A History Of Great Mistakes


A trip to Aberystwyth on a sunny weekend to see the Sky – pt8
February 24, 2009, 11:00 pm
Filed under: Aberystwyth | Tags: , ,

(wait – stop – hey – back up there fella – don’t read the below unless you’ve checked out part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6 and part 7!)

It took me nearly an hour and a half to undo the damage done to Dad’s PC from his stray click.

I looked at my watch. 1:45. ‘Lewis and Gez will be pulling up soon’ I thought to myself.

As if on cue, Lewis’ horn sounded.

‘Or, they’ll be arriving right now’ I heard a voice say in my head.

It was very unlike Lewis, being early. As I went outside, he even seemed to be in a more chirpy mood than normal. A cheeky smile crossed his lips as he looked at me.

Gez, was the polar opposite. He sat in the passenger seat, arm out of the window, staring at the floor.

“F@£ker.” I heard Gez mutter at Lewis.

“Oooooooh!” said Lewis, mockingly. “Big bad Shearer gonna kick my candy ass was he?!?”

Man United had won.

And Lewis, was loving it.

As I picked up my golf clubs from the doorway, I watched Lewis orchestrate the finest mocking I had seen since my ‘painfully honest’ moment with Steve a year ago.

Steve – was the younger brother of our friend Dave.

Dave, was a top bloke. Funny, a laugh a minute, and more than a little bit geeky. There weren’t many people who didn’t like Dave. And I couldn’t help but shine to him instantly when I heard his brummie accent. Turned out that his family had come from a town just a few miles outside Kingshurst, and that we went to some of the same places while we were growing up.

He was just like me – another man displaced in a foreign land.

Steve, on the other hand, was a little different to Dave. A nice bloke – don’t get me wrong – but just… a little different. We liked Steve. He was a year younger than Dave (almost exactly), and he’d hang out with us from time to time when we were all together.

Occasionally however, Steve would get on my nerves.

To him, general things that we enjoyed doing were “boring”.

Going down the shop to get lunch and shoot the breeze was “boring”. Talking about life and ladies on the side of a hill was “boring”. Listening to us talk about Newcastle and Man United was “boring”.

Everything was “boring”.

To our eternal dismay, at the age of 17, Dave chose to leave Ysgol Penglais and attend Coleg Ceredigion. We were honestly – gutted.

And to my eternal dismay, one year later, Steve chose to stay at Penglais.

We saw a lot of Steve in our final year. It was one of the most boring years of our lives. Or at least it was, according to him.

On the final day of sixth form – I’d had enough of everything being boring.

Steve walked up to me in the crowded common room, turned, and dared to look at me and say “Hello.”

His brazen acknowledgment of my presence was all the justification I needed to scream at him.

“I don’t f@£king CARE!” I shouted at his bemused face. “Do you hear me Steve? I don’t F@£KING CARE! ALL B@£$TARDING YEAR I’VE HAD TO LISTEN TO YOUR S*IT!”

I paused for breath. Steve let out a small smile and looked at me. This, enraged me.

“Listen Steve – let me make this plainly clear.” I whispered. “I DON’T CARE! YOU! YOU! ARE THE SINGLE MOST BORING MAN I HAVE EVER HAD THE MISFORTUNE TO MEET!

I took a deep sigh. ‘That felt good.’ I thought.

But then it very quickly started to feel very wrong. I’d just publicly humiliated him in front of his friends. Steve looked at me in utter shock.

I looked at him, and began to mentally prepare myself for a very public apology – when something completely unexpected happened.

Other people began chipping in. “I can’t stand it anymore either!” shouted Rich. “Shut the f@£k up! I’m sick of everything being boring!” heckled Adam.

I’d started a chain reaction of honesty around the room. Everyone had the same opinion as me, but I’d never noticed it before.

The impromptu (and somewhat malicious) group therapy session lasted for roughly five minutes, but Steve’s issues arising from his public flogging – may have lasted years.

I felt terrible, and had neglected to think about two key points:

  1. Lewis, Gez and I all still saw Dave outside of sixth form – a lot – often with Steve, and;
  2. I was due to come back to Penglais for my A-Level exams, and I was going to have to share the common room with Steve (who was still going to be there) from time to time…

The following weeks were very quiet for me. When Steve did approach me, little more than a nod was given or returned. My relationship with Dave suffered dramatically because of the public humiliation I had subjected his brother to.

It was not a moment to remember.

I shook the memory off and threw my clubs into the boot.

Waving goodbye to Dad, we set off towards Capel Bangor golf club. We liked playing at Capel Bangor. It was cheap as chips – and they weren’t fussy about the clothes you wore.

Capel Bangor Golf Club - heaven

Capel Bangor Golf Club - heaven

A useful thing on that particular day, as Lewis appeared to be wearing crotchless shorts.

“I’ve got to ask Lew – what the hell happened to your shorts?!” I queried.

“Erm… Short story… Dog ate them.” said Lewis. “Long story… Well… There was this mouse running around the house… One thing lead to another, etc, etc…”

Gez and I looked at each other. We could determine no possible link between Bella (dog), a mouse and his shorts. Except, perhaps within the confines of a Tom and Jerry cartoon.

We brushed it off.

“So how’d the date go?” asked Gez.

I cringed. “Er – had better dates…” I said, before recounting the last 24hrs to them both.

“Wow.” said Lewis as I finished. “Pete – she has to really like you. I don’t know any girl that I’ve dated who’d have stood for any of that…”

“Well, she doesn’t know all of it…” I replied.

“That’s probably why she still likes you.” said Gez.

I nodded.

Golf, was just what I needed. Two hours to relax with my mates, shooting the breeze and catching up.

Lewis downed a bogey on the final hole to come in just below myself and Gez, and continued the irritating streak he’d developed throughout the day by proceeded to rub his win in our faces.

We swore at him and when his back was turned secretly plotted to leave cuts of fresh fish in his car over summer. I had faith that Gez would come through for me in my absence.

“Hey – fancy a bite to eat and a quick drink back at the house?” asked Gez.

I looked at my watch. It was gone 4, and I hadn’t heard from Sky.

Nervously, I checked my phone. It hadn’t turned itself off, which was positive, but it also hadn’t received any calls or messages from Sky, which was not.

It was a little too quiet for my liking. My internal ‘spider-sense’ suggested that Sky may still be a little angry. But after last night, and my voicemail earlier, I was too much of a coward to do anything about it.

Food would be good to take my mind off things.

“Sure.” I said. “After all – nothing wrong with a condemned man having a last meal is there…”

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