I went to boarding school from the age of 12 until 16. If you’re from the UK reading this then that probably sounds very posh. However, I’m from Australia where no one is really posh and the size of the country and location of schools sometimes means kids go to boarding school.
It was an all girls boarding school with a brother school across town. The two schools encountered one another at McDonalds on Tuesday afternoon in full school uniform or at quarterly school discos surrounded by manufactured smoke in the assembly hall.
In the evening before dinner in the boarding house we would wait for phone calls from the boys school. There was a line of 5 phones in the reception area, overlooked by boarding house staff. If you were upstairs watching TV, you would be called over the intercom, then bolt downstairs to take your call.
In lots of cases, boys and girls would just want to talk to each other, sometimes without having met or heard of each other before, which is how I fell madly in love with Chris Bray.
The only problem was that Chris Bray had a girlfriend.
I mean in theory it was a problem, my thirteen year old self didn’t really feel it was an ethical issue and I began to pursue him with gusto. I arranged for someone to give him Usher’s ‘You Make Me Wanna’, the CD single, which I had bought for $2 and the mall. He called me up and told me that it had really. made. him. think.
My friends and I analysed and discussed and analysed this for a month leading up to a quarterly disco. He did not dump his girlfriend.
I danced with his cousin Bradley instead. He was the first boy I kissed. I figured it was close enough.