We drank at the beach in summertime, and the pier in wintertime. It was, predictably, cold. Our days of drinking in the wool shop were long gone. The people from 6A now came straight to the pier with their hostess trolley of coffee and tea. #15 hung around with my group of friends. He was a year or two older than me, but he looked about twelve. We made out in a heap on the pier one night.
We kissed again a few months later, on Christmas Eve. I was going out with #16, who wasn’t with us that night because he was singing in his church choir. (I have no recollection of #16 being involved with either religion or singing, so I’m not sure how this worked.) The trains were free on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, to deter drink-driving. For those of us who were too young to legally drink or drive anyway, it meant we just got a change of scenery for free. We took the train from Bangor to Belfast, got drunk in a park near Botanic Station, and then took the train back again.
Whenever I’ve cheated on someone, it’s taken one of two formats. Sometimes I did it purely for fun, even when I was in a perfectly good relationship. And other times I did it partly because my relationship did not seem to be going so well and it was nice to actually get attention from someone. That’s how it worked with this one. It wasn’t like #15 and I were actually invested in each other, but #16 was just not that into me and it was getting me down.
Still, after kissing #15 on that train, I figured I should probably confess to #16 straight away, so I called him from a phone box in Bangor. He took it fine, which isn’t surprising given how hopeless our relationship was. My money was running out. “Gottagoloveyoubye!” I blurted. Pretty suave, using the L-word right after making out with someone else. I didn’t use it again and the relationship only lasted a few more weeks anyway.
#15 found me through the internet last year. At first, I was delighted to hear from him and to catch up. Then I remembered that he’d always been a homophobic little shit, and I didn’t get the sense that his world-view had changed much. I didn’t give away too many details about my life, and I sure as hell didn’t come out to him. After he sent me a link to a petition endorsed by the BNP, I considered whether to spend time and energy on explaining all the ways in which it was fucked up, but I had the distinct sense it would be wasted. So, I’m not in contact with him any more.