- Vol. 02
- Chapter 12
Image by Molly Baber
dead pan tileMy mum always used to call you Peter Pan, behind your back. The way you always used to seem to be knocking at the window and beckoning me out, to lead me astray, one way or another. He has such a cheeky face she used to say, and although now, looking back, I know she must have had the usual parental worries about my safety, I think she was also secretly happy that I had a friend like you. You, so full of energy and ideas.
My English teacher asked me once why you didn’t carry on to do your A Levels, like me. She said you had a way with words, even if it wasn’t the way with them you should have had. I think she was talking about the effusive swearing and imaginative name calling. You, so full of rebellion and cheek.
My little sister asked me last year if I knew where you were these days. I think you knew she had a crush on you. She couldn’t believe that we were only friends, that I wasn’t going out with you. I guess at that age some things are so much one way or another. Now my world is full of so many different shades, in that middle ground.
My dad was in the search party that went looking. It wasn’t him that found you, thankfully, but he was the one who let me know. Three days it took them. To be fair, he did a good job of sitting me down. I don’t think he expected the lack of reaction, I have to say. But it was all such a long time ago, and to be honest, and I don’t want to hurt your feelings here, but I can’t really remember you. I mean, I remember, but it’s more the feelings? Do you get that? How you made me feel, effortlessly, excited and free. I can picture your face, your smile, but I can’t hear your voice. I can remember the feeling of your hands around my waist, lifting me over walls, but I can’t remember how you smelt.
dead pan tileI wasn’t surprised, we had been there so many times before. But we hung about in loads of places back then, sneaking all over the place. When we were kids the roof was on, the glass was in and the place still had a For Sale sign. Until you threw it in the long grass.
I left, you stayed. Forever.