The house party was busy. Empty bottles and cans strewn across the lawn. Distorted music blaring out of speakers that were about to blow.
The garden was full of bodies.
Awash with a sea of boys in baggy jeans and hoodies whilst the girls ran about in mini denim skirts and chunky trainers.
I pushed my way through the crowds trying to find him. I’d been waiting all day at school for this moment. The end of the day couldn’t have come sooner. Despite the fact it was November I wasn’t cold. All I felt was sick.
The text I’d sent had been simple.
“You going to Emma’s tonight?”
The response, even simpler. But enough to make my heart race.
The ‘x’ meant the world. He was clearly searching the crowd for me too. The day had dragged on for him too. And now we were here.
I found him at the back fence. He was with his friends rolling a cigarette. Our eyes met and locked. He smiled. We embraced with a friendly hug. A few minutes passed. It was decided the boys were going to go buy alcohol. He looked older and could get served.
“See you in a bit” he said and squeezed my hand.
The party swirled its way through the house. My friends and I rummaged around for clean glasses to pour our cheap alcohol into. After acquiring an empty jam jar, and filling it with vodka that tasted like nail varnish remover and cheap cola, I circulated around the house. I was hoping to run into him again. He was no where to be seen.
As I caught up with friends, I was distracted, my eyes scanned the crowds looking for his dark eyes.
As he came into sight I started to push my way through the people. He seemed deep in conversation with a tall brunette.
I stayed back, trying to sense the tone. I made sure I was still in sight, so he could spot me, break away and make his way towards me.
The whole party suddenly went into slow motion, the music became drowned out by the sorrow that engulfed me.
My eyes widened as I watched him lean in, pulling her in with one hand around her tiny waist as the other caressed her wavy chocolate brown hair. As their lips met my whole world fell apart.
I felt pain rip through me in a way I never thought possible. My heart actually ached. Every cliche moment in a love song suddenly made sense.
I sat in the corner on a soggy bench, watching them, letting the waves of despair wash over me. My best friend sat next to me. He put his arms round me as the other kids set off cheap fireworks.
But I did not want comfort. I wanted to feel this feeling. It was new. I pushed past the people, numb to their excitement and merriment. I was in a bubble. I slipped out of the side gate and walked down the middle of the quiet suburban road. I pulled my hood over my head and kicked the wet leaves as I walked away.
It was then I finally allowed the tears to fall.
Over ten years later and I can hardly remember what he looks like and wonder whether he even remembers who I am. I’ve had my heart broken a few times since, but I’ll never forget how it felt the first time.