The fluroescent lights strobed amongst the crowd and the bass vibrated through the floor and up through our bodies, resting heavily in our heads. Sweaty teens sang and danced, hands raised.
I hadn’t taken much notice of him before. He was quiet, unassuming. Older. Drove a beat up Datsun. Fast. Somehow I ended up standing next to him. I felt the quivering anxiousness of being in close proximity to a stranger. A stranger who was a boy.
I was seventeen and one of only a couple of girls at the church. Being rarities, we attracted more than our fair share of admirers. At times it felt like an auction. Who could make the best offer?
He wasn’t one of the boys vying for my attention though. I hadn’t taken much notice of him before.
As the music crescendoed and the crowd stood, clapping, shouting, stomping, he bent towards me.
‘So. Um. Do you like Steve?’
At least, I think that’s what he said. I was more focussed on the fact that his breath against my ear had turned my insides into molten chocolate pudding which was threatening to leave me in a sweet, sticky puddle on the floor.
‘He’s a good friend. He’s a friend.’
‘Ah. He likes you.’
The music died down leaving threads of awkwardness hanging in the air between us. But the puddle inside me remained. Why had I not noticed him before?
Before long we were ‘going out’. And then we weren’t. I was a freaked out seventeen year old; focused on doing the best I could in my VCE so I could get into med school. As much as I liked boys, I didn’t have time for a boyfriend. I was fairly confused. So we were together. And then we weren’t.
And then I had to swallow my pride and admit that I couldn’t stop thinking about him. One dark winter night I asked him for a lift home from church. I was wearing my mum’s leather jacket. The one that squeaked every time I moved. It made for an awkward conversation.
“It’s just that…”
“I can’t really stop thinking about you and I’m sorry that I broke it off and maybe perhaps if you still like me we could maybe get back together.”
So then we were together again. Still are.