I have decided, because she has hair like silk and a smile that’s all teeth and quiver, that Bryony and I are through.  Her Miss-capital-‘P’-popularity-who-me routine doesn’t do it for me any more. I’m going to hang with the science girls again.

I don’t need her beauty tips, or the knowing pity that comes with them. Each one ‘as seen on Bryony Longley’.

I’ll return her pirated DVDs, her mother’s erotic novels, her notes on kissing. That part of my education is over. I don’t need her telling me when a guy is hot. I don’t need her explaining how easy ‘hard to get’ can be. I could have written the book on that.

I don’t need Bryony apologising for me. Certainly not to Col Shorten. ‘She’s just a bit shy, Col.’ Oh, thank you Bryony. Wafting those lashes at him like a whale sifting krill.

‘You mustn’t mind her,’ you said. But he did. Don’t you see? Didn’t you realise? Tomorrow my life without you begins.

And when I walk into the hall on prom night I’ll be more gorgeous than any designer knock-off will ever make you, because I’ll have Col on my arm. And you’ll have Matthew Partridge, his face caked in acne cream, his brain a glacial slurry of near-frozen thought.

 

2011—Richard Holt / small stories about love (smallstoriesaboutlove.wordpress.com)

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