It’s just a little Crush.
All through high school I had a crush on a boy called Pedro.
I also had a slightly more intense crush on a boy called Pablo, but tonight is only for Pedro.
High school isn’t a time I allow myself to dwell on all that often.
Or ever really, to be honest.
It wasn’t a particularly happy time in my life.
I imagine it is like this for a lot of people.
I get that I am not alone in this, and that thought comforts me.
Yes. Your misery comforts me. I am that narcissistic.
But doesn’t misery love company?
But still, at least I had a crush to help me hop through the disastrously horrific times right?
But I have to say, even with a Pedro and a Pablo to keep my head company, it was ghastly.
I hated it.
Was a loser.
I served only as a joke, a poking stick, a human whoopee cushion.
I did myself no favours either.
I was clumsy, boy like, uninterested in anything other than Take That, Nintendo, Pizza and writing.
I was so not cool.
Even with my maxi skirts, Dr Martens, hairy legs (I wasn’t allowed to shave them- cheers dad) and thick glasses, I was unpopular, can you even believe it?
It pains me to journey back to some moments, but nonetheless, I am going to power through.
I know to many this will read as a pathetic set of issues, but seriously, first world problems or not, High school scarred me for life.
I wasn’t allowed to shave my legs!! Did you not just read that?
I am not sure you understand the severity of that statement.
I lived in Spain!!!
If I had had a theme tune, it would have been Duelling banjo’s. Seriously.
It is as if I have locked the memories away so tight, that now when I try to grasp at them, they are barely there, not memories themselves, but memories of memories.
They are Foggy and unfocused.
If that makes sense.
That’s how awful it was.
I hate to revisit.
Im going to have to go and shave my legs.
(The Irish one now thinks his luck has come in.)
Anyway, I am back.
Let us continue.
*Strokes smooth leg*
I think I have forced myself to forget the truth about high school and almost in my mind, convinced myself none of it actually happened.
At my wedding a couple of my friends were shrieking with laughter, ‘Hey Lexy, do you remember this? And when such and such did that?’
No I don’t.
I remember barely any of it.
I remember only hating the entire experience.
I need to try harder now though, for him, because the time has come.
I need to find a memory I know is in here somewhere.
I will find the moment I am looking for before I retreat back to the bathroom to wax my moustache, as I can feel it hidden here somewhere, scattered in between all the hopelessness, the embarrassment, the mortification, the misery.
I need to go and wax my Moustachio.
Ok. I am back.
I am smooth lipped.
Let us continue.
I can almost smell La Dama de Noche, my favourite Spanish flower, which (and I get the irony in this), only comes to life in the dark of the night, and if I focus I can witness first hand the hubbub of my past.
There is a couple of advantages to suffering with psychosis you know.
Sometimes if I allow myself to fall deep enough in to my brain, to jump off sanity with the tethered bun-jee rope that is my ever needy three year old to bring me back up, it can become so real, so vivid, if I turn my head toward it, I am almost there.
The sounds of crickets rubbing their legs together, the bright stars miles away in the deep night sky, the laughter and shouting, the metallic buzz of mopeds as they whizzed past my window, the ‘Tsssss’ off spanish boys in the shadows, the smell of humidity, of my youth, the very fabric of my teens.
The palm trees, the kiosk on the corner, the smell of the sea, the sting of the salt, the whip of my hair (not my leg hair, the hair on my head), training myself to think in spanish.
I am having to dig deep now, gouge with my fingernails past all the all the nasty crap I do not want to see, in search of the one, the one I know is here somewhere.
God damn high school and it’s god damn scars.
Except we didn’t call it High school back then.
It was just school.
Excruciating and pretentious on it’s best days.
The bane of my then short life.
It is still there now, but when I visit I instinctively turn my face away.
Angle my entire body in the opposite direction.
The good old days.
That’s what grown up’s say right?
Except I never thought they were really.
And I knew I would never see them that way.
I wasn’t part of the in crowd you see, in fact, I was quite intimidated by the in crowd to be honest.
Like the girl in an American high school film, you know the type, I was the short, hairy, podgy one with the mum who skipped town on her, growing up surrounded by men, introverted and idiotic and nerdy as sin.
Now usually that girl, in the films, comes out on top doesn’t she?
Wins prom queen or some shite.
I have watched Ten Things I Hate About You enough to know I should have been a winner in the end.
I should have at least been awarded a razor.
God Damn American Fairytales.
I should have done a Carrie instead.
Burnt them all alive with cow blood.
Locked them in and tortured them…
I hated the in crowd, on account of the fact, that most of the time, they were complete bastards to me.
Not the girls… well ok yes, sometimes the girls, but that is just teenage girls right?
And mostly I could handle them.
I was edgy enough to not give a shit about them.
Yes I would have died and gone to heaven to be one, with their manicured fingers, smooth pins and singing laughter, but it wasn’t their cruelty which killed me.
It was the boys.
Oh the boys.
By God the boys were ruthless.
I struggled to handle the shit they lobbed at me on a daily basis.
He was Pedro.
He hung back.
(When I say hung back, I mean he probably didn’t know I existed, but let’s just pretend he did ok? And he chose to hang back because secretly he loved hairy women.)
I was surrounded by Luis’, Facundo’s, Patricks, Antonio’s and Gonzalo’s.
All gorgeous, all rich, all cruel.
I was also surrounded by girls called Maria, and Mini and Ainhoa. (Pronounced I know ‘er)
Which I did.
They were ok.
I won’t go in to the Bitches cos I can’t be arsed.
(And also some of them follow me on Facebook and I’m still scared of them.)
My best friend was a girl called Laura, pronounced Laouura.
Not ‘Lora’, like in England.
She lived in the villa on the hill, overlooking ours.
We were rich kids.
There is no denying it.
And not all of it was miserable.
The times I spent with the girls, summer’s spent full of the sound of Tsssss, as we got each others attention, of long hot days and stinging sun kissed skin. Of sharing diaries, secrets,, mopeds, discovering contact lenses, swimming in the pools in our gardens, smuggling notes over the back wall, of skinny jeans, of posh dogs and shopping. Of flicking our bushy hair and imagination.
Of being young.
But as always the bell would ring, and school would start up.
And so would my anxiety.
Pedro was the boy I fancied.
My diary was full of him.
I was typically girly in that sense.
The very thought of him would get me through the days.
I would write my name and his surname in long loopy letters on the inside of my diary.
Hidden glances at him in the school hallway would make my heart race a little, my skin would tingle.
I would search him out from behind my glasses, excitedly wondering, wishing, wanting him to look my way.
He was gorgeous.
Spoke in English occasionally.
And he had a car.
Everything I had ever wanted in a boy.
Filling hours examining every word we shared, of which there were few, (He used to say hello sometimes as I walked past, and once he asked me to pass the salt in the lunch room!!!!) convincing myself of the confirmation that he fancied me.
(Pass the salt? I mean, C’mon!! He could have got it himself!! It was a sign!)
It was wonderful.
And agonisingly delightful.
And then it all ended in my tears.
With the actions of one monster dressed as a rich kid, it all crashed to a halt.
The bullying in my school life, I was managing to cope with, flooded like a tsunami in to my home life, and with it came the beginning of the end of my beautiful life in Spain.
A seemingly harmless prank in the eyes of a spoilt bastard (not pedro – he would never have done that to me. I was his salt passer), that ended up changing my entire young life.
Ballistic arguments, nights of anguish, red faced parents fighting at the school gates, the entire school witnessed, teachers involved, my pride and my life at the time, in tatters.
I was forced to move schools.
Step over everything I knew, the only thing that was stable (awful but stable) since my mum and brother left and walk away.
I lost touch with the handful of friends I loved, scarpered with my tail between my legs and my head in my hands.
But not before being humiliated on a grand scale in front of an entire sixth form, under the white alcove with the red pillars at the top of that posh hill – Aloha College.
Everyone witnessed my demise, even Pedro.
Such a harmless prank (God I am so tempted to write his name in here) right?
You absolute thieving germ.
You stole my youth and my future, and you probably don’t even remember.
I do though, the scars gouged in to my arms are a stark reminder.
Being the bigger person.
I will dig past this with forgiveness, I will spend not one second longer hating you, and focus on the good.
There is an entry in my diary from 21/08/1994 I have in front of me, that I simply must share. It reads;
I saw him in Puerto Banus tonight, he didn’t talk to me but he smiled at me as he walked up the stairs to Devils bar. He had his blue pants on and a white cap – he’s so cute! I wish I hadn’t had the tuna baguette, but I was probably to far away anyway. I just pretended to be drunk. He will totally wonder why I ignored him now! I can’t wait to see if I bump in to him tomorrow! I know he will ask, he has to!! God I love him.
In my darkest moments, when I look around and see nothing but a a dirty toilet, when I am crying out for nobody, as there is nobody to cry out for, thinking about jumping off a bridge, I would do anything to feel like that again.
To turn back the clock.
To eat a tuna Baguette and have a harmless crush.
To beg the Monster (God I wish I had the balls to name him, but now is not the time) not to do it to me, to change the beginning in the hope, the end will be adjusted.
But mostly I would love to slip back in to the photo of us all around the bar, by the pool, lounging off my moped, just to enjoy my friends, to see the eyes of my crush in the sun, for just one more moment.
Nothing ever happened with Pedro and I.
And in some ways I am glad of this.
My crush on Pedro will never be tarnished with real life.
He lives in 1994, and for me, he always will.
Here it is.
The memory I have been searching for.
There he is.
His eyes dark, smiling, winking at me, kissing my cheeks and genuinely wishing me luck in my new school.
You will be ok Lexy, Good luck.
He even signed my shirt.
My heart almost stopped.
His blue pants and his white cap.
I had stopped the diary by then.
My step mum had ransacked it.
There he is though, telling me I was better than this crap at Aloha.
I carried that wink and those words with me for a long time.
I never found him in this life, never tried.
He was locked in the untouchable memory box with the rest of the boys.
When I saw his name on a Laura’s status.
And I started frantically searching.
His name is etched in all my diaries.
How could I ever forget?
I wish I had searched now, purely to thank him.
As gorgeous in 2014 as he was to me in 1994, I can now see, he grew in to a much loved man, surrounded by friends, a man who lived his life at 100%, with a beautiful girlfriend, and a smile that never faded.
A man who deserved happiness.
A man who will no doubt be missed by all that knew him.
I should let go of the past now.
I am allowed to shave my legs.
It is time to move on.
Rest in Peace Pedro.
A goodbye too soon for a beautiful soul.
And thank you.
For being the ultimate 90’s Crush.
When I was in high school I had a crush on a boy named Pedro.
And today he brought me to forgiveness.