I realise that I need to take some responsibility for the events that followed, but affairs of the heart are complicated things and I was so very young. I felt myself drawn to Conrad – his solid dependable character felt comforting to me. However, I also found Stephen attractive. His intelligence and awkward charm were of course alluring, but in truth I have to admit his vulnerability also played a part.
It was at about this time that Conrad told me of Victoria – the driving force behind their research. Victoria was a childhood friend of Stephen and Conrad’s, and I think it is fair to say a first love for both of them. They spent idyllic summers together, by the river, and a return to those childhood memories were the absolute focal point of the research. Love and guilt are powerful manipulators. Stephen and Conrad’s understanding of their research so far meant they both believed that they couldn’t change the past. They claimed that ability to visit it was enough for them.
Neither of the boys would actually ever talk about what happened with Victoria and it was Jane who finally told me the story. Part of me wants to share it, but another part of me can’t face thinking about it after all of these years. Perhaps later.