Once upon a socially-defunct teenager with her second-timer broken heart and a fresh start driven by unfortunate school friends, one went to her first live gig at a school hall in Monmouth. She heard her first punk, smelled her first dreadlocks in her face, did her first skank. Band member brothers Lorenzo and Fabio set in motion the whir in her mind for the next seven-years-and-counting dedicated solely to head-hunting potential baby names.
Like all nights with that particular college friend, who I would realise years later was just as unfortunate as all the bully-friends whose wings I’d chosen to be taken under before, we came home to disaster, tantrums and a lot of awkward waiting.
Hannah had her qualities. She was an amazing artist. She had a very creative way of thinking and conversing, and was good at the usual small talk as well as ignoring it and being far more interesting. She had a way of making you feel uncool, while somehow appreciated. I guess like so many men in my life she was someone I was holding out to impress, and to earn her respect.
Fun time with Hannah of course had its side effects. After another night of trying to be fun in her eyes, i.e. not myboringself; dancing like a freak, not giving a shit about speed limits and black eyes and people’s feelings, she, Holly and I traipsed home to her parents’ house after lights out. We were still living under our folks’ regulations and watchful eyes and guilt trips. We were still being influenced. Formed as personalities. I was always more of an observer than a contributer.
All the doors were locked and the windows shut. I began to regret putting my social life before my constant desire to be home with my computer. Not a first. I hated awkward situations, the cold, unplanned events. We were stuck in the dark in winter in the middle of England, with the fear of annoying the parents whether we got into the house or not, and the dread of spending a night anywhere but inside, where cosy girly sleepovers happen.
Hannah went off on her usual soliloquy of hate and self-righteousness, developing the ongoing story of how she was better than everyone else and had to do everything for herself because everyone was useless apart from her and it was lucky she was so clever, etc. Holly and I waited, shivered. A window latch tripped.
Unfortunately, tonight’s rant went on a bit. A while. God knows how it got to here but while we were ignoring the usual drama, Hannah took a massive pair of office scissors from nowhere and I watched her back as she dragged them slowly and thoroughly across her wrists. I don’t remember seeing any damage on her skin at all. I really couldn’t tell you whether that’s because there wasn’t any, or I just didn’t want to look. I certainly don’t remember any blood.
All Holly and I could do was kneel down and pick up every last bead so that Hannah could repair the bracelet. Melodramatic yes. Eye opener yes. Some things I am glad to have escaped and left in my past, without making a definitive, one-stop effort to write someone off completely. I may let old relationships die hard, but I think it is best to keep your heart open for as long as you have some feeling there. She is still on my Facebook account, but we don’t talk.
I am stunned sometimes by the amount of things and people in the world that I want to really experience in my life, get the most out of, but that I don’t have time for. That’s just the way things are. No matter how many websites you sign up to, you can’t make time for everything. You have to make choices sometimes. But I remain hungry for more.
Yet no, Facebook, I do not think I need to reconnect with my ex-boyfriend of three summers ago who changed his mind about me after a short but massive crush. His inbox can wait for my message a little longer. But thanks for thinking of me.