Friday, 2 July 2010

Letter to a Future Law Student

I use to love talking on the phone with you. Back then, it didn't have to mean anything. I remember the time that you were cooking bacon, holding the phone to your ear with your shoulder and grease kept flicking out and burning you, so you put your older sister on the phone. She wanted to know if I was your girlfriend. I wasn't. I don't even think I wished I was yet. I just liked talking to you. You were the smartest person I'd ever met who wasn't grown up.

I must have liked you at some point though because I remember a girl in our Japanese class telling me you used to have a crush on me in Year 8. I felt stupid at the time because I'd liked you too, and I'd moved on. It was like we'd missed a turn off on the freeway and now we were driving around in different parts of the city from each other. Things might have been different if we'd been able to talk about something other than school that first year. But I was twelve. I was twelve and you were thirteen.

Another time, I had an older girl over at my house, a friend of the family, and you rang. I think I was mad at you at the time. I wanted you to think that my friend was a model. I told you her name was Courtney Bean and we cut out a picture from Girlfriend magazine of a girl in a bikini with her back to the camera for her to sign for you. I don't think you ever fell for it though, so I think I might smile too much when I lie or something.

Sometimes I wonder if it hurt you that I went out with your friend from the debating team. You two were hardly Fred Flinstone and Barney Rubble, but you did eat lunch together. Didn't you have an imaginary girlfriend or something? Was her name Courtney too? Is that how the model joke started? Oh I don't know. The past is fragmented. I only knew you for three years and you've split into a kaleidoscope of different colours and dispersed, just like you left our school and went to a private one for year 11 and 12. The you that I am writing to now could hardly be the same version who my best friend wanted to date in year 9. That boy told her that he wouldn't spoil their friendship by dating her. And he couldn't possibly be the same person as the boy I was surprised to meet at a party, who went around back with a girl he'd only just met, only a year after you left school.

There's a version of you that I will never stop hating. I sometimes take that memory out and dust it off, replay it on the warped gramophone of my memory and it sounds a little distorted. But I cried, I want you to know that. The day you left, you told me that you couldn't talk to me any more because I am too opinionated. I want to think that you did that because you didn't want me to miss you.

That was the first time I realised that you didn't belong on the pedestal I had reserved for you. You weren't as smart as I thought.

It still sits wrong with me that we don't talk anymore.


  1. I love this.
    The concept + the words = perfect.

  2. I have a few of these, too. Whilst I hope I don't run into them and ever have to talk to/interact with them again in any way, I often get so curious... why did they do and say the things they said and did? How do they remember what happened, how different is it from 'my' version? Do they ever think about it? Do they ever think about me and wonder what I'm doing now?

    Whoever invented the word 'closure' was obviously thinking about doors and not people.

  3. somethingofafan7/14/2010 8:55 pm

    Interesting examination of what must be a common situation. Makes you wonder what the focus of the story's perspective is.


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