See you after the break...

When I was fourteen, I had the almost misfortune to be going to an all boys school, and since I lived out in the sticks in comparison to the rest of my friends, I had to take a half hour journey to school on the same bus everyday. The only other educational establishments to use this company where the all girl schools a bit further down the line. As you can imagine it was a breeding ground for teenage crushes and broken hearts (as well as, I suspect, the odd future marriage).

Being of that age I suppose, I had multiple crushes on the go at the same time. There was the one in the grey blazer with the brown hair. The tall one in the brown blazer. And the blonde in the purple blazer.

Oh the blonde in the purple blazer. My heart sang. I would have given the world to the one in the purple blazer. Who happened to look almost (but not exactly) like someone glimpsed in a Coca-cola commercial. The one which Robin ‘one hit’ Beck made into a number one single. So whenever ‘First Time’ would churn through the local radio play list and the commercial appeared on TV, my heart would flutter and I’d get a pain in the pit of my stomach. Even though the blonde in the purple blazer wasn’t even there.

She was the image of all cheerleaders in all American high school teen movies. Blonde hair tied back in a scrunchy. Blue eyes. Rouge red lips. I’d sit every journey just looking at her. She was like nothing I’d ever seen before. She smoked, but I knew that when we were together I could persuade her to kick the habit. She drank Pepsi, but I knew I could change that too if she knew about the commercial.

The thing played out as you would expect, with shuddering predictability. She asked me why I was on the same bus as her again and wanted to know why I was following her. I told her I loved her (at the age of fourteen this amounted to asking for her hand in marriage). She looked me up and down. ‘Well I despise you,’ she spat back at me (I mean top marks. If you’re going to crush someone’s heart this was the word to go for. Not sure if she knew what it meant or if she’d heard it on ‘Neighbours’ sometime). I gaped. I turned. I walked away, head bowed. And didn’t listen to the song again for six months. That’s the trouble with advertising -- it never takes into account life’s little tragedies . . .

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