My hormones flew into overdrive. A pale, gingery goddess with crystal blue eyes stared right at me.
My heart pumped in my chest on a crescendo of lovelorn desire. My teenage body tingled with a warm fuzzing feeling as our lips met each other. Our skin erupted with goosebumps.
⚠️ WARNING; This is written from the perspective of my virginial, awkward teenage self. I am older, wiser, and far more cynical these days, plus I don’t look THIS any more!
I’ve created a Spotify playlist all about this era, you should definitely listen as you read to set the scene:
I’m taking you back to the 2000’s. Our phones weren’t smart after the millennium and neither was I.
As you have read before, I had decided to become a gothical emo alternative schmuck. A year later from this, disappointing facial hair had now grown, and I adamantly refused to shave the fluff off. My theory was that if I shaved, it would grow back into a scary full-on man beard I’d never be able to get rid of.
Hipster was a mere trend-foetus at this stage – beards weren’t in fashion.
My new life ambition was to become a charismatic and popular rockstar – despite not knowing how to play any instruments and only drinking Watermelon Barcardi Breezers. I was studying at Brockenhurst college – and my goth, I was having a social, material and mental renaissance – I could wear what I want!
Well, that was an Iron Maiden t-shirt. Complete with TK Maxx leather jacket and various bandanas. Said jacket was worn so much, I was known as The Fonz around the Hard Brock Cafe. Yep, it was actually called that.
This fashion had replaced the Matalan red fleeces and T-shirts with pressable button sound effects (the only clothing I’ve ever worn that came with it’s own battery pack.)
Instead, on went the tight drainpipe trousers (with great difficulty), black shag bands and dangling chain then went around my jeans pocket for no reason whatsoever. This infographic pretty much sums me up:
I wouldn’t get told off for not turning up to college! However, GTA: San Andreas ruined my education and I didn’t get the A-Level grades I probably should have got.
Everyone at college was friendly. I could even call teachers by their first name!
I had gone from shy wallflower to someone who would just sit next to someone on the college bus and strike up a conversation. I was giddy and no doubt could stop me. My confidence was growing at a great rate, but my decisions, like my unbeard, were ridiculous.
I aimed to be part of the Goth clique at college. Not by talking to them, but by dressing like them and listening to their music. My logic was that my alternative aura would naturally pull me into their black-cladded, growling ensemble that looked like an economy Lost Boys mixed with the Addams Family. Their leader had nostrils that looked like the arches of a viaduct.
To further my transformation, I decided not to have my hair cut for about 14 months. It grew into an unkept mane with the colour of mocha, of which was wrapped up in a burgundy bandana. My Dad said I looked like Jim Morrison. Or a poor man’s Tarzan.
Everyone was banging on about Natasha Bedingfield and Britney, but my dream girl back then was Amy Lee.
At the time girls were confusing and elusive (still true), yet I yearned for a girlfriend. I would see prancing couples at college, and goopy long-haired charismatic barons doing handstands on the field, lapping up the attention of the ladies. I’d think, ‘what is the boyfriend saying that is so magical? What is he doing to make her laugh so much?
I lived in a town (New Milton) where the average age was 70 and fun was outlawed. Any women my age were mostly likely thrice pregnant or were aiming towards their first ASBO.
There was Michaela, a girl from Winchester. She was very lovely and talkative, we could have a potential future, but there was one stipulation.
We never actually met.
It felt my love life was like a microwaveable Meal for One. I wasn’t the only one – my almost stepfather had ordered a Thai Bride off the internet.
Anyway, I went to visit my Nan in Wales over Easter and we’d just popped to see Auntie Vi. She wasn’t even my Auntie, it was just one of those affectionate terms, like Nan. Vi’s accent was so thick with Welshness her voice sounded like she swallowed a cheese grater. She always gave me money so I could buy sweets, as would many of my Nan’s friends. I instead saved all these gifted coins enough over the years to buy my own Playstation. My inner businessman started to salivate when any of them got their purses out around me.
On the way back from Vi’s, my pocket was now full of well-earned coins. I was wearing a grungy black T-shirt with a mud design, the fashionista that I was, with my mocha mullet flowing and my Will-from-Inbetweeners spectacles on.
I saw a ginger girl. She had a slightly pale complexion with ocean blue eyes. She was very pretty, and I think she smiled at me.
Hang on. Oh my god.
I loitered around the town centre, contemplating this rare phenomenon, a smile in my direction. I later saw her with three African girls perched up near some steps.
“Hi,” they said in chorus.
I almost did a double take. Were they speaking to someone behind me? Were they drunk?
I’m now on Youtube !
I’m raising money for charity and achieving goals at http://rupertsresolutions.tumblr.com