Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Sunday Girl

When I was 17 I fell in love for the first time. 

The object of my affection was someone I worked with in a garden centre at the weekend and he was gorgeous.  He had blue blue eyes and they twinkled with mirth.  He wasn't like any other boy I had met, he was articulate and creative, we liked the same things.  His acerbic wit had me in stitches and we made a very real connection.  He didn't know I loved him, oh no, I was too unsure of myself to tell him, but he made my heart skip whenever I trudged into work in my green tabard.  I remember copying out the words to Blondie's 'Sunday Girl' into an anonymous Valentine's Card for him, for indeed Sundays were the days we worked together. 

We were very close friends and maybe that's why, one night at gig, whilst dancing with him he leaned forward and bend down to whisper in my ear, I held my breath and he said those fateful words. 'I'm gay'. 
I can't really remember my reaction to his revelation, I think I just about held it together whilst trying to assure him that everything was OK.  I was the first person he came out to, probably because we were so close, and I guess in hindsight I should be flattered, but I was devastated.
I remember choking out tears to my best friend by the lockers at school the next day telling her the events of the night before.  And then despite being heart broken I decided 'Friends is good, friends is something' (I think that's a quote from a film or something) and that this would all be fine.  But in my usual dramatic fashion I also HAD to tell him how I felt, even if it wasn't going anywhere.  And so I did.  I wrote an umpteened page tome about how I loved him but it was all alright and I didn't expect him to do anything about it yadda yadda yadda.  I don't remember what I expected him to do with all this emotional outpouring, possibly have a change of heart / sexuality, but I just knew I had to tell him.  And so after that I just put my feelings in a box and put them away, desperate to be content with my new 'fag hag' role.

And things were fine and we had lots of fun.  I remember a hilarious trip to Margate with him and some other friends of his where we sang along to music at the top of our voices on the way down to Bembom Brothers.  On the way back I chatted animatedly with a friend of his whilst he was asleep with another friend in the back of the car, talking so much we missed our junction on the motorway and added about 30 miles to the journey and the others were oblivious.  Singing Abba at the tops of our voices, trips to the cinema to watch scary films and Pride Marches in London.  Before he came out to everyone else several people assumed I was his girlfriend.  Oh how we laughed when one night his dad 'put his foot down' and forbade me from staying over in his room but allowed another male friend to do so! 

Some things were harder to deal with.  When he got his first proper boyfriend (who was lovely by the way) my heart ached a little and I remember one particular New Years Eve where I went out with him and his boyfriend and then we crashed at someones house.  They thought I was asleep but I wasn't.  I lay on the floor, scarcely daring to breath listening to them together and my heart broke in two.  Whilst on the train home the next day I overheard some other people talking about 'the state of that girl over there'.  They were talking about me and my tattered heart worn very much on my sleeve.

But I guess life goes on, you move on and grow up. 

Over the years our lives have moved in different directions with Uni and jobs, marriage and children, we have drifted in and out of each others lives.  That is why I love Facebook so much because we are in touch again.  I haven't seen him in such a long time (geographically it isn't so easy) but there will always be a little corner in my heart for him.  I heard Abba on the radio the other day and it made me smile.

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