It wasn’t easy. It required a great deal of time, application, and deception. Phil and Jackie started going out together around the same time as Penny and I did, except they went on and on: through the Lips I Licked It So It’s Mine T-Shirt, hormonal fourth form, and the end-of-the-world ‘O’-level and school-leaving fifth, and on into the mock-adult sobriety of the lower sixth. They were our golden couple, our Paul and Linda, our Newman and Woodward, living proof that in a faithless, fickle world, it was possible to grow old, or at least older, without chopping and changing every few weeks. I’m not too sure why I wanted to fuck it all up for them, and for everyone who needed them to go out together. You know when you see T-shirts piled up in a clothes shop, beautifully folded and color-coded, and you buy one? It never looks the same when you take it home.
Lips I Licked It So It’s Mine T-Shirt, Hoodie, Sweatshirt, Tanktop
It only looked good in the Lips I Licked It So It’s Mine T-Shirt, you realize too late, because it had its mates around it. Well, it was kind of like that. I had hoped that if I went out with Jackie, then some of that elder-stateswoman dignity would rub off on me, but of course without Phil, she didn’t have any. (If that’s what I wanted, I should perhaps have looked for a way to go out with both of them, but that sort of thing is hard enough to pull off when you’re an adult; at seventeen it could be enough to get you stoned to death.) Phil started working in a men’s boutique on Saturdays, and I moved in.