Always in the Present (2015)
Set eight months after the death of writer Cass Horsely following a series of intrusive articles in the press, Vitality tells the story of six of his closest friends attending an event to celebrate his life.
- Cass Horsley took his own life six months ago. His car was found abandoned by the side of the River Seven with a note that just said Sorry.
Today would have been Cass's birthday. He would have turned 31. His closest friends and family have gathered together in The Cotswold's, the area Cass grew up in, to celebrate his life. Six months has proved to divide them, each bearing their own pain from their friends passing.
His sister Florence has left her flat in London and returned home. She is still as determined as ever, focused on making every second of her life fulfilled, but her determination is built on fragile ground.
Daniel, one of Cass's oldest friends, has by contrast fallen apart. He has returned to the excess of his twenties, but now his body is not quite young enough to take the punishment. His successful job is gone. He cannot be alone.
Jack completes the three men who spent their youth together. His life is much more secure than Daniel's. He works in an industry he enjoys and his partner, Colette, a Masters student, supports him emotionally, whilst challenging his ideals with her views on the world. They keep themselves busy.
Natalie has a secret. Her relationship with Cass was platonic, or so it is believed, they were the best of friends, but in truth they were in love. Since his death, Natalie has battled every aspect of her life, and has withdrawn, finding comfort only in her own company.
Like Florence, Ader has escaped the city, but he has done so through necessity. Cass had become recognized after his book was published. Alongside his flatmate, a successful artist in his own right, the two men had begun to frequently appear in the back pages of magazines with different women on their arms. The attention had ultimately broken both of them, and for Ader, the blame had been firmly placed on his shoulders.
In death, Cass found the privacy he sought, but behind him, he has left a group of individuals who have a new perspective, one that isn't quite as clear as it was before.