You know when you hear a song on the radio and suddenly, as it echoes around your head you’re transported somewhere else. The other day whilst washing up it happened to me. As it always does when that particular song comes on the radio.
I’m no longer in my flat. Or in London.
Suddenly – I’m in Barcelona.
We are just seventeen.
I’m lying in bed with him. He puffs on a roll up, blows smoke rings in the air as I take it from his nicotine stained fingers, our bodies entwined in the bed sheet. We’re listening to my mini disc player together. An earphone each, with the hotel doors open to the balcony with music flooding into one ear and the sounds of the Ramblas below creeping into the other.
‘Wouldn’t it be nice if we were older?
Then we wouldn’t have to wait so long.
Wouldn’t it be nice to live together?
In the kinda world where we belong?’
It is that relationship. The all consuming romance that you think will last forever.
First loves can be all consuming. You can see it all with one other. There is no one else.
We’ve known each other for years; my best friend who was so much more.
Our parents loathe us.
They have every right.
For we are stupid.
We are reckless.
We are too young to be in this relationship.
We’d spent all our savings and escaped everything that was hard to have 5 amazing days alone in Barcelona. Away from school. Away from course work. Away from life. Although now it seems like a silly teenage rebellion, at the time it was the most exciting and eye opening five days of our lives.
It was the first time either of us had gotten up early, got the Gatwick Express and got on a plane without mothers nagging us about passports. We laughed as we ran through the boarding gate having nearly missed our plane because we took so long carefully selecting mature grown up books in the book shop that would never get read. For two young kids it was the first time we truly felt like adults. We were in control. And nobody could take that away from us.
We stayed out all night. We could lie in as late as we liked. When we did eventually get up we could take the time walk through markets brimming with colours and every kind of fruit and fish you could imagine. We danced in clubs. We lay on the beach. It was our time.
We had hardly any money; splitting a pizza here and a late night hot chocolate there between us to try and save as much as we could. But we were together in the kind of world where we belonged.
I think we both knew underneath it all we wouldn’t last forever.
We were in a whirlwind of fiction that had become a reality, even if just for a few days.