Primary school always seems, and will always seem, a halcyon time for me. Such there were scraps, embarrassments, missteps, injuries and setbacks, but the experience on the whole was one filled with excitement. Along the way was the sort of wide-eyed wonder and trusting friendship that I would never, in all honestly, find again. I was so naive in my optimism that I couldn’t wait to transfer to second level education, to begin having even more enjoyable romps with an entirely new group of peers.
Upon entering secondary school, it was this innocence, this enthusiastic eagerness, that was stolen from me. I never truly got it back, and those who tore it from me were never prosecuted. No hyperbole; it was a crime perpetrated against me. A crime as heinous as it was, for them, hilarious.
I should have told her. ‘Should’…a word weighed down with regret, guilt and inadequacy. Nonetheless, it is accurate. There were so many opportunities. Keeping quiet kept the peace, of course, but it also kept the sense of injustice bottled up inside. Holding it in only hurt our burgeoning friendship, and our co-habitation. She sensed it too, in some way – without fully knowing the reason, anyhow. Tension grew. Silences lengthened. The apartment became a mortuary, the dead stillness replacing our once-jovial interactions. How could I make nice, though? Tell me that. How could I, when I discovered who she was and what she had done?
When I came home to find her gone, I wept…out of relief. Finally, the torment was over.
It was nigh-on a year, maybe a year and a half, before I heard from her again. A curt voicemail asking if I had seen some sort of blue fiddledy object, an important heirloom apparently, and could I get back to her ASAP if I found it. Her ‘replacement’ had, in fact, pretty much as soon as she had originally moved in, and passed the item to me without much further ado.
I sat on my couch, turning this doohickey over and over in my hands, pensively working out why it meant so much to her and why she needed it now after so much time had passed. Blue objects… She definitely would not have been so keen to recover it unless… Wait. Was all this a trick? Wedding. Blue object. Marriage. Was she getting hitched? Something blue… Maybe she didn’t even really want the blasted thing, she was just trying to tell me… Who knows?
For the second time in my life, that fucking bully drove me to tears.
Solidarity, brothers & sisters…☭