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"The past is gone and forgotten. Isn't it?"
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Life. It catches us all out eventually. It's strange how it happens. But it does. You think you’re settled, have worked out what it's all about when suddenly it comes along and takes you and shakes you up.

“You’re not so certain now,” it says.

And you’re not.

But so much for that, it can wait until later. I have to tell you something.

I’m a compulsive liar. That's all you need to know.

There. I got it off my chest. It had to happen. I’ve been like it all my life, not so much when I was younger but worse the older I’ve got. You know how it is, you fancy popping for a beer on the way home and you phone up to make an excuse.

“Sorry dear, I’ve got things to do. I’ll be a bit late.”

We’ve all done it haven’t we? A little white lie, about nothing important, just to make things easier. It’s the fact that it's nothing important that counts. I mean, who would bother if you told the truth?

“Sorry, dear. I know you’ve put a lot of effort into cooking tonight’s meal. But, actually, I’d rather be sitting in the pub.”

It wouldn’t sound the same, really. So you make a silly excuse and everyone’s happy. Then you start to do it out of habit, then as a matter of course, until you believe it yourself. That’s the dangerous bit. And the point is that you don’t know when you’ve reached the stage when you’re lying for the sake of it.

Or where it will go.

There was Peter and me. At least that summer there was Peter and me. That’s a funny thing. At a certain age, you pick up with someone for a period, and then you drift apart. It doesn’t happen later in life. Eras are longer and friendships - if you can call them friendships - shallower. But that Summer when I was eighteen or was it nineteen I can’t quite remember, it was Peter and me.

I’m fifty-three now, so you can see how long ago it was. Or is it fifty-four? I can’t remember that either.

We both had these little scooters. In those days, you could ride one if you were sixteen and held a provisional licence. It's not so easy now. We both took advantage of the liberal rules and bought one as soon as we could. We would race around the streets of the town, go to see bands who were playing a way off, go for long rides at the weekend. Most of all, our scooters gave us freedom. No longer were we tied to a particular locality, we could go everywhere.

We were both about to leave for University, dreaming of starting out in life, making our way in the world. I was studying English and saw myself as a budding George Orwell, Jack Kerouac, or Oscar Wilde. The first thing I would do, once I had finished at University, would be to get a job as a journalist. From there, I would advance. One day I would work in Fleet Street. I wasn’t sure when. But I knew it would happen. That’s what I told everyone anyway.

By the end of the sixth form, we were fed up with studying. We needed a break. The next few weeks would let us relax.

But back to my life now. It's been a long time since those days and a lot has happened. Outwardly. I’m married now, have a grown-up family, and a place we call home. But do we ever really move on? Is there something about all of us that stays in the same place we were when we were eighteen or nineteen? Mentally at least. I don’t know. I don’t suppose anyone does.

That summer, the one in question, has nothing to do with my life now. It could be a thousand years ago for the difference it makes to my daily existence. I get up, have my breakfast, have a shave, go to work. I spend the day there, writing reports, going to meetings, talking to people. I don’t see anyone who I knew that year and they never see me. That’s the way of things, I suppose. Life has its own rhythm and you fall into it.

So if someone were to tell me that events of that summer were still of relevance to me, I would laugh and tell them not to be silly. I was young and immature and knew nothing. How could it affect the person I have become?

And they would laugh and tell me not to be so certain. That life never moves on, totally. There is always something there to come back and haunt you.

So what would I do? I would look at my life now and ask how that could possibly be linked to all that time ago.

And I would be right, in one respect. And wrong in another.

And I would ask if it really matters.

And I would know it doesn’t.

But I would still ask myself the question, silently.

And then I would drive the car in, check the doors, look in on my kids, and settle down to watch a film. I would forget about the past. I forgot about it then so why shouldn’t I now?

There was a heatwave that summer. We almost abandoned the scooters. We would lie in the sun, with his ghetto blaster or old record player giving us some entertainment. We got into our routine. I would get up late then I would go round to his house. He had a large garden, a rockery, a small pond, and a huge terrace. He got out an old paddling pool from when he was a child. I would turn up at about two and crash out, Then he would bring out the ghetto blaster.

I didn’t end up on Fleet Street. I didn’t even end up working for the local rag. Journalism was my lost vocation. When I came out of University, there were not a lot of jobs about. I started doing temporary work at the local council. Then I applied for a job further up the organization, a permanent job, and ended up getting it. I spent a few years there before I decided to take a big step and move away. That’s where I met my wife, and the rest followed naturally.

It's depressing, if you think about it, how time moves forward. And ambition is lost. My dreams of Fleet Street lasted all of my adolescence - and then six months before I knew I had to do something else.

So what happens? You become your parents, that’s what they say. I don’t know if that’s true or if it isn’t. All I know is that you only have one chance. And you realise that too late.

So why worry?

That’s my view.

Peter had a sister. Her name was Sue and she was two years older than us. We didn‘t see too much of her. She would hang around the house sometimes in the early afternoon and then go out to meet her friends. I would lie there, casually observing as she tottered around in her high heels. I would sometimes meet her unexpectedly in the kitchen when I came in for more drinks. She would be as friendly as older sisters can be, a little aloof without being annoying. That said, I always felt relieved when I had spoken to her and was returning to the sun lounger with a drink. There’s something about an older girl to a boy, that puts a sense of fear into the soul. He always feels he is being examined for defects and behavioural errors that mark him out. I certainly felt that with Sue.

Today I drove to a meeting at Head Office. I do from time to time. It takes about a couple of hours. I have become used to these regular trips up the motorway. I like the journey, putting on the music, stopping on the way to get a coffee and a can of Red Bull to keep me going. It’s not a long journey, as they go, I don’t suppose. But it's enough. Anyway, I enjoy the journey.

That summer, I used to love sitting round Peter’s house in the sun, It was in the days before a lot of people went on holiday abroad and we could convince ourselves this was the height of living. We were the privileged ones, not stuck in a boring factory or office all day but free to spend our time in the sun, listening to music. We played all sorts of stuff, mainly soulful sounds with harmonies and feel and a touch that was just right for summer. Peter would turn it up as loud as possible, especially when there was no one else in the house.

It happened unexpectedly. These things always do, though I didn’t know it then. I don’t remember what day of the week it was, which is strange. Sometimes you know exactly when it was, the time and everything, what you had seen on television before you came out, what you had eaten. Not this time. All I remember is that I was lying on the sun lounger, sipping orange juice. Peter was on the other side of the terrace, playing with the sound on his record player and sorting out the next record.

I was wistful. That must be the word. Absentmindedly looking around, with my own thoughts, looking forward to University. I remember that, it’s strange. I know what I was thinking, but nothing else.

Sue was in her room. At least, I thought she was. I hadn’t heard her go out so she must be in. I didn’t really give it a lot of thought. I just lay there, letting the music float across the afternoon. I closed my eyes and started to drift away, the bright sun against my eyelids. I tilted my head, in the direction of the house, so that the sun wouldn’t feel so strong. It worked. I lay there for a few minutes. Enjoying it. Then I opened them again.

The journey to Head Office is mainly on the motorway. I drive from our house, onto the ring road, until I come to the slip road and join the traffic. I cruise for a couple of hours, listen to some music, maybe a programme on radio 4. They used to say that you know you’re getting old when you listen to radio 4 more than radio 1. If that’s the case, I’m in the older bracket. Most of the stuff they play on radio 1 sounds tuneless, to me. Then I tell myself my Dad used to say the same thing, on Tuesday lunchtimes when I would rush home to hear Johnnie Walker count down the charts. My Dad used to come home for lunch in those days and he would smile and laugh sometimes at the music I was listening to. I used to think he was old, because of that. Now I know it's just a thing that happens. And I don’t care.

But I’m moving off the subject. The issue is, that I spend most of those two hours sitting, looking at the same piece of road, at the backs of trucks, at service stations. As I was driving along it occurred to me that there may be a more scenic route. It might take longer. But that wouldn’t matter.

There was a girl standing in the house. I hadn’t seen her before, I knew that, for definite. She was in the hall, by the patio door that looked out onto the terrace. She was staring at me, straight at me. It was the first thing I noticed. The next was that she hadn’t expected me to open my eyes just at that moment, and to catch her looking. I knew that by the expression on her face.

I don’t know if I appeared surprised to see her. Only she knew that. As for her, she looked slightly shocked and embarrassed at the same time. Her eyes looked like they wanted to be somewhere else. Anywhere else.

I was, of course, no stranger to attraction. But, until then, it had been confined to fumbling encounters behind the bike sheds or in the back row of the local flicks. This was different. Here, in front of me, was sophistication and style. And it was standing a few feet away and was more importantly giving me some attention.

I closed my eyes. There was nothing else to do. When I opened them again, she was looking away. A few seconds later, I heard Sue call her - Charley - and she disappeared upstairs. I looked at Peter. He hadn’t noticed anything.

Today I decided to take the scenic route. On the way home, I suddenly took the road that went adjacent to the motorway. I didn’t think about it. I just knew I wanted a different journey, one that would take me on a route that had interest. That’s one of the things about living today. Everything is homogenised and made easier, like taking a straight road where you can drive fast. But, in doing so, you lose something, interest. I wanted to see old churches, fields, crossroads. Perhaps, if I was adventurous, I might even stop off at an old pub. Now that would be fun.

The next day, I went round to Peter’s as normal. There was no one in when I arrived. A note was stuck to the door.

“Gone to the doctors - nothing serious. Then got to get some shopping. Key in the usual place. Let yourself in.”

It had happened before and I was one of the trusted few who knew where the key was kept. I parked my scooter and went round the back. I pushed open a gate at the side of the house and lifted up a brick by the back door. There it was.

I let myself in and went through to the patio. I stopped off in the kitchen and poured myself a cold drink and headed off outside. I plugged the ghetto blaster in the extension cable, put in an old soul tape, and took my normal place on the sun lounger.

As I say, I had been here on my own before. But not often. Usually, it had been winter. I had let myself in and watched the television until they arrived home. It was strange, now, to be outside here alone, when I was used to being with Peter and for someone else - normally Sue - to be in the house. I turned the music off for a moment and listened to the peace. It was quiet, very quiet. There were some birds in the trees, that was all. There were no do dogs barking, no shouting in the distance, no traffic outside. It felt odd. I decided that I wanted company. I turned the music on again and closed my eyes.

It was seeing a signpost that did it. I don’t know why it hadn’t occurred to me before, but it hadn’t. I’m talking now not about sitting in that garden in the distant past, but about my journey home today. I don’t know what it is about motorways but you forget where you are. And what had not occurred to me was that, forty or so miles away, was a road that went through the town where I grew up.

When I saw that signpost, with the name of my hometown on it, I had a strange sense of nostalgia. It was almost as if I was transported back somewhere, away from my present life. What’s more, I was suddenly taken with an impulse to go back there, to see what it was like now. I hadn’t been back for decades. I’d had no need to.

I checked the clock. My wife would be at work for another four hours. I had no one expecting me to be anywhere. There was absolutely no reason why I shouldn’t turn right at the signpost instead of going straight on and head down memory lane, just for the fun of it.

So that’s what I decided to do.

I didn’t normally believe in déjà vu. Things happened once, that was all. Any repeat was coincidental. But, that day over thirty years ago, I reassessed that view. Because what happened next was almost a repeat of precisely the same time the day before.

I had laid there for a while, with my eyes closed. And, when I opened them, there she was. Standing, looking at me. Except she wasn’t in the hall. She was outside, a few feet away.

She had a record in her hand. That was the first thing I noticed. It was an LP, in a brightly coloured sleeve. I hadn’t seen it before but a quick glance indicated that it was a compilation of new bands. It was like that, in those days. There were new bands appearing everywhere, in the wake of the punk explosion and the mod revival that followed out. Peter and I were always checking out the new music, from the NME and Sounds and John Peel’s nighttime show. From what I saw before me, it looked like Sue’s friend was the same.

“All on your own?” she said. I was taken aback. She hadn’t spoken to me before and I wasn’t expecting her to now. I swallowed hard, took a deep breath, and tried to appear relaxed.

“Yeah,” I said. “They’re out.”

“Yes, I know,” she said. Peter’s had to go with Sue to the doctor. She’s been feeling a little faint. That’s all.”

“I see. I hope she’s alright.”

“She’s fine,” she laughed. “But she thought she should get it checked out.”

“I see.”

“Don’t know how long they’re going to be. But you know what these appointments are like.” She sat on the sun lounger next to me and stretched out her legs.

“No,” I said.

“Good music,” she said, tapping her fingers.

“Yeah, not bad. An old compilation of mine. Pete taped it.”

“I can’t wait to hear this,” she said, lifting the record up.

“Let’s have a look.”

She handed it to me. It was as I thought, a compilation of some very interesting new bands.

“Looks good,” I said. “Wouldn’t mind giving it a listen.”

“We could,” she said. “Now. Why not, eh?”

“I don’t think the ghetto blaster plays records.”

“That doesn’t matter. Sue’s got a stereo in her room. We could go and listen to it in there.”

“Do you think she’d mind?”

“No.”

She seemed certain about that. Very certain.

“Come on then.”

She smiled.

“Ok.”

“Don’t forget the album.”

When you're eighteen a girl of twenty is definitely the older woman. I had spent my formative years marvelling at Pans People on Top Of The Pops. Now here was the real thing. Sitting a couple of feet away from me on my best friend’s sister’s bed. I smiled at the thought, I wasn’t going to let it overawe me. And when she leaned over and kissed me, and her long hair fell over my face, it was the sweetest moment I could remember and I certainly wasn’t going to put up any barriers to what was likely to happen next. I was worried they might arrive home. But not a lot.

A short while later, I heard a car pull up outside.

“They’re home,” she said.

“Yeah.”

“Come on. We’d better go downstairs.”

I smiled and followed her out. It’s a strange feeling when you know you’ve been used, knew I had been duped, in a way. Or had I? I certainly hadn’t put up any resistance.

Nor would I.

At the bottom of the stairs, she turned to me, with a worried look on her face. It contrasted with her demeanour up to that point, almost as if something had suddenly occurred to her that she hadn‘t contemplated before.

“Look,” she said. “Sue must never know about this. No one must ever know.”

I laughed.

“Of course not,” I said. “The secret is safe with me.”

“That’s all right then.”

She turned and carried on walking to the sundowners, where we were sitting when they arrived home.

I remember the rest of the day well. Sue and Peter joined us in the garden and, unusually, the two girls stayed for a while. Sue had a carefree attitude about her that day which I hadn’t seen before. There was a club in town which put on an alternative night called Shotgun and Sue and Charley were going there that night. Sue suggested that we should join them. We both agreed.

In the event, we didn’t join them for the whole evening. When I met Peter in The Coach And Horses, he told me that they had gone to meet some friends and we would meet them in Shotgun later. I didn’t mind. In my naïve young head, it occurred to me that this was just a way of Charley being coy, that she would be too shy about the events of the afternoon and would want to avoid meeting until the setting was loose and informal. I sipped my lager. I was looking forward to a repeat performance.

The country lanes hadn’t changed. That’s what hit me as I drove along. It could be a winter day from thirty years ago, the bare trees were in the same place, the pubs still stood invitingly, the cottages looked homely, nestling in corners off the road. I could have been sitting, in the passenger seat, with my dad, on the way home for one of mum’s Sunday lunches.

But I wasn’t, was I? I was here, now, in the years preceding retirement, on my way to old age. mum’s Sunday lunches were a memory, that was all. Time had passed by. Things had changed. The world was a different place from the one I left behind those decades ago. The country lanes looked the same. Nothing else was.

I smiled and drove. Then I came to the outskirts of town. That looked the same as well.

I didn’t get a repeat performance. I should have known, but I didn’t. We had a couple of drinks in the Coach And Horses and headed up the road to Shotgun. We paid our money and headed down the stairs into the venue. Sue and Charley weren’t there. I felt my heart sink as we walked through the door and we looked round. Maybe they would arrive later?

I had half an hour to wait. It was after ten-thirty when they finally came through the door, with a group of other friends. Peter was talking to me at the time and I wasn’t paying a lot of attention to what he was saying. He didn’t say anything but a nod of my head and a laugh was hardly enough to add anything to the evening. It wasn’t like me, I knew that. And I think Peter did as well.

I was expecting Peter to go across to where the girls were standing, at the bar. But he didn’t. He just carried on talking and I carried on pretending to listen, glancing over to them instinctively. Charley saw me, I was certain of that. But she chose to stand and talk and laugh and leave me with Peter. Still, I was pretending it would work out well. I suppose you do, at that age. Look on the bright side and all that. I decided to take my leave and head to the gents for a few moments to decide what to do.

It hardly mattered what I had decided which, as it happens was to do nothing. As I walked out of the gents, there was a noise coming from the dance floor, which you could hear even above the music. There was an altercation. I looked over, I couldn’t believe it. It was Charley. She was standing, in the middle of the dance floor, having an argument with another girl. It didn’t look pleasant. In fact, it looked like it could get out of hand at any moment. I wanted to go over and break it up. But I couldn’t. If I did, it would make it clear that there was more between us than anyone knew. So, instead, I went back to where Peter was standing, grinning, and watched.

“What are they arguing about?” I asked.

“Some guy,” he said. “I think so, anyway. Someone at Uni who Sue knows.”

“I see.”

I didn’t say anything. I didn’t have to. The other boy was the one who broke it up.

He was tall and blonde and looked as if he could have walked off an American teen film set. His name should have been Brad or Zak or something like that. He would have a part-time job as a lifeguard.

And it would have been perfectly normal for two pretty girls to fight about him in a nightclub.

I hated him. Of course, I hated him. How could I do otherwise?

I didn’t see her again. Not that summer, or the one after that, or the one after that. It's strange, really, how people drift in and out of your life. I went away to University and she was forgotten about. Just another person who you meet along the way, even if the encounter was more intimate than with most.

A few days later, I asked about her and Peter said that she had gone on holiday for a fortnight. At the end of that fortnight, I went on holiday as well, with my family, to Cornwall. From what I remember, it was a good holiday. Now lost in the midst of time.

When I returned home, I went to University. It was autumn and the days of the sun loungers and sitting with drinks and music were a distant memory. I still went round to Peter’s house but Sue had moved out. There was no reason for me to see Charley again.

In any case, I wasn’t likely to. Peter told me that there had been developments. Keep it to myself, he said, but Charley wouldn’t be around very much. She was having a baby. The father was the boy I had seen briefly in Shotgun. They didn’t know what would happen with him, whether he would stand by her or go back to his girlfriend. But it was best not to say anything to anyone about it.

So I didn’t.

I successfully put her out of my mind. Sometimes you need some dramatic news for that to happen. And you couldn’t get much more dramatic than that. All right, perhaps I was a little sore. But I wasn’t going to shout about it.

And when I went to University, it's true to say that I didn’t pay her much thought at all.

Back to now. Which is where we belong, rather than wrapped up in the past. I was talking about my visit to my former home town. So what happened? When I arrived, I drove into the town centre. It also didn’t look as if it had changed much. The shops were different and some had closed. But that was all. Nothing important was new. I drove round for a bit. Thinking back to the youth clubs I went to as a teenager to the schools I went to, to the pubs I visited.

And there, in front of me, I suddenly saw it. My first pub, the one I frequented regularly, With Peter. The Coach And Horses.

It didn’t strike me that it had changed very much either. The façade was much the same, and the windows. It's funny how the things about a place that you don’t even notice at the time, the windows or the shape of a door, are the things that hit you when you see it again. I don’t think the shape of those windows had ever occurred to me from one year to the next. Yet they were the things that jumped out at me as I drove by.

I passed it, of course. There was a stream of traffic behind me and I drove by, l knew it had been a mistake. I wanted to have a look inside, order an alcohol-free lager from the bar, an act that would have been bean treason back in the days when drinking your age, or pretending to, was the done thing. Alcohol-free lager? What’s that for?

But now I was responsible or pretended to be. I wanted to have a look inside but not get drunk. I was driving. I carried on until the traffic eased and turned. I headed back to the pub and parked outside. I looked round when I got out. No one had seen me. No strange ghosts from the past. No one from school. I was on my own in the present. Exploring the place I knew from another moment. Should I? Yes. I thought I should do it.

I walked up to the steps.

It didn’t hit me at the time. But the streets I was driving along were the same streets where I walked on my way home from school, or home from the pub, or after that night thirty years ago. I remember it now, how I felt, on the way home. I had gone out that day not expecting anything. I had come home that afternoon expecting everything. And it had resulted in nothing. Just a rejection and an altercation in a nightclub. It had started to rain, I remember that. As I walked down those streets, the rain fell down and wet my hair, and yet I didn’t care. I didn’t want it to stop. I just wanted to walk and get home and fall down on the bed and into myself. My hopes had been dashed and my dreams. For that night. But I was at the cusp of the future. It would soon open up for me. How it did open up is not for this tale. It is for another time. Suffice to say that, although the rejection was keen, it did not last.

When I walked into The Coach And Horses I wondered what it would look like. Would it be the same? In the day, there were two bars. One was for students or the sixth formers and dropouts who used to hang around there on a Friday night. The other was for the g and t set, local businessmen, and golf club regulars. Naturally, Peter and I frequented the scruffy side, in our attempt to slum it and be part of the local bohemian cognoscenti. I imagine everyone who went in that bar felt the same way.

There was a big old jukebox in the corner. We used to have to fight to get our music on. But we succeeded. When we were there, the bar would be made to feel alive. Hard guitars and soulful beats were our preference and we wanted everyone to know.

I pushed open the door and looked around. I wasn’t surprised it had changed. it was to be expected. The first thing was that they had knocked it through. No longer were there two bars, it was one big room, with a long bar in front. I don’t know if there was still the distance between the students and the g and t set. But it didn’t look like it. The old divisions had gone. It was just another pub for everyone to go to, like in any town.

It was fairly empty. There were just a few regulars sitting around, at tables. A couple of old men were at the bar. There wasn’t a jukebox there. I don’t suppose I expected there to have been.

I walked up to the bar and waited a few minutes. Eventually, a middle-aged man with a thin moustache came up to me and I ordered a bottle of lager. I looked at the man. Did I know him from when I was younger? I didn’t want to stare. There was nothing about him that I recognized. He must be a Johnny Come Lately, I thought. Like I was in my new home. I didn’t grow up where I lived, and neither did this man.

There are two sorts of people. Those who stay near their native soil. And those who don’t. I was the latter.

I forgot about all that. I just stood there at the bar and drank my alcohol-free lager. It tasted all right. Not the same as the full version. But it would be sufficient for when I was driving. I still had some way to go when I left.

Then I turned from the bar. And it was then that I saw it. A face. One I recognised like it was yesterday.

Two men had come into the pub. It was the younger one who I knew. It was his face. That face. The one that had captivated Charley and made me feel hate. All those years ago. Only he had hardly aged. He was perhaps in his late twenties, or a little older, or even younger. I couldn’t place him. Yes, I thought, I’d settle for the late twenties.

His face was almost as chiselled as it was that night.

Then I looked at the man next to him and I realized. I had mistaken the identity of the other. It was the older man, greying now, who was Charley’s beau. And the other must be his son.

It was clear now.

I sipped my beer and contemplated going. It was nothing to do with me.

I had half the glass left, when I turned and saw someone else come into the bar. This time, I had to do a double-take. A man walked in who would perhaps be a year or two older than the other one. Except this man had a look about him that I recognized.

His features, his manner, his gait. They reminded me of my family.

It's strange, I thought, how people look like each other. Maybe we are all related, in some way, the human race. How could someone I had never met look like my family? It wasn’t real.

Then someone else came in. A woman, middle-aged, who was obviously with him. And then it happened. She looked at me, I looked at her, and time stood still. For a moment, we stared at each other. I couldn’t do anything. I knew that face, I knew it well, and I knew the expression. I had seen that look once before in my life.

“No one must know about this. No one must ever know.”

I could hear those words now. They were immortal, ringing in my ears.

“No one must know about this. No one must ever know.”

She looked at me, beseeching, imploring. Don’t speak, don’t even whisper. And the spell was broken as the aging young stallion walked across with his son, kissed her on the cheek, and went to the bar.

I looked at her, contemplated going over for a brief chat, and rejected it. What was the point?

I finished my drink and left the bar. I got in the car and drove back to my current life.

As I say. Life. It catches us all out eventually. It's strange how it happens. You don’t expect.

Life gives us signposts. Some we follow. Some we don’t. Some we don’t know where they’re going. They’re the ones we need to be careful about.

Some we don’t even see. And they’re the worst.

Let’s think about it. I met Peter and then Charley came on the scene, that’s at least one signpost. Then I didn’t see her. That’s another one.

And then, when life has changed for good, I see another signpost that points me back.

What do I do?

On the way home, I thought about all that. I stopped in a layby and thought a lot. There you were, I said to myself, going through life, thinking it was all mapped out. Then, suddenly, out of the blue, you realise that it's not so simple as that. Do I go back, meet the boy I never knew, get to know him, open it all up again so that there is heartache and misery and people not talking to each other? Or do I just carry on, pretending that it never happened, that I had just carried on driving and not turned off to my former town?

Who knows. I don’t. And I don’t think I ever will.

What would you do?

Signposts. They are everywhere.

Life. It catches us all out.

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