The day you walked in I was just ten years old and for the first time I felt the gentle butterfly flutters of a young hearts innocent attraction.
I wasn't the only one. With your floppy golden hair and aqua blue eyes your arrival caused quite a stir and class distraction.
Vivacious, popular among boys and girls alike, open in a way we weren’t used to.
Your candour brought forth such delightful laughter and certainly more than the odd blush from me!
Many a lesson trying not to gaze in your direction.
My one and only lashing of the belt for tracing a handwriting exercise in my haste to escape the classroom to join you in the afternoon sunshine.
The teacher having left the door tantalisingly ajar so that those still inside were tormented by the sight of shirt tails flying in the breeze and the sweet smell of freshly mown grass.
The valentine card I sent (well, had someone sneak onto your chair!) had pride of place, hidden under your pillow at home. Your older sister taking me to show it there, both of us giggling and shushing each other as we went.
Any mortification at being unmasked as the sender lost in the sheer giddiness of this sudden turn of events.
Never boyfriend and girlfriend, too young for that. We stole playful kisses during postman’s knock at parties (somehow it was always you who came knocking) and when just a little older, we danced all the slow songs together.
New school, new classes, new faces. No falling out, just a natural drifting away.
I still liked to catch a glimpse of you amid the throng in the corridor just to know you were okay. My day made if I caught a smile.
Though no longer close, the news you were leaving left me sad and a with quiet sense of loss. I never got to say goodbye.
Every year I wished you a happy birthday in my heart - mine and yours being only two days apart.
A chance meeting, an acquaintance not seen since school, tossed me a casual remark - had I heard? Scant details barely registering. No? Really? I mimicked their casual tone.
Walked away angry, reeling, such tragic news imparted with such lack of feeling.
No tears were shed for you. How could they, it wasn’t real, couldn’t be true. Just malicious gossip that had somehow filtered through.
Twenty years on, another chance encounter, this one moss edged and worn.
No longer able to deny the truth there etched in stone. Finally the tears flow.
I’ll never know what truly unimaginable pain caused you to take your own life nor, selfishly, do I want to. I only know that the torture of vicious bullies led to a young life being snatched away.
Forever dear Victor. I’ll treasure always my sweet memories of you.
In memory of
9th October 1975 - 10th October 1991
Copyright © Fiona Callaghan | Year Posted 2016