It is an early spring and the evening smells of cherry blossom and burning rubbish. Feeling tall and pretty in my 13 year old scraggy body I run across the park past a few dog walkers and regular drunks. On my way to my first ever disco night.
A home-made botched haircut stays put with half a can of my mum’s ancient hair spray. A string of fake pearls bounces off my (thankfully still flat) chest. My tights are sprinkled with red nail varnish dots to catch those persistent runs. Every few meters or so I have to stop and put a piece of cotton wool back into my brand new red patent leather shoes. I love them so much I don’t mind the agony and blisters.
I sneak into the dining hall decorated with a narcoleptic disco ball and worn-out garlands from last Christmas. The air is muddled with teenage sweat and cheap deodorant. I check my hair and stop in the doorway. Girls, all giggles and smeared lipstick, huddle together on one side. Boys, all attitude and gel in hair, play football with an empty Coke can on the other side of the room. A few balloons hover in the middle.
As soon as Sinead starts wailing about “seven hours and fifteen days” the floor fills up with awkward fumbling and first stolen kisses. A string of hopefuls queues to the Pretty Girl with Long Curls. What I lack in hair I make up with my je ne sais quoi. I strike a pose. I imagine therefore I am Cindy/Linda/Claudia.
The only odd one out – the Dumbo Ears Boy supports the wall next to me.
He will do.
I glance at him and he starts inspecting the sole of his shoe.
My cheeks burn.
The drunks in the park burst out laughing when I run past them.
Do you remember those awkward times? I would love to hear your stories!
I am linking up to Once Upon A Time over at Older Mum (In A Muddle). I am delighted to be joining her for a walk down the memory lane!