5/3/17, 16:08.

Today, I saw him. That one. Who I thought, once upon a time, was The One. Pronounced 'theee won'. With a sigh and a long blink. 

The boy who sat in the front row of my English class, who was the seemingly involuntary cock of the walk; the one all the girls sidled up to while we waited for the teacher to arrive.

The boy who danced with me at the school disco after he was told I'd been crying in the toilets, nervous to ask him myself.

The boy I'd see walking to and from school, who I soon learned lived just up the hill from me – by looking up his family name in the Yellow Pages. I'd always try and get out of the building ahead of him, so it didn't look like I was following him and so he'd be stuck watching me walk, watching me turn into the road off the hill – I'd stupidly hope that one day he'd call out, remark on how near to him I was, how convenient, 'Shall we walk to school together, from now on?'

The boy I'd often think 'I just would love it...if he loved me.' I didn't care about being his girlfriend, I didn't need a label on anything. And I never actually thought about doing stuff with him.
I just wanted a declaration of love, and a big kiss. On the basketball court, in the queue for the canteen, in a busy corridor between lessons, high up on the half pipe – on the hill, as we parted ways walking home. 
That would have been enough for teen me, I think. She wasn't that demanding. 

He was a skater, he had long hair and smatterings of freckles and skinny legs...at the time. He's since filled out, toned and beefed up, cut the hair and ditched the board.
I wonder what he does now. Who he's with, and where he's home.
I could have asked, today. I could have turned again, caught his eye and smiled knowingly. We could have chatted all the way to London.
Who knows?
I didn't know – I just felt.
I felt the rush and the blush, the throb and the crackles. I felt the excitement, oh that youthful alertness that only occurs when you see Theee Won!! I felt the flash of terror, the self-consciousness and the echoes of trash talk and – oh, shit, I didn't put concealer on my spots! I felt the urge to scurry away, and I fought it. I stayed. But I didn't push.

I let him disappear. I boarded the train, alone. I stowed my bags and picked up my book and I smiled to myself, thinking about how the universe is obscenely playful and at times has a twisted sense of humour. I had mentioned his name the other day, referring to him as 'my first crush'. Which he was. It was a fleeting mention, but apparently enough to incite action and make the world turn a certain way – and put him there, right beside me after more than five years apart.
'Apart' is the wrong word. That would imply we were ever together. Ha.

I, of course, tweeted. Remarked on the lunacy of it all. I had replies; 'say hello', 'it's fate', etc., etc. I didn't. It wasn't that I lacked the nerve, the bravery – it was a sense of self-preservation, and of leaving be that child in me. The teenager who adored the mop-head skater boy, who wanted to examine his freckles and carve initials on her desk with a blunt compass. She's gone now. Good job, too. Because surely if she'd initiated, if they'd finally kissed, perhaps, as the train rolled through London Bridge...time would turn and start backwards.

It was nice to see him. It was nice to appreciate him, and remember the adoration I once had for him. So thanks, gangster. 


  1. Brilliant post, one of the best I've read. I also used to (and still am) forever making impossible and improbable scenarios in my head with other people. :)

    1. You absolute gem, thank you so much for saying that! And I'm glad it's not just me who dreams ;) <3

  2. Wow I love this! One of my fav ever posts for sure. You have a knack of making everything you write just so damn readable. Clearly you have a gift for it my lovely. I hope to read more like this in the future. Have you ever considered writing a book? Let me know if you do cos I'll be first in line to read it xx

    1. Thank you so so much, gorgeous. I love my writing being referred to as 'readable'! That's the dream!
      And yes, yes I have thought many many times about writing a book. I've driven myself a bit crazy with the idea. And y'know what? I think maybe it could happen...someday. xoxo

  3. Grace, I just love this post. My ex changed his profile pic on FB the other day and when I saw it in my timeline, me heart leapt and I felt all those things you've described here. So much YES to this post. Also, don't stop writing, ever, cause you're damn good. Michelle xx

    1. Michelle, ily. + I love that you know this feeling! x


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