50): you’ve barely left the doc all week
(17:51): maybe you should hang out with your irl friends or something
(17:52): I don’t have any friends. My family isn’t great company either. Plus, it’s summer holiday.
(17:53): I’m sure you have one friend
(17:54): yeah you
(17:55): one irl friend
(17:56): I don’t know many people from uni
(17:57): just text one person that you know irl
(17:58): Why? Are you trying to get rid of me so you can enjoy holiday?
(17:59); no I just want to make sure you are happy. Summer holidays get pretty lonely sometimes.
(17:59): time spent alone in your room with nothing to do so you get sad
(18:00): you don’t deserve to be sad, Baz.
Penny comes running to our towels. There are water droplets coming off her like rain from the sky. She grabs her phone from her bag, quickly checking it.
“That’s weird,” she says.
“Some guy from uni just texted me.”
“Some guy? Penny, is there a guy you aren’t telling me about?”
“No. I told you about this guy, I think. My study partner. He’s been around the flat a few times while you weren’t there.”
“His name was something weird, right?”
“Do you like him? Like, do you want to ask him out?” Penny sputters, laughing a bit.
“He’s gay.” She looks at me like she’s had a brilliant idea. “I can set you two up. It’ll get your mind off of your internet friend.”
“No. I can barely talk to you and him. Let alone go on a date with another human being.”
“Simon, how many times to I have to tell you? You aren’t as awkward as you think. You’ve gotten much better since Watford,” she says, finally sitting down on the towel, stuffing her feet in the sand.
“What did your friend say?”
“He said, “Hey. How are you? How is your holiday?””
“Are you going to text him back?”
“Baz sent me a picture today.”
“And this is worth mentioning because…” I look down, grabbing a fistful of sand and letting it pour through my fingers. It reminds me of when I used to crush Manticores with my bare hands and sometimes a sword. I look at her.
“He’s never sent one.”
“You guys are absolutely hopeless.” She takes a sip from her water as I groan. “Well, are you going to show it to me?”
I unlock my phone and show her the picture. I can hear the cogs turning in her mind. Her eyes are bright. A plan is being formed.
“He’s cute.” She hands the phone back to me. “Anyway, get off your phone. We are going in the water.” I sigh and put my phone away.
(19:12): When are you coming back to the UK? I hate time zones.
(19:13): I leave tomorrow but UK time I won’t be back for two days.
(19:14): Two days too long.
(19:15): do you miss me?
(19:16): Well I don’t have anyone else to text late at night.
(19:17): don’t worry we’ll be back to our late night writing sessions in no time
(19:18): how long is the plane ride?
(19:19): 10 hours
(19:21): I know
(19:22): I’ve never been outside of Europe.
(19:23): How is America?
(19:25): the portions here are huge which is good for me because I’m always hungry
(19:26): plus sun something England doesn’t have
(19:27): which also means sunburn but who cares
(19:28): Do you look like a tomato, Snow?
(19:29): Fuck Salisbury
(19:30): you didn’t just…
(19:32): I’m dying
(19:33): my friend is looking at me like I’m insane
(19:34): I’ll never live that down.
(19:35): no you won’t
(19:35): speaking of friends, did you text your irl friend
(19:36): yes she’s on holiday. When she comes back we’ll get together
(19:37): happy that your computer will get a break.
(19:38): What are you going to do without having something to read?
(19:39): I dunno.
(19:40): What have you done in LA?
(19:41): omg yesterday I went to Disneyland
(19:42): fucking magical dude
(19:43): today we’re at universal studios
(19:44): also dope
(19:45): I’ve seen the Hollywood Sign
(19:46): Done all the touristy stuff
(19:47): I think you would like it here
(19:48): oo Disneyland. Sounds fun.
(19:49): it was I bought so much merch
(19:52): [1 image attached]
(19:53): look it’s toy story
(19:54): omg it’s Simon Snow’s leg!!!
(19:56): can’t believe the first photo you send me is of your leg and a fucking toy story headband.
(19:57): Then again I shouldn’t expect any less from you
(19:58): oops guess you know what my leg looks like
(19:59): Shouldn’t you be enjoying your theme park adventures?
(19:59): stuck in line for Flight of the Hippogriff
(20:00): is that a hp thing?
(20:02): one magical universe at a time
(20:03): think of it as research
(20:04): ugh fine I’ll check it out
(20:05): fuck yeah you’ll love it. All of them are available through sky
(20:06): What am I getting myself into?
(20:07): a whole new world
(20:08): I fucking hate you, you know that?
(20:09): you love me
(20:10): I guess I do
(10:50): I’m back in England
(10:55): great now I can yell at you
(10:56): I’ve watched all the Harry Potter movies
(10:58): I leave you alone for two days and this is what you do…
(10:59): how did I never see this
(11:00) I asked you the same question
(11:01): I know you would love it
(11:02): I’m angry I didn’t read the books before seeing the movies, but fuck
(11:05): Baz I would love to discuss this more but I’m tired as balls.
(11:06): I’ll text you when I’m a person again.
I stare at the picture once again. Simon did the most wonderful job of creating boards for each character. I’m currently staring at the model who we use for Simon. I don’t know how Simon found him, but he’s perfect; from the hair down to the freckles on the cheeks.
There is a prominent mole on his cheek that looks like the perfect target. Chaz really is my self-insert. I can put all my horny feelings about this model into my writing and disguise it for teenage love. It’s perfect. Simon won’t ever know.
The hours passed along wistfully. My family has gone on holiday. They asked me if I wanted to go, but it’s too hard. I would rather spend my days watching magical movies and writing about magical boys. My father and stepmother are taking the young ins to some Mage resort. I didn’t ask for the details. I’m in London anyway with my aunt. The manor feels cold even when it’s filled and all the childhood memories cling to skin and choke me.
My aunt never bothers me. We exist in each other’s space and she respects me, but she never ignores me. When we are both home, she’ll make sure to draw up just the right amount of conversation. It’s never too much or too little. On good days, she’ll play David Bowie albums on the record player, she’ll smoke a cigarette out of the small kitchen window, I’ll drink some tea, and write. It’s something out of a dark academia novel. I like that aesthetic for myself.
Fiona has always liked my writing. I never showed her my fan fictions; I think she found them on her own. I don’t find it an invasion of privacy because it started by her stumbling across my account by accident and actually liking the things I wrote. She sent me a link to my own fan fiction thinking I would like it. It led to a very awkward conversation over coffee the next morning. She had laughed. I haven’t shown her my novel yet. I want the first draft to be done before I show it to anyone else but Simon.
She’s home now. She was gone for multiple days on a vampire hunting mission. I never understood why she let one of them roam in her house. I think she always felt the need to take care of me even if I’m a gay, lonely, vampire mage.
I’ve lived with her only since graduating. Fiona understood my aching desire to get out of the manor. Although my homeschooling was on my accord, I still blame my father for making my experience in the manor so cold. After my mother was killed at Watford, I could never fasten enough strength to go back there for more than short stints. I had been asked by Agatha Wellbelove to accompany her to Leaver’s Ball. My father had known hers. I had barely known her before. Maybe I should text her.
Everyone stared at me. I didn’t really understand as there was a boy with dragon wings, but I digress. I was an outsider. People knew I was the Heir to the Pitch fortune and son of Malcolm Grimm but nothing else. I remember Dragon Boy eyeing me with Agatha. Both Agatha and I are painfully gay, but neither of us could say anything to our parents about it.
Fiona lets me be whoever I want to be. Before leaving the manor, I told my father. It went better than I hoped, but still not as well as when I told Fiona. She took me to the pub, and we celebrated. I like Fiona’s lifestyle; full of sticky pub seats and rock albums.
Simon, my Simon, is amazing too. He lets me be me. I think some part of him is saved just for me. I do the same for him. If only I could say the things I want to say to him. I write them instead in the words of Chaz to his Simon. I write sonnets for him to say, but when I try to say them the words don’t come.
I sometimes wonder if we’ll ever meet or is a fantasy. We both want it to happen, but something always falls flat. Maybe we aren’t meant to meet. Maybe we are supposed to exist on opposite ends of a screen. He’ll always be Simon and I’ll be Baz. We’ll be best friends forever, but in a forever where we will never meet. We’ll just be names and words on a screen.
(22:14) Do you think we’ll ever be able to talk on the phone?
(22:19): unless my anxiety get cured, probs not
(22:20): But anxiety can’t be cured
(22:21): the point
(22:22): I have a therapist and I take meds, but it doesn’t really help
(22:23): phones really freak me the fuck out
(22:24): What about video chat?
(22:26): better than phone, still not great.
(22:28): meeting in person?
(22:31): What do you think it’ll be like when we meet?
(22:32): I’ll be an awkward mess, you’ll be calm cool and collected
(22:33): I think
(22:33): I think it would be good
For the first time in weeks, I get dressed. Fiona’s taken me out a few times, but they’ve all been at night and just with her. Today I’m seeing a friend from uni, the one Simon forced me to contact. We are meeting at a cafe, but I feel the desire to dress up.
I’m there before Penelope which isn’t a surprise. She’s late to most of our study dates at school. When I go to her flat, it always seems as if she’s in a scramble there too.
(13:00): what are you up to today? You aren’t furiously writing on the doc
(13:01): you told me to reach out to my irl friend
(13:02): I knew you had friends!!
(13:04): I never thought I would say this, but I wish you were home so I could read
(13:05): then pick up a book
(13:06): go to a bookstore
(13:07): I don’t have money
(13:08): there is always money for a good book
(13:09): maybe in your world, pitch
Penny comes stumbling to the table. “Sorry I’m late. The tube was super crowded, and my flat mate held me up,” she says.
“It’s always your flat mate.”
“He’s a right pain in the arse sometimes.” She plops her bag on the table and sits down. “Don’t tell him I said that.”
“Lips are sealed.”
“Food?” She asks.
We both go up to the counter and order our meals. Penny and I had met early in our uni careers. We both are studying English lit and she stared me down from across the room. I knew she was a mage from the minute I saw her. She knew the same about me. I had recognized her from the mage related events of my childhood and from Watford’s Leaver Ball the previous summer. She sat down in the seat next to me and we talked for a long time. Now we study and engage in less than intellectual conversations about life.
“I saw this great meme earlier today, I have to show you,” I say as we sit down at our table. She nods exciting.
“Sorry again for being late.”
“It’s okay. Roommates can be annoying at the best of times.”
“It’s just… I hope you don’t mind that I invited him to lunch. He hasn’t been going outside the flat much and he doesn’t have many other friends. I thought he might like to meet you. I wanted him too. I talk about him so much, but at the last minute he decided not to.”
“I don’t mind at all. Any friend of yours is a friend of mine.”
“You were at the Watford Leaver’s Ball with Agatha, right?”
“Have you spoken to her recently? She hasn’t answered any of my calls.” I shake my head.
“I barely keep in touch.” I take a sip of my coffee. “I have to apologize for barely texting you over the summer. I’m horrid with communication and I didn’t know how much you wanted to be friends out of school.”
“I would love to be your friend out of school, Basil.” She smiles at me. There is a piece of lettuce in her teeth.
“Have you had a good summer holiday?” She nods.
“I just got back from the states,” she says it as if it’s an important piece to the puzzle, but I don’t even know what I’m supposed to be connecting.
“Where did you go?”
“LA. My flat mate and I went. It was so much fun.”
“Sounds it. Where was the best place you went?”
“Did you buy anything?”
“So much. Do you want to see pictures?” I nod. She digs into her bag and finds her phone. She moves her chair next to mine and starts swiping through pictures. Most of them are scenery, a couple pictures of her posing.
“Do you have any with your flat mate?”
“He has most of them.”
“Oh. Your flat mate doesn’t go to our uni right?”
“Baz may I be frank with you?”
“I would prefer that you were.”
“Your online friend is my flat mate.” It takes me a minute for it to set in.
“How did you know about that?” She doesn’t answer. “Your flat mate is Simon Salisbury?”
“Don’t worry he doesn’t know.”
“We could’ve met today. You sneaky minx.” She laughs. “I appreciate the monumental effort, but I would rather we find time to meet ourselves.”
“Do you have any pictures of him?”
“He hasn’t sent you a picture?”
“Oh, Simon.” It’s weird, hearing her say his name.
“How did you two meet?”
“Watford. You’ve probably met him at Leaver’s Ball. He had the dragon wings.”
“Simon’s a mage?” She groans, moving her plate away, and dropping her head to the table. Now my story really seems like it’s based off him. It’s not.
“You two are hopeless.”
“Wow, okay.” Penny is finishing off her meal; I’m still working on mine. “Does he still have the wings?”
“No, he got those removed. I finally could start growing plants without being scared he’ll knock them down.”
“Do you think that he’ll ever call me or meet with me?”
“Yeah. He loves you.”
“I mean… he talks about you and your book all the time. He talks about you like he’s been friends with you for years.”
He talks about you like he’s in love with you. I don’t say that of course. Baz is wide-eyed. I’ve never seen him this bewildered except for the first time he saw Simon at Leaver’s. He couldn’t believe his eyes when he first saw the dragon wings. I like seeing Baz like this, it doesn’t fit him.
Nothing about Baz is right. He should’ve gone to Watford, but he didn’t. He should just be a mage, but he isn’t. He should be frolicking fields with Simon, but they aren’t.
I’m going to have a stern talking to with Simon when I get home.
“He loves me?”
“I don’t know in which way, but he cares deeply about you.” Baz looks taken with emotion. He quickly stands.
“This was nice. I have to go.” He starts to walk quickly to the door. I grab his wrist. He looks back at me.
“You should ask him out when it’s right. You two are perfect for each other. You match.”
“That’s it,” he mumbles. “Thank you, Penny.” He kisses me quickly on the forehead before rushing out.
Penny slams the door when she enters. As per usual, it looks like she’s been swept up in a storm. She doesn’t look very happy when she finds me still in bed with an empty cereal bowl on the nightstand. I doubt it’s about the mess and more that her meeting didn’t go well. She climbs into bed next to me, pulling me into her arms, resting her head on my shoulder.
“No secrets,” she says.
“No secrets,” I repeat.
“I know your online friend in real life.” I wonder if she can hear my heartbeat. It’s so loud in my ears. She knows Baz. Merlin and Morgana, I know who it is.
“Don’t Simon me. I can’t talk to him anymore.”
“I can’t, knowing that he’s somewhere near here. He knows where I live, Pen.”
“Don’t shut him out.”
“I just can’t talk with him right now.
(22:00): Simon I’m almost done.
(22:01): I think you are going to hate the ending but fucking deal with it.
(22:02): I caved. It’s a romance now.
(22:03): I know you are awake, you are editing the doc.
(22:03): Is everything okay?
I’m pretty sure Baz hasn’t slept in two days. There are constant revisions being made on the document. I would be worried, but the things he is writing are magnificent. Finally, the Simon and Chaz romance makes sense. Down on a notes page there are big, comic sans, bold letters reading, “they match.” I have no idea what that means, but the I can only dream about what it does. I’m sure it will be ace.
Texting him seems a little much right now. Maybe I’ll text him again when the ending is done. Something inside me feels weird when I realize that he’s real. He lives just a few tube stops from me. He could come over to have lunch with Penny and he would be here. I try and think of Baz as a person, what his voice would sound like, what would he laugh at. I close my laptop and take a breath. I can’t look at the stuff he’s writing anymore.
Penny doesn’t seem to understand it. She doesn’t understand why the world has been heavy for the past two days. She doesn’t understand how hard it is for me to realize that Baz isn’t just a name on my screen.
(03:12): I finished it
(03:13): I know you are sleeping
(03:13): but I miss talking to you.
(03:14): please text me to let me know you are okay.
(03:15): I’m not sleeping
(03:16): you know my roommate irl
(03:16): Penelope Bunce
(03:17): she just told me
(03:18): a couple days ago
(03:19): it scared me
(03:20): did she show you a picture of me?
(03:22): she did tell me that you are a mage
(03:23): are you a mage too?
(03:24): no shit
(03:25): did you go to Watford?
(03:26): no but I was at your leavers with Agatha Wellbelove
(03:27): she’s my ex-girlfriend
(03:28): You dated Wellbe?
(03:29): That’s so cute
(03:29): Power couple of the century
(03:30): Quite the opposite. We weren’t good for one another
(03:31): Oh. She’s gay anyway.
(03:31): Agatha’s gay?
(03:31): you didn’t know?
(03:31): sorry. I just figured… Penny knows.
(03:32): Penny knows?!
(03:32): I’m really sorry I didn’t text
(03:33): It’s okay. I was about to text Penny because I was worried.
(03:35): baz pitch has feelings
(03:39): why are you up?
(03:42): yeah. You?
(03:44): I was in the mood to write. Then I looked at the clock and it was 3 am
(03:45): I’ll read over everything in the morning.
(03:46): I’m going to try and sleep
(03:47): sweet dreams
I’m eating dinner, talking with Fiona about her latest mission, when my phone starts ringing. I don’t have people that call me except for my father. At least Mordelia has enough knowledge to know to text me if she needs me. I look at the caller ID and see Not Simon Snow light up my screen.
“You okay there, boyo? You look as if you’ve seen a ghost.” Fiona says.
“I have to go.”
I put my plate into the sink and rush to my room, answering the call.
“Hello?” I say. “Simon?” I hear breathing on the other end.
“Baz?” I revel in his voice for a moment. It has a slight Welsh undertone.
“I read the book and got so excited. I couldn’t type it.” For someone who has said he has phone anxiety, he doesn’t seem to be anxious at all. I relax and climb onto my bed, making myself comfortable. “I… um…”
“Did you like the ending?”
“No, but you know I wouldn’t. You like open-ended journeys into mysticism and I like wrapped up presents of fluff. We weren’t going to agree on it.”
“Do you want to FaceTime?”
“No, I like this.”
“Okay. I’m not freaking you out?”
“This is less stressful than I anticipated.”
“I like your voice. Is that weird to say?”
“No, I like yours too.”
“Stop you are making me blush.”
“I wish I could see. I’m sure you look beautiful with blush on your cheeks.” Fuck did I just say that. I guess I did. I hear Simon giggle, fucking giggle, over the phone.
“I... don’t know what to say to that.”
“I didn’t mean to say it, but I don’t regret it.”
“I don’t know what to say to that either.”
“Let’s get out of this territory. Let’s talk about the book.”
“Sounds good,” he says. I imagine a smile on his face. “Honestly, I’m still 99% sure you based Simon on me.”
“I didn’t and you know it.”
“He’s exactly like me. He even sprouted dragon wings.”
“Yeah, okay, I did base that on you.”
“I knew it! I’m fist pumping the air right now.”
“But I didn’t know it was you. I just saw a dragon boy at Watford.”
“Did you know Chaz is based on me?”
“Really? I had no idea.” His voice is dripping with sarcasm. I roll my eyes. “Do you also have a crush on Simon Snow?”
“No,” I start. “But I have one on Simon Salisbury.” Merlin and Morgana, I cannot keep my mouth shut.
“Baz, can I tell you something I’ve never told anyone? I didn’t even tell Penny. Well, she figured it out on her own, but anyway.”
“I really like you.”
“I really like you too.”
“I’m grateful I found you on Tumblr.”
“Same to you.”
“Shit, I should go. Penny’s probably waiting for me to eat dinner.”
“Are you disappointed, Bazzy?”
“I’ll text you after dinner.”
After that phone call, Simon starts to call me more. Most of the time, it’s late at night when everything said is insane. Simon pushes me to hang out with Penny more and I do. It’s not like I dislike her company. I think it’s one step closer for us to meet in person.
(10:12): I want to meet before term starts
(10:16): meet me this afternoon at the cafe you and penny go to
(10:18): simon you can’t just say this
(10:21): before I lose my confidence
(10:22): how do you know I don’t have plans
(10:23): you’re baz. When do you have any plans?
(10:25): you know I’m right
(10:26): I guess you are.
(10:27): did you say 2?
I’m sitting at the table that Penny and I normally frequent. The cafe is relatively quiet, so I just sip my coffee and wait for Simon. It comes to me while I sit there that I have no idea what he looks like.
It’s a painfully long ten minutes (I was early, he was on time) before a man comes up to my table, more like stumbles to my table. He clumsily takes a seat. He smiles at me and I think my world collapses.
“Simon?” I ask. He nods. “This is going to sound crazy, but other than Watford, I feel like I’ve seen you before.” He makes this shit-eating grin on his face and barks out a laugh.
“Check Pinterest.” I take out my phone from my pocket, going to the book’s mood board. And there he is smiling up at me from the screen. Tens of pictures of him under the character reference for Simon.
“You slimly pillock.”
“I told you that Simon was based on me.”
“I—" He starts to laugh and then I join in. “That’s so funny.”
“I’m glad you thought so.”
“I’ve been staring at this man for months dotting about how attractive he is and now I’ve got the real thing in my reach. Wow. What a turn.”
“You think I’m attractive?”
“I’ve told you this a million times. Yes.”
“Well, it’s different now. You aren’t just assuming.” I put my arms on the table and lean in.
“You are very attractive, Simon Salisbury.” A deep red blush appears on his cheeks. It’s beautiful.
“I… Well… You are attractive as well,” he stammers. “Handsome… very.”
“I’m glad we could do this.”
“Same. I’m going to get some food.”
“I’ll pay for you.” He smiles at me and I smile back at him.
“Did you watch Brooklyn 99 yet?”
“Maybe we could watch it together,” he says.
“I would like that.”
“When your book gets published, who will you make it out to?”
“I don’t know I haven’t thought that far.”
Many years down the line, through trials and tribulations, through copious amounts of edits, Baz’s book gets published. As I hold it in my hands, I flip to the dedication page. He’s kept it secret from me all this time. It says, “to sour_cherry_scones, to Simon.” And in the acknowledgments, it says, “to all the internet friends in the world, no matter how far away or close you are to one another, that relationship is real. Sometimes your internet friend will help you write a book. Then you fall in love and move in together. Or sometimes they’ll just be a name on the screen and no matter what remember that they’ll be there, they’ll always be there to help you carry on.