This Is Me

This is the story of a girl who got lost along the way. Her journey is one threaded in between that of thousands of others and fate will take its path. Follow your yellow brick road.

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4. Chapter 4

Next was the goodbye party. It was our shared part, mine and Kimon’s, and of course that of Ellens’, Jo’s and Jules’.  There were all the adults as well, and many tears were shed, not just for a friend but for another part of that solid brick wall that you thought you had built to protect you but it was just caving in, one brick at a time, to leave you stripped bare of protection. Everyone was leaving Cyprus, and everyone was going so fast.

I remember everyone gathered to see us go, down at Riccos’ Beach, near where Kimon lived. I think it was mainly a goodbye do for our parents, but since back then all our parents were friends and a lot of them met through having us, the kids came along and I think there was probably about seventy of us altogether. Even the people I didn’t really like much cried.

By the time we all separated and said our goodbyes, I was beyond crying. You know when you watch a really sad movie with a kind of happy ending and you don’t cry, you just having a feeling of sadness within you which is so much to bear that you realise you just can’t cry? That’s how I felt. Even though everyone was crying, I couldn’t. The tears wouldn’t fall.

One of my other oldest friends, Nicky, who went to the Little Green Mouse with me and Kimon whom is our age, began to sob her eyes out. We had always been really close but we hadn’t ever been best friends and we realise now it’s because we focused on the other people, the ones who wouldn’t give a flying monkey about how we felt but we both put so much effort into getting them to like us that we never realised that the best friend we had always wanted was sitting there waiting for us all along. I don’t think I realised until that night how much we meant to each other, and how much we would miss each other.

Nicky was crying, I mean proper full out crying, and I think she felt a little put out that I wasn’t.  She told me that she didn’t know what she would do without me and I realised that no, I didn’t either. Nicky and Kimon, they had been the two most stable friends of mine in my life, even though they weren’t friends together entirely and Nicky was in the year above us. I also realised that that should be me crying because I didn’t have anyone else, apart from my Mum and Ellen and a handful of friends in England, whom already had their own lives and their own friends that they had built without us and I didn’t know if there would be enough space for three extra bricks in their brick wall.

When you’re leaving home, it’s really hard to accept that you’re actually going until you’re sat on the plane in the sky, watching your home get smaller and smaller below you, until it’s just a patchwork of green and brown (mostly brown), surrounded by sea and you realise that somehow, on that tiny island, you used to belong there and the rest of your family, blood related and not, still do.

Maybe that’s why I didn’t cry, not until the last person to say goodbye to was my Dad.

*****

When I was twelve, I’m not joking I was one of those people you look at and think, well, she’s never going to get married. I didn’t think so either.

I had short, curly hair that was all frizzy and horrible in the summer because of how much time I spent in the sea and the parts of it that were dyed a golden blonde from the constant sun went slightly green in the constant chlorine. I used to wear round little glasses, though I think I got rid of them just before my twelfth birthday, but I got new little rectangular ones which were almost as bad and I have always been pudgy. I really used to be a horrible-looking child.

That’s why when I go back to Cyprus now, I am only recognised for my curly hair, which I wear a lot longer in light of the freezing weather in England. My friend even told me the other day that I’m a lot prettier now than I was a year and a half ago. I wonder why.

I thought you should know that, before you get the idea of some angelic looking child walking into a new school in a new country, needing to make new friends to get a new life.

With this in mind, remember I said how much I liked Kimon? Well, he has always been absolutely gorgeous, way out of my league. Which is why I was so surprised when he wrote me a Valentines card and gave me a red rose in year five, a year and a half before we both left. I just reckon he felt sorry for me.

Kimon is the typical Cypriot boy without the annoying Cypriot traits, like the sweating all the time and he somehow has that typical relaxed surfer-dude Australian look which is what I think makes everyone crazy for him. He had brown hair and brown eyes, his hair I prefer when he wore longer, and his skin was always tanned due to the mixed blood in him. He had a light sprinkling of freckles that used to come out in the summer that I used to love and his smile was the best ever.

We always used to get Kimon to tell us jokes in the playground when we were little, not just because the jokes he told were funny but because he was a naturally funny guy and he made everything into a joke. Plus all the girls loved his smile.

Sometimes I wonder if getting back in touch with Kimon would be the right thing to do, whether maybe we are just better going our own way. Forget the past and move on with the future? Then I think that maybe we need each other, that we might be the missing piece to each other’s’ lives because I certainly feel like something’s missing, but how can I be sure about him? Has he changed? Will I like the new Kimon? Do I even want a new Kimon?

All this runs through my mind every day and the thing is, back then in the madness of rushing to get everything done and saying goodbye, none of this never occurred to me. It never occurred to me that one day I might have no contact with Kimon left, that one day I’d be where I am now. Who would’ve thought?

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