Summer Promises

I know a lot of us blog-types originally started out by writing our own stories in A4 notepads when we were young teenagers (a lot of us also owned a box full of Fancy Paper). I've had this conversation a few times with people, some who wish they could re-read the stories they wrote then - well, you're in for a treat. I am in posession of two stories I wrote in the very early 2000s, and I've decided to publish one here for the laugh. I've actually already published the first part of the first one before, but I'll put it all up here for you to have a read at. It's beyond cringe - but my embarrassment gene has long been knocked out of me so I really hope this gives someone a good laugh and a reminisce about the stories you used to write back in the day before the Internet made us all realise that we weren't the only ones....

Laugh loudly, and laugh often. 33 year old Sharon appears every so often in Italics.


Background: 1999. I was 16, I was madly in love with Pacey Witter, and a bit obsessed with America. American school, American accents, and also Makeovers. Absolutely no self confidence. I had never kissed a boy. I had probably never talked to a boy. I'm fairly sure I plagiarised Clueless a bit. And Dawson's Creek. And a bit of Buffy. Possibly She's All That as well. And probably all the Sweet Valley High books I used to read.

Westbury, America, Summer of 1989

Westbury wasn't particularly interesting in Summer. It wasn't, in fact, a very interesting place to be at any time of year. It was a pretty average sized town, with a few shops, garage, and three cafés – The Lions Paw, The Chef's Fancy, and the Café Royale. All the popular kids at Westbury High School went to the Café Royale (because it sounds popular and French). At Westbury High, it was easy to distinguish between the different social groups that existed between the students. There were the rich, snobby Beverly Hills types, with their Dolce and Gabbana, Gucci, Fendi and Prada; there were the computer nerds who talked about megabytes and RAM all day, and there were the lounge lizards (oh, Sharon) who listened to rock music and never went to class. And, of course, there was Elise.

Elise Owen was fifteen years old and was not very popular, although she wasn't a lounge lizard either. She wasn't ugly, but she wasn't exactly pretty in comparison to the Beverly Hills Wannabes. She had long, straight brown hair with bangs. (Bangs!!! It's a fringe!!). She wore steel-rimmed glasses, and a metal retainer on her teeth (are those not just for night time?). Her only friend was Faye Adams, they had been best friends since Junior High. Faye was one of those girls who would say anything and speak her mind. She sorta acted as a minder for Elise, which suited them both fine as Elise liked to have a brave friend around when the BHWs started their daily bitching sessions, and Faye loved to be in control.

One particular day, in mid-June, Elise was heading for the school science lab for a tutorial when she was stopped on the school entrance steps by a group of BHWs. They were Shannon Clinton, Daniel Burke, Josh Matthews, Lucy Samuels and Emma Watkins. Shannon stepped in front of the door. “Well, well – what are we doing with notebooks at lunch, Lice?” Elise stopped on the bottom step. “Um – I've got some – ex-extra work to do” she mumbled. Shannon looked at Megan and laughed. “Ooh, hear that, Meg? Extra work! How passé!” (what.the.fuck) They continued to giggle as Elise nervously ventured up another step. “Um – excuse me. Please” she whispered. Daniel grabbed her book from her hands. “Didn't your Mommy ever tell you not to talk with your mouth full, Lice?” he laughed. “My mother is dead” she replied. This created an air of tension around them. (I'm laughing so hard here). Josh was new in the school, and he hung around with Shannon and her gang. Elise always kinda had a feeling that Josh wasn't entirely snobby like the rest of the BHWs, but Shannon was doing a good job of playing the wannabe girlfriend role. Every time Elise saw them, Shannon was latched on to his arm like a leech.

Meanwhile, Josh had taken Elise's notebook from Daniel and held it out to her. “Um – sorry about him. It's Elise, isn't it? I'm Josh. I'm new here.” (and yet Elise knows you long enough to know that you are Jesus personified under that hard-ass exterior). Elise liked the way Josh smiled when he spoke. In fact, she liked it so much that she stood there staring at him while the others lapsed into laughing comas. “Oh my God!” Emma was screeching. “Would ya look at the little puppy dog! What's wrong, Lice, your retainer caught?” They continued to laugh as Elise finally clicked back to reality and took the book off Josh. “Um – thanks” she squeaked. “No probs” he replied. Shannon, Daniel, Emma and Lucy walked off, calling Josh. “C'mon, Josh, you might catch something.” He rolled his eyes at Shannon. “Lovely girl” he remarked. Elise smiled. “Well, um – bye”. She headed for the school door and was almost inside when Josh called out - “Hey, I might see you down at the Royale after school?” Elise smiled. “You might.” Josh turned around to join the gang as Elise skipped off down the hall. (skipped. SKIPPED).

Later that same day, Elise and Faye were heading out the front door. “Hey, Ellie, what are we doing now? You wanna go play ping-pong?” (I have no explanation. None.) Faye asked. Elise pointed to the gang beside the piers at the school gates. “Nope. Josh practically invited me to the Café Royale.” Faye held her back. “Excuse me, what do you mean by 'practically'? He did or he didn't. Which?” Elise replied nervously - “Well, he said 'I might see you at the Royale”. Faye put a hand to her head. “Geez, Ellie, c'mon. Let's just go play ping-pong.” Elise shook her head. “No, come one, Faye, it'll be fun.” She headed in the gang's direction. Faye walked in front of her and stopped her dead in her tracks. “Are you mad? Do you have a death wish or something? Can you imagine what the flying monkeys will do to us if we attempt to enter their lair?” (I thought Faye was supposed to be a badass?). Elise pushed Faye aside. “I'm going, whether you come or not.” Faye was getting mad. “Now is not the time to get all brave. They'll stone us.”

Elise marched over to where Shannon was standing and looked at Josh. “Hi!” she said brightly. Shannon turned around to face Elise. “Ex-cuse me? What do you think you're doing? How dare you interrupt me!” Elise was getting nervous but she didn't let it show. “Josh invited me to the Café Royale” she said. Shannon threw her head back and laughed. “Oh, Lice, Lice, Lice. Josh told me what happened. He felt sorry for you, God knows why, but you just got mixed up. You – eat with us?! Oh that is a good one!” Faye came over to Elise. “Come on, Ellie, let's go.” Elise felt like boxing Shannon. “That's right, Lice. Go with your bodyguard. God knows, she's the only one who'll have anything to do with you.” Elise was really angry. “Put your claws back in, Shannon” she quipped. “Look” Shannon walked right up to Elise so they were practically only inches apart. “Just take the hint and go away. Nobody wants you. Nobody likes you. You're nothing. And you'll always be nothing. Because your kind always are.”(Hello Harry Wormwood). With that, she and her gang sauntered off down the street, leaving Elise in tears and Faye shocked (why!!! They're all bitches!!). Josh took a glance back at Elise, but Shannon grabbed his arm and attached herself to him once more. Elise turned to face Faye. “You gonna tell me 'I told you so?” she asked. Faye sighed. “No, I'm sorry. That Shannon is such a cow.” “Yeah. And I though there was hope for Josh.” Elise replied. But as Elise and Faye watched Josh laugh and mess with Shannon, Daniel, Lucy, Emma and Megan, they knew there was no hope for him.


Over the next couple of weeks, Elise and Faye noticed some big changes in Josh. He was a lot snobbier and less friendly. He picked on the younger kids and never smiled at anyone apart from his beloved Shannon (miserable bastard). Elise and Faye were discussing them one evening on their way home from school. “My best bet is she's a witch,” Faye was saying. “Maybe she put a curse on him” Elise suggested. Faye sighed. “Oh – who knows. Hey, you wanna do a seance or an ouija board or something?” Elise rolled her eyes. “Faye, you know that stuff doesn't work. I'm not doing it. It's creepy.” Faye sighed and sat down on a dry patch of grass. “I'm so bored. Let's do some spell or something then.” Elise sat on her jacket. “What kind of spell?” she asked as she sprawled out on the grass. Faye thought hard. “I dunno. Okay – I've got something. Um – when we're 26.” Elise cut her off. “Why 26?” she asked (because it is central to the plot). “Never mind,” Faye replied. “It's just about 10 years away, that's all. Now. By the time we're 26, we have to – have to have fulfilled a life long goal. Ok, I swear that I will own my own hotel.” Elise burst out laughing. “You don't even cook!” (Because cooking is an integral part of running a hotel) Faye sat upright. “There are a lot of things you don't know about me, Elise Owen. It just so happens that I am an excellent chef. Now c'mon. What's your goal?” Elise thought for a few minutes, then finally said - “I swear, that by the time I'm 26 years old, that I, Elise Owen...” Faye rolled her eyes. “Get on with it!” “...will marry Josh Matthews.” Faye rolled over (like a dog?). “Okay, you laugh at me wanting a hotel? You have about as much chance of marrying Josh Matthews as I have of becoming the next Julio Iglesias (apparently the biggest retro pop star I could think of. From the late 80s. Julio Iglesias. JULIO IGLESIAS?!) - now come on, let's go home!” Elise laughed. “It is a bit ridiculous, isn't it? I don't even know what made me say it! Look, see you tomorrow, okay?” Faye waved. “OK. Bye, Ellie.” “Bye”. And though she knew it was ridiculous (and NOT A FUCKING SPELL), Elise couldn't stop thinking about her promise. She didn't sleep that night.

Carlton, America, 10 Years Later
The alarm buzzed loudly and echoed around the tiny apartment. “Oof!” Elise whacked her elbow off the nightstand as she clambered out of the bed to knock the alarm off. It was her first month in her new job, and she was already taking three weeks off. “Being a student teacher was sure not as easy as I thought,” she thought to herself. (One month in a job and she needs three weeks off? What the hell is she teaching?!). She brushed her long brown hair and as she watched herself in the mirror she thought of how much she'd changed in the last ten years and how no-one would recognise her. “If anyone is actually left in Westbury” she thought. Her father and his new wife, Kathy, had gone on a Mediterranean Cruise, her friend Faye had gone to New York to run her hotel, and Elise didn't know about anything else. She was going back to her old place in Westbury for the next three weeks (but........WHY??!!) and boy, was she looking forward to it. Gone were the bangs, retainer and steel-rimmed glasses. Elise was no longer the geeky schoolgirl that everyone once knew her as (wait for it), and as she crimped her hair (boom), she smiled a little, thinking about everyone's reactions.



Elise arrived in Westbury about four in the afternoon, and who was the first person she saw but Shannon Clinton. She couldn't resist a chance to go over and speak to her. Elise took off her sunglasses and walked over to where Shannon was standing on the sidewalk. “Excuse me” she shouted, “I'm new in town and I was wondering if you could give me directions to the nearest shop”. Shannon brushed a strand of hair back from her eyes. “Oh – well, there's one right around that corner.” Elise smiled. “Thanks. Hey – do I know you from somewhere?” she asked nonchalantly. Shannon looked puzzled. “I don't think so.” “Well what's your name?” Elise asked. “Shannon Clinton” replied Shannon. “Oh wow!” exclaimed Elise. “Any relation to Bill?” she almost split her sides laughing, but managed to hold it in as Shannon brightened. “Oh – now that you mention it, I do think we're related somewhere along the way. You can tell, right?” (HOW?). The Clintons are all very important around here. Always have been. We practically built the town.” Elise smiled. “Well isn't that nice. Look, I really must go, but it's been lovely to meet you.” Elise turned and walked over to her Corvette. (for fuck sake Sharon. Seriously.). Shannon yelled after her - “Lovely! We must meet again some time, what's your name?” Elise started up the car and held out her hand. “Elise Owen, pleased to meet you.” She put her foot on the accelerator and sped off, leaving Shannon staring after her. Once she was out of sight, she broke into the biggest grin she could manage – oh she was going to enjoy these next three weeks. (BUT WHY ARE YOU THERE FOR THREE WEEKS).

As Elise reached the door of her old house, she thought she heard a noise behind her. It was beginning to get cold and Elise started to shiver as she rummaged around in her bag to get her key – it was nowhere to be found. “Shit!” she yelled. As a hand touched her shoulder, she screamed and hit the tall figure smack on the head with the handbag (enter: Pacey Witter). It was Daniel, she thought to herself. “Oh my God, Daniel – I'm so sorry. What the hell are you doing, sneaking up on me like that?” Daniel looked up at her - “Uh – ow?!” He winced, and then said “I was passing and I saw the car. If I'd known I was gonna get brain damage, I wouldn't have stopped.” Elise was meanwhile rooting through her bag. “Got it!” she cried as she finally found her key. She stuck it in the lock. “Come on in. And don't exaggerate, I said I was sorry, and you're not brain damaged – you don't have a brain to damage.” Daniel was unimpressed as he followed Elise into the hall. “Your wit astounds me” he smirked. Elise raised her eyebrows. “Fine, if you don't wanna come in, then just pis-” Daniel stepped inside. “I'm in, aren't I?” Elise walked into the kitchen. “Do you want some coffee?” she yelled. Daniel sat down on the big settee in the living room. “Um, yeah. Thanks.” Elise came in and sat down beside Daniel. “So, what's been happening since I left?” she asked. “Uh – nothing much. A marriage here, a kid there. A few shops have gone up, a few folks have started up their own business.” Elise nodded. “Yeah. Faye's got her own hotel.” Daniel nodded. “Yup. Like she said she would.” Elise frowned. “What?” “Y'know, she said she'd have her own hotel when we were younger.” Elise stood up. “The only one she told about that was me. How did you – you were listening in on us that day, weren't you? You pig!” She hit him playfully on the arm as she went to switch off the kettle. (Ah jesus!! Remember when kettles had to be switched off!!!). Daniel followed her. “But I also heard what your goal was – to marry Josh, wasn't it?” Elise made the coffee, ignoring Daniel. “We were only kids, and besides, that was ten years ago. It was stupid.” Daniel walked over to her. “No it wasn't. Now listen to me and listen good (obey me, woman that I haven't seen in a decade). Shannon Clinton is still leeching around Josh, but neither of them are that serious. Now if you still want him, I reckon I could help.” Elise couldnt' believe her ears. “What? Oh God, Daniel, you are so stupid. What makes you think that he'd be interested in me? And what benefits do you get? 'Cause if I know you, and you dont' seem to have changed in the last decade, you don't do very much if it's not gonna help you. So spill!” Daniel looked at his feet. “Well, the thing s, I – um – I mean, if Josh has you, Shannon will be alone, and – you know. I could help pick up the pieces”. Elise handed him his coffee. “So, your deal is that you get Shannon, and I get Josh, but we work together?” Daniel nodded. “That's exactly what I'm saying. You in?” Elise looked doubtful. “I dunno. I am 25, and I did say I'd marry him before I'm 26, and - “ (YOU ARE BOTH PATHETIC PEOPLE). “Oh, come on, Elise. You know you can't resist”. Elise smiled. “Oh, okay. What harm can it do?” Daniel put his hand on hers. “That's the way.” (I'm crying laughing, I was such a saddo). Elise moved her hand. “Ahem.” Daniel frowned. “Oh don't flatter yourself. It's Shannon I want. What's taking you back after all this time anyway?” he asked. Elise took a sip of her coffee. “I dunno. I couldn't stay away from the place (because I am a ride now and I can not handle my job). But now I guess I'm fulfilling a promise.” Daniel put down his cup. “You've changed – did you do something to your hair?” he asked. She rolled her eyes. “You've changed too. You're an even bigger pain in the butt.” He frowned. “Hey!” She laughed. “Sorry. So what's your plan for this scheme – or whatever?” Daniel nodded. “Shannon has a boat, right? (Is it called 'True Love', Pacey?). And every Tuesday, she goes sailing with Josh out on the lake by her house, so maybe we could get a boat and follow them.” Elise got up (when did she sit down?). “And tomorrow's Tuesday. Okay, what time will you pick me up?” Daniel glanced sideways at Elise. “Um, fine. 10 a.m.?” Elise walked over to the door. “Okay, plan in action, Tuesday, 10. See you then.” She waited but Daniel didn't budge. “Ahem!” “What?” he groaned. “Bye!” she said brightly. He finally took the hint, and got up. “Fine. Goodbye, Lice. See you tomorrow.” She gave him a huge thump on the arm as he was going past. “What the hell was that for?” he asked, angrily. “You called me Lice. Do you know what horrible memories that brings back? High School Hell, that's what.” He rubbed his arm sorely (how do you rub something sorely). “Sorry. If I'd known you were gonna turn into Mr. Hyde, I wouldn't have said it.” Elise opened the front door “You shouldn't have said it anyway. See you tomorrow. 10. And don't be late.” She slammed the door as he walked out to his pick-up. He mumbled to himself as he walked. “Jeez, don't worry, I won't be late – God knows what you might do to me.” As he drove off, Elise was settling down in the living room, wondering whether or not it was a good idea to team up with Daniel or not. “What harm can it do?” she laughed. (woman, you are TWENTY FIVE YEARS OLD).


Daniel arrived at exactly ten the next morning, and Elise bounded out the front door (like a labrador). “Hi!” she yelled to Daniel, who was clearing rubbish out of the passenger seat. She hopped into the truck and fastened her seat belt. “Hi” Daniel said. “So, we're all set. There's gonna be a boat waiting for us at the side of the lake, it's all set up.” Elise smiled. “Good. Hey, do you think these clothes are okay?” she asked, gesturing to her blue jeans and light blue sweater. Daniel nodded. “Sure. It doesn't really matter what you wear, I mean no-one's gonna see you 'cept me, and I don't really care.” Elise rolled her eyes. “Fi-i-ine. What – you roll out of bed on the wrong side this morning or something?” Daniel shook his head. “Nope. Okay, we're here. Now – do I need to tell you to be quiet?” Elise hopped out of the truck. “Nope”. With that, she banged the door shut. Daniel put his hands to his head. “Geez, did you, like, just ignore everything I said? Be quiet!” Elise was getting a bit narked at Daniel being so uptight. “Oh quit with the H*tler routine (I am SO sorry) already and just show me where this dang boat is.”

Daniel headed off for a secluded spot in the hedges near Shannon's house. “Come on. Over here.” He pushed his way through the hedge, with Elise not far behind. They reached the lake, and sure enough, there was the little boat. Elise's eyes widened. “There is no way on this earth that I am getting into that thing.” Daniel sat in and undid the rope. He stuck the oars into the sandy ground so that it wouldn't float away. “Oh come on, look, it's safe. Honestly.” Elise was very skeptical. “Since when have you been honest?” she asked him. He got out of the boat and pulled her along. “Why would I be in it if it was gonna sink? For God's sake, come on.” Elise walked along and stepped cautiously into the boat. “Now – see?” he remarked sarcastically. “Oh – look, there are Shannon and Josh. Okay, they'll probably go to the cave for a picnic or something, so we'd best et going.” (going to the cave for a picnic? You had to crawl through a hedge to get here, but now there's a cave? Where the hell is this? Narnia?). Elise grabbed an oar. “Fine. But can I ask you something?” Daniel nodded. “OK” she began. “We've got this great plan and boat an' all, but do you mind me asking what the hell we're meant to be doing out here on a lake at 10.30 in the morning?” She awaited Daniel's response, which she never got. “Well?” Daniel began to row. “I'm not sure. We'll just try and keep them apart or something, you know, sabotage, revenge, etcetera, the usual.” Elise narrowed her eyes. “I'm beginning to get scared of you, y'know.” Daniel laughed. “Don't be – can you swim?” Elise's eyes widened. “Why – what're you planning now?” Daniel shook his head. “Nothing. Can you?” “Yeah” she answered. As Shannon and Josh headed for the cave, Daniel moored the boat around the other side of the little marshy patch near the cave. He and Elise got out and went straight into a huge muddy patch of wet marsh. “Daniel – you shit!” Elise hissed. “Look at what you've done!” She pushed him so hard he fell smack into the water. “Hey don't blame me, there are two of us in this, y'know!” He got up and waded over to the rocky shore of the tiny island cave (It's an island now, lads). “Now, come on, and be quiet, 'cause they'll hear us.”

Elise finally made it to the shore and sat down on a rock. “Daniel, let's just go. This doesn't seem fair or fun anymore. Look at us.” Daniel had to admit, they looked more than a little the worse for wear. They were soaking wet, even though the lake water had only come up to waist height, and they were all muddy. Daniel crept around a big rock (makes him sound like a crab). “Yeah, we'll go soon. Let's just go round here to see what's going on.” Elise shook her head. “Well I'm staying here.” Daniel's mouth dropped open. “I don't believe this!” he exclaimed. “They've turned around – they're going back!” Elise got up. “Well, that's it settled then. Home, Jeeves. Uh.....Daniel?” Elise's eyes widened (for fuck sake, how many more times are her eyes going to widen or roll?) as she saw a small empty boat drifting off out to sea (on a lake, lads. YOU'RE ON A LAKE). “Yeah?” he came over to Elise. “Please, please tell me that you tied our boat up nice and safely and that is not out boat out there drifting out to sea” (IT'S A FUCKING LAKE). She closed her eyes. “Please...” Daniel just smirked. “Ok. That's not our boat and ours is tied up – oh shit...” Elise slapped his arm. “That is not the ending I wanted to hear to that sentence.” “Ow!” he cried. “Wherever the hell you've been for the last 10 years, you've turned into one helluva violent chick.” (I actually wrote the word 'helluva'). Elise stepped into the water. “Well, come on.” Daniel shrugged. “What?” She gestured for him to follow her. “We ain't gonna wait for the tide to bring it in, so we'd better wade all the way back.” Daniel stepped into the mucky, murky water. “You sure are fun – I'm already beaten up, now you're giving me pneumonia.” Elise ignored him the rest of the way.

They finally reached the clearing where the pick-up was parked. “What about the boat?” Elise asked. “To hell with the boat” he replied. “Someone'll find it.” He took a look at himself, then glanced at Elise. The both of them were soaking wet and freezing. It was now past noon (and we all know how cold it gets after Noon). He reached in the back of the truck and pulled out two old blankets that his father used as covers for the stock when he was doing deliveries. (deliveries of what? Why am I explaining every.little.thing). “Here” he said, passing Elise a blanket. “Take your clothes off and put this on.” “Excuse me?” she said, “you want me to get naked to put this on, with you here? Are you seriously in need of a shrink?” He smirked sarcastically at her. “Don't flatter yourself. I've got one too.” (You've got what?! A shrink? A blanket?) “That doesn't mean -” she began, but he cut her off. “Look. You might love the idea of being in a hospital sickbed for the next few months, but I certainly don't.” With that, he went round the other side of the pickup and changed. He dumped his wet clothes in the back and hopped into the drivers seat, wrapped in the huge blanket. “Hurry up” he yelled. “You'll catch a chill.” “What do you care?” she shouted back. Ooh, this one was wild, he thought to himself. (Oh my GOD). “Look, I'm not exactly in love with you, but I don't wanna kill you. Now just change and get in.” She reluctantly began to change, and he maneuvered his wing mirror to fix his hair, a total coincidence of course, that he could see her behind the truck (16 year old Sharon, you're a dirty birdy). She hopped in, and gave him a slap squarely across the face. “What the hell was that for?” he yelled. “That,” she replied, “was for the mirror. And today. And this,” she said, hitting him again, “is for being such an asshole.” Daniel was just about on his last nerve. “Will you stop hitting me?” he shouted. “You think I planned all this? Don't be so up on yourself. Remember why I'm doing this in the first place. I want Shannon. Not you. And I am just about sick of you and your little temper. Now shut up until I take you home.” Elise sulked all the way home. When they finally reached her house, she hopped out without saying a word, and walked in her front door, banging it shut after her. “Wait!” Daniel yelled. “You forgot.........your clothes........” but the door didn't open. “Fine!” he shrugged to himself, and drove off.  


It was a few days later when Daniel dropped by with Elise's things. He knocked on the door but there was no answer. “Must be gone out” he thought aloud (spectacular powers of deduction there, Sherlock). He left the clothes on Elise's porch and drove off. As he was turning the corner, he saw Elise walking down the road, towards the Post Office. “Hey, Elise” yelled Daniel. “D'ya wanna lift?” Elise put her hands in her pockets and kept walking. “No” she said calmly. “Okay, well, it's started to rain (how conveeeeeeeenient), so you'd better get in” he said. “I'm perfectly fine walking, thanks.” She headed into the Post Office, and Daniel parked the truck and went in after her. “Can I have a stamp for this, please?” Elise asked the cashier. Daniel came up beside her. “Elise, I left your clothes on your porch 'cause you weren't in. Don't worry, I washed 'em.” The cashier, who was a family friend of Elise's father (of COURSE she was), gasped. Elise's eyes widened. “No, no – Mrs. Burton – no, you see, Daniel and I got wet, so we had to change, and I left my clothes in his truck. It's not – it's not what you think. Honest.” (the fuck do you care what some old biddy thinks? YOU ARE TWENTY FIVE. You could ride the hole off him outside the Post Office if you felt like it.) Mrs. Burton was a nosy old gossip, who was always on the lookout for news to spread. Elise paid for her stamp and put her letter in the letterbox. She banged the Post Office door in Daniel's face. He came storming out after her in the rain. “Jesus, Elise, what's with you, huh?” he yelled. She swung round. “What's with me?” she shouted, “what the hell is wrong with you? You come up with the world's stupidest plan, you ruin my clothes, and now you just show up out of wherever the hell you came from and ruin my reputation. Why don't you just run me over while you're at it?” Daniel got into his truck and paced Elise down the road. “Look, just get in, okay? You're getting soaked. And anyway, I have some news for you. Shannon's having a posh party and I just got myself an invite.” Elise had to admit, she was getting soaked, so she walked around the other side and got into the passenger seat. “Okay, okay, I give up. As long as you've got no blankets in there.” (ha ha ha etc). Daniel smiled. “Nope. And I told you I was sorry about that, and I got your clothes dry cleaned and I left them on your porch” (where they will now get wet again because the plot demanded rain). Elise was impressed. “Thank you. Much appreciated. I hate laundry. So about this party – when is it?” “Tonight at ten” Daniel replied. “So we have to be alert and on our best behaviour, okay?” “Okay. So, you pick me up, okay? And not in this thing. See if you can get some kind of car.” (like......THE CORVETTE YOU DROVE HERE IN?) Elise replied as she got out and ran towards her house. “See you at ten fifteen, okay? We want to make an entrance” Daniel called, before he drove off.

Elise picked her clothes up off the porch and let herself inside. As she put the stuff away in the hall closet, she thought about the last few days. “Am I totally mad?” she asked herself (yes, a thousand times yes). “Teaming up with someone I hate just to get the guy of my dreams?” (you haven't seen him in TEN YEARS. HE COULD BE A BEAST.) As she headed up the stairs to pick her party clothes, she kept thinking about how nice Daniel was to her about the clothes and everything. “Oh for God's sake, Ellie, you're going mental.” She looked through the closet in her room to try and find a cool outfit for the party – she was looking forward to it more than usual, as Josh would see her tonight for the first time in ten years. She eventually decided to wear....(hang on. This genuinely needs a visual)

A sequinned silver boob tube, a short black leather mini skirt, and silver platform sandals (the dream outfit of a chubby little Leitrim girl circa 2000). She also picked out some silver bangles, hoop earrings, and a silver chain with a blue glass stone in the middle. She couldn't decide what to do with her hair, so she just left it loose. She didn't want to overdo her makeup (not with that outfit), so she just put on a touch of lip gloss, mascara, and silver pearl eyeshadow (Maybelline Cool Effects, I'd be damned!). On her way downstairs, Elise grabbed her black duffel jacket and purse.

Daniel arrived at exactly ten fifteen, and Elise ran out the door when she heard the beep of a car horn. “Well at least he's not in the pickup” she thought. As she turned around, she gasped. Daniel was parked in her drive, in a beautiful red sports car. “Hi!” he yelled. “Hop in!” Elise ran down the drive and hopped in, fastening her seat belt. “Nice wheels, who's are they?” she asked. Daniel reversed on to the street. “My Mom's” he replied. (WHERE IS YOUR CORVETTE?). “Hey, you look nice.” “Thanks. You don't look too bad yourself.” Elise replied. Daniel had black combats and a long black sweatshirt on, and his normally spiked hair was parted. (I would bet my entire makeup collection that I wrote this just after Scott Robinson from 5ive was pictured with non-spiked hair, I loved him). “Like the hair” she smiled. Daniel grimaced. “I ran out of wax. It's hideous, isn't it?” Elise laughed. “No, honestly, you should leave it like that. It's much better.” "What are you doing?" she thought to herself. "Vibin' with Daniel (I'm crying) – get a grip!" “Um, so...” she began, “the party's at Shannon's house?” Daniel nodded. “Yup. It's supposed to be the biggest party that Westbury has ever seen – or so she says.” They pulled up into Shannon's drive, where there were already about 12 cars. (Twelve. MASSIVE PARTY. ROCK ON).


Daniel and Elise got out of the car and he showed the invitation to the person at the door. “Go on in” he said, eyeing up Elise. “Hey, baby” he growled. Elise just rolled her eyes and went inside. She left her coat hanging on the wall hanger in the hall. When she turned around, Daniel was staring at her. “What – what's wrong – is my skirt too short?” (I'm pretty sure I ripped this part from the episode of Friends where Chandler is seeing thin Monica for the first time). “Do I look like a tart? Oh, I knew I should've gone with a dress!” Daniel shook his head. “No. No, no, n-no. No. You look great.” “Get a grip, man – phew!!” he thought to himself. “Let's go in to the party.” They went in to the massive room which Shannon had set aside for her party. Daniel pointed over to where Josh was standing at the punch bowl. “There's your target. I'll go find Shannon, OK? Meet you at the punch bowl at twelve, OK?” Elise nodded. “Okay. Bye.”

Daniel headed over to where Shannon was talking to some tarty chick (I'm so sorry). Elise went over to Josh. “Um – hi. Josh?” He turned around. “Yeah?” “Hi – it's me, Elise.” (the girl who spoke to you once ten years ago). “Elise? Oh my God – you look – I mean – you've – oh – wow. You look great.” Elise smiled. “Thanks. You too! So are you and Shannon – y'know, together, still?” Josh shook his head. “Not really. I mean, we do stuff together, but it's not serious. We're just friends.” She smiled at Josh. Josh continued on. “So, are you seeing anyone?” he asked. “No” Elise replied, “why?” Josh got a drink. “Um – no, never mind. Do you want – um, no, actually, it's okay.” (I've read that twice and I can't understand what's okay). Elise smiled. “Josh, what is it?” Josh took a gulp of his punch. “Well, um – are you – um are you doing anything tomorrow night? 'Cos there's a movie – and, um, it's meant to be good, and we could go for dinner, y'know, 'cause we'd be hungry after the movie, or we could eat before, y'know, whatever suits you, (because all I'm after is my hole) if – if you want, I mean, like I'm not forcing you, but, um, well, do you wanna go?” Elise laughed. “Yes, of course I'll go out with you, Josh! Pick me up around 8?” Josh smiled. “Sure. Hey, listen, I gotta split, okay? I'm real sorry to go so early, but I've got work to do early tomorrow morning and I really have to split” (like a banana). Elise nodded. “It's okay, I understand. I'll see you tomorrow night, okay?” “Okay” Josh smiled. He left the party, and left Elise standing alone. “Oh-kay. What do I do now?” she thought (Oh I don't know – mingle? Dance? Drink?). She glanced over to where Daniel and Shannon were joking and laughing. “Hmmm... they seem to be getting along really well” she thought. “His hair's really cute – geez – what am I at?” she laughed. “Honestly – Daniel? - Well, he does kinda give me a toothache, but he's just a friend.” (Crying laughing, blatantly robbed that from Clueless). She left her glass on the table and walked over to them. “Daniel?” Shannon turned around. “Oh my God, hi Elise! Oh, listen, I'm so sorry about the other day. I didn't recognise you! You look so good!” she gushed. Elise smiled. “Thanks. Um, could I borrow Daniel for a moment?” “Of course!” Shannon smiled. She walked away to a group of girls. “So..” Daniel began “is there a problem?” Elise smiled “The opposite, actually. I just came to tell you that I'm going home now – mission accomplished. I got a date with Josh.” Daniel tapped her on the shoulder. “Oh that is so cool. I just asked Shannon out and she said yes! So I guess our plan worked, huh?” “Yep” Elise smiled. “Well, look, I better go.” Daniel frowned. “Why? Come on, stay a while and I'll bring you home later.” Elise shook her head. “Nah, there's no point in stickin' round. I got what I came for, I'll just walk, it's only a few blocks away.” She turned around to go, but Daniel grabbed her arm. “Elise, c'mon, honestly. Look, you got all dressed up and everything. If you're not gonna stay, then lease let me take you home.” Elise laughed. “Okay, okay, if you insist, I'll stay a few more minutes but I'm getting a cab then, okay?” Daniel smiled “Okay.” (This fucking story has more Okays than every piece of The Fault in Our Stars memorabilia ever created).

Shannon came back over to Daniel and put her hands on his shoulders. “Hey, Danny!” she purred. “Hi Elise, this is my new friend Danny” (that I have known and hung around with and lived near for my entire life). Elise rolled her eyes. Shannon was obviously drunk. Elise knew, but she didn't say anything. “Um, cool” she said, nervously. “Danny is my boyfriend” Shannon slurred. Daniel's eyebrows raised. Elise felt a sudden pang of jealousy in her stomach. “Oh really, is that so?” she enquired. Shannon laughed. “Yup. We're dating. Aren't we?” Elise put her hair behind her ears and put her drink down. “Well, that's great. Um, listen, sorry to be a party pooper but I really better go. It was nice seeing you again, Shannon.” She walked over to the door and went to find her jacket. Daniel pushed out after her. “Elise, hang on!” he yelled. “Are you gonna call a cab?” he asked. Elise shook her head. “Nah, I won't bother. It's not that far.” Daniel got his coat. “Look, I can't drive you home 'cause I'm blocked in, but you are not walking home alone. It's too dangerous. I'm coming with you.” Elise shook her head. “Fine. Whatever you want.”


Elise and Daniel walked along the dark street silently. Daniel could feel the tension between them, but couldn't think of a thing to say. He looked down at Elise, who caught his glance and smiled. Daniel thought she looked beautiful – he didn't stop thinking about her all night – even when he was with Shannon. “What the hell is the matter with me?” he asked himself. Meanwhile, Elise's head was muddled. “Oh God, this is so awkward” she thought. “I like Josh, yet why can't I stop thinking about this idiot?” As they walked silently along, Elise noticed the road getting icy. She walked carefully, with Daniel muddling along beside her. As she began to slip on an icy patch, Daniel grabbed her hand. “Geez, don't fall!” he said. “We don't want you laid up for your big date, now, do we?” he laughed. She looked up at him. “Don't you count your chickens” she said, “You're about as steady as I am and we still got half a block to go!” Daniel smiled. “And it's dark”. “Yup” Elise replied. “And cold.” Daniel noticed her light jacket (funny, considering it was a DUFFEL COAT). “Hey – do you want my coat?” he asked. “I mean, you only have a light jacket on, and that little top thing.” Elise smiled. “Nah, it's okay. But thanks for asking.”

I can only apologise in advance for the next paragraph.

Just then, someone came running towards Daniel and Elise. It was a young man, about eighteen years old. He ran straight by them, knocking Daniel smack into the sidewalk bench. He kept running, and was well out of sight within a few seconds. “Jesus Christ” Elise yelled. “Bloody maniac!” She kneeled beside Daniel. “Oh my God, Daniel, are you okay?” She tapped him on the shoulder but he didn't move. “Oh God, oh God, oh God, please be okay! Daniel! Daniel! C'mon, wake up, please!” Elise began to cry – she didn't mean to, but she couldn't keep it in and she didn't know what to do. Daniel mumbled and sat up. (MAGIC TEARS). “Uh – ow!” he winced. He put his hand up to his head, where he had a cut. Elise wiped her eyes. “Thank God you're okay! C'mon, sit up here!” she propped him up on the bench. “Are you?” “Am I what?” he moaned. “Okay?” she whispered. “Yeah, I'm fine. He was probably a junkie or something” he moaned. (Damn those "junkies", with their..........running). “Can we just go, please?” “Course we can” she said. “We gotta get you to my house and put something on your head.” They hobbled along on the icy sidewalk to Elise's house. As they went inside, and she went to the kitchen to get some ice, Daniel took off his coat and sank into a chair. “Ohhhhh” he sighed, “I'm gonna just have to get my car in the morning”. Elise got a band aid for Daniel (it's a plaster, Sharon. You're Irish) and put it on the cut. “Ow” he winced. “Don't be such a wimp” she scolded. “Honestly, men – you can practically live for watching boxing movies and kung fu fighters kicking the crap out of each other but one little cut and you're gone.” Daniel frowned. Elise yawned. Daniel got up off the chair. “Look, I'm gonna go home, okay? We're both tired. I'll see you sometime in the next few days.” Elise got up to open the door. “Okay. Are you sure you're gonna be alright? I mean, with your head and everything?” she asked. Daniel nodded. “Yeah, I'll be fine. Honest. I'm only across the road anyway.” “Okay” Elise replied. “Hey, Elise?” he called as he was going out the door, “apart from the running idiot, I had a good time tonight.” Elise smiled. “Me too. I'm glad we went!” “Me too” whispered Daniel. “Goodnight”. “Goodnight, Daniel” she replied. “Well?” he continued. “Well what?” Elise asked, puzzled. Daniel leaned in. “Don't I get a goodnight kiss?” he teased. Elise laughed. “Come here, you big idiot” she leaned forward and went to kiss Daniel on the cheek. Elise's heart thundered in her ears. “Grow up, Ellie” she said to herself. “It's only Daniel”. Meanwhile, Daniel was nervous. “What the hell did I say that for?” he laughed. Just then, he felt Elise's lips brush against his cheek. He couldn't resist moving his head so that he and Elise were now kissing with each others lips pressed together. Elise jumped away quickly. “Wh – why did you do that?” she asked. Daniel ran his fingers through his hair. “I'm so sorry, really, I better just go..” Elise nodded. “Yeah, I think so”. Daniel looked so helpless and gorgeous with his hair ruffled, standing before her in his sweater and combats, all flustered. Elise couldn't resist leaning forward. “I'm sorry, ok? I'm just snappy when I'm tired.” Daniel smiled. “Yeah, and I'm just – y'know – bump on the head..” Elise gave him a huge hug. “Forgiven” she mumbled. “Thanks for helping me”. “No probs” he replied. She couldn't get over how good he smelled – or the way she felt at this very moment. The feelings she had for Josh were nothing compared to this feeling. As she pulled away, she caught Daniel's eye, and before she knew what was going on, they were kissing. Not just a friendly goodnight kiss, but kissing. They were kissing passionately, french kissing (french kissing in the U.S-A, french kissing in the U.S-AAA), and Daniel was running his hands through Elise's hair and she was running her fingers through his and (there are about two sentences crossed out here – I can make out the words 'rolling' and 'tongues' so I'm guessing I got a bit dirty even for me and decided to tone it down a bit – I need a Tena Lady) until Daniel broke away. “Oh – oh no. That – that was wrong. Very, very wrong. Oh, I'm sorry – God I am sorry – I – I better go...” Daniel walked down the drive, leaving a baffled Elise standing at the door. “What the hell was that about?” she thought, as she went back inside.


The next afternoon, Elise and Josh were on their way into the theater (despite their date being at 8pm) to see the movie. Josh had talked about himself the whole way there and the whole way into the theater. “So” he was saying as they found a seat, “there was this time, in (band camp) High School, when I really thought I wasn't going to get Prom King and then -” Elise cut him off. “Oh, look, the movie's starting!” Josh kept quiet until the interval, when he tried to kiss Elise, but she put her hand up to his mouth. “Look, Josh – it's not working. I'm just gonna go, okay?” She walked out, leaving Josh dumbstruck. “Elise, where the heck are you going? Don't you want to come to my house and see my (penis) trophy collection? Or my photographs?” Elise stopped at the door as Josh ran out after her. “Tell you what, Josh, why don't you just go home and stare at yourself in the mirror for a few days? I'll see you around”. Josh just shrugged and turned back to the film. “Unbelievable” Elise thought to herself. Her rumbling stomach reminded her of her plans to eat later with Josh. “Well I guess that ain't happening now” she said to herself. She thought she might get a burger or something, so she decided to walk down to the local take-out. (It's a fucking chipper, Sharon. It's a chipper.)

As Elise sat into a booth waiting for the waiter to bring her a burger, she noticed Shannon and Daniel in a booth across the restaurant. Shannon was giggling babyishly and making what could only be described as goo goo eyes (jesus) at Daniel. Elise just toyed with the salt cellar in front of her for what seemed like an age before the waiter brought her food. “Here you go, babe” he smiled. “Sorry 'bout the hold up”. Elise took the burger from him. “Thanks. On second thoughts, could you just shove this thing in a bag for me, please?” the boy smiled. “Sure, babe. To go.” Elise got up and grabbed her wallet, knocking the salt cellar in the process and making a noise that led Daniel to look up. He waved over. “Shit” she thought to herself. “Hey Elise!” he called. “Shit, shit, they're coming over. Great.” Daniel and Shannon both approached Elise's table. “Hi Daniel, Shannon. Um – so what are you guys up to?” Daniel shrugged. “Just out for lunch. You?” “Um, nothing. Same.” Shannon frowned. “Weren't you meant to be out with Josh?” Elise glanced around nervously. “Josh. Yeah. Date with Josh. Um – that didn't really work out...where the hell is he gone with my burger?” Shannon looked sympathetic. “I get you – you didn't go out for the date dressed like that, did you?” Elise put her hands on her hips and struck a pose. “Excuse me? What the heck is wrong with what I'm wearing?” Shannon shook her hands. “Nothing – if you're just – at home or something but do you really think that combat pants and a halter top is a good date outfit?” Elise was blazing. “Who the hell gives you the right to tell me what I can and can't wear? Mind your own business. At least I actually cover all my vital reproductive organs.” She turned and yelled across the counter. “Hey – tortoise boy. Here's five bucks. Eat the damn burger!” She slammed her money down on the counter, glared at Daniel and Shannon, and walked out. Shannon wrapped her arm around Daniel's neck. “What's her problem? Is she – like – always so catty?” Daniel smiled. “Pretty much, yeah.”

Elise sat by the waterside at Taki Beach later that evening. She pulled her knees up to her chest and watched the sun go down. That's what she had loved about Westbury. The beautiful beach, the general atmosphere of the town in Summer (the random patches of ice that appear when necessary). She missed her Dad and Kathy, and Faye too – she wondered what was keeping her here now (or what the fuck brought you back in the first place, YOU HAVE A JOB). Things with Josh hadn't worked out, and Daniel and Shannon were getting on her nerves. Her family or friends weren't even here. Her new image hadn't had half the impact she'd expected – half the people in the town had moved away and the other half didn't remember her anyway. “Pointless” she thought aloud. “Absolutely bloody pointless”. “What's pointless?” Elise turned around to see a tall, muscular figure standing over her in the sand. “Daniel, is that you? I can't see – the sun's in my eyes.” (the sun has already set, you absolute fucking idiot). Elise shielded her eyes to see a good looking, tanned stranger with piercing brown eyes and dark hair. “No, my name's Will. I'm patrolling on this part of the beach and I couldn't help overhearing. Are you okay?”


Elise stood up and shook the sand off her clothes, which she had swapped for a mini skirt and bikini top. “Fine, just fine. How could I not be? I go away for ten years, come back and my best friend's gone, my family aren't here and the guy I liked turned out to be an egotistical, self-centered self-obsessed freak. My other so-called friend is a maniac, and he's dating a total ho (I haven't heard the word ho in YEARS). Why should anything not be fine?” Will brushed his hair forward with his hand. “Woah. Sounds like you have major issues to sort out.” Elise glanced at him sideways. “Ya think?” “Sorry. You wanna talk? You seem like you need a friend.” Will sat down on the sand. Elise sat down beside him. “I'm sorry. Life is just really crappy at the moment. Sometimes I wonder if it's worth it anymore....” (Oh my ACTUAL GOD SERIOUSLY). Will looked at her. “Woah, woah, woah. Don't go all Thelma-and-Louise on me here. Don't talk like that. I'm sure if we talk it through, we can work it out.” Elise smiled. “We?” Will smiled back. “Yeah. You need a friend, and I need to be a friend. Life's pretty hectic for me too. I figure we can help each other. Y'know, no strings? Whaddya say?” Elise grinned. “You don't even know me, and you're willing to help me, no strings?” Will nodded. “Yup. And we can start by introducing ourselves. Will Chao.” “Elise Owen”. Will smiled. “Good. So, you wanna start tellin' me some of those big issues?” Elise smiled back, and told him all about Josh, Daniel, Shannon and everything else that was bothering her. When they had finished talking, the sun was gone and the beacons were lit for the weekly beach party. Elise stood up. “Will, thanks so much for talking with me. You were right, it feels better now I've told someone.” Will shook Elise's hand. “No thanks needed. I needed to get a few things off my chest too. Anytime you want to talk, you know where I am.” Elise smiled. “Sure do. Thanks, Will. Listen – I gotta go. It's getting cold out here and I want to get back home before the crowds start to come for the beach party.” Will nodded. “I get ya.” “Bye” “See ya.”

As Elise walked back up the beach towards the house, she saw Daniel and Shannon mucking about in the sand. “Well, someone moves fast” she thought to herself. “At least he got what he wanted.” She headed up the hill and when she was halfway up (she was neither up nor down), she heard Daniel yelling out. “Elise! Hey, Elise, wait up!” She turned around. “What do you want now?” she asked, impatiently. “Who was that guy?” Daniel asked, raising one eyebrow questioningly. Elise smiled. “You are unbelievable. He's a friend. His name's Will. Why?” Daniel frowned. “Oh. Are you two – y'know -” Elise laughed. “I'm afraid the absence of a penis on my part would render that quite difficult.” Daniel frowned again. “Huh?” (Daniel, you are thick as MOLASSES). Elise brushed a strand of hair out of her eyes. “He's gay, Poindexter.” (Poindexter!! Where does a Leitrim person even learn that word). “And don't frown – you'll get lines. Shouldn't you be off catering for Miss Vogue's every need?” she gestured towards Shannon, who was now flirting with a blonde guy from the local college. “Shannon?” said Daniel. “Nah, that's kinda – well, let's just say that despite the fact she's got a head sized head, there's more than enough air in there to fill a few thousand helium balloons.” Elise shrugged. “Then why are you still with her?” Daniel looked in Shannon's direction. “Let's just say she bears some resemblance to a leech.” Elise frowned. “I see that.” Daniel laughed. Elise never noticed what a gorgeous smile he had before. “That's it” she thought. “I have to get out of here. Now.” “Um – I have to go” she said, turning to walk away. “I'm leaving. I have to go back to Carlton.” “What? Why?!” Daniel looked confused. Elise couldn't help it. She began to cry. “No, not now........don't let him see you cry..” she thought. “Hey – are you okay?” he put his hand on her shoulder. “Um – yeah” she sniffed. “I gotta go. Bye, Daniel”. She walked away and once she was well out of sight, she burst into tears. She had gotten what she wanted – a date with Josh – so why did she feel so rotten? (Because she is a DOPE).


The following day, Elise was packing her bags into her car when she saw Daniel coming walking up the road. Before he had a chance to come over, she jumped into the car and sped off in the direction of Carlton. Daniel yelled after her. “Elise! Wait! Wait! There's something I have to tell you!” Elise was sure of one thing – she didn't want to talk to him. But, as luck would have it, her car spluttered to a halt (well, look at that!). “Oh no, God no, not now!” she yelled. “Come on, come on!” Daniel ran up to her. “Where are you going?” “I told you, I'm leaving”. Daniel shook his head. “Why?” “Because I don't want to stay here anymore. Is that a crime?” Daniel took her hand. “Don't go. Please. Stay here. You can work in the school in town.” (Unlikely – Reference from previous employer: 'fucked off after a month to gallavant around her home town for three weeks chasing after people she hadn't seen in a decade'). Elise frowned. “No way. This place bites. And why do you want me to stay, anyway? To catch another girlfriend for you?” Daniel dropped her hand. “Is that what you think of me? That I'm just some jumped-up little asshole who hasn't changed since High School?” “No, not it's not. You're sweet. Sweeter than I ever thought. Which is why I have to go.” “I so don't get you” he shrugged. Elise turned the key and the car started. “That's the problem. See you, Daniel. If you're ever in Carlton......” Daniel reached in across her and took the keys out of the ignition. “You're not going anywhere”. “Excuse me? I don't take orders. Even from the people I lo- loathe.” Daniel smiled. “That's what I love about you. You don't take shit from anyone.” Elise raised her eyebrows. “You – love something about me? Well that's a laugh, I'll give you that. What about Shannon?” “Shannon eloped with the college boy, God help him. But I realise now it's you I wanted all along. Not Shannon.” “I thought you hated me”. “The opposite. I love you, Elise, always have.” “What?” she spat. “You teased me! You used me, you hated me. If you loved me then you would never have hurt me the way you did.” (Oh for FUCK SAKE SHARONNNNNN). Elise shook her head in disbelief. “So you thought that the best way to land a date with me was to show off and pick on me? You are such an unbelievable asshole. And what are you grinning at? Stop it! Ugh – I can't believe I fancied you, you're a pig – a male chauvinist pi-” before she could carry on, Daniel grabbed her and kissed her. She pulled away. “Don't do that! Don't lead me on and -” But he grabbed her and stared into her eyes. “I'm not leading you on, I'm serious. I love you. And that's all there is to it.” He kissed her again and this time she didn't protest. “Well, maybe I could stay a few more days...” she said, as she melted into his arms.

THE END – 02/06/00


Lord lantern jaysus. How have I managed to forge any kind of normal relationship with someone, let alone get married? Seriously. HOW. I can't actually believe I wrote this at all,  never mind that it was 15 years ago! Three weeks after, I turned 17, which was a big, traumatic year for me emotionally and physically. An awful lot had happened by the next June. Reading this makes me think I was so totally and utterly clueless about the real world - which in one way is very embarrassing, but in another it's kinda nice that I was still that daft at that age. The addiction to US programmes that didn't feature any fat women shines through in this -  it's quite sad now to look at how much I thought that you needed to have *THE MAKEOVER* for anyone to want to be with you. When I look at 16/17 year olds now - there's so much extra pressure that I didn't have - I'm glad I didn't have social media worries on top of all my other teenage bullshit. I'm so glad I never have to go back to thinking that this story was a prime example of romance!

I still very much love Pacey Witter, mind.

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