Billy. Emily’s best friend. Never before have I felt so utterly conflicted about a character that I have created. Sometimes I love him. Particularly when he’s helping Emily get through a hard time. Sometimes I hate him. Particularly when that darkness arrives and he shows signs of spite and malice.
They have been friends forever. The vast majority of Emily’s sweetest and happiest childhood memories revolve around Billy. Emily talks of their banter and easy silence. He understands the delicate intricacies of her dysfunctional home life. It all sounds so perfect on paper. And it would have been. If he hadn’t have developed a new set of romantic feelings towards her. And it is this fact that ruins everything between them.
Here’s an excerpt:
My earlier hopes of being friends with Billy had crashed and burned. I didn’t see a way back now; he had done an extraordinarily spiteful, nasty thing. I would never be able to trust him again, or be close to him. It was sad, but it was his fault, and I hoped that the vague platonic love which still, somehow, remained could be flushed down the River Esk, because I didn’t want it any more.