Monday, August 26, 2019

Craig Chats: A Memoir Excerpt

Hey everyone! So, I’m going to use Sam as my excuse for not having prepared a thought-provoking, or even mildly entertaining blog today. Right now I’m juggling a new relationship with a guy I’m crazy about, and my memoir, which is long overdue (but dammit I’m gonna finish the thing soon)

Anyway, seeing as I don’t have anything else to throw your way, here’s the latest from my memoir (WIP). I hope you enjoy—

“I’ll do it,” she said as we left McDonalds, spotting the guy with his friends a short distance down the road.
“Don’t you dare!” I squealed. “He’s probably not even gay!”
Cassie turned in his direction and smirked. “You’ll never know if you don’t ask.” And off she ran.
I stood there in stunned silence next to Tessa. I watched as Cassie approached him, spoke for five seconds, then animatedly gestured toward me. I couldn’t hear a word she was saying, but I buried my face in Tessa’s back the instant his group stared at me.
“Can we just go?” I murmured.
My heart was in my throat. Pounding. Threatening to make me spew up the milkshake I’d just inhaled. I’d never seen a guy with a sweeping fringe, dyed black hair and piercings before. Not in person. Not outside of music channels like Scuzz and Kerrang! He was everything I was trying to be, and his friends looked like everything I wanted to be a part of.
After what felt like an eternity of whimpering behind Tessa, Cassie rushed back to us with a giant grin on her face. “He said yes!”
“What?” I popped my head out.
“He said yes!” Cassie repeated, breathless. “He’s interested. Go over to him!”
I looked between my friends and him. He was staring right at me, smiling, and his group were talking excitedly among themselves. One of his friends waved me over, and I began the slow, daunting process of making my way toward him.
It felt like a hostile exchange, tense and awkward, only my group weren’t getting anything in return, and instead of my freedom, I was getting a boyfriend.
Being a teenager is weird.
About halfway between his group and mine, he and his friend approached me. He was only a little taller than I was, with a lip piercing, overgrown fringe, and pale blue eyes. His friend was a petite half-British, half-Chinese girl with long, glossy black hair and an infectious smile.
“Hey,” he said, casually.
“H-hi…” I replied, awkwardly.
As he and his friend introduced themselves as Drew and May, our two groups began to converge around us. Before I knew it, we were all sitting beneath the empty stalls of Ashton-Under-Lyne’s outdoor market, swinging our feet and laughing. Drew and I sat on our own, a little away from everyone else, but kept looking over at our friends as they enjoyed one another’s company.
“I thought you were really cute,” he remarked, sliding his hand over mine and gripping it. “I’ve seen you around. You always looked frustrated—I didn’t want to bother you.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. “That’s because I am!”
“I’ll change that.”
He was so forward. So affection. So confident in his sexuality. He complimented me, held me, and stared at me like I was KFC family bucket. He radiated warmth, kindness and compassion, and I felt more secure with him after an hour than I had with anyone else I’d ever met.
He got me. On a fundamental, to-the-core-of-my-being level, he understood who I was, and he liked me for it.
His friends started to get hungry, and my friends had stayed out way beyond what we’d all agreed. So, I said goodbye to Tessa and Cassie, not knowing at the time that it really was a goodbye to their friendship becoming anything more than schoolyard banter, and I continued into the night with my new friends. The friends that’d lead me into a world of raves, booze and boys.
We decided to head to ASDA (Wallmart) to stock up on brownies and cranberry juice. Along the way his friends, who were all older than I was (between sixteen and eighteen), interrogated me. They were surprised to hear I was only in my second year of high school, and I was surprised to hear that Drew had just turned seventeen—
He was a full four years older than I was, which, at that age, felt like worlds apart. But I have to admit, I liked it. I liked it a lot.
In the space of an evening, I’d gone from having a handful of school friends, only two of which I had a decent connection with, to having a group of ten or more similarly dressed, similarly minded friends, and a college-aged boyfriend to boot.
I felt like I’d stepped into a new dimension, one where I was cool, interesting and sought after. The way Drew’s friends lifted me up was the first-time people in my age-range had been genuinely nice to me. Not because they needed someone to pass time with. Not because our circumstances forced us together. But because they liked me. Because they wanted me to be a part of their group.
On the way to the store, Drew and I walked a short distance behind everyone else, his hand holding mine the entire time.
“I think you should be my boyfriend,” he quipped, having known me for a whole three hours by this point.
“I think I should be,” I replied, thinking that this was going to go down as the best day of my life.
Reading all of this back to myself, it couldn’t sound more teenage-ish. We’d just met, we spoke for a few hours on some empty market stalls, then we decided we were soulmates. Of course, it was ridiculous, but that didn’t make it any less real. What we felt in the moment was so pure, so alluring, I didn’t have a doubt in my mind about what was happening,
Drew was the one for me. He was what I wanted. He was what I needed.
Before the night was up, he kissed me in the carpark, surrounded by his cheering friends. It was my first real kiss. My first with another guy. When his lips touched mine, I felt my knees quake beneath me, and when his tongue slid into my mouth, I melted in his arms.
I felt the spark of what I thought love might be. I felt the stir of an insatiable lust that outweighed anything I’d experienced before.
I felt alive for the first time.
I lost my footing and stumbled down next to May, who passed me her cranberry juice. “Welcome to the club,” she pronounced.
Each of his friends continued to congratulate us on our relationship, and a few of them started to pull out alcohol from their bags to add to the drinks they’d all bought.
I was offered some, casually, and not wanting to make a huge deal out of it (I’d only ever drank alcohol once before), I accepted.
My first kiss. My first boyfriend. My first time drinking in a carpark…
My teenage years had truly begun.