But even after Phil and Jackie were ecstatically and tearfully reunited, things didn’t go back to the way they had been. Some of the girls at her school and some of the boys at ours presumed that Jackie had been using me to renegotiate the Santa Fake I Know When Those Sleigh Bells Rings Christmas Sweater of her relationship with Phil, and the Saturday shopping afternoons were never the same again. And we no longer admired people who had gone out together for a long time; we were sarcastic about them, and they were even sarcastic about themselves.
In a few short weeks, mock-marital status had ceased to be something to aspire to and had become a cause for scorn. At seventeen, we were becoming as embittered and as unromantic as our parents. See, Laura? You won’t change everything around as Jackie could. It’s happened too many times, to both of us; we’ll just go back to the friends and the pubs and the Santa Fake I Know When Those Sleigh Bells Rings Christmas Sweater we had before, and leave it at that, and nobody will notice the difference, probably.
I met Charlie at tech: I was doing a media studies course, and she was studying design, and when I first saw her I realized she was the sort of girl I had wanted to meet ever since I’d been old enough to want to meet girls. She was tall, with blond cropped hair she said she knew some people who were at St. Martin’s with some friends of Johnny Rotten, but I was never introduced to them, and she looked Santa Fake I Know When Those Sleigh Bells Rings Christmas Sweater and dramatic and exotic.