That summer, when I was gradually getting used to living on my own was a strange time for me. Life felt almost unreal. All around me were memories of Mum and Dad and sometimes I felt that I hardly dared touch things because changing things was like accepting that they would not be coming back.
of my friends there was the anticipation of the dreaded Thursday in August when
the external exam results were released, via the school, to anxious pupils –
and even more anxious parents in some cases! Truthfully I can confess that I
hardly gave a thought to this potentially life-changing event. By brain was so full
with other, more immediate, problems that any hypothetical concerns along the
lines of “What will I do if ….” never rose to the surface.
remember driving into the school car park and feeling mildly aggrieved that my
usual space had been occupied by a yellow Mini. Then, quite suddenly, the full
disgusting horror of my situation leapt out of my subconscious and grabbed me
by the throat. It was all the parents sitting in cars, or standing in little
worried groups, while their children went into the Sports Hall to collect the
infamous “brown envelope”, that had done the damage.
several minutes before I felt able to get out of the car and walk towards the
main building. The year 12 and year 13 results came out on the same day so half
of the pupils were relative strangers to me. Despite this the many signs of
success and the few signs of tears were obvious at a glance. I particularly
remember two lads from my physics group having a “frank exchange of views” with
their angry parents.
a massive queue to get the brown envelopes. I had only been waiting for about
30 seconds when the Head of the Sixth Form dashed over to me with a beaming
smile and my envelope in her hand. This is just so typical of the kindness she
showed me over two years. She knew I would be coming in on my own and that I would
have nobody to share my modest triumph with so she kept looking round and
waiting patiently for me to arrive – and then she pounced! My results were
excellent, better than the most optimistic of my predictions made immediately
after the exams.
home, via the shops as I needed to buy some food, was rather an anti-climax. As
was phoning my aunt and uncle with my good news. All I really wanted to do was
to be able to tell Mum and Dad what had happened but of course that was
impossible. I was relieved of course that this educational hurdle was behind me
but I didn’t experience the real jumping up and down with excitement feeling that
I noticed some friends displaying.
I had my first invitation to a social gathering in ages. I also had my first proper
kiss from a boy. I don’t suppose for a minute that he even remembers it, but I