I met Hannah on our tour around the school, 1st day of sixth form. She was studying Geography. Although I did not take any classes with her, she was friends with some of my friends. I developed a crush on her. She had medium length mahogany-red hair and dark eyes. We used to sit together in our group outside on the playing field in front of Stroud High School. One of the other boys, Dan, noticed my crush. When we were all playing frisbee together in a massive group of sixth-formers, Dan nodded at her and then nodded at me encouragingly as if to say "go for her". But I did not know how.
At the sixth form rag bash (charity ball night), I was hanging out in the lobby area and sharing drinks with her friend Sally. Sally said that I appear to be "over" Hannah. A lot of people have noticed. She asked me if I had a crush on Hannah. I was shocked that it was noticeable. I was suddenly lost for words. I thought that it might be a trick question. I did not know how to respond. Sally said: "your silence is telling".
On another ball night, I saw Hannah & Dan dancing and kissing one another. I left the party early. I cried myself to sleep. My mum said to me what my grandfather often used to say.
Never chase after a bus or a woman. There's always another one coming.
Kelly was 2 years below me at school. She was incredibly attractive. I always seemed to go for these cuties with kitten eyes and lush eyelashes. She had a forbidden daughter in a secret garden-type vibe. When I was in sixth form, she used to follow me around the corridors of Stroud High School, surrounded by her gaggle of girlfriends. Through her friends, it gradually transpired that she had a "crush" on me. I liked her, too. She seemed to be quite insistent on talking to me in the corridors and hearing what I had to say.
One night, I was attending my friend's band's gig in Stroud. Kelly was there. At one point, we grew physically close. She was sat on my lap. She kept saying to me "I am going blond tomorrow". Outside, she said goodbye to me. She said something along the lines of "do I get a good night kiss"? Hence, why Charles Dickens comes to mind ("you can kiss me, if you like"). According to my friend Miriam, it was like a film noir moment.
A few days later at school, I saw Kelly waiting for me at the school gates. I noticed her blond hair. I still liked her. I froze. I did not know what I was supposed to say to her or how I was supposed to behave. Our eyes met. But she stood there looking tragically and expectantly at me. Still not knowing what to do, I walked straight past her.
A week or so later, I saw Kelly again in passing at school. Again, our eyes met. We held one another's gaze in passing but she did not approach me and I did not approach her. Unfortunately, I was walking with one of the girls from my French class. Perhaps she thought that we were involved or something. We were not.
A couple of weeks later, I decided to bite the bullet and text Kelly.
Rory: Hi Kelly, is you or is you ain't my baby?
At the time, I was talking a lot to her best friend, Kate, who I knew from orchestra. Kate accused me of being a "cool and aloof sixth-former". Because of my "fucking and chucking" behaviour, Kate no longer wanted to be my friend. She said that she would walk past me. She would look the other way. I should do the same. A few months later, she emailed me. She asked her what I think of her. She asked me to be honest with her. She asked me if I thought of her as a bitch. I said yes. She had a massive go at me. She ended her email with "thanks for everything". She stopped speaking to me altogether. In the end, I emailed her back. I suggested that we take a clean break in our friendship, If our paths crossed again in future, we would be friendly and civil towards one another. We did. We were. I met her twice. Once at a summer music school about a year later. And then again in 2008, in Manchester at a festival. Random coincidence!
As for Kelly, I never saw her again, except once in the chippy in Stroud (where she worked).
Rory spent the first few years of his life in an ice cave, carving out his palace of wonder. He's a bit of a love doll, but he who melts the ice shall have his reward.
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I have been recommended to acknowledge and process all that I have been though, where it all started from how it has affected me.