#16 went to my school and I’d had a crush on him for a couple of years. When #4 transferred to our school, they swiftly became friends, united by their love of shoegazer bands, and suddenly #16 was hanging out with us in Bangor. I remember going to drink at someone’s house, though I’m not sure whose, and I bought twice as much drink as usual so that I’d muster up the Dutch courage to ask him out. It turned out he needed a week to think about it. The alarm bells should’ve started ringing instantly, but when you’re fifteen and you really want something, you kind of disregard any reality that gets in the way.
The following weekend, he said yes. But he didn’t want people at school to know about us. I guess he phrased this in some way that didn’t sound like “I’d be embarrassed if people thought we were together”, but clearly this relationship was not destined to do wonders for my self-esteem.
We went out for six or seven weeks. We mostly hung out in a big group. He didn’t really like kissing, he told me, which was, you know, another disappointment, and things clearly weren’t going to go any further than that, despite a drunken discussion that suggested otherwise. I think I started listening to Curve thanks to him, though, so I guess the relationship wasn’t entirely pointless.
He dumped me in January when we were drinking on the pier. I cried a lot and was very down for a while. I really don’t know why I was so keen on him. I guess it was simply the longevity of my crush. Before he started hanging out with #4, I hadn’t really known much about him and so I had just decided that he was probably ideal for me, or something. We continued hanging out in a group, and one night several weeks later we were at the Limelight in Belfast. I can’t remember if it was a gig or a club. But we were getting on well and I got my hopes up again so I tried to kiss him. He deflected it and I spent the rest of the night crying again. Oh for fuck’s sake.
Once I got the hell over it, though, we were able to remain friends without further complications, although we lost touch after we left school. He was prone to quite ridiculous tantrums and I particularly remember how we bickered at the Féile festival in Tipperary. But I also knew one thing that was making him very unhappy. I don’t know if he ever told anyone else, and we only talked about it once. I wish we had talked about it some more.