I had the biggest crush on #53. She fit my specifications perfectly. And at first she was this straight girl who hung around with a bunch of dykes, so the frustration was killing me, but after Easter she showed up at a LGBT society meeting and started making noises about her attraction to women.
It wasn’t like I was actually devising a plan or anything, but the second I mentioned my appreciation of this new situation, everyone was all “STAY AWAY FROM HER NINE”. You know, like she was new to this and like I was going to be some kind of predator. This was not my idea.
Anyway, after the game of spin-the-bottle at #47’s party, I somehow wound up kissing her. I don’t remember how it happened. And things developed and we made out for ages and then she suggested we move to her place, and, like a complete FUCKING IDIOT, I said I was still enjoying the party and why didn’t we just stick around a little while longer first. I have never made this mistake again. I mean, after a while we went into #48’s room in the dark and started removing clothing, but this only worked for about a minute because it was also the room where all the coats were kept so people kept coming in.
We walked home with a group of friends and I don’t know if the mood had passed and she no longer wanted to spend the night with me, or if she was too drunk and our friends were subtly steering us our separate ways, but when we got to my place I didn’t feel able to suggest she come in. I was sensing disapproval; maybe I got that wrong. Anyway, after a few hours’ sleep I got up for my anthropology tutorial, and I spent the whole day glowing, looking forward to what would happen next. Clearly this was the start of something beautiful.
She came round to my place a night or two later, and I don’t remember exactly what she said, just that it began with “I’m sorry” and translated as “this is not going to happen again”. I moped. I moped like whoa. We still hung out in a big group of friends and after a while I got paranoid about how friendly she was with #44.
On my travels in the summer, I spent a week in the Twin Cities, half with her and half with the other girl from Minnesota, which meant I was so frustrated I wanted to bite my own knees off, but I was trying to be grown-up about the situation and just accept the friendship we had.
#53 only lived in Edinburgh for one year, but she came back and visited me twice. The first time, I was in a long-distance monogamous relationship with a boy I was totally smitten with, so it didn’t even bother me to share my bed with her. The second time, I was in another long-distance monogamous relationship, except this time I was pretty reluctant about the monogamy and maybe about the relationship in general. #53 had a boyfriend too, but it was an open relationship.
One night, we went to my friend Gareth’s club, DKY. And someone there said to her, “Oh, you’re the one that Nine fancies!” She reported this to me and I had to admit that there was a grain of truth in it.
“Well, I’m not the one in a monogamous relationship,” she pointed out, mocking me.
I had tried really hard to respect the reluctant monogamous arrangement, but when someone like #53 expresses interest, all bets are off. We kissed. Finally. It was like the moment in a film when the music swells and everything gets all dreamy. And then I blurted everything, about how amazing I thought she was and how I had always felt this way about her.
And then, for reasons that remain unclear, I turned round and kissed #116. Here are some hypotheses about why that happened: 1) if you’ve already gone and fucked up your monogamous arrangement, it potentially doesn’t matter if you go and complicate it some more; 2) #116 had flattered me and my head had swelled so this was the logical outcome; 3) #116 was a day or two away from turning eighteen and this was me being the predator my friends had long ago predicted; and 4) I possibly thought we were going to be liberated now and we could make out with other people but still end up back at my place for some hot lesbionic sex.
This was not the case. #53 turned round and kissed Gareth, and then spent the next couple of nights at his place. I could potentially have avoided this outcome if only I’d skipped the last paragraph. I didn’t exactly have a leg to stand on given that I wasn’t supposed to have done anything in the first place.
That trip was the last I saw of her, although we’ve kept in touch over the years. After she left Edinburgh, she e-mailed me and said that she didn’t know how much of what I’d said was the drink talking, but that it touched her heart.