EX­TRACT FROM MIR­ROR, MIR­ROR

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - CHARMED LIFE - by Cara Delev­ingne

Eight weeks ago… The sun was ris­ing as we were com­ing home, our arms in­ter­linked, feet drag­ging, the heat of sum­mer build­ing in the air. Rose’s head was on my shoul­der, her arm around my waist. I can re­mem­ber the feel of it ex­actly, her hip and the mis­matched rhythm of it bump­ing against mine, her skin on my skin, warm and soft.

It was just be­fore five; the early light fierce and golden, mak­ing ev­ery dirty street gleam like new. We’d seen this sun­rise a lot on our way home af­ter long nights out, mak­ing each mo­ment to­gether last un­til we closed our eyes. Right up un­til that night, life had fi­nally felt golden, like it be­longed to us and we to it, fill­ing ev­ery sec­ond with some­thing new, some­thing that felt like it mat­tered. But that night was dif­fer­ent. My eyes ached, my mouth was dry, my heart pounded. We didn’t want to go home, but what could we do? There was nowhere else to go.

‘Why now?’ Rose said. ‘Ev­ery­thing was good, man. She was good, happy. So why now?’

‘It’s not the first time, is it?’ Leo said. ‘That’s why the pigs don’t care. She’s done it be­fore. Money, back­pack full of food from the fridge, her gui­tar. Dis­ap­pear for a cou­ple of weeks. It’s her M.O.’

‘But not since Mir­ror, Mir­ror,’ Rose said. ‘Not since us, right? Be­fore she was into all that cut­ting and shit, and run­ning off. But not since the band. She was… we were all good. Bet­ter than good.’

She looked at me to back her up and I had to agree, ev­ery­thing had changed in the last year for all of us. Be­fore the band, we were all lost in our own way, and then some­how we hap­pened. And to­gether we were strong, and cool and rock hard and in-your-face awe­some. We all thought Naomi was in that place too, that she didn’t need to run away any more. Un­til last night.

That night, we were out all night, all over town.

Ev­ery place we ever went to with her, we went to again with­out her.

The places we told our par­ents about, the places we didn’t.

The clubs we should have been too young to get into, hot and stink­ing of sweat and hor­mones, bat­tling our way through a heav­ing mass of dancers, try­ing to catch a glimpse of her.

We slunk in the shad­ows, in al­leys down the back of pubs where you could score, talk­ing in low voices to ner­vous kids with shad­ows for eyes, who of­fered bags of skunk. That night we said no.

We vis­ited places be­hind un­marked doors where you have to know some­one to get in. Dark base­ment rooms, where peo­ple still smoked in­side un­til the air was thick with it, and the mu­sic was so loud it made your ears ring, your chest vi­brate and the floor jump to the beat un­der your feet.

We went to all of those places, and ev­ery­where else. The park on the es­tate where we go to muck around. The river­side, alien and over­looked by mil­lion­aire apart­ment blocks. Vaux­hall Bridge, our bridge, the one we’ve walked across so of­ten, shout­ing to make our­selves heard over the traf­fic, that it feels kind of like a mate, kind of like a wit­ness.

Fi­nally, we went to that empty bet­ting shop with the bro­ken door and a mat­tress in the back, where some kids go when they want a place to be alone. Some kids, but never me be­cause one of the things I re­ally hate is be­ing alone.

Hour af­ter hour of that night went by, and we were sure with ev­ery mo­ment that passed we’d find her, that she was pulling one of her stunts, the kind of thing she did when she was hurt­ing and needed to be no­ticed. We were sure our best friend and band mate, Naomi, would be some­where in a place that only we knew. She would be wait­ing for us to find her.

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