Monday, August 15, 2005

I typed this up last night, then hesitated... but what the heck

It seems I am drawn to share more when the word is asleep. This is a secret about me which I would never tell out loud or to those in RL (and if I ever meet any of you – don’t you dare mention it!).

I went to a lot of schools. One was different. It was small with just twenty people in a class year; it was academic and although I was bottom of the class it was the only place I ever learnt anything; there were boys and this was new to me; and it closed down when I was eleven.

But my biggest fondness is because this was the place I had my first crush. Of course when you’re eleven your dreams are hardly a passionate affair, even less so when the boy is sixteen and doesn’t know you exist.

But the burn was there, and the object of my desire was skinny with floppy hair and a cheeky grin. Each day when the prefects (of which he was one) hurried us out the playground, I would smile and try to gather the nerve to say something, anything. I remember some vague reference to his bum-fluff, though luckily I didn’t know the term bum-fluff then, and instead called his patchy growth whiskers (like the cat food). He took it with good grace.

And that’s about all I remember from the reality.

But I didn’t need much because by the time I turned twelve I was at a single-sex boarding school and in need of no further encouragement! Whiskers occupied my day-dreams* through my time there, morphing into a demi-god.

Fast forward seven years.

It was a balmy Saturday night, I was in town – a little bit drunk* - with a girlfriend and in a very bad mood over an ex who was supposed to be pining over me, but instead was having a rather jolly time in a bar I just left.

My friend saw someone she knew and tired of my heartbroken groans, insisted we join them at private party in a nightclub. I reluctantly agreed and cheered up when I discovered I knew lots of people in there. And then I got introduced to some new faces.

Except one face seemed to think we’d met before.

I shook my head.

He nodded and said we’d gone to That School together, except he was older. Six years older. He told me his name.

And I still drew a blank.

“You used to follow me around and call me Whiskers!”

Suddenly I was red-faced and laughing. Good grief, was I really that obvious when I was ten? I stared at him, could this be him? The Whiskers of my memory wasn’t this short, or wide, and where was the floppy hair? But he made me laugh. And his smile still charmed me.

I did something very unusual (for me) and went home with him that night.

We stayed up till dawn and walked on a deserted beach before the world awoke. And then it came to a perfect end when he drove me home.

I’ve never figured out why I didn’t call him, or why I wasn’t upset that he didn’t call me, but I’ve held onto a notion that it was romantic that such an early flame had some fire after all.

Fast forward another seventeen years.

Early on a cold October Sunday morning and my second son was playing rugby, while I stood talking to some mothers.

One of them was Linda, who is the scariest Mother of mothers, she’s one of those noisy, popular types whose children win everything. She’s also on the PTAs and knows everyone, and everyone does as they’re told when Linda’s about.

Her husband came over and we got introduced.

“I think we know each other,” he smiled.

I shook my head trying to place him.

“Yeah, I’m sure of it! Didn’t you used to go to That School? But I was a bit older than you, must have been five or six years.”

SHIT, you’re not serious? I stare at this man, there’s definitely NO floppy hair, and this guys almost as round as he is tall. Please gawd, this HAS to be a mistake!

Linda laughed as I stuttered an apology for my appalling memory and asked his name.

Dean. Was that his name? I didn’t recognise it. And what sort of a SLUT am I not to know… but seventeen years.?! It can’t be him! But I can’t be sure because it wasn’t like I spent any time with him…

He let it go. And at the time I was glad.

But over the coming months it drove me mad!

As the weather got colder more mothers took to dropping off their little darlings and staying home. But Dean was often there, and we took to sitting in the club-house drinking hot-chocolate together. We got on well, and he’s terrific fun and always had me laughing (or cringing) at his stories. But he didn’t make any further references to That School, and I honestly couldn’t figure out if he had once been Whiskers.

Plenty of his tales were about his ridiculous teenage antics. Dismantling a mini and reassembling it in his mates front room, sending a wreath to a friends wedding reception – that sort of thing.

Then he told me a story about bricking up a front door.

As he spoke the ending came to me before he reached it and I snorted my hot chocolate all over the table. I knew this story! I had heard it before – whilst lying in Whiskers bed! (slut!) The BIGGEST difference being, it was Whisker’s who had been bricked in!

Oh the relief! Poor Dean had no idea why I laughed so hard. I asked the name of the man he and his friends had done it to. Paul Summers.

Paul, that sounded right, (and I shall now, never forget it).

But I had to make sure and asked where Paul had lived. Bingo! Same ground floor flat I once visited. I was happy.

Dean noticed. “Now that I think about it, you must know him! We were at That School together. I’ll have to get you together.”

Err, no thanks. Memories stay sweeter when unmarried and locked in the past.


*Maybe one day I’ll tell you about my night-dreams ;o)
**for US readers, please note we mostly have lousy weather and are allowed to drink from the age of eighteen.


Blogger Moxie said...

okay!...your new nickname shall be "whiskers"...and slut? me, if you think you've been slutty, you are deffo in good company (but will have to stay tuned to see if I ever offer my own mo of confessional!) lol

Monday, August 15, 2005 7:54:00 pm  
Blogger Southern Sweetheart said...

I love stories like this! Thanks for sharing whiskers! haha :) And I'll agree with moxie up there -- slut? haha - I'll keep my secrets in the closet where they belong! :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 1:09:00 am  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Hoo boy this is a good story. I am all ears, waiting for you to tell about your wet ..night dreams?

This morning I fulfilled my obligation from your tag of the other day, kiddo.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 1:23:00 pm  
Blogger MarkD60 said...

I used to go to thei big, co-ed two week camp every summer. I fell in love with this beautiful group leader. She was probably twice my age and I was 10 or 12. I cried the day camp ended and I told her how much I loved her.
Then one day, maybe 5 years later, I was out of town and I saw her, walking down the street. I ran up to her and she didn't even remember me.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 2:25:00 pm  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

Great story, Deb. Here's hoping the BH doesn't find it!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 3:08:00 pm  
Blogger mm said...


Kidding, of course. What a fun entry to read.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 4:31:00 pm  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Debi: Please take a look at the comment by Huw on my site today (Aug. 16), and let us know if he's right. thanks, Hoss.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 5:25:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn. Now I'm googling my ex. LOL

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 7:36:00 pm  
Blogger Jona said...

Moxie – don’t you dare call me whiskers! And I’m looking forward to hearing your confessionals ;o)

Wanting More – Spoil sport, share and make me feel less slutty!

Hoss - I only said I may tell...

Mark – It MUST have be her twin sister!

Doug – Thank you and SSSHHHH!!!! (That's not funny!)

Maureen – Thank you :o)

Lita – Don’t do it! He’ll show up with a scary wife ;o)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 10:32:00 pm  

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