Sunlight jostled its way through Christopher’s blinds, peeling darkness from his eyes. He woke to the sound of rubbish bins clattering calypso like across the street. He tasted the celebration of last nights champagne and cigarettes, which lay in his mouth, there to act as a reminder that today was the first day of the rest of his career. He peeled himself from his bed with the consistency of molasses, dripping into the bathroom. He cleaned himself like an old man, betraying his twenty nine years. He had qualified as a teacher, teaching science, to a new generation of space cadets as he saw them. He turned to his picture of Captain Spock and saluted him, imagining Spock saluting him back for his achievement. His adopted parents, both away on holiday in St Bart’s had saluted his achievement by sending him an antique copy of Patrick Moore’s book on the ‘Universe and Stars’. Inside him grew excitement, outside stayed the same, unaware of what was to come. Christopher threw on his favourite burgundy v-neck and green cords, searching hurriedly for his navy blue velvet blazer, finished off with his multi-coloured belt, made from an aeroplane seat belt. He had found it at a stall in Camden market, a week before.
I never realised that the first time I saw him would mark the moment something deep in me would let go and say goodbye to the last threads of innocence I hid from the world. The rain smelt of lavender laced by cigarettes. As the crowd snaked around me, becoming blurred streams moving like brush strokes on a canvas unaware that I had started to change. My heart whistled silently through my flesh a.w.o.l amongst the green-aqua of his eyes. A crowd of eager students jostled around him wilfully excited by the show he created. Though, all I could see was how he held himself, wondering what mystery lay beneath. Tussled black hair fell deliberately around a face rich with a sense of it’s own sin. I knew I would love him, deeply, hard, with pain and regret waiting in the wings. Logistics or maybe fate pitted he and I in the same year, in the same class, studying the same course, driven toward a conclusion obvious to any bemused onlooker. His name was Walker and when he called my name, it was like music to me, even though I was the only one hearing the song created. Walker would call me by the nickname he dreamed up: ‘MC’, thinking Peter McBride too posh. Hiding his laziness with an air too cool for many to pull off successfully.